Even within his own lifetime, Thomas Jefferson was known as a man of science and knowledge. Many looked to him for information and answers.

An example is found in the experience of two men exiting a Portsmouth, Virginia tavern in 1813—the venue might have played a role—who felt compelled to inform Jefferson of what they saw streaking across the night sky.????☄️????????

Jeff Looney, Editor of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series at Monticello, tells the story.