George Flower (1780-1862) was an explorer who toured through Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois. In 1816, he explored the Ohio valley and on his way back to Virginia, he stayed with Thomas Jefferson at Poplar Forest. Flower's accounts would later be published in a book on the English settlement of Edwards County, Illinois.


Primary Source References

1816 August 18. (Jefferson to George Flower). "[I]f you should reach this place during this month I shall be here, happy to recieve you; if later than the 1st day of Sep. I shall be gone on with my family to a possession I have near Lynchburg where I shall stay 6. or 8. weeks. I shall be glad that you become one of my family at either place ...."[1]

1816. (From Flower's accounts). "I found Mr. Jefferson at his Poplar-Forest estate, in the western part of the State of Virginia. His house was built after the fashion of a French chateau. Octagon rooms, floors of polished oak, lofty ceilings, large mirrors, betokened his French taste, acquired by his long residence in France. Mr. Jefferson's figure was rather majestic: tall (over six feet), thin, and rather high-shouldered; manners, simple, kind, and courteous. His dress, in color and form, was quaint and old-fashioned, plain and neat—a dark pepper-and-salt coat, cut in the old quaker fashion, with a single row of large metal buttons, knee-breeches, gray-worsted stockings, shoes fastened by large metal buckles—such was the appearance of Jefferson when I first made his acquaintance, in 1816. His two grand-daughters—Misses Randolph—well-educated and accomplished young ladies, were staying with him at the time."[2]


Further Sources

  • Jefferson-Flower Correspondence. Transcriptions available at Founders Online.


  1. ^ PTJ:RS, 10:331. Transcription available at Founders Online.
  2. ^ George Flower, History of the English Settlement in Edwards County, Illinois: Founded in 1817 and 1818 (Chicago: Fergus Printing Co., 1882), 43.