Thomas Jefferson: book-collector

Peden, William, University of Virginia
Wilson, J. S., Department of Graduate Studies, University of Virginia
Mayo, Bernard, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

The average Virginia library of the eighteenth century showed a wider range of interests, less preoccupation with questions of religion, more worldliness, and a more fully developed feeling for what was good in literature than did the typical New England library of the same period. These factors should be considered, I think, as a definite index to a firmly entrenched and flourishing culture existing in eighteenth century Virginia, it is true that this Virginia produced, during its first fifty years, no outstanding achievement in history or in literature. It is equally true, however, that it can be no weird and freakish accident of history which produced the great Virginians of the later years, the Wythes, the Washingtons, Jeffersons, Madisons, and Monroes who emerged to help guide the inchoate strugglings of a hodge-podge group of confused colonies and to form these colonies into a vigorous nation to be seriously reckoned with by other world powers.

To the contrary, the Washington's and Jefferson's were, I think, the inevitable outgrowth, formed and shaped by western upheaval and growth it is true, of a firmly rooted and vigorous culture. It is not far-fetched to consider the libraries which have been the subject of the preceding remarks as an index to what was a civilized, maturing, and intellectually vigorous commonwealth, the Virginia of Thomas Jefferson.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Private libraries -- Virginia -- Bibliography

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:34:26.

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