Tag Archives: Horticulture

Hail the universal brotherhood of talent & good will!

Th: Jefferson presents his …[thanks] …for the Jerusalem wheat he [Moore] was so kind as to forward him from his relation in Ireland … and his assurances that the talent shall not be hidden in a napkin. the good men of the world form a nation of their own, and when promoting the well-being of others never ask of what country they are. he hopes the US. will shew themselves worthy of these kindnesses
Thomas Jefferson to Robert Moore, March 11, 1805

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Inclusive leaders appreciate help from all quarters in all nations.
In a letter with a box of wheat kernels, Moore claimed the seed “to be of a Superior quality, producing double the Quantity of any other kind, and has very little Bran.” He hoped the “Climate & Soil of this Country” would make it a boon to American farmers.

Jefferson loved all things horticultural! National boundaries posed no limits for those whose mission was to improve others’ lives.

Sometime after September 2, 1800, Jefferson wrote a paper called “Summary of Public Service,” listing 11 contributions he’d made to life in America. One was the importation of a cask of upland rice from Africa. He explained why, “the greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an useful plant to it’s culture; especially a bread grain.” He would promote Moore’s offering of “Jerusalem wheat,” for its potential to feed his fellow citizens.

“Congratulations on your success as a speaker …
we are still hearing positive comments and rave reviews.”
Associate Director, Oregon School Boards Association
Invite Thomas Jefferson to speak.
Call 573-657-2739
NOTE: The link to Thomas Jefferson’s letter is subject to change by Founders’ Archive. It was accurate when this post was written. If the link is now wrong, search FoundersArchives.gov or call me. I’ll help you find it.
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Must my plants replace my children?

… I have had the inexpressible misfortune to lose my younger daughter, who has left me two grandchildren, & my elder one has such poor health, that I have little confidence in her life. she has 6 children. determined as I am to retire at the end of 4 years, I know not if I shall have a family to retire to. I must learn philosophy from you, & seek in a family of plants, that occupation & delight which you have so fortunately found in them. it will be the greater with me as it will give me opportunities of communicating to you new objects of enjoiment.
To Madam de Tesse′, March 10, 1805

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
What private fears do our leaders labor under?
de Tesse′ was the aunt of the French hero of the American revolution, Marquis de Lafayette. She was an accomplished woman and became friends with Jefferson during his service in France in the mid-late 1780s. The two shared a strong interest in horticulture, exchanging plants and seeds for years. Most of this letter pertained to that subject. At the end came this surprisingly personal and unusual observation.

Jefferson’s daughter Maria died the year before, leaving his firstborn Martha as the only surviving child of the six born to him and his late wife. Martha was well-educated and capable. Her husband was not an emotionally stable man, and the responsibility for managing the family and estate (and some of her father’s estate, Monticello) fell on her.  Her father was obsessing over several recent illnesses and feared for her life, too. Jefferson confided that his love of plants might be the only the only family he had left when his Presidency ended four years hence. If such loss came about, at least he could continue his correspondence with Madame de Tesse about their mutual love for plants.

His fears were unfounded. Martha would thrive, present him with 12 grandchildren, 11 who survived him, and outlive her father by 10 years.

“I just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful program …”
Daniel Boone Regional Library
A wonderfully inspiring presentation awaits your audience!
Invite Thomas Jefferson to speak. Call 573-657-2739
NOTE: The link to Thomas Jefferson’s letter is subject to change by Founders’ Archive. It was accurate when this post was written. If the link is now wrong, search FoundersArchives.gov or call me. I’ll help you find it.
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