When he became secretary of state in 1790, Jefferson wrote, 'I have but one system of ethics for men & for nations – to be grateful, to be faithful to all engagements and under all circumstances, to be open & generous, promotes in the long run even the interests of both; and I am sure it promotes their happiness.' What Jefferson wrote of relations between humans and states can also be applied to scholarship. I am very grateful to have been the beneficiary of extraordinary openness and generosity of many people in the course of researching and writing this book.
In the world of Jefferson scholarship all roads lead to Monticello and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. While writing this book, I benefited greatly from two research fellowships at Monticello's Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies – one at the beginning of this project and another during my final, writing-up, period. While at the ICJS I enjoyed a warm welcome from its directors, Andrew O'Shaughnessy and his predecessor, Jim Horn. Among the many friendly and helpful people at Monticello I am grateful to (present and previous) staff at the ICJS including: Betsy Altheimer, Anna Berkes, Bryan Craig, Sanders Goodrich, Jack Robertson, Mary Scott-Fleming, Eleanor Sparagana and Gaye Wilson. John Rudder assisted me with a series of queries regarding the history of the public tours at Monticello. Cinder Stanton patiently and cheerfully responded to numerous questions about Sally Hemings and the history of slavery at Jefferson's home. Jeff Looney and Sue Perdue of the Retirement Papers helped me to understand the evolution of the various editions of Jefferson's papers and Jefferson's last years. Among the benefits of Monticello's fellowship program is the opportunity to interact with the other scholars. This book benefited from the discussions I enjoyed with George Boudreau, Tony Iaccarino, Martha King, Catherine Kerrison, Jim Walvin, and Henry Wiencek, who made my visits to Monticello fellowships in every sense of the word. During Jefferson's lifetime Monticello was renowned as a center of hospitality and intellectual conviviality. It remains so today.
In January 2004 I was fortunate to hold a Mellon Fellowship at the Virginia Historical Society. Nelson Lankford, Frances Pollard, E. Lee