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Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition (英語) CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

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“Intimate and detailed . . . [Alan Pell Crawford] had access to thousands of family letters–some previously unexamined by historians–that he used to create his portrait of the complex idealist, [and] there are some surprising tidbits to be found.”
–Associated Press

“[A] well-researched look at Jefferson, and even readers with only a passing interest in our third president should find it fascinating.”
–Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Insightful analysis and lucid prose make this autumnal portrait a rewarding experience.”
–Kirkus Reviews

From the Trade Paperback edition. --このテキストは、ハードカバー版に関連付けられています。


Part One

Morning and Midday

Chapter 1

A Society of Would-be Country Squires

The Virginia Piedmont, to which Thomas Jefferson returned upon his retirement from the presidency early in 1809, had not changed much since his birth there on April 13, 1743. Jefferson was born at his father’s tobacco plantation, Shadwell, on the Rivanna River, which flows through a gap in a small range called the Southwest Mountains. A few miles west of Shadwell, on the far side of the Southwest Mountains, the town of Charlottesville would be established. Just past Charlottesville stood the Blue Ridge Mountains, beyond which lay the Shenandoah Valley, walled off by the more imposing Alleghenies. On the other side of the Alleghenies stretched the great American West.

This was rugged territory in 1734, when Peter Jefferson received his first land grant in what would become Albemarle County, and it would remain rugged for decades to come. As late as the American Revolution, a halfcentury after Shadwell was built, Albemarle was a “dreary region of woods and wretchedness,” in the words of Thomas Anburey, a British officer held prisoner near Monticello but, as a gentleman, given considerable freedom of movement. Wild horses roamed at will, “and have no proprietors, but those on whose lands they are found,” Anburey observed. Hogs ran wild, and packs of wolves preyed on the deer as well as on any sheep the planters kept. Even in Jefferson’s time, a Monticello slave would recall, “you could see the wolves in gangs runnin’ and howlin’, same as a drove of hogs.” The Indians that had once lived there and left traces of their existence—an abandoned burial mound stood on Peter Jefferson’s property—had moved south and west or vanished altogether by the time the Englishmen began to build their houses.

The countryside where Peter Jefferson established his family was unlike that of the Virginia Tidewater, where wide and deep rivers—the James, Potomac, York, Rappahannock, and Appomattox—cut through vast expanses of fertile flatlands. Forty or fifty miles west of Richmond, as the Blue Ridge comes into view, the land becomes hilly; the valleys between the hills are cobwebbed with creeks, a geography that presented a greater agricultural challenge than the planters of the Tidewater were accustomed to, as Peter Jefferson and other settlers would soon discover.

These settlers, unlike the Jeffersons, were not all of English derivation. There were also scores of Scots-Irish and Germans who had come down from Pennsylvania through the Shenandoah Valley. These were farmers who made tidy livings from small but well-tended plots of ground, as John Hammond Moore has written in his history of Albemarle County, “doing their own work, with the help of sons, relatives, and hired hands.” Having never depended upon slaves to labor for them, these hardworking men (and women) either had little patience for the pretensions of the lordly slaveholders—or were intimidated by them.

Two years after Thomas Jefferson’s birth, when the first list of Albemarle County “tithables,” or white males eighteen and older, was compiled, there were only 1,394 taxpayers in the entire county. The total population of Albemarle—male and female, young and old, white and black, was about 4,250. About half of the people of Albemarle were enslaved, many just brought over from Africa.

The smallest group, though they wielded by far the greatest influence, were the self-styled gentlemen who had come from the East, bringing their slaves, their liquor, and sometimes their libraries. The most influential of the English settlers were the Jeffersons and the future president’s maternal relatives, the Randolphs.

To clear Albemarle’s hilly land and grow crops on it proved challenging to all the settlers, lowborn and high. Much of this land, cut deep with gullies, bristled with the stumps and lifeless trunks of trees that had been killed rather than chopped down. To save time and trouble, the settlers merely hacked off a strip of bark all around the trunk, leaving the tree to wither and die, usually within a couple of years. Although trees might put out a spindly growth of leaves the next season, Anburey wrote, they would soon stand skeletal and bare against the sky, giving the landscape a “very singular, striking, and dreadful appearance.” Eventually, the rotting trees toppled over “with a most horrible crash,” but until they fell, farming went on as if they were not there at all. The underbrush was either burned away or dug out with hoes. The soil “was scratched with plows,” according to Anburey, “and the first crop was planted under the canopy of dead branches.”

A Virginia farm field “should seem dangerous to walk in . . . for the trees are of a prodigious magnitude and height, from which are impending in awful ruins vast limbs, and branches of an enormous size, which are continually breaking off.” The fences that enclosed these farmlands and kept livestock from wandering off were constructed in a zigzag arrangement so haphazard that New Englanders made a joke of it: when a man was drunk, they would say he was “making Virginia fences.”

Very little of the acreage to which the planters held title was under cultivation at any one time, and farming anywhere except in the bottomlands along the river proved arduous. When tobacco was ready for transport, farmers rolled their hogsheads to the riverbanks and waited until a “freshet” swelled the streams, which enabled them to get their crops to the Tidewater on canoes and batteaux.

After such a storm, Anburey noted, the waters rolled down from the mountains, overflowed the banks for miles on end, and washed away the earth, “which being of a red cast, appeared like a torrent of blood.” When the water was high, boats could move all the way to Richmond. For much of the year, however, the Rivanna, being either iced over in winter or too shallow in summer, was not navigable at all.

Virginia farmers relied on fires as well as floods. In the spring and fall, planters eager to rid their fields of weeds, fallen leaves, and stubble set fires “which traverse whole counties,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in his book Notes on the State of Virginia. Fires “are very frequent,” Anburey reported, “and at Charlottesville I have seen the mountains on a blaze for three or four miles in length.”

The fields were plowed “not more than two inches deep,” in Jeff Randolph’s words, and the few nutrients left in the soil after tobacco, wheat, and corn had been grown on a given field were washed away by the same thundershowers that allowed farmers to get their crops to market. This erosion contributed to the soil’s depletion with astonishing speed. Eventually, entire fields were “abandoned to gullies[,] broom, and briers,” Randolph observed. By 1804, “nine tenths of the cleared land in [the area around Shadwell and Monticello] was in this condition,” its owners “having sold it at low rates and moved west.”

Most Virginians, black and white, lived in cabins or shacks, but here and there, on the hills overlooking the Rivanna, stood crude manor houses that their builders called mansions, surrounded by unpainted wooden outbuildings, stables, and slave quarters. These plantations were, for the most part, self- contained, self-supporting communities and the closest approximations of towns or cities for miles around.

Travel between these plantations and to the towns back east—sixty miles east to Richmond, say, or a hundred forty to Williamsburg—could be perilous. The dirt roads and carriage trails that connected the plantations were often impassable. Finished goods, like crops, moved mostly by boat. So, quite often, did the settlers. Whether they went by boat or made their way along the crude roads, people traveling to visit neighbors frequently found themselves facing vast clouds of black smoke from the farmers’ fires.

Because Virginians lived at such distances from one another, they took every opportunity to socialize. They endured considerable hardship to attend barbecues, fish fries, and horse races, and at all of these events drunkenness was commonplace. The society into which Thomas Jefferson was born aspired to gentility but rarely achieved it. Taverns predated houses of worship, which, although established by the Church of England, were attended but grudgingly by the colonials they had been built to serve.

Under English common law, which prevailed through the colonial period, Virginians could be fined for missing church once, flogged for a second infraction, and put to death for a third. Until Thomas Jefferson, as a member of the Virginia legislature, recommended revisions to the penal code, “free-thinkers” could find their children taken away. During Jefferson’s childhood such laws, though rarely, if ever, enforced, remained on the books.

This was not a pious culture, nor an especially law-abiding one, but it was convivial. As soon as work was done, when holidays rolled around, or when there was business to attend to at the courthouse, the leading men of the county entertained themselves in raucous fashion, playing cards, dice, and billiards, often for high stakes. Violence often followed, “it not being the fashion of the day,” in Jeff Randolph’s words, “for men to restrain their tempers.”

In 1748, five years after Jefferson’s birth, fighting had gotten so vicious that Virginia’s colonial legislature passed a general statute against maiming, making it a felony to cut out another person’s tongue, put out his eye, or bite his nose or lip; thirty years later, just before the Revolution, the lawmakers added a prohibition against “gouging, plucking ... --このテキストは、ハードカバー版に関連付けられています。



  • CD
  • 出版社: Tantor Media Inc; Unabridged版 (2008/2/1)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 1400136180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400136186
  • 発売日: 2008/2/1
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 17 x 2.3 x 16.3 cm
  •  カタログ情報、または画像について報告


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45 人中、42人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Jefferson's Retirement Years 2008/1/18
投稿者 Ronald H. Clark - (
形式: ハードカバー Amazonで購入
I found this recent study to nicely complement the standard book on this topic, Dumas Malone's concluding volume to his magisterial "Jefferson and his Time" series, "The Sage of Monticello" (1981). The book benefits from intervening research on TJ, including perhaps some additional documentary sources. The author has held a residential fellowship at one of the leading resources for Jeffersonian research, the International Center for Jefferson Studies situated near Monticello. However, the tone of the two books is somewhat different. Malone's title foretells the Sage returning home in retirement, to his books, family and farms, while he shapes the creation of the University of Virginia and continues to disseminate political wisdom. By contrast, Crawford's title , "Twilight at Monticello," suggests a less happy period for the retired President. The cover has a picture of Monticello in decay, somewhat after TJ's death. And many of the chapters are devoted to unfortunate and unpleasant events that afflicted TJ during his retirement. While the author's research is impressive, as reflected in 40 pages of helpful notes, he manages to cover the topic in 300 or so pages, as compared with Malone's exhaustive 537-page treatment. The author also brings to bear a more critical tone in assessing Jefferson during this period than Malone, who was (in addition to being a fine historian) distinctively a founding member of the Jefferson Establishment, centered at UVA, which undertook as much veneration of TJ as critical analysis of the third President. Jefferson is truly a complex and maddingly inconsistent figure; that is why solid studies such as this are so interesting to read. The author is to be commended for packing a lot of information into a relatively compact treatment--and Malone always awaits those who want to study the topic in greater detail.
27 人中、26人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Jefferson's Not-so-golden years ... 2008/3/15
投稿者 Kevin Quinley - (
形式: ハードカバー
Author Alan Pell Crawford paints a rather grim portrait of the post-presidential years of the life of Thomas Jefferson. This is not an expose or a hatchet job on the founding father, though. One learns that - like all humans - Jefferson had his flaws and his own personal and family struggles.

Family strife abounded in the Jefferson household. In addition, Jefferson was not an astute money manager of his personal finances. His indebtedness weighed and preyed upon him heavier and heavier as his longevity extended. Monticello was a rather high-maintenance and uncomfortable place to live.

Interestingly, Crawford does seem to weigh in on the side of those historians who think that Jefferson had a black mistress in the form of Sally Hemmings.

Again, though, this is not a scandalous book or an attempt to show that Jefferson had feet of clay. For those who seek a glimpse of Jefferson the man, it will perhaps be comforting to know that he was human just like all of us and struggled with many of life's common challenges and temptations.
16 人中、16人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
A wonderful and intriguing read! 2008/4/29
投稿者 Arlene Wands - (
形式: ハードカバー
I can't tell you how somehow comforted I am that there are others out there who "got it"! Alan Pell Crawford has written a remarkable book. It's been a while since I found a book so intriguing that I could not put it down!
Jefferson was a complicated man -- and here in the 21st century, it's almost impossible to REALLY understand the thought processes, the logic, the "why?" of someone who lived under very different circumstances. We are products of our time. And so was Jefferson.
The beauty of Crawford's work is that he bridges that chasm -- as best as anyone can -- to explain HOW, for example, an ex-president (and creator of the Declaration of Independence!) could end up in such financial dire straits. How the times and political climate played a role. How family squabbles and obligations add to financial strain (some things never change!).
And yes, how it was very possible that Jefferson could have fathered the children of a slave. (I commend Crawford for not dipping into the "sensational" or treating the topic as some kind of an "exposé." He dealt with facts and probabilities - his explanation as to how the architecture of Monticello could've been conducive to "nocturnal visits" was beautifully researched, and yes, believable.)
So many historical biographies are frankly dull. Laden with facts, but missing that spark of life that makes a book breathable. Twilight at Monticello is a wonderful read - and very, very thought-provoking.
11 人中、11人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Give This Book Your Time 2008/3/19
投稿者 Bill Emblom - (
形式: ハードカバー
Thomas Jefferson certainly lived a full life as one of our founding fathers, primary author of the Declaration of Independence, and founder of the University of Virginia. He was very meticulous in the care his slaves gave to both Monticello the building and the grounds on which it stood. Jefferson's feelings regarding slavery are a mixed bag. He "trembled for our country" when he realized that God was just, and although he may not have physically mistreated his slaves himself he had others do the whipping. He loved his books, many of which were burned in Washington, D.C. when the British attacked the city in 1812. The fact that education was very important to him is demonstrated when grandson Jeff Randolph had his portrait painted by Rembrandt Peale. Jefferson had the portrait hung in the second tier below those of Adams, Franklin, and Lafayette. "Had you been educated," Jefferson told his grandson, "you would have been entitled to a place in the first--you'll always occupy the second." This was a period in time when women often died early after child-bearing, and men then moved on to marry someone else. Jefferson had many descendants, and alcohol and family squabbles often played a prominent part. Poor health often plagued him in his declining years such as bouts with boils on his buttocks, diarrhea, and constipation. Monticello fell into decline with Jefferson's death, and the mansion and grounds (except the cemetery grounds), slaves, and other household mementos were sold to a Charlottesville resident. Several of his remaining books were placed in the University of Virginia. As most everyone knows both Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4, 1826, exactly fifty years after our country's declaring its independence from England. He lived a full life, but he also had a number of problems that families continue to go through today. Young people in particular should familiarize themselves with American history, and this book gives an excellent insight into one of our country's giants.
8 人中、8人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Despite all his problems................ 2008/4/2
投稿者 Robert C. Hufford - (
形式: ハードカバー
........Thomas Jefferson never lost hope. And that alone would make him remarkable, because his last 17 years were filled with trouble. Dr. Crawford has given us an excellent study of the final years of a very great man. While not a biography in any conventional sense, the first 50 pages give us a fairly complete overview of Mr. Jefferson's first 66 years. Upon leaving the White House, Jefferson went home to a rundown farm, a family filled with strife, massive debts, and had to face it with no pension [Presidential pensions didn't arrive till Harry Truman needed one]. Without his daughter, Patsy, and grandson, Jeff, even he would have crumbled.

Thomas Jefferson always dreamed of establishing a haven for his family. Unfortunately, there was no money to do it, but that didn't stop him from trying. He loved his grandchildren, and lavished them with gifts...and the debts got worse. He tried to farm...but tobacco had depleted the soil...and the debts got worse. He co-signed a note for a friend...and the debts became impossible. His grandchildren had problems among themselves...and his heart was broken. His son-in-law was a piece of garbage [notwithstanding three terms as Governor of Virginia]. Still, Jefferson tried to stand by him. He hated slavery, but kept his own slaves. Thru it all, Jefferson never lost faith, never ceased his interest in public affairs. And, he founded the University of Virginia. Old, sick, broke, and beset; he made it work.

Dr. Crawford has an interesting take on the "Tom and Sally" controversy. While appearing to side with those who would vote "guilty", he freely states that there is no proof, and there are other alternatives. But, he then makes a point I haven't seen before, and for which I admit I have no ready answer: if Jefferson wasn't having sex with his slave[s], he was perfectly willing for others to do Not a protecting master.

Thomas Jefferson was a man of many parts, massive ability, and endless contradictions [which never bothered him], to whom we owe much. He was not without faults, and most of his problems were of his own making. Still, he never lost faith in himself, his family, or America. Some of the stories and pictures will make you cry. But, you will in no wise question that a true giant walked among us.
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