Thomas Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue
Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 - History - 522 pages
Nearly 200 years after his death, Thomas Jefferson continues to fascinate and mystify scholars and the public alike. Recently, it seems that every aspect of his life and career, including a possible relationship with one of his slaves, has been put under the microscope. But Jefferson's interest in rhetoric, or discourse, has always been but a footnote before Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue. In this volume, James L. Golden and Alan L. Golden undertake the first careful study of Jefferson's rhetorical philosophy and practice. They find that not only did Jefferson take a great interest in classical and modern students of rhetoric, but that he developed his own program for its study. They also discover that Jefferson viewed the study of discourse as a vehicle for upholding virtue. Jefferson's commitment to virtue, the authors argue, helps to explain his interest in rhetoric, just as a study of his rhetorical philosophy leads to a deeper understanding of his commitment to virtue. Golden and Golden discuss Jefferson's influences and education in rhetoric, how he came to be interested in the field, and the development of his philosophy on discourse. Supplemented by extensive primary source material, Thomas Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue gives readers a first-hand account of Jefferson's understanding of virtue as viewed through his studies in rhetoric.
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The author is VERY misinformed about the James Callender accusations that Thomas Jefferson fathered Sally Hemings children. The 1998 Jefferson-Hemings DNA Study, of which I personally assisted Dr. E.A. Foster, proved that the James Callender charges of September 1802 were merily "Campaign Lies" and the DNA proved just that..........LIES. There was NO DNA match between Jefferson and Thomas Woodson DNA as charged by Callender.
The DNA study was "FOUL-UP" by Dr. Foster when he tested a KNOWN Jefferson DNA carrier, John Weeks Jefferson, an Eston Hemings and Sally Hemings descendant, and DID NOT inform Nature as I had recommended. This Eston family ALWAYS had claimed descent from "a Jefferson uncle or nephew", meaning TJ's much younger brother, Randolph, or his sons (TJ's nephews.) (I have a letter to attest to this). I advised Dr Foster that "YES" there would be a match under these circumstances.........and there was....Randolph NOT Thomas.
Monticello was given the DNA results and further compounded the INCORRECTNESS by appointing a BIASED study group, as reported by one of that employee group, Dr. Ken Wallenborn, whose Minority Report was "swept under the rug" from the original release. Later Dr Jordan, Monticello President, apologized to Dr Wallenborn and the Minority Report was released. Monticello continues to MISINFORM the public on this controversy.
Jefferson Family Historian (www.jeffersondna.com)
Founder, Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (www.tjheritage.org)