American Sphinx - Study Guide Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Joseph Ellis
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Jefferson must have cut quite a figure on June 20, 1775 as he arrived in Philadelphia for the first Continental Congress. As the junior member of the powerful Virginia delegation, he arrived in an opulent carriage with three slaves outfitted in elaborate costumes. Little is known about Jefferson's early history because all records were destroyed in a fire in Shadwell, Virginia. He was born in 1743, attended the College of William and Mary and studied law. By all accounts, he was tall and thin with gingery hair, not a very attractive young man. He was considered a legal scholar but a very poor public speaker.

In 1768, Jefferson decided to build a house and run for the House of Burgesses, the local governing body. Those two decisions shaped his entire life. The house, Monticello, was to become his showpiece, his hobby and his refuge from troubled times. The cause...

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This section contains 1,602 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the American Sphinx Study Guide
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