American Sphinx - Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Joseph Ellis
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By 1794, Jefferson retired to Monticello to heal his considerable political wounds. Although it was fashionable for politicians to feign reluctance at the time, Ellis suggests that Jefferson truly wanted to retire from public life. Life spans were much shorter in the 1800s than they are now, and at fifty-one, Jefferson was in his waning years. Jefferson is famously quoted as saying, "'I have my house to build, my fields to farm, and' - an intriguingly dutiful way to put it - 'to watch for the happiness of those who labor for mine."' This last was apparently a reference to Jefferson's paternalistic role with his slaves.

During the years since Paris, Jefferson's friendship with James Madison had matured into a collaboration of equals. As Secretary of State, Jefferson had engaged in vile public clashes with Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton was everything that Jefferson was...

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This section contains 1,417 words
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