Thomas Jefferson—you know his story. Or do you? Local author Derek Baxter stumbled across a document that sheds an entirely new light on him: Thomas Jefferson, the traveler—and travel guide writer. In the 1780s, Jefferson took time away from his job as ambassador in Paris to travel through the continent, seeing and learning as much as he could, and then writing a five-thousand-word letter, “Hints to Americans Travelling in Europe.” More than two hundred years later, Baxter used the mini guide to embark on a grand tour of his own, literally In Pursuit of Jefferson, following his advice through six countries and absorbing countless lessons.
Yet along the way, what Baxter learned isn’t always what Jefferson had in mind - how he could never escape the fact that the work of people he had enslaved lay behind all his travels and projects.
Baxter’s book, In Pursuit of Jefferson, is a personal story of a life-changing trip across Europe. It asks us to reexamine how we see our Founding Fathers as well as ourselves and demonstrates how we can be better at moving forward only by first looking back.
Baxter will discuss, his journey through Europe, his book, and his exploration of Jeffersonian sites in Virginia.
Join online or in person. Registration is here. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation. Mr. Baxter will gladly supply a personalized bookplate.