J. Jefferson Looney is Editor of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., Charlottesville, Virginia. Hardbound; 750 pages.
The 581 documents printed in this volume cover the period from 18 June 1811 to 30 April 1812. Between these two dates, Thomas Jefferson famously declares to Charles Willson Peale that "tho' an old man, I am but a young gardener"; calculates lines for a horizontal sundial; surveys part of his Bedford County estate; and draws up work schedules for his Poplar Forest plantation and detailed slave lists. Jefferson also takes readings of a solar eclipse; attempts to determine Monticello's longitude; measures Willis's Mountain; and calls for a fixed international standard for measures, weights, and coins. Finally, and perhaps of greatest importance to posterity, in January 1812 correspondence resumes between Jefferson and his old friend John Adams, after a long hiatus resulting from their rivalry for the presidency in 1800.