Extract about Thomas Jefferson, by John Bernard

through the kindness of General Washington I was introduced to Mr. Jefferson, who proved one of my sincerest, though not most fortunate, friends ... In all the chief requisites of the social character Mr. Jefferson appeared to me to possess few equals. His heart was warmed with a love for the whole human race; a bonhomie which fixed your attention the instant he spoke. His information was equally polite and profound, and his conversational powers capable of discussing moral questions of deepest seriousness, or the lightest themes of humor and fancy. Nothing could be more simple than his reasonings, nothing more picturesque and pointed than his descriptions. On all abstract subjects he was plainness itself—a veritable Quaker; but when conveying his views of human nature through their most attractive medium—anecdote—he displayed the grace and brilliance of a courtier.

Published in John Bernard, Retrospections of America, 1797–1811 (1887), 232–3.
Date Range
June 30, 1797 to December 31, 1800
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
Bernard, Retrospections of America, 1797–1811 (New York, 1887) 233–43