William Henry Bogart’s Notes on Salma Hale’s Visit to Monticello

... such is the testimony given me by Mr. Hale, the author of a History of the United States, who numbered among the most fortunate incidents of his life that he made a visit to Monticello.

Mr. Jefferson welcomed him, scarcely noticing his letters of introduction, and at once made his arrangements for the day, telling him that he claimed an hour and a half for his exercise on horseback, and at all other times proposed to be interesting to his guest. He conversed fully, freely, but always as if pronouncing judgment on men and affairs, formed after mature deliberation, and not admitting of contradiction; an air and way of becoming authority, in him entirely appropriate. His powers of conversation were especially fascinating to young men.

... Who can ever forget the profound sensation which the news of Mr. Jefferson’s death, occurring on the 4th of July, 1826, occasioned in the Northern States, when its announcement increased the interest and feeling already produced by the sooner received tidings that on the same day of festive celebration John Adams had died? It was not that these distinguished men had both left earth on the Independence Day, but that they, above all men, had been most associated in all our history with it. As an event involving great coincidence of extraordinary circumstance, it swayed the public mind to a degree which was absorbing. It seemed to canonize the whole affair of the Revolution...

Published in William Henry Bogart, Who Goes There? or, Men and Events (1866), 39–40.
Author
Salma Hale
William Henry Bogart
Date Range
Date
May 7, 1818
Collection
Death of Thomas Jefferson
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
Repository
William Henry Bogart, Who Goes There? or, Men and Events (New York, 1866), 39–40