Thursday, April 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson!

Today, Thursday, April 13th, is not only the 263rd anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth*, but also the very day the Sterling Morton Library’s book discussion group, Leafing Through the Pages, will be gathering to discuss Dear Mr. Jefferson : letters from a Nantucket gardener by Laura Simon. While preparing for today’s meeting, I’ve discovered a variety of interesting resources detailing Thomas Jefferson’s life and horticultural pursuits.
  • Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants including a podcast, Preserving America's Historic Plants, by the Center's director Peggy Cornett on collecting and preserving historic plant varieties and making them available to the public.
  • Thomas Jefferson Papers - an electronic archive presenting manuscripts from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Includes a searchable transcription of the Farm Book, Garden Book, and Declaration of Independence.
*On the Julian calendar in use at the time, Jefferson was born April 2. The Gregorian calendar used today was adopted in 1752, and 11 days were added to “old style” dates.

“I have often thought that if Heaven had given me choice of my position and calling, it should have been on a rich spot of earth, well watered, and near a good market for the productions of the garden. No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” --Thomas Jefferson

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