For the Founding Fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions: a conjoined interest as deeply ingrained in their characters as the battle for liberty and a belief in the greatness of their new nation. In this Massachusetts Historical Society program, Andrea Wulf tells the story of Jefferson and the revolutionary generation from the unique perspective of their lives as gardeners, plant hobbyists, and farmers. She describes how George Washington wrote letters to his estate manager even as British warships gathered off Staten Island; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’ faith in their fledgling nation; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of environmentalism. Through these and other stories, Wulf reveals a fresh, nuanced portrait of Jefferson and the men who created our nation.
This program is a part of a series of talks we are hosting on Thomas Jefferson while our exhibition The Private Jefferson is on display. The Massachusetts Historical Society holds the largest collection of Jefferson’s personal papers, drawings, and records of Monticello. Our exhibition includes Jefferson’s plans for the gardens at Monticello, his farm book recording his experimentation with vegetables, and his correspondence with his granddaughters about the care of the estate while he was in Washington. The show also includes personal correspondence, architectural plans, and some of his political writings such as his handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Wednesday, May 11 from 6-7 pm, with a pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm.
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02215
Free to MHS Members/Fellows; $20 to Non-Members