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Jefferson and Monroe
By Noble E. Cunningham Jr.
The University of North Carolina PressCopyright © 2003 University of North Carolina Press
All right reserved.
IntroductionThomas Jefferson and James Monroe are remembered for their close ties, whether political, geographical, intellectual, or emotional. Politically they were connected as like-minded Republicans who served in many of the same key political offices in Virginia, within the federal government, or even abroad in France. They were linked geographically not only by the fact that each claimed Virginia as home but also because, at Jefferson's urging, Monroe acquired property a few miles from Monticello. Intellectually, they grappled with the same issues and shared similar passions on a national and personal scale, such as their pivotal participation in the purchase of Louisiana and in the creation of the University of Virginia. Emotionally, their letters reveal a rich friendship that altered and grew over the years.
Rather than a dual biography, this work focuses on the lives of Jefferson and Monroe when their paths crossed and particularly on their roles in shaping the early American republic. Both men have been the subjects of detailed biographies, and each has figured prominently in other writings on early American history. Jefferson-senior to Monroe both in age and accomplishment, and as the author of the Declaration of Independence-early gained a prominent place in the young nation's history. Meanwhile, Monroe risked his life as a young soldier in the American Revolutionary army.
In his early relationship with Jefferson, Monroe stood in the shadow of his mentor. Jefferson, however, soon placed Monroe as and equal, and, as time passed, their friendship strengthened and endured. To trace their relationship and actions during the early critical years of the American republic broadens and deepens insights into the formative years of the United States of America.
Excerpted from Jefferson and Monroe by Noble E. Cunningham Jr. Copyright © 2003 by University of North Carolina Press. Excerpted by permission.
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