I am a lover of all things Jefferson and just came across this blog post from Liberty Street Economics, the blog of the New York Federal Reserve. The post describes a dinner at 57 Maiden Lane when Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State for George Washington. In attendance that evening in addition to Thomas Jefferson were Alexander Hamilton and another future President, James Madison. The blog posts describes that dinner and the negotiations among that influential triumvirate in which Madison and Jefferson agreed to most of Hamilton’s controversial proposals regarding credit and the country’s finances.
I think Jefferson receives more praise than Hamilton but I have always thought it should be the other way. Jefferson was a huge proponent of a simple agrarian society. Hamilton put the country on the road to modernity and laid the foundation for our future greatness.
If you are looking for a good book on Hamilton I recommend the biography by Ron Chernow. On Jefferson the seminal work is six volumes by University of Virginia Professor Dumas Malone. If you do not wish to overdose on 3000 pages on TJ, then Annette Gordon Reed has written a wonderful book The Hemingses of Monticello. It is principally about the multi decade liaison between Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings and the children of that relationship. Ms Gordon Reed is a wonderful and insightful historian and this book is a great history of Jefferson and Hemmings and colonial Virginia.