The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Thomas Jefferson: American Tourist. By Edward Dumbauld.
Norman (University of Oklahoma Press), 1946. Pp. xv--266.
Illustrations. $3.oo.
"The Living Jefferson," happy characterization by James Trus-
low Adams, continues to be reflected in the ever-mounting
accumulation of articles and books. Dumbauld's interest began
while he was studying in Europe. In attempting to retrace Jeffer-
son's European travels he found no full account. His research pro-
duced a delightful book. From the opening chapter, "Jefferson
as a Traveler," to the concluding one, "The Blessed Shores of
Liberty," a panorama is unfolded, with all the experiences and
observations of Jefferson. Considering the catholicity of his in-
terests, that in many ways he was a world citizen, one is surprised
at the definite limitations of his travels. Appreciating Jefferson's
interest in the Far West and his political and economic valuation
of New Orleans and the Mississippi Valley, we learn that he
never journeyed one hundred miles west of his own plantations
in Virginia. He organized a national party, yet never visited the
Lower South and touched New York and New England only
Jefferson's dislike of England was in contrast to his attitude
towards France. He, however, disliked the "Trappings of Mon-
archy" in both. He made two brief visits to England on govern-
ment business and expressed real interest only in certain gardens
that he observed and in the skills of English craftsmen. On a
similar trip to the Netherlands he investigated the life of the plain
people. On his return to Paris he followed the Rhine as far
south as Strassburg. On this journey he manifested considerable
interest in grape culture and the wine industry. Architecture of
public buildings, homes, and bridges won Jefferson's constant
attention. He commented on road conditions, inn accommoda-
tions, disposition of persons engaged in travel and service, weath-
er, soil, vegetation, scenery, and living conditions of the common
people. Anything practical that might be introduced into Amer-
ica engaged his daily thought. His one visit to Italy resulted from
a desire to investigate rice culture and machinery connected
with its preparation for market. He showed keen interest in
olives, with a thought of their possible introduction into America.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed February 11, 2016.