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Trustees of Boston University (Boston, MA 02215-1300)
Peter Gibbon (Project Director: March 2007 to August 2009)
Thomas Jefferson: Personality, Character and Public Life

A four-week institute for thirty school teachers on the personality, character, and public life of Thomas Jefferson, to be held in Boston and Charlottesville.

Thomas Jefferson was a man of paradoxes: a man who craved friendship, yet was intensely private; an aristocrat who detested privilege; an urban intellectual who feared cities; a slaveholder who preached equality. In this four-week Institute, we will analyze these paradoxes and come to terms with one of the most influential, intriguing, and now controversial figures in American history. To understand Jefferson better, we will read his letters, essays and speeches; current biographies; and interviews with journalists and historians. For the last week of the Institute, we will travel to Monticello and meet with editors, architectural historians, archeologists and botanists who will discuss topics ranging from Jefferson?s libraries and fruit trees to Monticello?s slave quarters. K-12 teachers will become acquainted with primary sources and current scholarship in order to better understand Jefferson and to reflect on how to integrate biography into their classrooms.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Institutes for K-12 Educators

Education Programs

$208,360 (approved)
$208,360 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2007 – 12/31/2008