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Dinner-Table Bargains: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Senses of Taste

Dinner-Table Bargains: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Senses of Taste Lauren F. KLein Georgia Institute of Technology Dinner-Table Bargains Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Senses of Taste Thomas Jefferson and James Madison sat at the table together in late spring 1790, while James Hemings--Jefferson's enslaved cook and Sally Hemings's older brother--prepared the meal "which was to save the Union" (Jefferson, Writings [W] 1: 275). The North and the South had been unable to come to an agreement on the issue of states' debts, and Jefferson, seeking "to find some temperament for the present fever," had invited the opposing sides to a "little dinner" at his house (Jefferson, Papers [PTJ] 17: 206, 27: 782). As he later recalled in his autobiographical Anas, "I thought it impossible that reasonable men, consulting together coolly, could fail, by some mutual sacrifices of opinion, to form a compromise" (W 1: 275). The "compromise" worked out over the meal--that the South would support the federal assumption of states' debts in exchange for the promise of relocating the nation's capital from its temporary home in New York City to the shores of the Potomac--would become known as the Dinner-Table Bargain, what historian Jacob Cooke has called "one of the most important bargains in American http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Literature University of North Carolina Press

Dinner-Table Bargains: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Senses of Taste

Early American Literature , Volume 49 (2) – Jun 27, 2014

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University of North Carolina Press
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Copyright © 2008 The University of North Carolina Press.
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1534-147X
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Abstract

Lauren F. KLein Georgia Institute of Technology Dinner-Table Bargains Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Senses of Taste Thomas Jefferson and James Madison sat at the table together in late spring 1790, while James Hemings--Jefferson's enslaved cook and Sally Hemings's older brother--prepared the meal "which was to save the Union" (Jefferson, Writings [W] 1: 275). The North and the South had been unable to come to an agreement on the issue of states' debts, and Jefferson, seeking "to find some temperament for the present fever," had invited the opposing sides to a "little dinner" at his house (Jefferson, Papers [PTJ] 17: 206, 27: 782). As he later recalled in his autobiographical Anas, "I thought it impossible that reasonable men, consulting together coolly, could fail, by some mutual sacrifices of opinion, to form a compromise" (W 1: 275). The "compromise" worked out over the meal--that the South would support the federal assumption of states' debts in exchange for the promise of relocating the nation's capital from its temporary home in New York City to the shores of the Potomac--would become known as the Dinner-Table Bargain, what historian Jacob Cooke has called "one of the most important bargains in American

Journal

Early American LiteratureUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 27, 2014

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