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The Fatigues of His Table: The Politics of Presidential Dining During the Jefferson Administration

The Fatigues of His Table: The Politics of Presidential Dining During the Jefferson Administration The Fatigues of His Table The Politics of Presidential Dining During the Jefferson Administration MERRY ELLEN S COFIELD Thomas Jefferson gave dinner parties: pleasant, personable affairs with good food and imported wines. He gave them as master of Monticello, as a Virginian representative to the Second Continental Congress, as minister to France, as secretary of state, and, most decid- edly, he gave them as president of the United States. Breaking away mid- afternoon from his writing desk, often clothed in the careless manner of Virginian aristocracy, Jefferson welcomed to the executive mansion an array of politicians, foreign ministers, and local gentry, guiding a dozen or more to the table, up to five times a week, during seven of the eight congressional seasons of his administration. Jefferson’s presidential dinner records, now on deposit in Boston’s Massachusetts Historical Society, begin with the opening day of the Sec- ond Session of the Eighth Congress and end two days after the inaugura- tion of his successor, James Madison. On the first page, an anonymous annotation reads ‘‘Supposed list of persons Entertained during T.J.’s 2 term,’’ but the collection actually runs from November 5, 1804, through March 6, 1809, covering the last five years http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

The Fatigues of His Table: The Politics of Presidential Dining During the Jefferson Administration

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 26 (3) – Aug 14, 2006

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620

Abstract

The Fatigues of His Table The Politics of Presidential Dining During the Jefferson Administration MERRY ELLEN S COFIELD Thomas Jefferson gave dinner parties: pleasant, personable affairs with good food and imported wines. He gave them as master of Monticello, as a Virginian representative to the Second Continental Congress, as minister to France, as secretary of state, and, most decid- edly, he gave them as president of the United States. Breaking away mid- afternoon from his writing desk, often clothed in the careless manner of Virginian aristocracy, Jefferson welcomed to the executive mansion an array of politicians, foreign ministers, and local gentry, guiding a dozen or more to the table, up to five times a week, during seven of the eight congressional seasons of his administration. Jefferson’s presidential dinner records, now on deposit in Boston’s Massachusetts Historical Society, begin with the opening day of the Sec- ond Session of the Eighth Congress and end two days after the inaugura- tion of his successor, James Madison. On the first page, an anonymous annotation reads ‘‘Supposed list of persons Entertained during T.J.’s 2 term,’’ but the collection actually runs from November 5, 1804, through March 6, 1809, covering the last five years

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Aug 14, 2006

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