Talk:Thomas Jefferson

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Former good article Thomas Jefferson was one of the History good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Claims made in the lede[edit]

Re: The last several edits in the lede. (Here we go again) The partisan claim made about Hemings in the lede is the only claim that exists there. More text is committed to the claim than any other topic, including landmark topics like the DOI. IMO, we should state the fact that there is controversy about Hemings' children and move all other details to the Hemings subsection. There is no reason why this topic deserves special treatment over all the other topics in the lede. As it is, the lede is not neutral. If we leave this claim there then we should also include the claim that this opinion is largely politically and socially driven, and has been since Callender's day. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:24, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Proposal for lede:

  • Since his own day, controversy has ensued over allegations that Jefferson fathered children by his slave, Sally Hemings; DNA tests in 1998, together with historical research, suggest a number of different fathers related to the Jefferson family, but it is widely held that Jefferson fathered at least one, some or all six of her children.
It's long because a small minority of editors insist on white-washing it as much as they can get away with. That always leads to an expansion of the text, as both sides wrangle for balance. If you want it short, I'd go with "Today, historians generally accept that after the death of his wife Jefferson had a long-running affair with his slave Sally Hemings and fathered some or all of her children." --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:43, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Well, the only time something needs to be "white-washed" is when someone throws mud (not to be confused with facts) on it. And "small minority" is also another opinion with nothing concrete to support it. Just claims. There are many reputable historians, professors and other scholars who have yet to be goaded into the politically "correct" view. Again, we need to be careful not to prop up one opinion with yet another opinion, or two, or three ...
How about this for the last paragraph of the lede:
As long as he lived, Jefferson expressed opposition to slavery, yet he owned hundreds of slaves and freed only a few of them. Historians now generally accept that after the death of his wife Jefferson had a long-term relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings, and fathered some or all of her children. Although criticized by many present-day scholars over the issues of racism and slavery, Jefferson is consistently rated as one of the greatest U.S. presidents. Yopienso (talk) 18:13, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Not bad at all. It mentions slavery, freeing only a few slaves, Hemings, historians and presidential ratings. It still devotes more text than for any other topic, but then the subject of Jefferson and slavery has a number of chapters to it. The important thing here is that Hemings isn't be used to overshadow the other items in this lede passage. I can concede "generally accept" as a couple of sources say this, and though no one has come close to proving this claim as fact (i.e.no one has ever conducted an official poll that includes historians who have published books or essays on the Hemings subject) I can go along with it per WP policy regarding sources, just as long as we don't present the idea as absolute fact. And we haven't. Good work.
Good; I'll edit the lede accordingly.
The second paragraph also needs attention: the prose doesn't flow. I'm not sure this is even true: "After the founding of the nation in 1776 . . ." I count the founding of the nation from 1789. In any case, I think Virginians exercised more democratic freedom before the Revolution than during. Ideas? Yopienso (talk) 21:07, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
@Yopienso: I'd wait at least a day. Better to settle matters here than with edits arm-wrestling and via edit history. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:13, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
I see you went ahead and made the edit. Okaaaay... Let's hope it doesn't get complicated. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:18, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Whoops--sorry. I see the wisdom in your suggestion. Let's see what happens. How about the 2nd paragraph? Yopienso (talk) 21:25, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Two issues to chime in on. 1) Jefferson had a long-running affair with his slave Sally Hemings, and at his death he had freed all her children. 2) Abraham Lincoln counted the beginning of the nation at 1776 in the Gettysburg Address, Jefferson Davis counted it at 1789 in his Short History of the Confederacy. In the modern era, the birth of the United States is widely celebrated on July 4 (1776) not March 4 (1789). What are the schools of thought in modern historiography? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 05:19, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Insert : Re the freeing of the Hemings children, there is another viable explanation. They were all close to the Jefferson family and had skills that could allow them to carry their own weight in society, and they were mostly white and could pass for white. If Jefferson freed them only because they were of Jefferson blood, let's not forget he may have done so indeed because they were his brother Randolph's and/or his son's children. i.e.Jefferson blood. And again, because they had skills that would carry them in white society. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:31, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

As I've been saying for several years, the lede of the article should reflect the body. Since the body is a hardly finished bloated pos, the constant arguing over the lede does nothing. For that matter, why is the mention of a mountain in GB important? This is sickening. Brad (talk) 09:09, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

One sided opinion regarding Hemings and slavery has taken center stage for years, often distracting and discouraging other editors from making improvements and maintaining balance. Let's be reminded that the Slavery/Hemings sections once upon a time took up some five pages of text, rife with divisive, naive presentist speak with little balance. If a few editors didn't stand up to the reoccurring "boom boom boom" and the repeated (sometimes veiled) attempts to turn this article into a socio-political hit piece, that is exactly what the article would be today. The page has gone through marked improvements. Page length. Encyclopedias often commit many pages to certain subjects, exceptional and important subjects, while average subjects are treated with a page or two. To reduce the Jefferson page in accordance with page length guidelines (all hail and bow down to page length guidelines -- and to hell with article quality and good coverage?) we would have to gut much of the content and probably do away with some sections entirely, thus rendering the article into a glorified table of contents for other articles that would read something like an inventory report. If the lede is out of wack with the body it seems we need to address the actual issues. Snowdon mountain, which originally was mentioned in passing for the sake of geographical context only, isn't mentioned in the lede, btw, nor should it be. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 15:45, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
The friendship between widower Jefferson and Hemings is also indicated by Jefferson’s keeping to the promise made in Paris to free all of Hemings’ children. The parentage of all the children is sidestepped by simply acknowledging that Jefferson was as good as his word in the introduction: “Jefferson had a long-running affair with his slave Sally Hemings, and at his death he had freed all her children." Determining exact parentage and sequencing manumission, formally and informally, the French custom of freeing all the children of slaves and master, can be left for the reader in the body of the article.TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:11, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I remember reading some time ago that Jefferson made the promise because Sally was entertaining the idea of remaining in France and had French law on her side. At that time she only had two(?) children, pregnant with one. If Jefferson really had an affair with his daughter's care taker it begs the question who was taking care of his daughters, little girls, while he 'was away' -- and how did he manage to steal away with Sally without raising suspicion, and where would they go? To the local hotel with a young girl at Jefferson's side? Certainly not in the same house with his daughters. Too many holes in this theory to even bring it close to a viable explanation. Yes, we should present the facts and let the readers decide if Jefferson abandoned all his morals and embarked on such a reckless and risky venture, the exposure of which would have ruined his political career, his reputation and social standing. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 15:59, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but your grasp of the historical situation is a bit off here. Jefferson negotiated with James Hemings about his freedom. James had noted that he was free under French law, and Jefferson promised him manumission in Virginia if he came back anyways, and taught another cook. As far as I'm aware, there is no historical record of any promise to Sally in Paris, although this has been shown in one or more of the fictionalised versions of the story, e.g. Jefferson in Paris. Sally was send to accompany Polly on the voyage, not as a permanent caretaker. Jefferson even put Patsy and Polly into the Pentemont Abbey for a time. Sally had no children while in Paris. She may or may not have been pregnant on the way back to the US, but if so, the child probably died. Jefferson did pursue Maria Cosway - so much for his morals. And why do you think the exposure of a relation to Sally would "have ruined his political career, his reputation and social standing"? Affairs were neither uncommon nor unaccepted at the time, both in France and in Virginia. Alexander Hamilton was a bastard (in the literal sense) and had an affair with a married woman. Jefferson's father in law was also Sally Hemings' father. And so on. Society was, in many senses, a lot less prissy than it is today. Note that when Callender broke the story, it fizzled. The risk was quite limited. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:57, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
@Stephan Schulz: -- Jefferson "pursued" Cosway long after his wife had died -- and Cosway was a grown woman, not a girl who was a baby sitter for his daughters. "So much for Jefferson's morals"? You seem sort of eager to discount them entirely. As for Sally, the article doesn't mention any such promises made, and the question still remains. Why didn't Sally remain in France? Why didn't she tell anyone about who was the father of any of her children? Sorry, I just don't see Jefferson hitting on his daughter's baby sitter and engaging in half a life time of deceiving family members and friends, the repeated risks involved, all of which could, very easily, result in his social and political ruin. It seems to me if Jefferson had engaged Sally all of those years some sort of telling evidence would have surfaced somewhere along the line. There is zero such evidence. No one, ever, claimed to see Jefferson stealing away with Sally -- and I seriously doubt they were having an affair right there in Monticello with family and friends all around, or in his apartment in France where his daughters lived. All we have now are the speculations over (very) circumstantial evidence that points to a number of others. -- Callender. He was largely ignored as he was a disgruntled individual with a history of mud slinging who didn't have a shred of evidence in the first place. Naturally people gave a man like Jefferson, the POTUS, the benefit of the doubt rather than entertain the sour grapes from a character like Callender. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:39, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
This strong opinion of yours disqualifies you from editing that section of the article because you refuse to consider the opposing academic opinions that are based on historical evidence. I respect your right to your opinion, which you are free to publish elsewhere. Here, we have to go with the academic consensus. Yopienso (talk) 00:46, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
@Yopienso: -- Speaking of "strong opinions"... The notion that I refuse to consider other opposing academic opinions is nonsense. How does one refuse to consider an opinion when these very opinions have been outlined, and then challenged with other opinions and possibilities?? I've addressed the academic opinions time and again and only expect others to consider all such opinions, as well as consider all the facts and circumstances. i.e.Not a peep ever from Sally about paternity. Not a peep from paternity proponents about how Jefferson managed to steal away with Sally time and again over almost half a life time without ever being seen alone together anywhere outside of Monticello, by anyone. It would seem you're the one who is not considering all the opinions, and apparently other likely possibilities. Where have I ever said we shouldn't include various academic opinion in the article? I have always stressed balance and fair representation of all significant views. Thank you. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:38, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but no, you've not "considered" the mainstream academic opinions. You seem to use motivated reasoning and original reasoning to dismiss them. You ignore historical facts that don't fit with your argument, e.g. the simple fact that for significant stretches of time, while Jefferson's daughters "lived with him in Paris", they did not share his accommodation, but lived in the convent they were schooled in. You argue that Jefferson's wooing of Cosway is compatible with his high morals because it was "long after his wife had died", but the affair with Hemings, which, at the earliest, started at about the same time, somehow is not. And you construct an a-historic risk for Jefferson at a time and in a society where such affairs were not quite universal, but common enough that they were quite expected, and despite the nominal taboo, generally tolerated and/or ignored. Again: Jefferson's father-in-law lived openly with Sally's mother. Jefferson's father-in-law lived openly with Sally's mother. Jefferson's father-in-law lived openly with Sally's mother. Even that did not make him a social outcast or, apparently, cause serious trouble - the family was certainly accepted in polite society, and Martha married twice into good families while her father was living with Betty Hemings. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:47, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

No original research is in the article, and I've never deleted any significant view(s), regarding Hemings, et al. Regardless of my opinion of the facts v theories, I've always maintained that fair representation of all significant views be included, which they have, so your above dissertation is sort pointless in terms of how the article is being edited. Also, I didn't say Jefferson's "wooing of Cosway is compatible with his high morals", and only mentioned that he was not married when he expressed love and admiration (or "wooing" as you prefer to say, for some reason) for Cosway, a grown woman, who, along with his wife Martha, should tell you the sort of women Jefferson was attracted to. You're the one who said "so much for his morals" and then carry on about the open relationships of Jefferson's father-in-law as being no big moral deal in those days, which I tend to doubt. Also, you need to be more objective when you use terms like "mainstream academic opinions", (per "most historians" believe Jefferson paternity). As I've demonstrated time and again, this is a spurious often partisan claim, completely unproven. There are many scholars and historians who don't go along with the paternity theory. In any case, my remarks were only made to demonstrate that the paternity theory is full of holes. And the facts remain, Sally never claimed Jefferson was the father of any of her children, and Jefferson was never seen trying to steal away with Sally during all of those very many years that he was 'supposed' to be having an affair. Regardless of where his daughters were staying, it would have been completely reckless of him to bring Sally over to his apartment in France, or to steal away with her and then try to sneak her back to the house without notice, or to have any affair right there in Monticello, with family, friends and servants all around. Jefferson the complete idiot? I don't think so. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:45, 30 September 2014 (UTC)


As an aside: When you say I have "not considered the mainstream academic opinions", is this to say that the "mainstream" believes that Jefferson indeed had his affair right there in Monticello, or that they figured he stealed away with Sally, over and over, for years? Funny how their theories don't entertain these ideas. Guess they don't want to create any more doubt than there already is. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 23:25, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Page length[edit]

GW we've had this conversation many times. What subjects are important to the article is how much weight historians have placed on the same subject. We have much weight on the DOI so it rightly belongs in the article as it's own section but very little weight has been given to TJ and the APS in comparison. The APS section that you added, does not have enough importance to warrant anything more than one or two sentences of mention. But that isn't all.. NOTSOV does not get much attention from historians either, and deserves no more than a mention of its creation after TJ's term as Governor. Monticello has been given a lot of weight but here we have just a mini-section devoted to it. Yes? I could go on but I'm confident of wasting my time trying to explain it all over again. If you're genuinely interested in seeing this article progress then you'll do what needs to be done instead of filibustering. Brad (talk) 19:46, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

  • @Brad101: While writing the above response (now hidden) I could see your eyes rolling back, along with that, 'yeah, sure, right...' look, so I'm at least making an attempt to reduce some article size here, trying to keep the article so it reads like a biography. We'll see how it goes here. I removed and condensed some text from the lede, and have greatly reduced the Barbary Wars section, so far. I also removed the cites from the lede, the details of which are cited in the text. If there is more than a couple of objections about that then, no biggie I guess, we can restore them, though it isn't necessary, per no cites in the lede convention often used in other articles. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:15, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
  • @TheVirginiaHistorian: -- since you authored most of the Democracy section, which is rather large, it seems you would be the most qualified to perhaps condense it a bit? Yes? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:28, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
I made a first pass, keeping the elements of Jefferson's progression, and outlining the techniques used to double presidential election turnout. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:08, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
@TheVirginiaHistorian: -- Thanks. I'm wondering if the content in the Political philosophy and views section and its subsections can be merged somewhat. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 15:43, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

There is no need to start chopping with an axe. If the two of you are seriously interested in making the article more presentable with less wording, I shall go through and suggest some things. If this turns into an argumentative boomboom free-for-all I shall not continue. Brad (talk) 05:02, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Please do help out. The key focus here is that Political philosophy and views should not redundantly recap the political history of Jefferson’s administration which is available to readers in sections above. Most of my axing has been relative to my own contributions with this consideration in mind. The focus in this section should be as it is titled, Political philosophy and views. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 15:40, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I looked over that section and there doesn't seem to be much info which is duplicated elsewhere in the article. I think it's an excellent section that explains TJ's thoughts on those subjects and it does so precisely. This section should stay in the article as is. Brad (talk) 21:48, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the encouragement following the Banks section copy edit. The header for 'Banks' might be better termed 'Banks and financing'. The last part of Foreign Policy and the first part of Rebellion are still rocky. The point of this copy edit is firstly to a) keep the descriptions of philosophy addressed currently, and b) preserve sources, unless they are redundant. Secondly, where there is imbalance in the narrative, provide balance. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 05:05, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Word counts by section[edit]

'Section' refers to the word count in each top level section including any sub-sections. For example: early life and career will include the word count of its 4 sub-sections etc.

Reduction[edit]

A sub-article is normally larger to take on more narrative from the main article.

  • Presidency 1801–1809 can certainly be reduced of content. It and the sub-article are closely equal in word count.
  • Political career 1775–1800 can certainly be reduced of content to Early life and career of Thomas Jefferson. Possibly the sub-article would have to be renamed.

You should see the trend here; that of trying to maintain 1500 to 2000 words per section maximum. Brad (talk) 20:59, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Oh well. Brad (talk) 16:02, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Certainly the presidency section should be reduced in light of the information which can be found at (or moved to) the main article on that topic. Binksternet (talk) 16:40, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Making major additions to the article[edit]

@TravellingCactus: Thanks for your recent contributions to the Jefferson page. However, we are currently trying to reduce the page length. If you would like to make major additions to the page please see if you can reduce some of the not so needed content in a given section first. I would recommend discussing matters first so other editors can perhaps help and advise you in this effort. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:56, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't know too much about using this talk page. I don't think I added more than probably 50 words to the article, and one of my edits corrected an incorrect fact about when Jefferson left France. I also added some valuable links to primary sources. I would be more than happy to help condense some of the rest of the article and to omit some of the edits, but the correction is pretty important. What do I need to do to make the correction? TravellingCactus (talk) 04:34, 30 September 2014 (UTC)TravellingCactus
@TravellingCactus: -- Thanks for your edits, and corrections are always welcomed. I was in the middle of making reductions and was a bit hasty removing the new edits. Sorry. Primary sources are fine, so long as they are published by reputable / established publishers, and are not misinterpreted and used to advance a new position, but use them with caution. Also, if possible, try not to put source info mixed in with the text, esp website addresses and such. Makes reading and editing more difficult. If you are not familiar with linking citations to source listings in the Bibliography then, okay, someone else can do this until you become more familiar with that sort of thing. Just in case you don't know, when you respond to a message on the talk page precede your text with a colon ( : ) or colons ( :: ). The more colons, the more the text is indented. I've done this for you in your response above. This way message text from different editors is indented from the text above it, which makes following the thread easier. Go to the talk/edit page and see how this is done. We also have the 'ping' feature, -- {{ping|username}} -- which instantly notifies an editor with a little red box at the top of the page that a message has been left for him/her on a given talk page. It's usually used once or twice initially and then when the discussion gets going it's sometimes not used. Btw, welcome! -- Gwillhickers (talk) 15:32, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Jefferson presidency reductions[edit]

Burr conspiracy[edit]

@Brad101, Binksternet, Gwillhickers: A beginning in reducing the presidency section can be made at ‘Burr, duel with Hamilton and treason’ --- move to "Burr Conspiracy" in Presidency of Thomas Jefferson, which is poorly noted and lacking detail of the narrative here. The replacement text might read, refocusing to Jefferson and his presidency, retitling the section, “Burr conspiracy” here,

On July 11, 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded Federalist Party leader Alexander Hamilton in a duel at Weehawken, NJ. Becoming persona non grata, he was replaced on the 1804 ticket with Jefferson by George Clinton of New York. Burr headed west planning a military adventure. REF Meacham, Jon. 2012, p.404-405.
International tensions surrounding the Spanish in North America preoccupied much of 1805 for the Jefferson administration, revolving around the exact boundaries of the Louisiana Territory with Mexico, and the fate of the Floridas, which Spain refused to cede to the United States. REF Meacham, Jon. 2012, p.413 Into this tinderbox strode Aaron Burr, in 1806 spreading numerous rumors of military adventurism, recruiting men, stocking arms and building boats on the upper Ohio River. U.S. General James Wilkinson, also a spy for Spain, reported from New Orleans that Burr was planning to separate the southwestern U.S. territory along the Mississippi from the Union, whereas Burr’s conflicting rumors spoke of a filibuster to Texas, Mexico and Spanish America. In November Jefferson issued a proclamation warning that persons including “citizens of the United States” were conspiring to take over Spanish territory. REF Meacham, Jon. 2012, p.420.
Jefferson sought a law from Congress authorizing him to act, employing the land or naval forces of the U.S. “in cases of insurrection”, and in his message to Congress on January 22, 1807, Jefferson declared Burr’s “guilt is placed beyond question”. By late March 1807, Burr was under arrest, but he was acquitted in a treason trial. Jefferson did not appear in person to answer Chief Justice John Marshall’s subpoena to testify, but sent relevant documents instead, setting a precedent for executive privilege. Burr’s acquittal enraged Jefferson, but Burr’s career was at an end. REF Meacham, Jon. 2012, p.421-422.

Should we try out copy edits section by section? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 19:49, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Section by section would be the way to go. I'm not well read on the Burr stuff other than basics. I've been skimming through the presidency article and Burr needs better coverage there than what exists now. Your rewrite drops the word count by about 100. Brad (talk) 02:42, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I am afraid I need assistance in transferring text and notes from here to the other article. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:50, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Did you have specific concerns? I'll see what I can do in the meantime. Brad (talk) 21:03, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I pasted the current section into the presidency article. Now you are able to replace the section here with your proposed one. Brad (talk) 21:55, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

First Barbary War[edit]

Copy edited for conciseness, all footnotes in tact. One sentence switch for chronology. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 12:27, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Louisiana Purchase[edit]

Copy edited for conciseness, all footnotes in tact. One sentence switch for chronology. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 13:45, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Loosing some footnotes, the section might be consolidated into two paragraphs,

In 1802, Jefferson had arranged for the purchase of the city of New Orleans and adjacent coastal areas. Napoleon I offered to sell the entire territory for $15 million. Most contemporaries thought that this was an exceptional opportunity, apart from any Constitutional reservations.[134] The Purchase territory marked the end of French imperial ambitions in North America which were potentially in conflict with American expansion west.[137]
The achievement of the Louisiana Purchase was domestically complicated by the pre-existing establishment of French slaveholders there. Faced with the option to confiscate the slaves of French nationals, Jefferson chose to quickly incorporate resident settlers politically into U.S. territories, allowing for slavery to continue in the newly acquired territory and the adoption of the Code Napoleon. Since the Purchase, historians have differed in their assessments regarding constitutional and slavery issues, but Jefferson is considered as a major architect of America's western growth.[139]

Again, assist is needed to avoid orphaning citations. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 18:03, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I can agree with this. The current version in the presidency article should be checked beforehand to see if there are any points worth keeping. Most of it is unreferenced anyway. Brad (talk) 22:08, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Lewis and Clark and other explorations[edit]

Suggested copyedit for conciseness, some loss of footnotes and detail.

After the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, Jefferson needed the mostly unknown part of the continent explored and mapped for expanding westward settlement and trade. It was important to establish a U.S. claim before competing Europeans, and perhaps to find the long-sought-for Northwest passage. (Ambrose, 1996, p.76, 418) Knowledge of the western continent was limited to what had been learned from trappers, traders and explorers. (Ambrose, 1996, p. 76) Influenced by exploration accounts by Le Page du Pratz’z on Louisiana (1763) and Captain James Cook to the Pacific (1784), (Ambrose, 1996, pp. 154) Jefferson along with the American Philosophical Society persuaded Congress in 1804 to fund an expedition to explore and map the newly acquired territory to the Pacific Ocean. (Rodriguez, 202. p. xxiv, 162)
Jefferson appointed Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to lead the Corps of Discovery, to explore and document scientific and geographic knowledge. (Rodriguez, 2002, p. 112, 186) Lewis had extensive military woodlands experience and proved an apt student of the sciences of mapping, botany, natural history, mineralogy, and astronomy/navigation. (Ambrose, 1996, p.76) Lewis and Clark recruited their company of 45 men and spent a winter preparing near St. Louis. (Ambrose, 1996, p.128) Guided by Sacagawea and various Native-American tribes along the way, the expedition traced the Columbia River and reached the Pacific Ocean by November 1805. They returned to St. Louis by September 23, 1806, having lost only one man to disease. The expedition obtained a wealth of scientific and geographic knowledge, including knowledge of the many Indian tribes. (Fritz, 2004, p.3)
In addition to the Corps of Discovery, Jefferson organized three other western exploration expeditions including the William Dunbar and George Hunter expedition on the Ouachita River (1804–1805), the Thomas Freeman and Peter Custis expedition (1806) on the Red River, and the Zebulon Pike expedition (1806–1807) into the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest. All of the exploration expeditions sent out under Jefferson's presidency produced valuable information about the American frontier and wilderness.(Editor's: Trey Berry, Pam Beasley, and Jeanne Clements (2006), The Forgotten Expedition, 1804-1805: The Louisiana Purchase Journals of Dunbar and Hunter, Editors Introduction page xi)

@Gwillhickers: Will this work for the summary article 'Thomas Jefferson'? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:43, 19 October 2014 (UTC)