Volume 47: 6 July to 19 November 1805

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Jefferson continues his pattern of returning home to Monticello for the summer months. He makes a brief visit to Poplar Forest in Bedford County to plan the development of that property. James Hubbard, a young enslaved worker at Monticello, escapes but is captured in Fairfax County. Another slave who has fled, James Hemings, rejects efforts to persuade him to return and disappears. Receiving news of the end of the conflict with Tripoli, Jefferson states that although it is “a small war in fact, it is big in principle.” He devotes much of his attention to relations with Spain. He considers alliance with Great Britain to force a resolution with Spain, then chooses instead to negotiate with France for the purchase of Florida and settlement of matters in dispute with Spain. He drafts bills to organize the militia by age and create a naval militia. Specimens sent by Lewis and Clark arrive. Jefferson calculates that the United States has recently acquired cessions of well over 9 million acres of land from Native Americans. He meets with visiting Creek leaders. Answering a query, Jefferson states that Patrick Henry was “the greatest orator that ever lived” but “avaritious & rotten hearted.” James P. McClure, Editor Tom Downey, Martha J. King, and W. Bland Whitley, Senior Editors Andrew J. B. Fagal and Merry Ellen Scofield, Associate Editors Christina R. Carrick, Assistant Editor Linny Schenck, Editorial Associate Alison E. Dolbier, Research Associate