In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.
Following on from John O'Loughlin's previous title So There, this work also takes the form of a mixture of aphorisms and maxims, or brief discursive observations on a variety of subjects of interest or concern to the author, coupled to numbered sequences of systematically-structured conclusions about salient aspects of the overall philosophy which, in this book, succeed those parts (one and three) specifically given to the aphoristic material, as though to sum-up or clarify, on a more philosophically intensive basis, what had been more discursively observed. Of course, there is more to it than that, and the author would be lying if he didn't also add that this title both refines upon and extends beyond some of the observations and conclusions of the previous one, thereby in a sense bringing this phase of his philosophy to what he holds to be a summational peak, beyond which he has no intention of going, since little or no progress could, so far as he is concerned, be made short of one's adopting the philosophical equivalent of wings and flying off into space. Therefore Mr O'Loughlin believes he has reached the end of his intellectual journey, summing up, in a nutshell, what it has taken him the best part of four decades to arrive at, experience coupled to observation leading to truly conclusive results, the credibility of which it would be difficult if not impossible to logically deny.