George Wythe

Drawing by John Trumbull, 1791

OTHER IMAGES

QUICK FACTS
BORN:
1726 in Elizabeth City County (now Hampton), Virginia
  DIED:
8 June 1806 in Richmond, Virginia
Buried at St. John’s Church in Richmond.

  • Taught law and prepared Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Marshal for the bar.
PLACES TO VISIT
Portrait to come. See entry in Wikipedia.

The Revolutionary leaders never intended to create an original and peculiar indigenous culture. Despite all their talk of American exceptionalism and American virtue in contrast with European corruption, they were seeking not to cut themselves off from Europe’s cultural heritage but to embrace it and in fact to fulfill it. It is a mistake to view America’s post-Revolutionary emulation of Europe as a legacy of helpless dependence passed on from colonial days. Americans imitated European styles and forms not because in their naïveté they could nothing else but because they wanted to.... Their revolution was very much an international affair, an attempt to fulfill the cosmopolitan dreams of the Enlightenment.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)