In 1789 the South and especially Virginia had been the impelling force in creating the nation. By 1815 the South and slaveholders still seemed to be in control of the national government. President Madison was a slaveholder. So too were Speaker of the House, Henry Clay, James Monroe, the secretary of state, and George W. Campbell, the secretary of the treasury. All Republican leaders of the House were slaveholders. In 1815 the United States had four missions in Europe: two of them were held by slaveholders. The chief justice of the United States was a slaveholder, as were a majority of the other members of the Court. Since 1789 three of the four presidents, two of the five vice-presidents, fourteen of the twenty-six presidents pro tempore the Senate, and five of the ten Speakers of the House had been slaveholders.
Philadelphia, PA — Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram to promote
Useful Knowledge.Philosophical Hall (1789) is now a museum featuring art, scientific instruments, rare books, original manuscripts, natural history specimens, and curiosities.
Williamsburg, VA — Built in 1715, the current church was the third Anglican Church for a parish founded in 1660.
Philadelphia, PA — A reconstruction of the house in which Thomas Jefferson rented rooms and where, in June 1776, he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Williamsburg, VA — Built 170—20 for the colonial governors of Virginia, it later served as the residence for Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson during their respective terms as governor.
Philadelphia, PA — Site of the Second Continental Congress and of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; access is available through a Park Ranger tour.
Washington, DC — Established in 1800, the collection includes a recreation of Jefferson’s library of 6,487 books, which he donated in 1815.
Charlottesville, VA — Thomas Jefferson’s plantation and home which he designed, built, and rebuilt over 50 years.
Forest, VA — Thomas Jefferson designed and began building this octagonal second home in 1806, during his second term as president.
Richmond, VA — Completed in 1741, it was the first church in Richmond; in 1775, it was the site of the famous speech by Patrick Henry ending with “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Charlottesville, VA — Founded by Thomas Jefferson, who was also the original architect, in 1819.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)