John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

by John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

Oil on canvas. The Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA.

by John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

Oil on canvas. Fraunces Tavern Museum, New York, NY.

by John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

Oil on canvas; 32 5/8 in. x 26 in. (829 mm x 660 mm). National Portrait Gallery, London, England.

attrib. John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

Oil on canvas. The George Washington Foundation, Kenmore Plantation, Fredericksburg, VA.

attrib. John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

Oil on canvas. The George Washington Foundation, Kenmore Plantation, Fredericksburg, VA.

by John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian), Washington, DC.

by John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

Oil on canvas; 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm). New York Historical Society, New York, NY.

by John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

Oil on canvas; 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm). New York Historical Society, New York, NY.

by John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

Oil on canvas; 30 1/8 H x 25 W. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY.

by John Wollaston ( c. 1710—c. 1775)

Oil on canvas; 50 x 40 in. (127.0 x 101.6 cm). Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI.

Jefferson biographers express astonishment that the apprenticeship with Wythe lasted five full years, 1762 - 67, at a time when almost no one studied law for more than two. Patrick Henry studied not more than six weeks, or so at least he told Jefferson, and Wythe for one was so convinced of the inadequacy of Henry’s training he refused to sign his license. Jefferson’s years under Wythe, years of virtually uninterrupted reading, not only in the law but also in ancient classics, English literature, and general political philosophy, were not so much an apprenticeship for law as an apprenticeship for greatness.

Fawn M. Brodie
Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History (1974)