I've read a lot about Jefferson before, but Johnson's history includes some facts that are new to me. For example:
- As a result of the 1783 Peace of Paris, the United States gained a vast new tract of land, the so-called Old Northwest Territory. Jefferson, who helped negotiate the treaty, proposed dividing the territory into several new states including Metropotamia, Polypotamia, Assenisipia and Cherronesus. Fortunately, he was overruled. Instead, over time, we got Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.
- While he was president, Jefferson had an open door policy. He let it be known he would answer any letter from any citizen and he was true to his word. He answered, in his own hand, literally thousands of letters from ordinary people and he kept copies of all his correspondence. The result is a lively record of what was on the minds of both the great men and ordinary people of his day.
- Although he was personally involved in adding the Old Northwest Territory and the Louisiana Purchase to this country, Jefferson wasn't satisfied. In 1812, he urged his friend James Madison to invade and "liberate" Canada. Jefferson and Madison expected to be welcomed by Canada's citizens. They neglected to consider the large population of loyalists who had emigrated from south of the Canadian border before, during and after the American Revolution. Even the French-speaking citizens of Quebec were not inclined to oust the British. The result was a disaster. The inexperienced American army was routed and within months the British invaded and burned Washington, D.C.