Long journey with Mr. Jefferson
William G. Hyland
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The magisterial collaboration over half a lifetime between historian Dumas Malone and his subject, Thomas Jefferson, is the basis for William G. Hyland Jr.'s compelling Long Journey with Mr. Jefferson. Malone, the courtly and genteel historian from Mississippi, spent thirty-eight years researching and writing the definitive biography of the man who invented the United States of America.
Hyland provides a surprising portrait of the man many consider America's greatest historian, recording in detail Malone's struggle to finish his towering six-volume work on Jefferson through excruciating pain and then blindness at the age of eighty-three. Hyland includes Malone's previously unpublished correspondence with such notables as John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, George H. W. Bush, Felix Frankfurter, and Fawn Brodie. Readers are treated to an exclusive look at private family documents and Malone's unfinished memoir, which reflects on history, social commentary, and his life's accomplishments.
Offering much more than most biographies, this book imparts extensive insight into Malone's earlier years in Mississippi and Georgia, and how they shaped his character. Through interviews with Malone's intimates, family members, rivals, and subordinates, Hyland generates a true portrait of the man behind the intellect and the myth.
a speech in which he said honor societies such as Phi Beta Kappa did not exist at Emory when he attended. Emory was “a country college, with fewer than 300 students.” He was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa as an alumnus in 1930. “That was lucky for me. I am sure they did not pay much attention to my old undergraduate record. I was too busy exploring life to do full justice to my studies.”28 Halley’s Comet caused a sensation in 1910. It completed its circuit every seventy-six years and
Papers. 6 Malone, Malone and Jefferson, 9. 7 Ibid., 9–10. 8 Malone, “Reflections,” 3–13. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid. 11 Ibid. 12 Ibid. 13 Ibid. 14 Dumas Malone, letter to Anita Waddington Rice, December 18, 1974, Malone Papers. 15 Peterson, “Dumas Malone: An Appreciation,” 237–52. 16 Ibid. 17 Edwin M. Yoder, “For a Heroic Biography, a Heroic Biographer,” Washington Post, January 1, 1987. 18 Ibid. 19 Horne, “Dumas Malone,” 252–56. 20 Peterson, “Dumas Malone: An Appreciation,” 237–52. 21 Ibid.
Maison Carrée at Nîmes. Jefferson’s own papers were the best source of information about his life in France, as they were of every other phase of his career. Malone had done little more than sample these as yet. The chief value of his stay in France did not lie in the notes he took, but in the familiarity he gained with the larger world in which Jefferson’s spirit lived. “I still had much to learn about that world, but at least I had made a beginning,” he said. “I’m sure I couldn’t have written
reason the family left Lincoln, although the “loss of our apple tree was a consideration,” Malone later wrote. In 1940, when gasoline was becoming scarce because of the war in Europe, the Malones bought a house on Belmont Hill, where they lived for the next three years. According to Malone, there was “a small but admirable day school almost behind our house and this proved just the place for our children. The years prior to the American entrance into the War were good years.”24 After the United
resigned.6 Scaife outlined his thoughts on the book in regard to potential publicity and sales: “I have discussed the matter of bringing out the first volume of Jefferson in 1943, and I find the general agreement that this would be a good thing to do, but it is important that not too long an interval elapse between the publications of the first volume and the others.” Scaife reasoned that if the first volume could be published in 1943, it would have the threefold value (1) “of securing the