In 1788, when two young countrymen asked Thomas Jefferson for advice on where to go on their own journey, he wrote them a 5,000-word letter he entitled Hints to Americans Travelling in Europe, instructing them where to go, what to do, and how to bring knowledge from their travels back to newborn America.
More than 200 years later, Baxter used the miniguide to embark on a grand tour of his own, following Jefferson’s advice through six countries and absorbing countless lessons while recovering from his own personal crisis. Yet along the way, what Baxter learns isn’t always what Jefferson had in mind – including how Jefferson could never escape the fact that the work of enslaved people lay behind all his travels and projects.
In Pursuit of Jefferson is at once a personal story of a life-changing trip across Europe and a profound personal journey as well as an unflinching look at one of America’s most controversial founding fathers.
Written with immersive historical detail, a sense of humor, and a boundless heart, Baxter explores how we can be better at moving forward only by first looking back.
Derek Baxter graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in history and is an attorney. After years of research, he made nine separate trips abroad on Jefferson’s trail. In Pursuit of Jefferson is his first book.
You can follow his adventures with Thomas Jefferson at www.jeffersontravels.com.
Signed copies of book are available at ShopVirginiaHistory.org.
Tickets are required for in-person admission. Members receive free admission but must login and register. Non-members are charged a fee of $10 per person. Students are $5. Children under 5 are free. Those who attend in person are welcome to meet the author at the book signing following the lecture. To register, click here.
The museum is located at 428 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., in Richmond.