Dr. Alan Shaw Taylor to speak on Thomas Jefferson

News Release, Historic Sotterley

Hollywood, MD- Historic Sotterley is proud to kick-off the first event in its 2020 Sotterley Speaker Series when it brings to our community Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alan Shaw Taylor as he talks about his latest book: Thomas Jefferson’s Education.

Dr. Taylor’s presentation on May 20th will be held virtually since guests will be unable to join us due to social distancing guidelines. (If possible, however, presentations later in the year may also be offered in person if community guidelines allow. We ask attendees to check the website as each event approaches to find out if the event will be held virtually and/or in person.) Advance reservations are required and can be made through
Sotterley’s website. Links to join the webinar platform along with instructions will be provided the week of the event on the website.

Taylor will his discuss his newest work: a brilliant, absorbing study of Thomas Jefferson’s campaign to save Virginia through education. In turns entertaining and tragic, this beautifully written history reveals the origins of a great university in the dilemmas of Virginia slavery.

If offers an incisive portrait of Thomas Jefferson set against a social fabric of planters in decline, enslaved black families torn apart by sales, and a hair-trigger code of male honor. Never quite the egalitarian we wish him to be, Jefferson advocated emancipation but shrank from implementing it, entrusting that reform to the next generation. He was devoted to the education of his granddaughters yet nevertheless accepted their subordination in a masculine culture.

In 1819 Jefferson’s intensive drive for state support of a new university succeeded. His intention was a university to educate the sons of Virginia’s wealthy planters, lawyers, and merchants, who might then democratize the state and in time rid it of slavery.

His hopes of developing an enlightened leadership for the state were disappointed, however, and Virginia hardened its commitment to
slavery in the coming years. In the end, it was Jefferson’s beloved granddaughters who carried forward his faith in education by becoming dedicated teachers of a new generation of women.

For the 13th season, this series is made possible by the generous sponsorship of The Boeing Company!

Advance Registration Required. Registration and hosting information can be found on Historic Sotterley’s website: www.sotterley.org


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...