Thomas Jefferson as Anthropologist

by zunguzungu

In a letter to the Marquis de Chastellux, who had just written a book about his travels through the United States, Thomas Jefferson broke it down:

“In the North, they are:

  1. cool
  2. sober
  3. laborious
  4. persevering
  5. independent
  6. jealous of their liberties and just to those of others
  7. interested
  8. chicaning
  9. superstitious and hypocritical in their religion

In the South, they are:

  1. fiery
  2. voluptuary
  3. indolent
  4. unsteady
  5. independent
  6. jealous of their own liberties, but trampling on those of others
  7. generous
  8. candid
  9. without attachment or pretensions in any religion but that of the heart”

He also notes that “an observing traveller, without the aid of the quadrant may always know his latitude by the character of the people among whom he finds himself.”