Mockingbirds

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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One of these birds was named Dick and it was considered his favorite. Margaret Bayard Smith states that Dick's cage was suspended among the roses and geraniums in the window recesses of the presidential cabinet.<ref>Smith, Margaret Bayard. [http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=896 The First Forty Years of Washington Society.] (New York: Scribner, 1906), 385.</ref> It was not unusual to open the cage and let the bird fly around the room while he worked. Dick was known to even sit on Jefferson's shoulder and hop up stairs with him. When he retired, he still had a bird although we don't know the length of Dick's life. One of these birds was named Dick and it was considered his favorite. Margaret Bayard Smith states that Dick's cage was suspended among the roses and geraniums in the window recesses of the presidential cabinet.<ref>Smith, Margaret Bayard. [http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=896 The First Forty Years of Washington Society.] (New York: Scribner, 1906), 385.</ref> It was not unusual to open the cage and let the bird fly around the room while he worked. Dick was known to even sit on Jefferson's shoulder and hop up stairs with him. When he retired, he still had a bird although we don't know the length of Dick's life.
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 +==Primary Source References==
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 +'''1772 November 2.''' "Pd. Martin at Forest for mocking bird 5/."<ref>[[Short Title List|''MB'']], 1:297.</ref>
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 +'''1773 July 9.''' "Pd. Jame for two mockg. birds 11/6."<ref>Ibid, 1:343.</ref>
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 +'''1781 April 5.''' "Pd. Jame for mocking bird L18."<ref>Ibid, 1:508.</ref>
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==Footnotes== ==Footnotes==

Revision as of 10:20, 28 April 2008

Jefferson owned mockingbirds for most of his life and they really were his only pet. They gave him company as he worked alone. The first birds were purchased in the 1770s, but more documentation began during his presidency. As President, Jefferson's weather memorandum book states he owned at least four mockingbirds one of which he called a "New Orleans mockingbird."[1]

One of these birds was named Dick and it was considered his favorite. Margaret Bayard Smith states that Dick's cage was suspended among the roses and geraniums in the window recesses of the presidential cabinet.[2] It was not unusual to open the cage and let the bird fly around the room while he worked. Dick was known to even sit on Jefferson's shoulder and hop up stairs with him. When he retired, he still had a bird although we don't know the length of Dick's life.

Primary Source References

1772 November 2. "Pd. Martin at Forest for mocking bird 5/."[3]

1773 July 9. "Pd. Jame for two mockg. birds 11/6."[4]

1781 April 5. "Pd. Jame for mocking bird L18."[5]


Footnotes

  1. Weather Book. January 22, 1806, February 19, 1806, February 25, 1806, January 23, 1808, January 31, 1808, March 2, 1808, and March 3, 1808. Thomas Jefferson Papers, MHi
  2. Smith, Margaret Bayard. The First Forty Years of Washington Society. (New York: Scribner, 1906), 385.
  3. MB, 1:297.
  4. Ibid, 1:343.
  5. Ibid, 1:508.

Further Sources