Tomato

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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-[[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] first mentions '''tomatoes''' in Query VI of his ''Notes on the State of Virginia'', which Jefferson first produced in 1781 and which was published several times throughout the 1780's. He says: "The gardens yield muskmelons, watermelons, tomatas, okra, pomegranates, figs, and the esculant plants of Europe." <ref>''Notes on the State of Virginia'': http://oll.libertyfund.org/Texts/Jefferson0136/Works/0054-03_Bk.html#hd_lf054v03_head_205</ref> One of our research historians surmises that, since Jefferson mentioned them only briefly, in a list, and did not single them out, that they were nothing unusual, at least to him. The Jefferson family recipes contain numerous usages of tomatoes. Jefferson included tomatoes in his chart of vegetables sold in the markets in Washington, D.C.<ref>See http://memory.loc.gov/master/mss/mtj/mtj1/025/0400/0451.jpg</ref> He recorded planting them all of the years that he kept his Garden Book Kalendar (1809-1824).+[[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] first mentions '''tomatoes''' in Query VI of his ''Notes on the State of Virginia'': "The gardens yield muskmelons, watermelons, tomatas, okra, pomegranates, figs, and the esculant plants of Europe." <ref>[[Short Title List|Peden, ''Notes'']], 43.</ref> One of our research historians surmises that, since Jefferson mentioned them only briefly in a list instead of mentioning them in particular, that they were nothing unusual (at least to him). He recorded planting tomatoes all of the years that he kept his Garden Book Kalendar (1809-1824), and included them in his chart of vegetables sold in the markets in Washington, D.C.<ref>See http://memory.loc.gov/master/mss/mtj/mtj1/025/0400/0451.jpg</ref> Tomatoes commonly appear in the Jefferson family recipe collections.
==Poisonous Tomato== ==Poisonous Tomato==
-As for the belief that it was poisonous, Jefferson himself never writes about that, or in any way gives the impression that it was anything but natural to eat tomatoes. There is a story about Jefferson visiting Lynchburg where he stuns people by eating a tomato in front of the Miller-Claytor house. It appears in the book [http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=16739 ''Saga of a City: Lynchburg, Virginia, 1786-1936.''] Researchers have not found proof this incident ever happened. +Jefferson himself never mentioned the belief by some that tomatoes were poisonous. There is a story that, on a visit to Lynchburg, he terrified one of the locals when he paused to snack on a tomato on the steps of the Miller-Claytor house. This story appears in the book ''Saga of a City: Lynchburg, Virginia, 1786-1936''<ref>[http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=16379 ''Saga of a City: Lynchburg, Virginia, 1786-1936''] (Lynchburg, Va.: Lynchburg Sesqui-Centennial Association, 1936), 57-59.</ref> but our researchers have found no proof that this incident ever happened.
==Footnotes== ==Footnotes==
<references/> <references/>
-==Further Sources== +==Further Sources==
 +*[[Short Title List|Betts, ''Garden Book'']].
*Smith, Andrew F. [http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=4757 ''The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and Cookery''] University of South Carolina Press, 1994. *Smith, Andrew F. [http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=4757 ''The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and Cookery''] University of South Carolina Press, 1994.
*[http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&SL=none&SAB1=tomato&BOOL1=all+of+these&FLD1=Title%2C+Author+%26+Subject+%28TASS%29&GRP1=AND+with+next+set&SAB2=&BOOL2=all+of+these&FLD2=Keyword+Anywhere+%28GKEY%29&CNT=50 Look for more sources in Thomas Jeffeson Portal] *[http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&SL=none&SAB1=tomato&BOOL1=all+of+these&FLD1=Title%2C+Author+%26+Subject+%28TASS%29&GRP1=AND+with+next+set&SAB2=&BOOL2=all+of+these&FLD2=Keyword+Anywhere+%28GKEY%29&CNT=50 Look for more sources in Thomas Jeffeson Portal]

Revision as of 15:48, 3 June 2008

Jefferson first mentions tomatoes in Query VI of his Notes on the State of Virginia: "The gardens yield muskmelons, watermelons, tomatas, okra, pomegranates, figs, and the esculant plants of Europe." [1] One of our research historians surmises that, since Jefferson mentioned them only briefly in a list instead of mentioning them in particular, that they were nothing unusual (at least to him). He recorded planting tomatoes all of the years that he kept his Garden Book Kalendar (1809-1824), and included them in his chart of vegetables sold in the markets in Washington, D.C.[2] Tomatoes commonly appear in the Jefferson family recipe collections.

Poisonous Tomato

Jefferson himself never mentioned the belief by some that tomatoes were poisonous. There is a story that, on a visit to Lynchburg, he terrified one of the locals when he paused to snack on a tomato on the steps of the Miller-Claytor house. This story appears in the book Saga of a City: Lynchburg, Virginia, 1786-1936[3] but our researchers have found no proof that this incident ever happened.

Footnotes

  1. Peden, Notes, 43.
  2. See http://memory.loc.gov/master/mss/mtj/mtj1/025/0400/0451.jpg
  3. Saga of a City: Lynchburg, Virginia, 1786-1936 (Lynchburg, Va.: Lynchburg Sesqui-Centennial Association, 1936), 57-59.

Further Sources