Jefferson and Adams
2001 Shaping the World: Conversation on Democracy
A Conversation with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest
Blue Ridge Public Television
Virginia Department of Education
Virginia Satellite Education Network
Students and teachers can join a conversation between two friends and past presidents of the United States: John Adams, second president, and Thomas Jefferson, third president.
In this interchange between Jefferson and Adams students will have the opportunity to learn more about the men, and their differing opinions on a variety of democratic issues, their work on the Declaration of Independence, the election of 1800, their roles as ambassadors abroad, their tenure as Presidents residing in the White House, and their views and concerns for the country.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams first met in 1775 at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia and the two began a close friendship. Adams was a member of the Federalist Party and Jefferson was a classic Republican. Despite their political differences, they maintained their friendship until 1801 when Jefferson became President. During this election, Jefferson defeated Adams by eight electoral votes. It was the first transfer of power from one political party to another. In a peaceful exchange of power on March 4, 1801 Jefferson delivered his inaugural speech, stating “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.” He longed for this young country to unite as one. Jefferson referred to this time in our nation’s history as “the revolution of 1800.” Jefferson and Adams greatly contributed to the shaping of our country during its first fifty years and both left lasting legacies. During their retirement years, Jefferson and Adams renewed their friendship and corresponded until their deaths on July 4, 1826.
"Shaping the World: Conversations on Democracy" can assist teachers with the following Standards Of Learning
In 1773, Thomas Jefferson and his wife, Martha, inherited approximately 4800 acres from the estate of John Wayles, Martha’s father. Jefferson designed an octagonal villa and in 1806 traveled to Bedford County to oversee the laying of the foundation. Poplar Forest was to serve as a retreat for Jefferson and his grandchildren. Poplar Forest was a working farm with more than sixty slaves living on the property. The plantation was sold to William Cobbs after Jefferson’s death. The acreage dwindled and the house underwent many structural changes. In 1984, the nonprofit Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest formed to rescue this landmark for the educational and cultural benefit of the public. The exterior restoration of the house was completed in 1998 and earned an Honor award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Archaeology and restoration continue. For more information on Poplar Forest, call (434) 525-1806.
Blue Ridge Public Television
Since 1966, Blue Ridge Public Television has provided instructional television for western Virginia, and today broadcasts SOL-correlated programs to 39 school divisions with 197,000 students. BRPTV works on-site with all communities of learners, including teachers, pre-schoolers, and adult learners. BRPTV sponsors Virginia’s JASON Project, Homework Helpline, Reading Rainbow Young Authors and Illustrators, Young Heroes, and the McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence.
Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Satellite Educational Network
The Virginia Satellite Educational Network (VSEN) provides advanced placement and foreign language courses to K-12 students. Programs that support the Virginia Standards of Learning for students, teachers, and administrators are also delivered through VSEN. The Department of Education and VSEN are pleased to make Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest's program available via satellite to students across the Commonwealth and nation.