Thomas Jefferson, Legal History, and the Art of Recollection

Today I talked to Matthew Crow about his book Thomas Jefferson, Legal History, and the Art of Recollection, published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.  Crow studies how Jefferson’s association with legal history was born out of America’s long history as part of an early modern empire and the political thought which preceded him. By examining how Jefferson’s own development within this world, Crow finds that legal history was a mode of organizing and governing collective memory, which Jefferson deployed in his own constitutional, political, and racial thinking.

Matthew Crow Associate Professor of History at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He specializes in Early American, intellectual, and constitutional history.