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Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose
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Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose: Natural History in Early America

Lee Alan Dugatkin


In the years after the Revolutionary War, the French Count and world-renowned naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon wrote that the flora and fauna of America (humans included) were inferior to European specimens. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, U.S. president, and ardent naturalist, spent years countering the French conception of American degeneracy. His Notes on the State of Virginia systematically and scientifically dismantled Buffon's case through a series of tables and equally compelling writing on the nature of his home state. But the book did little to c ... More

Keywords: America, Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, Thomas Jefferson, Histoire Naturelle, natural history, American moose, naturalist

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780226169149
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226169194.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lee Alan Dugatkin, author