This series will focus on material I found while researching my book, America’s Forgotten Founding Father: A Novel Based on the Life of Filippo Mazzei.
These next few items come from the Bibliography I submitted when proposing the original book. — Rosanne.
Philip Mazzei (1730-1816), a Florentine merchant, surgeon, and horticulturist, befriended Thomas Jefferson through business connections several years before the two men actually met.1 After working as a wine merchant in London for about eighteen years, Mazzei sailed to Virginia in 1773 to indulge his interest in the political life of the Colonies and to conduct agricultural experiments. The Virginia Legislature had promised Mazzei some land in Augusta County and, on his way to the Shenandoah Valley, he stopped to see Jefferson. When he discovered that the land he was to receive was divided into separate tracts, Mazzei was persuaded by Jefferson to settle in Albemarle County. Jefferson gave him a tract of land on the south side of Monticello.2 Mazzei purchased about 700 more acres by 1778 and named his farm Colle.3
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