Date of Award

Summer 1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Douglas G. Greene

Committee Member

Lawrence J. Hatab

Committee Member

Peter C. Stewart


During Thomas Jefferson's educational days in Williamsburg, Virginia, he was fortunate to have the association with three learned men, William Small, George Wythe, and Lt. Governor Francis Fauquier. The men met often at the governor's palace during the years 1760-64. Jefferson referred to their association as the "parties quarrae."

Most historians agree that the time spent with Small, Wythe, and Fauquier had profound influence on the establishment of Jefferson's "enlightenment" philosophy. Little, however, is known about the details of the regular meetings in the palace.

The focus of this creative project is the fictional discovery of Jefferson's "lost" Autobiography, finished just prior to his death in 1826. The autobiography elaborates about areas of his life that had puzzled historians for decades, e.g., reflections on his mother as well as his early schooling, particularly his days studying with Mr. Small and Mr. Wythe.