The Author

Derek Baxter graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in history. He is writing a book about his experience following the route through Europe that Jefferson set out in Hints to Americans. After years of research, Derek made nine separate trips abroad on Jefferson's trail. 


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Finding Monticello

Before he went to Europe, Jefferson had built a house called Monticello, but it was boxy and domeless, nothing like the one you can see today. Hardly nickel-worthy. In Europe, he discovered a neoclassical style of architecture that he would bring back and adapt. I follow his guide to see some of his favorite buildings up close in both France and Italy. Nothing prepares us, though, for the hair-raising drive to the top of Jefferson’s favorite source for marble, the famed quarry of Carrara.

The Roman Theater of Orange, France

Jefferson was worried that they were tearing parts of it down and reusing the stone...but it survives.