May 15, 2013
Philip Mazzei was an Italian surgeon, merchant, vinter, political thinker, writer, and on top of everything else, longtime friend of Thomas Jefferson.
Now, much of whats left of Mazzei's writings are now in the hands of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, thanks to Sister Margherita Marchione, who is a professor emerita at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.
Sister Marchione donated around 2,500 letters, works of art and more to the Foundation, which they accepted in a ceremony at the Jefferson Library on Tuesday.
Jack Roberston, librarian at the Jefferson Library, says these manuscripts can give them new insights into a founding fathers.
"So from this educated European's perspective we can now see in difference ways what these men thought, how they got their ideas, how they expressed themselves." says Robertson. "Mazzei himself actually contributed to those ideas and to those writings."
Mazzei came to America to help introduce winemaking, and helped Jefferson setup the first commecial vineyard in the United States.