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Joseph J. Ellis is the author of several books of American history, among them Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams and American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, which won the 1997 National Book Award. He was educated at the College of William and Mary and Yale University and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife, Ellen, and three sons.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Statesmen United States Biography Anecdotes, Presidents United States Biography Anecdotes, United States History 1783-1815 Anecdotes, United States Politics and government 1783-1809 Anecdotes