J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Favorite Link of the Week

Thomas Jefferson, U.S. minister to France. Nguyễn Phúc Cảnh, seven-year-old heir to the empire of Vietnam. They met in Paris in 1787. Anna at A Summary View, the blog of the Jefferson library, tells the story.

Jefferson wanted rice from what was then known as Cochin China. He was still hopeful about receiving it the next year, but apparently no samples ever arrived at Monticello.

Prince Cảnh was in Paris to sign a treaty with the French king on behalf of his grandfather. He played with the Dauphin, and developed a preference for Catholicism, though for political reasons he was never publicly baptized. Cảnh died of smallpox in Vietnam during Jefferson’s first term.

(Portrait courtesy of Wikipedia.)

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