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Philip Massei: My Life and Wanderings

Mazzei, Philip; and Scalia, S. Eugene (Translated by), and Marchione, Margherita (Editor)

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ISBN 10: 0916322033 / ISBN 13: 9780916322038
Published by American Institute of Italian Studies, Morristown, NJ, 1980
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Text in English, Italian. 438 p. Author's Notes; Translator's Notes. Illustrations. Index. This first unabridged and faithful translation of Mazzei's autography was timed to coincide with the 250th anniversary of his birth. From Wikipedia: "Philip Mazzei (December 25, 1730-March 19, 1816) was an Italian physician. A close friend of Thomas Jefferson, Mazzei acted as an agent to purchase arms for Virginia during the American Revolutionary War. Mazzei was born Filippo Mazzei in Poggio a Caiano in Tuscany. He studied medicine in Florence and practiced in Italy and the Middle East for several years before moving to London in 1755 to take up a mercantile career as an importer. While in London he met the Americans Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Adams of Virginia. They convinced him to undertake his next venture. In 1773 he led a group of Italians who came to Virginia to introduce the cultivation of vineyards, olives, and other Mediterranean fruits. Mazzei became a neighbor and friend of Thomas Jefferson. Mazzei and Jefferson started what became the first commercial vineyard in the Commonwealth of Virginia. They shared an interest in politics and libertarian values, and maintained an active correspondence for the rest of Mazzei's life. In 1779 Mazzei returned to Italy as a secret agent for the state of Virginia. He purchased and shipped arms to them until 1783. After briefly visiting the United States again in 1785, Mazzei travelled throughout Europe promoting Republican ideals. He wrote a political history of the American Revolution, "Recherches historiques et politiques sur les Etats-Unis de l'Amerique septentrionale", and published it in Paris in 1788. After its publication Mazzei became an unofficial roving ambassador in Europe for American ideas and institutions. While in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth he became attached as a Privy Councilor at the court of King Stanislaus II. There he became acquainted with Polish liberal and constitutional thought, like the works of Wawrzyniec Grzyma a Goslicki and ideas of Golden Freedoms and Great Sejm. King Stanislaus II appointed Mazzei to be Poland's representative in Paris, where he again met Jefferson. After Poland was partitioned between Russia and Prussia in 1795, Mazzei, along with the rest of the Polish court, was given a pension by the Russian crown. He later spent more time in France, becoming active in the politics of the French Revolution under the Directorate. When Napoleon overthrew that government Mazzei returned to Pisa, Italy. He died there in 1816. After his death the remainder of his family returned to the United States at the urging of Thomas Jefferson. They settled in Massachusetts and Virginia. Mazzei's daughter married the nephew of John Adams. Many biographers believe Jefferson and Washington had a falling out over a letter Jefferson sent to Mazzei in Italy, which called Washington's administration "Anglican, monarchical, and aristocratical" as England and claimed that Washington had appointed as military officers "all timid men that prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty.[I]t would give you a fever were I to name to you the apostates who have gone over to these heresies, men who were Samsons in the field and Solomons in the council, but who have had their heads shorn by the harlot England." The letter was eventually published overseas and then re-translated back into English by Noah Webster and published in the United States. This contribution was acknowledged by John F. Kennedy in his book A Nation of Immigrants, in which he states that: The great doctrine 'All men are created equal' and incorporated into the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, was paraphrased from the writing of Philip Mazzei, an Italian-born patriot and pamphleteer, who was a close friend of Jefferson. A few alleged scholars try to discredit Mazzei as the creator of this statement and idea, saying that "there is no mention of it anywhere until after the Declar. Bookseller Inventory # 68138

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Philip Massei: My Life and Wanderings

Publisher: American Institute of Italian Studies, Morristown, NJ

Publication Date: 1980

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: Presumed first edition/first printing.

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Text: English, Italian (translation)

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