| American History Stories, Volume III|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Anecdotes from the time Washington became president through the War of 1812, the rise of Andrew Jackson, and the sectional differences leading to the Civil War. Numerous black and white illustrations complement the text. Ages 8-12 |
Jefferson's fiddle was, I fancy, as dear to him as Robinson
Crusoe's man Friday. At any rate it was well
understood among the members of his household that any
 care, any neglect or carelessness towards his precious
fiddle could not easily be atoned for.
He used to often say, in joking with
his wife, as he so
enjoyed doing, "It was the fiddle that won the 'Widow
The Widow Skelton was quite a belle in Virginia
society, and had, as the stories say, "throngs of
One day, two of her suitors, bent on learning their
fate from her own lips, met in the hall of her house.
The sound of music caused them to listen. The widow
was playing on the harpsichord and singing a love-song,
while Jefferson accompanied her with voice and violin.
Something in the song, and in the manner of her
singing, showed them that they might as well go away.
So quietly leaving the hall, they mounted their horses
and rode away, sadder but wiser men. In a week or two,
the engagement of Mrs. Martha Skelton to Thomas
Jefferson was among the rumors of the day.
Jefferson was always fond of the violin. When his
paternal home was burned he asked, "Are all the books
"Yes, massa, dey is, but we saved de fiddle,"
the old family servant, who knew his master's pet vanity.
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