Thomas Jefferson Moose Skeleton To France

February 20, 2012 by staff 

Thomas Jefferson Moose Skeleton To France, Sullivan succeeded in procuring a moose from Vermont, dressing it to Thomas Jefferson’s specifications and, with great difficulty, shipped the moose, skeleton and all to France, in 1786.
Thomas Jefferson, the American Minister to France, had the complete skeleton, skin & horns of an American moose shipped to him in Paris and mounted in the lobby of his residence as a symbol of the vast possibilities contained in the strange and largely unexplored New World, in 1787.

1786, Jefferson met Buffon in Paris and, among other topics, they discussed the American moose.
Jefferson renewed his request for the skin, the skeleton, and the horns of the Moose, the Caribou, and the Orignal or Elk to both Sullivan and Whipple, adding that they would be an acquisition here, more precious than you can imagine.

Jefferson as diplomat, scientist, and citizen went to unusual lengths and personal expense to dispel unfavorable myths about his country by attempting to prove once and for all that the American moose was indeed unique and definitely bigger than its European counterparts.
As Jefferson related to Daniel Webster many years later, Buffon promised in his next volume, to set those things right also, but he died directly afterwards.

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