Writer Thomas Jefferson and His Penchant to Work in His Pajamas

By Denise Miller Holmes, Director

Thomas Jefferson Pajamas

Okay, almost all of us writers know the delight of staying in our pajamas while we create at our laptops. Thomas Jefferson, sans laptop, had the same joy—to people’s chagrin.

I confess, I work in what I sleep in. Sometimes, I wear no pants. (TMI!)

So, when I read in the book, The Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents, by Cormac O’Brien, that Thomas Jefferson worked in his pajamas when he was president, I felt a kinship.

Writers commonly work in their nightwear, or other types of comfy clothing such as velour running suits, or boxers and t-shirts, or coffee-stained robes. You get the idea.

What is even funnier, Jefferson, while president, actually entertained dignitaries in his p.j.’s. He’d answer the door in them, invite the ambassador in for coffee, and act like this was all perfectly normal. These people had appointments, so, it wasn’t a mistake—he just didn’t care!

But let’s learn from Jefferson. Because the dignitaries saw meeting them in his pajamas as an insult and a profound act of disrespect, let’s put our pants on when the doorbell rings, okay? Or perhaps, a top hat.

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