Book by Emmy-winning Holland author explores 'untold' story of Thomas Jefferson

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An author from Holland held a book signing for his most recent release in the birthplace of the book’s subject this week.

Milton Nieuwsma’s book “Miracle on Chestnut Street: The Untold Story of Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence” was published December 2021. A hardcover version of the book debuted in April 2022.

The book explores the story of the Declaration of Independence from Jefferson’s point of view. It also seeks to “restore (Jefferson’s) rightful place in history.”

Holland author Milton Nieuwsma (left) is joined by Thomas Jefferson portrayer Bill Barker at a signing of Nieuwsma’s newly released book, “Miracle on Chestnut Street,” in the welcome center at Monticello, Jefferson’s Virginia home.
Holland author Milton Nieuwsma (left) is joined by Thomas Jefferson portrayer Bill Barker at a signing of Nieuwsma’s newly released book, “Miracle on Chestnut Street,” in the welcome center at Monticello, Jefferson’s Virginia home.

In the book’s description, Nieuwsma writes “the Declaration of Independence that Jefferson wrote and Continental Congress adopted on that date (July 4, 1776) symbolizes more than any other event what America stands for as a nation.”

Using letters, journals, diaries and other sources, as well as “extensive on-site research,” Nieuwsma recreates the 16 months from Jefferson’s election to the Continental Congress to the Declaration of independence.

He says it's important to remember that Jefferson “was a human being, not a saint” and that biographers have “consciously humanized” the Founding Fathers, Jefferson included, in recent years.

Nieuwsma states that he sees Jefferson’s biggest legacy as that “he defined the idea of America, the idea that individual freedom is basic to our way of life.”

Nieuwsma, a two-time Emmy winner and writer and creator of “Inventing America - Conversations with the Founders,” held a signing in Monticello, Jefferson’s Virginia home. He was joined by Bill Barker, who wrote the foreword to the book and played Jefferson in the PBS “Inventing America” series.

“Miracle on Chestnut Street” is available for purchase online.

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Holland's Milton Nieuwsma explores Thomas Jefferson in latest book