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The Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, A Norton Critical Edition

The Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, A Norton Critical Edition

Thomas Jefferson, Wayne Franklin (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-393-97407-2

*Norton agency titles

591 pages

Select type: Paperback

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This Norton Critical Edition seeks to give readers a full understanding of Thomas Jefferson's importance to the intellectual development of the United States, particularly in political theory and scientific learning; of Jefferson's role in the expansion of the territory and sovereignty of the United States; and of Jefferson's controversial relation to slavery and race as key issues in American history.

The editor has selected Jefferson's most important published texts—A Summary View of the Rights of British America, the Declaration of Independence, and Notes on the State of Virginia—along with An Appendix to the Notes on Virginia Relative to the Murder of Logan's Family and his Message to Congress on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In addition, more than one hundred of Jefferson's letters (1760-1826) have been judiciously selected from his rich body of correspondence, allowing readers to see Jefferson as a person as well as a public figure. All texts are accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations.

"Contexts" reprints contemporary documents that place Jefferson and his writings within the early American Republic, including works by Thomas Paine, John Adams, Fran?ois-Jean de Beauvoir, and Luther Martin. Also included are diverse and early responses to Jefferson and his writings by, among others, John Quincy Adams, William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

"Criticism" provides representative works of modern interpretation and analysis that confirm Jefferson's continuing relevance. Included are twelve thought-provoking assessments from several disciplinary perspectives by, among others, Annette Gordon Reed, Peter Onuf, and Douglas L. Wilson.

A Selected Bibliography is also included.


A Note on the Texts


The Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson

A Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774)

From The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson (1829):

The Declaration of Independence

Notes of the State of Virginia (1787)

An Appendix to the Notes on Virginia Relative to the Murder of Logan's Family (1800)

Message to Congress on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1803


To John Harvie, January 14, 1760

To John Page, December 25, 1762

To Robert Skipwith, August 3, 1771

To Charles McPherson, February 25, 1773

To John Adams, May 16, 1777

To Giovanni Fabbroni, June 8, 1778

To the Chevalier d'Anmours, November 30, 1780

To J. P. G. Muhlenberg, January 31, 1781

To François Barbé-Marbois, March 4, 1781

To François Barbé-Marbois, December 20, 1781

To Charles Thomson, December 20, 1781

To François Barbé-Marbois, March 24, 1782

To François-Jean de Beauvoir, Chevalier de Chastellux, November 26, 1782

To George Rogers Clark, November 26, 1782

To Thomas Walker, September 25, 1783

To George Rogers Clark, December 4, 1783

To François-Jean de Beauvoir, Chevalier de Chastellux, January 16, 1784

To Charles Thomson, May 21, 1784

To James Madison, May 11, 1785

To François-Jean de Beauvoir, Chevalier de Chastellux, June 7, 1785

To the Reverend Richard Price, August 7, 1785

To Peter Carr, August 19, 1785

To John Banister Jr., October 15, 1785

To James Madison, October 28, 1785

To James Madison, February 8, 1786

To Maria Cosway, October 12, 1786

To J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, January 15, 1787

To John Stockdale, February 27, 1787

To Madame la Comtesse de Tessè, March 20, 1787

To Martha Jefferson, March 28, 1787

To The Marquis de Lafayette, April 11, 1787

To Maria Cosway, April 24, 1788

To J. Hector St. Jean de Crèvecoeur, August 9, 1788

To The Reverend Richard Price, January 8, 1789

To John Trumbull, February 15, 1789

To Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789

To John Jay, July 19, 1789

To James Madison, September 6, 1789

To Mary Jefferson, April 11, 1790

To Mary Jefferson, June 13, 1790

To Martha Jefferson Randolph, December 23, 1790

To The Reverend William Smith, February 19, 1791

To Benjamin Banneker, August 30, 1791

To Martha Jefferson Randolph, January 15, 1792

To Thomas Paine, June 19, 1792

To André Michaux, c. April 30, 1793

To James Madison, June 9, 1793

To Angelica Schuyler Church, November 27, 1793

To John Adams, December 28, 1796

To James Madison, January 1, 1797

To Mary Jefferson Eppes, January 8, 1798

To Dr. Joseph Priestley, January 18, 1800

To Dr. Joseph Priestley, January 27, 1800

To Dr. Joseph Priestley, March 21, 1801

To Samuel Adams, March 29, 1801

To James Monroe, November 24, 1801

To Brother Handsome Lake, November 3, 1802

To Benjamin Hawkins, February 18, 1803

To William H. Harrison, February 27, 1803

To Meriwether Lewis, June 20, 1803

To General Horatio Gates, July 11, 1803

To John Tyler, June 28, 1804

To the Osages, July 12, 1804

To the Osages, July 16, 1804

To Constantin-François de Chassebœuf, Comte de Volney, February 18, 1805

To the Osage and Other Indians, January 4, 1806

To Constantin-François de Chassebœuf, Comte de Volney, February 11, 1806

To Joel Barlow, February 24, 1806

To John Norvell, June 14, 1807

To Thomas Jefferson Randolph, November 24, 1808

To John Hollins, February 19, 1809

To Henri Grégoire, February 25, 1809

To Horatio G. Spafford, May 14, 1809

To John Wyche, May 19, 1809

To John W. Campbell, September 3, 1809

To Benjamin Smith Barton, September 21, 1809

To C. and A. Conrad and Company, November 23, 1809

To James Madison, November 26, 1809

To General Tadeusz Ko?ciuszko, February 26, 1810

To Dr. Benjamin Rush, January 16, 1811

To Charles Willson Peale, August 20, 1811

To John Adams, January 21, 1812

To John Adams, June 11, 1812

To Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Madame de Staël-Holstein, May 24, 1813

To Paul Allen, August 5, 1813

To Paul Allen, August 18, 1813

To Nicholas Biddle, August 20, 1813

To John Adams, October 28, 1813

To Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813

To Edward Coles, August 25, 1814

To Samuel H. Smith, September 21, 1814

To William Short, Esq., November 28, 1814

To John Adams, April 8, 1816

To José Corrêa da Serra, April 26, 1816

To Peter S. Du Ponceau, November 7, 1817

To John Adams, November 13, 1818

To John Holmes, April 22, 1820

To John Adams, October 12, 1823

To James Monroe, October 24, 1823

To Ellen W. Coolidge, August 27, 1825

To Dr. James Mease, September 26, 1825

To Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826


From Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-America Now Met in General Congress at Philadelphia, Setting Forth the Cause and Necessity of Their Taking Up Arms

Thomas Paine • From Common Sense

Manuscript Notes on Resolutions of Congress

François Barbé-Marbois • Queries Concerning American States

John Sullivan • To Jefferson, March 12, 1784, with John McDuffee's Answers to Queries Concerning the Moose

William Whipple • To Jefferson, March 15, 1784, with Answers to Queries Concerning the Moose

John Sullivan • To Jefferson, with Memoranda on the Moose, June 22, 1784

François-Jean de Beauvoir, Chevalier de Chastellux • From Travels in North America in the Years 1780, 1781, and 1782

Luther Martin • To the Honorable Thomas Jefferson, Esq. Vice-President of the United States, June 24, 1797



Thomas Kennedy • Ode to the Mammoth Cheese (1802)

James T. Callender • From The President Again (1802)

Abraham Bishop • Oration, in Honor of the Election of President Jefferson, and the Peaceable Acquisition of Louisiana (1804)

John Quincy Adams • On the Discoveries of Captain Lewis (1807)

William Cullen Bryant • From The Embargo; or, Sketches of the Times (1808)

Washington Irving • From A History of New York (1809)

James Fenimore Cooper • From The Letters and Journals of James Fenimore Cooper (1823, 1830)

George Henry Evans • The Working Men's Declaration of Independence (1829)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton • Declaration of Sentiments (1848)

Madison Hemings • Memoirs (1873)

Moses Coit Tyler • The Declaration of Independence in the Light of Modern Criticism (1896)

H. Trevor Colburn • From Thomas Jefferson and the Rights of the Expatriated Man

Merrill D. Peterson • From The Notes on Virginia

Fawn Brodie • From Sally Hemings

John C. Miller • From Slavery and the Declaration of Independence

Robert Lawson-Peebles • From Landscape and Written Expression in Revolutionary America

Jay Fliegelman • From Jefferson's Pauses

Andrew Burstein • From Jefferson and the Familiar Letter

Annette Gordon-Reed • From Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy

Andrew Burstein • From The Seductions of Thomas Jefferson


Robert M. S. McDonald • From Thomas Jefferson's Changing Reputation

as Author of the Declaration of Independence

Peter Onuf • From "We Shall All Be Americans"

Douglas L. Wilson • From The Evolution of Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia

Thomas Jefferson: A Chronology

Selected Bibliography