The life and selected writings of Thomas Jefferson

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The Modern library, 1944 - Biography & Autobiography - 730 pages
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"Jefferson aspired beyond the ambition of a nationality, and embraced in his view the whole future of man." --Henry Adams

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"Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong." - Notes on Virginia 1782 "Few châteaux; no farm-houses, all the ... Read full review

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Contents

JUTOBIOGRAPHT
3
THE ANAS
117
TRAVEL JOURNALS
135
Copyright

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About the author (1944)

Politician, philosopher, farmer, architect, and author, Jefferson was born to Peter and Jane Randolph Jefferson on April 13, 1743, in Tuckahoe, Virginia. As Jefferson observed in his autobiography, his parents could "trace their pedigree far back in England and Scotland." At the age of 16, Thomas Jefferson entered William and Mary College; at age 24, Jefferson was admitted to the bar; at 25, he was elected to the Virginia Assembly. Renowned for his political contributions to the American colonies, and later, to the embryonic Republic, Jefferson published in 1774 A Summary View of the Rights of British America, celebrating the inalienable natural rights claimed by the colonialists. In 1775 Jefferson was elected to the Continental Congress; in 1776 he joined the five-person committee responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence---a document that is widely regarded as being largely Jefferson's own work. In 1779 Jefferson was elected governor of the state of Virginia, and in subsequent years he distinguished himself both as a cosmopolitan international politician and as a man committed to the future of Virginia. In 1789 he was appointed U.S. secretary of state, in 1797 he served as vice president under President John Adams, and in 1801 he was elected third president of the United States. Jefferson's literary career was no less stellar than his political accomplishments. He authored tracts and books on such diverse subjects as gardening, the life of Jesus, the history of Virginia, and the practices of farming. The precise descriptions of nature that inform his Notes on the State of Virginia (1787) are frequently credited with foreshadowing the Hudson River school of aesthetics. Thomas Jefferson died on the fourth of July. His grave marker, engraved with words of his own choosing, states, "Here lies Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and Father of the University of Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the third president of the United States, left a vast literary legacy in the form of
journal entries, notes, addresses, and seventy thousand letters. Jefferson remains one of the country's most extraordinary figures;
as well as president he was a brilliant statesman, architect, scientist, naturalist, educator, and public servant. At a dinner for Nobel Prize recipients, John F. Kennedy said that his guests were "the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.
This volume of his works, edited by Adrienne Koch and William Peden, represents many of Jefferson's most important contributions to American political thought. It includes the Autobiography, which contains the original and revised version of the Declaration of Independence; the Anas, or Notes (1791-1809); Biographical Sketches; selections from Notes on Virginia, the Travel Journals, and Essay on Anglo-Saxon; a portion of his public papers, including his first and second inaugural addresses, and over two hundred letters. The editors have provided a general introduction and introductory notes that precede the major works.