Republic of Letters: The Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1995 - History - 2128 pages
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Thomas Jefferson and James Madison have been called the two greatest philosopher statesmen of the American Enlightenment. For the first fifty years of the new nation's existence, they formed a personal and political partnership, jointly working out the ideology of democracy and the practice of representative government.

The collaboration began in 1776, when Jefferson and Madison met as members of the Virginia House of Delegates, and ended fifty years later, when Jefferson died. They exchanged nearly 1,250 letters, running the gamut from short notes ("Will you come and sit an hour before dinner to-day?" Jefferson scribbled to Madison in 1791) to Madison's remarkable seventeen-page letter on the results of the Constitutional Convention.

Whether every letter was a faultless work of art may be debated. But their correspondence reveals, in precision and complex detail, what Jefferson called "freshness of fact." Since neither Jefferson nor Madison kept a diary, their innermost thoughts went directly into their letters, deeply revealing the loyalties and genius of both men.

These volumes present for the first time all of the letters, annotated and in chronological order, organized into chapters by year. In addition to the general introduction to the correspondence, introductory essays to each chapter establish context and identify persons and events for the general reader.

James Morton Smith is Director Emeritus of The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum and a past director of the Wisconsin State Historical Society. In addition to his many books, he was the general editor of the Bicentennial Series, The States and the Nation, published by Norton.
 

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THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: The Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison 1776-1826

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The correspondence of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson reads as a quite modern set of documents. The author of the Declaration of Independence and the father of the Constitution frequently sound ... Read full review

The republic of letters: the correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, 1776-1826

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Editor Smith gathers together in three volumes the entire surviving correspondence of these two American giants. As neither man "ever reduced his thought to a systematic presentation" and as most of ... Read full review

Contents

Photographs appear following page
10
The Perils of Neutrality 18051806 1404
34
Jefferson Madison and the Revolutionary Crisis
37
The End of the Embargo 18081809 1548
43
Jefferson Madison and the Virginia House
48
Governor Jefferson
57
Madison Takes Over 1809 1561
112
A Most Melancholy Crisis 17801781
124
The Partners Change Places
270
1815 1753
292
Founding the University of Virginia 18181819 1791
323
The Minister
325
The Virginia Legislator and
393
Miracle in Philadelphia 1787
435
The Constitution and the Movement for a Bill of Rights
518
The Adoption of the Bill
590

The Congressman and the Governor
171
From Friendship to Partnership 17821783
204
A Few Victories but More Defeats 18121813 1708
222
From War to Peace 1783
228
The Congressman and the Secretary of State 1790
638
ForeignPolicy Priorities 18041805 1352
645
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