Notes on the State of Virginia

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Penguin, 1999 - History - 330 pages
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A request in 1780 by the French legation to the United States to learn more about the newly formed thirteen states of America stimulated in Jefferson, as he later described it, a "mysterious obligation for making me much better acquainted with my own country than I ever was before." Written during his first term as governor of Virginia, Notes on the State of Virginia is at once a scientific discourse, an attempt to define America, and an examination of the idea of freedom. With the same genius and clear, flexible prose style that informs the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson chronicles Virginia's natural, social, and political history. In his introduction to this annotated edition, which discusses the work's origins and composition, Frank Shuffelton focuses particularly on Jefferson's response to contemporary scientific writings on "New World degeneracy, " his differing treatment of blacks and Native Americans, and his influential role in creating a mythicized American self-image.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
vii
A NOTE ON THE TEXT
xxxiii
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING
xxxv
Notes on the State of Virginia
1
Charles Thomsons Observations
205
Draught of the Constitution
217
Act for Establishing Religious Freedom
231
Relative to the Murder of Logans Family
233
Letters and Documents
265
EXPLANATORY AND TEXTUAL NOTES
289
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the third president of the United States (1801-1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and one of the most beloved and revered Founding Fathers of the United States of America.

Frank Shuffelton was an eminent scholar and critic of American literature. He taught at the University of Rochester for almost 40 years and served as a professor and chair of the Department of English. He published two books on Thomas Jefferson, including Thomas Jefferson: A Comprehensive, Annotated Bibliography, and edited Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, Letters of John and Abigail Adams, and The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Jefferson. He died in 2010.

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