Notes on the State of Virginia

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Penguin, Dec 1, 1998 - Philosophy - 368 pages
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Jefferson’s chronicle of the natural, social, and political history of Virginia is at once a scientific discourse, an attempt to define America, and a brilliant examination of the idea of freedom.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


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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 (1998)

Thomas Jefferson was born in Virginia in 1743 into a wealthy and socially prominent family. After attending the College of William and Mary, he went on to study law. At the age of twenty-six, Jefferson began building Monticello. Three years later, in 1772, he married Martha Wayles Skelton. The couple had six children, two of whom survived to adulthood. Considered elequent in his writing, although not as his speech, Jefferson took on much of the writing needed by the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress, both of which he was a member. In 1776, at the young age of 33, Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. From 1779 to 1781, Jefferson served as Governor of Virginia. Jefferson temporarily retired from public life after his term as governor, returning to public life in 1784 as a diplomat serving in France. In 1790, Jefferson was appointed Secretary of State in President Washington's Cabinet, but resigned in 1793 over a disagreement with Alexander Hamilton. As political disagreements continued to polarize the young government, Jefferson found himself leading those who sympathized with the revolutionary cause in France. In 1800, Jefferson was elected President in a tie vote that ironically was decided by Alexander Hamilton. In 1809, after two terms as President, Jefferson returned to his home in Monticello, where he developed, among other projects, plans for the University of Virginia. In addition, he sold his collection of books to the government to form the basis of the Library of Congress. Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826.

Frank Shuffelton is Professor of English at the University of Rochester, New York.

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