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The Thomas Jefferson Papers

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detail of Thomas Jefferson
Detail of Th. Jefferson, photomechanical print, created/published [between 1890 and 1940(?)].
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Overview

The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000 documents. This is the largest collection of original Jefferson documents in the world. Document types in the collection as a whole include correspondence, commonplace books, financial account books, and manuscript volumes. The collection is organized into ten series or groupings, ranging in date from 1606 to 1827. Correspondence, memoranda, notes, and drafts of documents make up two-thirds of the Papers and document Jefferson's activities as a delegate to the second Continental Congress; his drafting of the Declaration of Independence, June-July 1776; his position as governor of Virginia, 1779-81; his return to Congress as a representative, 1783-84; and his appointment as minister plenipotentiary in Europe and then minister to the Court of Louis XVI, succeeding Benjamin Franklin, 1784-89. Well documented are his two administrations as president from 1801 through 1809, when he engineered the purchase of the Louisiana territory and maintained American neutrality in the conflict between France and Great Britain that led to the War of 1812. Correspondence, drawings, maps, and notes document the building of Washington, D.C. The broad range of Jefferson's intellectual and political interests is represented by his legal and literary commonplace books, miscellaneous bound volumes of notes and extracts, and manuscript volumes relating to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Virginia history, some of which were part of the personal library he sold to Congress in 1815. In its online presentation, the Thomas Jefferson Papers comprises approximately 83,000 images. This project is funded by Reuters America, Inc., and The Reuters Foundation.

TIMELINE

The life of Thomas Jefferson.

ESSAY

Selected quotations