Requests for Information related to Thomas Jefferson



>    I stumbled onto your homepage and am quite impressed by your anthology of
> Jeffersonian ideas.  However, I was hoping you could help me by recommending
> a book by Jefferson, or one of your own personal essays.

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words.  Jefferson wrote only
one full-length book which was published in his lifetime, and that was
his "Notes on Virginia."  But I am sure that is not what you are looking
for.  As for my own essays, just about everything I have written is on
the Jeffersonian Perspective website, which I assume you have already
seen.  (Because I have 12 websites with seven of them related to Thomas
Jefferson, I'm never quite sure which ones correspondents have seen. ;-)

	The Jeffersonian Perspective

The best easily available source for a selection of the writings of Thomas 
Jefferson in their original form is:

        Thomas Jefferson
          Writings.  Compiled by Merrill D. Peterson
        New York: The Library of America, 1984.

It should be available in any good library.  To purchase the Writings of 
Thomas Jefferson at a 30% discount, click on the following:

Jefferson's Writings from

This link is offered in association with

The article, "Completing the American Revolution: A Spiritual Challenge to Islam," was received in the mail today, and I have looked it over carefully. The article contains the following statement: "Fortunately, twenty volumes of Jefferson's personal writings which, until recently, had to remain private by the terms of his last will and testament, are now in the process of being published, one volume every year for twenty years." I am not familiar with such a publication, and to be frank, the statement sounds like an off-the-cuff remark that confuses several items of imperfectly recalled fact. There is a publication project in process, "The Papers of Thomas Jefferson," which will be the most authoritative edition of Jefferson's writings in existence, when it is completed. It was begun in 1950, and is projected to include about sixty volumes, only twenty- eight of which have been issued to date. There is already in existence a twenty-volume edition of the writings of Thomas Jefferson, Lipscomb and Bergh, eds., but that was published in 1904. Jefferson died in 1826, and it would be highly unusual for the terms of a will to prevent the publication of the testator's papers for over 150 years. Jefferson did have a will in which he appointed his grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, as executor during his life, but there is no particular disposition stated for his papers. It is possible, of course, that I could be wrong, and that there is some special publication project of Jefferson's writings that I know nothing about, but I doubt it. I would suggest that you ask the author of the article, Dr. Robert Dickson Crane, for specifics on this publication project, i.e., the editor, the publisher, which volumes have been published to date. It sounds entirely apocryphal to me. Eyler Coates


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