Requests for Information related to Thomas Jefferson


> I have been perusing your sight looking for a copy of a letter Thomas
> Jefferson wrote to a friend (unfortunately, I'm not sure who.)  Anyway,
> I thought I'd write you a note to see if you could point me in the right
> direction.
> The letter is a response, I believe, from Mr. Jefferson to a friend who
> solicits Jefferson's advice on a proper reading list for American
> citizens.  It is a copy of Jefferson's reply (and the list) that I am
> searching for.  Do you have any ideas.

There were more than one list.  I have included below one to Robert Skip
dated 1771.  There is another list to Peter Carr dated Aug. 10, 1787.
Still another to John Garland Jefferson, dated June 11, 1790, is titled
"reading for the law."  The following is a portion of a letter describing
a list of books on government:


        _To John Norvell_
        _Washington, June 14, 1807_

        SIR, -- Your letter of May 9 has been duly received.  The
subject it proposes would require time & space for even moderate
development.  My occupations limit me to a very short notice of them.
I think there does not exist a good elementary work on the
organization of society into civil government: I mean a work which
presents in one full & comprehensive view the system of principles on
which such an organization should be founded, according to the rights
of nature.  For want of a single work of that character, I should
recommend Locke on Government, Sidney, Priestley's Essay on the first
Principles of Government, Chipman's Principles of Government, & the
Federalist.  Adding, perhaps, Beccaria on crimes & punishments,
because of the demonstrative manner in which he has treated that
branch of the subject.  If your views of political inquiry go
further, to the subjects of money & commerce, Smith's Wealth of
Nations is the best book to be read, unless Say's Political Economy
can be had, which treats the same subject on the same principles, but
in a shorter compass & more lucid manner.  But I believe this work
has not been translated into our language.

All of the above, as well as the Skip letter, are listed on the Jefferson
Gopher Site at the following URL:

Contains Jefferson's addresses, the Autobiography, and a large selection
of the letters.

The letters consists of a very large file -- something approaching 2

All four of the letters mentioned above are also available in the Library
of America volume of Jefferson's Writings (Peterson, editor), which
should be available in any public library.


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