The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Retirement Series, Volume 7: 28 November 1813 to 30 September 1814: 28 November 1813 to 30 September 1814

Princeton University Press
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The 526 documents printed in this volume run from 28 November 1813 to 30 September 1814. During this period Jefferson reviews the extant sources on the 1765 Stamp Act crisis to aid William Wirt, a Patrick Henry scholar; records his largely positive impressions of George Washington; and updates a reading list for law students that he had initially drawn up forty years earlier. In the spring of 1814 Jefferson becomes a trustee of the Albemarle Academy, the earliest direct ancestor of the University of Virginia. He is soon actively involved in planning for its establishment, helping to draft rules for governance of the academy's trustees and propose funding options, and he lays out an expansive vision for its future as an institution of higher learning. Jefferson also exchanges ideas on collegiate education with such respected scholars as Thomas Cooper and José Corrêa da Serra. Jefferson's wide-ranging correspondence includes a temperate response to a lengthy letter from Miles King urging the retired president to reflect on his personal religion, and a diplomatic but noncommittal reply to a proposal by Edward Coles that the author of the Declaration of Independence employ his prestige to help abolish slavery. Having learned of the British destruction late in August 1814 of the public buildings in Washington, Jefferson offers his massive book collection as a replacement for the Library of Congress. The nucleus for one of the world's great public libraries is formed early in 1815 when the nation purchases Jefferson's 6,707 volumes.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jan 10, 2011
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Pages
816
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ISBN
9781400838653
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Biography & Autobiography / Presidents & Heads of State
History / Modern / General
History / Reference
History / United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
Literary Collections / Letters
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Thomas Jefferson
Were Thomas Jefferson alive to read this book, he would recognize every sentence, every elegant turn of phrase, every lofty, beautifully expressed idea. Indeed, every word in the book is his. In an astonishing feat of editing, Eric S. Petersen has culled the entirety of Thomas Jefferson’s published works to fashion thirty-four original essays on themes ranging from patriotism and liberty to hope, humility, and gratitude. The result is a lucid, inspiring distillation of the wisdom of one of America’s greatest political thinkers.

From his personal motto—“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God”—to his resounding discourse on “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson defined the essential truth of the American spirit. In the essays that Petersen has crafted from letters, speeches, and public documents, Jefferson’s unique moral philosophy and vision shine through. Among the hundreds of magnificent sentences gathered in this volume, here are Jefferson’s pronouncements on

Gratitude: “I have but one system of ethics for men and for nations—
to be grateful, to be faithful to all engagements and under all circumstances, to be open and generous.”

Religion: “A concern purely between our God and our consciences.”

America’s national character: “It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate; to surmount every difficulty with resolution and contrivance.”

Public debt: “We shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves.”

War: “I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.”

In stately measured cadences, these thirty-four essays provide timeless guidance on leading a spiritually fulfilling life. Light and Liberty is a triumphant work of supreme eloquence, as uplifting today as when Jefferson first set these immortal sentences on paper.


From the Hardcover edition.
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