This Norton Critical Edition seeks to give readers a full understanding of Thomas Jefferson's importance to the intellectual development of the United States, particularly in political theory and scientific learning; of Jefferson's role in the expansion of the territory and sovereignty of the United States; and of Jefferson's controversial relation to slavery and race as key issues in American history. The editor has selected Jefferson's most important published texts-A Summary View of the Rights of British America, the Declaration of Independence, and Notes on the State of Virginia-along with An Appendix to the Notes on Virginia Relative to the Murder of Logan's Family and his Message to Congress on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
In addition, more than one hundred of Jefferson's letters (1760-1826) have been judiciously selected from his rich body of correspondence, allowing readers to see Jefferson as a person as well as a public figure.
All texts are accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations. "Contexts" reprints contemporary documents that place Jefferson and his writings within the early American Republic, including works by Thomas Paine, John Adams, Francois-Jean de Beauvoir, and Luther Martin.
Also included are diverse and early responses to Jefferson and his writings by, among others, John Quincy Adams, William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. "Criticism" provides representative works of modern interpretation and analysis that confirm Jefferson's continuing relevance.
Included are twelve thought-provoking assessments from several disciplinary perspectives by, among others, Annette Gordon Reed, Peter Onuf, and Douglas L.
Wilson. A Selected Bibliography is also included.