A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

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Thomas Jefferson's memorandum book, page 11, 20 June 1776 - 6 July 1776

Memorandum book, 1776-1778
15.4 cm x 9.2 cm
Online display of manuscript image and transcription.

"For a pencil"
Amidst the intensity of debate over the question of independence, the necessities of daily life for a plantation owner and politician continue. Like Adams, Knox, and others of this time, Jefferson keeps a memorandum book to record that which he feels is most important about each day.

Questions to Consider

1. Look at the dates covered on this page. What was happening during these two weeks? Is there any sign of it here?

2. If you did not know anything about Thomas Jefferson, what would this page tell you about him? Support your answers with specific details from the text.

Further Exploration

3. How is this memorandum book different from John Adams' memorandum book? [Click here to view several pages from John Adams's diary 25 listing a memoradum of measures to pursue in Congress.]