The Private Jefferson

Exhibition now on view 29 January—20 May 2016.

Explore Jefferson’s complex personality and political views through select correspondence and writings including the Declaration of Independence, records of farming at Monticello, and his architectural drawings.

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Massachusetts Historical Society

Thomas Jefferson Papers

Notes of the State of Virginia Manuscript

View Selected Passages  

Within each topic, the selected passages are arranged in page number order.


About farmers: "Those who labor in the earth are the chosen race/people of God..." Can be found on page 99, Attachment 1 recto, line 9 of 17.

On Native Americans and the story of Col. Byrd: "a remarkable instance of this appeared..." Can be found on full page 36, line 34 of 35. Continues onto Attachment 2.

On the tribes of Native Americans: "I will now proceed to state the nations and numbers of the Aborigines..." Can be found on full page 59, line 29 of 36.

Observations about Native Americans: "The Indian of North America being more..." Can be found on page 35, Attachment 1 recto, line 7 of 30.

Observations about Native Americans: "Mons. Buffon has indeed given ..." Can be found on full page, line 16 of 29.

On Albino's: "to these I may add the mention of a negro man within my own family/knowledge..." Can be found on page 43, Attachment 1 verso, line 19 of 26.

On Phillis Wheatley: "Love is the peculiar oestrum of the poet..." Can be found on full page 85, line 18 of 32.



On the boundaries of Virginia: "Virginia is bounded on the East by the Atlantic..." Can be found on full page 1, line 2 of 31.

About the Missouri River: "The Missouri is in fact, the principal river,..." Can be found on full page 5, line 1 of 32.

On the Patowmac River in the Blue Ridge Mountains: "The passage of the Patowmac thro' the Blueridge is perhaps one of the most..." Can be found on page 9, Attachment 4 recto, line 6 of 18.

About Madison's Cave: "In the limestone country, there are many caverns of considerable extent..." Can be found on full page 10, line 28 of 35. Eye-draught of Madison's Cave on page 11.

On the Natural Bridge: "The Natural Bridge, the most sublime of nature's works..." Can be found on full page 13, line 23 of 33.

On the College of William & Mary: " the only public seminary of learning in the state..." Can be found on full page 90, line 4 of 31.



On the animals of Europe and America: "A comparative view of the Quadrupeds of Europe and of America..." Can be found on full page 28, line 1. Continues onto next page.

Description of bodies of warm air: "Going out into the open air..." Can be found on page 46, Attachment 1 recto, line 1 of 19.

Observation that there was more snow in the past: "A change in our climate however is taking place..." Can be found on full page 48, line 13 of 31.

On rapid population growth: "The present desire of America is to produce rapid population by as great importations of foreigners as possible..." Can be found on full page 49, line 24 of 32.

On the formation of a civil government: "it is for the happiness of those united in society..." Can be found on full page 50, line 4 of 33.

Archaeological exploration of Native American burial grounds: "I know of no such thing existing as an Indian monument..." Can be found on full page 57, line 26 of 32.

On Virginia's allegiance to the Commonwealth of England and in defiance to Cromwell: "And in 1650 the parliament..." Can be found on page 67, Attachment 1, line 1 of 6.

On the increasing desire to become independent of England: "5. That the ordinary..." Can be found on full page 73, line 30 of 32.

On changes to the laws by which Virginia was governed: "To emancipate all slaves born after the passing..." Can be found on full page 83, line 8 of 32.

On Crime & Punishment: "I. Crimes whose punishment extends to Life..." Can be found on full page 87, line 9 of 32, under attachment 1.

Observations of dampness on interior walls of houses: "Architecture being one of the fine arts..." Can be found on page 92, Attachment 1 verso, line 9 of 13. Please note the text reads from 92.1 verso to 92.2 recto

Thoughts on religion: "The present state of our laws on religion..." Can be found on full page 94, line 15 of 32.

About growing tobacco: "In the year 1758 we exported..." Can be found on full page 100, line 1 of 32.

On the young country & its prospects: "young as we are, and with such a country to fill up & improve...This I hope will be our wisdom" Can be found on page 103, Attachment 1 verso, lines 17-31 of 31.

On Limits of Power (from Draught Constitution, Appendix 2): "The general assembly shall not have power to infringe this constitution, to abridge the civil rights of any person..." Can be found on full page 132, line 8 of 29.