Thomas Jefferson: A Life In Letters

Newly published missives reveal a complex character.

Thomas Jefferson once called the letters of A person "the only full and genuine journal of his life." By that standard, Princeton University Press's exhaustive Papers of Thomas Jefferson, the 31st volume of which will be released this week, is one colossal diary. Begun in 1943 and scheduled to be completed by 2026--the bicentennial of Jefferson's death--the project includes more than 20,000 letters the prolific Virginian wrote in his lifetime as well as an abundance of correspondence he received. From the newest volume, edited by Princeton historian Barbara B. Oberg, we offer a sampler that includes never before published writings by...

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