Featured Documents

In this section, we feature a small selection of documents from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, sorted by historical themes and subjects. Each document links to the transcription and annotations from our volumes, publicly available for free on Founders Online.

Accurate transcriptions and clear annotation help a reader to make sense of a document and to understand it in its historical context. For common abbreviations and repository symbols used, see the summary of our editorial method.

From Martha Jefferson Carr, 15 April 1784

Vol. 15:612-613

Jefferson’s sister reports about her travels, education plans for Peter Carr, reports on Jefferson’s daughters, and announces she has become a grandmother.

To Chastellux, 7 June 1785

Vol. 8:184-186

Jefferson comments on his Notes on the State of Virginia and expresses views on Native Americans and Blacks.

To James Madison, 30 January 1787

Vol. 11:92-97

Jefferson declares that “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing” but stresses the importance of maintaining a unity of interests between the eastern and western parts of the United States.

To Abigail Adams, 22 February 1787

Vol. 11:174-175

Jefferson in Paris reacts to news of Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts by declaring “I like a little rebellion now and then.”