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.

To George Washington, 23 May 1792

Vol. 23:535-541

Jefferson opposes the fiscal policy of the Treasury Department in this milestone document in the history of the American party system showing the antagonism between Jefferson and Hamilton.

To William Short, 3 January 1793

Vol. 25:14-17

Jefferson assesses the violence of the French Revolution in his well-known “Adam and Eve” letter to William Short.

To Philip Mazzei, 24 April 1796

Vol. 29:81-83

Writing as a private citizen, Jefferson expresses his criticism of the Federalist party The letter's subsequent unauthorized publication, often appearing out of context, haunts him for the rest of his life.

To William G. Munford, 18 June 1799

Vol. 31:126-130

Jefferson expresses his opinions on education and the improvability of the human mind in this letter to a young student who asked his advice on a proper course of study.