Volume 3: 18 June 1779 to 30 September 1780

© 1951 Princeton University Press

Cover of Volume 3, which displays the title and publisher of the volume, as well as the names of the contributing editors.


Volume 3 embraces somewhat more than the first half of Jefferson’s two-year service as governor of Virginia. During the fifteen months from June 1779 to September 1780 he was busy with the problems of governing a state that was open on three sides to invasion: from the east by naval raiders, the south by Cornwallis’ army, the west by Indians and their regular and irregular British and tory leaders.

Most of Volume 3, therefore, relates to military matters: the drafting of men for Continental and for militia service, the supplying of men and arms for the defense of Virginia’s far-flung western domain, clearing privateers out of Virginia waters, dealing with deserters, establishing arms factories and military hospitals, supplying Virginians in captivity with money for their subsistence, supplying the British and German prisoners in Virginia with food, and the endless problem of supporting Continental currency.

This volume also contains exchanges with the British and German officers interned at Charlottesville, with Jefferson’s Italian friends Mazzei and Fabbroni, with D’Anmours, the first French consul in Virginia; it includes as well the only letter written by Mrs. Jefferson known to survive and the beginnings of Jefferson’s correspondence with James Madison and James Monroe.

Julian P. Boyd, Editor
Lyman H. Butterfield and Mina R. Bryan, Associate Editors