Mosaic image of portraits and handwritten letters
Images top to bottom: Martha Jefferson Randolph to Jane Nicholas Randolph, 14 Aug. 1818; Martha Jefferson Randolph; address cover, Virginia J. Randolph Trist to Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge, 23 Mar. 1827; Septimia A. Randolph Meikleham; Thomas Jefferson Randolph; Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 14 Apr. 1818. Images courtesy of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., the University of Virginia, and the Library of Congress.

Search Jefferson Quotes
Thomas Jefferson is one of the most frequently quoted (and misquoted) figures in American history. Search this extensive collection of quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson—all fully verified and cited by the editors of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series—and find information about the numerous quotes misattributed to him.

Search Family Letters
A rich archive of letters and related documents to, between, and about Thomas Jefferson’s children, grandchildren, and extended family members (but not including letters to or by Jefferson). The collection illuminates aspects of Jefferson’s life seldom touched on in his own writings, and provides vivid accounts of domestic, economic, political, and social life in nineteenth-century Virginia and America. The majority of these letters have never been published before and will not be included in the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series. Documents related to “Early life at the University of Virginia,” the “Death of Thomas Jefferson,” “Jefferson’s Family and the Civil War,” and “Reminiscences of Life at Monticello” are contained in the archive.

See Founders Online for Jefferson’s writings.

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 20 Dec. 1787 [Quote]
I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural ...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 12 June 1823 [Quote]
on every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, & instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text ...

Cornelia J. Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist), 17–19 Aug. 1817
We are return’d from the natural bridge more anxious to see it again than we were at first, because in the first place it far surpass’d our expectations, & in the second we saw it under many disadvantages ...

Ellen W. Randolph (Coolidge) to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist), 31 Aug. [1819]
I was very much distressed at hearing of poor Critty’s death, for independant of the shock to Burwell, I cannot forget that she was my nurse for a good many years, and whether she discharged the duties of her office properly or not ...

Mary Buchanan Randolph’s Account of Union Forces in Charlottesville and at Edgehill, [after 3 Mar. 1865]
Papa sent a dispatch to Cobham to day to be sent to Tom to give you news of our safety and losses. I will write to you to day to give you an account of these last five frightful days beginning with Friday when we heard the Yankee cavalry was really in Charlottesville ...

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