Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826)

3 boxes (1 partial)

This collection is stored at Firestone Library.

Requests will be delivered to Manuscripts Division, RBSC Reading Room .

Collection Creator: De Coppet, Andre, 1892-1953..

Dates: 1776-1826.

Extent: 3 boxes (1 partial)

Languages: English.

Access Restrictions

Researchers are required to use surrogates.


Thomas Jefferson was an extremely influential American statesman who served as the first U.S. secretary of state (1789-1793), the second vice president (1797-1801, under John Adams), and the third president (1801–1809). This series largely consists of letters written by Jefferson, the contents of which provide a veritable who's who of American Revolutionary leaders. Topics range from subjects of personal interest (e.g. what materials should be used to decorate Monticello, his Virginia estate) to matters of national and international importance. Not one to mince words, Jefferson strongly states his opinions on political rivalries, government policies, and international relations, often touching on multiple issues within single letters. The letters also provide a glimpse of his scientific and inventive pursuits including a diagram for an improved water wheel and his establishment of a nail manufactory (see letters to Zane and Remsen respectively).

The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950-2007), an extensive project to publish all of Jefferson's writings, is currently underway at Princeton University. At the time of this writing, 34 volumes have been published covering Jefferson's life up to July 1801; these volumes were consulted during the preparation of this finding aid. Letters in this collection that are published contain a bracketed notation citing volume and page numbers. RC indicates the item is the original recipient's copy. A separately numbered retirement series ( The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series) was also consulted. At the time of this writing, four volumes have been published. Letters published in this series contain an additional Retirement Series notation. Miscellaneous documents written by or about Jefferson are included at the end of the collection.

Patrons will be given access to surrogate, photoduplicated copies of the Jefferson materials.

Preferred Citation

Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826); 1776-1826; Andre De Coppet Collection, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

    Title Date Container
    Correspondence 1776 July 8-1826 March Explore Multiple Containers
    Documents 1776-1824 May 18 Explore Multiple Containers