A Project of the Claremont Institute

Search the Site


Thomas Jefferson

Print This


A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. 

~Thomas Jefferson 

Notes on the State of Virginia

A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1774

Rough Draft of the Declaration of Independence, 1776

Letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785 (On the mind and exercise and education)

Letter to James Madison, October 28, 1785

A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, January 19, 1786

Letter to James Madison, July 31, 1788 (On religious liberty)

Letter to James Madison, August 28, 1789 (On the liberty to write, speak, and publish and its limits)

Letter to Benjamin Banneker, August 30, 1791

First Inaugural Address, March 4,1801 (Government must be reasonable to be rightful)

Reply to the Danbury Baptist Association, January 1, 1802

Letter to Rev. Samuel Miller, January 23, 1808 (On religious freedom)

Letter to Henri Gregoire, February 25, 1809 (On race, superiority, and equal rights)

Letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816 (On political economy)

Letter to John Adams, October 14, 1816 (On the works of Tracy and the moral sense/constitution inherent in man)

Letter to Spencer Roane, September 6, 1819 (Men are not free from the moral law)

Letter to John Holmes, April 22, 1820 (On slavery)

Letter to Judge William Johnson, June 12, 1823 (Man is a rational animal)

Letter to John Cartwright, June 5, 1824 (On unalienable rights and their immutability)

List of Sources of the Principles of American Government, March 4, 1825

Letter to Henry Lee, May 8, 1825 (On the harmonizing sentiments behind the Declaration and Revolution)

Letter to Dr. James Mease, September 26, 1825 (Declaration as the expression of the soul of the country)

Letter to Roger Weightman, June 24, 1826 (Men are free and equal. None are born to be booted and spurred)