Thomas Jefferson

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Portrait painting of Thomas Jefferson, painted in 1800 by Rembrandt Peale
Thomas Jefferson ( Rembrandt Peale , 1800)
Thomas Jefferson's signature

Thomas Jefferson (born April 2 July / April 13,  1743 greg. In Shadwell near Charlottesville , Colony Virginia ; † July 4, 1826 in Monticello near Charlottesville, Virginia ) was one of the founding fathers of the United States , from 1801 to 1809 the third American President and principal author of the Declaration of Independence and one of the most influential political theorists in the United States. From 1797 to 1801 he was also the second American vice president .

Jefferson was a founding member of the Democratic Republican Party of the United States. His tenure as president included the purchase of Louisiana , the Lewis and Clark expedition and a failed trade embargo against Great Britain and France .

He is known as the "Father of the University of Virginia, " and his private library was the foundation for the rebuilding of the Library of Congress after the 1812 war . His thoughts and actions were determined by the principles of the Enlightenment . He campaigned for a separation of religion and state , for great individual freedom and for a strong federal structure in the United States. Jefferson had an ambivalent relationship to slavery : he owned slaves himself, but also spoke out against the institution several times.

In addition, Jefferson emerged as an architect. Well-known buildings are his residence, Monticello, and the University of Virginia, both of which have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1987 .


Jefferson's eldest daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph

Family and upbringing

Thomas Jefferson was born in Virginia to a wealthy, long-established family. His father was the planter Peter Jefferson (1708–1757), his mother Jane Randolph Jefferson (1720–1776) came from the influential family of the Randolphs (see, among others, Peyton Randolph ). The Augsburg Anabaptist martyr Eitelhans Langenmantel (1480–1528) was one of her ancestors . Thomas Jefferson's father's ancestors were originally from Wales .

Jefferson had nine siblings, two of whom were born dead. He had a good relationship with his father and was proud of him. At first he was taught by private tutors and attended private schools. In 1760 he moved to the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg , which he graduated in 1762. He then studied law with the well-known lawyer and politician George Wythe . From 1767 he practiced as a lawyer himself. In 1772 he married Martha Wayles Skelton (1748–1782). They had six children, four of whom died early and Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836) and Mary "Polly" Jefferson Eppes (1778-1804) two reached adulthood.

His wife died in 1782 after ten years of marriage at the age of 33; at her request, Jefferson no longer married because of her children, as she had had bad experiences with her own stepmothers. After the death of his wife, he raised the children while he was ambassador in Paris . In particular after the death of his younger daughter Mary at the age of 25, he had a close relationship with his older daughter Martha, who was considered first lady between 1801 and 1809 , later separated from her husband Thomas Mann Randolph and with her father in Monticello lived and devotedly cared for him in his last years. Historical research and several DNA studies at the end of the 20th century show that Jefferson fathered several children with his house slave Sally Hemings during the long period of his widowhood .

Political career until the end of the War of Independence

The declaration of independence is presented to the Continental Congress. Painting by John Trumbull (around 1816).

In the 1770s, Jefferson built a reputation as a lawyer and politician. He was a member of the House of Burgesses , the second chamber of the Virginia Parliament. In 1774 he published A Summary View of the Rights of the British America . This pamphlet, intended as an instruction to the Virginia delegates to the Continental Congress , made him an influential thought leader among American patriots who opposed certain forms of British taxation.

In 1774 Jefferson was appointed Virginia's envoy to the Continental Congress. There he was a member of the committee that was supposed to draw up the declaration of independence for the colonies. That committee asked Jefferson to draft the first draft of the statement. Some suggestions for improving this draft came from John Adams and Benjamin Franklin , and some changes were made by Congress itself. Even so, Jefferson is the main author of the statement.

In late 1776 Jefferson returned to Virginia, where he was re-elected to the town house. As a member of parliament, he worked towards a large-scale reform of the Virginia legal system. In three years he drafted 126 bills and campaigned, among other things, for the abolition of the Primogenitur , for religious freedom and for a reform of criminal law and the education system. He was supported by, among others, George Wythe , James Madison and George Mason .

In 1779 he was elected governor of Virginia . His tenure from 1779 to 1781 was marked by the effects of the War of Independence . The British invaded the state twice and briefly occupied the future capital of Richmond . A parliamentary commission of inquiry acquitted him of the charge of not having done enough for the security of the city.

Jefferson during his time as ambassador to France (on a visit to London , Mather Brown , 1786)

After that he retired from politics to his Monticello estate. His wife died there on September 6, 1782 giving birth to their sixth child, Lucy Elisabeth. In 1784 he opened an Indian burial mound in Virginia and carried out the first systematic archaeological excavation , which he described in detail in the 11th chapter of his "Notes on the State of Virginia".

Ambassador and Foreign Minister

Jefferson spent the years 1785 to 1789 as ambassador in Paris . Because of this, he was not directly involved in the discussion of the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers . On the whole, he liked the constitution drawn up by the Philadelphia Convention (especially the system of checks and balances ). However, he missed a Bill of Rights to protect the individual. He also criticized the fact that the number of terms of office of a president was not subject to any restrictions. In Paris, Jefferson fell in love with the married painter Maria Cosway in August 1786 . A relationship never came about, but the two had a lifelong pen friendship. In 1787 Jefferson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .

The diplomat used his stay in Europe to travel through southern France and northern Italy , where he studied architecture very carefully, as well as to the Atlantic coast and through today's Belgium, the Netherlands and parts of Germany, where he was very much in favor of the political system of the Holy Roman Rich interested.

Jefferson was sympathetic to the French Revolution . He supported the revolutionaries as much as his diplomatic status allowed. Among other things, he helped draft the declaration of human and civil rights . At the end of September 1789 he left Paris and traveled back to the USA.

Upon his return, Jefferson was named Secretary of State of the United States by George Washington in March 1790 . Until then, John Jay had officiated for him.

Alexander Hamilton, Treasury Secretary who argued with Secretary of State Jefferson over a central bank

In this capacity he was one of Washington’s most important advisors , along with Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton . Over time, however, there were conflicts between Hamilton and Jefferson. For example, while Hamilton advocated the establishment of a national central bank, Jefferson believed that the constitution did not give the government the authority to do so. The New Yorker Hamilton also wanted above all to promote and protect industry. The main focus of the Virginian Jefferson was agriculture. In addition, the two politicians fell out on foreign policy: Jefferson was more pro-French, Hamilton advocated closer ties to Great Britain.

The political disputes between the two men ultimately led to the formation of the first parties in the USA: the Republican Party (later called the Democratic Republican Party ) was formed around Jefferson and his confidants (including James Madison and James Monroe ), and the was formed around Hamilton Federalist Party . The conflicts between the two factions continued despite attempts by the president to mediate. Jefferson finally withdrew from politics disappointed in 1793 and devoted himself to the expansion of Monticello.

Vice Presidency

But this turning away from politics did not last. Three years later, the Republicans made him their candidate for the presidency. In contrast to the current procedure, the president and vice-president were not yet elected in separate votes by the electors, even if each elector had one vote for these offices. Instead, the candidate with the most electoral votes became President, and the candidate with the second most votes became Vice-President. So it could happen that two candidates from different parties were elected.

This is exactly what happened in 1796: John Adams , the previous Vice-President and candidate for the Federalists, received the most electoral votes (71) and was elected President. His candidate for the office of vice president, Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina, however, received only 59 votes, nine fewer than Jefferson, who became vice president. Aaron Burr , Jefferson's candidate for the vice presidency, finished fourth with 30 votes.

As Vice President, Jefferson's primary responsibility was to preside over the Senate meetings . During this time he wrote a manual of Senate rules and procedures, A Manual of Parliamentary Practice (known as Jefferson's Manual ).

John Adams, Jefferson's opponent in the 1796 and 1800 presidential elections

During Adams's tenure as president, relations between the United States and France deteriorated and in 1798 what was known as the quasi-war broke out . With this in mind, Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts . Among other things, they allowed the president to deport or detain foreigners who came from hostile states or who were considered dangerous. In addition, the publication of "false, shameful and malicious" letters against the government and its officials has been declared a criminal act.

The Republicans saw these laws, promoted primarily by the federalists, as an attack on freedom. For Jefferson, for example, they violated the First Amendment , which guaranteed free speech and press. He and James Madison therefore drafted two resolutions for the parliaments of Virginia and Kentucky in 1798 , the so-called Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions . In the decisions of the Kentucky Parliament drafted by Jefferson, the union was referred to as a "pact" between states and central authorities. As in the dispute with Hamilton over the central bank, Jefferson argued that the federal government only had jurisdiction where it was clearly granted by the constitution. Should he also claim this competence in other areas, these resolutions would be invalid. However, Kentucky remained the only state to pass the Jefferson-written resolutions. Virginia adopted a somewhat milder version written by James Madison. This was also not signed by any other state in the USA. Two years later, elections for the office of president were due again. The Republican candidates were the same as four years earlier, Jefferson and Burr, while the Federalists ran with Adams and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney .


The 1800 election

The 1800 election campaign was one of the most aggressive in United States history. The Republicans, bitter over Adams' policies (especially the Alien and Sedition Acts ), accused the federalists of monarchic tendencies. From the perspective of the federalists, on the other hand, the Republicans' policies were too radical. The incumbent President Adams was, however, not without controversy in his own ranks, as he was considered too moderate. Alexander Hamilton, for example, tried to convince the Federalists to surrender Adams in favor of Pinckney and published a letter criticizing Adams.

Results of the 1800 presidential election
Aaron Burr, Jefferson's first term vice president

The Republicans profited from this disagreement among the federalists and won the election by vote. Because of the peculiarities of the electoral process at the time , both Jefferson and his Vice President-elect, New York's Aaron Burr , each had 73 votes in the electoral college. Now, according to the constitution , it fell to the House of Representatives to decide this stalemate. The federalists, however, had a blocking minority and voted Burr to prevent Jefferson's election as president. There were several ballots, and each time Jefferson narrowly missed the required majority. Eventually, some federalists found a way to end the deadlock and save face at the same time: they stayed away from the next vote, the 36th overall, which gave Jefferson the required majority and was elected president. Jefferson mistrusted his Vice President Burr since this election at the latest, as he suspected that Burr had planned to switch to the federalists during the election and to be elected president with their votes. The relationship between the two deteriorated noticeably during their tenure; after four years, Burr had become so estranged from the Republican Party that he was not nominated again for election in 1804.

In the light of the election of 1800, the election procedure for the presidential election was changed by the 12th Amendment to the Constitution . Since then, the electoral college has voted separately for the president and the vice-president. With the election of 1800, the Democratic Republican Party appointed the president for the first time and would continue to do so for the next quarter of a century. The election is therefore also known as the "Revolution of 1800".

First term of office

The French colony Louisiana (green) acquired by the USA in the Louisiana Purchase

A major event in Jefferson's tenure as president was the purchase of the French colony of Louisiana . Jefferson sent Robert R. Livingston to France in 1801 to negotiate a purchase of the city of New Orleans , but this was rejected in Paris. Jefferson also sent James Monroe to Paris to assist Livingston . But even before his arrival, Napoleon and his foreign minister Talleyrand had offered the Americans another, much more far-reaching deal: They were ready to sell not just New Orleans but the entire colony of Louisiana . With this purchase, the United States would have practically doubled its territory, and it did so at a cost of $ 15 million, which was about $ 7 per square kilometer.

Jefferson and his Secretary of State James Madison were initially unsure whether the Constitution gave them the right to buy land. Jefferson even drafted a necessary constitutional amendment. He finally decided to accept the offer without adding to the constitution. The contract was signed on April 30, 1803. The Senate ratified it on October 20th.

To explore the new area, Jefferson sent his former private secretary Meriwether Lewis and the officer William Clark on an expedition that was to lead them across America to the Pacific. Lewis and Clark were supposed to find a waterway to the Pacific and explore the geology and wildlife of the newly created territory. They should also build friendly relationships with the Indian tribes. Thanks to the expedition lasting several years, which lasted from May 1804 to September 1806, the USA gained extensive knowledge of the geography, flora and fauna of the area they had acquired. Lewis and Clark discovered several hundred previously unknown animal and plant species and brought numerous samples of them east.

Another foreign policy event during Jefferson's first term in office was the American-Tripolitan War in the Mediterranean against the barbarian states . The barbarians controlled the Mediterranean with their ships and took tribute from foreign merchant ships. As a British colony, the American ships were protected from such threats by the Royal Navy , but after independence there were more attacks on American ships and ransom and tribute demands. In 1801 the Pasha of Tripoli demanded $ 225,000 from the American government, but Jefferson refused. Then it came to war between the United States and Tripoli and its allies. After several skirmishes in the Mediterranean, the two sides reached an agreement in 1805, and the United States paid Tripoli $ 60,000. In return, 100 Tripolitans were exchanged for 300 American prisoners.

Jefferson Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin

Domestically, it was Jefferson's declared goal to reduce the debts of the young republic. In fact, his Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin was successful here: Gallatin was in office until 1814 (five years longer than Jefferson) and reduced the debt from $ 80 million to $ 45 million during this time.

Jefferson suffered a domestic political defeat in the fight against the federalist-dominated jurisdiction. On February 13, 1801, shortly before Jefferson's election, Congress, which was then still dominated by federalists, passed a new Judiciary Act of 1801 . The Judiciary Act created a number of new federal courts to be controlled by the federalists. Shortly before Jefferson's inauguration on March 2, 1801, Adams had appointed 42 federalists to serve in those courts. However, Adams 'Secretary of State John Marshall (himself shortly before his inauguration as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court ) was unable to deliver all of the appointments by the end of Adams' term. Jefferson therefore considered these appointments null and void. William Marbury, one of the judges concerned, then appealed to the Supreme Court and tried to force Jefferson's Secretary of State, James Madison, to give him the certificate. In the resulting decision of Marbury v. Madison , the Supreme Court declared itself inconsistent. Before making this determination, Chief Justice John Marshall managed in his statement to accuse Jefferson's government of breaching the law for failing to deliver the deed. Although he could not ensure that Marbury received his charter, he strengthened the position of the Supreme Court with his ruling by establishing the primacy of constitutional jurisdiction. Republicans feared that the Federalists controlled courts would make Jefferson and his government in the way, and tried several judges through impeachment to relieve their offices. However, they only succeeded in doing this in the case of John Pickering .

Re-election in 1804 and second term of office

James Madison, Jefferson's companion and successor as President

For the presidential election in 1804 , Jefferson stood with his new Vice President George Clinton . Aaron Burr was forced to resign after he fatally wounded Alexander Hamilton in a duel and was subsequently charged with murder in two states.

The federalist candidates were Charles C. Pinckney and New York Senator Rufus King . Jefferson and Clinton won the election by an overwhelming majority; both got 162 electoral votes, their opponents only 14 each.

Jefferson's second term, however, proved to be more difficult than the first. An opposition to him and his policies developed around John Randolph within the Democratic Republican Party. In the eyes of Randolph and his partisans, who called themselves "Tertium Quid," Jefferson's policies had increasingly drawn closer to the position of the federalists. For example, the Tertium Quids criticized the purchase of Louisiana because the Constitution did not give Congress the power to buy land. For the same reason, they opposed an attempt by Jefferson to buy parts of Florida from the Spanish .

Another domestic political problem for Jefferson was his former Vice President Aaron Burr . After the duel with Hamilton and his forced retirement from politics, Burr made a name for himself with his activities in the west of the country. Rumors soon reached Washington that he was planning a conspiracy and wanted to build his own empire in the southwestern United States, which would include some US states and territory to be conquered by the Spaniards. After he was arrested in February 1807, Jefferson had him tried in federal court on charges of treason. However, Burr was not found guilty.

In terms of foreign policy, Jefferson pursued a strict course of non-interference in European wars. For this reason, and with the intention of dissuading Great Britain from attacks on American ships, Jefferson initiated the Embargo Act in 1807 , which should prevent the export of American goods to Europe. However, the law did not have the intended effect. Many American seafarers lost their jobs, New England was in turmoil due to the economic problems resulting from the embargo, but neither Britain nor France changed their policy towards the United States. The law was finally repealed in 1809. The British encroachments on American trade three years later would lead to the War of 1812 . At the end of his second term, Jefferson finally declared that he would not run for a third in the 1808 presidential election . After James Madison had replaced him on March 4, 1809, he retired to Monticello.

Thomas Jefferson is one of the seven US presidents who never made use of their veto power during their tenure . He signed all the bills that were sent to him.


The polygraph used by Thomas Jefferson - an early "copier"

Back in Monticello with his family, Jefferson took care of the expansion of his home over the next few years, which was built around 1769 according to his plans. Andrea Palladio's Villa La Rotonda and the Pantheon in Rome served as a template for Monticello .

Jefferson also maintained extensive correspondence with many important figures of his time. To make writing letters easier for himself, he had acquired a forerunner of the copier, the Jefferson polygraph invented by John Isaac Hawkins , which could be used to make a copy while writing a letter. Jefferson described the device in a letter as "the choicest invention of this age" and later wrote that he could no longer live without the polygraph.

By the end of the 18th century, Jefferson had a close friendship with John Adams and his wife Abigail , who had later suffered under the political events of the time. Now that they were both retired, they resumed their correspondence.

Another "major project" of Jefferson, to which he attached great importance, was the establishment of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville . He had already had the idea of ​​founding a new Virginia university at the state level in the 1770s, and he had expressed this wish many times afterwards. After the end of his presidency he devoted himself intensively to this topic. At the instigation of Jefferson and his supportive politician Joseph C. Cabell, the Virginia Parliament decided to establish another state university. A commission was convened to build the new college, and Jefferson became its chairman in 1818. In this role he had a great influence on both the external and internal structure of the new university. He was not only able to assert himself in the choice of the location, the appointment of numerous professors and the scope of the range of subjects, but also designed the plans for the university building - with suggestions primarily from Benjamin Latrobe. The new university ultimately corresponded to his ideas both architecturally and ideologically. It was shaped by his desire to separate church and state. Unlike other universities at the time, its focus was not a church, but a library. The university also offered its students a great deal of freedom and variety in the choice of their subjects.

His map collection , the Thomas Jefferson Collection , was acquired by the Library of Congress in 1815 , where it was partially destroyed in a fire in 1851.

Last years

Thomas Jefferson about 1821 ( Gilbert Stuart )

Towards the end of his life Jefferson was plagued by financial problems. At times the value of his property (converted to today's standards) was $ 212 million; but he had always lived as a generous Virginia gentleman and invested huge sums in the construction and expansion of Monticello. Bailing out a friend led to even more debt, so that he eventually had to sell a large part of his property and accept the certainty that his heirs would not be able to hold Monticello either.

But he was also very concerned about American politics. Above all, the Missouri Compromise of 1820 woke him "like the fire bell in the night," he wrote in April 1820 to John Holmes. In his view, the constitution did not allow the central government to prevent the spread of slavery . The letter continues: “I regret to die now believing that the futile self-sacrifice of the generation of 1776 in order to gain self-government and happiness for their country should be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons. "

Finally, there were health problems and Jefferson had to cancel an invitation from Roger Weightman to attend a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. In his reply to Weightman, however, he addressed the American people one last time. The general dissemination of the “light of science”, he wrote, had already made the obvious truth evident to everyone, “that the broad masses of humanity were not born with saddles on their backs, nor a few booted and spurred on, ready, lawful, by the grace of God to ride them. ”A little over a week later, Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence he had authored. On the same day, his predecessor in the office of President, political opponent and longtime friend John Adams died .

Beliefs and beliefs


Jefferson on the 5 cent coin

Jefferson's beliefs were in the tradition of the Enlightenment . He once described John Locke , Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton as "the three greatest men the world has ever made." His ideal of America was that of a nation of free, independent farmers. He was of the opinion that every family in the country is "a manufacturer of its own" and is able to manufacture all "coarser and medium-sized materials for their own clothing and household needs." He advocated that every American could buy a piece of land. Jefferson was also a free trade advocate . As an envoy in Europe, he had concluded a trade agreement with Prussia . His commitment to agriculture and free trade was also one of the main reasons for his argument with Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton wanted to protect the domestic economy and industry from European imports through tariffs if necessary. Here the relationship between these two men, the Virginian Jefferson and the New Yorker Hamilton, shows the later core discrepancy between the agricultural south and the industrial north. This split between north and south deepened in the following years more and more and finally found in the American Civil War at its peak.

In addition, as an enlightened politician, Jefferson was a champion for democracy and human rights , as shown, for example, by the famous formulation of "self-evident truths" in the Declaration of Independence. Even during his time as a diplomat in France, at the beginning of the French Revolution, he was a strong advocate for human rights and helped draft the declaration of human and civil rights . In his inauguration speech he also stated: "Sometimes it is said that you cannot trust a person with violence over yourself - can you then trust him with violence over others?"

As for the United States, Jefferson was in favor of narrow interpretations of the Constitution and an avid advocate of state rights. In the Kentucky Resolutions , he argued that the United States was a federation of individual states with a central power. In his view, the latter only had powers where the constitution clearly assigned them: "Whenever the central government assumes powers that have not been transferred to it, its laws are non-binding, invalid and ineffective". Jefferson also spoke out in favor of nullification : "Where powers [of central government] are exercised that have not been delegated, nullification is the lawful remedy." In his opinion, the individual states, not the central authority, should have the final say in constitutional conflicts. In the dispute over the constitutional interpretation, Jefferson, according to David Sehat, converted the originally rather consolidating stance of the constitution of 1787 into the "Principles of 1798" which emphasized the rights of the individual states. These, too, were often interpreted in different ways after his death.

Caricature on Jefferson's trade embargo , on the left in the background Napoléon who wants to crown Jefferson king ( Isaac Cruikshank , 1808)

Jefferson's strict interpretation of the Constitution and his advocacy of state rights were the primary reasons he opposed the establishment of the Central Bank and the Alien and Sedition Acts . It turned out, however, that Jefferson interpreted the constitution as president less restrictively than he did as an oppositionist. For example, he made the purchase of Louisiana, even though the constitution nowhere gave the federal government the authority to purchase land. A similar example is the trade embargo towards the end of his presidency. During his presidency, Jefferson used some methods (deployment of the army and navy inside, confiscation of goods without search warrants) that he had accused the British king 40 years earlier and that violated the Bill of Rights . This gap between realpolitik and ideals is one reason why Jefferson was later worshiped or hated for many years, also by opposing political groups, depending on the political situation.

Attitude to slavery

Like many other southern landowners of his day, Jefferson owned numerous slaves. From today's perspective, his ambivalent attitude towards the institution of slavery can hardly be reconciled with his convictions of freedom and equality. There is a great contradiction between his natural legal conceptions of the right of every individual to life, freedom and happiness and the fact that he withheld these rights from his own slaves. This discrepancy between socio-political convictions and actual action was by no means unusual in Jefferson's time. Much of the founding fathers of the United States kept slaves, including Benjamin Franklin , James Madison, and George Washington . At that time, colored people were seen by many as members of inferior races , and therefore not as full-fledged people.

Jefferson himself was well aware of this contradiction. He is well-known when he said that sticking to slavery is the same as holding a wolf by the ears: you want to let go, but you can't for fear of being eaten. In 1769, still in the House of Burgesses , Jefferson had unsuccessfully encouraged the emancipation of blacks in Virginia. But he himself only released a few of his slaves into freedom. His personal dichotomy is particularly striking in his book Notes on the State of Virginia , in which he attacks slavery as an institution on the one hand , but also argues that blacks are inferior to whites on the other. Jefferson wrote a paragraph for the Declaration of Independence condemning the British king for transporting the slaves. However, the Continental Congress deleted this slavery condemnation point from the document, as it was supposed to win the approval of the citizens of the slave-holding colonies. His attitude to slavery became particularly explosive due to the Sally Hemings controversy . Sally Hemings was a slave to Jefferson's wife Martha Wayles Jefferson and maybe even her half-sister. As early as 1802, the political pamphleteer James T. Callender claimed that Jefferson had a relationship with her and was the father of her children. This discussion has been heated for many years. Today, based on DNA analyzes, the majority of the opinion is that Jefferson was actually the father of Heming's children.

Attitude to the Indians

The western expansion of the United States reached its first climax with the purchase of Louisiana. Inevitably, the United States came into conflict with the Indians who lived there. Jefferson had shown enormous interest and sometimes admiration for their culture early on. For example, he described a speech given by the Indian chief Logan as being on a par with the speeches of Cicero and Demosthenes , and since 1780 he has been collecting Indian vocabulary lists. Like many contemporaries, he considered the North American Indians to be “savages” because of their partially nomadic way of life, and in letters to them he referred to them as “my children”.

Unlike many people of his time, however, he was of the opinion that the Indians were physically and mentally equal to the white man. In numerous letters he urged the Indians to give up their previous way of life and to approach the civilization of the white man. Otherwise, he feared, they would disappear from the earth. As president, he tried to accelerate this development through peace treaties and trade agreements. To facilitate the integration of the Indians into white society, Jefferson even gave up his strict secularism and sent Christian missionaries to the west. Jefferson's policy of assimilation, which George Washington had previously pursued, failed because of the masses of white settlers who were moving west and displacing the Indians.

Attitude to religion

Jefferson's attitude to religion was less ambiguous. He vehemently advocated a separation of church and state and for religious freedom. In a letter he expressed his conviction that a person is not "accountable to anyone for his faith or worship, that the legislative power of government extends only to actions, not to opinions". Jefferson was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (written 1777, passed 1786), which guaranteed freedom of religion in Virginia. When establishing the university, too, he strictly observed the separation of education and church.

He himself was a member of the Episcopal Church when he died, but had also made positive comments about the Unitarians . He also tried to create a new version of the New Testament in which, for example, he refrained from telling miracle stories . This book was not published until after his death and has since been known as the Jefferson Bible .


Jefferson was well educated in both the natural sciences and the humanities . He had been a member of the American Philosophical Society since 1780 , of which he was president from 1797 to 1815. He is also considered a pioneer of American archeology , as he examined Indian graves in the vicinity of Monticello for their age. For the first time, he used a method that can be seen as a forerunner of dendrochronology : He counted the annual rings of the trees on the burial mounds. To elevate him to the spiritual ancestor of archeology has been criticized because he was less interested in understanding indigenous culture than in its destruction. His interest in biology was particularly pronounced. So he instructed his private secretary Meriwether Lewis before his expedition to the Pacific Ocean to direct his attention to the fauna and flora, climate, landscape and volcanic activities of the territory he was to travel through. As early as 1822, a prehistoric ground sloth was named after him ( Megalonyx jeffersoni ), the fossil remains of which he first described in 1799.

Due to his architectural achievements - in addition to Monticello and the University of Virginia, he was instrumental in the Virginia Capitol in Richmond - he is also referred to as the "father (optionally also as godfather) of American architecture".

A Jefferson reel for the encryption and decryption of messages

Thomas Jefferson also excelled as an inventor and invented, among other things, a kind of movable wardrobe for his clothes. He also developed a cipher , the "Wheel Cypher", which later became known as the " Jefferson cylinder ". This invention is considered to be an outstanding achievement in the field of cryptology . Jefferson himself never used his device, but later it was used frequently, a slightly modified version was still in use by the American armed forces during the Second World War .

Jefferson also tried to grow wine in Monticello after his return from France. Already during his time as ambassador to France he dealt with European viticulture. So he described and structured several vineyards in the Rheingau during a trip in 1788 - he was already buying vines for his planned project here. As a wine lover, he had acquired numerous wine containers of the finest wines from the Bordelais during this time . He should name them with his initials “Th. J. ”and then shipped them to the USA. Nowadays such bottles are very popular with collectors, but in recent times they have also been the subject of legal disputes due to suspicion of counterfeiting .

His thirst for knowledge manifested itself in his library of more than 6,500 volumes. When the Library of Congress fell victim to the Washington fire in August 1814 during the war of 1812 , Jefferson offered his private library, which contained around 3,500 volumes more than the original Library of Congress, for sale to Congress, which it finally accepted. The proceeds from the sale at least temporarily improved Jefferson's precarious economic situation.


Jefferson (second from left) on Mount Rushmore

Jefferson, often considered controversial during his lifetime, was also viewed in different ways after his death. According to David Sehat , it was Thomas Jefferson who, in the controversy over the interpretation of the constitution, introduced the motive that still exists today in American politics, namely to invoke the will of the founding fathers . He often used the words "the true principles of the revolution" in his speeches and accused his opponents of heresy and unfaithfulness to these ideals. This behavior also showed his pattern of escalating normal content differences to a dispute over principles and demonizing his counterpart. Until Jefferson, these methods had not existed among the original allies of the republic, according to Sehat.

In addition, Jefferson and its principles became a political term and legacy in themselves. In particular, the Democratic Party led by Andrew Jackson made him their idol in the 1820s and 1830s. But Jefferson later also became a figure of identification for Jackson opponents. So it came about that in the course of the 1830s, both Democrats and Whigs laid claim to Jefferson's legacy and accused the other party of violating the old principles .

Jefferson was omnipresent in the discussion of state rights. Already in 1832/33 in the course of the nullification crisis he had been elevated to a symbolic figure from several sides. The advocates of the nullification doctrine tried to justify it on the basis of Jefferson's advocacy for state rights. The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 were of particular importance . There, so the argumentation of the nullifiers, Jefferson himself recommended nullification. Resistance to this interpretation of the resolutions came among others from Jefferson's close confidante James Madison , who criticized the nullification movement. That doctrine, according to Madison, gives seven out of 24 states the power to decide the law and constitution of the other 17. Even if Jefferson himself had upheld the will of the majority (for example in his first inaugural speech as President, in which he also emphasized the protection of minorities' rights), he became a symbolic figure for, especially in the south, during the nullification crisis state rights and for nullification. This interpretation continued in the southern states as the state rights debate became increasingly linked to the issue of slavery. While abolitionists referred to the Declaration of Independence and other Jeffersonian writings condemning slavery, advocates of slavery continued to emphasize Jefferson's advocacy for state rights.

When the new Republican Party was formed in the mid-1850s , it referred to Jefferson both programmatically and by name ("Republican"). Horace Greeley's New York Tribune wrote in 1860: "The Jefferson doctrines, the teachings of his example [...] are much more cited and applauded in Republican than in Democratic meetings." Republicans identified themselves primarily with Jefferson's published condemnation of slavery. Resistance to the Dred Scott ruling of March 1856, which strengthened the rights of slave owners, and the slave flight law showed parallels to Jefferson's positions on the rights of the individual states and the powers of the judiciary. At the same time, however, the Democrats continued to refer to Jefferson.

A change occurred with the outbreak of the Civil War . The southerners and their supporters in the north, such as B. Clement Vallandigham, saw themselves not as revolutionaries, but as keepers of the old, federal republic. The Copperhead Vallandigham declared in 1861: "I want nothing more than the restoration of the Union - the Federal Union - as it was 40 years ago." Other southerners referred to Jefferson's "Principles of 1798" to support their right of secession. In return, a mood against Jefferson's political ideas grew in the north. Andrew Dixon White wrote:

“Perhaps no other doctrine has ever cost any other country as dearly as Jefferson's favorite theory of state rights cost the United States: nearly a million lives lost on battlefields, prisons, and hospitals; poured nearly ten thousand million dollars into the Gulf of Hate. "

After the war during the national consolidation, more and more Republicans turned to the previously almost forgotten Alexander Hamilton, whose ideas and political convictions were now regaining importance and seemed more contemporary.

Statue in the Jefferson Memorial
The Jefferson Memorial in Washington

Hamilton's former opponent Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, not only seemed politically outdated, his ideal of an agricultural America also seemed out of date in a time of industrial growth. A rethink began at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. People began to be more interested in the private citizen Jefferson and appreciated his commitment to public education. The Democratic Party began to refer to him again, and Democratic clubs sprang up across the country that held up the image of Jefferson and sometimes made regular pilgrimages to Monticello. When discussing the Spanish-American War , opponents and proponents of expansion argued, among other things, with Jeffersonian arguments: The anti-imperialists referred to his ideal of independence and self-determination, while the expansionists referred to the purchase of Louisiana, which formed the cornerstone of American expansion .

Led by Woodrow Wilson , the Democrats attempted a reinterpretation of Jefferson in the first decade of the 20th century, using more modern methods to implement Jeffersonian ideals. This reinterpretation only became a reality with Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency and the New Deal . Although the methods of Roosevelt's program suggested Hamilton rather than Jefferson, many Democrats saw in Roosevelt a "new Jefferson" with a new, modern version of the old Jeffersonian democracy. At the same time, however, Roosevelt's conservative opponents also tried to relate politically to Jefferson. The "Principles of 1798" and Jefferson's strict interpretation of the Constitution once again gained particular importance. However, the democratic interpretation prevailed. After Roosevelt's reforms, Jefferson was no longer seen as an advisor to political reality, but rather as a great Democrat and thought leader of a free America. The Jefferson biographer Merrill Peterson therefore saw the end of Jefferson's political tradition in the New Deal:

"After the Roosevelt Revolution, serious men stopped longing for the agrarian utopia, politicians (and most historians too) put the Jefferson-Hamilton dialogue aside, and almost no one continued to advocate the assumption that American government [... ] should be carried out according to the Jeffersonian model [...] Paradoxically, the eventual disintegration of Jeffersonian philosophy of government ushered in the eventual canonization of Jefferson. "

The Democrat Jefferson was also seen as a counter-image to the totalitarian systems in Europe. During this period of great popularity, his image on Mount Rushmore was carved in stone and minted on the five-cent coin . His image can also be seen on the two- dollar bill . In 1943, the Jefferson Memorial was inaugurated in Washington, DC .

Jefferson's tomb

Despite this great affection and admiration, Jefferson was viewed critically even in later years. In the wake of the black civil rights movement , Jefferson's attitude to slavery and his relationship with Sally Hemings received special attention.

Despite all the criticism, Jefferson continues to play an important role in the way Americans see themselves. In 1962, John F. Kennedy welcomed the Nobel Prize winners of the Western Hemisphere at a dinner in the White House with the words “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone ". ( I believe this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and human knowledge that has ever gathered in the White House - apart from, perhaps, Thomas Jefferson when he ate alone. ) According to Jimmy Carter , he "had the ability to do what." the people around him said to encapsulate and extract from it the highest ideals of the hopes and character of our nation and express it in fluent and inspiring words, "and for Abraham Lincoln the principles of Jefferson were" the axioms of a free society. "

Particularly noteworthy is the declaration of independence that he wrote. Numerous speakers quoted passages from it or made them the subject of their speeches, for example Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg address , Martin Luther King in his I-Have-a-Dream speech or Bill Clinton in his first inaugural speech . Because of this aftermath, many cities were named after him, the most famous of which is Jefferson City , the capital of the state of Missouri .

Jefferson himself wished, according to the epitaph he wrote himself , to be remembered for three main things: author of the American Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Law of Religious Freedom, and father of the University of Virginia.

See also

Work editions

The authoritative edition of Jefferson's works is:

  • Julian P. Boyd (Ed.): The Papers of Thomas Jefferson . Princeton University Press, 1950-.
It was started in 1950 and is designed for around 40 to 50 volumes; so far, 36 volumes have been published that include all of Jefferson's writings up to March 1802. Older work editions are to be used at least for the following years:
  • Paul Leicester Ford (Ed.): The Works of Thomas Jefferson . 12 volumes. GP Putnam's Sons, New York 1904. (the so-called "Federal Edition"; digitized )
  • Andrew A. Lipscomb, Albert Ellery Bergh (Eds.): The Writings of Thomas Jefferson . 20th volumes. Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association of the United States, Washington, DC 1903-04. (the so-called "Memorial Edition"; digitized version )

A common single volume edition of Jefferson's most important writings is:

The German translation has been published:

  • Selection from his writings , translated and edited by Walter Grossmann. Schoenhof, Cambridge 1945
  • Reflections on the State of Virginia , edited and with an introductory essay by Hartmut Wasser. Manesse, Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-7175-8158-9 / ISBN 3-7175-8159-7 .
  • Jefferson's Rhine tour or the economical four-poster bed , trans. and commented by Willi Dittgen. Mercator, Duisburg 1991, ISBN 3-87463-175-3 .



Web links

Commons : Thomas Jefferson  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Thomas Jefferson  - Sources and full texts (English)


  1. When Jefferson was born the Julian calendar was still in effect, and April 2nd is also noted on his tombstone as the date of birth. His birthday is still “celebrated” i. a. on April 13th.
  2. ^ Unesco World Heritage Center: Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville , accessed November 3, 2012
  3. Thomas Jefferson and the vines from Rhein-Main . Magazine USA; Retrieved July 26, 2013
  4. ^ Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind . P. 421.
  5. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 2.
  6. ^ William G. Hyland Jr .: Martha Jefferson: An Intimate Life with Thomas Jefferson. , P. 1
  7. ^ Annette Gordon-Reed: Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy . University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville 1998
  8. To find u. a. on The Avalon Project ( Memento June 13, 2006 on the Internet Archive ); Retrieved July 31, 2007
  9. ^ Noble E. Cuningham: Jefferson vs. Hamilton , pp. 12f.
  10. ^ A b Thomas Jefferson ( October 5, 2010 memento on the Internet Archive ); Retrieved July 31, 2007
  11. Letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787, found on ; Retrieved August 1, 2007
  12. Jerry Holmes (Ed.): Thomas Jefferson: A Chronology of His Thoughts. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham 2002, ISBN 0-7425-2116-8 , p. 315.
  13. RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 64f.
  14. H. Klinke: Thomas Jefferson's travel report from 1788. A source on the history of the city of Karlsruhe . In: Journal for the history of the Upper Rhine 155 (2007), pp. 299-312. Jürgen Overhoff : An emperor for America. To Germany because of the constitution: How the later US President Thomas Jefferson experienced the Old Reich in 1788. Die Zeit , October 31, 2012, No. 45, p. 20, online version
  15. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 78
  16. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 102
  17. ^ US Electoral College 1796.; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  18. Find it among others on ; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  19. A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: US Congressional Documents and Debates, from 1774 to 1875 .; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  20. a b Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions ( May 9, 2008 memento on the Internet Archive ) The Columbia Encyclopedia; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  21. ^ Electoral College 1800.; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  22. The federalists actually had a majority of 56 to 49 votes in the House of Representatives; the electoral procedure, however, stipulated that the MPs should not vote individually, but separately according to state. Eight of the 16 state groups were mostly federal, in seven the Democrats-Republicans had a majority, and the Vermont delegation consisted of one representative from each party. Since an absolute majority of nine states was required for the election of the president, the stalemate arose; see also en-wiki: 6th US Congress
  23. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 132
  24. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 142.
  25. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 148.
  26. RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 159f.
  27. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , pp. 161-64.
  28. RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 166f.
  29. Christof Mauch: The American Presidents CH Beck Munich ISBN 978-3-406-58742-9 p. 23
  30. polygraph .; accessed on January 29, 2016
  31. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 183
  32. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 173
  33. ^ Short History of the University of Virginia ( Memento March 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ); Retrieved August 1, 2007
  34. ^ E [lisabeth] Zeilinger: map collection . In: Ingrid Kretschmer et al. (Ed.): Lexicon on the history of cartography: from the beginnings to the First World War . Vienna 1986, ISBN 3-7005-4562-2 , pp. 385–389, here p. 389 ( Cartography and its peripheral areas , Volume C)
  35. Christian Wernicke: Power and Millions . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , January 27, 2012
  36. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , pp. 187f.
  37. ^ Letter to John Holmes dated April 22, 1820, to be found at ; Retrieved July 31, 2007.
  38. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 186.
  39. ^ Letter to Holmes, p. O.
  40. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 189.
  41. from 24 June 1826 to find letter to Roger Weigtman on ; Retrieved July 31, 2007.
  42. ^ Letter from Jefferson to Benjamin Rush dated January 16, 1811, printed and published. a. in Merrill D. Peterson, Thomas Jefferson: Writings , p. 1236
  43. Jill Lepore: These Truths: A History of the United States of America . CH Beck, 2019, ISBN 978-3-406-73989-7 , pp. 223 .
  44. ^ Avalon Project. ( Memento of May 9, 2006 in the Internet Archive ); Retrieved July 31, 2007
  45. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 78
  46. ^ First Inaugural Address. ( Memento of May 2, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) - The Avalon Project; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  47. a b Kentucky Resolutions , found on ; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  48. ^ A b Jack Balkin: The Jefferson Rule: An Interview with David Sehat , Balkinization, May 19, 2015
  49. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 168
  50. Anthony Iaccarino: The Founding Fathers and Slavery. In: Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved February 10, 2020 . However, Franklin released all of his slaves into freedom in the course of his life
  51. Stephen A. Douglas in a debate in 1858: "The signatories of the Declaration of Independence in no way referred to the Negroes ... or any other inferior and degenerate race when they postulated the equality of human beings", quoted from James McPherson: For Freedom die . Augsburg 2000, p. 173
  52. Jefferson's letter to John Holmes dated April 22, 1820, see ; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  53. ^ The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes . Library of Congress; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  54. ^ Notes on the State of Virginia , Query 14 and Query 18
  55. ^ Howard Zinn: A People's History of the United States . Harper Perennial, 2005, p. 72 ISBN 0-06-083865-5
  56. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 196
  57. ^ Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 6
  58. ^ The West-Western Realities .; Retrieved August 9, 2007
  59. See, for example, Jefferson's letter "to the chiefs of the Ottawas, Chippewas, Powtewatamies, Wyandots, and Senecas von Sandusky" of April 22, 1808; The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh (Ed.), Washington DC, 1907, Volume 16, pp. 428 f. Available online at ; Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  60. Jefferson to the Marquis de Chastellux, quoted on ; Retrieved August 9, 2007
  61. Jefferson's letter "to the chiefs of the Ottawas, Chippewas, Powtewatamies, Wyandots, and Senecas von Sandusky" of April 22, 1808; The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh (Ed.), Washington DC, 1907, Vol. 16, 428-42. Available online at ; Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  62. ^ President Jefferson and the Indian Nations .; Retrieved August 9, 2007
  63. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , pp. 144f.
  64. ^ Reginald Horsman: United States Indian Policies, 1776-1815 . In: Handbook of North American Indians, No. 4. 1988, Smithsonian Institution, Washington
  65. ^ Letter from Jefferson to a Baptist Church, found at ; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  66. ^ Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , p. 302
  67. Among other things, Jefferson wrote in a letter to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse of June 26, 1822: I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its conscience to neither kings or priests, the genuine doctrine of only one God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die an Unitarian . Quoted in: To Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse Monticello, June 26, 1822. In: American History. From Revolution to Reconstruction and beyond. Reich University of Groningen .
  68. ^ Sigfried J. de Laet: Introduction. In: ders. (Ed.): History of Humanity. Volume 1: Prehistory and the Beginnings of Civilization. UNESCO, Paris / Routledge, New York 1994, pp. 1-20, here pp. 5 f. See also ArcheologyExcavations and ; accessed on July 31, 2007
  69. Ronald Hatzenbuehler: Questioning Whether Thomas Jefferson Was the “Father” of American Archeology. In: History and Anthropology. Volume 22, 2011, No. 1, pp. 121-129, doi: 10.1080 / 02757206.2011.546852 .
  70. Jefferson's letter to Meriwether Lewis, before June 20, 1803, to be found at ; Retrieved July 31, 2007
  71. See also: Jefferson's Report on Megalonyx Jeffersoni , accessed July 31, 2007.
  72. ^ Thomas Jefferson, A Memoir on the Discovery of Certain Bones of a Quadruped of the Clawed Kind in the Western Parts of Virginia. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 4, 1799, pp. 246-260.
  73. ^ For example, in Thomas Jefferson as an Architect and Designer of Landscape by William A. Lambeth and Warren H. Manning; for an extensive passage on Jefferson in the light of architectural historians, see Merrill D. Peterson, The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , pp. 395-398
  74. Clothes Rack on, accessed on July 7, 2014.
  75. Kippenhahn Rudolf; Encrypted messages. The secret writings of Julius Caesar. Secret scripts in World War I and II. The Pope's code book. Enigma; Hamburg4 2006, 30f.
  76. See also: The Vineyards .; Retrieved July 31, 2007.
  77. The highlighting of special vineyards (...). ( Memento from January 1, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Homepage of the VDP-Rheingau; Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  78. See for example: Uncorked!; Retrieved August 31, 2007.
  79. For the letter, see Letter to Everett ; Retrieved July 31, 2007. See also Richard E. Ellis: The Union at Risk. Jacksonian Democracy, States' Rights and the Nullification Crisis , pp. 10f.
  80. cf. Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , pp. 62-66.
  81. ^ Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , p. 200
  82. James M. McPherson: To Die for Freedom , p. 581.
  83. ^ Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , pp. 214f.
  84. Quoted in Merril D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , p. 216.
  85. cf. Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , pp. 222-226.
  86. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 192.
  87. ^ Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , p. 252.
  88. ^ Merrill D. Peterson, The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , pp. 267-70.
  89. cf. Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , pp. 343ff.
  90. ^ Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , p. 356
  91. ^ Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , p. 376.
  92. RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , p. 192f.
  93. cf. Merrill D. Peterson: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind , pp. 362-.
  94. ^ RB Bernstein: Thomas Jefferson , pp. 194f.
  95. ^ John F. Kennedy : 161 - Remarks at a Dinner Honoring Nobel Prize Winners of the Western Hemisphere. ( English ) The American Presidency Project. April 29, 1962. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  96. Jimmy Carter, Christopher John Farley: Jefferson and Me ( July 23, 2011 memento in the Internet Archive ). In: Time June 27, 2004.
  97. Lincoln in a letter to Henry L. Pierce dated April 6, 1859, to be found online a. a. on ; Retrieved July 31, 2007.
  98. ^ Clinton's 1st Inaugural Address ( August 3, 2003 memento in the Internet Archive ) The Avalon Project; Retrieved July 31, 2007.
  99. Legacy of Thomas Jefferson .; Retrieved August 2, 2007.
  100. ^ The Papers of Thomas Jefferson . - Website of the editing agency
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on August 29, 2007 in this version .