Occasionally you hear Thomas Jefferson cited as the author of the U.S. Constitution. But Jefferson wasn’t even in the United States when the Constitutional Convention was underway. He was more than 3,000 miles away, serving as the United States Minister to France. Still, the author of the Declaration of American Independence and of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom did have some strong opinions on the document, and he shared some of them in letters to John Adams, Williams Stephens Smith (Adams’s son-in-law), and James Madison, among others. Listen to the letters and get an interpretation of them from Jeff Looney, Editor-in-Chief of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series. (From 2008)

Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, November 13, 1787

(Added April 3, 2008. Approx. 5 min.)

Thomas Jefferson to Col. William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787  

(Added April 3, 2008. Approx. 4 min.)

Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, December 20, 1787

(Added April 3, 2008. Approx. 12 min.)

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