You are here
Thomas Jefferson owned a copy of the Qur'an, which was the second edition of a 1734 translation by George Sale, a two-volume set published in London in 1764. This set was sold to the Library of Congress in 1815, and rebound by the Library in 1918. The daybook of the Virginia Gazette records the purchase of this edition by Jefferson in Williamsburg in 1765.1 There are no other known records of Jefferson reacquiring this work, suggesting perhaps that it survived the fire at Jefferson's family home, Shadwell, in 1770.
In 2007, Jefferson's copy of the Qur'an was used by United States Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) to take his oath of office.
- Anna Berkes, March 20, 2009
- Hayes, Kevin J. "How Thomas Jefferson Read the Qur'an." Early American Literature 39 (2004): 247-261.
- Prange, Sebastian R. "Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an." Saudi Aramco World 62, no. 4 (2011): 2-7. Text available online.
- Sowerby, 2:90. See also this item's record in the Thomas Jefferson's Libraries Project.
- "Thomas Jefferson's Copy of the Koran To Be Used in Congressional Swearing-in Ceremony." Library of Congress Press Release, January 3, 2007.
- Widmer, Ted. "People of the Book: Adams, Jefferson and the Koran." Keynote address, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson: Libraries, Leadership and Legacy, Boston and Charlottesville, Va., June 21-27, 2009. Text available online.
- Look for sources in the Thomas Jefferson Portal