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The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series


About the Retirement Series

The project is creating the definitive edition of Thomas Jefferson's letters and papers for the period from 1809 to 1826. More information about its history, objectives, techniques, and structure follows.

Featured Letters

A changing gallery of documents illustrating the kaleidoscopic range and breadth of Jefferson's correspondence and papers.

Completed Volumes

Information on the fourteen volumes now in print.

Current Cumulative Index

The most up-to-date version of the indices published in Vols. 1-14, which cover the period of 4 March 1809 to 31 August 1819.

Jefferson Quotes & Family Letters

An online companion to The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, featuring a searchable collection of letters to and between Jefferson's immediate and extended family as well as a growing collection of quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson. More >>

In the News

Related Links

Links to similar editorial projects, institutions doing related work, and repositories with major collections of Jefferson manuscripts.

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Help The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series reach our last volume.


lfrancavilla's picture
Hello Mr. Thompson, you are correct in that TJ's "Note" was not included in Destutt de Tracy's published work, but TJ did indeed write it. It's been published in our Retirement Series, 10:65-6, and you can see our transcription and an image of the original manuscript (at the Library of Congress), in TJ's unmistakable hand, right here:
Lisa at the PTJRS
DavidThompson's picture
Regarding Jefferson's letter to Joseph Milligan regarding his translation of Tracy's book, I am concerned that a paragraph has been added by ideological concerns at a later date. I did a search on Tracy's book Page 328 on the PDF and Page 202 of the book, and there is a footnote of "A note communicated to the editor". This source document does not include the final paragraph listed on the Library of Congress. This final paragraph appears to be added later, and has been used hundreds of times as an ideological document. If it is possible to find the original letter to Milligan, I think you will find that the paragraph in question has been added later and possibly forged. Here is the quote from the paragraph in question. I do not think Jefferson wrote this. Thank you for protecting our Thomas Jefferson's legacy. "To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, 'the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.'"
ejohnson's picture
I am constantly consulting the volumes put out by the able scholars of "the Papers," as we affectionately call them. The Retirement Series will cover Jefferson's correspondence from his retirement in 1809 until his death in 1826--six volumes of this series have been published through most of 1813. It is a project being done in parallel with the Papers of Thomas Jefferson at Princeton University, which has published material from his earliest writing up into his presidency; they're still working on most of the presidential years. In any case, the careful editorial work and precise, scholar annotation are worth their weight in gold. I can't commend this undertaking (and their related projects shown on this page) enough.
Eric Johnson


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