In his only published book, Jefferson recorded information about the natural history, inhabitants, and political organization of Virginia, including his most extensive discussion of his views on race. Like many other 18th-century thinkers, Jefferson believed blacks were inferior to whites. He questioned whether their low status was due to inherent inferiority or to decades of degrading enslavement.

Title page for Jefferson's 'Notes on the State of Virginia"
Title page for Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia