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    Autobiography

    of

    Thomas

    Jefferson

    1

    743-1

    790

    Together

    with

    A

    Summary of

    the

    Chief

    Events

    in Jefferson's

    Life

    An

    Introduction and Notes

    by

    Paul

    Leicester

    Ford

    and

    A

    Foreword

    by

    George

    Haven

    Putnam

    G. P. PUTNAM'S

    SONS

    NEW

    YORK

    AND

    LONDON

    Ube

    IknicUerbocfter

    press

    1914

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    CONTENTS

    PAGE

    Foreword

    iii

    Introduction

    ........

    ix

    Chief Events in

    Jefferson's

    Life

    ...

    xxxiii

    AuTOBIOGRAWiV

    .'

    3

    Jefferson's family

    EducationElected to

    legislature

    Marriage

    Political disputes with England

    Origin

    of

    Committees

    of

    Correspondence

    Rallying

    the people

    Prepares Summary View

    Elected to

    Congress

    Drafts

    a Declaration

    on taking

    up

    arms

    Congressional

    debates

    on Declaration

    of

    IndependenceText of

    the

    Declaration

    of

    Independence

    Congressional

    debates

    on

    Confedera-

    tion

    Leaves Congress and attends Virginia

    legislature

    Drafts

    -bills

    Aids in

    preparing

    a proposed

    code-^

    Elected Governor

    Elected

    to

    Congress

    Plans

    money

    unitProposes

    Committee

    of

    Congress

    Proceedings

    on

    English treaty

    Appointed to

    negotiate

    European

    treaties

    Sails for France

    Prepares

    Notes on

    Virginia

    Negotiates with European

    states

    Proposes united

    action

    against Barbary states

    Beginning

    of the French

    revolu-

    tion

    The

    federal

    constitution

    Dangers

    from

    the

    ju-

    diciary

    Bankruptcy

    of the union

    Progress

    of the

    French

    revolution

    Meeting

    of

    Patriots at

    Jefferson's

    house

    ^Jefferson

    sails

    for America

    Accepts position

    of

    Secretary of

    State

    Calls on

    Franklin

    Conduct

    of W. T.

    Franklin

    ^Jefferson

    arrives

    at New York.

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    FOREWORD

    The

    Autobiography

    left

    by

    Thomas

    Jefferson

    belongs to the

    literature of the Nation. The

    import-

    ant part

    played

    by

    the great

    Virginian

    in

    the

    organ-

    ization

    of

    the

    Republic and in the leadership of affairs

    during the first three or

    four

    Administrations, the

    distinctive character of the man,

    his

    imagination,

    his

    intellectual force,

    and

    his

    patriotism,

    have

    served

    to

    make Thomas

    Jefferson

    a

    great

    figure

    in

    American

    history. Even his

    fiercest

    opponents

    in his

    own

    generation

    and of

    later

    years,

    those who believed

    that his theories

    would

    prove detrimental

    to

    the

    interests of the State,

    have

    been ready

    to

    admit that

    he

    had

    honestly

    at

    heart

    the welfare

    of

    his fellow-

    citizens and of mankind, and

    to admit further

    that

    he

    must

    take

    rank among

    the great Americans.

    The

    peculiar value

    that

    is possessed

    by a narrative

    in autobiographical

    form

    does

    not

    rest on the

    pro-

    bability

    that

    the

    statement

    of

    facts or the

    record

    of

    facts

    and

    the

    motives

    which

    influence

    action

    would

    be presented

    more

    accurately

    than

    in

    a

    narrative

    by

    another hand.

    It may

    easily be

    the

    case

    that

    the

    memory of

    a

    writer

    as to the events

    of

    his

    earlier

    life will

    not

    prove

    as

    trustworthy

    as

    records

    left

    by

    his

    contemporaries.

    The writer

    of

    an autobiography

    iii

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    IV

    Foreword

    will not only

    be

    confused

    in his memories,

    but these

    memories

    may

    themselves

    be affected

    by vanity,

    or

    by

    the

    natural human

    desire

    to

    put

    the best

    ap-

    pearance

    upon one'sindividual actions

    and

    utterances,

    and

    to

    estimate at

    its full value any service

    that has

    been

    rendered

    to

    the

    community.

    Autobiographies

    must,

    of course,

    differ

    very

    materially in

    their

    trust-

    worthiness,

    according

    to

    the character

    and

    the

    tem-

    perament of

    their several

    writers.

    No

    biographical

    record

    can,

    however,

    preserve the

    distinctive

    person-

    ality

    of

    a

    man in

    the

    way

    in which

    such

    personality

    is

    revealed in

    a

    diary

    or

    autobiographical subject.

    A

    man's

    character

    and nature

    are

    indicated

    as well by

    the

    matters

    in

    which

    he

    is

    reticent

    as

    by

    those

    con-

    cerning

    which

    he

    claims

    or

    believes himself

    to be

    making

    a

    full

    and candid presentation

    of

    the action

    and

    of the

    motive

    for the

    action.

    An

    autobiographical sketch

    written in later

    life

    presents

    evidence

    also

    of

    changes in

    point

    of view, of

    the

    development

    of

    character,

    and

    of

    the

    acceptance

    of later

    beliefs, convictions,

    and ideals.

    The

    descrip-

    tions

    given

    by an

    old

    man of his own

    actions

    in

    youth,

    even when not accompanied by

    any

    express

    criticism

    or detailed

    analysis,

    possess

    interest and value as

    pictures

    of

    the double personality

    that

    of youth

    and

    that

    of

    maturity.

    It is

    very much

    to be

    regretted

    that the

    narrative

    of

    Jefferson,

    the

    writing

    of

    which was begun

    in

    1821,

    in

    his

    seventy

    -seventh year,

    is

    brought

    down only

    to

    the

    29th

    of

    July, 1790.

    His

    life extended

    from

    1743

    to 1826,

    a

    period

    which included the development

    of

    the

    colonies,

    the

    strenuous

    years

    of

    the

    War

    of the

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    Foreword

    v

    Revolution,

    and

    the

    critical

    period

    of the

    organiza-

    tion and

    re-organization of

    the

    State.

    Jefferson's

    opinions

    of

    the

    events

    of the

    second

    Administration

    of

    Washington

    and

    of the

    Administration

    of Adams

    would

    have

    had a

    special interest.

    His

    own two

    Administrations

    covered

    the

    years

    1 801-1809, but

    his

    opinions

    as

    to

    the

    management

    of

    affairs by his

    successor,

    James

    Madison,

    who

    had

    the mortification

    of

    being

    driven

    out of the

    Capitol

    by the British

    invader,

    and

    of

    the

    work

    done

    by

    James

    Monroe

    would

    have

    possessed historic value and personal

    interest.

    There is much,

    however,

    both

    of value

    and

    of

    interest

    in

    the pages that were put into shape