Notes on the State of Virginia

Thomas Jefferson
Edited by William Peden
Paperback price: $34
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Publisher: Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press
Imprint: OIEAHC
Pages: 344
Paperback ISBN: 9780807845882
Paperback Publication Date: 02/1996
Ebook ISBN: 9780807899809


This American classic is the only full-length book written and published by Thomas Jefferson during his lifetime. Written in 1781, Notes on the State of Virginia was begun by Jefferson as a commentary on the resources and institutions of his home state, but the work’s lasting value lies in its delineation of Jefferson’s major philosophical, political, scientific, and ethical beliefs. Along with his accounts of such factual matters as North American flora and fauna, Jefferson expounds his views on slavery, education, religious freedom, representative government, and the separation of church and state. The book is the best single statement of Jefferson’s principles and the best reflection of his wide-ranging tastes and talents. This edition, meticulously edited by William Peden, was originally published by the University of North Carolina Press in 1955.

About The Author

Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd president of the United States. William Peden is professor emeritus of English at the University of Missouri.


“[Peden] has made available the authoritative edition of one of the most important books to emerge in eighteenth-century America. He has set forth the history of its reception and criticism in such a way as to establish his point that in the ‘Notes on Virginia’ Jefferson ‘produced one of America’s first permanent literary and intellectual landmarks.'”–Virginia Quarterly Review

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