JEFFERSON, Thomas, 1743-1826

Photomechanical print, undated (after Rembrant Peale, 1805), Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Guide to Research Collections

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1606-1943, 90 linear feet (225 containers).
The papers of Thomas Jefferson consist mainly of his correspondence, but also include drafts of the Declaration of Independence, drafts of Virginia laws, his fragmentary autobiography, spending records, weather records, scientific observations, maps, recipes, ciphers, and more. The collection documents Jefferson’s life as a delegate to the second Continental Congress, Virginia legislator and governor, diplomat and residence in France, secretary of state, and president. Other subjects include the purchase of Louisiana, the expedition of Lewis and Clark, the building of Washington, D.C. as the national capital, and Jefferson’s profound engagement with science and technology. A finding aid is available online.

American Philosophical Society
Washington, DC
Papers: 1775-1825; 250 items, 2 volumes, and 112 microfilm reels.
Includes letters and writings, much on science and linguistics, a volume of facts relating to limits and bounds of Louisiana, a volume of comparative vocabularies of several Indian languages, and a typescript of Thomas Jefferson’s farm book. There is also microfilm from collections of Thomas Jefferson materials from the Library of Congress, University of Virginia, and the Huntington Library.

The Morgan Library
Literary and Historical Manuscripts
New York, NY
Papers: ca. 1781-1825, approximately 226 items.
Includes correspondence with a variety of individuals, including Thomas Jefferson’s daughter, Martha Randolph, and granddaughter, Anne Carey Randolph. Other correspondents include Elbridge Gerry, Richard Henry Lee, and the Marquis de Lafayette.

The Rosenbach Museum & Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1781-1825, approximately 33 pages.
Includes extensive correspondence with his good friend, William Fleming. Other correspondents include James Monroe, John Paul Jones, and painter, Gilbert Stuart. Topics in the correspondence concerning the design of a medal commissioned by Congress to commemorate the Saratoga campaign. Also included is a list of slaves from Thomas Jefferson’s Tomahawk and Bear Creek plantations.

University of Virginia
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, Alderman Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: 1732-1828, 3650 items.
Includes an extensive collection of Thomas Jefferson materials. A finding aid is available in the repository and online:

Virginia State Library and Archives
Archives Branch
Richmond, VA
Papers: ca. 1776-1821, approximately 130 items.
Includes correspondence with various individuals while Thomas Jefferson was Governor of Virginia. Topics covered include the transfer of the state government and items from Williamsburg to Richmond, charges of an affair between Thomas Jefferson and the wife of John Walker, instructions for the construction and arrangement of bookshelves at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s inability to pay a debt due to crop failure, draft of a bill for new modeling of the form of government which was the basis for the 1776 Virginia constitution, storage of French vessels during the winter of the American Revolution, and guards from the lead mines escorting ammunition to Kentucky. There is also correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and his daughter and correspondence with the artist, Rembrandt Peale.

Brigham Young University
Provo, UT
Papers: 1807, 1 item.
A handwritten and signed note dated December 10, 1807 and addressed to a Mr. Newton. Thomas Jefferson writes that he is indebted to Newton for the receipt of cyder and myrtle wax and wants to know the amount of payment which is due.

Brooklyn Historical Society
The Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Library
Brooklyn, NY
Papers: 1802-1803, 2 items.
A letter written by Thomas Jefferson to James Dinsmore dated December 10, 1802 and a letter to Christopher Ellery dated May 9, 1803.

Bryn Mawr College
Special Collections
Bryn Mawr, PA
Papers: 1824, 1 item.
A letter from Thomas Jefferson to Charles Jared Ingersoll, October 16, 1824. Thomas Jefferson sends thanks for a pamphlet.

Clermont State Historic Site
Germantown, NY
Papers: 1800-1801, 2 items.
Includes letters written by Thomas Jefferson concerning a steam engine and the discovery of pre-historic bones.

College of William and Mary
Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, Earl Gregg Swem Library
Williamsburg, VA
Papers: ca. 1761-1826, approximately 281 items.
Includes genealogical materials relating to the Peyton family, and a letter to the Virginia Board of Trade concerning the sale of ships owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia. There are several letters from Thomas Jefferson to William Short, Jefferson’s private secretary in Paris. William Short also served as secretary of legation and charge d’affaires, as well as minister to the Hague and participated in negotiations of the Pinckney Treaty with Spain. There is also correspondence from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison concerning a bill passed by the General Assembly calling in paper money, 3,000 drafted soldiers, raising and disposition of money appropriated by Congress, North Carolina and Virginia’s efforts to recruit horses, lack of clothing for officers and troops, and a new curriculum at William and Mary and description of the law school.

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
Williamsburg, VA
Papers: ca. 1763-1824, approximately 121 items.
There are materials including a land grant, a letter regarding the move of the Virginia capital from Williamsburg to Richmond, and a letter regarding possibly marrying Rebecca Burwell. Also included are photocopies from Thomas Jefferson materials at other repositories including the College of William and Mary, the Library of Congress, Princeton University, and the University of Virginia.

Connecticut Historical Society
Hartford, CT
Papers: 1802, 1 page.
A signed holograph from Thomas Jefferson to John Mason sending a gift of three pecan trees.

Copley Press
JS Copley Library
La Jolla, CA
Papers: ca. 1781-1826, approximately 40 pages.
Includes correspondence with various individuals, covering topics such as the establishment of the University of Virginia, ordering books, tobacco sales loss due to break in communication with France, and obtaining cuttings of grape vines to use in producing wine.

Dartmouth College
Rauner Special Collections Library
Hanover, NH
Papers: 1780, 2 pages.
A letter from Thomas Jefferson to Filippo Mazzei concerning peace with Great Britain. Also includes notes regarding relations between French and American troops in America, speculation of the necessity of Sir Henry Clinton withdrawing from the Southern Colonies to defend New York, and information regarding the arrival of the Marquis de Lafayette.

Duke University
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Durham, NC
Papers: 1776-1961, 16 items.
Papers include Virginia land grants, 1781, made while Thomas Jefferson was governor, letters discussing politics, the prospects of the Republican Party, U.S. relations with France and England, Thomas Jefferson’s views on elementary and college education, copies of Thomas Jefferson’s speech to the Indians in 1806, and an act of supplementary to the Embargo Act in 1807.

The Filson Historical Society
Special Collections Department
Louisville, KY
Papers: 1782-1819, 6 items.
Subjects covered include U.S. commissioners to Spain negotiating the navigation of the Mississippi River, and instructions for Congressional committees to give to U.S. ministers at the Court of Versailles to brief Louis XVI on peace negotiations. Correspondents include William Carmichael, William Short, and Thomas C. Flournoy.

Grolier Club
New York, NY
Papers: 1795, 3 pages.
A letter from Thomas Jefferson to M. Froulle in Paris, in which Thomas Jefferson lists books he would like sent to him.

Huntington Library
San Marino, CA
Papers: 1764-1826, 1046 items.
Letters, documents, and manuscripts that reflect the life and career of the third President of the United States. Subjects cover Thomas Jefferson’s law practice, surveying jobs, management of his plantation, interests in architecture, horticulture and agriculture, personal finance, family matters, and views on education. The collection contains Thomas Jefferson’s daily accounts and memoranda published in a copy of the Virginia Almanack for 1775, and for 1805-1809 in his “Day Book,” his “Fee Book,” ”Casebook,” notes on the twelfth amendment, and drawings. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Springfield, IL
Papers: 1804, 1808; 2 items.
Includes a printed invitation addressed to C.A. Rodney inviting him to dine. Also includes a letter to John Vaughan containing money in payment of newspaper subscriptions, and requests the purchase and shipment of white lead paint. Thomas Jefferson also mentions that he expects to meet with Dr. Caspar Wistar.

Kentucky Historical Society Library
Frankfort, KY
Papers: 1806-1826, 3 items.
Includes a note of thanks, a dinner invitation, and a note from Thomas Jefferson. A finding aid is available in the library.

Knox College
Archives and Special Collections, Seymour Library
Galesburg, IL
Papers: 1789, 2 pages.
Includes a letter of introduction for Benjamin Huger, along with a copy of a portrait of Thomas Jefferson.

Lynchburg Public Library
Lynchburg, VA
Papers: 1815, 1 item.
Consists of a note from Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Steptoe dated September 13, 1815, inviting him to join Thomas Jefferson, Mr. Correa, and Mr. Gilmer for breakfast and a botanical expedition to be held the next day.

Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: 1776, 1 page.
A manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence, one of several in Thomas Jefferson’s hand, which represented the Declaration as originally framed by the Committee of Five. This manuscript is comprised of 4 pages and pages 3 and 4 are fragments only. This copy is sometimes referred to as the Washburn copy of the Declaration of Independence.

National Agricultural Library
Special Collections
Beltsville, MD
Papers: 1786-1915, 1 box.
This collection contains three letters written by Thomas Jefferson. A letter to Colonel Skipwith (April 17, 1810) concerns millet seeds, to John Campbell White (August 24, 1816) concerns melon seeds, and to Henry E. Watkins (November 27, 1818) concerns succory seeds. Also included is a copy of the extract from the account book of James Lee & Co. noting nursery stock purchased by Thomas Jefferson, as well as 7 unrelated letters on agriculture.

New York Historical Society
Manuscript Department
New York, NY
Papers: ca. 1779-1826, 36 items.
Includes a collection of 29 letters and a copy of debates taken by Thomas Jefferson, statements of debt to foreign countries, and a naval document permitting passage of a merchant ship; also includes correspondence from Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dekoven in 1805 giving permission for Henry Dekoven’s ship carrying dry-goods from New York to Montevido to depart and proceed; an invitation for dinner sent to Major Lenox and signed by Thomas Jefferson (1802); and notes from a meteorological journal kept by Thomas Jefferson dated from 1779.

New York Public Library
Rare Books and Manuscripts Division
New York, NY
Papers: 1765-1826, 2 linear feet.
The collection consists of correspondence, mostly outgoing, relating to financial, official and personal matters. The correspondence encompasses official documents, permits, invitations, and memoranda. Frequent correspondents include John Page, Thomas Jefferson’s friend and Governor of Virginia, and Robert Purviance. Included are photographs of Thomas Jefferson’s desk, on which he wrote to Declaration of Independence. The letterbooks consist of typewritten transcripts of Thomas Jefferson’s outgoing correspondence, both official and personal. Also included are account books containing daily entries of Thomas Jefferson’s receipts and expenditures covering family accounts, money paid to servants, taxes, traveling expenses, and money donated to charity. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Northwestern University Library
Special Collections Department
Evanston, IL
Papers: 1806, 1 item.
The letter is addressed to Bernard McMahon and concerns Thomas Jefferson’s garden at Monticello.

Ohio Historical Society
Columbus, OH
Papers: 1791, 1 item.
A copy of a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Arthur St. Clair noting that settlers on the lands of disputed title between the U.S. government and John Cleves Symmes are not to be disturbed.

Princeton University
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Princeton, NJ
Papers: 1781-1826, approximately 0.5 cubic foot.
Includes autograph manuscript leaves from Thomas Jefferson’s farm book, as well as fourteen original letters and notes by Thomas Jefferson concerning personal and governmental affairs.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Archives Division
Madison, WI
Papers: 1804, 0.1 cubic foot.
A typewritten copy of a letter Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis concerning the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX
Papers: 1790, 1 item.
An act from the 1st Congress, Second Session, extending a previous act for the temporary establishment of the Post Office.

United States Military Academy Library
Special Collections
West Point, NY
Papers: 1790-1808, 2 items.
Includes holographs granting George Washington the right to purchase West Point for the United States to use as a fortification or garrison, signed by Thomas Jefferson, 1790. Also includes a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Colonel Williams, October 28, 1808, regarding Thaddeus Kozciusko’s ”Treatise on the flying artillery.”

University of California
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, CA
Papers: 1803, 3 pages.
Includes a facsimile from Thomas Jefferson to Craven Peyton, as well as a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush discussing the projected Lewis and Clark expedition authorized by Congress.

University of Chicago
Special Collections
Chicago, IL
Papers: 1795, 1 item.
A letter from Thomas Jefferson to Henry Remsen concerning Thomas Jefferson’s interest in producing and selling nails.

Papers: 1798, 2 volumes.
A volume draft in the Reuben T. Durrett Collection on Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley. The volume is titled Resolutions relative to the Alien and Sedition Laws. Another volume includes Virginia resolutions.

Papers: 1814, 1 item.
Includes a letter in the Butler-Gunsaulus Collection from Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Harrison Smith after the destruction of the Library of Congress in 1814 by the British. In the letter, Thomas Jefferson offers his private library as a replacement.

University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections
Iowa City, IA
Papers: 1809 and 1817, 2 items.
A letter from Thomas Jefferson to M. Thouin concerns a letter of introduction for Robert M. Patterson, and a letter concerns Philip S. Barziza’s petition to the legislature and Thomas Jefferson’s efforts in its regard.

University of Minnesota Libraries
Literary Manuscripts Collections, Manuscripts Division
Minneapolis, MN
Papers: 1801-1830, 0.25 cubic foot.
Includes correspondence James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and William Lee, Consul at Bordeaux. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository.

University of Pennsylvania
Special Collections, Van Pelt Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1791-1806, 2 items.
Includes a holograph letter from Thomas Jefferson to the President of the National Assembly of France, March 8, 1791. In the letter, Thomas Jefferson conveys George Washington’s appreciation of the tribute paid by the Assembly to the memory of Benjamin Franklin. A letter from Thomas Jefferson to John McAlister, November 12, 1806, gives specifications for a pair of eyglasses.

Virginia Historical Society Library
Richmond, VA
Microfilm: 1765-1766, 1 volume.
Microfilm copy of a commonplace book, 1765-1766, kept by Thomas Jefferson concerns notes regarding equity. The original is in the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, CA.

Washington & Lee University
Lexington, VA
Papers: 1806 and 1821, 2 pages.
Includes a document in Spainsh, English, and Dutch, signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, certifying that the vessel Melpomene sails under the U.S. flag, dated March 20, 1806. Another document from Thomas Jefferson to John Graves concerns payment of a note by Thomas Jefferson, dated March 5, 1821.

The Winterthur Library
Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera
Winterthur, DE
Papers: 1751-1826, 1 microfilm reel.
Includes microfilm of papers in the University of Virginia. Includes architectural drawings and account books. The account books are for household expenses including entertainment, food, furniture, fodder and corn, and horse care. This is only the first reel of a ten reel set that was published.

Yale University
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New Haven, CT
Papers: 1606-1826, 1 page and 65 microfilm reels.
Includes a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Robert Patterson dated March 2, 1803. The letter reports authorization by a secret act of Congress for an expedition to explore the Missouri River and beyond to the western ocean, and Thomas Jefferson recommends that Meriwether Lewis be appointed as the leader. Also included are microfilm reels of papers held in the Library of Congress.