About This Guide
This guide combines links to the major online collections of Jefferson's writings that have been made accessible by U.Va., as well as by other institutions. It also provides links to online collections of Jefferson's quotations and other information resources about Jefferson like bibliographies. The guide also provides information about U.Va's Jefferson collections that are not available online, but are held in our Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.
(1743-1826). Author of the Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States, major architect of the U.S.'s westward expansion and founder of the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson is a figure of world historical significance. His writings are important documents for the history of America's founding and for the Founders' attempts to put into practice theories associated with the eighteenth century Enlightenment. Jefferson's concepts of democracy remain inspirational for many people today, even as his views on religion and race remain a source of controversy.
Portrait of Jefferson by Thomas Sully, 1821. courtesy of The Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
Jefferson Peace Medal
This peace medal, coined during Jefferson's administration, suggests the President's important role in fostering westward expansion. Jefferson engineered the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States, and commissioned Lewis and Clark's expedition to explore the newly acquired western territories. Jefferson also encouraged William Henry Harrison, territorial governor of Indiana and future President, to acquire most of the midwest from Native American tribes through a combination of pressure and purchase.
Jefferson Peace Medallion, 1801, courtesy of U.S. Mint.