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Thomas Jefferson

A guide to the University of Virginia's collections related to Thomas Jefferson, with additional links to texts and information resources about Jefferson.

Statue of Jefferson

Statue of Jefferson from Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson's views on liberty, the law, religious freedom and slavery continue to be relevant, inspirational and controversial today. Some of his most famous remarks have been enshrined at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

Drafted by Jefferson in 1779 and enacted into law by the Virginia General Assembly in 1786, this Statute for Religious Freedom disestablished the Anglican Church in Virginia and asserted the legal right to complete freedom of worship. This bill proved a milestone on the road to the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing religious liberty, and was one of the three accomplishments which Jefferson wished to be inscribed as his epitaph---the others being the Declaration of Independence and the University of Virginia.

Draft of the Statute for Religious Freedom, 1780s, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Sites for Jefferson Quotations

Jefferson's wide-ranging intellectual interests and his role as a founding father of the United States have proven a source of inspiration as well as controversy for subsequent generations. These sites help to distill Jefferson's words by topic or allow the user to search for particular quotes. (1900 edition, John. P Foley ed.)