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Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The

And memoranda of Cabinet Councils

The termination of the Memoir, at the date mentioned, by the Author, may be explained by the laborious tasks assumed or not declined by him, on his return to private life; which, with his great age, did not permit him to reduce his materials into a state proper to be embodied in such a work.

The other volumes contain, I. Letters from 1775, to his death, addressed to a very great variety of individuals; and comprising a range of information, and, in many instances, regular essays, on subjects of History, Politics, Science, Morals, and Religion. The letters to him are omitted, except in a very few instances, where it was supposed their publication would be generally acceptable, from the important character of the communication, or the general interest in the views of the writer; or where the whole or a part of a letter had been filed for the better understanding of the answer.

In these cases, such letters are inserted in the body of the work, or in an appendix, as their importance, and connection with the subject discussed by the author, rendered advisable. And where inferences from the tenor of the answer, might in any way affect the correspondent, his name does not appear in the copy filed. The historical parts of the letters, and the entire publication, have the rare value of coming from one of the chief actors himself, and of being written, not for the public eye, but in the freedom and confidence of private


II. Notes of conversations, whilst Secretary of State, with President Washington, and others high in office; and memoranda of Cabinet Councils, committed to paper on the spot, and filed; the whole, with the explanatory and miscellaneous additions, showing the views and tendencies of parties, from the year 1789 to 1800.

Appended to the publication, is a 'Facsimile' of the rough draught of the Declaration of Independence, in which will be seen the erasures, interlineations, and additions of Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams, two of the appointed Committee, in the handwriting of each.

The Editor, though he cannot be insensible to the genius, the learning, the philosophic inspiration, the generous devotion to virtue, and the love of country, displayed in the writings now committed to the press, is restrained, not less by his incompetency, than by his relation to the Author, from dwelling on themes which belong to an eloquence that can do justice to the names of illustrious benefactors to their country and to their fellow men.

Albemarle, Va., January, 1829.

[Illustration: Page One of Jefferson's Memoir, page001]


January 6, 1821. At the age of 77, I begin to make some memoranda, and state some recollections of dates and facts concerning myself, for my own more ready reference, and for the information of my family.

The tradition in my father's family was, that their ancestor came to this country from Wales, and from near the mountain of Snowden, the highest in Great Britain. I noted once a case from Wales, in the law reports, where a person of our name was either plaintiff or defendant; and one of the same name was secretary to the Virginia Company. These are the only instances in which I have met with the name in that country. I have found it in our early records; but the first particular information I have of any ancestor was of my grandfather, who lived at the place in Chesterfield called Ozborne's, and owned the lands afterwards the glebe of the parish. He had three sons; Thomas who died young, Field who settled on the waters of Roanoke and left numerous descendants, and Peter, my father, who settled on the lands I still own, called Shadwell, adjoining my present residence. He was born February 29, 1707-8, and intermarried 1739, with Jane Randolph, of the age of 19, daughter of Isham Randolph, one of the seven sons of that name and family settled at Dungeoness in Goochland. They trace their pedigree far back in England and Scotland, to which let every one ascribe the faith and merit he chooses.

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