The Private Jefferson
From the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society
About the Exhibition: As author of the Declaration of Independence, architect of the Virginia State Capitol, founder of the University of Virginia, and third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson is one of history’s best-known figures. Surprisingly, the largest collection of Jefferson’s private papers (more than 8,000 pieces) cannot be found in his native Virginia but is instead in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Highlights: For the first time since the late 1800s, the most significant pieces from the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts returned to Virginia to be displayed in the VMHC's exhibition, The Private Jefferson: From the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The Private Jefferson featured Jefferson's manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence and more than sixty architectural drawings, broadsides, and letters. The exhibition offered a unique opportunity to see these important American documents in one place.
- Read about Thomas Jefferson's 1774 Summary View of the Rights of British America
- Watch the lecture, “The Private Jefferson: 'Most Blessed of the Patriarchs'" by Peter Onuf
- Watch the lecture, "Documents and Drawings: 'The Private Jefferson' Examined” by Susan R. Stein