Thomas Jefferson: Notes on the State of Virginia


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In 1781, while he was still governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War, Thomas Jefferson was given a series of questions about his beloved state posed by a diplomat, François Barbé-Marbois, marquis de Barbé-Marbois, on behalf of the French government. Jefferson began writing on a series of twenty-three topics, supplementing his own knowledge with that of persons he considered more expert in fields such as the natural sciences. Jefferson’s responses to Barbé-Marbois’s questions were...