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With Introduction and Critical Commentary

." (From the originals at the Massachusetts Historical Society) THOMAS JEFFERSON Librarian IN a sense, it was the French who really discovered America. Instead of regarding the New World as an El Dorado, to be exploited and plundered for the benefit of Europeans, cer- tain Frenchmen, as early as the seventeenth century, con- sidered the western continent as a source of inspiration, a veritable fountain of ideas. These ideas have had their share in molding French civilization ever since. It was a Frenchman, Marc Lescarbot, who first worked out a parallel between

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Thomas Jefferson Chronology s 1743 Born at Shadwell, Va. (April 13) 1757 Father, Peter Jefferson, dies 1760–1762 Student at the College of William and Mary 1762–1767 Self-educates and also prepares for the law 1769 Begins building Monticello 1769–1774 Delegate to Virginia House of Burgesses 1772 Marries Martha Wayles Skelton (January 1) 1774 Writes A Summary View of the Rights of British America 1775–1776 Delegate to Second Continental Congress 1776 Drafts Declaration of Independence 1776–1779 Delegate to Virginia House of Delegates 1779 Submits A Bill for