Notes on Documents from May 1766 to End of 1769

This letter is key, because it details a visit of Jefferson’s to Annapolis, “This Metropolis”, where he accounts for his first visit to the government proceedings in the two different houses.

Counsel to a friend who sought Jefferson as a mentor apprenticeship for his son in law. He declined on grounds of not having sufficient space and time, but also offered practical recommendation on a course of study of the law and suggested that law students don’t need mentorship as much as time to study their books.

Editors Note: A letter remarkable for its sweeping and penetrating criticism of the apprentice system of legal training, in which TJ was himself schooled and which was universal in eighteenth-century America.

The Spirit of the Lord bade me consider the proceedings of this letter, which had to do with surveying in a land dispute. Such are the dealings of government surveyors.

This document presents a peculiar and distinct approach to government in the British Colonial era preceding the Revolution. From a government/legal perspective, I had no idea that such an allegiance to the crown of England was an open stated expression in the 1700’s. If I am reading this correctly, there is even talk of the King of England relocating his residence to the American territory.

Virginia Nonimportation Resolutions, 17 May 1769

The conditions for which this document (resolution) was drafted was on the premise of oppression through taxation. But the deeper injury was that the restrictions that this taxation caused was a shift:

…Dreading the Evils which threaten the Ruin of ourselves and our Posterity, by reducing us from a free and happy People to a wretched and miserable State of Slavery;
…That the Debt due to Great-Britain for Goods imported from thence is very great… in particular, that the late unconstitutional Act, imposing Duties on Tea, Paper, Glass, &c. for the sole Purpose of raising a Revenue in America, is injurious to Property, and destructive to Liberty… and is, of Consequence, ruinous to Trade;

First… promote and encourage Industry and Frugality, and discourage all Manner of Luxury and Extravagance.

Secondly, That they will not at any Time hereafter, directly or indirectly import, or cause to be imported, any Manner of Goods, Merchandize, or Manufactures, which are, or shall hereafter be taxed by Act of Parliament, for the Purpose of raising a Revenue in America.

The colonialists not only proposed to boycott the taxation of the 4 or so basic commodities coming out of Great Britain, they boycotted almost every commodity and good being exported by Great Britain. There were 5 other points in this document that the subscribers of this document agreed to, essentially cutting off the ability of the British to collect income of any form from the American colony of Virginia.

Furthermore, I find this curious that this statement was drafted to protest the conditions of commerce that were encroaching on their liberties and pursuit of happiness. They also saw the actions taken as injurious to trade.

This line, already mentioned above, though seems universal:

Dreading the Evils which threaten the Ruin of ourselves and our Posterity, by reducing us from a free and happy People to a wretched and miserable State of Slavery;

Virginia Nonimportation Resolutions, 17 May 1769

An invoice for a list of books obtained by Jefferson in the same year that he began service in the House of Burgesses.

A quick search for some of the books that Thomas Jefferson secured that year, led me to the discovery of these websites:

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