The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826)

  • Henry W. Spiegel
Reference work entry


The author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States took a profound interest in the intellectual currents of his time that extended to economics. He was a friend of leading physiocrats, and energetically promoted the study of political economy in the United States. When in his seventies, the former president spent five hours a day over a period of three months revising the translation from the French of Destutt de Tracy’s Treatise on Political Economy, which was eventually published in Georgetown, D.C., in 1817, after Jefferson had written more than 20 letters in search of a publisher.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry W. Spiegel
    • 1
  1. 1.