Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940, Jill Brett (202) 707-2905
May 23, 1993
New Edition of Jefferson Parliamentary Manual Published
A new edition of Thomas Jefferson's A Manual of Parliamentary Practice has just been published by Applewood Books in cooperation with the Library of Congress. Based on the original volume in Jefferson's library which is now housed in the Library of Congress, this small-format, softcover edition of Jefferson's classic work on parliamentary procedure will be of interest to legal and historical scholars and to those who wish to learn how to preside over formal meetings.
Originally published in 1801, Jefferson's Manual is based on his experiences as a student at the College of William and Mary. Jefferson studied parliamentary law under the tutelage of William Small and read extensively on the subject, compiling passages he found particularly important. Later he observed firsthand the confusion in legislative bodies caused by inadequately administered rules and procedures. His observations convinced him of the importance of proper parliamentary measures.
Less an original work than a systematic compilation of previous writings, Jefferson's manual was intended to be used primarily by a small group of senators. But his typical thoroughness and ability to distill the essence of his subject resulted in a book that stirred interest among citizens everywhere who were concerned with the proper conduct of public assemblies. The Manual remains part of the rules of the House of Representatives.
The new Applewood/Library of Congress edition of the Manual includes a subject index and introductory essay by James Gilreath, American History Specialist in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. The book retails for $10.95 and is available in bookstores and at the Library of Congress Sales Shop.
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