Biography Of Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was a prominent founding Father of the United States, the author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and served as the third president of the US (1801-1809). Jefferson was a fervent Republican who fought passionately for democracy, liberty as well as devolved powers. Jefferson also created the Statute of the Freedom of Religion in 1777. that was adopted by the State of Virginia in 1786. Jefferson is also known as a well-known polymath, with a variety of interests ranging in everything from architecture to gardening literature, philosophy, and education. Though he was a slave owner, Jefferson sought to introduce legislation (1800) to stop slavery across every one of the Western territories. As President Jefferson, he ratified a bill to prohibit the importation of slaves into the US (1807).
Jefferson was born into an economically prosperous family from Shadwell, Goochland County, Virginia. The father of Jefferson, Peter Jefferson, was the owner of a slave and land in Virginia. After his father’s death around 1745 Jefferson was left with 5,000 acres which included Monticello. As a young child, Thomas Jefferson was an enthusiastic student often spending up to 15 hours a day studying. He was to retain a lifelong interest in reading. He had both a keen intellect and also a wide range of interests. His interests ranged from philosophy and architecture to the natural sciences. At the age of 16, he entered the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, and two years later he graduated with the highest honors. After leaving college, he became a lawyer and then served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. One of his earliest political writings of significance was A Brief Overview of Rights of British America (1774). The essay provided a thought-provoking outline of how America could reach a deal with Britain. It was a key factor in shaping opinion during the period leading up to the War of Independence.
“Still less, it should be suggested that our property within our territories should not be regulated or taxed by any authority except our own. The God who created us all gave us liberty as well The force of force can cause destruction, but it cannot separate them. This is, sire, our last, final, and fervent decision;”
Thomas Jefferson – A Summary of the Rights of British America(1774). (Wikisource)
Thomas Jefferson and The Declaration of Independence (1776)
Thomas Jefferson was the primary creator of Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the American Declaration of Independence. The declaration was adopted on July 4, 1776. It was a symbolic declaration about the objectives of the American Revolution.
“We consider these Truths to be a matter of fact in that Men are made equal, and that they are blessed by God with certain unalienable Rights, which of these are Life and Liberty, as well as the pursuit of happiness. …”
— Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence July 4th, 1776. Jefferson was influenced by others like James Madison. He also was inspired by his writings by the British Empiricists particularly John Locke and Thomas Paine. The significance of this Declaration of Independence was summed up in the Gettysburg Address from Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
“Four seven and a half years ago, our fathers set out to bring forth this continent the nation of our dreams, founded in liberty and devoted to the idea that all people are equal.”
But, Jefferson found himself disappointed when an allusion to the sins of slavery was taken down at the request of delegates who came from the South. From 1785 until 1789 Jefferson was the minister of France in the wake of Benjamin Franklin. While in France, Jefferson became immersed in Paris society. He was known as a host and had a connection with some of the most influential thinkers of the day. Jefferson was also aware of the political and social chaos that led to an event known as the French Revolution. On the 26th of August, 1789, the French Assembly published the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen which was inspired by Jefferson’s US Declaration of Independence. When he returned to America Jefferson was appointed by George Washington as the first Secretary of State. In this position, he debated his fellow Hamilton factions about the amount of the government’s spending. Jefferson was a supporter of a limited government. When he finished his term in 1783 He retreated temporarily to Monticello in the United States, where he enjoyed his garden as well as with family.
Jefferson was the President of 1800.
In 1796, Jefferson ran for President, but was defeated narrowly by John Adams; However, according to the provisions of the Constitution, it was enough for him to be made Vice President. In the months leading up to the election in 1800, Jefferson engaged in a long and arduous campaign. Particularly the Alien and Sedition Act in 1798 resulted in the detention of several newspaper editors who backed Jefferson and were hostile to the current government. But, Jefferson was narrowly elected and was able to advocate for open and representative government. When he was elected, he extended an offer of friendship to his political foes. He also let to expire the Sedition Act expire and encouraged the actual right to free speech. The presidency of Jefferson was an eventful one however, he was able to lead a period of relative stability, and maintained America free of conflicts.
“I am a peace lover, and I am fervently hoping that we can teach the world another valuable lesson, by showing those who are suffering from injuries other than war, which is just as an act of punishment for the one who is punished as it is to the victim.”
The time was when American neutrality was threatened by the French-British wars that raged across Canada. It was in 1803 that Jefferson was able to double his size as the president of the US by completing the Louisiana Purchase, which gave America several states that were located to the west. He also authorized the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which traveled across America looking to discover and build relationships among the Native American
Jefferson’s Retirement at Monticello
In 1808 Jefferson was able to retire from politics. In retirement, he spent much of his time in his beloved Monticello and also working on the foundation of the University of Virginia. Jefferson was a man of considerable talents and interests. He was fascinated by both the sciences and various arts. He was also interested in architecture and was instrumental in bringing the neo-palladian style to America from Britain. At the time, this architectural style was associated with republicanism and civic virtue.
The Life of Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson married Martha Wayles Skelton in 1772. They had six children, which included one stillborn son. Martha Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836), Jane Randolph (1774-1775) and a stillborn or unnamed child (1777), Mary Wayles (1778-1804), Lucy Elizabeth (1780-1781) along with Lucy Elizabeth (1782-1785). Martha passed away just 10 years after her death. Thomas Jefferson remained single for the remainder the rest of his time. There was an allegation that Jefferson had a son with one of Sally Hemings’ daughters. Jefferson has never denied this publicly, however, Jefferson did deny it in private correspondence. There’s been no evidence conclusive that this happened.
Jefferson was 6’2”, which was quite tall in his day. He was not one to enjoy public speaking He prefers to share his views in his writings. Their family and friends commented about the many good qualities Jefferson had. He was kind and engaging when chatting. Always interested, he explored new avenues to investigate. Thomas Jefferson left a profound impact on America through his significant development of the American Constitution and the political system. Jefferson passed away at the age of 84 on the 4th of July in the afternoon and it was the fifty-fifth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Just a few hours later, in the same week, his dear colleague and friend of the Founding Father John Adams also passed away. On his gravestone, Jefferson had inscribed three accomplishments he was most proud of:
HERE was buried Thomas JEFFERSON, the AUTHOR of the DECLARATION of AMERICAN Independence of the Statute of VIRGINIA for RELIGIOUS Freedom and the FATHER of the UNIVERSITY of VIRGINIA.