Thomas Jefferson
(American, 1743 - 1826)
Thomas Jefferson
by Thomas Sully
Jefferson was born in Albermarle County Virginia on April 13, 1743 to Peter and Jane Jefferson. His father died when he was very young. Jefferson attended the college of William and Mary and studied law under George Whyte whom Jefferson admired. He was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses where he wrote the statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom in 1782. In 1772 he married the widow of John Skelton. Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson died in 1782 driving her husband into deep dispair. Jefferson served in the Continental Congress where he was part of a Committee of five to draft a Declaration of Independence. The others being John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. It was Jefferson who did most of the writing, with some changes by Adams and Franklin. The famous words "We hold these truths to be self evident" started with Jefferson's "We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable" and were changed by Franklin changing "sacred and undeniable" to "self evident". There were also extensive changes made on the floor of the Congress when the draft was on the floor. Jefferson was Governor of Virginia during the war and served as Minister to France during the early years of the Union, coming back to serve in Washington's first cabinet as Secretary of State along with Alexander Hamilton and Henry Knox who served as Secretaries of the Treasury and War. there was also an Attorney General. Jefferson resigned in 1793. In 1797 Jefferson became Vice President under John Adams, having lost the election in 1800 and the practice then being that the one who came in second became Vice President. In 1800 the vote between Jefferson and Burr was so close it went to the House which chose Jefferson. Jefferson's Presidency is probably best known for the Lousiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expidition. Jefferson had not told the envoys to buy the land, it wasn't really a factor till the sale was offered. At the time they were too far away to get Jefferson's OK and the deal sounded good so they just went ahead with it. The original price was about 25M but they got it down to 13M. To get an idea of how much land was obtained by the Lousiana Purchase look at a map of the continental United States, most of that is land from the Lousiana Purchase.
Name:Thomas Jefferson
Dates:1743 - 1826
Sex:No data
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