Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13th, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia. Then, Virginia was one of the British thirteen colonies in North America. He was from a wealthy family of planters. Hence, Jefferson received private education of the highest quality.
In 1760, Jefferson entered the Williamsburg College of William & Mary. There, he studied math and philosophy. Besides, he also played the violin. A famous lawyer, George Wythe, became his mentor. The young and talented Jefferson also became a lawyer and, in 1769, a member of the representative body of Virginia.
In 1775, he joined the Second Continental Congress. He was just 33 years old. To a great extent, Jefferson was responsible for drafting the 1776 Declaration of Independence. Thus, he is one of the chief Founding Fathers of the USA. Besides, he grew close to James Madison or John Adams.
Pen of the Revolution
Between 1782 and 1787, Thomas Jefferson was fighting for American diplomatic relations in Europe. In 1789, George Washington chose him as the first American Secretary of State. Hence, he still worked in foreign policy. Yet, in 1793, he resigned due to differences with Alexander Hamilton.
Though being his opponent in the 1796 presidential elections, he became the vice president to John Adams. Due to a tie in the 1800 elections between him and Aaron Burr, the House of Representatives chose the president. In the end, they pointed at Jefferson as the country’s third president.
His presidency is best known for the purchase of the vast territory of Louisiana from France. At that time, it spanned from the Gulf of Mexico up to Canada. During his presidency, the Napoleonic wars broke out in Europe, and Jefferson did his best to ensure American neutrality.
After leaving office, he returned to his plantation Monticello in Virginia. He believed in the freedoms of speech, press, and religion, and civil liberties. Yet, he was known to denounce African Americans. His idea of the USA was a secular republic with a simple and limited federal government.
Further, he was married to Martha Skelton and had six children. Thomas Jefferson died on July 4th, 1826, in Charlottesville, Virginia. John Adam dies on the same day. Besides, it was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.”Thomas Jefferson