Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia. He was the principal editor of the American Declaration of Independence, which the Second Continental Congress adopted on July 4, 1776.
Thomas Jefferson was the third of the ten children of Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph. At age nine, he began studying Latin, Greek and French.
In that year the Jefferson settled in Tuckahoe, where they lived for seven years before returning to Shadwell in 1752.
Peter Jefferson died when Thomas was 14 years old and the estate he owned was divided by inheriting approximately 5,000 acres (2,000 h) of land, including Monticello, and between 20 and 40 slaves.
He studied with the Rev. James Maury from 1758 to 1760 near Gordonsville, Virginia and studied law, history, philosophy, and science at the College of William and Mary in the early 1760s.
In 1769 he was elected for the first time to the Assembly of Virginia
It was in 1772 when he married a widow with whom he had six children. Martha died on September 6, 1782, and that was when Jefferson was widowed and did not remarry.
In 1774 he drafted a set of instructions for the delegates of Virginia at the first Continental Congress.
In 1776 he was one of the main writers of the Declaration of Independence, for the second Continental Congress.
While serving as legislator of Virginia (1776-1779), he tried to reform society following the Republican and enlightened guidelines.
When he got his proposal to separate the power of the State from the Anglican Church.
He was responsible for the legislation that abolished the right of attachment (inheritance of the land through a specific line of descendants) and of primogeniture (inheritance only for the eldest son).
Eliminating the two largest governmental restrictions on the right to private property.
Highlights the enactment of the Virginia Statute for Freedom of Worship, approved in 1786, which prohibited states from financing any type of religious organization.
He was elected as a delegate to Congress and in 1784 he drafted the report that was the basis for the Ordinances of 1784, 1785 and 1787.
Being ambassador in France (1784-1789) he witnessed the first phases of the French Revolution.
In 1796 was nominated a candidate for the presidency by the Republican Party.
In 1797 he was elected vice president in the administration of Federalist John Adams. Represented the current Republican (against the federalist, Adams).
In the 1800 Jefferson and Aaron Burr elections, they obtained an equal number of electoral votes.
During his government, he advocated the extension of suffrage and the suppression of any royal or aristocratic privilege.
After finishing his presidency in 1809 he retired to Monticello, where he lived the rest of his life.
His health began to deteriorate in July 1825 due to a combination of several diseases, probably toxemia, uremia, and pneumonia.
On June 24, he wrote his last letter to Roger Weightman, a journalist with the National Intelligence, reaffirming his faith in the principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson passed away in Charlottesville, Virginia, on July 4, 1826.
Although he was born into a family that owns rich slaves, he had many financial problems and died in debt.
After his death, his possessions, and slaves were sold in public auctions starting in 1827.
The strangest anecdotes of Thomas Jefferson
He really liked books. He sold his library of 6,500 volumes to the third president after his retirement.
Economist. He was deeply involved in the economic theory he learned to love during his stay in France.
Architect. He designed the rotunda of the University of Virginia, his own house in Monticello and the State Capitol of Virginia in Richmond.
Food lover. Upon his return from France, Jefferson brought his love for the kitchen of that nation back to him. James Hemings went to France as his slave, the couple agreed that if Hemings learned French cooking, he would be released upon his return to the United States.
The wine pass. Jefferson brought French wine back to America. He had two vineyards in Monticello, which he apparently used to experiment.
Farmer. He believed in the United States as an agrarian society, in part, because it would make the nation independent of other nations.
Paleontologist. He was obsessed with fossils, he became involved in a great debate about the mammoth that later became a political cause.
Astronomer. He loved the stars almost as much as he liked books. He made sure that astronomy was taught at the University of Virginia and designed what could have been the first observatory in the United States.
Writer. He was a prolific writer throughout his life, his authorship of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, are included in his epitaph (instead of his two terms as president).
Famous Quotes of Thomas Jefferson
- “I like dreams of the future more than the history of the past”
- “The man who does not fear the truths, nothing should fear the lies”
- “The God who gave us life gave us freedom at the same time.”
- “There is no talent more valuable than not using two words when one is enough”
- “The art of life is the art of avoiding pain”
- “When governments fear people, there is freedom. When people fear the government, there is tyranny “
- “The old practice of tyrants is to use a part of the town to have submitted to the other party.”
- “Never buy what is useless to you under the pretext that it is cheap”
- “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”
- “It is not riches or splendor, but tranquility and work, which provide happiness”
- “Life lacks value if it does not produce satisfaction. Among these, the most valuable is the rational society, which illustrates the mind, softens the temperament, brightens the mood and promotes health “
- “When someone assumes a public office he must consider himself as public property”
- “I am in favor of a government that is vigorously frugal and simple”
- “Do not spend your money before you win”
- “I have never been able to conceive how a rational being could pursue happiness by exercising power over others”