Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
Description: Thomas Jefferson
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Thomas Jefferson, one of our founding fathers was born in Albemarle County, Virginia on April 2, 1743, and was the 3rd out of 10 children. He was tall, freckled faced, with sandy hair, and did not like speaking in front of people but was “addicted to his pen” and he also played violin. He went to The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, he was a tobacco plantation owner that owned slaves and he also practiced law. He was married to Martha Wayles Skelton for 10 years until her death (1782), and they had 6 children (only 2 made it to adulthood), and he never remarried. Before he was elected president he was politically active as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses (1769) and The Continental Congress (1775-1776), and the Governor in Virginia from 1779-1781. He first ran for president in 1796, but was elected vice president instead. Jefferson did not believe in a strong Centralized Government but believed in the right of states, so, he wrote the Declaration of Independence at the age of 33, and also wrote a bill that established religious freedom.

Thomas Jefferson was elected the 3rd president of the United States of America in 1801 and was in office for 8 years. In his first term as president, Jefferson authorized the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon in 1803, which doubled the size of the United States. He also appointed Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the Louisiana Territory and beyond. This exploration lasted from 1804-1806, and is now known as the Louis and Clark Expedition. He also eliminated the tax of whiskey but still reduced the national debt. In his second term he signed into law the Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves.

When he left office in 1809, he retired to Monticello to ponder his plans for the University of Virginia. At the age of 76, in 1819 he founded the University of Virginia and it opened in 1825. His collection of books started a library called the “Library of Congress”. Thomas Jefferson died July 4, 1829 on Independence Day, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Despite his rich family and his personal successes, when he died he was in debt. He had a quiet funeral, which he requested, and was buried in the Monticello Graveyard.
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