Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president of the United States, was born in April 1743. He was the eldest son of Peter and Jane Randolph Jefferson, who lived in Shadwell, a plantation bordering present-day Charlottesville in Virginia. He graduated from the famous College of William and Mary in 1762 where he would study for about 15 hours per day before embarking on playing the violin. He began practicing as a lawyer in 1767. He married Martha Wayles Skelton on January 1, 1772, who gave birth to six children of which only two survived.
10 Facts About Thomas Jefferson
1. Wrote the Declaration of Independence
In 1775, Jefferson was appointed by Congress to a committee of five in charge of writing the declaration of independence. The declaration was a well-detailed document on why the 13 colonies should be freed from British rule. As a gifted writer, Jefferson vividly outlined the individual rights and also freedoms of citizens and why they are important. It took 17 days to draft, review and revise the declaration. On July 4, 1776, the document was adopted.
2. He Owned Slaves
Jefferson lost his father when he was just a teenager. He inherited vast tracks of land and slaves working on it. He went ahead and bought more slaves. Thomas owned over 600 slaves in his lifetime.
3. He Was the Third President
Jefferson became the vice president of the US in 1797, and four years later he was elected as the 3rd president. He served as the president for two terms from March 4, 1801, to March 4, 1809.
4. He Supported Freedom from Great Britain
Jefferson supported freedom from Great Britain. In 1774, he stated that the British parliament had no rights to exert authority over the colonies of American.
5. There Is a Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
As one of the greatest leaders of America, the Jefferson Memorial was constructed in Washington, D.C. adjacent the National Mall in his memory. It was dedicated on April 13, 1943, the 200th anniversary of his birth.
6. He is One of the Presidents on Mount Rushmore
The face of Jefferson is carved on a stone at Mount Rushmore together with the faces of other highly esteemed former American Presidents. His face is also engraved on the 5-cent copper-nickel.
7. Jefferson Loved Books
Jefferson derived most of his knowledge from reading books. He even owned a personal library. His books were sold and used to restock library of Congress after the British burned the US capital in 1814.
8. Better Writer Than Speaker
Though not a very eloquent speaker, Jefferson was a gifted author. He was a great writer whose manuscripts and other documented literature stands out to date as documentary evidence.
9. Had a Great Interest in Architecture
At the beginning of 1768, Jefferson began a plan of building a mansion on the land he had inherited from his parents. He went ahead to architecturally design the house and its gardens. He kept on remodeling and improving the architectural details of this mansion nicknamed the Monticello throughout his life. Jefferson participated in designing the buildings of Virginia University.
10. He Helped Found the University of Virginia
In 1819, Jefferson and other like-minded people began the University of Virginia. Jefferson assisted in designing the classrooms and developing the first curriculum. The first batch of students reported in 1825.
Legacy and Historical Reputation
After vacating presidency, Jefferson spent his years on the farm where he continued with agriculture, music, architectural work and reading. Jefferson is one of the five highly rated president of the US. He is seen as an icon of democracy, liberty, and a revolutionist. On July 4, 1826, Jefferson died of uremia.
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