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  Wikipedia: Thomas Jefferson

Wikipedia: Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Thomas Jefferson

(640x480, color)
Order:3rd President
Term of Office:March 4, 1801 - March 4, 1809
Followed:John Adams
Succeeded by:James Madison
Date of BirthApril 13, 1743
Place of Birth:Shadwell, Virginia
Date of Death:July 4, 1826
Place of Death:Monticello, Virginia
Wife:Martha Wayles Jefferson
First Lady:Martha Jefferson Randolph (daughter)
Dolley Madison (friend)
Occupation:lawyer, farmer
Political Party:Democratic-Republican
Vice President: Aaron Burr (1801-1805)
George Clinton (1805-1809)

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826) was the third (1801-1809) President of the United States and an American statesman, political philosopher, revolutionary, agricultural estate owner, architect, archaeologist, author, and general Renaissance man.

Biographical information

His parents were Peter Jefferson (March 29, 1708 - August 17, 1757) and Jane Randolph (February 20, 1720 - March 31, 1776) both from families who had settled in Virginia for several generations. He attended the College of William & Mary.

He was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, and a source of many other contributions to American culture. Achievements of his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

His home in Virginia that he designed himeslf, was Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia, which included automatic doors, and other convenient devices invented by Jefferson. He founded and designed the University of Virginia.

Jefferson's interests included archaeology, a discipline then in its infancy. He has sometimes been called the "father of archaeology" in recognition of his role in developing excavation techniques. When exploring an Indian burial mound on his Virginia estate in 1784, Jefferson avoided the common practice of simply digging downwards until something turned up. Instead, he cut a wedge out of the mound, so that he could walk into it, look at the layers of occupation and draw conclusions from them.

Jefferson was also an avid wine lover and noted gourmet. During his ambassadorship to France (1784-9) he took extensive trips through French and other European wine regions and sent the best back to the White House. He is noted for the bold pronouncement "We could in the United States make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good." While there were extensive vineyards planted at Monticello, a significant portion were V. vinifera and did not survive the many vine diseases native to the Americas. Thus, Jefferson himself was never able to produce wine on par with Europe. However, it seems likely that he would be pleased with the quantity and quality of wine now being made in Virginia, to say nothing of the rest of the country.

Jefferson's idea for the United States was that of an agricultural nation of yeoman farmers, in contrast to the vision of Alexander Hamilton, who envisioned a nation of commerce and manufacturing. Jefferson was a great beliver in the uniqueness and the potential of the United States and is often classified a forfather of American Exceptionalism.

Like many landholders of his time, Jefferson owned slaves. A subject of considerable controversy since Jefferson's own time was whether Jefferson was the father of any of the children of his slave Sally Hemings. A modern look at this relationship is by Shannon Fair in his book Jefferson's Children.

An electoral tie resulted between Jefferson and his opponent Aaron Burr in the U.S. presidential election, 1800. It was resolved on February 17, 1801 when Jefferson was elected President and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives. Jefferson was the only Vice President elected to the Presidency and serve two full terms.

Jefferson's portrait appears on the U.S. $2 bill and the U.S. 5 cent piece, or nickel. Thomas Jefferson is buried on his Monticello estate. Jefferson's epitaph, written by Jefferson with an insistence that only his words and "not a word more" be inscribed, reads,

Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom & Father of the University of Virginia

This is an apparent attempt to omit mentioning Jefferson's Presidency, possibly due to Jefferson's own dissatisfaction with many of his actions.

Events During his first term as President


Jefferson was influenced heavily by the ideas of Polish brethren.

Englishman John Bidle had translated two works by said Przypkowski ; also the Racovian Catechism ; and a work by J. Stegmann, a "Polish Brother" from Germany.

Bidle's followers had very close relations with the Polish Socinian family of Crellius (aka Spinowski).

Subsequently, the Unitarian branch of Christianity was continued with by, most notably, Joseph Priestley, who had emigrated to the U. S. A. and was a friend of both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson's political principles were also heavily influenced by John Locke, particularly relating to the principles of inalienable rights and popular sovereignty.


Some quotes from Jefferson on Deism are available on the Wikipedia page.

Jefferson is known for taking a strong independent stance in regards to religion. He compiled a collection of what he considered to be the most profound and meaningful passages from the New Testament Gospels of theBible, omitting blatantly supernatural or religious sections, and published it as an independent work. This became known as the Jefferson Bible, and was later printed in some 2,500 copies for the United States Congress in the early 1900's.

Other sayings:

  • "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
  • "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
  • "The government is best which governs least."
  • "War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses."
  • "I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."
  • "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."

There is also a Wikiquote section of quotes by Thomas Jefferson.

Places named for Thomas Jefferson

Supreme Court appointments

Related articles

External links

Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

Preceded by:
John Adams
Presidents of the United States Succeeded by:
James Madison
Preceded by:
John Adams
Vice Presidents of the United States Succeeded by:
Aaron Burr


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona