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29 Thomas Jefferson

Page history last edited by Jim T 12 years, 9 months ago

April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826


Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale. 

Personal Data


Married:              Martha Wayles Skelton, January 1, 1772

                              They had six children, two of whom survive

                                Into adulthood

                              Martha Washington Jefferson, 1772-1836

                              Jane Randolph Jefferson, 1774-75

                              Infant son, 1777

                              Mary Jefferson, 1778-1804

                              Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson I, 1780-81

                              Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson II, 1782-84

Parents:               Peter Jefferson, wealthy landowner, planter, and surveyor

                              Jane Randolph Jefferson, member of first family in Virginia



Law Degree from the College of William and Mary, 1762 



1768-1773           Practiced law in Colonial Virginia

1776                     Elected to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  He was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence

1775-79               Delegate, House of Delegates and one of the two houses of the General Assembly of


1779                     Introduced a bill on religious liberty. The bill passed in 1786.

1779                     Governor, Virginia. In 1781, he retired from the governorship

1784                     Submitted Notes on the Establishment of a Money Unit and of a Coinage for the United States in which the recommendation of a decimal system was introduced. Adoption of  this report was in 1792.

1784-89               Commissioner, Paris.   Sent initially to assisted with the negotiation of commercial treaties

1785                     Minister, France

1789                     Secretary of State in the first administration of George Washington. Resigned in 1793.

1797-1801           2nd Vice President of the United States, John Adams, President.

1801-09               3rd President of the United States



Awards and Honors

1943                     Jefferson Memorial Dedication in Washington, D.C.

                              Appears in the stone at the Mount Rushmore Memorial

                              Portrait appears on the U.S. $2.oo dollar bill, nickel and the $100 Series EE Savings Bond

2005                     A bronze monument was placed in Jefferson Park, Chicago



Membership-Professional Organizations

1797-1815           Served as president of the American Philosophical Society 



1774                     Wrote A Summary View of the Rights of British America

1776                     Drafted Declaration of Independence

1777                     Drafted Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom, passed by General Assembly in 1786

1778                     Drafted Bill for the More General Diffusion on Knowledge

1787                     Published Notes on the State of Virginia



Professional Interest Areas

Religious Freedom (enacted in 1786) 

Leader in the Republican Party (opposed Federalism) 

Education (freedom maintained through education)

Freedom of conscience

Freedom from Britain 



Major Contributions to Adult Education

Founded the University of Virginia (1819)

First to offer graduate and professional studies. These offerings included law, medicine,

And the equivalent of graduate-level work in modern and ancient languages, history, math, chemistry, botany, zoology, government, ethics, and other fields.

Supported the idea of a free and open elementary school and provide instruction in reading, writing and “common arithmetic.”  His views on who could have access to a free and open education beyond elementary school differed by class designation. For the rich children, they would be afforded an education at any level they chose. For the poor children, they have to show exceptional ability and were chosen to receive scholarships offered by the state, if they wanted to pursue their education beyond the elementary level.

Promoted the creation of public libraries to include books on history, geography, the elements of natural philosophy, agriculture, and mechanics.



Additional Resources





Photo Gallery


















Interesting Facts

Recent DNA testing and research has suggested that President Jefferson had children with Slave Sally Hemmings. This is to this day an extremely sensitive subject. 



John Adams and Thomas Jefferson became close friends after being bitter enemies early in their career, particularly while Adams was President. Their late life correspondence is fascinating as is the fact that they both died on the same day, July 4th.  John Adams' last words in Massachusetts were, "Jefferson Lives!".  However, not for much longer as Jefferson died later the same day in Virginia. http://www.amazon.com/Adams-Jefferson-Letters-Complete-Correspondence-Jefferson/dp/0807842303/ref=sr_1_26?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310735580&sr=1-26



Grattan, C.H. (1971). In quest of knowledge: A historical perspective on adult education. New York:

               Arno Press.

The White House, Biography of Thomas Jefferson. Retrieved on July 1, 2008. From:


Halstead, D. (1997) Thomas Jefferson Biography. Retrieved on July 8, 2008.  From:


Thomas Jefferson Monticello- Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Retrieved on July  2, 2008.

               From: http://www.monticello.org/includes/printpage.php

University of Virginia, Short History of U.Va. Was the University of Virginia the first state university?

               Retrieved on July 9, 2008. From: http://www.virginia.edu/uvatours/shorthistory/first.html







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