Thomas Jefferson biography

Thomas Jefferson

US President

1743 – 1826

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Who was Thomas Jefferson?

Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. He was a spokesman for democracy and the rights of man with worldwide influence. At the beginning of the American Revolution, he served in the Continental Congress, representing Virginia and then served as a wartime Governor of Virginia. Just after the war ended, from mid-1784 Jefferson served as a diplomat, stationed in Paris. In May 1785, he became the United States Minister to France.

Jefferson was the first United States Secretary of State serving under President George Washington. In opposition to Alexander Hamilton's Federalism, Jefferson and his close friend, James Madison, organized the Democratic-Republican Party, and subsequently resigned from Washington's cabinet. Elected Vice President in 1796, when he came in second to President John Adams of the Federalists, Jefferson opposed Adams and with Madison secretly wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which attempted to nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Elected president in what Jefferson called the Revolution of 1800, he oversaw the purchase of the vast Louisiana Territory from France, and sent the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the new west. His second term was beset with troubles at home, such as the failed treason trial of his former Vice President Aaron Burr. With escalating trouble with Britain who was challenging American neutrality and threatening shipping at sea, he tried economic warfare with his embargo laws which only damaged American trade. In 1803, President Jefferson initiated a process of Indian tribal removal and relocation to the Louisiana Territory west of the Mississippi River, in order to open lands for eventual American settlers. In 1807 he drafted and signed into law a bill banning the importation of slaves into the United States.

Famous Quotes:

  • In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
  • Perfect happiness I believe was never intended by the deity to be the lot of any one of his creatures in this world; but that he has very much put in our power the nearness of our approaches to it, is what I as stedfastly believe.
  • Never spend your money before you have earned it.
  • Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands. As long therefore as they can find emploiment in this line, I would not convert them into mariners, artisans, or any thing else. But our citizens will find emploiment in this line till their numbers, and of course their productions, become too great for the demand both internal and foreign.
  • Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.
  • Whenever there are in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. The small landowners are the most precious part of a state.
  • Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.
  • The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.
  • That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.
  • I find the pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise.

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Born
Apr 13, 1743
Shadwell
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Deism
  • Christian Unitarianism
Ethnicity
  • Scottish American
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • College of William and Mary
    (1760 - 1762)
Employment

  • (1797/03/04 - 1801/03/04)
Lived in
  • Charlottesville
  • Virginia
  • Monticello
Died
Jul 4, 1826
Charlottesville
Resting place
Monticello

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Thomas Jefferson." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Jul 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/thomas_jefferson>.

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