Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd president, was born on April 2, 1743.  At least it was April 2nd when he was born.  The Old Style date was changed to April 13th in the New Style.  So we can celebrate his birthday twice this month.

Jefferson is known as the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.  The “Committee of Five” decided to have Jefferson write the draft of the Declaration. There were only minor changes from his draft.

Jefferson served as the governor of Virginia, the first Secretary of State, and the second Vice President.

He was a man of many interests.  He was a horticulturist, a statesman, an architect, an archaeologist, an inventor, and the founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

Even though it was against his political philosophy, he realized a good deal and authorized the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States.  He sent Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition, the Corps of Discovery, to survey the new territory and to continue on to the Pacific Ocean.

Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of his Declaration of Independence.  While he is known as one of the greatest presidents, he wanted to be known for 3 things. He wrote is own epitaph:

HERE WAS BURIED THOMAS JEFFERSON
AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
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One Response to “Thomas Jefferson”

  1. CALIFORNIA GIRL :o) Says:

    When we were in Washington, D.C. last June we walked to all the monuments one day. The Jefferson Memorial was amazing. To sit in the middle of that massive building and just look up at the ceiling is something I will never forget.

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