Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
ThomasJefferson (1743-1826), wastheprincipleauthorof Declarationof IndependenceandtheStatuteof Virginia forReligious Freedom.HefoundedtheUniversity of Virginia andwasthethirdpresidentof theUnited States of America. Hewasbornin Shadwell Virginia, by Peter andJane Jefferson, andstudiedlawat theWilliam andMary College1.Attheageof twenty-nine, hemarriedMartha Wayles Skelton, with whomhewasblessedwith six childrenthoughitwasonlytwo of them whosurvivedto adulthood. Ten yearslater, Martha Jefferson passedon, leavingThomas Jefferson behind.Hedidnot remarry butremainedinMonticelloto expandthevastwealthinheritedfrom his parents2.
Hewasa Lawyer, musician,agronomist, architect,philosopher,inventor,statesmanandlegendaryauthor.Asa renownedviolist, heinteractedwith thelocal Mayor, from whomhelearntabout theAmerican politicalsystems.After his education, he servedas a countylieutenant,magistrateanda memberof theHouse of theBurgesses in thelocalgovernment.Hewasan ardentreaderandwriterandhadwrittenover sixteen thousand lettersin thecourseof his life3.His commandof theEnglish languagesawto his appointmentas theprincipalauthorof theDeclaration of Independence in 1776. Hewaswellacquittedwith manyinfluentialpersonsin America andEurope andis clearlyone of themostvocalpersonsof his time,whoardently voicedtheaspirationsof theNew America. Asa Statesman andarchitect,hefoundedanddesignedtheUniversity of Virginia in 18104.
ThomasJefferson wasappointeda delegateto Continental delegatein 1775, whereheservedforone year.During thistime,hecodifiedhis theoryof Americas self-governance in an articlereferredto as The Summary View of theRights of British America, which waspublishedandsentto England andits American colonies.In 1776, Jefferson waselectedtheGovernor of Virginia, whereheservedtill 17795.During thisperiod,Britain wasat warwith theFrance, a factorthat upsetthemutualrelationshipsbetween Britain andher colonies,especiallyAmerica. Priorto theseven-year war,Britain providedAmericans with opportunitiesandprotectionfrom nativesandothercolonialmasterswhileconsumingcolonist’sgoods6. Tosupportthewar,Britain increasedtaxrequirements,which wasmetwith stiffcolonialresistancefrom leaderssuchas Thomas Jefferson, whowasat thetimea congressman. Asa retaliatory measure,Britain imposedoppressivemeasures,leadingto increasedtensionbetween Britain andAmerica. Afive-member committeewasappointedbytheCongressto draftandcomposetheDeclarationof Independenceto forgetherelationshipbetween America andtheBritain. Thomas Jefferson, beingan ardentlawyerandrenownedauthorwasappointedtheprincipalauthorof theDeclaration7.
ThomasJefferson wasa staunchsupporterof rightsandself-governance of peoplewhohadestablishedhabitatin thenewlands.HeAmericans reservedtherightof governingthemselves, without interferencefrom theBritain hencesupportedthedeclarationof independence8.TheincreasedoppressiverulesenactedinBritainto challengetheAmerican uprisingdirectlyunderminedtheautonomyof Americans, which he strongly advocated. TheincreasedoppressivelawspromptedJefferson andotherStatesmen to act,leadingto drafting of theDeclaration of Freedom, which championed America’s freedomfrom its colonialmaster,theBritain9.Hewaselectedthethirdpresidentof theUnited States in 1801 andafter his termin office,Jefferson returnedhomeandfoundedtheUniversity of Virginia in 1810. Jefferson diedo thefourth of July in 1826, agedeighty-three10.
Cogliano,Francis D. ThomasJefferson: reputation and legacy.Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. 2008
Millercenter.AmericanPresident: A Reference Resource.Accessed 11 February 2015,http://millercenter.org/president/jefferson/essays/biography/2
Monticello.ThomasJefferson, A Brief Biography.Accessed 11 February 2015,http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/thomas-jefferson-brief-biography
1 Millercenter. American President: A Reference Resource. 2015. P. 1
2 Cogliano, Francis D. Thomas Jefferson: reputation and legacy. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. 2008. P.31
3 Ibid, P.46
4 Millercenter. American President: A Reference Resource. 2015. P. 1
5 Monticello. Thomas Jefferson: A Brief Biography.2015. P. 1
6 Cogliano, Francis D. Thomas Jefferson: reputation and legacy. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. 2008. P.45
7Monticello. Thomas Jefferson: A Brief Biography.2015. P. 1
8 Ibid, P.1
9 Ibid 1
10 Cogliano, Francis D. Thomas Jefferson: reputation and legacy. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. 2008. P.47