Thomas jefferson là ai

Thomas Jefferson wrote his own epitaph and designed the obelisk grave marker that was to lớn bear three of his accomplishments and “not a word more:”


He could have sầu filled several markers had he chosen khổng lồ list his other public offices: third president of the new United States, vice president, secretary of state, diplomatic minister, và congressman. For his trang chủ state of Virginia he served as governor and thành viên of the House of Delegates & the House of Burgesses as well as filling various local offices — all tallied into lớn almost five sầu decades of public service. He also omitted his work as a lawyer, architect, writer, farmer, gentleman scientist, và life as patriarch of an extended family at, both trắng và blachồng. He offered no particular explanation as khổng lồ why only these three accomplishments should be recorded, but they were quality to Jefferson.

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Other men would serve as U.S. president & hold the public offices he had filled, but only he was the primary draftsman of the Declaration of Independence và of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, nor could others claim the position as the Father of the University of Virginia. More importantly, through these three accomplishments he had made an enormous contribution to the aspirations of a new America and lớn the dawning hopes of repressed people around the world. He had dedicated his life to lớn meeting the challenges of his age: political freedom, religious freedom, and educational opportunity. While he knew that we would continue lớn face these challenges through time, he believed that America’s democratic values would become a beacon for the rest of the world. He never wavered from his belief in the American experiment.

I have sầu no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted khổng lồ govern themselves. . . .Thomas Jefferson, 2 July 1787

He spent much of his life laying the groundwork to lớn insure that the great experiment would continue.

Early Life &

Jefferson was born April 13, 1743, on his father’s plantation of Shadwell located along the Rivanmãng cầu River in the Piedmont region of central Virginia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.1 His father Peter Jefferson was a successful planter và surveyor và his mother Jane Randolph a member of one of Virginia’s most distinguished families. When Jefferson was fourteen, his father died, & he inherited a sizeable estate of approximately 5,000 acres. That inheritance included the house at Shadwell, but Jefferson dreamed of living on a mountain.2

In 1768 he contracted for the clearing of a 250 feet square site on the topmost point of the 868-foot mountain that rose above sầu Shadwell và where he played as a boy.3 He would name this mountain, và the house that he would build and rebuild over a forty-year period took on this name as well. He would later refer to this ongoing project, the trang chính that he loved, as “my essay in Architecture.”4 The following year, after preparing the site, he began construction of a small brichồng structure that would consist of a single room with a walk-out basement kitchen & workroom below. This would eventually be referred to as the South Pavilion và was where he lived first alone và then with his bride, Martha Wayles Skelton, following their marriage in January 1772.

Unfortunately, Martha would never see the completion of; she died in the tenth year of their marriage, và Jefferson lost “the cherished companion of my life.” Their marriage produced six children but only two survived into adulthood, Martha (known as Patsy) and Mary (known as Maria or Polly).5

Along with the land Jefferson inherited slaves from his father và even more slaves from his father-in-law, John Wayles; he also bought and sold enslaved people. In a typical year, he owned about 200, almost half of them under the age of sixteen. About eighty of these enslaved individuals lived at; the others lived on his adjacent Albemarle County farms, và on his Poplar Forest estate in Bedford County, Virginia. Over the course of his life, he owned over 600 enslaved people. These men, women and children were integral to the running of his farms và building và maintaining his trang chủ at Some were given training in various trades, others worked the fields, and some worked inside the main house.

Many of the enslaved house servants were members of the Hemings family. Elizabeth Hemings & her children were a part of the Wayles estate & tradition says that John Wayles was the father of six of Hemings’s children and, thus, they were the half-brothers và sisters of Jefferson’s wife Martha. Jefferson gave sầu the Hemingses special positions, và the only slaves Jefferson freed in his lifetime & in his will were all Hemingses, giving credence lớn the oral history. Years after his wife’s death, Thomas Jefferson fathered at least six of Sally Hemings’s children. Four survived lớn adulthood và are mentioned in Jefferson’s plantation records. Their daughter Harriet and eldest son Beverly were allowed to leave sầu during Jefferson’s lifetime & the two youngest sons, Madison and Eston, were freed in Jefferson’s will.

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Education & Professional Life

After a two-year course of study at the College of William & Mary that he began at age seventeen, Jefferson read the law for five sầu years with Virginia’s prominent jurist, George Wythe, and recorded his first legal case in 1767. In two years he was elected lớn Virginia’s House of Burgesses (the legislature in colonial Virginia).

His first political work to lớn gain broad acclayên was a 1774 draft of directions for Virginia’s delegation to the First Continental Congress, reprinted as a “Summary View of the Rights of British America.” Here he boldly reminded George III that, “he is no more than the chief officer of the people, appointed by the laws, và circumscribed with definite powers, khổng lồ assist in working the great machine of government. . . .” Nevertheless, in his “Summary View” he maintained that it was not the wish of Virginia khổng lồ separate from the mother country.6 But two years later as a thành viên of the Second Continental Congress and chosen to lớn draft the Declaration of Independence, he put forward the colonies’ arguments for declaring themselves miễn phí & independent states. The Declaration has been regarded as a charter of American and universal liberties. The document proclaims that all men are equal in rights, regardless of birth, wealth, or status; that those rights are inherent in each human, a gift of the creator, not a gift of government, and that government is the servant & not the master of the people.

Jefferson recognized that the principles he included in the Declaration had not been fully realized & would remain a challenge across time, but his poetic vision continues lớn have sầu a profound influence in the United States & around the world. Abrasay mê Lincoln made just this point when he declared:

All honor to lớn Jefferson – to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, & capađô thị to lớn introduce inkhổng lồ a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, và so lớn embalm it there, that to-day & in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke & a stumbling-blochồng to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny và oppression.7

After Jefferson left Congress in 1776, he returned to Virginia & served in the legislature. In late 1776, as a member of the new House of Delegates of Virginia, he worked closely with James Madison. Their first collaboration, to over the religious establishment in Virginia, became a legislative battle which would culminate with the passage of Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786.

Elected governor from 1779 lớn 1781, he suffered an inquiry inlớn his conduct during the British invasion of Virginia in his last year in office that, although the investigation was finally repudiated by the General Assembly, left him with a life-long pricklishness in the face of criticism and generated a life-long enmity toward Patriông chồng Henry whom Jefferson blamed for the investigation. The investigation “inflicted a wound on my spirit which will only be cured by the all-healing grave” Jefferson told James Monroe.8During the brief private interval in his life following his governorship, Jefferson completed the one book which he authored, Notes on the State of Virginia. Several aspects of this work were highly controversial. With respect to slavery, in Notes Jefferson recognized the gross injustice of the institution – warning that because of slavery “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his Justice cannot sleep for ever.” But he also expressed racist views of blacks’ abilities; albeit he recognized that his views of their limitations might result from the degrading conditions to which they had been subjected for many years. With respect khổng lồ religion, Jefferson’s Notes emphatically supported a broad religious freedom and opposed any establishment or linkage between church & state, famously insisting that “it does me no injury for my neighbour to lớn say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”9

In 1784, he entered public service again, in France, first as trade commissioner & then as Benjamin Franklin"s successor as U.S. minister. During this period, he avidly studied European culture, sending home lớn, books, seeds và plants, along with architectural drawings, artwork, furniture, scientific instruments, và information.

In 1790 he agreed to be the first secretary of state under the new Constitution in the administration of the first president, George Washington. His tenure was marked by his opposition to lớn the policies of Alexander Hamilton which Jefferson believed both encouraged a larger & more powerful national government & were too pro-British. In 1796, as the presidential candidate of the nascent Democratic-Republican Party, he became vice-president after losing to John Adams by three electoral votes. Four years later, he defeated Adams in another hotly contested election và became president, the first peaceful transfer of authority from one buổi tiệc nhỏ to lớn another in the history of the young nation.

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Perhaps the most notable achievements of his first term were the purchase of the Louisiamãng cầu Territory in 1803 và his support of the Lewis & Clark expedition. His second term, a time when he encountered more difficulties on both the domestic và foreign fronts, is most remembered for his efforts lớn maintain neutrality in the midst of the conflict between Britain và France. Unfortunately, his efforts did not avert a war with Britain in 1812 after he had left office và his frikết thúc and colleague, James Madison, had assumed the presidency.

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