Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Infobox President
name=Thomas Jefferson

order=3rd President of the United States
term_start=March 4, 1801
term_end=March 4, 1809
predecessor=John Adams
successor=James Madison
birth_date=OldStyleDate|April 13|1743|April 2
birth_place=Shadwell, Virginia
death_date=death date and age|1826|07|4|1743|04|13
death_place=Charlottesville, Virginia
spouse=Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
children=Martha Washington Jefferson, Jane Randolph Jefferson, Stillborn son, Mary Wayles Jefferson, Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson I, Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson II.
alma_mater=The College of William & Mary
occupation=Lawyer, Farmer (Planter)
vicepresident=Aaron Burr (1801–1805), George Clinton (1805–1809)
religion = Unitarian a/o Deist

order2=2nd Vice President of the United States
term_start2=March 4, 1797
term_end2=March 4, 1801
president2=John Adams
predecessor2=John Adams
successor2=Aaron Burr
order3=1st United States Secretary of State
term_start3=September 26, 1789
term_end3=December 31, 1793
president3=George Washington
predecessor3= "New Office"
successor3=Edmund Randolph
ambassador_from4=United States
predecessor4=Benjamin Franklin
successor4=William Short
appointed4=Congress of the Confederation
order5= Delegate from Virginia to The Congress of the Confederation
term_end5= 1784
order6=2nd Governor of Virginia
term_start6=June 1, 1779
term_end6=June 3, 1781
predecessor6=Patrick Henry
successor6=William Fleming
order7= Delegate from Virginia to The Second Continental Congress
term_end7= 1776

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826)The birth and death of Thomas Jefferson are given using the Gregorian calendar. However, he was born when Britain and her colonies still used the Julian calendar, so contemporary records record his birth (and on his tombstone) as April 2, 1743. The provisions of the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750, implemented in 1752, altered the official British dating method to the Gregorian calendar with the start of the year on January 1ndash see the article on Old Style and New Style dates for more details.] was the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806).

As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states' rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state [ [ Jefferson's Wall of Separation Letter] . U.S. Constitution Online. Retrieved on: April 13, 2008.] and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the co-founder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for a quarter-century. Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), first United States Secretary of State (1789–1793) and second Vice President (1797–1801).

A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor, and 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 Housendash with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." [April 29, 1962 dinner honoring 49 Nobel Laureates ("Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations", 1988, from "Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States": John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 347).]

Early life and education


Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 into a family closely related to some of the most prominent individuals in Virginia, the third of eight children. His mother was Jane Randolph, daughter of Isham Randolph, a ship's captain and sometime planter, and first cousin to Peyton Randolph. Jefferson's father was Peter Jefferson, a planter and surveyor in Albemarle County (Shadwell, then Edge Hill, Virginia.) He was of Welsh descent. When Colonel William Randolph, an old friend of Peter Jefferson, died in 1745, Peter assumed executorship and personal charge of William Randolph's estate in Tuckahoe as well as his infant son, Thomas Mann Randolph. That same year the Jeffersons relocated to Tuckahoe where they would remain for the next seven years before returning to their home in Albemarle whereupon Peter Jefferson was appointed to the Colonelcy of the county, a very important position at the time.Henry Stephens Randall, "The Life of Thomas Jefferson"]


In 1752, Jefferson began attending a local school run by William Douglas, a Scottish minister. At the age of nine, Jefferson began studying Latin, Greek, and French. In 1757, when he was 14 years old, his father died. Jefferson inherited about 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land and dozens of slaves. He built his home there, which eventually became known as Monticello.

After his father's death, he was taught at the school of the learned minister James Maury from 1758 to 1760. [cite web|url= |title=The Thomas Jefferson Papers Timeline: 1743–1827|publisher=Library of Congress |accessdate=2007-04-21] The school was in Fredericksville Parish near Gordonsville, Virginia, twelve miles (19 km) from Shadwell, and Jefferson boarded with Maury's family. There he received a classical education and studied history and science.

In 1760 Jefferson entered The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg at the age of 16; he studied there for two years, graduating with highest honors in 1762. At William & Mary, he enrolled in the philosophy school and studied mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy under Professor William Small, who introduced the enthusiastic Jefferson to the writings of the British Empiricists, including John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton (Jefferson called them the "three greatest men the world had ever produced"). [Merrill D. Peterson, "Thomas Jefferson: Writings", p. 1236] He also perfected his French, carried his Greek grammar book wherever he went, practiced the violin, and read Tacitus and Homer. A keen and diligent student, Jefferson displayed an avid curiosity in all fields and, according to the family tradition, frequently studied fifteen hours a day. His closest college friend, John Page of Rosewell, reported that Jefferson "could tear himself away from his dearest friends to fly to his studies."

While in college, Jefferson was a member of a secret organization called the Flat Hat Club, now the namesake of the William & Mary student newspaper. He lodged and boarded at the College in the building known today as the Sir Christopher Wren Building, attending communal meals in the Great Hall, and morning and evening prayers in the Wren Chapel. Jefferson often attended the lavish parties of royal governor Francis Fauquier, where he played his violin and developed an early love for wines. [ [ Thomas Jefferson on Wine] by John Hailman, 2006] After graduating in 1762 with highest honors, he studied law with George Wythe and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1767.

Life as a lawyer

On October 1, 1765, Jefferson's oldest sister Jane died at the age of 25.Henry Stephens Randall, "The Life of Thomas Jefferson". p 41] Jefferson fell into a period of deep mourning as he was already exasperated by the absence of his sisters Mary, who had been married several years to Thomas Bolling; and Martha, who had wed earlier in July to Dabney Carr. Both had moved to their husbands' residences and left only Elizabeth, Lucy, and the two toddlers as his companions. Jefferson was not comforted by the presence of Elizabeth or Lucy because they did not provide him with the same intellectual stimulation as his older siblings had.

Jefferson would go on to handle many cases as a lawyer in colonial Virginia, managing more than a hundred cases each year between 1768 and 1773 in General Court alone, while acting as counsel in hundreds of cases.Henry Stephens Randall, "The Life of Thomas Jefferson". p 47] Jefferson's client list included members of the Virginia's elite families including members of his mother's family, the Randolphs.

In 1772, Jefferson married a 23-year-old widow named Martha Wayles Skelton. They had six children: Martha Jefferson Randolph (1772–1836), Jane Randolph (1774–1775), a stillborn or unnamed son (1777), Mary Wayles (1778–1804), Lucy Elizabeth (1780–1781), and Elizabeth (1782–1785). Martha died on September 6, 1782 and Jefferson never remarried. Jefferson may also have been the father of several children with his slave Sally Hemings, though the father may also have been one of his male relatives (see Jefferson DNA data).

Political career from 1774 to 1800

Towards revolution

In addition to practicing law, Jefferson also represented Albemarle County in the Virginia House of Burgesses beginning in 1769. Following the passage of the Coercive Acts by the British Parliament in 1774, he wrote a set of resolutions against the acts, which were expanded into "A Summary View of the Rights of British America", his first published work. Previous criticism of the Coercive Acts had focused on legal and constitutional issues, but Jefferson offered the radical notion that the colonists had the natural right to govern themselves.Merrill D. Peterson, "Jefferson, Thomas"; "American National Biography Online", February 2000.] Jefferson also argued that Parliament was the legislature of Great Britain only, and had no legislative authority in the colonies. The paper was intended to serve as instructions for the Virginia delegation of the First Continental Congress, but Jefferson's ideas proved to be too radical for that body. Nevertheless, the pamphlet helped provide the theoretical framework for American independence, and marked Jefferson as one of the most thoughtful patriot spokesmen.

Drafting a declaration

Jefferson served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress beginning in June 1775, soon after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. When Congress began considering a resolution of independence in June 1776, Jefferson was appointed to a five-man committee to prepare a declaration to accompany the resolution. The committee selected Jefferson to write the first draft probably because of his reputation as a writer. The assignment was considered routine; no one at the time thought that it was a major responsibility. [Ellis, "American Sphinx", 47–49.] Jefferson completed a draft in consultation with other committee members, drawing on his own proposed draft of the Virginia Constitution, George Mason's draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and other sources. [Maier, "American Scripture". Other standard works on Jefferson and the Declaration include Garry Wills, "Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence" (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1978; ISBN 0385089767) and Carl L. Becker, "The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas" (1922).]

Jefferson showed his draft to the committee, which made some final revisions, and then presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776. After voting in favor of the resolution of independence on July 2, Congress turned its attention to the declaration. Over several days of debate, Congress made a few changes in wording and deleted nearly a fourth of the text, most notably a passage critical of the slave trade, changes that Jefferson resented.Ellis, "American Sphinx", 50.] On July 4, 1776, the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved. The Declaration would eventually become Jefferson's major claim to fame, and his eloquent preamble became an enduring statement of human rights.

tate legislator

In September 1776, Jefferson returned to Virginia and was elected to the new Virginia House of Delegates. During his term in the House, Jefferson set out to reform and update Virginia's system of laws to reflect its new status as a democratic state. He drafted 126 bills in three years, including laws to abolish primogeniture, establish freedom of religion, and streamline the judicial system. In 1778, Jefferson's "Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge" led to several academic reforms at his "alma mater", including an elective system of study—the first in an American university.

While in the state legislature Jefferson proposed a bill to eliminate all crimes punishable to death in Virginia except murder and treason. His effort to reform the death penalty law was defeated by just one vote, [ [ Part I: History of the Death Penalty ] ] and Virginia retained such crimes as rape as punishable to death until the 1960s. [] .

Governor of Virginia

Jefferson served as governor of Virginia from 1779–1781. As governor, he oversaw the transfer of the state capital from Williamsburg to the more central location of Richmond in 1780. He continued to advocate educational reforms at the College of William and Mary, including the nation's first student-policed honor code. In 1779, at Jefferson's behest, William and Mary appointed George Wythe to be the first professor of law in an American university. Dissatisfied with the rate of changes he wanted to push through, he later became the founder of the University of Virginia, which was the first university in the United States at which higher education was completely separate from religious doctrine.

Virginia was invaded twice by the British during Jefferson's term as governor. He, along with Patrick Henry and other leaders of Virginia, were but ten minutes away from being captured by Banastre Tarleton, a British colonel leading a cavalry column that was raiding the area in June 1781. [cite book|last=Bennett|first=William J.|authorlink=William Bennett|title=America: The Last Best Hope (Volume I): From the Age of Discovery to a World at War|publisher=Nelson Current|year=2006|pages=99 |chapter=The Greatest Revolution|id=ISBN 1-59555-055-0] Public disapproval of his performance delayed his future political prospects, and he was never again elected to office in Virginia. [wikiref |id=Ferling-2004 |text=Ferling, p. 26]

Minister to France

Because Jefferson served as minister to France from 1785 to 1789, he was not able to attend the Philadelphia Convention. He generally supported the new constitution despite the lack of a bill of rights and was kept informed by his correspondence with James Madison.

While in Paris, he lived in a residence on the Champs-Élysées. He spent much of his time exploring the architectural sites of the city, as well as enjoying the fine arts that Paris had to offer. He became a favorite in the salon culture and was a frequent dinner guest of many of the city's most prominent people.

Despite his numerous friendships with the social and noble elite, when the French Revolution began in 1789, Jefferson sided with the revolutionaries.

ecretary of State

After returning from France, Jefferson served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington (1789–1793). Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton began sparring over national fiscal policy, especially the funding of the debts of the war, with Hamilton believing that the debts should be equally shared, and Jefferson believing that each state should be responsible for its own debt (Virginia had not accumulated much debt during the Revolution). In further sparring with the Federalists, Jefferson came to equate Hamilton and the rest of the Federalists with Tories and monarchists who threatened to undermine republicanism. He equated Federalism with "Royalism," and made a point to state that "Hamiltonians were panting after...and itching for crowns, coronets and mitres." [wikiref |id=Ferling-2004 |text=Ferling, p. 59] Jefferson and James Madison founded and led the Democratic-Republican Party. He worked with Madison and his campaign manager John J. Beckley to build a nationwide network of Republican allies to combat Federalists across the country.

Jefferson strongly supported France against Britain when war broke out between those nations in 1793. Historian Lawrence S. Kaplan notes Jefferson's "visceral support for the French cause," while agreeing with Washington that the nation should not get involved in the fighting. [ "Foreign Affairs," in Peterson, ed. "Thomas Jefferson: A Reference Encyclopedia" (1986) p 325 ] The arrival in 1793 of an aggressive new French minister, Edmond-Charles Genêt, caused a crisis for the Secretary of State, as he watched Genêt try to violate American neutrality, manipulate public opinion, and even go over Washington's head in appealing to the people; projects that Jefferson helped to thwart. According to Schachner, Jefferson believed that political success at home depended on the success of the French army in Europe: [wikiref |id=Schachner-1951 |text=Schachner, 1: 495] :Jefferson still clung to his sympathies with France and hoped for the success of her arms abroad and a cordial compact with her at home. He was afraid that any French reverses on the European battlefields would give "wonderful vigor to our monocrats, and unquestionably affect the tone of administering our government. Indeed, I fear that if this summer should prove disastrous to the French, it will damp that energy of republicanism in our new Congress, from which I had hoped so much reformation."

A break from office

Jefferson at the end of 1793 retired to Monticello where he continued to orchestrate opposition to Hamilton and Washington. However, the Jay Treaty of 1794, orchestrated by Hamilton, brought peace and trade with Britainndash while Madison, with strong support from Jefferson, wanted, Miller says, "to strangle the former mother country" without actually going to war. "It became an article of faith among Republicans that 'commercial weapons' would suffice to bring Great Britain to any terms the United States chose to dictate." Jefferson, in retirement, strongly encouraged Madison. [ Miller (1960), 143–4, 148–9.]

The 1796 election and Vice Presidency

As the Democratic-Republican candidate in 1796 he lost to John Adams, but had enough electoral votes to become Vice President (1797–1801). He wrote a manual of parliamentary procedure, but otherwise avoided the Senate.

thumb|Portrait_of_Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt Peale, 1800]

With the Quasi-War, an undeclared naval war with France, underway, the Federalists under John Adams started a navy, built up the army, levied new taxes, readied for war, and enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798. Jefferson interpreted the Alien and Sedition Acts as an attack on his party more than on dangerous enemy aliens; they were used to attack his party, with the most notable attacks coming from Matthew Lyon, congressman of Vermont. He and Madison rallied support by anonymously writing the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which declared that the federal government had no right to exercise powers not specifically delegated to it by the states. The Resolutions meant that, should the federal government assume such powers, its acts under them could be voided by a state. The Resolutions presented the first statements of the states' rights theory, that later led to the concepts of nullification and interposition.

The election of 1800

Working closely with Aaron Burr of New York, Jefferson rallied his party, attacking the new taxes especially, and ran for the Presidency in 1800. Consistent with the traditions of the times, he did not formally campaign for the position. Prior to the passage of the 12th Amendment, a problem with the new union's electoral system arose. He tied with Burr for first place in the Electoral College, leaving the House of Representatives (where the Federalists still had some power) to decide the election.

After lengthy debate within the Federalist-controlled House, Hamilton convinced his party that Jefferson would be a lesser political evil than Burr and that such scandal within the electoral process would undermine the still-young regime. The issue was resolved by the House, on February 17, 1801 after thirty-six ballots, when Jefferson was elected President and Burr Vice President. Burr's refusal to remove himself from consideration created ill will with Jefferson, who dropped Burr from the ticket in 1804 after Burr killed Hamilton in a duel.

Presidency 1801–1809

Administration and cabinet

Infobox U.S. Cabinet
President=Thomas Jefferson
President start=1801
President end=1809
Vice President=Aaron Burr
Vice President start=1801
Vice President end=1805
Vice President 2=George Clinton
Vice President start 2=1805
Vice President end 2=1809
State=James Madison
State start=1801
State end=1809
Treasury=Samuel Dexter
Treasury date=1801
Treasury 2=Albert Gallatin
Treasury start 2=1801
Treasury end 2=1809
War=Henry Dearborn
War start=1801
War end=1809
Justice=Levi Lincoln, Sr.
Justice start=1801
Justice end=1804
Justice 2=John Breckinridge
Justice start 2=1805
Justice end 2=1806
Justice 3=Caesar A. Rodney
Justice start 3=1807
Justice end 3=1809
Navy=Benjamin Stoddert
Navy date=1801
Navy 2=Robert Smith
Navy start 2=1801
Navy end 2=1809

upreme Court appointments

Jefferson appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:
*William Johnsonndash 1804
*Henry Brockholst Livingstonndash 1807
*Thomas Toddndash 1807

tates admitted to the Union

*Ohiondash March 1, 1803

Father of a university

:"Also see: History of the University of Virginia"

After leaving the Presidency, Jefferson continued to be active in public affairs. He also became increasingly concerned with founding a new institution of higher learning, specifically one free of church influences where students could specialize in many new areas not offered at other universities. Jefferson believed educating people was a good way to establish an organized society, and also felt schools should be paid for by the general public, so less wealthy people could obtain student membership as well. [ [ Jefferson on Politics & Government: Publicly Supported Education ] ] A letter to Joseph Priestley, in January, 1800, indicated that he had been planning the University for decades before its establishment.

His dream was realized in 1819 with the founding of the University of Virginia. Upon its opening in 1825, it was then the first university to offer a full slate of elective courses to its students. One of the largest construction projects to that time in North America, it was notable for being centered about a library rather than a church. In fact, no campus chapel was included in his original plans. Until his death, Jefferson invited students and faculty of the school to his home; Edgar Allan Poe was among those students. fact|date=September 2008

Jefferson is widely recognized for his architectural planning of the University of Virginia grounds, an innovative design that is a powerful representation of his aspirations for both state sponsored education and an agrarian democracy in the new Republic. His educational idea of creating specialized units of learning is physically expressed in the configuration of his campus plan, which he called the "Academical Village." Individual academic units are expressed visually as distinct structures, represented by Pavilions, facing a grassy quadrangle, with each Pavilion housing classroom, faculty office, and residences. Though unique, each is visually equal in importance, and they are linked together with a series of open air arcades that are the front facades of student accommodations. Gardens and vegetable plots are placed behind surrounded by serpentine walls, affirming the importance of the agrarian lifestyle.

His highly ordered site plan establishes an ensemble of buildings surrounding a central rectangular quadrangle, named The Lawn, which is lined on either side with the academic teaching units and their linking arcades. The quad is enclosed at one end with the library, the repository of knowledge, at the head of the table. The remaining side opposite the library remained open-ended for future growth. The lawn rises gradually as a series of stepped terraces, each a few feet higher than the last, rising up to the library set in the most prominent position at the top, while also suggesting that the Academical Village facilitates easier movement to the future.

Stylistically, Jefferson was a proponent of the Greek and Roman styles, which he believed to be most representative of American democracy by historical association. Each academic unit is designed with a two story temple front facing the quadrangle, while the library is modeled on the Roman Pantheon. The ensemble of buildings surrounding the quad is an unmistakable architectural statement of the importance of secular public education, while the exclusion of religious structures reinforces the principal of separation of church and state. The campus planning and architectural treatment remains today as a paradigm of the ordering of manmade structures to express intellectual ideas and aspirations. A survey of members of the American Institute of Architects identified Jefferson's campus as the most significant work of architecture in America.

The University was designed as the capstone of the educational system of Virginia. In his vision, any citizen of the commonwealth could attend school with the sole criterion being ability.

Jefferson's death

Jefferson died on the Fourth of July, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. He died a few hours before the death of John Adams, his compatriot in their quest for independence, then great political rival, and later friend and correspondent. Adams is often rumored to have referenced Jefferson in his last words, unaware of his passing. [ [ Jefferson Still Survives.] Retrieved on 2006-12-26.]

Although he was born into one of the wealthiest families in the United States, Thomas Jefferson was deeply in debt when he died.

Jefferson's trouble began when his father-in-law died, and he and his brothers-in-law quickly divided the estate before its debts were settled. It made each of them liable for the whole amount duendash which turned out to be more than they expected.

Jefferson sold land before the American Revolution to pay off the debts, but by the time he received payment, the paper money was worthless amid the skyrocketing inflation of the war years. Cornwallis ravaged Jefferson's plantation during the war, and British creditors resumed their collection efforts when the conflict ended. Jefferson was burned again when he co-signed notes for a relative who reneged on debts in the financial panic of 1819. Only Jefferson's public stature prevented creditors from seizing Monticello and selling it out from under him during his lifetime.

After his death, his possessions were sold at auction. In 1831, Jefferson's 552 acres (223 hectares) were sold for $7,000 to James T. Barclay. Thomas Jefferson is buried on his Monticello estate, in Charlottesville, Virginia. In his will, he left Monticello to the United States to be used as a school for orphans of navy officers. His epitaph, written by him with an insistence that only his words and "not a word more" be inscribed, reads:Jefferson owned many slaves over his lifetime. Some find it baffling that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves yet was outspoken in saying that slavery was immoral and it should be abolished. Biographers point out that Jefferson was deeply in debt and had encumbered his slaves by notes and mortgages; he chose not to free them until he finally was debt-free, which he never was. [Herbert E. Sloan, "Principle and Interest: Thomas Jefferson and the Problem of Debt" (2001) pp. 14–26, 220–1.] Jefferson seems to have suffered pangs and trials of conscience as a result. [wikiref |id=Hitchens-2005 |text=Hitchens 2005, p. 48] He wrote about slavery, "We have the wolf by the ears; and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other." [Miller, John Chester (1977). "The Wolf by the Ears: Thomas Jefferson and Slavery." New York: Free Press, p. 241. The letter, dated April 22, 1820, was written to John Holmes, former senator from Maine.]

During his long career in public office, Jefferson attempted numerous times to abolish or limit the advance of slavery. He sponsored and encouraged Free-State advocates like James Lemen.Macnaul, W.C. (1865). [ "The Jefferson-Lemen Compact."] ] According to a biographer, Jefferson "believed that it was the responsibility of the state and society to free all slaves." [Willard Sterne Randall, "Thomas Jefferson: A Life". p 593.] In 1769, as a member of the House of Burgesses, Jefferson proposed for that body to emancipate slaves in Virginia, but he was unsuccessful. [ [ The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes] at the Library of Congress.] In his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson condemned the British crown for sponsoring the importation of slavery to the colonies, charging that the crown "has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere." However, this language was dropped from the Declaration at the request of delegates from South Carolina and Georgia.

In 1778, the legislature passed a bill he proposed to ban further importation of slaves into Virginia; although this did not bring complete emancipation, in his words, it "stopped the increase of the evil by importation, leaving to future efforts its final eradication." In 1784, Jefferson's draft of what became the Northwest Ordinance stipulated that "there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude" in any of the new states admitted to the Union from the Northwest Territory. [ [ Ordinance of 1787] Lalor Cyclopædia of Political Science] In 1807, he signed a bill abolishing the slave trade.

Jefferson attacked the institution of slavery in his "Notes on the State of Virginia" (1784):

In this same work, Jefferson advanced his suspicion that black people were inferior to white people "in the endowments both of body and mind." ["Notes on the State of Virginia" Query 14] However, Jefferson did also write in this same work that a black person could have the right to live free in any country where people judge them by their nature and not as just being good for labor as well. [
] ] He also wrote, "Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. [But] the two races...cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them." According to historian Stephen Ambrose: "Jefferson, like all slaveholders and many other white members of American society, regarded Negroes as inferior, childlike, untrustworthy and, of course, as property. Jefferson, the genius of politics, could see no way for African Americans to live in society as free people." [ [ Flawed Founders] by Stephen E. Ambrose.] His solution seems to have been for slaves to be freed then deported peacefully, failing which the same result would be imposed by war and that, in Jefferson's words, "human nature must shudder at the prospect held up. We should in vain look for an example in the Spanish deportation or deletion of the Moors. This precedent would fall far short of our case." [wikiref |id=Hitchens-2005 |text=Hitchens 2005, pp. 34–35]

On February 25, 1809, Jefferson repudiated his earlier view, writing in a letter to Abbé Grégoire:

The downturn in land prices after 1819 pushed Jefferson further into debt. Jefferson finally emancipated his five most trusted slaves; the others were sold after his death to pay his debts. [wikiref |id=Peterson-1975 |text=Peterson 1975, pp. 991–992, 1007]

ally Hemings controversy

Whether Jefferson fathered children with Sally Hemings is the subject of considerable controversy. Regarding marriage between blacks and whites, Jefferson wrote that " [t] he amalgamation of whites with blacks produces a degradation to which no lover of his country, no lover of excellence in the human character, can innocently consent." [Miller, John Chester (1977). "The Wolf by the Ears: Thomas Jefferson and Slavery." New York: Free Press, p. 207. Jefferson wrote these words in 1814.] In addition, Hemings was likely the half-sister of Jefferson's deceased wife Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson (John Wayles had a reputation for relations with his slaves). The allegation that Jefferson fathered children with Hemings first gained widespread public attention in 1802, when controversial journalist James T. Callender, wrote in a Richmond newspaper, "... [Jefferson] keeps and for many years has kept, as his concubine, one of his slaves. Her name is Sally." Jefferson never responded publicly about this issue but is said to have denied it in his private correspondence. [ [ The Thomas Jefferson - Sally Hemings Myth and the Politicization of American History] ]

A 1998 DNA study concluded that there was a DNA link between some of Hemings descendants and the Jefferson family, but it did not conclusively prove that Jefferson himself was their ancestor. (He belonged to the Haplogroup 'T' DNA group.) Three studies were released in the early 2000s, following the publication of the DNA evidence. In 2000, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which runs Monticello, appointed a multi-disciplinary, nine-member in-house research committee of Ph.D.s and an M.D. to study the matter of the paternity of Hemings's children. The committee concluded "it is very unlikely that any Jefferson other than Thomas Jefferson was the father of [Hemings's six] children." [ [ Report of the Research Committee on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, Appendix J: The Possible Paternity of Other Jeffersons, A Summary of Research] ]

In 2001, the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society [ [ The Scholars Commission on the Jefferson-Hemings Issue] ] commissioned a study by an independent 13-member Scholars Commission. The commission concluded that the Jefferson paternity thesis was not persuasive. On April 12, 2001, they issued a report; at 565 pages, it was far longer than the Foundation report, though many of those pages were devoted to a review of the evidence that the Thomas Jefferson Foundation study examined. The conclusion of most of the Scholars Commission was that "the Jefferson-Hemings allegation is by no means proven"; those members' individual conclusions ranged from "serious skepticism about the charge" to "a conviction that it is almost certainly false." The majority suggested the most likely alternative is that Randolph Jefferson, Thomas's younger brother, was the father of Eston.

The "National Genealogical Society Quarterly" then published articles reviewing the evidence from a genealogical perspective and concluded that the link between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings was credible. [Helen F. M. Leary, [ "Sally Hemings's Children: A Genealogical Analysis of the Evidence] ," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 89, no. 3 (September 2001), 165–207. ]

Monuments and memorials

*April 13, 1943, the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth, the Jefferson Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. The interior includes a convert|19|ft|m|0|sing=on statue of Jefferson and engravings of passages from his writings. Most prominent are the words which are inscribed around the monument near the roof: "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man".
*Jefferson, together with George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, was chosen by sculptor Gutzon Borglum and approved by President Calvin Coolidge to be depicted in stone at the Mount Rushmore Memorial.
*Jefferson's portrait appears on the U.S. $2 bill, nickel, and the $100 Series EE Savings Bond.
*July 8, 2003, the NOAA ship "Thomas Jefferson" was commissioned in Norfolk, Virginia. This was done in commemoration of his establishment of a Survey of the Coast, the predecessor to NOAA's National Ocean Service.
*In 2005, a bronze monument was placed in Jefferson Park, Chicago at the entrance to the Jefferson Park Transit Center along Milwaukee Avenue.

ee also

*Monticello Association
*The Rotunda (University of Virginia)
*Plan for Establishing Uniformity in the Coinage, Weights, and Measures of the United States
*Thomas Jefferson and Haitian Emigration
*Maria Cosway
*List of coupled cousins
*Jefferson disk




Primary sources

*" [ Thomas Jefferson: Writings: Autobiography / Notes on the State of Virginia / Public and Private Papers / Addresses / Letters] " (1984, ISBN 978-0-94045016-5) Library of America edition. There are numerous one-volume collections; this is perhaps the best place to start.
*"Thomas Jefferson, Political Writings" ed by Joyce Appleby and Terence Ball. [ Cambridge University Press. 1999 online]
* [ Lipscomb, Andrew A. and Albert Ellery Bergh, eds. "The Writings Of Thomas Jefferson" 19 vol. (1907)] not as complete nor as accurate as Boyd edition, but covers TJ from birth to death. It is out of copyright, and so is online free.
*Edwin Morris Betts (editor), "Thomas Jefferson's Farm Book", (Thomas Jefferson Memorial: December 1, 1953) ISBN 1-882886-10-0. Letters, notes, and drawings—a journal of plantation management recording his contributions to scientific agriculture, including an experimental farm implementing innovations such as horizontal plowing and crop-rotation, and Jefferson's own moldboard plow. It is a window to slave life, with data on food rations, daily work tasks, and slaves' clothing. The book portrays the industries pursued by enslaved and free workmen, including in the blacksmith's shop and spinning and weaving house.
*Boyd, Julian P. et al, eds. " [ The Papers of Thomas Jefferson] ." The definitive multivolume edition; available at major academic libraries. 31 volumes covers TJ to 1800, with 1801 due out in 2006.
* [ "The Jefferson Cyclopedia" (1900)] large collection of TJ quotations arranged by 9000 topics; searchable; copyright has expired and it is online free.
*The Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606–1827, 27,000 original manuscript documents at the Library of Congress [ online collection]
*Jefferson, Thomas. "Notes on the State of Virginia" (1787), London: Stockdale. This was Jefferson's only book
**Shuffleton, Frank, ed., (1998) Penguin Classics paperback: ISBN 0-14-043667-7
**Waldstreicher, David, ed., (2002) Palgrave Macmillan hardcover: ISBN 0-312-29428-X
** [ online edition]
*Cappon, Lester J., ed. "The Adams-Jefferson Letters" (1959)
*Howell, Wilbur Samuel, ed. "Jefferson's Parliamentary Writings" (1988). Jefferson's Manual of Parliamentary Practice, written when he was vice-President, with other relevant papers
*Smith, James Morton, ed. "The Republic of Letters: The Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, 1776–1826", 3 vols. (1995)


*Appleby, Joyce. "Thomas Jefferson" (2003), short interpretive essay by leading scholar
*Bernstein, R. B. "Thomas Jefferson". (2003) Well regarded short biography
*Burstein, Andrew. "Jefferson's Secrets: Death and Desire at Monticello." (2005).
*Cunningham, Noble E. "In Pursuit of Reason" (1988) well-reviewed short biography
*Ellis, Joseph J. "" (1996). Prize winning essays; assumes prior reading of a biography
*Hitchens, C. E."Thomas Jefferson: Author of America" (2005), short biography
* [ "American Sphinx: The Contradictions of Thomas Jefferson.] essay by Joseph Ellis
*Malone, Dumas. "Jefferson and His Time", 6 vols. (1948–82). Multi-volume biography of TJ by leading expert; [ A short version is online]
*Onuf, Peter "The Scholars' Jefferson," "William and Mary Quarterly" 3d Series, L:4 (October 1993), 671–699. Historiographical review or scholarship about TJ; online through JSTOR at most academic libraries.
*Pasley, Jeffrey L. "Politics and the Misadventures of Thomas Jefferson's Modern Reputation: a Review Essay." "Journal of Southern History" 2006 72(4): 871–908. Issn: 0022-4642 Fulltext in Ebsco
*cite book |last=Peterson |first=Merrill D. |title=Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation |year=1975 A standard scholarly biography
*Peterson, Merrill D. (ed.) "Thomas Jefferson: A Reference Biography" (1986), 24 essays by leading scholars on aspects of Jefferson's career.
*cite book |last=Randall
first=Henry Stephens |title=The Life of Thomas Jefferson|year=1858
1 vol.
*cite book |last=Schachner |first=Nathan |title=Thomas Jefferson: A Biography |year=1951 2 vol.
*Salgo, Sandor. "Thomas Jefferson: Musician and Violinist" (1997), a book detailing Thomas Jefferson's love of music

Academic studies

*Ackerman, Bruce. "The Failure of the Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Marshall, and the Rise of Presidential Democracy." (2005)
*Adams, Henry. "History of the United States of America during the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson" (1889; [ Library of America edition 1986)] famous 4-volume history
**Wills, Garry, "Henry Adams and the Making of America" (2005), detailed analysis of Adams' "History"
*Banning, Lance. "The Jeffersonian Persuasion: Evolution of a Party Ideology" (1978)
*cite book |last=Brown |first=Stuart Gerry |title=The First Republicans: Political Philosophy and Public Policy in the Party of Jefferson and Madison |year=1954
*Channing; Edward. "The Jeffersonian System: 1801–1811" (1906), "American Nation" survey of political history
*Dunn, Susan. "Jefferson's Second Revolution: The Election Crisis of 1800 and the Triumph of Republicanism" (2004)
*Elkins; Stanley and Eric McKitrick. "The Age of Federalism" (1995) in-depth coverage of politics of 1790s
*Fatovic, Clement. "Constitutionalism and Presidential Prerogative: Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian Perspectives." ": American Journal of Political Science," 2004 48(3): 429–444. Issn: 0092-5853 Fulltext: in Swetswise, Ingenta, Jstor, and Ebsco
*cite book |last=Ferling |first=John |title=Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 |year=2004
*Finkelman, Paul. "Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson" (2001), esp ch 6–7
*Hatzenbuehler, Ronald L. "I Tremble for My Country": Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Gentry," (University Press of Florida; 206 pages; 2007). Argues that the TJ's critique of his fellow gentry in Virginia masked his own reluctance to change
*cite book |last=Hitchens |first=Christopher |title=Author of America: Thomas Jefferson |publisher=HarperCollins |year=2005
*Horn, James P. P. Jan Ellen Lewis, and Peter S. Onuf, eds. "The Revolution of 1800: Democracy, Race, and the New Republic" (2002) 17 essays by scholars
*Jayne, Allen. "Jefferson's Declaration of Independence: Origins, Philosophy and Theology" (2000); traces TJ's sources and emphasizes his incorporation of Deist theology into the Declaration.
*Roger G. Kennedy. "Mr. Jefferson's Lost Cause: Land, Farmers, Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase" (2003).
*Knudson, Jerry W. "Jefferson and the Press: Crucible of Liberty." (2006)
*Lewis, Jan Ellen, and Onuf, Peter S., eds. "Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: History, Memory, Civic Culture". (1999)
*McDonald, Forrest. "The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson" (1987) intellectual history approach to Jefferson's Presidency
*Matthews, Richard K. "The Radical Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson: An Essay in Retrieval," "Midwest Studies in Philosophy," XXVIII (2004)
*Mayer, David N. "The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson" (2000)
*Onuf, Peter S. "Jefferson's Empire: The Languages of American Nationhood". (2000). [ Online review]
*Onuf, Peter S., ed. "Jeffersonian Legacies". (1993)
*Onuf, Peter. [ "Thomas Jefferson, Federalist" (1993)] online journal essay
*Perry, Barbara A. "Jefferson's Legacy to the Supreme Court: Freedom of Religion." "Journal of Supreme Court History" 2006 31(2): 181–198. Issn: 1059-4329 Fulltext in Swetswise, Ingenta and Ebsco
*Peterson, Merrill D. "The Jefferson Image in the American Mind" (1960), how Americans interpreted and remembered Jefferson
*Rahe, Paul A. "Thomas Jefferson's Machiavellian Political Science". "Review of Politics" 1995 57(3): 449–481. ISSN 0034–6705 Fulltext online at Jstor and Ebsco.
*Sears, Louis Martin. "Jefferson and the Embargo" (1927), state by state impact
*Sloan, Herbert J. "Principle and Interest: Thomas Jefferson and the Problem of Debt" (1995). Shows the burden of debt in Jefferson's personal finances and political thought.
*Smelser, Marshall. "The Democratic Republic: 1801–1815" (1968). "New American Nation" survey of political and diplomatic history
*Staloff, Darren. "Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson: The Politics of Enlightenment and the American Founding." (2005)
*Taylor, Jeff. "Where Did the Party Go?: William Jennings Bryan, Hubert Humphrey, and the Jeffersonian Legacy" (2006), on Jefferson's role in Democratic history and ideology.
*Tucker, Robert W. and David C. Hendrickson. "Empire of Liberty: The Statecraft of Thomas Jefferson" (1992), foreign policy
*Urofsky, Melvin I. "Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall: What Kind of Constitution Shall We Have?" "Journal of Supreme Court History" 2006 31(2): 109–125. Issn: 1059-4329 Fulltext: in Swetswise, Ingenta and Ebsco
*Valsania, Maurizio. "'Our Original Barbarism': Man Vs. Nature in Thomas Jefferson's Moral Experience." "Journal of the History of Ideas" 2004 65(4): 627–645. Issn: 0022-5037 Fulltext: in Project Muse and Swetswise
*Wagoner, Jennings L., Jr. "Jefferson and Education." (2004).
*Wiltse, Charles Maurice. "The Jeffersonian Tradition in American Democracy" (1935), analysis of Jefferson's political philosophy
* [ PBS interviews with 24 historians]

Jefferson and religion

*Gaustad, Edwin S. "Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson" (2001) Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 0-8028-0156-0
*Sanford, Charles B. "The Religious Life of Thomas Jefferson" (1987) University of Virginia Press, ISBN 0-8139-1131-1
*Sheridan, Eugene R. "Jefferson and Religion", preface by Martin Marty, (2001) University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 1-882886-08-9
*Edited by Jackson, Henry E., President, College for Social Engineers, Washington, D. C. "The Thomas Jefferson Bible" (1923) Copyright Boni and Liveright, Inc. Printed in the United States of America. Arranged by Thomas Jefferson. Translated by R. F. Weymouth. Located in the National Museum, Washington, D. C.

External links and sources

* [ University of Virginia Jefferson Papers]
* [ Monticello's Shadows, "City Journal," Autumn 2007]
* [ Extensive essay on Thomas Jefferson and shorter essays on each member of his cabinet and First Lady from the Miller Center of Public Affairs]
* [ American]
* [ B. L. Rayner's 1829 "Life of Thomas Jefferson", an on-line etext]
* [ Biography on White House website]
* [ Explore DC biography]
* [ "Frontline: Jefferson's blood: Chronology: The Sally Hemings story (1977), PBS]
* [ "The Hobby of My Old Age": Jefferson's University of Virginia]
* [ Library of Congress: Jefferson exhibition]
* [ Library of Congress: Jefferson timeline]
* [ "Thomas Jefferson's Plan for the University of Virginia: Lessons from the Lawn," a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan]
* [ Jefferson: Man of the Millennium]
* [ Medical History and Health of Thomas Jefferson]
* [ Monticello - Home of Thomas Jefferson]
* [ Poplar Forest-Thomas Jefferson's second home]
* [ Jefferson Memorial, Washington DC]
* [ "The Thomas Jefferson Hour"] hosted by Clay S. Jenkinson
* [ The Papers of Thomas Jefferson] at the Avalon Project
* [ Plaque at University of Missouri at Find-A-Grave]
* [ Quotations from Jefferson]
* [ "The Sally Hemings Story" Slavery in America, Narratives/Biographies]
* [ "Report of the Research Committee on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings", Thomas Jefferson Foundation January 2000"] with link to .pdf version of full report
* [ Selected letters]
* [ Thomas Jefferson Biography]
*Find A Grave|id=544
* [ "Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: A Brief Account"] at
* [ Thomas Jefferson Quotes] at
* [ University of Virginia biography]
*gutenberg author|id=Thomas+Jefferson+(1743–1826)|name=Thomas Jefferson
* [ US embassy, Caracas biography]
* [ "Writings of Thomas Jefferson", Albert Ellery Bergh, ed., 19 vol. (1905).] 5145KB zipped ASCII file
* [ Biography by Rev. Charles A. Goodrich, 1856]
* [ The Earth Belongs to the Living] ndash selected letters on currency, banking, statecraft
* [ TJ Truth]
* [ Jefferson legacy website]
* [ Thomas Jefferson: A Resource Guide] from the Library of Congress

NAME=Jefferson, Thomas
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American President
DATE OF BIRTH=April 13, 1743
PLACE OF BIRTH=Albemarle County, Virginia
DATE OF DEATH=July 4, 1826
PLACE OF DEATH=Charlottesville, Virginia

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