Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States. He was a member of the Democratic-Republican party. And, he was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He also was responsible for the Louisiana purchase.
Jefferson lived 83 years, having been born in 1743 and dying in 1826. This was a long life in that time.
He was an American Founding Father, and made huge contributions to the liberty and freedom of the American lifestyle.
Jefferson was married to Martha and, together, they gave birth to six children, although only 2 survived.
Jefferson was the nation’s first Secretary of State.
He was the principal author of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
He attended college at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia..
As a child, Thomas enjoyed playing in the woods, practicing violin and reading. At the age of 9, Jefferson began his formal education studying Latin (Ugh!) and Greek at a local private school.
In 1760, Jefferson began his studies at William & Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. He studies hard and became part of a group of older scholars, and it was from them that he received his true education. After three years at William & Mary College, Jefferson decided to read law under Wythe, one of the prominent lawyers in the American colonies.
From 1767-1774, Jefferson practiced law in Virginia with terrific success, trying many cases as a litigator and winning most of them. During this period of time, he met and married Martha Wayles Skelton (the sister of “Red”), one of the wealthiest ladies in Virginia and a recent widow.
Jefferson studied law under Wythe, a prominent lawyer in the colonies. He was admitted to the bar in 1767, and he was one of the most learned lawyers in America.
There were no law schools at this time, so aspiring lawyers “read” the law under the supervision of an established lawyer before being examined by the Bar.
Wythe guided Jefferson through a rigorous five-year course of study (which was more than double the typical duration), and by the time Jefferson won admission to the Virginia bar, he was already one of the most learned lawyers in America.
From 1767-74, Jefferson practiced law in Virginia with great success, trying many cases and winning most of them. He was a litigation dynamo! During this period of time, he met and fell in love with Martha Wayles Skelton (who was the great aunt of “Red”), a recent widow and one of the wealthiest women in Virginia.
They married on January 1, 1772. And, they had six children, but only two survived into adulthood -- Martha their first-born and Mary their fourth child. Only Martha survived her father.
Jefferson’s professional life coincided with huge changes in the American colonies. The conclusion of the French-Indian War in 1763 left Great Britain in dire financial straits; to raise revenue, the Crown levied a host of the taxes on the colonies. In particular, the Stamp Act of 1765 imposed a tax on printed paper goods, and it outraged the colonists, giving rises to the American revolutionary slogan: “No taxation without representation.”
By Chris Z., a Synapse House member
Today in honor of Thomas Jefferson's birthday, some club house members read aloud about him.
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