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


He could have filled several markers had he chosen to lớn danh sách 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 and the House of Burgesses as well as filling various local offices — all tallied inlớn almost five sầu decades of public service. He also omitted his work as a lawyer, architect, writer, farmer, gentleman scientist, & life as patriarch of an extended family at thithptquocgianăm nhâm thì, both Trắng & blachồng. He offered no particular explanation as khổng lồ why only these three accomplishments should be recorded, but they were quality to Jefferson.quý khách hàng sẽ xem: Thomas jefferson là ai



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 and 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 khổng lồ 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, và educational opportunity. While he knew that we would continue khổng lồ 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.

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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 lớn insure that the great experiment would continue.

Early Life and thithptquocgianăm

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 and surveyor & his mother Jane Randolph a member of one of Virginia’s most distinguished families. When Jefferson was fourteen, his father died, and 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 Shadwell và where he played as a boy.3 He would name this mountain thithptquocgianăm nhâm thì, & the house that he would build & 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 briông chồng structure that would consist of a single room with a walk-out basement kitchen & workroom below. This would eventually be referred to lớn as the South Pavilion and 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 thithptquocgianăm nhâm thì; 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 inkhổng lồ adulthood, Martha (known as Patsy) and Mary (known as Maria or Polly).5

Along with the land Jefferson inherited slaves from his father & even more slaves from his father-in-law, John Wayles; he also bought & 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 thithptquocgianăm nhâm thì; the others lived on his adjacent Albemarle County farms, & 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 khổng lồ the running of his farms & building và maintaining his home page at thithptquocgianăm Some were given training in various trades, others worked the fields, và some worked inside the main house.

Education and Professional Life

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

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His first political work lớn gain broad acclaim was a 1774 draft of directions for Virginia’s delegation to lớn 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, and circumscribed with definite powers, lớn 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 free & independent states. The Declaration has been regarded as a charter of American và 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, & 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 và would remain a challenge across time, but his poetic vision continues to lớn have a profound influence in the United States và around the world. Abrasi mê Lincoln made just this point when he declared:

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

After Jefferson left Congress in 1776, he returned to Virginia and 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 kết thúc 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 to 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 hlặng with a life-long pricklishness in the face of criticism và generated a life-long enmity toward Patriông xã 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 lớn 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 lớn which they had been subjected for many years. With respect to lớn religion, Jefferson’s Notes emphatically supported a broad religious freedom and opposed any establishment or linkage between church và state, famously insisting that “it does me no injury for my neighbour 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 and then as Benjamin Franklin"s successor as U.S. minister. During this period, he avidly studied European culture, sending trang chính to thithptquocgianăm, books, seeds và plants, along with architectural drawings, artwork, furniture, scientific instruments, & information.

Perhaps the most notable achievements of his first term were the purchase of the Louisiamãng cầu Territory in 1803 và his tư vấn of the Lewis và Clark expedition. His second term, a time when he encountered more difficulties on both the domestic and foreign fronts, is most remembered for his efforts to 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 & his friend and colleague, James Madison, had assumed the presidency.