Thomas Jefferson was the third President of United States of America. What’s more, he was among the Founding Fathers of USA when in 1776, thirteen American Colonies declared independence from British and became autonomous nation under the name of United States of America. He was the champion of democracy and personal freedom of every individual. He loved reading books and had a huge collection in his home comprising of thousands of volumes. He was the founder of University of Virginia. He was a lawyer as well as linguist. He could read and write in quite a few languages like German, Greek, French and Spanish. He studied science, philosophy and classics from eminent teachers of his time. He loved playing violin. He was also one of the finest orators that America has ever had.
Date of Birth: April 13, 1743
Place of Birth: Shadwell, Virginia
Date of Death: July 4, 1826
- The names of Jefferson’s grandfather as well as Great grandfather were also Thomas.
- The name of his father was Peter Jefferson. He was a cartographer, possessor of slaves and inspector in Virginia. He belonged to a Welsh origin which means their ancestors were from Wales.
- His parents got married in 1739.
- Jefferson had 9 siblings. He was the third child of Peter Jefferson.
- The name of Jefferson’s sister was Jane. She was three years older than Jefferson. She passed away when she was just 25 years old in October 1, 1765.
- All the holdings of his father were divided amongst Randolph (brother) and Thomas. When he reached 21, he became the legal possessor of such holdings.
- Jefferson became heir to about 50 slaves, 5,000-acre piece of land as well as a big library which his father left when he passed away in 1757.
- The name of his wife was Martha Wayles. She was a widow.
- Jefferson and Martha got married on January 1, 1772. Martha was 23 years of age at the time of marriage. This was her second marriage with Jefferson.
- The marriage of Jefferson and Martha continued for about 11 years.
- Jefferson was 6 years older than his wife Martha.
- Martha was a diabetic patient and the disease continued to get worse until she finally died at the age of 33 on September 6, 1782. She died only months following the birth of her last child.
- Jefferson did not marry again though he was a young man of 39 because he gave his word to Martha (who asked her not to do so while she was dying) that he would not marry after her death.
- The farmhouse where Jefferson’s wedding took place was known as ‘The Forest’. This was the estate of his wife Martha. It is located close by Williamsburg and the couple spent 14 days after their marriage was over.
- Jefferson’s estate was in Monticello and there was a distance of hundred miles between Charles City County (The Forest) and Monticello. After wedding was over, the couple decided to head off Monticello on a carriage. The carriage had two horses but the city was struck with heavy blizzard at the time. As a result, carriage was stuck in about 30-feet snow and Jefferson-Martha couple had to ride the two horses and reached Monticello.
- Jefferson and Martha had 6 kids but four of them died very young. Only two daughters reached maturity and one of these two girls died under the age of 25.
- Jefferson liked playing violin while Martha loved to play piano. Jefferson gave a present of ‘Fortepiano’ to Martha as a wedding gift.
I cannot live without books – Thomas Jefferson
- His early education began in Tuckahoe.
- While he was just 9 years old, he started learning French, Greek and Latin.
- The name of the professor and mentor from whom Jefferson studied law was George Wythe.
- Professor William Small taught him philosophy and mathematics.
- He was always fond of studying books. He used to study classics of Cornelius Tacitus and Homer, learned playing violin and studied Greek and French.
- During a period of two years (1758 – 1760), Jefferson studied science and history from James Maury who was Virginia’s most popular figure in the field of education.
- In 1762, he completed his graduation from The College of William & Mary. One of the Jefferson’s dearest friends in college was named John Page of Rosewell.
- His personal library in his home in Shadwell comprising 200 volumes was razed in fire in 1770.
- On July 5, 1784, he set out for France from his home in Boston. Since the journey took 19 days, he learned Spanish language during these days.
- In 1787, he was elected as a Fellow of one of the oldest societies in USA named American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- Until 1814, there were 6,487 books in the personal library of Jefferson which was the biggest collection at the time in USA. He sold all of these books to the Library of Congress at a price of about $23,950.
- Jefferson was also a member of the finest US academic society located in Philadelphia and known as American Philosophical Society (APS). In 1743, Benjamin Franklin founded this society. Jefferson remained a member of this society for about 35 years until January 20, 1815.
- In 1819, he founded the University of Virginia.
- He made the original document of United States Declaration of Independence by uniting thirteen American colonies under the name of ‘United States of America’.
- The name of Jefferson’s personal physician was Robley Dunglison. He was a British. He is also recognized as ‘Father of American Physiology’.
- The funeral of Thomas Jefferson was done by priest Charles Clay on July 5.
- During final hours before his death, Jefferson pulled his family and friends together as they sat beside his deathbed. Jefferson said to them in the following words:
I have done for my country, and for all mankind, all that I could do,
and I now resign my soul, without fear, to my God, – my daughter to my country – Thomas Jefferson
Interesting Facts about Thomas Jefferson
- He was among the founding fathers of the United States of America.
- Jefferson was the third US President.
- He was the first US Secretary of State.
- He was the second US President whose postage stamp was released in 1856.
- He invented quite a few scientific devices as well like Great Clock and cipher wheel.
- He wrote almost 18,000 letters in his entire lifetime.
- When he was just 26 years of age, he began the construction of his farm in the region of Piedmont named Monticello. The land was originally used for the cultivation of Tobacco but Jefferson started growing wheat on it.
- He was elected as the Governor of Virginia for the very first time in 1779. He was 36 years of age at the time.
- At the time of his Governorship, Williamsburg was Virginia’s capital. Jefferson changed the capital and made Richmond as its new capital in 1780.
- Jefferson was elected as the US President on February 17, 1801 and took oath as President on March 4.
- Jefferson purchased a very large area of land in 1803 from France and termed it as ‘Louisiana Purchase’. With the possession of Louisiana territory, the size of the then United States increased twofold.