Thomas Jefferson Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Thomas Jefferson

He was one of the strongest proponents of the aspirations of the American people in new America. Throughout his life, he wore many hats; in addition to being a public official, he was also a philosopher and historian. This text concerns itself with Thomas Jefferson. In so doing, it looks at his life and times and outlines some of his major accomplishments. The text will also briefly highlight some of Thomas Jefferson's blunders that led to his being branded a hypocrite.

Early Years

Described by Freidel and Sidey as a "powerful advocate of liberty," Thomas Jefferson was the United States' third president. He "was born in 1743 in Albemarle County, Virginia, inheriting from his father, a planter and surveyor, some 5,000 acres of land, and from his mother, a Randolph, high social standing" (Freidel and Sidey). His mother came from one of the most distinguished, respected, and revered families in Virginia - the Randolph family. To some extent, Jefferson's background, upbringing, and education had a great impact on the direction his life took -- and eventually, on his participation in politics. With regard to his education, Jefferson attended "the College of William and Mary" (Freidel and Sidey). At the age of 29, he met the love of his life, a lady by the name Martha Wayles Skelton, whom he married, and with whom they had...
...Martha passed on ten years later.

Political Career

Prior to joining politics, Jefferson had a brief stint as a civil servant when he served as a magistrate in the local government. It was after his election to the House of Burgesses that his political ambitions started becoming apparent. Although he was not particular a vocal member, his "silent" contribution to the committee, i.e. via his writings, effectively made him indispensible (Blakesley and Hoogeveen 737). In 1775, Jefferson became an alternate selectee as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He played a crucial and pivotal role in the 1776 drafting of the declaration of independence, and as Blakesley and Hoogeveen further point out, this document has been regarded one of Western civilization's most important documents (737). Four-year later, he was elected Governor of Virginia -- replacing Patrick Henry, his predecessor. After the end of his term, Jefferson declined re-election as governor and instead chose to retire to Monticello from where he devoted most of his time to agriculture and writing. Shortly after the death of his wife (in 1782), Jefferson was recalled by Washington as minister to his county, a post he never assumed as the peace (with Great Britain), for which he was to negotiate, was secured before he could assume the said…

Sources Used in Documents:


Blakesley, David, and Jeffrey Hoogeveen. The Thomas Handbook. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2007. Print.

Finkelman, Paul. "Thomas Jefferson and Antislavery: The Myth Goes On." The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 102.2 (April 1994): 193-228. Print.

Freidel, Frank, and Hugh Sidey. The Presidents of the United States of America. Washington, DC: White House Historical association, 2006. Print.

Gibbons, Francis. The Spiritual Dimensions of America. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2005. Print.

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