Thomas Jefferson

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Portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 — July 4, 1826), draftsman of the Declaration of Independence of the United States and the nation’s first secretary of state (1789–1794) and second vice president (1797–1801) and, as the third president (1801–1809), the statesman responsible for the Louisiana Purchase. An early advocate of total separation of church and state, he also was the founder and architect of the University of Virginia and the most eloquent American proponent of individual freedom as the core meaning of the American Revolution.[1]

Colloquially referred to as "TJ", Thomas Jefferson's presidency initiated the quarter-century rule of the "Virginia Dynasty" (1801–1825) in which four of the first five presidents were from Virginia - including the loyal Jeffersonian Republican Party James Madison (1809–1817) and James Monroe (1817–1825). The first Virginia president, George Washington (1789–1797), is the only United States president who did not represent a political party.

Thomas Jefferson's Birthday

National Thomas Jefferson Day: each year on April 13th honors the birth of the third President of The United States, Thomas Jefferson, who was born on April 13, 1743. A joint resolution approved on August 16, 1937, authorized the President of the United States to proclaim April 13 as "Thomas Jefferson's Birthday" each year.

  • On March 21, 1938 Presidential Proclamation 2276 issued by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon officials of the Government to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on April 13, 1938, and on April 13 of each succeeding year, and do invite the people of the United States to observe the day in schools, churches, and other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies in commemoration of the birth of Thomas Jefferson.
  • President George W. Bush issued proclamation 8124 on April 11, 2007, stating that "... on Thomas Jefferson Day, we commemorate the birthday of a monumental figure whose place in our Nation’s history will always be cherished".
  • On July 1, 2020, the Charlottesville City Council voted to officially remove Thomas Jefferson's birthday as a local holiday.[2]


Early years

Albermarle county, where Jefferson was born, lay in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in what was then regarded as a western province of the Old Dominion. His father, Peter Jefferson, was a self-educated surveyor who amassed a large estate that included 60 slaves. His mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, was descended from one of the most prominent families in Virginia. She raised two sons, of whom Jefferson was the eldest, and six daughters. [3]

Brief Bio

TJ designed both Monticello and the University of Virginia which both appear on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organizations World Heritage List. Jefferson returned often to Monticello, “Little Mountain,” his home from 1770 until his death in 1826. Thomas Jefferson is buried at Monticello, about 2 miles southeast of City of Charlottesville.

Timeline

  • August 9, 1762: TJ's cousin, Mary Randolph was born to Thomas Mann and Ann Cary Randolph of Tuckahoe. Mary counted among her cousins, Mary Lee Fitzhugh, the wife of George Washington Parke Custis who was the stepgrandson of George Washington and David Meade Randolph, whom she married. Mary would remain in close contact with Jefferson's family - her brother Thomas Mann Randolph, Governor of Virginia (1819-1821), married Martha Jefferson, daughter of Thomas Jefferson. Mary's husband, David Randolph was a Federalist and an open critic of his second cousin Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party, also referred to as the Jeffersonian Republican Party.
  • August 17, 1757: His father, Peter Jefferson, died (aged 49). TJ boarded with the local schoolmaster to learn Latin and Greek.
  • 1760: Entered the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg.
  • 1762: TJ began reading law with George Wythe, the leading legal scholar in Virginia.
  • 1765: As a student, Thomas Jefferson attended the House of Burgesses when he witnessed Patrick Henry's defiant stand against the Stamp Act.
  • 1767: TJ left Williamsburg.
  • 1768: He started building his own home atop an 867-foot-high mountain near Shadwell that he eventually named Monticello and stood as a candidate for the House of Burgesses.
  • 1769: He gained the Virginia bar and began practice, mostly representing small-scale planters from the western counties in cases involving land claims and titles.
  • 1769: Elected to the House of Burgesses. It was there that his involvement in revolutionary politics began.
  • June 1, 1779: Elected Governor of Virginia by the legislature, Jefferson was 36 years old.[4]
  • April 1, 1801: President Thomas Jefferson appointed Meriwether Lewis as Secretary to the President, whom he knew through Virginia society in Albemarle County.
  • June 4, 1885: Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone, given by the Jefferson heirs to the University of Missouri, the first state university founded in the Louisiana Purchase Territory, was first dedicated at Mizzou this Sunday afternoon.

Tombstone

Although Jefferson is buried at Monticello, Jefferson’s heirs ordered a replica be placed at Monticello and donated the original three-part structure to the University of Missouri in 1883. Jefferson's original tombstone is located in Columbia, Missouri. Near the end of his life, probably when he prepared and signed his final will in March 1826, Thomas Jefferson designed his own gravestone and prepared the text to be engraved on it. Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence Of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom & Father of the University of Virginia.

Local

Many local streets, businesses and organizations are named in his honor Jefferson's notable influences on the area include:

  • Owner and designer of Monticello.
  • Founder of the UVA.
  • As U.S. President, Jefferson champion of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806), including the selection of Meriwether Lewis.
TJ.jpg

United States

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson on the United States two-dollar bill ($2)

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Laid out in 1802, after a plan for an “ideal city” by Thomas Jefferson, Jeffersonville’s main street includes a variety of architectural styles, with Italianite the most prevalent. Also, Jeffersonville was once a hub of the Union Army. Old Jeffersonville Historic District was placed on the National Register in 1983, the district is bound by Court and Graham Streets, the Ohio River and Route 65.[5]
Down river, Less than two miles, is Clarksville, IN and the George Rogers Clark home site (1803-1809). Located at the lower end of the Falls of The Ohio, Clark built a cabin in 1803 on a rocky point above the fall that now overlooks Corn Island and Louisville, which he founded in 1778. It was George Rogers Clark whom Thomas Jefferson first asked to lead an expedition to the Pacific in 1783. From this site Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the nucleus of the Corps of Discovery launched their expedition on October 26, 1803.

References

  1. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Thomas-Jefferson
  2. Web. City council votes to remove Thomas Jefferson holiday, By Brianna Hamblin, CBS19NEWS.COM, July 02, 2019, Updated Tue 12:04 PM, Jul 02, 2019, retrieved October 15, 2019.
  3. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Thomas-Jefferson
  4. Barefoot, Coy. Thomas Jefferson on Leadership: Executive Lessons from His Life and Letters. New York, NY: Plume, 2002. Print.
  5. https://www.ohioriverbyway.com/south-central-indiana-trip-2/

External links

Local reenactment business