Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)

Thomas Jefferson

1743 On the 13th of April, in Shadwell, Virginia, USA, Thomas Jefferson was born, son of a prosperous plantations’ owner in Virginia and law school leaver. He was the author of Declaration of Independence, the first USA secretary, the second vice president and the third president of USA. His mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, member of the famous Randolph sept, pretended she was a descendant of some British and Scottish royal families. His father, Peter Jefferson, was a successful farmer, but also a qualified cartographer inspector who made the first accurate map of Virginia province.

1769 Jefferson joined politic when he was 26 years old, so becoming one of the first activists that fought against British domination within American colonies. He was elected for Legislative Assembly in Virginia.

1770 He started to build his mansion, Monticello, in Charlottesville.

1774 His aggressive pamphlet “A Merest Glimpse over British America’s Rights” appointed him as the best choice for preparation of Declaration of Independence project of rebellious colonists.

1779-1781 Governor’s term of his native state, that he had during War of Independence was overshadowed by accusations of incompetence and cowardice regarding country’s defense. Even if he was rehabilitated, the experience let a bitter taste.

1785-1789 He was USA ambassador in France. Duties of an ambassador to Paris prevented him to take part in constitution establishment of new nation, he deplored the fact that he had not succeeded to include a list of rights or a limitation of the number of terms a president could have. While he was abroad, Jefferson was not successful regarding American trade promotion because Europeans ignored its potential. He signed only one commercial treaty with Prussia. As a direct observer of French Revolution, he was not affected by his arbitrary cruelty and by the excessive violence, but, paradoxically, he considered that France could not have a Republican form of government. He thought that French people should have chosen constitutional monarchy like in Great Britain.

1790-1793 During this period, Jefferson was first secretary under Washington’s administration.

1796-1800 He was vice president for John Adam’s administration; he became head of new Agrarian Party, Republican Party that opposed Federalists and Alexander Hamilton, who advantaged the trade and cities’ interests.

1797-1815 He was President of American Philosophy Academy.

1801 On the 4th of March, Thomas Jefferson was elected as the third president of USA, so defeating the former president John Adams. As president of nation, Jefferson lived in self-imposed austerity fact that decreased the military taxes and expenses. This austerity period finished when Jefferson started to trust The Vision of an America – a continental power.

1803 His vision made him chose Lewis and Clark to a transcontinental expedition to explore and buy Louisiana, acquirement that doubled the national territory.

1804 Jefferson won easily the second term. This proved to be harder than the first and less productive. He ordered foreign trade boycott in order to avoid a possible meddle into the war between England and France. Very unpopular among merchants and those who were interested in navy trade, the embargo law was repealed in 1809, in the same time with his withdrawal from country leading.

1825 University in Virginia was inaugurated. He enjoyed a long and quiet old age that he used to satisfy his numerous cultural concerns, but especially to establish University in Virginia, whose buildings and education program were conceived by him.

1826 In the same year and day, on the 4th of July, when President John Adams died, just on USA Independence Day, Thomas Jefferson died at Monticello, his plantation in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Thomas Jefferson is considered as one of the most remarkable USA presidents and as one of the most prominent patriots of American Revolution. For him, total breaking of England did not mean only independence gaining, but also the freedom to create a new kind of state based on sovereignty and natural equality of people principles. An aristocratic revolutionary, learned and man of science, Jefferson was a wonderful representative of enlightenment in America.

1943 Jefferson’s monument was inaugurated by Franklin D. Roosevelt, in Washington, DC. Within epitaph he wrote, Thomas Jefferson mentioned that he had conceived Declaration of Independence for Religious States in Virginia and that he had established University in Virginia, but he omitted to mention that he had been USA president for two times. Jefferson said someday: “We are all decided to dye as free people than to live forever as slaves.”[1]






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