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Thomas Jefferson

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"Thomas Jefferson"

Thomas Jefferson was to Jane Randolph and Peter Jefferson on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia. In 1752, Jefferson began attending a local school run by William Douglas, a Scottish reverend. Jefferson studied the classical languages of Latin, Greek, and French. His father died when he was 14 years old. Jefferson inherited 5,000 acres of land and many slaves. He built his home on the land, which became known as Monticello. Jefferson went to school in the Fredericksburg parish, where he received a classical education and studied history and natural science.

Jefferson went to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg at 16 years of age, where he studied philosophy, mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy. He reportedly studied 15 hours a day. He was a member of the Flat Hat Club, the first collegiate secret society founded in the United States. Jefferson graduated with honors, and studied law with his friend and mentor, George Wythe, and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1767.

Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence and a contributor to American political and civil culture. The Continental Congress delegated the task of writing the Declaration to a Committee of Five that voted Jefferson to prepare the draft of the Declaration alone. In September 1776, Jefferson was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he drafted 126 bills in three years. Jefferson served as governor of Virginia; he oversaw the transfer of the state capitol from Williamsburg to Richmond. Virginia was invaded twice by the British during Jefferson's term as governor. He was almost captured by the British in Charlottesville, but managed to escape. His public image was nearly ruined but changed after the siege of Yorktown. Jefferson went on to serve as the minister of France. He did not attend the Constitutional Convention; he did generally support the Constitution, though he thought it needed a Bill of Rights.




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