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Thomas Jefferson Biography

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Thomas Jefferson the author of the Declaration of Independence was born on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia. He accomplished many things throughout his life that would change the shape of America.Jefferson has held many titles in government such as being the first secretary of state (1789-94); second vice president (1797-1801); and, as the third president (1801-09).

Jefferson was born into a powerful family in Virginia’s planter elite. Both of his parents were very important with his mother coming from English and Scottish royalty, and his father a successful farmer, surveyor, and cartographer who made a map of the Province of Virginia. Jefferson was the third born out of 10 siblings. Even at a young age Jefferson got his formal education ,and in 1760 he attended at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. After 3 years Jefferson chose to study in Law ,and through 5 years of study he became one of the most learned lawyers in America. On January 1, 1772 he married Martha Wayles Skelton one of the wealthiest women in Virginia. They had 6 children yet only 2 of them lived to adulthood.

Jefferson’s political life began after the French and Indian War(1763)which left Great Britain in financial difficulties. To raise money Britain imposed new taxes on its colonies in america. The taxes on paper and goods angered colonists starting the American Revolution and the famous slogan, “No taxation without representation!” The revolution began in April 19, 1775 ,and Jefferson became one of the first and most loyal supporter of the revolution against Great Britain. Elected to the Virginia House Of Burgesses in 1768 and joined it’s group led by Patrick Henry and George Washington. In 1775, Jefferson attended the Second Continental Congress where the Continental Army was formed, Washington was assigned commander-in-chief. While the more important work from Congress was given to Jefferson himself.

In June 1776, Congress appointed 5 people to draft a Declaration Of Independence. The group gave Jefferson the task of creating the declaration’s first draft. In 17 days he created the Declaration Of Independence,one of the most important documents in US history declaring independence from Britain. He included the rights of all human beings and the ending of King George III rule over the colonies in America. His first draft went threw multiple revisions ,but his famous words remain “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” After finishing with the Declaration Of Independence he returned to Virginia where he served as a member of Virginia House Of Delegates for 3 years. In 1777 he made freedom of religion ,but it was not truly a Virginia state law until 9 years. It was still one of his biggest accomplishments.

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