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Thomas Jefferson

Official Presidential portrait of Thomas Jefferson .jpg

3rd President of the United States

In officeMarch 4, 1801 – March 4, 1809

Vice President

Aaron BurrGeorge Clinton

Preceded by

John Adams

Succeeded by

James Madison

2nd Vice President of the United States

In officeMarch 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801

President

John Adams

Preceded by

John Adams

Succeeded by

Aaron Burr

1st United States Secretary of State

In officeMarch 22, 1790 – December 31, 1793

President

George Washington

Preceded by

John Jay

Succeeded by

Edmund Randolph

2nd United States Minister to France

In officeMay 17, 1785 – September 26, 1789

Appointed by

Congress of the Confederation

Preceded by

Benjamin Franklin

Succeeded by

William Short

Minister Plenipotentiary for Negotiating Treaties of Amity and Commerce

In officeMay 12, 1784 – May 11, 1786

Appointed by

Congress of the Confederation

Preceded by

Office established

Succeeded by

Office abolished

Delegate to theCongress of the Confederation from Virginia

In officeNovember 3, 1783 – May 7, 1784

Preceded by

James Madison

Succeeded by

Richard Lee

2nd Governor of Virginia

In officeJune 1, 1779 – June 3, 1781

Preceded by

Patrick Henry

Succeeded by

William Fleming

Delegate to the Continental Congress from Virginia

In officeJune 20, 1775 – September 26, 1776

Preceded by

George Washington

Succeeded by

John Harvie

Constituency

Second Continental Congress

Personal details

Born

April 13, 1743 Shadwell, Colony of Virginia, British America

Died

July 4, 1826 Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.

Resting place

Monticello, Virginia, U.S.

Political party

Democratic-Republican

Spouse

Martha Wayles ( m.   1772 ; died  1782 )

Children

11, including Martha and Mary 5 with Sally Hemings including Madison and Eston

Education

College of William and Mary

Signature

Thomas Jefferson signature

Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Previously, he had served as the second vice president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation; he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level.

Jefferson was mainly of English ancestry, born and educated in colonial Virginia. He graduated from the College of William & Mary and briefly practiced law, with the largest number of his cases concerning land ownership claims. During the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration, drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator, and served as the 2nd Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781, during the American Revolutionary War. He became the United States Minister to France in May 1785, and subsequently the nation's first secretary of state under President George Washington from 1790 to 1793. Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. With Madison, he anonymously wrote the controversial Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799, which sought to strengthen states' rights by nullifying the federal Alien and Sedition Acts.

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Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. - Thomas Jefferson

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.

Thomas Jefferson

president american press speech freedom liberty journalism
It does me no harm for my neighbor to believe in many Gods or no God. It neither robs my pocket nor breaks my leg. - Thomas Jefferson

It does me no harm for my neighbor to believe in many Gods or no God. It neither robs my pocket nor breaks my leg.

Thomas Jefferson

neighbor beliefs president american god religion
In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.

Thomas Jefferson

age
Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories. - Thomas Jefferson

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.

Thomas Jefferson

government alone
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. - Thomas Jefferson

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

Thomas Jefferson

truth government alone
One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more. - Thomas Jefferson

One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.

Thomas Jefferson

travel alone
When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred. - Thomas Jefferson

When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.

Thomas Jefferson

anger
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. - Thomas Jefferson

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

Thomas Jefferson

attitude
Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous, and illy bears the presence of a rival. - Thomas Jefferson

Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous, and illy bears the presence of a rival.

Thomas Jefferson

wisdom beauty
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. - Thomas Jefferson

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Thomas Jefferson

time power government experience best
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security. - Thomas Jefferson

For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.

Thomas Jefferson

best
He who knows best knows how little he knows. - Thomas Jefferson

He who knows best knows how little he knows.

Thomas Jefferson

best
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast. - Thomas Jefferson

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.

Thomas Jefferson

fitness best
It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own. - Thomas Jefferson

It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

Thomas Jefferson

change
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances. - Thomas Jefferson

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.

Thomas Jefferson

cool
One man with courage is a majority. - Thomas Jefferson

One man with courage is a majority.

Thomas Jefferson

courage