Thomas Jefferson grew up in the English Colony of Virginia. His parents, Peter and Jane, were wealthy landowners. Thomas enjoyed reading, exploring nature, and playing the violin. When he was just 11 years old his father died. He inherited his father’s large estate, named Monticello, and began to manage it at the age of 21.
Thomas attended the college of William and Mary in Virginia. There he met his mentor, a law professor by the name of George Wythe. He became interested in law and would later decide to become a lawyer.
Before he became President, Thomas Jefferson had a number of jobs: he was a lawyer who studied and practiced law, a farmer and managed his vast estate and a politician who served as a member of Virginia’s legislature.
By the 1770s, the American colonies, including Jefferson’s Virginia, began to feel they were being unfairly treated by their British rulers. Thomas Jefferson became a leader in the fight for independence and represented Virginia at the Continental Congress.
During the Second Continental Congress, Jefferson was tasked, together with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, to write a Declaration of Independence. This document was to state that the colonies considered themselves free from British rule and were willing to fight for that freedom. Jefferson was the primary author of the document and wrote the first draft. After incorporating a few changes from the other members of the committee, they presented it to the Congress. This document is one of the most treasured documents in the history of the United States.
Jefferson became the third President of the United States on March 4, 1801. One of the first things he did was try to reduce the federal budget, moving power back into the hands of the states. He also lowered taxes, which made him popular to many people. One of his major accomplishments was the Louisiana Purchase whereby The US purchased from France all the land West of the Mississippi.
Jefferson became sick in 1825. His health grew worse, and he finally passed away on July 4, 1826. It is an amazing fact that he died on the same day as his fellow founding father John Adams. Even more amazing is that they both died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
He was the 3rd president and without him we would not have the freedom we have today.