Thomas Jefferson

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Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Term of office March 4, 1801 – March 3, 1809
Preceded by John Adams
Succeeded by James Madison
Date of birth April 13, 1743 NS
Place of birth Shadwell, Virginia
Spouse Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
Political party Democratic-Republican

Thomas Jefferson (April 13 (April 2 O.S.), 1743July 4, 1826) was the third (18011809) President of the United States, second (17971801) Vice President, first (17891795) United States Secretary of State, and an American statesman, ambassador to France, political philosopher, revolutionary, agriculturalist, horticulturist, land owner, architect, etymologist,archaeologist, slaveowner, author, inventor, lawyer and founder of the University of Virginia. He was also the founder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, and the first President from that party. The Jeffersonian Republicans, as they were often called, dominated American politics for over a quarter-century.

Jefferson is perhaps best known for being the primary author of the United States Declaration of Independence (1776), especially the first lines of the second paragraph, which laid the foundation for the American Revolution and American democracy:

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. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Many people consider Jefferson to be among the most brilliant men ever to occupy the Presidency. President John F. Kennedy welcomed 49 Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962, saying, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." Achievements of his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.


Biographical information

Letter to Col. Skipwith, concerning millet seed
Letter to Col. Skipwith, concerning millet seed

Both Jefferson's father, Peter Jefferson, a successful planter and surveyor and his mother, Jane Randolph, were from families who had been settled in Virginia for several generations. He received his formal education at the College of William & Mary (1760-1762). As a young student (he arrived in Williamsburg at the age of sixteen), Jefferson excelled under the tutelage of Philosophy Professor William Small. Small introduced an enthusiastic Jefferson to the writings of Locke, Bacon and Newton and instructed him in mathematics and philosophy. In college, Jefferson was a member of the secret Flat Hat Club, now the namesake of William and Mary's daily newspaper. After graduating in 1762 (with highest honors), Jefferson studied law with his friend and mentor George Wythe and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1767. In 1779 at Jefferson's behest, William & Mary appointed George Wythe the first Professor of Law in America. In 1783, Jefferson was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by William and Mary. As Governor of Virginia, Jefferson continued to advocate educational reforms at William & Mary including the nation's first elective system of course study. In 1819, after years of public service, Jefferson founded his unique vision of education at the University of Virginia, then one of the first universities in the world to completely separate higher learning from religious doctrine.

Jefferson inherited about 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land and dozens of slaves from his father, out of which he created his home which would eventually be known as Monticello. He practiced law in Virginia and in 1772 Jefferson married a widow, Martha Wayles Skelton. Jefferson served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1774, he wrote A Summary View of the Rights of British America which was intended as instructions for the Virginia delegates to a national congress. The summary was considered to be towards the radical side at the time in terms of the view of the colonies towards the British government. It was not followed by the Virginia delegates, but it was published nationally and won Jefferson some national admirers who agreed with his ideas and who were impressed by his writing ability.

Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, and a source of many other contributions to American political and civil culture. The Continental Congress delegated the task of writing the Declaration to a committee which included Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston. The committee met and unanimously solicited Jefferson to prepare the draft of the Declaration alone.

The Library of Congress was founded from the sale of his collection (the Library was founded in 1800; Jefferson sold his third library to Congress in 1815). Jefferson himself designed his famous home, Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia; it included automatic doors, the first swivel chair, and other convenient devices invented by Jefferson. Nearby is the only university ever to have been founded by a President of the United States, the University of Virginia, of which the original curriculum and architecture Jefferson designed. Today, Monticello and the University of Virginia are together one of only four man-made World Heritage Sites in the United States of America.

Jefferson's interests included archaeology, a discipline then in its infancy. He has sometimes been called the "father of archaeology" in recognition of his role in developing excavation techniques. When exploring an Indian burial mound on his Virginia estate in 1784, Jefferson avoided the common practice of simply digging downwards until something turned up. Instead, he cut a wedge out of the mound so that he could walk into it, look at the layers of occupation, and draw conclusions from them.

Jefferson was also an avid wine lover and noted gourmet. During his ambassadorship to France (1784-1789) he took extensive trips through French and other European wine regions and sent the best back home. He is noted for the bold pronouncement: "We could in the United States make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good." While there were extensive vineyards planted at Monticello, a significant portion were of the European wine grape Vitis vinifera and did not survive the many vine diseases native to the Americas.
Jefferson's idea for the United States was that of an agricultural nation of yeoman farmers, in contrast to the vision of Alexander Hamilton, who envisioned a nation of commerce and manufacturing. Jefferson was a great believer in the uniqueness and the potential of the United States and is often classified as the forefather of American exceptionalism (see also exceptionalism).

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson is commemorated on the U.S. Nickel.
Jefferson is commemorated on the U.S. Nickel.

Jefferson was the first Secretary of State of the United States, serving from 1789 until 1794. He was also the second Vice President of the United States, under John Adams from 1797 until 1801, achieving that position after getting second place in the presidential election of 1796.

An electoral tie resulted between Jefferson and Aaron Burr in the U.S. presidential election, 1800. It was resolved on February 17, 1801 when Jefferson was elected President and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives. Jefferson is so far the only Vice President elected to the Presidency to serve two full terms. He was also the first Presidential candidate to be the target of a smear campaign from his opponents due to his religious beliefs. Jefferson, a Deist, was accused of being an atheist by the supporters of John Adams.

Jefferson's portrait appears on the U.S. $2 bill and the U.S. five cent piece, or nickel. Jefferson also appears on the $100 Series EE Savings Bond.

Jefferson passed away on July 4, 1826, the same day as John Adams. He is buried on his Monticello estate. His epitaph, written by him with an insistence that only his words and "not a word more" be inscribed, reads:

Here was buried
Thomas Jefferson
Author of the Declaration of American Independence
of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom
& Father of the University of Virginia

Jefferson was the first president to be buried in a grave as opposed to a crypt as both Washington and Adams were.


The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States.
The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States.

Jefferson's presidency, from 1801 to 1809, was the first to start and end in the White House; it was also the first Democratic-Republican presidency. Jefferson was also the only Vice President to be both elected as president and served two full terms as president of the United States.

Jefferson was a strict constructionist who compromised on his original principles during his presidency. He strayed from the principles of keeping a small navy, agrarian economy, strict constructionalism, and a small/weak government. A group called the tertium quids criticised Jefferson for his abandonment of his early principles.


Thomas Jefferson, powerful advocate of equality and liberty, gave his inaugural address on March 4, 1801 in Washington, DC. The principles of this address can mainly be categorized as unity and strength. At the time of Jefferson’s inauguration, the country was very much divided, mainly politically among politicians, between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans. The second president, John Adams, was the only Federalist president that the USA saw. Jefferson was the first Republican president. At this point in time it became very important to unify the country under common goals and ideas.

In the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution the idea that the majority couldn’t have all the power, to protect the rights of the minority, was very prominent. Jefferson largely restated these ideas in his inaugural address.

Another one of his important points was that America needs to become strong in the eyes of foreign powers. He realized the tremendous implications of being looked down upon by the mighty eyes of mother, from England, as well as other countries. Not having good relations would limit much trade and stifle the economy’s growth, as well as make America a very weak political power.

The final point Jefferson brought up is that America’s citizens are not American from birth, but from sharing the same ideas. He said this would make America a great power. He also said that Americans were enlightened by a benign religion.

Events during his presidency


President Thomas Jefferson 1801–1809
Vice President Aaron Burr 1801–1805
  George Clinton 1805–1809
Secretary of State James Madison 1801–1809
Secretary of the Treasury Samuel Dexter 1801
  Albert Gallatin 1801–1809
Secretary of War Henry Dearborn 1801–1809
Attorney General Levi Lincoln 1801–1804
  Robert Smith 1805
  John Breckinridge 1805–1806
  Caesar A. Rodney 1807–1809
Postmaster General Joseph Habersham 1801
  Gideon Granger 1801–1809
Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert 1801
  Robert Smith 1801–1810

Supreme Court appointments

Jefferson appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:

States admitted to the Union

Father of a university

See article: University of Virginia

After retiring from politics, Jefferson became increasingly obsessed with founding a new institution of higher learning, specifically one free of church influences. After much planning, his dream was realized in 1819 with the founding of the University of Virginia, and upon its opening in 1825 it was then the first university to offer a full slate of elective courses to its students. One of the largest construction projects to that time in North America, it was notable for being centered about a library, rather than a church. In fact, no campus chapel was included in his original plans. Until his death, he invited students and faculty of the school to his home, Edgar Allan Poe among them.

Appearance, temperament and interests

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was six feet, two-and-one-half inches (189 cm) in height, large-boned, slender, erect and sinewy. He had angular features, very poor posture, a very ruddy complexion, strawberry blonde hair and hazel-flecked, grey eyes. In later years he was negligent in dress and loose in bearing.

There was grace, nevertheless, in his manners; and his frank and earnest address, his quick sympathy (though he seemed cold to strangers), and his vivacious, desultory, informing talk gave him an engaging charm. Beneath a quiet surface he was fairly aglow with intense convictions and a very emotional temperament. Yet he seems to have acted habitually, in great and little things, on system. The range of his interests is remarkable. For many years he was president of the American Philosophical Society.

Though it is a biographical tradition that he lacked wit, Molière and Don Quixote seem to have been his favorites; and though the utilitarian wholly crowds romanticism out of his writings, he had enough of that quality in youth to prepare to learn Gaelic in order to translate Ossian, and sent to James Macpherson for the originals.

As president he discontinued the practice of delivering the State of the Union Address in person, instead sending the address to Congress in writing (the practice was eventually revived by Woodrow Wilson); he ended up giving only two public speeches during his presidency. His reluctance to speak in public is usually attributed to his taciturnity, though some historians believe it was due to a lisp. In addition, he burned all of his letters between himself and his wife at her death, creating the portrait of a man who at times could be very private.

Religious views

The Declaration of Independence incorporates concepts from Deism.
The Declaration of Independence incorporates concepts from Deism.

On matters of religion, Jefferson was sometimes accused by his political opponents of being an atheist; however, he is generally regarded as a believer in Deism, a philosophy shared by many other notable intellectuals of his time. Jefferson repeatedly stated his belief in a creator, and in the United States Declaration of Independence uses the terms "Creator", "Nature's God", and "Divine Providence". Jefferson believed, furthermore, it was this Creator that endowed humanity with a number of inalienable rights, such as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

Jefferson was raised Episcopalian at a time when the Episcopal Church was the state religion in Virginia. Before the American Revolution, when the Episcopal Church was the American branch of the Anglican Church of England, Jefferson was a vestryman in his local church, a lay position that was part of political office at the time. He later removed his name from those available to become godparents, because his beliefs opposed Trinitarian theology. Jefferson later expressed general agreement with his friend Joseph Priestley's Unitarianism and wrote that he would have liked to have been a member of a Unitarian church, but there were no Unitarian churches in Virginia.

Though Jefferson did not believe in the divinity of Jesus, he several times referred to himself as a Christian. He had high esteem for Jesus' moral teachings, which he viewed as the "principles of a pure deism, and juster notions of the attributes of God, to reform [prior Jewish] moral doctrines to the standard of reason, justice & philanthropy, and to inculcate the belief of a future state." (Letter to Joseph Priestley, April 9, 1803.)

Like most deists, Jefferson did not believe in miracles. He labored on an edited version of the Gospels, removing references to the miracles of Jesus and material he considered preternatural, leaving only Jesus' moral philosophy, of which he approved. This compilation was published after his death and became known as the Jefferson Bible, later printed in some 2,500 copies for the U.S. Congress in 1903.

From 1784 to 1786 Jefferson and James Madison worked together to oppose Patrick Henry's attempts to again assess taxes in Virginia to support churches. Instead, in 1786 the Virginia General Assembly passed Jefferson's Bill for Religious Freedom, which he had first submitted in 1779, and was one of only three accomplishments he put in his own epitaph. Virginia thereby became the first state to disestablish religion — Rhode Island, Delaware, and Pennsylvania never having had established religion.

Jefferson also supported what he called a "wall of separation between Church and State", which he believed was a principle expressed within the First Amendment (see Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, 1802, and Letter to Virginia Baptists, 1808).

"Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
"We have solved ... the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries."
— as quoted in the Letter to the Virginia Baptists (1808). This is his second use of the term "wall of separation," here quoting his own use in the Danbury Baptist letter. This wording was cited several times by the Supreme Court as an accurate description of the Establishment Clause: Reynolds (98 U.S. at 164, 1879); Everson (330 U.S. at 59, 1947); McCollum (333 U.S. at 232, 1948).

He further developed his thoughts in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779), quoted from Merrill D. Peterson, ed., Thomas Jefferson: Writings (1984), p. 347:

"[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."

During his presidency, Jefferson refused to issue proclamations calling for days of prayer and thanksgiving. Moreover, his private letters indicate he was skeptical of too much interference by clergy in matters of civil government. His letters contain the following observations: "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government" (Letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813), and, "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own" (Letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814). "May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government" (Letter to Roger C. Weightman June 24, 1826).

On the other hand, there is one anecdote by the Rev. Ethan Allen (1797-1879) in which Allen claimed to have seen Jefferson walking to church one Sunday with a large red prayer book under his arm. Allen claimed he overheard Jefferson say to a friend who had challenged him for going to church when he did not believe: "[N]o nation has ever yet existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has ever been given to man and I as chief Magistrate of this nation am bound to give it the sanction of my example. Good morning sir." (quoted from the handwritten history of Rev. Ethan Allen at the Library of Congress). This anecdote seems to contradict statements in Jefferson's personal letters. As Rev. Allen was only 12 when Jefferson retired the presidency, there is large doubt as to the accuracy of Allen's diary entry.

Clearly, however, Jefferson's desire to erect a "wall of separation" did not include a desire to inhibit the personal religious lives of public officials. Jefferson himself attended certain public Christian services during his presidency. He also had friends who were clergy, and he supported some churches financially. Moreover, he personally believed, as did Deist and humanist John Locke, that human rights were endowed by a God: "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever" (Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-1785 Query 18). Though not religious himself, he viewed religious opinions in others, including public officials, as a purely personal matter with which the state should not interfere:

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State" (Letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT, January 1, 1802).

For the full text of this letter and that to which Jefferson was replying see Wikisource.


In his May 28, 1818 letter to Mordecai Manuel Noah, Jefferson expresses his faith in humankind and views on the nature of democracy.
In his May 28, 1818 letter to Mordecai Manuel Noah, Jefferson expresses his faith in humankind and views on the nature of democracy.

Jefferson was influenced heavily by the ideas of the Polish Brethren. Englishman John Biddle had translated two works by one of the Polish Brethren, Samuel Przypkowski; he also translated the Racovian Catechism and a work by J. Stegmann, a Polish Brother from Germany. Biddle's followers had very close relations with the Polish Socinian family of Crellius (aka Spinowski). Biddle was a pioneer of Unitarianism in England. Subsequently, many of the ideas of the Polish Brethren were continued in English-speaking countries by Unitarian congregations -- most notably, by Joseph Priestley, who had emigrated to the U.S. and was a friend of both James Madison and Jefferson.

Jefferson had and read Wawrzyniec Grzymala Goslicki's book De optimo senatore, and in his works paraphrased some of Goslicki's phrases from the book.

Jefferson's political principles were also heavily influenced by John Locke (particularly relating to the principles of inalienable rights and popular sovereignty) and Thomas Paine's Common Sense.

Jefferson and slavery

Jefferson's personal records show he owned 187 slaves, some of which were inherited at the death of his wife. Some find it hypocritical that he both owned slaves and yet was publicly outspoken in his belief that slavery was immoral. Many of his slaves were considered property that was held as a lien for his many accumulated debts.

His ambivalence can be seen for example, in the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, which Jefferson wrote, in which he condemned the British crown for sponsoring the importation of slavery to the colonies, charging that the crown "has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere..." This language was dropped from the Declaration at the request of delegates from South Carolina and Georgia. In 1769, as a member of the state legislature, Jefferson proposed for that body to emancipate slaves in Virginia, but he was unsuccessful. In 1778, the legislature passed a bill he proposed to ban further importation of slaves into Virginia; although this did not bring complete emancipation, in his words, it "stopped the increase of the evil by importation, leaving to future efforts its final eradication."

The Sally Hemings controversy

A subject of considerable controversy since Jefferson's own time was whether Jefferson was the father of any of the children of his slave Sally Hemings. A full account of the controversy can be found in the Sally Hemings article.

Two major, mutually contradictory studies were released in the early 2000s. A study by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation states that "it is very unlikely that Randolph Jefferson or any Jefferson other than Thomas Jefferson was the father of her children," while a study by an independent Scholars Commmission concludes that the Jefferson paternity thesis is not persuasive.

David N. Mayer, a member of the Scholars Commission, says in his own writings that there is "the possibility that Jefferson's brother Randolph or one of Randolph Jefferson's five sons could have fathered one or more of Sally Hemings' children." He also states that, "Indeed, eight of these 25 Jefferson males lived within 20 miles (a half-day's ride) of Monticello—including Thomas Jefferson's younger brother, Randolph Jefferson, and Randolph's five sons, who ranged in age from about 17 to 26 at the time of Eston's birth." All of these men could have passed down the Y chromosome used as "proof". Professor Mayer's independent report also suggests that the Foundation report is flawed by biases and faulty assumptions (including the assumption that only one man fathered all of Sally Hemings' children).

Significantly, everyone who has researched the issue -- regardless which side they take on the Jefferson-Hemings paternity question -- agree that there is no evidence supporting the original allegation, published by Thomas Callender in 1802, that Jefferson fathered Sally Hemings' first child in France prior to 1790. All the documentary evidence shows that Hemings' first child, Harriet, was born in 1795 -- years after the mythical child "Tom" that Callender alleged.



Jefferson was an accomplished architect who was extremely influential in bringing the Neo-Classical style he encountered in France to the United States. He felt that it reflected the ideas of republic and democracy where the prevalent British styles represented the monarchy. His major works included Monticello (his home), the Virginia State Capitol and the University of Virginia. Jefferson's buildings helped initiate the ensuing American fashion for Federal style architecture.


  • Online, Notes on the State of Virginia [1]
  • Thomas Jefferson : Writings : Autobiography / Notes on the State of Virginia / Public and Private Papers / Addresses / Letters by Thomas Jefferson (1984, ISBN 094045016X)


Jefferson was ranked #64 on Michael H. Hart's list of the most influential figures in history.

Further reading

  • Adams, Dickinson W., ed. Jefferson's Extracts from the Gospels (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1983). All three of Jefferson's versions of the Gospels, with relevant correspondence about his religious opinions. Valuable introduction by Eugene Sheridan.
  • Bear, Jr., James A., ed. Jefferson's Memorandum Books, 2 vols. (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1997). Jefferson's account books with records of daily expenses.
  • Bernstein, R. B. Thomas Jefferson. (Oxford University Press, 2003) Excellent compact biography.
  • Bernstein, R. B. Thomas Jefferson: The Revolution of Ideas [Oxford Portraits series]. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004). Young-adult version of Bernstein's compact life.
  • Betts, Edwin Morris and James A. Bear, Jr., The Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1986). Correspondence of Jefferson with his children and grandchildren.
  • Cappon, Lester J., ed. The Adams-Jefferson Letters (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1959). All the correspondence between Jefferson and John and Abigail Adams.
  • Chinard, Gilbert, ed. The Commonplace Book of Thomas Jefferson: A Repertory of His Ideas on Government (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1926). Jefferson's legal commonplace book.
  • Freeman, Joanne B. Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001). Pathbreaking study of honor culture and its relationship to the politics of Jefferson and his time.
  • Gordon-Reed, Annette. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (Charlittesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997; paperback ed., with new introduction, 1999). The leading study of this subject.
  • Hartmann, Thomas. What Would Jefferson Do? (New York: Harmony Books, 2004).
  • Hitchens, Christopher. Thomas Jefferson: Author of America (New York: HarperCollins, 2005). Challenging essay on Jefferson's life and its historical significance.
  • Howell, Wilbur Samuel, ed. Jefferson's Parliamentary Writings (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1988). Jefferson's Manual of Parliamentary Practice, written when he was vice-president, with other relevant papers.
  • Lewis, Jan Ellen, and Onuf, Peter S., eds. Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: History, Memory, Civic Culture. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999). Important symposium volume prompted by the reversal of the conventional wisdom concerning Jefferson's liaison with Sally Hemings and its meaning in American history.
  • Malone, Dumas. Jefferson and His Time, 6 vols. (Boston: Little Brown and Company, various dates). The classic multi-volume biography of TJ by Dumas Malone.
  • Mayer, David N. The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000). Notable monograph.
  • Onuf, Peter S. Jefferson's Empire: The Languages of American Nationhood. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000). Excellent, challenging re-exmaination of Jefferson's political thought and his vision of American national development.
  • Onuf, Peter S., ed. Jeffersonian Legacies. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993. Important symposium volume, the product of a 250th birthday conference at the University of Virginia.
  • Peterson, Merrill D. Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation (Oxford University Press, 1992).
  • Shuffelton, Frank, ed. Notes on the State of Virginia (New York: Penguin, 1999). Edition of Jefferson's only published book, follows the 1787 Stockdale edition that was the basis for almost all nineteenth-century reprints. Places in the footnotes Jefferson's later revisions done in his personal copy.
  • Sloan, Herbert J. Principle and Interest: Thomas Jefferson and the Problem of Debt (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995; reprint ed., Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2001). Pathbreaking study of the central place of debt in Jefferson's life and thought.
  • Smith, James Morton, ed. The Republic of Letters: The Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, 1776-1826, 3 vols. (New York: Norton, 1995).
  • Wilson, Douglas L., ed. Jefferson's Literary Commonplace Book (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1989).

See also

External links

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Preceded by:
Patrick Henry
Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by:
William Fleming
Preceded by:
Benjamin Franklin
United States Minister Plenipotentiary to France
Succeeded by:
William Short
Preceded by:
John Jay
(as United States Secretary for Foreign Affairs)
United States Secretary of State
March 22, 1790December 31, 1793
Succeeded by:
Edmund Randolph
Preceded by:
Republican Party presidential candidate
1796 (won Vice Presidency)(a),
1800 (won Presidency),
1804 (won)
Succeeded by:
James Madison
Preceded by:
John Adams
Vice President of the United States
March 4, 1797March 3, 1801
Succeeded by:
Aaron Burr
Preceded by:
John Adams
President of the United States
March 4, 1801March 3, 1809
Succeeded by:
James Madison
(a) Prior to the passage of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, each presidential elector would cast two ballots; the highest vote-getter would become President and the runner-up would become Vice President. Thus, in 1796, the Republican Party fielded Jefferson as a presidential candidate, but he came in second and therefore became Vice President.
Presidents of the United States of America U.S. presidential seal
Washington | J Adams | Jefferson | Madison | Monroe | JQ Adams | Jackson | Van Buren | W Harrison | Tyler | Polk | Taylor | Fillmore | Pierce | Buchanan | Lincoln | A Johnson | Grant | Hayes | Garfield | Arthur | Cleveland | B Harrison | Cleveland | McKinley | T Roosevelt | Taft | Wilson | Harding | Coolidge | Hoover | F Roosevelt | Truman | Eisenhower | Kennedy | L Johnson | Nixon | Ford | Carter | Reagan | GHW Bush | Clinton | GW Bush
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Adams | Jefferson | Burr | Clinton | Gerry | Tompkins | Calhoun | Van Buren | R Johnson | Tyler | Dallas | Fillmore | King | Breckinridge | Hamlin | A Johnson | Colfax | Wilson | Wheeler | Arthur | Hendricks | Morton | Stevenson | Hobart | Roosevelt | Fairbanks | Sherman | Marshall | Coolidge | Dawes | Curtis | Garner | Wallace | Truman | Barkley | Nixon | L Johnson | Humphrey | Agnew | Ford | Rockefeller | Mondale | Bush | Quayle | Gore | Cheney
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Jefferson | Randolph | Pickering | J Marshall | Madison | Smith | Monroe | Adams | Clay | Van Buren | Livingston | McLane | Forsyth | Webster | Upshur | Calhoun | Buchanan | Clayton | Webster | Everett | Marcy | Cass | Black | Seward | Washburne | Fish | Evarts | Blaine | Frelinghuysen | Bayard | Blaine | Foster | Gresham | Olney | Sherman | Day | Hay | Root | Bacon | Knox | Bryan | Lansing | Colby | Hughes | Kellogg | Stimson | Hull | Stettinius | Byrnes | G Marshall | Acheson | Dulles | Herter | Rusk | Rogers | Kissinger | Vance | Muskie | Haig | Shultz | Baker | Eagleburger | Christopher | Albright | Powell | Rice

This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which is in the public domain.

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