Biography of Thomas Jefferson

Biography of Thomas Jefferson Part 1, Founding Fathers of the United States of America

Thomas Jefferson was a draftsman of the Declaration of Independence and the third U.S. president (1801-09). He was also responsible for the Louisiana Purchase.

Who Was Thomas Jefferson?

Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743 in Virginia. He was a draftsman of the U.S. Declaration of Independence; the nation’s first secretary of state (1789-94); second vice president (1797-1801); and, as the third president (1801-09), the statesman responsible for the Louisiana Purchase.

Jefferson died in bed at his home, Monticello (located near Charlottesville, Virginia), on July 4, 1826.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia, just outside of Charlottesville.

Jefferson as Vice President

In 1797, despite Jefferson’s public ambivalence and previous claims that he was through with politics, the Republicans selected Jefferson as their candidate to succeed George Washington as president.

In those days, candidates did not campaign for office openly, so Jefferson did little more than remain at home on the way to finishing a close second to then-Vice President John Adams in the electoral college, which, by the rules of the time, made Jefferson the new vice president.

Besides presiding over the U.S. Senate, the vice president had essentially no substantive role in government. The long friendship between Adams and Jefferson had cooled due to political differences (Adams was a Federalist), and Adams did not consult his vice president on any important decisions.

To occupy his time during his four years as vice president, Jefferson authored “A Manual of Parliamentary Practice,” one of the most useful guides to legislative proceedings ever written, and served as the president of the American Philosophical Society.

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