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JEFFERSON, Thomas [1743-1826] -- American statesman, 3° POTUS

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Signer: U.S. Declaration of Independence
United States, POTUS 3
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Wiki: Thomas Jefferson Wiki

Third president of the United States, was born April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Albemarle county, Va. He was educated at William and Mary college, Virginia, and graduated in 1762. After leaving college he studied law, and in 1769 he was elected a member of the house of burgesses of Virginia. p> In 1772 he was married to Mrs. Martha Skelton, a wealthy widow, twenty-three years of age. She died in 1782.

He was a delegate to the continental congress in 1775, and in 1776 he was chosen chairman of the committee which drafted the declaration of independence, and was the author of that glorious instrument, which was the foundation of American liberty. He was elected to a seat in the Virginia assembly during the summer of 1776, and resigned his seat in congress. He continued in the assembly in 1777 and 1778. In June, 1779, Jefferson succeeded Patrick Henry as governor of Virginia, and held the office two years. He was elected to congress in 1783, and was chairman of the committee to whom the treaty of peace with England was referred. In May, 1784, he was appointed minister plenipotentiary to Europe, to assist Adams and Franklin in negotiating treaties of commerce. In 1785 congress appointed him minister plenipotentiary to France, and he remained there until 1789.

On his return home Washington offered him a seat in his cabinet, as secretary of state, which he accepted and held until Dec. 31, 1793. In 1796 Jefferson was elected vice-president of the United States, and took his seat March 4, 1797. On the 17th of February, 1801, he was elected president by the house of representatives, the electors having failed to make a choice, and took the oath of office March 4, 1801, at Washington, D. C. In 1804 he was re-elected, and took the oath of office March 4, 1805.

After completing his second term he retired to Monticello, where, in the language of Daniel Webster, he lived as became a wise man, and died July 4, 1826.

Jefferson held office about thirty years. He died so poor that, if congress had not given $20,000 for his library, he would have been bankrupt. His literary monument is the world-famous "Declaration of Independence". Other writings of his are, "Notes on Virginia"; "Rights of British America"; and "Manual of Parliamentary Practice". A ten-volume edition of his works was published in 1892. [HE]

Notable events during his administration: Louisiana Purchase (1803), and the Lewis and Clark expedition, passage of the Embargo Act. Jefferson established the University of Virginia, and designed its buildings.

His wife, Martha Wayles, was never FLOTUS, having died years before Thomas became president.

He died on 4 JUL 1826, the same day as John Adams; it was the 50th anniversary of the signing of the "Declaration of Independence".  -30-
 

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