Thomas Jefferson: Man on a Mountain

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Thomas Jefferson: Man on a Mountain is a biography of Thomas Jefferson focusing in on not just his public life. Natalie S. Bober zooms in on Jefferson’s love life, his relationship with his slaves and the reader also gets insight into his thoughts about various situations around the colonies. Bober shifts smoothly and carefully through incidents in Jefferson’s early years, marriage, and family life to follow his career development, which encircled everything from farming to teaching and writing. Man on a Mountain starts in the early 1700’s Thomas Jefferson’s dad, Peter Jefferson married Jane Randolph. On April 13, 1743, Jane gave birth to Thomas, named after his grandfather and great-grandfather. Throughout Tom’s early years until he was a teenager, Tom attended Reverend William Douglas Latin School, Reverend James Maury Latin School, and finally William and Mary College. When Tom was 14, on August 17,1757, Peter Jefferson died suddenly. This was a hard loss for Tom, as Peter had taught him when he was at home from school. When Tom had gotten accepted into William and Mary, one could always find him at the local bookstore in Williamsburg reading and purchasing books. From an early age, Thomas had a love for books and learning new and interesting ideas found in them. Throughout college, Jefferson was helped tremendously by Dr. Small. To Tom, Dr. Small was a “friend, teacher and surrogate father” (25). With the help of the professor, Tom was introduced to Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, and John Locke. These three gentlemen, along with George Wythe, Governor Francis Fauquier and Dr. Small himself, helped formed Thomas Jefferson’s mind. He received more knowledge listening to these men more than he achieved attending William and Mary. When Tom graduated from William and Mary, he decided that he wanted to study law. Instead of attending law school, Tom had to “read” law instead because there was not a law school developed at that time. Along with reading law, Tom also...