Topics: Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, United States Declaration of Independence Pages: 3 (1185 words) Published: March 20, 2014

Thomas Jefferson was at the center of American History for many years. He was a man of many talents, the author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third president of the United States. Jefferson voiced the aspirations of American like no other individual of his time. As a public official, historian, and plantation owner, he served the country for over five decades. I selected president Thomas Jefferson because I feel that his background would be interesting to learn more about, seeing how he had such a huge part in the making of our country. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 in Shadwell County, Virginia. He was the third child of eight, being a sibling to six sisters and one brother. Peter Jefferson, his father, was a member of Virginia’s House of Burgesses. His mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, came from one of the oldest families in Virginia. Thomas was 14 years old when his father died, and as the oldest son, he became head of the family and inherited more than 2,500 acres of land. Thomas began his studies under a tutor, and at age 9 went to live with a man who taught him Latin, Greek, and French. After his father died, he entered the school of James Maury, near Charlottesville. At 16, Jefferson entered the College of William and Mary at Williamsburg. Like most college students of his time, however, he did not earn a degree. After he left college in 1762, Jefferson studied law with one of the most learned lawyers, George Wythe. Because there were no formal law schools at the time, however, his studies involved reading law books under Wythe’s watch along with observing his practice law in court. Jefferson was admitted to the bar in 1767, and he practiced law successfully until public service consumed all his time. In 1772, Thomas married Martha Wayles Skelton, who was a widow. The couple shared a love for music and literature. Thomas and Martha had six children, one son and five daughters. Only two of their...
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