Thomas Jefferson: Contributions to Literature and Other Fields

Topics: Thomas Jefferson, United States Declaration of Independence, Natural and legal rights Pages: 4 (1370 words) Published: May 1, 2005
Thomas Jefferson is commonly most notable for his contributions to American political history. He was President of the United States, the first secretary of state to George Washington, minister to France with Benjamin Franklin, governor of Virginia, and congressman. (725) Jefferson's literary works strongly reflect the focus, love, and ambition that he had for this country. Aside from the aspirations for the United States, he also very much appreciated it's then un-tainted beauty, as he makes note of in Notes on the State of Virginia when he speaks of the Natural Bridge, "It is impossible for the emotions, arising from the sublime, to be felt beyond what they are here: so beautiful an arch, so elevated, so light, and springing, as it were up to heaven, the rapture of the Spectator is really indescribable!" (733)

Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 in Shadwell, or what is now known as Albemarle County, Virginia. He was born unto Jane Randolph Jefferson and Peter Jefferson. His mother was from a wealthy, and one of the first families of Virginia. His father was a self-educated man that became a country official and surveyor. (725) Sadly, Peter Jefferson died when young Thomas was only fourteen leaving him two thousand seven hundred and fifty acres of land.

Jefferson entered the college of William and Mary in 1760 when he was but seventeen years old. His habits were those of patience and severe application. Math was his favorite study, at which he very much excelled in. When came time for relaxation, he exercised his skill at the violin. Jefferson swiftly graduated in only two years with the highest of honors that the school offered. Afterwards, he studied law with a friend from William and Mary, George Wythe. In 1769 he began six years of service as a representative in the Virginia House of Burgesses. The following year he began building Monticello on part of the land inherited from his father. The exquisite mansion, which he designed in every...

Bibliography: Jefferson, Thomas. The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson. Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 6th Edition. Vol. A. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2003: 726-732.
Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 6th Edition. Vol. A. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2003: 733-738
Baym, Nina. Thomas Jefferson. Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 6th Edition. Vol. A. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2003: 725-726
Rayner, B.L. Life of Thomas Jefferson. Retrieved 13 Apr. 2005
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