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Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). He was an influential Founding Father, and an exponent of Jeffersonian democracy.Sony VAIO VPCZ11Z9E/B Battery

Jefferson envisioned America as a great "Empire of Liberty" that would promote republicanism. 

At the beginning of the American Revolution, Jefferson served in the Continental Congress, representing Virginia. He then served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), barely escaping capture by the British in 1781. Sony VAIO VPCZ125GX/S Battery

From mid-1784 Jefferson served as a diplomat, stationed in Paris, initially as a commissioner to help negotiate commercial treaties. In May 1785, he became the United States Minister to France. He was the first United States Secretary of State, (1789–1793). During the administration of President George Washington, Jefferson advised against a national bank and the Jay Treaty. Sony VAIO VPCZ127FC Battery

With his close friend James Madison he organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose Alexander Hamilton's policies, especially his desire to create a national bank. He and Madison secretly wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which attempted to nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts and formed the basis of States' rights.Sony VAIO VPCZ128GC Battery

Elected president in what he called the Revolution of 1800, he oversaw a peaceful transition in power, purchased the vast Louisiana Territory from France (1803), and sent the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806) to explore the new west. Sony VAIO VPCZ12M9E/B Battery

His second term was beset with troubles at home, such as the treason trial of his former Vice President Aaron Burr, and escalating trouble with Britain. Jefferson always distrusted Britain as a threat to American values; he rejected a renewal of the treaty that his diplomats had negotiated in 1806 with Britain and promoted aggressive economic warfare,Sony VAIO VPCZ13M9E/B Battery

notably the embargo laws, which were economically counter-productive and thus unpopular. He was in part responsible for the War of 1812 with Britain in 1812, which came after he left office in 1809.

Jefferson idealized the independent yeoman as the best exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, Sony VAIO VPCZ13V9E/X Battery

and favored states' rights and a strictly limited federal government, though he suspended his qualms to buy Louisiana. Jefferson detested the European system of established churches and called for a wall of separation between church and state; he helped disestablish the Anglican Church in Virginia, Sony VAIO VPCZ13Z9E/X Battery

and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). Jefferson sponsored Jeffersonian democracy; his Democratic-Republican Party, dominated American politics for 25 years.

Jefferson was born, and married into, prominent planter families; he was a loving husband to his wife Martha, who died in childbirth, and an affectionate father to their children.Sony VAIO VPCZZZHJ Battery

As a planter, Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves throughout his life; he held views on the racial inferiority of Africans common among Virginians for this period in time. After his wife died, Jefferson had an intimate relationship with Martha's half-sister, his slave, Sally Hemings; they had six children. Sony VAIO VPZ117 Battery

A leader in The Enlightenment, Jefferson was a polymath who spoke five languages and was deeply interested in science and political philosophy. While not an orator he was an indefatigable letter writer and was acquainted with many influential people in America and Europe. Sony VAIO VPZ118 Battery

His views on slavery were complex, and changed over the course of his life,[2] though he was a critic of the international slave trade, and he presided over its abolition in 1807. Jefferson is typically rated by historical scholars as one of the greatest U.S. presidents.Sony VAIO VPZ119 Battery


The third of ten children, Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743) into the Randolph family that linked him to some of the most prominent individuals in Virginia. His mother was Jane Randolph, daughter of Isham Randolph of Dungeness, a ship's captain and sometime planter, first cousin to Peyton Randolph, and granddaughter of wealthy English and Scottish gentry.Sony VPCM11M1E/B Battery

Jefferson's father was Peter Jefferson, a planter and surveyor in Albemarle County (Shadwell, then Edge Hill, Virginia). He was of possible Welsh descent, although this remains unclear. When Colonel William Randolph, an old friend of Peter Jefferson, died in 1745, Sony VPCM11M1E/W Battery

Peter assumed executorship and personal charge of William Randolph's estate in Tuckahoe as well as his infant son, Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr. That year the Jeffersons relocated to Tuckahoe, where they would remain for the next seven years before returning to their home in Albemarle in 1752. Sony VPCM12M1E/L Battery

Peter Jefferson was appointed to the colonelcy of the county, an important position at the time.

When Thomas Jefferson was 22, his oldest sister Jane died at the age of 25 on October 1, 1765. He fell into a period of deep mourning, as he was already saddened by the absence of his sisters Mary, who had been married several years to Thomas Bolling, and Martha, who had wed in July to Dabney Carr.Sony VPCM12M1E/P Battery

Both had moved to their husbands' residences. Only Jefferson's younger siblings Elizabeth, Lucy, and the two toddlers, were at home. He drew little comfort from the younger ones, as they did not provide him with the same intellectual stimulation as the older sisters had. Sony VPCM12M1E/W Battery


In 1752, Jefferson began attending a local school run by a Scottish Presbyterian minister. At the age of nine, Jefferson began studying Latin, Greek, and French; he learned to ride horses, and began to appreciate the study of nature. Sony VPCM13M1E/L Battery

He studied under the Reverend James Maury from 1758 to 1760 near Gordonsville, Virginia. While boarding with Maury's family, he studied history, science and the classics.

At age 16, Jefferson entered the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, and first met the law professor George Wythe, who became his influential mentor. Sony VPCM13M1E/P Battery

For two years he studied mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy under Professor William Small, who introduced the enthusiastic Jefferson to the writings of the British Empiricists, including John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton.[8] He also improved his French, Greek, and violin. Sony VPCM13M1E/W Battery

A diligent student, Jefferson displayed an avid curiosity in all fields[9] and graduated in 1762 with highest honors. Jefferson read law while working as a law clerk for Wythe. During this time, he also read a wide variety of English classics and political works. Jefferson was admitted to the Virginia bar five years later in 1767.Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

Throughout his life, books played a vital role in Jefferson's education. Even during the American Revolution and while minister to France, Jefferson collected and accumulated thousands of books for his library at Monticello. A significant portion of Jefferson's library was also bequeathed to him in the will of George Wythe who himself had an extensive library. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

Always eager for more knowledge, Jefferson's education would continue throughout most of his life. Jefferson once stated, "I cannot live without books."[11] By 1815, his library included 6,487 books, which he then sold to the Library of Congress to replace the collection destroyed in the War of 1812.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D Battery


Jefferson handled many cases as a lawyer in colonial Virginia, and was very active from 1768 to 1773.[12] Jefferson's client list included members of the Virginia's elite families, including members of his mother's family, the Randolphs.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/B Battery

n 1768 Thomas Jefferson started the construction of Monticello, a neoclassical mansion. Since childhood, Jefferson had always wanted to build a beautiful mountaintop home within sight of Shadwell. Jefferson fell greatly in debt by spending lavishly over the years on Monticello in what was a continuing project to create a neoclassical environment, Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/P Battery

based on his study of the architect Andrea Palladio and the classical orders.

Besides practicing law, Jefferson represented Albemarle County in the Virginia House of Burgesses beginning on May 11, 1769 and ending June 20, 1775.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/S Battery

Wythe also served at the same time. Following the passage of the Coercive Acts by the British Parliament in 1774, he wrote a set of resolutions against the acts, which were expanded into A Summary View of the Rights of British America, his first published work.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E Battery

Previous criticism of the Coercive Acts had focused on legal and constitutional issues, but Jefferson offered the radical notion that the colonists had the natural right to govern themselves.Jefferson also argued that Parliament was the legislature of Great Britain only, and had no legislative authority in the colonies.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/B Battery

The paper was intended to serve as instructions for the Virginia delegation of the First Continental Congress, but Jefferson's ideas proved to be too radical for that body.

Marriage and family

In 1772, at age 29 Jefferson married the 23-year-old widow Martha Wayles Skelton. They had six children, only two of whom survived to adulthood. Only their oldest daughter Martha lived beyond age 25.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/P Battery

  1. Martha Washington Jefferson (1772–1836), who married Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., future governor of Virginia. They had twelve children, eleven of whom survived to adulthood.
  2. Jane Jefferson (1774–1775)
  3. stillborn or unnamed son (1777)  Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/S Battery
  4. Mary Wayles Jefferson (1778–1804), called Polly, married her cousin John Wayles Eppes, son of Martha's sister, Elizabeth Wayles Eppes. Mary died at age 25 after the birth of her third child; only their son Francis W. Eppes survived to adulthood.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140N/S Battery
  5. Jefferson made his grandson Francis Eppes the designated heir of Poplar Forest, originally intended for Mary. In 1829 Francis Eppes moved to Florida, where he had a cotton plantation until the Civil War.
  6. Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson (1780–1781)  Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/B Battery
  7. Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson (1782–1785); it was customary to name subsequent children after one who had died, particularly when the family was also trying to pass down family names. The second Lucy died while Jefferson was in Paris, prompting him to have his youngest living daughter Polly sent to him; she was then age nine.Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/P Battery

Mrs. Jefferson died on September 6, 1782, a few months after the birth of her last child. Jefferson never remarried, as he promised her. He was at his wife's bedside when she died. Jefferson was deeply upset after her death, and often rode on secluded roads to mourn for his wife.Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/S Battery

Drafting a declaration

Jefferson served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress beginning in June 1775, soon after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. When Congress began considering a resolution of independence in June 1776,Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBJ Battery

Jefferson was appointed to a five-man committee to prepare a declaration to accompany the resolution. Because the committee left no minutes, there is some uncertainty about how the drafting process proceeded—accounts written many years later by Jefferson and Adams, although frequently cited, are contradictory and not entirely reliable.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBQ Battery

What is certain is that the committee, after discussing the general outline that the document should follow, decided that Jefferson would write the first draft. Considering Congress's busy schedule, Jefferson probably had limited time for writing over the next seventeen days, and likely wrote the draft quickly.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EEJ/C Battery

Jefferson completed a draft in consultation with other committee members, drawing on his own proposed draft of the Virginia Constitution, George Mason's draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and other sources.The other committee members made various changes, most notably Jefferson had written, "We hold these truths to be sacred and un-deniable..."Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NAB Battery

Franklin changed it to, "We hold these truths to be self-evident." Another copy was produced, incorporating these alterations. The committee presented this copy to the Congress on June 28, 1776. The title of the document was "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled."Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NBB Battery

After voting in favor of the resolution of independence on July 2, Congress turned its attention to the declaration. Over three days of fiery debate, Congress made changes in wording and deleted nearly a fourth of the text, most notably a passage critical of the slave trade, all changes that Jefferson resented.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NDB Battery

During the three day debate Jefferson spoke not a word for or against any of the revisions.On July 4, 1776, the wording of the Declaration of Independence was ratified. Before the signing a prayer was said and in silence the delegates to the convention applied their signature to the document,Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NEB Battery

an act that would be considered treason by the Crown and which would cost them their lives should the revolution fail. The Declaration would eventually become Jefferson's major claim to fame, and his eloquent preamble became an enduring statement of human rights.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NGB Battery

State legislator

In September 1776, Jefferson returned to Virginia and was elected to the new Virginia House of Delegates for Albemarle County. He served there from September 26, 1776 – June 1, 1779. During his term in the House, Jefferson set out to reform and update Virginia's system of laws to reflect its new status as a democratic state. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PAB Battery

He drafted 126 bills in three years, including laws to abolish primogeniture, establish freedom of religion, and streamline the judicial system. In 1778, Jefferson's "Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge" and subsequent efforts to reduce clerical control led to some small changes at William and Mary College.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PCB Battery

While in the state legislature Jefferson proposed a bill to eliminate capital punishment in Virginia for all crimes except murder and treason. His effort to end the death penalty law was defeated.

Governor of Virginia

In 1779, at the age of thirty-six, Jefferson was elected Governor of Virginia and served from 1779–1781. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PFB Battery

At this time the now united colonies were in the middle of the American Revolutionary War with Britain. Georgia had fallen helpless into the hands of the British, South Carolina was invaded, and Charleston threatened. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

In his capacity as Governor Jefferson made efforts to prepare Richmond for attack by moving all arms, military supplies and records from Richmond to a foundry located five miles outside of town. General Benedict Arnold, who had switched to the British side in 1780, learned of this transfer and moved to capture the foundry. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

Jefferson then attempted to devise a way to move the supplies to Westham, seven miles to the north, but he was too late. Arnold's troops burned the foundry before returning to Richmond, where they burned much of the city the following morning. Jefferson at later points in his political career was criticized,Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VRN Battery

especially by his political opponents, for failing to defend Richmond during this time.

In January of 1781, Benedict Arnold led an armada of British ships and with 1600 British regulars conducted raids along the James River.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

Later he would join Lord Cornwallis, whose troops were marching across Virginia from the south. In advance, Cornwallis dispatched a cavalry force commanded by Banastre Tarleton on a secret expedition to Monticello to capture then Governor Jefferson. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

Quickly making his way at night, Tarleton hoped to catch Jefferson by surprise, however in the midst of the activity and havoc of the invasion an action by a young Virginian named Jack Jouett, a captain in the Virginia militia, thwarted the British capture of Virginia's governor. Sony VAIO VGN-SR210J/S Battery

Jouett had spotted the assembly and departure of Tarleton and his men and making his way to Monticello, by way of various back roads of which he was familiar, arrived at Monticello in time to warn Jefferson, members of the Virginia Assembly and citizens at large.Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

With little warning Jefferson and his family fled and managed to escape, leaving his home to be captured by British troops. A detachment of Cornwallis' troops, in their march north from the Carolinas, seized the estate along with another plantation which Jefferson owned on the James River. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

British troops destroyed all his crops, burnt his barns and fences, drove off the cattle, seized all usable horses, cut the throats of the colts, and after setting fires left the plantation a smoldering, blackened waste. Twenty-seven slaves were also captured to which Jefferson later replied.. "Had he carried off the slaves to give them freedom, he would have done right." Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/S Battery

As governor in 1780, he transferred the state capital from Williamsburg to Richmond. He continued to advocate educational reforms at the College of William and Mary, including the nation's first student-policed honor code. In 1779, at Jefferson's behest, William and Mary appointed George Wythe to be the first professor of law in an American university.Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/B Battery

Many people disliked his tenure, and he did not win office again in Virginia.[34] However, in 1783 he was appointed to Congress by the state legislature.

Notes on the State of Virginia

In the Fall of 1780, Gov. Thomas Jefferson was given a list of 22 questions, Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/H Battery

by Secretary of the French legation to the United States François Marbois, intended to gather pertinent information on the American colonies. Jefferson's responses to Marbois' "Queries" would become known as Notes on the State of Virginia. Jefferson, scientifically trained, Sony VAIO VGN-SR240J/B Battery

was a member of the American Philosophical Society and had extensive knowledge of western lands from Virginia to Illinois. In a course of 5 years, Jefferson enthusiastically devoted his intellectual energy to the book, which discussed contemporary scientific knowledge, and Virginia's history, politics, and ethnography. Sony VAIO VGN-SR240N/B Battery

Jefferson was aided by Thomas Walker, George R. Clark, and U.S. geographer Thomas Hutchins. The book was first published in France in 1785 and in England in 1787.

Member of Congress

Jefferson was a member of Congress at the time America had won its independence and signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTH Battery

The Virginia state legislature appointed Jefferson to the Congress of the Confederation on June 6 of that year, his term beginning on November 1. He was a member of the committee formed to set foreign exchange rates, and in that capacity he recommended that American currency should be based on the decimal system. Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTJ Battery

Jefferson also recommended setting up the Committee of the States, to function as the executive arm of Congress when Congress was not in session. He left Congress when he was elected a minister plenipotentiary on May 7, 1784.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTQ Battery

Minister to France

In May of 1784 Congress appointed Jefferson to act as Minister to France, serving from 1785 to 1789, replacing Benjamin Franklin, who was now well into his senior years. Franklin was much admired in France by both dignitary and common man alike and so it was a delicate matter for Jefferson to step into his position. Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JVB/C Battery

When the French Foreign minister Count de Vergennes commented to Jefferson, "You replace Monsieur Franklin I hear", Jefferson replied, "Isucceed him, no man can replace him.

While serving in France Jefferson did not attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, though he followed the proceedings by correspondence, and was supportive of it.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JVH/C Battery

Beginning in early September 1785, Jefferson collaborated by mail with John Adams in London to outline an anti-piracy treaty with Morocco. Their work culminated in a treaty that was ratified by Congress on July 18, 1787 and is still in force today, making it the longest unbroken treaty relationship in U.S. history.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290NTB Battery

He enjoyed the architecture, arts, and the salon culture of Paris. He often dined with many of the city's most prominent people, but sided with the revolutionaries in 1789 French Revolution. While in Paris, Jefferson corresponded with a number of individuals who had important roles in events leading up to the French Revolution. Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN/S Battery

These included marquis de Lafayette and comte de Mirabeau, a popular pamphleteer who repeated ideals that had been the basis for the American Revolution.

Jefferson brought some of his slaves to serve the household, including James Hemings for training as a French chef. Sony VAIO VGN-SR29XN/S Battery

After his youngest daughter died, he requested that a young woman slave accompany his daughter Polly to France. Sally Hemings was chosen to travel with Polly, and lived with the Jefferson household for about two years in Paris. It is generally held by modern day scholars  that Jefferson began a long-term relationship with Sally Hemings while in ParisSony VAIO VGN-SR2RVN/S Battery

; that is what their son Madison Hemings reported in his 1873 memoir, however there are no known accounts from Sally Hemings herself.

Secretary of State

In September of 1789 Jefferson returned to America from France with his daughter. Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAB Battery

Immediately upon his return President Washington wrote to him urging him to accept a seat in his Cabinet as Secretary of State. After a brief conference Jefferson accepted the appointment.

As George Washington's Secretary of State, (1790–1793) Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton argued over national fiscal policy,Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAH Battery

especially the funding of the debts of the war. Jefferson later compared Hamilton and the Federalists with "Royalism", and stated the "Hamiltonians were panting after...crowns, coronets and mitres." Due to their opposition to Hamilton, Jefferson and James Madisonfounded and led the Democratic-Republican Party.Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery

He worked with Madison and his campaign manager John J. Beckley to build a nationwide network of Republican allies. Jefferson's political actions, and his attempt to undermine Hamilton, nearly led George Washington to dismiss Jefferson from his cabinet. Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery

Though Jefferson left the cabinet voluntarily, Washington never forgave him, and never spoke to him again.

The French minister said in 1793: "Senator Morris and Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton...had the greatest influence over the President's mind, and that it was only with difficulty that he [Jefferson] counterbalanced their efforts." Sony VAIO VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

Jefferson supported France against Britain when they fought in 1793. Jefferson believed that political success at home depended on the success of the French army in Europe. The French minister in 1793, Edmond-Charles Genêt, caused a crisis when he tried to influence public opinion in appealing to the people, something Jefferson tried to stop.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/P Battery

Break from office

Jefferson retired to Monticello in late 1793 where he continued to oppose the policies of Hamilton and Washington. However, the Jay Treaty of 1794, led by Hamilton, brought peace and trade with Britain – while Madison, with strong support from Jefferson, wanted, "to strangle the former mother country" without going to war. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/S Battery

"It became an article of faith among Republicans that 'commercial weapons' would suffice to bring Great Britain to any terms the United States chose to dictate."

Even during the violence of the Reign of Terror, Jefferson refused to disavow the revolution because "To back away from France would be to undermine the cause of republicanism in America." Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF Battery

Election of 1796 and Vice Presidency

As the Democratic-Republican candidate in 1796 he lost to John Adams, but had enough electoral votes to become Vice President (1797–1801). As one of the chief duties of a Vice president is presiding over the Senate,Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery

Jefferson was concerned about the lack of rules governing this body, often leaving matters to the discretion of the presiding officer. Jefferson once wrote: "It is now so long since I have acted in the legislative line that I am entirely rusty in the Parliamentary rules of procedure.” Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/S Battery

Jefferson spent much of his time researching procedures and rules for governing bodies years before taking office. As a student he had transcribed notes on British parliamentary law into a manual he would later refer to as his Parliamentary Pocket Book. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery

Jefferson had also served on the committee appointed to draw up the rules of order for the Continental Congress in 1776. As Vice President he was more than qualified to bring reform to Senatorial procedural matters, and now prompted by the immediate need for such rules of order he would write his  Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery

'A Manual of Parliamentary Practice.' a document which the House of Representatives follow to the present day.

With the Quasi-War underway, the Federalists under John Adams started rebuilding the military, levied new taxes, and enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts.Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG Battery

Jefferson believed that the Alien and Sedition Acts were an effort to suppress Democratic-Republicans rather than dangerous enemy aliens, although the acts later expired. Jefferson and Madison rallied support by anonymously writing theKentucky and Virginia Resolutions,Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG/H Battery

which declared that the federal government had no right to exercise powers not specifically delegated to it by the states.[55] Though the resolutions followed the "interposition" approach of James Madison, Jefferson advocated nullification and at one point drafted a threat for Kentucky to secede.Sony VAIO VGN-SR70B/S Battery

Jefferson's biographer Dumas Malone argued that this might have gotten Jefferson impeached for treason, had his actions become known at the time. In writing the Kentucky Resolutions, Jefferson warned that, "unless arrested at the threshold," the Alien and Sedition Acts would "necessarily drive these states into revolution and blood.Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/P Battery

" Historian Ron Chernow says of this "he wasn't calling for peaceful protests or civil disobedience: he was calling for outright rebellion, if needed, against the federal government of which he was vice president." Jefferson "thus set forth a radical doctrine of states' rights that effectively undermined the constitution."Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/S Battery

Chernow argues that neither Jefferson nor Madison sensed that they had sponsored measures as inimical as the Alien and Sedition Acts themselves. Historian Gary Wills argued "Their nullification effort, if others had picked it up, would have been a greater threat to freedom than the misguided   laws, Sony VAIO VGN-SR73JB/S Battery

which were soon rendered feckless by ridicule and electoral pressure" The theoretical damage of the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions was "deep and lasting, and was a recipe for disunion".  George Washington was so appalled by them that he told Patrick Henry that if "systematically and pertinaciously pursued", they would "dissolve the union or produce coercion".Sony VAIO VGN-SR74FB/S Battery

The influence of Jefferson's doctrine of states' rights reverberated right up to the Civil War and beyond.[63] Future president James Garfield, at the close of the Civil War, said that Jefferson's Kentucky Resolution "contained the germ of nullification and secession, and we are today reaping the fruits".Sony VAIO VGN-SR90FS Battery

According to historian Ron Chernow, during the Quasi-War Jefferson engaged in a "secret campaign to sabotage Adams in French eyes".  He held four confidential talks with French consul Joseph Letombe in the spring of 1797.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90NS Battery

In his private meetings with Letombe, Jefferson attacked Adams, predicted that he would only serve one term and encouraged France to invade England.

Jefferson also advised Letombe to stall any American envoys sent to Paris by instructing them to "listen to them and then drag out the negotiations at length and mollify them by the urbanity of the proceedings.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90S Battery

" This toughened the tone that the French government adopted with the new Adams Administration.Due to pressure against the Adams Administration on behalf of the French government from Jefferson and his supporters, congress released the papers in connection with the XYZ Affair, which rallied support from Jefferson and the French government to Adams.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90US Battery

Election of 1800

Working closely with Aaron Burr of New York, Jefferson rallied his party, attacking the new taxes especially, and ran for the Presidency in 1800. Before the passage of the Twelfth Amendment, a problem with the new union's electoral system arose.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91NS Battery

Hamilton convinced his party that Jefferson would be a lesser political evil than Burr and that such scandal within the electoral process would undermine the new constitution. On February 17, 1801, after thirty-six ballots, the House elected Jefferson President and Burr Vice President.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91PS Battery

Jefferson owed his election victory to the South's inflated number of Electors, which counted slaves under the three-fifths compromise. After his election in 1800, some called him the "Negro President", with critics like the Mercury and New-England Palladium of Boston stating that Jefferson had the gall to celebrate his election as a victory for democracy when he won "the temple of Liberty on the shoulders of slaves."Sony VAIO VGN-SR91S Battery

Presidency 1801–1809

Thomas Jefferson took the oath of Office on March 4, 1801, at a time when partisan strife between the Democratic-Republican and Federalist parties was growing to alarming proportions. Sony VAIO VGN-SR91US Battery

Regarded by his supporters as the 'People's President' news of Jefferson's election was well received in many parts of the new country and was marked by celebrations throughout the Union. He was sworn in by Chief Justice John Marshall at the new Capitol in Washington DC. Sony VAIO VGN-SR92NS Battery

In contrast to the preceding president John Adams, Jefferson exhibited a dislike of formal etiquette. Unlike Washington, who arrived at his inauguration in a stagecoach drawn by six cream colored horses, Jefferson arrived alone on horseback without guard or escort. He was dressed plainly and after dismounting, retired his own horse himself.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92PS Battery

As a result of his two predecessors, as well as the state of events in Europe, Jefferson inherited the presidency with relatively few urgent problems. Though he and his supporters initially wanted to dismantle several of the accomplishments of his two predecessors, notably the national bank, military, and federal taxation system, his treasury secretary persuaded him not to.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92S Battery

In his second term, Jefferson's popularity suffered because the problems he faced, most notably those caused by the wars in Europe, became more difficult to solve. With the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, Napoleon became more aggressive than ever; most of Jefferson's attempts to negotiate with him were unsuccessful during his second term. Sony VAIO VGN-SR92US Battery

Jefferson's presidency is remembered for four major events. First came thepurchase of the Louisiana territory from France in 1803, which doubled the size of the United States. A second accomplishment was the defeat of Mediterranean Sea pirates in the First Barbary War. Sony VAIO VGN-SR93DS Battery

The third occurred during Jefferson's second term, when he proposed legislation (approved by Congress) outlawing the importation of African slaves, as required by the U.S. Constitution.The fourth was the Embargo Act of 1807. Due to political attacks against him, in particular those by Alexander Hamilton and his supporters, Sony VAIO VGN-SR93JS Battery

he used the Alien and Sedition Acts to counter some of these political adversaries. His second term was more troubled than his first term, in part due to growing aggression on the part of Napoleon. Disliking the Jay Treaty, Jefferson instead passed theEmbargo Act of 1807 which caused widespread economic problems while not accomplishing its goals, thus hurting his popularity.Sony VAIO VGN-SR93PS Battery

First Barbary War

When Jefferson became president in 1801, the United States was at the time paying $80,000 to the Barbary states as a 'tribute' for protection against North African piracy. For decades, the pirates had been capturing American ships and crew members and demanding huge ransoms for their release.-pack.co.uk/original-sony-vaio-vgn-sr93ys-battery-27424.htm">Sony VAIO VGN-SR93YS Battery

Before Independence, from 1775 until 1783, American merchant ships were protected from the Barbary pirates by the naval and diplomatic influence of Great Britain. When the American Revolution began, American ships were protected by the 1778 alliance with France, Sony VAIO VGN-SR94FS Battery

which required the French nation to protect "American vessels and effects against all violence, insults, attacks ...". On December 20, 1777, Morocco's Sultan Mohammed III declared that the American merchant ships would be under the protection of the sultanate and could thus enjoy safe passage into the Mediterranean and along the coast.Sony VAIO VGN-SR94GS Battery

The Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship stands as the U.S.'s oldest non-broken friendship treaty. The one with Morocco has been the longest-lasting treaty with a foreign power.

After the United States gained independence, it had to protect its own merchant vessels. Sony VAIO VGN-SR94HS Battery

It also had to pay $80,000 as tribute to the Barbary states, as did Britain and France at this time. When Tripolimade new demands on the new President for a prompt payment of $225,000 and an annual payment of $25,000, Jefferson refused and decided it would be easier to fight the pirates than to continue to pay bribes. Sony VAIO VGN-SR94VS Battery

On May 10, 1801, the pasha of Tripoli declared war on the United States and the First Barbary War began. As secretary of state and vice president, Jefferson had opposed funds for a Navy to be used for anything more than a coastal defense, Sony VAIO VGN-NS10E/S Battery

however the continued pirate attacks on American shipping interests in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and the systematic kidnapping of American crew members could no longer be ignored. President Jefferson ordered a fleet of naval vessels to various points in the Mediterranean.Sony VAIO VGN-NS10J/S Battery

He forced Tunis and Algiers into breaking their alliance with Tripoli which ultimately forced it out of the fight. Jefferson also ordered five separate naval bombardments of Tripoli, which restored peace in the Mediterranean for a while.

Louisiana Purchase

In 1803 the United States under Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from France, doubling the size of the United States.Sony VAIO VGN-NS10L/S Battery

As the exact boundaries of the territory were unsettled, England and Spain continued to make claims to parts of the territory until the time of president James Polk.  Most of France's wealth in the New World came from their plantations in Caribbean. Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/L Battery

When France lost control of these countries a couple of years earlier, the Louisiana territory ceased to be of any value to France, who at the time was escalating its war against the rest of Europe. Jefferson sentJames Monroe and Robert R. Livingston to Paris in 1802 to purchase the city of New Orleans and adjacent coastal areas. Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/S Battery

At the request of Jefferson, a French noblemen named Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, having close ties with both Jefferson and Napoleon, also helped negotiate the purchase with France. Napoleon offered to sell the entire territory for a price of $15 million, which Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin financed easily. Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/W Battery

Jefferson acted contrary to his usual requirement of explicit Constitutional authority and the Federalists criticized him for acting without that authority, but most thought that this opportunity could not be missed.On December 20, 1803 the French flag was lowered in New Orleans and the U.S. flag raised, Sony VAIO VGN-NS115N/S Battery

symbolizing the transfer of the Louisiana territory from France to the United States.

Politically, the Louisiana Purchase would prove to be one of the most consequential executive decisions in American history, although it wouldn't be finally secured until England and Mexico gave up their claims to it during the presidency of James Polk.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11J/S Battery

Without realizing it at the time Jefferson had purchased one of the largest fertile tracts of land on the planet. The purchase also changed the new nation's national security strategy by removing French imperial ambitions in America. Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/L Battery

Opinions vary among historians as to who was the principal player in the purchase, some believing it was Napoleon, while others give credit to Jefferson, his secretary of state James Madison, and his negotiator James Monroe. Others agree with Alexander Hamilton, Jefferson's arch rival, and attribute it to "dumb luck".Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/S Battery

Still others concur that it was all of these things.

Lewis and Clark Expedition

Jefferson had an avid interest in the sciences and had long entertained ideas of exploring the American frontier before Louisiana was purchased from France. Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/W Battery

As such Jefferson was a member of theAmerican Philosophical Society, founded in Philadelphia in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, and served as its President from 1797 to 1815. By the turn of the 19th century, the society was well established and staffed, and equipped for research. Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/L Battery

Jefferson made use of its resources by sending Meriwether Lewis to Philadelphia in 1803 for instruction at the Society in botany, mathematics, surveying, astronomy, chemistry and map making, among other subjects. On January 18, 1803, Jefferson sent a confidential letter to Congress asking for $2,500 to fund an expedition through the West;Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/S Battery

on February 28, 1803, Congress appropriated the necessary funds.

In 1804 Jefferson appointed Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as leaders of the expedition (1804–1806), which explored the Louisiana Territory and beyond, producing a wealth of scientific and geographical knowledge,Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/W Battery

and ultimately contributing to the European-American settlement of the West. Knowledge of the western part of the continent had been scant and incomplete, limited to what had been learned from trappers, traders, and explorers. This was the first official American military expedition to the Pacific Coast. Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/L Battery

Lewis and Clark, for whom the expedition became known, recruited the 45 men to accompany them, and spent a winter training them for the effort.

The expedition had several goals, including finding a "direct & practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce" (the long-sought Northwest Passage).Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/S Battery

They were to follow and map the rivers, and collect scientific data. Jefferson wanted to establish a US claim of "discovery" of the Pacific Northwest by mapping and documenting a United States presence there before Europeans could get a chance to claim the land. The expedition reached the Pacific Ocean by November 1805. Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/W Battery

With its return in 1806, it had fulfilled Jefferson's hopes by amassing much new data about the topographical features of the county and its natural resources, with details on the flora and fauna, as well as the many Indian tribes of the West with which he hoped to increase trading.Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/L Battery

Jefferson also commissioned the Pike Expedition to explore the central region of the Louisiana Purchase, and the Red River Expedition, which was less successful.

West Point

Ideas for a national institution for military education were founded during the American Revolution, but it wasn't until 1802 when Jefferson,Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/P Battery

following the advice of George Washington, John Adams and others, finally convinced Congress to authorize the funding and building of the United States Military Academy at West Point on the Hudson River in New York. On March 16, 1802, Jefferson signed the Military Peace Establishment Act,Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/S Battery

directing that a corps of engineers be established and "stationed at West Point in the state of New York, and shall constitute a Military Academy."   The Act would provide well-trained officers for a professional army. The officers would be reliable republicans rather than a closed elite as in Europe,Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/W Battery

for the cadets were to be appointed by Congressmen, and thus exactly reflect the nation's politics. In May 1801 Secretary of War Henry Dearborn announced that the president had "decided in favor of the immediate establishment of a military school at West Point and also on the appointment of Major Jonathan Williams", Sony VAIO VGN-NS240E/L Battery

grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin, to direct "the necessary arrangements, at that place for the commencement of the school." On July 4, 1802, the US Military Academy at West Point formally commenced its role as an institution for scientific and military learning.Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/L Battery

Burr trial

In 1807, Jefferson ordered his former vice president Aaron Burr tried for treason. Burr was charged with conspiring to levy war against the United States in an attempt to establish a separate confederacy composed of the Western states and territories, but he was acquitted.Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/S Battery

In 1807, the United States Congress, acting on Jefferson's request, passed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves. Jefferson signed the act and it went into effect January 1, 1808, the earliest date permitted by the United States Constitution for any law regulating slavery.Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/L Battery

The act made international import and export of slaves a crime with severe punishments; it did not apply to the internal slave trade.


The Embargo Act was passed in 1807 to maintain American neutrality in the Napoleonic Wars. Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/W Battery

Jefferson hoped to avoid national humiliation on the one hand, and war on the other. In the event he got both war and national humiliation; the economy of the entire Northeast suffered severely, the president was vehemently denounced,, and his party lost support. Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/L Battery

Instead of retreating Jefferson sent federal agents to secretly track down smugglers and violators.

The embargo was a financial disaster because the Americans could not export, while widespread disregard of the law meant enforcement was difficult. For the most part it effectively throttled American overseas trade.Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/P Battery

All areas of the United States suffered. In commercial New England and the Middle Atlantic states, ships rotted at the wharves, and in the agricultural areas, particularly in the South, farmers and planters could not dispose of their crops. Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/W Battery

Jefferson's Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin was against the entire embargo, foreseeing correctly the impossibility of enforcing the policy and the negative public reaction. "As to the hope that it may...induce England to treat us better," wrote Gallatin to Jefferson shortly after the bill had become law, "I think is entirely groundless...Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/L Battery

government prohibitions do always more mischief than had been calculated; and it is not without much hesitation that a statesman should hazard to regulate the concerns of individuals as if he could do it better than themselves."

Jefferson placed himself in a strange position with his embargo policy. Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/P Battery

Though he had so frequently argued for as small a federal government as possible, he now found the national government assuming extraordinary police powers in an attempt to enforce his policy. The presidential election of 1808, which James Madison won, showed that the Federalists were regaining strength, and helped to convince Congress that the Embargo would have to be repealed.Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/W Battery

Shortly before leaving office, in March 1809, Jefferson signed the repeal of the disastrous Embargo. In its place the Nonintercourse Act was enacted which proved no more effective than the Embargo, and it proved impossible to prevent American vessels from trading with the European belligerents once they had left American ports. Sony VAIO VGN-NS70B/W Battery

Jefferson increasingly believed the problem was the greedy traders and merchants who lacked republican virtue by not complying.

Historians have generally given Jefferson poor marks on his embargo policy. Cogliano (2008) notes that the failure of the Embargo "reinforced the view that Jefferson had been lucky rather than adroit during the earlier negotiations."Sony VAIO VGN-NS71B/W Battery

Doron Ben Atar (1993) argued that Jefferson's commercial and foreign policies were misguided, ineffective and harmful to American interests. Kaplan (1957) argued that the War of 1812 was the logical extension of his embargo, and that by entering the Napoleonic Wars on anti-British side, the United States deprived itself of the advantages of neutrality.Sony VAIO VGN-NS72JB/W Battery

Kaplan adds, "The results were a personal disaster for Jefferson and general malaise and confusion for the nation."Bradford Perkins (1980) concluded Jefferson was on this issue, "a wavering, miscalculating, and self-deluding man."

Other involvements

He obtained the repeal of some federal taxes in his bid to rely more on customs revenue.Sony VAIO VGN-NS90HS Battery

He pardoned several people imprisoned under the Alien and Sedition Acts, passed in John Adams' term. He repealed the Judiciary Act of 1801 and removed nearly all of Adams' "midnight judges" from office, which led to the Supreme Court deciding the important case of Marbury v. Madison. Sony VAIO VGN-NS92JS Battery

He also signed into law a bill that officially segregated the US postal system by not allowing blacks to carry mail.

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