Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743. His parents were Jane Randolph Jefferson and Peter Jefferson. He studied in the College of William and Mary from 1960 to 1962. Later he studied law under George Wythe.
Thomas Jefferson was named after his grandfather Thomas Jefferson II. His grandfather was a prominent landowner, and a Justice of Chesterfield County. In 1769, he became a representative in the Virginia House of Burgesses.
In 1770, he started the construction of his house "Monticello" on the land his father gave him. This mansion took years to be completed.
In January 1772, He married Martha Wayles Skelton. Surprisingly, there are no surviving photographs of his wife, Martha Jefferson.
In 1776, he became one of the delegates of the Virginia General Assembly. During this period he drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence.
His career graph showed a steep upward curve from 1779 to 1809. During these periods he was elected as Governor of Virginia, and also as the Secretary of State under George Washington. From 1793 to 1801, he served as Vice-President under the President John Adams. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the third President of the United States of America. He was sworn in twice as the President.
Thomas Jefferson was the first US President to shake hands with the people instead of bowing to them. After being sworn in as the third President, he returned to the boarding house for his dinner. All the seats were occupied. Jefferson politely declined the seat offered by the wife of a Kentucky senator.
Jefferson was the first US President to inaugurate the White House in Washington D.C. He was also the first President to have a grandchild delivered in the White House. Jefferson City in Missouri is named after him.
Jefferson was a vegetarian, and green peas were his favorite. He had a huge greenhouse where he cultivated a wide variety of pea plants along with a wide variety of native plants.
Jefferson was instrumental in establishing the monetary system of the US. It was he who made the dollar the official currency of the US and he advised the usage of the decimal system of money. A cent became the denominator of a dollar.
He designed and founded the University of Virginia. In his lifetime, he wrote around 20,000 letters. He documented all his work in sequential order. He invented polygraph to photocopy his letters.
Although he fought for the abolition of slavery, he himself owned 200 slaves during his lifetime.
He was a voracious reader who collected around 6,000 books in his lifetime. Later he sold his collection of books to the Library of Congress for $23,950. He had collected books in seven different languages. He had mastered the language Latin and Greek.
Jefferson's had a pet mockingbird called Dick. It used to ride on his shoulders. He trained the bird to take bits of food from between his lips.
On July 4, 1826, Jefferson passed away. On the same day, Former US President John Adams also passed away. It was the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was in debt when he died. All his possession were auctioned. His mansion "Monticello" and 552 acres of land were sold to. James T. Barclay for $7,000.
Thomas Jefferson preferred not to be referred to as the former President of the United States in his epitaph.
"All my wishes end where I hope my days will end, at Monticello" - Thomas Jefferson. His Monticello mansion, in Charlottesville, Virginia was where he breathed his last. This is the place he longed for when he was in Washington D.C. He is remembered for his fine sense of humor, his writings, his architectural designs and inventions and also his public service. He was one of the most loved presidents of the United States of America.