Biography and History

Born April 13, 1743, Thomas Jefferson was the United States' third president and the author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson grew up in Virginia and attended the College of William and Mary, after which he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1767. In 1779, Jefferson became the governor of Virginia, after which he took a five year residence in France from 1784 to 1789. During George Washington's presidency, Jefferson served as secretary of state, and it was during this time that he developed his rivalry with Alexander Hamilton. In 1800, Jefferson became the third president of the United States. As president, on of his most significant acts was the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Though reelected, Jefferson's second term was somewhat troubled and he gradually lost political popularity. In his retirement, Jefferson devoted himself to his Virginia house, Monticello, and the establishment of the University of Virginia. He died on July 4, 1826.

Source: From the finding aid for C0190