THOMAS JEFFERSON (1743-1826) SERVED AS THE THIRD PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES (1801 - 1809)
Thomas Jefferson -- author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, third president of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia - voiced the aspirations of a new America as no other individual of his era. As a public official, historian, philosopher, and plantation owner, he served his country for over five decades.
Thomas Jefferson was a man of many talents. He was the author of the Declaration of American Independence, a founding father of the United States and the country's third president.Thomas Jefferson was born in Shadwell, Virginia, on 13 April 1743 into a wealthy landowning family. He studied law and practiced until the early 1770s. He served as a magistrate and was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1769 to 1775.By 1774, he was actively involved in organising opposition to British rule, and in his pamphlet 'A Summary View of the Rights of British America' Jefferson articulated the colonial position for independence. As a member of the second Continental Congress, he was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He returned to Virginia and served as governor from 1779 to 1781.In 1784, Jefferson went to France where he served first as trade commissioner and then as American ambassador. He was in France for four years and witnessed the beginning of the French Revolution.President Jefferson, trying to avoid involving the United States in the European conflict between England and France, responded to the “Chesapeake Affair” by inducing Congress to pass the Embargo Act of 1807. This act created a general Embargo that made illegal all exports from the United States. The Act’s goal was to use economic coercion to avoid war, punish Britain and France, and force them to respect American rights. Unfortunately, the effect of this embargo was not what Jefferson intended. By the spring of 1808, New England ports had nearly shut down and the regional economy headed into a depression, with growing unemployment. In 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 sell their cotton crops on the international market.
Writing The Declaration Of Independence.At the Second Continental Congress during the summer of 1776, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia was charged with drafting a formal statement justifying the 13 North American colonies’ break with Great Britain. A member of a five-man committee that also included John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson drew up a draft and included Franklin’s and Adams’ corrections. At the time, the Declaration of Independence was regarded as a collective effort of the Continental Congress; Jefferson was not recognized as its principal author until the 1790s.
The Committee of Five presenting their draft to the Congress,Signing the Declaration of Independence, 28th June 1776.