Thomas Jefferson's Life

By MissIng
  • Thomas Jefferson is Born

    Thomas Jefferson is Born
    Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at Shadwell, Virginia to Peter Jefferson, a successful planter and surveyer, and Jane Randolph, a member of one of Virginia's most distinguished families.
  • Graduates from College

    Graduates from College
    Thomas Jefferson graduated from the College of William and Mary sometime in 1762 and started studying law after graduating
  • The Bar

    The Bar
    Thomas Jefferson was admitted to the bar, or an association for lawyers, in 1767 and established a successful practice.
  • Public Career

    Public Career
    Thomas Jefferson's public career began in 1769, when he served as a representative in the Virginia House of Burgesses, the nation's first elected body of government.
  • The Monticello

    The Monticello
    Construction on the Monticello, Jefferson's home, began. It is situated on a mountaintop just outside of Charlettesville, Virginia. It is a 5,000 acre plantation.
  • Marriage

    Jefferson married Martha Wayles Skelton, a widow, on January 1, 1772. He took her to live in his partially finished home, Monticello.
  • The American Revolution

    The American Revolution
    The American Revolution(1775-1783) forced Jefferson to abandon his practice of law in 1774. He turned his legal skills to the rebel cause.
  • A Summary View of the Rights of British America

    A Summary View of the Rights of British America
    "A Summary View of the Rights of British America" was an article Jefferson wrote in 1774 before the Declaration of Independence. He argued that Americans possessed the same natural rights to govern themselves as their ancestors had exercised when they moved to England from Germany.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    Thomas Jefferson took his seat in the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia in June 1775.
  • The Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration of Independence
    Jefferson was chosen by the Continental Congress to draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He was 33 years old at the time. The Declaration of Independence emerged on July 4, 1776, declaring the 13 colonies independent from British rule.
  • Virginia's Governor

    Virginia's Governor
    Jefferson became Virginia's governor in June 1779. He struggled to aid the southern army in defending Virginian territory from the British. Jefferson abdicated his second term in 1781 after the British, led by Benedict Arnold, invaded Virginia.
  • Wife's Death

    Wife's Death
    Thomas Jefferson's wife, Martha, died in September 1782.
  • Congress

    Thomas was elected to Congress in November 1783. He laid the foundations of national policy in several areas during the following May.
  • Commerce Treaties

    Commerce Treaties
    He was appointed with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin to negotiate treaties of commerce with the other European powers.
  • Minister to France

    Minister to France
    Jefferson succeeded Benjamin Franklin as minister to France in 1785.
  • Secretary of State

    Secretary of State
    President George Washington appointed him as Secretary of State on Jefferson's return from France in 1789. He was chiefly engaged in fruitless negotiation with European powers.
  • Resignation

    Jefferson resigned from his post as Secretary of State in 1793, after political relations with France grew worse during the war between France and Britain.
  • President Candidate

    President Candidate
    Jefferson became a reluctant candidate for the office of president. He came within three votes of election, losing to John Adams, on the right. Through a flaw in the Constitution, he became Vice Presedent.
  • Presedential Election

    Presedential Election
    Thomas Jefferson was elected President of the United States of America.
  • Presidency

    Jefferson topped Adams in the election of 1800. He became president on March 4, 1801, in the new national capital, Washington D.C.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France, gaining an uncharted region of around 800,000 square miles, doubling the nation's size.
  • Reelection

    Jefferson was reelected in 1804. His relations with Congress weakened as Republicans quarreled. John Randolph and former vice president Aaron Burr led a revolt in the west, but Jefferson crushed this revolt and maintained control of Congress.
  • Lewis and Clark Expidition

    Lewis and Clark Expidition
    Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to map the new Louisiana territory in 1804. They returned in 1806.
  • Embargo

    Jefferson avoided war with France by installing an embargo, or a suspension of trade in December 1807. It was successful, but the mounting costs at home led to its reversal by Congress near the end of Jefferson's presidency.
  • Retirement

    Jefferson retired from elected office and returned to Monticello in Virginia.
  • University of Virginia

    University of Virginia
    The University of Virginia was founded by Jefferson in 1819.
  • Death

    Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826. He is buried in a grave at Monticello in Virginia.