Thomas Jefferson Essay

2192 Words 9 Pages
Thomas Jefferson

The third president of the United States, a diplomat, statesman, architect, scientist, and philosopher, Thomas Jefferson is one of the most eminent figures in American history. No leader in the period of the American
Enlightenment was as articulate, wise, or conscious of the implications and consequences of a free society as Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at Shadwell, a tobacco plantation in Virginia. His father, Peter Jefferson, was a self-made success, and although uneducated he was a very intelligent man. His mother,
Jane Randolph was a member of one of the most distinguished families in
Virginia . Peter Jefferson died when Thomas was 14 and left him valuable lands and
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The members met and planned to call together an inter-colonial congress. Jefferson began writing resolutions which were radical and better written than those from other counties and colonies. Although his resolutions were considered too revolutionary and not adopted, they were printed and widely circulated and subsequently all important writing assignments were entrusted to Jefferson.
When Jefferson arrived in Philadelphia in June, 1775, as a Virginia delegate to the Second Continental Congress, he already possessed, as John
Adams remarked, "a reputation for literature, science, and a happy talent of composition" (Koch and Peden 21). When he returned in 1776, he was appointed to the five-man committee, including Benjamin Franklin and John
Adams, which was charged with the most momentous assignment ever given in the history of America: the drafting of a formal declaration of independence from Great Britain (Daugherty 109). Jefferson was responsible for preparing the draft. The document, was finally approved by Congress on
July 4, 1776. Cut and occasionally altered by Adams, or Franklin, or the
Congress itself, the Declaration is almost completely Jefferson's, and is the triumph and culmination of his early career. At this time, had he wanted to be a political leader, he could have easily attained a position in government. Instead, he chose to return to

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