Thomas Jefferson Biography
Thomas Jefferson was the most true and pure example of the American eighteenth century age of Reason & Revolution. The third President of the United States of America, author of the Declaration of Independence, planter, architect, scientist, educator, and prominent spokesman for human liberty. He was born on April 13, 1743 at the town of Shadwell, Virginia in the Goochland (now Albermarle) county. The parents of Thomas represented both extremes of the social class, his father Peter was a farmer and county leader, and his mother Jane Randolph was apart of Virginia's most distinguished families. Under his father's hand Thomas learned the elements of farming, hunting, fishing and the ability to read, although Thomas learned this mostly himself. As for formal education he began under two ministers of the Established Church, who taught him the classics and some French. He was also tutored in dancing, became moderate with the violin, learned chess, and was a fearless and accomplished horseman. At the age of fourteen Jefferson's father died, leaving him with some slaves and 2,750 acres of land. In 1760 he decided to study Greek and Latin as well as some Mathematics at the College of William and Mary. He left college after two years, having gain little except from the influence of science, due to William Small a new upcoming faculty member. In 1762 he began the study of law under another great teacher, George Wythe, who embodied the classical concepts of virtue and civility, and who transmitted these to Jefferson. In 1767 Jefferson was admitted to the bar, having mastered the works of English common law by Sir Edward Coke. After becoming a lawyer he turned to state matters in a small part by becoming a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1768 for his county. By the year of 1772 he married Martha Wayles Skelton, a widow, and took her to live in his partly constructed home, Monticello.