One of the most dedicated and influential Americans was Thomas Jefferson. His life of eighty-three years was devoted to help form the foundation on which America was built. His powerful beliefs influenced many leaders, including presidents, to pursue his way of life. Thomas Jefferson held many government positions. He was first a lawyer in Virginia. Jefferson was also a member of the Continental Congress before America was a free nation. At the age of thirty-three he was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence which stated America's freedom. Jefferson held the position of an American Ambassador to France. When George Washington became the first American President, Jefferson was his Secretary of State. Then, when John Adams was President, Thomas Jefferson was the Vice President. He himself became President from 1801 to 1809. Not only was he a politician, he was a scientist, diplomat agriculturist, architect, philosopher, educator, and inventor (Meltzer 13). He also founded the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson held many government positions and accomplished many great achievements for America. He helped to make the American Nation what it is today.
Thomas Jefferson was born April 13, 1743 in the colony of Virginia. His parents were Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph. As a child he lived at Shadwell which was the house his .
father built, and later moved to the house called Tuckahoe. Thomas Jefferson came from a family of six girls and two boys. "Thomas began to read and write at the age of five, when his father turned him over to the family's hired tutor" (Patterson 14). By the time he was a man, Thomas Jefferson could read and write English, French, Latin, and Greek (Randall 104). Jefferson loved to read books and write in journals. At the age of fourteen when his father died, Jefferson was given his personal library. His father's library consisted of over forty books.