Posted by: Ron DuBour | April 24, 2015

American Heroes~Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)~by rldubour

Friday!!!!! time to post another American Hero, today we take a brief look with the help of poetry at:


Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)



Born on April thirteenth

Seventeen hundred and forty-three.

The third of eight children

Of a prominent family.


Mother was Jane Randolph.

Father was Peter Jefferson

Then Edge Hill, Virginia

They owned several plantations.


Thomas attended a local school

Run by William Douglas.

Studied Latin, Greek and French

Only nine his mind was formulas.


Dad died in fifty-seven

Tom was fourteen years old.

He inherited about five thousand acres

Later known as Monticello.


In seventeen-sixty Jefferson entered

The College of William & Mary.

Graduated with highest honors in

Mathematics, metaphysics and philosophy.


In seventeen and sixty-seven.

Admitted to the Virginia bar

Married Martha in seventy-two

His ideals would take him far.


A political philosopher

A statesman, a horticulturist.

An author, inventor, archaeologist

A polymath and paleontologist.


The principal author of the

Declaration of Independence.

An influential founding father

The third United States President.


While President two major events

With his vision and ambition.

There was the Louisiana Purchase

And the Lewis and Clark Expedition


In eighteen-hundred and twenty-six

Jefferson died on the Fourth of July.

He wrote his own epitaph

“Not a word more,” be inscribed.


AUTHOR NOTES: Thomas Jefferson was born on 13 April 1743 into a family closely related to some of the most prominent individuals in Virginia, the third of eight children. His mother was Jane Randolph, daughter of Isham Randolph, a ship’s captain and sometime planter, and first cousin to Peyton Randolph. Jefferson’s father was Peter Jefferson, a planter and surveyor who owned plantations in Albemarle County (Shadwell, then Edge Hill, Virginia.) In 1752, Jefferson began attending a local school run by William Douglas, a Scottish minister. At the age of nine, Jefferson began studying Latin, Greek, and French. In 1757, when he was 14 years old, his father died. Jefferson inherited about 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land and dozens of slaves. He built his home there, which eventually became known as Monticello. After his father’s death, he was taught at the school of the learned minister James Maury from 1758 to 1760. The school was in Fredericksville Parish near Gordonsville, Virginia, twelve miles (19 km) from Shadwell, and Jefferson boarded with Maury’s family. There he received a classical education and studied history and science. In 1760 Jefferson entered The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg at the age of 16; he studied there for two years, graduating with highest honors in 1762. At William & Mary, he enrolled in the philosophy school and studied mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy under Professor William Small, who introduced the enthusiastic Jefferson to the writings of the British Empiricists, including John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Sir Isaac Newton (Jefferson called them the “three greatest men the world had ever produced”). He also perfected his French, carried his Greek grammar book wherever he went, practiced the violin, and read Tacitus and Homer. A keen and diligent student, Jefferson displayed an avid curiosity in all fields and, according to the family tradition, frequently studied fifteen hours a day. His closest college friend, John Page of Rosewell, reported that Jefferson “could tear himself away from his dearest friends, to fly to his studies.” While in college, Jefferson was a member of a secret organization called the Flat Hat Club, now the namesake of the William & Mary student newspaper. He lodged and boarded at the College in the building known today as the Sir Christopher Wren Building, attending communal meals in the Great Hall, and morning and evening prayers in the Wren Chapel. Jefferson often attended the lavish parties of royal governor Francis Fauquier, where he played his violin and developed an early love for wines. After graduating in 1762 with highest honors, he studied law with his friend and mentor, George Wythe, and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1767. In 1772, Jefferson married a 23-year-old widow, Martha Wayles Skelton. They had six children: Martha Jefferson Randolph (1772–1836), Jane Randolph (1774–1775), a stillborn or unnamed son (1777), Mary Wayles (1778–1804), Lucy Elizabeth (1780–1781), and Lucy Elizabeth (1782–1785). Martha died on September 6, 1782 and Jefferson never remarried. Jefferson may also have been the father of several children with his slave Sally Hemmings. Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 – 4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806). A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House—with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Jefferson died on the Fourth of July, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the same day as John Adams’ death. Although he was born into one of the wealthiest families in the United States, Thomas Jefferson was deeply in debt when he died. His possessions were sold at auction. In 1831, Jefferson’s 552 acres (223 hectares) were sold for $7,000 to James T. Barclay. Thomas Jefferson is buried on his Monticello estate, in Charlottesville, Virginia. In his will, he left Monticello to the United States to be used as a school for orphans of navy officers. His epitaph, written by him with an insistence that only his words and “not a word more” be inscribed, reads:





BORN APRIL 2 1743 O.S.

DIED JULY 4 1826

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