was a man of many talents; writer, inventor, jurist, scientist and president of
the United States just to name a few. Not only is he remembered for many things
in history, he accomplished a great deal in each of roles he filled, even if
only briefly; for the offices he held in government as well as his belief in
the natural rights of man as expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson was born on April
13, 1742 in Albemarle County, Virginia into an elite farming family. He was the
oldest out of the two sons and 6 daughters. His mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson
was a member of one of Virginia’s most distinguished families. His
father, Peter Jefferson, was a self-educated surveyor who owned a well-kept
estate that included about 60 slaves. He didn’t start his formal education
until the age of nine. He learned Greek, classical languages, literature and
mathematics at his private school. In 1760, he found himself disappointed with
the education standards at College of William and Mary, so he sought the
company of older scholars who taught him more than his academic pursuits did.
With the guidance of one of
his college companions who was also a lawyer, Jefferson studied law. After five
years of intense training, Jefferson was inducted into the Virginia Bar in
1776. He was one of the most learned lawyers in America. During this time,
there was unrest and dissatisfaction in regards to taxes being levied on the
colonies. Jefferson was an early supporter of American independence from
Britain. Jefferson would also go on to be Governor of Virginia, Minister to
France, and Secretary of State during George Washington’s presidency, vice
president during John Adam’s presidency and then the third president of the United
In 1775 Congress commissioned
Jefferson to draft the most famous document in American History, the
Declaration of Independence. After the tragic and untimely death of his wife,
it is believed that Jefferson had a relationship with his slave, Sally Heming’s
and to have fathered her six children.
When Jefferson wasn’t busy serving as
president, drafting the declaration of independence or founding the University
of Virginia, he liked to invent things and improve other people’s inventions.
He was a selfless man, so he never took out a patent on anything he invented,
as he felt that every invention should benefit society.
of his Jefferson’s most famous inventions was the iron plow, as it would make
faming much more efficient than doing it by hand. The iron plow simultaneously
dug deeper into the soil, not like wooden plows the farmers were used to. His
iron plow was also more durable. Another invention of his was the macaroni
machine. It was used to roll pasta; a trip to Paris inspired him to make this,
he also loved exotic cuisine. Macaroni and cheese is a favorite of kids all
around the world, including me.
also improved several versions of the copy machine, called a polygraph. This
machine was used to duplicate a piece of writing which was also a big deal back
then as opposed to writing out everything by hand. Another great invention of
his was the Great Clock. This helped by telling the time and day with the help
of a heavy chain that extended to the floor. This improved he lives of not only
himself, but also his workers. Thomas Jefferson
died on July 4, 1826. While he had several ailments, his cause of death was
never determined, but some speculate he had prostate cancer. He will always be remembered for his great