Third President of the United States
Born in 1743 - Died in 1826

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson wanted the 13 colonies to become a nation. He was a good writer, so he wrote letters asking people to help the nation become free. He wrote letter after letter; 50,000 letters during his lifetime.

He was such a good writer that he was one of five men chosen to write the Declaration of Independence. He wanted to be able to think, so he rented a house and stayed there by himself for 17 days. He searched in his mind for just the right words. When he had finished it, he gave it to the Continental Congress, and on July 4, 1776 it was adopted * . The war for freedom; the revolution * had started.

Jefferson was born on the family farm in Virginia to a wealthy family. He had six sisters and three brothers; a large family indeed.

When he was a boy he enjoyed hunting, fishing, riding horses and canoeing. He also loved music and learned to play the violin.

His father was his teacher and his parents talked to him about the importance of serving others. His father died when Thomas was 14 years old.

When he was 17 he entered college and studied law. He would make a schedule for himself and study 15 hours or more a day. Because of his hard work, he was at the head of his class. He soon passed the bar exam * and became a lawyer in Virginia.



Photo by Christopher Hollis

He married and built a home called Monticello (Mon-ti-CHELLO). Later his wife, Martha, died.

When George Washington was president, Jefferson was his secretary of state. Then he served as vice president under John Adams. Jefferson was elected the third president of the United States in 1801.

His wife died 19 years before he became president, so there was no "First Lady" * . Sometimes his daughters served as hostesses * . Dolley Madison, the wife of his Secretary of State, was also a popular hostess in the White House.

He knew the country had to grow, so he completed the Louisiana Purchase which doubled the size of the nation.

After two terms as president he returned to Monticello and farming. He grew hundreds of different kinds of vegetables and fruit trees.

He knew education was important, so he planned the University of Virginia. He designed the buildings and marked where they should be built. He also chose the library books, and even hired the teachers. The school opened in 1825 with 40 students.

Thomas Jefferson died 50 years after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

This biography by Patsy Stevens, a retired teacher, was written in 2001.

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and when was it written?"
Look on this Reference Citations Chart.

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Declaring Independence - Video

The Thomas Jefferson Papers
at the Library of Congress

Writing the Declaration of Independence,1776
from Eye Witness to History

Thomas Jefferson

My Own Book
put yourself in this story about the Louisiana Purchase

Thomas Jefferson Lesson Plan
(You must register to access lessons.)

Louisiana Purchase Lesson Plan

The Declaration of Independence
video lesson
(Click on the topics "Interactive Media Files", be sure volume is turned up.)

Jefferson as President
video lesson
(Click on the topics "Interactive Media Files" )

Information about Thomas Jefferson
(Look in the box top left) at Humanities Web

Thomas Jefferson
American Presidents, Life Portraits
Listen to stories about this president.

Presidential Coloring Pages

1776 (audio)
Jefferson and Technology (audio)
Two Monticellos (audio)
Engines of Our Ingenuity.

Thomas Jefferson
from Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography 1888

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From Word Central's Student Dictionary
by Merriam - Webster

(Pronunciation note: the schwa sound is shown by ə)

Pronunciation: ə-'dopt
Function: verb
to accept formally as in "the assembly adopted a constitution"

Pronunciation: "rev-ə-'loo-shən
Function: noun
a sudden, extreme, or complete change or a basic change in government;
especially : the overthrow of one government and the substitution
of another by the governed, rebellion

examination (exam)
Pronunciation: ig-"zam-ə-'nA-shən
Function: noun
a test to determine progress, fitness, or knowledge

First Lady
Function: noun
Usage: often capitalized
the wife or hostess of the male chief executive of a state or nation

Pronunciation: 'hO-stəs
Function: noun
a woman who acts as host; especially : one who greets

955102: Discover Thomas Jefferson: Architect, Inventor Discover Thomas Jefferson: Architect, Inventor
By Patricia A. Pingry / Ideals Publications Inc

Young readers will enjoy discovering the life of Thomas Jefferson on their own through humorous watercolors and informative, easy-to-read text. Features simple sentences and color illustrations. Written at a second-grade level.

066855: Thomas Jefferson Biography FunBook Thomas Jefferson Biography FunBook
By Carole Marsh & Sherry Moss(Editor) / Gallopade International

Everyone's favorite way to learn about America's most important citizens! Easy-to-read information, facts, trivia, humor and activities are all included in Biography Funbooks! Ages 7-12. paperback.

431450: Who Was Thomas Jefferson? Who Was Thomas Jefferson?
By Dennis Brindell Fradin / Grosset & Dunlap

Did you know that John Adams had to coax Thomas Jefferson into writing the Declaration of Independence? It's true. The shy Virginia statesman refused at first, but then went on to author one of our nation's most important and inspiring documents. The third U.S. president, Jefferson was also an architect, inventor, musician, farmer, and-what is certainly the most troubling aspect of his life-a slave owner. Finally, here's a biography for kids that unveils the many facets of this founding father's remarkable and complicated life. 112 pages, paperbacks. Ages 8-12.


Thomas Jefferson (First Biography)
by Cassie Mayer (selected pages) Order here

Thomas Jefferson (Photo-illustrated Biography)
by T. M. Usel (selected pages) Order here

Thomas Jefferson: A Life of Patriotism
by Ann-Marie Kishel (selected pages) Order here

Sterling Biographies: Thomas Jefferson: Architect of Freedom
by Rita Thievon Mullin (selected pages) Order here

Thomas Jefferson (Weekly Reader)
by Monica Rausch (selected pages) Order here

Thomas Jefferson : a picture book biography
by James Giblin, Michael Dooling (selected pages) Order here

Thomas Jefferson
by Rebecca Aldridge (selected pages) Order here

Thomas Jefferson: A Founding Father of the United States of America
by Lori Mortensen (selected pages) Order here

Thomas Jefferson: Let Freedom Ring!
by Sneed B. Collard (selected pages) Order here

Thomas Jefferson, Presidents and Their Times
by Trudi Strain Trueit (selected pages) Order here

"Thomas Jefferson, A Character Sketch"
(public domain) online book by Edward Ellis 1898

"Thomas Jefferson"
(public domain) online book by Thomas Watson 1900

Preview the Amazon books using the links below.

Thomas Jefferson, Great American
by Matt Doeden (selected pages)

Thomas Jefferson, First Biographies
by Judy Emerson (selected pages)

Thomas Jefferson, Architect of Democracy
by John B. Severance (selected pages)

Thomas Jefferson, History Maker Bios
by Victoria Sherrow (selected pages)

Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States
by Heidi M. D. Elston (selected pages)

Thomas Jefferson
by Carol H. Behrman (selected pages)

Profiles of the Presidents, Thomas Jefferson
by Ann Heinrichs (selected pages)

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Biographies in this Series

Reference citations information for these biographies

Presidents of
the United States
George Washington John Adams Thomas Jefferson James Madison James Monroe Andrew Jackson
  Martin Van Buren Abraham Lincoln Theodore Roosevelt Franklin D. Roosevelt Harry S. Truman Dwight D. Eisenhower
  John F. Kennedy Lyndon B. Johnson Jimmy Carter Ronald Reagan Barack Obama Calvin Coolidge
American Patriots Benjamin Franklin Francis Scott Key Deborah Sampson Molly Pitcher
World Leaders Constantine Alexander the Great Winston Churchill Margaret Thatcher
Inventors Alexander Graham Bell Johann Gutenberg Cyrus McCormick The Wright Brothers Henry Ford Thomas A. Edison
  Sequoyah Nikola Tesla Michael Faraday Dean Kamen Jack Kilby Leonardo Da Vinci
  Donald O'Neal
Explorers Christopher Columbus Meriwether Lewis Robert Peary John Muir Matthew Henson Sir Edmund Hillary
  Kit Carson Johnny Appleseed Daniel Boone
Women who made
a difference
Clara Barton Helen Keller Florence Nightingale Joan of Arc Amelia Earhart Annie Oakley
  Susan B. Anthony Elizabeth Keckly Harriet Tubman Anne Frank Eleanor Roosevelt Madam C.J. Walker
  Sadako Sasaki Henrietta Lacks Malala Yousafzai      
Scientists George Washington Carver Sir Isaac Newton Marie Curie Louis Pasteur Albert Einstein Galileo
  Lise Meitner Norman Borlaug Benjamin Banneker
Educators Noah Webster Booker T. Washington Aristotle Mary McLeod Bethune
Physicians Hippocrates Walter Reed Albert Schweitzer
Religious Leaders George Muller Increase Mather
Athletes Lou Gehrig Wilma Rudolph Tiger Woods Michael Phelps
Civil Rights
Martin Luther King Rosa Parks Sojourner Truth Frederick Douglass Mary Ann Shadd Cary James Forten
  Gandhi César Chávez William Wilberforce Nelson Mandela
Composers Beethoven Mozart
Authors Laura Ingalls Wilder Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) Ernest Hemingway Greg Mortenson Phillis Wheatley
Artists John James Audubon Gutzon Borglum Ansel Adams Dale Chihuly Van Gogh Michelangelo
  Rembrandt Grandma Moses Cassatt Renoir Cezanne Rockwell


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The portrait of Jefferson may be used without permission.
It is in the public domain and was found at the Wikimedia Commons.

Picture to color courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

*Word Match Solution

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