Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thomas Jefferson

For my U.S. History class we have to do a Junior Research Project . I chose to do mine on the two dollar bill. One of the checkpoints that we have is a Minor Focus. There are three types of Minor Focuses a Person, Place or an Event. I chose to start with the person. Our country's third President, Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell in what is now Albemarle County, Va., on Apr. 13, 1743. His mother came from one of the first families of Virginia and his father was a well to do land owner. Thomas Jefferson attended the College of William and Mary where he studied law. He began building Monticello on land inherited from his father. The mansion, which he designed in every detail, took years to complete. Thomas Jefferson married his wife Martha Skelton in 1772. They had six children together and only two of them lived to adulthood.

Thomas Jefferson won the election to become The President of the United States in 1801 and served to 1809.

Some of his major accomplishments: Elected to the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, Jefferson was appointed on June 11, 1776, to head a committee of five in preparing the Declaration of Independence. He was its primary author. Returning to Virginia late in 1776, Jefferson served until 1779 in the House of Delegates. In 1776 he succeeded in obtaining the abolition of entail; his proposal to abolish primogeniture became law in 1785. In June 1779, Jefferson was elected governor of Virginia. April 1784 he submitted Notes on the Establishment of a Money Unit and of a Coinage for the United States in which he advised the use of a decimal system. This report led to the adoption (1792) of the dollar, rather than the pound, as the basic monetary unit in the United States. He was sent to Paris initially as a commissioner to help negotiate commercial treaties; then in 1785 he succeeded Benjamin Franklin as minister to France. Congress confirmed his appointment as secretary of state in the first administration of George Washington. Jefferson accepted the position with some reluctance and largely because of Washington's insistence. He was also the President Featured on the two dollar bill.

In the final 17 years of his life, Jefferson's major accomplishment was the founding (1819) of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. He conceived it, planned it, designed it, and supervised both its construction and the hiring of faculty. The university was the last of three contributions by which Jefferson wished to be remembered; they constituted a trilogy of interrelated causes: freedom from Britain, freedom of conscience, and freedom maintained through education. On July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson died at Monticello. 

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