Thomas Jefferson Essay

1375 words - 6 pages

Thomas Jefferson and his piece “Notes on The State of Virginia.” I have chosen Thomas Jefferson because of the simple fact that he is one of America’s great forefathers and his writings are simply brilliant. Thomas Jefferson is an iconic figures seemingly that he composed The Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson also opposed slavery and is considered very much a patriot.
Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia. Jefferson was born into one of the most prominent families of Virginia's planter elite. His family claimed that they were English and Scottish royalty. In his childhood he was much like any other colonist child finding refuse in playing the violin, reading, and playing in the woods. At the age of 14 Jefferson further studied classical languages, Mathematics and literature. Jefferson attended The College of William and Mary for three years, but in spite there were no law schools, he decided to read law under Wythe, one of the pre-eminent lawyers of the American colonies. From 1767-'74, Jefferson practiced law in Virginia with great success, trying many cases and winning most of them. During this time Jefferson met and married Martha Wayles Skelton, they had six children together, but only two survived into adulthood: Martha, their firstborn, and Mary, their fourth. Only Martha survived her father. Martha Jefferson died on September 6, 1782, at the age of 34. Jefferson most likely had an affair with a slave named Sally Hemings. Light-skinned and beautiful, Sally Hemings was in fact Martha Jefferson's half-sister. Jefferson died in bed at Monticello (located near Charlottesville, Virginia) on July 4, 1826 (Thomas Jefferson, 2014)
Jefferson did not have huge historical impacts until his early political years. Jefferson was one of the earliest and most fervent supporters of the cause of American independence from Great Britain. In 1774, Jefferson penned his first major political work, "A Summary View of the Rights of British America," which established his reputation as one of the most eloquent advocates of the American cause. With Jefferson being actively engaged in the Second Continental Congress, they appointed him and five others to draft a Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was the author of the first draft and over the next 17 days he drafted one of the most beautiful and powerful testaments to liberty and equality in world history. After authoring the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson returned to Virginia, where, from 1776 to 1779, he served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. In his return to Virginia he sought to revise Virginia laws to fit the American ideals of The Declaration of Independence. Jefferson successfully abolished the doctrine of entail, which dictated that only a property owner's heirs could inherit his land, and the doctrine of primogeniture, which required that in the absence of a will a property owner's oldest son inherited his entire estate. On June 1,...

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