What Is The Best Biography Of Thomas Jefferson? Find Out Now! | Kidadl


What Is The Best Biography Of Thomas Jefferson? Find Out Now!

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Thomas Jefferson was a lawyer, diplomat, architect, and philosopher whose ideology on politics and government significantly affected early American history.

Jefferson was the principal draftsperson of the United States Declaration of Independence, and he was also the statesman who was the reason behind Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson was also one of America's main founding fathers who drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, along with John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, George Washington, and James Madison.

Jefferson studied law under George Wythe and mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy from Professor William Small.

Martha Wayles Skelton, a 23-year-old widow of Bathurst Skelton, married Jefferson in 1772. After his wife's death, a controversy revolved around his relationship with Sally Hemings. She was a mixed-race woman enslaved by Jefferson and his late wife's half-sister. Jefferson and Sally Hemings have at least six children as per DNA shreds of evidence. James Hemings, Sally Hemings' brother and the first American chef to be trained in France, also became Jefferson's enslaved at eight years of age, due to inheritance.

Jefferson was known for his shy nature, his strong belief in liberty, and his strong belief in democracy, republicanism, and the rights of American colonists under the Kingdom of Great Britain. Though Thomas Jefferson believed and fought for human freedom and equality, he possessed hundreds of people enslaved under him.

Fun Facts About Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was a multifaceted man. During his graduation years, he was known to have studied for 15 hours every day. Let's find out more fun facts.

  • Despite his addiction to books, he had never written any biography. All his life, he had authored the America's Declaration of Independence and only one complete book, Notes on the State of Virginia, published in 1787.
  • Many biographies like 'Jefferson And His Time' and 'Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power' were written about Thomas Jefferson by various authors. But 'The Architect Of American Liberty', penned by John B. Boles, is known to be the best biography of Thomas Jefferson.
  • Jefferson was an archaeologist and obsessed with animals, particularly the mammoth. He also had a collection of fossils and the bones of a mastodon given to him when he resided in the President's House in Washington DC, and this is now kept on display in the Monticello entrance hall.
  • Thomas Jefferson was a wine connoisseur. He carried his love for French wine to America after residing in France for some time. Jefferson is regarded as one of the astonishing wine experts of America and is also said to have owned two vineyards in Monticello.
  • Apart from wine, food also was a major interest for Jefferson, especially French food. His inclination towards French food was visible in his cooking skills in his home to the dinner parties organized in Jefferson's presidency.
  • Most of America's new favorite foods like ice cream, french fries, mac 'n' cheese became popular because of his interests in food that spread inside the country.
  • Jefferson was so obsessed with books since his student life. He was an avid reader and was usually seen spending his time reading books for more than 15 hours a day.
  • Jefferson's recommended reading list has many books, but the one that tops the list is 'The Histories' by Herodotus. When Jefferson was not reading, he used to play the violin.


Interesting Facts About Thomas Jefferson's Achievements

Jefferson's life is quite an inspiration to many people. Apart from his interest and influence in politics, he was fascinated by diverse cultures worldwide and adopted them in every possible way. Let's consider some other interesting facts.

  • From 1801 through 1809, Thomas Jefferson was the country's third president, and he was a key figure in the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the acquisition of Louisiana, which more than doubled the size of America. He established the University of Virginia and obliterated the slave trade.
  • The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 by a five-member committee known as the founding fathers. The United States was no longer a part of the British Empire, according to this document made by Jefferson. In 1777, Thomas Jefferson created the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which removed England's church control in Virginia and promised freedom of religion to individuals of all faiths.
  • Jefferson served as Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781 during the Revolutionary War, and from 1785 to 1789, he was the Minister of the United States to France.
  • He served from 1790 to 1793 as President George Washington's first Secretary of State, and from 1797 to 1801, he served as Vice President under the rule of President John Adams.
  • He contested against Aaron Burr in the presidential election of 1800, and the result was a draw. In 1801 the House of Representatives elected him president after 36 ballots, and he was elected again in 1804 with an overwhelming majority.
  • Thomas Jefferson played a prominent role in organizing the Library of Congress. During the 1812 war, most of the collection in the library was wrecked by the British, and Jefferson offered to provide his personal library as a substitute. Congress agreed to his offer and purchased his 6487 books. The library's main building was renamed the Thomas Jefferson Building in the year 1980 to commemorate his contribution.


Facts About Thomas Jefferson's Books

Jefferson wrote regular notes of his life events for reference dates and facts about his life for him and his family members. Let's explore some facts relating to Thomas Jefferson's books.

  • George Tucker wrote the first biography of Thomas Jefferson. Some of the famous biographies are 'Jefferson And His Time' and 'Twilight At Monticello'.
  • 'Jefferson And His Time', was a magnum opus penned by one of the eminent Jefferson scholars, Dumas Malone. This book was published in six volumes over 33 years. Dumas Malone won the Pulitzer prize in 1975 for history for his work on the first five volumes. The Pulitzer Prize is a famous honor presented to Americans who excel in the categories of journalism, literature, online journalism, magazines, and music.
  • 'Thomas Jefferson: The Art Of Power', by Jon Meacham is a political biography. The author of this book discusses Jefferson's genius and his ability to combine strategy and philosophy. He explains that Jefferson's passion was to ensure that the newly independent nation bloomed as a true democracy.
  • 'Madison And Jefferson', by Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg is a book on the momentous partnership of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. This book shows the two presidents as hard-hearted competitors in a tough world of politics, constantly struggling for dominance and authority for around 50 years. Authors Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg portray the role of Madison in Jefferson's career as a campaign manager.
  • 'Thomas Jefferson And The Tripoli Pirates', by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger focuses on a time when the United States was under debt, its economy and dignity at stake when Jefferson became the President in 1801. The Barbary Coast of North Africa frequently captivated American merchant ships and enslaved its sailors, extracting more money than what the country could afford to pay. This book reclaims the lapsed war that transformed American history.
  • 'Twilight At Monticello', by Alan Pell Crawford who is an ex-political speechwriter and a press secretary of Congress and now explores the archives of American history and politics. As a part of this search, he found a lot of details, documents, and letters related to Jefferson, his family, neighbors, and relatives. Alan Pell Crawford combined all the data and penned the president's twilight years.
  • 'The Jefferson's Image in the American Mind' was written in 1960 by Merrill D. Peterson. This book's prime focus was the afterlife of Jefferson and the everlasting impression he had on the American minds. Merril published this book in 1960, and it also won the Bancroft Prize for excellence in American history.
  • 'The Hemingses Of Monticello' was written in 2008 by Annette Gordon-Reed who is a law and history professor at Harvard. In this book, Annette Gordon-Reed narrates the life of three generations in Sally Hemings' family.
Thomas Jefferson had a special affection towards mockingbirds, and he was exceptionally fond of one mockingbird and named him Dick.

What was unique about Thomas Jefferson?

Jefferson's character was appealing even before he became famous as the author of the Declaration of Independence because of his love for music, arts, books, culture, wine, and food. Let's explore what made Jefferson so unique.

  • Jefferson was devoted to learning all his life. He was not only a multi-talented person but also could speak multiple languages. Jefferson could speak English, French, Latin, and Italian and read two languages; Greek and Spanish.
  • As the President of the United States, he helped to double the country's size through the Louisiana Purchase.
  • Also, he endorsed Lewis and Clark's expedition of exploring the territory. After he sold his library with over 6000 books to the Library of Congress, he began purchasing more and more books, showing that he couldn't live without books.
  • Jefferson's character was unique and contradicted his commendable study and work. He was given the task of authoring the Declaration of Independence that focused on the right to freedom of humans.
  • In his personal life, however, because of his family's origin, Jefferson owned more than 200 slaves, with more than half of them less than 16 years of age. He supported malicious activities like selling the slaves and getting them migrated away from their homes as a punishment.


Thomas Jefferson's Famous Quotes

There are many famous quotes from Thomas Jefferson. Below are some of the most remarkable ones:

  • "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
  • "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."
  • "Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold."
  • "How much pain has cost us the evils which have never happened?"
  • "Take things always by their smooth handle."
  • "When angry, count 10 before you speak; if very angry, a hundred."
  • "Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching."
  • "Never spend your money before you have earned it."
  • "It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness."
  • "Never trouble another for what you can do yourself."
  • "Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you."
  • "We never repent of having eaten too little."
  • "Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly."
  • "The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave."
  • "Delay is preferable to error."
Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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