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Thomas Jefferson Biography and Facts For Kids

When was Thomas Jefferson born: April 13, 1743
Where was Thomas Jefferson born: Albemarle County, VA
Where did Thomas Jefferson go to college: William and Mary
What religion was Thomas Jefferson: Unitarian
What was Thomas Jefferson’s profession: Planter – Lawyer
What was Thomas Jefferson’s military rank: Colonel
Who was Thomas Jefferson married to: Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
What number preside was Thomas Jefferson: 3rd
What political party did Thomas Jefferson belong to: Democratic-Republican
Who was the vice president for Thomas Jefferson: Aaron Burr
When was Thomas Jefferson president: 1801 – 1809
How many terms did Thomas Jefferson serve: 2
When did Thomas Jefferson die: July 4, 1826
How old was Thomas Jefferson when he died: 83
Where is Thomas Jefferson buried: Monticello, VA

Thomas Jefferson Quotes

  • “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. “
  • “An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry. “
  • “As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also. “
  • “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. “

10 Facts about Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States. Famed Revolutionary War hero and main writer of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was one of the key people in establishing our country. Beyond his political fame, Jefferson was a very smart man that played other key roles in the founding of the United States. Some interesting facts about Jefferson that you may not know:

1. Jefferson was not concerned about his status as President. He was the first President to ever shake hands with guests. Prior to this event it was customary for anyone meeting the President to bow to them. Jefferson felt this was to close of a tradition to the Monarchs of England and insisted that shaking hands was the appropriate thing for a President to do. It was his belief that the President was of the people, not above them.

2. Thomas Jefferson was concerned that people would make to large of a deal about his death so he took care of everything in advance. He designed his own tombstone, wrote the epitaph and even constructed the eulogy to be read. The odd thing about the whole ordeal was he never mentioned being President. He felt that there were many other important issues in his life that needed to be addressed. His tombstone only listed the three accomplishments he was most proud of in his life: Author of the American Declaration of Independence and The Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and Founder of the University of Virginia.

3. Jefferson died on the 4th of July on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Also on that day John Adams, the second president passed away. Jefferson and Adams were good friends and bitter political rivals. It is rumored they died the same day because they could not imagine life without the other one to argue with.

4. Jefferson was a lawyer, architect and a planter by trade. However, he loved to invent things. Jefferson is credited with creating the dumbwaiter, Venetian blinds for the home and the very first copy machine. Since duplicating documents could only be done by hand, Jefferson invented this machine using a series of mechanisms that would duplicate a letter while it was being written. He was also very proficient at making clocks and other time pieces as a hobby. Thomas Jefferson also holds the credit for inventing coat hangers, the first pedometer for counting the steps of his walks and a walking stick that unfolded to a seat. Jefferson’s plow design won a gold medal at a French exhibition. Jefferson never sought a patent on any of his wonderful inventions. He believed that his creations, if they helped people, belonged to the people, not him. He wanted everyone to have access to anything he invented.

5. Jefferson was an avid planter and farmed his entire property at Monticello. At one given time he had the more peach trees growing on his land than any other planter. However, apples were his favorite fruit and peas his favorite vegetable. Jefferson is also credited for cultivating the potato in America and increasing its popularity. He is said to be the first to slice them French style and fry them.

6. Jefferson is also credited with introducing spaghetti to America. Jefferson was a vegetarian most of the time. While he was known to eat meat, he never ate meat as a main dish. He only occasionally ate it as a side dish. During his travels overseas he came across spaghetti with tomato sauce and was thrilled. The people in the United States were not very open to this dish at the time. It was believed that tomatoes were poison and no one wanted to try the dish. In an effort to prove that tomatoes were not poisonous during a public gathering he ate a tomato in front of a group of people. After much commotion the crowd settled down and realized he had not dropped over dead. From that point forward tomato cultivation was encouraged and pasta dishes began to become popular.

7. Jefferson was one of the main influences in establishing the current United States monetary system. Prior to the creation of the dollar, the U.S. still ran on pound notes. He designed the dollar system, including the encouragement of using the decimal point. The penny than became the main denominator of the dollar. Jefferson is featured on the nickel and the two dollar bill.

8. Jefferson owned over 6000 books at one time. He sold these books to the government to found the Library of Congress. When he received payment for his books he immediately began buying new ones to read. It was through his voracious reading habit that Jefferson learned to speak and read 6 different languages besides English. Jefferson could read and speak Latin and Greek proficiently. He could also speak Itallian, Spanish, German and French.

9. Jefferson tried to have his vice president, Aaron Burr tried for treason in 1807. Burr, after killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, left the Washington D.C. area to live in what is now Texas. At that time he decided to raise an army and conquer Mexico so his daughter could become Empress. Jefferson had his arrested and tried for treason. Oddly enough, Burr was never convicted. Jefferson is also the only President to start impeachment proceedings against a Supreme Court Justice.

10. Jefferson had a pet Mockingbird that he called “Dick”. Dick rode on Thomas Jefferson’s shoulder everywhere he went. The bird was free to come and go as he pleased in the White House. Dick was trained to take food right from Jefferson’s lips. This parlor trick was displayed at many White House gatherings. Jefferson’s other unusual White House pets were his two bear cubs. During the Lewis and Clark expedition two cubs were caught and sent to the President. The President cared for the cubs and was often seen walking around the White House grounds with them romping at his side.

Timeline of Thomas Jeffersons Life

1743 Born on April 13th in Virginia
1760 Enrolled at William and Mary College at Williamsburg at the age of 16
1762 Graduated William and Mary College
1769-1775 Elected to the House of Burgesses
1772 Marries Martha Wayles Skelton
1776 Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence
1782 Martha Jefferson dies
1785 Appointed as minister to France
1789 Became Secretary of State
1796 Elected Vice-President of the United States for John Adams
1801 Elected President if the United States
1803 Ohio became a state
1804 The 12th Amendment to the constitution is adopted which states the President and Vice President will be elected separately
1804 Napoleon appointed himself as the French Emperor
1804 June 4th Tripoli and America signed a peace treaty
1804 The steam locomotive is invented by Richard Trevithick
1805 Lewis and Clark reached the pacific coast
1807 Arron Burr, Jefferson’s Vice President, was tried and acquitted for treason
1819 Founded the University of Virginia
1826 Died July 4th at his home Monticello in Virginia