POTUS: Presidents of the United States

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Portrait, Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

3rd President of the United States
(March 4, 1801 to March 3, 1809)

Nicknames: "Man of the People"; "Sage of Monticello"

Born: April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia
Died: July 4, 1826, at Monticello (near Charlottesville, Virginia)

Father: Peter Jefferson
Mother: Jane Randolph Jefferson
Married: Martha Wayles Skelton (1748-1782), on January 1, 1772
Children: Martha Washington Jefferson (1772-1836); Jane Randolph Jefferson (1774-75); infant son (1777); Mary Jefferson (1778-1804); Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson (1780-81); Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson (1782-85)

Religion: No formal affiliation
Education: Graduated from College of William and Mary (1762)
Occupation: Lawyer, planter
Political Party: Democratic-Republican
Other Government Positions:

  • Member of Virginia House of Burgesses, 1769-74
  • Member of Continental Congress, 1775-76
  • Governor of Virginia, 1779-81
  • Member of Continental Congress, 1783-85
  • Minister to France, 1785-89
  • Secretary of State, 1790-93 (under tiny U.S. flag Washington)
  • Vice President, 1797-1801 (under tiny U.S. flag J. Adams)

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

Presidential Election Results:
Year Electoral Votes
1792 tiny U.S. flag George Washington 132
tiny U.S. flag John Adams 77
George Clinton 50
Thomas Jefferson 4
Aaron Burr 1
1796 tiny U.S. flag John Adams 71
Thomas Jefferson 68
Thomas Pinckney 59
Aaron Burr 30
Samuel Adams 15
Oliver Ellsworth 11
George Clinton 7
John Jay 5
James Iredell 3
tiny U.S. flag George Washington 2
John Henry 2
S. Johnston 2
Charles C. Pinckney 1
1800 Thomas Jefferson 73
Aaron Burr 73
tiny U.S. flag John Adams 65
Charles C. Pinckney 64
John Jay 1
1804 Thomas Jefferson 162
Charles C. Pinckney 14

Vice Presidents: Aaron Burr (1801-05); George Clinton (1805-09)

Cabinet:

Secretary of State
tiny U.S. flag James Madison (1801-1809)
Secretary of the Treasury
Samuel Dexter (1801)
Albert Gallatin (1801-09)
Secretary of War
Henry Dearborn (1801-1809)
Attorney General
Levi Lincoln (1801-04)
John Breckinridge (1805-06)
Caesar A. Rodney (1807-09)
Secretary of the Navy
Benjamin Stoddert (1801)
Robert Smith (1801-09)

Supreme Court Appointments:

Associate Justice
William Johnson (1804-34)
Henry Brockholst Livingston (1807-23)
Thomas Todd (1807-26)

Notable Events:

  • 1803
    • Supreme Court ruled in Marbury v. Madison . Any law passed by Congress can be declared unconstitutional by the courts.
      The Louisiana Territory was purchased from France for $15 million dollars. The price works out to three cents per acre for the 512 million acres.
  • 1804
    • 12th Amendment changed Presidential election rules.
      Jefferson reelected.
      Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began exploration of the Northwest.
      Vice President Aaron Burr kills Alexander Hamilton in a duel July 11.
  • 1807
    • Congress outlaws importing slaves from Africa, March 2.
      Embargo Act, December 22, forbids American ships to leave American waters.
  • 1808
    • Slave importation outlawed. Yet, another 1/4 million brought in by 1860.
  • 1809
    • Non-Intercourse Act, March 1, repeals the Embargo Act, which didn't work.

Internet Biographies:

Thomas Jefferson -- from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
Thomas Jefferson -- from American Presidents: Life Portraits -- C-SPAN
Biographical information, trivia, key events, video, and other reference materials. Website created to accompany C-SPAN's 20th Anniversary Television Series, American Presidents: Life Portraits.
Thomas Jefferson -- from The American President
From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.
Thomas Jefferson -- from From Revolution to Reconstruction
Biography written by Harrie Scholte Albers for this American Revolution HTML project. Still under construction, but does contain some original material.
Thomas Jefferson, Son of Virginia -- from Colonial Williamsburg
This article by Dennis Montgomery, and originally published in Colonial Williamsburg Journal Vol. 15, No. 3 (Spring 1993) p. 14., addresses more of the personal life of Jefferson, including excerpts from correspondences.
Encyclopedic entry that is very well presented and organized.
Thomas Jefferson -- from Supercomputing '94
Tourist information for the 1994 Conference on High Performance Computing & Communications included this biography.

Historical Documents:

Thomas Jefferson Papers
Collection of some letters by Jefferson, Inaugural Addresses, State of the Nation Addresses and more by The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School
First Inaugural Address (1801)
Second Inaugural Address (1805)
Summary View of the Rights of British America
Jefferson's Draft of the Declaration of Independence (1776)
Indian Addresses (1781-1806)
Notes on the State of Virginia (1781)
A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia (1785)
Jefferson on Separation of Church and State (1802)
Special Message on the Burr Conspiracy (1807)
Special Message on Gun-Boats (1807)
Autobiography (1821)
Jefferson on Slavery (1829)

Other Internet Resources:

Monticello
The home of Thomas Jefferson. This site includes tour information, a day in the life of Jefferson, quotations and other facts.
Mount Rushmore
Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the faces of tiny U.S. flag Washington, Jefferson, tiny U.S. flag Lincoln and tiny U.S. flag Teddy Roosevelt stand 60 feet tall.
Poplar Forest
Jefferson's Virginia retreat. Learn the history of the octagonal house and the archaelogical discoveries on this 4800-acre plantation.
Thomas Jefferson Building
Inscriptions and quotations in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Photographs and floor plans of this building of the Library of Congress are included.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
A virtual tour of this monument along with the history of its development from the National Park Service.
Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government
Quotations fron the writings of Jefferson arranged in a convenient table of contents. Also includes links to other Jefferson sites.
Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village: The Lawn at the University of Virginia
As founder of the University of Virginia, Jefferson envisioned this Academical Village, but died before its completion. This virtual tour shows off the history of the University.

Points of Interest:

  • Jefferson was the first president to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.
  • Approximately 6,000 books from Jefferson's private library were purchased for $23,950 to help start the Library of Congress.
  • Jefferson was right-handed, but taught himself to write with his left hand.
  • Bears brought back from Lewis and Clark's famous expedition were displayed in cages on the White House lawn. For years the White House was sometimes referred to as the "president's bear garden."
  • The only presidents to sign the Declaration of Independence, tiny U.S. flag Adams and Jefferson both died on its 50th anniversary, July 4, 1826. Adams' dying words were "Thomas Jefferson survives". Jefferson, however, had passed on a few hours earlier.
  • Jefferson is credited with several inventions, including the swivel chair, a pedometer, a machine to make fiber from hemp, a letter-copying machine, and the lazy susan.
  • Jefferson wrote his own epitaph without mentioning that he served as president of the United States.

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