For his childhood, Thomas Jefferson
was born in Shadwell, Virginia on April 13th, 1743. From birth he
inherited a place in Virginia’s aristocracy. He was born into a family that had
close relations to some of the more wealthy and important people in Virginia.
He was born to Jane Randolph and Peter Jefferson. The parents had not just
Jefferson. There were nine sibling. Five of which who lived past thirty. His
father had been one of the first few settlers in their area. As Jefferson grew
up, his father’s position and about five acres of land were transferred onto
him. In 1757, Jefferson became the head of their household as his father had
died, he was 14 at the time. A family friend stepped in for Jefferson so he could
continue his education. He had private tutors which he left to study at a
college. At the age of 17 (in 1760), he had entered the College of William and
Mary. This college is where he started to study law, literature, modern
history, philosophy, and science. During the duration of his life time, he had
become one of the most educated Americans.
For his adulthood, in 1768, Jefferson
began clearing a mountaintop to build a building that would be called Monticello.
During his life, he would continue building and expanding Monticello and
keeping track of everything about it. On January 1st, 1772,
Jefferson would marry Martha Wayles Skelton who had recently lost her husband.
Together they moved into Monticello and had 6 children. Only two of which lived
to become an adult (Mary who lived to become 26 and Martha, named after his
wife, who lived to become 64). Martha, his wife, died in 1782 due to
complications during birth. He would never remarry another. Although there are speculations
that he had more children with one of his slaves. Sally Hemings, the supposed
slave and possible half-sister of Martha, also had six children with Jefferson.
Although it’s not proven, most historians believe this.
After retirement, Jefferson founded
the University of Virginia. He designed the entire school building, the
curriculum, and everything else about it. This would be his last project for
public use. He struggled to make ends meet but his continued to remain popular
until 1826 when he fell ill. During this time he sold his private library to
make up for the books that had been burned during Britain’s hold of Washington
D.C. in the War of 1812. Jefferson died July 4th, 1826 after lapsing
into a coma. Possibly willingly after hearing his doctor say he’d lived to the