THomas Jefferso Essay

This essay has a total of 542 words and 3 pages.

THomas Jefferso

THOMAS JEFFERSON



In the thick of party conflict in 1800, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a private letter, "I
have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the
mind of man." This powerful advocate of liberty was born in 1743 in Albermarle County,
Virginia, inheriting from his father, a planter and surveyor, some 5,000 acres of land,
and from his mother, a Randolph, high social standing. He studied at the College of
William and Mary, then read law. In 1772 he married Martha Wayles Skelton, a widow, and
took her to live in his partly constructed mountaintop home, Monticello. Freckled and
sandy-haired, rather tall and awkward, Jefferson was eloquent as a correspondent, but he
was no public speaker. In the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress, he
contributed his pen rather than his voice to the patriot cause. As the "silent member" of
the Congress, Jefferson, at 33, drafted the Declaration of Independence. In years
following he labored to make its words a reality in Virginia. Most notably, he wrote a
bill establishing religious freedom, enacted in 1786. Jefferson succeeded Benjamin
Franklin as minister to France in 1785. His sympathy for the French Revolution led him
into conflict with Alexander Hamilton when Jefferson was Secretary of State in President
Washington's Cabinet. He resigned in 1793. Sharp political conflict developed, and two
separate parties, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, began to form. Jefferson
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