Thomas Jefferson

3rd President Thomas Jefferson, 1801-18093rd President Thomas Jefferson, 1801-18093rd President Thomas Jefferson, 1801-18093rd President Thomas Jefferson, 1801-18093rd President Thomas Jefferson, 1801-18093rd President Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809

3rd President Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809

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

Full Name: Thomas Jefferson
"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 (1708-1757)
Mother: Jane Randolph Jefferson (1720-1776)
Married: Martha Wayles Skelton (1748-1782), on January 1, 1772
Children: Martha "Patsy" Jefferson (1772-1836); Jane Randolph Jefferson (1774-75); infant son (1777); Mary "Polly" 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 Washington)
  • Vice President, 1797-1801 (under J. Adams)

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

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


Secretary of State
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 Justices:
William Johnson (1804-1834)
Henry Brockholst Livingston (1806-1823)
Thomas Todd (1807-1826)

Notable Events:
  • 1801
  • 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.
    • Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began exploration of the Northwest.
    • Vice President Aaron Burr kills Alexander Hamilton in a duel July 11.
  • 1807
  • 1809
Internet Biographies:
Thomas Jefferson -- from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
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.
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.
Thomas Jefferson, 2nd Vice President -- from The United States Senate
The Senate Historical Office presents a biographical article that examines his early years presidency.
Life of Thomas Jefferson -- by B. L. Rayner
Flip through the 442 scanned pages of this book originally published in 1834.
Other Internet Resources:
The Best Biographies of Thomas Jefferson
In 2012, Stephen Floyd started his search for the best biography of each president. He usually has reviews of multiple biographies for each president.
Health and Medical History of Thomas Jefferson
Medical background of each president with references. Compiled by John Sotos, MD.
Jefferson's Blood
PBS's Frontline report on Jefferson, his slave & mistress Sally Hemmings, and their decendants.
The home of Thomas Jefferson. This site includes tour information, a day in the life of Jefferson, quotations and the Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia.
Mount Rushmore
Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and 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'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.
Tuckahoe Plantation
Jefferson's boyhood home located in Richmond, Virginia.
Points of Interest:

1826 University Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22904

12601 River Rd, Richmond, VA 23238

701 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242

931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Additional Facts:
  • Jefferson was the first president to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.
  • Jefferson was the first President to shake hands instead of bow to people.
  • Jefferson was the first President to have a grandchild born in the White House.
  • Approximately 6,000 books from Jefferson's private library were purchased for $23,950 to help start the Library of Congress.
  • 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, 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 was one of the earliest Americans to consider a decimal currency.
  • Jefferson founded, designed and built the University of Virginia.
  • Jefferson wrote his own epitaph without mentioning that he served as president of the United States.

“Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.”

“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.”

“When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.”

“One man with courage is a majority.”

“That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.”

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

Previous President: John Adams
Next President: James Madison