Thomas Jefferson
"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of
                   Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson our Third President of the United States was born April 13, 1743 at Shadwell in
Albemarle County, Virginia.  He was master of any talent or profession to which he turned his hand,
the red-haired Jefferson won undying fame at the age of 33 as author of the Declaration of
Independence.  His public service spanned forty years as a legislator, governor, congressman,
diplomat, Secretary of State, Vice-President, President (two terms), and university founder; but he also
found time to achieve success as a lawyer, farmer, philosopher, writer, architect, scientist, musician,
and inventor.  Jefferson believed that the United States should remain an agricultural country of small
farms with a national government that interfered as little as possible in the lives of it's people, but as
President he, in his own words, "stretched the Constitution till it cracked,"in using the presidential
treaty-making powers to double the size of the nation with the Louisiana Purchase.  He established the
right of an incoming President to discharge major political appointees of his predecessor, but was
restrained by Chief Justice John Marshall from applying  the same principle to federal judges.  After
leaving the presidency, he lived as a farmer and philosopher at his home of Monticello.  He was highly
sought after for advice.  When the Library of Congress was burned during the War of 1812 he gave
his large collection of books to start a new library for the nation. He created the University of Virginia
and in the year before his death he would see the university open its doors to its first classes. Thomas
Jefferson would pass away on July 4, 1826 at the age of 83 fifty years after the adoption of the
Declaration of Independence.  His humble greatness knew no end.

1. The Complete Presidency, 2000, Compiled.