Who Was Thomas Jefferson?
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Did you know that John Adams had to coax Thomas Jefferson into writing the Declaration of Independence? It's true. The shy Virginia statesman refused at first, but then went on to author one of our nation's most important and inspiring documents. The third U.S. president, Jefferson was also an architect, inventor, musician, farmer, and-what is certainly the most troubling aspect of his life-a slave owner. Finally, here's a biography for kids that unveils the many facets of this founding father's remarkable and complicated life.
simultaneously in Canada. Printed in the U.S.A. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Fradin, Dennis B. Who was Thomas Jefferson? / by Dennis Brindell Fradin; illustrated by John O’Brien. v. cm. Includes bibliographical references. Contents: Who was Thomas Jefferson? — “Tall Tom” — Tall Tom in love —“We hold these truths to be self-evident…” — Governor and minister to France — Secretary of State and Vice President — Our third President— Last years at Monticello — Thomas
FIGHT FOR FREEDOM THROUGHOUT THE THIRTEEN COLONIES. Law and politics weren’t the only things on his mind. His family’s home, Shadwell, burned down in 1770. Jefferson was in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a slave brought the news. After learning that his relatives were safe, Jefferson asked if all the property was lost. “Not all,” the slave answered. “We saved your fiddle.” The year of the fire, Jefferson began building a new home that he had designed. With his slaves doing the work, the
or seventeen and men at twenty or twenty-one. One reason the colonists married early was that their average life span was less than forty years. It was common for people to die young from diseases and conditions that doctors can cure today. Tom saw his chance to propose marriage at a ball in Williamsburg. But when he danced with Rebecca, he could only say “a few broken sentences,” he told a friend. He met her again a few weeks later but only blurted out that he might want to marry her someday.
abandon the buggy and finish the journey on horseback. Not until late at night did the couple arrive at their new home to begin their life together. Thomas and Martha remained deeply in love during their ten-and-a-half years of marriage. They also endured much sadness together. Martha’s four-year-old son, John, had been left behind at The Forest with his grandparents. John became ill and died in June 1772. Over the next few years, Thomas and Martha had five daughters and a son. All but two of
Congress wanted the Declaration to be “an expression of the American mind,” as Jefferson put it. No author was named on the document. Until 1784, when a newspaper mentioned it, few people knew that Thomas Jefferson had written the country’s “birth certificate.” Chapter 4 Governor and Minister to France Most members of Congress signed the Declaration on August 2, 1776. Its author signed the paper Th Jefferson. After signing, he was ready to go home. He missed his family. Besides, he felt he was