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Born: April 13, 1743 - Shadwell, VA
Died: July 4, 1826 - Monticello, VA

Excerpt from The Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

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Teaching Topics in Social Studies
Thomas Jefferson was a LAWYER and LEGISLATOR in Virginia where he became well-known for his skills as a political thinker and writer. During the AMERICAN REVOLUTION he was the primary author of the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,
and after the Revolution, he served as the American minister to Paris. Jefferson went on to become the 3rd PRESIDENT, and as a DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN he pursued policies favoring STATE'S RIGHTS. As president he oversaw the LOUSIANA PURCHASE and the LEWIS and CLARK EXPEDITION.


Teaching Topics in Language Arts
Well known for his skill at POLITICAL WRITING, Thomas Jefferson was given the primary responsibility for drafting the Declaration of Independence.
Scavenger Hunt
How many changes were made to his draft of the Delcaration?
. . . answer . . .
The document follows a careful FORMAT, laying out colonial grievances with careful reasoning. Thomas Jefferson depended heavily on books for his work and recreation. The contents of his LIBRARY at Monticello became the foundation of the Library of Congress.

Facts About The Declaration of Independence
  • June 11th 1776 a resolution was proposed to the Continental Congress stating that "these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States."
  • The Committee chosen to create a "declaration of American Independence" included Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston
  • The Declaration was accepted in two parts, the first on July 2, and the portion composed by Thomas Jefferson, on July 4, 1776
  • In the Continental Congress it was referred to as "The Unanimous Declaration of the 13 United States of America"
  • Thomas Jefferson's epitaph lists only three of his accomplishments -the first is, "Author of the Declaration of Independence"

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