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Thomas Jefferson became the third President of the United States.  He is best known for writing the Declaration of Independence, and the Louisiana Purchase.  While as President, he expanded the country to the far west with the aforementioned purchase of Louisiana Territory from the French.  Below you will find information and resources about the life and times of this president, known as "The Sage of Monticello".

 Image by The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (Restoration by Godot13) [Public domain or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons



Time in Office:

 March 4, 1801 to March 3, 1809

Events while in Office:


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.


12th Amendment changed Presidential election rules.

Jefferson reelected.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began exploration of the Northwest.

Vice President Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel July 11.


Congress outlaws importing slaves from Africa, March 2.

Embargo Act, December 22, forbids American ships to leave American waters.


Slave importation outlawed. Yet, another 1/4 million brought in by 1860.


Non-Intercourse Act, March 1, repeals the Embargo Act, which didn't work.

Presidential Facts:

  • Jefferson was the first president to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.
  • Approximately 6,000 books from Jefferson's private library were purchased for $23,950 to help start the Library of Congress.
  • Jefferson was right-handed, but taught himself to write with his left hand.
  • 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 wrote his own epitaph without mentioning that he served as president of the United States.

Source: POTUS 


Articles About This President:

  1. American Founders: Thomas Jefferson
  2. Thomas Jefferson
  3. Great Americans of History: Thomas Jefferson
  4. Thomas Jefferson And Monticello
  5. Thomas Jefferson Biographies 

Presidential Documents:

  1. Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address
  2. Thomas Jefferson's Autobiography 1743-1790
  3. Thomas Jefferson's Collected Works
  4. Letters of Thomas Jefferson 1760 - 1826
  5. Indian Addresses by Thomas Jefferson 1781 - 1806
  6. State of the Union Messages by Thomas Jefferson
  7. The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America (Declaration of Independence)


Internet Resources:

  1. Jefferson Biography - on the White House Website.
  2. Jefferson Resources - on the Miller Center website (University of Virginia) 
  3. Thomas Jefferson, Son of Virginia - Colonial Williamsburg website.
  4. Jefferson Papers - on the Founders website.
  5. Jefferson Papers - The Avalon Project
  6. Monticello -  Jefferson's Home.
  7. Poplar Forest - Jefferson's favorite retreat website.