3rd President of the United States
Birth and Death
He was born on April 13, 1743. He died on July 4, 1826, which was the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. John Adams also died on this day, hours after Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson is shown on two denominations today, the nickel and the two dollar bill. In 1976, the two dollar bill was recirculated, in honor of the 200th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, with Jefferson depicted on the front and a painting of the signing. The nickel and the two dollar bill are still in circulation, even though most people think that two dollar bills aren't printed.
The Declaration of Independence
In 1776, a convention in Philadelphia assigned Thomas Jefferson (along with 4 others) to write a Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. With this committee they drafted a Declaration of Independence, which Jefferson mainly wrote. He read this unaltered version of this document to Congress. The delegates changed it a lot which made Thomas very sad. Finally, on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was accepted and signed.
The Louisiana Purchase
In 1803 Thomas sent James Monroe to accompany Robert Livingston to France to get the French to sell them New Orleans. Americans traded and shipped on the Mississippi. The last part of this river was owned by the French on both banks. The United States had a treaty that said that they could use the Mississippi but they were worried that France might stop the trading. What they didn't know was that Napoleon was very eager to sell Louisiana since he was raging a war in Europe and it was very costly. Napoleon offered Louisiana for about $15 million, a lot for their time. Monroe and Livingston said they would think about it. They were both very excited but they didn't know what Jefferson wanted since he believed that all other powers not stated in the Constitution for the US Government were given to the states. The representatives decided that Thomas would want all of Louisiana so they took the offer of $15 million dollars, which was for a few cents an acre. This action nearly doubled the United States.
The Importance of Thomas Jefferson
Thomas was important to us for several reasons. If he didn't write the Declaration of Independence we still might be part of England right now. If he didn't accept France's offer for Louisiana, part of the United States might not be here now. Thankfully, Jefferson did do these actions that affect us today.
- United States Department of State. [https://history.state.gov/milestones/1801-1829/louisiana-purchase] 10/13/2015.
- CEG, LLC, [http://storiesofusa.com/american-expansion-marbury-madison-thomas-jefferson-louisiana-purchase-lewis-clark-journey-war-1812-missouri-compromise-monroe-doctrine-indian-removal-act-battle-alamo-mexican-american-war-1803-1853/] 10/13/2015.
- The History Channel. [http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/declaration-of-independence] 10/14/2015