Profession: 3rd US President
Political Party: Democratic-Republican
Political Titles: Vice President, United States Secretary of State, Governor of Virgina
Why Famous: Thomas Jefferson has engraved on his tombstone the three actions in his life he was most proud of "Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and Father of the University of Virginia", leaving out his term of office as President.
Born into a sale owning family of wealth and standing, Jefferson trained and practised as a lawyer. In 1775 his friendship with John Adams led to a request he draft the Declaration of Independence while attending the Second Continental Congress. The finished draft was presented to Congress in June 1776.
Aged 36 Jefferson was elected Governor of Virginia and later as the Virginian representative in Congress. Jefferson spent 5 years as US Minister to France in Paris and on his return was appointed the first US Secretary of State by President Washington.
Jefferson became Vice-president in 1797 and was elected 3rd US President in 1800. As President he oversaw the Louisiana Purchase and encouraged efforts to expand towards the West. He retired to his estate at Monticello, founding the University of Virginia in 1819.
- 1772-01-01 US founding father Thomas Jefferson (30) marries Martha Wayles Skelton (23)
- 1776-06-11 Continental Congress creates committee (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston) to draft a Declaration of Independence
- 1781-06-03 Jack Jouett rides to warn Thomas Jefferson of British attack
- 1789-09-26 Thomas Jefferson appointed 1st US Secretary of State; John Jay becomes 1st US Chief Justice
- 1790-03-22 Thomas Jefferson becomes the 1st US Secretary of State under President Washington
- 1791-08-19 Benjamin Banneker sends a copy of his Almanac and writes a letter to Thomas Jefferson criticizing his pro-slavery stance and requesting justice for African Americans using language from the Declaration of Independence
- 1791-08-30 Thomas Jefferson responds to Benjamin Banneker's letter on the issue of slavery
- 1793-12-23 Thomas Jefferson warned of slave revolts in West Indies
- 1797-03-04 John Adams inaugurated as 2nd President of The United States, Thomas Jefferson 2nd Vice President
- 1801-02-17 US House of Representatives breaks electoral college tie, chooses Thomas Jefferson President over Aaron Burr
- 1801-03-04 Thomas Jefferson is the first US President to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.
- 1803-01-12 US Senate approves Thomas Jefferson's nomination of James Monroe and Robert Livingstone to negotiate purchase of New Orleans from France
- 1803-07-04 The Louisiana Purchase is announced to the American people by President Thomas Jefferson
- 1804-02-25 Thomas Jefferson nominated for US President at Democratic-Republican caucus
- 1804-05-14 Meriwether Lewis & William Clark's expedition commissioned by Thomas Jefferson sets out from St Louis for Pacific Coast
- 1804-12-05 Thomas Jefferson re-elected US President, George Clinton Vice President
- 1807-12-22 US Congress passes Embargo Act and President Thomas Jefferson signs into law. Prohibits American ships from trading in foreign ports, as result of involvement in hostilities between France and Britain
- 1815-01-30 Burned US Library of Congress re-established with Thomas Jefferson's 6,500 volumes
- 1819-01-25 University of Virginia chartered by Commonwealth of Virginia, with Thomas Jefferson one of its founders
- 1826-07-04 Past presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both die on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, President John Quincy Adams calls "visible and palpable remarks of Divine Favor"
- 1989-04-23 Wine merchant William Sokolin breaks a bottle of 1787 Château Margaux, possibly belonging to Thomas Jefferson, worth $500,000 at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York