Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell,Virginia in 1743 to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph. From his successful and wealthy parents, Thomas inherited considerable property and began building Monticello when he was 26 years old.
Construction on this 5,000 acre plantation home began in 1768, and Thomas Jefferson moved-in in 1770. But its construction was a life-long project influenced by Jefferson’s travels, especially through Europe.
Thomas Jefferson was a lawyer, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, and a public servant. He held many positions in the new United States government. He was the second governor of Virginia, Minister to France, Secretary of State under George Washington, Vice President under John Adams, and a two-term president.
After serving as president, he retired to Monticello. We certainly can’t forget his contributions to shaping the Library of Congress. He also founded the University of Virginia, which on a clear day he could see from his home and would frequently comment on the construction. He died on July 4th, 1826, on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. He was 83.
The final president of the Virginia Dynasty is one of Thomas Jefferson’s good friends, James Monroe.