Thomas Jefferson Timeline
Timeline Description: Thomas Jefferson was an inventor, lawyer, statesman, and the third president of the United States. He is best remembered as the author of the Declaration of Independence, and as the 3rd President of the United States.

Date Event
1743 Thomas Jefferson is born.

Thomas Jefferson is born on April 13, 1743 at Shadwell plantation in Virginia. When Tom is 3, his family moves 70 miles away to Tuckahoe plantation to care for relatives.
1752 Tom goes to school with Reverend William Douglas (About 1752).

Tom learns to read at an early age. By age 6 he has read his father's entire 20 volume library. When Tom turns 9, his father sends him to Reverend William Douglas from whom he learns Latin, Greek, and French.
1757 Tom's father dies.

When Tom is 14, his father dies. He is left land, animals, and slaves, but he can't receive them until he is 21. Tom goes to school with Reverend James Maury. He enjoys reading from Maury's 400 book library.
1760 Tom goes to the college.

Tom enters the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg in 1760. He meets Dr. William Small, a teacher, George Wythe, a lawyer, and acting governor Francis Fauquier, who influence his views about science and politics.
1762 Tom studies law.

When Tom finishes his courses at William and Mary in 1762, he studies law with George Wythe. After five years Tom starts taking cases in. He works on plans to build a home on the land he got from his father.
1772 Tom marries Martha Wayles Skelton.

In December 1768 Tom is elected to serve in Virginia's House of Burgesses. On January 1, 1772, Tom marries Martha Wayles Skelton. A daughter named Martha (nicknamed Patsy) is born that September.
1774 Tom is chosen as a delegate for the 1st Continental Congress

Tom is elected a delegate for the 1st Continental Congress in 1774 to discuss problems with England. He is too sick to attend, so he sends his pamphlet, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, to share his views.
1776 Tom writes the Declaration of Independence.

Tensions continue with England. The 2nd Continental Congress meets. In June Tom is chosen with five others to work on a declaration for independence. He is asked to write what will become one of the United States' most treasured documents.
1779 Tom becomes governor.

Tom serves as a legislator for Virginia. He writes, A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in 1779.
1782 Martha dies.

Tom's daughter Lucy is born in May of 1782. Martha is weak from the delivery and never recovers. She dies that September. Tom shuts himself in his room for three weeks, mourning his beloved wife.
1784 Tom goes to France.

In 1784 Congress sends Tom to France to help with trade negotiations. He stays until the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789.
1790 Tom becomes first Secretary of State.

George Washington, the newly elected first president, wants Tom to be Secretary of State. At first Tom refuses, but then agrees. But with constant tensions between him and Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, Tom resigns in 1793.
1796 Tom becomes Vice President.

With George Washington retired, Tom runs for president. Because he gets the 2nd highest votes after John Adams, Tom becomes Adams' vice president under the rules at that time.
1801 Tom becomes President of the United States.

Tom runs again for president in 1800 and wins. He becomes the first president to be sworn into office in Washington, D.C. He serves for two terms. During his presidency, he doubles the size of the U.S. by buying the Louisiana Territory from Emperor Napoleon.
1826 Thomas Jefferson dies.

After his 2nd term, Tom goes back home. He founds the University of Virginia in 1819. On July 4, 1826, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson dies. He will always be remembered as an innovative thinker, a creative individual, and a dedicated Founding Father who served his country well.