« AnteriorContinuar »
THE THIRD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
Was born at Shadwell, Albemarle County, Virginia (near Monticello, the seat where he died), April 13, 1743. He was educated at William and Mary's College, and graduated with distinction when quite young. He was a great lover of learning, and particularly of natural philosophy. With the celebrated George Wythe, he commenced the study of the law, and became a favorite pupil. Mr. Jefferson was never distinguished as an advocate, but was considered a good lawyer. Soon after he came to the bar he was elected a member of the House of Burgesses, and, in that body, was duly appreciated for his learning and aptitude for business. He at once took fire at British oppression, and, in 1774, he employed his pen in discussing the whole course of the British ministry. The work was admired, and made a text-book by his countrymen. In June, 1775, he took his seat in the Continental Congress, from Virginia. In that body he soon became conspicuous, and was considered a firm friend of American liberty. In 1776, he was chosen chairman of the com
mittee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. This instrument is nearly all his own, and was sanctioned by his coadjutors, with few alterations. In 1778, Mr. Jef
ferson was appointed embassador to France, to form a treaty with that government, but ill-health prevented his accepting this office. He succeded Patrick Henry, in 1779, as Governor of Virginia, and continued in that sta
tion two years. In 1781 he composed his notes on Wir
ginia. In 1783 he was sent to France to join the ministers of our country, Mr. Adams and Dr. Franklin. In 1785 he succeeded Dr. Franklin as embassador, and con-tinued performing the duties of that office for two years,
when he retired, and returned home. In 1789 he was made Secretary of State, under Washington, in which sit
uation he was highly distinguished for his talents. This
station he resigned in 1793, and retired to private life.
In 1797 he was elected Vice-President of the United States, and took his seat as President of the Senate, on the following 4th of March. In 1801, he was President of the United States, which office he held for eight years. After completing his second term, he retired to private life, in which he spent his days in philosophical pursuits, until the 4th of July, 1826, when he expired, just fifty years after penning the Declaration of Independence. His course was one of his own. Never lived there a politician who did more than Thomas Jefferson to bring his fellowcitizens to his own opinions.
Election for the Fourth Term, commencing March 4, 1801, and terminating March 3, 1805.
The electoral vote for Thos. Jefferson and Aaron Burr being equal, no choice was made by the people, and on thc 11th of February, 1601, the House of Representatives proceeded to the choice of President in the manner prescribed by the Constitution. On the first ballot eight States voted for Thos. Jefferson, six for Aaron Burr, and the votes of two States were divided. The balloting continued till the 17th of February, when the thirty-fifth ballot, as had all previously, resulted the same as the first. After the thirty-sixth ballot, the Speaker declared that the votes of ten States had been given for Thos. Jefferson, the votes of four States for Aaron Burr, and the votes of two States in blank; and that, consequently, Thomas Jefferson had been elected for the term of four years. *
Thomas Jefferson, thus elected President, took the oath of office, and entered upon his duties, March 4, 1801.
In his inaugural address, Mr. Jefferson used the following memorable expression: “We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans: we are all federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand, undisturbed, as monuments of the safety with which ERRoR or opinion MAY Bis Tui, ERATED, WHERE REASON 18 LEFT FREE TO COMBAT IT.”
Aaron Burr, elected Vice-President, took the oath of office, and entered upon his duties in the Seyato, March 4, 1801.
Lection for the Fifth Term, commencing March 4, 1805, and - terminating March 3, 1809.
Thomas Jefferson, elected President, took the oath of office for a second term, and entered upon his duties March 4, 1805. George Clinton, elected Vice-President, took the oath of office, and entered upon his duties in the Senate, March 4, 1805. Among the most important acts of Mr. Jefferson's administration was the purchase of Louisiana from France for $15,000,000, which territory was surrendered to our Government in December, 1803. In November, 1808, the celebrated “ORDERs 1N Council,” were issued by the British Government, which prohibited all trade with France and her allies; and, as a retaliatory measure, in December following Bonaparte issued his “MILAN DECREE,' interdicting all trade with England and her colonies—thus subjecting almost every American vessel on the ocean to capture. In requital for these tyrannous proceedings, and that England and France might both feel their injustice, Congress decreed an embargo; but as this failed to obtain from either power an acknowledgment of our rights, and was also ruineus to our com unerce with other nations, it was repealed in March. 1809.
Was born in Orange County, Virginia, March 16, 1751. His studies, preparatory to entering Princeton College, were pursued under the most favorable circumstances, he being provided with the most accomplished instructors, and he graduated with high honor in 1771. On returning to Virginia, he zealously commenced the study of the law, which he subsequently abandoned for political life. In 1776, he was elected to the General Assembly of Virginia, and from this period, for more than forty years, he was continually in office, serving his State and his country in various capacities, from that of a State Legislator to that of President. -In 1778, he was elected by the Legislature to the executive council of the State, where he rendered important aid to Henry and Jefferson, Governors of Virginia, during the time he held a seat in the council; and by his probity of character, faithfulness in the discharge of duty, and amiableness of deportment, he won the approbation of these great men. In the winter of 1779–80, he took his seat in the Continental Congress, and became immediately an active and leading member, as the journal of that body abundantly testifies. In 1784–5–6, he was a member of the Legislature of Virginia. In 1787, he became a member of the Convention held in Philadelphia, for the purpose of preparing a Constitution for the Government of the United States. Perhaps no member of that body had more to do with the formation of that noble instrument, the Constitution of the United States of America, than Mr. Madison. It was during the recess between the proposition of the Constitution by the Convention of 1787, and its adoption by the States, that that celebrated work, “The Federalist,” made its appearance. This is known to be the joint production of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. The same year he was elected to Congress, and held his seat until the Continental Congress passed away among the things that were. He was a member of the