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Thomas Jefferson

In office: March 4, 1797 March 4, 1801

Born: April 13 1743, Shadwell, Virginia
Died: July 4, 1826 (aged 83), Charlottesville, Virginia

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States (18011809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804 - 1806).

What do you know about Thomas Jefferson? Declare you independence with this short quiz.

1. In 1760 Jefferson entered college at the age of 16; he studied there for two years, graduating with highest honors in 1762.  What college did he graduate from?

  • Harvard
  • University of Virginia
  • College of William and Mary

2. He studied law with George Wythe and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1767.

  • Fact or Myth?

3. In 1772, Jefferson married a 23-year-old widow named Martha Wayles Skelton. They had six children: Martha Jefferson Randolph (17721836), Jane Randolph (17741775), a stillborn or unnamed son (1777), Mary Wayles (17781804), Lucy Elizabeth (17801781), and Elizabeth (17821785). When did Martha die?

  • September 6, 1782
  • September 6, 1792
  • September 6, 1802

4. Jefferson served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress beginning in June 1775, soon after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. When Congress began considering a resolution of independence in June 1776, Jefferson was appointed to a five-man committee to prepare a declaration to accompany the resolution. The committee selected Jefferson to write the first draft probably because of his reputation as a writer. Who was NOT a member of the committee?

  • Benjamin Franklin
  • John Adams
  • Patrick Henry

5. From 17791781, what did Jefferson serve as? from 17791781.

  • President of the Continental Congress
  • United States Attorney General
  • Governor of Virginia

6. After returning from France, Jefferson served as this first cabinet position under George Washington (17901793). What position did he hold?

  • Secretary of the Treasury
  • Secretary of War
  • Secretary of State

7. As the Democratic-Republican candidate in 1796 he lost to John Adams, but had enough electoral votes to become Vice President (17971801).

  • Fact or Myth?

8. Consistent with the traditions of the times, he did not formally campaign for the position. Prior to the passage of the 12th Amendment, a problem with the new union's electoral system arose. He tied with Burr for first place in the Electoral College. Who decided the election?

  • House of Representatives
  • Supreme Court
  • Senate

9. Jefferson died on the Fourth of July, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. What other former president died on that day?

  • James Madison
  • James Monroe
  • John Adams

10. Where is Thomas Jefferson buried?

  • Monticello, Jefferson Historic Site, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • University of Virginia Memorial Gardens, Charlottesville, VA
  • Skyline Drive, Charlottesville, VA


  • 1. College of William and Mary
  • 2. Fact
  • 3. September 6, 1782
  • 4. Patrick Henry
  • 5. Governor of Virginia
  • 6. Secretary of State
  • 7. Fact
  • 8. House of Representatives
  • 9. John Adams
  • Angels on your pillow10. Monticello, Jefferson Historic Site, Charlottesville, Virginia

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