What do You Know of the Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson

Stamp issued 6/16/1938 cachet by WSE,
Presidential Series of 1938 set consists of 32 covers.

     Thomas Jefferson was born 1743 in Shadwell which is now Albemarle County the frontier of western Virginia, he received a classical education at the hands of private teachers and latter attended William & Mary College where his mind was opened to Science, but he studied law under the notable George Wythe for 5 years and improved himself by incessant reading. he was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1767. He was supported by the lands left to him by his father, it was a considerable estate, along with an established position in the county.  A recognized member of the gentry he took more seriously then most the liberal and humane ideas of the eighteeth-century Enlightenment . He ceased his law practice when the courts were closed in 1774 and began work on his Monticello mansion before he married.
  He was notably amiable in personal relations though shy with strangers. From his early manhood he participated  actively in public life, as one in his position was expected to do. The House of Burgesses, where he served continuously from the age of 26,here he quickly identified himself with the growing movement against British  control of Colonial affairs. His  Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774) argued forcefully that association between Colonies and the Crown was purely voluntary and Parliament had no inherent  authority over the American Colonies. This is the document that established Jefferson as a writer of eloquence and insight and the choice to draft the Declaration of Independence. Regarded as an unswerving patriot, he was sent to Congress in 1775  to 1776 as a substitute for Peyton Randolph , who was called home. He now stood near the top of the delegation in his own right and at the very top as a penman.His Summary View document had helped establish him as a writer of eloquence and insight and the choice to draft the Declaration of Independence.
     Jefferson returned home to Virginia in 1776 and quickly became the leader of the democratic and liberal faction of the state legislature.He was chosen Governor in 1779 and reelected the following year. With the Revolutionary war successfully concluded in 1783, He was sent to Europe to help Franklin & Adams draw up commercial treaties. He remained abroad and replaced Franklin as Minister to France (1785-1789) . Returning home in 1789 he was immediately in the thick of politics becoming George Washingtons and the nations first Secretary of State (1789-1793).Although by 1791 Jefferson had become convinced of the need for organized opposition to the administration to represent the views of the nonmercantile classes. He formed an alliance with his friend James Madison , New York's DeWitt Clinton and AAron Burr and created the Republicans Party, later known as the Democratic-Republican Party, which grew into the present day Democratic Party. In 1796 the 2 parties the Republican Party and the Federalist Party stood in forthright opposition of each other. The Presidential election gave John Adams( Federalist) the Presidency and Thomas Jefferson ( Republican) the Vice Presidency.The Passage of the Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798 , Intended to suppress conspiracies against and criticism of the Federal Government, which Jefferson cosidered a direct challenge to the principles of liberty. He and Madison wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolution of 1798 , putting forth the  theory that a state may nulify a Federal act on constitutional grounds.
       The storm aroused by the Alien and Sedition Acts  made a Republican Victory in the 1800 Presidential election a certainty, but it was a tie with Jefferson & Burr receiving the exact number of Electoral College ballots. This threw the election to the House of Representatives with Jefferson winning . In 1803 he made the Louisiana Purchase and doubled the size of the nation. In his second term (1805-09) Jeffewrson used the Embargo Act of 1807  to restrict  U.S. trade in a futile effort to coerce Britian and France into respecting the nation's neutral rights. He refused the nomination for a third term and retired to Monticello. He spent his remaining years building his dream the University of Virginia (chartered 1819) at Charlottesville. He died on July 4th 1826, the 50th Anniversary of the (His)Declaration of Independence......

Cachet by Kolor Kover, FDI Booklet pane

Reference;    Merrill D. Peterson : Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation
                         Adrienne Koch : The Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson

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