Thomas Jefferson: A Man of Many Talents

He was a lawyer. He was a farmer. He was an architect who designed beautiful buildings. And, he was a politician who served in the Virginia legislature.

He wrote the Declaration of Independence. He founded the University of Virginia. He was the 3rd president of the United States. And, while he was president, he bought a large section of land from France that doubled the size of the United States (Jefferson’s big buy was called The Louisiana Purchase.).

Yes, Thomas Jefferson was a man of many talents. You’ve got talents, too. And, the best way to say “thank you” for those talents is to use them, just like Thomas Jefferson used his.

Bright Ideas

Quotes by Thomas Jefferson

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

“Take care of your cents; dollars will take care of themselves.”

“Every day is lost in which we do not learn something useful. Man has no nobler or more valuable possession than time.”

“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.”

“Delay is preferable to error.”

Nifty Fifty

About the Louisiana Purchase

It’s a Fact: In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson made a deal with the French leader Napoleon. Jefferson purchased a huge section of land owned by France. It’s called The Louisiana Purchase.

It’s a Fact: The Louisiana territory that America purchased was west of the original 13 colonies. Most of the land was wilderness, and it nearly doubled the size of the United States.

It’s a Fact: Jefferson agreed that America would pay France $15,000,000 for the Louisiana territory, which included land that now makes up part or all of 15 states.

It’s a Fact: The Louisiana Purchase was one of the greatest real estate deals of all time. The United States paid France less than 3 cents per acre for the land.

It’s a Fact: After he made The Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson sent a group of explorers to check out the territory. That group was called The Lewis and Clark Expedition.

More Fun Facts

Fun Fact: Thomas Jefferson loved technology, science, and inventions. One of his favorite devices was a rotating bookstand that could hold five books at once.

Fun Fact: Thomas Jefferson loved to read, and he loved books. In fact, he had one of the largest personal libraries in America.

Fun Fact: In 1814, the original Library of Congress was attacked by British troops who burned all the books. Jefferson offered his personal library as a replacement. In 1815, the Library of Congress was restocked by purchasing Jefferson’s 6,487 books.

Fun Fact: Thomas Jefferson loved to write. It’s been estimated that he wrote about 19,000 letters during his lifetime. Sometimes, he also used a machine called a polygraph that made copies as he wrote.

Fun Fact: Jefferson was also an architect and builder. He designed his home in Virginia. The house is called Monticello. It took him more than 40 years to complete the house’s 33 rooms.

Questions and Answers
Just for fun,
see if you can answer these questions.
When he made the Louisiana Purchase, whom did Thomas Jefferson buy it from? France, England, or Canada?

Jefferson bought the Louisiana territory from France. At the time, France’s leader was an important historical figure named Napoleon. Napoleon used the money to fund his army.

Which important document did Thomas Jefferson write: the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, or the Declaration of Independence?

The Declaration of Independence. Jefferson wrote the first draft, and only a few changes were made to it after that.

Which building did Thomas Jefferson design: the White House or Monticello?

He designed Monticello, which was his amazing home in Charlottesville, Virginia. The house still stands, and you happen to be in Charlottesville, you can take a tour.

Was Thomas Jefferson the first president of the United States, the second president, or the third president?

He was the third president of the United States.

Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.

Idea #1: You can write about the amazing life of Thomas Jefferson.


Idea #2: Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. If you could start a school of your own, what would it be like? Wher would your school be located? What courses would you teach? 

To help you write a great essay, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle
Here's a riddle for you:
Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?

At the bottom.

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