Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 22 of 1,110


son, the third President
of the United
States, 18oi-'9, was
born April 2, 1743,
the eldest child of
his parents, Peter
X ~ ~. and Jane (Randolph) Jefferson,
near CharlottesJllg
L ville, Albemarle County,
Virginia, upon the slopes
.l l 3 of the Blue Ridge. When
he -was fourteen years of
r .@ 5 ^age, his father died, leaving
a widoS\ and eight
children. She was a beau'
-tiful and accomplished
lady, a good letter-writer, with a fund of
humor, and an admirable housekeeper. His
parents belonged to the Church of England,
and are said to be of Welch origin. But
little is known of them, however.
Thomas was naturally of a serious turn
of mind, apt to learn, and a favorite at
school, his choice studies being mathematics
and the classics. At the age of seventeen
he entered William and Mary Coliege,
in an advanced class, and lived in rather an
expensive style, consequently being much
caressed by gay society. That he was not
ruined, is proof of his stamina of character.
But during his second year he discarded

society, his horses and even his favorite
violin, and devoted thenceforward fifteen
hours a day to hard study, becoming extraordinarily
proficient in Latin and Greek
On leaving college, before he was twentyone,
he commenced the study of law, and
pursued it diligently until he was well
qualified for practice, upon which he
entered in 1767. By this time he was also
versed in French, Spanish, Italian and Anglo-Saxon,
and in the criticism of the fine
arts. Being very polite and polished in his
manners, he won the friendship of all whom
he met. Though able with his pen, he was
not fluent in public speech.
In I769 he was chosen a member of the
Virginia Legislature, and was the largest
slave-holding member of that body. He
introduced a bill empowering slave-holders
to manumit their slaves, but it was rejected
by an overwhelming vote.
In 1770 Mr. Jefferson met with a great
loss; his house at Shadwell was burned,
and his valuable library of 2,000 volumes
was consumed. But he was wealthy
enough to replace the most of it, as from
his 5,000 acres tilled by slaves and his
practice at the bar his income
about $5,000 a year.
In 1772 he married Mrs. Martha Skelton,
a beautiful, wealthy and accomplished

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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. ( accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Dallas Public Library.