Thomas Jefferson:

He was the second Vice-President of the United States and third President. He served two consecutive terms from 1801-1809.

Nicknames:  Red Fox

Quote: “A little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”

I read the book “Thomas Jefferson” by R.B. Bernstein (after starting four other books and not being able to stay awake while reading them).

Before I read this book, I was unaware that:

  • he was the first Secretary of State
  • he kept meticulous records of spending but was in debt for nearly all his life
  • married only once and was an early widower
  • did not really believe in God
  • had a horrible relationship with his mother
  • idolized his father, who died in his forties despite being an impressively strong man
  • he founded the University of Virginia and specified it could not be a religious university
  • was a violin virtuoso
  • was Governor of Virginia during part of the Revolution
  • was very good friends with his successor in the role of President – James Madison
  • his Vice President was the first to be charged with treason – Aaron Burr
  • the first President to not deliver the State of the Union address in person
  • helped found the Library of Congress
  • wrote the book of protocol for use in the Senate
  • sponsored the Lewis and Clark expedition – partly in response to Europe’s claim that America didn’t have as varied wildlife and plant life
  • favorite foods (via The Awl) Waffles, macaroni, parmesan, figs, ragout, soufflés, and anchovies (all of which he had developed a taste for during his travels in Europe), pineapple, turnip greens, Virginia ham, crab, shad, oysters, partridge, venison, and Madeira wine.

<–John Adams —–   James Madison –>

Post title taken from Jonathan Coulton’s “The Presidents”

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