Pay no attention to ignoramuses like J&C H, who have probably never read a history book in their life, considering that every thing he wrote is flat wrong.
Thomas Jefferson was a quiet man, tall, lanky, but had very earthly good looks. He wasn't a great orator
(he had a lisp, and was bitterly embarrassed of it), and only gave two public speeches as president of the United States
, but what he lacked in natural charisma
, he more than made up for with shrewd intelligence
and a legendary writing style. Jefferson was the founder of the Democratic-Republicans, who were seen as the party of the people, who were bitterly opposed to
the Federalists, who were seen as the party of the aristocracy
and the big bankers. In fact it is Alexander Hamilton, not Jefferson, who was viewed as an antidemocratic aristocrat, while the perception of Jefferson was that he was a man of the farmers, firmly devoted to preventing a central bank from forming, as well as the large corporations that grew up around them. In fact, Jefferson derisively callled Hamilton and the Federalists the "Monocrats", as he saw them as advocated of a constitutional monarchy, which he saw as inimically opposed to the freedoms of the people.
Jefferson was NOT a pampered Aristocrat. He was a Virginian, a man of the land. His rival and at times best friend, John Adams, was a rich lawyer from Boston who at times was infuriated by Jefferson but never lacking in admiration for him. According to Adams, Thomas Jefferson could "calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play the violin." He is also called the "father of archeology", because of his pioneering excavation techniques, and had a master's understanding of agriculture.
As president, it is amusing to note that he used to answer the door (of the white house) in his robe and slippers
, and he, his daughters, and James Madison's wife, Dolly, were well known for turning the formal state dinners that had been cultivated under Washington and Adams (both of whom were well known aristocrats) into casual and entertaining social events.
As a person, he was a relatively quiet man, not a carefree party-animal like Benjamin Franklin, but not a ultra-formal, stone-faced gargoyle like George Washington. In his spare moments, he was a vociferous reader. "I can not live without books"
he famously said. He was fluent in ancient Latin as well as ancient Greek, and he used to read the classics in their original Latin or Greek.
He was personally revolted by Tobacco, but it is also known that he and George Washington used to exchange gifts of "smoking mixtures", possibly Marijuana. George Washington's love for Indian Hemp was well documented, and Thomas Jefferson, ever the farmer, advocated that Americans plant hemp instead of tobacco, arguing that tobacco ruins the soil that it is planted on.
He was also an avid drinker of Gin, as were most Americas. Europe imported so much booze to America that a common epithet for America at the time was the "Alcohol Republic".
Thomas Jefferson's Wife was Martha Wayles Jefferson, and throughout their short marriage, they were completely and utterly devoted to her. Jefferson was said to have been a doting and loving husband.
However, Martha was a very sickly woman (she is believed to have been diabetic) and later in her life, as her health failed her, Thomas was known to go through bitter and prolonged bouts of depression.
When she died in 1782, Thomas mourned her death for nearly three weeks, refusing to even leave his room
, only occasionally emerging to go horseback riding by himself.
Jefferson and slavery is perhaps the most troubling aspect of that man, and no one was more deeply troubled about it than Thomas Jefferson himself. Biographers point out that Jefferson spent almost his entire life in debt, which prevented him from freeing his slaves (he vowed to free his slaves once he was out of debt, which he never was). Jefferson seems to have suffered pangs and trials of conscience as a result, which was far more than virtually any other man of the time could boast. He also tried desperately to enact legislation in Virginia outlawing slaves, knowing full well that it would ruin him to loose his slaves, and throughout his political career, fought tirelessly for the emancipation of slaves. In his will, his 5 most trusted slaves were freed, but unfortunately, his estate sold the rest to pay off his debts. the duology of Jefferson's relationship with slavery is an unfortunate one, And its impact on his personality is not one to ignore, because his ownership of slaves wracked his conscious to no end.
At one point in time, it was thought that Thomas Jefferson had slept with his black slaves and they had borne him children. In fact, his political opponents accused him of keeping his black slaves as concubines, which Jefferson wrote off as vicious slander, beneath responding too. However, the tests did not link them specifically to the Jefferson, merely "a Jefferson". Modern scholars consider it far more likely that the forefather of those children was either Thomas's cousin, Peter Carr, or his brother, Randolph Jefferson
"America, the last best hope", Wikipedia, and a lifetime of studying the American founders