Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
This edition of Biography, the long running documentary series from A&E, explores the life of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was the third President of the United States; principal author of the Declaration of Independence. In the spring of 1775, Jefferson was appointed as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was regarded as a superior writer and was charged with drafting a formal statement of the reasons for the colonies' impending break with Britain. In 1779, Jefferson was elected governor of Virginia. As the Revolutionary War drew to a close, Jefferson was called upon to serve as a delegate to the Continental Congress in December 1782. Shortly thereafter, he agreed to succeed Benjamin Franklin as the American minister to France, moving to Paris in 1784. Jefferson was fortunate enough to leave France in late 1789, just before Paris erupted into mob violence. Upon his return to America, he took office as the first secretary of state, under George Washington, the heroic Revolutionary general and newly elected president of the United States. As John Adams Vice President he continued his opposition of the emphasis on a strong federal government espoused by such men as George Washington, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton, who had become known as Federalists. He then continued to move forward with those ideals when he served two terms as President.
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