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Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

In the thick of party conflict in 1800, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a private letter, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." This powerful advocate of liberty was born in 1743 in Albermarle County, Virginia, inheriting from his father, a planter and surveyor, some 5,000 acres of land, and from his mother, a Randolph, high social standing. He studied at the College of William and Mary, then read law. In 1772 he married Martha Wayles Skelton, a widow, and took her to live in his partly constructed mountaintop home, Monticello. Freckled and sandy-haired, rather tall and awkward, Jefferson was eloquent as a correspondent, but he was no public speaker. In the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress, he contributed his pen rather than his voice to the patriot cause. As the "silent member" of the Congress, Jefferson, at 33, drafted the Declaration of Independence. In years following he labored to make its words a reality in Virginia. Most notably, he wrote a bill establishing religious freedom, enacted in 1786. Jefferson succeeded Benjamin Franklin as minister to France in 1785. His sympathy for the French Revolution led him into conflict with Alexander Hamilton when Jefferson was Secretary of State in President Washington's Cabinet. He resigned in 1793. Sharp political conflict developed, and two separate parties, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, began to form. Jefferson gradually assumed leadership of the Republicans, who sympathized with the revolutionary cause in France. Attacking Federalist policies, he opposed a strong centralized Government and championed the rights of states. As a reluctant candidate for President in 1796, Jefferson came within three votes of election. Through a flaw in the Constitution, he became Vice President, although an opponent of President Adams. In 1800 the defect caused a more serious problem. Republican electors, attempting to name both a President and a Vice President from their own party, cast a tie vote between Jefferson and Aaron Burr. The House of Representatives settled the tie. Hamilton, disliking both Jefferson and Burr, nevertheless urged Jefferson's election. When Jefferson assumed the Presidency, the crisis in France had passed. He slashed Army and Navy expenditures, cut the budget, eliminated the tax on whiskey so unpopular in the West, yet reduced the national debt by a third. He also sent a naval squadron to fight the Barbary pirates, who were harassing American commerce in the Mediterranean. Further, although the Constitution made no provision for the acquisition of new land, Jefferson suppressed his qualms over constitutionality when he had the opportunity to acquire the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon in 1803. During Jefferson's second term, he was increasingly preoccupied with keeping the Nation from involvement in the Napoleonic wars, though both England and France interfered with the neutral rights of American merchantmen. Jefferson's attempted solution, an embargo upon American shipping, worked badly and was unpopular. Jefferson retired to Monticello to ponder such projects as his grand designs for the University of Virginia. A French nobleman observed that he had placed his house and his mind "on an elevated situation, from which he might contemplate the universe."
He died on July 4, 1826.

co ea stampa xé libera, e tuti xé boni de lexare eora xé tuto a posto
credo che ee istitussioni bancarie xé pì pericoeose paea nostra libartà che un esercito permanente, sel popoeo amerixcan el lassarà che ee banche privae controea ea emission de schei, prima co ea inflassion poi co ea deflassion, ee banche ee so compagnie priverà ea zente dee so propietà finché i so fioi se catarà sensa un so tetto nel continente che i so pari gà conquistà
credo sinceramente, come voialtri, che ee istitussioni bancarie ee xé pì pericoeose che i eserciti schierai
ea conossiensa xe come ee candee, co te ne usi una pa impissarne n\'altra no caea ea luce dea prima. Al contrario tuto deventa pì ciaro
ea nostra libertà dipende daea libertà de stampa, no se poe miga limitarla sensa perderla
ea parte pì sincera de un giornae xé ea publicità.
el disenso xè ea forma pì nòbie del patriotismo
in tuti i paesi e in tute ee epoche el clero se gà sempre dimostrà ostìi aea libertà
l\'omo che no lexe gnente xe pì colto de queo che lexe soeo i giornai
se un popoeo el pensa de essare libaro e restare ignorante le spera in calcossa cheo ghe xé e mai sarà
xé soeo el errore che gà bisogno del guerno, ea verità ea sta in pìe da soea