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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Biographies
Picture of Thomas JeffersonBIOGRAPHY

Thomas Jefferson
Secretary of State, 
Term of Appointment: 03/22/1790 to 12/31/1793

  • Born at "Shadwell", Goochland (now Albemarle) County, Virginia, April 13, 1743;
  • Graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1762;
  • Admitted to the bar and commenced practice in 1767;
  • Held various local public offices;
  • Member of the Virginia House of Burgesses 1769-1775;
  • Married Martha (Wayles) Skelton in 1772;
  • Member of the Continental Congress, 1775-1776;
  • Prepared the first draft of the Declaration of Independence and signed the final Declaration;
  • Member of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1776-1779;
  • Governor of Virginia, 1779-1781;
  • Again a member of the Continental Congress, 1783-1784;
  • One of three Ministers named in 1784 to negotiate treaties with European nations and the Barbary States;
  • Served as Minister to France, 1785-1789;
  • Secretary of State in President Washington's Cabinet March 22, 1790, and served until December 31, 1793;
  • As Secretary of State, successfully administered a policy of neutrality in the war between Great Britain and France;
  • Vice President of the United States, 1797-1801;
  • President of the United States, 1801-1809;
  • Retired to Monticello, his estate in Virginia; engaged in literary, architectural, scientific, and agricultural pursuits; participated in the founding and served as rector of the University of Virginia;
  • Died at Monticello, Albemarle County, Virginia, July 4, 1826.

Released on July 15, 2003

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