THOMAS JEFFERSON: A TIMELINE

Apr. 13, 1743: TJ is born at Shadwell

1745: With death of William Randolph, close friend of Jefferson’s father, Peter, TJ and his family move 50 miles from Shadwell to Tuckahoe

1752: TJ and family return to Shadwell

1752–1757: TJ studies under Scottish Rev, William Douglas 

1754: Peter Jefferson becomes member of VA’s House of Burgesses

Aug. 17, 1757: Peter Jefferson (49) dies

Mar., 1760–Mar., 1762: TJ studies at College of William and Mary at Williamsburg

Apr, 25, 1762: TJ begins apprenticeship of law in Williamsburg under George Wythe

1764: TJ, now 21, comes into his inheritance

Oct. 1, 1765: oldest sister, Jane (25), much loved, dies

Mar. 30, 1766: TJ begins Farm Book

Feb. 12, 1767:  TJ begins practice of law in General Court

1768: Begins to clear land for construction of Monticello; TJ becomes member of VA’s House of Burgesses

May 17, 1769: Botetourt dissolves House of Burgesses after growing dissent against royal policies

Feb. 1, 1770: Shadwell burns; TJ occupies Monticello’s South Pavilion

Jan. 1, 1772: TJ marries Martha Wayles Skelton 

Sept. 27, 1772: birth of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson

1773: TJ retires from practice of law

Mar. 12, 1773: Dunmore dissolves House of Burgesses

May 16, 1773: Best friend and husband of sister Martha Jefferson, Dabney Carr (29) dies; TJ adopts his six children; Carr buried in what is now Monticello Graveyard

May 30, 1773: John Wayles (58) dies; TJ inherits 11,000 acres, 135 slaves, and considerable debt

Oct., 1773: TJ becomes surveyor of Albermarle County

Apr. 3, 1774: TJ’s daughter Jane Randolph born

1774: TJ begins Farm Book; lays out first garden at Monticello

May 26, 1774: Dunmore again dissolves House of Burgesses

June 1, 1774: Day of fasting in VA to protest Boston Port Act 

Aug., 1774: TJ’s Summary View of the Rights of British America published

Mar. 29, 1775: TJ is alternate to Second Continental Congress 

Apr. 19, 1775: Battles of Lexington and Concord & start of Revolutionary War

June 8, 1775: Dunmore flees Virginia

June 11, 1775: TJ leaves for Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia 

June 26, 1775: TJ coauthors Address on the Causes of Taking up Arms

Aug. 23, 1775: King George III says colonies are rebelling against mother country

Sept., 1775: daughter Jane Randolph Jefferson (3) dies

Sept. 26, 1775: TJ becomes commander of Albermarle militia 

Sept. 30, 1775: TJ goes to Philadelphia for Second Continental Congress

Jan. 20, 1776: Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense

Mar. 31, 1776: mother Jane Randolph Jefferson (57) dies                                       

May 14, 1776: TJ returns to Continental Congress after five-month absence 

May 15, 1776: formal separation from England, as Continental Congress resolves to form its own government 

May 27, 1776: TJ begins draft constitution for VA 

June 7, 1776: Richard Henry Lee introduces resolution to declare independence and form a confederation of states

June 11, 1776: TJ appointed to five-man committee to prepare Declaration of Independence 

June 20, 1776: TJ reappointed to Congress 

June 28, 1776: committee sends Declaration of Independence to Congress 

June 29, 1776:  VA’s Convention formally adopted

July 2, 1776: Continental Congress declares independence

July 4, 1776: Continental Congress accepts Declaration of Independence

Sept. 2, 1776: Martha ill & TJ resigns from Continental Congress

Nov. 5, 1776–Feb. 1779: TJ as part of five-man committee to revise VA’s laws

May 20, 1776: Martha ill & TJ leaves VA assembly

May 28, 1776: TJ’s son born & dies in two weeks

Oct. 30, 1776: TJ returns to Virginia Assembly 

Aug. 1, 1778: daughter Maria “Polly” Jefferson born

Feb., 1779:

June 1, 1779–June 2, 1781:  TJ as governor of Virginia 

Nov. 3, 1780: daughter Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson born 

Dec., 1780: VA Assembly cedes Northwest lands to United States 

Apr. 15, 1781: Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson dies

June 4, 1781: British dragoons invade Monticello

June 1781: Cornwallis destroys one of TJ’s plantations

June 30, 1781: TJ falls from horse & suffers for six weeks 

Oct. 19, 1781: Cornwallis surrender & end of Revolutionary War

Dec. 19, 1781: VA Assembly investigates charges against TJ as governor; TJ later cleared.

May 8, 1782: daughter, Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson, born

Sept. 6, 1782: wife Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson (33) dies

Nov. 12, 1782: TJ appointed peace commissioner to help negotiate Treaty of Paris 

Dec. 19, 1782:  TJ goes to Philadelphia to travel abroad but trip is abortive

June 6, 1783: TJ elected to Congress 

Sept. 3, 1783: U.S. and England sign Treaty of Paris, & Revolutionary War officially over

Mar. 12, 1784: TJ elected chairman of Congress

Apr. 1784: TJ pens Notes on the Establishment of a Money Unit and Coinage for the United States

May 7, 1784: TJ becomes Minister Plenipotentiary to France

May-June 1784: TJ and Martha tour NE

June-Aug. 1784: TJ and Martha sail for France

Aug. 6, 1784: TJ arrives in Paris

Nov. 17, 1784: daughter Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson dies

Jan. 16, 1786:  TJ’s Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom passes VA Congress

Mar. 1, 1786:  TJ and John Adams go to England to negotiate 

Feb.–June, 1787: TJ tours southern France and northern Italy

July 29, 1787: daughter Maria joins TJ and Martha in France

Oct. 12, 1787: TJ reelected Minister Plenipotentiary to France for another three-year term

July 2, 1788: U.S. Constitution is ratified

Apr. 30, 1789: George Washington made president & John Adams made vice-president in New York

July 14, 1789: Bastille Day: French Revolution begins

Sept. 26, 1789: TJ becomes Secretary of State

Oct. 22, 1789: TJ leaves Paris for leave of absence

Nov. 23, 1789: at Norfolk, TJ informed of appointment as Secretary of State

1790: first Patent Act

Feb. 12, 1790: TJ’s response to citizens of Albemarle

Feb. 23, 1790: daughter Martha married to Thomas Mann Randolph at Monticello

Mar. 22, 1790: TJ formally becomes Secretary of State

July 16, 1790: U.S. capital moves to Washington, D.C.  

May 1791: TJ with James Madison tours Connecticut, New York, and Vermont

Dec. 15, 1791: Bill of Rights adopted

1793: second Patent Act

Jan. 21, 1793: King Louis XVI guillotined

Mar. 4, 1793: Washington and Adams reelected

Dec. 31, 1793: TJ formally resigns as Secretary of State

Jan. 5, 1794: TJ back at Monticello

Jan. 31, 1795: Hamilton formally resigns as Secretary of Treasury

Feb. 9, 1797: TJ loses presidential election narrowly to John Adams & assumes vice-presidency

Mar. 3, 1797–Jan. 20, 1815: TJ is president of American Philosophical Society

Mar. 4, 1797: John Adams and TJ inaugurated at Philadelphia

Oct. 13, 1797: daughter Maria married to John Wayles Eppes at Monticello

Dec. 12, 1797: TJ goes to Philadelphia after five month absence to resume duties as vice-president

June 25, 1798: Alien Act passes Congress

June-Dec., 1798: TJ returns to Monticello for summer and autumn

July 7, 1798: Congress repeals 1778 alliance with France

July 14, 1798: Sedition Act passes Congress

Sept. 1798: TJ pens Kentucky Resolutions

Nov. 16, 1798: Kentucky legislature passes KR

Dec. 21, 1798: James Madison’s Virginia Resolutions passes VA Assembly

Mar.–Dec. 1799: TJ spends nine months at Monticello

Dec. 14, 1799: George Washington dies

May 11, 1800: Republican’s nominate TJ for president and Aaron Burr for vice-president

May–Nov. 1800: TJ returns to Monticello

June 30, 1800: TJ rumored to be dead, fueled by Baltimore newspaper 

Nov. 27, 1800: TJ arrives in new capital at Washington, D.C.

Dec. 28, 1800: TJ and Aaron Burr has equal number of electoral votes

Jan. 31, 1801: John Marshall becomes Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Feb. 11, 1801: after 36 ballots, House of Representative elects TJ as president

Feb. 17, 1801: TJ officially named president

Mar. 4, 1801: TJ gives First Inaugural Address

May 14, 1801: U.S. at war with Tripoli

Dec. 8, 1801: First Annual Message submitted to Congress

Feb. 6, 1802: Congress declares war on Tripoli

Apr. 6, 1802: internal taxes abolished

July 4, 1802: West Point, NY, opens military academy

Nov. 3, 1802: TJ meets with Chief Handsome Lake

Feb. 24, 1803: Marbury v Madison

Apr. 30, 1803: Robert Livingston and James Monroe secure the purchase of the Louisiana Territory for the United States from France

Dec. 20, 1803: U.S. formally takes Louisiana Territory

Feb. 25, 1804: TJ again nominated by Republicans as president

Apr. 17, 1804: Maria Jefferson Eppes (25) dies at Monticello

May 14, 1804: Lewis and Clark Expedition begins

July 11, 1804: Aaron Burr kills Alexander Hamilton in duel 

Nov., 1804: TJ reelected as president; George Clinton as vice-president

Mar. 4, 1805: Second Inaugural Address at Washington

June 4, 1805: Peace treaty with Tripoli signed; treaty with Morocco shortly thereafter ends Barbary Wars

Jan. 17, 1806: TJ’s grandson, James Madison Randolph, born in Washington, D.C.

Mar. 29, 1806: Congress authorizes construction of Cumberland Road to Ohio

Apr. 15, 1806: Non-Importation Act prohibits traffic with British manufactures effective Nov. 1806

Sept. 23, 1806: Lewis and Clark at St.  Louis after their expedition

Nov. 25, 1806: In response to a coup plot by Burr, TJ declares martial law in New Orleans

Dec. 6, 1806: Non-Importation Act against Britain delayed; enacted six months later

Feb. 1807: Aaron Burr captured while traveling in disguise in Alabama

July 2, 1807: TJ bans British ships from American waters after a series of impressments and seizures

Oct. 20, 1807: Aaron Burr, though acquitted of treason and misdemeanor charges by Chief Justice John Marshall, escapes to Europe

Dec. 22, 1807: TJ signs Embargo Act, declaring American neutrality and non- engagement in foreign trade

Jan. 1, 1808: The importation of slaves to the United States prohibited by law

Jan. 23, 1808: Madison nominated by Republicans as president; Clinton nominated as vice-president

Mar. 3, 1809: TJ backs repeal of Embargo and Non-Importation Acts in last act as president

Mar. 4, 1809: Madison and Clinton inaugurated at Washington

Mar. 11, 1809: TJ leaves Washington for Monticello

June 18, 1812: War of 1812 begins

Aug., 1812: TJ declines suggestions that he run for President again or become Madison’s Secretary of State

Nov., 1812: Madison re-elected President with Elbridge Gerry as Vice President

Aug. 25, 1814: States views on slavery in letter to Edward Coles

Sept. 21, 1814: TJ sells thousands of volumes from his personal library to the Library of Congress

Dec. 24, 1814: Treaty of Ghent ends War of 1812

Nov., 1816: James Monroe elected President with Daniel Tompkins as Vice President

Jan. 1819: Virginia Assembly passes bill providing for establishment of University of Virginia

Mar. 29, 1819: TJ appointed rector, chief executive of the University of Virginia

Nov., 1820: Monroe and Tompkins re-elected

Oct. 24, 1823: TJ writes to Monroe with ideas that are eventually incorporated in the Monroe Doctrine

Nov., 1824: John Quincy Adams elected president; John C. Calhoun, vice-president

Apr. 1, 1825:  official opening of UVa

Jan. 20, 1826: massively in debt, TJ asks VA Assembly a special dispensation to set up a lottery to sell large chunks of property to pay off his massive debt

Mar. 16, 1826: TJ writes his will, providing for manumission of five slaves, including Eston and Madison Hemings

July 4, 1826: TJ (83) dies at Monticello