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The Facts: Thomas Jefferson

Posted By: Thomas Jefferson 6 February 2009 3,754 views No Comment











In my ongoing research of Thomas Jefferson I often come across these fact lists. I found this one to be a little more entertaining than most. Enjoy!

  • Jefferson was the first President to shake hands instead of bow to people.
  • Thomas Jefferson was the first President to have a grandchild born in the White House.
  • Jefferson was one of two Presidents who signed the Declaration of Independence.
  • When he was sworn in as President, he returned to his boarding house for dinner. Every seat was taken, and noone stood to offer him a seat. After awhile, the wife of a Kentucky senator offered him her seat. Jefferson politely declined.
  • Jefferson City, Missouri is named after Thomas Jefferson.
  • Jefferson was a second cousin once removed of John Marshall.
  • Jefferson’s library of approximately 6,000 books became the basis of the Library of Congress. His books were purchased from him for $23,950.
  • Jefferson kept a mockingbird named Dick in the White House study, and let the bird ride on his shoulder whenever possible. President Jefferson even trained Dick to take bits of food that he held between his lips at meals! When Jefferson went upstairs, his faithful companion would hop up after him, step after step, never far from his side.
  • Jefferson was the first president to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.
  • Bears brought back from Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition were displayed in cages on the White House lawn. For years the White House was sometimes referred to as the “president’s bear garden.”
  • Jefferson wrote his own epitaph without mentioning that he served as president of the United States.
  • Thomas Jefferson was once given a 1,235 pound hunk of cheese, giving us the term “the big cheese.”
  • When Thomas Jefferson became President, in 1801, 20 percent of all people in the U.S. were slaves. (There were 5 million people in all.)
  • Jefferson played the violin.
  • He suggested the decimal system of money we use.
  • He wrote over 20,000 letters in his lifetime.
  • Jefferson founded, designed and built the University of Virginia.
  • He took a cold foot bath every morning for 60 years.
  • Jefferson once ate a tomato in public to prove it wasn’t poisonous.
  • Jefferson owned 200 slaves.
  • Among the vegetables in Thomas Jefferson’s garden was the English pea, considered to be his favorite. He grew fifteen types of the English pea, and his frequent jottings on the vegetable in his Garden Book suggest that he paid particular attention to it, happily noting when ‘peas come to table.’ By staggering the planting of peas, Jefferson was able to eat them fresh from the garden from the middle of May to the middle of July.
  • He was named after his grandfater, Thomas Jefferson II, a prominent landowner, militia captain, and justice of Chesterfield County, Virginia.


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