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What were the personality traits of Thomas Jefferson?

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Quick Answer

Thomas Jefferson was protective of his personal life, making it difficult to develop a clear picture of his personality traits, but it is clear from history that he was creative, ambitious and a deep thinker. In addition to politics, he was highly interested in architecture and religion.

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Full Answer

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, to Peter and Jane Randolph Jefferson. He was their third child of 10. He was born and raised in Virginia, and history indicates he had a strained relationship with his mother and was not close with his siblings. When his father died suddenly in 1757, Jefferson took control of his own education and career.

Jefferson attended William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Va. He studied law for five years and began practicing at age 24. However, his true interests were playing his violin and architecture. He designed and continually made improvements to his home, which he dubbed "Monticello." Jefferson had six children with his wife, Martha Wayles Skelton. Only two of his children lived to adulthood.

Jefferson was given the task of writing the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress when the colonies began struggling for freedom from British rule. In 1779, he was elected Governor of Virginia. Jefferson was the third U.S. president and served from 1801 to 1809.

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