1743 April 13

Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence, is Born

 

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Liberty, and who served as the third President of the United States (1801–1809), was born on this day.

The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Liberty (excerpt): “Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.”

Read: Richard Bernstein, Thomas Jefferson (2003)

Visit Jefferson’s Home, Monticello: http://www.monticello.org/

Learn more about Jefferson: Joseph Ellis, American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson (1997)

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