THOMAS JEFFERSON, ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST INFLUENTIAL PRESIDENTS
Throughout his life, Thomas Jefferson strove to satisfy his innate thirst for knowledge. As a boy, he studied Latin, Greek and French and had a keen interest in the sciences. His aggressive pursuit allowed him to finish his studies at the College of William & Mary within two years. His own collection of books was so extensive that he sold many of them to the Library of Congress in 1814.
Many historians believe that while he attended college, his intense interest in theology, religious studies, and morality, caused him to gravitate to highly influential professors who exposed him to alternate religious philosophies that challenged the beliefs common among the majority of Americans at the time.
IN 1796 JOHN ADAMS DEFEATED THOMAS JEFFERSON IN A BITTERLY CONTESTED AND ULTIMATELY RESULTING IN A VERY CLOSE PRESIDENTIAL RACE
Challenging popular religious doctrines became a dominant theme throughout Jefferson’s life. In fact, during his failed attempt to gain the presidency in 1796, his adversaries strongly criticized him and asserted that he was unfit for leadership because of his religious beliefs.
The positive outcome that resulted was Jefferson’s passionate advocacy of religious tolerance. His objective was to sever the ties between the government and individually-held religious beliefs. He asserted that the government had no business dictating or even influencing the relationship between a man and his god.
In his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 Jefferson wrote:
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”
FREEDOM OF RELIGION IN THE UNITED STATES BEGAN WITH THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE "VIRGINIA STATUE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM"
Later Jefferson worked with James Madison to prevent the use of tax dollars in supporting churches in Virginia. He did, however, regularly attend church services and allow provisions for services to be held in government buildings. He did not consider it to be a conflict because all of the services held therein were voluntary and not exclusive. His primary objection was that the intermixing of church and state had necessarily resulted in the associated religious beliefs and practice to become prerequisites for any public office.
In 1786, "The Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom," proposed by Jefferson became law. It finalized the complete separation of church and state, and declared that civil rights were unrelated to personal opinions and not of any concern to the government. The freedom of religion, that every American enjoys, was just one of the landmark positions initiated by Thomas Jefferson.
THOMAS JEFFERSON - AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The statute reads in part:
“No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened 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.”
Although President Jefferson had been fervently criticized for his views in the past, the people gradually came to understand the wisdom behind is assertions and flourished under his leadership.
THE STRIKING ROTUNDA AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRIGINIA WAS DESIGNED BY THOMAS JEFFERSON
After retiring from the presidency, Jefferson put much of his efforts into establishing the University of Virginia. He designed the buildings and curriculum and personally recruited highly-qualified faculty. He was very proud of this accomplishment and hoped that it would be a significant part of his legacy.
MONTICELLO - AN EXTRAORDINARY ARCHITECTURAL ACHIEVEMENT & DESIGNED BY THOMAS JEFFERSON
Until today, visitors flock to Jefferson’s Virginia home, the Monticello, to see the majestic architecture and breathtaking features. Jefferson enjoyed entertaining and often invited his friends to his home. The details of his dining room are of particular interest. The elegantly carved chairs and solid wood table remain in place.
JEFFERSON'S HOME AND DINING THERE - MONTICELLO IS A
SIGNIFICANT VIRGINIA ATTRACTION
President Jefferson’s china is a perfect complement to this sophisticated setting. Each piece features a script letter J in the center of a crest topped by a knight’s helmet. The borders are made up of a geometric pattern in medium blue accented in gold. The beautiful design is certainly fitting for such an important figure.
PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON'S 1790s CHINESE EXPORT PRESIDENTIAL CHINA - THE COLLECTION OF RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX
World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has recently acquired pieces from President Thomas Jefferson’s china. One piece of Thomas Jefferson's Porcelain may soon be available for sale. If you are interested in possibly acquiring Jefferson’s "J."china, contact Mr. Amyx.
HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - WITHIN HIS LIBRARY