- from Thomas Jefferson
From an early age, Thomas Jefferson lived by these words: “It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.” Even as a boy, Jefferson was “always doing.”
Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at Shadwell, his family’s farm in Virginia. He spent his early years exploring the world around him. His older sister Jane often joined him. Both were smart, lively, and curious. Tom had five sisters and one brother. His father, Peter Jefferson, was a self-taught farmer and surveyor. His mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, was the daughter of rich Virginia landowners. Tom sometimes went with his father on surveying trips. On these, Tom learned to survey land. That’s mapping and measuring it.
When Tom was just 14, his father died. As the oldest son, Tom became the head of the household. Two years later, he moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, to go to the College of William and Mary. He spent his first months there having fun. But he soon became a hardworking student who made almost every minute count.