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while a student of law, listened to Patrick Henry's great
speech on the Stamp Act.

In 1773 he united with Patrick Henry and other pa-
triots in devising the celebrated committee of corre-
spondence for disseminating intelligence between the
colonies, of which Jefferson was one of the most active
and influential members. Elected the next year to a
convention to choose delegates to the first Continental
Congress at Philadelphia, he drew up for their instruc-
tion his famous " Summary View of the Rights of British
America," which, though rejected by the convention as
being too radical, was subsequently issued by the House
of Burgesses, and, after some revision by Edmund Burke,
passed through several editions in Great Britain. June
I, 1775, Jefferson reported to the Assembly the reply of
Virginia to Lord North's conciliatory proposition, and
on the 2ist of the same month took his seat in the
Continental Congress. His reputation as a statesman
and accomplished writer at once placed him among the
leaders of that renowned body. He served on the most
important committees, and, among other labours, drew
up the reply of Congress to the above proposal of Lord
North, and assisted John Dickinson in preparing, in be-
half of the Colonies, a declaration of the cause of taking
up arms. The rejection of a final petition to the king
having at length destroyed all hope of an honourable
reconciliation with the mother-country, Congress, early
in the session of 1776, appointed a committee to draw
up a declaration of independence, of which Jefferson was
made chairman. In this capacity he drafted, at the re-
quest ofthe other members of the committee, (Franklin,
Adams, Sherman, and R. R. Livingston,) and reported to
Congress, June 28, that great charter of freedom known
as the " Declaration of American Independence," which,
on July 4, was adopted unanimously, and signed by every
member present except John Dickinson of Pennsylvania.
It may be doubted if in all history there be recorded so
important an event, or if a state paper has ever been
framed that has exerted, or is destined to exert, so great
an influence on the destinies of a large portion of the
human race. The Declaration of Independence, says
Edward Everett, " is casual to anything ever born on
parchment or expressed in the visible signs of thought."
" The heart of Jefferson in writing it," adds Bancroft,

a, e, I, o, u, y, long; i, e, 6, same, less prolonged; a, e, I, o, u, y, s/iort; a, e, i, g, obscure; far, fall, fat; met; nSt; good; moon;





'and of Congress in adopting it, beat for all humanity."
In October following, Jefferson resigned his seat in
Congress, and also the appointment of commissioner to
France, to take part in the deliberations of the Virginia
Assembly. A State Constitution had previously been
adopted, to which he had furnished the preamble ; and
he now applied himself to a radical revision of the laws
of the commonwealth, in which he was engaged for two
years and a half. Among other reforms, he procured
the repeal of the laws of entail, the abolition of pri-
mogeniture, and the restoration of the rights of con-
science, reforms which, he believed, would eradicate
"every fibre of ancient or future aristocracy." He also
originated a complete system of elementary and collegiate
education for Virginia.

In June, 1779, Jefferson succeeded Patrick Henry as
Governor of Virginia, and held the office during the
most gloomy period of the Revolution. He declined
a re-election in 1781, assigning as a reason that at that
critical juncture "the public would have more confidence
in a military chief." Two days after retiring from office,
his estate at Elk Hill was laid waste, and he and his
family narrowly escaped capture by the enemy. Jefferson
was twice appointed, in conjunction with others, minister-
plenipotentiary to negotiate a treaty of peace with Great
Britain, viz., in June, 1781, and in November, 1782,
but was prevented, by circumstances beyond his control,
from action in either instance. Returned to Congress
in 1783, he reported to that body, from a committee of
which he was chairman, the definitive treaty of peace,
(concluded at Paris, September 3, 1783,) acknowledging
the independence which had been announced in the De-
claration of July 4, 1776. He also proposed, and carried
through Congress at its next session, a bill establishing
the present Federal system of coinage, which took the
place of the English pounds, shillings, pence, etc., and
reported a plan of government for the territory of the
United States. In May following, (1784,) Congress ap-
pointed him minister-plenipotentiary to act with Frank-
lin and Adams in negotiating treaties of commerce and
amity with foreign powers; and in 1785 he succeeded
Dr. Franklin as resident minister at Paris. It was during
this sojourn in France, which was one of the happiest
periods of Jefferson's life, that he formed that strong
predilection for the French nation over the English
which marked so conspicuously his subsequent career.
He published, while abroad, his famous "Notes on Vir-
ginia," relating to politics, commerce, manufactures, etc.,
(Paris, 1784,) which at once attracted general attention
throughout Europe. Having obtained permission to
return to America, he left Paris in September, 1789, and
reached Virginia soon after the election of Washington
as first President of the United States. The Federal
Constitution, then recently adopted, did not meet with
his approval. He declared that he did not know whether
the good or the bad predominated. Subsequently, how-
ever, he thought more favourably of it. In organizing
the government, Washington offered him a seat in his
cabinet as secretary of state, which Jefferson accepted.

With Washington's administration began the fierce
struggles between the two great political parties of the
country, the Republicans and Federalists, the former
under the lead of Jefferson, and the latter under that
of Alexander Hamilton, then secretary of the treasury.
Jefferson opposed Hamilton's funding system, his United
States bank, and other financial measures ; and when the
war broke out between England and France he was ir
favour of aiding the latter with our arms, while Hamilton
advocated the observance of a strict neutrality. These
differences between the two rival chiefs, which were the
occasion of many stormy discussions in the cabinet and
of an almost unexampled political excitement throughout
the country, culminated shortly after the dismissal of the
French minister Genest, (Genet,) and Jefferson resigned
his office, December 31, 1793, and retired to Monticello.
At the close of Washington's second term he was again
called into public life, as the Presidential candidate of
the Republican party, John Adams being the nominee of
the Federalists. In the ensuing election Adams received
the highest number of votes, and was declared President ;
and, according to a rule then in force, Jefferson, being

the nert highest candidate, became Vice- President. By
virtue of this office he took his seat, March 4, 1797,
as president of ihe Senate. The disputes with France,
and other difficult questions, rendered the administration
one of extraordinary turbulence. At its close, Jefferson
and Adams were again the respective candidates of the
Republican and Federal parties. In this election the Re-
publicans triumphed, but cast an equal number of votes
for Jefferson and Aaron Burr, seventy-three: Adams
received but sixty-five. As it was necessary that the
person chosen to the first office should have a plurality
of votes, the election, in these circumstances, devolved
upon the House of Representatives, which, on its thirty-
sixth ballot, declared Jefferson President and Burr Vice-
President, their terms of office to commence March 4,
1801. Jefferson was re-elected in 1804 by an electoral vote
of one hundred and forty-eight to twenty-eight, and in
1809 retired voluntarily from office, after a prosperous ad-
ministration of eight years. Among the important events
that occurred during his term of office were the purchase
of Louisiana, (1803,) the brilliant victories of our fleets in
the Mediterranean, and peace with Morocco and Tripoli,
in 1803, Lewis and Clark's overland exploring expedi-
tion to the Pacific, sent out by the President in 1804, the
arrest and trial of Aaron Burr for treason, 1807, and the
attack, the same year, of the British war-frigate Leopard
on the American frigate Chesapeake, which led to Jeffer-
son's embargo act and ultimately to the second war with
Great Britain. Washington and Adams had opened Con-
gress with a speech ; but fefferson preferred a written
message, as being more democratic. He also initiated
the policy of removing incumbents from office on the
grounds of a difference in political opinion. After par-
ticipating in the inauguration of his friend and successor,
James Madison, Jefferson retired to Monticello, where
he passed the remainder of his life in attending to hia
private affairs, receiving the numerous calls of friends
and strangers, and in the exercise of a most liberal hos-
pitality. In 1819 he took the chief part in founding the
University of Virginia, at Charlottesville, near Monti-
cello, and acted as its rector till his death, which occurred
on the same day with that of John Adams, July 4, 1826,
the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independ-
ence. The following epitaph, written by himself, is
inscribed on his tombstone, a small granite obelisk, at
Monticello : " Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author
of the Declaration of Independence, of the Statute of
Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the Uni-
versity of Virginia." As the author of the Declaration of
Independence and the founder of the Republican (Demo-
cratic) party, Jefferson has probably exerted a greater
influence on the institutions of this country than any other
American except Washington. He was regarded as the
very embodiment of democracy. All titles of honour
even that of Mr. were distasteful to him. Dressed
in the plainest apparel, he was as accessible to the
yeoman in his every-day garments as to a foreign dig-
nitary of state. In his intercourse with others he was
distinguished for his affability. His conversation was
fluent, imaginative, various, and eloquent. " In Europe,"
wrote the Due de Liancourt, "he would hold a distin-
guished rank among men of letters." His adroitness in
politics and in the management of men has rarely been
surpassed. In religion he was what is denominated a
free-thinker. "His instincts," says Bancroft, "all in-
clined him to trace every fact to a general law, and to
put faith in ideal truth." Slavery he considered a moral
and political evil, and declared in reference to it that he
"trembled for his country when he remembered that
God is just." His extreme views of State rights in
later life were very much modified, and he owned that
it was necessary for the general government sometimes
to show its teeth."

In his prime, J>fferson was six feet two and a half
inches in height, with a sinewy, well-developed frame
angular face, but amiable countenance, and ruddy com-
plexion delicately fair. He had deep-set, light-hazel eyes,
and hair of a reddish chestnut colour, very fine. He
was married in 1772 to Mrs. Martha Skelton, daughter
of John Wales, a distinguished Virginia lawyer. She
brought him a large dowry in lands and slaves, about

c as k; c as s; g hard; g as/V G, H, K, guttural; N, nasal; R, trilled; s as z; th as in this.

Explanations, p.




equal in value to his own property; but his liberalit)
and generous living left him insolvent at his death. One
daughter and ten grandchildren survived him. "The
Memoirs, Correspondence, and Private Papers of Thomas
Jefferson," in 4 vols. Svo, edited by his grandson, Thomas
Jefferson Randolph, was published at Charlottesville in
1829, and republished in London and Boston the same
year, and in New York in 1830. In 1848 his manuscripts
were purchased by Congress, and published under the
title of " The Writings of Thomas Jefferson," in 9 vols.
?"0, 1853-55. His " Manual of Parliamentary Practice"
it still in use among legislative bodies in this country.

See, in addition to the works already mentioned, HENRY S. RAN-
DALL, " Life of T. Jefferson," 3 vols., 1858 ; GEORGE TUCKER, " Life
of Thomas Jefferson." 1836 : B. L. RAYNER, " Life of Thomas Jef-
ferson," 1834; THEODORE DWIGHT, "Character of T. Jefferson,"
1839; W. LINN, " Life of T. Jefferson," 1835: NICHOLAS BIDDLE,
"Eulogy on T. Jefferson," 1827; GBISWOLD, "Prose Writers of
America:" DUYCKINCK, " Cyclopedia of American Literature,'
Tol. i. ; "Edinburgh Review" for July, 1830, and October, 1837.
"North American Review" for April, 1830, and January, 1835:
"Westminster Review" for October, 1830: and an excellent article
on Jefferson in the " New American Cyclopzdia," (by JOHN E.

Jeffery or Jeffrey, (JOHN,) an English divine, born
at Ipswich in 1647. He was chosen rector of Kirton
and Falkenham, in Suffolk, in 1687, and was appointed
Archdeacon of Norwich in 1694. He published the
religious works of Sir Thomas Browne. Dr. Jeffrey was
strongly opposed to religious controversy. Died in 1720.

See " Life of Jeffery," prefixed to his " Sermons."

Jeffery or Jeffrey, (THOMAS,) an English dissent-
.iig minister, born at Exeter about the year 1700. He
was the author of several religious works, in which he
displayed great ability. Of these we may mention "The
True Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion,"
and " The Divinity of Christ proved from Holy Scrip-
ture." Died about 1728.

Jeffrey, (FRANCIS,) LORD, a distinguished Scottish
critic and essayist, born in Edinburgh on the 23d of Oc-
tober, 1773. He was sent to the University of Glasgow
in 1787, and removed in 1791 to Queen's College, Ox-
ford, where he remained but a few months. In 1794 he
was admitted an advocate to the Scottish bar, but for
several years obtained scarcely any practice. About
this time he became a member of the Speculative Soci-
ety of Edinburgh, where he formed the acquaintance of
several young men afterwards eminent in the literary
and political world. Among these were Sydney Smith
and Henry (afterwards Lord) Brougham, with whom he
projected the "Edinburgh Review," the first number
of which was issued in October, 1802. Three numbers
were edited by Smith ; but upon his removal to London
the entire charge devolved upon Jeffrey, who held the
position of editor for the ensuing twenty-six years. It
was successful from the first, and in a short time the
circulation had increased to about nine thousand, and
in 1813 it considerably exceeded twelve thousand. As
Jeffrey himself expressed it, "it stood on two legs, the
one being the criticism of current literature, the othei
being Whig politics." The commencement of the "Ed-
inburgh Review" formed a new era in English literature,
and completely changed the style of the popular maga-
zines. Jeffrey was the principal contributor ; and his
articles in both politics and criticism attracted great atten-
tion. Scott, Byron, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Moore, and
other distinguished poets of that period were severely
sometimes unjustly criticised ; but most of them after-
wards became warm friends of the great reviewer. About
1802 he married his second-cousin, Catherine Wilson,
who died in 1805. In 1813 he married an American lady
in New York, named Charlotte Wilkes. Though Jeffrey-
devoted so much of his time to editorial labours, his
practice as a lawyer greatly increased. In rapidity, flu-
ency, and eloquence he had no equal at the Scottish bar.
Once, while conducting the prosecution of a libel-suit
at Glasgow, he poured forth such a torrent of words that
the opposing counsel declared " that, by calculation with
his watch, that man had actually spoken the English
Janguage twice over in three hours." In 1820 he was
elected lord rector of the University of Glasgow. Nine
(rears later he became dean of the faculty of advocates,
and thereupon resigned the editorial chair of the

'Edinburgh Review." In 1830 he was elected to the
first Parliament of William IV. He continued in Par-
liament four years, and held the office of lord advocate
of Scotland under the administration of Grey. He re-
ceived the appointment to a Scottish judgeship in 1834,
with the honorary title of Lord. As a judge he was
highly esteemed for his conscientiousness and his busi-
ness qualifications. Lord Jeffrey's contributions to the
" Edinburgh Review" extend over a period of nearly
fifty years, and amount to over three hundred articles.
The greater part of these were published, in 4 vols., in
1843. Died in January, 1850.

See LORD COCKBURN, "Life of Lord Jeffrey," i vols., :35:
ALLIKONE, " Dictionary of Authors ;" " Quarterly Review" for July,
1852; "Blackwood's Magazine" for September and October. 1852:
"Eraser's Magazine" for May, 1852; "North British Review" for
May, 1850, and August, 1852. Foi an able, though somewhat severe,
review of Jeffrey's character as a critic, see article entitled " British
Critics," published in the second volume of WHIPPLH'S " Essays and
Reviews," New York, 1849: (it first appeared in the " North Amer-
ican Review" for October, 1845.)

Jeffrey, (RoSA VERTNER,) an American novelist,
born at Natchez, Mississippi, in 1828. Her maiden
name was GRIFFITH, the name Vertner being that of an
aunt who adopted her. When seventeen years old, she
married a Mr. Johnson, of Lexington, Kentucky, and
after his death married Mr. Alexander Jeffrey. Among
her works are "Poems," (1857,) "Daisy Dare," etc.,
(1871,) "Crimson Hand, and other Poems," (1881,) and
the novels " Woodburn" (1863) and " Marah," (1884.)

Jeffreys, (Lord GEORGE,) Baron Wem, the infamorj
minion of James II., was born at Acton, in Denbighshire,
and studied law at the Middle Temple. At first he pro-
fessed to be a Roundhead, and was chosen recorder of
London, and city judge. During his practice at the Old
Bailey bar he had acquired a boundless command of the
language in which the depraved express hatred and con-
tempt ; and on the bench he hesitated not to pour forth
torrents of oaths, curses, and vituperative epithets on
attorneys, jurymen, witnesses, and prisoners. Age and
merit were treated in the same manner ; for when Baxter
was brought before him, on a charge of nonconformity,
he railed in such a manner at that eminent divine and
his counsel that it was impossible to obtain a fair trial.
His voice and manners were always disagreeable ; but
these, which he considered natural advantages, he had
improved to such a degree that in his paroxysms of rage
few could hear him unmoved. His eye had a terrible
fascination for the prisoner on whom it was fixed. He
appeared to delight in misery merely for its own sake.
Such was the man who became the court favourite of
James and chief justice of England. Jeffreys, perceiving
that he had obtained all that could be expected from
his old friends, sought the favour of the court. He
received great attention from the Duke of York ; but
the king regarded him with contempt and disgust Not-
withstanding these views, however, Jeffreys was soon
made chief justice of the king's bench. Upon James's
accession to the throne he was raised to the peerage,
with the title of Baron Wem, and was subsequently
made lord high chancellor of England. He gained great
notoriety during the trials of those who had participated
in the rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth. Pen can
scarcely portray the atrocities committed under his juris-
diction. He delighted in torturing, burning, hanging,
and beheading men, women, and children, after the
merest shams of trials. All these actions appeared to
give great satisfaction to his sovereign. Yet his decisions
are said to have been generally just and impartial where
political purposes were not to be subserved. When the
Prince of Orange came to England, the lord chancellor
attempted to escape to the continent ; but as he was
in a beer-house at Wapping, dressed as a sailor, he
was discovered by an atton.ey whom he had formerly
abused. This person gave the information to the popu-
lace, who immediately seized Jeffreys and carried him
before the mayor, from whence he was sent to the
Lords. Hy them he was committed to the Tower, where
he died in 1689, from the effects of his intemperance and

See WOOLRYCH, "Memoirs of the Life of G. Jeffreys," 1827;
LORD CAMPBELL, "Lives of the Lord Chancellors," 1856; MAC-
AULAY, " History of England," vols. i. and ii.

a, e. I, o, u, y, long; a, e, 6, same, less prolonged; a, e, 1, 6, u, J>, short; a, f, i, 9, obscure; far, till, lit; mSt; n6t; good; moon;




Jeffreys, (GEORGE,) in English poet, born in North-
amptonshire in 1678. He studied at Cambridge, and
was admitted to the bar, but never practised. Among
his productions were several aagedies, and an oratorio,
entitled "The Triumph of Truth." Died in 1755.

See BAKER, " Biographia Dramatica."

Jeffreys, (JOHN GWYN,) a Welsh naturalist, born at
Swansea, January 18, 1809. He became a solicitor, and
in 1856 was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn, but retired
from the profession in 1866. His principal work is
"British Conchology," (5 vols., 1862-69.) Died in 1885.

Jeffries, jeffrez, (JOHN,) M.D., an American physi-
cian, born in Boston in 1744. He graduated at Harvard
in 1763, and took his medical degree at Edinburgh. In
the Revolution he sided with the British, and became
surgeon-major to the royal army in America. In 1780
he resumed his profession in London. While making
some investigations in atmospheric temperature, in 1785,
he crossed from England to France in a balloon. This
was the first successful experiment in aeronautics on
an extensive scale. He returned to Boston in 1789,
and died in 1819.

JehSn-Geer or JahSngir, je-hSn'geer', written also
Djahanguir, Djehanguire, Djahan Gbyr, and
Dschehangir, (i.e. the "Conqueror of the World,")
one of the Mogul emperors of Hindostan, succeeded his
father, the great Akbar, in 1605. Jehangeer left Memoirs
of his own life. He died in 1627. He inherited nothing
of the ability of his father. It was during the reign of
this emperor that the celebrated embassy of Sir Thomas
Roe arrived from England at the court of Deihi.

See COLLIN DH BAR, " Histoire de 1'Inde;" " London Quarterly
Review" for March, 1834.

Je-ho'a-naz, [Heb.inxirv; Fr. JOACHAZ, zho'fkiz',1
son of Jehu, ascended the throne of Israel 856 B.C., and
reigned seventeen years.

See II. Kings xiii. 1-10.

Jehoahaz, also called Shallum, succeeded his father
Josiahon the throne of Judah, and reigned three months
Died about 610 B.C.

See II. Chronicles xxxvi. 1-4.

Jehoash. See JOASH.

Je-hoi'a-kim. [Heb. D'p'irr ; ?r. JOACHIM, zho'f-
klN ', ] whose name was changed by Pharaoh-Necho
from Eliakim, succeeded to the throne of Judah 608 B.C.,
and reigned eleven years.

See II. Chronicles xxxvi. 4-9.

Je-hoi'a-kin or Jec-o-nl'ah was the son of the pre-
ceding, whom he succeeded as King of Judah in 597 B.C.,
and reigned three months.

See II. Kings vx.v. ; II. Chronicles xxxvi. 8-10.

Je-ho'ram or Jo'ram, [Heb. D">liT,j King of Israel,
son of Ahab, succeeded to the throne 896 B.C. He was
killed in battle by Jehu in 884 B.C.

See 1 1. Kings i.-x.

Jehoram or Joram, son of Jehoshaphat, ascended
the throne of Judah 893 or 892 B.C. Died in 885 or 884.

See II. Kings viii. 15-25; II. Chronicles xxi.

Je-hosh'a-phat, [Heb. OStyirV; Gr. 'luoa^ar; Fr.
TOSAPHAT, zho'zi'fSt',1 King of Judah, a son of Asa, was
born about 950 B.C. He began to reign in 914, formed
an alliance with Ahab, King of Israel, and reigned
twenty-five years. He had a high reputation for piety
and justice.

See II. Chronicles xvii.-xxii.

Je'hu, [Heb. XIH',] King of Israel, was an officer in
the army of King Jehoram, when he was anointed king
by a young prophet sent by Elisha in 884 B.C. He killed
Jehoram, and reigned about twenty-eight years.

See II. Kings ix. and \.

Jek'yll, (Sir JOSEPH,) a distinguished lawyer and
statesman, born in Nottinghamshire in 1664. He was
a prominent member of the Whig party during the reign
of Queen Anne, and was knighted upon the accession
of George I. He was afterwards master of the rolls, and
privy councillor. Died in 1738.

Jekyll, (JOSEPH,) M.P., a witty English barrister,
born about 1752, was distinguished by his talent for
epigram and repartee. He became solicitor-general to

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Online LibraryJoseph ThomasUniversal pronouncing dictionary of biography and mythology (Volume 2) → online text (page 34 of 425)