Jefferson is elected as a delegate to the second Continental Congress on March 27, 1775, to succeed Peyton Randolph, the previous president of Congress who is now presiding over the Virginia House of Burgesses. Jefferson sat in the Virginia House of Burgesses until mid-June, when he left for Philadelphia. He returned in October and remained through December.
There are several theories about why Jefferson left his home state in June of 1775. Some historians believe that he went to Philadelphia to seek political office. Others think he went there to get away from Virginia's legislative session which was dragging out its work. Still others point to his role as a diplomat for Virginia during this time as the reason for his absence. There is no clear answer as to why Jefferson left Virginia, but it is known that when he returned in October of 1775, the legislature had ended their meeting early because the colonies were at war with England. Jefferson then served in Congress until December 1775.
When Jefferson arrived in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress was already in session. He is appointed as a delegate by the Virginia Convention on February 11, 1775- before the first meeting of the Congress- and confirmed by the Virginia General Assembly on February 20, 1775. In April of that year, Jefferson is elected as one of the three delegates from Virginia to represent her interests at the Congress. He attends his first meeting on May 10, 1775.
Jefferson is chosen as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress to replace Peyton Randolph, the previous President of Congress who is now the Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses. The Second Continental Congress meets from May 25 to June 20, 1778 in Philadelphia.
They issue the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. At the time of his election, Jefferson was serving as Secretary of State and was not present at any session of Congress. He attended only the first meeting of the Congress on May 25 and the last on June 20. In between, he went to Philadelphia on June 6 to assume his new duties as a delegate from Virginia.
The job of a delegate was to make recommendations to Congress about issues before it. Because there were no laws governing foreign policy at the time, each state had the right to vote on whether or not they wanted to get involved in other countries' wars. Since Virginia had already declared its independence from Great Britain, voters in Virginia elected Jefferson to be their delegate to Congress.
When Congress met on May 25, it immediately began work on drafting a national government for its new country. It created positions for delegates to represent them in this body and ordered that elections take place soon after. Voters would select representatives who would then attend Congress and vote on important issues before it.
Jefferson arrives in Philadelphia as the youngest Virginia delegate to the Second Continental Congress on June 20, 1775. George Washington, Patrick Henry, Benjamin Harrison, Richard Henry Lee, and Edmund Pendleton were among the other Virginia delegates. Jefferson is elected president of the congress on July 2 with the support of his fellow Virginians.
He is twenty-five years old.
Jefferson comes in Philadelphia as the second Continental Congress's youngest delegate from Virginia. He is 29 years old.
As soon as the Congress adjourns, Jefferson goes back home to Albemarle County and waits to see what kind of position his country needs him to fill. A few months later, in March 1777, he sets out for New York City where the Congress has moved during the winter. There, he gives his speech before the whole Congress advocating American independence from Britain. After this important address, the other delegates ask Jefferson to write another one of these speeches for them to make during the upcoming summer sessions of their respective states' legislatures. So, between writing speeches for other people and serving as president of his college, Jefferson has hardly any time to sleep or eat. But he doesn't complain because he believes this situation will help him become an expert in legislative matters.
After the first national election in November 1788, when John Adams is chosen president of the United States, Jefferson is appointed secretary of state. This means that he will be responsible for communicating with other countries about America's policies and for drafting important documents, such as treaties with other nations.
1776 Jefferson returned to Virginia and served in the assembly after leaving Congress in 1776. As a member of Virginia's new House of Delegates in late 1776, he collaborated closely with James Madison. In March 1777, Jefferson was elected governor of Virginia, but he never took office because of his election as president two months later.
He left Congress for good in April 1779 and returned to his estate at Poplar Forest, which had been damaged by the war but had been restored by its new owner, Thomas Walker. There, over the next five years, he wrote most of the papers that would become the first volume of what is now known as the Jefferson Bible.
In May 1784, Jefferson was elected president on the Republican ticket. He began his term three weeks later, on the 20th. He was then 42 years old.
Jefferson left the presidency in 1801 and lived another 52 years. He died in Charlottesville on July 4, 1826, aged 67.
Congressional terms were then-and still are today-unlimited. When they come up for election every six years, members can choose whether or not they will continue to serve. Jefferson chose not to run for another term in 1800 and was replaced by Nicholas Gilman from New York.
Jefferson served in the Virginia assembly, the Continental Congress, and as governor of Virginia during the American Revolutionary War (1775–83). He later served as the United States' envoy to France, secretary of state, and vice president under John Adams (1735–1826). During his time as ambassador to France, Jefferson wrote a series of letters describing the new world that had been discovered by Europeans. These letters are known today as "The Jefferson Papers."
In addition to writing about the new countries he has seen, Jefferson also discussed military matters with other diplomats. He is said to have told them that for peace to prevail between America and Britain, there must be two nations divided by a common language. Since both Americans and Britons speak English, this statement made sense to them. However there were already tensions between the two countries before the war, so this comment may have been used by Jefferson as an excuse to attack Britain.
France and America were allies during the war, but after it ended France turned against America because they wanted their old colony back. In 1784, Jefferson was sent to Paris as part of a diplomatic team led by James Monroe to negotiate a new treaty with France. This mission succeeded and on July 4, 1789, the French National Assembly declared America's independence from Britain forever. Two years later, on April 18, 1791, President Washington appointed Jefferson as the first U.S. minister to France.