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sideration in the midland counties of England, claiming descent from the Scotch Earls of Murray, and connected by blood or marriage with many of the English nobility. In 1735 Peter Jefferson established himself as a planter by patenting a thousand acres of land in Goochland County, his estate lying near and partly including the outlying hills, which form a sort of picket line for the Blue Mountain range. At the same time his friend William Randolph patented an adjoining estate of twenty-four hundred acres; and inasmuch as there was no good site for a house on Jefferson's estate, Mr. Randolph conveyed to him four hundred acres for that purpose, the consideration expressed in the deed, which is still extant, being “ Henry Weatherbourne's biggest bowl of Arrack punch."

Here Peter Jefferson built his house, and here, three years later, he brought his bride, - a handsome girl of nineteen, and a kinswoman of William Randolph, being Jane, oldest child of Isham Randolph, then Adjutant-General of Virginia. She was born in London, in the parish of Shadwell, and Shadwell was the name given by Peter Jefferson to his estate. This marriage was a fortunate union of the best aristocratic and yeoman strains in Virginia.

In the year 1744 the new County of Albemarle was carved out of Goochland County, and Peter Jefferson was appointed one of the three justices who constituted the county court and were the real rulers of the shire. He was made also Surveyor, and later Colonel of the county. This last office was regarded as the chief provincial honor in Virginia, and it was especially important when he held it, for it was the time of the French war, and Albemarle was in the debatable land.

In the midst of that war, in August, 1757, Peter Jefferson died suddenly, of a disease which is not recorded, but which was probably produced by fatigue and exposure. He was a strong, just, kindly man, sought for as a protector of the widow and the orphan, and respected and loved by Indians as well as white men. Upon his deathbed he left two injunctions regarding his son Thomas: one, that he should receive a classical education ; the other, that he should never be permitted to neglect the physical exercises necessary for health and strength. Of these dying commands his son often spoke with gratitude ; and he used to say that if he were obliged to choose between the education and the estate which his father gave him, he would choose the education. Peter Jefferson left eight children, but only one son besides Thomas, and that one died in infancy. Less is known of Jefferson's mother; but he derived from her a love of music, an extraordinary keenness of susceptibility, and a corresponding refinement of taste.

His father's death left Jefferson his own master. In one of his later letters he says: 66 At fourteen



the whole care and direction of myself were thrown on myself entirely, without a relative or a friend qualified to advise or guide me.”

The first use that he made of his liberty was to change his school, and to become a pupil of the Rev. James Maury, — an excellent clergyman and scholar, of Huguenot descent, who had recently settled in Albemarle County. With him

With him young Jefferson continued for two years, studying Greek and Latin, and becoming noted, as a schoolmate afterward reported, for scholarship, industry, and shyness. He was a good runner, a keen fox-hunter, and a bold and graceful rider.

At the age of sixteen, in the spring of 1760, he set out on horseback for Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia, where he proposed to enter the college of William and Mary. Up

Up to this time he had never seen a town, or even a village, except the hamlet of Charlottesville, which is about four miles from Shadwell. Williamsburg — described in contemporary language as "the centre of taste, fashion, and refinement” unpaved village, of about one thousand inhabitants, surrounded by an expanse of dark green tobacco fields as far as the


could reach. It was, however, well situated upon a plateau midway between the York and James rivers, and was swept by breezes

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which tempered the heat of the summer sun and kept the town free from mosquitoes.

Williamsburg was also well laid out, and it has the honor of having served as a model for the city of Washington. It consisted chiefly of a single street, one hundred feet broad and three quarters of a mile long, with the capitol at one end, the college at the other, and a ten-acre square with public buildings in the middle. Here in his palace lived the colonial governor. The town also contained “ten or twelve gentlemen's families, besides, merchants and tradesmen." These were the permanent inhabitants ; and during the “ season ” — the midwinter

months — the planters' families came to town in their coaches, the gentlemen on horseback, and the little capital was then a scene of gayety and dissipation.

Such was Williamsburg in 1760 when Thomas Jefferson, the frontier planter's son, rode slowly into town at the close of an early spring day, surveying with the outward indifference, but keen inward curiosity of a countryman, the place which was to be his

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