Book review of Noble E. Cunningham Jr. In Pursuit Of Reason.

Essay by superkapperUniversity, Bachelor's April 2003

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Thomas Jefferson lived a long and lavish life. He would live more then eighty years in the country he so admired and had worked so hard to preserve. He was born in the state of Virginia and would die only miles away from the location where he was born. Thomas Jefferson was born in Shadwell, Virginia on April 14th, 1743. He was the first son and third overall born of Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph. Together they would have ten children in which only eight would reach adulthood. There were two boys and six girls born into the family. Peter was a surveyor, justice of the peace, planter and slaveholder. According to the author Thomas owed his lifelong interest in exploration to his father. Peter would influence his son because his "education had been quite neglected; but being of a strong mind, sound judgment and eager after information, he read much and improved himself."

He would die in 1757 and would not get to see the start of the war of Independence and his son's involvement. Thomas' "mother is a little known figure." The author continues by stating that "the evidence is too thin to speculate upon his relationship with his mother, but there is nothing to suggest that it was a warm one, and it may have been strained." She would die in March of 1776 and would just live long enough to see her son fight for the right of every person living in Virginia and the rest of the future United States of America.

Thomas Jefferson was a very educated man. He was brought up with money and with that money his family would by him the best education possible. "He was the beneficiary of his father's determination that his education should not be neglected. At the...