Jefferson, Thomas

State: VA



Years Of Service:

In 1770, at the age of 27, the Governor of Virginia appointed Thomas Jefferson as the county lieutenant, with the rank of colonel, of the Albemarle County Militia. Colonel Jefferson was responsible for all militia affairs in the county including insuring that the Albermarle County Regiment of Militia drilled on a regular basis, that the regimental and company muster rolls were kept up, and that militia fines were collected by the sheriff. Jefferson also presided over courts-martial and councils of war. With the start of the Revolutionary War, Colonel Jefferson’s military duties increased. He reported directly to the governor in preparing the county militia for mobilization. Jefferson was also responsible for providing militia soldiers as replacements for the Virginia regiments of the Continental Army. He found the time to represent Virginia at the Continental Congress which adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, written almost entirely by Jefferson. Elected governor in 1779, Jefferson resigned his militia commission. As commander-in-chief of the Virginia militia, he mobilized the militia to reinforce the Continental Army in the Southern campaign which ended in victory at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. Jefferson later served as Minister to France, Secretary of State and Vice President. Architect, scholar, statesman and citizen-soldier, Thomas Jefferson became the third president of the United States in 1801.