There were only 24 hours in a day, then, as now.
But before he died in 1826, he:
- Finished college in less than three years.
- Studied Law and had been admitted to the bar at age 24.
- Introduced crop rotation and terracing to the U.S.
- Designed and built his own home, designed one of the nation’s leading universities and the Capitol building of his own state.
- Invented a plow, a manifold signing machine, a letter copy press, double-swinging doors, a seven-day calendar clock, and countless other gadgets.
- Originated the decimal system for U.S. money.
- Played a violin well.
- Became a serious student of natural history, Indian languages, Latin, Greek, Italian, French, German, Anglo-Saxon, mathematics, history, geography, civics, economics and philosophy.
- Served as a member of his State Legislature, Governor, Minister of France, Secretary of State, Vice President and President of the United States for two terms.
- Created the public school system in his state.
- Established the U.S. Military Academy and designed the uniforms the cadets still wear.
- Wrote the rules of parliamentary procedure under which the U.S. Senate still operates.
- Was an excellent host who enjoyed entertaining.
- Fought for a system of government that made the U.S. a democratic Republic, not one ruled by the aristocracy
- Wrote 16,000 letters to friends and colleagues all over the world.
- Designed his own gravestone and created the epitaph listing the three accomplishments, of which he was proudest: “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence; of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom; and father of the University of Virginia.”
What a lesson to people who say, in these days of labor-saving devices: ‘I just don’t have the time.
Author: William “Bill” Schock, publisher of the Falls City Journal, NE
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