Jefferson was a genius and widely regarded to be the most intelligent president America ever had. He spoke 7 languages and played 5 musical instruments. Adams wanted him to write the Declaration of Independence because Jefferson had “A peculiar felicity for expression.”
Jefferson was one of the most educated men in America and he was also a great inventor. Some of his inventions included
- A ‘turning machine’ for holding clothes
- A swivel chair
- A Moldboard of Least Resistance for plowing that revolutionized farming
- A revolving book stand
- A revolving service door
- A polygraph machine
- A spherical sundial and pedestal
- A wheel cipher
- The seven-day clock calendar
- Storm windows
- The dumbwaiter elevator
- A portable copying press
He didn’t patent any of them because he wanted them to be free to use by others.
He was a lawyer and a writer well educated in history, law, philosophy, mathematics, science, architecture, and scientific farming. The languages he spoke included Greek, Latin, French, Italian and several Native American Languages.
He introduced many crops to America such as grapes, apricot trees, and olive trees.
He was the first person to raise tomatoes in North America. Before that, everyone thought they were poisonous. He also did experiments with rice and made America one of the leading producers of that crop.
He also helped design Washington D.C. and picked the sight.
His beautiful home in Monticello, Virginia was also designed by him. Most plantation owners copied the white-pillared design.
Jefferson, a skeptic of religion, also created the Jefferson Bible by getting a hold of the oldest versions of the Gospels in their original languages. He went through them all, throwing out references that did not show up in all of them. He also threw out all of the miracles (a friend had confided in him his disappointment that Christianity was not catching on too well with the Natives). Jefferson surprised him with his Jefferson Bible and told him to focus on the message of Christ, not all of the miracles said to have been performed by him. Simply put, as a skeptic, Jefferson didn’t believe in the miracles and neither did the Natives that missionaries were trying to convert. TJ did this in his spare time over the period of a few months each night before he went to bed (for over 200 years, each rookie member of Congress received a copy of the Jefferson Bible).
Normal people do not do these types of things. What I’ve told you here barely scratches the surface with Jefferson.
Jefferson considered his three greatest accomplishments to be:
–The Declaration of Independence
–The founding of the University of Virginia – the university started with books donated by TJ from his vast library, and yes, Jefferson had read nearly all of them.
–The Virginia Statute of Religious Freedoms (Separation of Church and State).
Anyone who suggests that this man was not a genius is severely misinformed. He lived on the parameters of the final time in history when a person could know most of the knowledge that it was possible to attain, and TJ knew quite a lot of it.
In fact, when President Kennedy called together a group of scientists to have dinner in the White House, he looked around, impressed by the brain power in the room. Then Kennedy remarked, out loud, to the scientists, “I’d like to welcome you all to the greatest gathering of minds to assemble here since Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”