Dollar is the name of more than 20 currencies, including those of Australia, Hong Kong, Liberia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. The U. S. dollar is the official currency of the Caribbean Netherlands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Zimbabwe. One dollar is divided into 100 cents. On 15 January 1520, the Kingdom of Bohemia began minting coins from silver mined locally in Joachimsthal and marked on reverse with the Bohemian lion; the coins were called joachimsthaler, which became shortened in common usage to taler. The German name "Joachimsthal" means "Joachim's valley" or "Joachim's dale"; this name found its way into other languages: Czech and Slovenian tolar, Hungarian tallér, Danish and Norwegian daler, Swedish daler, Icelandic dalur, Dutch daalder or daler, Ethiopian ታላሪ, Italian tallero, Greek τάλληρον, τάλιρο, tàlleron, tàliro, Polish talar, Persian dare, as well as – via Dutch – into English as dollar. A Dutch coin depicting a lion was called the leeuwendaler or leeuwendaalder, literally'lion daler'.
The Dutch Republic produced these coins to accommodate its booming international trade. The leeuwendaler circulated throughout the Middle East and was imitated in several German and Italian cities; this coin was popular in the Dutch East Indies and in the Dutch New Netherland Colony. It was in circulation throughout the Thirteen Colonies during the 17th and early 18th centuries and was popularly known as "lion dollar"; the currencies of Romania and Bulgaria are, to this day,'lion'. The modern American-English pronunciation of dollar is still remarkably close to the 17th century Dutch pronunciation of daler; some well-worn examples circulating in the Colonies were known as "dog dollars". Spanish pesos – having the same weight and shape – came to be known as Spanish dollars. By the mid-18th century, the lion dollar had been replaced by Spanish dollar, the famous "pieces of eight", which were distributed in the Spanish colonies in the New World and in the Philippines; the sign is first attested in business correspondence in the 1770s as a scribal abbreviation "ps", referring to the Spanish American peso, that is, the "Spanish dollar" as it was known in British North America.
These late 18th- and early 19th-century manuscripts show that the s came to be written over the p developing a close equivalent to the "$" mark, this new symbol was retained to refer to the American dollar as well, once this currency was adopted in 1785 by the United States. By the time of the American Revolution, Spanish dollars gained significance because they backed paper money authorized by the individual colonies and the Continental Congress. Common in the Thirteen Colonies, Spanish dollars were legal tender in one colony, Virginia. On April 2, 1792, U. S. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton reported to Congress the precise amount of silver found in Spanish dollar coins in common use in the states; as a result, the United States dollar was defined as a unit of pure silver weighing 371 4/16th grains, or 416 grains of standard silver. It was specified that the "money of account" of the United States should be expressed in those same "dollars" or parts thereof. Additionally, all lesser-denomination coins were defined as percentages of the dollar coin, such that a half-dollar was to contain half as much silver as a dollar, quarter-dollars would contain one-fourth as much, so on.
In an act passed in January 1837, the dollar's alloy was set at 15%. Subsequent coins would contain the same amount of pure silver as but were reduced in overall weight. On February 21, 1853, the quantity of silver in the lesser coins was reduced, with the effect that their denominations no longer represented their silver content relative to dollar coins. Various acts have subsequently been passed affecting the amount and type of metal in U. S. coins, so that today there is no legal definition of the term "dollar" to be found in U. S. statute. The closest thing to a definition is found in United States Code Title 31, Section 5116, paragraph b, subsection 2: "The Secretary shall sell silver under conditions the Secretary considers appropriate for at least $1.292929292 a fine troy ounce." However, the dollar's constitutional meaning has remained unchanged through the years. Silver was removed from U. S. coinage by 1965 and the dollar became a free-floating fiat currency without a commodity backing defined in terms of real gold or silver.
The US Mint continues to make silver $1-denomination coins, but these are not intended for general circulation. The quantity of silver chosen in 1792 to correspond to one dollar, namely, 371.25 grains of pure silver, is close to the geometric mean of one troy pound and one pennyweight. In what follows, "dollar" will be used as a unit of mass. A troy pound being 5760 grains and a pennyweight being 240 times smaller, or 24 grains, the geometric mean is, to the nearest hundredth, 371.81 grains. This means that the ratio of a pound to a dollar equals the ratio of a dollar to a pennyweight; these ratios are very close to the ratio of a gram to a grain: 15.43. In the United States, the ratio of the value of gold to the value of silver in the period from 1792 to 1873 averaged to about 15.5, being 15 from 1792 to 1834 and around 16 from 1834 to 1873. This is nearly the value of the gold to silver ratio determined by Isaac Newton in 17
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. Established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue, the Treasury prints all paper currency and mints all coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, respectively. S. government debt instruments. The Department is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, a member of the Cabinet. Senior advisor to the Secretary is the Treasurer of the United States. Signatures of both officials appear on all Federal Reserve notes; the first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, sworn into office on September 11, 1789. Hamilton was appointed by President George Washington on the recommendation of Robert Morris, Washington's first choice for the position, who had declined the appointment. Hamilton established—almost singlehandedly—the nation's early financial system and for several years was a major presence in Washington's administration.
His portrait appears on the obverse of the ten-dollar bill, while the Treasury Department building is depicted on the reverse. The current Secretary of the Treasury is Steven Mnuchin, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 13, 2017. Jovita Carranza, appointed on April 28, 2017, is the incumbent treasurer; the history of the Department of the Treasury began in the turmoil of the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress at Philadelphia deliberated the crucial issue of financing a war of independence against Great Britain. The Congress had no power to levy and collect taxes, nor was there a tangible basis for securing funds from foreign investors or governments; the delegates resolved to issue paper money in the form of bills of credit, promising redemption in coin on faith in the revolutionary cause. On June 22, 1775—only a few days after the Battle of Bunker Hill—Congress issued $2 million in bills. On July 29, 1775, the Second Continental Congress assigned the responsibility for the administration of the revolutionary government's finances to joint Continental treasurers George Clymer and Michael Hillegas.
The Congress stipulated. To ensure proper and efficient handling of the growing national debt in the face of weak economic and political ties between the colonies, the Congress, on February 17, 1776, designated a committee of five to superintend the Treasury, settle accounts, report periodically to the Congress. On April 1, a Treasury Office of Accounts, consisting of an Auditor General and clerks, was established to facilitate the settlement of claims and to keep the public accounts for the government of the United Colonies. With the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the newborn republic as a sovereign nation was able to secure loans from abroad. Despite the infusion of foreign and domestic loans, the united colonies were unable to establish a well-organized agency for financial administration. Michael Hillegas was first called Treasurer of the United States on May 14, 1777; the Treasury Office was reorganized three times between 1778 and 1781. The $241.5 million in paper Continental bills devalued rapidly.
By May 1781, the dollar collapsed at a rate of from 500 to 1000 to 1 against hard currency. Protests against the worthless money swept the colonies, giving rise to the expression "not worth a Continental". Robert Morris was designated Superintendent of Finance in 1781 and restored stability to the nation's finances. Morris, a wealthy colonial merchant, was nicknamed "the Financier" because of his reputation for procuring funds or goods on a moment's notice, his staff included a comptroller, a treasurer, a register, auditors, who managed the country's finances through 1784, when Morris resigned because of ill health. The treasury board, consisting of three commissioners, continued to oversee the finances of the confederation of former colonies until September 1789; the First Congress of the United States was called to convene in New York on March 4, 1789, marking the beginning of government under the Constitution. On September 2, 1789, Congress created a permanent institution for the management of government finances:Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be a Department of Treasury, in which shall be the following officers, namely: a Secretary of the Treasury, to be deemed head of the department.
Alexander Hamilton took the oath of office as the first Secretary of the Treasury on September 11, 1789. Hamilton had served as George Washington's aide-de-camp during the Revolution and was of great importance in the ratification of the Constitution; because of his financial and managerial acumen, Hamilton was a logical choice for solving the problem of the new nation's heavy war debt. Hamilton's first official act was to submit a report to Congress in which he laid the foundation for the nation's financial health. To the surprise of many legislators, he insisted upon federal assumption and dollar-for-dollar repayment of the country's $75 million debt in order to revitalize the public credit: "he debt of the United States was the price of liberty; the faith of America has been pledged for it, with solemnities that give peculiar force to the obligation." Hami
Charles Thomson was an Irish-born Patriot leader in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and the secretary of the Continental Congress throughout its existence. Thomson was born in Gorteade townland, Maghera parish, County Londonderry, Ireland, to Scots-Irish parents. After the death of his mother in 1739, his father, John Thomson, emigrated to the British colonies in America with Charles and two or three brothers. John Thomson died at sea, his possessions stolen, the penniless boys were separated on arrival at New Castle, Delaware. Charles was first cared for by a blacksmith in New Castle and was educated in New London, Pennsylvania. In 1750 he became a tutor in Latin at the Philadelphia Academy. During the French and Indian War, Thomson was an opponent of the Pennsylvania proprietors' American Indian policies, he served as secretary at the Treaty of Easton, wrote An Enquiry into the Causes of the Alienation of the Delaware and Shawanese Indians from the British Interest, which blamed the war on the proprietors.
He was allied with Benjamin Franklin, the leader of the anti-proprietary party, but the two men parted politically during the Stamp Act crisis in 1765. Thomson became a leader of Philadelphia's Sons of Liberty, he was married to the sister of Benjamin Harrison V, another signer, as delegate, of the Declaration of Independence. Thomson was a leader in the revolutionary crisis of the early 1770s. John Adams called him the "Samuel Adams of Philadelphia". Thomson served as the secretary of the Continental Congress through its entirety. Through those 15 years, the Congress saw many delegates come and go, but Thomson's dedication to recording the debates and decisions provided continuity. Along with John Hancock, president of the Congress, Thomson's name appeared on the first published version of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776. Thomson's role as secretary to Congress was not limited to clerical duties. According to biographer Boyd Schlenther, Thomson "took a direct role in the conduct of foreign affairs."
Fred S. Rolater has suggested that Charles Thomson was the "Prime Minister of the United States". Thomson is noted for designing, with William Barton, the Great Seal of the United States; the Great Seal played a prominent role in the January 1784, ratification of the Treaty of Paris. Britain's representatives in Paris disputed the placement of the Great Seal and Congressional President Thomas Mifflin's signature, until mollified by Benjamin Franklin, but Thomson's service was not without its critics. James Searle, a close friend of John Adams, a delegate, began a cane fight on the floor of Congress against Thomson over a claim that he was misquoted in the "Minutes" that resulted in both men being slashed in the face; such brawls on the floor were not uncommon, many of them were promoted by argument over Thomson's recordings. Political disagreements prevented Thomson from getting a position in the new government created by the United States Constitution. Thomson resigned as secretary of Congress in July 1789 and handed over the Great Seal, bringing an end to the Continental Congress.
He spent his final years at Harriton House in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania working on a translation of the Bible. He published a synopsis of the four evangelists in 1815. In retirement, Thomson pursued his interests in agricultural science and beekeeping; as Secretary of Congress, Thomson chose what to include in the official journals of the Continental Congress. He prepared a work of over 1000 pages that covered the political history of the American Revolution. After leaving office, he chose to destroy this work, stating his desire to avoid "contradict all the histories of the great events of the Revolution. Let the world admire the supposed wisdom and valor of our great men, they may adopt the qualities that have been ascribed to them, thus good may be done. I shall not undeceive future generations."According to Thomas Jefferson, writing to John Adams, Thomson became senile in his old age, unable to recognize members of his own household. "Is this life?" Jefferson asked. "It is at most but the life of a cabbage.
In 1853 JW Randolph and Company republished the work incorporating various materials from the Estate provided by Jefferson's literary executor Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The new publication corrected some errors in the original Stockdale publication, including an error in the original publication which Jefferson made note of in a 1785 missive to Thomson: "... Pray ask the favor of Colo Monroe in page 5, line 17, to strike out the words'above the mouth of the Appomattox,' which makes none sense of the passage...". The Historical Printing Society publication removes Thomson's notes from the appendix and instead offers them in footnote form throughout the work according to the original plates to which they refer, he was portrayed in the 1972 film 1776 by Ralston Hill. Thomson is depicted on the seven-cent postal card, Scott Nos. UX68 and UY 25, issued in 1975. Thomson was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1813. Continental Congress Founding Fathers of the United States Thomson's Bible Jane Aitken Schlenther, Boyd Stanley.
"Thomson, Charles". American National Biography Online, February 2000. Charles Thomson at the Database of Classical Scholars The life of Charles Thomson
A pattern coin is a coin which has not been approved for release, produced to evaluate a proposed coin design. They are off-metal strike, to proof standard or piedforts. Many Coin collectors study pattern coins because of their historical importance. Many of the world's most valuable coins are pattern coins; the first English coin that can be identified with certainty is a groat worth fourpence. This piece, an example of, illustrated and sold in the Dodsley Cuff sale of the mid-19th century, had crowns in place of the usual three pellets in each quarter of the reverse. Patterns are identifiable and exist in larger numbers from the reign of Elizabeth I onwards; the experimental base metal issues of all coinage prior to the mid-18th century have been well preserved. Boulton's mint in Soho produced large quantities of patterns, which were supplemented by Taylor some fifty or so years from the same dies. After the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, discussion arose over what sort of currency should be adopted in the United States.
At the time, people in North America relied upon a mixture of foreign coins, none of which were struck to a consistent standard, making day to day financial transactions difficult. In 1783, Congress resolved to create a mint, tasking Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris with developing a plan for a system of coinage; the first coins struck by the United States – the Nova Constellatio patterns – were made to illustrate this plan. In 1792 the United States Mint opened in Philadelphia. In that year several more patterns were created, including the half dime known as a "half disme", it is believed that c. 1,500 pieces were struck as patterns, that these patterns themselves entered circulation during the next decade. Over the next 40 years, more patterns were created but there is little information known about these pieces. Technically, these coins were not patterns but rather off-metal strikes, with the coins struck in a different metal than those destined for general use in circulation. An example is an 1807 Half Eagle.
Starting in 1836, more patterns were created by the United States Mint in Philadelphia. These consisted of several types of patterns: Real pattern coins for proposed coinage Off-metal strikes Transitional pieces Fantasy piecesOne example of a pattern coin for proposed coinage is the half-union, a gold pattern coin with a face value of 50 U. S. dollars, minted in 1877 and weighed 2.5 ounces. The U. S. Mint deemed the idea of a 2.5-ounce gold coin infeasible, only two were minted. Transitional pieces are patterns dated before coins with the new design went into circulation; these were produced during final stage of the pattern process, used to present the newly adopted design to the public. One famous example is the 1856 Flying Eagle cent, although that coin has been and incorrectly believed to be regular issue due to its high mintage for collectors. Fantasy pieces include many struck in the 1860s and 1870s as patterns and sold to numismatists for the sole purpose of raising cash for the mint; this practice ended in the 1880s, when the U.
S. Mint enforced regulations to prevent the sale of pattern coins; the U. S. Mint experiments with new coinage such as when silver was removed from coin designs; the Mint began using dies with Martha Washington for trial strikings, since they would not be confused with real circulating money since they do not resemble money. Thus, no restrictions exist on the sale of Martha Washington pieces. Mint-produced modern patterns are rare, with only a few pieces existing in private collections; the United States mint has placed restrictions on the sale of modern patterns that do resemble coins, such as the 1974 aluminum cent. One of the most expansive collections of American pattern coins is the Harry W. Bass, Jr. collection housed at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Pattern coins of France and of French-speaking countries such as Monaco are described by the French term essai; the essai coins of New Hebrides are of interest to collectors of British Commonwealth coinage, as New Hebrides gained independence in 1980 as the Republic of Vanuatu.
The word essai is found inscribed on the pattern coins of Namibia along with the German word Probe. Specimen banknote Specimen stamp Colombian Patterns by Guillermo Granados
Robert Morris (financier)
Robert Morris, Jr. was an English-born merchant and a Founding Father of the United States. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, the Second Continental Congress, the United States Senate, he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the United States Constitution. From 1781 to 1784, he served as the Superintendent of Finance of the United States, becoming known as the "Financier of the Revolution." Along with Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin, he is regarded as one of the founders of the financial system of the United States. Born in Liverpool, Morris migrated to the United States in his teens becoming a partner in a successful shipping firm based in Philadelphia. In the aftermath of the French and Indian War, Morris joined with other merchants in opposing British tax policies such as the 1765 Stamp Act. After the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, he helped procure arms and ammunition for the revolutionary cause, in late 1775 he was chosen as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress.
As a member of Congress, he served on the Secret Committee of Trade, which handled the procurement of supplies, the Committee of Correspondence, which handled foreign affairs, the Marine Committee, which oversaw the Continental Navy. Morris was a leading member of Congress until he resigned in 1778. Out of office, Morris refocused on his merchant career and won election to the Pennsylvania Assembly, where he became a leader of the "Republican" faction that sought alterations to the Pennsylvania Constitution. Facing a difficult financial situation in the ongoing Revolutionary War, in 1781 Congress established the position of Superintendent of Finance to oversee financial matters. Morris accepted appointment as Superintendent of Finance and served as Agent of Marine, from which he controlled the Continental Navy, he helped provide supplies to the Continental Army under General George Washington, enabling Washington's decisive victory in the Battle of Yorktown. Morris reformed government contracting and established the Bank of North America, the first bank to operate in the United States.
Morris believed that the national government would be unable to achieve financial stability without the power to levy taxes and tariffs, but he was unable to convince all thirteen states to agree to an amendment to the Articles of Confederation. Frustrated by the weakness of the national government, Morris resigned as Superintendent of Finance in 1784. In 1787, Morris was selected as a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention, which wrote and proposed a new constitution for the United States. Morris spoke during the convention, but the constitution produced by the convention reflected many of his ideas. Morris and his allies helped ensure that Pennsylvania ratified the new constitution, the document was ratified by the requisite number of states by the end of 1788; the Pennsylvania legislature subsequently elected Morris as one of its two inaugural representatives in the United States Senate. Morris declined Washington's offer to serve as the nation's first Treasury Secretary, instead suggesting Alexander Hamilton for the position.
In the Senate, Morris aligned with the Federalist Party. During and after his service in the Senate, Morris went into debt speculating on land. Unable to pay his creditors, he was confined in debtors' prison from 1798 to 1801. After being released from prison, he lived a quiet, private life in a modest home in Philadelphia until his death in 1806. Morris was born in Liverpool, England, on January 20, 1734, his parents were Robert Morris, Sr. a factor for a shipping firm, Elizabeth Murphet. Until he reached the age of thirteen, Morris was raised by his maternal grandmother in England. In 1747, Morris immigrated to Oxford, where his father had prospered in the tobacco trade. Two years Morris's father sent him to Philadelphia the most populous city in British North America, where Morris would live under the care of his father's friend, Charles Greenway. Greenway arranged for Morris to become an apprentice at the shipping and banking firm of Philadelphia merchant Charles Willing. In 1750, Robert Morris, Sr. died from an infected wound, leaving much of his substantial estate to his son.
Morris rose from a teenage trainee to become a key agent in Willing's firm. Morris traveled to Caribbean ports to expand the firm's business, he gained a knowledge of trading and the various currencies used to exchange goods, he befriended Thomas Willing, the oldest son of Charles Willing, two years older than Morris and who, like Morris, had split his life between England and British North America. Charles Willing died in 1754, in 1757 Thomas made Morris a full partner in the newly-renamed firm of Willing Morris & Company. Morris's shipping firm was just one of many such firms operating in Philadelphia, but Willing Morris & Company pursued several innovative strategies; the firm pooled with other shipping firms to insure vessels, aggressively expanded trade with India, underwrote government projects through bonds and promissory notes. Ships of the firm traded with India, the Levant, the West Indies, Spanish Cuba and Italy; the firm's business of import and general agency made it one of the most prosperous in Pennsylvania.
In 1784, with other investors, underwrote the voyage of the ship Empress of China, the first American vessel to visit the Chinese mainland. Morris's partnership with Willing was forged just after the beginning of the Seven Years' War hindered attracting the usual supply of new indentured servants to the colony. Pot
Gouverneur Morris I was an American statesman, a Founding Father of the United States, a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. He wrote the Preamble to the United States Constitution and has been called the "Penman of the Constitution." In an era when most Americans thought of themselves as citizens of their respective states, Morris advanced the idea of being a citizen of a single union of states. He represented New York in the United States Senate from 1800 to 1803. Morris was born into a wealthy landowning family in New York City. After attending Columbia College, he studied law under Judge William Smith and earned admission to the bar, he was elected to the New York Provincial Congress before serving in the Continental Congress. After losing re-election to Congress, he moved to Philadelphia and became the assistant superintendent of finance of the United States, he represented Pennsylvania at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, where he advocated a strong central government.
He served on the committee. After the ratification of the Constitution, Morris served as Minister Plenipotentiary to France, he criticized the execution of Marie Antoinette. Morris returned to the United States in 1798 and won election to the Senate in 1800, affiliating with the Federalist Party, he lost re-election in 1803. After leaving the Senate, he served as chairman of the Erie Canal Commission. Morris was born in New York City on January 30, 1752, the son of Lewis Morris, Jr. and his second wife, Sarah Gouverneur. Morris' first name derived from his mother's surname. According to Abigail Adams, Morris' first name was pronounced "governeer". Morris' half-brother Lewis Morris was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Another half-brother, Staats Long Morris, was a loyalist and major-general in the British army during the American Revolution, his nephew, Lewis Richard Morris, served in the Vermont legislature and in the United States Congress. His grandnephew was William M. Meredith, United States Secretary of the Treasury under 12th U.
S. President Zachary Taylor. Morris' father, Lewis Morris, was a wealthy landowner and judge, thus allowing Morris, a gifted scholar, to enroll at King's College, now Columbia University in New York City, at age 12, he graduated in 1768 and received a Master's degree in 1771. He studied law with Judge William Smith and attained admission to the bar in 1775. On May 8, 1775, Morris was elected to represent his family household in southern Westchester County, in the New York Provincial Congress; as a member of the congress, he, along with most of his fellow delegates, concentrated on turning the colony into an independent state. However, his advocacy of independence brought him into conflict with his family, as well as with his mentor, William Smith, who had abandoned the patriot cause when it pressed toward independence. Morris was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1777–78. After the Battle of Long Island in August 1776, the British seized New York City, his mother, a loyalist, gave his family's estate, located across the Harlem River from Manhattan, to the British for military use.
Morris was appointed as a delegate to the Continental Congress and took his seat in Congress on 28 January 1778. He was selected to a committee in charge of coordinating reforms of the military with George Washington. After witnessing the army encamped at Valley Forge, he was so appalled by the conditions of the troops that he became the spokesman for the Continental Army in congress and subsequently helped enact substantial reforms in its training and financing, he signed the Articles of Confederation in 1778. In 1778, when the Conway Cabal was at its peak, some members of the Continental Congress attempted a no-confidence vote against George Washington. If it had succeeded George Washington would have been court-martialed and dismissed as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. At that time, Gouverneur Morris cast the decisive tie-breaking vote in favor of keeping George Washington as Commander-in-Chief. In 1779, he was defeated for re-election to Congress because his advocacy of a strong central government was at odds with the decentralist views prevalent in New York.
Defeated in his home state, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to work as a lawyer and merchant. In 1780, Morris had a carriage accident in Philadelphia, his left leg was amputated below the knee. Despite an automatic exemption from military duty because of his handicap and his service in the legislature, he joined a special "briefs" club for the protection of New York City, a forerunner of the modern New York Guard. In Philadelphia, he was appointed assistant superintendent of finance of the United States, serving under Robert Morris, he was selected as a Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. During the Convention, he was a friend and ally of George Washington and others who favored a strong central government. Morris was elected to serve on a committee of five who drafted the final language of the proposed constitution. Catherine Drinker Bowen, in Miracle at Philadelphia, called Morris the committee's "amanuensis," meaning that it was his pen, responsible for most of the draft, as well as its final polished form.
It is said by some that Morris was "an aristocrat to the core," who believed that "there never was, nor will be a civilized Society without an Aristocracy". It is alleged that he thought that common people were incapable of self-government because he feared that the poor would sell their vo
Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, lawyer and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He had served as the second vice president of the United States from 1797 to 1801; the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation. Jefferson was of English ancestry and educated in colonial Virginia, he graduated from the College of William & Mary and practiced law, with the largest number of his cases concerning land ownership claims. During the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration, drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator, served as the 2nd Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781, during the American Revolutionary War, he became the United States Minister to France in May 1785, subsequently the nation's first secretary of state under President George Washington from 1790 to 1793.
Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. With Madison, he anonymously wrote the controversial Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799, which sought to strengthen states' rights by nullifying the federal Alien and Sedition Acts; as president, Jefferson pursued the nation's shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. He organized the Louisiana Purchase doubling the country's territory; as a result of peace negotiations with France, his administration reduced military forces. He was reelected in 1804. Jefferson's second term was beset with difficulties at home, including the trial of former vice president Aaron Burr. American foreign trade was diminished when Jefferson implemented the Embargo Act of 1807, responding to British threats to U. S. shipping. In 1803, Jefferson began a controversial process of Indian tribe removal to the newly organized Louisiana Territory, he signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves in 1807.
Jefferson, while a planter and politician, mastered many disciplines, which ranged from surveying and mathematics to horticulture and mechanics. He was an architect in the classical tradition. Jefferson's keen interest in religion and philosophy led to his presidency of the American Philosophical Society. A philologist, Jefferson knew several languages, he corresponded with many prominent people. His only full-length book is Notes on the State of Virginia, considered the most important American book published before 1800. After retiring from public office, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Although regarded as a leading spokesman for democracy and republicanism in the era of the Enlightenment, Jefferson's historical legacy is mixed; some modern scholarship has been critical of Jefferson's private life, pointing out the contradiction between his ownership of the large numbers of slaves that worked his plantations and his famous declaration that "all men are created equal." Another point of controversy stems from the evidence that after his wife Martha died in 1782, Jefferson fathered children with Martha's half-sister, Sally Hemings, his slave.
Despite this, presidential scholars and historians praise his public achievements, including his advocacy of religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia. Jefferson continues to rank among U. S. presidents. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at the family home in Shadwell in the Colony of Virginia, the third of ten children, he was of English, Welsh and was born a British subject. His father Peter Jefferson was a surveyor who died when Jefferson was fourteen. Peter Jefferson moved his family to Tuckahoe Plantation in 1745 upon the death of William Randolph, the plantation's owner and Jefferson's friend, who in his will had named him guardian of his children; the Jeffersons returned to Shadwell in 1752, where Peter died in 1757. Thomas inherited 5,000 acres of land, including Monticello, he assumed full authority over his property at age 21. Jefferson began his childhood education beside the Randolph children with tutors at Tuckahoe. Thomas' father, was self-taught, regretting not having a formal education, he entered Thomas into an English school early, at age five.
In 1752, at age nine, he began attending a local school run by a Scottish Presbyterian minister and began studying the natural world, for which he grew to love. At this time he began studying Latin and French, while learning to ride horses. Thomas read books from his father's modest library, he was taught from 1758 to 1760 by Reverend James Maury near Gordonsville, where he studied history and the classics while boarding with Maury's family. During this period Jefferson came to know and befriended various American Indians, including the famous Cherokee chief, who stopped at Shadwell to visit, on their way to Williamsburg to trade. During the two years Jefferson was with the Maury family, he traveled to Williamsburg and was a guest of Colonel Dandridge, father of Martha Washington. In Williamsburg the young Jefferson met and came to admire Patrick Henry, eight ye