Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
Thomas Jefferson $1 Coin
Well, I declare! It's already time for a dollar coin for our third president, another gentleman from Virginia. Of course, that's Thomas Jefferson, born in 1743.
After he graduated from the College of William and Mary, Mr. Jefferson read law. When Jefferson married, he and Martha made their home at Monticello, though the house wasn't quite finished yet. (For more about Monticello, see the March 2006 Coin of the Month, the Return to Monticello nickel.)
Before he became President, Jefferson wrote the first version of the Declaration of Independence. He later wrote a bill for Virginia that established religious freedom. Jefferson took over for Benjamin Franklin as minister to France. He was Secretary of State under President Washington and Vice President under John Adams.
When he became President, Jefferson cut the national budget and lowered the national debt. He also sent a naval squadron to stop the Barbary pirates from attacking American merchant ships in the Mediterranean, bought Louisiana from Napoleon, sent Lewis and Clark on their important expedition, and kept America out of the war between England and France.
He retired to Monticello, where he made plans for building the University of Virginia. He died at Monticello on the 4th of July, 1826. While Jefferson was in the White House, he had no First Lady. Click to find out who appears on the First Spouse Gold Coin for his term.
If you missed visiting our Independence Day page last month, you'll find more on Jefferson there too. And be sure to scroll down for the "Adams, Jefferson, or Both?" trivia quiz!