Thomas Jefferson An American Hero
Whether it’s Superman, Batman, or Spiderman, almost every child has a fantasy of becoming a super hero. They want to leap tall buildings in a single bound, fly around the world, or miraculously escape death. However, these kinds of heroes are just modern heroes bought up by the imagination of the artist. They do not exist in the real world and are therefore just an idea. Although the comic book heroes are much more popular than classic American heroes, the comic book hero is rooted from these same literary works which once amazed people in the past. A hero can be almost anything or anyone, as long as they are looked up to by someone. Even villains can be heroes as long as there is someone that admires them. Parents, the company boss, or even a friend can be a hero. One example of a classic America hero is Thomas Jefferson. While Thomas Jefferson could not fly, nor could he leap tall buildings, he possesses the same attributes as modern day comic book heroes. The characteristics of an American hero are in Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson was born and raised on a farm called Shadwell on April 13, 1743. Many cannot deny Thomas Jefferson is an American hero. Is Jefferson an American hero? At the age of nine, Jefferson began studying the classical languages of Latin, Greek, and French. This is remarkable for a child at such a young age to be learning three different languages. Not only did he study different languages at a very young age, but he was also very successful in his life. He was a mathematician, plantation owner, etymologist, horticulturist, architect, agriculturalist, archaeologist, paleontologist, violinist, cryptographer, inventor, surveyor, author, lawyer, the founder of the University of Virginia and with all of these talents and skills is also the author of The Declaration of Independence. Many people would believe this to be an accomplishment and many would want to have this many skills and talents. With this many talents, Jefferson was also a very bright and brilliant man. He could be considered one of the most brilliant men ever to be a president. President John F. Kennedy invited forty-nine Nobel Prize winners of the Western Hemisphere to the White House in 1962, saying, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”(Kennedy) Having President John F. Kennedy say this means something truly magnificent. He is saying that Jefferson could be as smart or has a collection of talent that can be compared to forty-nine Nobel Prize winners. Not only is this statement so direct and saying a lot for Thomas Jefferson but it means Kennedy looks up to Jefferson as an American hero. Kennedy sees Jefferson as a figure of great pride and talents. If a President sees Jefferson as an American hero, many others would feel the same.
Jefferson was always a very keen student. He demonstrated an eager curiosity in many fields and frequently studied fifteen hours a day. His closest college friend, John Page of Rosewell, reported that Jefferson “could tear himself away from his dearest friends, to fly to his studies.” Jefferson practiced law and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1774, he wrote A Summary View of the Rights of British America, which was an instruction for the Virginia delegates to a national congress. The pamphlet was a powerful argument of American terms for a settlement with Britain. It helped speed the way to independence, and also marked Jefferson as one of the most attentive patriot spokesmen. This was one of the many writings of arguments that Jefferson composed. This can be arguably the pamphlet that led to the writing of The Declaration of Independence.
He wrote the Declaration of Independence, the base of our freedom form England. This document is one of the most influential documents in history. The way that Jefferson structured The Declaration of Independence made the article extremely influential. The way he puts an argument into magnificent writing onto paper gives writers the desire to write and persuade others with their own ideas. He accuses the King of doing many wrongful things. He is one of the people who are responsible for our freedom we enjoy today. Someone giving us freedom from the grasp of the king of England cannot be doubted an American hero. How could a man who wrote “all men are created equal” (Jefferson 391-395) not be an American Hero? He gives us light and courage to stand up to the people who treat us unfairly. In The Declaration of Independence, Jefferson says, “We hold these truths to be self evident:… that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and unalienable rights; that amount these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the three most important basis of freedom. Without this statement we the people of America would not have an American Dream. To achieve the American Dream, one must have the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American Dream is what any American would want to have. It is a goal in life and we would not be able to achieve it without the writings of Thomas Jefferson.
Not only is Thomas Jefferson remembered by his writings and his intelligence, but also his time spent trying to free the slaves in the past. Being a slave owner himself, he helped many slaves or helped with the start of the revolution of America. Slaves was what almost every white man would have because slave labor, during that time, was the only readily available source of cheap and controllable labor for raising tobacco and cotton on the huge plantations of Virginia and the Deep South, and these were the principal commercial products of the region. However, even though he was a slaveholder, many admires of Jefferson have often stressed that although he was a slave master, he was a kind and generous one. Jefferson also helped the slaves in many other ways. He drawn up a bill to permit an owner to free a slave at will, without government consent, as a new member of the Virginia legislature in 1769. (Halliday 141) However the bill was quickly defeated, but he was not discouraged to continue to help the slaves. He kept the promise and in 1770,
Thomas Jefferson helped a mulatto youth sue for his freedom on the grounds of his descent from a white woman. Going out on what the judge saw as a very fragile limb, Jefferson argued that “under the law of nature, all men are born free, and every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will” (Halliday 141)
This case was again dismissed. The bill, however, was obviously challenging the whole Virginia system and maybe the many beginnings that led to the freedom of slaves and the equality of African Americans. This and the other bills were obviously helping the slaves or African Americans. Therefore Thomas Jefferson is an American hero in the minds of many African Americans because of these two bills Thomas Jefferson wrote and pursued to help the slaves.
Not only Thomas Jefferson is the American hero in the minds of many people, he is also an icon, a symbol of freedom. He gave this wonderful and great country the freedom we enjoyed everyday of our lives. The Declaration of Independence protect our rights and freedom as Americans. Thomas Jefferson being an American hero is definitely controversy discussed topic and we as Americans must realize the many things Jefferson had to done in order for use to take pleasure in the freedom this country has. On Jefferson’s gravestone has the words “here was buried Thomas Jefferson author of the declaration of American independence of the statute of Virginia for religious freedom and father of the University of Virginia” inscribed. He will always be an American hero in many minds because of his writings, his fights for religious freedoms and his help for the many slaves in the past.