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teachers' guide: jefferson's blood

Student Activities

Activity I: Jefferson's Life & Times

Learning Objective:
Using the film, students will complete a timeline of Jefferson's private life and make observations on the events in his private life and his public life.

Provided below is a timeline of the public and private life of Jefferson, as well as significant events in American history. Give students a copy of the incomplete timeline, also provided below. As they watch the film, they will complete the "Private Life" column. Use the completed timeline to initiate a class discussion on Jefferson's life. Direct discussion toward the sequence of events in Jefferson's public and private lives.

DateAgePrivate LifePublic LifeAmerica
1743 Born to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randall.
1754 11 French and Indian War begins. The war results in France's loss of all territory in Canada and U.S. between Alleghenies and Mississippi River.
1757 14 Father dies suddenly.
1759 16 Begins studies at College of William & Mary, accompanied by his slave, Jupiter.
1765 22 British impose Stamp Act.
1767 24 Townshend Acts are passed.
1769 26 Elected to Virginia House of Burgesses, where he serves until 1774.
1770 27 Moves to a hilltop outside Charlottesville; he names the area Monticello and starts designing his house.
1772 29 Marries Martha Wayles. Daughter Martha born. Later in the year Martha's father dies, leaving the family land and 130 slaves. Jefferson sells some of the land but keeps the slaves, including Betty Hemings and her children Sam and Sally.
1773 30 Boston Tea Party.
1775 32 Serves as a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he befriends John Adams. Battle of Lexington and Concord.
1776 33 Writes the Declaration of Independence. Elected to Virginia Legislature.
1777 34 Articles of Confederation are approved by Continental Congress.
1779 36 Elected Governor of Virginia.
1781 38 British surrender at Yorktown.
1782 39 Wife Martha dies.
1783 40 Treaty of Paris.
1784 41 Leaves for Paris to serve as Minister.
1786 43 Shay's Rebellion occurs in Massachusetts.
1787 44 Jefferson's daughter arrives in Paris with her guardian, Sally Hemings, age 14. U.S. Constitution is drafted in Philadelphia.
1789 46 Returns to America. Constitution is ratified by 11 of 13 states.
1790 47 Appointed Secretary of State.
1791 48 Bill of Rights is ratified.
1794 51 Returns to Monticello. Whiskey Rebellion.
1797 54 Loses presidential election to Adams. Serves as vice-president. Becomes increasingly anti-federalist.
1798 55 William Beverly Hemings born.
1801 58 Elected President.
1801 58 Harriet Hemings born.
1803 60 Sends Lewis and Clark to explore the American west. Makes the Louisiana Purchase. In Marbury vs. Madison Supreme Court rules a law passed by Congress unconstitutional.
1805 62 James Madison Hemings born.
1807 64 Robert Fulton introduces first steamboat.
1808 65 Thomas Eston Hemings born.
1809 66 James Madison succeeds him as President. Retires to Monticello.
1812 69 War of 1812 begins, lasting until 1815.
1821 78 Missouri Compromise is passed.
1822 79 Frees his slave children, Harriet and William Beverly.
1823 80 Monroe Doctrine.
1826 83 Dies at Monticello. As decreed in his will, James Madison and Thomas Eston are freed from slavery.

DateAgePrivate LifePublic LifeAmerica
1743 Born to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randall.
1754 11 French and Indian War begins. The war results in France's loss of all territory in Canada and U.S. between Alleghenies and Mississippi River.
1757 14
1759 16
1765 22 British impose Stamp Act.
1767 24 Townshend Acts are passed.
1769 26 Elected to Virginia House of Burgesses, where he serves until 1774.
1770 27
1772 29
1773 30 Boston Tea Party.
1775 32 Serves as a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he befriends John Adams. Battle of Lexington and Concord.
1776 33 Writes the Declaration of Independence. Elected to Virginia Legislature.
1777 34 Articles of Confederation are approved by Continental Congress.
1779 36 Elected Governor of Virginia.
1781 38 British surrender at Yorktown.
1782 39
1783 40 Treaty of Paris.
1784 41 Leaves for Paris to serve as Minister.
1786 43 Shay's Rebellion occurs in Massachusetts.
1787 44 U.S. Constitution is drafted in Philadelphia.
1789 46 Returns to America. Constitution is ratified by 11 of 13 states.
1790 47 Appointed Secretary of State.
1791 48 Bill of Rights is ratified.
1794 51 Whiskey Rebellion.
1797 54 Loses presidential election to Adams. Serves as vice-president. Becomes increasingly anti-federalist.
1798 55
1801 58 Elected President.
1801 58
1803 60 Sends Lewis and Clark to explore the American west. Makes the Louisiana Purchase. In Marbury vs. Madison Supreme Court rules a law passed by Congress unconstitutional.
1805 62
1807 64 Robert Fulton introduces first steamboat.
1808 65
1809 66 James Madison succeeds him as President. Retires to Monticello.
1812 69 War of 1812 begins, lasting until 1815.
1821 78 Missouri Compromise is passed.
1822 79
1823 80 Monroe Doctrine.
1826 83

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