University of Virginia Library

Search this document 

4096. JEFFERSON (Thomas), Father of.—

My father's education had been quite
neglected; but being of a strong mind, sound
judgment, and eager after information, he
read much and improved himself, insomuch
that he was chosen, with Joshua Fry, Professor
of Mathematics in William and Mary
College, to continue the boundary line between
Virginia and North Carolina, which
had been begun by Colonel Byrd; and was
afterwards employed with the same Mr. Fry,
to make the first map of Virginia which had
ever been made, that of Captain Smith being
merely a conjectured sketch. They possessed
excellent materials for so much of the country
as is below the Blue Ridge; little being then
known beyond that ridge. He was the third
or fourth, settler, about the year 1737, of
the part of the country in which I live. He
died, August 17, 1757, leaving my mother a
widow, who lived till 1776, with six daughters
and two sons, myself the elder. To my
younger brother he left his estate on James
River, called Snowdon, after the supposed
birthplace of the family; to myself the lands
on which I was born and live.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 2. Ford ed., i, 2.