Adams was the second President of the United States, serving from
1797-1801. He had previously served as a foreign minister to Britain
and as vice president under George Washington from 1789-1797.
He was the last of the Federalist presidents, and suffered from
a difficult tenure in office, plagued by the XYZ Affair and the
ensuing controversy over the Alien and Sedition Acts. Toward the
close of his life, he maintained a lengthy correspondence with
Jefferson despite previous political differences.
John Quincy Adams
- John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the
United States, serving from 1825-1829. Son to John Adams and Abigail
Adams, he was a longstanding Congressman from Massachusetts and
later Secretary of State under James Monroe. After stepping down
from executive office upon his defeat at the hands of Andrew Jackson
in the 1828 presidential election, Adams returned for a second
tenure in the legislative branch, serving from 1831 until his death
Adams was the great-grandson of John Adams, the grandson of John Quincy
Adams, and the son of Charles Francis Adams, who served as United States
Ambassador to Britain during the Civil War. A historian of the
highest repute, Adams' main project was a nine volume history of
the United States in the period from 1800-1817, which covered the
Presidential administrations of Jefferson and James Madison.
- Marie-Antoinette, wife of the fated French monarch,
Louis XVI, was known for her opposition to reforms in favor of
the lower classes. In the mayhem caused by the French Revolution
and the ensuing Reign of Terror, she was executed by guillotine
ten months after her deposed husband, on October 16, 1793.
- Benedict Arnold was a leading general for the American
cause during the early stages of the Revolutionary War. After
marrying a woman from a loyalist family, he switched allegiances,
and fought on behalf of the British for the remainder of the war.
Arnold spent the final twenty years of his life ailing and in disgrace
- Napoleon Bonaparte was a prominent French general
during the late eighteenth century who rose to power after a coup
d'etat in 1799. In the ensuing decade, Napoleon launched an ambitious
offensive with the goal of European, and ultimately world, domination.
He nearly succeeded in bringing the European continent to its
knees, but his hold gradually began to loosen as his grasp continued
to expand. Ultimately, he was deposed and imprisoned, only to return
in a second, desperate attempt for power in 1815. Ultimately,
after one hundred days of struggle, Bonaparte was defeated at the
Battle of Waterloo in present- day Belgium. Napoleon spent the
last several years of his life imprisoned on the island of St.
Helena, off the coast of West Africa, where he died in 1821. (See the SparkNote
on Napoleon Bonaparte)
Baron de Botetourt
- Baron de Botetourt was royal governor of the Commonwealth
of Virginia, presiding over the House of Burgesses from 1768-1770.
- Rebecca Burwell was an early love of Jefferson's,
whom he met while a student at the College of William and Mary.
When she spurned him for a younger rival, he was left despondent.
- Aaron Burr was a powerful Democratic-Republican politician
from New York who served as Vice President under Jefferson from
1801-1805. After assassinating Alexander Hamilton in a duel, Burr
fled south, where he conspired in an elaborate secessionist plot
in the Louisiana Territory. Eventually, Jefferson caught wind
of the plot and brought Burr to trial for treason. Burr was later cleared
of all charges by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, and
fled to Europe, returning shortly thereafter to live out the rest
of his life in obscurity as a provincial New York State attorney.
John C. Calhoun
- John C. Calhoun, a longtime Congressman from South
Carolina, was a staunch advocate of states rights through nullification
as outlined by Jefferson in the Kentucky Resolutions. After serving
as vice president under Andrew Jackson, Calhoun returned to legislative
office, where he continued to fight for southern interests against
the increasing encroachment of the federal government.
James Thompson Callender
- James Thompson Callender was a muckraking journalist
who impugned the character of John Adams during the presidential
election campaign of 1800, and was summarily imprisoned under the
terms of the Sedition Act. After being spurned for a desired appointment
by Jefferson, Callender propagated rumors of Jefferson's affair
with Sally Hemings in the national press.
King Carlos IV
Carlos IV of Spain reigned weakly as monarch from 1788-1808, when he
was deposed by Joseph Bonaparte, brother to French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
the SparkNote on Napoleon Bonaparte). Carlos IV spent
the brief remainder of his life in exile.
Carr was a member of the House of Burgesses and a childhood friend
of Jefferson's. He later married Jefferson's sister Martha. After
Carr's premature death at the age of thirty, Jefferson assumed
the care of his six children.
was a noted Roman citizen of the fifth century B.C.E. who twice
abandoned the administration of his farm to take power of the republic
during times of political turmoil. In both instances, he relinquished
his power once the crisis had been resolved.
- William Claiborne was named by Jefferson as the first
governor of the Louisiana Territory. He was above suspicion but
also largely oblivious with regard to Aaron Burr's secessionist
plot. Later Claiborne was elected senator from Louisiana, but
died before taking office.
- William Clark was the Clark part of Lewis and Clark,
the two men who made an extensive exploration of the Louisiana
Territory under the guidance of Sacajawea and the somewhat underhanded
encouragement of Jefferson in the aftermath of the Louisiana Purchase.
Clay was a prominent Whig senator from Kentucky who ran unsuccessfully
for President on three occasions. He was a supporter of internal improvements
per his American System, and is well known as "the Great Compromiser"
for his role in the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850.
Clinton was governor of New York state in the early nineteenth century,
and assumed Aaron Burr's place as Vice President on the Democratic-Republican
ticket in the election of 1804. He served as Vice President under Jefferson
from 1805-1809, and later under James Madison from 1809-1812, after standing
against Madison in the election of 1808.
- Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who
made several voyages to the Western Hemisphere under the auspices
of the Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in the
late fifteenth century. Contrary to popular belief, Columbus never
reached the American continent, instead arriving only in various
Caribbean islands, which he believed up until his death to have been
islands off the coast of India.
- Lord Cornwallis was a statesman and soldier who led
the British campaign against rebellious American colonials and
French supporters in the Revolutionary War. After his defeat at
Yorktown in 1782, Cornwallis continued to function in the service
of the crown, seeing action in Ireland and later India, where he
died in 1805 after being named governor general there.
Cosway was an English painter raised in Italy, who had a brief dalliance
with Jefferson during his time in Paris as American minister to
France. She later returned to England with her husband, only to
abandon him and their child when she ran off to the European continent
with an Italian castrato. A sporadic correspondence with Jefferson
in later years ultimately proved insubstantial and unsustainable.
- Jefferson Davis was a two-term senator from Mississippi
who resigned his seat in the face of the impending southern secession.
Mere weeks later, in 1861, he was named President of the Confederate
States of America, a position he held throughout the Civil War
the Civil War SparkNote). Reluctant to give up his post
in the aftermath of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, Davis
was treated leniently during Reconstruction, and lived to the ripe
old age of eighty- one.
- Stephen Douglas was a senator from Illinois who rose
quickly up the ranks of the Democratic Party. He proposed the
controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 and defended his doctrine
of popular sovereignty in a series of debates with Abraham Lincoln
in 1858 (See
the SparkNote on Abraham Lincoln). Although he defeated
Lincoln in the Senate race, he later lost the presidential election
to Lincoln in 1860. Undeterred from fighting for what he believed
to be right, Douglas joined forces with Lincoln in an attempt to
preserve the Union, but died just after the outset of the Civil
War in 1861 (See
the Civil War SparkNote).
Earl of Dunmore
- The Earl of Dunmore served as royal governor in both
New York and Virginia. He was the last British peer to serve over
the House of Burgesses, fleeing Virginia upon their final dissolution.
He launched several attacks against natives and colonists alike,
but was transferred out of the Americas at the beginning of the Revolutionary
War. He later served as royal governor in the Bahamas.
Queen Elizabeth I
- Queen Elizabeth I acceded to the throne of England
in 1558, upon the death of her sister, Queen Mary I. She never
married, and ruled for 45 years as the Virgin Queen, securing Anglicanism
as the official state religion while fending off competing empires,
establishing England as a colonial power in the Americas and elsewhere.
the SparkNote on Queen Elizabeth I)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Ralph Waldo Emerson was a New England transcendentalist
who came out of the Unitarian religious tradition and went on to
establish his own doctrines of divinity and spirituality in works
such as Nature
and The Conduct of Life
- Benjamin Franklin was an author, inventor and scientist,
in addition to being one of the foremost statesmen of his day.
remains a renowned work of
American letters. He spent his later years as a diplomat in England
and France on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and later
the United States.
Frederick the Great
- Frederick the Great was king of Prussia in the middle
stages of the eighteenth century, and advanced Prussian fortunes
to the point where they became the foremost power in Europe. Allied
with Britain during the Seven Years War, Frederick the Great was
later generous to the United States in forging a trade alliance.
- Albert Gallatin, born in Geneva, served as Secretary
of Treasury under Jefferson and later under James Madison. His
adept fiscal policies helped significantly reduce the national
debt. He later served as minister to France during the administration
of James Monroe. Gallatin was at times suspected of treason because
of his foreign birth, which precluded him from a potential run
at the Vice Presidency in 1824.
Genet was French ambassador to the United States during the early
1790s, and conspired to reclaim Florida for France and Spain by
recruiting Americans to enlist in combat against British forces.
He eventually fell out of political favor with President Washington
and was recalled, later claiming asylum in the United States and
marrying a daughter of George Clinton.
King George III
- King George III served as monarch of Britain from
1760 until his death in 1820. He was plagued by mental afflictions
throughout his tumultuous reign. After gaining a victory in the
Seven Years War, his empire lost ground to the Americans in the
Revolutionary War. Later the English forces under King George III
enjoyed success after many trials against the French expansion headed
by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
Gerry was an important member of the Second Continental Congress,
later serving as governor of Massachusetts and Vice President under James
Madison from 1813-1814. He died while in office.
- Alexander Hamilton was an influential political figure
from New York, who served as the first Secretary of Treasury under
George Washington. His ambitious fiscal plan and strong value
on centralized government characterized the Federalist philosophy.
After successfully blocking Aaron Burr's candidacy for governor
of New York State, Hamilton was challenged to a duel, which he accepted,
only to be shot and killed on a plain at Weehawken, New Jersey
on July 11, 1804.
Hancock was the president of the First and Second Continental Congresses,
and the chief signer of the Declaration of Independence (See
the Declaration of Independence SparkNote). He later
served nine terms as governor of Massachusetts.
William Henry Harrison
- William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of
the United States, serving an abbreviated one-month term in 1841,
cut short by his death from pneumonia. Harrison was previously
involved in the secessionist plot of Aaron Burr, and gained honor
for his role in both the Battle of Tippecanoe and the War of 1812.
Hemings was the slave mistress of John Wayles. She gave birth to
as many as six children by Wayles, including Sally Hemings, who
was later cast as Jefferson's own slave mistress.
- Beverly Hemings was born in 1798 to Sally Hemings,
and has long been alleged to be a son of Thomas Jefferson. Circumstantial
evidence strongly suggests this to be so. Hemings ran away from
Monticello in 1822 with Jefferson's tacit approval, and later settled
in Washington as a white man.
- Eston Hemings was born in 1808 to Sally Hemings.
Recent genetic evidence strongly suggests the paternity of Jefferson.
Hemings was freed under the terms of Jefferson's will in 1826,
and enjoyed a successful career as a popular musician in Ohio and
- Harriet Hemings was born in 1801 to Sally Hemings
and has long been alleged to be a daughter of Thomas Jefferson.
Circumstantial evidence strongly suggests this to be so. Hemings
left Monticello in 1822 with the support of Jefferson. Thereafter,
she lived in Washington, D.C., passing and marrying into a white
Hemings was born to Betty Hemings and John Wayles, and was elder
brother to Sally Hemings. He traveled to France with Jefferson,
and became a noted chef during his tenure in Paris. Hemings was
freed by Jefferson in 1796 but floundered into alcoholism as a
free man, committing suicide only five years later.
- Madison Hemings was born in 1805 to Sally Hemings
and has long been alleged to be a son of Thomas Jefferson. Circumstantial
evidence strongly suggests this to be so. Hemings was freed under
the terms of Jefferson's will in 1826, and later moved to Ohio
to work as a carpenter and farmer. In 1873, shortly before his
death, he went on record with a local news reporter, claiming to be
the unacknowledged son of Jefferson. This claim was widely discredited
for over a century, and has only recently been recognized as a
potentially valid testimony.
Hemings was born to Betty Hemings and John Wayles, and was the younger
sister of James Hemings. As a teenager, she accompanied Maria
Jefferson to France in 1787, and later enjoyed a privileged position
as Jefferson's personal attendant at Monticello. Suspected by
many to have been Jefferson's longtime secret mistress, circumstantial
evidence points strongly to this possibility. Significantly, as
a result of her parentage, she was also the unrecognized half-sister of
Jefferson's wife, Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson. Hemings herself
may have borne as many as six of Jefferson's unacknowledged children.
Although not freed under the terms of Jefferson's will in 1826,
she was retained by his white heirs and freed shortly thereafter.
Henry was a leading member of the Virginia cotillion who pushed
for independence in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War.
He later served two separate tenures as governor of Virginia,
and played a key role in regaining the Great Lakes Region for Virginia
from the conflicting claims of Britain via the Quebec Act.
Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
Wayles Skelton was the daughter of John Wayles, and had initially
married Bathurst Skelton. After being widowed, she was introduced
to Jefferson, whom she married after a brief courtship on New Year's Day,
1772. In just over a decade of marriage she suffered from frequent
ill health, and bore several sickly children who died in infancy.
She herself died in 1782, leaving Jefferson a lifelong widower
in the company of their two daughters, Patsy and Polly.
- Martha Washington Jefferson,
known as Patsy to her family, was the eldest surviving daughter
of Jefferson and Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, born September
27, 1772. She was married to Thomas Mann Randolph at Monticello
upon returning from France, and bore twelve children. She served
as hostess at the President's House during Jefferson's administrations,
and later helped the family gather itself after Jefferson's death
and their disinheritance.
- Maria Jefferson, known as Polly to her family, was
the youngest surviving daughter of Jefferson and Martha Wayles
Skelton Jefferson, born August 1, 1778. As a child, she traveled
to France to join her father and sister, and upon returning to
the United States, married John Eppes. She died from the complications
of childbirth at the age of twenty-four.
Jane Randolph Jefferson
- Jane Randolph Jefferson was married to Peter Jefferson,
and gave birth to their eldest son Thomas Jefferson in 1743. After
the death of her husband, she worked together with Jefferson to
maintain the Shadwell estate, and later Monticello. Family relations
were tense until her death in 1776, mere months before Jefferson
authored the Declaration of Independence (See
the Declaration of Independence SparkNote).
- Peter Jefferson was a Tidewater youth who moved west
to the Piedmont Frontier of Virginia. Most famously, he was the
father of Thomas Jefferson, but also amassed an impressive resume
of political accomplishments in his own right, surveying the border
between Virginia and North Carolina and serving multiple terms
in the House of Burgesses.
- Touissaint L'Ouverture was the leader of a slave
insurrection on Santo Domingo, and an instrumental force behind
the establishment of an independent Haiti. Nevertheless, he was
eventually captured and imprisoned under orders from Napoleon Bonaparte,
and he died in a dungeon in the Jura Mountains of France in 1803.
Marquis de Lafayette
- Marquis de Lafayette served in the aid of George
Washington during the Revolutionary War, and gained wide esteem
for his heroism. He later played an instrumental role both in
the French Revolution and the eventual restoration of the monarchy.
In addition to being a close friend of Jefferson's in both America and
France, he is noted for his tricolor design on the French flag.
Richard Henry Lee
- Richard Henry Lee was a longtime member of the House
of Burgesses who played a key role in initiating the composition
of the Declaration of Independence at the Second Continental Congress.
He later opposed the Constitution, but was instrumental in establishing
the Bill of Rights.
- Meriwether Lewis was the Lewis part of Lewis and
Clark, the two men who made an extensive exploration of the Louisiana
Territory under the guidance of Sacajawea and the somewhat underhanded
encouragement of Jefferson in the aftermath of the Louisiana Purchase.
He later became disillusioned with his role in the territorial
expansion and died an alcoholic on the western frontier in an apparent
- Abraham Lincoln was
the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from 1861-1865.
Extending his executive privilege at all costs to preserve the
integrity of the fragmented Union, Lincoln issued the noted Emancipation
Proclamation on New Year's Day, 1863. After being re- elected
in 1864, Lincoln presided over the conclusion of the Civil War
the Civil War SparkNote), only to be assassinated
days later by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. (See the SparkNote
on Abraham Lincoln)
- Robert Livingston was a chief foreign minister during
Jefferson's first administration. Alongside James Monroe and Charles
Pinckney, he brokered the Louisiana Purchase for the United States
together with Talleyrand and Napoleon Bonaparte of France (See the SparkNote
on Napoleon Bonaparte).
King Louis XIV
Louis XIV, known as "the Sun King," reigned over France from 1643-
1715. During his rule as absolute monarch, a series of costly European
wars damaged France's economic prospects even as he lived in lavish
court style in the newly erected palace at Versailles.
King Louis XVI
Louis XVI reigned over France from 1774-1792. He was the last in
a long line of consecutive Bourbon monarchs, and was famously married
to Marie- Antoinette. His rule was disrupted amidst the French
Revolution which saw him deposed, imprisoned, and ultimately beheaded,
stripped of his title as Citizen Capet.
Madison was born of Quaker parents, and left her religion after
being widowed to marry James Madison. She played hostess at the
President's House during the administrations of both Jefferson
- James Madison was the
fourth President of the United States, serving from 1809- 1817.
He worked with Jefferson on drafting a code of laws for the Virginia
Assembly, and later played a crucial role in the composition and ratification
of the Constitution. He authored the Virginia Resolutions, a milder
companion to Jefferson's Kentucky Resolutions, and served as Secretary
of State under Jefferson from 1801-1809. During his own Presidency,
Madison presided over America's role in the War of 1812, known
to opponents as "Mr. Madison's War."
Marshall was the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, serving from
1801-1835. His most significant decisions, including Marbury
and McCullough v. Maryland,
to advance Marshall's Federalist agenda. For his value of judicial
review and a strong central government, Marshall was in constant
conflict with Jefferson during Jefferson's administrations. In
addition, Marshall was frequently drawn to scandals, implicated
in the XYZ Affair, and later clearing Aaron Burr of treason charges
in the midst of Burr's failed secessionist plot.
Maury was an Anglican clergyman who served as the teenage Jefferson's
tutor for two years. He also taught Dabney Carr and, later, James
- James Monroe was the fifth President of the United
States, serving from 1817-1825. Fresh out of college, he saw action
in the Revolutionary War, and later studied law under Jefferson.
During Jefferson's administrations, he served as a foreign minister,
playing a key role in the negotiation of the Louisiana Purchase.
Under President Madison, Monroe served as Secretary of State.
During his own administrations, Monroe's crucial actions were to
sign the Missouri Compromise and issue the Monroe Doctrine under
advice from John Quincy Adams.
North served as Prime Minister of Parliament from 1770-1782. His
close relationship with King George III ensured his longevity in
office, but was not enough to withstand the damage to his reputation
as a result of losses in the Revolutionary War.
Paine was a political theorist, best known for his work Common Sense,
furthered momentum behind the Revolutionary War movement in America.
He later took an active role in the French Revolution and opposed
the growth of the Federalist Party in the United States. In his
later years, Paine was severely ostracized, and died an impecunious
outcast from society.
Charles Wilson Peale
- Charles Wilson Peale was best known as a painter
of heroes from the Revolutionary War era. In addition, he founded
the first major museum in the United States, the Peale Museum at
- Charles Pinckney was a foreign minister during Jefferson's
first administration. Previously implicated in the XYZ Affair,
he redeemed himself alongside Robert Livingston and James Monroe
in brokering the Louisiana Purchase for the United States.
Quincy was a longtime member of Congress from the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts. He was a staunch Federalist minority leader during
Jefferson's administrations, and a vocal opponent of the Embargo
Act. He had a tangential relation to the Essex Junto, propagators
of a New England secessionist plot. Later he served as president
of Harvard University and was a founder of the Harvard Law School.
Sir Walter Ralegh
- Sir Walter Ralegh was by turns a court favorite and
enemy of Queen Elizabeth I. He made extensive explorations in
North and South America, and was imprisoned for various intrigues
during the late sixteenth century. He was eventually executed
under the reign of King James I and VI of England and Scotland.
- Peyton Randolph, brother of John Randolph, was a
cousin to Jefferson who served as a longtime member and later speaker
of the House of Burgesses. Like John Hancock, he served tenures
as president of the First and Second Continental Congresses, but
died before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.
Randolph, brother of Peyton Randolph, was a cousin to Jefferson who
remained a loyalist in the months leading up to the Revolutionary
War, and eventually relocated to England in the interest of his
own personal safety.
Thomas Jefferson Randolph
- Thomas Jefferson Randolph was the eldest son of Martha Washington
Jefferson and Thomas Mann Randolph, and the eldest grandson of Jefferson.
He was the designated primary heir to Jefferson's estate, but
lost his birthright upon the lottery and auction of Jefferson's
holdings that took place in 1827.
Thomas Mann Randolph
- Thomas Mann Randolph was married to Martha Washington Jefferson
at Monticello, shortly after her return from France in 1789. Although
Jefferson fully approved of the match, Randolph was constantly
plagued by feelings of inadequacy in his new family, and degenerated
into alcoholism in later life.
Reagan is the fortieth President of the United States, having served from
1981-89. He was noted for his fiscally conservative brand of Republicanism, and
was the first President to serve two full consecutive terms since
Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the thirty-second President
of the United States, serving from 1933-1945. He was a bastion
of the Democratic Party, and was elected to office an unprecedented
four times running. His liberal social policies and overarching
government programs provided relief to many during the hardships
caused by the Great Depression.
was a Shoshone native who guided Lewis and Clark in their western expedition
through the Louisiana Territory beginning in 1804. She recently
won newfound fame via her placement on the new dollar coins minted
by the United States federal government.
- Bathurst Skelton was a lawyer and first husband to
Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson. He died shortly after their marriage,
leaving considerable holdings to his childless widow.
B. Taney was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1835-1864.
He issued the landmark Dred Scott
1857, and fiercely opposed Lincoln's extension of executive privilege
during the Civil War.
- Charles Maurice de
Talleyrand was a longtime French diplomat and chief adviser to
Napoleon Bonaparte in the early nineteenth century. He was embroiled
in the midst of the XYZ Affair, and later served as the chief broker
on behalf of France during the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
Henry David Thoreau
- Henry David Thoreau was a prominent New England transcendentalist
and a close associate of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He is known for his
values of self-reliance and nonconformity, and wrote several tracts
on life in nature, including, most famously, Walden.
Harry S. Truman
- Harry S. Truman was the thirty-third President of
the United States, serving from 1945-1953. He succeeded Franklin
Delano Roosevelt in office, and presided over the conclusion of
World War II as well as the unfolding of the Korean War.
- George Washington
was the first President of the United States, serving from 1789-1797.
He served as commander-in-chief of the American forces during the
Revolutionary War, and later advanced a Federalist agenda from executive
office with the primary support of John Adams and Alexander Hamilton.
Wayles was father to Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, and one of
the most prominent landowners and speculators in the Commonwealth
of Virginia. He amassed holdings and debts in equal proportions,
and passed this dubious inheritance to Jefferson, his son-in-law.
Wayles also fathered several children by his slave mistress, Betty
Hemings. Among their offspring was Sally Hemings, later styled
as Jefferson's own mistress.
- James Wilkinson, a hero of the Revolutionary War,
served as deputy governor of the Louisiana Territory under the
command of William Claiborne. He played a significant role in
Aaron Burr's secessionist plot, but was cleared of wrongdoing after
revealing the scheme to Jefferson. He later served an unremarkable
tenure in the War of 1812.
Wilson was the twenty-eighth President of the United States, serving
from 1913-1921. He is also noted for serving as president of Princeton
University. Wilson advanced the fortunes of the Democratic Party,
which had been in disarray for nearly half-a-century in the aftermath
of the Civil War (See
the Civil War SparkNote). After avoiding involvement
in World War I for several years, Wilson finally committed the
United States to the Allied cause, and later spearheaded the negotiations
over the Treaty of Versailles (See the World
War I SparkNote). His efforts to advance the League
of Nations were frustrated by congressional opposition, and he
died shortly after leaving office.
Wythe served as law tutor to the young Jefferson, and later worked as
a law professor at the College of William and Mary. He was one
of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and assisted
Jefferson in preparing a new code of laws for the Virginia Assembly.
In 1806, Wythe was poisoned to death by his nephew after a complicated
inheritance scheme involving Wythe's slave mistress and their son
came to light.