Happy Independence Day from Your Friends at GoCertify

Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

Today is Independence Day here in the United States. It's a federal holiday, so the offices of GoCertify are closed until Thursday. Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. This event energized and crystallized American resistance to British rule, which had already erupted into war on April 18, 1775.


We'll return to our regular schedule of operations tomorrow. Until then, why not enjoy this Independence Day-themed quiz about Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence?


1) How many siblings did Thomas Jefferson have?


2) How many books did Thomas Jefferson own in 1814?


3) How many hours per day did Thomas Jefferson study while attending College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.?


4) How many children were born to Thomas Jefferson and his wife, Martha Wayles Skelton?


5) Why did Thomas Jefferson leave his newly established colonial capitol of Richmond while serving as governor of Virginia in 1781?


6) Where was Thomas Jefferson when the French Revolution began with the Storming of the Bastille in 1789?


7) How did Thomas Jefferson secure communication between himself and Washington, D.C., while serving in France?


8) How did Thomas Jefferson arrive for his first inauguration as president?


9) What was Thomas Jefferson's initial offer to Napoleon during the negotiation of the Louisiana Purchase?


10) When did Thomas Jefferson die?




Thomas Jefferson negotiated the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon.

1) Nine. Thomas Jefferson was the third of 10 children born to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph Jefferson.


2) More than 6,400. An avowed and lifelong lover of the written word, in 1814 Jefferson sold more than 6,000 books to the Library of Congress, which had been burned earlier that year by British troops invading Washington, D.C., in the War of 1812. Jefferson was paid $23,950 for the books.


3) Fifteen, but only during his second year. In his first year of school, Jefferson frequently spent money, attended parties, and danced. Ashamed by the time and money squandered by the end of that year, he applied himself to his studies thereafter with much greater rigor and graduated after just two years.


4) Six. Though Thomas and Martha had six children, only two lived to adulthood, all of the others dying before reaching age 4. Martha Wayles Jefferson also died young, at age 33, after just 10 years of marriage. At his wife's request, Jefferson never remarried.


5) Jefferson was escaping a British invasion commanded in part by General Benedict Arnold. He remained on the run throughout the rest of his one-year term as governor.


6) On July 14, 1789, Jefferson was in Paris, serving as U.S. minister (or ambassador) to France. Prior to the seminal attack on the Bastille, Jefferson had met frequently with leading revolutionary the Marquis de Lafayette. 


7) Jefferson created a device, called the wheel cypher or Jefferson disk, to write encrypted messages, after noticing that his mail was frequently opened and read by French agents.


8) Jefferson arrived alone, riding on horseback, and stabled his own horse before proceeding to the inaugural service.


9) Jefferson initially offered Napoleon $10 million for 40,000 square miles of territory. Needing more funds and eager to relieve himself of an unmanageable burden, Napoleon eventually asked for $15 million, but increased the amount of the land being sold to 827,987 square miles.


10) Jefferson died at age 83 on July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day from the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

GoCertify's mission is to help both students and working professionals get IT certifications. GoCertify was founded in 1998 by Anne Martinez.