Jefferson's Tombstone Doesn't Acknowledge His Presidency
Thomas Jefferson left precise instructions regarding his tombstone and epitaph. He even provided the design for his grave marker and the words to be inscribed upon it.
“Because by these,” he wrote, “As testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.”
“On the faces of the Obelisk the following inscription, and not a word more:”
“HERE WAS BURIED
AUTHOR OF THE
DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
STATUED OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
AND THE FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA”
[ Born April 2 1743 O. S. ]*
[ Died July 4 1826 ]
* O.S. following the date of Jefferson’s birth stands for “Old Style” which means that his birth was recorded according to the Julian Calendar. In 1752, Great Britain and its colonies adopted the Gregorian Calendar. The Julian calendar is approximately eleven days ahead of the Gregorian calendar.