"But whether I retire to bed early or late, I rise with the sun."
- Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Vine Utley, March 21, 1819

A typical day for Jefferson started early. He told of a fifty-year period in which the sun had never caught him in bed; he rose as soon as he could read the hands of the clock kept directly opposite his bed.


"Mr. Jefferson's Stature Was Commanding . . ."

Recalled namesake grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph:

"Mr. Jefferson's hair, when young, was of a reddish cast; sandy as he advanced in years; his eye, hazel. . . . Mr. Jefferson's stature was commanding -- six feet two-and-a half inches in height, well formed, indicating strength, activity, and robust health; his carriage erect; step firm and elastic, which he preserved to his death; his temper, naturally strong, under perfect control; his courage cool and impassive . . . . it was remarked of him that he never abandoned a plan, a principle, or a friend."


Up Next: "Drudging at the Writing Table"

After his morning routine, Thomas Jefferson settled into a lengthy period of letter-writing: "From sun-rise to one or two o'clock," he noted, "I am drudging at the writing table."