"Adore God. Reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbors as yourself, and your country more than yourself. Be just. Be true. Murmur not at the ways of Providence." These were the words of Thomas Jefferson to his grandson a little more than a year before Jefferson's death. Jefferson believed deeply in liberty and justice, and he believed faith was an integral part of both. In Thomas Jefferson and the Freedom of America, author Rebecca Bjornstad presents Thomas Jefferson's involvement in the founding of the United States of America in a format parents can share with their children and teachers with their pupils.
Bjornstad uses the historical events of Thomas Jefferson's life, especially the tumultuous years around the Revolutionary War, as examples for faith, freedom, and responsibility. During the war, Jefferson was greatly impressed with the democratic way church business meetings were conducted at the small Baptist church near his Monticello estate in Albemarle County. After speaking to the pastor, Reverend Andrew Tribble, Jefferson felt he had found the best model of government for the new American state.
Jefferson believed completely that every person is accountable to God alone, and he fought hard throughout his life for the universal right of religious freedom-the right of each person to worship God as he or she sees fit-and the epitaph on his tombstone gives testament to his devotion. Jefferson died on the Fourth of July, 1826, a true icon of America's freedom.