After two years of study under Reverend James Maury, Jefferson traveled to Williamsburg, where he took up studies at the College of William and Mary. With an eye on politics, Jefferson was drawn to the legal profession, where he flourished under the guidance of George Wythe. In time, Jefferson established himself as a lawyer in Williamsburg, which led to his election to the House of Burgesses in 1769. When the Shadwell estate burned in a fire the following year, Jefferson proceeded in earnest on the construction of his new homestead, Monticello. On New Years Day, 1772, Jefferson was married to Martha Wayles Skelton, a young widow and the daughter of a prominent Virginia landowner. Through this alliance, Jefferson himself would later become one of the most prominent landowners and slaveholders in all Virginia.
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