Jefferson became Virginia’s governor in 1779, when the colonies were battling the British in the Revolutionary War. He was reelected in 1780, but during his second term Virginia fell victim to British invasion. Jefferson narrowly escaped when his estate, Monticello, was besieged by enemy troops. He did not seek a third term in 1781. He was succeeded by William Fleming, a physician and soldier who served as governor little more than week, and then Thomas Nelson, Jr., a fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence.
A political cartoon depicts President Jefferson trying to defend his policies on foreign commerce.