democratic state. He drafted 126 bills in three years, including laws to abolish primogeniture, establish freedom of religion, and streamline the judicial system. In 1778, Jefferson's "Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge" and subsequent efforts to reduce clerical control led to some small changes at William and Mary College. While in the state legislature Jefferson proposed a bill to eliminate capital punishment for all crimes except murder and treason. His effort to end the death penalty law was defeated.
Governor of Virginia
Jefferson served as governor of Virginia from 1779–1781. As governor in 1780, he transferred the state capital from Williamsburg to Richmond. He continued to advocate educational reforms at the College of William and Mary, including the nation's first student-policed honor code. In 1779, at Jefferson's behest, William and Mary appointed George Wythe to be the first professor of law in an American university.
The British invaded Virginia under Benedict Arnold and then b
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