Tom Pitz as Thomas Jefferson

Meet Mr. Jefferson

Long an aficionado of Revolutionary Era history, Tom Pitz has been performing as Mr. Jefferson since 1987. He considers it an honor and a privilege to bring one of America’s greatest historical figures back to life for audiences. His performance sites include Michie Tavern, Denver Museum of Natural Science, the College of William and Mary, Keswick Hall, the United States Treasury, University of Virginia, Virginia Genealogical Society, Hampden Sydney College, Carthage College, and the National Geographic Society. As a graduate of Mr. Jefferson’s University, he is well aware that John Adams’ dying statement, “Jefferson survives” is as true today as it was on July 4th, 1826.

Thomas Jefferson, the “American Sphinx”, as he has been called, enlightens 21st century Americans with his potent words to explain the motives for our forefathers to fight for a government based upon reason rather than force, a novel concept. At the same time he fails to “first take the log out of his own eye” because slaves are forced to serve this new country he helped to form. Question him.


Tom Pitz
(540) 223-7168
Instagram: @meet_mr.jefferson

Typical Performance

The typical performance follows a three-part format:

Informal Introduction — Jefferson circulates among individuals, introducing himself as he was 200 years ago from the date of the performance.

Formal Introduction —A member of the group invites Mr. Jefferson to address the guests on a selected theme.

Open Questions — Jefferson answers questions as he would have during his time period. The historical reenactment will highlight the timeline of Thomas Jefferson and his historical importance.

Selected themes may include any of the following:

Taverns and Revolution: This popular performance is an informal reminiscence about the events, as Jefferson saw them, which led to the American Revolution. Suited for all ages as well as those with a casual interest in American history.

Bill of Rights: For those who have an interest in Mr. Jefferson’s perspective on the Bill of Rights, the document which promised the fulfillment of the goals stated in the Declaration of Independence, this is an in-depth presentation of the background and events that led his friend, Mr. James Madison, to write and provide the leadership in the First Congress that led to its passage.

Declaration of Independence: What does the primary author have to say about one of the most important documents in American history?

The Empire of Liberty: Mr. Jefferson addresses the issues of how and why he carried through with one of the greatest real estate transaction known to man. 

Education: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information…” Will our republican experiment be able to sustain itself, or will his warning go unheeded?

18th Century Medicine: A presentation designed for health professionals. Do they appreciate how far their field has progressed? If not, they will after Mr. Jefferson’s comments on how the “adventurous physician [of his day] substitutes presumption for knowledge.”

Nature and Democracy: Mr. Jefferson acknowledges that our geography has as much to do with our democratic struggle as Lexington and Concord. (Other topics available upon request.) If there is interest, Mr. Pitz will be available following the historical reenactment to discuss Jefferson and his time.

Mr. Jefferson at Mount Rushmore
It's an honor to have been invited to bring Mr. Jefferson to Mount Rushmore's July 4th celebration every year since 2011.


History speaks for itself. So do the voices of today. Read the comments and praise for Tom Pitz's performances of Mr. Jefferson over the years.

Your first person interpretive portrayal of Thomas Jefferson was well received by the public and helped them to better understand his life and accomplishments, and his relationship with Albert Gallatin.

I was amazed at the ease with which you assumed the role, and your ability to tackle tough questions. You also were very adept at easing the transition for those who did not quite understand the role, but in such a way as to not step out of your character.

As an addition to the two days that you worked at the NPS site, you also agreed to give a full day of school programs at the Albert Gallatin North Middle School. It was my pleasure to witness the six different programs that you presented throughout the day. The programs were fast paced and kept the sixth grade students engaged. Each program was slightly different, which kept your ten experts interested, but still hit on your major themes. Again I cannot express my appreciation for your work.

 Over the past several years, it has been my pleasure to witness Tom Pitz interact with people of all ages and in many different circumstances (museum settings, banquet halls, private homes and on the street). He immediately transports people back in time with his first person portrayal of Thomas Jefferson. Whether he speaks to a group or one on one, he is totally engaging, putting people at ease while entertaining them in grand style with charm and humor yet staying down-to-earth. He always makes a memorable connection with his audience.

 I thought your portrayal of this great Virginian was not only superb but inspired. I can’t begin to tell you how many favorable comments I received on the quality of your performance.

 Your presentation was educational and entertaining. Your representation of Jefferson was thorough and you took us back to his time.

 All I hear this week is stuff about you—clearly you were a hit. You really woke people up around here! People were wildly impressed by your program, and the salon was stunning. There is no substitute for intelligent talk.

 I am grateful, I had the good sense to contact the staff at the ROTUNDA for a recommendation of someone who could portray Thomas Jefferson. I received only one name, Mr. Tom Pitz; that in itself is testimony….From the moment he entered the room as “Mr. Jefferson”, Tom engaged his audience with historical information, as well as relevant topics regarding education and engineering, and even had questions he posed to us.

Familiar as I am with a number of Thomas Jefferson interpreters, and having performed on stage with Tom Pitz at Mount Rushmore on several occasions, I can say without reservation that he is the quintessential Thomas Jefferson.

  I have had the pleasure of knowing and performing with Mr. Tom Pitz over the last three years at Mt. Rushmore. His interaction with the audience is very strong as Thomas Jefferson. He creates a bond, especially with children when he sits and shares stories of American heritage in the shadow of the Rushmore figures. That he enjoys performing as America’s third President is obvious and from my observation his audience responds in a very positive way to his performance. He stands very well with the Rushmore Presidents.

 Even after more than a year our collective memory of your visit with us as Thomas Jefferson has not dimmed. We admired your skill in handling the group. You were gracious, as a Virginia Gentleman should be, drawing everyone with you back into history.

 Your portrayal of Jefferson was very effective, and I appreciate your willingness to join our other re-enactors to create a fitting tribute to Madison on the occasion of his birthday and the opening of our new Visitor Center Complex.

 Your performance as Mr. Jefferson was excellent. You really made him come alive for all of us. In fact, during Sunday breakfast some of our bridge club members said they were overwhelmed by your authenticity! That is a real complement to your talents.

  We all so enjoyed the evening you made possible. Thank you so much…. We were glad you made some more serious remarks because we still need to realize and prize our religious freedoms – and there are attempts to threaten them. Jefferson’s words are still timely.

  I thought your portrayal of this great Virginian was not only superb but inspired. I can’t begin to tell you how many favorable comments I received on the quality of your performance. Though I am sure no one truly appreciates the depth of preparation and exhaustive fine-tuning that goes into such a finished performance, our Society members were tremendously impressed with the historical research into Thomas Jefferson’s life and times that you obviously had done, your grasp of diction and rhythms of late 18th century speech and your appreciation of the very thought patterns of the time. More than that, though, you seem to have acquired a deep understanding of Mr. Jefferson’s public and private philosophy that helped us to appreciate him as we never had before.