About Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Monticello was home to Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. The mansion was designed by Jefferson and built from 1770 to 1809.

declaration of independence

Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, shown here. The document declared America’s independence from Britain. It was adopted on July 4, 1776.

secretary of state

In 1790, Thomas Jefferson became secretary of state for President George Washington. Here, Washington, far left, sits with his government advisers, including Jefferson, second from right.

lewis and clark

In 1803, U.S. president Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from France. Jefferson then asked explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to travel through the new lands. This painting shows Sacagawea, a Native American guide, pointing the way for Lewis and Clark.

university of virginia

Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819. He designed the university’s original buildings, including the Rotunda, shown here.

Thomas Jefferson

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