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Thomas Jefferson

3rd President of the United States

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Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell in present-day Albemarle County VA. His father died when Jefferson was 14, leaving him 2750 acres and his slaves. Jefferson attended College of William and Mary from 1760 to 1762. In 1769 he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1770, he began building his home Monticello.

As a member of the Second Continental Congress, Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence in late June 1776. He was elected governor of Virginia in 1779. During the administration of George Washington, he served as secretary of state.

Although he lost his bid to become President in 1796, he became Vice-President under John Adams according to the rules at the time. In 1800, he was tied with Aaron Burr in the Electoral College and was selected by the United States House of Representatives to become President. During his first term, he accomplished the Louisiana Purchase and sent the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the West. After leaving office, he founded the University of Virginia and designed its buildings. Along with John Adams, he died July 4, 1826.