Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826)

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, in what is now Albemarle County, Virginia, and died at Monticello, Virginia, on July 4, 1826. Jefferson is best known as the author of the Declaration of Independence and as the third president of the United States. Two of his proudest accomplishments, which he memorialized on his gravestone, were founding the University of Virginia and authoring the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. In addition, Jefferson is widely cited for his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association expressing his views on separation of church and state.

Jefferson's famous passages in the Declaration of Independence-that “all men are created equal” and that they enjoy “unalienable rights” including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”-have been quoted by liberals and conservatives ...

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