Jefferson was born in 1743 in Virginia to the parents of plantation owners. At one point of his life, Jefferson owned 200 slaves, seven of whom he freed. He may have had children with one of the slaves at his Monticello plantation, Sally Hemmings. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, he was selected to draft the Declaration of Independence. He served as the first secretary of state (under George Washington) and vice president under his arch rival President John Adams in those days the runner-up in electoral votes in the presidential election became vice-president. In 1798 he was elected third president of the United States. During his time in office he was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase, which added a huge amount of land to the United States. He died on July 4, 1826 within hours of the death of John Adams.
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