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Thomas Jefferson (1743)close

Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743 in Albemarle County, Virginia. He attended the College of William and Mary. At the age of 33, he drafted the Declaration of Independence. It was adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776. In 1779, Jefferson was elected governor of Virginia. Jefferson served as minister to France from 1785-1789 and was appointed secretary of state during President Washington's administration. He was elected vice-president of the United States under John Adams in 1797, and in 1801 became the third president of the United States. As President, he authorized the purchase of a tract of land from Napoleon that extended from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. This addition - the Louisiana Purchase - more than doubled the size of the country and opened up millions of new acres to settlers in the West. He also funded the Louis and Clark expedition that explored and surveyed the Northwest.

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