Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (1997) is a portrait of our enigmatic and brilliant third president, who embodies within his own life a profound contradiction of American history: as the author of the Declaration of Independence, he gave voice to our fervent desire for freedom, but he also owned more than 150 slaves and never saw fit to free them.

  • Images from the Life of Jefferson | Ken Burns: Thomas Jefferson

    View images of Jefferson, Monticello, and the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1846) was the third president of the United States of America, and served two terms between the years 1801-1809. He was a founding father of the country, and author of the Declaration of Independence. The son of a Virginia planter, Jefferson was educated at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. As president, he created the military academy at West Point; he expanded the size of the country with the Louisiana Purchase, and commissioned Lewis & Clark to explore the western United States.

    Grades: 6-12