Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American founding father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). He was a spokesman for democracy and a champion for the rights of the individual.
Elected president in what Jefferson called the Revolution of 1800; he oversaw acquisition of the Louisiana Territory from France (1803), and sent out the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806) to explore the new west. Considered a primary architect in America's growth; Jefferson doubled the size of the United States during his presidency.
As with most of our disobedient spirits, Jefferson had weaknesses as well as strengths. In 1803, President Jefferson initiated a process of Indian tribal removal to the Louisiana Territory west of the Mississippi River, having opened lands for eventual American settlers.
Although, in 1807 Jefferson drafted and signed into law a bill that banned slave importation into the United States and as long as he lived, Jefferson expressed opposition to slavery; he owned hundreds of slaves and freed only a few of them. DNA tests in 1998, together with historical research, suggest strongly that he had fathered at least one child by his slave, Sally Hemings.
A scrupulous accountant, Jefferson nonetheless accumulated a substantial monetary debt during his life debts at his death amounted to $107,000. Converting this figure into a modern estimate is an inexact process at best, but it would probably be somewhere between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000.
Risking life and fortune, Thomas Jefferson changed the world by standing up against injustice, defying British law and oppression; he was a true disobedient spirit.