Contradictions of an American President Write an essay linking Thomas Jefferson and slavery

Essay by teejaiUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, June 2004

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Contradictions of an American President

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal..." These famous words were put together by the "Negro President"Thomas Jefferson.

Born April 13, 1743, in Albemarie County, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson was the only child born to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph, members of the most famous families in Virginia. He attended the College of William and Mary and studied law (1762-1767). Jefferson was admitted to the bar in 1767 and practiced for seven years.

After the death of his father, he inherited a considerable landed estate, which he doubled in marriage on January 1, 1772, to Martha Wayles Skelton. Jefferson was elected to the House of Burgesses, at the age of twenty-five, where he served from 1769 to 1774.

As a member of the Continental Congress (1775-76), he was chosen along with John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert Livingston Sherman in 1776 to draft the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the declaration all by himself and was amended by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.

Jefferson left Congress in the autumn of 1776 and served in the Virginia Legislature until his election as governor in 1779. He served as governor from 1779 to 1781.

From 1781 to 1783, he began to compile his Notes on the State of Virginia, which was published in 1785. In these documents he reveled some of his thoughts about slavery. Jefferson was also a member of the Continental Congress in 1783 and 1784.

From 1784 to 1789 Jefferson stayed in France where he was a commissioner and then successor as minister of Benjamin Franklin.

Jefferson served as Secretary of State from 1790 to 1793. He was supported by the Republicans in 1796, and placed second by three electoral votes; he became vice president to...