As a lawyer, Thomas Jefferson was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and sent to the Second Continental Congress. He supported America's independence from Britain. Though he drafted America's egalitarian Declaration of Independence, Jefferson maintained his Monticello plantation with slave labor. As the nation's first secretary of state and third president he advocated the rights of individuals. During his presidency, the $15 million purchase of the Louisiana Territory doubled the size of America's landholdings.
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