Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 ¿ 4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801¿1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. The Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804¿1806) occurred during his presidency.
Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and favored states' rights and a very limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779¿1781), the first United States Secretary of State (1789¿1793) and second Vice President (1797¿1801).
Jefferson's estate, Monticello, and the univerisy he founded in 1819 -- the University of Virginia -- are located in Charlottesville, VA. U.Va. was the first university in the U.S. where higher education was completely separate from religious doctrine. Jefferson is also known for many inventions, such as the moldboard plow, wheel cipher and portable copying press.