Monticello

St. Louis on the Air
3:50 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Thomas Jefferson: Founding Father, Champion Of Liberty & Owner Of Slaves

Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1805
(Courtesy Collection of The New-York Historical Society)

As the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson is seen as a champion of liberty. Yet during his lifetime he owned more than 600 slaves and at the time of his death, more than 130 slaves were sold to pay off his debts.

An exhibit currently on display at the Missouri History Museum elaborates on this paradox.

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