It’s Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday!

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743. He is one of the most important people in the history of our country. He was the third President of the United States. He was the second Vice President of the United States. He was the first Secretary of State of the United States. He had great ideas.

He wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This means rights come from God. They are for everybody. They can't be taken away. He wrote these words in 1776 as part of the Declaration of Independence. When he wrote them he only meant white men. A declaration is a statement. Independence means freedom. Freedom was already out of reach for black people in America long before 1776.

By the time Jefferson was born the unpaid labor system in the United States was already 136 years old. By the time Jefferson wrote the words of the Declaration of Independence the unpaid labor system was 169 years old. By the time Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801 the unpaid labor system was 194 years old.

Thomas Jefferson was a very rich man. Thomas Jefferson was one of the masters of the unpaid labor system. He owned two things that made people very rich. He owned slaves and land. He was one of the richest presidents in the history of the United States.

The first record of Jefferson owning slaves was in 1774. He owned 41 people. In his lifetime he owned a total of 600 people. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves while he was President of the United States. But he was not alone. Ten of the first twelve U. S. Presidents owned slaves. 

At we want to commemorate and honor those Americans of African Americans descent whose contributions help make it the richest and most powerful in the world.  Come back to learn more.