Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) drafted the Declaration of Independence for the Continental Congress and later served as the third president of the United States. During the Revolution, he was elected governor of Virginia and later he was appointed minister to France. While in France, he associated with many of that country's most progressive intellectuals and observed the beginnings of the French Revolution. He served as George Washington's Secretary of State until 1793 and was elected vice-president in 1796 and then president in 1801 and 1804.
Jefferson's record of achievement as president was mixed. His acquisition of the Louisiana Territory from France doubled America's physical size, but his policies adopted in response to British and French harassment of American shipping alienated the citizens of northeastern states dependent on commerce and contributed to the American-British tensions that would lead to the War of 1812.