Thomas Jefferson and Slavery

Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote the famous line “all men are created equal,” was a life-long slave-owner. Over the course of his life, he would own 600 human beings, and at any given time there would be roughly 100 slaves living and working on and around Jefferson’s plantation and farms. This handout describes Thomas Jefferson’s views on slavery.

  • Resource Type: Descriptive Text, Media, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Resources on Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father and Broadway star, clashed with Thomas Jefferson politically and morally. But both figures were essential to the founding of the United States of America. Check out this page for resources on Jefferson, Hamilton, and other main players from the Broadway musical “Hamilton: An American Musical.”

  • Resource Type: Descriptive Text, Interactives, Media, Primary Sources, Timelines, Video
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Who Lived at Monticello?

Thomas Jefferson and his family were not the only people living at Monticello. At any given time there would be about 100 slaves living and working on the plantation. This infograph gives a snapshot of inhabitants of Monticello in the 1790s.

  • Resource Type: Media, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Founding Documents: The Meaning of the Declaration of Independence.

On June 8, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to write a declaration of independence. It named a committee to do the writing. One of its members was Thomas Jefferson, a lawyer from Virginia. He had been a leader in Virginia, and Virginia had elected him to the Continental Congress. The others on the committee were too busy with the revolution to work on the declaration, so Jefferson wrote it alone.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Famous Founders

This short video expands the definition of “famous Founder.” Men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison are readily considered to be famous. However, Professor Daniel Dreisbach suggests that individuals such as Roger Sherman, John Dickinson, John Witherspoon, and Elbridge Gerry are equally deserving of fame and honor for their contributions during our nation’s founding era.

  • Resource Type: Video
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11