Notes from Ken Burns' Thomas Jefferson.

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A man of inconsisitjnces. He wrote the declaration, and that all men are created equal, yet he owned more than 200 slaves. 

He went to William and Mary

Jefferson wrote the declaration of independence, "all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". That's the most memorable phrase. 

July 4th, 1776, only 12 of the 13 colonies approved the document. New York would take a few more days to make up its mind.

When those words, "all men are created equal", were written, 1/5 of America's population (about 500,000) were slaves. 

In later documents, he wrote that he thought that blacks were not as smart as whites. 

Historians can't really reconcile his slave ownership with his views on slavery. George Washington freed his slaves, lots of Virginians were freeing their slaves. They would expect him to have done so, and yet he doesn't.