Thomas Jefferson was born April 13, 1743 and died July 4, 1826. He was born to a materially prosperous family in Shadwell, Goochland County, Virginia. His father, Peter Jefferson, was a land and slave owner in Virginia. Thomas Jefferson was a leading Founding Father of the United States, the author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and he served as the third President of the US in 1801–1809. Thomas Jefferson was a committed Republican – arguing passionately for liberty, democracy and devolved power. Jefferson also wrote the Statute for Religious Freedom in 1777 – it was adopted by the state of Virginia in 1786. Jefferson was also a noted polymath with wide-ranging interests from architecture to gardening, philosophy, literature and education. Although a slave owner himself, Thomas Jefferson sought to introduce a bill in 1800 to end slavery in all Western territories. As President, he signed a bill to ban the importation of slaves into the US in 1807.