High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Thomas Jefferson, a world-famous advocate of liberty, lived in a slave society; he had a 5,000-acre plantation and owned hundreds of slaves during his lifetime. He relied on slavery to support his family`s lifestyle. Jefferson`s contemporary racial views that African Americans were inferior to whites and needed supervision were rationalized into his Enlightenment ideals that condemned slavery. While strongly opposed to the slave trade, as president Jefferson in 1806 successfully called on Congress to pass legislation to end it, which he signed.