The highlights of the Jeffersonian presidency in Jefferson's eyes were two fold. First the Louisiana purchase which doubled the size of the US overnight for a mere $15,000,000. Possibly the beginnings of America's love hate relationship with dictators, thanks Napoleon! The second was the retiring of the national debt while implementing the reduction of "big" government (the embryonic seeds of the Republican party).
Jefferson was a Deist who declared himself, "a Unitarian by myself." His self written epitaph states, "HERE WAS BURIED THOMAS JEFFERSON AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA."
Jefferson was a model figure of the Enlightenment which helped to define Jefferson's aspired values but often did not seem to inform his realized practice. Jefferson championed the ideals of liberty and justice, but had a row of slave quarters outside his estate at Monticello and was the driving catalyst of the removal of the native Indians from their lands. Jefferson hated debt, but died penniless because of his lavish lifestyle. Jefferson a great friend and admirer of the French upper class, condoned the butchery of the French mob as he thought it similar to the revolutionary spirit of "1776." Jefferson believed that working the land was the highest call and was suspicious of industrialization, yet Jefferson ran a nail making factory on his farm to subsidize his income. Jefferson cherished above all the ideal of family, but he isolated himself for a better part of his life from his children and ordered his life in such a fashion that he was rumored to have had sexual relations with a slave, Sally Hemings, whose children lived in slavery on Jefferson's plantation. Jefferson idealized Cicero's withdraw from politics into private life, but in the later years of his life Jefferson was consumed with writing his own biography to better reflect (and nuance his position in light of historical development) his personal political position to the eye of history.
JFK once quipped at a reception of 47 Nobel prize winners, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." In light of Jefferson's political and intellectual brilliance, his life (and possibly character) are marked by inconsistency; for all of Jefferson's historical fame and glory, his personal life seems to have been marred by a lack of joy or happiness!