"Thomas Jefferson rode his horse alone every day for months to mourn the loss of his wife. He was quite the romantic."
"Thomas Jefferson is famous for the Louisian Purchase."
Which of these is more interesting. I guess both are important but a good way to get to know a historical figure and to just make it interesting is to introduce the figure with something like the first example. Every student in the room will pay attention to that. Then you can go into Louis and Clark and Louisiana, etc. American education makes things that would be interesting very boring.