Thomas Jefferson

Advocate for ALL People?

Abolitionist...but that's not all!

In Jefferson's own words, slavery was a "moral depravity" and "hideous blot" on our newly formed nation. He worked to pass legislation that would abolish importing African slaves. Although he thought it needed to be abolished, he said it would only work if slave owners freed their workers of their own free will.

This sounds like Jefferson was on the right track, that of valuing all people as created equal. However, upon closer examination, it becomes clear that he merely recognized the hatred ensued by thralldom and what he considered the vast differences between Africans and white Americans. Jefferson believed that blacks were racially inferior and "as incapable as children".

What Jefferson wanted to put in the Declaration of Independence, but was thrown out

"He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed again the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."

Sources: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson: Being His Autobiography, Correspondence, Reports, Messages, Addresses, and other Writings, Official and Private (Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Maury, 1853-1854). - See more at:

TCHS Investigative Reporter, Billy Bob Doe

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