After publishing his book, Jefferson became publicly mute about slavery. Many claim his silence resulted from his supposed affair with his slave and wife’s half-sister, Sally Hemings. Accusations leveled by a scorned journalist asserted he potentially fathered slave children, yet their paternity is not absolutely proven. (see ) Regardless, this argument implies Jefferson, a fierce advocate of liberty, wanted his own children to remain slaves. However, logic dictates he would have fought harder to stop slavery than allow his own children to remain in captivity. This theory also contradicts and ignores all his actions and writings regarding abolition.
Jefferson borrowed the phrase, “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Property,” from noted Enlightenment theorist John Locke when writing the . However, he changed “Property” to “Happiness” specifically to prevent pro-slavery advocates declaring the document supported slavery. (see )
After his abolition clause failed, Jefferson wrote, “We must hope that an overruling Providence is preparing the deliverance of these our suffering brethren.” (see ) A year later, he commented, “The voice of a single individual would have prevented this abominable crime; heaven will not always be silent; the friends to the rights of human nature will in the end prevail.”
Furthermore, in 1809 he wrote, “But whatever be their degree of talent it is no measure for their rights. Because Sir Isaac Newton was superior to others in understanding, he was not therefore lord of the person or property of others. On this subject they are gaining daily in the opinions of nations, and hopeful advances are making towards their re-establishment on an equal footing with the other colors of the human family.”
On February 11, 1788, shortly following the approval of the (see ), Jefferson wrote, “You know that nobody wishes more ardently to see an abolition not only of the trade but of the condition of slavery; and certainly nobody will be more willing to encounter every sacrifice for that object.” Nevertheless, many today denounce Jefferson and dismiss everything he did for America because he had slaves. of the gave the country the authority to abolish the International Slave Trade in 1808, but Jefferson took the needed action in 1806 to make it happen. Congress passed the Act on March 2, 1807, and Jefferson signed it on March 3, yet many refuse to give him any credit for doing so.
In addition, they refuse to recognize that a majority of enlightened people in both America and Europe, even abolitionists, subscribed to the common thought that blacks were inferior. This mindset eventually led to the Dred Scott Decision, officially declaring slaves as property, and was emboldened by Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, which gave birth to eugenics. (see and )
Today’s intellectuals condemn America’s founders for such parochial thinking while praising and worshiping Roe v. Wade, which declares fetuses property. In fact, the abortion decision eerily mirrors the Dred Scott Decision terminology and supporting arguments. On the world stage, 40 million people are suffering right now from sex and labor slavery, yet the United Nations chooses to denounce Ireland for their pro-life stance instead. Attacking Ireland for years, the U.N. claims they are denying a human right and demand they change their Constitution. However, the human rights of the fetuses they so eagerly wish to assassinate mean nothing. (see ) Both the U.N. and Jefferson critics remain silent regarding the millions of today’s slaves, which they charge Jefferson of doing, while continuing to push their abortion agenda. Apparently, a woman’s right to kill her baby trumps the 9-year-old Christian's from being kidnapped by ISIS and used as sex slaves.
While fighting for abolition, Jefferson feared that when the slaves were released, the friction between masters and former slaves would become violent and deadly. Therefore, he supported educating the newly freed slaves before returning them to an African colony where they could live truly free. Jefferson worried emancipation would not only jeopardize the survival of the country, more importantly it would jeopardize the lives of the very people he wished to liberate. In April of 1820, Jefferson wrote, “There is not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would, to relieve us from this heavy reproach [slavery]...we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.”
As history demonstrates, Jefferson was proven right as Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest formed the Ku Klux Klan following the Civil War to attack Republicans, both black and white. (see ) The Democratic Party then spent decades restricting and repealing Civil Rights for blacks. (see )
While progressives aggressively condemn Jefferson for having slaves and making statements regarding the Negro race, they declare Democrat Woodrow Wilson as one of our greatest presidents. Yet Wilson celebrated the KKK as the saviors of the white race and their way of live. Much worse than Jefferson’s statements, Wilson’s overtly bigoted comments in his book, History of the American People are quoted in 1915’s Birth Of A Nation, the movie which revived the virtually dead KKK. (see ) As president, Wilson not only proudly showed the racist movie in the White House, he desegregated the already integrated military and government offices, bringing Jim Crow laws to a federal level and setting race relations back decades.
Ironically, many progressives admire and praise eugenicists such as Wilson and Margaret Sanger, who believed and promoted a perfect race by eradicating inferior people and races, of which the Negro was top of the list. It is a movement driven purely by a white superiority complex. (see ) As discussed in previous letters, Sanger promoted sterilization and the elimination of “human weeds” until such practices gained notoriety following World War II. (see , , and ) When Sanger and Wilson’s obvious racism is pointed out, progressives easily dismiss it, claiming critics are misquoting and mischaracterizing them. Yet they refuse to offer Jefferson even a moment of honest examination. Jefferson’s writings did discuss his opinion of black inferiority. Even though his thinking was commonplace at the time, Jefferson never supported or even considered terminating blacks, especially while still in the womb, to perfect the human race. Planned Parenthood, which was started to eliminate “undesirables,” now murders more black fetuses in New York City than are born alive. Yet where is the outrage of racism?
In fact, the Democratic Party is so committed to killing unborn children, they are refusing to endorse or support any Democrat candidate that is pro-life. How are they any different than the pro-slavery advocates of the 1700 and 1800’s? Many people who claim Jefferson could not have believed “all men are created equal” while owning slaves also advocate for abortion because a mother’s rights supersede a fetus’. Pro-abortionists eagerly put the rights of the mother over that of her child, considering it inferior, letting her kill it simply because it is inconvenient. Likewise, pro-slavery advocates placed the slave-owner over the slave, considering it inferior. Just because abortion is legal doesn’t make it right. Slavery was legal once too. However, too many are extremely quick to demonize those of another era while celebrating the atrocities of their own generation.
Liberty, the only conclusion one can make is the outrage and discontent is not about slavery. It is about destroying the foundation of the nation and replacing it with a progressive, or socialist, vision for a new America.
Following the contentious failure of his abolition clause in 1784, Jefferson was likely forced into silence by pro-slavery advocates as he did not want to unravel the newly woven fabric of the new country. Likewise, today’s pro-life advocates are vilified and silenced by the media and political commentators for daring to even think that a baby has rights. In their opinion, that baby belongs to the mother, and she has the right to do with it as she sees fit. These pundits are political descendants of those who used the exact same arguments and tactics for slavery. Just as a fetus’ humanity has been erased, so was the slaves’. They belonged to the slave owner and were therefore property for which the owners had complete control. However, pro-abortion Jefferson critics fail to learn that history repeats itself, and “heaven will not always be silent; the friends to the rights of human nature will in the end prevail.”
Jefferson inherited his slaves. Critics dismiss that Virginia laws, plus personal and inherited debt, prevented him from releasing them. Although, he did free a few by just letting them walk away as well as freeing them in his will. Jefferson also purchased several slaves, but only to keep families together. Furthermore, at least Jefferson was open to being challenged and changing his views, unlike abortion advocates. Chief Justice Taney believed his Dred Scott v. Sandford decision ended the slavery debate, just as many believe Roe v. Wade ended abortion debate. However, Roe v. Wade is nothing more than today’s Dred Scott, and will be judged so by history as such.
A month and a half before his death, Jefferson penned a letter, stating, “My sentiments have been forty years before the public: although I shall not live to see them consummated, they will not die with me; but, living or dying, they will ever be in my most fervent prayer.” He never abandoned his desire to free the slaves and died realizing he wouldn’t see it happen. Yet he knew humanity would eventually recognize its error and correct it. God willing, it won’t take America two hundred years to correct abortion.
That’s my 2 cents.
March 1, 2018
Thomas Jefferson lowered his head as the final vote was cast. One vote. One vote could have changed the course of the new country. One vote was the difference between freedom and slavery. This time, slavery won. However, the fight was not over.
Following his wife’s death in 1782, Jefferson re-entered politics despite his retirement at the end of his term as Governor of Virginia. As a state delegate in the Congress, Jefferson authored the Land Ordinance of 1784. Still operating under the , it applied to new states in the Northwest Territory wishing to join the Union. The Act, which he proposed on March 1, 1784, espoused five main principles.
The first four addressed the new states’ standings and responsibilities to America. The fifth article abolished slavery and all involuntary servitude in the new states after 1800. Two Southern delegates moved to strike Jefferson’s slavery clause, triggering an approval vote for the article.
As Jefferson wrote James Madison two days after the vote, “The clause was lost by an individual vote only. Ten states were present. The four eastern states, New York, and Pennsylvania were for the clause; Jersey would have been for it, but there were but two members, one of whom was sick in his chambers. South Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia voted against it. North Carolina was divided, as would have been Virginia, had not one of its delegates [James Monroe] been sick in bed.”
Later that year, Jefferson accepted an appointment of United States Minister to France. Still grieving his late wife, Jefferson eagerly welcomed time away from Monticello, immediately departing for Paris. He joined John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, his two colleagues and co-authors of the .
While there, Jefferson published his Notes on the State of Virginia in 1785, which included several statements regarding his thoughts of the black race. Asserting Negroes were inferior, he still championed for their freedom. In 1791, astronomer, inventor, scientist and free black man Benjamin Banneker boldly confronted Jefferson regarding his views. In an eloquent letter, Banneker forced Jefferson to rethink his opinion. Jefferson was already questioning his position on Negros and Banneker’s correspondence strengthened a crucial point. Jefferson confirmed his views regarding the abilities and intelligence of the Negro were based on observations of those restrained from fulfilling their full potential. Banneker’s letter reinforced to Jefferson that blacks were not limited by their abilities, but by their chains. Therefore, Jefferson’s views of Negros changed forever. (see )