“The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies, where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state.” – Thomas Jefferson
On July 1, 2019, Charlottesville stripped it’s celebration of Thomas Jefferson’s birth from its holidays due to his involvement with slavery. Jefferson has a very complex history filled with seeming contradictions when seen through our eyes in our times. He worked tirelessly against slavery while having slaves. I think it’s horrendous that we are now applying our present standards against his legacy.
Stripped from the Declaration of Independence by delegates from South Carolina and Georgia was this language drafted by Thomas Jefferson:
“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.