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The Dark Side of Thomas Jefferson ^ | 10-2012 | Henry Wiencek

Posted on 09/22/2012 6:47:35 AM PDT by Renfield

...“One cannot question the genuineness of Jefferson’s liberal dreams,” writes historian David Brion Davis. “He was one of the first statesmen in any part of the world to advocate concrete measures for restricting and eradicating Negro slavery.”

But in the 1790s, Davis continues, “the most remarkable thing about Jefferson’s stand on slavery is his immense silence.” And later, Davis finds, Jefferson’s emancipation efforts “virtually ceased.”

Somewhere in a short span of years during the 1780s and into the early 1790s, a transformation came over Jefferson.

The very existence of slavery in the era of the American Revolution presents a paradox, and we have largely been content to leave it at that, since a paradox can offer a comforting state of moral suspended animation. Jefferson animates the paradox. And by looking closely at Monticello, we can see the process by which he rationalized an abomination to the point where an absolute moral reversal was reached and he made slavery fit into America’s national enterprise....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: cornerstonespeech; fff; jefferson; marketbubble; oldunionwillsplit; presidents; slavery; thomasjefferson; tulipmania; virginia; vuttspnnkiea; wolfbytheears
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

21 posted on 09/22/2012 7:15:53 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Renfield

Stopped my subscription to Smithsonian some time ago!! Could no longer take their lift wing slant on all of the articles!!

22 posted on 09/22/2012 7:16:10 AM PDT by Forrestfire (("To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." Theodore Roosevelt))
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I’m looking forward to reading the entire article. I agree with you regarding Jefferson’s finances dictating his position on slavery. Having visited Monticello, I came to the conclusion that for all his genius, Jefferson was a narcissistic ass with zero sense of responsiblity or accountability to his fellow man.

He lived, literally and figuratively, above others and disregarded what we today would consider common decency.

I was heartened to see the John Adams miniseries depict Jefferson as almost exactly what I had imagined.

Of course, my opinions are only mine, and they are informed by life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. But I consider Jefferson the least of the founders, as a man.

23 posted on 09/22/2012 7:19:06 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Gen.Blather
I really do recommend you read HITLER'S WILLING EXECUTIONERS, by Goldhagen. It is an absolutely extraordinary expose on the culture of the time.

What I don't quite understand is...

Forgive my ignorance but it seems to be the principal contention of the venerable Smithsonian that in the old days, private individuals, rather than the government, enslaved persons.

In the realm of our new owners, of course, the slaves who refuse to work are rewarded, whereas the slaves who work are punished.

Perhaps Jefferson saw what was coming, and wanted to end the business outright?
24 posted on 09/22/2012 7:20:07 AM PDT by golux
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To: BenLurkin
The clock in the entrance with the holes in the floor gave me a good laugh. The bed insets were ridiculously small and the dumbwaiter was no big deal. I don't think Jefferson was the "brain" we make him out to be...more of a copycat...always with views on both side of the spectrum so you never new "distinctly" where he stood on anything.

But he did believe in States Rights and that's what always sells me on Jefferson.

He was much more modest than Washington.

25 posted on 09/22/2012 7:21:20 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Lazamataz

That is how “deja vu” works. Exactly.

26 posted on 09/22/2012 7:22:20 AM PDT by Travis McGee (
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To: Renfield

Jefferson was a Democrat. Republicans have an annual Lincoln (who freed the slaves) Day dinner; and the Democrats have an annual Jefferson (who owned slaves) dinner.

The Democrats still have black slaves kept in their place by the house negroes like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Charlie Rangle, et al.

27 posted on 09/22/2012 7:24:28 AM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: Renfield
hmmm..slavery had been the “way of the world” for 2000 years prior to the American Revolution.

IMHO, one of the most amazing things to observe in history is that within 100 years of penning the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, slavery is basically history....throughout the entire world. the best testament to the integrity of those documents.

Which really is all that needs saying...about the legitimacy of those documents, and the puerile idiocy of those, passing themselves off as “scholars” , who try to classify those documents as “slaveholders writings”.

As with all liberals, that which they openly accuse of, is generally that which they themselves are desperately attempting to practice covertly.

28 posted on 09/22/2012 7:28:54 AM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: Gen.Blather
I can imagine our offspring a century forward tearing down all of the monuments to all of the great men before the abolition of “carnivorism.”

Even liberal icons like Martin Luther King.

“Sure, that's all true, King did some very good things, but he ATE MEAT! That is UNFORGIVABLE!!”

(That is, if our offspring are not huddled around camp fires in a post-electrical world.)

29 posted on 09/22/2012 7:29:14 AM PDT by Travis McGee (
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To: mo; wardaddy

Two thousand years? Shoot, that is just the modern AD era.

There was no time in recorded history without slavery, before the Europeans abolished it.

Slavery existed in North Africa until the French stamped it out in the 1930s. I think the last open slave auction took place in Saudi Arabia in the 1960s. And it exists sub-rosa all over the Islamic world to this day, where it is explicitly approved under Sharia law.

What a PC joke it is to blame Europeans for slavery, when they were the ones who abolished this ancient human institution.

30 posted on 09/22/2012 7:32:49 AM PDT by Travis McGee (
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To: dalebert

ping because

31 posted on 09/22/2012 7:35:33 AM PDT by VaRepublican (I would propagate taglines but I don't know how. But bloggers do.)
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To: Renfield

Funny how we are allowed to know the “dark side” of a 200-year old President, but we are NOT allowed to know the dark side of our current occupant.

32 posted on 09/22/2012 7:39:20 AM PDT by montag813
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To: Leep

I figure Obama sees it as revenge against the U.S. for being the strongest and most prosperous nation on the planet.

33 posted on 09/22/2012 7:41:01 AM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: montag813

Yes; funny, also, how his records were scrubbed before he announced his run for the presidency. It’s nearly impossible to prove anything about him as a younger man; we still don’t know who paid for his time at Columbia University. He didn’t have the money for it. Who put him through Columbia?

I’ve thought for a long time that he was the Manchurian Candidate of the CIA, or of some other sinister entity with enormous resources.

34 posted on 09/22/2012 7:49:06 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Sacajaweau

Slavery existed all over the northern states also, especially New York. The biggest slave owner in the state of SC was a black man. And when the murdering Lincoln “freed” the slaves with his bogus emancipation, he “freed” slaves in a country he had no jurisdiction, as in the Confederate States of America. He left alone the slaves that were in border states like Kentucky and Maryland.Precisely because the majority of those states sided with him. And getting back to Jefferson, most REAL historians think his brother was the one that fathered the children with Hemmings. AND, if he had an “affair” with Hemmings, his wife was dead and he was an old man. Nothing to see here for Jefferson haters, so move along.

35 posted on 09/22/2012 7:51:03 AM PDT by NKP_Vet
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To: Sacajaweau; BenLurkin

BL: Was surprised how by cramped it looked on the inside...I went away convinced that he was a bit of a crackpot.

S: The bed insets were ridiculously small and the dumbwaiter was no big deal. I don’t think Jefferson was the “brain” we make him out to be...

LOL! Y’all are so JADED! :-)

I thought Monticello was way cool. Then again, I’m sure I’m more than a LITTLE cracked myself... Keep in mind he put it all together quite a while ago, essentially in the middle of nowhere. Charlottesville was NOT Boston or NY.

Did y’all get a chance to check out the university? That was cool too (IMHO). Of all the stuff Jefferson did, fighting for and founding UVA was Jefferson’s proudest accomplishment, at least judging by what he had put on his tombstone. Too bad it’s now a liberal cesspool, but that’s the way of higher ed in this country.

Mrs. Tick and I were also blown away by the quality of the restaurants downtown. And good hiking not far out of town.

All in all I’d go back to Charlottesville in a heartbeat.


36 posted on 09/22/2012 7:51:34 AM PDT by Nervous Tick ("You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.")
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To: NKP_Vet
he “freed” slaves in a country he had no jurisdiction, as in the Confederate States of America.

Just b/c you claim to be a nation country doesn't make it so.

37 posted on 09/22/2012 7:53:13 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (
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To: Renfield

Thanks Renfield, but this is just some reelection campaign chatter from the Obama media chatterbox.

38 posted on 09/22/2012 8:06:04 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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To: GreyFriar
>"It was industrialization that permitted the eradication of slavery due to what were seen as economic requirements/justifications."

It didn't end slavery. It just made the work a lot easier!

Pull a few levers every couple of years. Massa will provide the rest.

39 posted on 09/22/2012 8:08:16 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist (I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a Barack 0b0tt0my!)
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To: esopman of the first things that struck me. TJ is the liberal's hero, so this was surprising.

I am a follower of General Washington and people like me tend to not like TJ because of his scurrilous attacks on the General.

40 posted on 09/22/2012 8:20:20 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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