The tragedy is that a wonderful American got trashed, and when you go to Monticello, and see Jefferson's home, in the context of the times. he took excellent care of his slaves, to the point of buying produce from them on land he gave them to grow vegetables for themselves. The slaves stayed on the Monticello for three and four generations because they had a home there and were well treated.
Yeah, he treated them so well he put mortgages on them in order to finance the constant building of Monticello. The slaves stayed on because they were slaves, he only freed 5 slaves in his will and the rest were put up for auction along with Monticello after he died.
I think you have Jefferson confused with Washington, who did treat his slaves well and freed them after Martha's death- many of his ex-slaves stayed in the area afterwards.
posted on 09/14/2003 2:41:58 PM PDT
posted on 09/14/2003 2:57:36 PM PDT
(Something caught my eye....and dragged it 15 feet.)
I haven't confused Washington with Jefferson at all. Everything I said is documented and true.
I also used a phrase"in the context of the times". Slaves were considered property at the time. I don't know that he mortgaged them, but if you say he did, that's plausible to me. But that was a common occurence then in an agricultural economy, where the cash flow for the plantation was tied into the harvest and selling of the crops.
There's no question that he treated his slaves decently. The record of the slaves themselves is such. When he died in 1826, he left a tremendous debt. About two years later, everything had to be sold, including Monticello, to pay his creditors. His heirs sold the slaves as well--that was the way it was then.
The point is, he wasn't abusive to the slaves.I think on that we can both agree.
posted on 09/14/2003 8:47:21 PM PDT
(Constitution?--I got your Constitution right here!--T. Daschle)
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