Skip to comments.A Look at Thomas Jefferson's Egregious Hypocrisy
Posted on 07/01/2016 8:18:53 AM PDT by TangledUpInBlue
I once admired Jefferson, seeing him as an essentially good, no, great man with one tragic flaw: The writer of the inspiring words all men are created equal owned slaves. Now, I see Jefferson as an egregious hypocrite, who willfully betrayed the ideals he espoused.
I reached this conclusion only after visiting Monticello, Jeffersons famous Virginia estate, last month. Previously, I didn't realize the extent of Jeffersons slave ownership, and I lazilyand ignorantly--excused it as a common ethical blind spot of his time.
*Jefferson often denounced slavery. He wrote in 1774, "The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state. Yet over the course of his life he owned a total of 600 slaves, who worked on his Monticello farm and other holdings.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.scientificamerican.com ...
How is this a Scientific American article?
What I read was that as slavery was dying, releasing slaves out on their own promised certain death for many. Choices of release or stay were given by some slave owners who opposed slavery but who were loyal to their own slaves’ lives. It was a messy time and situation.
No American should have owned slaves in the first place. When they were released, they should have been sent back to their homelands with payment for their work, IMO. Leaving them in the US only caused more misery for them. Up to this day, many are miserable living in the US.
Yes, interesting in the unbounded arrogance of the writer.
Scientific American drank the liberal PC cool-aid decades ago. Cancelled my subscription when they went from science to leftist political science.
The writer, John Horgan, is a liar.
The article is just secular humanist, atheist, leftist propaganda. Ignore it.
Jefferson was forbade by Virginia Law to release his slaves...
Also these nit-wits in SI don’t realize that America was ONE OF THE FIRST countries to star outlawing slavery.
Slavery still exists today in the MOOSELIMB WORLD....
blah blah blah, Yet another attack on the Founders and the greatest evil ever set upon Mommie Ert..America.
The United States has come a long way since Jeffersons era. Our moral progress is exemplified by the fact that a black man is President. But this country still falls far short of its professed ideals of peace, equality, justice and liberty for all. Perhaps if Jefferson had set a better ethical example, we would have come further by now.
I skipped down to it and I realized that I didn't have to read the rest of it.
Epic Rap Battles of History just did a contest between Thomas Jefferson and Frederick Douglass, and by far and away the most stinging line was when Douglass said to Jefferson “You let freedom ring, but never answered the call” in reference to Jefferson writing against slavery, but still owning slaves.
I think if the American Revolution had been just ten years delayed, slavery may have been outlawed, or at least severely restricted, at the creation of the Constitution. Most of the Founding Fathers were very much against slavery and even those who participated in it, like Jefferson and Franklin, would not have objected to the abolition of the slave trade.
It is a “hideous blot” on our history (the words of Jefferson) and we must acknowledge it. But that doesn’t mean that anyone alive today should be held accountable for the situation a quarter of a millennium ago.
For the same reason that comic books and pretty much everything else in our increasingly PC totalitarian society has turned into a discussion of race.
The author is on the editorial board (I think), so they have to print any and all of his garbage there.
Jefferson’s most egregious act was not owning slaves but was his slicing pieces (literally) out of a Bible trying to remove all references to Christ’s divinity.
Dying....They were multiplying so fast that they stopped importing them....especially in Virginia.
I have read that sometimes a slave would ‘go missing’; and after ascertaining that they were doing alright in freedom, Jefferson let them alone and didn’t try to get them back.
How about the hypocrisy of the author embellishing 240 year old stories about slavery while ignoring current day slavery?
Hindsight is always 20/20; and it’s far too easy to judge the past applying contemporary morality.
The enslavement of one group by another characterizes a large segment of human history. Colonial whites were not the only group to engage in the practice.
Not to mention that there were plenty of non-black slaves—typically referred to as “indentured servants”—running around.
Oh, and let’s not overlook the role of the Religion of Peace in enslaving their fellow Africans.
I used to love reading it, but I abandoned it about two decades ago. Even back then, it was losing its way.
There are a number of things I strongly dislike about Jefferson, but his ownership of slaves wasn’t key among them. There were many slave owners who felt their hands were tied in a number of ways by the prevailing laws and such.
The biggest issue I had against Jefferson was his underhanded whispering campaign against George Washington during his second term which he carried out by anonymous proxy. He spread the word that Washington was tired, mentally feeble, and out of touch, being “manipulated” by Alexander Hamilton. To say Hamilton and Jefferson were enemies, if not bitter enemies, isn’t putting too fine of a point on it.
Washington found out via an unimpeachable source that Jefferson was the one behind it, and let coldly let Jefferson know that he knew, as only Washington could.
After that, the only interaction Washington and Jefferson had was at social functions, and Washington was always icily polite to him. I don’t believe they ever corresponded after that.
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