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How will we end slavery?

In 1769, I became a member of the legislature by the choice of the county in which I live, & continued in that until it was closed by the revolution. I made one effort in that body for the permission of the emancipation of slaves, which was rejected: and indeed, during the regal government, nothing liberal could expect success.
Thomas Jefferson’s Autobiography (From Padover’s The Complete Jefferson, P. 1120-1)

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise leaders seek to correct injustices.
Thomas Jefferson became a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses at age 26. He served there until the King’s Royal Governor dissolved the colony’s legislature five years later, in 1774.
He took a number of positions during those years. A few paragraphs further he wrote about their actions in the foment leading to independence. But he cited a single legislative cause for which he made an effort, freeing slaves. That effort was defeated.
Jefferson receives a lot of criticism for declaring “all men are created equal” while being a slaveholder. A thorough examination of his record from the time he was a young man through the end of his life will show a man unalterably opposed to slavery.
There are reasons why he didn’t free his own slaves. That will be the subject of another post.

What’s the story on Jefferson, slavery and Sally Hemings?
Invite him to address your audience and find out!
Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739

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3 Responses to How will we end slavery?

  1. erne lewis says:

    There are reasons why he didn’t free his own slaves. That will be the subject of another post.
    I look forward to that post.

  2. CFloyd says:

    So glad you are addressing this! Weren’t Washington and Adams in agreement?

    • Thomas Jefferson Leadership says:

      This is a complicated issue! I haven’t yet figured out how to cover a very involved subject in just one or two posts.
      Washington, a lifelong Virginia slave-holder, and Adams, a Massachusetts slavery opponent, were not in agreement on the issue. While Washington is credited with freeing his slaves upon his death, that didn’t happen. Instead, he decreed that they were to be freed upon his wife’s death, which came three years later. Washington appointed his nephew, Bushrod Washington, as his executor. There is some question whether Bushrod actually carried out his uncle’s order to free all the slaves.

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