Thomas Jefferson Abolitionist

Powerful Essays
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United states and also a very historical figure, is looked up upon by many as a highly admirable man. He is best known for his belief that all men are created equal, as seen in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was an advocate to end slavery and attempted to create equality for slaves as well. To many he is the epitome of what America stands for. Articles by Dumas Malone, William Cohen, Henry Wiencek, Annette Gordon-Reed each stated their reasons as to why they believe Thomas Jefferson was or was not an abolitionist. In “The Hopes and Fears of a Slaveholder”, Arthur Dumas Malone was more sympathetic towards Jefferson and his approach towards ending slavery. Thomas jefferson stated, “This…show more content…
To the other authors of the Declaration “all men” was not what they actually wanted. They then decided to repair his words by stating “all freemen”. Historian David Brion Davis stated, “The most remarkable thing about Jefferson’s stand on slavery is his immense silence.” And later, Davis finds, Jefferson’s emancipation efforts “virtually ceased.” Thomas Jefferson owned an estate called Monticello he inherited the land from his father. His then morals somehow changed according to Wiencek, “The mansion sits atop a long tunnel through which slaves, unseen, hurried back and forth carrying platters of food, fresh tableware, ice, beer, wine and linens, while above them 20, 30 or 40 guests sat listening to Jefferson’s dinner-table conversation. At one end of the tunnel lay the icehouse, at the other the kitchen, a hive of ceaseless activity where the enslaved cooks and their helpers produced one course after another.” with this statement we can see that slaves were quick to respond to every need and want from Jefferson. A system was created to keep the property running in a well organized and complex manner. Davis later states, “In his lifetime Jefferson owned more than 600 slaves. At any one time about 100 slaves lived on the mountain; the highest slave population, in 1817, was 140.” As shown, his will to abolish…show more content…
Many historians have also made the same exact claims. She explains, “The book's tone and presentation betray a journalistic obsession with “the scoop.” Getting the scoop can be the life’s blood of journalism. It does not work so well for writing history, which is not always (or almost ever, really) about discovering things previously unknown.” She then goes on to state that he did not find out information that was entirely unknown. His writing resembles that of a journalist who is telling others of a scandal unknown. She then goes on to speak about the “four percent” that Wienceks brings up, Wienceks believes Thomas Jefferson was talking about the profit he makes when a salve is born. Annette Gordon believes Jefferson was speaking about the farms that are in Virginia. Annette gordons overall article is about how she feels Wiencek’s article was inadequate and so were his reasonings. Perhaps Jefferson was not brutal his slaves, perhaps he really was talking about the farmland and not the amount he would receive for slaves being
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