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(The New York Times)   Thomas Jefferson was a dick   (nytimes.com) divider line 286
    More: Interesting, Monticello, Jon Meacham, visiting professor, state legislators, independent scholars, Criminal Code  
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29223 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Dec 2012 at 5:16 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-03 09:24:08 AM  
The Christopher Hitchens book about TJ painted him as a flawed, complex, intellectual who eventually compromised his principles by breaking his word to his slaves and selling them down the river to pay his debts. Basically.

did not read
 
2012-12-03 09:33:37 AM  
IMO This is tagging in the news again, because the last scene in the movie "Killing Them Softly" has a matter of fact comment from Brad Pitt's character about Jefferson and the US not being a country, but a business.

Sadly, truth rings and the liberty bell cracks.
 
2012-12-03 09:34:34 AM  

ace in your face: ChuDogg: Chimperror2: durbnpoisn: I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here. And I say that because I absolutely think that Jefferson was an enormous douche. So I'm barely making a defense for him. But everyone seems to be leaving out one very important part of the article.

The reason he cannot be considered a hypocrite for his treatment of slaves is that he didn't see them as human. And that was quite in line with the thinking of the day. Now that 200 years have gone by, and views on such things have changed, it suddenly makes it look like he was a two-faced prick.

In other words, he wasn't a hypocrite, he was a very short-sighted person who refused to acknowledge that all men, including blacks, are created equal.

He didn't mind screwing them and having babies. What other non-humans did he have sex with?

Didnt the DNA test prove it was his uncle?

As much as I have read about it it seems pretty indicative that it was Jefferson and not any of his family members since he was at monticello during the est conception time while others were not. Whether his children were products of a real relationship or not IDK, but the practice of "growing slaves" by raping slaves was quite common in early america. Cheaper that way. So even if he was the one farking Sally Hemmings it doesnt make him amoral for the time.


Everything I've read has indicated the opposite. The original charge came about when Jefferson ran for election that he fathered a black baby. Then, as now, it pointed that his uncle fathered the last of Sally Hemings children.

When the DNA movement picked up steam and many of Hemings descendants wanted heir to the estate the charges picked up steam again. This time, that Jefferson fathered ALL of hemings children in a secret love affair. Though the testing revealed exactly what we knew in 1800, that a male line in the Jefferson family fathered the child. Which one could not be specified.

I suppose we could prpbably do further testing, but its pretty telling that the Hemings family does not want to do any more DNA testd has their oral history is "good enough".

Simply put, there isnt any more evidence to the charge now than their was in 1800.
 
2012-12-03 09:38:13 AM  

Tatterdemalian: czei: The problem with putting the blame on Jefferson for not stopping slavery is that it was a volatile topic that would have torn the young nation apart. There would have been no United States of America if the country had outlawed slavery, because the economy of the southern colonies depended on slave labor. Practically everyone with political power in the south at the time owned slaves, and getting rid of slavery would have meant completely changing the economy.

Doesn't matter, to most FARKers the US should have ended up like Haiti, and the fact that it didn't is one of history's greatest injustices.

/better to be king of hell than a mere president in heaven
//even if you end up being a slave in hell, at least there's a chance of becoming a king who gets to force everyone else to follow rules while being able to ignore them yourself... there's no chance of that in any true democracy


Yeah, because there is absolutely no way in between practicing what you preach, and willingly putting your head on the block when your liberated slave is about to chop it off.
 
2012-12-03 09:39:00 AM  

ace in your face: Comparing morality in a different century is a little rediculous. Most of us wouldn't kill a person for being gay, or kill a black man for seducing a white woman, but a hundred years ago that shiat was pretty acceptable. In the reverse, I dont get called a slut for wearing a bathing suit but 100 years ago they would have arrested me. Times change. Jefferson was a defently moral man for the time.


And in the 1940s Hitler thought Jews were less than human, so that's ok too, right?
 
2012-12-03 09:41:19 AM  
Thomas Jefferson was a dickpowerful national leader without constant twenty-four hour attention to everything he said and did.
 
2012-12-03 09:41:58 AM  
To be fair, almost no whites of the time, including the abolitionists, considered blacks to be the equals of whites....or even fully human. Even the abolitionists of the Civil War era didn't believe in racial equality. Lincoln's plan for freed blacks was to encourage as many as possible to leave the United States. Research the history of Liberia if you don't believe me.

If you really want to dig into early US history, you'll find that the founding fathers were almost uniformly bad-ass mother-farkers. In those days personal squabbles didn't end up in law suits but in duels. Aaron Burr, the Vice President of the US, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury (dude on the $10 bill), and it was all perfectly legal.
 
2012-12-03 09:42:21 AM  
This would certainly explain the fascination the current brand of Republicans have with Jefferson.
 
2012-12-03 09:42:26 AM  
Well, after reading this article, it's obvious why newspapers are doing so well.

And to put most of the blame where it belongs, it was the English who started and perpetuated slavery, and it was Americans that got rid of it.... The Revolutionary War ended in 1783, but already by 1777 States were passing anti-slavery laws.

/yes it could have been quicker
//yes segregation was moronic
///no, I'm not saying America is free and clear
////why are you still reading this?
 
2012-12-03 09:44:51 AM  

marius2: Were there any presidents that were not dicks?


Garfield.
 
2012-12-03 09:45:21 AM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: so that's ok too, right?


Don't be silly, the Jews in question were white.
 
2012-12-03 09:45:22 AM  

Fissile: To be fair, almost no whites of the time, including the abolitionists, considered blacks to be the equals of whites....or even fully human. Even the abolitionists of the Civil War era didn't believe in racial equality. Lincoln's plan for freed blacks was to encourage as many as possible to leave the United States. Research the history of Liberia if you don't believe me.

If you really want to dig into early US history, you'll find that the founding fathers were almost uniformly bad-ass mother-farkers. In those days personal squabbles didn't end up in law suits but in duels. Aaron Burr, the Vice President of the US, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury (dude on the $10 bill), and it was all perfectly legal.


Actually, it was illegal, and Burr had to flee to Mexico to escape prosecution. The rest of what you said is correct.
 
2012-12-03 09:46:38 AM  
Rather than encouraging his countrymen to liberate their slaves, he opposed both private manumission and public emancipation. Even at his death, Jefferson failed to fulfill the promise of his rhetoric: his will emancipated only five slaves, all relatives of his mistress Sally Hemings, and condemned nearly 200 others to the auction block. Even Hemings remained a slave, though her children by Jefferson went free.

I see what you did there, NYT writer. Didn't mention Hemings anywhere else in the entire article talking about how horrible he was, but you just had to slip that one line in. Nice and trolly-like.

As far as I'm concerned, it's far too deep down the family tree to know anything for sure, even biologically. And even if it wasn't, while our modern morality decries it, theirs didn't. I'm not saying it was right then or now, just saying that I think we make heroes out of whom we want, how we want, and calling someone horrible 186 years after they die really doesn't change the previous views without better proof than the legends and nine or ten generations of watered down DNA.
 
2012-12-03 09:49:44 AM  
Not to deny that Jefferson was an utter bastard, but the last letter link actually states almost the exact opposite of what the writer says. Jefferson says he wants to spread slavery to the new territories, but then says that he wants to do so as to "spread the slaves out" and make it easier to enact emancipation. And then his "failure of the present generation" quote also appears to refer to the failure to end slavery, not the failure to continue it like the author says.
 
2012-12-03 09:49:45 AM  

GAT_00: DamnYankees: GAT_00: DamnYankees: I don't claim to know what's in his head - that's what you're doing

Did you suddenly turn back into a Republican? I'm quoting the man's writings.

"I care about the 100%."

I just quoted Mitt Romney. Do you believe him when he says that? I mean, you should - quoting people seems to be your standard for determining what they believe.

All right, this is going to go nowhere. This is done now.


snap? Yankee makes a mighty strong case.
 
2012-12-03 09:51:01 AM  

DamnYankees: GAT_00: He was and wasn't. He hated slavery, but didn't want to end it for fear of mass revolts.

Thomas Jefferson pretty clearly didn't hate slavery. He just wrote that he did.

Jefferson is an interesting figure, and certain parts of him are admirable, but I find it a little uneasy that people tend to be willing to give his words more credence than his actions. Jefferson never did a single thing, as far as I'm aware, to end slavery. He took zero positive steps in that regards, and was not a particularly good slave-master. He abused his actual slaves, both sexually and otherwise. There's simply no reason to think he was a secret lover of black people at heart, any more than you actually believe Mitt Romney loves poor people.


Because our society is founded on his words and not his actions. Same with Martin Luther King whose glorious words inspire long after we stopped caring that he cheated on his wife.
 
2012-12-03 09:51:14 AM  
FTFA: "His proslavery views were shaped not only by money and status but also by his deeply racist views, which he tried to justify through pseudoscience."

WTF, totally uncalled for Mr. Finkelman...
 
2012-12-03 09:51:17 AM  

The Jami Turman Fan Club: Actually, it was illegal, and Burr had to flee to Mexico to escape prosecution. The rest of what you said is correct.


To be fair to Burr, he was batshiat insane.
 
2012-12-03 09:51:51 AM  

ChuDogg:
Didnt the DNA test prove it was his uncle?


IMHO, Randolph, his brother, was the most likely father. During the time period that most likely led to the descendents, Randolph had spent time at Monticello and was known as someone who was a problem for women when he became drunk. The DNA evidence simply shows it came from the Jefferson family, but not directly Thomas. Considering his issues with slavery, I personally see it more likely that another family member responsible for this issue.
 
2012-12-03 09:51:57 AM  

gshepnyc: Because our society is founded on his words and not his actions. Same with Martin Luther King whose glorious words inspire long after we stopped caring that he cheated on his wife.


This is a terrible analogy.
 
2012-12-03 09:53:32 AM  
Slavery was just one of his hypocrisies. Mr. Freedom and Liberty also prosecuted his political enemies under the Alien and Sedition Acts. He was an economic, social and military ignoramus, too; a nation of agrarian, slave-owning small-holders defended by a milita and no navy was a stupid idea. The Embargo Act was a stupid idea. Wrote some pretty philosophy, but otherwise was a spendthrift drunk and a bad president.

/OK, Louisiana Purchase, I'll give him that. But that's IT.
//The idea of Thomas Jefferson, though, as embodied by the Jefferson Memorial. Good thing.
///Oh, and the Jefferson Bible, like that.
 
2012-12-03 09:55:33 AM  
It's not a paradox or a contradiction. The fact that he owned slaves does NOTHING to change or offset the qualities he is admired for.
 
2012-12-03 09:55:33 AM  
The dead have always bothered the living.
 
2012-12-03 09:56:26 AM  
Thomas Jefferson was had a dick 

100 barefooted little Thandie Newtons running around and rape wasn't a crime? I'd be out there in the hayloft right now.
 
2012-12-03 09:56:36 AM  

doubled99: The fact that he owned slaves does NOTHING to change or offset the qualities he is admired for.


It's almost like you aren't addressing the argument.
 
2012-12-03 09:59:57 AM  

The Jami Turman Fan Club: Fissile: To be fair, almost no whites of the time, including the abolitionists, considered blacks to be the equals of whites....or even fully human. Even the abolitionists of the Civil War era didn't believe in racial equality. Lincoln's plan for freed blacks was to encourage as many as possible to leave the United States. Research the history of Liberia if you don't believe me.

If you really want to dig into early US history, you'll find that the founding fathers were almost uniformly bad-ass mother-farkers. In those days personal squabbles didn't end up in law suits but in duels. Aaron Burr, the Vice President of the US, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury (dude on the $10 bill), and it was all perfectly legal.

Actually, it was illegal, and Burr had to flee to Mexico to escape prosecution. The rest of what you said is correct.


==========================

Sorry, but you are in error. At the time, the capitol of the US was located in NYC. Dueling was ILLEGAL in New York, but LEGAL across the river in New Jersey, that's why Hamilton and Burr got into a row boat and went over to Weehawken, NJ to have the duel. There is a monument to Hamilton located on the spot in Weehawken, I've been by there many times.

After the duel, Burr was indicted for murder in Bergen County, NJ, but the indictment was thrown out based on the fact that dueling was not illegal in New Jersey at the time of the duel. Burr was eventually charged with treason for attempting to separate the Louisiana Territory from the US, but those charges were eventually thrown out as well. Burr's political career was beyond redemption at that point, and he spent his final years as a lawyer in NYC.
 
2012-12-03 10:01:05 AM  

Scott_Free: If anyone wants to fistfight me over Jefferson, let me know. He was the shiat. I have his back.


I'm not much into fighting, but I'll shoot you a game of bridge board marbles, or maybe boss pit. I'll warn you ahead of time though, I was two time oak grove town champion in third grade.
 
2012-12-03 10:01:11 AM  

Fissile: To be fair, almost no whites of the time, including the abolitionists, considered blacks to be the equals of whites....or even fully human. Even the abolitionists of the Civil War era didn't believe in racial equality. Lincoln's plan for freed blacks was to encourage as many as possible to leave the United States. Research the history of Liberia if you don't believe me.

If you really want to dig into early US history, you'll find that the founding fathers were almost uniformly bad-ass mother-farkers. In those days personal squabbles didn't end up in law suits but in duels. Aaron Burr, the Vice President of the US, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury (dude on the $10 bill), and it was all perfectly legal.



You cannot simultaneously hold the beliefs that this man was SO brilliant he could poetically communicate his ideas about freedom, but he was so stupid he didn't know that blacks were people. Were the people who refused to own slaves during the time smarter than Thomas Jefferson? Were the people who freed their slaves smarter than Thomas Jefferson? Or, was he just a hypocritical piece of shiat who knew exactly what he was doing, but didn't care because it kept him paid? It has to be one or the other. It can't be both.
 
2012-12-03 10:02:04 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: dickfreckle: Mangoose: But yes, Jefferson was a weird, strange, corrupt, slave-owning freak of a human being. His saving grace was his intellect. To which, one day, hopefully, we will be indebted.

/didn't read

You basically summed up the article without reading it. I think anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the individual Fathers already knew he was a particular nasty sonofab*tch, though they certainly won't be teaching that in high school Western Civ. classes anytime soon.

My admiration is of Jefferson is his body of work, not the man himself. We all love certain books or even music written by reprehensible reprobates. I don't see why this should be different just because he was an eight cylinder bastard.

Indeed. What I really hate is that the body of work is more and more often shouldered aside in favor of screaming what a blue-ribbon asshole Jefferson was.

Okay. We get it. He was an ass. Now can we please move on?


We can always do a Texas school board act and strip him out of history books to make room for the historical significance of Newt Gingrich.
 
2012-12-03 10:03:21 AM  

GAT_00:
Ok, now you're claiming to know what was in the head of a man 200 years dead and how it contradicted what he wrote. Step back from the ledge of crazy.


I think Jackson had a particular fondness for American Indians
 
2012-12-03 10:04:57 AM  
The fact that we are all here reading this thread today is in large part to Jefferson's passion about everyone having access to a free and public education. While he tended to be a small gov't guy about almost everything else and hated taxes, he was absolutely convinced that our republic would not last without an educated populace to see through sophistry. Jefferson even went so far as to submit and amendment to the constitution ensuring education as a right but he withdrew it because in his heart he was a state's rights guy. So instead he worked to see education enshrined as a right in each state's constitution.
 
2012-12-03 10:06:00 AM  

mbillips: Slavery was just one of his hypocrisies. Mr. Freedom and Liberty also prosecuted his political enemies under the Alien and Sedition Acts. He was an economic, social and military ignoramus, too; a nation of agrarian, slave-owning small-holders defended by a milita and no navy was a stupid idea. The Embargo Act was a stupid idea. Wrote some pretty philosophy, but otherwise was a spendthrift drunk and a bad president.

/OK, Louisiana Purchase, I'll give him that. But that's IT.
//The idea of Thomas Jefferson, though, as embodied by the Jefferson Memorial. Good thing.
///Oh, and the Jefferson Bible, like that.


So... you didn't care for the Declaration of Independence?
How nice of you to give him a small prop for doubling the size of our nation though.
 
2012-12-03 10:07:54 AM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: Fissile: To be fair, almost no whites of the time, including the abolitionists, considered blacks to be the equals of whites....or even fully human. Even the abolitionists of the Civil War era didn't believe in racial equality. Lincoln's plan for freed blacks was to encourage as many as possible to leave the United States. Research the history of Liberia if you don't believe me.

If you really want to dig into early US history, you'll find that the founding fathers were almost uniformly bad-ass mother-farkers. In those days personal squabbles didn't end up in law suits but in duels. Aaron Burr, the Vice President of the US, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury (dude on the $10 bill), and it was all perfectly legal.


You cannot simultaneously hold the beliefs that this man was SO brilliant he could poetically communicate his ideas about freedom, but he was so stupid he didn't know that blacks were people.


In the age that most of the world still believed that people in power, like royalty, were not made of the same stuff as the people below their status, I can't imagine why he couldn't hold both views without too many people of the age disagreeing.
 
2012-12-03 10:09:29 AM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: Fissile: To be fair, almost no whites of the time, including the abolitionists, considered blacks to be the equals of whites....or even fully human. Even the abolitionists of the Civil War era didn't believe in racial equality. Lincoln's plan for freed blacks was to encourage as many as possible to leave the United States. Research the history of Liberia if you don't believe me.

If you really want to dig into early US history, you'll find that the founding fathers were almost uniformly bad-ass mother-farkers. In those days personal squabbles didn't end up in law suits but in duels. Aaron Burr, the Vice President of the US, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury (dude on the $10 bill), and it was all perfectly legal.


You cannot simultaneously hold the beliefs that this man was SO brilliant he could poetically communicate his ideas about freedom, but he was so stupid he didn't know that blacks were people. Were the people who refused to own slaves during the time smarter than Thomas Jefferson? Were the people who freed their slaves smarter than Thomas Jefferson? Or, was he just a hypocritical piece of shiat who knew exactly what he was doing, but didn't care because it kept him paid? It has to be one or the other. It can't be both.


===============

What I'm suggesting is that the majority of people who were against slavery did not base their position on the morality or ethics of slavery, but were concerned with the bigger economic picture. The industrial revolution was well underway by the time the US was founded, and it was clear to most that slavery and the economics of industrialization were incompatible. That's why a person could be anti-slavery and yet not believe in racial equality.
 
2012-12-03 10:11:10 AM  
That is quite a conspiracy theory. It only took 200 years to uncover the true nature of Jefferson. All the historians have been lying to us apparently.
 
2012-12-03 10:11:52 AM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: Fissile: To be fair, almost no whites of the time, including the abolitionists, considered blacks to be the equals of whites....or even fully human. Even the abolitionists of the Civil War era didn't believe in racial equality. Lincoln's plan for freed blacks was to encourage as many as possible to leave the United States. Research the history of Liberia if you don't believe me.

If you really want to dig into early US history, you'll find that the founding fathers were almost uniformly bad-ass mother-farkers. In those days personal squabbles didn't end up in law suits but in duels. Aaron Burr, the Vice President of the US, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury (dude on the $10 bill), and it was all perfectly legal.


You cannot simultaneously hold the beliefs that this man was SO brilliant he could poetically communicate his ideas about freedom, but he was so stupid he didn't know that blacks were people. Were the people who refused to own slaves during the time smarter than Thomas Jefferson? Were the people who freed their slaves smarter than Thomas Jefferson? Or, was he just a hypocritical piece of shiat who knew exactly what he was doing, but didn't care because it kept him paid? It has to be one or the other. It can't be both.


Look at how simple your mind is. Cute.

The dude grew up around slaves. His earliest memory was when he was 2 of being held by the family slave.
 
2012-12-03 10:16:43 AM  

NewportBarGuy: agrarian


Defined as "slaveholding." In the end, thanks in part to Jefferson's worship of this ideal, we had a brutal Civil War where we put it down by force.
 
2012-12-03 10:18:16 AM  
DROxINxTHExWIND: Fissile: To be fair, almost no whites of the time, including the abolitionists, considered blacks to be the equals of whites....or even fully human. Even the abolitionists of the Civil War era didn't believe in racial equality. Lincoln's plan for freed blacks was to encourage as many as possible to leave the United States. Research the history of Liberia if you don't believe me.

If you really want to dig into early US history, you'll find that the founding fathers were almost uniformly bad-ass mother-farkers. In those days personal squabbles didn't end up in law suits but in duels. Aaron Burr, the Vice President of the US, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury (dude on the $10 bill), and it was all perfectly legal.


You cannot simultaneously hold the beliefs that this man was SO brilliant he could poetically communicate his ideas about freedom, but he was so stupid he didn't know that blacks were people. Were the people who refused to own slaves during the time smarter than Thomas Jefferson? Were the people who freed their slaves smarter than Thomas Jefferson? Or, was he just a hypocritical piece of shiat who knew exactly what he was doing, but didn't care because it kept him paid? It has to be one or the other. It can't be both.




Yes. It can. Next.
 
2012-12-03 10:19:09 AM  

CreampuffCasperMilktoast: And to put most of the blame where it belongs, it was the English who started and perpetuated slavery, and it was Americans that got rid of it....


Uh... no.

Actually, Spain brought the first African slaves to the New World, and Portugal brought far more to Brazil than were brought to North America, in addition to enslaving the Indians. Various other European countries engaged in the cross-Atlantic slave trade.

However, European countries mostly banned slavery before the U.S. did, in the early 1800's -- including the Brits. They banned the trade in 1807 (vs. 1820 for the US) and slavery itself in 1833.

Not to mention, of course, that "Americans got rid of it" only by fighting a war with other Americans who wanted to keep it, to the tune of over 600,000 dead. We can't really take a lot of credit for finally doing the right thing.
 
2012-12-03 10:19:15 AM  

CreampuffCasperMilktoast: Well, after reading this article, it's obvious why newspapers are doing so well.

And to put most of the blame where it belongs, it was the English who started and perpetuated slavery, and it was Americans that got rid of it.... The Revolutionary War ended in 1783, but already by 1777 States were passing anti-slavery laws.

/yes it could have been quicker
//yes segregation was moronic
///no, I'm not saying America is free and clear
////why are you still reading this?


Slavery was declared illegal in Britain in 1772, the slave trade abolished in the British Empire in 1807 an the act of slavery was abolished in the Brish Empire in 1833.

So when did America end its own slave trade?

/history
//far more complex than most people like
 
2012-12-03 10:20:45 AM  
This just in: Our founding fathers were human beings with both greatness and flaws just like anyone else who ever lived.

They did a pretty whiz-bang job of raising a nation, though.
 
2012-12-03 10:21:46 AM  

CheatCommando: NewportBarGuy: agrarian

Defined as "slaveholding." In the end, thanks in part to Jefferson's worship of this ideal, we had a brutal Civil War where we put it down by force. made it temporarily unfashionable.

 

/just taking the long view
 
2012-12-03 10:22:55 AM  
Came for the young persons guide to left disappoint,
Jefferson was a dick
 
2012-12-03 10:26:29 AM  

DamnYankees: Jefferson wasn't an abolitionist. He was the opposite.


Depends on what point in his life you were talking about. Younger Jefferson, you could argue either way. Older Jefferson, once he figured out how farking profitable slave labor was, was definitely pro-slavery.

As to not freeing his slaves, he did free the Hemmings family (his mistress's kin). As to the rest, regardless of whether he wanted to or not, he couldn't have done it - they were collateral on his (massive) debt.
 
2012-12-03 10:33:34 AM  

Scott_Free: If anyone wants to fistfight me over Jefferson, let me know. He was the shiat. I have his back.


I hope that this is the most ridiculous thing I'll read or hear all day, but I doubt it.
 
2012-12-03 10:35:34 AM  
He was a ginger. Of course he was a soulless bastard.
 
2012-12-03 10:36:56 AM  

clyph: they were collateral on his (massive) debt.


Bullshiat. Thadeus Kościuszko left Jefferson an amount sufficient to settle his debts under the restriction that his slaves be manumitted. Jefferson did not take advantage of it. One of his contemporaries essentially gave him a put up or shut up moment, and he failed.
 
2012-12-03 10:37:01 AM  

doubled99: It's not a paradox or a contradiction. The fact that he owned slaves does NOTHING to change or offset the qualities he is admired for.


Pretty much THIS.

He was, arguably, the greatest intellectual of his generation. He was also an arrogant, hypocritical spendthrift.
 
2012-12-03 10:38:11 AM  

The Irresponsible Captain: This just in: Our founding fathers were human beings with both greatness and flaws just like anyone else who ever lived.

They did a pretty whiz-bang job of raising a nation, though.


See, that is what I like about the Founding Fathers of the US. Not the idealised history book version, but in reality the complex individuals, who motives, thoughts and passions make you think and who had flaws, but also some good ideas. Sure most of them were egomanical madmen, but these people tend to be the ones with an ego big enough to get things rolling.
 
2012-12-03 10:38:19 AM  
And all of this is nothing compared to what was done to the American Indian.
 
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