Did Thomas Jefferson Want to End Slavery?

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Thomas Jefferson was a very up holding gentleman. In 1968 a number of members of congress were polled and asked what most influenced there political philosophy, majority picked Thomas Jefferson. Every thing got his attention and he was a very smart man. He thought that even if there was a full plan to stop slavery, it just was not something that American was really ready for at the time. Even though it is said that he was against slavery, he had between 100 and 200 slaves. Having that many slaves does not say “I am against slavery”. (Malone p.164)

One argument made by Dumas Malone is that Jefferson had a full plan to end slavery. He said that if he was still in charge of Virginia, slavery would have been one of the first things he took care of. It had to be a slow process and the slaves had to be prepared to be out in the real world of American which is something that none of them really new. Another argument made by Malone is that he did not even refer to them as slaves in fact he called them his servants or his people. He thought it was a terrible thing that these people were being see property rather then human beings just like the rest of us. (Malone p.164)

One argument made by William Cohen that there is no different between the way that Jefferson treated or acted toward his slaves as any other plantation owner did. When he dealt with runaways or trading there was no compassion for difference either. Another argument posted my Cohen is the fact that so many of his slaves ran away. If he was so anti slavery then why did he not treat his slaves better then anyone else and if he did in fact treat them better why did they run off? (Cohen 172-3)

In the first part of the text by Dumas Malone she talks about Jefferson being one of the greatest minds of the time period and how he felt about his slaves. One idea she talks about is Jefferson’s purpose of government. Jefferson thought that the government was there to secure human rights and during his life he...
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