During the time of Thomas Jefferson, slavery was a difficult topic of discussion. Speaking to Thomas Jefferson about this would have probably gave him feelings of awkwardness and maybe guilt. Being a major defender of the American planter and being a major leader of America, Thomas Jefferson opposed the continuation of slavery for reasons of the looming notions of slave rebellion, yet he did not believe slavery should be abolished immediately nor should the slaves live in America for long should they become emancipated.
As a slave-owner himself, Thomas Jefferson said to have studied Blacks. While he made the conclusion that there is much more information needed, he once made the argument that Blacks are intellectually inferior. He said that while Blacks have memories just as sharp as Whites, they do not have the calculative or creative talents as Whites. Thomas Jefferson considers Native Americans to be more worthy of admiration than Blacks, deeming them a more capable race of people. In spite of these negative thoughts, Thomas Jefferson still believes Blacks to be an innocent race. In fact, he doesn’t approve of the agony some other slave owners would deal upon their slaves. With such thoughts of the Black race in mind, what does Jefferson want this race to do? Jefferson essentially wishes the Black race the best despite apparently not having the intellectual capacity his race has; he wants the Blacks to comprehend the concept of work since work is the essential means to live.
Being an innocent race to his eyes, Jefferson believes slavery to be a detrimental concept. He had even made a theory that slavery would not last for very long. Being a wealthy planter, Jefferson comprehends the reason for slavery- the reason being that it yielded economic benefit and was a staple for the construction of America. Conversely, Jefferson had known of the evils of slavery. Slaves being battered, whipped, raped, mutilated, executed, etc. ought to have occupied the mind of the likes of Jefferson. And the notions of a rebellion sound all the more terrible for the American planter. Even if slaves are emancipated, he did not believe that the Black and White race would be able to co-exist well in America. Should Blacks become free, Jefferson would have wanted them to be shipped back to Africa or the Caribbean. These thoughts could be the reasons for his opposition to the continuation of slavery.
As far as this has went, how much merit does Thomas Jefferson has to qualify a controversial subject as he did, especially being a slave owner himself? This is for anyone’s deduction. Being a founding father, president (dubbed the Negro President), intellectual, writer of one of the most famous and important documents of American History, slave owner, lover of slave women, father of illegitimate children, and arguably deist, what outweighs what? Despite his thoughts and notions of Blacks compared to Whites, he did believe that abolition was a necessity for America to prosper. This shows that while slavery was rampant in these days of old, there was hope that the American mindset would change soon enough. The epic degree of credibility it actually had for a wealthy slave owner revered by many to say that slavery is not right and not good for America should have cause a culture shock. This is one of America’s iconic heroes. Such a stance against what was at that time America’s way might have ruined Jefferson’s reputation. No wonder Jefferson did not wanted his honest viewpoints published.
Jefferson was neither the first nor the last to have these viewpoints. Abraham Lincoln, in particular, had similar viewpoints. Despite having a contradicting viewpoint that yield a dimension of hypocrisy on Jefferson’s part, the most important idea out of this is his thought as an American Intellectual that slavery should not last. He said what he thought of Blacks and he said they should go back from where they came, but after all this, he was said to give some of his slaves permission to “escape” his estate while emancipating a few other slaves. If anything was gained from this, Jefferson’s thoughts on slavery was a step in the sequence that led to the abolition of slavery.