Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson

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A study of the attitudes of the founding fathers toward slavery. This revised text examines the views of Thomas Jefferson reflected in his life and writings and those of other founders as expressed in sources such as the Constitution, the Constituional Convention and the Northwest Ordinance.

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Making a Covenant with Death Slavery and the Constitutional Convention
3
Slavery and the Northwest Ordinance 1787 A Study in Ambiguity
37
Evading the Ordinance The Persistence of Bondage in Indiana and Illinois
58
Implementing the Proslavery Constitution The Adoption of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793
81
The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Federalism
105
Treason Against the Hopes of the World Thomas Jefferson and Slavery
129
Thomas Jefferson Sally Hemings and Antislavery Historians and Myths
163
Notes
197
Bibliography
253
Index
267
About the Author
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Strana 140 - He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.
Strana 160 - The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, — the most unremitting despotism on the one part and degrading submissions on the other.
Strana 140 - Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished...
Strana 179 - I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever; that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation is among possible events; that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.
Strana 37 - There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted : Provided always, That any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any one of the original States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed, and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service as aforesaid.
Strana 153 - For if a slave can have a country in this world, it must be any other in preference to that in which he is born to live and labor for another...
Strana 26 - Religion and humanity had nothing to do with this question. Interest alone is the governing principle with nations. The true question at present is, whether the Southern States shall or shall not be parties to the Union.
Strana 113 - I regret that I am now to die in the belief, that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire self-government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be, that I live not to weep over it.
Strana 177 - The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to the worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities.

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