A Conversation Between Thomas Jefferson and Daniel Coker Concerning a Vast Array of Issues Surrounding Slavery

2737 Words11 Pages
A Conversation Between Thomas Jefferson and Daniel Coker Concerning a Vast Array of Issues Surrounding Slavery It is easy for those of us living in the modern world to look back to the time of slavery and say it was wrong. It is also easy for us to see nothing wrong with intermarriage between races, though there are still pockets of people who feel it to be very wrong and will even disown family members for marrying outside their race. However, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, there were not enough voices speaking up just yet to change the institution of slavery in America. Then, if slaves were to be freed, the question to immediately follow was what should be done with them. Should they be allowed to stay in the United…show more content…
They have less hair on the face and body. They secrete less by the kidnies, and more by the glands of the skin, which gives them a very strong and disagreeable odour. This greater degree of transpiration renders them more tolerant of heat, and less so of cold, than the whites… They seem to require less sleep. A black, after hard labour through the day, will be induced by the slightest amusements to sit up till midnight, or later, though knowing he must be out with the first dawn of the morning (Heath 1036) He goes on to claim that the negro race is incapable of a thought “above the level of plain narration” (Heath 1037), yet he owned several highly skilled artisan slaves who made such beautiful crafts that Jefferson was often proud “to give some of these… as gifts” (Wiencek 33). He did still believe that the slaves should be freed, though he never fully believed the negro race to be equal with that of the whites. He felt that, if freed, negroes should not be incorporated into white society, but sent back to Africa to start their own colony. The reason he felt that slaves should not be incorporated into white society was that “deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; [and] ten thousand recollections by the blacks” (Heath 1035-1036). Jefferson’s views on the mixing of the two races never really waned. If freed, he honestly believed that

    More about A Conversation Between Thomas Jefferson and Daniel Coker Concerning a Vast Array of Issues Surrounding Slavery

      Open Document