Thomas Jefferson and Slavery

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Thomas Jefferson and Slavery Of slavery, the third President of the United States and co-writer of the Declaration of Independence as well as the Constitution of the United States wrote: "But, as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other." This quote illustrates the role that slavery played in the western world at the end of the eighteenth century. In "The Declaration of Independence," Jefferson wrote that: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" (Jefferson 1776). According to this document, all human beings should be considered equal, but this does not take into account Africans who were not treated as equals and were not even treated as human beings at this time in history. Many people, including Jefferson desired that an end to slavery be written into the Constitution, a move that was decided against when the delegates realized that the southern states would never ratify the document if it contained that demand. The conflict between abolitionists and anti-abolitionists was an issue which would not be resolved until nearly a century after Jefferson's writings, but it is clear from this statement that he and others felt the issue keenly and were trying to find a way to deal with it, but were
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