How could Thomas Jefferson say ''All men are created equal'' when he kept people in chains?

He had 175 slaves. He slept with one of them, Sally Hemings, and had 6 kids. They were the only ones he set free. Yet he had the guts to say

''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.''

LIBERTY, guys. What about Indians and blacks? Are they not men? Are they trees or something?


Most Helpful Guy

  • One of my friends found out he's a direct descendant of Jefferson, and he won't shut up about it. Now he's doing all this genealogy research, and he visited Monticello and went to some elbow-rubbing function with other Jefferson descendants. I'm sure that was a fun party, haha🤓 And since I'm a guy and guys are mean to our friends, I of course cut him down any time he starts chirping about it and the slave ownership and rape is always exhibits 1a. and 1b.😂😂😂

    • Wow. I'm not related to anyone important as far as I know. Is he the descendant of one of the Sally Hemings kids?

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    • I want to know about the family line that managed to keep this level of whiteness through 400 years.

    • Oh man, are they ever the most Old New England WASPs you'll ever see. Although he's oddly good at dancing, so that's a little suspicious, hahaha


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What Guys Said 5

  • You made me think of this scene

    Also the founding fathers did some good things but that doesn't mean they should be absolved of all there wrong doings. It's similar to how people think of ancient Greece as a utopion society and forget how common and accepted it was for grown to have sex with prepubescent little boys

  • Well, considering the mentality of the time, i think the declaration of independence is a huge step in the right direction even though it contradicts with it's writer and many of its signers.
    So it's kind of a "do as i say, not as i do" situation.

  • It was hundreds of years ago who still cares

    • Many people. History is important.

  • Scholars estimate that in the period before the Civil War, there were approximately 3,500 free blacks who owned more than 10,000 black slaves. In South Carolina and Louisiana, Gates points out, the percentage of free blacks who owned slaves was approximately the same as the percentage of whites who owned slaves.
    Slavery existed all over the world. The Egyptians had slaves. The Chinese had slaves. The Africans did. American Indians had slaves long before Columbus. And tragically, slavery continues today in many countries. What's uniquely Western is the abolition of slavery. And what's uniquely American is the fighting of a great war to end it.

  • Because he was talking about a kind of equality we take for granted now, equality before the law. Also he was an arch-hypocrite.


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