Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Benjamin Rush
Said the man having sex with his slaves
I noticed this person, nothingman, making a rather common comment about Thomas Jefferson. This is a typical assessment of this particular American founding father, as Jefferson epitomizes a duality these men wrestled with on a daily basis.
The founding fathers came from multiple viewpoints and ideologies. Albeit they were all land-owning white men. These viewpoints were numerous, and they range from silly things like the choice for the national bird -to the- very serious topic of the legality of owning another human being. And this broke down into three categories
- Benjamin Franklin, on one-side, whom completely detested slavery and attempted to outlaw it, and even wrote multiple thesis on the equality of African-Americans.
- South Carolina and Georgia's representatives led the opposition to an anti-slavery clause in the original drafts of the Declaration and Constitution. The people by name are: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton.
- Thomas Jefferson, finally the man in question, who had the same concepts of equality for your fellow man. But he, along with other notables like George Washington, were caught between maintaining order on a fragile newborn country and holding onto the principals of this new country.
Constitutional scholars also tend to agree that Washington and Jefferson believed the issue would be fought out when the country was in a stronger state. While Washington and Jefferson were alive the country was too weak to withstand any major quarrels. Their life reflected this fragility, Washington never retired to his Mount Vernon until a couple years before his death; and Jefferson died hated, with so much debt, that some people attended his estate sale just to buy his beloved books to burn them.
Now, I don’t agree with them owning slaves, and I don’t condone slavery. *ahem* Says the people using computers made from slave-mined rare-earth minerals and built in sweatshops in China. *ahem*
They were complicated people. Franklin really wanted a turkey to be our national bird, Washington really liked ice cream, and Thomas Lynch just sorta disappeared at sea.
Jefferson’s sexual relationships with slaves is actually an exaggeration. The propaganda exists to this day; back when people hated Jefferson they tried to say that he liked having sex with animals, therefore he had sex with all of his slaves. Jefferson only fathered children with a single slave, her name was Sally Hemings, and she was the half-sister of his wife. I’ve often wondered if there was a strange threesome thing going on, but then I stop because I don’t want to think about a founding father getting his boom-chiki-bow-wow on. lol, but seriously, this was another completely strange complex situation and it also shows Thomas Jefferson’s hypocritical struggles with slavery.
A quote that often associated with Jefferson, that Martin Luther King Jr. was fond of;
"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so."
This is the effect Jefferson has on our life today, he was flawed strange man. But, he left behind a legacy as the framer of what became our current Constitution. And with that deep well of freedom the world pulled out the waters that freed them from oppressive kings and queens, and replaced it with various forms of constitutional democracy.
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By the way, I noticed this post since he reblogged my quote post, and mis-attributed his comment as though it were my own.
Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Benjamin Rush
And we drink and get older
And some of us even try to get sober
Now here’s to the assholes and the last calls
We’re city kids
You get what you ask for
And acquaintances turn to friends
I hope those friends they remember me
Hold the night for ransom as we kidnap the memories
Not sure there is a way to express what you meant to me
Sit around a table and use those years as the centrepiece
Sounds of the city on Capitol Hill
Where I question if what I’m seeing here is real
Cowboy boots doing lines at the bar
Where the time goes slow when you’re drinking PBR
Hold on to what you were, forget what you’re not
The streets were ours that summer
At least those two blocks
Reminisce on those days
I guess that’s OK, you wonder why
Some grow up, move on
Close the chapter
Live separate lives
The twenty-something confusion before the suit and tie
Strangers become mistakes
But those mistakes made you feel alive
Hindsight is vibrant, reality
Memories to collage
Paste to the glue that barely sticks
Good Lord, they broke all my shields
Locked bathroom doors
Graffiti and high heels
Until you felt that altitude you don’t know how high feels
Some don’t ever come down from around here
To be young again
I guess it’s relative
The Camel Lights
The whiskey, ryes
Sink into the skin
I fantasize about a second wind
Grow a moustache
Pick up another bad habit and let the games begin
So here’s to the nights
Dancing with the band
Strangers into girlfriends from a one night stand
Poor little liquor out and turn up the Johnny Cash
You could bring a receipt to Heaven but you cannot take it back
And this is life, this is real
Even when it feels like it isn’t
I’d be a goddamn liar to say at times I didn’t miss it
So deuces, I turn my back as I walk into the distance
Dip my feet in every once in a while
Just to say I visit
And we hold onto these nights
Trying to find our way home by the street light
Over time we figure out this is me, right
Learn a lot about your friends right around two A.M
[Bridge + Hook]—