Pages

Jump to bottom

11 comments

1 Destro  Thu, Oct 11, 2012 10:06:40am

A new portrait of the founding father challenges the long-held perception of Thomas Jefferson as a benevolent slaveholder

There is no such thing as a benevolent slaveholder. The only benevolent slaveholder would in theory be one that frees his slaves as soon as he takes possession/inherits them.

The slave system is by it's nature self soiling.

2 Gretchen G.Tiger  Thu, Oct 11, 2012 10:08:14am

I've never been a fan of Thomas Jefferson because of his slaveholding habits. He continued to hold slaves, and go into debt so they could not be freed even at his death.

George Washington, OTOH, stayed solvent and freed his slaves after Martha died.

Jefferson was an elitist in many ways. He pictured himself the Roman Patrician with his agrarian utopia.

3 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Oct 11, 2012 11:14:23am

re: #2 ggt

Jefferson was an elitist in many ways. He pictured himself the Roman Patrician with his agrarian utopia.

Ah right, a classical liberal then.

4 SanFranciscoZionist  Thu, Oct 11, 2012 12:33:13pm

re: #2 ggt

I've never been a fan of Thomas Jefferson because of his slaveholding habits. He continued to hold slaves, and go into debt so they could not be freed even at his death.

George Washington, OTOH, stayed solvent and freed his slaves after Martha died.

Jefferson was an elitist in many ways. He pictured himself the Roman Patrician with his agrarian utopia.

Jefferson was brilliant, but he was a very limited man in a lot of ways. Washington agonized less over the issue of slavery, but was also able to be a better patriarch, looking out for the people whose lives depended on his financial well-being. There's a reason I'm an Adams girl, for all of HIS moral failings. Ain't nothing wrong with a good Puritan.

5 John Vreeland  Thu, Oct 11, 2012 1:18:03pm

A Puritan? Was Adams actually a Christian? His grandson founded the Unitarian Church near me, and I understand their religious philosophy was somewhat similar.

6 dragonath  Thu, Oct 11, 2012 1:28:44pm

Yes, and John Quincy Adams did not swear his oath of office on the Bible, but rather on the constitution.

This site about Jefferson has a number of Jefferson's quotations on emancipation.

7 John Vreeland  Thu, Oct 11, 2012 1:31:52pm

But back to slavery.
There are many institutions by different names that look like slavery, and may be so, but what makes a person a slave is the loss of all rights over their own person, such that they have no legal defense against being beaten or killed (as a slave-holder can probably expect). Serfdom, on the other hand, ties peasants to their employers but theoretically protects them from arbitrary physical harm.

I bring this up because some slave owners personally guaranteed this sort of protection to their slaves, and though there was no guarantee that these rights would continue after their master had died, or that he would even maintain them against his own capricious whims, for a time some lucky slaves could feel slightly better about their own state.

One such slave owner was, ironically, Jefferson Davis, who let his slaves form their own courts for maintaining order, and who withheld to himself only the right to commute an overly harsh punishment. This appears to be a rare, if visionary, approach, however.

8 HappyWarrior  Thu, Oct 11, 2012 2:34:14pm

Jefferson like all the Founders was a complicated man. There's much to admire about him but there are other things that are less admiring. Anyhow, he's a good reason why while we should admire and appreciate what the Founders did for us why they should not be elevated to secular sainthood. They were real men with ideas- both great and flawed.

9 Gretchen G.Tiger  Thu, Oct 11, 2012 6:28:29pm

re: #8 HappyWarrior

Jefferson like all the Founders was a complicated man. There's much to admire about him but there are other things that are less admiring. Anyhow, he's a good reason why while we should admire and appreciate what the Founders did for us why they should not be elevated to secular sainthood. They were real men with ideas- both great and flawed.

I agree, we admire them for what they achieved. They were not anointed, they were individuals brought together uniquely in time and place and chose to act. It's an example of what we all can do if we recognize the opportunity and have the courage to trust another individual or the group.

10 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, Oct 12, 2012 12:22:43am

re: #5 John Vreeland

A Puritan? Was Adams actually a Christian? His grandson founded the Unitarian Church near me, and I understand their religious philosophy was somewhat similar.

He was raised a Congregationalist, and then his branch of the church went Unitarian. It was a thing. Definitely a Christian, from all I've read of him, albeit not the kind these modern loonies think the Founders all were, and definitely, regardless of religious belief, out of the Puritan cultural mold.

(And my understanding is that JQA declined to swear on the Bible not because he was not a believer, IIUC, he was also quite devout, although not particularly orthodox, but because he didn't think it was fitting to mix up religion in politics. Another good example for the modern loony.)

11 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Oct 12, 2012 5:49:26am

re: #10 SanFranciscoZionist

He was raised a Congregationalist, and then his branch of the church went Unitarian. It was a thing. Definitely a Christian, from all I've read of him, albeit not the kind these modern loonies think the Founders all were, and definitely, regardless of religious belief, out of the Puritan cultural mold.

(And my understanding is that JQA declined to swear on the Bible not because he was not a believer, IIUC, he was also quite devout, although not particularly orthodox, but because he didn't think it was fitting to mix up religion in politics. Another good example for the modern loony.)

Jefferson wasn't out of the Puritan mold, those of the planter class never were. They were unambiguously "The High" of their society and both in manner and consumption acted the part. Very different than the Puritans, who retained a decent amount of egalitarianism. Not surprising, given their struggles in England against Charles I and his Cavaliers.

Given the founding of the Tidewater culture by the younger sons of that same English gentry, cultural conflict between them and Puritan New England was inevitable. Indeed, while that conflict reached its zenith with the American Civil War, it has continued even unto this very day.


This page has been archived.
Comments are closed.

Jump to top

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2015-08-02 10:58 am PDT

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!

Recent Pages
Eclectic Cyborg
Katrina +10: Echoes of the Surge
I never "met" Katrina. At first she was little more than a distant tragedy to me. Through CNN, ABC, NBC and the rest I watched the disaster unfold from an air conditioned living room 1000 miles away. I heard ...

8 minutes ago
Views: 9 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Thanos
Django Django - ‘Shake & Tremble’ (Live at WFUV)
wfuv.org o Follow @wfuv: ow.ly Django Django performs "Shake & Tremble" live in Studio A. Recorded 7/27/2015. Host: Alisa AliEngineer: Caroline InzucchiCameras: Nick D'Agostino, Brenna Keeley, Sarah Burns & Sabrina SittonEditor: Caroline Inzucchi

5 hours, 10 minutes ago
Views: 73 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
Tyler Perry Says He Was the Victim of Racial Profiling by LAPD
Last night, Tyler Perry released a personal account of the last time he experienced racial profiling. He released a personal Facebook post on the ordeal. Read what he went through below. A few days before President Obama was supposed ...

14 hours ago
Views: 193 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 0
JmpMaster
Teachers as the Target in Schools and Media
As soon as you mention public education a barrage of soundbites and adages come flying from every corner at dizzying speed. Teachers are underpaid and underappreciated, teachers are all jaded cynics that don't care anymore, teachers are the cornerstone ...

14 hours, 9 minutes ago
Views: 147 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
VickieHaz
Spice Up Your Home Lighting
When many of us are in need of a new lamp, ceiling light or any other lighting application the first thing we'll do is jump in the car and head off to the nearest IKEA. This is the safest option ...

20 hours, 21 minutes ago
Views: 235 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 0
Bubblehead II
President Obama Remarks on Tenth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
In case you missed the NOLA Presidents speech today. President Obama Remarks on Tenth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

1 day, 8 hours ago
Views: 225 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 1
Great White Snark
Burger King’s ‘McWhopper’ Dream Is Crushed, and It’s ALL McDonald’s Fault
McDonald's Snubs BK And Crushes Our 'McWhopper' Dreams It was to be the fast food deal of the century. A peace deal between hot grill rivals. But alas one side just decided no deal was good enough. Food inspectors ...

2 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 649 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 54 • Rating: 3
KiTA
Vester Lee Flanagan Guns Down News Crew on Live TV, Live Tweets and Films himself doing so.
Update: The shooter filmed himself performing the act and uploaded the content to several social media accounts. It was shared thousands of times before Twitter deleted it. Twitter auto-plays the video. Today would be a very good day to close ...

2 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 602 • Comments: 4
Tweets: 6 • Rating: 2
Lumberhead
Why the 2016 Republican Nomination Can’t Be Predicted Through History
This election season provides a fascinating frame to see if the polarization in politics, from Washington to the states to the public, is no different than what we have seen in the past; if the angry populism evident especially ...

1 week ago
Views: 751 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
No Country For Old Haters
Unraveling the Enigma of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, 20 Years Later
Twenty years ago, on August 21, 1995, Nintendo released the Virtual Boy in North America. The stilt-legged tabletop gaming console, which offered a unique red stereoscopic 3D display, attempted to ride a wave of popular interest in virtual reality. ...

1 week ago
Views: 675 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 0
 Frank says:

Don't clap for destroying America. This place is as good as you want to make it. -- Zappa introduced "Billy the Mountain" by revealing that Billy and Ethel took a vacation trip across the United States, destroying it in the process. This was Zappa's response to the applause and cheers from the audience. Cleveland Colliseum, 1971