Much of the "modern" Jefferson image was formed over 200 years ago by his political enemies. For example, the offspring-by-Sally Hemings rumor was started for the 1800 election campaign. Guides at Monticello still spread that old gossip. DNA never actually nailed an individual – only someone from the Jefferson family, such his brother or a nephew who had access to the slave quarters.
Regarding sex-with-slaves, TJ was adamantly opposed to the mixing of the races and said so.
He spent part of his career working toward regulations on the treatment of slaves and for finding a feasible plan for the ending of slavery.
In the first place, he didn't import any slaves; he inherited land and the slaves came with the circumstances. He "married into" more slaves. It was against law in Virginia to "FREE" slaves!
His teachers at William and Mary were anti-slavery. He tested the waters of anti-slavery in the House of Burgesses.
In the Continental Congress he seconded a bill that would have banned slavery in future states in all of the western Territories – both north and south – and it failed by just one vote in 1784 (Washington banned the spread of slavery to the Northwest Territories)!
(To be continued.)© Curtis Dahlgren
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