Thomas Jefferson’s Conflict with the Handling of Slavery

Early in his life, former United States President Thomas Jefferson wrote on
his gravestone: “Here was buried, Thomas Jefferson, Author of the
Declaration of Independence of the Statue of Virginia for religious
freedom, Father of the University of Virginia.” He wrote these texts at the
beginning of his political career, but wanted them to be placed on his
gravestone. This request implies that he still believed in the moral
Rumors have been circulating for years that, despite Thomas Jefferson’s
reputed disdain for interracial relationships, he actually had sexual
intercourse with a female slave that he owned and fathered several of her
children (Truth Establishment, 2004). DNA testing and historical records
reveal that it is very possible that Jefferson fathered all of the six
According to historians, it is unlikely that Hemings would have engaged in
relations with another after being connected with her master in such a way
(Truth Establishment, 2004). Few male slaves would be willing to risk
engaging in a sexual relationship with Sally Hemings after it was known
that Jefferson took such a special liking to her. After all, this is a time
in history when slaves were killed for simply looking at white men or
women, and for making advances at the object of their master’s affection.
Regarding the controversial issue, Robert Bianco of the USA Today, asked
the following thought provoking question: “But were they in love’ Is love
even possible when one person is unable to say no’ (Truth Establishment,
Back then, black women were in no position to refuse (Truth Establishment,
2004). Slaves were denied free will, and they especially were not in a
position to turn down advances from their masters. The slave masters
frequently engaged in domination and sexual harassment.
In Jefferson’s own book, “Notes on the State of Virginia” his feelings of
contempt for blacks, Indians and race mixing are well-…


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