Talk:Thomas Jefferson and slavery/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Synthesis tag

I added this tag because while their are sources listed here it appears to me that their are some unfounded claims in this entry which are not based directly on the sources. Wperdue (talk) 20:05, 5 July 2009 (UTC)wperdue

I have made changes to this page. I am reporting nothing but historical facts. I thought this was the purpose of Wikipedia. I know that the discussions about slavery is a sensative issue, but it does not warrant any sensoring of speech.

Please show me what "unfounded claims" not based on the sources. All this seems to be a matter of subjectivity. However, I am trying my best to follow the guidelines with Wiki. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cmguy777 (talkcontribs) 22:19, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Firstly, I find the work to be generally good and I have no desire to "censor" anything. I understand that you are trying to follow the guidelines set forth on Wikipedia, and I appreciate your efforts. The only issue I have with this entry are sentences such as: "For whatever reasons, neither Jefferson nor Washington emancipated any slaves after this law as passed by the Virginia Legistlature. It is clear both Jefferson and Washington could have emancipated their slaves legally after this law was written in 1782.".
These are conclusions based upon information in the sources that is not directly stated by said sources. Wperdue (talk) 03:16, 6 July 2009 (UTC)wperdue

Yes. Those are valid points and I appreciate you pointing them out. I eliminated all the opinion sentences. I realize that the issue of slavery in America is still a sensative issue. I understand this is an encyclopedia and should be free of opinions. I have made editing changes to make the page more stream line. I would like to add things from the main Thomas Jefferson page. My whole purpose was to have a separate page or article on Thomas Jefferson and slavery. I learned many things I did not know about the subject, until I did this research. I have a BA in History from CSUS. I have been trying to be entirely objective on the Thomas Jefferson and slavery page. {Cmguy777 (talk) 04:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)}

How did you gain a B.A. degree while unable to spell "censoring" or "sensitive? Edison (talk) 04:44, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Dyslexia?? Being unable to spell is not always a sign of a poor education.--Elen of the Roads (talk) 22:15, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

The dictionary. Using a spell checker would help me also. {Cmguy777 (talk) 05:14, 7 July 2009 (UTC)}

So by rights I shouldn't have said 'school essay' I should have said 'undergrad essay'. The early draft did read very like an essay, but you have made quite a lot of improvements to it, and I do think it is more encyclopaedic (<--I'm english, we like to make it really hard to spell things). If you can sort out the relationship between it and the main Jefferson article (so this one isn't a content fork) then I see no reason why it can't be kept.Elen of the Roads (talk) 22:15, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I appreciate your candor and dedication to spelling. I would say that this is not a content fork to the main page for the following reasons. It is more specific with time in chronology. I have tried for the most part to put a date behind all the events. Also it only focuses on slavery and the events that were going on during Thomas Jefferson's lifetime, such as the Independence War and The Constitution Convention. I believe this page also gives a time frame for the Sally Hemings issue. In a sense, she and others were passed down slaves from John Wayles, Jefferson's Father in law. This page tells when Hemings actually came to Monticello as a child in 1776. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cmguy777 (talkcontribs) 17:31, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

What I am finding is that different views go from secret marriage to rape in terms of Jefferson and Hemmings. A good summary is found here:

I have noticed that the deletion message is remains on the article. Why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cmguy777 (talkcontribs) 01:11, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

The closing admin will remove the template when he or she closes the deletion discussion.Elen of the Roads (talk) 01:21, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


I would like to congratulate all those persons who have contributed and edit "Thomas Jefferson" and slavery. Various contributers have worked hard on this page and I express deep gratitude for all the work and vast improvements.

More work needs to be done on Sally Hemings and the Posthumous sections. Other minor work and clean up needs to be done. The page as a whole is splendid. Possibly a Post Presidency section needs to be added to fill in any time gaps. {Cmguy777 (talk) 18:05, 12 July 2009 (UTC)}


The problem with this article is that it doesn't even contain most of the information already in the main TJ article. You can make the case for a separate article on TJ and Slavery under Wikipedia:Summary style, but simply starting from scratch and creating a new article w/o incorporating everything from the original article isn't the way to proceed -- IMHO. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 00:17, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I suppose I can add other things in the article. However, I have know idea if this article will be deleted. I have not heard from anyone recently. I have made many edits to the article to stop any opinions. I have been incorperating somethings into the Thomas Jefferson page and have been careful not disrupt the flow of the Thomas Jefferson page. {Cmguy777 (talk) 04:29, 7 July 2009 (UTC)}

I have made changes to the page. It is more chronological, free of opinions and/or unpublished synthesis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cmguy777 (talkcontribs) 19:30, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Sally Hemings

In the Sally Hemings section I decided not to put the word "relationship" in the phrasing. The term relationship implies consent between two individuals. Sally Hemings was a slave without any citizenship rights or protections in the Virginia Colony or in the 1787 US Constitution. She was only counted as 3/5 of a person in terms of representation and electoral votes.

In regards to her status as a slave, one can justify using the word "rape". The word rape could imply that Jefferson either seduced or physically assaulted Hemings. However, since the circumstances regarding alleged sexual activity are not entirely known, and for the most part probably have been kept secret by Jefferson, I would hesitate to use the word rape in the Encyclopedia, even though one can justify using the word rape. The term "relationship" though, should not be included in my opinion. For better or worse I have chosen to use the term "allegedly sexually intimate". Please let me know opinions on the matter. {Cmguy777 (talk) 19:18, 10 July 2009 (UTC)}

The terms "relationship" and "rape" are not mutually exclusive here. In a modern sense 'rape' can mean both a sexual act performed on another without consent, and a sexual act performed on another who is not in a position to refuse, or who cannot meaningfully be said to consent. Sex with a minor is rape because the minor cannot meaningfully be said to consent, due to their minority. Many countries including the UK also legislate that a young person who is not a minor may be not meaningfully be said to consent to sex with a person in a position of trust or authority over them (a teacher or tutor), as they are in a position where they may not feel they are in a position to refuse. However, in such cases, it is clear that the 'rape' arises from the relationship between the two individuals concerned which, although it may contain mutual attraction and fondness, also contains an disparity of power.
So it might be with Jefferson and Sally Hemings. One would tend to the general assumption that even though Jefferson may have been truly fond of her, she would not have been in a position where she could say no, which might mean that any sexual activity could be described as rape.
Jefferson's own actions/writings etc can be used to show that he desired or intended a relationship with Hemings. Without her testimony however - and testimony given in a situation in which there could be a guarantee of freedom from all pressure, intended or unintended - one cannot be sure of the extent to which her actions were entirely prompted by free will. So, provided you have the evidence as to Jefferson's state of mind, you could say that Jefferson entered into a relationship with Hemings, in which he did this or that. However, it should also be pointed out in the article that there is an absence of testimony from Hemings which would establish whether or not she considered herself an equal partner in this relationship.--Elen of the Roads (talk) 19:44, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Since Hemings was in no position to refuse Jefferson as a slave, then I suppose you could say there was an involuntary "relationship". However, my question is does a relationship need two consenting parties, disregarding any attractions or emotions by Hemings or Jefferson? If a relationship requires consent on both parties, then how could a relationship exist between Jefferson and Hemings, since Hemings was a slave and working under involuntary servitude. Since Hemings was under involuntary servitude it would be impossible for her to make a choice as a slave. {Cmguy777 (talk) 20:46, 11 July 2009 (UTC)}

I think you're not quite understanding that 'relationship' has a wider meaning than just 'romantic relationship between two lovers'. One of the Merriam-Webster definitions is " a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealing". In this sense, I believe the sources indicate that Jefferson and Hemings had a relationship that continued over a number of years. Whether this relationship was one between equals, or one where the balance of power affected the outcome, is I believe something that has occupied scholars for some time. You should write what your sources say.Elen of the Roads (talk) 21:20, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I want to put the most objective phrasing in the Encyclopedia and I appreciate your input. The reason I hold back on using the term "relationship" is because historians do not know if Jefferson forced Hemings to have sex. There is not enough information, only speculation. If Jefferson sexually assaulted Hemings, then there is no justification for the term relationship. That is the crux of the issue. We don't know. If the situation was merely two people physically attracted to each other, then one could possibly use the word relationship. More information needs to be known about Hemings and Jefferson.

You do bring a valid point. I am going to try to find out what the majority of the sources say, if that is possible. Then I can use that phrasing. One authority I want to find is Annette Gordon-Reed. Another source is John Ferling. I know there are plenty of others that need to be looked into to find a consensus of opinion.

What I am finding is that different views go from secret marriage to rape in terms of Jefferson and Hemings. A good summary is found here:

They appear to have interacted over a number of years, therefore by dictionary definition they had a relationship. Relationship does not just mean a love affair. What you need to determine is can we tell what that relationship was. Was it a relationship, in which he forced her to have sex with him - an abusive relationship? Did she have sex with him because she felt that was the best thing for her and her children - a pragmatic relationship? Did she have sex with him because culturally that was what she expected to happen - a relationship based on societal norms? Or did she really love him, and he her - was it a loving relationship.Elen of the Roads (talk) 01:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I have noticed that the deletion message remains on the article. Why? {Cmguy777 (talk) 00:37, 12 July 2009 (UTC)}

The closing admin will delete the template when the deletion discussion endsElen of the Roads (talk) 01:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Eureka! I added the phrasing "Historians have debated and continue to debate the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings." I found this phrasing on the Thomas Jefferson Foundation website. This is acceptable and unbiased. This does not commutate Jefferson having a "relationship" with Hemings, but rather inspires debate and exploration as to “the relationship between”.{Cmguy777 (talk) 15:58, 12 July 2009 (UTC)}

I would think that's pretty much exactly right. (Remember to sign your posts or you'll get another message from Sine Bot)Elen of the Roads (talk) 09:12, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Multiple Issues Tag

I am considering deleting the Multiple Issues tag. If anyone has any objections please let me know. I believe the article is in good shape. Continued work is being done. I added appropriate photos that really make the page attractive. I also added a link to the main page. Please let me know any opinions on the matter. {Cmguy777 (talk) 16:50, 15 July 2009 (UTC)}

I am taking the Multiple Issue tag off for the following reasons: 1. The article has authentic sources. 2. Any unpublished synthesis and/or opinions have been erased. 3. The article flows in a chronological fashion. 4. There are valuable links. 5. Information about Sally Hemings has been updated. 6. Valuable contributors have added to the articulate flow of the article. 7. Appropriate photos and maps have been added.

Yes. The article needs more work, cleaning up, and general aesthetics. However, the Multiple Issues tag is unnecessary at this time.

{Cmguy777 (talk) 01:41, 16 July 2009 (UTC)}

Ways to Improve Article Suggestions

I suppose you could call this a suggestion box. Please offer any suggestions on how to improve the article. {Cmguy777 (talk) 21:57, 17 July 2009 (UTC)}

I am interested in putting in a section on Thomas Jefferson's Legacy toward slavery. If anyone else is interested feel free to do so. I would suggest that the legacy be as objective as possible with reliable sources. {Cmguy777 (talk) 16:39, 24 July 2009 (UTC)}

Jefferson, Lemen, and Lincoln

I added this information about James Lemen's influencing person in Illinois to keep Illinois a slave free state. There is a potential interesting relationship with Jefferson, Lemen, and Lincoln, in my opinion. Jefferson sends Lemen to Illinois. Lemen starts Churches in Illinois that are pro abolition. His children go on to promote abolition in Illinois and on of Lemen's children has a friendship with Abraham Lincoln. However, I was careful not to mention or directly imply any relationship between Jefferson, Lemen, and Lincoln. I felt it was up to the reader to draw any conclusions on the matter. {Cmguy777 (talk) 23:54, 10 August 2009 (UTC)}


I really appreciate the clean up work on the Legacy section. It flows much better then before. I added the citation that was needed and changed one sentence to be neautral. In terms of Legacy I am adding more of Jefferson letters to ensure that readers get the full meaning of what Jefferson is saying. I do not believe it would be fair to take anything out of context. The best thing to do is just put the letter up and minimize any comments. {Cmguy777 (talk) 23:52, 10 August 2009 (UTC)}


The revolution was Jefferson's purest test on the question of racial slavery. As President he had an opportunity to put into practice all of his supposed 'anti-slavery', 'democratic', segregationist and 'revolutionary' sentiments. He didn't even have to do anything new as his predecessors had already established a precedent by aiding the revolution. Instead, he supported the slave-holders against the anti-slavery side, an empire against a colony, the 'ancien regime' against the revolutionaries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ackees (talkcontribs) 19:23, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

This would be good information in the Following The War or Presidency section. It looks like a sum of $400,000 was given to Haitian slave owners while Jefferson was Secretary of State under President George Washington. The Jeffersonian embargo of Haiti can go in the Presindency section. If someone can look up the source(s) to this part of Jefferson's history, then it would be a good addition to the article. {Cmguy777 (talk) 23:53, 10 August 2009 (UTC)}

Letter to Coles

I believe in Thomas Jefferson's letter to Coles it is important to put the letter in context mentioning the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) and the War of 1812 (1812-1815). It can be implied that Jefferson is just saying to Coles not to emmancipate his slaves. However, Jefferson is concerned that the British would use the emmancipation as a pretext for a violent and "bloody" revolution, such at the one that took place in Haiti. That is why it is neccessary to mention that the U.S. was at war with England during the time that Jefferson wrote this letter. {----}

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:23, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Legacy with conclusion

I believe it best that the Legacy section have a conclusion. I humbly attempted to put one in with neutrality and leaving the reader to make conclusions. If there are any objections to the conclusion either changes to be made or deletion please let me know. {----}

Here is the Legacy conclusion in text:

The legacy of Thomas Jefferson and slavery may never be completely known or understood. The "bloody" violence over slavery that Jefferson feared in 1814 in his letter to Coles did occur 46 years later, after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. This was known as the U.S. Civil War. Had Jefferson’s policy of deportation been realized, the United States might have avoided a civil war, at the same time turning into a mono-racial White culture without Africans or Indians playing any significant role. Thomas Jefferson predicted that Whites and Blacks would fight with each other probably to extinction if left to them selves in a free society. Indeed, the history of Civil Rights in the United States has proven tremendous sacrifice for African Americans to achieve full and complete equality over the generations following the U.S. Civil War. The question remains as to whether African freedom could have been brought about peacefully with or without the deportation plan advocated by Thomas Jefferson. {Cmguy777 (talk) 22:34, 19 August 2009 (UTC)}

Jefferson's Letter to Edward Cole

I believe it is important to leave the conclusion to Jefferson's letter to Edward Cole. It puts the letter in context with the other parts of the letter. One part of the letter makes it sound like Jefferson is for Cole's slaves to be emancipated. The other part looks like Jefferson in against Cole's slaves emancipation. I believe that both parts are neccessary to achieve full context. {Cmguy777 (talk) 22:33, 19 August 2009 (UTC)}

Unclear why this section is here

Moving this to talk page for... talk

A Virginia law passed in 1782 required slave owners to support and maintain their former slaves after manumission. [1]

I added the section based on Finkelman's book, which describes TJ's profligate ways and makes the point that his slaves were sold to pay his debts after he died. Skywriter (talk) 10:11, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Finkelman explores it in the text and footnotes of both editions but especially the second edition of Slavery and the Founders Skywriter (talk) 22:18, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

That move to talk is fine. The context in the first paragraph is flowing together nicely. The subject of manumission is covered in the Revolutionary Period. However, it is vitally important that the full context of this 1782 manumission law be in the Article. There is much controversy over Jefferson not emancipating his slaves after this law was passed in 1782. The law came with manumission and restrictions. These restrictions are very important in accessing why Jefferson did not emancipate his slaves. {Cmguy777 (talk) 22:30, 19 August 2009 (UTC))

I agree that the text of the law is lengthly. Is there a way to shorten it where the context is not missing? In order to understand the law it is neccessary to have full context. {Cmguy777 (talk) 21:04, 7 September 2009 (UTC)}

I edited the 1782 manumission law while leaving in the context of the law. I put actual text of the law in the notes section rather then the article. This will allow readers to be able to make their own conclusions about the 1782 manumission law. {Cmguy777 (talk) 16:34, 8 September 2009 (UTC)}

Section "Views on Slavery"

Copyrighted words used verbatim in bold:

Jefferson's solution entailed gauging what he perceived to be the common good for both Whites and Blacks, and proposed what he considered to be reasonable policies: education, emancipation, and colonize emancipated slave children outside of the United States.

The source it was taken from:

“His solution entailed gauging what he perceived to be the common good for both whites and blacks and proposing what he considered to be reasonable policies: education, emancipation, and recolonization of the former slaves.”

This is an apparent copyright infringement and violation of Wikipedia’s policies. Who contributed this content? I do not know, but am asking the person to correct it. I'm posting a notice on the page for an administrator to review the bold text and the website here in connection with under Speedy Deletion. This is not a paraphrase but a direct copy.

Separate but in the same place:

“Jefferson's also believed that alleged resentment of freed slaves against their former masters necessitated their deportation from the United States.”

This was not the reason the author says Jefferson opposed blacks and whites living together in the US. Rather, the author gives “these objections”, listing a total of five, including “the real distinction which nature has made”. In other words, he’s saying their DNA made them inferior & that was one of the reasons- a very important one – that “neither race would benefit from simple abolition”.

You chose one and claimed that was the sole reason.

Where does this next sentence come from?

”This view was modified in 1821, when he speculated Blacks and Whites could live freely in the same country.”

You (the contributor) cite 3 sources. The first source doesn’t say that This article says the opposite (unless I missed it). The Monticello website says the opposite. And it’s not a scholarly article. Further, Monticello is not known for its neutrality on Jefferson and slavery. This is just one paragraph, and it goes on from there. Don't include these things in the redo unless you have credible sources on it.Ebanony (talk) 07:56, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

It is not a direct cut and paste copy edit, just sloppy. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:32, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Gregor Mendel introduced the first gene theory in 1866, 40 years after Jefferson's death. There is no way Jefferson had any concept of DNA when he wrote "Notes on the State of Virginia". Cmguy777 (talk) 22:31, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I have removed or in the process of removing all information and references from Greg Warnusz. I put in the edit. Thanks for removing my sloppy effort at editing. There is some subjectivity when summarizing references. The edit was not a complete copy paste and no intention was made for copyright infringement since the source, Greg Warnusz, was duly noted. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:10, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Who made the changes to the copyright problem? Log page says at "12:01, 16 September 2010 Nyttend" changed the bold text above to
"In response, he proposed solutions for this problem that he believed would help both races — teaching and freeing their children and resettling them in Africa."
How can you claim to have fixed the copyright problem when Nyttend did? Then you say the text wasn't copied. Then why did Nyttend have to edit it saying "we remove the offending portion. Will do that once I identify how much is offending"?
Obviously Jefferson didn't say "DNA", but he was talking about what we today would call genetics with his terminology "Nature...has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them". Hence he's saying there is a biological reason for the black "race" being different, and he specifically says the few improvements they had was because of mixing with whites. At any rate, Jefferson argued for, not against, deportation of blacks: "It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation and deportation peaceably" by avoiding the even more extreme measures of what what the Spanish did to the Moors. Where does that source say he argued against deportation? If you make these claims, you should be able to back them up. Ebanony (talk) 02:14, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I removed the fixed cite. I can put the reworded section and cite in the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:00, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Cmguy777 (talk) 02:50, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Nature in 1789 and even 1826 is completely different then nature in 2010. Jefferson had no concept of modern cell biology or DNA. It was not until the middle 20th century that DNA was discovered to be double helix. Jefferson was attempting to justify slavery by saying blacks were inferior. If blacks were equal to whites then Jefferson would have to free his slaves and actually work for a living. He attempted to justify black inferiority by a physical world he had limited understanding. That is why he used the term Nature. Jefferson did not discover DNA or cell biology. He had no concept of DNA, RNA, melanogenisis, melanocytes, ribosomes, and mitochondria. The term Nature gave Jefferson the authority he needed to be a racist. Even today we have limited understanding of Nature.You can't place 19th century science with 21st century science. There is no equivolent. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:50, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Please put your writing with the rest of your text, not outside as it looks like its part of my writing when it isn't. Now, it's irrelevant the "concept of DNA" came later or that he argued some "degeneration" or "nature" caused Africans to be inferior. He argued Africans were a distinct race characterised by racial differences, and to simplify the discussion I referred to it as DNA precisely because it makes sense to the modern reader. Thank you for the science lesson, but again you disregarded the main point: You claim Jefferson's argument against integration was based on the sole fear of retribution against whites in the talk page & in the article, then you also claim he changed his mind in 1821 on deporting all blacks.

According to your source, Jefferson lists "Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them." You changed that meaning, and the other source you deleted didn't support your personal pov either. Further, the source does not say Jefferson changed his mind on deporting blacks. Read your own source: Ebanony (talk) 04:35, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Opening up the DNA genetics goes beyond the scope of this article and asks what does modern science say about intelligence between the races. It is true Jefferson believed indelible lines of distiction. Does modern science back up or disprove what Jefferson is saying? Cmguy777 (talk) 05:52, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Jefferson believed that whites and blacks could get along, however, he wanted them to be deported. This is not a contradiction. I am not changing any meaning, that is the whole issue with Jefferson, you can't get a concrete statement from him. He contradicts himself in his writings and his actions. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:52, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Understand clearly the problem in this instance is not with the one word "DNA" I used in the talk page, so stop changing the subject. The problem is that you claim something that the sources do not support. You say one thing, and this source says another. You say " In terms of emancipation, Jefferson believed there would be resentment of freed slaves against their former masters and that this necessitated their deportation from the United States. This view was modified in 1821, when he speculated Blacks and Whites could live freely in the same country." Not according to the source you cited:
The source, which is a direct source from Jefferson, lists other reasons too. And nowhere does it say he changed his mind on 1821 on deporting all blacks. I've asked you in several places to adjust the obvious errors. I'm less and less inclined to think it's due to "sloppy" editing as you yourself admit to doing. You cannot ignore these flagrant inaccuracies; they directly violate Wikipedia's policies, which you should read. Ebanony (talk) 06:57, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I made changes to the "Jefferson's reflections" subsection; that Jefferson believed or proposed it was possible or for blacks and whites to live together. It was in his autobiography notes. That statement does not cancel his view that he wanted blacks deported after their gradual emancipation. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:34, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Northwest abolitionist haven

Map of some Underground Railroad routes

Jefferson's original draft of the Northwest Ordinance of 1784, suggested by James Lemen, abolishing slavery in the North West Territory, eventually created a haven for the Free State abolitionist movement, including the Underground Railroad. The nation became divided into Northern Free States and Southern Slave states. California was an exception, being a Western state entering the Union as a free state in 1850. Ultimately this division led to the U.S. Civil War in 1860 to settle the differences between the slave and free states.[2][3]

I deleted the part about one vote in 1784, because it made it sound like it was in all states. Wasn't this only to apply to the Northwest Territory? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Opening paragraph

I changed the opening paragraph to talk directly on Thomas Jefferson and slavery to remove any POV. This paragraph is allot more clear and focused. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:49, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Lincoln and slavery

I removed this from the article:

On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th President of the United States.[4] Three years later, President Abraham Lincoln emancipates slaves in many of the southern states, including Virginia, in the Emancipation Proclamation. President Lincoln gives the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. It was effective January 1, 1863. President Lincoln justifies the Proclamation as "a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion". The Proclamation takes place during the U.S. Civil War. [5]

That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.[5]
  1. ^ "May 1782 - ACT XXI. An act to authorize the manumission of slaves". Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ This Day. "Abraham Lincoln elected president". Retrieved 2009-08-07.  Text " In History " ignored (help)
  5. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Abraham Lincoln was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Cmguy777 (talkcontribs) 02:00, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Summary of slavery

Removed to talk page.

Slavery was a commonplace though still controversial institution in Thomas Jefferson's time. Slavery continued in Virginia 37 years past Jefferson's death in 1826. President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in Virginia and other states in 1863 under the Emancipation Proclamation.[1] Slavery was completely outlawed in the United States in 1865 under the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

  1. ^ Abraham Lincoln (January 1, 1863). "The Emancipation Proclamation". Retrieved 2009-08-07. 

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Cmguy777 (talkcontribs) 19:14, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Improving the article

I believe it is best to improve the article by starting at the opening and systematically going through the entire article to weed out POV and add needed context. I edited the opening and in my opinion is strong without POV. Any hint that Jefferson was an abolitionist is gone. I am making efforts to use solid references without bias and summarizing view points without any alleged copyright issues. This was my first article I started in 2008 and I have made mistakes. I appreciate any who have brought them to my attention. This article is important because Jefferson was an American icon and his view and actions toward slavery are important to American history as a nation and a people. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:00, 17 September 2010 (UTC)


1) Revolutionary Period Your text:

"By 1778 Jefferson estimated that 30,000 slaves ran away. Washington and the Continental Congress, reluctantly, were forced to reverse policies on not enlisting African Americans. The result was that 5000 African Americans enlisted in the U.S. Army and won their freedom. However, many African Americans were unsatified by their treatment and believed that the Revolutionary War was just for White people."

Life pg 108:

Washington and the Continental Congress were forced to reverse their policies on enlisting Negro soldiers, and by the end of the war, some 5,000 Negroes had fought in the United States - and won their freedom if they had been slaves.
I researched this reference for a different article, and someone took it & used it here. See Ebanony (talk) 02:31, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
The only section that may be a little on the copyvio side is "were forced to reverse policies on not enlisting" because it contains no facts or standard phrases to academic conversations of this sort. How about rewording it? Sadads (talk) 14:01, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Just for clarification, I have never worked on this page, I just happened to be snooping on Elen of the Roads' talk page, Sadads (talk) 17:00, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Looks like he/she copied the text and just changed the order. Why don't I fix it? See for yourself:

1) Views on slavery Your text:

"Jefferson claimed he was too old and tired."

Text: Why did Jefferson, while throwing himself energetically into the creation of the University of Virginia, plead that he was too old and tired. See

2) African American enslavement Your text:

"In the 1630s Virginia and Maryland began distinguishing Black servants from White servants. In 1639, Maryland became the first colony to make it a law that baptism as a Christian did not make a slave free. In the 1660s and 1670s Virginia and Maryland laws began to specifically denigrate Blacks. Laws banned interracial marriages and sexual relations and deprived Blacks from owning property. Unlike White servants, Black servants could be stripped naked and whipped. The following is a timeline reference to the history of slavery in Virginia..""


"As early as the late 1630s, however, English colonists began to distinguish between the status of white servants and black slaves. In 1639, Maryland became the first colony to specifically state that baptism as a Christian did not make a slave a free person. During the 1660s and 1670s, Maryland and Virginia adopted laws specifically designed to denigrate blacks. These laws banned interracial marriages and sexual relations and deprived blacks of property...Unlike slaves, white servants and free workerscould not be stripped naked and whipped". See

3) Early Virginia slave laws under "Full text"

The timeline itself - not the text in the lower part, but the arrangement and the days - is from the same webiste: 1662 1667 1668 1669 - except 1692, see item 6

4) Early Virginia slave laws Your text:

"1692 - The Virginia Legislature law places an economic burden on any slave owners who emancipated their slaves. This law stated:
"[N]o Negro or mulatto slave shall be set free, unless the emancipator pays for his transportation out of the country within six months


"In 1692, Virginia passed a law that placed an economic burden on any slave owner who released his slaves, thus discouraging owners from freeing their slaves. That law declared:
[N]o Negro or mulatto slave shall be set free, unless the emancipator pays for his transportation out of the country within six months. "
The text in 1692 is from another source see

5) Early years Your text:

"On April 13, 1743 Thomas Jefferson was born in Shadwell, Albemarle County, Virginia. His mother is Jane Randolph. She was a member of an established family in Virginia. Jefferson's father was Peter Jefferson."

Waldstreicher' text:

"1743 Born April 13 at Shadwell, Albemarle County, Virgina, to Jane Randolph, member of one of Virginia's most established families, and Peter Jefferson, a planter and surveyor."

5.1) The timeline is taken from the text as well from pg 242. Waldstreicher:

1760-62 Enrolled in College of William and Mary, Williambsburg, Virginia.
1762-65 Studies law with George Wythe.

5.2) Your text:

"1768- Thomas Jefferson starts the construction of Monticello, a neoclassical mansion. Starting in childhood, Jefferson had always wanted to build a beautiful mountaintop home within sight of Shadwell.[24][28] Monticello was also Jefferson's slave plantation."

Waldstreicher' text pg 242:

"1769 Begins building Monticello, a neoclassical mansion, on a mountaintop in Charlottesville, Virginia."

5.3) Your text: "On January 1, 1772, Thomas Jefferson marries Martha Wayles Skelton, a widow and a daughter of a very wealthy landowner, John Wayles."

Waldstreicher' text pg 242: "1772" Marries Marths Wayles Skelton, a widow and daughter of the very wealthy landowner John Wayles..." See,+Notes+on+the+State+of+Virginia,&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=pq6VTPenAYOwvgP5v9WZDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&sqi=2&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAw#v=snippet&q=was%20born&f=false

6) Revolutionary Period Your text:

"1779- Thomas Jefferson is elected Governor of Virginia. Jefferson flees Richmond during an imminent British invasion. He is accused of cowardice and "pusillanimous [lacking courage] conduct".


"He was charged with failure to provide for the adequate defense of Richmond in 1780-81, although he knew a British invasion was imminent, and of cowardice and "pusillanimous conduct" when he fled the capital during the moment of crisis." See

7) Grégoire's book Your text:

"On August 17, 1808, Jefferson is sent a copy of the book, An Enquiry Concerning the Intellectual and Moral Faculties and Literature of Negroes written by Henri-Baptiste Grégoire, Abbé Grégoire, a French Abolitionist. In the book Grégoire systematically refutes all the major arguments for the inferiority of blacks, countering them with examples showing how blacks and black societies possess the same elements of intellect and civilization found in white societies. Its examples of African-American achievement, especially the biographical listings in Chapter VII, remained a standard source for abolitionist writings throughout the nineteenth century. Jefferson is given the book by Grégoire as a refutation of Jefferson's "Laws" in Notes on the State of Virginia."

University of SC:

"In his book, Grégoire systematically refutes all the major arguments for the inferiority of blacks, countering them with examples showing how blacks and black societies possess the same elements of intellect and civilization found in white societies. Its examples of African-American achievement, especially the biographical listings in Chapter VII, remained a standard source for abolitionist writings throughout the nineteenth century." See

8) The Jefferson-Lemen Compact Your text:

"Jefferson is appointed chairman of the committee dealing with the government of western lands. In a far-sighted progressive move, Jefferson drafts an Ordinance of 1784 that would eventually become the Northwest Ordinance, passed by the Continental Congress in 1787, stipulating that "there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude" in any of the new states admitted to the Union from the Northwest Territory. Jefferson believed that the western territories should be self-governing and, when they reached a certain stage of growth, should be admitted to the Union as full partners with the original 13 states. Although Jefferson was a slave owner, he did not want to see slavery extended to the Western Frontiers."

8.1) Following the Revolution Your text:

"Thomas Jefferson was appointed chairman of the committee dealing with the government of the Western Lands."

8.2) Under Money and the Ordinance of 1784:

"As chairman of the committee dealing with the government of western lands, Jefferson submitted proposals so liberal and farsighted as to constitute, when enacted, the most progressive colonial policy of any nation in modern history. The proposed ordinance of 1784 reflected Jefferson's belief that the western territories should be self-governing and, when they reached a certain stage of growth, should be admitted to the Union as full partners with the original 13 states. Jefferson also proposed that slavery should be excluded from all of the American western territories after 1800. Although he himself was a slaveowner, he believed that slavery was an evil that should not be permitted to spread." See

9) Following the Revolution

Your text:

1785- Jefferson serves as Minster of France from 1785 to 1789.


"Jefferson served as minister to France from 1785 to 1789" The timeline is copied, and some words changed. See

9.1) Following the Revolution Your text:

"1790- Thomas Jefferson becomes the first U.S. Secretary of State serving under President George Washington. As U.S. Secretary of State Jefferson issues $40,000..."


"Jefferson became the first Secretary of State in 1790, under the presidency of George Washington. As a Secretary of State he openly spoke..." See

10) Sally Hemings early life Your text:

"In 1784 Thomas Jefferson is sent to France as a diplomat by the American Colonial Government. James Hemings, Sally Heming's brother, accompanies Jefferson on his voyage to France. Jefferson's eldest daughter Martha joins Jefferson in Paris and is enrolled in a covenant school. In 1787 Jefferson's other daughter, Maria, voyages from Virginia and is escorted by Sally Hemings, who at that time is around 13–14 years old."


"In 1784 Thomas Jefferson was sent as a diplomat to France by the American colonial government. James Hemings went with him. Jefferson's eldest daughter Martha joined him in Paris a short time later, and was enrolled in a convent school for a formal education. In 1787 Jefferson sent for his other daughter, Maria, who made the voyage from Virginia escorted by Sally Hemings, who was either fourteen or fifteen at the time. " Acouple of words changed location. See

10.1 Your text:

"It is impossible for historians to accurately say what occurred between Jefferson and Sally Hemings in Paris. The revolutionary constitution in France abolished slavery in principle in 1789,[77] and as such Sally and her brother James were paid for their services. James Hemings apprenticed with French chefs and became a skilled chef, himself."


"It is impossible for historians to say with any certainty exactly what happened in Paris between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Legally, Sally Hemings was a free person in Paris, and so was her brother James, as slavery had been abolished in France. While in France, Jefferson paid Sally and James a monthly salary for their services. James Hemings, with Jefferson's support, apprenticed under French cooks and became a skilled chef. "
The order of a couple of words changed. See

10.2 Your text:

"By all accounts Sally Hemings was visibly pregnant after returning to Virginia from France. Many years later, Madison Heming's, Sally Heming's second youngest child, recalled the events that took place in Paris. According to Madison Hemings, Jefferson had convinced Sally to come back from France and told her that her children would be set free by the time they turned 21."


"By all accounts, Sally Hemings was visibly pregnant at the time of their homecoming to Monticello. Many years later, in 1873, Madison Hemings (1805-77), the sixth child of Sally Hemings, described the circumstances of his mother's return from Paris." See

11) 1998 DNA study Your text:

"The study concluded it was more probable that Thomas Jefferson, rather than two of his long-suspected nephews, Peter and Samuel Carr, was the father of Hemings' son, Eston Hemings. Prior to this study it was speculated that either one of the Carr brothers, Peter or Samuel, fathered the children with Sally Hemings."

Washington Post text:

"The study conducted by Dr. Foster concluded it was more probable that Jefferson -- rather than two of his long-suspected nephews -- was the father of one of Hemings's sons, Eston Hemings. " See

11.1 Your text:

"Foster, who died in 2008, never waivered from the 1998 study's findings."

Washinton Post text:

"His work with the DNA study was just another dimension of his active post-work life, said a daughter, Susannah Baxendale, who added that her father remained firm in the findings. 'He never wavered from that interpretation.'" Changed spelling & some words "wavered" to "waivered". See same

12) Historical interpretations Your text:

"Historians continue to struggle over the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. "

Text: "Some historians continue to struggle with the question of the relationship..." See

13) Historical interpretations Your text:

"Hyland is a member of the board of directors of the Thomas Jefferson Society."


"Hyland, a lawyer and member of the board of directors of the Thomas Jefferson Society..." See

14) Retirement Your text:

"Jefferson was believed by these historians to have allegiance to the Old Dominion aristocracy and devoted himself to sustaining the economic and cultural leverage of the white South in national politics. These historians claim that Jefferson also feared offending friends, especially slave owners already shaken by the actions of others in Virginia who had released slaves from bondage."


"One of the key reasons was Jefferson’s allegiance to the Old Dominion aristocracy and his devotion to sustaining the economic and cultural leverage of the white South in national politics. He also feared offending friends, especially slaveowners already shaken by the actions of others in Virginia who had released slaves from bondage." See

15) Posthumous Your text:

"On the 50th anniversary of the United States Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826, Thomas Jefferson died at Monticello."


On July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson died at Monticello." See

16) Posthumous Your text:

"Slaves set free
Thomas Jefferson set free only two slaves during his lifetime.
  • Robert Hemings (1762-1819), freed 1794.
  • James Hemings (1765-1801), freed 1796.
Thomas Jefferson freed five slaves in his will.
  • Joseph (Joe) Fossett (1780-1858)
  • Burwell Colbert (1783-1850+)
  • Madison Hemings (1805-1856)
  • John Hemmings (1776-1833)
  • Eston Hemings (1808-1856)
Thomas Jefferson gave tacit consent for the following slaves to leave Monticello, in 1804 and 1822.
  • James Hemings (born 1787)
  • Beverly Hemings (born 1798)
  • Harriet Hemings (born 1801)

This page is almost exaclty the same, including the timeline and layout of page. See

17) Your text: Early states that abolished slavery

The following states abolished slavery
1780-Pennsylvania and Massachusetts
1784-Connecticut and Rhode Island
1792-New Hampshire
1799-New York
1804-New Jersey


"Pennsylvania and Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1780; Connecticut and Rhode Island did so in 1784; New Hampshire in 1792; Vermont in 1793; New York in 1799; and New Jersey in 1804."
Again, almost verbatim; the site itself is ideologicallly driven, and has no sources. See

18) Your text:

"In 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant attempted to annex the independent nation of Santo Domingo to become a haven for African Americans who wanted to emigrate. The U.S. Senate, defeated the treaty."


"He tried to annex the independent nation of Santo Domingo to become a haven for African Americans who would want to emigrate; the Senate defeated the treaty."

19) Writings on slavery The section is copied from this site, but too big to put here; the change is in the order, but the dates, quotes and all remain the same.

1774, 1782, 1788 etc See
I'm not accusing anyone, though I have suspicions. Before a notice goes on the main page, other editors please review. Sadads, where does one start to fix it? Ebanony (talk) 14:23, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

DISCLAIMER - Ebabony posted on my talk page and asked me to take a look here. I have worked slightly with Sadads on the Last of the Mohicans article. Elen of the Roads (talk) 15:12, 20 September 2010 (UTC) INSERT - apology to Sadads, Ebabony wasn't at all clear who he was aiming his comments at.

Just for clarification, I have never worked on this page, I just happened to be snooping on Elen of the Roads talk page, Sadads (talk) 17:00, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

While some of these examples are problematic, I do believe that Ebabony is rather over-egging the pudding. The problem is not copyvio in the cases where there is a problem, but plagiarism - Sadads (other guy) has copied his notes rather too closely. Ebabony should note that statements of fact are not copyvios even if said in the same words, as long as the words only state the facts.

1-no cv, although I'd suggest Sadads (other guy) rewrite the sentence identified as there is a concern about plagiarism

1-(you have 2x no 1) "too old and tired" should be made a direct quote if that's what he said.

2-definite plagiarism. Suggest you look at rewriting the paragraph

3-a timeline is a set of historical facts. I am not convinced this can be a copyvio

4-"places an economic burden" clearly originates with the source author!! However, the quote of the act cannot be a copyvio, but should be sourced

5-(and 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3) statements of fact not copyvio, see previous note about timelines (nb, 'neoclassical mansion' is a factual statement, either it is one or it isn't)

6-"cowardice" and "pusillanimous conduct" should be sourced, preferably to the primary source used by both Sadads and the secondary sourced

7 - Plagiarism - rewrite the entire section

8.1 - Fact

8.2 Plagiarism

9 & 9.1 no copvio - not too many ways to say Jefferson became first US Secretary of State

10 - as 9

10.1 - problematic. I would say this was plagiarism and needs a full rewrite of the paragraph

10.2 - "visibly pregnant" should be in quotes and sourced, otherwise no problem

11 and 11.1 - you might as well rewrite as the English is dreadful and "waivered" =/= "wavered"

12 - plagiarism. Rewrite the section

13 - no copyvio "Hyland is a member of the board of directors of the Thomas Jefferson Society" is a statement of fact

14 - plagiarism. Rewrite the section

15 - I cannot see how these two facts represent a copyvio

16, 17 - not sure I understand how you are seeing a copyvio. These are statements of fact, surely

18 - Plagiarism. Rewrite the section.

So Sadads (other guy), you have some rewriting to do, and in future be careful if you work by cutting notes and pasting into a working document to do a FULL REWRITE before inserting the text.Elen of the Roads (talk) 15:12, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Sadads (& Ellen), I'm sorry for any confusion. I never meant to imply that you, Sadads, had something with this plagiarism problem. I also didn't know you knew Ellen, but asked her to help because she saw some of the earlier disputes from July 2009, as you can see on the talk page with the old tag. My suspicion is cmguy777 made some of these here & on the George Washington & slavery article, but I didn't want to name him because we have a NPOV dispute. You're a neutral party in that, so please do assist in this article any way you can so that we've got more input. I was picky on some of these, so I'm asking for others to review it. As you can see, I really don't know where to begin editing this, though Ellen's comments look pretty useful. To clarify, one reason why it's so difficult to edit is because the thesis & the arguments supporting it apparently come from Dorothy Twohig's work (in Washington it looks like a copy of Henry Wiencek's thesis & arguments). I don't want to accuse, but there is reason to state these things. Ebanony (talk) 00:10, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

I changed #7. Much of the information was taken from the original Thomas Jefferson article. I expanded the slavery into a separate article. No one pointed any of this out until you [Ebanony]. I recommend changing the whole article and starting from scratch. You seem to control everything. And yet you still do not answer why Ellen of Roads deleted your edit. Cmguy777 (talk) 04:20, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

On August 17, 1808, Jefferson is sent a copy of the book, An Enquiry Concerning the Intellectual and Moral Faculties and Literature of Negroes written by Henri-Baptiste Grégoire, Abbé Grégoire, a French Abolitionist and catholic priest who participated in the French Revolution. In the book Grégoire systematically refuted Jefferson's arguments that blacks were inferior to whites, countering with examples showing how blacks and black societies possessed intellectual and civilization elements found in European societies. The book gave examples of African achievements and Chapter 7 was used extensively as a standard biographical source by many abolitionists in the [[[nineteenth century]]. A copy was sent as a gift by Grégoire as a refutation of racist claims made by Jefferson's "Laws" in Notes on the State of Virginia.[1]
7) your recent rewrite, cmguy: The text: In his book, Grégoire systematically refutes all the major arguments for the inferiority of blacks, countering them with examples showing how blacks and black societies possess the same elements of intellect and civilization found in white societies. Its examples of African-American achievement, especially the biographical listings in Chapter VII, remained a standard source for abolitionist writings throughout the nineteenth century. - Note* this comment was moved from the section "plagiarism issues & mmoving forward, and was part of ebanony's comment there.

Grave site photo

Why do we have a photo of Jefferson's grave? What does this have to do with slavery? A photo on the main Jefferson page should be sufficient. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE GOOD WORKS 02:27, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

The photo has been removed. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:20, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Opening paragraph

I have rewritten the opening paragraph. Does anyone object to the opening paragraph? I believe the paragraph is strong and straight to the point that slavery was an integral part of Jeffeson's life. Comments would be very helpful. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:11, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Historical background (1619-1723)

I have rewritten the Historical background (1619-1723). Any objections or comments? Cmguy777 (talk) 19:13, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Views on slavery

The Views on slavery section has been modified. Any suggestions or comments to improve this section? Does anyone have any objections to the section? Cmguy777 (talk) 19:26, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

I believe the Views on slavery section should be towards the end of the article. Any objections to moving the section? Cmguy777 (talk) 20:01, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Plagiarism issues - moving forward

I'm going to put this here, rather than on anyone's talkpage. The way forward is not to fall out, start blaming each other, take bat home etc etc. The way forward is to identify the sections with the issues and do a rewrite, not just of the couple of problematic sentences, but of paragraphs. While doing this, anyone who believes there are POV issues in the article can start to address them by adding other sources. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 11:50, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree! Cmguy777 (talk) 20:57, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Sadads Recommends trying to rewrite & improve the article instead of trying to blame anyone. Ellen says only some need full rewrite, and I'm sure you appreciate their input as much as I do - and I thank them for giving their time to this. I'm glad you've looked at item no 7 and edited it. I've always been willing to help make changes. But Cmguy, please understand why I have reservations: you seem to have a different understanding of plagiarism, and I don't mean this as an insult.
So here's some "constructive criticism" (Sadads words): Instead of copying a paragraph & changing a few words, why not rewrite the jist of what the article says in your own words? If you use just 1 or 2 quotes like "inferiority of blacks" or "civilization", and then summarise the rest in your own words, that will be better. Also try new sentence structure, different words or telling it in a totally new way.
"By arguing European and African societies shared the same level of intelligence and social development, he attempted to disprove popular ideas of racial superiority of Europeans expoused by men like Jefferson in Notes." My example isn't really good, but it's not a direct copy. You can do that too.
Then why not look a little further into the topic yourself, say by using a scholarly article or 2 that discuss this (not Monticello)? Do a search & take an example (in your own words), and build a couple of sentences on it. If you do this, you won't 1) have to copy the Univ of SC's webiste (but you can look at Ch 7 & check it!); 2) nor will you have to rely on vague or potentially incorrect information. Why not try these scholarly works?
1) [[1]]
2) [[2]]
If this book is so important he needs a picture & a paragraph, then it should have enough details that it causes people to want to read it & see what all the fuss is about. This IS the page where you can put details (not the main page), so make the points. This is hard work & takes time, but in all sincerity, you can write a better sentence than I just did; you have a nack for finding sources; you spend a lot of time on this stuff; you say you've got a degree in history. Show us what you can do; put the sort of work up that would make your professors proud to say "He was my student". It's your turn.Ebanony (talk) 08:45, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I have rewritten the Historical background (1619-1723) section and the opening paragraph. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:07, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and I took a brief look. I liked the part about the Spanish & it's true. I've not had time to look at the sources closely, but so far seems good. Nevertheless, let's discuss the point of the article so that we have a good, neutral article & no time is wasted.

What will the article cover? What topics? Then, should we fix it or make one good summary on the main page of Jefferson & delete this? The pg gets 1500 visits a year, and I'm not sure what information is so crucial that must be told here. Majority rule, but is this pg worth the work for such small traffic? Maybe, as you said, a complete rewrite with a clear direction is needed - focusing on Jefferson. So we need to know where we're going & what the purpose is. Input from other editors?Ebanony (talk) 11:27, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I have been condensing the article as I rewrite. My opinion is that a seperate article should be on Thomas Jefferson and slavery because Jefferson was a founding father and his whole lifestyle at Monticello depended entirely on slaves. I plan on deleting material that is not directly related to slavery. His views on race should be kept in the article because that indirectly influenced his views on slavery. His racist view that Africans were inferior was an arguement that favored their slavery, most importantly, his slaves. (talk) 16:42, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok, what do other editors (besides cmgy & me) feel about keeping this article or merging it with the main page on Jefferson? This article gets very little traffic - an average of 4,5 visits a day - is it worth the work? As to cmguy, you say he was a "founder" & had slaves at Monticello (Poplar Forest too) - but the main page says that too. Also, the overwhelming majority of "founders" invested in slaves as well - it isn't unique. So regardless of whether we merge it or have 2 article, I'm asking you to explain what topics the article should cover; it's too vague. So I agree about discussing his views, but what else? So could elaborate on the the main points? Let's do this before rewriting everything (with exception of removing plagiarised material). Where to start, what to include, & what to leave out. Ebanony (talk) 23:58, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate your input Ebanony, however, I am following what Hellen of Roads who said the "way forward is to identify the sections with the issues and do a rewrite." A historical article is not a popularity contest. What is vague about a founding father owning slaves? What about the former slaves themselves, don't they deserve to be acknowledged, should they be swept under the carpet of history. We may not have their names, but they were people who had been uprooted from Africa against their will. The site is getting signifigant hits. To get rid of any vagueness I would just cut to the chase and mention only the signifigant events. What is really interesting is that a French priest challenged Jefferson. That should be mentioned. The Polish officer who offered most generously to pay for the freedom of Jefferson's will needs to be mentioned. Jefferson's decline to free his slaves does more then any words to explain Jefferson's true intentions toward slavery. These events require expansion and that is a good reason to have a separate article. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:56, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
If this article somehow got to good article status and was a featured article I would presume that the article would get more hits. I would suggest stream line first and then debate if the article should be kept. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:56, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
By no means did I say "do nothing". Rather "could [you] elaborate on the the main points? Let's do this before rewriting everything (with exception of removing plagiarised material). Where to start, what to include, & what to leave out." I specifically say to remove the plagiarised material, and I highlighted it for you to see.
Now you're correct that the site gets a bit more views than I earlier stated; here's the stats: [[3]] Nevertheless, the reason why I asked for other editors to comment on this is because the articles do not get deleted or merged without consensus. And Helen hasn't responded to that question; she merely said to remove the plagiarised & rewrite (as in that text so it's not a violation). I said remove the offending text & do not rewrite it until we know the main topics to cover. So I'm saying, let's make a list of what to cover, and begin working on these sections. If others say keep the article, I'll go along, but their input would be nice, as that's standard practice.
What is vague" is what you plan on doing with the article. It's current structure is biased, and presents Jefferson as anti-slavery; it is this which is apologetics and puts the slaves "under the carpet". Will your edits address the bias in the article or just rephrase the current version? I do not support the current framework, and I'd like a neutral article.
Now I agree with you that the following should be covered: Jefferson's views on slavery; Henri Grégoire; not freeing his own slaves.Fine we have agreement on that part. So then, why not work now on these 3 sections until we can agree on the other topics to include? I also agree that some info isn't needed. So what parts should we delete? That's moving forward, don't you think? Ebanony (talk) 06:45, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

I noticed some of your changes, and that's good. One thing on the 69' attempt: there wasn't one, and the source doesn't say "wasn't acted upon"; it says that it never happened. Jefferson claimed many things, but there was no "attempt". Ebanony (talk) 13:40, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I can work on those sections. My whole point is to get rid of bias in the article. I can't exclude the '69 Jefferson alleged attempt to free slaves. Even if Jefferson was lying in his biographical notes in 1821, no historian has proof he was lying. I put "claimed". That is a neutral word, it neither states that Jefferson was lying, nor does it confirm he was telling the truth. The reader has to decide on these issues. It is not up to Wikipedia to spoon feed the reader. My POV may have gotten into the article about the North West Territory in stating that Jefferson was an abolitionist. He did abolish slavery in this territory, however, the land was meant for white people, not blacks. I only called Jefferson an abolitionist because he banned slavery in the North West Territory. However, any reference to Jefferson being an abolitionist had been taken out. I can work on the 3 sections you mentioned. The best thing on the 69' attempt is to put Jefferson's exact quote. I am in no way attempting to rephrase the article. In many respects the language has been rather hard hitting, blunt, and concise. Rewriting is suppose to get rid of the offensive language. Making a list of needed changes in the talk page is good, but would "do nothing" to change the actual article. Thanks for noticing the changes.Cmguy777 (talk) 16:40, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
To avoid vagueness, the focus on this article as well as the Washington article should be on the slaves themselves in terms of their labor and hardship at Monticello. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:07, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
A direct quote is wrong here. But I agree, avoid the word "Lying". And yes, please do work on the other sections because they need attention. I can't write anything at the moment because I'm pressed for time. I'll what I can when I've got a minute, but I'm sure you can handle a lot of it if you tweak a few things.
The problem isn't just calling him abolitionist; it's using these things to imply he was an abolitionist. So not having slavery in Northwest Territory - I need to make this clear- had nothing to do with abolitionism. Slave owners all over the south opposed slavery in that area. 1784 clauses were not all used in 1787. Lemen is irrelevant in some senses. His ideas & those of slave owners happened to coincide - nothing more. And the northwest ordinance supported slavery by capturing runaways - that's hardly an abolitionist haven; they never planned it to be a slave sanctuary. Oh, Monticello to a degree is worth discussing, but I think that isn't enough. What about his involvement in Virginia when there were many runaways? The Dec of Ind part is interesting, so I'd keep that. His work with phillis wheatley; the Gregorie book was a way of denouncing his support for slavery, not just racism. Might need to expand on that. What do you think about these things? Ebanony (talk) 22:39, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

I am in agreement with your view on the Northwest Territory, however, the term abolitionism needs to be applied. Jefferson was attempting to protect his legacy. Whether it is true or not he put in an emancipation bill is up to the reader to decide. I am not sure how much more neutral it can be without the quote. I am not sure Lord Dunmore needs that much expansion. I can condense that part. I can work on the Dec of Ind part. I do not know who phillis wheatley is. Jefferson could have used Gregorie's book to denounce racism and slavery, but he never did. Jefferson and runaway slaves is a good segment or subsegment if there are authentic records, especially in terms of corporal punishment for running away. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:00, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, depends how you do the Northwest Territory. He did write a part to exclude slavery, but we'd have to look at why he did it. 1787 is interesting because some of the ideas they didn't want, while they took some of Rufus King's work too. So we do need to cover it, just being careful. I can try and help you with that. Um, the part with Wheatley is interesting because she was a poet, and Jefferson criticised her work saying it wasn't even worthy of criticism; that's related to his views on African intelligence. This source goes into it a little, [[4]] & so does this one, note the contrast between "detractors like Jefferson" and "abolitionists" on the other who pointed to her work as proof Africans were not inferior [[5]] Ebanony (talk) 01:51, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I see what you mean. I don't mean Dunmore. I mean when he was governor a little later on & the British invaded. Do you think that's worth looking into? Ebanony (talk) 02:04, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I had that briefly in the article on Jefferson's term as governor, however, there was nothing that linked him with being governor and slavery. I believe it is covered in his bio. In terms of views on slavery Paul Finkelman wrote an excellent article Thomas Jefferson and Antislavery that can fill in many gaps in the article. He claims that Jefferson hated slavery for three reasons: the institution turned white people into tyrants; he was afraid of a slave rebellion; he was a racist and found the physical appearance of black people offensive. Finkelman also makes that claim that there are protectionist historians who fuel the idea that Jefferson was anti-slavery in order to preserve Jefferson's public legacy. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:13, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
It might be good to mention that Jefferson did nothing to free slaves while Governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:01, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I've read some of Finkelman's work, maybe even the article you mention - if so, that is worth including, and you made some very good points just now. Some historians really do things like that for his reputation. It's good to have historians who present different pov's. Sounds good.
On the other hand, when Jefferson was governor he had to deal with runaways, and that was a big problem, and the main reason they kicked out Lord Dunmore. If he'd even contemplated freeing slaves as governor of Virginia, they'd have treated him him like Lord Dunmore or worse (akin to joining the British cause ie. traitor). His actions were the opposite. Jefferson opposed freeing his own slaves who joined the British when he was gov. Ebanony (talk) 04:46, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
According to John Ferling Jefferson was a racist even more then his contemporaries. I plan to put more on his years in the Virginia legislature that has a tendency to be overlooked and would give insight into Jefferson's character. The early '69 emancipation plan required deportation. I like dividing up the passages into segments since that allows focused editing. Cmguy777 (talk) 15:52, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like a good plan, and to include a variety of historians is a way to make sure the article is fair. And to put stuff on the legislature makes sense. There's some interesting stuff you can cover on that. Let me ask you though, I've read some very different things on the 69'. Some say it wasn't emancipation, but just allowing slave owners to free their own slaves if they wanted to (Virginia law didn't allow manumission). What sources say it was to emancipate slaves? Ebanony (talk) 23:22, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok, you've used Ferling for the info - what do you think of this bloke? The Declaration part seems pretty well done, and there's a link to the Congress Journals for an exact copy; you also use contemporary sources like John Miller - so as long as the wording is not a copy, that looks good too. The parts before that look alright too. I was thinking that the Intro is too detailed. Like the exact numbers could be used elsewhere in the article. I'd like to tweak it a little, but want to tell you about it first to get your opinion cause you just worked on it. One thing on the Virginia Ban & slave trade - we should explain why they did this, based on available evidence.
Ok, the first part of the article looks like a good layout. The second part needs some work (maybe it should look more like the first part?) We could reduce the size of the Hemings information, and the 1814 letter. A few quotes would suffice for that letter, besides its historical value is related more to 69' than anything else. I'm not sure what the research of the " trial of conscience" sentence rests upon next to it - is that sourced? The article is on its way. I might edit a few of those myself, but am mentioning them so that you know.

Also, you said you wanted to write about the lives of the slaves themselves - this is where the most work needs to be done. Lucia Stanton is worth looking at:


You might find this useful for the stuff we mentioned earlier on Ferling [[7]] Ebanony (talk) 04:47, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

On the '69 emancipation plan Jefferson used the word "permission". This implies that the law gave the masters a choice, rather then forced emancipation. I noted that Jefferson wanted to deport the freed black slaves. I plan on making the article like the first part, as I have been doing. The Heming's segment needs to be abbreviated. As far as the intro goes that is fine to tweak, however, the Intro in my opinion looks best in one paragraph. Rather then the exact number it would be best to just acknowledged that Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves. Ferling as far as I know is a thorough historian who does not hold back when it comes to Jefferson's racism. I found that to be refreshing. He discusses Jefferson's slavery legacy and Heming's. I find Ferling to be a fair historian and I can't find any POV in his writings so far. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:36, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I wanted to get the article fixed or rewritten first then add more on the slave life at Monticello. Stanton is an excellent source along with the Monticello foundation. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:45, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Your plan is good one. In the intro, as you say, he owned many (later on we should give those exact details); so the source is fine, just that this part should be a brief summary. But that's not a big deal & the article is looking better. Right, the racism is a problem, and if you look at the 2nd link I posted, the writer says historians went out of their way to make him look more favourable. So Stanton is good, and if you use that book I posted, you'll have a much better resource that the Monticello website (it's a link to her book). Also the archaeologist who worked on Mulberry Row (slave quarters) William Kelso. This writer has interesting diagrams & looks at the work he did, so you can see his work here: [[8]]

I'd recommend caution with the Foundation itself: some of their work is good, but some isn't. Some of them support things that most historians do not (like with Hemings). SO you'll have to use ur judgement. Ebanony (talk) 23:40, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

I appreciate your review of the article. My main purpose to use the Monticello foundation would be for acheological purposes. The cite does appear to be somewhat protective of Jefferson's legacy. I am realizing that politics is involved with History. I can look into the book you mentioned. I currently subscribe to The book may be on that website.Cmguy777 (talk) 02:24, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not saying ignore the Foundation. And the Stanton work is just a suggestion. The title of this book is "Slavery at Monticello" & it's written by Lucia Stanton. So what you read on the Monticello site relies on her work (in terms of slave living). You said you wanted to talk about the slaves, so I thought you'd like the book - no disrespect meant to you (really only Stanton & Kelso did work on the slaves & maybe just a few others). This is a direct link to the book if you want. [[9]]
By the way, you've made many good changes. Ebanony (talk) 07:10, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I reverted the George Washington and slavery article to June 26, 2009. That was the oldest edition I could find. I will be more careful with any edits in terms of copyright infringement.Cmguy777 (talk) 15:08, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
This article is up for review at this time. If there is no copied & cut paste or questionable paraphrasing in this version, then the copyright/plagiarism problem will be resolved. I'll review the material and post my findings later today. Will there be additional edits around this time? If so, that may delay it somewhat. Ebanony (talk) 00:59, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't plan on making anymore edits until Ebanony reviews the article. I have rewritten much of the article and I believe the article is neutral. Please let me know if there are any other plagerism concerns. Cmguy777 (talk) 04:49, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
Since Ebanony has yet to review the article I am going to continue editing. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:39, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay; I've busy on other articles at the moment. My assessment of the problem as of today: some of the offending text has been removed; the following have not (note* the point numbers refer to the problems detailed above):
1)Revolutionary Period Your text, now “Dunmore’s Proclamation” - Not addressed, see [[10]]
1.1) Views on slavery – not addressed, see [[11]]
2) Grégoire's challenge point 7 – not addressed, see [[12]]/collections/gregoireabout.html
3) Sally Hemings point 10.1 - not addressed, see [[13]]
4) Sally Hemings point 11 - not addressed, see [[14]]
5) Kościuszko's will point 14 – not addressed, see [[15]]
6) Deportation and African colonization point 18 – not addressed, see [[16]]
7) Writings on slavery point 19 – not addressed, see [[17]] This copied literally the entire page & its layout. Ebanony (talk) 06:34, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

General edits

Thanks Ebanony for your recent edits on Thomas Jefferson and slavery. The article looks good. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:39, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Northwest Ordinance

Why has Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Northwest Ordinance forbidding slavery been excluded from the article? Cmguy777 (talk) 20:17, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

NPOV Dispute

Instead of presenting Jefferson and the connection he had with slavery, it argues that he was an abolitionist then also ambivalent. A few examples of this:

"During his long career in public office, Jefferson tried many times to abolish or limit the advance of slavery."
"Early in his political career, Jefferson attempted twice to legislate the emancipation of slaves, one time in 1769 at the Virginia General Assembly, and another in 1784 at the Continental Congress."
"The complexity of Thomas Jefferson's character as a purchaser, seller, and owner of hundreds of slaves, while at the same time an abolitionist and advocate of abolitionism"

These half-truths (some aren't even that), poorly placed & out-of-context opinion statements show why this article is a lacking in neutrality.

"The neutral point of view neither sympathizes with nor disparages its subject, nor does it endorse or oppose specific viewpoints."

Far from being disinterested, the writer presents Jefferson as "ambivalent" on hand and on the next an abolitionist. He/she presents no scholarship on those who outright reject such POV's altogether. Therefore, this article leaves out a requirement: "that all majority views and significant minority views published by reliable sources be presented fairly, in a disinterested tone"

1) presenting this article as an argument for this pov is not nuetral
2) the article gives undue weight to the argument he was an abolitionist, one that many historians do not entertain
3) the citations do not support the opinion statements & others contradict them

Simply editing these comments won't address the bais in the way the entire is geared to present Jefferson as the abolitionist. The arguing for this is the main problem. That and he wasn't an abolitionist.Ebanony (talk) 14:16, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

To be fair, many "conservative" scholars tend to overlook that Jefferson owned slaves and was a white supremacist. This article covers both issues. Jefferson is traditionally viewed as a child of the Enlightenment and Reason dedicated to Liberty. This article covers that Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves, was a white supremacist, and Sally Hemings, a slave whom Jefferson had children. It covers how Jefferson allegedly got Sally pregnant while in France. I can rewrite the introduction. I have made several changes including removing reference to Jefferson being an abolitionist. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:16, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Thomas Jefferson was an abolitionist because he authored legislation to ban slavery in the North West Territory. Jefferson, with the help of James Lemen, also kept William H. Harrison from from reinstituting slavery and indentured servitude. This is not to be confused with Jefferson's racism or him owning slaves. The article addresses these issues in detail. If the article just mentions Jefferson as an abolitionist, then that would be POV. This article attempts to focus on Jefferson's rhetoric and actual actions regarding slavery. After his Presidency Jefferson was not an abolitionist. He became more conservative in regards to slavery, however, he modified his views on free blacks stating that it is possible for blacks and whites to live together under the same government. As far as POV, this article does not side step Jefferson's racist view that blacks were inferior to whites, nor his advocacy to deport African Americans, rather then give them citizenship. The article does not side step how Jefferson treated his slaves or the fact that he purchased and sold slaves. What can be done to improve or increase historical accuracy in this article? Cmguy777 (talk) 16:46, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I removed any inferences that Jefferson was an abolitionist in the "Views on slavery" section and removed the "Northwest abolitionist haven" section to the talk page. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:07, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

You really should discuss the NPOV here, not my wpedia page or any other section. IRead carefully what I wrote here above & in the part "Views on Slavery". It's one thing to present a minority view (that some claim he was against slavery), but the entire article takes the standpoint that Jefferson was an abolitionist. You give undue weight to this & then you take these arguments and present them as the only possibility. Changing a few words won't help.

And the Northwest Territory had nothing to do with abolitionism, though some of those people supported it. Most slave owners opposed slavery in that area in the 1787 Law, but that was to support slavery not oppose it. You posted the Journals of the Congress, an interesting source, but not one that supports your argument. As to Lemen & the things you posted... I assume good faith in that you want a good article, and you find some interesting original sources, but you really don't seem to understand "undue weight", "neutrality" or "fringe arguments", which is why I cited some examples of a bigger probem in the entire article.Ebanony (talk) 22:30, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Do not place your edit my comments. I had to restore my original comments because you placed your words between mine. This is confusing & distorts my comments. There's plenty of space below to make your comments, and I've moved your text to reflect how every other talk page is. You're making much more difficult to correct the problems in the article by doing that. Don't do that again.Ebanony (talk) 00:28, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I have made signifigant changes to the Article. The opening paragraph is to the point and as far as I can tell no mention of Jefferson as an abolitionist is in the article. Thanks for moving the edits. The only time Jefferson was pro active was when he secretly supported Lemen to defeat Harrison. Lemen was the only person, as far as I know, that actually had some pull on Jefferson when it came to slavery. I have removed any statements that claims Jefferson was an abolitionist. I have been completely cooperative under the circumstance. Respectfully. Cmguy777 (talk) 00:37, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Whilst you seem to " have removed any statements that claims Jefferson was an abolitionist", the whole hypothesis on which you wrote this article is that Jefferson was an abolitionist. Do you understand why that is a problem? Some historians - and not all that many - have this pov. You give undue weight to those fringe pov's by copying their arguments and then excluding those who reject their pov's. Also, you claim things your sources do not. Some say he did things that supported a little anti-slavery, but you took it to the extreme. 1) Lack of neutrality; 2) undue weight; 3) saying things not in the sources.
When you're not arguing this pov, you're discussing unrelated topics like "Following the Revolution (1784-1800)", George Washington, etc. If it doesn't involve Jefferson, why put it? On top of that, the number of errors and contradictions is high. There must literally be several hundred edits, and almost all are yours. Some examples:
In Posthumous it says "Thomas Jefferson set free only two slaves during his lifetime." but the introduction says " All but one of Jefferson's slaves was sold after his death to pay his debts."
In Following the Revolution on the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act it says it "exempted the 1789 North West Territory federal abolition law." 1) there was no 1789 Northwest Territory. Try 1787, not that you have any sources for it anyway.
Then you get it wrong again: "In 1787, this Ordinance of 1784 draft legislation by Jefferson eventually becomes a law passed by the U.S. Congress." Your source actually states " Although Congress approved the proposed ordinance of 1784, it was never put into effect; its main features were incorporated, however, in the Ordinance of 1787" And the 1787 law says "That the resolutions of the 23rd of April, 1784, relative to the subject of this ordinance, be, and the same are hereby repealed and declared null and void."
Jefferson's reflections - the source doesn't state Jefferson changed his position in 1821, though you do more than once
The errors just go on from there.
Your adjustments are "significant" in terms of quantity, not in the actual content of the article. See Wikipedia's page on neutrality, citations & copyright infringement and then come back and talk. You need to read it & understand the policies you must follow as an editor. Ebanony (talk) 05:49, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I never claimed this article to be perfect. That is why there are other editors, including yourself, to make corrections. The definition on neutrality is subjective. It is difficult to balance an article on Thomas Jefferson since many historians have different opinions of the man. I believe the article to be neutral and in itself is rather indepth with analysis. It covers many areas in Jeffersons life. Washington is mentioned because he is a fellow Virginian slave owner and a friend of Jefferson. Jefferson's writings are contradictive and in my opinion purposely confusing. The other issues of copyright infringement and citations can be cleared up. You have everyright to fix and edit this article. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:21, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia link: This page on wikipedia actually tells contributors to ignore all rules! Ingnore all rules I am all for quality standards when it comes to wikipedia editing. If mistakes have been made then they should be corrected. I am not after any editing wars and I am all for edits to improve the article. I have attempted to make this article neutral as possible without making Jefferson a villian or a hero. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:33, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
The opening does not contradict that Jefferson only set free two slaves during his lifetime. Finkleman is pointing out that remaining slaves after Jefferson's death were sold, with the exception of one slave. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:30, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Problem is you've made about 25 edits in the past day, and that you do almost every time you edit a page. It's nearly imposssible follow the changes. Use the preview button. On your talk page 3 editors aked you to change the way you edit, and for this very reason. And what is that reference to ingore all rules? You must be joking. NPOV is because you ignore all rules, and now you justify it? I'm going to check these changes, but they look like mostly typos and do not address the problems. Ebanony (talk) 01:23, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I've just gone through all of your changes, and most were not typos - good. You removed some egregious comments - goood. Of these edits, some addressed the problem of presenting Jefferson as an abolitionist, but not all:
"As an abolitionist Jefferson drafted legislation that abolished slavery in the Northwest Territory[50] [57] [58] and as President of the United States he signed into law the abolition of the slave trade in 1807"
"There was an attempt by a pro slavery movement in the North West Territory, headed by General William H. Harrison to repeal the slavery prohibition of the Ordinance of 1787 and 1789."
"1787, this Ordinance of 1784 draft legislation by Jefferson eventually becomes a law passed by the U.S. Congress."
You asked me to remove NPOV; not with comments like these; I've asked you several times to address them, and I explained why in "On Slavery". This is your opinion, and your steering to make Jefferson look like an abolitionist. These arguments have no defence. Even the historians you cite say the opposite. Deal with this and then we can discuuss NPOV removal. Ebanony (talk) 03:07, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Segment break 1

Has the neutrality issue been resolved in terms of POV? Cmguy777 (talk) 18:56, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Since there have been substantial rewrites I am removing the neutrality issue tag. No one has yet made any objections. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:48, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, yes you have made made some edits, but hold on a moment. First, nobody noticed this post on Oct 26 because you put it in a separate section. This belongs in the NPOV section above. Second, there hasn't been adequate discussion on the neutrality problem. Third, if you created the article, then you may not remove this designation. So happens some of us have been busy on other articles at the moment, and haven't had the time/patience to go through all the stuff here. Now, it looks much better and we may be able to remove it, but how exactly have the neutrality problems been addressed? NOTE* these last 3 edits have been moved here so editors can follow NPOV in appropriate section. Ebanony (talk) 00:07, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
There is a problem that should be addressed related to NPOV:
"Emancipation bill"
In 1784 Thomas Jefferson introduces a bill to abolish slavery to the Continental Congress. The bill was defeated by one vote.[33] His proposal read as follows:
That after the year 1800 of the Christian era, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the said States, otherwise than in punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted to have been personally guilty.
This is not quite what happened. Jefferson never "introduced[d] a bill to abolish slavery". This was a proposal not to allow slavery in that territory. Again, this presents Jefferson as an abolitionist. The source is a copy of it, and this should also have s contemporary source as well, not just the primary one
Northwest Ordinance
Jefferson's desire not to extend slavery in the Western lands may have been racially motivated; he later revealed in Laws to believe that blacks were inferior to whites. Outlawing slavery would have stopped the importation of black slaves into the territory.
1st there is no citation for this statement; 2nd the paragraph doesn't explain why Jefferson opposed slavery in that area. What were the reasons? Is this "abolitionism"? These and other problems have not been addressed.Ebanony (talk) 06:49, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I've undone the NPOV remove designation since the problems above & in sections 14 and 15 (among others) have not been adequately addressed. Ebanony (talk) 04:47, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Jefferson wrote in Laws he wanted white people to replace emancipated black slaves Notes on the State of Virginia. Jefferson hated blacks. He was reserving the Northwest territory for whites. Slavery would have brought in black people. Not extending slavery is not the same thing as abolition. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:06, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I didn't see your comment, and I've moved it (no adjustments to text) so that it would reflect the time log & appear in the order of edits made. As to the edit, I've removed it from the article because it was incorrect, as you yourself say "Not extending slavery is not the same thing as abolition." Right. And I'm aware of no attempt by Jefferson to outlaw or abolish slavery - the slave trade was a very different thing. Hence the necessity to change the article. At any rate, the Introduction needs to be neutral. That section takes the POV that Jefferson intended to free slaves but was incumbered by debts. Well, that's not what all scholars say, and Jefferson had opportunities to free his slaves & not lose money, but refused to. Fix that section and we can remove the NPOV.Ebanony (talk) 14:24, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Jefferson is complicated. He hated blacks yet he had children by his half sister in law Sally Hemings, a person who was black. He believed it was good to whip a run away black slave, yet, he lived in constant fear of a slave uprising. He hated slavery, yet, he owned slaves. Jefferson was incumbered by debts, that is a fact. He need money to free slaves. I can change that to reflect the Polish general who offered Jefferson his estate to free his slaves. (talk) 22:05, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Segment break 2

Where is the source that proves that Jefferson hatedblacks? --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 14:37, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Well "hated" is a little strong, but I don't think Cmguy777 has any intention of using that word in the article, but he can clarify that statement. But that Jefferson was a racist is fact, and that he brutally repressed slaves on more than 1 occasion is also fact (torture, mass killings etc). At any rate, that's not the focus of this comment, so...
Cmguy, the problem with the Introduction is the premise or belief that Jefferson had the intention to free his slaves (& opposed slavery), and that because of debt he couldn't free his slaves, which he intended all along. Who says he had any intention of doing that? He always went after his runaways. He refused the offer from his Polish friend - according to the article. So when you say "He hated slavery", I'm sorry, but the evidence is slim on that & some historians say that was just carefully placed rhetoric to influence thought in subsequent years (his legacy). Also don't confuse the slave trade w/ slavery. He did fight that, but because it was in his best interest as a slave owner to do so. Beyond that, it's too much detail for the Intro. An overview is good enough, not explain why he never stopped being a slave owner.
So, how he got involved in slavery, the impact on his life & the things that he did in general terms. The rest can be covered in the article.Ebanony (talk) 15:07, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Paul Finkleman is the source. The term hatred however could mean many things. Jefferson did not want to exterminate blacks, he wanted to deport them. There is no indication he enjoyed having blacks whipped or threatening to whip or deport them if a slave ran away. "Jefferson hated slavery because he hated the slave and the Negro and because he hated what slavery did to white people." --Finkleman (1994), Thomas Jefferson and Antislavery-- Cmguy777 (talk) 01:07, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I took the part out the Jefferson had any intentions of freeing his slaves. I put the Polish general in because Jefferson was confronted with a choice! Jefferson kept his slaves. Jefferson had discussed freeing his slaves with the Polish general. Jefferson did not want to actually free his slaves because he lived in luxury. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:05, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I had put this in the article that Jefferson failed to resolve the slavery issue. The reader should decide if he ever attempted. Jefferson is a hard egg to crack and in his writings one can be misled that he actually wanted to get rid of slavery. I believe that was his intentions. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:05, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
So because Finkelman says so it has to be true. Do you think I'm going to believe that he could look into Jefferson heart and determine that he hated blacks? If you don't have something more than that, it doesn't belong in the article. Documented proof that he expressed his hatred in words will be necessary. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 02:45, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Well this sentence is a problem "After the Revolutionary War Jefferson did nothing to challenge slavery". When did he oppose slavery before the Revolution? He never opposed slavery at any point. Now he did oppose the slave trade & helped outlaw it. We should also discuss why he opposed it (but not in the Intro). But opposed slavery? I can't see how any person could reach that conclusion. The few carefully placed statements against slavery Jefferson made (it was evil, bad for whites and blacks etc) make a for a poor argument. Look at his actions, and be careful what historians' arguments you use (not all historians should be given as much weight).
"The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarise the most important point." See Manual of Style for details [[18]] Jefferson's personal opinion on slavery is interesting, but should not be the purpose of the article. The article can be clearer by looking more at what Jefferson did to his slaves & his actions as a politician instead of conjecture on his opinion; try looking at different historians & going beyond "was he against slavery?" That looks like an argument by certain historians for a politically correct audience, and we should be careful with that. Americans at that time had no doubts about his stance on slavery. Suddenly there's a "Mystery - not only with him but other men like him.
So earlier you said "many 'conservative' scholars tend to overlook that Jefferson owned slaves and was a white supremacist". Maybe you didn't realise that many "liberal" scholars have an agenda too. So yes some historians ignore slavery outright whilst some highlight slavery & argue these men were "secretly" against slavery but circumstances prevented them form acting (if you can believe that). Both basically do the same thing: downplay their actions in slavery. Historians doing either of those things need not necessarily be given the same weight. It's not about "conservative" or "liberal"; it's about what the evidence is, and if slave owners had seen Jefferson as an abolitionist - or even for a second thought he sympathised with that fringe group - he'd never have had any political career at all (especially in Virgina). Just because a historian says it doesn't mean it's the POV of everyone. Ebanony (talk) 04:11, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Just a note, I had to adjust the position of the text twice. Please do not place comments between comments already made by other editors. It's confusing to editors following this thread. If you want to reply, then quote text using "" and respond to the question or problem. Please read up on the policy [[19]]Ebanony (talk) 04:31, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Founders Intent. I respect your position, but Jefferson authored hate legislation against blacks and his views expoused in Laws are hateful. Jefferson believed it was alright to threaten blacks with the lynch mob. He says blacks are stupid, ugly, and lazy. He enslaves blacks and forces them to work at the threat of the whip. I am not sure I would call that love or Christian charity. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:14, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Good call Ebanony. My only concern is to respect the intelligence of the reader. The sentence, "After the Revolutionary War Jefferson did nothing to challenge slavery", does not imply he did anything to stop slavery before the revolution. He claimed to author legislation to free slaves and deport them in 1769. Whether this is true or not is debatable. Ferling claims he authored this legislation. Ferling points out that he did make false claims in the 1770's about authoring legislation, just point blank lies. This should be in the article. To say Jefferson did nothing before the Revolution on slavery, could be true, only if the 1769 legislation is proven to be a fraud. I took out the part that he had any intentions of freeing his own slaves. Slavery and the slave trade is different. I did not mention the slave trade in the opening because that is a complicated issue. I could say Jefferson was against the slave trade, yet explanation is needed. He was against the slave trade for two reasons. No slave trade meant his slaves are worth more; he was concerned over a slave rebellion. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:14, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
The bottom line is Jefferson wanted things both ways. He wanted to be viewed as an enlightened liberal, yet, he was actually profoundly conservative. Let the reader decide Jefferson's true intentions. Give the reader enough information to make informed decisions. We should not spoon feed just liberal or conservative views to the reader. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:32, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes he did want to be seen in positive light, and that's why he wrote the "anti-slavery" things he did - after the fact. Anyway, the intro isn't easy to work on, but basically it should be a summary of the main points in the article (no detalis). The main points (as of today): inherits slaves & increases slaves with marriage; Dunmore & the Slave Trade during the Revolution; as President abolishing the Slave Trade; Kościuszko's will; what happened to his slaves in 1826 (and the Hemings need to be discussed here).
We can edit that and make it flow smoothly (it's choppy now because it just lists facts), but the article doesn't discuss some important things:
1) Punishing the slaves in Gabriel's Rebellion (he was directly involved)
2) Jefferson's runaway slaves & his response to Lord Dunmore (1770's)
3) Jefferson's opposition to the slave trade (the reasons why)
4) The lives of the slaves at Monticello & his other plantation including torture & diet as well as work conditions.
Because the article mostly focuses on Jefferson's supposed opinion, his actions get no attention. Hence the Intro is so hard to do. You had the right idea earlier to do something on slave life, but just be more careful with sources. I'm going to tweak the Intro, but as of now, there is insufficient info on slavery in his daily life or those events. listedEbanony (talk) 10:12, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
There should be a summary of specific main points, yet, there has to be something that captures the readers attention. Neither the liberal nor conservative views can completely assess Jefferson and slavery, in my opinion. It is up to the reader to interpret the information. As far as the led goes, I believe it should be as concise as possible with a general theme and should say what the research says about Jefferson, not just a list of things he did, did not do, or said. I put Kościuszko's will in the introduction because for once the real Jefferson was revealed. Jefferson refused to free his slaves when given a most generous opportunity. He lied to Kościuszko and he did not want to free the Monticello slaves. This is my interpretation of the Kościuszko's will incident from a reader's viewpoint. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:42, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes well depends a lot on whose research you use. You should use Ferling (or most other scholars), but you don't want to rely on him or any other single writer. Plenty of work on Jefferson, and other well known writers can be included. So I'd say avoid using only one writer or the same writer several times in the Intro. The terminology in the talk page is a little strong, but we can avoid problems by using less colourful words (they may be justified or not, but it will lead to further claims of npov & arguments). We can't write those things in the main article that way even if they're true. But your point is well noted.
So let's shift focus away from "Was Jefferson ever against slavery?". It's a trivial argument. This is why the article misses the point: the actual things Jefferson did concerning slavery in his personal life & as a politician. Can we agree on expanding the paragraphs to include points 1-4 that I wrote above? If not, what do you propose? Now, separate but related, I'm adjusting the part Emancipation bill "In 1784 Thomas Jefferson introduces a bill to abolish slavery to the Continental Congress." This is not correct, and I asked it to be fixed several times.Ebanony (talk) 00:07, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
The term hatred can be misinterpreted and I only used in talk to make a point that Finkleman believed Jefferson hated blacks. I would be careful to use it in the article. I respect Founders Intent's opinions and believe the word "hatred" should not be used in the article when speaking specifically towards blacks. However, his racism needs to be addressed in the article head on. Yes. Your four points are good and should be in the article. You can feel free to edit anytime Ebanony. Your input is good and welcome for this article. I have attempted to make changes to the article from your suggestions. I expanded the opening. I have been reading up on Gabriel's Rebellion that took place while Jefferson was President. I would have to do research on Jefferson's runaway slaves. I did expand on Jefferson's reasons for stopping the slave trade. Jefferson's speech when he abolished the slave trade has been commented on. I have yet read anything that Jefferson tortured his slaves. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:47, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not criticising you for what you said since your point is valid; Founders' point on having many sources is also correct. We don't want to use words in the main article that cause neutrality concerns even if they can be backed up. And I know you weren't going to use them, so no problem. I agree that racism needs to be addressed, but it's only part of the reason for some of Jefferson's actions; there were other factors involved, usually political or economic. We need to look beyond the "was he a racist?" argument. What really matters were the things he did & why.
Point 1 Gabriel's Uprising. See the following Southern Slavery and the Law, 1619-1860 by Thomas D. Morris pg 272 “for those tried after the first wave of executions, when Jefferson and James Monroe made it clear that some blood was needed but not too much” [[20]] Jefferson corresponded with Gov Monroe of Virginia and they discussed executing the slaves involved; it could have been worse, but they were involved.
Point 2 Jefferson and runaways. Look at his reaction to Lord Dunmore's Proclamation. He opposed freeing those slaves to fight on the British side. That wasn't a small thing. Also, many of his own slaves ran away at different points (30 in 1779 I think). His reaction? He tried to get them back. Some he had flogged & beaten.
Point 3 His writing in the Declaration need to be clearly looked at. A distinction between slavery & the slave trade. He was discussing a "market". 30 Years later, they outlawed the slave trade, but some say he went along with popular sentiment & was not the main force behind it. Is that so? See Slavery in the United States Volume 2 pg 352 section by Boyd Childress: [[21]] That's just a start.
Point 4 Torture & slave conditions. He had overseers whip the slaves. So Jame Hubbard was "severely flogged" on his order & "int he presence of his old companions" - among others. See Unfree labor by Peter Kolchin pg 292 [[22]] As to food, clothing & medical care, they were slaves and treated as such.Ebanony (talk) 07:17, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
These should be addressed in the article. I did not know about the torture and whipping, other then whipping for running away. Jefferson daily watched the children work in his nailry. Personally that sounds twisted. Was Jefferson torturing black children? I am researching the Gabriel's Rebellion punishment incident(s). Lord Dunmore mainly had a ship and was going up and down the coast gathering slaves. The British, though, for the most part became the slaves new masters, rather then give them their freedom. Many were shipped to the West Indies. There were those who got the Freedom in Nova Scotia and Africa. I am trying to find research on Jefferson's slaves that ran away. I recently added that Jefferson wrote emancipation legislation in 1783 out of guilt, rather then altruism. Baptist ministers were on his case over slavery. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:09, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
If you look at the links I posted, they can help you with these things. Now Jame Hubbard was flogged for running away. You might like this source pg 15 [[23]] As to Dunmore, yes they weren't so interested in the slaves' freedom (that's not the point); that was a military/economic move designed to hurt the Americans. But that: deprived salve owners of their labour; lowered production; helped lead to a massive exodus of slaves (over time). This involves Jefferson. For slaves who went to Nova Scotia see Black Loyalists site [[24]] Ebanony (talk) 01:35, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Segment break 3

I added information on the Jame Hubbard incident. I also added information on the 1784 emancipation amendment that Jefferson never put on the original bill to the Continental Congress. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:25, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

I got better sources for the "Slaves set free" segment and narration has been changed to accurately reflect Jefferson's will. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:52, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

I added a section on Thomas Jefferson's slaves. I also added information on Monticello slave life introduction. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:53, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Well you made quite a few edits, so please try and do the changes with fewer edits (add [[]] marks at the same time, so it's easier to follow changes. But the edits look ok. The slaves were the people at the centre of the whole controversy. I think adding even more details to these people is important; Jefferson's interactions with them & how they lived say more about him than any arbitrary sstatements some people drag up. Hubbard needs much more; the incident with stealing nails & the part of his running away & Jefferson's reaction. Also, children in the nailery (they were working at 10) and he used girls in a separate area also on machines. Onuf says he was always giving people something to do.
We need to discuss the conditions in which slaves lived & their daily lives. Architecture and town planning in colonial North America, Volume 1 by James D. Kornwolf, Georgiana Wallis Kornwolf round pgs 476 can help [[25]] Also talking in detail about the conditions is Slavery at Monticello by Lucia C. Stanton, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Inc[[26]].
As to removing the NPOV, you've improved some egregious material, and also have adjusted Emancipation Bill [[27]], so it's appropriate to remove NPOV. Do you agree?Ebanony (talk) 10:18, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Also, let's archive sections 1-13, 16-20, and 22-24. That will leave work on the most recent problems & remove clutter.Ebanony (talk) 10:36, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree the POV should be removed and that the article needs more work. I added more on Thomas Jefferson's slaves. More should be done on Hubbard case. I believe the Lemen-Jefferson compact should be linked with the anti slavery Baptist ministers. The Jefferson-Lemen defeat Harrison section needs to be modified. Jefferson seemed to play the slavery issue on both sides. He gave Harrison the right to appoint his own government at the same time giving money to Lemen to defeat slavery. Yes. I agree this section needs to be archived. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:01, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
What appears to be clear is that Jefferson after 1785 was silent on slavery, with the exception of aiding Lemen to defeat Harrison while he was President, a vestage of the Anti slavery movement from the Baptist church. However, Jefferson according to one historian cared little about the Northwest Territory. I read his will and put in information on how Jefferson emancipated his slaves. He did advocate to the Virginia government for them to remain in Virginia to be with their families, however, he did not free their families. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:08, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Archiving talk is good. Thanks for your suggestions Ebanony. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:01, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I have removed the NPOV dispute since problems look mostly resolved, and the other editor involved has agreed. No further objection has been noted.Ebanony (talk) 00:09, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Ebanony. I am not going to put anything that Jefferson hated black people, however, there should be a separate segment devoted to his racism and another segment on protectionist historians. The anti slavery Baptist ministers answers allot of questions as to why Jefferson proposed or allegedly wrote emancipation legislation and barred slavery in the Northwest Territory. Lemen's effect on Jefferson, however, should not be overdone in the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:46, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not too familair with Lemen, but I agree, it shouldn't be too big. I never thought you were going to add that word "hated", and I understand why you used it. FoundersIntent was the one who had that concern. Let's forget that. If you want to look at racism, maybe look at the discussion of women and primates that he discusses in Notes on Virginia. David Walker, an abolitionist, criticised him hard for that in An Appeal[[28]], and historians have mentioned this too.
Oh, and Work and privileges needs adjusting. That wasn't regular pay, but incentives he gave them and tips for increasing productivity. And we do know they worked 6-7 days, even attacking an overseer once to keep that day off. They also had 4 days at Christmas. See Stanton about pg 30 [[29]]Ebanony (talk) 02:15, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I've just worked a little on corporal punishment, but have concerns with the use of this: "According to Marguerite Hughes, Jefferson used 'a severe punishment' like whippings when runaways were captured and he sometimes 'sold' them to 'discourage other men and women from attempting to gain their freedom.'" It's based on this article [[30]] I know the information is correct, but we should avoid using "a second grade teacher" for something like this. Other editors will object. Do you have an alternative source for this? I haven't archived it because I'm not sure how to do the html for that. Here's a helpful article on Jefferson & racism [[31]] Ebanony (talk) 06:14, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I've been looking at some arguments & the usage of Ferling; seems his claims have been taken at face value, though other scholars like Finkelman, Berlin etc have shown some of the statements in the Legacy & Views on slavery sections with talk of "ambivalence" not to have much support; the "theory" that Jefferson could have converted other slave owners to oppose slavery should be removed; it's based on a false assumption & poor scholarship. Further in Views on Slavery, a selective letter is used to claim "ambivalence". Ferling is cited & there is more talk about "ambivalence" using John Chester. Actually, Chester rejects the mythology that Jefferson was anti-slavery. Jefferson was clear on his position: slavery in the US or gradual emancipation with forced relocation (all white society). That doesn't mean "ambivalence" in any dictionary. [[32]] O either it gets tweaked, removed or we rewrite that section. Some scholars have claimed these things, but research has disproven their claims, and we could discuss it in that context. Your opinion, Cmguy? Ebanony (talk) 07:59, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Cmguy, you said you wanted to work on racism more. Have you looked at Jefferson's communication with Banneker & Phillis Wheatley? The article I put 2 posts ago can help with that. Jefferson used those 2 as examples to claim blacks were inferior (most others say the opposite). Also, why are there no pictures of Jefferson's slaves? Some are available.Ebanony (talk) 23:29, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Cmguy777 you wrote: "Congress accepted Jefferson's ordinance; however, denied that slavery would be outlawed." This needs work. Fitst, the "committee" he was only a small part of Congress. Second, did Congress agree to all of Jefferson's proposals in that? Not the one on slavery. There is a lot of misinformation about that ordinance (especially with that of 1787), so please be specific about what he proposed & what was agreed to; use more than just LOC, please. See Berkhofer Jefferson, the Ordinance of 1784, and the Origins of the American Territorial System and also William Cohen Jefferson and the Problem of Slavery pg 511 where he says it was unrealistic & "would have been repealed" even if it had passed in 1784.

Ebanony (talk) 02:49, 10 December 2010 (UTC)