History, Research, and Current Themes

"The world needed John Brown and John Brown came, and time will do him justice." Frederick Douglass (1886)

Search This Blog & Links


Saturday, October 06, 2012

History Speaks for Itself--
Thomas Jefferson and Blacks: Gradual Emancipation and Deportation, or "shudder at the prospect held up"

"The day is not far distant when the public mind must bear it and adopt it, or worse will follow.  Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate, than that these people [i.e., blacks] are to be free; not is it less certain that these races, equally free, cannot live in the same Government.  Nature, habits, opinion, have drawn indelible lines of distinction between them.  It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation and deportation, and in such a slow degree as that the evil wear off insensibly, and their place be pari passu filled up with free white laborers.  If on the contrary it is left to force itself on, human nature must shudder at the prospect held up.  We should in vain look for an example in the Spanish deportation or depletion of the Moors."

Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography Draft Fragment, Feb. 8, 1821, American Memory: The Thomas Jefferson Papers, Series 1(Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress).

No comments: