"The principles of Jefferson are the definitions and axioms of free society... This is a world of compensation; and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God, cannot long retain it. All honor to Jefferson -- to the man, who in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecaste, and sagacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so embalm it there that to-day and in all coming days it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression." – Abraham Lincoln
See more information here: "The principles of Jefferson are the definitions & axioms of free society.” – Abe Lincoln
See this video: Debating Slavery Clause in the Declaration of Independence: Second Continental Congress.
Logically & morally, one cannot be faulted for something outside of one's choice. Slavery was OBTRUDED on the Colonies by King George III. Thomas Jefferson INHERITED slaves. It was AGAINST THE LAW TO FREE THEM.
When he was 26 years old, chosen for the first time to be a member of a legislature, he submitted a bill for the EMANCIPATION of ALL slaves. As a lawyer in 1770, age 27, Jefferson defended a slave, saying: "Under the law of nature, all men are born free."
Facts - Thomas Jefferson's record on slavery:
1769: Chosen for the first time to be a member of a legislature, Thomas Jefferson made one effort in the House of Burgesses for the permission of the emancipation of slaves, but was rejected.
From Jefferson's autobiography: http://www.constitution.org/tj/jeff01.txt -
"In 1769, I became a member of the legislature by the choice of the county in which I live, and so continued until it was closed by the Revolution. I made one effort in that body for the permission of the emancipation of slaves, which was rejected: and indeed, during the regal government, nothing liberal could expect success."
1770: As a lawyer, Thomas Jefferson defended a slave, saying: "Under the law of nature, all men are born free."
"Under the law of nature, all men are born free; everyone comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will. This is what is called personal liberty, and is given him by the Author of nature, because necessary for his own sustenance." -- Thomas Jefferson: Legal Argument, 1770. FE 1:376
1776: He strongly condemned slavery in his draft of the Declaration of Independence.
"He (King George III) has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation hither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of another." http://www.princeton.edu/~tjpapers/declaration/declaration.html
1778: The legislature passed a bill he proposed to ban further importation of slaves into Virginia.
“Congress Again--and France: This first retirement was brief. In a year his wife died. Jefferson reentered Congress, throwing himself into the work of lawmaking, this time for the national government. Within two years he wrote some of the most meaningful state papers of the Continental Congress. Three reports were especially good: 1. On Government for the Western Territory, the basic document for the growth of the United States, in which Jefferson's effort to abolish slavery failed by one vote.”
1784: His draft of what became the Northwest Ordinance stipulated that "there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude" in any of the new states admitted to the Union from the Northwest Territory.
1806: President Jefferson requested Congress to ban all slave importation to the US.
1807: As President, Jefferson signed a bill abolishing the slave trade: on March 3, 1807, as President of the USA, Thomas Jefferson signed a bill making slave importation illegal in the United States.
Thomas Jefferson defined Republicanism:
“I believe with you that morality, compassion, generosity are innate elements of the human constitution; that there exists a right independent of force; that a right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings; that no one has a right to obstruct another exercising his faculties innocently for the relief of sensibilities made a part of his nature; that justice is the fundamental law of society; that the majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest, breaks up the foundations of society; that action by the citizens in person, in affairs within their reach and competence, and in all others by representatives chosen immediately and removable by themselves, constitutes the essence of a republic…” - Thomas Jefferson
WITHOUT THOMAS JEFFERSON, THERE IS NO BILL OF RIGHTS.
“A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse or rest on inference.” – Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, December 20, 1787