Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 1807 - Thomas Jefferson Ended Slave Importation in the US

On March 3, 1807, as President of the USA, Thomas Jefferson signed a bill making slave importation illegal in the United States.

Many do not know the following: Chosen for the first time to be a member of a legislature in 1769, 26-year-old Thomas Jefferson submitted a bill in the House of Burgesses for the permission of the emancipation of slaves, but was rejected. In 1770, as a lawyer, Thomas Jefferson defended a slave, saying: "Under the law of nature, all men are born free." In 1776, he strongly condemned slavery in his version of the Declaration of Independence, but the passage was deleted when SC said it would scuttle the Resolution for Independence if it is not removed.

"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."

The full article is here: 26-YO Jefferson's Emancipation of Slaves Bill