• Congress Voting Independence

    Independence

    National Historical Park Pennsylvania

Jefferson and the future

July 17, 2012 Posted by: Miles

What stood out for me today was that I really got to know the life of Thomas Jefferson.  I couldn't believe he was basically forced to be a slave owner because Jefferson's father and father-in-law were slave owners so he inherited it.  I always thought Jefferson was a hypocrite because he said in the Declaration that all men were created equally.  I also learned that Jefferson was saying that in the future he hopes Man will be created equal.  Unfortunately, we haven't reached that, but I'm sure one day America will reach our goal that we haven't reached for hundreds of years.


3 Comments Comments Icon

  1. Steve - Philadelphia, PA
    July 20, 2012 at 01:09

    I'm glad that you enjoyed my presentation, Miles. I should clarify a few things, however. Although Thomas Jefferson did view slavery as something more-or-less forced upon him and other southerners (that's why, while in-character as Jefferson, I said so), we cannot ignore his own active participation in the institution. As the years passed after he wrote the Declaration, Jefferson ignored or avoided opportunities to fight against slavery. His story is complex, so he does not easily fit under the label of either "hero" or "villain". One other thing I'd like to clarify is that, while speaking in-character as Mr. Jefferson, I said that Jefferson hoped that one day all men would be "treated as they are created: equally." In other words, we are already created equally, but we do not yet treat one another as such. Good work so far, and have fun with the rest of your workshop! Sincerely, Steve Edenbo, portrayer of Thomas Jefferson www.yourthomasjefferson.com

  2. Larry - Pennsylvania
    July 19, 2012 at 06:54

    I think you would also be surprised at how George Washington's attitudes about slavery developed and changed over time.

  3. Ranger Renee
    July 19, 2012 at 12:49

    I like your positive outlook, Miles!

 

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Photo of National Park Service with visitors at Liberty Bell

An old broken bell, imperfect, yet one of the most powerful symbols of liberty in the world, the Liberty Bell bears a timeless message, “Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof” (Leviticus, 25:10)