Homework Help

Wasn't there something about slavery in an early version of the Declaration? If so,...

user profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted August 17, 2008 at 1:47 AM via web

dislike 2 like

Wasn't there something about slavery in an early version of the Declaration? If so, why isn't it in the final version?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 17, 2008 at 8:47 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

In the original draft, Jefferson included another tirade against King George III, blaming him for introducing slavery into the American colonies. 

However, at the time, Jefferson, along with many others, were slave owners, including Washington.  For the sake of getting the Declaration of Independence passed by all the states, the issue of slavery was dropped from the Declaration by Congress.   

"A few delegates were unwilling to acknowledge that slavery violated the "most sacred rights of life and liberty," and the passage was dropped for the sake of unanimity."  

In the correspondence of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, which took place years after both men were out of politics, they reflected on the issue of slavery.  Each suggested to the other that the slavery question belonged to another generation of men.  They, the Founding Fathers, had dealt with the fight for liberty and freedom from Great Britain.

Both Adams and Jefferson believed that the country would address slavery and that it would come to an end, but neither man saw this happening in his lifetime.  They were right.    

 

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes