Thomas Jefferson was a White Separatist

(P.264)

“To emancipate all slaves born after passing the act. The bill reported by the revisors does not itself contain this proposition; but an amendment containing it was prepared, to be offered to the legislature whenever the bill should be taken up, and further directing, that they should continue with their parents to a certain age, then be brought up, at the public expence, to tillage, arts or sciences, according to their geniusses, till the females should be eighteen, and the males twenty-one years of age, when they should be colonized to such place as the circumstances of the time should render most proper, sending them out with arms, implements of houshold and of the handicraft arts, feeds, pairs of the useful domestic animals, &c. to declare them a free and independant people, and extend to them our alliance and protection, till they shall have acquired strength; and to send vessels at the same time to other parts of the world for an equal number of white inhabitants; to induce whom to migrate hither, proper encouragements were to be proposed. It will probably be asked, Why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the state, and thus save the expence of supplying, by importation of white settlers, the vacancies they will leave? Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race. — To these objections, which are political, may be added others, which are physical and moral.

Summary: Thomas Jefferson wanted the blacks to emigrate. He did not want to listen to arguments about reparations. He did not want “A Conversation About Race” to become necessary.

(P. 270)
“To our reproach it must be said, that though for a century and a half we have had under our eyes the races of black and of red men, they have never yet been viewed by us as subjects of natural history. advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind. It is not against experience to suppose, that different species of the same genus, or varieties of the same species, may possess different qualifications. Will not a lover of natural history then, one who views the gradations in all the races of animals with the eye of philosophy, excuse an effort to keep those in the department of man as distinct as nature has formed them? This unfortunate difference of colour, and perhaps of faculty, is a powerful obstacle to the emancipation of these people. Many of their advocates, while they wish to vindicate the liberty of human nature, are anxious also to preserve its dignity and beauty. Some of these, embarrassed by the question `What further is to be done with them?’ join themselves in opposition with those who are actuated by sordid avarice only. Among the Romans emancipation required but one effort. The slave, when made free, might mix with, without staining the blood of his master. But with us a second is necessary, unknown to history. When freed, he is to be removed beyond the reach of mixture.

1) The first bolded quote shows that Jefferson defended the right of scientists to question egalitarian dogma.
2) The second bolded quote needs more historical backing: it should be possible to show that racial admixture has resulted in long-term problems beyond the many rapes documented in “A Conversation About Race.”

* “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people [blacks] are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them.” –Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:72

* “The cession of that kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle which would not cost me a second thought, if in that way a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected; and gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Holmes, 1820. ME 15:249

Note: “bagatelle” means very easy task.

* “My opinion on the proposition… to take measures for procuring on the coast of Africa, an establishment to which the people of color of these States might, from time to time, be colonized, under the auspices of different governments [is]: Having long ago made up my mind on this subject, I have no hesitation in saying that I have ever thought it the most desirable measure which could be adopted for gradually drawing off this part of our population, most advantageous for themselves as well as for us. Going from a country possessing all the useful arts, they might be the means of transplanting them among the inhabitants of Africa, and would thus carry back to the country of their origin the seeds of civilization which might render their sojournment and sufferings here a blessing in the end to that country.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Lynch, 1811. ME 13:10

* “In the disposition of these unfortunate people, there are two rational objects to be distinctly kept in view. First. The establishment of a colony on the coast of Africa, which may introduce among the aborigines the arts of cultivated life, and the blessings of civilization and science. By doing this, we may make to them some retribution for the long course of injuries we have been committing on their population. And considering that these blessings will descend to the “nati natorum, et qui nascentur ab illis,” we shall in the long run have rendered them perhaps more good than evil… The second object, and the most interesting to us, as coming home to our physical and moral characters, to our happiness and safety, is to provide an asylum to which we can, by degrees, send the whole of that population from among us, and establish them under our patronage and protection, as a separate, free and independent people, in some country and climate friendly to human life and happiness. That any place on the coast of Africa should answer the latter purpose, I have ever deemed entirely impossible.” –Thomas Jefferson to Jared Sparks, 1824. ME 16:8

The thing to note is that Jefferson implied that he expected short-term evils from exile. But in the long run, he believed that the good would be greater.

* “I concur entirely in [the] leading principles of gradual emancipation, of establishment on the coast of Africa, and the patronage of our nation until the emigrants shall be able to protect themselves… Personally, I am ready and desirous to make any sacrifice which shall ensure their gradual but complete retirement from the State, and effectually, at the same time, establish them elsewhere in freedom and safety.” –Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Humphreys, 1817. ME 15:102

* “Indeed, nothing is more to be wished than that the United States would themselves undertake to make such an establishment on the coast of Africa. Exclusive of motives of humanity, the commercial advantages to be derived from it might repay all its expenses.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Lynch, 1811. ME 13:12

* “It will probably be asked, Why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the State [instead of colonizing them]? Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites, ten thousand recollections by the blacks of the injuries they have sustained, new provocations, the real distinctions which nature has made, and many other circumstances will divide us into parties and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XIV, 1782. ME 2:192

Postscript: To the best of my knowledge, the claim that Jefferson fathered children with one of his slaves is not proven. An extensive review of the claims and counter-claims is available from Monticello at the following link:

http://www.monticello.org/plantation/hemingscontro/hemings-jefferson_contro.html

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3 Responses to Thomas Jefferson was a White Separatist

  1. Pingback: Is White Nationalism or multi-racial Jeffersonianism better for the Whites? | Uncontroversial

  2. Brandon says:

    Very interesting. Thank you for compiling this info. What are your thoughts about the fairly recent media swarm re the Jefferson/Hemmings thingie?

  3. ‘ Thank you for compiling this info. What are your thoughts about the fairly recent media swarm re the Jefferson/Hemmings thingie?’

    1) You’re welcome.

    2) I think the weight of the evidence is against the claim that Jefferson had children with Hemings.

    To quote a useful source:
    ‘The claim that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with Sally Hemings, a slave at Monticello, entered the public arena during Jefferson’s first term as president, and it has remained a subject of discussion and disagreement for nearly two centuries.

    In September 1802, political journalist James T. Callender, a disappointed office-seeker who had once been an ally of Jefferson, wrote in a Richmond newspaper that Jefferson had for many years “kept, as his concubine, one of his own slaves.” “Her name is Sally,” Callender continued, adding that Jefferson had “several children” by her.

    Although there had been rumors of a sexual relationship between Jefferson and a slave before 1802, Callender’s article spread the story widely. It was taken up by Jefferson’s Federalist opponents and was published in many newspapers during the remainder of Jefferson’s presidency.

    Jefferson’s policy was to offer no public response to personal attacks, and he apparently made no explicit public or private comment on this question (although a private letter of 1805 has been interpreted by some individuals as a denial of the story). Sally Hemings left no known accounts.

    Jefferson’s daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph privately denied the published reports. Two of her children, Ellen Randolph Coolidge and Thomas Jefferson Randolph, maintained many years later that such a liaison was not possible, on both moral and practical grounds. They also stated that Jefferson’s nephews Peter and Samuel Carr were the fathers of the light-skinned Monticello slaves some thought to be Jefferson’s children because of their resemblance to him.

    The Jefferson-Hemings story was sustained through the 19th century by Northern abolitionists, British critics of American democracy, and others. Its vitality among the American population at large was recorded by European travelers of the time. Through the 20th century, some historians accepted the possibility of a Jefferson-Hemings connection and a few gave it credence, but most Jefferson scholars found the case for such a relationship unpersuasive.’

    http://www.monticello.org/plantation/hemingscontro/hemings-jefferson_contro.html

    I should probably update the page to reflect the Jefferson-Hemings issue.

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