Emphasized equality Declaration Defended Af. Am.s clients for free
Helped to secure rights Author VA Statute for Religious Freedom Supported BOR Repealed Whiskey Tax Allowed Alien & Sedition Acts to expire (1802) “ Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
Attempts to reduce govt debt Cut down govt expenses Reduced military “We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.”
Barbary War (1801-1805) North African pirates attacking U.S. commerce Jefferson refused to pay tribute sent small fleet
Louisiana Purchase (1803) No Pres. power to make land treaties – Loose interpretation of Constitution “[In accepting the Louisiana Purchase] it is the case of the guardian, investing the money of his ward in purchasing an important adjacent territory; and saving to him when of age, I did this for your good; I pretend no right to bind you; you may disavow me…I thought it my duty to risk myself to you.” (1803)
Embargo Act (1807) Ship cargo confiscated by GB & France Forbid Am. merchant ships to sail to foreign ports Backfired (repealed 1809) Chesapeake-Leopard Affair (1807)
“…all men are created equal…” Owned 200+ slaves (135 inherited) Few freed upon death Mulberry Row (slave quarters, service and industrial buildings) Isaac Jefferson
Dealing with Slavery “Nobody wishes more ardently to see an abolition not only of the trade but of the condition of slavery. But…I am here as a public servant; and those whom I serve having not yet been able to give their voice against this practice, it is decent for me to avoid too public a demonstration of my wishes to see it abolished.”
Benjamin Banneker (a free African American farmer and mathematician) writes to Jefferson: “…Sir, suffer me to recall to your mind that time in which the arms and tyranny of the British crown were exerted…to reduce you to a state of servitude…This was a time when you clearly saw the injustice of a state of slavery and…that you publicly held forth this true and invaluable doctrine…‘that all men are created equal’…but how pitiable is it to reflect that…in detaining by fraud and violence so numerous a part of my brethren under groaning captivity and cruel oppression that you should at this time be found guilty of that most criminal act, which you professedly detested of others…”
Sally Hemings Child of Betty Hemings and John Wayles Resemblance to Martha Jefferson?
Debt Hated debt but had large personal debt At death owed $107,000 ($2 mil. today)
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