Jefferson and Slavery
Choose ONE of the following essay questions and answer it fully (100 pts.) Remember, these are YOUR essays and you can take them in any direction you please, as long as you write FULL ESSAYS. Your essay must be a minimum of one page, single-spaced, in 10 pt. Times-Roman font. Do NOT use a header (name, date, professor’s name, title, etc.).
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” –Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
In your personal opinion, what were Jefferson’s private, personal views about the institution of slavery? Were his private views of slavery different from his public statements on slavery (Notes on the State of Virginia)? Justify your answer.
Did Jefferson’s views on slavery change over time? Give a detailed explanation of your answer and reasoning.
Letter to Marquis de Chastellux
Letter to Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Banneker. Benjamin Banneker was a free, educated African-American who wrote to Jefferson while he was Secretary of State under President Washington.
This is Jefferson’s reply to Benjamin Banneker.
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