In my last tidbit, I wrote that Thomas Jefferson fought ‘against’ slavery for over 40 years. I began in 1769 with his first year in public office, and left-off in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence. Let’s continue.
After the Declaration was signed in 1776, it birthed one of the most amazing movements in all of human history! Without coercion, and of their own free-will, after the DOI was signed, the states began to abolish slavery! Vermont abolished slavery in 1777; Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in 1780; New Hampshire in 1783; Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784; New York in 1799; and New Jersey in 1804.
In addition, the Northwest Ordinance was passed in 1789 by the same Congress that passed the first Amendment to the Constitution. Through the Northwest Ordinance, Illinois; Indiana; Michigan; Ohio; Wisconsin; Iowa, all became states forbidding slavery!
Why is this so amazing?
1.No state, nation, or country--in the history of the world--had ever abolished slavery!!
2.No state, nation, or country--in the history of the world--had ever abolished slavery through the conscience of the slave holder!!
Remember, the colonies(states) were like small sovereign countries, and each colony(state) enacted their own laws. Although the southern colonies (states) did not follow suit with the northern colonies(states), it did not detract from what the northern states accomplished! The achievement of the colonies made the United States the first among the nations of the world to officially abolish slavery…I repeat, in all of human history!
If you never understood why America is exceptional—now you have at least two great reasons! These ‘two firsts’ are irrefutable evidence of God’s Providence in the birth of America! In other words, ‘GOD’ created America!** And one of His sovereign purposes for the United States of America was to affect the end of slavery…all over the world! In other words, The Declaration of Independence was a God-ordained document—not only for the USA…but for the world!
Abraham Lincoln recognized America’s prophetic God-ordained call to freedom declaring: "The Declaration of Independence gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence...".
Incredibly, God sovereignly chose and used Thomas Jefferson to start ‘HIS’ world-wide freedom revolution!!!
Let’s continue with TJ’s legacy.
9.Leaving 1776, let’s now move forward to 1778 where TJ introduced a bill on slavery in the Virginia legislature. Although a small step, his legislation was a first in Virginia to ban importation of slaves from other countries. The bill passed and TJ wrote, “This passed without opposition and stopped the increase of the evil by importation, leaving to future efforts its final eradication” (pg 136, Barton).
10.Also in 1776, TJ was elected governor of Virginia, and in 1777 he introduced yet more legislation that would fall under the category of “future efforts” for “slavery’s eradication”. In the legislation, he called for Virginians to “emancipate all slaves born after passing the act” (pg 136, Barton). Like his previous efforts, he was again rejected, and his legislation failed to pass into law. Remaining faithful to his call however, he later wrote, “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free” (pg 137, Barton).
11.In 1781, TJ wrote ‘Notes on the State of Virginia’, considered by some to be one of his greatest achievements. Barton quotes him at length on page 137: “The whole commerce between master and slave is…the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other…. And with what execrations (denunciations) should the statesman be loaded who permits one half of the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other…. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis—a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever…. The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest…. The way, I hope, is preparing under the auspices of Heaven for a total emancipation.” (Emphasis mine)
Notice, TJ’s desire for a “total emancipation” of the slaves! This is all the more amazing considering this was 1781--in the middle of slavery--five years after he wrote the Declaration of Independence; 8 years before the Constitution was ratified; and 80 years before the Civil War!!!
The actual truth about Thomas Jefferson unveils him in quite a different light than liberal revisionist historians portray him!
*Facts in this tidbit taken from historian David Barton’s incredible book “The Jefferson Lies”. It is a must read.
Leaders are readers; and readers are leaders. -Unknown