“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—“(Jefferson).These words are arguably the most recognized words ever written in American history and are the backbone of our countries right to freedom.
Thomas Jefferson, the author of The Declaration of Independence, is one of the few historical American leaders that need no introduction.Jefferson was born on April 13th, 1743 in Albemarle county, Virginia.Jefferson was a man of many talents that included, but not limited to, law, politics, writing, architecture, and planting.The three achievements that Jefferson wanted to be remembered for, which were inscribed on his tombstone, are, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, the introduction of the Virginia bill of religious liberty, and the founding of the University of Virginia.Jefferson not only founded the University of Virginia but “He conceived it, planned it, designed it, and supervised both its construction and the hiring of the faculty”(Borden).Jefferson is considered one the greatest pioneers of America, but one issue that troubled him throughout his lifetime was slavery and his ownership of more than two hundred slaves.
The question that puzzles most Americans is, how could the man who wrote, “All men are created equal” own slaves?This question has been asked over and over throughout the history of our great nation.This is the thing that contemporary Americans find most vexing about him.In order to answer this question wefirst must explore the society and times that Jefferson grew up in and considered being the standard.
In 18th – century Virginia, slavery was the fabric of society.Slavery was the backbone of Virginia’s economy and was common with plantation owners of th…