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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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7983. SLAVES (Emancipation), Principle and.—
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7983. SLAVES (Emancipation), Principle and.—

From those of the former generation
who were in the fulness of age when I
came into public life, which was while our controversy
with England was on paper only, I
soon saw that nothing was to be hoped.
Nursed and educated in the daily habit of seeing
the degraded condition, both bodily and
mental, of those unfortunate beings, not reflecting
that that degradation was very much
the work of themselves and their fathers, few
minds have yet doubted but that they were as
legitimate subjects of property as their horses
and cattle. The quiet and monotonous course
of colonial life had been disturbed by no alarm,
and little reflection on the value of liberty.
And when alarm was taken at an enterprise on
their own, it was not easy to carry them to the
whole length of the principles which they invoked
for themselves.—
To Edward Coles. Ford ed., ix, 477.
(M. 1814)