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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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8162. STATES, Fundamental principles of new.—
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8162. STATES, Fundamental principles of new.—

The temporary and permanent
governments [465] [shall] be established on these
principles as their basis. 1. They shall forever
remain a part of the United States of
America. 2. In their persons, property and
territory, they shall be subject to the Government
of the United States in Congress assembled,
and to the Articles of Confederation
in all those cases in which the original States
shall be so subject. 3. They shall be subject
to pay a part of the Federal debts, contracted
or to be contracted, to be apportioned on them
by Congress, according to the same common
rule and measure by which apportionments
thereof shall be made on the other States.
4. Their respective governments shall be in
republican forms, and shall admit no person
to be a citizen, who holds any hereditary
title. 5. After the year 1800 of the Christian
era, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude in any of the said States,
otherwise than in punishment of crimes,
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted
to have been personally guilty. [466]
Western Territory Report. Ford ed., iii, 409.
(March. 1784)

See Slavery, Abolition.


Of the States to be formed out of the Western


Next to the Declaration of Independence (if indeed
standing second to that), this document ranks in historical
importance of all those drawn by Jefferson;
and, but for its being superseded by the “Ordinance
of 1787”, would rank among all American State papers
immediately after the National Constitution. * * * That it contains practically every provision which
has made the latter ordinance famous, has been carefully
overlooked by those who have desired to give
the credit of them to Northerners. Still more have
these special pleaders suppressed the fact that Jefferson
proposed to interdict slavery in all the Western
Territory and not merely in the Northwest Territory,
as the ordinance of 1787 did. Had it been adopted as
Jefferson reported it, slavery would have died a
natural death, and secession would have been impossible.
There is another reason, however, for the little
reputation this paper has brought to Jefferson,
aside from the studious suppression of its importance
by the special pleaders of New England. This plan,
with its limitations of slavery, though failing by only
one vote of adoption in 1784, was unpopular at the
South and increasingly so as slavery became more
and more profitable and more and more a southern
institution. As early as 1790, Jefferson's partisans
were already his apologists for this document, and
from that time Jefferson carefully avoided any public
utterance on slavery. This change of attitude is
alone sufficient explanation why Southerners acquiesced
with the Northerners in the suppression of this
paper, and of Jefferson's drafting of it. In Jefferson's
memoranda of the services which he took pride in
having rendered his country, written in 1800, he carefully
omitted all mention, as also in his autobiography
written in 1821. And thus it has been left to
the Massachusetts orators to glorify King, Dane, and
Cutler for clauses in the Ordinance of 1787, which the
latter had in truth taken from the Ordinance of 1784,
and which they made sectional, where Jefferson had
made them national.—Note in Ford edition, iii,