The Daily Mail reports he Jefferson Memorial will be redone to put emphasis on the fact Jefferson owned slaves.
Thee is nothing wrong with that, it is a fact. But will the new emphasis on Jefferson’s slave holding also mention Jefferson’s agonizing over that fact? Will it mention the fact that Jefferson, like almost every other slave holder, was repaying the Boston bankers for the price of their slaves? A price that was greater than a working man’s daily pay of $1.00 a day?
A visitor to the Memorial will not get an accurate picture of the often dominized Jefferson unless his agonizing over slavery is adequately covered. Quoting Jefferson from memory, “Humanity demands that every slave be free, boty oh! the risk.” The risks of instant bankruptcy and a life of poverty.
Nor will the record be complete without mention of the fact Jefferson attempted to ban slavery in any new territory added to the United States.
I agree with Caesar Augustus, “Memorials should be either honest or silent.” Omitting important facts in order to discredit the honoree is not honesty. So we shall see.
In the meantime, Daily Mail, it might be well to remember England did not abolish sanctioned slavery until 1828, and the despicable practice continues in England to this day.