The Declaration of Independence was written to address the grievances of the Colonies against the King of England. Hopefully we have all read the “official” document in our American history classes. What we were not taught, and what we should have been taught, was the process which brought about this historic document; particularly the missing text of the original draft written by Thomas Jefferson, which included the following paragraph, taken directly from transcription of “The Papers of Thomas Jefferson” at Princeton University:
“He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce…”
As Jefferson points out in his Autobiography by Thomas Jefferson 1743-1790 this clause was stricken because Georgia and South Carolina were not against slavery and in fact found it necessary to continue since their agricultural economies relied heavily upon the practice. Without the full support of all the Colonies the Declaration of Independence could not have been the transformative document and precursor to the establishment of the United States of America and the Constitution and thus was omitted in the final document in order to get unanimous support from all of the Colonies.
Until the mid -1650s many people came to the Colonies as indentured servants, with colonists paying their fare to immigrate. These indentured servants worked off their debt for up to seven or eight years at the end of which they were given their “freedom papers” acknowledging their debt was paid in full. Several of the Colonies and even some of the wealthier colonists themselves gave these freed people land and livestock to establish their own livelihood. The truth is slavery in the colonies was instituted while under the rule of the British with black and whites alike owning slaves of all races. Many colonists became abolitionists and were vehemently against the practice from its very beginning.
Jefferson acknowledged that during the turbulent Revolutionary War eradication of slavery had not been addressed and he wrote “this subject was not acted on finally until the year 1778, when I brought in a bill to prevent their further importation. This passed without opposition, (author’s bold) and stopped the increase of the evil by importation, leaving to future efforts its final eradication”. Here we see again Jefferson’s personal commitment to the abolition of slavery in America. This was an important advancement towards ending the practice and also reveals the Founding Fathers shared the same commitment.
Before those of you on the left counter with “Thomas Jefferson owned slaves!” in an effort to shut down any reasonable dialogue, a little research would reveal he inherited his slaves from his father and father-in-law and the only slaves he purchased was to reunite families. While it is also a known fact he kept a slave woman named Sally Hemings and most likely had several children with her, what is not taught is that she was his half sister-in-law, being his deceased wife’s half sister. Thomas Jefferson was probably the most enlightened and liberal of the Founding Fathers.
When the final draft of the Constitution of the United States of America was completed, Provision 107 from Article 1.9.1 stated “Until A.D. 1808 there shall be no prohibition or interference against the migration or importation of any persons which the “states now existing” shall consider proper for admission”.
In his book The Making of America, W. Cleon Skouson states:
“This provision gave the states the RIGHT to continue importing slaves and bond servants for twenty years, but thereafter it gave the federal government the RIGHT to terminate it.”
Skousen elaborates by explaining that this was the compromise made by the original States to assure that three dissenting states; Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina; would sign the Constitution. Although the consensus of the general populace favored the abolition of slavery, these three States required a period of time to phase out their economic dependence on slavery. In the same year as the Constitution was written, the Northwest Ordinance was passed assuring that any new States acceding to the United States would be free states and no slavery would be permitted within their borders.
So this Independence Day, as Nike caves to washed up NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s misguided demand to not sell a special Fourth of July edition of sneaker with Betsy Ross’s original flag of the United States of America, remember – one of the reasons the Revolutionary War was fought was to break away from England and a monarchy that brought slavery to our shores.
And finally, we must resolve to teach our children the true history of America and not just the skewed anti-American version progressives are teaching in our schools today.
Our future depends on it.