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Word Count: 675
President Thomas Jefferson has recently been described as the American Sphinx by author Dr Joseph Ellis in his book entitled American Sphinx The Character of Thomas Jefferson A sphinx is defined as an enigmatic or puzzling person The statement that Jefferson was the American Sphinx is largely true when it comes to Jeffersons hypocritical position on the American policy of slavery Foremost Jefferson was a slave-owner who wrote the Declaration of Independence In it he wrote 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 This excerpted line at the time written does not mean to include slaves in the definition of all men just free-white citizens of the thirteen colonies In Jeffersons original draft he accused the English king of being determined to keep an open market where MEN should be bought and soldand he is now exciting those very people to rise up in arms among us where here the word MEN means slaves This statement of Jefferson contradicts his previous position on slavery mentioned above and because of that and the fear that the south wouldnt accept this statement was the reason it was excluded Also Jefferson felt that blacks had little attributes beyond their labor skills In his Notes on the State of Virginia 1783 Query XIV Laws Jefferson wrote that they the blacks are at least brave and more adventurous than the white man but this is because they proceed with a want of fore-thought which prevents their seeing a danger till it be present Jefferson also talks about their different kind of attraction to women because the blacks are only interested in the eager desire and not a tender delicate mixture of sentiment and sensation like whites Again Jefferson insults the blacks intelligence when he writes that a black had never uttered a thought above plain comments
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