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Thread: Erasing Jefferson?

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    Erasing Jefferson?

    What do you guys think about taking Jefferson off of currency and rewriting a lot of the history books just because he was a slave owner? Back then owning slaves was a symbol of your political and economic power, if Jefferson got rid of his slaves he couldn't do the things he did for us.

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    Re: Erasing Jefferson?

    I actually hadn't heard of this until right now....I wasn't sure if you were being hypothetical about it, but I typed some stuff in google and found that there have been calls for this stuff....the one I found was changing the name of a school due to Thomas Jefferson owning slaves.

    I don't think they'd rewrite history books though, because I don't think anyone has hid that he owned slaves....it was pretty much out there, so they couldn't really change the books on that. (However, Jefferson was apparently romantically involved with one of his slaves, and that she might have given birth to illegitimate kids).

    Do I think they should change names and currency, and anything referencing him? No.....He owned slaves, which was considered the norm during the time period. While we know that the slave trade was absolutely horrible, to them, this was perfectly fine. However, you CAN ding him for being hypocritical, as he wrote the declaration of independance, which obviously only applied to white people, as he owned the slaves. All you can do is just not paint him as being some sort of hero for rights, because he had no problems with being a high rank in the class system.

    However.....saying that he needed the slaves in order to do what he did is a bit....er...odd. He didn't need the slaves in order to do anything, rather, he had the slaves because of his status. Due to that status, he was able to become president.

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    Re: Erasing Jefferson?

    Hmm, i bet this is more ACLU crap? Removing him from the money is ridiculous. So because he own slaves justifys removing him from our money? I think not!! Laughable. What about all the good stuff he did? Thats what should keep him on the bill.

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    Re: Erasing Jefferson?

    However, you CAN ding him for being hypocritical, as he wrote the declaration of independance, which obviously only applied to white people, as he owned the slaves.
    Actually, he wasn't being hypocritical. When he wrote the Declaration of Independence he tried to put in there that there would be no slavery but when it was looked over by the Whig party they decided to cut that out because they wanted to deal with one situation at a time and dealing with a revolution was enough. Jefferson in fact protested this change in the Declaration and said that if it was not dealt with now then it would be dealt with later in time and he was indeed right. I mean look at the Civil War.

    I think it's ridiculous that they are considering taking him out of things like that because he was a slave owner. It is obvious from what I just said that he was a strong advocate against slavery. It was just at that time that if you were wealthy you had to have slaves and if you didn't it seemed a little odd and in the end Jefferson set them all free.

    If they take him out then they might as well take George Washington out because he was a slave owner too who may I add set his slaves free, too. While their at it they better take Andrew Jackson out, too. He did after all create the Trail of Tears. Yeah, I think it's crazy.

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    Re: Erasing Jefferson?

    htis is one of the most stupid things i've ever heard. when will people start to get teh heck over teh slave issue. all this crap is enough to make me sick.

    jefferson was a president
    he owned slaves
    he wasn't mean to them (that we know)
    so shut the hell up and deal with it.

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    Re: Erasing Jefferson?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chubz View Post
    (However, Jefferson was apparently romantically involved with one of his slaves, and that she might have given birth to illegitimate kids).
    No, he wasn't.

    Isn't it amazing how some mud sticks even after all these years? According to contemporaries it was his uncle that had those kids with her. She recieved special treatment from Jefferson because there is reason to believe she's his half-sister. It was a political opponant that claimed that the kids were his even though everyone knew better and people keep digging it up. I guess it's more prestigous to be descended from Jefferson then his black sheep uncle.



    That said, changing the money and history is more of this revisionist bull I am sorely tired of. It's the same sort of bull that resulted in kids being taught that Cleopatra was black. Leave history alone and try to understand history instead of condeming anyone not like you. Narrow minded eletists... *mutter mutter*

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    Re: Erasing Jefferson?

    I don't think they'd rewrite history books though, because I don't think anyone has hid that he owned slaves....it was pretty much out there, so they couldn't really change the books on that. (However, Jefferson was apparently romantically involved with one of his slaves, and that she might have given birth to illegitimate kids).
    First off, people rewrite history all the time. It's happened before and it will happen again. The best way to remove the shining legacy of Thomas Jefferson is to rewrite history to show him as a bigoted slave owner.

    Second, the whole affair thing has been disproven countless times. Again, those that want to mar his image keep bringing up this lie over and over and over again to shape public oppinion about Thomas Jefferson.

    Third. Watch 1776 sometime. It's a fun little musical that tells the story of the founding fathers, the decloration, and the vote for indipendence. The script was written from actual letters and documents of the founding fathers, so it's historicly accurate.

    Jefferson did own slaves. But by the time he wrote the decloration he had already decided it was a dispicable practice and was resolute in freeing his slaves. One of the holdups of the entire South for voting for independance was the slavery issue. Thomas Jefferson illuded to slavery in the decloration and the South utterly refused to sign it unless all references to slavery were removed. The pervailing wisdom was it was better to compromise to form the nation then to not have independence from England. It was always known by both sides that the slavery issue was going to come up again down the road.

    As for the castrating of Thomas Jefferson. People need to understand that history is history. Things happened. Thomas Jefferson renounced slavery and freed his slaves of his own free will. But instead of being honored for that decission he's villified because he once owned slaves.

    If were going to hound Thomas Jefferson for owning slaves...why not hound Robert Byrd (Senator from W. Virginia I beleive) for being a former member of the KKK. You don't see these people clamoring to oust Byrd because of his formerly bigoted views, yet Jefferson has to go!

    It's rediculious.

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    Re: Erasing Jefferson?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arrianna View Post
    No, he wasn't.
    "Contemporary debates continue to rage -- as they did during Jefferson's own lifetime -- concerning his relationship with Sally Hemings, one of Jefferson's slaves, after Martha's death. Recent DNA evidence presents a convincing case that Jefferson was indeed the biological father of Heming's children, and most historians now believe that Jefferson and Hemings had a long-term sexual relationship. " - American President
    "The DNA study found no link between the descendants of Field Jefferson (his uncle) and Thomas C. Woodson (1790-1879), whose family members have long held that he was the first son of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Madison Hemings, Sally's second-youngest son, said in 1873 that his mother had been pregnant with Jefferson's child (who, he said, lived "but a short time") when she returned from France in 1789. But there is no indication in Jefferson's records of a child born to Hemings before 1795, and there are no known documents to support that Thomas Woodson was Hemings' first child.

    The DNA testing also found no genetic link between the Hemings and Carr descendants.


    Shortly after the DNA test results were released in November 1998, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation formed a research committee consisting of nine members of the foundation staff, including four with Ph.D.s. In January 2000, the committee reported its finding that the weight of all known evidence - from the DNA study, original documents, written and oral historical accounts, and statistical data - indicated a high probability that Thomas Jefferson was the father of Eston Hemings, and that he was perhaps the father of all six of Sally Hemings' children listed in Monticello records - Harriet (born 1795; died in infancy); Beverly (born 1798); an unnamed daughter (born 1799; died in infancy); Harriet (born 1801); Madison (born 1805); and Eston (born 1808).

    Since then, a committee commissioned by the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society, after reviewing essentially the same material, reached different conclusions, namely that Sally Hemings was only a minor figure in Thomas Jefferson's life and that it is very unlikely he fathered any of her children. This committee also suggested in its report, issued in April 2001, that Jefferson's younger brother Randolph (1755-1815) was more likely the father of at least some of Sally Hemings' children. " Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

    Both sites claim that there is a high possibility of Jefferson having fathered an illegitimate child, with the first Jefferson committee actually agreeing with that (though the second says that his brother could have also fathered some of the children).

    However, I've found some information from pbs.org that seems to correlate with what you were saying. The DNA tested was looking at the Y chromosome, so it narrowed down the choices to 8 people:

    "Thomas, Randolph (Jefferson's brother), Randolph's 5 sons, and a cousin George and in 5 of Randolph's sons, who were in their teens or 20s when Sally Hemings was having children. Since no one has ever denied that it was likely that "some" Jefferson fathered at least one of Sally Heming's children, these recent DNA tests only provide more certainty to what we already knew or suspected. Since the only available DNA evidence comes from direct male lineal descendants of persons who have descended from a common male line with Thomas Jefferson (father, grandfather, etc.), the test is inherently nonspecific

    So it appears that at least one of them was gettin some luvin on the side, but due to the nonspecific nature of the DNA, they can't definately say who it was.


    First off, people rewrite history all the time. It's happened before and it will happen again
    I wasn't arguing that history isn't rewritten. However, this isn't communist China, and history books go through several readings and editions in order to make the book fair towards both views. What I was saying was that I doubt they'd rewrite the history books over the fact that Thomas Jefferson had slaves, because it was an out there fact. You didn't have to dig deep, it wasn't mudslinging. He owned slaves....straight forward. I'm sure most up to date history books include this.

    Of course, history books are not always perfect, which is why there all always revisions and new editions, but that isn't an actual "rewriting" of history, but moreso including more knowledge in order to get a better understanding.

    But like I said...I agree that they shouldn't change the currency and all that over Jefferson owning slaves....it was the norm for the day. Looking back we can say "okay, that kinda sucked" but you can't change what was culturally accepted during those days.
    Last edited by Chubz; Oct 26, 2006 at 11:40 PM.

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