Thomas Jefferson’s draft version of the ‘Declaration of Independence’ may have been better than the one we got.

A Leftist Guide to the Fourth of July by Billy Wharton

by Billy Wharton
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
July 4, 2011

“While it is indeed true that the American Revolution has gone through generations of cleansing in popular thought to the point where it is now a reference point for reactionary groups like the Tea Party, something more exists to this history.  We can even start at the top, with Thomas Jefferson, the slaveholder and racist ideologue who took a slave as his mistress.  Jefferson was swept up in the revolutionary fervor of the moment and authored a draft version of the Declaration of Independence that stands as a stunningly radical indictment of British Imperialism.  Most important, this version of the document condemned slavery viewing it as, “paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.”  Unfortunately, this section and others originally proposed by Jefferson were removed – the section on slavery by the objections by slaveholders in South Carolina and Georgia.  Yet, the record still exists and this alternative Declaration points to much more radical ideas bubbling up from the base of society.”


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