Jefferson & the Problem of Slavery
What did equality mean to Thomas Jefferson? How do we reconcile Jefferson’s famous phrase in the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal” – a phrase Martin L King called “our national creed” with Jefferson’s ownership of enslaved persons? These are two broad questions participating teachers will discuss in this seminar. In addition to these questions, Dr Cara Rogers, a Jefferson scholar, will challenge us to consider Jefferson’s plan for emancipation in Virginia and his assessment of slavery’s impact on enslaved persons and slaveowners. Participating teachers will read and discuss primary sources – excerpts from Notes on the State of Virginia and several Jefferson letters – to answer these questions for themselves and gain insight on helping their students assess.