The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
SLAVERY / AND THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
I went through Franklin with enchantment; and what peculiarly pleased
me was, that there was not a sentence from which it could be
conjectured whether it came from north, south, east or west. At last a
whole page of Virginia flashed on me. It was in the section on the
state of parties, and was an apology for the continuance of slavery
among us. However, this circumstance may be justly palliated, it . . .
encumbered a good cause with a questionable argument. Many readers who
would have gone heart and hand with the author so far, would have
flown off in a tangent from that paragraph. I struck it out. Justify
this if you please to those concerned, and if it cannot be done, say
so, and it may still be re-established.
to James Madison, 8 September 1793