The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


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