Was Thomas Jefferson truly an abolitionist?
He himself would you lead you to believe that he was, however, I’m of the school that believes he talked the talk, but rarely made any attempt to walk the walk. Where else in Jefferson’s life did he make ANY attempt to try and end slavery? His attitude towards slavery was actually hypocritical. He would express his detestation of slavery and was always willing to support any plan to eliminate it. But he did not put forth much effort. It was a lot of wishful thinking.
Thomas Jefferson lived from the labor of slaves. And he lived well. Jefferson was in debt. (perhaps because he didn’t support Alexander Hamilton’s idea for a national bank, but we’ll leave that for another blog.) Jefferson insisted that he would work hard to get himself out of debt, pay off his creditors and then use that to pay his debts of freedom to his own slaves. But, Jefferson never got out of debt, and he never tried very hard to do so. Throughout his life he put emphasis on drinking wine and collecting books, as opposed to getting out of debt to free his slaves. Thomas Jefferson lived very well, but not within his means. Simply go to Monticello to see this.
Additionally, Jefferson, like many liberal thinkers of the time, believed that blacks were racially inferior, and thought it impossible for blacks and whites to live in harmony side by side. Jefferson was also a supporter of extending slavery across the continent to the new lands that he purchased in the Louisiana Purchase. Hardly a man who wants to stop the abomination.
Jefferson was in no way an abolitionist.