Letters to the Editor | Opinion
Thomas Jefferson isn’t defined by controversies
September 10, 2018 at 6:05 PM
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Knowledge proves this statement true and currently relevant. In his Sept. 3 letter, “Don’t judge Jefferson by 21st-century standards,” Edward McManus justified things Thomas Jefferson was known for that make some today hesitant to support him. Yes, Jefferson had relations with 16-year-old Sally Hemings, who bore his children, but this was normal back then. People married young, and marriage laws were different. Jefferson also had slaves at Monticello, but this was for several reasons. Jefferson despised slavery, but he had no choice. Being the governor of Virginia, he knew the state was dependent on slaves for survival. There weren’t enough colonists in Virginia during mass plantation, therefore slaves toiled to maintain balance. Had he banned slavery outright, it would have been sudden death for all.