Sunday, March 29, 2009

And the master said...

These words were part of Thomas Jefferson's rough draft of the Declaration of Independence. Meant to be part of a scathing inditement of King George III, these words were removed during the two days of debate over the document by a group of representatives from southern states who used slaves, and northern ones who delivered them:

"[The King of England] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them to slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportations thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distiguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms against us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."

- Thomas Jefferson (accepted with minor clarifying edits by Benjamin Franklin), July 2, 1776

No comments: