This paper is an overall review of the treatment of black slaves and American Indians during Thomas Jefferson's Presidency. I turned this paper in for my US History up to 1865 college course.

Essay by wsonstedUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2003

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Should a man suffer condemnation for his thoughts or views? This is a question that one may pose while studying the Jeffersonian era. Did our third President, Thomas Jefferson, allow his personal mission towards developing a Republican society leak into his Presidency to the point where blacks and Indians would pay for his beliefs? If so, to what extent did his beliefs have an effect on blacks and American Indians of the early nineteenth century? How did he feel about the slave and Indian population? Did he have a preference towards one population over the other? If so, did he provide considerations for one more than he did so for the other? In this article, we will review the primary and secondary sources of Jeffersonian mentality, actions, and policy. In the end, we must decide whether Jefferson was for the people, meaning all of those who inhabited the United States, or simply for a Republican society.

We must be able to judge his words against his actions while in the office of the President.

The first issue we must address is Jefferson's feelings about blacks and the Indians. As stated in Ronald Takaki's piece, Within the "Bowels" of the Republic, Jefferson held strong feelings towards the Indians and the blacks. Surely, both groups were quite beneficial to Jefferson. The blacks were his resource to wealth. Jefferson knew that owning black slaves and the breeding of additional slaves was the key to his wealth. As a republican, Jefferson felt that debt was to be loathed and that blacks could bring him out of debt. Indeed, they did this very thing, making Jefferson a very wealthy man. Jefferson also found use in the Indians who provided excellent guidance to Lewis and Clark during their expedition. However, while Jefferson found both...