Thursday, December 27, 2007
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE The Declaration of Independence of the United States (1776) does not contain any reference to either slavery or the slave trade. It is interesting to note, however, that the original draft of the Declaration, written by Thomas Jefferson, did include a condemnation of slavery. In this draft, Jefferson includes slavery and the slave trade among those evils and misdeeds inflicted upon the American people by King George III of England. The slavery section charges the English monarch with waging "cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither." As the result of southern opposition in the Continental Congress, however, this section on slavery was deleted from the final draft of the Declaration.