When the name Thomas Jefferson is mentioned we consider it a prastejuse name of one of this great nation's Founding Fathers. We are proud to have such a brilliant man representing the history of this nation. If an individual were to take a step closer they may be a little surprised at what they might find, and even upset that this man represents a part of this nation's history. The greatest of conflicting issues with Thomas Jefferson was his issue on slavery. Was Thomas Jefferson for slavery, against it, or is this an issue that will boggle the minds of many people for eternity? This paper will provide facts and opinions on what the answer to those questions might be. Did Thomas Jefferson's contributions help or hinder the creation of our nation today?.
Thomas Jefferson was born into a life as a slave owner. He inherited twenty-two slave and 5,000 acres of land from is father's death. A decade later he inherited 135 more slaves and more land from his father-in-laws death (Finkelman, 186). At the end of the Revolution Thomas Jefferson had what seemed to be a miniature state, containing his family and around two hundred slaves (Finkelman, 186). Throughout his entire life he would buy and sell a great number of slaves, and as a slave owner he was nether to helpful or to hindering. He would punish them if they needed it and reward them if they did something out of their regular duties. He was considered to be an ordinary southerner and master (Finkelman, 186). Despite the many men of his stature at that time were manumitting or emancipating their slaves Thomas Jefferson would never conform to any such thing. He would own his slaves until the day that he died, and even then they would be sold to pay off the debt he owed at his death (Thomas). Through his life he would only free seven of the hundreds of slaves he owned.