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June 6, 2024 59 mins

Robert and Prop talk about Jefferson's embarrassing history as a war leader and how he helped invent scientific racism.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Also media.

Speaker 2 (00:05):
Ah boy, it sure is cold in here, because we're
doing a cold open, prop. How do you feel about
cold opens?

Speaker 3 (00:13):
Hey? Man, you know I don't like being cold at all,
but you know, opening is great.

Speaker 4 (00:17):
How many you've done that bit? How many times are
you gonna do it?

Speaker 3 (00:21):
How many times I've done.

Speaker 2 (00:22):
I don't know that I've done that exact bit.

Speaker 4 (00:24):
Oh you have, because I remember being like fair Fair,
I remember being.

Speaker 2 (00:29):
With our good friend prop.

Speaker 3 (00:30):
You know, hey, I'll give you a cold opening question. Okay, yeah, okay,
what's the what's what's the worst thing you love?

Speaker 1 (00:38):
What's the worst thing?

Speaker 2 (00:39):
Man? I love so many bad things.

Speaker 3 (00:42):
I tell you it is right now. It's harsh. Chemical
cleaning products.

Speaker 2 (00:46):
Oh yeah, yeah, some of that. Yeah, those big those
big jugs of green ship that Oh my god.

Speaker 3 (00:52):
Yeah yeah, give oh yeah, I need to kind of
make like nerve gas when I cleaned the bathroom.

Speaker 2 (00:58):
Yeah that's right, that's right. Oh yeah, I love that
kind of shit.

Speaker 4 (01:02):
Over overpriced skin care products sharp, Oh my god.

Speaker 2 (01:09):
I like driving, which is killing everyone, but I really
enjoy it. So who's to say if it's bad or not?
Scientists scientists speaking of scientists, Most scientists will agree that
the Revolutionary War happened. Why would they disagree with that?
It definitely did. I was going to do speaking of

(01:30):
cold opens Valley Forge pretty cold, but also, you know,
the revolution lasted years, so I assume it was warm
for periods. Validy Forge is just like, you know, that's
one of the high points.

Speaker 3 (01:41):
It's one of the moments.

Speaker 2 (01:42):
Yeah. A lot of freezing cold colonial militia, Yeah, keeps
me west. Yeah. That boat that they had to cross
and to kill some Hessians. A lot of Hessian killing
in early American history. Yeah. Anyway, Thomas Jefferson is not
around for a lot of that. He's involved with the
revolution obviously, but he's a lover, not a fighter, not

(02:05):
really a lover even he's a guy who likes to
write things.

Speaker 3 (02:07):
Not like, oh no, man, he's not really a lover either,
pretty sigma.

Speaker 2 (02:13):
Yeah, yeah, very much so. He's the John Wick of
writing essays. Now, as the Revolutionary War starts to pick
up speed, most of the prominent figures urging rebellion held
a Continental Congress. Jefferson was not enough of like a

(02:33):
front burner kind of dude to get elected to that
in seventeen seventy four, but the next year, he gets
appointed as an alternate for another guy in the Second
Continental Congress, and that guy wounds up having to bounce,
which is how the future president first gets into Congress.
The fighting against Great Britain had just begun, and Washington
was chosen for the commander of the American forces, and
he's you know, Jefferson soon gets elected to be in

(02:55):
Congress properly, and he serves through the opening years of
the war, returning home in seventeen seventy six to deal
with the death of his mother, about whom he writes nothing.
So he is, you know, from this point on a
figure in the leadership of the revolution, but not yet
through he kind of gets in. It's still a lot

(03:16):
of his dad's like reputation that kind of secures him
this position. Ellis and American Sphinx describes him as entering
national affairs by the side door, his main claim to
fame in these early years. Yeah, that's an interesting way
to Yeah. The kind of the first thing he does
that really gets him some attention on his own merits

(03:36):
is that in seventeen seventy four he kind of almost
accidentally publishes a pamphlet called a Summary View of the
rights of British America. This had been written as a
set of instructions for the Virginia delegation to the First
Continental Congress, right because he's in He's held office in Virginia,
Virginia sending people to the First Continental Congress, which he
is not at, and he writes some instructions for how

(03:57):
they should what lines they should hold to in this
kind of debate over what posture delegates should take towards
Great Britain, and Jefferson urges them to take the most
radical course in writing, arguing that again Parliament has no
right to control or tax the colonies. But he doesn't
actually have the stones to get up in front of
everybody and argue his point, so he plays sick when

(04:18):
the debate in Virginia over this goes down, and this
track that he writes gets published later by his friends
who like basically are like, well, this is a good
thing you've written, and we agree with it, so we're
just going to put this out there, even though you
decided to play hooky when it was time to stand
up for it. Lame uh huh, that's TJ. Baby. Now

(04:39):
there's a lot to criticize about Jefferson. But we see
in this document the skill with word play that's going
to become evident to the world when the Declaration of
Independence gets published. But here's a sample line from this
first pamphlet. Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to
the accidental opinion of the day, But a series of
oppressions begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through

(05:01):
every change of ministers too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical
plan of reducing us to slavery. Now, hmm, that's interesting
that that's how he is. That's what he says that
England is trying to do to them, and he part
of kind of making England into the heel is that
he decides to make to blame them for the whole

(05:21):
state of slavery in the colonies. This is where Jefferson's
going to publish his first kind of statements against slavery
that are under his own name, arguing that not only
should the slave trade be stopped, but the new government
should push for the enfranchisement of the slaves that we have.
And he's arguing basically that like the king started the
slave trade, that's yah, yeah, yeah. He like we we

(05:45):
like it's almost talking about him, like he was like
a drug dealer who came in. Like, look, we can't
be blamed for getting hooked on this stuff. Maybe one's
pushing it, you know.

Speaker 3 (05:52):
Yeah, yeah, we were born into this asylum, guys. Yeah,
and yeah, that's why I was like, dude, it's the
King Thomas cognitive dissonance. Jefferson.

Speaker 2 (06:02):
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, he's the best.

Speaker 3 (06:04):
He is the best. Added to be, like, well, that's
like slavery.

Speaker 2 (06:08):
Wait a minute, he's got a hole between his course
corpus colossum, right, like his brain has just two rattling
separate albs.

Speaker 3 (06:15):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (06:16):
Jefferson's writing gets shared widely, including by the most prominent
leaders of the revolution, but he himself is going to
initially be a marginal figure even after he enters Congress,
for the simple fact that he sucks at public speaking
and he has no heart for argument. While he awkwardly,
almost accidentally stumbles into revolutionary leadership, he devoted most of

(06:36):
his mental efforts to crafting his inherited home Monticello, into
a functioning vision of the agrarian ideal that he had
inherited in somewhat mutated form. From Romans like Cato and
Master of the Mountain, Henry Winsack writes, in the winter
of seventeen seventy four, Jefferson started his farm book, the
Plantation Ledger, he would keep until his death, writing out

(06:56):
a census of the forty five slaves he received from
his parents, one hundred and thirty five from the Whales estate,
and the five he had purchased he owned the future.
The census included the astonishing total of seventy nine children
under the age of fourteen. About forty percent of Jefferson's
slaves were children. Jefferson's architectural papers contain an intriguing document,
probably dating to the mid seventeen seventies, when the Monticello

(07:19):
household was taking shape. Jefferson sketched out plans for a
row of substantial, dignified Neo classical houses with stone or
brick hearths and ample windows for George and his family
and Betty Hemmings and her family. The enslaved people of
Monticello were nearly all members of a couple of different
slave families, including the Hemmingses and the Evanses, from whom
we get Jupiter. Jupiter is and Evans. They were an

(07:42):
inheritance from his wife's side of the family, and also
literally his wife's side of the family, because Martha's dad
has had as many as six children with the matriarch
of the family, Betty from American Sphinks quote, it was
an open secret within the slave community at Monticello that
the privileged status enjoyed by the Hemmings Face family it
derived from its mixed blood. Several of Betty's children, perhaps

(08:03):
as many as six, had most probably been fathered by
John Wales. In the literal, not just figurative sense of
the term, they were part of Jefferson's extended family. All
the slaves he eventually freed were hemmings Is, including Robert
and James in seventeen ninety four and seventeen ninety six, respectively.
If what struck the other slaves at Monticello was the
quasi independent character of the Hemmings clan with its blood

(08:24):
claim on Jefferson's paternal instincts, what most visitors tended to
notice was their color. Yeah, and what Ellis means here
is that the Hemmings family's very light skinned. Some of
them are described as looking white, a fact that has
suggested for some time that Thomas Jefferson continued his father
in law's tradition, and he definitely did. By the way,
we will be talking about that later because that really

(08:45):
becomes a factor when he's in France. In factual terms,
there's no other way to describe this than as rape
because Betty and Sally Hemings could not say no. That said,
we don't know how the Hemmings women themselves would have
talked about what happened to them because they weren't allowed
to r yeah exactly, yeah, yeah, or at least like
they didn't. You know, it's a black box to us, right,

(09:09):
like we just don't have And that's part of kind
of where I see some of like the evil of this,
right is in that fact.

Speaker 3 (09:17):
Yeah, and the subsequential view of like like I'm tying
this all to like the subsequent view of like black
masculinity and like you know, and how they were played
in like coon songs and like menstrual shows that like

(09:37):
we were known for having just this amazing sexual prowess
that like had to be curved and while at the
same time being lazy, dumb, and docile, while at the
same time being incredibly strong and powerful man.

Speaker 2 (09:52):
Yeah, like most historians that I've read, you know, and
this has started to change, thankfully because of some stuff
that came out in the late nineties, but you know,
even up until then, and Ellis's book comes out in
ninety six, which is like to cut ahead a little bit,
two years before DNA evidence makes it very clear what
Jefferson was doing with Sudah. There was, so he writes

(10:15):
Americans thinks in a period of time where there's actual
debate over whether or not this happened between historians, And
as a result, Ellis cuts Jefferson more slack for his
behavior than I think is reasonable. But he does make
a point to outlight one of the more fucked up
dimensions of the situation at Monticello, which I had not

(10:35):
really thought about as much before I read his book.
Jefferson had so designed his slave community that his most
frequent interactions occurred with African Americans who were not treated
like full fledged slaves, and who did not even look
like full blooded Africans because in fact they were not
in terms of daily encounters and routinized interactions. His sense
of himself as less of a slave master than a

(10:57):
paternalistic employer and guardian received constant reinforcement.

Speaker 3 (11:02):
Yeah, and stoking the Still there's still an issue of
fair skin and dark skin black people still an issue,
you know, Yeah, yeah it is.

Speaker 2 (11:16):
And I I mean Jefferson you can almost see as
like he's certainly not alone, but certain but one of
the founders of that, like that conflict. Yeah, and it's
it exists. His contribution to that exists so that he
can see himself not as a guy who owns people
and holds them in brutal bondage, but as like I'm
like the patriarch of the family, you know. I mean, well,

(11:39):
everybody's got a job, you know, you'll get it, come
with come work for Uncle Tom, you know.

Speaker 3 (11:44):
Yeah, yeah, you know, I mean it's like.

Speaker 2 (11:46):
Yeah, I'll take care of you. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (11:47):
The word slave is a little crass, you know, It's
just it's crass. Like we prefer family, right, community.

Speaker 2 (11:55):
We're all a family here at Manticello. Yeah. If you
think of if you watch that show the Bear, he's
like the he's like the uncle character who has he's
always bailing him out, right, Like that's how he wants
to be seen, you know. Yeah, And again this goes
back to this, this talent he has for crafting reality
for himself that differs from what you might say is objective,

(12:17):
factual reality, but that you know, he is able to
certainly make real for himself a lot of the time,
and he's also able to like extend through history. Like
a lot of people buy this vision that he puts out.

Speaker 3 (12:29):
Yeah, I better like just like the just like the
Jefferson Bible. It's like, let me just let me just
remove the shit.

Speaker 2 (12:36):
Out makes this Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly, yeah yeah. Between
Monticello and Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson spent the mid seventeen seventies
flitting between the gritty real world of war and revolution
and his utopian fantasies. I am convinced he would have
been a podcaster today because he hated talking in front
of people, but he loved going on deep dives through
history books and then writing weird political rants inspired by

(12:58):
the experiences. In seventeen seventy five, the book he read
was Diverse Voyages by a guy named Richard hackelyut hackelut hackelute. Yeah, Okay,
it's the weird name. JK. L Uyt. Written in eighteen
fifty two, This is a set of three tracts that
were probably published separately at first going into the history

(13:20):
of European exploration of the Americas. Hey, everyone, Robert here,
I completely misspoke. Obviously eighteen fifties as well, after Jomas
Jefferson's death. Richard Hackelut's Diverse Voyages was written in fifteen
eighty two, which makes a lot more sense in context.

Speaker 3 (13:37):
Sorry.

Speaker 2 (13:38):
Hackeleute, who's the first professor of modern geography at Oxford,
was an early ideological advocate of English colonial expansion. He
was essentially an early propagandist for British imperialism. Despite this,
Jefferson loved him because his idiosyncratic reading of Hackeliut was
that the original colonists from England had traveled to the

(13:59):
Americas without help from the British government. Thus the colonies
from the beginning represented a clean break with the mother country,
and the English clean in Parliament, had no right to
govern them. America was the creation of this almost mythic
independent group of Saxon explorers, not a colonial project of
Great Britain.

Speaker 3 (14:18):
Oh okay, yeah, yeah, so it's like well not well, y'all, ay,
that's right, y'all ain't pay for us to come, and
we just kind of came, so like you don't get
to Yeah, nah, yeah, that is that is mythology, bro.

Speaker 2 (14:30):
It is revisionist history, we might say in modern terms. Yeah, right, yes,
And it's one of those things nobody really buys this
except for his old mentor mister with right. He's like, yeah,
you've got it, Tom, but he's kind of like he's
like a little bit of a crank, right yeah. Now,
right around the same time to John Adams is kind

(14:50):
of going to do his own version of like searching
back through the history to look at like how was
the how were the colonies, you know, colonized initially, and
like how how much right does Great Britain have to
government tax us? And his work is done, I mean,
you wouldn't call this, by our standards perfect history, but
it's done with more rigor than Jefferson's's, right, you might

(15:11):
equivocate Jefferson's work here to almost like sovereign citizen shit, right, Yeah.
And the main reason it's not seen that way, even
though it is a historical is that his ultimate contention,
which is that the colony should be independent, was not
controversial among the people who win. Right, But it is
important to see that he is just inventing history here
for the purpose of political experience.

Speaker 3 (15:31):
Right because Yeah, because he could argue that, like, hey, listen,
from Britain's perspective, they're saying this, this, and this. He's like,
from our perspective, he is what we was actually doing.
So he can make that argument as like, yeah, I'm
not just making this up from out the thin air,
which is kind of was, but like he could be like, well, no,
like that's how they viewed it. Their view is incorrect.

(15:52):
We knew what we was doing and they had a
limited perspective. I know what we was doing, you know,
And you could make that again, and it's because we,
like you said, we've already they've already accepted the point.
The point is we supposed to be.

Speaker 2 (16:05):
We got to get out of here. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3 (16:08):
Who's homeboy's name? I forget how he's.

Speaker 2 (16:10):
Name Hackle yet, huh Hackle yet?

Speaker 3 (16:13):
Maybe that's him.

Speaker 2 (16:15):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (16:16):
Yeah, there was one homeboy that was like and they
ended up burning his books. God, what is his name?

Speaker 2 (16:21):
Oh you're talking about Thomas Pain.

Speaker 3 (16:24):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (16:24):
It was just like, yeah, Pain is dope.

Speaker 3 (16:27):
Yeah, he was like, I'm here for money. I don't understand, Like,
I don't know about the pirits and ship. I don't
understand about this independent ship. Y'all doing this, y'all doing
the Natives wrong. They seem to be nothing like what
y'all said. I came to make some money.

Speaker 2 (16:41):
I don't know.

Speaker 3 (16:42):
Me and homies came for money. I don't understand what
the rest of y'all is doing. Yeah, and they burnt
his books. Boy, it was oh yeah, I mean, I'll
be telling everybody.

Speaker 2 (16:48):
Jefferson's actually gonna it's weird because like Pain is much
more of a radical than Jefferson and is, by the way,
an abolitionist. Yeah, Jefferson's gonna be getting a lot of
trouble later in his career for going to bat for
Thomas Payin after on his Pain loses a lot of
his support because he's, I mean, he's too much of
a radical. He's like very critical of Christianity, Yeah, in
ways that are pretty modern actually, yeah, exactly his views.

Speaker 3 (17:10):
Like yeah, man, at some point, at some point we
got I figure out how to do a deep dive
on him.

Speaker 2 (17:15):
Because he was just fascinating thing.

Speaker 3 (17:17):
Yeah, Like y'all tripping like I don't understand, like you
supposed to be the ones you supposed to be to
God believers, like I don't believe none of that. And
look how you treat these people that Yeah, weird to me.

Speaker 2 (17:27):
He's like the most reasonable man in the seventeen hundreds,
yeah right, or at least the most reasonable white guy
in the seventeen yeh yeah. Yeah. So Jefferson's skill and
making up bullshit to justify his beliefs after the fact
would reach its apex with the Declaration of Independence and
prop we are finally getting to that. That's the money

(17:47):
shot of any history of Jefferson. But looking at my
little clock here, because so if he's not around to
warn us and we are flying like blind here and ads.

Speaker 3 (17:57):
Yeah, yeah, we should probably do some mads.

Speaker 2 (17:59):
Now, yeah, take some ads and call me in the
morning or in like four minutes after you skip ahead
to the part without ads, we're back. So the whole
Declaration of Independence project kicks off in seventeen seventy six

(18:20):
when Jefferson was appointed with four other delegates to write
a declaration of Independence. And it is a sign of
how good he is as a writer that the other
committee members, which include Ben Franklin and John Adams, all
agree to let him handle the pros. I think Franklin
says he does it because he can't stand being edited, right, Like,
I'm not going to write something for somebody else to edit,
you know, And this is going to go through, Like
the Congress is going to have to approve this, and

(18:41):
they're going to make changes. Yeah, John Adams, I think
is like Jefferson is just such a good writer, will
let you do it. He spends the rest of his
life regretting this, by the way, which you would you know.
In his first draft of the document, Jefferson spent a
good number of words blaming King George the Third for
sparking and growing the slave trade, framing it as a
great evil forced on the colonies by their vile king.

(19:03):
Now this specific charge is silly, but Jefferson's description of
the slave trade is not. He describes quote a market
where men should be bought and sold as a hideous thing,
in large part due to the brutality involved in transporting them.
Henry Winsick writes, for many slaves suffered, as Jefferson wrote,
miserable death in their transportation. Every vessel tossed overboard twenty

(19:23):
fifty one hundred corpses in its passage across the Sea.
Jefferson most likely learned of the shrinkage of inventory from
his father in law, John Wales, and Jefferson describes slavery
in his initial draft of the declaration as an execrable commerce.
It's shitty, he says, it's shitty, right, yeah, and that's
good and accurate. But all of this writing is cut

(19:45):
from the final draft, as an article for The Miller
Center explains, after deleting Jefferson's biting attack on King George
the Third for trafficking slaves and debating other issues of
substance for three days, Congress approved the unanimous Declaration of
the Thirteen United States of am America on July fourth.
The Continental Congress never calls it the Declaration of Independence,
by the way, it's just a better name. Sometimes that happens. Yeah,

(20:09):
these guys sucked at titling. Only Thomas would have been
a good podcaster strong on that one.

Speaker 3 (20:14):
No, that's real, Yeah, that's real because he's actually like
because yeah, he's one of those dudes who are like, yeah,
damn on paper, bro, like you yeah, you got it.

Speaker 2 (20:22):
Fam that's right, especially, you know, and at this point
he still is a guy who could have wound up.
He's a guy who inherited a lot of enslaved people.
He is writing now and he's taken at least minimal
legal steps to trying to end the practice, and he's
now made some really bold statements about it. He could
have gone and he could have been like an early abolition.

(20:44):
He could and a struke and might have pushed a
lot of the country, Like God only knows, right, given
the degree of you know.

Speaker 3 (20:51):
We minted it in the first Yeah, we mentioned it
in the first first episode. I just I like, I
need to get the quote right. But the one which
we'll probably get to, the one where he was just
like essentially like if yeah, yeah, God is there, if
God is who he says he is, we're about to
get judged.

Speaker 2 (21:07):
Yeah okay, yeah, no, no, we're we'll be We'll be
putting that in its context where yeah yeah, ok So.
The primary reason his condemnations of slavery were cut from
the final draft was that South Carolina and Georgia refused
to close their slave markets. Despite the fact that this
final draft was compromised Jefferson's statement in the Declaration that
all men were created equal and endowed by the Creator

(21:27):
with an alienable rights took off like a summer brushfire
among progressives of his day, and not just in the Americas. Yeah,
before too long, it would be cited by several states
who were early to after the war. It's going to
be cited by like the first states to abolish slavery.
Is like why, and they're like, well, based on this declaration.

Speaker 3 (21:46):
We said, that's what you said.

Speaker 2 (21:48):
Yeah, this stuff seems like we shouldn't have this. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (21:51):
Frederick Douglas's you know, Fourth of July speech was just like, bro,
that's this what y'all said.

Speaker 2 (21:59):
This This line seems pretty clear. Yeah, that said but
you know this is again that generations of abolitionists will
take a lot out of that line. Jefferson himself is
never really an abolitionist, right, far from it. In fact,
this is a bit puzzling given where he sits in
seventeen seventy six, because he kind of it feels like
he might have right, there's a moment here where it

(22:19):
feels like he could have tipped that way. Historian David
Breon Davis notes, quote he was one of the first
statesmen in any part of the world to advocate concrete
measures for restricting and eradicating Negro slavery, which is not,
you know, nothing, but in the seventeen eighties it kind
of becomes nothing because he sings a very different tune

(22:40):
during the last years of the seventeen seventies. Then he's
going to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates, where
he championed progressive measures like freedom of religion and a
radical free public education system for all white male Virginians.
He also crusaded against legally mandated primogenitor which saw landed
estates passed on exclusively to eldest son. Jefferson had good

(23:01):
reasons for all this. He saw inherited wealth is dangerous
despite benefiting from it himself, and he opposed state religion,
both because it violated individual liberty and as the Miller
Center notes, he also feared that religion would hinder the
development of a national elite, a moral and ethical group
of aristocrats who would lead the nation. And this is

(23:23):
because again Jefferson is this as ellis as a sphinx.
This gives us kind of an unegalitarian explanation for some
of the things he said that seem egalitarian, even some
of the policies he pursued that were good, which is
that he's not a guy who believes everyone is and
should be equal. He believes everyone should have an equal shot.
All the white men, they should have anything shot it

(23:43):
becoming a part of the aristocracy, and that aristocracy is
going to be based on their natural levels of intelligence
and ability.

Speaker 4 (23:50):
Right.

Speaker 2 (23:51):
But we need an aristocracy, right, it just needs to
be a natural.

Speaker 3 (23:54):
One, right, Yeah, it's not just built on the fact
that your daddy came from this place.

Speaker 4 (23:59):
Yea.

Speaker 2 (23:59):
Yeah, yeah, that that is kind of what he says
he's arguing for, right, and Heaver views artificial methods of
curtailing membership in this elite as bad. He also sees
himself as a natural member of the aristocracy.

Speaker 3 (24:13):
Yeah except for me, though, Like, and I should be.

Speaker 2 (24:15):
You know, I didn't errate everything, but like I'm clearly
so capable, right.

Speaker 3 (24:19):
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I'm different.

Speaker 2 (24:21):
I'm different. I'm built a little different than these these
other first sons who got rich, Yeah because of their daddies.
I'm built a little different.

Speaker 4 (24:29):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (24:29):
In seventeen seventy nine, Jefferson was somewhat to his own frustration,
elected governor of Virginia. This is a bad time to
be the governor of Virginia because it doesn't look great
in seventeen seventy nine, right, like, Virginia's economy is in
the shitter. The British are doing pretty well in the field.
There's a counter revolution by Tories, which of these like
loyalist assholes. And Jefferson not a great warrior. He's not

(24:53):
like a warrior poet type guy. There's like one campaign
that he like supports in southern Virginia and it's a
disaster because he's he's not really good at that stuff. Now,
when he first goes to I think Williamsburg and then
he goes to Richmond as governor, he's like the last
governor to live in the Williamsburg mansion. Jefferson brings his
some of his slaves with him, right, members of the

(25:13):
Hemmings and Granger families mostly, and it's from them that
we get a lot of the memories of Jefferson during
this chaotic time. In January seventeen eighty one, Benedict Arnold
lands in Virginia with a whole buttload of Brits Virginia's
militia were mostly engaged in conflict with Native Americans, and
Jefferson showed no aptitude for gathering these s gathered forces

(25:34):
together and welding them into a functional army, which, to
be fair, is hard, but he doesn't do it. So
what he does do is send his family away and
he cloisters himself in the attic of the governor's mansion
with a spyglass. When the British finally came, it took
only a few cannonballs to send every white man in
town fleeing for the hills. Jefferson included several of his

(25:54):
house slaves, acted like to kind of protect the family wealth.
When he leaves them behind. One of them. We get
this story from Isaac, who's five at the time, and
he describes the British invasion as an awful sight. It
seemed like the day of judgment was come, which is
not all that different from how my family members who
were there speak of the British invasion in the nineteen sixties,

(26:15):
you know, talking about the Beatles was a Beatles Beatles bit.
Jefferson has fled the scene, and he has left behind
like this enslaved family, including this little boy, Isaac, who's
from whom we get most of this story, and Isaac's father, George,
I believe this is George Granger went through the house
collecting valuables, primarily the family's silver, which he hid under

(26:39):
There's like a bed in the kitchen with like a
hide a bed under it, and he like hides it
underneath that. So when the British arrive, he lies and
he's like, my master's you know, fled and he took
all the silver with him. I don't know what's going on.
And these British soldiers they rampaged through the mansion, but
they don't find the silver. George then flees, leaving his
family behind, to find Jefferson's family at monte Cello and

(27:00):
help them. Right, So he he leaves his family to
go find and help Jefferson and his family get out
of Monticello. And while George is away, his wife and
son are taken captive by British forces. What now again?
This is like it's no, like this is it's it's
such a confusing thing because George has he's an opportunity

(27:21):
one a decent number of enslaved people take to find
his freedom, right, to get himself and his family out
of there, either with the British or just by using
the chaos to get out.

Speaker 3 (27:30):
Wow, Okay, he doesn't.

Speaker 2 (27:32):
Not only does he not do that, but he like
leaves his family kind of trusting that the British will,
you know, not fuck with them too much, and they
wind up getting captured. And it's we're gonna talk about
all this because this is like, this is not He's
not the only person that is going to happen to
This is a major part of the history for enslaved

(27:53):
people during this period is like what happens, you know,
when they try to decide to flee, what happens if
they go over to the British. We're gonna talk about
all of that, but first it's time for some ads.

Speaker 3 (28:09):
I'm back, I see.

Speaker 2 (28:11):
Yeah, Sophie's our second ad break.

Speaker 4 (28:14):
So wow, that's so nice.

Speaker 1 (28:17):
I lost power for however long I was gone for.

Speaker 3 (28:21):
Yeah, Well, for the audio people, it'll be nothing, but
for the other.

Speaker 4 (28:26):
People, don't miss my, my, my, my wonderful remarks.

Speaker 2 (28:31):
Speaking of losing power, Thomas Jefferson has lost power because
he just had to flee from the Governor's mansion because
the British Benedict Arnold came rolling around there. So yeah.
The next couple of months of Jefferson's life are chaotic,
with British forces rating every Jefferson property they could find,

(28:52):
and Thomas keeping himself and his family just barely out
of their grasp. This was obviously hard on them, both
physically as well as mentally. Their new worn daughter Lucy
died in April, and the whole constantly on the road
thing did not help with that. Jefferson and his men
retook the capitol after the British left, but when they returned,
when the British come back, he has to flee again,

(29:13):
and he makes it. He flees back to Monticello. He
wounds up like leave, fleeing Monticello minutes ahead of this
group of British dragoons, which is like a kind of
mounted soldier. And here again one of the people that
he owned acted to protect his absent owner from the
book master of the Mountain quote. When the raiders swarmed

(29:34):
into the house at Monticello, it quickly became a parent
that once again Jefferson had eluded them. But they knew
he could not be very far off. So one of
the dragoons jammed a pistol into Martin Hemmings's chest and
said he would shoot if Hemmings did not tell them
where the governor had gone. Fire away. Then Hemmings replied
and refused to say anything else. Martin Hemmings was not
one of the half siblings of Missus Jefferson. His mother

(29:56):
had borne him before she began her relationship with John Wales.
Kin ship tied to the Jeffersons was not as direct
as that of his younger siblings fathered by Wales. As
the Jefferson grandchildren recounted the story, Hemming stood his ground fiercely,
answering gaze for a glance, and not receding a hair's
breadth from the muzzle of the cocked pistol. Unbeknownst to
the British, another servant named Caesar lay in silence beneath

(30:18):
their feet under the floor of the portico with silver.
He and Martin had just finished hiding when the raiding
party rushed in.

Speaker 3 (30:25):
Wow.

Speaker 2 (30:25):
Now, yeah, that's like palsy.

Speaker 3 (30:29):
Yeah, yeah, it's impossible to get into their heads. Like
it's impossible, you know, and especially with a modern brain,
like it's just it's impossible. But you can say you're
just another slave master anyway, So like, oh, yes, you're
not my you're not my rescue, you know what I'm saying.

(30:49):
And and then you're like and even if you were,
it's like, well fuck you for like storm in my house,
like you know what I'm saying, Like I still live here,
Like I mean, fuck this place. But it's but I
still live here, and you ain't finna, just like I
don't know you, like you don't get to do this,
you know what I'm saying. It's like, you know, like

(31:10):
if we gonna tear this place down, we gonna take
this place down, you won't get to tear the place down.
You know.

Speaker 2 (31:15):
Yeah, I do wonder because obviously you don't get you
don't get this guy's writing. I'm like what he does
in Georgia's I do wonder because the British do offer freedom.
But it's again we're not talking like they're not putting
this out over the Internet or whatever. Everybody's not looking
at this like how much how how much of that information? Yeah,
and also, as we're going to talk about, their offers

(31:35):
of freedom are extremely dangerous because just the biological realities
of the time like fleeing and being held in the
British camp even if they're promising you your freedom is
not safe.

Speaker 3 (31:45):
Yeah, and it's like, well, where you're gonna take me.
You're gonna take me back to Britain, like right, so
I gotta get back on that boat.

Speaker 2 (31:53):
Nah yeah yeah, Like how much are these people being
told and by whom? And what are they being told by?
Guys like Jefferson?

Speaker 3 (31:59):
Right, and you're all the same, but yeah, yeah, that's
how you're all the same.

Speaker 2 (32:04):
Like, oh yeah, I'm at least gotta like shore up
my situation with this guy who I know, who's not
an unquantity to me, I know, no fucking dragoons, right, and.

Speaker 3 (32:14):
Like still like my mom and daddy, my sister, you know,
my brothers, my cousin, Like these are people I know.
So if anything, it's like I'm protecting the people I know,
Like yeah, it's like.

Speaker 2 (32:26):
Yeah, the their comfort because we're in the house is
very tied to the success of this guy. So if
I defend him and his wealth, that's kind of taking
care of my people too. Yeah, you know, these are
complicated things happening here. Yeah, this whole episode of like
fleeing repeatedly from the Capitol, just barely ahead of British forces.
Is a black mark on Thomas's warktime career. He gets

(32:49):
attacked for this a lot. Yeah, he's pilloried for failing
to defend his state because he's the guy in charge
and he just keeps running away. You're the bro, and
it doesn't matter if it's like you didn't have a
lot of options. You know what else was like, he
doesn't find a better option. He doesn't build a militia
into something that can fight these guys, and like you could.
You can argue whether or not it's reasonable enough to

(33:10):
go after him for that, but people do, right, man.

Speaker 3 (33:13):
Yeah, slaying that Turkey didn't do much for you, did it?

Speaker 2 (33:16):
No? No, he didn't learn how to deal with noon. Yeah, yeah,
they're a little harder.

Speaker 4 (33:21):
So.

Speaker 2 (33:22):
In June of seventeen eighty one, Jefferson resigns as governor,
and the man who replaced him proved to be better
at the stuff he'd been bad at, raising a functional
militia to assist Washington's army. While the war entered its
end phase, Jefferson hit out in a place called Poplar
Forest and did what he was good at. He wrote.
The work he did on the run would later make
up his only published book, Notes on the State of Virginia.

(33:45):
And if you are a poly size student, you just
shuddered a little bit. Yes, you have read this son
of a bitch in college.

Speaker 3 (33:51):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (33:52):
The book was started as a response to questions sent
by the French legation in Philadelphia for like all of
the different states. They reach out to represents in each
of the colonies and are like, hey, here's twenty three
questions about like geography and law, and like what's the
culture like here? Right? And Jefferson he answers all of that,
but a lot of what he's doing is he's trying

(34:14):
to defend his new country to the French because he
has this feeling that French intellectuals see Americans is a
bunch of dumb yokels, right, Like they're backing us, they're
backing our play in a big way, but they don't
think much of us as an actual people, right. And
Jefferson is kind of trying to defend the what becomes

(34:34):
the American right as a person. There's this strain of
thought among naturalists in Europe that the plants and people
in the New World are inferior somehow to the plants
and people in the old world. Right. A lot of
this comes out as racism against Native Americans, Right, But
there's this widespread belief that even white people become less
intelligent when they migrate to the New World. One French

(34:57):
thinker Abbe ray Now cited this as proof of the
fact that quote or cited as proof of this fact
that quote, America has not yet produced one good poet.
Of course, they're being made dumb by the land. They
don't even have poets over there.

Speaker 3 (35:11):
Your music don't even slap bro like, yeah, yeah, that's hilarious.

Speaker 2 (35:16):
And it's Jefferson. His argument against this is funny because
he's like, man, it took how long did it take
the fucking Greeks to make a poet?

Speaker 3 (35:23):
Right?

Speaker 2 (35:23):
Yeah, like they had a long time.

Speaker 3 (35:24):
We're new yeah, first of all brands.

Speaker 2 (35:27):
Yeah yeah, He's like England was around a while before
you guys got a Shakespeare. You gotta give us some dime,
you know, anyway, more or less right about that. It
takes a minute, I guess. So after so wait year,
what years? This is like seventeen eighty one, Like.

Speaker 3 (35:45):
We've been a country for five years yeah, yeah, barely right,
not even really, because we're fighting this war. You know
they've done yet.

Speaker 2 (35:52):
Yeah, yeah, what do you expect?

Speaker 1 (35:54):
They just haven't published yet. Maybe they're so working on their.

Speaker 2 (35:59):
Crad Have you read all of them? I don't know.
It's trying to get paper.

Speaker 4 (36:02):
Great roast.

Speaker 2 (36:04):
He's right when he rebuts this kind of stuff, he's right,
but he has a harder time rebutting the other valid
allegation that the French make of American savagery, which is, well,
you guys have slaves, right.

Speaker 4 (36:17):
Well, you.

Speaker 3 (36:20):
Definitely ass backwards with this one, guys.

Speaker 2 (36:22):
Yeah yeah. And to discuss how he tries to kind
of answer this, Henry Weinsack writes, having accused King George
of attempting to enslave them, American leaders laid themselves open
to the charge of hypocrisy by their failure to enslavery
in their own country. Samuel Johnson jibed, how is it
that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the
drivers of negroes. Slavery had been outlawed in England's homeland,

(36:43):
not in its home, though not in its colonies. In
the landmark seventeen seventy two Somerset decision by an activist
judge who concluded that enslavement was such an egregious denial
of rights that slavery had to be specifically authorized by law,
and Parliament had never done so. When there were calls
for Parliament to pass enable legislation for black slavery, the
proposal was derided in a widely circulated joke which was

(37:05):
eventually published in the Virginia Gazette. If Negroes are to
be slaves on account of color, the next step will
be to enslave every Mulatto in the Kingdom, then all
the Portuguese, next to French, then the brown complexioned English,
and so on, until there'll be only one free man left,
which will be the man of palest complexion in the
free three kingdoms.

Speaker 3 (37:24):
Just your your boiled chicken. That's all is left. The
boiled chickens gotta do right. This is absurd, Guys like
this just doesn't make sense.

Speaker 2 (37:33):
It is interesting because this is before scientific racism is
starting to be a thing at this time, and it's
you don't get enough of like that. Of just like
some regular guys writing as a columnist in a newspaper
being like, you guys, see how ridiculous this is, right, Yeah,
Like just.

Speaker 3 (37:48):
Like I can't tell her, like I don't know not
none about it. You book learning. I'm just saying, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (37:55):
How far are we taking this? Because it seems like
you can make a case for basically everybody essentially.

Speaker 4 (38:00):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (38:01):
So, speaking of scientific racism, this is the heel turn
moment really for Jefferson because while he's writing notes on
the state of Virginia, which he does we'll talk about
in the next episode, he does include a plan to
end slavery in that, but he also starts his first
kind of dipping into like scientific racism, right, And this

(38:22):
is a big pivot from the all men are created
equal guy, right, and so that the hoops he has
to jump through to do this are worth laying out.
He starts by admitting that slavery is a horror, right,
but he cites is one of its evils, and you're
kind of you kind of take from this. He sees
this as the worst evil is what it does to
young white men, right, because it makes them lazy, right right?

Speaker 3 (38:46):
Okay, yeah, not that it their conscience, no, no, not
that it distorts their understanding of morality. And how the earth. Yeah,
it makes them lazy.

Speaker 2 (38:56):
It does a little bit. But he's because he does say, like,
the man must be a pro who can retain his
manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And he's talking
about like growing up with like a slave that's raised
next to you. That's like you're you know, raised to
be your servant, right, that that's going to like how
can you not have your morals work worked? But then
he does go right into like it makes white men

(39:17):
lazy and it forces them to be tyrants, right, they
have to be tyrants when they're raised this way. Yeah,
it's just this focus on what it does to white
people that's so like off putting.

Speaker 3 (39:29):
Yes, Like it's kind of burying the lead here, buddy, Like, yeah, words,
that's what you john from this, Okay. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (39:36):
It's interesting to me that this argument does put him
at odds with some pro slavery advocates of his day,
because there are people arguing in like newspapers and whatnot
at the day that like, part of why slavery has
to remain in the in the new country is that
working is too hard for white men. We can't do it.
We can't do it. Yeah. Yeah. Win Sex cites a

(39:59):
series of letters to a Virginia paper during this period
in which one man argues, general utility is the basis
of all law and justice, and on this principle, the
right of slavery is founded. Well, it's really useful for me, right, Well,
how about people super convenient?

Speaker 3 (40:14):
I hear everything you're saying, bro, I hear everything you're saying.
But like counterpoint is really it really it's really good
for me though.

Speaker 2 (40:24):
Yeah. Have you tried to work eight hours? It's like,
really it sucks. Have you, man?

Speaker 3 (40:29):
Have you actually tried to harvest? Come back? Oh? Like
it really hard work.

Speaker 2 (40:35):
It's hot doing things, man sucks. Yeah. There's another letter
that Winstt quotes. That's to a newspaper in Pennsylvania, where
a Southerner argues that abolitionious to a quote totally blind
to our ease and interest. The certain consequence would be
that we must work ourselves. Come on, yeah, man.

Speaker 3 (40:54):
Like, yeah, yo, that is that is my patron saying
Ricky Bobby when he was like when cale not ju
was like, how about how about how about I you
let me win? Sometimes he goes, Okay, yeah, I hear you.
But if if you win, then that means that I
don't win.

Speaker 2 (41:11):
I gotta lose.

Speaker 3 (41:12):
Yeah, but like and you know, you know how I
roll in first and last, like I can't. But if
you're first and I'm not first, so we can't do that?

Speaker 2 (41:22):
Is I like reading stuff like that just because it's like, okay,
so that is as like blatantly selfish and evil as
the reality was. Right, that's a guy. There's no dressing
that up. He's like, yeah, but i'd have to work
if we didn't have work.

Speaker 3 (41:35):
Bro, Like, do you want to work? Like there? Yes,
It's like a point that's made often in both of
our shows is that history is history is us. These
are just regular. There's nothing uniquely evil or there's no
unique malady about. They are just there us we are,

(41:56):
Like that is the most regular, regular answer that yeah,
that anyone would give today to where you're like, well, well,
I don't want to pick the fruit, you know what
I mean? Well, like I don't know, you know what
I'm saying, Like I want to go to the store
and buy it, like you pick the fruit.

Speaker 4 (42:10):
You know.

Speaker 2 (42:11):
That's so that's such an awful thing. Like what they're
saying is so awful, and it's so much uglier than
than Jefferson's flowery pros. But they're also they're honest, and
he is full of shit, and this is really this
is the full of shit stuff that comes out because
since he's not going to make that well I don't
want to work, you know, argument, he's going to like
have to dress it up, and he has these it's

(42:34):
it's this notes on the state of Virginia is weird
because he has these moments of like where he'll land
kind of in between racism and some kind of actual wisdom.
Like he takes on the common argument by white people
that that black people, if they're freed, they're they're inclined
to criminal behavior, right, And he actually makes a good
argument here, which is like that disposition to theft with

(42:56):
which they have been branded must be ascribed to their
situation and not to any pravity of the moral sense.
The man in whose favor no laws of property exist
probably feels himself less bound to respect those made in
favor of others. Come old, Well, if the law says
your property, why are you going to give a shit
about the law?

Speaker 3 (43:13):
Yes, like yeah, again, just this like dizzying, like yes, yes, right, yes,
you're right.

Speaker 2 (43:23):
Yeah, yeah. Now this descends very quickly though, into what, again,
is kind of proto scientific racism. Jefferson doesn't. He does
argue that he believes He states his belief that black
people are inferior, but he also he hymns, He's like, well,
I'm a scientist, and right, we don't have conclusive data yet.
I'm just saying this might be what's happening, right, But
he does state his belief that black people and white

(43:45):
people are fundamentally different, with differences that are quote fixed
in nature. Now, what he actually means by this is
pretty shallow. His like, his his scientific justification is like,
well they look different, yeh, look at it, like yeah,
and he's like, white people have flowing hair and more
elegant symmetry of form. And then he gets into the
real racist shit where he's like, black people inherently prefer

(44:08):
to have sex with white people, and he makes a
comparison to how orangutans prefer to have sex with human beings,
which is not true about orangutans either. No, one very
racist in so many ways.

Speaker 3 (44:19):
Yeah, yeah, you're yeah, you're beating the dog and you're
like he likes it. See you look the dog likes it.

Speaker 2 (44:25):
Yeah, okay, yeah it's bad. And that orangutan phrase is
like the one you'll encounter most often when you read
the sections of Jefferson's racism, and it deserves to be read.
But in his book, win Seck brings up another point
about this passage that I had not considered. Jefferson probably
summoned up the fantastical image of an ape mating with
an African woman to deflect attention from the actual reality

(44:46):
of Virginia society, the pervasive rape of black women like
white men. Yes, and I hadn't thought about that, but.

Speaker 3 (44:52):
Yeah, that's exactly what it is to be like. But
they like it, and I'm like, no, they don't. They
are property, yeah, like you like we like, which is obvious,
like like shit that none of us have to explain,
which is like they don't have agency. What are you
talking about? And and you are raping them and for
their own safety and the safety of their children. They

(45:13):
don't pretend like they like it. Yeah, you know, but
of course they don't like what the what are you
talking about? What are you talking about? Yeah?

Speaker 2 (45:22):
I think one of the things I think about when
I read Jefferson's writing here, because he very much frames
this is I'm trying to look at this like a scientist, yeah,
trying to analyze these different relations between the raceists scientifically.
I think a little bit. You've heard that story about
that guy who studied like wolves and wrote this about
like alpha wolf behavior, and yeah, yeah, he gave us
this idea of the alpha male and then realizes later like, oh,

(45:43):
I was just looking at wolves in prison captivity, and
they act differently in prison than they do in the time.
They don't actually do this in the wild, right. He
is Jefferson is analyzing people that he owns and that
other people around him own and their behavior, and he's
he's attributing all of their behavior to like natural distinctions
and always ignoring like, well but they're enslaved well always,

(46:05):
not always, but.

Speaker 3 (46:06):
Yeah, yeah, yeah factual And yeah, this is like this
is really this is the big heel turn moment.

Speaker 2 (46:13):
This is when he commits. This is when it becomes
kind of impossible ideologically for him to ever wind up
on the side of abolition, right because he is fundamentally
defending slavery, and when he defends slavery, he does so
by being racist. Right. One of his complaints is that
people with black skin are better at hiding their emotions.
Now that's not true. But what's happening here is number one,

(46:36):
he doesn't pay attention to them, right, because he owns them, no,
you know, and so he doesn't understand them as much
as he understands white people. Right. And the other thing
is that, yeah, if you are enslaved, you probably get
good at hiding certain feelings because they're dangerous.

Speaker 3 (46:50):
Right, absolutely, like the idea that which is completely normal
of yeah, self preservation and making decisions that are going
to uh yeah again, like because we are in fact
humans that are going to try our best to protect
our children. And if that means I got to do

(47:12):
a little shucking job to make sure that you feel placated,
is going to stop the overseer from coming over here?

Speaker 2 (47:18):
Yeah? Yeah, And yeah, it's one of those this kind
of belief again that he does not analyze in any way, right. Yeah,
it culminates in a very fortunate set of conclusions for him,
which is he decides, like, well, it just seems like
black people don't feel as much as white people, right.
We know they don't need as much sleep because we
don't let them sleep as often. We know they're less

(47:39):
sensitive to the heat and the cold. Yeah, you just
don't listen when they can complain they feel like they can.

Speaker 3 (47:45):
Yeah, and especially with you saying well, like like them
saying well, we I mean you kidding me. We couldn't
handle this, like yeah, and they're handling it, so I
guess you know. Yeah, we wouldn't stand for this. We
would look, we would not stand for this. And apparently
they're standing for soeah.

Speaker 2 (48:01):
So it must be cool. Yeah, he starts. He's one
of the first people to make the argument that they
don't feel pain in the same way, which exists, I
mean less consciously. But like that's still a problem in
medicine today. He writes. Their griefs are transient. In other words,
they feel sad when they lose family members, but not
for a long time. They forget things quickly. Right now.

(48:22):
He also he has to acknowledge equality in a few areas. Right,
he says that they have an equal equivalent memory to
white people. Right, because he he employes black laborers doing
complicated tasks. Right, he can't not see that, right, there
can't be any use as workers. Yeah, number one, Right, yeah, yeah,
but he also has to argue, but that means they
don't have any they don't they lack reason, and they

(48:44):
can't imagine things. They really can't want anything better. And
part of his argument for this is I've never met
a black person who could understand Euclid's writing. It's like,
do you let him read Euclid? But do you teach
him like math? You know, like have you tried?

Speaker 3 (49:00):
Yeah about that?

Speaker 2 (49:02):
Yeah? How about that?

Speaker 4 (49:03):
Is it?

Speaker 2 (49:04):
And also like, is it are there little white people
who haven't heard about Euclid?

Speaker 4 (49:08):
Right?

Speaker 2 (49:08):
The most of the country that's not can't read and
that certainly doesn't know a fucket Euclid? Yeah?

Speaker 3 (49:13):
Is it?

Speaker 2 (49:14):
Maybe a matter of access to education? Maybe you understand
is valuable?

Speaker 4 (49:18):
You know?

Speaker 3 (49:18):
Yeah, oh my god.

Speaker 4 (49:19):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (49:20):
Anyway, Yeah, he's pretty bad. There is one moment here
where he's like, it's possible I'm wrong about this because
maybe enslaved people feel they have to lock up their
faculties and talents to endure. So he has the ability
to realize what's going on here. He even hints at it,
though he just can't accept it.

Speaker 3 (49:40):
Those frustrating moments when you're just in somebody, when he
just peeks up and says, yeah, I mean I could
be tripping because I mean, clearly we're beating him to death,
and yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (49:51):
Yeah, it could be wrong about this very obvious thing. Yeah.
So nevertheless, he concluded that these differences weren't the result
of the fact that slavery gave few chances for creativity
or intellectual achievement. He decides nature had produced the distinction,
and he gives himself out again. He's like, that's just
what I think. I you know, now, maybe there will
be some more evidence later, but yeah, I consider that

(50:14):
kind of like, I don't know, a little cowardly.

Speaker 3 (50:17):
Actually, it's very cowardly because of like, yeah, it's the
implications of the like freud of it all, like the
subconscious continuingly to peek out, like you know you're wrong,
Like you know you're wrong. You know what I'm saying
somewhere in there, Like you know you wrong, but you
also know you not trying to change your way of life,

(50:38):
you know, And like you said, the fullest shitty like
is on full display here.

Speaker 2 (50:42):
You know, you're you're too good a writer to not
bring this up because you just inherently make good arguments.
But like you have to clamp it down. You can
almost feel him shoving that back down inside of himself
in order to make this work. And we'll talk a
lot more about this kind of and even a bit
more about Notes on the State of Virginia. But at
the end of this episode, let's just bring it to

(51:04):
the end of the Revolutionary War, which the US wins
at Yorktown while Jefferson is still scribbling away. In seventeen
eighty three, a peace was negotiated and the US gained
its independence. Notes on the State of Virginia was published
in seventeen eighty five and then republished several times, and
it formed a meaningful part of the backlash or counterswing

(51:26):
to a wave of abolitionist sentiment that gripped the new
country around the time of its independence. Right because of
the declaration, there's actually starts to be this argument. There's
even some will argue Virginia might have been on its
way to abolishing slavery. Right weeks before Jefferson turned in
his draft, a member of the Virginia State Legislature submitted

(51:48):
a draft constitution that would have ended hereditary slavery in
the state. It argued that men were born equally free
and independent, and that no compact could deprive them of
their rights. The legislature, though, added a line that men
only gained these rights when they enter into a state
of society, and slaves were defined as not part of society.

(52:08):
Still that's pretty fucked up. Yeah, Like these people are
literally what your entire society rests on.

Speaker 3 (52:14):
But damn yeah, it makes it that much more like
human and like heinous to where it was like, bro,
it was people right there. It was like right there,
like y'all knew. It just was like, we'll cut that
part out.

Speaker 2 (52:30):
Like yeah, and it's it's still this is not even
probably a few years after the constitution, yeah, Virginia is
changed or a few years after this happens, the constitution
in Virginia is changed to include black people as citizens
if they've been freed. Right, And if you were observing
all of this, like these debates and these pushbacks and whatnot,
in trying to predict the future, you might have guessed

(52:50):
in the mid seventeen eighties, well maybe Virginia is headed
to abolition. Winsett kind of argues that it was, and
that it's Jefferson who plays a major role in wrenching
it away from that course quote. At this critical moment,
Jefferson broke from the dominant progressive thinking of his time
to construct an image of the black person as the other,
a being with no place in American society. Putting a

(53:11):
scholarly sheene on the rationalizations of slaveholders, Jefferson made himself
the theorist and spokesperson for the reactionaries. Jefferson was not
as torn as he has taken to be, writes the
historian Michael Zuckerman. He was not as confined by his
culture as his apologists have often claimed in regard to race,
as in regard to so much else. He was a leader,
and that's part two.

Speaker 3 (53:33):
I love that.

Speaker 4 (53:35):
Maybe leaders are a bad idea.

Speaker 2 (53:37):
Yeah, maybe leaders are a bad idea.

Speaker 4 (53:38):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (53:39):
Maybe race leaders are a bad idea.

Speaker 3 (53:40):
Yeah maybe. Yeah. May be like I'm smart, I read stuff. Yeah,
it might be a little more to it, you know
what I'm saying.

Speaker 2 (53:48):
Yeah, he's such a little kind of a little shit.
He's a bitch ass he's Yeah.

Speaker 3 (53:55):
I mean at the end of the day, at the
end of the day.

Speaker 2 (53:57):
Yeah, at the end of the.

Speaker 3 (53:58):
Day, at the end of the day, It's like I
could cover it all you have like like flower it up, man,
like twist your brain into a pretzel say that you
like while I'm doing it. But I'm not like those dudes.
And it's like, bro, like I mean, I like I
think of so many modern things I think of, like
this may feel very TMZ of it, but like I

(54:18):
think of like P Diddy and his apology and was
just like you know, I was it really in a
dark place.

Speaker 4 (54:25):
Man.

Speaker 3 (54:25):
You know, I've gone to therapy, and bro, like, don't
I won't hear about your therapy, you know what I'm saying. Yeah,
And I'm like and the like, okay, like it, there
was a lot of lightly dim places that you was
in before you got to the dark one that we saw. Brother,
like you don't you don't wake up and get to
that homeboy you ever said what I'm saying, that's not

(54:46):
that's not that's not a light switch, big dog like
you was building this homie, you know, and then I
think the like you know, like why like like it's
like if I could if I could grab America by
the cheek and be like the face cheeks okay and
be like.

Speaker 1 (55:03):
Uh, I'm glad you're clarified.

Speaker 3 (55:05):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Like why you ain't join the I
C C. Big dog, Like why you don't want to?
Why you want to say like, tell me, tell me
why you don't want to call call this a genocide?
Tell me why you don't want to tell me why
you don't want to accuse anybody for crimes of crimes
agains humanity?

Speaker 2 (55:20):
What's the same Why Jefferson does everything he does here
is exactly well, because it would mean making your life
a little less comfortable, yes, right, And it would mean
sacrifices the things you value that.

Speaker 3 (55:31):
Maybe people will peak at you and be like exactly, so,
like why why why won't America do this?

Speaker 4 (55:37):
Well?

Speaker 3 (55:38):
Because I don't want you all to look at our
centuries of crimes of humanity? So I don't want to.

Speaker 2 (55:42):
You know what I'm saying that some acess to like
we really use their airspace a lot, Like there's a
number of things for the reasons why it comes down
to yeah, yeah, like I don't want to. It'll be
hard for me.

Speaker 4 (55:54):
It comes down to your lyric prop. It comes down
to I don't hate America just a man, she keeps
her problem, she doesn't.

Speaker 2 (56:01):
And she don't just like dude, be who Jefferson is, like,
he's he has to because he's this big I am
the profit of freedom guy. Internationally, he has to write
to these dudes in France, we're going to be the
people a lot of the people who are involved in
the French Revolution, and who are these like and and
he has to explain how am I still the profit

(56:21):
of freedom while owning people. That's the big part of
what's happening here. And the answer is that, like, well,
they're not really the same kind and there's a lot
of problems, Like I agree slavery is bad, but we
really have to look at this very carefully because of
all of these biological differences, right, Which is all he's
doing is he's scientificizing the ship that every slave owner
would say, which is like, yeah, but I don't want
to work it is he you know, yeah, he's a farmer,

(56:42):
but he's not a farmer. Yeah, you know exactly, really.

Speaker 4 (56:45):
Every butt guy, he's the I don't hate women, but
he's that guy.

Speaker 3 (56:49):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Well it's kind of like but look, look, look, look,
if you let me finish, if you let me finish, yeah,
I would tell you. It's like all right, bros.

Speaker 4 (56:56):
He's every guy I don't want to talk to a
bar right, Yeah, like yeah, yeah, those are the guys
you have to like they got all these big words,
but you just it's almost like, you know, like a
toddler out of control, Like I have to you have
to just keep them in focus and be like, hey man,

(57:19):
here's here's the cornerstone question.

Speaker 3 (57:22):
How can you be the profit of freedom while keeping
someone enslaved? Yeah, like no, no, no, no, that's all we
talk about. That's like you can give me aught. How
are you the profit of freedom? Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2 (57:35):
And he's gonna have to We're gonna talk about his
time in France because he's the basically the ambassador. Yeah,
that's the whole time there is. He's like having that
argument with me. Yeah yeah, we'll get to that. But
first prop what's your pluggables? Where are they?

Speaker 3 (57:48):
Oof?

Speaker 2 (57:48):
When are they?

Speaker 4 (57:49):
Man?

Speaker 3 (57:50):
When are they they are whenever you want?

Speaker 4 (57:52):
On?

Speaker 3 (57:53):
Do you believe the Internet's dead?

Speaker 2 (57:55):
I think large chunks of it are, right, Like you know,
that's that's kind of something like a third of old
Wikipedia links or whatnot or dead, Like, yeah, it turns
out it's not a very good place to store things.

Speaker 3 (58:07):
No, But on this, you know, on the on whatever's
left of the internet. You can go to prop hip
hop dot com. Uh, and that'll get get you to
all the other places the politics will prop man, you
know where. I feel like this has been probably one
of my best seasons, if I do say so myself. Yeah, yeah, yeah,
we kind of kind of hit a stride.

Speaker 1 (58:28):
He's coming to dude, super good things.

Speaker 3 (58:30):
Come in hit a stride. Man. I'm really excited about this.
So yeah, the politics prop with the cool Zone crew,
you know, yep.

Speaker 2 (58:39):
Yeah.

Speaker 4 (58:40):
And for us at cool Zone Media and all the things,
and for you Robert anything.

Speaker 2 (58:47):
No, no, nothing like that Poland diaper bank. Behind the
Bastards go fundme. We're doing a go fundme diapers for
people who can't afford them. Always a good thing, always
a good things. Good to help people have diapers who
can't afford.

Speaker 4 (59:02):
To buy them otherwise Bye bye.

Speaker 1 (59:09):
Behind the Bastards is a production of cool Zone Media.
For more from cool Zone Media, visit our website Coolzonemedia
dot com, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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