1785: Thomas Jefferson: “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just”

THOMAS JEFFERSON, a denunciation of slavery, 1785:

The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it…The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to his worst passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances … if a slave can have a country in this world, it must be any other in preference to that in which he is to be born to live and labor for another … or entail his own miserable condition on the endless generations proceeding from him … Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.

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