Jefferson - Proposed Instructions to Delegates

In 1774, Thomas Jefferson was a delegate to the Virginia Convention.  Representing Albemarle County, Jefferson drafted this set of instructions for Virginia's delegates to the First Continental Congress. 

A majority of Virginia-Convention members thought that Jefferson's approach was too radical, so many of his original ideas were not included in the published work (entitled A Summary View of the Rights of British America).  This sentence, however, is one which survived the final edit:

The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies.

Click on the image for a better view of Jefferson's manuscript.

Media Credits

Image of Jefferson's manuscript instructions for Virginia's delegates, drafted in 1774, online courtesy Library of Congress.




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