To some, Thomas Jefferson’s declaration that “all men are created equal” is the height of American greatness. To others, given Jefferson’s ownership of slaves, it represents the height of hypocrisy. Where you fall probably depends upon how you interpret the word “equal” – which is the topic of Gordon Wood’s Bradley Lecture, “Thomas Jefferson and the Idea of Equality.”

To discuss Jefferson’s complicated legacy and Wood’s analysis, we welcome to the podcast Nicole Penn, AEI researcher, Virginia Dynasty expert, and fearless disentangler of Jeffersonian contradictions.

This lecture was originally delivered at AEI in January 1995.

Listen to the full lecture here. 

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  1. EtCarter Inactive

    Without the legal recognition in the US documents, what would a human being owned during the practice of chattel slavery, by another human being use for grounds to appeal to?

    I understands how difficult it is in my own era to appeal to the government (and people in the US) that the same inconsistency in legalizing abortion without serious qualifications, is equally arbitrary, and cruel violation of a childs life.  Yknow? 

    But, Sangers great eugenics industry is very powerful and as much an industry as slave plantations ever were. Her main goal is still operating in the open in exactly the neighborhoods her eugenics theory is designed to operate them. Very sad.



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