Jean-François Mouhot, Thomas Jefferson and I, The Solutions Journal, Volume 5, Issue 6, November 2014, Pages 74-78 ( Abstract: In the eyes of many, Thomas Jefferson embodies the contradictions of the young American republic. The principal writer of the Declaration of Independence was a man deeply committed to the democratic and equalitarian ideals of the Enlightenment and who professed to hate slavery. Yet, he was at the same time one of the largest slaveholders of Virginia and emancipated very few of his own slaves. Considering most Africans to be inferior intellectually and physically to Europeans and fearing racial mixing, he was also what we would today call a "racist." However, Jefferson probably fathered several children with his slave, Sally Hemings. Most people, and indeed most historians, find these apparent contradictions extremely puzzling.1 I don't. I don't because, like Donella Meadows some 16 years ago,2 I very much identify with the paradoxes and dilemmas Jefferson must have felt during his lifetime regarding slavery. Like him, I am a large slave-holder. Like him, I consider the idea of … Topics: Climate Change; Governance; History