There were 87 edits to Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence. Most were trivial, shortened phrases here or word substitutions there, but there is one glaring omission. One entire paragraph highlighting perhaps the greatest CRIME committed by King George, Parliament, the various “companies” (like the East India Company) and other agents of British government was stricken by the South Carolina delegation:
- “he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.“
Join us as Noah Lewis (aka Ned Turner) and I discuss the short-term (ie DURING the Revolutionary War!) ramifications of this compromise.