8 US Presidents You May Not Have Known Bought and Sold Enslaved Africans

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president jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)

Jefferson held at least 200 Black people in bondage during his lifetime. The third president was one of the wealthiest plantation owners in Virginia.

It is believed that Jefferson fathered several children with an enslaved woman named Sally Hemings.

Under pressure from Britain, which was considered the biggest exporter of abducted Africans, Jefferson signed a bill ending the U.S. involvement in the international slave trade in 1807. Slavery continued for another 58 years in the U.S.

Like Washington before him, Jefferson feared an imminent uprising from Blacks and acted swiftly against rebellions. In 1804, Jefferson refused to recognize the Republic of Haiti after enslaved African people fought and defeated the French in the Haitian Revolution. The following year, Jefferson enacted an arms and trade embargo against the new republic.

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