top of page

Quotes from the Founding Fathers regarding Slavery in the Colonies

It is widely taught and believed that slavery was accepted and protected by our early Founding Fathers. However, what is almost never told is that slavery was brought to the colonies and kept in place, in fact mandated, by the British government.


The practice of slavery was not widely accepted by our Founding Fathers. In fact, many, if not most, sought to abolish slavery first in the colonies and later, following the War of Independence, in the newly formed United States.


It is important to remember that legislation to end slavery in England was not passed until July 26, 1833 and even then did not go into effect until August 1, 1834. Further, it is important to remember that the colonies' War of Independence from British rule lasted until September 3, 1783.

The Leadership Institute includes a course taught by KrisAnne Hall entitled "History of the Constitution." The quotes below are from that course.

Colonel George Mason.png

"This infernal traffic originated in the averice of British Merchants. The British Government constantly checked the attempts of Virginia to put a stop to it."

Col. George Mason, August 22, 1787

Thomas Jefferson 2.png

"The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state.

...Yet our repeated attempts to effect this by prohibitions, and by imposing duties which might amount to a prohibition, have been hitherto defeated by his majesty..."

Thomas Jefferson July 1774

Oliver Elseworth.png

Oliver Elseworth, Drafter of the United States Constitution, testimony before the Connecticut ratifying convention of 1787:

"Slavery in time will not be a speck in our country. Provision is already made in Connecticut for abolishing it. And the abolition has already taken place in Massachusetts."

bottom of page