Guest Essayist: Logan Beirne, Olin Scholar at Yale Law School and author of Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency

A complicated man of contradictions, Thomas Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves throughout his life but opposed the institution. His letter reflects this paradox: Read more

The Constitution specified that Congress could not prohibit the importation of slaves until 1808. President Jefferson signed the bill to bring about this prohibition in March 1807 and it went into effect on January 1, 1808. Writing here a year later, he maintains hopes for an end to slavery itself. Read more