Analysis of Thomas Jefferson's From Notes on the State of Virginia

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In “From Notes on the State of Virginia,” Thomas Jefferson includes some proposed alterations to the Virginia Laws and discusses some differences between blacks and whites. First, he describes one of the proposed revisions regarding slavery: All slaves born after the enactment of the alteration will be freed; they will live with their parents till a certain age, then be nurtured at public disbursement and sent out of state to form their own colonies such that intermarrying and conflicts can be avoided between blacks and whites. Next, Jefferson indicates some physical differences between blacks and whites, including skin color, hair, amount of exudates secreted by kidneys and glands, level of transpiration, structure in the pulmonary organ, …show more content…
The conclusion he draws here is only based on a small population of blacks he observes, lacking sufficient evidence to convince readers of his point. Besides, by asserting statement that can degrade a whole race without sufficient proofs, Jefferson can offense some readers. Thus, his use of hasty generalization can destroy the credibility of his arguments and may even anger his readers. A second strategy that Jefferson uses is begging the question, which further ruins the credibiliy of his arguments. For instance, when he depicts the difference of colors between blacks and whites, he questions:
Is it not the foundation of a greater of less share of beauty in the two races? Are not the fine mixtures of red and white, the expressions of every passion by greater or less suffusions of color in the one, preferable to that eternal monotony, which reigns in the countenances, that immovable veil of black which covers the emotions of the other race? (380).
All he claims here is that the difference of colors between blacks and whites results in “a greater of less share of beauty in the two races” (380). That is, the blacks are inferior to the whites in terms of beauty because blacks are black. His use of begging the question does not include

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