A Different Mirror

A Different Mirror

by

Ronald Takaki

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President Thomas Jefferson Character Analysis

Thomas Jefferson was one of the Founding Fathers and the third president of the United States. From Virginia, he expressed a belief in abolishing slavery even though he was an enslaver himself. He regarded black people as inferior to white people and argued that after abolition, black people would have to be removed from the US. He fathered several children with one of the enslaved women on his property, Sally Hemings, although he lied and denied that this was true.
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President Thomas Jefferson Character Timeline in A Different Mirror

The timeline below shows where the character President Thomas Jefferson appears in A Different Mirror. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: A Different Mirror
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...meant the forced eradication of Native people and their ways of life. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson expressed hope that one day Americans would be a homogenous people who all spoke the... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2: The “Tempest” in the Wilderness
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...Native people. Following the Revolutionary War, the Founding Fathers faced a dilemma regarding Indians. Thomas Jefferson both praised the “friendship” that theoretically existed between settlers and Indians, while also arguing that... (full context)
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Jefferson called Indians both the “children” and “neighbors” of white settlers. He maintained that settlers had... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3: The Hidden Origins of Slavery
Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Thomas Jefferson was himself an enslaver, and profiting from slave labor made him one of the richest... (full context)
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
While Jefferson wanted slavery to eventually be abolished, he also believed that black people would have to... (full context)
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
The black mathematician Benjamin Banneker condemned Jefferson’s hypocrisy in a letter to him, accusing him of failing to enact the principles of... (full context)
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Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
In 1784, shortly after the death of his wife, 41-year-old Jefferson went to Paris with his daughter. Three years later, his teenage daughter Polly joined him,... (full context)
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Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Jefferson’s belief that black people would have to be expelled from America following abolition rested in... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4: Toward “the Stony Mountains”
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Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Where Jefferson believed in trying to cajole Native people to sell their land, President Andrew Jackson favored... (full context)
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
...become the home of the Cotton Kingdom. The land-allotment program, which was originally established by Jefferson, was the main way in which land was taken from the Creek, Chickasaw, and Choctaw... (full context)