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Fatal RevolutionsNatural History, West Indian Slavery, and the Routes of American Literature$
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Christopher P. Iannini

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835562

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838181_iannini

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Notes on the State of Virginia, the Haitian Revolution, and the Return of Epistolarity

Notes on the State of Virginia, the Haitian Revolution, and the Return of Epistolarity

Chapter:
(p.219) 5 Notes on the State of Virginia, the Haitian Revolution, and the Return of Epistolarity
Source:
Fatal Revolutions
Author(s):

Christopher P. Iannini

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807838181_iannini.11

This chapter argues that the problem of hemispheric slavery is of primary importance in Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia (1787). The problem would continue to weigh heavily on Jefferson's literary and political imagination throughout the 1790s but he began to revise his meditations on slavery from the original printed version of Notes in his personal correspondence as he turns to the rhetoric of natural history to assess the Haitian Revolution. Jefferson recast his published views on slave colonization and black intellectual capacity, envisioning an expanded edition that would address the implications of Haiti for the future of American republicanism.

Keywords:   slavery, Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Seven Years' War, natural history, Haitian Revolution, slave colonization, Haiti, republicanism

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