Symmetry wrote:The reference to the constitution was, of course, something you brought up.
The reference to the constitution was a minor detail in a quote laying claim to the fact that Sally could claim her freedom in France, a fact verified by Sally's son and Sally's master, although strangely you appear to be endeavoring to avoid that fact.
Symmetry wrote:Feels free at any time to point out the law you and Stahr think existed making slavery illegal in France while Jefferson was there.
Sure, slavery was declared illegal in France on July 3, 1315 by Louis X:"Whereas, according to natural right, everyone should be born free, and whereas, by certain customs which from long age, have been introduced into and preserved to this day in our kingdom....many persons amongst our common people have fallen into the bonds of slavery, which much displeaseth us; we, considering that our kingdom is called and named the kingdom of the Free...have by our grand council decreed and do decree that generally throughout our whole kingdom, such serfdom be redeemed to freedom, on fair and suitable conditions...and we will, likewise, that all other lords who have body-men (or serfs) do take example by us to bring them to freedom."
The laws varied on the matter between that time and 1789 and there was much disagreement between the various federal, colonial, and regional courts; however as I've already mentioned multiple times (yes, I'm trying to get you to at least respond to it), evidence from the time from both Madison and Jefferson point to the undeniable fact that Sally could have claimed her freedom while in France.
Here, I'll post it again in case you missed it the first couple times:When Mr. Jefferson went to France Martha was just budding into womanhood. Their stay (my mother's and Maria's) was about eighteen months. But during that time my mother became Mr. Jefferson's concubine, and when he was called back home she was enciente by him. He desired to bring my mother back to Virginia with him but she demurred. She was just beginning to understand the French language well, and in France she was free, while if she returned to Virginia she would be re-enslaved. So she refused to return with him. To induce her to do so he promised her extraordinary privileges, and made a solemn pledge that her children should be freed at the age of twenty-one years. In consequence of his promise, on which she implicitly relied, she returned with him to Virginia. Soon after their arrival, she gave birth to a child, of whom Thomas Jefferson was the father. It lived but a short time. She gave birth to four others, and Jefferson was the father of all of them. Their names were Beverly, Harriet, Madison (myself), and Eston--three sons and one daughter. We all became free agreeably to the treaty entered into by our parents before we were born. We all married and have raised families.Jefferson had something of a problem keeping two slaves in France with him, however. According to French law, slavery was illegal, and they could petition for their freedom. During his tenure in France as U.S. minister, he received a query from an American couple about the legality of bringing a slave servant into the country. He replied that he had “made enquiries on the subject of the negro boy, and find that the laws of France give him freedom if he claims it,  and that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to interrupt the course of the law. Nevertheless I have known an instance where a person bringing in a slave, and saying nothing about it, has not been disturbed in his possession.” This person was, of course, Jefferson himself, who brought James Hemings with him. Jefferson advised the Americans to take the same course; the slave was young and "it is not probable he will think of claiming freedom.”
It is unlikely that James Hemings remained ignorant of his status under French law; he was nineteen when Jefferson brought him to Paris and twenty-four when he and his sister Sally returned to America with Jefferson and his two daughters. Jefferson no doubt used all of his arts of persuasion to convince Hemings that a life of bondage as Thomas Jefferson’s cook was preferable to freedom in Paris. He would never be permitted to return to America, or to see his family again, for example. Jefferson’s trump card would have been a promise of future freedom.  It was a pledge he drew up into a formal document in 1793...