A City Guide To Linjiang for In championing the status of the autonomous individual, the Declaration valorized the experience of free white males while ignoring the status and experience of women, black slaves (in 1776, slavery was practiced in all thirteen colonies), and aboriginal people. Its truths were taken to be self-evident. They were supposed to be patent to all rational individuals. At the time, however, women, black slaves, and native Americans were not considered to be fully rational. Despite its rhetoric, Jefferson’s Declaration does not reflect the status and experience of all or even most Americans, nor even of all men. Instead, it reflects the status and experiences of free white male property owners, like Jefferson himself, in eighteenthcentury America. Hence Jefferson’s assumptions about the autonomy and independence of individuals were themselves products of a particular social, economic, and historical context. A City Guide To Linjiang 2016.