He That Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear (Matthew 11:15-30)
Challenging both secular wisdom and religious doctrines. - Will our descendants know moral virtue?
The Founders and Slavery, the truth.
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See also Black Founders and Heroes of the Anti-Slavery movement
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Slavery: What They Didn't Teach in My High School - By Larry Elder - ...In "Prisons & Slavery," John Dewar Gleissner writes: "The Arabs' treatment of black Africans can aptly be termed an African Holocaust. Arabs killed more Africans in transit, especially when crossing the Sahara Desert, than Europeans and Americans, and over more centuries, both before and after the years of the Atlantic slave trade. Arab Muslims began extracting millions of black African slaves centuries before Christian nations did. Arab slave traders removed slaves from Africa for about 13 centuries, compared to three centuries of the Atlantic slave trade.
...My name-changing friend did not know that slavery occurred on every continent except Antarctica. Europeans enslaved other Europeans. Asians enslaved Asians. Africans enslaved other Africans. Arabs enslaved other Arabs. Native Americans even enslaved other Native Americans.
..."People of every race and color were enslaved — and enslaved others. White people were still being bought and sold as slaves in the Ottoman Empire, decades after American blacks were freed." Sowell also wrote: "The region of West Africa ... was one of the great slave-trading regions of the continent — before, during, and after the white man arrived. It was the Africans who enslaved their fellow Africans, selling some of these slaves to Europeans or to Arabs and keeping others for themselves. Even at the peak of the Atlantic slave trade, Africans retained more slaves for themselves than they sent to the Western Hemisphere. ... Arabs were the leading slave raiders in East Africa, ranging over an area larger than all of Europe."
...10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America. And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That's right: a tiny percentage. In fact, the overwhelming percentage of the African slaves were shipped directly to the Caribbean and South America; Brazil received 4.86 million Africans alone!"
...African tribes who captured other tribes sold them into slavery. For this reason, in 2006, Ghana offered an official apology. ..."While slavery was common to all civilizations," writes Sowell, "... only one civilization developed a moral revulsion against it, very late in its history — Western civilization. ... Not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all."
Did you know? Benjamin Franklin was president of America's first anti-slavery society. Franklin's last public act was to petition Congress on February 3, 1790, to abolish slavery, urging them to "devise means for removing the inconsistency from the character of the American People" and to "promote mercy and justice toward this distressed race."
“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” -By Frederick Douglass | July 5, 1852 - ...I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost. ...Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men too — great enough to give fame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men.
...They loved their country better than their own private interests; and, though this is not the highest form of human excellence, all will concede that it is a rare virtue, and that when it is exhibited, it ought to command respect. He who will, intelligently, lay down his life for his country, is a man whom it is not in human nature to despise. Your fathers staked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, on the cause of their country. In their admiration of liberty, they lost sight of all other interests. They were peace men; but they preferred revolution to peaceful submission to bondage. They were quiet men; but they did not shrink from agitating against oppression. They showed forbearance; but that they knew its limits. They believed in order; but not in the order of tyranny. With them, nothing was “settled” that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final;” not slavery and oppression. You may well cherish the memory of such men. They were great in their day and generation. Their solid manhood stands out the more as we contrast it with these degenerate times.
...The American church is guilty, when viewed in connection with what it is doing to uphold slavery; but it is superlatively guilty when viewed in connection with its ability to abolish slavery. The sin of which it is guilty is one of omission as well as of commission. ...In prosecuting the anti-slavery enterprise, we have been asked to spare the church, to spare the ministry; but how, we ask, could such a thing be done? ...The Lords of Buffalo, the Springs of New York, the Lathrops of Auburn, the Coxes and Spencers of Brooklyn, the Gannets and Sharps of Boston, the Deweys of Washington, and other great religious lights of the land have, in utter denial of the authority of Him by whom they professed to be called to the ministry, deliberately taught us, against the example or the Hebrews and against the remonstrance of the Apostles, they teach that we ought to obey man’s law before the law of God.
...Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which, the people of the North have allowed themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon, as that of the pro-slavery character of the Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but, interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway? or is it in the temple? It is neither. While I do not intend to argue this question on the present occasion, let me ask, if it be not somewhat singular that, if the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slave-holding instrument, why neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave can anywhere be found in it.
...Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery. ...Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation, which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. “The arm of the Lord is not shortened,” and the doom of slavery is certain.
The Constitution Was Never Pro-Slavery - By Allen C. Guelzo - It was deliberately written to avoid establishing a legal precedent for ownership of human beings. ...To read the Constitution as pro-slavery, in the manner of Finkelman, Waldstreicher, and even Sanders, requires a suspension of disbelief that only playwrights and morticians could admire. Yes, the Constitution reduced slaves to the hated three-fifths; but that was to keep slaveholders from claiming them for five-fifths in determining representation, which would have increased the power of the slaveholding states. Yes, the Constitution permitted the slave trade to continue; but it also permitted Congress to shut it off, which it did in 1808.
...Its authors, even when they turned a blind eye to slavery, did so believing that “slavery would disappear” and that “the imprint of that expectation is visible in the document they finally approved.” ...But by the 1850s, [Federick] Douglass ...insisting instead that the Constitution, when “construed in the light of well-established rules of legal interpretation,” must be “wielded in behalf of emancipation” as “a glorious liberty document.” What convinced Douglass was the same thing that the Framers had hoped would win the day: silence. “If the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slave-holding instrument,” then why could “neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave . . . be anywhere found in it”? That is the question the anti-constitutional sensationalists have yet to answer.
Attacking Our Nation's Founders - By Walter E. Williams - Most often, the hate-America teachings are centered on the fact that slavery is a part of our history. What is left untaught is: Slavery was a routine part of human history. Blacks were the last people to be enslaved. Plus, our Founding Fathers struggled mightily over the issue of slavery. Let us look at some of that struggle.
George Washington said, "I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it." Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, Patrick Henry and others were highly critical of slavery, describing it as a "disease of ignorance," "an inconsistency not to be excused" and a "lamentable evil." George Mason said, "The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind."
James Madison, in a speech at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, declared, "We have seen the mere distinction of color made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man." Benjamin Rush said: "Domestic slavery is repugnant to the principles of Christianity. ... It is rebellion against the authority of a common Father."
In their effort to create a union, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention had to negotiate many contentious, deal-breaking issues. Slavery was chief among them. Southern states made clear that they would not vote to ratify a constitution that abolished slavery or ended the slave trade. Northern delegates wanted to end slave trading and did not want slaves counted at all for congressional apportionment. Southern delegates wanted slaves counted as whole people. That would have given the South greater political power in the House of Representatives. (Continued here.)
The Key Facts About Slavery That the Left Conveniently Ignores - by Walter E. Williams ...Large numbers of Christians were enslaved during the Ottoman wars in Europe. White slaves were common in Europe from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages. It was only after A.D. 1600 that Europeans joined with Arabs and Africans and started the Atlantic slave trade. ...Southern delegates to the convention wanted slaves to be counted as one person. Northern delegates to the convention, and those opposed to slavery, wanted only free persons of each state to be counted for the purposes of apportionment in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College. The compromise reached was that each slave would be counted as only three-fifths of a person. ...With this union, Congress at least had the power to abolish slave trade by 1808. According to Delegate James Wilson, many believed the anti-slave trade clause laid “the foundation for banishing slavery out of this country.” ...Many of the Founders abhorred slavery. Their statements can be read on my website, http://walterewilliams.com/quotations/slavery/ . ...Unfortunately, these facts about slavery are not in the lessons taught in our schools and colleges. Instead, there is gross misrepresentation and suggestion that slavery was a uniquely American practice.
It Was the Brits Who Instituted Slavery in the US, Not
Americans, So Should THEY be Responsible for Reparations? -
By Teresa Neumann - ...The fact is, Americans didn't institute slavery
in this country. England did—clear up until colonials defeated the
British in the Revolutionary War. By that time, there were over 2
MILLION slaves in the American colonies. Ruled by an overseas king at
that time, colonials had no say in the law of the land.
Marika Sherwood, writing for History in Focus, said: "Britain followed in the footsteps of the Portuguese in voyaging to the west coast of Africa and enslaving Africans. The British participation in what has come to be called the 'nefarious trade' was begun by Sir John Hawkins with the support and investment of Elizabeth I in 1573. By fair means and foul, Britain outwitted its European rivals and became the premier trader in the enslaved from the seventeenth century onwards, and retained this position till 1807. Britain supplied enslaved African women, men and children to all European colonies in the Americas."
Therefore, politicians who support the notion of additional reparations (beyond the sacrifices of the Civil War) must take their blame game across the Atlantic to England—a nation accused of trying to "bury" their responsibility for it.
...But it doesn't end there. The British, according to historical documents, were simply following in the footsteps of their arch-enemies at the time. The Portuguese and the Spanish—who ran slave expeditions to Africa for their own countries—were responsible for sending upwards of 15 MILLION slaves to the Caribbean between 1492 and 1820. Sure, England abolished slavery in 1834; the US in 1864. But Spain's colony of Cuba didn't follow suit until 1886 and Portugal's New World colonies, not until 1888.
So, they were the bad guys, right? Well—the Islamic slave trade began long before the Atlantic slave trade. According to a New York Times article by Adam Hochschild, the Arab world is estimated to have enslaved 11.5 million poor souls during a dozen centuries. Why is so little attention paid to Islamic slavery today? Says Hochschild: "One reason, suggests Segal, a South African-born editor and the author of ''The Black Diaspora,'' is that in the Muslim world slavery never became the publicly fought moral and political issue that it did in the United States and Europe.
The truth about slavery - By Larry Elder, July 12,
2018 - A man I have known since grade school changed his name, years
ago, to an Arabic one. He told me he rejected Christianity as "the white
man's religion that justified slavery." He argued Africans taken out of
that continent were owed reparations. "From whom?" I asked.
Arab slavers took more Africans out of Africa and transported them to the Middle East and to South America than European slavers took out of Africa and brought to North America. Arab slavers began taking slaves out of Africa beginning in the ninth century -- centuries before the European slave trade -- and continued well after.
In "Prisons & Slavery," John Dewar Gleissner writes: "The Arabs' treatment of black Africans can aptly be termed an African Holocaust. Arabs killed more Africans in transit, especially when crossing the Sahara Desert, than Europeans and Americans, and over more centuries, both before and after the years of the Atlantic slave trade. Arab Muslims began extracting millions of black African slaves centuries before Christian nations did. Arab slave traders removed slaves from Africa for about 13 centuries, compared to three centuries of the Atlantic slave trade. African slaves transported by Arabs across the Sahara Desert died more often than slaves making the Middle Passage to the New World by ship. Slaves invariably died within five years if they worked in the Ottoman Empire's Sahara salt mines."
My name-changing friend did not know that slavery occurred on every continent except Antarctica. Europeans enslaved other Europeans. Asians enslaved Asians. Africans enslaved other Africans. Arabs enslaved other Arabs. Native Americans even enslaved other Native Americans.
He accused me of "relying on white historians" who, he insisted, had a "vested interest to lie."
What about Thomas Sowell, the brilliant economist/historian/philosopher, who happens to be black? Sowell writes: "Of all the tragic facts about the history of slavery, the most astonishing to an American today is that, although slavery was a worldwide institution for thousands of years, nowhere in the world was slavery a controversial issue prior to the 18th century.
"People of every race and color were enslaved -- and enslaved others. White people were still being bought and sold as slaves in the Ottoman Empire, decades after American blacks were freed."
Sowell also wrote: "The region of West Africa ... was one of the great slave-trading regions of the continent -- before, during, and after the white man arrived. It was the Africans who enslaved their fellow Africans, selling some of these slaves to Europeans or to Arabs and keeping others for themselves. Even at the peak of the Atlantic slave trade, Africans retained more slaves for themselves than they sent to the Western Hemisphere. ... Arabs were the leading slave raiders in East Africa, ranging over an area larger than all of Europe."
I asked my friend if his anger over slavery extended to countries like Brazil. "Brazil?" he said.
Harvard's Department of African and African American Studies professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. -- who also happens to be black -- wrote: "Between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America. And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That's right: a tiny percentage. In fact, the overwhelming percentage of the African slaves were shipped directly to the Caribbean and South America; Brazil received 4.86 million Africans alone!"
African tribes who captured other tribes sold them into slavery. For this reason, in 2006, Ghana offered an official apology. Emmanuel Hagan, director of research and statistics at Ghana's Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, explains: "The reason why we wanted to do some formal thing is that we want -- even if it's just for the surface of it, for the cosmetic of it -- to be seen to be saying 'sorry' to those who feel very strongly and who we believe have distorted history, because they get the impression that it was people here who just took them and sold them. It's something we have to look straight in the face and try to address, because it exists. So we will want to say something went wrong. People made mistakes, but we are sorry for whatever happened."
Over 600,000 Americans, in a country with less than 10 percent of today's population, died in the Civil War that ended slavery. "While slavery was common to all civilizations," writes Sowell, "...only one civilization developed a moral revulsion against it, very late in its history -- Western civilization. ... Not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all."
And, no, after all this, my friend did not reconsider his name change.
American Minute with Bill Federer - Slavery - a long shameful history
...Ancient cultures made slaves of those captured in battle, as seen in Babylon, Persia, Greece, China, India, and Africa.
...Israelites were made to be slaves by powerful Pharaohs of Egypt for four hundred years.
...Julius Caesar conquered in Gaul and brought so many captured "slavic" peoples into to Rome that the term "slav" gained the connotation of permanent servant - "slave." Over half of Rome's population were slaves.
...The timeline of slavery added a new chapter in 711 AD, when Muslim Moors conquered Spain, then invaded Portugal and France, followed by the coasts of Italy, Greece and the Mediterranean. Over a million Europeans were carried off into Islamic slavery. In 1189, Muslims raided Libson, Portugal, and enslaved 3,000 women and children. In 1191, Muslims attacked Silves, Portugal, and enslaved 3,000.
...Muslim raiders enslaved an estimated 180 million Africans over its 1,400 year expansion.
...Muslim slave markets existed in:
...Horn of Africa:
...Tragically, Muslim slave markets continue, with news reports giving shocking details of ISIS enslaving captured women, many of whom are Christian or Yazidi.
...Liberal academia defended this practice, as reported on February 7, 2017, where Georgetown University Professor Jonathan Brown, holder of the Al-Waleed bin Talal Chair in Islamic Civilization, delivered a lecture explaining how slavery and non-consensual sex (rape) are acceptable under Islamic sharia law.
...Over the next two centuries, the number of slaves tragically grew from "20 and odd" to an estimated 4 million by 1860.
...A lesser known chapters of slaves brought to America occurred in the 1600s when King James I, followed by Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, sold over 500,000 Irish Catholics into slavery onto plantations in the West Indies, Antigua, Montserrat, Jamaica, Barbados, as well as Virginia and New England. Additionally, many poor Europeans sold themselves as "indentured servants" -- a temporary slavery -- for seven years, in exchange for transportation to America. From 1714-1756, thousands of oppressed Irish sold themselves as indentured slaves in return for passage, usually to Pennsylvania, hoping to take advantage of William Penn's promise of toleration.
...Indian tribes would sell captives from other tribes into slavery. ...Some Native Americans owned African slaves. In 1842, there was an African slave revolt in Cherokee Territory. After colonial conflicts with American Indians, some were sold into slavery in the West Indies.
...Christian missionaries and movements, especially Quakers, Moravians, and Methodists, were a continual voice of conscience against slavery.
...Jefferson pushed through legislation ending the importation of slaves into the United States, telling Congress, December 2, 1806: "... to withdraw the citizens of the United States from all further participation in those violations of human rights which have been so long continued on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa, and which the morality, the reputation, and the best interests of our country, have long been eager to proscribe."
...When Democrats wanted to expand slavery into this new Louisiana Territory, it resulted in "Bleeding Kansas."
Prior to the Civil War, America was divided into 5 categories:
1. Radical Northern Republicans: whose attitude was slavery is wrong--end it now.
2. Moderate Republicans: whose attitude was that slavery is wrong but the country should transition out of it gradually over time.
3 Practical Neutral Voters: who cared little about the value of human life. They were more concerned about their pocketbook, jobs, wages, economy and tax-tariff issues.
4. Moderate Southern Democrats: whose attitude was slavery is wrong, but it was settled law and the nation should just live with it. People should have the choice whether or not to own a slave--just treat your slaves nice.
5. Extreme Southern Democrats: whose attitude was slavery is good and should be expanded into new Territories and States.
Slavery was ended in the United States after the Civil War and the passage of the 13th Amendment.
George Washington’s evolving views on the difficult subject of slavery - by Tara Ross - Washington himself wrestled with the subject for years, although he never took a public stance against slavery. Should he have done so? Some scholars speculate that he never did take a public position because he was worried about breaking up the Union before it ever got off the ground. Either way, Washington’s views were changing, and his actions reflected this evolving perspective. He quit selling slaves without their permission. He would not break up families, even when he had too many slaves and ran into cost inefficiencies at Mount Vernon.
He softened his position on allowing black men to serve in the Continental Army during the Revolution. He met with the first black American poet, even giving her the respectful title, “Miss Phillis.” (See September 1 history post.)
Towards the end of his life, he would speak of slavery as the “only unavoidable subject of regret” in his life. Maybe it is unsurprising that he freed his slaves in his will? None of us are perfect, and I suspect future generations will find plenty wrong with the things that we have done. But I hope they will also find things that we did right.
One thing that the Founders did right: Fifty-five of them met in a room in Philadelphia. They were learned men, students of history. They had studied various political systems. They were free from partisan interests. (Their biggest bias was in favor of their own states.) They lived at a unique point in history, and they came together with the goal of creating a uniquely successful government. And they did just that. In this author’s opinion, we do our country a disservice when we ignore the good things that these men did because we wish that they had overcome one (really) big flaw more quickly.
Were The Founding Fathers Racist? - By Jeff Dunetz - Many in the progressive world, believe that America’s Founding Fathers were racist. Usually to prove their point they cite Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution: “ Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other persons.”
Those “other persons” was a reference to the black slaves. To the liberals, that 3/5th figure is an indication that our Founding Fathers were a bunch of racists who thought that the African slaves were only 60% as good as a Caucasian.
That is a simplistic and false answer. The Founders from the northern colonies strongly opposed slavery. They insisted on counting the slaves as less than “full persons” to prevent the slave states from getting too many congressman and electoral votes to dominate the government and prevent slavery from ever being abolished.
The slave states wanted their slaves to be counted as a full person so they could dominate the House of Representatives and the Presidency. This would allow Southern whites to have the benefit of counting the slaves, while controlling the political power of the slaves who were not allowed to vote. The Northern States did not want them counted at all, to prevent the South from becoming too powerful. The “three fifths of all other persons” is meant to refer to the slave population as a whole, not to the humanity of each individual.
...In Federalist #42 he [James Madison] writes: It were doubtless to be wished, that the power of prohibiting the importation of slaves had not been postponed until the year 1808, or rather that it had been suffered to have immediate operation. But it is not difficult to account, either for this restriction on the general government, or for the manner in which the whole clause is expressed. It ought to be considered as a great point gained in favor of humanity, that a period of twenty years may terminate forever, within these States, a traffic which has so long and so loudly upbraided the barbarism of modern policy; that within that period, it will receive a considerable discouragement from the federal government, and may be totally abolished, by a concurrence of the few States which continue the unnatural traffic, in the prohibitory example which has been given by so great a majority of the Union. Happy would it be for the unfortunate Africans, if an equal prospect lay before them of being redeemed from the oppressions of their European brethren! Attempts have been made to pervert this clause into an objection against the Constitution, by representing it on one side as a criminal toleration of an illicit practice, and on another as calculated to prevent voluntary and beneficial emigrations from Europe to America. I mention these misconstructions, not with a view to give them an answer, for they deserve none, but as specimens of the manner and spirit in which some have thought fit to conduct their opposition to the proposed government.
Benjamin Franklin freed his slaves and was a key founder of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Alexander Hamilton opposed slavery, and along with John Jay and other anti-slavery advocates, he helped found the first African free school in New York City. Jay helped found the New York Manumission (literally voluntary freeing of slaves) Society and, when he was governor of New York in 1798, signed into law the state statute ending slavery as of 1821.
...Slavery will always be a horrible chapter in American History, but the “three-fifths compromise” was not. It was not a measurement of human worth; it was an attempt to reduce the number of pro-slavery proponents in Congress. By including only three-fifths of the total numbers of slaves into the congressional calculations, Southern states were actually being denied additional pro-slavery representatives in Congress and electoral votes for selecting the president.
When Congress was debating slavery, Ben Franklin became President of Pennsylvania's Society for the Abolition of Slavery, America's first anti-slavery society. On March 23, 1790, in his last published letter (Federal Gazette), Franklin condemned the Southern State's economic argument for continuing slavery by satirically comparing them to the Muslim pirates who enslaved Christians: "If we cease our cruises against Christians, how shall we...make slaves of their people...to cultivate our land...to perform common labors...Must we be our own slaves: And is there not more compassion due to us as Mussulmen than to these Christian dogs. We have now about 50,000 slaves in and near Algiers...If we then cease taking and plundering the infidel ships and making slaves of the seamen and passengers, our lands will become of no value for want of cultivation."
How to Understand Slavery and the American Founding by Matthew Spalding, Ph.D. - Slavery was indeed the imperfection that marred the American Founding. Those who founded this nation chose to make practical compromises for the sake of establishing in principle a new nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. "The inconsistency of the institution of slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented," John Quincy Adams readily admitted in 1837. Nevertheless, he argued: no charge of insincerity or hypocrisy can be fairly laid to their charge. Never from their lips was heard one syllable of attempt to justify the institution of slavery. They universally considered it as a reproach fastened upon them by the unnatural step-mother country and they saw that before the principles of the Declaration of Independence slavery, in common with every mode of oppression, was destined sooner or later to be banished from the earth. "In the way our Fathers originally left the slavery question, the institution was in the course of ultimate extinction, and the public mind rested in the belief that it was in the course of ultimate extinction," Abraham Lincoln observed in 1858. "All I have asked or desired anywhere, is that it should be placed back again upon the basis that the Fathers of our government originally placed it upon."
Were the Founders Committed to Eradicating Slavery? By Mike Kelsey -- Were the founders really committed to eradicating slavery? It is commonplace to dismiss the Founders as racists who may have attacked slavery from time to time in writing but never in action. Critics of the Founders often claim that, since the Constitution did not abolish slavery, the Founders were unconcerned with actively fighting the institution in their lifetime, even if they may have wanted slavery to disappear at some vague point in the future. This argument is both misguided and naive. On this day in 1787, the Continental Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, which established the first official U.S. territory. Together with the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the Northwest Ordinance is one of the four "organic laws" of the United States and, as such, is critical for understanding the Founders, actual views concerning slavery. The final article of the ordinance declares unwaveringly that "there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory." By a firm majority, Congress had officially repudiated slavery. Significantly, the resolution caused five states to enter the Union as free states (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin). Furthermore, the ordinance was reaffirmed by the newly created U.S. Congress in 1789, two years after the ratification of the Constitution. The Northwest Ordinance reveals that, despite the compromises they made to preserve the Union, the Founders were firmly committed to immediately halting the spread of and eventually eradicating the institution of slavery. Posted in Featured, First Principles
(Related: Why Only Democrats and Liberals Should Feel White Guilt It baffles me that we're taught that Democrats are the civil rights champions. They are absolutely the opposite. First of all, the Republican party was created to be the party against slavery because the Democrats were pro-slavery, and good people knew it was un-Christian and morally wrong. Lincoln was a Republican, and not in "name only" as so-called scholars are teaching on campuses across the country. You'd never know it by how Republicans are portrayed now, but we were THE anti-slavery party, and we still are. The very first Republican president freed the slaves and was hated for it. He was consequentially murdered by a Democrat. (See ASTONISHING HISTORY OF DEMOCRAT RACISM Democrats have ALWAYS been the Party of Slavery and Racism & The Klu Klux Klan was created by the democrats for the express reason of terrorizing blacks and republicans in the south to prevent them from voting, and that every known Klansman that were members of congress have been democrats and the history of Republicans doing everything they could to block Democratic racism.)
The Constitution Did Not Condone Slavery by Ken Blackwell: Abraham Lincoln revered the Constitution and said that the fact that it nowhere mentioned the words slavery, slave, African, or Negro was a silent but powerful admission that the Founders were ashamed of the existence of slavery among them. They hid it away, Lincoln said, as "an afflicted man hides a wen or tumor." Abolitionist editor and orator Frederick Douglass also did not agree. He emphasized eloquently that not one word would have to be changed in the Constitution if only the states would follow George Washington's example and voluntarily give up slavery. Lincoln and Douglass were right.
James Madison explained why there was no mention of slavery in the Constitution. The framers were unwilling to admit in the federal charter there could be property in men. The idea that our Constitution "condoned" slavery and was therefore an immoral document unworthy of being viewed with reverence is a stock liberal claim. It is false. Most of the Founders wanted to abolish the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Jefferson had denounced that "execrable traffic" in his first draft of the Declaration of Independence. But South Carolina and Georgia delegates would not go along and, significantly, some in New England recognized the powerful influence of merchants whose ships included slavers.
...When, as President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson urged Congress to act before January 1, 1808 to ban the Slave Trade, he denounced it in the strongest language ever used by any president prior to Lincoln. He called it a violation of the "human rights of unoffending Africans." The great work of William Wilberforce in abolishing the Slave Trade in the British Empire would have been fruitless unless Jefferson had acted simultaneously in America.
Then, there's the Post's ritual repeating of the falsehood that the Founders viewed black people as "three fifths of a person." That is a wholly tendentious misreading of the Three-Fifths Clause. Don Fehrenbacher is a leading authority on this. In his penetrating study, The Slaveholding Republic, he writes: "[The] fraction 'three-fifths' had no racial meaning. It did not represent a perception of blacks as three-fifths human." It was a compromise on methods of levying taxes and apportioning representation in Congress. Further, the Three-Fifths Compromise reduced the power in Congress of slaveholding states while giving an electoral bonus to any state that voluntarily emancipated its slaves. When seven of the original thirteen states abolished slavery, they were allowed to count free black people in the census for purposes of representation in Congress.
It is especially galling to have liberals attack Republican Members on these matters. They forget that it was Republicans who gave us the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, those great guarantees of civil rights. Every vote cast against those amendments was cast by a Democrat. It was Republicans who passed the first anti-lynching bill in the House, in 1922. Those bills were routinely killed by Senate Democrats until 1957. The Democratic Party did much to overcome its legacy. Starting in 1948, with Mayor Hubert Humphrey's powerful call for civil rights at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, right up to Lyndon Johnson signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act that had first been offered by President Kennedy, the Democrats deserve credit. But in all that time, they were competing with a Republican Party whose civil rights credentials were solid and understood. Without Sen. Everett Dirksen's solid phalanx of Republicans, the Democrats' filibuster against the Civil Rights Act could not have been broken.
Founders Quote Database
"I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil. Everything we do is to improve it, if it happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot and an abhorrence of slavery." - Patrick Henry (letter to Robert Pleasants, 18 January 1773) Reference: The Spirit of 'Seventy-Six, Henry Commager and Richard Morris, 402.
"[Y]our late purchase of an estate in the colony of Cayenne, with a view to emancipating the slaves on it, is a generous and noble proof of your humanity. Would to God a like spirit would diffuse itself generally into the minds of the people of this country; but I despair of seeing it." -- George Washington (letter to Marquis de Lafayette, 10 May 1786) Reference: Washington's Maxims, 159.
"I rejoice in a belief that intellectual light will spring up in the dark corners of the earth; that freedom of enquiry will produce liberality of conduct; that mankind will reverse the absurd position that the many were, made for the few; and that they will not continue slaves in one part of the globe, when they can become freemen in another." --George Washington, draft of First Inaugural Address, 1789
American Minute for March 11th: Ben Franklin was the first president of the first anti-slavery society in the United States. In 1787, the Northwest Ordinance outlawed slavery in the Midwest. Richard Bassett, a Signer of the Constitution, converted to Methodism, freed all his slaves and paid them as hired labor. John Quincy Adams fought to end slavery by removing Congress' Gag Rule. In 1807, Congress passed the Slave Importation Act, prohibiting further importation of slaves. 19 of the 34 States outlawed slavery before the Civil War: Pennsylvania 1787, New Hampshire 1788, Connecticut 1788, Massachusetts 1788, Rhode Island 1790, Vermont 1791, New York 1799, Ohio 1803, New Jersey 1804, Indiana 1816, Illinois 1818, Maine 1820, Michigan 1837, Iowa 1846, Wisconsin 1848, Minnesota 1858, Oregon 1859, California 1850 and Kansas 1861. Senator Charles Sumner's vehement stand against slavery resulted in Congressman Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina violently beating him on the head with a cane while he was seated at his desk on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Charles Sumner died MARCH 11, 1874, having never fully recovered from those injuries. Charles Sumner, who served as a Senator from Massachusetts for 23 years and helped found the Republican Party, stated: "Familiarity with that great story of redemption, when God raised up the slave-born Moses to deliver His chosen people from bondage, and with that sublimer story where our Saviour died a cruel death that all men, without distinction of race, might be saved, makes slavery impossible." Charles Sumner continued: "There is no reason for renouncing Christianity, or for surrendering to the false religions; nor do I doubt that Christianity will yet prevail over the earth as the waters cover the sea."
Sumner, Charles. E.C. Lester, Life & Public Services of Charles Sumner, pp. 321, 171. Stephen Abbott Northrop, D.D., A Cloud of Witnesses (Portland, OR: American Heritage Ministries, 1987; Mantle Ministries, 228 Still Ridge, Bulverde, TX), p. 436.
March 24th: William Jay, son of the First Supreme Court Chief Justice, helped found New York City's Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. His son, John Jay, was manager of New York Young Men's Anti-Slavery Society in 1834. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story helped establish the illegality of the slave trade in the 1844 Amistad case. Salmon P. Chase, appointed Chief Justice by Lincoln, defended so many escaped slaves in his career he was nicknamed "Attorney-General of Fugitive Slaves." Cassius Marcellus Clay, diplomat to Russia for Lincoln and Grant, founded the anti-slavery journal True American in 1845 and helped found the Republican party in 1854. Rufus King, born MARCH 24, 1755, was one of the youngest signers of the U.S. Constitution, only 32 years old. A Harvard graduate, Rufus was an aide to General Sullivan during the Revolutionary War. He later served as U.S. Minister to England and was a Senator from New York. In a speech made before the Senate at the time Missouri was petitioning for statehood, Rufus King stated: "I hold that all laws or compacts imposing any such condition as slavery upon any human being are absolutely void because they are contrary to the law of nature, which is the law of God." King, Rufus. M.E. Bradford, A Worthy Company (Marlborough, NH: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1982), p. 15. Tim LaHaye, Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1987), p. 161.
On February 21, 1848, John Quincy Adams suffered a stroke at his desk in the House chamber, shortly after making an impassioned speech against the Democrat plan of extending slavery to the Western territories won in the Mexican-American War. He died 2 days later without regaining consciousness. A bronze marker on the floor indicates where Adams's desk once stood, known at the "whispering spot" in Statuary Hall. John Quincy Adams was the only President to serve as a Congressman after having been President. Nicknamed Old Man Eloquent for speaking out against slavery, he offered a plan for its elimination. In 1841, John Qunicy Adams defended before the Supreme Court 53 Africans who had mutinied aboard the slave ship Amistad, gaining them their freedom. As African slaves were purchased at Muslim slave markets, John Quincy Adams wrote in his "Essay on Turk" (1829): "The natural hatred of the Mussulmen towards the infidels is in just accordance with the precepts of the Koran...The fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion is the extirpation of hatred from the human heart. It forbids the exercise of it, even towards enemies...In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab...spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth...He declared undistinguishing and exterminating war as a part of his religion...The essence of his doctrine was violence and lust, to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature."
Thank-You Letter From Amistad Rebellion Slaves to John Quincy
Adams Released by ABC
Digital - A handwritten thank-you note written by freed slaves to
former President John Quincy Adams has resurfaced ahead of the 175th
anniversary of the Amistad Rebellion. Adams had formally retired from
public life in 1840 when he decided to take on a Supreme Court case in
order to represent a group of 53 Africans who were bound to be sold into
"Dear friend I call you my Father because you set us free," one of the men who was freed as a result of the ensuing Supreme Court case wrote in a letter to Adams that has been shared through the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University. The letter, which included notes from four different men who were kidnapped by the slave traders, was released as part of the commemorations around the uprising, which took place on July 1, 1839.
The uprising and court case was later the subject of a 1997 Steven Spielberg hit (Amistad) starring Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins and Matthew McConaughey. The individuals from Sierra Leone were kidnapped and were headed to Spain, by way of Cuba, as part of the international slave trade. After switching boats in Cuba, they fought back and killed a number of their captors on the schooner, La Amistad. The boat crashed off the shore of Long Island in July 1839 and the kidnapped individuals were taken into custody. A well-publicized court case ensued, as Spain laid claim to the men but abolitionists were working to free them as wrongly-kidnapped citizens of Sierra Leone.
The letter has a number of religious references and notes that the package included a Bible that the men from the boat signed and sent to the former president-turned-public defender. "We love you very much & we will pray for you when we rise up in the morning & when we lie down at night," one wrote. "We hope the Lord will love you very much & take you up to heaven when you die. We pray for all the good people who make us free. Wicked people want to make us slaves but the great God who has made all things raise up friends for Mendi people he give us MR Adams that he may make me free."
Lincoln Said It Best: The Founding Fathers Opposed Slavery BY JOHN MCCORMACK - One gets the sense that some in the media are doing their best to help Michele Bachmann win the Republican nomination by attacking her over ridiculous kerfuffles. The latest example involves her claim that the Founding Fathers "worked tirelessly" to end slavery. On Good Morning America, host George Stephanopoulos told Bachmann that her claim is "just not true":
Stephanopoulos: The Pulitzer Prize winning website, Politifact, has found that you have the worst record of making false statements of any of the leading contenders. And I wondered if you wanted to take a chance to clear up some of your past statements. For example earlier this year you said that the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence worked tirelessly to end slavery. Now with respect Congresswoman, that's just not true. Many of them including Jefferson and Washington were actually slave holders and slavery didn't end until the Civil War.
Pressed on the issue, Bachmann replied, "Well if you look at one of our Founding Fathers, John Quincy Adams, that's absolutely true. He was a very young boy when he was with his father serving essentially as his father's secretary. He tirelessly worked throughout his life to make sure that we did in fact one day eradicate slavery." Citing only John Quincy Adams may have not made for the strongest argument, as Bachmann herself noted that he was a young boy during the revolution. But in arguing that the Founding Fathers worked to end slavery, Bachmann is on solid ground. She follows in the footsteps of the first Republican president.
The Founders put slavery on the path to ultimate extinction, Abraham Lincoln said. But the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 threatened to bring about slavery's resurgence by opening up new territories to slaveowning. In 1854, Lincoln made this argument in a series of speeches on behalf of candidates opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Act. "In these addresses Lincoln set forth the themes that he would carry into the presidency six years later," writes Princeton's James M. McPherson in the Battle Cry of Freedom. McPherson summarizes Lincoln's argument:
The founding fathers, said Lincoln, had opposed slavery. They adopted a Declaration of Independence that pronounced all men created equal. They enacted the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 banning slavery from the vast Northwest Territory. To be sure, many of the founders owned slaves. But they asserted their hostility to slavery in principle while tolerating it temporarily (as they hoped) in practice. That was why they did not mention the words "slave" or "slavery" in the Constitution, but referred only to "persons held to service." "Thus, the thing is hid away, in the constitution," said Lincoln, "just as an afflicted man hides away a wen or a cancer, which he dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death; with the promise, nevertheless, that the cutting may begin at the end of a given time." The first step was to prevent the spread of this cancer, which the fathers took with the Northwest Ordinance, the prohibition of the African slave trade in 1807, and the Missouri Compromise restriction of 1820. The second was to begin a process of gradual emancipation, which the generation of the fathers had accomplished in the states north of Maryland.
Here's what Lincoln said of the Founding Fathers in his 1854 Peoria speech:
The argument of "Necessity" was the only argument they ever admitted in favor of slavery; and so far, and so far only as it carried them, did they ever go. They found the institution existing among us, which they could not help; and they cast blame upon the British King for having permitted its introduction. BEFORE the constitution, they prohibited its introduction into the north-western Territory---the only country we owned, then free from it. AT the framing and adoption of the constitution, they forbore to so much as mention the word "slave" or "slavery" in the whole instrument. In the provision for the recovery of fugitives, the slave is spoken of as a "PERSON HELD TO SERVICE OR LABOR." In that prohibiting the abolition of the African slave trade for twenty years, that trade is spoken of as "The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States NOW EXISTING, shall think proper to admit," &c. These are the only provisions alluding to slavery. Thus, the thing is hid away, in the constitution, just as an afflicted man hides away a wen or a cancer, which he dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death; with the promise, nevertheless, that the cutting may begin at the end of a given time. Less than this our fathers COULD not do; and NOW [MORE?] they WOULD not do. Necessity drove them so far, and farther, they would not go. But this is not all. The earliest Congress, under the constitution, took the same view of slavery. They hedged and hemmed it in to the narrowest limits of necessity.
In 1794, they prohibited an out-going slave-trade---that is, the taking of slaves FROM the United States to sell.
In 1798, they prohibited the bringing of slaves from Africa, INTO the Mississippi Territory---this territory then comprising what are now the States of Mississippi and Alabama. This was TEN YEARS before they had the authority to do the same thing as to the States existing at the adoption of the constitution.
In 1800 they prohibited AMERICAN CITIZENS from trading in slaves between foreign countries---as, for instance, from Africa to Brazil.
In 1803 they passed a law in aid of one or two State laws, in restraint of the internal slave trade.
In 1807, in apparent hot haste, they passed the law, nearly a year in advance to take effect the first day of 1808---the very first day the constitution would permit---prohibiting the African slave trade by heavy pecuniary and corporal penalties.
In 1820, finding these provisions ineffectual, they declared the trade piracy, and annexed to it, the extreme penalty of death. While all this was passing in the general government, five or six of the original slave States had adopted systems of gradual emancipation; and by which the institution was rapidly becoming extinct within these limits.
Thus we see, the plain unmistakable spirit of that age, towards slavery, was hostility to the PRINCIPLE, and toleration, ONLY BY NECESSITY.
In Lincoln's famous 1860 Cooper Union speech, he noted that of the 39 framers of the Constitution, 22 had voted on the question of banning slavery in the new territories. Twenty of the 22 voted to ban it, while another one of the Constitution's framers--George Washington--signed into law legislation enforcing the Northwest Ordinance that banned slavery in the Northwest Territories. At Cooper Union, Lincoln also quoted Thomas Jefferson, who had argued in favor of Virginia emancipation: "It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation, and deportation, peaceably, and in such slow degrees, as that the evil will wear off insensibly...."
To be sure, the Founding Fathers weren't abolitionists. But they were overwhelmingly antislavery.
I eagerly await George Stephanopoulos's "fact check" of Honest Abe.
("Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." Abraham Lincoln )
PatriotPost.us Founder's Quotes
"Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States....I have, throughout my whole life, held the practice of slavery in...abhorrence." John Adams (letter to Evans, 8 June 1819) Reference: Vindicating the Founders, West (5); original Selected Writings of John and John Quicny Adams, Koch and Peden (209)
"[T]here is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of [slavery]." George Washington (letter to Robert Morris, 12 April 1786) Reference: Washington's Maxims, 157.
"[Y]our late purchase of an estate in the colony of Cayenne, with a view to emancipating the slaves on it, is a generous and noble proof of your humanity. Would to God a like spirit would diffuse itself generally into the minds of the people of this country; but I despair of seeing it."George Washington (letter to Marquis de Lafayette, 10 May 1786) Reference: Washington's Maxims, 159.
"I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil. Everything we do is to improve it, if it happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot and an abhorrence of slavery." Patrick Henry (letter to Robert Pleasants, 18 January 1773) Reference: The Spirit of 'Seventy-Six, Henry Commager and Richard Morris, 402.
For a complete database of Founders' quotes on various topics, link to the Internet's most comprehensive resource page on our Founding documents http://PatriotPost.US/histdocs/ and select Founders Quote Database.
Valentine's Day: A Day to Remember Frederick Douglass by Nick Rizzuto - On July 5th of 1852 (before the civil War), Douglass, who referred to himself as a "black, dyed in the wool Republican," addressed the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, New York. During his passionate speech, Douglass said, "Take the Constitution according to its plain reading. I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it." Douglass continued his Independence Day address by proclaiming that, "Interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a glorious liberty document." ...What makes Douglass' praise for the constitution even more unlikely was that he did so according to its "plain reading"; or in other words, as it had been written. He spoke these words before America fought a Civil War to decide once and for all the issue of slavery and even before a single piece of Civil Rights legislation had passed through congress. Douglass did not complain about the lack of specifics in the constitution that indicated what the government "must do on your behalf," as then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama famously did in a 2001 interview. Nor did he decry that it was a "charter of negative libertie" which, as President Obama has stated he believes, "represented the bias of the founders."
Stop "Making a Difference" By Thomas Sowell - [M]any who repeat the giving back mantra would sneer at any such notion as patriotism or any idea that the institutions and values of American society have accomplished worthy things and deserve their support, instead of their undermining. Our educational system, from the schools to the universities, are actively undermining any sense of loyalty to the traditions, institutions and values of American society. They are not giving back anything except condemnation, often depicting sins common to the human race around the world as peculiar evils of our society. A classic example is slavery, which is repeatedly drummed into our heads in the schools and in the media as something unique done by white people to black people in the United States. The tragic fact is that, for thousands of years of recorded history, people of every race and color have been both slaves and enslavers. The Europeans enslaved on the Barbary Coast of North Africa alone were far more numerous than all the Africans brought to the United States and to the 13 colonies from which it was formed. What was unique about Western civilization was that it was the first civilization to turn against slavery, and that it stamped out slavery not only in its own societies but in other societies around the world during the era of Western imperialism. That process took well over a century, because non-Western societies resisted... Those who want to give back should give back the truth. It is a debt that is long overdue.
"This is a long story and it is covered in a long essay titled 'The Real History of Slavery' in my book 'Black Rednecks, White Liberals.' Thomas Sowell
Black Rednecks, White Liberals by Thomas Sowell The question arises as to why America's Founder's established "all men are created equal," while at the same time allowing slavery to continue? From the words of the Founders, it appears they feared a race war as being more of an evil consequence then slavery, after witnessing the what happened in Santa Domingo (now Haiti). So they instead hoped slavery would be progressively eradicated more peacefully rather than by violence. Slavery is not based on racism, but on vulnerability. It was based on religion at times, but also regardless of race. Not only did whites enslave whites, and blacks enslaved blacks, and Asians enslaved Asians, Europeans also enslaved other Europeans, Africans enslaved other Africans, and Arabs enslaved other Arabs, who were vulnerable, regardless of race. Also, Christians had slaves, as well as Buddhists had slaves, and the Muslim's Koran accepts slavery as an institution.
The Founding Fathers and Slavery by David Barton
Even though the issue of slavery is often raised as a discrediting charge against the Founding Fathers, the historical fact is that slavery was not the product of, nor was it an evil introduced by, the Founding Fathers; slavery had been introduced to America nearly two centuries before the Founders. ...The Revolution was the turning point in the national attitude-and it was the Founding Fathers who contributed greatly to that change. In fact, many of the Founders vigorously complained against the fact that Great Britain had forcefully imposed upon the Colonies the evil of slavery.
For example, Thomas Jefferson heavily criticized that British policy: He [King George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. . . . Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce [that is, he has opposed efforts to prohibit the slave trade].
Benjamin Franklin, in a 1773 letter to Dean Woodward, confirmed that whenever the Americans had attempted to end slavery, the British government had indeed thwarted those attempts. Franklin explained that . . .. . . a disposition to abolish slavery prevails in North America, that many of Pennsylvanians have set their slaves at liberty, and that even the Virginia Assembly have petitioned the King for permission to make a law for preventing the importation of more into that colony. This request, however, will probably not be granted as their former laws of that kind have always been repealed.
Further confirmation that even the Virginia Founders were not responsible for slavery, but actually tried to dismantle the institution, was provided by John Quincy Adams (known as the "hell-hound of abolition" for his extensive efforts against that evil). Adams explained: The inconsistency of the institution of domestic slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented by all the southern patriots of the Revolution; by no one with deeper and more unalterable conviction than by the author of the Declaration himself [Jefferson]. No charge of insincerity or hypocrisy can be fairly laid to their charge. Never from their lips was heard one syllable of attempt to justify the institution of slavery. They universally considered it as a reproach fastened upon them by the unnatural step-mother country [Great Britain] and they saw that before the principles of the Declaration of Independence, slavery, in common with every other mode of oppression, was destined sooner or later to be banished from the earth. Such was the undoubting conviction of Jefferson to his dying day. In the Memoir of His Life, written at the age of seventy-seven, he gave to his countrymen the solemn and emphatic warning that the day was not distant when they must hear and adopt the general emancipation of their slaves. Click here for complete column.
A Southern View of Black History? (WallBuilders)
Today, most Americans are taught Black History from a southern point of
view. That is, they are exposed to the slave trade and the atrocities of
slavery that were common in the South but hear nearly nothing about the
many positive things that occurred in the North. For example, who has
been taught about
Wentworth Cheswell -- the first black elected to office in America,
in 1768 in New Hampshire? Or the election of Black American Thomas
Hercules to office in Pennsylvania in 1793? Or that in Massachusetts,
blacks routinely voted in colonial elections? Or that when the
Constitution was ratified in Maryland, more Blacks than Whites voted in
Baltimore? Such stories are absent from textbooks today.
History is properly to teach the good, the bad, and the ugly -- all of it; but students today usually get only the bad and the ugly, rarely the good. For example, students are regularly told that the first load of slaves sailed up the James River in Virginia in 1619 and thus slavery was introduced into America, but few learn about the first slaves that arrived in the Massachusetts Colony set up by the Christian Pilgrims and Puritans. When that slave ship arrived in Massachusetts, the ship's officers were arrested and imprisoned, and the kidnapped slaves were returned to Africa at the Colony's expense. That positive side of history is untold today.
Similarly, most Americans are unaware that American colonies passed anti-slavery laws before the American Revolution, but that those laws were vetoed by Great Britain, who insisted on the continuance of slavery in America. In fact, several Founders who owned slaves while British citizens freed them once America declared her independence. Sadly, we have been taught to identify Founding Fathers who owned slaves but are unaware of the greater number who opposed slavery or worked with anti-slavery societies.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson & Slavery in Virginia by David Barton - It is ironic that two prominent Founding Fathers who owned (inherited) slaves (Thomas Jefferson and George Washington) were both early, albeit unsuccessful, pioneers in the movement to end slavery in their State and in the nation. Both Washington and Jefferson were raised in Virginia, a geographic part of the country in which slavery had been an entrenched cultural institution. In fact, at the time of the Founders, the morality of slavery had rarely been questioned; and in the 150 years following the introduction of slavery into Virginia by Dutch traders in 1619, there had been few voices raised in objection.
...As Jefferson and Washington sought to liberalize the State's slavery laws to make it easier to free slaves, the State Legislature went in exactly the opposite direction, passing laws making it more difficult to free slaves. (As one example, Washington was able to circumvent State laws by freeing his slaves in his will at his death in 1799; by the time of Jefferson's death in 1826, State laws had so stiffened that it had become virtually impossible for Jefferson to use the same means.) What today have become the almost unknown views and forgotten efforts of both Washington and Jefferson to end slavery in their State and in the nation should be reviewed.
...Not only was Washington born into a world in which slavery was accepted, but he himself became a slave owner at the tender age of 11 when his father died, leaving him slaves as an inheritance. As other family members deceased, Washington inherited even more slaves. ...Yet, not only did Washington refuse to sell slaves or to break up their families but he also felt a genuine responsibility to take care of the slaves he held until there was, according to his own words, a "plan adopted by which slavery in this country may be abolished." One proof of his commitment to care for his slaves regardless of the cost to himself was his order that: Negroes must be clothed and fed . . . whether anything is made or not. 18 Not only did George Washington commit himself to caring for his slaves and to seeking a legal remedy by which they might be freed in his State but he also took the leadership in doing so on the national level. In fact, the first federal racial civil rights law in America was passed on August 7, 1789, with the endorsing signature of President George Washington.
...Jefferson, too, sought similar goals, but by living twenty-seven years longer than Washington, Jefferson faced additional hostile State laws which Washington had not. But before reviewing Jefferson's words and actions regarding slavery, a brief review of the overall trend of the laws of Virginia on the subject are in order. In 1692, Virginia passed a law that placed an economic burden on any slave owner who released his slaves, thus discouraging owners from freeing their slaves. That law declared: [N]o Negro or mulatto slave shall be set free, unless the emancipator pays for his transportation out of the country within six months. 24 (Subsequent laws imposed additional provisions that a slave could not be freed unless the slave owner guaranteed a security bond for the education, livelihood, and support of the freed slave in order to ensure that the former slave would not become a burden to the community or to the society. 25 Not only did such laws place extreme economic hardships on any slave owner who tried to free his slaves but they also provided stiff penalties for any slave owner who attempted to free slaves without abiding by these laws.)
...In 1782, however, Virginia began to move in a new direction (for a short time) by passing a very liberal manumission law. As a result, "this restraint on the power of the master to emancipate his slave was removed, and since that time the master may emancipate by his last will or deed." 27 (It was because of this law that George Washington was able to free his slaves in his last will and testament in 1799.)
...Furthermore, recall that Virginia law did not recognize slave families. Therefore, if a slave was freed, the law made it almost impossible for him to remain near his spouse, children, or his family members who had not been freed, for the law required that a freed slave promptly depart the State or else reenter slavery: If any slave hereafter emancipated shall remain within this Commonwealth more than twelve months after his or her right to freedom shall have accrued, he or she shall forfeit all such right and may be apprehended and sold. 31 It was under difficult laws like these-under laws even more restrictive than those Washington had faced-that Jefferson was required to operate. Nevertheless, as a slave owner (he, like Washington, had inherited slaves), Jefferson maintained a consistent public opposition to slavery and assiduously labored to end slavery both in his State and in the nation. Jefferson's efforts to end slavery were manifested years before the American Revolution. As he explained: In 1769, I became a member of the legislature by the choice of the county in which I live [Albemarle County, Virginia], and so continued until it was closed by the Revolution. I made one effort in that body for the permission of the emancipation of slaves, which was rejected: and indeed, during the regal [crown] government, nothing [like this] could expect success. 32
...Significantly, Thomas Jefferson helped end slavery in several States by his leadership on the Declaration of Independence, and he was even behind the first attempt to end slavery nationally. In 1784, Jefferson introduced a law in the national Continental Congress to abolish slavery in every State in America. His proposal had stated: That after the year 1800 of the Christian era, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the said States, otherwise than in punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted to have been personally guilty. 36 Unfortunately, Jefferson's law fell one vote short of passage.
...Nearly twenty-five years later, Jefferson bemoaned that ending slavery had been a task even more difficult than he had imagined. In 1805, he lamented: I have long since given up the expectation of any early provision for the extinguishment of slavery among us. [While] there are many virtuous men who would make any sacrifices to affect it, many equally virtuous persuade themselves either that the thing is not wrong or that it cannot be remedied. 38 Jefferson eventually recognized that slavery probably would never be ended during his lifetime. However, this did not keep him from continually encouraging others in their efforts to end slavery. For example, in 1814, he wrote Edward Coles: Dear Sir, -Your favor of July 31 [a treatise opposing slavery] was duly received and was read with peculiar pleasure. The sentiments breathed through the whole do honor to both the head and heart of the writer. Mine on the subject of slavery of Negroes have long since been in possession of the public and time has only served to give them stronger root. The love of justice and the love of country plead equally the cause of these people, and it is a moral reproach to us that they should have pleaded it so long in vain.
Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery Michael Medved (Townhall.com) Those who want to discredit the United States and to deny our role as history's most powerful and pre-eminent force for freedom, goodness and human dignity invariably focus on America's bloody past as a slave-holding nation.
The Bible, Slavery, and America's Founders By Stephen McDowell - America's Founding Fathers are seen by some people today as unjust and hypocrites, for while they talked of liberty and equality, they at the same time were enslaving hundreds of thousands of Africans. Some allege that the Founders bear most of the blame for the evils of slavery. Consequently, many today have little respect for the Founders and turn their ear from listening to anything they may have to say. And, in their view, to speak of America as founded as a Christian nation is unthinkable (for how could a Christian nation tolerate slavery?).
...America's Founders were predominantly Christians and had a Biblical worldview. If that was so, some say, how could they allow slavery, for isn't slavery sin? As the Bible reveals to man what is sin, we need to examine what it has to say about slavery.
...Slavery has existed throughout the world since after the fall of man. Egypt and other ancient empires enslaved multitudes. Greece and Rome had many slaves, taken from nations they conquered. Slavery was a part of almost every culture. While some Christian nations had taken steps to end slavery, it was still an established part of most of the world when America began to be settled.
...The overwhelming majority of early Americans and most of America's leaders did not own slaves. Some did own slaves, which were often inherited (like George Washington at age eleven), but many of these people set them free after independence. Most Founders believed that slavery was wrong and that it should be abolished. William Livingston, signer of the Constitution and Governor of New Jersey, wrote to an anti-slavery society in New York (John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and President of the Continental Congress, was President of this society):
...The founders did not just believe slavery was an evil that needed to be abolished, and they did not just speak against it, but they acted on their beliefs. During the Revolutionary War black slaves who fought won their freedom in every state except South Carolina and Georgia.
...Many of the founders started and served in anti-slavery societies. Franklin and Rush founded the first such society in America in 1774. John Jay was president of a similar society in New York. Other Founding Fathers serving in anti-slavery societies included: William Livingston (Constitution signer), James Madison, Richard Bassett, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, William Few, John Marshall, Richard Stockton, Zephaniah Swift, and many more.
...The Founders opposed slavery based upon the principle of the equality of all men. Throughout history many slaves have revolted but it was believed (even by those enslaved) that some people had the right to enslave others. The American slave protests were the first in history based on principles of God-endowed liberty for all. It was not the secularists who spoke out against slavery but the ministers and Christian statesmen.
...Although no Southern state abolished slavery, there was much anti-slavery sentiment. Many anti-slavery societies were started, especially in the upper South. Many Southern states considered proposals abolishing slavery, for example, the Virginia legislature in 1778 and 1796. When none passed, many, like Washington, set their slaves free, making provision for their well being.
American Minute for March 11th: Ben Franklin was the first president of the first anti-slavery society in the United States. Richard Bassett, a Signer of the Constitution, converted to Methodism, freed all his slaves and paid them as hired labor. John Quincy Adams fought to end slavery by removing Congress' Gag Rule. It was Senator Charles Sumner's vehement stand against slavery that resulted in Congressman Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina violently beating Sumner on the head with a cane while he was seated at his desk on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Charles Sumner died MARCH 11, 1874, having never fully recovered from those injuries. A founder of the Republican Party, Charles Sumner served as a Senator from Massachusetts for 23 years. He stated: "Familiarity with that great story of redemption, when God raised up the slave-born Moses to deliver His chosen people from bondage, and with that sublimer story where our Saviour died a cruel death that all men, without distinction of race, might be saved, makes slavery impossible." Charles Sumner continued: "There is no reason for renouncing Christianity, or for surrendering to the false religions; nor do I doubt that Christianity will yet prevail over the earth as the waters cover the sea."
American Minute for March 24th: William Jay, son of the First Supreme Court Chief Justice, helped found New York City's Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. His son, John Jay, was manager of New York Young Men's Anti-Slavery Society in 1834. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story helped establish the illegality of the slave trade in the 1844 Amistad case. Salmon P. Chase, appointed Chief Justice by Lincoln, defended so many escaped slaves in his career he was nicknamed "Attorney-General of Fugitive Slaves." Cassius Marcellus Clay, diplomat to Russia for Lincoln and Grant, founded the anti-slavery journal True American in 1845 and helped found the Republican party in 1854. Rufus King, born MARCH 24, 1755, was one of the youngest signers of the U.S. Constitution, only 32 years old. A Harvard graduate, Rufus King was an aide to General Sullivan during the Revolutionary War. Rufus King later served as U.S. Minister to England and was a Senator from New York. In a speech made before the Senate at the time Missouri was petitioning for statehood, Rufus King stated: "I hold that all laws or compacts imposing any such condition as slavery upon any human being are absolutely void because they are contrary to the law of nature, which is the law of God."
o Allen West commemorates Black History Month by telling the truth about Republicans and Black history ...and how Democrats worked against civil Rights....
o Orson Wells tells the story of how The Battle Hymn of The Republic came to be written. (Video 5:21)
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