by Janet Crain
This nation will never composed of a mature intelligent educated populace capable of electing leaders based on facts, not emotion, until an educational system that teaches true factual history of the world and this country exists.
We have just seen an election outcome which was based on an absolute orgy of wallowing in collective guilt for the perceived way our ancestors treated African slaves. People stood with tears running down their faces feeling absolved of all the guilty burdens their University professors told them they carried.
This is is ridiculous. We elected a man who had no American slave ancestors to achieve this happy nirvana. And that makes no sense.
What was that all about?
One of the most frequent tactics employed to discredit America's Founding Fathers is to say that the Founding Fathers were all pro-slavery racists and hypocrites. Therefore, why should we care what their views were on any subject? African-American professor Walter Williams wisely explained the use of this tactic in these words:
“Politicians, news media, college professors and leftists of other stripes are selling us lies and propaganda. To lay the groundwork for their increasingly successful attack on our Constitution, they must demean and criticize its authors. As Senator Joe Biden demonstrated during the Clarence Thomas hearings, the framers' ideas about natural law must be trivialized or they must be seen as racists.”
These people paint a false picture of the Founding Fathers and the issue of slavery. The historical fact is that slavery was not the product of, nor was it an evil introduced by the Founders; slavery was introduced in America nearly two centuries before the Founders. In fact, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay noted that there had been few serious efforts to dismantle the institution of slavery prior to the Founding Fathers.
The Revolution was a turning point in the national attitude against slavery - and it was the Founders who contributed greatly to that change. In fact, one of the reasons given by Thomas Jefferson for the separation from Great Britain was a desire to rid America of the evil of slavery imposed on them by the British.
Benjamin Franklin explained that this separation from Britain was necessary since every attempt among the Colonies to end slavery had been thwarted or reversed by the British Crown. In fact, in the years following America's separation from Great Britain, many of the Founding Fathers who had owned slaves released them (e.g., John Dickinson, Ceasar Rodney, William Livingston, George Washington, George Wythe, John Randolph, and others).
It is true, however, that not all of the Founders from the South opposed slavery. According to the testimony of Thomas Jefferson, John Rutledge, and James Madison, those from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia favored slavery.
Nevertheless, despite the support in those states for slavery, the clear majority of the Founders was opposed to this evil--and their support went beyond words.
For example, in 1774, Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush founded America's first antislavery society; John Jay was president of a similar society in New York. When Constitution signer William Livingston heard of the New York society, he, as Governor of New Jersey, wrote them, offering:
“I would most ardently wish to become a member of it [the society in New York] and... I can safely promise them that neither my tongue, nor my pen, nor purse shall be wanting to promote the abolition of what to me appears so inconsistent with humanity and Christianity... May the great and the equal Father of the human race, who has expressly declared His abhorrence of oppression, and that He is no respecter of persons, succeed a design so laudably calculated to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke.”
Other prominent Founding Fathers who were members of societies for ending slavery included Richard Bassett, James Madison, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, William Few, John Marshall, Richard Stockton, Zephaniah Swift, and many more.
In fact, based in part on the efforts of these Founders, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1780; Connecticut and Rhode Island did so in 1784; New Hampshire in 1792; Vermont in 1793; New York in 1799; and New Jersey in 1804. Furthermore, the reason that the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all prohibited slavery was a federal act authored by Rufus King (signer of the Constitution) and signed into law by President George Washington which prohibited slavery in those territories.
It is not surprising that Washington would sign such a law, for it was he who had declared:
“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 [slavery].”
Notice a few additional examples of the Founder's strong antislavery sentiments:
"[M]y opinion against it [slavery] has always been known... [N]ever in my life did I own a slave."
-John Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. President. The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1854), vol IX pp. 92-93. In a letter to George Churchman and Jacob Lindley on January 24, 1801.
"[W]hy keep alive the question of slavery? It is admitted by all to be a great evil."
-Charles Carroll, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Kate Mason Rowland, Life and Correspondence of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (New York and London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1898), Vol. II, pg. 231.
"As Congress is now to legislate for our extensive territory lately acquired, I pray to Heaven that they ...[c]urse not the inhabitants of those regions, and of the United States in general, with a permission to introduce bondage [slavery]."
-John Dickinson, Signer of the Constitution and Governor of Pennsylvania. Charles J. Stille, The Life and Times of John Dickinson (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1898) p. 324.
"That men should pray and fight for their own freedom and yet keep others in slavery is certainly acting a very inconsistent as well as unjust and perhaps impious part."
-John Jay, President of Continental Congress, Chief-Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Governor of New York. Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, editor (New York and London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1891), Vol. III, pp. 168-169. In a letter to Dr. Richard Price on Sep. 27, 1785.
"Christianity, by introducing into Europe the truest principles of humanity, universal benevolence, and brotherly love, had happily abolished civil slavery. Let us who profess the same religion practice its precepts... by agreeing to this duty."
-Richard Henry Lee, President of Continental Congress and Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Memoir of the Life of Richard Henry Lee and His Correspondence With the Most Distinguised Men in America and Europe (Philadelphia: H.C. Carey and I. Lea, 1825), Vol. I, pp. 17-19. The first speech of Richard Henry Lee in the House of Burgesses.
And now the PC police have co-opted Jeopardy:
Blue Dot Blues: Politicized Jeopardy co-opts history
© Janet Crain
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