Slavery And The Declaration Of Independence Essay

Slavery And The Declaration Of Independence Essay-88
In 1774, Washington compared the alternative to Americans asserting their rights against British rule to being ruled "till custom and use shall make us as tame and abject slaves, as the blacks we rule over with such arbitrary sway." When Washington took command of the Continental army in 1775, there were both slaves and free blacks in its ranks (about 5,000 blacks served in the Continental army.) Alexander Hamilton proposed a general plan to enlist slaves in the army that would in the end "give them their freedom with their muskets," and Washington supported such a policy (with the approval of Congress) in South Carolina and Georgia, two of the largest slaveholding states.In 1786, Washington wrote of slavery, "there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it." He devised a plan to rent his lands and turn his slaves into paid laborers, and at the end of his presidency he quietly freed several of his own household slaves.And there is a superior bench in heaven for those who hasten the end of slavery" ("Jefferson Digital Archive").

Benjamin Franklin thought that slavery was "an atrocious debasement of human nature" and "a source of serious evils." He and Benjamin Rush founded the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery in 1774.

John Jay, who was the president of a similar society in New York, believed: the honour of the states, as well as justice and humanity, in my opinion, loudly call upon them to emancipate these unhappy people.

At the time of the American Founding, there were about half a million slaves in the United States, mostly in the five southernmost states, where they made up 40 percent of the population.

Many of the leading American Founders-most notably Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and James Madison-owned slaves, but many did not.

"Can it be believed," questioned a clergyman in 1778, "that a people contending for liberty should, at the same time, be promoting and supporting slavery? , 1778, Being the Day of Public Fasting and Prayer throughout the United States of America, 1779; Early American Imprints, Doc. : Slavery and the Debate Over the Constitution (Madison, Wisconsin: Madison House Publishers, for the Center for the Study of the American Constitution, 1995), p. John Adams, letter to Thomas Pickering, 6 August 1822. - You will need software on your computer that allows you to read and print Portable Document Format (PDF) files, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.

16296, courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society with News Bank/Read Ex. Images: – Jefferson's manuscript draft of the Declaration of Independence, June 1776, p. If you do not have this software, you may download it FREE from Adobe's Web site.

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To be threatened with trial without jury was SLAVERY.

To fail to defend one's God-given natural rights of freedom was succumbing to SLAVERY.

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