Lets talk about this, next time people wax poetic on founding fathers.

More is known about Oney Judge than any other Mount Vernon slave because she lived to an old age, and she was interviewed by abolitionist newspapers in the nineteenth century.

Scared, lonely and miserable, Oney tried to negotiate through Whipple. She offered to return to the Washingtons, but only if she would be guaranteed freedom upon their deaths. An indignant President responded in person to Whipple’s letter: “To enter into such a compromise with her, as she suggested to you, is totally inadmissable [sic], … it would neither be politic or just to reward unfaithfulness with a premature preference [of freedom]; and thereby discontent before hand the minds of all her fellow-servants who by their steady attachments are far more deserving than herself of favor.”

http://www.ushistory.org/presidentshouse/slaves/oney.htm

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1 Response to Lets talk about this, next time people wax poetic on founding fathers.

  1. Evil_bastard says:

    Well, it’s no big secret that the institutions of slavery for Africans and indentured servitude for the European poor were inhumane
    and that the Southern founding fathers participated in both. It’s the idea of relative, rather than absolute, freedom that drove our own political evolution. Unfortunately, the only attempts at absolute socio-economic equality in world history were violent upheavals that perverted their founding principles into miserable failures. I think that incremental change is easier on a society, although incrementalism inherently condones the inequities and often morally reprehensible social conditions borne by the status quo.

    edit: Note that what’s worked in the past has been non-violent civil disobedience in respresentative systems (the U.S. Civil rights movement and Indian (overthrowing the British Raj) independence movements are key examples — in the case of the latter, though, the non-violent part was what succeeded after regional armed revolts throughout India had failed). This approach only really works when the ruling power tries to morally justify itself. Regimes that have no purported moral obligations (Totalitarian Communist, and the Fascist countries of the early 20th century are examples) would not likely yield non-violent civil movements (think Tiananmen squre in China) and usually require outside intervention (WWII) or infrastructure collapse (the Cold War) to propel any social changes.

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