Op-ed: scarlet 'S' for slavery

Glorybound

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The opinions expressed in the following op-ed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the poster.

New England’s scarlet ‘S’ for slavery

300h.jpg

John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, kept American Indians as slaves and helped to write the first law in the US officially sanctioning the practice of keeping African slaves.

By C. S. Manegold

ALMOST HALF a century ago, Martin Luther King Jr. captured a problem that still plagues us today. Cautioning his flock against the complacent embrace of incomplete knowledge, he warned: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.’’

I have thought of those words often in the last few years as I worked to unearth the history of a century and a half of slavery on a Massachusetts farm first owned by the famous Puritan, Governor John Winthrop, whose “Model of Christian Charity’’ is often quoted even now.

In the several times I have presented these unpleasant truths in talks at major universities, I have inquired afterwards - who knew this history of slavery in the North? Usually only about three hands go up of 30. And most of these people are professors. Among non-professors the void is even deeper. Students, stumbling on this news, tend to ask with some aggression: “Why didn’t they teach us this?’’ Why didn’t I know?

I am older, and I grew up in a different time, but I said these words myself not long ago. Now that I know better, I realize there are many answers to the question. But the best perhaps are these: Easier not to. More comfortable not to.

Yet as King suggested, responsible dialogue can not move forward with half-truths and willful ignorance. In this regard, the North has work to do. It lags behind the South in stepping up to ugly truths.

Let me share a simple primer: The first men, women and children to be enslaved by whites in New England were Native American prisoners of war doled out as favors to other tribes who had allied themselves with the settlers’ cause, or to white soldiers who fought with some distinction in those wars. “There is a little Squa that Steward Calacot desireth,’’ wrote one hopeful recipient to Winthrop. “Lieutenant Damport also desireth one, to witt, a tall one with three strokes upon her stomach. . ..’’

Among these enslaved Indians, some were shipped off to the Caribbean where they were traded for “cotton, and tobacco and Negroes,’’ as Winthrop noted in his famous journal. The year was 1638. On October 3, 1639, the Massachusetts Court of Assistants ruled “the Governor had leave to keep a Narragansett Indian and his wife.’’ Other Northern settlers had already chosen blacks; and those first African slaves to reach New England were followed by a constant and accelerating flow. The pattern would repeat until black slavery in the North became a common fact of life transcending social class.

Nor was this slavery somehow “soft.’’ One of the first published accounts of life in New England tells of a man who lived near what today is Logan Airport. That man, Samuel Maverick, ordered one slave to rape another, that he might have a “breed of Negroes.’’ Other tragic stories abound. Many more are lost forever.

Slavery, though, was legal. Winthrop, the author of the notion of America as a “city upon a hill,’’ helped to make it so. Three years after the first shipment of enslaved Africans arrived on Massachusetts soil, he helped to write the first law in North America officially sanctioning the practice. The Massachusetts Body of Liberties in 1641 decreed there “shall never be any bond slavery’’ (good enough so far. . .) “unless it be lawful captives taken in just wars, and such strangers as willingly sell themselves or are sold to us.’’[italics added]

Who could this formulation possibly leave out?

Follow the money. Find the families. Together they will tell the story. In the case of slavery in the North, they tell a story of enslavement stretching in a single weave from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut. . . to Barbados, Antigua, Surinam. . . to Africa. Today there is a Winthorp (sic) Bay in Antigua near the international airport. It is named for Winthrop’s son Samuel, who served as lieutenant governor and presided over a large plantation worked by slaves. Samuel’s brother, John Jr., the governor of Connecticut, owned black slaves on many properties, as did his siblings, heirs, and friends. On and on it went.

On the same land Governor Winthrop first had farmed, other families would come. They were slave-owners, too, every one. Slavery did not end in Massachusetts until after the American Revolution when a series of “freedom suits’’ taken to the courts by slaves and free blacks impelled the legislators to live up to their grand rhetoric of freedom.

The end was neither swift nor definitive. Not a single newspaper article from the time made note of the end of a century and a half of bondage. Instead, the high court finally ruled, and then there were debates over semantics until, farm by farm, owner by owner, the practice sputtered, and then failed. But not before some of those enslaved had been sold back to the Caribbean so an owner could avoid a difficult financial loss.

Only Vermont explicitly outlawed slavery in its constitution in 1793. Article One: “Slavery prohibited.’’ That was the exception, not the rule.

Then we forgot.

But the forgetting took time. Remnants of the truth remained in 1915 when, on what was left of Winthrop’s “Ten Hills Farm,’’ a three-day pageant celebrated America’s early history. Among the players were John Winthrop, George Washington, the slave Belinda, and a slave named George who killed himself rather than be sold. Newspapers crowed about the refreshing inclusivity of the event. But those accounts referred only to impoverished Irish and Italian immigrants who had followed the trolley tracks to move outside of Boston. George and Belinda were white folk dressed in blackface. The larger slave population (which counted at least 27 on that farm in the 1700s) sat huddled on a bench. Photographs still show them there - white boys from the Medford High School Glee Club, their faces rubbed with coal.

Perhaps in 1915 the memory was still too fresh to fade. Twenty-three years later, the same was true. That year, the WPA artist Henry Billings dipped his brush to paint an enormous mural for the Medford Post Office. His “Golden Triangle of Trade’’ shows a white sailor leaning up against a post. That man is watching another, a black man, working, cane upon his shoulder, manacles lying open in the tropical sand. The triangle above them - topped by a huge American eagle - sweeps from Africa, across the Caribbean, and then straight to Boston Harbor. That history was still perhaps too fresh to kill.

The North has surely done a good job since.

Think of the South, and slavery immediately comes to mind. Think of the North, and there march in the heroes and the Patriots, the stern-faced abolitionists, poets and philosophers. In time, the vanishing was almost total. Visitors who go to 105 Brattle Street in Cambridge today usually go there to visit Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s old house without realizing the slave past (Cuba, Tony, Darby. . .) that stretched way back inside those walls.

Did Barack Obama know, when he studied law at Harvard, that the basement apartment he rented in Somerville lay on ground that hosted slavery for 150 years? Did his dean welcome students with the information that the Law School was created out of money made partly from the work of and trade in men who never saw a day of freedom?

This void in general knowledge persists five years after the powerful exhibit in 2005 by the New York Historical Society, “Slavery in New York.’’ It persists as scholars strain and labor to uncover deeper aspects of this past. It persists though this is 150 years lost, not 10. And it persists despite the fact that statistics from the period of the American Revolution tell an abbreviated story of at least 10,000 souls enslaved across the North, not a handful of domestic “servants’’ afforded gentle treatment.

“We have memorized America,’’ the poet Miller Williams wrote.
He was eloquent. But he was wrong.

The national dialogue has stalled on easy binaries: North/South. Abolitionists/slave owners. Blue states/red states. You know the drill. Miller Williams asks us to look forward to be true to values we have always held. It’s a lovely thought. But honestly, it would be better to heed King’s warning, and look backward at a past imperfectly remembered.

Then, just maybe, we can talk.

C. S. Manegold, a former reporter with The New York Times, Newsweek, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, is the author of “Ten Hills Farm: The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North.’’ This is her second book. Expired Image Removed

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/e...18/new_englands_scarlet_s_for_slavery/?page=3
 

jgoodguy

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The opinions expressed in the following op-ed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the poster.

New England’s scarlet ‘S’ for slavery

300h.jpg

John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, kept American Indians as slaves and helped to write the first law in the US officially sanctioning the practice of keeping African slaves.

By C. S. Manegold

ALMOST HALF a century ago, Martin Luther King Jr. captured a problem that still plagues us today. Cautioning his flock against the complacent embrace of incomplete knowledge, he warned: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.’’

I have thought of those words often in the last few years as I worked to unearth the history of a century and a half of slavery on a Massachusetts farm first owned by the famous Puritan, Governor John Winthrop, whose “Model of Christian Charity’’ is often quoted even now.

In the several times I have presented these unpleasant truths in talks at major universities, I have inquired afterwards - who knew this history of slavery in the North? Usually only about three hands go up of 30. And most of these people are professors. Among non-professors the void is even deeper. Students, stumbling on this news, tend to ask with some aggression: “Why didn’t they teach us this?’’ Why didn’t I know?

I am older, and I grew up in a different time, but I said these words myself not long ago. Now that I know better, I realize there are many answers to the question. But the best perhaps are these: Easier not to. More comfortable not to.

Yet as King suggested, responsible dialogue can not move forward with half-truths and willful ignorance. In this regard, the North has work to do. It lags behind the South in stepping up to ugly truths.

Let me share a simple primer: The first men, women and children to be enslaved by whites in New England were Native American prisoners of war doled out as favors to other tribes who had allied themselves with the settlers’ cause, or to white soldiers who fought with some distinction in those wars. “There is a little Squa that Steward Calacot desireth,’’ wrote one hopeful recipient to Winthrop. “Lieutenant Damport also desireth one, to witt, a tall one with three strokes upon her stomach. . ..’’

Among these enslaved Indians, some were shipped off to the Caribbean where they were traded for “cotton, and tobacco and Negroes,’’ as Winthrop noted in his famous journal. The year was 1638. On October 3, 1639, the Massachusetts Court of Assistants ruled “the Governor had leave to keep a Narragansett Indian and his wife.’’ Other Northern settlers had already chosen blacks; and those first African slaves to reach New England were followed by a constant and accelerating flow. The pattern would repeat until black slavery in the North became a common fact of life transcending social class.

Nor was this slavery somehow “soft.’’ One of the first published accounts of life in New England tells of a man who lived near what today is Logan Airport. That man, Samuel Maverick, ordered one slave to rape another, that he might have a “breed of Negroes.’’ Other tragic stories abound. Many more are lost forever.

Slavery, though, was legal. Winthrop, the author of the notion of America as a “city upon a hill,’’ helped to make it so. Three years after the first shipment of enslaved Africans arrived on Massachusetts soil, he helped to write the first law in North America officially sanctioning the practice. The Massachusetts Body of Liberties in 1641 decreed there “shall never be any bond slavery’’ (good enough so far. . .) “unless it be lawful captives taken in just wars, and such strangers as willingly sell themselves or are sold to us.’’[italics added]

Who could this formulation possibly leave out?

Follow the money. Find the families. Together they will tell the story. In the case of slavery in the North, they tell a story of enslavement stretching in a single weave from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut. . . to Barbados, Antigua, Surinam. . . to Africa. Today there is a Winthorp (sic) Bay in Antigua near the international airport. It is named for Winthrop’s son Samuel, who served as lieutenant governor and presided over a large plantation worked by slaves. Samuel’s brother, John Jr., the governor of Connecticut, owned black slaves on many properties, as did his siblings, heirs, and friends. On and on it went.

On the same land Governor Winthrop first had farmed, other families would come. They were slave-owners, too, every one. Slavery did not end in Massachusetts until after the American Revolution when a series of “freedom suits’’ taken to the courts by slaves and free blacks impelled the legislators to live up to their grand rhetoric of freedom.

The end was neither swift nor definitive. Not a single newspaper article from the time made note of the end of a century and a half of bondage. Instead, the high court finally ruled, and then there were debates over semantics until, farm by farm, owner by owner, the practice sputtered, and then failed. But not before some of those enslaved had been sold back to the Caribbean so an owner could avoid a difficult financial loss.

Only Vermont explicitly outlawed slavery in its constitution in 1793. Article One: “Slavery prohibited.’’ That was the exception, not the rule.

Then we forgot.

But the forgetting took time. Remnants of the truth remained in 1915 when, on what was left of Winthrop’s “Ten Hills Farm,’’ a three-day pageant celebrated America’s early history. Among the players were John Winthrop, George Washington, the slave Belinda, and a slave named George who killed himself rather than be sold. Newspapers crowed about the refreshing inclusivity of the event. But those accounts referred only to impoverished Irish and Italian immigrants who had followed the trolley tracks to move outside of Boston. George and Belinda were white folk dressed in blackface. The larger slave population (which counted at least 27 on that farm in the 1700s) sat huddled on a bench. Photographs still show them there - white boys from the Medford High School Glee Club, their faces rubbed with coal.

Perhaps in 1915 the memory was still too fresh to fade. Twenty-three years later, the same was true. That year, the WPA artist Henry Billings dipped his brush to paint an enormous mural for the Medford Post Office. His “Golden Triangle of Trade’’ shows a white sailor leaning up against a post. That man is watching another, a black man, working, cane upon his shoulder, manacles lying open in the tropical sand. The triangle above them - topped by a huge American eagle - sweeps from Africa, across the Caribbean, and then straight to Boston Harbor. That history was still perhaps too fresh to kill.

The North has surely done a good job since.

Think of the South, and slavery immediately comes to mind. Think of the North, and there march in the heroes and the Patriots, the stern-faced abolitionists, poets and philosophers. In time, the vanishing was almost total. Visitors who go to 105 Brattle Street in Cambridge today usually go there to visit Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s old house without realizing the slave past (Cuba, Tony, Darby. . .) that stretched way back inside those walls.

Did Barack Obama know, when he studied law at Harvard, that the basement apartment he rented in Somerville lay on ground that hosted slavery for 150 years? Did his dean welcome students with the information that the Law School was created out of money made partly from the work of and trade in men who never saw a day of freedom?

This void in general knowledge persists five years after the powerful exhibit in 2005 by the New York Historical Society, “Slavery in New York.’’ It persists as scholars strain and labor to uncover deeper aspects of this past. It persists though this is 150 years lost, not 10. And it persists despite the fact that statistics from the period of the American Revolution tell an abbreviated story of at least 10,000 souls enslaved across the North, not a handful of domestic “servants’’ afforded gentle treatment.

“We have memorized America,’’ the poet Miller Williams wrote.
He was eloquent. But he was wrong.

The national dialogue has stalled on easy binaries: North/South. Abolitionists/slave owners. Blue states/red states. You know the drill. Miller Williams asks us to look forward to be true to values we have always held. It’s a lovely thought. But honestly, it would be better to heed King’s warning, and look backward at a past imperfectly remembered.

Then, just maybe, we can talk.

C. S. Manegold, a former reporter with The New York Times, Newsweek, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, is the author of “Ten Hills Farm: The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North.’’ This is her second book. Expired Image Removed

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/e...18/new_englands_scarlet_s_for_slavery/?page=3


"grand rhetoric of freedom." Indeed.

History is the story of men doing other men in for their riches, bodies and women. All too often the story of ancestors are prettied up because the reality is rather ugly.
 

KeyserSoze

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Instead of concentrating on the beginning, look to the end of slavery in America. The South was willing to launch a protracted and bloody rebellion, killing hundreds of thousands of people and devastating whole sections of the country, all to protect their right to hold another human being in bondage. The North was not. Therein lies the difference and is a binary so simple that even Mr. Manegold should be able to follow it.
 

CSA Today

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Instead of concentrating on the beginning, look to the end of slavery in America. The South was willing to launch a protracted and bloody rebellion, killing hundreds of thousands of people and devastating whole sections of the country, all to protect their right to hold another human being in bondage. The North was not. Therein lies the difference and is a binary so simple that even Mr. Manegold should be able to follow it.

I think Mr. Manegold might argue that without a beginning to something there can be no ending to it.

In 1770, Samuel Hopkins observed, “that Newport had by far the greater share of the slave trade.” He goes on to say, “that Rhode Island has enslaved more Africans than any other colony in New England.”
 

jpeter

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We frequently argue slavery here as it relates to the Civil War, so I can understand the regionalism.

However, slavery really should be seen in an expanded context in my opinion. I think it serves everyone when we explore it's beginnings as an American institution and not just a southern institution.
 

Baggage Handler #2

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Based on a quick reading, I think the Op-ed has two main points and implies a third. I'll trust NB to correct me on this.
1) The author wants it to be known that slavery was practiced in colonial and early national New England.
He asserts that the practice was widespread geographically, although in doing so he blurs the distinction between the individual colonies of New England and the states that followed a hundred and fifty years later.
He refrains from using any actual numbers to categorize the depth of the practice, or the trend in numbers.
He refrains from noting when the public consciousness turned away from slavery.
Those last two weaken the argument considerably, but the point is worth noting.
However, the severity of a thing depends in some measure of the proportion, and here, graphically, is the situation in 1790 (and 1860 too, but that's outside the topic).
380px-Slavery_map.jpg

2) the author asserts that New Englanders blotted the memory of slavery deliberately.
I'm less certain this is so. While present in New England, it was never really the focal point of either the colonies or the states. Yes, even including Rhode Island's role in the triangle trade, it remained among the least of the colonies. Beyond that, Rhode Island had a couple other things that caused it to be unique even in the slightly unorthodox history of the New England colonies.
3) this is what I take as the implied point: That it was hypocritical at the time of the Civil War - and remains so to day to consider the New England states as "free" states.
IMO, it seems a little like arguing since one doctor still smokes, the AMA is hypocritical in denouncing cigarettes. Contrast these two sentences
"New England was neck deep in slavery and approved of it."
"Without the abolitionist sentiment in New England, slavery might yet exist in the US."
The first is easily shown wrong. It's a generalization and relies on the failure to distinguish between complicated social movements and two-color cartoons. The second, while not wholly complete or accurate, better reflects what was in various causes of secession.
Any thinking person already knows that slavery existed in most of colonial America. The problem is why did it die out in some areas and require a war to blot it out in others? There's no room for anyone to feel good about the situation found in 1860.
 

jpeter

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The problem is why did it die out in some areas and require a war to blot it out in others? There's no room for anyone to feel good about the situation found in 1860.

I pretty much agree with that entire post of BH, but I have some things to add which is why I quoted the above.

On this board, slavery is very rarely an argument without a team pep squad. Someone is using slavery to support their beliefs. The north will use it as an immoral southern cause, the south will use it as "northerners did it too" with good evidence (or simply argue that it wasn't the cause).

There is no room to feel good about it anywhere or at any time. I simply think American History and slavery should be studied as a whole. If you can take the regionalism out of Civil War\slavery, I think it makes the Civil War's side-taking a little less intense.
 

DanF

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Slavery is a stain on the North and the South. Both originally saw it as a "necessary evil" that they did not know how to deal with. Later both went different directions from that original thought. the North gradually did away with it ( largely do to the great awakening's influence in pricking their consciences about it.)

The South however embraced it. eventually repudiating their ancestors beliefs about slavery and embracing it as a "positive good". To those who tend to view slavery as just one issue the transformation of Southern thought makes no sense. But when you realize that slavery was the pillar that upheld their social, economic, and political institutions it becomes much clearer why they were so fiercely defensive of it.
 

jpeter

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The South however embraced it. eventually repudiating their ancestors beliefs about slavery and embracing it as a "positive good". To those who tend to view slavery as just one issue the transformation of Southern thought makes no sense. But when you realize that slavery was the pillar that upheld their social, economic, and political institutions it becomes much clearer why they were so fiercely defensive of it.

That's a great point. It's the very reason why I find the Civil War so fascinating.

Slavery was politically and economically advantageous for the South. It wasn't for the North. I don't find any moral condemnation in any of those facts.... just an interesting narrative as events marched towards war.
 

Freddy

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I think Mr. Manegold might argue that without a beginning to something there can be no ending to it.
In 1770, Samuel Hopkins observed, “that Newport had by far the greater share of the slave trade.” He goes on to say, “that Rhode Island has enslaved more Africans than any other colony in New England.”

I hope you realize he is saying RI had more Africans coming through the slave trade to be sold mainly in the South. The North never had more than 50k slaves at any time in history. In 1770 there were about 800,000 slaves who were held mostly in the South.

"New England slaves numbered only about 1,000 in 1708, but that rose to more than 5,000 in 1730 and about 13,000 by 1750"

"New York soon had had the largest colonial slave population north of Maryland. From about 2,000 in 1698, the number of the colony's black slaves swelled to more than 9,000 adults by 1746 and 13,000 by 1756"

Deleware had 8,900 slaves in 1790.

"New Jersey. From 2,581 in 1726, New Jersey's slave population grew to nearly 4,000 in 1738."

http://www.slavenorth.com/
 

CSA Today

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I hope you realize he is saying RI had more Africans coming through the slave trade to be sold mainly in the South. The North never had more than 50k slaves at any time in history. In 1770 there were about 800,000 slaves who were held mostly in the South.

"New England slaves numbered only about 1,000 in 1708, but that rose to more than 5,000 in 1730 and about 13,000 by 1750"

"New York soon had had the largest colonial slave population north of Maryland. From about 2,000 in 1698, the number of the colony's black slaves swelled to more than 9,000 adults by 1746 and 13,000 by 1756"

Deleware had 8,900 slaves in 1790.

"New Jersey. From 2,581 in 1726, New Jersey's slave population grew to nearly 4,000 in 1738."

http://www.slavenorth.com/


You are correct, the Rhode Island slave merchants enormous profits was in the trans-Atlantic African slave trade and those profits were more readily realized by selling their chattels south rather than keeping them at home.

“The Northern slaveholder traded in men and women whom he never saw, and whose separations, tears and miseries he determined never to hear.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe
 

Red Harvest

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This is what I take as the implied point: That it was hypocritical at the time of the Civil War - and remains so to day to consider the New England states as "free" states.
IMO, it seems a little like arguing since one doctor still smokes, the AMA is hypocritical in denouncing cigarettes. Contrast these two sentences
"New England was neck deep in slavery and approved of it."
"Without the abolitionist sentiment in New England, slavery might yet exist in the US."
The first is easily shown wrong. It's a generalization and relies on the failure to distinguish between complicated social movements and two-color cartoons. The second, while not wholly complete or accurate, better reflects what was in various causes of secession.
Any thinking person already knows that slavery existed in most of colonial America. The problem is why did it die out in some areas and require a war to blot it out in others? There's no room for anyone to feel good about the situation found in 1860.

Thanks for posting this. I started a similar post before there were any replies, but thought it inappropriate to comment as a newbie.

I will suggest that one of the major errors the average citizen still makes is in assuming that since the South went to war to "preserve" slavery, then North went to war to end it. (And some therefore erroneously seek to "prove" that the war wasn't about slavery by demonstrating the North didn't go to war to end it.) As those here already know, the majority of northerners saw it is an imperative to preserve the Union or at least respond to southern attacks on the Federal forces. Only a fraction considered the goal the elimination of slavery at the beginning. There were understandable social/political and economic reasons for the average northerner's tepid views about actually abolishing slavery. And there were many southerners not exactly thrilled to be tied to the slave wagon either, although that receives less discussion.

Heck, growing up, the basic story in school I recall was primarily the noble "states rights" argument rather than the ugly fight over slavery...which is rather hard to sell today as reasonable cause for justifying a horrendous war.

The mistake too many make is in applying our current moral and historical context to that of 1860 and assuming that since their ancestors were law abiding and God-fearing types, they would have behaved more according to our 2012 moral views. I don't personally have to approve of what my ancestors did, nor do I expect any one else to. Instead, to understand the what and why of happened at the time we must look at what they were saying and doing in 1860...not what they claimed they had been doing at the time...in 1866+.
 
Joined
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Dan F,
Instead of the Great Awakening, I think the ideals espoused in the Revolution, the Declaration and the Constitution of Massachusetts tended to put the nail in the coffin of slavery in Massachusetts. I base that on the actual cases in Mass. where the state supreme court ruled against slavery. However I'm not up on my Great Awakening, and I'm willing to learn.
 

rpkennedy

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Dan F,
Instead of the Great Awakening, I think the ideals espoused in the Revolution, the Declaration and the Constitution of Massachusetts tended to put the nail in the coffin of slavery in Massachusetts. I base that on the actual cases in Mass. where the state supreme court ruled against slavery. However I'm not up on my Great Awakening, and I'm willing to learn.

As I remember, the Great Awakening was a phenomena that didn't really pick up steam and wasn't a major force until the 1820s, but I could be wrong there.

R
 

DanF

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Joined
Feb 29, 2012
There were two waves of the great awakening, first started in 1720 and in 1740 led to the evangelical movement in the US. The second took place 1800-1820 which led to the rise of widespread abolition movements.
 

DanF

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Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Dan F,
Instead of the Great Awakening, I think the ideals espoused in the Revolution, the Declaration and the Constitution of Massachusetts tended to put the nail in the coffin of slavery in Massachusetts. I base that on the actual cases in Mass. where the state supreme court ruled against slavery. However I'm not up on my Great Awakening, and I'm willing to learn.

I don't think it was a case of instead of, but rather along with. Undoubtedly the ideals of the revolution played a major role. And the slaveholders came in for their share of scorn for proclaiming the right to liberty while owning slaves.

As Samuel Johnson mocked them,

"How is it we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from the negro drivers?"
 

jgoodguy

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Instead of concentrating on the beginning, look to the end of slavery in America. The South was willing to launch a protracted and bloody rebellion, killing hundreds of thousands of people and devastating whole sections of the country, all to protect their right to hold another human being in bondage. The North was not. Therein lies the difference and is a binary so simple that even Mr. Manegold should be able to follow it.


However, the South was expecting a short, cheap and relatively bloodless war or the cowardly Yankees will not risk a war at all. Rarely is the true costs of a war advertised by its advocates who generally are overly optimistic and downplay the costs.
 
Joined
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There were two waves of the great awakening, first started in 1720 and in 1740 led to the evangelical movement in the US. The second took place 1800-1820 which led to the rise of widespread abolition movements.

Sinners in the hands of an angry God!

In what way do you think the Great Awakening(the first one) influenced some states abolishing slavery?
 

jgoodguy

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You are correct, the Rhode Island slave merchants enormous profits was in the trans-Atlantic African slave trade and those profits were more readily realized by selling their chattels south rather than keeping them at home.

“The Northern slaveholder traded in men and women whom he never saw, and whose separations, tears and miseries he determined never to hear.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe


Yep, them dang Yankees got rich selling us those slaves.
Of course we get even richer using them.
 
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