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Mon Sep 6, 2021, 09:50 AM

Like Washington and Jefferson, he championed liberty. Unlike the founders, he freed his slaves

(CNN) It was 230 years ago Sunday that Robert Carter III, the patriarch of one of the wealthiest families in Virginia, quietly walked into a Northumberland County courthouse and delivered an airtight legal document announcing his intention to free, or manumit, more than 500 slaves.

He titled it the "deed of gift." It was, by far, experts say, the largest liberation of Black people before the Emancipation Proclamation more than seven decades later.

On September 5, 1791, when Carter delivered his deed, slavery was an institution, a key engine of the new country's economy. But many slaveholders -- including founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who knew Carter -- had begun to voice doubts. That was the extent of their umbrage.

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"I think the story of Robert Carter III is incredibly important," she said, "and not just to glorify another rich, White man, but to show how personal convictions can be stronger than the status quo, that doing the right thing is often hard but important and that people matter -- that people are more important than the work that they perform."

(Read more) https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/05/us/robert-carter-iii-deed-of-gift-slavery-anniversary/index.html

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Reply Like Washington and Jefferson, he championed liberty. Unlike the founders, he freed his slaves (Original post)
FM123 Sep 2021 OP
Hoyt Sep 2021 #1
SunnyATT Sep 2021 #6
Retrograde Sep 2021 #8
Scrivener7 Sep 2021 #9
rockfordfile Sep 2021 #12
Celerity Sep 2021 #13
Scrivener7 Sep 2021 #16
struggle4progress Sep 2021 #15
Luciferous Sep 2021 #2
2naSalit Sep 2021 #4
Solomon Sep 2021 #7
Scrivener7 Sep 2021 #10
crickets Sep 2021 #11
Chili Sep 2021 #3
Celerity Sep 2021 #14
malaise Sep 2021 #5
moondust Sep 2021 #17
Hekate Sep 2021 #18

Response to FM123 (Original post)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 10:02 AM

1. Have never been able to reconcile Jefferson speaking of freedom and liberty, going home to rape and

 

beat his slaves.

Interesting story of Robert Carter.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 11:56 AM

6. Most likely because the slaves were not regarded as human but were thought of and treated as animals

Unfortunately that mindset still exists in the minds of many Americans.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 04:07 PM

8. IMHO, Jefferson believed himself a sort of "philosopher-king"

Last edited Mon Sep 6, 2021, 10:25 PM - Edit history (1)

above the messiness of ordinary life. He seems to have viewed himself as an intellectual whose money and education put him above the common people, literally in the case of Montecello.

Historian Annette Gordon-Reed wrote two good books on the subject, "The Hemingses of Montecello", about the interactions among the Hemings, Jefferson, and Wayles families (complicated doesn't begin to describe them) and "Most Blessed of Patriarchs" which focuses on Jefferson and his intellectual life and how he set up his idea of a life where everyone around him - Black and White - lived to serve his ideals. Reality got in the way, though, and his expenses far outstripped his income and he died pretty much broke.

OTOH, I give Washington credit for eventually realizing that slavery as practiced in the US at the time was bad both economically and for the people involved and trying to arrange for the eventual freedom of the people enslaved on his lands. Then Eli Whitney came along around the time of Washington's death and made cotton production more economically feasible and that led to an increased demand for slave labor.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 07:42 PM

9. I am not a fan of Jefferson. He and my man Hamilton hated each other.

I have a crush on Hamilton.

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #9)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 08:01 PM

12. I pick Jefferson over Hamilton

Right-wingers usually pick Hamilton.

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Response to rockfordfile (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 08:41 PM

13. no, no they do not

Right-wingers usually pick Hamilton.



Hamilton was the originator of a set of constructs that became the 'American System' (especially under the Whigs of Daniel Webster and Henry Clay) ie. strong Federal government and a central bank, high tariffs to bolster American industrialisation, which was in direct conflict with agrarianism, plus he was the enemy of strong state's rights, a major RW philosophical centrepiece.

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Response to rockfordfile (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 10:10 PM

16. That's just crushingly dumb.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 08:57 PM

15. Jefferson's abstract principles conflicted with his real material interests: his political status

in Virginia depended on his wealth and his acceptability to other slave-holders

Under such circumstances, many people choose "realism" over "conscience"

The net effect of such choices over an entire society explains why change is so slow

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Response to FM123 (Original post)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 10:09 AM

2. This was a really interesting story, I'd never heard of Carter before.

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Response to Luciferous (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 10:28 AM

4. This is probably why.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 01:29 PM

7. Exactly.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 07:43 PM

10. Huh. Yes, you're probably right.

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Response to Luciferous (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 07:58 PM

11. Neither had I.

The entire story is a revelation, especially in that Carter is relatively unknown today. What an amazing man. His name deserves to be prominent in our history books.

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Response to FM123 (Original post)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 10:15 AM

3. his grandfather was Robert "King" Carter, right?

... one of the wealthiest slave holders ever.

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Response to Chili (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 08:47 PM

14. yes, and ironically Robert E. Lee was one of his relatives in the future.

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Response to FM123 (Original post)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 10:30 AM

5. K & R for visibility

Thanks for posting

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Response to FM123 (Original post)

Mon Sep 6, 2021, 10:24 PM

17. Animals.

They come in from the field at the end of a long day and their "owner" wants to know how the cotton crop is coming along. Discussion ensues after which the owner returns to the plantation house to count his "hard-earned" money over a bottle of bourbon and read a few Bible verses.

Did it never occur to Washington, Jefferson, and the others that animals can't talk?

No scruples? Greed über alles? Sounds familiar.

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Response to FM123 (Original post)

Tue Sep 7, 2021, 02:45 AM

18. Fascinating. Going to look up the book!

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