G@G Relearn U. S. History—The Founding Fathers on Race and Slavery
Mick Chantler, Instructor
REGISTER for Session One: The Founding Fathers on Race and Slavery
Wednesday, October 5
Gathering Space (1520 Grand Ave; San Rafael)
It is worth pondering the fact that most of the key leaders of the American Revolution were slaveholders: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Patrick Henry, George Mason, and many others in the “Glorious Cause” owned hundreds of Africans. Even kindly old Benjamin Franklin owned a few slaves, and acted as a broker for their purchase and sale, although to his credit he recanted his position late in life, and became one of the early abolitionists in Pennsylvania. The framers of the Constitution even enshrined slavery in our national compact. This is not to say that these men all felt comfortable with the bizarre juxtaposition of a free republic in which “all men were created equal,” which yet countenanced the practice of holding human beings as chattel property. We will examine the attitudes and practices of these remarkable statesmen on the touchy—even for them—subject. We will also examine Founders such as John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, men who despised slavery, and did what they could to contain the evil before it thoroughly corrupted their beloved republic.