Increasingly we are seeing attempts to erase or rewrite America’s history. For decades efforts have been underway to erase our nation’s Christian roots by ignoring the overwhelming evidence that our Founding Fathers were Christian. Stories attacking Thomas Jefferson, accusing him of fathering children with Sally Hemings (although there is no evidence Thomas Jefferson was the father of any of her children), and attacking George Washington and others for being slave owners abound. These, of course, ignore the heated debate over slavery during the Constitutional Convention, the compromise that had to be reached in order to form the United States and the release of all Washington’s slaves upon his death.
- King George III had thwarted all efforts by the colonies to end slavery. Benjamin Franklin, in a 1773 letter to Dean Woodward, confirmed that whenever the Americans had attempted to end slavery, the British government had indeed thwarted those attempts. Franklin explained that . . . . . a disposition to abolish slavery prevails in North America, that many of Pennsylvanians have set their slaves at liberty, and that even the Virginia Assembly have petitioned the King for permission to make a law for preventing the importation of more into that colony. This request, however, will probably not be granted as their former laws of that kind have always been repealed. “
- Further confirmation that even the Virginia Founders were not responsible for slavery, but actually tried to dismantle the institution, was provided by John Quincy Adams (known as the “hell-hound of abolition” for his extensive efforts against that evil). Adams explained: The inconsistency of the institution of domestic slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented by all the southern patriots of the Revolution; by no one with deeper and more unalterable conviction than by the author of the Declaration himself [Jefferson]. No charge of insincerity or hypocrisy can be fairly laid to their charge. Never from their lips was heard one syllable of attempt to justify the institution of slavery. They universally considered it as a reproach fastened upon them by the unnatural step-mother country [Great Britain] and they saw that before the principles of the Declaration of Independence, slavery, in common with every other mode of oppression, was destined sooner or later to be banished from the earth. Such was the undoubting conviction of Jefferson to his dying day.
- While Jefferson himself had introduced a bill designed to end slavery, not all of the southern Founders were opposed to slavery. According to the testimony of Virginians James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and John Rutledge, it was the Founders from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia who most strongly favored slavery.
- Many of the Founding Fathers who had owned slaves as British citizens released them in the years following America’s separation from Great Britain (e.g., George Washington, John Dickinson, Caesar Rodney, William Livingston, George Wythe, John Randolph of Roanoke, and others). Furthermore, many of the Founders had never owned any slaves. For example, John Adams proclaimed, “[M]y opinion against it [slavery] has always been known . . . [N]ever in my life did I own a slave.”
- John Jay, who was appointed by President Washington as the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, would buy slaves so he could free them. As Governor of New York, John Jay signed an Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in 1799, prohibiting the exportation of slaves and making a path for children of slaves to attain freedom. He helped found New York’s African Free School in 1787 and supported it financially.
- Rufus King, one of the youngest signers of the Declaration of Independence. As US Senator from New York, he said in a speech before the Senate at the time Missouri was petitioning for statehood:
“I hold that all laws or compacts imposing any such condition as slavery upon any human being are absolutely void because they are contrary to the law of nature, which is the law of God.”
Rewriting and reinterpreting the intent of our Founding Fathers in the writing of the founding documents has proven very harmful to our nation as a whole. Too many Americans don’t know the true history of our nation. Thanks in large part to our public schools concentrating on the misjudgments and failures that are part of any nation’s history, young Americans do not know who they are or where they came from. We see this evidenced by the demand to tear down monuments to Civil War heroes, a war which was predicted by founding father Thomas Jefferson. In the Memoir of His Life, written at the age of seventy-seven, he gave to his countrymen the solemn and emphatic warning that the day was not distant when they must hear and adopt the general emancipation of their slaves.
In response to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump stated opposition to tearing down memorials related to America’s past with slavery,
“I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
Days after that statement in August, President Lincoln’s bust erected in Chicago in 1926 was torched! The rumor going around college campuses – or being taught as a fact on those campuses – is that Abraham Lincoln was a slave owner!! A Chicago pastor also asked that the George Washington statue be removed from Chicago’s Washington Park and that the park be renamed.
Going back even further many cities and even states (i.e. Alaska, Minnesota, Vermont) have renamed Columbus Day ” Indigenous Peoples Day”. Los Angeles and Austin joined that list this year. The sentiment was so hostile in LA that an attempt to keep Columbus Day on the calendar and name another day ” Indigenous Peoples Day” was denied. The claim is that only after the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus did the slaughter of natives occur. No one can whitewash the mistreatment of Native Americans by some Europeans who landed on these shores, but to say a utopia existed prior to that arrival is a BIG stretch of the imagination!
“Long before the white European knew a North American continent existed, Indians of the Northern Plains were massacring entire villages,” says George Franklin Feldman in the book “Cannibalism, Headhunting and Human Sacrifice in North America: A History Forgotten.” “And not just killed, but mutilated. Hands and feet were cut off, each body’s head was scalped, the remains were left scattered around the village, which was burned.”
According to “Slavery and Native Americans in British North America and the United States: 1600 to 1865,” by Tony Seybert, “Most Native American tribal groups practiced some form of slavery before the European introduction of African slavery into North America.”
“Enslaved warriors sometimes endured mutilation or torture that could end in death as part of a grief ritual for relatives slain in battle. Some Indians cut off one foot of their captives to keep them from running away.”
Ritual human sacrifice was widespread in the Americas. The Incas, for example, practiced ritual human sacrifice to appease their gods, either executing captive warriors or “their own specially raised, perfectly formed children,” according to Kim MacQuarrie, author of “The Last Days of the Incas.”
At the re-consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs performed a mass human sacrifice of an estimated 80,000 enslaved captives in four days.
You get the idea. Native Americans also mistreated Native Americans! It did not begin with the arrival of Europeans. Tearing down/torching monuments or renaming holidays will not change history.