Tuesday, January 27, 2009

from 'Lies My Teacher Told Me'

by James W. Loewen. Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Americans seem perpetually startled at slavery. Children are shocked to learn that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves... Very few adults today realize that our society has been slave much longer than it has been free.. The first colony to legalize slavery was not Virginia but Massachusetts.. Wall Street was the marketplace where owners could hire out their slaves by the day or week (142).

Textbooks canonize Patrick Henry for his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. Not one tells us that eight months after delivering the speech he ordered "diligent patrols" to keep Virginia slaves from accepting the British offer of freedom to those who would join their side (146).

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