Search for Free 150,000+ Essays

Find more results for this search now!
CLICK the BUTTON to the RIGHT!

Need a Brand New Custom Essay Now?  click here

George Washington and could he have Abolished Slavery

Uploaded by JayJay on Jan 30, 2005

George Washington Could Not Afford to Abolish Slavery

In his writings, George Washington felt very strongly that slavery was an institution that needed to be eliminated from American society. However, there were several circumstances that arose following the American Revolution that would prevent Washington from actively pursuing the elimination of slavery during his lifetime. It is certainly plausible that George Washington's personal economic short-comings, forefront in the setting of conflicting political agendas and the nation's revolutionary climate, prevented this founding father from actively pursuing the nationwide emancipation of slaves. Prior and during the American Revolution, little was written by Washington on his feelings about slavery. In the last year of the war and thereafter, more attention was spent by Washington on the issue of slavery. On February 5, 1783, Washington received a letter from Marquis de Lafayette, whom Washington considered both a friend and a son, that stated, "Let us unite in purchasing a small estate, where we may try the experiment to free the negroes, and use them only as tenants. Such an example as yours might render it a general practice..." (Sparks v.3, p.547). It is doubtful that Lafayette would have proposed this idea unless he knew that Washington had strong views on seeing the elimination of slavery. Washington wrote back to Lafayette on April 5, "The scheme... to encourage the emancipation of the black people of this Country from that state of Bondage in which. they are held, is a striking evidence of the benevolence of your Heart. I shall be happy to join you is so laudable a work..." (Fitzpatrick v.26, p.300).

Unfortunately, Washington was still in charge of the American troops, and would be so until December, so he thought it would be best to "...defer going into a detail of the business, 'till I have the pleasure of seeing you" (Fitzpatrick v.26, p.300). However, when Washington finally did return home in December, he found himself in such great debt that even noble experiments like the one that Lafayette had proposed, had to took a back seat to getting Washington's financial situation in order.

Lafayette went on with his plan alone, buying land in the French colony of Cayenne (Sparks v.4, p.110). Washington was still very supportive of this plan despite his inability to participate, and on May 10, 1786, he wrote to Lafayette, "[Y]our late purchase of an estate in the colony of Cayenne, with...

Sign In Now to Read Entire Essay

Not a Member?   Create Your FREE Account »

Comments / Reviews

read full essay >>

Already a Member?   Login Now >

This essay and THOUSANDS of
other essays are FREE at eCheat.

Uploaded by:   JayJay

Date:   01/30/2005

Category:   American

Length:   8 pages (1,798 words)

Views:   6569

Report this Essay Save Essay
Professionally written essays on this topic:

George Washington and could he have Abolished Slavery

View more professionally written essays on this topic »