Did the Founding Fathers End Slavery?

Politics 2011/01/25 17:00:00
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Tea Party favorite (and possible 2012 presidential nominee?) Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) knows her base: speaking at an Iowan’s for Tax Relief event recently she made sure to talk up America's Founding Fathers. It's a rousing speech, well-delivered, but did she go too far in her enthusiasm?

Bachmann began by linking presumably 19th- and 20th-century immigrants back to the traditions and values of the Founding Fathers. But then she overreaches a bit, pointing out that while slavery was a "scourge," it was also "extinguished" by the Founding Fathers - John Quincy Adams, in particular.

As the website Talking Points Memo notes, Adams was indeed an opponent of slavery, but he's neither considered one of the Founding Fathers, nor did he live long enough to see slavery abolished with the Emancipation Proclamation. Adams died in 1848, while Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

"Our ancestors, when they arrived on these shores, just think of it: they spoke different languages, they had different cultures, different backgrounds, different traditions. But unbelievably, they all bound themselves to this tradition, this covenant that was contained in the Mayflower Compact, this covenant that we re-published in the Declaration of Independence.

"How unique in all of the world, that one nation that was the resting point from people groups all across the world. It didn't matter the color of their skin, it didn't matter their language, it didn't matter their economic status. It didn't matter that they descended from nobility or whether they have a higher class or a lower class. It made no difference. Once you got here, we were all the same. Isn't that remarkable?

"It is absolutely remarkable, out of that, 'e pluribus unum,' out of many, one. That is the greatness, the essence of this nation.

"And we know we weren't perfect. We know there was slavery, it was still tolerated when the nation began. We know that was an evil. And it was a scourge and a blot, a stain upon our history. We also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States. And I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbears who worked tirelessly - men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country. And we have them to thank for that."

(the comments above begin at around the 9:00 minute mark)

Read More: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bachmann-americas-found...

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  • RTHTGakaRoland 2011/01/25 21:33:06 (edited)
    Too many people look for the simplicity of an event where a big, long, complex process is the actuality.

    Yes, Bachmann is right the Founding Fathers initiated the end of legal, chattel slavery in America. Slavery has always been and continues to be a smirch on human civilizations. What many are calling the "Anglosphere" has since the 18th century significantly curtailed slavery, and our Founders were an important part of that movement.

    Founding Fathers may not have been there when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. They did, however, variously found free states and respect states rights enough to allow these states to differ with the slave states, speak out against slavery, free their own slaves, and end importation of more slaves.

    Simple people may only see simple events, but most things of consequence are actually big, long, complex processes.

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  • trentin... Kat 2011/01/26 07:49:43
    "It's only dumb to believe the idea magically came to fruition over a few days in 1863"

    I do believe you are putting your words into Ms. Joanna's mouth. SH penalty....15 yards.

    I believe she - like most here - are responding to the poll question, and to Bachmann's assertion that slavery was "extinguished by the founding fathers".

    If the FF in fact had slaves - BY DEFINITION - they could not have "extinguished" slavery - as Bachmann asserted.

    It's really not at all complicated, Kat.
  • Kat trentin... 2011/01/26 08:48:58
    Interestingly enough, while many of the founding fathers lacked the courage to buck the tide during their lifetimes and act on their beliefs, they posthumously freed their slaves by decree in death.

    A single flame is extinguished with a single blow. Decades of flames take many blows.

    Slavery was complicated, so much so that it took decades to change. To claim it wasn't complicated is about as silly as not realizing the erosion began a layer at a time long before 1863.

    Only a rabid moron like Chris Matthews would pounce on a single word to decry an entire complicated process. But sometimes when one is a moron, they have to choose a battle they can at least wage where there is some expectation that others with even lower intelligence will follow.
  • trentin... Kat 2011/01/26 16:11:31
    "Interestingly enough, while many of the founding fathers lacked the courage to buck the tide during their lifetimes and act on their beliefs, they posthumously freed their slaves by decree in death."

    You are welcome to your opinion. You are also welcome to write your opinon about Chris Matthews....on a blog that is directly pointed at Michelle Bachmann's statements. You can write about the price of wheat in China here, if you wish. It's a great country, and an open site.

    But doing so - I would not expect people to change people's minds. This question is polling at 75% against....on a site where con's outnumber lib's by at least 2:1. That means that a poll of the general population on the same question would run over 85%.

    But again.....you are absolutely welcome to your own opinion.
  • Kat trentin... 2011/01/27 03:35:24
    Well, thank you for your grand benevolence in allowing me my opinion. You can keeps yours too.

    I couldn’t care less what the poll says, it doesn’t change my opinion. Everyone with an IQ over 50 knows that polls results can be skewed by manipulating question presentation. And, publicizing and encouraging the regurgitation of poll results is manipulation meant to foster a ‘herd mentality’. “75% think” or “85% think” is intended to manipulate those with low convictions so they will cow-tow to the perceived majority and join the herd. Moo.

    Likewise Matthews and Olberman berate in the basest manner to appeal to low conviction cattle who feel safety in numbers and an aversion to researching facts themselves. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you're not playing coy but that you completely missed the rant about Bachmann and are honestly confused about the jump to MSNBC.
  • Joanna ... Kat 2011/01/26 19:56:58
    Joanna the Great
    I didn't SAY that the idea "magically came to fruition in 1863", i was just saying they did not "work tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."
    the 3/5ths compromise was because the south wanted more representation, not a crafty trick to later abolish slavery.
    and what does women's suffrage have to do with anything? woman can be in politics now, so my job as a woman is to always agree with them?
  • Kat Joanna ... 2011/01/27 00:56:53
    Some did work tirelessly, unfortunately not enough of them, otherwise it wouldn't have taken so long to correct the wrong.
    The 3/5ths compromise worked both ways as any compromise would. Yes, it gave the Southern Democrats greater representation, it also gave them a greater tax burden because at that time it was a head tax versus the income tax that came later. Agreeing to count them in the human populace was the first step to recognizing them as part of the human populace rather than livestock. Yes it was crafty.
    You're absolutely right though, you should never agree with anyone absolutely just because you share gender or any other likeness. My apologies if I inferred that. My comment came from disgust at the way conservative women are dissected, minimalized and dismissed by the hypocritical hate spewers on the left, but especially by other women.
  • Joanna ... Kat 2011/01/27 01:17:19
    Joanna the Great
    i only mean that she was blatantly wrong, I'm not spewing hate or anything. the rest of the speech was very nice.

    the south wanted greater representation because they had a slavery-dependent economy, and they thought that would be threatened if they didn't have as much representation as the north, which did not completely rely on slaves and had abolitionist threatening the comfortable southern hierarchy. the south did not consider them anything other than livestock, only a convenience to gain representation. I'm from Texas and i wish this wasn't the case, but it is.
  • Kat Joanna ... 2011/01/27 03:06:42
    My family originates in OK & TX too. We were still part of the Mexico territory during the heart of slavery until 1821 and involvement was pretty minimal except the Galveston ports used for trafficking. While slavery was booming in the rest of the US, Texans were busy 'adopting' the 'savage indian children' as servants. After 1821 Texas joined the slave trade in earnest.

    The movement for recognition as human beings began in the late 1600 by the Quakers an Menonites. It was called the "Society of Friends" and one of it's members was Ben Franklin. Thomas Paine was also involved with the Society as early as the 1770's, even publishing at risk on the subject. Alexander Hamilton was an activist with the NY Society in the early 1800s. John Jay & Aaron Burr were also with the Society. Abolishment did not happen by accident or quickly. It took decades of systematic moves to dismantle such an indoctrined practice. First by religious groups, then through Federalist planning by containing the spread, banning additional slaves, embargos on the slave ships and then through inducement, reassessment, economical benefit, proclamation, war and crop shifting.
    So where was she blatantly wrong based on the names above involved in the fight for decades nearly a hundred years before success was finally achieved?
  • Joanna ... Kat 2011/01/27 04:34:49
    Joanna the Great
    She was blatantly wrong in saying "The founding fathers worked tirelessly until slavery was abolished", obviously. Not because many of them didn't work to abolish slavery, but because slavery simply was not abolished during their time. It's technically incorrect, but not incorrect in principle.
  • Kat Joanna ... 2011/01/27 05:08:04
    Sadly they didn't cross the finish line, but they passed the baton to those that finished the race for them. Sometimes you can't outlive stupidity but you can prepare the next generation to face it.

    Again, blatantly wrong not so much because that implies an intent to mislead, but grammatically incorrect yes. Should have replaced 'until' with 'to see that' and like you stated, the intent would match the words. One word in a 14 minute speech though is not blatant disregard for the truth. However, it was enough to unhinge Chris Matthews.
  • Joanna ... Kat 2011/01/27 05:08:57
    Joanna the Great
    hello did i say she had a blatant disregard for truth? no, i just said she was wrong.
  • Kat Joanna ... 2011/01/27 05:33:42
    I was referring to Chris Matthews reaction, but you used blatant as an adjective. Typically it means brazen or obtrusive. Never mind, it seems you didn't intend it that way. I may be taking it too literal.
  • lewis 2011/01/26 06:02:57
    Enough with the cowardly attacks. Were it not for the careful wording of the constitution it could very well have been an inalienable right to own slaves. Yes the founding fathers saw to the end of slavery.
  • daylight 2011/01/26 05:27:18 (edited)
    Yes and they paid with the blood of over 6 hundred thousands lives ( men & boys)!

    I don't ever want to hear the black man say anything about whites again, ever.

    Congress woman Michele Bachmann is powerful. She has my vote if she runs for
  • 9th of 9 daylight 2011/01/26 11:14:50
    9th of 9
    And mine as well.
  • blake griffin 2011/01/26 05:22:35
  • Tim St. John 2011/01/26 05:08:08
    Tim St. John
    C'mon people, I can't be the only one to look into this woman's eyes (Michele Bachmann) and see that she is BAT$HIT crazy !! I'd pick PALIN for president, before I would consider this looney bin, reject from Minnesota.
  • Kat Tim St.... 2011/01/27 05:42:06 (edited)
    Oh yeah, this is the true definition of sanity right?
    yeah true defination sanity
  • Tim St.... Kat 2011/01/29 05:48:51
    Tim St. John
    Oh Pelosi aint playing with a full deck either, but compared to this chick, she's the epitome of logic !!
  • wayne 2011/01/26 05:02:31
    They sowed the seeds that eventually brought it down.
  • bob h. 2011/01/26 03:47:21
    bob h.
    I think God's been talking to this cretin again. This is really sad.
  • Balladeer-PWCM-POTL 2011/01/26 03:38:41 (edited)
    The Orginal version of The Declaration of independence had a clause dealing with slavery..it was subsequently removed.(evidence shows it was Edward rutledge of the South Carolina Contingent)...HOWEVER The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and the Land Ordinance of 1785 BOTH had anti-Slavery Clauses and THEY held up

    He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in an other hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of an other.
    Known as the "anti-slavery clause", this section drafted by Thomas Jefferson was removed from the Declaration at the behest of representatives of Southern states.
  • Harry 2011/01/26 03:23:28 (edited)
    I voted yes because I do not wish to give aid and comfort to the enemy, for this is just another liberal gotcha effort. With Sarah Palin apparently occupied with other matters, Michele Bachmann must be next in line to receive the smears of the left-wing, destroy-at-any-cost attack machine. After all, she's female, attractive, and conservative, so let's go after her. That's how it works, isn't it?

    As a member of the House during the 1830s and 1840s, former president John Quincy Adams worked tenaciously to help the abolitionists defeat the House Gag Rules, which sought to thwart anti-slavery petitions. Sure, Adams cannot to be considered a Founding Father in a technical sense, although his father was.

    But that historical side note doesn't really matter to anyone except the vile haters on the left, who will seek out - or make up - anything they can to marginalize or, better yet, eviscerate their enemies. And make no mistake, the courageous Ms. Bachmann IS their enemy. And God bless her for it.
  • Usti Waya BN-0 2011/01/26 03:14:06
    Usti Waya BN-0
    Let me tell you some things about Michelle Bachmann that you may not know.
    She got her her J.D. degree from Oral Roberts University and an LL.M. degree in tax law from the William & Mary Law School.
    She went to work for the Internal Revenue Department, yup, taxes paid her salary.
    She worked from 1988-1993 at which time she left her only real job to be a mother of her five children and 23 foster children which tax payers paid her to keep.
    Bachmann is in joint ownership in a family farm that from 1995 through 2006, has received $251,973 in federal subsidies. This came from tax payer monies too.
    So you see, as much as she says she wants to lower your taxes, she has, her whole working life, earned a damn good living from taking money from the American tax payer.
    This woman lies so much about everything,she probably really does believe the founding fathers freed the slaves. She is truly pathetic.
  • vanessa... Usti Wa... 2011/01/26 03:24:23
  • daylight vanessa... 2011/01/26 05:33:06 (edited)
    Oh my and you say you are a christian, and Michelle is a christian too, you better think about this one, and if I were you, I would delete this as fast as I could and ask God for forgiveness for posting such evil against our sister in Christ.

    Maybe you are not a christian, I don't think you know Him, if you did, you would never have posted this evil pic..............God have mercy, Lord have mercy on the foolishness of those who are blind. Those who are used by the enemy to try and bring down the good in You Oh Lord.
  • dominic... daylight 2011/01/26 05:52:15
    dominic garcia
    There are alot of people who say they are christian, but are not. You are right about venessa a true christian should not do such horrible posts. Wickedness separates us from God, what she did is very wicked.
  • daylight dominic... 2011/01/26 06:00:37 (edited)
    Sorry, your name confused me
  • dominic... daylight 2011/01/26 21:34:20
    dominic garcia
    What! Are you kidding me! I jump to your defense, and you interrogate me, lol, thanks, this guy is cute. Love the blue eyes. So you are curious as to my identity, well I'll give you a clue, I have beautiful blue eyes in my family..........
  • daylight dominic... 2011/01/26 22:05:39 (edited)
    :) your name confused me, two meanings to the name you pick as profile.
  • dominic... daylight 2011/01/26 22:32:11
    dominic garcia
    apology accepted:)
  • daylight dominic... 2011/01/26 22:55:49
  • vanessa... dominic... 2011/01/26 12:38:50
    Michelle is a hateful ass Christian.....Do NOT put me in the same category with her..... I put that picture up because she is evil.....and "NOT" a Christian....
  • dominic... vanessa... 2011/01/26 21:23:26
    dominic garcia
    as christians we are not to judge hypocritically (Matthew7:1). There is a righteous judgement that is allowed (according to the bible) but it should be done carefully.(John7:24). Posting a picture of anyone looking like the devil, I believe is not a christian thing to do. According to the bible we are not to seek revenge, with our own hands. (Leviticus 19:18) and (Romans12:9) Sin is sin, it is not separated into categories of white and black, it is all the same, but that is between us and God. It is not our job to decide who is holy and who is not. The last commandment that Jesus left was to love one another, and there were no exceptions, remember we are to love our enemy, that picture of Michelle does not demonstrate love for your enemy.
  • vanessa... dominic... 2011/01/27 01:41:45
    Typical Bible thumper retort....."USE THE BIBLE"......That B%#CH is evil.....
  • dominic... vanessa... 2011/01/27 02:02:30
    dominic garcia
    A christian is..... suppose to live according to the bible, and you can call me whatever you want, but what I'd like to know is who in the world is teaching you christianity, because you have it all wrong. We, my dear are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.
  • vanessa... dominic... 2011/01/27 14:28:08
    Oh really......So you like a crazy ass thief......Please don't preach to me.....That's what I don't like about your ILK.....You point the finger at me to keep the spotlight off of you.....What's your claim to fame, besides making an ass out of yourself.....
  • mickrussom 2011/01/26 02:50:25
    The founders argued for prohibition of slavery. The reason they needed to concede on it was the souther states (the ones that became democrats) needed the slaves for their economy. So the USA would have never formed if the slavery issue was dealt with in the 1770/1780/1790 time frame. However, in letters and in the Federalist Papers and many of the founders tried to stop this injustice but the union simply would not have formed without its inclusion.

    Whats funny is the reconstruction and the 14th amendment formalized this in the late 1860s, yet the race card gets played every day in America. Our spirit here is universal freedom and liberty, and this was right from the get go. Many slaves were freed and had hard but free lives before the 1860s in the northern states.

    It was the Africans that took Africans out of the wilderness of Africa and gave the to the Dutch who sold them to the USA. There would be no significant importation of slaves without Africans betraying Africans to slavers. I'm sure Obama is descendant of Kenyans that sold their brothers to the dutch for money. He strikes me as the rat bastard type.

    It is very, very PROGRESSIVE to try and destroy the image of the founding fathers. Those who do this are rat vermin seditionists and are enemies of freedom , liberty, god and country.
  • HL Mencken mickrussom 2011/01/26 04:09:08 (edited)
    HL Mencken
    Did Africans capture and enslave their enemies as a part of their wars? Of course. All societies did it. The entire history of the human experience is replete with examples of such.

    Do you think that African slave-catchers would risk life and limb in the jungles of Africa to catch slaves if there were not a line of boats manned by Europeans to buy them? Never. They were motivated by the Europeans posed on the coast to buy the captives.

    These Africans were hunted and captured solely for the purpose of sale. And if the boats were not lined up at the docks and payment were not there, not a single human would have been delivered to the coast.


    Why must you look at the Founding Fathers with rose tinted glasses? Can you not see them as humans - men who did some great things as well as some not so great things? Thomas Jefferson was the principle author of one the greatest documents in history. Thomas Jefferson also banged away for years on his one of his slaves – Sally Hemings. Must you deny the latter to appreciate the former? Not me.

    Yours truly,

    A rat vermin seditionist
  • Dick Wa... mickrussom 2011/01/26 09:29:38 (edited)
    Dick Walters
    You are so stupid about "American History!" I am convinced that you had your brain affected by your Slave Owning Ancestors that most likely drank too many "Mint Juleps" before you were born!
    Some of our early founders believed that only "large property owners" should enjoy the freedoms that are guaranteed by our constitution! Alexander Hamilton believed that we should become a "Monarchy" and that George Washington should become our first "KING!"
    Many of our founding fathers were directly related to the large land owning "Aristocracy" in Feudal Europe, and like them were SNOBS and class conscious about being inherently better than those that were commoners that did not own large land grants!
    This snobbery translated itself to accepting bigotry with regard to all people, that were
    not born into their "Aristocratic class."

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