Weekend Reading: Publius Aelius Aristides Theodorus (155); The Roman Oration

It seems clear that Gordon Wood has read neither Jill Lepore nor the papers of Edward Rutledge. Perhaps he should?: Gordon Wood: Response to the New York Times’ Defense of the 1619 Project https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/24/nytr-d24.html: 'Dear Mr. Silverstein: I have read your response to our letter concerning the 1619 Project.... I have spent my career studying the American Revolution and cannot accept the view that “one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.” I don’t know of any colonist who said that they wanted independence in order to preserve their slaves. No colonist expressed alarm that the mother country was out to abolish slavery in 1776...

Jill Lepore: These Truths: A History of the United States https://books.google.com/books?id=v2ZSDwAAQBAJ: 'In November 1775... Lord Dunmore... offered freedom to any slaves who would join His Majesty’s troops in suppressing the American rebellion.... Five hundred men... ran from their owners and joined Dunmore’s forces, a number that included a man named Ralph, who ran away from Patrick Henry, and eight of the twenty-seven people owned by Peyton Randolph, who had served as president of the First Continental Congress. Edward Rutledge, a member of South Carolina’s delegation to the Continental Congress, said that Dunmore’s declaration did “more effectually work an eternal separation between Great Britain and the Colonies—than any other expedient which could possibly have been thought of.” Not the taxes and the tea, not the shots at Lexington and Concord, not the siege of Boston; rather, it was this act, Dunmore’s offer of freedom to slaves, that tipped the scales in favor of American independence...


#noted #2019-12-27

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