- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (May 5, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765604396
- ISBN-13: 978-0765604392
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson 2nd Edition
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"A searing indictment of the hypocrisy of the Founders on slavery and the self-imposed blinders of their biographers".-- The Journal of American History
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PS. When GW freed his slaves at the death of his dear wife Martha, he created a policy externality...clearly, knowing this could be risky to her health, Martha had to immediately free the slaves as George fully intended she ultimately do--with nearby land and the means to farm. This makes for an impressive example for students of economics and public policy when they learn the meaning of "externalities".
1. He exaggerates Alexander Hamilton's anti-slavery efforts, ignoring the fact that Hamilton bought and sold household slaves in New York City.
2. He refers to Martin Van Buren as "the silver fox of Kinderhook"; Van Buren was known as the Red Fox, after the color of his hair, (Perhaps he has him mixed up with the "Silver Whigs" of William Seward . . . or the country singer, Charlie Rich?)
3. He misquotes Rufus King to say that "Senator Daniel Tomkins fled the field . . . of battle" when the vote on slavery in Missouri was taken. Daniel Tompkins (not Tomkins) was Vice President of the United States, not Senator; King accused his brother, Caleb Tompkins (a Congressman from New York) of having "fled the question" (not the field of battle) by abstaining on the vote to admit Missouri without restrictions.
4. He says no "leading Jeffersonians" in New York, as opposed to Federalists, "cared much about slavery," but Daniel Tompkins (as governor of the state) had been a leading member of the state's Manumission Society (Hamilton's main anti-slavery credential) and in fact sponsored New York's final emancipation law in emancipation act in 1817 and then signed it into law. Finkelman acknowledges grudgingly that Clinton Republicans "at least openly opposed the extension of slavery in the West," but it was in fact another New York Republican--James Tallmadge--who introduced the amendment to restrict slavery in Missouri that began the crisis, and a third--John Taylor--who introduced it again in the next Congress, after Tallmadge had left the House. Tallmadge's name, by the way, is never mentioned in Finkelman's book, although the "Tallmadge Amendment" made it famous in the anti-slavery cause.
These may seem like picky objections, but they cast doubt on the credibility of an author who purports to be a scholar of the period--and someone should at least have caught the trio of embarrassing lapses involving Daniel Tompkins--merely a Vice president, it is true, but in fact the only one to serve out two full terms in all of the nineteenth century.