Komplikovani odnos Aleksandra Hamiltona sa ropstvom

Komplikovani odnos Aleksandra Hamiltona sa ropstvom



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Alexander Hamilton mrzio se ropstva i u nekoliko trenutaka svog života radio je na tome da ga ograniči. Ali sve moralne zamjerke koje je imao ublažene su njegovim društvenim i političkim ambicijama. Tokom svog života, poput mnogih tadašnjih vođa, dozvolio je ili koristio ropstvo da unaprijedi svoje bogatstvo - posredno i putem kompromisa koje je odabrao.

Hamiltonov rani život: okružen robovanjem

Od trenutka kada je rođen van braka u blizini karipske obale koju su često posjećivali brodovi koji su prevozili zarobljenike iz Afrike, Hamiltonov je život bio isprepleten ropstvom. Odrastajući na ostrvu Nevis, mladi Aleksandar prošao je pored blokova aukcija robova i gomile koja se okupila na javnom trgu kako bi svjedočila bičevanju porobljenih ljudi. Usred ostrva takve prirodne ljepote, nije bilo izbjegnute groteskne okrutnosti ropstva.

















Nedugo prije nego što je Hamiltonov otac napustio svoju obitelj, 1765. preselio ih je u St. Croix, gdje je 22.000 od 24.000 stanovnika otoka držano u zatočeništvu radi uzgoja "bijelog zlata" proizvedenog na plantažama šećera. Iako je Hamiltonova porodica imala malo bogatstva, njegova majka je u jednom trenutku posjedovala pet porobljenih ljudi, koje je unajmila za nadoplatu, kao i četiri dječaka koji su joj služili kao kućni pomoćnici. Ona je Aleksandru zaveštala jednog od dečaka, Ajax, ali nakon njene smrti 1768. godine, sud je odbio nasledstvo zbog Hamiltonovog vanbračnog rođenja i umesto njega dodelio vlasništvo nad Ajaxom.

Hamilton je svoje tinejdžerske godine proveo radeći kao službenik u trgovačkoj firmi St. Croix Beekman and Cruger, koja je uvozila sve što je potrebno za plantažnu ekonomiju - uključujući i porobljene ljude iz Zapadne Afrike. Hamilton je gledao kako stotine i stotine zarobljenika izlaze na obalu nakon prolaska kroz Srednji prolaz i pomogao bi u inspekciji i cijeni onih koji su bili na aukciji. Pismo iz 1772. Hamiltonovim rukopisom tražilo je stjecanje “dva ili tri siromašna dječaka” za plantažne radove i tražilo ih da budu “vezani na najrazumniji način na koji možete”.

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Hamilton se protivio ropstvu, ali je napravio kompromise

Koristeći bogatstvo izgrađeno na leđima porobljenih radnika, grupa poslovnih ljudi iz St. Croixa, impresionirana Hamiltonovim potencijalom, platila je za njegovo školovanje u američkim kolonijama. Nakon što je pohađao Akademiju Elizabethtown u New Jerseyju, Hamilton je diplomirao na Kraljevskom koledžu u New Yorku, gdje je 16 trgovaca robljem služilo kao povjerenici, a učenici poput posinka Georgea Washingtona Jacky poveli su u školu porobljene sluge.

U svojoj ambiciji da se uzdigne iznad svojih skromnih početaka, činilo se da je Hamilton često gutao svoja osjećanja protiv ropstva dok je forsirao prihvatanje u kolonijalnu elitu Amerike-od kojih je većina robovala. Primjetno je da je Hamilton, dok je bio revolucionarni pomoćnik logora Georgea Washingtona tokom Revolucije, nije volio raspravljati o temi s generalom, koji je porobio više od 100 ljudi na svojoj plantaži Mount Vernon.

Bez obzira na to, Hamilton je imao jednak napredak u pogledu ravnopravnosti rasa od većine očeva osnivača. Godine 1774. objavio je svoj prvi veliki politički esej, „Potpuna potvrda mjera Kongresa“, koji je napravio direktna poređenja između porobljenog naroda i kolonista potlačenih od Britanaca. A 1779. zagovarao je plan koji je predložio njegov prijatelj John Laurens da naoruža i uvrsti porobljene ljude u kontinentalnu vojsku - i zauzvrat ih nagradi njihovom slobodom. (Vašington se protivio toj ideji sve dok se Britanci nisu bacili na takav mamac.) "Diktati čovječanstva i istinska politika jednako me zanimaju u korist ove nesretne klase ljudi", napisao je Hamilton u apelu u ime Laurensa upućenog kontinentalnom kontinentu. Kongres. "Nemam ni najmanje sumnje da će crnci biti odlični vojnici, uz pravilno upravljanje", nastavio je Hamilton, dodajući da su "njihove prirodne sposobnosti vjerovatno dobre kao i naše." Njegovo lobiranje, međutim, nije uspjelo pridobiti podršku i Laurensov plan je napušten.

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Kakav god da je Hamilton odvraćao od ropstva, pokazao se sposobnim da to previdi zbog ljubavi i domovine. 1780. oženio se bogatom, robovlasničkom porodicom Schuyler. General Philip Schuyler - otac Hamiltonove supruge Elizabeth - porobio je čak 27 ljudi koji su se mučili u njegovoj vili u Albanyju u New Yorku i na obližnjoj farmi u Saratogi.

Kao delegat u New Yorku na Ustavnoj konvenciji iz 1787., Hamilton je uvidio potrebu za kompromisom kako bi uspostavio novu, snažnu saveznu vladu, pa je podržao takozvanu klauzulu "tri petine", koja je svakog porobljenog radnika računala kao tri petine osobe za potrebe određivanja državnog stanovništva. "Bez ovog popuštanja ne bi moglo biti ni sindikata", rekao je Hamilton za New York Ratifying Convention.

Dvije godine ranije, Hamilton je bio među osnivačima njujorškog Manumission Society -a, koje je tražilo postepenu emancipaciju robova u državi. Hamilton je bio sekretar organizacije koja je osnovala njujoršku Afričku besplatnu školu i pomogla u donošenju državnog zakona iz 1799. koji je oslobodio djecu robova. Usprkos postavljenim ciljevima društva, više od polovice njegovih članova posjedovalo je ljude. Hamilton je pomogao u osmišljavanju posebnog rasporeda za članove društva za oslobađanje vlastitih robova radnika - inicijativa koja nije otišla nigdje.

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Je li Hamilton sam posjedovao robove?

U toku upravljanja finansijama svog zeta, budući ministar finansija SAD-a bio je uključen u kupovinu i prodaju porobljenih slugu za Schuylerove. 1784. pokušao je pomoći svojoj šogorici Angelici da ponovo pridobije jednog od njenih ljudi koji su ranije bili robovi. Povjesničari se razlikuju, međutim, po pitanju toga da li se Hamiltonova finansijska evidencija odnosi na porobljene kućne radnike u vlasništvu njegovih tazbina-ili samih Hamiltona. U knjizi gotovine iz 1796. godine zabilježeno je Hamiltonovo plaćanje tastu od 250 dolara za “2 crnačka sluge koje je on kupio za mene”. Međutim, u knjizi glavne knjige sljedeće godine zabilježeno je odbijanje 225 USD sa računa Angelicinog supruga, Johna Barker Churcha, za kupovinu "žene i djeteta crnca", sugerirajući da je transakcija mogla biti u njihovo ime.

Iako nema konačnih dokaza, Hamiltonov unuk, Allan McLane Hamilton, tvrdio je da su te transakcije bile za njegovog djeda. "Navedeno je da Hamilton nikada nije posjedovao crnačkog roba, ali to nije istina", napisao je Hamiltonov unuk u biografiji svog djeda, prvobitno objavljenoj 1910. "Otkrivamo da u njegovim knjigama postoje zapisi koji pokazuju da ih je kupio za sebe i za druge. "

Iako povijesni zapisi ostaju nejasni po ovom pitanju, oni odražavaju jaz između Hamiltonovih riječi i djela. Hamilton je za tako obimnog pisca ostavio oskudne bilješke o pitanju ropstva. Međutim, u svojoj političkoj raspravi iz 1774 Potpuna potvrda mjera Kongresa, Hamilton je napisao da „svi ljudi imaju jedno zajedničko porijeklo: učestvuju u jednoj zajedničkoj prirodi, pa shodno tome imaju jedno zajedničko pravo“. Iako se jedva približio ekstremnom paradoksu poštovanja nezavisnosti Thomasa Jeffersona, dok je porobio stotine ljudi, Hamiltonov odnos prema ropstvu došao je sa svojim složenim kontradikcijama.


Hamilton i ropstvo

Autor Univerziteta Michelle DuRoss u Albanyju, Državni univerzitet u New Yorku

Biografi Aleksandra Hamiltona hvale Hamiltona zbog ukidanja, ali su precijenili Hamiltonov stav o ropstvu. Povjesničar John C. Miller inzistirao je: "On [Hamilton] je zagovarao jednu od najhrabrijih invazija na imovinska prava koja su ikada napravljena- ukidanje crnačkog ropstva. [1] Biograf Forest McDonald je tvrdio:" Hamilton je bio abolicionist i tu temu nikada nije pokolebao. "[2] Hamiltonov stav o ropstvu složeniji je nego što sugeriraju njegovi biografi. Hamilton nije bio zagovornik ropstva, ali kada je pitanje ropstva došlo u sukob s njegovim ličnim ambicijama, njegovo vjerovanje u vlasnička prava , ili njegovo uvjerenje u ono što bi promoviralo američke interese, Hamilton je izabrao te ciljeve umjesto suprotstavljanja ropstvu.U slučajevima u kojima je Hamilton podržao davanje slobode crncima, njegov primarni motiv više se temeljio na praktičnim brigama, a ne na ideološkom pogledu na ropstvo kao nemoralno. odluke pokazuju da mu želja za ukidanjem ropstva nije bila prioritet. Jedan od glavnih životnih ciljeva Aleksandra Hamiltona bio je uspon na viši položaj u društvu. Njegovo skromno rođenje značilo je da će ne samo morati naporno raditi, već i da će se morati sprijateljiti s pravim ljudima - bogatim i utjecajnim. Tokom osamnaestog veka, veliki broj Amerikanaca više klase držao je robove. Kad je Hamilton morao birati između svojih društvenih ambicija i želje da oslobodi robove, odlučio je slijediti svoje ambicije.

Neki povjesničari tvrde da mu je Hamiltonovo rođenje na otoku Nevisu i kasnije odrastanje u St. Croixu usadilo mržnju prema brutalnostima ropstva. Povjesničar James Oliver Horton sugerira da bi Hamiltonovo djetinjstvo okruženo robovskim sistemom Zapadne Indije "do kraja života oblikovalo Aleksandrove stavove o rasi i ropstvu". Također je mislio da ga je Hamilton "izopćenik" na ostrvu naveo da saosjeća sa robovima. [3] Horton se oslanja isključivo na sekundarne informacije. Nema postojećih Hamiltonovih dokumenata koji podržavaju ovu tvrdnju. Hamilton u svojoj prepisci nikada nije spomenuo ništa o strahotama plantažnog ropstva u Zapadnoj Indiji. Umjesto toga, Hamiltonovo osiromašeno djetinjstvo motiviralo ga je da cijeli život pokušava poboljšati svoj položaj u društvu. Da je Hamilton mrzio robovski sistem u Zapadnoj Indiji, to je možda bilo zato što on nije bio dio njega. Odrastao je okružen bogatim bijelim porodicama, dok je njegov ostao osiromašen. Nakon što je njegov otac napustio porodicu, Hamiltonova majka izdržavala je Aleksandra, njegovog brata i nju. Umrla je dok je bio tinejdžer ostavljajući ga da se sam snađe. U roku od godinu dana osigurao je posao službenika lokalnom trgovcu, ali Hamilton je mrzio nisku poziciju. Pisao je svom prijatelju iz djetinjstva, Edwardu Stevensu 1769. godine, izražavajući svoju želju za ratom kako bi se mogao uzdići iznad svoje pozicije. [4] Štaviše, Hamiltonova potraga da se popne na društvenu poziciju uticala je na njegov izbor za koga će se udati. "Godine 1779. Hamilton je zatražio pomoć od svog prijatelja i bivšeg ađutanta u Washingtonu Johna Laurensa, sina Henryja Laurensa, kako bi mu pronašao nevjestu koja je pripadala bogatoj porodici." Navodeći svoje kvalifikacije za odgovarajuću mladenku, Hamilton je napisao: Mora da je mlada, zgodna (najveći naglasak stavljam na dobru formu), razumna (malo će naučiti), dobro odgojena ... U politici sam ravnodušan sa koje strane ona može biti Mislim da imam argumente koji će je lako pretvoriti u moju. Što se tiče religije, zadovoljiće me umjerene zalihe. Mora vjerovati u boga i mrziti sveca. Ali što se tiče bogatstva, to bolje zalihe. [5] Iako je Hamilton rekao Laurensu da se šali, godinu dana kasnije Hamilton se oženio Elizabeth Schuyler, članom ugledne njujorške robovlasničke porodice. Neko ko se protivi ropstvu mogao bi imati problema s udajom u robovlasničku porodicu, ali činilo se da Hamiltonu to ne smeta. Svakako, Hamilton se nije oženio Elizabeth jer ga je volio, njegov cilj je bio oženiti bogatu ženu i uspio se oženiti jednom od najbogatijih porodica.

Hamiltonovo učešće u prodaji robova sugerira da njegov stav protiv ropstva nije bio apsolutan. Osim što se oženio robovlasničkom porodicom, Hamilton je obavljao transakcije za kupovinu i prijenos robova u ime svojih tazbini i kao dio svog zadatka u Kontinentalnoj vojsci. Godine 1777., prije nego što se oženio Elizabeth, napisao je službeno pismo pukovniku Eliasu Daytonu, prenoseći zahtjev Washingtona da Dayton vrati "Crnca koji je u posljednje vrijeme uzela stranka milicije koja pripada gospodinu Calebu Wheeleru." [6] Hamilton, pomagač Washingtona tokom revolucionarnog rata, ostao je blizak Washingtonu tokom cijelog svog života. Bio je njegov prvi sekretar Trezora i sastavio je neke od svojih govora, uključujući oproštajnu adresu. Hamilton vjerovatno ne bi htio uvrijediti Washingtona, koji je posjedovao robove, i slijedio bi naredbe svog nadređenog. Iako dostupni dokazi ne govore o Hamiltonovim osjećajima prema izvršavanju ove posebne dužnosti, njegovi postupci u najmanju ruku ukazuju na njegovo samozadovoljstvo. Nakon vjenčanja, Hamilton je intervenisao kako bi pokupio robove svog zeta. Godine 1784. njegova šogorica Angelica je pisala svojoj sestri Elizabeth objašnjavajući da želi da joj se vrati robinja Ben. Kao odgovor, Hamilton je pisao Johnu Chaloneru, trgovcu u Philadelphiji koji je obavljao poslovne poslove za Angelicinog muža, i rekao: "Od vas se traži da li će se major Jackson rastati s njim kako bi kupio preostalo vrijeme za gospođu Church i poslao ga meni . " [7] Osim toga, Hamilton se bavio i finansijama Angelicinog supruga Johna Barker Churcha, jer je par većinu svog vremena provodio u Europi. Hamilton je oduzeo 225 dolara s računa Church -a za kupovinu "žene i djeteta crnaca". [8] Hamilton je želio biti dio više klase i njegov odnos sa porodicom Schuyler i s Georgeom Washingtonom omogućio je njegovu želju da je Hamiltonu bilo važnije njegovati te odnose nego da se suprotstavi ropstvu. Da budemo pošteni, valja napomenuti da se Hamilton odlučno protivio ropstvu dovoljno da odbije pomoć pri kupovini robova ili povratku robova, pa ne bi mogao održati tako utjecajna prijateljstva, pa bi njegov stav o ropstvu imao malo uticaj na ukidanje ropstva.

Naučnici često ukazuju na Hamiltonovu podršku planu Johna Laurensa da se crnci uključe u vojsku kao dokaz njegovih egalitarnih stavova, za koje tvrde da podržavaju ideju Hamiltona kao gorljivu podršku ukidanju. Hamilton je podržao pružanje slobode robovima ako se pridruže kontinentalnoj vojsci jer je vjerovao da je to u najboljem interesu Amerike, a ne zato što je želio osloboditi robove. Kada je Laurens 1779. smislio plan za prijem crnaca u vojsku, Južnoj Karolini su bili krajnje potrebni vojnici za borbu u kontinentalnoj vojsci. Iako su se mnogi lideri, uključujući i George Washington, brinuli o dopuštanju crnaca u vojsku, Hamilton je podržao Laurensov plan. Hamilton je pisao Johnu Jayu, tada predsjedniku Kontinentalnog kongresa, da objasni valjanost plana. Tvrdio je da ne vidi drugi način odgajanja vojnika bez priznavanja crnaca. Hamilton je shvatio da se mnogi ljudi, posebno južnjaci, neće složiti s planom jer se ne bi htjeli "rastati od imovine tako vrijedne vrste ..." [9] Hamilton se suprotstavio kritičarima plana tvrdeći da će Britanci smisliti sličan plan i tada bi robovlasnici izgubili svoju imovinu u ropstvu bez ikakve koristi. Kad su mu ostali takvi izbori, Hamilton je vjerovao da će robovlasnici prirodno poslati svoje robove da se bore za američku stvar. Hamilton je tvrdio da je jedini način da se crni vojnici održe bio da im se odobri njihova "sloboda sa mušketama." [10] Argument da Hamiltonova podrška Laurensovom planu pokazuje da je bio zagovornik slobode crnaca zanemaruje Hamiltonovu motivaciju da to učini. tako da. Želio je da Amerika dobije rat, a prijem crnaca u vojsku činio se tada najboljom opcijom. U svojoj raspravi o Laurensovom planu, Ron Chernow tvrdi da su Laurens i Hamilton "obojica bili nepokolebljivi abolicionisti koji su emancipaciju robova vidjeli kao neodvojivi dio borbe za slobodu" [11] Dok njihov poziv na naoružavanje crnaca može značiti da su vidjeli crnce kao jednaki i željni da svi budu slobodni, postoje dokazi koji govore suprotno. Prema ocu Johna Laurensa, John nikada ne bi prisilio nekoga drugog da muči njegove robove jer je previše vjerovao u vlasnička prava. [12] Naučnici i njegov unuk Hamiltona su optužili da posjeduje robove, što sugerira da se njegovo uvjerenje o kvalitetu i prirodnim pravima crnaca nije uvijek pretvorilo u djelo. Moguće je da Hamilton nije posjedovao robove, ali, čak i tako, njegovo sudjelovanje u transakcijama robova sugerira dvosmisleniju sliku Hamiltona od "nepokolebljivog abolicionista". Hamiltona su motivirali praktični izrazi više nego bilo koja ideologija koja je zagovarala jednakost rasa. To ne znači da je Hamilton smatrao rase urođeno nejednakim, ali da nije diktirao Hamiltonov stav o politici. Hamilton je, poput Laurensa, htio pustiti crnce u vojsku jer su smatrali da je to jedino praktično rješenje za probleme vojske. Hamiltonovo članstvo u Društvu za promicanje izobličenja robova u New Yorku navelo je povjesničare da vjeruju da je Hamilton bio abolicionist. Richard Brookhiser, Hamiltonov biograf i glavni kustos izložbe o Aleksandru Hamiltonu u Historijskom društvu New Yorka, tvrdi da je Hamilton bio abolicionist. Brookhiser spominje da je Hamilton bio jedan od osnivača Društva. On zatim tvrdi: "Društvo je ... uspješno nastojalo da ropstvo učini ilegalnim u New Yorku - značajno postignuće u državi u kojoj je ropstvo bilo stvarno prisutno." On ne navodi dokaze o uticaju društva na njujorške zakone. Nadalje, on ne pokazuje nikakvo direktno učešće Hamiltona u potrazi za njujorškim zakonima protiv ropstva. [13] U zapisima Društva nedostaju značajni podaci o Hamiltonu koji ukazuju na to da on nije imao dominantnu ulogu u društvu. [14] New York je donio zakon koji predviđa postupnu emancipaciju robova 1799. godine, ali nije ukinuo ropstvo sve do 1827. godine, više od dvadeset godina nakon što je Hamilton ubijen u dvoboju. [15]

Hamiltonovo članstvo u društvu nije bilo u suprotnosti s njegovim naglaskom na imovinskim pravima. Članovi Društva su i dalje mogli posjedovati robove. Kad su se članovi sazvali 4. februara 1785. radi sastavljanja svog ustava, osnovali su odbor koji će odlučiti kako se članovi društva trebaju ponašati prema robovima koje posjeduju. Hamilton je bio dio odbora, koji je prvobitno tražio od članova da pokopaju svoje robove. Prijedlog odbora je odbijen i članovima je dozvoljeno da ostanu robovlasnici. [16] Iako je Hamilton sjedio u odborima i povremeno bio kancelar Društva, njegovo prisustvo na sastancima bilo je sporadično. Štaviše, u zapisima Društva Manumissions, zajedno sa Hamiltonovim dokumentima, nedostaje Hamiltonova stvarna diskusija u vezi sa njegovim razmišljanjima o društvu ili onome što društvo treba težiti da postigne. Njegovo članstvo dalo mu je priliku za daljnju interakciju s vrhom njujorškog društva. Društvo se pohvalilo impresivnom listom Njujorčana više klase, uključujući Johna Jaya i Roberta Troupa. Hamiltonovo učešće u Društvu takođe je izazvalo pohvale njegovog prijatelja markiza de Lafayettea. [17] Iako se društvo protiv ropstva u Pensilvaniji izričito zalagalo za ukidanje ropstva, društvo protiv ropstva Hamilton pripadalo je zagovaranju oprosta robova. [18] Društvo je reklo da ljudi trebaju osloboditi svoje robove, a ne da oni to čine trebalo je oslobodi svoje robove. Hamilton je podržao oslobađanje robova, ali samo ako to nije ometalo zaštitu vlasničkih prava. Hamilton je smatrao da bi imovinska prava trebala utjecati na zastupljenost, što je jedan od razloga zašto je podržao klauzulu od tri petine u Ustavu. Iako je šutio o ovom pitanju tokom Ustavne konvencije, zalagao se za to tokom Njujorške konvencije o ratifikaciji 1788. Hamilton se nije sviđao Ustavu, ali je shvatio da nijedan plan neće biti savršen. Ustav je bio kompromis između državnih delegata nakon što su donijeli svoju odluku, Hamilton je krenuo da dobije podršku za nju. Grozničavo je krenuo na posao pišući niz eseja kako bi ubedio Njujorčane da ratifikuju Ustav i obelodanio je svoj slučaj tokom Njujorške konvencije o ratifikaciji. Hamilton je predložio da što više imovine neko ima, to bi se njegov glas trebao računati. [19] Hamilton se bojao nižih klasa i kao rezultat toga podržao je davanje manje glasa u vladi. Hamilton je vjerovao da bogati imaju više vrlina, dok siromašni imaju više poroka "Njihovi poroci [elite] vjerovatno su povoljniji za prosperitet države, nego oni siromašnih i manje učestvuju u moralnoj izopačenosti." [20] Hamilton je smatrao da su niže klase lijene i da neće doprinijeti ekonomskom rastu nacije, dok su bogati, ako su imali poroke, pohlepni ili tašti - poroci koji ne bi bili toliko štetni za prosperitet Amerike. In Nedostaci Konfederacije, Hamilton je predložio da Kongres imenuje državne službenike u skladu s ovim kvalitetama: "Kongres bi trebao izabrati za ove funkcije ljude prvih sposobnosti, imovine i karaktera ..." [21] Hamilton je tokom Ustavne konvencije primijetio da je britanski Dom lordova najplemenitija institucija "jer" nemaju slučajno čemu da se nadaju, a dovoljni su interesi putem njihove imovine. "[22] Prema Hamiltonu, ljudi sa znatnom količinom imovine osigurali bi stabilnost. Smatrao je da ljudi moraju biti vlasnici neovisni. Hamilton je pokazao da poštuje višu klasu i da ih želi na pozicijama moći. Hamilton je tvrdio da budući da su robovi oporezovani trebaju računati u predstavljanju, aludirajući na popularnu revolucionarnu frazu "bez oporezivanja bez zastupanja." [23] On se zalagao za Veliku Britaniju i tokom Ustavnog kongresa predložio sistem vlasti sličan onom u Velikoj Britaniji gdje je zastupljenost bila ograničena na bogatu imovinu koja posjeduje muškarce . [24] Hamiltonova podrška klauzuli 3/5 podudara se s njegovim uvjerenjem da bi ljudi s većom imovinom trebali imati veću riječ o tome kako je zemlja r un.

Hamilton je prihvatio zaštitu ropstva u Ustavu kako bi osigurao sjedinjenje sjevera i juga, što je bilo potrebno za finansijski rast koji je zamislio. Budući da su južnjaci vjerovali da im je potrebna dodatna zastupljenost kako bi zaštitili svoj robski sistem, Hamilton je shvatio da je klauzula od tri petine neophodna za stvaranje unije-bez kompromisa od tri petine Jug nikada ne bi pristao na formiranje Sjedinjenih Država. Oni su zaključili da će bez klauzule sjever dominirati Kongresom i da može uništiti ropstvo. Za Hamiltona je prosperitet Amerike zavisio od ujedinjenja Sjevera i Juga. On je tvrdio da su južne države bile "prednost" za sjever ističući da južne države posjeduju duhan, pirinač i indigo, "koji moraju biti kapitalni objekti u trgovinskim ugovorima sa stranim državama". [25] New York Evening Post, koji je osnovao Hamilton, sadržavao je oglase za robu proizvedenu od robova. [26] Oglasi u jednom njujorškom listu dodatno osvjetljavaju međusobnu povezanost sjeverne i južne ekonomije. Hamiltonov stav pokazuje da je favorizirao trgovinu i da je sjeveru bio potreban jug za održavanje profita. On je izabrao nacionalnu ekonomsku moć umjesto zauzimanja stava protiv ropstva. Hamiltonove radnje u vezi s Pariškim mirovnim ugovorom iz 1783. i srodnim Džejevim ugovorom iz 1794. daju komplikovanu sliku o njegovom stavu o ropstvu. Hamilton je u početku kritizirao britansko kršenje Ugovora iz 1783. i pozvao Britance da vrate crnce koje su Britanci odnijeli. Ali Hamilton je promijenio svoj položaj kako bi izbjegao sukobe s Velikom Britanijom i njenim diplomatama, posebno nakon što je njegov prijatelj John Jay osigurao izmijenjenu verziju Ugovora. Štaviše, vjerovao je da bi priznavanje Ugovora pomoglo osigurati položaj Amerike među narodima i njen ekonomski prosperitet. Hamilton je također uspio pomiriti svoje vjerovanje u svetost imovinskih prava uz podršku Jayjevog ugovora. Kontroverze oko Ugovora iz 1783. odnose se na član VII ugovora. Henry Laurens, istaknuti robovlasnik u Južnoj Karolini koji je profitirao od trgovine robljem, pozvao je Benjamina Franklina, Johna Jaya i Johna Adamsa, koji su pregovarali o mirovnom sporazumu, da uključe odredbu koja je zabranila Britancima da uzimaju robove tokom njihove evakuacije iz Amerike. Laurensov zahtjev završio je kao član VII ugovora, koji je rekao: Svi zatvorenici s obje strane bit će pušteni na slobodu, a njegovo britansko veličanstvo će svom zgodnom brzinom, bez nanošenja ikakvog uništenja, ili odvozeći sve crnce ili drugu imovinu američkog stanovništva, povući sve svoje vojske, garnizone i flote iz navedenih Sjedinjenih Država. [27] [naglasak dodat] Simon Schama ističe da je interes robova dominirao politikom ranog republikanskog razdoblja. "Umetanjem svog članka u nacrt ugovora Laurens je obvezivao ne samo svoje kolege Karolince, već i cijelu robovlasničku klasu Juga koja je izvršila revoluciju ..." [28] Objašnjava da je gotovo odmah pitanje odvođenja crnaca postalo izvor tenzije između Britanije i Amerike. Kada je Washington 6. maja 1783. godine upoznao Guya Carletona, započeo je razgovor raspravom o članu VII, a ne ispitivanjem Carletona o konačnoj evakuaciji iz New Yorka. Prema Schami, lice Washingtona je "pocrvenjelo" kada mu je Carleton rekao da su crnci već bili evakuirani s Britancima iako su Britanci snimali imena kako bi robovlasnici dobili nadoknadu. [29] Uprkos svojoj frustraciji, Washington je odbacio ideju da bi Amerika trebala prekršiti svoj dio ugovora jer su Britanci prekršili ugovor oduzimanjem crnaca. Washington nije želio nastaviti borbe s Britanijom. Schama vjeruje da je Washington stav bio u skladu s njegovim realizmom. [30] Vašingtonov odgovor na to što su Britanci odbacili crnce kršeći Ugovor iz 1783. sličan je Hamiltonovom realizmu.

Hamilton također nije želio riskirati rat s Britanijom, iako je podržao ideju da su Britanci prekršili ugovor izbacivanjem crnaca. Tokom prvobitne rasprave o mirovnom sporazumu, Hamilton je izjavio da Britanci moraju vratiti crnce koje su uzeli sa sobom Hamilton je tvrdio da je uzimanje crnaca nakon rata kršilo imovinska prava. Hamilton je 26. maja 1783. godine podnio prijedlog Kontinentalnom kongresu koji je "protestovao protiv oduzimanja crnaca koji pripadaju građanima Sjedinjenih Država." [31] Osim Hamiltonovog javnog prijedloga, dao je i sličan komentar u svojoj privatnoj prepisci Georgeu Clinton, guverner New Yorka: Pretpostavimo da bi Britanci sada trebali poslati ne samo Crnce nego i svu ostalu imovinu i sve javne zapise u njihovom vlasništvu koji nam pripadaju ... ne bismo li ih trebali opravdano optužiti za kršenje vjere. Nije li to već učinjeno u slučaju crnaca? [32] Hamilton je smatrao da su Britanci odbacivali crnce kao kršenje Ugovora iz 1783. i više bi volio da ga Britanci podrže. Ipak, kada je shvatio da Sjedinjene Države ne mogu vratiti izgubljenu imovinu robovlasnika, prihvatio je to umjesto da je potpuno raskinuo ugovor. Hamilton se nije složio s njima, uključujući Jamesa Madisona i Thomasa Jeffersona, koji su smatrali da je ugovor ništavan zbog kršenja Britanije. Objasnio je Clinton "neki su ljudi rekli da je djelovanje ovog sporazuma obustavljeno 'do konačnog ugovora." [33] Više od godinu dana nakon što je Hamilton napisao pismo Clintonu, primijetio je tvrdnje svojih protivnika u njegov Drugo pismo iz Focion: Da je kršenje ugovora od strane Britanaca, slanjem velikog broja crnaca, po mojim principima [Hamiltonovim protivnicima] odavno poništilo ugovor i ostavilo nas sa savršenom slobodom da napustimo odredbe, s naše strane . [34]


Upalila je pažnju na robovlasništvo Aleksandra Hamiltona. To ju je dovelo na nacionalnu scenu.

Jessie Serfilippi, 27-godišnja povjesničarka početnica, izazvala je pobunu i privukla pažnju nacionalnih medija nakon što je nedavno objavila članak na web stranici Schuyler Mansion ’s koji je razotkrio mit o ocu utemeljitelju Aleksandru Hamiltonu kao abolicionistu i dokumentirao njegovu ulogu kao trgovac i vlasnik robova.

Paul Grondahl / Times Union Prikaži više Prikaži manje

2 od 9 Jessie Serfilippi, samouka povjesničarka i tumač u Albanyjevom dvorcu Schuyler, pronašla je dokaze u primarnim izvorima da je Alexander Hamilton posjedovao i prodavao porobljene ljude. Ponuđena fotografija Prikaži više Prikaži manje

essie Serfilippi, prevoditeljica i Heidi Hill, voditeljica lokacije, na drugom spratu u pristaništu Schuyler, gdje obilasci uključuju nova istraživanja o robovlasničkoj prošlosti porodice Schuyler i Alexandera Hamiltona.

Paul Grondahl / Times Union Prikaži više Prikaži manje

Jesse Serfilippi ostaje neskriveni obožavatelj mjuzikla “Hamilton ” uprkos oštroj kritici zeta generala Philipa Schuylera Aleksandra Hamiltona kao vlasnika robova.

Paul Grondahl / Times Union Prikaži više Prikaži manje

Pogled na dvorca Schuyler u gradskom južnom kraju#8217s iz vrta u dvorištu. Osoblju državnog historijskog lokaliteta zabranjeno je komentirati slažu li se s prijedlogom gradonačelnice Kathy Sheehan o uklanjanju statue generala Philipa Schuylera ispred gradske vijećnice jer je on bio rob.

Paul Grondahl / Times Union Prikaži više Prikaži manje

Jessie Serfilippi, koja je diplomirala kreativno pisanje i prvenstveno piše beletristiku, stoji ispod Hamiltonovog portreta u plavoj sobi, gdje se Hamilton oženio Schuylerovom kćerkom, Elizabeth, 14. prosinca 1780.

Paul Grondahl / Times Union Prikaži više Prikaži manje

ALBANY & mdash Jessie Serfilippi je slučajni ikonoklast Aleksandra Hamiltona.

Dvadesetsedmogodišnji istoričar početnik i honorarni tumač u dvorcu Schuyler nedavno je na državnom historijskom web mjestu & rsquos objavio naučni esej o Ocu osnivaču koji je u velikoj mjeri zanemario istoriju kao robovlasnika što je izazvalo veliku pometnju.

& ldquoMoja pokretačka snaga bila je osigurati da se ne izbriše priča o ljudima koje je Hamilton porobio. Nikada nisam očekivao svu ovu pažnju ", rekao je rdiquo Serfilippi prošle srijede. Stajala je u vili od crvene opeke u gruzijskom stilu i salonu plave sobe u kojoj se Hamilton oženio 14. decembra 1780. kćerkom generala Philipa Schuylera & rsquos, Elizabeth.

Serfilippi saw Lin-Manuel Miranda&rsquos smash hip-hop musical, &ldquoHamilton,&rdquo three times on stage &ndash once on Broadway as a birthday gift from her father &ndash and has watched the film version repeatedly. She can sing all the songs on the soundtrack by heart and admits to being a fangirl.

On the other hand, as a scholar, Serfilippi is unafraid to bust the myth of Hamilton as an abolitionist and to call him out as a slave owner.

Serfilippi&rsquos 28-page research paper, &ldquoAs Odious And Immoral A Thing: Alexander Hamilton&rsquos Hidden History as an Enslaver,&rdquo was first reported on in October by the Daily Gazette. It generated a major story in The New York Times last month that set off tremors of reconsideration of the first Secretary of the Treasury and face of the $10 bill during a moment of national reckoning on race.

Smithsonian Magazine, Associated Press, the Guardian and other media outlets also picked up the story.

&ldquoWe feel the evidence is very solid. This is not new material, but Jessie looked at all the primary sources with fresh eyes and a sharp focus,&rdquo said Heidi Hill, Schuyler Mansion historic site manager and Serfilippi&rsquos boss. Hill and multiple state historians vetted Serfilippi&rsquos essay, which is standard procedure for articles they post on the mansion&rsquos website.

Using primary sources available online, Serfilippi dismantled the conventional view of Hamilton by a detailed study of his cash books and correspondence letters from Hamilton&rsquos father-in-law to his wife Elizabeth and other sources. After a thorough review of the evidence, she reached what she called a &ldquorarely acknowledged truth.&rdquo

She wrote: &ldquoNot only did Alexander Hamilton enslave people, but his involvement in the institution of slavery was essential to his identity, both personally and professionally. The denial and obscuration of these facts in nearly every major biography written about him over the past two centuries has erased the people he enslaved from history.&rdquo

Serfilippi&rsquos assessment of Hamilton puts her in direct conflict with historian Ron Chernow. The bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer published "Alexander Hamilton," an acclaimed 818- page magnum opus that inspired the Broadway musical. In his biography, Chernow called Hamilton an &ldquouncompromising abolitionist.&rdquo

Chernow told The New York Times that Serfilippi&rsquos research &ldquobroadens our sense of Hamilton&rsquos involvement in slavery in a number of ways,&rdquo but he faulted her for overlooking his abolitionist involvement &ndash including Hamilton&rsquos early membership in the New-York Manumission Society, which promoted an end to slavery.

&ldquoShe omits all information that would contradict her conclusions,&rdquo Chernow told the Times.

Serfilippi is critical of Chernow and other biographers who foreground Hamilton as an abolitionist while giving only glancing references to evidence of enslavement.

Serlifippi wrote: &ldquoIn light of these primary sources, the majority of which are in Hamilton&rsquos own hand, it is vital that the myth of Hamilton as the &lsquoAbolitionist Founding Father&rsquo end.&rdquo

Meanwhile, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed, a Harvard law professor, used Twitter to praise Serfilippi&rsquos bold assertions.

&ldquoFascinating article,&rdquo she tweeted. &ldquoAlexander Hamilton as an enslaver broadens the discussion.&rdquo

Other notable historians also applauded Serfilippi&rsquos nonconformist take on Hamilton.

This is heady stuff for a self-taught historian. Serfilippi grew up in Bethlehem, graduated from the Academy of Holy Names in 2011 and earned a bachelor&rsquos degree in English and an MFA in creative writing, both from The College of Saint Rose. She is primarily a fiction writer, has published in small journals and is working on a young adult novel.

During an internship at the Albany County Hall of Records in 2015, Serfilippi randomly pulled a volume of Albany&rsquos Common Council minutes from 1790 and her eyes fell on an entry involving Alexander Hamilton. &ldquoNah, it can&rsquot be that guy,&rdquo she told herself.

Serfilippi&rsquos random connection to Hamilton was made, which intensified when she was hired in 2017 to lead tours at the Schuyler Mansion. She was influenced by discussions with Danielle Funiciello, a former site interpreter who wrote extensively on the women of Schuyler Mansion.

Funiciello is pursuing a Ph.D. in history at the University at Albany and is working on a biography of Angelica Schuyler Church.

Serfilippi was also motivated by the sold-out tours she led &ndash attendance doubled due to the so-called &ldquoHamilton&rdquo effect &ndash and questions that hung in the air about the complicated legacy with slavery of the Schuyler and Hamilton families.

&ldquoWe started hearing more questions about whether the Schuylers enslaved people, especially from children on the tours,&rdquo she recalled.

Hill, the mansion site manager for 15 years, credited an intensive 2013 summer training program at Yale University that focused on historical biases for giving her confidence to dig more deeply into the extent of slavery within Albany&rsquos most revered families &ndash including the Schuylers. Hill helped build exhibits around startling statistics previously ignored.

In 1790, there were 217 households in Albany County that owned five or more slaves of African descent with a total of 3,722 slaves, the most of any county among New York state&rsquos 21,193 slaves counted in that year&rsquos census. The Schuylers enslaved 13 people at the Albany estate that year, slightly fewer than the Van Rensselaer household.

Hamilton&rsquos meticulous accounting in his personal ledgers was among Serlifippi&rsquos most damning evidence in her research.

&ldquoThese cash books make it evident that the enslavement of men, women, and children of African descent was part of both Hamilton&rsquos professional and personal life,&rdquo she writes. Hamilton was both an owner and trader of enslaved people. In a 1784 cash book entry, Hamilton documented the sale of a woman named Peggy for 90 pounds to a physician, Dr. Malachi Treat.

And in 1797, Hamilton recorded a purchase of a &ldquonegro woman and child&rdquo at a price of $225 for Angelica Schuyler Church and her husband, John Barker Church.

Upon his death in 1804, the property of Hamilton&rsquos estate was valued by his executor: a house worth 2,200 pounds, furniture and library valued at 300 pounds and enslaved servants worth 400 pounds.

After two years spent documenting Hamilton&rsquos slave-owning past, Serfilippi is shifting focus.

&ldquoGeneral Schuyler enslaved 40 people during his lifetime and we know very little about their lives,&rdquo she said. &ldquoI want to tell the stories of Lewis the coachman and Silva the cook and the others. We should not allow them to be erased from history.&rdquo


Kako je Alexander Hamilton sjebao Ameriku

Having now endured a more than two-year orgy of adoration for the Broadway hip-hop musical, Hamilton, the public surely deserves a historical corrective. Historian Brion McClanahan's latest work on the Revolutionary period, How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America, is being released Monday.

Ron Paul, the Libertarian and Republican candidate for president and longtime U.S. Representative from Texas, has written the foreword, which he graciously shared in advance with Reason.

The central government has always been the greatest threat to liberty in America, but most Americans don't understand how modern America became the warfare state. How did the president acquire so much unconstitutional power? How did the federal judiciary become, at times, the most powerful branch of government? How were the states reduced to mere corporations of the general government? Why is every issue, from abortion to bathrooms to crime to education, a "national" problem? The people have very little input into public policy. They vote, they rally, they attend "town hall" meetings, but it does very little to stop the avalanche of federal laws, regulations, and rules that affect every aspect of American life. We have a federal leviathan that can't be tamed, and Americans are angry about it. They want answers.

Certainly, the Framers of the Constitution did not design our system this way. They intended the checks and balances between the three branches of government and also between the states and the central government to limit the potential for abuse, but somewhere along the way that changed. Who or what changed the system? It wasn't Barack Obama or George W. Bush. It wasn't even Franklin Roosevelt, his cousin Teddy, or Woodrow Wilson. They certainly helped, but as Brion McClanahan argues in the following pages, the architects of our nationalist nightmare were none other than Alexander Hamilton and a trio of Supreme Court justices: John Marshall, Joseph Story, and Hugo Black. Identifying the source of the problem is essential for correcting it.

Hamilton has become one of the more popular figures in America for the Left and the Right, so accusing him of making a mess of the United States is certainly shocking. But it is also accurate. Hamilton's constitutional machinations created the outline for literally every unconstitutional federal act, from executive and judicial overreach to the nationalization of every political issue in the country. He lied to the American public about his true intentions before the Constitution was ratified and then used sly doublespeak to persuade others that so-called "implied powers" were part of the plan from the beginning. We would not have abusive unilateral executive authority in foreign and domestic policy, dangerous central banking, and impotent state governments without Hamilton's guidance. Hamilton is the architect of big government in America.

Marshall, Story, and Black certainly acted as co-conspirators. Marshall's landmark decisions could have been written by Hamilton. His reading of the Constitution was at odds with how the document was explained to the state ratifying conventions in 1788. Marshall's interpretation would have led the people to reject the document. His belief in federal judicial supremacy and unchecked national authority has been the keystone to every subsequent outrageous federal ruling, from Roe protiv Wadea to NIFB v. Sebelius. Marshall is the reason the Supreme Court now takes center stage in every political debate in America, but he did not accomplish this alone.

Marshall's protégé and right hand man Joseph Story codified Marshall's vision for federal judicial supremacy as a popular legal scholar and law professor. Even today, law students across the country are taught Story's version of federal power. Story's message is simple: the federal government is supreme (even if it isn't), the state governments are subservient to the central authority, and the federal court system is the final arbiter in all constitutional questions. When these law students become lawyers and judges, they echo Story's teachings. With a legal profession so infested with a version of American political history contradictory to the actual record, it is no wonder the federal judiciary has become a mere rubber stamp in the expansion of federal power.

Black put the finishing touches on the Hamiltonian coup. As a member of the Supreme Court in the mid-twentieth century, Black participated in the final transformation of America from a federal union that respected state powers to a unitary state with unlimited control over the lives of individual Americans. You can't pray in public schools, control who uses public bathrooms, regulate pornography, or keep common standards of public decency because of Hugo Black. His insistence that the majority of the people of the states had very little influence over the social standards of their own communities delivered a death blow to the original Constitution. Thanks to Black, Americans now believe every issue is national, no matter how local in scope.

McClanahan has done a service to those who love liberty and respect the original Constitution as drafted and ratified by the founding generation. By knowing how we went wrong and who drove America off the rails, Americans can begin to repair the damage done to our political system. Unrestrained nationalism is a curse, but there is an antidote: liberty and federalism. If we start to cultivate liberty and freedom in our own communities and insist that our elected officials pursue the same agenda by disengaging the general government from Hamilton's desire for unchecked national power, we could salvage real America from the ruins of Hamilton's America. Education is the first step, and reading this book is a nice place to start.


The Hidden History of Cities

Every city has a hidden history. The 17th-Century founding of New Amsterdam crowded out thousands of Lenape people, who for centuries had lived the land now known as New York City. Chicago’s proud architecture says nothing about the devastating ecological toll its construction took on the region’s forests and prairies in the 19th Century. And the ever-spreading development of Los Angeles is silent about the political war over water rights that preceded the city bursting forth in the early 20th Century.

Washington, DC, has its own secret stories. In fact, this city has no business being here.

While histories of Washington often begin with the establishment of the capital in 1790, in actuality Native Americans had occupied the banks of the Potomac River for 4,000 years. By the end of the 18th Century Georgetown and Alexandria had become thriving Colonial ports, after displacing many tribes of Algonquians to outer Virginia and Maryland. As the seat of government of a fledgling nation, the marshy plot of land wedged between the Potomac and Anacostia rivers was an unlikely choice. The largest city in the country, New York, was twice the size of any city in the South and already served as the Continental Congress’ meeting place. Alexander Hamilton, a New Yorker, solicited support from Virginians Jefferson and Madison to propose the Residence Act, which created the capital city in Washington. As the new Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton wanted to consolidate considerable debts racked up by the states during the Revolution. The North owed more than the South, which had become wealthy from the exploding sugar and cotton industries, wholly dependent on slavery. Some Northern states already had abolished slavery, and the South feared losing power. Hamilton proposed a compromise: the South would assume debt from the North if the capital were moved to the border of Virginia and Maryland. An avid abolitionist, he nevertheless helped strengthen the institution of slavery by putting the nation’s center of power in the South. Historically, the very existence of the city is bound up with “America’s original sin.”

The Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), which opened this Fall, makes all this explicit in its exhibits but also implicit in its very presence on the National Mall. In recent months, much has been written about the museum, but little if any media attention has thoroughly addressed the building’s complicated relationship with the city.

The location itself speaks volumes. The building stands on land once home to slave markets, common along the Mall in the early 19th Century. Slaves built many of the iconic structures along the Mall, including the White House and the Capitol, dubbed the “Temple of Liberty,” as well as the Smithsonian itself, as research recently discovered. Martha Washington is believed to have provided the slaves who quarried stone for the original building, James Renwick’s “Castle.” Andrew Jackson, one of ten US Presidents who were slave-owners, presided over the Smithsonian’s founding in 1836, and Jefferson Davis, soon to be president of the Confederacy, sat on the Board of Regents and actually served on the committee overseeing development of the Castle, so the museum itself has a tainted past that it reportedly has been reluctant to acknowledge.

Originally, the west end of the Mall was under water. Prior to the McMillan Plan of 1901, which proposed a significant extension westward, the NMAAHC site was at the mouth of Tiber Creek, below the Washington City Canal, which cut off the Mall from downtown. According to the historic preservation report prepared for the Smithsonian during the development of the new museum, the whole space south of the canal was “undesirable and received little attention.” For much of the 1800s, Congress leased the land for cattle grazing, and the canal itself became an open sewer. While the museum site is ostensibly the last remaining space on the Mall, it is nevertheless a precarious plot of land—historically, ecologically, politically, and symbolically.

The report also emphasizes the site’s relationship to the original L’Enfant Plan (1791), “a principal tenet” of which was the “reciprocity of sight” between major public buildings or memorials along the Mall, grand gestures inspired by Versailles. The most important examples are the vistas between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial and between the White House and the Jefferson Memorial. At the intersection of these two visual axes is the Washington Monument, and the NMAAHC sits just northeast of this crossing—central but not centered.

The new building’s metaphorical associations with these other structures is poignant. The Capitol’s “Temple of Liberty,” built by slaves, faces west toward a shrine to the man who ended slavery. A century later on the steps of that shrine, Martin Luther King staged the historic “I Have A Dream” speech, and the new museum’s placement off the central crossing of the Mall embodies that speech’s reference to African Americans inhabiting “the corners of American society.” The tiny temple to Jefferson, the slave-owner who authored the Declaration of Independence, faces northward to the White House, occupied at the time of the museum’s opening by the first Black president and now soon to be occupied by his successor, whose relationship with the African American community has been contentious, to say the least. (Major reviews of the NMAAHC generally occurred prior to the 2016 presidential election, after which the symbolic relationship between the museum and the White House has become all the more complex.)

In the middle of this ensemble is a monument to the “father of the country,” whose wife’s slaves built the very institution operating the new museum. Beyond the Lincoln Memorial, across the Potomac, lies Arlington National Cemetery, established after the Civil War at the former home of Robert E. Lee, who both owned slaves and called the practice “a moral and political evil.” These ironies are not lost on the museum’s designers and planners, of course: framed views from the upper floors highlight these historical complexities. “History is played out in front of your eyes,” says David Adjaye, the lead architect. While this complicated heritage existed before the new museum appeared, the building’s presence now serves as a powerful and permanent reminder.

Washington remains the supreme paradox among cities. As the capitol of the “world’s oldest democracy,” its plan and its most prominent architecture nevertheless invoke European legacies of autocrats and aristocrats, so its image inevitably represents a struggle between freedom and power. The new museum, the most important building to appear on the Mall in decades, prods the city’s troubled past and conflicted image—just by coming into being.

The next article in a series on the NMAAHC: “The Space of Resistance.”


To understand the US's complex history with slavery, look to Thomas Jefferson

S teve Light looked at the tourists gathered on the east portico and asked what words come to mind when they think of Thomas Jefferson. “Declaration of Independence,” ventured one. “President,” said another. “Library,” offered a third. No one mentioned slave owner.

But the tour guide, describing Monticello’s grand house on a hill and 5,000-acre plantation that grew mainly tobacco and wheat, did not mince words. “It’s important to remember this house is not possible without enslaved labour that supported Jefferson’s lifestyle. So Jefferson’s a complicated guy. If you want to understand the United States, you probably have to understand Thomas Jefferson.”

Not every country in the world embraces such a self-critique or subtle understanding of founders and heroes. Jefferson has been back under the microscope this week in the wake of neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan violence in nearby Charlottesville, Virginia. Donald Trump, decrying the removal of Confederate statues, tweeted: “Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”

It is true that both Jefferson and Lee owned slave plantations in Virginia. But most historians find the comparison absurd: Jefferson (1743-1826) helped create the United States, whereas Lee was a traitor who took up arms to destroy it. Nevertheless, the third US president’s reputation has risen and fallen over time, and Monticello – the only former home of an American president to be granted UN world heritage status – is a beautiful, living museum that strives to reflect the moral ambiguity of his legacy.

Tour manager Light led the group into what Jefferson called his “essay in architecture”, drawing on ancient Rome, and an entrance hall decorated with Native American tools, weapons and clothing as well as antique maps, mineral samples, antlers, horns and bones of extinct animals. A cannonball-sized weights-and-pulley system worked as a seven day calendar clock over two floors. Busts included Jefferson’s political nemesis Alexander Hamilton, “now a Broadway star,” Light said.

Next, in the south square room, a copy of the Declaration of Independence, authored by Jefferson, hangs in a frame. It includes the words, “all men are created equal”. Light explained to the tour group that Jefferson opposed slavery, calling it a “moral depravity” and a “hideous blot” that presented the greatest threat to the survival of the new nation. Yet for all his unquenchable curiosity and exquisite reasoning, he owned 607 enslaved men, women and children during his lifetime and freed only five in his will.

His writings also suggested that black people were inferior in “body and mind”. Light told the group: “Jefferson’s ideas have been used by generations to support the institution of slavery, the Jim Crow laws and, very plainly, racial ideas today.”

Next are the library and cabinet room, like stepping into the mind of this Enlightenment polymath who believed reason and knowledge could improve human condition. There are books, an octagonal filing table with drawers labeled for alphabetical filing, an astronomical case clock, telescope, orrery (model of the solar system), a revolving book stand that allowed Jefferson to read and reference five books at a time and a copying machine he used to duplicate his numerous letters as he wrote them.

But for visitors to Monticello, about 120 miles from Washington DC, there is also recognition of the brutal, unpaid labour that made this personal laboratory and genteel life of the mind possible. In this it is a metaphor for America itself and the glittering cities, soaring skyscrapers and industrial might inextricably bound with centuries of exploitation.

Last year Monticello, with the National Endowment for the Humanities and University of Virginia (founded by Jefferson), hosted a public summit on the legacies of race and slavery. It has also launched an app, “Slavery at Monticello”, and is restoring Mulberry Row, the principal plantation street that was the center of life for free white and black people, indentured servants and slaves. Work is under way to preserve or reconstruct its dwellings, workshops and storehouses.

In one of the rebuilt cabins, which includes a bed, an information panel is entitled provocatively: “Not so bad?” It says: “John and Priscilla Hemmings lived in a cabin similar to – or even better than – the dwelling of many poorer free whites. Yet the material comfort suggested here did not lessen the enslavement of the Hemmingses. All enslaved people, as property, endured the constant threat of sale and separation from their families subject to the needs and wishes of their owners, a reality that no poor free person had to endure. Physical violence and force were hallmarks of bondage but the threat of separation to enslaved families was an equally powerful and devastating aspect of the American slave system.”

Descendants of the Hemmings have slept in this reconstructed dwelling, part of an ongoing project at Monticello to engage the families of Jefferson’s slaves. Niya Bates, public historian of slavery and African American life at Monticello, recalled: “There were 10 people in this cabin, it was the hottest night of the summer and they could hear animals outside. There was a sense of ‘Wow, these spaces are uncomfortable.’”

Next year, Monticello will open the restored quarters of Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman, to the public. Hemings had at least six children, now believed to have been fathered by Jefferson many years after the death of his wife. Hemings’s name became publicly linked to Jefferson’s in 1802, when a newspaper alleged that she was Jefferson’s “concubine” and had borne him a number of children. A 1998 DNA study genetically linked Hemings’s male descendants with male descendants of the Jefferson family.

Bates said: “I was eight when Sally Hemings’s DNA came out and I remember people fighting tooth and nail in the grocery store. A lot of people just denied her relationship with Jefferson ever existed there were his descendants and people who have this in their oral history. The DNA just backed it up.”

Bates, 27, who is African American and grew up in Charlottesville, added: “Charlottesville has always had a complex racial history. People are unwilling to deal with racism in an intimate way with their friends and family. But we’ve had the Monticello descendants uniting with Jefferson’s white descendants and trying to reconcile. What we can do is have communities come together.”


Hamilton despised slavery but didn’t confront George Washington or other slaveholders

A young Alexander Hamilton arrived in New York City at King’s College, today’s Columbia University, during a time of fervor and unrest that sounds a lot like today.

In 1773, Bostonians had just chucked their tea into the harbor. Even New York, a more crown-friendly town, crackled with talk of revolution. Eighteen-year-old Hamilton ditched his plans to study medicine and threw himself into reading Enlightenment philosophers, arguing with friends and hustling to rallies in the city.

It’s this environment that launches “Hamilton,” the musical, and casts the central character as a fresh kind of Founding Father — immigrant, outsider, activist. The Broadway show’s debut on TV for the July 4 weekend — streaming on Disney Plus, beginning Friday — puts a new lens on the most patriotic holiday at a time when American values are under painful scrutiny.

With Black Lives Matter rising and statues of white slave owners falling, it might feel good to watch “Hamilton” and think of an ethnically diverse, hip-hop past. The reality, of course, was way more complicated.

Slavery was “a system in which every character in our show is complicit in some way or another,” creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda told NPR’s Terry Gross this week. “Hamilton — although he voiced anti-slavery beliefs — remained complicit in the system.”

Hamilton doesn’t appear to have ever directly owned any enslaved people. He grew up working-class on the Caribbean islands of Nevis and St. Croix, where black people outnumbered white people more than 10 to 1. His mother died when he was no more than 13 (his date of birth is uncertain, 1755 or 1757) and left him and his brother two enslaved workers. But because the boys were born out of wedlock, they received no property.

When he arrived at King’s College, Hamilton had only been in America for a year, sent by island businessmen who took up a collection for him after being impressed by his intelligence and drive.

In New York he was surrounded by posh classmates — including a nephew of George Washington — whose families owned slaves or who brought enslaved servants along with them. Hamilton was known to despise slavery, but he also really liked having influential friends.

When he invoked the topic in his fiery early writings, it was to slam British loyalists as “enemies to the natural rights of mankind … because they wish to see one part of their species enslaved by another.” Meaning, the colonists were treated in the worst possible way — like slaves.

Hamilton left school before graduating to join the upstart Continental Army. There the charismatic networker made his ultimate connection, becoming aide and surrogate son to Washington. That alone required Hamilton to set aside his feelings about slavery, because Washington owned more than 100 people back home in Virginia.

But when the British began offering freedom to any enslaved people who would join the royal cause, Hamilton saw an opportunity. He urged Washington to let black soldiers fight for freedom. Hamilton touted the idea in an extraordinary letter to John Jay in 1779.

“I have not the least doubt, that the negroes will make very excellent soldiers, with proper management,” he wrote. Some say black people are inferior, he continued, but “their natural faculties are probably as good as ours.” And he stressed that “an essential part of the plan is to give them their freedom with their muskets. This will secure their fidelity, animate their courage, and I believe will have a good influence upon those who remain, by opening a door to their emancipation.”

It was a strikingly progressive stance for the time. The line about “natural faculties” is often compared to the views of his political rival, Thomas Jefferson, who denigrated black intelligence in his “Notes on the State of Virginia.”

Annette Gordon-Reed, a historian who has written extensively about Jefferson and his relationship with the enslaved Sally Hemings, has argued that it’s not entirely fair to paint Hamilton as the good guy on the question of race. Hamilton, she noted in a Harvard interview in 2016, managed slave sales for his wife’s family. When he was very young, he also kept the books for a Caribbean trading company that engaged in the slave trade.


Why ‘Hamilton’ Has Heat

What’s the story behind a show that’s become a Broadway must-see with no marquee names, no special effects and almost no white actors? Erik Piepenburg explains, in six snapshots, why “Hamilton” has become such a big deal.

“One of the most interesting things about the ‘Hamilton’ phenomenon,” she wrote last week on the blog of the National Council on Public History, “is just how little serious criticism the play has received.”

Ms. Gordon-Reed was responding to a critical essay by Lyra D. Monteiro, in the journal The Public Historian, arguing that the show’s multiethnic casting obscures the almost complete lack of identifiable African-American characters, making the country’s founding seem like an all-white affair.

“It’s an amazing piece of theater, but it concerns me that people are seeing it as a piece of history,” Ms. Monteiro, an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University, Newark, said in an interview.

The founders, she added, “really didn’t want to create the country we actually live in today.”

Ms. Gordon-Reed — who is credited with breaking down the resistance among historians to the claim that Thomas Jefferson had a sexual relationship with Sally Hemings — wrote in her response that she shared some of Ms. Monteiro’s qualms, even as she loved the musical and listened to the cast album every day.

“Imagine ‘Hamilton’ with white actors,” she wrote. “Would the rosy view of the founding era grate?”

Historians are generally not reluctant to call out the supposed sins of popularizers. When Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” arrived in 2012, a number of prominent scholars blasted it for promoting a “great man” view of history and neglecting the role African-Americans played in their own emancipation.

While the most recent critiques of “Hamilton” have focused on race, some scholars have also noted that it’s an odd moment for the public to embrace an unabashed elitist who liked big banks, mistrusted the masses and at one point called for a monarchal presidency and a Senate that served for life.

Alexander Hamilton “was more a man for the 1 percent than the 99 percent,” said Sean Wilentz, a professor at Princeton and the author of “The Politicians and the Egalitarians,” to be published in May.

Image

Turning him into “an up-from-under hero,” he added, “seems dissonant amidst the politics of 2016.”

“Hamilton” itself, by contrast, is right in tune with today’s debates about immigration and Black Lives Matter. The show, which famously began hatching after Mr. Miranda read Ron Chernow’s biography while on vacation, portrays Hamilton, who was born on Nevis, as a penniless immigrant outsider from the Caribbean who rose through sheer brilliance and drive.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Chernow, who is the show’s historical consultant, said the criticisms by Ms. Monteiro and Ms. Gordon-Reed were based on “an enormous misunderstanding” of the show, which dramatizes “a piece of political history at a very elite” — and all-white — “level of society.”

Casting black and Latino actors as the founders effectively writes nonwhite people into the story, he said, in ways that audiences have powerfully responded to. (The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has created a curriculum for 20,000 low-income New York City public school students who will be able to see the musical, in a program funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and subsidized by the show.)

“This show is the best advertisement for racial diversity in Broadway history and it is sad that it is being attacked on racial grounds,” Mr. Chernow added by email. (A publicist for “Hamilton” said Mr. Miranda was not available for comment.)

The show does include one named black character, Sally Hemings, who appears in a quick cameo that lands mainly as a dig at Jefferson. (The slaveholdings of the Schuyler family, which Hamilton married into, go unmentioned.) The show, Mr. Chernow said, also makes clear that black soldiers fought in the Revolution.

Ms. Monteiro, in her article, points out that other historical African-American individuals could have figured in the story.

The show depicts John Laurens’s plan to create a battalion of slaves who would fight in exchange for freedom, which Hamilton supported. But it omits, Ms. Monteiro noted, the known role of individuals like Cato, a slave who worked as an anti-British spy alongside his owner, Hercules Mulligan, an Irish-immigrant tailor whose espionage exploits are celebrated in the musical.

And then there’s the question of Hamilton the “uncompromising abolitionist,” as Mr. Chernow puts it in his book. He was a founding member of the New York Manumission Society, created in 1785, which among other things, pushed for a gradual emancipation law in New York State.

In the show’s last song, his widow, Eliza, sings that Hamilton would have “done so much more” against slavery had he lived longer.

But Ms. Gordon-Reed, in an interview, said that while Hamilton publicly criticized Jefferson’s views on the biological inferiority of blacks, his record from the 1790s until his death in 1804 includes little to no action against slavery.

Race and slavery, she added, are invoked directly in the show mainly to underline Hamilton’s “goodness,” especially in contrast to Jefferson. But Hamilton the ardent lifelong abolitionist, she said, is “an idea of who we would like Hamilton to be.”

Other historians are more supportive of the show’s treatment of the subject. Eric Foner, the author most recently of “Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad,” said he wished the show had complicated its populist portrait by noting Hamilton’s elitism and dedication to property rights, which were “more important to him” than fighting slavery, Mr. Foner said.

But Hamilton, he said, was an abolitionist by the standard of the founding period. “There was a real contrast with Jefferson,” he said.

R.B. Bernstein, a historian at City College of New York who has written extensively about Jefferson, credited “Hamilton” with keeping the subject of slavery simmering underneath its jam-packed story. But race and slavery, he added, were not the only important, or timely, aspects of the show.

“It’s about how hard it is to do politics, about how people of fundamentally clashing political views tried to work together to create a shared constitutional enterprise,” he said. “And right now, that’s a message we really need.”


22 Alexander Hamilton Quotes that Probably Didn’t Miss their Shot

If you were going to make a list of “people who have lived really, really full lives,” Alexander Hamilton would probably appear somewhere on that list. You can decide where he goes, but the guy was one of America’s Founding Fathers –which means all of us Americans are probably putting him up there just by default. Regardless of your opinions on America (even Americans seem to be up in the air on it), it’s hard to say Hamilton didn’t do a lot of… stuff. Instrumental to the US Constitution, he also basically built the foundation for banks–as well as founding the Federalist Party and Coast Guard. Not to mention service during the American Revolution and going out in a duel. Wild. The drama around banks was kinda funny–honestly you could turn American history into a petty sitcom. So here are some quotes from one of America’s pivotal figures that probably didn’t miss their shot.

For those interested in Alexander Hamilton’s life, we hear there’s a pretty good Broadway production about it.

On Knowledge

“Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have lies in this when I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort that I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.”

“The art of reading is to skip judiciously.”

“I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be.”

On People

“When avarice takes the lead in a state, it is commonly the forerunner of its fall.”

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

“I never expect a perfect work from an imperfect man.”

“A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.”

“Those who stand for nothing fall for everything.”

“Strut is good for nothing.”

“To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection.”

“Men are rather reasoning than reasonable animals, for the most part governed by the impulse of passion.”

On Government & Politics

“Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many.”

“A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.”

“Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.”

“Who talks most about freedom and equality? Is it not those who hold the bill of rights in one hand and a whip for affrighted slaves in the other?” **Hamilton’s relationship with slavery was quite complicated .

“For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.”

“Vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty.”

“The inquiry constantly is what will please, not what will benefit the people. In such a government there can be nothing but temporary expedient, fickleness, and folly.”

“Unless your government is respectable, foreigners will invade your rights and to maintain tranquillity you must be respectable.”

On the American Constitution

“The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited Constitution.”

“Constitutions should consist only of general provisions the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things.”

On Banking

“A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.”


Philip Hamilton Musical Alexander Hamilton: Hamilton, new york, new york.

'hamilton' musical characters in act i. Hamilton tracks the life of alexander hamilton from the time he arrived in the us as an immigrant from the virgin islands through his (spoiler alert but there's also a strong vein of pop musicality that runs through his work. Newsies, cats, wicked, the 25th annual putnam county spelling bee, bombay. Cory in fences (pioneer theatre company) O espetáculo, inspirado pela biografia de 2004 alexander hamilton do historiador ron chernow, alcançou aclamação da crítica.

Alexander hamilton hamilton animatic 13+. @disneyplus, broadway, london, sydney, and on tour! Hamilton an american musical full lyrics.

President obama and the first lady hosted the broadway cast of the musical hamilton at the white house monday for a workshop and q&a session with area. Hamilton does not have an overture. Y'all say philip hamilton isn't bolder than alaxander but philip seduce 3 women challenge some one to a duel and got shot in one song took alax a whole musical.

Coming to la and hamburg, germany. This production for the time of its exhibitions managed to collect many positive reviews from critics. Hamilton, new york, new york.


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