Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thomas Paine wanted to end slavery

"Thomas Paine wanted to abolish slavery at the same time that American Independence was won, but the pressure from slave owners was too great to overcome, and so it was left to another man to finish the job. Early in life Abraham Lincoln was inspired by Paine's writings, particularly his essay advocating the abolition of Negro slavery. Lincoln said, "I never tire of reading Paine." As a result of Paine's influence, Abraham Lincoln became the Great Emancipator and saved the Union."

WOW. And only six people showed up at Paine's funeral: 'At the time of his death, most American newspapers reprinted the obituary notice from the New York Citizen, which read in part: "He had lived long, did some good and much harm." Only six mourners came to his funeral, two of whom were black, most likely freedmen.'

I have learned much about Thomas Paine in the last 24 hours. Thank you Bill Maher! I've also learned more about the self-proclaimed "patriots" of the Tea Party. Tea Party "patriots" are not like the Founding Fathers. They are more like the people who repudiated Thomas Paine. I guess I should be glad that Glenn Beck thinks he's like Thomas Paine. LOL!


Aton said...

Don't really know what you are talking about. I read Thomas Pain in Jr. High School. Glad you finally had a chance to read some of his work. I guess this is what happens when you get your information from Bill Maher. I appreciated him more as a young man.
BTW, Thomas Pain was a Tea Party Patriot. Bill Maher is a Big Government liberal and is about as interesting as paint drying. Maher and Pain have nothing in common except they both hate organized religion. What makes Maher such a clown is he still is fighting religion like it is the greatest threat to mankind. Organized religion in America wields no real power except the power of influence and the expression of ideas. I submit that it is you and the despicable Maher who are of the same ilk, small minded bigots, who seek to silence the free expression of religious people.

Aton said...


Iraqi Mojo said...

Did you continue learning about Thomas Paine after Junior High?

In this post I got my information from this site:

There they posted "Thomas Paine and
The Age of Reason" by Joseph Lewis, which was delivered Feb. 17, 1957, over Radio Station WMIE, Miami Florida.

The quote "Only six mourners came to his funeral, two of whom were black, most likely freedmen." comes from the Wikipedia entry on Thomas Paine.

Bill Maher was merely an inspiration to learn more about Thomas Paine.

Anonymous said...

dear Mojo'
This is the final proof that the war in Iraq is over ! !You've moved toward providing American history lessons for Green Card applicants, and Lefty flamethrowing.You might enjoy Chris
Hitchens visit with Bill Maher ;it's classic Hitch !

Iraqi Mojo said...

bushtheliberator, I have always been a liberal. Well at least since college.

I'm a liberal who loathes terrorism and Saddam. There are many of us, I suspect.

Iraqi Mojo said...

I always thought the Founding Fathers owned slaves. I did not know that one of the Founding Fathers wanted to end slavery. Now I know, thanks to the inspirational satire by the clever Bill Maher. And he probably wouldn't have done it without Glenn Beck, so perhaps I should thank Mr. Beck as well. Thanks Glenn!

Iraqi Mojo said...

And Aton, I value freedom of religion a great deal. It is one of the great freedoms of America. People are free to express their religious ideas, thankfully, but they should not impose their beliefs on others, as so many Muslim fundamentalists have done, and as Christian fundamentalists did during Paine's time.

Maury said...

"I did not know that one of the Founding Fathers wanted to end slavery."

Would you believe MOST of them wanted to end slavery?

It is true, however, that not all of the Founders from the South opposed slavery. According to the testimony of Thomas Jefferson, John Rutledge, and James Madison, those from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia favored slavery.

Nevertheless, despite the support in those states for slavery, the clear majority of the Founders was opposed to this evil—and their support went beyond words.

For example, in 1774, Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush founded America's first antislavery society; John Jay was president of a similar society in New York.

Other prominent Founding Fathers who were members of societies for ending slavery included Richard Bassett, James Madison, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, William Few, John Marshall, Richard Stockton, Zephaniah Swift, and many more.

Maury said...

In fact, based in part on the efforts of these Founders, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1780; Connecticut and Rhode Island did so in 1784; New Hampshire in 1792; Vermont in 1793; New York in 1799; and New Jersey in 1804. Furthermore, the reason that the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all prohibited slavery was a federal act authored by Rufus King (signer of the Constitution) and signed into law by President George Washington which prohibited slavery in those territories.

It is not surprising that Washington would sign such a law, for it was he who had declared:

“I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery].”
—George Washington

Maury said...

In 1786, Washington wrote of slavery, "there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it." He devised a plan to rent his lands and turn his slaves into paid laborers, and at the end of his presidency he quietly freed several of his own household slaves. In the end, he could take it no more and decreed in his will that his slaves would become free upon the death of his wife. The old and infirm were to be cared for while they lived, and the children were to be taught to read and write and trained in a useful skill until they were age 25. Washington's estate paid for this care until 1833.

During his first term in the House of Burgesses, Thomas Jefferson proposed legislation to emancipate slaves in Virginia, but the motion was soundly defeated. His 1774 draft instructions to the Virginia Delegates for the First Continental Congress, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, called for an end to the slave trade: "The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state." That same year, the First Continental Congress agreed to discontinue the slave trade and boycott other nations that engaged in it. The Second Continental Congress reaffirmed this policy in 1776.

Jefferson's draft constitution for the state of Virginia forbade the importation of slaves, and his draft of the Declaration of Independence-written at a time when he himself had inherited about 200 slaves-included a paragraph condemning the British king for introducing slavery into the colonies and continuing the slave trade:

Iraqi Mojo said...

Good to know that George Washington was against slavery too.

Maury said...

Jefferson gets a bad rap on slavery too. He was as anti-slavery as anyone. Yes, he had 200 slaves. But, like Washington, he inherited them. That was a big problem, because the law didn't allow emancipation. Washington freed his slaves in his will. That was the only manner of emancipation allowed at the time. That loophole was closed by the time Jefferson died. Either of them could have sold their slaves, but that would have made them part of the problem.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Jefferson slept with one of his slaves and got her pregnant, evidently more than once.

Maury said...

It was a little more than that. They had a 38 yr. relationship. Not surprising, since Jefferson treated his slaves like human beings. They were paid wages and got educations.

Aton said...

Thanks Maury...

Iraqi Mojo said...

I knew Thomas Jefferson was a good man, wouldn't mistreat his woman. It's strange that it was sorta hidden from the public for so long.

I always thought of the founding fathers in the following importance:

1) George Washington
2) Thomas Jefferson
3) John Adams
4) Ben Franklin
5) James Madison

After learning more about Thomas Paine, I think he should take second place.

Maury said...

All five were anti-slavery. Franklin started the first anti-slavery society in 1774. The others showed their opposition through legislation and writings throughout their careers. I get annoyed when people portray the founding fathers as hypocrites. The great majority were just the opposite.

I'm sure you've heard the jibe, "if all men are created equal, then how come a black man had only 3/5's the value of a white man"? Well, the reason that was included, was to give less representation to slave states. Free blacks had full representation, like everyone else.

I wouldn't include Paine on any list. He was a Brit out to take the Brits down a notch. He moved to America to get in on our action, then moved to France to join their melee. His modern equivalent would be these young anarchists living on daddy's dime. They jet around the world railing against the system that so entitled them. Hardly heroes imo.

Anonymous said...

Maury, why do you selectively defend some of the founding fathers but tear down Paine? You said: "His modern equivalent would be these young anarchists living on daddy's dime." How so? Can you cite some sort of specific example illustrating that Paine resembles this mythological personality type to which you refer? If he were truly only 'out to take the Brits down a notch', why then did he move to France to help them with their revolution? I agree with most of your points about the other founders who you mentioned, but they are not saints; they are humans. For example, should Jefferson get a free pass for fathering children with Sally Hemings because he treated her well? I wonder what his wife thought about all of this, especially since Sally was her half-sister? What in your opinion necessarily makes Jefferson a better person than Paine, the man about whom John Adams said, "Without the pen of the author of 'Common Sense,' the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”?

Maury said...

Let me ask you this Anonymous? How do you write one of the best-selling books of all time, get credited with so much by so many, and yet have only 6 people attend your funeral?

Paine had no moral compass, managed to backstab any who considered him a friend or ally, and had no loyalties to any man or nation. Basically, he could reach down deep, and find a logical, common sense reason to betray anything resembling human values.

Btw, his bones were dug up ten years after his death, in order for him to receive a proper funeral back in England. Never happened. Ask yourself why.