Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29413 times)
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Dzimas
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« Reply #2190 on: March 25, 2008, 03:25:02 PM »

Thanks, maddy.

It was fascinating to read in Jefferson and Monticello that Jefferson held a number of British indentured servants as well, which he used as skilled craftsmen on his plantation.  To pay off their debt they had to train slaves to be able to make the windows and doors for Monticello.  He exploited indentured and slave labor to no end, buying and selling slaves throughout his life, although he apparently tried to avoid splitting apart families.  He was so deeply embedded in the slave culture that developed in the South that there was no way to extricate himself from it. 
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caclark
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« Reply #2191 on: March 25, 2008, 04:03:26 PM »

Jefferson's slavery dilemma

"We have the wolf [slavery] by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Holmes, April 22, 1820

====================

"....In view of Jefferson's abhorrence of slavery, which he called a "blot" and a "stain" upon America, why did he remain a slaveowner all his life and fail to direct that his slaves be freed after his death? Why did Jefferson not play a more forceful role in the antislavery movement inspired by the Enlightenment and the American Revolution?"  - John Chester Miller (from his book The Wolf By The Ears: Thomas Jefferson and Slavery).
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 04:09:42 PM by caclark » Logged
weezo
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« Reply #2192 on: March 25, 2008, 07:10:59 PM »

Weezo: "....I've seen so many excuses put up about why these founding fathers did not end slavery from the gitgo."

They couldn't. It's that simple. Slavery was institutionalized in America since before the Revolution.

Clark,

I'm not sure how slavery was more "institutionalized" than the other divisions of society that were wiped out with "Everyone Votes", and "No one owns anyone".

I recall when reading William Cooper's Town some months back, that William Cooper was actively working against democracy in America. He wanted to continue the tradition of having a "nobility" who tells the rest of the people what to do. Cooper was horrified when he went around his town and told folks how to vote, and instead they voted as they chose. He thought that was a dangerous event.

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thanatopsy
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« Reply #2193 on: March 25, 2008, 08:12:08 PM »



http://www.franklinpapers.org/franklin/


Franklin's works - the complete corpus.
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nytempsperdu
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« Reply #2194 on: March 25, 2008, 09:58:32 PM »

In teaching days students were often surprised when shown statistics on how very few slaveholders were of the elite with a large # of slaves.  (Literature like Gone With The Wind, has distorted our view of the system.)  It seems that Carter could afford to free his slaves, as many could not since they were valuable and especially necessary to a society/economy based on agriculture.  The North industrialized early but it would become dependent on wage slaves who were not owned but were not free, certainly not free from poverty/need or from hunger and disease, etc. as they might have been if owned by those who understood that taking care of one's slaves meant stewardship of property, sometimes even a morally right thing to do.  Lest someone think I'm in any way defending slavery, 'taint so, but I also recognize that the bonds of poverty could be every bit as binding.
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weezo
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« Reply #2195 on: March 25, 2008, 10:42:57 PM »

NYTemps,

I really do not think that as bad as the living conditions were for the northern industrial workers, that the situation was as depressing to someone who wanted out as being a slave and wanting out. In addition, the white laborer in the north who wanted out of the situation, could skip to the next town, country, whatever, and usually fit into the population. In the case of a slave, his dark skin was all the invitation needed to ask to check him out and send him back where he came from.

Ask yourself a few questions. Were the industrial workers beaten when it suited their supervistors and foremen? Did a supervisor or foreman ever send out dogs to retrieve a worker who quit? Did The Company ever sell a laborer's children so they were never seen again?

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madupont
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« Reply #2196 on: March 26, 2008, 04:01:17 AM »

NYTemps,

I really do not think that as bad as the living conditions were for the northern industrial workers, that the situation was as depressing to someone who wanted out as being a slave and wanting out. In addition, the white laborer in the north who wanted out of the situation, could skip to the next town, country, whatever, and usually fit into the population. In the case of a slave, his dark skin was all the invitation needed to ask to check him out and send him back where he came from.

Ask yourself a few questions. Were the industrial workers beaten when it suited their supervistors and foremen? Did a supervisor or foreman ever send out dogs to retrieve a worker who quit? Did The Company ever sell a laborer's children so they were never seen again?




Whoops! Weezo, You shocked me again, after your first paragraph.  I was nodding my head along  through the Northern workers because there was a mill up along the river north of my home in the country and we used to go "Inspect it" when it became an artsy-craftsy merchants compound. The left-overs of the carding and the spooling as thread was made were "antiques" and yet you can feel the people there in the boring long hours and the dim light and the damp. Not too swell. One of my sisters lived in that town for quite a long time, selling furnishings, designing, decorating houses as show-houses to be toured in residential complexes.  Then our other sister, the younger came to share the place with her for several years, about five or a little less; that's when it went downhill; they were right back to growing up together. Especially  when our little sister skipped to the next town; where she worked actually. What you then described with the American slave in mind,was also true in Europe as I mentioned to you some months earlier where gypsies were considered those who are dark. It has left a permanent mark on the psyche of the British who have applied it lavishly to the Muslims in their midst, especially since becoming George Bush's allies; and they are eating up this election campaign of ours absolutely enjoying every minute of it .  "Told you so! How do you like that turn of the tide?"

Then we get to the heavy paragraph in four sentences. Shock, contemporary. Did you know that is happening in the US, today? I was informed of a case where the workers  were beaten when it suited their supervisors and foremen. Smithfield Ham was doing that at Tar-Heel,North Carolina. Why was that, for no other reason than they could because their workers were Black, and Hispanic as well, and expected Holidays off to rest up from the extreme shift hours. Their supervisors and formen beat them instead. They may not have called out dogs  but what they had done in earlier incidents at other meat-cutting, meat packing plants, in a variety of places both North and South was to call the ICE team in to pick up the workers and load them on to buses and cart them away. They could get more where that came from that is why they didn't document the workers, let them be iced instead. The neighbours were by now smart enough to pick  up the kids from school and hide them while the parents were missing. Otherwise the state would take the kids away and they would be separated so that they would never be seen again, which happened in New Orleans with the loading of the buses to take you to your new "home" in other parts of the state and other states; they went by the numbers, when they had counted off, it was, "Next" and if you saw your child going off behind a bus window, no one could actually tell you where that bus went to. This is the record 2005 to 2008.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 10:26:11 AM by madupont » Logged
weezo
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« Reply #2197 on: March 26, 2008, 07:01:00 AM »

Maddie,

I've heard other stuff on the Tarheel plant, but not that the workers were beaten. Seems to me that the African Americans would have pressed charges against phsycal beatings.
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caclark
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« Reply #2198 on: March 26, 2008, 02:58:38 PM »

Weezo: "I'm not sure how slavery was more "institutionalized" than the other divisions of society that were wiped out with "Everyone Votes", and "No one owns anyone."

Nothing was "wiped out" in one fell swoop. As you know, women didn't get the franchise until the 20th century. The greatest danger to America after winning independence was losing rather than consolidating gains of the Revolution.

The specter of slavery hung like a storm cloud over the Constitutional Convention when nothing was yet a done deal. Their immediate concern was adoption of a plan for government and securing ratification from the states. This idea you have that the founders somehow must have been looking for excuses to hang onto slavery is just wrong. They all knew that slavery’s days were numbered, including slaveholders. Politicians fight the fights they can win knowing that if they go for broke they stand to lose everything.
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madupont
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« Reply #2199 on: March 26, 2008, 03:00:25 PM »

No, they were beaten. This caused the local black churches to stand in the parking lot of the Tar-Heel plants, as a peaceful demonstration of protest. Will see if I have a link in my address book.
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weezo
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« Reply #2200 on: March 26, 2008, 05:28:27 PM »

Maddie,

Did they report the beatings to the local police? What was done? Have the employees with scars to prove what happened, sued the company?
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weezo
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« Reply #2201 on: March 26, 2008, 05:32:10 PM »

Clark,

Apparently we have each read different sources. Wanna compare readings? Lots written on Jefferson on slavery. Certainly The First Emancipator would be a recommended reading. Not sure if there is reference to this in Zinn - may be.
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madupont
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« Reply #2202 on: March 26, 2008, 10:22:06 PM »

weezo

I found an e-mail address for a contact but had not filled out the card very thoroughly; took a chance and wrote explaining that I would be interested in ongoing reports--

                                               as it is, I only see advertising of how well Smithfield is doing with all that money they are making from deunionized employees (that's been the latest trend for the entire Bush administration in all fields of industry)

                                                      -- Will let you know when I hear, possibly tomorrow  if I'm lucky.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #2203 on: March 27, 2008, 02:58:54 AM »

Some last thoughts on Oppenheimer before moving onto a new book.  I was a bit mystified by Thanatopsy's comments regarding the suicide of Oppenheimer's daughter, Toni.  I hadn't read that far at the time Than brought this up, but it is interesting to note that Toni's suicide occurred 10 years after Oppenheimer died, and that she first tried to kill herself by swimming to where her mother had laid his ashes to rest in the Caribbean Ocean, before seeming to have had an epiphany and returning to shore.  She later hung herself in the house. The authors note that she dearly loved her father and missed him terribly.  Her mother had been a more difficult relationship.  Kitty was an extremely demanding woman, who according to the authors, had tried to control Toni's life, much to her detriment.  Nevertheless, Toni managed to establish a life of her own as a UN translator in New York until the FBI denied her security clearance, dredging up the old allegations leveled against her father. After this, Toni essentially "retired" to the Oppenheimer estate in the Caribbean. I forget the name of the island.  She had gone through two marriages.  Parallels to Oppenheimer's first love seem to have occurred in Toni's life. 

Opp may not have been the best father, but he was caring and gave what attention he could to his children.  Peter seemed to choose an anonymous life after his father died, but had a family of his own, settling in the Southwest. The kids didn't seem to begrudge Oppenheimer in anyway, but maybe Than has more information on the subject since he seemed to come to a rather callous conclusion on the role Oppenheimer had in shaping their lives.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #2204 on: March 27, 2008, 04:31:31 AM »

As far as Oppenheimer's lectures, the authors recommended The Open Mind,

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=569034230&searchurl=an%3Drobert%2Boppenheimer%26bi%3Dh%26bx%3Doff%26ds%3D30%26fe%3Don%26sortby%3D2%26sts%3Dt%26tn%3Dthe%2Bopen%2Bmind%26x%3D75%26y%3D12

published in 1955.
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