• Five Founders on Slavery

     |  Roots of the Slavery Crisis

    Five Founders on Slavery George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison on Slavery None of the leading Founders ever declared slavery to be a just or beneficial institution. In fact, they hoped to see the slave trade eradicated, and eventually the entire institution of slavery made illegal. George Washington Letter to Robert Morris 1 April 12, 1786 "...[T]here is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it...." John Adams Letter to Robert J. Evans 2 June 8, 1819 "...Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States.... I have, through my whole life ...
  • Federalist 74

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 74 Federalist 74 1 Alexander Hamilton The president can act "with secrecy and dispatch," two qualities which the legislature and the judiciary will never possess. March 25, 1788 The Command of the Military and Naval Forces, and the Pardoning Power of the Executive The President of the United States is to be "commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States when called into the actual service of the United States." The propriety of this provision is so evident in itself and it is at the same time so consonant to the precedents of the State constitutions in general, that little need be said to explain or enforce it. Even those of them which have in other respects coupled the ...
  • Letter to John Jay

     |  Roots of the Slavery Crisis

    Letter to John Jay Letter to John Jay 1 Alexander Hamilton Hamilton, a founder of the New York Manumission Society, writes to John Jay, a co-founder of the Society and then-president of the Continental Congress, arguing that slaves should be allowed to fight for the American cause in the War for Independence, earning their "freedom with their muskets." Eventually, some 5,000 blacks served as soldiers in the war. March 14, 1779 Dear Sir: Colonel Laurens, who will have the honor of delivering you this letter, is on his way to South Carolina, on a project, which I think, in the present situation of affairs there, is a very good one and deserves every kind of support and encouragement. This is to raise two, three, or four battalions of negroes ...
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