Noah M’s Short Reflection #1

By analyzing the Craft Narrative, I learned about not only the stark social and cultural differences between Northern and Southern citizens in America but of some surprising similarities in attitude regarding race and equality during the years leading up to the civil war.

An interesting social concept that Craft did a good job at highlighting was the way Southerners during the 1800s acted around and towards each other. The text showed how traditional values such as respect for elders and honor were engrained in the southern social culture. I found it almost funny that many times the Crafts escaped being caught solely because of the southern culture of respect. Ellen Craft was acting as a sickly white man. Many times the couple made it through because other southerners were raised not to question a white, sick man or give him a hard time. It seemed that the Northern society was generally less hostile, but did not adhere to the same social code as the Southerners.

In contrast with my previous ideas about Northern attitudes towards slaves, Craft’s narrative did a good job at exposing the racism that permeated Northern society. The racism the Craft’s experienced in the North was more subtle than that of the South but it was definitely present. An inn in the North was extremely reluctant to house the Craft’s when they presented themselves as an interracial couple. In fact, almost no inn in town would house them. There was no proudly proclaimed vulgar language or violence but the North was pretty racist in addition to the South, something that I didn’t totally realize before reading this text.

Despite all of the injustices presented to William and Ellen, Craft’s narrative is tame when compared to other slave narratives like Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Craft chose instead to use excerpts and poems from other writers to describe the most graphic or disturbing moments. Craft may have chosen to do this in order to preserve his credibility regarding a narrative that is as educational as it is exciting. Craft’s story was not particularly emotional. He told the events of his journey and provided the reader with real local and state laws to paint an objective, didactic picture of slavery in the early 1850s. When Craft wanted to show the pain and disgust felt by himself and other slaves, he employed passages from the bible or used poems from well-known poets like Cowper.

The extra texts within the Craft Narrative add to the writer’s credibility and help readers to believe that his written story is true and not exaggerated by emotion.






Courtney Swanteson- Post 1 Craft Narrative

William Craft used various allusions in his narrative (William and Ellen Craft, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom) to emphasize his point in a different way from other slave narratives. Many others will use extreme descriptions of violence, and emphasize their extremely unfair conditions in order to get their point across and to get people to really feel what they felt. Craft used allusions to do that instead, and I am going to explore some of the ones that stood out to me.

The first one is the first thing you see when you begin reading the narrative; a poem. The poem reads “God gave us only over beast, fish, fowl, Dominion absolute; that right we hold By his donation. But man over man He made not lord; such title to himself Reserving, human left from human free.” This poem was written by the English poet John Milton and was taken from his religious book of poems “Paradise Lost: The Twelfth Book“. I think this allusion was used to show how unethical it is to think that one human can be above another. It was taken from a religious book, and with many references in the narrative to so-called “Christian” slaveowners this proved his point that this was not a Christian value. Craft was trying to show that from a religious standpoint the things they went through were not okay.

The second allusion that Craft used is his references to the slave laws in various states. Rather than just focusing on the state he was in, he chose to expose the laws in three different southern states. The states he mentioned were Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina which go from the bottom of the country and up. I think he chose to do this to emphasize the many states that slaves had to get through in order to be free, as well as show that these degrading laws were in place everywhere.  He also wanted the reader to actually see the laws and the way they worded things to make them understand that slaves were not seen as people, or at least lesser of a person than the white individuals.

The last allusion that I am going to address is the one with the Fugitive Slave Act. This law made a huge impact on the lives of not only Ellen and William Craft, but for many escaped slaves that were living in the north. Craft put this in here with exact words from the law to give the reader a feel for just how much it impacted them and the implications of it. He wanted the reader to read his entire escape story, get to this part, and realize that everything he had just went through could have been for nothing at all. He wants to emphasize the terror that he felt when realizing that this was passed as legislation, and transfer that to the reader in order for them to truly understand how he was feeling while going through this ordeal.

Eliza Liriano Post 1 – The “Afric-American Picture Gallery” and the De-evolution Within the United States

Amidst the rising of the Civil War, the “Afric-American Picture Gallery” was published and utilizes dramatic irony in an attempt to illustrate the growing racial differences that exist within the United States. The Anglo-African Magazine catered to the black audience, with Ethiop describing his journey to the Black Forest. This bizarre episode demonstrates how whites and blacks within the United States cannot coexist. In order to display the treatment experienced by slaves, Ethiop writes about his encounter with Bernice, a former slave, and how Bernice has his old slave master locked in a cave. In this instance, the roles are reversed, and Bernice, a black man, chains up his white master, Felix, and separates him from his family. Bernice tells Felix that the latter no longer has rights and no longer possesses himself (Ethiop 177), which is exactly what slaves faced until after the Civil War. Despite to their racial differences, Ethiop does not promote integration, but rather uses this story to appeal to slaves and highlight how whites should be treated like those enslaved. This incident promotes the idea that slave-owners should receive equitable retribution and punishment for their actions.


The excerpt about the year 4000 and the Amecans, also known as the “Milk White Race,” is another instance in which Ethiop employs dramatic irony to emphasize de-evolution occurring within the United States (174). In the 1850s, slaves were inferior to white colonists. They were treated as chattel and lacked the liberties white Americans were entitled to under the Declaration of Independence. However, it is in this literacy piece that the white race does not advance. According to the tablets Ethiop found in the Black Forest, the “milk white skins” used to rule the land with their “hands of iron” and their “hearts as the stones of our valleys” (175). Although, they were recognized as individuals of eminence, they enslaved African Americans to do their work for them, which caused them to “vanish” (176). Ethiop describes how their lack of labor caused their muscles to atrophy, leading to the end of the white race. The irony Ethiop employs in this passage relates to theory of “survival of the fittest” suggested by evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin in the 19th century. His theory of evolution argues that those who are superior would be able to survive and reproduce. In relation to society’s advancement, society evolves as long as the individuals apart of it are able to adapt to various conditions. Instead of surviving, reproducing to promote slavery, and developing new cities, it is the power of the whites that leads to the demise of their population.


On the brink of the Civil War, white superiority promoted divisions within the states. Although tablets in the magazine article exemplify how the blacks advance in society, white individuals were the ones that advanced and survived to reproduce to continue slavery within the United States. This literary piece may appeal to African Americans and those who are enslaved because many of the stories regarded and promoted white inferiority. Regardless of the races that prospered in the magazine or the United States, only one race survived. The underlying idea illuminated by Ethiop is that the promotion of one race does not actually indicate evolution or advancement. Instead, the inability for various groups to get together and coexist peacefully hinders the progression of society. Ultimately, Ethiop’s “Afric-American Picture Gallery” is a literary piece that foreshadows the problems that Americans are going to encounter as the Civil War approaches and promotes the death of individuals from both groups. If whites and blacks are at war and are dying, the advancement of the United States will be hampered altogether and the United States will be subjected to de-evolvement.



Ethiop. “Afric-American Picture Gallery.” The Anglo-African Magazine, vol. 1, 1859, pp. 174-177, Accessed 27 Jan. 2018.

Reflection 1 by Molly Cartwright

     Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom responds to the practice of slavery that was justified based on racial differences. William Craft bases his entire narrative on the belief that race, as a biological category, doesn’t exist. Rather, race is socially constructed and perceived racial differences are based on prejudice beliefs that create a corrupt and unequal society. While Craft understands the clear evil rooted in perceived racial differences and slavery, he knows his white audience may not be easily convinced of this truth. So, with careful consideration of his audience, Craft aims to change people’s views on slavery as a system and the individual rights and liberties of an African American by pointing out the hypocrisy of people owning white slaves.

By pointing out the hypocrisy of people owning white slaves, Craft makes the audience feel vulnerable to slavery and more empathetic. Craft describes how the offspring of master-slave relationships are increasingly white looking and how white children are accidentally or purposefully forced into slavery. This warns reader that white people are not safe from this system because those in power will overlook race, even with it being the justification for slavery, if it means making more money. By showing the audience in the very beginning that white people are not fully protected from the tyranny of slavery, it gives the audience a different perspective that will affect how the audiences takes in the rest of the narrative. Hopefully, the fear of being in that position themselves will allow people to see slavery for what it truly is and empathize with slaves. While people should be able to empathize with slaves without being threatened by the same fate, prejudice ideas have contaminated morals and beliefs about human rights in order to exploit and make economic gain off the oppressed. But by pointing out that racial differences do not protect white people from this evil system, many will change their beliefs. This rhetoric strategy is also used in Mathew Maconaughy’s closing argument in A Time to Kill. Mathew describes the rape of a black seventeen-year-old girl and then asks the court to imagine if she was white. By picturing the horrendous crime happening to a white girl rather than black, the white jury is able to empathize and see what a racist free verdict would be. The rhetoric strategy of getting your audience to empathize and see things from the other perspective has a powerful effect on beliefs.

Craft prioritized changing his white audience’s views over writing without consideration for a white audience. Considering how to best influence his white audience’s beliefs, changed what Craft included in his writing. If Craft was not using this narrative as a strategy to change his audience’s beliefs he wouldn’t have made an effort to point out white slavery. After his experience through slavery, it would be extremely shocking if he took time in his writing to empathize for white people in any way, even if they were trapped in slavery. Craft was able to identify that his audience couldn’t see the evil of slavery without being scarred into empathizing even when he easily could. Including a topic, that would otherwise be absent, for the sake of influencing the audience’s beliefs shows Crafts dedication to changing ideas about slavery.


Link to A Time to Kill speech:

Link to  Running a Thousand Miles For Freedom; Or, the Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery (1860)

Brad Lewis Post 1: Craft and Jefferson

Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom gives the first-hand account of William and Ellen’s Crafts escape from slavery. The narrative, written by William Craft, tells the thrilling and dangerous events of their journey from slaves in Georgia to free blacks in the England. Besides the fun, action-packed storyline, the narrative also addresses many serious issues surrounding slavery and discrimination on the basis of race. Throughout the text, Craft addresses and gives examples of moments displaying what it means to be black, white, and/or a slave in the 1850s. Craft’s use of allusions brings an added value to this issue and the narrative as a whole. Perhaps one of the more interesting ideas discussed throughout the narrative stems from the experiences of Ellen Craft and other mixed or white slaves. To further this discussion, Craft cleverly alludes to the life story of a well-known founding father, Thomas Jefferson.

One of Craft’s largest statements about the racial issues of the time center around the idea of him, and slaves in general, as chattel. This is the foundation of the whole slave system as it regards slaves as property of their master. Throughout the narrative, Craft refers to himself not as a person, but rather as property. Everything he does within his context as a slave is centered around serving his master.

Many assume the distinction of a person as a slave stems purely from their dark skin tone. However, Craft explains this not to be fully true. The most blatant example he uses is his wife, Ellen. She is of fair complexion stemming from her white slave-owning father and black slave mother. By eye, she is not much different than any other free white. Throughout their escape, she is able to fit in as a white slave-owner without many questions. However, despite her complexion, she is still regarded as property within the slave system. This contradiction forms the basis for a strange practice within the slave system. As Craft explains, it was very common for white slave-owners to take interest in their women slaves and to have children with them. Yet, as was the case for Ellen Craft, the children, despite being part white and blood kin to the master, must suffer and live their lives as slaves. “That is to say, the father of the slave may be the President of the Republic; but if the mother should be a slave at the infant’s birth, the poor child is ever legally doomed to the same cruel fate” (Craft).

Craft alludes to the life of Thomas Jefferson in the quote above in order to call out this unjust system further. It was rumored in Craft’s time and is now known that Jefferson fostered many children with slave wives, and all the children were forced to work as slaves despite being the kids of one of the most influential men in America. This allusion continues a few pages later when Craft uses a poem written by William Wells Brown. Brown was a free black writer in the 19th century that famously wrote a book about one of Jefferson’s slave daughters. Craft cleverly uses this allusion to piggyback on the hot rumors of the time surrounding Jefferson. This allows him to better address this very strange practice with the barbaric system of slavery. While Craft decides to leave the more graphic and violent scenes of slavery out of the narrative, he is still able to portray its wickedness effectively by explaining some of its weird practices and laws.

The Roll of Religion in Craft’s Narrative


In the narrative, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom; or, the Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery, William Craft describes his and his wife’s miraculous escape from slavery to freedom. Throughout the narrative, Craft mentions common beliefs and practices of white Christians towards slavery in the 1800s and exemplifies how these individuals use their religion to support their decisions regarding slavery. Craft’s use of irony to demonstrate how white Christians manipulate and twist the words from religious texts, such as the Bible, to justify the mistreatment and ownership of their slaves. Christians in positions of power had the ability to initiate legislature and dominate all aspects of politics during this period. Although white Christians used religious texts to support their lifestyle, many slaves ironically turned to Christianity for hope and comfort regarding their situations. Craft’s narrative highlights the cultural differences in religion between white Christians and slaves.

One of Craft’s first perceptions of a “white Christian” developed from observing the actions of his former owner, who “thought nothing of selling my poor old father, and dear aged mother, at separate times, to different persons, to be dragged off never to behold each other again,”(9) despite his reputation of “being a very humane and Christian man.” After he plunged “the poisonous dagger of separation” into the hearts of his parents, Craft could not fathom how such a devoted Christian could be capable of such an evil action. In addition, Ellen strikes up a conversation with woman on a train about her son, a Christian minister. The woman states that her son advised her to move to New York and bring her slaves along to live with her, and Ellen questions why the son did not advise her to emancipate the slaves so they may move up north and be free. The woman quickly retaliates, claiming her son knows best and states “the niggers will make me lose all my religion!” (66) Craft exposes the irony behind the slaveholders referring to themselves as “true Christians,” yet continue to act in ways that contrast Christian ideals.

On pages 94-95, Craft names several Reverends that came forward to express their opinions on the passing of the Fugitive Slave Bill. Rev. Dr. Spencer published a sermon titled “Religious Duty of Obedience to the Laws,” Rev. W. M. Rogers preached “if ordered to take human life, in the name of God to take it,” and Rev. Bishop Hopkins stated “every Christian is authorised by the Divine Law to own slaves, provided they were not treated with unnecessary cruelty.” When Reverends, highly regarded members of the Christian clergy, make these sort of statements, those who look up to the Reverends will inherit and implement these beliefs into their daily lives. These men used their positions of power to create and support legislature that favored their lifestyles, rather than being concerned with the well-being of African-Americans.

Although Craft never elaborates on the role of religion in his life, many African Americans, especially slaves, turned to Christianity as a way to cope with the cruelty and injustice so apparent in their lives. While many white Christians use the principles and words of the Bible to promote and defend slavery, the victims of slavery are using the same principles and words to persevere through this horrendous time. The variation among the ways the two races interpret the same text demonstrates the cultural differences surrounding religion and values during this period.

The irony of a “white Christian” treating other with such brutality and inhumanity is apparent not only in Craft’s narrative, but throughout American history. Craft finds their behavior incomprensible and validates the role of these individual’s understanding of the Bible in composing legislature and everyday treatment of slaves.

The White American as the African’s Hero–Matthew Snyder

Matthew Snyder

Sarah Boyd

28th January 2018

Engl 129

The White American as the African’s Hero

The initial readings for this course have portrayed feelings of grief, despair, and suffering amongst African Americans alive before, during, or after the slavery was seen as legal. The reader can be overcome with emotion, as these authors, poets, and painters demonstrate their pain in such a powerful and moving way. In hindsight, white Americans today will certainly admit to the horrible mistreatment of African Americans throughout our country’s history. However, we can see a common motif throughout these readings portraying the white American as a savior or hero to the African.

As Phillis Wheatly writes in “On Being Brought From Africa”, “TWAS mercy brought me from my Pagan land”, it is clear that the slaves were told their lives in America are far superior to their time in Africa. Albeit Wheatley’s happened to be so, I believe she wrote this poem to describe both her life and the lives of all slaves.  Wheatly continues by stating some view her race with “scornful eye”. I believe this could also be seen as satirical, as we have been told through other readings that even white folks in the north scorned the African Americans. Referring to Africa as a Pagan land demonstrates the American’s Christian “values” during this time. However, rather than converting the Africans to Christianity, the Americans valued them as less than human, disregarding the very nature of their religion. Frances Harper points out the country’s flaws by stating,” Oh! how shall I speak of my proud country’s shame? Of the stains on her glory, how give them their name? How say that her banner in mockery waves— Her “star-spangled banner”—o’er millions of slaves?”. Our nation was founded on the principles of freedom and justice for all; however, how can we not be ashamed while staring in the face of a slave such as Eliza Harris? African Americans during this time period are confused because they are told of the “foundations” of this nation, but they do not see them fulfilled. William Craft opens us up to the possibility that Americans convinced themselves that what they were doing was morally just, rather than simply being hypocritical. This can be seen through the woman’s words suggesting that,” niggers never know what is best for them”, and that it was “unkind” of her husband to free his servants (63-64). Although this idea seems ridiculous, the woman on the train might sincerely believe these things. Further along in the story, Craft comes across person and person again that does not support he and his wife, although they are in “free” states.

These are just a few examples from our readings suggesting that the white American felt no wrong in his/her actions. African Americans, and others, have been mistreated by those who founded this country and all who followed. Whether it be Biblical misinterpretation or hypocritical actions, those who owned, mistreated, or scorned slaves instilled endless pain and suffering for centuries. However, with over 6,000 slave narratives, and poems from those such as Wheatly and Harper, the United Sates can recognize and respect the anguish felt by the African American culture, and continue to mend what once was a broken relationship.


Noah Somaratne “The Year 4000” and its implications

In William J. Wilson’s “The Afric-American Picture Gallery” (1859), we are introduced to a fictional piece of work titled “Year 4,000. The Amecans, or Milk White Race” which graphically details the “de-evolution” of the white race over the course of several millennia. Primarily, it can be seen as a distant and radical utopia for African Americans where they no longer face the cruel reality of slavery, or even whites for that matter. Additionally, this piece also provides a sense of premature justice for the African Americans, as the descriptions of the white race’s biological developments can be inferred as graphic illustrations of karma. Ethiop, the narrator, describes such physical characteristics in a series of paragraphs where he details their “sharp white teeth” and other animalistic traits. Ironically, however, the majority of Ethiop’s narration was centered around qualities that weren’t so animalistic. For example, he states,

“Their faces were long and narrow, and their noses sharp and angular, and their nostrils thin; so also were the lips of their sunken mouths.” (pg. 175)

While this may seem like an ominous description of some ghastly animal, it is simply a description of the average European facial structure. While hyperbolic and exaggerated, this depiction mainly highlights the physical differences between Europeans and Africans. An article highlights such differences and how each racial group has varying physical traits including skin color, head form, stature, hair, eyes, nose, etc… So, this description of the white race from the year 4,000 uses basic “white” physical features to portray a vile animal that would terrify readers. This was a huge blow to the household white supremacy of the 19th century, as the qualities white Americans held so tightly as their key to superiority was now being described as monstrosity. In addition to attacking the biology of Caucasians, Wilson’s literature acted as a double-edged sword by insinuating that black qualities should be sought after instead. In a world where skin-bleaching has been commonplace for many ethnicities, it is imperative for works like this to be circulated as they’re one of the best practices in preventing “white-washing.”

Another interesting point made in this passage was the hypocrisy of Christian slaveholders. Ethiop notes that white slaveholders will build massive temples to worship God and all his laws, but will not allow blacks to. Furthermore, he points out that whites claim loyalty to God and his words but simultaneously abuse black men, women, and children on a daily basis. This selective following of religion has persisted to the modern era where we see bigotry, racism, and other forms of hatred take precedence over morality and other spiritual values.

I believe that the most impressive point of this excerpt was Wilson’s depiction of a world where the power dynamic between blacks and whites was reversed. To say that America will belong to the blacks one day and that the whites, like their barbaric practice of slavery, will wither away is beyond courageous and it is one of the ultimate examples of how literature can inspire hope for a better future. As a Jew, I compare it to the creation of Israel by Holocaust survivors. Except African Americans experienced an institution that systematically dealt with them like material objects and officially degraded their existence to that of animals for hundreds of years. It makes sense that, in their ideal world, the group of people who subjected an entire race to such a fate faces a similarly agonizing destiny.

Edward Mitchell Bannister vs Duncanson

Edward Mitchell Bannister is a black artist who started creating art in the 1850s, but released most of his work during the 1870s-1880s. His work is reminiscent of that of Robert S. Duncanson from JP Ball’s Panorama. Since Duncanson went to the Hudson River School, a school that focused on portraying a romanticized view of the American countryside, most of his work consisted of landscapes. However, he would also paint scenes of black life in America because he was an abolitionist and wanted to make a statement through his art. Most of Bannister’s work focused on landscape scenes as well, though he goes for a more impressionist style, in contrast to the realism that Duncanson displays. However, Bannister’s paintings don’t contain any signs of racial overtones, and don’t seem to be making any political statement. So, while Duncanson’s work were meant for, and contained, social, political, and racial subjects, Bannister’s message of racial equality was subtler and came solely from the fact that he was a black artist. In fact, he was the first African-American artist to receive a national award, which led some people to try and revoke his award. However, his fellow artists stood by the decision and the award was not revoked. This shows the combination of acceptance and prejudices blacks faced after the Civil War. Despite the fact that slavery was abolished, and they were supposed to be free, while in reality blacks were still being oppressed just in different ways.

Another interesting aspect of Bannister’s artistic career is that he started it because of a newspaper article he read that said that while black people appreciated art, they couldn’t make their own. This is another example of black people being forced to prove their worth and value, and ironically this comment is what propelled Bannister into beginning his painting career, proving the comment wrong. This is similar to JP Ball and Duncanson with the Panorama and how in the beginning of it, JP Ball talked about his career as a way to prove himself in the eyes of the public. Now in regards to Bannister’s work, I think it is because of this degrading comment that he didn’t feel the need to infuse his work with racial or political overtones, because literally the act of him creating art is already a political statement. In addition, his earning of the award was made even more impressive with the fact that he had limited training and schooling. He was the only major black artist during that time who developed his talent without the aid of European painters or influence. This means it was solely based on his work and talents, without any intervention or help from white society. In contrast, Duncanson had schooling and most of his paintings were created before the Civil War. Since most were done before the Civil War he used his paintings as way to try and change people’s minds about slavery. He didn’t just have to prove that black people could paint he was trying to use his art to send a message through his work that everyone deserved to be free. Plus, in his case it worked in his favor that he could say he was educated from a notable school, because it further proved his worth and showed him to be able to be educated, and trained. Since, at that time the idea that blacks couldn’t be taught was still prevalent. While for Bannister, blacks were being educated, so he didn’t have to prove that blacks could be taught, he had to prove that even without schooling and the help of whites, African Americans could create art based purely on talent. Especially since now that the Civil War was over, African Americans now had to prove that they could survive and thrive on their own.

Ball, JP. “JP Ball’s Panorama of Slavery Table of Contents.” 1859. PDF

Bannister, Edward. Approaching Storm. 1886. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. SAAM Accessed January 2018.

Duncanson, Robert. Waterfall at Mont-Morency. 1864. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. JP Ball’s Panorama of Slavery Accessed January 2018.

“Edward Mitchell Bannister.” SAAM, Accessed 28 January 2018.


Anglo-African Magazine and Hamilton the Musical

In the Anglo-African Magazine, picture IX, the author provides a satirical depiction of Mount Vernon. Being the residence of George and Martha Washington, who owned slaves, this can be seen as the authors personal comments on the irony of the dilapidation of the home at that current time.

The author describes the imagery of the ghost of a former slave, holding Washington’s bones in his hand accompanied by a sign reading, “For Sale, Price $200,000 this negro included”. Washington, the emblem of the foundation of America, a nation founded on immigrants, was for sale. The ideals of the Founding Fathers, like their idyllic representation in Mount Vernon, were in decay. The repetition of the words “decay” and “Mount Vernon” were used in order to enhance the juxtaposition and importance of these words together.

This nation was founded on immigrants and the hard work of those labeled as lower class individuals and “chattel” – a lot like how Mount Vernon was built and maintained by the blood, sweat, and tears of Washington’s slaves. The presentation and acceptance of this belief during the time of the Anglo-African Magazine would have been met with intense opposition. This meant that those who held these beliefs had to become creative in their opposition, and could greatly explain why the author chose to write this section in such a hidden way.

Despite their inaccuracy in timeline alignment, this excerpt largely reminded myself of lines from songs in Hamilton: the musical. Both artistic productions surround the topic of the establishment of America through the work of immigrants. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and lead of Hamilton, purposefully produced the musical in a humorous and honest way where each character was portrayed by a minority.

Throughout the musical there are lines supporting this belief, but one of the most prominent is “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal.” Not all free men. Not all men with land. All men are created equal. (This is slightly bittersweet to defend, considering it does not include women, but that is another post for another day.)

This line was the basis of the creation of the ideals outlined in the Declaration of Independence, and wholly represented principles that Washington supported. It created all men as equal, and confirmed his wishes to free all slaves from their imprisonment. However, the next wave of political representatives brought strong opposition to this belief, increasing slavery exponentially, in response to the past wave of (quasi) equality. This welcomed the Civil War into American history.

As we find ourselves in our current states of affairs, we can look back on history and recognize the pattern of this wave of opposition. The Abraham Lincoln presidency and the subsequent abolishing of slavery followed the Civil War. Brown v. Board of Education and the de-segregation of public places and schools followed periods of deep-seeded hatred and racism. The Obama presidency, a period defined by hope and change, was followed by the Trump presidency and the rise of neo-Nazism.

In the face of all of this opposition throughout American history, opponents were forced to become creative in their presentation of the truth. The Anglo-African Magazine produced satire about the destruction of the ideals of the Founding Fathers. Martin Luther King Jr. practiced peaceful protests, inspiring sit-in movements across the nation. Lin-Manuel Miranda created a hit musical production where America was black, Hispanic, female, and so on. As a result of the works of these minorities, America was strong. But without it, as seen in the depiction of Mount Vernon, America was dilapidated.