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Francois Furstenberg

George Washington and 18th-Century Abolitionist Thought

(Editor’s Note: For the next few weeks, Christopher Cameron, will be guest-blogging for us each Saturday. This is his post for this week. — Ben Alpers) In explaining George Washington’s evolving views on the institution of slavery, historians have posited a number of different factors, including his nationalist vision, the state of his personal finances, and even his lack of children. While not completely discounting these explanations, Francois Furstenberg, in a relatively recent article in the William and Mary Quarterly, locates the intellectual source of Washington’s gradual abolitionism in a trans-Atlantic network of antislavery activists that includes Thomas Clarkson, Jacques-Pierre Read more