#14. The founders on slavery
“Slavery is an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils.” -Benjamin Franklin, An Address to the Public from the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, 1782
“It being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this country may be abolished by law.” -George Washington, letter to John Mercer, September 9, 1786
“Negro slavery is an evil of colossal magnitude.” -John Adams, 1819
Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven upon a country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes the national sins, by national calamities.” -George Mason August 22, 1787
Mason’s prophecy would come true less than 100 years later.