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tv   After Words Christine Emba Rethinking Sex  CSPAN  September 6, 2022 10:00am-11:01am EDT

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enslaved manufacturers in mount vernon. this becomes another representation of washington service through his embrace of the plow how washington is also associated with the plow when he resigns as the president in 1797 washington's surrendering the symbols of power -- with his left hand he gestures in waiting for him at mount vernon's the plow with the yoke of oxen. as these themes and images suggest washington,
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after 1783 is effectively farming on the public stage. he is closely being watched by both europeans and americans. celebrating is washington with a plow. a farmer doing the public good. the notion of the public that frames many of the expectations of washington as a farmer he places greater emphasis on the specific benefits of the agricultural improvements he introduces. those expectations also frame his new reckoning with slavery throughout the years following
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the revolutionary war. it is here in his life as a farmer more than in any other dimension of his life that we can discern how washington ultimately confronted the paradox of slavery and freedom that runs throughout the founding period. in this form we can find the most detailed record of his changing attitudes towards slavery. the story of washington of farmer is the story of washington in the flavor. and slaved labor and farming were inseparable throughout his entire life. he once wrote that he did not like to even think about slavery, let alone write about it or talk about it. in fact he thought about slavery all the time. he thought about it and wrote about it in terms of his management of the enslaved agricultural labor at his own estate. it is there in that record that you can see both a change in attitude but also the record of his daily interactions with the enslaved labor that he supervised and controlled. finally, when washington does ultimately decide to quote, search for some way to emancipate the enslaved people he controls the on the record we have of that process, the process, is through his record of farming and his reorganization of mount vernon. it is here, this example, this document washington may it 7 to 99, towards the end of his life, he gave a detailed description of enslaved labor in mount vernon. this document has only come to light in the last ten years. it was acquired by mount vernon, it is in the library there. it is also on their website. what is really interesting about
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this document is that he gives such a detailed description of what individual laborers and what he sees as their strength. he also makes clear that he defines these individuals largely through their labor, and logic through their value to him. it shows a kind of close personal connection, and a personal engagement that is not available in any place other than in these farming records. when i started the research for this book, i thought i had a pretty good sense of the trajectory of washington's life as a farmer. but i now think are two of the most important contributions of the book came largely as surprises as i undertook the research. the first of the surprises is the depth of washington's commitment to
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british agriculture, two british models of agricultural improvement. in the middle decades of the 18th century transformation of farming had brought about remarkable increases in productivity. as soon as washington becomes a full-time farmer in 1759, after he leaves the virginia regiment, he is determined to adopt many of those practices from british agriculture, bringing it to virginia to develop a new kind of agricultural at mount vernon that could open up new types of opportunities and open up a new world for him. he learns about these new techniques almost entirely through books. beginning in 1759, he starts to order new books through tobacco merchants in london. this is one of the most important. this is thomas hail's complete body of husbandry. he not only brings these books into his library and takes extensive notes, but we can very specifically trace experiments that he undertakes. experiments
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in cultivation that he undertake soon after he received this and other books. he developed one of the largest libraries, practical treatise is in virginia at the time. he learns about practical agriculture through this but he also learns about a whole culture of farming that was promoted by a new type of gentlemen, self professed gentlemen, farmer in great britain. the frontispiece on our right side illustrates, these gentlemen farmers often connected their efforts with a great agricultural us of antiquity. people like virtual -- they viewed their agriculture as a type of civic and patriotic service when they were undertaking experiments that could lead common farmers to improve their land. washington found in this cultural form or a new role for the virginia planter. that the virginia planter could take on this role of demonstrating new kinds of farming that would diversify farming and open up new kinds of commercial
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opportunities. what is even more surprising is this commitment to british husbandry increases overtime. it becomes stronger and stronger after the revolutionary war. after independence from the empire. washington is still deeply committed to these british models. in 1785 he announces that he wants to undertake a complete course of husbandry and best farming counties in england. it is not just cultivation methods or new crops, this is a very elaborate and complicated system of cooperations integrated with livestock management and especially restoration of the soil. stewardship of the soil. it leads him to redesign the entire agricultural landscape
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over thousands of acres on mount vernon. it also leads him to demand that the enslaved cannot construct a formal infrastructure of farming, including what washington thought were the largest farms in the united states. they probably were, all constructed on the basis of very sophisticated british models. at the same time, washington begins a correspondence with some of our most important agricultural list in great britain. they really become his confidants and guides as he implements new types of farming throughout 1785. the second and closely related surprise was the enormous effort that washington expanded in trying to adapt enslaved labor to this complicated course of british husbandry. this is a merger of british notions of enlightened farming with and slave labor which really is unique to washington. no one else is trying to do it on the scale that he has. it is a challenge that he understands is also unique to him. during the revolutionary war, washington on a couple of occasions in private correspondence says he wants to be done with managing enslaved labor. he wants to be done relying on enslaved labor
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for agriculture. those comments, combined with a few remarks in the 1780 said he supported the principle of gradual abolition, persuaded many historians that from the revelation on washington is trying to extricate himself from the institution of slavery. he sees the future of american agriculture going in a
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different direction. from the time that he drops this new type of farming in 1785, he takes a number of very decisive actions to increase his reliance on enslaved labor. to
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revolutionary war, washington on a couple of occasions in private correspondence says he wants to be done with managing enslaved labor. he wants to be done relying on enslaved labor for agriculture. those comments, combined with a few remarks in the 1780 said he supported the principle of gradual abolition, persuaded many historians that from the revelation on washington is trying to extricate himself from the institution of slavery. he sees the future of american agriculture going in a different direction. from the time that he drops this new
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type of farming in 1785, he takes a number of very decisive actions to increase his reliance on enslaved labor. to adapt that labor to new kinds of farming. to find new value in enslaved labor that he has acquired for mount vernon. he relies on enslaved overseers at four of the five plantations at mount vernon that are involved in commercial agriculture. he tries to replace the hired white artisans who he had paid to do various types of skilled trades with enslaved labor at mount vernon, especially carpenters who were making the
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agricultural implements, with brick layers who would help build these tremendous agricultural structures and work with the carpenters. to do complicated join airing. most of the enslaved labor in the fields. washington in the process and poses a new type of specialization of labor and it is a specialization of labor by gender he puts more and more of the agricultural work and the fieldwork and the responsibility of enslaved women and more and more of the enslavement working as artisans and craftsmen it is a very carefully constructed program to take the labor that he had the enslaved labor and to apply it to new types of farming. washington understood what he was trying to do was unprecedented. certainly, he was not going to get any advice or suggestions from the british agricultural that he read. he devises a new type of supervision -- it is original
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to him. it allows him to supervise much more closely than he ever had before. he devices these weekly worker reports. they eventually are kept in the format of booking format. even though there is no money. not knowing the monetary values recorded but rather each plantation in indebted for the number of labour is they had and then credited for the work that those labor did over the course that they did. he received these every week. they would be prepared on a saturday and from 1785 until the end of its life -- and they allow him to exercise enormous control over the enslaved labor, even
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when he is not at mount vernon. as president, he devoted most sundays to reviewing these reports, and writing a very detailed instruction for a response to that. these reports are just one example of the many kinds of records that washington kept about his state. he had a penchant for all kinds of record keeping. those records collectively make mount vernon probably the best state on the chesapeake in the 18th century. it also made possible writing a book like this. here is an example of the kinds of exactitude and detail that he offered as far manager. this is his architectural
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design for treading wheat. a 16 sided barn, a very complicated construction. at the bottom, he provides exact details for how the lumber is to be cut. he explains which lumber was to be gathered on the estate, which was to be bought from alexandria. but he put this together at one of the busiest times of his presidency. this document was sent to his manager a week before he was elected to a second term. and as he came back from the fields one day in the 1780's, he creates this remarkable account of scenes, of how many seeds are in a pound. how many various acres. he is looking for an exactitude and a new kind of efficiency through this
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really quite remarkable attention to detail. he brought that same attention to detail in many of the records related to enslaved, particularly in the work reports that i've just shown. and also in the record of provisions of the enslaved clothing, food. those kinds of detailed records, aside from correspondence, are really what make possible information about the lives of the enslaved. those records are important because they are kept almost entirely by washington and his white managers, rather than any input from the enslaved themselves. these kind of plantation records and accounts a law for much more reconstruction work on the enslaved. many historians once thought this was possible. and it gives a tantalizing view of
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what people would like to know far more about. we would love to have better records for is this man davy gray. davy gray was and enslaved overseer. later, he learned how to cradle which especially valued. washington was trying to train the enslaved to do it, rather than hire people to do it at enormous expense. in 1783, he is made an overseer, the second enslaved overseer of the farm where he worked. he continues as overseer for 30 years, and he works on several different farms over that time. he probably knew the land and the farming better than anyone, maybe better than washington. where he was there as
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supervisor of labor, washington was away in the revolution and then as president. but in all the records, and the many references to davy dray, this document is the only one that has any indication of his mark that he apparently was not able to write. but we do have this one receipt where he marks his receipt for having been paid for poultry that he raised for martha washington after the death of george washington. that mark is the one indication of gray himself. gray was able to -- gray received some small cash payments from washington, and he apparently use those to
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buy poultry that he can then sell. he also, after the death of washington and the sale of the livestock, gray was able to purchase a cow, quite a remarkable purchased for an enslaved person. but he was not able to purchase his own freedom. he was one of the so-called dour slaves. those that were controlled by washington, he was able to use their labor during his marriage to martha. but after his death and martha's death, the slaves were divided among the grandchildren and davey great remained enslaved. for all this attention to detail, washington never loses sight of a grander aspirational vision of farming that he was trying to implement at mount vernon. this is the seal of the agricultural society of philadelphia.
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washington was inducted as an honorary member and had a great deal of correspondence and gained a lot of practical assistance. it presents this aspirational notion of what farming will contribute to that new nation. the goddess of agriculture is here presented with a crown of 13 stars. this improvement in society, like washington, they had a vision for agriculture. he was focused primarily on trying to bring the best to the united states. washington, in the later years of his service and the revolutionary war, as we were just talking about, he makes references to the vine and fig tree. life under the vine and fig tree and the anticipation of his life after the
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revolutionary war. he sees those biblical references, including the many about turning stones and swords into plow shares, is a representation of a new type of peaceful area that he thinks will be based on agricultural improvement, a shared culture of agricultural improvement with other nations, particularly great britain. he bonds with a lot of british agriculturalists and the rejection of mercantilism which he thinks led to the war. they believe they are in this joint effort, they engage in almost global exchange of an agricultural knowledge and planting material and agricultural implements. this image here of it was called general washington's, hardly
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seems like a new era of enlightened exchange. in fact, this is a documentation of washington's first improvement project after the revolutionary war. he decided that he wanted to breed mules. that mules were supposed to be superior to all other draft animals. their endurance, longevity, and also in the cost of their upkeep. he decides that he wants to procure a spanish donkey, which was considered the best animal from which to breed mules. they were prohibited from export from spain. he sends out letters trying to find out a way how to get one. it sets and play a whole network through the highest levels of diplomatic circles in europe
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and it also attracts the intention of the people of spain, king charles the third, recognizes that this is a new way of supporting their ally in the revolutionary war. he orders that one of these prized animals will be sent to washington in the united states. the one that survived was named royal gift. when it comes in he is almost a kind of celebrity in his own right. he is pictured here in this massachusetts farmers almanac. also from his journey from massachusetts where he is brought to mount vernon in the newspapers. he attracts the interests of other agricultural improver throughout the united states. reaching from john j in new york, to the political elite in charleston, south
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carolina. they all want to bring their mares for breeding with royal gift at mount vernon. the next 15 years, washington proceeds through this global network of scientific agricultural exchange that extends mostly through the paddocks of the british empire but also through diplomatic channels of the united states. he received seeds and plants from all over the world. he is planting wheat from the cape colony in southern africa. to the coast of africa, he even receives wheat sent to him from an agriculturalists in great britain that supposedly was seed supposedly given by catherine the great of russia ao explorat to george the third. washington is connected to this whole world of improvement and all the exploration of the
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natural world. we exchange, a plant exchange that also includes agricultural implements. he gets plows from great britain, and most importantly it includes even more books to add to his library. he again returns to his practice of taking detailed notes from agricultural treatises that he can apply those lessons to the farming at mount vernon. in return, washington welcomed many, many, visitors who pilgrimage to mount vernon. he offered them a view of an agricultural
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landscape unlike anything else in the united states. this is the five farms map that he draws in 1794. it shows the extent to which he had completely reworked the landscape at mount vernon to incorporate british farming. a visitor, one of the visitors who came to mount vernon recognize that it just look different than any other farms in the united states, particularly those in virginia. a visitor from europe couldn't believe that washington had not been to europe because he had so completely absorbed the ideas of agriculture landscape. they also recognized the specific purpose of what washington is trying to do. those who came to mount vernon yuck [inaudible] hero back later and said, the farms that he was building were a monument to patriotism. they were
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showing the way for other american farmers. this is a detail of the map that shows that he also was creating vistas and views that connected different farms. and is agriculture on display to visitors. here is the farm with the long alley that went to the grandest barn that he built all on union farms. and then in this image of mount vernon it was painted in the late 1780, for early 90s was one of the very few that showed the house that was provided for enslaved families. to the right of mount vernon is what was known as the house for families. when these visitors came to mount vernon, they saw the agricultural improvements, but they also saw the large number of enslaved
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laborers who were carrying out washington's innovations and were responsible for the changes in innovations that he had brought to mount vernon. and just as we recognize the power of the general term, farmer. so a new generation of anti slavery advocates were convinced that washington was there for their cause. and washington's emancipation of slave laborers. they encouraged other people to join them. washington becomes their special target amongst all the
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families. the first appeal that is documented from lafayette, who invited washington to join him in an experiment to educate enslaved labor's, to be sub supporting and independent tenets on the land. washington received other personal appeals from religious leaders, such as the method is clergy and wanted him to support a petition for gradual abolition in virginia or the quaker leaders who came to him in new york to ask him, as president, to support petitions to congress for the freedom of slaves. the french abolitionist came to mount vernon with a very special appeal that he wanted washington to be the leader of a new abolitionist society in
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virginia. for many of the others who appealed to washington, they called -- recalled the language of liberty from the revolution and they called on washington as a hero of america to now extend that kind of liberty to the enslaved labor's at his's estate and hopefully that will lead to further emancipation of enslaved laborers throughout the united states. he called washington and said it was appropriate to call washington the savior of america would become the liberator of hundreds of thousands of enslaved blacks in the united states. these appeals to washington, including some that were harshly critical of press, continued throughout his life. apart from very few private
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comments that washington makes, the change in his attitude towards slavery is really only evident in his record as farming and his record as an agricultural improvement. in the years after he first heard the appeals of abolitionists, he attempted institutes and you ways of managing enslaved labor. he attempts to shield the enslaved from the worst and inhumane parts of slavery in what he thinks are the most inhumane aspects of slavery. he resolves not to be in the involved and purchase of enslaved labor's, he insisted that his managers provide adequate food and medical care. he also tries to discourage the use of punishment especially
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violent punishment and coercion of labor. the way that mirrored similar efforts in the caribbean and among other people including thomas jefferson makes slavery more rational and humane. washington thought he could include slavery, like he was improving agriculture. but by making these resolutions some minimal protection of slavery, washington increases his demand for labor. he thinks that in return, the enslaved people owe him what he calls their duty to work from sun up to sun down. and to do all the labor they're physically capable of carrying out. it's difficult to write about it because -- the fact
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that they are not able to leave their own mark in the record. but as i've done this project, i've come to the recognition that washington created his own silences. he documented his life as an enslaver and his changing attitudes towards slavery. when lafayette first approached him with the experiment to prepare the enslaved for freedom, washington replies that he gives some vague support and affirmation that he'd like to help him. but he also says that any discussion of this should wait till mount vernon. that becomes a pattern where washington reserves for conversations that are undocumented, any kind of details talk about slips for slavery. or freedom for the
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enslaved. and it's that record that makes the study of washington so important for understanding his eventual path to emancipation. and it's in this famous map have already shown of the five farms, it was created as washington's first step towards what he thought could be a program that could allow him to emancipate the enslaved, or at least find some other kinds of dependency for them. and he creates this map in 1793 as part of a very elaborate plan that he has to
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lease his farms. they would come and take over his improvements, continue his improvements but they would not rely on enslaved labor. the money they provided washington would allow him to free the enslaved. he suggested at one point that they might work and hire them as laborers. other people advised him and said they might be able to work as tenants. but it's all part of this plan that he puts forth in 1793, and draws this map as a way of showing the british farmers what could be available for them to lease. and how washington got to this point is somewhat harder to document. but there is definitely a
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change that takes place during his presidency. he comes to the recognition that the kind of agricultural system that he wants, and the kind of enlightened agriculture that he hopes to implement is incompatible with slavery. he begins to understand the ways that slavery separated virginia and maryland from other parts of the country to the north, who were engaged in the same kinds of farming but without a reliance on slavery. and it's 's particularly his residency in pennsylvania, where he comes to the conclusion that pennsylvania has improved agriculture much more than a virginia. not because they have greater advantages, though the soil is better. rather he
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concludes it is because pennsylvania has provided for the ending of slavery and virginia has not but is convinced that virginia needs to if they were going to keep up and compete with the farming of pennsylvania. of course washington understood that virginians were not going to -- virginians were not going to endorse abolition. at that point, he decides he is going to have to try to find a way to do it himself. it was first through this plan of leasing the full arms to farmers. it
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was a wildly inventive idea. he said he wouldn't hand it over to the sullivan lee farmers of the united states. and despite the support of a number of british correspondents, it never happens. and so washington to his own actions in the summer of 1799, just five months before his unexpected death. washington drafted a will that would provide for the freedom of enslaves at mount vernon. he ensured that the young would be trained to take care of themselves and be self supporting. beyond that, he offered no statement of opposition to slavery and he never explained what it was he was hoping to accomplish, whether he expected other people to follow his actions. and as he rightly anticipated,
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very few virginians would share his ideal. just in closing, several years after he rescinded his life as a full-time farmer of the revolutionary war, washington had said that the life of a husband was the most delectable life of all. he said that to see plants rise from the earth and flourish by the superior skill and bounty of the labor combined with ideas which were more easy to be conceived then express. it was a kind of poetic expression not normally associated with washington. but
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it's one that you find throughout his description of farming. it was the ideal of a natural bounty and the world. the rural landscape, and the dignity of labor. it originally attracted him to the model of british husbandry in 1760's, and it had guided his further adoption of british style husbandry in the 1780's. and visitors to mount vernon coming into the most public rooms, this is the new room at mount vernon which washington decorated, both the walls and the ceiling with sort of the symbols of this kind of improved, enlightened agriculture that he had adopted from great britain. he also was convinced that his engagement with the enlightened world of agricultural improvement would bring about a new kind of piece. he chose for the top crowning declaration of mount
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vernon, this design, the peaceful dove. he was convinced that agricultural improvement would allow the nation to engage in peaceful commerce and also to establish a kind of political stability based on the land, that would discourage haphazard -- the idea of rural life remains common throughout washington's life. it remains in conflict with a system of labor that was dependent on coercion and a denial of individual dignity. in this book, i try to recover not just what i think is an essential dimension of washington as a farmer, but also i have tried to show how his pursuit of a particular model of agriculture and improvement ultimately convinced him that slavery had no place in an enlightened, commercial, prosperous new nation. thank you. we have a few questions here. i have time
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to answer them. a very good question that many people have asked is, can you discuss in the cultivation of various crops such as wheat, as opposed to other crops, affected the number of enslaved workers washington and needed? many people have thought so, and have written in the past that
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once he transitions to wheat, that he no longer has the need for as many enslaved laborers. but that's not true. he finds productive employement for enslaved laborers. he continues to buy enslaved laborers after he transitions to wheat. and in part, because wheat, as he implemented it, depends on a much greater diversity of crafts. so he employs more of the enslaved in these crafts. he is building a whole infrastructure at the farm of barnes, and also there is just more work to maintain the kinds of fields that are necessary. wheat requires far more land than tobacco as a crop. it requires less work on a daily basis than tobacco, but it requires far more land. washington actually increases his need for enslaved labor or his demand for enslaved labor after the transition to wheat. through most of his life, he is able to find work for the enslaved laborers. it's only in the mid to late 1790s that he
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kind of decides he has more labour then he can productively employ. another question, did washington's agricultural activities affect his presidency? i would say yes, very much so. he sees himself as an agricultural representative of the united states. he puts together a remarkable survey of american agriculture. it's not a part of his official duties. but he receives a request from a leading agricultural list in great britain, and washington calls on a number of leading farmers who are part of the government. most notably thomas jefferson, and he puts together this extensive report on american farming. he also tries very hard to get congress to endorse an institution like the british parliament had
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established a board of agriculture. he also recommended national legislation, so he begins to see more active role for government and the promotion of agriculture. congress does not pass that board of agriculture, to his great disappointment. let me see what else is here. a question, did enslaved labor's help manage mount vernon during the war? washington has to enslaved overseers who are managing the plantations and supervising the farming and the labor at this plantations. david gray, the man i had
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spoken about, had muddy a whole plantation. and they play a very important role in trying to find some way to increase revenue during the revolutionary war. he has them grow tobacco. he thinks maybe he could make some money from that, and he instructed both of the two overseers who are involved, they have been involved in tobacco before. it's not terribly successful this experiment, because of disruption of the tobacco markets. so a question here, were black laborers different from slaves? there is a no one enslaved at mount vernon who is not black. but what is important is to recognize that washington retired with slave labor. he throughout his life hired a number of skilled craftsman, usually. he used indentured servants throughout
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his time as a farmer. what's interesting is that after 1785, he requires most of those indentured servants as part of their contract with him to also train enslaved laborers in their craft. these were the people who maintain the boundaries of the plantation. that's all the questions that we have here. if there aren't any others, i just want to thank you all for listening to this, and i hope you found it her something new about george
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washington. so thank you. i'm >> he rejoining american history tv, then sign up for our news later using the qr code on the screen to receive the weekly schedule about coming programs like lecturing history, the presidency and more. sign up for the american history tv news later today and be sure to watch american history tv every saturday or anytime online at slash history. >> weekends on c-span two over intellectual feast. and every saturday, american history tv documents america's story. on sundays, book tv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span two comes from these television companies and more including cox.
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history for more of this history post. : : >>, kazakhstan with these television companies supports c-span 2 as a service. >> we are very excited about tonight's topic because on the eve of the american revolution of great britain and its 26th american colonies were united by culture, by language, by commerce and importantly by religion. and british peoples on both sides of the atlantic constructed a protestant empire that encompass both anglican informants and dissenters alike. revolutionist we'll hear severely tested whether or not that imperial protestant would endure. to help us understand what that all meant for the people and the institutions who built this empire, tonight, we are going to put our faith and dr. catherine. she's an associate professor of history at southern methodist university she's the author of this brand-new book, religion and the american revolution.
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and imperial history published by north carolina press in 2021. kate, welcome to the program. >> thank you. it's a pleasure to be here. >> thanks so much for joining us. where you're coming from this evening? >> i am dallas, texas here at my office in southern methodist. >> i hope you have air conditioning instead office? >> sometimes they turn it off at night to see power. so far so good. >> thanks again for joining. us we are really excited to talk about your book. i learned a lot from it and i am excited to learn along with the audience again tonight. to remind our audience out, there you will have a chance to ask questions here at the second half of the program. you can do that by submitting a question on youtube, facebook or twitter. we would love to bring you to the conversation here in just a bit. kate, i thought we may start big by looking at some big picture questions because the empire is a big place. what does it mean to be a protestant in bitter british empire in the decade before the american revolution. >> that's a great question, and
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it's a great place to start. i think one of the most common misconceptions when we think about religion and the american revolution as we start with the framework where we are looking at what becomes the united states. and as you are suggesting, before the revolution, people on both sides of the atlantic were invested in a shared protestant empire. i think that had two different kinds of connotations. on the one hand, it was a political connotation. so there has been a lot of scholarship about particularly in great britain, people using protestantism as a way to glue the polity together, glue people together against catholics. so it's a political version of it. but it also refers to religious institutions. so the vast majority of organized religious life, not necessarily religious experience, but organized religious life took place in the context of protestant institutions. the dominant
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denominations across the empire were all transatlantic. so they had footprints on both sides of the atlantic in lots of different places, and they communicate with one another. that pulled the empire together through these protestant institutions. so being a british protestant meant being part of an empire that was working on both sides of the atlantic, that was promoting protestantism, it meant something a little different and being part of a specific denomination. it was the collaboration of all those things. >> you use this lovely metaphor of a scaffolding to describe this empire in its various components in your book. could you talk a little bit about who are the people and the institutions you just mentioned who composed this scaffolding? how do they glue themselves together to create this imperial protestant order? >> the scaffolding is a way i was trying to get at the importance of religious institutions in this process. the archival project at the heart of this book, the way i started my research was to really look at who was
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communicating with whom across the atlantic. we knew that people on both sides of the atlantic are talking about each other, they talk about a protestant empire. who is actually communicating with whom? and what are the boundaries of that? and what i have found was that it is channeled through these kinds of institutional mechanisms. a lot through private societies, this is society for the propagation of the gospel. there is a whole host of other voluntary organizations. they are channeling money back and forth, they are communicating back and forth. the other piece of that is that they are really emphasizing places that are inside the empire. i had expected that i would find a lot of communication with a non-british protestants, and there is some. so some communications with german protestants or scandinavian protestants. there is a little bit of that. but far more of it, the vast majority of it is channeled within the structure
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of the empire. so thinking of it as a scaffolding, something that is built around the empire, that follows the contours of the empire, that emphasizes how much politics is determining the shape of what is going on. >> i'm curious about the political aspect of it. as you are speaking, something occurred to me. in 17 40s, the british government gets hit hard towards empire. especially after the seven years'war, when they don't have to worry about really dealing with france and spain, who are always a threat. but they see themselves as having this empire where they can trade goods back and forth, and they can prosper that way. they don't have to worry about commerce like they used to. is there a corresponding shift in the time period, when you see people, british protestants and american protestants beginning to take up with each other in ways that they had not before?
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>> in some ways, yes. i think by about the 17 20s or 30s is where i see that major pivot moment, coming both from religious groups and from the government side. that is about that period when the different establishments in each colony and in britain, in scotland and in england, start to converge. so that the rules about who is in and who is out, who gets to be tolerated or established, and what kind of things are established to be too disruptive, those rules converge across the empire. what is important about that is that it means that people can move around the empire, people within those groups can move around the empire without any concern that they are going to be persecuted, particularly, for their faith. that's also about the same period as the awakening movement, when it gets going in the british atlantic. that leads to a big upswing in missionary groups, in efforts to promote piety, promote revival. so that imperial intensification is
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going on at the same time. i'm not sure if the causal mechanism would be quite the same, but i think you are seeing across many different spheres of history, a real investment in empire at that moment. >> would you give us a sense of the established church and their role in this process? he mentioned the church of scotland, there are some established churches in the colonies. these two are bulwark for religiosity in great britain. it seems like you have a great deal of impact on the colonies as well. >> yes. and one of the real surprises for me in this project was realizing just how important the complex establishment in the british empire really was. and this is following on work by -- i'm not the first person to say this. at the end of the glorious revolution, britain
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creates a by confessional state as part of the settlement that brings england and scotland together in the glorious revolution. great britain, the kingdom of great britain has to establish churches. and then, in the aftermath of that, the colonial establishment that is not anglican, and that's really just the colonies in new england. those colonies are allowed to retain their congregationalist establishment. across the british empire, there are three different established churches. someone who is a dissenter and one place, can be part of an establishment in another place. that has two consequences. on the one hand, it makes a lot of people get really invested in the language of religious liberty. you have vocal communities that are considered legitimate religious actors and all of these places who are also outside of the establishment everyone has reason to be invested in religious liberty. that
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includes anglicans who argue for religious liberty mostly in the northern colonies where they do not have the full church that they want to have. on the other hand, it means that all of those groups are actually invested in the establishment. they are established-ing the idea that the state has a role in governing religious life, providing access to public warship, all of those things. they are establishment therrien in the same time that they are focusing on mixed liberty. they have this establishment across all these different colonies. because it is rooted in the act of union, which has been there since the british constitution, right? once it is rooted in that it is really hard to budge. so they kind of structures and habits of religious community that are built on top of that are super powerful even when you have really strong voices in england who want to have the entire voice under the church of england. no one is willing to
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willing to disrupt the active voice under that. i think establishment works to the benefit of pulling the whole entire together even though you have different establishments in different places. >> can you say something more about the government rolls you said exactly that the establishment is directly tied -- to promote this imperial protestantism that you are talking about. >> the government sets the rules about what is legitimate religion and what isn't religion the governments across the board whether it's at local establishment of the government it is not getting involved in the logical fights between different theological figths between the presbyterian church they are not gonna weigh in on that there is serious dispute within the church of england there are different theological factions that is all acceptable
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disagreement on the other hand if you get a group that is really on the outside. a small group of people who are burning bibles in the town square, those people are not accorded religious liberty. they are individuals committing crimes against a state that supports the process of religion, right? so the religious leaders do not need to go after them. the state will go after them. there are all kinds of other privileges ago long with this. tax payment to churches, of course, but there is the naturalization of colonies requiring protestant to have a certificate from and acceptable minister. from a reputable protestant minister. the role of protestant minister is kind of held up as a special idea and have to be a church that has ministers. you have to look a certain way you have to look like protestantism. you have to meet these denominations and follow these rules in order to get that protection. the state


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