Talk:George Washington

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Good articleGeorge Washington has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Use of the term 'blacks'[edit]

The term 'blacks' is used four times in the article, with one time being a direct quote. Should we use a different term in those cases excluding quotation?

ThomasBur (talk) 09:10, 5 April 2019 (UTC)

No. The term "African-American" did not exist in that context. We assiduously use contemporaneous terminology as much as possible, such as "Loyalist" and "Patriot." The contemporaneous term in this case ("Negro") would probably raise a firestorm of protest in our modern Speech Police environment, so "black" or "Black" is probably the best middle ground. —Dilidor (talk) 14:28, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
In my opininon, using the terms "black", "Black", or "African American" is acceptable for the article. The term "Negro" should not be used in the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:04, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
Agree with Cmguy777. I think stylistically it should be consistent throughout the article (black v. Black; white v. White; red v. Red; — or — various hyphenated-Americans [so despised by Theodore Roosevelt]), etc.
Part of the usage requirement for this article is the acknowledgement and provision for the differences among a) Africans enslaved in Africa and sold into Virginia, after 1724, no longer numbers of Congo River region Christians, but then mostly Bight of Africa animists and Muslims, b) enslaved Blacks of African descent, c) Afro-American freedmen in port cities such as Norfolk, Richmond, Alexandria, Fredericksburg, and crewing for sailing vessels predominantly in the Chesapeake Bay, on the Atlantic seaboard and in the Caribbean.
Regardless of important distinctions to be made in the context of African American studies, for the purposes of this article, we might admit terms predominantly found in the literature concerning George Washington and Late Colonial Virginia within the last, say, twenty years (black, Afro-American, African American).
Somewhere in the Wikipedia toolkit, there is a look-up website that generates the usage frequency of whatever term is searched. At one time in reputable historical literature,
- a) “African” was honorific and “black” was dismissive;
- b) then “Negro” was honorific, “black” dismissive;
- c) then “black” was honorific, “Negro” dismissive;
- d) then “African American” was honorific and “black” was dismissive”.
Now it is my impression that “black”, “African American”, and “Afro-American” are interchangeable generally, although there may be differing scholarly usage in Early Colonial and Late Colonial eras. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 17:48, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
Agree with Dilidor, Cmguy777 and TVH. The only possible exception I could see is if and when the term "negro" is used in a quote, regardless of any objections from the self appointed speech police. In some cases "African" may work, as is used in the lede. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:14, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
"African American" is the official legal term. Obama signed the bill into law. I do not recommend the use of the term "Negro" in a quote. I do not recommend the term "Afro-American" Cmguy777 (talk) 03:27, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I made changes to the article. Used the term African American. I kept the term "slaves". Already established slaves were African American. I removed the term "black". For FA Review, I think it is best just to use the term "African American". Cmguy777 (talk) 06:32, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
It seems to me, that since "the measure H.R.4238 [relating to 'African American' usage], passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and the Senate", that stylistically, we should adopt the term "African American" throughout the article whenever the editorial voice of Wikipedia is used to refer to second generation Virginians of African descent, whether they were native Virginians born free or into slavery, or from elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere. Only those native to Africa should be referred to as "Africans", whether directly delivered to Virginia, or by way of another place in the Western Hemisphere.
- And further --- for the sake of article stability on the road to FA status --- whenever direct quotes are used that use alternative terms, such as "Negro" or "black", the quote can be responsibly altered by the use of brackets, replacing the other terms that were once used with the current usage, "[African American]". The guideline should be adopted for the sake of consistency and for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary article disruption in the future.
- - Anyone interested in the etymological history of a given quotation found in the article narrative, can readily consult the reference sourced, especially if the work is linked either to its original text online, or to a preview link to the source with a term search feature such is found at Amazon. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 13:04, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I agree VirginiaHistorian. Another issue would be "Indian" and "Native American". I changed the title to "Native American Affairs". I put a link (Native Americans) in the article next to the term "Indian". Cmguy777 (talk) 15:30, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I cleaned up the Native American affairs section. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:20, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
  • We shouldn't be changing the terms in quotes because someone, or group of activists, many of whom often cherry pick and distort history to justify their own racism, 'decided' a given term was unacceptable. That would be intellectually deceptive, even if this was not the intention. Using the terms that were commonly used in a given time period is historically accurate. We should not lead the young and naive reader into believing that "African-American", or "Native-American", was used in the 1700's by altering quotes. We also should not be changing the historical account because some people have hangups over certain words. Since there are no such quotes presently in the article this is all really academic, at least at this point. Also, if we're going to use "African-American", then we should also use "European-American", "Spanish-American", etc. Or are we going to show favoritism and employ a double standard based on race? Now we have "African Americans" and "Native-Americans", and whites. Are/were not whites Americans? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:24, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Gwillhickers, I am puzzled by your words, "activists, many of whom often cherry pick and distort history to justify their own racism". Am I correct in thinking that here you are talking about African-American writers and scholars who have studied their history and how they and their ancestors were called, writers and scholars who have decided that, you know, they shouldn't always answer to what others have called them? And please, pray tell, who are these "racists" you're talking about?

    BTW, "using the terms that were commonly used in a given time period is historically accurate" is of course complete bullshit, unless you are speaking only of quoted material. If we start writing about African-Americans in the way 19th-century white slave owners did, ... well I really shouldn't have to finish that sentence. But, again, tell me about those racists who refused to be called the n-word, or "boy", or whatever. Drmies (talk) 00:41, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

No one is saying that blacks, and black scholars, shouldn't object to being call nigger, or any other racist slur, nor is anyone saying we should use racist slurs in the narrative, so put the race card away, please. Your dialog here more than suggests that only whites were/are racists, and that scholars, of all colors, always write about history for honest and ethical reasons, and that no one cherry picks events in history while ignoring those events that too often deflate their balloon. "If we start writing about African-Americans in the way 19th-century white slave owners did..."?? Yes, you should have finished that assumption, just for the record. Here also you seem to be assuming the worst. Can you tell us why it's okay for some people to use the term "Negro" while forbidden by others? Whose decision was that? As I suggested below, we should use the terms employed by multiple sources, and which are still widely used today. "Racists", all of them? Wikipedia is not the place for the self-appointed thought police who are ready to assume the worst based on the historical terms one happens to employ. The dialog, up to now, was objective. Let's try to keep it that way. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:07, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Hmm the dialog up til now was basically dominated by your whitesplaining. "Put the race card away"--it was always there. You could have said "n-word", but you had to go all out, didn't you. I hope you enjoyed it. Anyway, you were the one who said "using the terms that were commonly used in a given time period is historically accurate", so you should try to own what you said. Drmies (talk) 01:25, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Apparently you're a victim of your own imagination. The "N-word", is just a word, and unless it's not directed at an individual, and simply used in an academic discussion, there should be no issues. We're discussing historical and contemporary terms, only, not racial slurs, a topic you injected into the discussion. You can continue in assuming (read: prejudice) what you like. Thanx for the benefit of the doubt. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:54, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers, anyone who says "The "N-word", is just a word" is an idiot. It is a racial slur. It was already part of the discussion, but you had to go and say the actual word as if it is no big deal--and then you felt the urge, apparently, to gaslight me and call me prejudiced. You are not just insensitive, you're rude and antediluvian. This stuff about my supposedly suggestion that "only whites can be racist", I don't know where you get that from. Not from my words. And I stand by my remark we should not write like they did in the 19th century except when we quote. If you don't even get that, that's a pretty sad state of affairs. Drmies (talk) 03:00, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
As was explained for you, it's only a word when not directed at someone in a derogatory fashion and used in an academic discussion. You're usage of the "N-word" is no different, because, unless you're an idiot, Drimies, everyone still knows what it means. However, when used in an academic or other such discussion, it's only a word. Btw, referring it to the "N-word", all you've done is wooo the word, and in effect, put it up on a pedestal, put a barb-wire fence around it and fixed a spot light on the word, giving it much more suggestive and negative meaning than it deserves. Thanks for that guys. Also, many young blacks refer to one another with the "N-word" today, but according to your way of thinking, it doesn't matter how the word is used, all that matters is that someone said it, period, regardless of the intention and context in which it was used. In any case, we are discussing terminology for use in the article, and we were discussing how some terms have changed over the years and are now unacceptable, according to some people. Again, you were the one who came along with your compound assumptions, talk of slurs and other talk that has nothing to do with how we're going to write the narrative. If you're done with your self righteous venting, you're always welcomed to contribute to and improve on the article. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:50, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
End Insert
  • Chernow and Ferling use the term "Indian" exclusively in their indexes and throughout their books. Many people find the term "Native-American" offensive, as it implies that non-Indian people who were born in this country, had parents, grand-parents, great-grand-parents, etc, are somehow not native to this country. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:16, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
  • At the turn of the 18-19th centuries, congress created "Superintendent of Indian Trade" and "Office of Indian Trade". If we refer to these institutions in an article do we now substitute "Native-American" for Indian in the official terms used in those days? There is an article entitled Bureau of Indian Affairs, and rightly so it seems, as this was the term used when the office was created. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:23, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. The edits made by myself were to help get the article to FA status. H.R.4238 gives us the proper term to identify the original people who populated what is now the continuous continental United States. I don't want to argue names here "Indian" vs "Native American" or "Black" versus "African American". Using one term helps make the article more reliable and read better. I don't think this is worth any edit warring. What is interesting, H.R.4238 did not have a term for white people, at least from the link given. In that case, the best term for this article would by Anglo-American, and that was the term I used. Apparently there is no official designated term for white people. I was using H.R.4238 as a model for the article. Nothing is set in stone. I suggest using "African American" and "Native American" throughout the article. Either "Anglo-American" or "European American" can be used for white people or people of European ancenstry. Cmguy777 (talk) 20:23, 6 April 2019 (UTC)



Concerning Europeans Leif Erickson discovered America before Christopher Columbus. Amerigo Vespucci came after Columbus. The continent could have been Leifcan or Christophcan. It is American. I don't know the first Native American "Paleo-Indian" tribe that crossed over into America. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:59, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
The name Amerigo means "work ruler; home ruler". Cmguy777 (talk) 23:11, 6 April 2019 (UTC)


I agree with Gwhillhickers that the proper nouns of associations and wars that are generally accepted in the literature should not be changed for intellectual “deception”, somehow erasing the actual phrasing of historically important institutions such as the NAACP. These fall generally into the category, proper names, meant to name contemporary associations or events, "a noun that designates a particular being or thing, does not take a limiting modifier, and is usually capitalized in English".
This article should make three important ethnic-cultural-religious-politically related distinctions among the “whites” of Washington’s Virginia of the last half of the 1700s. I agree with Cmguy777 in the stylistic use of “Anglo American” for those of English heritage, as long as “Scots American” is used (rather than the liquor ‘scotch’ which seems to be a usage toss-up), and German American.
Quotes meant to communicate information — as opposed to proper nouns — should follow these stylistic conventions for the general reader. The article should NOT hold out the scholarly intent to reflect contemporary expressions of the past in a way that provokes modern objections.
- (Yes, Gwhillhickers, considering that the n-word is ubiquitously heard loudly proclaimed from private vehicles at every urban stoplight nationwide, clearly enunciated even through tightly shut windows in adjacent passenger cars, --- it is indeed sad that the novel once a part of a righteous literary canon, banned in the Jim Crow former Confederacy for portraying enslaved African Americans as independent “humans” with attributes of compassion, honor and loyalty — should now be banned by “modernists” (to put it kindly) — banned not only in elementary grades, but in secondary public schools, and also, I am startled to say, in universities: “Huckleberry Finn”, whose protagonist “would rather go to hell” for disobeying the law that called on him to betray the escaped slave Jim, otherwise meant to be sold "down river" to New Orleans. Of course, the problem that the 19th century racists had was that the novel put slave "Jim" on the side of heaven and the abused white boy "Huckleberry". I sometimes wonder if the enduring problem with the novel for the modern day is that it keeps alive a sort of throw-back "heaven-and-hell" worldview purporting that there may be moral standards of any description for the reader to discover.)
I propose, that apart from proper nouns, for the major ethnic divisions in George Washington’s Virginia, our “style manual” guideline should use the terms: (1) African American, (2) (native) African, (3) Native American, (4) Anglo American, (5) Scots American, and (5) German American for common usage meant for the general reader. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 17:49, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Seems okay on its face, I suppose, but now we're getting into multiple and rather divisive terms. It would seem simple terms like, colonists, settlers, British, African slaves and Indians, would be more appropriate when writing a historical narrative, as these were the terms of the day, are the terms still widely in use today in history books, and as demonstrated above, still used by many others. Let's keep in mind we're not writing for readers of People magazine or the National Enquirer. Also, the term "African-American slave" seems odd, since the words 'American' and 'slave' don't fit well together, and bearing in mind that there were no Americans, of any color, until after the Revolution. I have a feeling no single opinion is going to appease everyone, all of the time, so perhaps we should just say what the sources say. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 00:25, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
We can't change the titles of other articles. Maybe those article names should be changed, but I would just focus on this article for now. Also, we can't change terms historians use. But since this is Wikipedia, editors should have some say on terminology used in the article. Let's just use "Native American" and "African American" throughout the article. Either "Anglo-American" or "European American" is appropriate. Washington did sign into law a Naturalization Act that only allowed "whites" to become citizens. The wording of the law used the terms "white" or "whites". Maybe it is time to move on to other issues to get this article to FA. Thanks. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:43, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes, editors should have some say as to the terms used. You seem to be suggesting someone is not allowing this, again, fanning a fire that is not there. Yes, the wording of the Naturalization Act, which Washington signed, used the term 'White'. Likewise, many acts and references use terms like 'Indian'. However, now you seem to be suggesting that using 'Whites' is okay, but using 'Indians' is not. i.e.A double standard based on race. As I said, I've no objection for using terms in section titles introduced, for article stability, but remain opposed in using such terms in quotes and common place terms, as outlined above, which is what we've done. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:17, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Personally, I find it easier to simply keep an eye on how I use language regarding subjects that are touchy today because I don't like how they can get bogged down in discussion that can get emotional and personal. For example, I avoid the use of the terms "maiden name" and "man and wife" or even "husband and wife". Helps assure a quieter life ...--Wehwalt (talk) 03:51, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

Well, it's unfortunate that society has reached a point where we have to walk on eggshells when we use various historical and common terms, many of whom are unwilling to 'read' how a term is used in the context of which it's used, subjugated by their own notions and prejudices apparently, (no inference to you intended). This entire advent is an affront to freedom of speech and the press, something that has sticked in the craw of kings, monarchs and dictators throughout history. To this day they look for ways to get their foot in the door to stop free expression, resorting to racial, religious and political issues to effect this, knowing that the young and naive and unsuspecting pure of heart will go along and do much of their dirty work for them. Getting back to article improvement, per Talk pages, hopefully we have reached a compromise, per quotes and the use of common terms. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:40, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
The Indian/Native American bit seems irrelevant if we are referring to the people themselves, as some tribes use the word Indian, others use different words, eg nation, etc. There's no consensus among Indians/Native Americans/ about the terminology they use or would like others to use. Doug Weller talk 08:52, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
(a) H.R.4238 held that appropriate ethnic terms include "Asian American, Native Hawaiian, a Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Native American, or an Alaska Native". That should be commonly used style without a specific reason to make an exception, such as use of an historical proper noun in context.
(b) "Whites" is hardly ever an apt political descriptor in George Washington's Virginia, because 1) there were land requirements for different "whites" to vote, allowing the rich to vote in multiple counties, and in Virginia, two or more propertied "yeomen farmers" to cast one joint viva voce vote by agreeing to combine their improved acreage before the county sheriff; 2) only Anglicans who were predominantly English, and licensed Scots Irish Presbyterians could preach, not dissenting sect Germans, Methodists or Baptists. To qualify to vote, all were required to pay Anglican, then Episcopalian Church taxes until the 1786 Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.
(c) To re-litigate whether to use the term “Native American” in an online encyclopedia meant for the general reader in an international audience of the 21st century, we should not should not seek to create an artificial Wikipedian consensus based on the remaining indigenous tribes who may or may not be a) organized or incorporated by law, b) recognized by ancient or modern state or provincial governments, or c) recognized by the British Empire, the United States, or Canada at any time.
— such an editor consensus would include endless disputes about the use of “Indian” by extant Native American tribes whose language has no word for important Western concepts, such as their translated term for “humanity” which is limited to their historical paramount chieftan’s tribute tribes, sometimes now the modern archeologically defined ethnic-tribal group, or for some "purists" only their remnant tribal subgroup. Then we would have to sort through the Native American English language derivatives found in a sort of trading "pigeon English" and sign language used by the Native-American-European traders active and flourishing in the border regions of each sequential wave of European settlement.
— and we would have to fight through the scholarly debates about the term “nation” itself being a European term of legal fiction used in one-way European “treaties” written in European languages, employed by the Europeans (Spanish, French, English, Dutch) to justify appropriating Native American lands without a) authorization by pre-Columbian political means of indigenous consensus, and b) making the decision “binding forever” after the death of the signatories, rather than contingent on maintaining an ethical relationship among the subsequent generations among the signing communities.
We can just use "Native American" for this article, in my view. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 16:17, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. It would help not to attack my opinions by saying I have "double standard based on race". I was going by H.R.4238. There is no designation for whites by that law, as far as I can tell. So there is some open room in describing white people, European American people, or Anglo-American people. The term "Whites" in quotes is acceptable since that is the language of the Naturalization Act. I will suggest that the term "Whites" or "Caucasian" may imply some sort of 18th Century hierarchy of race. That Naturalization Act prevented persons of another color from being citizens.But again since there is no legal term for white people, European American, or Anglo-American, there is room for various terminology. I suggest going by H.R.4238 for terminology for "African American" and "Native American". Cmguy777 (talk) 19:22, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Doug Weller :  Yes there seems to be no consensus on this, nor was this even an issue during the last FA review. As I said, I'm more or less flexible on this, so long as we are not changing quotes or common place terms in the narrative. For the sake of discussion, however, we've been talking about the changing terms - one decade terms like "colored" are okay, the next it's a social taboo, regardless if org's like the NAACP employ the term. What's sort of puzzling is that no one has ever explained 'why' such terms are okay at a certain time and then, 'poof'!, all of the sudden they're a bad thing, for some people, to say. Whose decision was that? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:22, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Cmguy777 : Above you referred to the Naturalization Act, which Washington signed, pointing out that the term White is used, and therefore acceptable. Yet, after it's been pointed out that the term Indian is likewise used in official documents and common terms e.g.French and Indian War, you remained opposed to using the term Indian. You even suggested that the titles of various articles should be changed. Based on your own reasoning, this presents a double standard. It was not my intention to "attack" you, but merely point out the inconsistency of your reasoning. Once again, it's an affront to Freedom of Speech and Press by permitting the government to declare what terms are acceptable and which are not. I'm a little surprised you refuse to get that and seem willing to allow the government to declare what is acceptable and unacceptable terminology. Will newspapers be forced to abide by this? Should Wikipedia? Last time I checked, the U.S.A. and most of Europe do not live under a communist dictatorship, and editors at Wikipedia should be vigilant by not allowing petty dictators, the self appointed thought police, and their dupes, getting their foot into the door. Unfortunately, now, this needs to be said, as you've used government policy, at least twice, to justify your insistence that only certain terms should be used. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:22, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • If I didn't mention specific nomenclature during the FAC review, I certainly noted some discrepancies in terms of which chiefs were at Logstown and which tribes they represented but I might not have bothered to articulate that specific point because I was much more concerned about the sourcing. To answer your question above: yes Wikipedia must abide. Yes. Yes. And yes again. Any editor who wishes to bring an article successfully through FAC must use language that doesn't alienate. This is clear, obvious, and the only right thing to do. Victoriaearle (tk) 23:20, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. I said: "I suggest using "African American" and "Native American" throughout the article." H.R.4238 was a guidline. Your rhetoric is getting caustic: "...Wikipedia should be vigilant by not allowing petty dictators, the self appointed thought police, and their dupes, getting their foot into the door. Unfortunately, now, this needs to be said, as you've used government policy, at least twice, to justify your insistence that only certain terms should be used." You are a proponent of Freedom of Speech except mine. Every government has laws. Please do not go after me in this manner. A suggestion is not a dictatorship as you falsely paint on this talk page. I don't need this abuse. Since you feel so strongly about the issue or for whatever reason you have the freedom to put "Indian" back into the article since you are against "Native American." There is no need for further discussion on this matter. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:01, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
This is a discussion page. If you advance one standard (i.e.Naturalization Act, using the term "white") in an attempt to justify that word's usage, but ignore that same standard when it comes to another, (The term "Indian occurs in many acts and official titles), this should be brought to your attention. Compound accusations like "attack me" or "go after me" and "abuse" don't help the discussion. If you don't want to be 'abused' then you should make the effort to be consistent in your reasoning when talking to other editors, if for anything, out of respect to their intelligence and intellectual honesty. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:47, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
Cmguy777, there is no need for you to back down. Neither you nor I are petty dictators, nor am I empowered by some "thought police". What I do know is that "Indians" has all kinds of things going against it and we should take those things seriously. I made a few minor changes to the article, and I'm sure many more can be made. Your help is appreciated. Drmies (talk) 03:07, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

By standing over people and insisting that they use certain terms, you are indeed acting like the thought police. Perhaps you should go to the NAACP article and change the word "colored" to 'African American'. The word 'colored' occurs at least six times. Isn't this automatically 'wrong', this being 2019. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:16, 9 April 2019 (UTC) ─────────────────────────

Isn't there a formal polling procedure to determine style conventions in an article? In this case, "George Washington", with an eye to clearly relate the history of the man in the Virginia of his lifetime, 1732-1799. There seem to be several elements to be determined related to this extended discussion.
1) Shall historically accurate proper nouns such as "French and Indian War" be preserved intact in the article text, as well as terms used in direct quotes from primary documents?
2) Shall the voice of Wikipedia as an online encyclopedia meant for the general international reader, use in this article,
a) "African American", "African descent" (and "African" for native Africans), and "Native American"; and
b) "European descent" (and "European" for native Europeans), "Anglo American", "Scots American", and "German American"?
3) Shall the article apply brackets in direct quotes following the scholarly convention for inserting the accepted usage familiar to the general reader (in one case, "[African American]") instead of various styles found in the original source texts (in this case five alternative terms found in reliable scholarly literature of the period: "colored", "Negro", "black", "Afro-American", and "African American")? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:57, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
Suggested article terminology :
  • Native American
  • African American
  • European American Cmguy777 (talk) 16:18, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
We need to focus on the terminology of this article not of other articles. Any discussion of article title changes should be done in thoses articles talk page. The above terminology are only suggestions. It is my opinion that the article would look better for FA to have a standardized terminology. It is up to editor consensus to choose what terminology is best for this article. Thanks. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:24, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
@Cmguy777: I totally garbled my intro in the post above.
It should have read, "Isn't there a formal polling procedure to determine style conventions in an article? In this case, "George Washington", with an eye to clearly relate the history of the man in the Virginia of his lifetime, 1732-1799."
I hope that is better. Sorry. Sorry. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 20:16, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

As I said, the terms have no positive or negative meaning for me, either way, and can be used in the article, just so long as we are not changing historical quotes and the names, in any article, of official documents and long established titles, like the French and Indian War or the NAACP. Words by themselves are neither right or wrong, it's the intention and how they're used that is the real issue. I'm sure all the adults around here get that. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 14:47, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

Gwillhickers. Thank you for the re-iteration. Yes, terms in primary document "direct quotes" should be preserved, if they are not to be paraphrased in the narrative account. I failed to grasp your earlier reference to "direct quotes" meaning "historical quotes". I understood "official documents and long established titles [my 'proper nouns']", but I mistook "direct quotes" to be taken from passages in secondary historiographic literature, not the words found in the "direct quotes" of original source documents.
So, I have modified my point (1) above to encompass my better understanding of your point. I assure all that I am not deliberately either obtuse or contentious here.
Indeed, I would have at some additional main-space article copyediting again if my note-it-and-footnote-it stratagem could be admitted for simplifying some of the text detail in (a) narrative authored by Gwillhickers, and (b) historiography authored by Cmguy777. -- Both of whom I admire in this collaborative effort, so I shall defer for now.
Cmguy777. Regarding "European American", I suppose for the "George Washington" article narrative until 1776, the Wikipedia editor voice should be "European Virginian", I suppose. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:04, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Edit break 3[edit]

The comments in this section are deeply disturbing. Here are a few quick suggestions and I'll try to follow up in a few days. Per WP:Commonname, keep French and Indian War and Bureau of Indian Affairs, otherwise be very mindful of language throughout, i.,e slaves were slaves and should be identified as such. I've taken a quick look at the "Native American affairs" section, and made a few tweaks but I think it's problematic throughout so I'll post line-by-line comments when I have the time. Will do the same with other relevant sections. Victoriaearle (tk) 22:56, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

Gwillhickers. I don't insist on anybody using any words. Just suggestions. I am not the thought police. How about we tone down the wording in the talk page and get Washington to FA. I am all for Victoriaearle making edits and line-by-line comments. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:07, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Victoriaearle, Thanks for your concerns. The discussion was initiated by another editor and from there we were discussing historical and social terminology, past and president, and how somewhere along the way certain terms were deemed, by some influential individuals or pressure groups, to be unacceptable. Unfortunately another editor came along assumed the worst and to buttress an otherwise failed argument, typically turned the discussion into a racially charged issue in an attempt to assume the moral high ground. Yes, using the term slaves, or African slaves, seems appropriate, while the lede should indicate African American, if for anything, article stability, as apparently there are individuals out there who assume that anything but the politically "correct" term is automatically an insult, regardless of the intention and how the term is used. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:50, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Cmguy777, at this point all that I ask is that you apply the same standards throughout your discussion. You used the Naturalization Act, which employs the term "white", as a reason to use that term, but ignored the fact that the term Indian was also used in official documents and established titles, yet still objected to the term Indian. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:50, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, I've been following the talk page discussions since I reviewed. A few times I've thought about chiming in, but for the most part have been impressed at how issues are resolved. This particular issue isn't being resolved in quite such an impressive manner and I decided to step in because it's an important point, regardless of who raised it. Bottom line is that we need to follow conventions and generally it's best not to articulate one's opinion about those conventions and how they came to be. I'll post more later, but am basically rewriting much of the "Native American affairs" section because it seems to me that it's more important this article reflect the policies GW initiated that were to stay in effect for the next century. Some details have to be sacrificed, but in my mind the question of whether to describe policy vs. dinner parties, policy seems more important. Victoriaearle (tk) 20:42, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. Maybe you are misunderstanding me. The modern standardized term for Indian is Native American. The modern standardized term for African Americans is African American. There is no modern standardized term for white people. That is not a double standard. It is just the facts. Historical quotes should be left in tact in the article. I added a note that Indian was the term that described Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. That was the term Washington used. I am not the thought police. I don't even know what a thought police is. You can't police peoples thoughts. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:11, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

Not everyone ascribes to these so called "modern standards", or "conventions" and to many, who are not e.g.Indians, the term "Native America" can be demeaning. It implies that, even though you, and/or your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc, were born and raised in America, you are not native to America. Where is this assumed "modern standard" among tens of thousands of fans and members of the Cleveland Indians or Atlanta Braves, or the entire sports world, not to mention among members of the NAACP and other such org's, for openers? Also, when the term "African-American" was first introduced, many Blacks didn't take to the term, and were a little peeved that the references to them was changing too often. First they were referred to as "Africans", then "Negros", then "Colored", then "Black", and now "African-American". However, it seems most Black folks still refer to themselves as "Black" today, but we don't hear about that when issues like this come up.
This is just a discussion, as we're using the so called "modern standards", and yes, not when it comes to quotes and common use titles like The French and Indian War. I would prefer, however, that we use the terms that were common when covering history during a given time period. e.g.During the French and Indian War, there was no "America" or "Americans", and since the Indians during this time certainly didn't identify with the British, let alone the idea of "American", it seems using the term "Native American" in this section just comes off a little patronizing.
It seems Victoriaearle is doing a fair job, but for reasons stated I am not entirely in agreement with the terms used and the assumption that there is this convention that is embraced by everyone. For now, I'll not oppose the edits, or make any reverts or changes, pending further discussion. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:54, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Gwillhickers. The first people to arrive to what is now called America was 15,000 years ago. That is why these tribes or peoples are called Native. The term Indian is completely inaccurate. Columbus was no where near India. It is best to identify the first peoples by their respected tribes, Seneca, Apache, Iriquois...I have no idea why Amerigo Vespucci had North, Central, and South (Americas) named after him. He was European. Some of his letters are considered forgeries. It was a German Martin Waldseemüller who named these North and South continents after Vespucci. I don't have any issues with standardized terminology. European American, Native American, and African American are all appropriate for the article. Today people can find their origins through DNA testing. I am an American, United States citizen, and a human being. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:47, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
Columbus was 13852 kilometers or 8607 miles or 7479 nautical miles away from India when he was on the Island of Hispanola. The term Indian to describe the indigenous peoples is historically inaccurate. The native peoples were not Indians. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:21, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
Why is it entirely necessary to re-invent the wheel in these discussions? These editing questions have been faced in many articles. Cannot guidance be taken from them?--Wehwalt (talk) 05:49, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
"I don't even know what a thought police is. You can't police peoples thoughts." You are joking, right? See main article Thought Police: "In the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), by George Orwell, the Thought Police (Thinkpol) are the secret police of the superstate Oceania, who discover and punish thoughtcrime, personal and political thoughts unapproved by the Party. The Thinkpol use criminal psychology and omnipresent surveillance (telescreens, microphones, informers) to search for and find, monitor and arrest all citizens of Oceania who would commit thoughtcrime in challenge to the status quo authority of the Party and the regime of Big Brother.[1] ... George Orwell's concept of "thought policing" derived from the intellectual self-honesty shown by a person's "power of facing unpleasant facts"; thus, criticising the prevailing ideas of British society often placed Orwell in conflict with ideologues, people advocating "smelly little orthodoxies".[2] " Dimadick (talk) 11:43, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
  1. ^ Taylor, Kathleen. Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control p. 21. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-19-920478-0 and ISBN 978-0-19-920478-6.
  2. ^ Orwell, George; Orwell, Sonia; Angus, Ian; The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, p. 460. David R. Godine Publisher, 2000; ISBN 1-56792-133-7, ISBN 978-1-56792-133-5
Wehwalt: I support Wehwalt in sharing an interest in how other historical articles of George Washington's contemporaries choose their terms to describe ethnic groups. It is also of interest to know if there are differences between their usage in American English versus that in British and Canadian English. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 12:51, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
@Gwillhickers: and @Cmguy777: It seems that strictly speaking,
(a) "native" Americans may be said to be all those born in English Imperial North America, then in the United States, however,
only in a purely logical, abstract sense apart from historical narrative. In this article we should only be using "Native American" in two ways. ---
(i) The capitalized proper noun, "Native American" in contemporary American usage for general readers refers to descendants of populations found in North America by Europeans in the 1500s and after.
(ii) The historical term from primary sources, "Native American [political] Movement" of the early 1800s that was primarily anti-Catholic, xenophobic, and hostile to immigration, starting originally as a secret society. The "Native American Party", was renamed the "American Party" in 1855 and was commonly known as the Know Nothing movement. After the fall of the Whigs in the American South, the Know Nothings were a transitory political association among those opposing the state's rights Democrats. Within two years they were succeeded by the "Opposition Party" in the South, and by the "Republican Party" in the North.
(b) "indigenous" Americans, those who migrated on their own, not "brought [by others] from elsewhere", may be said to be the populations found in North America by the Spanish, French, English and Dutch, the Europeans in the 1500s and the 1600s. Indigenous American cultures and languages are generally traced to ethnic groups emerging as First Nations after 1000 (CE, AD). The "First Nations" emerged as the "Mound Builders" substantially disappeared -- in some, as now unexplained, way -- in the 500 years or so before European empire building began in North America.
(c) "aboriginal" Americans, those "having no known others preceding in occupancy of a particular region", are known as the Mound Builders who were the initial homo sapiens settlement in the Americas across the Alaskan land bridge beginning around 3500 BCE and surviving after 1000 (CE, AD) only in ever-shrinking pockets until about the 1500s.
There is little point in trying to create a unique usage zone that tries to redefine "native" American into a generic term of strictly defined logic for use on Wikipedia only, to be applied indiscriminately to all those born on the land of U.S. territory in the 21st century, regardless of ethnic heritage. We should use (a) the historical term of the early 19th century "Native American [political] Movement" and (b) the contemporary usage among general readers, "Native American", meaning those descendant from indigenous populations extant at the onset of European empire building in North America. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 12:51, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
"to redefine "native" American into a generic term of strictly defined logic for use on Wikipedia only, to be applied indiscriminately to all those born on the land of U.S. territory in the 21st century, regardless of ethnic heritage" That definition would make "Native American" into a synonym for Nativism (politics). The political movement uses "Native" to refer to native born-people, and is mainly identified by its opposition to immigration. Some of these people try to usurp the name of Patriotism for their movement. Dimadick (talk) 13:49, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
I agree, "some of these [contemporary 21st century] people", should not be the arbiters of the Wikipedian voice in article narratives. We should strive to be accessible and readily understandable for the general reader, including international viewers online using English as a second language. Thanks for responding.
My overall take-away conclusion is that it looks like we are pretty well agreed to generally use "Native American" for indigenous North Americans, Indians, in the WP editorial voice while writing descriptive narrative. It seems that the style guideline as discussed is supported by Dimadick, Cmguy777, TheVirginiaHistorian, along with conditional support by Wehwalt and Gwillhickers for case by case review, including exceptions for "Indian" usage in historic proper names and source document quotes. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 23:03, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Edit break 4 (edits self-reverted)[edit]

I reverted the edits I made yesterday and the article is now back to where it was before I started, but I put back the note Cmguy777 added, though maybe not in the right place. I hadn't finished, meant to re-add some stuff back in, to rejig, reorganize the structure, align the text with the sources, etc., but am not interested in finishing. If anyone is interested those edits can be used as a template for a suggested direction for the section. A couple of things that need emphasis: one is that whenever I look closely at this article I find discrepancies between text and source, which is what happened in that section and instead of posting everything I decided it would be easier to fix. I cited the first sentence or so to Harless, here, which is good because it's quite general and it's the direction to go, but we can't add in information that's not contained in that source. The second thing is that on an article like this it's good practice to work from general to specific; i.e, explain general concepts such as policies before adding in very specific details. The section contains many specific details and factoids, but not a good general overview. My suspicion is that much of the article is this way. As for the rest, it's not a debate I wish to be involved with and am unwatching here. Victoriaearle (tk) 18:03, 11 April 2019 (UTC)


Appropriate usage of terms[edit]

  • @Victoriaearle: Thanks for your efforts. Your edits seemed okay overall, I just had some issues with the idea of the "conventions" which seemed to imply that editors were not free to use the terms the sources do. As I mentioned before, two major Washington biographers, Ron Chernow and John Ferling, both 21st century biographers, and a good number of others, use the term Indian frequently, if not exclusively in their biographies. When speaking in general terms, as in the lede, I would recommend the term, Native-American, for article stability and just to set the tone for the entire article. However, in sections like the French and Indian War, the American Indians (if I may) did not consider themselves British subjects, or anything to do with the idea of "American", esp, since there was no America at this time, only British colonies. Does this mean we call them, (not that you have) Native-British? That would be sort of silly. Likewise, calling the Indians Native-Americans during this period would be equally inappropriate. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:34, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
  • @Wehwalt: Your point is appreciated, that upon discovery of the lands west of the Atlantic, Columbus erroneously assumed he had found India, but it didn't take long before he figured out that he was not actually in India, a civilized country in the 1400's. However, since then, the term Indian took hold and has long since become a Homonym, and has for centuries been used in reference to Indian tribes, Indian Wars, the French and Indian war, and in a good number of legal applications, laws, acts, etc. So in that capacity it is not at all inappropriate, and when covering sections involving the French and Indian War, the term Indian is more than adequate, esp since this is the term the sources use. I think we can all reach a reasonable compromise, using discretion, and employ both Native-American, and Indian in the appropriate places in the article. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:34, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
In my opinion the section title should be Native American affairs. Concerning terms Chernow 2009 and Ferling 2010 are dated. The best for the section would be to limit the usage of the words Indian or term Native American and use words: tribe(s), tribal, Seneca, Iriquoi, Miami. This section needs work concerning narration for FA. It needs to be mentioned that "Indian Affairs" was run by the War Department and when the Washington administration Native American policy started June 1789. I put in the note concerning Columbus thought he landed in India. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:54, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
Dated? They are 21st century publications. What do you expect we go by, a publication that was released last year? This is nonsense, and argumentative, typically avoiding all the points touched on above. You once proposed that the article here should be based mostly on Chernow and Ferling. I didn't agree with that, but listen to you now. However, as you suggest, terms like tribes, etc are appropriate in a given passage also. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:01, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
  • It may surprise some editors to know that the term "Native-American" is not something Indians/Native-Americans came up with but an invention of the U.S. government. Most indigenous peoples today neither consider themselves Indians or Native Americans, but most often identify with their ancestral tribes. ( 123etc ) We should not let the government or any assumed convention dictate or pressure us into how we report what the sources say. Again, a compromise in term usage for a given section seems best, esp when the sources support that. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:01, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
Lakota Russell Means appeals to the 1977 UN convention in Geneva for use of “American Indian”, reporter Dennis Gaffney references the U.S. Census finding that among self identified U.S. citizen descendants of indigenous North Americans, 49% prefer “Indian” and 37% “Native American”. Cherokee Christina Berry prefers avoiding both general terms in favor of a tribal reference.
A regional difference was pointed out in an editorial in the Tahlequah Oklahoma, Native Times, preferences vary between eastern tribe “Native American” and western tribe “American Indian”.
A generational split is seen by Dennis Zotigh, an employee at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, who identifies himself as “Kiowa, Santee Dakota”, and “Okay Owingeh, Pueblo”. The elderly hold to the earlier “American Indian” term, the younger use “Native American.
Note: The Native Times explained “Indian”. Because Columbus thought the indigenous tribes that he discovered were a people “of nature”, not civilized in the European culture, he used the phrase in a dispatch, "una gest in Dios" or "a people in God", which was reduced to "Indios" for every day usage by the Spaniards and later was further changed to "Indian" as the word moved north. In 1492 Columbus could not have thought he had reached the “Indies” because at that time there was no Indies, but they instead that place was called “Hindustan” by European navigators.
For George Washington, the ten principal tribes I can quickly identify were (1) “Powhatan, Algonquins”, (2) Mattaponi, Algonquin, (3) “Nottoway-Meherrin, Iroquoi” and (4) “Tuscarora” in the Tidewater; (5) “Tutelo, Sioux” and “Catawba” in the Piedmont; (6) “Mingo, Seneca” in the Great Valley; (7) “Chicamaugua, Cherokee” in Appalachian Virginia; (8) “Shawnee” and (9) “Tamaroa, Illini” in Kentucky, Virginia; and the “Shawnee” and (10) “Miami” in Virginia Territory west of the Ohio River. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 00:43, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't have to defend my opinions but historical research may have changed since Chernow (2009) and Ferling (2010) concerning the use of Native American versus "Indian". When did the U.S. Government make up the term Native American? Native American is not a perfect term, since the tribes were here long before European discovery. That is why the best way to refer to a Native would be by their respected tribal name. Did the "Indians" have a name for this continent ? We don't know. Each world culture has a different world view. So there really is no perfect terminology. I have read that the Natives believe that their people just appeared on this continent without migration. Science has proved otherwise. But the Natives have a right to their own beliefs. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:54, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
The North American continent was called "Turtle Island" by the original indigenous peoples. Mikcheech is the Turtle god.

This entire debate is stale and tedious, and once again the article is dead in the water while editors fight over absurd semantic issues. Some time back, we were held hostage by one editor who aggressively and persistently demanded that we include a history of Betsy Ross and flag design—all because we used an image of a very famous painting. Now we are held hostage by the Language Police, who insist that we abuse the concept of "native" in order to sterilize our thinking. The only people in America at the time who were not native Americans were the British—and Washington led the way in sending them back to their own native land. I am losing all hope of this article ever reaching a point of satisfactory stasis. —Dilidor (talk) 11:08, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

There seems to be opposition to the use of the term Native American. I have no opposition to using the term. I agree any political ideologies concerning nativism should not be pushed in the talk page. This is not the place for that discussion. The term "Native American" is a modern historical term to describe the original occupants, indigenous peoples, of this land. I see no controversy. The term or word "Indian" is historically inaccurate since Columbus believed he landed in India. Chernow (2010) does use the word "Indian" rather than Native Americans. But editors don't have to use terminology from any one book author. Ferling (2010) does use the term Native American (pages 405, 420, 456) Carl Waldman (2014) Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes used the term "Native North American" in the book. Interesting. Maybe that term could be used in the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:58, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
I reiterate what I said above: we try to use contemporaneous terminology in historical articles, such as "Patriot" and "Loyalist". We are all intimately familiar with the origin of the term "Indian" simply because it gets reiterated like a mantra absolutely every time this ludicrous discussion takes place. But the fact remains that it is the term that was used in Washington's day, and indeed has been used worldwide for the last 400 years. As I've already pointed out, the very fact that we are continuing this conversation demonstrates that we are being held hostage once again by a small minority with some hidden agenda. Return to our standard terminology which has been in the article from the beginning, and stop permitting the persistent minority to bring things to a stand-still. —Dilidor (talk) 18:08, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
The term Indian is used in Washington's quote. The note is appropriate. The Waldman (2014) book says Native American Tribes in the title, not Indian. Waldman used the term Native North American. Again, not Indian. Ferling (2010) used the term Native American multiple times. Native American Policy Mount Vernon Ladies' Association 2019 Cmguy777 (talk) 19:28, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Cmguy777, no one is saying that we purge the term "Native-American" from the narrative, only that the term Indian be used where appropriate, like when covering historical quotes, legal acts and when covering topics like the French and Indian War. No one, either, has said that Native peoples don't have a right to their own beliefs, they do, and most don't identify with "Native-American", a term mostly used by white people, esp by elected officials worried about being called a "racist" by a press which has largely attempted to inject this term into the American dialog. Once again, most indigenous peoples don't identify with Native-American or Indian, and there is no established convention that is binding on the academic world and the inherent right of free Speech/Press, while many sources continue to use both terms. Again, a compromise is in order in that we use the term which is most appropriate to a given section. Ferling, btw, also uses the term Indian numerous times. When covering the French and Indian War, Anderson (2007,) a leading authority on that war, almost always employs the term Indian. Sometimes he uses the term "North American Indian". -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:13, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
  • TVH, Thanks once again for bringing indepth analysis to the discussion, and for corroborating that the Indians/Native-Americans mostly do not identify with either term. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:13, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Dilidor, The discussion was introduced by another editor, and you were the first to respond. Since then a good number of editors have chimed in with legitimate concerns. The so called "convention", i.e."Native-American", was invented by the government, not by the indigenous peoples. Hyper speak like "held hostage", all the while you inject your own two cents into the discussion, is not helping matters. Meanwhile, there has been no edit warring while this discussion is ironed out. Would you prefer that this issue be debated in the middle of a FA nomination, or before? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:13, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
I added the term or word Indian "...,also called Indian," with a reference. I move the note and reference. I hope this resolves the issue. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:26, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
This is a step in the right direction, but not a big step. Previously, the section claimed,  The modern term adapted is "Native American",  as if this was the absolute rule, where in reality, it's far from the whole truth. Also, we still have a section entitled, Native-American affairs, again, employing a term invented by whites and not used by most indigenous peoples, and was not used by Washington and his administration, but I didn't change that section title at this point. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:50, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. I don't understand this resistance to the term Native American, whether it is political or historical. I don't know who invented the term. Indian is inaccurate. Yes. The name stuck, but it is inaccurate. You can call yourself a Native. I don't care. Is that what this is about ? Cmguy777 (talk) 23:38, 12 April 2019 (UTC)


@Dilidor: Time to declare an editor consensus victory at this juncture. Your pessimism about the future of this article's rating is misplaced. See the following discussion.
@Cmguy777: Wait. wait. “drop the stick”. Gwhillhickers has acknowledged, “a compromise is in order in that we use the term which is most appropriate to a given section.”
Not only do we have a) general guidance from U.S. government sources to use “Native American” in an American English Wikipedia historical article, but we also have b) reports from Tribal editorials published by tribes recognized by the U.S. Interior Department that: i) most eastern U.S. tribal members use “Native American”, and ii) younger western tribal members use “Native American” in contradistinction to their elders.
Further, c) important scholars of George Washington used as reliable sources in this article published over the last ten years in monographs and academic journals reflect the general scholarly trend towards using “Native American”, forming a preponderance in the contemporary literature.
We all agree @Gwillhickers:, to using a) historical terms in context with “Indian” as a proper noun, and b) direct quotes from source documents using “Indian”. Such usage is not only admissible, but preferred.
We have all at least provisionally conceded, that c) it is acceptable for an editor to post a contribution in the “George Washington” article using “Native American” to describe the indigenous North American population beginning 1000 and found by Europeans extant there in the 1600s, and d) in Gwillhickers’ words, we will seek compromise to “seek the most appropriate [term]” for paraphrases of sources using terms such “savages”, “heathen”, and “red man” — rather than perpetuate their usage in an article meant for the general reader on an international platform. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 13:57, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
Background note: a) From 1000 to 1500, the “right of conquest” and Native American tribal practice of extermination eliminated most remnants of the previous aboriginal Mound Builder populations prior to European arrival, as documented archeologically. That "scorched earth" practice echoed European strategy in their religious wars, and mercenaries from English wars in Ireland were hired by the Virginia Company as their soldier-commanders in both Virginia and Massachusetts. b) It was harnessed by Europeans in turning Native American tribes against one another.
Indeed, I can find no instance of a successful European "war" against a Native American tribe without Native American tribal allies ----- from the Virginia colonial alliance with the Rappahannocks to win the First Anglo-Powhatan War 1610-1614, to the U.S.G. alliance with the Osage and Crow in the Great Sioux War 1876-1877. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 13:57, 13 April 2019 (UTC)


I can agree to drop the stick. The appropriate use of terms would be keep this article from getting political in the narration and the talk page. It is not really the use of the word Indian that is controversial. Apparently it is the use of Native American. That seems to have sparked controversy. I see no controversy using Native American. It is not completely accurate, since the Indians or Native Americans believed in a giant Turtle god used its shell to support the continent Turtle Island. Technically Native Turtle Islanders. That is my limited understanding of Native America history. One of the Indians in this article is named Turtle. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:22, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Cmguy777, thanks for changing the section title. My exception towards usage of American-Indian was based on several reasons. The indigenous peoples on the American continent were many fold, with many different traditions and beliefs besides the Turtle god, and were often at war with one another long before settlers arrived, who also jumped in and began fighting for land. Unfortunately this is the age old legacy of the entire planet. As a U.S. government invention not ascribed to by most Indians, it's often assumed that anyone who doesn't go along with the term Native-American is automatically some sort of racist. This is why elected officials too often go along with the term. As a homonym, the term Indian is not inaccurate -- it's the term that's been used to refer to these people for 100's of years now, and again, official titles, laws, acts, names of wars, etc, employ the term, so it behooves me that a small vocal group, along with the press, who as you must know has a long established record of distorting history, are largely responsible for this term creeping into the American dialog, giving the false impression that the term is common place and accepted by most people. I would like to return the term Indian to the French and Indian War section, as again, there were no Americans, of any kind, while the colonies were under British rule. However, there is no lede statement for Indians/Native-Americans, and I would have no objections for such a statement, using the term Native-American, w/link, in the lede. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:42, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Gwillhickers. I appreciate the thanks. I make no assumptions. My concern was that the politic language of Native American, American Indian, and Indian, should be left out of the article narration and talk pages. I respectfully disagree on Indian. It is a mistake of Columbus to assume Columbus was in India in 1492. The word Indian is not demeaning on its own. It is derived from the Indus River in India. Native American is not completely accurate because the indigenous peoples were here before the Continent was called America in 1507. It is more accurate than Indian. That is why it is best to refer to the tribal names. There were Americans under British rule. British America was from 1607 to 1783. Thanks. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:19, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
I believe we've been through this more than once.  Indian, regardless of Columbus' mistake, is now a long established homonym that does not refer to the people of India in the context of American history, and as such was and continues to be a widely recognized and established term that most sources use in the appropriate places in their narratives, as we should do. Imo, the term 'Native American' is a politically correct distortion, invented by whites, not used by most indigenous peoples, and is entirely inappropriate in sections like the French and Indian War. I'm hoping the proposed compromise will be acceptable. If it were up to me alone I would replace the term entirely, esp because it is often demeaning to people who were born and raised in America and whose families very often go back 100's of years and have fought in and survived several major wars. No one comes through this getting everything they want. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 00:37, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. I am not here to argue politics. You can have your opinions. I don't care. Ferling (2010) used the term "Native American" in his biography of Washington. Is Ferling wrong ? Chernow (2010) used the term Indian. Is Chernow (2010) right ? By the way Native Americans fought in World War II: Native Americans and World War II. But the term Indian gets mixed up with the Indians who are native to India: India in World War II. Native American distinguishes between the two peoples or races. It is not all politics. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:30, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the term Native American is used, most often in various websites, and elsewhere. I could, again, provide numerous examples where the term Indians is used, starting with Chernow, Ferling and esp Anderson, 2007, along with many others. Your website example, involving 20th century history, doesn't really negate the points raised above. Are you still insisting that the term Native American, be used in the F & I war section, regardless of the fact that the indigenous peoples at this time didn't identify with the British, much less with the idea of American? We need to use both terms, but only in places most appropriate, as do the sources. No one has proposed a compromise that is more fair than what has been offered, starting with our lede statement. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:18, 14 April 2019 (UTC)


Edit break 01[edit]

Ferling (2010) does say Native American in the narration. Wikipedia can only use reliable sources, not political agenda. Native American is not suppose to invoke some political agenda: "demeaning to people who were born and raised in America and whose families very often go back 100's of years and have fought in and survived several major wars." That is political. What reliable source says that ? Why is Native American demeaning but Indian is alright ? Native Americans were born here too. That article said 25,000 Native Americans served in WWII. You make it sound like Indians are foreigners and the Europeans were the original occupants. That is not true. This article is suppose to be neutral, not a blog. We should not edit out of political agenda. I am not proposing any changes right now on Native American vs. Indian. All I am saying is to keep politics out of the article and talk pages. Cmguy777 (talk) 15:16, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

Insert : No one said Ferling didn't use the term. What was said is that, "We need to use both terms, but only in places most appropriate, as do the sources." Please review the discussion. Once again, there were no Americans during the French and Indian War -- neither the colonists or the indigenous peoples referred to themselves as "Americans".
The articles below are about Earth's history, and one is in error, claiming that the first inhabitants came to the "Americas". This term didn't come into use until Amerigo Vespucci determined that the lands west of the Atlantic were not India, which is when these lands came to be called the Americas, many many centuries later. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:00, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

All of these things have been explained. Could you please review the discussion and stop reading into things with your own notions? The US Government invented the term "Native-American" because they had/have a political agenda, while the media did their best to make the term seem "politically correct" and used much more than it is in the real world. To coin your phrase, "We should not edit out of political agenda." Once again, most indigenous peoples reject the term, while many other non Indians find the term demeaning. We should respect that and not give into to political motives. Why are you so adamant about using the term more than we have? Do you have a political agenda? We have a lede statement using the term and now we're trying to finalize a compromise. If you can't bring yourself to do that you should stop with the veiled accusations and finally drop the stick, as you said you were going to do above. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:37, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
The term Native American, according to the Wikipedia article : Native American (since the 1960s) was wide spread in the 1960s-1970s civil rights era in the United States. The information was unsourced. Nothing was said that the government started the phrase. Political agenda ? What political party endorsed the use of the word Native American over Indian ? The article said 37% of the indigenous people accept the term. 50 % preferred American Indian, interestingly. The remaining had no opinion or prefered another word. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:23, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
The term Native American, according to the Wikipedia article : Native American (since the 1960s) was wide spread in the 1960s-1970s civil rights era in the United States. The information was unsourced. Nothing was said that the government started the phrase. Political agenda ? What political party endorsed the use of the word Native American over Indian ? The article said, according to the 1995 census, 37% of the indigenous people accept the term. 50 % preferred American Indian, interestingly. The remaining had no opinion or prefered another word. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:27, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

I'd suggest a neutrally worded message at Wikipedia:WikiProject Indigenous peoples of North America asking for input. This is an article that falls into their purview anyway. Also Montanabw is knowledgeable about American history and Native American history. She might have some input too. Since this discussion is still going all these days later, a fresh voice might help. Victoriaearle (tk) 22:36, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

  • Thanks Victoriaearle, but what would help most is the acknowledgement of the many points raised, and that the term "Native American" is far from an established and widely accepted convention, and working towards a compromise, employing both terms in the appropriate places as the sources do. Introducing a "fresh voice" might help, but it could also compound and prolong matters if everything said is simply ignored. Most of us here are quite knowledgeable about American history as it concerns indigenous peoples. However, I welcome any new voice, as long as the idea of compromise is not ignored. Once again, the sources use both terms -- so should we. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:48, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. I can accept the compromise for now. But you mentioned the term Native American was invented by the government. I found no evidence that it was. This country was founded on a politcal montra Taxation without representation. There nothing inherently wrong with being political. You made Native American sound like it was some sort of conspiracy of some extremist group. 37% of indigenous people used the term (1995). What is clear is that there appears to be no concensus among indigenous people of what to be called, except possibly American Indian 50% (1995). Possibly the term Indian can be replaced by American Indian. I would keep Native American in the lede section. I am satisifed with the way the article looks now. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:56, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
Well, an article that explains how the term Native American got its start during the civil rights era was provided, with w/ link and now you seem to be ignoring it. The fact that many find the term exclusionary and demeaning has nothing to do with politics as you just claimed, yet you also claimed, "There('s) nothing inherently wrong with being political." Please realize', that most Indians don't identify with the term, some Indians have no issues with it, while many others would prefer not to be lumped in under one politically correct label and instead prefer to be identified with their ancestral tribes. Many other American born non-Indians find this term divisive and demeaning because it implies that they have no native country. You seem to want to brush this off. In some sections the term, Native American is clearly inappropriate. as there were no "Americans" during the French and Indian War, only British subjects, which didn't include indigenous peoples. Referring to them as "Native Americans" is only political correctness and inaccurate. It was nice that you can accept the compromise but it would be really nice if you could explain why we should not use the simple term Indian in the F&I war section, as the sources do, including Anderson, 2007. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:20, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. Taylor 2016 American Revolutions calls Britons Britons and calls British Americans British Americans page 39. The index on page 672 says "Indians, American". Since 50% of indigenous peoples refered to themselves American Indian the word American could be added. It was a suggested suggestion. I would not have any issues with American being added, but that was just me. I don't speak for other editors. Native American should be kept in the lede section. 37% of indigenous peoples called themselves Native American. It is not a conspiracy or political correctness. How about we drop this subject and get Washington to FA ? Just spinning wheels here and going in circles. Thanks. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:42, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the term Native American is okay for the lede, which is why I added it. The sources I've provided say most indigenous peoples prefer to be identified in terms of their ancestral tribes, certainly not Native American, a rather ambiguous and obtuse term. Where are you getting that 50% of indigenous peoples prefer the term "Native American"? We wouldn't be spinning our wheels if points in the discussion were not avoided early on. I'll wait for any further comment before correcting the terms in the French and Indian War section. To be neutral we can add a footnote that there is debate as to which term is best. In any case, it was best to iron this issue out now, instead of it coming up in the middle of an FA review. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:12, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Also to avoid trouble later, could editors review the statement "The Northwest tribes under Miami chief Little Turtle allied with the British Army to resist American expansion, and murdered 1,500 settlers between 1783 and 1790."? Murdered is a strong term and I suspect eventually someone is going to object to it.--Wehwalt (talk) 05:34, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. The 1995 Census. "50% of indigenous peoples refered to themselves American Indian" 37% of indigenous people refered to themselves Native American. I gave the link above: Native American (since the 1960s) Cmguy777 (talk) 06:22, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Wehwalt good call. Though some may debate it, there is a difference between killing and murder. Similarly, I toned down the lede statement a notch with more general terms. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:29, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Cmguy777, yes, American Indian, not Native American. My mistake. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:29, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Lede statement for Native Americans[edit]

The below statement was added to the lede. Hope this works for all concerned. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:15, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

During Washington's life his association with Native Americans was complex, but overall it was his hope to assimilate these peoples into Western culture. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:12, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Unfinished business[edit]

As another editor recently mentioned there are citation issues that needed attention. At this point the lot of us should resume doing spot checks, making sure the correct page numbers are used in the given citations, which can require a lot of reading and checking. Hopefully no more prolonged issues will keep us away from this task. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:38, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Ref 384 is to "Ford, True Washington, pp. 144–7." I do not see that in the bibliography.--Wehwalt (talk) 04:05, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
This a somewhat subjective claim, and since this source could not be located, I removed the statement. Feel free to restore the statement otherwise. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 06:12, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Non-major details in the lede[edit]

A recent addition to the lede doesn't seem to belong there. It involves a petition outlawing slavery, was not conceived by Washington and mostly involved Franklin, Madison and various southern congressman but was eventually signed by Washington to bring stability to a still unstable government. While this is not exactly a trivial detail in terms of Washington's presidency, it's not a major detail and doesn't really belong in the lede with all the other major and landmark details, and raises due weight issues as well. Also, it's been understood for some years now by contributing editors that we are not adding citations to the lede. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:36, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

Preventing a Civil War is not a major detail ? Is this because Washington bulstered slavery ? I added this for neutrality. Republicanism is presented in the lede, but can we sweep slavery under the 18th Century rug. In my opinion no. The citation can be removed. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:34, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
The petition was signed out of a concern for a civil war, but we can only speculate that its acceptance would have, in fact, resulted in one. i.e.Your last revision is much better. I moved the statement up a bit for better placement while mentioning that preserving national unity was also a factor. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:13, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
Washington was a Southern slave owner too. All those measures benefitted himself. However it is worded something has to be mention about slavery other than his ownership of slaves. He could never seperate himself from slavery even in Philadelphia. It was a reality of his times. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:32, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
None of the measures benefited Washington, including the measure to ban African tribal chiefs from exporting their own peoples into America. This measure was signed by a southern slave owner. His main concern was maintaining national stability among the states, some of whom were more concerned with state's rights than anything else. Reality has two sides. When one side is ignored, all you get is something that borders on fiction and a lot of runaway notions. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:33, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
Washington could legally capture runaway slaves. That is a benefit. Washington owned and worked slaves for his financial benefit. States rights ? These were federal laws that prevented states keeping other states from capturing fugitive slaves. That is one state imposing its right on another state. Decreasing slave importation would raise the value of Washington's slaves. Washington should not be judged for his slave ownership in this article, but the reality is, slavery was bulstered under these measures. Cmguy777 (talk) 15:03, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
The ANTI-slavery petitions that Franklin and ANTI-slavery Pennsylvania Quakers authored and submitted to Congress did not include the Fugitive Slave Act. You should review Taylor, pp.399-400, and Bassett, pp.188-189. It would be interesting to know how Washington benefited by banning the overseas slave trade. "States rights?" Yes, many states were more concerned about their rights and were reluctant to cede some of their authority over to a federal government. This became quite obvious during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, 1787. i.e.state's rights was an issue that was center stage throughout the debates. Regardless, the petition in question was a  federal provision,  overriding states rights. It did not benefit Washington. Much later, in 1796, he used the Fugitive Slave Act, one time, in a failed attempt to retrieve one slave. Btw, the FSA also pertained to indentured servants, who, in the early to mid 1700's outnumbered White immigrants, not to mention African slaves. They also had virtually no rights, i.e.could not Marry without permission of their masters, subjected to physical punishment and were denied legal protections. In any event, Washington's major concern was maintaining national stability at a time when the nation was ripe for foreign intervention. That was only one aspect of the context that was left out when you simply added the stand alone statement about Washington signing an Act. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:46, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
Wasn't there constitutional protection of the overseas slave trade until 1808?--Wehwalt (talk) 20:32, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes, Jefferson and his Congressional caucuses in the House and Senate lined up legislation to take effect in the first hour of the first day allowable to end the overseas slave trade, and the measures passed with majorities among the Representatives and U.S. Senators who were Federalists, Democrat-Republicans, free-soil states, and slaveholder states.
For decades after 1819 the U.S. Navy and the British Navy collaborated to implement the provision in the Treaty of Ghent to end the international slave trade. The U.S. Navy posted a squadron in the Gulf of Guinea at the Bight of Biafra (including at various times, the USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS Saratoga, and USS Yorktown). They assisted the British Navy in suppressing the international slave trade by interdiction of the slavers at sea, then setting the cargos of rescued Africans ashore in the British colony of Sierra Leone to be free. Slave-ship crews were by British law, outlaws. American captains turned over their captured crews to British naval vessels with an affidavit that they were seized off of slave ships. The British captains were then authorized by British law to hang those so identified at sea without further administrative or judicial review. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 21:31, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
In Bassett, 1908, pp.187-188, it says —
"In February, 1790, three petitions came to Congress for the prohibition or the restriction of the slave-trade. ... Resolutions including the following important principles were adopted:
  • 1. That the migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, cannot be prohibited by Congress prior to the year 1808.
  • 2. That Congress have no power to interfere in the emancipation of slaves, or in the treatment of them within any of the states, it remaining with the several states alone to provide any regulations therein which humanity and true policy may require.
  • 3 That Congress have authority to restrain the citizens of the United States from carrying on the African trade for the purpose of supplying foreigners with slaves, and of providing by proper regulations, for the humane treatment during their passage of slaves imported by the said citizens into the states admitting such importation.
  • 4. That Congress have also authority to prohibit foreigners from fitting out vessels in any port of the United States for transporting persons from Africa to any foreign port. 1794 it (Congress) did pass a law in keeping with the third resolution."
Evidently this Resolution didn't become Constitutional law until 1809. Admittedly I am not clear on the distinction between the Resolution and the Constitutional Amendment of 1809. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:21, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
There was no amendment in 1809. The Constitution contains a clause saying that Congress can't ban the slave trade for importation into the US until 1808, and before that time, as you note, Congress passed a ban effective that date. The Constitution said nothing about the use of American ships to take slaves from Africa to, say, Cuba, so Congress could act to prohibit that. Either way, the resolutions probably affected Washington little to not at all as Virginia was on its way to becoming a supplier of slaves it did not need to other states.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:03, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
George Washington, the subject of this article, died in December 1799. From his vantage point slave trading primarily revolved around private estate sales. The Virginia General Assembly formally banned the Atlantic trade in 1778. Following the American Revolution, some enlisted slaves were emancipated under the existing law for exemplary public service. Virginia slave population grows from 1780 to 1790 to 1800, from 220,000 to 292,000 to 346,000, from 41% to 39% to 39% of the total Virginia population. See [University of Maryland, Baltimore County website].
Between 1723 and the American Revolution only about twenty-four enslaved people were legally emancipated in Virginia. After the passage of the 1782 manumission act, many slaveholders privately manumitted enslaved blacks, and enslaved artisans, teamsters and sailors sometimes purchased their freedom. Virginia's free black population grew from about 3,000 to 6,000 at the end of the Revolution to perhaps 20,000 by 1800 and 30,000 by 1810. George Washington contributed materially to that increase from 1800 to 1810, by the manumission of slaves and his land grants to them for economic independence provided in his will.
For twenty years after Washington’s death, there is no domestic slave trade to speak of in Virginia until it developed there in the late 1820s with the networking business practices of Franklin and Armfield (Alexandria), Beasley and Wood (Richmond) and Williams and Ivy (Norfolk County).
Nor for half a century was “Virginia was on its way to becoming a supplier of slaves it did not need to other states.”, until Virginia's domestic slave trade explosion in the 1850s following DC slave trading prohibition by the Compromise of 1850, the booming cotton demand in the Gulf states, and train connections replacing overland coffles of forced marches.
I'd like to see more investigation into Washington's relationship and correspondence with a) the petitioners to restrict international slave trade by various means less than legislative prohibition within the U.S., and with b) petitioners for increasing free will manumissions without the the previous requirement for an Act of General Assembly in Virginia. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:24, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
"indentured servants, who, in the early to mid 1700's outnumbered White immigrants" Why would the demographic situation in the 1700s (decade) matter in this article? Washington was born in the 1730s, three decades later. Dimadick (talk) 10:36, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
"early to mid 1700s" spans 1700 to 1750s, I suppose, so it is the demographic of Washington growing up, surveying for land acquisition in partial payment and otherwise amassing over 2,000 acres of his own by that time, renting Mount Vernon immediately after his brother's death, and receiving a Major's commission in the Virginia colonial militia. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 14:18, 23 April 2019 (UTC)



  • Richmond exhibit examines Virginia's role in domestic slave trade Martha Steger (Jan 6, 2015) The Free Lance-Star Cmguy777 (talk) 15:41, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • “The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret” Originally a talk by research historian Mary V. Thompson Mount Vernon Ladies' Association According to this article Washington "purchased at least eight slaves, including a carpenter named Kitt, acquired for £39.5.0 in 1755, four other men, two women, and a child." The article also says that Washington "acquired slightly more than 40 additional slaves through purchase." Washington participated in the slave trade. Cmguy777 (talk) 15:49, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Morgan, Kenneth. “George Washington and the Problem of Slavery.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 34, no. 2, 2000, pp. 279–301. JSTOR, Cmguy777 (talk) 17:26, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
The first link above is for an article about the Mueller report, nothing about slavery. — The second link is for a somewhat generic article about Washington and slavery, but I don't see where it has anything to do with the current discussion. Your closing remark, "Washington participated in the slave trade.", seems recited, as if some one were denying this. — Overall the JSTOR article has content that can be found in any number of existing sources here in our Bibliography, but Kenneth Morgan does articulate Washington's complex relationship with slavery, noting both his commercial and patriarchal feelings towards slaves. Was there something in particular you wanted to bring to our attention? — African Tribal chiefs sold their own people into slavery to British slave transports and slave owners in America, which provided them with a better fate than if they had remained in the hands of their captors. Africa is one of the few countries where the centuries old slave trade still exists, mostly at the hand of Black Muslims. All other countries moved on, long ago, thanks to slave owners like Washington, Madison, Jefferson, et al.  Back to actual article improvement. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:04, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
Link has been fixed. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:08, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
I added a lede paragraph for the section. I gave background information on Virginia slavery. I focused on specifics. How many slaves Washington owned. How many slaves Washington bought. He was involved in the slave trade. The above link examines Virginias role in the domestic slave trade. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:11, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
I reworded the close-paraphrasing that almost looked like it was copy-pasted from the source. Also, Washington bought and (rarely) sold slaves for his personal use, but claiming that "He was involved in the slave trade" gives the impression that Washington was a slaver and a slave merchant, and I think you know this. It's like saying a wheat farmer was involved in the baking industry. At least we're not using such misleading hyper-speak in the narrative. Thanx for that. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:18, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
It was not copied and pasted to the source. I just put in the facts concerning how many slaves Washington bought and how many slaves were at Mount Vernon in the 1786 census. The purchase of slaves is part of the slave trade. I was trying to find out how many slaves Washington sold and who were these slaves. He may have sold a few. The selling of slaves would make him a slave trader. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:03, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
A wheat farmer is part of the 'baking industry'. Is this an accurate description of the farmer? Again, you try to tell us what we can clearly read for ourselves. No one said your edit 'was' copied and pasted, but it was (very) close, sometimes verbatim. Such an awareness on your part would spare everyone with the usual futile, argumentative and prolonged Talk. Must we quote your edit and compare it to Morgan's words? Once again, claiming that Washington was involved in the "slave trade", is misleading, so it's really not appreciated that you're trying to do an end-run around that, as if others can't see what's going on. Morgan and others don't refer to Washington in such terms. Only you do. You've not injected this sort of speak into the narrative - it would be nice if you kept such distorted exaggerations out of the discussion. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:50, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers your edits said essentially the same thing as Morgan. Mainly it was sentence rearrangement. How else can one say slavery was socio-economically part of Virginia society ? I did not list the five farms. I gave Morgan credit. I tried to keep close to Morgan to reduce editor opinion or to not misconvey Morgan in the paragraph. Is everyone of my edits being watched ? I could reedit the section. Cmguy777 (talk) 14:59, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
I maded some changes to the narration. I reduced paraphrasing. Just got to the point. Just the facts. I don't mind criticism of my edits or whether there is need of improvement. I just feel I am being treated like a lackey or subordinate editor. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:02, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • There was clear close-paraphrasing and in some cases verbatim writing. While it's okay to copy names and common use phrases, to a point, the narrative should be in our own writing. i.e.using Wikipedia's voice to say the same essential thing. Having said that, your last edit was divisive, hardly neutral. "African American" was mentioned, and linked, twice. Morgan uses "African" rather than the politically correct term "African-American", which is used in the lede. The terms "strongly", and "entrenched" were redundant and said the same thing in the context of the sentence they were used in. Not all slaveholders were "wealthy". Many barely broke even, and many others went into debt, including Washington, all the while slaves were guaranteed food and shelter. Also, it's best to say "in Washington's day" rather than "at the time he was born" to relate the idea that society was the way it was, even before Washington was born. Last, it's understood that the colonists mostly came from Europe. You first term said "wealthy white conservative". You removed 'conservative' at least, but overall your edits sort of came off like you were angry. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:53, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. You talk to me like a controlling editor. I made changes more in my own style. You had close paraphrasing too, just shuffled a few sentences, but said the same thing as Morgan. There were sentences that you don't mention that were paraphrased nicely by myself. Any editor can be accused of close paraphrasing. Now you say I have to use the word African a direct word from Morgan. Isn't that close paraphrasing. African American is a different word and now I am critisized for using a different term than Morgan. These conversations are going nowhere. Again I don't mind constructive criticism. I am not angry. I edited the way I wanted to edit. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:12, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Here we go again with 'editor control'? I explained, definitively, what close paraphrasing is, allowing the use of basic terms and such Once again, we use WP's voice and say the same thing the sources do. Many editors have been taken to task for Close-Paraphrasing, including myself. Please get it. You added some good details, but it was close paraphrasing. Why is this so difficult to accept? Because Gwillhickers mentioned it? Also, "employed" is perfectly neutral, yet you replaced it with "worked", also neutral. Fine. Also, there was no "African-Americans" in Washington's day. This is a term that describes modern day Africans, (Post Civil War) who are indeed now Americans. If they were Americans in Washington's day they would not be slaves, allowed to vote, etc. Seems as if you're reaching for ways to object to Gwillhickers. Easy to see, Cm'. I will leave it to you, for now, to simply refer to these peoples as African slaves, which is indeed what they were. Please don't write as if the good fairy is looking over your shoulder. We already use African American in the lede to placate the speech police and others so 'inspired'. That seems like a fair compromise. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:31, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
This is a complete double standard. You are close paraphrasing by forcing myself to use the Morgan's term African. I reedited the article. Your edits Gwillhickers were nothing but shuffling the sentences of Morgan. That is close paraphrasing. I accepted your criticism and made changes. My initial edits that you claimed close paraphrasing are not in the article. These slaves were not employed. This article is suppose to be neutral. Did the slaves have 401 K plans and W-2 forms ? These were slaves. I feel politics are entering this article and that is not a good thing. Cmguy777 (talk) 04:39, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
This is getting ridiculous. Please review what close paraphrasing is. It's a real issue with a page that explains it. Please read it. At this late date, as an experienced editor, you should be well aware of this. Insisting that 'one' term be used is not promoting close paraphrasing. Close paraphrasing occurs when you use the same exact string of words as a given source does. You did this, not entirely, but (much) more than enough to raise the issue. Also, slaves were employed, or worked – both terms are neutral figures of speech. The term "worked" was left in place. You really need to stop the digressive quibbling, drop the stick, and move on. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:55, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. You want men to drop the stick, but you keep mentioning close paraphrasing. That has been fixed. Then you tell me to use African, rather than African American, my term, because that is the word Morgan uses. That is double speak, expecially since socio-economic, a term by Morgan, is use in the article. How else can you rewrite Washington was a slaveholder all his adult life? That is basic information. For all his life Washington was a slaveholder in Virginia, a colony that had an entrenched socio-economic structure tied to slavery. Word shuffling. Sentence shuffling. I can drop the stick when you do. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:00, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Close paraphrasing was mentioned to you more than once because you kept denying you did this from the start, at every turn, just as you seem to be doing now. Again, you carry on as if editors can't remember past yesterday. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:27, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. A Morgan term "socio-economic" had been mentioned in the article. I had changed that to "upper class white gentry". You know that white people owned African slaves. Why not say it in the article ? The same thing different words. You won't allow that edit but continue to use the Morgan term. You are not allowing me to use my own words. Double standard. Cmguy777 (talk) 20:27, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Why the concerted effort to inaccurately emphasize "wealthy white", or "wealthy white gentry"? This is a highly controversial topic, where emotions often run high, so we should use the least divisive and neutral terms possible, and if at all possible, bring people together without distorting the truth. If we are going to use Morgan as the one source in the opening paragraph in the Slavery section, we should at least use his terms. You've made several attempts to use the most divisive terms possible in the section, unlike Morgan's coverage. Slavery, in North America, is a multi dimensional subject, involving human beings on both sides of the fence.. Let's try to present it this way, rather than placating the 'friends of America' crowd. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:39, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
I am the one who put Morgan in the article. My initial edits used Morgan's terms but I was called out on close paraphrasing. I rewrote the section in my own words. Socio-economic is another term for upper class. Washington profitted from slavery. Upper class white people owned slaves. Black people were Washington's real property. I don't like good faith edits being called out on close paraphrasing when I am the one who put Morgan in the article. We should not make slavery look like an employment opportunity, 501 K, and W-2 forms. Any slave that resisted being a slave could be killed. The slaves could not leave Mount Vernon without written permission. The slaves could not hold arms or be a witnesses in a trial. Washington was suppose to found a republic, but blacks, Indians, and women were excluded. Christian blacks could not be free. I am all for using Morgan in the article. I just don't like being accused of close paraphrasing. Let's get Washington to FA rather than quibble in the talk pages. Cmguy777 (talk) 07:26, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Indentured Servants[edit]

  • We should also mention that in the early to mid 1700's there were more indentured servants than immigrants, needless to say, far more than there were African slaves. Washington used indentured servants also, yet this is not mentioned. Chernow commits several different pages to this topic. We don't even mention it once. In the opening paragraph we should cover this also, keeping due-weight in mind. I'll come up with the best source(s) possible and include this topic into the slavery section, and perhaps elsewhere in the biography. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:06, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Washington's relationship with anti-slavery petitioners[edit]

TVH, thanks once again for your usual in–depth discussion. I will look online and through my own library to see if we can better expound on Washington and his often ignored relationship with the anti-slavery camp in general. He exchanged many letters with ardent anti-slave people like Lafayette, Franklin and others. Perhaps this aspect of Washington is understated in the biography here. Washington was a God fearing man of principle and had deep convictions, yet he owned slaves, so it goes that he justified the institution on the one hand but came to reject it on the other. Perhaps he compared slavery to a life-boat, very confining, yet 'freedom' would mean jumping overboard into an unfriendly ocean to a people who had not yet learned how to swim. Emancipation would have meant a virtual death-sentence to slaves, esp families with children, with no means to support themselves. Washington, and people like Jefferson, were well aware of this very real situation, (i.e.Wolf by the Ears) which explains why Washington supported many more slaves than he had use for. By the time he was president, the anti-slave petitioners must have made a noted impression on him, yet at the same time he was faced with an unstable nation, and a populace that was deeply divided. Seems he was damned if he did, damned if he didn't. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:04, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

"Howe then landed his troops on Manhattan in November"[edit]

This may seem a small point in the light of all that has gone before on this page, but the above sentence in the article is not correct, or at best it is misleading. Let us say the narrative at this point is incomplete, by a considerable margin.

The first British forces landed on York/Manhattan Island on the 15th of September 1776, an operation alluded to- I assume- by the single sentence in the article: "The British navy bombarded unstable earthworks on lower Manhattan Island."

Following the bombardment and subsequent landings, an American rout was narrowly averted, helped by Howe's indolent management of the pursuit. Washington was able to rally his troops behind a defence line on what today are known as Washington Heights and there the two armies confronted each other while Howe tried various flanking manoeuvres farther up the Hudson. Washington withdrew his field army from Manhattan leaving Fort Washington on the heights isolated and exposed (The article describes this in a misleading way. The reference to 'abandonment' suggests the fort was lost twice). It was as part of the operation to remove the remaining American forces on Manhattan, the large garrison left behind to hold Fort Washington, that British troops crossed the East river on November 16th 1776.

JF42 (talk) 08:46, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

JF42, don't be overwhelmed with some of the prolonged debates. Any error in the narrative deserves equal attention.If you see any part of the article that needs correcting or improvement feel free to jump in. Many publications in the Bibliography to this article are searchable and readable to one degree or another, so this may help. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 00:50, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the invitation but the wartime narrative that I have read so far (1776-77) is so incoherent in places, I wouldn't know where to start.