Talk:George Washington and slavery

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The following claim about Virginia state law is desperately in need of a source to substantiate it:

With the rise in demand for slaves after the invention of the cotton gin at the end of the century and the end of importation of slaves in 1808, Virginia changed its laws to make manumission more difficult. By the 1820s, it required legislative approval for each act of manumission.[citation needed]

I have edited the paragraph to insert a [citation needed]. Previously it was footnoted with this article by David Barton. Barton has some serious problems as an interpreter of primary sources, but setting that aside, the article cited does not make any claim that Virginia law required special acts of the legislature to approve manumissions. At least not anywhere that I can find. It mentions the colonial period (pre-1782) requirement for special acts of the legislature. It points out (somewhat mischaracterizing what happened) some tightening of the provisions in 1806. Nowhere does it claim that the pre-1782 requirements were reinstituted during or "by the 1820s." As of 1823, at least, there was no such requirement in digests of Virginia law: If there is some other source that will substantiate this claim, it needs to be brought forward. If there isn't, this sentence ought to be removed entirely from the article.

"...They were fed, clothed, and housed as inexpensively as possible, in conditions that were probably meager"[edit]

This part has been marked "citation needed" for quite a while. Did the writer intend to link it to "An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America"? If so, that should be made more clear. If not, it's time to remove this part from the article. Lurkerekrul (talk) 20:20, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

The only founding father to have...[edit]

A sentence in the lead states that he was the only slaveholder out of seven major founding fathers to have freed his slaves... Well, the seven were: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.[4] Great. Adams, Franklin, Hamilton were not major slaveowners anyway. Jay was an active abolitionist whose efforts led to NY declaring slavery illegal. So we are left with Washington, Jefferson and Madison. Best of three? This seems like a weak statement.

The man was fabulously wealthy. He manumitted his slaves in his will. That should stand alone I think, without any comparison, apples with oranges. Student7 (talk) 18:10, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

The mention of this in the lead is expanded some in the "Posthumous emancipation" section, along with a source citation, though that source doesn't seem to be available freely online. —ADavidB 00:56, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Beating slaves[edit]

Where is the source for Washington beating his slaves? megamalx (talk) 14:46, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

I am not aware of any anecdote or source attributing Washington beating his slaves. His overseers did whip or switch the slaves, with Washington's consent, as recorded in his Diaries. There is a very moving example of an overseer hitting Charlotte with a switch for refusing to work: "In 1793, a slave seamstress named Charlotte received what she considered to be an unfair beating from an overseer. Afterward, she threatened to complain to Mrs. Washington about the overseer." ( Bjhillis (talk) 17:44, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Notable slaves of Washington[edit]

Added links to Christopher Sheels and Nancy Quander/Sukey Bay. I did not add a link to William Costin because it's not clear he was ever a slave, versus born free.

Also added citations to Henry Washington and William Lee, and deleted their two "missing citations" links.Bjhillis (talk) 17:41, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

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Raped his slaves[edit]

George Washington raped his slaves. This should be included in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

No reliable source for verification, no inclusion in the article. —ADavidB 01:24, 13 February 2018 (UTC)