[Of those opposed to slavery,] George Washington belonged, with Mason and Jefferson, in the hardest category — disapproving owners. Theirs was the most difficult position to maintain, psychologically and rhetorically. It would not be maintained over the next sixty years, as southern antislavery rhetoric withered. Practically and politically, disapproving owners were in the hardest position from which to achieve their goals. How do you weaken an institution in which you and all your neighbors are enmeshed? Washington did enough, finally, to free his own slaves, which was more than many owners in his position did. Jefferson never freed all his, nor did any of the other slave-owning presidents.
— Richard Brookhiser
Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington (1996)
Today in the Revolution ...
The General Assembly of Rhode Island authorizes enlistment of slaves.
Richard Stockton, U.S. attorney and signer of Declaration of Independence for New Jersey, dies at age 50.
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AT PORTREVOLT
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