George Wythe

Drawing by John Trumbull, 1791

OTHER IMAGES

QUICK FACTS
BORN:
1726 in Elizabeth City County (now Hampton), Virginia
  DIED:
8 June 1806 in Richmond, Virginia
Buried at St. John’s Church in Richmond.

  • Taught law and prepared Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Marshal for the bar.
PLACES TO VISIT
Portrait to come. See entry in Wikipedia.

 

Racial prejudice worked to perpetuate American slavery, even if it was not essential to sustain the institution. Slavery, serfdom, and peonage had existed elsewhere without racial connotations. Indeed, bondage had been so historically ubiquitous one might well ask why, by the 1760’s, it had come to trouble so many white Americans so much. The answer lies in part — and this part help explain why people like Mason did not act more aggressively on their concerns — in the reservations many whites felt about living alongside members of a supposedly inferior race, whether slave or free. The problem was inherent in American slavery, and emancipation, by undermining white control, would only make it worse.

Jeff Broadwater
George Mason: Forgotten Founder (2006)