By attacking slavery more fiercely than ever before, Revolutionary Americans freed tens of thousands of slaves. But the Revolution’s libertarian and egalitarian message had perverse consequences. It forced those Southerners who chose to retain slavery to fall back on the alleged racial deficiencies of blacks as a justification for an institution that hitherto they had taken for granted and had never before needed to justify. The anti-slavery movement that arose out of the Revolution inadvertently produced racism in America.
Philadelphia, PA — Completed in 1770, this Georgian building was the meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774.
Williamsburg, VA — Originally built in 1715, it was purchased in 1721 by Randolph’s father — who build a second structure — and willed it to his son. Peyton Randolph built a middle structure to unify the whole.
Richmond, VA — Completed in 1741, it was the first church in Richmond; in 1775, it was the site of the famous speech by Patrick Henry ending with “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)