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.
Philadelphia, PA — Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram to promote
Useful Knowledge.Philosophical Hall (1789) is now a museum featuring art, scientific instruments, rare books, original manuscripts, natural history specimens, and curiosities.
Williamsburg, VA — Built in 1715, the current church was the third Anglican Church for a parish founded in 1660.
Philadelphia, PA — A reconstruction of the house in which Thomas Jefferson rented rooms and where, in June 1776, he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Williamsburg, VA — Built 170—20 for the colonial governors of Virginia, it later served as the residence for Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson during their respective terms as governor.
Philadelphia, PA — Site of the Second Continental Congress and of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; access is available through a Park Ranger tour.
Washington, DC — Established in 1800, the collection includes a recreation of Jefferson’s library of 6,487 books, which he donated in 1815.
Charlottesville, VA — Thomas Jefferson’s plantation and home which he designed, built, and rebuilt over 50 years.
Washington, DC — Contains the original of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and more
Forest, VA — Thomas Jefferson designed and began building this octagonal second home in 1806, during his second term as president.
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.”
George Mason: Forgotten Founder (2006)