New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site

Vails Gate
NY

Reconstructed Temple of Virtue,
the chapel at the cantonment

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Preserves 120 acres of the original 1,600-acre encampment for some 7,500 American troops, 1782 - 83, as the war was winding down. The site includes a recreated camp, chapel, museum, and living history demonstrations. Includes Visitor Center, which it shares with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
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[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)