Write the Truth: President and Enslaved People

pp, 140 -148 in Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers

By Bob Peterson

Web Resources

Websites that don’t tell “the truth” 
The “student-friendly” websites with information about presidents – such as the White House’s gallery of presidents (http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents) – don’t mention that either Washington or Jefferson enslaved African Americans. Other popular sites with the same glaring lack of information include the National Museum of American History (http://www.americanhistory.si.edu/presidency).

More useful websites include: 

Background on which Presidents owned enslaved people 

Which Presidents Owned Enslaved People? 
(includes a description of which Presidents on US currency notes owned enslaved people)

The number of enslaved people George Washington owned: 

How 17 enslaved people escaped from George Washington’s plantation: 

Additional resource for helping critique textbooks:
Jefferson and Slavery excerpt from school history textbook and historian James Loewen 

Bill of sale for an enslaved person signed by Dolley Madison.