Write the Truth: President and Slaves

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 slaves 
http://www.understandingprejudice.org

Which Presidents Owned Slaves? 
www.nas.com/~lopresti/ps.htm 
(includes a description of which Presidents on US currency notes owned slaves.

The number of slaves George Washington owned: 
http://www.mountvernon.org/knowledge/index.cfm/fuseaction/view/KnowledgeID/3/

How 17 slaves escaped from George Washington’s plantation: 
http://www.mountvernon.org/knowledge/index.cfm/fuseaction/view/KnowledgeID/115/

Additional resource for helping critique textbooks:
Jefferson and Slavery excerpt from school history textbook and historian James Loewen 
http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/16_04/Jeff164.shtml

Bill of sale for a slave signed by Dolley Madison.