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Burr, Hamilton, and JeffersonA Study in Character$
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Roger G. Kennedy

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140552

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140552.001.0001

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Chapter 7

Chapter 7

(p.89) Chapter 7
Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson

Roger G. Kennedy

Oxford University Press

The battle against race-based slavery and racial discrimination began in New York at the White Plains Convention of 1776, at which the colony's revolutionaries gathered to create their new government, guided toward abolition by John Jay and Gouverneur Morris. Aaron Burr entered into his first working alliance with the Federalists during the 1790s to free New York's slaves and to protect refugee slaves from recapture by slave-stealing gangs operating on the streets of New York. After proposing abolition in New York in 1775, Jay organized the Manumission Society a decade later and joined Burr in the long fight for emancipation in the state government of New York. As for George Washington, in 1782 he assented to the formation of a “Black Corps” and began the slow progression toward manumission which ultimately led him to free his slaves and to endow them to remain in Virginia. For this implication that a multiracial society was possible, Washington was charged with irresponsibility to his class and section; resident free blacks, like resident Indians, would impede a policy of removal.

Keywords:   Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, George Washington, John Jay, slavery, abolition, manumission, Indians, free blacks, New York

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