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An Imperfect God - George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America-logo

An Imperfect God - George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America

Henry Wiencek

A major new biography of Washington, and the first to explore his engagement with American slavery When George Washington wrote his will, he made the startling decision to set his slaves free; earlier he had said that holding slaves was his "only unavoidable subject of regret." In this groundbreaking work, Henry Wiencek explores the founding father's engagement with slavery at every stage of his life-as a Virginia planter, soldier, politician, president, and statesman. Washington was born and raised among blacks and mixed-race people; he and his wife had blood ties to the slave community. Yet as a young man he bought and sold slaves without scruple, even raffled off children to collect debts (an incident ignored by earlier biographers). Then, on the Revolutionary battlefields where he commanded both black and white troops, Washington's attitudes began to change. Wiencek's revelatory narrative, based on a meticulous examination of private papers, court records, and the voluminous Washington archives, documents for the first time the moral transformation culminating in Washington's determination to emancipate his slaves. He acted too late to keep the new republic from perpetuating slavery, but his repentance was genuine. And it was perhaps related to the possibility that a slave named West Ford was the son of George and a woman named Venus; Wiencek has new evidence that this might indeed be true. George Washington's heroic stature as Father of Our Country is not diminished in this superb, nuanced portrait: now we see Washington in full as a man of his time and ahead of his time.

A major new biography of Washington, and the first to explore his engagement with American slavery When George Washington wrote his will, he made the startling decision to set his slaves free; earlier he had said that holding slaves was his "only unavoidable subject of regret." In this groundbreaking work, Henry Wiencek explores the founding father's engagement with slavery at every stage of his life-as a Virginia planter, soldier, politician, president, and statesman. Washington was born and raised among blacks and mixed-race people; he and his wife had blood ties to the slave community. Yet as a young man he bought and sold slaves without scruple, even raffled off children to collect debts (an incident ignored by earlier biographers). Then, on the Revolutionary battlefields where he commanded both black and white troops, Washington's attitudes began to change. Wiencek's revelatory narrative, based on a meticulous examination of private papers, court records, and the voluminous Washington archives, documents for the first time the moral transformation culminating in Washington's determination to emancipate his slaves. He acted too late to keep the new republic from perpetuating slavery, but his repentance was genuine. And it was perhaps related to the possibility that a slave named West Ford was the son of George and a woman named Venus; Wiencek has new evidence that this might indeed be true. George Washington's heroic stature as Father of Our Country is not diminished in this superb, nuanced portrait: now we see Washington in full as a man of his time and ahead of his time.
More Information

Description:

A major new biography of Washington, and the first to explore his engagement with American slavery When George Washington wrote his will, he made the startling decision to set his slaves free; earlier he had said that holding slaves was his "only unavoidable subject of regret." In this groundbreaking work, Henry Wiencek explores the founding father's engagement with slavery at every stage of his life-as a Virginia planter, soldier, politician, president, and statesman. Washington was born and raised among blacks and mixed-race people; he and his wife had blood ties to the slave community. Yet as a young man he bought and sold slaves without scruple, even raffled off children to collect debts (an incident ignored by earlier biographers). Then, on the Revolutionary battlefields where he commanded both black and white troops, Washington's attitudes began to change. Wiencek's revelatory narrative, based on a meticulous examination of private papers, court records, and the voluminous Washington archives, documents for the first time the moral transformation culminating in Washington's determination to emancipate his slaves. He acted too late to keep the new republic from perpetuating slavery, but his repentance was genuine. And it was perhaps related to the possibility that a slave named West Ford was the son of George and a woman named Venus; Wiencek has new evidence that this might indeed be true. George Washington's heroic stature as Father of Our Country is not diminished in this superb, nuanced portrait: now we see Washington in full as a man of his time and ahead of his time.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Rick Adamson

Length:

7h 32m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

07:48


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

07:03


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

07:38


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

09:01


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

08:05


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

07:35


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

08:56


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

09:49


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

09:21


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

07:54


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

07:58


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

08:07


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

07:14


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

08:14


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

07:43


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

08:05


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

07:59


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

06:34


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

05:53


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

07:57


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

08:02


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

08:40


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

07:30


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

08:00


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

07:52


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

07:10


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

08:00


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

06:30


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

05:40


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

07:56


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

08:22


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

07:57


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

07:48


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

06:49


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

07:32


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

08:40


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

07:05


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

07:36


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

06:19


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

08:04


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

08:13


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

07:48


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

08:00


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

08:02


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

08:01


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

08:07


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

08:09


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

05:50


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

05:42


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

08:04


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

08:16


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

08:10


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

07:37


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

08:37


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

07:23


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

08:06


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

08:22


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

09:35