Thursday, February 02, 2023

1619 Project: The 1775 proclamation of slave owner Lord Dunmore was a reaction to—not a cause of—a revolution already in full swing

The first episode [of Hulu's docu-series on the 1619 Project] paints an enslaver, plantation master, and Royalist autocrat as a leading and even celebrated agent of emancipation.

Reason's shakes his head about the latest development regarding the 1619 Project (thanks to Stephen Green, Sarah Hoyt, and Glenn Reynolds) as the co-author (with Jason Brennan) of Cracks in the Ivory Tower (The Moral Mess of Higher Education) explains why Hulu's 1619 Project Docuseries Peddles False History.

The New York Times' 1619 Project selected Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, as a filming location for its new Hulu docuseries. In doing so, creator Nikole Hannah-Jones sought to bolster her project's most troublesome claim—the assertion that British overtures toward emancipation impelled the American colonists into revolution, ultimately securing an independent United States. 

The scene opens in Williamsburg on the grounds of its reconstructed colonial Governor's Palace, where Hannah-Jones joins University of South Carolina professor [Woody Holton]—one of a handful of heterodox historians who defended the 1619 Project's original narrative. As the cameras pan across streets filled with historical re-enactors and tourists in front of restored colonial buildings, the pair take another stab at resurrecting the 1619 Project's narrative about the American Revolution. The evidence that a British threat to slavery impelled Virginians—or perhaps "the colonists" at large, in Hannah-Jones' imprecise phrasing—to revolt may be found in the November 1775 decree of John Murray, fourth earl of Dunmore, Virginia's last Royalist governor. Facing the collapse of British rule, Dunmore announced that any enslaved male from a household in rebellion would be granted freedom in exchange for military service on the British side.

Dunmore's decree made him the author of an "Emancipation Proclamation" of sorts, both Hannah-Jones and Holton contend. Their language intentionally evokes parallels to President Abraham Lincoln's famous order freeing the slaves of the rebellious Confederacy in 1863. Prompted by Hannah-Jones' questioning, Holton then recounts his version of the lesser-known events of some four score and eight years prior. "Dunmore issued that Emancipation Proclamation November 1775," he explains, "and that Emancipation Proclamation infuriated white southerners."

 … At the time of his decree, the real Dunmore had not set foot in Williamsburg in almost five months. His order, decreeing martial law in the colony and calling on slaves to enlist in a Royalist militia, came not from the governor's residence but from a position of exile aboard the HMS William, a naval ship anchored off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia.

Dunmore abandoned the Governor's Palace on June 8, 1775, amid signs that patriot militiamen were converging on Williamsburg to defend the House of Burgesses from a threatened power grab by the crown. The trouble began a few weeks earlier with a botched attempt by Dunmore to seize the colony's gunpowder stores as a preemptive strike against revolutionary grumblings.

This explains something that is too often forgotten (if not deliberately ignored): how not only taxes, but also the issues surrounding the future Second Amendment were central to the War of Independence. As it happens, it turns out that Lord Dunmore, aka the 1619 Project's favorite agent of "emancipation,"

originally tried to justify his confiscation of Williamsburg's gunpowder stores under the false pretext that he was protecting it from a… slave revolt[!]

Indeed, when Dunmore fled the capital, he carried away a sizable staff of "servants" from the palace grounds and relocated them to Porto Bello, his sprawling plantation a few miles up the river. Yes, the 1619 Project's designated agent of "emancipation" for the British crown was an enslaver himself. Dunmore encamped on a succession of warships anchored in the nearby York River, never to return to the building where Holton erroneously situated the decree. He occasionally took a barge over to the plantation house at Porto Bello to enjoy fine dining with his officers, served by his relocated slaves. But that ended as patriot militias gained control of the peninsula on which the property sat, and Dunmore withdrew to Norfolk. By November 7, 1775—the date of the order—he had long lost any semblance of control over the colony. The decree anticipated an unsuccessful campaign to regain a foothold in the colony. In retrospect, it was a desperate move to restore himself to power by inducing a slave revolt amid the already-unfolding revolution, rather than any true attempt to affect "emancipation" at large.

's insights confirms Mary Beth Norton's findings that In 1774, a year before Dunmore's proclamation, Americans had already in fact become independent; Rick Atkinson's statement that most of the founders, including Thomas Jefferson, opposed slavery’s continued existence, despite the fact that many of them owned slaves; Leslie Harris's comment that Far from being fought to preserve slavery, the Revolutionary War became a primary disrupter of slavery in the North American Colonies; and, last but not least, Wilfred Reilly's observation that slavery was legal in Britain in 1776, and it remained so in all overseas British colonies until 1833

One of the steps of defeating truth is to destroy evidence of the truth, notes Bob Woodson; Because the North's Civil War statues — as well as American history itself — are evidence of America's redemption from slavery, it's important for the Left to remove evidence of the truth.

As MSM reporters start decrying objective journalism ("virtually synonymous with prejudice … objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful") and as @PhilWMagness points out the 1619 Project book's falsification of basic (yet well-known) facts and dates, it is worth remembering that the New York Times's 1619 "reports" are not designed to teach Americans — and their children — to hate slavery or racism (or simply to teach about American history); they are designed to make us hate America.

Reading through the Hulu show's reviews, Tom Knighton puts it this way:

The 1619 Project, however, was never more than an effort to fuel American guilt, this idea among the left that we’re the bad guys in every way. … Self-awareness is wonderful, but this enters the realm of self-delusion.
Back to Phil Magness, who is also featured in an AIER interview by Kate Wand:

  … As the events around Williamsburg revealed, Dunmore's order was a reaction to—not a cause of—a revolution already in full swing. The road to American independence began in Massachusetts over a decade earlier with men such as James Otis (incidentally, an early abolitionist) rallying against the crown under the banner of "no taxation without representation." Virginia expressed solidarity with this cause long before Dunmore's order.

In 1774, the House of Burgesses adopted a resolution of fasting to show their support for the people of Boston, then under a punitive edict from London in retaliation for its tax protests. A short time later, a group of leading Virginians including George Washington and George Mason signed the Fairfax Resolves, stating a long list of grievances against the crown (its promotion of the slave trade among them) and rejecting parliamentary control over the colonies. Patrick Henry, another Virginian, delivered his famous "Give me liberty, or give me death" speech in March 1775 before Dunmore even uttered a word about enlisting slaves. Washington himself would take command of the Continental Army on June 19, 1775, organizing his troops in New England after the Battle of Bunker Hill.

… [the decree's] sweeping martial law provision was likely the greater source of outrage. As Dunmore's own financial interests illustrate, he had every intention of honoring the decree's explicit exemptions for the human property of Royalist enslavers. None of these complicating details receive even the slightest amount of attention in the Hulu presentation from Williamsburg.

 … This peculiar convergence of factual error and cinematic misdirection comes with an ironic twist. If there are historical parallels to be drawn between Dunmore's order and later events, it is not Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation but rather the desperate actions of his Confederate adversaries. In the waning days of the Civil War, Jefferson Davis authorized what became known as General Orders No. 14. The measure called for the "enlistment of colored persons" into the Confederate army, with provisions to accept any male slave "with his own consent and with the approbation of his master by a written instrument conferring, as he may, the rights of a freedman" in exchange for service.

 … The Confederates' measure was no act of magnanimity by the slavers, but rather an exercise in desperation by a government on the precipice of collapse. Like Dunmore some 90 years before him, Davis lost his seat of power and found his forces in disarray. Most historians interpret his actions in this panicked context, not as some sudden change of heart on the central issue that sparked the Civil War.

And yet a parallel scenario from the American Revolution is now being touted as proof of a long-forgotten British antislavery crusade? We may look on in amazement, amusement, and disgust as the 1619 Project's creator and its academic boosters attempt a peculiar rehabilitation of Dunmore—enslaver, plantation master, and Royalist autocrat—as a leading and even celebrated agent of emancipation.

RELATED: The 1619 Project Summarized in One Single Sentence 

1619, Mao, & 9-11: History According to the NYT — Plus, a Remarkable Issue of National Geographic Reveals the Leftists' "Blame America First" Approach to History

• Wilfred Reilly on 1619: quite a few contemporary Black problems have very little to do with slavery


• "Out of the Revolution came an anti-slavery ethos, which never disappeared": Pulitzer Prize Winner James McPherson Confirms that No Mainstream Historian Was Contacted by the NYT for Its 1619 History Project

• Gordon Wood: "The Revolution unleashed antislavery sentiments that led to the first abolition movements in the history of the world" — another Pulitzer-Winning Historian Had No Warning about the NYT's 1619 Project

• A Black Political Scientist "didn’t know about the 1619 Project until it came out"; "These people are kind of just making it up as they go"

• Clayborne Carson: Another Black Historian Kept in the Dark About 1619

• If historians did not hear of the NYT's history (sic) plan, chances are great that the 1619 Project was being deliberately kept a tight secret

• Oxford Historian Richard Carwardine: 1619 is “a preposterous and one-dimensional reading of the American past”

• World Socialists: "the 1619 Project is a politically motivated falsification of history" by the New York Times, aka "the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party"


• Dan Gainor on 1619 and rewriting history: "To the Left elite like the NY Times, there’s no narrative they want to destroy more than American exceptionalism"

• Utterly preposterous claims: The 1619 project is a cynical political ploy, aimed at piercing the heart of the American understanding of justice

From Washington to Grant, not a single American deserves an iota of gratitude, or even understanding, from Nikole Hannah-Jones; however, modern autocrats, if leftist and foreign, aren't "all bad"

• One of the Main Sources for the NYT's 1619 Project Is a Career Communist Propagandist who Defends Stalinism

• A Pulitzer Prize?! Among the 1619 Defenders Is "a Fringe Academic" with "a Fetish for Authoritarian Terror" and "a Soft Spot" for Mugabe, Castro, and Even Stalin

• Influenced by Farrakhan's Nation of Islam?! 1619 Project's History "Expert" Believes the Aztecs' Pyramids Were Built with Help from Africans Who Crossed the Atlantic Prior to the "Barbaric Devils" of Columbus (Whom She Likens to Hitler)

• 1793, 1776, or 1619: Is the New York Times Distinguishable from Teen Vogue? Is It Living in a Parallel Universe? Or Is It Simply Losing Its Mind in an Industry-Wide Nervous Breakdown?

• No longer America's "newspaper of record," the "New Woke Times" is now but a college campus paper, where kids like 1619 writer Nikole Hannah-Jones run the asylum and determine what news is fit to print

• Spoiled Brats? The NYT defends the 1619 project while (and by) trivializing or outright insulting its critics, with N-word (!) user Hannah-Jones going as far as doxxing one pundit

• The Departure of Bari Weiss: "Propagandists", Ethical Collapse, and the "New McCarthyism" — "The radical left are running" the New York Times, "and no dissent is tolerated"

• "Full of left-wing sophomoric drivel": The New York Times — already drowning in a fantasy-land of alternately running pro-Soviet Union apologia and their anti-American founding “1619 Project” series — promises to narrow what they view as acceptable opinion even more

• "Deeply Ashamed" of the… New York Times (!),  An Oblivious Founder of the Error-Ridden 1619 Project Uses Words that Have to Be Seen to Be Believed ("We as a News Organization Should Not Be Running Something That Is Offering Misinformation to the Public, Unchecked")

• Allen C Guelzo: The New York Times offers bitterness, fragility, and intellectual corruption—The 1619 Project is not history; it is conspiracy theory

• The 1619 Project is an exercise in religious indoctrination: Ignoring, downplaying, or rewriting the history of 1861 to 1865, the Left and the NYT must minimize, downplay, or ignore the deaths of 620,000 Americans

• 1619: It takes an absurdly blind fanaticism to insist that today’s free and prosperous America is rotten and institutionally oppressive

• The MSM newsrooms and their public shaming terror campaigns — the "bullying campus Marxism" is closer to cult religion than politics: Unceasingly searching out thoughtcrime, the American left has lost its mind

Fake But Accurate: The People Behind the NYT's 1619 Project Make a "Small" Clarification, But Only Begrudgingly and Half-Heartedly, Because Said Mistake Actually Undermines The 1619 Project's Entire Premise


• The Collapse of the Fourth Estate by Peter Wood: No one has been able to identify a single leader, soldier, or supporter of the Revolution who wanted to protect his right to hold slaves (A declaration that slavery is the founding institution of America and the center of everything important in our history is a ground-breaking claim, of the same type as claims that America condones rape culture, that 9/11 was an inside job, that vaccinations cause autism, that the Moon landing was a hoax, or that ancient astronauts built the pyramids)

• Mary Beth Norton:  In 1774, a year before Dunmore's proclamation, Americans had already in fact become independent

• Most of the founders, including Thomas Jefferson, opposed slavery’s continued existence, writes Rick Atkinson, despite the fact that many of them owned slaves

• Leslie Harris: Far from being fought to preserve slavery, the Revolutionary War became a primary disrupter of slavery in the North American Colonies (even the NYT's fact-checker on the 1619 Project disagrees with its "conclusions": "It took 60 more years for the British government to finally end slavery in its Caribbean colonies")

• Sean Wilentz on 1619: the movement in London to abolish the slave trade formed only in 1787, largely inspired by… American (!) antislavery opinion that had arisen in the 1760s and 1770s

• 1619 & Slavery's Fatal Lie: it is more accurate to say that what makes America unique isn't slavery but the effort to abolish it

• 1619 & 1772: Most of the founders, including Jefferson, opposed slavery’s continued existence, despite many of them owning slaves; And Britain would remain the world's foremost slave-trading nation into the nineteenth century

• Wilfred Reilly on 1619: Slavery was legal in Britain in 1776, and it remained so in all overseas British colonies until 1833

• Not 1619 but 1641: In Fact, the American Revolution of 1776 Sought to Avoid the Excesses of the English Revolution Over a Century Earlier

• Can the Élites' Contempt for the Voters' Desires in the 2020s Be Traced All the Way Back to the Jamestown and Plymouth Colonies? In a sense, Lincoln chose the events of Thanksgiving 1620 as our true founding in order to repudiate the events of 1619

• 2,000% better off — Economic history is unequivocal: Jefferson’s slavery wasn’t the basis of America’s prosperity; Jefferson’s liberalism was

• James Oakes on 1619: "Slavery made the slaveholders rich; But it made the South poor; And it didn’t make the North rich — So the legacy of slavery is poverty, not wealth"

• One of the steps of defeating truth is to destroy evidence of the truth, says Bob Woodson; Because the North's Civil War statues — as well as American history itself — are evidence of America's redemption from slavery, it's important for the Left to remove evidence of the truth


• 1619: No wonder this place is crawling with young socialists and America-haters — the utter failure of the U.S. educational system to teach the history of America’s founding

• 1619: Invariably Taking the Progressive Side — The Ratio of Democratic to Republican Voter Registration in History Departments is More than 33 to 1

• Secular humanistic indoctrination dumbs down children, drives wedges between them and their parents, and has grown increasingly hostile to patriotism and parental authority

• 1619 is a "reframing" of the American story in mockery of our political origins, in defiance of actual history, with the expressed purpose of sabotaging our sense of national identity

• Denying the grandeur of the nation’s founding—Wilfred McClay on 1619: "Most of my students are shocked to learn that that slavery is not uniquely American"

Inciting Hate Already in Kindergarten: 1619 "Education" Is Part of Far-Left Indoctrination by People Who Hate America to Kids in College, in School, and Even in Elementary Classes

• Hulu's 1619 Project Docu-Series Is Not Designed to Teach Us—and Our Kids—About (or to Hate) Slavery or Racism; It Is Designed to Teach Us to Loathe America

• In 1640, more than 5,000 English citizens were being held as slaves in North Africa: Slavery’s long, cosmopolitan history is ignored by the architects of the 1619 Project

• "Distortions, half-truths, and outright falsehoods": Where does the 1619 project state that Africans themselves were central players in the slave trade? That's right: Nowhere

• John Podhoretz on 1619: the idea of reducing US history to the fact that some people owned slaves is a reductio ad absurdum and the definition of bad faith

• The 1619 Africans in Virginia were not ‘enslaved’, a black historian points out; they were indentured servants — just like the majority of European whites were

"Two thirds of the people, white as well as black, who crossed the Atlantic in the first 200 years are indentured servants" notes Dolores Janiewski; "The poor people, black and white, share common interests"


Wondering Why Slavery Persisted for Almost 75 Years After the Founding of the USA? According to Lincoln, the Democrat Party's "Principled" Opposition to "Hate Speech"

• Victoria Bynum on 1619 and a NYT writer's "ignorance of history": "As dehumanizing and brutal as slavery was, the institution was not a giant concentration camp"

• Dennis Prager: The Left Couldn't Care Less About Blacks

• A Prager U Video and a Book, "1620," Take on the 1619 Project

• When was the last time protests in America were marred by police violence? 1970, according to Ann Coulter, who asks "Can we restrict wild generalizations about the police to things that have happened in our lifetimes?" (Compare with, say, China…)

The Secret About Black Lives Matter; In Fact, the Outfit's Name Ought to Be BSD or BAD

• The Real Reason Why Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and the Land O'Lakes Maid Must Vanish

• The Confederate Flag: Another Brick in the Leftwing Activists' (Self-Serving) Demonization of America and Rewriting of History

Who, Exactly, Is It Who Should Apologize for Slavery and Make Reparations? America? The South? The Descendants of the Planters? …

• Anti-Americanism in the Age of the Coronavirus, the NBA, and 1619

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm the guy who started the Boycott American Women blog, and i admit i was quite a woman hater but i went thru a spiritual awakening and now I'm trying to heal women instead of hurt them. Anyway if you wanna ask me questions or do an interview, just DM me on instagram at tantrahealermaster