Essay on Clayton Starnes Book Review

Submitted By cstarnes1405
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Pages: 4

Hirschfeld, Fritz, 1924 George Washington and Slavery 1732-1799 the University of Missouri, 1997. 256 pages

Fritz Hirschfeld George Washington and Slavery focuses main on slavery at his plantation at Mt. Vernon, also focuses on the revolutionary war. This book lacks support in talking about the war and presidency. As and introduction of the topic it gives a very good theory talking about his childhood at Mt. Vernon. Hirschfield begins with talking about building and estate, when George’s half brother Lawrence died in 1752. George Washington took possession of the families’ 2,650 acre Plantation which was located in Mt. Vernon, Virgina. During the year 1753 his father Augustine died eleven year old boy George Washington Inherited ten slaves. On December 17 the same year George he executed a lease agreement with Lawrence widow wife which gave George full control over the plantation at Mt. Vernon. While George was at war his cousin Lund Washington takes over the plantation. Hirschfield’s main point in this chapter tries to explain how George took over the plantation by himself, he had help if he wanted it but he mostly ran the plantation by himself, he was a great plantation owner from what Hirschfield said.
As Hirschfeld goes on with a discussion on how George left his plantation in the spring of 1775 age of forty three to take charge of the army at Cambridge. In November 1775 Lord Dunmore of Virgina threatened to burn down Mt. Vernon Plantation while George was off at war. Lord Dunmore wrote letters saying he would do that. Right after he took action and tried to burn it down but the local militia defeated Lord Dunmore group of soldiers. Not only was George in charge of the army but back at home he was a plantation owner where him and his wife owned numerous slaves. He notes George was a good slave owner he bought and sold them, and conformed in most respects with the slaveholding practices of his period and region. Washington always accepted slave labor as an economic necessity. During the war Washington promised any slave if they served in the war that he would give them their freedom at the end of the war. He notes Lord Dunmore the royal governor of Virgina also said any slave willing to fight for the British will be given their freedom at the end of the war. It states that Washington had to teach some of the slaves how to shoot a gun since most of them have never used one before.
Hirschfeld notes January 1, 1789 Washington wrote a lengthy set of instructions titled a view of work at the several plantations in the year 1789, which stated all his slaves began work at light and work till its dark. It also said most of the females worked inside of the plantation while the men worked out in the field during the day. The white men that helped Washington helped the blacks out in the field with the crops during the day but had overseers at night. Many of times Washington would go up and write about his slaves how some of them were alike and some of them were different he had thousands of pages. Also most of the stuff they ate on the plantation was the stuff they killed on the farm such as they killed a hog and that lasted for two days they ate off of. Hirschfield states that George kept a big record of…