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"Group of Historians Challenges Woody Holton's ..." Topic

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Tango0123 Jan 2022 9:11 p.m. PST

…Interpretation of the Significance of Dunmore's Proclamation

"In July 2021, Professor Woody Holton claimed in the Washington Post that until 1775, most White Americans had shown little interest in independence. He went on to argue that the break from Britain was strongly motivated by the November 1775 proclamation of Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, which called on Blacks enslaved by patriot colonists to flee and join the Crown and fight for their freedom. Roughly 300 out of 300,000 slaves in Virginia joined Dunmore's "Ethiopian Regiment." Professor Holton says that "Whites' fury at the British for casting their lot with enslaved people drove many to the fateful step of endorsing independence."

With this account Professor Holton supports the argument of the 1619 Project of the New York Times. This project aims "to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation's birth year." Doing so, the Times said, would commence a revision that, in fact, Black and White historians have been pursuing for decades, putting "slavery and the contribution of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country." The Times presents a very particular version of that history, which it has offered to schools throughout the nation…"
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doc mcb23 Jan 2022 9:21 p.m. PST

Some impressive scholars signed. Almost all of them are emeritus, which is probably significant. Gordon Wood's book The Creation of the American Republic is one of the best I've read.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2022 9:41 a.m. PST

Another interesting article that deals with this topic:

PDF link

From the article, referring to the 1619 project claim that the Revolution was all about retaining slavery in the colonies: "The paragraph covered subjects of unsurpassed importance and it was historical gibberish. As I would later confirm with the foremost scholars of the subject who know
far more about the Revolution than I, there is no evidence of a single colonist expressing support for independence in order to protect slavery. The 1619 Project's claims were
based not on historical sources but on imputation and inventive mindreading…"

doc mcb24 Jan 2022 1:14 p.m. PST

Looking at the article Mike posted, the author is plainly no right-winger. But:

The Times's list of the project's contributors included
some names I recognized and respected, although it did seem odd that the list lacked any historian with expertise on the history of the United States before 1865, which would include, of course, the entire history of American slavery. Still, I thought, better an uneven rendering than none at all, so long as the rendering was intellectually reliable.

But I began feeling uneasy a few minutes into reading the lead essay, by the project's chief contributor, the journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, and then I read a key paragraph so fallacious and dogmatic that it hit me between the eyes. With a tone of absolute assurance, flagging the matter as crucial, the essay informed readers of what it called a „fact" – a fact „conveniently left out of our founding mythology" – specifically that „one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence" from Britain „was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery."5

I instantly wondered how anyone even lightly informed about the history of either slavery or the American Revolution , could write that sentence. Unfortunately, the ensuing explanation only made matters worse. The British, the essay claimed, had grown
„deeply conflicted" over slavery, and the British government was facing rising calls to end the Atlantic slave trade – a reform that would have „upended" the entire colonial economy, not just in the South. For that reason – the essay mentioned no other – the
American colonists, North and South, believed that the British posed a threat to slavery, an institution they desperately wanted to protect. Rather than run the risk of losing slavery, the colonists declared their independence. The Revolution was supposedly, at its core, a reactionary, proslavery struggle to fend off abolition of slavery by the British.6

The paragraph covered subjects of unsurpassed importance and it was historical gibberish.

doc mcb24 Jan 2022 1:23 p.m. PST

"In March, a few weeks after our letter and Silverstein's reply appeared, the U.S. historian Leslie M. Harris, at Northwestern University, who happens to be an African American woman, revealed that she had been contacted by the Times' fact checkers in connection with The 1619 Project and that she had explained to them, vigorously, that the material on the Revolution was flat out wrong, but that her objections were ignored."

doc mcb24 Jan 2022 1:25 p.m. PST



Even historians who are at pains to disassociate themselves from any right-wing criticism of the 1619 Project acknowledge that it is just not accurate history.

Tango0124 Jan 2022 3:19 p.m. PST



DJCoaltrain24 Jan 2022 7:23 p.m. PST

Just read this. Thanks Doc for providing the facts to put the lie to the assertion that the revolution was to preserve slavery.

Virginia Tory24 Jan 2022 8:58 p.m. PST

More 1619 crap. Sigh.

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2022 11:16 p.m. PST

The purpose of the 1619 Project is not to teach history. It is to teach anti-American propaganda. "He who controls the past, controls the future."

Tango0125 Jan 2022 3:18 p.m. PST



SHaT198425 Jan 2022 4:29 p.m. PST

Its' pathetic nature is shown by the current 'need' to capitalise Black/ White as if it was a momentous statement of, anything.

The sooner they talk about 'people'…

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