john witherspoon paisley slavery


He also firmed up entrance requirements. As a native Scotsman, long wary of the power British Crown, Witherspoon saw the growing centralization of government, progressive ideology of colonial authorities, and establishment of Episcopacy authority as a threat to the Liberties of the colonies. Nonetheless, in keeping with the direction of destiny taught by the English Reformation, Scottish Reformation, and Irish Reformation colonial founders, he saw the new American national leaders, guided by their Christian religion, natural virtues, and republican sense of government, would be the most Protestant, Christian, free, and, therefore, noble nation, a light to the world. . But his impact on American life was made even greater as he became a leading figure in the Revolution and the fight for independence from the British. The Witherspoon Building at Philadelphia is named in his honor. [We] earnestly entreat your serious attention to the subject of slavery – that you will be pleased to countenance the restoration of liberty to those unhappy men who alone in this land of freedom are degraded into perpetual bondage and who . Witherspoon was a staunch Protestant, nationalist, and supporter of republicanism. . Many of his students, including James Madison, Aaron Burr, Philip Freneau, William Bradford, and Hugh Henry Brackenridge, played prominent roles in the development of the new nation. 35. He fought against the flood of paper money, and opposed the issuance of bonds without provision for their amortization. For example, Thomas Jefferson heavily criticized that British policy: He [King George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. The Paisley-born merchant’s immense wealth allowed him to build many properties in Glasgow. Witherspoon had suffered eye injuries and was blind by 1792. Defund the Police? but . The Revolution was the turning point in the national attitude–and it was the Founding Fathers who contributed greatly to that change. In fact, based in part on the efforts of these Founders, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts began abolishing slavery in 1780; 30 Connecticut and Rhode Island did so in 1784; 31 Vermont in 1786; 32 New Hampshire in 1792; 33 New York in 1799; 34 and New Jersey did so in 1804. . An advocate of Natural Law within a Christian and republican Cosmology, which Witherspoon considered Moral Philosophy vital for ministers, lawyers, and those holding positions in government (magistrates). 26 Noah Webster, Responsible for Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, Slavery, or an absolute and unlimited power in the master over the life and fortune of the slave, is unauthorized by the common law. 20 William Livingston, Signer of the Constitution; Governor of New Jersey, [I]t ought to be considered that national crimes can only be and frequently are punished in this world by national punishments; and that the continuance of the slave-trade, and thus giving it a national sanction and encouragement, ought to be considered as justly exposing us to the displeasure and vengeance of Him who is equally Lord of all and who views with equal eye the poor African slave and his American master. . It is a practical denial of the extent and efficacy of the death of a common Savior. In this regard, he held to old Roman Republic concepts of virtue in determining moral leadership in civil magistrates. . Yet, despite the strenuous effort of many Founders to recognize in practice that “all men are created equal,” charges persist to the opposite. . . Prior to the time of the Founding Fathers, there had been few serious efforts to dismantle the institution of slavery. 43. The views constantly catch your eye. When the crown began to give additional authority to its appointed Episcopacy over Church affairs, British authorities hit a nerve in the Presbyterian Scot, who saw such events in the same lens as his Scottish Covenanters. A merchant ship, the SS John Witherspoon, saw service during World War II. Civil government owed more to the latter than the former in Witherspoon’s Presbyterian doctrine. The Importance of Training. Witherspoon also helped to organize Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, N.J. Witherspoon was a prominent evangelical Presbyterian minister in Scotland before becoming the sixth president of Princeton in 1768. John Witherspoon, Paisley. Witherspoon has been viewed as being “not a profound scholar” but “an able college president”. 18 Richard Henry Lee, President of Continental Congress; Signer of the Declaration, I have seen it observed by a great writer that Christianity, by introducing into Europe the truest principles of humanity, universal benevolence, and brotherly love, had happily abolished civil slavery. John Witherspoon College is a private liberal arts college in the Black Hills of South Dakota founded after Witherspoon’s vision and accomplishments. In fact, revisionists even claim that the Constitution demonstrates that the Founders considered one who was black to be only three-fifths of a person. . Yet, despite the support for slavery in those States, the clear majority of the Founders opposed this evil. It revealed that Reagan’s great-great-grandfather, Claud Wilson, had wed one Peggy Downie in the kirk in 1807. He became a Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) minister at Beith, Ayrshire (1745–1758), where he married Elizabeth Montgomery of Craighouse. pray for the glorious period when the last slave who fights for freedom shall be restored to the possession of that inestimable right. The welcome will make you smile! Witherspoon was portrayed in the musical 1776, about the debates over and eventual adoption of the Declaration of Independence, by Edmund Lyndeck in the 1969 stage play and by James Noble in the 1972 film. Famously, when told that the country was not yet ready for independence, Witherspoon replied that it was “not only ripe for the measure, but in danger of rotting for the want of it.”. That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? It is an usurpation of the prerogative of the great Sovereign of the universe who has solemnly claimed an exclusive property in the souls of men. In regard to civil magistrates, Witherspoon thus believed moral judgement should be pursued as a science. 40. Thus, public morality owed more to the natural moral laws of the Enlightenment than traditional sources of Christian ethics. John Jay identified the point at which the change in attitude toward slavery began: Prior to the great Revolution, the great majority . Witherspoon’s innovations at Princeton would have been enough to secure his place in history. They had ten children, with five surviving to adulthood. A bronze statue at Princeton University by Scottish sculptor Alexander Stoddart is the twin of one outside The University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, Scotland. Consequently, he was opposed to the Roman Catholic Legitimist Jacobite rising of 1745-1746. gentlemen cannot forget the consequences that followed: they were delivered by a strong hand and stretched-out arm and it ought to be remembered that the Almighty Power that accomplished their deliverance is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. Witherspoon was very popular among both faculty and students, among them James Madison and Aaron Burr. This was a fact made clear by Richard Allen. In the enjoyment of their persons and of their property, the common law protects all. . John Witherspoon (February 15, 1723 – November 15, 1794) was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a delegate from the colony of New Jersey during the Second Continental Congress.He was the President of the College of New Jersey (Princeton University) and had trained many of the leaders of colonial america. However, as a Christian, Witherspoon saw the impossibility of maintaining public morality or virtue in the citizenry without an effective religion. To fulfill this, he and his family emigrated to New Jersey in 1768 at the age of 45. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. For example, in 1774, Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush founded America’s first anti-slavery society; John Jay was president of a similar society in New York. Learn how to use Facebook Live; Advertise; Our Supporters; Book Hotels and B&B’s 39. Francis Lightfoot Lee: Lives, Fortunes, Sacred Honor, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson & Slavery in Virginia, The Bible, Slavery, and America’s Founders, Today’s Constitutional Minute – Voting Rights In 2020. Witherspoon instituted a number of reforms, including modeling the syllabus and university structure after that used at the University of Edinburgh and other Scottish universities. Therefore, public religion was a vital necessity in maintaining the public morals. See our privacy policy for more details. Source(s): Why do revisionists so often abuse and misportray the three-fifths clause? are groaning in servile subjection. It is true that the Egyptians held the Israelites in bondage for four hundred years, . 27 James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice, [I]t is certainly unlawful to make inroads upon others . Revolutionary Reads: Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom. Contrary to modern distinctions of morality, Witherspoon saw morality as having two distinct components: spiritual and temporal. Unlike slavery research at some other institutions, the Princeton project was a bottom-up affair, ... Its sixth president, John Witherspoon, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. While much progress was made by the Founders to end the institution of slavery, unfortunately what they began was not fully achieved until generations later. In 1780 he was elected to a one-year term in the New Jersey Legislative Council representing Somerset County. Who do you think you are? . The Sma’ Shot Cottages have a number of mementoes of the Reagan’s visit. . Allen had been a slave in Pennsylvania but was freed after he converted his master to Christianity. . 17 Thomas Jefferson, Christianity, by introducing into Europe the truest principles of humanity, universal benevolence, and brotherly love, had happily abolished civil slavery. For example, in 1774, Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush founded America’s first anti-slavery society; John Jay was president of a similar society in New York. Paisley had another unexpected brush with American politics in 1991. Allen, a close friend of Benjamin Rush and several other Founding Fathers, went on to become the founder of the A.M.E. Church in America. Although a proponent of Christian values, Witherspoon’s common sense approach to the public morality of civil magistrates was more influenced by the Enlightenment ethics of Scottish philosophers Francis Hutcheson and Thomas Reid than the Christian virtue of Jonathan Edwards. Nature made no other distinction than that of higher or lower degrees of power of mind and body. The truth is that it was the Founding Fathers who were responsible for planting and nurturing the first seeds for the recognition of black equality and for the eventual end of slavery. These things helped the school be more on par with Harvard and Yale. While this has been only a cursory examination of the Founders and slavery, it is nonetheless sufficient to demonstrate the absurdity of the insinuation that the Founders were a collective group of racists. He served on over 100 committees, most notably the powerful standing committees, the board of war and the committee on secret correspondence or foreign affairs. 29, Other prominent Founding Fathers who were members of societies for ending slavery included Richard Bassett, James Madison, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, William Few, John Marshall, Richard Stockton, Zephaniah Swift, and many more. At once he began fund-raising locally and back home in Scotland, added three hundred of his own books to the library, and began the purchase of scientific equipment: the Rittenhouse orrery, many maps and a “terrestrial” globe. I can safely promise them that neither my tongue, nor my pen, nor purse shall be wanting to promote the abolition of what to me appears so inconsistent with humanity and Christianity. . . 22 George Mason, Delegate at Constitutional Convention, Honored will that State be in the annals of history which shall first abolish this violation of the rights of mankind.

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