April 13, 2004

Speaker looks at U.S. slavery after the Revolution

The paradox of American slavery after a revolution fought for liberty and the premise that “All men are created equal” will be explored in a free talk by historian Eva Sheppard Wolf at California State University, Sacramento from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, in Mariposa Hall, room 1001.

Wolf, a professor at San Francisco State University, will talk on “Liberty and Slavery: How and Why Slaveholders Freed Their Slaves after the American Revolution.” Wolf received her doctorate from Harvard University and has a forthcoming book on the debates over slavery and emancipation in post-Revolutionary Virginia.

While the majority of slave owners in the United States, including national icons such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, continued to hold slaves after the United States won its independence from England, a few did not.

“Some people were motivated by the ideals of freedom and liberty and could not reconcile the institution of slavery with the basic rights of man. But most never saw the basic hypocrisy between fighting for individual liberty and keeping humans in bondage,” said CSUS history professor Barbara Keys. Keys invited Wolf to the campus and organized her talk.

“In many ways,” Keys said, “we’re still struggling with the legacy of slavery.”

For more information, call (916) 278-4163. Media assistance is available from CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
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