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Monticello Curatorial Assistants unpack the various parts of the air pump
Before the era of Wii’s, Twitter, and Netflix, the Jefferson family entertained themselves with...More >>
"because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered." - Thomas...More >>

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rubie22's picture
I can really appreciate your poem. Poetry has always been a source of expression for me as well. In response, I would like to address a few things. One being that historically, there were fewer Union soldiers who actually fought and died out of a heart to "free the negro in his plight" than is generally believed. Large numbers of soldiers fought more so for economic reasons, and the financial security that was promised, but in many cases not received. (Leading to MORE bitterness towards the blacks, rather than the government who did not follow through) It was not unlike today. Many (and in my own life-long experience with the military, MOST) young people who join the military, are compelled to do so largely for the opportunity for steady income, college tuition, medical and other benefits, global travel, etc. The praise resulting from the nobility of serving one's country is often a bonus gained from a REAL sacrifice that is sometimes not even realized by the individual (or fully processed) until there is no easy exit. That however, does not lessen the sacrifice, (believe me, each time I went overseas as a soldier, sent my dad overseas as a kid, and now my husband to Afghanistan as a wife, I am faced with the gravity of that sacrifice) but the actual, initial motives are not always as noble as we've generally been ingrained to assume. Second, the biggest cause of the current state of relations that we continue to reel from now, is directly related to the "wolf by the ear" statement. We must realize though, that it is self-fulfilling. Yes, if you maim, torture, enslave, spend years de-educating and dehumanizing a large group of people, thereby turning them into those wolves, it is bound to be a dyer situation once you set them free. The difference is, however, that these were in fact people, who possess the ability to reason. So, had there been a plan in place to not only release the "wolf", but actively and humbly show that the error of our ways had been realized and we were willing to offer recompense for atrocities, and opportunities and education that would UNDO the mental dehumanization, illiteracy, and dependence that had all been INTENTIONALLY instilled into this group for the financial gain of others, our current narrative would likely be MUCH different. This scenario is FAR from what actually happened following emancipation. The climate following emancipation is what should be rethought, NOT the actual act of fighting to discontinue an atrocious barbaric practice which stood in complete hypocrisy to everything our amazing documents were written to express. Our pride as a nation, sadly does not come from rectifying the wrongs we commit and upholding the principles we profess, but from focusing only on the effects of the barbarism perpetrated by other countries, to keep from having to acknowledge the continuing effects of our own.
Ro Phifer
GeraldCed's picture
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cwollerton's picture
You should check out the recent findings in the S. Pavilion basement. They may make you envious, but they're really, really cool. https://www.monticello.org/site/blog-and-community/archaeology-south-pavilion-basement
Chad
acupo8184's picture
Thanks. I helped with the archaeological excavations in 2015 as a field school student. At the time, I was disappointed that we weren't finding ANYTHING in our excavations of the stable yard. Our supervisors kept telling us, "It's o.k. Zeros are data." I don't think that made us feel much better then, but two years later, it's really cool to see the stables being reconstructed based on what we didn't find.
acupo8184

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