Cancel culture in Washington
George Washington is a problem for George Washington University, according to the Washington Post. For years, the university in the nation’s capital has fought against the shadow cast by President Washington’s slave ownership. In 2020, university officials began investigating the name of the school’s sports teams, the Colonials, due to « the way colonists ravaged communities of color. » Last month, the « colonials » disappeared. This spring, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Caleb Francois, a senior at the school, insisting that the university is dealing with « systemic racism, institutional inequality and white supremacy » by dropping completely naming Washington and renaming the university for Frederick Douglass. .
George Washington certainly owned slaves. In addition to the 10 he inherited from his father, he has accumulated another 65 by outright purchase over the years. When he married Martha Dandridge Custis in 1759, she brought 84 other slaves to the Mount Vernon household. In 1786, slaves numbered 216. In 1799, the last year of his life, Washington owned 317 men, women, and children. Even in the years Washington was the first president, he kept at least eight slaves in his household in the early capitals, New York and Philadelphia.