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Psychological Guilt
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Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.

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Psychological Guilt

The psychological guilt pounding in the hearts of ruling class Englishmen in England and the colonies, imbued with the spirit of liberty --- must have been a constant source of trepidations regarding the divine Providence so often cited.  Pregnant women were self-evident and men of the upper classes helped and honored the wishes/needs of their friends, --- especially with regards to mulatto offspring!  

They took them into their households and treated them as unpaid servants, unlike treatments of field hand slaves! So-called house slaves were better fed and better clothed, and some doubtlessly learned to read and write despite laws to the contrary.  Indeed, some men, such as Robert E. Lee, would go so far as to pay household servants small stipends even though such mulattos were slaves in the eyes of the laws.  Why?  They did not pay stipends to field hands, so why household servants?  And, many such as Jefferson cited mulattos as family in census records.

The facts are that from the year 1619 until beginning of the Civil War in 1861, there existed in America ... eight generations of human beings (men, women and children of both sexes) of African, European and Native American heritage.  No one knows the extent of procreation that occurred across racial categories nor is it reasonable to assume such was an exception to the rules of the men who ruled America, and everyone in it as their "property rights."  

When President Thomas Jefferson, in the year 1802, brought Ohio into the union as a state free of slavery, ... he deliberately  had manipulated into an existence where people of color could go and live free.  Despite gradual emancipation laws in states like New York and Pennsylvania, in the beginning of the 19th century there were tens of thousands of slaves in most northern states waiting to die or earn emancipation by their owners. 

Freedom was seldom freely given for people of African heritage. Without Ohio as a free state, emancipated or escaped slaves from Virginia would not have had a safe route to freedom in Canada. The personal liberty laws agitated for by people that modern day conservative historians label as "radicals" did not come into existence in northern states until decades after Jeffersonian thoughts framed the concept in Ohio's constitution.

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