Constructing the Past

Publication Date

Spring 2007


Wright was careful in her approach to slavery, saying it “is not for a young and inexperienced foreigner to suggest remedies for an evil which has engaged the attention of native philanthropists and statesmen and hitherto baffled their efforts.” This changed and eventually she would have no problem asserting her views as well as the accompanying remedies, as is evidenced in Nashoba. She spoke briefly on emancipation and colonization, but only to say that unless they became programs of national concern, they would never be implemented successfully. She also, while still disapproving of slavery, credited slave owners for stoically bearing the burden set upon them by British slave-holders in colonial America. She called slave-owners “unfortunate masters of unfortunate slaves” who shouldered the jabs from the Northern states. Morris speculates that some of her sympathy for Southern slave-holders, which was always part of her nature, came from extended conversation with Thomas Jefferson, a proponent of education for freed-slaves, if only in the indefinite future.