Skip to comments.The 1619 Project is also lying about Samuel Johnson
Posted on 05/10/2021 6:59:28 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
The New York Times does not want you reading Samuel Johnson.
You should read Samuel Johnson.
Here is what you will find toward the end of the work: (source)
Far be it from any Englishman, to thirst for the blood of his fellow-subjects. Those who most deserve our resentment are, unhappily, at less distance. The Americans, when the stamp act was first proposed, undoubtedly disliked it, as every nation dislikes an impost; but they had no thought of resisting it, till they were encouraged and incited by European intelligence, from men whom they thought their friends, but who were friends only to themselves.
On the original contrivers of mischief let an insulted nation pour out its vengeance. With whatever design they have inflamed this pernicious contest, they are, themselves, equally detestable. If they wish success to the colonies, they are traitors to this country; if they wish their defeat, they are traitors, at once, to America and England. To them, and them only, must be imputed the interruption of commerce, and the miseries of war, the sorrow of those that shall be ruined, and the blood of those that shall fall.
Since the Americans have made it necessary to subdue them, may they be subdued with the least injury possible to their persons and their possessions! When they are reduced to obedience, may that obedience be secured by stricter laws and stronger obligations!
Nothing can be more noxious to society, than that erroneous clemency, which, when a rebellion is suppressed, exacts no forfeiture, and establishes no securities, but leaves the rebels in their former state. Who would not try the experiment, which promises advantage without expense? If rebels once obtain a victory, their wishes are accomplished; if they are defeated, they suffer little, perhaps less than their conquerors; however often they play the game, the chance is always in their favour. In the mean time, they are growing rich by victualling the troops that we have sent against them, and, perhaps, gain more by the residence of the army than they lose by the obstruction of their port.
Their charters, being now, I suppose, legally forfeited, may be modelled, as shall appear most commodious to the mother-country. Thus the privileges which are found, by experience, liable to misuse, will be taken away, and those who now bellow as patriots, bluster as soldiers, and domineer as legislators, will sink into sober merchants and silent planters, peaceably diligent, and securely rich.
But there is one writer, and, perhaps, many who do not write, to whom the contraction of these pernicious privileges appears very dangerous, and who startle at the thoughts of "England free, and America in chains." Children fly from their own shadow, and rhetoricians are frighted by their own voices. Chains is, undoubtedly, a dreadful word; but, perhaps, the masters of civil wisdom may discover some gradations between chains and anarchy. Chains need not be put upon those who will be restrained without them. This contest may end in the softer phrase of English superiority and American obedience.
We are told, that the subjection of Americans may tend to the diminution of our own liberties; an event, which none but very perspicacious politicians are able to foresee. If slavery be thus fatally contagious, how is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?
This is one of progressivism's oldest falsehoods, and its also one of the easiest to refute.
The 1619 Project said the following:
It’s not that they didn’t recognize slavery as an important part of American society, or were unaware of contemporaneous critique of the founding generation (like Samuel Johnson’s famous quip in 1775’s “Taxation No Tyranny” asking “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes?”), but that slavery was a parenthetical in their story of the founding.
Read Samuel Johnson. There does not appear to me to be any "contemporaneous critique" of the "Founding generation" - not on the issue of slavery in this framing. All we are left with is the usual: progressives are liars.
Now maybe, maybe, had Johnson just said 16 words and gone home for the day, perhaps this could be a critique on slave owners. But it's not. There's hundreds of words here. The topics Johnson are addressing are two fold: Fallout from the Stamp Act and the use of the word "slave" as a questionable fortelling of what would happen to the colonists should more Stamp Acts be passed, and questionable commentary from Englishmen on his side of the Atlantic. That's what Johnson is critiquing.
Parts of the larger work even appear to me to be an agreement from Johnson that force must be used to keep the colonies in line(Which to some extent is an ironic justification of the use of the word slavery on part of early American patriots) but nonetheless, we need to discuss Johnson. The NY Times is lying.
They'll keep getting mileage out of it until we start reading the original source.
I think this is something you and I could agree on. I’d like your opinion, moreso on Johnson’s original work.
Johnson was Tory who detested American colonists for daring to resist Hm’s government
I am perplexed by Johnson’s statement, “This contest may end in the softer phrase of English superiority and American obedience.”
The Americans considered themselves Englishmen. The American colonies were unlike any other in existence at the time as they were founded and populated with settlers from the Mother country. Whole villages, towns and cities were as English as any in England.
The Puritans who fled England for Boston were vindicated in part by Cromwell’s victory. Many actually returned. However, others stayed to continue their new lives in the prosperity of the New World as Englishmen. Cromwell’s victory did more, of course, then end persecution of the Puritan beliefs. It created that great pillar in English government that states Parliament is supreme, even over the Monarch.
When England, Scotland and then Ireland merged to form first Great Britain and then the United Kingdom, all got ridings (representation) in Parliament.
Had Parliament given the solidly English parts of America ridings, they would have been no independence movement.
Truly one of the biggest mistakes in history.
If you think he's wordy, try his biographer (James Boswell).
Life of Johnson is the biggest paperback in my library, over a thousand pages. :(
How does Boswell describe this quote: “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes”?
This is a long-ingrained falsehood, I suspect Boswell describes it the same way.
Didn’t realize this was as old as it was. Boswell lived during Johnson’s time and they were friends. As such, he doesn’t really describe the meaning of the phrase at all.
On page 174 he does talk about the phrase, but he makes the point that Johnson was opposed to slavery everywhere, so Boswell takes the phrase to be just as harsh against English slave plantations as any other.
Again, not looking good for The New York Times.
1619...America’s love affair with slavery started...LIES....We were British subjects until 1776 and then went to war for 8 years, because the Brits didn’t like our new constitution..
Annnd Africa was getting filthy stinking rich from selling their own people........
Kills the America loved slavery and is racist to it’s core narrative....
FWIW, while all of that is correct, that isn’t enough. This Johnson quote is a big pillar for them that they are very reliant on them. Kick that pillar out and a LOT is going to collapse.
If we want to go on the offensive, it’s go big or go home. We could rip something from them here that they’ve held for a very long time.
One of the big lines I always use is THERE WAS NO AMERICA UNTIL 1776......Then I have to explain ,because that’s not what everyone is being told...
Telling people America didn’t exist until 1776 at least gets the conversation started.... People are unaware of past history and the dems use it to their advantage....
It’s on pages 876-8 (out of some 1400) in my OUP paperback edition. Short answer, Boswell didn’t think ending the slave trade was a good idea. Thought it robbery of the slave traders!
He refers specifically to the quote about the drivers, found in Johnson’s “Taxation No Tyranny.”
Slavery in Boswell’s view was ordained by God and that’s that!
My copy of Life of Johnson was printed in the 80’s and has a tag of some $13, and you can probably get all the Boswell you’ll ever need at google books, free.
Speaking of Boswell, Chris Buckley wrote a very entertaining novel called The Judge Hunter. It’s worth the price tag :)
Well you can always call Johnson a hypocrite..He was a signer of the constitution and had slaves...
But what if I don’t think Johnson was a hypocrite?
Plus, the text of the work doesn’t support calling him a hypocrite. That would make us no better than the progressives wouldn’t it?
Johnson;s quote which the libs love is a good starting point...Oh so you libs don’t mind that he owned slaves????Most dems and libs don’t have a clue about past history...They would literally freeze and change the subject..You are quoting a man who had slaves....
From what I’ve read about Johnson he wasn’t exactly a saint around his slaves..When he was getting ready to sign the constitution ,he was trying to unload a troublesome slave on another signer....
To the 1619 idolaters I would only add that it took the America of the Declaration of Independence 89 years to be rid of the English Institution of Slavery.
Oh, I see what is happening. The Samuel Johnson who wrote this essay was an Englishman who never actually came to America to my knowledge.
My fault..2 different Samuel Johnson’s.. One ,an englishman who hated Americans( the one libs love to quote) and 2 an american who had slaves, but signed our new constitution...The Englishman thought the British subjects in America were hypocrites..
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