Part 1: 1450-1750
Part 2: 1750-1805
Part 3: 1791-1831
<---Part 4: 1831-1865

Narrative | Resource Bank | Teacher's Guide

Historical Document
George Fitzhugh advocates slavery

Resource Bank Contents

Click here for the text of this historical document.

In the antebellum period, pro-slavery forces moved from defending slavery as a necessary evil to expounding it as a positive good. Some insisted that African Americans were child-like people in need of protection, and that slavery provided a civilizing influence. Others argued that black people were biologically inferior to white people and were incapable of assimilating in free society. Still others claimed that slaves were necessary to maintain the progress of white society.

George Fitzhugh was a Virginia lawyer and the author of two books and numerous articles advocating slavery. Says Fitzhugh, "... the negro race is inferior to the white race, and living in their midst, they would be far outstripped or outwitted in the chaos of free competition." This is only one of many arguments which he presents in this piece.

previous | next

Related Entries:
James Henry Hammond advocates slavery

Part 4: Narrative | Resource Bank Contents | Teacher's Guide

Africans in America: Home | Resource Bank Index | Search | Shop

WGBH | PBS Online | ©