Paper on Thomas Dew, Edmund Ruffin, and George Fitzhugh Proslavery Writings

Dew, Ruffin and Fitzhugh writings have drawn attention from the world because of the texts that support slavery which has been viewed as an act of human rights violation by various human rights institutions and the society.

Thomas Dew justifies slavery by pointing out that slavery could not be a sin because it was an established institution that God never rebuked. He also states that Jesus never spoke against slavery; hence it was viewed as an ordinary act. Edmund Ruffin justifies slavery by his assertion that African Americans had inherited conditions from their forefathers and thus could work in harsh conditions as compared to the whites. Ruffin also emphasizes that if the blacks were set free, they would fall under their destruction. On the other hand, Fitzhugh argues that the black race was supposed to be treated as a grown-up child who must be governed and the whites were supposed to act as the de facto parents.

There are a lot of stereotypes seen in the writings of the authors. Most of the arguments by these authors are based on stereotypes about African Americans. Ruffin states that African American were not supposed to be left on their own and they were to be watched every time. Fitzhugh also supports the idea that African Americans were children and he abusively says “ the negro race is inferior to the white race” (Miller 97).  Fitzhugh also points out that African Americans were beasts who killed their wives and were supposed to be monitored closely.

The pro-slavery argument that surprised me most is the one stated by Thomas Dew that Christianity advocates for slavery or rather, the religion does not rebuke slavery. The supportive texts from the Bible that the author uses could be used by slaveholders to defend themselves. Nevertheless, from the ethical point of view, considering the suffering that African Americans experienced, it would be good to have a second thought on the same. Furthermore, the interpretation of texts from the Bible can be misleading unless done by a Bible scholar. However, in modern society, slavery has no place to fit because of the adverse outcomes of the acts of slavery.



Works Cited

Miller, James. The Complete History of American Slavery. San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press,               2013. Print.