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Article by Pompey on President Jefferson in the Greenfield Gazette reprinted from the Massachusetts Spy newspaper
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Although this piece appears to have been written by an African American, it was much more likely anonymously composed by a white Federalist, complete with a stereotyped version of African American speech. In 1801 when this piece appeared in the Greenfield Gazette and Isaiah Thomas's Massachusetts Spy, the Federalists feared that President Thomas Jefferson wanted to level society to the point where African Americans would be on an equal par with whites in all ways. They remembered Jefferson's, in their minds, overly enthusiastic support of the French during their revolution. Although Federalists may have agreed that Blacks deserved more freedoms, they believed that Jefferson supported a complete leveling of society that went well beyond what they saw as reasonable. These attitudes are revealed in this satire. The fact that this creator chose an African American voice through which to speak is a telling indicator of white northern perceptions of African Americans in this period.
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