Biblical Citizenship in Modern America, Week 2 Pt. 3 – The 1619 Project Debunked: When was America’s true founding? Did America create slavery? Has America really done more bad than good in the world? What are the differences between the legacies of Jamestown and Plymouth, and which legacy affected America the most? Why does it matter that we understand the truth being distorted by the 1619 Project? Basic history is not being taught to children in our public schools today. Tune in to discover the lost history that is vital to our times, as we continue with week 2 of Biblical Citizenship in Modern America!
Air Date: 03/02/2022
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live, where we are taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, constitutional, and historical perspective.
My name is Rick Green. I’m America’s Constitution coach and honored to be your host. I’m normally here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, and also Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. But today, we’re actually going to jump into a course called Biblical Citizenship in Modern America, which David and Tim and I and many others teach, and we’re going to air that for you here on WallBuilders Live.
And normally, that is an eight week course that you do in your living room or at your church. We have 15,000 Constitution coaches all over the country they’re hosting classes like this in their homes, at their churches, at the local library, and it’s creating these brush fires of liberty across the nation. It’s so exciting to see.
And we would love to see you do that you can host a class in your home or at your church. It’s all free. And you can find it at biblicalcitizens.com. Sign up there, start hosting a class this week. Don’t wait until next week or the week after the week. Don’t wait. We need this now. The country needs this now. There are people in your community that need this now, they’re looking for someone to raise the banner and they will gladly rally.
I’ll tell you what happens in these classes. We hear it all the time. People come to these classes, they watch the video and then they sit around and they talk about it. They sharpen each other’s countenance as iron sharpens iron.
They talk about how to apply it in their community. And over and over and over again, we hear people say I found hope. I realized I’m not the only one that cares about these things. I realized that the principles still work if we work them.
I realized there’s things I can do to make a difference. Wouldn’t you like to see that happen with your friends and family, with your colleagues, with people at your church? You can make it happen if you go to biblicalcitizens.com.
Alright, let’s jump right back in where we left off yesterday. The part of the course we’re sharing this week on WallBuilders Live is week two, it’s an eight-week course we’re sharing week two right here on WallBuilders Live. And it’s going to take us for programs to do that. So today’s actually part three. If you missed the first couple of days this week, you can get those on our website. So be sure and do that. But let’s just jump right back in where we left off yesterday with Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
1619 Project Lies
We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men were created equal; they were endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. And now to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men. Those were the founding ideals. And actually, the notion that there is a God and He gave rights to man and government’s main job is to protect our God-given rights, those ideals are true now, and they were true then.
But this notion that black Americans are the ones that fought to make them true, well, that would discount all of the abolitionists who were not black, that would discount all of the heroes throughout American history. Not only that weren’t black, many who weren’t even white men and women, but we don’t know those stories. But this is the accusation.
Another article says “American holds an undemocratic assumption from its founding that some people deserve more power than others”. Now, America’s founding, I would argue was 1776, when America actually separated from Great Britain and a combination, the premise of separating from the king was the king thought he had all the power in the people didn’t have power and there wasn’t a quality. And so the American said, we were against the notion that some people should have more power than others. This is the exact opposite of how we were founded.
Another article says “Slavery gave America a fear of black people, and a taste for violent punishment, both still define our prison system.” So, the notion that we are scared of black people in America, if you’re not black, you’re scared of black people, and that violence punishment defines our prison system, I’m not sure of the violent punishment that’s taking place in our prison system today. If it is, I would probably be opposed to it. But this is the notion that kids are learning. These are the articles that are being written. This is being taught in schools today.
Here’s another article, “The sugar that saturates the American diet has a barbaric history as the white gold that fueled slavery.” The purpose of the article is to identify that candy and candy bars was rooted in slavery and white supremacy. So if you eat candy bars, you might be a white supremacist. This is crazy. But these are the arguments being made today.
Another article, “Most Americans still don’t know the full story of slavery. This is the history you didn’t learn in school.” I will agree most Americans have no idea the full story of slavery. But this is not something that is actually being identified in the 1619 project, it’s going the wrong direction. And even advocate to the 1619 project, people like Democrat Senator Tim Kaine, he said that America actually created slavery, we didn’t inherit it from anybody. If you think America created slavery, you had the worst world history teacher in the history of school, because obviously there was slavery before America was a nation.
Study the Roman Empire, the Greek Empire and if you’re familiar with the Bible, I’m a Christian, I believe in Bible. I believe it is true. If you go to the book of Genesis, Joseph was the one who had dreams and his father made them this coat of many colors. Joseph’s brothers sold him into something.
Oh, yes, slavery. Moses delivered the Israelites from slavery. America didn’t create slavery. And yet, this is what kids are learning today. This is why we have an entire generation that thinks America has done more bad than we’ve done good because we don’t know basic history.
Well, you now even see in the NBA, here’s the article “In the NBA, the very term ‘owner’ has come under fire as players, most of whom are black assert self-determination.” There’s a group of players in the NBA who said the term owner offends them, because it implies they are owned, and that goes back to their roots of their ancestors being slaves. If you are a business owner, the assumption is not that you own your employees rather that you own the business and you hire people to work for you. But we now live in a culture that is so woke that we can’t even use the term of a business owner without it presumably offending somebody.
In the midst of all of this, the New York Times was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their great work in the 1619 project. And when this happened, there was a lot of promotion from the New York Times saying we want to make this a curriculum for all kinds of teachers. And actually, right now, this is being used in all 50 states in different schools in those states, and kids are learning these very lessons today.
Well, as this all unfolded, there was also a group of professors who came out and said, this is totally inaccurate. And so professors came out pointing out the historical inaccuracies of what was being said. Now, professors on the left and right side of the political spectrum who just know basic history pointed out how many fallacies were in these articles and inaccurate statements were being made and kids were learning things that simply weren’t true.
With that being said, you would think maybe the New York Times, the 1619 project would have some corrections and would change some of these articles. If you go to their website, there’s only one correction listed on their website. And it says “An earlier version of the introduction to this project referred incorrectly to Virginia in the year 1619 as a British colony; at the time, it was an English colony.” So the only correction they make is to clarify that actually, it wasn’t a British colony, an English colony. Well, there’s a lot of other inaccuracies being said.
And here’s the problem with this, is there is a lot of important history that’s been lost, including a lot of black history, a lot of black heroes that have been lost, and even a lot of terrible things that happened in American history. And Americans need to learn the whole story, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The problem is today what’s being said, not only is misrepresenting what is true, many things are just flat out lies and dishonest in the way they’re being presented.
And what’s also lost is the fact that in America, when we look back to Jamestown, and say well, the first group of slaves arrived in Jamestown in 1619, Jamestown was not the only major settlement in America. In fact, America largely could be reference back to Charles Dickens classic novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. Because America was largely defined by two major early cities, early colonies, and it was Jamestown. And the second major colony was Plymouth. Both of these colonies had a major impact in American history. And both had an incredible legacy they left, but both were very different legacies.
If you look at Jamestown, we probably are semi-familiar with some of the people from Jamestown, which was founded in 1607. And people like Captain John Smith, or the name Pocahontas, who’s one of the great heroes as we’ve studied history, well, those are names we would know from Jamestown, and certainly there were some great people in Jamestown.
But Jamestown definitely had some major problems as well. Jamestown went through a period known as a ‘Starving Time’ where they actually turned to cannibalism. They had some major issues in Jamestown. They didn’t always have great relations with the Native Americans and the Indians. And so there no doubt was issues with Jamestown. But that was just one of the early primary colonies.
The other colony was Plymouth. Plymouth was founded in 1620. And if you look at some of the story of Plymouth, we know some major names like Governor William Bradford, but also there’s major players to the story, people like Sommerset, who was an Indian that the Pilgrims met who actually spoke some English and he told them that there was another Indian who spoke even better English than he did and he wanted to interest in the Squanto and so he left and came back with Squanto. And they actually met the chief of the tribe, chief Massasoit.
In the midst of all of this, what they discovered was that the Wampanoag Indians were a very good Indian people, a very great tribe, they made a peace treaty with the Wampanoags, that was the longest lasting peace treaty between any whites and any natives in American history. The treaty lasted more than 50 years.
Hey, friends, quick interruption here, we’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live. We’re airing Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
A Moment from AMERICAN HISTORY
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Alexis de Tocqueville, a political official from France, traveled to the United States in 1831 and penned his observations in the now famous book “Democracy in America”. Being from France, what he found in America was completely unexpected to him.
He reported “Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. And the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this. In France, I’d almost always seen the spirit of religion in the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America, I found that they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.”
De Tocqueville recognized that it was biblical Christianity and the morals that produced that made America great. For more information about Alexia Tocqueville and the positive influence of Christianity in early America, go to wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Good to have you back with us. Thanks for staying with us. We’re going to jump right back into our special for this week called Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
Biblical Citizenship in Modern America
This is just part of the legacy of Plymouth that even today we don’t know much of the story of Plymouth and their relation with the Indians and how good it was in so many scenarios. But let me back you up the Jamestown because the argument is that America was really built as a slave nation. Well, Jamestown was founded in 1607. But in 1619, there was a shipload of slaves that arrived in America, approximately 20 slaves arrived on a British ship, and the British ship had just captured these slaves off of Portuguese trade ships.
When they came to Jamestown, they were sold to the people of Jamestown, but they actually were sold as indentured servants. In indentured servitude, you work for a period of several years, and generally about seven years, at the end of seven years, you would receive your freedom. All of those approximately 20 slaves not only received their freedom, they became free landowners, and some of them became very wealthy landowners in Jamestown. It wasn’t until 1651 that chattel slavery actually became legal in Virginia, or legal in the new world. And this is long after 1619.
But again, this is Jamestown, that’s one colony. There was a second colony, Plymouth. If you look at Plymouth, their history of slavery is very different. In fact, in Plymouth in 1641, they passed some early laws that actually forbid man stealing. And man stealing, they defined as capturing someone off of a continent, transporting them across the ocean to a new continent to sell them into slavery. This was specifically targeting the North Atlantic or the African slave trade that was going on at the time.
Now, in 1641, they did pass a law where they said that slavery was legal in two conditions, it was legal for punishment for a crime that you could be a slave for so many years, or it was legal if you were captured in justified warfare. And some people today want to say, well, the fact that they allowed slavery in any conditions is terrible. But remember, this is the 1600s. And if it’s a justified war, meaning it was a war where you were defending your property, defending your family, defending your people and nation, you didn’t start the war, but you were defending.
Well, if you conquered a people in the 1600s, there were only two options for a conquered people group after a war: you either killed them or you enslave them. And this wasn’t something unique for the pilgrims. This was the way the world operated for literally thousands of years. And so this was the Pilgrims being normal. But they did say it was against the law to man steal, to kidnap somebody off of continent to transport them to a new continent and sell them into slavery. Now that law matters.
In 1646, the first ship load of slaves arrived in Plymouth from Africa. But because man’s stealing was a crime in Plymouth, the people of Plymouth imprison the ship captain and the crew and they freed all of the slaves, and they actually charged the crew and the captain with the crime of man stealing. This is a big deal because you see the legacy of Plymouth is very different than the legacy of Jamestown. And this is what’s lost today.
Plymouth Vs. Jamestown
One of the cool things that was done in the late 1800s is a map showing the legacy from Plymouth and the legacy of Jamestown, and it shows the legacy of Jamestown promoted slavery in many of the southern states, southern colonies. But the legacy of Plymouth promoted freedom and work ethic and responsibility and biblical values over the majority of the nation. Why does this matter?
As the map even identifies, although Jamestown had a very significant legacy in America, the majority of America was not impacted from the legacy of Jamestown. The majority of America was impacted from the legacy of Plymouth and what it promoted throughout all of the nation. But today, we’re not learning about the positive things that Plymouth promoted or brought to the new world. what we’re learning about is the negative impact of Jamestown and even some of that is overstated or misstated know what’s being said. But this is where the 1619 project gets it so wrong.
One of the things that 1619 project also says is we need to be learning in America about some of the black heroes who have contributed along the way to the American story, and I totally agree. It’s just that the 1619 project has left out a lot of very important black heroes that they should be highlighting, people like the Reverend Harry Hoosier who was considered an evangelist in the second Great Awakening.
Now he was a slave early on in life. He got saved and decided he wanted to share the gospel message with others. He joined up with the Reverend Francis Asbury, who was one of the leaders in the Methodist denomination at the time, and they begin traveling together. Well, Reverend Harry Hoosier actually begin drawing larger crowds than the more famous Francis Asbury. And even Founding Fathers had heard Harry Hoosier speak, people like Benjamin Rush, who knew every major founding father. Benjamin Rush said, “Considering that Harry Hoosier never had a formal education, he was the best speaker he ever heard.”
Well, Harry Hoosier because he had grown up on really kind of a slave plantation, and he was a skilled laborer kind of guy. He was a blue collar worker, so he felt that he would be best reaching people who really word that the outdoors people, the working with your hands kind of people. And so he began evangelizing and witnessing to people who were very rough people. And when they would get saved, they would have dramatic conversions, their lives will be totally changed. And they begin to be known by the name Hoosier when they would convert to Christianity, because people would see, hey, you’re different than you used to be. What’s different about you? Oh, you’re one of those Hoosiers now, you got saved under Harry Hoosiers. And this was kind of the thought that happened.
Now, a lot of these guys that were getting saved and having conversions under the work of Harry Hoosiers begin moving from where he was out to the Indiana territory. Now, Indiana became known as the Hoosier State. Actually, the state of Indiana, this is their mascot for even one of their universities. Well, where did they get the name Hoosiers? You can go back to the Reverend Harry Hoosiers from the Second Great Awakening.
This is what’s very interesting about this is if we’re going to talk about black heroes who had a major impact on America, he’s a guy certainly who should be included. And yet most people have never heard the story of Harry Hoosier. But if we go to something like the American Revolution, which is where I would argue this is when America became a nation, if you look at the American Revolution, things like in April 1775, this is when guys like Paul Revere came to notoriety, because Paul Revere makes this famous midnight ride.
If you’re a student of history, you know as the British are marching through the colonies, there were many people who may famous rights to warn other Americans, the British were coming. One of the guys who made a very famous midnight ride, or at least one of those kinds of rights was this man down here. His name was Wentworth Cheswell. Wentworth Cheswell was actually an elected politician, elected to multiple positions. But he was a guy who made a famous midnight ride or a famous ride, it might not had started at midnight, but it was through the night to warn Americans that the British were coming.
But he was elected to office as a young man up in the New England states. And not only was he elected to office, we own some of his documents from what he did. And he served for nearly 49 years being elected by a primarily white community to serve in a variety of positions. And this, again, is contradictory to some of the narrative we hear today that well, the white people really oppressed the black people and the black people didn’t have freedom. And certainly, there were many occasions when that did happen. But that’s not the entire story.
There are numerous examples of early black officials or black politicians being elected in different capacities. And Wentworth Cheswell was one of those guys making the famous ride warning Americans the British were coming. In the midst of that, let’s back up the Paul Revere.
When Paul Revere was making his famous midnight ride, he’s riding specifically looking for John Hancock and Sam Adams. The reason was he wanted to warn them about the British coming because these were major leaders in the early revolution period. Well, Paul Revere rode to the home of the Reverend Jonas Clark, who was a friend of both of these guys, and he was a cousin to John Hancock. When Paul Revere arrives, both of those guys were there, he warned them that the British were coming, and the next morning the British arrived. And this is where Lexington Green who had the shot heard around the world.
Alright, friends, one more break, stay with us. You’re listening to Wallbuilders Live.
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Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. We’ve got the conclusion of our four part series this week. Let’s jump right back into Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
The Shot Heard Round the World
And this is where Lexington Green who had the shot heard round the world, approximately 70 Americans took on more than 700 British throughout the skirmish. At the end there were 18 Americans who were dead or wounded. Among those Americans were John Roberts and Prince Estabrook, a black and white men both recorded to have been there and both of them who attended the Church of the Reverend Jonas Clark. So, black and white man fighting together in the cause of freedom and the cause of the Revolution.
And this is something that Prince Estabrook used to be a very well-known person from the Battle of Lexington. Even today if you go visit Lexington, there is a little monument honoring Prince Estabrook there. Well, this is as the Revolution kicks off. As the revolution continues, you have major battles. Like in June 1775, you have the Battle of Bunker Hill. And this is a painting done depicting the Battle of Bunker Hill. And over here on the right, there is a black patriot. This is Peter Salem standing behind a white guy, Thomas Grosvenor, and Peter Salem actually was the hero of the battle.
Over the decades, following the Battle of Bunker Hill, there were many paintings, many different depictions of Peter Salem that were done highlighting the fact that he was the hero that happened. And the reason he was the hero is because as you see in this picture, the British officer who was leading the charge, and if you remember the story of Bunker Hill or Brits Hill, the British charge and were repelled the first time. They charged second time and the Americans the second time repelled them, and the British were taking heavy casualties.
The third time they charge, the Americans ran out of ammunition. So now the British were going to be able to come and take them and conquer them and maybe kill them all. Well, the officer leading the charge was Major Pitcairn. And as he was leading the charge, Peter Salem had a shot left. He shot the British officer leading the charge, it allowed the Americans time to escape. After they escaped, many of the American officers who were there said that man should be promoted for his bravery on the battlefield, his courage, he saved all our lives. He received over a dozen commendations for his bravery on the battlefield. And he wasn’t the only man who was honored on the battlefield that day.
Salem Poor was also there and was also recognized as being a great warrior on the battlefield. And this is still early in the revolution. As the revolution continues, if you go to December 1776 when George Washington crosses the Delaware, the Battle of trends about to unfold the famous painting done of Washington crossing the Delaware, in the front of the boat, Prince Whipple, this black man was depicted being with Washington, which historically we know he was with Washington, when Washington crosses the Delaware. And we know he wasn’t the only black Patriot there because there’s record that Oliver Cromwell a black Patriot was there also.
Marquis de Lafayette
Now still 1776, we’re early on in the revolution, as you continue on, this is just one of many, many examples. Again, there are so many examples we can point to. Let me give you my last example relatively speaking, but it’s probably my favorite example. In 1781, this is where the revolution is coming to a close, although the Americans don’t really know that yet. Marquis de Lafayette was a French major general. And when he came to America as a 19 year old young man, he teamed up with George Washington and he’s helping the Americans fight for freedom.
Washington assigned Marquis de Lafayette to track the movement of many of the British officers because we were trying to capture officers and really know where their troops are going. And so for Lafayette to do this, he set up his own spy ring. And one of the things he did in the spy ring was he would take many of the black patriots and he would tell them pretend to be escaped slaves, go seek refuge in the British camp, and then just try to gather whatever intelligence you can, come back and let me know. I’ll tell Washington.
Well, one of the guys who joined him in 1781 was James Armistead. James Armistead was from Richmond, Virginia. And when Richmond was conquered, James decide he wants to sign up and he wants to help fight for American independence. At the time he was a slave. But in Virginia, the law said that if you fought for a year, you could have your freedom. And so maybe he’s thinking hey, I’ll fight for freedom for America, but also I’ll get my freedom. Either way he signs up. Well, Lafayette asks him to go and work as a spy.
Biblical Citizenship in Modern America, Week 2 Pt. 3 – The 1619 Project Debunked
So James Armistead goes into the British camp pretending to be a spy. Well, it just so happens that if you remember the famous American general turned American trader, Benedict Arnold was the famous American trader who became the British general who had actually conquered Richmond, which is the reason James Armistead wanted to get involved in the first place. When James Armstead was sent by Lafayette to go serve in a British camp, it happened to be the camp of Benedict Arnold. So when James is serving in camp, he does such a good job serving that the officers saw him serving and said you know, a guy like that should probably serve the officers because he’s too good to serve the common man.
So James begins serving in the officer tent and learning the officer’s plans. Actually, he gets reassigned and begin serving under Cornwallis who is the commander of all the British forces. James is the guy who learned that Lord Cornwallis was going to be moving a large section of troops and going to Yorktown. Actually, James Armistead gets Lafayette the information. Lafayette writes a letter to Washington, where he says I have a spy in the camp who’s just given me information that Lord Cornwallis is going in and moving his troops in. And this might be the time we’ve been waiting for to capture and conquer him, and maybe in the war. Well, this is exactly what happened.
The Americans were able to surround Yorktown and this is a painting depicting the surrender of Cornwallis James Armistead is a guy largely credited with the intelligence that led to the capturing of Cornwallis, who’s the commander of all the British forces. And this major victory arguably led to an end of the American Revolution. Now why does this matter? Because James Armistead is credited with the intelligence that led to this victory. So this victory, the last major battle that’s considered to have won the revolution would not have happened had it not been for a black patriot who was a spy in the revolution.
Alright, friends, we’re out of time for today. You’ve been listening to Biblical Citizenship in Modern America here on WallBuilders Live. And it’s available at our website biblicalcitizens.com. You can host it for free. We encourage you to get signed up and start hosting classes in your home or at your church. Check it out today at biblicalcitizens.com. Tomorrow, we’ll get the conclusion of the four part series we’ve been listening to this week. Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders Live.