Friday, February 4, 2011

George Washington

George Washington in bucolic scene with chattel etc.
7 Degrees

Seventh Degree: George Washington freed his slaves upon his death as part of a pact with the Marquis de Lafayette.
Oney Judge, a slave on Washington's Mount Vernon Plantation, was not owned by George, but by his wife, Martha.  She kept most of her slaves and bequeethed Oney Judge to her granddaughter, Eliza Custis.  Oney was not excited about the prospect of being owned by yet another person (and perhaps Ms Custis wasn't a nice lady either.)  Oney Judge escaped!
Full story and interview here.

Sixth Degree: John Langdon
Oney made her way to New Hampshire where she was given sanctuary by Senator John Langdon (future Governor of New Hampshire).  Mr. Langdon was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787.   click here for a full list of delegates.  

Fifth Degree: Gabriel Duvall of Maryland (Named because it was the colony for Papists, those devoted to "Mary", it was their "land") was also a delegate to that convention.  After the United States of America was created, Mr. Duvall became Justice Duvall.  He served in the US Supreme Court for over 20 years with Chief Justice John Marshall .

Fourth Degree: John  Marshall
Just a few branches down the family tree of John Marshall, we come to
Third Degree: General George Marshall (of The Marshall Plan fame).

Second Degree: FDR
George Marshall served under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  For The History Channel's history of George Marshall, click here.  "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," The Marshall Plan embodies this phrase and is something that Americans are proud of.  Like all people, George Marshall was flawed, but he was great.

First Degree: Pope Pius XII
FDR wrote many letters to Pope Pius XII.  Myron Taylor, ambassedor to the Vatican, presented the letter to Pius XII in person.

A Word About Pius XII
Hated by Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin, Pope Pius XII stood up for the faith and was hailed as a brave hero by Jews and Christians alike.  Communist propaganda painted him as an enemy and and anti-Semite in the 1950s and 1960s.  This image persists today. Go to one of the Holocaust museums around the world, read newspaper stories and encyclicals from the wartime, read the recent NY Daily News story defending the Pius XII.  Don't believe the hype!  Go to the source.

In December 2008 there was a symposium on the papacy of Pius XII.  This symposium was part of an ongoing effort by The Vatican and Jewish leaders to maintain healthy and truthful interfaith dialogue.  Click on the name of a participant to see their video of reaction to the symposium.

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