If, as the latest craze has it, we remove statues of Jefferson and Washington because they were slave owners, surely Greenwich will want to remove all memories of a local slave owner's house.
For now. our local virtue-signalers are content to let the building stand, as a means of teaching school children that Greenwich was, "as racist as the south", but their sentiments change as quickly as Facebook tweets, so it's entirely likely that they'll be demanding the museum's razing within the year. After all, the NFL owners were denouncing the antics of Colin Kaepernick and his friends as recently as last December, and until July of this year, statues of Confederate generals were considered acceptable, and until August, schools named after Alexander Hamilton, one of the most prominent of tis country's founders, were still within the pale.
If you're looking for ways to cut your charitable contributions, you need look no farther than the Greenwich Historical Society:
Debra Mecky, executive director of the Greenwich Historical Society, said it is important to tell the history of slavery in the North, and not portray the region solely as the home of abolitionism.
“If we tear down the places where slavery existed in the North, we continue the myth that the North was not complicit in slavery,” she said.
Few structures in Greenwich bear witness to this fact as lucidly as the Bush-Holley House.
As of today, [but as I suggest, check back in in November] Mecky advocates keeping the house as a teaching tool, so that school children will understand that America was founded on racism; check in in November and see if she hasn't changed her position.
According to the 1790 census, David Bush — one-time owner of the home — had eight slaves, the most at any household in town at the time. As the Greenwich Historical Society has learned more about the museum that sits alongside its headquarters, it has made a concerted effort to recognize the complexity of the former residents’ legacy.
Reconstructed from census records, inventories, manumission documents, the tax list, northern slave narratives, northern probate records and other resources, the slave quarters at the Bush-Holley House contrast with the rest of the family’s colonial rooms, which were boastfully opulent in their time and still seem ornate now. On tours, docents cover the light that flows into a cramped attic space so it is bathed in pitch black, even as the sun shines outside. That is how curators believe the Bush’s slaves lived in the 18th century: in windowless darkness, with only a few blankets to save them from winter’s bite.
Age qualifies almost every item, but something else sticks out even more: According to documents from the Greenwich Historical Society, “the lintry chamber is the only room on the inventory that lists blankets and coverlets without also including a bedstead.”
The small, wooden nook is a far cry from a boudoir next door that is equipped with a fireplace and a large bed. On a recent tour, a docent mentioned that the mistress of the household, Sarah Bush, would lock all her furniture inside the room so that nearby slaves couldn’t steal.
In 1784, Connecticut introduced its first abolition legislation, which demanded that slave children born after Mar. 1 of that year be freed when they turned 25 years old, as long as they could care for themselves. A new law in 1797 changed the age requirement for freedom to 21 years old, and according to author Jeffrey Bingham Mead, abolitionism gained momentum early on in Greenwich.
When Fanny Bush manumitted Candis, who had been passed down to her in her father David’s will, she freed the last slave in Greenwich. The year was 1825, and Candis was much older than 21.
Though 1825 was late, by 1800, there were still more than 1,000 slaves in Connecticut, according to Peter P. Hinks, author of “All Men Free and Brethren.” The state did not fully abolish slavery until 1848 — far later than neighboring Massachusetts, which had forbidden the practice by 1783.
Teresa Vega, whose black ancestors owned property in Greenwich one generation after being freed from slavery, argued that it’s a big part of northern history, and one that still has ramifications today.
“To insinuate that somehow people in the North are less racist or less biased, it’s cocokamamy,” Vega said.
Every year, Greenwich students circle through the Bush-Holley House on tours to learn about colonialism, as well as the art colony that thrived in the home a century later. For a few of the kids, the notion of slavery is a new one.
“Some of our youngest visitors may not have heard the word before,” said Mecky.
“Our mission is to tell the whole story of Greenwich’s past, and slavery is a part of that story,” she continued. “The house is a strong vehicle to illustrate Connecticut’s complicity in slavery.”
I'm not advocating the erasure of history, and private non-profits which adhere to the law and don't engage in political activities should be free to conduct themselves as they please, but emphasizing slavery in their showcase house to elementary school children visiting during school hours is straight from the Howard Zinn system of indoctrination. Zinn, a communist whose text book is now used in high school history classes throughout the country, teaches that America's history is nothing more than a continuing series of exploitation and abuse of, in order, Indians, women and blacks, and late-arriving immigrants like the Irish, Poles, Germans and Jews, that the "melting pot" is a myth (despite all evidence to the contrary), and that our involvement in all wars, including World War II, were simply examples of American aggression. Every modern teacher parrots Zinn, and they've been preaching this line since at least 1980. In fact, the movement to denounce America dates back to at least 1965 — I was there.
My suggestion is to cut off all funding to the Greenwich Historical Society, and let their flagship propaganda machine and, if we're lucky, the entire organization rot into oblivion.