Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush

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Title: Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush
Author: Clymer, George, 1739-1813
Description: In a letter written from New York, dated June 18, 1789, to Dr. Benjamin Rush, George Clymer, a signer of the Declaration of Independence from Pennsylvania, reveals the extent to which American political leaders viewed government and its taxing authority not merely as an tool for furthering political interests, but also as an instrument of soulcraft--a means of moral betterment and character formation. To prevent the nation's republican experiment from unraveling into anarchy, many Americans were convinced that it was necessary to instill within citizens the kind of character, virtue, and moral ideals essential for self-government. Since rum and mollasses were produced by slave labor on West Indian plantations, a tax on alcohol stood out as an antislavery measure.
Permanent Link: http://hdl.handle.net/2374.OX/62414
Date: June 18, 1789

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