The Tennessee Tea Party and Slavery in Textbooks: An Example of Lazy Journalism

As a local Nashville paper pointed out, the HuffPo article on the Tennessee Tea party’s criticism of the discussion of slavery in school textbooks is a year old. I even wrote about it last January.

The idea that textbooks shouldn’t discuss historical reality remains absurd, but I don’t understand why HuffPo and other news outlets only now uncovered this “news.”

UPDATE (1-26-12): Now, HuffPo is writing about two of John Tyler’s grandsons who are still alive. That sounds familiar . . . wonder who wrote about them over a year ago? Get out of my head, HuffPo!

ANOTHER UPDATE (1-27-12): Mental Floss has tweeted a link to a New York Magazine interview with Harrison Ruffin Tyler. By the way, Mental Floss was the source of the HuffPo article.

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2 Replies to “The Tennessee Tea Party and Slavery in Textbooks: An Example of Lazy Journalism”

  1. What is your view of the birthplace of Andrew Jackson? Where do you believe he was born. Yes, this is a gotcha question, as Sarah Palin would say. Follow up question, who are the ancestors of Andrew Jackson’s father and mother? Was his mother related in any way to the Governor of Massachusetts during the real Boston tea dump?

    1. Jackson always said he was born in South Carolina, and I’ve found no reason to disagree. There’s been extensive discussion of this issue by historians and others because of the location of the Waxhaws district along the NC-SC border and Jackson relatives who lived in both states. See A.S. Salley, “On the Birthplace of Andrew Jackson,” in Cyrus T. Brady, The True Andrew Jackson (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1906) and Elmer Don Herd, Jr., Andrew Jackson, South Carolinian: A Study of the Enigma of His Birth (Columbia, S.C.: Lancaster County Historical Commission, 1963) for extensive analysis of the question.

      Jackson’s ancestry is also murky. I’ve never heard of a Massachusetts connection. Elizabeth Jackson (his mother) had several sisters who moved to the Carolinas; that’s the only familial connection of which I am aware. For more on Jackson’s ancestry, you can read the first volume in Robert Remini’s three-volume biography of Jackson or Hendrik Booraem’s Young Hickory.

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