very few people ever mention that a significant number of early U.S. presidents purchased and kept African slaves. The first and third presidents, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, have a holiday created in their honor, and are hardly tainted by the brutal legacy of enslavement, in which they both participated.
In fact, 63 percent of U.S. presidents owned slaves before it was abolished in 1865.
12- The number of presidents who owned slaves: Lopresti found evidence that a total of 12 U.S. presidents bought slaves or acquired them through inheritance. They include Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses Grant.
8- The number of presidents who owned slaves while they served as president: This number is a little more interesting. Lopresti writes that some presidents owned slaves to keep up their plantations while in office. They include Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Tyler, Polk, and Grant.
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