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Abstract

I will begin my critique by going directly to the source here, the famous Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787, and ask us to look somewhat carefully at the work of the "founders" there, in considering the ultimate integrity of the product they fashioned and the world they "created." That they gave us a classical liberal wonder, with tenets of that philosophy writ large in government for the very first time, is undeniable, though it will be submitted that they gave us "something else" as well. It is right for us then to explore that "something else," not abstractly, through ideas, but concretely - starkly and bloodily so - through the world captured so powerfully by self-educated, selfactualized and self-emancipated Frederick in his 1845 published memoirs, recalling experiences of his youth in that rights-reifying land remembered a decade or more thereafter. In this we will focus on one incident where two worlds collided violently on a non-descript Maryland farm - those of legally generated and maintained "master" and "slave" - and we will seek to test the weight of our conference's thesis in the struggle of these two men and these two worlds. We will be free to make appropriate following comments in conclusion.

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