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Underground Railroad Research Forum

Re: Piatt of Ohio
In Response To: Re: Piatt of Ohio ()

Mr. Monment's reference to "so-called [sic] experts" and "flawed research" (whose flaws he does not mention) suggests to the thinking person a level of desperation that makes his entire argument doubtful. However, on the off chance someone might be swayed by such ad hominems, his lack not only of fundamental logic, but of practical information needs to be pointed out.

First, rather than demonstrate that the Piatts in question not only did indeed "have a change of heart" but did indeed operate an UGRR station despite their documented, aggressive pursuit of their extended family's own fugitives, he chooses to raise the spectre of Thomas Jefferson - who, while ambivalent about slavery, had no "change of heart" that to my knowledge resulted even in manumission of his own slaves.

Then Mr. Monement wildly imagines that perhaps the Piatts had an iron "Sambo statue" [sic] "before they were mass produced" - demonstrating not only his wish to "believe" (his words) this story at any cost, but but his ignorance of foundry work.

Cast iron figures were produced in quantities, not as one-offs. An original is made out of wood; it is pressed into a box of damp sand to form a mold, into which the molten metal was then poured. Especially for objects whose purpose is primarily functional, the cost of producing a single cast iron item by this process is so great as to be prohibitive. I challenge Mr. Monement to provide evidence foundries were in the habit of doing this.

Readers are thus faced with a choice: careful, documented research on the one hand, or Mr. Monement's demand that they (a) accept vague ad hominems as a substitute for evidence; (b) believe a story first known to have been told by the family in question when UGRR "hidey-hole" stories were multiplying like rabbits; (c) ignore the Piatts' documented history of slave pursuit; and (d) accept his having turned the history of iron foundry work on its head as well.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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