(Image: George Washington)
edwardrushton.org.uk celebrates the life of the Liverpool poet who, at the age of 19, was blinded helping slaves. Founder of the School for the Blind, Rushton’s world was one of press gangs, revolution and oppression.
One of the first people to look afresh at Edward Rushton’s life was the late Bill Hunter. Bill wrote Forgotten Hero in 2002, and you can listen to a recording of it on the website, in instalments.
This week is Track 9. American Independence, Washington and Slavery. In 1782, Rushton had his first poem published – “The Dismember’d Empire” – on American Independence, which he supported. In July 1796 he wrote to Washington about his keeping of slaves:
“Shame! Shame! That man should be deemed the property of man; or that the name of Washington should be found among the list of such proprietors.”