Wanted: Historians to Advise Emory President

How is it possible that the president of Emory University pointed to the 3/5ths Compromise as an example of political compromise and good governance? President James W. Wagner made that claim in the winter edition of Emory Magazine. Many faculty formally protested the claim and the president’s weak apology. Clearly a constitutional “compromise” that indirectly recognized slavery, denied rights of citizenship, and was a major factor leading to a civil war that divided the nation and led to the death and suffering of many Americans is not a symbol of compromise and good governance. Too bad Emory’s president and the magazine’s editors didn’t take more American history courses.

Even Wikipedia has a more complex interpretation of the 3/5ths Compromise than President Wagner.

The president’s “apology”is available at

For subscribers, today’s Chronicle of Higher Education includes the Emory controversy.

Busted by history.

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