Washington Wrong; Lafayette RIght
Washington and the Frenchman Lafayette loved each other. They developed almost a father/son relationship, but strongly disagreed on the issue of slavery.
It grieves me to read of how Washington dealt with slaves at the end of the Revolutionary War. He made sure as many slaves as possible that had been freed by the British were returned to their bondage. We're talking thousands of African Americans.
After the War, Lafayette asked Washington to enter a joint venture in which they would start a plantation that would be successfully operated by the labor of freed former slaves. The Frenchman believed this would be a good example for others, and could lead to the freeing of slaves in America. Washington refused the offer.
Lafayette was heartbroken. He later wrote, "I would never have drawn my sword in the cause of America, if I could have conceived that thereby I was founding a land of slavery."