Two weeks ago, we ran a letter from Samuel Cabot III of Beverly Farms canceling his support of the Trustees after the organization announced its plans to change the name of Agassiz Rock in Manchester. Last week, Sheila Hill responded with a Letter to the Editor. Mr. Cabot has responded to Ms. Hill, copying our Letters section, and Ms. Hill's letter back can be found here.
In just one week I have been surprised by the number of comments, letters, emails, phone calls and messages that I have received all in support of my letter on Agassiz Rock and political correctness. I was, however, personally dismayed that you possibly could think that my position on this subject could have anything to do with Louis Agassiz’ second wife, Elizabeth Cabot Cary.
As you know Louis Agassiz was born over 200 years ago in 1807 in Switzerland. He spent his first 40 years studying and practicing in Europe before he emigrated to the US. In Europe during his time there was very little contact or understanding of the negroes. In fact, the English solution to racial issues was to promote the “white man’s burden”. In those years the views of race were totally different than they are today. While Agassiz may have held some views on race that are different than today’s views he was not out of step with his times and should not be castigated by today’s promoters of political correctness. Today, too many people are working hard to take down the heroes of the past and ignoring their contributions to civilization and human advancement.
It was very disappointing to have the Trustees of Reservations join the political correctors. The Trustees should confine their activities to doing what they do best and that is preserving the precious pieces of Massachusetts real estate. For them to get involved in politics or setting political correctness is only going to alienate many of their supporters. I have withdrawn my support of the Trustees as I believe that one should put their money where their mouth is. I urge others to do the same as there are too many people who are quick to complain and slow to act.
Sheila, to add some humor to this exchange I encourage you to view a short video by Bill Maher of HBO on political correctness and where it can get carried to. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEw5xe4Ip0I
Samuel Cabot III