In an attempt at fact checking First Lady Michelle Obama, conservative political commentator Bill O’Reilly said on Tuesday (July 26) the slaves who built the White House were treated well, and didn’t endure the harsh conditions of most slaves.
“Slaves that worked there were well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802,” O’Reilly said.
During Michelle Obama’s powerful DNC speech, Obama said “I wake up every morning in a house built by slaves.” The comment, which ruffled a few feathers, caused the Fox news commentator to respond. O’Reilly continued with his history lesson by stating the White House was a all-hands-on deck project by not just blacks, but whites as well.
“In addition, free blacks, whites, and immigrants also worked on the massive building. There were no illegal immigrants at that time. If you could make it here, you could stay here.”
According to White House Historical Association’s website, the plan was to initially recruit labor from Europe, instead slaves–both free and enslaved began building the house in 1792.