I think we tend to forgive more ancient rulers since ancient times were full of warfare and bloodshed. Enlightened figures in the French Revolution era are presumed to have known better. They didn't. Sex with a slave was uncommon at that time for high officials. John Adams was very much against slavery, Washington wasn't--but no other founding father I know had sex with a slave. Hamilton was embroiled in a sex scandal, but not with a slave (and to his credit he admitted it publicly in the Reynolds pamphlets). I think advocating castration for homosexuals even in that time is rather....harsh. There were known homosexuals at the time, and even if approval of them was likely low, no high official but Jefferson (if I recall) was advocating their castration. Of course, all the founding fathers were flawed. John Adams, while morally superior in many ways to the other founding fathers, also succumbed to bitter factionalism within his own party (his clashes with Hamilton were legendary, and tore apart their party). Washington was known as the Town Destroyer by Native Americans due to his having torched many of their villages. I think Lincoln is the least flawed of the early presidents. While not perfect, I note for example that his execution of Native Americans was also tempered by the fact he spared the majority of the Native Americans that went around murdering people. See http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/lincoln-and-the-sioux/?_r=0 for the context. Like many presidents before him, Lincoln continued to see Native Americans as wards of the U.S. government, but didn't do much for them in the way of rights. Having said that, he was still a leap forward from other presidents of his era.