Echoes of Reconstruction: Confederate Jubal Early Explains the Cause of the Civil War (part two)

Jubal Early later in life.

Emerging Civil War is pleased to welcome back Patrick Young, author of The Reconstruction Era blog. This is the second in a two-part series looking at the ways Jubal Early’s book The Heritage of the South tried to “explain” the causes of the Civil War. The book was written during Early’s postwar self-exile but not published until after his death.

———-

As with many Confederate partisans, Early said that the effort by Northerners to exclude slavery from the territories made it more difficult to end slavery. He never says how it would have ended slavery if its reach had been expanded. He also argued that efforts to confine slavery to the South were  “as injurious to the slaves themselves as to the white population of the states.” As with many other Confederates, Early equated anti-slavery activists with those who a century and a half earlier had resorted to the “hanging, burning and scourging of ‘heretics and witches.’” [p. 78]

The growth of the Underground Railroad was another Northern crime against the South leading to the Civil War. Early writes that:

“for many years slaves had been enticed by agents from the North to make their escape and aid had been furnished them while doing so, under a system which obtained the designation of “The underground railroad.” This was not confined to citizens merely but was participated in by state officers who were sworn to support the Constitution of the United States, and instead of compelling their citizens and officers to comply with the Constitution and law, many of the free states passed laws to make it a felony for the owner to arrest his slave or for any one to assist him.” [p. 81-82]

Rhetorical violence soon became deadly violence in Kansas, incited, Jubal Early declares, by Abolitionists on the pulpits of New England churches:

“The Puritan ministers of New England, successors of the Cotton-Mathers of religious persecution and witches-killing notoriety, abandoned the gospel of peace for dissertations upon the merits of Sharp’s rifles, and under their auspices a considerable number of armed emigrants were sent to Kansas. In consequence of this movement some hot heads from the South imprudently went to Kansas for the purpose of disputing the settlement of that territory with the emissaries of the New England parsons.” [p. 83]

Out of the agitation against slavery in Kansas, a new party was born. The Republicans ran their first candidate in 1856, John C. Fremont. “He was beaten,” Early writes,  “but his vote showed the existence of a formidable sectional party, in all of the free states, based on a solitary idea.” [p. 84] The next step was the plot to capture Harpers Ferry by John Brown. Brown’s mission was “raising a rebellion among the slaves and freeing them,” writes Early. [p. 85]  Brown’s “plan of operations contemplated a servile insurrection in all of the Southern states with all of the horrors of blood and rapine, and his acts amounted to treason, not only against the state of Virginia, but against the United States; yet there was reason to suspect that some of the leaders of the Republican or free-soil party, were cognizant of his designs if they did not secretly favor them.” [p. 86]

Early offers a Bill of Particulars against the North as it was in the years immediately as the causes of the war:

“the failure of the Northern states to comply with their plighted faith in regard to the restoration of fugitive slaves—to their interference with the institutions of those states, the persistent libels upon the Southern people, the encouragement given to the slaves to revolt by incendiary publications, the attitude of hostility assumed by a great number of the Northern representatives to the South on every occasion in which anything had been proposed or done in regard to slavery, and to the rapid growth of the party now coming into the ascendency on the ground of enmity to the South and her institutions…” [pp. 86-87]

The North, according to Early, moved after Brown’s raid to support “The Republican free-soil or abolition party.” [p. 89] Lincoln’s victory in the 1860 election meant that; “if the party electing him continued in possession of the government for any length of time, there would inevitably follow a subversion of the rights of the states and a consolidation of all power in the Federal government under the control of a sectional majority, not a majority of the whole.” [p. 92] Accordingly, South Carolina seceded and soon other “Cotton States,” as Early called them, did as well and they met to set up the Confederacy.

The next chapter of the book looks at events in what Early calls “The Border Slave States.” [p. 94] These states, including Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee, had not joined the first call for secession. In fact, Early was a delegate to Virginia’s secession convention and he voted against leaving the Union. Virginia was resistant to secession until Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 troops after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter.

While Early clearly believed that the conjoined issues of slavery and abolition were the causes of the secession crisis after the election of Lincoln, he focuses his discussion of the start of actual armed conflict on the decision to fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in April of 1861. Early makes a personal admission:

“I must confess that, at the time, I deeply deplored and condemned the attack on Fort Sumter, on the score of policy, because I regarded the threat of the Washington Government as designed to provoke a commencement of the conflict by the firing of the first shot, and not intended really to be carried into effect.” [p. 110]

After the war ended with 700,000 dead, Early’s mind was changed and he wrote that; “There can be no question of the right of the Confederate Government to force a surrender of the fort, which had been refused, and that it was fully warranted in pursuing the course it did.”  [p. 110] In fact, he wrote, the Confederacy had not even begun the shooting war, “war had already been resolved upon, and the firing of the first gun on Fort Sumter was not its commencement. The war was begun by the attempt to hold the forts in the Confederate harbors.” [p. 110]

In his final pages, Early says that “The people of the South had never asked the government to protect slavery; they had merely asked that it should be let alone, and left where the Constitution left it.” [p. 110] New slave states had been created from the claimed territory of the existing slave states, he says, and “the states ceding the territory had expressly stipulated that there should be no interference with slavery.” [p. 119]

This mild defense of slavery described by Early was met, according to his account, with Northern and British;

“libels upon the society of the Southern states and false views of slavery as established there. Such works in both countries were evidently written by persons with prejudiced minds or who knew little practically of slavery as it existed in the South. Such was the intolerance of the public sentiment which had been fostered in both countries upon the subject, that no candid and impartial account of the workings of domestic slavery as it existed in the Southern states would be received with the slightest favor, whilst the exaggerated accounts of cruelty practiced by the slave-owners, and consequent sufferings of the slaves were eagerly accepted as the truth.” [p. 121]

Blacks are not entitled to honor for their accomplishments after emancipation, the Confederate general writes, saying that “Whatever of eminence any individual of the race has attained, is due directly or indirectly to the civilizing influence of the institution of slavery. It was the master of slaves who accomplished the greatest missionary success and the progress of his ward since is due to the training and influence of the past. “[p. 128]

After the war ended, Early writes, Southern whites saw “their country was overrun by a superior military force, their state governments overthrown; military despotisms established over them; and in the effort to reconstruct the Union, the great mass of the people disfranchised, and the right of suffrage given to the freed slaves, because it was alleged that the Southern people were still rebellious, and so wedded to the idea of secession, notwithstanding the bitter experience of the war, that they could not be trusted with the right to vote…”[p. 107-108] Of course, “the Southern people,” as such were never disenfranchised. Some former Confederates who took up arms against the United States were disenfranchised, as were some political leaders of the rebellion. But most were soon able to vote. On the other hand, Black men who had never been able to vote in Southern history, were accorded the legal right to vote for the first time during Reconstruction.

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76 Responses to Echoes of Reconstruction: Confederate Jubal Early Explains the Cause of the Civil War (part two)

  1. Hugh De Mann says:

    This is in my opinion a good essay. It’s fascinating to see exactly how Early inveigled his own arguments and views of the war as the over-arching lens through which to view the Confederate history and historiography and which mounted such a formidable challenge to any other perspective of the conflict, (be it from Longstreet, Grant, etc, etc, etc).

    What grabs my attention herein is the claim by Early that any and all marks of distinction ‘won by any individual Black American’, can not be seen as similar to their race or even themselves as historical agents, etc. Rather, this, in his view, is due to the influence of slavery upon them.

    Headshake…

    The racism is laid on thick, as if with a shovel…

    Wow, just wow…

    I notice in that, Early expressly avoids engaging with the reality of such Black American figures as Martin Delany, Thomas Morris Chester, MW and Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs, etc. I’d call that a pretty definitive and successful challenge to his argument in this regard!!

    While Early doesn’t elaborate on how allowing slavery to extend to the American territories in this work, Jefferson Davis did. See the article, “Jefferson Davis on Slavery in the Territories”, on the Abbeville Institute page. You can discern the exact copy of the ‘Congressional Globe’ to cite from that.

    (Shrug) were the ideas for ending slavery truly viable and practicable that Davis outlined? That’s a matter of argument. But it’s there.

    • patyoungcarecen2019 says:

      Thanks for reading the article and commenting. I read quite a bit from defenders of slavery before the war. There are several good books that compile materials from politicians, religious leaders, and academics in defense of the enslavement of Black people. After the war, the same figures often denied that the Civil War had anything to do with slavery!

  2. Hugh De Mann says:

    I hear you.

    This is the particularly tangle that requires careful sifting.

    We can apply that measure of fair and balanced criticism to those who historically defended slavery, but this places onus the responsibility to have a critical and holistic mindset.

    As Frederick Douglass strongly implied in the 8 June 1849 ‘Liberator’, if you REALLY against slavery as an American up to the war, why would you still be actually living there at all?

    It’s easy to look back and find the clear point of criticism; it’s very hard to remember the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln and accept it’s simply true. Whether one had openly defended the institution or not, all Americans had a connection to slavery they could not disavow themselves from.

    (Shrug) it’s very true to see that a fair number of Southerners after the war denied slavery as a war factor, much less, an important one. It’s just as true that as many Northerners said after the war slavery was the sole/biggest reason they’d fought when before or at the start of the war, they’d stated they wouldn’t fight to free slaves.

    These conflicting messages do not change that the historical record tells us other factors were indeed important besides slavery, or at least, these could distinctly diverge from it, such as the Northern desire to restore the Union, and the Southern desire for sovereignty, etc.

    Excellent essay!

  3. nygiant1952 says:

    Early , after the Civil War, perpetuated the myth of the “Lost Cause”.

    Best to read the Cornerstone Speech, written before the war as to why the South left the Union.

    • Pat Young says:

      Early claimed that the Southern states seceded to protect slavery.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Early certainly did make that claim.

        In contrast, (for example), when Robert E. Lee was asked at war’s start if he was fighting for slavery, he explicitly disavowed this outright and stated he wished all the slaves of the South were his so he could free them. He then explicitly stated on numerous occasions he was fighting for his state of Virginia at war’s start.

        In another contrast, James Longstreet too, stated at war’s start he was fighting for his state. After the war, he argued that the South had been right to take up arms to protect its slave property.

        On 27th of June,1862, George Pickett wrote his wife, “…This war was never really contemplated in earnest. I believe if the North or the South had expected their differences would result in this obstinate struggle, the cold-blooded Puritan and the cock-hatted Hugenot and Cavalier would have made a compromise. Poor Old Virginia came oftener than Noah’s dove with her olive branch. Though she desired to be loyal to the Union of States, she did not believe in the right of coercion, and when called upon to furnish troops to restrain her sister states, she refused, and would not permit the passage of an armed force through her domain for that purpose…” (‘The Heart of a Soldier, As Revealed in the Intimate Letters of Genl. George E. Pickett, CSA’, Published by Seth Moyle, Inc: New York, 1913, 50-51).

        I do not dispute what you say of Early as you write above, really. My point is that to present him as ‘the lens’, ‘his argument, alone and only’, by which to understand the war and the Confederate experience, cause, etc, is not historically adequate. We know he had a measure of merit to his arguments, but these can’t be accepted at face value, or in isolation.

  4. Hugh De Mann says:

    Best to read as many sources as one can lay their hands on about why the South left the Union.

    Even the CS Speech of Stephens himself demonstrates a myriad of reasons and a considerable historical background of relevant information on the why the war occurred.

  5. Hugh De Mann says:

    The Lost Cause is not a ‘myth’.

    It is a historiography, a school of historical studies, exactly like the ‘New Britainnia’, thesis and school, founded by Humphrey McQueen of Australia’s historical foundings.

  6. nygiant1952 says:

    One method by which to analyze this historical conflict is to focus on primary sources. Every state in the Confederacy issued an “Article of Secession” declaring their break from the Union. Four states went further. Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina all issued additional documents, usually referred to as the “Declarations of Causes,” which explain their decision to leave the Union.

    Mississippi: Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-

    Texas: The servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations.

    South Carolina: Those [Union] States have assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States.

    Georgia: That reason was [the North’s] fixed purpose to limit, restrain, and finally abolish slavery in the States where it exists. The South with great unanimity declared her purpose to resist the principle of prohibition to the last extremity.

    Alabama….And as it is the desire and purpose of the people of Alabama to meet the slaveholding States of the South, who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as permanent Government upon the principles of the Constitution of the United States,

    Virginia…he United States and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slave-holding States:

    “States Rights” means that one can take their property…other wise known as slaves, from one state to another.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Headshake…

      And again, you exclude evidence that contradicts and/or challenges the nationalistic narrative you put forth.

      Long and since we have examined how the Union government was willing to reconvene all the rights to slavery which were already in existence by means of the Corwin Amendment.

      The fact that the war set this aside does not in any way, shape or form set aside that the Union government of the North had been willing to reconvene all the rights to the barns, fields, whips, chains, bills of sale and bedrooms that the institution of slavery incorporated.

      And the definition of ‘states rights’ you put there is challenged seriously when one considers the evidence that Federalist Papers 8-10 of Alexander Hamilton, how Sam Houston referred to Tennessee as, ‘my adopted country’, and Maine in the Aroostook war when they stated on the floor of Congress that, being a sovereign state of the Union as were the original 13 which created the Union, they had the right to invade, conquer and add to the borders of their state territory from the British Empire in the colony of New Brunswick. When asked why they would want to do this, the Maine reps stated, ‘to protect ourselves from Northern invaders’.

      Clear as a bell, ‘states rights’ could and did indeed converge with the issue of slavery. It just as surely could diverge from it. We see these again with the various Confederate emancipation schemes and such sentiments as these-

      “…Slavery was the mere occasion and not the object or end of this war. The South is fighting for national independence and freedom from Yankee domination. The people are willing to sacrifice the slaves to the cause of freedom.” – Richmond Enquirer, 1863.

      And in the very armies that those seceding states fielded which you cite above, we see a much more nuanced and layered reasons why Southerners bore arms and these seem to indeed mesh with the sentiments of Maine in the Aroostook War, Pickett, Longstreet and Robert E. Lee-

      -“I feel that I am fighting for your liberty and the liberty and privileges of my little children.” – Pvt. JV Fuller, 2nd Miss. Infantry

      -“Let me liberate my home from the varlet’s tread, and then my country shall be freed from the fiendish vandals.” – Pvt. James W. Smith, 37th Miss. Infantry

      -“If I fall it will be in a good Cause in the defence of my country defending my home and fireside.” – Pvt. Andrew J. White, 30th Georgia Infantry

      -“It makes the blood boil in me when I think of an envading army being allowed to sleep two nights in Va. without some attempt to drive them out.” – Lt. James H. Langthorne, 4th Va. Infantry

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      (shrug)

      We’ve done this dance before, NYGiant1952.

      And the crux of it is this-

      My argument can accommodate and withstand your challenges, because mine takes a more rigorous and holistic perspective. It is not a narrow one.

      Your argument can’t accommodate my challenges successfully, because yours depends on ignoring the evidence in plain view and pretending like it does not exist, rather than squaring with it.

      The traveller refusing to acknowledge the waterfall before them does not make the waterfall which is there go away.

  7. nygiant1952 says:

    The evidence before the war shows that slavery was the reason the South left the Union.

    The evidence shows that after the war, everything BUT slavery, was the reason the South left the Union.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      That is incorrect.

    • mark harnitchek says:

      no slavery = no secession and no civil war … mike drop.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        I agree.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        If that was true in entirety and the context you put it a number of things would never have occurred, which definitively did.

        Alexander Hamilton’s prediction of an inter-American conflict which he terms both ‘War Between The States’and ‘Civil War’, involving smaller/less populated/etc states combine to battle larger ones, would not have appeared in Federalist Papers 8-10 in 1787. He makes no mention of slavery whatsoever in these, and since slavery was still a very recent phenomenon, or present one, in the North, slavery can not be seen as the prime factor for the conflict to come he so presciently foresees.

        Thomas Jefferson made similar predictions.

        The New England states voted and advocated about secession publicly and privately amidst and directly aggravating the military conflict that was going on. Slavery had nothing to do with this.

        In Maine in the late…nah, I’ve written this enough before.

        In Canada and British North America where the American slaves fleeing American slavery ended, and where politicians and people were trying to forge a new nation steeped in federalism, there is a vast amount of evidence which shows these contemporary historical agents and anti-slavery to the core were deeply convinced that the cause of the war to their South was due to states rights/federalism. Many of these same British North American were deeply involved in the Underground Railroad, such as George Brown, and the rest were firmly against slavery and had been to the South, like Sir John A. MacDonald, yet, their records tell us what they do.

        What did the New York Officer in NM territory say when Longstreet asked him what would he do if NYseceded from the Union? That Northern Officer said he’d fight for NY against the Union.

        Am I saying slavery had nothing at all to do with the war when it came in 1860-61? That’s absurd. Enough said.

        I will and do posit that the ONLY way to argue that slavery was the SOLE cause of it is to deliberately and aggressively attempt to ignore that other factors were important in bringing on the Great American Conflict. And that both North and South fought for slavery initially before both turned to emancipation.

        We must not pretend like other factors had no part in bringing on the war; we must not pretend like slavery didn’t.

        Slavery could and did indeed have the ability to converge into and with a number of those other factors; yet, all those other factors could and did diverge from slavery to be factors in their own right.

        Minimising or denying that is the loss of historical credibility, as it would represent lying by omission.

  8. nygiant1952 says:

    The New England states never voted to secede.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      The New England states both had a vote to secede. That proves that they thought secession was a valid outcome to arrive at; it simply did not carry on the day.

      State politicians openly advocated to do so in the Mass. legislature in speeches.

      Mass. also attempted to arrange a peace treaty for itself, alone, with Great Britain in the midst of the War of 1812; that was an attempt to obtain secession by other means, in effect.

      As well, John Quincy Adams advocated that Mass. and New England ought to secede from the Union after his Presidency.

      To put the matter in the terms you do is historical dishonesty; you know that the evidence shows more than what you concede, that that non-disclosed evidence is directly relevant and pertinent to the matter, and that open consideration of it would force a different perspective that what you articulate.

  9. Hugh De Mann says:

    They did have a vote on secession and the final tally did not support a carriage to secede.

    Even if you had been correct, the fact that they had at all assembled with the objective in mind to have such a vote on such a topic proves they held the mental element in their minds that secession in the Union was possible and a valid outcome.

    I could go on, but I won’t because your intention to aggressively refuse to concede what the known evidence can support is plain as day.

    As was put by the Prosecution at the trial of Dr. Mudd, ‘…the evidence shows more than what you concede.’

    • nygiant1952 says:

      The final report of the convention did not propose secession.

      Some delegates may have been in favor of New England’s secession from the United States and forming an independent republic, though no such resolution was adopted at the convention. Historian Samuel Eliot Morison rejected the notion that the Hartford convention was an attempt to take New England out of the Union and give treasonous aid and comfort to Britain. Morison wrote: “Democratic politicians, seeking a foil to their own mismanagement of the war and to discredit the still formidable Federalist party, caressed and fed this infant myth until it became so tough and lusty as to defy both solemn denials and documentary proof.”[

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        First off, there is an overwhelming amount of press reports alone that show there was mass support for New England secession among the public of that area and its rank and file political membership. The majority of the actual delegates to the Hartford Convention have been described as ‘moderates’, but the grassroots social basis they represented clearly was at odds from their views.

        From this basis alone, it is historically valid to posit that the Hartford Convention represented a de facto social vote on the matter of secession; representing this view, delegates attended and secession did not prevail.

        That delegates at all agreed to convene in the first place as representatives with this sentiment so prominent it can be held that they all agreed that secession was a legitimate potential outcome; it did not prevail in the end.

        Secession was so espoused by the press, political figures and the like, it is impossible to present the argument successfully you do. Sources are below.

        The proceedings from 14 December 1814 to 5 January 1815 were kept in secret almost wholly. Now, whether there was an actual, physical vote on the issue of New England secession itself at the Convention remains a matter of historical ‘guesstimate’ to some degree, but the matter is proven alone by the surrounding historical context.

        https://americanns.weebly.com/hartford-convention.html

    • nygiant1952 says:

      The Convention’s final report did reflect on the idea of secession as a remedy to the “multiplied abuses of bad administrations,” but it eventually recommended against it, citing George Washington’s Farewell Address as “conclusive” in its recommendation of national harmony. To the extent that it followed the model of Virginia and Kentucky, the report was producing a message of protest, not declaring a doctrine of interposition. Furthermore, the report included a declaration of grievances along with a list of proposed amendments to the Constitution.

      recommended….no vote though.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Headshake…why not to at least concede that in President Madison’s mind, the attempt by Gov. Strong of Mass. to arrange a peace treaty for Mass., alone and apart from the US Federal Government and the rest of the American states, was de facto, an attempt at secession. Particularly amidst all the military, political, public, press, etc, etc, etc, activity in favor of secession, in the midst of a war of national self-preservation that the US was in danger of losing?

  10. Hugh De Mann says:

    An excellent list of sources on the subject that can be gleaned from archive.org

    https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/united-states-and-canada/us-history/hartford-convention

  11. Hugh De Mann says:

    What did John Adams observe on the subject of New England secession in the midst of war?

    John Adams wrote to William Plumer on December 4, 1814 on the Hartford Convention stating:

    “…The Convention at Hartford is to resemble the Congress at Vienna; at least as much as an Ignis fatuus resembles a Vulcano…Do they mean to erect New England into an independent Power?”

    http://projects.leadr.msu.edu/uniontodisunion/exhibits/show/federalist-party/hartford-convention

  12. Hugh De Mann says:

    Love him or hate him, Thomas DiLorenzo has assembled an excellent composite of information on the subject-

    http://www.ditext.com/dilorenzo/yankee.html

  13. Hugh De Mann says:

    Headshake…there is every reason to suppose that the delegates to the Hartford Convention did indeed take stock of the numerical yeas and nayes of themselves assembled, whom would actually support or decline to support, secession of New England in the War of 1812.

    Now, given the intentional secrecy that surrounded the convention, it is more likely to presuppose that this would have taken the form of the delegates ‘making known by some means’ how they all felt about the subject. The fact that they had agreed to represent populaces where the sentiment was so fervent and such a current public issue means that they had agreed to represent these very persons of their areas.

    The fact of the matter is that secession did not follow from the Hartford Convention.

    But the very fact that the final point of the Official Report stipulates what it does proves that they did not put secession out of the absolute question at all in thinly veiled language-

    “…Resolved, That if the application of these states to the government of the United States, recommended in a foregoing resolution, should be unsuccessful and peace should not be concluded, and the defence of these states should be neglected, as it has been since the commencement of the war, it will, in the opinion of this convention, be expedient for the legislatures of the several states to appoint delegates to another convention, to meet at Boston…with such powers and instructions as the exigency of a crisis so momentous may require.”

    So what does that mean?

    In the context of the times, it was as good as saying, ‘Our political areas and jurisdictions did not opt for explicitly saying we would secede now; but if at a future time, events of such ‘exigency of a crisis so momentous’, should cause us to consider the same possible option then, we don’t swear off actually doing that.’

    http://sageamericanhistory.net/jeffersonian/documents/HartfordConv.htm

  14. Hugh De Mann says:

    Now, it’s one thing for you to point out that the New England interests, coming out of the Hartford Convention, did not result in secession.

    That’s one thing and you’re correct to put that.

    But, to simply leave it there with no consideration of the wider events, to attempt to ‘shut out’ the rest of the relevant evidence, which DOES paint a very different outlook from what you put, is simply completely historically wrong.

    You do a good job of presenting the evidence that supports you. I’ve never denied you that and I won’t deny you the credit you deserve now, with regards to it.

    But that’s insufficient, historically speaking; you have to be able to present at least as much familiarity with the strongest, (or most or at least, an exemplar of), evidence AGAINST your argument and be able to articulate why/how/etc, it can’t successfully challenge at least your main arguments, or most of them.

    In order to be able to argue Sir Frederick Treves’ knowledge of Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man, is the most accurate historical source on the latter, you have to be able to show you have read the countering historical accounts, such as that of TEM’s Manager, Tom Norman.

  15. Hugh De Mann says:

    And here is the proof that the Hartford Convention delegates did in point of fact take stock of the amount of support amongst themselves for the purpose of secession.

    Now did they seek these out amongst themselves by means of personal counsel and tallying up the yeas and nayes? Was it by a formal, secret vote? Was it by signs or signals of some type?

    The specific details of those questions are not answered; the substance of them is. The very wording proves that the delegates conferred in some manner on New England secession, they felt it to be a valid potential outcome and it simply did not have the weight amongst those present to be carried. The wording proves that they felt secession a valid option to come to-

  16. Hugh De Mann says:

    “THE Delegates from the Legislatures of the States of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode-Island, and from the Counties of Grafton and Cheshire in the State of New Hampshire and the county of Windham in the State of Vermont, assembled in Convention, beg leave to report the following result of their conference.;

    THE Convention is deeply impressed with a sense of the arduous nature of the commission which they were appointed to execute, of devising the means of defence against dangers, and of relief from oppressions proceeding from the act of their own Government, without violating constitutional principles, or disappointing the hopes of a suffering and injured people . . . But when abuses, reduced to system and accumulated through a course of years, have pervaded every department of Government, and spread corruption through every region of the State; when these are clothed with the forms of law, and enforced by an Executive whose will is their source, no summary means of relief can be applied without recourse to direct and open resistance. This experiment, even when justifiable, cannot fail to be painful to the good citizen; and the success of the effort will be no security against the danger of the example . . . Necessity alone can sanction a resort to this measure; and it should never be extended in duration or degree beyond the exigency, until the people, not merely in the fervour of sudden excitement, but after full deliberation, are determined to change the Constitution…It is a truth not to be concealed, that a sentiment prevails to no inconsiderable extent, that [the Madison] Administration have given such constructions to that instrument, and practised so many abuses under colour of its authority, that the time for a change is at hand . . .Finally, if the Union be destined to dissolution, by reason of the multiplied abuses of bad administrations, it should, if possible, be the work of peaceable times, and deliberate consent.—Some new form of confederacy should be substituted among those States, which shall intend to maintain a federal relation to each other.—Events may prove that the causes of our calamities are deep and permanent. They may be found to proceed, not merely from the blindness of prejudice, pride of opinion, violence of party spirit, or the confusion of the times; but they may be traced to implacable combinations of individuals, or of States, to monopolize power and office, and to trample without remorse upon the rights and interests of commercial sections of the Union…Under these impressions, the Convention have proceeded to confer and deliberate upon the alarming state of publick affairs, especially as affecting the interests of the people who have appointed them for this purpose.

  17. nygiant1952 says:

    Taking stock means that there was no official vote on secession.

    In other words, a proposal to secede was never officially voted on.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Once again, you attempt to frame the historical event in a deliberate manner in which to exclude evidence you know to be relevant and which would force a reconsideration of the matter.

      The above primary source proves in no uncertain terms: TheNew England delegates made themselves fully aware that secession was a potential outcome which they clearly viewed to be valid; it was not popular enough to be carried at the Hartford Convention.

      Same delegates kept secession in scope as a valid result they may opt for at a later point in time.

      By vote or common consensus, the statement of the secret vote on secession for New England at the Hartford Convention is true in essential substance.

  18. nygiant1952 says:

    So, there was no vote tally, in other words.

    That means, essentially, that the delegates did not want to secede.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Again, attempting to exclude evidence and context you are aware are both pertinent and relevant to the matter and which by excluding them, you deliberately try to leave an impression you realise is inaccurate and attempt to gain a wrongful advantage by intention.

      Your argument is above is not only inaccurate to portray, but it’s the same as trying to argue Abraham Lincoln was illiterate by refusing to concede any other evidence or aspect than that he only attended one year of formal schooling.

      There was a taking of consensus amongst the NE delegates whom attended the Hartford Convention in some manner, (a secret vote of which can not be definitively ruled out, given the secrecy which was evoked).

      By whatever means, there was not enough support to mathematically have secession prevail amongst the candidates thereat, at that time.

      They viewed secession as a valid result to arrive at and stated they may well come to it in the future.

      Not openly conceding the above evidence and context openly, now that you’re 100% aware of it, is historically dishonest.

  19. nygiant1952 says:

    I’m just looking for a resolution that was proposed and voted on, regarding leaving the Union. Can you give us one?

    Even one that was pulled from the floor will do!

  20. Hugh De Mann says:

    And I repeat the previous information that was posted, extracted right from the contemporaneous report written by and at the Hartford Convention-

    ““THE Delegates from the Legislatures of the States of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode-Island, and from the Counties of Grafton and Cheshire in the State of New Hampshire and the county of Windham in the State of Vermont, assembled in Convention, beg leave to report the following result of their conference…

    THE Convention is deeply impressed with a sense of the arduous nature of the commission which they were appointed to execute, of devising the means of defence against dangers, and of relief from oppressions proceeding from the act of their own Government, without violating constitutional principles, or disappointing the hopes of a suffering and injured people…But when abuses, reduced to system and accumulated through a course of years, have pervaded every department of Government, and spread corruption through every region of the State; when these are clothed with the forms of law, and enforced by an Executive whose will is their source, no summary means of relief can be applied without recourse to direct and open resistance. This experiment, even when justifiable, cannot fail to be painful to the good citizen; and the success of the effort will be no security against the danger of the example…

    Necessity alone can sanction a resort to this measure; and it should never be extended in duration or degree beyond the exigency, until the people, not merely in the fervour of sudden excitement, but after full deliberation, are determined to change the Constitution…It is a truth not to be concealed, that a sentiment prevails to no inconsiderable extent, that [the Madison] Administration have given such constructions to that instrument, and practised so many abuses under colour of its authority, that the time for a change is at hand…

    Finally, if the Union be destined to dissolution, by reason of the multiplied abuses of bad administrations, it should, if possible, be the work of peaceable times, and deliberate consent.—Some new form of confederacy should be substituted among those States, which shall intend to maintain a federal relation to each other.—Events may prove that the causes of our calamities are deep and permanent. They may be found to proceed, not merely from the blindness of prejudice, pride of opinion, violence of party spirit, or the confusion of the times; but they may be traced to implacable combinations of individuals, or of States, to monopolize power and office, and to trample without remorse upon the rights and interests of commercial sections of the Union…Under these impressions, the Convention have proceeded to confer and deliberate upon the alarming state of public affairs, especially as affecting the interests of the people who have appointed them for this purpose…”

  21. Hugh De Mann says:

    Contemporaneous Report of the Hartford Convention, per citation above-

    Refer to pages 352-56.

    https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc2.ark:/13960/fk7pn8xw02&view=1up&seq=5&q1=%22administrations%22

  22. Hugh De Mann says:

    (Shrug)

    Exactly as last time, NYGiant1952, I don’t need or want you to concede or admit anything, here. Not that I’m correct, not that the citation above proves me at least generally right in the broad picture, etc, etc, etc.

    I don’t need or want any of that or anything like that.

    What you continue to engage in is known at the logical err of ‘hasty generalisation’; it means that you try to force a conclusion based upon inadequate evidence and try to dissuade other possible explanations that are potentially valid.

    So? Where do we go from here?

    It can not be positively asserted that a secret vote about secession at the Hartford Convention took place. Nor can it be positively asserted this DID NOT happen, based on the evidence. It is possible that such a secret vote take place, but can not be put definitively one way, or the other.

    The known evidence establishes very clearly that the stances of the delegates whom had assembled thereat about New England seceding from the Union were taken, the exact means by which this was done is unclear.

    However, this was done in a format that clearly established that the numerical majority of those said delegates did not support New England secession at that time. The fact that their opinions were taken at the time/place/context demonstrates alone that they felt secession was a valid result to arrive at; it simply was not actioned at that time for reason above.

    At the same time, same delegates also stated that it may well be an option they WOULD action in the future.

    For you to present the scenario that, ‘There was no vote about secession’, can not be successfully argued. For you to then extrapolate from that erred premise, ‘there was no chance that New England was ever going to secede’, is plainly wrong and dishonest.

    For you to state that, ‘New England did not secede at this time’, is entirely correct.

    Again, (shrug), where do we go from here?

  23. nygiant1952 says:

    I think you forgot to read this….

    . THEREFORE RESOLVED—

    THAT it be and hereby is recommended to the Legislatures of the several States represented in this Convention, to adopt all such measures as may be necessary effectually to protect the citizens of said States from the operation and effects of all acts which have been or may be passed by the Congress of the United States . . .

    Resolved, That it be and hereby is recommended to the said Legislatures, to authorize an immediate and earnest application to be made of the Government of the United States, . . . whereby the said States may, separately or in Concert, be empowered to assume upon themselves the defence of their territory . . .

    Resolved, That it be, and it hereby is, recommended to the Legislatures of the aforesaid States, to pass laws . . . authorizing the Governours or Commanders in Chief of their militia to make detachments . . . and to cause the same to be well armed, equipped and disciplined, and held in readiness . . .

    Resolved, That the following amendments of the Constitution of the United States, be recommended to the States represented as aforesaid, to be proposed by them for adoption by the State Legislatures .
    ================================================================

    Now, where is the word “secede” in the resolutions? And where is the vote on secession?

  24. Hugh De Mann says:

    “Finally, IF THE UNION BE DESTINED TO DISSOLUTION, BY REASON OF THE MULTIPLIED ABUSES OF BAD ADMINISTRATIONS, it should, if possible, be the work of peaceable times, and deliberate consent…Events may prove that the causes of our calamities are deep and permanent. They may be found to proceed, not merely from the blindness of prejudice, pride of opinion, violence of party spirit, or the confusion of the times; but they may be traced to implacable combinations of individuals, or of States, to monopolize power and office, and to trample without remorse upon the rights and interests of commercial sections of the Union…Under these impressions, the Convention have proceeded to confer and deliberate upon the alarming state of public affairs, especially as affecting the interests of the people who have appointed them for this purpose…”

  25. Hugh De Mann says:

    And just for good measure, here’s the part where they put the possibility of secession for the future-

    “Events may prove that the causes of our calamities are deep and permanent. They may be found to proceed, not merely from the blindness of prejudice, pride of opinion, violence of party spirit, or the confusion of the times; but they may be traced to implacable combinations of individuals, or of States, to monopolize power and office, and to trample without remorse upon the rights and interests of commercial sections of the Union…Under these impressions, the Convention have proceeded to confer and deliberate upon the alarming state of public affairs, especially as affecting the interests of the people who have appointed them for this purpose.”

  26. Hugh De Mann says:

    A bit of double up there, but it’s worth emphasizing the point.

  27. Hugh De Mann says:

    No, (headshake), I didn’t forget to read anything.

    What’s next?

  28. Hugh De Mann says:

    I like how in the part I pointed out the Report of the Hartford Convention says that secession, if it going to occur, ‘should’, at least attempt to be peaceable and deliberate.

  29. nygiant1952 says:

    And where do they vote on secession? And where is the word mentioned?

    Fact is….no such resolution for secession was adopted at the convention

  30. Hugh De Mann says:

    No, that is not correct.

    Clearly, there was some form of indisputable putting of mathematical opinions on the matter, be they of formal/informal, open/secretive manner.

    ‘dissolution of the Union’ is synonymous for, ‘secession’.

    Are you going to debate that here in print? I would have no problem at all engaging in that particular chat.

    True, no resolution/determination/policy/signal marker/guideline/strategy/exact method/code/etc, for secession/dissolution/dissension/breaking up of/defection from/dismemberment/rupture/rift/disaffiliation/exiting from/schism/etc, etc, the Union was adopted at that time.

    Notwithstanding, (one of my fave words!), to put that from the the Hartford Convention, there is no relevant ascribable evidence of the Confederate secession from 1860-65, is the erosion of one’s historical credibility.

    (Shrug) That’s where your argument takes you.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      (Shrug). Just tell me the vote and the actual proposal to secede.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        (Shrug)

        With the information provided from contemporaneous, primary sources, if you persist in that line of methodology, your credibility as a historian is diminished and compromised.

        By all means, keep persisting in that vein.

  31. Hugh De Mann says:

    Well?

    Please; show one and all forever in print that you dispute that ‘dissolution of the Union’, means anything but, ‘secession from it’.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      If they wanted to secede, they would have said so.

      And would have voted to secede.

      Fact is, the attendees to the Hartford Convention really didn’t want to secede.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Fact is, they clearly said that secession was an option they openly considered. The HC Report makes this plain on pages 352-56.

        https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc2.ark:/13960/fk7pn8xw02&view=1up&seq=5&q1=%22administrations%22

        Either a vote of some kind of seeking out of consensus amongst the delegates took place. That is absolutely indisputable.

        No one is disputing that the said delegates did not vote or give support to actioning secession from 15 December 1814 to 5 January 1815. Please inform me what you are convinced you are proving by stating this?

        Lastly, you continually ‘shift’ from the pertinent point; the evidence clearly shows the delegates viewed secession as a perfectly legitimate result then or in the future; it simply was not determined on as a course of action at that time.

        Tell me what you are convinced, in print hereupon, that you’re proving?

  32. Hugh De Mann says:

    Ibid to read, ‘…of some kind OR seeking out…’

  33. nygiant1952 says:

    I searched for the word…”secession”. There was no mentions of that word.

    The more moderate Federalists at the 1814 Hartford Convention won the debate. Under the leadership of Harrison Gray Otis, the Convention became a venue for expressing grievances about the war and the trade embargo, instead of declaring secession. The product of the Hartford Convention, then, did not come close to being a statement of secession or a declaration of New England independence. Like the Declaration of Independence, it included a list of grievances, but it recommended addressing these grievances by amending the Constitution rather than scrapping it.

    If anything, the Hartford Convention was a victory for the constitutional process.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      And again, w/o surprise, you’re deliberately avoiding the plain truth.

      Go ahead; I want you to do so in print.

      ‘Dissolution of the Union’, is synonymous to, ‘secession from the Union’. And the report makes plain that this was considered and decided upon to not be the course actioned by the Delegates at the time.

      And I want you to continue to deny in print the well-documented; specifically, for you to continue to say that because the Hartford Convention did not pursue secession at the time, that means it could never have happened, (which itself is utterly disproven by the evidence stemming from about 1804 onwards and that they left it’s a possibility for the future),-

      And you basically try to say, ‘Since secession didn’t happen then, that’s all you need to know about it.’

      That’s pure historical, aggressive ignorance. By all means, say so here in print for all posterity of you choose.

  34. nygiant1952 says:

    Thanks for agreeing with me that secession was not decided upon. In fact, it never came up to a vote.

  35. Hugh De Mann says:

    Say!!

    Say, that’s it, isn’t it?!

    You actually want to try to be able to say with your circle of colleagues that if the HC Report doesn’t actually say, ‘secession’, then that means secession was never even so much as contemplated, right?

    I could not warn off that sort of historical credibility self-destruction more strongly…!

    Because that’s the same as arguing that in the Civil War/War Between The States context, ‘freedom’, ‘emancipation’, ‘manumission’, not only are not synonymous, but that they don’t all mean, ‘the end of slavery’.

    I want to see you now argue that! Because I can think of severalUnion-centred contemporary evidences that all cite these and other terms.

    (Shrug) so, none of these such primary records were actually referring to ‘the end of slavery’.

    I want to see what you do now. I can think of other such terms as well!

  36. nygiant1952 says:

    No, I am saying that the delegates to the Hartford Convention decided to use the process delineated in the US Constitution to address their grievances. That they worked within the established system.

  37. Hugh De Mann says:

    asdf

  38. Hugh De Mann says:

    Typo above.

    No, you’ve sought at every point over the last numerous of our exchanges to avoid having to admit that, ‘dissolution of the Union’, means the same as, ‘secession’, more to the point, that same Report proves they clearly considered this as an option and they considered it as a perfectly valid option to then action. By some clear means, be that have been a secret vote, a private counsel of all delegates as to their opinions’, showing of secret signals, etc, etc, not enough Hartford Convention delegates supported secession to forward as an action then and there. That does not change the fact that they considered it an valid result to come to, to the extent that the documents from the Hartford Convention prove they set secession as a possible action for the future.

  39. Hugh De Mann says:

    If I borrow your practice, I can then state that Alexander Hamilton is NOT referring to secession from the Union when he states in this document, ‘dismemberment of the Union’, because he doesn’t actually say the word, ‘secession’.

    Alexander Hamilton, Federalist, no. 1, 7, 27 Oct. 1787

    Likewise, I can say the 6th of March, 1860, ‘New York Times’ phrase, “…As the means to our Nation’s integrity and perpetuity…”, does NOT refer to secession, because it doesn’t use that term, (it only does in the abstract later when it says, apparently, there were secessionists in the Carolinas, Alabama and Georgia, but only there!) Finally, I can say that this document is NOT evidence of secession whatsoever the question in South Carolina, as it doesn’t use that exact term! What it says is-

    “…AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled “The Constitution of the United States of America… the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the “United States of America,” is hereby dissolved.”

    (https://www.battlefields.org/learn/primary-sources/secession-acts-thirteen-confederate-states)

    NOPE! If it doesn’t say secession, then it’s not secession! If a document says ‘domestic institutions of the South’, it DOESN’T refer to ‘slavery’, as it doesn’t use that word! Likewise, if something says, ‘Manumission’, it DOESN’T mean, ‘freed from slavery’; such a document would have to say those exact and precise words!!

    I know you know this already, and I don’t have to tell you the impression your practice leaves.

  40. Hugh De Mann says:

    You’re trying to argue that there was never, ever any threat of any kind in New England, nor at the Hartford Convention and that it is silly to suggest that there ever was.

    This is part of the means by which you attempt to invoke secession on behalf of the Confederates from 1860-65 as utterly w/o precedent.

    That is pure sophism on the part of your historical methodology.

  41. Hugh De Mann says:

    The Report of the Hartford Convention, alone, disproves what you sophistically allege w. regards New England secession.

  42. Hugh De Mann says:

    Well…?

    Do we keep going about in this circle?

  43. nygiant1952 says:

    Actually the report states that the delegates would work within the system establisted by the Constitution.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      The Report does state that; to be specific, it states they opted for constitutional amendments.

      BUT!…the Report ALSO states that they had plainly considered secession and determined to not action it at that time. The Report states further that the Delegates did not put secession out of scope forever; they state that they may well return to secession and action it in the future.

      The latter of which is what you refuse to as plainly concede and that is the part of which completely compromises your historical integrity and credibility.

      See? This is where/how my historical arguments can withstand successfully any of the challenges that you put, NYGiant1952. Because I engage a holistic methodology that is built on expressly including the strongest possible evidence AGAINST my arguments and being able to demonstrate how none of those evidences/challenges/etc, compromise at least my main points.

      Your arguments are ultimately dispelled because your methodology is built upon OMISSION of all evidence and questions against it. As soon as evidences start coming out, numerous of which I’m happy to cite to yourself or other parties, then your argument no longer remains viable. It’s successfully challenged.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Go ahead, NYGiant1952; put another ‘shift’ in or stick to the hardline of simply refusing to admit that plain as day, that’s what the Hartford Convention Report says.

        I don’t need you to concede or admit or say anything here.

        I’m also not going to remain silent and pretend like there are not serious methodological and research interpretive flaws in your arguments.

  44. nygiant1952 says:

    The Hartford Convention’s final report proposed several amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These attempted to combat the policies of the ruling Democratic-Republicans by:
    Prohibiting any trade embargo lasting over 60 days;
    Requiring a two-thirds Congressional majority for declaration of offensive war, admission of a new state, or interdiction of foreign commerce;
    Removing the three-fifths representation advantage of the South;
    Limiting future presidents to one term;
    Requiring each president to be from a different state than his predecessor. (This provision was aimed directly at the dominance of Virginia in the presidency since 1800).

  45. Hugh De Mann says:

    Exactly as I typed previously you would-

    You are of the opinion if you simply refuse to concede the plain and obvious, then you’ve convinced the whole world, which is watching, differently.

    That’s called playing, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’.

    But you haven’t convinced anyone of anything and I will be the voice in the crowd to point out your rhetorical naked bias is plain as day to see.

  46. Hugh De Mann says:

    What can you tell me about what the delegates meant by ‘dissolution of the Union’ in their Report?

  47. nygiant1952 says:

    IF…IF…you forgot that word.

    The delegates were speaking in the hypothetical.

  48. Hugh De Mann says:

    So, you at last concede that the delegates of the Hartford Convention DID discuss secession.

    Alright, I’ll give you credit for that. In that much, respect.

    Shrug, whether they spoke of it in the thinly-veiled ‘hypothetical’ terms that Sir John Kerr and Malcolm Fraser spoke about Kerr removing Gough Whitlam from office in 1975, if they had a secret vote on secession or utilised a hamburger poll to take stock of their collected views on New England secession, the matter, you and I agree, was definitely broached.

    I think the matter can rest at that.

  49. Rod says:

    It is simply amazing how the author of this post spins the narrative. I simply do not have time to address all the issues I have with this piece which pretty much includes every commentary he makes regarding Early’s quoted statements. Early was quite historically correct in each quote! I will limit my comments to his first commentary on Early here. He says Early blamed Northern Union wide segregation of blacks to the South for creating a situation where the South could not emancipate the slaves without it causing a far worse outcome for the slave. He then snidely adds that Early does not explain how allowing slaves into the territories would help their condition. Evidently the author is unaware that Southern statesmen had long called for the right to disperse the slave population into the territories to enable emancipation. Thomas Jefferson had proposed this means to freeing the slaves! Jefferson Davis, in an 1850 Senate speech proposed the same:

    “All property is best managed where Governments least interfere, and the practice of our Government has been generally founded on that principle. What has been the progress of emancipation throughout the whole history of our country? It has been the pressure of free labor upon the less profitable slave labor, until the slaves were transferred to sparser regions, and their number, by such transfer, was reduced to a limit at which, without inconvenience or danger, or serious loss, emancipation of the few who remained might occur…. … it is odious among us now, as it was with our ancestors. We only defend the domestic institution of slavery as it exists in the United States; the extension of which into any new Territory will not increase the number of the slaves by one single person, but which it is very probable may, in many instances, produce emancipation.”

    Early, like Davis and Jefferson, knew that the ability to disperse the slave population into the territories where there was land available for them to survive was the best opportunity for emancipation, not only for the slaves taken there, but for any remaining in the South where, reduced to a manageable number, they could be freed and have land and jobs for their survival. There was no way the South alone could absorb nearly half its population, landless and destitute, suddenly turned out to survive. Most would have to resort to mendicancy and crime, turning the South into a lawless society.

    The rest of Early’s quotes can be easily understood, but obviously the author is so enamored with vilifying the South that he simply spins the narrative with the pejorative “lost cause myth.”

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