“For the Purpose of Appointing Vigilance Committees:” Fearing Abolitionists in Central Virginia

I don’t know about you, but one of the best ways for me to profitably kill time is to randomly browse old newspapers online. It is amazing what they can tell us about community sentiments of the past. And I don’t read old newspapers just for the articles; the advertisements provide important information, too.

Among the dozens of classified ads appearing in the November 29, 1859, Richmond Daily Dispatch are those selling everything from oysters, to boots, to cows and calves, to artificial teeth, to java coffee, to “negro clothing,” and, of course, enslaved human beings.

Two notices seek “Runaways,” men, ages 15 and 18. Rewards of $25 each are offered “to any one who will apprehend and commit to jail” Thomas, and an unnamed “mulatto boy,” “so that I get him again,” so reads the ads. Two other notices appear advertising captured runaways. S. O. Duval, the jailor of Chesterfield County wanted the owner of 25-year-old Richard James Branch to come forward and claim him. Likewise, John Hutcheson, the sheriff of Henrico County advertised Jacob, who was 30-years-old. The owner was to “come forward prove property, pay charges, and take said negro away, or he will be dealt with according to law.” If enslavers did not come to claim their human property within a stated period of time prescribed by state law, the sheriff offered him or her for sale at public auction to cover the cost of their keep and add to the county’s treasury. It was all part of these law enforcement officers’ regular daily duties.

Vigilance Committee meeting advertisement in Richmond Daily Dispatch, November 29, 1859

Another intriguing ad stated: “VIGILIANCE COMMITTEES.—The citizens of Hanover, Louisa, Caroline, and Spotsylvania, are invited to meet at Beaver Dam Depot, on Thursday, December 1st for the purpose of appointing VIGILANCE COMMITTEES.” Noting when this advertisement ran, just about a month and half after John Brown’s Harpers Ferry raid, and the date of the meeting set for the day before Brown’s execution, I suspected that historic event had something to do with what the meeting wanted citizens to be vigilant about.

However, to confirm my suspicions, I hoped I could find a report of the proceedings of the meeting. A thorough search through several future issues did not disappoint. Only four days later, December 5, 1859, the Daily Dispatch ran a column titled “Public Meeting in Hanover.” It stated that R. H. Nelson presided, and Alfred Duke served as secretary at the meeting “of intelligent and influential citizens.” The assembled group passed four resolutions:

“1. Resolved, That all classes in our community have one common interest in opposing the wicked intermeddling of abolitionists in our affairs.”

“2. Resolved, That we pledge ourselves to each other to keep a strict eye on all suspicious persons, particularly on all strangers whose business is not known to be harmless, or anyone whatever, who may express sentiments of sympathy or toleration with abolitionists either directly or indirectly.”

Close up of map showing the enslaved population of counties involved in the Beaver Dam Depot vigilance meeting. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Yes, they were worried about a John Brown-type individual or group coming into their community and stirring up the enslaved population. And a significant population it was. Of the counties mentioned in the original advertisement, the 1860 census—made about six months following this meeting—recorded the following enslaved population information: Hanover County 55.8%, Louisa County 62.3%, Caroline County 60.6%, and Spotsylvania County 50.2%. The average population of these four counties was a 57.2% enslaved. Put another way, almost six out of every ten people in these four counties lived enslaved lives in 1860.

The third resolution set “Vigilance Committees” to be appointed in the 4th and 6th magisterial districts, who were to carry out the resolutions. Suspected person were to be brought before the chairman and two committee members, and either bring the suspect to trial, or “drive them from the neighborhood.”

The fourth resolution requested that the delegate or senator from these counties seek an amendment to the law concerning trials so that a Justice of the Peace could require a sheriff to assemble a jury for the trial “of any person brought before him on a charge of encouraging or promoting insurrection, or insubordination among the slaves; and also, to have the sentence of the jury executed without delay.”

Beaver Dam Depot on the Virginia Central Railroad. The original building, built about 1840, was burned by Union forces in 1862, and then again in 1864. Constructed in 1866, the present structure is probably modeled after the earlier two station buildings. Image by Tim Talbott.

Wondering if I could find additional information on this meeting, I continued my search. Bingo! The December 8, 1859, edition of the Richmond Daily Whig, also commented on the meeting, but in greater detail than the Daily Dispatch. Its title: “Meeting in the Upper End of Hanover.”

The Daily Whig edition also explained that a Dr. Bucker of Louisa County offered an additional resolution that was accepted: “Resolved, That the Committees be requested to extend their action to adjoining districts and counties, when necessity may seem to require it, and their aid is called for.”

In addition to the resolutions, and the names of the primary officers, the Daily Whig article also listed the names of members of the 4th and 6th district committees. Curious to see what stakes that these men had in the institution of slavery, I decided to search for them in the 1860 “slave schedule” census. Unfortunately, first and middle initials with last names identify many of the men, making positive connections to the census difficult. However, I was able to find eight of the 24 men named to the District 4 committee listed as enslavers, and six of the 25 named men in District 6.

Not mentioned in the Daily Dispatch article, but named in the Daily Whig was Col. Edmund Fontaine, who called the meeting to order. The 59-year-old Fontaine, a resident of Hanover County, was a planter and the president of the Louisa branch of the Virginia Central Railroad. In the 1860 census Fontaine is shown owning $50,000 in real estate and $51,000 in personal property, which included 52 enslaved individuals. Dr. Robert H. Nelson, who apparently served as chairman, was 63-years-old and owned $20,000 in real estate and $50,000 in personal property, with 40 enslaved men, women, and children among his property. Alfred Duke served as secretary of the meeting. Duke, 47-years-old owned $10,000 in real estate and $15,000 in personal property. A search for Duke in the slave schedules came up empty, but with $15,000 in personal property, it is likely that he held some of that wealth in bondage.

It might be one thing if this “Upper Hanover” vigilance committee meeting was an isolated event, but it was not. The December 8, 1859, Daily Whig—on the same page—also had information on separate vigilance meetings in Caroline County, Northampton County, Hanover County, Sussex County, Henrico County, and Clarksville (Mecklenburg County).

Sales advertisements for enslaved people placed by some of Richmond’s most well-known traders appear in the December 8, 1859, edition of the Richmond Daily Whig, which also reported on the Beaver Dam Station vigilance meeting.

And, if these were the only articles in the newspaper about threats to the institution of slavery and the communities’ interest in perpetuating its existence, it might not deserve the time and effort of historical investigation. But there was much other evidence. Another small article reads: “HANG ‘EM.—The conservatives of the large Northern cities are about holding public meetings to express sympathy for the South [in the wake of John Brown’s raid]. The opinion is quite prevalent here that the best thing they can do to restore harmony, perpetuate the Union, and prevent a diversion of Southern trade, is to seize and hang a few such scoundrels as [abolitionist Indiana congressman Joshua] Giddings, [abolitionist newspaper editor James] Redpath, [abolitionist orator] Wendell Phillips, [abolitionist newspaper editor Horace] Greeley, [abolitionist minister George B.] Cheever, [New York abolitionist publisher and politician Thurlow] Weed, et id omne genus [others of this kind].” Ads placed by well-known Richmond slave traders Hector Davis, Dickinson and Hill, and Pulliam and Betts offering at auction that very day, “35 NEGROES,” “50 Negroes,” and “15 NEGROES” respectively. Dickinson and Hill’s ad even states his offerings included, “Men, Boys and Girls and Women and Children.”

In addition, an ad for a trustee’s sale for property located on the James River included “52 SLAVES, all, or nearly so, young and likely [attractive]. . . .” Another sale offered “fifty valuable SERVANTS, consisting of Boys, Girls, Men, Women, and Children,” along with other property including horses, mules, thrashing machines, wagons, and carts.” If owners felt they had a surplus enslaved population they could visit Lucian Lewis, who posted an ad about his office in the basement of Richmond’s Metropolitan Hall. Lewis could arrange “hiring them out” for the coming year for a commission of the rental. One assumes that individuals who desired hiring laborers could also contact Lewis to help fill their needs.

Virginia and other slave states responded rapidly to John Brown’s Harpers Ferry raid in October 1859. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

It all went on as an enormous part of Virginia’s social, economic, and cultural life. In fact, it was so much a part of their world that on April 17, 1861, a Virginia secession delegation declared their separation from the Federal Union. “The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution  . . . having declared that the powers granted under the said Constitution, were derived from the People of the 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 slaveholding States,” they exclaimed. When push came to shove over the perceived threat to their primary “domestic institution” of slavery, secession was the preferred means of attempting to maintain that way of life. And so war came.

Sources:

1860 U.S. Census (Free and Slave Schedules) accessed via Ancestry.com

Map of Virginia: showing the distribution of its slave population from the census of 1860 via Library of Congress (https://www.loc.gov/item/2010586922/)

“Ordinance of Secession of the Commonwealth of Virginia” via National Archives and Records Administration (https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/ordinance-of-secession-of-the-commonwealth-of-virginia)

Richmond Daily Dispatch, November 29, 1859 & December 5, 1859 via Chronicling America-Library of Congress

Richmond Daily Whig, December 8, 1859 via Chronicling America-Library of Congress

Tim Talbott is the Chief Administrative Officer for the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust. He is the former Director of Education, Interpretation, Visitor Services, and Collections at Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Petersburg, Virginia. Tim is also the founding member and President of the Battle of New Market Heights Memorial and Education Association. He maintains the “Random Thoughts on History” blog and has published articles in both book and scholarly journal format. Tim’s current project is researching soldiers captured during the Petersburg Campaign.

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257 Responses to “For the Purpose of Appointing Vigilance Committees:” Fearing Abolitionists in Central Virginia

  1. carsonfoardsbcglobalnet says:

    You have neglected to mention the horrific outcome of the Nat Turner massacre, which was sparked by the first distribution of WL Garrison’s “Liberator” into Virginia. And, cells had been set up around the South to follow through on John Brown’s planned murderous assaults, if that was successful. It was not, since no African Americans expressed interest and Brown’s raid was thwarted, but for those living in those circumstances, it was cause for concern. But the bigger issue was the goal of the Abolitionists to implement immediate emancipation, not the gradual emancipation previously utilized by Northern States. The South was well aware of the chaos and disruption this would cause, for both the South and the North due to their intertwined financial interests, and we all can appreciate their view since, in 1865, that is what happened and the negative results of that approach lasted through the next century, and still affect us today. The article also fails to mention that there were six Abolitionists involved in the Brown raid, and that Abolitionists in the North, while strident, were a significant minority of the population, perhaps 10%. Their goal had nothing to do with humanitarian relief for African Americans; it was to release them from legal property rights so they could be colonized en masse out of the country (“voluntarily”) to menial jobs in the Carribean and Central America, and thereby remove most, hopefully all, of the threat to the wage labor of recent white immigrants. Migration to opportunities in the North or the Territories/new States was not on the table. The sooner those facts are recognized and admitted, the sooner a true healing process can begin.

    • Tim Talbott says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. However, I think conflating the wake of John Brown’s raid and Nat Turner’s rebellion is unsound. It is true that William Lloyd Garrsion began publishing “The Liberator” about 8 months before Turner’s Southampton County, Virginia, but Garrison was a moral suasionist, a pacifist, who did not call for militant action against slavery. In addition, the best evidence we have about Turner’s motives (his pre-execution testimony) is that he was following God’s instructions, not the instructions of an abolitionist. After Turner’s rebellion, Virginia actually legislatively debated the future of the institution in the state (See Allison Freehling’s “Drift toward Dissolution: The Virginia Slavery Debate of 1831-32), but ultimately decided that strengthened laws were the solution, not a gradual elimination.

      You are also correct that abolitionists made up a very small–albeit very vocal–part of the Northern population. However, an even smaller portion of the abolitionist community advocated for violence as the solution to the issue. Despite that fact, Southerners lumped all abolitionists into one pot. The best evidence of this is their claim that Abraham Lincoln was an abolitionist in 1859 and 1860. Lincoln held emancipationist beliefs at the time, but he was not immediate abolitionist. Were some abolitionists racist? Yes, many did not see Blacks and Whites as social or political equals. Some did. Certain communities in the North were quite progressive and welcoming in race relations. Oberlin, Ohio is an example.

      I suppose you are referring to the so-called “Secret Six” when you mention that there were “six abolitionists involved in the Brown raid.” All of the men who directly participated in and were at the raid were abolitionists. Yes, there were six Northerners financially backing Brown and the Harpers Ferry raid. They did not personally participate in the raid. They believed that slavery was immoral, against the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and that it was the constant threat to the survival of the Union and thus needed to be dealt with. Some of them saw the success that Brown had had in Kansas in mitigating the pro-slavery influence there a few years before and supported his efforts in Virginia.

      My intention with this article was to use an 1859 Virginia newspaper ad for a touch of “microhistory.” What could a newspaper advertisement tell us about the sentiment of a community when it was investigated by using direct evidence?

  2. Pat Young says:

    Interesting article. In many parts of Virginia a majority of the people were legally unfree. As Tim Talbots notes, in these counties six out of ten residents were enslaved. Even unenslaved people were unfree. In the same manner as other totalitarian systems visitors could be captured by vigilance committees and their political views could be examined to determine if they should be expelled or otherwise harmed.

    • Tim Talbott says:

      If an individual expressed abolitionist, or even emancipationist sentiments at the time, the idea of “freedom of speech” was often ignored.

  3. And Pres. Lincoln’s call on April 15 for 75,000 troops with which to instigate war upon Southern states, that had nothing to do with the Virginia secession on April 17? And, BTW, the Virginia Convention of 1861 actually hotly debated secession for months, with the secessionists losing a key vote on April 4? Then, Lincoln calls for troops on April 15 for an invasion and the state convention suddenly turns and votes for secession, you don’t see a connection?
    Tom

    • Tim Talbott says:

      The events I discussed were a link in the chain to war. Perceived threats to the institution of slavery (i.e. primarily no more expansion of slavery in the western territories as explained in the 1860 Republican Party platform, the refusal by states to return self emancipated individuals, and militant abolitionist actions like John Brown’s raid) prompted the seven Deep South states to leave the Union. They unabashedly say so in their declarations of secession.

      When push came to shove over Fort Sumter remaining Federal property, South Carolinans fired on it, which led to Lincoln’s call for troops. At that point, Virginia, which claimed ownership of half a million enslaved people, would claim common cause with “Southern slaveholding States.”

  4. Hugh De Mann says:

    This article well examines what can be gleaned from the primary record and you have done a great job of discerning what it yields.

    There is no disputing that a high amount of the holdings indicate that the institution of slavery was a prominent focal point in the war, and for both Virginia and the South to determine to secede. That is plain enough to see.

    At the same time, my point of contention would be around a few aspects:

    -It is well to point that a motivating factor for secession in the South, again, revolved around the institution of slavery. But this, presented in isolation, is completely insufficient; one must just as explicitly disclose that the primary evidence of the era also shows the North was willing to reconvene all the rights already given to the institution and guarantee them with for all time to come.

    Thus, slavery was an all American feature of American life, as Frederick Douglass noted in the 8 June 1849 ‘Liberator’, and it has to be conceded that if the South was fighting in some sense for slavery, so was the North in its willingess to put the Union back together as it had been. And both North and South were willing to embrace emancipation and took efforts to achieve this in an inter-dependent manner. Virginia was particularly prominent in this regard, as the state press shows.

    Stonewall Jackson is a particular example of willingness to change over slavery. At the start of the war, he had made statements in defense of the institution, but his surgeon records that as the war progressed, he became open to becoming an Emancipationist, (a distinction I’ll return to).

    Any discussion of the issue of an American military conflict with slavery as a focal point in the Civil War/War Between the States ought to also give mention to the 1846-48 Mexican American War.

    -As well, a HOLISTIC review of all the primary evidence in the pre and inter-war periods reveals that slavery was not the sole reason.

    As early as 1787, Alexander Hamilton had predicted an inter-American military conflict to occur in Federalist Papers Nos. 8-10, and a perusal of the situational context of the times shows slavery can not have been the reason he saw such an event to be likely. That is not to deny or minimise that slavery had attained a different status in this regard come the 1860s.

    Review of primary evidence brings to light such statements as Confederate General John Kemper stating, “We are fighting for independence”; on 27 June 1862, George Pickett wrote his wife that the reason that Virginia had had to fight is that she was not going to allow the federal troops raised by Lincoln to pass through her lands to bring battle to other states, and that she would not be part of that process; there is evidence towards Virginia and the South with regards to tariffs and economics, such as the observation by Alexander Tilloch Galt, (Canadian colonial Minister of Finance, thus responsible for free trade between the colony and the Republic), in 1859 that America would have difficulty retaining her citizens if her then-taxation levels were maintained, (he was opposed to slavery and met with President Lincoln in Washington at Christmas in 1861, and slavery was an issue they discussed besides economics).

    Robert E. Lee stands as a prime example, (besides Longstreet, Stuart, etc), whom explicitly stated they were siding with their native Southern states in the conflict due to the common Southern understanding and interpretation of the Constitution and American federalism as being akin to Switzerland in the 1700s, whereby, the catons there were paramount to the republic which bound them.

    -Lee is a good example of last point; ‘Abolitionist’ was not at all the only way in which one could be ‘anti-slavery’. This is commonly implied in much of the literature about the war that’s been published in the last 15 years of so. It fails to distinguish between that and Emancipationism. These were persons/groups who believed slavery wrong and wanted it to end, but they sought a gradual end to the institution, rather than a sudden one. Lee and Abraham Lincoln were of this persuasion.

    Another point of important distinction is that Emancipationists disliked how Abolitionists often, if not always, held little sense of responsibility towards emancipation Black Americans. The latter demanded an immediate end to slavery, but commonly gave little thought or effort towards enabling Black Americans to be able to succeed in life following their manumission and often desired Black Americans to stay out of the North, as exampled by Governor John Andrew of Mass.

    Emancipationists like Lee believed in providing Black Americans with education and vocation skills, which the Lee family did. Lincoln attended upon Black American businesses, freely.

    -So I applaud the good work you’ve done in your article. My only point, perhaps put at length here, is that there is more to the holistic picture than what your article surmises.

  5. nygiant1952 says:

    Lee, Jackson, Kemper, …all traitors to the Inited States.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Arms folded, chin rests on hands, content look…

      Only on the condition you are prepared to hang all parties of the New Englanders in the War of 1812, the South Carolinians in the Nullification Crisis and Maine in the Arastook War from the same scaffold.

      If you’re not prepared to say, ‘yes’, to that, then your position is groundless.

      All or none.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        You are comparing apples and oranges.

        First of all, they did not vote to secede from eh Union.
        Second of all, none of them took up arms to over-throw the duly elected Government.
        Third of all, they did not give assistance to the enemy.

  6. Hugh De Mann says:

    If you are not do prepared, then you must concede the triumvirate of precedent stands!

    • nygiant1952 says:

      You are comparing apples and oranges.

      First of all, they did not vote to secede from the Union.
      Second of all, none of them took up arms to over-throw the duly elected Government.
      Third of all, they did not give assistance to the enemy.

  7. Hugh De Mann says:

    At the same time, NYGiant1952, I have more than enough put that your argument can not successfully withstand my challenges with regards to what you put as ‘treason’ above.

    Thereby, no matter what you put, I put my own back.

    Further, out of respect to the Admins, such as Chris Mackowski and Jon Tracey, I am going to once and for all put the matter as I have, to you, re. who did and didn’t commit ‘treason’ and why.

    With that, I return to the present topic of this thread; I see merit in Talbot’s arguments to an extent, but the evidence shows more than what he admits.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Mentioning what one or 2 people did , does not absolve or erase the FACT, that the South left the Union because of slavery. It was written in the Cornerstone Speech, and also mentioned by many of the states in their Articles of Secession.

      BTW, the US Constitution does not allow any state to secede. Recall that the Constitution in the 1st Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      Only the right to petition. If the Government refuses the petition, it does;t say that armed insurrection is allowed.

      Also recall that in Article 1 the power to call forth the militia “to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions” and in Article 4 “and [the United States] shall protect each of them [the States] against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

      Recall that the United States is a Nation of Laws.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Mentioning what one or 2 people did ,

        *************** I have not. I have written what scores of military, lay and political persons and bodies did by intention in three states in three separate incidents.***************

        does not absolve or erase the FACT, that the South left the Union because of slavery.

        ******************************I have never denied or minimised that slavery was a key factor in the Civil War/War Between The States having occurred at the time it did.

        I have very correctly put to you on numerous occasions that the historical evidence shows that there were more reasons for the war occurring that this alone, and that when it comes to slavery, the North was as much responsible as the South for this, historically. As well, the North was willing to put the Union back together with slavery intact and eternal. You are the one trying to cut these facts from consideration.**************************************

        It was written in the Cornerstone Speech, and also mentioned by many of the states in their Articles of Secession.

        **********************************Slavery was cited in the Cornerstone Speech. Who denies this? Who denies that it was also cited in a flurry of contemporary, primary evidence.

        But why do YOU deny, which amounts to dishonesty by omission, that the same evidence shows plainly there were more factors at stake than just slavery?

        Such as in the CS Speech of Stephens itself, he cites tariffs/economics THREE times. As well, he argued he was citing the 1832 SCOTUS ruling of a Northern-born judge whom said, in essence, that the right to property, including slavery, was the cornerstone of the US Constitution and nation?

        Why do you NOT cite that that there were 2 Cornerstone Speeches, the one in 1859 by Robert Toombs that emphasized the common Southern view of the Const. and American federalism, which emphasized the states were the paramount units of American politics?

        Why do you not cite how Abraham Lincoln in his First Inaugral Address made a plain break from the issue of slavery to devote a paragraph and a half to arguing how the said Southern view of such was incorrect and the North’s, correct?

        Why do you NOT incorporate the actions and desires of Santiago Vidaurri to have his Mexican states annexed to the Confederacy and the significance that this means?

        Why do you seek to erroneously, demonstrably so by the evidence, refuse to acknowledge that the North was wiling to reconvene all the rights to slavery as they already existed for all time to come?

        The argument you put forward, the historical narrative you proffer, is dishonest by omission. If these and more evidences are considered, then your argument can not be carried and the dishonest methodology underpinning it is laid bare. For pure, naked advantage and nationalisitic desire, alone.*****************************

        BTW, the US Constitution does not allow any state to secede.

        *************************Incorrect. The Const. is silent on the matter of secession. It does not say anything for or against it.****************************

        Recall that the Constitution in the 1st Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        *****************************************************That in no way, shape or form abridges the issue of whether a state can lawfully secede or not.

        IF the matter is so settled by the Constitution, then how could the position ever arise where at least five Presidents who swore the same Oath as President that Lincoln did with the same duties to uphold the same Const. could have held the belief that secession was either lawful or imposs. to prevent.?

        Jefferson, Madison, John Quincy Adams, John Tyler and James Buchanan. ********************************************************

        Only the right to petition. If the Government refuses the petition, it does;t say that armed insurrection is allowed.

        Also recall that in Article 1 the power to call forth the militia “to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions” and in Article 4 “and [the United States] shall protect each of them [the States] against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

        Recall that the United States is a Nation of Laws.

        ***********************************Problem is…it DID permit, de facto, armed resistance to occur, twice, via South Carolina and Maine.

        Two precedents in that regard can not be simply put out of hand.

        As well, what you DON”T attempt to so much as give an explanation for is just as telling: IF you argue that the Confederate states were never out of the Union, then how is the federal government not guilty for treason by levying war upon them, yet at the same time, justified in putting down a rebellion?

        This was an exmplar of the flaws of the American Constitution: In trying to document in positive fashion every possible scenario, it became apparent that this was not, could never be, is never, truly possible. Events had provided a contradiction.

        It is impossible to argue that the federal government did not convey war upon the Confederate states. At the same time, did the Union government argue the position it was involved in was putting down a rebellion? It certainly did.

        But WHERE EXACTLY was the line between ‘levying war upon America’s states is treason’, and, ‘the federal government had the right to put down a rebellion’?

        These are absolutely critical questions to the matter that not only does your argument NOT address, it dismisses them as unimportant.

        They are ESSENTIAL.******************************

  8. Hugh De Mann says:

    (Shrug)

    So you want another brawl?

    Very well.

    First off, your point about ‘having a vote to leave the Union’ is a non-sequitur; you are attempting to ignore and ‘sweep under the carpet’ the very serious evidence at the time in historical posterity and available for review now that these three groups all committed actions which were evidence of secession and/or treason per the Constitution.

    The reason you condone these so easily is that it does not advantage the inaccurate and indefensible manner, overall, in which you articulate the Civil War/War Between The States.

    Pure, aggressive nationalism mixed with bad methodology and dishonest arguments. That’s your basis in a nutshell.

    New England espoused secession in time when America was desperately fighting a war of national self-preservation, to the point where the President was convinced of the seriousness of the matter.

    What’s more, if they did not take up arms against the US, they directly enabled an invading enemy who was conquering/occupying US territory and forcing its citizens to adhere to THEIR laws; 2/3 of the beef supplying the British forces in that war in America came from New England; the New Englanders attempted to thwart the federal government’s ability to fund the war; they withheld militia from the U.S. Army; Governor Strong attempted to procure a peace treaty for Mass., alone; and all this while the British were killing US troops and sailors on US territory and waters, capturing and burning Washington DC and the White House, and forcing the President and First Lady to flee for their lives.

    If you will not say this was ‘giving aid and comfort to enemies of America’, then your opinion is of no value.

    Not one single New Englander ever faced any treason legal charges of any kind, at all.

    And I’m just getting started.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Hi,

      At the Hartford Convention, did the delegates officially vote to secede? No.

      Did New England leave the Union? No

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        (Shrug)

        You again try to minimise that the sentiment of New England’s delegates about secession were plainly displayed by whatever means they were.

        One can argue for them even to express these sentiments in any manner during a war of national self-preservation is demonstrably intent towards secession, enough.

        And I’ll thank you to tuck in your dishonest statement there, full stop. Because by the evidence that does exist on the topic from the times, it is not known if the NE delegates did or didn’t have a vote. You can not state that positively from the Report of the Hartford Convention.

        And again, by secret vote, private taking of numerical opinions by private counsel, or by secret signs like a hamburger poll, (with tankards of beer, etc), it laid plain that they were considering secession and this had been flouted openly.

        They also made it plain they could elect upon secession as an action at a future time.

  9. High De Mann says:

    Next, with South Carolina in the Nullification Crisis, take up arms and explicitly threaten to use them to kill any American troops if they entered SC with the intention of upholding a law that the federal government had the authority to enact, per the Constitution. They massed and drilled their troops for this purpose.

    And what happened to them for this? Nothing whatsoever the question.

    The US government not only did not take action against them; they caved in and legitimated these actions AGAINST itself by negotiating and giving in to their demands.

    Go ahead; put in writing that you’ve no problem as a historian with this.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      The right to bare arms is protected by the Us Constitution.

      Last I checked, South Carolina folded during the Nullification crisis. In its attempts to have other Southern states join in nullification, South Carolina met with total failure.

      Pres. Andrew Jackson regarded the South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification as a clear threat to the federal union and to national authority. He reacted by submitting to Congress a Force Bill authorizing the use of federal troops in South Carolina if necessary to collect tariff duties. On December 10, 1832, Jackson issued his “Proclamation to the People of South Carolina,” asserting the supremacy of the federal government and warning that “disunion by armed force is treason.” In rebutting Calhoun’s states’ rights position, Jackson argued:

      On March 1, 1833, Congress passed the Force Bill. South Carolina’s isolation, coupled with Jackson’s determination to employ military force if necessary, ultimately forced South Carolina to retreat.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        The right to bare arms for the express intention of killing the Armed Forces of the United States gov’t is permitted?

        Then you checked wrong: South Carolina demanded the US federal government rescind the tariff law it had passed and by the scribe of the US Const., that the federal gov’t had the right to pass.

        And Jackson said this and that, but he backed down and he was the one who caved to the state of South Carolina’s demands. He agreed to the tariff rate that South Carolina demanded and recalled the troops.

        It wasn’t the state forces of South Carolina that backed down.

        To attempt to extricate the argument that you do out of that is blatant historical dishonesty.

        Not only that, but Jackson NEVER brought any legal charges of treason whatsoever the question against South Carolina for that purpose.

  10. Hugh De Mann says:

    Next, per the scribe of the US Const., only the US federal gov’t has the power to conduct relations with a foreign country and engage in war with same.

    Now, we could get into a whole discussion about if/how/which conventions and traditions from the pre-Union and Union-formation eras carried over. Because that is exactly what the state of Maine ended up doing.

    You are not seriously going to say that the ONLY way that a state of war between two parties, especially recognized political units, is by shots fired, are you?

    I’d call invading that territory for the express purpose of conquering it to add it to the borders of your political unit and away from the other, constructing fortifications upon territory that the other political has long such considered its own and been recognised by other political units as such, arming and drilling troops on that said territory, and marching onto that territory, seizing representatives of that political unit and conveying them to custody into territory of the former…

    …well, we know for a fact that the British considered this a state of war, as they explicitly said it was in the British Parliament.

    Yeah, Maine did all THAT and all the while, it argued it had not only the complete right to do so, but it had no need to so much as inform, let alone, involve the US Federal government.

    Maine’s actions would have levied a state of war upon the rest of the American states. Because if by her actions in isolation, not only would Britain attack the state of Maine but ALL American states have war levied upon them, due to Maine’s actions.

    There is no debate about this.

  11. That really is a simplistic argument that Lee, Jackson, Kemper, whoever were “traitors” to the US. It ignores facts and relies on a superficial understanding of history. It is “drive-by” history. The decision in Kawakita v. US, 343 US 717, 734 (1952) illuminates. Kawakita was a dual national, who enjoyed citizenship in both US and Japan. During WW II, he was living in Japan and he took actions which resulted in greater punishment for US POW’s. He was accused of treason against the US. Kawakita argued that when living in Japan, he had to honor his citizenship with Japan, not his citizenship with the US. The Supreme Court rejected that argument – saying that while enjoying US citizenship where ever he was, he had obligations. The Supreme Court focused on the fact that Kawahita held US citizenship at the time he committed overt acts against US service members. That is not at all like Lee. Jackson, Kemper, et al – they very publicly gave up their US citizenship. There is a reason why after the Civil War, the US government considered at length charging Lee, Davis and others with treason and in the end, chose not to prosecute. This is just a silly argument.

    Too, such an argument suggests that even today, if I swear allegiance to the US – as I did in 1980 – that I am forever precluded from fighting for Canada or Mexico or whoever against the US. If I gave up my oath to fight *against* the US, that might satisfy some street definition of “treason, but it would satisfy no legal definition of treason – so long as I was public in my renunciation of my US citizenship and army obligations. Otherwise, you are suggesting some form of indefinite servitude for everyone who joins the US military.
    Tom

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Let’s see what the US Constitution says about Treason.

      Section 3 Treason
      Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

      Where does it say anything about being a citizen?

      The words are pretty straight-forward. Lee Jackson, Davis, and Longstreet all waged war against the United States.

      There is a reason the US Government did not take them to trial. The treason cases would have had to be prosecuted in Virginia, or a Southern state and the chances of impaneling an impartial jury did not exist.

      As we say in NYC, woids have meaning.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Instantaneously, the definition meets all prima facie elements for all three other incidents to meet the offence of constitutional treason.

        Either all or none are thereby guilty, period.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        If you will not on same grounds the New Englanders, South Carolinians and Mainers guilty of treason, then you are selective of the matter pursuant to what advantages you as a discredited historian.

        I can and will speak nothing towards the state and people of New York; I do state that to yourself as a discredited historian, words have no meaning pursuant to historical evidence.

        Advantage alone does, and that to your own sense of power.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        The Constitution says in black and white…”No Person…”

        Nothing about being a citizen at all.

  12. Hugh De Mann says:

    In the spirit of moving this conversation ahead for the entire page and membership, NYGiant1952, I’ll say this-

    If you want to argue that the Lost Cause thesis and historiography, upon serious scrutiny, has a considerable amount of aspects, in part and/or in whole, that can be questioned, then get behind ME!

    I’m the very first to point this out.

    We can agree on that much.

    Now let’s get off this nub for the benefit of the whole.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      You mean that the South left the Union because of slavery, because Lincoln was elected, and that the power that the South once held was removed because there were more free states than slave states, then yes.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        That is not a sufficient explanation of the Civil War/War Between The States.

        Put as you choose to in print. Your arguments are insufficient to my challenges.

  13. Hugh De Mann says:

    Admins, please to recognise that I have attempted to avert another long chat thread with NYGiant1952.

    If you choose to intervene, I will respect it.

    But if he engages, I will return his arguments with a rebuttal.

  14. nygiant1952 says:

    A couple of things,

    1. New Englanders ( Mainers included ) and South Carolinians never actually seceded did they? This is what the US Constitution sez…

    Section 3 Treason
    Clause 1 Meaning
    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
    So, what crime did the fare mentioned people commit?

    2. I rest my case on the Cornerstone Speech.

    3. I ask that no one stops this conversation. This is a debate, and everyone benefits from a discussion back and forth. 160 years after the Civil War, no one can agree on the causes of the Civil War, so we aren’t going to solve anything. But those who are new to the CivilWar, ) aka “newbies” or “rookies”), may glean some knowledge which will send them to the books to read…and that can only be a good thing!

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      First off-

      1) You attempt to put that ‘Secession’ necessarily equals ‘Treason’.

      In other words, you try not only to say that they are the same thing; but that BOTH must be present to equal the ONE.

      That is sloppy reasoning in the extreme. It’s simply bias dressed up as logic and poorly at that.

      It’s like trying to argue something can only be stolen provided it can be picked up and taken and that this MUST have occurred for a theft to occur, (a car? Livestock?)

      Treason shall consist only in levying war against the USA…this is EXACTLY what SC and Maine did! To argue otherwise is to deliberately determine not to look at all the evidence available.

      Lying by omission in other words.

      ‘…giving aid to their enemies’…PRECISELY what SC did beyond any dispute as the USA fought for its national self-preservation.

      Your arguments are challenged successfully.

      2) If you rest your case re. the CS Speech, then your case falls. Your case therein rests on exclusion of evidence that I have successfully brought out and examined.

      For example, the ONLY way to argue that the CS marks a difference between the origins of the USA and CSA in terms of racial equality and justice is to ignore that the very point of the citation, ‘all men are created equal’, in the DOI was what?

      To deny that the King of Great Britain and/or his heirs and descendants could validly claim any special association with the lands they held some connection to.

      AND WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THAT?!

      To create the legal excuse for the colonists to deny that Aboriginal people in North America had same, as legally enshrined in the 1763 Royal Proclamation! The Aboriginal people, due to their ancestry, we’re recognised by HM’s Government as having same or similar enough. Thereby, their lands were protected in the name of the King.

      Deny that in order to just seize Aboriginals’ lands and, we’ll, we all know what followed.

      You simply try to evade that reality.

      Go ahead; I’ll put it in print every time.

      3) Then you really DONT understand.

      Such an understanding of accurate knowledge of the Civil War/War Between The States will be gleaned from this debate at the cost of your historical credibility.

      I don’t need or want you to concede I’m right, that you’ve changed your mind, etc.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        If three precedents of prima facie treason per the constitution did not so much as result in even one legal charge to that effect, then the matter is ended.

        One can dislike and disagree with what the Confederates fought for as much as you like.

        But they can not be held as guilty of treason. The triumvirate of precedents rests the matter.

        All are equal before and under the law in this regard or they’re not. If you argue not, you are putting your own mix of bias and emotion in place of the legal elements and facts.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Hugh de Mann,

        1.Your words…”If you will not on same grounds the New Englanders, South Carolinians and Mainers guilty of treason,”

        You are the one mentioning seceding states and treason.

        2, The Cornerstone Speech tells us why the South left the Union.

        3. Diversion.

  15. “Where does it say anything about being a citizen? ”

    Now you are complaining about the decision of the US Supreme Court in Kawakita v US, 343 US 717 (1952). You should take that up with Justice Douglas and the other justices who joined this opinion. Note that the dissent found that Mr. Kawakita did in fact renounce his US citizenship in 1943 – because the Japanese authorities declared him an enemy alien living in Japan. So, yes, regardless of the words in the Constitution, it is current law that citizenship is a necessary factor for the crime of treason. In fact, there are a wide range of “laws” that exist today, despite not being explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. That is simply part of the court’s duty and function to interpret laws and provisions of the US Constitution. If the US Supreme Court says it is so, then generally it is so. Until over-ruled by a subsequent version of the US Supreme Court – which contrary to the recent Dobbs decision, is very, very rare.
    Tom

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Kawakita claimed he could not be found guilty of treason since he had lost his U.S. citizenship while in Japan.

      The Constitution says…No Person. There is nothing about being a citizen.

      So citizenship is NOT required,

      • The Supreme Court said what it said. No, Kawakita did not “lose” his citizenship. The dissent says he renounced it in 1943. He then tried to get it back when he applied for a US passport after WW II. Kawakita went to a US Consul in 1945 and said he was still a US citizen. The majority opinion – the part of the opinion that actually serves as precedent says he was always a US citizen and *never* lost his citizenship. That was the nub of his appeal: he claimed to have lost his US citizenship – therefore he could not have committed treason against the US. The majority opinion rejected that argument because he never truly lost his US citizenship. Kawakita must do more that simply register in a Japanese census in order to renounce his citizenship, said the majority. He had dual citizenship. That means he held responsibility for both countries.It would be as if Lee, Jackson and Kemper tried to argue they held citizenship in both the USA and the CSA. But, they did not. They openly renounced their US citizenship. You keep trying to change the Kawakita decision, but it speaks for itself. I’ll try to post the link: https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=14270191881160802490&q=kawakita+v+united+states&hl=en&as_sdt=3,44
        Tom

  16. Matt McKeon says:

    The point is often made that the abolitionists were a small minority of free staters. But the vast majority of free staters were anti-slavery. They had abolished slavery in their own states and wanted it kept out of the western territories.

    Lincoln ran, in 1860, on a platform that he was restricting slavery, which was understood as putting slavery on the course of extinction. He was a real threat to the future well being of slavery, which is why his election prompted secession.

  17. Matt McKeon says:

    To me, the question of “what” caused the Civil War isn’t even interesting. Is was slavery. The more fruitful questions are: “Why did slavery cause the Civil War?” “How did slavery cause the Civil War?” and “Why and how did slavery cause the Civil War in 1860-61?”

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      But that articulation not only wrongly denied that other causes had a large part in bringing on the war; it is crafted to evade ever having to reckon with them.

      That articulation is challenged severely when one considers the content of Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Papers when in 1787, he first so accurately predicted an inter-American conflict and slavery was not the cause he foresaw at the time.

      Did slavery emerge as a huge factor by 1860-61? Yes, but neither side can claim the moral high ground in this.

      Did all the other factors from 1787 go away? No, they were also at play in 186-61

      • Matt McKeon says:

        In 1860, the only cause is slavery, all the fascinating trivia about the Aroostook “War” aside(did you know the only casuality of the war was a guy mauled by a bear? YIkes!)

        In Charles Dew’s fascinating “Apostles of Disunion” he describes attempts by prosecession commissioners to get reluctant slave states to follow South Carolina over the cliff. Their argument was slavery, slavery, and then a little more slavery.

  18. Hugh De Mann says:

    NYGiant1952-

    1) You tried to put the argument that secession equaled treason.

    Do not attempt to shift now.

    If you are retracting that argument, amending it or putting a different one, that’s something else.

    2) The CS speech is ONE piece of evidence. To attempt to present this in isolation from all other possible evidence that can be also examined is ahistorical and dishonest in the extreme.

    What’s more, I have demonstrated this to you on numerous occasions with other evidence that yields a far more nuanced and involved than what you put.

    3) Nuance.

    You can not make the argument that the CSA has a racist element in its origins which the USA does not when the evidence shows the USA DOES indeed have a racist past.

    Know what the UN defines that relevant conduct of the USA’s origins as?

    • nygiant1952 says:

      1.Talking about secession is not treason. Seceding is treason and it’s illegal.
      2. The VP of the Confederacy said those words.And Jefferson Davis condoned the comments.
      3. Diversion.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        1) Talking about treasonable activities that torment into some kind of action, such as issuing a threat of war upon the US government if it persists in an action, would very well be treason. It proves the intent.

        The Constitution says nothing at all about treason.

        If it did, how could five Presidents whom swore the oath to uphold it be convinced it was legal and/or possible?

        2) What did all the others say about issues the CS Speech pertains to? That is the crux of historical investigation and I shouldn’t have to tell you that.

        Explain then how Davis could have stated a policy to end American slavery as early as 1850? If you are correct about what you say, then such a thing is impossible.

        But Davis DID.

        You are making excuses for being aggressively ignorant of historical evidence; trying to justify ahistorical methods.

        C) Directly relevant.

        In order to prove one thing, you must prove the other.

        But the evidence caught you.

  19. nygiant1952 says:

    Irishconfederate, you are comparing apples and oranges. Confederates who fought in the Civil War were not dual citizens nor were they citizens of the Confederate States of America.

    Lincoln and the US Government never believed that the South had left the Union, and never recognized that the Confederacy existed. He considered the Southern states to still be in the Union. Abraham Lincoln always contended the South had really never left the Union and could not legally do so.

    It was the 14th amendment to the Constitution which stripped former Confederates of their vote and citizenship. Basically these Confederates where American citizens who fought against the duly elected Government. The United States Government never recognized them as citizens of the Confederacy.

    Lee and a number of other Confederate officers were indicted for treason on June 7, 1865. A grand jury decided that there was enough evidence to convict Lee and his fellow rebels for high treason against the United States, a punishment that carried a possible death sentence.

    Best to read what the Constitution says.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      This court case was never brought against Lee or any other Confederate.

      No conviction against them was ever clinched.

      In other words, it was never proven that Lee DID commit treason beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of competent jurisdiction.

      In other words, the US government KNEW it couldn’t convict them of this, as evidenced by even the wording of Lincoln’s final public speech on 11 April 1865.

      In other words, President Johnson was desperate to save face and ordered his Pardon, worded as it was about Treason.

      Given the three Precedents against Treason in NE, SC, and Maine, the ex-Confederates knew once this alone was cited at court, they could not be found guilty, if all are treated equally before and under the law.

      Thereby, the President was free to give Pardons with any wording he chose; it didn’t mean the contents were grounded in legitimacy, exactly as President Jefferson’s caution to Lewis and Clark to be careful as mammoths might still possibly roam the continent interior.

    • No, best to read what the Supreme Court says the Constitution says. There are a number of laws or caselaw not explicitly expressed in the Constitution.
      Tom

  20. nygiant1952 says:

    Hugh deMann,
    Your wrote this…”The Constitution says nothing at all about treason.”

    Well I have a copy of the US Constitution that I carry with me all the time, just so I can bring it out and show people what it REALLY says.

    Article III. Section. III. of the US Constitution
    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

    So, let’s decide this issue before we proceed? OK?

  21. Hugh De Mann says:

    If I wrote that, then it was a typo: I meant to write the Constitution says nothing about Secession.

    Next point?

  22. Hugh De Mann says:

    The point being, the US Constitution is utterly silent upon the issue of secession; it says nothing as to whether a state can leave the Union or not.

  23. nygiant1952 says:

    It’s not that the US Government did not have a case against Lee and those indicted, or even Jefferson Davis.

    The US Government decided that in Virginia where the case would be tried, they could not sit an impartial jury.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      They could put anyone they wanted to a trial; but a full scope of all the relevant legal questions and evidence would never render them guilty.

      Once the three precedents were considered in full scope, as they would have been, a conviction was impossible for the reasons that drive your viewpoint-

      The US would have to admit it treated some parties differently and unfairly before and under the same law, that bias and emotion was allowed to supplant reason and non-partisanship.

      And you are basically admitting in that breath, NYGiant1952, that no Confederates were ever convicted for treason.

      If thereby no conviction was ever secured, you can not say on those grounds even alone that the Confederates were guilty of treason, all other arguments/evidence, aside.

      All you can do then is put your own historical argument that they were guilty of this and as I’ve shown time and again, that’s an argument that can’t be successfully carried as it rests upon aggressive ignorance of all possible relevant questions and evidence.

      When these are brought to the forefront, no matter how much you tru to ignore them, your personal historical arguments are successfully challenged.

      Nothing requires you to ‘like’, ‘agree with’, etc, the Confederates.

    • “The US Government decided that in Virginia where the case would be tried, they could not sit an impartial jury.”

      Not true. In 1867-1868 when they were seriously intending to prosecute Jeff Davis, Lee and others, the jury would have included all Freedmen and Union soldiers. Former Confederates were not yet allowed on juries.

      Lee had a parole paper, so his prosecution waseven more problematic.
      Tom

      • nygiant1952 says:

        NOT TRUE!!

        The unpredictability of a Richmond jury and a last-ditch effort to bypass the jury by having the case dismissed on unrelated constitutional grounds ( double jeopardy) made the case, in the estimation of prosecutors, too complex and politically charged to be worth pursuing.

        Nice try though.

  24. Hugh De Mann says:

    All you can do here, in sum, NYGiant1952, is point out how much you dislike and disagree with the Confederates and ‘side’ with the Union.

    You don’t need to prove that, I’m fully convinced those are your sentiments.

    But you can not successfully make the arguments you are resolved to make.

    Too much relevant and pertinent evidence exists to accomodate your position.

    (Shrug) Feel as you want. That is your dominion, alone.

    But when it comes to making a historical argument, that is another thing entirely.

  25. nygiant1952 says:

    A fundamental understanding of he US Constitution is needed in order to understand why secession was illegal, even though the word is secession is not mentioned in the Constitution.
    We have to look at some of the clauses and interpret the meaning.

    Article I Section 8 Clause 15. [Congress shall have the Power] To provide calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.

    Article IV Section. 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them from Invasion; and on application of the Legislature or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against Domestic violence.

    Amendment I. Congress shall make no law…..abridging..the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Amendment II A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
    ================================================================

    Recall that after the Confederates attack Fort Sumter, President Lincoln declared that an Insurrection exists and calls for Northerners to volunteer for military service.

    If the grievances are not redressed, there is no clause in the Constitution that says that the Government can be overgrown. That would be a rebellion or an Insurrection and the Militia was formed to suppress said rebellion or Insurrection. If the grievance is not addressed, the Constitution has given the people the power. of the vote to change representatives in the Congress and the President.

    The Founding Fathers did not put in the Constitution a method for its demise, only a method for change.

    This is material they discuss in Civics 101, Honors section.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      And how would any of this not simultaneously be in contravention of the Constitution wherein it cites that treason shall be found in levying war against the States?

      When is something a rebellion or insurrection and at what point is the remedy the federal government applies not making war upon the states?

      The same constitution does not expressly say, in Abraham Lincoln’s words.

      It is beyond debate that the Union never recognised the Southern states as still in the Union.

      It is also impossible to argue it did not levy war upon them.

      The Civil War/War Between The States is in big part a result of the limitations and errs that were part of the drafting of the Constitution, itself.

      And no matter what any of the wording says in print, any argument that it applies a case of treason against the Confederates lapses when the matter of New England, South Carolina and Maine are all considered.

      Three times, the prima facie case of treason was not so much as put in a legal motion.

      End of debate.

      What’s more, again you shift; not one of the clauses you cite clarify if a state can leave the Union or not.

      You have made any successful argument.

  26. Hugh De Mann says:

    Now first off, in the spirit of fairness I’m going to assume where you type ‘overgrown’, you mean, ‘overthrown’, or another word conveying a different meaning than’overgrown’ would mean or imply.

    Anyone can make the mistake of a typo.

  27. Hugh De Mann says:

    The Founding Fathers thought they could document down all possible situations. The war proved this not so, in addition to other historical situations.

    None of what you have cited proves the point you’re failing to prove: That secession is a topic dealt with in the Constitution, let alone, that it necessarily equates with the charge of treason.

    My argument stands: The Confederates cannot be held as having committed treason due to the triumvirate of precedents of NE, SC and Maine.

    If no treason is held of these three, the Confederates can not be held to be so.

    Otherwise, you’re simply flouting your biased emotions in place of legal and historical facts.

  28. Hugh De Mann says:

    None of the content of the clauses you cite pertain to the issue of a state has left the Union.

    For your argument of citing Constitutional clauses to be successfully carried, the one and same Constitution must either squarely, or by strong implication at the least, state clearly if secession can be legally achieved or not.

    It doesn’t.

  29. nygiant1952 says:

    Those clauses in the Constitution are as applicable today as they were in 1861.

    Now, those Southerners who did write the Constitution wanted to make sure that the Militia was used to put down slave rebellions. Little did they know that those same clauses would be used to combat the Insurrection of the Confederacy.

    As I see it, Lincoln called it an Insurrection and since an Insurrection against the duly elected Government is mentioned in the Constitution, the right to prevent it exists.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Your comment fails utterly to discern where, exactly and precisely, at the time, the line in the constitution was between putting down a rebellion/insurrection and leving war against the states.

      You are not answering anything whatsoever the question and none of your replies have any merit in arguing why and how the three precedents of NE, SC and Maine are not relevant for consideration.

      They were and are as they met all prima facie elements for the offence of treason and yet, not a single individual ever faced any legal charges of treason.

      No matter what the Const. did or didn’t say, if none of these were ever brought up for treason, then neither can the Confederates be.

      ALL were guilty or none.

      And if you argue as you do about Lincoln, how can you argue in the same breath that he did not levy war against the states?

      Your argument is cogent only in as much as you evade these pertinent questions and evidence.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Your argument fails to realize that there is a difference between threatening to secede and actually seceding form the Union.

        Hugh, you generalize too much.

  30. Matt McKeon says:

    A lot of these arguments have the same logic:

    Slavery was a rotten reason to secede, and its gotten worse. So there is this attempt to deflect from the actual unspeakable reason for secession with a lot of blah blah about a supposed right to secession. It’s in the Constitution! Somewhere.

    The secession made their ill advised lunge, for the money and power slavery gave them. The Unionists fought for the Constitution.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      I do not for a moment say that slavery was not an important factor in the war coming, when it actually did arrive. That is beyond debate.

      I can and do argue that the historical record proves that there is no moral high ground to be had in this topic: If you argue that the South wanted to protect and expand slavery, you have to just as fully concede that the North was willing to reconvene all the rights to slavery that had already been granted and guarantee them for all time to come.

      And, I can and do argue that the historical record shows beyond debate that other factors, states rights/federalism, regionalism/culture and tariffs/economics all were also major factors in the war coming.

      Very true; all these other factors could and did converge into slavery. But they could and did just as much diverge from it to be issues in their own right.

      To argue against this is to deliberately engage upon a methodology centered upon aggressive ignorance of what the the full scope of evidence can disclose.

      The only way that such an argument can stand is to ignore or pretend as irrelevant evidence that is strongly relevant.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        The full evidence was disclosed in the Cornerstone Speech. The Confederacy was built upon slavery and that was the reason the South left the Union.

      • Matt McKeon says:

        I disagree. The free states had abolished slavery within their own states, they opposed the extension of slavery into the western territories. By supporting Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans they were voting for an openly anti-slavery party that wouldn’t allow filibustering into Central America or the Carribean to gain more slave territory, wouldn’t allow the expansion of slavery inside the United States and planned to put slavery “on the road to extinction.”

        When it came to slavery, the two sides were not on the same level field at all.

        And secessionist advocates from John C. Calhoun on described free staters as hating slavery, and as pro-abolitionist. Secessionists thought, correctly I believe, that slavery was under a death sentence under the Republicans, that their dwindling power within the United States meant they were losing the means to protect the sacred institution of slavery.

  31. Hugh De Mann says:

    Your argument fails to realize that there is a difference between threatening to secede and actually seceding form the Union.

    Hugh, you generalize too much.

    *********Your statement above is indefensible. That the New Englanders took ANY action to secede, such as discerning political support for it during a war of self-preservation and a foreign enemy invading America with success, and attempting to achieve de facto secession by attempting to arrange and enter into a peace treaty with a foreign enemy/nation when the Constitution says only the US federal government has the jurisdiction to do that.

    Gotta get serious on your historical arguments, Giant. And square with evidence, like it or not.************

  32. Hugh De Mann says:

    The full evidence was disclosed in the Cornerstone Speech. The Confederacy was built upon slavery and that was the reason the South left the Union.

    ***********Which CS Speech? There were two.

    Actually, three of them if you count the 1832 SCOTUS ruling that Stephens claimed he was citing, and a quick check reveals them to be very nearly the same.

    (Shrug) Want to have them posted here to see? We’ll see how different the USA and CSA were in regards to this from the words of the SCOTUS.

    Id be happy with that.

    What did Robert E. Lee, Jeb Stuart, James Longstreet, for example, say about why they fought for the South? Where’s the CS content in there?

    Id be happy to post that evidence again.

    What did Santiago Vidaurri, one of THE most aggressive Abolitionist figures on the planet say as his reasons for desiring the Confederacy to annex Nuevo León and Coahuila, the Mexican states he was Governor of?

    Id be delighted to post that here again. You?

    Say!!!! IF we accept Alexander Stephens CS Speech uncritically at face value as NYGiant1952 here urges, because Stephens was VP of the Confederacy, then that means we also have to accept just as uncritically for exact same reasons how he later argued during Reconstruction for the Georgia legislature to pass laws for racial equality before and under the law in Georgia; that most Black Americans in that state supported the Confederacy; that some form of reparations be paid to such persons; and he supported not just Black Americans voting in the post-war but their involvement in politics!

    You need to drop this aggressive ignorance in your methodology, Giant.**********

  33. nygiant1952 says:

    What was that official delegate vote at the Hartford Convention on secession? Oh yea,,never occurred. In fact, the Hartford Convention made a list of things that they wanted to see addressed and sent it to Congress.

    Please read the Convention report.

    get serious with your facts too.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      I instantly put it to you that you’re dishonest.

      You CAN NOT state from the known evidence that a secret vote did or did not take place. For you to state “it never occurred” is something that you know you can not state in definitive terms.

      The Hartford Report is not clear whether there was or wasn’t one. It is clear that a mathematical majority of Delegates thereat were not in support of secession at that time.

      The fact they broached it at all proves they thought it a valid potential outcome.

      They also clearly put it that they may well enact secession in the future.

      I put it to you now that whatever credibility you might have had remaining is destroyed. You have none.

      I’m glad you put that post up. It’s now codified forever.

      I did not need you to admit anything else. I wanted you to keep putting these discredible arguments forth.

  34. Hugh De Mann says:

    *********************I disagree. The free states had abolished slavery within their own states, they opposed the extension of slavery into the western territories.***********************

    The free states had agreed to form a country wherein they knew the realities of what slavery meant. They agreed to a constitution wherein the 3/5 and Fugitive Slave Tenets gave national sanction and protections to the institution.

    They freely chose to do this. No one forced them.

    What did it mean when West Point/Annapolis graduates, federal politicians and judges and officers, including the President, swore to uphold the Constitution?

    It meant they would uphold the place of slavery within it, regardless of their personal sentiments. What did that mean?

    It meant that they were swearing to return all presumed fugitive slaves to bondage, as Sherman wrote to his brother with delight about from Florida in 1842. That meant that the onus was on the given Black Americans in the situation to prove themselves innocent.

    After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, where did the federal government get the money to pay/supply federal slave catchers? From tariffs upon foreign goods. That meant that Abolitionist Northerners, like Robert Gould Shaw and his family, whom owned a stained glass importation business from Europe, were directly enabling the institution of slavery, regardless their professed sentiments.

    When the Northern states ‘freed’ most of their slaves, what became of the bulk of those slaves? They weren’t freed; they were sold into slavery in the South.

    Your statement on preventing slavery being spread into the Western territories needs some serious revision to remain credible; not only was the desire to prevent the institution there based almost wholly in racism, (the Northern states didn’t want Black Americans there, period! So the historical record proves), what was the very Mexican American War from 1846-48 ever fought for in the first place?

    The primary evidence, such as the pronouncement of the Mass. legislature, tells us it was the desire to conquer new American lands to expand American slavery into.

    ********************By supporting Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans they were voting for an openly anti-slavery party that wouldn’t allow filibustering into Central America or the Carribean to gain more slave territory, wouldn’t allow the expansion of slavery inside the United States and planned to put slavery “on the road to extinction.”************************************

    A vote for Lincoln was also a vote in support of reconvening all the rights to slavery that had already been given, and enshrine them for all time to come.

    That would have meant whatever the status and rights were to all the barns, fields, whips, chains, bills of sale and bedrooms were as they existed in 1861 would have existed for all time to come.

    Not to mention, the evidence clearly shows that the South was not only willing to emancipate, but it took the steps to emancipate first in the war.

    Evidence gladly supplied on request. Ever read the UK “Spectator” of 25 January 1862? Or the papers of Abraham Lincoln? How about the diary of US Consul to the UK, Charles Francis Adams? That’s the tip of iceberg.

    *******************When it came to slavery, the two sides were not on the same level field at all.******************

    Well, actually, if you look at the statements of the escaped slaves whom reached Canada on the Underground Railroad, yes, they were.

    Barns, fields, whips, chains, bills of sale and bedrooms were exactly that. That’s what was found under both the Stars and Stripes and CBF, and both were willing to emancipate.

    “…ours is a practical knowledge of the peculiar institution, gleaned from the panting lips of the refugees on our shores.” – George Brown, Founder and President of the Canadian Abolitionist Society, Editor of the Toronto Globe and Father of Canadian Confederation.

    ****************And secessionist advocates from John C. Calhoun on described free staters as hating slavery, and as pro-abolitionist. Secessionists thought, correctly I believe, that slavery was under a death sentence under the Republicans, that their dwindling power within the United States meant they were losing the means to protect the sacred institution of slavery.****************

    That sounds convincing, but it is not holistic. What about all the figures such as Robert E. Lee whom were Emancipationists, exactly like Abraham Lincoln.

    And all the evidence of all those whom DIDNT cite slavery as the reason they supported secession? And your argument implies there was nothing to criticise in Abolitionists’ methods, such as their desire to ‘immediately’ end slavery w/o responsibility, (commonly), to provide the freed Black Americans with either education or work skills, which the Lees’ broke Virginia state law to provide them with.

    Abolitionists were right and the defenders of slavery wrong: Slavery was a wrong and cruel practice.

    But this was not the only reason for secession. And it ignores that by the time the war came, Northerners had elected a party and President that was explicitly committed to preserving slavery as it existed.

    So your arguments fail to address a large scope of relevant evidence and material.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      Your extended post is not accurate on several levels.
      The people freed when the northern states emancipated their slaves, the “bulk” were not sold into slavery, but it was a recognized danger, and states like New York passed laws prohibiting the practice, and a procedure for retrieving New Yorkers from slavery was established. The most famous New Yorker was probably Solomon Northrup, but Sojourner Truth was able to retrieve a son as well.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        If you feel that my post is not accurate then you are unfamiliar with the evidence, at best.

        A large bulk of ex-Northern slaves WERE sold south into slavery there when the northern states began ending slavery.

        Refer here, for starters:

        http://slavenorth.com/

        Solomon Northup is one example. You need a LOT more evidence to counter the argument.

        May I also ask, if the laws of New York were so secure against slavery, what overrode them?

        The Fugitive Slave tenet of the Constitution.

        And why was it that fugitive slaves had to pass through NY to gain secure freedom in Canada or the other British North American colonies?

        Want the proof of that?

      • Hugh De Mann says:

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Let us not also forget the ‘Southern Underground Railroad’, into Mexico.

        If the ONLY factor of the Civil War/War Between The States was slavery, and that this was the ONLY reason that the Confederacy existed, then why did arguably the most adamant Abolitionist on the planet, Santiago Vidaurri, the Governor of Mexico’s states of Nuevo Leon and Coahuila attempt to have these annexed by the Confederacy?

        I’ve no problem to answer that.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      Lee was an enthusiastic participant in slavery, driving slaves to make money in his own property, renting out his enslaved workers to others, relentlessly hunting and punishing any slave who sought to escape. He fought as hard as any man can for a southern nation based on slaveownership.

      He was required to free slaves as a condition of his father in law’s will. At the end of the war, he advocating enlisting large numbers of blacks as Confederate soldiers, on the promise of freedom, but he was overruled by the Confederate government. The Confederacy was based on slavery.

      Lincoln who hated slavery his whole life, ran as an anti-slavery candidate, emancipated slaves as a war leader, successfully adovcated for the 13th amendment, and was murdered specifically because of his support for black citizenship. He and Lee were not alike on slavery.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Nice comments!

        Lee was a traitor to the United States. Lincoln was a Patriot.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        ***********Lee was an enthusiastic participant in slavery, driving slaves to make money in his own property, renting out his enslaved workers to others, relentlessly hunting and punishing any slave who sought to escape. He fought as hard as any man can for a southern nation based on slaveownership.

        He was required to free slaves as a condition of his father in law’s will. At the end of the war, he advocating enlisting large numbers of blacks as Confederate soldiers, on the promise of freedom, but he was overruled by the Confederate government. The Confederacy was based on slavery.

        Lincoln who hated slavery his whole life, ran as an anti-slavery candidate, emancipated slaves as a war leader, successfully adovcated for the 13th amendment, and was murdered specifically because of his support for black citizenship. He and Lee were not alike on slavery.****************

        WHA?!!!

        LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Ok, hold it. Stop.

        Amend or retract this statement. To not it to lose your historical credibility.

        I warn you as one historian to the other; I can offhand think of about 12 pieces of primary evidence that completely disprove that Lee supported slavery.

        And I won’t offer this again.

      • “Lee was an enthusiastic participant in slavery, driving slaves to make money in his own property, renting out his enslaved workers to others, relentlessly hunting and punishing any slave who sought to escape. ”

        Just not accurate. Lee managed some slaves as he managed his father-in-law’s estate. This is a huge over-statement. He rented out slaves as he was managing the estate pf George Washington Parke Custis. The estate was in shambles. he *did* try to recoup enough money to honor Custis’ bequests. That effort did take him some five years. Heck, lee even manumitted those slaves – knowing they had already escaped slavery on their own. The allegation that he “relentlessly hunted” slaves is way over-blown. He did post an ad when two slaves escaped to recover them. That ad does not amount to a “relentless hunt.” That is just silly.

        There is no record that Lee owned slaves in his on name. He surely did own some slaves briefly when his mother died – she left him slaves in her will. But, he owned them such a short time that they appear in no record or other document.

        Tom

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Way way way off on your history.

      This was a compromise with the South. They received increased representation in Congress, had more votes in the Electoral Collage than they deserved , and therefore had influence in naming Supreme Court Justices. What the North received was that slavery was outlawed in the Northwest Territories. Recall that 4 out of the 5 first President were from a slave holding state.

      A vote for Lincoln was a vote to stop the expansion of slavery to the West.

      Actually, by seceding, the South brought about the death of slavery.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        That is admitting right there, by saying ‘it was a compromise with the South’, that the North willingly entered into a political union wherein Black Americans would be entered into slavery.

        They KNEW what slavery entailed and they entered into that!

        You just admitted it.

        Sigh…the North agreed to be in a country where not only would slavery exist…but they agreed to a situation where the President of their country would be from a slaveholding state…

        They knew this would happen…and they still did it!

        A vote for Lincoln was a vote to enshrine slavery for all time as it was.

        We’ve been over this before, NYGiant1952, and the evidence still stands against you.

  35. Hugh De Mann says:

    Matt McKeon-

    I would strongly encourage you to read and reflect on how Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln stated the same message, 16 years apart.

    Douglass to a packed crowd of Boston Abolitionists’ in Faneuil Hall, as cited in the 8 June 1849 copy of the ‘Liberator’ and Lincoln from the available evidence of his meeting at Hampton Roads in 1865 and his 2nd Ingrl. Address-

    The North was just as responsible for slavery as the South. American slavery could never have existed w/o the North’s awareness, complicity and enablement.

    The implied message of Douglass’ speech, matter of fact, is, ‘if you are American and you claim to be against slavery, then why are you still even there? That’s hypocrisy, due to the Fugitive Slave Tenet in the Constitution.’

    As shown by Robert Gould Shaw’s family, if one ever at any time after 1850 purchased, used, recommended, etc, even one product that had a foreign tariff upon it, that was enabling slavery.

    All of America had a connection to slavery which it could not disavow. At the time in 1865, a lot of Northerners and Abolitionists were offended by Lincoln’s speech.

    Tough! He told them and the rest of America, and the world and all of history, what it didn’t want to hear: The Truth! That’s why Douglass initially told Lincoln that the 2nd Ingrl. was ‘a masterful effort’.

    But after Lincoln’s death, Douglass lied by omission and ‘went quiet’ on this reality in order to wrongly attempt to maximise the competitive prestige in the war’s legacy. He allowed what he had once admitted with his own words as the truth to lapse.

    That truth was, all of America and her people had a share in the responsibility for slavery. To argue otherwise is trying to ‘minimise’ this and boils down to, ‘WE were not as guilty as THEM!’, ‘THOSE PEOPLE did far worse than US!’

    If you’re guilty, you’re guilty!

    Slavery could NEVER have existed in American w/o the complicity and enablement and awareness of the North, bar nothing.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      The Compromise with which the North allowed slavery in the South so that the 13 Colonies were united has been explained by me.

      Even the South agreed to this.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Yeah, you’ve explained that the North agreed to be part of such a country.

        Trust me: I understand because I understand THIS!

        The flag that these individuals were fleeing from was the Stars and Stripes and they fled from and through the North!

        This is what the North agreed to be part of…

  36. Hugh De Mann says:

    ***************Nice comments!

    Lee was a traitor to the United States. Lincoln was a Patriot.***************

    I’ve no argument that Lincoln was a Patriot.

    Lincoln has been my hero, like Lee, since I was a child.

    But while you can have your own opinion, NYGiant1952, to say Lee was a traitor is a historical argument that can’t be successfully put.

    You’ve never succeeded in this, because it can’t be made.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Look up what the Constitution says about Treason ( not secession) and tell me where Lee didn’t commit those offenses agent the duly elected Government.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Look at same and tell me how New England, South Carolina and Maine didn’t commit same.

        They never had any legal consequences for treason ever raised to them in any manner.

        If they did not suffer such, the Confederates can not suffer such.

        Three precedents have negated the argument being put to the Confederates.

        The ONLY way you can argue that the Confederates should is if you’re willing to completely disregard due process and the rule of law; that you accept some groups being treated punitively, arbitrarily, spuriously due to a desire for bias, emotion and revenge.

        End of story.

        ALL are to be hung from the treason gallows, or none.

  37. nygiant1952 says:

    Hugh, no one willingly enters a compromise. One side gets what they want and the other side gets what they want. And they tolerate what they had to accept.

    They never agreed to 4 out of the first 5 President being form the South. Please cite a source for this comment.

    A vote for Lincoln was a vote to forbid the expansion of slavery to the New territories in the West.

    Read up on your American History. Read up don the Republican 1860 Platform.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      So, someone made the North enter into the Union with Southerners, against the Northerners’ will?

      That’s it? The Devil made them do it.

      No, NYGiant1952. The North agreed to the terms of the Constitution and the South being in it.

      They agreed to this, knowing full well what slavery entailed.

      They agreed to a Constitution with the 3/5 and Fugitive Slave clauses.

      They agreed to a political unit wherein the head of government, their President, could well come from a slave state, such as Washington.

      How about I cite the signers and all delegates to the Constitutional Convention that wrote the Convention and spell out all the delegates whom agreed to terms wherein a President from a slave state would be the President of the country they were part of?

      How about I cite all the elections results, alone, from all northern states from 1789 to 1861 wherein northerners voted for a President from a slave state? Not to mention all the other evidence I could cite there, such as people from the North praising Polk, Andrew Jackson, etc? Or letters citing this? Speeches in northern state legislatures for Southern presidents?

      Want me to cite that sort of stuff?

      You cant get out of this: The North has to own its history for enabling and complicity in slavery, as Lincoln and Douglass made plain.

      And a vote for Lincoln was a vote to retain slavery for all time as and where it existed in 1861, in his own words. That is the reality you try again, and again, to ‘shift’ from and displace from the spotlight.

      It’s never worked. And it’s not going to.

      And the fact that the Western Territories even were American territories is because they were conquered from Mexico to create slave states out of.

      You can be as emotionally aggressive as you determine to be. But I’m going to keep pouring the cold water of facts of American history over the embers you try to fan, to use the analogy David Acord says of Lincoln’s own methodology in, ‘What Would Lincoln Do?’

      Your arguments are only cogent provided you are successful in fanning those embers as a means to convince everyone to not look at anywhere, except where you spark.

      But I’ve got that pitcher of cold water ever at the ready.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        Hello Hugh. This is a very, VERY interesting discussion that you and some others are engaged in here. Very informative, and I thank all for that information. That said, can you provide some of those “12 pieces of primary evidence that completely disprove that Lee supported slavery.”? I would personally appreciate that.

  38. nygiant1952 says:

    Hugh demand…Your words….”Look at same and tell me how New England, South Carolina and Maine didn’t commit same.”

    South Carolina actually left the Union. New England did not.

    End of story!

  39. nygiant1952 says:

    Hugh deMann…your woids…”Yeah, you’ve explained that the North agreed to be part of such a country.”

    Three-fifths compromise, compromise agreement between delegates from the Northern and the Southern states at the United States Constitutional Convention (1787) that three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for determining direct taxation and representation in the House of Representatives.
    Granting slaveholding states the right to count three-fifths of their population of enslaved individuals when it came to apportioning representatives to Congress meant that those states would thus be perpetually overrepresented in national politics. However, this same ratio was to be used to determine the federal tax contribution required of each state, thus increasing the direct federal tax burden of slaveholding states.
    That the Continental Congress removed Thomas Jefferson’s statement regarding the injustice of the slave trade (and, by implication, slavery) from the final version of the Declaration of Independence is emblematic of the Founders’ resolve to subordinate the controversial issue of slavery to the larger goal of securing the unity and independence of the United States.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      No, NYGiant1952.

      That’s not being against slavery in any appreciable degree whatsoever.

      Agreeing to slavery from 1776 to 1865 in one and the same country and giving it national, constitutional placement is being knowingly enabling and guilty.

      That’s what the North was.

  40. Hugh De Mann says:

    Douglas Paula-

    Very glad to.

    Please allow me to get home and I’ll post them.

  41. Hugh De Mann says:

    *******************Douglas Pauly says:
    October 18, 2022 at 1:17 PM
    Hello Hugh. This is a very, VERY interesting discussion that you and some others are engaged in here. Very informative, and I thank all for that information. That said, can you provide some of those “12 pieces of primary evidence that completely disprove that Lee supported slavery.”? I would personally appreciate that.***********************

    Douglas-

    Apologies for earlier mistyping your name.

    Anyways, here are examples of the above.

    First off, it is important to understand that Lee, like Abraham Lincoln, was not an Abolitionist; he was an Emancipationst.

    This group believed slavery wrong and desired it ended, but they disagreed with the methods towards this of Abolitionists. Lee makes this very clear; he saw them as coming to the South from the North to ‘instantaneously’ end slavery and then desiring to leave utterly and w/o any responsibility or involvement towards the aftermath.

    He disliked how often Abolitionists, if not always but often, would so demand an end to slavery, but then leave the matter entirely alone. He disliked how they often didn’t want Black Americans of any type to live amongst them in the North and that they took no effort for what would follow slavery.

    Emancipationists believed in providing Black Americans with education and vocation skills for their lives after slavery. This the Lee family not only did, but they defied Virginia state law to teach Black Americans to read and write.

    At the same time, it is incorrect to depict Lee in the ‘hagiographed’ manner the Lost Cause has done, (this was deliberately engineered by Jubal Early and others, and they did so for the reason that they would never have to do or encourage others to do what Lee himself exemplified).

    It is right to put a measure of fair and balanced criticism to Lee for some aspects of his life; he never eschewed 100% of his racial outlooks and I can provide the evidences towards that as well, (happy to do so). But veritably no persons of the mid 19th Ce. had the same views upon these issues as we do today.

    Lee and Lincoln are heroic in part because THEY were the ones who made possible our views today by questioning, challenging and re-considering theirs’ in their time.

    The first piece of evidence we have of his belief against slavery is that he freed the slaves he had inherited from his mother.

    See here:

    https://www.nps.gov/arho/learn/historyculture/robert-e-lee-and-slavery.htm

    (BTW, there is more evidence on the ‘Philip Meredith’ cited herein I’ll come back to)

  42. Hugh De Mann says:

    The next piece of evidence is his famed 27 December 1856 letter from Texas to his wife.

    This is where he cites slavery as, “…slavery as an institution is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages.”

    Yet, he also cites his racism as it then existed in the next line and on. These are very clear.

    Like Lincoln, he would live to challenge this if not wholly, then to a heroic extent, (such as how they came to believe that Black Americans ought be granted the right to vote after the war in the same terms).

    What’s more impressive, to me, is in this letter he says, “…While we see the Course of the final abolition of human slavery is onward, & we give it the aid of our prayers & all justifiable means in our power…”

    This included providing Black Americans with education, work opportunities and trade skills.

  43. Hugh De Mann says:

    The Rev. Joseph P.B. Wilmer of Louisiana stated that he asked Robert E. Lee at the start of the war if he was fighting for the perpetuation of slavery.

    ‘…In what temper of mind he entered into this contest, I can speak with some confidence, from personal interviews with him soon after the commencement of hostilities. ‘Is it your expectation,’ I asked, ‘that the issue of this war will be to perpetuate the institution of slavery?’ ‘The future is in the hands of Providence,’ he replied; ‘but if the slaves in the South were mine, I would surrender them all, without a struggle, to avert this war.’

    https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2001.05.0271%3Achapter%3D16

  44. Hugh De Mann says:

    Here, he calls slavery, “our national sins”.

    More to the point I was making earlier about slavery being an all American phenomenon.

    https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.183740/page/n507/mode/2up?q=%22national+sins%22

  45. Hugh De Mann says:

    There are two pieces of evidence in this same one.

    William Allan had been an Ordnance Officer in the Confederate Army. He worked with Lee at Washington College after the war. He made copious notes of their conversations there and left them to posterity.

    These are a private source; Lee had no idea Allan was documenting these private conversations.

    A) 25 February 1868, “Gen. Lee sent for me…He stated to me all the circumstances connected with his resignation from the old army and his acceptance of command from Virginia…in April, on a Thursday which must have been the 18th he went at old Mr. Blair’s request to see him at young B’s house, opposite War Depart. Had long interview with old Blair, who told him Mr. L. and Cabinet wanted Gen. Lee to be Commander in Chief in field, (as Scott was too old) and tried in every way to persuade him to take it. Talked all over the Secession question & the slavery question—appealed to his ambition—spoke of the looking of the country to him as the representative of the Washington family &c. Lee replied courteously all the time, agreed about the folly of Secession, and deprecated War. Said as far as the negro was concerned he would willingly give up his own (400) for peace…”

    B) 10 March 1868, “Told Mr. Davis often and early in the war that the slaves should emancipated, that it was the only way to remove a weakness at home and to get sympathy abroad, and to divide our enemies, but Davis would not hear of it.”

  46. Hugh De Mann says:

    Here is a letter, 21 December 1862, wherein Lee discusses the finalising the emancipation of his father in law’s slaves which he, as Executor of the will, was legally responsible for.

    “As regards the servants. Those that are hired out can soon be settled. They can be furnished with their free papers & hire themselves out. Those on the farms I will issue free papers to as soon as I can see that they can get a support. As long as they remain on the farms they must continue as they are. Any who wish to leave can do so. The men could no doubt find homes, but what are the women & children to do? As regards Mr. Collins he must remain & take care of the people till I can dispose of them some way. I desire to do what is right & best for the people.”

  47. Hugh De Mann says:

    Hunter Holmes McGuire cites here Lee’s opposition to slavery and his support of paid emancipation, (also that Jackson came to be open to Emancipationism due to his war experiences).

    https://archive.org/details/confederatecaus00divigoog/page/n44/mode/2up?view=theater&q=lee

    • Douglas Pauly says:

      Thanks Hugh. A lot of good stuff there.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        I’m off to bed now at this point. There is A LOT more!

        But let me say that in his 11 January 1865 letter is often cited out of context.

        He does say in there that slavery is the best possible relationship between the Black and White races, but this is due to the fact that he was desperately trying to persuade the Confederate Congress to enlist Black Americans as national Confederate troops and endorse the Duncan F. Kenner Mission, (which would have abolished slavery in all 11 constitutions of the Confederate states in exchange for recognition and intervention from France and Britain).

        Exactly like Lincoln counselling Thaddeus Stevens to tone down his language for a political goal of getting the 13th Amendment passed, (as shown in ‘Lincoln’), Lee is playing the political game to get an achievement through. To do this, he knows that he has to play to the biases of politicians who are not necessarily of the same persuasion as him, in part or in whole, (he said of the Confederate Congress that they did nothing but chew tobacco and eat peanuts while his army starved).

        And at the bottom of the same letter, he argues for slavery to be ended!

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        I’ll say this one thing more: THE piece of Robert E. Lee on slavery and how he changed his views about Black Americans is found in his 27 March 1865 orders to Richard Ewell.

        more to come!

  48. Hugh De Mann says:

    ****************WRONG!

    There was a greater purpose, a greater goal….the US Constitution and a country based on Law.******************************

    Yeah…THIS law! Read by a Northern judge from a SCOTUS ruling-

    Judge Baldwin. In Johnson vs. Tompkins, 1 Bald., 597, he says: “Slavery is the corner-stone of the Constitution; the foundations of the government are laid and rest on the right of property in slaves, and the whole structure must fall by disturbing the corner-stone.”

  49. Hugh De Mann says:

    Philip Meredith was one of the Arlington slaves whom was hired out to work in Washington DC before the war started. When it broke out, he was ‘seized’ by the Union government and freed by the First Confiscation Act.

    But this has always struck me as something at play, especially as the primary evidence strongly indicates that he was one of the Black Americans whom ran up to shake hands with Lee when the General attended Baltimore on his trip to Washington in 1869.

    The evidence shows that Robert E. Lee had very strong suspicions that the North would perform at some point moves such as this. So why did he not arrange for Meredith to return to Virginia before the war was out?

    The most likely explanation to me is, that he knew exactly that the above would happen, or guessed it, and since he was planning to free the slaves anyways, he ‘let things be’ to effect Meredith’s freedom all the sooner.

    That way, he could say to the courts that Meredith was not present on Manumission Day as the circumstances of the war, beyond his control, had prevented his presenting Meredith that day, (which is another story of the extremely complicated aspects of what Lee had to do to free the slaves in Virginia. And to ensure they could be freed, he paid for it in his own money).

    https://civilwardc.org/texts/petitions/cww.01028.html

  50. Hugh De Mann says:

    The manumission deed signed by Lee at a Virginia Court house, about 29 December 1862, freeing the Arlington slaves.

    Will present a citation for this soon as I can.

    Note that Amanda Parks, Jim Parks and Wesley Norris are all cited in it.

  51. Hugh De Mann says:

    Technicalities were incurred: Apparently, Lee did not have all the names or could not present that late December day at the Courthouse all the slaves named in his father in law’s will.

    But this letter nevertheless shows his DESIRE to free them all-

    “I hope you will be able to do Something for the servants. I executed a deed of manumission, embracing all the names sent me by your mother & some that I recollected, but as I had nothing to refer to but my memory, I fear many are omitted. It was my desire to manumit all the people of your Grd father, whether present on the several estates or not. I believe your mother only Sent me the names of those present at the White House & Romankoke. Those that have left with the enemy, may not require their manumission. Still some may be found hereafter in the State, & at any rate I wished to give a complete list & to liberate all, to shew that your Grd Fathers wishes so far as I was Concerned had been fulfilled. Do you not think that is the best Course? If you Can get the Complete list you Can either have a deed drawn up embracing the whole, or a supplementary deed embracing those who have been omitted, stating they had been carried from the plantations by the enemy.”

  52. Hugh De Mann says:

    24 January 1864, Lee to his wife about the lasting difficulties in freeing the last of the estate slaves. Again, this clearly shows his desire to do so and his dislike of slavery-

    As regards the people at Romancoke, I much prefer their receiving their free papers & seeking their fortune. It has got to be done & it was in accordance with your father’s will. I am unable to attend to them & I am afraid they will suffer or come to some harm. I do not see why they can not be freed & hire themselves out as others do, & think it might be accomplished. I am afraid there is some desire on the part of the community to continue them in slavery, which I must resist.”

    https://leefamilyarchive.org/9-family-papers/827-robert-e-lee-to-mary-anna-randolph-custis-lee-1864-january-24

  53. Hugh De Mann says:

    *********************WRONG!

    Show me where New England left the Union.

    I can show you where South Carolina seceded.*********************

    You keep trying to falsely equate that secession necessarily meant treason.

    There is no definitive proof of this whatsoever.

    I can show you three definitive cases of Treason, per the Constitution, that resulted in zilch legal charges for it.

    That ends it.

  54. Hugh De Mann says:

    ‘Desire…’

    NYGiant1952…even at this stage, with this much, and I’ve only cited about half of it, the best thing you can do if you want to argue Lee was pro-slavery is just to retain silence.

  55. nygiant1952 says:

    He had slaves..he never set them free, he fought to establish a state bases on a slave economy….

    yea….lee was pro-slavery

    • Matt McKeon says:

      Lee inherited the enslaved people at Arlington, and could have freed them at any moment. He is wanted some money, for good reasons of course, and hung on to them for the five years allotted by his father in law’s will, exploiting their unpaid labor and separating families by leasing out some of the people to other farms. When they tried to escape he hunted them down, and ordered them flogged.

      During the Gettysburg campaign his army captured hundreds of blacks who had either escaped from slavery, or were just black people living in Pennsylvania, and there is no record of him ever objecting.

      Was Lee a real fire eater about slavery? Maybe not like a Charles Yancey, he was willing to damage slavery during the war to gain a military advantage. In war, he was an absolutist.

      It wasn’t a foregone conclusion he would join the secessionists. His brother stayed with the Union. Too bad he didn’t follow the George Thomas route, a man from a Virginia slaveholding family who remained true to the Union.

      • “Lee inherited the enslaved people at Arlington, and could have freed them at any moment. He is wanted some money, for good reasons of course, and hung on to them for the five years allotted by his father in law’s will, exploiting their unpaid labor and separating families by leasing out some of the people to other farms. ”

        Just another large over-statement. Lee wanted to honor the bequests in his father-in-law’s will. Lee was very fond of his father-in-law. Custis did not rally manage a plantation. Custis was more into his astronomy, books and the like. They only grew what they needed for onsite consumption. There was no cash on hand to honor the provisions of the will. He was required to free the slaves in five years. he tried to do so, while still earning enough money.

        Its a fair criticism that he leased out the slaves away form their families. But you just assign a malevolence to the act that is not supported by any actual evidence.

        Tom

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      He had slaves and he freed them.

      That’s absolutely indisputable.

      He also said unequivocally that he was NOT fighting for slavery in the evidence.

      He came from a federal country that recognised and enshrined slavery with constitutional protection which he criticised.

      Go ahead and state what you did in print again, Giant.

      Put it so despite all evidence to the counter.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        The reason that Lee hired out the FIL’s estate slaves was two-fold.

        In order for the Virginia courts to uphold their manumission, the estate HAD to be demonstrably debt free, and!, all inheritors stipulated in it had to have received the funds/assets they were pledged to.

        If this wasn’t so, the slaves would be remanded back into slavery until these were settled.

        Lee had no choice in the matter and it’s implied in the records he explained the unhappy reality to the slaves. The harder and faster all worked, the more iron clad their freedom was to be; there’d be no fiscal aspect which the courts could deny it on.

        Next, in order for the slaves to be freed, Lee would have to prove their exact whereabouts at all times in the years of 1857-62, with no exception.

        If any were not accounted for w/o reasonable explanation, (ie. Meredith had been seized by Union forces due to the war), then the courts would not free them.

        This plays directly to the hiring out aspect. Contact me for it, though it’s a long and complex story, but vital to know.

  56. Matt McKeon says:

    Obviously, secession occured to protect, maintain, and God willing, extend slavery, both geographically and into the future. I have never see an contemporary argument that said anything different, although after the war, the ex Confederates sang a different tune. The various other reasons listed are always have slavery at the heart of them.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      No one is saying here that slavery had nothing to do with the war when it actually occurred. That’d be absolute garbage.

      Certainly it was a big factor by the time the war occurred. But we know from Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Papers were written in 1787 that a inter-American conflict was predicted to come. And he predicted it VERY accurately in Federalist Papers 8-10. And since slavery had just ended very recently, was still in force, or was still so connected to the North at the time he wrote, we know that it was not the reason that he foresaw the war coming at that time. He predicted other factors such as states rights and regionalism.

      And you have seen even herein that slavery was not the reason that Lee, alone, fought the war. Very happy to post the references where he cites he was fighting for his state, (given the common Southern understanding of the Constitution and American federalism that was akin to Switzerland in the late 1700s, in which the cantons were paramount to the republic which bound then and which the Founding Fathers had explicitly cited as a model for the Union they were creating).

      I would encourage you then to embrace a holistic methodology and refer to more evidence than what you have encountered, such as the testaments of Jeb Stuart, James Longstreet as why they fought and Maxcy Gregg and Rahapel Semmes.

      Or perhaps as on the Gettysburg campaign, how John Gordon told the assembled citizens of York, Penn., that the South was fighting for the constitution of the original Union; how the South Carolina secession convention handbook also prominently cites federalism/states right, economics/tariffs, regionalism/culture, or the President of the Texas Secession Convention cites that the South is fighting to preserve the southern notion of federalism that the Founding Fathers had created which centred on the states and not the glob like Union, the evidence from the Fathers of Canadian Confederation, Santiago Vidaurri, etc, etc, etc.

      So no, it is not true at all to say that all the ‘other reasons’ were created AFTER the war. That’s not true in the least.

      All these other factors could and did indeed at times converge into slavery. That’s quite true, but it’s just as true all these other factors could and did diverge from it to be factors in their own right.

      • Matt McKeon says:

        What was the other reason besides slavery motivated the successionists of 1860? Not what they said years afterwards.

        States’ Rights? What particular right? Oh, that one. And of course the concerns of the states could be discarded if it interfered with slavery, and were.

  57. Its just hard to take Giant seriously when he issues a blanket statement that Lee was a traitor. It is much closer to trolling than actual discussion. Too, its just silly to believe that the perceived language of the Constitution somehow trumps how the Supreme Court perceives that same language. The Supreme Court is always the final arbiter of what the Constitution says.
    Tom

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Twice I have had to correct Irishconfederate what the US Constitution says.

      The Supreme Court in Plessy v Ferguson proclaimed separate but equal to be correct interpretation of the Constitution. And in Brown V Board of Education, that ruling was reversed.

      So, the Supreme Court really wasn’t the final arbiter.

      Nice try.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      There wasn’t a reply button to your comment at 6:17 PM “Just another large overstatement” So I’ll comment here. If its not cool to do so, just ignore and I won’t again.

      I’m not assigning malvolence to Lee, I’m describing his behavior, which wasn’t different from other slaveholders. He had some financial needs he privileged over the needs of the enslaved. Are we surprised by this?

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        I’ll put to that that Lee was different from other Americans in his times about slavery. He saw it as wrong and said so on numerous occasions. Eric Foner is wrong; Lee DID speak out about that numerous times.

        He freed the slaves he had inherited himself from his mother, and through insanely complex legal circumstances, worked to affect the legal manumission of the slaves of his father in law’s estate.

        Because of this latter situation, he had to ensure all debts of the estate were paid up, that all stipulated inheritees of the will received the money that it stipulated they were to receive and he strove madly to ensure that this would be accomplished.

        In order to free the Arlington slaves, he used and paid out of his own money to shore up any remaining debts to get them freed by the courts.

        This letter that reached the Lee family in the 1850s from Liberia from one of their ex-slaves is proof that they had good relations with them and had indeed freed the non-Father in Law slaves before the war.

        https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/globalconnections/liberia/educators/history/voices.html

        Letter from Mrs. Burke*
        Before the Civil War, Robert E. Lee freed his slaves and paid for the passage of many to Liberia. The following letter was written by one of these emigrants to Lee’s wife, Martha Custis Lee, some time between 1853 and 1859.

        My Dear Madam — William has written you quite a long letter, yet I thought I could not let this opportunity pass without writing you a few lines to inform you something in regard to myself and family.

        I am at this time, and nearly at all times, in the enjoyment of most excellent health. My children are as fat as pigs: Granderson is nearly as broad as he is long; Cornelia is not tall for her age, but is quite stout; Alexander has begun to grow a little, though he is quite small for his age. They are all going to school, and seem to be learning quite fast. Little Martha does not go to day school, but is very fond of going to Sunday school; she can say some of her A, B, C’s; she has got entirely over all of her sickness, and is now fat and growing very fast.

        You could hardly believe how cool it is in Africa — it is equal to the coolest October nights and mornings in America; we can hardly keep warm in bed at night.

        In the morning I get up early to milk my cow, feed my chickens &c. The last time I churned I had to put warm water in the churn to make the butter come.

        I have thought and dreamt much about you lately. I hope you have got over your rheumatism, and the many troubles of which you spoke in your last letter.

        Please remember me particularly to all of your children, and to Mr. Lee. I often think of them all. Please give my love to Mary Ann, and tell her for me that she must try and behave herself, that it will be for her good in the end. When you write please let me know something about Catharine and Agnes. Remember me kindly to Aunt Elleanor; tell her that I love Africa, and would not exchange it for America. What has become of Julian? When you write, please tell me all you know about father; he never will write to me. I would write more, but have no room.

        Yours humbly,
        Rosebell Burke

  58. nygiant1952 says:

    Lee ruptured the Washington and Custis tradition of respecting slave families” by hiring them off to other plantations, and that “by 1860 he had broken up every family but one on the estate, some of whom had been together since Mount Vernon days.” The separation of slave families was one of the most unfathomably devastating aspects of slavery, and Pryor wrote that Lee’s slaves regarded him as “the worst man I ever see.”

    Lee’s heavy hand on the Arlington, Virginia, plantation, Pryor writes, nearly led to a slave revolt, in part because the enslaved had been expected to be freed upon their previous master’s death, and Lee had engaged in a dubious legal interpretation of his will in order to keep them as his property, one that lasted until a Virginia court forced him to free them.

    When two of his slaves escaped and were recaptured, Lee either beat them himself or ordered the overseer to “lay it on well.” Wesley Norris, one of the slaves who was whipped, recalled that “not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done.”

    Lee’s decision to fight for the South can only be described as a choice to fight for the continued existence of human bondage in America—

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/the-myth-of-the-kindly-general-lee/529038/

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Now, NYGiant1952,

      Would you not prefer to sit back and re-consider that argument from Pryor and Serwer…?

      As one historian to the Forum here, I would encourage that.

      What they did was to deliberately omit evidence that challenged their arguments.

      Thats the self-destruction of historical credibility.

      I can go back into your post and disprove it, line by line, with a huge scope of primary evidence

      For the sake of brevity, I will instead offer you the chance to re-consider that perhaps your post needs to be questioned. And put this as an example of what I’m getting at.

      Now, what is the historical significance of Jim Parks mentioned below? He was the relative of Amanda Parks, (want to see the evidence on her?), and they were the family of the other male slave whom tried to escape Arlington with Wesley Norris and a female slave and whom Norris claimed Lee had them whipped.

      How much sense does Norris’ claim make at face value if this other evidence also exists? Who would display such warmth and affection towards a figure that had had their sibling whipped nearly to death in front of them?

      All hagiography lasered away, it is clear that Parks had a positive impression of Robert E. Lee.

      5 Oct.,1929, ‘New Zealand Evening Post’, (original announcement in American newspapers, such as the New York Times).
      DEATH OF AGED NEGRO

      The War Department lifted the ban against civilian burials in Arlington cemetery long enough one day recently to permit Uncle Jim Parks to begin his long sleep in that reservation, where ho spent his life as a negro slave boy, a freed slave, an aging worker, and a guide, says the New York “Times.”

      A slave of George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of George. Washington and father-in-law of Robert E, Lee, he saw the battletides of. the. Civil- War roll over the wooded hillsides and fields where he played- as a boy,, saw. the coffins “stacked like eordwood” after Manassas. Then, puzzled, and aging, his sad old eyes watched the ever-increasing wave of white headstones roll further and further through the lanes, and glades of Arlington* “Estate” as the nation buried its heroes of that and later wars. • • : • – ” .

      For almost ninety years the place was hom.e to him; He was born there, played and toiled and .was married there in the crinoline days of his half-for-gotten past. He was “fussed at” by Major Custis, ran errands for “Miss Mary,’? and bowed low to the stately figure of her husband, General Lee.

      The guns of war spoke,soon after he and 500 other slaves had been freed by their master. Blue-clad soldiers came to the plantation arid the spurred boots,of their ofSeera rang discord ‘through the quiet bouse that had been Lee’s home. ‘:

      The blue soldiers marched south, and soon the bewildered Parks was aiding in the first military burials at Arlington. He helped build Fort Whipple, the Civil War fortification where Fort Myer now is. Time quieted the cannons and peace returned to the old plantation, but never again the old order. -.”::.

      Time brought progress, and more wars and more changes. But Uncle Jim stayed on.. Lately physical incapacity , had kept Mm from the places he loved best, but he Ttias dreamed more poignantly than ever of the proud days of lace and’ lavender, forgetting, perhaps, at times the changes personified in the children of his children, five of whom, served with the American forces during the World War.

      .He never wanted to leave his “home.” And by the War Department’s ruling he never will, his grave being sealed : and hallowed with a saluto of soldiers’ guns.

      https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19291005.2.155.4.1?query=general+lee%2c+aged+negro&snippet=true

  59. John B. Sinclair says:

    I feel like I just experienced a Rocky Stallone movie that went eighteen rounds. Gentlemen, your passion and intellect are commendable, but let’s call it a draw.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      I am very content to do that.

      I posted at the very start of this that out of consideration to the entire Emerging Civil War board, such as Chris Mackowski and Jon Tracey, that I wanted to avoid this and was very happy to not.

      However, if NYGiant1952 proceeded to challenge me, I’d return.

      If you are requesting that we desist now, I’m very happy to do that.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        I hope the admin does NOT intervene or interfere here. It’s a great discussion. It would be a travesty to have it stopped. This site is supposed to be about generating discussions. Some great info has-been presented here. Keep at it. That applies to all involved.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      I believe this counts as “reconcilationist..”

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        No one is saying that slavery had nothing to do with the war when it occurred. Any objective, critical reading of the evidence from which we can examine to glean meaning about the war disproves that.

        You are attempting to put an argument that slavery alone and only was the cause of the war and a like rigorous examination of the evidence just as firmly disproves that.

        If you truly are convinced of your argument’s veracity, then explain even this one example-

        How is it that Santiago Vidaurri could ever desire, let alone formidably attempt, to have his Mexican states of Nuevo Leon and Coahuilia (spelling may be off) annexed to Texas in the Confederacy and he was likely the most demonstrably assertive Abolitionist on the planet?

        If you are truly correct, as you put your argument, then you can satisfactorily explain this part of history.

        But if your argument can’t satisfactorily explain this, you’ll try to do one of two things: (A) ‘The Circle In The Sand’ = you’ll just ignore this and attempt to dissuade from even acknowledging that the evidence or part of history exists. (B) By one method or another, aggressively try to attack from it ever being acknowledged.

        Neither of those is a satisfactory historical defense.

        The fact of the matter is, other issues like states rights/federalism, economics/tariffs, regionalism/culture could and did all diverge from slavery in various context, times, etc, to be independent and important factors for the war ever coming in their own right.

  60. nygiant1952 says:

    There are no records of Lee freeing or selling any of them. That’s the final word.

    I can desist too.

  61. Hugh De Mann says:

    Your post above is another example of aggressive ignorance supplanted in place of methodology.

    I’m glad you put above as you did.

    At this stage, the Confederacy was winning the war. It had just accepted the offer of Napoleon III of France as peacemaker, which the Union had declined. Lincoln had said, ‘if there is a place worse than Hell, I’m in it.’

    The EP was 100% dependent on the ability of the Union to militarily prevail, which it wasn’t at this point.

    Lee’s Manumission deed has force of law, regardless the political and military outcome of the conflict. The slaves are now unquestionably free, on either side.

    And again, you show complete and total lack of knowledge of the manumission process of the era in the state of Virginia.

    Before even the terms of the will, state law and convention of Virginia decreed that in all estates that were in debt at the time of the subject’s passing, all assets were to be frozen and scrupulously documented for five calendar years, (if these would survive presumably for that long).

    That was the real point of the asset books listing the slaves in it; they proved legally Lee had kept scrupulous track of them to the courts satisfaction for those five years. W/o it, they couldn’t be freed.

    This was to provide the fair and reasonable opportunity in the eyes of the law and the courts for all potential creditors to bring forth a lawsuit to sue for the assets of the estate, of which slaves were like any other.

    This meant it was legally impossible to forever free them before a minimum of five calendar years were passed. Else, the courts could well overturn the manumission, saying that potential creditors had been deprived their legal right to sue for THOSE assets!

    So what Lee had to do, ironically, was attend at the courthouse at certain points in the intervening five years to specify legally the slaves were still remanded in slavery; this established that any and all creditors had had all chance to sue for them and had not.

    This complex legal situation was the only way to ensure their inviolable freedom, which Lee did.

    He got them through there.

    Go ahead, NYGiant1952; put another argument in if you please.

  62. Hugh De Mann says:

    I’m not dependent on anything here, NYGiant1952.

    I’m not after anything but to put a historical argument to the matter.

    You can post as you wish, or we can desist.

  63. Hugh De Mann says:

    *****************What was the other reason besides slavery motivated the successionists of 1860? Not what they said years afterwards.

    States’ Rights? What particular right? Oh, that one. And of course the concerns of the states could be discarded if it interfered with slavery, and were.****************

    There is no denying that American federalism/states rights could diverge into the issue of slavery. We see this in 1843, right around the time that Frederick Douglass was violently attacked in Indiana. In the press clippings, the anti-Abolitionist League of Indiana made clear that to force a state to give up slavery was a violation of that given state’s sovereign rights.

    A Northern state declaring the line on Southern slavery…yes. It happened.

    But to put the argument as you do that this aspect ONLY pertained to those rights of states’ re. slavery can not be defended.

    For starters, review that the Founding Fathers explicitly cited a late 1700s Swiss model of federalism for the Union they were creating, wherein in Switzerland at the time, the cantons were paramount to the republic which bound them. See, 1774, ‘Letter to the Inhabitants of Quebec’-

    “October 26, 1774,

    Friends and fellow-subjects,

    We, the Delegates of the Colonies of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina and South-Carolina, deputed by the inhabitants of the said Colonies, to represent them in a General Congress at Philadelphia, in the province of Pennsylvania, to consult together concerning the best methods to obtain redress of our afflicting grievances, having accordingly assembled, and taken into our most serious consideration the state of public affairs on this continent, have thought proper to address your province, as a member therein deeply interested…The Swiss Cantons furnish a memorable proof of this truth. Their union is composed of…States, living in the utmost concord and peace with one another, and thereby enabled, ever since they bravely vindicated their freedom, to defy and defeat every tyrant that has invaded them…”

    It is clear that the common Southern view of the Constitution and American federalism, that the States had created the Union and were thus paramount to it, was an old and well-established one. Am I saying it was beyond question to be comprehensive and absolutely correct? No, but the argument that the Lost Cause created this view after the war is utterly incorrect.

    Next, if you want an idea of States rights, it could be that they meant for the states to be respected and viewed openly as the paramount political units of governance in the daily lives of the workings of government and the Union for the lives of American people. Such as in the Aroostook War when Maine’s reps on the floor of Congress in the late 1830s defended and claimed that their state was completely right and justified in doing what it had: Invading and conquering sections of the colony of New Brunswick in the British Empire and adding these to the borders of Maine, not to mention constructing Maine state fortifications on disputed international territory, drilling and marching Maine state militia on same, marching on to such and taking into Maine state custody in Maine prisons political figures of the British Empire and that they had absolutely no obligation to inform, let alone involve, the US federal government.

    When asked why Maine would ever want to do this they replied, “To protect ourselves from Northern invaders.”

    Look at how the President of the Texas Secession Convention made a clear distinction between slavery and that the South was fighting for a system of federalism and the US Constitution akin to the Founding Fathers; a compact of sovereign states, not a glob of mass people in one political unit.

    Abraham Lincoln in his 1st Ingrl Address, after articulating on slavery, then devotes a paragraph and a half to explaining why the Northern view of the Constitution and American Federalism, that the Union was paramount to the States, is right and the Southern view wrong. He makes a clear distinction between slavery and federalism and if the Lost Cause created the said view after the war, how and why would Lincoln be stating this before it even began?

    Look at all the evidence that the Abolitionist hotbeds of Canada and Santiago Vidaurri in Mexico.

    Look at how Thomas Morris Chester cites at least three times in his columns in the ‘Philadelphia Press’, about states rights, separate from slavery.

    Look at the statements of Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet and Jeb Stuart as to why they fought for the South: That the recognized their primary loyalty as Americans was to their home states. And! Look at how the New York general with Longstreet in New Mexico territory said, in Longstreet’s Memoirs, that if NY seceded, he would fight with her.

    The examples and evidence of this are extremely abundant.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      So I see a lot about slavery, slavery, slavery and not anything else. Why did the southern states wish to secede from the Union, to exercise this supposed right? To maintain, protect and extend slavery.

      Did such a right exist? Seemingly it was clearly understood if you lived in a slaveholding state, less certain, the fewer slaves there were(Lee, for example didn’t believe there was a right to secession), and invisible if you were in a free state.

      But why did the slave states wish to secede?

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Then I put it to you, Matt McKeon, that you are going out of your way to avoid engaging with the scores of primary evidence that challenge your assertion, ***************So I see a lot about slavery, slavery, slavery and not anything else.******************

        You are clearly going to pretend like the primary evidence says nothing else but about slavery, when clearly that is not the case.

        I will repeat, copy and paste here what I said earlier about ‘states rights/federalism’ evidence as separate from slavery, all of which is contained in primary sources from the time or earlier about the Civil War/War Between The States-

        For starters, review that the Founding Fathers explicitly cited a late 1700s Swiss model of federalism for the Union they were creating, wherein in Switzerland at the time, the cantons were paramount to the republic which bound them. See, 1774, ‘Letter to the Inhabitants of Quebec’-

        “October 26, 1774,

        Friends and fellow-subjects,

        We, the Delegates of the Colonies of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina and South-Carolina, deputed by the inhabitants of the said Colonies, to represent them in a General Congress at Philadelphia, in the province of Pennsylvania, to consult together concerning the best methods to obtain redress of our afflicting grievances, having accordingly assembled, and taken into our most serious consideration the state of public affairs on this continent, have thought proper to address your province, as a member therein deeply interested…The Swiss Cantons furnish a memorable proof of this truth. Their union is composed of…States, living in the utmost concord and peace with one another, and thereby enabled, ever since they bravely vindicated their freedom, to defy and defeat every tyrant that has invaded them…”

        It is clear that the common Southern view of the Constitution and American federalism, that the States had created the Union and were thus paramount to it, was an old and well-established one. Am I saying it was beyond question to be comprehensive and absolutely correct? No, but the argument that the Lost Cause created this view after the war is utterly incorrect.

        Next, if you want an idea of States rights, it could be that they meant for the states to be respected and viewed openly as the paramount political units of governance in the daily lives of the workings of government and the Union for the lives of American people. Such as in the Aroostook War when Maine’s reps on the floor of Congress in the late 1830s defended and claimed that their state was completely right and justified in doing what it had: Invading and conquering sections of the colony of New Brunswick in the British Empire and adding these to the borders of Maine, not to mention constructing Maine state fortifications on disputed international territory, drilling and marching Maine state militia on same, marching on to such and taking into Maine state custody in Maine prisons political figures of the British Empire and that they had absolutely no obligation to inform, let alone involve, the US federal government.

        When asked why Maine would ever want to do this they replied, “To protect ourselves from Northern invaders.”

        Look at how the President of the Texas Secession Convention made a clear distinction between slavery and that the South was fighting for a system of federalism and the US Constitution akin to the Founding Fathers; a compact of sovereign states, not a glob of mass people in one political unit.

        Abraham Lincoln in his 1st Ingrl Address, after articulating on slavery, then devotes a paragraph and a half to explaining why the Northern view of the Constitution and American Federalism, that the Union was paramount to the States, is right and the Southern view wrong. He makes a clear distinction between slavery and federalism and if the Lost Cause created the said view after the war, how and why would Lincoln be stating this before it even began?

        Look at all the evidence that the Abolitionist hotbeds of Canada and Santiago Vidaurri in Mexico.

        Look at how Thomas Morris Chester cites at least three times in his columns in the ‘Philadelphia Press’, about states rights, separate from slavery.

        Look at the statements of Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet and Jeb Stuart as to why they fought for the South: That the recognized their primary loyalty as Americans was to their home states. And! Look at how the New York general with Longstreet in New Mexico territory said, in Longstreet’s Memoirs, that if NY seceded, he would fight with her.

        The examples and evidence of this are extremely abundant.**************************

        Now you have the obligation to gain at least a reasonable familiarity with even the evidence I cite above. You can not treat this lightly.

        And if you don’t, then that’s going out of your way to avoid evidence which you know challenges your arguments and that’s a form of historical dishonesty and loss of credibility.

        The historian has an obligation to at least attempt to gain a reasonable knowledge of evidence when it is brought to their attention.

        Otherwise, that’s like saying, ‘I only see Abraham Lincoln making a lot of racist statements about Black Americans in his 1858 Debates with Stephen Douglas. That’s all that I need to know to make my argument about him.’

        Plainly, such a methodology is lazy at best and dishonest at worst.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        And your statements about secession are indefensible in every capacity.

        If what you’re saying is actually true, then explain how before Lincoln, there were 15 Presidents whom swore the same Oath he did as President to defend and uphold the same Constitution with the same war powers, (these latter were simply never engaged, presumably, by any prior Presidents; they were ‘latent’ but present).

        Of these first 16 Presidents, then explain how about 6-

        Jefferson, Madison, John Quincy Adams, John Tyler, James Buchanan,

        believed that secession was lawful/possible? Two of these were from Northern States.

        What’s more, look at all the Presidents who believed the opposite; that secession was unlawful or impossible; how many of them came from slave states?

        Washington, Monroe, Jackson, Harrison, Polk and Zachary Taylor and Abraham Lincoln, (given his birthplace in Kentucky and that he even referred to himself as being a Southerner in notable instances, he’s a relevant mention), (in context, even Andrew Johnson is a relevant mention as is US Grant, given his residence in Missouri).

        So your argument can not be successfully carried.

        And what does ALL the evidence that can be examined say about why the states that did secede did so? What’s more, why did not all slave states secede?

        What did Delaware say when the war broke out? That it was using its’ position as a sovereign state to determine it chose to side with the Union.

        There is too much relevant material which your articulation does not adequately take into account and seeks to discount.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Another example, Matt McKeon-

        IF states rights/federalism, apart from rights pertaining to slavery, was NOT an important issue for the Confederacy, then explain how after the war, Judah Benjamin was such focal point in defining the jurisdictional separation of powers between the federal government and provinces in Canada?

        When he moved to Britain, his arguments before the Privy Council in London were so eloquent and influential that he helped to create the tradition of that court of time and again, granting jurisdictional power to the provinces, over the Canadian government.

        At one point, he even told the Justices of the JCPC, ‘your problem in this matter is that you have no experience in dealing with federalism.’

        If the ONLY way in which federalism, the clear boundaries between not only the very jurisdictional spheres of a national and state-type governments, but the very model of federalism itself as a constitutional model for a country, then these arguments and the very influence he spoke and exerted would have been impossible, as none of these issues in the least dealt with slavery.

        https://www.canlii.org/en/commentary/doc/1967CanLIIDocs42#!fragment/zoupio-_Toc3Page3/BQCwhgziBcwMYgK4DsDWszIQewE4BUBTADwBdoAvbRABwEtsBaAfX2zgGYAFMAc0I4BKADTJspQhACKiQrgCe0AORLhEQmFwIZcxSrUatIAMp5SAIUUAlAKIAZGwDUAggDkAwjeGkwAI2ik7IKCQA

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Correction: 5 Presidents re. ‘believed secession was lawful/possible’

    • Matt McKeon says:

      This is actually a reply to your post 1: 46 AM on October but I didn’t see a reply button.

      The various argument you making boil down to a view that states have certain rights, including a right to secession. I have read many, many arguments and debates on the subject, and find them irrelevant. Because in 1860, the secessionists were seceding for a reason. They were not seceding to demonstrate a theory about secession. They were trying to defend slavery.

      And all the argle bargle about the supposed right to secession is a way to avoid mentioning that the Confederate project was about preserving a system where a master race exploited human beings brutally. The worse possible cause, as Grant would observe. Why did they want to secede? To protect slavery.

      • Matt McKeon says:

        From my own reading on the subject, I find that states’ rights are something that people donned or discarded as it served what they thought was important.

        The North fought to preserve the Union. Their view of states’ rights has prevailed. We haven’t had a secessionist movement since, that wasn’t a bunch of cranks. The Civil War wasn’t an episode in an endless and inherent conflict about federalism. It was the bloody end of American slavery.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Cont’d II

        If you are going to attempt to ignore the presence of this content in Lincoln’s First Inngrl Address in the loom of war, making a clear break of the slavery issue-

        “The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have referred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the States. The people themselves can do this if also they choose, but the Executive as such has nothing to do with it. His duty is to administer the present Government as it came to his hands and to transmit it unimpaired by him to his successor.

        Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with His eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great tribunal of the American people.

        By the frame of the Government under which we live this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief, and have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.

        My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you in hot haste to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while the new Administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.

        In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend it.”

        https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/lincoln1.asp

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Then I dismiss out of hand your glib arguments as being aggressively ignorant in methodological style at best, and academically dishonest and a mark of negation of credibility at worst.

        **********And all the argle bargle about the supposed right to secession is a way to avoid mentioning that the Confederate project was about preserving a system where a master race exploited human beings brutally. The worse possible cause, as Grant would observe. Why did they want to secede? To protect slavery.***********

        The constitutionality, legality and plausibility of secession was an unknown and open question up to 1865 in America. It could not be decided one way or the other whether it was or wasn’t constitutional, etc.

        Your argument is arranged to avoid admitting this: That since 1789, the United States’ was itself committed to the institution of slavery and yours’ is an attempt to put all the historical criticism and blame for slavery upon the South. There is indeed a measure of fair and balanced criticism that can be put there. But that applies as much to the Union and the North, for example, how the North willingly chose to be part of a country wherein they knew, or ought to have known, what the realities of slavery would be, and yet, they freely chose to enter into this. Or, the 1846-48 Mexican American War that was a war fought to conquer new American lands to create new American slave states out of as Grant openly stated he chose to be part of in his Memoirs, and for what was the Union willing to put itself back together? To reconvene all the rights to slavery that had already been given, which is what Grant pledged to Confederates he was fighting for.

        And for you and he to pretend that there were not other causes to the war is the creation of the modern, ‘Devil Theory’ of the war, first articulated by Howard K. Beale in 1946.

        Not only do you dishonestly attempt to ‘hide’ evidence as above; you also attempt to hide evidence such as this-

        “opposing secession changes the nature of government from a voluntary one, in which the people are sovereigns, to a despotism were one part of the people are slaves”New York Journal of commerce 1/12/61
        “The great principles embodied by Jefferson in the declaration is… that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed” Therefore if the southern states wish to secede, “they have a clear right to do so” New York tribune 2/5/61
        “Secession is “the very germ of liberty…the right of secession inheres to the people of every sovereign state”Kenosha Wisconsin Democrat 1/11/61
        “the leading and most influncial papers of the union believe that any state of the union has a right to secede”Davenport Iowa Democrat and news 11/17/60
        “In one single blow our foreign commerce must be reduced to less than one-half what it now is. Our coastwise trade would pass into other hands. One-half of our shipping would lie idle at our wharves. . . . Our manufactories would be in utter ruins. . . . millions of our people would be compelled to go out of employment.” Daily-Chicago Times December 10, 1860
        “No act of this kind should become law,” (Morrill Tariff) “All admit the breaking up of the Confederacy to be possible.” Para 5: “This proposed bill (Morrill Tariff) is most objectionable both in its principle and in its details, uniting specific and ad velorem duties such minuteness of subdivisions and detail as to give rise to endless misunderstandings and disputes and rendering necessary, with our present imports, a force at least treble that now employed.” (Even The New York Times thought Lincoln’s pledge to enforce the Morrill Tariff was illegal and would cause a secession crisis, The Times was correct.). 14 Feb 1861, New York Times
        “We have repeatedly asked those who dissent from our view of this matter to tell us frankly whether they do or do not assent to Mr. Jefferson’s statement in the Declaration of Independence that governments ’derive their just powers from the consent of the governed; and that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government.’ We do heartily accept this doctrine, believing it intrinsically sound, beneficent, and one that, universally accepted, is calculated to prevent the shedding of seas of human blood. And, if it justified the secession from the British Empire of Three Millions of colonists in 1776, we do not see why it would not justify the secession of Five Millions of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861. If we are mistaken on this point, why does not some one attempt to show wherein and why? . . . we could not stand up for coercion, for subjugation, for we do not think it would be just. We hold the right of Self-Government sacred, even when invoked in behalf of those who deny it to others . . . if ever ‘seven or eight States’ send agents to Washington to say ‘We want to get out of the Union,’ we shall feel constrained by our devotion to Human Liberty to say, Let Them Go! And we do not see how we could take the other side without coming in direct conflict with those Rights of Man which we hold paramount to all political arrangements, however convenient and advantageous.” The New York Daily Tribune, December 17, 1860

        I dismiss out of hand your dishonest methodology and arguments.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Let’s see what the Fathers of Canadian Confederation, whom had the front row seat at the bullfight of the CW/WBTS said of the causes of the war, shall we?

        Remember; these guys were attempting to create a country with both a national and ‘state’ governments at the same time as the war was going on. They had lived next to the Republic their whole lives and many, like Sir John A., had been to the South.

        Also remember a VERY key thing: Canada is where the Underground Railroad destined. Veritably all of the FCC were against slavery and a high number of them, like George Brown (Canada West) and Sir Charles Tupper (Nova Scotia) were ferocious Abolitionists.

        pages 42-44.

        And there it is: States Rights/federalism, apart from slavery, in Sir John A’s. opinion, was the cause of the war.

        Do I say I agree 100% with him? Not necessarily, but to put that federalism/states rights, apart from slavery, was fabricated AFTER the war by the Lost Cause school is utterly dishonest.

        https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=aeu.ark:/13960/t8cg09j04&view=2up&seq=57&skin=mobile&size=150

  64. Hugh De Mann says:

    Might I add that the reps of Maine on the floor of Congress stated that, as Maine was a sovereign state of the Union, she had exactly the same status and rights as did the original 13 states that created the Union.

    Thereby, she was completely sovereign and had every right to do exactly as she had done.

  65. nygiant1952 says:

    Hugh deMann you seem to always forget Andrew Jackson . Recall what he said about the Nullification crisis…Jackson saw nullification as a threat to the Union. In his view, the federal government derived its power from the people, not from the states, and the federal laws had greater authority than those of the individual states.

    Jackson had responded to South Carolina’s recalcitrance to submit to federal authority with a proclamation to the people of South Carolina in which the president pledged to uphold a controversial federal tariff and warned “disunion by armed force is treason.”

    Any mention of what Traitors said after the war is meaningless.

    Its what they said and said and did in 1860 which indicates the reasons they left the Union…and it was slavery as they documented in in their writings and in the Cornerstone Speech.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Your argument about Andrew Jackson and the Nullification Crisis in South Carolina is the one that has cause to pause, NYGiant1952.

      He stated much; what did he actually do as President when for four years, SC published publicly documents contrary to the Aliens and Sedition Act; when he was informed if he attempted to enforce/collect the tariff, it would not happen in SC under any circumstances; that if he sent in the US armed forces to do so, they’d be attacked and killed the instant they set foot therein; that after the crisis was over, SC still declared the federal government’s authority over the matter as of no force and effect w/in SC; when SC militia was drilled, armed, equipped, and ordered to kill US armed forces the instant they entered SC, a state in the Union?

      Nothing, except cave in completely on reducing the tariff rate as SC demanded. No charges of any kind were ever brought upon any South Carolinians of any kind for that.

      If that was not an insurrection assembled for the explicit purpose of resisting by force the constitutional authority of the United States government, nothing was.

      So he backed down from his own statement and created a precedent, the second significant of three.

      And your argument is again dishonest by omission.

      In this particular instance, I will not even bother to cite the copious amounts of EXTRA/OTHER evidence besides Stephens’ CS Speech-

      For you convey dishonesty in your thesis by omission: Even w/in said CS Speech itself, Stephens’ cites the issue of tariffs/economics THREE TIMES!

      Your arguments are dishonest by omission.

      And I’ll keep putting that to them, over and over.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Here is what REALLY happened….In its attempts to have other Southern states join in nullification, South Carolina met with total failure. On March 1, 1833, Congress passed the Force Bill. South Carolina’s isolation, coupled with Jackson’s determination to employ military force if necessary, ultimately forced South Carolina to retreat.

        SC caved.

        Nice try though.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      And…if what YOU say about evidence AFTER the war as being meaningless is taken to its logical conclusion, you by that very definition would have to put that John Mosby’s post-war statement is thereby worthless; all theSlave Narratives; what Grant said to Bismarck, (as that’s contradicted by what he said/did DURING it), etc, etc.

      Think about the structure of your arguments before you pronounce them, for God’s sake!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Hugh deMann…..mentioning Bismark and grant and Mosby is nothing more that a diversion.

        What the South said in 1860 were the reasons they left the Union.

        Only after being defeated, did that change their minds and words.

        Nice try though at cherry picking.

  66. Hugh De Mann says:

    ******** Here is what REALLY happened….In its attempts to have other Southern states join in nullification, South Carolina met with total failure. On March 1, 1833, Congress passed the Force Bill. South Carolina’s isolation, coupled with Jackson’s determination to employ military force if necessary, ultimately forced South Carolina to retreat.

    SC caved.

    Nice try though.
    *********

    Your dishonest methodology of omission is in full swing.

    Now what exactly are you NOT mentioning that is pertinent in that?

    That in the same day he went to Congress to ask for the Force Bill, he also asked Congress to lower the tariff, supported by Calhoun.

    On the day that Congress passed the Force Bill, it also lowered the Tariff to amounts acceptable to SC, with full approval from Jackson and Calhoun.

    10 days after that, SC rescinded the Nullification of the tariff law.

    It ALSO nullified the Force Bill, in one last defiant gesture to which Jackson did nothing!!

    Your lack of credibility is what you yourself have made clear, over and over.

    Go ahead; I’ll put an argument every time you attempt so.

  67. Hugh De Mann says:

    Headsmack…

    IF you TRULY were a historian, you would have at least read what Mosby said after the war!

    Now you’ve doubled down on shoddy methodology.

    YOU said that arguments AFTER the War DONT COUNT:

    I am showing in open forum how your methodology is structured so poorly it can’t be defended.

    If you are consistent in your arguments, think about all the evidence, Eve that which you would cite, that is now deemed inadmissible.

    And yes; the WHOLE of what Confederates said has to be looked at for why they seceded, indeed, how the war could ever come into being at all.

    Your arguments are based full bore on ‘The Circle In The Sand’.

    But im going to over and over again force the picture to take full scope of ALLthe evidence.

  68. Hugh De Mann says:

    Now remember: According to your own argumental structure, NYGiant1952, this piece of evidence by John Mosby in the early 20th Ce. doesn’t count, as it was written AFTER the war.

    So no utilising it under any circumstances!

    https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-resources/spotlight-primary-source/former-confederate-officer-slavery-and-civil-war-1907

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Just the excuses of a traitor to the United States.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Wasn’t a traitor.

        If by his actions you deem him such, but you won’t deem NE, SC and Maine, then that is condoning treason on the one hand, and nepotistically putting it on spurious, arbitrary and punitive grounds.

        As it was not put to those prior three, it can’t be to the Confederates

  69. Hugh De Mann says:

    Read above to be, ‘…what Confederates said after the war…’, etc

    • nygiant1952 says:

      No one cares. It’s what they said before the war which carries weight.\
      Anything THEY said after the War, is PURE revisionist history.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        That’s argumentatively indefensible and self-defeating and your stance is further dishonest in that you DONT consider what they actually said or what is all to examine.

        You omit and present solely based on what may advantage the narrative you put, but it can’t survive a holistic examination of the evidence available.

  70. Hugh De Mann says:

    After all you’ve written, NYGiant1952, here is the place your methodology places you.

    This is how you structuring your arguments as you have have themselves caused your historical credibility to cease.

    4 June 1907, John Mosby to Samuel Chapman, after attending a Confederate Reunion.

    https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-resources/spotlight-primary-source/former-confederate-officer-slavery-and-civil-war-1907

  71. Hugh De Mann says:

    “… I wrote you about my disgust at reading the Reunion speeches: It has since been increased by reading Christians report. I am certainly glad I wasn’t there. According to Christian the Virginia people were the abolitionists & the Northern people were pro-slavery. He says slavery was “a patriarchal” institution – So were polygamy & circumcision. Ask Hugh if he has been circumcised. Christian quotes what the Old Virginians – said against slavery. True; but why didn’t he quote what the modern Virginians said in favor of it – Mason, Hunter, Wise &c. Why didn’t he state that a Virginia Senator (Mason) was the author of the Fugitive Slave law – & why didn’t he quote The Virginia Code (1860) that made it a crime to speak against slavery, or to teach a negro to read the Lord’s prayer. Now while I think as badly of slavery as Horace Greeley did I am not ashamed that my family were slaveholders. It was our inheritance – Neither am I ashamed that my ancestors were pirates & cattle thieves. People must be judged by the standard of their own age. If it was right to own slaves as property it was right to fight for it. The South went to war on account of Slavery. South Carolina went to war – as she said in her Secession proclamation – because slavery wd. not be secure under Lincoln. South Carolina ought to know what was the cause for her seceding. . . . I am not ashamed of having fought on the side of slavery – a soldier fights for his country – right or wrong – he is not responsible for the political merits of the cause he fights in. The South was my country…”

    Remember-

    According to you, this doesn’t count as evidence, NYGiant1952

  72. nygiant1952 says:

    Traitors…all those who fought for the Confederacy…were traitors.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Then so were the New Englanders in the War of 1812, the South Carolinians in the Nullification Crisis and Maine in the Aroostook War.

      If you don’t hold so, then you are put in the position, NYGiant1952, where you condone some whom are guilty of treason and not others.

      What do you really feel then about the topic?

  73. nygiant1952 says:

    Matt you make some nice comments, and you hit the issue right on….slavery.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Matt makes a fair comment that the war ended slavery.

      The rest of his arguments require a degree of either aggressive ignorance, (determined to not learn something or take it into account, so as to not have to amend what one posits), or, academic dishonesty by omission at worst, (when one deliberately omits relevant and pertinent information for perusal that one knows is relevant and which would force a different perspective to the topic than the one which is being depicted, in order to gain a wrongful advantage).

      Both constitute a loss of historical credibility as a historian.

      • Matt McKeon says:

        I don’t know how much credibility as a historian I have. I don’t try to deliberately mislead or tell untruths, although I can be wrong, like anyone.

        But I’m not wrong about this. The secessionists launched their effort to establish a state where all men were created unequal. It’s about the worse reason imaginable, and the elites who launched the effort failed, as generals, as statesmen and as human beings.

        That they were motivated by the threat from the incoming Lincoln Administration is obvious. It was stated over and over again in secession ordinances and the arguments made by secession commissioners, tasked with persuading other slave states to join their odious cause.

        They seceded because they felt that had a good reason to secede: to protect the cornerstone of their economy, their society, their very identity. Slavery is not attractive to us, of course, but it was to them. It is not attractive to us, because, thank God, they were defeated by the rest of the nation.

  74. nygiant1952 says:

    You all realize that Matt’s comment above…”The Civil War wasn’t an episode in an endless and inherent conflict about federalism. It was the bloody end of American slavery.”…is absolutely correct!!

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      If that was true, then explain such evidence as this-

      Frederick Chandler of the colony of New Brunswick, Sir John A. and George Brown of the colony of Canada (West, what is now Ontario), and Sir Charles Tupper, (colony of Nova Scotia), were all against slavery, (Tupper and Brown were aggressive Abolitionists, with Brown being a legendary force for this).

      Here they are attempting to arrange the separation of powers between the would-be federal government and provinces in the country, the Dominion of Canada, that they were attempting to create.

      In this transcript of their discussions about how to arrange this by examining American federalism and the war, as the war was being fought.

      Chandler voiced for a ‘Southern’ style of federalism, wherein, the would-be provinces would have all important and non-codified powers; the other three opt for exactly the opposite model.

      See their words and observations during the war itself for yourselves, (look at who they mention and discuss! Who is the ‘Stephens’ you think they’re referring to?)

      Go ahead; attempt to say that this direct and contemporaneous observation by the end of the Underground Railroad from American slavery ‘doesn’t count’. Say it in print, then just as quick cite that all evidence from Canada about American slavery, via the Underground Railroad, etc, IS relevant. Show your indefensible bias.

      Pages 42-45

      https://archive.org/details/sim_canadian-historical-review_1920-03_1_1/page/44/mode/2up?q=%22object+of+the+conference%22&view=theater

  75. Hugh De Mann says:

    ****************From my own reading on the subject, I find that states’ rights are something that people donned or discarded as it served what they thought was important.****************

    Then you are choosing to ignore the long evidence that shows that these were two distinct camps of interpretation to the Union that can be traced from about 1776 to 1865.

    There is the camp of Washington, Jackson, Taylor, Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln that saw the Union as paramount to the states and the prime political unit in American federalism.

    Then there was the altering camp of Jefferson, Calhoun, Tyler, Davis, etc, that saw the states as primary political units over the Union in the experiment of the American Republic.

    You are also ignoring that the Union was outlined to the world as a model of the former camp from the earliest times, 1774, as being akin to a late 1700s Swiss model.

    I’ve already put that to you and you apparently have the attitude that if you refuse to concede that it exists, you have convinced the whole world it doesn’t exist, or are simply trying to recruit support to pretend the evidence doesn’t exist, either.

    Both are academically dishonest.

    IF you were actually correct then these would not have come to the fore in war from 1861-65.

    **************The North fought to preserve the Union.****************

    That’s true.

    ****************Their view of states’ rights has prevailed.****************

    This interpretation of the Constitution and American federalism prevailed in military terms.

    ***************We haven’t had a secessionist movement since, that wasn’t a bunch of cranks.****************

    So?

    ***************The Civil War wasn’t an episode in an endless and inherent conflict about federalism. It was the bloody end of American slavery.***************

    The Civil War/War Between The States was the arbiter of two non-compatible views of the American constitution and federalism. This issue had nearly ruptured the Union at least three times before by the New Englanders in the War of 1812, the South Carolinians in the Nullification Crisis of 1833 and Maine in the Aroostook War in the late1830s. There is also scores of primary evidence that stipulate the struggle between the two sides for American dominance before, during and after the war.

    There is no dispute that the war also saw the end to American slavery. Exactly as how both sides had been responsible for this, both share in the credit for its end.

    (shrug) by all means, challenge me on that assertion. I’d very happily put the evidence out there again with regards Confederate emancipation.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      The Civil War/War Between The States was the arbiter of two non-compatible views of the American constitution and federalism. This issue had nearly ruptured the Union at least three times before by the New Englanders in the War of 1812, the South Carolinians in the Nullification Crisis of 1833 and Maine in the Aroostook War in the late1830s.

      First of all, the Civil War is better understood as the decision between two non-compatible economy systems: slavery and free labor. The war is better understood as a contest between a slaveholders’ rebellion to protect slaveholding, vs. the United States effort to preserve the Constitution. The two sides fought for different reasons.

      Second, the Hartford Convention and the Aroostook “War” both were very minor events, that hardly ruptured anything. Growing pains of a new nation.

      Third, The Nullification Crisis established that the federal government would respond with military force to any attempt at unilateral secession. The 1860 secessionists should be grateful they drew Abraham Lincoln and not Andrew Jackson.

      Lastly, John C. Calhoun, nicknamed “His Satanic Majesty” and the driving force behind the Nullification Crisis, wrote, in so many words, in 1850, that the South would secede in response to any threat to slavery. Eventually they pulled that trigger.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        ****************The Civil War/War Between The States was the arbiter of two non-compatible views of the American constitution and federalism. This issue had nearly ruptured the Union at least three times before by the New Englanders in the War of 1812, the South Carolinians in the Nullification Crisis of 1833 and Maine in the Aroostook War in the late1830s.

        First of all, the Civil War is better understood as the decision between two non-compatible economy systems: slavery and free labor. The war is better understood as a contest between a slaveholders’ rebellion to protect slaveholding, vs. the United States effort to preserve the Constitution. The two sides fought for different reasons.****************

        Firstly, your attempt to entirely omit that White supremacy was as much the driving force as any economic factor for the North’s decision to aver from slavery is again a mark of historical dishonesty. White Americans in the North did not want Black Americans present in the Western Territories gained from the 1846-48 Mexican War under any circumstances, enslaved or free. They also did not want the presence of Black Americans in their midst in their own states by and large, such as when John Andrew, Governor of Mass., refused refuge for Black Americans freed under the EP in his own state, saying they could not survive the Northern climate.

        …Frederick Douglass? Thomas Morris Chester? Martin Delany, Josiah Henson and all the settlements of Black Americans from the Underground Railroad present in what is now Canada, even more northerly than Mass.? This was racism, pure and simple.

        Next, you fail to openly concede that the election of Lincoln and the Republican Party, by scores of their own words, were not going to interfere in any way whatsoever with slavery where it already existed and that the North explicitly goes to war on this precept; that they were willing to reconvene all the rights to slavery as they existed in 1860-61, forever.

        To omit that is pure dishonesty by omission!

        **********************Second, the Hartford Convention and the Aroostook “War” both were very minor events, that hardly ruptured anything. Growing pains of a new nation.***************

        So the actions of the New Englanders during a war of the American nation’s national self-preservation, when a foreign enemy was successfully invading/conquering/occupying American territory and citizens, killing US troops on US soil and waters, capturing and destroying the national capital and forcing the President and First Lady to flee for their lives was a minor event in American history?

        It was so minor that President Monroe ordered the 23rd and 25th Troops into Hartford to arraign the proceedings of the Hartford Convention…?

        And the Aroostook War was nearly the third tilt between America and the British Empire, or rather, the state of Maine conducting hostilities with the British Empire on its own accord and forcing the rest of the American states into a third war with the Empire.

        The ONLY way that you can argue that about these two events is if you have never read the historical records that about them and/or, have made a determination to not do so.

        *********************Third, The Nullification Crisis established that the federal government would respond with military force to any attempt at unilateral secession. The 1860 secessionists should be grateful they drew Abraham Lincoln and not Andrew Jackson.****************

        It also established that it would react by pacification to any de facto or de jure attempt at secession or challenge to the codified powers of the federal government in the Constitution, (not counting those which apparently contradicted these same powers).

        I don’t know about your assessment when the fact is that Jackson gave the South Carolinians all they wanted in a reduced tariff and they also nullified his Force Bill within state borders and he did nothing.

        For you to try to omit that is again just pure dishonesty. If you were to explicitly draw this and above out and step by step, demonstrate how your argument in the main can resist challenge of argument and evidence to it, I could respect that.

        But you don’t! Your argument is cogent ONLY as long as you indefensibly minimise and omit swaths of critical evidence and events.

        *********Lastly, John C. Calhoun, nicknamed “His Satanic Majesty” and the driving force behind the Nullification Crisis, wrote, in so many words, in 1850, that the South would secede in response to any threat to slavery. Eventually they pulled that trigger.**************

        You omit entirely AGAIN that Jackson worked out the compromise that ended the Nullification Crisis hand in hand with Calhoun. You also omit entirely that the Nullification Crisis can not be attributed to slavery.

        True; Calhoun did state that in 1850. But then again, what that the ONLY statement by anyone upon secession?

        Look at this below. Why do you try to omit evidence like this over and over? Because it doesn’t advantage the argument you push, matter of fact, it weakens it.

        That’s not history; that’s propaganda.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        25 February 1861, A.R. Wright (Commissioner from Georgia) – Thomas Hicks (Governor of Maryland), Official Records – War of the Rebellion, Series IV, Vol. I, page 159.

        “…Even if the slavery question were now settled to the entire satisfaction of her people, Georgia would be unwilling again to confederate with a people whose views of the power of the Federal Government are so entirely different from her own. While a member of the late confederacy, she did not yield her sovereignty as a free and independent State except so far as was granted by the express letter of the Constitution.

        The power of; the Federal Government, she has always contended, was restricted, limited, and confined within the letter of that instrument. In the opinion of our people, the framers of the Constitution rested its support and power upon the consent of the people of the different confederated States, and never contemplated the employment of force against a sovereign State to coerce its submission to or continuance in a confederation deemed by its people oppressive and tyrannical. Our fathers had but too recently felt the necessity which forced a loyal and true people to throw off a government which proudly claimed to be the only power on the globe whose citizens were secured in the enjoyment of constitutional liberty.

        With; the; experience of; the then recent past the statesmen of 1788-89 looked with far-seeing sagacity to the possibility of the loss of their liberties so dearly won, unless the new government about to be adopted for their protection should be so limited and confined in its powers and so arranged in its details as to receive its entire force, efficacy, and power from the enlightened public sentiment of the country; the full, free, and cordial assent of the governed.

        This has; always been the view entertained at the South in regard to the powers of the Federal Government. Indeed, one of the New England States, one which now denies the sovereignty of the several States, and is urging the Government at Washington to use the power of the Army and Navy to reduce to subjection the seceding Southern States, on no less than two occasions in its past history has claimed for itself the right to judge of the infractions of the Federal Constitution, and. to assert its right and duty to dissolve all further connection with the Federal Union.

        The doctrine of State rights and State sovereignty, as enunciated and declared in the “ Virginia-Kentucky ’’resolutions of ’79, we have held to be the chief safeguards of the liberties of the American people. For the first time in our national history this doctrine has been ignored and denied by a commanding majority of the States of the Union. Our safety requires that we should look now alone to our own efforts and resources for the protection of our liberties and property so emphatically denied to us by our Northern associates.

        Maryland, in the opinion; of Georgia, cannot with safety to her citizens continue longer in confederation with the States of the North.”

  76. Hugh De Mann says:

    My observation is this-

    Those whom do not concede that a number of factors were important for the arrival of the Civil War/War Between The States, 1861-65, (of which, slavery and race were undeniably significant besides states rights/federalism, economics/tariffs, regionalism/culture, etc), are attempting to, in truth, diminish other factors in err, and postulate slavery/race as the only significant factors, or even factors in isolation, in order to convey to the historical units and agents they ‘align’ themselves with in order to achieve what they ‘feel’ is a maximisation of competitive prestige.

    In other words, it’s using history as an expression of Orwellian emotional nationalism, which uses emotion as the defining point of historical argument, despite the fact that by rational examination, the emotional validation they ‘feel’ as a result of compiling their argument as they do can not be validated; it depends in significant part, or even in whole, on the exclusion of rational evidence that WOULD force a reconsideration of argument and emotional validation should that evidence be openly squared with.

    That’s not to say that there is no merit at all in such a historical argument; but it’s vital to understand that the argument can not be accepted en whole in the manner that will be offered up.

    Grant and Frederick Douglass were some of the earliest articulators of the nascent way of examining the war that has produced Karen L. Cox, Ty Seidule, Adam Serwer, Ta Nahesi Coates, Adam Dombey, Craig Swain, Elizabeth Brown Pryor, etc, in our times.

    This school of the war’s argument and thesis is 100% cogent only on condition that limited questions are raised and only very selective evidence is engaged with.

    The BEST historiographies, theses’, arguments, works, etc, etc, can verifiably show they have engaged the higher, not lower number of questions, as much evidence as humanly possible and at least its main points have remained unchallenged.

    Any work that argues against this standard of rigour is not a historical work but propaganda!

  77. Hugh De Mann says:

    ALWAYS be suspect when a historical work resides within ‘The Circle In The Sand’…

    IF your argument is truly correct, then why would you have anything whatsoever but eagerness for evidence to be presented to challenge it? Why would you discount questioning to it? You ought be glad to have that done, so you can demonstrate how your argument is not challenged by it.

    Now, IF evidence is presented, or questions raised, that can only be reacted to by ignoring it and them, or attacking them to make the other party go quiet, that is the tell-tale sign of a weak argument.

    As I have put again and again to NYGiant1952, one can not make the argument that the Confederacy was different from the Union because the Confederacy had racist origins which the Union did not, when one look at the reasons for the creation of the Union was racism!

    One can not argue that Robert E. Lee was a believer in slavery and dedicated to this, for another example, when the evidence disproves that and shows such things as that he attempted to convince the Confederate government repeatedly to free the slaves, to which, his efforts met with ultimate success in the Duncan F. Kenner Mission.

  78. nygiant1952 says:

    Wrong again.

    The Union was formed as a compromise. The South wanted slavery. The North was against . Both go what they wanted…that’s why they call it a cpomp[romise!

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      The North KNEW exactly and precisely what was involved in slavery.

      Slavery existed had existed in the ENTIRE NORTH for a very long time, come the Revolution.

      The North agreed to join the South in one nation.

      The North agreed to the 3/5 and Fugitive Slave tenets in the Constitution it created with and shared with the South.

      Any minimisation by the North, or her apologists, or denial of these facts is attempting to ‘get out’ of the criticism that is due her by the onus of History.

      “Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us.”

      -Abraham Lincoln, 1 December 1862, Message to Congress.

      https://www.nps.gov/liho/learn/historyculture/onamerica.htm#:~:text=Fellow%2Dcitizens%2C%20we%20cannot%20escape,dishonor%2C%20to%20the%20latest%20generation.

      Perhaps Lincoln’s most heroic act, in a life of heroism, was his frank admission of the truth to the North, all of America and the world in his 2nd Ingrl. Address, along with his words at Hampton Roads Conference in 1865: The North was just as responsible and to blame for slavery in American history as the South. Slavery had been impossible in the land w/o the North’s culpability and complicity.

      This had affected ALL Americans, to which they had a connection.

      If many in the North did not want to hear this, TOUGH! Lincoln was being honest, no matter how much it hurt.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Additionally, slavery was not the racism that I was referring to in my mind about the origins of the Union, but it was nevertheless a component, too.

  79. Hugh De Mann says:

    25 February 1861, A.R. Wright (Commissioner from Georgia) – Thomas Hicks (Governor of Maryland), Official Records – War of the Rebellion, Series IV, Vol. I, page 159.

    “…Even if the slavery question were now settled to the entire satisfaction of her people, Georgia would be unwilling again to confederate with a people whose views of the power of the Federal Government are so entirely different from her own. While a member of the late confederacy, she did not yield her sovereignty as a free and independent State except so far as was granted by the express letter of the Constitution.

    The power of; the Federal Government, she has always contended, was restricted, limited, and confined within the letter of that instrument. In the opinion of our people, the framers of the Constitution rested its support and power upon the consent of the people of the different confederated States, and never contemplated the employment of force against a sovereign State to coerce its submission to or continuance in a confederation deemed by its people oppressive and tyrannical. Our fathers had but too recently felt the necessity which forced a loyal and true people to throw off a government which proudly claimed to be the only power on the globe whose citizens were secured in the enjoyment of constitutional liberty.

    With; the; experience of; the then recent past the statesmen of 1788-89 looked with far-seeing sagacity to the possibility of the loss of their liberties so dearly won, unless the new government about to be adopted for their protection should be so limited and confined in its powers and so arranged in its details as to receive its entire force, efficacy, and power from the enlightened public sentiment of the country; the full, free, and cordial assent of the governed.

    This has; always been the view entertained at the South in regard to the powers of the Federal Government. Indeed, one of the New England States, one which now denies the sovereignty of the several States, and is urging the Government at Washington to use the power of the Army and Navy to reduce to subjection the seceding Southern States, on no less than two occasions in its past history has claimed for itself the right to judge of the infractions of the Federal Constitution, and. to assert its right and duty to dissolve all further connection with the Federal Union.

    The doctrine of State rights and State sovereignty, as enunciated and declared in the “ Virginia-Kentucky ’’resolutions of ’79, we have held to be the chief safeguards of the liberties of the American people. For the first time in our national history this doctrine has been ignored and denied by a commanding majority of the States of the Union. Our safety requires that we should look now alone to our own efforts and resources for the protection of our liberties and property so emphatically denied to us by our Northern associates.

    Maryland, in the opinion; of Georgia, cannot with safety to her citizens continue longer in confederation with the States of the North.”

  80. Hugh De Mann says:

    Matt McKeon and NYGiant1952-

    Combined with what I have already posted, there is now NO honest and credible way to argue that states rights/federalism, separate from slavery, wasn’t an important war factor, or that the Lost Cause camp created this argument after the Civil War/War Between The States.

    If you haven’t encountered such evidence to this point in time, you indisputably have now.

    There is NO going back under any circumstances.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      Of course there is a credible way to argue that the desire to preserve slavery was the motivating force behind secession. The slaveholders championed or discarded states’ rights in so far that they protected or extended slavery. They loved a strong federal government when it was using military force to clear Georgia of the Cherokee, or fighting the Mexican War, or trying to buy Cuba(the Ostend Manifesto) or using federal troops and courts to retrieve fugitives. When Col. Lee led United States Marines to capture John Brown, brushing aside the drunken and inept local militia, no argument was made against the use of federal over state force.

      They loved tariffs when they protected southern products. Indeed, the prohibition of the Atlantic slave trade can be seen as the greatest tariff of all, protecting the domestic slave trade and raising the value of the slaveholder’s chief commodity: human beings.

      But when federal authority was used against slavery, it was a different kettle of fish.

      “States’ Rights?” A tool to protect slavery.

      • Matt McKeon says:

        I mean, goodness look at the Confederate Constitution. There are some differences that strengthen the presidency and it mentions slavery directly. But its the same structure as the US Constitution.

        The slave states had no trouble running roughshod over the Constitution to protect slavery. The infamous gagrule, where the first amendment right to petition Congress was denied, because the petitions were anti-slavery. Freedom of the press, assembly or speech? Not if anyone criticized the sacred institution of slavery. The US mails were interfered with, if someone mailed anti-slavery content.

        In the secession ordinances, we read the grievances that prompted secession: that the free states had freedom of speech and the press, and therefore abolitionist sentiments were allowed.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        No one is saying that slavery was not a major factor in secession. Equally, no one can deny that slavery became a major factor in the desire to restore the Union.

        There was at times a means to osscilate between the federal and state governments by BOTH North and South. But your attempt to examine the matter of the two historical camps solely through the lens of slavery is wholly disproven by even the most cursory glance at the evidence.

        Your argument is dependent on glib laziness as a methodology at the least, or aggressive ignorance at worst, a determination to NOT engage with something.

        Your argument can not explain how Maine would resort to a ‘states rights’ view of the Constitution and American federalism when it claimed the right as a state of the Union to be then the same as all 13 original states which had created the Union and Constitution, this transcending into the right to invade, conquer and affix territory of a foreign country, (the British Empire at that), to the borders of their own state; arm and drill state militia on disputed foreign territory and construct state fortifications thereupon as well; invade onto foreign territory, arrest representatives of that foreign power and convey them to state prison, all the while, not needing to so much as inform, let alone involve, the federal gov’t, despite the wording of the Constitution that the federal gov’t ALONE had the right to do these things and which that said foreign gov’t regarded as ‘a state of hostilities’, (war). Care to see the copy of, ‘Mirror of Parliament’?

        And which General Winfield Scott alternatingly criticised and condoned and which President Van Buren himself ultimately condoned, (thereby enabled).

        Why did the people of Maine say they would ever want to do this? In the words of their reps on the floor of Congress, ‘To protect ourselves from Northern invaders.’

        Again, your glibness/omission trait raises its head about Robert E. Lee and Harper’s Ferry: Do you think that those Southerners present were happy at the actions/presence of the Federal government when Lee ordered the troops at all costs to fight back the mobs that tried to take Brown out of their custody and hang him on the spot?

        Where is your inclusion/admittance of such as that?

        Since the North was not going to in any way affect the presence of slavery where it already existed, the Southerners were to a degree which must be examined in the position where they had to consider tariffs and economics in the light, ‘If we are guaranteed slavery as it already exists now, what is there left but to consider the pure economics of retaining our place in the Union vs. that of independence?’. Refer again to all the examples of economics in Northern newspapers I’ve already posted in this thread.

        Did the South wholly believe that guarantee by the North? That’s an excellent question. Even if we answer in the negative to that, does that mean we have no obligation to consider how the North did make that offer?

        Abraham Lincoln certainly didn’t for just one example, per his 2nd Inngrl. Address and Hampton Roads statements.

        And again, you resort to omission: IF we are to accept at face value what you say of the Slave Trade, then we must ask again, ‘how was it the North could EVER have agreed to form a country with the South and agree to these terms?’

        I advise you again to disavow this methodology you have of glibness on the one hand and omission on the other, and review such evidence as the outline the Founding Fathers put of the federalist country they were creating in the 1774, ‘Letter to the Inhabitants of Quebec’, where they invoke a system of federalism as Switzerland then embraced, or Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Papers, the WHOLE of the content of the South Carolina secession convention handbook, etc, etc.

  81. nygiant1952 says:

    The South gave up the establishment of slavery in the Northwest Territories.

    States Rights surrendered at Appomaddox. The Lost Cause is a myth as we have shown countless examples.

    The Cornerstone Speech tells us why the South left the Union…to form a country based on the slave economy. “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.”

    Mic drop

  82. Hugh De Mann says:

    1) That does not change the fact that the western territories were conquered and separated from the neighboring republic for the purpose of creating slave states out of them.

    See the Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant for but one example.

    2) You have failed time and again to successfully argue the Lost Cause thesis as a ‘myth’; it is a historiography and a thesis.

    3) The Union was founded upon the ideal and purpose for genocide of Native Americans and French Canadians so American colonists could appropriate their lands for themselves.

    And how can even the component you cite is not wholly truthful, when since 1776, the United States had embraced the institution of slavery and since 1789, given it constitutional sanction?

    Do you really think the reality of the barns, fields, whips, chains, bills of sale and bedrooms of enslaved Black Americans were in any way altered by the words of the US Constitution or words of Stephens?

    Particularly when BOTH Americans nations turned to emancipation!

    • nygiant1952 says:

      1. Regarding the Northwest Territories…The region was ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Paris of 1783. Throughout the Revolutionary War, the region was part of the British Province of Quebec. It spanned all or large parts of six eventual U.S. states (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the northeastern part of Minnesota).

      Not conquered.

      2. The LostCause is a myth perpetuated by the losers, to justify their Insurrection.

      3. Wrong on all accounts. The United States emerged from the Thirteen British Colonies when disputes with the British Crown over taxation and political representation led to the American Revolution (1765–1784), which established the nation’s independence.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        1) I am referring to the lands conquered by force from Mexico from 1846-48, that Ulysses S. Grant stated on pages 54-56 of his Memoirs were conquered for the purpose of expanding American slavery, and that the Legislature of Mass. agreed about by trying to prevent citizens of Mass. from enlisting in said war.

        This war to expand and protect American slavery was fought by boys in blue under the Stars and Stripes.

        2) The Lost Cause is a historiography, that is, a school of historical studies, and a thesis, that examines the Civil War/War Between The States from a presumed Confederate point of view.

        This has several inset errs and limitations as to how much history it can satisfactorily explain. Yet, it also has a variable measure of merit to at least a fair number of its tenets.

        Even wherein the LC is flawed/in err, it can still impart useful knowledge about history of the war.

        It is pilloried upon a hard sense of historical grievance and emotional nationalism, and in this, it is similar to say, Settler Colonialism of Patrick Wolfe, Lorenzo Veracini, Penny Edmonds, Jon Piccini, Leigh Boucher, etc.

        3) Ok, this is the final straw.

        There is some merit to the ‘traditional’ American explanations for the American Revolution, (we see some of them repeated about 150 years later at the Anglo-Irish Negotiations in 1921).

        But if you deny the following-

        The American colonists wanted to seize the lands of the Native Americans and French Canadians and appropriate them for themselves.

        They were also racist in the extreme towards these groups and sought to convey physical and/or cultural genocide towards them. The Declaration of Independence is a Declaration of War upon the rights, land custodianship, culture, languages, and very existence of these groups.

        Want to see even an iota of American racism towards them? I would have absolutely no problem setting out that evidence here, such as George Washington’s statements upon Native Americans and Benjamin Franklin’s about French Canadians.

        They went to war, rather than obey the British laws, (the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and Quebec Act of 1774), that protected these two groups, rather than respect them.

        Then you are denying historical genocide, real and attempted.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        What made George Washington a hero, in great part, was that he lived to challenge, to question, to re-consider his racial prejudices to at least a significant degree towards French Canadians, Aboriginals, etc.

        In this tradition, figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee walked in his footsteps with theirs towards Black Americans, etc.

        That by any rigorous and holistic examination of the historical record is simply THE TRUTH.

        And I will put it to you, and all, time after time.

  83. Hugh De Mann says:

    No one is saying the CS Speech of Stephens DOESNT contain and express extreme pro-slavery and racist sentiments.

    But the specific arguments you extrapolate from and about it can not be carried.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      The Speech is only the Declaration of Intent for the Confederacy to justify secession. Stephens’ speech declared that disagreements over the enslavement of Africans was the “immediate cause” of secession.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        That’s one of the key aspects right there-

        Stephens says in his opinion the ‘immediate’ cause for secession was potential federal interference with slavery.

        In other words, there were other causes for slavery, long standing, that he’s simply not going into in as much depth, if at all, at that time. Though he does cite tariffs/economics three times in it!

        And to say this is the only evidence you need to understand secession is dishonest and indefensible and disproveable as heck.

  84. Craig McLeod says:

    Must read more of this thread when I have time. I think Hugh is likely a Canadian, so his perspective is interesting. The campaign slogan “Fifty-four forty or fight” may come up in some context, if it hasn’t already.
    How could (some) American colonists take issue with taxes when the British spent so much money and blood defending the colonists from the French and their allies during the years before the American revolution? The colonists in Upper and Lower Canada and the Maritimes were no more represented than the 13 American colonies were. Many American colonists supported the British, or at least opposed the revolution. Was there more to it than taxes?

    • Matt McKeon says:

      According to the recent book “The Cause” by Joseph Ellis, the question was never revenue, but the rights of Americans, first their “Rights as Englishmen” that evolved to “Natural Rights.”

      After the 7 Years War, the British government declared that sovereignty was invested in a single source: the Parliament. The laws that followed this weren’t about revenue, but rather establishing that American colonists were second class citizens.

      The various Navigation Acts, were neither enforced or followed very well, but still generated two million pounds annually in tax revenue for the British government and accepted by the Americans as the price of membership of a great empire.

      I don’t know enough about Canadian history to comment usefully.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        See my point re. having invoked the Revolution re. the origins of the Union as relevant to examining the origins of the Confederacy, below.

        Both had an indisputable element of racism in their origins.

        The very line, ‘All men are created equal’, was in truth, a way of legitimating recognizing that Native Americans had valid claims to the lands upon which their nations were present.

        In other words, the colonists avowing themselves of the above tenet was the legal and ideological means by which they could disavow the custodianship and placement of the Monarch, the Royal Family and entire British aristocracy upon lands in Britain and North America…AND! the same towards the Native Americans upon theirs!

        The Royal Proclamation of 1763 put in law that the Native Americans and British Crown were in ‘a special relationship’, and that the Indians continued to both occupy the ancestral lands their nations were present upon before and under Crown law.

        That’s why the American colonists, under the RP, had to acquire permission through London to conduct business upon, travel through, acquire into private/commercial use/ownership any lands of the Indians; the agents of HM had to receive the requests from the colonists, HM Gov’t would approve of the affair and delegate it to their required bureaucrats, then HM would be duly ‘advised’ on the matter and give his ‘consent’, then the matter would be negotiated all the way back to the specific Native American nation tribe and the terms approved, then the matter finalised all the way back through London and down to the colonists.

        The reasons for this? Under the terms of the RP, in exchange for the Native American nation tribes agreeing to yield up their sovereignty ‘in isolation’ and live under the laws of the Crown, the Crown would in turn recognise that they had been as sovereign as the nations of Europe and before and under Crown law, they RETAINED at least key symbolic and real markers of their one-time total independence, such as use of their lands.

        This process was a recognition by the Crown of the Indians’ valid custodianship of their lands and the enduring sovereignty of their nations.

        That’s why actions like Daniel Boone can be seen as ‘invaders’; they wanted to disavow this process entirely and take up lands as they chose by repulsing the Indians by force from upon them, whom they largely didn’t recognise as human to begin with.

    • Douglas Pauly says:

      The denial of trial by juries as a result of violations of the Navigation Acts and other laws was as much a catalyst of colonists resentment as was the proverbial “taxation without representation”. There was a belief among many in the British colonies of North America that they were viewed as second class citizens and/or worse by the Crown.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Look, my point in invoking the Revolution was to make plain that to claim the CSA has racism attached to its origins and the USA doesn’t is an argument that can’t be sustained.

      But to your question, all the American colonies had elected legislatures that dealt with a wide scope of issues at the colonial level. All taxes collected in the colonies veritably was spent there.

      But the American colonists demanded that Britain allow them to simply kick the Native Americans and French Canadians off their lands to appropriate them, by force. They at large considered these groups in racist terms, declared the British laws protecting them as ‘Intolerable Acts’, and wanted to wipe their very presence off the continent.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        The four acts were the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Administration of Justice Act, and the Quartering Act. The Quebec Act of 1774 is sometimes included as one of the Coercive Acts, although it was not related to the Boston Tea Party.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      I appreciate the compliments, but I’m going to try to move this chat back to the Civil War/War Between The States.

      See my point of invoking the Revolution below.

      Cheers, mate!

  85. Hugh De Mann says:

    *******************The four acts were the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Administration of Justice Act, and the Quartering Act. The Quebec Act of 1774 is sometimes included as one of the Coercive Acts, although it was not related to the Boston Tea Party.*************************

    The Quebec Act of 1774 was looked on by the colonists as the ‘last straw’; they had gone to war to destroy the French Empire in North America, as this was the bastion of the mortal enemy and opposite of all things British, the race of people, the language, the laws, the system of land tenure, (the seignurial system), the religion, everything.

    The colonists eyed the very fertile lands of the St. Lawrence Valley with desire, feeling that they were deserving of reward of this area for settlement in exchange for service to Britain in the 7 Years War and other military ventures.

    When the British gave les habitants des terre lawful protection as above, this was the last straw for the colonists. They viewed the British in the UK as treating a repugnant race of mortal enemies and recently engaged in war with, much more favourably than themselves in the 13 colonies.

  86. Hugh De Mann says:

    Matt McKeon-

    There may be an argument that the American colonists viewed themselves as being treated as second class Britons in the Revolution-era.

    But I think it rather more to the point to argue that the Native Americans and French Canadians, then and over the succeeding history, viewed themselves as ever potentially victims of genocide at the hands of the American colonists, both physical and cultural.

  87. Hugh De Mann says:

    Alright, one and all,

    May I make a suggestion?

    Having invoked the example of the American Revolution to flesh out my point that both the Union and Confederacy had racism inherent in their origins, let us at least attempt to bring the focal point back to the Civil War/War Between The States.

    Do we have some consensus on this?

  88. Hugh De Mann says:

    ************************I mean, goodness look at the Confederate Constitution. There are some differences that strengthen the presidency and it mentions slavery directly. But its the same structure as the US Constitution.*****************

    The Confederate Constitution did have a different allotment to the office of the President: This figure would serve for a single term of 6 years only. And yes, it does mention slavery explicitly.

    Headshake…how does this constitute a significance in historical terms when the 3/5 and Fugitive Slave tenets, though these do not mention ‘slave’, ‘slavery’, etc, in explicit terms, nevertheless enabled ALL that had happened to the institution of barns, fields, whips, chains, bills of sale and bedrooms from 1789 to 1860-61?

    Tell me how this codification would have rendered the presence of slavery for anyone in any context any different in real terms?

    ***********************The slave states had no trouble running roughshod over the Constitution to protect slavery.*********************

    Neither did the non-slave states do too badly either, such as attempting secession in New England, (ie. Governor Strong of Mass. attempting to convene a peace treaty for Mass. alone in the war of 1812, apart from the federal gov’t and other states); South Carolina readying and explicitly challenging the President and US federal government to war on a matter that the Constitution clearly stipulated the federal government had the right to do; Maine in the Aroostook War, (see above post).

    Again, for you to attempt to not disclose this evidence that challenges your argument is a mark of the loss of credibility. That means what you argue has no merit.

    ********************The infamous gagrule, where the first amendment right to petition Congress was denied, because the petitions were anti-slavery. Freedom of the press, assembly or speech? Not if anyone criticized the sacred institution of slavery. The US mails were interfered with, if someone mailed anti-slavery content.***********************

    All true. There’s no disputing that. So why did the North agree to all this? How could it have done so and not taken action sooner? Why did the North let all this happen?

    These are the very questions that Frederick Douglass forced by implication in Boston in 1849 and Lincoln reckoned with.

    But just for the heck of it, let’s not forget how, despite the Aliens & Sedition Act, the South Carolina press was allowed to publish material openly advocating secession and hostility from 1828-33. And that slavery was not the factor in this, but tariffs/economics.

    ********************In the secession ordinances, we read the grievances that prompted secession: that the free states had freedom of speech and the press, and therefore abolitionist sentiments were allowed.***********************

    That’s true.

    But why don’t we review what ALL the evidence of the times tell us about secession?

    And this is something you refuse to do.

  89. Hugh De Mann says:

    **************I don’t know how much credibility as a historian I have. I don’t try to deliberately mislead or tell untruths, although I can be wrong, like anyone.

    But I’m not wrong about this. The secessionists launched their effort to establish a state where all men were created unequal.*******************

    This particular articulation attempts three things that are hugely relevant to study of the topic: (A) That the American Union had been founded on the statement, ‘All Men Are Created Equal’, in order to CONDUCT racism towards certain groups. (B) That by virtue of embracing the 3/5 and Fugitive Slave tenets in the Constitution to safeguard the institution of slavery, the Union from which the Confederacy emerged, was as much established on the notion that all men are created unequal, and actioned this, as the Confederacy.

    Recall this letter by Lincoln, 24 August 1855, to Joshua Fry Speed – “How can anyone who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this, I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” https://www.nps.gov/liho/learn/historyculture/knownothingparty.htm

    (3) Your argument also seeks to not engage with the fact that in the Confederacy, the states were the paramount units of the federalist structure. Now, is this necessarily a better or worse form for a federal country to take? What I will argue is that we must examine this aspect of the Confederacy and how therein the STATES were the main forces by which slavery would be challenged, as all 11 Confederate states would have abolished slavery in their state constitutions in the Duncan F. Kenner Mission.

    ******************It’s about the worse reason imaginable, and the elites who launched the effort failed, as generals, as statesmen and as human beings.************************

    Again, you try to evade the fact that there were other reasons for the Confederacy to originate. But for the sake of argument, let’s just in this instance hypothetically say that your view above, as you put it, of the Confederacy is correct.

    I would put to that in the hypothetical…is that a worse motive than genocide…?

    See above about Aboriginals and French Canadians and the Revolution.

    Stepping outside of that hypothetical parameter, it is clear that a wide group favoured secession in the South.

    And frankly, Robert E. Lee, stripped of all hagiography which is a credit to no human being, was heroic for his efforts to end slavery and his willingness to openly lead Black American national troops into battle. As Gary Gallagher has argued, the willingness to do this signalled a willingess to challenge and grow beyond the racism of the times in the North. So, it must be seen as such in the General, particularly when the content of his 27 March 1865 orders to Richard Ewell are considered.

    ******************That they were motivated by the threat from the incoming Lincoln Administration is obvious.***************

    There’s no argument in this.

    ***************It was stated over and over again in secession ordinances and the arguments made by secession commissioners, tasked with persuading other slave states to join their odious cause.***********************

    It is just as obvious when one looks HOLISTICALLY at the evidence that this was not the only reason for secession, that a fair amount of voices in the North felt Southern secession possible and permissible, and that the North was willing to continue in its odious cause to reconvene all the rights to the institution of slavey that had already been granted and gurantee these for all time to come.

    ****************They seceded because they felt that had a good reason to secede: to protect the cornerstone of their economy, their society, their very identity. Slavery is not attractive to us, of course, but it was to them.*********************

    The North was willing to reconvene all the rights to slavery that had already been granted and guarantee them in perpetuity. Slavery had been cited as the cornerstone of the US constitution and thereby nation, in 1832 by Justice Baldwin of the SCOTUS. And your statement wholly omits that the South was willing to emancipate, to the credit of all Americans everywhere.

    **************It is not attractive to us, because, thank God, they were defeated by the rest of the nation.*****************

    This again omits that the South was willing to emancipate and spurred by such figures as Robert E. Lee.

    Go ahead; challenge that this was not so and provide me with the opportunity to disprove your argument.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      Recall this letter by Lincoln, 24 August 1855, to Joshua Fry Speed – “How can anyone who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this, I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”

      Lincoln writes about his opposition to the anti-immigrant Know Nothing party. He finds the Know Nothing anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant stance actually anti-American, because it violates the proposition the nation is dedicated to: that all men are created equal. He explictly states that slavery also violates that same proposition and ironically compares this American depotism to the Czars. He finds this creeping depotism, starting with slavery and expanding, alarming and of a piece. It is a fallng away from the promise of our country, as stated in the Declaration.

      In this, he was quite correct. Slavery and the Southern politicians who worshipped it were trying to expand it into the west, Central America and the Caribbean, while composing odes to slavery as a positive good. The beast was on the move. The compromises that had allowed the nation to expand partly free and partly slave, had broken down as the minority of southern whites pounded the table and demanded slavery everywhere. Lincoln responded and ran for the presidency on a policy of containing slavery, and putting on the road to ultimate extinction.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        And again, your methodological trait of ‘omission’, combined with glibness, comes to the fore.

        You again refuse to even acknowledge that the very reason that those words had been crafted, ‘All men are created equal’, at the time that they were, was for the purpose of fomenting racism and genocide upon Native Americans and French Canadians.

        And you attempt to convey that Lincoln was not in effect admitting that no matter the scribe of those words or meaning that they had been infused since their inception towards equality before and under the law, that the reality was they were being utterly flouted by the presence of slavery, they had been witnessed at birth by slavery that had continued and been given national sanction within the constitution as a national feature of the USA.

        You also attempt to glibly remove from admission this: That Lincoln admitted the North was as guilty of any wrongs re. slavery as was the South in this speech and that no matter the scribe, the reality was something else entirely and he was part of it. His statements at Hampton Roads and his 2nd Ingrl. Address confirm this.

        The message therein wasn’t true because Lincoln said it; Lincoln said it because it was true.

        The North had agreed to the placement of the 3/5 and Fugitive Slave tenets in the Constitution.
        The North had agreed that all whom swore an oath to the USA had to swear they would uphold the sanctions given to slavery in its constitution.
        The North had agreed that this meant that all federal officers, such as Commissioned military officers, members of Congress, the President himself, etc, were swearing to return all presumed runaway slaves to their presumed place of bondage, the onus being on the Black Americans in question to prove themselves not enslaved legally.
        That Lincoln was willing to reconvene all the rights to slavery that had already been granted and guarantee these for all time to come.
        The North had agreed to the Fugitive Slave Act.
        The North had agreed to be part of a country wherein they knew, or ought to have known, that all this and more would occur.

        Your statement above is nothing but a hagiographed means to evade facing the reality of history and a discredit to Lincoln himself.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      This particular articulation attempts three things that are hugely relevant to study of the topic: (A) That the American Union had been founded on the statement, ‘All Men Are Created Equal’, in order to CONDUCT racism towards certain groups. (B) That by virtue of embracing the 3/5 and Fugitive Slave tenets in the Constitution to safeguard the institution of slavery, the Union from which the Confederacy emerged, was as much established on the notion that all men are created unequal, and actioned this, as the Confederacy.

      I disagree. The D of I, with its statement: “we hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal” and that human beings have unalienable rights, and that the legitimate government depends on the consent of the governed are all profoundly anti-slavery beliefs, so much so that Alexander Stephens would explicitly reject the D of I, writing that Jefferson and the other Founders had an inferior understanding of just how great slavery was for all concerned. Lincoln made the D of I central to the American identity, again because it contradicted slavery, refering to it as “the faith of our fathers” and including it in the Gettysburg Address.

      The Confederate project was not about anything but hanging on to their property. But the American project is about something more.

      What you are refering to is the US Constitution. While the northern states had either already abolished slavery, as Massachusetts had, or debating abolition, as New York was doing, the southern states remained committed to the institution, and the price of their joining the United States was the 3/5s clause and the fugitive slave law and having to wait to end the Atlantic slave trade. They loved them some slavery, and the rest of the nation tolerated it, partly because, at the time, slavery seemed to be in retreat.

      • Matt McKeon says:

        Now some people debate: was the Constitution a proslavery document? William Lloyd Garrison certainly thought so, and called it a covenant of death, although he was reacting to the Mexican War and the appalling 1850 Fugitive Slave Law as much as anything in the Constitution. Frederick Douglass broke with Garrison with is. In his famous “What is the Fourth of July to the Slave” speech, given on July 5, 1852, Douglass argues that the Constitution can be an anti-slavery document. He became a political abolitionist, willing to support using the political process to attack slavery. A lot of his reasoning was based on arguments by a writer named Spooner, who I confess I haven’t read.

        Of course the secessionists were indifferent to the Constitution, as they plunged the country into war, so they could continue to have slaves.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        *******************88This particular articulation attempts three things that are hugely relevant to study of the topic: (A) That the American Union had been founded on the statement, ‘All Men Are Created Equal’, in order to CONDUCT racism towards certain groups. (B) That by virtue of embracing the 3/5 and Fugitive Slave tenets in the Constitution to safeguard the institution of slavery, the Union from which the Confederacy emerged, was as much established on the notion that all men are created unequal, and actioned this, as the Confederacy.

        I disagree. The D of I, with its statement: “we hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal” and that human beings have unalienable rights, and that the legitimate government depends on the consent of the governed are all profoundly anti-slavery beliefs, so much so that Alexander Stephens would explicitly reject the D of I, writing that Jefferson and the other Founders had an inferior understanding of just how great slavery was for all concerned. Lincoln made the D of I central to the American identity, again because it contradicted slavery, refering to it as “the faith of our fathers” and including it in the Gettysburg Address.*****************

        1) If you deny that the Declaration of Independence was in effect a declaration of war upon the British laws that protected the rights, lands, culture, languages, and the very continued existence of the Native Americans and French Canadians, then you are denying genocide, real and attempted, physical and cultural.

        You need to re-examine the content of the historical records.

        Would you like to see Benjamin Franklin’s statements, for example, about ‘displacing’ the French Canadians whom occupy what is now Quebec and replacing them with American colonists, for example? Or George Washington’s statements about Native Americans that are utterly incompatible with the Royal Proclamation of 1763?

        And Alexander Stephens’ articulation of the Declaration in the matter reflects that he, too, possesses either a lack of historical knowledge about the original purpose of this line in the DOI, in that it denies that certain groups or individuals, based on their line of descent and heritage, can have a ‘special association’ with lands they have a custodianship to. Or, he simply didn’t care about anything but the classic American interpretation.

        If you do not amend your statements, you are denying genocide.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Frederick Douglass, 8 June 1849, ‘Liberator’,

        Some one has asked me to say a word about General Worth. I only know General Worth by his acts in Mexico and elsewhere, in the service of this slaveholding and slave-trading government. I know why that question is put: it is because one of your city papers, which does not rise to the dignity of being called a paper—a sheet of the basest sort—has said that my tongue ought to be cut out by its roots because, upon hearing of the death of that man, I made use of the remark—(it is not stated in what connection I made it, or where)—that another legalized murderer had gone to his account. I say so yet! I will not undertake to defend what I then said, or to shop up his character or history. You know as well as I do, that Faneuil Hall has resounded with echoing applause of a denunciation of the Mexican war, as a murderous war—as a war against the free states—as a war against freedom, against the Negro, and against the interests of workingmen of this country—and as a means of extending that great evil and damning curse, negro slavery. Why may not the oppressed say, when an oppressor is dead, either by disease or by the hand of the foeman on the battlefield, that there is one the less of his oppressors left on earth? For my part, I would not care if, to-morrow, I should hear of the death of every man who engaged in that bloody war in Mexico, and that every man had met the fate he went there to perpetrate upon unoffending Mexicans. A word more. There are three millions of slaves in this land, held by the United States Government, under the sanction of the American Constitution, with all the compromises and guaranties contained in that instrument in favor of the slave system. Among those guaranties and compromises is one by which you, the citizens of Boston, have sworn, before God, that three millions of slaves shall be slaves or die—that your swords and bayonets and arms shall, at any time at the biding of the slaveholder, through the legal magistrate or governor of a slave State, be at his service in putting down the slaves. With eighteen millions of freemen standing upon the quivering hearts of three millions of slaves, my sympathies, of course, must be with the oppressed. I am among them, and you are treading them beneath your feet. The weight of your influence, numbers, political combinations and religious organizations, and the power of your arms, rest heavily upon them, and serve at this moment to keep them in their chains….’

        The slaves of the South were there because the people of the North had been complicit to that.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      (3) Your argument also seeks to not engage with the fact that in the Confederacy, the states were the paramount units of the federalist structure. Now, is this necessarily a better or worse form for a federal country to take? What I will argue is that we must examine this aspect of the Confederacy and how therein the STATES were the main forces by which slavery would be challenged, as all 11 Confederate states would have abolished slavery in their state constitutions in the Duncan F. Kenner Mission.

      The Confederacy was highly centralized, the price of fighting a major war.

      But if you think for five minutes that the Confederate states would ever voluntarily abolish slavery, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

      The Kenner mission? Davis’s pathetic 11th hour effort to con the French and British into saving his bacon, because honest injun, he would free the slaves! (here we are again, with the centrality of slavery to the Confederacy). I mean I always assumed it was a desperate con, since LIncoln had already issued the Emancipation Proclamation two years before, and the Confederacy was losing the war, and only a few months to surrender. Of course Davis was getting pretty deluded towards the end. A real Hail Mary pass, if the endzone was a mile away, you were throwing an anvil and the receiver didn’t have any arms.

      I mean, Robert E. Lee himself wanted to recruit a mass number of black men in return for freedom, and that went nowhere.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Told. Hugh the same thing

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        ********************(3) Your argument also seeks to not engage with the fact that in the Confederacy, the states were the paramount units of the federalist structure. Now, is this necessarily a better or worse form for a federal country to take? What I will argue is that we must examine this aspect of the Confederacy and how therein the STATES were the main forces by which slavery would be challenged, as all 11 Confederate states would have abolished slavery in their state constitutions in the Duncan F. Kenner Mission.

        The Confederacy was highly centralized, the price of fighting a major war.******************

        Actually, not really.

        By comparison to the Union, the Confederacy was marked by the various states ‘throwing their weight around’, with the feuds between the Governor of Georgia and the Confederate government being legendary.

        And that the states were the paramount units in the Confederacy was the reason that Santiago Vidaurri, Governor of Nuevo Leon and Coahuilia in Mexico, himself despising Mexico’s highly centralist federal system, then tried so hard to have his provinces annexed to Texas in the Confederacy. This is why he had never attempted such before the war; he saw the federal government as having too much power over the states.

        Now, if you don’t know of his stance against slavery and status as an Abolitionist and the details of this…

        *************************But if you think for five minutes that the Confederate states would ever voluntarily abolish slavery, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

        The Kenner mission? Davis’s pathetic 11th hour effort to con the French and British into saving his bacon, because honest injun, he would free the slaves! (here we are again, with the centrality of slavery to the Confederacy). I mean I always assumed it was a desperate con, since LIncoln had already issued the Emancipation Proclamation two years before, and the Confederacy was losing the war, and only a few months to surrender. Of course Davis was getting pretty deluded towards the end. A real Hail Mary pass, if the endzone was a mile away, you were throwing an anvil and the receiver didn’t have any arms.********************

        Oh Ho!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Then you will have the evidence put to you and end your arguments once and for all!

        Here it comes!

        Now, was the DFK Mission an act of desperation?

        How can that be denied? By none. Certainly there was desperation in that, exactly as there had been in 1862 for the Union when the South was winning the war and the EP was issued.

        But your very premise undoes you: When he reached Paris, Napoleon III agreed to the terms and to recognise the South and side with her. But on the condition that Britain so recognise the South, first.

        When Kenner met with Lord Palmerston soon after, due to the military situation, he realised that the North was going to prevail soon. So he informed Kenner that the South was free to free their slaves, but regardless, nothing could make the British recognise the South at that point.

        It had come too late to make a real imprint. But the offer was real and it can not be ignored or one is lying by omission.

        And the other fact was that this came about but a mere two years after the North had gone down the same path.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      This again omits that the South was willing to emancipate and spurred by such figures as Robert E. Lee.
      The Confederates were not going to end slavery, voluntarily. Think of how Cleburne’s proposal went nowhere, and Lee, the most prestigious man in the Confederacy, couldn’t get his proposal passed. The United States Army had already recruited over 100,000 black men at that point.

      The Confederates would rather lose the war, then interfere with slavery. The Confederates weren’t in the slave freeing business.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        **********************This again omits that the South was willing to emancipate and spurred by such figures as Robert E. Lee.
        The Confederates were not going to end slavery, voluntarily.**********************

        That is disproven by even the 1862 Confederate Emancipation Treaty with Britain and France.

        *********************Think of how Cleburne’s proposal went nowhere,*******************

        That’s not an accurate statement; it should rather be seen that despite a more crowded opposition to it, Cleburne’s report recommending this is part of a swell tide that had been a pip squeak before the war and becomes un-ignorable by the end. By itself it was shelved, but if forms part of a rising acceptance.

        Nobody is hagiographing that growing Confederate acceptance to end slavery.

        By the time Kenner is dispatched, all eleven states of the Confederacy were willing to amend their state constitutions to abolish slavery, exactly as Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia had done in the Union, (though WV’s was contestable).

        *******************and Lee, the most prestigious man in the Confederacy, couldn’t get his proposal passed. The United States Army had already recruited over 100,000 black men at that point.*************************

        That is not accurate. The Confederate Congress passed it by a slim majority.

        *********************The Confederates would rather lose the war, then interfere with slavery. The Confederates weren’t in the slave freeing business.********************************************

        Again, incorrect. The Confederates had clearly indicated they were willing to emancipate, as the evidence can, and will!, show.

  90. Hugh De Mann says:

    That’s actually it.

    Matt McKeon, I propose you a challenge.

    I put to you the argument that proof that the Confederacy was willing to emancipate, and that in fact, it moved definitively to this before the Union, forces a serious reconsideration of your stance.

    I will gladly post at length here all the evidence I have at my disposal to that effect.

    Do you accept the challenge?

    • Matt McKeon says:

      There is an interesting book by Bruce Levine called “Confederate Emancipation” which details the debate, which lasted most of the war, whether the Confederates should emancipate some of their slaves in order to maximize the war effort, and different proposals how to do so. I would recommend it.

      I well believe that you would “gladly post at length” but this is an awkward format. I suggest we meet over at Jgg’s Civil War Talk, a forum better suited for what you have in mind, and would allow others to offer their thoughts.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        What’s wrong with this forum?

        And Levine’s book is a good start, but it’s not at all conclusive. There is a LOT more evidence.

    • Matt McKeon says:

      Hugh, I’ve enjoyed our discussion(who doesn’t enjoy winning an argument), but in the course of our exchanges, you have accused me of: ignorance, dishonesty and denying a genocide. Aren’t you better off, not associating with a terrible person as myself?

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        I haven’t accused you of any of those things.

        The structure of your arguments has revealed this about your historical knowledge.

        Now, are you saying you wish, for whatever reason/s, to desist this chat?

        I’ve no problem with that.

  91. nygiant1952 says:

    Wrong.

    It was the Boston Port Act, and the Quartering act which the Colonists found most repugnant.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Who said they didn’t find those repugnant?

      You are attempting to inject a red herring into this debate by falsely premising that I said one or the other as ‘most repugnant’. The American colonists obviously found them ALL so.

      Not going down that path as it’s a sophism.

      But the Quebec Act is viewed in general terms as the last straw to the colonists.

  92. nygiant1952 says:

    All arguments regarding the the formation of the Confederacy fall apart once one reads the Cornerstone Speech.

    The fact that the Confederacy never emancipated a slave is evidence enough of their intentions.

    Or

    Actions speak louder than words.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      That statement by you is another red herring for reasons I’ve long outlined and they’re just as valid now.

      Next, that other argument is likewise invalid. It’s like saying that the fact that the Confederates said they desired to win the war is rubbish.

      Your logic would contend, ‘If they really desired to prevail, they would have. Actions speak louder than words.’

      (Shrug) we’ve gone thru this debate once, NYGiant1952, about Confederate emancipation. And while all you can do is endlessly repeat a few buzz phrases, I’m very happy to sort out again all the evidence I posted the first time and have located since, about it.

      What was Howell Cobb’s FULL statement about slaves fighting on the Confederate side, for example?

      It kind of completely tears apart what history has pinioned him saying…

  93. Hugh De Mann says:

    *****************Now some people debate: was the Constitution a proslavery document? William Lloyd Garrison certainly thought so, and called it a covenant of death, although he was reacting to the Mexican War and the appalling 1850 Fugitive Slave Law as much as anything in the Constitution. Frederick Douglass broke with Garrison with is. In his famous “What is the Fourth of July to the Slave” speech, given on July 5, 1852, Douglass argues that the Constitution can be an anti-slavery document. He became a political abolitionist, willing to support using the political process to attack slavery. A lot of his reasoning was based on arguments by a writer named Spooner, who I confess I haven’t read.******************

    Headshake…the Constitution could be a viable tool against slavery in the real context that it was the source of the 3/5 and Fugitive Slave tenets, the two little points that enabled ALL that happened with regards to American slavery form 1789 to 1865 to occur.

    They were only able to present there in the first place if the North had agreed to it, btw.

    The const. could be a weapon against slavery in the context that as it contained the two nationally enabling points about slavery, the Const. could be altered and these eliminated, from it.

    And the glibness of your reply above shows me you really are not aware of how detached from actual, pragmatic, legislative and litigative legal practice your historical understanding of these pre-war claims of Douglass and company really were, as Lincoln himself noted, as but one example. They were nothing more than emotive outpourings.

    It’s not the best book, but to get a grip on the reality of the situation, read, ‘Giants’, by John Stauffer.

    *************Of course the secessionists were indifferent to the Constitution, as they plunged the country into war, so they could continue to have slaves.******************

    The secessionists were not indifferent to the Const. in any way. Theirs’ was a longstanding camp of legal interpretation and accumulated precedents and events, exactly as those whom held the Union as inviolable were.

    The events of New England, South Carolina and Maine gave real bolster to these claims.

    And if you make the claim that the South at least began the Civil War/War Between the States with a desire to expand the institution, in order to retain credibility, you must disclose that the North began same completely willing to reconvene all the rights to the institution, where and as it existed, and gurantee them for all time to come.

    Likewise, the road to emancipation is marked by both North and South. And to deny that is further loss of credibility.

    And no, that argument that slavery alone was the only cause of the war, and of the Confederate cause, has been successfully challenged. The evidence I’ve alone posted earlier displaces it.

  94. Hugh De Mann says:

    ****************Told. Hugh the same thing****************

    And the evidence disproved you then, NYGiant1952.

    Glibness and dishonesty by omission can not contend with the weight of historical evidence. That renders opinion hollow.

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