Echoes of Reconstruction: Losing the “Lost Cause” in Historical Revisionism

The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates by Edward Pollard (1866). Available Free Here.

Emerging Civil War is pleased to welcome back Patrick Young, author of The Reconstruction Era blog. 

The Lost Cause by Edward Pollard is a seminal work in the development of a Southern White historical tradition recalling, celebrating, and interpreting the fallen Confederacy to those who were part of the four-year experiment and to their children and grandchildren. Published just a year after the end of the war, it was one of the first book-length works claiming to encompass the war’s full scope within its covers. Although I have seen the “Lost Cause” referred to in newspaper articles published before Pollard’s book came out, his The Lost Cause popularized the term and gave it widespread usage.

Let me begin by noting that the book The Lost Cause has some significant differences from the Lost Cause paradigm seen in later works. Pollard was writing the book in 1865 and 1866. He had not lived through Reconstruction, and Jeff Davis was not yet an unassailable martyr. Slavery was not considered irretrievably lost, and some Southerners thought that it could be restored. Although he popularized the term, Pollard died before anyone ever identified a “Lost Cause” school of history.

Pollard was a journalist, not a historian. He lived through the events he described, but he observed only a  few of them first-hand. As the editor of the Richmond Examiner Pollard had a front row seat to the politics of the capital, but he is not to the military campaigns that fill most of the book. The Lost Cause lacks both the immediacy of a memoir and the temporal distance of a history. What it offers is a written attempt by a man on the losing side of a bloody revolt to come to terms with why the cause was worth sending young men to die for, and why it was lost.

Like other Lost Cause writers, Pollard depicts pre-war slavery as a benign institution benefiting both Southern whites and the United States as a whole. Unlike later Lost Cause writers, he clearly identifies Northern politics with the campaign to destroy slavery and the South’s secession with the need to wage war to preserve slavery.

Pollard wrote that the North believed that “slavery [was] the leading cause of the distinctive civilization of the South…and its superior refinements of scholarship and manners.” The North, he argued, was jealous of the civilization of the South and so “revenged itself on the cause, diverted its envy in an attack upon slavery, and defamed the institution as the relic of barbarism and the sum of all villainies.” He argued that while Northerners “defamed” the “institution of slavery, no man can write its history without recognizing contributions and naming prominent results beyond the domain of controversy. It bestowed on the world’s commerce in a half-century a single product whose annual value was two hundred millions of dollars. It founded a system of industry by which…capital…protected labour. It exhibited the picture of a land crowned with abundance, where starvation was unknown, where order was preserved by an unpaid police; and where many fertile regions accessible only to the labour of the African were brought into usefulness, and blessed the world with their productions.”

Pollard questioned the appropriateness of even using the term “slavery” to describe the ownership of Black humans by Southern whites. Pollard wrote that “we may suggest a doubt here whether that odious term ‘slavery,’ which has been so long imposed, by the exaggeration of Northern writers, upon the judgment and sympathies of the world, is properly applied to that system of servitude in the South which was really the mildest in the world; which did not rest on acts of debasement and disenfranchisement, but elevated the African, and was in the interest of human improvement…” The white man, he wrote, “protected the negro in life and limb, and in many personal rights, and, by the practice of the system, bestowed upon him a sum of individual indulgences, which made him altogether the most striking type in the world of cheerfulness and contentment.” Those who are opposed to slavery on moral grounds were “persons of disordered conscience,” argued Pollard.

Whatever cultural capital the Southern colonists brought with them to America, it was slavery which was the backbone of the distinctive society that they formed, said Pollard. He wrote that “Slavery established in the South a peculiar and noble type of civilization. It was not without attendant vices; but the virtues which followed in its train were numerous and peculiar, and asserted the general good effect of the institution on the ideas and manners of the South. If habits of command sometimes degenerated into cruelty and insolence; yet, in the greater number of instances, they inculcated notions of chivalry, polished the manners and produced many noble and generous virtues. If the relief of a large class of whites from the demands of physical labour gave occasion in some instances for idle and dissolute lives, yet at the same time it afforded opportunity for extraordinary culture, elevated the standards of scholarship in the South, enlarged and emancipated social intercourse, and established schools of individual refinement. The South had an element in its society — a landed gentry — which the North envied, and for which its substitute was a coarse ostentatious aristocracy that smelt of the trade, and that, however it cleansed itself and aped the elegance of the South, and packed its houses with fine furniture, could never entirely subdue a sneaking sense of its inferiority.”

Northern hatred of slavery took corporal form in the 1850s in the formation of the Republican Party. According to Pollard, the Republican Party was formed by the actions and money of the British abolitionists. Its members, he wrote, believed that “Slavery is a great moral, social, civil, and political evil, to be got rid of at the earliest practicable period.”

While later Lost Cause historians would claim that the Civil War war had nothing to do with slavery, Pollard saw it as central to the conflict. In this he reflected the views of Southern white leaders in 1860 and 1861-the earliest stages of the Secession Crisis. For example, Clement Claiborne Clay was one of the Southern senators who gave speeches in 1861 resigning from the U.S. Senate. Clay’s speech was delivered after his state, Alabama, had seceded from the United States.

In his speech, Clay said that Alabama had entered the Union at a time when the country was divided because of the North’s hostility “to the domestic slavery of the South.” He told his Senate audience that the years following Alabama’s admission were “strongly marked by proofs of the growth and power of that anti-slavery spirit of the Northern people which seeks the overthrow of that domestic institution of the South.… It is to-day the master spirit of the Northern States…”

Earlier, on January 7, 1861, Robert Toombs of Georgia delivered his speech explaining why he was leaving the Senate. His state had seceded, he told the Senate, because of the “success of the Abolitionists and their allies, under the name of the Republican Party…” 

The earliest Lost Cause writers, like many of the 1861 Secessionists, were honest about the centrality of slavery to the Confederate cause. It was only later, when restoration of chattel slavery was recognized as impossible, that Lost Cause historiography obscured history and denied that the perpetuation of the enslavement of Black men, women, and children was the true Lost Cause of the Civil War.

61 Responses to Echoes of Reconstruction: Losing the “Lost Cause” in Historical Revisionism

  1. “the centrality of slavery to the Confederate cause.”

    If slavery was, as so many modern Civil War commentators assert, the only real animating force for Southerners to fight in the Civil War…then I guess the Confederates who conducted Pickett’s Charge were just confused. Or perhaps misquoted by Ken Burns and David McCullough.

    When Pickett rallied his men by saying “Up men! And to your posts! And let no man forget today, that you are from Old Virginia!” I guess he really said “And let no man forget today, that you are fighting for slavery!” And that officer in the Alabama regiment, withering and dying under Hancock’s fire, must really have said “Keep our slaves, boys, keep our slaves” instead of “Home boys! Home is just beyond that ridge.” I thought PBS had better fact-checkers.

    I’ll stipulate that slavery was a rotten, evil system and it was worth fighting a Civil War to cleanse it from our nation. I’ll also stipulate that the South was stupid to secede and deserved the ass-kicking it got. And the ideas of this fellow Pollard, who saw “virtues” in slavery, have thankfully been confined to the ash-heap of history.

    But too many modern-day Civil War commentators callously lump Alexander Stephens and the dying Alabama infantrymen together into one odious “Lost Cause,” and imply they were all motivated by one odious thing—support for slavery. (If slavery was why Southern men served, suffered and died, then why didn’t Pickett read Toombs’ or Stephens’ Senate speeches to motivate his infantry before they stepped off toward Cemetery Ridge?)

    Thanks to Mr. Young for consistently and persistently presenting one side of the “Lost Cause” discussion. I look forward to discussing all sides of it on this blog.

    1. Donald Smith writes:

      ““the centrality of slavery to the Confederate cause.”

      If slavery was, as so many modern Civil War commentators assert, the only real animating force for Southerners to fight in the Civil War…then I guess the Confederates who conducted Pickett’s Charge were just confused. Or perhaps misquoted by Ken Burns and David McCullough.

      When Pickett rallied his men by saying “Up men! And to your posts! And let no man forget today, that you are from Old Virginia!” I guess he really said “And let no man forget today, that you are fighting for slavery!” And that officer in the Alabama regiment, withering and dying under Hancock’s fire, must really have said “Keep our slaves, boys, keep our slaves” instead of “Home boys! Home is just beyond that ridge.” I thought PBS had better fact-checkers.”

      A young man I knew enlisted in the army after 911 because he had problems organizing his life after high school. If we were to use Donald Smith’s reasoning, then we might conclude that American military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 21st Century were guided by a need by my young associate’s need to get his act together.

      I would suggest that in looking at the relationship of slavery to the Confederate cause, Mr. smith might want to explore the words of the Southern senators resigning from the Senate in 1861, the resolutions explaining the Ordinances of Secession drafted by five of the early seceding states, and the speeches of the Secession commissioners sent by the first-seceded states to the more northernly slave states encouraging them to secede. These might be more reflective than “Home boys! Home is just beyond that ridge” as an explanation of the cause of a war that took almost 700,000 lives.

      1. I think nowadays, young people join a professional military to become something: a Marine, “organizing” your life, etc.. In the Civil War, men joined to do something: southern independence, or preserve the Union. And southern independence meant perpetuating slavery, and in 1860, that was a worthy cause.

        In the war time army, in combat, the focus narrows to winning, or at least surviving the immediate deadly encounter, in order to go home again. As one World War II soldier wrote, “We have to beat the Nazis, so I can get out of the Army.”

        As you note, Pat, that the South seceded to protect slavery is a given, at the time and nowadays, as exhaustively demonstrated in the contemporary record. In 1860, a wholly admirable purpose, for some people. Not so nowadays.

      2. I would suggest to Mr. Young that it’s nonsensical to presume that hundreds of thousands of Southerners fought, suffered and died primarily because they adored slavery.

        I’ll stipulate that slavery was the cause of the Civil War. Without it, the war might have been avoided. But the reasons that people actually fought the war are many and varied, and they’ve been discussed in length on this blog and elsewhere.

        Do people really think that thousands of Southern men starved, shivered in tents and charged Union guns for four long years, because they really, really wanted rich planters to keep their slaves?

      3. I can speak from experience. Many folks joined the military after 9/11 *because* of 9/11. we all join and later decide to stay in for different reasons. I remember one young woman, an engineer, graduate of MIT. Met her on a patrol to the Northern Oil Company. She was an E5 – a young Sergeant – part of a Military Intel team visiting the Iraqi oil company executives mostly to help determine whether the NOC executives were involved with the terrorists. She joined specifically in response to 9/11. Am sure she had much better career prospects elsewhere. I can assure all your readers that none of us joined because we believed Iraq had WMD’s. Political statements, like secession resolutions had next no to no motivation for, I expect all of us.

  2. I thought we had an edit function here—bugger. Please replace the first full paragraph with this one:

    “If slavery was, as so many modern-day Civil War commentators assert, the primary animating force for Southerners to fight in the Civil War…then I guess the Confederates who conducted Pickett’s Charge were just confused. Or perhaps misquoted by Ken Burns and David McCullough.”

    No smiley-face buttone either—hope this works. 🙁

      1. I think you’re rewriting….sorry, remembering Armistead’s speech. But, either way, you’ve earned a cookie!

  3. Alexander Stephens said it best in the Cornerstone Speech, that the Confederacy was based on slavery. And in a slave economy, even the poorest farmer still thought he was better than a slave. And he hoped to be able in the future to be able to won slaves.

    Why he was fighting? To preserve an economic system based on the slave.

    1. You conveniently omit not only Stephens’ own claim that he was misquoted, but you ignore the first half of his speech which details why the South seceded. Every great orator knows you begin and end with what you want remembered in a speech. But Pious Causers look only to paragraphs buried in the middle of Stephens’ speech as if that was his main topic. And you ignore what he said in the next paragraph after his famous Cornerstone paragraph. It is the paragraph where he acknowledges the time when the slaves would be assimilated into American “Christian society” after being educated as slaves. Contrast that with Lincoln who believed blacks could NEVER be assimilated as social and political equals. And lastly, you ignore or are ignorant of the fact that Stephens is using the same Cornerstone analogy for slavery that a Northern SCOTUS justice named Baldwin used to assert the primacy of slave property rights in the Constitution as being foundational to the Union. Obviously Stephens is saying that as long as slavery is legal, it will be recognized as the means of managing what everyone at that time considered to be an inferior race. But he did see a day when through education they could be free and assimilated into American society; something Lincoln never conceded lending him to seek colonization of all blacks up to the week he died.

    1. “Why would anyone waste their time reading this book?” Its so close to the end of the Civil War, it gives a very interesting look at the thinking of some of the Confederate partisans.

      Full throated defenses of slavery were not uncommon antebellum, and sometimes, as in George Fitzhugh’s works, they led to very strange places, indeed

  4. Oh my, the “Pious Cause Myth” is alive and well in this article! But then that is the case also in modern academia of which the author of this piece is an obvious product. A central tenet of the Pious Cause Myth is the superficial claim that the prevailing Southern sentiment for secession was the “perpetuation and extension of slavery.” Dr. Clyde Wilson, a University of South Carolina Professor of History Emeritus and the leading historian on what motivated the South in secession, correctly identifies the myth in the popular modern narrative:

    “Historians used to know – and it was not too long ago – that the War Between the States had more to do with economics than it did slavery.  The current obsession with slavery as the ‘cause’ of the war rests not on evidence but on ideological considerations of the present day.”

    The late great Dr. Ludwell Johnson, Professor of History Emeritus at The College of William and Mary, also witnessed first hand the development of the “Pious Cause Myth,” and correctly analyzed its origins:

    “Various theoretical “isms” arriving from Europe in the 1960’s still endanger the very existence of what has so long been thought of as history… Of all fields of scholarship, history is perhaps most attractive and vulnerable to Political Correctness.  It decrees that some things should be accepted without question – otherwise the elaborate machinery of academic control and social hostility will exact their full measure of retribution on the dissenter… Readers with special interest in the period of the Civil War need to be particularly alert because the South and Southerners offer many tempting Targets to the holier-than-thou.”

    The author of this piece reasserts the logical fallacy that the Southern defense against the North’s irresponsible and inconsiderate attack on slavery means that the South wanted to “perpetuate and extend slavery.” Opposing a Northern attack on slavery, that held no concern for the Southern economy or society and even less the welfare of the slaves, does not translate into a desire for slavery! Even Lincoln admitted: “  “I have no prejudice against the Southern people.  They are just what we would be in their situation.  If slavery did not now exist among them, they would not introduce it.”

    The South defended slavery against the irresponsible demands of Northern abolitionists for an “immediate” emancipation backed by terrorist activity. Such a demand held no consideration for either the Southern economy, lawful order, or a humane outcome for the slaves. Robert E. Lee expressed this latter concern when he stated:

    “The best men in the South have long desired to do away with the institution of slavery, and were quite willing to see it abolished.  But, unless some humane course, based on wisdom and Christian principles, is adopted, you do them great injustice in setting them free.”

    The author likes to “spin” quotes from Alabama politicians to drive his superficial narrative. Hear from another Alabama politician, who in the 1861 secession debates, opposes the North’s irresponsible attack on slavery, not because of a pecuniary desire to keep slavery, but out of a concern for what the outcome would mean for the slaves:

    “Mr. President, if pecuniary loss alone were involved in the abolition of slavery, I should hesitate long before I would give the vote I now intend to give. If the destruction of slavery entailed on us poverty alone, I could bear it, for I have seen poverty and felt its sting. But poverty, Mr. President, would be one of the least of the evils that would befall us from the abolition of African slavery. There are now in the slaveholding States over four millions of slaves; dissolve the relation of master and slave, and what, I ask, would become of that race?“ E.S. Dargan, in the Convention of Alabama, Jan. 11, 1861.

    There was no way the South could alone absorb nearly half its total population of mostly landless and penniless people without an economic, social, and inhumane disaster. Yet the North’s racist determination to enforce continental segregation of blacks to within the South alone meant just such a disaster. Even Northern newspapers recognized the problem:

    “No description of Hell has ever yet been indited or conceived that in any degree approximates to what would be the fearful case of these 4,000,000 slaves if they were to be granted that instantancous freedom which pseudo philanthropists of the Republican school bawl about as a blessing and a right, but which-unless preceded by generations and generations of training would inevitably prove a capital curse.” The Jersey City American Standard, October 9, 1860.

    Even British newsprint recognized this truth:

    “The South has hitherto clung to slavery – because it saw no way to abolish it, without cruelty to the unprepared negro… it does not fight for the maintenance of slavery, as the North pretends, and as some in Europe still believes, but for independence… the sentiment of the Southern people towards the negroes was so kindly that there was nothing in the world that could be done to ameliorate their condition that the South would not gladly undertake.” (“The Friend of India” Dec 29, 1864).

    Not only were irresponsible abolitionist demands opposed by the South, but also opposed were the ulterior motives of Northern politicians who “moralized” about slavery, while their true purpose was to leverage antislavery for political control of the Union. Northern politicians new no Constitutional limits when it came to their political strategy to keep Southern voters out of the territories, and thereby assure Northern control of the general government. Southerners saw this as yet another, the most immediate and legally egregious, occasion of Northern infidelity to the Constitution in the North’s seventy year long quest for sectional dominion and benefit in the Union. The fundamental cause of secession was NOT a desire to perpetuate slavery. The foundational cause was the North’s long history of constitutional violations of which attacks on slavery were merely the most recent. Hear from another Alabama politician:

    “My friends, there is one issue before you, and to all sensible men but one issue, and but two sides to that issue. The slavery question is but one of the symbols of that issue; the commercial question is but one of the symbols of that issue; the Union question is but one of those symbols; the only issue before this country in the canvass is the integrity and safety of the Constitution.” Alabama Fire-Eater William L. Yancey.

    Yancey goes on to list other constitutional infractions such as protective tariffs and State equality, that he also considers “symbols” of the primary issue that led to secession – the protection and integrity of the Constitution.

    Repeatedly the South asserted that slavery was the mere “occasion and not the object or end of this war. “The South is fighting for National independence and freedom from Yankee domination. The people are willing sacrifice all the slaves to the cause of freedom” (Richmond Inquirer). The South had simply reached its limit in 1861 when Southern States began pursuing the true objective of secession = INDEPENDENCE from an unfaithful partner in the Union that was now financing and harboring terrorists within its sectional borders. The South did not defend slavery because it desired slavery. It defended slavery against irresponsible and political Northern designs against it. Jefferson Davis anticipated the time when slavery would end:

    “Slavery is for its end the preparation of that race for civil liberty and social enjoyment… When the time shall arrive at which emancipation is proper, those most interested will be most anxious to effect it.”

    What prevented the “proper time” for emancipation was the North’s racist commitment to segregation; hoping to create an ipso facto black reservation within Southern borders until which time the blacks could all be deported, or would at least “die out” as Northerners ironically hoped would be the consequence of an emancipation that cut off blacks from the cradle to grave welfare of the master. Dr. Nehemiah Adams, in his 1854 three month study of Southern slavery saw the prevailing sentiment in the South as being: “‘If our  friends at the north would devise ways in which we could dispose of these poor people for their good, I should then no longer be a ‘servant of servants.’” Dr. Adams would go on to say:

    “There are, probably, few who would not abstractly prefer free labor; but what shall be done with the blacks?  There has never been a time in the history of our discussions on this subject, when, the South had expressed her willingness to part with the slaves, we at the north could have agreed in what way they should have been disposed of. Who has ever proposed a plan of relief which could in a good measure unite us? What shall be done with the blacks? On the evils of slavery all are well-informed. But as to this essential question we get no light”. pp. 90-91, A Southside View of Slavery, Dr. Nehemiah Adams.

    Ever wonder why this study of slavery by a Northern abolitionist is suppressed by modern historians? It pulls the rug out from under the sanitized modern narrative that the South seceded and fought to perpetuate and extend slavery!

  5. Reading books like this one is absolutely essential to a more truthful understanding of the war. How many of us have actually read Uncle Tom’s Cabin? So Red the Rose? Anything by Albion Tourgee? Opinions change, political correctness changes, but our search for understanding must always continue. These folks don’t fit neatly into categories–they are as complex and changeable as we are today. Don’t think a dinner table in the 1850-60s was anything like peaceful–it got just as animated as ours do today. It is those unanswerable questions that fascinate me and keep me at it for over 60 years now. Simmer down, have an eggnog, and remember how much these folks mean to us, shape our lives even now, and provide examples, both good and bad. Happy Holidays!

    1. I’ve read Uncle Tom’s Cabin! And let me throw in another historical novel, written shortly after the war, “Miss Ravenel’s Conversion From Secession to Loyalty” written a year after Edward Pollard’s work. Its good!

  6. In order to understand Pollard, one must read J.D.B. De Bow and his exhaustive South-promoting magazine produced in New Orleans from 1846: “De Bow’s Review.” In it, De Bow reveals the seven major goals of the Southern Disunion Movement; and De Bow recorded the highlights of Southern Agricultural Conventions and Southern Commercial Conventions during that same period (with many of the contributors to those conventions going on to become significant figures in the Confederate States of America.)
    Edward Pollard published his work, “The First Year of the War” in July 1862 at Richmond, Virginia. At that time, the War for Southern Independence was going exceptionally well. Ever after, Pollard seemed to write from a position of fantasy and denial: “How can something going so well suddenly reverse course and go so poorly? I know… I will continue to write as if it IS all going well, and perhaps my projection can shape destiny!?”

  7. When did Jeff Davis become the “unassailable martyr”?? lol I must have missed that book. I think some Southerners came to view him with some affection. But, martyrhood over-states the matter. There were also folks criticizing the man up to and beyond his final breath.


      1. Still well short of “unassailable martyr.” Half the civil war histories from the Southern point of view include criticisms of Davis. That is essentially a running theme. Frank Vandiver said about him in 1977: “More cold dissection, carping, rebuke, harsh study, critical interpretation, has been aimed at him than at perhaps any other modern leader ……” Vandiver pointed to the same Edward Pollard who early rejected any hope for Davis and foretold doom for any cause connected to Davis. Journal of Southern History, “Jefferson Davis without a Leader,” vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 3-18.

      2. Or consider what P.G.T. Beauregard said about Davis during the war: “If he were to die today, the whole country would rejoice at it,” Or consider what James McPherson said in his book about Dais: “”He did not hesitate to criticize others but was often thin-skinned about their criticisms of him.”

        I agree hat Davis rose to a better regard after the war, but seen as a perfect martyr, he was not. That sort of hyperbole belongs more in a Donald Trump legal brief than in serious history.

  8. First off, let me to thank Patrick Young for both composing his article and allowing it to be published here. Patrick is a great historian and even when I disagree with him, his work never fails to impress me. As but one example, he routinely delves into the very primary documents themselves, such as here.

    Among the things I like about this work is that he makes plain that not even all writers of the Lost Cause historiography all write unanimously upon topics, themes, etc, etc. Pollard differed in significant manner from even Jubal Early about how he wrote history, the manner in which he engaged with evidence, the questions he posed, arguments he raised, etc.

    Patrick also accurately cites the opinion of Pollard and other ex-Confederates such as Clay of Alabama, whom explicitly cited slavery as an important war cause for the South and the formation of the Confederacy.

    What can we say but that these evidences exist and they merit examination? They are important to incorporate in holistic manner into overall knowledge of the topic, bar nothing.

    And yet, the very aspect that I will stress now, and have to Patrick, is that: Holistic.

    There are times in history when a singular piece of evidence ‘proves’ something in an all or nothing fashion. That is wholly dependent on what the evidence is that is brought forth, and what the historical question/s being put to it are. An example might be, ‘Did Abraham Lincoln ever leave America?’ All arguments about him visiting the Confederacy being put absolutely to the side, we know that Lincoln did, (he crossed the border to visit what is now Ontario on a railway stop en route to New York in the late 1850s with Mary).

    There are other times when what is needed is to look at a great deal of evidence to gain the most accurate understanding of history possible.

    Key to understanding is that invariably, the best historical arguments/historiographies/works/etc, invariably can prove that they have looked at the widest scope possible of evidence and posed the higher number of questions to it, (not less and fewer). This puts such a researcher into the position of being able to claim a greater degree of familiarity with all possible evidence that can challenge the argument or stance being put forth, (like a chess player whom can understand all possible moves). The historian in question has an obligation to disclose the evidence that exists which challenges them, or aspects upon which their own knowledge is limited or lacking in some manner and present these in a fair and objective manner, (not biased in a ‘straw man’ fashion).

    Patrick is correct in perhaps a bigger picture than he immediately cites in his work here; many, many historiographies are formed out of grievance and/or some kind of societal loss and to provide some sort of meaning. The conservative response to Australia’s involvement in WWI in the inter-war period, epitomised by the New Guard organisation in their publication, ‘Liberty’, was, “…an event, which at the price of rivers of blood…had made us a nation.”

    What sort of nation? Best put by David Day, “An Australia whose heart was British.” The event had re-defined the national origin of Australia in a manner that would gain cultural and nationalistic ‘legitimisation’ from Mother England.

    However, there are a few points about which I would disagree, and they start with what I’ve already touched on: The diversity within the origins and school itself of the Lost Cause thesis.

    See next post.

  9. Pollard is different from even Early, as I said. Key among these is that Pollard cites slavery explicitly as THE cause/factor/reason/etc, for the attempted secession by the eventual 11 states which formed the Confederacy, (almost 13, via Missouri and Kentucky). Herein, the diversity about slavery brings numerous issues to the fore.

    For example, Pollard as a newspaperman, was not in the same position where he would personally have to make the decision; retain slavery and be defeated by the Union? Or willingly give it up and possibly attain independence by assistance from Britain and France? Upon this issue, the evidence is clear; while a wide disparity ranged among Confederates such as those whom were involved in the Army of Tennessee in denouncing Cleburne’s proposals, and even in the Confederate government, even those very figures in the Confederate government, Judah Benjamin and Jefferson Davis, were willing to ‘change’ and did so, when they sent the Duncan F. Kenner Mission to France and Britain, which succeeded in the first half of its objective, (Napoleon III agreed to recognise the South and intervene as long as all 11 Confederate states agreed to change their state constitutions to abolish slavery permanently. This support was contingent upon Britain agreeing to the proposal, which wasn’t achieved).

    This singular example shows that the desire of Confederates to re-establish slavery was the hopes of private individuals; the realistic demise of slavery was apparent to all. Either emancipation would arrive voluntarily to achieve military and political victory or at the hands of military and political loss, via the Union.

    And as I’ve put, viewing the slavery factor in this fashion can not answer a high number of questions. The very symbol of the South, Robert E. Lee, was against slavery and a devout Emancipationist and argued for Southern ending of slavery over and over. The very figure the Lost Cause historiography demonised, James Longstreet, argued that the South had been right to take up arms to protect the slave property it feared it would lose at war’s start. Stonewall Jackson had made arguments in defense of slavery at war’s start, but he had become swayed to Emancipationist arguments by the time of his death. Jefferson Davis had been able to conceive of the end of slavery as early as 1850 and by about February of 1861 he had opined the end of slavery would occur. As I’ve written elsewhere, Robert Toombs also wrote in 1859 that the power to abolish slavery was one of the rights of the South and it was prepared to use it. These statements were carried around the world and finally made good in both the Duncan F. Kenner Mission and the earlier attempted 1862 Confederate Emancipation Treaty in January of 1862.

    It also fails to regard, ‘the door swings the other way’…at war’s start, the North had been 100% willing to reconvene all the rights to slavery that were already given and guarantee them forever. Abraham Lincoln makes this absolutely clear in his First Inngrl. Address; this was the man of party and policy whom Northerners had elected to be their President.

    And if we examine the Cornerstone Speech of Alexander Stephens, we are bound to examine it holistically and all the history it affects, as well, not to mention the man himself. For if we say his words in above are to be noted as extra-prominent and representative of the Confederacy as a whole, given his position, then we have to concede just as much to OTHER statements he made, such as when after the war he gave strong support to Black Americans’ rights to being involved in politics and voting.

    There is too much evidence containing too much information for me to agree wholly with Patrick’s arguments, but I greatly appreciate his efforts and work.

    1. “The very symbol of the South, Robert E. Lee, was against slavery and a devout Emancipationist and argued for Southern ending of slavery over and over.”

      Where did you hear this? Lee went to court to stall from emancipating his father-in-laws slaves. He said that slavery would end whenever God decided. He gave a little bit of lip service to criticize slavery, but in the same way that many other southerners did — “yes it’s bad, and worse for us white people, and someday it will end.”

      Lee was not sincerely against slavery.

      1. I will come back to your comment and demonstrate with the evidence that compels me to the argument I made soon.

        Thank you

      2. Alright. Now, please allow me to address the evidence that Robert E. Lee was opposed to slavery and an Emancipationist, much like Abraham Lincoln.

        In the interest of making this parsimonious, I will not place in the links to the specific evidence. However, should you desire any links/specific evidence to anything I write herein, just please ask and I’ll add it into another comment.

        The first piece of evidence that this was so was that he freed the slaves he inherited from his mother. There are no apparent Deeds of Manumission that have survived about these, but this could be that at the time, there were laws stating that freed slaves had to remove themselves from the location where they had been formerly enslaved at. The freed slaves and the Lees’ apparently had no desire to separate.

        Next, there is the letter from one of either the above slaves, or one of the freed slaves of his father in law, written to the Lee family from Liberia. With no date upon it, it is estimated to be written between 1853-58. The fact that it is from a freed slave formerly attached to the Lees’ in some manner is a piece of proof he was against slavery and testament to his statement in the printed interview with John Leyburn in the 1885 ‘Century’ magazine that ex-slaves had written to him during the war from Africa and that these had made it through the Union blockade.

        In same source, Lee emphasizes that he rejoiced slavery was dead and that he would gladly have given all he had lost in the war for this to be accomplished.

        In the 1856 Texas letter, we learn that he considered this (famously), ‘moral and political evil in any society’. This letter also shows his-then racial prejudices towards Black Americans, as they then existed. He also states to his wife that the end of slavery is something they must direct all of their energies towards, or words to that effect.

        In defiance of Virginia state law, the Lees’ taught both free and enslaved Black Americans how to read and write in order to provide them with life skills for post-emancipation.

        At the start of the war, Rev. Joseph P.B. WILMER of Louisiana asked Lee if he was fighting for the perpetuation of slavery. Lee responded, ‘If the slaves of the South were mine, I would surrender them all, without a struggle, to avert this war.’

        When Edward Sparrow showed Lee a copy of the Cleburne Plan, Lee read it and responded that he approved all points of it and stated, “I can make soldiers out of any human being with arms and legs.”

      3. William Allan was a former-Confederate ordnance Officer whom worked with Lee at Wash. College in the post-war and made contemporaneous notes of all that they discussed. In his notes, he states that Lee said in his discussions with Blair in Washington that he would gladly have surrendered all the slaves under his legal oversight to avert war and that he had told Jefferson Davis that the Confederacy freeing the slaves was the correct course of action, but Davis would not listen.

        In the post-war, Lee wrote to a British figure words to the effect that most enlightened people of Virginia had supported the end of slavery. This was generous on Lee’s part to some degree, but it plainly put him personally as against it.

        Lee made numerous recommendations to the Confederate government to abolish slavery and it seems that he was in support of both the near-clinched 1862 Confederate Emancipation Treaty with Britain and France and the Duncan F. Kenner Mission.

        Now, have you read the Deed of Manumission drafted at a Virginia courthouse in December of 1862 when Lee was able to lawfully, and without fear of legal challenge, the emancipation of his father in law’s slaves, and that this includes Wesley Norris and Amanda Parks, along with a lot of content hoping for them to live good lives.

        In a letter in 1861, Lee described slavery as the “national sins” of America.

        In his 24-01-64 letter to his wife, Lee lamented some of the Estate’s slaves were still not yet emancipated by the state courts, that he desired this, and that a large count of the local Virginia community wanted them retained in slavery, which Lee vowed to resist.

      4. 11-11-63, Robert E. Lee to his wife,

        “As regards the people at the White House & Romancoke I directed Mr. Collins1 as soon as he Could get in the small crop this fall, to obtain from the County Courts their free papers & to emancipate them. They can then hire themselves out & support themselves. Their families if they choose or until they can do better Can remain at their present homes…”

      5. Alright, now, pursuant to your statement about Lee remanding the slaves of his Father in Law’s estate back into slavery, this needs careful understanding of the complex legal processes to manumit slaves into freedom in Virginia and that state’s laws pertaining to estates which were in debt, assets of the estate, etc.

        Because when his father in law died, the estate was in debt, Virginia state law stipulated that all assets of the estate concerned had to be frozen for a bare minimum of five calendar years to the anniversary of the deceased’s passing.

        This was so that any and all creditors who might possibly bring a lawsuit against the estate to sue for the assets it contained would have a fair chance to do so, in the eyes of the law.

        This overrode all other legal considerations. It definitely overrode the deathbed promise of Lee’s father in law to his slaves that they’d be freed on his death in the eyes of the law. And it also superseded the terms of the will to free the slaves within five years of the father in law’s passing.

        These and many, many more legal technicalities made freeing the slaves a VERY difficult process for Lee to action. And one incongruity of any kind and the slaves would be remanded back into slavery indefinitely.

        One thing, and the thing pursuant to your point, that Lee had to do was, however ironically, remand the slaves back into slavery in the eyes of the law for each year from 1857-62, until after the date of the five year anniversary of his father in law dying in October of 1862.

        What was the point of this? It made the eventual manumission of the slaves absolutely and utterly legally unassailable.

        Because if he had attempted to free the slaves prior to the five year anniversary, the courts would not have upheld this, citing that any and all potential creditors had not yet had the legal opportunity they were entitled to, to sue for the assets of the estate, which included the slaves.

        That was why Lee had to attend the courthouse and meticulously document that the Estate slaves were being legally recognised as still enslaved; not yet manumitted, from 1857-62.

        In short, he was providing the legal grounds to make the slaves manumission by late 1862 as irrevocable; by that time, all potential creditors had had their chance and with no lawsuit coming forth, the Arlington slaves could not be denied their freedom on these grounds.

      6. On 8 April 1865, the night before he surrendered to Grant, Lee called together all his Officers and told them, “Well, it is ended. Slavery disappears, never to be known again. The main thing is for we all to return to our homes, adjust to the new order of things and work!”

        It was this instruction that inspired William Mahone to his progressive work in post-war Virginia with the Readjuster Party.

        And Lee disagreed with Longstreet earlier than this, arguing that much would be gained by the abolishing of slavery in the South while Longstreet was for the retaining of it.

      7. Pursuant to the topic of slavery specifically, (though I’ve every gladness to discuss his changing views of race), Lee even said in his Congressional Testimony in 1866 that, ‘he had always been in favour of Emancipation – gradual emancipation’.

        Again, Lee expounds this over and over in his wartime and postwar letters to the Confederate government, family, private figures, etc, etc.

      8. Hunter McGuire, Stonewall Jackson’s surgeon, heavily implied that it was by association with Lee that Jackson came to be swayed about his view on slavery, becoming open to Emancipationism.

      9. This piece of evidence not only proves that Lee supported the end of slavery; it proves that Gary Gallagher is correct in his highly insightful argument that the willingness in the North to endorse Black American troops indicated a willingness to reconsider the notion of White Supremacy, on individual and societal grounds.

        This piece of evidence proves that this also applies to Robert E. Lee. Herein is also one of the four pieces of primary evidence that show he supported Black Americans voting in the postwar in the same terms as Abraham Lincoln, (“…their rights and privileges…”, etc).

        Orders of Robert E. Lee to Richard Ewell about the organising of national Black Confederate troops, 27 March 1865-

        The original letters are located in the Richards S. Ewell Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

        “Hd Qs CS Armies
        27th March 1865
        Lt Gen RS Ewell
        Commdg General,

        General Lee directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 25th inst: and to say that he much regrets the unwillingness of owners to permit their slaves to enter the service. If the state authorities can do nothing to get those negroes who are willing to join the army, but whose masters refuse their consent, there is no authority to do it at all. What benefit they expect their negroes to be to them, if the enemy occupies the country, it is impossible to say. He hopes you will endeavor to get the assistance of citizens who favor the measure, and bring every influence you can to bear. When a negro is willing, and his master objects, there would be less objection to compulsion, if the state has the authority. It is however of primary importance that the negroes should know that the service is voluntary on their part. As to the name of the troops, the general thinks you cannot do better than consult the men themselves. His only objection to calling them colored troops was that the enemy had selected that designation for theirs. But this has no weight against the choice of the troops and he recommends that they be called colored or if they prefer, they can be called simply Confederate troops or volunteers. Everything should be done to impress them with the responsibility and character of their position, and while of course due respect and subordination should be exacted, they should be so treated as to feel that their obligations are those of any other soldier and their rights and privileges dependent in law & order as obligations upon others as upon theirselves. Harshness and contemptuous or offensive language or conduct to them must be forbidden and they should be made to forget as soon as possible that they were regarded as menials. You will readily understand however how to conciliate their good will & elevate the tone and character of the men…”,simply%20Confederate%20troops%20or%20volunteers.

      10. Now, Lee stated this in his 29 April 1865 interview in the New York Herald-

        “…The question of slavery did not lie in the way at all. The best men of the South have long been anxious to do away with this institution, and were quite willing to-day to see it abolished. They consider slavery forever dead…”

      11. About 1867, Lee gave an interview to the New York Times stating that he had fervently believed in Emancipation.

    1. Thanks for the reply, but there are many problematic claims in your posts above. There is no evidence that Lee ever emancipated the slaves he inherited from his mother, or emancipated any of the slaves he personally owned. It’s just as likely that he sold them. Lee may have made some revisionist claims after the war about being against slavery, but before the war he thought slavery was the best relationship between whites and blacks.

      There was no “near-clinched 1862 Confederate Emancipation Treaty.” I’ve seen some confederate partisans claim that some newspaper articles somehow prove there was, but there is no evidence that Jefferson Davis and the Confederate congress ever seriously considered emancipation in exchange for foreign recognition in 1862. It would have taken an amendment to the Confederate Constitution. The Kenner mission was a desperate Hail Mary in the last weeks of the war.

      1. Actually, that is incorrect.

        There is evidence in that there are no listed slaves amongst his personal assets after about 1850, not to mention the letter from Africa of the freed slave mother. There is no evidence, in turn, that he ever sold them, especially when one considers there are no bills of sale within the Lee papers or listed amongst either legal institutions or archives.

        It’s true he thought slavery provided a ‘best possible base option’ for Black Americans to ‘adjust them from their African heritage’, and this certainly does prove he had then-racial prejudices towards them.

        The key, however, is that Lee, like Abraham Lincoln, did not remain ‘fixed’ in his views about Black Americans. While neither ever 100% eschewed their racial prejudices, both came to challenge, question and re-consider their views about Black Americans in progressive fashion. Lee’s 27th of March, 1865 orders to Ewell alone prove this beyond question.

        There is also simply too much evidence about the 1862 Confederate Emancipation Treaty to dismiss it. The 25 January 1862 ‘UK Spectator’ spelled out the specific terms and these were carried around the world in newspapers and it is cited in the private papers of US Consul to the UK, Charles Francis Adams and Abraham Lincoln.

        Davis had been able to conceive of the end of slavery by as early as 1850, and her stated in February of 1861 that “eventually our slave property will be lost”.

        The matter would not have required an amendment to the Confederate constitution as what was necessary was to give it effect was for the Confederate government to arrange the foreign affairs aspect and all 11 Confederate individual states amend their state constitutions, exactly as how Maryland and Missouri abolished slavery within the Union in advance of the 13th Amendment.

        Certainly there was desperation about the Duncan F. Kenner Mission, exactly as there had been to the EP. That doesn’t take away from either that these were a means to effect Emancipation.

        There is nothing problematic about my argument above as it is formed after engaging with the evidence thoroughly.

      2. And the description you out of the evidence about him being against slavery in the terms you set doesn’t square with a rigorous examination of the actual evidence.

        For example, IF we accept your implied argument that Lee and the Confederates believed slavery good, right and proper, why would he say in private conversation to Charles Allen at Washington College he’d told Jefferson Davis ‘early and often in the war’ the slaves ought be freed?

        If Lee was of the disposition you say, why would he voice this? Particularly in private conversation with nothing to prove or gain? Supposing Allen strongly believed in slavery, why would he record this about such a topic from such a figure? What motivation would Allen have to fabricate this?

        And why would Lee go to such great lengths to ensure the emancipation of the Arlington estate slaves would be utterly legally inviolable, no matter which side won or lost? And why would he obviously contend in such great terms so often, with all else going on at the time, about achieving their emancipation, in the course of which he positively states such Emancipationist views?

        Why, for example, when Lee himself had been in Washington at war’s start, did he not bring back to Virginia the Arlington slave Philip Meredith? The only logical answer based on the evidence is he realised or suspected at some level that the Union would begin activities that it did and confiscate Confederates’ property, thereby ensuring the emancipation of Meredith even faster, and providing him with the reasonable excuse he’d need to give the Virginia courts as to why Meredith was not present on Manumission day.

        It’s heavily implied in the evidence that Meredith was one of the Black Americans whom ran up to greet Lee in Baltimore in 1869.

        There is simply too much evidence and questions raised by it for me to agree with you.

      3. This is too awkward of a format to debate. The “reply” function doesn’t appear after some posts.

        There’s too much jumping to conclusions without evidence regarding Lee the “emancipationist.” No Bills of Manumission and no Bills of Sale in the historical record does not mean you can simply pick the option you prefer and present it as fact. And there is evidence of Lee owning slaves in the 1850’s.

        I disagree with much of the rest as well, including the notion that the Confederate government was considering emancipation in 1862. If people want to make this claim, they need to come up with documentation involving the actual Confederate government, not newspaper articles.

      4. Quite frankly, you’re the one who is jumping to conclusions w/o evidence, and when evidence bolstering a historical argument is proffered, you demonstrate a simple willingness to not give it an adequate critical reflection.

        I’m the one whom has presented a score of evidence to bolster his view, yourself none.

        The evidence clearly shows by the mid-1850s, Lee owned no slaves and as he emancipated the others and clearly espoused an attitude and actions against slavery, you’re in turn the one whom is clinging to an idea regardless of the evidence against it.

        The 1862 Treaty is a clear indication of that on your part additionally; are you seriously trying to argue newspapers are not a primary source? And that newspapers around the world all printed the same material was just nothing?

        And you’ve clearly skipped over the evidence in both Adams and Lincoln’s personal papers…

      5. Okay, obviously you’re a true believer. You have no evidence that Lee ever emancipated his own slaves, and yet you claim he did. You have no evidence of the Confederate government considering emancipation in 1862 other than non-Confederate sources.

        It appears that you’re cherry-picking random stuff and claiming it proves something that you’d like to believe.

        Do any historians agree with your claims?

      6. You’re the one who has no evidence of any kind of the views you’re proffering other than an emotional desire and determination to come to the conclusion you desire.

        This isn’t the leas I was looking for but it suffices; if Lee sold the slaves he inherited from his mother, where are the bills of sale, as you seem resolute to put the impression out there he sold them.

        Where are the bills of sale? Tell me and all where you have observed them? What archives or holdings do you have evidence that they’re held in?

        Selling a slave was a legal event, which had to be documented. Instead, you’re the one proffering that a negative proves a positive; the fact that the lack of a deed of manumission proves he sold them, rather than examine the evidence that does exist about them by reference in letters and other supporting/inferential evidence.

        It appears you’re aggressively ignorant to examine the evidence that does exist and it sounds a lot like you’re trying to say something really nationalistic like-

        ‘Non-American evidence doesn’t count about American history!’

        Are you actually serious that something pertaining to Confederate history can only be cited in Confederate sources?

        Are you…?

        Because that would be as indefensible as arguing that FBI/CIA evidence about the Soviet Union are worthless; ONLY Soviet evidence counts as evidence about the Soviet Union.

        Sounds like you haven’t done the research at all, and have learned the talking points to gain standing among a particular group. Regurgitation of that and themes, instead of subjecting all known historical evidence to a critical reflection process is called practicional discursive enmeshment.

        If I had to tell you all the above evidence about Robert E. Lee and his connections to slavery and emancipation, then you’re the one who has some research to do.

        Better get to it.

      7. “I desire to do what is right and best for the people.”

        Robert E. Lee – His Wife, 21 December 1862, Lee Family Digital Archives, writing about the pending manumission of the Arlington estate slaves.

  10. Pollard’s comments defending and describing slavery as ‘benign’, etc, were wrong.

    Slavery was a wrongful and cruel institution.

  11. Donald Smith wrote:

    “I would suggest to Mr. Young that it’s nonsensical to presume that hundreds of thousands of Southerners fought, suffered and died primarily because they adored slavery.”

    I don’t presume that. I don’t think that we know the exact “reasons that people fought.” Some may have fought to avoid dishonoring themselves in front of neighbors, some because a parent told them to go fight, others to prove their “manhood,” or any of a hundred or more other reasons. Southern leaders, however, were quite clear in why their states were seceding and starting the Civil War.

    1. Southern leaders, Northern leaders, Southern private citizens, Northern private ones, US armed forces’ personnel, etc, etc, etc, all left evidence about why they fought, what they were fighting for, what was incumbent on this.

      All of the vast, oceanic amount of primary evidence, when subjected to a rigorous examination, reveals a wide scope of reasons as to why all fought.

      Also jus as important to note is that these reasons could overlap, one or more reasons could diminish/increase in importance over time, they could change over time.

  12. People forget that conflict arises in different contexts for differing people. If Picket was not mentioning “slavery” one need only read the Confed., Constitution to understand that slavery was part of the “economy” – an all encompassing term to describe only the Nullification period (etc) for those so desirous to support “Lost Cause”, while forgetting the “economy” also meant slavery….

    1. You have a point in as much, if I can raise this with you, in that slavery could and did indeed converge into other factors, ie., states rights/federalism, economics/tariffs, regionalism/culture.

      The key to have in mind is that all of these factors could, and did, just as much diverge from slavery to be important factors in their own right.

      With economics and tariffs as you say, the manner in which these could diverge to be independent factors in their own right is when you consider that the North was making a guarantee to reconvene all the rights to slavery, as they existed at the time, for perpetuity.

      So, with that pledge being made, if the rights to slavery as they existed were guaranteed to the South, and it was, then what other consideration was there other than economics? Could there be a more economically advantageous political position than what they had at hand? This is part of how economics could diverge from slavery.

      Now at the same time, we can consider many more questions such as, ‘Did the South believe these Norther guarantees over slavery?’ Even if we can argue, ‘no’, to that question, does that mean…ought we to ‘go quiet’ on explicitly examining as historians how the North made that guarantee and what that actually would have meant…?

      1. Even though there is a right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, there is no right to over-throw the duly elected Government, when those grievances are not changed. That is not part of the 2nd Amendment.

        Nor is there a right to secede from the Union, as the FF intended the Union to be perpetual.

  13. The first point you make is highly disputable at the core of American identity, NYGiant1952, and was even more so at the time of the CW/WBTS.

    As it is directly in the Declaration of Independence, w/o which, there could never have been the American constitution itself, that people have the right to disavow their present government and establish a new one when the current no longer serves their purposes adequately.

    Where was the line between these mutually exclusive points? At the time of the war, this wasn’t 100% explicitly clear.

    And the right to secede itself, or none, wasn’t absolutely clear, either, as even some of the Founding Fathers themselves, such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed it was legal for a state to secede.

    1. Well, my first comment is part of the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, and is not disputable. The US Constitution is the law of the Land…and not the Declaration of Independence.

      Yes, the people can change the Government every 4 years…it’s called voting.

      The Articles of Confederation state in the preamble that the Union was to be perpetual.

      Recall that the US Constitution states that the Congress can call out the militia in case of invasion or rebellion.

      1. The Constitution owes its very existence to the existence of the Declaration of Independence and thus, the DOI is part of the entire scope of American sovereignty along with various non-codified customs, traditions, etc.

        That was a big part of the reason why Lincoln cited it so often in his arguments of federalism and not the constitution itself.

        No one is making any dispute that the elections occur in America at various levels of government at varied time periods and governments can be changed that way.

        Here we run into another mutually exclusive issue; if something is meant to be perpetual, (IF we accept that perpetual for the purposes that word is utilised is to mean the same thing as ‘permanent’), that is to mean two things; something is both permanent and will not undergo change.

        If something can not undergo change, how can it be made ‘more perfect’?, and there’s another mutually exclusive aspect again-

        How can something be made ‘more perfect’? Perfect/ion means ‘without flaw’. Something already is either perfect or it is not.

        All these various contradictions that were glossed over at the time were going to result in a standoff sooner or later, especially in a system meant to be a series of checks and balances, rather than an accentuation of power.

        The Constitution certainly does say what you put. However, it also just as plainly cites that it is illegal and treason to make war on a state.

        Again, another mutually exclusive aspect. At what exact point in either the DOI and/or Constitution does it spell out precisely and exactly when/where/etc, the line exists between putting down a rebellion and making war on a state?

        It doesn’t anywhere in either.

        This is exactly the point I make and argue; at the time that the war occurred in 1860-65, the exact and precise fine lines between all these and more vital legal questions were not clear at all in too many ways.

    1. Lincoln: In this speech at Chicago, Lincoln reiterated his hatred of slavery and also his belief that it should not be touched where it then existed.

      I have always hated slavery, I think as much as any Abolitionist. I have been an Old Line Whig. I have always hated it, but I have always been quiet about it until this new era of the introduction of the Nebraska Bill began. I always believed that everybody was against it, and that it was in course of ultimate extinction.

      I have said a hundred times, and I have now no inclination to take it back, that I believe there is no right, and ought to be no inclination in the people of the free States to enter into the slave States, and interfere with the question of slavery at all.

      In Lincoln’s last public address, he recommended extending the right to vote to the African Americans who had fought for the Union. This expressed his belief that African Americans should be granted full political equality.

      It is also unsatisfactory to some that the elective franchise is not given to the colored man. I would myself prefer that it were now conferred on the very intelligent, and on those who serve our cause as soldiers.

  14. No Southern leader truly wished that slavery disappear. Even “gentlemen” like Lee knew that slavery was enforced by overseers wielding the bullwhip, Bowie knife and pistol. Still, it moved him not. Like many, he was willing that others might be harmed or exploited as long as his interest was served.

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