By Ron PaulRon Paul Institute
Reprinted with permission by lewrockwell.com
The American Empire has been long in the making. A green light was given in 1990 to finalize that goal. Dramatic events occurred that year that allowed the promoters of the American Empire to cheer. It also ushered in the current 25-year war to solidify the power necessary to manage a world empire. Most people in the world now recognize this fact and assume that the empire is here to stay for a long time. That remains to be seen.
Empires come and go. Some pop up quickly and disappear in the same manner. Others take many years to develop and sometimes many years to totally disintegrate. The old empires, like the Greek, Roman, Spanish and many others took many years to build and many years to disappear. The Soviet Empire was one that came rather quickly and dissipated swiftly after a relatively short period of time. The communist ideology took many decades to foment the agitation necessary for the people to tolerate that system.
Since 1990 the United States has had to fight many battles to convince the world that it was the only military and economic force to contend with. Most people are now convinced and are easily intimidated by our domination worldwide with the use of military force and economic sanctions on which we generously rely. Though on the short term this seems to many, and especially for the neoconservatives, that our power cannot be challenged. What is so often forgotten is that while most countries will yield to our threats and intimidation, along the way many enemies were created.
The seeds of the American Empire were sown early in our history. Natural resources, river transportation, and geographic location all lent itself to the development of an empire. An attitude of “Manifest Destiny” was something most Americans had no trouble accepting. Although in our early history there were those who believed in a powerful central government, with central banking and foreign intervention, these views were nothing like they are today as a consequence of many years of formalizing the power and determination necessary for us to be the policeman of the world and justify violence as a means for spreading a particular message. Many now endorse the idea that using force to spread American exceptionalism is moral and a force for good. Unfortunately history has shown that even using humanitarian rhetoric as a justification for telling others what to do has never worked.
Our move toward empire steadily accelerated throughout the 20th century. World War I and World War II were deadly for millions of people in many countries, but in comparison the United States was essentially unscathed. Our economic power and military superiority steadily grew. Coming out of World War II we were able to dictate the terms of the new monetary system at Bretton Woods as well as the makeup of all the international organizations like NATO, the United Nations, and many others. The only thing that stood in America’s way between 1945 and 1990 was the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Significant events of 1990 sealed the fate of the Soviet Empire, with United States enjoying a green light that would usher in unchallenged American superiority throughout the world.
Various names have been given to this war in which we find ourselves and is which considered necessary to maintain the empire. Professor Michael Rozeff calls it the “Great War II” implying that the Great War I began in 1914 and ended in 1990. Others have referred to this ongoing war as “The Long War.” I hope that someday we can refer to this war as the “The Last War” in that by the time this war ends the American Empire will end as well. Then the greatness of the experiment in individual liberty in our early history can be resumed and the force of arms can be replaced by persuasion and setting an example of how a free society should operate.
There are several reasons why 1990 is a significant year in the transition of modern day empires. It was a year that signaled the end of the USSR Empire and the same year the American Empire builders felt vindicated in their efforts to assume the role of the world’s sole superpower.
On February 7, 1990 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union met and ceded its monopoly political power over its empire. This was followed in a short period of time with the breakup of the Soviet system with 15 of the 17 republics declaring their independence from Moscow. This was not a total surprise considering the fact that the Soviets, in defeat, were forced to leave Afghanistan in February 1989. Also later that year, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall fell. Obviously the handwriting was on the wall for the total disintegration of the Soviet system. The fact that the Communist Party’s leaders had to concede that they no longer could wield the ominous power that the Communist Party exerted for 73 years was a seminal event. None of this could have been possible without significant policy changes instituted by Mikhail Gorbachev after his assuming power as president in 1985, which included Glasnost and Perestroika—policies that permitted more political openness as well as significant economic reforms. These significant events led up to the Soviet collapse much more so than the conventional argument that it was due to Ronald Reagan’s military buildup that forced the Soviets into a de facto “surrender” to the West.
The other significant event of 1990, and not just a coincidence, was the “green light” message exchanged between April Glaspie and Saddam Hussein on July 25, 1990. Though the details of this encounter have been debated, there is no doubt that the conclusion of it was that Saddam Hussein was convinced that the United States would not object to him using force to deal with a dispute Iraq had with Kuwait. After all, the US had just spent eight years aligning itself with him in his invasion and war with the Iranians. It seemed to him quite logical. What he didn’t realize was the significance of the changes in the world powers that were ongoing at that particular time. The Soviets were on their way out and the American Empire was soon to assert its role as the lone super power. The US was anxious to demonstrate its new role.
When one reads the communications between Washington and Iraq, it was not difficult to believe that a green light had been given to Saddam Hussein to march into Kuwait without US interference. Without this invasion, getting the American people to support a war with Iraq would have been very difficult. Before the war propaganda by the US government and the American media began, few Americans supported President Bush’s plans to go to war against an ally that we assisted in its eight-year war against Iran. After several months of propaganda, attitudes changed and President Bush was able to get support from the US Congress, although he argued that that was unnecessary since he had obtained a UN resolution granting him the authority to use his military force to confront Saddam Hussein. The need for Constitutional authority was not discussed.
US ambassador April Glaspie was rather explicit in her comments to Saddam Hussein: “we have no opinion on Arab – Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.” The US State Department had already told Saddam Hussein that Washington had “no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait.” It’s not difficult interpreting conversations like this as being a green light for the invasion that Hussein was considering. Hussein had a list of grievances regarding the United States, but Glaspie never threatened or hinted about how Washington would react if Hussein took Kuwait. Regardless, whether it was reckless or poor diplomacy, the war commenced. Some have argued that it was deliberate in order to justify the beginning of the United States efforts in rebuilding the Middle East – a high priority for the neoconservatives. Actually whether the invasion by Saddam Hussein into Kuwait was encouraged or permitted by deliberate intentions or by miscalculations, the outcome and the subsequent disaster in Iraq for the next 25 years was a result of continued bad judgment in our dealing with Iraq. That required enforcing our goals with military intervention. The obvious failure of this policy requires no debate.
On August 1, 1990, one week after this exchange between ambassador Glaspie and Saddam Hussein, the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq occurred. Immediately following this attack our State Department made it clear that this invasion would not stand and President Bush would lead a coalition in removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait. On January 17, 1991, that military operation began. The forced evacuation of Iraqi troops from Kuwait was swift and violent, but the war for Iraq had just begun and continues to this day. It also ushered in the climactic struggle for America’s efforts to become the official and unchallenged policeman of the world and to secure the American Empire.
President Bush was not bashful in setting the stage for this clearly defined responsibility to assume this role since the Soviet Empire was on the wane. A very significant foreign policy speech by Bush came on September 11, 1990 entitled, “Toward a New World Order.” This was a clear definition of internationalism with United States in charge in the tradition of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D Roosevelt. In this speech there was a pretense that there would be Russian and United States cooperation in making the world safe for democracy—something that our government now seems totally uninterested in. Following the speech, the New York Times reported that the American left was concerned about this new world order as being nothing more than rationalization for imperial ambitions in the middle 1980s. Obviously the geopolitics of the world had dramatically changed. The green light was given for the American hegemony.
This arrogant assumption of power to run the world militarily and to punish or reward various countries economically would continue and accelerate, further complicating the financial condition of the United States government. Though it was easy for the United States to push Hussein back into Iraq, subsequent policy was destined to create havoc that has continued up to the present day. The sanctions and the continuous bombing of Iraq were devastating to the infrastructure of that country. As a consequence it’s been estimated that over 500,000 Iraqis died in the next decade, many of them being children. Yet there are still many Americans who continue to be mystified as to why “they – Arabs and Muslims – hate us.” By the end of 1991, on Christmas Day, the final blow to the Soviet system occurred. On that date Gorbachev resigned and the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time, thus officially ending the Soviet Empire. Many had hoped that there would be “a peace dividend” for us since the Cold War was officially ended. There’s no reason that could not have occurred but it would have required us to reject the notion that it was our moral obligation and legal responsibility to deal with every crisis throughout the world. Nevertheless we embarked on that mission and though it continues, it is destined to end badly for our country. The ending of the Soviet Empire was a miraculous event with not one shot being fired. It was a failed system based on a deeply flawed idea and it was destined to fail. Once again this makes the point that the use of military force to mold the world is a deeply flawed policy. We must remember that ideas cannot be stopped by armies and recognize that good ideas must replace bad ones rather than resorting to constant wars.
It should surprise no one that a policy endorsing the use of force to tell others how to live will only lead to more killing and greater economic suffering for those who engage in this effort, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. Twenty five years have passed since this green light was given for the current war and there’s no sign that it will soon end. So far it has only emboldened American political leaders to robustly pursue foreign interventionism with little thought to the tremendous price that is continuously paid.
During the 1990s there was no precise war recognized. However our military presence around the world especially in the Middle East and to some degree in Africa was quite evident. Even though President George HW Bush did not march into Baghdad, war against the Iraqi people continued. In an effort to try to get the people to rebel against Saddam Hussein, overwhelming sanctions and continuous bombing were designed to get the Iraqi people to rebel and depose Hussein. That did not work. Instead it worked to continue to build hatred toward America for our involvement in the entire region.
Our secretive influence in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation had its unintended consequences. One was that we were fighting on the side of bin Laden and we all know how that turned out. Also, in an effort to defeat communism, the CIA helped to promote radical Islam in Saudi Arabia. Some argue that this was helpful in defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan. This most likely is not true since communism was doomed to fail anyway, and the cost to us by encouraging radical Islam has come back to haunt us.
It has been estimated that our policies directed at Iraq during the 1990s caused the death of thousands of Iraqis, many of these coming from the destruction of their infrastructure and creating a public health nightmare. When Madeleine Albright was asked about this on national TV she did not deny it and said that that was a price that had to be paid. And then they wonder why there is so much resentment coming from these countries directed toward United States. Then George Bush Junior invaded Iraq, his justification all based on lies, and another 500,000 Iraqis died. The total deaths have been estimated to represent four percent of the Iraqi population. The green light that was turned on for the Persian Gulf War in 1990 stayed lit and even today the proponents of these totally failed wars claim that the only problem is we didn’t send enough troops and we didn’t stay long enough. And now it’s argued that it’s time to send ground troops back in. This is the message that we get from the neoconservatives determined that only armed might can bring peace to the world and that the cost to us financially is not a problem. The proponents never seem to be concerned about the loss of civil liberties, which has continued ever since the declaration of the Global War on Terrorism. And a good case can be made that our national security not only has not been helped, but has been diminished with these years of folly.
And the true believers in empire never pause. After all the chaos that the US government precipitated in Iraq, conditions continue to deteriorate and now there is strong talk about putting troops on the ground once again. More than 10,000 troops still remain in Afghanistan and conditions there are precarious. Yemen is a mess as is also Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Ukraine — all countries in which we have illegally and irresponsibly engaged ourselves.
Today the debate in Congress is whether or not to give the President additional authority to use military force. He asked to be able to use military force anyplace anytime around the world without further congressional approval. This is hardly what the Founders intended for how we dealt with going to war with other nations. Some have argued, for Constitutional reasons, that we should declare war against ISIS. That will prove to be difficult since exactly who they are and where they are located and how many there are is unknown. We do know it is estimated that there are around 30,000 members. And yet in the surrounding countries, where the fighting is going on and we are directly involved, millions of Muslims have chosen not to stand up to the ruthless behavior of the ISIS members.
Since declaring war against ISIS makes no more sense than declaring war against “terrorism,” which is a tactic, it won’t work. Even at the height of the Cold War, in a time of great danger to the entire world, nobody suggested we declare war against “communism.” Islamist extremism is based on strong beliefs, and as evil as these beliefs may be, they must be understood, confronted, and replaced with ideas that all civilized people in the world endorse. But what we must do immediately is to stop providing the incentive for the radicals to recruit new members and prevent American weapons from ending up in the hands of the enemy as a consequence of our failed policies. The incentives of the military-industrial complex along with the philosophy of neoconservatism that pushes us to be in more than 150 countries, must be exposed and refuted. Occupation by a foreign country precipitates hatred and can never be made acceptable by flowery words about their need for American-style “democracy.” People who are occupied are always aware of the selfish motivation of the occupiers.
The announcement by President George HW Bush on September 11, 1990 about the new world order was well received. Prior to that time it was only the “conspiracy theorists” who constantly talked about and speculated about the New World Order. Neoconservative ideas had been around for a long time. They were endorsed by many presidents and in particular Woodrow Wilson with his goal of spreading American goodness and making the ”world safe for democracy” – none of which can be achieved by promoting war. In the 1990s the modern day neoconservatives, led by William Kristol and Robert Kagan, enjoyed their growing influence on America’s foreign policy. Specifically, in 1997 they established the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) for the specific purpose of promoting an aggressive foreign policy of interventionism designed to promote the American Empire. This policy of intervention was to be presented with “moral clarity.” “Clarity” it was, but “moral” is another question. Their goal was to provide a vision and resolve, “to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interest.”
It was not a surprise that admittedly the number one goal for the New World order was to significantly increase military spending and to be prepared to challenge any regime hostile to America’s interests. They argued that America had to accept its unique role as the sole superpower for extending international order as long as it served America’s interests. Although neoconservatives are thought to have greater influence within the Republican Party, their views have been implemented by the leadership of both Republicans and Democrats. First on PNAC’s agenda was to continue the policy designed to undermine Saddam Hussein with the goal of eventually invading Iraq – once they had an event that would galvanize public support for it. Many individuals signed letters as well as the statement of principles and most were identified as Republicans. Interestingly enough, the fourth person on the list of signatories for the statement of principles was Jeb Bush, just as he was planning his second run for governor of Florida. The neoconservatives have been firmly placed in a position of influence in directing America’s foreign policy. Though we hear some debate between the two political parties over when and whom to strike, our position of world policeman is accepted by both. Though the rhetoric is different between the two parties, power always remains in the hands of those who believe in promoting the empire.
The American Empire has arrived, but there’s no indication that smooth sailing is ahead. Many questions remain. Will the American people continue to support it? Will the American taxpayer be able to afford it? Will those on the receiving end of our authority tolerate it? All empires eventually end. It’s only a matter of time. Since all empires exist at the expense of personal liberty the sooner the American Empire ends the better it will be for those who still strive to keep America a bastion for personal liberty. That is possible, but it won’t be achieved gracefully.
Though the people have a say in the matter, they have to contend with the political and financial power that controls the government and media propaganda. The powerful special interests, who depend on privileges that come from the government, will do whatever is necessary to intimidate the people into believing that it’s in their best interest to prop up a system that rewards the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. The nature of fiat money and the privileges provided to the special interests by the Federal Reserve makes it a difficult struggle, but it’s something that can be won. Unfortunately there will be economic chaos, more attacks on our civil liberties, and many unfortunate consequences coming from our unwise and dangerous foreign policy of interventionism.
Since all empires serve the interests of a privileged class, the people who suffer will constantly challenge their existence. The more powerful the empire, the greater is the need for the government to hold it together by propaganda and lies. Truth is the greatest enemy of an abusive empire. Since those in charge are determined to maintain their power, truth is seen as being treasonous. Whistleblowers and truth tellers are seen as unpatriotic and disloyal. This is why as our empire has grown there have been more attacks on those who challenge the conventional wisdom of the propagandists. We have seen it with the current administration in that the president has used the Espionage Act to curtail freedom of the press more than any other recent president. Fortunately we live in an age where information is much more available than when it was controlled by a combination of our government and the three major networks. Nevertheless it’s an uphill struggle to convince the people that it is in their best interests to give up on the concept of empire, foreign interventionism, allowing the special interests to dictate foreign policy, and paying the bills with the inflation of the money supply provided by the Federal Reserve. The laws of economics, in time, will bring such a system to an end but it would be nice if it would be ended sooner through logic and persuasion.
If it’s conceded that there was a dramatic change with the green light given by April Glaspie and President Bush in 1990, along with the collapse, almost simultaneously, of the Soviet system, the only question remains is when and who will turn on the red light to end this 25 year war. Sometime it’s easier to establish an empire than it is to maintain and pay for it. That is what our current political leaders are in the business of currently doing and it’s not going well. It appears that a comparatively small but ruthless non-government entity, ISIS, is playing havoc with our political leaders as well as nearly all the countries in the Middle East. Because there is no clear understanding of what radical Islam is all about —since it is not much about Islam itself — our policies in the Middle East and elsewhere will continue to drain our resources and incite millions more to join those who are resisting our occupations and sanctions. The day will come when we will be forced to give up our role as world policeman and resort to using a little common sense and come home.
This will only occur when the American people realize that our presence around the world and the maintenance of our empire has nothing to do with defending our Constitution, preserving our liberties, or fulfilling some imaginary obligation on our part to use force to spread American exceptionalism. A thorough look at our economic conditions, our pending bankruptcy, our veterans hospitals, and how we’re viewed in the world by most other nations, will compel Americans to see things differently and insist that we bring our troops home – the sooner the better.
Vocal proponents of the American Empire talk about a moral imperative that requires us to sacrifice ourselves as we try to solve the problems of the world. If there was even a hint this effort was accomplishing something beneficial, it might be more difficult to argue against. But the evidence is crystal-clear that all our efforts only make things worse, both for those we go to teach about democracy and liberty and for the well-being of all Americans who are obligated to pay for this misplaced humanitarian experiment. We must admit that this 25-year war has failed. Nevertheless it’s difficult to argue against it when it requires that that we not endorse expanding our military operations to confront the ISIS killers. Arguments against pursuing a war to stop the violence, however, should appeal to common sense. Recognizing that our policies in the Middle East have significantly contributed to the popular support for radical Islam is crucial to dealing with ISIS. More sacrifices by the American people in this effort won’t work and should be avoided. If one understands what motivates radical Islam to strike out as it does, the solution would become more evident. Voluntary efforts by individuals to participate in the struggle should not be prohibited. If the solution is not more violence on our part, a consideration must be given to looking at the merits of a noninterventionist foreign policy which does not resort to the killing of hundreds of thousands of individuals who never participated in any aggression against United States — as our policies have done since the green light for empire was given.
How is this likely to end? The empire will not be ended legislatively or by the sudden embrace of common sense in directing our foreign policy. The course of interventionism overseas and assuming the role of world policeman will remain for the foreseeable future. Still the question remains, how long will that be since we can be certain that the end of the empire will come. Our military might and economic strength is now totally dependent on the confidence that the worldwide financial markets give to the value of the US dollar. In spite of all the reasons that the dollar will eventually be challenged as the world reserve currency, the competition, at present, by other currencies to replace it, is nil. Confidence can be related to objective facts such as how a country runs its fiscal affairs and monetary policy. Economic wealth and military strength also contribute artificial confidence to a currency. Perceptions and subjective reasons are much more difficult to define and anticipate. The day will come when the confidence in the dollar will be greatly diminished worldwide. Under those conditions the tremendous benefits that we in the United States have enjoyed as the issuer of the reserve currency will be reversed. It will become difficult if not impossible for us to afford huge budget deficits as well as very large current account deficits. National debt and foreign debt will serve as a limitation on how long the empire can last. Loss of confidence can come suddenly and overwhelmingly. Under those conditions we will no longer be able to afford our presence overseas nor will we be able to continue to export our inflation and debt to other nations. Then it will require that we pay for our extravagance, and market forces will require that we rein in our support for foreign, corporate, and domestic welfare spending. Hopefully this will not come for a long time, giving us a chance to educate more people as to its serious nature and give them insight into its precise cause. Nevertheless we live in a period of time when we should all consider exactly what is the best road to take to protect ourselves, not only our personal wealth but also to prepare to implement a system based on sound money, limited government, and personal liberty. This is a goal we can achieve. And when we do, America will enjoy greater freedom, more prosperity and a better chance for peace.
By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.Mises.org
Reprinted with permission from Mr. Rockwell
[Excerpted from the inaugural issue of The Austrian
For a century and a half, the idea of secession has been systematically demonized among the American public. The government’s schools spin fairy tales about the “indivisible Union” and the wise statesmen who fought to preserve it. Decentralization is portrayed as unsophisticated and backward, while nationalism and centralization are made to seem progressive and inevitable. When a smaller political unit wishes to withdraw from a larger one, its motives must be disreputable and base, while the motivations of the central power seeking to keep that unit in an arrangement it does not want are portrayed as selfless and patriotic, if they are considered at all.
As usual, disinformation campaigns are meant to make potentially liberating ideas appear toxic and dangerous, and conveying the message that anyone who seeks acceptance and popularity ought to steer clear of whatever it is — in this case, secession — the regime has condemned. But when we set the propaganda aside, we discover that support for secession means simply this: it is morally illegitimate to employ state violence against individuals who choose to group themselves differently from how the existing regime chooses to group them. They prefer to live under a different jurisdiction. Libertarians consider it unacceptable to aggress against them for this.
The libertarian principle of secession is not exactly embraced with enthusiasm by the people and institutions I call “regime libertarians.” Although these people tend to be located in and around the Beltway, regime libertarianism transcends geographical location, which is why I coined this special term to describe it.
The regime libertarian believes in the market economy, more or less. But talk about the Federal Reserve or Austrian business cycle theory and he gets fidgety. His institute would rather invite Janet Yellen for an exclusive cocktail event than Ron Paul for a lecture.
He loves the idea of reform — whether it’s the Fed, the tax code, government schools, whatever. He flees from the idea of abolition. Why, that just isn’t respectable! He spends his time advocating this or that “tax reform” effort, instead of simply pushing for a lowering or repeal of existing taxes. It’s too tough to be a libertarian when it comes to antidiscrimination law, given how much flak he’s liable to get, so he’ll side with left-liberals on that, even though it’s completely incompatible with his stated principles.
He is antiwar — sometimes, but certainly not as a general principle. He can be counted on to support the wars that have practically defined the American regime, and which remain popular among the general public. He sups in happy concord with supporters of the most egregiously unjust wars, but his blood boils in moral outrage at someone who told an off-color joke twenty-five years ago.
I suppose you can guess where our regime libertarian stands on secession. Since the modern American regime emerged out of the violent suppression of the attempted secession of eleven states, he, too, is an opponent of secession. If cornered, he may grudgingly endorse secession at a theoretical level, but in practice he generally seems to support only those acts of secession that have the approval or connivance of the CIA.
Mention secession, and the subject immediately turns to the southern Confederacy, whose moral enormities the regime libertarian proceeds to denounce, insinuating that supporters of secession must be turning a blind eye to those enormities. But every libertarian worthy of the name opposes any government’s support for slavery, centralization, conscription, taxation, or the suppression of speech and press. That goes without saying.
As Tom Woods has pointed out, the classical liberal, or libertarian, tradition of support for secession can boast such luminaries as Alexis de Tocqueville, Richard Cobden, and Lord Acton, among many others. I’d like to add two more figures: in the nineteenth century, Lysander Spooner, and in the twentieth, Frank Chodorov.
Spooner presents a real problem for the regime libertarians. Every libertarian acknowledges the greatness and importance of Spooner. The trouble is, he was an avowed secessionist.
Lysander Spooner was born in Massachusetts in January 1808, and would go on to become a lawyer, an entrepreneur, and a political theorist. He believed that true justice was not so much a matter of compliance with man-made law, but a refusal to engage in aggression against peaceful individuals. His American Letter Mail Company competed successfully against the US Post Office, offering better service at lower prices, until the government forced him out of business in 1851. His work No Treason
(1867), a collection of three essays, took the position that the Constitution, not having been agreed to by any living person and only ever expressly consented to by a small handful, cannot be binding on anyone.
In a work called The Unconstitutionality of Slavery
, Spooner had argued that the primary interpretive key in understanding the Constitution was what we now call “original meaning.” This is different from “original understanding,” the concept referred to by figures like Robert Bork and Antonin Scalia. According to that view, we should interpret the Constitution according to the original intent of those who drafted and ratified that document. Spooner rejected this.
What mattered, according to Spooner, was not the inscrutable “intention” behind this or that word or passage, but rather the plain meaning of the word or passage itself. Furthermore, given that human liberty was a mandate of the natural law, any time constitutional language might appear to run contrary to the principle of liberty, we ought to prefer some other meaning of the words in question, even if we have to strain a bit to do so, and even if the anti-liberty interpretation is the more natural reading.
Thus Spooner could claim, contrary to the majority of abolitionists, that the Constitution was in fact an antislavery document, and that its oblique and fleeting references to slavery — a word never used in the Constitution — did not have to carry the meanings commonly attributed to them. Frederick Douglass, the celebrated former slave turned abolitionist writer and speaker, adopted Spooner’s approach in his own work.
Spooner’s anti-slavery work went well beyond this exercise in constitutional exegesis. He provided legal services, sometimes pro bono, for fugitive slaves, and advocated jury nullification as a means of defending escaped slaves in court. His 1858 “Plan for the Abolition of Slavery,” called for northern-backed insurrection in the South, as well as such lesser measures as flogging slaveholders who themselves used the whip, and encouraging slaves to confiscate their masters’ property.
Spooner was also a supporter of John Brown, and in fact raised money and formulated a plan to kidnap the governor of Virginia until Brown was released.
In other words, it would be difficult to deny Spooner’s dedication to the anti-slavery cause.
And yet here is Spooner on the so-called Civil War.
On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union.
According to Spooner, the US regime waged the war on behalf of the opposite principle. “The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.”
No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it really be established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave. And there is no difference, in principle — but only in degree — between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man’s ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.
By the logic of the regime libertarian, Spooner was a “neo-Confederate” defender of slavery — after all, he asserted the southern states’ right to withdraw from the Union! What other motivation could he have? But this is too preposterous even for them.
Spooner was correct about all of this, needless to say. The war was in fact launched not to free the slaves, as any historian must concede, but for purposes of mysticism — why, the sacred “Union” must be preserved! — and on behalf of economic interests. The regime libertarian expects us to believe that the analysis we apply to all other wars, in which we look beneath the official rationales to the true motivations, does not apply to this single, glorious exception to the catalogue of crimes that constitute the story of mankind’s experiences with military aggression.
Let’s turn now to the second libertarian figure. Frank Chodorov, by all accounts, was one of the great writers of the Old Right. Liberty Fund published a collection of his writings called Fugitive Essays
. Chodorov founded what was then called the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists, and served as an editor of Human Events
, where the early presence of Felix Morley ensured that noninterventionist voices, at least at the beginning, would get a hearing. Murray N. Rothbard considered Chodorov’s monthly publication analysis
to be one of the greatest independent publications in American history.
Naturally, Chodorov supported both secession and “states’ rights.” In fact, he thought every schoolchild should “become familiar with the history and theory of what we call states’ rights, but which is really the doctrine of home rule.”
Ralph Raico, the great libertarian historian and Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute, has documented how the decentralized political order of Europe made possible the emergence of liberty. The lack of a single political authority uniting Europe, and to the contrary a vast multiplicity of small jurisdictions, placed a strict limit on the ambitions of any particular prince. The ability to move from one place to another meant that a prince would lose his tax base should his oppressions grow intolerable.
Chodorov made the same observation:
When the individual is free to move from one jurisdiction to another, a limit is put on the extent to which the government may use its monopoly power. Government is held in restraint by the fear of losing its taxpaying citizens, just as loss of customers tends to keep other monopolies from getting too arrogant.
No tyrant ever supports divided or decentralized power, which is why twentieth-century totalitarians were such opponents of federalism. The US regime, too, has devoted over two centuries to dismantling the barriers that the states once imposed to their untrammeled exercise of power. As Chodorov put it, “The unlikelihood of getting the states to vote themselves out of existence turned the centralizers to other means, such as bribing the state authorities with patronage, alienating the loyalty of the citizenry with federal subsidies, establishing within the states independent administrative bodies for the management of federal works programs.”
Here’s how Chodorov concluded:
There is no end of trouble the states can give the centralizers by merely refusing to cooperate. Such refusal would meet with popular acclaim if it were supplemented with a campaign of education on the meaning of states’ rights, in terms of human freedom. In fact, the educational part of such a secessionist movement should be given first importance. And those who are plumping for a “third party,” because both existing parties are centralist in character, would do well to nail to their masthead this banner: Secession of the 48 states from Washington.
Now that is a libertarian speaking.
Secession is not a popular idea among the political and media classes in America, to be sure, and regime libertarians may roll their eyes at it, but a recent poll found about a quarter of Americans sympathetic to the idea, despite the ceaseless barrage of nationalist propaganda emitted from all sides. A result like this confirms what we already suspected: that a substantial chunk of the public is willing to entertain unconventional thoughts. And that’s all to the good. Conventional American thoughts are war, centralization, redistribution, and inflation. The most unconventional thought in America today is liberty.Note:
The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
By: Jimmy Ward
This brings to mind the Nuremberg trials from whence the Nuremberg Codes sprang - setting the guidelines for medical research involving human beings. We often site Hitler, his Nazis, and the Holocaust as examples of a monstrous regime who pressed doctors to engage in Frankenstein-type research methods.
Sadly, we are just as guilty. As I've posted many times, since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, we have slaughtered nearly 60 million children. If you only factor the six million Jews slaughtered by Hitler, you realize we are over 9
times worse than Hitler. Apparently, we learned nothing from the Nuremberg trials except to follow their example.
Add this current abominable practice and you can understand why our country is in the shape it's in. Since big money will be involved, one can see this encouraging more abortions.
talk about human rights??? God forgive us. http://eaglerising.com/15919/disgusting-us-turning-organs-aborted-babies-commodities-growing-inside-animals/
By: Susan Hathaway
Since the January announcement that Charlottesville City Councilman Kristen Szacos had proposed an ordinance change that would eliminate the Lee-Jackson City Holiday in Charlottesville, we have shared information about the rich Confederate history of the city. One of my favorite topics is the presentation of a battle flag to the men of Stuart’s Horse Artillery, hand sewn by the ladies of Charlottesville by the Mayor and City Council of Charlottesville, after they managed to turn back the Yankee army, against 5 to 1 odds, and save the city from destruction during the Battle of Rio Hill on February 29, 1864. There is a good summary here… http://m.dailyprogress.com/lifestyles/yesteryears_column/yesteryears-grateful-charlottesville-residents-presented-a-special-flag-after-rio/article_93d2b27e-a614-11e3-922c-0017a43b2370.html?mode=jqm#.Ux0t7hj1fsA.twitter
When our friend Blaine Hypes, of the Flat Top Copperheads in WV, saw one of the posts about the flag, he contacted me and told me he had a replica and wanted us to have it to use in our fight in Charlottesville. I was thrilled, but even more so when I received it and it turned out to be a custom-made beauty! Last night, we took the flag with us, and before the meeting, visited the Confederate monument, just a few blocks away from council chambers. A citizen passing by offered to take a photo of us holding the flag.
When we arrived at council chambers, 45 minutes early, there was already a line to sign up for one of 12 available slots for public speaking. We were disappointed when we made our way to the sign-up sheet, and realized that we were numbers 13, 14, and 15 in line, respectively, and none of us would have the opportunity to speak. With a full half hour left before the meeting was to begin, we saw the Charlottesville citizen who had been shouted down at the last meeting when he spoke in favor of the Lee-Jackson holiday, and I took the flag over to show him and chat with him a bit. I went back to my seat, admittedly frustrated that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to speak. Moments later, someone tapped my shoulder, and when I looked up, it was the same gentleman, who had come to offer us his slot to speak. He said that he speaks at every meeting, and he wanted us to have the opportunity to do so since we had come so far. Overwhelmed by his generous offer, we accepted and quickly decided to combine the contents of the presentations we had prepared and that I would deliver the address.
I included the history of the flag, and Patrick and Barry held it up as I spoke. Video of my remarks can be viewed here, with special thanks to Terry L. Hulsey of Fort Worth, TX, for granting me permission to use a quote from his correspondence to City Council... and David Tatum for posting the video… http://atrueconfederate.blogspot.com/2015/03/not-so-silent-ii.html Transcript of remarks:
Honorable Mayor, Councilors, Citizens of the Charlottesville and the Commonwealth,
Since I last spoke in these chambers, much has been made about the fact that I, and a few others who spoke against the proposed amendment to remove the Lee-Jackson holiday, are not Charlottesville residents, as if that somehow makes what we have to say irrelevant. After witnessing the way speakers in this chamber were treated who dared to have an opinion different than those of the vocal citizens in attendance, I can completely understand why the hundreds of citizens of Charlottesville who have contacted us do not feel comfortable attending these meetings or speaking up in this atmosphere. In addition, we heard from city employees who are upset about the proposed change, but fear that if they speak out in any way, there will face retaliation from what they see as a biased and prejudicial administration.
Charlottesville has a rich Confederate history. On March 7, 1864, the ladies of Charlottesville presented a hand sewn flag to the men of Stuart’s Horse Artillery after the unit, facing 5 to 1 odds, stopped the Yankee army from burning and destroying Charlottesville. The battle flag was carried by the unit until it surrendered in April of 1865, and is now on display in the Jefferson County Museum in Charles Town, WV. The flag shows the patina of age, along with the rents of battle, but it continues to serve as a reminder of what might have been the worst day in Charlottesville history, if not for the courage of its brave defenders.
Some friends in West Virginia had a replica made and we brought it today to the show the assembly.
I would like to again point out the real and present danger of the precedence you are setting, should you decide to eliminate this holiday tonight. If you take it upon yourselves to strike down a holiday that was established by the duly elected representatives of this city, you are opening the door to having the same thing happen to Thomas Jefferson Day, for instance, should a future council decide he is not “worthy of honoring”. I, and many of those present here, witnessed one of your own citizens call for the removal of every trace of Thomas Jefferson from the very city that he helped build, and receive APPLAUSE and CHEERS in this chamber, following his remarks. Certainly, you MUST see that once you open this door, there will be no end to the PC cleansing of our history and heritage.
In the background of this proposed amendment, Charlottesville’s commitment to be a “Community of Mutual Respect” is cited, apparently as one of the reasons for this change, which reads:
“In all endeavors, the City of Charlottesville is committed to racial and cultural diversity, inclusion, racial reconciliation, economic justice, and equity. As a result, every citizen is respected. Interactions among city leaders, city employees and the public are respectful, unbiased, and without prejudice.”
How can you possibly claim cultural diversity when you choose to dishonor Confederate Veterans, whose descendants make up a large segment of your population? How can you suggest that this amendment will promote racial reconciliation, when it serves to divide instead of bring people together? How can you claim that this decision is unbiased, and without prejudice when it singles out an entire group of people and dishonors their heritage?
I understand that at least one member of this very Council has suggested that the Confederate Memorials here in Charlottesville, yes, even, the magnificent equestrian sculpture of Robert E. Lee, copied in many localities across the U.S., should be removed, and by your actions tonight, you will show the Commonwealth and the nation whether or not you are heading down that very dangerous path.
But, even if you choose to move forward with this desecration, and should your backwater tyranny temporarily succeed, you will, ultimately, fail. History will remain unchanged, and the sterling character of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson will remain, long after your names are forgotten.
I urge you to set aside the prejudice and bias which led to this proposed amendment, and leave the Lee-Jackson Holiday as is.
When the public speaking period ended, Councilmen responded to the public comments and not one of them addressed the Lee-Jackson Day issue. Not only that, but instead of calling for a vote and having each councilman publicly record their vote for or against the ordinance, they approved it unanimously as part of a “consent agenda”, bundled with a number of other resolutions and appropriations. This was obviously intentional and a predetermined method of avoiding making any type of individual public statement... a cowardly move, and stunning even for those who were well versed on the background and history of this council.
Returning home after midnight, I received a message from someone suggesting that going to Charlottesville had been a waste of time. I strongly disagree. Even though there were a few moments Monday afternoon when, thinking of other things that demanded my attention, I considered bowing out, those of us who attended were overwhelmingly grateful that we had taken the time to do so. We had the opportunity to once again go on public record against the Council, share a bit of Confederate history with a packed chamber (including a large number of local high school students in attendance), and made sure that Council knew there were at least a handful of citizens who will not go quietly into the night. On top of all that, we got to flag City Council! ;)
That alone would have been enough to make the trip worthwhile, but as we were leaving we had conservations with no less than TWO local residents about putting Battle Flag Memorials on their property in Charlottesville. It appears that City Council has alienated a large segment of its population, and we can only pray that the unwarranted assault on the Lee-Jackson holiday will serve as a wake-up in Charlottesville, and across the Commonwealth. In addition, a local resident who is involved with public access television offered to have us develop a regular segment, highlighting Confederate history and heritage defense issues!
We left Charlottesville disgusted by the manner in which the Charlottesville City Council took it upon themselves to strike down a holiday which had been rightfully observed in the city since 1888… but with the satisfaction of knowing that taking a stand for what is right is ALWAYS the right thing to do, no matter what the odds.
We only wish there had been hundreds more there to stand with us.
Many thanks to all those who took the time to write letters and emails and make phone calls to members of City Council. Your support is greatly appreciated and was not in vain. They may have won this battle, but we have no intention of giving up the fight. Stay tuned...
By Chuck Baldwin
March 5, 2015
reposted from NewsWithViews.com
Tomorrow, March 6, marks the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo outside of San Antonio, Texas, back in 1836. For more than 13 days, 186 brave and determined patriots withstood Santa Anna’s seasoned army of over 4,000 troops. To a man, the defenders of that mission fort knew they would never leave those ramparts alive. They had several opportunities to leave and live. Yet, they chose to fight and die. How foolish they must look to this generation of spoiled Americans.
It is difficult to recall that stouthearted men such as Davy Crockett (a nationally-known frontiersman and former congressman), Will Travis (only 26 years old with a little baby at home), and Jim Bowie (a wealthy landowner with properties on both sides of the Rio Grande) really existed. These were real men with real dreams and real desires. Real blood flowed through their veins. They loved their families and enjoyed life as much as any of us do. However, there was something different about them. They possessed a commitment to liberty that transcended personal safety and comfort.
Liberty is an easy word to say, but it is a hard word to live up to. Freedom involves much more than financial gain or personal pleasure. Accompanying Freedom is her constant and unattractive companion, Responsibility. Neither is she an only child. Courage and Honesty are her sisters. They are inseparable: destroy one and all will die.
Early in the siege, Travis wrote these words to the people of Texas: “Fellow Citizens & Compatriots: I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna...The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword… I have answered the demand with a cannon shot & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat… VICTORY OR DEATH! P.S. The Lord is on our side...”
As you read those words, remember that Travis and the others did not have the National Education Association (NEA) telling them how intolerant and narrow-minded their notions of honor and patriotism were. They didn’t have the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) telling them they were a hate group. A hostile media did not constantly castigate them as a bunch of wild-eyed extremists. As schoolchildren, they were not taught that their forefathers were nothing more than racist jerks. The TSA didn’t have them on a terrorist watch list. Neither did they have 501c3 pastors constantly filling their hearts and minds with this imbecilic “Obey-the-government-no-matter-what” misinterpretation of Romans chapter 13. (Please look at the P.S. to this column.)
The brave men at the Alamo labored under the belief that America (and Texas) really was “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” They believed in God and that their cause was just. They also believed that the freedom of future generations depended on their courage and resolve. They further believed their posterity would remember their sacrifice as an act of love and devotion. It all looks pale now.
By today’s standards, the gallant men of the Alamo appear rather foolish. After all, they had no chance of winning--none. Yet, the call for pragmatism and compromise was never sounded. Instead, they answered the clarion call, “Victory or death!”
Please try to remember the heroes of the Alamo as you watch our spineless political, corporate, and religious leaders surrender to globalism, corporatism, socialism, and political correctness. Try to remember the heroes of the Alamo as you watch the Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., create a more draconian Police State than Santa Anna would have ever dared to create. Try to recall the time in this country when ordinary men and women had the courage of their convictions and were willing to sacrifice their lives for freedom and independence HERE AT HOME.
One thing is certain: those courageous champions at the Alamo did not fight and die for a political party or for some lesser of two evils mantra. They fought and died for a principle--and that principle was liberty and independence.
On tomorrow’s date back in 1836, those 186 defenders of the Alamo joined the ranks of the world’s greatest freedom fighters. Patriots such as the 70+ Christian men from the Church of Lexington who stood against 800 British troops on April 19, 1775, at Lexington Green and the hundreds more who joined them at the Concord Bridge; men such as the great Scottish freedom fighter, William Wallace, and his band of 2,000 men who stood against an English force of over 13,000 men at the Battle of Stirling Bridge on September 11, 1297, and again on July 22, 1298, when Wallace and 5,000 Scots went up against an English force of over 15,000 men at the Battle of Falkirk; and let’s not forget the single greatest example of men who chose to fight for liberty against the greatest of odds: the 300 Spartans who squared off against more than 100,000 Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae in August or September of 480 B.C. These stories--and hundreds like them--are the heritage of free men everywhere. And the willingness to stand against overwhelming odds for the cause of liberty is certainly America’s heritage.
Today, however, our national leaders are in the process of turning the greatest free nation to ever exist, the United States of America, over to the very forces that the Alamo defenders--and America’s Founding Fathers--gave their lives resisting. And, for the most part, the vast majority of Americans seem completely apathetic to the fetters being fastened around their necks.
The Republicans in Washington, D.C., are absolutely worthless. We could elect schoolchildren to Congress and they would probably do a better job than the gutless, slimy lizards that form the vast majority of GOP congressmen and senators in Washington, D.C.
Faithful readers of this column know that I have been warning folks that the newly-elected Republican Congress would NOT stop Obama’s executive amnesty for illegals, and this week they made it official that they would not. This is in spite of the fact that the main reason the GOP won control of Congress last November was to stop Obama’s executive amnesty order. And if you think for one second that Republicans would do anything to shut down, partially shut down, defund, etc., the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you must be visiting from another planet. It was the GOP that foisted the DHS upon us in the first place--in spite of the fact that it is the DHS that is turning America into a Police State. You should know by now that if there is anything Beltway Republicans love, it is a Police State and perpetual war.
Republican Congressional senators could not even muster the courage to keep one of the most radical appointments, if not THE most radical appointment, Loretta Lynch, from becoming the next U.S. Attorney General. Lynch is even more radical than Eric Holder--if that’s possible. Yet, Republican senators gave Lynch their typical rubber stamp.
Now, Obama is attempting to ban “green tip” AR-15 ammunition via executive decision (using the ATF), calling it “armor piercing.” The fact is, just about every centerfire hunting caliber in the country is MORE POWERFUL than AR-15 ammo. If Obama gets away with this, he, or any President in the future, can ban ANY rifle ammunition under the same guise. But unless the American people start screaming wildly about this egregiously unlawful ammo ban, you can bet that Republicans on Capitol Hill will do NOTHING to stop it.
Like I said, the Republicans in Washington, D.C. are absolutely worthless.
And, of course, the Democrats in D.C., traded the stars and stripes for a hammer and sickle years ago. And, for the most part, our U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is likewise worthless. Both the U.S. Congress and U.S. Supreme Court are creating an imperial, monarchical presidency. In truth, the way Congress and SCOTUS are behaving, they could be disbanded altogether and no one would even notice.
Here’s an idea: let’s put all 535 U.S. congressmen and senators in prison (with the exception of Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, et. al) and take an equal number from prison and put them on Capitol Hill. THEY COULDN’T DO ANY WORSE. All we would be doing is trading one set of criminals for another set of criminals.
Those despicable nincompoops from both parties are creating an Orwellian society that even George Orwell couldn’t have imagined. For the most part, the ballot box is meaningless. There isn’t a single potential presidential candidate on the horizon from either party--besides Rand Paul--that would make the slightest difference if he or she was elected President next year (and that includes Ben Carson).
The vast majority of U.S. congressmen and Supreme Court justices (and U.S. presidents of late) are not worthy to lick the boots of men such as Davy Crockett and Will Travis--or George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, for that matter.
Faithful readers of this column will recognize that I write a tribute to the defenders of the Alamo each year at this time. Whether anyone else believes the exploits of those brave men are relevant to us today or not, it does my heart good to remember a time in this country when we truly were “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” because as I look around me today, I no longer recognize the country I live in.
P.S. Let me remind readers that I have a DVD available entitled, “The True Meaning of Romans 13.” This DVD contains four messages and may be purchased at the low price of only $15 (price includes shipping). Again, the DVD includes ALL FOUR of my messages on Romans 13.
In this message series, I quote scores and scores of Biblical references to show the “whole counsel of God” relative to the subject of submission to government. The Biblical and historical records on this subject are clearly explained and expounded in these messages.Order the Romans 13 DVD
Plus, my constitutional attorney-son, Tim, and I have collaborated on a blockbuster book on Romans 13. It is entitled, “Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission.” This book has even more information, scriptural references, documentation, quotations, etc., than the DVD.
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Order the Romans 13 book: Romans 13: The True Meaning Of Submission
I urge readers to obtain as many of the DVDs and/or books as you can and distribute them to your Christian friends, church leaders, and pastors. It is no hyperbole to say that the erroneous “Obey-The-Government-No-Matter-What” misinterpretation of Romans 13 is destroying America--just as it destroyed Germany when Adolf Hitler promoted this fallacy to German pastors and churches.•
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By Al Benson Jr.
The radical Northern abolitionists before the War of Northern Aggression have always been painted in what passes for history books as a noble, self-sacrificing breed who would sacrifice even their lives to free the black man from slavery in the South. The South, in these same “history” (and I used that term loosely) books is portrayed as a land of benighted darkness which only the sacrifice of the dedicated abolitionist can penetrate—men of the caliber of 19th century terrorist John Brown. The “history” books look with favor on such men. So do those who write communist propaganda—and you often have to wonder if the two are the same. Interestingly enough, there were abolitionist societies in the South but these are never mentioned in the history books, at least not any I ever read.
The conclusion I draw from that fact is that the Southern abolitionists were not really radicals of the leftist stripe but the Northern abolitionists leaned in that direction. Hence they get good press while all others are ignored.
If you think that statement is a bit strong, all you need do is to look at some of the comments of William Lloyd Garrison, one of the foremost of the radical Northern abolitionists.
Garrison, writing in his newspaper The Liberator in 1837 stated: “The motto of our banner has been, from the commencement of our moral warfare, ‘our country is the world—our countrymen are all mankind.’ We trust that will be our only epitaph.” You have to admit that such a statement sounds strongly internationalist in character, but then Garrison goes on to say that, next to the overthrow of slavery, the cause of peace will command his attention. And he sums up by stating: “As our object is universal emancipation—to redeem woman as well as man from a servile to an equal condition,–we shall go for the rights of woman to their utmost extent.” So he goes from slavery, to “peace” to “women’s rights (feminism)” and all these are areas that, even today, are a fertile breeding ground for Marxist endeavor and propaganda.
In his book Wendell Phillips author Carlos Martyn has observed, in regard to abolitionism that: “Thus it was that the crusade against slavery inevitably led first to the movement in behalf of woman and then to the movement in behalf of labor.” And of course abolitionist (and apostate) Wendell Phillips was in the thick of all this. And Mr. Martyn also noted of Garrison that: “There were those among the Garrisonians, too, who had adopted every ism of the day. These they sifted into their Anti-Slavery utterances, and thus produced the impression that Abolitionism was the nucleus of every scatter-brain theory and Utopian enterprise. Mr. Garrison himself was a sinner in this respect.” Whether the abolitionists adopted some oddball ideas or not, there were those among their number who seemed to be guiding them in the same direction that the Marxists were taking—from slavery to feminism and “womens’ rights” to involvement in the labor movement to “peace.” Of course your average run of the mill “historian” today would say that this was all totally coincidental—no collusion here on anyone’s part at all. It all just “happens.” Interestingly enough, Mr. Martyn noted Wendell Phillips’ comments regarding the South. Wendell Phillips said, in a speech We have not only an army to conquer, but we have a state of mind to annihilate…When England conquered the Highlands, she held them—held them until she could educate them,–and it took a generation. That is just what we have to do with the South; annihilate the old South, and put a new one there. You do not just annihilate a thing by abolishing it. You must supply the vacancy. I don’t know about anyone else, but to me, it sounds like Wendell Phillips was advocating that Cultural Genocide be practiced on the South.
So, as you can see, the Cultural Genocide problem here in the South is not new. It’s been going on since before the War of Northern Aggression in some form or other, but intensified more after that war because that’s when the real push came, via “reconstruction” to change the South from the Old South to NO South!
What’s just as bad is that it seems that Northern abolitionists almost practiced a form of the class struggle technique on Southern folks in kind of a reverse form. By their blatant attacks on Southern slavery what they really managed to do was to unite Southerners, both slave owners and those who would never own a slave, into one solid group who felt, with justification, that their section of the country was being attacked. Donnie Kennedy has noted in his informative book Re-killing Lincoln that: “…even nineteenth century historians have noted the fact that the vicious attacks upon Southern slavery by radical abolitionists had a harsh, negative impact on the Southern abolition movement. In 1866, George Lunt of Massachusetts noted this negative consequence of radical abolition agitation: The States of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee were earnestly engaged in practical movements for the gradual emancipation of their slaves. This movement continued until it was arrested by the aggression's of the abolitionists upon their voluntary actions. .. The abolitionists, however, refused to accept as impending fact, and insisted upon convicting as criminals those who were so well disposed to bring about the very result at which they themselves professed to aim. The consequences were such as might have been reasonably expected. Promised emancipation refused to submit itself to hateful abolition.”
So, basically, the radical Northern abolitionist movement deep-sixed the Southern abolitionist movement that was working toward gradual emancipation and pushed all Southern folks into a mode of self-protection over concern for what the radical Northerners had planned for them—and what they had planned for them was Cultural Genocide. So I have asked myself, given the leftist nature of Northern abolitionism, if that was the real game of the Northern abolitionist movement. They weren't so much interested in really getting rid of Southern slavery as they were in getting rid of any potential competition to their movement—because when the slavery question was settled—they had “other plans” for their movement. Donnie noted in Re-killing Lincoln, on page 65, that: “The radical abolitionists crying ‘freedom from slavery’ and denouncing the South as ‘defenders’ of slavery were, by design or by ignorance, completely overlooking the efforts of Southerners to reduce and ultimately end slavery.” In my opinion, it was by design. At least some of the leadership on the Northern abolitionist movement knew what they were doing and the effect it would have and they went ahead anyway because portraying the South as a nation of slaveholders, when 80% of them never owned a slave fit in with their agenda.
And, as historian Otto Scott noted, most people think that abolitionism died with the end of the War of Northern Aggression, but it didn’t because many of the Republicans in Washington were really abolitionists and all the historians did was to change their name from Radical Abolitionists to Radical Republicans. But the same Marxist worldview was still there—world “peace” the feminist movement, the labor union movement—it was all still in place, much of it to be worked out in the 20th century, and much of it still being pushed now.
“Reconstruction” is still in place. Now they call it Political Correctness. Cultural Genocide is still emphatically in place in the South. Now they call it the “new South” or “cultural diversity” or some other high-sounding title to cover up what it really is. And most people don’t realize what’s being done to them. The next phase of this game is to put down white folks and make them feel guilty for being white and this is going on all over the country. It’s part of national “reconstruction.” So stay tuned, folks, if you thought it couldn't get any worse, you haven’t seen anything yet.
And a comment from Jimmy Ward of The Confederate Society regarding Al's article above:
Excellent points Al.
There is another strong point to add regarding abolitionism, and that's "benevolence." With respect to northern abolitionists, there was no actual benevolence toward the Negro. When the question arose about what to do with the Negro once they are freed, the northern abolitionist made it clear: they didn't care, as long as the freed Negroes did NOT live within their communities. That is an important distinction since freed Negroes not only lived in the South, there were notable Negroes who themselves were slave magnates.
Many have been taught, by way of their government controlled, tax-payer subsidized public schools, to believe that the "Underground Railroad" funneled escaped slaves up to places like New York where abolitionists welcomed them with open arms and had a special penthouse suite for them overlooking Times Square. Nothing could be more untrue as they were actually transported to Canada. Long before Jim Crow, there were "black codes" in most northern States that forbade Negroes from living there. The last thing northerners wanted, including their saintly abolitionists, was for freed Negroes to compete with white industrial jobs in the north. In fact, the "extension of slavery" into western territories was the "original" slavery issue of the War, as evidenced by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. What many still don't know today is that Lincoln didn't want slavery extended to the west because he wanted a "white west." It was also one of the reasons for placing Indians on reservations.
These are just little dots, albeit critical, the Marxist don't want connected.
An Address Delivered By Judge George L. Christian
Before the Grand Camp of Confederate Veterans at the Annual Meeting held at Culpeper C. H., Va., October 4th, 1898, and published by Special Request of the Grand Camp.
Great wars have been as landmarks in the progress of nations, measuring-points of growth or decay. As crucibles they test the characters of peoples. Whether or not there is fibre to bear the crush of battle, and the strain of long contest:--not only in this determined; but also another matter, of yet more serious import, and of deeper interest to the student of history and to a questioning posterity. The grave investigator of to-day, searches the past to know whether man is of such character, whether the causes for which he has fought are such, that the future is always to be dark with "wars and rumors of war" He asks what men have regarded as sufficient causes of war? He does not enquire whether "the flying Mede" at Marathon, or the Greek with "his pursuing spear," are types of their nations: he rather seeks to know how the apparently unimportant action of an insignificant city, provoked the great Persian invasion. His question is, not whether Athens or Sparta bred the better soldier, but he searches the records to find out the causes of the Peloponnesian war.
He does not consider whether Vercingetorix, standing a captive in the presence of Caesar, was, after all, the nobler leader; nor whether Attila at Chalons was a greater general than Aetius, nor why the sword of Brennus turned the scale on that fateful day at Rome. He is more concerned to know why the Roman legions marched so far, and why the world threw off the imperial yoke. The causes of wars test yet more deeply than conduct in the field, the characters of peoples, indicate yet more surely what hopes of peace or fears of war lie in the future, to which we are advancing.
The foregoing considerations press on no people on earth more heavily than on those of the Southern States of this country. The question of the justice of the cause for which our Southern men fought and our Southern women suffered, in the great war which convulsed this country from '61 to '65, will always interest the philosophical historian, who will seek to know the motive that prompted the tremendous efforts of those four years, and the character of the men who fought so hard. It must command the attention of Confederate soldiers and their descendants for all time to come.
During that contest, and for many years after its close, there was no doubt as to this question in all our Southern land, and this is the case with nearly all our mature and thinking people to-day. I fear, however, that some of our children, misled by the false teachings of certain histories used in some of our schools, may have some misgivings on this all-important subject.
As Carthage had no historian, the Roman accounts of the famous Punic wars had to be accepted. All the blame was, as a matter of course, thrown on Carthage, and thus "Punica Fides" became a sneering by-word to all posterity. And so it has been, until recently, with the South. For many years after the war, our people were so poor, and so busily engaged in" keeping the wolf from their doors," that they lost sight of everything else. The shrewd, calculating, and wealthy Northerners, on the other hand, realized the importance of trying to impress the rising generation with the justice of their cause; and to that end they soon flooded our schools with histories, containing their version of the contest, and in many of these "all the blame" (as in the case of Carthage), is laid on the South.
In view of these facts, I have thought it not only not improper, but perhaps, a sacred duty, to call attention to some things which have impressed me very much, and some which so far as I know, have not heretofore been brought to the attention of our Southern people.
I shall not, in this address, discuss the Confederate Cause from the standpoint of a Southerner at all. Indeed, this has been done so thoroughly and ably by President Davis, Mr. Stephens, Dr. Bledsoe, and others, as to leave but little, if anything to be said from that point of view. I propose to set in order certain facts which will show: (1) What the people of the North said and did during the war to establish the justice of our Cause, and what they have said and done to the same end since its close; and (2) What distinguished foreigners have said about that cause, and the way the war was conducted on both sides. It seems to me that an answer to these enquiries is worthy of the gravest consideration, and ought to make its impression on any reflecting and unprejudiced mind.
I am profoundly thankful that in these latter days, our own people have become aroused to the importance of presenting the truth of this great struggle, and that the result has been to produce some very good histories by Southern authors, giving the facts as to the causes which led to the war, and those as to its conduct by both parties. For these indispensable books, we are indebted almost solely to the influence of the Confederate Camps and kindred organizations which have sprung up all over the South.
Passing over the history up to the year 1864, we find the people of the North were then greatly agitated on the question of the propriety of the war, its further prosecution and the manner in which it was being conducted by the administration then in power. The opposition to the war and Lincoln's administration was led by Vallandingham, of Ohio, with such bo1dness and ability as to cause his arrest and temporary imprisonment. In the Presidential contest of that year, Lincoln and Johnson were the candidates of the Republican, or war party, and McClellan and Pendleton were those of the Democratic, or peace party. The convention which nominated McClellan and Pendleton was one of the most representative bodies that ever assembled in this country. It met in the city of Chicago on the 29th of August, 1864, with Governor Horatio Seymour, of New York, as its chairman.
An idea of the temper of the convention may be gathered from an extract from one of the speeches delivered in it by Rev. C. Chauncey Burr, of New Jersey, which is as follows:
"We had no right to burn their wheat-fields, steal their pianos, spoons or jewelry. Mr. Lincoln had stolen a good many thousand negroes, but for every negro he had thus stolen, he had stolen ten thousand spoons. It had been said that, if the South would lay down their arms, they would be received back into the Union. The South could not honorably lay down her arms, for she was fighting for her honor."
Mr. Horace Greeley says that Governor Seymour, on assuming the chair, made an address showing the bitterest opposition to the war; "but his polished sentences seemed tame and moderate by comparison with the fiery utterances volunteered from hotel balconies, street corners, and wherever space could be found for the gathering of an impromptu audience; while the wildest, most intemperate utterances of virtual treason--those which would have caused Lee's army, had it been present, to forget its hunger and rags in an ecstacy of approval--were sure to evoke the longest and loudest plaudits."
This convention adopted a platform containing these, among other, remarkable declarations:
"That after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of a military necessity of a war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution has been disregarded in every part. Justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for the cessation of hostilities, with the ultimate convention of all the States, that these may be restored on the basis of a federal union of all the States, that the direct interference of the military authorities in the recent elections was a shameful violation of the Constitution, and the repetition of such acts will be held as revolutionary, and resisted; that the aim and object of the Democratic party is to preserve the federal union and the rights of the States unimpaired, and that they consider the administrative usurpation of extraordinary and dangerous powers, not granted by the Constitution, as calculated to prevent a restoration of the Union; that the shameful disregard of the administration in its duty to our fellow-citizens--prisoners of war--deserves the severest reprobation," &c., &c.
It will thus be seen that this platform charged the party in power with the very offences which the people of the South complained of and which caused the Southern States to secede. It charged that the "Constitution had been disregarded in every part"; it declared that "justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities "; it charged the administration with the "usurpation of extraordinary and dangerous powers, not granted by the Constitution "; it charged it with direct interference in the elections, and with a shameful disregard of its duty to prisoners of war. The platform claimed that the object of the party adopting it was to preserve the Federal Union and the rights of the States unimpaired.
In a word, the grievances here set forth were those of which the South was then complaining, and the principles sought to be maintained those for which the South was contending. And in addition to these, the people of the South were then exercising the God-given right and duty of defending their homes and firesides against an invasion as ruthless as any that ever marked the track of so-called civilized warfare.
Mr. John Sherman tells us in his "Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate, and Cabinet," that prior to the adoption of this platform "there was apparent languor and indifference among people of the North as to who should be president, but after its adoption, there could be no doubt as to the trend of popular opinion." Governor Seward said in a speech delivered a few days after the adoption of that platform: "The issue is thus squarely made: McClellan and disunion, or Lincoln and union."
So that the issue thus made by the people of the North among themselves was really whether the war then being waged by them against the South was right or wrong; and on that issue, thus clearly presented, out of four millions of voters who went to the polls nearly one-half said, in effect, that the war was wrong, and that the principles for which the South was contending--the "rights of the States unimpaired "--were right, and that their overthrow was to be resisted by all patriotic Americans. Lincoln received 2,216,067 votes, whilst McClellan received 1,808,725 votes; the latter receiving very nearly as many votes in the Northern States alone as Lincoln had received in the whole country when he was elected in 1860, his vote at that time being only 1,866,352.
I construe this as a condemnation of their cause by nearly one-half the people of the North, "out of their own mouths." It will be remembered that in this election the soldiers in the field voted, and it is to be presumed, of course, voted in support of the cause for Which they were then fighting.--which fact alone would doubtless account for a very large part of the votes cast for Mr. Lincoln. In this election, too, there was again the most shameless interference by the military to carry the election for Mr. Lincoln. When we consider these facts, I think the result was truly remarkable, and something for the Northern people to think of now, when many of them so flippantly taunt the Southern people with having been "rebels" and "traitors." Let them ask themselves, did not the South have a just cause, and did not nearly one-half the Northern people so pronounce at the time?
As a sample of the interference by the military authorities in that election, General B. F. Butler tells us in his book how he was sent by Mr. Stanton to New York with a military force to control that city and State for Mr. Lincoln. He says he stationed his troops conveniently near to every voting place in New York city, and that "he took care that the Southerners should understand that means would be taken for their identification, and that whoever of them should vote would be dealt with in such a manner as to make them uncomfortable"; and "the result was," he says, that "substantially no Southerners voted at the polls on election day."
I think these figures and these facts demonstrate that if this election had been a fair one, without the interference of the military, a majority of the voters of the North would have said by their votes that the war then being waged against the South was wrong, and would therefore have stopped it of their own accord, because they were convinced it was wrong, and contrary to "justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare."
It is most interesting to notice the vote in some of the great States of the North in this contest on the issue thus presented. Notwithstanding the interference by the military, as above stated by General Butler, the vote in New York was 368,726 for Lincoln and 361,986 for McClellan, or a little over 6,000 majority for Lincoln and his cause. Can any one doubt what the result would have been but for what General Butler says he and his troops did? In Pennsylvania the vote was 296,389 for Lincoln, and 276,308 for McClellan. That in Ohio was 265,154 for Lincoln, and 205,568 for McClellan. That in Indiana was 150,422 for Lincoln, and 130,233 for McClellan. That in Illinois was 189,487 for Lincoln, and 158,349 for McClellan. That in Wisconsin was 79,564 for Lincoln, and 63,875 for McClellan. In New Hampshire it was 36,595 for Lincoln, and 33,034 for McClellan. In Connecticut it was 44,693 for Lincoln, and 42,288 for McClellan; and whilst McClellan got the electoral votes of only New Jersey, Delaware and Kentucky, it is shown by the large vote he polled in all the States that the feeling of the people of the North against their cause was not confined to any State or locality, but pervaded the whole country; nearly every State, except perhaps Massachusetts, Vermont, Kansas, Maine and West Virginia, endorsing the war policy of the Republicans by smaller majorities than they have since given to the same party on purely economic issues. And just think of it, my comrades, that by a change of 209,000 in a vote of more than four millions, a majority of the people of the North would have voted that their cause was wrong, and that ours was consequently right.
The virulence with which McClellan's campaign was conducted cannot be better illustrated than by incorporating here a notice of a political meeting to be held during that canvass. This notice recently appeared in a number of The Grand Army Record, and is as follows:
"DEMOCRATS ONCE MORE TO THE BREACH!
Grand Rally at Bushnell, Friday, November 4th, 1864.
Hon. L. W. Ross, Major S. P. Cummings, T. E. Morgan, Joseph C. Thompson will address the people on the above occasion, and disclose to them the whole truth of the matter.
WHITE MEN OF McDONOUGH,
Who prize the Constitution of our Fathers; who love the Union formed by their wisdom and compromise;
Brave men who hate the Rebellion of Abraham Lincoln, and are determined to destroy it;
Noble women who do not want their husbands and sons dragged to the Valley of Death by a remorseless tyrant;
Rally out to this meeting in your strength and numbers.
Mr. Greeley, in his American Conflict, says:
"It is highly probable that had a popular election been held at any time during the year following the 4th of July, 1862, on the question of continuing the war, or arresting it on the best attainable terms, a majority would have voted for peace; while it is highly probable that a still larger majority would have voted against emancipation."
The same writer shows, too, not only how the successes or failures of the Northern armies served as the financial gauge which marked the price of their gold from time to time, but that these same successes or failures told in the elections the measure of the devotion of the Northern people to their cause.
Not so with the people of the South, who, in the darkest period of the war, February, 1865, and with a unanimity never surpassed, resolved that their cause was the "holiest of all causes," and declared their resolution "to spare neither their blood nor their treasure in its maintenance and support." And even now, a third of a century after that cause went down in defeat, but not in dishonor, its memories, though shrouded in sadness, are still a sacred and living factor in their lives and being.
Just at this point I desire to consider what was said of our cause, especially of the "right of secession," and of the conduct of the war on both sides, by a distinguished English nobleman who, it must be presumed, wrote from an unprejudiced standpoint.
In a work called The Confederate Secession, written by the Marquis of Lothian, and published in 1864 in Edinburgh and London, that writer, after reciting and discussing with remarkable accuracy and ability the grievances of the Southern States, and the cause which led to their secession from the Union, uses this language:
"I believe that the right of secession is so clear that if the South had wished to do so, for no better reason than that it could not bear to be beaten in an election, like a sulky school-boy out of temper at not winning a game, and had submitted the question of its right to withdraw from the Union to the decision of any court of law in Europe, she would have carried her point."
He then draws the following vivid contrast between the way war was conducted by the two parties. He says:
"Let us however suppose the Southern Secession to have been altogether illegal and uncalled for, or rather let us turn away our eyes from the question altogether, and suppose that the causes of the struggle are veiled in obscurity. Can we find anything in the circumstances of the war itself which may induce us to take one side rather than the other? Those circumstances have been very remarkable. This contest has been signalized by the exhibition of some of the best and some of the worst qualities that war has ever brought out. It has produced a recklessness of human life; a contempt of principles, a disregard of engagements; a wasteful expenditure almost unprecedented; a widely extended corruption among the classes who have any connection with the government or the war; an enormous debt, so enormous as to point to almost certain repudiation; the headlong adoption of the most lawless measures; the public faith scandalously violated both towards friends and enemies; the liberty of the citizen at the mercy of arbitrary power; the liberty of the press abolished: the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act; illegal imprisonments; midnight arrests; punishments inflicted without trial; the courts of law controlled by satellites of government; elections carried on under military supervision; a ruffianism both of word and action eating deep into the country; contractors and stock jobbers suddenly amassing enormous fortunes out of the public misery, and ostentatiously parading their ill-gotten wealth in the most vulgar display of luxury; the most brutal inhumanity in the conduct of the war itself; outrages upon the defenceless, upon women, children and prisoners; plunder, rapine, devastation, murder,--all the old horrors of barbarous warfare, which Europe is beginning to be ashamed of, and new refinements of cruelty thereto added, by way of illustrating the advance of knowledge. It has also produced qualities and phenomena the opposite of these. Ardour and devotedness of patriotism which might, alone be enough to make us proud of the century to which we belong; a unanimity such as has probably never been witnessed before; a wisdom in legislation; a stainless good faith under extremely difficult circumstances; a clear appreciation of danger, coupled with a determination to face it to the uttermost; a resolute abnegation of power in favor of leaders in whom those who selected them could trust; with an equally resolute determination to reserve the liberty of criticism, and not to allow those trusted leaders to go one inch beyond their legal powers: a heroism in the field and behind the defences of besieged cities, which can match anything that history has to show; a wonderful helpfulness in supplying needs and creating fresh resources; a chivalrous and romantic daring, which recalls the middle ages: a most scrupulous regard for the rights of hostile property; a tender consideration for the vanquished and the weak; a determination not to be provoked into retaliation by the most brutal injuries, which makes one wonder, recollecting what those injuries have been, whether in their place, one would have done as they have done. * * * And the remarkable circumstance is * * * that all the good qualities have been on the one side, and all the bad ones on the other."
In other words, he says that all the bad qualities were on the side of the North, and all the good on that of the South. He then says of the South:
"I am not going a hair's-breadth beyond what I soberly and sincerely believe, in saying that the Confederates have in almost every respect, surpassed anything that has ever been known.
"The most splendid instance of a nation's defence of its liberties that the world has seen before the present day, was perhaps (I am not sure, but I think so), that of Sicily at the end of the thirteenth century: and the Confederates stand much above the Sicilians."
He then goes on to enumerate the splendid instances of sacrifice and devotion of the people, especially of the women of the South, and of the valor and heroism of the soldiers in the field, but to recount these, would consume more space than would be profitable in this discussion.
That this writer was not singular in his opinions, in regard to our struggle, is manifest from what Mr. Justin McCarthy tells us in the second volume of his "History of our own Times." McCarthy was evidently an ardent sympathizer with the North, and yet he says that in England "the vast majority of what are called the governing classes, were on the side of the South;" that "by far the greater number of the aristocracy of the official world, of Members of Parliament, of Military and Naval men were for the South;" that "London Club life was virtually Southern;" and that "the most powerful papers in London, and the most popular papers as well, were open partisans of the Southern Confederation."
Lord Russell said the contest was one "in which the North was striving for empire, and the South for independence."
Mr. Gladstone said, our President, Mr. Davis, "had made an army, had made a navy, and had made a nation."
And it is as certain as anything that did not happen can be, that but for the fall of Vicksburg, and our failure to succeed at Gettysburg in July, 1863 (both of which disasters came on us at the same time), Mr. Roebuck's motion in Parliament for recognition by England, which the Emperor Napoleon also was working hard to bring about, would have been carried, and the Confederacy would then have been recognized by both England and France. This recognition would have raised the blockade, and this was all the South needed to insure its success. For as a distinguished Northern writer, from whom I shall presently quote, said, "without their navy to blockade our ports, they never could have conquered us."
Mr. Percy Greg, the justly famous English historian, says:
"If the Colonies were entitled to judge of their own cause, much more were the Southern States. Their rights--rights not implied, assumed, or traditional, like those of the Colonies, but expressly defined and solemnly guaranteed by law--had been flagrantly violated; the compact which alone bound them, had beyond question, been systematically broken for more than forty years by the States which appealed to it."
After showing the perfect regularity and legality of the Secession movement, he then says: "It was in defence of this that the people of the South sprang to arms 'to defend their homes and families, their property and their rights, the honor and independence of their States to the last, against five fold numbers and resources a hundred fold greater than theirs.'"
He says of the cause of the North:
"The cause seems to me as bad as it well could be; the determination of a mere numerical majority to enforce a bond, which they themselves had flagrantly violated, to impose their own mere arbitrary will, their idea of national greatness, upon a distinct, independent, determined and almost unanimous people."
And he then says, as Lord Russell did:
"The North fought for empire which was not and never had been hers; the South for an independence she had won by the sword, and had enjoyed in law and fact ever since the recognition of the thirteen 'sovereign and independent States,' if not since the foundation of Virginia. Slavery was but the occasion of the rupture, in no sense the object of the war." Let me add a statement which will be confirmed by every veteran before me,--no man ever saw a Virginia soldier who was fighting for slavery.
This writer then speaks Of the conduct of the Northern people as "unjust, aggressive, contemptuous of law and right," and as presenting a striking contrast to the "boundless devotion, uncalculating sacrifice, magnificent heroism and unrivalled endurance of the Southern people."
But I must pass on to what a distinguished Northern writer has to say of the people of the South, and their cause, twenty-one years after the close of the war. The writer is Benjamin J. Williams, Esq., of Lowell, Massachusetts, and the occasion which brought forth his paper (addressed to the Lowell Sun) was the demonstration to President Davis when he went to assist in the dedication of a Confederate monument at Montgomery, Ala. He says of Mr. Davis:
"Everywhere he receives from the people the most overwhelming manifestation of heartfelt affection, devotion and reverence, exceeding even any of which he was the recipient in the time of his power; such manifestations as no existing ruler in the world can obtain from his people, and such as probably were never given before to a public man, old, out of office, with no favors to dispense, and disfranchised. Such homage is significant; it is startling. It is given, as Mr. Davis himself has recognized, not to him alone, but to the cause whose chief representative he is, and it is useless to attempt to deny, disguise or evade the conclusion, that there must be something great and noble and true in him and in the cause to evoke this homage."
This writer then goes on to review Mr. Davis's career, both before and during the war, pays a splendid tribute to his character as a man, and his genius and ability as a soldier and statesman; says even Henry Wilson, of Massachusetts, referred to him in a speech made during the war, as the "clear-headed, practical, dominating Davis." And after referring to the proud and defiant spirit of Mr. Davis, and his splendid bearing both in the last days of the Confederacy and after his arrest and imprisonment, he says:
"The seductions of power or interest may move lesser men, that matters not to him; the cause of the Confederacy is a fixed moral and constitutional principle, unaffected by the triumph of physical force, and he asserts it to-day as unequivocally as when he was seated in its executive chair at Richmond, in apparently irreversible power, with its victorious legions at his command."
Mr. Davis, in' his speech on the occasion referred to, alluded to the fact that the monument then being erected was to commemorate the deeds of those "who gave their lives a free-will offering in defence of the rights of their sires, won in the War of the Revolution, the State sovereignty, freedom and independence which were left to us as an inheritance to their posterity forever."
Mr. Williams says of this definition:
"These masterful words, 'the rights of their sires, won in the War of the Revolution, the State sovereignty, freedom and independence, which were left to us as an inheritance to their posterity forever,' are the whole case, and they are not only a statement but a complete justification of the Confederate cause, to all who are acquainted with the origin and character of the American Union."
He then proceeds to tell how the Constitution was adopted and the government formed by the individual States, each acting for itself, separately, and independently of the others, and then says:
"It appears, then, from this review of the origin and character of the American Union, that when the Southern States, deeming the Constitutional compact broken, and their own safety and happiness in imminent danger in the Union, withdrew therefrom and organized their new Confederacy, they but asserted, in the language of Mr. Davis, ' the rights of their sires, won in the War of the Revolution, the State sovereignty, freedom and independence, which were left to us as an inheritance to their posterity forever,' and it was in defence of this high and sacred cause that the Confederate soldiers sacrificed their lives. There was no need of war. The action of the Southern States was legal and Constitutional, and history will attest that it was reluctantly taken in the last extremity."
He now goes on to show how Mr. Lincoln precipitated the war, and describes the unequal struggle in which the South was engaged in these words:
"After a glorious four years' struggle against such odds as have been depicted, during which independence was often almost secured, where successive levies of armies, amounting in all to nearly three millions of men, had been hurled against her, the South, shut off from all the world, wasted, rent and desolate, bruised and bleeding, was at last overpowered by main strength; out-fought, never; for from first to last, she everywhere out-fought the foe. The Confederacy fell, but she fell not until she had achieved immortal fame. Few great established nations in all time have ever exhibited capacity and direction in government equal to hers, sustained as she was by the iron will and fixed persistence of the extraordinary man who was her chief; and few have ever won such a series of brilliant victories as that which illuminates forever the annals of her splendid armies, while the fortitude and patience of her people, and particularly of her noble women, under almost incredible trials and sufferings, have never been surpassed in the history of the world."
And he then adds:
"Such exalted character and achievement are not all in vain. Though the Confederacy fell, as an actual physical power, she lives illustrated by them, eternally in her just cause--the cause of constitutional liberty."
Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge, one of the present Senators from Massachusetts, in his life of Webster, says:
"When the Constitution was adopted by the votes of the States at Philadelphia, and accepted by the States in popular conventions, it is safe to say that there was not a man in the country, from Washington and Hamilton on the one side to George Clinton and George Mason on the other, who regarded the new system as anything but an experiment entered upon by the States, from which each and every State had the right peaceably to withdraw--a right which was very likely to be exercised."
And I heard Mr. James C. Carter, of New York, but a native of New England, and one of the greatest lawyers in this country, in his address recently delivered at the University of Virginia, say:
"I may hazard the opinion that if the question had been made, not in 1860, but in 1788, immediately after the adoption of the Constitution, whether the Union, as formed by that instrument, could lawfully treat the secession of a State as rebellion, and suppress it by force, few of those who participated in framing that instrument would have answered in the affirmative."
These are clear and candid admissions on the part of these distinguished Northerners that the Southern States had the right to secede as they did, and were, therefore, right in regard to the real issue involved in the war between the States.
There is but one other fact to which I desire to call attention in this connection, and while it has often been referred to, it cannot be too deeply impressed upon the minds of our people, and ought, it seems to me, to be conclusive of this whole question--and that is, the refusal of the Northern people to test the question of the right of secession by a trial of President Davis; and this, notwithstanding the fact that since the cry, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" went up at Jerusalem, nearly two thousand years ago, I believe there never was a time when a whole people were more willing to punish one man than were the people of the North, who were in favor of the war, to punish Mr. Davis for his alleged crimes as the leader of our cause and people.
Mr. Davis was captured on or about the l0th of May, 1865, near Washington, Ga., and straightway taken to and confined in a casemate at Fortress Monroe. To show how eagerly these war people of the North demanded his life, they attempted first to implicate him in the assassination of Mr. Lincoln. It was even charged in a proclamation issued by the President of the United States that the evidence of Mr. Davis's connection with that atrocious crime "appears from evidence in the Bureau of Military Justice." This evidence consisted for the most part of affidavits of witnesses secured by that vile wretch, Judge Advocate General Holt. A committee of the then Republican Congress says of these:
"Several of these witnesses, when brought before the committee, retracted entirely the statements which they had made in their affidavits, and declared that their testimony as originally given was false in every particular."
Utterly failing in the attempt to connect Mr. Davis with this crime, they then tried to involve him in the alleged cruelty to prisoners at Andersonville, and a reprieve was offered to the commandant of the prison, Wirz, the night before he was hung, if he would implicate Mr. Davis,--which offer the brave Captain indignantly refused.
It was only after every attempt to connect Mr. Davis with other crimes had failed, that the authorities at Washington dared to have him indicted for the alleged crime of treason. Three several indictments for this offence were then set on foot. The first was found in the District of Columbia, but no process seems ever to have been issued on that. The second was found May 8th, 1866, at Norfolk, Va., in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Virginia, then presided over by the infamous Judge Underwood; and as Underwood himself tells us, this indictment was found after consultation with, and by the direction of Andrew Johnson, the then President of the United States. Almost immediately on the finding of this indictment, Mr. William B. Reed, a distinguished lawyer from Philadelphia, appeared for Mr. Davis, and asked: "What is to be done with this indictment? Is it to be tried?"
* * "If it is to be tried, may it please your honor, speaking for my colleagues and for myself and for my absent client, I say with emphasis, and I say with earnestness, we come here prepared instantly to try that case, and we shall ask no delay at your honor's hands further than is necessary to bring the prisoner to face the Court, and enable him under the statute in such case made and provided, to examine the bill of indictment against him."
At the instance of the Government, the case was then continued until October, 1866. Although efforts were made by Mr. Davis's counsel to have him admitted to bail, or removed to some more comfortable quarters, neither of these could be accomplished until May 13th, 1867, when he was admitted to bail, after a cruel imprisonment of two years, Horace Greeley, Gerritt Smith and other distinguished Northerners then becoming his sureties.
On the 26th March, 1868, another indictment for treason was found against him, which was continued from time to time until November, 1868. During the pendency of these indictments, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was adopted, the third section of which provides, that every person who, having taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and thereafter engaged in rebellion, should be disqualified from holding certain offices. Counsel for Mr. Davis then raised the question that Mr. Davis having taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States as a member of Congress in 1845, the 14th Amendment prescribed the punishment for afterwards engaging in rebellion, and this was pleaded in bar of the pending prosecutions for treason. The reporter says this defence was "inspired and suggested from the highest official source--not the President of the United States." In other words, it was inspired and suggested by the Chief Justice himself, as shown during the course of the argument, and for the sole purpose of evading the trial of the issue of the right of a State to secede, which was necessarily involved in the charge of alleged treason. On the question thus raised, the Court divided, the Chief Justice being of the opinion that the defence set up was a bar to the indictment, and Judge Underwood being of the contrary opinion. On this division, the question was certified to the Supreme Court, where, in the language of the reporter, "the certificate of disagreement rests among the records of the Court undisturbed by a single motion for either a hearing or dismissal."
It is a part of the history of the times, to use the language of a distinguished writer, that "the authorities at Washington and Chief Justice Chase himself decided after full consideration and consultation with the ablest lawyers in the country that the charge of treason could not be sustained, and so the distinguished prisoner, who was anxious to go into trial and vindicate himself and his cause before the world, was admitted to bail, and finally a nolle prosequi was entered in the case."
I repeat that these proceedings are a virtual confession on the part of the Northern people, that they were wrong, on the real question at issue in the war, and therefore that the South was right.
At this time, when a few men at the North are broad enough and bold enough to speak of some of the great leaders of the Southern cause as great and good men, and when, just because they were leaders in that cause, these opinions are seized upon, by those who still hate and defame us, as evidence of disloyalty, if not acts of criminality on the part of those who venture to express them, it seems to me, it is pertinent again to enquire of the Northern people--
(1) What did nearly one-half of your own voters think of that cause, not thirty-two years after, but when the war was raging, and when all the passions enkindled, and horrors wrought by it, were fresh in the minds of those voters?
(2) What did enlightened, distinguished and unprejudiced foreigners think of that cause; the way the war was waged, and the conduct of the leaders, and the people on both sides at that time?
(3) What do some of your most intelligent and distinguished writers think now of that cause, and its great civil leader?
(4) And why did the people of the North refuse to test the question of which side was right, when they had instituted the case for that purpose in their own courts?
It seems to me, that the facts here set forth furnish such answers to these enquiries as ought to give pause to those of the North, who still love to revile and defame the people of the South; many doubtless delighting in this task now, who did not dare to come to the front when their professed views of duty called them there; some of whom have been convinced of the justice of their cause, only by the savor of the "flesh pots," and the allurements of the pension rolls, which the results of the war and the achievements of others, have put within their grasp.
I would fain hope too, that these pregnant facts will be pondered by our young people of the South, and if there be more than one young Southerner who has said, as I heard that one did say not long ago, of his old Confederate father, "the old man actually thinks he was right in the war, "--that these facts will make any such, not only feel and know that the cause of the South was right, and that the people of the South, almost as a unit, espoused and loved that cause, but that as true men they love it still, and that their children ought to feel alike proud of that cause and those who defended it with their lives, their blood and their fortunes.
As some of the writers to whom I have referred have said: 'There never was a people engaged in any struggle who were more united or determined than were the people of the South, in behalf of the cause of the Confederacy.' They almost to a man, and certainly to a woman, believed in that cause, and as I have said, supported it with their lives, their blood and their fortunes. The sayings that "might makes right," and that "success is a test of merit," have grown into proverbs. But there never were more fallacious and misleading statements than these.
Appomattox was not a judicial forum, but a battle-field, a simple test of physical power, where the Army of Northern Virginia, "worn out with victory," and almost starving, surrendered its arms to "overwhelming numbers and resources."
Therefore, I say that, so far as the way the war ended is concerned, it proves, and can prove, nothing as to which side was right or which was wrong. As we have seen, our enemies brought us into their own courts, thus proclaiming to the world that they were ready and willing to test the question judicially, and after advising with the highest authorities on their side, of their own motion, abandoned their case, and fled from the precincts of their own chosen tribunals. We were in their power, and could do nothing but accept this, their own virtual confession that they, were wrong.
We need not fear, then, to submit our cause, or the way we conducted the war in its defence, to the muse of history, and to await her verdict with "calm confidence." Every day not only adds new lustre to the heroism and devotion of our people, and the achievements of our armies in the field, but rewards the researches of the unprejudiced historian with new and more convincing proofs of the justice of our cause. What are thirty years in the life of a nation? It was nearly two thousand years from the time when Arminius overcame the legions of Varus in the Black Forest of Germany before a statue was reared to the memory of that victor, and he was called the "Father of the Fatherland." It was less than two hundred years from the time when Charles the II came to his own, when the principles for which Cromwell and Hampden and Pym fought were recognized by all English speaking peoples, as the only ones on which constitutional liberty ever can rest.
Having said so much about our cause, I have only time to add a few words about the defenders of that cause.
And first, what shall I say, aye, what can I say, of the women of the South? For they were among the first, and will be the last defenders of that cause. I have no words in which to portray the admiration I feel, and the homage I would love to pay to these devoted patriots. Writers have often tried to set forth the story of their services and sacrifices, but have turned away baffled at the contemplation of the task. Poets who have sung the achievements of heroes and warriors have found verse all too feeble to translate their loving deeds into song, and minstrels with harps well-nigh attuned to suit the Angelic Choir, have before that theme stood hesitant and abashed, with nerveless fingers and silent strings. It has been proposed to rear a monument to these noble women. I would love to contribute my mite to this undertaking. But I know too well that the highest conception of artistic genius can never measure up to the task of fitly portraying to the world the patriotism, heroism, devotion, and sacrifices of the noble women of the Southland. They were and are, in the language of Wordsworth:
"Perfect women, nobly planned
To warn, to comfort and command."
And what can I say of our leaders in that cause? It is no small thing to be able to say of them that they were cultivated men, without fear, and without reproach, and most of them the highest types of Christian gentlemen; that they were men whose characters have borne the inspection and commanded the respect of the world. Yes, the names of Davis, of Lee, of Jackson, the Johnstons, Beauregard, Ewell, Gordon, Early, Stuart, Hampton, Magruder, the Hills, Forrest, Cleburne, Polk, and a thousand others I could mention, will grow brighter and brighter, as the years roll on, because no stain of crime or vandalism is linked to those names; and because those men have performed deeds which deserve to live in history. And what shall I say of the men who followed these leaders? I will say this, without the slightest fear of contradiction from any source: They were the most unselfish and devoted patriots that ever marched to the tap of the drum, or stood on the bloody front of battle. The northern historian, Swinton, speaks of them as the "incomparable infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia." Colonel Dodge, a distinguished Federal officer, in his lecture on Chancellorsville, before the "Lowell Institute" in Boston, says:
"The morale of the Confederate army could not have been finer." * * * "Perhaps no infantry was ever, in its peculiar way, more permeated with the instinct of pure fighting--ever felt the gaudiam certaminis more than the Army of Northern Virginia."
Another gallant Federal colonel thus wrote of them:
"I take a just pride as an American citizen, a descendant on both sides of my parentage of English stock, who came to this country about 1640, that the Southern army, composed almost entirely of Americans, were able, under the ablest American chieftains, to defeat so often the overwhelming hosts of the North, which were composed largely of foreigners to our soil; in fact, the majority were mercenaries whom large bounties induced to enlist, while the stay-at-home patriots, whose money bought them, body and boots, 'to go off and get killed, instead of their own precious selves, said let the war go on.'"
Another Federal officer, writing after the battle of Chancellorsville, says:
"Their artillery horses are poor, starved frames of beasts, tied to their carriages and caissons with odds and ends of rope and strips of rawhide; their supply and ammunition trains look like a congregation of all the crippled California emigrant trains that ever escaped off the desert out of the clutches of the rampaging Comanche Indians; the men are ill-dressed, ill-equipped and ill-provided--a set of ragamuffins that a man would be ashamed to be seen among even when he is a prisoner and can't help it; and yet they have beaten us fairly, beaten us all to pieces, beaten us so easily that we are objects of contempt even to their commonest private soldiers, with no shirts to hang out the holes of their pantaloons, and cartridge boxes tied around their waists with strands of rope."
Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, of New York, in his life of Benton, says:
"The world has never seen better soldiers than those who followed Lee, and their leader will undoubtedly rank as, without any exception, the very greatest of all great captains that the English speaking peoples have brought forth; and this, although the last and chief of his antagonists, may himself claim to stand as the full equal of Marlborough and Wellington."
And last, but not least, General Grant, to whom Mr. Roosevelt referred above, speaks of these soldiers in his Memoirs as "the men who had fought so bravely, so gallantly and so long for the cause which they believed in."
I might add a thousand similar commendations from those who fought us, but I cannot consume more of your time. If you have not done so, I advise you by all means to procure and read The Recollections of a Private, by a Northern soldier named Wilkinson, who was in the "Army of the Potomac" during Grant's campaign from the Rapidan to Petersburg, and describes, in a most entertaining and thrilling way, his experiences in that army. Without intending it at all, I believe, and only telling in his own style, the way in which that army was organized, controlled, and fought, his recitals are a panegyric on the Army of Northern Virginia and the glorious leaders of that army.
The London Index has this to say of our army and our people:
"Let it be remarked, that while other nations have written their own histories, the brief history of this army, so full of imperishable glory, has been written for them by their enemies, or at least by luke-warm neutrals. Above all, has the Confederate nation distinguished itself from its adversaries by modesty and truth, those noblest ornaments of human nature. A heart-felt, unostentatious piety has been the source whence this army and people have drawn their inspiration of duty, of honor and of consolation."
The Marquis of Lothian, from whom I have already quoted, said:
"There are few stories that history or tradition has handed down of valor and generosity which may not find something of a counterpart in the annals of this war. Parents sending forth their children, one after another, to die in the service of their country, without a murmur; delicate ladies leaving home to wait upon their countrymen in hospitals; stripping their homes of everything that could by any possibility promote the comfort of the troops, and working their fingers to the bone to making clothing for them;" * * * "individuals raising regiments at their own expense, and then serving in them as privates; school-boys and collegians forming themselves into companies, and volunteering for service; common soldiers in regiments giving up their pay in order to procure what was required for the sick and wounded." * * * "In their daring, as well as in their self-sacrifice, things are constantly done which in most countries would be made the theme for endless vaunting, but with them are passed over as matter of course, and as almost too common to be specially noticed."
Many such just and generous opinions might be quoted from like sources; but again I must forbear. You will observe that, as I was content to rest the justice of our cause on what our enemies and foreigners had to say of it, so I have been content to rest the conduct of our people, and of our armies, upon the testimony of the same witnesses, and on these alone. Let us leave the praise that ever waits on noble deeds to be fashioned
"By some yet unmoulded tongue
Far on in summer's that we shall not see."
During his first campaign in Italy Napoleon, in writing of his soldiers, uses this language, which to my mind strikingly describes the soldiers which composed our Southern armies. He says:
"They jest with danger and laugh at death; and if anything can equal their intrepidity it is the gaiety with which, singing alternately songs of love and patriotism, they accomplish the most severe forced marches. When they arrive in their bivouac it is not to take their repose, as might be expected, but to tell each his story of the battle of the day and produce his plan for that of to-morrow; and many of them think with great correctness on military subjects. The other day I was inspecting a demibrigade, and as it filed past me, a common Chasseur approached my horse and said, 'General, you ought to do so and so.' 'Hold your peace, you rogue,' I replied. He disappeared immediately, nor have I since been able to find him out. But the manoeuvre which he recommended was the very same which I had privately resolved to carry into execution."
And so I heard a distinguished Confederate soldier say that a private in the Army of Northern Virginia, sitting on the side of the mountain, outlined to him one evening the whole plan of the battle which was executed by the commanding general on the following day.
One by one the soldiers of the Confederate armies are passing into history. Whilst they go, not like those of the 10th Legion or the Phalanx, the representatives of victorious warfare; yet they will go as the defenders of a cause, which not only unprejudiced foreigners, but many of their former enemies, both during and since the conflict, have pronounced just and right; as soldiers who did' their duty and whose defence of that cause was such as to challenge the admiration of the world. I thank God that there is not linked with the names of these men, the crimes of vandalism, which so often brought forth the "widow's wail and the orphan's cry," and which so marked the desolated track of those against whom they fought.
I thank God too, that no pension scandal has ever linked its corrupt and corrupting touch to the name of the Confederate soldier; that his support is not a menace to the public treasury, but that he has "hoed his own row" and so lived as to command the respect of the world, and not by the help of the tax-gatherer, and amid the sneers and contempt of a long suffering and grateful people.
Whilst the cause for which they fought is a "lost cause" in the sense that they failed to establish a separate government within certain geographical limits, yet it is only lost in that sense. The principles of that cause yet live, and the deeds done by its defenders were not done in vain.
No my friends,
"Freedom's battle once begun
Bequeathed by bleeding sire to son,
Though baffled oft is ever won."
And now, my comrades, I must stop to say one word for myself and for you, about the true and noble people of this battle-scarred, but still beautiful old county of Culpeper, in which it is our privilege to meet, and to greet one another on this interesting occasion. The record of this glorious people, won in the war of the Revolution, was completely eclipsed by that made by them in the Confederate war, and whilst "Cedar Mountain," "Brandy Station," and a hundred other fields will ever attest the heroism and devotion of the Confederate soldier, there is not a home or hamlet here that could not tell its story of the heroism, hospitality and devotion of her Confederate men and women.
It is with a sense of peculiar pride and pleasure then that we meet here to-night, not only with some of the survivors of those who stood shoulder to shoulder on those bloody fields, but with those men and women, and the descendants of those, who amidst the glare of their burning homes, and the threats and tortures of a ruthless and relentless foe, remained unwavering and unconquerable, and who are still true to principle and to right. Yes, my old comrades, we stand upon historic ground to-night. The rocky defiles of these mountains have echoed and re-echoed the thunders of artillery and the rattle of musketry amidst the ringing commands of Lee and Jackson, and the flashing, knightly sabres of Ashby, Stuart and Hampton. Here banner and plume have waved in the mountain breeze, whilst helmet and blade and bayonet were glittering in the morning sun; and here too, ah, shame to tell, history will record many a thrilling tale of outrage inflicted upon this defenceless people by the mercenary hordes of the North, permitted and encouraged by the remorseless cruelty and unquenchable ambition of some of their leaders. Just think of the almost infinite distance between the places these leaders will occupy in history, and those already occupied by those immortal and incomparable commanders, who sleep side by side at Lexington, and whose fame will grow brighter and brighter as the years roll by. As the conquerers of Hannibal, of Cæsar, and Napoleon have been almost forgotten amid the effulgence which will forever cling to the names of these illustrious, though vanquished leaders, so in the ages to come, the fame of Lee, of Jackson, the Johnstons, Stuart, Ashby and others will outshine that of Grant, Sheridan and Sherman "like the Sun 'mid Moon and Stars."
In the few hours that I could spare from the cares and engagements of a busy life, I have thought it worth the while to gather up the fragments of testimony which I have given you to-day as to the justice of our cause, and the conduct of the defenders of that cause, not by way of presenting to you any arguments of mine on these all-important themes; but to show you some of the acts and confessions of our quondam enemies themselves, and of distinguished foreigners. These constitute the highest and the best evidence which the law recognizes for the establishment of the truth of any fact. And I want you, and the young people here especially, to think on these things. Yes, my young friends, this cause, which is thus, as I think, established to be right, is the one for which a third of a century ago, your fathers fought, and your mothers worked and wept, and prayed. They thought they were right then, they know they were right now.
And I want to say, in conclusion, that to think and feel, as we think and feel about the Confederate cause, does not mean that we are disloyal citizens of our now united and common country. But on the contrary, it is just in proportion as we are true and loyal to the cause of the South, that we will be true and faithful citizens of our country to-day; because the principles for which the Confederate soldier fought, are the only ones, as I have already said, on which constitutional liberty can ever rest in this, or any other country. Yes, my comrades and friends, be ye sure that
"The graves of our dead with the grass overgrown
Will yet form the footstool of liberty's throne,
And each single wreck in the war path of might
Shall yet be a rock in the temple of right."
And I therefore repeat the statement: The men who died for the Confederate cause, have not died in vain.
"They never fail who die
In a great cause. The block may soak their gore;
Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
Be strung to city gates and castle walls;
But still their spirits walk abroad. Though years
Elapse, and others share as dark a doom,
They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts
Which overpower all others and conduct
The world at last to freedom."
Source: Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXVI. Richmond, Va., January - December. 1898.
by Al Benson Jr.
As I have noted in past articles, Abraham Lincoln continues to be portrayed by the media and accompanying Lincoln cultists as the great benefactor of the black people in this country. The fact that he was a racialist is usually shunted aside, but if it does chance to come up, Lincoln's choir will loudly chant the old familiar tune "Once a racist but now a black lover" and they will go on in great detail to explain how his views on race, as openly portrayed in The Lincoln Douglas Debates had "mellowed" or "matured" since the Debate days. After all, didn't he issue the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all the slaves? Well, no, actually he didn't.
His proclamation, in reality, freed no slaves because it only applied to the Confederate States, which was a separate country at the time. Lincoln had no authority to free the slaves in another country. However, he might have had the authority to free the slaves in Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky, and Delaware--all slave states which remained firmly in the Union--through one device or another, but his famous Proclamation did not apply to them. Nor did it apply to parts of the Confederate States that had been occupied by the Union.
In other words, Lincoln freed slaves where he had no authority to do so and he left in bondage those he might have had the authority to loose. You have to conclude that the Emancipation Proclamation was more about wartime propaganda than it was about freeing slaves.
Early on in his presidential tenure Lincoln had been in favor of freeing the slaves and then deporting them to some other country, preferably further South. However, Lincoln's hagiographers have assured us he grew out of that latent childhood notion and his views about blacks then morphed into a full-blown appreciation of their dignity and worth. And I'll bet, as they continue to write books about this, they laugh all the way to the bank.
But did it really happen in the Pollyanna way they tell it? Not quite. There was an article in the London Telegraph back on February 11, 2011, written by Jon Swaine that talks about a new (at that time) book,written by two men, Phillip Magness and Sebastian Page and called Colonisation After Emancipation. Turns out they found documents in the National Archives in both England and this country that would "significantly alter his legacy."
According to Mr. Swaine: They found an order from Lincoln in June 1863 authorising a British colonial agent, John Hodge, to recruit freed slaves to be sent to colonies in what are now the countries of Guyana and Belize. Hodge reported back to a British minister that Lincoln said it was his 'honest desire' that this immigration went ahead," said Mr. Page, who is a historian at Oxford University. And Mr. Swaine continued: "The plan came despite an earlier test shipment of about 450 freed slaves to Haiti resulting in disaster. The former slaves were struck by smallpox and starvation, and survivors had to be rescued. Mr. Lincoln also considered sending freed slaves to what is now Panama, to construct a canal--decades before work began on the modern canal in 1904. The colonisation plan collapsed by 1864. The British were fearful the confederate states of the American south may win the civil war, reverse emancipation, and regard British agents as thieves. Congress also voted to remove funding."
Yet, even as late as the Fall of that year the Attorney General sent Lincoln a letter which showed he was still actively exploring whether the plan could be carried through or not. The letter said: "...further to your question, yes, I think you can still pursue this policy of colonisation even though the money has been taken away." Dr. Magness said he thought the book would change people's opinion and view of Lincoln. Sorry to say, it does not seem to have made all that much of a dent in his halo.
Lincoln is still revered as the "great unifier" by many politicians, including our current president. Of course Lincoln was influenced by the Marxists in his own government and armies (see Lincoln's Marxists Pelican Publishing Co.) and our current president is a Marxist, so you can see why he harks back to Lincoln.
Despite the many books that have recently been written by authors that have really done the homework on Mr. Lincoln, his "Amen Corner" refuses to be confused with the facts.
by Al Benson Jr.
I didn't watch the State of the Union address this year. As I said to one lady only yesterday, "I've not got the time to listen to political liars." She agreed and said she was going to watch some basketball game, which she probably got more truth out of than she would have had she listened to this yearly political charade.
Not being unconcerned even though I didn't watch it, I read quite a bit of political commentary before the unfolding of this august event, and I've read even more today, none of it is really revealing given the current national situation. Dick Morris commented that he felt Obama was not really speaking to the American people, but was rather talking directly to Hillary Clinton, trying to lay out a left-wing agenda for her to have to run on in 2016. He might have had a point there, except I'm not sure anyone has to lay out a left-wing agenda for Hillary. After all, her and Obama both work for the same One World Government clique and both do as they are told to. Any agenda used by either one of them will be laid out for them by those people and Heaven help either one if they don't follow it. Neither one owns their own soul.
Other commentators have said that Obama had refused to recognize the Republican victory in the mid-term elections and was proceeding along as if it had never happened. Again, much of the Republican leadership and Obama work for the same people--and it ain't the American people! Still others noted that Obama claimed that the leftist agenda he was going to lay out (with a little help from his One World friends) was really going to help the middle class and that's what it was all about. If you look at his plan to raise taxes on "the rich" to help the middle class you have to realize that this is just another of his Marxist "redistribution of the wealth" scams, probably with the idea in there of gaining a few naive middle class votes for the Demoncrats (oops, I meant Democrats). Little slip of the finger there.
Through all this running commentary people don't seem to grasp that Obama is a Marxist. That truth eludes them, or they hope it eludes their readers and listeners. As a Marxist, he hates the middle class, any middle class anywhere, but especially in this country. The middle class is where most resistance to the left comes from. The One World Elite, our ruling elite, think very much like Marxists. After all, some of their grandfathers helped to fund the setting up of the Soviet Union in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. The notion that the super-rich and the Communists hate each other is more carefully contrived drivel. They don't--they work together quite often. If you don't think so, then get on the Internet and read None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen. It's on there and you can read it there without it costing you one thin dime.
The very poor, in many cases, will often just go along with whoever promises them the most goodies. This doesn't include those among the poor that do work and try to make their own way, but it includes all the others who are only along for the free ride. It's easier for them not to work than it is to sweat at a job, and often the welfare payments they get are more than they'd get if they did honest work. So they just "chill out" and take the freebies. Their votes are bought and paid for with the welfare check. That leaves only the middle class for potential resistance to the left.
So, understanding the Marxist mentality, you have to realize that when a Marxist tells you about his great concern for the middle class and how he wants to help them, what he is really looking to do is to find yet one more way to stiff them. And when Obama says he want so tax "the rich" you really have to start asking how he defines "the rich." The actual definition might well be something like "anyone at all who has any extra money that the government would like to take from them to redistribute (to their already rich friends)."
I read an interesting article of www.townhall.com on January 19th which noted: "Obama's plan totals $380 billion in new taxes and it isn't just 'on the rich' or the 'one percent' as the President and officials in his administration claim. The majority of his newly proposed taxes, including more taxes on hard earned retirement plans are a direct hit on the middle class and his big government spending will saddle all Americans with crushing debt for decades to come. Also, as a reminder, the middle class has significantly shrunk since 2009 and the poverty rate has increased as a result of President Obama's 'redistribution of wealth' economic policies...While the Obama administration has trumpeted job growth in recent months, the middle class is taking home a shrinking portion of the country's income..."
And, folks, no matter what this president tells you, that's the way it was planned. His policies, actually the policies of his handlers, are gutting the middle class while he stands up in front of the public and tells us all how concerned he is for the preservation of the middle class. His only real "concern" with the middle class is that he has not been able to obliterate it completely--but not to worry--he's working on that and he's got two more years to work on it before he turns the reins of power over to Hillary, who, the One World Government people hope will finish the job if he doesn't.
Folks, stop listening to what these political con artists tell you and start to watch and analyze what they are doing to you. That's where the action really is.
by Al Benson Jr.
Let me start off by saying that I am not a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I have no Confederate ancestors of which I am aware. The closest I can come is being a member of the Friends of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which group I joined a couple years back when I was finally able to get information about it.
Those who know me also know that my sympathies are and have been with the South and the Old Confederacy. If that makes me a "racist" (a Trotskyite term) in the eyes of some folks, well, I guess that's tough. "Those people" have a right to be offended by my views just as much as I have a right to be offended by theirs, which I am.
Any student of history realizes that the Old South was not perfect (which its detractors seem to think it should have been) anymore than the Old North was. But I have noticed over the decades that the defenders of the North rather seem to gloss over their own sins (which in many cases were the same as those of the South) while denigrating the South for what they, themselves, have also done. Let's be honest and admit that all men, North, South, or anywhere else, are sinners, in need of the grace of Jesus Christ to make us forgiven sinners. Many in the South recognize this, while many in the North seem intent upon dethroning God and replacing Him with themselves. Just for the record, I was born in the North, so I am not referring to all Northern folks when I say this. There are lots of good Northern folks in the country who detest the direction we have gone in and are still going in just like Southerners, in fact, some have the same mindset as Southerners--and, unfortunately, I have run across some Southerners who are ashamed of being Southerners and try to wrap themselves in Abe Lincoln and his bloodstained banner.
Where we live there are several SCV camps in the area. My wife and I have gone to meetings at several of them and I have even been invited to speak at some of them. I can tell them things about Lincoln and his Marxist buddies they never learned in public school, nor will their kids ever learn there.
I have read Stephen Dill Lee's Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans
and some things have sort of jumped out at me. Lt. General Lee started off with: To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the Cause for which we fought.
There are other worthwhile goals mentioned, but it seems to me that this is one of the most important. The SCV (as should all Southerners, along with some of us Copperheads) is to vindicate the Cause for which their fathers fought. That cause is under attack today as never before. The Marxist originators of Cultural Genocide and Political Correctness have worked overtime for decades now to convince Southerners that their cause is tainted by the stain of slavery and that's really all they seceded for and sought to preserve. It hardly needs to be said that such Political Correctness is a crock full of some excremental material I will not mention. All you have to do regarding the slavery question is to read Donnie Kennedy's book Myths of American Slavery
to find out how involved the North was in the slave trade. Check out how many of the original 13 colonies had slavery at some point. That's not what your average Southerner fought for, and even some Yankees had to admit that they fought for what they considered to be "preserving the Union" and they had no interest in slavery one way or the other. Little did they realize that their leaders were destroying the Union they thought they were preserving--and using them to do it.
I've noted some things the SCV has done over the years, preserving and marking the graves of Confederate soldiers and putting flags on them in commemoration. That's a good thing--but it's not enough--and that seems to be all that some are willing to do. It seems to me that a lot more needs to be done to vindicate the Cause for which the Confederates fought. Some SCV camps do try to do more. From what I have heard, some don't. Decorating Confederate graves, important as that is, doesn't seem to me to be enough of a vindication.
I've gone to SCV meetings where the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag is recited during the meeting. I don't doubt for a minute the sincerity of these folks, and maybe it's just my Copperhead sentiments, but I have a hard time with the Pledge of Allegiance. I have not said it for years at any meeting of any kind that I go to where they recite it. Given that this Pledge was written by a Northern Socialist who was asked to leave the church he preached in because of his overt socialism, and who doted on the "one nation indivisible" bit, I don't think this Pledge really belongs in an SCV meeting. I've even gone to churches where it was recited as part of the service, and I don't think it belongs there either. If you want to offer some kind of salute to the Christian flag that's fine. But the Christian flag and the US flag are antithetical one to the other.
It just seems to me, and this is only my opinion, for the SCV to vindicate the cause for which Confederate soldiers fought, there needs to be some sort of educational agenda or process at work by the SCV noting those ideas and values for which the South fought, and taking note of what they fought against. In some places such is true and SCV camps do try to educate people, beginning with their own, as to what the War was really fought over. It seems to me that this educational effort needs to be a part of the SCV's overall program. It may be so and I am just not aware, but having some sort of brief lesson plan for new members as to what the War was fought over might be helpful.
The last sentence of the Charge is just as important as the first. It says:Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.
I wonder how many Southerners, even in the SCV, realize how terribly important that is. The true history of the South is almost never presented anymore, especially not in most schools, and, at the university level--forget it! Many colleges today are way too busy teaching their students how to feel guilty over being white, or for having Southern accents. Real, accurate Southern history only gets in the way of the Marxist agenda. A question we might ask, and I have asked, is "why do you still send your kids to these schools?"
I have yet to get a satisfactory answer.
From all that I can discern, Lt. General Lee's Charge is, or should be, extremely important, not only to the SCV, but to all concerned Southern folks. It's important to me and I wasn't born here, but I live here now and the South is home. If we don't take the time to vindicate the Cause for which the South fought and make sure the kids here get the right history instead of the Marxist propaganda that's out there, then our Cause (it's mine, too) will be lost and it may be centuries before it is retrieved.Part 2: Some Minor Disturbance Over What Stephen Dill Lee Really Said
by Al Benson Jr.
It seems that my most recent article about Stephen Dill Lee's Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans
stirred up a minor tempest in the proverbial teapot. Within 24 hours of its being posted, replies came from several sources that said that "Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations" was not a part of Lee's original address. Some friends of mine did some checking and it appears they may be correct on that one point, though I took the quote from an SCV web site. So if I got it wrong so did they. It seems that this particular portion of his Charge had the wording changed to this in 1906 and it reflected something other that what Lt. General Lee said, sort of a compromise in semantics, if you will, a slight toning down of the original wording.
At any rate, as I quoted from what was apparently the 1906 version rather than the original, I stand corrected.
There seems to be, even today, a bit of a fuss over how this terminology was parsed out and what was really said. There are those who will argue for historical correctness, and that's okay. I strive for that myself, even though I don't always get it perfect. However, what we often end up with in disagreements like this is a situation where those who have gotten a particular quote, or whatever, correct will never go any further than their historical argument, and it's usually an armchair argument rather than an active one.
I've followed SCV "politics" like I have the politics of many groups over the years and I know enough to realize that there are factions within the SCV that argue about what the organization should be doing. Some want it to be merely an organization that puts flowers and flags on Confederate graves and keeps the lawns at Confederate cemeteries mowed, with little or nothing beyond that. Others want the SCV to take a much more activist role in presenting historical truth and contending for that truth. I guess, were I able to officially belong to the SCV, I would belong to the latter group rather than the former.
Over the years some have felt I was a bit too much of an activist, and often they were not hesitant to let me know that. Maybe that's why I never quit being one. Seems to me if you believe in something and feel it is worth defending or fighting for then its worth doing at actively as long as you can. My wife and I have supported and acted in behalf of several causes over the years of our married life, and always felt they were connected at the theological level even though the connection might not be apparent at other levels to most people. We can no longer do this as actively as we once did. Age and medical conditions slow one down, but on the other hand we are not ready to lie down and concede defeat either. Helping to prepare another generation to take up the fight is also important. After all, as Christians, we have a multi-generational worldview and where we have, by God's grace sown some seed, others will, also by God's grace, come along to water.
So, in a sense, arguing over Lt. General Lee's exact wording in his Charge over 100 years ago, while it is important to get it right, really begs the question. And the question still is, What should the SCV be doing?
What was the original intent of the organization? If it was only to decorate graves, then I guess we could paraphrase Scripture and ask "Do not even the Yankee/Marxists do the same?" And some of them don't really have to do anymore, because their grandfathers wrote the "history" books didn't they? Yet they are not content to just let it lie, but rather they turn out a continuous stream of political correct invective that relentlessly attacks all things Southern and Confederate.
If the Confederate Battle Flag was only a flag for grave tenders then why did the NAACP so vehemently attack it several years ago and stir up a firestorm over it? Of course many of us realize the NAACP membership was flagging and they needed a whipping boy to drum up support for the politically correct shock troops and to enrich the coffers, but was that the only reason? Why do the politically correct Marxists (and they are Marxists) continue to attack the flag and Southern heritage even today? It seems to me that the SCV, as well as other Southern and Confederate groups, has an adversary that is determined to stamp out everything they ever stood for. And if that's the case, then just tending your ancestors' graves isn't enough. If that is, indeed, the case, then you better learn how to rise up from tending the graves of your honored dead and learn how to fight back. If you are willing to just sit back and let the Cultural Genocide crowd run all over you while you are trying to be "nice" then you are--well, I can't say what you are--it would probably get my blog tossed off the Internet.
It seems that the SCV, like other groups, has to decide which was it's going to go. Personally, I was never in favor of letting my adversaries stomp all over me if they were Marxists. With other Christians, and other well-meaning folks you can often agree to disagree and let it go at that. You can't do that with Marxists, or with any of the leftist crowd. There is no peaceful co-existence with them except on their terms and anyone with an ounce of sense won't play that game.
All you need to is to check out the political persuasions of those who practice Cultural Genocide on the South and you will see what I mean--all the way from the political left, to the educational left, to the Evangelical left--they are all leftists, and as such, your destruction, culturally and otherwise, is their goal.
So whatever Lt. General Lee's Charge did or didn't say, the SCV has to consider the question of what they are going to do to deal with their Cultural Marxist adversaries. That is the ultimate question for all the various groups that would defend the South, Southern tradition and history, including the Confederate States, or the Southern way of life.
Start by learning who your enemies are. Learn how to expose them. Then learn how to oppose them, because just tending the graves of your ancestors, as important as that is (and I don't discourage that) is not going to cut the mustard in the days to come and any organization that proposes to do that and nothing else, has got major problems.PART 3: Comments by the Board of the Confederate Society Mr. Benson, once again, has been most prolific in his writing herein relating to the SCV charge. Al Benson and I go back many years in this Confederate Society that was formed to Stay a Course few ‘OTHERS’ have; that a ‘couple of notable’ ones has clearly ‘departed’ from. His comments herein raise serious questions relative to the SCV ‘High Command’ that I refer to as its Hierarchy. Stephen D. Hill’s charge to Those who would follow, what I declare was our Christian Army’s attempt to STOP & PREVENT the Political & covert madness of that time, NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED! He said, and it is as Direct as it is Basic, this: “To YOU, Sons of Confederate Veterans, WE Commit the Vindication of the Cause for which WE FOUGHT!” His last comment within that that same ‘frame’ was this: “ Remember, it is YOUR DUTY to see that the True History of the South is presented to future generations.” Well damn it- HAS IT? So this I would ask of the Many SCV Camps- HAS your vaunted Hierarchy FOLLOWED THROUGH ON THAT CHARGE or, have they given you Lip Service more impressed with the medals they put on themselves and their ‘appointed’ lieutenants? This is NOT going to sit well with the Hierarchy but this is NOT the Society’s first ‘rodeo’ with them. As we have stated in earlier communiques & underscored by those Southern Sons & former members of the SCV who, as we, when challenging said Hierarchy, were put ‘out to pasture’ for questioning their Commitment to the Charge given them by Stephen Lee! The NAACP’S literal Declaration of War, issued in 1991, against ALL things Southern & Confederate WENT UN-ADDRESSED BY THE SCV -HIERARCHY THEN AND HAS REMAINED UN-ADDRESSED BY EACH ‘Succeeding Hierarchy’ since. When it was proposed by the True & Dedicated Confederate Sons that an assembly of said Sons be bused by the thousands to the Headquarters of the NAACP immediately following their Declaration of War/Genocide, said proposal was Flat-Out rejected by the Hierarchy. Let us NOT mix words here- So what is their purpose- another medal upon the chest of their cronies while the Leadership promotes themselves flying around the country while ‘ROME’ (the South), continues to BURN? Who, YOU MUST ASK, has stayed the Course and WHO has NOT? There is NO MORE time for Waffling. Either YOU are part of the Eat, Meet & Retreat Crowd or, YOU ARE A SOUTHERN VINDICATOR of YOUR ANCESTORS CHARGE! Y’all can’t have it BOTH ways! Let me close by paraphrasing Cicero- ‘Beware those who walk among us, wear our attire and speak our tongue while subverting the purpose of Our Founders!’Lastly, and in regards to what Cicero said, let me ask y’all this question as fewer of us remain who know what REALLY HAPPENED:
* Who do YOU think was behind the efforts to change the Georgia (’56 version) State Flag and held closed-door meetings with Governor Barnes at the time?
* And Who, likewise, do you think was behind the efforts to remove the Battle Flag from atop the Capitol Dome in South Carolina holding, similarly, closed-door meetings with Governor Hodges at the time? Remember what Cicero said and I would suggest Y’all start to ‘Investigate’ EACH of those questions yourself and, afterwards, ask this in conclusion: Has the Cause for which We Fought been Vindicated? WHO has truly been Representing It and WHO has NOT? Last I noted we continue to remain under attack as evidenced by the Removal of Our Flags in General Robert E. Lee’s chapel at his ‘university’ because 6 ‘Al Sharpton’s’ didn’t like them! Once YOU show your back to the enemy, it is NOT long thereafter they are planting their ‘under-sized’ foot up YOUR A _ _,….while Stealing Our Country from us! For, God, Family and the Restoration of the Original Republic, Craig Maus, President, The Confederate Society of America- and let it be NEVER FORGOTTEN- WE HAVE NEVER ONCE WAFFLED ON TELLING ANY & ALL WHO WE ARE- CONFEDERATES- while others have made ‘excuses’ for Non-Engagement & the NON-USE of the very word ITSELF.And a response from another Confederate Society board member:
Al and all concerned,
The inscription on the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery reads: Not for Fame or Reward, Not for Place or Rank Not Lured by Ambition Or Goaded By Necessity But in Simple Obedience to Duty As They Understood It These Men Suffered All Sacrificed All Dared All - And Died
I have this inscription laminated on a card, which I keep with me at all times. It speaks to the "interrogation mark" mentioned in General Stephen D. Lee's 1906 speech to the United Confederate Veterans in New Orleans, La. I mention this because Lee's speech is laced with interrogations that challenge not only men descended from Confederate Veterans, but "all brave people from the South and all true-hearted Americans everywhere."
That said, your article comes exactly one year to the day I answered a post regarding the "Charge", specifically how the SCV had eliminated a long-accepted phrase (part of S.D. Lee's speech) in exchange for a "softened" phrase not
originally part of Lee's address in New Orleans.
The previous phrase, as taken from Lee's actual address read, " Are you also ready to die for your country? Is your life worthy to be remembered along with theirs? Do you choose for yourself this greatness of soul?” “Not in the clamor of the crowded street. Not in the shouts of and plaudits of the throng, But in ourselves are triumph and defeat”
was replaced with, "Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations”.
Since Lee himself charged the Sons with being guardians of Confederate Veteran history, they are duty bound to set the standard for historical accuracy (where they have failed too often) and make sure only Lee's words
are used when invoking any written part
of his speech. Revisionism should have no place within the institution. Would we also abolish / replace phrases from the Declaration of Independence? I think not, unless the purpose was to alter the original
message and its purpose.
After my comments last year, I received a response by then SCV Lt. CiC Charles Kelly Barrow, who provided documentation from a 2003 SCV internal investigation regarding the origins of the "Charge."
Barrow's research concluded the origins, based upon Lee's speech as published in the 1906 Minutes of the United Confederate Veterans pages 30-35, along with word for word printing in the local The Daily Picayune
and The Daily States
based on the "Minutes" speech given by Lee, is the true Charge. A somewhat "legal" review was provided by Chuck Rand, who at that time served as the Historian-in-Chief, and can be read by the attached Word file. His report supported Barrow, and concluded the "Charge" contained in the 1906 Confederate Veteran
magazine was not accurate. Before continuing, you should read Rand's attached report first.
Once you've read Rand's report, please read the below actual speech by Stephen D. Lee as contained in the "minutes" of the 1906 United Confederate Veteran Reunion. Put yourself in the moment, and remember Lee is speaking to both a group and individuals: https://archive.org/stream/proceedingsseria03unit#page/n483/mode/2up
Now, here's the real rub: Instead of adhering and executing the "total concept" of the General's speech, the SCV gets bogged-down debating what fragments to use as a "mission statement", which is nothing more than PC window dressing. In doing so, they have emasculated their true role. They obviously choose a reserved posture by hiding behind a limited section, ignoring the full complement of tenets plainly outlined by Lee.
Here's a contrast and comparison. Today's preferred "Charge" to the SCV - with the revisionists last line: To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.
Now the "Charge" as written in the 1906 Confederate Veteran
magazine: To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Are you also ready to die for your country? Is your life worthy to be remembered along with theirs? Do you choose for yourself this greatness of soul? Not in the clamor of the crowded street, Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, But in ourselves are triumph and defeat.
Which version is more bold? Which version is more challenging? Which version appears less committal, and which is a true "interrogation mark?" Which version best reflects the "preferred virtues" of the Confederate Veteran? Which one would YOU choose?
As a retired military man, I have a theory / understanding as to why the 1906 magazine's version was different from the 1906 "minutes" version. The United Confederate Veterans purposely encapsulated those phrases of Lee's speech as an oath- challenge to the Sons, much like the inscription on the monument in Arlington. Those phrases resonated well among the Veterans, and they wanted to make sure those who followed understood not only what they endured / suffered, but understood what was expected of them as the future caretakers of the institution. To hold the baton they were passing meant a willingness to exhibit the same sacrifice - an individual and collective sacrifice to speak and stand for those who could no longer.
I'm reminded of what a South Carolina friend once wrote of General James Pettigrew, ""More than all he loved liberty…but he felt that to love liberty was an empty mockery, unless that love was exhibited in the sacrifice which its acquisition requires. With him to be free, was to be prepared for and to engage in the struggle it demands.”
Jimmy WardPART 4: THE CHARGE REVISITED
During the last few years the issue of the exact text of “The Charge” given to the Sons of Confederate Veterans has been the subject of debate within some circles in the SCV. This issue was first addressed by then Historian In Chief Charles Kelly Barrow in the November/December 2003 issue of the Confederate Veteran
resulting in a number of letters to the editor on the subject. I, in my role of Historian In Chief, have been conducting further research into this issue. In this article I will present a synopsis of the earlier information presented, the new evidence that has been found and will give my conclusions to what the exact text of The Charge is based on the evidence. DEFINITION OF THE QUESTION
As a starting point I will present the opposing opinions as to what is the exact statement of “The Charge” of Gen. S. D. Lee.
It appears there are three versions of The Charge in common use. The first, which I will call the Minutes Charge, is that which is contained in the Minutes of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting and Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans Held in the City of New Orleans, LA. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday April 25th, 26th, and 27th.
The second version, which I will call the Magazine Charge, is that which is printed in the Confederate Veteran
magazine of June 1906 and the third I will designate as the History Charge. The three versions are given below: The Minutes Charge
-“To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be give the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved, and which you also cherish, and those ideals which made him glorious, and which you also cherish.”
This is the entire paragraph pertaining to the Sons of Confederate Veterans from the speech of Gen. S. D. Lee as taken from the 1906 minutes of the United Confederate Veterans pages 30-35. The paragraph previous to that quoted above is a charge to the Memorial Association and the paragraph following is a charge to the Daughters of the Confederacy. The entire speech, as taken from the minutes, was reproduced in Historian Barrow’s article in November/December 2003 issue of the Confederate Magazine.
In the interests of space it will not be reproduced in its entirety here but I urge anyone interested in this topic to read the entire speech as printed in the Confederate Veteran
cited above. The Magazine Charge
-“To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be give the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved, and which you also cherish, and those ideals which made him glorious, and which you also cherish. Are you also ready to die for your country? Is your life worthy to be remembered along with theirs? Do you choose for yourself this greatness of soul?”
“Not in the clamor of the crowded street.”
“Not in the shouts of and plaudits of the throng,”
“But in ourselves are triumph and defeat.”
This comes from the June 1906 Confederate Veteran
pages 245-255 where the magazine version of Gen. Lee’s speech is printed. The History Charge
-“To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be give the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved, and which you also cherish, and those ideals which made him glorious, and which you also cherish. Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations”.
As you can see each version in common use today is similar and is comprised of the Minutes Charge with a different ending added after the word cherish.
I have found no document contemporary to the 1906 United Confederate Veterans (UCV) or the United Sons of Confederate Veterans (USCV) reunions that contains the History Charge. Since there appears to be no document that ties the History Charge to the 1906 Reunion of UCV or USCV it will be dismissed as a contender for being the “True Charge”. If any evidence that ties the History Charge to the 1906 Reunion is found, the dismissal of the History Charge will be reconsidered.
At this point we have the Minutes Charge and the Magazine Charge as the two choices for the “True Charge”. In his earlier article on this subject Historian In Chief Barrow concluded that The Charge as given by the UCV Minutes for their 1906 reunion was the authoritative version of the Charge. This conclusion is based on the minutes being a primary source and that the minutes represent the official record of the proceedings of the UCV. THE PREVIOUS DEBATE
Historian Barrow’s conclusion was disputed in a letter to the editor (January/February 2004 Confederate Veteran
pages 6-7) by Compatriot Kevin Spargur, a proponent of the Magazine Charge, who took issue with the UCV Minutes being used as authoritative exclusive to other primary sources. Compatriot Spargur stated that the Confederate Veteran
is also a primary source and “became the official voice and organ for the rank and file membership”. On this basis, in part, he concluded the Magazine Version of the Charge is the correct version.
Historian Barrow pointed out in a rebuttal to Compatriot Spargur’s letter (Confederate Veteran
March/April 2004 edition pages 58-59) that other primary sources exist that support the Minutes Charge. These other primary sources being two New Orleans newspapers, The Daily Picayune
and The Daily States
, that printed the text of Gen. Lee’s speech during the 1906 reunion (along with other information about the Reunion). The speech, as printed by these newspapers, corresponds word for word to that given in the 1906 minutes of the United Confederate Veterans.
Compatriot Spargur is correct when he says the June 1906 Confederate Veteran
states that it speaks for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The 1906 Confederate Veteran
says that it:
United Confederate Veterans
United Daughters of the Confederacy
Sons of Veterans and Other Organizations
Confederated Southern Memorial Association”
Compatriot Spargur also disputed Historian Barrow’s conclusion that the Minutes Charge is the correct charge based on the statement in Historian Barrow’s article that the Sons were not present when Gen. Lee gave his speech and did not enter the room where the UCV was assembled until the speech was concluded. On this point the 1906 UCV Minutes state on pages 34 and 35:
“In the meantime the Sons had arrived. They remained outside until the conclusion of General Lee’s address, and then marched in, Commander Thomas McA. Owen of Montgomery, Ala. In the lead, headed by a band. Each officer was accompanied by a beautiful young lady, a sponsor or maid, and their appearance was the signal for the greatest enthusiasm yet manifested in the Convention. The younger generation should feel proud of the tender sentiments manifested toward them by their sires. When the band played “See the Conquering Hero Comes” the old veterans went wild in their enthusiasm and applause.”
“When the officers had found place upon the platform, General Lee made a few remarks, in which he paid a handsome tribute to their loyalty to the Lost Cause, and said they were in every way worthy to carry on the historical campaign when the older men were all gone.”
“Commander Owen was then presented to the assemblage, and was given a most enthusiastic greeting, when he responded to the address of welcome. He spoke briefly and extemporaneously, but there was the fire of eloquence and feeling in what he said, and it evoked the greatest enthusiasm. He spoke of the work which the Sons had undertaken and pledged them to carry it forward and hand down the burden to posterity, so that the descendants of those who fought the valiant fight for the Lost Cause would look upon them in their true light, as men who fought for principal and for the Constitution of the United States, and not as rebels.”
From the above we can see that the 1906 minutes of the United Confederate Veterans reunion state that the Sons were not in the hall when Gen. Lee gave his speech. NEW EVIDENCE FOUND
Further research has been conducted by consulting a recently obtained original copy of the Minutes of the Eleventh Annual Reunion of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans in the City of New Orleans, LA. April 25, 26, 27, 1906.
These minutes state the following on pages 58 and 59:
“Recess for Joint Session with the Veterans”
“The hour having arrived for the convention to attend the Veterans in their hall for a brief joint session, the meeting was declared in recess for that purpose. A committee from Camp Beauregard had in the meantime arrived to advise that the Veterans were in waiting. A procession was promptly formed, and, preceded by a band, the entire convention marched to the Auditorium. The company extended for more than four blocks and presented a thrilling and brilliant spectacle. On arriving Gen. Stephen D. Lee was engaged in the delivery of his address, in consequence of which a short delay in entering was necessitated. As General Lee closed the signal was given, and, in the midst of rousing cheers and to the strains of stirring music the Sons marched to the platform and to seats assigned them. General Lee, trembling with emotion, extended his hand to the Commander-In-Chief of the Sons, and repeated that paragraph of his speech which related to them
. The response to this greeting was to have been delivered by Dr. Clarence J. Owens of Alabama, but he was unable to be present owing to a delayed train. The Commander-In-Chief, Dr. Thomas M. Owen, therefore responded, pledging the earnest, continuous and faithful loyalty of the Sons to the principals and motives for which the fathers had fought from 1861 to 1865.”(emphasis added). We can see that the minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans from the 1906 Reunion confirm the information in the 1906 minutes of the United Confederate Veterans that the Sons were not in the auditorium when Gen. Lee gave his entire speech, but were waiting for its conclusion before they entered the UCV meeting.
However, the minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans expand on this point stating that Gen. Lee repeated for the Sons the “paragraph of his speech which related to them
” when the Sons entered the UCV meeting room. One must conclude that the “paragraph” denotes the one which begins with “To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans...” as this is the paragraph in the speech most directly referring to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
However, this raises a question: Which version of the Charge - the Minutes or Magazine version - do the 1906 minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans print as being the charge given to the Sons by Gen. S. D. Lee?
The 1906 minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans prints, on the 4th page, the following: “Commission to the Sons. To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate Soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principals which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Commander-in-Chief U.C.V., at the Reunion in New Orleans, La., April 25, 1906.”
The above commission matches the Minutes Charge word for word and provides the citation that it was from the speech of Gen. Lee given at the 1906 U.C.V. Reunion. We now have the same charge given in both the 1906 minutes of the United Confederate Veterans and the 1906 minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans.
It is noteworthy that the “Commission” is the only item on the page where it appears in the 1906 minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans and is at the beginning of the minute book - evidently showing that the United Sons of Confederate Veterans considered it to be an important statement to give it such prominent and solitary placing.
From the above we see that the 1906 minutes of both the UCV and the USCV support the assertion that the Minutes Charge is the charge give by Gen. Lee and that, while the Sons were not in the room for the entire speech, The Charge or the Commission was repeated for them by Gen. Lee once the Sons arrived and entered the UCV meeting. THE AUTHORITY OF MINUTES
Research on how minutes are legally regarded as compared to other documents has been conducted by Judge Advocate in Chief Burl McCoy. JAG McCoy found in the Federal Rules of Evidence that minutes are considered to have a higher degree of reliability than other documents relating to the actions of an organization as they are considered to be an “original writing” and are thus taken to be more authoritative than other sources such as magazine articles, news paper accounts and other documents.
Parliamentarian in Chief Jesse Binnall stated that the minutes of an organization are the official record of the actions and proceedings of the organization and are thus more authoritative than any other document which may describe the actions or proceedings in a convention or meeting where minutes are taken.
From the information above we can see that from a parliamentary and legal stand point the minutes of the UCV and USCV are the most authoritative sources we have available and should be given the most weight compared to other sources in judging what version of The Charge should be considered to have been given by Gen. S.D. Lee at the 1906 UCV Convention.
We should also note that Gen. S. D. Lee was not simply a speaker at the UCV convention. He was the sitting Commander In Chief of the United Confederate Veterans and the minutes that were published after the 1906 UCV Convention were done so under his authority and direction as evidenced by his name appearing on the cover of the 1906 UCV Convention minutes. It seems very unlikely that Gen. S. D. Lee would publish comments under his name that he did not believe to be accurate. ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
During the last year the SCV has made an effort to begin cataloguing the SCV documents that are housed at the Mississippi State Archives in Jackson. As part of this effort, and during the course of finding other SCV records, additional documents using the Minutes Charge have been uncovered. These are:
The Henry D. Clayton Camp No. 432 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Birmingham, AL. reproduces the Minutes Charge on the application. The interior of the application shows that it was made to be used between the years 1910 and 1919 by the way the applicant it asked to fill out the last digit in the date which is given as 191_ .
The Year Book and Minutes of the Thirty-First Annual Convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the CITY OF BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA May 180-21, 1926
has on its cover the “Commission To The Sons” - the Minutes Charge - with the citation Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Commander-In-Chief, U.C.V., April 25, 1906.
In a similar manner the Year Book and Minutes of the Thirty Second Annual Convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans In the City of Tampa, Florida April 5-8,
1927 has the “Commission to the Sons” and citation identical to that of the 1926 minute book.
In 1951 the Sons of Confederate Veterans published an informational brochure about the purpose and work of the SCV and in that brochure the Minutes Charge is printed with the citation Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Commander-In-Chief, U.C.V., 1906.
The Program of the Sixty First Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans held in Norfolk, Virginia May 30-June 3, 1951 (the final UCV Reunion) contains on page 14 the Minutes Version of The Charge with the citation - Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Commander-In-Chief, U.C.V., 1906. The use of the Minutes Charge in this program is especially significant in that this was known, when the reunion was planned by the SCV, that this would be the final reunion of the United Confederate Veterans. One would expect that under these circumstances the SCV to take special care that The Charge used would be the most correct version of The Charge they knew. The Minutes Charge is what is printed in the program. It should be noted that the documents listed above constitute, essentially, a random sample of the documents found at the archives in Jackson, MS and other locations. What is interesting and important to note in regard to defining what the SCV has historically used as The Charge is that all these documents use the Minutes Charge and NO instances of the use of Magazine version of The Charge was found. These supporting documents date from 1910 to 1951.
One other item of minor note is that the word “commit” has been changed to “submit” in the supporting documents. This is likely the result of a typo that has been repeated over the years. However the use of “commit” or “submit” has not been the subject of dispute. Both the Minutes Charge and the Magazine Charge use the word “commit”. CONCLUSIONS
There are strong opinions among some members of the SCV about what exact text of The Charge given by General S.D. Lee is. Some firmly believe it as given in the Confederate Veteran
magazine in June of 1906. Others believe it is that version ending with “Remember it is your duty to see that the True History of the South is presented to future generations.” Others hold to the version of The Charge in the 1906 UCV Minutes. However, regardless of what version of The Charge we may find more appealing, we owe it to ourselves, as members of an organization dedicated to the preservation of history, to resolve the question of what version of The Charge was given by General S. D. Lee at the 1906 Reunion.
While I personally like the poetry of the Magazine Charge and the clear directive as to what our duty is as given in the History Charge, I am lead to the conclusion that The Charge as found in the 1906 UCV and 1906 USCV minutes is the actual Charge spoken to the Sons by Gen. S. D. Lee at the 1906 reunion of the United Confederate Veterans. This conclusion is based on the fact that minutes are the most authoritative source concerning the proceedings of an organization, that the two sets of minutes are consistent with and support one another, that there are other primary sources (the newspapers) that reported The Charge as given in the minutes and that there are a number of supporting documents that have been found also using the Minutes Charge. On this basis I conclude that the “True Charge” is: “To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be give the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved, and which you also cherish, and those ideals which made him glorious, and which you also cherish.” - Gen S. D. Lee, Commander-In-Chief U.C.V., April 25, 1906. PART 5: Final thoughts by Jimmy Ward
I was very excited to learn of the existence of the SCV back in 1984. I had dropped off a Marine buddy in Columbia, SC where I came across a small gathering (I presume it was a Confederate Memorial service) of SCV members. I spoke with them and decided maybe one day I would join. Several years later, when our unit returned home following a year extension due to Desert Storm in the summer of 1991, I received a call from my Dad - this was early 1992. He informed me of the NAACP resolution issued in 1991 and it was then we both agreed to join the fight against heritage / historical cleansing. At least we thought there would be a fight.
In my eyes, after the NAACP declared war against the Confederate Battle Flag (and by extension all vestiges connected to the Southern Confederacy), I felt a dual calling - serving in the Marine Corps and serve my Southland against a modern-day invasion. Because of our Confederate ancestry, my father and I felt "enlisting" in the SCV was the way to go. It didn't take long for us to realize, "Boy, what were we thinking."
With exception of a few Camps and members, the SCV high command was only going to wield paper tigers instead of something more substantial. It was evident when we first joined till the day we both left the organisation, that the SCV was ruled by title-seeking, self-aggrandizing politicians who thrived on cronyism and petty politics. One group would call this group "grannies" and the pettiness went back and forth. When the dust settled, a "granny" was replaced with a "granny" - all the while the NAACP and their army continued to march throughout our beloved Southland with their modern-day "scorched earth" anti-Confederate campaign.
Instead of uniting the organisation and joining others to form a Confederate alliance, these flagpole climbers used the SCV to pad a résumé while creating their own internal "club" of roundtable circle jerks. It was more important to these narcissistic scalawags to engage in political jockeying and campaign strategy for office rather than use that energy to construct, fund, and execute a plan against an enemy hell-bound to eradicate the foundation of the SCV. All suggestions and solutions to the SCV hierarchy to prosecute this heinous action by the NAACP was met with either gutless excuses or silence.
These so-called "leaders" actually borrowed pages from the Marxist playbook - never letting a "crisis go to waste" and use it as a campaign tool to advance themselves - knowing full well their "heritage defense" rhetoric was a ruse to lure members into a false serenity. Even more egregious is many of them collaborate with Sons of Union Veterans, Civil War roundtables, and other PC societies to "soften" historical events so we appear evolved to the Marxist, which is nothing more than submission. Top that off with the way they resemble a Russian czar by the way they sport their "geegaws", and you have both fools stealing the heroics of their Confederate ancestors by riding their coattails - which in my book qualifies as stolen valor - and the "enemy within."
During my tenure in the SCV, the SCV hierarchy proved to be the antithesis to the message conveyed by Stephen D. Lee in 1906. We had high hopes the SCV would be the bull of the Southern heritage pasture. But they put their "I", "me", "my" personal ambitions and the organisations tax-exempt status ahead of what "we" should be doing to fulfill our duty and obligation as commanded by Lee and those Confederate Veterans who truly gave all so we could enjoy "Southern pride" that stems from a noble history. What a disappointment. These turncoats give new meaning to SCV - Scalawag Conniving Vermin.
In 1937, a movie came out called "They Won't Forget." Early in the movie, there is a scene that portrays Confederate Veterans preparing for a Confederate Memorial service. One of the Confederates turns to his comrades and says, "You think there will come a time when folks will forget about us?" Another answers, "If they do, we'll crawl out of our graves and remind them."
If those men knew how badly the SCV powers that be have betrayed them and could crawl from their graves, they wouldn't do any reminding - they'd be shooting the hierarchy for desertion.