Was the Confederacy the multicultural paradise of ethnic harmony that certain weak-kneed and thin-blooded Southern imposters now claim? These self-professed experts have propounded the misleading notion. Perhaps the best way to answer this question is to see what the leaders of the Confederacy themselves had to say...
John C. Calhoun U.S. Senator from South Carolina and Southern Statesman
Jefferson Davis U.S. Senator and President, Confederate States of America
Alexander Stephens Vice-President, Confederate States of America
Robert E. Lee Commanding General, Army of Northern Virginia, CSA
Confederate Leaders Robert Hunter, Howell Cobb, Robert Kean, Robert Toombs
Confederate Military Gen. Joseph O Shelby, Gen. James Patton Anderson, Capt. H. W. Henry
Robert L. Dabney Chaplain to Stonewall Jackson, author of In Defense of Virginia and the South
Southern Newspapers Charleston Mercury and Daily Richmond Examiner
Mary Boykin Chesnut Southern lady, author of A Diary From Dixie
Texas Declaration of Secession Selected Text
Secession Documents for Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas
Senator Clemens Speech on the floor of the Senate, 1849
James Buchanan Fifteenth President of the United States
Andrew Johnson Seventeenth President of the United States
Margaret Mitchell Author of Gone With the Wind
Frank Owsley Southern Agrarian, author of "The Irrepressible Conflict" in I'll Take My Stand
Richard Weaver Southern scholar of the mid 20th Century
Theodore B. Bilbo, U.S. Senator from Mississippi
Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States
John Jay Coauthor, along with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, of The Federalist Papers
Sen. Rebecca Latimer Felton, U.S. Senator from Georgia
John C. Calhoun
"If...(emancipation) should be effected, it will be through the agency of the federal government, controlled by the dominant power of the Northern states... against the resistance and struggle of the Southern. It can then only be effected by the prostration of the white race; and that would necessarily engender the bitterest feelings of hostility between them and the North. But the reverse would be the case between the blacks of the South and the people of the North. Owing their emancipation to them, they would regard them as friends, guardians, and patrons... The people of the North would not fail to reciprocate and to favor them, instead of the whites."-John C. Calhoun (1849)
…it is without example or precedent, wither to hold Mexico as a province, or to incorporate her into our Union. No example of such a line of policy can be found. We have conquered many of the neighboring tribes of Indians, but we have never thought of holding them in subjection—never of incorporating them into our Union. They have either been left as an independent people amongst us, or been driven into the forests.
I know further, sir, that we have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race—the free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union as that! Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race. The greatest misfortunes of Spanish America are to be traced to the fatal error of placing these colored races on an equality with the white race. That error destroyed the social arrangement which formed the basis of society. The Portuguese and ourselves have escaped—the Portuguese at least to some extent—and we are the only people on this continent which have made revolutions without being followed by anarchy. And yet it is professed and talked about to erect these Mexicans into a Territorial Government, and place them on an equality with the people of the United States. I protest utterly against such a project.
Sir, it is a remarkable fact, that in the whole history of man, as far as my knowledge extends, there is no instance whatever of any civilized colored races being found equal to the establishment of free popular government, although by far the largest portion of the human family is composed of these races. And even in the savage state we scarcely find them anywhere with such government, except it be our noble savages—for noble I will call them. They, for the most part, had free institutions, but they are easily sustained among a savage people. Are we to overlook this fact? Are we to associate with ourselves as equals, companions, and fellow-citizens, the Indians and mixed race of Mexico? Sir, I should consider such a thing as fatal to our institutions.
Resignation speech to the U.S. Senate, 1861
"[Mississippi] has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races. That Declaration of Independence is to be construed by the circumstances and purposes for which it was made. . .[It made] no reference to the slave; else, how happened it that among the items of arraignment against George III was that he endeavored to do just what the North has been endeavoring of late to do, to stir up insurrection among our slaves? . . .When our Constitution was formed. . .we find provision made for that very class of persons as property; they were not put upon the footing of equality with white men?not even upon that of paupers and convicts..."
"As for my Savannah speech, about which so much has been said and in regard to which I am represented as setting forth "slavery" as the "cornerstone" of the Confederacy, it is proper for me to state that that speech was extemporaneous. The reporter's notes, which were very imperfect, were hastily corrected by me; and were published without futher revision and with several glaring errors. The substance of what I said on slavery was, that on the points under the old Constitution out of which so much discussion, agitation, and strife between the States had arisen, no future contention could arise, as these had been put to rest by clear language. I did not say, nor do I think the reporter represented me as saying, that there was the slightest change in the new Constitution from the old regarding the status of the African race amongst us. (Slavery was without doubt the occasion of secession; out of it rose the breach of compact, for instance, on the part of several Northern States in refusing to comply with Constitutional obligations as to rendition of fugitives from service, a course betraying total disregard for all constitutional barriers and guarantees.)
I admitted that the fathers, both North and South, who framed the old Constitution, while recognizing exsisting slavery and guaranteeing its continuance under the Constitution so long as the States should severally see fit to tolerate it in their respective limits, were perhaps all opposed to the principle. Jefferson, Madison, Washington, all looked for its early extinction throughout the United States. But, on the subject of slavery?so called?(which was with us, or should be, nothing but the proper subordination of the inferior African race to the superior white) great and radical changes had taken place in the realm of thought; many eminent latter-day statesmen, philosophers, and philanthropists held different views from the fathers.
The patriotism of the fathers was not questioned, nor their ability and wisdom, but it devolved on the public men and statesmen of each generation to grapple with and solve the problems of their own times.
The relation of the black to the white race, or the proper status of the coloured population among us, was a question now of vastly more importance than when the old Constitution was formed. The order of subordination was nature's great law; philsophy taught that order as the normal condition of the African amongst European races. Upon this recognized principle of a proper subordination, let it be called slavery or what not, our State institutions were formed and rested. The new Confederation was entered into with this distinct understanding. This principle of the subordination of the inferior to the superior was the "corner-stone" on which it was formed. I used this metaphor merely to illustrate the firm convictions of the framers of the new Constitution that this relation of the black to the white race, which existed in 1787, was not wrong in itself, either morally or politically; that it was in conformity to nature and best for both races. I alluded not to the principles of the new Government on this subject, but to public sentiment in regard to these principles. The status of the African race in the new Constitution was left just where it was in the old; I affirmed and meant to affrim nothing else in this Savannah speech." - Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens: His Diary kept when a prisoner at Fort Warren, New York: Doubleday, Page and Co., 1910., pp 172-174, entry for 5 June 1866
Robert E. Lee
"The views of the [President] of the systematic and progressive efforts of certain people of the North to interfere with and change the domestic institutions of the South are truthfully and faithfully expressed. The consequences of their plans and purposes are also clearly set forth, and they must also be aware that their object is both unlawful and entirely foreign to them and their duty; for which they are irresponsible and unaccountable; and can only be accomplished by them through the agency of a civil and servile war.
"In this enlightened age, there are few I believe but what will acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil in any country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white than to the black race, and while my feelings are stronger enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially and physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race, and I hope will prepare and lead them to better things."-To his wife in 1854
"Unfortunately, too, the numerous deep estuaries, all accessible to their [Union] ships, expose the multitude of islands to their predatory excursions, and what they leave is finished by the negroes whos masters have deserted their plantations, subject to visitations by the enemy."-
Letter to daughter Annie, from Coosawatchie South Carolina 8 Dec 1861
"My own opinion is that, at this time, they cannot vote intelligently, and that giving them the right of suffrage would open the door to a great deal of demagogism, and lead to embarrassment in various ways. . .I think it would be better for Virginia if she could get rid of them. . .I have always thought so!" -R.E. Lee Feb 1866 response to the question "Do you not think that Virginia would be better off if the colored population would go to other Southern states?" answered before a US Congressional committee.
"The Radical party are likely to do a great deal of harm, for we wish now for good feeling to grow up between North and South, and the President, Mr. Johnson, has been doing much to strengthen the feeling in favor of the Union among us. The relations between the Negroes and the whites were friendly formerly, and would remain so if legislation be not passed in favor of the blacks, in a way that will only do them harm."-as told to the Marquess of Lorne, May 1866
"On the subject of slavery, he assured me that he had always been in favour of the emancipation of the negroes, and that in Virginia the feelings had been strongly inclining in the same direction, till the ill-judged enthusiasm (amounting to rancour) of the abolitionists in the North had thrned the Southern tide of feeling in the other direction. In Virginia, about thirty years ago, an ordinance for the emancipation of the slaves had been rejected by only a small majority, and every one fully expected at the next convention it would have been carried, but for the above cause. He went on to say that there was scarcely a Virginia now who was not glad that th esubjct had been definitely settled, though nearly all regretted that they had not been wise enough to do it themselves the first year of the war. . .The Englishman had told him that the working population [slaves at Shirley] were better cared for there than in any country he had ever visited..." -account of interview with Lee by Herbert C. Saunders of England, August 1866
"The one excuse for slavery which the South can plead without fear before the Judgement bar of God is the blacker problem which their emancipation will create."
"You will never prosper with the blacks, and it is abhorrent to a reflecting mind to be supporting and cherishing those who are plotting and working for your injury, and all of whose sympathies and associations are antagonistic to yours. I wish them no evil in the world ? on the contrary, will do them every good in my power, and know that they are misled by those to whom they have given their confidence; but our material, social, and political interests are naturally with the whites." - R..E. Lee to his son, R.E. Lee, Jr., March 12, 1868
"I have always observed that wherever you find the Negro, everything is going down around him, and wherever you find the white man, you see everything around him improving."-RE Lee to his cousin Col Thomas H. Carter June 1865
"Political power should not be placed in the hands of freedmen for obvious reasons."
"At present, the negroes have neither the intelligence nor the other qualifications which are necessary to make them depositories of political power."-Letter to William S. Rosecrans, September 1868 signed by Lee and 32 Southern statesmen including PGT Beauregard, Charles M. Conrad, Virginia Governor John Letcher, John R. Baldwin and James Lyons.
"Work is what we now require. Work by everybody and work especially by white hands."- 1869
"The question of supplying labour to the South is one of vital importance in which all classes are concerned and particularly the agriculturist, inasmuch as regular and constant work is more necessary to his prosperity than in most of the other industrial pursuits. I believe this can only be secured by the introduction of a respectaable class of labourers from Europe, for although a temporary benefit might be derived from importation of the Chinese and Japanese, it would result I fear in eventual injury to the country and her institutions. We not only want reliable labourers, but good citizens, whose interests and feelings would be in unison with our own..." 1869
The following quote has been attributed to Lee by Susan Lawrence Davis, author of Authentic History of the Ku Klux Klan, but has never been verified by any other source. When visited by Klan members, just before the first convention of the Klan in May 1867, to ascertain whether continuation of the order met with his approval, Miss Davis writes that he replied:
"I would like to assist you in any plan that offers relief. I cannot be with you in person but I will follow you but must be invisible; and my advice is to keep it as you have, a protective organization."
Senator Robert Hunter of Virginia
"If we are right in passing this measure [blacks in military service], we were wrong in denying the old government the right to interefere with the institution of slavery and to emancipate slaves."
Senator Howell Cobb of Georgia
"The day you make soldiers of slaves is the beginning of the end of the revolution. If slaves will make good soldiers, then our whole theory of slavery is wrong."
Robert Kean, Director of the Bureau of War
"My own judgement of the whole thing [blacks in the military] is that it is a colossal blunder, a dislocation of the foundations of society from which no practical results will be reaped by us."
General Robert Toombs:
"The day the army of Virginia allows a negro regiment to enter their lines as soldiers they will be degraded, ruined, and disgraced."
Gen. Joseph O. Shelby
"We are the last of our race. Let us be the best as well."
James Patton Anderson, Major General, CSA, to General Leondinas Polk upon hearing Patrick Cleburne's proposal to recruit black soldiers:
"My thoughts for ten days past have been so oppressed with the might of the subject as to arouse in my mind the most painful apprehensions of future results. General Cleburne proceeded to read an elaborate article... and proudly proposed to effect by emancipating our slaves and putting muskets in the hands of all of them capable of bearing arms, thus securing them to us as allies and equals. I will not attempt to describe my feelings on being confronted with a project so startling in its character-- may I say so revolting to southern sentiment, southern pride, and southern honor?...do you believe the South will now stultify herself by entertaining a proposition which heretofore our foes themselves had not even dared to make?"
H.W. Henry, Captain, 22nd Alabama Infantry, CSA:
"Some entire companies and regiments come from sections of the country where a negro was rarely seen, and they fought against interference in the affairs of their State, dictation by an alien people, invasion and subjugation of their country, and against the fear of negro equality in political and social affairs."
General Nathan Bedford
"We bustered the fort at niner - clock and skatered the niggers. them's that was caught with spuns and breast pins was shot, the rest were pay-rolled and tol' ta git!"-General Nathan Bedford Forrest's report on the assault at Ft. Pillow
Anonymous Confederate soldier
"You know I am a poor man having none of the property said to be the cause of the present war. But I have a wife and some children to rase in honour and never to be put on an equality with the African race." - Anonymous Confederate soldier, in a letter to a friend
Robert L. Dabney
"The black race is an alien one on our soil; and nothing except his amalgamation with ours, or his subordination to ours, can prevent the rise of that instinctive antipathy of race, which, history shows, always arises between opposite races in proximity."
"All our statesmen, of all parties, had taught us, not only that the reserved rights of the States were the bulwarks of the liberties of the people, but that emancipation by federal aggression wuld lead to the destruction of all other rights. A Clay, as much as a Calhoun, proclaimed that when abolition overthrew slavery in the South, it also would equally overthrow the Constitution. Calhoun, and other Southern statesmen, with a sagacity which every day confirms, had forewarned us, that when once abolition by federal aggression came, these other sure results would follow: that the same greedy lust of power which had meddled between masters and slaves, would assuredly, and for the stronger reason, desire to use the political weight of the late slaves against their late masters: that having enforced a violent emancipation, they would enforce, of course, negro suffrage, negro eligibility to office, and a full negro equality: that negro equality thus theoretically established would be practical negro superiority: that the tyrand section, as it gave to its victims, the white men of the South, more and more causes of just resentment, would find more and more violent inducements to bribe the negroes, with additional privileges and gifts, to assist them in their domination: that this miserable career must result in one of two things, either a war of races, in which the whites or the blacks would be, one or the other, exterminated; or amalgamation. But while we believe that "God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell under the whole heavens," we know that the African has become, according to a well-known law of natural history, by the manifold influences of the ages, a different, fixed species of the race, separated from the white man by traits bodily, mental and moral, almost as rigid and permanent as those of genus. Hence the offspring of an amalgamation must be a hybrid race. . .incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race. And this apparently is the destiny which our conquerors have in view. If indeed they can mix the blood of the heores of Manassas with this vile stream from the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough to fill that position of political subjection, which they desire to fix on the South."- In Defense of Virginia and the South
The African Slave Trade
This iniquitous traffic, beginning with the importation of negroes into Hispaniola in 1503, was first pursued by the English in 1562, under Sir John Hawkins, who sold a cargo at the same island that year. The colony of Virginia was planted in 1607. The first cargo of negroes, only twenty in number, arrived there in a Dutch vessel in 1620, and was bought by the colonists. All the commerical nations of Europe were soon implicated in the trade, but England became, on the whole, the leader in this trade, and was unrivaled by any, save her daughter, New England.
Reynal estimates the whole number of negroes stolen from Africa before 1776 at nine million; Bancroft at something more than six million. Of these, British subjects carried at least half: and to the above numbers must be added a quarter of a million thrown by Englishmen into the Atlantic on the voyage.
But after the nineteenth century had arrived, the prospective impolicy of the trade, the prevalence of democratic and Jacobin opinions imported from France, the shame inspired by the example of Virginia, with (we would fain hope) some influences of the Christian religion upon the better spirits, began to create a powerful party against the trade. First, Clarkston published in Latin, and then in English, his work against the slave trade, exposing its unutterable barbarities, as practised by Englishmen, and arguing its intrinsic unrighteousness. The powerful parliamentary influence of Wilberforce was added, and afterwards that of the younger Pitt.
But Virginia was there first. The preamble to the State Constitution of Virginia, drawn up by George Mason, and adopted by the Convention June 29th, 1776, was written by Thomas Jefferson. In the recital of grievances against Great Britain, which had prompted the commonwealth to assume its independence, this preamble contains the following words: By prompting our negroes to rise in arms among us; those very negroes whom, by an inhuman use of his negative [veto, ed], he had refused us permission to exclude by law. Mr. Jefferson, long a leading member of the House of Burgesses, and most learned of all his contemporaries in the legislation of his country, certainly knew whereof he affirmed. His witness is more than confirmed by that of Mr. Madison, who says: The British government constantly checked the attempts of Virginia to put a stop to this infernal traffic. Mr. Jefferson, in a passage which was expunged from the Declaration of Independence by New England votes in the Congress, strongly stated the same charge. And George Mason, perhaps the greatest and most influential of Virginians, next to Washington, reiterated the accusation with equal strength, in the speech in the Federal Convention, 1787, in which he urged the immediate prohibition of the slave trade by the United States. A learned Virginian antiquary has found no less than twenty-eight several attempts made by the Burgesses to arrest the evil by their legislation, all of which were either supressed or negatived by the proprietary or royal authority.
But in 1778, the State of Virginia, determined to provide in good time against the resumption of the traffic when commerce should be reopened, gave final expression to her will against it. At the General Assembly, Patrick Henry being Governor of the Commonwealth, the following law was the first passed:
". . . Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That from and after the passing of this act, no slave or slaves shall hereafter be imported into this Commonwealth by sea or land, nor shall any slave so imported be bought or sold by any person whatsoever . . . Every person hereafter importing slaves into this Commonwealth contrary to this act, shall forfeit and pay the sum of one thousand pounds for every slave so imported . . . And be it further enacted, That every slave imported into this Commonwealth, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, shall, upon such importation, become free."
Thus Virginia has the honour of being the first Commonwealth on earth to declare against the African slave trade, and to make it a penal offence. Her action antedates by thirty years the much bepraised legislation of the British Parliament, and by ten years the earliest movement of Massachusetts on the subject. Almost before the Clarkstons and Wilberforces were born, Virginia did that very work for which her slanderers now pretend so much to laud those philanthropists.
But it may be said, that if the government of Virginia was opposed to the African slave trade, her people purchased more of its victims than those of any other colony; and the aphorism may be quoted against them, that the receiver is as guilty as the thief. This is rarely true in the case of individuals, and when applied to communities, it is notoriously false. All States contain a large number of irresponsible persons. The character of a free people as a whole should be estimated by that of its corporate acts, in which the common will is expressed. The proper rulers were forbidden by the mother country to employ that prohibitory legislation which is, in all States, the necessary guardian of the public virtue.
The government of Virginia was unquestionably actuated in prohibiting the slave trade, by a sincere sense of its intrinsic injustice and cruelty.
In Defense of Virginia and the South
"The common [public] schools will have created a numerous "public" of readers one-quarter or one-tenth cultivated: and the sure result will be the production for their use of a false, shallow, socialist literature, science, and theology infinitely worse than blank ignorance."
"At a blow, the intelligence, the refinement of the country is reduced to waste, and is merged into the general ruin. To the poor man it is still worse. He is reduced to the level of a nigger, and a nigger is raised to his level. Cheek by jowl they must labor together as equals. His wife and his daughter are to be humbled on the streets by black wenches, their equals. Swaggering buck niggers are to ogle them and elbow him.
Gracious God! Is this what our brave soldierery are fighting for? -- to reduce themselves to the level and companionship of niggers? No--no--never-- not in South Carolina. Let the man who is afraid to fight himself, and wants to send a nigger to fight in his place-- heedless of all else, so long as he is out of it-- talk of emancipation and niggers in the ranks. But the brave soldier who is fighting for the supremacy of his race will have none of it-- no, none of it. He wants no Hayti here-- no Santo Domingo-- as mongrels in his family-- no miscegenation with his blood. Let them not be deceived-- this and nothing else, must be the result. Mobocracy on the one hand-- nigger equality and gradual miscegenation on the other.
The whole project is insane, demoralizing, destructive, hopeless. The wail of panic, and the cry of despair resounds through every thought connected with it. Away with the folly!" -The Charleston Mercury, 26 January, 1865
"Now what are we fighting for? We are fighting for the idea of race."-The Daily Richmond Enquirer, November 1864
Mary Boykin Chesnut
Mary Chesnut was a cultured Southern lady who loved the South and detested slavery for its debasing effect on white Southerners and for its economic wastefulness. Her attitudes toward blacks varied depending upon whether she was discussing her own, or blacks in general. For the black race in general, she expresses continual fear, mistrust, and doubt, as can be seen in the following quotes, each of which is from Mary Chesnut's Civil War, 1981 edition. . .
ON MANAGING NEGROES: "Sixteen more Yankee regiments have landed on James Island. Eason writes: "They have twice the energy and enterprise of our people." [To which I answer]: "Wait awhile. Let them along until climate and mosquitoes and sand flies and dealing with negroes take it all out of them."
ON NEGROES MURDERING WHITES: "I began to read [a letter] aloud. . .and I broke down. Poor Cousin Betsey Witherspoon was murdered. . .by her own people. Her negroes." She goes on to explain how the servants took the old lady out of her house one night and lynched her from an apple tree.
"I remember when Dr. Keitt was murdered by his negroes." (Keitt, while lying on his sickbed, had his throat cut by negroes.)
ON THE NEGROES AND THE WAR: "They are not really enemies of their masters?and yet I believe they are all spies for the other side."
After the fall of Port Royal, SC, to the Federals: "[T]he negroes show such exultation at the enemies making good their entrance at Port Royal." "When the enemy overran James Island, the negro men went to the [Federal] fleet, but the women and children came to us. So many more mouths to feed?a good way to subdue us by starvation. How they laugh at our calamity. And mock when our fear cometh."
"On Pinckney Island the negroes have been reinforced by runaways and outlaws. They are laying supplies, getting in provisions, making a king. . ."
ON THE NEGROES' INTELLIGENCE: "I know how hard it is to teach them, for I have tried it, and I soon let my Sunday school all drift into singing hymns. . .Lord Monboddo's ideas were always in my head while engaged with my Sunday class. I determined to wait until they developed more brains." (Lord Monboddo was a pre-Darwininian evolutionist, who authored Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. He believed that Negroes were the result of human beings interbreeding with orangutans, an origin we know today to be false.)
ON USING BLACKS AS SOLDIERS: "Our men are all heroes. . .We know all that. But they are all in the army now and in one year we seem at the end of our row. Armies must be recruited. . .No new supply possible?unless we put negroes in our army. Can we trust them? Never."
ON THE END OF SLAVERY: "The negroes would be a good riddance. A hired man is far cheaper than a man whose father and mother, his wife and his twelve children have to be fed, clothed, housed, nursed, taxes paid, and doctor's bills?all for his half-done, slovenly, lazy work. So for years we have thought?negroes a nuisance that did not pay."
ON THE NEGROES' RESPONSE TO FREEDOM: "Quantities of negro mothers running after the Yankee army left their babies by the wayside. . .So Adam [a black] came in exultant: 'Oh, Missis, I have saved a wagon load of babies for you. Dem niggers run away and' lef' dem chillun all 'long de road. . .'" [Note: Later on, Miss Chesnut reveals that these mothers, eighteen of them in all, were later found on the road, stabbed to death by the Yankee troops, who could rid themselve of the women in no other way. "Poor animals," she says.]
"Yesterday there was a mass meeting of negroes, thousands of them were in town, eating, drinking, dancing, speechifying. Preaching and prayer was also a popular amusement. They have no greater idea of amusement than wild prayers?unless it be getting married or going to a funeral. . .We are in for a new St. Domingo [site of the famous slave rebellion, where the entire white population was slaughtered by the most babaric means imaginable]. The Yankees have raised the devil, and now they cannot guide him."
Final words, 2 August 1865: "Never let me hear that the blood of the brave has been shed in vain! No; it sends a cry down through all time."
There is much more. Read Mary's diary for yourself.
Texas Declaration of Secession
A DECLARATION of the causes which impel the State of Texas to secede from the Federal Union.
". . . She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery--the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits--a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race and which her people intended should continue to exist in all future time. . .
"In all of the non-slaveholding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist even between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon the unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery--proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the divine law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy--the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races and show their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States. . .
[Here follow a recounting of Northern and Abolitionist provocations and atrocities]
"In view of these and many other facts, it is meet that our own views should be distinctly proclaimed.
"We hold, as undeniable truths, that the governments of the various States and of the Confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependant race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.
"That, in this free government, all white men are, and of right ought to be, entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both, and desolation upon the fifteen slaveholding States. . .
"Adopted in Convention, on the second day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the independence of Texas the twenty-fifth."
Senator Clemens of Alabama
U.S. CONGRESSIONAL GLOBE
(this was the forerunner of the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD),
Thursday, December 20th, 1849,
on the U.S. SENATE floor:
MR. CLEMENS OF ALABAMA: The facts are precisely as I understood them; and whatever respect I may have for him as a temperance advocate, I cannot and I will not forget that he is also an abolition agitator, and as such, entitled to nothing at my hands, save unqualified condemnation.
The Senator from New York has spoken of his interference with the subject of slavery as a recommendation; and the Senator from New Hampshire adds that Father Mathew is not enough of an Abolitionist for him. Both Senators claim that this officious intermeddling with the property and the rights of others is a very praiseworthy exhibition of Christian charity, and sympathy for the wrongs of the slave. I never doubted, sir, that such were the opinions of those gentlemen. 'Their acts for years past have been too unequivocal to admit of misconstruction. I know that the cruelties of the slaveholder, and the sufferings of the down-trodden African, have formed the chief staple of all their discourses. Let me tell them that it would be well to look a little at home. There are at your own doors objects of charity enough, without hunting for slaves upon whom to bestow it. There are at this very moment, in all your great cities, thousands of homeless wretches, destitute of food or raiment, and without a thought or an instinct that is not colored by crime. There are hordes of wretched females toiling by day and by night for a miserable pittance, which only adds to the horrors of starvation by protracting the agonies of the sufferer. There are bands of little children to whom beggary has descended as an inheritance, and for whom a State prison is a welcome asylum. Misery in all its forms - poverty in all its rags - sickness and starvation are around you; and yet, with a miserable hypocrisy, you must travel away to the South, and waste your sympathies upon a population who are better clothed, better fed, who work less and live more happily, than four fifths of yourselves. You compel a poor factory girl to perform an amount of labor which is not exacted from healthy and robust men by the planters of the South - separate her from her friends and relations - allow no one to visit her without a written pass from an overseer, and all the while thank God that you are free from the curse of African slavery. Nay, more; you assume to be of a better and a purer race. You unblushingly assert, on all occasions, that while the pistol and the bowie knife give law to the South, you are in the constant observance of moral and religious precepts. Sir, I admit with regret that there are occasional scenes of violence among us, and that sometimes we forget the value of human life; but our offences have always a touch of manliness in them. There are no petty larcenies - no outrages upon unprotected females - no midnight assassinations FOR MONEY.
When we stoop to imitate the brute creation, we take the lion, not the hyena, for our model. But while I make the admission that we are not altogether free from crime, let me ask how stands the case with you? The city of New York alone furnishes more State prison convicts than the whole fifteen southern States together. You tear down churches; burn up convents, inhabited by a few helpless nuns; get up processions in honor of a brutal prize-fighter; and raise riots at the bidding of a worthless player, in which scores of lives are sacrificed, without dreaming that there is anything in all of this unbecoming the descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers. Look at home, I say; correct your own iniquities, relieve your own sufferers, and then, but not till then, you may prate of the crime and misery which slavery engenders.
I regret, Mr. President, that this debate has sprung up. I regret still more the course it has taken; not, however, from prudential considerations - not because, as the Senator from Kentucky has intimated, it is imprudent to discuss matters in relation to slavery - but because this question must soon be met in another form, and l was willing to let it slumber till then. But I may as well now say that the time for prudential action is past. The disease is a desperate one, and requires desperate remedies. For one, sir, I yield no inch of ground - no, not one hair's breadth. Whenever this anti-slavery sentiment shows itself; whatever form it may assume, I am ready to do battle against it. The time for half measures has gone by. You must let us alone or take the consequences.
"Self-preservation is the first law of nature, and therefore any state of society in which the sword is all the time suspended over the heads of the people must at last become intolerable."
-Speech to Congress, December 1860 on the verge of South Carolina's secession
"Known facts and all reasoning of evidence proves that Negroes have less capacity for government than any other race of people. Wherever they have been left to their own devices they have shown a constant tendency to relapse into barbarism. Furthermore, the great difference between the two races in physical, mental, and moral characteristics will prevent an amalgamation or fusion of them together in one homogeneous mass. One or the other must dominate, and if the inferior obtains the ascendency it will create such a tyranny as this continent has never yet witnessed. . .Of all the dangers which our nation has yet encountered, none are equal to those which must result from the success of the effort now making to Africanize the half of our country."-Third annual speech to Congress
"In all our history, [the measure] contemplated by the details of this bill has never before been proposed or adopted. They establish for the security of the colored race safeguards which go infinitely beyond any that the General Government has ever provided for the white race. In fact, the distinction of race and color is, by the bill, made to operate in favor of the colored and against the white race. They interfere with the municipal regulations of the States, with the relations existing exclusively between a State and its citizens, or between inhabitants of the same State ? an absorption and assumption of power by the General Government which, if acquiesced in, must sap and destroy our federative system of limited powers, and break down the barriers which preserve the rights of the States. It is another step, or rather stride, to centralization and the concentration of all legislative power in the National Government." -President Johnson's veto of the 1865 "Civil Rights" Bill, which was overturned by the Radical Republicans
"Aided by the unscrupulous adventurers who operated the Freedmen's Bureau and urged on by a fervor of Northern hatred almost religious in its fanaticism, the former field hands found themselves suddenly elevated to the seats of the mighty. There they conducted themselves as creatures of small intelligence might naturally be expected to do. Like monkeys or small children turned loose among treasured objects whose value is beyond their comprehension, they ran wild?either from perverse pleasure in destruction or simply because of their ignorance.
"To the credit of the negroes, including the least intelligent of them, few were actuated by malice and those few had usually been `mean niggers'even in slave days. But they were, as a class, childlike in mentality, easily led and from long habit accustomed to taking orders. Formerly their white masters had given the orders. Now they had a new set of masters, the Bureau and the Carpetbaggers, and their orders were, `You're just as good as any white man, so act that way. Just as soon as you canvote the Republican ticket, you are going to have the white man's property. It's as good as your now. Take it, if you can get it!'
"Dazzled by these tales, freedom became a never-ending picnic, a barbecue every day of the week, a carnival of idleness and theft and insolence. Country negroes flocked into the cities, leaving the rural districts without labor to make the crops. Atlanta was crowded with them and still they came by the hundreds, lazy and dangerous as a result of the new doctrines being taught them. . .
"For the first time in their lives the negroes were able to get all the whisky they might want. In slave days, it was something they never tasted except at Christmas, when each one received a `drap' along with his gift. Now they had not only the Bureau agitators and the Carpetbaggers urging them on, but the incitemment of whisky as well, and outrages were inevitable. Neither life nor property was safe from them and the white people, unprotected by law, were terrorized. Men were insulted on the streets by drunken blacks, houses and barns were burned at night, horses and cattle and chickens stolen in broad daylight, crimes of all varieties were committed and few of the perpetrators were brought to justice.
"But these ignominies and dangers were as nothing compared with the peril of white women, many bereft by the war of male protection, who lived alone in the outlying districts and on lonely roads. It was the large number of outrages on women and the ever-present fear for the safety of their wives and daughters that drove Southern men to cold and trembling fury and caused the Ku Klux Klan to spring up overnight. And it was against this nocturnal organization that the newspapers of the North cried out most loudly, never realizing the tragic necessity that brought it into being. The North wanted every member of the Ku Klux hunted down and hanged, because they had dared take the punishment of crime into their own hands at a time when the ordinary processes of law and order had been overthrown by the invaders.
"Here was the astonishing spectacle of half a nation attempting, at the point of bayonet, to force upon the other half the rule of negroes, many of them scarcely one generation out of the African jungles..."
"The Northern theory was that the Negro was another 'naturally good' man, whose aspiring impulses had been thwarted by the chains of slavery. But the Southern people had before them the lessons of Haiti and Jamaica, where the Negro. . .had shown that his tendency, when he was released from all constraining forces, was downward rather than upward."
"A reading of the diaries and memoirs of the period [post WBTS] leaves one assured that the idea of enfranchising the negroes was exclusively a Northern notion. Not one person in a thousand, not even those most generously disposed, who wanted the see the blacks begin their new life with advantages, was willing to grant that the freedman were ready for participation in government. The Northern conception that the negro was merely a sunburned white man, 'whose only crime was the color of his skin,' found no converts at all among the people who had lived and worked with him. They viewed him as an African and a primitive, carrying with him a heavy weight of those impulses which it is the duty of civilization to remove or subdue." - The Southern Tradition At Bay
Senator Theodore G. Bilbo
"If our buildings, our highways, our railroads should be wrecked, we could rebuild them. If our cities should be destroyed, out of the very ruins we could erect newer and greater ones. Even if our armed might should be crushed, we could rear sons who would redeem our power. But if the blood of our white race should become corrupted and mingled with the blood of Africa, then the present greatness of the United States of America would be destroyed and all hope for the future would be forever gone. The maintenance of American civilization would be as impossible for a negroid America as would be the redemption and restoration of the white man's blood which had been mixed with that of the Negro."
The white Southerner firmly, absolutely, and irrevocably denies the contention of the social equality advocates that mongrelization would not degrade the South. Any one who is familiar with the pages of history and the doctrines of biology must know the dangerous results of the amalgamation of the white and black races. That the Negro is inferior to the Caucasian has been proved by six thousand years of world wide experimentation as well as craniologically, and that the mingling of the superior with the inferior will result in the lowering of the higher is just as certain as the fact that half the sum of six and two is only four"....
Even if only the lower strata of whites mingled with the upper strata of Negroes, the result would be the same. Not only would the other circles be broken within the foreseeable future, but it is wholly erroneous to contend that a child is born of its immediate parents only. Every child is a child of its race, and there is no escape from the almightiness of heredity. However weak the white man, his ancestors produced the greatness of Europe; however strong the black, his ancestors never lifted themselves from the darkness of Africa."
"But it was found that the public mind would not yet bear the proposition, nor will it bear it even at this day. Yet the day is not distant when it must bear and adopt it, or worse will follow. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them. It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation and deportation peaceably and in such slow degree as that the evil will wear off insensibly, and their place be pari passu filled up by free white laborers. If on the contrary it is left to force itself on, human nature must shudder at the prospect held up." -Autobiography
"It is for the happiness of those united in society to harmonize as much as possible in matters which of necessity they must transact together. Civil government being the sole object of forming societies, its administration must be conducted by common principles. Ours, perhaps, are more peculiar than those of any other. It is a composition of the freest principles of the English Constitution with others derived from natural right and natural reason. To these nothing can be more opposed than the maxims of absolute monarchies. Yet, from such we are to expect the greatest number of immigrants. They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, or if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as usual, from one extreme to the other. . . In proportion to their number, they will infuse into it their spirit, warp or bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass." - Notes on Virginia
Firebell in the Night
The Missouri Compromise, by the terms of which slavery was henceforth excluded from the territories north of latitude 36 30' (the southern boundary of Missouri), alarmed Thomas Jefferson, as he told John Holmes in this famous letter, "like a firebell in the night." The vividness of the image was in keeping with the passions of the time. Jefferson disapproved deeply of slavery; but he even more strongly disapproved of any action on the part of Congress that, in his view, exceeded its constitutional authority. Slavery, Jefferson felt, would die a natural death if left alone; but the very life of the Union depended on maintaining a due measure in legislative acts. In addition, the Compromise had drawn a line across the country on the basis of a principle, and not of geography; such a line, held up, as Jefferson put it, to the angry passions of men, could have no other ultimate effect than the disastrous rending of the body politic. Holmes, a Massachusetts man, was one of the few Northern congressmen to vote against the Tallmadge Amendment that would have excluded slavery from Missouri itself; Jefferson's prophetic letter to him was written April 22, 1820, a short month after the passage of the Missouri Compromise.
"I thank you, dear sir, for the copy you have been so kind as to send me of the letter to your constituents on the Missouri question. It is a perfect justification to them. I had for a long time ceased to read newspapers, or pay any attention to public affairs, confident they were in good hands, and content to be a passenger in our bark to the shore from which I am not distant. But this momentous question, like a firebell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. It is hushed, indeed, for the moment. But this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper. I can say, with conscious truth, that there is not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would to relieve us from this heavy reproach, in any practicable way.
The cession of that kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle which would not cost me a second thought, if, in that way, a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected; and gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be. But as it is, we have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other. Of one thing I am certain, that as the passage of slaves from one state to another would not make a slave of a single human being who would not be so without it, so their diffusion over a greater surface would make them individually happier, and proportionally facilitate the accomplishment of their emancipation, by dividing the burden on a greater number of coadjutors. An abstinence too, from this act of power, would remove the jealousy excited by the undertaking of Congress to regulate the condition of the different descriptions of men composing a state. This certainly is the exclusive right of every state, which nothing in the Constitution has taken from them and given to the general government. Could Congress, for example, say that the non-freemen of Connecticut shall be freemen, or that they shall not emigrate into any other state?
I regret that I am now to die in the belief that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire self-government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be that I live not to weep over it. If they would but dispassionately weigh the blessings they will throw away against an abstract principle more likely to be effected by union than by scission, they would pause before they would perpetrate this act of suicide on themselves, and of treason against the hopes of the world. To yourself, as the faithful advocate of the Union, I tender the offering of my high esteem and respect." Memoirs, Correspondence, and Private Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 4, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, ed., 1829, pp. 323-333.
In the second paper of The Federalist, 1787, John Jay emphasized ethnic unity as a source of the new nation's strength and gave thanks that "Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs..."
Sen. Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia
I warned those representative men of the terrible effects that were already seen in the corruption of the Negro vote… That week there were seven lynchings in Georgia from the fearful crime of rape. I told them that these...would grow and increase with every election where white men equalized themselves at the polls with an inferior race and controlled their votes by bribery and whiskey. A crime nearly unknown before and during the war had become an almost daily [occurrence]… [I]f it takes lynching to protect woman’s dearest possession from drunken, ravening human beasts, then I say lynch a thousand a week.
William Cowper Brann
A man's first duty is not to an alien or inferior race, but to his family. It is much better to shoot a negro before he commits an irreparable crime against the honor of a family than to hang him afterwards.
And the devil speaks the truth:
"There is a strange paradox here. These people deride what they call political correctness, and yet one of their first missions is to whitewash the Confederacy of any connection with slavery. They actually seem sensitive to any possibility that the Confederacy is linked with race, and want to absolve the Confederacy of any charges of racism at all."-Morris Dees