"The Old South"
in the days of the
Read and Wauchope

Geographically, "The Old South" is a sub-region of the American South, differentiated from the Deep South by being limited to those Southern states represented among the original thirteen British colonies, which became the first thirteen U.S. states.


Culturally, "The Old South" is used to describe the rural, agriculturally-based, pre-Civil War or antebellum economy and society in the Southern United States.

Henry Grady
was the Editor of the Atlanta Constitution and coined the phrase "The New South."

He presented an important speech at the close of the War Between the States, which is presented below, with questions to think about, based on his remarks.

Also included below, is a short film about his life.
Dr. Brion McClanahan
presents the lecture
"The Old South and the New South"
Recent and Recommended for further reading on "The Old South"
A Narrative Introduction to this page...........
As Professor William Marvel has stated, the accepted role of the historian is to explain what happened, rather than to guess what might have been. The most intensely objective historical studies sometimes adopt an unintentionally narrow perspective through a reluctance to address alternatives available to the participants. 

Historians unwilling to consider the conditional past tend to present historical developments as the only possible results of immutable chains of events. 

In professional circles the examination of alternatives is associated with futile, lowbrow speculation, and indeed the genre of "counter-factual" history often descends to ludicrous levels of political science fiction.  Nonetheless, the refusal to weigh actions and events against some measure other than what they actually wrought leaves the historian functioning too much like an annalist and too little like an analyst.

Did the Read, Wauchope, and Porter families know what was going on, in the run-up to the Secession Crisis?  Yes they did.  Their letters and documents attest to that.  They certainly had newspapers (2 in the Vicksburg/Edwards Depot, MS area, and 2 in the Jackson, MS area) for them to draw upon, as well as friends and relatives who were in and out of the area prior to the Fort Sumpter event. There was also a railroad depot at the town of Edwards, with documentation which shows Read family members arriving by train, to visit John Read's plantation.  Charles "Savez" Read even visited his grandfather in the early years of the War Between the States.

Unfortunately, there is much fallacious reasoning that goes on, and the attempt to think 'inside the box' and miss the true story of what happened during the War Between the States.  With so many turbulent political factions in operation today, we tend to look at our turbulent past as if they had only two sides, and we tend to give the greater interpretive deference to whichever side came out on top.

We tend to learn our history of the past as if everything worked out for the best; that there were no other real alternatives available to the participants.  At every historical juncture, there are alternative courses of action available.  It's almost impossible to argue that things work out for the best.

Defense of their homeland was the real incentive for a Southerner to volunteer, not slavery.  This is evident from reading the original source materials. 

At the beginning of the war, in the North, it was not patriotism and selfless devotion that was the real motivation for enlistment.  It was money...mercenary motivation.  Then as now, many enlistments were found, especially in the first call to the colors, in the poorer sections of the North.  There was little sympathy for Abolition; there was a hostility against it. 

Most of the Northern population were racist, even as Lincoln was. (Lincoln was an early member of an organization {documentation provided on this page} that wanted to deport black slaves out of the United States; create colonies for them in other countries).  This becomes apparent by reading the original documents forward, not reading backward in the sources.  Contemporary sources show the real story.  Many Northern soldiers' re-enlistments were also for the money.

Some who read what is presented here may say this is "revisionist" history.  When someone, and especially a historian, casts around the word "revisionist" or "speculation" as epithets, they are demonstrating their hostility to innovative thought, and their ignorance of the very field they have chosen to pursue.  The reason we follow history is to see what is new in it.  And if there be no revisionism or nothing new in it, then there is no reason to pursue it.

What you will find on this web page represents original documentation, much of it never discussed in current popular history books or in the classroom.  Too many books about the War Between the States deal with all the battles, strategy, politics, and generalship.  You can read about R.E. Lee, Grant, Sherman, Davis, and Lincoln.  But not much is available which focuses on the common soldier or the civilians.


For example, here is General Hood's report of his army's retreat after being defeated at the battle of Nashville in December of 1864:

"From Pulaski I moved by the most direct road to Bainbridge crossing on the Tennessee River, which was reached on the 25th, where the army crossed without interruption, completing the crossing on the 27th, including our rear guard...After crossing the river the army moved by easy marches to Tupelo, Miss."

In 1880, Hood wrote his post-war memoirs, "Advance and Retreat."  He devotes two paragraphs to describing the retreat from Nashville to Tupelo.  He DOES NOT mention the cold weather, the rain, the sleet, the lack of rations, or his barefooted and starving troops.  He does note that his retreating army "therefore continued...to march leisurely, and arrived at Bainbridge, on the 25th of December."  In the next paragraph, he launches into a multi-page explanation of his strategy and defends his handing of the Army of Tennessee during the Atlanta and Franklin-Nashville campaigns.

Perhaps General Hood was on a different retreat than that of his soldiers.  Here is how 2 Lt. Samuel Robinson of the 63rd Virginia Infantry saw it:

"we have retreated some 200 miles through the wet and cold mud half leg deep and a great many men was entirey barfooted and almost naked.  The men marched over frozen ground till their feet was worn out till they could be tracked by the blood and some of them there feet was frosted and swolen till they bursted till they could not stand on there feet."

Yes, many letters have spelling errors and problems with grammar; but as with Lt. Robinson, there is absolutely no problem feeling "feet (that) was fropsted and swolen till they bursted till they could not stand...?  You DON'T get the same feeling from General Hood's "easy marches to Tupelo."

(My thanks to Jeff Toalson who has done a superb job of editing many diaries and letters of Confederate soldiers, from which comes the above example).

(For a look at major re-writing of military history done by General Grant in his "Memoirs," see the "Read Family Story" web page for two articles, documentation, and video lectures).

One must also be careful to sift the "wheat from the chaff" when delving into Civil War online video lectures. 

Consider the long-running Lincoln Forum which meets annually in Gettysburg, PA.
The Forum states on their website the following:

“The Lincoln Forum is an assembly of people who share a deep interest in the life and times of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era.  Through a roster of activities and projects including symposia, tours, student essay competitions, teacher scholarships, a newsletter, and annual awards to recognize special contributions to the field of Lincoln studies, the Forum endeavors to enhance the understanding and preserve the memory of Abraham Lincoln.”

In a recent Forum meeting, an introduction of Professor William C. "Jack" Davis was given by Forum Chairman Frank Davis.  Davis stated that Lincoln learned his leadership skills and all about army life from his service in the Black Hawk War.

That sounds all well and good on the surface, but Lincoln's only military service was 3 months in the militia during that Black Hawk War of 1832, where all he accomplished was getting demoted from Captain to Private.  He never saw action.

Ironically, this war was ended by Second Lieutenant Jefferson Davis (later president of the Confederacy) who personally captured Chief Black Hawk.
So-called "Television Documentaries" need to be vetted for accuracy.

Consider the 2015 article, "PBS’s “The Civil War”: The Mythmanagement of History" by Professor Emeritus Ludwell H. Johnson, College of William and Mary:

(This piece was originally printed by Southern Partisan magazine in 1990.)

In the September issue of the American Historical Association’s newsletter, a rave review predicted that the PBS production “The Civil War” might become “the Gone With the Wind of documen­taries.” After watching almost all of it, I would suggest Uncle Tom’s Cabin as its fictional alter ego. But let us not (like “The Civil War”) be unfair. It is probably the best of the various kinds of “Civil War” tele­vision extravaganzas to appear so far. As anyone who watched the others will know, this is faint praise. When Boswell asked that arch-conservative Dr. Samuel Johnson who was worse, Rousseau or Voltaire, Johnson replied, “Sir, it is difficult to settle the proportion of iniquity between them.”

On the plus side, the pictures in Ken Burns’ documentary were excellent, as they have always been, whether seen on television or in the old Miller Photographic History or in the more recent Image of War by William C. Davis. The letters from and to soldiers were inter­esting and frequently moving. Shelby Foote’s comments often struck a note of sane moderation. The background music was well-done if repetitious. There were occasional though ineffectual attempts at im­partiality in the narration.

Now for the minus side. In the first place, a program like this is inherently incapable of explaining complex historical events. It can only illustrate the cruelty and suffering of war, the romantic naivete, the poignancy, pathos, courage, cowardice. But even with the best of intentions untrammeled by prejudice or ideological imperatives, to attempt to explain so much by such means is inevitably to distort. When bias, ideology, and sheer ignorance are loaded onto the in­herent limitations, then we have something like “The Civil War”, a caricature often reminiscent of Republican postwar “Bloody Shirt” political propaganda.

To turn to some of the larger deformities, take slavery, both as the cause of the war and as an institution. The monocausation theo­ry—slavery as the cause—was put forward many years ago by James Ford Rhodes. That view was the received wisdom among the post­war generation, but was powerfully challenged by scholars between the two World Wars.

In the era of the civil rights movement, the importance of slavery was again strongly emphasized by what some have called the neo-abolitionist historians. But even they never completely turned the clock back to Rhodes, as Mr. Ken Burns has tried to with his popular documentary. To pluck one factor out of a complex historical matrix and offer it, clearly but tacitly, as the cause of war is the result, one can charitably assume, of sheer ignorance.

As for slavery itself, it is likewise torn from context and held up as a uniquely Southern sin. No mention of those Africans in Africa who for generations sold their brothers into slavery; or of the New Englanders who profited for so many years by buying them in Africa and selling them in America; or of the pervasive anti-black prejudice in the Northern states so ably documented thirty years ago by Leon Litwack.

Purported mortality statistics for slaves are presented without comparison to mortality rates among free blacks or whites. There is no hint of the fact that the growth rate of the country’s black popula­tion was less for seventy years after emancipation than it was before, no awareness of the latest revisionist studies (by Northern scholars) that contradict the raw-head-and-bloody-bones vision presented by producer Ken Burns and his coadjutors.

The handling of Lincoln and the questions of race and slavery are equally unbalanced. The level of discourse here was suggested by Shelby Foote’s interviewer, who persisted in believing that Lincoln was an old-line abolitionist. Foote, who one hopes was embarrassed by a good deal of what went on during the eleven hours of the pro­gram, gently demurred, but his questioner bulled ahead anyway. In one of those rare and aberrant bows to ostensible impartiality, it is pointed out that Lincoln initially opposed only the extension of slav­ery, and that he said in his first inaugural he had no intention of in­terfering with slavery where it existed (the adjoining clause in which the Great Emancipator says that neither does he have any inclina­tion to interfere with it is delicately omitted) and that he issued or­ders for the return of runaway slaves. (Incidentally, Lincoln flatly refused to issue such an order.)

Then after the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation we are treated to an out-of-context quotation from Lincoln’s December 1, 1862, message to Congress, including the famous sentence, “we shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.” That com­ment was made at the end of the second half of his message, which is a plea by Lincoln for congressional approval of a constitutional amendment that would postpone emancipation until the year 1900, compensate slaveowners and provide funds to colonize the ex-slaves somewhere outside the United States.

“I cannot make it better known that I strongly favor colonization.” And to those Northerners who feared the freed black would “swarm forth and cover the land,” he said they wouldn’t, and if they tried, “cannot the north decide for itself whether to receive them?” View­ers of “The Civil War” documentary were never told that this is the context of “nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth.” It is an excellent example of the editorial policy of the series.

Nor is the audience told that, at the Hampton Roads Conference in February 1865, when the Confederacy was collapsing, Lincoln sat silently by while his Secretary of State invited the Southern negotia­tors to bring their states back into the Union and vote down the pending Thirteenth Amendment; or that Lincoln, when visiting fallen Richmond, himself made the same offer to Calhoun’s old lieutenant, Duff Green.

As for Lincoln and race, the authors of the program are evidently wholly ignorant of the categorical white-supremacist statements Lin­coln made repeatedly and publicly during the 1850s, and do not know that in the late summer of 1862 he told a black delegation that but for the presence of their race, white men would not be killing each other, and it would be best for both blacks and whites if blacks left the country.

As another example of distortion by omission, take the attack on Fort Sumter. In the program, the Confederates suddenly fire on the Union fort, no reason being given. Nothing is said about the repeated assurances given Confederate officials by Lincoln’s Secretary of State that the fort would soon be evacuated, assurances offered even while plans to hold the fort were being devised. There is no mention of the warnings the Confederate government began to receive about an ex­pedition being secretly prepared, or of the fact that when the order to capture the fort was issued by the Davis administration, they knew that a flotilla of undetermined strength was coming down the coast, perhaps (as some informants had warned) to capture Charleston. No, nothing of that—the rebels just attacked, it is im­plied, without cause or provocation.

Other subjects are treated with a degree of unfairness that is bound to raise suspicions as to intent. Space does not permit more than a sampling. Take Fort Pillow. All we come away with is the as­sertion that the Confederates killed black soldiers after they surren­dered. Doubtless some were killed, just as black soldiers sometimes killed Confederates after they had surrendered. What is not told is that, according to the laws of war, if a fortified place refused to sur­render after being warned that otherwise an assault would take place, the attackers were entitled to kill all the defenders. Bedford Forrest’s men did not do this, even though there was never any formal surrender of the Fort and in spite of the fact that some black sol­diers surrendered and then picked up weapons and shot their cap­tors. Of the 557 men in the garrison (295 white, 262 black) 336 survived. Forrest took 226 prisoners, 168 whites and 58 blacks. That was the “massacre.”

As for the Battle of the Crater, we are told that Confederates again shot black soldiers as they attempted to surrender. Doubtless some did. But we are not told that when the black troops were sent into the battle they were also shot by Union white soldiers, even as happened in the Battle of the Bulge in the Second World War. And poor old Burnside was entirely responsible for the disaster at the Crater. Did no one tell the script writers that a black division had carefully drilled to lead the assault but was withheld by Grant and Meade at the last moment, and that this was the probable cause of the failure?

As bad as these examples are, nothing except perhaps the treat­ment of slavery approaches the handling of the subject of prisoners of war. We are transported back to the days of the “Bloody Shirt.” The horrors of Andersonville are depicted, and horrors there were, and the living skeletons (emaciated by dysentery, which killed more men than bullets) that were a staple item in Republican atrocity pro­paganda are again put on display. The viewers are not informed of conditions in Northern camps, where a deliberate policy of depriva­tion was instituted or of the mortality rate in those camps, which, despite the vastly superior resources available to the Lincoln admin­istration, was nearly as high as in the Confederacy. After all, what more can one expect of a producer (Ken Burns) who characterizes Lee as a “traitor”?

A similar onesidedness can be found in the presentation of Sher­man’s march through Georgia and the Carolinas. Destruction of property and robbery, including robbery of the slaves, are conceded: how could they not be? But there is nothing about the disgusting desecration of churches, digging up the dead to rob the bodies, noth­ing of the murder and torture of civilians, of gang rapes, or of the mass rape of black women. No, mainly just the destruction of prop­erty to show the Southerners the war was lost and thus save lives — that’s all “Old Cump” and his boys were up to.

As for poor George B. McClellan, who certainly had his faults, he is made to look bad so that Lincoln can be made to look good. Just think what that poor man had to put up with! The savaging of Mc­Clellan has been de rigueur among the faithful, especially since Nico-lay and Hay deliberately set out to destroy McClellan’s reputation in their massive biography of Lincoln. One point will have to suffice: in the winter of 1861-1862, McClellan (I think this is nearly a direct quotation from the documentary) “took to his tent with a fever rather than move his army.” It was a fever, all right, typhoid fever, said his doctors, and he was in his bed for three weeks.

When all the teachers who have been burning up their VCRs tap­ing “The Civil War” show it to their classes, one can only hope that they will linger over a vignette toward the end, one of the Gettysburg reunion of 1913. It showed those old Confederates retracing their steps up the slopes of Cemetery Ridge, held again by a handful of their old adversaries. But before the old Rebs could totter to the crest, they were met by the old Yanks who rushed down to embrace them. No doubt, to the makers of the film this was just a pleasing touch of sentimentality; but to those who know something of the war, it has far more significance.

During the conflict, soldiers from generals to privates blamed the war on the politicians, and many was the time when Rebs and Yanks, meeting along the picket line, would say: “if they would just leave it to us, we could settle it all quickly and peaceably.” Then as now the common soldiers were sent by others to suffer and to die, and the survivors soon began to wonder how the quarrel got started and whether it could possibly be worth the agony they saw all around them. But by that time it was too late to stop. The result is tragedy. And the tragedy is compounded by people like Ken Burns and his collaborators. Too bad they could not have been as just to the Confederate soldiers and their Cause as the old Union veterans at Gettysburg in 1913.

Yankee Confederates: 
New England Secession Movements Prior to the War Between the States

Contrary to standard accounts, the birthplace of American secessionist sentiment was not Charleston, South Carolina in 1860, but the heart of the New England Yankee culture -- Salem, Massachusetts -- more than half a century before the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter. From 1800 to 1815, there were three serious attempts at secession orchestrated by New England Federalists, who believed that the policies of the Jefferson and Madison administrations, especially the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the national embargo of 1807, and the War of 1812, were so disproportionately harmful to New England that they justified secession.

The Protective Tariffs were a real concern to cotton grower, John Read:
John Read (seen in the next photo) Charles "Savez" Read's grandfather (whose life is discussed on the "Read Family Story" web page) was a soldier in the War of 1812, and later owned a plantation in Mississippi with slaves.  But during the War Between the States, he remained loyal to the Union cause, and when Federal forces marched through Mississippi, they occupied his house but did not burn it.  He was a Unionist, but several grandchildren put on the Confederate uniform.

John Read was well aware of the protective tariffs being enacting to protect Northern business interests.  This affected Read's profits on the export of his cotton which was used by Northern industry.  The tariffs of 1828 were called the "Tariffs of Abominations."  Designed to protect American industry from cheaper British commodities, it adversely affected the Southern planter.

By the time the fighting reached John Read's plantation in Edwards, MS, he had 3 years worth of cotton stored in a cotton gin house which had not been sold.  The Federals under General Sherman burned most of it.  Some of it was saved when some of his family and plantation workers were able to put some of it into a nearby creek.
"The Morrill Tariff"

Protective tariffs:

A Primary cause of the Civil War

Although they opposed permanent tariffs, political expedience in spite of sound economics prompted the Founding Fathers to pass the first U.S. tariff act. For 72 years, Northern special interest groups used these protective tariffs to exploit the South for their own benefit. Finally in 1861, the oppression of those import duties started the Civil War.

In addition to generating revenue, a tariff hurts the ability of foreigners to sell in domestic markets. An affordable or high-quality foreign good is dangerous competition for an expensive or low-quality domestic one. But when a tariff bumps up the price of the foreign good, it gives the domestic one a price advantage. The rate of the tariff varies by industry.

If the tariff is high enough, even an inefficient domestic company can compete with a vastly superior foreign company. It is the industry’s consumers who ultimately pay this tax and the industry’s producers who benefit in profits.

As early as the Revolutionary War, the South primarily produced cotton, rice, sugar, indigo and tobacco. The North purchased these raw materials and turned them into manufactured goods. By 1828, foreign manufactured goods faced high import taxes. Foreign raw materials, however, were free of tariffs.

Thus the domestic manufacturing industries of the North benefited twice, once as the producers enjoying the protection of high manufacturing tariffs and once as consumers with a free raw materials market. The raw materials industries of the South were left to struggle against foreign competition.

Because manufactured goods were not produced in the South, they had to either be imported or shipped down from the North. Either way, a large expense, be it shipping fees or the federal tariff, was added to the price of manufactured goods only for Southerners. Because importation was often cheaper than shipping from the North, the South paid most of the federal tariffs.

Much of the tariff revenue collected from Southern consumers was used to build railroads and canals in the North. Between 1830 and 1850, 30,000 miles of track were laid. At their best, these tracks benefited the North. Many rail lines had no economic effect at all. Many of the schemes to lay track were simply a way to get government subsidies. Fraud and corruption were rampant.

With most of the tariff revenue collected in the South and then spent in the North, the South rightly felt exploited. At the time, 90 percent of the federal government’s annual revenue came from these taxes on imports.

Historians Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffer found that a few common factors increase the likelihood of secession in a region: lower wages, an economy based on raw materials and external exploitation. Although popular movies emphasize slavery as a cause of the Civil War, the war best fits a psycho-historical model of the South rebelling against Northern exploitation.

Many Americans do not understand this fact. A non-slave-owning Southern merchant angered over yet another proposed tariff act does not make a compelling scene in a movie. However, that would be closer to the original cause of the Civil War than any scene of slaves picking cotton.

Slavery was actually on the wane. Slaves visiting England were free, according to the courts in 1569. France, Russia, Spain and Portugal had outlawed slavery. Slavery had been abolished everywhere in the British Empire 27 years earlier, thanks to William Wilberforce. In the United States, the transport of slaves had been outlawed 53 years earlier by Thomas Jefferson in the Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves (1807) and the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in England (1807). Slavery was a dying and repugnant institution.

The rewritten history of the Civil War began with Lincoln as a brilliant political tactic to rally public opinion. The issue of slavery provided sentimental leverage, whereas oppressing the South with hurtful tariffs did not. Outrage against the greater evil of slavery served to mask the economic harm the North was doing to the South.

The situation in the South could be likened to having a legitimate legal case but losing the support of the jury when testimony concerning the defendant's moral failings was admitted into the court proceedings.

Toward the end of the war, Lincoln made the conflict primarily about the continuation of slavery. By doing so, he successfully silenced the debate about economic issues and states’ rights. The main grievance of the Southern states was tariffs. Although slavery was a factor at the outset of the Civil War, it was not the sole or even primary cause.

The tariff of 1828, called the Tariff of Abominations in the South, was the worst exploitation. It passed Congress 105 to 94 but lost among Southern congressmen 50 to three. The South argued that favoring some industries over others was unconstitutional.

The South Carolina Exposition and Protest written by Vice President John Calhoun warned that if the tariff of 1828 were not repealed, South Carolina would secede. It cited Jefferson and Madison for the precedent that a state had the right to reject or nullify federal law.

In an 1832 state legislature campaign speech, Lincoln defined his position, saying, “My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank ... in favor of the internal improvements system and a high protective tariff.’ He was firmly against free trade and in favor of using the power of the federal government to benefit specific industries such as Lincoln’s favorite, Pennsylvania steel.

The country experienced a period of lower tariffs and vibrant economic growth from 1846 to 1857. Then a bank failure caused the Panic of 1857. Congress used this situation to begin discussing a new tariff act, later called the Morrill Tariff of 1861. However, those debates were met with such Southern hostility that the South seceded before the act was passed.

The South did not secede primarily because of slavery. In Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address, he promised he had no intention to change slavery in the South. He argued it would be unconstitutional for him to do so. But he promised he would invade any state that failed to collect tariffs in order to enforce them. The statement was received from Baltimore to Charleston as a declaration of war on the South.

Slavery was an abhorrent practice. It might have been the cause that rallied the North to win. But it was not the primary reason why the South seceded. The Civil War began because of an increasing push to place protective tariffs favoring Northern business interests and every Southern household paid the price.

David John Marotta is president of Marotta Wealth Management Inc. of Charlottesville. University of Virginia graduate Megan Russell, systems analyst for the company, also contributed to this commentary.

Jefferson Davis Posthumously Responds to Readers’ Reactions

by David John Marotta and Megan Russell on June 27, 2013:

Lessons on Tax Effects



There are several lessons to be learned from the Civil War history that inform our knowledge of the effect that Tariff’s had on the production of cotton in the South. Contemporary observers well described these economic phenomena but the lessons are little discussed in modern times where they would be valuable in application.



Inequality - The Inherent Evil of Tariffs


The first phenomenon is the greatest one. It is the fundamental cause of the war. It is the inherent evil of the tariff. That tax is necessarily unequal in its effect on the various economic interests. Because it is levied on imports, it falls most heavily on those who are economically dependent on international trade.


Because the tariff stifles trade in foreign imports, domestic producers favor it. They will organize politically if the prospects of gaining the power to raise the tax are within the realm of possibility. The vicious propaganda campaigns of the tariff men such as Lewis Tappan and Gerrit Smith in the decades prior to the war illustrates the evil incentives.


Because the pro-tariff men used anti-slavery as their political tool to limit the westward expansion tariff-resisting southern agriculture, the southern men found it necessary to counter that propaganda with pro-slavery propaganda. Southern slave owners like John Hartwell Cocke who were liberally inclined to work for the freedom of the slaves, found themselves stifled by the understandable southern reaction to the relentless anti-slavery propaganda from the tariff men. Actual southern liberalization was set back by desperate economic politics.


The lesson is clear. Don't allow the legislature to impose tariffs. Any constitution that permits tariffs is necessarily defective because it sets up the stage for strife.


Cascading Markups


A second lesson relates to the imposition of taxes on intermediate transactions in the chain of commerce. Taxes imposed on intermediate transactions are simply passed on to the next purchaser and so on down the chain. Each buyer who resells, however, must make a profit on the transactions or he cannot survive in business. The amount of the tax, therefore, gets marked up. Each buyer adds a percentage to the price, including the amount of the tax plus a percentage of it.


The markups on markups on markups of the tax accumulate and multiply down the chain of transactions, adding a great deal to the ultimate price. They are like fat in the arteries of commerce, stifling the flow.


William Winter Payne of Alabama gave an excellent exposition of cascading markups in a speech in Congress as the Whigs were preparing to pass their high-tariff bill of 1842. Payne was a cotton planter in Sumter County, Alabama, about 100 miles southwest of Birmingham. He served in Congress from 1841 to 1847.


Payne's example is noteworthy not only because of the example of cascading markups but because of the high actual level (100%) of the tax.


Payne's purpose was to illustrate the practical operation of the tariff. "I desire," he said, "the consumer of dutiable goods to see the amount he annually pays to the manufacturer." He presented tables, "showing the cost of dutiable goods under the rate of duty imposed by this bill; and also the cost of the same goods to the consumer, exclusive of the duty."


Payne gave the example of cotton fabric goods worth 6 cents per yard. The tariff law, however, required those goods to be taxed as if they were worth 20 cents per yard, the "minimum valuation." The tariff rate was 30% applied to the minimum valuation of 20 cents yielding a tax of 6 cents, an effective tax rate of 100%.


That was, said Payne, a "tax to the consumer of 180 per cent. upon the original cost." "[E]very man who consumes cotton goods, the original cost of which , exclusive of duty, is $1," he explained, "will under the operation of this bill, have to pay $2 80."


A. Imports goods worth    $100.00

Duty to Government at 100 per cent.         $100.00

Custom-house cost of said goods      $200.00

Profit of importing merchant on said goods,

At 20 per cent. $ 40.00


B. the retail merchant, pays for said goods        $240.00

Profit of B, at 50 per cent $120.00


Cost to Consumer     $360.00

The following would be the cost of said goods exclusive of duty:

A. imports goods amounting to          $100.00

Profits of A, at 20 per cent.        20.00


B, the retail merchant, pays for said goods        $120.00

Profit of B, at 50 per cent 60.00


Cost to the consumer of said goods 180.00


Difference of cost in favor of consumer    180.00




Mr. Payne's examples show the wasteful multiplication of the tax burden when taxes are imposed upon intermediate transactions in the chain of commerce. The conclusion must be that taxes imposed on business are inefficient and that the tax, to be efficient, must be imposed at retail.


If the tax is imposed at retail, the tax must be uniform. In other words, a constitution must require that all transactions bear the same rate of tax with no exemptions. Otherwise, favored and disfavored groups will form and agitate to sway the law to their favor, to the disfavor of others.

When the Civil War began, Henry C. Carey was the nation's most widely known political economist. He had published a major three-volume work entitled Principles of Political Economy which had first established him as a serious thinker on the subject. His subsequent volume, The Harmony of Interests, set out a justification for protective tariffs, based mostly on speculative savings on transportation costs in foreign commerce. That work earned him the adulation of the men who wanted protective tariffs.

True causes of the Uncivil War: Understanding the Morrill Tariff

By Mike Scruggs

(Photo of Justin S. Morrill):

 Most Americans believe the U. S. “Civil War” was over slavery. They have to an enormous degree been miseducated. The means and timing of handling the slavery question were at issue, although not in the overly simplified moral sense that lives in postwar and modern propaganda. But had there been no Morrill Tariff there might never have been a war. The conflict that cost of the lives of 650,000 Union and Confederate soldiers and perhaps as many as 50,000 Southern civilians and impoverished many millions for generations might never have been.

A smoldering issue of unjust taxation that enriched Northern manufacturing states and exploited the agricultural South was fanned to a furious blaze in 1860. It was the Morrill Tariff that stirred the smoldering embers of regional mistrust and ignited the fires of Secession in the South. This precipitated a Northern reaction and call to arms that would engulf the nation in the flames of war for four years.

Prior to the U. S. “Civil War” there was no U. S. income tax. In 1860, approximately 95% of U. S. government revenue was raised by a tariff on imported goods. A tariff is a tax on selected imports, most commonly finished or manufactured products. A high tariff is usually legislated not only to raise revenue, but also to protect domestic industry form foreign competition. By placing such a high, protective tariff on imported goods it makes them more expensive to buy than the same domestic goods. This allows domestic industries to charge higher prices and make more money on sales that might otherwise be lost to foreign competition because of cheaper prices (without the tariff) or better quality. This, of course, causes domestic consumers to pay higher prices and have a lower standard of living. Tariffs on some industrial products also hurt other domestic industries that must pay higher prices for goods they need to make their products. Because the nature and products of regional economies can vary widely, high tariffs are sometimes good for one section of the country, but damaging to another section of the country. High tariffs are particularly hard on exporters since they must cope with higher domestic costs and retaliatory foreign tariffs that put them at a pricing disadvantage. This has a depressing effect on both export volume and profit margins. High tariffs have been a frequent cause of economic disruption, strife and war.

Prior to 1824 the average tariff level in the U. S. had been in the 15 to 20 % range. This was thought sufficient to meet federal revenue needs and not excessively burdensome to any section of the country. The increase of the tariff to a 20% average in 1816 was ostensibly to help pay for the War of 1812. It also represented a 26% net profit increase to Northern manufacturers.

In 1824 Northern manufacturing states and the Whig Party under the leadership of Henry Clay began to push for high, protective tariffs. These were strongly opposed by the South. The Southern economy was largely agricultural and geared to exporting a large portion of its cotton and tobacco crops to Europe. In the 1850’s the South accounted for anywhere from 72 to 82% of U. S. exports. They were largely dependent, however, on Europe or the North for the manufactured goods needed for both agricultural production and consumer needs. Northern states received about 20% of the South’s agricultural production. The vast majority of export volume went to Europe. A protective tariff was then a substantial benefit to Northern manufacturing states, but meant considerable economic hardship for the agricultural South.

Northern political dominance enabled Clay and his allies in Congress to pass a tariff averaging 35% late in 1824. This was the cause of economic boom in the North, but economic hardship and political agitation in the South. South Carolina was especially hard hit, the State’s exports falling 25% over the next two years. In 1828 in a demonstration of unabashed partisanship and unashamed greed the Northern dominated Congress raised the average tariff level to 50%. Despite strong Southern agitation for lower tariffs the Tariff of 1832 only nominally reduced the effective tariff rate and brought no relief to the South. These last two tariffs are usually termed in history as the Tariffs of Abomination.

This led to the Nullification Crisis of 1832 when South Carolina called a state convention and “nullified” the 1828 and 1832 tariffs as unjust and unconstitutional. The resulting constitutional crisis came very near provoking armed conflict at that time. Through the efforts of former U. S. Vice President and U. S. Senator from South Carolina, John C. Calhoun, a compromise was effected in 1833 which over a few years reduced the tariff back to a normal level of about 15%. Henry Clay and the Whigs were not happy, however, to have been forced into a compromise by Calhoun and South Carolina’s Nullification threat. The tariff, however, remained at a level near 15% until 1860. A lesson in economics, regional sensitivities, and simple fairness should have been learned from this confrontation, but if it was learned, it was ignored by ambitious political and business factions and personalities that would come on the scene of American history in the late 1850’s.

High protective tariffs were always the policy of the old Whig Party and had become the policy of the new Republican Party that replaced it. A recession beginning around 1857 gave the cause of protectionism an additional political boost in the Northern industrial states.

In May of 1860 the U. S. Congress passed the Morrill Tariff Bill (named for Republican Congressman and steel manufacturer, Justin S. Morrill of Vermont) raising the average tariff from about 15% to 37% with increases to 47% within three years. Although this was remarkably reminiscent of the Tariffs of Abomination which had led in 1832 to a constitutional crisis and threats of secession and armed force, the U. S. House of Representatives passed the Bill 105 to 64. Out of 40 Southern Congressmen only one Tennessee Congressman voted for it.

U. S. tariff revenues already fell disproportionately on the South, accounting for 87% of the total even before the Morrill Tariff. While the tariff protected Northern industrial interests, it raised the cost of living and commerce in the South substantially. It also reduced the trade value of their agricultural exports to Europe. These combined to place a severe economic hardship on many Southern states. Even more galling was that 80% or more of these tax revenues were expended on Northern public works and industrial subsidies, thus further enriching the North at the expense of the South.

In the 1860 election, Lincoln, a former Whig and great admirer of Henry Clay, campaigned for the high protective tariff provisions of the Morrill Tariff, which had also been incorporated into the Republican Party Platform. Thaddeus Stevens, the most powerful Republican in Congress and one of the co-sponsors of the Morrill Tariff, told an audience in New York City on September 27, 1860, that the two most important issues of the Presidential campaign were preventing the extension of slavery to new states and an increase in the tariff, but that the most important of the two was increasing the tariff. Stevens, a Pennsylvania iron manufacturer, was also one of the most radical abolitionists in Congress. He told the New York audience that the tariff would enrich the northeastern states and impoverish the southern and western states, but that it was essential for advancing national greatness and the prosperity of industrial workers. Stevens, who would become virtually the “boss’ of America after the assassination of Lincoln, advised the crowd that if Southern leaders objected, they would be rounded up and hanged.

Two days before Lincoln’s election in November of 1860, an editorial in the Charleston Mercury summed up the feeling of South Carolina on the impending national crisis:

“The real causes of dissatisfaction in the South with the North, are in the unjust taxation and expenditure of the taxes by the Government of the United States, and in the revolution the North has effected in this government, from a confederated republic, to a national sectional despotism.”

With the election of Lincoln and strengthened Northern dominance in Congress, Southern leaders in South Carolina and the Gulf states began to call for Secession. Lincoln endorsed the Morrill Tariff in his inaugural speech and promised to enforce it even on seceding Southern states. He signed the Act into law a few days after taking office in March of 1861. The South was filled with righteous indignation.

At first Northern public opinion as reflected in Northern newspapers of both parties recognized the right of the Southern States to secede and favored peaceful separation. A November 21, 1860, editorial in the Cincinnati Daily Press said this:

“We believe that the right of any member of this Confederacy to dissolve its political relations with the others and assume an independent position is absolute.”

The New York Times on March 21, 1861, reflecting the great majority of editorial opinion in the North summarized in an editorial:

“There is a growing sentiment throughout the North in favor of letting the Gulf States go.”

Northern industrialists became nervous, however, when they realized a tariff dependent North would be competing against a free-trade South. They feared not only loss of tax revenue, but considerable loss of trade. Newspaper editorials began to reflect this nervousness. Events in April would engulf the nation in cataclysmic war.

Lincoln met secretly on April 4, 1861, with Colonel John Baldwin, a delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention. Baldwin, like a majority of that convention would have preferred to keep Virginia in the Union. But Baldwin learned at that meeting that Lincoln was already committed to taking some military action at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. He desperately tried to persuade Lincoln that military action against South Carolina would mean war and also result in Virginia’s secession. Baldwin tried to persuade Lincoln that if the Gulf States were allowed to secede peacefully, historical and economic ties would eventually persuade them to reunite with the North. Lincoln’s decisive response was,

“And open Charleston, etc. as ports of entry with their ten percent tariff? What then would become of my tariff?”

Despite Colonel Baldwin’s advice, on April 12, 1861, Lincoln manipulated the South into firing on the tariff collection facility of Fort Sumter in volatile South Carolina. This achieved an important Lincoln objective. Northern opinion was now enflamed against the South for “firing on the flag.” Three days later Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the Southern “rebellion”. This caused the Border States to secede along with the Gulf States. Lincoln undoubtedly calculated that the mere threat of force backed by a now more unified Northern public opinion would quickly put down secession. His gambit, however, failed spectacularly and would erupt into a terrible and costly war for four years.

Shortly after Lincoln’s call to put down the “rebellion;” a prominent Northern politician wrote to Colonel Baldwin to enquire what Union men in Virginia would do now. His response was:

“There are now no Union men in Virginia. But those who were Union men will stand to their arms, and make a fight which shall go down in history as an illustration of what a brave people can do in defense of their liberties, after having exhausted every means of pacification.”

The Union Army’s lack of success early in the war, the need to keep anti-slavery England from coming into the war on the side of the South, and Lincoln’s need to appease the radical abolitionists in the North led to increasing promotion of freeing the slaves as a noble cause to justify what was really a dispute over fair taxation and States Rights.

Writing in December of 1861 in a London weekly publication, the famous English author, Charles Dickens, who was a strong opponent of slavery, said these things about the war going on in America:

“The Northern onslaught upon slavery is no more than a piece of specious humbug disguised to conceal its desire for economic control of the United States.”

Karl Marx, like most European socialists of the time favored the North. In an 1861 article published in England, he articulated very well what the major British newspapers, the Times, the Economist, and Saturday Review, had been saying:

“The war between the North and South is a tariff war. The war, is further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for power.”

The Tariff question and the States Rights question were therefore strongly linked. Both are linked to the broader issues of limited government and a strong Constitution. The Morrill Tariff dealt the South a flagrant political injustice and impending economic hardship and crisis. It therefore made Secession a very compelling alternative to an exploited and unequal union with the North.

How to handle the slavery question was an underlying tension between North and South, but one of many tensions. It cannot be said to be the cause of the war. Fully understanding the slavery question and its relations to those tensions is beyond the scope of this article, but numerous historical facts demolish the propagandistic morality play that a virtuous North invaded the evil South to free the slaves. Five years after the end of the War, prominent Northern abolitionist, attorney and legal scholar, Lysander Spooner, put it this way:

“All these cries of having ‘abolished slavery,’ of having ‘saved the country,’ of having ‘preserved the Union,’ of establishing a ‘government of consent,’ and of ‘maintaining the national honor’ are all gross, shameless, transparent cheats—so transparent that they ought to deceive no one.”

Yet apparently many today are still deceived and even prefer to be deceived.

The Southern states had seen that continued union with the North would jeopardize their liberties and economic wellbeing. Through the proper constitutional means of state conventions and referendums they sought to withdraw from the Union and establish their independence just as the American Colonies had sought their independence from Great Britain in 1776 and for very similar reasons. The Northern industrialists, however, were not willing to give up their Southern Colonies.

In addition to the devastating loss of life and leadership during the War, the South suffered considerable damage to property, livestock, and crops. The policies of “Reconstruction” and “carpetbagger” state governments further exploited and robbed the South, considerably retarding economic recovery. Further, high tariffs and discriminatory railroad shipping taxes continued to favor Northern economic interests and impoverish the South for generations after the war. It is only in relatively recent history that the political and economic fortunes of the South have begun to rise.

Unjust taxation has been the cause of many tensions and much bloodshed throughout history. The Morrill Tariff was certainly a powerful factor predisposing the South to seek its independence and determine its own destiny. As outrageous and unjust as the Morrill Tariff was, its importance has been largely ignored and even purposely obscured. It does not fit the politically correct images and myths of popular American history. Truth, however, is always the high ground. It will have the inevitable victory.

Had it not been for the Morrill Tariff there would have been no rush to Secession by Southern states and very probably no war. The Morrill Tariff of 1860, so unabashed and unashamed in its short-sighted, partisan greed, stands as an astonishing monument to the self-centered depravity of man and to its consequences. No wonder most Americans would like to see it forgotten and covered over with a more morally satisfying but largely false version of the causes of the Uncivil War. 

Lincoln's Tariff War is explained by Dr. Thomas J. DiLorenzo. One can now see how it affected the price of John Read's cotton crop.
There is clear written evidence in primary sources that one young Read boy, William, (seen in the next photo) joined the Confederate troops as the Union forces came through his hometown.  He saw the Confederate soldiers fighting the Federals near his home; and he picked up a gun that had been dropped by a dead Confederate....and joined the fight....that's how he got involved. 

Thus, he joined, not because of slavery (he didn't own any; he wasn't even old enough to enlist) but because the Northern Union forces had invaded his state and hometown. (Full discussion about him is on the "Read Family Story" web page).

Clement Eaton's "A History of the Old South; The Emergence of a Reluctant Nation" 3rd Edition, is one of the standard textbooks on the era under discussion here.  It is clear that young William Read was not of the planter class, his father did not live in a plantation mansion, but, he is an example of a vastly larger middle class of yoman farmers and villagers who came from Colonial origins.  He did not live like the privileged planters, but did absorb something of the spirit and sense of values of the Southern gentry. 

He knew about hospitality, the importance of religion, the importance of the family cemetery...an important reason for the love of the home-place among Southerners.

He had observed his kinsfolk who were distinguished by a remarkable sense of pride; upholding a code of gentlemanly conduct.  Honor, both personal and regional, was a talismanic word in the Southern vocabulary, and was an important cause of secession.....not the ownership of slaves.

Out of the documents I have examined in the Mississippi state and county archives, written by the Reads and their relatives, I can state that slavery had nothing to do with their support of the Confederacy.  One such documented story appears on the "Read Family Story" web page, which concerns Bettie Read and the Union soldiers who came through the Vicksburg area, burning, robbing, and killing innocent civilians.  Slavery was not the issue, as too many "court historians" will tell you.  And Lincoln supported slavery, as you will see documented on this page.

This is simply a historical fact and part of the Read family history.  It is not something that should be erased or ignored.  It is part of our family history and heritage. 

Thus, this web page will address "The Old South" where the Read and Wauchope families lived. They were familiar with the racial bias in the North, as well as where they lived.  They knew about the Black slave owners in the South, and the rising tariffs on goods coming through the ports, most of which were in the South.  Charles "Savez" Read was born in a small village located on the Yazoo River and became very familiar with the commercial trade on the Mississippi River.  He was also a personal acquaintance of Jefferson Davis in the Antebellum South. 

Here you will find information on: Black slave owners; Native American Indian slave owners; Black slaves and free men of color serving in the Confederate army and navy; the fact that (according to the 1860 Census) 98.8% of people in the Northern free states were white; 96.5% if you include all the the loyal states who had slaves and were white.

And all of these, both North and South, had racist views that offend our modern sensibilities; and those in the North were not in favor of Emancipation except toward the end of the war, when they thought that it would help them defeat the South by getting rid of slavery which supported the South's economic base; the plans of Abraham Lincoln to deport slaves to other countries; and post-war Confederates who left to settle in other countries.....by the thousands; the plan of New York City to secede from the Union; the rampant slavery in the North.  One town in up-state New York actually did vote to leave the Union, and didn't rejoin the Union until President Harry Truman was president!

After the war, several in the Read family considered moving out of the U.S. into another country.  One wrote of his disappointment in seeing the desperate circumstances the Southern civilian population had been left in.  Destruction was widespread.

General R.E. Lee had been invited to join in the exiles who went to Mexico, discussed below, after the war.  He declined.  He felt it his duty to stay and influence his former comrades to work together in harmony for Union.

It is unfortunate that many in our country have not studied history and learned the facts surrounding the issue of slavery in the early days of our country, not only in the antebellum South, but in Colonial America, and, I might add, in the North.

The first slave owner in Virginia, was a Black man.  This may come to many as a surprise, but I learned this fact years ago, while studying history at Old Dominion University.

Then, it may surprise you to learn that many Native American Indians also owned Black slaves.  John Jeremiah Read was well aware of this in Indian Territory where he became a missionary for the Presbyterian Church.  Some of these former Black slaves were later discriminated against, by the Indians, when the 5 Civilized Tribes were re-formed under new Peace Treaties.

A further surprise to some, may be that Abraham Lincoln, had he not been assassinated, planned to deport all Blacks and resettle them in colonies away from the United States.

Indeed, all former Confederates or their widows were entitled to U.S. government pensions!  On the "Read Family Story" web page, you will see actual documentation that proves that fact; in addition to samples included on this webpage.  (A fact which the website "Snopes" got wrong!)  In addition, families of Confederate veterans can request and receive at not cost, headstones for their loved ones in a cemetery.

The recent unfortunate events in New Orleans (2017) concerning the removal, under the cover of darkness, of Confederate monuments, is representative of blatant Black racial bias.  It is an example of politicians who are caught up in the emotional moment and misunderstanding the history of our American historical memorial landscape. It is a blatant act by those who have not "read" history, of trying now to "erase" history. Those who vote for such removal in that and other cities in our nation, show their ignorance of history.

As the years of the Old South closed, how did the Veterans of North and South view each other after the war?  You may be surprised that many fought together in the Spanish-American War.  You may also be surprised that many who survived came together in reunions.  Also, one of the major monuments to the Confederate dead in Arlington National Cemetery was put there by Union veterans.  Two videos on this page represent what they thought of each other, and how they lived out their days.

This was the closing period of the Old South and the beginning of the New South.  It was in this context that John Jeremiah Read and members of the Wauchope family, would minister to various Native American tribes in Indian Territory, which later became the state of Oklahoma.  Some members of the Wauchope family were actually doing missionary work among Native Americans before the War Between the States, and had to leave once it started.  Some Census records reveal that several Wauchope families before Reconstruction had "house servants" who lived with them.   Some of these are discussed on the "Wauchope Family Story" web page.  The Wauchopes would discover, as did Rev. John J. Read, that many Indians willingly or unwillingly, as the case may be, served as soldiers and scouts in both the Union and Confederate armies.  This was so, as the reader will discover on the Read and Wauchope Family web pages, that both families were involved in ministry to Native American Indians in what was Indian Territory (Oklahoma).

The reader should also note, that the author/compiler of information on this particular page does not subscribe to only one "cause" which started the War Between the States.  Several issues were involved in a very radioactive mix.  It has only been in the last 10 years that more information has been discovered which proves the case of Lincoln as a confirmed racist, and his plans to deport all Blacks, both slave and free, out of the United States.  Although, much of this information was previously known, it is now being made more public in new books and articles being published with greater details.

-J. Hughes

A fresh look at why young men enlisted in the Confederate Army is provided by Civil War graduate student, Adam Matthew Jones of Virginia Tech, in his study "Enlistment Motivations for Civil War Soldiers in Montgomery County Virginia," which can be read below, in it's entirety:
The "States' Rights" Dilemma

Gibbons v. Ogden:  a prelude to the issue of states' rights and the issue of slavery.

GIbbons v. Ogden presents a conflict between the States and Congress over the authority to regulate commerce. In this case, which linked States' authority to license steamboats in federal waters with a seemingly unrelated issue, slavery, Chief Justice Marshall interpreted the Constitution to give the Federal Government the duty to determine the rules of commerce and established how to lay the foundation for an American common market nearly a century before Europe enjoyed it.  The following film is part of the series, "Equal Justice Under Law."

The Committee on the Bicentennial of Independence and the Constitution
The Judicial Conference of the United States

Chief Judge Clement F. Haynsworth, Jr.
Chief Judge Edward J. Devitt

Chief Judge Howard T. Markey

Professor William Swindler, College of William and Mary
Professor Anthony Penna, Carnegie-Mellon University
Professor Robert Potter, University of Pittsburgh
Professor Richard Seeburger, University of Pittsburgh
Professor Irving Bartlett, Carnegie-Mellon University

Art Direction, Sets and Costumes
In cooperation with the drama department of Carnegie-Mellon University

Metropolitan Pittsburgh Public Broadcasting, Inc.

"The Classical Liberal States' Rights Tradition"
-Dr. Thomas J. DiLorenzo
Slavery was not the primary cause for Virginia leaving the Union.  One needs to first understand that the 10th Amendment of the Constitution guaranteed the right of U.S. Citizens to own slaves.

Several states, primarily Virginia, did not see itself as a secessionist state.  In fact, in the run up to the final state-wide voting on the issue, even Jubal Early, who later became a Confederate General, was a staunch Unionist and was against secession.

Professor William Marvel has done an excellent job of outlining in his book, "Mr. Lincoln Goes to War," why Virginia was pushed into voting for secession.
On page 72, he states the obvious about Lincoln's uncharacteristically clumsy response to the secession crisis: as psychological impulse rather than by political imperative.

When Lincoln called for the call-up of militia, that act, in itself, laid down the gauntlet at the feet of all Virginians, large numbers of whom would have preferred to remain in the Union, if not asked to take up arms against the seceded states.

We need to understand that the Virginia convention had voted only tentatively to secede, pending ratification by a vote by the public at large.

But the disdain that Lincoln's mobilization order showed for states' rights had so infuriated Virginia citizens, that they voted overwhelmingly to leave the Union.

Dr. Marvel has correctly analyzed the voting totals and by locality to draw the correct conclusion.  Only in some of the westernmost counties did Union sentiment prevail.  Secession won by lopsided margins in the interior counties, particularly in Southside Virginia, where some counties voted unanimously to leave the Union.  Even in the border regions like Loudoun County, which had heavy concentrations of Quakers, loyal Germans, and conservative Whigs formed a substantial Unionist stronghold, secessionists outnumbered the Union faction better than two to one.

The implied threat of and subsequent invasion by Federal troops settled the question for Clinton Hatcher, the only child of an older couple who farmed a place near Purcellville, Virginia.

Clinton Hatcher (in above photo), had come home from Columbian College (now George Washington University) in the District of Columbia, at the news of Lincoln's militia proclamation, and within a month, his correspondence had assumed a relentlessly hostile tone.  Keep in mind that Hatcher was a Quaker. 

On May 23rd, he participated in his first election, voting in favor of the secession ordinance.  Then, after persuading his mother to withdraw her objections, he backed up that vote by signing the roll of a local rifle company.  Scores of his neighbors had already enlisted;  they did their voting in military encampments around the county.

Prior to the secession crisis, he was, at 6 feet 7 inches, conspicuous as a student at Columbian College.  He even met President Lincoln at a White House reception shortly after the inauguration.  Probably out of  modesty, Hatcher tried to avoid a meeting, but Lincoln stopped him, explaining, "Whenever I see a man taller than me I make it a point to shake hands with him."  (The March 9, 1861 "Sunday Star" newspaper noted, Lincoln was 6 feet 4 inches.)

The meeting supposedly was civil enough, but young Hatcher did not become a Lincoln fan.  As the secession crisis deepened, the young Quaker who would become a soldier, became an ardent Southern "fire-eater," ready to watch Yankees slain at the earliest opportunity.

He studied the then current soldiers' manual of arms, "Hardee's Tactics," and participated in the Battle of First Manassas.  He described in one letter of being unable to wait "until he can bayonet a Yankee," observing, "I never felt whole days if there were a possibility of a ball's striking me.  I had a kind of pre-sentiment that I would not be killed."

Unfortunately, Sgt. Thomas Clinton Lovett Hatcher fell at age 21, on October 21, 1861, during the Battle of Ball's Bluff, and as an unarmed color-bearer (which was the same field position of Joseph Read).
Thus, we have the story of a Quaker whose family did not believe in war-making, who went from being a pacifist to voting for secession due to Lincoln's disregard of Virginia's states' rights.

According to studies done by Professors Fellman, Gordon, and Sutherland, defense of home was a strong motivation for Confederates, especially since Union armies were "invading" their new nation.  Proving one's manhood, too, was a powerful influence that combined with many other factors, such as duty, patriotism, and defense of home, to inspire enlistment.  Others joined because there was communal or peer pressure to do so, and staying behind would have been far too embarrassing.  Money also played a role in luring men to enlist, especially in the North, where bounties were higher.

Curiously, slavery, which was an underlying cause of the war, was not the cause for which most Civil War soldiers volunteered to serve.  To be sure, Confederate soldiers believed firmly that they had to protect their "way of life" and beat back the hated Yankee aggression, but they seldom enlisted to defend slavery per se.  For most of the Southern aristocracy who owned the slaves, it was about the right to import slavery into the new territories and states.  Similarly, Union white soldiers, especially in 1861, although convinced that they faced a "slaveocracy" that threatened their free-labor economy, were none too keen on the notion of emancipation, let alone racial equality.  There were, of course, true abolitionists in the ranks of the Union from the war's start, but their number was always a minority, even when the war became one to end slavery.

There are literally hundreds and thousands of soldiers letters and diaries located in archives. In looking over many of these one finds verification of the Union soldier's racist comments and the fact that they had not enlisted for any Abolitionist cause.

Serene white mansions, aristocratic planters, ladies descending graceful staircases in crinoline skirts, slave gangs singing in the cotton fields, and the fragrance of moonlit gardens form a tenacious stereotype of the Old South.
Such scenes of glamour and ease for the privileged class actually existed in those areas of the South possessing rich soil and accessibility to markets.  This romantic stereotype, however, omits from the landscape the large middle class of farmers, the barefoot women, the log cabins, and the sweaty toil of white men under the hot sun.

In actuality, 3/4 of the white population of the antebellum South, which included the Read and Wauchope families, did not belong to slaveholding families, and the typical home was not a Mount Vernon or a Tara Hall, but a log cabin or a modest frame cottage or house.  The stereotype has taken certain real aspects of Southern society, especially the life of the small class of large planters, and has generalized and exaggerated them so that they appear to be typical of the South as a whole.
The romantic image of the Old South is a creation of a number of forces, not the least of which is the contribution by the Abolitionists with their propaganda that represented the land of Dixie as inhabited chiefly by haughty aristocrats, debased "poor whites," and black slaves.

The 1860 Census indicates something else:  the South of slavery days was predominantly a region of small independent farmers.  Indeed, the social pyramid bulged greatly at the sides, and the social structure was flexible enough to permit the movement of the sons of numerous poor men to a higher economic and social status.

At the top of the social pyramid were the planters and according to the arbitrary classification of the census bureau the planter status was based on the ownership of 20 or more slaves engaged in agriculture.  The accurate definition of a planter, however, should also include the ownership of a considerable acreage of land, a minimum of between 500 and 1,000 acres, of which at least 200 were in cultivation.

The Census of 1860 reported a surprisingly small number of "planters," only 46,274 persons, most of whom were heads of families, owning as many as 20 slaves.  Out of this privileged group, only 2,292 persons belonged to the large planter classification, that is, persons owning as many as 100 slaves.

Green Mont plantation in eastern Virginia is an example of a small planter with 50 slaves raising crops of wheat and corn.  The father was a doctor and justice of the peace.  The son worked on the plantation, plowed with the slave hands and did other work on the plantation.  His relations with the Negroes were friendly and informal, for slavery at Green Mont was a paternal institution.

Religion played an important role in the life of this family that had departed the Episcopal faith of earlier generations to join the Baptist church. The Fleet family combined the Puritan with the Cavalier traditions.  Fond of visiting, hospitable, enjoying dances, home-made wine and the reading of novels, they were nevertheless strong supporters of the church.

Benny Fleet, who grew up on the plantation, has an interesting diary which begins on January 9, 1860, when he was 13 years old and ends when he was killed in Confederate uniform at the age of 17.  This family had the Southern idea of honor, which made them look down upon those who were forced into the army by draft, and they made quite a distinction between "gentlemen" and the common people.

In the whole land of Dixie, the Census officials of 1860 reported finding only 1 slaveholder, an individual in South Carolina, having as many as 1,000 slaves, and only 13 persons owning between 500 and 1,000 slaves.  Thus, the large slaveholders were very few in number and comparable to the millionaires of modern America.  And I can state categorically, that the Reads and Wauchopes, although they lived in The Old South, were not at the top of the aristocratic planter class.
Slavery in the North before and during the War Between the States?  Yes; and many white people who live in the North today are in denial about it; some have been openly resentful that several historians have recently reported and published books about it. 
But, as Mark Twain once said, "Denial is not a river in Egypt!"

Several programs are included on this page which explain this is detail.
Cotton is still grown on land close to the original plantation of John Read seen in this picture taken by Joe Hughes, a descendant of John Read, near Edwards Depot, Mississippi, in 2016.
Slavery..........in the beginning...............

Stereotyping the Old South

As we approach the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the war over that conflict's meaning is less civil today than ever.  Jack Hunter explains:

Plantation System In Southern Life
The Plantation South
Virginia Plantations

Life in Old Louisiana (1830-1850)

Moonlight and Magnolia: A History of the Southern Plantation

 Native American Indian ownership of Black slaves is discussed in the documentary

"Black Slaves, Red Masters."

Indians in the Civil War Era

"The Union Indian Brigade in the Civil War" is available for free online at the Internet Archive website, where you can read it or download it by clicking with your 'mouse':


Indians owned Black Slaves

From the late eighteenth century through the end of the War Between the States, Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians bought, sold, and owned Africans and African Americans as slaves, a fact that persisted after the tribes' removal from the Deep South to Indian Territory.

The tribes formulated racial and gender ideologies that justified this practice and marginalized free black people in the Indian nations well after the War Between the States and slavery had ended. Through the end of the nineteenth century, ongoing conflicts among Choctaw, Chickasaw, and U.S. lawmakers left untold numbers of former slaves and their descendants in the two Indian nations without citizenship in either the Indian nations or the United States. In this groundbreaking study, Barbara Krauthamer rewrites the history of southern slavery, emancipation, race, and citizenship to reveal the centrality of Native American slaveholders and the black people they enslaved.

Krauthamer's examination of slavery and emancipation highlights the ways Indian women's gender roles changed with the arrival of slavery and changed again after emancipation and reveals complex dynamics of race that shaped the lives of black people and Indians both before and after removal.

"The role of black Indians, largely omitted from or distorted in conventional history books, is traced by William Katz with careful and committed research. . . . he integrates their general history with brief individual biographies, including leaders, army scouts and soldiers, frontiersmen and explorers, (and) dangerous outlaws".--Booklist.

Slavery existed in North America long before the first Africans arrived at Jamestown in 1619. For centuries, from the pre-Columbian era through the 1840s, Native Americans took prisoners of war and killed, adopted, or enslaved them. Christina Snyder's pathbreaking book takes a familiar setting for bondage, the American South, and places Native Americans at the center of her engrossing story.

Indian warriors captured a wide range of enemies, including Africans, Europeans, and other Indians. Yet until the late eighteenth century, age and gender more than race affected the fate of captives. As economic and political crises mounted, however, Indians began to racialize slavery and target African Americans. Native people struggling to secure a separate space for themselves in America developed a shared language of race with white settlers. Although the Indians' captivity practices remained fluid long after their neighbors hardened racial lines, the Second Seminole War ultimately tore apart the inclusive communities that Native people had created through centuries of captivity.

Snyder's rich and sweeping history of Indian slavery connects figures like Andrew Jackson and Cherokee chief Dragging Canoe with little-known captives like Antonia Bonnelli, a white teenager from Spanish Florida, and David George, a black runaway from Virginia. Placing the experiences of these individuals within a complex system of captivity and Indians' relations with other peoples, Snyder demonstrates the profound role of Native American history in the American past.

In The Native Ground, Kathleen DuVal argues that it was Indians rather than European would-be colonizers who were more often able to determine the form and content of the relations between the two groups. Along the banks of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers, far from Paris, Madrid, and London, European colonialism met neither accommodation nor resistance but incorporation. Rather than being colonized, Indians drew European empires into local patterns of land and resource allocation, sustenance, goods exchange, gender relations, diplomacy, and warfare. Placing Indians at the center of the story, DuVal shows both their diversity and our contemporary tendency to exaggerate the influence of Europeans in places far from their centers of power. Europeans were often more dependent on Indians than Indians were on them.

Now the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado, this native ground was originally populated by indigenous peoples, became part of the French and Spanish empires, and in 1803 was bought by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. Drawing on archaeology and oral history, as well as documents in English, French, and Spanish, DuVal chronicles the successive migrations of Indians and Europeans to the area from precolonial times through the 1820s. These myriad native groups—Mississippians, Quapaws, Osages, Chickasaws, Caddos, and Cherokees—and the waves of Europeans all competed with one another for control of the region.

Only in the nineteenth century did outsiders initiate a future in which one people would claim exclusive ownership of the mid-continent. After the War of 1812, these settlers came in numbers large enough to overwhelm the region's inhabitants and reject the early patterns of cross-cultural interdependence. As citizens of the United States, they persuaded the federal government to muster its resources on behalf of their dreams of landholding and citizenship.

With keen insight and broad vision, Kathleen DuVal retells the story of Indian and European contact in a more complex and, ultimately, more satisfactory way.

Late in April 1861, President Lincoln ordered Federal troops to evacuate forts in Indian Territory. That left the Five Civilized Tribes—Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles—essentially under Confederate jurisdiction and control. The American Indian and the End of the Confederacy, 1863–1866, spans the closing years of the War Between the States, when Southern fortunes were waning, and the immediate postwar period.


Annie Heloise Abel shows the extreme vulnerability of the Indians caught between two warring sides. "The failure of the United States government to afford to the southern Indians the protection solemnly guaranteed by treaty stipulations had been the great cause of their entering into an alliance with The Confederacy, "she writes. Her classic book, originally published in 1925 as the third volume of The Slaveholding Indians, makes clear how the Indians became the victims of uprootedness and privation, pillaging, government mismanagement, and, finally, a deceptive treaty for reconstruction.

The Confederate Cherokee

Dr. Gary Gallagher, University of Virginia, in an excerpt from a lecture, "The Real Lost Cause," discusses why too many read history from the end instead of at the beginning; why the majority of people in the North were racist; why the Civil War could have ended with slavery intact:

Problematic 'Political Correctness'

Political correctness and historical objectivity cannot coexist in the same textbook on the War Between the States.  Unfortunately, as Sam Mitcham recently stated in a new book on the battle at Vicksburg, political correctness and intellectual dishonesty are all too often synonymous.

I have found, all to often, that the 'politically correct' party line is: the war was all about slavery; that selfless, valiant, morally pristine Northern army (which was supposedly full of holy and righteous indignation) launched a holy crusade against the evil Southern slaveholders, and defeated them because of their superior military skills, selfless valor, and overwhelmingly great mental prowess.  That would be funny if so many people didn't believe it.

Many today have no idea that ONLY 6-7% of the Confederate Army was made up of slaveholders.

Even those who do not read, but watch television and have seen the movie "Gettysburg" should ask themselves, "Why would anybody go through that hell so somebody else could keep their slaves?"  The inescapable conclusion is they would not.  So, why did the Southerner fight?

There were several major causes of the war, with slavery as one; but it was not the only one.  Money was a big one; perhaps the most significant, as will be detailed later on this page, reference the tariff issue.

There was no income tax in the Antebellum South or North; the major source of income for the government was the tariff.

+that the Southern plantation owner and yeoman farmer produced more than 75% of the world's cotton 
+the South, which contained 30% of the nation's population, was paying more than 85% of its taxes 
+at the same time, approximately 3/4 of that money was being spent on internal improvements in the North.

That is why, when asked why he didn't just let the South go, Lincoln cried, "Let the South go?  Let the South go?  From where then would we get our revenues?"
Then, many self-ordained 'politically correct' never mention the fact that the American slaves were originally enslaved by black Africans, not by white men on horseback who scooped up African warriors, as depicted in one movie.

They sold them to Northern or Arab (Muslim) flesh peddlers.  The slave fleets headquartered in Boston, Mass, and Providence, R.I., not in Charleston, New Orleans, and Savannah.

Yankee flesh peddlers then transported them across the ocean and sold them to Southerners and various other Americans...or at least what was left of them.

Of the 24 to 25 million slaves transported to the Western Hemisphere, only 20 million arrived alive.

4-5 million died in what was called the "Middle Passage."  (So much for Northern compassion).

6% of the survivors ended up in the colonies or the United States.

Slave fleets continued to operate throughout the Civil War.  They did not stop until 1885, when Brazil became the last country to outlaw the slave trade.

It is unfortunate that history is so vulnerable to those who want to dictate the present and control the future by changing the past.  And many 'politically correct' historians swell up in righteous indignation if you even bring up these inconvenient facts.
SLAVERY:  Dirty Secrets Exposed:
Anthony Johnson:  First Slave Owner in America (in Northampton County, Virginia).....and he was Black.
John Casor:

In 1640, five years after being freed from slavery himself, Anthony Johnson (born in Angola, Africa), acquired a black slave named John Casar (sometimes spelled Casor or Gesorroro). In 1648, Johnson, who had come to the Eastern Shore in the 1620s, purchased four head of livestock from four different planters. Two years later he was given a patent for an isolated 250-acre tract of land on the north side of Nandua, where he settled with his wife Mary (who had arrived from Africa in 1622) and proceeded to build a livestock business. A patent was a legal claim to land given by the government in exchange for bringing dependents (called "headrights") into the colony. In 1654, he acquired a second slave, Mary Gersheene. Over the next few years, the Johnson's sons, John and Richard, accumulated 650 acres adjacent to their parents' land.

The accumulation of several hundred acres of land, a herd of cattle, and a few slaves constituted a singular economic achievement for a free black family in mid-seventeenth-century Virginia. Historians have pointed to Anthony Johnson as proof that in the early and mid-1600's at least, Virginia's free blacks sometimes operated on an equal footing with whites. It is true that during the 17th-century free black men occasionally purchased not only black slaves, but indentured white servants, and they sometimes married white women. They established profitable farms and livestock businesses, and successfully sued whites in court.

But more recent investigations into the lives of free blacks on the Eastern Shore suggest that while colonial blacks had relatively more opportunity and freedom than their descendants in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, they too suffered at the hands of the white majority.

The Johnsons, for example, were harassed by two of their white neighbors, George and Robert Parker, who connived to lure John Casar away from the Johnson household in early 1655. Johnson successfully petitioned the court for Casar's return, ironically setting an early legal precedent for slavery in Virginia. A white planter attempted to defraud the Johnsons out of their land in 1653, and in 1658 another planter, Matthew Pippen, succeeded in taking land away from Richard Johnson.

Perhaps seeking an atmosphere more congenial for free blacks, the Johnson family moved north to Somerset County, Maryland in 1665, where Anthony Johnson leased 300 acres and founded a tobacco farm that he called Tories Vineyards. But their Virginia troubles were not over. In 1667, Edmund Scarburgh, the Shore's most prominent planter and politician, cheated Johnson out of more than 1,300 pounds of tobacco. And in the greatest injustice of all, in 1670 a jury of white men decided that "because he was a Negroe and by consequence an alien," the Virginia land originally held by Johnson should revert to the Crown.

Anthony Johnson died on his estate in Somerset before the 1670 decision was handed down. Mary Johnson died there 10 years later. Only one son, Richard Johnson, born about 1632, remained on the Eastern Shore, on 50 acres given to him by his father. In the next generation this property was inherited by Anthony's grandson, John Johnson Jr., who named the farm “Angola” as a tribute to his grandfather's birth country. John Johnson was unable to pay the taxes on the property and subsequently lost ownership. He died in 1721.

The Johnson family's economic success is a tribute to their hard work and resourcefulness, but the attempts by their white neighbors to ruin them are indicative of the severe obstacles to success placed in the path of blacks even during colonial times.

(Source: Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Site of 17th Century Estate of Anthony and Mary Johnson,” African American Historic Sites Database.)

The First Official Slave and Slave Owner in (North) America...from "Stolen History, Part 2":

William Ellison: Largest African American Slave Owner and Breeder

in South Carolina.....

and he was Black

By 1860, William “April” Ellison was South Carolina's largest Negro slave owner; and in the entire state, only five percent of the people owned as much real estate as did William Ellison. His wealth was 15 times greater than that of the state's average for whites. Ellison also owned more slaves than did 99% of the South's slaveholders.

"Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South" is the complete documented history of William Ellison, Jr., a black man who was among the top 10% of all slaveholders and landowners in Sumpter county, S.C.  In the entire state of South Carolina, only 5% of the population owned as much real estate as Ellison.  Only 3% of the state's slaveholders owned as many slaves.  Thus, compared to the mean wealth of white men in the entire South, Ellison's was 15 times greater.  99% of the South's slaveholders owned fewer slaves than he did.

William Holmes Ellison, Jr. "April"

a Black (mulatto) Slave Owner in South Carolina


In 1800, the South Carolina legislature had set out in detail the procedures for manumission. To end the practice of freeing unruly slaves of "bad or depraved" character and those who "from age or infirmity" were incapacitated, the state required that an owner testify under oath to the good character of the slave he sought to free. Also required was evidence of the slave's "ability to gain a livelihood in an honest way." On June 8, 1816, William Ellison of Fairfield County appeared before a magistrate (with five local freeholders as supporting witnesses) to gain permission to free his slave, April, who was at the time 26 years of age. April was William Ellison, Jr. of Sumter County.

At birth, William Ellison, Jr. was given the name of "April." It was a popular practice among slaves of the period to name a child after the day or month of his or her birth. It is known that between the years 1800 and 1802 April was owned by a white slave-owner named William Ellison, son of Robert Ellison of Fairfield County in South Carolina. It is not documented as to who his owner was before that time. It can only be assumed that William Ellison, a planter of Fairfield district was either the father or the brother of William Ellison, Jr., freedman of Sumter County. April had his name changed to William Ellison by the courts, obviously in honor of William Ellison of Fairfield.

At the age of 10, William "April" Ellison was apprenticed and he was trained as a cotton gin builder and repairer. He spent six years training as a blacksmith and carpenter and he also learned how to read, write, cipher and to do basic bookkeeping. Since there are no records showing the purchase of April (later William Ellison of Sumter) by William Ellison of Fairfield, it is unknown as to how long April was owned by William Ellison. It is known that William Ellison of Fairfield inherited a large estate from his father Robert, and that the slaves of the estate, named in the will were left to his siblings. It is possible that Robert Ellison gave several slaves to his son before his death, so they would not have needed to have been mentioned in his will. William owned several slaves according to the census records. Both Robert and William were of an age to have been able to be the father of April.

April was trained as a machinist and he became a well known cotton gin maker. Upon receiving his freedom he decided to pursue his expertise in Sumter County, South Carolina where found an eager market for his trade. He is well known for perfecting the cotton gin invented by Eli Whitney.

William Holmes "April" Ellison was born in 1790, in Fairfield, SC, which was 40 miles NW of the High Hills, to William Holmes Ellison and Mary Harrison. He married a woman named Matilda and together they had the following children: Aliza Ann, Marie, Henry, William Holmes III, and Reuben Ellison. He had an illegitimate child named Maria Ellison that he sold. "April" was a slave owner and one time slave himself. It was told that he was hard on his slaves and interestingly none of his slaves were Mulattoes, they were all black. When he was 26 he became a free man and 3 years later at the Sumter District courthouse he had his name changed to William. William was the name of his former master (William Holmes Ellison I). He changed his name from April because it was tied to slavery.

He was known for being a Cotton Gin Maker. In 1822, he built his Cotton gin shop on an acre of land that he purchased for $375 from General Thomas Sumter. This shop would be operated by William and even his grandsons for many decades. The shop was located at the NW corner of a busy intersection of the roads of Charleston-Camden and Sumterville-Columbia, SC. Now at the Holy Cross Episcopal Church were he attend services, William rose in respectability. His family became so respected that they were the only colored family allowed to worship on the main floor. William Ellison was permitted to place a Bench under the Organ Loft for the use of himself and family. William Ellison died on December 5, 1861 in Statesburg, SC, and was buried with his wife, Matilda. His tombstone was placed in the first row of the family's graveyard.

Additional Bio Info provided by Art Wells:

In 1800 the South Carolina legislature had set out in detail the procedures for manumission. To end the practice of freeing unruly slaves of "bad or depraved" character and those who "from age or infirmity" were incapacitated, the state required that an owner testify under oath to the good character of the slave he sought to free. Also required was evidence of the slave's "ability to gain a livelihood in an honest way." On June 8, 1816, William Ellison of Fairfield County appeared before a magistrate (with five local freeholders as supporting witnesses) to gain permission to free his slave, April, who was at the time 26 years of age. April was William Ellison, Jr. of Sumter County.

At birth, William Ellison, Jr. was given the name of "April." It was a popular practice among slaves of the period to name a child after the day or month of his or her birth. It is known that between the years 1800 and 1802 April was owned by a white slave-owner named William Ellison, son of Robert Ellison of Fairfield County in South Carolina. It is not documented as to who his owner was before that time. It can only be assumed that William Ellison, a planter of Fairfield district was either the father or the brother of William Ellison, Jr., freedman of Sumter County. April had his name changed to William Ellison by the courts, obviously in honor of William Ellison of Fairfield.

At the age of 10, William "April" Ellison was apprenticed and he was trained as a cotton gin builder and repairer. He spent six years training as a blacksmith and carpenter and he also learned how to read, write, cipher and to do basic bookkeeping. Since there are no records showing the purchase of April (later William Ellison of Sumter) by William Ellison of Fairfield, it is unknown as to how long April was owned by William Ellison. It is known that William Ellison of Fairfield inherited a large estate from his father Robert, and that the slaves of the estate, named in the will were left to his siblings. It is possible that Robert Ellison gave several slaves to his son before his death, so they would not have needed to have been mentioned in his will. William owned several slaves according to the census records. Both Robert and William were of an age to have been able to be the father of April.

April was trained as a machinist and he became a well known cotton gin maker. Upon receiving his freedom he decided to pursue his expertise in Sumter County, South Carolina where found an eager market for his trade. He is well known for perfecting the cotton gin invented by Eli Whitney.

In 1816, April, now known as William Ellison, Jr. arrived in Stateburg where he initially hired slave workers from their local owners. By 1820 he had purchased two adult males to work in his shop. On June 20, 1820, April appeared in the Sumter District courthouse in Sumterville. Described in court papers submitted by his attorney as a “freed yellow man of about 29 years of age,” he requested a name change because it “would yet greatly advance his interest as a tradesman.” A new name would also “save him and his children from degradation and contempt which the minds of some do and will attach to the name April.” Because “of the kindness” of his former master and as a “Mark of gratitude and respect for him” April asked that his name be changed to William Ellison. His request was granted.

The Ellison family joined the Episcopalian Church of the Holy Cross in Stateburg and on August 6, 1824, William Ellis was the first black to install a family bench on the first floor of the church, among those of the other wealthy families of Stateburg. The poor whites and the other black church members, free and slave, sat in the balcony of the church.

Gradually, Ellison built up a small empire, purchasing slaves in increasing numbers as the years passed. He became one of South Carolina's major cotton gin manufacturers and sold his machines as far away as Mississippi. He regularly advertised his cotton gins in newspapers across the state. His ads may be found in historic copies of the Black River Watchman, the Sumter Southern Whig, and the Camden Gazzette.

By 1830, he owned four slaves who assisted him in his business. He then began to acquire land and even more slaves. In 1838 Ellison purchased 54.5 acres adjoining his original acreage from former South Carolina Governor Stephen Decater Miller. Ellison and his family moved into a large home on the property. (The house had been known as Miller House but became known as Ellison House.) As his business grew, so did his wealth and by 1840, Ellison owned 12 slaves. His sons, who lived in homes on the property, owned an additional nine slaves. By the early 1840s, he was one of the most prosperous men in the area. By the year 1850, he was the owner of 386 acres of land and 37 slaves. The workers on Ellison's plantation produced 35 bales of cotton that year.

In 1852, Ellison purchased Keith Hill and Hickory Hill Plantations which increased his land holdings to over 1,000 acres. By 1860 William Ellison was South Carolina's largest Negro slave owner and in the entire state, only five percent of the people owned as much real estate as did William Ellison. His wealth was 15 times greater than that of the state's average for whites. Ellison also owned more slaves than did 99% of the South's slaveholders.

When War Between the States broke out in 1861, William Ellison, Jr. was one of the staunchest supporters of the Confederacy. His grandson joined a Confederate Artillery Unit, and William turned his plantation over from cotton cash crop production to farming foodstuff for the Confederacy.

William Ellison, Jr. died on 5 December 1861, at the age of 71 and per his wishes, his family continued to actively support the Confederacy throughout the war. Aside from producing corn, fodder, bacon, corn shucks, and cotton for the Confederate Army, they contributed vast amounts of money, paid $5000 in taxes, and invested a good portion of their fortune into Confederate Bonds which were worthless at the end of the war.

William Ellison, Jr. had died with an estate appraised at $43,500, consisting of 70 slaves. His will stated that his estate should pass into the joint hands of his daughter and his two surviving sons. He bequeathed $500 to a slave daughter he had sold. At his death he was one in the top 10% of the wealthiest people in all of South Carolina, was in the top 5% of land ownership, and he was the third largest slave owner in the entire state.

In 1816, April, now known as William Ellison, Jr. (not to be confused with one of his own sons, whom he would name William Ellison, Jr.) arrived in Stateburg where he initially hired slave workers from their local owners. By 1820, he had purchased two adult males to work in his shop. On June 20, 1820, "April" appeared in the Sumter District courthouse in Sumterville. Described in court papers submitted by his attorney as a “freed yellow man of about 29 years of age,” he requested a name change because it “would yet greatly advance his interest as a tradesman.” A new name would also “save him and his children from degradation and contempt which the minds of some do and will attach to the name April.” Because “of the kindness” of his former master and as a “Mark of gratitude and respect for him” April asked that his name be changed to William Ellison. His request was granted.

The Ellison family joined the Episcopalian Church of the Holy Cross in Stateburg and on  August 6, 1824, William Ellis was the first black allowed to install a family bench on the first floor of the church, albeit in the back of the church, among those of the other wealthy  families of Stateburg. The poor whites and the other black church members, free and slave, sat in the balcony of the church.

Gradually, Ellison built up a small empire, purchasing slaves in increasing numbers as the years passed. He became one of South Carolina's major cotton gin manufacturers and sold his machines as far away as Mississippi. He regularly advertised his cotton gins in newspapers across the state. His ads may be found in historic copies of the Black River Watchman, the Sumter Southern Whig, and the Camden Gazette.

By 1830, he owned four slaves who assisted him in his business.   He then began to acquire land and even more slaves. In 1838, Ellison purchased 54.5 acres adjoining his original acreage from former South Carolina Governor Stephen Decater Miller. Ellison and his family moved into a large home on the property. (The house had been known as Miller House but became known as Ellison House.) As his business grew, so did his wealth and  by 1840, Ellison owned 12 slaves.

His sons, who lived in homes on the property, owned an additional nine slaves. By the early 1840s, he was one of the most prosperous men in the area. By the year 1850, he was the owner of 386 acres of land and 37 slaves. The workers on Ellison's plantation produced 35 bales of cotton that year. 

In 1852, Ellison purchased Keith Hill and Hickory Hill Plantations which increased his land holdings to over 1,000 acres. By 1860 William Ellison was South Carolina's largest Negro slaveowner and in the entire state, only five percent of the people owned as much real estate as did William Ellison. His wealth was 15 times greater than that of the state's average for whites. Ellison also owned more slaves than did 99% of the South's slaveholders.

And how did he treat his slaves?  The records found in "Black Masters," tell us "He had a reputation as a harsh master.  His slaves were said to be the district's worst fed and worst clothed.  Hungry for more land and slaves, Ellison and his family lived frugally, and he probably was even more tightfisted in providing food, clothing, and housing for his slaves.   Harsh treatment could have stemmed from Ellison's need to prove to whites that, despite his history and color, he was not soft on slaves.  A reputation for harshness was less dangerous than a reputation for indulgence."

Did he pay for "slave catchers" to find his runaway slaves?  Yes, the record is clear on that point. 

He was also a slave "breeder" who sold off black slave girls to help raise the large sums he needed to buy more adult slaves and more land.  To him, slaves were a source of labor, and the laborers he needed most were adult men who could work in his gin shop and cotton fields.  Rather than accumulate slaves he could not exploit, it is seen that he sold twenty or more girls, retaining only a few who could eventually have more children, and in some cases, work in his home as domestics.  If Ellison sold twenty slave girls for an average price of $400, he obtained an additional $8,000 cash, a sum large enough to have made a major contribution to the land and slave purchases that made him a planter.  Thus, Ellison's economic empire was in large part constructed by slave labor and paid for by the sale of slave girls.  And from the local records available, local tradition is silent about Ellison's slave sales, but outspoken about his reputation as a harsh master.  In summary, his slaves were said to be the district's worst fed and worst clothed. 

When War Between the States broke out in 1861, William Ellison, Jr. was one of the staunchest supporters of the Confederacy. His grandson joined a Confederate Artillery Unit, and William turned his plantation over from cotton cash crop production to farming foodstuff for the Confederacy.

William Ellison  died on 5 December 1861, at the age of 71 and per his wishes, his family continued to actively support the Confederacy throughout the war. Aside from producing corn, fodder, bacon, corn shucks, and cotton for the Confederate Army, they contributed vast amounts of money, paid $5000 in taxes, and invested a good portion of their fortune into Confederate Bonds which were worthless at the end of the war.

 William Ellison, Jr. had died with an estate under-appraised at $43,500, consisting of 70 slaves. His will stated that his estate should pass into the joint hands of his daughter and his two surviving sons. He bequeathed $500 to a slave daughter he had sold. At his death he was one in the top 10% of the  wealthiest people in all of South Carolina, was in the top 5% of land ownership, and he was the third largest slave owner in the entire state. 

Slave records show that Ellison owned by year and number:

1820: 2, 1830: 4, 1840: 30, 1850: 36, and 1860: 63.

Skilled artisans who made and repaired cotton gins and other agricultural equipment were a common feature in many communities of antebellum South Carolina.  While some enslaved craftsmen and mechanics did this type of work, this was also a business for white laborers and even free persons of color.  The 1860 census, however, listed only 21 fulltime gin makers in the state.  The above newspaper advertisements shed light on the business of making and repairing cotton gins during the mid-nineteenth century.  The ad, “Improved Cotton Gins,” comes from William Ellison of Stateburg, a successful cotton gin maker, as well as planter, slaveholder, and free person of color. 

Ellison’s remarkable story began in 1790, as a child born into slavery in Fairfield District.  At the time of his birth, the South Carolina backcountry was still very much a frontier society.  His father was likely a white man (either Robert or William Ellison), who was among those early cotton farmers that helped transform the backcountry into a plantation society.  Around 1802, he became an apprentice to a nearby gin maker in Winnsboro, helping construct cotton gins for planters in the region.  In 1816, at the age of 26, he purchased his freedom, and he legally changed his name from April to William in 1820.  Changing his name was an important step, since “April” was considered a slave name.  William Ellison, as a free person of color and entrepreneur, set up his own successful gin shop in Stateburg.

William Ellison to Henry Ellison, 26 March 1857.  Document Description:

Freedman William Ellison’s cotton gin shop in Stateburg proved to be a lucrative enterprise for him and his family.  In this letter dated March 26, 1857, Ellison wrote to his son Henry, who was clearly involved in handling the accounts of the ginning business.  By the time of this letter, William Ellison and his family were a part of an elite group of free African Americans based largely in Charleston.  Ellison maintained his wealth and financial security by purchasing land and slaves.  By 1860, Ellison owned over 900 acres of land, as well as 63 slaves.  According to the census of 1860, Ellison was one of 171 black slaveholders in South Carolina.  His home in Stateburg, which had previously belonged to former governor, Stephen Miller, still stands today.

The above letter comes from the Ellison Family Papers, which consist of letters, notices, receipts, and accounts for William Ellison.  These papers are unique, since they are perhaps the only sustained collection of papers between members of a family of free African Americans during the mid-nineteenth century (ranging in time from 1848 to 1864).  Selected Ellison Family Papers have been published in Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roark, ed., No Chariot Let Down: Charleston’s Free People of Color on the Eve of the Civil War.  (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984).


William Ellison to Henry Ellison, 26 March 1857.  Ellison Family Papers, 1845-1870. Manuscripts Division, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.


Stateburg, March 26th 1857

Dear Henry,

Your letter of 23rd instant was duly received and I perceived by it that you had not received mine of the 22d.  John went over the river yesterday.  He saw Mr. Ledinham.  He said that he had not sold but half of his crop of cotton and had not the money but when he got the money and was working on this side of the river that he would send his son with it and rake up his account.  He also saw Mr. Van Buren and he was ready to pay but before he did so he wished his overseer to certify to it but John could not find him and as it became late he had to leave for home but left the account with Mrs. Mitchel, his wife.  You will find enclosed Mrs. Mathew Singleton’s account.  She will be found at No. 4 Akins range.  Mr. Turner said that it was his fault that the account was not paid before.  He thinks that she will get another gin.  There is one of the saws in the new gin that is worn half in two.  He says that he will send the gin over to be repair[ed] and also another old gin providing Mrs. Singleton don’t get a new gin.  As you did not get my letter in due time and for fear that you may not [have] as yet received it, I will mention a few items of importance that  I

[Page 2]

wish attended to at one if you have not done so.  Leave three hundred dollars in Messrs. Adams and Frost hands subject to my order.  And also the money that I have borrowed from William.  Mr. Benbow wrote to me and I sent you a copy in the letter that I wrote you.  Mr. E. Murray’s account and order was presented to him last Friday and he was to send his note when he sent to the post office but he failed to do so.  I want you to get me a half doz. weeding hoes.  No. 2 get two hand saws from Mr. Adger for the shop.  I want you to get me 8 bags of guano.  The above articles and instruction was states in the other letter.  I mention the same incase you should not have received my other letter.  We are all well as usual.  Give my respect to all my friends.

Your father,

William Ellison

The slave-holding, black, Ellison family, fully supported the Confederacy.
In addition to buying Confederate War Bonds and growing crops to help feed the Confederate Army, at least one of the Ellison sons (William Holmes Ellison, III) joined the Confederate army, seen in the next photo.
William Holmes Ellison, III,
in Confederate uniform:

Birth:            Jul. 19, 1819

Death:          Jul. 24, 1904



  William Holmes Ellison (1790 - 1861)

  Matilda Ellison (1764 - 1850)



  Mary Thomson Mishaw Ellison (1829 - 1853)

  Gabriella Miller Ellison (1832 - 1920)*



  William John Ellison (1845 - 1894)*

  Robert Mishaw Ellison (1851 - 1854)*

  Henry McKinzie Ellison (1852 - 1853)*



  Aliza Ann Ellison Buckner Johnson (1811 - 1820)*

  William Holmes Ellison (1819 - 1904)

  Reuben Ellison (1821 - ____)*



At Rest

His two wives:

Mary Thomson Mishaw Ellison

Birth:            Sep. 4, 1829

Death:           Jun. 2, 1853


Consort of William Ellison Jr. Daughter of John Mishaw.


Family links:


  William Holmes Ellison (1819 - 1904)*



  William John Ellison (1845 - 1894)*

  Robert Mishaw Ellison (1851 - 1854)*

  Henry McKinzie Ellison (1852 - 1853)*



Mary Thomson Ellison, Consort of William Ellison Jr. and Daughter of the late John Mishaw, formerly of Charleston who departed this life in 2nf of June 1853 age 24 years, 9 months, & 28 days in the prime of life and vigor of youth she was visited with a painful & lingering disease & as a Christian she bore with patience thru faith in her redeemer until her spirit was called away unto him that gave it.



Ellison Cemetery


Sumter County

South Carolina, USA

Gabriella Miller Ellison


Birth:            Nov. 18, 1832

Death:           Dec. 24, 1920


Gabriella Miller is the daughter of Ruben Miller and Louise Barrett. She 1st married Charley Johnson with whom she had one daughter, Charlotte Johnson. After Charley's death, she married William Ellison III.


Family links:


  William Holmes Ellison (1819 - 1904)



Ellison Cemetery


Sumter County

South Carolina, USA

Gabriella Miller Ellison's death certificate:

William Holmes Ellison, III
tombstone in the "segregated"
Ellison cemetery:
This and other primary document evidence, refutes those historians like Gary Gallagher, who fervently believe that no Black man ever served in the Confederate Army. More information about Black Confederates is found further down on this web page.


John Wilson Buckner, of the Ellison family line,  also served with the CSA, in the company of Captains P.P. Galliard and A.H. Boykin, local white men who knew that Buckner was a Man of Color. Although it was illegal at the time for a Man of Color to formally join the Confederate forces, the Ellison family's prestige nullified the law in the minds of Buckner's comrades. Buckner was wounded in action on July 12, 1863. He did not die then. He applied for and received a pension from the Federal Government, as did all Confederate soldiers who applied. At his funeral it was held in Stateburg in August, of 1895 he was praised by his former Confederate officers as being a "faithful soldier."


1st Artillery

1. Man of Color --- appears on a report of operations and casualties Fort Sumter, August 23, 1863.

Report date: Ft. Sumter, Aug. 24, 1863.

Remarks: Severely wounded head (Unfiled Papers and Slips Belonging in Confederate Compiled Service Records)


2. John Wilson Buckner -- Co. I. Enlisted March 27, 1863 at Franklin S. C. for 3 years. Roll of May and June 1863-- present, July and August 1863--present wounded in action at Battery Wagner, July 14, 1863. Roll of Sept and Oct 1863 --present, Nov. and Dec. 1863 --present. Jan. to Oct 19, 1864 -- present Deserted Oct. 19, 1864.


It is believed that John Wilson Buckner served with other South Carolina Confederate units, Capt. P.O. Gaillard's company and later became a scout in Capt. Boykin's company, both South Carolina regiments; however we have not been able to prove service in these units at this time.

This information was put on his findagrave site:

John Wilson Buckner was born in Sumter County. Buckner joined the 1st South Carolina Artillery on March 27. 1863. He served in the company of Captains P.P. Galliard and Alexander Hamilton Boykin, local men who knew that Buckner was a Negro. Although it was illegal at the time for a Negro to formally join the Confederate forces, the Ellison family's prestige nullified the law in the minds of Buckner's comrades. Buckner was wounded at Fort Wagner on July 12, 1863, in the battle against the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. After recovering, he was a regular in Capt. P.O. Gaillard’s company and later became a scout in Capt. Boykin’s company, both South Carolina regiments. When John Wilson Bucker died in August, 1895, at his funeral, he was praised by his officers as being a faithful soldier.

1953 case of Hood v Sumter SC School District...Woodrow Hood (a descendant of Scotts and Oxendines who migrated down to Sumter from Robeson around 1805) sued to allow children of the Dalzell 'Turk' school to attend Sumter white schools. Two included as plaintiffs in this case were Henry Lowery and Ruth Lowery. While the Indian descent of their Scott and Oxendine ancestors were conceeded, it was the postion of the Sumter School Board that the plaintiffs were also descendants of the BUCKNER'S and Benehaleys who were believed to be part black. Woodrow Hood, the filier of the complaint, responded by testifying regarding the geneaology of the 'Turk' community, however his visceral response to the 'black descent' line of questioning was to adamantly claim that every single line of his ancestry was white, excepting one small line of Benenhaley's who were claiming to be part-Arab.No Proff. (John Buckner, the first Buckner to intermarry among the Scott/Oxendine/Benehaley's was described by an elderly Sumter resident in the late 1880's as "nearly full-blooded Indian") Regarding the Lowery family he states "I am informed that Lum Lowery, whose first name was possibly Columbus, and who was a white man who was not a member of our group, and whose geographical origin is unknown to me, came to our community many years ago, and married one Alice Benenhaley, and they settled in our community."


Family links:


  Willis Wilson Buckner (1809 - 1831)

  Aliza Ann Ellison Buckner Johnson (1811 - 1820)



  Jane Johnson Buckner (1830 - 1860)

  Sarah Oxendine Buckner (1835 - 1919)



  Henrietta Ann Buckner (1858 - 1918)*

  Infant Boy Buckner (1860 - 1860)*

  John William Buckner (1863 - 1881)*

  Henry Ellison Buckner (1865 - 1963)*

  Sam Buckner (1870 - 1925)*

  Charles Wilson Buckner (1873 - 1920)*

  Daniel Buckner (1875 - 1949)*


Information on his two wives:

Jane "Janie" Johnson Buckner



Janie Johnson was daughter of James Drayton Johnson and Delia and a sister to Charley and James Marsh Johnson. She married her Step nephew John Wilson Buckner  and had two children. Henrietta Ann "Harriett" and unamed infant son. Janie died suddenly and unexpectedly,  James Johnson was sure that she would receive God's condescending Love & Mercy and that her soul would be saved. He said her death was God's will. And we dare not to murmur. The family were members of the Holy Cross Church. Buckner's lived at Drayton Hall With the Johnson's.


Family links:


  John Wilson Buckner (1831 - 1895)*



  Henrietta Ann Buckner (1858 - 1918)*

  Infant Boy Buckner (1860 - 1860)*


Sarah Oxendine Buckner


Birth: Feb., 1835


Sumter County

South Carolina, USA

Death:             Jun. 16, 1919


Sumter County

South Carolina, USA


Sarah Oxendine is the daughter of Aaron Oxendine and Jane Scott.Wife of John Wilson Buckner. According to the book Black Slave Masters and Fire in the Charott Below. Also On one of the kids death record they had her name as being Sarah Benenhaley.


Family links:


  John Wilson Buckner (1831 - 1895)*



  John William Buckner (1863 - 1881)*

  Henry Ellison Buckner (1865 - 1963)*

  Sam Buckner (1870 - 1925)*

  Charles Wilson Buckner (1873 - 1920)*

  Daniel Buckner (1875 - 1949)*

"William Holmes Ellison " April" sons invested heavily in Confederate war bonds, and his grandson John Wilson Buckner was allowed to enlist in the South Carolina Artillery because of "personal associations and a sterling family reputation...." [pp. 305-307]

Source: Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roark, Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1984)


The elder Ellison insisted that his children "toe the line" when it came to obeying and following his example.  One son, Reuben (brother of William Holmes Ellison, III) broke with that when he fathered black slave children born to Hannah Godwine, his young black domestic slave woman.  Hannah's eldest child, Dianna, was born in 1853, the year Reuben's mulatto wife, Harriett Ann died.  At two-year intervals thereafter, Hannah gave birth to Susan, Marcus, John, and Virginia....all black like their mother according to the 1860 Census.  When these slave children were baptized, Hannah was listed as the mother, but no father was indicated.  Reuben's illegitimate children continued to live the local black community in later years.

But the elder William Ellison continued to smolder with resentment at his son's behavior.  When Reuben died in the spring of 1861, he received a funeral at the church, but no headstone or marker of any kind in the family cemetery.  The old man had never scrimped on gravestones before, but the absence of a stone in this case reflects William Ellison's final judgment on Reuben's paternity of black slave children.  He also took no steps whatever to acknowledge kinship or even regard for Hannah's children. When he buried Reuben he hoped quietly to put to rest the distressing truth about slave Ellisons.
One of Reuben's slave children turned up in Oregon in later years, as evidenced by the death certificate seen below.  Notice that Hannah is listed as the mother (with no last name) and Reuben is listed as the father with his last name "Ellison" listed!


Another of Ruben's children by his slave mistress, John, later took the last name of Harrison, which was his father Ruben's middle name; and styled himself as John McKinsey Harrison.  His story follows, taken from "History of the American Negro" by A.B. Caldwell, 1919.

John M. Harrison's death certificate. Notice that his father's name, Ruben Ellison, is missing, while Ruben's mistress/wife Hannah, is on the certificate:
Father's name is missing:
After the elder Ellison died in December 1861, the remaining children continued to carry on their plantation and gin business.  They had considered becoming exiles and moving to another country like Haiti, but decided to stay put.  They made money from converting from cotton to growing food like sweet potatoes, corn, and peas; and selling it to the Confederate government.  Thus, they stayed in the "good graces" with their Rebel white slave owner neighbors.

As the war progressed, Sherman, after marching from Atlanta, pushed into South Carolina.  He sent General Edward F. Potter to march north from Charleston and destroy railroads, military stores, and homes of Confederate sympathizers, in the Sumpter district.  They passed through Stateburg where the Ellisons lived, and it was only by luck, that they were not also burned out.  Had Potter's troops known about the wartime activities of Ellison's, they might have paused long enough to light a fire.

After the war and during Reconstruction, the Ellisons were simply Southern Negroes.  The Republican party offered the Ellisons little but trouble.  As large landowners, they had no desire to share with anyone, white or black.  These mulatto Ellisons were not about to hasten the destruction of their status by joining hands with ex-slaves in Republican politics.  Thus they joined the local Democratic Club, surrounded by old white friends.  Indeed, from 1890 to 1910, Ellison family members are found on their rolls.

As the family continued to farm their land, they had become masters without slaves and had to hire freemen.  Their plantation system broke down.  They preserved peaceful relations with local white people but in 1870, the family itself began to disintegrate with Ellison's daughter's death.  Surviving family members sued each other in court for what they thought was their share of the old man's inheritance.  Finally, on July 24, 1904, the last of William Ellison's children, 85 year-old William Ellison, Jr., died.  The will directed that after all surviving spouses died, the estate would be sold and divided among any surviving grandchildren.  Provision was made to maintain the family cemetery.
The segregated Ellison Family Cemetery
(William Ellison, a mulatto, decreed that no blacks or whites could be buried there.)
Information about William Ellison's children, grandchildren, spouses.
Some Primary Sources:

Improved Cotton Gins, Sumter Banner, 13 December 1848. Newspapers on Microfilm, Published Materials Division. South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.


William Ellison to Henry Ellison, 26 March 1857. Ellison Family Papers, 1845-1870. Manuscripts Division, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.


Bill from Ellison to Waites, Thomas Waites Papers, 1733- 1838. Manuscripts Division, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina


1850 U.S. Census- Slave Schedule. Available from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Microfilm collection. Columbia, South Carolina. Accessed 17 February 2009.

Secondary Sources


Ellison Family Graveyard.  Available from the Internet, Palmetto State Roots Web Sites, Accessed 20 January 2009.


“Student Activity Packet, Activity #2: Fixing a Gin: Math and History at Your Desk”. The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Available from the Internet,  National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Accessed 24 July 2008.


Johnson, Michael P.  and James L. Roark. Black masters: a free family of color in the old South. New York: Norton, 1984.


Koger, Larry. Black Slaveowners : Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790- 1860. Jefferson: McFarland, 1985.

"Dixie's Censored Subject: Black Slave Owners" by Robert M. Groom
Harvard University History Professor
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., discusses
what he calls the "dirty secret"
of black slave owners:
Slavery in the Northern States prior to and during the War Between the States

It is unfortunate that many are ignorant of our American history.  A careful examination of the historical facts of our nation prior to and during the War Between the States might have tempered this year's dust up in Charlottesville and New Orleans, which was filled with racist rhetoric.


The 1850 Census clearly reveals that 98.8% of people living in the North before the War Between the States were White.  And if you add in the border/slave-holding states that stayed with the Union during that war, the percentage is still 96.5% White.


Many will find to their dismay and shatter their sensibilities, is that these Northerners were "racist."  Any desire for Northern whites in the 1850s to end slavery did not equate with a belief in racial equality.  The Blacks might be freed, eventually, but they would not be welcome to remain.


From my college courses in Colonial and Revolutionary America, which covered Indentured Servants and early forms of slavery in what was called the "Upper South," I discovered the North's profit from, indeed, dependence on, slavery, has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret.  The "devil is definitely in the details" of this story about the lucrative Triangle Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves that linked the North to the West Indies, and Africa.  The reality is that Northern empires were built on tainted profits, run in some cases, by abolitionists, and thousand-acre plantations (yes, plantations in the North) that existed in towns such as Salem, Connecticut.

And what happened in the North after federal law banned the importation of African slaves took effect on January 1, 1808?  By 1860, the importation of slaves was alive and well.  New York was the hub of an international illegal slave trade that, like the latter-day traffic in drugs, was too lucrative and too corrupt to stop.  Ships were still being built and sold in New York to carry slaves, while customs agents, uncaring or bribed, looked the other way, as these slave ships sailed from New York harbor under thin disguises.  Fake owners, fake and forged documents, use of the American flag with it's guarantee of immunity from seizure by foreign nations, completed the modus operandi.

It was a virtual shell game: from voyage  to voyage, ship might switch from legitimate merchant vessel to slave ship and back again.  While crossing the Atlantic, slavers would carry duplicate sets of ownership papers, duplicate captains and crews, one American and one foreign.


So often Northerners liked to believe slavery in America was strictly a Southern sin, to which Yankees rarely yielded.

"The Northern slaveholder traded in men and women whom he never saw, and of whose separations, tears, and miseries he determined never to hear."


-Harriet Beecher Stowe

("The Education of Freedmen," The North American Review, June 1879.)  And author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

What school children are taught is the South's story is set on a plantation in Mississippi, South Carolina, or some other Southern state, where, with stories embellished and magnified 10-fold, of overseers brandishing whips over slaves picking cotton. 


By contrast, the North's story is thought to be heroic, filled with abolitionists running that Underground Railroad Train.  The few slaves who may have lived in the North, it has been believed, were treated like members of the family.  And, of course, the Northerners were the good guys in the War Between the States.  They freed the slaves.  That's not all mythology, but it is a convenient and whitewashed shorthand.


That's where most readers of history go wrong: trying to read the story backward; explaining to our current generation how their country grew to be the way it is.   In such a story, slavery is a single chapter in a history book; a background event limited to one region of the country and overwhelmed by the more recent events of Western Expansion, etc.


People who read the military history of the War Between the States, often have what we historians call the "Appomattox Syndrome."  They start at the end, thinking, "OK, now we know the South surrendered in April 1865, so those folks simply had to live with the outcome they knew was coming."  No.  The South had a very good chance to have won their independence on two occasions: one in 1862 and late 1864; and Gettysburg, contrary to what you may have been taught, was NOT the turning point of the war.


A history told forward; you always read in the evidence forward, not backward; which pushes slavery into the foreground, inserting it into nearly every chapter.  The truth is that slavery was a national phenomenon.

Slavery has long been identified in the national consciousness as a Southern institution.  The time to bury that myth is overdue.


Slavery is a story about all of America:  the nation’s wealth, from the very beginning, depended upon the exploitation of black people on three continents.  Together, over the lives of enslaved men and women, Northerners and Southerners shook hands and made a country.  Keep in mind: the Constitution protected slavery.


Before the War Between the States, the North grew rich with slavery:

1.    In the 18th Century after the Revolutionary War, thousands of black people were enslaved in the North.  In fact, they made up nearly 1/5 of the population of New York City.

2.    Two major slave revolts occurred in New York City.

3.    The North sold food and other supplies to sugar plantations in the Caribbean.  Thousands of acres of Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island had plantations that used slave labor.

4.    Rhode Island was America’s leader in the transatlantic trade: almost 1,000 voyages to Africa, carrying at least 100,000 captives back across the Atlantic.

5.    New York City was the seaport hub of a lucrative illegal slave trade.  Manhattan shipyards built ships to carry to carry captive Africans with these ships outfitted with crates of shackles and huge water tanks needed for their human cargo.  During the peak years between 1859 and 1860, at least 2 slave ships, each built to hold between 600-1,000 slaves, left lower Manhattan every month!

Fernando Wood,
Mayor of New York City

With the Southern secession movement underway, Mayor Wood proposed that New York City should also secede from the United States.
Why would New York City even consider leaving the Union?  The financial underpinning of the city was the Cotton trade.  Cotton was the root of the entire State of New York's wealth.  It wasn't just a crop, it was the national currency and responsible for America's growth in the decades before the War Between the States.  And, slave labor was what raised it.

Hundreds of merchants  made their fortunes off the cotton industry before the War Between the States, including:  Lehman Brothers, Junius Morgan, father of J.Pierpont Morgan, John Jacob Astor, Charles L. Tiffany, Archibald Gracie, to name a few.

The cultural context in the North is key to understanding, especially the economic climate....the wealth that the cotton trade created; New York was interlocked with the South.

Secession was not an original thought with Fernando Wood: all manner of politicians, watching the Union unravel over the slavery issue, wanted to partner with their Southern planter friends.  Much of the cotton in 1860, was brought to the 472 cotton mills in New England.

For 50 years before the War Between the States, cotton was the backbone of the American economy.  It was king, and the North ruled the kingdom.  From seed to cloth, it was the Northern merchants, shippers, and financial institutions, many based in New York, who controlled nearly every aspect of cotton production and trade.  It was the large banks, most located in Manhattan, or in London, who extended credit to the plantation owners, between planting and selling their crop.  Slaves were usually bought on credit. 

The Middleman was important to king cotton economy.  The cotton "factor," were Northerners who linked the plantation owner with the Northern manufacturer.   These mostly New Englanders, were brokers or agents and bought a planter's supplies, advised him, and took charge of his finances.  He had to present himself to the planter as indispensable in return for his commission on the sale of cotton.

Northern influence was felt in every part of the cotton trade/industry.  Most of the ships that carried the cotton from plantation to market were built and operated by men of the North.  The provided the insurance to protect the cotton crop; and even produced coarse clothing for slaves called "negro cloth."

Consider the cotton season that ended on August 31, 1860:  America had produced 5 million bales of cotton, which translates to 2.3 billion pounds.  Of that amount, 1/2 or more than 1 billion pounds was exported to Great Britain's 2,650 cotton factories.

It has been estimated that the North took 40 cents of every dollar a planter earned from cotton.  No wonder that many were worried about the pending storm of session talk.

By 1860, mills in Massachusetts and Rhode Island manufactured almost 50% of all the textiles produced in America.  In that year, New England mills produced 75% of the nation's total: 850 million yards of cloth.

And the number of slaves involved in cotton production had growth to meet demand:  the first US Census in 1790, (3 years before Eli Whitney's invention of the Cotton Gin) recorded just under 700,000 slaves.  But 1861, there were almost 4 million slaves, with 2 1/4 million involved directly or indirectly, in growing cotton.  The 10 major cotton states were producing 66% of the world's cotton; and raw cotton accounted for more than 1/2 of all US exports.
The Cause of the
War Between the States:
a discussion with Judge Napolitano

Recent and Recommended:

 The book "Complicity" may be an eye-opener
for finger-pointing Northerners who like to believe slavery was strictly a Southern sin, to which Yankees rarely yielded.

It details the North's profit from....indeed, dependence on....slavery has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret.  This book reveals the cruel truth about the lucrative Triangle Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves that linked the North to the West Indies and Africa. 

It discloses the reality of Northern empires built on tainted profits...run, in some cases, by Abolitionists...and exposes the thousand-acre plantations that existed in towns such as Salem, Connecticut. 

This book includes eye-opening accounts of the individuals who profited directly from slavery far from the Mason-Dixon line.  It is a fascinating and sobering work that actually does what so many books pretend to do: shed light on America's past.

The PDF file below is a Teachers' Guide and has a synopsis of the "Complicity" book which gives excellent insight into the research written by the three reporters.
You can find the authors' complete presentation on C-SPAN from their web-link https://www.c-span.org/video/?190396-1/complicity-north-profited-slavery-america). You can copy and paste it into your search bar.
But be forewarned: one thing I noticed during the Q&A at the end: all the questions from the New Yorker's in the audience (it was filmed at the New York Historical Society, NYC) expressed skepticism about the validity of their evidence. One audience member tried to blame the problem on the British; another wanted to know how their body of research could be connected to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and suggested that all Blacks in New Orleans should receive some type of compensation, say, free college tuition.  Suffice to say, the authors seemed unprepared for the vitriolic response from the audience, as if they should be ashamed to be letting the proverbial skeleton out of the family closet.
Complicity: How the North Profited
from Slavery in America

On National Public Radio:

Slavery in the North during the War Between the States? Yes, and in the following program, you will see many who still live in the Northern states, who are in denial:

from The Medford Historical Society:

Slaves in New England

The First African Immigrants

A central fact obscured by post-Civil War mythologies is that the northern U.S. states were deeply implicated in slavery and the slave trade right up to the war.

Contrary to popular belief:

  • Slavery was a northern institution
    • The North held slaves for over two centuries
    • The North abolished slavery only just before the Civil War
    • The North dominated the slave trade
    • The North built its economy around slavery
    • The North industrialized with slave-picked cotton and the profits from slavery
  • Slavery was a national institution
    • Slavery was practiced by all thirteen colonies
    • Slavery was enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and practiced by all thirteen original states
    • The slave trade was permitted by the federal government until 1808
    • Federal laws protected slavery and assisted slave owners in retrieving runaway slaves
    • The Union was deeply divided over slavery until the end of the Civil War
  • Slavery benefited middle-class families
    • Slavery dominated the northern and southern economies during the colonial era and up to the Civil War
    • Ordinary people built ships, produced trade goods, and invested in shares of slave voyages
    • Workers in all regions benefited economically from slavery and slavery-related businesses
    • Consumers bought and benefited from lower prices on goods like coffee, sugar, tobacco, and cotton
  • Slavery benefited immigrant families
    • Immigrants who arrived after the Civil War still benefited from slavery and its aftermath
    • Immigrants flocked to the “land of opportunity” made possible by the unpaid labor of enslaved people
    • Immigrants found routes to prosperity which were closed to the families of former slaves
    • Federal programs in the 20th century provided white families with aid for education, home ownership, and small businesses

Following the abolition of slavery in New England, white citizens seemed to forget that it had ever existed there. Drawing on a wide array of primary sources—from slaveowners' diaries to children's daybooks to racist broadsides—Joanne Pope Melish reveals not only how northern society changed but how its perceptions changed as well. Melish explores the origins of racial thinking and practices to show how ill-prepared the region was to accept a population of free people of color in its midst. Because emancipation was gradual, whites transferred prejudices shaped by slavery to their relations with free people of color, and their attitudes were buttressed by abolitionist rhetoric which seemed to promise riddance of slaves as much as slavery.

Melish tells how whites came to blame the impoverished condition of people of color on their innate inferiority, how racialization became an important component of New England ante-bellum nationalism, and how former slaves actively participated in this discourse by emphasizing their African identity. Placing race at the center of New England history, she contends that slavery was important not only as a labor system but also as an institutionalized set of relations. The collective amnesia about local slavery's existence became a significant component of New England regional identity.

In the long and rich historiography of North American slavery, relatively few scholars have explored the subject of slavery in New England or the impact of slavery and emancipation in the region on the racial attitudes of New Englanders. Joanne Pope Melish's book Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and "Race" in New England, 1780-1860 seeks, in her words, to put "slavery and the painful process of gradual emancipation back into the history of New England (p. 200)." Melish views as a blind spot the assumption by previous scholars that slavery in New England was peripheral to the economic, social, or political development of the region. She argues that New England slavery had a far more powerful impact on the thinking of New Englanders than they wanted to believe, and their longstanding view of the region as "free and white" has been a kind of historical amnesia, an effort to erase slavery and black people from the history of the region. That erasure of black people, she argues, resulted directly from white anxiety and confusion about how to view free blacks in their midst and what to do with or about them.

Melish maintains that white New Englanders' views of black people emerged directly from their experiences with blacks living in bondage and from their association of blackness with slavery. She writes that the unsettling process of gradual emancipation in the region after the American Revolution stirred white fears that disorderly blacks would threaten the new republic. Whereas blacks assumed that they would become free and independent citizens, whites assumed that blacks still needed to be controlled. She also argues that white people experienced anxiety about racial identity, freedom, and servitude, wondering if freedom would turn black people white and if white people could become slaves.

Beginning in the late eighteenth century, Melish writes, New England whites gradually resolved these questions by coming to regard blacks as inherently inferior and in need of control. She argues that a clear ideology of race thus first emerged in late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century New England, in response to gradual emancipation. New Englanders, she argues, gradually came to view "racial" characteristics as immutable, inherited, and located in the body, and to view the black and white "races" as hierarchical and largely opposite in nature. Such a view permitted white New Englanders to seek to expell or erase black people, both literally and figuratively, from their region.

Melish's book makes an important contribution to the literature on slavery and abolition and fills a significant gap in our understanding of how slavery in New England affected both that region and the nation. Through her use of various local sources including town records, court records, slaveholders' diaries, and the letters, narratives, and freedom petitions of slaves, Melish brings the reader into the world of Revolutionary-era New England masters and slaves. She illuminates their daily interactions and offers insightful interpretations of how masters and slaves each understood the meaning of slavery and emancipation. She makes a compelling case that slavery was indeed significant in the New England economy and society. Using, among other evidence, racist broadsides from the region, she also illustrates clearly the willingness of many white New Englanders to denigrate, harass, and seek to erase black people in the decades after the Revolution.

While Melish is right that most white New Englanders probably did wish black people would go away in the years of the early republic, she may overstate the extent to which New England whites were in agreement on this. She correctly observes that many white New Englanders supported the movement to colonize blacks outside the United States, particularly in Africa. But New England also produced a movement for immediate abolition that was explicitly opposed to colonization and demanded the right of free blacks to live as free and equal citizens of the United States. William Lloyd Garrison of Boston was probably the best-known white abolitionist in the country after 1830, and he was also a passionate opponent of colonization and a strong champion of the rights of free blacks in North America. Free blacks loved Garrison. A host of other New England activists stood with him, demanding the inclusion of free blacks as equal citizens. If most New Englanders sought to expell or eliminate blacks from their midst, these radical abolitionists often embraced the freed slaves, sought to educate them, published their narratives, and even, as in the case of Frederick Douglass, hired them as abolitionist speakers. One goal of the abolitionist efforts was to show the public that black people were fully human, able to be educated, and deserving of all the rights that whites had. Thus, well into the nineteenth century, a segment of white New Englanders actively resisted the view that blacks were inherently inferior and different from whites, and they fought to educate blacks for life as full American citizens. If, as Melish argues, New England whites sought to eradicate blacks, this process was contested by some whites as well as blacks.

Melish's most important contribution may be to the emerging body of literature on how North Americans constructed and made use of an ideology of race. Here she pushes to locate precisely when and how Americans racialized difference and came to define blackness and whiteness as fixed, immutable, biological categories. Her answer, that this process took place in New England during gradual emancipation, is new and surprising.

Melish suggests that New England was first in developing a new ideology of race because of its early experience with slave emancipation. However, the struggle to define the meaning of emancipation and the fundamental nature and place of blacks was also going on in the upper South. There, manumissions increased during and after the American Revolution, and the growing numbers of free blacks increased white anxiety. Indeed, anxiety there was more pronounced than in New England, because of the larger black population. Colonization was also very popular in the upper South, and much of the strongest and most persistent support for colonization came from that region. In contrast to New England, opponents of slavery in the upper South never embraced the idea that freed slaves ought to remain in the United States, and antislavery activists in the upper South always combined efforts at gradual emancipation with plans for colonization. The process that Melish describes of racializing identity and seeking to expell blacks may thus have been taking place simultaneously in New England and the upper South. A comparative study of emancipation efforts in the two regions would be illuminating. Of course, the upper South did not achieve gradual emancipation, and over time, antislavery activism and even voluntary manumission there were largely choked off.

Melish's book takes the reader through the process by which white New Englanders, through their responses to slavery, emancipation, and black people, created the myth of themselves and their region as free and white. Melish's angle of vision and her argument are both fresh, and she offers new insights and raises new questions about how the end of slavery led to a new construction of race in North America. This is a terrific book, one that all scholars of slavery, abolition, and the early republic absolutely must read. Enjoy this one; I certainly did.

-Reviewed by Vivien Sandlund (Hiram College)

Pot, meet kettle

-online amazon reviewer

By now, it should be general knowledge among anyone presuming to comment on American race relations and the Civil/War Between the States that the Northern states did not exactly have clean hands when it came to keeping African (and then African-American) slaves. Works like "Complicity" attest to the element of discovery that recent academic research and journalism have made possible. Nonetheless, it is taken as common knowledge that the Northern states achieved emancipation reasonably quickly after the Revolution, even if motivated chiefly by economics. It is still widely presumed that people in the Northern states, the New England states in particular, were particularly enlightened about slavery/emancipation and race, and therefore morally superior to Southerners.

For this reason, this book is shocking: while it delineates the gradual, compensated emancipation that was a feature of England's vaunted anti-slavery laws, and thus outlines an alternative method that could have been used to end slavery in all states, it demonstrates that this process coexisted with the kind of racism people routinely associate with the South and the South only. Dialect humor, "darkie" cartoons, and the lingering assumption that Black people owed labor to whites go against the cultivated image of enlightened New England. Even those already skeptical of such claims to Northern moral superiority cannot but find themselves taken aback by Melish's illustrations of Northern prejudice and dismissiveness. For one thing, she hauls a carefully cultivated image up short. For another, the attitudes she demonstrates among Northerners are those that give modern readers pause and cause them to react with distaste.

I sense that, down the road, there will or should be a national dialog about the received narrative of Northern clean hands/Southern dirty hands, based on the new expositions and explorations of the history of racial relations in America. This book should help facilitate that dialog.


As the reality of slavery in the North faded, and a strident anti-Southern abolitionism arose there, the memory of Northern slaves, when it surfaced at all, tended to focus on how happy and well-treated they had been, in terms much reminiscent of the so-called "Lost Cause" literature that followed the fall of the Confederacy in 1865.

"The slaves in Massachusetts were treated with almost parental kindness. They were incorporated into the family, and each puritan household being a sort of religious structure, the relative duties of master and servant were clearly defined. No doubt the severest and longest task fell to the slave, but in the household of the farmer or artisan, the master and the mistress shared it, and when it was finished, the white and the black, like the feudal chief and his household servant, sat down to the same table, and shared the same viands." [Reminiscence by Catharine Sedgwick (1789-1867) of Stockbridge, Mass.]

Yet the petitions for freedom from New England and Mid-Atlantic blacks, and the numbers in which they ran off from their masters to the British during the Revolution, suggest rather a different picture.

Early 19th century New Englanders had real motives for forgetting their slave history, or, if they recalled it at all, for characterizing it as a brief period of mild servitude. This was partly a Puritan effort to absolve New England's ancestors of their guilt. The cleansing of history had a racist motive as well, denying blacks -- slave or free -- a legitimate place in New England history. But most importantly, the deliberate creation of a "mythology of a free New England" was a crucial event in the history of sectional conflict in America. The North, and New England in particular, sought to demonize the South through its institution of slavery; they did this in part by burying their own histories as slave-owners and slave-importers. At the same time, behind the potent rhetoric of Daniel Webster and others, they enshrined New England values as the essential ones of the Revolution, and the new nation. In so doing, they characterized Southern interests as purely sectional and selfish. In the rhetorical battle, New England backed the South right out of the American mainstream.

The attempt to force blame for all America's ills onto the South led the Northern leadership to extreme twists of logic. Abolitionist leaders in New England noted the "degraded" condition of the local black communities. Yet the common abolitionist explanation of this had nothing to do with northerners, black or white. Instead, they blamed it on the continuance of slavery in the South. "The toleration of slavery in the South," Garrison editorialized, "is the chief cause of the unfortunate situation of free colored persons in the North."[1]

"This argument, embraced almost universally by New England abolitionists, made good sense as part of a strategy to heap blame for everything wrong with American society on southern slavery, but it also had the advantage, to northern ears, of conveniently shifting accountability for a locally specific situation away from the indigenous institution from which it had evolved."[2]

Melish's perceptive book, "Disowning Slavery," argues that the North didn't simply forget that it ever had slaves. She makes a forceful case for a deliberate re-writing of the region's past, in the early 1800s. By the 1850s, Melish writes, "New England had become a region whose history had been re-visioned by whites as a triumphant narrative of free, white labor." And she adds that this "narrative of a historically free, white New England also advanced antebellum New England nationalism by supporting the region's claims to a superior moral identity that could be contrasted effectively with the 'Jacobinism' of a slave-holding, 'negroized' South." The demonizing adjective is one she borrows from Daniel Webster, who used it in the Webster-Hayne debate of 1830.

The word is well-chosen. Webster's "Second Reply," given in January 1830 during his debate with Robert Young Hayne of South Carolina -- the most famous speech in a famous clash of North and South -- shows the master orator of his time at the peak of his powers. In these speeches Webster compellingly turned New England sectional values into the supreme national values, while at the same time playing on the racist fears of the average Northerner, who loathed slavery less for its inherent injustice and more because it flooded the country with blacks.

Webster "articulated a clear and compelling vision of an American nation made up of the union of northern and western states, bonded by an interpretation of the origin and meaning of the union and the U.S. Constitution and reflecting the core values of New England political culture and history. Coded implicitly among those essential values were claims to historical freedom and whiteness, against which Webster could effectively contrast a South isolated by its historical commitment to slavery. Such an interpretation, appealing as it did to the widespread desire among northern states outside New England to eradicate their black populations and achieve a 'whiteness' like that of New England, could rally and solidify northern opposition to Slave Power."[3]

In the speech, Webster, like Pilate, washes his hands of anything to do with American slavery. "The domestic slavery of the Southern States I leave where I find it, -- in the hands of their own governments. It is their affair, not mine."

This allows him to keep within the frame of the Constitution, and at the same time cleverly disavow more than a century and a half of New England slavery and slave-trading, which had financed the first families and institutions of his home district.

After this contemptuous dismissal, he holds forth on the glories of pure Massachusetts, which he apotheosizes, above Philadelphia and Virginia, till it becomes the true genius of independence. "There is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hill; ... where American liberty raised its first voice, and where its youth was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives in the strength of its manhood and full of its original spirit."

This was the opening salvo. Within a few months, Webster's speech had been reprinted whole in newspapers across the country and published in pamphlets that ran through 20 editions. A single printing of it churned out 40,000 copies. Other Northern speakers and writers picked up the tone and carried it like a battle-flag down the years to the War Between the States.

"Indeed, by the outset of the actual war in 1861 the New England nationalist trope of virtuous, historical whiteness, clothed as it was in a distinctive set of cultural, moral, and political values associated with New England's Puritan mission and Revolutionary struggle, had come to define the Unionist North as a whole."[4]

Nothing illustrates this process better, perhaps, than the semantic development of the word "Yankee," which, in United States usage, always meant "a New Englander" before the Civil War. But within a decade of Appomattox, it was being used generically by Americans to mean "an American, regardless of place of residence."


1. "Liberation," Jan. 8, 1831.
2. Joanne Pope Melish, Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and 'Race' in New England 1780-1860, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998, pp. 222-223.
3. ibid., p.230.
4. ibid., p.224.

John Avery Emison writes about the Jim Crow laws in the North, as well as other myths that have hidden from public consciousness the sheer moral enormity of Lincoln's invasion of the South.

In addition, Emison discloses new information about Generals Sherman, Pope and others who carried out war crimes in states other than those usually mentioned in "Sherman's March to the Sea."

The book is also an eye-opener concerning the 4,000 German revolutionaries who immigrated to the U.S. just after 1848, and were employed in the northern military and as 'pawns' in Lincoln's 1860 election.

Writing in the "Mississippi Valley Historical Review," in 1942, historian Andreas Dorpalen states: "It is generally recognized today that Lincoln could never have carried the northwest in 1860, and with it the country, without German support." 

Donald V. Smith wrote in 1932, "that without the vote of the foreign-born, Lincoln could not have carried the Northwest, and without the Northwest, or its vote divided in any other way, he would have been defeated."

Historian W.E. Dodd said that "The election of Lincoln and, as it turned out, the fate of the Union were thus determined not by native Americans but by voters who knew the least of American history and institutions.  The election of 1860 was won only on a narrow margin by the votes of the foreigners whom the railroads poured in great numbers into the contested region."

The following table lists the progression, by year and location of the Jim Crow Laws in the North, which 'kept the Negro in his place.'
When the Northern states began the slow process of the manumission of slaves held in their jurisdiction, a number of disquieting facts are worth noting because they are so frequently untold and unknown to most people:
As already mentioned on this page, Lincoln voted for Jim Crow when he was a member of the Illinois legislature.  According to Lerone Bennett, Jr., Lincoln voted for a resolution that stated, "The elective franchise should be kept pure from contamination by the admission of colored votes." (Forced into Glory, p.115).
The Color Barrier worked well in Illinois where the total percentage of blacks fell with every census from 1820-1860.  By 1861, 249 of every 250 people in Illinois were white.

Jim Crow was working in other states, like Indiana an Ohio, where the percentage of blacks hovered around 1-5% during that period.

Consider the resultant Racial settlement patterns of Indiana and Ohio counties from 2000 Census data:

When Lincoln called for the invasion of the South there were more free blacks in Virginia, than Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio combined...and very little has changed in the 150+ years since.

According to the 2000 Census, there are still almost 500 counties in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota that remain as they always have been: Lily White!

North of slavery; the Negro in the free States, 1790-1860


By Leon F. Litwack

Now in public domain:

"It’s not Dixie’s fault"

By Thomas J. Sugrue July 17, 2015

The Washington Post

Many of the racial injustices we associate with the South are actually worse in the North. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File) (Dave Martin/AP)

The tragic Charleston, S.C., church shooting, in which nine black worshipers were killed, allegedly by a Confederate-flag-supporting white supremacist, has unleashed a new battle over Southern culture. Confederate monuments have been defaced; leaders have demanded that emblems of the Confederacy be erased from license plates and public parks; schools in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama are struggling to defend their “rebel” mascots. Most predictably, pundits have renewed their characterization of Southern states as the ball and chain of America. If all those backward rednecks weren’t pulling us down, the story goes, the United States would be a progressive utopia, a bastion of economic and racial equality. “Much of what sets the United States apart from other countries today is actually Southern exceptionalism,” Politico contributor Michael Lind wrote this month in an essay called “How the South Skews America.” “I don’t mean this in a good way.”

This argument recapitulates an old, tired motif in American journalism that the South is the source of our nation’s social ills. It has been blamed for our obesity problem (“Why Are Southerners So Fat? ” Time asked in 2009), persistent poverty (“The South Is Essentially A Solid, Grim Block Of Poverty,” the Huffington Post asserted in 2014) and general stupidity (“What’s Wrong with the South?” the Atlantic scoffed in 2009). This time, in the wake of the church shooting, the states of the old Confederacy have become a national scapegoat for the racism that underpinned the massacre. If only they would secede again, Lind and others suggest, the nation would largely be free from endemic prejudice, zealotry and racist violence.

Not even close. These crude regional stereotypes ignore the deep roots such social ills have in our shared national history and culture. If, somehow, the South became its own country, the Northeast would still be a hub of racially segregated housing and schooling, the West would still be a bastion of prejudicial laws that put immigrants and black residents behind bars at higher rates than their white neighbors and the Midwest would still be full of urban neighborhoods devastated by unemployment, poverty and crime. How our social problems manifest regionally is a matter of degree, not kind — they infect every region of the country.

In fact, many of the racial injustices we associate with the South are actually worse in the North. Housing segregation between black and white residents, for instance, is most pervasive above the Mason-Dixon line. Of America’s 25 most racially segregated metropolitan areas, just five are in the South; Northern cities — Detroit, Milwaukee and New York — top the list. Segregation in Northern metro areas has declined a bit since 1990, but an analysis of 2010 census data found that Detroit’s level of segregation, for instance, is nearly twice as high as Charleston’s.


The division between black and white neighborhoods in the North is a result of a poisonous mix of racist public policies and real estate practices that reigned unchecked for decades. Until the mid-20th century, federal homeownership programs made it difficult for black Americans to get mortgages and fueled the massive growth of whites-only suburbs. Real estate agents openly discriminated against black aspiring homeowners, refusing to show them houses in predominately white communities.

When all else failed, white Northerners attacked blacks who attempted to cross the color line, using tactics we typically associate with the Jim Crow South. They threw bricks through the windows of their black neighbors’ homes, firebombed an integrated apartment building and beat black residents in the streets. In Detroit, to name one example, whites launched more than 200 attacks on black homeowners between 1945 and 1965. In Levittown, Pa., hundreds of angry whites gathered in front of the home of the first black family to move there and threw rocks through the windows. Racists burned crosses in the yards of the few white neighbors who welcomed the new family. That violence occurred in 1957, the same year whites in Little Rock attacked black students integrating Central High School, yet it’s that story — of racial bias in the South — that dominates our narrative of America’s civil rights struggle.

Passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968 didn’t eliminate racist real estate practices. A recent National Fair Housing Alliance investigation found that in 87 percent of test cases, agents steered customers to neighborhoods where existing homeowners were predominantly of the customers’ own race. And while Southern states are home to a larger portion of the nation’s minority residents, nearly half of all fair-housing complaints during the 2012-2013 fiscal year were filed in the Northeast and the Midwest.

Economic segregation is most severe in America’s Northern metropolitan areas, as well, with Milwaukee; Hartford, Conn.; Philadelphia; and Detroit leading large cities nationwide, according to an analysis of 2010 census data by the Atlantic. White suburbanites across the North — even in Bill and Hillary Clinton’s adopted home town, Chappaqua, N.Y. — have fought the construction of affordable housing in their neighborhoods, trying to keep out “undesirables” who might threaten their children and undermine their property values. The effects of that segregation are devastating. Where you live in modern America determines your access to high-quality jobs (which are mostly in suburban places), healthy food (many urban areas are food deserts) and, perhaps most important, educational opportunities.

Education remains separate and unequal nearly everywhere in the United States, but Confederate-flag-waving Southerners aren’t responsible for the most racially divided schools. That title goes to New York, where 64 percent of black students attend schools with few, if any, white students, according to a recent report by the Civil Rights Project. In fact, the Northeast is the only region where the percentage of black students in extremely segregated schools — those where at least 90 percent of students are minorities — is higher than it was in the 1960s. Schools in the South, on the other hand, saw the segregation of black students drop 56 percent between 1968 and 2011.

White Southerners fought tooth and nail to prevent desegregation, using protests and violence to keep black children out of all-white schools. But federal courts came down hard on districts that had a history of mandated segregation, and federal troops and law enforcement officers escorted Little Rock and New Orleans students through angry white mobs in front of their new schools.

White parents in the North also fought desegregated schools but used weapons that seemed race-neutral. Black and white students above the Mason-Dixon line attended different schools not by law but simply by nature of where they lived. This de facto school segregation appeared untainted by racist intent, but, as noted earlier, housing practices in the North were fraught with conscious racial injustice. Further, metropolitan areas like Philadelphia and Detroit contained dozens of suburban school districts, making it easy for white families to jump across district boundaries when black neighbors moved in. (Often, Southern districts, as in Charlotte, encompassed the inner city, outlying suburbs and even some rural areas, making it more difficult to flee desegregation. As a result, Charlotte became one of the most racially integrated school districts in country.) Unlike in the South, it was nearly impossible for civil rights litigators to prove that all-white schools in the North were a result of intentional discriminatory policies.

None of this denies that the South is, in many ways, shaped by its unique history. It broke from the union over slavery, and its economy was indelibly shaped by that peculiar institution. After emancipation, it took a century of grass-roots activism and public policy to break down the legal barriers that limited Southern blacks’ economic opportunities. But the South is not timeless and unchanging. The region’s per capita income began to converge with the rest of the nation’s during World War II and accelerated in the decades after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to Stanford economist Gavin Wright. The South is still at the bottom economically, but the regional gaps have narrowed considerably, especially for African Americans. By the 1990s, Southern black men earned as much as their counterparts in other regions. Now, Northern blacks are migrating South in search of better economic opportunities, reversing historic trends.

The South has become an increasingly heterogeneous place, home to the fastest-growing immigrant populations in the country, led by North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas and Tennessee. Immigration has remade Southern big cities and small towns alike: North Carolina chicken-processing centers have attracted Guatemalan immigrants. Suburban Atlanta is dotted with panaderias and taco shops catering to the rapidly growing Mexican population. And Vietnamese-born shrimpers are working the Gulf of Mexico’s shores in Texas and Louisiana. In the past decade, immigrants have accounted for half of the growth of country-music capital Nashville, with large numbers of Latinos as well as Kurds, Bosnians and Somalis.

It’s reassuring for Northerners to think that the country’s problems are rooted down South. But pointing our fingers at Dixie — and, by implication, reinforcing the myth of Northern innocence — comes at a cost. As federal troops and Supreme Court decisions forced social change in the states of the old Confederacy during the 20th century, injustices in the North were allowed to fester. That trend continues, as Northerners seek to absolve themselves of responsibility for their own sins by holding aloft an outdated and inaccurate caricature of a socially stunted South. In 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Another group with a vital role to play in the struggle for racial justice and equality is the white northern liberals. The racial issue that we confront in America is not a sectional but a national problem.” That holds true for most of America’s troubles today. Enough finger-wagging at Dixie. Change begins at home.


Jay Fayza uses facts and statistics to show that whites and western nations are the least racist and bigoted people on earth, contrary to lies told by liberal media and academia:

Why the War Between the States was not only fought over Slavery, but for a variety of reasons
On the evening of October 11, 1858, a standing-room-only crowd of politicians and businessmen honored a visitor at Faneuil Hall, Boston, Mass.
The wealthy merchants and bankers, the powerful of this premier city in Massachusetts, lauded the intellectual cultivation and eloquence of the senator from Mississippi; and when Jefferson Davis walked onto the stage, the Brahmins of Boston gave him a standing ovation.

The Anti-Secessionist Jefferson Davis

(source: National Park Service, Boston, Mass.)

The senator from Mississippi stood in front of a crowd of Democrats in the "Cradle of Liberty" - Faneuil Hall. He was just starting his second term as a senator after completing a stint as Secretary of War. It was 1858 and the United States was tearing apart at the seams. The question of slavery had been an issue since 1787 when the United States Constitution was signed. In the 1850s, some called for the abolition of slavery while others began calling for secession. In front of a packed room he declared, "My friends, my brethren, my countrymen...I feel an ardent desire for the success of States' Rights Democracy...alone I rely for the preservation of the Constitution, to perpetuate the Union and to fulfill the purpose which it was ordained to establish and secure." Advocating for a States' Rights Democracy while disagreeing with the idea or need for secession in the same speech, Jefferson Davis sat down.


Born in what is now Todd County, Kentucky (and only about 100 miles from the birthplace of his famous contemporary, Abraham Lincoln), Jefferson Davis moved to Mississipi around 1810. He graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1828. By 1836 Davis was a plantation owner, and in the 1840s he owned over 70 slaves. He became involved in local Mississippi politics in the early 1830s, but really made a name for himself fighting in the Mexican-American War.


Using his new found fame, he was appointed a United States Senator from Mississippi in 1848, finishing out someone else's term. He used his new position to propose annexing more territoy from Mexico (which later became the Gadsden Purchase), as well as from Cuba for the expansion of "slaveholding constituencies." He resigned to run for governor of Mississippi on an anti- Compromise of 1850 platform and started to attend states' rights conventions. In 1853 he was appointed Secretary of War by President Franklin Pierce. His time during this appointment gave him a better perspective about the location of railway lines and the military strengths of the country - where the southern states were at a distinct disadvantage. Following his 4 years as Secretary of War, he was elected to a second term as senator for the state of Mississippi.

By this point, the country had nearly broken apart many times, mostly in 1850. The Compromise of 1820 and 1850 had put some Band-Aids on the wound, but like a virus the problems began to aggressively spread. The arguments between abolition vs. slave-holding, state's rights vs. a strong federal government were getting more frequent and more violent. These issues threatened to destroy the great experiment that was America. It is with this backdrop that Jefferson Davis spoke at a convention of Democrats in Faneuil Hall.


In choosing Boston, and more importantly Faneuil Hall, to give his speech, Davis drew comparisons between the founders of America and the struggle of his time. In his speech, he frequently made comparisons between the Founding Fathers and States Rights advocates, comparing the great voices that echo in Faneuil Hall to the disgruntled voices of his day. Simultaneously, while comparing his party to the revolutionaries of the previous generation, he stated the United States, unlike Britain and the colonies, needed to stay together. "...[Y]ou see agitation, tending slowly and steadily to that separation of the states, which, if you have any hope connected with the liberty of mankind... if you have any sacred regard for the obligation which the acts of your fathers entailed upon you,--by each and all of these motives you are prompted to united an earnest effort to promote the success of that great experiment which your fathers left it to you to conclude."


Davis, a Mississippian at heart, reminded Northerners that their economy relied on the South. "Your prosperity is to receive our staple and to manufacture it, and ours to sell it to you and buy the manufactured goods. This is an interweaving of interests, which makes us all the richer and all the happier." This interdependent relationship would be interrupted by the abolition of slavery. Even worse, this would be interrupted if the country split. The economy of both the North and South would suffer if this flow of trade were interrupted.


In the end, Davis made a passionate plea for unity. "[W]e should increase in fraternity; and it would be no longer a wonder to see a man coming from a southern state to address a Democratic audience in Boston." While Boston did have a Democratic Faction, it was also the heart of the abolition movement in America (coincidentally, Faneuil Hall was used by abolitionists as well). After all, everyone belonged to the great experiment that was the United States. Both sides wanted to continue what the Founding Fathers had started.


At the heart of this debate over slavery and state's rights was the idea of property. Can a human being be someone else's property? To Democrats, that's what the slaves were, and as such they had rights as slave owners. "The Constitution recognizes the property in many forms, and imposes obligations in connection with that recognition." It was not the right of any other person, despite political party, to take away someone's personal property. These were the very values that were fought for in Faneuil Hall itself during the Revolutionary era, according to Davis.


Davis may have had practical reasons for arguing against secession and preservation of the union. He would have known as a result of his term as Secretary of War that the South was ill equipped to fight a war against the North. The weapons manufacturing was in the north as were most of the railroad lines and the majority of the male population. While he knew the people he represented were passionate, they were also unprepared. It's possible that his passionate pleas to save the union may have been an effort to peacefully save the South. Either way, in the building where America began he argued for its preservation.


That was Jefferson Davis's last trip to Boston. Following his speech, which was received with great reception by Massachusetts Democrats, Davis returned to the United States Senate where he continued to be a proponent of state's rights. Following the election of Abraham Lincoln, many in the South had had enough. South Carolina seceded from the union on December 20, 1860 and other states soon followed. Mississippi followed suit on January 9, 1861. Davis resigned his senate seat twelve days later, reportedly "the saddest day of [his] life." On February 18, 1861, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as the President of the Confederate States of America.


Rice University. "The Papers of Jefferson Davis." © 2011

Special Section:
After this web page was first inaugurated, we noticed an upturn in violence by individuals who are still fighting the Civil War.

This brief section will examine "the why" and explore "the effects" it is having on the historical landscape.

Also included, is a brief history about how a previous U.S. President, Calvin Coolidge, handled the issue of Confederate heritage.

One has to wonder what the Read and Wauchope families would have thought of the current turmoil over statues.
A flash point of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, has resulted in the deaths of two of our fine Virginia State Troopers.
How did the controversy start in Charlottesville?

The admitted anti-White, Wes Bellamy, Vice Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia,

has been THE long-standing proponent of taking down monuments, not only Confederate, but also any statues of Thomas Jefferson. 

This man was on the Virginia State Board of Education and was fired from that job; he had been a Albemarle High School teacher, but was suspended from that job; and then forced to resign.

He is discussed in this telling interview which reveals what the college students in Charlottesville really think about the situation. 

Documentation is presented that proves that

Wes Bellamy was racially biased and anti-white.

Bellamy was active in counter-protests to the white supremacist rally throughout the weekend that saw violence and the death of two state police officers and a 32-year-old woman after a car plowed into counter-protesters during Saturday's rally, seen in picture below with a megaphone.

After the rally, he dissed the President, calling him 'Number 45', and in City Council on the next day, proposed the city park in question be re-named Emancipation Park. Angry rhetoric from an admitted racist helps nothing in restoring peace and harmony in a difficult situation.

Wes Bellamy, the racist and anti-White Vice-Mayor of Charlottesville, wore a Black Panther backpack on the way to closed door meeting on Unite The Right rally:

In September 2017, Wes Bellamy was caught on camera during a Charlottesville City Council meeting, demeaning a white man who spoke in favor of conciliation and compromise.  Bellamy was immediately reprimanded by a white female on Council.

Should monuments to the U.S. Confederacy be destroyed or removed to museums? It’s a question cities and towns across the South are now faced with. A question perpetrated by liberal and in some cases, racist politicians, who have sub rosa agendas.

Two City Councilors in Charlottesville, Virginia have called for the removal of a statue to Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. Award-winning journalist Coy Barefoot explores the debate with preeminent Civil War Historian Gary Gallagher of the University of Virginia.



Professor Gary Gallagher, Professor of Civil War History at the University of Virginia, correctly assesses the Confederate monument removal controversy in Charlottesville and elsewhere.  He made a presentation to City Council.....but his advice was ignored.

Virginia City Sued for Removing 100-Year-Old Confederate Monument

(Reported by Warner Todd Houston, March 2017)

Early in February, the City of Charlottesville, Virginia voted to remove several statues commemorating Confederate generals Lee and Jackson that stood in the town for nearly 100 years. Now the town is being sued to prevent the removal.

In a three to two vote on February 6, the Charlottesville City Council moved to eliminate the equestrian statue memorializing Confederate General Robert E. Lee that was first erected 93 years ago in the city’s Lee Park. After the vote, city leaders also vowed to erase Lee’s name from the park.

The decision sparked several weeks of protests and meetings of those both in favor of and in opposition to the plan that the city said would cost up to $300,000 to complete.

Now two organizations and 11 local citizens have joined together to file a lawsuit against the city to stop the removal of the statues, according to The Cavalier Daily of the University of Virginia.

The plaintiffs, including the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. and the Monument Fund, Inc., cited a number of reasons for filing the lawsuit. Chief among those reasons is their contention that the city is in violation of a state law preventing alteration of such monuments.

According to state law, it is illegal for local officials to tear down memorials to war veterans.

Virginia code 15.2-1812 reads, “If such [memorials for war veterans] are erected, it shall be unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected, or to prevent its citizens from taking proper measures and exercising proper means for the protection, preservation, and care of same.”

In addition, the lawsuit claims that the city is violating the deed written in 1918 by the McIntire family granting permission to create Lee Park.

One editorial recently stated this:

620,000 people (Americans) died in the War Between the States. Roughly 2% of the population. No matter which version of history you have been taught, the bottom line is these soldier's were your average man. On either side of the war these men were still Americans and should have their memories honored. This hysteria of removing monuments, digging up graves, not allowing flags on graves is sad. It was a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight. Just as most Northerners did not fight to end slavery, most Southerners did not fight to preserve it.


In 1904, the Confederate monument in Gainesville, Georgia was erected. In attendance were UNION and Confederate Veterans who both supported the monument. They showed each other respect as fellow Americans. They honored each other’s dead. Now there is a media fueled history witch-hunt to remove historical monuments. Removing monuments does not end racism; it only dishonors the American soldier’s who died. We can learn a lot from history and learn nothing by erasing it.

Leading Civil War Historians weigh-in on the Monument removal controversy, courtesy of "Civil War Times," Oct. 2017:
View from the "North"... Why we should keep the Confederate Statues:
H.K. Egerton, former President of the NAACP, speaks at the Hollywood, Florida
City Commission:

Predominantly Black Dallas Group Forms To Protect Confederate Monuments:

An excerpt from the Mississippi Public Broadcasting report on the Confederate monuments in that state:
Concerning Confederate Monument Desecration.....................
August 2017 saw the rise of violence:

*Defacing the Lincoln Memorial
*Call by Maryland Governor for removal of the statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in that state
*Removal by mob violence, of a Confederate statue in Durham, NC, while the police stood by and did nothing.
People who came to Charlottesville with wrong motives, are at fault, as seen in one of many pictures: a Counter-Protester strikes a White Nationalist with a baton during the violence, which went unchecked by local city police.
Notice carefully, the sign carried by one member of the unrestrained mob in Durham, North Carolina, next to the toppled statue:
This shows clear hatred for police authority:
They should have seen this coming.........local city police leadership was interviewed: told to stand down........who ordered that? The Mayor or Vice-Mayor of Charlottesville?
On the night before the riot:
A Nazi-styled torch-light parade on the UVA Campus:
The disgusting image of giving a Nazi salute in front of the Thomas Jefferson statue on campus:

University of Virginia president Teresa A. Sullivan condemned

the protesters in a statement issued late Friday night.

As President of the University of Virginia, I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behavior displayed by torch-bearing protestors that marched on our Grounds this evening. I strongly condemn the unprovoked assault on members of our community, including University personnel who were attempting to maintain order.

Law enforcement continues to investigate the incident, and it is my hope that any individuals responsible for criminal acts are held accountable. The violence displayed on Grounds is intolerable and is entirely inconsistent with the University's values.​​​​​​

Another key figure in the ongoing UVA racial unrest was a member of their student Honor Committee.  Martese Johnson, seen in the next two photos, shown holding a sign protesting the fact that he is "the only Black member of the Honor Committee."  Then, low and behold, he is arrested for being drunk and disorderly: he was under 21 and in violation of civil law and UVA honor code standards in attempting to enter a bar in the downtown district. 

As a former Judicial Vice-President of the Old Dominion University Honor Council, elected by their student body, and having dealt with other Virginia college and university Honor Councils, I must say that this young man has brought disgrace to the organization he is suppose to be representing.  Thankfully, he is no longer on their Committee.
Which Statues are Next?
(As a trained historian and former History teacher in Virginia, I agree with Tucker Carlson's appraisal)

A statue of Lincoln has been torched; the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. has been defaced:
The Lincoln Memorial vandalized:
Governor Vance statue in North Carolina, vandalized:
In Memory of Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M.M. Bates
I share with you the following excellent statement from the Sons of Confederate Veterans:


Sons of Confederate Veterans support for our nation and the rule of law

(Elm Springs, TN) 14 August 2017 – The Sons of Confederate Veterans opposes the KKK and other racist organizations. The SCV condemns in the strongest possible way the actions, words, and beliefs of any racist group. These groups are filled with hatred and bigotry, and their espoused principles are counter to the American principles of freedom for all citizens. Neither white supremacists nor any other racist group represent true Southern Heritage or the Confederate Soldier, Sailor, or Marine. In like manner, the SCV condemns the actions of the “Antifa” counter-protestors whose role was to meet violence with violence and to answer hate with hate. The SCV also condemns the Alt-Left’s attempts to attack Confederate monuments and other war memorials in an attempt to tarnish the true history of our great nation and to further their modern socialist political agenda.

The clash in Charlottesville, Virginia on 12 August between the “Antifa” and “Alt Right” has nothing to do with the Confederacy, the SCV, nor Southern history. Antifa and the Alt-Right are opposing political perversions which chose a hallowed historical monument as the location for their vile criminal acts. There is no link between these criminal elements and Confederate history, and to try to create one is ridiculous. Leave history to history.

The SCV has a strict policy which forbids SCV members from associating with the Klan or any other racist organizations. The SCV supports and promotes a unity and respect. The U.S. is a nation of laws, and the SCV respects the Constitution our forefathers wrote and the government of our reunited country. There are no classes of citizens and the SCV is no different. We expect and demand that all Americans respect each other’s perspectives with civility, regardless of demographics.

As an organization, the SCV goal is to follow the direction of the Apostle Paul and "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:16). There is no place for violence and hatred. All individuals are created in the image of God and worthy of acceptance and respect. The SCV condemns all acts of hatred and the improper use of our ancestors’ battle flag, which they nobly carried into battle for their own political independence. The Battle Flag was not and never has been a legitimate symbol of racism; it is a soldier’s battle flag given to the SCV by the Confederate veterans themselves. The KKK, nor any other group, has legitimate use of our Confederate symbol.

Thos. V. Strain Jr


Rev. Franklin Graham:

Franklin Graham

August 13 at 3:20pm ·


Shame on the politicians who are trying to push blame on President Trump for what happened in #Charlottesville, VA. That’s absurd. What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions? How about the city politicians who issued the permit for the lawful demonstration to defend the statue? And why didn’t the mayor or the governor see that a powder keg was about to explode and stop it before it got started? Instead they want to blame President Donald J. Trump for everything. Really, this boils down to evil in people’s hearts. Satan is behind it all. He wants division, he wants unrest, he wants violence and hatred. He’s the enemy of peace and unity. I denounce bigotry and racism of every form, be it black, white or any other. My prayer is that our nation will come together. We are stronger together, and our answers lie in turning to God. It was good to hear that several Virginia and Charlottesville leaders attended church today at Mt. Zion. CNN said, “The racial divides that fueled Saturday’s violence were replaced by unity Sunday…” Continue to pray for peace and for all those impacted by Saturday’s tragedies.

Dr. John MacArthur on Charlottesville
Dr. Alveda King, Niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: If you remove our History, people will forget about it.

Former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice

blasts efforts to ‘sanitize history’

by removing historic monuments

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized efforts to tear down southern monuments to Confederate leaders because she doesn't believe in sanitizing history.

"I am a firm believer in 'keep your history before you' and so I don't actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners," she said Monday on Fox News.

"I want us to have to look at those names and recognize what they did and to be able to tell our kids what they did and for them to have a sense of their own history. When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you feel better it's a bad thing," she said.

Rice said instead it should be celebrated that the country has come a long way from the times when the founders agreed to count each slave as three-fifths of a person or when black men in Alabama wouldn't be allowed to register to vote in the 1950s. Rice pointed to her father's troubles registering to vote in 1952 as a marker of how far the country has come.

She said it was about 50 years later that she was sworn in as secretary of state, becoming the first black woman to hold that position.

"The long road to freedom has indeed been long, it's been sometimes violent, it's had many martyrs but ultimately has been Americans claiming those institutions for themselves and expanding the definition of we the people," she said.

She said the founders should be viewed in the context of their time instead of through the prism of modern values.

"They were people of their times. I wish they had been like John Adams, who did not believe in slavery. I wish they had been like Alexander Hamilton, who was an immigrant by the way, a child of questionable parentage from the Caribbean," she said. "I wish all of them had been like that and Jefferson in particular, a lot of contradictions in Jefferson but they were people of their times and what we should celebrate is that from the Jefferson's and the Washington's as slave owners, look at where we are now."

"My fellow blacks, please: Stop wasting time on statues and solve today's problems"

-Herman Cain

This is insane.

Atlanta’s Bishop Jerome Dukes was quoted widely in the media last week explaining why he thinks we should be spending time protesting statues of people from the Confederacy, and ultimately having them taken down.

He explains that some of our nation’s founders may have seemed like visionaries and trailblazers to some, but to African-Americans all that matters is that they owned hundreds of slaves.

Let’s talk about that.

I am an African-American. I hate the institution of slavery as much as Bishop Dukes does. But I have noticed something he seems to have missed. I am not a slave! And neither is he.

Slavery was an awful historical injustice, and it helped set in motion many of the problems the black community faces today. But it is not the problem we need to solve today. Those problems are poverty, illiteracy, drugs, crime and violence.

Tearing down statues doesn’t solve any of those problems, and solving those problems is what we need to be focused on.

It might create a problem, though. Tearing down statues that represent history is like pretending history didn’t happen. It did. And not everything that results from history is something you will like. We need to remember all of it, even (and perhaps especially) the parts that bother us because this is what we learn from.

Now we’re hearing that it’s not enough to tear down statues of Confederate soldiers, because having fought for the slave-owning Confederacy is not the only sin that needs to be erased from history. Now some want to tear down memorials to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson too, because they also owned slaves.

Tell you what: Why don’t you erase from history every reference to a person who had a serious character flaw? Do that and you’ll have very short history books. You’ll be able to get through a semester in a day or two. There’d be almost nothing you would be able to teach.

Or we could just tell the whole story. Yes, these men had an amazing vision and used it to create the greatest nation the world has ever seen. Yes, they gave us a political system that has protected freedom and prosperity like nothing we’ve ever seen.

Also, they were participants in an institution that was evil, if very common for wealthy men of their day. They might have been better men if they had rid the world of that institution, and they did not do that. But they did create the political system through which it would be eliminated less than a century later. That is not nothing.

So how do you regard them? As heroes or as villains? It’s the wrong question. The right question is how to ensure that people know the full story. Maybe one of the things we can learn from this is that history has offered us very few people who had no character flaws at all. I can think of only one, probably the same one you’re thinking of.

But flawed men and women have given us quite a world, and we should know as much about it as we can. Maybe the lessons they teach can even help us solve the problems we face today.

Or we can waste our time tearing down statues, which solves nothing, nor does it make history go away. It just makes us ignorant of it.

Karen Cooper discusses why she supports the Confederate Battle Flag:
The Wrong Side of History......................
Why Confederate Statues Matter..........
Why the South erected Confederate Statues................................................
Ole Miss goes Bananas
By Rod Dreher

I wondered how long it would take our crackpot culture to come up with a Politically Correct outrage more stupid than ESPN from pulling an Asian announcer named Robert Lee from calling a UVA game.
The Banana in question:
Now the idiots are vandalizing our U.S. Servicemen's graves and desecrating National Parks.

A national disgrace: Fury as vandals and looters desecrate veterans graveyards and historic battlefields across three states on Memorial Day weekend


    A Vietnam War memorial in the Venice area of Los Angeles has been extensively defaced by graffiti

    In Kentucky, a driver deliberately drove across grave sites marked by white wooden crosses

    Looters ripped up parts of Virginia's Petersburg National Battlefield in an apparent search for relics

Anger as remains of soldiers from Revolutionary and Civil war are dug up and their bones spilled throughout historic cemetery;

Historical cemetery dating back to 1758 holds graves of veterans from the Revolutionary War, Civil War and World World I.

Among those dug up was the grave of 14-month Emma Jane McElmurray who was buried in 1884.

News from Memphis...............................
Vandals destroy monument at Camp Chase, Ohio, Civil War cemetery, where Rita Hughes' Great-Great Grandfather is buried:

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther issued this statement today:

“I understand that markers of the Confederacy bring pain to those fighting persistent racism in our community and across our country, but the destruction of property — and the desecration of any grave site — is unacceptable regardless who was interred. We must remain focused on productive, not destructive, action to bring about the change we seek and to further the fight for equality.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also issued a statement:

“Destruction and defacement of federal property is a serious crime, and VA is working with law enforcement officials to identify those responsible.  VA is committed to maintaining our cemeteries as national shrines, and that includes repairing this statue, which was erected in 1902 as part of a peace and reconciliation effort led by wounded Union soldier William Knauss.”

From the "Dally Times," September 2017:
A Lesson in Christian morality and decency in the North, during the
War Between the States:


A Confederate flag was removed from the grave of a Civil War solider at a cemetery in Gray. WMTW News 8's Kyle Jones has more, including how the Confederate soldier's body ended up buried in Maine more than 150 years ago.

As my Father, Rev. Hughes, once said, when you are pastor of a church, you need to leave politics out of the pulpit.  There is a lot more in the Bible to preach on than politics. When a pastor preaches, as we say, "the whole counsel of God," he will eventually go through a text of scripture that will address the needs and issues of the hour.

Unfortunately, some ministers, as seen in the next article, don't understand their calling to the ministry and bring politics into a Sunday or Wednesday night service;  or on prime-time television.  This does not mean we condone racism, but a pastor needs to be careful when in public not to take sides in politically-charged issues; the pulpit is not the place for politics. Period.
-J. Hughes
And then, in September 2017, some of the idiot students at the University of Virginia, now want to remove the statue, of all things, the founder of their college.  They protested by placing a black shroud over the statue of Thomas Jefferson, and attaching racist/rape signs.
From the Richmond-Times Dispatch:
(Andrew Cain, Sept. 13, 2017)

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan on Wednesday rebuked protesters who shrouded a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the north side of the school’s Rotunda on Tuesday night, saying they were “desecrating ground that many of us consider sacred.”

“I strongly disagree with the protesters’ decision to cover the Jefferson statue,” Sullivan wrote in an email to alumni.

Protesters at the Rotunda covered the U.Va. founder’s statue in black on the one-month anniversary of the white nationalist rally Aug. 12 that led to the death of Heather Heyer, a protester against racism.

The latest development — coupled with a Confederate heritage group’s planned demonstration Saturday at Richmond’s Robert E. Lee monument in defiance of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s temporary ban — stoked anew an issue that continues to ripple through Virginia’s race for governor about eight weeks ahead of the election.

The Republican Party of Virginia on Wednesday urged U.Va. to prevent the “defacing” of historical monuments.

“The vandalism of the Thomas Jefferson statue at the University of Virginia is the next step in the extreme left’s movement to erase our history,” John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said in a statement.

Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee for governor, issued a mild criticism of the protesters. “There are more appropriate ways to have a discussion about our complex history,” he tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “Let’s be civil and respect each other.”

Sullivan said that university personnel removed the shroud and that one person was arrested Tuesday night on a charge of public intoxication. The Daily Progress reported that university police arrested Brian Lambert of Charlottesville on the public intoxication charge. Authorities said Lambert, who is not affiliated with the school, was legally open-carrying a firearm.

In her message to alumni, Sullivan alluded to white nationalists’ torchlit march on the U.Va. campus the night before the Unite the Right rally.

“Coming just one month after the August 11 torchlight march by 300 racist and anti-Semitic protesters, a march that became violent, this event has reminded us that there are critical and sometimes divisive issues related to the exercise of free expression in an inclusive community,” Sullivan wrote.

Sullivan said Jefferson “was an ardent believer in freedom of expression, and he experienced plenty of abusive treatment from the newspapers of his day.” Jefferson likely would not be surprised to find expressions about “critical disagreements in the polity” at U.Va., Sullivan added.

Sullivan said many alumni “experienced protests and activism” during their college days at U.Va.

“I prefer the process of discussion and debate,” she said, adding that “the debate is happening here” at U.Va. “That there is also activism should not be a surprise to any of us.”

Protesters who climbed the Jefferson statue Tuesday night added signs that referred to Jefferson as a “racist” and a “rapist.”

In a separate statement to the university community Wednesday, Sullivan noted that Jefferson owned slaves.

She wrote that Jefferson “made many contributions to the progress of the early American Republic: he served as the third president of the United States, championed religious freedom, and authored the Declaration of Independence.”

She added: “In apparent contradiction to his persuasive arguments for liberty and human rights, however, he was also a slave owner.”

Sullivan note, “In its early days the University of Virginia was dependent upon the institution of slavery. Enslaved people not only built its buildings, but also served in a wide variety of capacities for U.Va.’s first fifty years of existence. After gaining freedom, African Americans continued to work for the university, but they were not allowed to enroll as students until the mid-twentieth century.”

Whitbeck, chairman of the state GOP, said in his statement that “the defacing of our historical monuments is not free speech, it is a criminal offense, plain and simple.”

There have been no reports that the protesters damaged the Jefferson statue.

On Tuesday, Virginia Military Institute announced that it is keeping its Confederate statues, including one of Stonewall Jackson, who served on the school’s faculty before the Civil War, and will consider adding more historical context.

Northam, a VMI graduate, has said he backs the removal of Confederate statues from prominent public spaces. He has said that he would do “everything” in his authority to remove statues at the state level, but he gave no indication Tuesday that he would press the issue at VMI.

David Abrams, a spokesman for Republican nominee Ed Gillespie, said VMI’s decision is “consistent with Ed’s view that we should add historic context to monuments.”

Corey Stewart, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors chairman who made protecting Confederate statues a key to his bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, also decried Tuesday’s protest at the Jefferson statue at U.Va., issuing a series of tweets.

“It was never just about Lee,” he said in the first tweet. “We warned of this in Feb. They’re going after the Founders, then the founding documents.”

In another tweet, Stewart said: “@UVA must expel students and fire any faculty responsible. Anything less is acceptance.”

Stewart is seeking the Republican nomination to run next year against U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

Congress this week passed a bipartisan resolution decrying the violence at the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville and urging President Donald Trump to speak out against “hate groups.” The resolution was introduced in the House by Reps. Thomas A. Garrett Jr., R-5th, and Gerald E. Connolly, D-11th, and in the Senate by Kaine and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday that the president plans to sign the resolution as soon as it reaches his desk.

Governor Mike Huckabee puts the latest student idiots at UVA into context:
A different story in Richmond, Virginia, September 16, 2017.  With excellent work by the Virginia State Police, the Richmond City Police, the Capitol Police, and the Governor, the protest/counter-protest was a non-violent affair.  Thanks also to First Baptist Church, where my wife and I used to attend church, located on Monument Avenue, for hosting a community briefing/meeting.

And then, this story, which shows what could happen when dialogue takes place:

Away from shouting over Confederate history, a basketball coach and a plumber take time to talk it out

By GRAHAM MOOMAW Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richard Mason (left), a youth basketball coach and entrepreneur from Chesterfield County, spoke with Robert Kilpatrick, a plumber from Mathews County, during a pro-Confederate rally and counter-protest Saturday.

It wasn’t as dramatic as the yelling matches over Confederate history and the Black Lives Matter movement. But for two men at Saturday’s rally on Monument Avenue, one black and one white, a calm conversation, a handshake and a quick embrace meant something more.

Standing in the shade on the city’s iconic boulevard, Richard Mason, a youth basketball coach and entrepreneur from Chesterfield County, talked with Robert Kilpatrick, a plumber from Mathews County wearing a Confederate flag shirt and a gun on his hip.

They may not have agreed on everything as they explained their perspectives on history and race over the course of 15 minutes. Still, they walked away convinced that the social divides roiling America in 2017 probably aren’t going to be solved at high volume.

“Whatever the next man’s views are, because of freedom of speech, I’m open to it,” Mason said. “There’s nothing someone can say derogatory toward me because I know who I am.”

“We’re lucky to be having this conversation right now,” Kilpatrick said.

The exchange drew a crowd of onlookers and reporters, some of whom asked Kilpatrick why he had brought a gun. He said he’s not “paranoid” and doesn’t usually wear one, but he’s “not usually in a place where there are this many people.”

“I don’t want violence. And this is a deterrent,” said Kilpatrick, who stressed that he had no connection to the group that organized the rally and just came to watch.

Kilpatrick and Mason were in full agreement on one point: that division comes from the top down, not the bottom up.

“We’re sitting here arguing about the top guys. We don’t realize they’re all friends,” Mason said. “You think Obama and Trump ain’t sat down and drank a beer?”

After seeing what was happening, one young attendee asked the two men for their thoughts on how he could create more civil dialogue among his peers.

“Everyone has a common denominator,” Mason said. “Sports. Theater. Literature. I just never divide people.”

The answer won’t be found above the noise at street rallies, Kilpatrick said, but in smaller group discussions.

“It can’t be people that have the Ph.D.s and the psychiatrists and all of that,” Kilpatrick said. “It has to be everyday people like you and me having conversations.”

Nationally, majority favors keeping Confederate monuments, poll finds

By ANDREW CAIN Richmond Times-Dispatch

Sep 14, 2017

A clear majority of respondents say Confederate monuments should remain in all public spaces, according to a national poll out Thursday morning.

The Ipsos poll on racial issues, conducted Aug. 21-Sept. 5 on behalf of Thomson Reuters and the University of Virginia Center for Politics, also found broad agreement on racial equality.

But it spotlighted vestiges of what the pollsters termed “troubling levels of support for certain racially charged ideas and attitudes frequently expressed by extremist groups.”

On Confederate monuments, 57 percent said they should remain in public spaces, while 26 percent said they should be removed and 17 percent said they don’t know. Among African-Americans, 54 percent said all of the monuments should be removed. Among whites, 67 percent said the monuments should remain in place.

The survey gauged attitudes on race by asking respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with certain statements.

Eighty-nine percent agreed that “all races should be treated equally,” 85 percent agreed that “people of different races should be free to live wherever they choose” and 82 percent agreed that “all races are equal.”

• Thirty-one percent said they agree that “America must protect and preserve its white European heritage,” while 34 percent disagreed, 29 percent had neither opinion and 5 percent said they don’t know.

• While 78 percent agreed that “America must protect and preserve its multi-cultural heritage,” 5 percent disagreed, 14 percent held neither view and 4 percent didn’t know.

• Most respondents — 65 percent — disagreed with the statement: “Marriage should only be allowed between people of the same race.” But 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Loving v. Virginia decision struck down laws barring interracial marriage, 16 percent said they agree with the statement. Fourteen percent held neither view and 4 percent said they don’t know.

• Fifty-five percent agreed with the statement: “Racial minorities are currently under attack in this country,” while 22 percent disagreed, 19 percent held neither view and 5 percent did not know.

• A plurality — 39 percent — agreed with the statement: “White people are currently under attack in this country,” while 38 percent disagreed, 19 percent had neither view and 4 percent did not know.

In separate questions, the poll found scant support for the “alt-right” (6 percent), white nationalism (8 percent) and neo-Nazism (4 percent.)

“Let’s remember, there are nearly 250 million adults in the United States, so even small percentages likely represent the beliefs of many millions of Americans,” said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at U.Va.

The pollsters surveyed 5,360 adults online from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. Ipsos said the survey has a “credibility interval” of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points. In some instances responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding. The sample had 2,255 Democrats, 1,915 Republicans and 689 independents.

President Calvin Coolidge:
Remembering our Shared Fallen.

The Confederate Monument today, looking south at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D. C.

“If I am correctly informed by history, it is fitting that the Sabbath should be your Memorial Day. This follows from the belief that except for the forces of Oliver Cromwell no army was ever more thoroughly religious than that which followed General Lee. Moreover, these ceremonies necessarily are expressive of a hope and a belief that rise above the things of this life. It was Lincoln who pointed out that both sides prayed to the same God. When that is the case, it is only a matter of time when each will seek a common end. We can now see clearly what that end is. It is the maintenance of our American form of government, of our American institutions, of our American ideals, beneath a common flag, under the blessings of Almighty God.

“It was for this purpose that our Nation was brought forth. Our whole course of history has been proceeding in that direction. Out of a common experience, made more enduring by a common sacrifice, we have reached a common conviction. On this day we pause in memory of those who made their sacrifice in one way. In a few days we shall pause again in memory of those who made their sacrifice in another way. They were all Americans, all contending for what they believed were their rights. On many a battlefield they sleep side by side. Here, in a place set aside for the resting place of those who have performed military duty, both make a final bivouac. But their country lives."

Americans North and South gather with Coolidge, in the above photo, to honor all who fought and died for our ideals, but especially those who wore the gray, 1924. Coolidge could have used Presidential rhetoric to withhold recognition, instead he upheld the honor and importance of what they died to preserve. He helped to heal, not inflame, division and to reunite all Americans around our love of country founded on principles we share in common.

“The bitterness of conflict is passed. Time has softened it; discretion has changed it. Your country respects you for cherishing the memory of those who wore the gray. You respect others who cherish the memory of those who wore the blue. In that mutual respect may there be a firmer friendship, a stronger and more glorious Union…

“…A mightier force than ever followed Grant or Lee has leveled both their hosts, raised up an united Nation, and made us all partakers of a new glory. It is not for us to forget the past but to remember it, that we may profit by it. But it is gone; we cannot change it. We must put our emphasis on the present and put into effect the lessons the past has taught us. All about us sleep those of many different beliefs and many divergent actions. But America claims them all…” — President Calvin Coolidge, May 25, 1924


The Confederate Memorial at Arlington in 1922, (seen in the next photo) two years before President Coolidge spoke the words above.  In the years to follow, the markers of those who wore the gray would multiply as the great warriors of the South shed mortality.

In the next picture, below, we see the return of the Confederate battle and regimental flags to Virginia, North Carolina and Texas on December 16, 1927, on the White House grounds. An earlier attempt by President Cleveland in 1887, met with successful opposition by the Grand Army of the Republic (Union veterans) as “trophies” of the Civil War that should not be returned. It would be “treasonous” according to the large body of obstinate veterans.  These were Confederate flags which had been captured by Union soldiers during battles and represented "trophies" of their victory on the battlefield.  Thus, the Union veterans did not want to return them to the Southern states.  They were not ready to forgive their Southern brothers.


President Theodore Roosevelt, through a careful coordination with Congress, restored a partial collection of battle flags to the Southern states in 1905, taking them from storage by the War Department in Washington.


Like so many old wounds, however, President Coolidge did not evade the controversy for fear that it would cost political support. Coolidge upheld just dealings toward all, whether it was the full citizenship for all Native American tribes or fair honor due Southern Americans who fought just as valiantly as the Yankees did for principled reasons. It was overdue and time to lay aside hostility, heal old grievances, and reestablish peace between Americans, North and South.


He recognized that his duty included leadership by example to help reunite the country around the essentials we share as Americans. It would not be right to misuse a President’s influence by keeping us divided and at war with one another. He was as much an advocate of peace at home as he was abroad.

You may be wondering why these Battle Flags were so hotly contested in the 1920s.

These Civil War reenactors, pictured below, illustrate what you didn't want to happen: the enemy capturing your Regimental Battle Flag. The Color Bearer was an important individual on the battlefield, both North and South.  It was a very heroic thing for one of the Read family members, Joe Read, to do, in picking up the colors when the Color Bearer was killed.

Why did Civil War soldiers placed so much importance on the flags of their regiments?


The devotion to a flag was not merely an emotional matter.  Men would sacrifice their lives defending a regimental flag simply to protect it from being captured by the enemies.  Clearly, Civil War regimental flags played a vital part in the outcomes of Civil War battles and it is important to note why.

1. Flags were valuable morale builders.

Civil War armies on both sides of the battles were organized by regiments from particular states and regions.  Soldiers tended to feel their first loyalty toward their regiment – similar to that of local sports teams. Each state regiment typically carried its own flag into battle.  Soldiers tended to take a great deal of pride in their flags, in which case they were treated with reverence.  Many ceremonies were held as a sort of morale builder so the soldiers knew what/who they were fighting for.  Some may find this hard to believe, but some Federals won the Medal of Honor for simply capturing a Confederate flag.


Civil War Color Bearers played an important role in the outcome of battles.

2. Flags helped with drawing practical battle lines.

Among all the smoke of the battles and noise around, the lines of battle tended to become very unclear.  Flags were used as a visual rallying point, of which soldier were trained to follow the flag.  Because the regimental flags had genuine strategic importance in battle, certain soldiers, known as the color guards, were designated to hold and guard the flags.  Being a color bearer was considered a mark of great distinction.


3. Protecting the regimental flag was of great importance.

The Civil War produced countless tales of regimental flags being protected during the battle.  Many stories were told of common soldiers protecting the flag if/when the color bearer became injured or died in battle.

Examples of actual Battle Flags:

After watching a 2013 symposium led by Dr. Gary W. Gallagher, the John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the Civil War, University of Virginia (Pictured below, courtesy of the UVA website), concerning the Battle at Gettysburg, I came to realize how central a role Joseph D. Read played in picking up the regimental battle flag.  It was no small thing for him to pick up the battle flag when the assigned Color Bearer fell; it had enormous consequences.  I now understand why he was so brave, so commended, (in writing), by his Regimental Commander for his heroic efforts on the battlefield.


I have included a short clip from Dr. Gallagher's lecture below, as he discusses the importance of the Color Bearer:

Coolidge spoke out in favor of civil rights. He refused to appoint any known members of the Ku Klux Klan to office, appointed African Americans to government positions and advocated for anti-lynching laws. In 1924, Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, granting full citizenship to all Native Americans while permitting them to retain tribal land rights.

President Coolidge believed in equality for all. Seen here with American Indians at the White House; he had just signed into law, the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.
Coolidge, in the next photo, wears the headdress presented to him by the Sioux tribe:
President Coolidge was a morally upright man who lived his Christian principles at home as well as in public.  On his first week at the White House, he and his family attended church on Sunday.  He believed in and read the Bible, and kept one by his bedside all his life.  The following two pictures show the church in Plymouth Notch, Vermont where he attended; and also the pew where he sat, marked today with an American flag.
Calvin Coolidge attended the Edwards Congregational Church in Northampton, Mass. (seen in the next photograph) when he lived there.  His funeral was held in this church.
President and Mrs. Coolidge, seen leaving First Congregational Church, Washington, D.C.
(On his first Sunday in the White House, he and his family attended church services).
President Coolidge also believed in hard work and responsible citizenship.  In the next photos, we see his family, and his children working on their grandfather's farm.  While away from the White House, he worked on the farm himself, to help his father.

In the next photo, Left to Right: President Coolidge, his son John, son Calvin, Jr. on the hay wagon; Coolidge's father John, standing below.

A film about Calvin Coolidge, courtesy of the Coolidge Presidential Foundation:
Calvin, Jr. at work:
John Coolidge at work:
The Coolidge family was close-knit.  Here President Coolidge helps his son build a cart:
President Coolidge and wife Grace, with the family dog:
Coolidge family formal portrait: L-R: Calvin, Jr, President, Mrs. Coolidge, John, and father, John, Sr.  Notice the well-groomed President and sons with polished shoes.  This shows good upbringing.
Coolidge family seen outside their "duplex" rented Northampton, Mass. house; L-R: John, Mrs. Grace Coolidge, President Coolidge, Calvin, Jr.
I hope the reader of this page will see that this was a very happy family that worked, played, went to church together, and believed in and practiced Christian values that are often missing in today's 21st Century society.  I strongly identify with this family, as this is how my brother and I were brought up by our own father and mother.
-Joe Hughes

Calvin Coolidge is one of the more maligned presidents in American history. I rank him as one of the best in my “9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America.”  Coolidge should be commended for his executive restraint and homespun honesty, two character traits that have escaped the modern American executive.  He was a throwback to the nineteenth century when the president (save Lincoln and Jackson) was expected to merely execute the laws of Congress.  This was the correct position constitutionally.  Coolidge himself believed he was a “dinosaur” who could not adapt to modern conceptions of executive power.

Coolidge should also be admired for his willingness to include Southern history into the fabric of the American story.  Though Coolidge was a Vermont Puritan bred on New England history and sensibilities, he nevertheless believed that American history was a complex quilt of interpretations woven together in a “Union” of common interests.  No speeches better exemplify this belief than two he made at Arlington National Cemetery in May 1924. 

Reprinted below are the texts of both addresses. Coolidge lavished praise on both Lee and the Confederate soldier for their heroism and determination, and he emphasized that the War did not destroy the constitutional role of the States within the American Union.  To Coolidge, the Southern position of self-determination and federalism still had a place in the Union of the twentieth century.

If only our modern “politicians” would be so bold.

Address at the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery:

“The United Nation”
May 25, 1924

"If I am correctly informed by history, it is fitting that the Sabbath should be your Memorial Day. This follows from the belief that except for the forces of Oliver Cromwell no army was ever more thoroughly religious than that which followed General Lee. Moreover, these ceremonies necessarily are expressive of a hope and a belief that rise above the things of this life. It was Lincoln who pointed out that both sides prayed to the same God. When that is the case, it is only a matter of time when each will seek a common end. We can now see clearly what that end is. It is the maintenance of our American form of government, of our American institutions, of our American ideals, beneath a common flag, under the blessings of Almighty God.

"It was for this purpose that our Nation was brought forth. Our whole course of history has been proceeding in that direction. Out of a common experience, made more enduring by a common sacrifice, we have reached a common conviction. On this day we pause in memory of those who made their sacrifice in one way. In a few days we shall pause again in memory of those who made their sacrifice in another way. They were all Americans, all contending for what they believed were their rights. On many a battle field they sleep side by side. Here, in a place set aside for the resting place of those who have performed military duty, both make a final bivouac. But their country lives.

The bitterness of conflict is passed. Time has softened it; discretion has changed it. Your country respects you for cherishing the memory of those who wore the gray. You respect others who cherish the memory of those who wore the blue. In that mutual respect may there be a firmer friendship, a stronger and more glorious Union.

"When I delivered the address dedicating the great monument to General Grant in the city of Washington, General Carr was present, with others of his comrades, and responded for the Confederacy with a most appropriate tribute. He has lately passed away, one of the last of a talented and gallant corps of officers. To the memory of him whom I had seen and heard and knew as the representative of that now silent throng, whom I did not know, I offer my tribute. We know that Providence would have it so. We see and we obey. A mightier force than ever followed Grant or Lee has leveled both their hosts, raised up an united Nation, and made us all partakers of a new glory. It is not for us to forget the past but to remember it, that we may profit by it. But it is gone; we cannot change it. We must put our emphasis on the present and put into effect the lessons the past has taught us. All about us sleep; those of many different beliefs and many divergent actions. But America claims them all. Her flag floats over them all. Her Government protects them all. They all rest in the same divine peace."

Address at Arlington National Cemetery:

“Freedom and Its Obligations”
May 30, 1924

"We meet again upon this hallowed ground to commemorate those who played their part in a particular outbreak of an age old conflict. Many men have many theories about the struggle that went on from 1861 to 1865. Some say it had for its purpose the abolition of slavery. President Lincoln did not so consider it. There were those in the South who would have been willing to wage war for its continuation, but I very much doubt if the South as a whole could have been persuaded to take up arms for that purpose. There were those in the North who would have been willing to wage war for its abolition, but the North as a whole could not have been persuaded to take up arms for that purpose. President Lincoln made it perfectly clear that his effort was to save the Union, with slavery if he could save it that way; without slavery if he could save it that way. But he would save the Union. The South stood for the principle of the sovereignty of the States. The North stood for the principle of the supremacy of the Union.

"This was an age old conflict. At its foundation lies the question of how can the Government govern and the people be free? How can organized society make and enforce laws and the individual remain independent? There is no short sighted answer to these inquiries. Whatever may have been the ambiguity in the Federal Constitution, of course the Union had to be supreme within its sphere or cease to be a Union. It was also certain and obvious that each State had to be sovereign within its sphere or cease to be a State. It is equally clear that a government must govern, must prescribe and enforce laws within its sphere or cease to be a government. Moreover, the individual must be independent and free within his own sphere or cease to be an individual. The fundamental question was then, is now, and always will be through what adjustments, by what actions, these principles may be applied.

"It needs but very little consideration to reach the conclusion that all of these terms are relative, not absolute, in their application to the affairs of this earth. There is no absolute and complete sovereignty for a State, nor absolute and complete independence and freedom for an individual. It happened in 1861 that the States of the North and the South were so fully agreed among themselves that they were able to combine against each other. But supposing each State of the Union should undertake to make its own decisions upon all questions, and that all held divergent views. If such a condition were carried to its logical conclusion, each would come into conflict with all the others, and a condition would arise which could only result in mutual destruction. It is evident that this would be the antithesis of State sovereignty. Or suppose that each individual in the assertion of his own independence and freedom undertook to act in entire disregard of the rights of others. The end would be likewise mutual destruction, and no one would be independent and no one would be free. Yet these are conflicts which have gone on ever since the organization of society into government, and they are going on now. To my mind this was fundamental of the conflict which broke out in 1861.

"The thirteen Colonies were not unaware of the difficulties which these problems presented. We shall find a great deal of wisdom in the method by which they dealt with them. When they were finally separated from Great Britain, the allegiance of their citizens was not to the Nation for there was none. It was to the States. For the conduct of the war there had been a voluntary confederacy loosely constructed and practically impotent. Continuing after peace was made, when the common peril which had been its chief motive no longer existed, it grew weaker and weaker. Each of the States could have insisted on an entirely separate and independent existence, having full authority over both their internal and external affairs, sovereign in every way.

"But such sovereignty would have been a vain and empty thing. It would have been unsupported by adequate resources either of property or population, without a real national spirit, ready to fall prey to foreign intrigue or foreign conquest. That kind of sovereignty meant but little. It had no substance in it. The people and their leaders naturally sought for a larger, more inspiring ideal. They realized that while to be a citizen of a State meant something, it meant a great deal more if that State were a part of a national union. The establishment of a Federal Constitution giving power and authority to create a real National Government did not in the end mean a detriment, but rather an increment to the sovereignty of the several States. Under the Constitution there was brought into being a new relationship, which did not detract from but added to the power and the position of each State. It is true that they surrendered the privilege of performing certain acts for themselves, like the regulation of commerce and the maintenance of foreign relations, but in becoming a part of the Union they received more than they gave.

"The same thing applies to the individual in organized society. When each citizen submits himself to the authority of law he does not thereby decrease his independence or freedom, but rather increases it. By recognizing that he is a part of a larger body which is banded together for a common purpose, he becomes more than an individual, he rises to a new dignity of citizenship. Instead of finding himself restricted and confined by rendering obedience to public law, he finds himself protected and defended and in the exercise of increased and increasing rights. It is true that as civilization becomes more complex it is necessary to surrender more and more of the freedom of action and live more and more according to the rule of public regulation, but it is also true that the rewards and the privileges which come to a member of organized society increase in a still greater proportion. Primitive life has its freedom and its attraction, but the observance of the restrictions of modern civilization enhances the privileges of living a thousand fold.

"Perhaps I have said enough to indicate the great advantages that accrue to all of us by the support and maintenance of our Government, the continuation of the functions of legislation, the administration of justice, and the execution of the laws. There can be no substitute for these, no securing of greater freedom by their downfall and failure, but only disorganization, suffering and want, and final destruction. All that we have of rights accrue from the Government under which we live.

"In these days little need exists for extolling the blessings of our Federal Union. Its benefits are known and recognized by all its citizens who are worthy of serious attention. No one thinks now of attempting to destroy the Union by armed force. No one seriously considers withdrawing from it. But it is not enough that it should be free from attack, it must be approved and supported by a national spirit. Our prime allegiance must be to the whole country. A sentiment of sectionalism is not harmless because it is unarmed. Resistance to the righteous authority of Federal law is not innocent because it is not accompanied by secession. We need a more definite realization that all of our country must stand or fall together, and that it is the duty of the Government to promote the welfare of each part and the duty of the citizen to remember that he must he first of all an American.

"Only one conclusion appears to me possible. We shall not promote our welfare by a narrow and shortsighted policy. We can gain nothing by any destruction of government or society. That action which in the long run is for the advantage of the individual, as it is for the support of our Union, is best summed up in a single word; renunciation. It is only by surrendering a certain amount of our liberty, only by taking on new duties and assuming new obligations, that we make that progress which we characterize as civilization. It is only in like manner that the citizens and the States can maintain our Federal Union and become partakers of its glory. That is the answer to every herald of discontent and to every preacher of destruction. While this is understood, American institutions and the American Union are secure.

"This principle can not be too definitely or emphatically proclaimed. American citizenship is a high estate. He who holds it is the peer of kings. It has been secured only by untold toil and effort. It will be maintained by no other method. It demands the best that men and women have to give. But it likewise awards to its partakers the best that there is on earth. To attempt to turn it into a thing of ease and inaction would be only to debase it. To cease to struggle and toil and sacrifice for it is not only to cease to be worthy of it but is to start a retreat toward barbarism. No matter what others may say, no matter what others may do, this is the stand that those must maintain who are worthy to be called Americans.

"But that great struggle was carried on by those whom this day is set apart to commemorate, not only for the preservation of the Union. The authority of the Federal Government had been resisted by armed force. They were also striving to restore peace. It must be remembered that our Republic was organized to avoid and discourage war, and to promote and establish peace. It is the leading characteristic of our national holidays that they are days of peace. The ways of our people are the ways of peace. They naturally seek ways to make peace more secure.

"It is not to be inferred that it would be anything less than courting national disaster to leave our country barren of defense. Human nature is a very constant quality. While there is justification for hoping and believing that we are moving toward perfection, it would be idle and absurd to assume that we have already reached it. We can not disregard history. There have been and will be domestic disorders. There have been and will be tendencies of one nation to encroach on another. I believe in the maintenance of an Army and Navy, not for aggression but for defense. Security and order are our most valuable possessions. They are cheap at any price. But I am opposed to every kind of military aggrandizement and to all forms of competitive armament. The ideal would be for nations to become parties to mutual covenants limiting their military establishments, and making it obvious that they are not maintained to menace each other. This ideal should be made practical as fast as possible.

"Our Nation has associated itself with other great powers for the purpose of promoting peace in the regions of the Pacific Ocean. It has steadily refused to accept the covenant of the League of Nations, but long before that was thought of, before the opening of the present century, we were foremost in promoting the calling of a conference at The Hague to provide for a tribunal of arbitration for the settlement of international disputes. We have made many treaties on that basis with other nations.

"But we have an opportunity before us to reassert our desire and to lend the force of our example for the peaceful adjudication of differences between nations. Such action would be in entire harmony with the policy which we have long advocated. I do not look upon it as a certain guaranty against war, but it would be a method of disposing of troublesome questions, an accumulation of which leads to irritating conditions and results in mutually hostile sentiments. More than a year ago President Harding proposed that the Senate should authorize our adherence to the protocol of the Permanent Court of International Justice, with certain conditions. His suggestion has already had my approval. On that I stand. I should not oppose other reservations, but any material changes which would not probably receive the consent of the many other nations would be impracticable. We can not take a step in advance of this kind without assuming certain obligations.

"Here again if we receive anything we must surrender something. We may as well face the question candidly, and if we are willing to assume these new duties in exchange for the benefits which would accrue to us, let us say so. If we are not willing, let us say that. We can accomplish nothing by taking a doubtful or ambiguous position. We are not going to be able to avoid meeting the world and bearing our part of the burdens of the world. We must meet those burdens and overcome them or they will meet us and overcome us. For my part I desire my country to meet them without evasion and without fear in an upright, downright, square, American way.

"While there are those who think we would be exposed to peril by adhering to this court, I am unable to attach great weight to their arguments. Whatever differences, whatever perils exist for us in the world, will come anyway, whether we oppose or support the court. I am one of those who believe we would be safer and that we would be meeting our duties better by supporting it and making every possible use of it. I feel confident that such action would make a greater America, that it would be productive of a higher and finer national spirit, and of a more complete national life.

"It is these two thoughts of union and peace which appear to me to be especially appropriate for our consideration on this day. Like all else in human experience, they are not things which can be set apart and have an independent existence. They exist by reason of the concrete actions of men and women. It is the men and women whose actions between 1861 and 1865 gave us union and peace that we are met here this day to commemorate. When we seek for the chief characteristic of those actions, we come back to the word which I have already uttered; renunciation. They gave up ease and home and safety and braved every impending danger and mortal peril that they might accomplish these ends. They thereby became in this Republic a body of citizens set apart and marked for every honor so long as our Nation shall endure. Here on this wooded eminence, overlooking the Capital of the country for which they fought, many of them repose, officers of high rank and privates mingling in a common dust, holding the common veneration of a grateful people. The heroes of other wars lie with them, and in a place of great preeminence lies one whose identity is unknown, save that he was a soldier of this Republic who fought that its ideals, its institutions, its liberties, might be perpetuated among men. A grateful country holds all these services as her most priceless heritage, to be cherished forevermore.

"We can testify to these opinions, not by our words but by our actions. Our country can not exist on the renunciation of the heroic souls of the past. Public service, from the action of the humblest voter to the most exalted office, can not be made a mere matter of hire and salary. The supporters of our institutions must be inspired by a more dominant motive than a conviction that their actions are going to be profitable. We can not lower our standards to what we think will pay, but we must raise them to what we think is right. It is only in that direction that we shall find true patriotism. It is only by that method that we can maintain the rights of the individual, the sovereignty of the States, the integrity of the Union, the permanency of peace, and the welfare of mankind. You soldiers of the Republic enrolled under her banner that through your sacrifices there might be an atonement for the evils of your day. That is the standard of citizenship for all time. It is the requirement which must be met by those who hold public place. That must be the ideal of those who are worthy to share in the glory which you have given to the name of America, the ideal of those who hold fellowship with Washington and Lincoln."

Source: Brion McClanahan

Brion McClanahan is the author or co-author of five books, 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America and Four Who Tried to Save Her (Regnery History, 2016), The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, (Regnery, 2009), The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution (Regnery History, 2012), Forgotten Conservatives in American History (Pelican, 2012), and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes, (Regnery, 2012). He received a B.A. in History from Salisbury University in 1997 and an M.A. in History from the University of South Carolina in 1999. He finished his Ph.D. in History at the University of South Carolina in 2006, and had the privilege of being Clyde Wilson’s last doctoral student. He lives in Alabama with his wife and three daughters.

President Coolidge at the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, silent film:

Have you ever thought about "reading" a monument? In this presentation, Museum Historian John Coski demonstrates how Virginia's Confederate monuments reveal the choices made by memorialists as they decided how and what to remember about the Civil War--and what to forget. Find out how the Lost Cause was shaped in part by these works in stone.

Virginia's Confederate Memorials

Hundreds of memorials in stone commemorate the Civil War in Virginia at courthouses, cemeteries, town squares, and battlefields. With An Illustrated Guide to Virginia's Confederate Monuments, Timothy S. Sedore presents the first comprehensive handbook of this legacy of America's greatest national trauma in the Old Dominion. Timothy S. Sedore is a professor of English at The City University of New York, Bronx Community College. (Introduction by Paul Levengood).

NOTE:  The video will loop and replay.  To stop the video from replaying, hit or tap the arrow/pause button on the lower left of the screen.

How to be Happily Unreconstructed in a World Gone Crazy

by Ben "Cooter" Jones

End of special section on individuals fighting the Civil War today.

Abraham Lincoln held racist views and wanted to deport

slaves and freed blacks

to new colonies abroad

Abraham Lincoln is frequently voted America's greatest President due to his perceived stance on slavery.
General James Samuel Wadsworth,
who saw Lincoln almost every day at the height of the crisis, and was with him "frequently for 5 or 6 hours at the War Department," was shocked by the racism in the Lincoln White House, where Lincoln "frequently" spoke of "the nigger question" and debated whether this or that act would "touch the nigger."

On a typical occasion, Wadsworth was, he said, "talking against (General George) McClellan with (Postmaster General Montgomery) Blair, in Lincoln's presence," when he was "met by Blair with the remark, 'He'd have been all right if he'd stolen a couple of n---rs.'  A general laugh, in which Lincoln laughed, as if it were an argument." General Wadsworth said that Lincoln was contemptuous of abolitionists and "spoke often of the slaves as cattle."
Colonel Donn Piatt
said that Lincoln expressed "no sympathy for the slave" and no dislike for slave owners, and "laughed at the Abolitionists as a disturbing element easily controlled."
Eli Thayer,
a member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts, is chiefly remembered for his connection with the "Kansas Crusade," the purpose of which was to secure the admission of Kansas to the Union as a free state.  He organized an Emigrant Aid Company, to send anti-slavery settlers to the Kansas Territory.

But about Lincoln, he had this to say:  Lincoln spoke of abolitionists "in terms of contempt and derision."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
said in his "Journal" that Lincoln "Thinks Emancipation almost morally wrong and resorts to it only as a desperate measure."
Jessie Ann Benton Fremont
was the daughter of Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton and wife of military officer/explorer/politician, John C. Fremont.  She was anti-slavery.

But, she called Lincoln "the Pontius Pilate of the Slaves."

Frederick Douglass, the only Black leader who knew Lincoln well, said that Lincoln was a racist who revealed “his pride of race and blood, his contempt for Negroes and his canting hypocrisy.”


In a July 4, 1862 speech, he said “our weak, paltering and incompetent rulers in the Cabinet…and our rebel worshipping Generals in the field” were ”incomparably more dangerous to the country than dead traitors like former President James Buchanan…”


This was a direct attack on a president by a Black leader…and it caused an uproar.  In the August 1862 edition of “Douglass’ Monthly,” he stated, “that Abraham Lincoln is no more fit for the place he holds than was James Buchanan, and that the latter was no more the miserable tool of traitors and rebels than the former is allowing himself to be.”


Douglass went public against the renomination of Lincoln for President.    He said that the so-called emancipation was a fraud and that Lincoln was neither an emancipator nor a great leader.  He accused Lincoln of betrayal and charged his handpicked military commanders were “practically re-establishing” the slave system in Louisiana.

How the Lincoln Myth was Hatched
Ralph Nader interviews Judge Napolitano
American Colonization Society:
Abraham Lincoln was a member

When did Lincoln join the

American Colonization Society?

(Source: Professor Phillip W. Magness)


Abraham Lincoln’s interest in the policy of colonization likely dates at least to the mid 1840s when he picked it up from his political hero Henry Clay. He also delivered at least two speeches to the state colonization society in Illinois and was elected one of its managers in 1857. It might therefore come as some surprise that very little evidence has ever emerged formally connecting Lincoln to the better known national face of the antebellum colonization movement: the American Colonization Society.


It turns out that Lincoln was indeed a member of the ACS, as shown by his appearance on their subscriber list in 1856.

Sure enough, he actually joined the organization on August 14 of that year when an ACS recruiter named James C. Finley visited Springfield. Finley in turn collected a membership fee from Lincoln and forwarded his name to the organization’s longtime secretary, Ralph R. Gurley. Finley’s letter to Gurley appears below, including the list of new members and Lincoln’s name (fifth line from the bottom).

The American Colonization Society was founded in Liberia 1816 by Robert Finley. Finley and Samuel John Mills organized the National Colonization Society of America and the American Colonization Society at Washington, D.C. in 1816 and 1817. The founding purpose of the societies was to assist freed Southern American slaves to emigrate to Liberia, in an effort to remove them from the United States. Beginning in the early nineteenth century, there was a gathering public opinion that freed slaves would be unable to assimilate into the predominantly white society of 1800 America. Freedmen often found that they were still treated as if they were slaves. Other freedmen felt adrift in America, lacking any real identity. Henry Clay, a senator from Kentucky and supporter of rights of free blacks, felt that because of "unconquerable prejudice resulting from their color, they never could amalgamate with the free whites of this country."

"Lincoln and Colonization"
an Interview with Dr. Phillip Magness

The Lincoln Myth Exposed
(Judge Andrew Napolitano, Professor Thomas DiLorenzo, and Professor Tom Woods).
"The Real Lincoln....not taught in School"
The Unknown Lincoln
Lincoln's Panama Plan

by Rick Beard, an independent historian and coordinator of the Civil War Sesquicentennial for the American Association for State and Local History.

On Aug. 14, 1862, Abraham Lincoln hosted a “Deputation of Free Negroes” at the White House, led by the Rev. Joseph Mitchell, commissioner of emigration for the Interior Department. It was the first time African Americans had been invited to the White House on a policy matter. The five men were there to discuss a scheme that even a contemporary described as a “simply absurd” piece of “charlatanism”: resettling emancipated slaves on a 10,000-acre parcel of land in present-day Panama.

Lincoln immediately began filibustering his guests with arguments so audacious that they retain the ability to shock a reader 150 years later. “You and we are different races,” he began, and “have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races.” The African-American race suffered greatly, he continued, “by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence.” Lincoln went on to suggest, “But for your race among us, there could not be war,” and “without the institution of Slavery and the colored race as a basis, the war could not have an existence.” The only solution, he concluded, was “for us both … to be separated.”

The president next turned to what he wanted from the five-man delegation. It was selfish, he suggested, that any of them should “come to the conclusion that you have nothing to do with the idea of going to a foreign country.” They must “do something to help those who are not so fortunate as yourselves,” for the colonization effort needed “intelligent colored men” who are “capable of thinking as white men, and not those who have been systematically oppressed.” In asking them to “sacrifice something of your present comfort,” Lincoln invoked George Washington’s sacrifices during the American Revolution. He then asked for volunteers. “If I could find twenty-five able-bodied men, with a mixture of women and children,” he said, “I think I could make a successful commencement.”

It is hard to imagine what Lincoln’s guests, all well-educated, well-to-do leaders of Washington’s African-American community, made of this presidential monologue. Edward Thomas, the delegation’s chairman, merely promised to “hold a consultation and in a short time give an answer,” to which Lincoln replied: “Take your full time — no hurry at all.”

Lincoln, like several other antislavery Republicans and activists, had a long, deep attachment to colonization. Proponents of colonization included two of Lincoln’s political heroes, Thomas Jefferson and Henry Clay, as well as John Marshall, James Madison, Daniel Webster and even Harriett Beecher Stowe. Since its founding in 1816, the American Colonization Society had sought to relocate free blacks to Africa, where, it was argued, they would enjoy greater freedom.

Dominated by planters and politicians from the Upper South whose commitment to slavery was suspect, the A.C.S. enjoyed only modest success: between 1816 and 1860, the organization transported around 11,000 blacks, most of them manumitted slaves, to Africa. By contrast, as many as 20,000 African-Americans left of their own accord during the American Revolution and thousands more found their way along the Underground Railroad to Canada during the first half of the 19th century.

“For many white Americans,” the historian Eric Foner has written, “colonization represented a middle ground between the radicalism of the abolitionists and the prospect of the United States’ existing permanently half slave and half free.” Needless to say, few blacks agreed, seeing colonization efforts as, at best, a distraction from abolition and, at worst, a form of slavery by other means.

Opposition did nothing to diminish Lincoln’s belief in the merits of colonization. As early as April 10, 1861, two days before the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the new president met with Ambrose W. Thompson, head of the Chiriquí Improvement Association, to explore the creation of a colony for emigrants in Panama, where newly arrived emancipated slaves would earn a living by mining coal for the Navy. Gideon Welles, the secretary of the navy, opposed Lincoln’s scheme, but three other members of the cabinet — Interior Secretary Caleb Smith, Postmaster General Montgomery Blair and Attorney General Edward Bates — supported the plan.

As the war progressed, Union policy makers faced increased pressure to develop strategies for how to manage the growing number of slaves who fled to Union lines, were freed by the advancing federal armies or were emancipated by federal legislation, like the two confiscation acts or the abolition of slavery in the nation’s capital and the federal territories.

When Congress passed the District of Columbia Act emancipating slaves in Washington in April 1862, it also appropriated $100,000 to resettle “such free persons of African descent now residing in said District, including those liberated by this act, as may desire to emigrate.” Two months later, Congress appropriated an additional $500,000 to colonize slaves whose masters were disloyal to the United States. And on July 16, the House Select Committee on Emancipation and Colonization recommended $20 million for settling confiscated slaves beyond United States borders.

No doubt buoyed by these signs of Congressional support, Lincoln pushed forward with the Chiriquí plan and instructed Mitchell to arrange the Aug. 14 meeting. The five delegates included Edward Thomas, the delegation chair and a prominent black intellectual and cultural leader; John F. Cook Jr., an Oberlin-educated teacher who ran a church-affiliated school; Benjamin McCoy, a teacher and the founder of an all-black congregation; John T. Costin, a prominent black Freemason; and Cornelius Clark, a member of the Social, Civil, and Statistical Association, an important black social and civic organization that had recently sought to banish several emigration promoters from Washington.

Mitchell’s own views on the desirability of colonization mirrored those of the president he served. The delegates he recruited were not at all convinced. The men had been wary of the president’s intentions and had agreed to attend only after adopting two resolutions criticizing the plans, as a way to provide political cover. Lincoln’s strategy at the meeting prevented any of these men from voicing their own opinions on the matter of colonization, and the delegation never responded formally to Lincoln’s plan.

Nevertheless, the publication of Lincoln’s remarks at the meeting generated a furious response from all corners of the anti-slavery world. To Senator John P. Hale, a Radical Republican from New Hampshire, “The idea of removing the whole colored population from this country is one of the most absurd ideas that ever entered into the head of man or woman.” Lincoln’s treasury secretary, Salmon P. Chase, wrote in his diary, “How much better would be a manly protest against prejudice against color! — and a wise effort to give freemen homes in America!” On Aug. 22 William Lloyd Garrison editorialized that “the nation’s four million slaves are as much the natives of this country as any of their oppressors,” and two weeks later The Pacific Appeal noted that Lincoln’s words “made it evident that he, his cabinet, and most of the people, care but little for justice to the negro.” And Frederick Douglass said that “the President of the United States seems to possess an ever increasing passion for making himself appear silly and ridiculous, if nothing worse.”

Lincoln’s hopes for the Chiriquí venture barely outlasted the summer. On Aug. 28, he accepted an offer from Kansas Senator Samuel C. Pomeroy to organize black emigration parties to Central America, and on Sept. 11 he authorized Caleb Smith to sign an agreement with Thompson advancing money to develop the mines. But on Sept. 24, two days after issuing the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln abruptly suspended Pomeroy’s operation.

The Chiriquí venture was, in retrospect, doomed from the start. Ambrose Thompson’s title to the coal lands proved questionable, and a report by the Smithsonian Institution’s Joseph Henry found that the Chiriquí coal was almost worthless as fuel. Several Central American governments also opposed the plan: Luis Molina, a diplomat representing Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, characterized the plans as a thinly disguised effort to make Central America the depository for “a plague of which the United States desired to rid itself.”

The failed venture hurt hundreds of people who had volunteered to go on the first trip. “Many of us have sold our furniture” and “have given up our little homes to go,” wrote one emigrant. The uncertainty and delay are “reducing our scanty means” and “poverty in a still worse form than has yet met us may be our winter prospect.” In response, Lincoln could do no more than ask for their forbearance. After issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, the president never again issued any public statements on colonization.

Sources: Frederick Douglass, “The President and His Speeches,” Douglass Monthly, September 1862; Paul D. Escott, “What Shall We Do With the Negro? Lincoln, White Racism, and Civil War America”; Eric Foner, “Lincoln and Colonization” in “Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World”; Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln”; Harold Holzer, “Emancipating Lincoln: The Proclamation in Text, Context, and Memory”; Abraham Lincoln, “Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Negroes, August 14, 1862” in “Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln,” vol. 5; Kate Masur, “The African American Delegation to Abraham Lincoln: A Reappraisal,” in Civil War History, vol. 56, no. 2; James Oakes, “The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics”; Benjamin Quarles, “The Negro in the Civil War”; Michael Vorenberg, “Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Black Colonization,” in Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, vol. 14, Issue 2, Summer 1993.

Abraham Lincoln wanted to ship freed black slaves away from the U.S., to British colonies in the Caribbean, even in the final months of his life, it has emerged.

(Abraham Lincoln is frequently voted America's greatest President due to his stance on slavery.)


By Jon Swaine, New York, 11 FEB 2011, The Telegraph, UK

A new book on the celebrated U.S. president and hero of the anti-slavery movement, who was born 202 years ago on Saturday, argues that he went on supporting the highly controversial policy of colonisation.

It was favoured by U.S. politicians who did not believe free black people should live among white Americans, and had been backed by prominent abolitionists like Henry Clay as far back as 1816.

Mr Lincoln also favoured the idea. But he was believed to have denounced it after signing the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed of most of America’s four million slaves, in January 1863.

The notion that he came to regard it as unacceptable contributed to the legend of the 16th president, who is frequently voted America’s greatest, and is held by some to have left an impeccable record.

Yet Phillip Magness and Sebastian Page, the authors of Colonisation After Emancipation, discovered documents in the National Archives in Kew in Great Britain, and in the U.S., that will significantly alter his legacy.

They found an order from Mr 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 emigration went ahead,” said Mr Page, a historian at Oxford University.

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 there in 1904.

The colonisation plan collapsed by 1864. The British were fearful the confederate states of the American south may win the War Between the States, reverse emancipation, and regard British agents as thieves. Congress also voted to remove funding.

Yet as late as that autumn, a letter sent to the president by his attorney-general showed he was still actively exploring whether the policy could be implemented, Mr Page said.

“It says ‘further to your question, yes, I think you can still pursue this policy of colonisation even though the money has been taken away’,” he said.  Mr Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865.

Dr Magness said the book would change readers’ views of Mr Lincoln. Amid sharp political division, he is repeatedly championed by modern-day politicians, including Barack Obama, as a great unifier.

“Looking back from modern perspectives, we see colonisation as a very bigoted idea,” said Dr Magness, of the American University in Washington.

“So it’s a tough issue to integrate in to Lincoln’s story.

“It’s a tough racial issue, and it raises a lot of emotional issues. It doesn’t mesh well with the emancipation legacy, and it doesn’t mesh well with Lincoln’s image as an iconic figure.”

Newly discovered documents explode Lincoln myth:

Lincoln DID seek to deport freed slaves