Jul 2, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Undermining Jefferson Davis’ Sable Arm

Undermining Jefferson Davis’ Sable Arm

In early 1863 General Joseph Hooker, then-commander of the Army of the Potomac, created the Bureau of Military Intelligence (BMI) which was under the guidance of deputy provost marshal Col. George H. Sharpe. Much of his information came from Union League and paid informants within unoccupied areas who reported Southern military movements.

Unfortunately for General Grant’s men in 1864 Virginia, their commander “stubbornly adhered to the notion that the Confederates teetered on the brink of collapse,” a belief fostered by regular misinformation delivered by Sharpe’s agents.

One historian’s observation of Grant’s generalship during the Virginia Campaign concluded that the Union general-in-chief “relied on chance and improvisation to an extraordinary degree,” which sacrificed the lives of many blue-clad soldiers.

Had the Confederacy fielded black troops in early 1865 as in Col. Sharpe’s scenario below, they might well have forced a stalemate in Virginia and North Carolina.

Undermining Jefferson Davis’ Sable Arm

“Perhaps the most interesting concern for the BMI that winter [of 1864-1865] was the Confederacy’s decision to arm blacks to fight for Southern independence. Davis had advocated the recruitment of blacks for service in the Confederate armies since November 1864, and the following March the Confederate Congress, after much argument, authorized the use of these men in combat roles.

Three days after the House passed the bill, Sharpe wrote a fascinating analysis on how black Confederates, which he estimated would total as many as two hundred thousand, might be employed by the enemy and what the North could do to undermine this potential advantage.

If Lee placed fifty thousand black troops in the Richmond-Petersburg lines, Sharpe reasoned, he could defend these key points while freeing a “movable column” of white troops to “throw upon any threatened point, or for unexpected and diverting attacks.”

Black troops deployed similarly at Danville, Gordonsville, and Lynchburg might be decisive. “[W]ill not negro troops . . . be able to hold these points,” he asked, “and will not the white forces still under the control of the Confederacy be substantially free for supporting and aggressive movements?”

This troubling scenario led Sharpe to consider ways of ending this experiment “before, by habit, discipline and experience with arms, they shall have grown to that aptitude of a soldier which will bring them to obey orders under any circumstances.” In any event, he wished to avoid testing his hypothesis.

Sharpe proposed a covert operation using blacks from Union ranks to slip into Richmond and sow discontent among the new recruits and foment mass desertion. This plan could work, he concluded, because “Negroes are an eminently secret people; they have a system of understanding amounting to almost freemasonry among them; they will trust each other when they will not trust white men.” Though the Confederacy’s bold experiment never really developed, the BMI carefully monitored these efforts until the war’s end.”

(Grant’s Secret Service: The Intelligence War from Belmont to Appomattox, William B. Feis, University of Nebraska Press, 2002, excerpts pp. 260-261)

Jul 1, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Andrew Johnson versus Radical Republicans

Andrew Johnson versus Radical Republicans

Andrew Johnson was a Democrat in the Andrew Jackson tradition, and despite owning slaves himself, was a bitter opponent of aristocratic Whig slave holders. A John Breckinridge supporter in 1860 and a “violent opponent of Lincoln”, Johnson was wary of Radical Republicans before, during and after the War.

Once Johnson assumed the presidency following Lincoln’s death, he resisted Radical demands that black freedmen be enfranchised for the obvious purpose of maintaining Republican political power.

Johnson preferred to leave this question to the people; in the fall of 1865, a referendum to extend the vote to all black males in the District of Columbia failed 6591 to 35, in Georgetown, 712 to 1.

Johnson Versus Northern Capitalists and Radicals

“Like Andrew Jackson and Jefferson before him, Johnson was concerned with the question of the Western frontier. He had persistently opposed the attempts by Northern capitalists to secure large grants of public land for railroads and similar purposes. In his view the public domain should be allotted to small farmers, and it was his hope that by this means a new class of small holders would grow in the West and who would unite with the poor white people of the South whom he represented.

He had been quick to see that the War had enabled the Northern manufacturers to make enormous profits at the expense of the United States government and the American taxpayers. Most of the bonds issued during the war were now held by Northern capitalists, who were earning interest at six to seven percent.

The high tariffs set up during the War had especially benefitted them, and they were anxious above all else that this protection be retained. Were the Southern States to be readmitted to the Union, the alliance which they would form with the Northern and Western Democrats 40-would once more place the manufacturers of New England in the minority position which they held for so many years before the War.

Johnson was well aware that the Northern Radicals would not hesitate to use any means to prevent and delay the readmission of the Southern States – even if this involved increasing the power of the Legislative branch of the government at the expense of the Executive and Judiciary . . . he was determined to prevent this at all costs.

[His] strong opinions [against secession leaders] had made many of the Radical Congressmen who had been associated with Johnson in the Committee on the Conduct of the War, including [Benjamin] Wade and [Charles] Sumner, confident that he would endorse their theories on Reconstruction and they felt hopeful he would declare himself in favor of Negro suffrage.

On February 7, 1866, [Johnson] accorded an interview to a delegation of eleven Negro leaders, among them the great Abolitionist orator, Frederick Douglass . . . “[who desired] placing in our hands the ballot which will save ourselves.”

While maintaining the same friendliness of manner Johnson indicated to the delegation his fear that a “war of the races” would ensue if the poorer white man and the Negro were placed in competition with one another at the ballot box.” Such decisions should not be forced upon the white population of the South against its consent, and he urged the emigration of Negroes to Africa and Latin America as a solution to the problem.”

(The Uncivil War: Washington During Reconstruction, 1865-1878, James H. Whyte, Twayne Publishers, 1958, excerpts pp. 40-42; 52)

Jun 30, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Emotional Red Herrings and Shameless Edicts

Emotional Red Herrings and Shameless Edicts

Due to continued Southern victories and no States returning to his rule with African labor safely secured, Lincoln was persuaded by Secretary of State William Seward “to withhold his proclamation so that it could be issued on the morrow of victory and thus not appear as “our last shriek on the retreat.”

Lincoln would claim his “victory” at the battle of Sharpsburg in mid-September 1862, where his refusal to accept Southern independence caused 23,000 casualties. Northern General George McClellan’s 76,000 man army had been fought to a standstill by General Robert E. Lee’s 38,000 troops.

Even after a bloody Northern defeat at Fredericksburg (18,000 casualties) in December ended a dreadful year of carnage wrought by Lincoln, he remained steadfast in refusing to end the slaughter and inaugurate peace.

Emotional Red Herrings and Shameless Edicts

“During the last months of 1861, United States fortifications along the Niagara were significantly strengthened with guns and men. And even before [captured Southern diplomats] Slidell and Mason had been released from [Northern] custody, followed by strong and prolonged British protest, at the beginning of the following year, Canadian admiration for the Confederate cause persisted – in spite of the slavery issue – which sophisticated foreigners (and not a few Unionists) perceived to be an emotional red herring.

This particular fact of political life was obscured for most Americans a year later, when they heard of the Emancipation Proclamation – but failed to read its text with any care.

President Lincoln had not, by this edict, freed all the slaves, but merely those who resided in Southern territory still under the control of the enemies of the Union. This gesture which was to give the martyred Lincoln the name of the “Great Emancipator” was shamelessly political and selective, designed to split the Confederacy by allowing Southerners to infer that if they only caused their States to rejoin the Union, they might retain their “peculiar institution.”

And as such, the Emancipation Proclamation accomplished nothing concrete – though it undoubtedly gave Northerners a feeling of complacency. It emancipated no one.

It would require three amendments to the Constitution and the passage of more than a century before “emancipation” had any real meaning – and it would be for the blacks to emancipate themselves.”

(The Niagara, Rivers of America, Donald Braider, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972, excerpts pp. 238-239)

Jun 30, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Flags and Historic Erasure

Flags and Historic Erasure

It is widely acknowledged that had the representatives of each of the thirteen colonies been told that there would be no voluntary withdrawal from the Articles of Confederation once ratified, that none would have ratified it. And none would have ratified the new Constitution had the same been declared – no withdrawal. And North Carolina made it requisite that a Bill of Rights, including a Tenth Amendment, to ensure that States were sovereign in anything not expressly and specifically delegated to the federal agent. And Americans celebrate secession every 4th of July.

Flags and Historic Erasure

“How refreshing it would be for someone to acknowledge the historic reality of the Secession of 1861! The South did secede, even if the arbitrament of war reversed the action. Since there was no Union to be saved, therefore this preservation never occurred. What did eventuate was rather a conquest and an imposed rule, which we have lived under ever since.

Only some few Northerners have ever realized that the triumphalist view has, though not without some justification, occluded an understanding to the damage done to the interests of all citizens, even themselves. The confusion about the meaning of a flag is an internal problem [for Americans], exclusively. And a rather convenient problem it is, especially for politicians.

My own view about the Confederate [Battle] flag is that it is no issue at all, which is not to say that it has not been made into one. But the flag is necessary for the hatemongers – the progressives who love to hate. Few of the hatemongers know anything about the various flags of the Confederacy and the State regiments and the corps within armies.

But now there has developed a movement to reconstruct various Southern State flags that have any Confederate aspects at all. The focus on State flags is related to an obsession with historic erasure that is deceptive and dangerous. Since the Stars and Stripes denoted a slaveholding nation for decades before the Confederate flag existed, it would seem that the flag of the United States is the one that should be reformulated or replaced, or at least referred to as being “like the swastika.”

Educated people know what that means – and what it doesn’t. Though flaunting the swastika is intolerable, the study of imagery, art, art, symbols, religion and anthropology is not. In an academic sense, even the swastika can be looked upon without sinister implications.

But with fierce recklessness, some can deface graves, destroy monuments, and forbid the sight of offensive and dreadful images. But memory depends on something to remember, which was the point of the memorials in the first place. And I know how difficult this is.”

(A Monumental Proposal, James O. Tate, Chronicles, June 2016, excerpts pp. 36-37)

The War Power is All Power

A bill to establish a Bureau of Freedmen’s Affairs was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 17, 1864, by Massachusetts Republican Rep. Thomas D. Eliot. Democrat Rep. Samuel S. “Sunset” Cox of Ohio responds to the bill, in part, below.

The War Power is All Power

“Mr. Cox said: “Mr. Speaker . . . the member who introduced it [Mr. Eliot] recalled to our minds the fact that we opposed the confiscation bill for its inhumanity. This bill is founded in part on the confiscation system. If that were inhuman, then this is its aggravation. The former takes the lands which are abandoned by loyal or disloyal whites, under the pressure of war; while the present system turns these abandoned lands over to the blacks.

The effect of former legislation has been, in his opinion, to bring under the control of the Government large multitudes of freedmen who “had ceased to be slaves, but had not learned how to be free.” To care for these multitudes he presents this bill, which, if not crude and undigested, yet is sweeping and revolutionary.

It begins a policy for this Federal Government of limited and express powers, so latitudinarian that the whole system is changed. If the acts of confiscation and the proclamations, on which this measure is founded, be usurpations, how can we who have denounced them favor a measure like this?

This is a new system. It opens a vast opportunity for corruption and abuse. It may be inaugurated in the name of humanity; but I doubt, sir, if any Government, much less our Government of delegated powers, will ever succeed in the philanthropic line of business such as is contemplated by this bill.

The gentleman from Massachusetts appeals to us to forget the past, not to enquire how these poor people have become free, whether by law or by usurpation, but to look the great fact in the face “that three million slaves have become and are becoming free.” Before I come to that great fact, let me first look to the Constitution.

My oath to that is the highest humanity. By preserving the Constitution amidst the rack of war, in any vital part, we are saving for a better time something of those liberties, State and personal, which have given so much happiness for over seventy years to so many millions; and which, under a favorable Administration, might again restore contentment to our afflicted people. Hence the highest humanity is in building strong the ramparts of constitutional restraint against such radical usurpations as is proposed to be inaugurated by measures kindred to this before the House.

If the gentleman can show us warrant in the Constitution to establish this eleemosynary system for the blacks, and for making the Government a plantation speculator and overseer, and the Treasury a fund for the Negro, I will then consider the charitable light in which he has commended his bill to our sympathies.

The gentleman refers us for the constitutionality of this measure to the war power [of Lincoln], the same power by which he justifies the emancipation proclamation and similar measures. We upon this [Democratic] side are thoroughly convinced of the utter sophistry of such reasoning.

If the proclamation be unconstitutional, how can this or any measure based on it be valid?

The gentleman says, “If the President had the power to free the slave, does it not imply the power to take care of him when freed?”

Yes, no doubt. If he had any power under the war power, he has all power.

Under the war power he is a tyrant without a clinch on his revolutions. He can spin in any orbit he likes, as far and as long as he pleases.”

(Eight Years in Congress, 1857-1865: Memoir and Speeches of Samuel S. Cox, Samuel S. Cox, D. Appleton and Company, 1865, excerpts pp. 354-356)

Radical Experiment in the District

On January 4, 1867, President Andrew Johnson was preparing his veto of the District [of Columbia] Suffrage Bill, telling his cabinet of issues with the Bill. He pointed out that “New York Negroes were obliged to comply with property requirements not necessary for white voters”, while other Northern States like Pennsylvania and Indiana excluded them from voting altogether.”

Johnson added that “the representatives of States where suffrage is either denied the colored man or grant [voting rights on qualifications being met] . . . should compel the people of the District of Columbia to try an experiment which their own constituents have thus far shown an unwillingness to test for themselves . . .” It was clear to Johnson that the motivation for Negro suffrage was the voting potential they held, and the potential for Republican Party political hegemony in the future. This led to virtually unbroken Republican national rule until Woodrow Wilson.

It is noteworthy that when the Emancipation Bill of April 1862 provided freedom for colored people in the District, which also compensated their owners, Lincoln insisted that the measure be coupled with a $100,000 appropriation to settle the freedmen in Haiti and Liberia.

Radical Experiment in the District

“The question of voting by Negroes had become by this time a burning national issue and one on which the Republican Party was by no means unanimous. Even in the North only six States permitted Negro suffrage without restrictions. Negroes were not permitted to vote in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and . . . New York still maintained property qualifications for Negro voters.

The Radical wing of the Party, led by [Charles] Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens, was, however, adamant on this issue. It was essential in their opinion that the colored man should be permitted to vote . . . [and] the control of the Southern States by the Republican Party could be maintained by the Negro vote, since it was quite inconceivable that the vast majority of Negroes would vote for any other Party than the Republicans who had freed them.

Realizing the difficulties of achieving Negro suffrage in the States, the leaders of the Radical Wing of the Republican Party began to turn their attention to the District of Columbia over which Congress had jurisdiction.

If Negro suffrage could be achieved in the District, with its large colored population, that would set the standard which some of the Southern States might be eventually be persuaded or compelled to follow.

Thus the municipal politics of Washington and Georgetown were to become a vital issue in the struggle for power between the Radical Republicans in Congress and Andrew Johnson, the Conservative Democrat in the White House.”

(The Uncivil War: Washington During the Reconstruction, 1865-1878, James H. Whyte, Twayne Publishers, 1958, excerpts pg. 37)

Radicals Versus the South

Radical Republicans of Lincoln’s party barely concealed their contempt for him and certainly favored having him out of the way in order to fully control punishment for the American South’s bid for political independence.

It was these Radicals, who, along with Lincoln, spurned any and all compromise efforts in early 1861 to settle differences peaceably, and drove the country into a war which ended a million lives and laid waste to the South.

Radicals Versus the American South

“While the war from one point of view might be considered tragic, Radicals believed that it furnished an opportunity to make America’s political system just. “If we fail to embrace” the opportunity, warned one Congressman, “the golden moment will have escaped for years, if not forever.”

After winning victory on the battlefield, Radicals were determined not to lose the peace. These two elements – the Radical belief that Reconstruction politics were an extension of wartime issues and the Radical determination not to lose the fruits of military victory – are crucial in understanding Radical motivation.

Lincoln’s assassination confirmed these ideas. “My God Gov.,” wrote a friend to ex-Governor Austin Blair . . . “Poor Lincoln a victim of his own goodness and leniency. Death to all Traitors.”

Another of Blair’s correspondents reacted similarly: “Poor old Abraham has yielded up his life at last . . . Let justice now be meted out to the remorseless villains who led the people into rebellion by a man of their own household [Andrew Johnson] – a man who knows and fully realizes the depth of their depravity & has no mawkish sympathy for them when conquered.”

[Michigan] Senator [Zachariah] Chandler reacted in a more calculating manner. “I believe that the Almighty continued Mr. Lincoln in office as long as he was useful,” Chandler wrote to his wife, “& then substituted a better man to finish the work.” Had Lincoln’s policy [of reconstruction] been carried out, he believed that Jefferson Davis and his followers would be back in the Senate; “but now,” gloated the senator, “their Chance to Stretch hemp are [sic] better than for the Senate . . .”

Needed in Washington, the grim Michigan Senator substituted someone else to accompany Lincoln’s remains to Springfield. “[Andrew] Johnson is right now,” he reported; “thinks just as we do & desires to carry out Radical measures & punish treason & traitors, but much depends on his Surroundings.”

A few days later Chandler described Johnson: “as Radical as I am & fully up to the mark. If he has good men around him there will be no danger in the future.”

(Radical Republican Motivation, George M. Blackburn, Journal of Negro History, Volume LIV, Number 2, April 1969, Carter G. Woodson, editor, excerpts pp. 112-113)

Radical Republican Motivation

Lincoln’s predecessor, James Buchanan, admitted that he had no authority to wage war against States and understood that action as treason.

As “treason” is mentioned often in Radical literature, it is important to understand the constitutional definition of this as defined in Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution:

“Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” And “secession” is what is celebrated in the United States every Fourth of July.

Having militarily destroyed the American South’s political and economic strength as well as causing a million deaths in the process, the Republican party was determined to maintain political hegemony and turn the South into an economic colony.

Once the South was defeated and occupied, Republicans created a solid bloc of black voters to politically dominate the South.

Radical Republican Motivation

“Although the South lost the war, the “slave power” did not give up but continued the struggle in a different form. Recognizing the continuing and persistent menace, Michigan’s Governor Henry Crapo, warned in 1866: “It is not slavery, but the spirit which seeks to make slavery the corner stone of the empire, that we now have to guard against – that element of hatred to freedom and equality that instituted the conflict . . . That spirit is neither dead nor sleeping . . . Having failed so utterly in the resort to force, it will but recuperate its energies for a more insidious attack in a different method of warfare. “

However incomplete or inaccurate they might be, such views were to constitute the bases of the Radical Republican program for a decade after the Civil War. The identification of the Republican party with the promotion of freedom and democracy against “slave power” and “aristocracy” gave the Republicans a messianic sense of destiny.

Republican identification of the Democratic party with slavery and treason made Republican control of the national government a patriotic necessity. Further, Republicans viewed the struggle as occurring between ageless, eternal principles – “slave power” and “aristocracy” were resilient, crafty, and powerful.

Far reaching and drastic measures were necessary to extirpate their roots. The Republicans willingly accepted the appellation of “Radical” . . . [and] had developed much of their program long before Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

The Southerners, stated [Michigan Congressman] John Longyear should be treated as subjugated enemies.

[US] Senator Jacob Howard [of Michigan] . . . wanted a genuine loyalty in the South as the basis for readmission to the Union. “The people of the North,” he prophesied, “are not such fools as to fight through such a war as this, to spend so vast an amount of treasure, as they must necessarily spend in bringing it to a successful termination – that they are not such fools as to sacrifice a hundred and fifty or two hundred thousand lives in putting down this rebellion, and then turn around and say to the traitors, “All you have to do is to come back into the councils of the nation and take an oath that henceforth you will be true to the Government.” Sir, it would be simple imbecility, folly . . .”

Until a majority became loyal [to the North], Howard advocated keeping [the South] out of the Union and in “tutelage” up to twenty years. Howard reasoned that a hostile and belligerent community could not claim the right to elect members of Congress.

“Are public enemies,” he asked, “entitled to be represented in the Legislature of the United States?” “A secession traitor,” Senator [Zachariah] Chandler growled, “is beneath a loyal Negro. I would let a loyal Negro vote. I would let him testify; I would let him fight; I would let him do any other good thing, and I would exclude a secession traitor.”

(Radical Republican Motivation, George M. Blackburn, Journal of Negro History, Volume LIV, Number 2, April 1969, Carter G. Woodson, editor, excerpts pp. 110-112)

Republicans Pacify the South and Expel Mongolians

The Republican party was responsible for creating “unsound money” with its infamous greenbacks, despite a constitutional provision that all money be gold or silver; civil service reform was anathema as much of their power came from political appointees and the selling of government positions in exchange for party support.

On the issue of Chinese immigration, the Republicans passed the Page Act of 1875 which banned the immigration of Chinese women – fearing they might give birth to children in the US.

In 1878, a Republican-dominated Congress proposed a ban on Chinese immigration, though vetoed by President Rutherford B. Hayes. In 1879, California adopted a new constitution which explicitly authorized the State government to determine who would be allowed to reside in the State, and banned Chinese people from employment by corporations, plus State and municipal government.

Had any Southern State adopted a constitution authorizing State government to determine who could reside within its boundaries, blue-clad troops would reappear to overthrow that State government.

Republicans Pacify the South and Expel Mongolians

“The Republican National Convention was called to order by national committee Chairman Edwin D. Morgan of New York promptly at noon on Wednesday, June 14 [1876]. The site was Exposition Hall, at Elm and Fourteenth Streets – the same building which had been the scene of the Liberal Republican revolt against Grant in 1872.

Consideration of the platform [resulted in] a tepid document that declared the United States “a nation, not a league,” congratulated Republicans for saving the Union, promised “speedy, thorough and unsparing” prosecution of corrupt public officials, opposed polygamy and sectarian interference with the public schools, and called for “respectful consideration” of demands for women’s suffrage.

One plank deprecated all appeals to sectional feeling and abominated Democratic hopes for a “solid South,” whereas another pledged anew the party’s sacred duty – eleven years after Appomattox – to achieve “permanent pacification of the Southern section of the Union,” and a third charged the Democratic party with “being the same in character and spirit as when it sympathized with treason.”

The platform contained a firm endorsement of sound money and a wonderfully evasive stand on civil service reform . . . The only plank that stirred controversy was the eleventh: “It is the immediate duty of congress [to] fully investigate the effect of immigration and importation of Mongolians on the moral and material interests of the country.”

Edward L. Pierce of Massachusetts objected bitterly: “The Republican party this year, this centennial year, is twenty years old . . . and this is the first time in all that long period that any attempt has ever been made to put in its platform a discrimination of race.”

The eleventh section was retained, nevertheless, on a roll call vote of 532 to 215, and the entire platform was “unanimously adopted” on a voice vote.”

(The Politics of Inertia: The Election of 1876 and the End of Reconstruction, Keith Ian Polakoff, LSU Press, 1973, excerpts pp. 58-61)

Southern Abolition Societies

Southern colonists were greatly alarmed at the great influx of African slaves being transported into their midst by British and New England ships by the mid-1700s. Both Virginia and North Carolina taxed the importation of slaves to discourage the practice, only to be overruled by the King who sought productive colonial plantations.

By 1750, Rhode Island was the center of the transatlantic slave trade, which continued to at least 1859. When discussing the antebellum period it is more accurate to speak of all the States as free, and the Northern States properly referred to as former slaveholding States, along with some being former slave trading States.

Southern Abolition Societies

“Slavery continued to be recognized within the South as a grave social problem. Perhaps Southerners were less concerned about it than they had been in the Revolutionary period, but during the course of the Missouri debate, responsible Southern spokesmen openly admitted that slavery was evil; and ten years later there occurred the greatest and most searching discussion of the nature and problem of slavery that was ever held in the South, the debate in the Virginia legislature in 1832.

Several antislavery journals appeared in the slave States: The Emancipator, founded in East Tennessee in 1820; The Genius of Universal Emancipation, which was moved to Tennessee from Ohio in 1821 and was later moved to Baltimore; and the Abolition Intelligencer, founded in Kentucky in 1822.

Benjamin Lundy, editor of the Genius of Universal Emancipation, estimated in 1827 that there were 106 antislavery societies with 5,150 members in the slave States whereas there were only 24 such societies with 1,475 members in the free States, not counting 10 or 12 in Illinois about which he could get no information.

But these facts by no means indicate that Southerners generally were conscience-stricken over slavery . . . [and] the hostility of some Southerners to slavery was founded on something very different from sympathy for the oppressed. When Governor David Holmes of Mississippi warned that “The evils arising from this odious practice [the slave trade] are constantly . . . increasing,” and there would be serious results “unless the traffic is wholly prohibited,” his concern was for the welfare of the Mississippi white man.

Governor [Thomas Mann] Randolph of Virginia put the matter very bluntly. He deplored the “error of our ancestors in copying a civil institution from savage Africa,” because as he reasoned, “The want of moral motives and a defect of intelligence, the too common absence of settled character, that marks the race [degraded] by slavery, if not by nature,” was injurious to the State of Virginia.

There was much support throughout the South in the 1820s for plans to deport Negroes . . . Haiti, Africa and unsettled parts of the western territories of the United States were suggested as possible places to which Negroes could be sent, but the only serious effort that came out of the discussion was the organization in Washington in 1817, of the American Colonization Society.”

(The Development of Southern Sectionalism, 1819-1848, Volume V, A History of the South, Charles S. Sydnor, LSU Press, 1948, excerpts pp. 95-96)

Pages:«12345678...147»