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 Posted: Mon Sep 25th, 2006 03:15 pm
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David White
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If he said it, it was after the war to "clean" things up a little, like those who say it was all about state's rights.  To which I reply state's rights to do what?  Davis did say this to the CS congress just after the firing on Ft. Sumter, explaining how the Confederacy got to the point they had reached in April 1861.  Obviously, the push for independence had a strong underlying issue :

In moral and social condition they had been elevated from brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers, and supplied not only with bodily comforts but with careful religious instruction. Under the supervision of a superior race their labor had been so directed as not only to allow a gradual and marked amelioration of their own condition, but to convert hundreds of thousands of square miles of wilderness into cultivated lands covered with a prosperous people; towns and cities had sprung into existence, and had rapidly increased in wealth and population under the social system of the South; the white population of the Southern slaveholding States had augmented form about 1,250,000 at the date of the adoption of the Constitution to more than 8,500,000 in 1860; and the productions of the South in cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco, for the full development and continuance of which the labor of African slaves was and is indispensable, had swollen to an amount which formed nearly three-fourths of the exports of the whole United States and had become absolutely necessary to the wants of civilized man. With interests of such overwhelming magnitude imperiled, the people of the Southern States were driven by the conduct of the North to the adoption of some course of action to avert the danger with which they were openly menaced.

However, Alexander Stephens never minced words on the subject and said this at the Georgia seccession convention that probably rang true with most southerners:

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.



 Posted: Mon Sep 25th, 2006 11:16 pm
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James Longstreet
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The source of the quote seemed reliable, but I was still cautious.  I also found this:

So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished.  I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained.


General Robert E. Lee, May 1, 1870


http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/About%20the%20General.htm



 Posted: Fri Sep 29th, 2006 04:15 pm
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HankC
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James Longstreet wrote: The source of the quote seemed reliable, but I was still cautious.  I also found this:


So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished.  I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained.



General Robert E. Lee, May 1, 1870



http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/About%20the%20General.htm



 

This is an area of interesting historic analysis...

In parsing this, and similar, statements, a historian asks questions such as:

To whom was Lee speaking?

Why did he say this in 1870?

Did he repeat this view frequently or mention it only once?

What if he had said this in 1860 rather than 1870?

How did his opinion change from 1860 to 1870?

 

HankC

 



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