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|Dear Texas: Thanks for your opinions. Obviously we could continue this indefinitely. My conclusions on the importance of Birney are, I believe, well supported by eminent scholars cited in the notes of the book. They are not entirely my own. As our back-and-forth discussion verifies, history is an inexact process and the historiography of the Civil War has been muddled by propaganda that, it seems, stems mainly from southerners attempting to justify secession. Any political figure, like Birney, a reformed slaveholder and thus a traitor to his kind, who showed sympathy for slaves will never win praise in that arena. That is exactly the reason for the book; to show that the way of life we all enjoy under the Constitution resulted from the courage of leaders who did not flow with the tide of racism and white supremacy of the day.