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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: August 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

New England's hidden history - More than we like to think, the North was built on slavery.

By Francie Latour 
September 26, 2010

In the year 1755, a black slave named Mark Codman plotted to kill his abusive master. A God-fearing man, Codman had resolved to use poison, reasoning that if he could kill without shedding blood, it would be no sin. Arsenic in hand, he and two female slaves poisoned the tea and porridge of John Codman repeatedly. The plan worked — but like so many stories of slave rebellion, this one ended in brutal death for the slaves as well. After a trial by jury, Mark Codman was hanged, tarred, and then suspended in a metal gibbet on the main road to town, where his body remained for more than 20 years.

It sounds like a classic account of Southern slavery. But Codman’s body didn’t hang in Savannah, Ga.; it hung in present-day Somerville, Mass. And the reason we know just how long Mark the slave was left on view is that Paul Revere passed it on his midnight ride. In a fleeting mention from Revere’s account, the horseman described galloping past “Charlestown Neck, and got nearly opposite where Mark was hung in chains.” When it comes to slavery, the story that New England has long told itself goes like this: Slavery happened in the South, and it ended thanks to the North. Maybe we had a little slavery, early on. But it wasn’t real slavery. We never had many slaves, and the ones we did have were practically family. We let them marry, we taught them to read, and soon enough, we freed them. New England is the home of abolitionists and underground railroads. In the story of slavery—and by extension, the story of race and racism in modern-day America—we’re the heroes. Aren’t we?

As the nation prepares to mark the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War in 2011, with commemorations that reinforce the North/South divide, researchers are offering uncomfortable answers to that question, unearthing more and more of the hidden stories of New England slavery—it’s brutality, its staying power, and its silent presence in the very places that have become synonymous with freedom. With the markers of slavery forgotten even as they lurk beneath our feet—from graveyards to historic homes, from Lexington and Concord to the halls of Harvard University—historians say it is time to radically rewrite America’s slavery story to include its buried history in New England.

“The story of slavery in New England is like a landscape that you learn to see,” said Anne Farrow, who co-wrote “Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited From Slavery” and who is researching a new book about slavery and memory. “Once you begin to see these great seaports and these great historic houses, everywhere you look, you can follow it back to the agricultural trade of the West Indies, to the trade of bodies in Africa, to the unpaid labor of black people.” It was the 1991 discovery of an African burial ground in New York City that first revived the study of Northern slavery. Since then, fueled by educators, preservationists, and others, momentum has been building to recognize histories hidden in plain sight. Last year, Connecticut became the first New England state to formally apologize for slavery. In classrooms across the country, popularity has soared for educational programs on New England slavery designed at Brown University. In February, Emory University will hold a major conference on the role slavery’s profits played in establishing American colleges and universities, including in New England. And in Brookline, Mass., a program called Hidden Brookline is designing a virtual walking tour to illuminate its little-known slavery history: At one time, nearly half the town’s land was held by slave owners.

“What people need to understand is that, here in the North, while there were not the large plantations of the South or the Caribbean islands, there were families who owned slaves,” said Stephen Bressler, director of Brookline’s Human Relations-Youth Resources Commission. “There were businesses actively involved in the slave trade, either directly in the importation or selling of slaves on our shores, or in the shipbuilding, insurance, manufacturing of shackles, processing of sugar into rum, and so on. Slavery was a major stimulus to the Northern economy.” Turning over the stones to find those histories isn’t just a matter of correcting the record, he and others say. It’s crucial to our understanding of the New England we live in now.

“The absolute amnesia about slavery here on the one hand, and the gradualness of slavery ending on the other, work together to make race a very distinctive thing in New England,” said Joanne Pope Melish, who teaches history at the University of Kentucky and wrote the book “Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and ‘Race’ in New England, 1780-1860.” “If you have obliterated the historical memory of actual slavery—because we’re the free states, right?—that makes it possible to turn around and look at a population that is disproportionately poor and say, it must be their own inferiority. That is where New England’s particular brand of racism comes from.” Dismantling the myths of slavery doesn’t mean ignoring New England’s role in ending it. In the 1830s and ’40s, an entire network of white Connecticut abolitionists emerged to house, feed, clothe, and aid in the legal defense of Africans from the slave ship Amistad, a legendary case that went all the way to the US Supreme Court and helped mobilize the fight against slavery. Perhaps nowhere were abolition leaders more diehard than in Massachusetts: Pacifist William Lloyd Garrison and writer Henry David Thoreau were engines of the antislavery movement. Thoreau famously refused to pay his taxes in protest of slavery, part of a philosophy of civil disobedience that would later influence Martin Luther King Jr. But Thoreau was tame compared to Garrison, a flame-thrower known for shocking audiences. Founder of the New England Anti-Slavery Society and the newspaper The Liberator, Garrison once burned a copy of the US Constitution at a July Fourth rally, calling it “a covenant with death.” His cry for total, immediate emancipation made him a target of death threats and kept the slavery question at a perpetual boil, fueling the moral argument that, in time, would come to frame the Civil War.

But to focus on crusaders like Garrison is to ignore ugly truths about how unwillingly New England as a whole turned the page on slavery. Across the region, scholars have found, slavery here died a painfully gradual death, with emancipation laws and judicial rulings that either were unclear, poorly enforced, or written with provisions that kept slaves and the children born to them in bondage for years. Meanwhile, whites who had trained slaves to do skilled work refused to hire the same blacks who were now free, driving an emerging class of skilled workers back to the lowest rungs of unskilled labor. Many whites, driven by reward money and racial hatred, continued to capture and return runaway Southern slaves; some even sent free New England blacks south, knowing no questions about identity would be asked at the other end. And as surely as there was abolition, there was “bobalition” — the mocking name given to graphic, racist broadsides printed through the 1830s, ridiculing free blacks with characters like Cezar Blubberlip and Mungo Mufflechops. Plastered around Boston, the posters had a subtext that seemed to boil down to this: Who do these people think they are? Citizens?

“Is Garrison important? Yes. Is it dangerous to be an abolitionist at that time? Absolutely,” said Melish. “What is conveniently forgotten is the number of people making a living snagging free black people in a dark alley and shipping them south.” Growing up in Lincoln, Mass., historian Elise Lemire vividly remembers learning of the horrors of a slaveocracy far, far away. “You knew, for example, that families were split up, that people were broken psychologically and kept compliant by the fear of your husband or wife being sold away, or your children being sold away,” said Lemire, author of the 2009 book “Black Walden,” who became fascinated with former slaves banished to squatter communities in Walden Woods. As she peeled back the layers, Lemire discovered a history rarely seen by the generations of tourists and schoolchildren who have learned to see Concord as a hotbed of antislavery activism. “Slaves [here] were split up in the same way,” she said. “You didn’t have any rights over your children. Slave children were given away all the time, sometimes when they were very young.”

In Lemire’s Concord, slave owners once filled half of town government seats, and in one episode town residents rose up to chase down a runaway slave. Some women remained enslaved into the 1820s, more than 30 years after census figures recorded no existing slaves in Massachusetts. According to one account, a former slave named Brister Freeman, for whom Brister’s Hill in Walden Woods is named, was locked inside a slaughterhouse shed with an enraged bull as his white tormentors laughed outside the door. And in Concord, Lemire argues, black families were not so much liberated as they were abandoned to their freedom, released by masters increasingly fearful their slaves would side with the British enemy. With freedom, she said, came immediate poverty: Blacks were forced to squat on small plots of the town’s least arable land, and eventually pushed out of Concord altogether—a precursor to the geographic segregation that continues to divide black and white in New England. “This may be the birthplace of a certain kind of liberty,” Lemire said, “but Concord was a slave town. That’s what it was.”

If Concord was a slave town, historians say, Connecticut was a slave state. It didn’t abolish slavery until 1848, a little more than a decade before the Civil War. (A judge’s ruling ended legal slavery in Massachusetts in 1783, though the date is still hotly debated by historians.) It’s a history Connecticut author and former Hartford Courant journalist Anne Farrow knew nothing about—until she got drawn into an assignment to find the untold story of one local slave. Once she started pulling the thread, Farrow said, countless histories unfurled: accounts of thousand-acre slave plantations and a livestock industry that bred the horses that turned the giant turnstiles of West Indian sugar mills. Each discovery punctured another slavery myth. “A mentor of mine has said New England really democratized slavery,” said Farrow. “Where in the South a few people owned so many slaves, here in the North, many people owned a few. There was a widespread ownership of black people.” Perhaps no New England colony or state profited more from the unpaid labor of blacks than Rhode Island: Following the Revolution, scholars estimate, slave traders in the tiny Ocean State controlled between two-thirds and 90 percent of America’s trade in enslaved Africans. On the rolling farms of Narragansett, nearly one-third of the population was black—a proportion not much different from Southern plantations. In 2003, the push to reckon with that legacy hit a turning point when Brown University, led by its first African-American president, launched a highly controversial effort to account for its ties to Rhode Island’s slave trade. Today, that ongoing effort includes the CHOICES program, an education initiative whose curriculum on New England slavery is now taught in over 2,000 classrooms.

As Brown’s decision made national headlines, Katrina Browne, a Boston filmmaker, was on a more private journey through New England slavery, tracing her bloodlines back to her Rhode Island forebears, the DeWolf family. As it turned out, the DeWolfs were the biggest slave-trading family in the nation’s biggest slave-trading state. Browne’s journey, which she chronicled in the acclaimed documentary “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North,” led her to a trove of records of the family’s business at every point in slavery’s triangle trade. Interspersed among the canceled checks and ship logs, Browne said, she caught glimpses into everyday life under slavery, like the diary entry by an overseer in Cuba that began, “I hit my first Negro today for laughing at prayers.” Today, Browne runs the Tracing Center, a nonprofit to foster education about the North’s complicity in slavery. “I recently picked up a middle school textbook at an independent school in Philadelphia, and it had sub-chapter headings for the Colonial period that said ‘New England,’ and then ‘The South and Slavery,’” said Browne, who has trained park rangers to talk about Northern complicity in tours of sites like Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell. “Since learning about my family and the whole North’s role in slavery, I now consider these things to be my problem in a way that I didn’t before.”

If New England’s amnesia has been pervasive, it has also been willful, argues C.S. Manegold, author of the new book “Ten Hills Farm: The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North.” That’s because many of slavery’s markers aren’t hidden or buried. In New England, one need look no further than a symbol that graces welcome mats, door knockers, bedposts, and all manner of household decor: the pineapple. That exotic fruit, said Manegold, is as intertwined with slavery as the Confederate flag: When New England ships came to port, captains would impale pineapples on a fence post, a sign to everyone that they were home and open for business, bearing the bounty of slave labor and sometimes slaves themselves. “It’s a symbol everyone knows the benign version of—the happy story that pineapples signify hospitality and welcome,” said Manegold, whose book centers on five generations of slaveholders tied to one Colonial era estate, the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford, Mass., now a museum. The house features two carved pineapples at its gateposts. By Manegold’s account, pineapples were just the beginning at this particular Massachusetts farm: Generation after generation, history at the Royall House collides with myths of freedom in New England—starting with one of the most mythical figures of all, John Winthrop. Author of the celebrated “City Upon a Hill” sermon and first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Winthrop not only owned slaves at Ten Hills Farm, but in 1641, he helped pass one of the first laws making chattel slavery legal in North America.

When the house passed to the Royalls, Manegold said, it entered a family line whose massive fortune came from slave plantations in Antigua. Members of the Royall family would eventually give land and money that helped establish Harvard Law School. To this day, the law school bears a seal borrowed from the Royall family crest, and for years the Royall Professorship of Law remained the school’s most prestigious faculty post, almost always occupied by the law school dean. It wasn’t until 2003 that an incoming dean—now Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan—now turned the title down. Kagan didn’t publicly explain her decision. But her actions speak to something Manegold and others say could happen more broadly: not just inserting footnotes to New England heritage tours and history books, but truly recasting that heritage in all its painful complexity.

“In Concord,” Lemire said, “the Minutemen clashed with the British at the Old North Bridge within sight of a man enslaved in the local minister’s house. The fact that there was slavery in the town that helped birth American liberty doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the sacrifices made by the Minutemen. But it does mean New England has to catch up with the rest of the country, in much of which residents have already wrestled with their dual legacies of freedom and slavery.”
Francie Latour is an associate editor at Wellesley magazine and a former Globe reporter.


This report will not be about the details of what is currently going on in Virginia. Most of what can be said about this has been said.   I have talked to the press from Canada to Great Britain. I have been interviewed by every left wing newspaper, TV network, and radio station from here to the Mississippi.  Travis Toombs, Fred Chiesa and others have done a great job of getting this word out to you, the members of the Virginia Division and even the outside world.

There is only one thing further I wish to say about Charlottesville.  On the evening of August 21st, a council meeting was held in that city.  Even with looking at the news and reading about it, it was difficult to determined the pro or con of those in attendance.  It turned into a free-for-all with the Mayor and Council retreating to a back room.  Judging by quotes and signs, it was apparent that all parties agreed on  one thing.......that all of the violence brought to Charlottesville was the fault of the Mayor and the City Council.  It was evident that this was a self inflected wound by signs telling the council that they had blood on their hands.

There have been questions as to whether or not the Virginia Division is holding a rally.  The answer is yes we are.  Hopefully it will be the largest rally we have ever held in Virginia.  The date will be November 7, 2017.  It will last all day and into the evening.  It will be held at locations all over the State.  These locations are called   Polling one will be more than a mile or two from one of these rally points.  You have no excuse not to be there.

It doesn't matter what you have or haven't done for the cause before. This is your chance to stand up and be counted.   Don't just say "somebody should do something", BE that somebody.  Speaking for the Virginia Division SCV, I am not permitted to tell you how to vote.  You must figure that out on your own.  We can tell you that the candidates from one party have already stated that the Monuments WILL COME DOWN. They can't wait to get into office to make this happen.  The other party's candidates have stated that they WILL NOT SEEK to take down the monuments or rewrite Virginia history.

This is a major turning point for our State and the Country.  If you have never voted before, vote this time. If you are not registered, get registered!  If for any reason like minded neighbors can not get to the polls, drive them there yourself.  Get every sane, rational, member of your family to vote.  This is your chance to stop asking about what is being done about the monuments and do something yourself. If we lose this election, steps will be taken the very next day to remove all our monuments. (ie: repeal the monument protection act)

These monuments, along with the graves of our sacred dead, are the last vestiges we still have of our Heritage.  It is not enough to just vote.  We must tell others to register and vote.  We need 10 even 20 thousand votes.  We can do it!  We must over come the carpet bagger votes from Northern Virginia.
Sad to say, Northern Virginia has become nothing but a puddle of ooze overflowing from the Swamp that is Washington, D.C.

It is up to you now.  You must come to this November 7th rally.  You must bring everyone you can.  With victory on November 8th, we can all sing  "Carry me back to Old Virginia."

We have a chance to save the Virginia that our ancestors fought and died for.  We must not fail them.
Sic  Semper Tyrannis
God Save the Commonwealth
Virginia...The Old Dominion...where Liberty and Independence were born!

B Frank Earnest
Heritage Defense Coordinator
Virginia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Great Peace Invasion

During the War Between the States Atlanta’s militia company, the Gate City Guard, had greeted Union troops with the open arms of battle. In 1879 the “reconstructed” Gate City Guard visited Northern units it had fought against during the War and were welcomed with the open arms of friendship. This reconciliation tour of the North became known as:

The Great Peace Invasion
By John C. Whatley

Atlanta’s Gate City Guard originally organized as a militia company in 1855 to assist the police force of Atlanta. With the outbreak of the War Between the States, the Guard volunteered its services to the State of Georgia, becoming Company F of the 1st Regiment of Georgia Volunteers (Ramsay’s). Mustered into Confederate service, the Guard was initially sent to Pensacola, Florida, to serve under Confederate General Braxton Bragg. Reassigned to Virginia, it participated in the Battle of Carrick’s Ford and the Cheat River campaign under General Robert E. Lee. Later the Guard joined General Stonewall Jackson for his advance on Hancock and Romney, Virginia. After its year of service expired, many of the old company joined the 9th Georgia Light Artillery Battalion commanded by Major Austin Leyden, a former lieutenant of the Guard, and served in the Army of Northern Virginia through Appomattox. After the War the members returned to Atlanta to rebuild their lives.
In 1870 many of the old members reorganized the company with younger recruits, electing Major Leyden as its captain. After reorganizing, though, it was found that, under the Federal Reconstruction Statutes, no State military organizations were permitted or recognized in the former rebellious States. The company continued in limbo until July 1876 and the end of Reconstruction, when it reorganized permanently.
Comprising only 30 troops at that time, the Guard immediately began to expand with new recruits. Major Leyden initially presided over the reorganization, but resigned to devote more time to his growing business interests in Atlanta. The Guard then elected Joseph F. Burke of Charleston, South Carolina, its captain by unanimous vote on March 21, 1878.
Burke openly stated he believed that the South was right to secede to maintain local self-government. At the outbreak of the War Between the States, he belonged to a corps of cadets in the South Carolina First Regiment of Rifles, and took part in the firing on the Star of the West on January 9, 1861. He also participated in the bombardment of Fort Sumter and other battles. But with the military settlement of the War, he followed Robert E. Lee’s admonition to go home and become a good citizen.
When he became commander of the Guard, he determined to visit his home town of Charleston and take the Gate City Guard with him. A week of military encampment at the historic city would give the Guard another taste of camp life and military discipline, and also allow them to visit a celebrated locality. This proposed visit was warmly received by the members of the Gate City Guard, and by the public of Atlanta generally. Burke invited Governor A. H. Colquitt, a former Confederate general, to go with the Guard as its guest. Governor Wade Hampton of South Carolina, another former Confederate general, granted Captain Burke’s request for permission to march at Charleston and issued an invitation to visit Columbia as well. This successful meeting of the Georgia and South Carolina militias became a mere prelude to the future.
Following the successful encampment in South Carolina, Captain Burke announced another undertaking, a friendly invasion of the North. Sectional prejudice at that time formed the stock in trade of many Northern politicians, called “waving the bloody shirt.” But Captain Burke believed that such sentiments were not representative of the majority of people of the North, whether civilians or soldiers. He believed that a representative military organization, comprised of men who had faithfully defended the Confederacy, would do valuable service in restoring the Union. He claimed that a Union pinned together by bayonets would be worse than no Union at all.
In 1879 Burke planned the “Northern Tour” in which the Guard would visit Northern cities, dressed in their blue uniforms and bearing the United States flag, and test the temper of the Northern people. Georgians, at least, were reconstructed, were willing to let bygones be bygones, and would bury the “bloody shirt” with all its bitter memories.
The friends of the Guard were divided as to the opportuneness of this visit. Some pointed out that no such movement with the same unselfish and patriotic purpose had ever been undertaken by the military. It was argued that the time was not ripe for such an undertaking, that sectional feeling was yet deeply rooted, and the Guard might find themselves received with chilling courtesy or open hostility. Governor Colquitt and others, however, advised the fraternal mission proceed, pointing out the historic importance of the undertaking.
As the Rome Tribune of September 30, 1879, reported: “[The Gate City Guard] is making preparation for their visit to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, New Haven, Hartford, Boston and Lawrence, Mass., and other cities. The undertaking has assumed a national character, and the grandest receptions await them in all these cities on their route, beginning at Washington by President [Rutherford B.] Hayes. Their private car is being refurnished and will go with them to Boston and return. … The visit is calculated to have excellent effect in promoting a feeling of fraternity between the sections of our country, which is the prime object of the tour.”
An Atlanta Constitution reporter called on Burke, asking for details of the tour. “At Washington we will be the guests of the Washington Light Infantry. President Hayes, if he should be in Washington, will also give us a reception. In my conversation with him a few weeks ago, he spoke very kindly of the Atlanta people, of their hospitality, thrift and enterprise, and dwelt at some length on the good effect our visit to the North would have in promoting harmony and fraternal feeling between the extreme sections of the country, and expressed much pleasure at the prospect of meeting the military and civil representatives of Atlanta in Washington. … The object of the trip is to observe the militia systems of Northern States and at the same time to promote, as far as possible, harmony and good feeling between the people of both sections of our country.”
At departure the Guard marched through applauding crowds of enthusiastic Atlantans down to their special railcar. With many “God speeds” and benedictions from loved ones, the Guard began its trip to Washington. At Belle Isle, Virginia, however, the Guard’s train was unexpectedly halted by a delegation from the Richmond Light Infantry Blues, headed by Gov. John S. Wise and a large number of officers, who entertained them with a luncheon and speeches.
The Washington Post reported on the Guard’s arrival in Washington: “It is doubtful if any visiting company of military ever met with the reception that was accorded the Gate City Guard, of Atlanta, Ga., by the Washington Light Infantry and citizens on their arrival last night, en route for the North. … The Gate City Guard numbered forty men, nearly all of whom were young and of splendid appearance, wearing a blue uniform with canary color trimmings, white crossbelts, blue dress-coats and stiff hats with drooping plumes. … As they appeared on the depot platform, [they] were greeted with loud cheers by a large mass of citizens in attendance. … From the depot all along the route, the greatest enthusiasm prevailed. When the two companies entered Sixth Street, they were surrounded by a concourse numbering several thousand persons, who participated in the street demonstration, affording the Southerners a mammoth escort. In addition to the generous excitement there was a fine display of pyrotechnics. The scene on the line of march was exceedingly brilliant; various colored lights, Roman candles, crackers, bombs and other fireworks being discharged at every point. … During the march the visiting troops performed a number of military maneuvers with a precision that won round after round of cheers. At the armory other evolutions were gone through, after which Col. [W. G.] Moore [commander of the corps], in a neat little speech, welcomed the Southern troops, to which Capt. Burke responded, stating the purpose of the Guards’ visit, and making an appropriate allusion to the beautiful United States flag which they brought with them.”
“It was only by special and earnest request that Capt. J. F. Burke consented to give a public drill,” reported the Washington National Republican, “as it was the desire of the members, while on their tour, to avoid, if possible, the notoriety that would probably result. The continued cheers by the thousands who witnessed the drill, the waving of handkerchiefs by the hundreds of ladies from the balconies and windows, as each movement was faultlessly executed, must indeed have been appreciated by the Guard. Nothing has ever been seen like it in this city. The whole line was more like mechanical figures than human beings.”
The Washington Post reported the next day that “At 10 o’clock in the morning, clothed in fatigue uniforms, the strangers were attended to Mount Vernon by a committee of the Light Infantry. … Having thoroughly canvassed the historical attractions at the tomb of the immortal Washington, the troops returned to the city, and repaired to the armory of the local military. At 4 o’clock, P.M., [they were] escorted by two companies of the Washington Light Infantry, one in full dress, and the other in fatigue uniform. … On the march from the Opera House to the depot, the Avenue was again brilliantly illuminated with a continued shower of pyrotechnics, and the Atlanta Military left the National Capital as they were welcomed, in a brilliant and illuminated enthusiastic ovation, in which the citizens vied with the military to make it a success.”
The Baltimore Sun reported on the arrival of the Guard there: “Never before, perhaps, in the history of Baltimore, was a more cordial and general welcome extended by its citizens to a visiting military organization than that which received the Gate City Guard, of Atlanta, Ga., yesterday. ... At 9 A.M. Company B, of the Fifth Maryland Regiment, with 75 men in line, … assembled at the armory on Howard Street, in full regimentals, [and] preceded by the band and drum corps, marched to Calvert Station. Here Capt. Burke, of the Guard, was introduced by Lieut. H. E. Mann, of the Fifth. The Guard marched out of the depot [and] were received with a marching salute. The Georgians marched with the precision of veterans, and their well-executed maneuvers on the way elicited warm applause from the dense throng of spectators. …
“At 2:30 P. M., a banquet was served to the visiting military. … Capt. Burke, in response to calls from the company, made an excellent speech. … Touching upon politics, Capt. Burke said the Georgians are fully reconstructed, they believe the war is over. The Guard comes to the North that they may meet their fellow-citizens there and seal the bonds of friendship more strongly still. It was contrary, he knew, to military usage for a company to carry a flag, but he had suggested that the Guard should carry the Stars and Stripes, which they had won at Rome, Ga., last July, if for nothing else than at least to show it to the people of the North and reintroduce them to the flag of their forefathers.”
The Baltimore Daily News noted that “As the Guard passed in parade along our streets their precision of step and soldierly bearing elicited general commendation, but whenever they performed any evolution or executed a command, all of which were done as by one man, the enthusiasm knew no bounds – the multitude broke into long-continued applause. One feature was especially noticeable, which was the gentlemanly appearance and deportment of the members.”
On October 10, 1879, the Guard arrived in Philadelphia, “under escort of a committee of the State Fencibles” according to the Philadelphia Press. “Cheer after cheer went up from the crowd. The battalion of Fencibles were drawn up in line on Broad Street, and they saluted the visitors with military courtesy, after which both organizations were drawn up in line. … The marching of the visitors was perfection itself, while the maneuvers were admitted by those versed in military matters to be really astonishing. Both organizations were heartily applauded all along the route.”
The Guard went into a room of the State House, where sat the table on which the Declaration of Independence had been signed. Captain Burke, asked for a few words, said, “[W]hen you spoke of the table upon which was signed the Declaration of Independence, I thought of the Stars and Stripes, which we have brought with us to testify that it is our wish to cement together the lately divided sections of our country. … Nevertheless we have brought the ‘Stars and Stripes’ with us, for we could not resist the temptation of introducing you to the flag of your forefathers (great laughter); that glorious banner that is destined to float forever over the greatest government the world ever saw. It will never be trailed in the dust, for if we of the South were unable to pull it down, nobody else can (great applause). I accept your invitation to renew our political vows over the table of the Declaration of Independence, and we pledge our fealty to the Constitution of our fathers.”
“There is a ring of true statesmanship about that visit [of the Gate City Guard] that politicians can not ignore,” wrote the Philadelphia Evening Paper. “It was a happy thought, and we are glad that our people welcomed them so heartily. They are certainly a fine body of young gentlemen.”
On October 11, 1879, the Guard arrived in New York, “and were warmly received and entertained by the Seventh Regiment,” reported the New York Herald. “After the customary military etiquette the Seventh, headed by Grafulla’s band, led the Georgians up Courtland Street to Broadway, amid the plaudits of the thousands who lined the sidewalks to view the pageant and welcome the Southerners. … [T]he police had all they could do to keep the plaza clear when the drums and cornets in the distance told of the columns’ approach.”
Colonel Emmons Clark, commanding the Seventh Regiment, welcomed the Guard, saying, “I assure you, Capt. Burke, the kindly feelings evinced by your most praiseworthy visit are heartily reciprocated by us all.” Captain Burke reflected on “how speedily and peacefully our differences would have been adjusted had they been left to the citizen soldiers of our common country (applause). … Here on Northern soil the sons of those who were estranged in deadly conflict but a few years ago, meet and embrace in the bonds of fellowship – united once more under the same roof – breaking bread at the same table; it is a grand subject, this glorious re-union and the fraternal mingling of two great sections of our country.”
“The reception of the Gate City Guard at the armory of the Seventh Regiment was one of those open, generous affairs that only soldiers can give, and which must be seen to be appreciated,” continued the Herald. “Then followed, at the request of the officers of the Seventh Regiment, the exhibition drill of the Gate City Guard, which astonished and delighted the members of the Seventh, who cheered the skillful execution of many evolutions to the echo. The precision and accuracy of the strangers was certainly marvelous, and were characterized by some of the veterans of the Seventh as unequaled by any visiting corps. … [T]he armory fairly rang with the plaudits of the Seventh.”
Lieutenant William Sparks of the Guard, asked about the parade on Broadway, replied: “I was somewhat doubtful of our visit to Philadelphia, until after we arrived there, because the political feeling in that city had been strongly antagonistic to the South, but when I found that our mission of reconciliation was understood and so warmly appreciated, I felt that New York would understand the purpose of our visit at once.” To which the New York Sun opined that “The visit among us of the Gate City Guard will do more to bring about an understanding between North and South than the legislation of a century.”
The Guard arrived in Hartford, Connecticut “amid the cheers of a large crowd and a salute of thirteen guns … and were escorted to Bushnell Park, where they were received by the historic Putnam Phalanx with military courtesies,” reported the Hartford Times. “Prominent among the decorated buildings was that of the Times . . . [where] stood a large figure of the ‘Goddess of Liberty,’ her hand stretched forth toward the South, bearing a branch of palm. Above this, surrounded by flags and festoons of red, white and blue, was the inscription: ‘The Only Arms Today – Open Arms.’ ”
At a banquet given by the Putnam Phalanx, Captain Burke was asked for a few words: “We have come here to clasp hands as did our fathers in the days of the revolution, when faith, truth, hope and liberty in a common cause, struggled and triumphed together. We come divested of the pomp and circumstance of war, bearing with us the Stars and Stripes. The flag that is ours, the emblem of our power, destined to float over a great nation and a brave people (applause). We are here united as a common people and have broken bread together. It is a noble sight; we are here to grasp your hands in fraternal feeling (applause).”
An expected guest had to send his regrets: “I am glad to add my voice to yours in welcoming the Georgians to Hartford. Personal contact and communion of Northerners and Southerners over the friendly board will do more toward obliterating sectional lines, and restoring mutual respect and esteem than any other thing that can be devised. S. L. Clemens [Mark Twain].”
The Hartford Travelers Record noted that “The Gate City Guard took possession of our city without firing a gun – but they conquered our hearts and we surrendered. Friends of the South, we can never quarrel again with those for whom Captain Burke so feelingly spoke in his address.” The Hartford Times reported: “Short as the visit was, it was fraught with cordiality and good feeling. It showed the Southerners that the ‘Yankees’ were ready with open arms to give them a hearty welcome, that all differences of the past were buried. It is greatly to be regretted that the company was compelled to go so soon, but the friendships formed last night will prove lasting ones.”
The next stop was Boston, where the Boston Daily Advertiser reported: “The Gate City Guard of Atlanta, Ga., one of the crack military organizations of the South, for whose advent here much had been arranged by the city government, military organizations and private citizens, arrived in this city yesterday [and] were received at the station by … the Boston Light Infantry [and] the Infantry Veterans Association. … The company is composed of veterans of the Civil War and young men, sons of Confederate veterans.”
The mayor welcomed the Guard “[not] as citizens of Georgia, but as citizens of the United States – having the same government, recognizing the same flag, and sharing the same political destiny. We interpret this visit on the part of our guests as an assurance that all hideous recollections of the fraternal strife and discord which have so recently reddened and polluted their part of this great country are to be buried in perpetual oblivion, as an assurance of our reconciliation and amity never to be again disturbed (applause). … We are one people, all interested, share and share alike, in the common prosperity and glory (applause). Do not let the politicians and office-seekers make you believe that anything can come between the people of this great country, and prevent unity of heart, so essential to political unity (applause). … I most heartily endorse the fraternal purpose of our visitors from Georgia and I bid them God speed on their patriotic mission.”
The Boston Globe noted that “Capt. Burke confesses that when he set out on his tour he had misgivings as to the temper in which a Southern military organization would be received. … But in the case of our Atlanta visitors this misapprehension of Northern sentiment has been dispelled. The words of Capt. Burke should be pondered by the organs of animosity in this section; that ‘the people of this country bear no ill-will toward each other by reason of State boundaries or a deplorable past, and only subtle schemes of designing men can keep the people of both sections from that union and fraternization which we all so ardently desire.’ ”
The Lawrence Daily Eagle editorialized that “Since the war of the rebellion, a Southern militia organization under arms has not been witnessed in our streets ’til now, and to see such again, marching under the old flag, on a mission of patriotic fellowship, is certainly a distinguished sight, and our citizens and soldiery did just right to give them a hearty welcome. A better acquaintance with the people of the North will do great good, and though the magnanimity shown to them by us is unparalleled in history, it is an omen of our advanced civilization.”
After this the Guard was recalled to Hartford, Connecticut, where they were lavishly entertained, then escorted to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where the 21st Regiment hosted a tour of Vassar College and Eastman College.
Arriving back in New York, it was time for the Gate City Guard to return to Atlanta. As its train made its way southward, the Washington Light Infantry, fearing the Guard would be worn out, stopped the train and provided a luncheon at the depot. At Charlotte, N.C., they were again stopped by the citizens and the military. Here again they were feasted and congratulated on their tour of the North. The Guard was met in Atlanta, after an absence of nearly three weeks, by the citizens and the company of the Guard who could not go on the Northern tour.
“And thus ended one of the most patriotic and successful military expeditions ever planned and executed in time of peace,” recorded The Chronicles of The Old Guard. “The movements of the Guard from place to place on its grand tour of reconciliation had been closely watched by the people and press of the South. Dixie reached every round of applause accorded to her representative sons, and felt pride in the general acclamations of welcome that greeted the Gate City Guard on Northern soil. And this conciliatory movement proved the forerunner of a wave of fraternal feeling that swept over the Union.”
This was the beginning of many joint enterprises between militia units of the North and the South. Eventually the United States abandoned the militia system and replaced it with the National Guard. The Governor of Georgia ordered all State militia units to join the Georgia National Guard, but the Civil War veterans in the Gate City Guard decided they were too old for active service. In 1893 they withdrew from the Gate City Guard and formed the Old Guard Battalion of the Gate City Guard, which is still part of the Georgia State Militia and a member of The Centennial Legion of Historic Military Commands. The Gate City Guard is today part of the Georgia Army National Guard.
Burke was elected colonel of the Old Guard Battalion and served until 1914. At his death in 1927, he was buried in Atlanta’s historic Oakland Cemetery, his mausoleum still maintained by The Old Guard.
In 1909 it had been suggested at the annual meeting of the Gate City Guard that a monument be erected in the city commemorating “The Great Peace Invasion” of 1879. A committee was appointed to carry out this project, which eventually became a committee of The Old Guard. Subscriptions to cover its cost were enthusiastically bought up by the citizens of Atlanta.
On October 10, 1911, the Peace Monument was dedicated. The ceremonies were attended by the Northern units visited during the “Mission of Peace” with a day-long parade and feasting. The two-story monument, refurbished in 1996 for the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, still stands at the 14th Street entrance to Piedmont Park in Atlanta, and is rededicated each year by The Old Guard.
Atop the monument is a statue of the Angel of Peace holding an olive branch who tells a Confederate soldier about to fire his weapon that “Peace is proclaimed.” The front tablet on the base of the statue states: “The Gate City Guard under the command of Captain Joseph F. Burke desiring to restore fraternal sentiment among the people of all sections of our country, and ignoring sectional animosity, on October 6th, 1879, went forth to greet their former adversaries in the Northern and Eastern States, inviting them to unite with the people of the South to heal the nation’s wounds in a peaceful and prosperous reunion of the states. This ‘Mission of Peace’ was enthusiastically endorsed by the military and citizens in every part of the Union, and this Monument is erected as an enduring testimonial to their patriotic contribution to the cause of national fraternity. Dedicated October 10, 1911 by Hoke Smith, Governor of Georgia, and Simeon E. Baldwin, Governor of Connecticut.” The east tablet contains the list of the military organizations involved, which include those the Gate City Guard visited during its Great Peace Invasion in 1879.

John C. Whatley is a retired field artillery officer and formerly a lieutenant colonel in The Old Guard, serving as Commander of the Color Guard. He and the Color Guard participated in the burial of the Hunley crew in Charleston. He is also the author of The Typical Confederate series, and over 200 other by-lined WBTS articles published in newspapers and magazines. As a reenactor, he commands the First Regiment of the Georgia State Line, and speaks to historic organizations about the Confederate soldier..

Thursday, August 17, 2017

It Was All About Money or The Reason For The War Against Southern Independence

Dr. Newton James Brooks Jr.

*In reading this article, please remember that the terms revenue, import tax, and tariff, as used in this article, all mean the same thing. Some people, at the time of secession and in the years leading up to it, referred to the tariff or import tax by one of those two terms. Others referred to it as the revenue. All three terms mean the same thing.

 Most of those reading this article already know that the War Against Southern Independence was not fought to free the slaves. Democratic Congressman Clement Vallandigham, of Ohio, had this to say of the Republican Party and slavery, “I will not consent that an honest and conscientious opposition to slavery forms any part of the motives of the leaders of the Republican Party. (Vallandigham, p.52).
Lincoln himself stated more than once, as in his inaugural address, that the North was not fighting to free the slaves. Lincoln and the Republicans expressed their willingness to allow the continued existence of slavery where it then existed. Lincoln, in a letter dated December 22, 1860, written to Alexander Stevens, has this to say. “Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would, directly or indirectly, interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears.” (Stevens shortly after became Vice-President of the Confederate States of America.)                               
            The purpose of this article is not to go into the reasons or the purpose behind the anti-slavery movement. It was not however out of a desire to help the slave, not at any rate on the part of most of the leaders and financiers of the anti-slavery movement. Therefore, though problems due to agitation over slavery will be mentioned briefly, another whole article would need to be written to explain what caused the anti-slavery movement in the United States and what drove it.
            As if this was not enough to prove Lincoln’s willingness to tolerate the continued existence of slavery, on March 2, 1861, just two days before he was sworn in as President, a proposed new constitutional amendment was passed by Congress. It stated in part that “no amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress any power to abolish or interfere with slavery in any of the States by whose laws it may be allowed.” This amendment is known as the Corwin Amendment. It was signed by Lincoln only two weeks after he became President. It was then sent by him to the governors of all the states for those states to ratify it, so that it would become a part of the Constitution. If ratified, it would have become the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. For that to happen it had to be ratified by ¾ of the states. Two Republican controlled state legislatures did ratify it, before the Republicans realized that guaranteeing slavery would neither keep a state in the Union, nor cause the return of any of the states that had already left. 
            Initially, the people of the North and their politicians (with the exception of Lincoln and a few others) did not oppose the secession of any of the Southern States. Most Democrats and Republicans openly said they considered secession to be a right of every state. The Democrats were sorry to see any of the Southern States leave the Union, though many in the Republican Party openly said they were glad to see those Democrat dominated states secede, as this would leave a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, allowing the Republicans to run the country without interference.
            The Harrisburg Pennsylvania Telegraph of November 12, 1860, a Republican paper, went much farther than saying that secession was a right. It said in an editorial, “We have only to say that if South Carolina, Georgia, or Alabama, or all of them, desire to withdraw from the Union,  . . . . ‘the sooner the better. . . . . Let them do as they please, and when they please, with one solitary condition, viz. that their separation shall be final. Their absence would be an incalculable and invaluable relief to the balance of the people of these United States.” (Bold type inserted by the author of this article.)
            Why would the Republican Party want to see the Southern states leave the Union? When the Republican national convention was held in Chicago in 1860, its party platform voiced opposition to slavery in the territories, support for free land in the territories for white settlers, a railroad to the Pacific, and a higher tariff on imported goods. (Carman & McKee, “A History of the United States,” Vol. 1. p.836). This tariff was called a protective tariff.  This meant that in addition to being needed to pay for a national railroad to the Pacific and to enable the government to give free land in the West to settlers, it was also meant to protect the higher priced goods of the Northeast from completion with the better quality and lower priced manufactured goods imported from Europe.
            All of these objects had been steadfastly opposed by the Democrats, and the Democratic Party was at that time dominated by the South, which gave it a large part of its votes. It therefore stood to reason that if the South seceded from the Union, the Republican Party would dominate and outvote its opposition. It would then be able to achieve all of its political goals.
            Only a few years before this the two political parties in America had been the Democrats and the American or Know-Nothing Party. The Know-Nothings were an extremely anti-Catholic Party. One of their stated goals had been to take the right to vote away from Catholics. They claimed Catholics were anti-American in their views. The great strength of the Know-Nothings was in the North.
There were those however who said the real reason the Know-Nothings wanted to take the right to vote from Catholics was because the vast majority of Catholics tended to vote Democrat. (Marshall, Thomas F. “Speeches and Writings of Thomas F. Marshall,” pp.459-460). The just mentioned Thomas Marshall was a former Congressman from Kentucky and a nephew of former chief justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall. He went farther in his denunciation of the Know-Nothings and their desire to take the vote from the Catholics in America.
Prior to the formation of the Know-Nothing Party, the dominant party in the North had been the Whig Party. One of the stated goals of the Northern Whigs had been a high protective tariff. The Know-Nothings also supported a high protective tariff.        The Democratic Party had prevented such a tariff for many years. Marshall felt those who desired such a tariff thought that by depriving Catholics of the right to vote that they would weaken the opposition party, the Democrats, to the extent that the Democrats would no longer be able to stop the country from getting a high protective tariff. (Marshall, p.461).       
When the Republican Party was formed in 1852, the Northern Know-Nothings joined it. Like the Know-Nothing Party, one of the goals of the new party was a high protective tariff. There were too many Democrats in the West and the Midwest however for the Republican Party to accomplish that goal. Joined with the Democrats of the South, they continued to stop all attempts to give the Republicans the kind of high tariff they wanted. Now, with the talk of secession, the Republicans felt that at last their chance had come. Destiny was smiling upon them. All that was needed was the secession of many or all of the states of the South.                                                                           
On 13 November 1860, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle stated its view that should any states attempt secession there would be nothing to do except to let them go.
            The Cincinnati Daily Commercial echoed similar sentiments by advocating that there be no attempt, “through forcible coercion,” to keep states in the Union should they desire to leave.
            The Davenport (Iowa) Democrat and News, on 17 November 1860, editorialized against secession, but in its editorial it noted that it was apparently in the minority in the North, where most of "the leading and most influential papers of the Union" believe "that any State of the Union has a right to secede."
            An editorial in another Republican paper, the New York Tribune, of Monday, November 19, 1860, stated that the Union should never be held together by force. It further said, on page 4, column 2. “. . . . whenever the Slave States, or the Cotton States only, shall unitedly, coolly say to the rest, "We want to get out of the Union," we shall urge that their request be acceded to.
            The Valley Spirit, a Democratic paper in  Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, under the heading, “The Duty of the North,” on December 14, 1860, said, "The duty of the people of the North in the present crisis is plain. If Southern States will secede  . . . . why then, let them secede.” In this editorial, this Democratic paper did not urge or rejoice in the secession of any Southern State, rather it urged the people of the North to allow any state that wished to secede, to go in peace.
            Three days later (December 17, 1860), the influential editor, Horace Greeley, a Republican, writing in his own paper, the New York Tribune, supported peaceful secession. He wrote, “If the Declaration of Independence justified the secession of 3,000,000 colonists in 1776, I do not see why the Constitution ratified by the same men should not justify the secession of 5,000,000 of the Southerners from the Federal Union in 1861. . . . . And when a section of our Union resolves to go out, we shall resist any coercive acts to keep it in. We hope never to live in a Republic where one section is pinned to the other section by bayonets.” Greeley’s was one of the last Republican editorials in favor of allowing peaceful secession from the Union.
            South Carolina was the first state to secede. On December 20, 1860, that state voted to leave the Union.
            All talk by Republicans and many others about peaceful separation changed once the Republican leadership realized that if the Deep South successfully left the Union, most of the income of the federal government would disappear. The income of the federal government came primarily from the import tax, called the tariff, and referred to by Lincoln as the “revenue”. The South paid nearly 75% of the tariff, and in 1860 the tariff provided 90% of the income of the Federal government. Most of the money (75%) spent on the states by the Federal government was spent to benefit the North. Only 25% was spent to benefit the South. As the fiery secessionist from South Carolina, Robert Barnwell Rhett, stated, the South was the best colony that any people ever possessed. (Colonies had been originally set up to for the financial benefit of the country that began them.)
The leaders of the Republican Party only began to talk of using force to prevent secession when they realized what losing the tax money from the seceded states would do to the revenue of the Federal government.
            This change on the part of the Republicans was so sudden that Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, in a letter dated December 20, 1860, still thought,
“Many of the Republican leaders desire a dissolution of the Union.”      

            Ben Wade, Senator from Ohio, was one of the founders and leaders of the Republican Party.  In a speech on the floor of the senate on December 17, 1860, (unless otherwise stated, all speeches can be found in the Congressional Globe, which is on-line. Look for the speech by date). Senator Wade had this to say about the possibility of one or more states seceding from the union.  “. . . . if a state secedes, . . . . we should have to exercise every Federal right over her . . . . .  and the most important of these would be the collection of the revenue (the import tax, or tariff), . . . . . Therefore it will be incumbent on the Chief Magistrate (he means the President), to proceed to collect the revenue of ships entering their ports, precisely in the same way and to the same extent that he does now     . . . .   What follows? . . . . if he undertakes to blockade her (a seceded state), and thus to collect it (the import tax, or tariff), . . . . What will they do? . . . . They must take the initiative and declare war on (resist) the united States; and the moment that they levy war force must be met with force; . . . . the act of levying war is treason  . . . . (Here Wade makes it plain that the Republicans will use force to collect the tariff, and that if a seceded state resists the use of force upon it by the federal government, that act of resistance will be considered treason.)
            Three days after Republican Senator Wade’s speech, Senator Pugh of Ohio, a Democrat, spoke in reply. In his speech to the Senate, he made this remark: “My colleague seems to imagine it the duty of the President, under his oath of office, to precipitate our whole country into civil war.” Pugh continued: “My colleague’s idea seems to be that, because an act of Congress for collecting duties at Charleston may not be executed for two or three months, or even for a longer time, it behooves us to employ arms, and engage in war. . . . must we, for that reason, and without any regard for consequences, draw the sword? Why should we not avoid war, if possible, . . . . Some objector will say, ‘we must collect the revenue.’ Yes sir, men . . . .  insist, vigorously . . . . that we shall make as much money from those people, levy as much tribute on them, all of them, . . . . is that maintaining the union?”
            Judah P. Benjamin, Senator from Louisiana, speaking to the Senate on Feb. 4, 1861, shortly before the secession from the Union of Louisiana, said this of the present situation, with Southern states leaving the Union: “We are told that the laws must be enforced; that the revenue must be collected; that the South is in rebellion without cause, and that her citizens are traitors. . . . . You will enforce the laws, collect revenue . . . .  wring tribute from an unwilling people? In Lord North’s speech on the destruction of the tea in Boston harbor, . . . . he proposed to close the port of Boston, just as the representative of Boston now proposes to close the port of Charleston”
            On March 2, 1861, two days before Lincoln’s inaugural address, the tariff
situation changed, giving the Republicans even more desire to force the seceded states back into the Union. On that day a greatly increased tariff, long desired by the Republicans, passed the Senate, having passed the House the year before. Virtually all of the northern representatives had supported it and virtually all southern representatives had opposed it. This was the Morrill Tariff.  It raised the import tax in the United States to an overall average of more than 40% of the value of the imported good, higher on some items. It was a much higher tariff than the one it replaced, never the less if the seceded states did not pay the new tariff the federal government would be forced to drastically cut spending. This made it even more important to the Republicans, the authors of the tax, to see that the seceded states were forced back into the Union. One of its changes was the increased protection that it gave U.S. iron manufacturers by greatly increasing the tax on imported iron. (Taussig, p.159).
One of the authors of this tax was Representative Justin Smith Morrill, of Vermont. Since one of the highest taxes of the tariff he helped to author was on imported iron, it is coincidental that Morrill’s primary source of income was his iron foundry (Biographical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress – online, 2001).
             Sometimes referred to as a “war tariff,” the Morrill Tariff was not that, because it passed before there was any serious expectation of war, passing the House before secession even began (Taussig, p.158). This tariff was actually increased in virtually every month from December of 1861 until it was superseded by an entirely new and even higher tariff in 1862 (Taussig, p.160).
            Only a few weeks after the much higher Morrill Tariff took effect, the situation changed again and again it changed for the worse in regards to the North. This happened when the provisional government of the Confederacy passed a low tariff. This low Southern tariff would make the importation of goods into the North cost twice what importing the same goods into the South would cost. (Foner, p.277).
            Where Northern manufacturers and businessmen had been disturbed before, they were now frantic with fear over the effect the two new tariffs would have on Northern industry and trade (Foner, pp.277-281). There was much talk and editorializing in the newspapers of imported goods being brought into both the Southern and the Northern states through Southern ports. This would be done because goods imported by way of Southern ports would be cheaper, due to the much lower import tax in the South. There was talk of Northern businesses closing, of huge numbers being put out of work and the manufactured goods of Europe and the agricultural products of the West and Mid-west by passing Northern ports such as Boston and New York, and instead flowing through the Southern ports, most especially that of New Orleans (Foner, pp.277-281).
            In the midst of this new crisis, the leadership of the Republican Party issued an order that no Republican member of Congress was to speak again on the issues of secession or the tariff, until one man in each House of Congress, chosen by the party leaders, had spoken and presented the view of the party leaders on the aforementioned issues.
In the House it was Representative Stanton, Republican, of Ohio. Based on his remarks, it appears that he had advance notice of the content of Lincoln’s inaugural address, which was given two days later. He said in part, “The President elect doubtless considers the laws imposing duties on imported goods as in full force, therefore to be faithfully executed. What else can he say? What else can he do? If their execution is resisted, I take it for granted that the President will use just so much force as may be necessary to see the laws faithfully executed. Those who oppose their execution, by levying war against the United States, are guilty of treason, and it will be the duty of the President to see that the laws for the punishment of treason are executed, as well as the laws for the collection of duties on imports.” Stanton further declared, “the laws for the collection of the revenues arising from duties on imports, which are necessary for the support and maintenance of the Government, must be executed at once. Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans cannot be left open to the admission of foreign imports, duty free, so as to divert the foreign commerce of the country from Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, and deprive the Government of the revenue which is indispensable to its very existence. If the seceding States resist the collection of duties in those ports, and make war upon the United States to prevent it, then we must have war, and upon their heads be the responsibility for all the horrors and calamities that may result from it” (Appendix to the Congressional Globe, page 301, 36th Congress, March 2, 1861, House of Representatives.)          
            Nor were the leaders of the Republican Party alone in recognizing the need for war in order to protect their pocket books. As early as March 14, 1861, only ten days after Lincoln’s inauguration, the Irish Times, of Dublin, Ireland, editorialized that, “If President Lincoln . . . . sends war vessels to collect the Federal duties (the tariff, or import tax), at the several ports of the Seceders, the Southerners must resist or yield at once to the North.” Further in the editorial we read, “This tariff is really the most vital question of the moment. If the Southern States suffer themselves to be taxed for the protection of the Northern manufactures, there is nothing to be gained by Secession: if they resist, the only way by which they can do so successfully is by war.”
            But if the Republicans were willing to go to war to collect the tariff, they were not willing to fight to free the slaves, indeed, they expressed their willingness to allow the continued existence of slavery where it then existed. On March 2, 1861, just two days before Lincoln was sworn in as President, a proposed new constitutional amendment was passed by Congress. (It was popularly known as the Corwin Amendment.) It stated in part that “no amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress any power to abolish or interfere with slavery in any of the States by whose laws it may be allowed.” This amendment is known as the Corwin Amendment. To become law, it still had to be ratified by ¾ of the states. A number of Republican controlled state legislatures did ratify it, before the Republicans realized that guaranteeing slavery would neither keep in the Union, nor cause the return, of any of the seceded states.
            Just two days later, on March 4, 1861, Lincoln said in his inaugural address, “The power confided in me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts.” . . . . . I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. He also mentioned the proposed new amendment guaranteeing slavery (the Corwin Amendment), saying, “I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution  - - which amendment, however, I have not seen – - has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service (slavery) . . . . I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”                                                                                                                           
            Lincoln continued by declaring secession to be illegal, declaring, “no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances. . . . The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts;” Lincoln went on to say that if there was a war the seceded states should be held responsible for it.  
            The New York Tribune (Republican) published a report from a correspondent in Virginia, in its March 9th edition. The correspondent wrote, “I have heard but one construction of Mr. Lincoln’s declaration of his intention to ‘hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government, and to collect the duty and imposts (the tariff). It is regarded, if not as a declaration of war, as at least the expression of a determination to coerce the seceding States into compliance with the demands of the Federal Government” (New York Tribune, March 9, 1861, page 6, column 4).
            The afore-mentioned Irish Times, of Dublin, Ireland, reported on March 9, 1861, about a speech Lincoln had made little more than a week previously. This speech was given while Lincoln was slowly making his way to Washington and his inauguration. All along the route, Lincoln had been stopping, attending receptions and giving speeches, often going many miles out of his way to do this. In a speech in Trenton, New Jersey, in speaking to the New Jersey House of Representatives, Lincoln had declared, in speaking of the seceded states, that “it may be necessary to put the foot down firmly.” The Times reported that at this juncture the legislature burst into cheers.
            In the same issue of the Irish Times, it was mentioned how several days before his speech to the New Jersey Legislature, Lincoln was in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he spoke to a group of well wishers. The Times reported the comments of the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, who introduced Lincoln to the crowd. In introducing Lincoln, the Speaker of the House, Davis, had declared that Pennsylvania “stood read to pledge both men and money, if need be, to enforce the laws.” As he made that declaration, the assembled crowd burst into cheers. What laws was he referring to? The only laws that concerned Northern commerce and industry at the time were the tariff laws, and Pennsylvania, as a manufacturing state, indeed the leading state in the manufacture of iron, was very concerned about the collection of the tariff.
            The New York Tribune, the paper which just before Christmas had urged that seceding states be allowed to leave the Union in peace, in an editorial of March 16, 1861 (page 4, column 3), had this to say about the tariff and secession. “If free goods (goods on which the tariff had not been paid), are to be allowed to enter the slave states, why is it not better to give up the contest, . . . .” The editorial ended as follows, “If then, we have, or expect to have, anything that can be called a Government, now is the time for decided, energetic, effective action.”
            A further editorial of the Tribune, titled, “From Florida: The Feeling On Board the Brooklyn,” dated Monday, March 25, 1861, asked the question, “How much longer are we Americans to submit to the arrogant demands of a few hot‑ headed rebels?” The writer then stated that the government had the power, the law, and the right on its side, and that the South should be forced  . . . .  “to obey those laws to which their wiser and nobler ancestors agreed.” The writer said he believed the seceded states must be made to obey the law (Note: This is an excerpt from a longer article.)  Which law do you think was being referred too?                                                          
            The New York Times, in an editorial of March 30, 1861, said:  '...With us it is no longer an abstract question - one of Constitutional construction, or of the reserved or delegated power of the State or Federal Government, but of material existence ... We were divided and confused till our pockets were touched."
            Writing in December 1861 in a British weekly publication, All the Year Round, the famous British author, Charles Dickens, who was a strong opponent of slavery, but who blamed what he termed the “American Civil War” on the Morrill Tariff, 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.” Dickens further said, “If it be not slavery, where lies the partition of the interests that has led at last to actual separation of the Southern from the Northern States? Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this as many, many other evils.  The quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel.”
            Though the tariff was never as high as Northern manufacturers desired, one Boston native, Thomas P. Kettell, the son of a New England merchant, published a book shortly before secession began. It was titled, “Southern Wealth and Northern Profits”. Though his figures are not totally accurate, they give some idea of the profit the North made off of the South. (Kettell, pp.136-137). Kettell claimed that “the South has provided the capital that has accumulated at the North.” ie. The North has gotten rich off of the South. Kettell, p.136).  
              Congressman Clement Vallandigham of Ohio, a Democrat, had this to say, “This whole controversy has now become . . . .  a war for political domination . . . . But gentlemen of the North, you who ignorantly or wittingly are hurrying this Republic to its destruction, you who tell the South to go out of the Union if she dare, and you will bring her back by force,” (Vallandigham, p.52-53).
            Senator Joseph Lane of Oregon, in a senate speech on March 2, 1861, said in part:
“We are told that the design is to attempt nothing more than to collect the revenue in the ports of the seceded states. . . . Will it not be a declaration of war against the seceding states?” Senator Lane then quoted James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, who said: ‘The use of force against a state would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment.’ Madison had made that remark when a delegate to the Constitutional Convention proposed a clause to the Constitution which would give the national government the right to use armed force against a state in order to enforce a law. Such a clause was not placed in the Constitution.
            Lane later in his speech made these remarks: “Let me beg the party who are soon to take charge of this government to let the seceded States alone, and by no means attempt to collect revenue in their ports, that would result in a bloody, terrible war, but, on the contrary, acknowledge the independence of the Confederate States of America (then only seven states) and treat with them as an ally and friendly nation.” However, Lane did not think the Republican Party would allow peace, but would rather begin a war. He said: “We are living at a day and at a time when a northern sectional party have obtained possession of the power of this great Government, . . . . they want to keep the slave States in for their benefit – to foot the bills, to pay the taxes – that they may govern them as they see fit, and rule them against their will.”
            War was obviously in the offing, but did it have to come? It did if the tariff, what Lincoln called the revenue, was to be collected. With Lincoln in his inaugural address promising to collect the tariff in the seceded states, war was certain, for to collect the tariff in those states Lincoln would have to occupy their seaports or the forts guarding those ports. When he attempted to do this, it was also certain that the seceded states would resist. Fort Pickens, off the harbor of Pensacola, Florida was reinforced easily. When the steamer Star of the West had attempted to reinforce Fort Sumter with arms, ammunition and soldiers, it had been fired upon and forced to abandon its mission. This was while Buchanan was still President. When an attempt was made by Lincoln to reinforce the fort, it was fired upon and forced to surrender. On My 1st, 1861, Lincoln received a letter from Captain Gustavus V. Fox, who had headed the fleet sent to reinforce the fort. When Fox apologized for the failure to reinforce the fort, Lincoln replied with a letter that closed with these words. “You and I both anticipated that the cause of the country would be advanced by making the attempt to provision Fort Sumter, even if it should fail; and it is no small consolation now to feel that our anticipation is justified by the result.”
            What was the result Lincoln was speaking of? Learning that a second and a secret expedition, including two warships, was being sent to reinforce the fort; with the approval of Jefferson Davis and on orders of General Beauregard, the general commanding Confederate forces at Charleston, Fort Sumter was fired on. The Confederates were then declared by much of the Northern press and the Lincoln government to be the aggressors. They had fired on the flag of the United States. The nation was now at war and it was entirely due to Southern aggression. Rally round the flag, patriots! Defend your country! And they did. And the war was on!
* All speeches in either house of Congress can be found in the Congressional Globe, under the date the speech was given. The Globe can be found on line, simply by typing Congressional Globe into any Search Engine.

Basler, Roy P., ed. “The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln,” Volumes VII and VIII., New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press, 1953.

Foner, Phillip S., “Business and Slavery,” University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1941.

Kettell, Thomas P., Southern Wealth and Northern Profits,” John W. & John A. Wood,  New York, 1860. July 2, 2017.

Marshall, Thomas F., “Speeches And Writings of Hon. Thomas F. Marshall,” edited by W.L. Barre, Applegate & Company, Cincinnati, 1858.

Taussig, F.W., The Tariff History of the United States,” G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Knickerbocker Press, New York & London, 1888.

Vallandigham, Clement, U.S. Congressman, speech in the House of Representatives, December 15, 1859. Taken from “Abolition, The Union, and Civil War,” reprint of 1863 edition, Crown Rights Book Company, Wiggins, Mississippi, 1998.
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