Tag Archives: slavery

Weekly History News Roundup

Group of minor academics and critics want New York to remove “racist” statues… Mayor created special committee to review all markers on public property

 

Senate resignations are disturbingly common in history… More than 300 Senators have resigned from our most distinguished body

 

Slave cemetery from Civil War era may be under Tennessee baseball fieldarchaeologists confirm high likelihood of human remains at site

 

Historical preservation can boost local economiesstudies confirm that investment and government action can boost local revenue

 

Hitler’s limousine ended up in New York… the strange story of how a New York businessman bought the bullet proof Mercedes

 

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History Built on Complexity

Thomas Jefferson- slaver, master, racist, white supremacist, rapist– The cultural police want their version of history to be accepted far and wide, a continuing justification for their purging of our history and foolish iconoclasm….  They believe in relativism, but only when it suits their agenda.   When it comes to historical figures, there are only absolutes.  The iconoclasts refuse to study, debate, and learn from the complexities of history.

#StandwithJefferson

Remember that the evil slaver, Jefferson, included this passage in his original draft of the Declaration of Independence:

 “He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed again the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another”

Can you read the words falling off my quill?

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Wolf by the Ears

Jefferson wrote to John Holmes of the Missouri Compromise- “but this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. it is hushed indeed for the moment. but this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper.”

Wolf by the ears...

Wolf by the ears…

 Missouri’s admission to the Union as a slave state… threatened the tenuous balance- 22 states, 11 with slavery, 11 without.  Missouri was the first territory carved from the Louisiana Purchase to apply for statehood.  Jefferson’s vision of America as a land of small, republican farmers was in danger of devolving further into the plantation gang labor system dominating the tidewater south. 

Henry Clay of Kentucky

Henry Clay of Kentucky

Henry Clay’s solution to the crisis is often reviled… by historians for perpetuating slavery and providing the United States the opportunity to conquer more land.  This New Left interpretation of history overlooks the contributions Clay made to our republic during its formative years.  His American System had revitalized the nation following destructive War of 1812.  Clay had convinced Madison, the National Bank’s most vocal critic, to recharter it in 1816.  He had rewritten the rules of the House of Representatives and established the post of Speaker as the force we know it today.  Firebrands bent on defending slavery at all costs- even peace and prosperity for all- could not be allowed to derail Clay’s vision.  The Missouri Compromise has to be studied from all points of view.

 

Clay’s Compromise saved the republic in 1820… arm-chair historians(like Jamelle Bouie @jbouie at Slate) are quick to condemn the Compromise as an extension of slavery- but what if the Civil War had started in 1820? Was there a leader like Lincoln on hand to defend the Union?  Would the people of the free states supported action against secessionists? If not for Clay, the slave-holding South would have emerged from this crisis in a stronger political position.  The Union may never have recovered and abolition would have been dealt a serious blow.

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Comparisons Must Make Sense

Edward Coles freed his slaves… and was a neighbor(at one time) of Thomas Jefferson.  Paul Finkelman wants to know why Jefferson couldn’t follow the example of this “contemporary.”   Professor Finkelman’s analysis suffers a fatal case of contrariwise-  Coles was following the examples set by his illustrious neighbor.

Just a kid

Jefferson and Coles were not contemporaries… Jefferson was 43 years older than Coles-  an overlooked distinction in Finkelman’s interrogatory.  Coles grew up and matured in a Virginia largely crafted by Jefferson.  The anti-slavery spirit so many associate with Coles was made possible by the liberal society Jefferson helped reform(we should also note that Coles freed his slaves in Illinois territory, not Virginia.)

You have done well, my son.

You have done well, my son.

Edward Coles was the perfect representation… of the generation Jefferson predicted would have an impact on slavery.  Much ink has been spilled about Coles writing Jefferson encouraging emancipation.  While Jefferson never emacipated all his slaves- his anti-slavery views and actions have been documented.  Coles’ activism was the next step forward in the cause, while Jefferson’s were becoming a footnote.  Jefferson said as much in response to one of Coles’ letters:

“The sentiments breathed through the whole do honor to both the head and heart of the writer. Mine on the subject of slavery of negroes have long since been in possession of the public, and time has only served to give them stronger root…. I had always hoped that the younger generation receiving their early impressions after the flame of liberty had been kindled in every breast, & had become as it were the vital spirit of every American, that the generous temperament of youth, analogous to the motion of their blood, and above the suggestions of avarice, would have sympathized with oppression wherever found, and proved their love of liberty beyond their own share of it….Your solitary but welcome voice is the first which has brought this sound to my ear; and I have considered the general silence which prevails on this subject as indicating an apathy unfavorable to every hope. Yet the hour of emancipation is advancing, in the march of time. It will come…”  Jefferson to Coles; Aug. 25, 1814

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Stop Being So Literal

Desperate to legitimize the rudderless “Black Lives Matter” movement…  and further the destructive hubris found in attacking our Founding and early history;  left-leaning, Howard Zinn inspired agitators have turned their attention to our National Anthem.

Dawn's early light

Dawn’s early light

Backup Quarterback extraordinaire, Colin Kaepernick… chose not to stand during the Anthem at a recent preseason football game, citing the oppressive history of our government.  Social media erupted with appropriate criticism, citing his luxurious lifestyle and modest upbringing.  His defenders were few in number, but immediately championed his cause by attacking the context, rather than the substance of his protest.  The Star Spangled Banner is racist, moreover, it advocates the KILLING of slaves!! 

 

An obvious and poor attempt at being provocative…  the author of this nonsense should have consulted an historian before publishing such a foolish error.  Francis Scott Key’s third verse uses the image of slavery in a rhetorical flourish to remind the country of the impositions the British had pressed upon us(literally at sea.)  In the verse he proclaims that we avoided the fate of hirelings and slaves- sudden and unjust death.  Our bravery had repulsed the invader and his cowardly minions(Federalists, mercenaries etc..)

Between their loved homes and the war's desolation

Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation

This is the state of historical study today… even a grammatical reference to slavery in a poem written 202 years ago deserves our righteous scorn.  This is just the latest example of the hubris that will be our undoing.  Mr. Kaepernick is entitled to make his deliberately provocative gestures, but he is not excused from the criticism.  Take responsibility, sir…. and get used to the bench.

 

 

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Of Course Slavery was the Cause

Neo-secessionists and revisionists struggle uselessly to blame the Civil War… on Federal overreach, inequitable tariffs, and outmoded economic theory- they fail to see the forest for the trees.  The historical record settles matters plainly and without ambiguity.

Future Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens delivered the clearest, most definitive explanation… for secession and the existence of a Confederate State.  Less than three weeks following Lincoln’s inauguration, Stephens defiantly declared to the nation:

 

Cadaver with an agenda

“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. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago.”

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Is it the Fourth?

Americans, largely through the efforts of a lewd media, used the Fourth of July 2017… to denigrate and trivialize Thomas Jefferson’s memory.  Salacious accusations disguised as legitimate archaeology and scholarship dragged the author of our Declaration of Independence down into tabloid scandal-mongering.  We have fallen to the point where Jefferson’s name cannot be mentioned without alleged slave mistresses.  We forget what he gave us- focusing instead on trifling conjecture.  We have forgotten what the Fourth of July truly means….

“I thank heaven that the 4th. of July is over. It is always a day of great fatigue to me”

Jefferson said… “And even should the cloud of barbarism and despotism again obscure the science and liberties of Europe, this country remains to preserve and restore light and liberty to them. In short, the flames kindled on the 4th. of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism. On the contrary they will consume those engines, and all who work them.”

 

Remember what Jefferson gave us…….. never forget what he gave mankind. 

 

To stop desecrating my memory

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