Race and the War

Martin K. O'Toole, American Renaissance, January 2012

Agreement on race could not prevent our bloodiest war.

America’s greatest war—which ended slavery, devastated the South, and killed 620,000 soldiers and 50,000 civilians—does not even have an agreed-upon name. Federal zealots officially called it “The War of the Rebellion,” while Southerners generally preferred to call it “The War Between the States.” “The Civil War” is the name that seems to have stuck—despite Southern objections. As Jefferson Davis pointed out, the South did not want to rule the North; only to “be left alone.” A century and a half after the guns fell silent we still cannot agree on the names of some of the major battles: Is it Manassas or Bull Run, Sharpsburg or Antietam, Murfreesboro or Stone’s River?

What role race played in the war is, if anything, even more unsettled. Did Yankees and Confederates really disagree about the nature or status of blacks? Why did the South want independence? Did the North fight to abolish slavery? Were slaves loyal to the South and did some fight for the Confederacy? Conventional answers to these questions are not always correct. A strong case can be made for the view that North and South were essentially united on the subject of race at the time of the war, and despite the colossal struggle were quickly reunited afterwards.

A Thomas Nast illustration from Harper’s Weekly. The caption reads, “The emancipation of the Negroes, January, 1863—the past and the future.”

A Thomas Nast illustration from Harper’s Weekly. The caption reads, “The emancipation of the Negroes, January, 1863—the past and the future.”

The roots of war

By the time the war ended, many in the North flattered themselves that its goal had been abolition. The pages of Harper’sand other Northern magazines were filled with images of happy freedmen praising God and Father Abraham. It is clear, however, that the North did not start the war in order to end slavery but to maintain the Union. Many Northerners had a sentimental attachment to the nation created by the Revolution, and feared that disunion would diminish national glory and hobble manifest destiny.

There was a clear majority sentiment in the North against the expansion of slavery, but very few Northerners would have started a war to end it. However, fanatics have influence far beyond their numbers, and this was certainly true of the abolitionists. People usually associate the South with the Bible and strong opinions, but the antebellum North saw some of the most bellicose, blood-thirsty preaching—both secular and religious—ever heard in this country. It set a tone that was not representative but still alarmed the South.

The wildest abolitionists therefore held that slaveholders deserved to be exterminated. James Redpath, one of John Brown’s associates, saw a bright and bloody future. “Let nations be dismembered, let dynasties be dethroned, let laws and governments, religions and reputation be cast out,” he preached, if that was what it took to free the slaves—even to free just one slave: “If only one [black] man survived to relate how his race heroically fell, and to enjoy the freedom they had won, the liberty of that solitary negro . . . would be cheaply purchased by the universal slaughter of his people and their oppressors.”It is well known that Southerners cited the Bible to justify slavery, but abolitionists cited it as well, in sermons against “man-stealing.” They quoted 1Timothy 1:10-11, which lists “manstealers” along with “manslayers,” “whoremongers,” and “murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers” as among those who must suffer the consequences of the law. They particularly liked Exodus 21:16: “And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.” Deuteronomy 24:7 also prescribes death for anyone who steals a man. Harriet Beecher Stowe added her voice to this view, writing that “the [Hebrew] legislation commenced making the great and common source of slavery—kidnapping—a capital crime.”

Crazed talk of this kind was unusual, but it got wide circulation in the South. Many slaveholders did not want to live in a country that gave birth to such sentiments.

.James Redpath called for the slaughter of entire populations to liberate even one slave, and called the gallows on which John Brown was hanged “the true cross.”

James Redpath called for the slaughter of entire populations to liberate even one slave, and called the gallows on which John Brown was hanged “the true cross.”

The better known abolitionists were more sober, but still used disturbing language. Senator Charles Sumner said slavery was “blasphemy” and contrary to Biblical principles. Lewis Tappan, who gained prominence in the effort to free the illegally captured slaves found aboard the Amistad, called slavery “morally wrong, wicked and sinful in the sight of God,” likening it to “murder, arson, robbery, theft and assault and battery.”

Biblically founded revulsion for “manstealing” led naturally to what was called the “Rescue Doctrine,” which justified the liberation of slaves. Many Northern states passed “personal liberty laws” that threw up obstacles to the return of escaped slaves by requiring jury trials and habeas corpus hearings. Several states, such as Wisconsin and Massachusetts, became virtual sanctuary states, because it was impossible to persuade a jury to order a Negro returned to bondage.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 should have overturned these local laws and practices, but it did not. In a curious reversal in support of states’ rights, the South looked to federal supremacy over the states to get their property back, while the North claimed broad autonomy under the doctrine of federalism.

In yet another irony, some abolitionists actually urged secession—either the virtuous North’s departure from a tainted Union or the outright expulsion of the South. William Lloyd Garrison famously burned the Constitution calling it a “covenant with death and an agreement with hell.”

Many abolitionists did not bother with the niceties of the law, believing that the Rescue Doctrine justified all means of liberation. Mobs sometime attacked Southerners who had come north to retrieve their slaves, and in one instance actually killed a slave holder. Yet another extension of the Rescue Doctrine was the encouragement of slave insurrections, and exhortations to slaves that they rise up against their masters began to appear in the 1820s. Abolitionist Henry C. Wright proclaimed that “resistance to slaveholders and slavehunters is obedience to God, and a sacred duty to man . . . . [It is] our right and duty . . . to instigate the slaves to insurrection.” The abolitionist orator Wendell Phillips called slave rebellion an expression of divine will: “Under God’s law, insurrection is the tyrant’s check. Let us stand out of the path, and allow the Divine law to have free course.”

Henry Wright said fomenting slave rebellion was duty to God.

Henry Wright said fomenting slave rebellion was duty to God.

David Walker was a black abolitionist who urged slaves not to hold back should they ever rise up: “[I]f you commence, make sure work—do not trifle, for they will not trifle with you . . . . [I]f there is an attempt made by us, kill or be killed. . . . It is no more harm for you to kill a man, who is trying to kill you, than it is for you to take a drink of water when thirsty.”

Calls for the Lord to wreak bloody vengeance on the slaveholders of Dixie reached a peak about the time of the John Brown raid of 1859. He had attended Tappan’s abolition convention in New York in 1855 on his way to Kansas, and received financial support from some of the participants. The next year, he led the Pottawatomie Massacre, in which five pro-slavery Southerners were killed.

The purpose of the raid on the Harper’s Ferry arsenal, of course, was to seize weapons, arm the slaves, and lead them in the massacre of their masters. Within 36 hours, all of Brown’s men had fled, been killed, or were captured. Brown himself was hanged, but his forthright attempt to exterminate slave-holders was a shock to the South and even to the North—at least at first. Some of Brown’s financial supporters panicked. One checked into an insane asylum and others fled the country. They recovered, however, when it became clear that for some Northerners Brown was a martyr for freedom.

No less a person than Ralph Waldo Emerson said that Brown “will make the gallows glorious like the cross.” James Redpath, who was prepared to see nations dismembered to save even one slave, managed to get a piece of Brown’s scaffold, which he called “the true cross.” Wendell Phillips wrote that “John Brown is the impersonation of God’s order and God’s law, molding a better future.” William Lloyd Garrison, who was officially a pacifist, made a speech in Boston on the day Brown was hanged, in which he said, “[W]henever commenced, I cannot but wish success to all slave insurrections.”

Henry David Thoreau was another alleged pacifist who set aside his scruples against violence, calling Brown “an angel of light.” He wrote that he agreed with Brown’s doctrine that “a man has a perfect right to interfere by force with the slaveholder, in order to rescue the slave.” He added that although he disdained the use of weapons, he wrote that in the case of Brown’s raid, “I think that for once the Sharps rifles and the revolvers were employed in a righteous cause.”

John Brown, hero to pacifist Ralph Waldo Emerson.

John Brown, hero to pacifist Ralph Waldo Emerson.

In the South, the fact that so many Northerners praised Brown rather than condemn him caused, if anything, more shock than the raid itself.

There are many even today who heap praise on a man better considered a terrorist. Brown biographer Richard Owen Boyer calls him “an American who gave his life so that millions of other Americans might be free.” Another biographer, Stephen B. Oates, calls him “one of the most perceptive human beings of his generation.” Historian and Brown scholar Louis Ruchames wrote: “Brown’s action was one of great idealism and placed him in the company of the great liberators of mankind.” Perhaps we should not be surprised to learn that when someone once asked Malcolm X if there had ever been “any good white people,” he proposed John Brown.

The raid did not reduce support for Republicans in the elections of November—something Southerners noted with dismay. With the collapse of the Whigs under the pressure of the slavery issue, Southerners felt increasingly marginalized and even singled out as deserving capital punishment.

Republicans also promoted a sharp criticism of slavery called The Impending Crisis of the South, written by a Southerner named Hinton Rowan Helper. Sixty-nine Republican Congressmen endorsed the book, which became an official party tract—the Republican party distributed an estimated 100,000 copies. Helper, who was vilified in his native North Carolina, was blunt:

Our own banner is inscribed: “No co-operation with slaveholders in politics; no fellowship with them in religion; no affiliation with them in society; no recognition of pro-slavery men, except as ruffians, outlaws and criminals.”

He also wrote: “It is our honest conviction that all the pro-slavery slaveholders deserve at once to be reduced to a parallel with the basest criminals that lie fettered within the cells of our public prisons.” His book called for the election of Republicans so that slavery could be abolished. (Although Helper opposed slavery, like many abolitionists, he was even more opposed to the presence of free blacks. He proposed that slaveholders be taxed to raise the money to ship all blacks outside the country.)

Lincoln was elected with only 39 percent of the popular vote in a four-way race. He did not call for abolition, but refrained from public assurances that might have allayed the fears of Southerners. In any case, the stances his party had taken, along with the blood-curdling talk of John Brown’s admirers left many in the South with the conviction that their section had no future in the Union.

Agreement, North and South

The quotations cited above that so disturbed the South represented a minority view. Most Yankees fought to preserve the Union. They did not want slavery in their states, but they did not want free blacks either. They had little desire to abolish slavery in the South but were manipulated by an increasingly abolitionist administration that took advantage of the war to emancipate the slaves.

.

It was basic agreement—North and South—on the undesirability of living on terms of equality with blacks that led the North to give the South home rule on racial matters when Reconstruction collapsed after the war. Although they were no longer slaves, Southern blacks enjoyed only a brief period of legal equality before being reduced to second-class citizenship. The North would never have permitted this had there not been a broad, long-standing agreement across the sections about the need for racial distinctions.

This agreement dated back to the founders, who did not consider non-whites to be Americans. At the time of the Declaration of Independence all the colonies recognized slavery. In 1786, New Jersey discouraged free blacks from moving into the state, noting that “sound public policy requires that importation be prohibited in order that white labour be protected.”

Homogeneity, not diversity, was America’s greatest strength. In 1787, in the second of The Federalist Papers, John Jay wrote that “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country, to one united people; a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.”

It is well known that the first American citizenship law, passed on March 26, 1790, limited naturalization to “free white persons,” and thus left out indentured servants, slaves, free blacks, Indians, and Asians.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 barred slavery in the territories, but the first three General Assemblies of the territory also discouraged the immigration of free blacks by voting a head tax on every black over the age of 21. Nor could blacks serve as witnesses against whites.

There was a proposal to allow slavery at the Illinois constitutional convention of 1824, but it was defeated 57 to 43 percent. Much of the “nay” vote reflected the desire to have no blacks in the state, slave or free. Free blacks were required to have a “Certificate of Freedom” in order to move into the state, and to post a $1,000 bond to settle in a particular county (Ohio required only $500). Anyone without a certificate could be seized, and bound over for indenture.

Certificate of freedom for the mulatto Harriet Bolling.

Certificate of freedom for the mulatto Harriet Bolling.

There were similar explicitly anti-black laws in Indiana, Michigan, and Iowa, and even in the West. Blacks were barred from moving into the state of Oregon, and those who were already there were barred from owning real estate, making contracts, or bringing law suits. Many states, including Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and even California banned testimony by blacks in any case in which a white was a party.

In 1829, the whites of Cincinnati, Ohio, tried to expel their resident blacks, and half went to Canada. The whites found, however, that they had driven out the “sober, industrious and useful portion of the colored population,” and that those who stayed were the “idle and indolent, as well as the profligate.” When Tocqueville wrote in Of Democracy in America(published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840) that American whites disliked blacks, he was describing a reality that was plain to anyone.

In May 1856, the Supreme Court of Indiana ruled against a black man who sought to bring a black woman into the state in order to marry her. The decision was blunt: “The policy of the state is thus clearly evolved. It is to exclude any further ingress of negroes, and to remove those already among us as speedily as possible.”

.

The famed Dred Scott decision of 1857 established that black people were not citizens of the United States. The 7 to 2 decision held that although they could be citizens of states, they were not citizens of the United States and therefore lacked the right to sue in federal court.

Justice Peter V. Daniel joined with the majority, explaining that emancipation had no bearing on federal citizenship. Drawing on Roman law, he argued that the relationship between master and slave was a private one while the relationship between the citizen and the state was public. A master could change his private relationship with a slave by freeing him, but only government could grant citizenship.

Roger Taney, the chief justice who wrote the majority decision, added that slavery arose out of an ancient conviction that Negroes were “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the White race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which a White man was bound to respect.”

The New York City draft riots of July 1863, were a vivid indicator of how ordinary Northerners felt about blacks. Most of the 50,000 to 70,000 rioters were working-class men who were angry that rich men could buy their way out of the draft. However, Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation earlier that year, and many whites were furious at the thought of being forced to fight for emancipation.

When Union General Godfrey Weitzel captured “several hundred wagon-loads of Niggers,” a Northern cartoonist compared his dilemma to that of a man who won a raffle for an elephant: “What am I to do with the creature?”

When Union General Godfrey Weitzel captured “several hundred wagon-loads of Niggers,” a Northern cartoonist compared his dilemma to that of a man who won a raffle for an elephant: “What am I to do with the creature?”

Rioters quickly focused their anger on blacks, lynching at least 11 and burning down the Colored Orphan Asylum, home to 200 black children. “Kill the damned nigger!” was the mobs refrain. It took 20,000 federal troops and three batteries of artillery to calm what was clearly a vicious outpouring of mob hatred against blacks.

In 1865, at the end of the war, the people of Wisconsin took part in a ballot on whether blacks should be given the franchise; only 46 percent voted in favor. In that year 19 of 24 northern states barred blacks from the polls. Only after the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868 were blacks considered citizens of the United States. Indians did not become citizens until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, and the “white persons” clause in the citizenship law barred some Asians from naturalization until 1952.

A strong case can therefore be made that North and South were united in their basic view of blacks, and that it was only the differing circumstances in the sections that caused friction. Both regions set up a system of race control because white Americans did not envision social or political equality with a group they considered inferior. In the North, blacks were held at a distance, and in some areas simply forced out. The South controlled blacks through slavery, in a system that often did not allow even for the idea of free blacks. Many slave states forced blacks to leave if they were emancipated.

Conflicting policies arose because of historical and economic differences in the regions. Because slave labor was more profitable in the South, the region contained vastly more blacks. At the time of the 1850 census, it was 37.3 percent black. The Northeast—the hotbed of abolitionism—was only 1.7 percent black. In the Midwest, even including the slave state of Missouri with a population that was 13 percent black, blacks were still only 2.5 percent of the population.

Outside the South, there was strong sentiment to keep the region white. The Free Soil movement was designed to reserve the newly opened Western lands for white men. The Wilmot Proviso, which would have banned slavery from any territory acquired after the Mexican-American War, was also meant to keep out free blacks. David Wilmot called his measure “the white man’s proviso.”

The large population of blacks in the South dictated very different policies. Early support for manumission was coupled with plans for repatriation, but both the expense and the loss of human capital meant colonization was never tried seriously. Some estimates put the value of slaves at 20 percent of the gross wealth of the antebellum South. Southerners therefore tried to promote the “positive good” defense of slavery—which never convinced anyone outside the South—and sought to maintain a political balance by expanding slavery.

In other slave societies, it was common to move from chains to liberty. Romans, for example, viewed Greek slaves as fit tutors for their children, and acknowledged that Greek culture had much to teach them. This made it easy for a freed Greek slave to become a Roman citizen. Probably no one in the antebellum North or South considered blacks to be fit tutors for their children or sought to learn the philosophy of Africans. The racial divide was simply too great. Southerners therefore had no choice: either maintain slavery or live with free blacks in conditions that no whites, Northern or Southern, would have considered acceptable.

A slave doing calculations for his Roman master.

A slave doing calculations for his Roman master.

Hatred of slavery in the North and violent talk of abolition pushed the South out of Union. The North fought to preserve the Union. The war, with all its tragic consequences, came despite basic agreement about race.

It was this basic agreement that led the mass of northern whites to recognize that Reconstruction forced onto Southerners a kind of racial equality Northerners would not have accepted for themselves. It was a shared dislike of blacks that largely explains why, after war fever declined, the majority of Northerners lost interest in forcing Reconstruction onto the South. As soon as Southern whites regained some measure of home rule, they reinstituted a two-tiered society that reflected the pre-war agreement between North and South that blacks were not really part of America.

The freedoms of whites

It is not well known that before the war, the Southern states limited the liberties of whites in order to protect slavery. In the minds of slaveholders, the abusive and sometimes violent language of the radical abolitionists was criminal sedition that had to be stopped. The South therefore curtailed free speech and the right to petition for redress of grievance, both of which are fundamental rights guaranteed by the First Amendment (though at the time it applied only to the federal government). Abolitionist agitation was outlawed, and anti-slavery tracts were kept out of the US Mail.

Why would the South take such oppressive measures? Simply put, Southerners feared that slavery rested on too precarious a foundation to permit certain liberties. The rare slave revolts in the United States and the blood bath of the Haitian revolt convinced Southerners that their race-control system must be preserved—even at the cost of basic freedoms. There were forms of criticism that could not be tolerated in a biracial America.

Today, in multiracial America, we find that the intellectual descendants of the abolitionists have adopted the tactics of the slave holders of the 19th century. Although they do not say so explicitly, they recognize that multiracial America is too fragile to permit the full exercise of the liberties envisioned by the founders. Liberals believe that frank discussion of race is not merely insensitive or rude—though that would be enough for them to ban it; they believe it could lead to mass murder. Offenders face government or private sanction, and sometimes both.

Liberty of expression and freedom of inquiry simply cannot be permitted in a multiracial state. The multiracial state is therefore a slave state, in which its residents have the task of forging their own mental fetters.Certain views are banned in America, just as arguments for abolition were banned in the South. Newspapers often refuse to print certain opinions and even certain facts. Internet sites censor heretical views, and some servers block objectionable websites. Private filtering programs treat race realism as if it were pornography. Institutions that claim to be of higher learning enforce speech codes and stop unfashionable inquiry. The European Union has gone further, and punishes the expression of certain opinions with fines and jail time.

Liberals and egalitarians appear to believe that whatever Nature has ordained, the races can be made equal. All it takes is more set-asides, affirmative action, Head Start, and forced integration. Today’s racial conversation is therefore not about facts, but a series of assertions about how the world should be. The neo-Abolitionists have imposed far more uniformity than any “gag rule” of the 1830s, with the result that public debate about race is more constrained than even in the antebellum South.

Today, the words of Leo Tolstoy could not be more relevant:

I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

[Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the January 2012 issue of American Renaissance.]

Topics: , , ,

Share This

Martin K. O'Toole
Mr. O’Toole holds degrees in history and law.
We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Anonymous

    This is my comment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JaredTaylorX Jared Taylor

    I was especially impressed by the comparison between the repressive, anti-free-speech measures of the ante-bellum South with the repression of today’s liberals. Limiting free speech is always a desperate act of regimes that are trying to push their subjects in unnatural directions.

  • http://countenance.wordpress.com/ Question Diversity

    About the “Freedoms of Whites” section:  Missouri and a lot of other slave states had laws against educating slaves, and at St. Louis, black St. Louisans who wanted to learn how to read were taught aboard riverboats that sailed near the east bank of the river east of the state line.  I think the real reason for that was to preclude enslaved blacks from being used as insurrectionist fodder.  They say a little learning can be a dangerous thing, and educating blacks then would have been indoctrinating them with insurrectionist propaganda.  Just look at the wacky things that blacks today believe — AR did an article about that a number of years ago. 

    The Fugitive Slave Law was probably on the most capriciously enforced laws in American history.

    I think part of the reason why the 14th Amendment had the implicit incorporation doctrine is because various slave states antebellum passed these censorship laws, because the First Amendment didn’t apply to the states pre-14th.

  • Anonymous

    I watched the director’s cut versions of “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Generals” over the weekend. This reminded me of my own “awakening” to the issues of the war. Like any red-blooded white male (I’m 44 and grew up in Maryland) I grew up fascinated by this topic and spent hours reading about and learning about (and visiting battlefields of) the War Between the States. In fact, genealogical research revealed that my great grandfather (then a recent immigrant from Ulster) fought in a Pennsylvania regiment in many battles, including Gettysburg (his name can be found on the Pennsylvania Monument near the center of the battlefield – one off the few monuments that lists the names of the “enlisted men” and not just the generals). As one may imagine growing up in the PC age, all along I had two impressions of this war – the first was what I was taught in school and most books (the South was evil, slavery was the cause of the war, John Brown is a hero, etc). The second is the immediate emotional reaction I (and most of my friends) had whenever viewing any war movie, including Ken Burn’s Civil War documentary – we instinctively rooted for the South! As one of my friends said “I loved how they kept kicking those idiot’s asses in all the battles”.   Although I had an ancestor fighting for the North, I can’t help but think he was a product of his time and place, and had he gotten off the boat in New Orleans (instead of in Philadelphia), he’d have fought just as hard for Lee as he did for Grant. I doubt he (my ancestor), then 20, knew much of anything about the deeper causes of the war, he was simply an immigrant caught up in the social pressure of the time. As I have never read a diary or other writings of his I can’t imagine what his reasons were for joining and fighting. Thankfully he emerged realtively in one piece, I have read in official records he was wounded at Cold Harbor and spent considerable time in hospitals. Thus I am lucky that he survived, or I would not be writing. Back to “Gettysburg” and the other movie – I have several nephews, one of whom wants to go on to teach military history as a career – I had a debate with him the other day, where my position was that Robert E Lee did nothing different or worse than George Washington had done when Gen Washington – once an officer of the British Military – resigned his commission to lead a rebellion seeking independence, in order to create a country with the institution of slavery. My nephew admitted that on the facts, Americans of all persuasions should admire Lee as the “founder of his country” in the same way Washington is the founder of his; yet of course today both men are besmirched as “slave owners”, etc. Upon viewing these movies I was again struck by how admirable men such as Lee and Jackson were, and how incompetent leaders such as Burnside were in comparison. Maybe this reveals more to us than we like to admit – the “heroic” white males are portrayed as the bad guys, while the incompetent buffoons are presented as who we are supposed to admire and empathize with.  The young man in me who watched the unfolding Ken Burns documentary, back in 1990, hoping against hope the South was going to win, emerged again while watching the recreations of Manassas and Gettysburg. My family may have been on the winning side, but as many said back thenwhen observing Lee, ‘I wish he was ours”.

    • Oocorit

      I very much enjoyed reading your post about your ancestor. Mine were all Soitherners and my pulse beats for Dixie, but the more I read about the origins of the war the more unreasonable my ancestors appear to me.

      They had the legal right to leave the Union but they should have stayed in and avoided all that terrible killing.

  • Anonymous

    The United States would be a better country if the Southern whites had grown their own cotton, and if the slave trade had never existed. 

  • Calhoun

    The simple truth is that neither slavery or race was determinative as a cause of the war. The only question that has any meaning or relevance as a cause of the war is whether or not secession was lawful, and it was. Nevertheless, the questions surrounding slavery and race deserve careful attention, because deconstructing the ridiculous liberal PC myths that are taught in public schools is one small step in the right direction. To that end, it should be remembered that the war was not fought between “North and South”, but rather, between two independent countries, the C.S.A. and the U.S.A. It is equally important to remember that slavery was perfectly legal in both countries (in the C.S.A. it was legal in all states, and in the U.S. slavery was legal in Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, New Jersey, and West Virginia). How can one country possibly claim to wage a war to end slavery in another country, when slavery is legal in its own country?

  • Greg Deane

    The writer seems to ignore tariffs as a
    primary cause of the American Civil War, including the law passed in early
    1861, the Morrill Tariff, which imposed tariffs of 24%, supplanting earlier
    tariffs used to pressure the South to buy from Northern manufacturers rather
    than otherwise cheaper goods, especially machinery, from Britain and other
    European countries.  So it was also
    unpopular in Europe. The Tariff was signed into law by President James Buchanan
    on March 2, 1861, two days before Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. Similar
    protectionist tariffs had been implemented since 1789 but became increasingly
    onerous and a strong motive for secession. 

  • Anonymous

    We had an immigration policy during our colonial and early Republic days:  slavery.  The worst of it was bringing over sub-Saharan blacks to do jobs that lazy plantation owners won’t do or pay for.  It was the worst mistake in our nation’s history.  The great crime of slavery, I contend, was less what was done to black slaves than what was done — and still is being done — to future generations of whites who were not consulted about these business decisions and who must bear their consequences. 

  • Anonymous

    1612
    The first commercial tobacco crop is raised in Jamestown, Virginia.
          
    1619
    Twenty slaves in Virginia Africans brought to Jamestown are the first slaves imported into Britain’s North American colonies. Like indentured servants, they were probably freed after a fixed period of service.
         
    1641Massachusetts is the first colony to legalize slavery.
    http://sharondraper.com/timeline.pdf     
     
    The North and South were complicit in the Original Sin of the United States, but the North has been more contrite. 

  • Andy

    I am grateful for the information and the reasoned commentary you make here.   Do
    you know, or suspect, whether a large part of the concern about black mental inferiority came from the greater incidence of black slaves ( as compared to white laborers, e.g.,)
    who were “challenged” by  mental limitations  with regard to their physical safety  around machinery, loading wagons , unloading, harnessing, plowing, cutting wood  etc.?   On the face of matters, it doesn’t make too much banker sense ( within the deplorable fact of  slavery )  that the value of human “property” would be degraded by emphasizing “its”  mental/self-control/ deficits–unless such limitations were of such evident practical importance that the value of slaves and of property could be best protected by having the raw facts of life clearly emphasized rather than soft-pedaled.   ? 

  • Anonymous

    It is a travesty of historiography that out of deferance to the vast political house-of-cards that has been built upon the myth that only Blacks were merchandised in the Atlantic slave trade,historians have failed to consistently describe White chattel by the scientifically accurate term for their condition,that of slave.By avoiding this description,many academics have perpetuated the propaganda of the plutocracy which inflicted these horrors on White humanity…..Powerful colonial land companies motivated by gigantic profits were loathe to admit truths subversive of the fictions which permitted the smooth functioning of “business as usual.” The label given to the White laborer in bondage was crucial to a correct understanding of his condition…..In the founding  era of Colonial America,both White and Black slaves were referred to as “servants.”Once the term slavery came into universal usage(a term derived from the enslavement of Slavic peoples),objective observers of the time who were without mercenary ties to the traffic in White “servants” called them slaves.”Contemporary observers described it as  ‘white slavery’ and referred to indentured  servants as ‘white slaves.'(Beckles,P.71)…from Michael A. Hoffman II book, They Were White and They Were Slaves,the untold History of the Enslavement of Whites in Early America…..The whole apparatus of the institution of human slavery in English-speaking America,which has been searingly  memorialized in the voluminous literature on negro slavery,was first put into place in the enslavement of Whites who were kidnapped in their native land,died on board ship,suffered child slavery and separation  of parents from children forever;endured fugitive slave-laws,the banning of White slave meetings and severe and extreme corporal punishment,sometimes unto death…Brown,Emerson,Stowe,Phillips..where were their righteous concerns over White slavery?…White Slave Rebellions,from the book  Michael  A Hoffman II-They Were White and They Were Slaves…Fear of rebellion by White slaves led to the passage of the Virginia law to suppress “unlawful meetings” and  directed that “all masters of ffamilies be enjoyned to take special care that servants do not depart from their houses on Sundays or any other dayes without particu;lar lycence from them.”Individual acts of rebellion by White slaves were constant and many slavemasters were killed.”unrest among White servants was more or less chronic.”(Bridenbaugh,p.108.)”During the third quarter of the 17th century,impoverished White laborers had kept the (Virginia) province on the brink of civil war.”(Ekirch,p133).In the Caribbean colonies White slaves revolted by burning the sugar cane  of the slavemasters “tp the utter ruin and undoing of their  Masters.” Lured to colonial America with the promise of a teaching job,Thomas Hellier was instead  enslaved as a field worker.That betrayal  combined with the viciousness of his slavemasters wife led him to kill the slavemasters entire family with an axe in 1678.Hellier was blieved to been inspired by Bacon’s Rebellion two years before.In 1676 Nathaniel Bacon led an uprising in Virginia.A small army  of former White slaves and  fugitive White slaves joined in with the 30 year old Indian fighter Bacon against the House of Burgesses and the Governor,sparked by anger at their own penurious condition after having been cheated out of the “head” acreage they were promised and enraged by the Royal governments apathy in the face of murderous Indian raids.There was great fear among the circle of the Governor ,William Berkeley,that the White slaves of the entire region would rise with Bacon and “carry all beyond remedy to destruction.” Bacons rebels burned down the city of Jamestown,plundered the plantations and expelled Berkeley.Bacon died suddenly,allegedly of dysentery,on Oct 26,at the height of the insurrection. “…an incredible amount of the meanest(poorest) of people were everywhere armed to assist him and his cause,”and these fought on through the winter,until the last of them were captured or killed by Jan of 1677…Other White slave rebellions included the risings of 1634 which took 800 troops to put down,and 1647 in which 18 leaders of the White revolt were tortured and hung.The rulers of Barbados passed a proclamation in 1649,”An act for an Annual Day of Thanksgiving for our deliverance from the last insurrection of servants.” More White slave plots and revolts  occured in 1686 and 1692 including a rebellion by the “Independants,” an insurgent group of White Protestant slaves and freedmen who revolted against Maryland’s Catholic theocracy.In 1721 White slaves were arrested while attempting to seize an arsenal at Annapolis,Maryland,the arms to be used in an uprising against the planters.In Florida in 1768 White slaves revolted at the Turnbull plantation in New Smyrna.The government needed two ships full of troops and cannon to put down the revolt…The British colonial govt was not adverse to calling on unlikely policeman to suppress White slave revolts:Blacks.Blacks were admitted to the colonial  militia responsible for policing White slaves.The aristocratic planters  had felt the necessity to “arm part of their black men” to assist  in suppressing White slave revolts(Beckels,”Rebels and Reactionaries,”p17)…In Maryland in 1715,a reward was offered to American Indians who were recruited as bounty hunters to capture runaway Whites and return them to their masters,”for the better discovery of and encouragement of our neighbor Indians to seize,apprehend or take up any runaway servants.”    (Maxcy’s Laws of Maryland,vol.one,p111).The notion that Whites  are particularly “hardhearted” and “racist” because they upheld fugitive  slave laws against blacks is specious when considered in light of enactments against rebellious and fugitive White slaves.If a clique of wealthy Whites didnt feel sorry for their own people thus enslaved,and hunted them when they escaped or revolted,why would anyone expect them to exempt negroes from the same treatment?Sometimes the reverse was true.Whites like Harriet Beecher Stowe were solely concerned with the plight of Blacks and avoided or denied the  oppression of Whites.Like the wealthy “liberal” White elite of our time who do nothing for the White poor but campaign tirelessly for the rights of colored people,the Quakers of colonial Philadelphia were early advocates of Black rights and abolition of negro servitude even as some Quakers whipped and brutalized  the White slaves they continued to own…..A prevailing myth has it that Lincoln was assassinated beause hidden powers knew he would be lenient to the South during Reconstruction.This view is exploded when one studies the background and views of his successor to the presidency,who was everything to the defeated Sothern people(though not to their planter-dominated Confederate leadership,who he generally despised),that the myth makers claim Lincoln would have been.President Johnson was impeached mainly yhrough the partisian efforts of politicians such as Rep.Thaddeus Stevens and Sen.Charles Sumner,precisely because Johnson refused to cooperate in the collective “Reconstruction” punishment of poor White people in the South.Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh,North Carolina,where at the age of 10 he was apprenticed to the Selby tailor shop and ordered to work 12 hours a day,until he was 21 years of age….Michael A Hoffman,They Were White and They Were Slaves..After enduring nearly six years of apprenticeship,Johnson fled raleigh.A ten dollar reward was posted for his capture.By law,no other employer in North Carolina was allowed to give him work.As long as he remained in North carolina he was subject to arrest and in danger of capture.Johnson fled to Tennessee where he went into business for himself and eventually became a leader of men……In considering  the Biblical stand on slavery,it is necessary to differentiate Biblical laws concerning the enslavement of aliens and Israelites.The former could be permanent,the latter was to be temporary,even thoughmany who claimed to be Christian heirs of the Israelites acted otherwise.In America,those who enslaved blacks and disparaged the manual laborer,generally did not derive their philosophy from Biblical sources,however;that legacy falls in the camp of ancient Rome(see J.Drew Harrington,”Classical Antiquity and the Proslavery Argument,” Slavery and Abolition,May,1989).Sothern planters did justify  the bondage of the negro with Biblical arguments,but this was usually a rejoinder  to abolitionist attacks,rather than the main source of enslavement  praxis.It is chiefly  from the aristocratic notions of the Romans toward manual labor that was the classic mindset of the modern slaver in the West evolved.These concepts differ considerably from the status of the manual laborer in the Bible.Jesus Christ,,the “King of Kings,” toiled as a carpenter for most of his life…….Harriet Beecher Stowe   was one of the greatest hypocrites of the 19th century,a pious fraud whose legacy of malignant hatred for her own kind has infectred many another White man and woman to this day.During her triumphal 1853 tour of Britain in the wake of the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin,Stowe was the guest of the Duchess of Sutherland,a woman of vast wealth who had an interest in the “betterment of the negro.” The Sutherland wealth was based in part on one of the most criminal  land-grabs in British History.The Sutherlands had seized the ancient holdings of the traditional clans of Scotland and burned the Highland ‘crofters'(farmers) off their lands,resulting in pauperism and in many cases,outright starvation of Scottish women and children(Henry C.Carey,The Slave Trade,Domestic and Foreignpp204-209;John Prebble,The Highland Clearances,pp288-295).At one point the Sutherlands even hired armed gaurds to prevent famine stricken Scottish Highlander “rabble” from catching fish in the Sutherlands well stocked salmon and trout rivers(Prebble p 293)…When Harriet  Beecher Stowe returned to America  she wrote a glowing account of the Sutherlands in her travel book Sunny Memories,specifically praising them for their “enlightened land policies” in Scotland,which she described as,an almost sublime instance of the benevolent employment of superior wealth and power in shortening the struggles of advancing civilization”(Cunliffe,p18,Prebble,p292).In respomse to Stowes appalling whitewash of the crimes committed against the Scottish Highlanders,a London newspaper described Uncle Toms Cabin as a “downright imposter” and “ranting,canting nonsense.”…..All excerts taken from Michael A. Hoffman II well researched book,They Were White and They Were Slaves.

  • Anonymous

    It is a travesty of historiography that out of deferance to the vast political house-of-cards that has been built upon the myth that only Blacks were merchandised in the Atlantic slave trade,historians have failed to consistently describe White chattel by the scientifically accurate term for their condition,that of slave.By avoiding this description,many academics have perpetuated the propaganda of the plutocracy which inflicted these horrors on White humanity…..Powerful colonial land companies motivated by gigantic profits were loathe to admit truths subversive of the fictions which permitted the smooth functioning of “business as usual.” The label given to the White laborer in bondage was crucial to a correct understanding of his condition…..In the founding  era of Colonial America,both White and Black slaves were referred to as “servants.”Once the term slavery came into universal usage(a term derived from the enslavement of Slavic peoples),objective observers of the time who were without mercenary ties to the traffic in White “servants” called them slaves.”Contemporary observers described it as  ‘white slavery’ and referred to indentured  servants as ‘white slaves.'(Beckles,P.71)…from Michael A. Hoffman II book, They Were White and They Were Slaves,the untold History of the Enslavement of Whites in Early America…..The whole apparatus of the institution of human slavery in English-speaking America,which has been searingly  memorialized in the voluminous literature on negro slavery,was first put into place in the enslavement of Whites who were kidnapped in their native land,died on board ship,suffered child slavery and separation  of parents from children forever;endured fugitive slave-laws,the banning of White slave meetings and severe and extreme corporal punishment,sometimes unto death…Brown,Emerson,Stowe,Phillips..where were their righteous concerns over White slavery?…White Slave Rebellions,from the book  Michael  A Hoffman II-They Were White and They Were Slaves…Fear of rebellion by White slaves led to the passage of the Virginia law to suppress “unlawful meetings” and  directed that “all masters of ffamilies be enjoyned to take special care that servants do not depart from their houses on Sundays or any other dayes without particu;lar lycence from them.”Individual acts of rebellion by White slaves were constant and many slavemasters were killed.”unrest among White servants was more or less chronic.”(Bridenbaugh,p.108.)”During the third quarter of the 17th century,impoverished White laborers had kept the (Virginia) province on the brink of civil war.”(Ekirch,p133).In the Caribbean colonies White slaves revolted by burning the sugar cane  of the slavemasters “tp the utter ruin and undoing of their  Masters.” Lured to colonial America with the promise of a teaching job,Thomas Hellier was instead  enslaved as a field worker.That betrayal  combined with the viciousness of his slavemasters wife led him to kill the slavemasters entire family with an axe in 1678.Hellier was blieved to been inspired by Bacon’s Rebellion two years before.In 1676 Nathaniel Bacon led an uprising in Virginia.A small army  of former White slaves and  fugitive White slaves joined in with the 30 year old Indian fighter Bacon against the House of Burgesses and the Governor,sparked by anger at their own penurious condition after having been cheated out of the “head” acreage they were promised and enraged by the Royal governments apathy in the face of murderous Indian raids.There was great fear among the circle of the Governor ,William Berkeley,that the White slaves of the entire region would rise with Bacon and “carry all beyond remedy to destruction.” Bacons rebels burned down the city of Jamestown,plundered the plantations and expelled Berkeley.Bacon died suddenly,allegedly of dysentery,on Oct 26,at the height of the insurrection. “…an incredible amount of the meanest(poorest) of people were everywhere armed to assist him and his cause,”and these fought on through the winter,until the last of them were captured or killed by Jan of 1677…Other White slave rebellions included the risings of 1634 which took 800 troops to put down,and 1647 in which 18 leaders of the White revolt were tortured and hung.The rulers of Barbados passed a proclamation in 1649,”An act for an Annual Day of Thanksgiving for our deliverance from the last insurrection of servants.” More White slave plots and revolts  occured in 1686 and 1692 including a rebellion by the “Independants,” an insurgent group of White Protestant slaves and freedmen who revolted against Maryland’s Catholic theocracy.In 1721 White slaves were arrested while attempting to seize an arsenal at Annapolis,Maryland,the arms to be used in an uprising against the planters.In Florida in 1768 White slaves revolted at the Turnbull plantation in New Smyrna.The government needed two ships full of troops and cannon to put down the revolt…The British colonial govt was not adverse to calling on unlikely policeman to suppress White slave revolts:Blacks.Blacks were admitted to the colonial  militia responsible for policing White slaves.The aristocratic planters  had felt the necessity to “arm part of their black men” to assist  in suppressing White slave revolts(Beckels,”Rebels and Reactionaries,”p17)…In Maryland in 1715,a reward was offered to American Indians who were recruited as bounty hunters to capture runaway Whites and return them to their masters,”for the better discovery of and encouragement of our neighbor Indians to seize,apprehend or take up any runaway servants.”    (Maxcy’s Laws of Maryland,vol.one,p111).The notion that Whites  are particularly “hardhearted” and “racist” because they upheld fugitive  slave laws against blacks is specious when considered in light of enactments against rebellious and fugitive White slaves.If a clique of wealthy Whites didnt feel sorry for their own people thus enslaved,and hunted them when they escaped or revolted,why would anyone expect them to exempt negroes from the same treatment?Sometimes the reverse was true.Whites like Harriet Beecher Stowe were solely concerned with the plight of Blacks and avoided or denied the  oppression of Whites.Like the wealthy “liberal” White elite of our time who do nothing for the White poor but campaign tirelessly for the rights of colored people,the Quakers of colonial Philadelphia were early advocates of Black rights and abolition of negro servitude even as some Quakers whipped and brutalized  the White slaves they continued to own…..A prevailing myth has it that Lincoln was assassinated beause hidden powers knew he would be lenient to the South during Reconstruction.This view is exploded when one studies the background and views of his successor to the presidency,who was everything to the defeated Sothern people(though not to their planter-dominated Confederate leadership,who he generally despised),that the myth makers claim Lincoln would have been.President Johnson was impeached mainly yhrough the partisian efforts of politicians such as Rep.Thaddeus Stevens and Sen.Charles Sumner,precisely because Johnson refused to cooperate in the collective “Reconstruction” punishment of poor White people in the South.Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh,North Carolina,where at the age of 10 he was apprenticed to the Selby tailor shop and ordered to work 12 hours a day,until he was 21 years of age….Michael A Hoffman,They Were White and They Were Slaves..After enduring nearly six years of apprenticeship,Johnson fled raleigh.A ten dollar reward was posted for his capture.By law,no other employer in North Carolina was allowed to give him work.As long as he remained in North carolina he was subject to arrest and in danger of capture.Johnson fled to Tennessee where he went into business for himself and eventually became a leader of men……In considering  the Biblical stand on slavery,it is necessary to differentiate Biblical laws concerning the enslavement of aliens and Israelites.The former could be permanent,the latter was to be temporary,even thoughmany who claimed to be Christian heirs of the Israelites acted otherwise.In America,those who enslaved blacks and disparaged the manual laborer,generally did not derive their philosophy from Biblical sources,however;that legacy falls in the camp of ancient Rome(see J.Drew Harrington,”Classical Antiquity and the Proslavery Argument,” Slavery and Abolition,May,1989).Sothern planters did justify  the bondage of the negro with Biblical arguments,but this was usually a rejoinder  to abolitionist attacks,rather than the main source of enslavement  praxis.It is chiefly  from the aristocratic notions of the Romans toward manual labor that was the classic mindset of the modern slaver in the West evolved.These concepts differ considerably from the status of the manual laborer in the Bible.Jesus Christ,,the “King of Kings,” toiled as a carpenter for most of his life…….Harriet Beecher Stowe   was one of the greatest hypocrites of the 19th century,a pious fraud whose legacy of malignant hatred for her own kind has infectred many another White man and woman to this day.During her triumphal 1853 tour of Britain in the wake of the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin,Stowe was the guest of the Duchess of Sutherland,a woman of vast wealth who had an interest in the “betterment of the negro.” The Sutherland wealth was based in part on one of the most criminal  land-grabs in British History.The Sutherlands had seized the ancient holdings of the traditional clans of Scotland and burned the Highland ‘crofters'(farmers) off their lands,resulting in pauperism and in many cases,outright starvation of Scottish women and children(Henry C.Carey,The Slave Trade,Domestic and Foreignpp204-209;John Prebble,The Highland Clearances,pp288-295).At one point the Sutherlands even hired armed gaurds to prevent famine stricken Scottish Highlander “rabble” from catching fish in the Sutherlands well stocked salmon and trout rivers(Prebble p 293)…When Harriet  Beecher Stowe returned to America  she wrote a glowing account of the Sutherlands in her travel book Sunny Memories,specifically praising them for their “enlightened land policies” in Scotland,which she described as,an almost sublime instance of the benevolent employment of superior wealth and power in shortening the struggles of advancing civilization”(Cunliffe,p18,Prebble,p292).In respomse to Stowes appalling whitewash of the crimes committed against the Scottish Highlanders,a London newspaper described Uncle Toms Cabin as a “downright imposter” and “ranting,canting nonsense.”…..All excerts taken from Michael A. Hoffman II well researched book,They Were White and They Were Slaves.

  • Anonymous

    Breaking the chains of illusion..Historian Oscar Handlin writes that in Colonial America,White “servants could be bartered for profit,sold to the highest bidder for the unpaid debts of their masters,and otherwise transferred like movable goods or chattels…In every civic,social and legal attribute,these victims of the turbulent displacements of the 16th and 17th  centuries were set apart.Despised by every other order,without apparent means of rising to a more favored place,these men and their children,and their children’s children seemed mired in a hard,degraded life…The condition of the first Negroes in the continental English colonies must be viewed within the perspective of these conceptions and realities of (White)servitude…(Origins of the Southern Labor System,”William and Mary Quarterly,April,1950,p.202).The history of enslavement in  America as portrayed in the tunnel vision of the corporate media has focused exclusively on the enslavement of Negroes.The impression is given that only Whites bear responsibility for enslaving negroes and only negroes were slaves.In fact negroes in Africa as well as American Indian tribes such as the Cherokee engaged in extensive enslavement of negroes.The Cherokee indians owned large plantations on which they worked their negro slaves in gangs(R.Halliburton,Jr.,Red Over Black:Black Slavery among the Cherokee Indians,p.20)….White slaves were actually owned by negroes and indians in the South to such an extent that the Virginia Assembly passed the following law in 1670:”It is enacted that noe  negro or Indian though baptized and enjoyned their own e  ffreedome shall be capable of any such purchase of Christians..”(Statutes of the Virginia Assembly,Vol 2,pp.280-281).Negroes also owned other negroes in America(Charleston County Probate Court Records,1754-1758,p.406).While Whites languished in chains Blacks were free men in Virginia throughout the 17th  century(Willie Lee Rose,A Documentary history of Slavery in North America,p.15;John Henderson Russell,Free Negro in Virginia,1619-1865,p 23;Bruce Levine,et al.,Who Built America?,vol 1,p 52).In 1717 it was proposed that a qualification for election to the South Carolina Assembly was to be the ownnership of one White man.”(Journals of the Commons House of Assembly of the Province of South Carolina:1692-1775,vol5pp294-295).Negroes voted in the Carolina counties of Berkeley and Craven in 1706 “and their votes were taken.”Levine,p.63).Blacks were toting guns or other weapons and going about in the service of wealthy landowners at the same time  that tens of thousands of enslaved White men were forbidden arms.In 1678 one thousand negroes were armed by the planters and formed into a fighting militia for protection against the french(Carl and Roberta Bridenbaugh,No Peace Beyond the Line:The English in the Caribbean,1624-1690;pp.359-360).In Carolina in 1704,1707,1712,1738,and 1741 bills were passed authorizing armed negro militias in the service of the planters.(Warren B Smith,White servitude in Colonial South Carolina,p.98)…..many of the Unionist soldiers who made up the ranks of Lincolns  armies in southern Ohio,western North Carolina,eastern Tennessee,southern Illinois,Kentucky and elsewhere were survivors of White slavery or descendants of White slaves. They did not view themselves as advocates of what then was referred to as racial “amalgamation.” Historically they regarded themselves as separatists and viewed the Southern Planters desire to spread negroes into California,Oregon and other territories as a grave threat to free White labor and the Old Testament  principle of racial separation(Nehemiah 13:23-27;Ezra 10:10-14;Hosea 5:7).During much of the Civil War  the political and military leaders of the Confederacy could not travel in certain parts of the deep South without armed escorts(Jeffrey Rogers Hummel,”The Civil War,”The United States at War Audio Classics Series,Part Two),for fear of attack from “Upcountry” Southern Whites who hated the planter aristocracy and the war they saw as being for the sole benefit of the expansion of the planters “infernal  negroes.” Upcountry southern Whites consisted in large part of the survivors and the children of survivors of White slavery who resided in the hills,mountains and Piedmont regions of the South under frontier conditions.In the antebellum 19th century South,”A large number of White southerners lived in the upcountry,an area of small farmers and herdsmen…engaged largely in mixed and subsistence agriculture…little currency circulated,barter was common and the upcountry families dressed in ‘home-spun cloth,the product of the spinning wheel and the hand-loom.’This economic order gave rise to a distinctive sub-culture that celebrated mutuality,egalitarianism(for Whites)and …independence. “…mountain counties rejected secession from the outset.They believed the yeoman had no business fighting for a planter dominated aristocracy:’All tha want is to git you…to fight for their infernal negroes and after you do their fightin’ you may kiss their hind parts for o tha care.”(Eric Foner,Reconstruction:America’s Unfinished Revolution,1863-1877,pp11 and 13).Poor Whites had to be drafted into the Confederate army.As in the North ,where resistance to conscription was widespread,many Southern Whites saw the conflict as  “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.”Indeed,any slaveholder owning 20 or more Black slaves was exempt from military combat.From 1609 until the early 1800s,between  one-half and two thirds  of all White colonists who came to the New World came as slaves.Of the passengers on the Mayflower,twelve were White slaves(John Van der Zee,Bound Over,p.93).Hundreds of thousands of Whites had been enslaved during the colonial era in America while millions of others were too poor to afford even a mule,much less a black slave….Michael A Hoffman II from they Were White and They Were Slaves.the Untold  History of the Enslavement of Whites in Early America.

  • Anonymous

    andy..made  a reply to your question  but will not post…A moderator needs to approve my reply before they will publish it..