Lesser Known Historical Excerpts Relevant to The

War for Southern Independence

Author: Eric Patterson

Below are but a few excerpts from history that reveal that the

war between the United States of America and the Confederate States

of America was not a battle of good versus evil, or even a true

civil war. The facts reveal the shallow, one-sided, sound-bite "history"

and stereotypes of the Antebellum South, the War, the Union, and

the Confederacy that most of us have been taught. We are all familiar

with the War between the North and South as told through Northern

eyes and texts. My objective is to challenge what are usually accepted

as the causes of Southern secession and of the War that followed

by offering alternative insights based on excerpts of neglected

American history.

The South did not intend to take control of the United States government,

but to peacefully form their own sovereign nation. They had no more

intention of conquering Washington than the patriots of 1776 had

in conquering London. This was, in fact, a war between two nations

and cultures, the South having declared her independence from the

North just as the thirteen American Colonies had done from England,

and Texas had done from Mexico. The right of a State to secede from

the Union had been widely assumed, though untested, in both the

North and South, from the time the Constitution was written and

ratified, until South Carolina took that bold step on December 20,

1860. Drawing heavily on the American Revolution and the Declaration

of Independence one people declared their independence, and another

determined to use all necessary measures to forcefully restore the

former Union. Under the cover of war and through bullets and bayonets,

the relationship between the States and the Federal government would

be radically changed. The term "union," having once been

understood to mean voluntary cooperation for the mutual benefit

of each State, had taken on the notion of indivisible–held

together by force, and at all costs. It became clear that "government

of the people, for the people, [and] by the people" as well

as the noble idea of "the consent of the governed" was

now defined by those who wielded the greater military force, relegating

the defeated peoples to the status of "rebels" and traitors.

In short, a declaration of independence became laudable only if

those desiring independence win in their struggle – a philosophy

of "might makes right." Finally, the victors write the

prevailing history.

We must look into history to find the true roots of that tragic

War. Care must be taken to draw a distinction between the causes

of the secession of the Southern States, and the reasons why war

broke out between the North and South. History reveals the likelihood

of a great conflict between the North and South–two distinct

peoples and cultures. Many of the differences between the North

and South coalesced in the issues of sectional political struggles

for power in Congress, Federal encroachment on the rights reserved

and retained by the States, differing regional economic interests,

regional cultural differences, the moral question of slavery, and

the regional effects of federal tariffs. It all came to a head as

political power shifted in Congress and then in the Presidency.

The South, feeling her back was against the wall, declared herself

to be an independent nation, just as the Founding Fathers had done

as they broke away from England, and the Texans had done when they

broke away from Mexico.

Unfortunately, the topic of slavery has served as a red herring

to distract from the more fundamental reasons for the conflict between

the North and South that led to secession. To understand the role

of slavery in this conflict, one must ask why it was an issue, both

for the North and the South. But first, because we are so far removed

from that time in history, it is also important to remember that

the institution of slavery had widely acknowledged constitutional

protection, being an issue for each State, North and South, to deal

with as it’s citizens saw fit. A basic principle in understanding

the people and events of history is to interpret them within their

historical context. In historical context, prior to the Thirteenth

Amendment, slaves were held in legally binding servitude. While

such a notion is shocking to modern ears, it was the law and sentiment

of the land with a strong constitutional argument. Abraham Lincoln

openly shared these sentiments.

Most modern observers cannot–or will not–see beyond

the issue of slavery to the many foundational issues of the growing

division between North and South, many of which had simmered from

before the birth of the Nation. Though a growing point of contention,

slavery was but one of the differentiating factors between the agrarian

economy and culture of the South, and the increasingly industrial

economy and culture of the North. Slavery, in and of itself, was

not the reason for Southern secession nor the cause of the War for

Southern Independence. The citizens of the Northern States were

not willing to fight and die to end slavery, nor did they do so.

Lincoln himself had made this clear. The abolitionist’s voice at

the national level was still a small political minority. Besides,

the voices of Northern racial prejudice and white laborers who feared

the loss of jobs through an influx of emancipated slaves rang in

the ears of Northern politicians.

The mostly one crop economy of the South was itself a slave to

slavery, for mechanization had not yet embraced the growing of cotton.

The terms "Cotton States" and "Slave States"

encompassed Southern interests in general, whether economic, political,

or cultural. To control slavery through national politics was perceived

by the South as a threat to her economic interests, her influence

in national politics on a wide range of other issues vital to her

agrarian foundations, an assault on the Constitution, and a threat

to historic States’ rights.

For one thing, limiting slavery to the existing Southern States,

while the United States continued to spread West and the population

growth in the North outpaced that of the South, would reduce Southern

political influence in many areas of unique concern to her to a

hopeless minority position. Yet, by favoring the protection of slavery

where it currently existed, the Republicans could cloud partisan

and sectional debate by claiming not to be an enemy of the South.

But the Republicans did not have to end slavery in the South. All

they had to do was contain it where it was in order to stifle Southern

political and economic power as Congressional representation from

the West and North grew in strength.

No doubt, their were those few in the North did not want to see

slavery spread for moral reasons. However, this would not move beyond

a minority position until Lincoln used abolition as political a

tactic midway through the war. Yet the real reason for the opposition

to the spread, not only of slavery, but even of free black settlers

to the frontier was to reserve these lands for white settlers.

It was these threats to the South through the institution of slavery

that were among the many contributing factors leading to the secession

of the first seven Southern States, but to simplistically raise

up slavery as the reason both distorts and obscures the truth. After

all, the North shared in keeping slavery viable by her growing appetite

for Southern cotton and tobacco, and by providing direct financing

for slave ownership.

The opposing sides in debates over tariffs followed this same division,

as did other issues of a sectional nature as Northern industrial

influence in national politics grew. The Southern Democrats had

long been a thorn in the side of Northern industrial interests by

fighting import tariffs–tariffs that protected the Northern

industrial economy from foreign competition. To reduce Southern

influence in national politics would mean smoother sailing for protectionist

trade legislation. But, at the same time, those same tariffs collected

at Southern ports were the major source for all Federal revenue–most

of which was spent on the burgeoning industrial infrastructure of

the North. This last point would figure prominently in shaping Northern

opinion and sentiments over Southern secession.

Had the South threatened the roots of Northern economics and culture

from a position of superior political strength, the North would

have reacted similarly. Indeed, this scenario had been played out

in the Nation’s past on numerous occasions. Political and economic

grievances such as these were not new, for New England had voiced

similar ones at various times throughout American history, threatening

secession herself multiple times.

Finally, history records that the secession of the remaining Southern

States of the Confederacy was precipitated by Federal aggression

mobilized against the first seven States that had already seceded.

The major companion question to the one regarding slavery that

must be answered is, "Why did Lincoln deem it worth ‘preserving’

the Union at the cost of over 600,000 lives and the near total destruction

of the Southern economy and infrastructure–which would take

over 100 years to recover; by what legal or moral grounds did he

do this?" In the months just prior to Lincoln’s decision to

march on the South, the voice of Northern merchants and financiers

grew more desperate at the prospect of entering into a trade and

tariff war with the South. With the high import tariffs of the North

and the low tariffs of the South, foreign manufactured goods would

naturally enter through the South. It was also feared that the Southern

market for Northern manufactured goods would shrivel, if not dry

up. On this issue, the agrarian South had nothing to lose and everything

to gain, while Northern merchants, financiers, and the Federal coffer

stood only to lose. The South did not need the North for their economic

well being nearly as much as the growth and prosperity of the North

depended on the South’s continued membership in the Union. Surely

it is not hard to believe that economics was a major factor in both

the secession of the Southern States and the ultimate cry from the

North for war once the economic realities settled in. And surely

it is not unrealistic to think that the combined outcry of powerful

Northern capitalists was heeded by Lincoln and the Republicans,

especially with the threat of economic catastrophe should the South

be permitted to remain out of the Union. In short, the North feared

it could not survive in the competitive arena of free trade.

While slavery was legal in the Confederate States of America for

4 years (1861-1865), slavery was legal in the United States of America

for 89 years (1776-1865). But, does the existence, practice and

acceptance of slavery in 1776 America nullify the honor and valor

associated with the spilling of Patriot blood in the struggle for

independence from our mother country? Likewise, does the existence,

practice and acceptance of slavery in 1830’s Texas strip the honor

and valor from those Texans who died at Goliad and at the Alamo

as they fought for independence from Mexico? Did the words and sentiments

expressed in the Declaration of Independence no longer apply to

people in the several States of the United States once the Constitution

was ratified? Are these struggles for independence any less legitimate

because political unions were torn apart? Nor should the South be

judged any differently for its own struggle for independence in

1861-65. As economist, professor, author, and columnist Walter E.

Williams wrote in his December 2, 1998, article The Civil War Wasn’t

About Slavery, "the only good coming from the War Between the

States was the abolition of slavery."

Should you find the preceding analysis too alien to what you were

taught and had always believed, at least read and consider the following

chronology of lesser known excerpts of American history related

to the long standing tension between the North and South. Be open

to the possibility that politics, competing philosophies of government,

and money might have been much greater factors in both Southern

secession and the war cry of the North than are commonly acknowledged,

and that the insistence of the unconditional and immediate abolition

of slavery was a minority position in the North.

According to the Declaration of Independence, political unions

are not sacrosanct. Truly precious is liberty and government instituted

by the people that remains under the consent of the people.

"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary

for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected

them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth,

the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of

nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind

requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to

the separation […] That to secure these rights, governments are

instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent

of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive

of these ends, it is the right of the people to altar or to abolish

it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such

principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall

seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness" (The

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776).

"The Declaration was the outcome of prolonged discussion,

and of hopelessness in resisting arbitrary measures, while in union

with the mother country. When no other course was compatible with

self-respect, the pressure of liberty compelled the tearing asunder

of the ties of allegiance and union, and Virginia and Massachusetts

went hand in hand in leading the rupture" (JLMC p. 33).

The members of the Second Continental Congress were not members

of a governing body, but were delegates and ambassadors sent by

governors and legislatures of the thirteen States–independent

States that tenaciously asserted and guarded their respective sovereignty

(WEW p. 232; JLMC p. 64-65, 68-82).

John Adams, Massachusetts delegate to the Second Continental Congress,

wrote to his wife of the stark differences between the two peoples

of the Northern and Southern colonies, and that the proposed union

could not be held together "without the utmost caution on both

sides" (JRK p. 24).

The sovereignty and independence, not of one nation, but of each

of the individual thirteen States was recognized by King George

III after the "Articles of the proposed Treaty" of peace

were signed between England and "Commissioners of the United

States of America" in Paris on November 30, 1782. As stipulated

by Benjamin Franklin in the preamble of the treaty with England,

and in cooperation with France, formal independence from and peace

with England for each of the thirteen individually recognized States

was finalized as peace was made between France and England. This

definitive "Treaty of Peace" between England and "the

United States of America" was signed on September 3, 1783.

The entire transaction for peace was referred to as the "Peace

of Paris" (WEW p. 212-13; SEM p. 266-67; JLMC p. 35). Article

I of both documents contain these words:

"His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States,

viz. New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence

Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, [Delaware,]

Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia,

to be free sovereign and independent States; that he treats with

them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes

all claims to the government, propriety, and territorial rights

of the same, and every part thereof."

Given their history of inter-colonial rivalries, many observers

doubted that any compact between the newly independent thirteen

States would last. "Josiah Tucker, dean of Gloucester, who

was one of the leading economic and political authorities of Great

Britain, said, ‘The mutual antipathies and clashing interests of

the Americans […] their difference of governments, habitudes,

and manners, indicate that they will have no centre of union and

no common interest. They never can be united into one compact empire

under any species of government whatever’" (WEW p. 213).

Alexander Hamilton, a staunch Federalist strongly opposed to democracy,

and even a republican form of government, lobbied during the Constitutional

Convention of 1787 for a government patterned after the European

monarchies. He proposed that the government of the United States

consist of a president and senate who were to be elected by electors,

with the members of the senate serving for life, and a lower house

consisting of persons elected by popular vote for a three year term.

He also proposed that the governors of the States be appointed by

the federal administration and that the president or congress have

veto power over the State legislatures (WEW p. 234-35, 294). In

summary, the Hamiltonians, or Federalists, distrusted the individual

State governments’ for judicious self-government, and argued for

a strong central government with a corresponding decrease of States’

rights (WEW p. 267; SEM p. 328-29; MLD p. 62-63, 69-70).

Thomas Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican and staunch advocate

of democracy, and believing that the Union was a group of sovereign

States that had carefully delegated specific powers to an administrative

agent, stated his view of States’ rights within the Union as follows,

"My plan would be to make the states one as to everything connected

with foreign nations, and several as to everything purely domestic"

(WEW p. 294). In summary, the Jeffersonians, or Antifederalists,

considered the United States as a league of sovereign States that

had delegated a few of the States’ inherent and inalienable powers

to a federal authority, that Government was regulating force imposed

upon the people from without, and that there should be as little

of it as possible (WEW p. 267; SEM p. 328-29; JLMC p. 93).

The Antifederalists of the Pennsylvania delegation to the Constitutional

Convention opposed ratification saying that "the powers vested

in Congress by this constitution, must necessarily annihilate and

absorb the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of the several

states and produce from their ruins one consolidated government,

which from the nature of things will be an iron-handed despotism"

of the central government (MLD p. 123).

On October 25, 1787, George Clinton, Governor of New York, himself

quite sectional in his sentiments and exhibiting hostility toward

the Southern States, wrote as "Cato" in Antifederalist

No. 14 in The New York Journal. Here, he states his trepidation

over forming a union whose federal government is granted so much

power over States with such dissimilar interests. He fears that

such a diverse union can, ultimately, only be held together by force,

and at the cost of liberty. He even warns of the necessity of a

standing army to enforce collection of federal revenues from the

States–a fear that would become a reality as sectional battles

over tariffs became increasingly contentious during the 1800’s.

"[…] whoever seriously considers the immense extent of territory

comprehended within the limits of the United States, together with

the variety of its climates, productions, and commerce, the difference

of extent, and number of inhabitants in all; the dissimilitude of

interest, morals, and politics, in almost every one, will receive

it as an intuitive truth, that a consolidated republican form of

government therein, can never form a perfect union, establish justice,

insure domestic tranquillity, promote the general welfare, and secure

the blessings of liberty to you and your posterity, for to these

objects it must be directed. This unkindred legislature therefore,

composed of interests opposite and dissimilar in their nature, will

in its exercise, emphatically be like a house divided against itself.

"[…] Will this consolidated republic, if established, in

its exercise beget such confidence and compliance, among the citizens

of these states, as to do without the aid of a standing army? I

deny that it will. The malcontents in each state, who will not be

a few, nor the least important, will be exciting factions against

it. The fear of a dismemberment of some of its parts, and the necessity

to enforce the execution of revenue laws (a fruitful source of oppression)

on the extremes and in the other districts of the government, will

incidentally and necessarily require a permanent force, to be kept

on foot. Will not political security, and even the opinion of it,

be extinguished? Can mildness and moderation exist in a government

where the primary incident in its exercise must be force?

"[…] Is it, therefore, from certainty like this, reasonable

to believe, that inhabitants of Georgia, or New Hampshire, will

have the same obligations towards you as your own, and preside over

your lives, liberties, and property, with the same care and attachment?

Intuitive reason answers in the negative…." (Antifederalist

No. 14)

The ratification of the new Constitution, beginning on November

6, 1787, and ending May 29, 1790, took place within State conventions.

It was not submitted to the collective people of a nation. It was

the will of the citizens of each individual State that was sought.

Inherent in this process was the possibility that the citizens of

a State might choose not to enter into the proposed constitutional

confederacy. The proposed Union would come into being after nine

states ratified the new Constitution, with or without the remaining

States. (JLMC p. 77, 98).

During the ratification process of the proposed constitution, George

Mason, in a letter to the Virginia Ratification Convention dated

June 4, 1788, warned of the inevitable tension in the union of States

of "so extensive a country, embracing so many climates, and

containing inhabitants so very different in manners, habits, and

customs" under a national government (JRK p. 24; PBK ch. 8,

doc. 37).

The June 26, 1788, Virginia Act of Ratification of the United States

Constitution contained clarifying language stating that the people

of Virginia reserved the right to recall the powers they delegated

to the newly formed federal government if "the same shall be

perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not

granted thereby remains with them and at their will" (JRK p.

189; GLD p. 65; JLMC p. 81; CA p. 15). Clearly, recalling the powers

they had delegated would cause the State to revert back to their

pre-ratification status, not by permission of the other States,

but by her own will.

As with Virginia, prior to ratifying the U.S. Constitution, the

States of New York and Rhode Island reserved the right to recall

the powers they were delegating to the new federal government by

stating that "the powers of government may be reassumed by

the people whenever it shall become necessary to their happiness"

(GLD p. 65-66; JLMC p. 77).

Dissenting States would not ratify the Constitution without the

assurance that a bill of rights to the Constitution, declaring the

privileges inviolably retained by the people of the States and limiting

the reach of the Federal government, would be put through in the

first session of the new Congress (WEW p. 247; MLD p. 58).

The Federalist position argued against a bill of rights in the

new Constitution; stating that it was "unnecessary" since

sufficient restraint upon the government already exists within the

body of the Constitution, being understood by the prominent phrase

"WE THE PEOPLE", and also because of inherited respect

for British common-law. They also surmised that a specific list

of rights would provide a rationale for the national government

to violate other rights not listed. The Federalist were especially

opposed to a declaration of rights which exclusively placed limits

on the national government, while not similarly addressing the State

governments (Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers, Number 84; MLD

p. 58-60).

As typified in New York’s ratification document, the Antifederalist

position argued that a bill of rights was a "legal weapon to

keep the national government within its specified sphere of constitutional

trust […] in the event of a constitutional contest between itself

[a State] and the national government" (MLD p. 61). This document

reads in part:

"That the sovereignty, freedom, and independency of the several

states shall be retained, and every power, jurisdiction, and right

which is not by this constitution expressly delegated to the United

States in Congress assembled."

Raphael Semmes in his 1869 work, Memoirs of Service Afloat, writes

of the nervousness of the States toward the proposed new government

in relation to the retained powers of the States (JRK p. 206).

Prior to ratifying the new constitution, the State of Massachusetts

insisted "that it be explicitly declared, that all powers not

delegated by the aforesaid Constitution are reserved to the several

States, to be by them exercised."

Pennsylvania likewise insisted that the new constitution be amended

to include language guaranteeing that "[a]ll the rights of

sovereignty which are not, by the said Constitution, expressly and

plainly vested in the Congress, shall be deemed to remain with,

and shall be exercised by the several states in the Union."

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution addressed the

basic Antifederalist distrust of a central government to not usurp

the reserved rights of the States (MLD p. 5; JRK p. 177-78, 206).

James Madison, "the father of the Constitution," expressed

his view of the proposed new government and the sovereign status

of the States as they ratified the new constitution when he stated,

"In order to ascertain the real character of the government,

it may be considered in relation to the foundation on which it is

to be established; to the sources from which its ordinary powers

are to be drawn; to the operation of those powers; to the extent

of them; and to the authority by which future changes in the government

are to be introduced.

"On examining the first relation, it appears, on one hand,

that the Constitution is to be founded on the assent and ratification

of the people of America, given by deputies elected for the special

purpose; but, on the other, that this assent and ratification is

to be given by the people, not as individuals composing one entire

nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to

which they respectively belong. It is to be the assent and ratification

of the several States, derived from the supreme authority in each

State, the authority of the people themselves. The act, therefore,

establishing the Constitution, will not be a NATIONAL, but a FEDERAL


"That it will be a federal and not a national act, as these

terms are understood by the objectors; the act of the people, as

forming so many independent States, not as forming one aggregate

nation […] Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered

as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound

by its voluntary act" (James Madison, Federalist Papers, Number


American slave ships flew the Stars and Stripes (not the flags

of the Confederate States of America) (JRK p. 69-70).

The slave trade had early roots in New England, going back as early

as 1640. The sailing ship Desire, sailing from Salem, Massachusetts,

is designated as the first slave ship outfitted in America (JRK

p. 66).

In 1750, Newport, Rhode Island’s fleet of slaving ships numbered

one hundred and seventy (FWS p. 28).

West Indian molasses provided the basis of the New England slave

trade. The molasses was used in the making of rum by New England

distillers. New England based slave ships would then take on a cargo

of rum to be used in trading for African slaves (JRK p. 66-67).

According to the research of author Francis W. Springer:

"[A]s early as the 1750’s there were 63 distilleries in Massachusetts

and 30 in Rhode Island busy converting molasses into rum for the

[slave] trade. When an import duty was levied on molasses, it was

never collected because it was claimed that it would ruin the slave

trade, throw 5,000 men out of work and cause 700 ships to rot"

(FWS p. 42; also JRK p. 67).

According to author Daniel P. Mannix in his book, Black Cargoes,

the colony of Rhode Island registered a protest to the English Board

of Trade in 1763 over the tax on molasses claiming it would greatly

harm her slave trade, a mainstay of her economy (JRK p. 67).

The July, 1916 issue of the Hartford Current summarized the operation

of the New England slave trade and its contribution to slavery in

the South:

"Northern rum had much to do with the extension of slavery

in the South. Many people in this state [Connecticut] as well as

in Boston, made snug fortunes for themselves by sending rum to Africa

to be exchanged for slaves and then selling the slaves to the planters

of Southern states" (SCV p. 14).

According to the Boston News Letter, at least twenty-three thousand

blacks were brought from Africa to Massachusetts between 1755 and

1766 (FWS p. 28).

The gradual reduction of slavery in the North was due in large

part to the growth in the number of white laborers (JRK p. 54).

According to author Lorenzo Johnson Green, in his 1966 book The

Negro in Colonial New England 1620-1776, John Adams insisted that

the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts was due to the protest

of competing white laborers rather than for ethical or moral reasons.

Adams stated,

"Argument might have some weight in the abolition of slavery

in Massachusetts, but the real cause was the multiplication of labouring

white people, who would no longer suffer the rich to employ these

sable rivals so much to their injury. The common people would not

suffer the labor, by which alone they could obtain a subsistence,

to be done by slaves. If the gentlemen had been permitted by law

to hold slaves, the common white people would have put the slaves

to death, and their masters too perhaps" (JRK p. 84; SCV p.


George H. Moore, in his 1866 book Notes on the History of Slavery

in Massachusetts, documents that in 1788 Massachusetts, having instituted

a process of gradual emancipation of its slaves, passed a law stating

that blacks, mulattos, and Indians who came into the State and remained

two months would be publicly whipped (JRK p. 76).

In 1799 New York declared that children born to slaves after July

4, 1799 were to be free. In order to recoup the loss in value of

their slave holdings, New York slave owners shipped their slaves

South to be sold at auction (CA p. 133).

In 1798 and 1799, the legislatures of Virginia, inspired by James

Madison, and Kentucky, inspired by Thomas Jefferson, asserting their

belief that they had the sovereign right to nullify any illegal

or harmful acts of the Federal government, declared that both the

Alien and Sedition Acts, passed by the Federalist controlled Congress,

were unconstitutional and would not be enforced in their States

(WEW p. 289; SEM p. 354; JRK p. 164-65; MLD p. 22).

The Virginia Resolution declared in part that "the powers

of the Federal Government" are the result of a compact "to

which the States are parties." As such, the States are "duty

bound to interpose for arresting the progress" of "deliberate,

palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers not granted by

said compact" to the Federal Government (JLMC p. 106).

The Kentucky Resolution, drawn up by Jefferson, warned that allowing

the Federal Government to be the judge of the extent of its own

power stops "nothing short of despotism since those who administer

the Government and not the Constitution would be the measure of

their powers; that the several States who formed the instrument,

being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to

judge of the infraction; and that a nullification by those sovereignties

of all unauthorized acts done under color of that instrument is

the rightful remedy" (JLMC p. 106-07).

It was widely proposed by New England Federalists that the New

England States secede from the Union should Jefferson be elected

president in the election of 1800. The Federalist newspaper, the

Columbian Centinel, warned, "Tremble then in case of Jefferson’s

election, all ye holders of public funds, for your ruin is at hand."

Federalist John Adams, having lost his reelection bid, was so disgusted

at the outcome of the election that he refused to welcome Jefferson

or attend his inauguration (WEW p. 290, 292).

In 1804, New Jersey adopted a mode of gradual emancipation of slaves

that was to take effect in 1827. Slaves born before 1804 were to

remain slaves for life. These remaining slaves were referred to

as "colored apprentices for life." Children of slaves

born after July 4, 1804, were "free," but had to remain

as servants of their masters. Females had to labor in this way until

age 21, and males until age 25. In 1850 there were 236 slaves for

life in New Jersey. The 1860 United States census officially enumerated

18 slaves in New Jersey.

The method of gradual emancipation used in the North respected

"property" rights of the Northern slave holders, many

of whom sold their slaves South and recouped their investment–an

investment that wasn’t especially profitable in the North, anyway

(JRK p. 75; GKW).

New England Federalists, already enraged over the Louisiana Purchase,

feared that their influence in the affairs of government would be

further diminished as western and southern territories applied for

admission into the Union. Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts, in a speech

to the House of Representatives, spoke of Western "Representatives

and Senators from the Red River and Missouri pouring themselves

upon this and the other floor, managing the concerns of a seaboard

fifteen hundred miles at least from their residence" (WEW p.

308, 333). During debate in Congress on Jan. 14, 1811 over the admission

of Louisiana as a state, Josiah Quincy declared,

"If this bill passes, it is my deliberate opinion that it

is virtually a dissolution of the Union; that it will free the States

from their moral obligation; and as it will be the right of all,

so it will be duty of some, definitely to prepare for a separation–amicably

if they can, violently if they must" (WEW p. 331; GLD p. 28;

SDC p. 28).

American ship owners and merchants, especially in New England,

were very much against United States participation in the War of

1812. New England Federalists organized political and economic opposition

to the United States war effort. New England merchants and privateers

carried on illicit and profitable commerce with British merchant

ships and conducted business with the British army in Canada in

defiance of the United States embargo against trade with England

(GLD p. 33; WEW p. 329-33; MLD p. 8). A few of the more outspoken

members of the Federalist party even advocated a separate peace

between New England and Great Britain (GLD p. 32). The governors

of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, exercised their

sovereign States’ rights by refusing President Madison’s call for

their State militias to aid in the war effort against the British

(WEW p. 327; JLMC p. 114-15).

New England newspapers boldly advocated secession during the War

of 1812, arguing that "the Federal constitution is nothing

more than a treaty between independent sovereignties […] and that

any state had a right to withdraw" (WEW p. 333).

The January 13, 1813, edition of the Boston Centinel editorialized

approvingly on secession as the imminent remedy for New England’s

perceived inadequate voice in the governing of the United States

by stating,

"The sentiment is hourly extending, and, in these northern

states, will soon be universal, that we are in no better condition

with respect to the south, than that of a conquered people […]

We must be no longer deafened by senseless clamours about a separation

of the states […] Should the present administration, with their

adherents in the southern states, still persist in the prosecution

of this wicked and ruinous war–in unconstitutionally creating

new states in the mud of Louisiana (the inhabitants of which country

are as ignorant of republicanism as the alligators of the swamps)

and in opposition to the commercial rights and privileges of New

England, much as we deprecate a separation of the union, we deem

it an evil much less to be dreaded that a co-operation with them

in these nefarious projects" (GLD p. 30-31).

On February, 14 1814, with the United States still at war with

England, both houses of the Massachusetts State Legislature passed

a resolution that read, "The question of New England’s withdrawal

from the Union is not a question of power or of right to separate,

but only a question of time and expediency." On October 8,

1814, a committee of the Massachusetts legislature called for a

December 15th convention of New England States in Hartford, Connecticut

for the purpose of considering the secession of the Eastern States

from the Union and the creation of a New England confederacy (SEM

p. 383; WEW p. 331-33; SDC p. 28).

The September 10, 1814, edition of the Boston Centinel opined,

"I have, for many years, considered the Union of the Northern

and Southern States as not essential to the safety, and very much

opposed to the interests, of both sections. The extent of territory

is too large to be harmoniously governed by the same representative

body […] The commercial and non-commercial states have views and

interests so different, that I conceive it to be impossible that

they ever can be satisfied with the same laws […] each section

will be better satisfied to govern itself: and each is large and

populous enough for its own protection […]" (GLD p. 31).

The December 15, 1814, edition of the Boston Centinel argued,

"By a commercial treaty with England, which shall provide

for the admission [into the New England republic] of such states

as may wish to come into it, and which shall prohibit England from

making a treaty with the South and West, our commerce will be secured

to us, our standing in the nation raised to its proper level; and

New England’s feelings will no longer be sported with or her interests

violated" (GLD p. 32; GE p. 112).

The Missouri Compromise of 1820, limiting slavery to South of the

36°30′ parallel, while couched in terms of slavery, was really

a political compromise over a balance of Congressional power between

the industrial North and agrarian South. It was not concerned with

the plight of slaves. Balance was maintained with the new free State

of Maine offsetting the new slave State of Missouri. This debate

served to reinforce the sectional consciousness between North and

South (WEW p. 352-54).

Thomas Jefferson, now in private life, was greatly alarmed by the

Missouri Compromise. He considered it ill-conceived and suicidal

to the Union.

In a letter to Mark Langhorn Hill, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts,

on April 5, 1820, he wrote, "I congratulate you on the sleep

of the Missouri question–I wish I could say on its death;

but of this I dispair! The idea of a geographical line once suggested,

will brood in the minds of all those who prefer the gratification

of their ungovernable passions to the peace and Union of the country!"

(SDC p. 46).

On April 22, 1820, Jefferson wrote to John Holmes, U.S. Representative

from Maine, that this compromise "like a fire bell in the night,

awakened, and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as

the death 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 irritation will make it deeper and deeper!

I can say with conscious truth that there is not a man in earth

who would sacrifice more than I would, to relieve us from this heavy

reproach [of slavery] in any practical way. The cession of that

kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle, which would

not cost me a second thought. A general emancipation and expatriation

could be effected, and gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think

it might be. But, as it is, we have the wolf by the ears, and we

can neither hold him nor safely let him go! Justice is in the one

scale and self preservation in the other […]" (SDC p. 46).

Thomas Jefferson saw a scheme of defeated Federalists behind the

Missouri Compromise, using it as a means back into power. He asserted

that they were attempting to fan the flames of passion over slavery

and capitalize on the deepening North-South geographical consciousness

that the Compromise fueled in order to win back the Presidency.

On September 20, 1820, he wrote to William Pinckney, Senator from

Maryland: "the Missouri question is a mere party trick. The

leaders of Federalism, defeated in the schemes of obtaining power,

by rallying partizans [sic] to the principle of monarchism–a

principle of personal, not if local division, have changed their

tack […] They are taking advantage of the virtuous people, to

affect a division of parties, by a geographical line. They expect

that this will insure them on local principles, the majority they

could never obtain on principles of federalism; but they are still

putting their shoulder to the wrong wheel–they are wasting

jeremiads on the evils of slavery, as if we were advocates for it"

(SDC p. 46).

On December 29, 1820, Jefferson wrote to General Lafayette: "The

boisterous sea of liberty, indeed, is never without a wave, and

that from Missouri is now rolling toward us, but we shall ride over

it as we have all others. It is not a moral question, but one merely

of power. It’s object is to raise a geographical principle for the

choice of a President, and the noise will be kept up till that is

effected" (SDC p. 47).

On August 17, 1821 Jefferson wrote to General Henry Dearborn: "I

rejoice with you that the State of Missouri is at length a member

of our Union. Whether the question it excited is dead, or only sleepeth,

I do not know. I see only that it has given resurrection to the

Hartford Convention men. They have had the address by playing on

the honest feelings of our former friends to seduce them from their

kindred spirits, and to borrow their weight into the Federal scale.

Desperate of regaining power under political distinctions they have

adroitly wriggled into its seat again in the ascendency [sic], from

which their sins have hurled them" (SDC p. 47).

The South produced nothing that benefited from protectionist tariffs,

while at the same time Northern industrialists lobbied for tariffs

to protect their domestic interests from foreign competition (WEW

p. 513). The divisive sectionalizing effect of tariffs became clear

after the passage of the Tariff Act of 1816. To the people of the

South, inexpensive imported finished goods were welcome, and they

resented the idea of paying higher prices in order to benefit New

England manufacturing interests. Tariffs were boosted even higher

in 1824 (WEW p. 364-65; BBM p. 3).

Not satisfied with the 1824 tariff rates, protectionist interests

sought a further increase in tariffs. With the presidential election

of 1828 approaching, political maneuvering by both protectionists

and free-traders went awry resulting in tariffs being raised to

unprecedented new heights under the Tariff Act of 1828. Under this

"Tariff of Abominations", as John C. Calhoun of South

Carolina called it, a roar of protests arose from the agrarian South

(WEW 365-68).

The famous Senate debate between Daniel Webster and Robert Y. Hayne

in January of 1830 epitomized the continuing Federalist vs. Antifederalist–or

nationalistic vs. States’ rights–battle of interpreting the

Constitutional authority of the Federal government. Hayne, speaking

first, emphasized the understanding that the citizens who gathered

to create a federal government were representing the interests of

the citizens of their respective States. In rebuttal, Webster minimized

the fact that these founding citizen’s first concern was to the

welfare of their own State and, instead, emphasized their coming

together en masse. By de-emphasizing the State as a political entity,

Webster attempted to minimize the relationship between a State and

its citizens and sought to build up the importance of the Federal

government over that of the States. While the issue was still not

resolved, the nationalists inched their way forward while the States’

rights advocates seemed to lose some influence, thus placing the

South even more on the defensive (WEW p. 389-92; JLMC p. 108).

With it being largely unprofitable, especially with the large influx

of immigrants, slavery had long been on the decline in the North

(JRK p. 79-80). This was commonly accomplished through gradual or

conditional emancipation. Abolitionists, however, insisted that

slavery be abolished immediately, even though it was still a more

integral and vital part of the Southern economy. In January of 1831

the famous Boston abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, urged immediate

emancipation of slaves with no compensation to the slave owners.

Failing this, he advocated secession of the Northern States from

the Union.

Labor union leaders sought his attention regarding the slavery-like

conditions of Massachusetts cotton mill workers who worked much

longer hours that did slaves, and whose meager pay kept them in

living conditions worse than those of slaves. Garrison, bitterly

opposed to labor unions, was not interested. In the first issue

of his newspaper the Liberator Garrison lashed out against union

organizers for trying to "inflame the minds of our working

classes against the more opulent and to persuade them that they

are contemned and oppressed by a wealthy aristocracy" (WEW

p. 414-15).

In November of 1832, South Carolina exercised the belief in States’

rights by passing an Ordinance of Nullification in response to the

new federal tariff law of 1832, itself a revision of the 1828 "Tariff

of Abominations." The federal tariff law of 1832 was declared

"null, void and no law, not binding upon this state, its officers

or citizens." It was further stated that should the Federal

government attempt to enforce the tariff act, the people of South

Carolina would be absolved from their political connection to the

United States. President Jackson threatened to send in troops to

force South Carolina to collect the new tariff. Jackson finally

proposed a compromise tariff, while South Carolina wasn’t able to

muster support from other Southern States. In an 1833 retrospective

statement to a friend, Jackson accused South Carolina of trying

to form a Southern Confederacy (WEW p. 393-94; MLD p. 19, 31).

In 1845, John Quincy Adams and other Northern Congressmen declared

that the controversial proposed annexation of Texas would be just

grounds for dissolution of the Union. The Legislature of Massachusetts,

along with other New England States, declared they were under no

obligation to recognize the annexation. The joint Standing Committee

on Federal Relations of the Massachusetts Legislature stated in


"When Massachusetts is asked to violate the fundamental provisions

of that Constitution as well known as her own, she unhesitatingly

throws herself back on her rights as an independent State. She cannot

forget that she had an independent existence and a constitution

before the Union was formed" (JLMC p. 129).

Of the $107.5 million in import tariffs collected on goods entering

the United States during the 1830s and 1840s, $90 million or approximately

83% was collected from Southern ports of entry. In 1860, about 87%

of total tariff revenue was collected in Southern ports (CA p. 27).

On January 20, 1848, Illinois Congressman Abraham Lincoln affirmed

the spirit of the Declaration of Independence in a portion of a

speech before Congress.

"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power,

have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government,

and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable,

a most sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is

to liberate the world. Nor is this a right confined to cases in

which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise

it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and

make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit"

Congressional Globe, Volume XIX, page 94 (GLD p. 67; SDC p. 87;

BBM p. 296).

In light of the famous 1850 Congressional oratories of Senators

John C. Calhoun, William H. Seward and others over the admission

of California into the Union and the slave status of the territories

of New Mexico and Utah, it became evident that the famous and unresolved

Federalist versus Antifederalist debate over the nature of American

federalism that began during the writing and ratification of the

United States Constitution was among the core issues of the South’s

War for Independence. By now, a North-South division within the

Congress of the United States had taken place, a division which

took place between Northern Republicans and Southern Democrats.

John C. Calhoun argued for Southern self-determination, and contended

that the Northern States were using the national government to aggressively

move against slavery and Southern commercial prosperity through

protectionist policies that favored Northern interests (MLD p. 9).

The resulting Compromise of 1850, while seeking to stave off a secessionist

movement by Southern States, actually agitated pro-slavery and anti-slavery

factions by having the effect of nullifying the Missouri Compromise

of 1820 and introducing the explosive Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

(WEW p. 455-59).

In 1852 Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was

published. Writing from abolitionist stereotypes, Mrs. Stowe had

never been to the South and had no first-hand knowledge of slavery.

Nonetheless, her book filled the imaginations of Northerners with

evil white Southerners reveling in beating their thousand-dollar

slaves (WEW p. 466).

Seen as a threat to white laborers, blacks were widely disenfranchised

in Northern States, especially during the 1850s and 60s. It was

not until after the War that these so-called "black codes"

showed up in the South. Free blacks not only had restrictions placed

on opportunities to earn a living, but also upon opportunities for

education, for the privilege to vote, and even whether they could

legally reside in a given State (JRK p. 55-57, 77; CA p. 130; BBM

p. 170-72).

In 1851, the Indiana constitution was changed to state that "no

negro or mulatto shall come into or settle in the state […]"

(JRK p. 55; BBM p. 171).

1853 Illinois law prevented "the immigration of free negroes

into this State." In 1862 the citizens of Illinois amended

their State constitution to say that "No Negro or mulatto shall

immigrate or settle in this state […]" (JRK p. 55, 77; CA

p. 130; BBM p. 171).

Oregon’s constitution, adopted on November 9, 1857, stated that

"[n]o free negroe or mulatto, not residing in this state at

the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall come, reside

or be within this state […]" (JRK p. 55; BBM p. 172).

New Jersey and Massachusetts had also placed similar restrictions

on blacks (JRK p. 55).

In a chain of events that began on March 11, 1854, with the rescue

by Sherman M. Booth of fugitive slave, Joshua Glover, from imprisonment

under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the State of Wisconsin declared

this Federal law and a similar one of 1793 to be unconstitutional.

In words reminiscent to those of 1798 Kentucky and Virginia over

the Alien and Sedition Acts, Wisconsin declared that the assumed

authority of the Federal Judiciary in this case and the Fugitive

Slave Act to be "void and of no force" within her boundaries.

Wisconsin was asserting its States’ rights–that is, state

sovereignty–one of which was nullification.

Booth was arrested and confined by a Federal Marshal. On May 27,

1854 Judge A. D. Smith of the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed with

Mr. Booth’s contention that the Fugitive Act was unconstitutional.

The full Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed Judge Smith’s ruling on

July 19, 1854. The State court ordered Booth released (SDC p. 74-75).

During a message to the Wisconsin legislature in 1858 Republican

Governor Alexander W. Randal denounced the encroachment of the Federal

Government upon the reserved rights and sovereignty of the States,

as typified in the enforcement of the Federal Fugitive Slave Laws.

"The tendency of the action of the Federal Government has

been for many years, aided by the Federal Courts, to centralization,

and to an absorption of a large share of the sovereignty of the

States. It has trspassed [sic] upon the reserved rights of the States

and the people–assuming a jurisdiction over them in their

exercise of power undeligated. The Federal Government, so far as

there is any sovereignty under our form of Government, is sovereign

and independent in the exercise of its delegated powers, and the

States are sovereign and independent in the exercise of their reserved

powers. The safety of the States in the exercise of these powers,

in defense of the lives and properties and liberties of the people,

demands a fair, deliberate opposition and resistance to any attempt

at usurpation or aggression by the Federal Government, its Courts,

its officers, or agents upon the reserved rights of the States or

its people" (SDC p. 83; SEM p.601).

The United States Supreme Court reversed the Wisconsin Supreme

Court on March 7, 1859.

On March 19, 1859, the Republican controlled Wisconsin Legislature

passed a joint resolution in support of the Wisconsin Supreme Court

that stated in part,

"Whereas, The Supreme Court of the United States as assumed

appellate jurisdiction, in the matter of the application of Sherman

M. Booth, for a writ of habeas corpus […]

And Whereas, Such assumption of power and authority by the Supreme

Court of the United States to become the final arbiter of the liberty

of the citizen, and to override and nullify the judgments of the

State Courts […]

Resolved, the Senate concurring, That we regard the action of the

Supreme Court of the United States in assuming jurisdiction in the

case before mentioned, as arbitrary act of power unauthorized by

the Constitution and virtually superceding [sic] the benefit of

the writ of habeas corpus, and prostrating the rights and liberties

of the people, at the foot of unlimited power.

Resolved, That this usurpation of jurisdiction by the Federal Judiciary,

in the said case, and without process, is an act of undeligated

power, and therefore, without authority, void and of no force.

Resolved, That the Government framed by the Constitution of the

United States, was not made the exclusive or final judge of the

extent of the powers delegated to itself […]

Resolved,[…] that the General Government is the exclusive judge

of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short

of despotism, since the discretion of those who administer the Government,

and not the Constitution, would be the measure of their powers–that

the several states which formed that instrument, being sovereign

and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction,

and that a positive defiance of those sovereignties, of all unauthorized

acts, done, or attempted to be done, under color of that instrument,

is the rightful remedy" (SDC p. 84).

Taking advantage of the furvor over slavery in the territories,

the Republican Party was organized in 1854 at Jackson, Michigan

by gathering together the Whig remnant, Know-Nothings, Free-Soilers

and abolitionists. However, behind the scenes, party organizers

were more intent in controlling the national government, "obtain

federal subsidies for railroads and steamship lines, and have their

own way with the currency, the public lands and the tariff"

(WEW p. 466-67).

Speaking on October 16, 1854 in Peoria, Illinois, Lincoln acknowledged

the difficulty facing white society of the day in abolishing slavery.

He also voiced what he saw as the likely solution over time – gradual

emancipation and then sending blacks in the United States to Liberia,


"When Southern people tell us that they are no more responsible

for the origin of slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When

it is said that the institution exists and that it is very difficult

to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate

the saying […] If all earthly power were given me, I should not

know what to do as to the existing institution. My first impulse

would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia–their

native land […] We cannot make them equals. It does seem to me

that systems of gradual emancipation might be adopted; but for their

tardiness in this I will not undertake to judge our brethren of

the South" (BBM p. 184).

While some in the North decried slavery, Northern industrial demand,

Northern and European consumer demand, and Northern financiers kept

slavery viable in the South. The English received over 80% of exported

American cotton and employed about four hundred thousand workers

in their cotton mills (WEW p. 526).

Unlike most leading politicians of the day, some abolitionists

were unwilling to compromise on the issue of slavery, even to the

point of dissolving the Union. In 1856 abolitionist Garrison proclaimed,

"This Union is a lie! The American Union is an imposition–a

covenant with death, and an agreement with hell! […] I am for

its overthrow! […] Up with the flag of disunion, that we may have

a free and glorious Republic of our own; and when the hour shall

come, the hour will have arrived that shall witness the overthrow

of slavery" (SDC p. 56, 100).

Where the abolitionist speeches, sermons and editorials left off,

fanatical abolitionist, John Brown, picked up. He didn’t hesitate

to spill the blood of slave holders and others as necessary to do

his part in eradicating slavery.

On May 24, 1856, Brown led a raid on Pottawatomie, Kansas in which

five unarmed men were dragged from their beds at night and murdered

because of their pro-slavery views (WEW p. 476; SEM p. 601).

Brown sought to form a republic of fugitive slaves in the Appalachians

from which war would be waged against those States in which slavery

was still legal (WEW p. 501; SEM p. 601). On October 16, 1859, Brown

led his invasion into Virginia to seize the United States arsenal

at Harpers Ferry. As part of his plan, he would distribute the captured

arms to the many blacks whom Brown thought would eagerly join in

the uprising. To his bewilderment, no blacks came to his side. Even

the few slaves he came in contact with at a nearby plantation would

have nothing to do with him. Ironically, the first man killed in

the raid was a free black man who was shot while running away after

Brown’s men had ordered him to stop. Brown was captured by a detachment

of United States troops under the command of Colonel Robert E. Lee

on October 17. He was tried for treason, murder, and conspiracy

with slaves to rebel and found guilty. He was hanged on December

2, 1859. Abolitionists now had a martyr, and Southern fears were

ignited. (WEW p. 501-02; SEM p. 602, 605).

The South held its breath as it awaited Northern opinion over John

Brown’s execution. While most Northern opinion was against Brown,

a few prominent voices began to raise him up as a saintly martyr.

Ralph Waldo Emerson fueled Southern fears as he wrote, "That

new saint, than whom nothing purer or more brave was ever led by

love of men into conflict and death […] will make the gallows

glorious like the cross" (SEM p. 602).

Some Northern newspapers also contributed to the mounting North-South

tension after Brown’s execution. The Fort Atchison, Wisconsin Standard

was typical of the outbreak of Northern abolitionist sympathy of


"John Brown Dead–The first act in the tragedy has been

performed. The great State of Virginia has played the hangman’s

part, and is crowned with its bloody honors […] No mercy was expected

for the victim of southern vengeance. But the end is not yet […]

A wall of bayonets may guard the hideous bastile of cruelty and

wrong, but cannot obstruct the march of the free legions that will

spring forth from their slumber, and make the earth tremble beneath

their tread.

"Now may God help the right! and give us tongues of fire, and

hands that shall never weary, to wage an eternal crusade against

the diabolical sin of slavery.

"Peaceful be the sleep of the murdered Brown, and glorious

his awakening" (SDC p. 65).

In 1857, New Englanders held a convention at the industrial city

of Worcester, Massachusetts to determine whether they should secede

from the Southern States in direct response to the lowering of protectionist

trade tariffs pushed by Southern Democrats in Congress (WEW p. 514).

Northern bankers and manufacturing interests blamed the panic of

1857 and its lower prices on the Southern opposition to these tariffs.

Southern opposition votes also defeated attempts to obtain Federal

subsidies for improving transportation and communications that would

further benefit Northern industry and commerce (SEM p. 602-03).

During the fourth Lincoln-Douglas debate on September 18, 1858,

in Charleston, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln emphatically stated his

view of the role blacks in American society.

"I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in

any way the social and political equality of the white and black

races; that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters

of the free negroes, or jurors, or qualifying them to hold office,

or having them marry with white people. I will say in addition that

there is a physical difference between the white and black races

which, I suppose, will forever forbid the two races living together

upon terms of social and political equality; and inasmuch as they

cannot so live, that while they do remain together, there must be

the position of the superiors and the inferiors; and that I, as

much as any other man, am in favor of the superior position assigned

to the white man" (WEW p. 500; JRK p. 27; MLR p. 113).

Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, believing that slavery

was necessary and that the black man must be subject to the white

man, wrote in December of 1859, "I would not if I could abolish

or modify slavery" (WEW p. 519).

Judging from its May 18, 1860, convention in Chicago, the Republican

party was a Northern party. The convention platform advocated no

slavery in the territories of the United States, but stressed a

noninterference policy regarding slavery in the States where it

already existed. The platform also advocated a protectionist tariff

(WEW p. 505; SEM p. 602).

Lincoln’s election on November 6, 1860, was made possible by a

North-South split in the Democratic party, and was solely along

a sectional dividing line between the North and South. He received

little if any of the popular vote south of Virginia, and only 2000

votes in Virginia. He received only 40 percent of the popular vote

nationwide (WEW p. 506-10). His election was considered by many

to have been an accident, even among those who served in his own

administration (WEW p. 522).

On November 26, 1860, Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune wrote,

"If the cotton states unitedly and earnestly wish to withdraw

peacefully from the Union, we think they should and would be allowed

to do so. Any attempt to compel them by force to remain, would be

contrary to the principles enunciated in the immortal Declaration

of Independence–contrary to the fundamental ideas on which

human liberty is based" (SDC p. 86).

While many Northern editorials were advocating a peaceful and calm

attitude should any Southern States decide to secede, others in

the North were thinking ahead to the possible negative consequences

to federal subsidies to the Northern industrial infrastructure,

to trade, and to commerce. After all, over 80% of federal tariff

revenue was generated in Southern ports and the Northern shipping

was highly dependent on both Southern and foreign trade. One such

expression of concern came from the December 10, 1860 Chicago Daily


"In one single blow our foreign commerce must be reduced to

less than one-half what it now is. Our coastwide trade would pass

into other hands. One-half of our shipping would lie idle at our

wharves. We should lose our trade with the South, with all of its

immense profits. Our manufactories would be in utter ruins. Let

the South adopt the free-trade system, or that of a tariff for revenue,

and these results would likely follow"(CA p. 23, 27).

Horace Greeley, expressing the majority of Northern sentiment at

the time, stated in the December 17, 1860 New York Tribune,

"If it [the Declaration of Independence] justified the secession

from the British Empire of three millions of colonists in 1776,

we do not see why it would not justify the secession of five millions

of Southerners from the Federal Union in 1861" (GE p. 164,

SDC p. 87; BBM p. 297).

Republicans having won the congressional elections of 1858, Lincoln’s

election in 1860 "placed Northern interests in control of the

national government (MLD p. 34), their nationalism and the Southern

commitment to state sovereignty crystallized" (MLD p. 8). Feeling

that the economic, political, and sovereign interests of the States

of the South were in danger, a conference of South Carolina state

leaders in October of 1860 decided to secede from the Union if Lincoln

were elected President (WEW p. 511). To these States, the reserved

sovereign right of secession was the only peaceable escape from

a central government that had become the judge of its own authority

(MLD p. 52). On December 20, 1860, prior to Lincoln’s swearing in,

the state convention declared South Carolina to be out of the Union

(WEW p. 511).

Robert Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina, on the day of his State’s

secession from the Union, cited Wisconsin State Supreme Court Judge

Smith in the Booth case as precedent for State action in response

to wrongs committed by the Federal Government.

"Sir, the North threaten to fight us back into the Union,

after we shall have taken our stand for Southern Independence. They

now deny the right of a State to judge of its own grievances and

to apply its own remedies, notwithstanding for years, many Northern

States, Wisconsin in particular, have asserted this right for themselves.

I want no better license for our action to-day than the decision

of Judge Smith in the Rescue cases of Wisconsin" (SDC p. 85).

Once the consequences of secession of the Southern States to Federal

revenue became clear, some Northern editorials were less gracious

toward the South. The December 21, 1860, issue of the Philadelphia

Press prophesied the nature of the actions that the North would

shortly take in preserving her economic interests.

"The government cannot well avoid collecting the federal revenues

at all Southern ports, even after the passage of secession ordinances;

and if this duty is discharged, any State which assumes a rebellious

attitude will still be obliged to contribute revenue to support

the Federal Government or have her commerce entirely destroyed"

(CA p. 24).

In December, 1860 the Chicago Tribune stated,

"Not a few of the republican journals of the interior are

working themselves up to the belief, which they are endeavoring

to impress upon their readers, that the seceded States, be they

few or many, will be whipped back in the Union […] but the drift

of opinion seems to be that, if peaceable secession is possible,

the retiring States will be assisted to go, that this needless and

bitter controversy may be brought to an end. If the Union is to

be dissolved, a bloodless separation is by all means to be coveted.

Do not let us make that impossible" (SDC p. 101).

In a speech before the Senate on December 25, 1860, Senator Stephan

A. Douglas voiced his political convictions regarding the motives

of the more radical Republicans:

"The fact can no longer be disguised that many of the Republican

Senators desire war and disunion, under the pretext of saving the

Union. They wish to get rid of the Southern States, in order to

have a majority in the Senate to confirm the appointments, and many

of them think they can hold a permanent Republican majority in the

Northern States, but not in the whole Union; for partisan reasons

they are anxious to dissolve the Union, if it can be done without

holding them responsible before the people" (SDC p. 53).

Along with their position within the Union, the Southern States

were turning their backs on what they perceived as the deterioration

of American constitutional federalism as originally set in place

by the Founding Fathers (MLD p. 1-5). Author Marshall L. DeRosa

summarizes the issue.

"But by 1861, the political divisions between North and South

regarding constitutional exegesis were so entrenched that the Constitution

ceased to be the instrument of a ‘more perfect union’ and rather

served as the vehicle for dissension and separation […] Northerners

insisted upon a model of federalism consisting of a national community

of individuals, with sovereignty being a national phenomenon–that

is, nationalism–whereas Southerners adhered to a model consisting

of a community of states, with the citizens in their respective

states functioning as the repositories of sovereignty and thereby

controlling the bulwarks of their social and economic interests–that

is, state sovereignty" (MLD p. 8-9).

The January 15, 1861, Philadelphia Press clarified that losing

the South as a source of Federal revenue, and not the secession

of the Southern States as such, was their real concern. The Southern

States could not be forced to collect revenue for Washington without

Northern military occupation of the forts located in Southern ports.

"It is the enforcement of the revenue laws, not the coercion

of the State that is the question of the hour. If those laws cannot

be enforced, the Union is clearly gone; if they can, it is safe"

(CA p. 24).

In a speech before the House of Representatives on January 15,

1861, John H. Reagan of Texas expressed the persistent frustration

of the South concerning the imbalance of the source of collected

Federal revenue. In doing so, he also highlighted those things which

were to be the primary purpose for which the North would go to war

to protect.

"You are not content with the vast millions of tribute we

pay you annually under the operation of our revenue laws, our navigation

laws, your fishing bounties, and by making your people our manufacturers,

our merchants, our shippers. You are not satisfied with the vast

tribute we pay you to build up your great cities, your railroads,

your canals. You are not satisfied with the millions of tribute

we have been paying you on account of the balance of exchange which

you hold against us. You are not satisfied that we of the South

are almost reduced to the condition of overseers of northern capitalists.

You are not satisfied with all this; but you must wage a relentless

crusade against our rights and institutions" (CA p. 80-81).

Secretary of State William Seward, during a Cabinet meeting in

the first month of the Lincoln administration, stated,

"The attempt to reinforce Sumter will provoke an attack and

involve war. The very preparation for such an expedition will precipitate

war at that point. I oppose beginning war at that point. I would

advise against the expedition to Charleston. I would at once, at

every cost, prepare for war at Pensacola and Texas. I would instruct

Major Anderson to retire from Sumter" (GE p. 160).

Governor Letcher of Virginia, while an advocate of the legal right

of a State to secede from the Union, spoke against the secession

movement precipitated by South Carolina (BBM p. 248-49). The Virginia

Assembly called for a convention in the City of Washington on February

4, 1861, of as many States "as are willing to unite with Virginia

in an earnest effort to adjust the present unhappy controversies"

(BBM p. 250).

The Virginia Assembly called for a State convention to debate the

course of action that the State should take in the current secession

crisis. At the same time, Virginia voters cast ballots in a general

election on February 4, 1861 to register their opinion. By a vote

of 100,536 to 45,161 the voters of Virginia declared their rejection

of secession, and that the findings of the State convention would

be subject to voter approval. The Convention opened on February

13, 1861. The main question that concerned the delegates was the

attitude that the new Federal administration would have toward the

seceded States. (BBM p. 256-59)

As recorded in the Congressional Globe on February 11, 1861, the

United States House of Representatives passed a resolution with

unanimous Republican support that stated in part:

"Resolved, that neither the Federal Government, nor the people,

or Governments of non-slave holding States, have a purpose or a

Constitutional right to legislate upon, or interfere with slavery

in any of the States of the Union" (SDC p. 150).

Commercial interests in the North were greatly disturbed over the

secession of the Southern States, fearing great financial harm to

Northern shipping from the lower import tariffs at Southern ports.

An editorial in the February 19, 1861, Manchester, New Hampshire

Union Democrat voiced the common concerns of Northern shipping interests.

"The Southern Confederacy will not employ our ships or buy

our goods. What is our shipping without it? Literally nothing. The

transportation of cotton and its fabrics employs more ships than

all other trade. It is very clear that the South gains by this process,

and we lose. No–we MUST NOT let the South go!" (JRK p.


On February 23, 1861, Horace Greeley wrote in the New York Tribune:

"We have repeatedly said and we once more insist that the

great principle embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration of American

Independence that governments derive their just powers from the

consent of the governed is sound and just; and that if the Slave

States, the Cotton States, or the Gulf States only, choose to form

an independent nation they have a clear moral right to do so"

(BBM p. 297).

In an attempt to keep Southern States from leaving the Union, a

thirteenth amendment to the Constitution, very different from the

current one, was whittled out of the Crittenden Compromise by both

Republicans and Democrats, with Lincoln’s approval and even his

signature. It was approved by Congress on February 28, 1861, and

submitted to the States for ratification on March 2, 1861. It declared:

"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will

authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere,

within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including

that of persons held to labor orservice by the laws of said State."

The States of Maryland and Ohio ratified it before the War broke

out (WEW p. 520-21; SEM p. 609; CA p. 128).

On March 2, 1861, Congress passed the Morrill Tariff, and with

it the highest tariffs in American history. With this one act, Congress

further alienated the South, and aggravated Northern fears of foreign

goods abandoning Northern ports for lower tariffs in the South.

Now, with this high tariff on goods imported into the United States,

and the announced intentions of a low tariff in the Southern States

that had seceded, the secession of the Southern States took on a

new and threatening look to Northern industrial interests. By the

close of March, 1861, a growing panic over the future of Federal

revenues was echoed in newspaper editorials throughout most of the

North. The press had largely turned from "let the South go

in peace" to a call to war to preserve economic prosperity

(CA p. 23, 63-70, 81). The March 2, 1861, New York Evening Post

, in an editorial entitled What Shall Be Done for a Revenue, opined,

"That either the revenue from duties must be collected in

the ports of the rebel states, or the port must be closed to importations

from abroad, is generally admitted. If neither of these things be

done, our revenue laws are substantially repealed; the sources which

supply our treasury will be dried up; we shall have no money to

carry on the government; the nation will become bankrupt before

the next crop of corn is ripe. There will be nothing to furnish

means of subsistence to the army; nothing to keep our navy afloat;

nothing to pay the salaries of public officers; the present order

of things must come to a dead stop" (CA p. 24).

On March 4, 1861, Lincoln reiterated his support of the constitutional

protection afforded to slavery in his first inaugural address.

"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" (PMA p. 215; BBM p. 6).

He then went on to assure the Nation of his support of the Fugitive

Slave Act of 1850.

"There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives

from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written

in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:

"’No person held to service or labor in one state, under the

laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any

law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor,

but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service

or labor may be due.’

"It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended

by those who made it, for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive

slaves; and the intention of the lawgiver is the law" (PMA

p. 215-16).

In his March 4, 1861, inaugural address, Lincoln placed the seceded

States on notice; that he was willing to resort to bloodshed to

nullify the secession of the Southern States, to repossess former

U.S. federal properties in the South, and to collect import tariffs

from Southern ports (BBM p. 264).

"I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins

upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all

the states. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part;

and I shall perform it, so far as practicable, unless my rightful

masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means,

or, in some authoritative manner, direct to the contrary. I trust

this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared

purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend, and maintain


"In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence;

and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon the national authority.

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; but beyond what may be necessary for these

objects, there will be no invasion […]" (PMA p. 218-19; SEM


By the time of his inauguration, Lincoln had formulated his argument

against the legality of secession. Ignoring the roots of his own

country, his argument was that the Union predated the States, was

unbroken beginning with the Articles of Association in 1774 and,

therefore, secession was impossible (Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address;

PMA p. 117; FWS p. 135). Among the criticisms of Lincoln’s position


That he overlooks the fact that the colonies had declared themselves

"Free and Independent States" in their Declaration of

Independence from England in 1776–a fact acknowledged by England

as well (GLD p. 71).

He ignores his own earlier affirmation of the precepts of human

liberty and the consent of the governed spelled out in the Declaration

of Independence (FWS p. 135, Congressional Globe, Volume XIX, page

94; GLD p. 67; SDC p. 87; BBM p. 296).

His view was contrary to the fact that the Union would come into

existence only after nine of the thirteen States ratified the Constitution.

Clearly, the States that did not immediately ratify the Constitution

did not blink out of existence once it was ratified by the requisite

nine States. Instead, they maintained their independent status under

their own duly instituted State constitutions until such time as

they too voluntarily ratified the new Constitution. The States were

offering to one another the opportunity to enter into a new voluntary

covenant, one that was to replace the previous relationship under

the Articles of Confederation (GLD p. 69-71).

That he overlooks the fact that some of the States had reserved

the right to recall the powers they had delegated to the federal

government prior to their entrance into the Union (FWS p. 135).

Finally, one may wonder at how the millions of citizens in the

States that seceded were denied their opportunity to peacefully

determine their own destiny. The duly elected governments of the

States had now become subservient to the will of the Federal Government,

effectively nullifying much of the original intent of the Constitution

and the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln had indicted the population

of the South for treason for doing nothing more than what the patriots

of 1776 had done. (FWS p. 136).

President Buchanan had declared that he could find no constitutional

authority for using force against any State that seceded. However,

contrary to the views he held as a Congressman in 1848, President

Lincoln declared, in effect, "I have taken an oath to uphold

the Constitution, which means, in my opinion, a union of the states.

I shall do anything in my power to sustain the Constitution and

the union, regardless of the constitutional aspect of what I do"

(WEW p. 525).

Rumor and speculation as to Lincoln’s intentions toward the South

led the March 6, 1861, edition of the New York Herald to write,

"We have no doubt Mr. Lincoln wants the Cabinet at Montgomery

to take the initiative by capturing the two forts in its waters,

for it would give him the opportunity of throwing upon the Southern

Confederacy the responsibility of commencing hostilities. But the

country and posterity will hold him just as responsible as if he

struck the first blow […]" (GLD p. 95).

On March 8, 1861, George W. Brent, a delegate to the Virginia State

Convention to debate the direction of the State, spoke words that

were representative of that body.

"Recognizing as I have always done, the right of a state to

secede, to judge of the violation of its rights and to appeal to

its own mode for redress, could not uphold the Federal Government

in any attempt to coerce the seceding states to bring them back

into the Union" (BBM p. 265-67).

Lincoln sought to influence the Virginia Convention to adjourn

without making a decision of secession, and without his assurance

that he would not attempt to coerce the seceded States back into

the Union (BBM p. 270).

In the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, its framers

sought to eliminate ambiguities that gave rise to the grievances

that led to the secession of the Southern States, at the core of

which was the centralization of government to the detriment of the

States. The issue of States’ rights as a major cause of the secession

of the Southern States becomes clear in the issue of the Confederate

States Supreme Court. Although Article III of the C.S. Constitution,

adopted on March 11, 1861, establishes the Supreme Court, federal

encroachment upon States’ rights fostered by rulings of the U.S.

Supreme Court were still fresh in the minds of the C.S. Congress.

Author Marshall L. DeRosa relates,

"In response to a bill introduced in the C.S.A. Senate to

organize the Supreme Court, William Yancey of Alabama remarked in

no uncertain terms that ‘when we decide that the state courts are

of inferior dignity to this Court, we have sapped the main pillars

of this Confederacy.’"

As a result of this mindset, the actual establishment of the C.S.

Supreme Court never took place (MLD p.75-77).

Consistent with the South’s persistent objection to protectionist

trade tariffs, the C.S. Constitution explicitly forbade them (WEW

p. 513; MLD p. 94; SF p. 42).

"The Congress shall have power–

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, for revenue

necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and

carry on the Government of the Confederate States; but no bounties

shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes

on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster

any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall

be uniform throughout the Confederate States:" (emphasis added)(Article

1, Section 8, clause 1, Confederate States Constitution; MLD p.


As slavery was legal under the United States Constitution, so it

was in the Confederate States. Under the C.S. Constitution, slavery

was explicitly recognized as an institution of the States, whereas

in the U.S. Constitution the issue of slavery in general was intentionally

vague. As in the United States, the federal government of the Confederate

States was prohibited from interfering with slavery within the States.

The States of the Confederacy, however, were not constitutionally

required to recognize or continue the practice of slavery within

their own borders. In fact, several proposals to require that each

State continue to recognize slavery were not adopted during the

Constitutional Convention. The consensus, as voiced by Senator Albert

G. Brown of Mississippi, was that "each State is sovereign

within its own limits; and that each for itself can abolish or establish

slavery for itself" (MLD p. 68-71).

The C.S. Constitution did not explicitly provide for the right

of secession because it was assumed to be an act of sovereignty

that the States had not delegated or otherwise abdicated. After

all, they had just exercised this ultimate remedy themselves. In

the preamble to the C.S. Constitution, using the words "each

State acting in its own sovereign and independent character,"

the framers implicitly allowed for secession by emphasizing the

understanding of each State’s sovereign nature (MLD p. 53; SF p.


On March 12, 1861, three Confederate commissioners, who had come

to Washington seeking negotiations toward a peaceable separation

and offer payment for apportioned public debt and seized federal

property, addressed Secretary of State William Seward with an official

letter of intent. Having open the lower Mississippi River to the

free flow of commerce, the Confederate government expected reciprocal

gestures from Lincoln, including the evacuation of Fort Sumter (SF

p. 45). Seward, speaking only through Supreme Court Justice John

A. Campbell, assured the Confederate commissioners that the Union

troops in Fort Sumter in Charleston and Fort Pickens in Pensacola

would be evacuated in three days (WEW p. 522; SF p. 45-46).

In reply to Lincoln’s March 15, 1861, inquiry as to the advisability

of provisioning Fort Sumter, Secretary of State William Seward wrote,

"If it were possible to peaceably provision Fort Sumter, of

course, I should answer that it would be unwise and inhuman not

to attempt it. But the facts of the case are known to be that the

attempt must be made with the employment of military and marine

force which would provoke combat and probably initiate a civil war

which the Government of the United States would be committed to

maintain, through all changes, to some definite conclusion."

(CA p. 45; BBM p. 285)

On March 18, 1861, the Philadelphia Press demanded in part:

"Blockade Southern Ports. With no protective tariff, European

goods will under-price Northern goods in Southern markets. Cotton

for Northern mills will be charged an export tax. This will cripple

the clothing industries and make British mills prosper. Finally,

the great inland waterways, the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the

Ohio Rivers will be subject to Southern tolls" (CA p. 65).

On March 22-23, 1861, the economics editor of the New York Times

reversed his position and now advocated, "At once shut down

every Southern port, destroy its commerce and bring utter ruin on

the Confederate States" (CA p. 65).

Concern over the alarming reduction in Government and commercial

revenue due to the loss Southern ports of entry highlight a powerful

motivating force in regaining the South. The New York Times made

the following points on March 30, 1861:

The predicament in which both the Government and the commerce of

the country are placed, through the non-enforcement of our revenue

laws, is now thoroughly understood […] If the manufacturer at

Manchester [England] can send his goods into the Western States

through New Orleans at less cost than through New York, he is a

fool for not availing himself of his advantage […] If the importations

of the country are made through Southern ports, its exports will

go through the same channel. The produce of the West, instead of

coming to our own ports by the millions of tons, to be transported

abroad by the same ships through which we received our importations,

will seek other routes and other outlets. With the loss of our foreign

trade, what is to become of our public works, conducted at the cost

of many hundred millions of dollars, to turn into our harbor the

products of the interior? They share in the common ruin. So do our

manufacturers […] Once at New Orleans, goods may be distributed

over the whole country duty free […] We were divided and confused

till our pockets were touched (JRK p. 51-52).

On April 1, 1861, Justice Campbell returned to find out from Seward

why Sumter had not been evacuated as he had told the Southern envoys

it would be. Seward now told the shocked Campbell, "I am satisfied

the government will not undertake to supply Fort Sumter without

giving notice to Governor Pickens [of South Carolina]." As

Campbell relayed this latest development, the Southern envoys saw

that the this likely spelled trouble. In their report back to the

Confederate government in Montgomery they said, "The war wing

presses on the President; he vibrates to that side… Their form

of notice to us may be that of a coward, who gives it when he strikes"

(SF 46-47).

The April 5, 1861, New York Tribune reported,

"Many rumors are in circulation to-day. They appear to have

originated from movements on the part of the United States troops,

the reasons for which have not been communicated to the reporters

at Washington as freely as the late Administration was in the habit

of imparting Cabinet secrets. There can be no doubt that serious

movements are on foot" (SDC p. 51).

On April 6, having ordered back in March an armed navel expedition

to be ready to sail if needed, Lincoln ordered the ships to sail

for Fort Sumter (SF p. 47; FWS p. 78).

On April 8, 1861, the United States Government informed the authorities

at Charleston, South Carolina by messenger that they desired to

send an unarmed supply ship to Fort Sumter, backed by force if needed.

United States military vessels were reported off Charleston by April

10. Ignoring attempts to negotiate, Lincoln had backed the Confederacy

into a corner. Feeling that Washington had not acted in good faith

over Sumter, and fearing that the nearby Federal fleet would also

enter the harbor, they signaled their intent to fire upon the supply

ship should it enter the harbor, but the United States sent the

ship anyway. In response to the presence of the ship, the Southern

military in Charleston prepared to attack the Fort, having anticipated

the use of force by the Federal fleet to send military reinforcements.

On April 12, after a demand for surrender made to commanding officer

Major Anderson was denied, Fort Sumter was fired upon. An article

in the April 15, 1861, New York Tribune reported that "[t]he

armed ships which accompanied the supplies took no part in the contest"

(SDC p. 51-52; FWS p. 78; SF p. 47).

Not one man was killed on either side during the Southern bombardment

of Fort Sumter. After surrendering, Major Anderson dined as a guest

with Confederate commander General Beauregard (WEW p. 524).

While the attention of the South was on Fort Sumter, the Federal

fleet succeeded in reinforcing Fort Pickens in Pensacola with men

and supplies. It became clear that the entire episode at Charleston

had been a diversion from the Federal intent to reinforce Fort Pickens.

This plan had the additional benefit of provoking the South into

firing the first shot and a inciting war fervor in the North, thus

providing Lincoln with the political and popular cover he needed

in order to use force against the South (SDC p. 50-51; WEW p. 524).

The April 15 New York Post reported,

"Gen. Scott has been averse to the attempt to reinforce Fort

Sumter. He saw that it would cost men and vessels which the Government

could not spare just now […] He saw that the two keys of the position

were Fort Pickens, in the Gulf, and Washington, the Capital. His

plans, based on these facts, were at once laid […] Every hour

the traitors spent before Sumter gave them more surely into the

hands of the master. To make assurance doubly sure, he pretended

to leave Fort Pickens in the lurch […] The Government said not

a word–only asked of the traitors the opportunity to send

its own garrison a needed supply of food. They refused, fearing

the arrival of the Federal fleet […] Scarce had they begun [their

attack], when they saw with evident terror, ships hovering about

the harbor’s mouth; […] but no ships came in to Anderson’s help

[…] The position of affairs is this–Charleston is blockaded–Fort

Pickens is reinforced by troops, which the traitors foolishly believed

were destined for Sumter […] The traitors have, without the slightest

cause, opened the war […]" (SDC p. 52-53).

Lincoln biographer, J. G. Holland, explained in his 1865 work,

Life of Lincoln, why Lincoln did not call for armed force to suppress

the secession of Southern States before the fall of Fort Sumter.

"Up to the fall of Sumter, Mr. Lincoln had no basis for action

in the public feeling. If he had raised an army, that would have

been an act of hostility, that would have been coercion. A thousand

Northern presses would have pounced down on him as a provoker of

war. After the fall of Sumter was the time to act" (GE p. 167).

On April 13, 1861, Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to be raised

from State militias to march on those States which had seceded.

Up until this time, the citizens of the border States had voted

to remain in the Union. Practically overnight, Lincoln triggered

a change of sentiments in the border States. In response to the

Secretary of War regarding Virginia’s quota of troops, Governor

Letcher replied,

"I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not

be furnished to the powers at Washington for any such use or purpose

as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern States

and the requisition made upon me for such a object–an object

in my judgment not within the purview of the constitution or the

act of 1795, will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate

civil war; having done so we will meet you in a spirit as determined

as the Administration has exhibited toward the South."

In response to this action of the President, the Virginia Convention

adopted an ordinance of secession on April 17, 1861, and sent it

to the people of Virginia for ratification by a special vote set

for April 23. (BBM p. 279-82; SF p. 51-52). The secession of Virginia

was closely followed by Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina

(WEW p. 512; CA p. 29, 38; FWS p. 82-83; SEM p. 611-12).

While largely Southern in sentiment, Kentucky and Missouri were

divided, but did not secede. But Governor Magoffin responded to

Lincoln’s call to arms, "Kentucky will furnish no troops for

the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern states."

Likewise, Governor Jackson of Missouri replied, "Your requisition

is illegal, unconstitutional, revolutionary, inhuman, diabolical,

and cannot be complied with" (CA p. 38; SF p. 53). In both

states, however, secession conventions were held and each sent representatives

to the Confederate Congress. (This accounts for the twelfth and

thirteenth stars on the well-known Confederate battle flag.)

By defining the secession of the Southern States from the Union

as a "rebellion," Lincoln was able to justify mustering

an army to quell the "insurrection" under the Act of Congress

of 1795 which limited the use of the specially called militia to

thirty days after the beginning of the next session of Congress.

Lincoln delayed calling Congress into special session for at least

two and a half months, thus prolonging his use of the militia against

the South before he had to obtain congressional approval for his

actions. By this time, Lincoln had set the machine of war into motion,

and Congress was left to do little other than to appropriate funding

for Lincoln’s plans (GLD p. 109-11; WEW p. 525; CA p. 41, 44, 121-22).

This effectively preempted what Lincoln referred to in his inaugural

address as the ability of the American people to "withhold

the requisite means, or, in some authoritative manner" prevent

his using force against the seceded States.

The great majority of Confederate soldiers owned no slaves. The

1860 United States census revealed that about 25% of white Southern

families, or about 6% of the total white Southern population held

slaves (WEW p. 529; JRK p. 83, 86).

The loyalty of free black Southerners and even slaves toward the

Southern cause was counted on in some parts of the South. Along

with their white counterparts, there were free blacks who were anxious

to prove their bravery and patriotism against the invading Yankees

(ELJ p. 219). Even though the use of black volunteers in the Confederate

Army did not officially take place until the closing three months

of the War (ELJ p. 246), black volunteers were often employed in

state militias and local home guard units throughout the War (ELJ

p. 219; CKB p. 8-10). These black Confederates were often awarded

state pensions after the war based on their service to the Confederacy.

Historian Ervin L. Jordan documents that in 1928 the State of Virginia

awarded pensions to "black males who served on military details

or performed guard duty on behalf of the Confederacy" (ELJ

p. 226).

In June of 1861, Tennessee became the first State in the Confederacy

to authorize the use of free black soldiers. Black soldiers between

the ages of fifteen and fifty were paid $18 per month and received

the same rations and clothing as white soldiers. By September of

1861 two regiments of black soldiers were in Memphis (ELJ p. 218-19).

On July 4, 1861, before a special session of what was left of the

Congress, Lincoln rationalized his actions against the South as

he said, "These measures, whether strictly legal or not, were

ventured upon under what appeared to be a popular demand and public

necessity, trusting then as now that Congress would readily ratify

them" (GLD p, 111).

The legislature of Maryland was to convene on September 17, 1861.

Beginning on the night of September 12, under orders of Secretary

of War Simon Cameron, Major General Banks arrested all members of

the legislature who were suspected of having Southern sympathies.

These and other influential citizens were seized and imprisoned

in Fort McHenry (CA p. 41). There were no charges against them of

having committed overt acts of disloyalty or treason. They "appealed

to Chief Justice [Roger Brooke] Taney who decided that they were

held illegally, but they were not released. In this action of President

Lincoln’s a most dangerous precedent was created. Through the acquiescence

of Congress, then in session, the president had become a dictator"

(WEW p. 525-26).

In November of 1861, elections were held in Maryland. Occupying

soldiers of the Union Army voted in these elections, even though

they were not citizens of Maryland. Soldiers were also stationed

at the polls with bayonets affixed to their rifles. It was a foregone

conclusion that only Union sympathizers would be elected. "The

elections were a fraud, and finally the democratic system of government

in Maryland breathed its last breath" (CA p. 41).

In 1861, John Hughes, Archbishop of New York, warned the U.S. War

Department that his flock was "willing to fight to the death

for the support of the constitution, the government, and the laws

of the country, [but not] for the abolition of slavery" (SEM

p. 666).

English author Charles Dickens, an avid student of the forces behind

America’s War of 1861, and an opponent of slavery, made the following

observation in an article entitled "American Disunion"

in the December 21, 1861, issue of his London periodical, All the

Year Round:

"The struggle between North and South has been of long duration.

The South having the lead in the federation had fought some hard

political battles to retain it… But in the last presidential election,

which was a trial of strength between South and North, the South

considering itself subject to the North within the federation, carried

out its frequent threat and desire of secession" (CA p. 88).

Dickens biographer, Peter Ackroyd, reiterated Dickens’ view on

the popular opinion regarding slavery and the war:

"The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than a piece

of specious humbug designed to conceal its desire for economic control

of the Southern states" (CA p. 89).

In his December 28, 1861, follow-up article, "The Morrill

Tariff", in his periodical All the Year Round, Dickens summarized

his observations of the harmful effects of protectionist tariffs

on the Southern economy being at the root of the North-South conflict:

"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? […] Every year, for some years back, this or

that Southern state had declared that it would submit to this extortion

only while it had not the strength for resistance. With the election

of Lincoln and an exclusive Northern party taking over the federal

government, the time for withdrawal had arrived […] The conflict

is between semi-independent communities [in which] every feeling

and interest [in the South] calls for political partition, and every

pocket interest [in the North] calls for union […] [T]he quarrel

between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel"

(CA p. 90-91).

Union soldiers from New York on patrol out of Newport News, Virginia

on December 22, 1861, were attacked by local Confederate forces

near Newport Bridge. The attacking Confederate force was made up

of cavalry and 700 armed blacks. Local Confederate fighting units

were often formed during times of Union raids, and then were disbanded

until needed again (ELJ p. 222).

Anthony Trollope, a British citizen traveling throughout the North

and South early in the War observed, "The South is seceding

from the North because the two are not homogeneous. They have different

instincts, different appetites, different morals, and a different

culture" (JRK p. 23).

In a message to Congress on March 6, 1862, Lincoln proposed compensation

to the owners of slaves in any state–including those in the

South–that would emancipate its slaves. This would have been

consistent with how many of the slaves were freed in Northern States.

Both Lincoln’s Cabinet and Congress rejected the proposal (WEW p.

543). However, Congress did pass an act abolishing slavery in the

District of Columbia. Lincoln signed the act on April 16, 1862.

Owners were compensated up to $300 apiece for their liberated slaves

(WEW p. 544; SDC p. 175).

To the surprise of many Yankee soldiers, many Southern blacks were

not slaves. Knowing of the South only through stereotypes and often

thinking that all Southern blacks were slaves, Yankee soldiers sometimes

accused free blacks of hiding their masters, especially if the person’s

home were nicely furnished. During such encounters, the Yankees

would often steal the free black person’s food and belongings, and

even destroy their homes (JRK p. 133-34).

The loyalty of Southern blacks in the presence of Yankee soldiers

was varied. Some slaves went over to the Union troops, while others

remained loyal to their white families (JRK p. 133-34). Rarely,

though, did Southern blacks give Yankee soldiers their complete

trust (ELJ p. 143).

Union soldiers reporting on the June, 1862 battle of Seven Pines

claimed that two black Confederate regiments proved themselves ruthless

opponents, showing no mercy to either dead or wounded Yankee soldiers

(ELJ p. 223).

The wife of Union general Ulysses S. Grant, a slave owner herself,

kept her slaves until the close of the War (WEW p. 518, 543).

In a letter dated August 22, 1862, to New York Tribune editor Horace

Greeley, Lincoln said,

"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union,

and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the

Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save

it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.

What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe

it helps to save the Union" (GE p. 218; SCV p. 5-6).

On August 25, 1862, Lincoln wrote a letter to Horace Greeley of

the New York Tribune in which he again stated,

"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would

do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would

do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others

alone; I would also do that" (WEW p. 508).

During the battle of Antietam in September of 1862 fully armed

black Confederate soldiers were observed as an integral part of

Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia (ELJ p. 223).

On September 24, 1862, Lincoln, having especially suffered the

criticism of the Northern Democrats or "Copperheads" since

he commenced hostilities against the South, suspended the writ of

habeas corpus (the right to a speedy and public trial), a right

guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. A Copperhead

was a Northern Democrat who was critical of Lincoln’s war policies

and his war against the South.

An estimated 20,000 to 38,000 political prisoners were incarcerated

by Lincoln’s Provost Marshals, some of whom were sentenced before

military tribunals, while others received no trial at all, never

having known the charges against them (WEW p. 525; GLD p. 115-16;

GE p. 7; CA p. 57).

Through the power of the military, Lincoln had newspapers shut

down for coming out in direct opposition to his war time policies,

or even if they merely raised questions. Ultimately over three hundred

newspapers were closed. After enough public outrage, Lincoln simply

had unfavorable newspaper editors imprisoned, leaving their positions

to be filled by those who would support his policies (CA p.45-46,


In December of 1862, Lincoln sought to alleviate the fears that

emancipated slaves would come into the North and compete for the

labor of white workers by assuring Congress that each State can

"decide for itself whether to receive them" (JRK p. 55;

BBM p. 173).

With the war losing its popularity in the North in 1862, the people

of the North were not so willing to send their husbands and sons

to die in "Mr. Lincoln’s war" to restore the Union, let

alone for the emancipation of slaves (WEW p. 544).

It was not until well into the War that Lincoln began to link abolition

of slavery with the War itself. He began to use the issue of slavery

as a political tool to give the War a moral cause to help bolster

Northern support, distance England and France from the South, solidify

his support with the growing abolitionist movement, and possibly

foster a slave revolt in the South. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation

of January 1, 1863, issued under his war powers, declared only slaves

in those States that seceded to be free. Those still enslaved in

Northern or otherwise Union States (Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland,

Missouri) were not freed by Lincoln’s proclamation since he knew

he could not legally deprive United States citizens of their "property."

Exemptions from Lincoln’s proclamation included "the parishes

of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. Johns, St. Charles,

St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary,

St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans […]

the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the

counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York,

Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth,"

much of Tennessee, the South Carolina coast, and any other areas

of the Southern States under Union control. Not one slave was actually

freed through Lincoln’s proclamation (WEW p. 545; SEM p. 654; ELJ

p. 255; PMA p. 264-66).

Therefore, contrary to popular belief, Lincoln did not "free

the slaves." Emancipation of the slaves throughout the North

and South was due to the ratification of the current Thirteenth

Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by both the Northern and Southern

States. Only in this way could an acknowledged internal matter of

the States be constitutionally dealt with at the federal level–that

is, with the States delegating authority that had been previously

reserved by them. Constitutionally, this was not a matter for Lincoln

and the Executive branch of the federal government.

During Congressional debate on January 8, 1863, Thadeous Stevens

of Pennsylvania declared on the floor of Congress that the States

of the Confederacy were a "belligerent nation" and no

longer in the Union. As such, they were no longer entitled to the

protections of the U. S. Constitution. Therefore, the taxes he proposed

as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee were to be levied upon

"conquered provinces, just as all nations levy them upon provinces

and nations they conquer." He went on to say that he would

"as a necessary war measure, take every particle of property,

real and personal, life-estate and reversion, of every disloyal

man, and sell it for the benefit of the nation in carrying on this

war." Stevens further stated that "this war must be carried

on upon principle wholly independent of it [the Constitution]"

and that the United States "must treat those States now outside

of the Union as conquered provinces and settle them with new men,

and drive the present rebels as exiles from this country […] They

have such determination, energy, and endurance, that nothing but

actual extermination or exile or starvation will ever induce them

to surrender to this Government" (GLD p. 151; The Congressional

Globe, January 8, 1863, p. 239-40, 243).

The Conscription Act of March 3, 1863, forced Northern men into

service through a military draft. The draft was biased against the

poor in that a man could pay $300 to commute his service for a particular

draft. A man could also find a permanent substitute to serve in

his place through a three year enlistment. Lincoln’s Emancipation

Proclamation and the bringing in of black workers to break a dock

workers’ strike brought Irish immigrants in New York City to the

boiling point. The first drawing of names for the draft in the working-class

quarters on July 13, 1863, sparked four days of riots in New York

City. Blacks, having been blamed for the loss of jobs and the reason

for the existence of the draft, were indiscriminately killed or

beaten (SEM p. 666).

Northern States and cities were often officially and harshly rebuked

by the Lincoln administration for not making their quota of recruits.

Within the Confederacy, the Conscription Act of 1862 was enacted

under the watchful eyes of the States. Within the Confederacy, federal

legislation had to pass the muster of the high courts of the States.

This oversight was exercised by these State high court judges who

reserved the right to intercede on behalf of their citizens concerning

actions of the federal government. Judge Moore of Texas, aware that

conscription could be a tool of oppression in the hands of the federal

government, concluded that "a necessity exists today, and the

law is therefore constitutional, if tomorrow that necessity should

cease, its continuance would be as clearly unconstitutional"

(MLD p. 114-15). In practice, the Confederate States federal government

recognized the preeminence of the sovereignty of a State in disputes

where State and federal jurisdiction are in contest (MLD p.76).

On May 16, 1863, a convention of Democrats gathered in Albany,

New York to protest the military arrest of Clement Laird Vallandigham,

Ohio Democrat Congressman and candidate for governor of Ohio, along

with many other such military arrests of civilians, and the suspension

of the writ of habeas corpus. According to findings of the military

trial, he was found guilty of accusing Lincoln "and his minions"

of rejecting a chance at peace with the South "the day before

the battle of Fredericksburg" because "the men in power

are attempting to establish a despotism in this country, more cruel

and more oppressive than ever existed before." As reported

in The American Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events

of the Year 1863, Lincoln answered the criticism of the Democrats

by letter on June 12, 1863. It reads in Part:

"Ours is a case of rebellion […] and the provision of the

Constitution that ‘the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall

not be suspended unless when in case of rebellion or invasion the

public safety may require it,’ is the provision which specially

applies to our present case. This provision plainly attests the

understanding of those who made the Constitution that ordinary courts

of justice are inadequate to ‘cases of rebellion’–attests

their purpose that, in such cases, men may be held in custody whom

the courts, acting on ordinary rules, would discharge […] and

its suspension is allowed by the Constitution on purpose that men

may be arrested and held who cannot be proved to be guilty of defined

crime […] arrests are made, not so much for what has been done,

as for what probably would be done […] The man who stands by and

says nothing when the peril of his Government is discussed cannot

be misunderstood. If not hindered, he is sure to help the enemy;

much more if he talks ambiguously–talks for his country with

‘but,’ and ‘ifs,’ and ‘ands’" (GLD p. 119; GE p. 209-13; SDC

p. 201-03).

In answer to Lincoln’s letter of reply, the Democrats harshly criticized

his usurpation of power in a letter dated June 30, 1863. It reads

in part:

"You seem aware that the constitution of the United States,

which you have sworn to protect and defend, contains the following

guarantees, to which we again ask your attention [recitation of

the first four Amendments to the Constitution] […] You are also,

no doubt, aware that, on the adoption of the constitution, these

invaluable provisions were proposed by the jealous caution of the

states, and were inserted as amendments for a perpetual assurance

of liberty against the encroachments of power […] The fact has

already passed into history that the sacred rights and immunities

[…] have not been preserved to the people during your administration.

In violation of the first of them, the freedom of the press has

been denied. In repeated instances newspapers have been suppressed

in the loyal states, because they criticized, as constitutionally

they might, those fatal errors of policy which have characterized

the conduct of public affairs since your advent to power. In violation

of the second of them, hundreds, and we believe thousands, of men

have been seized and immured in prisons and bastiles, not only without

warrant upon probable cause, but without any warrant, and for no

other cause that a constitutional exercise of freedom of speech

[…] For all these acts you avow yourself ultimately responsible

[…] These repeated and continued invasions of constitutional liberty

and private right have occasioned profound anxiety in the public

mind. The apprehension and alarm which they are calculated to produce

have been greatly enhanced by your attempt to justify them, because

in that attempt you assume to yourself a rightful authority possessed

by no constitutional monarch on earth […] [B]elieving as we do,

that your forbearance is not the tenure by which liberty is enjoyed

in this country, we propose to challenge the grounds on which your

claim of supreme power is based. While yielding to you as a constitutional

magistrate […] we cannot accord to you the despotic power you

claim […] [Y]our meaning is, that, while the rights of the citizens

are protected by this constitution in time of peace, they are suspended

or lost in time of war, when invasion or rebellion exists […]

You claim to have found […] within the constitution, a principle

or germ of arbitrary power, which, in time of war, expands at once

into an absolute sovereignty, wielded by one man; so that liberty

perishes, or is dependent on his will, his discretion, or his caprice

[…] An act of Congress approved by you on the 3d of March, 1863,

authorized the President to suspend it [the writ of habeas corpus]

during the present rebellion. That the suspension is a legislative,

and not an executive act, has been held in every judicial decision

ever made in this country, and we think it cannot be delegated to

any other branch of the government" (SDC p. 204-06).

It was clear that total subjugation of the South and her independent

spirit was the goal of the Union Army. Major General William T.

Sherman, while in Vicksburg on January 31, 1864, wrote the following

to a subordinate.

"The Government of the United States has […] any and all

rights which they choose to enforce in war to take their lives,

their homes, their lands, their everything […] war is simply power

unrestrained by constitution […] To the persistent secessionist,

why, death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of the

better […]" (JRK p. 288).

In a letter to Major General Halleck on July 14, 1864, General

Grant stated his intention to strip Virginia clean:

"If the enemy has left Maryland, as I suppose he has, he should

have upon his heels veterans, militiamen, men on horseback, and

everything that can be got to follow to eat out Virginia clear and

clean as they go, so that the crows flying over it will have to

carry their provender with them" (MLR p. 76).

In a letter dated December 18, 1864, Chief of Staff, Major General

W.H. Halleck, instructed General W.T. Sherman to utterly spoil the

city of Charleston:

"Should you capture Charleston, I hope that by some accident

the place may by destroyed; and if a little salt should be sown

upon the site, it may prevent the growth of future crops of nullification

and secession" (MLR p. 76).

In his reply to General Halleck, General Sherman wrote on December

24, 1864:

"I will bear in mind your hint as to Charleston, and I do

not think ‘salt’ will be necessary. When I move, the Fifteenth Corps

will be on the right of the right wing, and their position will

bring them into Charleston first; and if you have watched the history

of this corps, you will have remarked that it generally does its

work pretty well. The truth is, the whole army is burning with an

insatiable desire to wreak vengeance upon South Carolina. I almost

tremble at her fate, but feel that she deserves all that seems to

be in store for her. We must make old and young, rich and poor,

feel the hard hand of war as well as their organized armies"

(MLR p. 77).

In May, 1865, Confederate POWs held at Point Lookout, Maryland

were being released if they took oaths of allegiance to the United

States. A lone black Confederate soldier refused the oath, remaining

"unreconstructed and unreconstructable." Historian Ervin

L. Jordan laments the denial of the existence and role of black

Confederates, and their being consigned to the obscurity shared

by those blacks who served in the Revolutionary War and the War

of 1812 (ELJ p. 251).



BBM Virginia’s Attitude Toward Slavery and Secession,

Second Edition by Beverley B. Munford, 1910. Reprinted by Crown

Rights Publishing, Dahlonega, Georgia, 2001. (A look at the many

contributing factors in the secession of the Southern States and

of the War that followed.)

CA When in the Course of Human Events by Charles

Adams, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Lanham, Ma., 2000.

(A look at the case for Southern secession and the execution of

the war by the North.)

CKB Black ConfederatesCompiled and Edited by Charles

Kelly Barrow, J. H. Segars, and R. B. Rosenburg, Pelican Publishing

Co., 2001, Originally published as Forgotten Confederates 1995.

(A fascinating compilation of first-hand accounts, newspaper articles,

photographs, and letters documenting service to the Confederacy

by blacks in military and non-military capacities.)

ELJ Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil

War Virginia by Ervin L. Jordan, Jr., The University Press of Virginia,

1995. (A fascinating work documenting the lives of and roles of

blacks in "Civil War" Virginia.)

FWS War for What? by Francis W. Springer, Nippert

Publishing, Springfield, TN, Second Printing 1997. (A history of

slavery in North America.)

GE Facts and Falsehoods Concerning the War on the

South 1861-1865 by George Edmonds, Science Hall Lamb, 1904. Reprinted

by Crown Rights Publishing, Wiggins, Miss., 2000. (A compelling

view of the politics of the War for Southern Independence.)

GKW New Jersey Slavery and the Law, Gary K. Wolinetz,

Rutgers Law Review, 50 (Summer 1998): 2227 ff

GLD America’s Caesar – Abraham Lincoln and the

Birth of a Modern Empire by Greg Loren Durand, Second Edition, 2000.

(A very revealing inquiry into Lincoln’s role in radically altering

the original relationship and roles of the Federal government versus

that of the States during the War for Southern Independence.)

JLMC The Southern States of the American Union

by J.L.M. Curry, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1895. Reprinted

by Crown Rights Publishing, Wiggins, Miss., 1999. (Traces the origins

of the spirit of liberty expressed in the Declaration of Independence,

and in the South’s secession from the Northern States of the American


JRK The South Was Right! by James Ronald Kennedy

and Walter Donald Kennedy, 1998. (A fascinating and well footnoted

look into little known facts critical in understanding the War for

Southern Independence.)

MLD The Confederate Constitution of 1861 by Marshall

L. DeRosa, University of Missouri Press, 1991. (A good look at the

intentions of the C.S.A by looking at their own Constitution and

the few, but significant differences between it and its U.S. counterpart.)

MLR Truths of History by Mildred Lewis Rutherford,

Athens, Georgia, 1920. Reprinted by Southern Lion Books, Inc., Atlanta,

Ga., 1998. (One Southerner’s blunt perspective of the War in historical

and cultural context.)

PBK The Founder’s Constitution, edited by Philip

B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, the University of Chicago Press, 1986.

(A collection of documents from the early 1600s to 1830 that shed

light on the philosophies behind our American form of government.)

PMA By These Words by Paul M. Angle, Rand McNally

& Co., 1954. (Text of selected documents of American history.)

SCV The Gray Book Published by Gray Book Committee

S.C.V., The Sons of Confederate Veterans. Reprinted by Crown Rights

Publishing, Wiggins, Miss., 2000. (A defense in response to "attacks

upon the history, people and institutions of this Southern section

of our united country.")

SDC The Logic of History by Stephen D. Carpenter,

S. D. Carpenter, Publisher, Madison, Wis., 1864. Reprinted by Crown

Rights Publishing, Wiggins, Miss., 2000. (A collection of news accounts

and analysis pertaining to the War.)

SEM The Oxford History of the American People by

Samual Eliot Morison, Oxford University Press, New York, 1965. (A

useful reference, but with a strong central government and "pro-union"

bias. Also somewhat colored by the social atmosphere of the 1960s.)

SF The Civil War, A Narrative – Fort Sumter to

Perryville by Shelby Foote, Vintage Books, New York, 1986 (A standard

of the history of the War.)

WEW A New American History by W. E. Woodward, Farrar

& Rinehart, Inc., On Murry Hill, New York, 1936. (Excellent.

Balanced, with more attention to detail than many works and quite

interesting to read.)

Originally Published at: http://www.civil-war.net/docs/lesser_known_historical_excerpts.htm