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james E. Mahoney Jr.

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Sep 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/13/96
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and to compare slavery to getting a raise is foolish. and to say that a
people shouldn't rebel when oppressed is crazy. the us rebeled over taxes to
gain itsindependence. let me sell your wife and kids or "stud" you out like a
prize race horse or use your wife as a baby factory. will you be compliant.

and you talk of whippings. You say they occured once a week or twice a
month. i say that that is once too many times already. and do not refer to
these persons as slaves refer to them as people for they have emotions and
feelings just as you and eye. Give them a name like james or john and then
ask yourself why shouldn't they have rebeled.

patrick henry said give me liberty or death.

is it better to live as a slave or to die fighting no matter how good your
master is to you hes still a master or better yet an oppresser

RStacy2229

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Sep 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/15/96
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In article <51bv5l$l...@frazier.backbone.ou.edu>, jema...@uoknor.edu

(james E. Mahoney Jr.) writes:
>and you talk of whippings. You say they occured once a week or twice a
>month. i say that that is once too many times already. >
I should say it would depend upon the offense. I spank my children, sir,
not because I hate them or wish to oppress them, but because they are
entrusted to my care and because I would not have them develop bad habits.

>and do not refer to
>these persons as slaves refer to them as people for they have emotions
and
>feelings just as you and eye.

I am sure that slaves had emotions and feelings, and so did their masters.
Let me share with you segments of letters which a Confederate officer --
whose father was one of the largest slaveholders in Alabama -- wrote home
from camp in Virginia, referring to his personal servant, Ike:

"I received your ... letter a few days since, and was never more surprised
in my life when I heard ... [a false report] that Ike had stolen money and
run away. I say surprised! I should have said confounded and shocked. I
can't imagine where the report originated. Ike ... is one of the best
negroes in camp, he would cut off his right arm before he would steal
anything. Whenever he wants anything, he asks me for it, and I
never refuse him. I knew that it would hurt his feelings if I told him
about the report, so I kept it to myself. All that I have to say is that
it is a lie ... from beginning to end. ..."
-- Julius Caesar Mitchell, letter to his mother, August 1861

"I wrote you a few days since that Ike had been quite sick, but was
improving; he was a little better then, but day before yesterday the Dr.
sent out to camp for me, that if I wished to see Ike before I died, that I
had better come immediately. I got a pass and went to see him. I found him
very low indeed, so I concluded that I would get a pass to stay with him
until he either died, or got better, so I have now been at the hospital
two days and he is not better yet. I had a long conversation with the Dr.
yesterday, and he
told me that Ike might die at any minute .... The Dr. says he may yet
recover, but should he die it would be very suddenly. He has every
attention that he can, and if he should die I shall have him buried here.
But I hope and trust that he may recover, for I feel the same for him as
if he were my own cousin and believe that he loves me as if I were his
son. Every man in our camps seems to feel an interest in Ike, for
several of them have been to see him ....
[Postscript added next day:]
The Doctor says Ike is much better and he thinks he will recover.
-- Julius Caesar Mitchell, letter to his father, February 1862
+++++++++
Now, Mr. Mahoney, if you are determined to be offended by the fact of
Ike's servitude, I don't suppose that anything Lt. Mitchell might ever
write would disuade you from your precious feelings. Both the lieutenant
and his servant have now been dead for some decades, and I imagine the
offense died with them. I do see here that, while both lived, Lt. Mitchell
defended Ike's reputation for honesty and trustworthiness, endeavoring to
spare Ike's feelings from this insult, and that when Ike fell ill, he was
treated by Confederate doctors in a Confederate hospital, and visited by
his master's Confederate comrades.
You might understand that, just as Ike did not choose to be born a slave,
so did Lt. Mitchell not choose to be born a master. Each attempted to make
the best of his situation, which is all that might have been expected of
any of us, had we been born into either circumstance. I am always amazed
that we are constantly asked to view this matter through the slave's eyes,
and to consider that he was human; yet we are but seldom asked to so
empathize with the master. Were the masters not also human?
And I suppose, Mr. Mahoney, you would have been happy had Ike smothered,
stabbed or poisoned his young master, who treated him so kindly?

Robert Stacy McCain

RStacy2229

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Sep 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/15/96
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In article <51bv5l$l...@frazier.backbone.ou.edu>, jema...@uoknor.edu
(james E. Mahoney Jr.) writes:
>
>is it better to live as a slave or to die fighting no matter how good
your
>master is to you hes still a master or better yet an oppresser

And your point, sir, would be ...?
I am aware of few slaves who chose the option you suggest -- "to die
fighting" -- and many millions who chose to live as slaves.

Robert Stacy McCain

Mark T Pitcavage

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Sep 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/16/96
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In article <51i72h$r...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

RStacy2229 <rstac...@aol.com> wrote:
>his master's Confederate comrades.
>You might understand that, just as Ike did not choose to be born a slave,
>so did Lt. Mitchell not choose to be born a master. Each attempted to make
>the best of his situation, which is all that might have been expected of
>any of us, had we been born into either circumstance. I am always amazed
>that we are constantly asked to view this matter through the slave's eyes,
>and to consider that he was human; yet we are but seldom asked to so
>empathize with the master. Were the masters not also human?

Ugh. You know, when I read something like this in the morning, it leaves a
sour taste in my mouth for the rest of the day. Your beloved Lt. Mitchell was
not born a master. He was born a human being. He voluntarily chose to be a
slavemaster over other human beings. You may admire that; I do not.

RStacy2229

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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Well, well, well, Pitcavage again insults men whom he has never met, nor
who ever did him any harm .....
>mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage)
>Date: 16 Sep 1996 13:08:05 GMT
What a sad and pathetic man you are, sir. Do you not know that Lt.
Mitchell was but a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina,
scarcely voting age if that, when Lincoln declared war on the Confederacy?
As for slavery, Lt. Mitchell never purchased a slave -- these were his
father's slaves. How might he have avoided becoming a master? Only by
insulting and repudiating his own family, as far as I can see. Did the
laws, the social, political and economic conditions of southern Alabama
make it a simple thing for anyone to free even one slave, let alone SCORES
of slaves? I think not.
And, under Southern law and customs, slaves could not simply be
abandoned, I understand, but in order to free a slave, the master must
ensure that the bondsman was properly prepared for his new status. It
seems that I read where difficulties in meeting such requirements in
connection with his father-in-law's will in Virginia prompted U.S. Army
Col. Robert E. Lee to write some quite scathing denunciations of the
Peculiar Institution. If things were this difficult in Virginia, were they
not more so in Alabama?
What an utterly absurd posture Pitcavage takes here. Does he think that,
had Lt. Mitchell insulted and repudiated his family, that Ike or any other
of the Mitchell slaves would have been one iota the better for it? Does he
expect us to believe it would have been better for Lt. Mitchell to have
acted the part of the lunatic John Brown, and to have led these slaves in
an insurrection which would have put the blood of Lt. Mitchell's own
neighbors and kinsmen on his head? "Honor thy father and thy mother" is
one of the Ten Commandments, and I do not see how patricide would have
done Lt. Mitchell any good, here or in the hereafter.
And, had Lt. Mitchell simply run away from it all, how could he have
possibly exerted any beneficial influence on behalf of Ike or any other of
his family's slave? Would you have Lt. Mitchell join the Yankees, to kill
his own family and friends, to fight to devastate and bring ruin to his
native region? I should think not! What an inutterably dishonorable course
that would have been, sir!
Is there anyone so foolish and blind as not to see how Pitcavage's
ridiculous insult goes to the very heart of this matter? Neither Lt.
Mitchell, his family nor any other Southerner in 1860 was responsible for
the introduction and perpetuation of slavery in the United States. Any
proposal to end slavery in the Deep South, where the institution had
become deeply intrenched in society, was fraught with every manner of
difficulty. When first confronted with such difficulties 80-odd years
earlier, some of the wisest and most able statesmen had balked,
compromised and hoped that conditions would soon render the institution
economically and socially untenable. However, the cotton gin changed that,
and over and over again in the 1820s and 1830s, arguments and actions
intended to end this institution tended only to aggravate the conditions
of servitude.
Lt. Mitchell had no part in those arguments and actions, neither did he
sit in Congress with Webster and Clay, nor on the Supreme Court with Judge
Taney. He did not go to upstate New York and promise Solomon Northup a job
playing fiddle in the circus. He neither joined Beecher in urging Jayhawk
extremists to wage guerrilla warfare in Kansas, nor took part on the side
of the Border Ruffians -- he was only a boy growing up in Alabama at the
time! He was not at Potwatomie Creek, nor at Harper's Ferry.
Exactly WHY does Pitcavage insist on holding every slaveholder, along
with all the slaveholder's kinsmen and neighbors, every soldier in the
Confederate army -- and every white Southerner who lived prior to 1876,
for all that matters -- responsible for an institution which flourished
worldwide for something like 400 years? Where is his outrage against Cuba
and Brazil, which continued slavery until the mid-1880s? Why does not
Pitcavage rail against the Portugese, the Arabs, the Dutch? Where are his
angry words against Rhode Island, New Jersey and Nicolas Van Wickle? What
about the slaves owned by Grant, Sherman and other Unionists? Does
Pitcavage denounce Mansa Musa and his hundreds of African slaves? If not,
why not?
You see, then, it cannot be slavery per se which so offends Pitcavage.
Rather, for personal motives best known to himself, he wishes specifically
to insult and malign Lt. Mitchell and his Confederate comrades, who so
nobly defended their native land against the perfidious political
ambitions of a haughty foe. Had I been alive in 1861, I would rather have
been Lt. Mitchell's slave than to have had to listen to such ignorant and
dishonest infamies as Pitcavage has here uttered.
Anyone who would slur so decent a man as Lt. Mitchell in this way is
completely without shame, a moral degenerate too contemptible for words.

Robert Stacy McCain
Rome GA
Who has studied the manner of political oratory of the mid-1800s

TMcM5670

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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A claim that planters had a sophisticated enough enough grasp of human
nature as to know how to best motivate people to work? Your are a deluded
fellow. Motivation......what method was that Mr. McCain? With sheer
numbers in a work force, it is not hard to be productive. Plus, the work
force was not specialized, and was interchangable. Motivation of
fear.....we should credit this? I am sure you would make sure you picked
plenty of cotton if you had living in constant fear of punisment, fear
which you were not able to elude. That is the key...perhaps all the
horror stories where not as widespread, not used as often, but that means
nothing. It was the fear that punishment, violence, etc would be the
result. Is this "sophisticated grasp of human nature" something you
should seek to give merit? It is wholely unsophisticated. It is brutish
and simple. You ring shame to the southern point of view with you posts.

Tom McMahon

Mark T Pitcavage

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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In article <51lbin$5...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

RStacy2229 <rstac...@aol.com> wrote:
>>>You might understand that, just as Ike did not choose to be born a
>slave,
>>>so did Lt. Mitchell not choose to be born a master. Each attempted to
>make
>>>the best of his situation, which is all that might have been expected of
>>>any of us, had we been born into either circumstance. I am always amazed
>>>that we are constantly asked to view this matter through the slave's
>eyes,
>>>and to consider that he was human; yet we are but seldom asked to so
>>>empathize with the master. Were the masters not also human?

>>Ugh. You know, when I read something like this in the morning, it leaves
>a
>>sour taste in my mouth for the rest of the day. Your beloved Lt.
>Mitchell was
>>not born a master. He was born a human being. He voluntarily chose to
>be a
>>slavemaster over other human beings. You may admire that; I do not.
>>

> What a sad and pathetic man you are, sir. Do you not know that Lt.
>Mitchell was but a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina,
>scarcely voting age if that, when Lincoln declared war on the Confederacy?

And?

> As for slavery, Lt. Mitchell never purchased a slave -- these were his
>father's slaves. How might he have avoided becoming a master? Only by
>insulting and repudiating his own family, as far as I can see. Did the
>laws, the social, political and economic conditions of southern Alabama
>make it a simple thing for anyone to free even one slave, let alone SCORES
>of slaves? I think not.

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the exciting new gameshow of MORAL EQUATIONS!
You've met our contestants, now let's go on to the first situation! Here's
Choice #1: Insulting one's family! Ok, get ready for Choice #2: Holding your
fellow human beings in involuntary servitude for their lives and their
children's lives! Ok, everybody, mark down on YOUR scorecard which is worse.
And to our home audience, don't forget that YOU can play, too!

Back to reality: Nobody in the South was forced to become a slaveowner. At
the very least and worst, if one didn't like slavery but didn't want to "rock
the boat", one could sell one's slaves. Your Lieutenant Mitchell was a
slaveowner by his own choice.


> And, under Southern law and customs, slaves could not simply be
>abandoned, I understand, but in order to free a slave, the master must
>ensure that the bondsman was properly prepared for his new status.

Where do you get this piece of information?

> It
>seems that I read where difficulties in meeting such requirements in
>connection with his father-in-law's will in Virginia prompted U.S. Army
>Col. Robert E. Lee to write some quite scathing denunciations of the
>Peculiar Institution. If things were this difficult in Virginia, were they
>not more so in Alabama?
> What an utterly absurd posture Pitcavage takes here. Does he think that,
>had Lt. Mitchell insulted and repudiated his family, that Ike or any other
>of the Mitchell slaves would have been one iota the better for it? Does he
>expect us to believe it would have been better for Lt. Mitchell to have
>acted the part of the lunatic John Brown, and to have led these slaves in
>an insurrection which would have put the blood of Lt. Mitchell's own
>neighbors and kinsmen on his head? "Honor thy father and thy mother" is
>one of the Ten Commandments, and I do not see how patricide would have
>done Lt. Mitchell any good, here or in the hereafter.
> And, had Lt. Mitchell simply run away from it all, how could he have
>possibly exerted any beneficial influence on behalf of Ike or any other of
>his family's slave? Would you have Lt. Mitchell join the Yankees, to kill
>his own family and friends, to fight to devastate and bring ruin to his
>native region? I should think not! What an inutterably dishonorable course
>that would have been, sir!

In the first place, this notion of "insulting and repudiating his family" is so
ridiculous and so stupid that I shall take no further notice of it. It is
bizarre that for this poster there are so few alternatives: continued slavery
or "acting the part of the lunatic John Brown." If Lt. Mitchell didn't like
slavery, there were all sorts of things he could do about it. He could free
his slaves. He could take his slaves North and free them there. He could do
all sorts of things that were not insurrection and not slaveholding.

I always get amused when some moon-faced neo-Confederate starts using the
word "sir." "What an inutterably dishonorable course that would have been,
sir!" he sputters. What this -actually- means is, "Of course he was a
slaveowner voluntarily because he was very much a part of the system and
accepted willingly the notion of slaveowning. I just hate to admit it."


> Is there anyone so foolish and blind as not to see how Pitcavage's
>ridiculous insult goes to the very heart of this matter? Neither Lt.
>Mitchell, his family nor any other Southerner in 1860 was responsible for
>the introduction and perpetuation of slavery in the United States.

I never said that Lt. Mitchell or any other Southerner in 1860 was responsible
for the introduction of slavery. They were -all- responsible for its
perpetuation, a notion so obvious that one cannot argue against it.


>Any
>proposal to end slavery in the Deep South, where the institution had
>become deeply intrenched in society, was fraught with every manner of
>difficulty.

That is really not very relevant to our young Lt. Mitchell, now, is it? I do
not think he was required to start an abolition society there in Alabama.


When first confronted with such difficulties 80-odd years
>earlier, some of the wisest and most able statesmen had balked,
>compromised and hoped that conditions would soon render the institution
>economically and socially untenable. However, the cotton gin changed that,
>and over and over again in the 1820s and 1830s, arguments and actions
>intended to end this institution tended only to aggravate the conditions
>of servitude.
> Lt. Mitchell had no part in those arguments and actions, neither did he
>sit in Congress with Webster and Clay, nor on the Supreme Court with Judge
>Taney. He did not go to upstate New York and promise Solomon Northup a job
>playing fiddle in the circus. He neither joined Beecher in urging Jayhawk
>extremists to wage guerrilla warfare in Kansas, nor took part on the side
>of the Border Ruffians -- he was only a boy growing up in Alabama at the
>time! He was not at Potwatomie Creek, nor at Harper's Ferry.

Nope. But he ended up voluntarily owning slaves. Certainly he did his job in
perpetuating the system.


> Exactly WHY does Pitcavage insist on holding every slaveholder, along
>with all the slaveholder's kinsmen and neighbors, every soldier in the
>Confederate army -- and every white Southerner who lived prior to 1876,
>for all that matters -- responsible for an institution which flourished
>worldwide for something like 400 years?

It is always a sign of an inability to counter an argument when one brings up
other, unrelated arguments, especially if they are straw men. "Pitcavage" has
never "insisted on holding every slaveholder," etc., etc., etc., responsible
for an institution which flourished worldwide, etc., etc. Rather, Pitcavage
has insisted on holding everybody responsible for his or her own actions, no
less and no more. I do not think I can be expected to do less.

> Where is his outrage against Cuba
>and Brazil, which continued slavery until the mid-1880s? Why does not
>Pitcavage rail against the Portugese, the Arabs, the Dutch? Where are his
>angry words against Rhode Island, New Jersey and Nicolas Van Wickle? What
>about the slaves owned by Grant, Sherman and other Unionists? Does
>Pitcavage denounce Mansa Musa and his hundreds of African slaves? If not,
>why not?

Goodness. I suppose if this were a Latin American history newsgroup, and we
were discussing slavery in Latin America, I might well discuss the subject more
than I do. I was under the impression that we were in a newsgroup for the
American Civil War. Even so, I daresay that I have posted more words in this
newsgroup about Rhode Island slave traders than anybody else (two possible
exceptions).

> You see, then, it cannot be slavery per se which so offends Pitcavage.
>Rather, for personal motives best known to himself, he wishes specifically
>to insult and malign Lt. Mitchell and his Confederate comrades, who so
>nobly defended their native land against the perfidious political
>ambitions of a haughty foe. Had I been alive in 1861, I would rather have
>been Lt. Mitchell's slave than to have had to listen to such ignorant and
>dishonest infamies as Pitcavage has here uttered.

Oh good grief, you use adjectives like they were going out of style. I have
said one thing in regard to the doughty Lt. Mitchell: that he was voluntarily
a slaveowner. That is certainly an irrefutable fact.


> Anyone who would slur so decent a man as Lt. Mitchell in this way is
>completely without shame, a moral degenerate too contemptible for words.

Yaddah yaddah yaddah.

James F. Epperson

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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I think it is a little strong to say that Lt. Mitchell =voluntarily=
became a slaveowner, inasmuch as he was born into a society dominated by
the institution, and he certainly had little choice over that. And it is
also true that there would have been great social and familial pressures
against any effort on his part to break out of that society. However, if
slavery were repugnant to him, and if he did not =want= to benefit from
it, it would not have been difficult for him to get out of its grip. The
Grimke sisters and James Birney managed.

While I refuse to blame Lt. Mitchell for participating in the institution
into which he was born, I do blame him for fighting to preserve it.

Jim Epperson

The student who changes the course of history is probably
taking an exam.


Hunter D

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) wrote:

>Oh, sure. Again we return to the "Roots" delusion of "slavery as the
>Holocaust" in which the women are raped all night and the men are whipped
>all day -- or is it the other way around?
>Pray tell, Mr. Mahoney, with all this studding and baby factoring and
>selling of wives and children, don't you find it amazing that these people
>EVER found time to grow a bit of cotton or tobacco? And I should point out
>that the cotton crop was the nation's No. 1 export before the war. Would a
>work force which was systematically abused in the ways which you detail
>have been so productive? This is the point, you see: The abuse could never
>have been so widespread, else production would have declined and/or
>rebellion would have been far more common than it was.
>Whatever you might say about the planters of yore, shouldn't we credit
>them with a sophisticated enough grasp of human nature as to know how best
>to motivate people to work, even if those people were slaves?

Hear, Hear, Mr. McCain,

I am kinda curious how a couple of fat white rummies that had not run
further than the poop deck for two or three months, could land in Africa
and chase down able bodied young "bucks" with a damn net. Yeah right, Alex
Haley must have been dropping acid in eye.

The historical revisionists scream racisism and bigotry if you tell the
documented truth that every single person purchased through the African
slave trade was sold into bondage by a black person.

Oh well, as the saying goes, to the victor goes the spoils and that
includes writing the history books.

Maybe through threads like this, we might be able to keep our hands on the
truth for a few more years.

It is also well documented that living conditions for slave were vastly
better than those of immigrant workers in the industrial north.

Reguards, Hunter Dunaway.


Mark T Pitcavage

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
to

In article <51mma3$9...@ganja.nol.net>, Hunter D <dun...@nol.net> wrote:
>Hear, Hear, Mr. McCain,
>
>I am kinda curious how a couple of fat white rummies that had not run
>further than the poop deck for two or three months, could land in Africa
>and chase down able bodied young "bucks" with a damn net. Yeah right, Alex
>Haley must have been dropping acid in eye.

I will ignore your usage of that one word and point out that coastal raiding
was not uncommon, although it was not the source by which most slaves were
taken.


>
>The historical revisionists scream racisism and bigotry if you tell the
>documented truth that every single person purchased through the African
>slave trade was sold into bondage by a black person.

It is neither truth nor documented.


>
>Oh well, as the saying goes, to the victor goes the spoils and that
>includes writing the history books.
>
>Maybe through threads like this, we might be able to keep our hands on the
>truth for a few more years.
>
>It is also well documented that living conditions for slave were vastly
>better than those of immigrant workers in the industrial north.

It is amazing how you have access to all this documentation that has somehow
escaped so many other people.

Maury

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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~On 17 Sep 1996 10:04:06 -0400, tmcm...@aol.com (TMcM5670) wrote:

{deletia, see original for personal insults}

~
~Tom McMahon
===================================================

I post the following as requested of me:--
===============================


[Georgia]

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with
the Government of the United States of America, present to their
confederates and the world the causes which have led to the
separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious
causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States
with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have
endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and
tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express
constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and
by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to
deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the
Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued
with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the
passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two
sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual
civil war. Our people, still attached to the Union from habit and
national traditions, and averse to change, hoped that time, reason,
and argument would bring, if not redress, at least exemption from
further insults, injuries, and dangers. Recent events have fully
dissipated all such hopes and demonstrated the necessity of
separation. Our Northern confederates, after a full and calm hearing
of all the facts, after a fair warning of our purpose not to submit
to the rule of the authors of all these wrongs and injuries, have by
a large majority committed the Government of the United States into
their hands. The people of Georgia, after an equally full and fair
and deliberate hearing of the case, have declared with equal firmness
that they shall not rule over them. A brief history of the rise,
progress, and policy of anti-slavery and the political organization
into whose hands the administration of the Federal Government has
been committed will fully justify the pronounced verdict of the
people of Georgia. The party of Lincoln, called the Republican
party, under its present name and organization, is of recent origin.
It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party. While it attracts to
itself by its creed the scattered advocates of exploded political
heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates
of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of
waste and corruption in the administration of Government,
anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose. By anti-slavery it is
made a power in the state. The question of slavery was the great
difficulty in the way of the formation of the Constitution. While
the subordination and the political and social inequality of the
African race was fully conceded by all, it was plainly apparent that
slavery would soon disappear from what are now the non-slave-holding
States of the original thirteen. The opposition to slavery was then,
as now, general in those States and the Constitution was made with
direct reference to that fact. But a distinct abolition party was
not formed in the United States for more than half a century after
the Government went into operation. The main reason was that the
North, even if united, could not control both branches of the
Legislature during any portion of that time. Therefore such an
organization must have resulted either in utter failure or in the
total overthrow of the Government. The material prosperity of the
North was greatly dependent on the Federal Government; that of the
the South not at all. In the first years of the Republic the
navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North
began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the
agricultural interests. Even the owners of fishing smacks sought and
obtained bounties for pursuing their own business (which yet
continue), and $500,000 is now paid them annually out of the
Treasury. The navigating interests begged for protection against
foreign shipbuilders and against competition in the coasting trade.
Congress granted both requests, and by prohibitory acts gave an
absolute monopoly of this business to each of their interests, which
they enjoy without diminution to this day. Not content with these
great and unjust advantages, they have sought to throw the legitimate
burden of their business as much as possible upon the public; they
have succeeded in throwing the cost of light-houses, buoys, and the
maintenance of their seamen upon the Treasury, and the Government now
pays above $2,000,000 annually for the support of these objects.
Theses interests, in connection with the commercial and manufacturing
classes, have also succeeded, by means of subventions to mail steamers
and the reduction in postage, in relieving their business from the
payment of about $7,000,000 annually, throwing it upon the public
Treasury under the name of postal deficiency. The manufacturing
interests entered into the same struggle early, and has clamored
steadily for Government bounties and special favors. This interest
was confined mainly to the Eastern and Middle non-slave-holding
States. Wielding these great States it held great power and
influence, and its demands were in full proportion to its power. The
manufacturers and miners wisely based their demands upon special facts
and reasons rather than upon general principles, and thereby mollified
much of the opposition of the opposing interest. They pleaded in
their favor the infancy of their business in this country, the
scarcity of labor and capital, the hostile legislation of other
countries toward them, the great necessity of their fabrics in the
time of war, and the necessity of high duties to pay the debt incurred
in our war for independence. These reasons prevailed, and they
received for many years enormous bounties by the general acquiescence
of the whole country.

But when these reasons ceased they were no less clamorous for
Government protection, but their clamors were less heeded-- the
country had put the principle of protection upon trial and condemned
it. After having enjoyed protection to the extent of from 15 to 200
per cent. upon their entire business for above thirty years, the act
of 1846 was passed. It avoided sudden change, but the principle was
settled, and free trade, low duties, and economy in public
expenditures was the verdict of the American people. The South and
the Northwestern States sustained this policy. There was but small
hope of its reversal; upon the direct issue, none at all.

All these classes saw this and felt it and cast about for new allies.
The anti-slavery sentiment of the North offered the best chance for
success. An anti-slavery party must necessarily look to the North
alone for support, but a united North was now strong enough to
control the Government in all of its departments, and a sectional
party was therefore determined upon. Time and issues upon slavery
were necessary to its completion and final triumph. The feeling of
anti-slavery, which it was well known was very general among the
people of the North, had been long dormant or passive; it needed only
a question to arouse it into aggressive activity. This question was
before us. We had acquired a large territory by successful war with
Mexico; Congress had to govern it; how, in relation to slavery, was
the question then demanding solution. This state of facts gave form
and shape to the anti-slavery sentiment throughout the North and the
conflict began. Northern anti-slavery men of all parties asserted the
right to exclude slavery from the territory by Congressional
legislation and demanded the prompt and efficient exercise of this
power to that end. This insulting and unconstitutional demand was met
with great moderation and firmness by the South. We had shed our
blood and paid our money for its acquisition; we demanded a division
of it on the line of the Missouri restriction or an equal
participation in the whole of it. These propositions were refused,
the agitation became general, and the public danger was great. The
case of the South was impregnable. The price of the acquisition was
the blood and treasure of both sections-- of all, and, therefore, it
belonged to all upon the principles of equity and justice.

The Constitution delegated no power to Congress to excluded either
party from its free enjoyment; therefore our right was good under the
Constitution. Our rights were further fortified by the practice of
the Government from the beginning. Slavery was forbidden in the
country northwest of the Ohio River by what is called the ordinance
of 1787. That ordinance was adopted under the old confederation and
by the assent of Virginia, who owned and ceded the country, and
therefore this case must stand on its own special circumstances. The
Government of the United States claimed territory by virtue of the
treaty of 1783 with Great Britain, acquired territory by cession from
Georgia and North Carolina, by treaty from France, and by treaty from
Spain. These acquisitions largely exceeded the original limits of
the Republic. In all of these acquisitions the policy of the
Government was uniform. It opened them to the settlement of all the
citizens of all the States of the Union. They emigrated thither with
their property of every kind (including slaves). All were equally
protected by public authority in their persons and property until the
inhabitants became sufficiently numerous and otherwise capable of
bearing the burdens and performing the duties of self-government,
when they were admitted into the Union upon equal terms with the
other States, with whatever republican constitution they might adopt
for themselves.

Under this equally just and beneficent policy law and order,
stability and progress, peace and prosperity marked every step of the
progress of these new communities until they entered as great and
prosperous commonwealths into the sisterhood of American States. In
1820 the North endeavored to overturn this wise and successful policy
and demanded that the State of Missouri should not be admitted into
the Union unless she first prohibited slavery within her limits by
her constitution. After a bitter and protracted struggle the North
was defeated in her special object, but her policy and position led to
the adoption of a section in the law for the admission of Missouri,
prohibiting slavery in all that portion of the territory acquired from
France lying North of 36 [degrees] 30 [minutes] north latitude and
outside of Missouri. The venerable Madison at the time of its adoption
declared it unconstitutional. Mr. Jefferson condemned the restriction
and foresaw its consequences and predicted that it would result in the
dissolution of the Union. His prediction is now history. The North
demanded the application of the principle of prohibition of slavery
to all of the territory acquired from Mexico and all other parts of
the public domain then and in all future time. It was the
announcement of her purpose to appropriate to herself all the public
domain then owned and thereafter to be acquired by the United States.
The claim itself was less arrogant and insulting than the reason with
which she supported it. That reason was her fixed purpose to limit,
restrain, and finally abolish slavery in the States where it exists.
The South with great unanimity declared her purpose to resist the
principle of prohibition to the last extremity. This particular
question, in connection with a series of questions affecting the same
subject, was finally disposed of by the defeat of prohibitory
legislation.

The Presidential election of 1852 resulted in the total overthrow of
the advocates of restriction and their party friends. Immediately
after this result the anti-slavery portion of the defeated party
resolved to unite all the elements in the North opposed to slavery an
to stake their future political fortunes upon their hostility to
slavery everywhere. This is the party two whom the people of the
North have committed the Government. They raised their standard in
1856 and were barely defeated. They entered the Presidential contest
again in 1860 and succeeded.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it
everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of
all constitutional guarantees it its favor, were boldly proclaimed by
its leaders and applauded by its followers.

With these principles on their banners and these utterances on their
lips the majority of the people of the North demand that we shall
receive them as our rulers.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal
principle of this organization.

For forty years this question has been considered and debated in the
halls of Congress, before the people, by the press, and before the
tribunals of justice. The majority of the people of the North in 1860
decided it in their own favor. We refuse to submit to that judgment,
and in vindication of our refusal we offer the Constitution of our
country and point to the total absence of any express power to exclude
us. We offer the practice of our Government for the first thirty
years of its existence in complete refutation of the position that any
such power is either necessary or proper to the execution of any other
power in relation to the Territories. We offer the judgment of a large
minority of the people of the North, amounting to more than one-third,
who united with the unanimous voice of the South against this
usurpation; and, finally, we offer the judgment of the Supreme Court
of the United States, the highest judicial tribunal of our country, in
our favor. This evidence ought to be conclusive that we have never
surrendered this right. The conduct of our adversaries admonishes us
that if we had surrendered it, it is time to resume it.

The faithless conduct of our adversaries is not confined to such acts
as might aggrandize themselves or their section of the Union. They
are content if they can only injure us. The Constitution declares
that persons charged with crimes in one State and fleeing to another
shall be delivered up on the demand of the executive authority of the
State from which they may flee, to be tried in the jurisdiction where
the crime was committed. It would appear difficult to employ language
freer from ambiguity, yet for above twenty years the non-slave-holding
States generally have wholly refused to deliver up to us persons
charged with crimes affecting slave property. Our confederates, with
punic faith, shield and give sanctuary to all criminals who seek to
deprive us of this property or who use it to destroy us. This clause
of the Constitution has no other sanction than their good faith; that
is withheld from us; we are remediless in the Union; out of it we are
remitted to the laws of nations.

A similar provision of the Constitution requires them to surrender
fugitives from labor. This provision and the one last referred to
were our main inducements for confederating with the Northern States.
Without them it is historically true that we would have rejected the
Constitution. In the fourth year of the Republic Congress passed a
law to give full vigor and efficiency to this important provision.
This act depended to a considerable degree upon the local
magistrates in the several States for its efficiency. The
non-slave-holding States generally repealed all laws intended to aid
the execution of that act, and imposed penalties upon those citizens
whose loyalty to the Constitution and their oaths might induce them
to discharge their duty. Congress then passed the act of 1850,
providing for the complete execution of this duty by Federal
officers. This law, which their own bad faith rendered absolutely
indispensible for the protection of constitutional rights, was
instantly met with ferocious revilings and all conceivable modes of
hostility. The Supreme Court unanimously, and their own local courts
with equal unanimity (with the single and temporary exception of the
supreme court of Wisconsin), sustained its constitutionality in all
of its provisions. Yet it stands to-day a dead letter for all
practicable purposes in every non-slave-holding State in the Union.
We have their convenants, we have their oaths to keep and observe it,
but the unfortunate claimant, even accompanied by a Federal officer
with the mandate of the highest judicial authority in his hands, is
everywhere met with fraud, with force, and with legislative
enactments to elude, to resist, and defeat him. Claimants are
murdered with impunity; officers of the law are beaten by frantic
mobs instigated by inflammatory appeals from persons holding the
highest public employment in these States, and supported by
legislation in conflict with the clearest provisions of the
Constitution, and even the ordinary principles of humanity. In
several of our confederate States a citizen cannot travel the highway
with his servant who may voluntarily accompany him, without being
declared by law a felon and being subjected to infamous punishments.
It is difficult to perceive how we could suffer more by the hostility
than by the fraternity of such brethren.

The public law of civilized nations requires every State to restrain
its citizens or subjects from committing acts injurious to the peace
and security of any other State and from attempting to excite
insurrection, or to lessen the security, or to disturb the
tranquillity of their neighbors, and our Constitution wisely gives
Congress the power to punish all offenses against the laws of nations.

These are sound and just principles which have received the
approbation of just men in all countries and all centuries; but they
are wholly disregarded by the people of the Northern States, and the
Federal Government is impotent to maintain them. For twenty years past
the abolitionists and their allies in the Northern States have been
engaged in constant efforts to subvert our institutions and to excite
insurrection and servile war among us. They have sent emissaries
among us for the accomplishment of these purposes. Some of these
efforts have received the public sanction of a majority of the leading
men of the Republican party in the national councils, the same men who
are now proposed as our rulers. These efforts have in one instance
led to the actual invasion of one of the slave-holding States, and
those of the murderers and incendiaries who escaped public justice by
flight have found fraternal protection among our Northern
confederates.

These are the same men who say the Union shall be preserved.

Such are the opinions and such are the practices of the Republican
party, who have been called by their own votes to administer the
Federal Government under the Constitution of the United States. We
know their treachery; we know the shallow pretenses under which they
daily disregard its plainest obligations. If we submit to them it
will be our fault and not theirs. The people of Georgia have ever
been willing to stand by this bargain, this contract; they have never
sought to evade any of its obligations; they have never hitherto
sought to establish any new government; they have struggled to
maintain the ancient right of themselves and the human race through
and by that Constitution. But they know the value of parchment rights
in treacherous hands, and therefore they refuse to commit their own to
the rulers whom the North offers us. Why? Because by their declared
principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our
property in the common territories of the Union; put it under the ban
of the Republic in the States where it exists and out of the
protection of Federal law everywhere; because they give sanctuary to
thieves and incendiaries who assail it to the whole extent of their
power, in spite of their most solemn obligations and covenants;
because their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us
not only to the loss of our property but the destruction of ourselves,
our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our
altars, and our firesides. To avoid these evils we resume the powers
which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States,
and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality,
security, and tranquillity.

[Approved, Tuesday, January 29, 1861]


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

gary charbonneau

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917100638.8955F-100000@zonker>,

James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:

>While I refuse to blame Lt. Mitchell for participating in the institution
>into which he was born, I do blame him for fighting to preserve it.

To make a point which I have made a few times in the past, it's not
really much use in publicly flagellating the late Lt. Mitchell for
anything he might have done. After all, he is late. Thus, he is
no longer in a position to modify his behavior to avoid our scorn (not that
he would have cared much anyway, I'm sure). By the same token,
there's not much use in praising him either.

Nevertheless, if participating in the institution was not blameworthy, it
seems to me that this would imply that institution itself was not
blameworthy. That's not a position I would care to take. If slavery
was wrong, then being a slaveowner was wrong.

Certainly it would not have placed Lt. Mitchell on the side of the angels
to sell his slaves to someone else. If murder is wrong, one does not absolve
oneself of responsibility for it by hiring a hit man. Lt. Mitchell could
only have escaped the moral burden of slaveholding by emancipating his
slaves, in such a way as to enable them to provide adequately for
themselves. In so doing, he would probably have ruined himself
financially, possibly violated the law, and exposed himself to the scorn
of friends, neighbors, and family (about whose opinions he very likely
cared very much).

Lt. Mitchell doubtless had excellent reasons for not emancipating
his slaves. That's why he did not want to and probably never would have
wanted to, and why emancipation could only, at that time and in
that place, be imposed from the outside, not freely chosen from the
inside. He could chose only to be a "kindly" master while
fighting like hell against a "kindly" government which was now under
the control of people he didn't like.

- Gary Charbonneau

RStacy2229

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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In article <51bv5l$l...@frazier.backbone.ou.edu>, jema...@uoknor.edu
(james E. Mahoney Jr.) writes:
> to say that a
>people shouldn't rebel when oppressed is crazy. the us rebeled over taxes
to
>gain itsindependence. let me sell your wife and kids or "stud" you out
like a>
>prize race horse or use your wife as a baby factory. will you be
compliant.

Oh, sure. Again we return to the "Roots" delusion of "slavery as the


Holocaust" in which the women are raped all night and the men are whipped
all day -- or is it the other way around?
Pray tell, Mr. Mahoney, with all this studding and baby factoring and
selling of wives and children, don't you find it amazing that these people
EVER found time to grow a bit of cotton or tobacco? And I should point out
that the cotton crop was the nation's No. 1 export before the war. Would a
work force which was systematically abused in the ways which you detail
have been so productive? This is the point, you see: The abuse could never
have been so widespread, else production would have declined and/or
rebellion would have been far more common than it was.
Whatever you might say about the planters of yore, shouldn't we credit
them with a sophisticated enough grasp of human nature as to know how best
to motivate people to work, even if those people were slaves?

Robert Stacy McCain

gary charbonneau

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
to

In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917130552.8955K-100000@zonker>,

James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:
>On 17 Sep 1996, gary charbonneau wrote:

>> Nevertheless, if participating in the institution was not blameworthy, it
>> seems to me that this would imply that institution itself was not
>> blameworthy.
>

>Here we disagree. When one is born and raised into a society that
>sanctions and even rewards slavery and slaveownership, I am uncomfortable
>wiht blaming individuals in that society for participation in the
>institution of slavery. They are merely doing that which their society
>has taught them that they should do.

They lived in a society in which slavery as a moral issue was clearly
on the table. It had been there ever since the early republic, and in
recent decades had been kept there and brought to the forefront by the
abolitionists. Slaveholders therefore lived in a society in which some people
said that slavery was right, and others said that slavery was wrong. This
confronted them directly with the need to make a moral choice. They made
one, but made it incorrectly.

It has been argued that the belief of slaveholders and their
supporters that slavery was right became more and more
rigid and unbending the more that abolitionist outsiders pointed out that
slavery was wrong. There may be some truth in that. Perhaps the correct
strategy for the abolitionists would have been to demand that
the slaveowners be _forbidden_ to emancipate their slaves :)

Of course, in those days people believed that moral choice should be guided,
not by "conscience" (the current fashion these days), but
by God's will as revealed in Scripture. Abolitionists and slaveholders
alike accepted this. But Scripture did not condemn slavery. It said only
that masters should treat their slaves kindly. By that standard, the
slaveholders easily had the better of the argument, and the moral choice
they made was quite correct.

- Gary Charbonneau

Dave Gorski

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
to

In article <51mv8a$g...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>,
mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) wrote:


Surely there were some 20-year old Wehrmacht lieutenants in 1944 who
> did what their society taught them to do, yet nevertheless committed
acts which
> we would (and did) find unacceptable?

I seem to recall a line in an earlier post " I was under the impression


that we were in a news group for the American Civil War"

How the heck did we get back to Nazi Germany AGAIN. And why are the same
people always taking us there?

Dave Gorski

Jim Hughes

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) wrote:


>Oh, sure. Again we return to the "Roots" delusion of "slavery as the
>Holocaust" in which the women are raped all night and the men are whipped
>all day -- or is it the other way around?
>Pray tell, Mr. Mahoney, with all this studding and baby factoring and
>selling of wives and children, don't you find it amazing that these people
>EVER found time to grow a bit of cotton or tobacco? And I should point out
>that the cotton crop was the nation's No. 1 export before the war. Would a
>work force which was systematically abused in the ways which you detail
>have been so productive? This is the point, you see: The abuse could never
>have been so widespread, else production would have declined and/or
>rebellion would have been far more common than it was.

I agree that much popular history like "Roots" is advocacy history and
should not be given much credence. Let's stipulate that selling
children away from parents was fairly rare. If you were a slave with
a wife and children, wouldn't the very legal possibility of your
children being taken away have caused you suffering? Were those
people different from you in some way which made it okay to take away
their children if the need arose?

>Whatever you might say about the planters of yore, shouldn't we credit
>them with a sophisticated enough grasp of human nature as to know how best
>to motivate people to work, even if those people were slaves?

(I hate to add the following because of all the recent Nazi talk,
which always seems to end up in exchanges of flames. Please believe
me when I say that I don't think that (most) American slave holders
were anywhere near as evil as Nazis, but...)

People don't always act rationally. The Jews in some Nazi work camps
convinced themselves that if they just worked hard enough, and made
themselves valuable to the war effort, they could escape the gas
chambers. They were wrong, by and large.

Imagine that you are an evil man who enjoys inflicting rape or other
kinds of violence. Such men do exist, right? We often think of them
as mentally disturbed today, but that distinction doesn't matter much
to their victims. Further imagine that you have inherited a few
slaves, or enough money to purchase them. You now have a legal way to
beat or rape people. Now, this situation was probably very, very
rare, but it probably did exist. My point is that assault and rape
are illegal in all circumstances in a civilized country. Do you
disagree with this?

Jim Hughes

James F. Epperson

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
to

On 17 Sep 1996, gary charbonneau wrote:

> In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917100638.8955F-100000@zonker>,


> James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:
>

> >While I refuse to blame Lt. Mitchell for participating in the institution
> >into which he was born, I do blame him for fighting to preserve it.
>
> To make a point which I have made a few times in the past, it's not
> really much use in publicly flagellating the late Lt. Mitchell for
> anything he might have done. After all, he is late. Thus, he is
> no longer in a position to modify his behavior to avoid our scorn (not that
> he would have cared much anyway, I'm sure). By the same token,
> there's not much use in praising him either.

There is much merit in what Gary says here, but the subject has been
raised and it provides a convenient context in which to discuss the
issues. The point is less Lt. Mitchell as an individual, than as an
archtype.

> Nevertheless, if participating in the institution was not blameworthy, it
> seems to me that this would imply that institution itself was not
> blameworthy.

Here we disagree. When one is born and raised into a society that
sanctions and even rewards slavery and slaveownership, I am uncomfortable
wiht blaming individuals in that society for participation in the
institution of slavery. They are merely doing that which their society
has taught them that they should do.

> If slavery was wrong, then being a slaveowner was wrong.

This I agree with. Now, before you make the obvious post (How do you
reconcile this with not blaming Lt. Mitchell?) let me explain:

It is possible to do Something Wrong and yet be Held Blameless. If a
child has never been taught that guns are dangerous and can kill, should
we really =blame= a child who finds a gun and accidentally kills someone?
The child has done Something Wrong, but I refuse to Blame the child for
anything. (The idiot who left a loaded gun where the child could find it
might be blamed, but that is a different issue.) Lt. Mitchell did not
believe that slavery was wrong, or at least he believed it was the least
of several evils. He did not come by this belief because he was
inherently evil; rather, he came by it because he was raised in a society
that was based on certain (morally flawed) assumptions.

James F. Epperson

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
to

On 17 Sep 1996, gary charbonneau wrote:

> In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917130552.8955K-100000@zonker>,


> James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:
> >On 17 Sep 1996, gary charbonneau wrote:
>
> >> Nevertheless, if participating in the institution was not blameworthy, it
> >> seems to me that this would imply that institution itself was not
> >> blameworthy.
> >
> >Here we disagree. When one is born and raised into a society that
> >sanctions and even rewards slavery and slaveownership, I am uncomfortable
> >wiht blaming individuals in that society for participation in the
> >institution of slavery. They are merely doing that which their society
> >has taught them that they should do.
>

> They lived in a society in which slavery as a moral issue was clearly
> on the table.

Hmmm. Was it really on the table =within= the South? The very fact that
the South did many things to prevent the open discussion of abolitionism
implies that it was not. It certainly was on the table in discussions
between the South and the rest of the country, and increasingly so.

> It had been there ever since the early republic, and in
> recent decades had been kept there and brought to the forefront by the
> abolitionists. Slaveholders therefore lived in a society in which some people
> said that slavery was right, and others said that slavery was wrong.

But the insular nature of the South meant that most ordinary Southerners
did not really live in a society in which some people said that slavery
was wrong, because such a view was not (often) allowed to be heard within
the South.

> This
> confronted them directly with the need to make a moral choice. They made
> one, but made it incorrectly.

The South as a whole was directly confronted with the need to make a
moral choice, but the individual slaveowners really were not. When the
eldest son neared the age of majority, I doubt there was a dinner table
conversation along the lines of, "Well, son, are you going to enter in to
slaveholding or not?"

James F. Epperson

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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On 17 Sep 1996, Mark T Pitcavage wrote:

> In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917130552.8955K-100000@zonker>,
> James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:
>
> >> Nevertheless, if participating in the institution was not blameworthy, it
> >> seems to me that this would imply that institution itself was not
> >> blameworthy.
> >
> >Here we disagree. When one is born and raised into a society that
> >sanctions and even rewards slavery and slaveownership, I am uncomfortable
> >wiht blaming individuals in that society for participation in the
> >institution of slavery. They are merely doing that which their society
> >has taught them that they should do.
>

> Moral relativism raises its ugly head, I see.

[Note to Mark: Good response, it will at last convince people that we
don't always agree ;-)]

It is not moral relativism, it is the difference between individual and
corporate responsibility, and the difference between "blame" and
"responsibility." As you note below -- and I agree -- Lt. Mitchell
is indeed responsible for his acts, but I do not think he should be
blamed or judged for failing to do that which we think he should have
done, especially when so much of What Was Wrong had occurred decades
earlier, and been done by other men.

> If slavery is wrong, then those
> who practice it are culpable--to some degree--regardless of whether or not they
> were taught to practice it, as long as they are adults in possession of their
> faculties.

Agreed. The fact that they are culpable does not imply that they are
deserving of condemnation.

> Surely there were some 20-year old Wehrmacht lieutenants in 1944 who
> did what their society taught them to do, yet nevertheless committed acts which
> we would (and did) find unacceptable?

Agreed. The fact that German society had only recently been teaching its
soldiers that certain atrocities were, in fact, OK, is a major difference
between the two situations. If Lt. Mitchell were living in the 1630's I
would be more inclined to condemn him.

> On a lesser scale, Lt. Mitchell is in
> the same situation. You may or may not choose to judge or condemn him, but he
> must surely bear his part of the overall responsibility.

Precisely the case. He does bear responsibility, but I am uncomfortable
condemning him as an individual.

> The society to which
> you refer is composed of individuals, all making their own decisions.

Exactly so. But society is larger than the simple sum of its parts.

> >> If slavery was wrong, then being a slaveowner was wrong.
> >
> >This I agree with. Now, before you make the obvious post (How do you
> >reconcile this with not blaming Lt. Mitchell?) let me explain:

[analogy snipped]

> This analogy is a particularly poor one, on several different levels. It
> compares Accident to Purpose, Child to Adult. One need not call someone
> "inherently evil" in order to suggest that he bears responsibility for his own
> actions.

The analogy is better than you think. The fact that I am comparing an
accident to something purposeful reflects the fact that many Southern
slaveowners did not intend harm (as they understood "harm") to their
slaves. The fact that I am comparing a child to an adult reflects the
fact that, in the 1850's South, most slaveowners were the products of
several generations which had slowly developed the idea that slavery was
right and good and harmless and even beneficial. They were incapable of
thinking rationally on the subject by themselves, in many cases.

As indicated above, I think we are hung up on slightly different word
usages here. I am not suggesting a lack of responsibility; I am
suggesting that there should be no condemnation. There is a difference.

James F. Epperson

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
to

On Tue, 17 Sep 1996, Dave Gorski wrote:

> In article <51mv8a$g...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>,
> mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) wrote:
>
>

> Surely there were some 20-year old Wehrmacht lieutenants in 1944 who
> > did what their society taught them to do, yet nevertheless committed
> acts which
> > we would (and did) find unacceptable?
>

> I seem to recall a line in an earlier post " I was under the impression
> that we were in a news group for the American Civil War"
> How the heck did we get back to Nazi Germany AGAIN. And why are the same
> people always taking us there?

Since I am the person Mark was responding to, I think I should point out
that it is a fair question to ask, IMO. I happen to think there are
important differences between the choices presented to Mark's Wehrmacht
officer and Lt. Mitchell, but Mark is entirely within the bounds of
rational debate to bring up the comparison.

Mark T Pitcavage

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
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In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917130552.8955K-100000@zonker>,
James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:

>> Nevertheless, if participating in the institution was not blameworthy, it
>> seems to me that this would imply that institution itself was not
>> blameworthy.
>
>Here we disagree. When one is born and raised into a society that
>sanctions and even rewards slavery and slaveownership, I am uncomfortable
>wiht blaming individuals in that society for participation in the
>institution of slavery. They are merely doing that which their society
>has taught them that they should do.

Moral relativism raises its ugly head, I see. If slavery is wrong, then those

who practice it are culpable--to some degree--regardless of whether or not they
were taught to practice it, as long as they are adults in possession of their

faculties. Surely there were some 20-year old Wehrmacht lieutenants in 1944 who

did what their society taught them to do, yet nevertheless committed acts which

we would (and did) find unacceptable? On a lesser scale, Lt. Mitchell is in

the same situation. You may or may not choose to judge or condemn him, but he

must surely bear his part of the overall responsibility. The society to which

you refer is composed of individuals, all making their own decisions.

>> If slavery was wrong, then being a slaveowner was wrong.
>
>This I agree with. Now, before you make the obvious post (How do you
>reconcile this with not blaming Lt. Mitchell?) let me explain:
>

>It is possible to do Something Wrong and yet be Held Blameless. If a
>child has never been taught that guns are dangerous and can kill, should
>we really =blame= a child who finds a gun and accidentally kills someone?
>The child has done Something Wrong, but I refuse to Blame the child for
>anything. (The idiot who left a loaded gun where the child could find it
>might be blamed, but that is a different issue.) Lt. Mitchell did not
>believe that slavery was wrong, or at least he believed it was the least
>of several evils. He did not come by this belief because he was

>inherently evil; rather, he came by it because he was raised in a society


>that was based on certain (morally flawed) assumptions.

This analogy is a particularly poor one, on several different levels. It

Hunter D

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
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mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) wrote:

>>I am kinda curious how a couple of fat white rummies that had not run
>>further than the poop deck for two or three months, could land in Africa
>>and chase down able bodied young "bucks" with a damn net.

>I will ignore your usage of that one word and point out that coastal raiding

>was not uncommon, although it was not the source by which most slaves were
>taken.

Okay, maybe not the best term. I will be more careful next time.


>>
>>The historical revisionists scream racisism and bigotry if you tell the
>>documented truth that every single person purchased through the African
>>slave trade was sold into bondage by a black person.

>It is neither truth nor documented.

I have read several articles discussing how slavers would cant their sails
to indicate to local chieftains that they were ready to deal.

>>It is also well documented that living conditions for slave were vastly
>>better than those of immigrant workers in the industrial north.

>It is amazing how you have access to all this documentation that has somehow
>escaped so many other people.

It is amazing that someone that has an opionion on every thread I have ever
explored is unaware of the squalid living conditions and working
environments that immigrants in the north were subject to. Starting with
the industrial revolution till nearly WW2.


Stephen Schmidt

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
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"James F. Epperson" <eppe...@math.uah.edu> writes:
>Hmmm. Was it really on the table =within= the South?

Hinton Helper certainly thought that it was. So did Cassius Clay,
although if we're distinguishing between CSA South and border
South I would concede on Clay (but not on Helper, who was born
and raised in North Carolina, and lived there until shortly
after his book was published).

>The very fact that
>the South did many things to prevent the open discussion of abolitionism
>implies that it was not.

On the contrary, the fact that the slave power felt it necessary to
ban abolitionist materials strongly suggests that those materials
had a receptive audience in the white South. Presumably among the
75% of families that did not own slaves, but then, those families
formed a potential majority against slavery if they could be
externally mobilized (or internally, for that matter).

>But the insular nature of the South meant that most ordinary Southerners
>did not really live in a society in which some people said that slavery
>was wrong, because such a view was not (often) allowed to be heard within
>the South.

I am not sure that follows. The fact that much effort was taken to
surpress abolitionist sentiments does not mean that those efforts
were completely successful. My understanding is that abolitionist
writings and ideas were accessible, with some degree of effort, to
any Southerner who wanted them. That is not based on any deep
knowledge of the period, however. Since it's all just us Group
members on this thread now anyway, can I ask if there's a book
somewhere in the Des Moines city library which might discuss
this? I have read Stampp but don't recall anything relevant in
there.

Steve
--
Stephen Schmidt Department of Economics
210A Social Sciences Union College
(518) 388-6078 Schenectady NY 12308

Mark T Pitcavage

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
to

In article <1996Sep18.0...@unvax.union.edu>,

Perhaps you could look for Clement Eaton's _The Freedom-of-Thought Struggle in
the Old South_.

Douglas B. Smith

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
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And Smitty comments:

Seems like y'all are getting worked up over something that you
cannot change. Kind of pointless, isn't it? Discussion of history is
one thing, but the problem I see here is that you are putting 20th
Century values and viewpoints on a 19th Century problem. They are not
mutually inclusive. To Mr. Pitcavage, I admire your sense of values,
and I'm sure they equal those of many in the past century, but
obviously not all. To Mr. McCain, your defense of Lt. Mitchell was in
the grand style of many Southern barristers, but what's the point?
History is the record of politics long since dispensed. You're not
going to change anything except the written account, maybe, and is that
a proper thing to do? Personally, I don't think so.
I won't argue about the immorality of slavery or the perpetuation
of the institution. Suffice to say that on a legal scale and in the
general populace, such things don't exist today in this country.
Racial prejudice does, but that's another thread. Slavery does exist
in other parts of the world. Perhaps your zeal could be better used in
the fight against it. Whatever, I think most of us view the Civil War
as a most formative piece of our nation's history and worth the effort
of study and the possible pursuit as a hobby. But we're not going to
change anything that occurred by getting upset about it, so why bother?

Just my opinion........
Smitty

"If it's worth dying for, it's worth fighting over. If it's not worth
dying for, then it's not worth fighting over." - me

Mark T Pitcavage

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
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In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917150126.8955N-100000@zonker>,


James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:

>On 17 Sep 1996, Mark T Pitcavage wrote:
>

>> In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917130552.8955K-100000@zonker>,
>> James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:
>>
>> >> Nevertheless, if participating in the institution was not blameworthy, it
>> >> seems to me that this would imply that institution itself was not
>> >> blameworthy.
>> >
>> >Here we disagree. When one is born and raised into a society that
>> >sanctions and even rewards slavery and slaveownership, I am uncomfortable
>> >wiht blaming individuals in that society for participation in the
>> >institution of slavery. They are merely doing that which their society
>> >has taught them that they should do.
>>
>> Moral relativism raises its ugly head, I see.
>

>[Note to Mark: Good response, it will at last convince people that we
>don't always agree ;-)]
>
>It is not moral relativism, it is the difference between individual and
>corporate responsibility, and the difference between "blame" and
>"responsibility." As you note below -- and I agree -- Lt. Mitchell
>is indeed responsible for his acts, but I do not think he should be
>blamed or judged for failing to do that which we think he should have
>done, especially when so much of What Was Wrong had occurred decades
>earlier, and been done by other men.

No, I think what you are describing -is- a form of moral relativism. It says
that people who grow up in a society that teaches them certain things are less
blameworthy for their actions. It is analogous to those apologists for Japan
who argue that because of "Bushido," individual Japanese soldiers should not
have been held accountable for many of their actions.

I am not saying that Lt. Mitchell -should- have done anything, as you suggest
above. I am merely noting that he certainly can and should be held responsible
for what he -did- do. That he was not the first to do such things is hardly
relevant in this scenario, just as the fact that the Indians killed at Wounded
Knee were hardly the first killed in North America does little to negate the
responsibility for the killing.


>
>> If slavery is wrong, then those
>> who practice it are culpable--to some degree--regardless of whether or not t
hey
>> were taught to practice it, as long as they are adults in possession of thei
r

>> faculties.
>
>Agreed. The fact that they are culpable does not imply that they are
>deserving of condemnation.

Let us not leap to terms that none have used. Nobody here has "condemned"
Lt. Mitchell, who was after all rather small fry and probably not worthy of
condemnation.


>
>> Surely there were some 20-year old Wehrmacht lieutenants in 1944 who
>> did what their society taught them to do, yet nevertheless committed acts wh
ich
>> we would (and did) find unacceptable?
>

>Agreed. The fact that German society had only recently been teaching its
>soldiers that certain atrocities were, in fact, OK, is a major difference
>between the two situations. If Lt. Mitchell were living in the 1630's I
>would be more inclined to condemn him.

It is not a major difference at all in this situation, since a 20-year old
wehrmacht lieutenant would have been indoctrined in Nazi ideology since he was
nine years old.

>> On a lesser scale, Lt. Mitchell is in
>> the same situation. You may or may not choose to judge or condemn him, but
he
>> must surely bear his part of the overall responsibility.
>

>Precisely the case. He does bear responsibility, but I am uncomfortable
>condemning him as an individual.
>

>> The society to which
>> you refer is composed of individuals, all making their own decisions.
>

>Exactly so. But society is larger than the simple sum of its parts.

It sounds as if you are unwilling to make a moral judgment about -any-
individual, at the same time you admit that they bear responsibility for their
acts. That is like Buchanan saying that secession was illegal, but he couldn't
prevent it. :)

Mark T Pitcavage

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
to

In article <bigg-17099...@hyperion.execpc.com>,

Dave Gorski <bi...@execpc.com> wrote:
>In article <51mv8a$g...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>,
>mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) wrote:
>
>
> Surely there were some 20-year old Wehrmacht lieutenants in 1944 who
>> did what their society taught them to do, yet nevertheless committed
>acts which
>> we would (and did) find unacceptable?
>
> I seem to recall a line in an earlier post " I was under the impression
>that we were in a news group for the American Civil War"

If you had bothered to read the entire post, instead of snipping one phrase out
of context, perhaps you would have noticed that the post was very relevant to
the Civil War.

> How the heck did we get back to Nazi Germany AGAIN. And why are the same
>people always taking us there?

Which part of the analogy that I made did you fail to understand?

Mark T Pitcavage

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
to

In article <51ngh1$a...@ganja.nol.net>, Hunter D <dun...@nol.net> wrote:
>mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) wrote:
>
>>>I am kinda curious how a couple of fat white rummies that had not run
>>>further than the poop deck for two or three months, could land in Africa
>>>and chase down able bodied young "bucks" with a damn net.
>
>>I will ignore your usage of that one word and point out that coastal raiding
>>was not uncommon, although it was not the source by which most slaves were
>>taken.
>
>Okay, maybe not the best term. I will be more careful next time.

>>>The historical revisionists scream racisism and bigotry if you tell the
>>>documented truth that every single person purchased through the African
>>>slave trade was sold into bondage by a black person.
>
>>It is neither truth nor documented.

>I have read several articles discussing how slavers would cant their sails
>to indicate to local chieftains that they were ready to deal.

It is a far cry from reading articles which discuss how local leaders sold
slaves to European traders to asserting with great vigor, as you do, that
"every single person" was sold into bondage by a black person. The fact is,
and it is easily documentable, that many European slavers did in fact conduct
raids of their own along the coast at different times.

>
>>>It is also well documented that living conditions for slave were vastly
>>>better than those of immigrant workers in the industrial north.
>
>>It is amazing how you have access to all this documentation that has somehow
>>escaped so many other people.

>It is amazing that someone that has an opionion on every thread I have ever
>explored is unaware of the squalid living conditions and working
>environments that immigrants in the north were subject to. Starting with
>the industrial revolution till nearly WW2.

If the living conditions for Northern workers were so bad, perhaps you can tell
me why runaway slaves did not return South?

Mark T Pitcavage

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
to

In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917160447.8955P-100000@zonker>,

James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:
>On 17 Sep 1996, gary charbonneau wrote:
>
>> In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917130552.8955K-100000@zonker>,
>> James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:
>> >On 17 Sep 1996, gary charbonneau wrote:
>>
>> >> Nevertheless, if participating in the institution was not blameworthy, it
>> >> seems to me that this would imply that institution itself was not
>> >> blameworthy.
>> >
>> >Here we disagree. When one is born and raised into a society that
>> >sanctions and even rewards slavery and slaveownership, I am uncomfortable
>> >wiht blaming individuals in that society for participation in the
>> >institution of slavery. They are merely doing that which their society
>> >has taught them that they should do.
>>
>> They lived in a society in which slavery as a moral issue was clearly
>> on the table.
>
>Hmmm. Was it really on the table =within= the South? The very fact that

>the South did many things to prevent the open discussion of abolitionism
>implies that it was not. It certainly was on the table in discussions
>between the South and the rest of the country, and increasingly so.

Oh, it was still on the table within the South; it is just that the framework
was different. Within the South the discussion was not over the abolition of
slavery, but rather on how to reform the institution to try to get rid of its
moral and other problems.

>
>> It had been there ever since the early republic, and in
>> recent decades had been kept there and brought to the forefront by the

>> abolitionists. Slaveholders therefore lived in a society in which some peop
le


>> said that slavery was right, and others said that slavery was wrong.
>

>But the insular nature of the South meant that most ordinary Southerners
>did not really live in a society in which some people said that slavery
>was wrong, because such a view was not (often) allowed to be heard within
>the South.

Most ordinary Southerners knew that there were numbers of people out there who

said that slavery was wrong.

>


>> This
>> confronted them directly with the need to make a moral choice. They made
>> one, but made it incorrectly.
>
>The South as a whole was directly confronted with the need to make a
>moral choice, but the individual slaveowners really were not. When the
>eldest son neared the age of majority, I doubt there was a dinner table
>conversation along the lines of, "Well, son, are you going to enter in to
>slaveholding or not?"

Moral choices do not have to be made consciously.

James F. Epperson

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
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On 18 Sep 1996, Mark T Pitcavage wrote:

> No, I think what you are describing -is- a form of moral relativism. It says
> that people who grow up in a society that teaches them certain things are less
> blameworthy for their actions. It is analogous to those apologists for Japan
> who argue that because of "Bushido," individual Japanese soldiers should not
> have been held accountable for many of their actions.

What I am trying to get at is the distinction between saying that someone
is morally responsible for their actions (on the one hand), and the
separate question of whether they should be punished for them, either
literally in a court of law or figuratively in the court of history.
There is a distinction. And your example is a good one, since I happen
to feel that in many cases the actions of individual Japanese soldiers
should not have led to punishment for the precise reasons you bring up.
They are indeed morally responsible for their actions, nonetheless.
Courts of law have always recognized mitigating circumstances.

[In an earlier post I said:]

> > The fact that they are culpable does not imply that they are
> >deserving of condemnation.
>
> Let us not leap to terms that none have used. Nobody here has "condemned"
> Lt. Mitchell, who was after all rather small fry and probably not worthy of
> condemnation.

Which points out the degree to which we have been mis-communicating here,
because I very much got the impression that you =were= condemning Lt.
Mitchell, and that is precisely why I jumped in with my first message.

[Mark raises the example of a Wehrmacht officer, and I reply:]

> >Agreed. The fact that German society had only recently been teaching its
> >soldiers that certain atrocities were, in fact, OK, is a major difference
> >between the two situations. If Lt. Mitchell were living in the 1630's I
> >would be more inclined to condemn him.
>
> It is not a major difference at all in this situation, since a 20-year old
> wehrmacht lieutenant would have been indoctrined in Nazi ideology since he was
> nine years old.

True enough, but the basic point still remains. German society went from
being not especially horrible to outright bestial in the span of about 10
years. There would have been more points of reference by which ordinary
people could say, "This is not right, we cannot go along with this." But
to address your specific point, I would again be less inclined to
prosecute or condemn the lower ranks for simply following orders. The
higher ranks, that is different; if the lower ranks were exercising their
own judgement in carrying out atrocities, that might be different. The
devil here is in the details, of course.

[snips]

> It sounds as if you are unwilling to make a moral judgment about -any-
> individual, at the same time you admit that they bear responsibility for their
> acts.

Not at all. Nothing in what I have posted here suggests that I would not
condemn Ted Bundy or even Lt. Calley (just to pull two names out of the
air). The issue for me here is the practice of singling out an individual
for moral or legal or historical judgement when the mass of society around
him or her is or was doing the same thing. To make a trivial comparison,
it is akin to pulling over one person for speeding when everyone on the
interstate is doing 85. I don't think it should be done. Pull over the
reckless drivers, or the truely excessive speeders, but not the folks who
are simply going faster than the sign says.

> That is like Buchanan saying that secession was illegal, but he couldn't
> prevent it. :)

Ouch! Now you are getting insulting :-)

gary charbonneau

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
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In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917160447.8955P-100000@zonker>,
James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:

>Hmmm. Was it really on the table =within= the South? The very fact that
>the South did many things to prevent the open discussion of abolitionism
>implies that it was not. It certainly was on the table in discussions
>between the South and the rest of the country, and increasingly so.

Bingo. The political leaders of the South demanded that the power of the
national government (specifically, the power of the government to determine
what was allowed to pass through the mails) must be used to help keep it
off the table within the region. They further demanded that the Northern
states take legal action to keep it off the table in the country as a whole,
by suppressing freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the North.
This latter demand was not met. At the same time, they demanded that
the power of the federal government be used to help extend slavery into the
West, and to return fugitive slaves -- demands that could not help but to keep
the issue on the national table. When the executive branch of the
government consequently came under the control of the Republicans,
Southern leaders worried about how much longer they would be able to keep
it off the table regionally. Ergo, secession.

>But the insular nature of the South meant that most ordinary Southerners
>did not really live in a society in which some people said that slavery
>was wrong, because such a view was not (often) allowed to be heard within
>the South.

Bingo. Two winning cards in a row.

>> This
>> confronted them directly with the need to make a moral choice. They made
>> one, but made it incorrectly.
>
>The South as a whole was directly confronted with the need to make a
>moral choice, but the individual slaveowners really were not. When the
>eldest son neared the age of majority, I doubt there was a dinner table
>conversation along the lines of, "Well, son, are you going to enter in to
>slaveholding or not?"

Bingo again. Third time's a charm. There were few such conversations, for
reasons already discussed in this thread. But father and son were very
much aware that a lot of folks, not only in the North, but throughout the
Western world, who considered slavery to be wrong. Even if they
subscribed only to Southern periodicals or newspapers, they would have
been exposed to abolitionist arguments indirectly, through eloquent
rebuttals to those arguments. Thus, an ethical choice definitely did
confront them, and they knew it. But they had to hold few such
conversations such as you describe, because most of them had long since made
up their minds about the matter.

- Gary Charbonneau

tennes...@usa.pipeline.com

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
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On Sep 17, 1996 16:14:59 in article <Re: In Defense of Lt. Mitchell (Was
Re: to mr mccain)>, '"James F. Epperson" <eppe...@math.uah.edu>' wrote:

<buncha stuff snipped>

>The fact that I am comparing a child to an adult reflects the
>fact that, in the 1850's South, most slaveowners were the products of
>several generations which had slowly developed the idea that slavery was
>right and good and harmless and even beneficial. They were incapable of
>thinking rationally on the subject by themselves, in many cases.

I would suggest to you that as far as they (the slaveowners) were concerned

they were indeed thinking rationally. The very notion that you state
above, that several generations had developed a philosophy that slavery was

in many ways a positive good, would indicate that the slaveowner who *did
not* think thusly would be considered irrational.

Tennessee Reb

"I was a Southern Man at the start. I am yet, and
will die a Rebel. I believe I was right in all I did...."

Capt. Champ Ferguson, CSA, 20 October, 1865


tennes...@usa.pipeline.com

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
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On Sep 18, 1996 13:39:58 in article <Re: In Defense of Lt. Mitchell (Was
Re: to mr mccain)>, 'char...@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (gary charbonneau)'
wrote:

<sorry to interrupt this GroupeGrope(TM), but here goes...>

>James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:
>
>>Hmmm. Was it really on the table =within= the South? The very fact that

>>the South did many things to prevent the open discussion of abolitionism

>>implies that it was not. It certainly was on the table in discussions
>>between the South and the rest of the country, and increasingly so.
>
>Bingo. The political leaders of the South demanded that the power of the
>national government (specifically, the power of the government to
determine
>what was allowed to pass through the mails) must be used to help keep it
>off the table within the region. They further demanded that the Northern
>states take legal action to keep it off the table in the country as a
whole,
>by suppressing freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the North.
>This latter demand was not met. At the same time, they demanded that
>the power of the federal government be used to help extend slavery into
the
>West, and to return fugitive slaves -- demands that could not help but to
keep
>the issue on the national table. When the executive branch of the
>government consequently came under the control of the Republicans,
>Southern leaders worried about how much longer they would be able to keep
>it off the table regionally. Ergo, secession.

What you fail to note in the above is the *slaveholders* point of view.
On the surface, these actions and demands for action may seem
contradictory, but they were in fact not. What you define as suppression
of freedom of speech and of the press was seen by the slaveholder as
enforcement of his constitutionally guaranteed protection from the
incitement of servile insurrection. I will not speculate as to whether
this demand was a visible effect of some sort of paranoia or not. After
Haiti, Nat Turner, and Harper's Ferry, I am not so sure that it was.

Axel Kleiboemer

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
to

rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) wrote:
And I should point out
>that the cotton crop was the nation's No. 1 export before the war. Would a
>work force which was systematically abused in the ways which you detail
>have been so productive? This is the point, you see: The abuse could never
>have been so widespread, else production would have declined and/or
>rebellion would have been far more common than it was.
>Whatever you might say about the planters of yore, shouldn't we credit
>them with a sophisticated enough grasp of human nature as to know how best
>to motivate people to work, even if those people were slaves?
>
>Robert Stacy McCain

Well,

In more than half a century, there was only one reported rebellion in the
Gulag, which had 60 million inhabitants over some 50 years.

Should we credit Uncle Joe with a sophisticated understanding of human
nature? Indeed, we should.

Mr. McCain's implication is that slaveowners used positive reinforcement.
And the proof of the pudding is an absence of rebellion. (Turner
excepted.) I say, with George Gershwin and DuBose Hayward: "It ain't
necessarily so."

Regards, Axel

Axel Kleiboemer

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Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
to

bi...@execpc.com (Dave Gorski) wrote:
>In article <51mv8a$g...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>,
>mpit...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Mark T Pitcavage) wrote:
>
>
> Surely there were some 20-year old Wehrmacht lieutenants in 1944 who
>> did what their society taught them to do, yet nevertheless committed
>acts which
>> we would (and did) find unacceptable?
>
> I seem to recall a line in an earlier post " I was under the impression
>that we were in a news group for the American Civil War"
> How the heck did we get back to Nazi Germany AGAIN. And why are the same
>people always taking us there?
>
>Dave Gorski

Dear David,

WWII is a fact of life. Moral lines were drawn pretty clearly. The lines
are far less clear when it comes to the ACW. It seems reasonable to make
comparisons as a means for making a point which all of us can understand,
because of WWII's proximity and the ubiquity of knowledge about that sad
event.

Comparisons to the Thirty Years War, or the War of the Pacific, would not
be nearly so instructive. To examine the ACW per se only, makes it a
monad without meaning.

About the "same people": Perhaps, these are people with a broad
perspective.

Regards, Axel


Axel Kleiboemer

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) wrote:
>In article <51bv5l$l...@frazier.backbone.ou.edu>, jema...@uoknor.edu
>(james E. Mahoney Jr.) writes:
>>
>>is it better to live as a slave or to die fighting no matter how good
>your
>>master is to you hes still a master or better yet an oppresser
>
> And your point, sir, would be ...?
> I am aware of few slaves who chose the option you suggest -- "to die
>fighting" -- and many millions who chose to live as slaves.
>
>Robert Stacy McCain

And what is your point, Sir, Sir, Sir? An average person like I am would
like to survive. So we don't rock the boat. And we survived, as did your
ancestors.

I truly hate this "Sir" pretension of courtesy. That's what a cop says to
me when he hands me a traffic ticket. He really means, gotcha sob.

You are still masterbating and you cannot stop. I hope that one of these
days you will achieve what you seek.

Axel


cwood

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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As I recall, the original post was an excerpt from the letters of a Lt.
Mitchell, who writes quite favourably of his slave, Ike. Now I believe
that Mr. McCain uses this as a basis for a defense of the peculiar
institution. I am unsure of the effectiveness of this tactic. Suppose I
present the diary of an SS guard at Auschwitz, who makes a number of
favourable comments towards the inmates, and perhaps even befriends one.
Should I then use this as evidence to all my Jewish friends that the
holocaust was not all that bad for some inmates, and maybe some Nazis were
just misunderstood, or to borrow a line, products of their generation?
The logic is the same.
C Wood

cwood

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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In article <51n4c3$m...@dismay.ucs.indiana.edu>, char...@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (gary charbonneau) says:
>
>In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960917130552.8955K-100000@zonker>,

>James F. Epperson <eppe...@math.uah.edu> wrote:
>>On 17 Sep 1996, gary charbonneau wrote:
>
>>> Nevertheless, if participating in the institution was not blameworthy, it
>>> seems to me that this would imply that institution itself was not
>>> blameworthy.
>>
>>Here we disagree. When one is born and raised into a society that
>>sanctions and even rewards slavery and slaveownership, I am uncomfortable
>>wiht blaming individuals in that society for participation in the
>>institution of slavery. They are merely doing that which their society
>>has taught them that they should do.
>
>They lived in a society in which slavery as a moral issue was clearly
>on the table. It had been there ever since the early republic, and in

>recent decades had been kept there and brought to the forefront by the
>abolitionists. Slaveholders therefore lived in a society in which some people
>said that slavery was right, and others said that slavery was wrong. This

>confronted them directly with the need to make a moral choice. They made
>one, but made it incorrectly.
>
>It has been argued that the belief of slaveholders and their
>supporters that slavery was right became more and more
>rigid and unbending the more that abolitionist outsiders pointed out that
>slavery was wrong. There may be some truth in that. Perhaps the correct
>strategy for the abolitionists would have been to demand that
>the slaveowners be _forbidden_ to emancipate their slaves :)
>
>Of course, in those days people believed that moral choice should be guided,
>not by "conscience" (the current fashion these days), but
>by God's will as revealed in Scripture. Abolitionists and slaveholders
>alike accepted this. But Scripture did not condemn slavery. It said only
>that masters should treat their slaves kindly. By that standard, the
>slaveholders easily had the better of the argument, and the moral choice
>they made was quite correct.
>
>- Gary Charbonneau
Hi.
While I am highly reluctant to ever bring up religion in
discussion, the assertion that the bible provided slave holders with
a moral loophole is a bit of a cop-out IMO. It is a truism that one can
use scripture to justify almost anything.
C Wood

Axel Kleiboemer

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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What a horror. Your reasonable inquiry will now be excoriated as too
"emotionally loaded", etc. Your observation is too much to the point. You
will be told that you should not dare to compare or analogize anything
which happened in WWII to anything in the ACW.

Axel "this really gets my Irish up" Kleiboemer

P,S. Never, never make such a comparison or analogy, The thought police
will come and get you.


RStacy2229

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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In article <51n4c3$m...@dismay.ucs.indiana.edu>,

char...@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (gary charbonneau) writes:
>
>Of course, in those days people believed that moral choice should be
guided,
>not by "conscience" (the current fashion these days), but
>by God's will as revealed in Scripture. Abolitionists and slaveholders
>alike accepted this. But Scripture did not condemn slavery. It said
only
>that masters should treat their slaves kindly. By that standard, the
>slaveholders easily had the better of the argument, and the moral choice
>they made was quite correct.

Uh, Gary ... some folks STILL guide their moral choices by God's will as
revealed in Scripture. Or at least try to do so. The problem with any
other standard of moral behavior is that it is subject to change. The 10
Commandments have been in force for more than 3,000 years. And the Golden
Rule was first articulated in Palestine in about 37 A.D.
Now, you are absolutely right that the Bible sanctioned the institution
of slavery; but as we can see from Egypty and Israel, God's wrath was
kindled when a young Pharoah made bondage ornerous. And the judgement of
God also fell upon Babylon in the time of Jewish captivity, in the time of
Daniel.
Probably about 1835, after the British had declared emancipation and
Virginia had rejected a post-nati plan, we might guess that the
"handwriting was on the wall" (a reference to Daniel) for the South. W.L.
Yancey, I believe, in moving to break the Democratic Party and destroy the
Union, said, "The agitation over slavery must end."
And so it did ... OR SHOULD HAVE. But the agents of the Republican
Party, sent South to rule the conquered, worked actively to foment
resentment of the "former condition of servitude" among many freedmen ---
they wanted to make the ex-slaves HATE and FEAR their former masters, a
hatred and fear which benefitted the GOP politically. In many cases,
sadly, these agents were successful, and violence resulted.
So it is now. Under the guise of "combatting racism," some people
think, by painting slavery in the lurid colors of Aptheker, Stampp and
Foner, that they are somehow "doing something." Rather, these exaggerated
and irresponsible Neo-Scalawag agitators are again seeking to destroy the
South via politics. Why else all the calumny and insults? Why does former
Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson use the phrase "Confederate swastika" in
describing the flag? Why does the screenwriter for a Disney movie tell a
reporter that "Nazi Germany or the Confederate South, take your pick" is
the inspiration for his latest movie?
I'm telling you, this attack on the Confederacy has very little to do
with what happened in 1860 or 1861, and it has a GREAT deal to do with
what will happen in 1997, 1998, 1999 and onward. Michael Westerman is
already dead because of these lies -- how many more do you want to see
killed? And when all the people flying the Confederate flag are shot dead,
who will be next?
Whether you realize it or not, the influence and tacit approval of
scholars has greatly encouraged this new attack upon the South. NOT ONCE
have I seen a guest column in the Atlanta paper by an associate professor
who was willing to repudiate all the twisted, hateful rhetoric that is
being spewed out by these people. The NAACP has called the Confederate
flag "AN ODIOUS BLIGHT UPON THE UNIVERSE."
Is this fair? Do people who lie so viciously have honorable intentions?
I think not.

Robert Stacy McCain

RStacy2229

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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In article <51mb4m$d...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, tmcm...@aol.com (TMcM5670)
writes:

>A claim that planters had a sophisticated enough enough grasp of human
>nature as to know how to best motivate people to work? Your are a
deluded
>fellow. Motivation......what method was that Mr. McCain? With sheer
>numbers in a work force, it is not hard to be productive. Plus, the work
>force was not specialized, and was interchangable.>
Here you show your own delusion, sir. According to Fogel and Engerman,
plantation slaves were some 35 percent more effective in agricultural
production than Northern free labor. Many, if not indeed most, planters
sought to instill in their slaves a sense of commonality of interest which
was entirely logical: The slaves worked hard, made a good crop, and -- if
the planter was an efficient manager -- the slaves ate well, were housed
and clothed decently, with intact families and perhaps the possibility of
some improvement in their condition. If the slaves did NOT work hard, the
plantation might experience financial difficulties, and the planter might
go bankrupt or otherwise be forced to sell his slaves, perhaps involving
not only the relocation, but the breakup of slave families. A bankrupt
master was in no position to emancipate anyone, I might note. There were
many other motivations for hard work for slaves: Some had the opportunity
to earn money from other pursuits, money with which they might purchase
freedom for themselves and their families.

>Motivation of
>fear.....we should credit this?

Yes: I've got to go to work today and work hard, too. If not, I may lose
my home, my possessions and my family. This is the motivation of fear for
the laborer in the private sector of the capitalist economy. And the
language of slavery is commonplace where I work. When someone questions
the management's decisions, us folks jes say, "I only picks de cotton on
dis hyah plantation!" And when a co-worker orders us to do something,
sometime us folks be sayin: "Massa Lincoln done freed de slaves."

RSMc

REB 4 LIFE

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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In article <51mb4m$d...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, tmcm...@aol.com (TMcM5670)
writes:

> It was the fear that punishment, violence, etc would be the
>result. Is this "sophisticated grasp of human nature" something you
>should seek to give merit? It is wholely unsophisticated. It is brutish
>and simple. You ring shame to the southern point of view with you posts.

Lemme tell ya sumpin here, boy... Did you ever hear of character
traits called "love" and "loyalty"? They apply here to a much greater
degree than you suppose.

Let's try an analogy. When you were a child, did you love your parents?
Were you not loyal to your family? Did you not usually try your best
to please those whom you loved, and who loved you? And, in the
same regard, did you not have some level of fear of Mom and Dad,
based on fear of punishment for your misdeeds, or merely fear of
having disappointed your loved ones in some matter? If your
answer to all of the above is not "yes", then stop here. Otherwise
read on...

As with any level of human interaction, a single emotion (in your
instance, it is "fear") can never be entirely controlling. It is a
mixture
of all of the various forms and levels of interaction. And, whether you
believe it or not, and whether it makes you feel badly or not, there
*absolutely* is a great deal of truth to the view that slavery in the
South was largely a paternalistic institution. That fact that you may
feel such paternalism to be degrading to the slaves is quite irrelevant.
The plain fact is that fear is a lousy motivator when used excessively
and breeds nothing but resentment. If fear had been the sole motivator
of the slave, then our history would be rife with incidents of
insurrection
and violence against ol' massa. And it just ain't so.

Take my advice and check your aim before you spout off the
next time, or you'll just be shootin' yo'sef in de foot agin.

Hab a nicet day,

R4L

Dave Gorski

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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In article <51nkke$r...@news2.cais.com>, Axel Kleiboemer

<akle...@ids2.idsonline.com> wrote:
>
> WWII is a fact of life. Moral lines were drawn pretty clearly. The lines
> are far less clear when it comes to the ACW. It seems reasonable to make
> comparisons as a means for making a point which all of us can understand,
> because of WWII's proximity and the ubiquity of knowledge about that sad
> event.

Axel, I don't disagree, and I'm not denying the existance of WWII.
The problem I have with all the comparison is that the morals of two
different cultures, 100 years apart, are being represented as the same.
Morals shift and change through time, and what is acceptable to the people
in that time and place may not be acceptable in another. How can we stand in
judgement based on OUR morals.This doesn't change right and wrong, only
perception.
The perspective is much different if you try and understand it using
mid-eighteenth century American morals. Not easy, in ninteenth century
America, but unfair to look at it any other way. These comparisons
always show "this was the same and that was the same" and what people
"understand" is that the actions were the same. And they are not.

Thanks, Dave Gorski

TMcM5670

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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Isn't it nice to have the freedom to respond to this newsgroup?

gary charbonneau

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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In article <51pq3l$g...@news2.h1.usa.pipeline.com>,
<tennes...@usa.pipeline.com> wrote:

>What you fail to note in the above is the *slaveholders* point of view.
>On the surface, these actions and demands for action may seem
>contradictory, but they were in fact not. What you define as suppression
>of freedom of speech and of the press was seen by the slaveholder as
>enforcement of his constitutionally guaranteed protection from the
>incitement of servile insurrection.

To some extent, perhaps. However, the counterargument often made
to your position is that abolitionist literature sent through the mails
to the South was generally not intended for a slave audience. Most
slaves were illiterate, after all. Rather, this literature was
intended for a white audience. The real danger such literature posed was not
the threat of provoking servile insurrection, but the threat of undermining
the political alliance between the slaveholding white minority and
the non-slaveholding white majority. Had this alliance been
broken, slavery would have been gravely jeopardized from _within_
the slaveholding states. Had this alliance been broken, the great
and bloody Civil War would have been pretty much a big fizzle; in fact
there likely would have been no secession at all. And one must also
ask the question of whether literature which merely called slavery a Bad
Thing deserved to be construed _ipso facto_ as a call for violent and
bloody insurrection against it. It seems to me that literature of that
ilk said no more than many slaveholders themselves had said prior to about
1820 or so, and I do not think that they were calling for insurrectionary
violence against themselves.

Nor would I push the argument about a "constitutionally guaranteed protection"
too far. With regard to speech and the press, the slaveholders themselves
didn't. They usually did not, for example, insist that the _federal_
government intervene to quash free speech and a free press in the North.
Instead, they demanded that individual Northerners practice self-censorship.
If they would not do that, then the demand was usually that actions against
freedom of speech and the press be undertaken by Northern _state_ governments.
In the face of the Bill of Rights, how could slaveholders demand federal
intervention?

>I will not speculate as to whether
>this demand was a visible effect of some sort of paranoia or not. After
>Haiti, Nat Turner, and Harper's Ferry, I am not so sure that it was.

As the saying goes, even paranoids have enemies. But of course the belief that
slave uprisings posed a clear and present danger was somewhat at odds
with the belief that slavery was such a benevolent institution that slaves
had no reason to be discontented with their lot.

- Gary Charbonneau

gary charbonneau

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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In article <51qq5s$5...@supra.wbm.ca>, cwood <cw...@eagle.wbm.ca> wrote:

> While I am highly reluctant to ever bring up religion in
>discussion, the assertion that the bible provided slave holders with
>a moral loophole is a bit of a cop-out IMO. It is a truism that one can
>use scripture to justify almost anything.

I've noticed that.

- Gary Charbonneau

RStacy2229

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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In article <51n4c3$m...@dismay.ucs.indiana.edu>,
char...@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (gary charbonneau) writes:
> It had been there ever since the early republic, and in
>recent decades had been kept there and brought to the forefront by the
>abolitionists. Slaveholders therefore lived in a society in which some
>people
>said that slavery was right, and others said that slavery was wrong.
This
>confronted them directly with the need to make a moral choice. They made
>one, but made it incorrectly.
>
And how many of those abolitionists, Mr. Charbonneau, were living in
Southeast Alabama? How many were in the Alabama legislature?
I mean, back in the 1840s, people had been killed for even expressing
abolition. WHY? Because abolitionism ALWAYS made conditions worse for both
the slaves and their masters. Consider what happened when Walker's Appeal
was found circulating in the South -- clamp down. Two years later, Nat
Turner's rebellion -- clamp down. All the frothing and ranting and
propandizing did nothing more than breed resentment among the Southern
slaveholders. Even the racist "proslavery argument" was created in
reaction to the abolitionists. John Brown's terrorism -- and the failure
of some leading Republicans to condemn it -- was a major factor in the
South's decision to secede in 1860. WHY? Because abolitionism endangered
the lives of EVERY man, woman and child, black or white, living in a
region where slavery continued to be practiced.
It was one thing for a master to choose to manumit his slaves. It was
entirely another thing for someone in Maine or Ohio to attempt to use the
power of the government to bring about the same end. WHY? Because in one
case, the citizen whose interests are directly involved acts voluntarily
for the benefit of another; in the second case, some pious nosey busybody
in some "Society" decides to go meddling in the affairs of others, in
order to give himself a sense of "doing good" in a matter which in no way
involves his own interest. The Southerner who freed his slaves was doing a
good thing; the Northerner who agitated for government intervention in the
matter was doing a very bad thing.

Robert Stacy McCain

gary charbonneau

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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In article <51rj06$g...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
RStacy2229 <rstac...@aol.com> wrote:

> And how many of those abolitionists, Mr. Charbonneau, were living in
>Southeast Alabama? How many were in the Alabama legislature?
> I mean, back in the 1840s, people had been killed for even expressing
>abolition. WHY? Because abolitionism ALWAYS made conditions worse for both
>the slaves and their masters. Consider what happened when Walker's Appeal
>was found circulating in the South -- clamp down. Two years later, Nat
>Turner's rebellion -- clamp down. All the frothing and ranting and
>propandizing did nothing more than breed resentment among the Southern
>slaveholders. Even the racist "proslavery argument" was created in
>reaction to the abolitionists. John Brown's terrorism -- and the failure
>of some leading Republicans to condemn it -- was a major factor in the
>South's decision to secede in 1860. WHY? Because abolitionism endangered
>the lives of EVERY man, woman and child, black or white, living in a
>region where slavery continued to be practiced.

This is why I suggested (rather facetiously) in another post that
perhaps the most clever strategy for abolitionists would have been to demand a
federal law making it illegal for anyone to free a slave. Then again,
perhaps your own most clever political strategy in the present political
environment would be to get out and publicly sing the praises and
extol the virtues of massive federal bureaucracy, while simultaneously
condemning the basic uselessness of state government.

> It was one thing for a master to choose to manumit his slaves. It was
>entirely another thing for someone in Maine or Ohio to attempt to use the
>power of the government to bring about the same end.

Few people in Maine and damn few people in Ohio were at all interested
in using the power of the federal government to do any such thing prior to
the outbreak of the war. That they later became interested in it was
due to the war itself. Also, please note that, in the period immediately
before the war, several Southern states were considering or had actually
adopted laws using the power of government to prevent or make it more
difficult for a master to manumit his slaves.

>WHY? Because in one
>case, the citizen whose interests are directly involved acts voluntarily
>for the benefit of another; in the second case, some pious nosey busybody
>in some "Society" decides to go meddling in the affairs of others, in
>order to give himself a sense of "doing good" in a matter which in no way
>involves his own interest. The Southerner who freed his slaves was doing a
>good thing; the Northerner who agitated for government intervention in the
>matter was doing a very bad thing.

What about the Northern who told the Southerner, "You ought to free your
slaves"? Was he doing a good thing or a bad thing. Did the Southerner
think he was doing a good thing, or a bad thing?

- Gary Charbonneau

Stephen Schmidt

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
to

rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) writes:
> And how many of those abolitionists, Mr. Charbonneau, were living in
>Southeast Alabama? How many were in the Alabama legislature?
> I mean, back in the 1840s, people had been killed for even expressing
>abolition. WHY? Because abolitionism ALWAYS made conditions worse for both
>the slaves and their masters.

That's funny. If abolition made the slaves worse off, how come they
didn't ask to be re-enslaved in 1866?

Then again, the political theory is an interesting one. Suppose
Newt Gingrich began offering to kill anyone who opposed the
Contract with America. Would that mean that opposing the Contract
would make things worse off for everyone? Or would it just mean
that Newt wants things set up to benefit himself and doesn't mind
squashing the poor and the homeless to get it that way? Perhaps
the same might be said of the Slave Power?

With apologies to Newt G,

Steve
--
Stephen Schmidt Department of Economics
210A Social Sciences Union College
(518) 388-6078 Schenectady NY 12308

gary charbonneau

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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In article <51ra6f$d...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
RStacy2229 <rstac...@aol.com> wrote:

> Uh, Gary ... some folks STILL guide their moral choices by God's will as
>revealed in Scripture. Or at least try to do so. The problem with any
>other standard of moral behavior is that it is subject to change. The 10
>Commandments have been in force for more than 3,000 years. And the Golden
>Rule was first articulated in Palestine in about 37 A.D.

Even the standards of moral behavior laid down in the Bible seem to have
been subject to change. Most folks these days do not consider the issue
of whether or not to eat pork an ethical one, but a health-related one.
Nor do they stop to consider whether the Biblical injunction against
wearing cloth of mixed fibers makes putting on a cotton-polyester blend
inherently sinful. The argument invariably is that, for whatever
reason, such rules no longer apply.

Similarly, in the antebellum era, interpretations of Biblical rules of
behavior were also changing. In one corner you had a whole group of
people, religious abolitionists (and there were relatively few abolitionists
who were not moved by deep religious conviction), who argued that the
Golden Rule meant that you couldn't own other people (presumably one
would not wish acknowledge the moral right of those other people to own
_you_). In the other corner you had a whole different group of people who
pointed out that the text of the Bible strongly implied that slavery was exempt
from the Golden Rule, and that, in any case, the argument that it wasn't
exempt was a bit of a novelty in the Christian tradition. To which the
abolitionists responded, well, yes, but nineteenth-century chattel slavery
really wasn't the same as slavery in the ancient world, so the Golden
Rule applies to slavery now even if it didn't back then. And so it went.

[Rest of lengthy screed deleted as not being remotely relevant to the
discussion].

- Gary Charbonneau

Axel Kleiboemer

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
to

bi...@execpc.com (Dave Gorski) wrote:

> These comparisons
>always show "this was the same and that was the same" and what people
>"understand" is that the actions were the same. And they are not.

Dear Dave,

Your comment is astute. Yet I cannot agree for two reasons: First, while
an analogy has its logical limitations, it can generate knowledge. If
only that those who do not know history are fated to repeat it. Second,
a mistaken understanding may defeat the purpose of the proponent, but
does not invalidate the comparison.

Regards, Axel


Axel Kleiboemer

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
to

gary charbonneau

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
to

In article <bigg-19099...@greatdane.execpc.com>,
Dave Gorski <bi...@execpc.com> wrote:

> Axel, I don't disagree, and I'm not denying the existance of WWII.
>The problem I have with all the comparison is that the morals of two
>different cultures, 100 years apart, are being represented as the same.
>Morals shift and change through time, and what is acceptable to the people
>in that time and place may not be acceptable in another. How can we stand in
>judgement based on OUR morals.This doesn't change right and wrong, only
>perception.

Well, Dave, if we are going to judge people at all, it seems perfectly silly
to me to judge them by something other than "our" morals. Of course,
this assumes that we can make the meta-ethical judgment that "our" morals are
better than "their" morals. But if we don't feel that we are entitled to
make such a judgment, then that would imply either that "their" morals are
better than "our" morals, or that there is no real reason to prefer "our"
morals to "theirs" (other than, perhaps, personal taste).

In the first case, we would be obliged to abandon "our" morals and adopt
"theirs"; we _must_ admit that slavery is morally acceptable. In the
second case, we simply forfeit the right to deny that slavery is morally
acceptable, and have that denial carry much more force or meaning
than a statement such as "I don't like broccoli."

- Gary Charbonneau

Lynn Berkowitz

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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On 19 Sep 1996 14:03:04 GMT, char...@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (gary
charbonneau) wrote:

:In article <51ra6f$d...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,


:RStacy2229 <rstac...@aol.com> wrote:
:
:> Uh, Gary ... some folks STILL guide their moral choices by God's will as
:>revealed in Scripture.

:
:Even the standards of moral behavior laid down in the Bible seem to have


:been subject to change. Most folks these days do not consider the issue
:of whether or not to eat pork an ethical one, but a health-related one.
:Nor do they stop to consider whether the Biblical injunction against
:wearing cloth of mixed fibers makes putting on a cotton-polyester blend
:inherently sinful.

Hmm. Well since I am one of those who avoids eating pork and wearing
mixed fibers, I could take issue with that, but it's not germane to a
Civil War discussion group. :)
:
:Similarly, in the antebellum era, interpretations of Biblical rules of


:behavior were also changing. In one corner you had a whole group of
:people, religious abolitionists (and there were relatively few abolitionists
:who were not moved by deep religious conviction), who argued that the
:Golden Rule meant that you couldn't own other people (presumably one
:would not wish acknowledge the moral right of those other people to own
:_you_). In the other corner you had a whole different group of people who
:pointed out that the text of the Bible strongly implied that slavery was exempt
:from the Golden Rule, and that, in any case, the argument that it wasn't
:exempt was a bit of a novelty in the Christian tradition. To which the
:abolitionists responded, well, yes, but nineteenth-century chattel slavery
:really wasn't the same as slavery in the ancient world, so the Golden
:Rule applies to slavery now even if it didn't back then. And so it went.

:
Even those who defended slavery as being PERMITTED (i.e. optional) in
scripture, still claimed the 19th-century practice did not follow
scriptural law and was therefore wrong. For an example of a
19th-Century proslavery sermon, see "Biblical View of Slavery" at
http://www.access.digex.net/~bdboyle/docs.html

Even practices which are condoned in scripture may be abolished in
modern times if the practice leads to abuse, such as polygamy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lynn Berkowitz lynn...@ix.netcom.com

gary charbonneau

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
to

In article <324187ee...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
Lynn Berkowitz <lynn...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>Hmm. Well since I am one of those who avoids eating pork and wearing
>mixed fibers, I could take issue with that, but it's not germane to a
>Civil War discussion group. :)

Go ye forth, Lynn, and teach the uncircumcised multitude the
error of their ways. Now wait a minute while I check the tag on my
Fruit-of-the-Looms....

- Gary Charbonneau

Dave Gorski

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
to

In article <51s1im$e...@dismay.ucs.indiana.edu>,
char...@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (gary charbonneau) wrote:

>
> Well, Dave, if we are going to judge people at all, it seems perfectly silly
> to me to judge them by something other than "our" morals.

But we are judging their actions, and behavior in a different
moral time and place.These actions cannot be judged using our morals,
any more than we could judge Col. Chamberlain as incompetent for not
calling in an air strike on Little Round Top.
We don't judge stone age man negatively for wearing fur, you might
judge 20th century man negatively. The Romans weren't judged as all
having eating disorders because of their social "habits", yet by
today's standards of behavior this is unacceptable. Moral issues are no
different. People and their actions must by judged by the standards of
the time, place, and norms they live by, and not the "high" standards of
today.

Dave Gorski

Mark T Pitcavage

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96