SECESSION: Both a RIGHT and a REMEDY

SECESSION - constitution ripped in half

by Diane Rufino, September 23, 2018

Gene Kizer Jr. is a brilliant historian. He has written an excellent account of the causes of the War of Northern Aggression (aka, the War to Prevent Southern Independence; aka, the War Between the States; aka, the Civil War), in his book, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, and he has written some excellent articles as well, including on the right of secession. In his book and in his articles, he makes the case (most effectively) that secession was a reserved right of the states and that it was, in fact, exercised legitimately.

At the heart of the “Civil War” (which is, by the way, a most incorrect term for the conflict) was the right of the southern states to secede from the Union. That is, the lens through which we should look at, and assess, the war is whether Abraham Lincoln and his administration pursued a legal war by asserting that the eleven southern states that seceded from the Union had no constitutional right to do so.

The answer is that the southern states absolutely had the right to dissolve their union with the northern and more western states and their political bond to the federal government. Every state had and continues to have that fundamental right. Acknowledging this and therefore acknowledging that Lincoln incorrectly assessed the situation, he unconstitutionally assumed powers that were not granted to him, nor to the federal government in general.

Secession is a viable option to each state under three essential theories, and perhaps even others:

(1)  Each state has an essential right to determine its own form of government, under the natural right of self-determination. This natural right is articulated clearly in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence (“whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…”), and in fact, forms the basis for the decision of the thirteen American states to secede from Great Britain. The first paragraph of the Declaration makes this point quite clear:

       When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

The Constitution does not prohibit nor limit the natural right of secession, even in Article I, Section 9 which is the provision that puts limits on the sovereign power of the states, but rather includes the very powerful and declaratory Tenth Amendment which states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, because the Constitution did not expressly prohibit the right of secession, that right is reserved (continues to be reserved) to the states. And to make it absolutely clear that the right of secession is a state right, the states demanded that the Tenth Amendment be added to the Constitution as a restatement of that fact.

So, the states have the RIGHT to secede.

(2)  Secession is also a REMEDY, reserved to the states by the very nature of the Constitution. The Constitution is a social compact, which essentially is a contract, or an agreement, among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, such as mutual protection and to regulate relations among members. For example, a typical social compact calls for the sacrificing of some individual freedom for state protection and other public services. Social Compact was a theory articulated in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries by philosophers such as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as a means of explaining the origin of government and how an organized society is thus brought into being.

As we all know, every contract and every agreement can be broken. There may be consequences, usually monetary, but no contract is absolutely unbreakable. A contract or agreement can be broken by a breach of obligations (for example, a person doesn’t make his obligatory mortgage payments; the lending bank can then foreclose under a breach of contract) which is an affirmative breach, it can be broken because the purpose for the contract has been eliminated (for example, an entertainer is contracted to perform once monthly at a Las Vegas casino but the casino is destroyed in a fire), or it can be broken simply because a party wants out. Contract remedies are essentially designed to put the non-breaching party in a position had the breach not occurred  (for example, a contractor quits a job in the middle of building an extension on a house; the contractor must pay to have the job finished, by another contractor) and they usually involve monetary damages. Sometimes, however, money cannot make the non-breaching party “whole” (put them back into a position had the breach not occurred) and a court will order “specific performance,” which means that the breaching party will be compelled to perform some service by the court.

When the states were debating the Constitution in their Ratifying Conventions, three states (Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island) included “Resumption Clauses” as specific conditions upon their ratification – clauses asserting the right to secede from the Union at a future time.

Virginia’s Ratification document (June 26, 1788) included this Resumption Clause: “The People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will.”

New York’s Ratification document (July 26, 1788) included this Resumption Clause: “That the Powers of Government may be resumed by the People, whensoever it shall become necessary to their Happiness; that every Power, Jurisdiction and right which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or the departments of the government thereof, remains to the People of the several States, or to their respective State Governments to whom they may have granted the same.”

Rhode Island’s Ratification document (May 29, 1790) included this Resumption Clause: “That the powers of government may be resumed by the people, whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness: That the rights of the States respectively to nominate and appoint all State Officers, and every other power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by the said constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States or to the departments of government thereof, remain to the people of the several states, or their respective State Governments to whom they may have granted the same.”

Essentially, these clauses reserved the right of the state to leave the Union and resume all their sovereign powers and rights. With these clauses, the states simply put into writing a right they thought naturally belonged to their respective states. In fact, the right of secession was understood and agreed to by the other states, including George Washington who presided over the Constitutional Convention and served as a delegate from Virginia.

These clauses, because they were included in the ratification, and because they were accepted when the states formed into the Union, became applicable to every state that joined the Union. The fact that the states expressly reserved the right to secede (for no specific reason other than it may be “necessary to their happiness…”) shatters the notion and the argument by Abraham Lincoln in 1860 that the Union was intended to be perpetual and no state could secede.

Reserving the right to secede is an express reservation of the part of each state to un-make its agreement to join the Union. It is an express right to terminate its association with the compact (the Constitution), and thereby no longer be a party to the Union. Put simply, it is an express right of termination.

In contract law, the express right of termination is referred to as a Right of Rescission. Since it is a right to un-do the contract (to get out of the contract), it is a contract remedy.

Thus, the states have reserved secession as a REMEDY. (As a remedy to leave the Union, or secede from the Union) at some point when they deem it necessary for their happiness.

Rescission is defined as the unmaking of a contract between parties or the unwinding of a transaction. As mentioned above, it applies where a party to a contract exercises a Right of Termination that he or she had expressly included, or reserved, in that contract. In contract law, it is sometimes said that the party has included (or exercised) a right to rescind the contract. It is exercised in order to bring the party, as far as possible, back to the position in which it was before entering into the particular contract (the status quo ante). If the contract is between two parties, then both parties go back to the position they enjoyed before entering into the contract. If the contract – or compact – is between many parties, then technically only the party exercising the right of rescission is relieved from the compact; the others are free to retain the force of contract/compact.

If there is any doubt as to the intent of Virginia, for example, to take its Resumption Clause seriously, look at the language it used in its Ordinance of Secession, which it adopted in Convention on April 17, 1861 to secede from the Union:

AN ORDINANCE to Repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution:

The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention, on the 25th day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eight-eight, having declared that the powers granted them under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slaveholding States.

Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia, do declare and ordain that the Ordinance adopted by the people of this State in Convention, on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and all acts of the General Assembly of this State, ratifying or adopting amendments to said Constitution, are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong to a free and independent State. And they do further declare that the said Constitution of the United State of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this State.

This Ordinance shall take effect and be an act of this day when ratified by a majority of the votes of the people of this State, cast at a poll to be taken thereon on the fourth Thursday in May next, in pursuance of a schedule hereafter to be enacted.

Done in Convention, in the city of Richmond, on the seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia

(3)  Secession, or the termination of the agreement to remain in the Union, is a viable contract/compact remedy under breach theory.  When one signing member to the agreement violates or breaches its obligations, then the other signing member (or any of a number of other signing members) are relieved of their obligations under the agreement. In other words, the breach by one party, especially if material in nature (that is, if it is enough to fundamentally alter the relationship of the states in relation to one another or to affect the ability of the federal/common government to serve all states in a fair, equal, and impartial manner) is enough to invalidate the entire agreement altogether, thus allowing the other party, or other parties, to walk away and also allowing remaining members to continue to enforce the agreement if they so desire.

In the case of the Southern states, they seceded over several material breaches of the compact – several violations by the Northern states of their obligations under the Constitution:

(a)  They believed the Protective Tariff was an unfair and confiscatory tax on the South, almost completely discriminatory in nature and punitive as well. It was no secret that the North had a great disdain for the South and its values and its “simple” agricultural lifestyle (and even its use of slavery). According to the Southern states (John C. Calhoun of South Carolina articulated it probably better than most), the federal government was a common government that was created and intended to serve each state equally. The North knew full well that the protective tariffs (1828 and 1832) were born almost exclusively and to their detriment, by the southern states. But the Northern states, and particularly northern businesses, benefitted far too greatly from the confiscation of those tariff revenues (more than half of the revenue was funneled almost directly from the South to the North) to ever consider giving them up. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln ran on a platform of increasing and the protective tariff to its highest level ever. That platform issue, together with his promise to prohibit the spread of slavery into new territories and future states, were enough for all of the Southern states to refuse to even put his name on the ballot.  In fact, the Morrill Tariff was passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President James Buchanan in 1861, just two days before he left office and Lincoln was inaugurated. Lincoln kept his promise to enforce that tariff.

If the federal government was not serving the states equally, and if it had merely become a vehicle hijacked by one region of the country to serve its own interests (at the great expense of the other region), then the states of the North had breached their obligations and the very purpose of establishing the Union had become frustrated. The South believed the tariff issue constituted a material breach and thus gave them ample reason (under the Declaration of Independence – “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…”) to leave the Union.

(b)  Lincoln’s inauguration as a purely sectarian president was of great concern to the South. His interests and agenda were solely to further those of the North.  His promise to prohibit the spread of slavery to any new territory and any new state was a violation of the US Constitution.  Article IV guarantees every new state to the Union the right to be admitted on the same footing as every other state. Slavery, unfortunately, was protected under the Constitution, and therefore, every new state added to the Union would be subject to its same terms and conditions. The Southern states believed that Lincoln’s government was acting in abuse of the Constitution and because the North supported his agenda, those states, again, breached the terms of the compact and thus gave the states of the South reason to dissolve their bonds with the Union.

(c)  The Northern states routinely refused to enforce the Fugitive Slave Laws, which were laws enacted pursuant to the Fugitive Slave Clause of the US Constitution (Article IV, Section 2, clause 3). To the South, the Fugitive Slave Clause was a valued provision in the Constitution.  The laws were widely ignored or frustrated (were “nullified”) by states, localities, and even by individuals (such as those who organized into mobs in order to free runaway slaves from local prisons).  The states of the South took notice and in fact, in some of the ordinances of secession, they cited the refusal of the North to comply with the Fugitive Slave Laws, as well as its support of violence to stir slaves to revolt (such as the John Brown massacre; Brown was vaulted to martyr status by Northern members of Congress).

The Fugitive Slave Clause of the US Constitution (aka, the Slave Clause or the Fugitives From Labor Clause) required that a “person held to service or labour” (usually a slave, apprentice, or indentured servant) who flees to another state to be returned to the owner in the state from which that person escaped. The provision was rendered moot with the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. The exact text of the Fugitive Slave Clause read: “No person held to service or labour in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due.”  The North refused to help enforce the Fugitive Slave Laws, claiming that it has no obligation as a state, to do so. The Laws were federal laws and if the federal government intended for them to be enforced, it was going to have to do so itself – with its own agents, its own courts, and its own prisons. The states and localities refused to assist – they would not use their officers, their prisons, any state personnel, or even any state court to uphold the laws and return runaway slaves back to their owners.

The states of the South believed the states of the North had a compact (constitutional) obligation to honor its provisions, including those it didn’t approve of.  Because the North refused to enforce the Fugitive Slave Laws and frustrated the Fugitive Slave Clause of Article IV, which was included for the benefit of the South, the Southern states concluded that the Northern states committed a material breach of the terms of the compact and hence, they were justified in leaving the Union.

One should read Gene Kizer Jr’s article “The Right of Secession” (link provided below). It provides an excellent overview of the legality of secession, in particular, as a right endowed and reserved to each state. Then one should read his most excellent book, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States.

 

References:

Stephen C. Neff, “Secession and Breach of Compact: The Law of Nature Meets the United States Constitution,” Akron Law Review: Vol. 45: Issue 2, Article 4 (June 2015).  Referenced at:  https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1067&context=akronlawreview

Virginia’s Ordinance of Virginia (April 17, 1861) – http://www.nellaware.com/blog/virginia-ordinance-of-secession.html\

Gene Kizer Jr, “The Right of Secession,” Bonnie Blue Publishing.  Referenced at:  http://www.bonniebluepublishing.com/The%20Right%20of%20Secession-FULL%20PAGE%20FORMAT-USE.htm

Gene Kizer Jr., Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States;  Charleston Athenaeum Press (November 1, 2014).

Gene Kizer Jr., “Barbarians At the Gate,” Abbeville Institute, March 8, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/the-barbarians-at-the-gates/

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To the Heroes of the Confederate State of North Carolina (1861-65)

 

SILENT SAM (Chapel Hill) - face shot

by Diane Rufino, September 3, 2018

On the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill stood the noble statue of “Silent Sam,” the Confederate soldier who stood vigilant watch over the campus. It stood on McCorkle place, the University’s upper quad, facing Franklin Street.

“Sam” represented those young students who had left the campus when Lincoln’s war came, and who willingly went off to do their duty for their beloved state. More than 1000 students enlisted and fought, representing at least 40% of the total number of students at the university, a record surpassed by only one other institution (North or South) – the University of Virginia. Like her home state in general, Chapel Hill gave more than her share to the defense of the South.

Sam is “silent” because he carries no ammunition and therefore cannot fire his gun.

The monument was given to the campus by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909 and it was finally erected on campus in 1913. A bronze plaque in bas-relief on the front of the memorial’s base depicted a woman, representing the state of North Carolina, convincing a young student to fight for the Southern cause. The student is shown dropping his books, representing students leaving their studies. A small bronze inscription plaque on the left side of the base read:  “Erected under the auspices of the North Carolina division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy aided by the alumni of the university.”  And another bronze inscription plaque on the right read:

“To the Sons of the University who entered the War of 1861-65 in answer to the call of their country and whose lives taught the lesson of their great commander that Duty is the sublimest word in the English language.”

We can call him “Silent Sam” because of another reason. He speaks no particular message. He conveys no message other than to acknowledge that young men fought for North Carolina and the Confederacy. That is, the monument to the students who left Chapel Hill to fight is a memorial, just like the gravestone or headstone marking the grave of one who has passed is a memorial. It conveys no particular message other than to memorialize the person’s life and to note some particular aspect of that life. It is a historical marker. My father’s gravestone marks the date he was born and the day he passed and acknowledges that he served in the US Navy. Silent Sam, as a statue, merely recognizes the fact that approximately 1000 young men from Chapel Hill left their studies to serve their home-state in a war that was forced upon her. It is a marker, nothing more…. It says nothing about the students, as individuals, who gave up their youth and who, in great part, gave up their lives; we know nothing about their politics, whether they agreed with North Carolina’s decision to secede, or their position regarding the war. We simply know, thanks to the gentle reminder that Silent Sam provides, that Chapel Hill gave heavily to defend her state. Again, 40% of its student body left to defend her principles. That’s quite noteworthy; that’s quite a sacrifice.

Nowadays, most students know very little, if any, of history or the significance of the monument that graces – graced – its campus. After all, Silent Sam is over a hundred years old. And that’s a fatal defect in our state’s public school history curriculum and in the liberal teachings at our universities. In most cases, the only history that people of North Carolina will ever learn is what they are taught by often under-educated teachers in middle school or in high school. That’s it. Many students at Chapel Hill view Silent Sam merely as a really cool statue and as just another place to sit on a warm spring afternoon.

But now there are groups (a very insignificant minority, but loud, obnoxious, violent ones) who all of a sudden construe Silent Sam as a monument representing regional pride and therefore a symbol of ongoing racial oppression. They impute speech to where no speech is spoken. They impute a message where none is expressed. Again, Silent Sam is merely a historical marker. For more than one hundred years, students and other individuals have been able to walk by the statute without feeling oppressed or triggered, but now, all of a sudden, in 2018, an era reaping the fruits of desegregation and full civil rights to African-Americans (to be fair, they are actually given heightened protection of their rights; instead of “Equal Protection,” they are given “Special Protection”), groups wish to rehash the past and dwell on an era long gone. It is an era that you would think most people would love to finally put behind them.

And so, on Monday, August 20, Silent Sam was attacked, vandalized, desecrated, maliciously destroyed, and toppled to the ground.  The bronze statue of the young soldier came crashing down, being pulled down from his post by a howling mob of masked and unmasked protesters, after his pedestal was covered in red paint. There were approximately 250 protesters at the scene, joining UNC-Chapel Hill professor Dwayne Dixon, the de facto leader of the protest and assault on Silent Sam. Dixon is the current cultural anthropology professor at Chapel Hill. Video footage from CNN affiliate WRAL-TV shows protesters putting up poles and banners around the statue during daylight, and then when nightfall came, the statue was tumbled and students were seen cheering. Protesters could also be seen kicking Silent Sam’s head and putting dirt all over the statue. Campus police took orders (from who?) to stand down and allowed protesters to topple the statue without resistance.

So far, three people have been arrested for the literal act of tearing down Silent Sam. Jonathan Fitzgerald Fuller, Lauren Aucoin, and Raul Arce Jimenez have been charged with misdemeanor rioting and misdemeanor defacing a public monument. Seven more activists were arrested several days later, on that following Saturday, when a follow-up protest turned violent, with left-wingers unsuccessfully charging a campus building, assaulting people, and trying to light fire to a Confederate flag. Professor Dixon has not been fired by the university, but he is being investigated and his network of criminal collaborators apparently is unraveling.

According to Big League Politics, the leaders of the protest that resulted in the toppling of Silent Sam are members of Antifa. These same individuals helped organize the fatal Antifa “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. A woman needlessly lost her life at that rally when a protester ran his car into a crowd of people. Big League Politics reported that it obtained information on the suspects which it turned over to Chapel Hill police officers. The evidence, they say, exposes a close-knit sect of left-wing agitators mostly based in Durham, who have links to several high-profile activists, including Chelsea Manning (the trans-woman, born as Bradley Edward Manning and served in the US army where he/she leaked sensitive military information in violation of the Espionage Act, for which he/she was court-martialed and imprisoned for). This network of left-wing agitators operates in part out of the Elevate MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) gym, located in Durham, where they apparently practice combat techniques.

The attack on and then the toppling of Silent Sam sparked outrage from the university’s leaders, from alumni, and from our state legislature, and perhaps most passionately of all from the great many people who love North Carolina, appreciate her history and decision to oppose Lincoln, and who are deeply and horribly offended by the destruction and desecration of her monuments. UNC system president Margaret Spellings and UNC Board of Governors chairman Harry Smith issued a joint statement, which read:

      “Campus leadership is in collaboration with campus police, who are pulling together a timeline of the events, reviewing video evidence, and conducting interviews that will inform a full criminal investigation. The safety and security of our students, faculty, and staff are paramount. And the actions last evening were unacceptable, dangerous, and incomprehensible. We are a nation of laws—and mob rule and the intentional destruction of public property will not be tolerated.”

Speaker of the NC House, Tim Moore, issued a more powerful statement:

       “There is no place for the destruction of property on our college campuses or in any North Carolina community; the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted by public safety officials to make clear that mob rule and acts of violence will not be tolerated in our state.”

Let’s look at the lunacy that surrounds this malicious desecration of Silent Sam.

As I mentioned above, the statue of Silent Sam is a marker, a historic marker, essentially no different from a grave marker, or from the World War II Memorial in Washington DC, which is dedicated to those Americans who served in the armed forces and who served the war effort as civilians. It recognizes the sacrifice made by Chapel Hill, which should be acknowledged and should be remembered. Sports achievements and sports figures and coaches are memorialized so why shouldn’t the students who made the ultimate sacrifice be memorialized?

Ignoring the neutrality of the monument, the protesters on August 20, fixated instead on a comment spoken at the dedication ceremony of Silent Sam on June 2, 1913, by alumnus and highly-successful industrialist Julian Carr.  Those words were highly-controversial and extraordinarily racially insensitive.

Carr began his speech with profound appreciation for the students who left the university for the war effort:

       There are no words that I have been able to find in the vocabulary of the English language that fittingly express my feelings in this presence of this occasion. But you know and I know, that though I might speak with the tongue of men and of angels, neither song nor story could fittingly honor this glorious event. The whole Southland is sanctified by the precious blood of the student Confederate soldier. Their sublime courage has thrown upon the sky of Dixie a picture so bright and beautiful that neither defeat, nor disaster, nor oppression, nor smoke, nor fire, nor devastation, nor desolation, dire and calamitous, and I might with truth add, the world, the flesh nor the Devil has been able to mar or blemish it. The tragedy of history fails to record anywhere upon its sublime pages anything comparable to it. All the time will be the millennium of their glory.

       The canopy of the South is studded with stars which shall grow brighter and brighter as the ages in their endless procession succeed each other.

        No nobler young men ever lived; no braver soldiers ever answered the bugle call nor marched under a battle flag.

         They fought, not for conquest, not for coercion, but from a high and holy sense of duty.  They were like the Knights of the Holy Grail, they served for the reward of serving, they suffered for the reward of suffering, they endured for the reward of enduring, they fought for the reward of duty done. They served, they suffered, they endured, they fought, [and died – crossed out] for their childhood homes, their firesides, the honor of their ancestors, their loved ones, their own native land.

          This noble gift of the United Daughters of the Confederacy touches deeply and tenderly the heart of every man who has the privilege of claiming the University of North Carolina as his Alma Mater. It is in harmony with the eternal fitness of things that the Old North State’s daughters of to-day should commemorate the heroism of the men and youths whom the mothers and sisters, the wives and sweethearts of half a century ago sent forth to battle for the South. As Niobe wept over her sons slain by Apollo, so the tears of our women were shed over the consummate sacrifice of their loved ones. And as the gods transformed Niobe into a marble statue, and set this upon a high mountain, as our native goddesses erect this monument of bronze to honor the valor of all those whom fought and died for the Sacred Cause, as well as for the living sons of this grand old University.

Next, Carr gave praise to the women of the South, the noble wives and mothers:

        The war between the states was fought, really, by the women who stayed at home. Had they uttered a cry, had they complained, the morale of Lee’s army would have been dissipated in a day…..

        God bless the noble women of my dear Southland, who are to-day as thoroughly convinced of the justice of that cause. They are the guardians of the sacred honor the departed; they will protect the memory of the hero’s spirit no less than preserve from desecration from the sand of his body.  Nothing in all the marvelous record can equal the fortitude, the constancy, the devotion of the women of the South……”

Being an alumnus of Chapel Hill, and one of those young men who enlisted and fought for the Confederacy, he reminded the audience of the enormous sacrifice born by his university:

        Of the students and alumni of the University of North Carolina, about 1800 entered the Confederate army, of whom 842 belonged to the generation of 1850-1862. The University had in the service 1 lieutenant-general, 4 major-generals, 13 brigadier-generals, 71 colonels, 30 lieutenant-colonels, 65 majors, 46 adjutants, 71 surgeons, 254 captains, 161 lieutenants, 38 non-commissioned officers and about 1000 privates.

        I regard it as eminently appropriate to refer briefly at his point to the magnificent showing made by our state in the military service of the Confederacy. North Carolina furnished 84 regiments, 16 battalions and 13 unattached companies, besides the companies and individuals serving in commands from other states, and 9 regiments of Home Guards. Losses on the battlefield and by disease indicate that her contribution to the Confederate army was somewhat more than 1 to 5, while here military population stood in the proportion of 1 to 9. The entire Confederate loss on the battlefield was 74,524, of which North Carolina’s share was 19,673, or more than one-fourth; 59, 297 died of disease, and of these, 20,602 were North Carolinians.

       And I dare to affirm this day, that if every State of the South had done what North Carolina did without a murmur, always faithful to its duty whatever the groans of the victims, there never would have been an Appomattox; Grant would have followed Meade and Pope; Burnside, Hooker, McDowell and McClellan, and the political geography of America would have been re-written.

And finally, he concluded by lamenting over the difference the soldiers made:

        It is not for us to question the decrees of Providence. Let us be grateful that our struggle, keeping alive the grand principle of local self-government and State sovereignty has thus far held the American people from that consolidated despotism whose name, whether Republic or Empire, is of but little importance as compared with its rule………….

       Why were the stars, in their unapproachable glory, set in the skies above us, if there is no hope? Why was the rainbow ever painted before our eyes, if there is no promise?

       There must be, there IS a land that is fairer than day, where the rainbow never fades, where stars never go down, where these longings of immortality shall leap like angels from the temple of our hearts, and bring us rest; where the good and true, who fall before us like Autumn leaves, shall forever stay in our presence. There, there, fellow comrades, is the Confederate soldier’s paradise, the Confederate soldier’s heaven of eternal rest.

       That for which they battled in memory of this monument is reared, as well as for the survivors of that bloody drama, was not achieved. But the cause for which they fought is not lost, never can be, never will be lost while it is enshrined in the hearts of the people of the South, especially the hearts of the dear, loyal, patriotic women, who, like so many Vestal Virgins (God’s name be praised), keep the fires lighted upon the Altars. Nay, as long as men anywhere pay tribute to the self-sacrificing spirit of a peoples’ ideal.

        Ah! never shall the land forget.

Unfortunately, in his long speech, Julian Carr included this most offensive comment:

        “I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern Lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterwards slept with a double-barrel shot gun under my head.”

The protesters and the criminals who destroyed Silent Sam worked themselves into a frenzy over these few lines taken from a speech that was otherwise a wonderful and stirring testament and tribute to the young Tarheels who fought, to the university itself, and to the South in general. This racist comment was given after  Carr had gone into great deal acknowledging the sacrifice that Southern women made during the war. One can excuse him for defending the honor of a Southern lady, no doubt who had lost several family members in the fighting, but certainly not in the manner he chose and certainly not in the memory he chose to remember.

Nevertheless, one can criticize the comments and even criticize the speaker, who was merely one out of several that afternoon at the ceremony. But the monument is neutral and makes no such statement.

I compare the destruction of Silent Sam to a hypothetical scenario, and that involves Korean War opponents destroying my father’s gravestone just because he fought in that war. My father’s gravestone notes his service to the country, just like the Silent Sam monument. Destroying the Silent Sam monument would be like those protesters destroying my father’s gravestone because he fought in the Korean War, a war that they disagreed with, yet without actually knowing whether, on a personal level, he himself agreed or disagreed with our country’s involvement in that war.

The mob protested at Chapel Hill because they don’t like the side that the students fought for but not knowing whether those boys agreed with or disagreed with the war.  It’s not like the boys had a choice; there was a conscription law in place. Take a minute to look at the face of Silent Sam… so young. His whole life ahead of him yet Lincoln forced him into a war that should not have come and over issues he couldn’t possibly understand.

But the notion that all Southerners, all those who fought for the Confederacy, and all the individual Southern states left the Union for the express purpose of perpetuating slavery and perpetuating white supremacy is ludicrous, reckless, disingenuous, and contrary to the historical record. The movement simply wants to discredit the South, impugn its conservative leanings, and malign the memory of those who gave their last full measure. Simply put, it wants the South to be so disgraced that it has no choice but to sit quietly by as progressives erase its history and maintain its position that the South was comprised of evil white men and was an evil society and of course it was to blame for the war. Simply put, it wants to disgrace and shame the South into succumbing to liberal politics.

Real history supports the South.

The war was not about slavery and it was not about white supremacy.

Writing in December of 1861 in a London weekly publication, the famous English author, Charles Dickens, who was a strong opponent of slavery, said this about the war going on in America: “The Northern onslaught upon slavery is no more than a piece of specious humbug disguised to conceal its desire for economic control of the United States.”

Five years after the end of the War, prominent Northern abolitionist, attorney and legal scholar, Lysander Spooner commented on the disingenuous efforts of the North to re-characterize the war: “All these cries of having ‘abolished slavery,’ of having ‘saved the country,’ of having ‘preserved the Union,’ of establishing a ‘government of consent,’ and of ‘maintaining the national honor’ are all gross, shameless, transparent cheats—so transparent that they ought to deceive no one.”

A little-known fact is that President Woodrow Wilson wrote a multi-volume history series titled History of the American People. In it, he offered this explanation as to why the issue of slavery was so exaggerated during and after the war: “It was necessary to put the South at a moral disadvantage by transforming the contest from a war waged against states fighting for their independence into a war waged against states fighting for the maintenance and extension of slavery.”

Jay Schalin of the James G. Martin Center wrote, in a recent (Aug. 22) article:

      “Silent Sam, the statue of a weary, stoic Confederate Army foot soldier, came crashing down Monday night, pulled down from his post at the edge of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus by a mob of protesters. But a lot more fell than a Progressive-era statue of a Confederate soldier. Another brick in the wall that separates civilization and barbarism was dislodged. Another small part of the social contract that calls on us to settle our differences through dialogue and consensus disappeared. Another thin thread in the rule of law was severed.

       Even those who feel that Silent Sam was a symbol of racism—as did the mob—should be concerned about his rough treatment. Whether you believe that Sam represented white supremacy, the dignity of the common soldier, or simply the historical record of the state and campus, he now represents the defense of civil society and rule of law. And his rude descent from his perch was an assault on that civility.”

North Carolina has more than 200 Civil War memorials, statues and markers, according to Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, a project of the UNC-Chapel Hill Library. Most of the 54 statues and 20 memorials honor Confederates. Each of those monuments and memorials gives us an opportunity to learn about the state’s history and to have a dialogue about how that history played out. Each monument is a learning opportunity. And I suggest, strongly, that we need to take advantage of every learning opportunity because education about our state’s history is abysmal.  I had one lady who told me she’s lived in the state for over 30 years and had no idea of the circumstances under which North Carolina seceded and joined the Confederacy. I had a couple just the other night whom I dined with who told me that they moved to NC 13 years ago and assumed she seceded over slavery; that’s what she was always taught. I’ve spoken with many, many people, including elderly folks, who were born in the state and lived here all their lives and they also have been misled about its history.

The victorious North has succeeded in teaching history as it wanted it to be taught. That’s what victors do, right? They have the luxury of telling their version of history – the history that exonerates their cause, and all their evil schemes and crimes, and transfers blame for the war to the vanquished. And that’s why everyone believes that the North perpetrated the war to free the slaves and to save the Union (the heroes!) while the South started the war to protect its right to own slaves and to maintain its white supremist society (the villains!). Yet nothing could be farther from the truth, as I’ll explain later.

In 2015, the NC General Assembly passed a bill protecting the state’s historic monuments and memorials (“objects of remembrance”). See Senate Bill 22 (S22, which amended NC Statues, § 100 (“Statues, Protection of Monuments, Memorials, Works of Art”).  The bill outlines procedures for removing monuments deemed to commemorate “an event, person or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history” and provides that only an act of the General Assembly would permit the removal of such a monument. Several Democrats wanted the monuments to be removed or destroyed and some wanted local authorities to have the authority to decide for themselves. For example, Democratic Rep. Cecil Brockman of High Point argued that Confederate soldiers “were traitors to this country, and they don’t deserve the same respect as those who fought in other wars.”

Tell that to the families who lost their relatives to a war that Lincoln forced on the state.

In signing the bill, Governor McCrory commented: “I remain committed to ensuring that our past, present and future state monuments tell the complete story of North Carolina.”  He believed this was an important and urgent goal, one that needed to be addressed in the growing climate of wonton destruction of all things confederate and the removal and maligning of the name of any person of historical significance who once owned slaves or spoke in favor of the institution of slavery.

Of course, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper wants the statues to come down and wants the bill repealed. (Maybe that’s why, when the statues were desecrated and toppled at the old Durham courthouse and now at Chapel Hill, law enforcement was instructed to stand down and allow the malicious destruction).

When it comes to the Confederacy, the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln, the general public is in desperate need of education. And apparently, so are many members of our state General Assembly. To try to shut down discussions that our historical monuments inspire, to take them down and deny people the opportunity to learn an authentic piece of our state’s history, to misrepresent why North Carolina seceded, to condemn the entire existence and plight of the Confederacy simply because of its acceptance of slavery, and to attribute only horrible motives to the southern states in their decision to separate from the federal government is to prove one’s lack of education.

John M. Taylor, author of Union At All Costs: From Confederation to Consolidation, wrote:

        “There is no mystery why lovers of big government strongly loathe the Confederacy and worship Lincoln. The Confederate soldier represents the last true defense of consensual constitutional government, and they were the last real threat to the omnipotent leviathan state. In the Confederate soldier, tyranny saw its most prominent and most dangerous enemy, and the supporters of modern-day Big Brotherism recognize that. They still fear him, and with good reason, because he strikes at them from beyond the grave. He does this through his blood, which still flows through the veins of tens of millions of his descendants.”

The consolidation of all government in Washington DC, resulting from the total subjugation of the States, will not be complete until all reminders of the Confederacy and her defense of self-government and self-determination are removed and/or destroyed and history is completely re-written and the past erased and forgotten. The progressives are using the useless idiots to help this “progress.” Useless idiots willingly drink political kool-aid. They are the ones who are most easily manipulated, the ones unable to think for themselves, the ones incapable of intellectually confronting an opposing viewpoint, the ones who see injustice and victimhood everywhere, the ones who think the most important characteristic about a person is the color of their skin, the ones who are weak of character, and the ones who have no clue whatsoever what free speech really means.  And so they resort to thug-like tactics, screaming, threats, foul and otherwise offensive language, wonton destruction, looting, and public disturbances.

Again, for over a hundred years, monuments and memorials had nothing to fear from people. People used to be mature. People knew that when it came to the Civil War and that era, there are two sides of the story.

Society has certain “progressed,” wouldn’t you say?

CONFEDERATE MONUMENT - Pitt County Courthouse

I took this pic of the monument at the Pitt County courthouse dedicated to her Confederate soldiers who died fighting in Lincoln’s war of aggression. “Theirs was not to make reply or to reason why, but only to do and die.” Let that sink in. For those who, through sheer ignorance and disrespect, destroy and otherwise mark up and ruin confederate statues, they need to be forced to learn the true history of the inappropriately-termed “civil war.” For those who don’t know, a “civil war” refers to a war between groups in the same country who are fighting over control of the common government. By this very definition, the war between the states cannot technically or truthfully be called the “Civil War.”  First of all, the South seceded and legally formed a separate country, and secondly, it wanted nothing to do with the federal government. In fact, in the states’ individual ordinances of secession, they made it clear that the government had become their enemy, had encouraged and instigated violence against them, had sought to put the interests of the North far above theirs, and had intentionally and discriminately used the sole revenue option (tariffs, duties and posts) as a means to plunder their wealth, and consequently, they wanted to break all bonds with the government of the United States.

It was not a civil war, therefore, but technically, a war of aggression. The North sought to militarily and violently, force the southern states back into the Union. In 1865, at Appomattox, the Union ceased to be a voluntary union of states but rather one of coercion and subjugation.

North Carolina’s history when it comes to the years 1860-1865 is one of honor and loyalty to principle.

It cannot be emphasized enough that North Carolina did NOT want to secede. She had great affection and loyalty to the Union, despite all the efforts the North took to tax her and the other southern states discriminately and punishingly and to frustrate and harm her interests. In fact, she would be the last state to secede.

Her intention was to remain in the Union. As seven Southern states seceded after the election of Abraham Lincoln and prior to his inauguration [SC – 12/24/1860; Miss – 1/9/1860; FL – 1/10; AL – 1/11; GA – 1/19; and LA – 1/26], North Carolina remained loyal to the Union. In fact, she refused to even consider secession. On February 28, 1861, North Carolinian voters decided against convening a convention to consider secession by a vote of 47,322 to 46,672. That’s how strongly they wished to remain a part of the Union, EVEN as hostilities grew against the south and against its institution of slavery, and even as sentiment was growing and getting more heated for its abolition.

On March 4, Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th president of the United States, and on March 11, the Confederate Constitution was adopted, officially signaling to the North and to the world that a new and independent country, the Confederate States of America, was established.

But everything changed when Lincoln began to consider the consequences of the loss of the Southern and Gulf states to the United States, the North (and western territories), and to the federal government and its ability to govern effectively. In order to preserve the power of federal government and maintain the wealth and prosperity of the industrial North, Lincoln decided that the states would need to be forced back into the Union. But under what circumstances could he do that?

And thus, Lincoln devised the scheme which would force South Carolina to fire shots at Fort Sumter thereby giving him the moral justification to invade the South and start the war. The Fort was attacked on April 12 and on April 13, Union commander, Major Robert Anderson, raised a white flag of surrender to Confederate Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard.

On April 14, Lincoln demanded troops, including from North Carolina, for his invasion. It was only then that North Carolina found reason to separate from the government of Abraham Lincoln.

The reason, the real reason, North Carolina seceded was because Abraham Lincoln, thru his War Secretary, Simon Cameron, demanded that North Carolina send its share of 75,000 troops to “put down the rebellion” (ie, to invade the South and wage war against her). The Governor of NC, John Ellis, refusing to believe the US Constitution authorizes the government to force one state to take up arms against another, replied on April 15: “I regard the levy of troops made by the administration as a usurpation of authority.  I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country and to the war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North Carolina.”

The next month, the state called a convention to consider secession and this time, on May 20, 1861, the people of the state voted to approve an Ordinance of Secession from the United States.

So, the REAL history of North Carolina and the Civil War (more aptly, the War of Northern Aggression or the War to Prevent Southern Independence), is that she seceded ONLY when Lincoln gave her the ultimatum: If she was to remain in the Union, she would need to pick up arms and wage war against her neighbors, the states she was close to and the ones she had far more in common with than any in the North. North Carolina seceded over principle. She seceded over the proper construction of the US Constitution and the authority it granted to each of the branches of government in DC and especially as that power with respect to the sovereignty of each individual state. She did NOT understand the Constitution (nor would she have ever ratified it) to have the power to force or coerce one state to wage war or engage in violence against another state, and MOST especially, to do so for the government’s bidding, to further its ambitious agenda, or to consolidate power in the federal government).

She did NOT secede over slavery, she did NOT secede over any white supremacy agenda, she did NOT secede to further any oppression against black persons…….  She seceded on principle. She seceded in support of the greatest government principle of all — the federal government was created for only limited purposes and when a government exceeds its delegated authority, it becomes tyrannical and ambitious and the people – ANY people – when they so decide, have the natural right to alter or abolish that government and establish a new one that suits them better.

Once North Carolina made the decision to dissolve its political bond to the government of the United States and join her Southern neighbors in the Confederacy, the monument in front of the Pitt County Courthouse is correct – NC soldiers had no opportunity to reason why or make any other reply other than to fight and defend their honor and their principles, including that government cannot demand that States remain in a Union that violates their rights or no longer serves their interest or demand that they wage war against each other for subjugation. North Carolina — we need to remain proud of her. And schools, teachers, and parents NEED to teach our history correctly so that mental midgets and ignoranuses stop tearing down monuments to that history and that struggle.

North Carolina provided more men (133, 905) for the Confederate cause than any other state.  This number comprised approximately one-sixth of the Confederate fighting force. Put another way, every sixth Confederate soldier who lie dead on the battlefield was a North Carolinian.  At the infamous battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), North Carolina provided thirty-two regimens. A large statue was erected in her honor, which reads:

To the eternal glory of the North Carolina

soldiers. Who on this battlefield displayed

heroism unsurpassed sacrificing all in support

of their cause. Their valorous deeds will be

enshrined in the hearts of men long after

these transient memorials have crumbled into

dust.

Thirty two North Carolina regiments were in

action at Gettysburg July 1,2,3, 1863.  One

Confederate soldier in every four who fell here

was a North Carolinian.

Of the total number of men North Carolina sent to defend her principles and to support the Confederate cause in general, for independence, one sixth (approximately 20,000) became casualties of war.  Disease took another 20,000 lives. According to historian Paul Escott, the state “had only about one-ninth of the Confederacy’s white population,” yet “it furnished one-sixth of its fighting men.”  In sum, 30 % (approximately 40,000) of those fighting for the Confederacy died during the war.

North Carolina provided numerous generals to the Confederate cause as well.  The most famous include Braxton Bragg, Daniel H. Hill, William Dorsey Pender, Stephen Dodson Ramseur, Robert F. Hoke, and James J. Pettigrew. Less famous yet important generals included L.O.B. Branch and Bryan Grimes.

The university Board of Governors promises that Silent Sam will be restored to its original place on Chapel Hill’s campus within about two and a half months. North Carolina law mandates that a historical monument that is removed from its location must be returned within 90 days.  Meanwhile, police are making some arrests and stating that more arrests could be forthcoming. The Board is visibly outraged at the conduct of campus police, who took orders to stand down and allowed protesters to topple the statue without resistance.

Ben “Cooter” Jones, from the TV show Dukes of Hazzard and an alumnus of Chapel Hill, wrote this about the toppling of Silent Sam:

       “Our South is a land of many secrets and many truths. The radical trash who tore down Silent Sam and those academic idiots who enable them are not worthy to walk on the same ground as Gabriel Jacobs [Jones’ great great Uncle Gabriel Jacobs who died in pursuit of northern General McClellan]. Silent Sam will rise again, and we, not they, shall overcome.”

 

References:

Sam Jones, “Silent Sam and Me,” Abbeville Institute, August 22, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/silent-sam-and-me/?mc_cid=7e8e1f035b&mc_eid=3c62e340ff

UNC- Chapel Hill Graduate School – Landmarks (“Silent Sam”) –  https://gradschool.unc.edu/funding/gradschool/weiss/interesting_place/landmarks/sam.html

Reverend Mark Creech, “Why the Issue of Confederate Memorials is of Significant Consequence,” Christian Action League, Aug. 24, 2018.  Referenced at:    https://christianactionleague.org/news/why-the-issue-of-confederate-memorials-is-of-significant-consequence/

Ben Jones, “Silent Sam and Me,” Abbeville Institute, August 22, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/silent-sam-and-me/?mc_cid=7e8e1f035b&mc_eid=3c62e340ff

Leonard M. Scruggs, “Remembering Robert E. Lee: Measuring True Greatness,” The Tribune Papers, January 18, 2018.  Referenced at:  http://www.thetribunepapers.com/2018/01/18/remembering-robert-e-lee-measuring-true-greatness/

Jay Schalin, “Silent Sam’s Last Stand,” James G. Martin Center, August 22, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2018/08/silent-sams-last-stand/?gclid=CjwKCAjwtvnbBRA5EiwAcRvnpqE764rb-WBb-DQoo-1SeQsjQFHU0JI2tvPeUqzFnKH5PFS73xFO6hoCdoQQAvD_BwE

Patricia Howley, “Silent Sam Destroyers Identified As The Antifa Leaders From Charlottesville,” Big League Politics, August 27, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://bigleaguepolitics.com/silent-sam-destroyers-identified-as-the-antifa-leaders-from-charlottesville/

Julian Carr’s Speech at the Dedication of Silent Sam at Chapel Hill, June 2, 1913 –  http://hgreen.people.ua.edu/transcription-carr-speech.html

Civil War, Day By Day (UNC- Chapel Hill Library) –  April 15, NC Governor John Ellis’ Response to War Secretary Simon Cameron Request for Troops for Lincoln’s Invasion of the South –  https://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2011/04/15/15-april-1861-telegram-exchange-between-n-c-governor-john-ellis-and-u-s-secretary-of-war-simon-Cameron/

Diane Rufino, “To The Protesters of North Carolina’s State Monuments and the Agitators Regarding the State History: The Most Effective Means of Protesting is to MOVE OUT & STAY OUT of NORTH CAROLINA!,” ‘For Love of God and Country’ Blog, Aug. 28, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2018/08/28/to-the-protesters-of-north-carolinas-state-monuments-and-the-agitators-regarding-the-state-history-the-most-effective-means-of-protesting-is-to-move-out-stay-out-of-north-carolina/

The War of 1861: Education is the Best Way to Counter the Insanity of the Progressive Movement’s Goal to Destroy Confederate Monuments

 

CONFEDERATE MONMENT - toppled (old Durham courthouse, No Trump, No KKK)

(This picture is of a toppled confederate statue at the old courthouse in Durham. Notice the reasons for the protest)

by Diane Rufino, August 30, 2018

Let’s be honest. The toppling of the Confederate monuments, the demonization of the Confederate battle flag, the vilification of the names and memories of our treasured white Founding Fathers (and especially anyone of them who happened to own a slave), and the erasing of our history because it happens to be offensive is a POLITICAL movement. It is a contrived political initiative to counter the conservative movement that has been embraced with the election of Donald Trump and which clearly resonated in everyday America.

The movement evidences a serious lack of respect for the plight our country has taken, including the Civil War which ultimately resulted in the abolition of our greatest sin (slavery). Had the South not seceded, the timeline for abolition would have been quite different, as well as a fundamental lack of understanding of what the First Amendment is all about and the overall good and honest progress that honest and respectful civil discourse allows.  What I’m trying to say is that the progressive movement’s goal to tear down confederate monuments is a political movement that once again employs America’s un-educated and makes them into useful idiots for their cause. The cause is to foment dissent and division, that hallmarks of the progressive movement (thanks to Saul Alinsky and his “Rules for Radicals”).

When it comes to the Confederacy, the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln, the general public is in desperate need of education. And I’ve put the following comments and resources together for the purpose to help further education and counter the progressive left with knowledge, understanding, facts, and sound arguments. Remember, there are always two sides to every issue. The side that wins the day is the one that has the facts on its side.

I have been asked by many people where I get my information from about the history of Lincoln’s War (aka, the War to Prevent Southern Independence, aka, the War of Northern Aggression) and the history of North Carolina concerning her secession from the Union.

First of all, I’m the daughter of a Civil War buff. My father studied the war, the generals, the battles, the battle strategies, the cemeteries, the destruction of the South, and the history of the country at the time. I’ve heard him talk about all this stuff all my life. Even though I was taught in school, as most of us were, that Lincoln was the greatest president ever, that he fought the Civil War (which the South started) to abolish slavery and to save the Union, my father always knew differently. It’s because he was always reading, always asking questions of the locals whenever he visited a battle site. He always talked to me about the war and about the generals, and about the savagery of the battles. I remember him constantly saying: “It’s a shame the South lost the war.”  OR, “The South should have won the war.”

My parents divorced when I was 10 years old. and one summer shortly thereafter, he wanted to spend some quality time with my sister and I so my Mom let him take us on a long summer trip out west, to Oklahoma, to visit his best friend. My father turned that trip into a complete tour of all the Civil War battle sites. My sister and I were young. I’m sure my sister was too young to appreciate learning about the war, but I remember a lot from that trip.

I’ve been reading about the war for many years now, certainly a lot more now that I’m living in North Carolina and have more time on my hands; it fascinates me. I had rejected the “Lincoln is Great” history lesson a long time ago, while I was still living in New Jersey.

I wanted to share some books that have recently come out for people to read, if they are interested in learning about the causes of the war (1861-1865) that tore our country apart, about the war itself, and about its lasting consequences. I call it Lincoln’s War, because that’s the rightful name.  I think if everyone does that reading and the research, they will agree with me on this.

Before I list the books and resources, I want to straighten a few misnomers out. The war can neither be termed a “Civil War” or “the War Between the States”:

—  A “Civil War” refers to a war between two groups in the same country who are fighting for control of the same government. The Southern states had seceded and had successfully established themselves legally as a separate and independent country. (1)  So, they were two groups from two separate countries, and mot two groups from the same country;  (2) The south seceded from the federal government; they clearly stated that they wanted to break political bonds with it and wanted NOTHING whatsoever to do with it anymore. And so, the two groups were not fighting for control of the same government. (3) The war only came when Abraham Lincoln tricked South Carolina into firing shots at Fort Sumter to start the war he needed to force the southern states back into the Union. With those shots at Fort Sumter, Lincoln claimed the South was “in rebellion against the United States” and called up troops to invade the south. It was a war for subjugation  of the South and not a war over which party would take control of the federal government.

—  “War Between the States” — As Mike Armstrong, who writes “Southern Reflections,” so aptly put i: “There was no war between the States. It was a war between TWO SEPARATE and SOVEREIGN NATIONS, the USA and the CSA. There was nothing civil about it”

With that, here is a list of some resources and a list of some of the books that have come out in the last 2-3 years or so that give an accurate and historical account of the causes of the conflict:

1.  The Abbeville Institute –  http://www.abbevilleinstitute.org  Check out their articles and their seminar programs. I follow them and attend their seminars when I can. I’m attending one in November in Texas on Nullification & Interposition). The organization is comprised of some of the top historians of the South; their credentials and research are impeccable. They formed the Institute several years ago when protesters started desecrating and destroying confederate monuments, demonizing the Confederate battle flag, and demanding that the names and statues of any Confederate general or leader, any southern leader tied to the confederate cause (like John Calhoun who helped initiate the Nullification Crisis and who defended slavery or Jefferson Davis, president of the CSA), or any person of historical significance who happened to own a slave be taken off college campus buildings and off campus, and then off street signs and public buildings. Those historians, like Donald Livingston and Clyde Wilson and Brion McClanahan new that Americans were sorely mis-educated or un-educated about our American (southern) history.

2.  My Blogsite –  http://www.forloveofgodandcountry.com    (I have written many articles over the years on this topic of the war, on Lincoln, on the right of secession, etc)

3.  BOOK:  The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths, by Leonard “Mike” Scruggs.   (Mr. Scruggs lives in North Carolina. He is a Vietnam vet who writes and speaks about both the Civil War and the Vietnam War)

4.  BOOK:  Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, by Gene Kizer, Jr.   (I couldn’t put this book down; I read it in one day)

5.  BOOK:  Union At All Costs: From Confederation to Consolidation, by John M. Taylor

6.  BOOK:  Is Davis a Traitor? Or Was Secession a Constitutional Right Previous to the War of 1861?   By Albert Taylor Bledsoe (written around 1865, so it’s most contemporaneous. His goal was to make sure the world understood the South’s reasons for secession and wanting to separate from the federal government before the victors of the war, the North, had its opportunity to commandeer the official story)

7.  BOOK:  The Real Lincoln, A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda and Unnecessary War, by Thomas DiLorenzo

8.  BOOK:  Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe, by Thomas DiLorenzo

 

Hope this helps

BOOK - THE UN-CIVIL WAR (Leonard M. Scruggs)

BOOK - SLAVERY WAS NOT THE CAUSE OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES (Gene Kizer Jr)

BOOK - UNION AT ALL COSTS (John M. Taylor)

BOOK - IS DAVIS A TRAITOR (Albert Taylor Bledsoe)

BOOK - THE REAL LINCOLN (Thomas DiLorenzo)

BOOK - LINCOLN UNMASKED (Thomas DiLorenzo)

To the Protesters of North Carolina’s State Monuments and the Agitators Regarding the State History: The Most Effective Means of Protesting is to MOVE OUT & STAY OUT of NORTH CAROLINA !!

SILENT SAM (Chapel Hill)

by Diane Rufino, August 28, 2018

Every day I get angrier and angrier at people who act out their aggressions which are based on lies, mistruths, and liberal indoctrination. I’m talking about the desecration and the toppling of the Silent Sam monument at Chapel Hill – a monument dedicated NOT to the Confederate cause and NOT to the support of slavery and NOT in support of white supremacy, but rather erected simply to remember the 1000 or so young men who were students at Chapel Hill during the years 1861-65 who enlisted and fought for their state. The monument to those young men was akin to a headstone or other grave marker, or even to the Tomb to the Unknown Soldier.  And yet, a group of protesters, many from the hate/home-grown terrorist group Antifa, sought to tear it down.

I’m sorry, but these people need to study their history before acting out like a bunch of mental defective crybabies, destroying public property, and disrespecting the sacrifice of those who fought in a war that they didn’t ask for and probably couldn’t even comprehend why it was being forced on them. (Hint: It has NOTHING to do with slavery or white supremacy. For those looking for the true committed white supremacists, look to Abraham Lincoln himself and his party affiliates), and look to the northern and western states/territories).

North Carolina did NOT want to secede. She had great affection and loyalty to the Union, despite all the efforts the North took to tax her and the other southern states discriminately and punishingly and to frustrate and harm her interests. In fact, she was the last state to secede. The reason she seceded was because Abraham Lincoln, thru his War Secretary, Simon Cameron, demanded that North Carolina send thousands of troops to “put down the rebellion” in the wake of Fort Sumter (ie, to invade the South and wage war against her). The Governor of NC, John Ellis, replied on April 15: “I regard the levy of troops made by the administration as a usurpation of authority.  I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country and to the war upon the liberties of a free people. You will get no troops from North Carolina.”

The next month, the state called a convention to consider secession and this time, on May 20, 1861, the people of the state voted to approve an Ordinance of Secession from the United States. [Only three months earlier, in February, North Carolinians by popular vote refused to even call a convention to consider a Secession Ordinance. That’s how strongly they wished to remain a part of the Union, EVEN as hostilities grew against the south and against its institution of slavery, and even as sentiment was growing and getting more heated for its abolition].

So, the REAL history of North Carolina and the Civil War (more aptly, the War of Northern Aggression or the War to Prevent Southern Independence), is that she seceded ONLY when Lincoln gave her the ultimatum: If she was to remain in the Union, she would need to pick up arms and wage war against her neighbors, the states she was close to and the ones she had far more in common with than any in the North. North Carolina seceded over principle. She seceded over the proper construction of the US Constitution and the authority it granted to each of the branches of government in DC and especially as that power with respect to the sovereignty of each individual state. She did NOT understand the Constitution (nor would she have ever ratified it) to have the power to force or coerce one state to wage war or engage in violence against another state, and MOST especially, to do so for the government’s bidding, to further its ambitious agenda, or to consolidate power in the federal government).

She did NOT secede over slavery, she did NOT secede over any white supremacy agenda, she did NOT secede to further any oppression against black persons…….  She seceded on principle. She seceded in support of the greatest government principle of all — the federal government was created for only limited purposes and when a government exceeds its delegated authority, it becomes tyrannical and ambitious and the people – ANY people – when they so decide, have the natural right to alter or abolish that government and establish a new one that suits them better.

The Silent Sam incident serves to show us here in North Carolina that our state history is not known and is not being properly taught. It is a proud and distinguished history. Perhaps the remedy is to gut the political and history departments of our state universities and have their programs reviewed by state historians to make sure that accurate and respectful history is taught, and not some progressive/liberal view that seeks to taint her principles that serves its purposes: to excuses the gross constitutional violations of Abraham Lincoln and his administration, that justifies his willing slaughter of over 620,000 Americans, that justifies the government’s initiation and prosecution of the war, that justifies the consolidation of government power over the states, and that justifies the grand monument to Lincoln on the national mall (“He saved the nation!  He preserved the Union!”)

As I have said for years in describing the notion that Lincoln “saved the Union” —   LINCOLN SAVING THE UNION IS LIKE A HUSBAND BEATING HIS WIFE TO SAVE THE MARRIAGE.

Don’t let North Carolina down.  Remember the principles she, at one time, held so dear. Remember the cause she so honorably and so generously gave.  Preserve her history and her honor.

With that explanation, here is a meme I just created.

 

MEME - Antifa Protesting Confederate Statues (If You Don't Like NC History, the best way to protest is to MOVE OUT)

Sorry Dinesh D’Souza: Your Comparison of Trump to Abraham Lincoln Evidences a Gross Misunderstanding of American History

DINESH D'SOUZA - Death of a Nation (Saving America a Second Time)

by Diane Rufino, June 15, 2018

Dinesh D’Souza’s latest movie is an excellent example of the kind of hogwash that writers and historians can put out there when there is a gross misunderstanding of our country’s history and its leaders.

The bottom line is this:  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS has no place in a society that values intelligence and truth.  WE’VE GOT TO PUT POLICIAL CORRECTNESS AND GOVERNMENT INTEREST ASIDE and  TEACH OUR HISTORY ACCURATELY.

Dinesh D’Souza has a new movie out in theatres. I just learned about this. The movie is titled DEATH OF A NATION (Can We Save America a Second Time). In its advertising, Dinesh uses the movie to make the comparison between Lincoln and Trump – both men elected to be president yet in both cases, the Democrats refused to accept the outcome.

Dinesh explains. “Not that they’re the same people, but that they’ve fallen into the same situation. Not since 1865 have Democrats so dramatically refused to accept the outcome of a presidential election. … The left has been playing these cards against conservatives for a decade. We explore if the fascist-racist tail should be pinned on the Republican elephant or the Democrat donkey.”

OK, first of all, I understand Dinesh’s need to make comparisons between Republicans and Democrats, and to use history to make his point, but in this case, the connection or comparison is a bit flimsy. The country is a far different place than it was when Abraham Lincoln ran. The country was divided along geographical lines – North vs. South.  It was economic pure and simple. In 2016, the divide is along ideological lines – Democrats v. Republicans. Neither party is the same party it was when Lincoln ran. NOT EVEN CLOSE. I can go into detail, and maybe I will at some later time, but the Republican Party was an evil and despicable party. There was nothing redeemable about it, although revisionist history paints them with a noble and compassionate brush.

I also understand the obsession Dinesh has (and I’m happy for his obsession for truth) to explore the roots of America’s racism and its claims of fascism. The left has been playing these cards against conservatives for a decade – maybe more. Anyone who thinks differently from a Democrat or a liberal/progressive is, of course, a racist. Not that anyone even knows what that term means anymore; most obviously it’s the left that doesn’t have a clue. It’s merely a term used to shut down intelligent conversation and to promote perpetual victimhood. And ANTIFA, a violent leftist movement much like the KKK, is a movement that accuses the right of supporting fascism. In his movie, Dinesh makes the case (strongly, as he has done in his prior works) that it has been the Democrats who are responsible for our racist history and who are, in fact, fascists.

The movie, first and foremost, is predicated on the comparison between Lincoln and Trump.

It’s hard to make an analogy between the two figures when both the country is so fundamentally different and when the political parties are so fundamentally different.

But that’s not my big issue with Dinesh’s movie DEATH OF A NATION. The racism and the fascism component is not my issue either.

Judging by its advertising and its poster, Dinesh believes that Abraham Lincoln saved the nation back in 1860.  As Dinesh wrote on Twitter: “Lincoln united his party and saved America from the Democrats for the first time” in the early 1860’s.” He then suggested that this is what Trump’s biggest challenge is and what he must do to “save the nation.”

Lincoln saved America from the Democrats??  Is Dinesh serious??  He writes this as if it were a good thing?  He says this and articulates this point in his movie as if it were a good thing? The Democrats, back then, were the party of the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence; they were the party of limited government and the party of the inherent “right of the People to alter or to abolish it [government], and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”  The Republicans, on the other hand, were the party of big government, the party of an ambitious government, and the party violently opposed to the right of self-determination. They were the party that believed that despite the Declaration’s assurance that in America, government is always temporary, always tasked primarily to secure the rights of the individual and always subject to happiness and satisfaction of the people, government in fact, has the primary objective to seek its own power and its own security and permanence, even when the people reject it and seek to abolish or alter it.

So, it was a good thing, Dinesh, that Lincoln and the Republicans “saved” the nation from the Democrats?

History is history. It should be taught and studied for what it was and what it is. It should be examined and studied for what it teaches all of us about the particular time period and about the people, the norms, and the views and politics of that era. It should NOT be taught or studied to suit current thought, and it should never be taught to conform to current norms, to a current agenda, or to a progressive agenda.

I am terribly disappointed in Dinesh in characterizing Lincoln as a great American leader and using him as a role model. I’ve read many of his books and I’ve usually been impressed with the research he’s done to support his views, but in this case, he has failed to do his due diligence on Lincoln, on the Civil War, and on our nation’s early history. The Civil War was the single most grievous decision by any US President. The Republican Party was an evil party formed for the sole purpose of destroying the South and subjugating its people through a highly confiscatory tariff scheme. It was not the party formed to abolish slavery. (that decision was merely a war measure, designed to encourage massive slave revolts against the women and children in the South and to discourage Britain and France from entering the war on the side of the Confederacy). The Democrats, on the other hand, merely wanted the federal government to respect the interests of all areas of the country equally, according to the Constitution. [Note, Congressmen from the North (Republicans, in both House and Senate; 7 Southern States had already seceded) passed the original 13th Amendment which would have cemented slavery in the United States; it would have completely prohibited the government from any attempts to abolish it]. If slavery is what the Democrats really wanted, the Southern States would have accepted that amendment and rejoined the Union, but they didn’t. They didn’t even consider the amendment.

This is what I wrote in response to Dinesh on Instagram: “Lincoln didn’t save the nation; he destroyed it. He re-made it, but on the most un-American and anti-revolutionary terms (reference to the principles the colonies fought for in the American Revolution). All the problems we have in the country right now can be traced to the government system that resulted from Lincoln’s purely political decision to instigate the war, his willing rejection of our founding principles, and his absolute incorrect re-characterization of our federal union and our Constitution. Thanks to Lincoln, there are no more effective checks on the power and ambition of the federal government. The government of our Founding Fathers is dead. To say Lincoln saved the Union (“saved America”) by fighting the Civil War is like saying a man saves his marriage by beating his wife. Submission by violence is NOT freedom.”

I have no problem bashing and criticizing the current Democratic Party. They voted to take God out of their platform 3 times at their Convention in 2016, they are violent, they are rude and offensive, they are hypocritical, they are un-American in their views, they work incessantly to undermine our country and are now vocal in their hopes that our country fails (just to be able to blame Republicans), and they are highly antagonistic to our essential freedoms. BUT, I am ever so disappointed in Dinesh D’Souza for enlisting Lincoln in any attempt to elevate the modern-day Republican Party.

 

- 2018 (BEST BEST, gray shirt)

The Right of Secession, as Reserved by the States in Their Ratification of the US Constitution

SECESSION - We Did it Once Let's Do it Twice

by Diane Rufino, June 1, 2018

Louisiana voted to secede from the Union on January 26, 1861. Shortly thereafter, her senators, Judah P. Benjamin and John Slidell, resigned their positions in the US Senate. In his FAREWELL ADDRESS to the Senate, on February 5, 1861, Senator Benjamin expressed perhaps the strongest argument for the Right of Secession. He said:

“The rights of Louisiana as a sovereign state are those of Virginia – no more, no less. Let those who deny her [Louisiana’s] right to resume delegated powers try to successfully refuse the claim of Virginia to the same right, in spite of her [Virginia’s] expressed reservation made and notified to her sister states when she consented to enter the Union. And sir, permit me to say that, of all the causes which justify the action of the Southern States, I know none of greater gravity and more alarming magnitude than that now developed of the denial of the right of secession. A pretension so monstrous as that which perverts a restricted agency [federal government], constituted by sovereign states for common purposes, into the unlimited despotism of the majority, and denies all legitimate escape from such despotism, when powers not delegated are usurped, converts the whole constitutional fabric into the secure abode of lawless tyranny, and degrades sovereign states into provincial dependencies.”

To deny the Right of Secession, as President Abraham Lincoln did (although only AFTER he became president), as powerful orator Senator Daniel Webster did (although only AFTER he realized the financial ruin that secession would reap on northern states), and as too many liberal elites and too many Americans (because of indoctrination in our public school system and at our liberal universities) believe today is to condemn Americans ultimately to tyranny, to subjugation, to an existence far different from the one that the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights had once promised, to the loss of liberty, to the control by political parties (not political movements, which are good and are true expressions of democracy), and to the rule by political elites. In other words, we would have to acknowledge that we are not a free nation anymore, that we are not a free people. We as a country and as a people wear the veneer of freedom and liberty.  The experiment started by those far wiser than any alive today, which established for us in America, and indeed for the rest of the world, the right of self-determination and the right of self-government, and which was predicated on the grand notion – the very revolutionary notion – that those rights were far more important than the right of any government to seek to cement its existence, would be dead. If we give up on our right to secede, then we have lost that precious system and that noble ideal. That noble ideal is what guarantees our freedom and our liberty. If we abandon that right to secede, we are no different from the system we initially separated from, Great Britain, where government was – and still is – superior to the people.

To be clear, the fundamental principle guiding our independence was the right of a people to secede from a political body, exercising the right of self-determination and the right of a people to establish their own government – one that serves their interests and concerns best. We cannot allow the proclamations of one leader, Abraham Lincoln, who did so for purely political purposes (explained historically, accurately, and in great detail in Gene Kizer Jr’s book, SLAVERY WAS NOT THE CAUSE OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES, as well as in Albert Taylor Bledsoe’s book, IS JEFFERSON DAVIS A TRAITOR?; references to both provided below) to destroy this great principle of independence and freedom.

It is important to understand that secession was a right implicit with every sovereign body politic and a right expressly and explicitly reserved to the States under the terms of the ratification of the Constitution:

First of all, let’s look at these two very powerful arguments:  [Taken from Mr. Kizer’s article “The Right of Secession,” Referenced at:  http://www.bonniebluepublishing.com/The%20Right%20of%20Secession.htm ]

(1).  There had to be a specific constitutional prohibition on secession for it to be illegal. Conversely, there did not have to be a specific constitutional affirmation of the right of secession for it to be legal. Why? Because of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  This amendment states nothing new, but is merely a restatement, as the Preamble to the Bill of Rights explains. It is a restatement of the fact that the federal government can govern ONLY as to the express (and that is made clear also in the Preamble) powers granted/delegated to it by the Constitution, Articles I-III, and States are prohibited from doing certain things ONLY if it states so expressly therein. The power to prevent secession is NOT granted to the federal government and the right to secede is NOT prohibited to the States under our Constitution.

Aside from the fact that there was (and is) no constitution prohibition on secession, there was (and is) also NO constitutional sanctioning of any kind of federal coercion to force a State to obey a federal law when to do so would act to perpetrate an act of war on the offending state by the other states. After all, the federal government was established as a common agent for all States, tasked with serving the interests of each equally.

While we are talking out what the federal government can and cannot do, there is also NO constitutional provision, nor any moral foundation, for the federal government to coerce one or more States to invade or otherwise inflict armed conflict against any other State or States. Again, each State is an equal beneficiary of the agency provided by the federal government.

(2).  The arguments for the right of secession are indeed unequivocal. There is the constitutional right based on the Compact Theory, and the revolutionary right based on the idea that a free people have the right to change their government anytime they see fit. Compact Theory is based on Natural Law – that people, in deciding to live together in communities, decide for themselves the form of government to establish laws for their mutual safety, security, and peace. They decide for themselves the government that will best establish laws for their ordered existence. Compacts are the vehicle by which the people form that government and delegate powers to it. It is a form of Contract. The Compact Theory views the Constitution as a legal agreement between the states – a compact – and if any one state violates the compact, then the entire agreement becomes null and void. Northern states unquestionably violated the Constitution on a number of grounds including unconstitutional Personal Liberty Laws on their books, as well as by deliberately harboring fugitives from justice by protecting the sons of John Brown who were wanted by Virginia for murder at Harpers Ferry. Northern states also made a mockery of the Constitution’s Preamble, which states clearly that the Constitution was established to “insure domestic Tranquility” and “promote the general Welfare.” Certain prominent Northern leaders with the acquiescence of states like Massachusetts were utterly at war with the South and doing everything they could to destroy the domestic tranquility of Southern states by encouraging slaves to murder white people, poison wells, destroy property and commit other acts of rapine. John Brown himself had been encouraged and financed in the North.

The revolutionary right of secession is based on the Declaration of Independence and the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson and John Locke, “that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, ….. ”

These words come directly from the Declaration of Independence. This passage was also used, verbatim, in South Carolina’s Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union. A similar sentiment was expressed by Abraham Lincoln in 1847 on the floor of the United States House of Representatives:

“Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right, a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.”

And now let’s look at the strongest piece of evidence, of which Senator Judah P. Benjamin referenced in his farewell speech above (“Virginia’s express reservation”):

Three of the original thirteen states were particularly skeptical of the government that the newly-drafted Constitution created and so they ratified it only conditionally. These three states were Virginia and New York, the great powerhouses of the New World, and Rhode Island (tiny, but very liberty-minded). In their ratification documents, adopted at their Ratification Conventions, they specifically and carefully reserved the right of secession. These are referred to as the “Resumption Clauses” or “Resumptive Clauses,” and they are exceedingly important to understand this topic. I attached Virginia’s ratification document at the end of this article. You will see that Virginia conditioned her ratification on several things, including the Right to Secede and on the addition of a Bill of Rights (for which she made a number of suggestions).

Since the other states, which had unconditionally ratified the Constitution, consented to Virginia’s conditional ratification, they “ostensibly assented to the principle that Virginia permissibly retained the right to secede.”  This is an essential element of contract law, of which compact theory follows. All negotiations, all conditions, all limitations, all reservations, etc become part of the compact agreement which affects all parties, as long as those negotiations, conditions, limitations, reservations, etc are not rejected by any of the other signing parties. With the additional acceptance of New York’s and Rhode Island’s conditions (their Resumption Clauses; their right to secede), the existing states of the Union clearly, albeit tacitly, accepted the doctrine of secession. Again, this is a matter of contract law, the most firmly-entrenched area of law. Furthermore, according to the Constitution, all States that joined the Union after the first thirteen also had the right of secession since new states entered on an equal footing with the exact same rights as the existing states.

Virginia was the first state to state explicitly that she would only ratify the Constitution as long as she reserved the right to leave the Union so created by it.  If Virginia didn’t ratify the Constitution, it was very likely that New York, Rhode Island, and certainly North Carolina also would not. The plan for “a more perfect Union” would be defeated. In her “Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Virginia; June 26, 1788,” the state of Virginia included this express provision:  “Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will.

To reinforce how strongly Virginia valued that Clause one simply has to look at her Ordinance of Secession from the Union (April 17, 1861). She used the exact wording of her conditional ratification of the US to sever her political bonds with the federal government and to resume all her sovereign powers and rights to determine a new and more favorable government for her people.

A month later, on July 26, 1788, New York conditionally ratified the Constitution. In the ratification declaration adopted at her Convention, New York wrote:

“That the Powers of Government may be reassumed by the People, whensoever it shall become necessary to their Happiness; that every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or the departments of the Government thereof, remains to the People of the several States, or to their respective State Governments to whom they may have granted the same; And that those Clauses in the said Constitution, which declare, that Congress shall not have or exercise certain Powers, do not imply that Congress is entitled to any Powers not given by the said Constitution; but such Clauses are to be construed either as exceptions to certain specified Powers, or as inserted merely for greater Caution.”

And then finally, almost two years later, on May 29, 1790, Rhode Island asserted her own conditional ratification:

“That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people, whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness:- That the rights of the States respectively, to nominate and appoint all State Officers, and every other power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by the said constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States or to the departments of government thereof, remain to the people of the several states, or their respective State Governments to whom they may have granted the same; and that those clauses in the said constitution which declare that Congress shall not have or exercise certain powers, do not imply, that Congress is entitled to any powers not given by the said constitution, but such clauses are to be construed as exceptions to certain specified powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.”

Historian Dave Benner explains in his article “Can States Secede from the United States?” (IntellectualTakeOut.org, March 7, 2017):

       During the ratification debates, many figures firmly challenged the suggestion that coercive force could be used to obligate a state’s membership in the union. Melancton Smith of New York suggested that such coercion would be an anathema to the cause of liberty: “Can it, I say, be imagined, that in such a case, they would make war on a sister state?”

       He ridiculed the notion, declaring that “the idea is preposterous and chimerical.” George Mason, known today as the “Father of the Bill of Rights,” also rejected the assumption that war would befall a seceding state. Answering an inquiry regarding whether the government could “use military force to compel the observance of a social compact,” Mason scoffed at such a prospect, declaring that it would be “destructive to the rights of the people.”

Respected professor, author, and speaker (and founder of the Abbeville Institute), Donald W. Livingston noted, in his article “The Secession Tradition in America,” the conclusion offered by famed historian and political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville, who spent several years in America studying its political system and societies and who studied the US Constitution on the right of secession. De Tocqueville wrote: “The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the States; and, in uniting together, they have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the States chose to withdraw its name from the contract, it would be difficult to disprove its right of doing so; and the Federal Government would have no means of maintaining its claims directly, either by force or by right.”

Abraham Lincoln intentionally re-characterized the Constitution in order to force the Southern States back into the Union, where its money could continue to fund the federal government and could continue to enrich the Northern states. He also sought to force the Southern States back into the Union because under the Confederate Constitution, protective tariffs (the lifeblood of northern industry) were prohibited and it would interact with other countries on a policy of Free Trade. Free trade would have signed the death of the Union because then only people in the North would have purchased its products and its industry and indeed its economy would have crashed. To that end, Lincoln denied the right of secession and characterized the Constitution as creating a “perpetual union,” which was just plain hogwash. Every compact, just like every contract, can be broken. He said the Southern States were “in rebellion against the United States” even though they made it exceedingly clear that they merely wanted a peaceful separation, and to remain on good terms with their former government. In order to prevent other States (the so-called “border States” and others that were clearly more pro-South than pro-North) from leaving the Union and joining the Confederacy, he sent in the Army of the United States to put them under martial law. Politicians sympathetic to the Confederate States were forcibly removed from office (and many jailed) and their state governments fundamentally changed to force them to be loyal to Lincoln. This was in violation of Section 4 of Article IV of the Constitution (The Guarantee Clause), which states:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and [the United States] shall protect each of them [the States] against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

By removing duly-elected members of State legislatures and altering the governing bodies by force, Lincoln violated the Constitution (just another of the many times he violated the Constitution) and denied the border States the guarantee that the federal government who assure them a republican (the will of the people) form of government. Furthermore, as to all the States, including the border States, the western States (like Kentucky and Missouri), and the Southern States, the Constitution guaranteed them protection AGAINST invasion and was not a license for Lincoln to be the invader.

 

References:

Gene Kizer Jr, “The Right of Secession,” Referenced at:  http://www.bonniebluepublishing.com/The%20Right%20of%20Secession.htm

Gene Kizer Jr, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2014.  [Chapter: “An Annotated Chronology of the Secession Debate in the South”; pp. 171-72)]  Available as a book, which was the resource I used) and also online at:  http://www.bonniebluepublishing.com/index.htm

Albert Taylor Bledsoe, Is Jefferson Davis a Traitor? (1865).  Reprinted by Forgotten Books (2012).  https://www.amazon.com/Davis-Traitor-Secession-Constitutional-Previous/dp/B008TYU1E4

Dave Benner, “Can States Secede from the United States?”, IntellectualTakeOut.org, March 7, 2017. Referenced at: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/can-states-secede-united-states),

Donald W. Livingston, “The Secession Tradition in America,” 1998.  Referenced at: http://www.ditext.com/livingston/tradition.html

“Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Virginia; June 26, 1788,” The Avalon Project (Yale Law School) – http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/ratva.asp

 

- 2018 (BEST, gray sweatshirt, Wake Up Call trip)

 

ADDENDUM: 

Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Virginia; June 26, 1788.

Virginia to wit

We the Delegates of the People of Virginia duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly and now met in Convention having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us to decide thereon Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will: that therefore no right of any denomination can be cancelled abridged restrained or modified by the Congress by the Senate or House of Representatives acting in any Capacity by the President or any Department or Officer of the United States except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purposes: & that among other essential rights the liberty of Conscience and of the Press cannot be cancelled abridged restrained or modified by any authority of the United States. With these impressions with a solemn appeal to the Searcher of hearts for the purity of our intentions and under the conviction that whatsoever imperfections may exist in the Constitution ought rather to be examined in the mode prescribed therein than to bring the Union into danger by a delay with a hope of obtaining Amendments previous to the Ratification, We the said Delegates in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia do by these presents assent to and ratify the Constitution recommended on the seventeenth day of September one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven by the Federal Convention for the Government of the United States hereby announcing to all those whom it may concern that the said Constitution is binding upon the said People according to an authentic Copy hereto annexed in the Words following; .

Done in Convention this twenty Sixth day of June one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight

By Order of the Convention

EDMUND PENDLETON, President  [SEAL.]

Virginia towit:

Subsequent Amendments agreed to in Convention as necessary to the proposed Constitution of Government for the United States, recommended to the consideration of the Congress which shall first assemble under the said Constitution to be acted upon according to the mode prescribed in the fifth article thereof:

That there be a Declaration or Bill of Rights asserting and securing from encroachment the essential and unalienable Rights of the People in some such manner as the following;

First, That there are certain natural rights of which men, when they form a social compact cannot deprive or divest their posterity, among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Second. That all power is naturally vested in and consequently derived from the people; that Magistrates, therefore, are their trustees and agents and at all times amenable to them.

Third, That Government ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the People; and that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

Fourth, That no man or set of Men are entitled to exclusive or separate public emoluments or privileges from the community, but in Consideration of public services; which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of Magistrate, Legislator or Judge, or any other public office to be hereditary.

Fifth, That the legislative, executive, and judiciary powers of Government should be separate and distinct, and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression by feeling and participating the public burthens, they should, at fixed periods be reduced to a private station, return into the mass of the people; and the vacancies be supplied by certain and regular elections; in which all or any part of the former members to be eligible or ineligible, as the rules of the Constitution of Government, and the laws shall direct.

Sixth, That elections of representatives in the legislature ought to be free and frequent, and all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with and attachment to the Community ought to have the right of suffrage: and no aid, charge, tax or fee can be set, rated, or levied upon the people without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor can they be bound by any law to which they have not in like manner assented for the public good.

Seventh, That all power of suspending laws or the execution of laws by any authority, without the consent of the representatives of the people in the legislature is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.

Eighth, That in all capital and criminal prosecutions, a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence and be allowed counsel in his favor, and to a fair and speedy trial by an impartial Jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty, (except in the government of the land and naval forces) nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself.

Ninth. That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold, liberties, privileges or franchises, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty or property but by the law of the land.

Tenth. That every freeman restrained of his liberty is entitled to a remedy to enquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the same, if unlawful, and that such remedy ought not to be denied nor delayed.

Eleventh. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by Jury is one of the greatest Securities to the rights of the people, and ought to remain sacred and inviolable.

Twelfth. That every freeman ought to find a certain remedy by recourse to the laws for all injuries and wrongs he may receive in his person, property or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely without sale, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay, and that all establishments or regulations contravening these rights, are oppressive and unjust.

Thirteenth, That excessive Bail ought not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Fourteenth, That every freeman has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his papers and his property; all warrants, therefore, to search suspected places, or seize any freeman, his papers or property, without information upon Oath (or affirmation of a person religiously scrupulous of taking an oath) of legal and sufficient cause, are grievous and oppressive; and all general Warrants to search suspected places, or to apprehend any suspected person, without specially naming or describing the place or person, are dangerous and ought not to be granted.

Fifteenth, That the people have a right peaceably to assemble together to consult for the common good, or to instruct their Representatives; and that every freeman has a right to petition or apply to the legislature for redress of grievances.

Sixteenth, That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing and publishing their Sentiments; but the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and ought not to be violated.

Seventeenth, That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated Militia composed of the body of the people trained to arms is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the Community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the Civil power.

Eighteenth, That no Soldier in time of peace ought to be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, and in time of war in such manner only as the laws direct.

Nineteenth, That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms ought to be exempted upon payment of an equivalent to employ another to bear arms in his stead.

Twentieth, That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence, and therefore all men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience, and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored or established by Law in preference to others.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE BODY OF THE CONSTITUTION

First, That each State in the Union shall respectively retain every power, jurisdiction and right which is not by this Constitution delegated to the Congress of the United States or to the departments of the Federal Government.

Second, That there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, according to the Enumeration or Census mentioned in the Constitution, until the whole number of representatives amounts to two hundred; after which that number shall be continued or increased as the Congress shall direct, upon the principles fixed by the Constitution by apportioning the Representatives of each State to some greater number of people from time to time as population increases.

Third, When Congress shall lay direct taxes or excises, they shall immediately inform the Executive power of each State of the quota of such state according to the Census herein directed, which is proposed to be thereby raised; And if the Legislature of any State shall pass a law which shall be effectual for raising such quota at the time required by Congress, the taxes and excises laid by Congress shall not be collected, in such State.

Fourth, That the members of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be ineligible to, and incapable of holding, any civil office under the authority of the United States, during the time for which they shall respectively be elected.

Fifth, That the Journals of the proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be published at least once in every year, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances or military operations, as in their judgment require secrecy.

Sixth, That a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published at least once in every year.

Seventh, That no commercial treaty shall be ratified without the concurrence of two thirds of the whole number of the members of the Senate; and no Treaty ceding, contracting, restraining or suspending the territorial rights or claims of the United States, or any of them or their, or any of their rights or claims to fishing in the American seas, or navigating the American rivers shall be but in cases of the most urgent and extreme necessity, nor shall any such treaty be ratified without the concurrence of three fourths of the whole number of the members of both houses respectively.

Eighth, That no navigation law, or law regulating Commerce shall be passed without the consent of two thirds of the Members present in both houses.

Ninth, That no standing army or regular troops shall be raised or kept up in time of peace, without the consent of two thirds of the members present in both houses.

Tenth, That no soldier shall be enlisted for any longer term than four years, except in time of war, and then for no longer term than the continuance of the war.

Eleventh, That each State respectively shall have the power to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining it’s own Militia, whensoever Congress shall omit or neglect to provide for the same. That the Militia shall not be subject to Martial law, except when in actual service in time of war, invasion, or rebellion; and when not in the actual service of the United States, shall be subject only to such fines, penalties and punishments as shall be directed or inflicted by the laws of its own State.

Twelfth That the exclusive power of legislation given to Congress over the Federal Town and its adjacent District and other places purchased or to be purchased by Congress of any of the States shall extend only to such regulations as respect the police and good government thereof.

Thirteenth, That no person shall be capable of being President of the United States for more than eight years in any term of sixteen years.

Fourteenth That the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such courts of Admiralty as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish in any of the different States: The Judicial power shall extend to all cases in Law and Equity arising under treaties made, or which shall be made under the authority of the United States; to all cases affecting ambassadors other foreign ministers and consuls; to all cases of Admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or States, and between parties claiming lands under the grants of different States. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other foreign ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party, the supreme court shall have original jurisdiction; in all other cases before mentioned the supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction as to matters of law only: except in cases of equity, and of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, in which the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make. But the judicial power of the United States shall extend to no case where the cause of action shall have originated before the ratification of this Constitution; except in disputes between States about their Territory, disputes between persons claiming lands under the grants of different States, and suits for debts due to the United States.

Fifteenth, That in criminal prosecutions no man shall be restrained in the exercise of the usual and accustomed right of challenging or excepting to the Jury.

Sixteenth, That Congress shall not alter, modify or interfere in the times, places, or manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives or either of them, except when the legislature of any State shall neglect, refuse or be disabled by invasion or rebellion to prescribe the same.

Seventeenth, That those clauses which declare that Congress shall not exercise certain powers be not interpreted in any manner whatsoever to extend the powers of Congress. But that they may be construed either as making exceptions to the specified powers where this shall be the case, or otherwise as inserted merely for greater caution.

Eighteenth, That the laws ascertaining the compensation to Senators and Representatives for their services be postponed in their operation, until after the election of Representatives immediately succeeding the passing thereof; that excepted, which shall first be passed on the Subject.

Nineteenth, That some Tribunal other than the Senate be provided for trying impeachments of Senators.

Twentieth, That the Salary of a Judge shall not be increased or diminished during his continuance in Office, otherwise than by general regulations of Salary which may take place on a revision of the subject at stated periods of not less than seven years to commence from the time such Salaries shall be first ascertained by Congress. And the Convention do, in the name and behalf of the People of this Commonwealth enjoin it upon their Representatives in Congress to exert all their influence and use all reasonable and legal methods to obtain a Ratification of the foregoing alterations and provisions in the manner provided by the fifth article of the said Constitution; and in all Congressional laws to be passed in the mean time, to conform to the spirit of those Amendments as far as the said Constitution will admit.

Done in Convention this twenty seventh day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight.

By order of the Convention.

EDMD PENDLETON President  [SEAL.]

Reprinted from Documentary History of the Constitution, Vol. II (1894), pp. 145, 146, 160, 377-385

On the Eve of South Carolina’s Decision to Leave the Union, Horace Greeley Articulates and Supports the State’s Right to Secede

Robert E. Lee - Surrender at Appomattox

Diane Rufino, May 7, 2018

Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Daily Tribune, was the embodiment of the North. In an editorial for the paper on December 17, 1860 (three days before South Carolina voted in Convention to secede, and amidst rumors that the state would likely secede), Greeley articulated the view of secession that most in government and in the North held. In that brilliant editorial, entitled “The Right of Secession,” he wrote:

We have repeatedly asked those who dissent from our view of this matter to tell us frankly whether they do or do not assent to Mr. Jefferson’s statement in the Declaration of Independence that governments “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed; and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government,” etc. etc. We do heartily accept this doctrine, believing it intrinsically sound, beneficent, and one that, universally accepted, is calculated to prevent the shedding of seas of human blood. And, if it justified the secession from the British Empire of three million colonists in 1776, we do not see why it would not justify the secession of five millions of Southerners from the federal union in 1861. If we are mistaken on this point, why does not someone attempt to show wherein and why we could not stand up for coercion, for subjugation.  We do not think such would be just. We hold the right of self-government to be sacred, even when invoked on behalf of those who deny it to others. If ever ‘seven or eight States’ send agents to Washington to say “We want to get out of the Union,” we shall feel constrained by our devotion to Human Liberty to say: ‘Let Them Go!” We do not see how we could take the other side without coming in direct conflict with those Rights of Man which we hold paramount to all political arrangements, however convenient and advantageous.

Of course, when Northern businessmen and northern businesses realized how badly they would suffer without the stream of money coming from the South and its tariff collections and in trade against a “free-trade” Confederacy (the Confederate Constitution prohibited protective tariffs), their view of secession changed.

Even Europe saw the Civil War for what it was. Europe understood that at its core, the American “Civil War” as an exercise of the right of secession. If the South had the right to secede from the Union, which Europe believed it had (articulated to a “candid world” in the Declaration of Independence), then the South held the moral superiority in the conflict and Southerners were the heroes. The North was the great villain, starting a fratricidal war merely for commercial and economic gain.  Certainly Great Britain knew what was going on, for the Confederacy was hoping it would join the conflict on its side and the North was doing what it could to prevent that from happening (ie, the Emancipation Proclamation).  The legendary English writer, Charles Dickens, expressed this view very clearly in commentary during that period.

British Lord Acton (John Dalberg Acton) wrote the following to General Robert E. Lee in November 1866, a year and a half after his surrender at Appomattox:

…… I saw in States Rights the only available check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will (of the federal government), and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. The institutions of your Republic have not exercised on the Old World the salutary and liberating influence which ought to have belonged to them, by reason of those defects and abuses of principle which the Confederate Constitution was expressly and wisely calculated to remedy. I believed that the example of that great Reform would have blessed all the races of mankind by establishing true freedom purged of the native dangers and disorders of Republics. Therefore, I deemed that you were fighting the battles for our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo.

The South, unequivocally and without doubt, had the right to secede from the Union. Anyone who believes in the Declaration of Independence and in the debates in the several Ratifying Conventions to determine whether the Constitution (creating a limited government) would be ratified HAS to believe in the right of secession and HAS to respect the decision of the Southern States to seek their independence. After all, the Declaration of Independence is the greatest Ordinance of Secession ever written and the most eloquent expression of the right of and the desire to pursue independence.

 

***  This article is based, in part, on sections from Gene Kizer Jr’s book, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, Charleston Athenaeum Press (2014)