Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Johnny_Reb_1865, Jul 26, 2014.
The right wing militias in the US believe the Federal government will soon collapse. Then separatist armies will fight to take control of emergent regional sovereign states. Up until recently the smart move was to ignore these crazy people. However, lately they seem to be getting help from somebody well connected and powerful.
I think the flag might be a clue.
But your getting a bit off topic.
Correct, you would also be correct in your statement that it is overly simplistic to attribute slavery as the lone reason the south fought this war, that being said one cannot deny that it was a major reason nonetheless. I don't mean to derail your thread in any way, it just happens to be a debate I'm interested in.
The problem is we like to keep things simple and that's why whenever someone thinks about the WBTS they think slavery.
Partly because we are ether too lazy to look stuff up or just because some of us just don't care about history very much and we just by into what we hear from a uneducated friend or someone.
One thing I have learned from history is that you can't keep history simple you just can't and it IS NOT POSSIBLE to talk about the war with just one sentence.
You have to look at both sides look at primary sorces and form a opinon from that.
This amendment if ratified would make it impossible for congress to pass a law to make slavery illegal as long as the southern states returned to the union.
AND THIS WAS NOT AGREED TO!!
The concept of state sovereignty was of foremost importance as the Constitution took shape. The great patriot, Patrick Henry — Give me liberty or give me death — refused to attend a Constitutional convention, because he was afraid the formation of a central government would usurp the rights of the individual states. States’ rights was a concept held in sacred trust by the founders.
And, the popular belief that attempts by states to separate from the Union originated in 1861 is false history. In December of 1814, delegates from the New England states attended the Hartford Convention in Connecticut. The subject of the meeting: secession to protest the War of 1812. One delegate even displayed a special U.S. flag — with only five stripes. Massachusetts alone threatened secession at least four times.
New York City, in particular, believed its contributions to the national wealth far outweighed the benefits the city received from the country. The financial and commercial interests in New York, with heavy investments in the South and the textile industry, opposed Lincoln’s war policy. On January 6, 1861, New York Mayor Fernando Wood wrote a letter in which he recommended that the city consider independence from the state and the Union. Leading politicians urged Lincoln to pursue a more moderate approach, agreeing with the radical newspaper editor, Horace Greeley, to letting the “erring sisters go in peace.”
But had the “erring sisters” been allowed to go at all, a significant contributor would have been lost to the federal treasury. And that loss weighed heavily in Abraham Lincoln’s thoughts, spurring his desire to “save the Union.” He was a political animal looking for a way out of a trap.
In the 1850s, Abraham Lincoln had said, “Slavery is an unqualified evil to the negro, the white man, and the State.” But in his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861, Lincoln declared that he had “no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with slavery in the States where it exists.” That inaugural address was interesting, because in 1848, Lincoln was quoted as favoring secession, on the one hand, and later of a willingness to do anything to save the Union, on the other hand, even if that meant preserving the institution of slavery. Like many contemporary politicians, Lincoln flip-flopped on major issues for political advantage.
He made it clear that he supported the enforcement of the fugitive slave laws, and why not? As a young attorney, Lincoln had worked for slave owners to help return their runaways. But Lincoln made a comment in his inauguration address, the meaning of which might escape the casual student of history. The comment was:
“I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution which amendment, however, I have not seen has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service [slaves].
“To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”
Lincoln was speaking of the proposed 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Written by northern Republicans in Congress, it also was called the Corwin Amendment, after Rep. Thomas Corwin of Ohio who introduced it in the House.
This proposed 13th Amendment read: “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”
Abraham Lincoln's home state of Illinois ratified the Corwin Amendment before the War Between the States broke out in 1861. It appears at 12 Stat. 251, 36th Congress. Two more State legislatures ratified it, beginning with Ohio on May 13, 1861, followed by Maryland on January 10, 1862.
The Southern states were practically handed a constitutional concession agreed to by the northern controlled congress, making slavery a permanent institution in the U.S. So, if slavery was truly the primary issue in secession, why didn't the Confederate government accept this offering instead of choosing to dig in its heels and fight for its independence?"
This exposes claims that the Union went to war in 1861 to free the slaves to be historically untrue. It also undermines claims that the South seceded solely to preserve the institution of slavery. If that had been the South’s goal, what better guarantee did it need than an unrepealable amendment to the Constitution to protect slavery as it then existed?
That is a live.
This is what the war was about, according to the Richmond Enquirer editorial on 23rd of March 1861 (title: The True Issue):
That African slavery in the Territories shall be recognized and protected by Congress and the Territorial Legislatures.
That the right to slaveholders of transit and sojourn in any State of the Confederacy, with their slaves and other property, shall be recognized and respected.
That the provision in regard to fugitive slaves shall extend to any slave lawfully carried from one State into another, and there escaping or taken away from his master.
That no bill or ex post facto law (by Congress or any State,) and no law impairing or denying the right of property in negro slaves, shall be passed.
That the African slave trade shall be prohibited by such laws of Congress as shall effectually prevent the same.
Do you actually maintain that the South could have kept their slaves by simply remaining in the union? That they went to war just for the heck of it? Really? You want to get people interested in the nuances of the Civil War, that's all fine and dandy, but historical revisionism not going to get you any but the wrong kind of followers.
So your going to ignore the fact that the south was given a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution to stay in the union?
It took me Johnny Foreigner all of 3 minutes of research to debunk this ridiculous claim.
1) The Corwin Agreement (which would have left the states free to decide whatever they wanted regarding slavery, or anythig else for that matter) only came before the Senate after the Southern states had already seceded.
2) A main reason for the South to go to war was to ensure compliance with the Fugitive Slave Law, which some Northern states were starting to reject. The Corwin Agreement would not only effectively make Fugitive Slave Law void, it would also stop the South from forcing any new territories to accept slavery, another main concern for the South.
So, the Corwin Agreement would not have given the South what they wanted, even if it had come a year or two earlier.
It seems that we sadly disagree on this.
Lets take this to my inbox because I'm not going to stop people from thinking for themselves.
But I will admit that your 100% correct about number 1.
To move this along I would Like to discus the above videos.
What exactly do we disagree over? That the South seceded due to slavery?
Four states went to the trouble of writing explanations of just why they seceded. If you argue that the secessions were not about slavery, you are also arguing that those that wrote those declaration had no idea of what they were talking about.
I agree people should make up their own mind. Here are my dox:
South Carolina declaration of causes for secession - http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp
Mississippi declaration of causes for secession - http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_missec.asp
Georgia declaration of causes for secession - http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html
Texas declaration of causes for secession - http://www.civil-war.net/pages/texas_declaration.asp
A very basic analysis here: http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/secession/
You ain't stopping anything, I find this debate fascinating.
Please carry on.
"What exactly do we disagree over? That the South seceded due to slavery?"
I never said that.
And I will not deny that slavery was a reason for secession and the war but not the only reason.
President Shaw I posted this to educate not to argue ok?
(EDIT today I will discus Lincoln, Causes of secession and the events leading up to the war.)
".....Fellow-citizens of the United States:
In compliance with a custom as old as the government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly, and to take, in your presence, the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States, to be taken by the President "before he enters on the execution of this office."
I do not consider it necessary at present for me to discuss those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety or excitement.
Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States, that by the accession of a Republican Administration, their property, and their peace, and personal security, are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed, and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this, and many similar declarations, and had never recanted them. And more than this, they placed in the platform, for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves, and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:
Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes."
I now reiterate these sentiments; and in doing so, I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible, that the property, peace and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming Administration. I add too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given, will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause -- as cheerfully to one section as to another.
There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:
"No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."
It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those who made it, for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves; and the intention of the law-giver is the law. All members of Congress swear their support to the whole Constitution -- to this provision as much as to any other. To the proposition, then, that slaves whose cases come within the terms of this clause, "shall be delivered," their oaths are unanimous. Now, if they would make the effort in good temper, could they not, with nearly equal unanimity, frame and pass a law, by means of which to keep good that unanimous oath?
There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be enforced by national or by state authority; but surely that difference is not a very material one. If the slave is to be surrendered, it can be of but little consequence to him, or to others, by which authority it is done. And should any one, in any case, be content that his oath shall go unkept, on a merely unsubstantial controversy as to how it shall be kept?
Again, in any law upon this subject, ought not all the safeguards of liberty known in civilized and humane jurisprudence to be introduced, so that a free man be not, in any case, surrendered as a slave? And might it not be well, at the same time to provide by law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution which guarantees that "the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States"?
I take the official oath to-day, with no mental reservations, and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws, by any hypercritical rules. And while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to, and abide by, all those acts which stand unrepealed, than to violate any of them, trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional.
It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our national Constitution. During that period fifteen different and greatly distinguished citizens, have, in succession, administered the executive branch of the government. They have conducted it through many perils; and, generally, with great success. Yet, with all this scope for [of] precedent, I now enter upon the same task for the brief constitutional term of four years, under great and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted.
I hold, that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper, ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our national Constitution, and the Union will endure forever -- it being impossible to destroy it, except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.
Again, if the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade, by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it -- break it, so to speak; but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?
Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that, in legal contemplation, the Union is perpetual, confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution, was "to form a more perfect Union." But if [the] destruction of the Union, by one, or by a part only, of the States, be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.
It follows from these views that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union, -- that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.
I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it, so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means, or in some authoritative manner, direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.
In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion -- no using of force against or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States in any interior locality, shall be so great and so universal, as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating, and so nearly impracticable with all, that I deem it better to forego, for the time, the uses of such offices.
The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all parts of the Union. So far as possible, the people everywhere shall have that sense of perfect security which is most favorable to calm thought and reflection. The course here indicated will be followed, unless current events and experience shall show a modification or change to be proper; and in every case and exigency my best discretion will be exercised according to circumstances actually existing, and with a view and a hope of a peaceful solution of the national troubles, and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and affections.
That there are persons in one section or another who seek to destroy the Union at all events, and are glad of any pretext to do it, I will neither affirm nor deny; but if there be such, I need address no word to them. To those, however, who really love the Union may I not speak?
Before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our national fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do it? Will you hazard so desperate a step, while there is any possibility that any portion of the ills you fly from have no real existence? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to, are greater than all the real ones you fly from? Will you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake?
All profess to be content in the Union, if all constitutional rights can be maintained. Is it true, then, that any right, plainly written in the Constitution, has been denied? I think not. Happily the human mind is so constituted, that no party can reach to the audacity of doing this. Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a plainly written provision of the Constitution has ever been denied. If by the mere force of numbers, a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution -- certainly would, if such right were a vital one. But such is not our case. All the vital rights of minorities, and of individuals, are so plainly assured to them, by affirmations and negations, guaranties and prohibitions, in the Constitution, that controversies never arise concerning them. But no organic law can ever be framed with a provision specifically applicable to every question which may occur in practical administration. No foresight can anticipate, nor any document of reasonable length contain express provisions for all possible questions. Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered by national or by State authority? The Constitution does not expressly say. May Congress prohibit slavery in the territories? The Constitution does not expressly say. Must Congress protect slavery in the territories? The Constitution does not expressly say.
From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the government must cease. There is no other alternative; for continuing the government, is acquiescence on one side or the other. If a minority, in such case, will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which, in turn, will divide and ruin them; for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy, a year or two hence, arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments, are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this.
Is there such perfect identity of interests among the States to compose a new Union, as to produce harmony only, and prevent renewed secession?
Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy. A majority, held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it, does, of necessity, fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible; the rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.
I do not forget the position assumed by some, that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case, upon the parties to a suit; as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be over-ruled, and never become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink, to decide cases properly brought before them; and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.
One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive slave clause of the Constitution, and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave trade, are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, cannot be perfectly cured, and it would be worse in both cases after the separation of the sections, than before. The foreign slave trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without restriction, in one section; while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all, by the other.
Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We can not remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the presence, and beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of our country cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face; and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory, after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. I cannot be ignorant of the fact that many worthy and patriotic citizens are desirous of having the national Constitution amended. While I make no recommendation of amendments, I fully recognize the rightful authority of the people over the whole subject to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should, under existing circumstances, favor rather than oppose a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it.
I will venture to add that to me the Convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions, originated by others, not especially chosen for the purpose, and which might not be precisely such as they would wish to either accept or refuse. I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution, which amendment, however, I have not seen, has passed Congress, to the effect that the federal government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments, so far as to say that holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.
The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have referred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the States. The people themselves can do this if also they choose; but the executive, as such, has nothing to do with it. His duty is to administer the present government, as it came to his hands, and to transmit it, unimpaired by him, to his successor.
Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope, in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of nations, with his eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth, and that justice, will surely prevail, by the judgment of this great tribunal of the American people.
By the frame of the government under which we live, this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief; and have, with equal wisdom, provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals.
While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.
My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well, upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you, in hot haste, to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while the new administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied, hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature..."
Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler et al.
Abraham Lincoln's First Inagual Adress
You posted a bit of bullox to "educate" a bit further up ("if it was about slavery, all the South had to do was to remain in the Union"). If you want to educate on those terms, expect a bit or argument.
"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything."
-Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858 (The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, pp. 145-146.)
This is the full quote from the video.
ITT Random Guy:
The means and timing of handling the slavery issue were at issue, although not in the overly simplified moral sense that lives in postwar and modern propaganda. But had there been no Morrill Tariff there might never have been a war. The conflict that cost of the lives of 650,000 Union and Confederate soldiers and perhaps as many as 50,000 Southern civilians and impoverished many millions for generations might never have been.
A smoldering issue of unjust taxation that enriched Northern manufacturing states and exploited the agricultural South was fanned to a furious blaze in 1860. It was the Morrill Tariff that stirred the smoldering embers of regional mistrust and ignited the fires of Secession in the South. This precipitated a Northern reaction and call to arms that would engulf the nation in the flames of war for four years.
Prior to the U. S. "Civil War" there was no U. S. income tax. Considerably more than 90% of U. S. government revenue was raised by a tariff on imported goods. A tariff is a tax on selected imports, most commonly finished or manufactured products. A high tariff is usually legislated not only to raise revenue, but also to protect domestic industry form foreign competition. By placing such a high, protective tariff on imported goods it makes them more expensive to buy than the same domestic goods. This allows domestic industries to charge higher prices and make more money on sales that might otherwise be lost to foreign competition because of cheaper prices (without the tariff) or better quality. This, of course, causes domestic consumers to pay higher prices and have a lower standard of living. Tariffs on some industrial products also hurt other domestic industries that must pay higher prices for goods they need to make their products. Because the nature and products of regional economies can vary widely, high tariffs are sometimes good for one section of the country, but damaging to another section of the country. High tariffs are particularly hard on exporters since they must cope with higher domestic costs and retaliatory foreign tariffs that put them at a pricing disadvantage. This has a depressing effect on both export volume and profit margins. High tariffs have been a frequent cause of economic disruption, strife and war.
Prior to 1824 the average tariff level in the U. S. had been in the 15 to 20 % range. This was thought sufficient to meet federal revenue needs and not excessively burdensome to any section of the country. The increase of the tariff to a 20% average in 1816 was ostensibly to help pay for the War of 1812. It also represented a 26% net profit increase to Northern manufacturers.
In 1824 Northern manufacturing states and the Whig Party under the leadership of Henry Clay began to push for high, protective tariffs. These were strongly opposed by the South. The Southern economy was largely agricultural and geared to exporting a large portion of its cotton and tobacco crops to Europe. In the 1850's the South accounted for anywhere from 72 to 82% of U. S. exports. They were largely dependent, however, on Europe or the North for the manufactured goods needed for both agricultural production and consumer needs. Northern states received about 20% of the South's agricultural production. The vast majority of export volume went to Europe. A protective tariff was then a substantial benefit to Northern manufacturing states, but meant considerable economic hardship for the agricultural South
Northern political dominance enabled Clay and his allies in Congress to pass a tariff averaging 35% late in 1824. This was the cause of economic boom in the North, but economic hardship and political agitation in the South. South Carolina was especially hard hit, the State's exports falling 25% over the next two years. In 1828 in a demonstration of unabashed partisanship and unashamed greed the Northern dominated Congress raised the average tariff level to 50%. Despite strong Southern agitation for lower tariffs the Tariff of 1832 only nominally reduced the effective tariff rate and brought no relief to the South. These last two tariffs are usually termed in history as the Tariffs of Abomination.
This led to the Nullification Crisis of 1832 when South Carolina called a state convention and "nullified" the 1828 and 1832 tariffs as unjust and unconstitutional. The resulting constitutional crisis came very near provoking armed conflict at that time. Through the efforts of former U. S. Vice President and U. S. Senator from South Carolina, John C. Calhoun, a compromise was effected in 1833 which over a few years reduced the tariff back to a normal level of about 15%. Henry Clay and the Whigs were not happy, however, to have been forced into a compromise by Calhoun and South Carolina's Nullification threat. The tariff, however, remained at a level near 15% until 1860. A lesson in economics, regional sensitivities, and simple fairness should have been learned from this confrontation, but if it was learned, it was ignored by ambitious political and business factions and personalities that would come on the scene of American history in the late 1850's.
High protective tariffs were always the policy of the old Whig Party and had become the policy of the new Republican Party that replaced it. A recession beginning around 1857 gave the cause of protectionism an additional political boost in the Northern industrial states.
In May of 1860 the U. S. Congress passed the Morrill Tariff Bill (named for Republican Congressman and steel manufacturer, Justin S. Morrill of Vermont) raising the average tariff from about 15% to 37% with increases to 47% within three years. Although this was remarkably reminiscent of the Tariffs of Abomination which had led in 1832 to a constitutional crisis and threats of secession and armed force, the U. S. House of Representatives passed the Bill 105 to 64. Out of 40 Southern Congressmen only one Tennessee Congressman voted for it.
U. S. tariff revenues already fell disproportionately on the South, accounting for 87% of the total. While the tariff protected Northern industrial interests, it raised the cost of living and commerce in the South substantially. It also reduced the trade value of their agricultural exports to Europe. These combined to place a severe economic hardship on many Southern states. Even more galling was that 80% or more of these tax revenues were expended on Northern public works and industrial subsidies, thus further enriching the North at the expense of the South.
In the 1860 election, Lincoln, a former Whig and great admirer of Henry Clay, campaigned for the high protective tariff provisions of the Morrill Tariff, which had also been incorporated into the Republican Party Platform. Lincoln further endorsed the Morrill Tariff and its concepts in his first inaugural speech and signed the Act into law a few days after taking office in March of 1861. Southern leaders had seen it coming. Southern protests had been of no avail. Now the South was inflamed with righteous indignation, and Southern leaders began to call for Secession.
At first Northern public opinion as reflected in Northern newspapers of both parties recognized the right of the Southern States to secede and favored peaceful separation. A November 21, 1860, editorial in the Cincinnati Daily Press said this:
"We believe that the right of any member of this Confederacy to dissolve its political relations with the others and assume an independent position is absolute."
The New York Times on March 21, 1861, reflecting the great majority of editorial opinion in the North summarized in an editorial:
"There is a growing sentiment throughout the North in favor of letting the Gulf States go."
Northern industrialists became nervous, however, when they realized a tariff dependent North would be competing against a free trade South. They feared not only loss of tax revenue, but considerable loss of trade. Newspaper editorials began to reflect this nervousness. Lincoln had promised in his inaugural speech that he would preserve the Union and the tariff. Three days after manipulating the South into firing on the tariff collection facility of Fort Sumter in volatile South Carolina, on April 15, 1861, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the Southern rebellion. This caused the Border States to secede along with the Gulf States. Lincoln undoubtedly calculated that the mere threat of force backed by more unified Northern public opinion would quickly put down secession. His gambit, however, failed spectacularly and would erupt into a terrible and costly war for four years. The Union Army's lack of success early in the war, the need to keep anti-slavery England from coming into the war on the side of the South, and Lincoln's need to appease the radical abolitionists in the North led to increasing promotion of freeing the slaves as a noble cause to justify what was really a dispute over just taxation and States Rights.
Writing in December of 1861 in a London weekly publication, the famous English author, Charles Dickens, who was a strong opponent of slavery, said these things 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."
"Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this as many, many other evils. The quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel."
Karl Marx, like most European socialists of the time favored the North. In an 1861 article published in England, he articulated very well what the major British newspapers, the Times, the Economist, and Saturday Review, had been saying:
"The war between the North and South is a tariff war. The war, is further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for power."
A horrific example of the damage that protective tariffs can exact was also seen in later history. One of the causes of the Great Depression of 1930-1939 was the Hawley-Smoot Act, a high tariff passed in 1930 that Congress mistakenly thought would help the country. While attempting to protect domestic industry from foreign imports, the unanticipated effect was to reduce the nation's exports and thereby help increase unemployment to the devastating figure of 25%. It is fairly well known by competent and honest economists now that protective tariffs usually do more harm than good, often considerably more harm than good. However, economic ignorance and political expediency often combine to overrule longer-term public good. As the Uncivil War of 1861-5 proves, the human and economic costs for such shortsighted political expediency and partisan greed can be enormous.
The Morrill Tariff illustrates very well one of the problems with majoritarian democracy. A majority can easily exploit a regional, economic, ethnic, or religious minority (or any other minority) unmercifully unless they have strong constitutional guarantees that can be enforced, e. g., States Rights, Nullification, etc. The need to limit centralized government power to counter this natural depravity in men was recognized by the founding fathers. They knew well the irresistible tendencies in both monarchy and democracy for both civil magistrates and the electorate to succumb to the temptations of greed, self-interest, and the lust for power. Thus they incorporated into the Constitution such provisions as the separation of powers and very important provisions enumerating and delegating only certain functions and powers to the federal government and retaining others at the state level and lower. Such constitutional provisions including the very specific guaranty of States Rights and limits to the power of the Federal Government in the 10th Amendment are unfortunately now largely ignored by all three branches of the Federal Government, and their constant infringement seldom contested by the States.
The Tariff question and the States Rights question were therefore strongly linked. Both are linked to the broader issues of limited government and a strong Constitution. The Morrill Tariff dealt the South a flagrant political injustice and impending economic hardship and crisis. It therefore made Secession a very compelling alternative to an exploited and unequal union with the North.
How to handle the slavery question was an underlying tension between North and South, but one of many tensions. It cannot be said to be the cause of the war. Fully understanding the slavery question and its relations to those tensions is beyond the scope of this article,
but numerous historical facts demolish the propagandistic morality play that a virtuous North invaded the evil South to free the slaves. Five years after the end of the War, prominent Northern abolitionist, attorney and legal scholar, Lysander Spooner, put it this way:
"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."
Yet apparently many today are still deceived, are deliberately deceived, and even prefer to be deceived.
Unjust taxation has been the cause of many tensions and much bloodshed throughout history and around the world. The Morrill Tariff was certainly a powerful factor predisposing the South to seek its independence and determine its own destiny. As outrageous and unjust as the Morrill Tariff was, its importance has been largely ignored and even purposely obscured. It does not fit the politically correct images and myths of popular American history. Truth, however, is always the high ground. It will have the inevitable victory
In addition to the devastating loss of life and leadership during the War, the South suffered considerable damage to property, livestock, and crops. The policies of "Reconstruction" and "carpetbagger" state governments further exploited and robbed the South, considerably retarding economic recovery. Further, high tariffs and discriminatory railroad shipping taxes continued to favor Northern economic interests and impoverish the South for generations after the war. It is only in relatively recent history that the political and economic fortunes of the South have begun to rise.
One last point needs to be made. The war of 1861-65 was not a "civil" war. To call it the "Civil War" is not a historically accurate and honest use of language. It is the propaganda of the victors having attained popular usage. No one in the South was attempting to overthrow the U. S. government. Few Southerners had any interest in overthrowing their own or anyone else's state governments. The Southern states had seen that continued union with the North would jeopardize their liberties and economic wellbeing. Through the proper constitutional means of state conventions and referendums they sought to withdraw from the Union and establish their independence just as the American Colonies had sought their independence from Great Britain in 1776 and for very similar reasons. The Northern industrialists, however, were not willing to give up their Southern Colonies. A more appropriate name for the uncivil war of 1861-65 would be "The War for Southern Independence."
But had it not been for the Morrill Tariff there would have been no rush to Secession by Southern states and very probably no war. The Morrill Tariff of 1860, so unabashed and unashamed in its short- sighted, partisan greed, stands as an astonishing monument to the self-centered depravity of man and to its consequences. No wonder most Americans would like to see it forgotten and covered over with a more morally satisfying but largely false version of the causes of the Uncivil War.
On The Web: http://www.ashevilletribune.com/archives/censored-truths/Morrill%20Tariff.html
It was a comment to me regarding the debate as such, not the actual content. A meta-comment if you wish.
Interestingly, non of the four declaration of causes from South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia or mention tariffs, Morrill's or antone elses. Of the four, only Georgia specifically mentions economy, though mostly other issues not directly related to the Morrill Tariff.
That is not to say the war was not about economy. In the end, most, if not all wars are. The question of slavery was after all primarily an economic question for the South, but blaming the whole war on the Morrill Tariff does not chime with what the Southern states themselves gave as reasons.
It's funny how the agenda of the writer can't help to peek out. Sooo, Lincoln manipulated the South Colonel Chestnut & Co into attacking the fort? Sure, because these guys were really stupid and easily duped, right?
I've heard the thesis before, and it would not surprise me if Lincoln took the actions he did with the intention of pushing the South to the limits. Tariffs and duties that hurt one part of the country while helping another are the antithesis of one nation. So there comes a time when you have to make a stand. Who fired the first shot is important, but not the whole story.
Remember that Lincoln was reviled by many in the North. Many people in the North recognized that the South had the right to secede, and hated Lincoln for pushing them to war.
I don't know enough about the War Between the States to have an informed opinion. I do have lots of questions. For instance, did Lincoln successfully troll the South into firing the first shot? While my opinion of Lincoln is low, he was a brilliant politician and an intelligent man, and I can well imagine him doing it.
FDR did it fourscore years later with the Japanese.
Lincoln trolling the South into setting off the war would necessarily depend on a at least two conditions:
- That the war would not have happened (or at least be very unlikely to happen) without the attack
- That the South was bleeding idiots who let themselves be set up
Any chance both of those are true?
From what I have gathered, Lincoln was rather set on protecting the Union. Could he have done so without the war? Could the secession be solved politically?
Yes, Lincoln was rather set on protecting the Union. That's why 600,000 Americans died, because Lincoln couldn't accept that the South wanted to leave. He killed all those people, not, IMHO, to get rid of slavery, but to preserve his legacy. He didn't want to be the one who Lost The Union. Not a good reason to kill people, in my opinion.
I don't agree with either of your assertions, but as I said, none of us know, now do we?
I can well imagine being trolled into a war--FDR did it to the Japanese, and there's no reason to think the Japanese weren't capable. But strong emotions tend to overwhelm reason. That's the whole raison d'etre of trolling. You do it until you get a reaction. And when governments do it, it can result in war.
And of course, in the case of government, it's not strictly words. The Japanese and the US had been fighting an economic war for decades prior to Pearl Harbor. The same is true in the US circa 1850s. There were many new laws and SCOTUS rulings that made it harder for the South to compete. So actual economic harm was being done.
Surely, you are pulling my leg, right? Moving the fleet to Pearl Harbour trolled the Japanese into attacking them? Seriously?
You are aware that the war in the East had already lasted for a good ten years? The war in the Pacific was unavoidable the moment Japan started attacking the European colonies. They had already attacked French Indichina, and was about to start nibbling on the British Empire. The US and Japan would have been at war within a year anyway, Japan just struck first.
If Roosevelt was looking for a pretext to attack Japan, wouldn't he have, let's say, stopped the oil export to Japan? Since Japan was strapped for oil, that would have fired up the Japanese high command, and without sacrificing 8 ships and and two-and-a-half thousand men.
You know, trolling someone into doing something requires that you tease them to the point where they are no longer able to act rationally. The attack on Pearl Harbour was well planned and executed, not a impromptu reaction done in buthurt howling anger.
The attack on Fort Sumter is a bit more debatable, in that it sat right in the Confederate back yard, and the attacker was state militias rather than a regular army. It is conceivable that the South was buthurt and irrational enough to act against their own best interest, but going from there to concluding Lincoln manipulated the South without any sort of proof (like in the article above) is a good sign of bad science. Apart from that, the article failed the other test: Confirming to the primary documentation we actually do have.
Today I would like to discus Northern War Crimes.
The story of the freedmen in wartime is one of gross mismanagement and neglect (on the part of the North). The problem was neither vigilantly foreseen by the government nor dealt with vigorously and promptly by it or by private organizations. The abolitionists who had called so long for emancipation should have foreseen that the mere ending of slavery was far from a solution of the stupendous and many-sided problem of creating...a new social order to meet the exigent new demands. All too often squalor, hunger and disease haunted the (black) refugees, their camps becoming social cancers that were a reproach to the North...Maria Mann, the first woman sent by the US Sanitary Commission as agent in a contraband camp, wrote of appalling conditions and often cruel treatment. Deaths were frequent, disease was universal, and the future so bleak that many of the refugees talked of returning to their slave masters, and some did so.
Writing of the hospital, she said: "I found the poor creatures in...such quarters, void of comfort and decency;---their personal condition so deplorable that any idea of change for the better seems utterly impossible. Many of them seem to come there to die, and they do die very rapidly...the carcasses, filth and decay which 40,000 have scattered over this town, will make the mortality fearful when warm weather comes...So much formality attends red tape, and so few friends have the Negroes among the officials..." Speaking out sharply, Mrs. Mann charged the (US) Army with "barbarities" against the refugees....Malnutrition was evident in nearly every place "where the government has been obliged to support destitute contrabands." An aide of General Rufus Saxton at Beaufort (South Carolina) reported..."the ill-fed, ill-sheltered, ill-clothed, unmedicined" freedmen were an easy prey of the infectious maladies that swept their poor quarters."
Washington failed utterly to foresee the widespread flight of slaves within the Union lines, to assess their needs realistically, and to make considered provision for their future. (For) several reasons Congress was unwilling to take farsighted action in behalf of the four million slaves that the war gradually released. In the first place (many Northern Congressman) wished to retard rather than accelerate emancipation. They raised some terrible bogeys: the Negroes would flock northward and flood the labor markets (a fear felt from St. Louis and Cincinnati to Baltimore); they would prove unruly and dangerous; and frightful expenses, necessitating heavy taxes, would be needed to care for the ignorant, helpless and often ailing refugees.
A large part of the Union officers and troops agreed with...conservative attitudes (toward the Negroes). Many had an instinctive dislike of blacks, and many shared the views of the Democratic Party on slavery. They turned the Negro back with contumely. Dissension on the subject persisted until after the Emancipation Proclamation, and never disappeared." The (proclamation) did not apply to the thirteen parishes of Louisiana, the forty-eight counties of West(ern) Virginia, or seven counties of Virginia (under Northern occupation). Here, as everywhere, loyal masters had the right to recover slaves up to the final proclamation.
"Oh, you are the man who has all those darkies on his shoulders." So Grant in the autumn of 1862 addressed Chaplain John Eaton of the 27th Ohio, a 33-year old....whom he had just appointed supervisor of the contrabands crowding into the army camps at LaGrange, Tennessee. As Grant's troops advanced into northern Mississippi...owners fled their plantations and farms, and slaves thronged into the Yankee camps. The flood of want and misery appalled all observers. It was like the oncoming of cities, wrote Eaton. Many Northern soldiers, quite unused to color, had more bitter prejudices against it than Southerners. But even the benevolent were nonplussed, fearing "the demoralization and infection of the Union soldier and the downfall of the Union cause" if dark hordes swamped the advancing columns.
Eaton found most (Northern) troops reluctant to serve the Negro in any manner, and even parties detailed to guard the contrabands did their work unwillingly. Once Eaton was roughly arrested by a colonel as he gave directions to some wandering Negroes; once his horse, used by a sergeant in foraging for contrabands, was shot by somebody who hoped to kill Eaton himself."
(The War for the Union: The Organized War 1863-1864, Allan Nevins, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971, pp. 418-428)
View attachment Railroad%20Depot%20Ruins%20%20Charleston%20South%2
Atalanta Georgea 1864
Never said that, never even thought that. Not sure where you got it.
Which was what I said earlier, that WWII was an extension of the economic wars that had been playing out since the 1920s. Japan needed oil, the US wanted to keep them from getting it. So, tell me, who might be right, the nation that is trying to grow their economy, or the nation trying to prevent them from doing so?
I might be wrong about this, it's been a while since I studied it, but that's what i remember.
I never said FDR was looking to attack Japan. Where did you get that? I said FDR wanted to prod the Japanese into attacking us. Roosevelt wanted war, but he didn't want to appear to start it. He knew how Americans are. They never want war, until it is on them, then they go into full attack mode.
And FDR did embargo the oil, in 1938, iirc, which was a factor in the attack on Pearl. The Japanese knew they had limited oil supplies, and if they didn't find replacements, they would become an economic basket case. That resulted in an 'irrational' act, that is, attacking Pearl. They knew when they did it they were getting a tiger by the tail. They did it anyway. That's how desperate they had become.
Trolling is the wrong term. I'm sorry I used it.
The US, through economic warfare, pushed the Japanese into an untenable position where their economy would come to halt in 2 years (this was in 1938-9) through the oil embargo the US imposed. This caused the Japanese to look at options, of which war with the Tiger was their best option.
Life is so damn messy.
I'm sorry I used the term trolling. It was not a good one.
I am saying that the North was using their power to keep the South down economically. That is war on a different battlefield.
Lincoln was making the South very uncomfortable with his rhetoric. The South responded by withdrawing. That was totally legitimate. Lincoln was saying that was illegitimate. Yet the US was started from a war of secession, and many in the US understood that the South had the absolute right to secede. They were sovereign states. Yet Lincoln was insisting they weren't, that they had no right to secede.
So, again, I apologize for using the term 'trolling', it's misleading. I am saying that in both Wars, one side used their economic power to keep others down, for political reasons. In the US, keeping the South subservient meant getting the South's products cheaper, and forcing the South to pay more for their Northern imports.
In the WWII, keeping Japan from competing for resources lowers the prices of the resources. It's the difference between competition and monopoly.
Quote of the day:
"The trite saying that honesty is the best policy has met with the just criticism that honesty is not policy. The real honest man is honest from conviction of what is right, not from policy."
Gen. Robert E Lee
The Massacre At Palmyra, Missouri
On September 12, 1862, Colonel Joseph C. Porter and the Confederate troops of the First Northeast Missouri Cavalry under his command rode into the Union occupied town of Palmyra, Missouri in an effort to free the townspeople from its oppressive occupation. On this raid they captured a man named Andrew Allsman, a sixty-year old citizen of Palmyra. Allsman had enlisted in the Union Army when the war broke out in 1861, but was soon discharged due to his age. He later figured that he could better serve the Union cause by becoming an informant in his hometown. There was much Southern sentiment amongst people of Missouri even though the state had been occupied since the early period of the war. The Union feared that if left unchecked this supportive population could be a hindrance to the Union cause. With Allsman informing on suspected Southern sympathizers, thousands of people were arrested. Some were arrested for expressing free speech, publicly speaking of their sentiment with the Confederate States.
Allsman was called upon frequently to testify against Missourians as being disloyal to the United States. If Allsman said a man was a rebel the Union authorities believed him without question. These accused rebels were thrown into jail immediately while their families at home would be targeted for robbery and other acts of terror by U.S. soldiers. There was deep resentment for Allsman in the town of Palmyra. Reportedly, when Porter had captured the much despised Allsman, some of the ladies of Palmyra had said to Colonel Porter, "Don't let old Allsman come back alive."
Three days after Allsman's capture Colonel Porter decided he could no longer keep Allsman with his troop on the move. It slowed down the movement of his troops in their retreat south. Allsman was offered release but he did not want to be left alone while on his way back home for he feared that his civilian enemies would kill him. Instead he pleaded with Porter to keep him a prisoner of the troop. Porter again dismissed Allsman from the troop, but did agreed that Allsman could choose six of Porter's men to act as an escort to the nearest home of a Union sympathizer.
While enroute to return Allsman to a safe home, additional Confederate troops from the camp intercepted the Allsman escorts. These troops took charge of Allsman. They led him out into the woods and told him that he was going to pay for the deeds that he had done as an informant. Allsman was shot dead by three men and his body was covered with brush and leaves in the dense underbrush of the thicket. Allsman body was never found, nor were his executioners ever identified. Meanwhile, not knowing the whereabouts of Allsman, this order was published in Palmyra Courier on October 8:
"PALMYRA, MO., October 8, 1862 To JOSEPH C. PORTER: SIR: Andrew Allsman, an aged citizen of Palmyra and a non-combatant having been carried from his home by a band of persons unlawfully arrayed against the peace and good order of the State of Missouri and which band was under your control, this is to notify you that unless said Andrew Allsmart is returned unharmed to his family within ten days from date ten men, who have belonged to your band and unlawfully sworn by you to carry arms against the Government of the United States and who are now in custody, will be shot, as a meet reward for their crimes, among which is the illegal restraining of said Allsman his liberty, and, if not returned, presumptively aiding in his murder. Your prompt attention to this will save much suffering. Yours, &c., W. R. STRACHAN, Provost-Marshal. General District Northeast Missouri , Per order of brigadier-general commanding McNeil's column. " A supplementary notice was placed in the hands of the wife of Porter, at her residence in Lewis County, who it was thought was in frequent communication with her husband. Colonel Porter had been making his way southward before the threat was issued and was most probably not aware of General McNeil's demand.
The threat had been issued by the provost marshal of northeast Missouri, Union Captain William R. Strachan. When approached with a plea to revoke the order Strachan, who was more often than not intoxicated, stated that the ten men would be shot according to the order. Canadian born General John McNeil who authorized the order was asked by citizens of Union sympathies to rescind this order. His simple reply was, "My will shall be done." Union authorities had already killed Confederate Colonel McCollough and fifteen of his comrades in August in Kirksville, only seventy miles to the northwest. Union General Merrill had also executed ten prisoners who had refused to take an oath of allegiance to the United States.
The ninth day after Strachan's order had passed. It seemed evident to Strachan that Allsman was not going to be returned and they were not aware of Allsmans demise. McNeil ordered Strachan to go to the jail and select the "worst rebels" for execution. He further directed that those who could not read nor write were to be left alone, taking instead those "of the highest social position and influence."
Strachan walked into the jail where twelve men waited to hear the verdict. Only five of those twelve would be selected while five more would be selected from the Hannibal jailhouse and brought to Palmyra for execution. One of the ten men selected, Willis Baker, was sixty years old and had never served in the Confederate army but had two sons who had. Mr. Baker had been charged with harboring them and their companions, and, when a Union man had turned up murdered in the area, he was charged with complicity in that crime. Willis Baker was not a religious man and the death threat did not quite him, as it surely had the nine other men. Baker stormed and swore that he had done nothing to deserve being shot like an animal, and that he would see "old McNeil and Strachan miles in Hell" before he would forgive them. The names of the other nine men selected were: Capt. Thomas A. Sidenor, from Monroe County, Thomas Humston, from Lewis County, Morgan Bixler, from Lewis County, John Y. McPheeters, from Lewis County, Herbert Hudson, from Ralls County, John M. Wade, from Ralls County, Francis W. Lear, from Ralls County, Eleazar Lake, from Scotland County, William T. Humphrey, from Lewis County. These nine men were most all family men and all of them were active in their churches. All of them had served in the Confederate army.
The first man that Strachan had put on the death list was that of William T. Humphrey. Upon learning of this, his wife, Mary Humphrey, with her two step-children and her two-week-old baby, fled to the provost marshal's office, begging for her husband's life. She was sent to General McNeil. General McNeil was grimly determined to kill her husband, but she succeeded in convincing him that her husband, though invited by Porter's men, refused to rejoin them, fearing that his parole would be revoked. Once assured of her statement, McNeil directed Strachan to choose another man to replace Humphrey. The alcoholic Strachan demanded sexual favors from the wife of the condemned prisoner as payment for sparing the man's life
Back at the jail, old Willis Baker was somewhat more calm than before, only occasionally calling down an imprecation upon the Yankees. He was seated in one corner of the jail, telling a young boy named Hiram Smith what to tell his family after he was gone. Tears streamed down young Hiram's face as he listened to the old man speaking in low, sad tones. How he dreaded relating all of this to the tortured faces of Willis Baker's wife and sons.
From the hallway came the jailer, who stepped near the cells and called in a loud voice, "Hiram T. Smith!" Brushing the tears from his eyes, young Smith walked to the cell door and looked through the bars. At that moment Provost Marshal Strachan appeared, asking "Is your name Hiram Smith?" "Yes sir," was the polite reply. "Well then, prepare yourself to be shot with the other men today at 1:00" Smith's fellow prisoners tried to comfort him, William Humphrey, reprieved but saddened at Strachan's diabolical choice of another youth who could neither read nor write, offered to write a letter to his family. His parents were dead, so young Hiram Smith dictated a letter to his sister, written in detail by the man whose place he would take before the firing squad.
Only Hiram Smith and Thomas A. Sidenor had no wife nor children. Hiram Smith was twenty-two years of age. Sidenor had been a Captain in the Confederate army but his unit had been destroyed in battle and there after disbanded. He had then taken up the life of a civilian and was engaged to be married. Thomas Humston was only nineteen years old. Contrary to General McNeil's arbitrary stipulations, Humston could neither read nor write. He was in jail only because he had been picked up by a scouting party on routine duty.
On October 18, 1862, at 1:00 the ten men were loaded onto wagons, seated on newly made coffins, and taken to the Palmyra fairgrounds where they were to be executed. On reaching the fairgrounds, the men were placed in a row and seated on their coffins. A few feet away stood thirty United States soldiers. Behind those thirty were an equal number of reserve troops. The order to fire was given. Only three men were killed instantly. One man was not even hit. The reserve troops were then called in. They took their pistols and went from man to man, shooting him until he stopped moaning. Mr. Bixler was the one who had not been shot. He had to sit and watch as the reserve troops shot his friends at point blank range until they came and shot him.
Here is how the event was covered by the Palmyra, Missouri Courier. "Saturday last, the 18th instant, witnessed the performance of a tragedy in this once quiet and beautiful city of Palmyra, which, in ordinary and peaceful times, would have created a profound sensation throughout the entire country, but which now scarcely produces a distinct ripple upon the surface of our turbulent social tide.
A few minutes after 1 o'clock, Colonel Strachan, provost-marshal-general, and Reverend Rhodes shook hands with the prisoners, two of them accepting bandages for their eyes. All the rest refused. A hundred spectators had gathered around the amphitheater to witness the impressive scene. The stillness of death pervaded the place. The officer in command now stepped forward, and gave the word of command, "Ready, aim, fire." The discharges, however, were not made simultaneously, probably through want of a perfect previous understanding of the orders and of the time at which to fire. Two of the rebels fell backward upon their coffins and died instantly. Captain Sidner sprang forward and fell with his head toward the soldiers, his face upward, his hands clasped upon his breast and the left leg drawn half way up. He did not move again, but died immediately. He had requested the soldiers to aim at his heart, and they obeyed but too implicitly. The other seven were not killed outright, so the reserves were called in, who dispatched them with their revolvers.
It seems hard that ten men should die for one. Under ordinary circumstances it would hardly be justified; but severe diseases demand severe remedies. The safety of the people is the supreme law. It overrides all other considerations. The madness of rebellion has become so deep seated that ordinary methods of cure are inadequate. To take life for life would be little intimidation to men seeking the heart's blood of an obnoxious enemy. They could well afford to make even exchanges under many circumstances. It is only by striking the deepest terror in them, causing them to thoroughly respect the lives of loyal men, that they can be taught to observe the obligation of humanity and of law."
President Lincoln promoted McNeil shortly after the Palmyra Massacre. He was just one of many Union officers who were promoted by Lincoln after committing atrocities such as the one at Palmyra, Missouri.
References and Details:
"With Porter in North Missouri: A Chapter in the History of the War Between the States by Joseph A. Mudd
"The South Was Right" by James R. Kennedy and Walter D. Kennedy, Chapter 4
"The Lost Cause: The Standard Southern History of the War of the Confederates", by Edward A. Pollard, Chapter 9
"HORRIBLE FEDERAL OUTRAGE--TEN CONFEDERATES MURDERED--THE FULL PARTICULARS OF THE SCENE", Official Records (War of the Rebellion) -- SERIES I--VOLUME XXII/1 [S# 32] Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, The Indian Territory, And Department Of The Northwest, From November 20, 1862, To December 31, 1862. UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#2
Confederate Military History, Vol. 9 CHAPTER XVIII
"The Treatment Of Prisoners During The War Between The States", Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. I Richmond, Virginia, April, 1876. No. 4
"Personal Heroism" Southern Historical Society Papers Vol. VIII. Richmond, Oct., Nov. and Dec., 1880. Nos. 10, 11 & 12
Official Records (War of the Rebellion) -- SERIES I--VOLUME XIII [S# 19] CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING SPECIALLY TO OPERATIONS IN MISSOURI, ARKANSAS, KANSAS, THE INDIAN TERRITORY, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST FROM APRIL 10 TO NOVEMBER 20, 1862. UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -- #12
Official Records (War of the Rebellion) -- SERIES I--VOLUME XIII [S# 19] CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING SPECIALLY TO OPERATIONS IN MISSOURI, ARKANSAS, KANSAS, THE INDIAN TERRITORY, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST FROM APRIL 10 TO NOVEMBER 20, 1862. UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -- #15
Official Records (War of the Rebellion) -- SERIES I--VOLUME XXII/1 [S# 32] Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, The Indian Territory, And Department Of The Northwest, From November 20, 1862, To December 31, 1862. UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#4
Official Records (War of the Rebellion) -- SERIES I--VOLUME XXII/2 [S# 33] Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, The Indian Territory, And Department Of The Northwest, From January 1 To December 31, 1863. CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#13
"Early Events in Missouri, etc. GENERAL ORDERS No. 20", Official Records (War of the Rebellion) --SERIES II--VOLUME I [S# 114]
"Trial of George M. Pulliam" Official Records (War of the Rebellion) --SERIES II--VOLUME I [S# 114]
"Trial of John C. Tompkins", Official Records (War of the Rebellion) --SERIES II--VOLUME I [S# 114]
"Trial of Richard B. Crowder", Official Records (War of the Rebellion) --SERIES II--VOLUME I [S# 114]
"Trial of Thomas S. Foster", Official Records (War of the Rebellion) --SERIES II--VOLUME I [S# 114]
"Union Methods of Dealing with Guerrillas", Official Records (War of the Rebellion) --SERIES II--VOLUME I [S# 114]
Official Records (War of the Rebellion) --SERIES II--VOLUME V [S# 118] UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, ETC., RELATING TO PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE FROM DECEMBER 1, 1862, TO JUNE 10, 1863.--#4
Johnny, being a son of the south I have been following this thread, but I gotta tell ya, I'm not reading your wall of text posts. A few paragraph breaks and some context would do wonders...
Sorry about that.
But you can't talk about the war with just one sentence ya know.
If no one is reading what you post...
Do you have a theme for this conversation? Did I miss it?
Perhaps you should watch the videos I posted?
What I was trying to do is one day I'll dicus one thing and then the next I'll discus another.
My theme was Northern War crimes.
Tomarow I might discus the many flags of the confederate army.
Some widely known and some... not so much.
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