by Megyn Kelly
|General Patrick Cleburne at the Battle of Franklin by Don Gallon. To Purchase a lithograph go to Dongallon.com|
Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that what we see happening in the United States today is an apt illustration of why the Confederate flag was raised in the first place. What we see materializing before our very eyes is tyranny: tyranny over the freedom of expression, tyranny over the freedom of association, tyranny over the freedom of speech, and tyranny over the freedom of conscience.
In 1864, Confederate General Patrick Cleburne warned his fellow southerners of the historical consequences should the South lose their war for independence. He was truly a prophet. He said if the South lost, “It means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy. That our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by all of the influences of History and Education to regard our gallant debt as traitors and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision.” No truer words were ever spoken.
History revisionists flooded America’s public schools with Northern propaganda about the people who attempted to secede from the United States, characterizing them as racists, extremists, radicals, hatemongers, traitors, etc. You know, the same way that people in our federal government and news media attempt to characterize Christians, patriots, war veterans, constitutionalists, et al. today.
Folks, please understand that the only people in 1861 who believed that states did NOT have the right to secede were Abraham Lincoln and his radical Republicans. To say that southern states did not have the right to secede from the United States is to say that the thirteen colonies did not have the right to secede from Great Britain. One cannot be right and the other wrong. If one is right, both are right. How can we celebrate our Declaration of Independence in 1776 and then turn around and condemn the Declaration of Independence of the Confederacy in 1861? Talk about hypocrisy!
In fact, southern states were not the only states that talked about secession. After the southern states seceded, the State of Maryland fully intended to join them. In September of 1861, Lincoln sent federal troops to the State capital and seized the legislature by force in order to prevent them from voting. Federal provost marshals stood guard at the polls and arrested Democrats and anyone else who believed in secession. A special furlough was granted to Maryland troops so they could go home and vote against secession. Judges who tried to inquire into the phony elections were arrested and thrown into military prisons. There is your great “emancipator,” folks.
And before the South seceded, several northern states had also threatened secession. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island had threatened secession as far back as James Madison’s administration. In addition, the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware were threatening secession during the first half of the nineteenth century–long before the southern states even considered such a thing.
People say constantly that Lincoln “saved” the Union. Lincoln didn’t save the Union; he subjugated the Union. There is a huge difference. A union that is not voluntary is not a union. Does a man have a right to force a woman to marry him or to force a woman to stay married to him? In the eyes of God, a union of husband and wife is far superior to a union of states. If God recognizes the right of husbands and wives to separate (and He does), to try and suggest that states do not have the right to lawfully (under Natural and divine right) separate is the most preposterous proposition imaginable.
People say that Lincoln freed the slaves. Lincoln did NOT free a single slave. But what he did do was enslave free men. His so-called Emancipation Proclamation had NO AUTHORITY in the southern states, as they had separated into another country. Imagine a President today signing a proclamation to free folks in, say, China or Saudi Arabia. He would be laughed out of Washington. Lincoln had no authority over the Confederate States of America, and he knew it.
Do you not find it interesting that Lincoln’s proclamation did NOT free a single slave in the United States, the country in which he DID have authority? That’s right. The Emancipation Proclamation deliberately ignored slavery in the North. Do you not realize that when Lincoln signed his proclamation, there were over 300,000 slaveholders who were fighting in the Union army? Check it out.
One of those northern slaveholders was General (and later U.S. President) Ulysses S. Grant. In fact, he maintained possession of his slaves even after the War Between the States concluded. Recall that his counterpart, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, freed his slaves BEFORE hostilities between North and South ever broke out. When asked why he refused to free his slaves, Grant said: “Good help is hard to find these days.”
The institution of slavery did not end until the 13th Amendment was ratified on December 6, 1865.
Speaking of the 13th Amendment, did you know that Lincoln authored his own 13th Amendment? It is the only amendment to the Constitution ever proposed by a sitting U.S. President. Here is Lincoln’s proposed amendment: “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give Congress the power to abolish or interfere within any state with the domestic institutions thereof, including that a person’s held to labor or service by laws of said State.”
You read it right. Lincoln proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution PRESERVING the institution of slavery. This proposed amendment was written in March of 1861, a month BEFORE the shots were fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
The State of South Carolina was particularly incensed at the tariffs enacted in 1828 and 1832. The Tariff of 1828 was disdainfully called “The Tariff of Abominations” by the State of South Carolina. Accordingly, the South Carolina legislature declared that the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were “unauthorized by the constitution of the United States.”
Think, folks: why would the southern states secede from the Union over slavery when President Abraham Lincoln had offered an amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the PRESERVATION of slavery? That makes no sense. If the issue was predominantly slavery, all the South needed to do was to go along with Lincoln; and his proposed 13th Amendment would have permanently preserved slavery among the southern (and northern) states. Does that sound like a body of people who were willing to lose hundreds of thousands of men on the battlefield over saving slavery? What nonsense!
The problem was Lincoln wanted the southern states to pay the Union a 40% tariff on their exports. The South considered this outrageous and refused to pay. By the time hostilities broke out in 1861, the South was paying up to, and perhaps exceeding, 70% of the nation’staxes. Before the war, the South was very prosperous and productive. And Washington, D.C., kept raising the taxes and tariffs on them. You know, the way Washington, D.C., keeps raising the taxes on prosperous American citizens today.
This is much the same story of the way the colonies refused to pay the demanded tariffs of the British Crown–albeit the tariffs of the Crown were MUCH lower than those demanded by Lincoln. Lincoln’s proposed 13th Amendment was an attempt to entice the South into paying the tariffs by being willing to permanently ensconce the institution of slavery into the Constitution. AND THE SOUTH SAID NO!
In addition, the Congressional Record of the United States forever obliterates the notion that the North fought the War Between the States over slavery. Read it for yourself. This resolution was passed unanimously in the U.S. Congress on July 23, 1861: “The War is waged by the government of the United States not in the spirit of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or institutions of the states, but to defend and protect the Union.”
What could be clearer? The U.S. Congress declared that the war against the South was NOT an attempt to overthrow or interfere with the “institutions” of the states, but to keep the Union intact (by force). The “institutions” implied most certainly included the institution ofslavery.
Hear it loudly and clearly: Lincoln’s war against the South had NOTHING to do with ending slavery–so said the U.S. Congress by unanimous resolution in 1861.
Abraham Lincoln, himself, said it was NEVER his intention to end the institution of slavery. In a letter to Alexander Stevens, who later became the Vice President of the Confederacy, Lincoln wrote this: “Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would directly, or indirectly, interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears. The South would be in no more danger in this respect than it was in the days of Washington.”
Again, what could be clearer? Lincoln, himself, said the southern states had nothing to fear from him in regard to abolishing slavery.
Hear Lincoln again: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it.” He also said: “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.”
The idea that the Confederate flag (actually, there were five of them) stood for racism, bigotry, hatred, and slavery is just so much hogwash. In fact, if one truly wants to discover who the racist was in 1861, just read the words of Mr. Lincoln.
On August 14, 1862, Abraham Lincoln invited a group of black people to the White House. In his address to them, he told them of his plans to colonize them all back to Africa. Listen to what he told these folks: “Why should the people of your race be colonized and where? Why should they leave this country? This is, perhaps, the first question for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss; but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think. Your race suffers very greatly, many of them, by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason, at least, why we should be separated. You here are freemen, I suppose? Perhaps you have been long free, or all your lives. Your race is suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people. But even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race. The aspiration of men is to enjoy equality with the best when free, but on this broad continent not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of our race.”
Did you hear what Lincoln said? He said that black people would NEVER be equal with white people–even if they all obtained their freedom from slavery. If that isn’t a racist statement, I’ve never heard one.
Lincoln’s statement above is not isolated. In Charleston, Illinois, in 1858, Lincoln said in a speech: “I am not, nor have ever been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races. 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; 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 from living together on social or 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.”
Ladies and gentlemen, in his own words, Abraham Lincoln declared himself to be a white supremacist. Why don’t our history books and news media tell the American people the truth about Lincoln and about the War Between the States?
It’s simple: if people would study the meanings and history of the flag, symbols, and statues of the Confederacy and Confederate leaders, they might begin to awaken to the tyrannical policies of Washington, D.C., that precluded southern independence–policies that have only escalated since the defeat of the Confederacy–and they might have a notion to again resist.
By the time Lincoln penned his Emancipation Proclamation, the war had been going on for two years without resolution. In fact, the North was losing the war. Even though the South was outmanned and out-equipped, the genius of the southern generals and fighting acumen of the southern men had put the northern armies on their heels. Many people in the North never saw the legitimacy of Lincoln’s war in the first place, and many of them actively campaigned against it. These people were affectionately called “Copperheads” by people in the South.
I urge you to watch Ron Maxwell’s accurate depiction of those people in the North who favored the southern cause as depicted in his motion picture, “Copperhead.” For that matter, I consider his movie “Gods And Generals” to be the greatest “Civil War” movie ever made. It is the most accurate and fairest depiction of Confederate General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson ever produced. In my opinion, actor Stephen Lang should have received an Oscar for his performance as General Jackson. But, can you imagine?
That’s another thing: the war fought from 1861 to 1865 was NOT a “civil war.” Civil war suggests two sides fighting for control of the same capital and country. The South didn’t want to take over Washington, D.C., no more than their forebears wanted to take over London. They wanted to separate from Washington, D.C., just as America’s Founding Fathers wanted to separate from Great Britain. The proper names for that war are either, “The War Between the States” or, “The War of Southern Independence,” or, more fittingly, “The War of Northern Aggression.”