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Compromise and Peace: The Road Not Taken

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by Mike Griffith, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    Whoa, the goal posts just moved from the end zone to the 50 yard line! Now it's no longer that Davis and Toombs unconditionally supported the Crittenden plan, but instead it's that they'll only commit themselves to it if the Republicans commit themselves to it first. That's not support, that's politics - pure and simple. The Republicans would be naive morons to fall for bait like that, even if they did support the Crittenden compromise (which the vast majority did not).
     
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  3. Schwallanscher

    Schwallanscher First Sergeant

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    well that's great - if you do it we'll do it, too

    i call that shifting the responsibility and the blame to someone else - if they are all for it they should say: 'we support this and now we are going to tell you why you should support it, too'

    it's ab it like 'i stop beating my wife if anyone else in my street does it, too' - hey, just stop it!
     
  4. atlantis

    atlantis Corporal

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    Why compromise? If you are one of the people on either side why compromise your deeply held convictions. Shouldn't we give these people the benefit of believing their views were sincere and that to compromise would be in their mind 'surrender'.
     
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  5. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Sergeant Major

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    I'm sure most of you won't take this source at face value, but I'll enter it into the record anyway. From a 1919 issue of Confederate Veteran, an essay entitled "The Attitude of the Southern Leaders on the Crittenden Compromise", written by Nannie Crump, a student at Vassar College. There are names, there are statements attributed to members of the Senate, and there are books quoted. And there's more in the article beyond what I've posted here, so it should be possible to follow up on the references if one wants to do that.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=gDBEAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=Davis+Crittenden+compromise&source=bl&ots=0NFE0MOhX1&sig=lXW6fgLHyt0ddsRHLQ2HLsQcF2Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKxZ2a8rfRAhVFKiYKHS-gBxsQ6AEIeDAT#v=onepage&q=Davis Crittenden compromise&f=false

    Why did Mr. Davis, of Mississippi, and Mr. Toombs, of Georgia, vote negatively? How did a few other Southern
    leaders feel about the measures proposed by Mr. Crittenden? Mr. Davis himself left no written statement as to how he
    would vote on the Crittenden proposition, nor did he state in any speech to the Senate that he would have voted for the
    measure had a Republican majority declared for it; yet internal evidence in the context of his speeches and the assertions of his friends lead us to believe that he would have voted for the measures. We know he was in favor of the compromise offered, even though he voted against it, if the Republican members had voted for it. In his discussion of the Crittenden Compromise in his “Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government” he said: “The supposition was that any measure agreed upon by the representatives of the three principal divisions of public opinion would be approved by the Senate and afterwards ratified by the House of Representatives. * * “ The Southern members declared their readiness to accept any terms that would secure the honor of the Southern States and guarantee their future safety.”

    Previously he had said: “Mr. Crittenden, of Kentucky, the oldest and one of the most honored members of the Senate,
    introduced into that body a joint resolution proposing certain amendments to the Constitution. * * * But the earnest appeals of the venerable statesman were unheeded by senators of the so-called Republican party. Action upon his proposition was postponed from time to time, on one pretext or another, until the last day of the session—when seven States had already withdrawn from the Union and established a confederation of their own—and it was then defeated by a majority of one vote.” Thus we get nothing definite from Mr. Davis himself. What did his friends say about him?

    Mr. Cox, in that splendid characterization of the stormy session of the Thirty-Sixth Congress in his “Three Decades
    of Federal Legislation," said of Mr. Davis: “In that Congress, foremost in influence for peace or war, for union or disunion, is Jefferson Davis. * * * Remembering his personal courtesy, his urbane and dignified manners, his silvery oratory, his undaunted courage as a soldier and honesty as a man, * * * [one] cannot fail to recall much to the credit of
    this leader of the Southern people.”

    Further, Mr. Cox said: “There is indubitable evidence that while on that Committee of Thirteen he was willing to accept the compromise of Mr. Crittenden and recede from secession." This ‘indubitable’ evidence rests-on the statements of Messrs. Pugh and Douglas in the Senate. Mr. Pugh said on March 2, 1861: “Before the senators from the State of Mississippi left this chamber I heard one of them, who now assumes at least to be President of the Southern Confederacy, propose to accept it [the Crittenden Compromise] and to maintain the Union if that proposition could receive the vote it ought to receive from the other side of this chamber" (meaning from the Republicans). Mr. Douglas in the Senate on the same day said: “I can confirm the Senator’s [Mr. Pugh] declaration that Senator Davis himself, when on the Committee of Thirteen, was ready at all times to compromise 0n the Crittenden proposition. I will go further and say that Mr. Toombs was also."

    Mr. Douglas said in the Senate on January 3, 1861: “In the Committee of Thirteen a few days ago every member front
    the South, including those from the cotton States [Davis and Toombs], expressed their readiness to accept the proposition of my venerable friend from Kentucky [Crittenden] as a final settlement of the controversy, if tendered and sustained by the Republican members.”

    Again let us quote Mr. Cox: “Davis, Toombs, and others of the Gulf States would have accepted it [the Crittenden Compromise]. The author talked with Mr. Crittenden frequently on this point. Not only did he confirm the public declaration of Douglas and Pugh and the speech of Toombs himself to this effect, but he said it was so understood in committee at the time while the committee was in session."

    Mr. Greeley, in his “American Conflict," makes two statements of interest: “Mr. Davis asked to be excused from serving [on the Committee of Thirteen], but finally consented." On the vote of 36" 30' Greeley said: “Messrs. Hunter, Toombs, and Davis, it is said, would have supported it had it been proposed and sustained by the Republicans.

    Mr. Phillips, in his “Life of Toombs," said: “Davis, who by signing the Southern Address of the previous week had already declared his belief that Southern grievances were beyond remedy within the Union, requested to be relieved from service on the Committee of Thirteen, but was persuaded by some of his Southern colleagues to withdraw that request." .

    Mr. Dodd, in his “Life of Davis" in the American Crisis Biographies Series, said: “When Mr. Davis learned that a majority of the Republicans on the Committee of Thirteen opposed compromise, he filed his vote in accordance with his suggestion against the opening clause of Crittenden’s program. Toombs voted with him. * * "‘ Davis realized that when the Committee of Thirteen failed to agree there was no chance for a settlement short of secession. He paid no attention to any of the schemes presented either in the Senate or in the House.” '
     
  6. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    None of the above states what Davis and Toombs wanted from the 'other side' before the vote took place.

    Why is that? Why doesn't Mike Griffith show us what Davis, Toombs, and Hunter REQUIRED before they would vote on the compromise?

    From the book, The Road To Disunion, Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861, by William W. Freehling, chapter 28, pg. 471:

    "...Jefferson Davis told the committee that he would settle for slavery's protection in ALL U.S. territories. Robert M. T. Hunter would settle for Davis's uncompromising "ALL," plus a constitutional amendment prohibiting a federal "local appointment" without "the assent of a majority of the Senators from each section" (that, trumpeted the Virginia senator, would prevent "the abuse of patronage...so much feared from Lincoln"), plus another amendment that established two presidents, one northern, one southern, each with a veto on all legislation. Robert Toombs would settle for Davis's ALL plus a constitutional amendment decreeing that a majority of each section's representatives in each hall of Congress must approve all slavery legislation..."

    Where is the compromise from these men?

    THERE WASN'T ANY.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017 at 3:17 PM
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  7. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Sergeant Major

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    From a bit further in the article:

    Mr. Toombs, of Georgia, accepted the appointment on the Committee of Thirteen without reluctance. He had been
    anxious to find out what the Republican party intended in regard to the South, and this gave him the chance he had
    looked for. He said: “I was appointed on the committee and accepted the trust.” He was in favor of the compromise measures of Mr. Crittenden only because he thought they would be followed by his State. Mr. Cox quotes Mr. Crittenden as having asked in the Committee of Thirteen, “Mr. Toombs, will this compromise, as a remedy for all wrongs and apprehensions, be acceptable to you ?" and Mr. Toombs as having said: “Not by a good deal; but my State will accept it, and I will follow my State.” We really need no further proof than this of his position; but to make doubly sure he has given us several statements of his opinion, first in the “Letter to the People of Georgia," December 23, 1860, then in his speech in the Senate January 7, 1861.

    To the people of Georgia he said: “The vote was then taken in committee on the amendments to the Constitution proposed by Hon. J. J. Crittenden, of Kentucky; and each and all of them were voted against, unanimously, by the black Republican members of the committee."

    In the Senate, January 7, 1861, he said: “Although I insist upon this perfect equality in the Territories, yet when it is proposed, as I understand the Senator from Kentucky now proposes. that the line of 36° 30' shall be extended, acknowledging and protecting our property on the south side of that line, for the sake of peace, permanent peace, I said In the Committee of Thirteen, and I say here, that, with other satisfactory provisions, I would acccept it.

    Further in that same speech he said: “If that [Crittenden Compromise] or some other satisfactory agreement is not
    made, I am for immediate action. We are as ready to fight now as we ever shall be. I am willing, however, to take the proposition of the Senator as it was understood in committee, putting the North and the South on the same ground prohibiting slavery on one side, acknowledging slavery and protecting it on the other, and applying that to all future acquisitions, so that the whole continent to the North Pole shall be settled upon the one rule and to the South Pole under the other. I will not buy a shameful peace. I will have equality of war. Georgia is on the warpath and demands a full and final settlement this time.”
     
  8. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Sergeant Major

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    It looks, from most statements, that they would have taken the Crittenden Compromise exactly as it was. They just wanted the Republicans to support it also, because if they didn't, it clearly wasn't going anywhere.

    What are Frehling's sources that say Davis and Toombs demanded far more? And if those demands did in fact exist, did Davis and Toombs compromise on them in favor of the Crittenden compromise?
     
  9. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    That is my point, these demands were made so they could be made part of the compromise. It's no wonder the Republicans rejected them. They had won the election and now were being asked to surrender it, lock, stock, and barrel.

    Unionblue
     
  10. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    From the evidence presented on this thread, all that can be seen for certain, is that Davis himself, did not, when he had the opportunity, in his own writings(especially his post-war book)confirm what the people claiming to speak for him, that Davis said, what they claim he said.

    In fact, the historical record seems to show he only voted against it, when he had the opportunity and never for it.

    Just as a matter of curiosity, I have often wondered why secessionists placed such a premium on the Republicans(and Lincoln) to accept the Proposal. Since it was Pro-Slavery all the way through, they should have been able to agree to it with a clear conscience, whatever the Republicans did.(and the evidence was clear to all thinking men of the time, they(Republicans) could not accept it. Throwing the onus of rejecting it onto the Republicans. The South would have their cake and eat it too, i.e., they could claim to want peace enough to sacrifice secession for the pro-slavery compromise, while knowing, almost certainly, the Republicans would have to reject it and thus giving evidence that they wanted a peaceful settlement and the Republicans rejected their offer.
     
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  11. Lost Cause

    Lost Cause Sergeant Major

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    Modern politics? :nah disagree: :cold:
     
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  12. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    Indeed. That would have been exactly the course to take if Davis and Toombs really supported the compromise. But the fact that they didn't take that course indicates that they may have been trying to have a different cake and eat it too - that they really didn't support the compromise at all, but by saying that they would have supported it if the Republicans would (when they knew **** well that the Republicans wouldn't) they were able to appear as compromisers when in fact they were not.
     
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  13. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Sergeant Major

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    You have to look at the timeline, and what motivated both men to do what they did, when they did it. From "Jefferson Davis: American" by William J. Cooper, pp 342 and 343

    https://books.google.com/books?id=j...RAhVHbSYKHVusDWoQ6AEINzAF#v=onepage&q&f=false

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The fact that Republicans would offer zero compromise adds context to Toombs accusations towards them in his farewell speech to the Senate. I should find that section and post it in light of this passage.
     
  14. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Sergeant Major

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    Toombs flat out admitted that he only went along because he felt his home state of Georgia would accept Crittenden. It wasn't good enough for him, but he would settle for it. Davis seems to have been far more sincere in his wish to find a compromise of some sort.
     
  15. Eric Calistri

    Eric Calistri Sergeant Major

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    Nannie Crump's article won the UDC prize ($100!) for Confederate essays in 1918. The Mildred Rutherford era UDC, while I'm sure still quite appealing to Confederate advocates, is entirely lacking in credibility. Even today, they maintain a plaque in the Texas State Capital which states "to study and teach the truths of history (one of the most important of which is, that the War Between the States was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery) ."



    Screenshot 2017-01-10 11.38.35.png
     
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  16. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    Looks and sounds good to me.
     
  17. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    I'm sorry, but I just can't make the assumption that a political leader supports a compromise when the only public statement he makes about it is rejection. While I'll concede that there was a possibility they would support it (after all, it gave them everything), I think there was a at least an equal possibility that they had no intention of supporting it and were merely posturing to paint the Republicans as the non-compromisers, when in fact both sides were.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017 at 1:27 PM
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  18. contestedground

    contestedground Private

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    So this is wrong?

    https://civilwarmonths.com/2016/01/03/the-failed-crittenden-compromise/

    Two southern Democrats, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and Robert Toombs of Georgia, also rejected Crittenden’s compromise on the grounds that it would be worthless without bipartisan support.
     
  19. contestedground

    contestedground Private

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  20. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Sergeant Major

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    From that same link, we get a good idea just why the Republicans would make no compromises:

    Three days after the Senate had tabled Crittenden’s compromise measure, Crittenden reported that the Committee of Thirteen, formed to reconcile North and South, had defeated the plan 7 to 6. Acting on the advice of President-elect Abraham Lincoln, all five Republican committeemen refused to accept any compromise that included extending slavery beyond where it already existed.

    So let's point the finger of blame for an unwillingness to find compromise where it also belongs: right at Abraham Lincoln.
     
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  21. contestedground

    contestedground Private

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