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Biased Historians Rewriting History?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by Joshism, Feb 28, 2017.

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  1. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    That's a load of BS. Any historian of any credibility doesn't spout that racist spew.

    "Within months after Appomattox the Union League was busy with its program of political education of Negroes in the former Confederate states. During his trip through the South in May, 1865, as an emissary of President Johnson, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase observed this activity and reported to the President that 'everywhere throughout the country colored citizens are organizing Union Leagues.' " [John Hope Franklin, Reconstruction: After the Civil War, p. 124]

    What the Union Leagues did was make it possible for blacks to exercise political rights. If some consider this "terrorizing" white southerners they should examine what they consider to be "terrorizing."

    The former slave masters conjured up charges against the Union Leagues and made outlandish claims against them. "Whatever their offenses happened to be, they were greatly exaggerated by the excited and outraged whites who were disfranchised by the same legislation that placed the vote in the hands of the freedmen. As the League's program of political education met with a measure of success, the opposition increased its objections and called for countermeasures to destroy the political power that was being put into the hands of the Negroes." [Ibid., pp. 125-126]

    "Maury was probably the banner Ku Klux county in Tennessee. The local Klan's tactics varied, but its members commonly traveled in small groups well after dark, each unit operating in a neighborhood where its members were not apt to be known. Thus there was probably some advance planning and organization, delimiting the respective spheres of operation, specifying persons to be raided, and guiding the attackers to their destinations. Total Klan membership in the county was several hundred. Approaching a Negro cabin, they sometimes stationed pickets to ward off any intruders before they called out the inhabitants or broke in and dragged them out. Men and older boys were the usual targets, although there were reports of abusing pregnant women and forcing children to wade in icy water. The normal punishment was a whipping or beating administered on the bare back with 'hickories,' sticks or small branches torn off a nearby tree. Many persons received several hundred lashes with these instruments, and one man reportedly got 900. The resulting scars were often permanent and some victims were partially crippled. Others were shot, sometimes mortally. A Negro boy of twenty was taken out of his home in Columbia in July by fifty or sixty Klansmen who led him into the country and garroted him; then they tied a stone around his neck and dumped the body into the Duck River." [Allen W. Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction, pp. 28-29]

    "Booker T. Washington once said that the white man could never hold the black man in a ditch without getting in the ditch with him. The Ku Klux Klan was a perfect illustration of that proposition. Beginning as a social fraternity devoted to playing pranks, it was soon transformed into a terrorist organization aiming at the preservation of white supremacy. And in the context of Reconstruction politics after 1867, it became a counterrevolutionary device to combat the Republican Party and Congressional Reconstruction policy in the South. For more than four years it whipped, shot, hanged, robbed, raped, and otherwise outraged Negroes and Republicans across the South in the name of preserving white civilization.

    "The Klan could not have launched this career, much less persisted in it for so long, without widespread public support in the areas where it flourished. The Ku Klux were not simply desperadoes whom society abhorred but could not control. If some persons felt that way, there were as many others who joined the organization and gave it willing aid and comfort. Finally there was the large element--perhaps a majority--who were both repelled and attracted by the Klan. Sympathizing with its objectives, they deplored its methods. But more important than their private thoughts were their public actions. Such persons feared Klan retaliation upon themselves if they opposed its course; even more, perhaps, they feared to be accused of treason to the South and the white race. In effect the Klan wrapped itself in the Stars and Bars, recited the racist litanies which had been devised to justify Negro slavery, threatened death to unbelievers, and thereby rendered itself unassailable by orthodox Southerners. Willingly or unwillingly, they entered into a conspiracy to protect the Klan and advance its works.

    "The roots of this conspiracy ran so deep that, wherever it extended, the traditional system of local justice was undermined and subverted. In most places the reign of terror exceeded the power even of state governments to control, and federal intervention was required to bring it to a close. Even then the spirit which had animated it carried on and soon triumphed by other means, more humane in some respects as well as more effective.

    "In speaking of the Ku Klux conspiracy I recur to a term which Republicans used at the time, but which later became unfashionable and eventually archaic. If they gave it a more precisely political meaning than I, the distinction is only a relative one. The pages that follow attempt to explain the background and causes of the conspiracy, its violent career in the states where it took hold, and the agonizing process of stamping it out, involving men and measures at every level of government. This story is central to the history of Reconstruction after the Civil War. The Ku Klux terror colored nearly every aspect of Southern life and politics, often far beyond the immediate range of terrorist activity. It was therefore central to the formulation and implementation of Reconstruction policy in Washington.

    "My attitude toward the Ku Klux terror is in keeping with that of most recent historians of the Reconstruction period; it is impossible any longer to embrace the opposite view which for so long celebrated the Ku Klux Klan and its civilizing mission in the South." [Ibid., pp. xi-xii]

    "The Klan quickly became a terrorist organization in service of the Democratic Party and white supremacy. Between 1869 and 1871 its goal was to destroy Congressional Reconstruction by murdering blacks -- and some whites -- who were either active in Republican politics or educating black children.

    "The Klan burned churches and schools and drove thousands of people out of their homes."

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_org_kkk.html

    "The Klan systematically murdered black politicians and political leaders. It beat, whipped, and murdered thousands, and intimidated tens of thousands of others from voting. Blacks often tried to fight back, but they were outnumbered and out gunned. While the main targets of Klan wrath were the political and social leaders of the black community, blacks could be murdered for almost any reason. Men, women, children, aged and crippled, were victims. A 103-year-old woman was whipped, as was a completely paralyzed man."

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_kkk.html

    "At first the group's activities consisted of parades, publications of cryptic newspaper notices, and midnight meetings at graveyards. Republican newspapers satirized these happenings, but by May, when the Klan began to resort to murder and acts of intimidation directed at freedmen and white Republicans, the light-hearted notices ended."

    http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/...ek2_print.html

    "Klan enjoys tremendous popularity in southern states. North and west Alabama become particular strongholds. White supremacy is upheld in Black Belt and south Alabama by kindred organizations such as the Knights of the White Camelia, the Men of Peace, and the White Brotherhood.

    "In April 1867 ex-Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest agrees to serve as Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire. Other southern generals follow in leadership roles.

    "Alabama Klan targets carpetbaggers, scalawags, and 'uppity' blacks. At least 109 documented Klan killings occur in Alabama during Reconstruction. Countless other acts of terrorism and brutality occur. Conservative-Democratic party supports KKK as do sympathetic editors; becomes difficult to tell where Bourbon party ends and Klan begins."

    http://www.alabamamoments.state.al.us/sec28qs.html

    "But planters, unwilling to lose control over African-American laborers, attempted to rule the South through violence and legal and economic intimidation. The secret terrorist organization the Ku Klux Klan was part of the violent white reaction to Reconstruction. Founded by Confederate veterans in Tennessee in 1866, Klan nightriders targeted black veterans and freedmen who had left their employers and those who had succeeded in breaking out of the plantation system. African Americans who transgressed local norms of white supremacy were in particular danger."

    http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6225/

    "Though originally formed as a social organization in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1866, the Ku Klux Klan soon took on the form as a terrorist group consisting of former Confederates. The social upheaval brought about by emancipation and later the granting of the suffrage to African Americans led whites to use violence to reimpose white supremacy and the defeat of the Republican Party in the South. Thousands of white southerners joined the organization in the 1860s as it embarked on a terrorist campaign with intimidation, whippings, beatings, property destruction, shootings, or simply riding disguised in the countryside as its hallmarks. Both blacks and white Republicans were targets. Klan terrorism took on particular vigilance in areas of the South where the political parties were equally balanced, and violence increased around election times."

    http://timmer.org/HISTORY_17A/Readings/Klan.htm

    "The overriding purpose of the Ku Klux movement, no matter how decentralized, was the maintenance or restoration of white supremacy in every walk of life. In the minds of many men, the most urgent reason for resorting to vigilante activity was to check any incipient Negro rising." [Allen W. Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction, p. xlvi]

    IR: A related argument is that Forrest's Klan was a justified response to the cruel Yankee repression of Southern whites during the Reconstruction period.

    Simpson: The Ku Klux Klan was just an organized form of political terrorism against black aspirations. The roots of the Klan are to be found before any action is taken by the federal government looking toward black equality in the South. The Klan is founded in December 1865, and there's no such thing as radical Republican Reconstruction at the time. In fact, the president of the United States for the first four years of Reconstruction was a Southerner, a dyed-in-the-wool racist named Andrew Johnson. And white Southerners rejected even his lenient plan of Reconstruction, which didn't look at all for black suffrage. So it's simply a myth that the Klan emerged to protect Southern society from those venal radical Republicans. The cause and effect was exactly, 100 percent the opposite.

    http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intel...le.jsp?pid=463
     

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  3. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    You're quoting the Southern Poverty Law Center, and you complain about credibility?

    And you posted this: ""Though originally formed as a social organization in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1866, the Ku Klux Klan soon took on the form as a terrorist group consisting of former Confederates." That's pretty much exactly what I said about them: they began as a social club and they turned into domestic terrorists.

    The Union Leagues didn't just "exercise political rights". They also used force and intimidation, even against other black men who wouldn't vote Republican.
     
  4. Hunter

    Hunter Sergeant

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    Grant won in Alabama too, despite the absence of any militia whatsoever.
     
  5. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    I'm quoting Brooks Simpson, Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University. He just happened to be interviewed by the SPLC, ***edit by Lnwlf***

    ***edit by Lnwlf***

    A few did, but that wasn't the norm. ***edit by Lnwlf***
     
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  6. Bee

    Bee 1st Lieutenant Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017

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    From the excerpts, I do not doubt that there was pushing on either side, regarding voting intimidation. But I want to see evidence of:

    1. Black Militia lynchings

    2. Terrorism

    3. Assualt & Battery of whites
     
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  7. Lnwlf

    Lnwlf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Limit your comments to the post, not the poster. Innuendo in the form of ones perceived "racism" can be seen as a personal attack.

    Posted as Moderator
     
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  8. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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  9. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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  10. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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  11. unionblue

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

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    Isn't the thread title a bit off?

    Shouldn't it read, "The books I agree with are written by unbiased historians and the ones I don't like written by biased historians?"

    Wouldn't that change in title fit almost ALL of us here?
     
  12. Harvey Johnson

    Harvey Johnson Sergeant

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    Hear! Hear!
     
  13. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Yes, clearly I'm trying to hide things, that's why I included the link to my source. :/
     
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  14. Harvey Johnson

    Harvey Johnson Sergeant

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    True.

    It is also true that a majority of Alabama's registered voters in the 1868 presidential election were African-Americans who voted overwhelmingly as a Republican block.

    One Union League member explained that he always voted Republican because “I can’t read and I can’t write…We go by instructions. We don’t know nothing much.”*

    *Francis Simkins & Charles Roland A History of the South, 266
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  15. Harvey Johnson

    Harvey Johnson Sergeant

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    It is no surprise that the Republican majority report of the 1871 Senate Select Committee to Investigate Alleged Outrages in the Southern States reached that conclusion, especially when the title page font size for

    "Outrages in the Southern States"

    is about six times larger than the font size for

    "to Investigate Alleged"

    Republicans were looking for any "evidence" to provide an excuse for new legislation to maximize the Republican Southern voting percentage in the 1872 elections.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  16. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    If one actually reads the excerpt, we see the excerpt posted by Anderson was the testimony of a witness who specifically contradicted his claim. Thanks for playing.
     
  17. Harvey Johnson

    Harvey Johnson Sergeant

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    It was the Senate Select Committee to Investigate Alleged Outrages in the Southern States that was playing a game through its partisan selection of witnesses intended to yield an overwhelming body of testimony designed to conform to pre-determined Republican opinions.*

    *Ludwell Johnson Division and Reunion, 252
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  18. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    Apparently it's too difficult to understand it was a witness whose testimony was posted by Anderson, and it specifically contradicted him.
     
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  19. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    You mean Division and Reunion.
     
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  20. damYankee

    damYankee 1st Lieutenant

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    Historians can be just as biased as newspaper reporters I imagine, that is why as students or just fans of history it's our duty (IMO) to seek new sources.
     
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  21. Harvey Johnson

    Harvey Johnson Sergeant

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    Apparently it is my point is failing to be understood.

    When Republicans cherry pick the witnesses it is not hard for Republican interrogators to get the witness to contradict, or revoke, statements that fail to conform to the Republican Party agenda.
     
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