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Compromise and Peace: The Road Not Taken

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

  1. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    And you won't either. This is an MG redefinition of the English language, like we've seen so many times before.

    Compensated emancipation = forcing Northerners to pay for slaves who have escaped from the South.
     

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  3. Copperhead-mi

    Copperhead-mi 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    That's where I ended up and from that point I could not go further. I must be doing something wrong but I'll keep trying to find the records.
     
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  4. Copperhead-mi

    Copperhead-mi 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Yes, I saw the amendment in the plan that would require compensation to claimants for fugitive slaves rescued by "mobs." Of course, slave-owners could consider one abolitionist with his two infant children, to be a mob.
     
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  5. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    I found the page of the Congressional Globe where Davis agrees to serve on the committee of 13: https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=055/llcg055.db&recNum=183

    Here's a small sample, but the first two columns of the page detail the whole incident where one senator requests that Davis's excusal from the committee be reconsidered.

    [​IMG]

    I did not see anything about the committee proceedings themselves. They might not have been part of the public record.
     
  6. thomas aagaard

    thomas aagaard Sergeant Major

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    No it is your job to back up your claims with the full source.
    Name of writer, title of books and Page number...

    And a link if it can be found online.

    It is up to you to back up your claims with your evidence... not up for anyone else to wast their time finding it... and guessing exactly what part of a text your think prove your point.

    This really should be very basic knowledge for anyone studying history.
     
  7. MattL

    MattL First Sergeant

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    Exactly.

    You can either cite things correctly and specifically let the sources speak for themselves to back up your argument or you can avoid specifics and speak for the sources yourself. The later is simply an expression of ones opinions and while perfectly valid as a form of expression it is snake oil if sold as backing up ones claims beyond pure opinion.

    I can tell you that in the Virginia secession convention they said they would secede to avoid fighting their Southern brethren, I can then link the secession convention transcriptions to you. Unless I point to a specific page and/or words that back up such a claim I am pushing my work onto you to prove my claim. Some expecting you to properly cite such things is not them asking you do their work, but you to do *your* work to prove your claim.

    No one will do your work to make your point for you in this life. To expect others to find the specific words that support your argument is an immensely entitled and self privileged world view.

    ***edit by Lnwlf***
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2017
  8. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    It can also be a sign that the poster knows that the reference doesn't really support the claim being made.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2017
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  9. Mike Griffith

    Mike Griffith Sergeant

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    The Crittenden plan called for Congress to compensate slaveholders for slaves who escaped to free states. It's right there. I've provided a link to the plan and a summary of the plan from the Tulane University website that mentions the compensation for runaways. Fire-Eaters screamed against this provision because (1) it was a de facto compensated emancipation plan, and (2) because it would make slaveholders far less likely to bother with trying to recover runaway slaves. Here's the Tulane link again:

    http://www.tulane.edu/~sumter/CrittendenComp.html

    I've corrected you on this before. The Crittenden plan stated that Congress would compensate slaveholders whose slaves escaped. The odds that Congress would bother to pursue legal action against counties that harbored runaway slaves were slim to none. Half the time no one knew where this or that runaway slave had gone anyway, so it would have been very hard to even identify a county, much less take the time to pursue legal action against the county.

    The argument that the Republicans could not have accepted the Crittenden Compromise without repudiating their platform is spurious. If they had accepted Crittenden's plan, they could have told their constituents:

    1. That they achieved a permanent ban on slavery in 75% of the territories. Most Republican constituents would have been quite satisfied with getting three-fourths of what they voted for in this regard. As of the 1860 election, 100% of the territories were open for slaveholder travel and relocation and had been for three years thanks to the Dred Scott decision. So going from 100% to 25% would have been a huge improvement.

    2. That they finally did away with the unfair imbalance in the fees paid to fugitive slave court commissioners so that now there was no financial incentive to rule against the slave.

    3. That they had achieved something that Southerners had repeatedly rejected until then: a de facto compensated emancipation plan by having Congress compensate slaveholders for runaway slaves. This would have rendered the clause about abolishing personal liberty laws pointless, since most slaveholders would not bother with legal action against some faraway Northern county anyway if they were compensated for the loss of their slave(s).
     
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  10. unionblue

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

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    Still waiting, Mike, for you to quote actual speeches from Hunter, Davis and Toombs from the sources you list concerning their compromises on the Crittenden Compromise.

    Unionblue
     
  11. unionblue

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

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    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 COMPROMISE.

    I point the blame for failure to compromise on the men above, Lincoln winning a free and fair election based on a platform of keeping slavery out of the federal territories.

    Davis, Toombs and Hunter did their absolute best to deny the election to Lincoln and the Republican party by making such demands as I list above.

    This entire thread is a fraud, a smoke screen designed to cloud the slaveholders determination to have their own way to keep and expand slavery and to hide the fact secession was a done deal that no compromise was going to halt.

    Unionblue
     
  12. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    I see. You get your definitions from the Fire-Eaters. That explains a lot.
     
  13. Mike Griffith

    Mike Griffith Sergeant

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    Then why do you guys rarely do this? You folks make all kinds of claims without any proof whatsoever. If I refer you to a source that is available online, why can't go read it for yourself? Furthermore, there are plenty of times when I have provided full references. Additionally, if I refer you one of my articles, it's because I would rather not reinvent the wheel and because my articles are heavily sourced.
     
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  14. Mike Griffith

    Mike Griffith Sergeant

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    What follows is part of the evidence that has led so many historians to acknowledge that Jefferson Davis and Robert Toombs were willing to support the Crittenden Compromise if a majority of Republicans would do so, and that for a time Davis and Toombs backed off their earlier heated secessionist rhetoric and advocated compromise and moderation. Let’s start with Toombs, since he was the more ardent and fiery of the two.

    Even though Toombs had recently spoke in favor of secession to the Georgia legislature, as the crisis deepened, he began to move toward compromise. He made it clear that he would support compromise if the Republicans would do so:

    Toombs stayed in George when the Second Session of the Thirty-Sixth Congress convened on December fifth. He was preparing to leave and had to decline an invitation to speak in Danbury [Georgia]. . . . However, he used this refusal to dispense some advice. While he still saw separating from the “wrong doers as the ultimate remedy,” he was willing to give the Union one last chance. . . . “If the Black Republican party will vote for the amendments, or even a majority of them in good faith,” he advised, “they can be easily carried through Congress; then I think it would be reasonable and fair to postpone final action until the legislatures of the Northern states could be conveniently called together for definite action on the amendments.” If Republicans were sincere about finding a way out of the crisis, Toombs believed, they would adopt the amendments at once. “If they will not do this, you ought not to delay an hour after the fourth of March to secede from the Union.” (Mark Scroggins, Robert Toombs: The Civil Wars of a United States Senator and Confederate General, Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2011. p. 119)​

    Southern hardliners, i.e., the Fire-Eaters, exploded in rage at Toombs over his Danbury letter:

    Toombs was pilloried for his retreat to moderation – or what passed for moderation in that political climate. “Some of the Taliaferro boys have been to Augusta this week,” [Alexander] Stephens wrote to his half-brother, Linton, on December 22. “The minute-men down there are in a rage at Toombs’ letter. They say that he has backed down, that they intend to vote him a tin sword. They call him a traitor.” Toombs’ new fire-eater friends were claiming they never had any confidence in him. (Robert Toombs: The Civil Wars of a United States Senator and Confederate General, p. 120).​

    Keep in mind that this was before the Committee of Thirteen (i.e., before the first Republican rejection of the Crittenden Compromise). After the committee’s first day (December 21, 1860), Toombs wrote to his wife and made it clear that he was willing to support Crittenden’s plan but that the Republicans’ actions convinced him that the plan would fail because the Republicans would not support it:

    We came to no compromise, and we shall not. I supported Crittenden’s compromise, heartily and sincerely, although the sullen obstinacy of Seward made it almost impossible to do anything. . . . At length I saw that the compromise must fail. With a persistent obstinacy that I have never yet seen surpassed, Seward and his backers refused every overture. I then telegraphed to Atlanta: ‘All is at an end. North determined; Seward will not budge an inch. Am in favor of secession.’” (Letter from Robert Toombs to his wife, December 22, 1860; Thornton Lothrop, William Henry Seward, Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899, p. 216; Armistead Gordon, Jefferson Davis, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1918, p.107, emphasis added)​

    Senator Stephen Douglas, a member of the Committee of Thirteen, acknowledged that Toombs and Davis said they were willing to support the Crittenden Compromise if the Republicans would do the same:

    In the committee of thirteen, a few days ago, every member from 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], if tendered and sustained by the Republican members. (James Ford Rhodes, History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850, Volume 3, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1917, p. 154 note 6)​

    Douglas again confirmed that Davis and Toombs expressed a willingness to support the Crittenden Compromise:

    I can confirm the senator’s declaration that Senator Davis himself, when on the committee of thirteen, was ready, at all times, to compromise on the Crittenden proposition. I will say further that Mr. Toombs was also. (History of the United States, Volume 3, pp. 154-155 note 6)​

    Representative Samuel Cox, a War Democrat, spoke with Crittenden about Davis and Toombs and confirmed that they were willing to support the Crittenden plan; he also noted that the plan was more than fair when it came to limiting slavery in the territories:

    From the frequency of inquiries since the war as to this latter vote, the people were eager to know upon whom to fix the responsibility of its failure. It may as well be stated that all other propositions, whether of the Peace Convention, or the border State project, or the measures of the committees, were comparatively of no moment; for the Crittenden proposition was the only one which could have arrested the struggle. It would have received a larger vote than any other. It would have had more effect in moderating Southern excitement. Even Davis, Toombs, and others of the Gulf States, would have accepted it. I have talked with Mr. Crittenden frequently on this point. Not only has he confirmed the public declarations of Douglas and Pugh, and the speech of Toombs himself, to this effect, but he said it was so understood in committee. At one time, while the committee was in session, he said: "Mr. Toombs, will this compromise, as a remedy for all wrongs and apprehensions, be acceptable to you?" Mr. Toombs with some profanity replied, "Not by a good deal; but my State will accept it, and I will follow my state”. . . .​

    The real point is, could not this Union have been made permanent by timely settlement, instead of cemented by fraternal blood and military rule? By an equitable partition of the territory this was possible. We had then 1,200,000 square miles. The Crittenden proposition would have given the North 900,000 of these square miles, and applied the Chicago doctrines to that quantity. It would have left the remaining fourth, substantially, to be carved out as free or slave States, at the option of the people when the States were admitted. This proposition the radicals denounced. Notwithstanding the then President-elect was in a minority of a million of the popular vote, they were determined, as Mr. Chase wrote to Portsmouth, Ohio, from the Peace Convention, to use the power while they had it, and prevent a settlement. (Samuel Cox, Eight Years in Congress, From 1857-1865, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1865, pp. 26-27; see also History of the United States, Volume 3, pp. 154-155 note 6)​

    It should come as no surprise to students of Jefferson Davis that he was willing to support the Crittenden Compromise. Even after he gave his farewell speech in the Senate, on January 21, 1861, he privately urged moderation and expressed the belief that the Union could be maintained:

    During his stay [in DC after he gave his farewell speech] he freely discussed the situation with the leading Southern statesmen who called upon him. The general opinion was the first result of secession, which most of them assumed to be final, must be the formation of a new federal government, and the consensus of opinion designated Mr. Davis as the fittest person for the presidency. On the first proposition he did not agree with his colleagues. He expressed the belief that the action of the states in exercising the right of secession would serve to so sober Northern sentiment that an adjustment might be reached, which, while guaranteeing to the South all of the rights vouchsafed by the Constitution, would still preserve the Union. He therefore sought to impress upon them — especially the South Carolina delegation — the necessity of moderation, the unwisdom of any act at that time which might render an adjustment impossible. . . .​

    That he at this time entertained a sincere desire for the preservation of the Union can be doubted by no one familiar with his private correspondence. In a letter dated two days after his resignation from the Senate he defends the action of his state, it is true, but at the same time deplores disunion as one of the greatest calamities that could befall the South.​

    In another letter written three days later, he uses this significant language: "All is not lost. If only moderation prevails, if they will only give me time, I am not without hope of a peaceable settlement that will assure our rights within the Union." (Landon Knight, The Real Jefferson Davis, Battle Creek, MI: The Pilgrim Magazine Company, 1904, pp. 68-69)​

    The point is that when the country approached the cliff, the Republicans were unwilling to support a compromise plan that would have given them most of what they said they wanted, whereas the Southern members of Congress, including Davis and Toombs, were willing to support it.

    I should add that even when Crittenden said he would be willing remove the language regarding territories acquired in the future, the Republicans would not budge, even though they had said one of their reasons for opposing the plan was that it would allow territory “hereafter acquired” to be open to slavery. Lincoln raised the specter of Cuba being annexed. Other Republicans suggested this language would lead to the annexation of a part of Mexico. This was a bogus objection, since the “hereafter acquired” provision only applied to territory north of the 36-30 line: “In all the territory of the United States now held, or hereafter acquired, situated north of latitude 36-30, slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, is prohibited while such territory shall remain under territorial government” (Crittenden Compromise, Article I). So this was a phony, non-issue anyway. Yet, when Crittenden agreed to remove the “hereafter acquired” clause, the Republicans still would not support his plan.

    The Republicans not only torpedoed the Crittenden Compromise but they refused to allow the people to vote on it. If the Republicans had believed the plan would not receive majority support among the people, they would have been eager to let the vote occur in order to discredit the idea of compromise. But they would not allow the people to vote on the plan precisely because they knew it would win by a huge majority.

    War could have been avoided, and slavery would have died/been abolished in 20 or 30 years. If we could wait 20 to 40 years for slavery to end in the North, we could have done the same thing with Southern slavery and would have saved 700,000 lives and over 1 million wounded in the process.
     
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  15. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Mike, you've provided a lot of good evidence that Davis and Toombs would indeed have supported Crittenden, and I appreciate you taking the time to post it.
     
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  16. Eric Calistri

    Eric Calistri 2nd Lieutenant

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    Unfortunately for all, secession negated any possible compromise. And that was the point.
     
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  17. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    How very True indeed. In fact, if six absent senators from the Senate, because their states had seceded or were in the process of seceding, had voted, the Senate would have passed the Crittenden Proposals(If, that is, the missing senators actually believed in compromise, at all)
     
  18. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    Probably a good thing that it didn't pass. The can had already been kicked far enough down the road.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
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  19. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    By the way, as a matter of interest, it should be noted Crittenden's proposals, did not limit slavery, it expanded its reach.

    It would open the flood gates of future wars over slavery from the Gulf to Terra del Fuego.
     
  20. Mike Griffith

    Mike Griffith Sergeant

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    Your timeline is wrong. The rest of the Deep South states only seceded after the Republicans blocked the Crittenden Compromise. Toombs and Davis, and many other Southern leaders, pulled back and reached out to compromise, but the Republicans refused to compromise when compromise would have given them three-fourths of what they said they wanted on the main issue in dispute: slavery in the territories. As Rhodes said, passage of Crittenden's plan almost certainly would have limited secession to SC and averted war.

    And the Upper South states only seceded after the Republicans had refused to even allow the people to vote on Crittenden's plan and after Lincoln issued his illegal call-up for 75,000 troops (the modern equivalent would be if the president presumed to call up over 750,000 troops on his own authority, after he had won the White House with just 39.9% of the vote).
     
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  21. ivanj05

    ivanj05 First Sergeant

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    You keep saying Lincoln's call for volunteers was illegal, and you continue to be wrong about it.
     

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