Did South Carolina's Declaration of Causes for Secession tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth?

Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Messages
1,319
#1
Dear Fellow Posters,

My answer to this question is a resounding "No!" However, I am not launching this thread to argue my position. i wish to hear YOUR position.

If your answer is "Yes," you are welcome, of course, to post, though I pretty much already know what you will be saying (slavery, slavery slavery). But if you suspect that there is more to the story about "The Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union," I would especially enjoy hearing from you.

This question has been prompted by comments on other threads which seem to say that this document tells the whole story and that other statements in letters, Congressional documents, essays, etc. from 1845-1860 have little bearing on the subject. I don't see it that way. Do you?

Sincerely,

James
 

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

jgoodguy

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
35,293
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
#3
No, not the whole truth. Additional reasons can be found in the Address to the Slaveholding States.
Truth is a slippery historical concept. Secession was a political truth held by the leaders who influenced followers of it. Absolute truth it is not, but the absolute truth is not an attribute of advocates wishing to motivate a political movement.

This is realpolitik a game for adults - a system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations.
 

WJC

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
10,656
#6
Had this document been presented to an orals committee at North Carolina State University for an advanced degree, it would not have passed or be published --except by a vanity press.
Is that relevant?
The authors of the South Carolina declaration of Causes were not interested in the opinions of academics. They had more serious motives.
 

WJC

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
10,656
#7
***Posted as Moderator***
This thread is intended to discuss South Carolina's Declaration of Causes for Secession and whether its claims are factual. It is not intended to question the personal motives or style of any member participating in the discussion.
Please limit posts to discussing the intended topic. If you cannot do that, don't post here!

Off topic and disputatious posts will be edited or deleted.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Messages
1,319
#8
Is that relevant?
The authors of the South Carolina declaration of Causes were not interested in the opinions of academics. They had more serious motives.
Thank you.

Is it relevant? I think it is. My OP is about truth and nothing but the truth. Orals are at least supposed to be designed to examine statements for their accuracy. My intent was merely analogy. When people or groups argue for war, then or now, I use this standard.

I started my post to learn what others thought about this document, not to declare what I think about it. You in particular already know that because you have followed these threads. I have no interest whatsoever in straw-manning you or anyone; but what I have heard you say, correct me if I am wrong, is that this Declaration pretty much sums up SC's real reasons for Secession and there is no reason to question them. I do not wish to argue with you about why I question them. We have done that. Accordingly, I wish to see how widespread this belief in their sanctity is. I see on the thread already that at least one other person does not consider this Declaration exhaustive or wholly truthful.

But I do not wish to debate how you and I decide whether or not to take these documents at face value. You know my position; and unless you correct me, which you are quite welcome to do, I think I know yours. My post is to discover what a wider audience believes.
 
Last edited:

WJC

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
10,656
#9
I see on the thread already that at least one other person does not consider this Declaration exhaustive or wholly truthful.
Thanks for your response.
Because of the way you phrased the question (Did South Carolina's Declaration of Causes for Secession tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?) it would surprise me if anyone answered "Yes".
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Messages
1,319
#10
Thanks for your response.
Because of the way you phrased the question (Did South Carolina's Declaration of Causes for Secession tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?) it would surprise me if anyone answered "Yes".
So, you do not find that document totally truthful? If not, what did those fire-eaters leave out?
 

uaskme

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Messages
1,761
#12
What Politicians leave out is just as important as things they put it a document. I think the whole Narritive of the Civil War then and now is a Ruse. There were few avenues for information in 1860. It has always been true that the Government tells you want it wants you to know, but more so, obviously in 1860. Another Obvious, on this Blog, people are quick to point out how truthful the Confederates are but everything Lincoln and the like say is a lie, or a misunderstood reason, or he was just Evolving. You have to have a Ouija Board to decipher Lincoln.

South Carolina floated Secession several Times before 1860. The Nullification Crisis in 1832 was clearly over Taxes and the fear of Majority Dominance, and another reason, many Aristocrats didn’t believe in a Party dominated Political System with the poor and like Voting. South Carolina was anti Jackson. Calhoun Voted with the Whigs during this period, should tell us something. All of this happened before the Rise of Garrison and the Abolitionist Pamplets arriving in the Mail. All of which was the First Attack on Slavery which was rebutted by a response to defend Slavery. It failed because all of the Nullifiers were South Carolinians. No one would go with her.

So it is clear, this document was a product of passed failed attempts which didn’t get a favorable response. Every Political Argument became a Sectional Issue, us vs them. They get something, we don’t etc. It has been awhile since I read Freeling. However he talks about SC and GA politicos having a drunken party dedicating a RR line which was just built between Savannah and Charleston, as I remember. The OP has talked about it. During those festivities GA Politicians pledged to SC, they would go with her. At the time, I didn’t recognize any significance in the RR. Freeling like many Historians tie every Political Argument from the beginning of time to Slavery. In my evolving to understanding all of this, my understanding has changed. When I began studying each Event, such as the Missouri Compromise or the Kansas Question as a Singular Event. Their Relevance Changes. Liberty, Justice, Prosperity are all flowering words. But who’s Liberty, Justice And Prosperity are we talking about? It is usually someone getting theirs at the expense of someone else. All of this is tied to Money, Power and Greed. The guy you had 2k Slaves or the Yankee who had accumulated generations of wealth, which always had something to do with Slavery or the Slave Trade was over represented in Government. We never try to understand what they wanted. I think that is our mistake.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Messages
1,319
#13
What Politicians leave out is just as important as things they put it a document. I think the whole Narritive of the Civil War then and now is a Ruse. There were few avenues for information in 1860. It has always been true that the Government tells you want it wants you to know, but more so, obviously in 1860. Another Obvious, on this Blog, people are quick to point out how truthful the Confederates are but everything Lincoln and the like say is a lie, or a misunderstood reason, or he was just Evolving. You have to have a Ouija Board to decipher Lincoln.

South Carolina floated Secession several Times before 1860. The Nullification Crisis in 1832 was clearly over Taxes and the fear of Majority Dominance, and another reason, many Aristocrats didn’t believe in a Party dominated Political System with the poor and like Voting. South Carolina was anti Jackson. Calhoun Voted with the Whigs during this period, should tell us something. All of this happened before the Rise of Garrison and the Abolitionist Pamplets arriving in the Mail. All of which was the First Attack on Slavery which was rebutted by a response to defend Slavery. It failed because all of the Nullifiers were South Carolinians. No one would go with her.

So it is clear, this document was a product of passed failed attempts which didn’t get a favorable response. Every Political Argument became a Sectional Issue, us vs them. They get something, we don’t etc. It has been awhile since I read Freeling. However he talks about SC and GA politicos having a drunken party dedicating a RR line which was just built between Savannah and Charleston, as I remember. The OP has talked about it. During those festivities GA Politicians pledged to SC, they would go with her. At the time, I didn’t recognize any significance in the RR. Freeling like many Historians tie every Political Argument from the beginning of time to Slavery. In my evolving to understanding all of this, my understanding has changed. When I began studying each Event, such as the Missouri Compromise or the Kansas Question as a Singular Event. Their Relevance Changes. Liberty, Justice, Prosperity are all flowering words. But who’s Liberty, Justice And Prosperity are we talking about? It is usually someone getting theirs at the expense of someone else. All of this is tied to Money, Power and Greed. The guy you had 2k Slaves or the Yankee who had accumulated generations of wealth, which always had something to do with Slavery or the Slave Trade was over represented in Government. We never try to understand what they wanted. I think that is our mistake.
Thank you. This is the kind of answer I am looking for, especially your very first sentence. Sometimes it takes a while for people to divine the significance of dogs that don't bark. One such dog for me is the Gadsden Purchase. I read in the Secesh Declarations of SC injured innocence. Anyone who gets a $10 million subsidy for 30,000 square miles of sand forfeits any claim on injured innocence.

One more thing. Though it is implied in my OP, I ought to emphasize that my interest is not only in what SC's Seceshers left out but also what they said that was flatly false. Same goes for all the copycats that followed and that SC had good reason to believe would follow.

I also like your reference to Freehling's train ride and drunken party. Did those revelers sound to you as if they were fearful of slave revolt? Their conduct is not what I would expect of such people. It seems to me, though I could be wrong, that any fear they had was more in re: the faraway Yankees than the Blacks right in their midst. Headiness and great joy are not two things that readily come to my mind when I try to put myself in the shoes of people expecting to be attacked by others (Blacks or abolitionists) in their midst.

Thanks again for an on-topic post.
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
13,229
#15
South Carolina's Declaration of Causes explain the secessionists' motivations and intents as they wanted them to be understood by their fellow South Carolinians, southerners, and succeeding generations. That was the whole purpose of drafting such a document, and that's why we should take it (and them) seriously.
 

jgoodguy

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
35,293
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
#16
Of course not, they were lawyers and politicians.
The truth in one man's view, may not be the truth in another's
South Carolina's Declaration of Causes explain the secessionists' motivations and intents as they wanted them to be understood by their fellow South Carolinians, southerners, and succeeding generations. That was the whole purpose of drafting such a document, and that's why we should take it (and them) seriously.
The truth they wanted the world to consider as true.
.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Messages
1,319
#18
South Carolina's Declaration of Causes explain the secessionists' motivations and intents as they wanted them to be understood by their fellow South Carolinians, southerners, and succeeding generations. That was the whole purpose of drafting such a document, and that's why we should take it (and them) seriously.
thanks for your post.

I personally take them very seriously, just not truthfully.
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top