Did South Carolina's Declaration of Causes for Secession tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

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JeffBrooks

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Aug 20, 2009
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Manor, TX
The gallant men of the North and South who fought the war are dead and buried, folks. Let's properly honor them not by rehashing the arguments that set them against one another, but by simply accepting that these questions have been definitively answered and resolving never to have such a conflict happen again.
 
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Robin Lesjovitch

Sergeant
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Dec 16, 2018
He was a lawyer and learned man, but most importantly, he lived it.

Just like Longstreet, who also stated that 'I've never heard any other cause for the war but slavery.'

But then these men joined the Republican cause in reconstruction, and both had attempts on their lives because of it. Longstreet was attacked at the battle of Liberty Place in New Orleans by white supremacists, and was villified for using black troops and considering them to be worthy of human rights. An assassination attempt on Mosby occurred at the Warrenton Depot.

And they were both opposed to the Lost Cause mythology, Longstreet being the primary villain in the deification of Lee. Mosby in particular was incensed at the attacks on JEB Stuart, his personal mentor in the war.

Telling the truth was dangerous in a land where 'honor' dictated the creation of a myth to save face.
I have no idea what "honor" has to do with any of this.
The White majority in South Carolina chose to leave the Union because of fear, a very pragmatic reason. But not a reason that could be announced to the world with any expectation of sympathy.
Longstreet and Mosby, for pragmatic reasons, chose to be "reconstructed". That made them "wrong" previously and panted those who served with then in the war with that same brush. Mosby and Longstreet found advantage to claiming to be different people. Some that served with those two maybe decided they had been chumps or pawns in a game of beat the system. The fact is had either or both of those two caught a bullet after the war it just as well have been considered a natural death considering how much fate they had tempted since 1861.
 

ebg12

Corporal
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
The gallant men of the North and South who fought the war are dead and buried, folks. Let's properly honor them not by rehashing the arguments that set them against one another, but by simply accepting that these questions have been definitively answered and resolving never to have such a conflict happen again.
How do we know the truth for ourself but by discussion? Are we to follow blindly what others tell us what the truth is? Many people said that slaves in the south were content? Should I agree without discourse?
 
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demiurge

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Apr 15, 2016
I have no idea what "honor" has to do with any of this.
The White majority in South Carolina chose to leave the Union because of fear, a very pragmatic reason. But not a reason that could be announced to the world with any expectation of sympathy.
Longstreet and Mosby, for pragmatic reasons, chose to be "reconstructed". That made them "wrong" previously and panted those who served with then in the war with that same brush. Mosby and Longstreet found advantage to claiming to be different people. Some that served with those two maybe decided they had been chumps or pawns in a game of beat the system. The fact is had either or both of those two caught a bullet after the war it just as well have been considered a natural death considering how much fate they had tempted since 1861.
They certainly expected sympathy, hence the commissioners of secession and the conceit that King Cotton could win the support of Great Britain and France. They of course were misguided about this and many other things.

As to honor, I put it in quotes intentionally. This is the same type of prideful honor that led to Sumner's caning, the fugitive slave law, and the war itself. The narrative of the slave holding class is they were gentlemen, that God was on their side as slavery is explicitly condoned in the Bible, and that being looked down for being slave holders was the worst kind of iniquity. This 'honor' remained even after their defeat, and was the wellspring of the Lost Cause, which attempted to rehabilitate their integrity by using the overtly dishonorable means of lying about what the war was about.

As to Mosby, he joined the Virginia militia thinking he would be fighting FOR the Union. But when Virginia voted for secession after Wise's manipulation at the convention by putting troops in the field to attack US resources and announcing that any who opposed him would have to assassinate him on the spot, Mosby like many went along with his state. He certainly did not believe in the primacy of the political reasons for his state's actions, instead placing loyalty to the state over his own principles. When relieved of that burden after Appammattox, he returned to his natural inclinations.

And of course being assassinated is not a natural death, and certainly not for advocating for reconstruction and unity in the US and an end to open bloodshed. The assassins in the South did continue said bloodshed for many generations, as evidenced by the thousands of lynchings and open battles against Unionists, such as the White League's insurrection in New Orleans that Longstreet led a force to oppose.
 

Robin Lesjovitch

Sergeant
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
They certainly expected sympathy, hence the commissioners of secession and the conceit that King Cotton could win the support of Great Britain and France. They of course were misguided about this and many other things.

As to honor, I put it in quotes intentionally. This is the same type of prideful honor that led to Sumner's caning, the fugitive slave law, and the war itself. The narrative of the slave holding class is they were gentlemen, that God was on their side as slavery is explicitly condoned in the Bible, and that being looked down for being slave holders was the worst kind of iniquity. This 'honor' remained even after their defeat, and was the wellspring of the Lost Cause, which attempted to rehabilitate their integrity by using the overtly dishonorable means of lying about what the war was about.

As to Mosby, he joined the Virginia militia thinking he would be fighting FOR the Union. But when Virginia voted for secession after Wise's manipulation at the convention by putting troops in the field to attack US resources and announcing that any who opposed him would have to assassinate him on the spot, Mosby like many went along with his state. He certainly did not believe in the primacy of the political reasons for his state's actions, instead placing loyalty to the state over his own principles. When relieved of that burden after Appammattox, he returned to his natural inclinations.

And of course being assassinated is not a natural death, and certainly not for advocating for reconstruction and unity in the US and an end to open bloodshed. The assassins in the South did continue said bloodshed for many generations, as evidenced by the thousands of lynchings and open battles against Unionists, such as the White League's insurrection in New Orleans that Longstreet led a force to oppose.
I did not characterize assassination as a "natural death". The only "natural inclinations" I can attribute to Mosby were contention, and his own self interests. That natural contention probably would cause a lot of people to think "it had to happen sometime" if he were felled by a bullet.
As to being "relieved of that burden" after Appomattox, I ain't buying it. He negotiated the surrender of his battalion, but decided he would stay in the saddle. He hadn't had enough. Contention. He dug a pretty deep hole for himself. US Grant pulled him completely clear, and for that Mosby gave Grant his loyalty. But, Mosby the Republican only extended as far as the National Party. He didn't think much of Virginia Republicans.... more contention.
South Carolinians could be contentious, too. And they said what they thought others might appreciate.
 

demiurge

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
I did not characterize assassination as a "natural death". The only "natural inclinations" I can attribute to Mosby were contention, and his own self interests. That natural contention probably would cause a lot of people to think "it had to happen sometime" if he were felled by a bullet.
As to being "relieved of that burden" after Appomattox, I ain't buying it. He negotiated the surrender of his battalion, but decided he would stay in the saddle. He hadn't had enough. Contention. He dug a pretty deep hole for himself. US Grant pulled him completely clear, and for that Mosby gave Grant his loyalty. But, Mosby the Republican only extended as far as the National Party. He didn't think much of Virginia Republicans.... more contention.
South Carolinians could be contentious, too. And they said what they thought others might appreciate.
Maybe you 'miswrote', but this is what you stated: The fact is had either or both of those two caught a bullet after the war it just as well have been considered a natural death considering how much fate they had tempted since 1861.

He actually didn't negotiate his battalions surrender, instead he disbanded them.

Certainly Mosby was loyal to those who treated him well - just as much to Jeb Stuart and Longstreet as Grant.

And certainly he was opposed to those who he considered had wronged him. Such as this quote:
"There was more vindictiveness shown to me by the Virginia people for my voting for Grant than the North showed to me for fighting four years against him."


Mosby certainly believed that his honor demanded he fight for his new country once Virginia seceded. But he also considered secession treason. He just was unapologetic about it. It is one of the mysteries of his character that he believed his honor demanded he commit treason, and he was at peace with that decision. Just as when he laid down his arms he sought to avoid the possibility of a second war, and that is why in his evaluation of secession as treason he chose to support the Republican party.

In later life he was asked to support a democrat, but instead chose to support Rutherford P Hayes, and responded in detail on why he chose to support the national republican party:

You can find it online here: https://books.google.com/books?id=3wLnLUmylwgC&pg=PR7&lpg=PR7&dq=john+mosby+Letter+to+Sam+Chapman+August+1907&source=bl&ots=yOa0eU6UBv&sig=ACfU3U01vwDSA5PHVA-UNagwcLsYnqH6lQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiGn5qVrr7hAhUum-AKHVBgDioQ6AEwD3oECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=john mosby Letter to Sam Chapman August 1907&f=false

Page 27 of his letters to Sam Chapman.

"The sectional unity of the Southern people has been their governing idea and the bane of their politics. As long as it continues the war will be the controlling element of politics. For any cry of the South that unifies the Confederates echoes in the North and rekindles the war fires there."

He certainly didn't support every Republican, because of his personal assessment of their character. That doesn't alter his adherence to the underlying reason why he did support the party as a whole.
 
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James Lutzweiler

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Mar 14, 2018
I have no idea what "honor" has to do with any of this.
The White majority in South Carolina chose to leave the Union because of fear, a very pragmatic reason. But not a reason that could be announced to the world with any expectation of sympathy.
Longstreet and Mosby, for pragmatic reasons, chose to be "reconstructed". That made them "wrong" previously and panted those who served with then in the war with that same brush. Mosby and Longstreet found advantage to claiming to be different people. Some that served with those two maybe decided they had been chumps or pawns in a game of beat the system. The fact is had either or both of those two caught a bullet after the war it just as well have been considered a natural death considering how much fate they had tempted since 1861.
SC left the union because of fear? So they left because they were safer in the union then out of it? Why isn't this registering? Could it be because of slavery mythology, that the war was all about slavery instead of real estate? The explanation that it was all about slavery is the true lost cause argument.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
SC left the union because of fear?

Yep.

So they left because they were safer in the union then out of it?

This is SC we're talking about, right? The state too small to be a country and too large to be an insane asylum?

Why isn't this registering?

Because it is plainly laid out in actual historical fact?

Could it be because of slavery mythology, that the war was all about slavery instead of real estate? The explanation that it was all about slavery is the true lost cause argument.
4 million slave mythologies? Nearly 4 BILLION dollars in slave mythology property? The "explanation" left by the seceding states themselves in their own words?

California here I come! :wink:

Unionblue
 

demiurge

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Oh, one other thing of note:

Mosby is one of the leading candidates for the origin of the term 'the Solid South' due to it being first recorded in a writing to a newspaper by him in 1876.

I'm always amazed at the confluence of thought and how the Civil War shaped so much of our current society.

The reason he had a price on his head was he executed captured Union soldiers from the Shenandoah campaign. These soldier were attempting to wipe out support for Mosby's guerilla activities, and had killed civilians - though at this point it's of dubious providence when Mosby's soldiers often lived in their own homes and didn't wear uniforms when they weren't attacking US interests.

When Mosby executed soliders captured who had themselves captured and executed these men, the practice stopped.

Whose men were conducting this offensive against the guerrilas?

George S. Custer.

Considering he enlisted as a private, Mosby had a remarkable career, including fostering a young George S. Patton on tales of his and Lee's exploits in California later in life.
 
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Robin Lesjovitch

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Dec 16, 2018
SC left the union because of fear? So they left because they were safer in the union then out of it? Why isn't this registering? Could it be because of slavery mythology, that the war was all about slavery instead of real estate? The explanation that it was all about slavery is the true lost cause argument.
Yes. fear. Fear of the Black majority in SC, and the possible lack of safety in a Union controlled by a Republican C-in-C. Of course, SC would not have attempted such a move had it not been reasonably sure it would not be alone.
 

Robin Lesjovitch

Sergeant
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Maybe you 'miswrote', but this is what you stated: The fact is had either or both of those two caught a bullet after the war it just as well have been considered a natural death considering how much fate they had tempted since 1861.

He actually didn't negotiate his battalions surrender, instead he disbanded them.

Certainly Mosby was loyal to those who treated him well - just as much to Jeb Stuart and Longstreet as Grant.

.
What is relevant to this thread is that Mosby sought assurances that his Rangers would be treated as had Lee's men. It was only then he disbanded the battalion, but Mosby did not seek parole as most of his men did.
Virginia was whipped and irredeemable, but Mosby hadn't had enough. This does not seem to be a man dragged into a war by devotion to his State as much as a man ready to fight.
 

James Lutzweiler

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Yes. fear. Fear of the Black majority in SC, and the possible lack of safety in a Union controlled by a Republican C-in-C. Of course, SC would not have attempted such a move had it not been reasonably sure it would not be alone.
Your last sentence almost says it all. You are absolutely right that it would not have gone it alone. But it is also true that the rest would not have joined SC unless they all believed they could SUSTAIN secession.Enter western land and the means to exploit it: i.e., the TRR. No TRR, No secession.
 
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Robin Lesjovitch

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I think you were closer to the truth in that they feared the large black population more than anything else. They did nothing to promote international shipping or pacific expansion. All internal improvements were to get interior exports to Charleston to be shipped in New England or British ships.
If any Southern state was interested in a TRR it was Arkansas but even then the view was to the east and Atlantic ports. South Carolina already had a port and timber but did it make ships ?
Everybody interested in a TRR was willing to wait or block until a federal effort was made , through regionally preferred areas, by the feds. Nobody wanted it enough to pay for it except, Californians. All other efforts were to get exports to Atlantic ports. New Orleans was even getting shut out and had to try to intercept some of the trade going up the Mississippi instead of down it , and through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic.
We had a RR across panama in 1855 and a road across Mexico in 1858 (?), both from private investors.
Things are more complicated.
SC was not the melodramatic monomaniac it sometimes seemed to be. It understood the danger of being in a country, with the interwoven economy it had, that might become uninterested in SC's security issues. White SC was in trouble, and it saw only its own wits as a way out. Even SC's immediate neighbors, except maybe Georgia, were not that sympathetic.
Yes, it was private investment that was needed. But so long as SC was part of the US economy, private investors would see no reason to compete with Northern money. It was way too risky to take on the established order. And that Northern money would stay on the points of production that did not compete with other investments.
Ships and railroads needed capital investment. That wasn't coming if SC remained in the US. Ship building was a long term industry and railroads had become something like a board game in the US. SC felt it needed the security of its own independent self determination.
 

Gene Green

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Apr 30, 2016
Location
Dixie
Ships and railroads needed capital investment. That wasn't coming if SC remained in the US. Ship building was a long term industry and railroads had become something like a board game in the US. SC felt it needed the security of its own independent self determination.
The capital was there and it did not require time. Shipbuilding was going on in SC but it was for rivers and coastal trading. They simply did not need to risk investment in shipping when someone else could be hired and their capital could be invested in agriculture and slaves.

Lowcountry South Carolina was not a complete maritime society like coastal Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Most South Carolinians looked inland, not to sea. “In the Northeast, if you lived near the coast, your livelihood was connected to the water,” says Charlie Sneed, executive director of the S.C. Maritime Heritage Foundation. “In our part of the country, people were more likely to make their living in farming and plantations.”
Charleston was blessed with an excellent harbor, yet South Carolinians built and invested in few seagoing vessels. Instead, they depended on ships owned by Londoners or Bostonians. New Englanders increasingly dominated American shipbuilding and maritime investing. Bostonians bought vessel shares in the way that modern investors buy corporate stock shares.
P.C. Coker, an independent scholar of local maritime history, has described the thinking of a typical colonial Carolina merchant who had 1,200 pounds to invest in the 1730s. With that sum, a merchant could build and outfit a 200-ton seagoing vessel, but he would risk his investment with storms, wars, fires, groundings, and pirates. Or he could pour his money into a dozen slaves and a 500-acre plantation, where he could grow rice and indigo, which fetched high prices. The choice was simple: purchase slaves and a plantation and charter someone else’s ship to send produce to Europe.

http://www.scseagrant.org/Content/?cid=189
 

Robin Lesjovitch

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The capital was there and it did not require time. Shipbuilding was going on in SC but it was for rivers and coastal trading. They simply did not need to risk investment in shipping when someone else could be hired and their capital could be invested in agriculture and slaves.

Lowcountry South Carolina was not a complete maritime society like coastal Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Most South Carolinians looked inland, not to sea. “In the Northeast, if you lived near the coast, your livelihood was connected to the water,” says Charlie Sneed, executive director of the S.C. Maritime Heritage Foundation. “In our part of the country, people were more likely to make their living in farming and plantations.”
Charleston was blessed with an excellent harbor, yet South Carolinians built and invested in few seagoing vessels. Instead, they depended on ships owned by Londoners or Bostonians. New Englanders increasingly dominated American shipbuilding and maritime investing. Bostonians bought vessel shares in the way that modern investors buy corporate stock shares.
P.C. Coker, an independent scholar of local maritime history, has described the thinking of a typical colonial Carolina merchant who had 1,200 pounds to invest in the 1730s. With that sum, a merchant could build and outfit a 200-ton seagoing vessel, but he would risk his investment with storms, wars, fires, groundings, and pirates. Or he could pour his money into a dozen slaves and a 500-acre plantation, where he could grow rice and indigo, which fetched high prices. The choice was simple: purchase slaves and a plantation and charter someone else’s ship to send produce to Europe.


http://www.scseagrant.org/Content/?cid=189
Yes, you are making the point about how difficult it would be for SC to gain control of its economy while within the US. I might point out the problems the US government had 65 years previous in developing a navy from scratch. Building a sea worthy fleet was accomplished by the US because it was required. A "have to" would be required of SC to get it done. SC would be biting a hard bullet, but the biting was needed if SC was to remove itself from the whims of others.
Secession was not as easy a solution as it seemed to outside observers. The matter had been in mind long before the 1860 elections. Secession was a bad option of several bad options. Secession had to be masked to cover SC's weakness. Reality found SC in many decades of poverty, ill will, ignorance, and mistrust. But any option other than secession and war might have brought as much down on that place.
 
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James Lutzweiler

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If SC's Seceshers had told the WHOLE truth, they would have acquired more copies of Hinton Helper's Impending Crisis than the Republicans bought and circulated and made it required reading for every Southerner over the age of 16. If they had, then no Civil War. Not possible. Any rational person and even half rational person would have concluded, "We are whipped, right out of the gate." Helper's statistics are the intellectual devastation equivalent of four Antietams.

But instead of such a circulation, these intellectual --and financial-- bankrupts burned copies and arrested and jailed people in whose possession it was found.

So, the short answer and conclusion to the question that opened this thread is this: NO, they did NOT tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Thanks to everyone for joining in.

James
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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So, the short answer and conclusion to the question that opened this thread is this: NO, they did NOT tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Let's be clear.

The above is YOUR conclusion to the question posed by you.

As later posts after that OP was given, many disagree with your conclusion.
 

James Lutzweiler

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Let's be clear.

The above is YOUR conclusion to the question posed by you.

As later posts after that OP was given, many disagree with your conclusion.
They and you can disagree to their/your hearts' content. Many also agree. Only the incontrovertible facts matter, and Helper spelled them out in devastating detail. I would wager that if the thinking processes of SC's Secesher were translated into medical thoughts that you and the rest of the posters to whom you refer would not permit such people to pull a splinter out of your eye. I know I certainly would not. Why don't you tell us by just a yes or no: Would you?
 
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CSA Today

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Laurinburg NC
Let's be clear.

The above is YOUR conclusion to the question posed by you.

As later posts after that OP was given, many disagree with your conclusion.
I, for one, certainly agree with the conclusion that with passing out copies of Helper's Impending Crisis and making it required reading wouldn't have endeared South Carolinians to the old union.
 
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unionblue

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They and you can disagree to their/your hearts' content. Many also agree. Only the incontrovertible facts matter, and Helper spelled them out in devastating detail. I would wager that if the thinking processes of SC's Secesher were translated into medical thoughts that you and the rest of the posters to whom you refer would not permit such people to pull a splinter out of your eye. I know I certainly would not. Why don't you tell us by just a yes or no: Would you?
Why wood eye? :smile:
 
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