Restricted "Faithful Slave" Monuments and "Lost Cause" Marketing...

Status
Not open for further replies.

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
The whole Black Confederate debate is nothing more than the "Lost Cause" movements marketing campaign to imply the loyal slaves supported the Southern Cause objectives during the Civil War.

Many of these groups are motivated by a laudable desire to acknowledge the shared histories of black and white Southerners, rather than telling the story of the Civil War from a purely white perspective, but they go too far when they suggest that black Southerners' service on behalf of the Confederacy demonstrates voluntary support for its objectives.

It actually started at the end of the 19th century...

After the war, many different groups and governments proposed interpretations of African Americans' service to the Confederacy. The Southern Claims Commission, established by the United States Congress to compensate loyal Southerners for property taken by Union forces during the war, tended to assume that black Southerners (especially slaves) had remained loyal to the Union. They saw black service on Confederate fortifications or in businesses supporting the Confederate war effort as the result of force rather than inclination. Early in the twentieth century, most southern states expanded their pension laws to offer compensation to black men and women who had worked on behalf of the Confederacy, but those laws contained no provisions suggesting that black men could claim pensions as soldiers. The United Daughters of the Confederacy proposed a series of monuments to "loyal slaves" as part of its commemorative efforts late in the nineteenth century, while the United Confederate Veterans took pains to highlight the occasional black man who attended a reunion wearing a Confederate uniform. (The "loyal slave" is a traditional feature of the Lost Cause view of the war.)

Here is one... best one at Arlington

Perhaps the most striking manifestation of this impulse was a decades-long campaign to erect a monument to black "mammies" in Washington D. C. As early as 1904, members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) began campaigning for a memorial to "faithful slaves," and Southern congressmen took up the cause, unsuccessfully seeking federal funding for a monument in 1907 and 1912.2 A milestone in the UDC's campaign to commemorate both the Confederacy and "faithful slaves" was the erection of the Confederate Monument in Arlington National Cemetery in 1914. Sculpted by Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a Confederate veteran and prominent sculptor, the imposing monument includes thirty-two life-sized reliefs, including a frieze depicting a loyal black slave accompanying his Confederate master into battle and another that portrays a departing Confederate soldier bidding farewell to his children, who cluster around an "old Negro mammy." According to Hilary A. Herbert, who wrote a history of the monument in 1914, the monument depicted "the kindly relations that existed all over the South between the master and the slave – a story that can not be too often repeated to generations in which "Uncle Tom's Cabin" survives and is still manufacturing false ideas as to the South and slavery in the ‘fifties.' The astonishing fidelity of the slaves everywhere during the war to the wives and children of those who were absent in the army was convincing proof of the kindly relations between master and slave in the old South."3

Confederate_Monument_-_E_frieze_-_Arlington_National_Cemetery_-_2011.jpg



Confederate_Monument_-_W_frieze_and_statue_-_Arlington_National_Cemetery_-_2011.jpg


Why???

Even after the erection of the Confederate Monument at Arlington, UDC activists remained committed to a national monument dedicated to "mammies." The value of such a monument was clear to its supporters: one proponent explained that "a noble monument" to the memory of black "mammies" and to "their loyal conduct refutes the assertion that the master was cruel to his slave."4

The United Daughters of the Confederacy proposed a series of monuments to "loyal slaves" as part of its commemorative efforts late in the nineteenth century, while the United Confederate Veterans took pains to highlight the occasional black man who attended a reunion wearing a Confederate uniform.

Here is what Black Confederates did... everything except fighting in battle.

Most likely, those men had served as body servants rather than actual soldiers during the war. Black men had formed a large and highly visible portion of the population at every major Confederate army encampment, but not as soldiers. They washed clothes, cooked meals, cared for the personal property of individual owners, groomed horses, drove wagons, unloaded trains, built walls and bridges, and nursed the wounded. One former slave, when interviewed by an employee of the Works Progress Administration, claimed he had done a soldier's work during the war, and this was certainly a valid interpretation. Black men serving the Confederate army did almost all of the tasks that actual Confederate soldiers did on a regular basis—everything except fighting in battle. And while it is possible (perhaps even probable) that a few of the personal body servants or hired slaves working in camp could have picked up a gun and joined a battle at one point or another, there is no credible evidence to suggest that large numbers of them did so. Certainly, their numbers are statistically insignificant when compared with the thousands of black men who were forced to perform manual labor for the Confederate armies.

The Black Confederate and Faithful Slave movements were just "Lost Cause" marketing...
 
Last edited:

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
Here is one... marketing...

In 1894 The Confederate Veteran, a magazine edited and published by Confederate veterans of the Civil War, offered an op-ed proposing the erection of new statues throughout the South in honor of the “faithful” slaves who stayed behind on their enslavers’ properties during the war. To wit:

"It seems opportune now to erect monuments to the Negro race of the war period. The Southern people could not honor themselves more than in cooperating to this end. What figure would be looked upon with kindlier memory than old “Uncle Pete” and “Black Mammy,” well executed in bronze? By general cooperation models of the two might be procured and duplicates made to go in every capital city of the South at the public expense, and then in the other large cities by popular subscription . . . There is not of record in history subordination and faithful devotion by any race of people comparable to the slaves of the Southern people during our great four years’ war for independence."

Here is this...

In the early 1920s, the United Daughters of the Southern Confederacy lobbied congress to pass a bill for the construction of a National Mammy Monument. Having pushed for and been successful in constructing several such memorials throughout the south, the UDSC wanted ground broken in Washington, DC in order to pay tribute to the loyal female domestics of the South. The appropriation for the monument was passed in 1923 by the Senate, but stalled in the House of Representatives. The artist commissioned for the memorial was George Julian Zolany, and the finished product was envisioned as three white children assembled around a black maid who was seated. An elaborate fountain was also part of the design.

Here is the whole "Black Mammy" debate...

Robin Bernstein of Harvard University reviewed Micki McElya’s book. What she points out is directly related to this blog post:
Through prodigious research in the UDC archives, McElya has reconstructed the process by which the Daughters claimed that their “memories” of faithful slaves, especially mammies, gave them “specialized racial knowledge” (64). The Daughters constructed memories of benign servitude through dialect performances, “epistolary blackface”(59) in which white women wrote in the voices of mammies, and, in a most spectacular effort, a nearly successful push to establish a national monument to the mammy to stand “in the shadow of Lincoln’s memorial” in Washington, DC (116). The contest over mammy [End Page 151] memorials illuminates the competing, high-stakes concerns that intersected in this mythic figure: the UDC wanted the mammy memorial to substantiate their memories as “official ‘truth’” (118) and thus to authorize elite white women such as themselves as the guardians of antebellum American history. Furthermore, against the backdrop of labor unrest, race riots, lynching, and the Great Migration of African Americans from rural South to urban North, the UDC wanted to posit an imagined past through which to envision a future of racial harmony based on black subservience.

African Americans understood these stakes, and they responded in well-organized protests, which McElya tracks through the black press. African American newspapers argued that white fantasies of faithful slaves, particularly mammies, “did not stand in opposition to this violence [of lynching and other attacks on African Americans] but was very much a part of it” (160). The UDC claimed that their proposed memorial commemorated affection, and African American newspaper writers countered not by claiming that enslaved caregivers and white children never felt affection for each other, but instead that such affection “was itself a form of violence and that the memorialization campaign itself was deeply vicious” (161). New Negro writers and activists confounded the UDC and other mammy fantasists by honoring enslaved mothers who struggled, often to the point of self-sacrifice, to care for their own children despite impediments that included forced labor in white households. New Negro writers and political cartoonists also explicitly showed how fantasies of asexual physical intimacy between white child and black mammy masked white anxieties about another form of interracial congress: white men’s rape of enslaved African American women. For example, a political cartoon in the African American newspaper the Chicago Defender in April 1923, critiqued the mammy memorial by proposing a parallel “white daddy” statue in which a white man assaults an African American woman. Protests such as these successfully prevented the national mammy memorial from ever being built.

Think we almost had a national "Black Mammy" monument...

 
Last edited:

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Here is one... marketing...

In 1894 The Confederate Veteran, a magazine edited and published by Confederate veterans of the Civil War, offered an op-ed proposing the erection of new statues throughout the South in honor of the “faithful” slaves who stayed behind on their enslavers’ properties during the war. To wit:

"It seems opportune now to erect monuments to the Negro race of the war period. The Southern people could not honor themselves more than in cooperating to this end. What figure would be looked upon with kindlier memory than old “Uncle Pete” and “Black Mammy,” well executed in bronze? By general cooperation models of the two might be procured and duplicates made to go in every capital city of the South at the public expense, and then in the other large cities by popular subscription . . . There is not of record in history subordination and faithful devotion by any race of people comparable to the slaves of the Southern people during our great four years’ war for independence."

Here is this...

In the early 1920s, the United Daughters of the Southern Confederacy lobbied congress to pass a bill for the construction of a National Mammy Monument. Having pushed for and been successful in constructing several such memorials throughout the south, the UDSC wanted ground broken in Washington, DC in order to pay tribute to the loyal female domestics of the South. The appropriation for the monument was passed in 1923 by the Senate, but stalled in the House of Representatives. The artist commissioned for the memorial was George Julian Zolany, and the finished product was envisioned as three white children assembled around a black maid who was seated. An elaborate fountain was also part of the design.

Here is the whole "Black Mammy" debate...

Robin Bernstein of Harvard University reviewed Micki McElya’s book. What she points out is directly related to this blog post:
Through prodigious research in the UDC archives, McElya has reconstructed the process by which the Daughters claimed that their “memories” of faithful slaves, especially mammies, gave them “specialized racial knowledge” (64). The Daughters constructed memories of benign servitude through dialect performances, “epistolary blackface”(59) in which white women wrote in the voices of mammies, and, in a most spectacular effort, a nearly successful push to establish a national monument to the mammy to stand “in the shadow of Lincoln’s memorial” in Washington, DC (116). The contest over mammy [End Page 151] memorials illuminates the competing, high-stakes concerns that intersected in this mythic figure: the UDC wanted the mammy memorial to substantiate their memories as “official ‘truth’” (118) and thus to authorize elite white women such as themselves as the guardians of antebellum American history. Furthermore, against the backdrop of labor unrest, race riots, lynching, and the Great Migration of African Americans from rural South to urban North, the UDC wanted to posit an imagined past through which to envision a future of racial harmony based on black subservience.

African Americans understood these stakes, and they responded in well-organized protests, which McElya tracks through the black press. African American newspapers argued that white fantasies of faithful slaves, particularly mammies, “did not stand in opposition to this violence [of lynching and other attacks on African Americans] but was very much a part of it” (160). The UDC claimed that their proposed memorial commemorated affection, and African American newspaper writers countered not by claiming that enslaved caregivers and white children never felt affection for each other, but instead that such affection “was itself a form of violence and that the memorialization campaign itself was deeply vicious” (161). New Negro writers and activists confounded the UDC and other mammy fantasists by honoring enslaved mothers who struggled, often to the point of self-sacrifice, to care for their own children despite impediments that included forced labor in white households. New Negro writers and political cartoonists also explicitly showed how fantasies of asexual physical intimacy between white child and black mammy masked white anxieties about another form of interracial congress: white men’s rape of enslaved African American women. For example, a political cartoon in the African American newspaper the Chicago Defender in April 1923, critiqued the mammy memorial by proposing a parallel “white daddy” statue in which a white man assaults an African American woman. Protests such as these successfully prevented the national mammy memorial from ever being built.

Think we almost had a national "Black Mammy" monument...
I had no idea about the above " white washing of history". Interesting how pro Confederates always try to hide the truth.
Leftyhunter
 

MattL

Guest
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Location
SF Bay Area
Here is one... marketing...

In 1894 The Confederate Veteran, a magazine edited and published by Confederate veterans of the Civil War, offered an op-ed proposing the erection of new statues throughout the South in honor of the “faithful” slaves who stayed behind on their enslavers’ properties during the war. To wit:

"It seems opportune now to erect monuments to the Negro race of the war period. The Southern people could not honor themselves more than in cooperating to this end. What figure would be looked upon with kindlier memory than old “Uncle Pete” and “Black Mammy,” well executed in bronze? By general cooperation models of the two might be procured and duplicates made to go in every capital city of the South at the public expense, and then in the other large cities by popular subscription . . . There is not of record in history subordination and faithful devotion by any race of people comparable to the slaves of the Southern people during our great four years’ war for independence."

Here is this...

In the early 1920s, the United Daughters of the Southern Confederacy lobbied congress to pass a bill for the construction of a National Mammy Monument. Having pushed for and been successful in constructing several such memorials throughout the south, the UDSC wanted ground broken in Washington, DC in order to pay tribute to the loyal female domestics of the South. The appropriation for the monument was passed in 1923 by the Senate, but stalled in the House of Representatives. The artist commissioned for the memorial was George Julian Zolany, and the finished product was envisioned as three white children assembled around a black maid who was seated. An elaborate fountain was also part of the design.

Here is the whole "Black Mammy" debate...

Robin Bernstein of Harvard University reviewed Micki McElya’s book. What she points out is directly related to this blog post:
Through prodigious research in the UDC archives, McElya has reconstructed the process by which the Daughters claimed that their “memories” of faithful slaves, especially mammies, gave them “specialized racial knowledge” (64). The Daughters constructed memories of benign servitude through dialect performances, “epistolary blackface”(59) in which white women wrote in the voices of mammies, and, in a most spectacular effort, a nearly successful push to establish a national monument to the mammy to stand “in the shadow of Lincoln’s memorial” in Washington, DC (116). The contest over mammy [End Page 151] memorials illuminates the competing, high-stakes concerns that intersected in this mythic figure: the UDC wanted the mammy memorial to substantiate their memories as “official ‘truth’” (118) and thus to authorize elite white women such as themselves as the guardians of antebellum American history. Furthermore, against the backdrop of labor unrest, race riots, lynching, and the Great Migration of African Americans from rural South to urban North, the UDC wanted to posit an imagined past through which to envision a future of racial harmony based on black subservience.

African Americans understood these stakes, and they responded in well-organized protests, which McElya tracks through the black press. African American newspapers argued that white fantasies of faithful slaves, particularly mammies, “did not stand in opposition to this violence [of lynching and other attacks on African Americans] but was very much a part of it” (160). The UDC claimed that their proposed memorial commemorated affection, and African American newspaper writers countered not by claiming that enslaved caregivers and white children never felt affection for each other, but instead that such affection “was itself a form of violence and that the memorialization campaign itself was deeply vicious” (161). New Negro writers and activists confounded the UDC and other mammy fantasists by honoring enslaved mothers who struggled, often to the point of self-sacrifice, to care for their own children despite impediments that included forced labor in white households. New Negro writers and political cartoonists also explicitly showed how fantasies of asexual physical intimacy between white child and black mammy masked white anxieties about another form of interracial congress: white men’s rape of enslaved African American women. For example, a political cartoon in the African American newspaper the Chicago Defender in April 1923, critiqued the mammy memorial by proposing a parallel “white daddy” statue in which a white man assaults an African American woman. Protests such as these successfully prevented the national mammy memorial from ever being built.

Think we almost had a national "Black Mammy" monument...


Great examples of how resistance to such things and such things being controversial is nothing new. There's just a louder voice around such things these days.

It'd be very fascinating to delve into African American newspapers during the Confederate monument raising era. I'm curious if anyone knows if any of the digital newspaper archives out there have a particularly good collection of African American ones.
 

MattL

Guest
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Location
SF Bay Area
I also thought Micki McElya sums it up well

----
In her book Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in Twentieth-Century America, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007 Micki McElya writes, “so many white Americans have wished to live in a world in which African Americans are not angry over past and present injustices, a world in which white people were and are not complicit, in which the injustices themselves — of slavery, Jim Crow, and ongoing structural racism — seem not to exist at all.
----

It still seems to be the case. Most standards of evidence and context go out the door in such efforts. On one hand people will require muster rolls, enlistment records, pension records, witness statements, timelines, and context to line up to accept a white served either side of the Civil War in the role that is claimed, something entirely common and believable from the get go, not being racially forbidden. Then when it comes to a "Black Confederate" something like a newspaper account, or an account 30+ years later is all that's needed to disprove the "Myth of the Black Confederate."

It reminds me of selective standards people apply to genealogy for connections they find appealing. This link would connect me to a famous American or to a gateway ancestor leading back to royalty! Well then let's just match up names and rough places. The rest must require the standard of a combination of primary and secondary sources or a heap of circumstantial combined with a heap of disclaimers.

In this case
----
mammies, gave them “specialized racial knowledge”
----

The lack of desire for such consistent standards when it comes to the "faithful slave" or even faithful Southern Black in general lies bare as evidence of the motivation and agenda for said "faithful" narrative. A desire to Reconstruct the South pre-Reconstruction into something it wasn't.

Many slaves made the best of their situation as many in any human group will often do. Often humans form bonds with their oppressors even in such an attempt. That does not remove the fact they are forced to make such bonds as a means of survival, which in itself is a form of abuse. It doesn't counter that they were subject to a form of generational Stockholm syndrome that simply cannot be ignored when evaluating their behavior.

Slavery to them was a lifestyle. To ignore that lifestyle is equal to ignoring the lifestyle of others, of Southern farmers, Northern factory workers, merchants, frontiersmen, artisans, etc.
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
It'd be very fascinating to delve into African American newspapers during the Confederate monument raising era. I'm curious if anyone knows if any of the digital newspaper archives out there have a particularly good collection of African American ones.

The link below is to the Chicago Defender achieves...

Founded in 1905 by Robert S. Abbott, The Chicago Defender Newspaper has long served as one of the most recognized voices of African – Americans. When mainstream newspapers did not cover the Black experience,
The Chicago Defender was there.


The Chicago Defender Archives are being reintroduced to the world for study, review and revisit.
The majority of these images have never been available to the public. We invite you to look at what is available online, and to contact us for access to what is in our archives. We are committed to sharing


The Chicago Defender Forever!

Interesting post.

I get the impression you like old newspapers sadly the Chicago Defender paper was started in 1905 so no civil war and Reconstruction news material... but we do have Jim Crow...

The Link... https://www.chicagodefenderarchives.org/
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
I found this Faithful Slave monument and some of it back story...

245_rep.jpg

Inscription:
On bronze plaque:
IN MEMORY OF / THE FAITHFUL SLAVES / MANY OF WHOM WERE MEMBERS OF / HAWFIELDS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH / AND ARE BURIED IN THIS CEMETERY "BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH AND I / WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE" REV. 2:10 THIS TABLET IS PRESENTED BY THE FAMILY OF STEPHEN ALEXANDER WHITE / AND DEDICATED BY THE HAWFIELDS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH / 1908 - 1922
Image of plaque


Monument Dedication and Unveiling
The unveiling of the “faithful slave” tablet was occured during a special Homecoming Ceremony at Hawfields Presbyterian Church on June 4, 1922 along with the unveiling of bronze founders and pastors tablets. The founders and pastors tablets were unveiled in the morning and the “faithful slaves” was unveiled after lunch by James Scott Albright. Prior to the unveiling a choir partially composed of children and grandchildren of slaved buried in the cemetery performed on the lawn in front of the church. Then a paper on “Slavery in the Hawfields” was read. This paper had been written by Stephen Alexander White in 1887. The tablet’s dedication was said to an “eloquent token of the cherished inheritance by the people of the present generation of the sentiments of love and affection in which the negros were held by their forbearers, and was an eloquent testimonial to the place the negro holds in the heart of the native-born southerner…”

https://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/monument/245/



Lead up...
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25617086?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

upload_2018-9-4_11-4-29.gif


I found this which relates to the Jstor page in more info...

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03376617
 
Last edited:

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
Here is an interesting article from the Sacto Bee about the monument to loyal slaves in Fort Mill, South Carolina. It's also interesting who they chose to talk to - the black descendants of the folks named on the monument put up by their master. There are two other equally interesting monuments in that park - one to Confederate women and the other to loyal Catawba Indians. That names some of my relations. (In fact, the Harris mentioned in this article are relations as well.)

https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article171116322.html

I'd like to draw attention to Belk's comments about why the descendants of White think as they do. Frankly...I think he is extremely arrogant! Missed the whole point and the whole idea.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
The whole Black Confederate debate is nothing more than the "Lost Cause" movements marketing campaign to imply the loyal slaves supported the Southern Cause objectives during the Civil War.

Many of these groups are motivated by a laudable desire to acknowledge the shared histories of black and white Southerners, rather than telling the story of the Civil War from a purely white perspective, but they go too far when they suggest that black Southerners' service on behalf of the Confederacy demonstrates voluntary support for its objectives.

It actually started at the end of the 19th century...

After the war, many different groups and governments proposed interpretations of African Americans' service to the Confederacy. The Southern Claims Commission, established by the United States Congress to compensate loyal Southerners for property taken by Union forces during the war, tended to assume that black Southerners (especially slaves) had remained loyal to the Union. They saw black service on Confederate fortifications or in businesses supporting the Confederate war effort as the result of force rather than inclination. Early in the twentieth century, most southern states expanded their pension laws to offer compensation to black men and women who had worked on behalf of the Confederacy, but those laws contained no provisions suggesting that black men could claim pensions as soldiers. The United Daughters of the Confederacy proposed a series of monuments to "loyal slaves" as part of its commemorative efforts late in the nineteenth century, while the United Confederate Veterans took pains to highlight the occasional black man who attended a reunion wearing a Confederate uniform. (The "loyal slave" is a traditional feature of the Lost Cause view of the war.)

Here is one... best one at Arlington

Perhaps the most striking manifestation of this impulse was a decades-long campaign to erect a monument to black "mammies" in Washington D. C. As early as 1904, members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) began campaigning for a memorial to "faithful slaves," and Southern congressmen took up the cause, unsuccessfully seeking federal funding for a monument in 1907 and 1912.2 A milestone in the UDC's campaign to commemorate both the Confederacy and "faithful slaves" was the erection of the Confederate Monument in Arlington National Cemetery in 1914. Sculpted by Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a Confederate veteran and prominent sculptor, the imposing monument includes thirty-two life-sized reliefs, including a frieze depicting a loyal black slave accompanying his Confederate master into battle and another that portrays a departing Confederate soldier bidding farewell to his children, who cluster around an "old Negro mammy." According to Hilary A. Herbert, who wrote a history of the monument in 1914, the monument depicted "the kindly relations that existed all over the South between the master and the slave – a story that can not be too often repeated to generations in which "Uncle Tom's Cabin" survives and is still manufacturing false ideas as to the South and slavery in the ‘fifties.' The astonishing fidelity of the slaves everywhere during the war to the wives and children of those who were absent in the army was convincing proof of the kindly relations between master and slave in the old South."3

Confederate_Monument_-_E_frieze_-_Arlington_National_Cemetery_-_2011.jpg



Confederate_Monument_-_W_frieze_and_statue_-_Arlington_National_Cemetery_-_2011.jpg


Why???

Even after the erection of the Confederate Monument at Arlington, UDC activists remained committed to a national monument dedicated to "mammies." The value of such a monument was clear to its supporters: one proponent explained that "a noble monument" to the memory of black "mammies" and to "their loyal conduct refutes the assertion that the master was cruel to his slave."4

The United Daughters of the Confederacy proposed a series of monuments to "loyal slaves" as part of its commemorative efforts late in the nineteenth century, while the United Confederate Veterans took pains to highlight the occasional black man who attended a reunion wearing a Confederate uniform.

Here is what Black Confederates did... everything except fighting in battle.

Most likely, those men had served as body servants rather than actual soldiers during the war. Black men had formed a large and highly visible portion of the population at every major Confederate army encampment, but not as soldiers. They washed clothes, cooked meals, cared for the personal property of individual owners, groomed horses, drove wagons, unloaded trains, built walls and bridges, and nursed the wounded. One former slave, when interviewed by an employee of the Works Progress Administration, claimed he had done a soldier's work during the war, and this was certainly a valid interpretation. Black men serving the Confederate army did almost all of the tasks that actual Confederate soldiers did on a regular basis—everything except fighting in battle. And while it is possible (perhaps even probable) that a few of the personal body servants or hired slaves working in camp could have picked up a gun and joined a battle at one point or another, there is no credible evidence to suggest that large numbers of them did so. Certainly, their numbers are statistically insignificant when compared with the thousands of black men who were forced to perform manual labor for the Confederate armies.

The Black Confederate and Faithful Slave movements were just "Lost Cause" marketing...

Source for the above article?
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Here is one... marketing...

In 1894 The Confederate Veteran, a magazine edited and published by Confederate veterans of the Civil War, offered an op-ed proposing the erection of new statues throughout the South in honor of the “faithful” slaves who stayed behind on their enslavers’ properties during the war. To wit:

"It seems opportune now to erect monuments to the Negro race of the war period. The Southern people could not honor themselves more than in cooperating to this end. What figure would be looked upon with kindlier memory than old “Uncle Pete” and “Black Mammy,” well executed in bronze? By general cooperation models of the two might be procured and duplicates made to go in every capital city of the South at the public expense, and then in the other large cities by popular subscription . . . There is not of record in history subordination and faithful devotion by any race of people comparable to the slaves of the Southern people during our great four years’ war for independence."

Here is this...

In the early 1920s, the United Daughters of the Southern Confederacy lobbied congress to pass a bill for the construction of a National Mammy Monument. Having pushed for and been successful in constructing several such memorials throughout the south, the UDSC wanted ground broken in Washington, DC in order to pay tribute to the loyal female domestics of the South. The appropriation for the monument was passed in 1923 by the Senate, but stalled in the House of Representatives. The artist commissioned for the memorial was George Julian Zolany, and the finished product was envisioned as three white children assembled around a black maid who was seated. An elaborate fountain was also part of the design.

Here is the whole "Black Mammy" debate...

Robin Bernstein of Harvard University reviewed Micki McElya’s book. What she points out is directly related to this blog post:
Through prodigious research in the UDC archives, McElya has reconstructed the process by which the Daughters claimed that their “memories” of faithful slaves, especially mammies, gave them “specialized racial knowledge” (64). The Daughters constructed memories of benign servitude through dialect performances, “epistolary blackface”(59) in which white women wrote in the voices of mammies, and, in a most spectacular effort, a nearly successful push to establish a national monument to the mammy to stand “in the shadow of Lincoln’s memorial” in Washington, DC (116). The contest over mammy [End Page 151] memorials illuminates the competing, high-stakes concerns that intersected in this mythic figure: the UDC wanted the mammy memorial to substantiate their memories as “official ‘truth’” (118) and thus to authorize elite white women such as themselves as the guardians of antebellum American history. Furthermore, against the backdrop of labor unrest, race riots, lynching, and the Great Migration of African Americans from rural South to urban North, the UDC wanted to posit an imagined past through which to envision a future of racial harmony based on black subservience.

African Americans understood these stakes, and they responded in well-organized protests, which McElya tracks through the black press. African American newspapers argued that white fantasies of faithful slaves, particularly mammies, “did not stand in opposition to this violence [of lynching and other attacks on African Americans] but was very much a part of it” (160). The UDC claimed that their proposed memorial commemorated affection, and African American newspaper writers countered not by claiming that enslaved caregivers and white children never felt affection for each other, but instead that such affection “was itself a form of violence and that the memorialization campaign itself was deeply vicious” (161). New Negro writers and activists confounded the UDC and other mammy fantasists by honoring enslaved mothers who struggled, often to the point of self-sacrifice, to care for their own children despite impediments that included forced labor in white households. New Negro writers and political cartoonists also explicitly showed how fantasies of asexual physical intimacy between white child and black mammy masked white anxieties about another form of interracial congress: white men’s rape of enslaved African American women. For example, a political cartoon in the African American newspaper the Chicago Defender in April 1923, critiqued the mammy memorial by proposing a parallel “white daddy” statue in which a white man assaults an African American woman. Protests such as these successfully prevented the national mammy memorial from ever being built.

Think we almost had a national "Black Mammy" monument...

Source for the above article?
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
DSC05568.JPG


Unrelated to the Black Confederates topic, here are two more of former cadet Moses Ezekiel's tributes to the Confederacy at Lexington's Virginia Military Institute: above, his Stonewall Jackson looks out over the parade ground, while across the street Virginia Mourning Her Dead stands watch over the graves of those cadets killed in the 1864 Battle of New Market in which Ezekiel had participated.

DSC05575.JPG
 

Old_Glory

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Location
NC
I've began to see that everything that doesn't support the Northern narrative of the War is considered the "Lost Cause". I'm not buying what you're selling.

Honoring the black men that served the Confederacy is long overdue and it is the honorable thing to do. Even though it really seems to ruffle some people's feathers which seems ridiculous to me in this day and age.
 

MattL

Guest
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Location
SF Bay Area
I've began to see that everything that doesn't support the Northern narrative of the War is considered the "Lost Cause". I'm not buying what you're selling.

Honoring the black men that served the Confederacy is long overdue and it is the honorable thing to do. Even though it really seems to ruffle some people's feathers which seems ridiculous to me in this day and age.

Apparently it ruffled some African American feathers in the 1920s as referenced in the OP. I mean who cares what they think though.
 

Old_Glory

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Location
NC
Apparently it ruffled some African American feathers in the 1920s as referenced in the OP. I mean who cares what they think though.

So are you saying that they should not be honored because "some" (who?) African Americans did not like it.

The majority of the slaves stayed loyal and did not run away or attempt to fight against their masters, some did. To say honoring them tries to cover over their poor treatment is garbage logic. Ignoring them does far more to cover over the honorable service that they provided. Why would anyone want to do that I wonder?

Obviously there would be disagreement among African Americans of the time period as each chose what they wanted to do. I believe each side of them deserve to be remembered fondly, not just the ones that joined the Union North.
 
Last edited:

WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
I've began to see that everything that doesn't support the Northern narrative of the War is considered the "Lost Cause". I'm not buying what you're selling.

Honoring the black men that served the Confederacy is long overdue and it is the honorable thing to do. Even though it really seems to ruffle some people's feathers which seems ridiculous to me in this day and age.
I believe the point is not that it is wrong to exclude people who contributed to an effort but to question how that contribution is portrayed.
As can be seen in this Forum, it is generally accepted that the labor of Blacks played a significant role in the economy of the so-called Confederate States'. It is also clear that Blacks were used as laborers, cooks, teamsters, musicians and in other noncombatant roles in the rebel forces. Further, it appears some small number were engaged in combat roles.
The concern seems to be memorializing the fiction of the 'happy slave' and in exaggerating the role slaves voluntarily played in the conflict. I don't see that as a contest involving a "Northern narrative", but as a contest involving fact.
If there is proof that Mr. A, a slave living in say North Carolina voluntarily joined and fought for the rebel forces, his community in North Carolina is certainly justified in erecting a monument honoring his service. But any memorial that suggests that there were thousands of volunteer slaves who of their own volition and at their own initiative took up arms in support of a rebellion intended to establish a nation dedicated to the perpetual preservation of slavery seems to be nothing more than baseless propaganda.
 

MattL

Guest
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Location
SF Bay Area
So are you saying that they should not be honored because "some" (who?) African Americans did not like it.

Well I was referring specifically to the OP, in which case you can read the OP to find everything, no need for me to repeat what was laid out already quite well.

The majority of the slaves stayed loyal and did not run away or attempt to fight against their masters, some did. To say honoring them tries to cover over their poor treat is garbage logic. Ignoring them does far more to cover over the honorable service that they provided. Why would anyone want to do that I wonder?

This is the epitome of the "faithful slave" narrative. Just because someone didn't risk running away does not mean they were loyal. You do realize these slaves were legally property, that if they risked running away and failed they could be severely punished and most really didn't know where they'd even go.

Many people remain in bad situations, like spouses in situations of domestic abuse, not out of loyalty, or how great it was and they certainly wouldn't want a monument raise honoring their place in such a scenario.

Not pretending to know what they'd want and honoring them (and I am indeed talking about the cases where that applies) can be an even greater offense. Not doing that is not the same as ignoring them. I'm sure you know this quite well. There are many different ways to honor a person.

Painting narratives like the "old Negro mammy" cited in the OP was cut down by African Americans for reasons they explained quite well. Those ways of honoring are about white guilt and difficulty facing slavery and it's fully impact and implications. There are plenty of other ways to honor such people. The best way was the freedom that they gained by force outside of the South via the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and properly enforced about 100 years later.

Obviously there would be disagreement among African Americans of the time period as each chose what they wanted to do. I believe each side of them deserve to be remembered fondly, not just the ones that joined the Union North.

See the thing is I agree completely. You would know that if you didn't paint a disagreement in a certain specific way of allegedly honoring them as completely disagreement in "honoring" them. There are many different ways to honor them, many of us here (and in the past) just disagree in the "faithful slave" narrative as a generalized message to actually honor them. In specific cases it applies, sure, in others cases it's an insult including as a generalization.

Want to honor slaves, do so with integrity and honesty. Recognize their lack of genuine choice, rights, and citizenship. Recognize the many abuses and tribulations that were forced on them. Recognize all this was done to benefit the free (mostly) White people. The same events can be told multiple ways portraying completely different things.

As far as "chose what they wanted to do"... I think you understand the concept of slavery.
 

Old_Glory

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Location
NC
Well I was referring specifically to the OP, in which case you can read the OP to find everything, no need for me to repeat what was laid out already quite well.

As far as "chose what they wanted to do"... I think you understand the concept of slavery.

I was asking you how you felt.

Everything isn't "a faithful slave" narrative. There were many slaves who would have gladly died for what they were doing. It was the only life they ever knew. There were others who hated and despised it, but they still did it. Still, there were others who ran away from it. The ones who ran away are praised and remember, the ones who didn't have been shamed and banished from history. I believe that is wrong.

I feel the reason they are dishonored is due to a fear of somehow showing honor to Confederates by honoring these men. There are far too many people who want to keep all honor regarding the Civil War solely in one portion of the nation (predominantly the North and West) while ensuring the other portion (Southern) part has none.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top