My Ancestors Never Owned Slaves...

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Dead Parrott

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Interesting thread here, for a while. As the discussion is now far off the rails, time to move on.

Special thanks to Archieclement for our individual discussion and some strong yet civil disagreements.
 

unionblue

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Which is not to say that the Constitution did not originally address and sanction slavery without actually naming it, because it did. Everyone knows what "persons held to service or labor" meant. And it was precisely because the Constitution protected slavery that a Constitutional amendment (where the word slavery is in fact found within the text of the Constitution) was needed to abolish it:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.​

My opinion is not yours.

SURPRISE! :biggrin:
 

DanSBHawk

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Which is not to say that the Constitution did not originally address and sanction slavery without actually naming it, because it did. Everyone knows what "persons held to service or labor" meant. And it was precisely because the Constitution protected slavery that a Constitutional amendment (where the word slavery is in fact found within the text of the Constitution) was needed to abolish it:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.​
But did it really require a Constitutional amendment? Could it have been abolished by simple congressional legislation if the congress had eventually become anti-slavery enough?

Lincoln didn't consider the executive had the power to completely abolish slavery, but what specifically in the Constitution "protected slavery nationally" from abolition by congress? That's what I was asking. Where in the Constitution does it explicitly protect the institution of slavery?

The FSL doesn't. That only enforces cooperation concerning fugitives from slavery. It doesn't prohibit Congress from abolishing slavery. I know Taney's awful overreach in Dred Scott tried to strip Congress from any power over slavery, but what specifically in the Constitution backs up his interpretation?

Posters all the time claim that there is nothing in the Constitution explicitly forbidding secession. So where in the Constitution does it explicitly protect the institution of slavery nationally, as stated by a poster earlier?
 

Jantzen64

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But did it really require a Constitutional amendment? Could it have been abolished by simple congressional legislation if the congress had eventually become anti-slavery enough?

Lincoln didn't consider the executive had the power to completely abolish slavery, but what specifically in the Constitution "protected slavery nationally" from abolition by congress? That's what I was asking. Where in the Constitution does it explicitly protect the institution of slavery?

The FSL doesn't. That only enforces cooperation concerning fugitives from slavery. It doesn't prohibit Congress from abolishing slavery. I know Taney's awful overreach in Dred Scott tried to strip Congress from any power over slavery, but what specifically in the Constitution backs up his interpretation?

Posters all the time claim that there is nothing in the Constitution explicitly forbidding secession. So where in the Constitution does it explicit protect the institution of slavery nationally, as stated by a poster earlier?
Interesting question. Despite how Taney took the issue up in Dred Scott, the plain text of Article IV, Section 3 would seem to give Congress that power with regard to new states and territories; what other provision would grant the power with regard to where it already existed in the States? Not disagreeing, just haven't considered the issue from that angle before. I do think the record is clear that Lincoln was pushing the 13th Amendment NOT because he agreed that it was absolutely, legally necessary, but because he felt the issue wasn't clear and didn't want to have the issue decided by SCOTUS; i.e., he wanted to quickly and unequivocally resolve what had been a disputed and inflamed issue of public policy.
 

DanSBHawk

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After looking into this a little, I found that Frederick Douglass came to the same conclusion. There is not a single word in the Constitution protecting slavery nationally:

"I have much confidence in the instincts of the slaveholders. They see that the Constitution will afford slavery no protection when it shall cease to be administered by slaveholders. They see, moreover, that if there is once a will in the people of America to abolish slavery, this is no word, no syllable in the Constitution to forbid that result. They see that the Constitution has not saved slavery in Rhode Island, in Connecticut, in New York, or Pennsylvania; that the Free States have only added three to their original number."​
 

Andersonh1

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But did it really require a Constitutional amendment? Could it have been abolished by simple congressional legislation if the congress had eventually become anti-slavery enough?

Lincoln didn't consider the executive had the power to completely abolish slavery, but what specifically in the Constitution "protected slavery nationally" from abolition by congress? That's what I was asking. Where in the Constitution does it explicitly protect the institution of slavery?

The FSL doesn't. That only enforces cooperation concerning fugitives from slavery. It doesn't prohibit Congress from abolishing slavery. I know Taney's awful overreach in Dred Scott tried to strip Congress from any power over slavery, but what specifically in the Constitution backs up his interpretation?

Posters all the time claim that there is nothing in the Constitution explicitly forbidding secession. So where in the Constitution does it explicitly protect the institution of slavery nationally, as stated by a poster earlier?

The fact that the fundamental law of the land makes allowances for its existence would seem to me to answer the question. What one Congress can do another Congress can undo, but a Constitutional provision is a law to which other laws must conform.

From the debate over the 13th amendment:

https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=065/llcg065.db&recNum=393

"Can a man take fire in his bosom and not be burned?" No more can man admit the idea of human bondage into the charter of a free Government and not find it in the end a blackened scroll crumbling to ashes in his grasp.​
Sir, Mr. Madison, with scrupulous care, excluded the word "slave" from the Constitution, but by a fatal mistake allowed the thing itself to remain. He chased away the shadow but left the substance....​
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.... Slavery procures its recognition and admission into the Constitution. it has achieved a great and almost fatal work. It has nestled into the very bosom of the nation's life. It has secured the nation's protection. It has allied with its defense the nation's arm. It has an anchorage-ground from which no political gales can drive it; a fortress where no hostile arm can assault it, and whence it can go forth to secure new triumphs as the nation advances in territorial power. True, her name is not in the Constitution; but, alas! she is there - there in vigor and strength - and in the very first article of that instrument she provides for her representation in Congress, where her voice and her votes have been of signal potency... true, again, her name was not in the instrument, but her power was there.​
---------------​
This amendment of the Constitution is of wider scope and more searching operation. It goes deep into the soil, and upturns the roots of this poisonous plant to dry and wither. It not only sets free the present slave, but it provides for the future, and makes slavery impossible so long as this provision shall remain a part of this Constitution.​
---------------​
Slavery's strongest and safest guarantees were in the Constitution, and its supporters were mad when they cast away and threw off those guarantees.... I am for a Union without slavery, and an amended Constitution making it forever impossible. The revolt was to preserve slavery, and we shall fall of our whole duty if we do not remove the inciting cause.​
 
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What about the nuts who were scions of aristocratic Southern slaveholding families who presided over SCOTUS in the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford decision? Under the protection of property in the Fifth Amendment, slaves were reconfirmed as property. But it didn't stop there. It overturned the Missouri Compromise and asserted Congress had no authority to regulate or block the extension of slavery into territories...

That decision, asserting that the the Constitution protected slaveholding, directly led to the election of the POTUS Lincoln and VeePOTUS Hamlin of a brand new political party, the Republicans, (with only 40% of the vote, you'll doubtless hasten to add? Thus a minority view...)

So nutty old Roger Brooke Taney did more to bring about the Civil War than, say, uh, well, the terrorism and murders of John Brown's gang?

U.S. Reports: Dred Scott v. Sandford

Library of Congress Research Guides: Dred Scott

https://www.loc.gov/item/usrep060393a/

Riddle me this? If Dangerfield Newby had no legal recourse to buy his wife and children from their owner, and Dred Scott refused to simply abscond and run away, but his owner refused to either free him or agree on a recognized price that he might manumit himself through self-purchase, and Roger Taney argued that all blacks, whether free or uh, "enslaved," were citizens and thus unable to press their claims in U.S. courts, what does that suggest about your vaunted sacrosanct laws at the time? Could it be that the "law" promoted division and sectarianism and polarization far more than a handful of lawless people like, say, Harriet Tubman who callously ran away from her legal owner without compensation paid to him of any kind, hmm?

But of course Roger Brooke Taney would advocate slavery and rightlessness for blacks, because he was a Maryland slave-ocrat?
Actually if Taney was considered nutty he wouldn't have worked his way up to chief justice of the Supreme Court.

That we disagree with him today, hardly means the majority of his peers during his career did.

Though as far as the OP neither Taney or the anarchist Spooner were my ancestors.....
 

DanSBHawk

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The fact that the fundamental law of the land makes allowances for its existence would seem to me to answer the question.
"Makes allowances for its existence."

I think it's funny that the standard defense of the 1860-61 secessions was that the Constitution did not explicitly forbid it. I can't even count the times that someone has used that as a defense of secession. "Show me where in the Constitution that secession was illegal."

And yet, in order to interpret a Constitutional protection of slavery nationally, it becomes necessary to read between the lines?

And I'm not singling you out, Anderson. It's just the most over-used cliché that the Constitution does not explicitly mention secession. Yet it also doesn't explicitly extend any kind of protection of slavery from national abolition.
 
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"Makes allowances for its existence."

I think it's funny that the standard defense of the 1860-61 secessions was that the Constitution did not explicitly forbid it. I can't even count the times that someone has used that as a defense of secession. "Show me where in the Constitution that secession was illegal."

And yet, in order to interpret a Constitutional protection of slavery nationally, it becomes necessary to read between the lines?

And I'm not singling you out, Anderson. It's just the most over-used cliché that the Constitution does not explicitly mention secession. Yet it also doesn't explicitly extend any kind of protection of slavery from national abolition.
But who had said it protected slavery from national abolition? I haven't, as I would say the amendment process is precisely to allow change.

However as slavery was recognised with the FSL and 3/5 clauses, I don't see how this national abolition could occur short of amendment, as it historically did.

So if we are talking 1861 and before, I would indeed simply state it was protected.......as have seen little to suggest it would have been possible to get 2/3rds passage in US Congress on abolition, and then even if you had, to then have gotten 2/3rds of the pre CW state legislatures to ratify.
 
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DanSBHawk

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But who had said it protected slavery from national abolition? I haven't, as I would say the amendment process is precisely to allow change.

However as slavery was recognised with the FSL and 3/5 clauses, I don't see how this national abolition could occur short of amendment, as it historically did.

So if we are talking 1861 and before, I would indeed simply state it was protected.......as have seen little to suggest it would have been possible to get 2/3rds passage in US Congress on abolition, and then even if you had, to then have gotten 2/3rds of the pre CW state legislatures to ratify.
I'm not interested in going on tangents. The issue was what the Constitution explicitly said regarding protecting slavery nationally.

I'll have to agree with Frederick Douglass. Not a word in the Constitution protected slavery nation-wide from abolition.
 
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I'm not interested in going on tangents. The issue was what the Constitution explicitly said regarding protecting slavery nationally.

I'll have to agree with Frederick Douglass. Not a word in the Constitution protected slavery nation-wide from abolition.
And I disagree, because if the Constitution didn't in effect protect slavery......Art IV section 2 clause 3, and Article one section two wouldn't be in it.

But as they clearly were, it would take an amendment to change them.
 

DanSBHawk

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And I disagree, because if the Constitution didn't in effect protect slavery......Art IV section 2 clause 3, and Article one section two wouldn't be in it.

But as they clearly were, it would take an amendment to change them.
Explain how those parts of the Constitution (or any other part of the Constitution) prevented Legislators on the state and federal levels from passing laws abolishing the institution of slavery.

You can't, because there was nothing in the Constitution that protected slavery nationally. And that was already demonstrated by northeastern states abolishing slavery.
 
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Explain how those parts of the Constitution (or any other part of the Constitution) prevented Legislators on the state and federal levels from passing laws abolishing the institution of slave

You can't, because there was nothing in the Constitution that protected slavery nationally. And that was already demonstrated by northeastern states abolishing slavery.
I already have, and I have indeed agreed states could elect to abolish their own states practice.....however one is left with they couldn't abolish another states property or people held to service as that indeed was constitutionally protected. So for national abolition it would take an amendment.
 

DanSBHawk

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I already have, and I have indeed agreed states could elect to abolish their own states practice.....however one is left with they couldn't abolish another states property or people held to service as that indeed was constitutionally protected. So for national abolition it would take an amendment.
Then show the exact words in the Constitution that claims that it would take an amendment.

And nothing in the Constitution says that humans can be property.
 
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uaskme

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The fact that the confederacy couldn't manage to drum up any European allies, even among trading allies, would suggest that the majority of civilized nations found the confederacy illegitimate and unjustifiable.
That’s not true. European powers remained neutral. Gave both sides Belligerent status. The Union had no particular favor. Lincoln specifically stated the war was over Union, not Slavery.

Why don’t you give us a source that states Europeans considered the Confederacy illegitimate and unjustified.
 

uaskme

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But did it really require a Constitutional amendment? Could it have been abolished by simple congressional legislation if the congress had eventually become anti-slavery enough?

Lincoln didn't consider the executive had the power to completely abolish slavery, but what specifically in the Constitution "protected slavery nationally" from abolition by congress? That's what I was asking. Where in the Constitution does it explicitly protect the institution of slavery?

The FSL doesn't. That only enforces cooperation concerning fugitives from slavery. It doesn't prohibit Congress from abolishing slavery. I know Taney's awful overreach in Dred Scott tried to strip Congress from any power over slavery, but what specifically in the Constitution backs up his interpretation?

Posters all the time claim that there is nothing in the Constitution explicitly forbidding secession. So where in the Constitution does it explicitly protect the institution of slavery nationally, as stated by a poster earlier?
Explain to us why Lincoln, the President thought he needed the 13th A to alter the Constitution if he didn’t think the Constitution protected Slavery. He knew the EP was just a word game. Which explicitly didn’t apply to the Federal controlled portions of the States. Lincoln feared a court would uphold slavery and denounce his EP as unconstitutional.

Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens and all the Radicals thought Slavery was a States Right and protected in the Construction. Slavery wasn’t Nationally protected. The reason the Federals could control it in the Territories. Which weren’t States.
 
That’s not true. European powers remained neutral. Gave both sides Belligerent status. The Union had no particular favor. Lincoln specifically stated the war was over Union, not Slavery.

Why don’t you give us a source that states Europeans considered the Confederacy illegitimate and unjustified.

Belligerent status does not bestow legitimacy on a wannabe country. It's easier for you to tell us what countries considered the Confederacy "legitimate." Just provide the name of those countries that extended diplomatic recognition.
 
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