Oops, big lump of your posts....

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thomas aagaard

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Not being convicted of anything makes one a God? We have alot of gods then.

In our legal system one is innocent until proven guilty, so as far as our legal system is concerned he is innocent, If one respects our legal values he also would considered innocent.
Edited.

How about the cases where a person was found guilty of something they did clearly not do.
(be that in the south or in a dictatorship somewhere at some point in history)
Should we still call them criminals if it is clear that it was a deliberate Miscarriage of justice?


I fully agree that a person should be considered innocent until proved guilty.

But we as (amateur) historians also have the right to try judge if a person actually did something or not based on the historical evidence. Especially in a situation where a fair and unbiased trail was impossible.


"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted."


Lee clearly levied war on the USA... So any defense would point to the core question is -
Was he a US citizen when he did that or not when he did it?

And to answer that we need a ruling on the legality of the Virginia session.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
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Lee clearly levied war on the USA... So any defense would point to the core question is -
Was he a US citizen when he did that or not when he did it?
I think that's the core issue here, yes. It's the sequence of events.

And to answer that we need a ruling on the legality of the Virginia session.
I think there's a consistent argument that the question of whether secession was legal or not was unresolved at the time and that a case could certainly be made that Robert E. Lee considered himself to be not a US Citizen at the time.

The odd thing about it is that it's accepted that a successful secession is legal (or at least the secession of the Colonies to form the United States is considered to have legal force) but a failed one is not so accepted.
This leads to the odd interpretation that the worse someone is at fighting against the United States the more illegal it is - or, at least, the more likely it is to be considered illegal...
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
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Lee clearly levied war on the USA... So any defense would point to the core question is -
Was he a US citizen when he did that or not when he did it?

And to answer that we need a ruling on the legality of the Virginia session.

That's the exact issue. However, the US clarified the matter by accepting his effective renounciation of US citizenship, and by treating the 11 rebel states as occupied territories (which de facto accepted that they had legally seceded). This caused an immediate legal bind - if Lee and the other 13 selected to be tried for treason weren't citizens, then they could not be traitors. For two years they debated whether an interpretation could be found to allow at least Jeff Davis to be tried for treason, but they couldn't find one.

Lee died without US citizenship, and without such the law did not allow for him to be a traitor.
 

Viper21

Brigadier General
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What was outlaw about the VA Govt? They voted against secession until after the war commenced.
The outlaw Govt of VA, was the one that didn't represent the people of VA, & stole 50 counties unconstitutionally, & formed West Virginia, with the consent of Honest Abe.
 

Viper21

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I don't have a link but...

From the Proceedings the of Virginia State Convention of 1861, Volume I, February 13 - March 16, Twenty-First Day, Saturday, March 9, pp. 524-528:

"The grievances for which several of the States have withdrawn from the Union and overthrown the Federal Government within their limits, are such as have affected the people of Virginia to a greater extent than any of the seceded States, and it is their determined purpose to require such guarantees for the protection of the rights of the people of the slaveholding States as in the judgment of Virginia will be sufficient for the accomplishment of that object.

Virginia having initiated measures to obtain such guarantees, a proper self-respect impels her to demand of all the parties that they shall refrain, during the pendency of her efforts for amicable adjustment, from all action tending to produce a collision of forces; therefore,

1. be it Resolved and declared by the people of the State of Virginia, in Convention assembled, that the States which composed the United States of America, when the Federal Constitution was formed, were independent sovereignties, and in adopting that instrument the people of each State agreed to associate with the people of the other States, upon a feeling of exact equality. It is the duty, therefore, of the common Government to respect the rights of the States and the equality of the people thereof, and within the just limits of the Constitution to protect with equal care the great interests that spring from the institutions of each.

2. African slavery is a vital part of the social system of the States wherein it exists, and as that form of servitude existed when the Union was formed, and the jurisdiction of the several States over it within their respective limits was recognized by the Constitution, any interference to its prejudice by the Federal authority, or by the authorities of the other States, or by the people thereof, is in derogation from right, contrary to the Constitution, offensive and dangerous.

3. the choice of functionaries of a common Government, established for the common good for the reason that they entertan opinions and avow purposes hostile to the institutions of some of the States, necessarily excluded the people of one section from participation in the administration of the Government, subjects the weaker to the domination of the stronger section, leads to abuse, and is incompatible with the safety of those whose interests are imperillied; the formation therefore, of geographical or sectional parties in respect to Federal polities is contrary to the principles on which our system res and tends to its overthrow.

4. the Territories of the United States constitute a trust to be administered by the General Government, for the common benefit of the people of the United States, and any policy in respect to such Territories calculated to confer greater benefits on the people of one part of the United States than on the people of another part, is contrary to equality, and prejudicial to the rights of some for whose equal benefit the trust was created. If the equal admission of slave labor and free labor into any Territory, excites unfriendly conflict between the systems, a fair partition of the Territories ought to be made between them, and each system ought to be protected within the limits assigned to it, by the laws necessary for its proper development.

5. the sites of the Federal forts, arsenals, &c., within the limits of the States of this Union, were acquired by the Federal Government, and jurisdiction over them ceded by the States, as trusts, for the common purposes of the Union, during its continuance; and upon the separation of the States, such jurisdiction reverts of right to the States, respectively, by which the jurisdiction was ceded. Whilst a State remains in the Union, the legitimate use of such forts, &c., is to protect the country against foreign force, and to aid in suppressing domestic insurrection. To use, or prepare them to be used to intimidate a State, or constrain its free action, is a perversion of the purposes for which they were obtained; they were not intended to be used against the States, in whose limits they are found, in the event of civil war. In a time, of profound peace with foreign nations, such as now exists, and when no symptoms of domestic insurrection appear — but whilst irritating questions of the deepest importance are pending the States--to accumulate within the limits of a State, interested in such question an unusual amount of troops and munitions of war, not required for any legitimate purpose, in unwise impolitic and offensive.

6. Deeply deploring the present distracted condition of the country, and lamenting the wrongs that have impelled some of the States to cast off obedience to the Federal Government, but sensible of the blessings of Union, and impressed with its importance to the peace, prosperity and progress of the people, we indulge the hope that an adjustment may be reached by which the Union may be preserved in its integrity, and peace, prosperity and fraternal feelings be restored throughout the land.

7. to remove the existing causes of complaint much may be accomplished by the Federal and State Governments; the laws for the rendition of fugitives from labor and of fugitives from justice may be made, more effectual, the expenditures of the Government may be reduced within more moderate limits, and the abuses that have enfered into the administrative departments reformed.--the State authorities may repeal their unfriendly and unconstitutional legislations, and substitute in its stead such as becomes the comity and is due to the rights of the States of the same Union. But to restore the Union and preserve confidence the Federal Constitution should be amended in those particulars wherein experience has exhibited detects and discovered approaches dangerous to the institutions of some of the States.

8. the people of Virginia recognize the American principle that Government is founded in the consent of the governed, and they concede the right of the people of the several States of this Union, for just causes, to withdraw from their association under the Federal Government with the people of the other States, and to erect new Governments for their better security, and they will never consent that the Federal power, which is in part their power, shall be exerted for the purpose of subjugating the people of such States to the Federal authority.

9. the exercise of this right by the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, without the assent of the other states, has given rise to new conditions, and presented questions touching those conditions intimately affecting the rights and safety of the other States. Among these are the free navigation of the Mississippi River, the maintenance of the forts intended to protect the commerce of the Gulf of Mexico, and the power to resire in smuggling along the interior borders of the seceded States; but the Federal authorities, under the Constitution as it is, disclaim power to recognize the withdrawal of any State from the Union and consequently to deal with these questions, holding that it is reserved only to the States as parties to the Government compact to take lawful action touching them.

10. without expressing an opinion as to the question of power, but in deference to the opinion of the Federal authorities, the people of Virginia hereby declare their desire to confer upon the Government of the United States the powers necessary to enable its proper authorities to deal peaceably with these questions, and, if it shall become necessary to recognize the separate independence of the seceding States, and to make such treaties with them, and to pass such laws as the separation may make proper.

11. this Convention, composed of delegates elected by the people in disticts, for the purpose of considering the existing difficulties in our Federal Relations, represents the desire and earnest request of the people of Virginia, to meet as directly as possible the people of her sister States, and to them appeal for satisfactory adjustment.--Virginia, therefore, requests the people of the several States, either by popular vote, or in Convention similar to her own, to respond, at their earliest convenience, to the positions assumed in the foregoing resolutions, and the proposed amendments to the Constitution of the United States hereunto appended. And in the event that this Commonwealth fails to obtain satisfactory responses to her requests, from the non-slaveholding States, she will fell compelled to resume the powers granted by her under the Constitution of the U. States, and to throw herself upon her reserved rights.

12. the people of Virginia will await any reasonable time to obtain answers from the other States, to these propositions, aware of the embarrassments that may produce delay, but they will expect, as an indispensable condition, that a pacific policy shall be adopted towards the seceded States, and that no attempt be made to subject them to the Federal authority, nor to reinforce the forts now in possession of the military forces of the United States, or re-capture the forts, arsenals, or other property of the United States within their limits, nor to exact the payment of imposts upon their commerce; nor any measure resorted to justly calculated to provoke hostile collision.

13. in the opinion of this Convention, the people of Virginia would regard any action of the Federal Government, tending to produce a collision of forces, pending negotiations for the adjustment of existing difficulties as aggressive and injurious to the interests, and offensive to the honor of this Commonwealth; and they would regard any such action on the part of the seceded or confederated States as hurtful and unfriendly, and as leaving them free to determine their future policy.

14. the peculiar Relations of the States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas to the other States, make it proper, in the judgment of this Convention, that the former States should consult together and concert such measures for their final action as the honor, the interests and the safety of the people thereof may demand, and for that purpose the proper authorities of those States are requested to appoint Commissioners to meet Commissioners to be appointed by this Convention on behalf of the people of this State, at Frankfort, in the State of Kentucky, on the last Monday in May next."

Edit to add my comment:

On March 9, 1861 the Virginia Convention proposed the following ultimatum that was to be made upon the Federal government. If the ultimatum was not accepted, Virginia would then secede. On April 13th, before the Convention had ended and the ultimatum could be served, the delegates found out that Ft. Sumter had been attacked. The Convention continued to finalize some fine points in the ultimatum as well as a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution until word arrived on April 15th, that Lincoln had called for 75,000 volunteer troops to put down the rebellion. On April 16th, the Convention met in secret session and voted on the following day to secede from the Union.
Yet, the timeline never changes. It is historical fact. Virginia voted against secession nearly a month after this proposal, on 4 April '61. The vote wasn't close.

While there is no debate, these issues were on Virginian's minds, they alone, regardless of rhetoric, were not enough to get Virginia to secede.

It isn't until war is a reality, & Lincolns intentions confirmed, before Virginia ultimately votes to leave the Union on 17 April '61. Under these circumstances, the populace of Virginia, overwhelmingly confirms the decision of the delegates, in a referendum 23 May '61 by a vote of 132,201 to 37,451.
 

Stone in the wall

2nd Lieutenant
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Location
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Arthur Boreman was nominated and ran unopposed.

There was no directive whatsoever that "no one was allowed" to run against him. Why fabricate that there was?

Golly at least get a dead guy's name close to right before slurring him. It's very evident how committed Boreman was to the folks of western Virginia. Clue: there was not a long election cycle here, so of course Boreman was a shoe-in. There was nothing shady about it.
As you have noticed my spelling and grammar are not always perfect, and not likely to get any better. Didn't slur Boreman only the election.
 

Viper21

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No. Only the bogus governor Pierpont
I've always been shocked that, so many won't acknowledge the shady shenanigans that put WV into the Union.

Reluctant is a good word. It accurately describes Virginia's decision to secede in my opinion. Not so coincidentally, it is also my opinion that, nobody suffered more from the war, than Virginia. Losing 50 counties, tens of thousands of sons/brothers/husbands/fathers, countless others maimed, areas that suffered complete devastation, many left starving, & hopeless. How long did it take for Virginia to recover..? A hundred years..?

Yes. Virginia suffered tremendously as a result of her quest for Independence. She was wise to be reluctant, & carefully weigh the decision. It's always easy after the fact but, looking at the result/s, it becomes easy to understand why so many Virginians, especially those descended from Virginians of the period, have the reverence they do for their ancestors. It's not difficult to understand how the monuments to the dead rose. It's not difficult to understand why many of us are reluctant to quietly let Virginia's monuments disappear into the night.

The history, & evidence of it, is all around us. You can hardly walk anywhere in Virginia without stepping on hallowed ground, or close to it. I hope the monuments to our Grandfathers, Uncles, Brothers, Sons, Husbands, & others remain. Lest We Forget.....
 

johan_steele

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Ladies and Gentlemen. A forum host has requested that you stay on topic and you have ignored him. Let me remind you that you are all guests in another mans house. Act like it. Be polite and respectful and treat others as you wish to be treated. Try to burn the place down and you will be tossed out on your delicate derriere.

As a moderator I would rather read and post than look at reported posts. You can shape up, leave or be tossed out the door. The choice is yours.
 

Carronade

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Location
Pennsylvania
Thanks for your post. I assume you know many people had been reading secessionist provocateurs for the entire decade 1850-1860. Was it your intent to omit these debaters for independence?

If you mean people had thought about secession before 1860, of course they had, and they were thinking about it because of slavery. While the debate intensified in the 1850s, it had been ongoing almost from the creation of the Union, and many people feared or predicted that slavery would be the irreconcilable issue that would tear the Union apart.
 

demiurge

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Gov. Letcher's response that I quoted was from April 16, 1861 which was three months after the address that you referred to. Letcher's comments were a response to Lincoln's call for troops and they reflected Virginia's attitude against the power of the federal government to conduct war against the states.

Precipitated over the crisis over a fair election and the fear of the Southern states over what that meant to slavery. Letcher as already quoted believed the entire issue to be over slavery, and had made clear that he believed Virginia to be aligned with the slave states - as ALL of his suggestions were to address the South's concerns over slavery, and ALL of the issues the commissioners to Lincoln were concessions by the Federal government, including all of the issues over which the coming war was to be fought!

Then, when South Carolina launched their 2nd unprovoked attack on US soldiers in Charleston, they acted as if the Federal government were the aggressors. Did Virginia not oppose insurrection within it's own borders? We know the answer to that, what's more we know they had no qualms relying on Federal troops to put down those insurrections.

The slave power in the state was what determined it's politics - just like every other state where more than 20% of families owned slaves.

To say that this was simply about coercion without understanding the underlying reasons that came to be is in my opinion myopic.
 
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19thGeorgia

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Its not when human rights are concerned. Not when someone in any post claims that black people were "supposedly terrorized" after the civil war! Then its your duty to respond!
Millions of blacks did move out if the South. On the other hand why was it necessary for Southern whites to terrorize black people for so long?
Leftyhunter
This terrorism wasn't reserved to Southern whites. Union Leagues were not angels. Radical politicians were calling for the extermination of their political enemies - Southern whites.
 
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demiurge

Sergeant
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That's the exact issue. However, the US clarified the matter by accepting his effective renounciation of US citizenship, and by treating the 11 rebel states as occupied territories (which de facto accepted that they had legally seceded). This caused an immediate legal bind - if Lee and the other 13 selected to be tried for treason weren't citizens, then they could not be traitors. For two years they debated whether an interpretation could be found to allow at least Jeff Davis to be tried for treason, but they couldn't find one.

Lee died without US citizenship, and without such the law did not allow for him to be a traitor.

Not necessarily. There's several ways to lose your citizenship.

One of them is to commit treason.

The question would be what the legal status of the rebellion was, and why they lost their citizenship in the first place.

If it was because they were members of another country, then yes, you are correct.

If it was because they were in open rebellion, then no. You can't claim you didn't commit treason because you waged war against your country. :D

Johnson's pardon in 1868 was for the crime of treason:

“unconditionally, and without reservation ... a full pardon and amnesty for the offence [sic] of treason against the United States, or of adhering to their enemies during the late Civil War, with restoration of all rights, privileges, and immunities under the Constitution and the laws.”

This is consistent with the US' legal reasoning that the CSA was never a foreign country, and that unilateral secession was not legal, the entire basis Lincoln put forth for the war.
 

leftyhunter

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This terrorism wasn't reserved to Southern whites. Union Leagues were not angels. Radical politicians were calling for the extermination of their political enemies - Southern whites.
If you can post documents from the Union League supporting that would be great. That still doesn't justify suppressing black voters simply on the basis of race.
Leftyhunter
 

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.
 

demiurge

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Laws were put in place to tie blacks to the land and force share cropping.

When these laws were weakened, yes, millions of blacks did leave the South. Around 6 million, known as the Great Migration, starting in 1916.
 

demiurge

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I share a similar view, that the CSA did exist as a political entity. That is, it built a funcitoning government, a political system, an army, a navy, etc. So, in my view, it existed as a country, albeit for a relatively short period of time.

I agree that the CSA was not formally recognised by international powers (particularly the ones that really mattered at the time) but for me I'm not sure how relevant this is to the topic at hand. What I mean by this is that if the CSA had won the war and gained its independence, international recognition would, very likely, have followed. I believe that formal recognition and support were not going to come unless the CSA won the war first.

If you wanted to be very technical about what the CSA was, it might be called a "region in revolt". But, I don't think this is immensely accurate as the political/national system the CSA built was quite sophisticated.

So in my opinion, for as long as it lasted, it was a nation.

Actually, I think the lack of recognition is what explicitly doomed it, so it's very relevant to it's status as a political entity or a nation.

The Colonies, despite our constant propaganda on the issue, would not have succeeded in the Revolutionary War without massive support from France, and a lesser amount from Spain. This is one of the reasons why there isn't just a single box to check to see if you are a nation - the US may have lost New York as the Confederacy did New Orleans, but diplomatic ties with other nations were key to securing victory.

One of the major calculations of the CSA was the fact that the European powers would have to intervene in order to secure the cotton for their textile mills.

If they had, even just to break the blockade, that's a very big difference in the outcome of the war.

While I certainly see your point that if you lived in the CSA you no doubt viewed it as your country, and I agree that the political system was sophisticated (though flawed, and that ultimately was another of the reasons they didn't prevail), I take the view that region in revolt is more accurate, because it never could provide stability to its borders. You can do that even if you are at war. In two years, the revolt's territory was cut in two.
 
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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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I'll tell you exactly and precisely what I want to tell you, every day of the week and twice on Sunday. And your "point" about the slave-owners rebellion of 1776 is laughable. Laff. Ugh. Bull. Name one well respected pre-861 constitutional scholar who said the president had the right to suspend habeas. Laughable. Laff. Ugh. Bull.
I already posted the article as did @jgoodguy .
Leftyhunter
 
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