-- Political Quotations on Slavery

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unionblue

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In a letter to his wife, dated March 27, 1863, US Sergeant Eli K. Pickett said,

"I have never been in favor of the abolition of slavery until since this war has detirmend me in the conviction that it is a greater sin than our Government is able to stand...It is opposed to the Spirit of the age--and in my opinion this Rebellion is but the death struggle of the overgrown monster."

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unionblue

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In a recent battle fell a secession colonel, the last remaining son of his mother, and she a widow. That mother had sold eleven children of an old slave mother, her servant.

That servant went to her and said,

"Missis, we even now. You sold all my children. God took all yourn. Not one to bury either of us. Now I forgive you."

--Atlantic Monthly, January 1863.

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unionblue

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"Heartily do we congratulate you and your country on this humane and righteous course. We assume that you cannot now stop short of a complete uprooting of slavery."

From the Workingmen of Manchester, England, open declaration to Abraham Lincoln, December 31, 1862, in response to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

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ole

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"Missis, we even now. You sold all my children. God took all yourn. Not one to bury either of us. Now I forgive you."
I don't know if I've ever read anything quite so moving. Maybe it's the hour. Maybe it's the coffee. Doesn't matter. Thank you.

Ole
 

unionblue

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"The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United States will have to be attributed to slavery."


General Grant, from his memoirs.

Unionblue
 
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larry_cockerham

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Sir, you continue to champion this one point above all others, somewhat to your credit. However, let it not be forgotten in the meantime, that what caused the war (the greed resulting from profits from the institution of slavery, and thereby slavery itself) was not why the southern soldier went to war.
 

unionblue

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Larry,

It is my view, that the soldiers should speak for themselves.

"It is very certain that the immediate cause of the political agitation which culminated in the dissolution of the Union was the institution of slavery." "There can be no doubt," he wrote, "that the Southern people" were "fighting to maintain slavery or prevent its overthrow by the hands of their enemies."
General Robert E. Lee's aide-de-camp, Col. Charles Marshall, in his memoirs.

Not all Southern soldiers fought the war for the cause of slavery.

But to make the claim "slavery was not why the southern soldier went to war" is to give an impression that no southern soldier went to war over the issue of slavery.

And that is simply not correct.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Bobbie

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"There is not a single redeeming feature in the picture of ruin which stares us in the face, if we permit ourselves to be conquered. It is a night of thick darkness that will settle upon us. Even sympathy, the last solace of the afflicted, will be denied to us.The civilized world will look coldly upon us, or even jeer us with the taunt that we have deservedly lost our own freedom in seeking to perpetuate the slavery of others. We shall perish under a cloud of reproach and of unjust suspicions, sedulously propagated by our enemies, which will be harder to bear than the loss of home and of goods.
Such a fate never overtook any people before."


James Henley Thornwell
 
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Bobbie

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"Negro slavery is the only rope by which the devil holds the American people."

Gustav Körner, Judge of the Supreme Court of Illinois (1845-1851), lieutenant-governor of Illinois (1853-1857).
 
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In a recent battle fell a secession colonel, the last remaining son of his mother, and she a widow. That mother had sold eleven children of an old slave mother, her servant.

That servant went to her and said,

"Missis, we even now. You sold all my children. God took all yourn. Not one to bury either of us. Now I forgive you."

--Atlantic Monthly, January 1863.

I have to agree with Ole, that this is one of the saddest things I have ever read. This grips my heart, no matter what hour.
Respectfully,
Hardtack Baker (Mrs. McNamara, Minnesota frontier)
 

unionblue

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"What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? This reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction, a deep conviction on the part of Georgia, that a separation from the North - was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery." -- Henry Benning of Georgia.


http://civilwarcauses.org/benningva.htm
 
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unionblue

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"The bloody conflict between brothers, is closed, and we "come to bury Caesar, not to praise him." The South had $2,000,000,000 invested in Slaves. It was very natural that they should desire to protect, and not lose this amount of property. Their action in this effort, resulted in War. There was no desire to dissolve the Union, but to protect this property. The issue was made and it is decided."

Sterling Cockrill, Alabama planter, in a letter to President Andrew Johnson, September 18, 1865.
 
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unionblue

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"When I say that this rebellion has its source and life in slavery, I only repeat a simple truism."

US Congressman George W. Julian, in a speech to the House of Representatives, January 14, 1862.
 

unionblue

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"The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution--African slavery as it exists amongst us--the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution."

Alexander H. Stephens, vice-president of the Confederate States, March 21, 1861.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Part of an Otto Von Bismark conversation, June 1878, Ulysses Grant discussing the reasons behind the American Civil War.

"I suppose, however, the Union was the real sentiment, the dominant sentiment," said Prince Bismark.

"In the beginning, yes," said the General; "but as soon as slavery fired upon the flag it was felt, we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle."
 
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unionblue

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"Either [Lee] knew what slavery meant when he helped maim and murder thousands in its defense or he did not."

--W. E. B. Du Bois on Robert E. Lee from an essay on Lee (1928).
 

godofredus

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Thank you UnionBlue for grouping these quotes. There are (I know) many many more but few as pithy.
 
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