"Southern Commercial Convention" -What a fraud to claim this represents the South

Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,813
#1
"The opposition by persistently quoting every...expression of the fire-eating press of the South, and by republishing the local resolutions of public meetings of the same character, keep up the idea that such is public opinion there, and thus foster these sectional prejudices from which both parts of the union are now suffering. Very many at the North, who have the opportunity of reading but one side, actually believe that the noisy zeal displayed by the turbulent spirits who now and then hold conventions to consider the condition of the Southern States, are a reflex of public sentiment at the South...

...The recent convention held at Vicksburg, which is cited as evidence of public sentiment meets with the most determined opposition at home. We quote from several of the most influential papers of the South, the expression upon this subject:
....

From the Mobile (Ala.) Advertiser.

The self-styled 'Southern Convention,' now in session at Vicksburg, seems to have been mainly engrossed with discussions upon the chimerical and ruinous project, the special bantling [bastard] of a Mr. Spratt of South Carolina, which occupied so much of the time to so little valuable purpose of previous Conventions. According to the astute and enterprising gentlemen who are amusing themselves and trying to startle the country at Vicksburg, the revival of the African slave trade is the grand panacea for Southern wrongs and ills--the one thing wanting to elevate the South to the loftiest pinnacle of human power and influence....
With one or two exceptions we discover the name of no man of much distinction or influence at the South among the delegates to the Convention, most of whom hail from Mississippi.

From the Savannah (Ga.) Republican.

Only 81 [88] delegates attended the Convention at Vicksburg, Miss., and 55 of them were from the State where the Convention was holden. Rather a slim turn out. The following is the numerical representation of each State: Mississippi, 55; Texas, 1; South Carolina, 11; Georgia, 9; Tennessee, 4; Alabama, 1; Louisiana, 5; Florida, 1; and Kansas 1.
....

From The Charleton (S.C.) News

It is stated that the Southern Commercial Convention at Vicksburgh has adopted a resolution that the laws prohibiting slave trade should be abolished. That this is also meant to recommend the actual opening of the trade does not appear, but is to be inferred. It is to be presumed that the laws referred to are those of Congress. But nearly all the Southern States, ten at least, have laws against the introduction of African negroes. That these laws, Federal or State, will ever be abolished cannot be anticipated. This action of the Convention then is but another indication of the folly of these irregular and windy bodies....few beside the slave trade agitators take now any interest in their meetings or constituency...

From the New Orleans Picayune.

It is a consolation to know that it is likely to have little or no effect upon the public mind in the slave States. These States are but partially represented, and in some instances the States nominally in the Convention have only one delegate.

It is a very good escape valve for impracticable politicians, and a report of its doing is only important as showing the Quixotism of a few Southern men.

The Weekly Wisconsin Patriot (Madison), 11 June 1859

~

"The following were among the toasts at the 4th of July celebration in Chester, S.C.:

'The Southern Commercial Convention--A misnomer--a perversion of terms. We regard it as a humbug and a nuisance.'

Banner of Liberty (Middletown, N.Y.), 20 July 1859

~

"There is one feature in these conventions which satisfies me that they do not reflect the popular sentiment, and that is the monotonous character of their composition. From their inception down to the present time they are made up of almost the same elements. I have recognized at the last Convention almost the same class of men who attended the Memphis and Charleston Conventions several years ago, and their attendance at all the intervening assemblages of this character has been uniform and unfailing. The only marked changes I have observed in the late Convention is the falling off in numbers, the class of men who continue to attend being almost the same I have seen in the palmier days of these now almost-defunct Conventions. I take it, therefore, that these men constitute the main forces of the disunionists in their respective localities....There is evidently not enough of this class of men to admit of rotation in the selection, and hence this monotony in the character and caste of the elements which compose these Conventions."

New York Times, 26 May 1858

~

"The next Southern Commercial Convention, does not promise to amount to much. We see it stated that the Governors of Louisiana and Georgia have refused to appoint delegates to the Convention; and many of the southern papers pronounce it a humbug and a farce."

Weekly Gazette and Free Press (Janesville, Wisconsin), 20 May 1859

 

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,336
#2
Battalion,

The first Southern Commercial Convention was held in 1837; the last one before the Civil War was held in 1859, with another scheduled for 1860 but cancelled because of the uproar of the election and secession. Between 1837 and 1859, fourteen such conventions were held. They were held annually from 1853-1859, and usually lasted a week or so.

They dealt with a wide variety of topics. Do you know what they were? Do you understand the importance these topics had to Southerners? Do you realize why they were covered so extensively and discussed avidly throughout the South? If not, why not?

The means of selecting delegates changed over the years. Not all states attended in all years. But by 1858, the means of selecting delegates had been formalized and specific. Do you know what it was? If so, please describe it for us and discuss your point about delegates in relation to it.

While I personally don't regard many of the delegates well, I also note that they included many of the same Fire-Eaters who led the splitting of the Democrat Party in Charleston in 1860 at Charleston, the secession of the South, the formation of the Confederacy, and the movement to the Civil War. Clearly, subsequent events proved many of the snippets you just posted were wrong to heap scorn on what those people were saying and to dismiss their importance as a representation of Southern feeling and opinion so cavalierly. But they at least had the excuse of not knowing what would actually happen. You have no such excuse, and your use of them here is just more misdirection and deception.

The issues being discussed so avidly at these conventions are the same ones *you* try to throw up to show that secession was about something other than slavery. You cannot have it both ways: either they were important and representative when they were discussed at the conventions, or they were not. If not, you must also throw out your own arguments about "money" and "tariffs" and many other things as being unimportant and unrepresentative of Southern opinion before the Civil War. Choose one and tell us which it is.

Tim
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,813
#3
Attendance
1855 New Orleans………...120…………….……….……...10 states
1859 Vicksburg……………..88 (55 from one state)…………9 states (including Kansas)

“The only marked changes I have observed in the late Convention is the falling off in numbers, the class of men who continue to attend being almost the same I have seen in the palmier days of these now almost-defunct Conventions.” –New York Times (1858)

"It is a consolation to know that it is likely to have little or no effect upon the public mind in the slave States. These States are but partially represented, and in some instances the States nominally in the Convention have only one delegate." -NewOrleans Picayune (1859)

"With one or two exceptions we discover the name of no man of much distinction or influence at the South among the delegates to the Convention, most of whom hail from Mississippi." -Mobile Advertiser (1859)


It's a fraud to claim this is representative of the South.
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,336
#4
Battalion said:
...
It's a fraud to claim this is representative of the South.
Unfortunately, the topics discussed at the conventions, widely publicized and repeated in newspaper accounts, turn out to be the same ones used in secessionist arguments -- the same ones *you* have advanced in claiming the secession was about something other than slavery in many cases. Is that what you are trying to say? It is the obvious conclusion, and you will not answer direct questions.

ONCE AGAIN: The issues being discussed so avidly at these conventions are the same ones *you* try to throw up to show that secession was about something other than slavery. You cannot have it both ways: either they were important and representative when they were discussed at the conventions, or they were not. If not, you must also throw out your own arguments about "money" and "tariffs" and many other things as being unimportant and unrepresentative of Southern opinion before the Civil War. Choose one and tell us which it is.

Tim
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,813
#5
trice said:
The first Southern Commercial Convention was held in 1837; the last one before the Civil War was held in 1859, with another scheduled for 1860 but cancelled because of the uproar of the election and secession. Between 1837 and 1859, fourteen such conventions were held. They were held annually from 1853-1859, and usually lasted a week or so.

They dealt with a wide variety of topics. Do you know what they were? Do you understand the importance these topics had to Southerners? Do you realize why they were covered so extensively and discussed avidly throughout the South? If not, why not?
You and others did not bring this subject up to discuss railroads...but slavery and claiming it represents the South's view on the subject. It's a fraud. Why can't you admit it?

trice said:
The means of selecting delegates changed over the years. Not all states attended in all years. But by 1858, the means of selecting delegates had been formalized and specific. Do you know what it was? If so, please describe it for us and discuss your point about delegates in relation to it.
Looks like this "formalized selection" was based on whoever bothered to show up-

"Mississippi, 55; Texas, 1; South Carolina, 11; Georgia, 9; Tennessee, 4; Alabama, 1; Louisiana, 5; Florida, 1; and Kansas 1." (1859)
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,336
#6
trice said:
The means of selecting delegates changed over the years. Not all states attended in all years. But by 1858, the means of selecting delegates had been formalized and specific. Do you know what it was? If so, please describe it for us and discuss your point about delegates in relation to it.
Battalion said:
Looks like this "formalized selection" was based on whoever bothered to show up-

"Mississippi, 55; Texas, 1; South Carolina, 11; Georgia, 9; Tennessee, 4; Alabama, 1; Louisiana, 5; Florida, 1; and Kansas 1." (1859)
Please answer the question: The means of selecting delegates changed over the years. Not all states attended in all years. But by 1858, the means of selecting delegates had been formalized and specific. Do you know what it was? If so, please describe it for us and discuss your point about delegates in relation to it.

If you don't know, just say so.

Tim
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,336
#7
Battalion said:
You and others did not bring this subject up to discuss railroads...but slavery and claiming it represents the South's view on the subject. It's a fraud. Why can't you admit it?
Actually, Battalion, the entire "fraud" subject about Southern Commercial Conventions was invented by you. No one else brought it up. If there is a fraud here ...

Many subjects were discussed at these conventions, because their purpose was to address what Southerners saw as the shifting balance of the economy in favor of the North -- and how they could change that. RRs were a major issue within that, particularly the transcontinental RR, which is why it was discussed throughout the 1850s at these conventions. (The actual plan put forward looks like it would be a failure, but then I assume they would have modified it if it became a reality. It is very similar to what Jefferson Davis was backing in the War Department and later in the Senate during the 1850s, and the reason for the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico.)

That RR plan was also essential to plans for the expansion of slavery into the Southwest and California, and was tied in to expansion into parts of Mexico. These were major issues for Southerners in those days -- or do you deny that as well? If so, why?

Many other issues (including, for example, tariffs, the repeal of Fishing Bounties, etc.) associated with secessionists were serious topics at various conventions. Are you saying that all the rhetoric you put out on such topics being the reason for secession are all a fraud? That these discussions are not representative of ante-bellum Southern interests? If so, please reply clearly and explicitly so we will know where you stand. Do not post another useless evasion; answer the question.

Tim
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,813
#8
trice (previous posts) said:
In addition, the Southern Commercial Convention (the biggest annual meeting in the South) had become a major political meeting by the 1850s.
It was political alright...but to describe it as a "major" and the "biggest annual meeting in the South" are gross exaggerations.

You are simply doing the same thing the Republicans and Abolitionists of the North did in the 1850s by playing up the importance of the meetings. They for political capital, you for debating points.

trice (previous) said:
The re-opening of the slave trade was an annual debate there, with committees established to make proposals on the matter. In 1858, there was a famous debate on the matter in front of a packed crowd in the convention hall (actually a warehouse used for the occasion) between Yancey of AL and Pryor of VA, both Fire-Eaters. They were appointed to the reopen-the-Atlantic-slave-trade study commission by the previous year's Convention. Spratt was chairman of the Committee. The motion to petition for the re-opening was turned down that year, but brought up again in 1859 and passed.
It appears the passage of Spratt's proposal was due to the growing disinterest and disgust of the proceedings of the conventions.

In 1859 the Convention became a meeting of a fringe group within a minority political faction of the South.

Even then Spratt's "bantling" received only 50% of the votes of the delegates (vote: 44-19).

Convention.........................."Delegates"........Spratt proposal
1858, Montgomery, Ala..............300+..............voted down
1859, Vicksburg, Miss..................88................passed

"The next Southern Commercial Convention, does not promise to amount to much....many of the southern papers pronounce it a humbug and a farce."

Weekly Gazette and Free Press (Janesville, Wisconsin), 20 May 1859
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,336
#9
Battalion said:
It was political alright...but to describe it as a "major" and the "biggest annual meeting in the South" are gross exaggerations.
OK. Either you are just making loud noises, or you have some facts here. What other regional meetings in the South do *you* say were more major or bigger? If you have none, doesn't that say I am right and you should admit it?

Battalion said:
You are simply doing the same thing the Republicans and Abolitionists of the North did in the 1850s by playing up the importance of the meetings. They for political capital, you for debating points.
Nope. The Southern Commercial Conventions were big because Southerners, in general, thought they were important. I simply don't care about debating points. I am much more concerned with developing an accurate understanding of how Southerners thought and acted, while you ... don't seem to care about that.

Battalion said:
It appears the passage of Spratt's proposal was due to the growing disinterest and disgust of the proceedings of the conventions.
Balderdash. Rather than make wild claims, show proof ... assuming you have any.

Battalion said:
In 1859 the Convention became a meeting of a fringe group within a minority political faction of the South.
Funny. Lots of the delegates at the conventions were elected politicians with a great deal of support. Even ones you probably haven't heard of, like David Hubbard.

He was a delegate at the 1857 and 1859 conventions. He was twice elected to the US House of Representatives (1839-41 and 1849-51) while losing 3 times; served in the AL legislature most of that time when not in Congress from 1831 to 1859; was an Elector for Breckinridge and Lane; then was a member of the Confederate Congress from TN, before becoming the Confederate Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He was definitely a Democrat and a Fire-Eater -- but that was exactly the class of men who led the South into secession and civil war.

Yancey of AL (another former US Congressman who later served in the Confederate Congress) would have been at the 1859 convention (as he had been before this), but he was ill for months and unable to attend, so he contributed editorials instead. When he recovered, he was selected to head the Alabama contingent at the Democratic Convention in South Carolina based on the "Alabama Platform" (gee, a strong pro-slavery platform). There, Yancey led the stalemate and walkout that split the Democratic Party and threw the election to the Republicans.

Speaking in 1858 at the Southern Commercial Convention on the re-opening of the Atlantic slave trade (he was appointed a member of the committee to study the question at the 1857 convention), Yancey said:
"If slavery is right per se, if it is right to raise slaves for sale, does it not appear that it is right to import them?
"Let us then wipe from our statute book this mark of Cain which our enemies have placed there.
"We want negroes [sic] cheap, and we want a sufficiency of them, so as to supply the cotton demand of the whole world."

Sounds like a powerful Southern leader, a widely renowned orator, and an influential man. Most regard him as one of the two most important leaders of the Fire-Eaters. You seem to be saying men like these were "a fringe group within a minority political faction of the South". Southerners/Confederates seem to think they were important men who should be part of their national government. Please explain why you differ from the Southern voters of AL and TN.

Tim
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,813
#10
Originally Posted by Battalion
It appears the passage of Spratt's proposal was due to the growing disinterest and disgust of the proceedings of the conventions.

trice said:
Balderdash. Rather than make wild claims, show proof ... assuming you have any.
On the opening day of the 1858 convention there were over 300 delegates with more arriving each day. Another reporter estimated about 600.

In 1859 there are less than 100. What happened?

What could be the reason?

"The Convention...became so inharmonious that the Tennessee delegates left on the third day in disgust. They declared that, from being Commercial Conventions, these meetings had degenerated into mere political clubs."

Fort Wayne Weekly Republican, 9 June 1858

"The Southern Convention.-- The next Southern Commercial Convention, does not promise to amount to much. We see it stated that the Governors of Louisiana and Georgia have refused to appoint delegates to the Convention; and many of the southern papers pronounce it a humbug and a farce."

Weekly Gazette and Free Press (Janesville, Wisconsin), 20 May 1859
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,336
#11
Battalion said:
On the opening day of the 1858 convention there were over 300 delegates with more arriving each day. Another reporter estimated about 600.

In 1859 there are less than 100. What happened?

What could be the reason?
So you plan to continue your policy of avoiding direct questions and arguing by innuendo. It will do you no good.

FOR THE THIRD TIME, please answer the question: The means of selecting delegates changed over the years. Not all states attended in all years. But by 1858, the means of selecting delegates had been formalized and specific. Do you know what it was? If so, please describe it for us and discuss your point about delegates in relation to it.

If you don't know, just say so. Because the 1858 convention established the rules for selecting delegates in the 1859 convention, and if you don't know what was done, you have no clue why the number of delegates changed.


Battalion said:
...Fort Wayne Weekly Republican, 9 June 1858

...Weekly Gazette and Free Press (Janesville, Wisconsin), 20 May 1859
So? You quote partisan Northern papers about Southern motivations and expect to be taken seriously?

BTW, you can find examples of delegates walking out of Southern Commercial Conventions in many different years before this; it had been a highly acerbic political atmosphere for many years, since at least 1850. One of the delegates who walked out in an earlier year was the governor of a state. Nothing new about such behavior in the South -- it is exactly the sort of tactic Southern Democrats use to split the Democratic Party at Charleston in 1860 and throw the election to the Republicans. In short, you are describing actions that seem representative of some Southerners: this is how they acted in such situations.

Tim
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,813
#12
trice said:
So you plan to continue your policy of avoiding direct questions and arguing by innuendo. It will do you no good.

FOR THE THIRD TIME, please answer the question: The means of selecting delegates changed over the years. Not all states attended in all years. But by 1858, the means of selecting delegates had been formalized and specific. Do you know what it was?
No...and I see no evidence of such.

Please explain what sort of "formalized and specific" selection of delegates came up with this group-

Mississippi, 55 (about 70% from one state)
Texas, 1
South Carolina, 11
Georgia, 9
Tennessee, 4
Alabama, 1
Louisiana, 5
Florida, 1
Kansas 1

~

Please explain why "historians" and yourself give so much attention to this pot-luck convention of un-elected delegates that had about 15% (88/600) of its previous numbers.
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,336
#13
Battalion said:
No...and I see no evidence of such.
OK, so you have no clue as to how delegates were selected, but want to insist you know what the numbers mean. Good to see you know you are simply making it up as you go along.

Battalion said:
Please explain what sort of "formalized and specific" selection of delegates came up with this group-
Battalion said:

Mississippi, 55 (about 70% from one state)
Texas, 1
South Carolina, 11
Georgia, 9
Tennessee, 4
Alabama, 1
Louisiana, 5
Florida, 1
Kansas 1



Please explain why "historians" and yourself give so much attention to this pot-luck convention of un-elected delegates that had about 15% (88/600) of its previous numbers.
The numbers above are dictated by things you simply haven't bothered to think about. Among them:

Ever been to a convention? Ever notice that a convention gets a lot more attendees when it is in a popular destination (like Las Vegas or Hawaii) instead of a place no one wants to go to (like Sandusky or Camden)? Ante Bellum Southerners were no different. Conventions in New Orleans drew well. Conventions in places like Vicksburg didn't.

Note also that this was a private -- not governmental -- convention. People paid their own way unless they found a sponsor somewhere. Wives were excited by going to New Orleans and husbands found excuses to go so they could take them -- or men found excuses to leave their wives behind as character dictated. Somehow, Vicksburg, MS didn't seem to have the same appeal.

As to the dominance of Mississippians in a convention held in Mississippi ... well, duh. What else would you expect? When they held it in Richmond, 189 Virginia delegates showed up. Are you somehow surprised? Study all 14 ante-bellum conventions and you'll probably find similar dominance by the host state.

Besides, numbers of delegates do not indicate a well-organized or successful convention of this type. The amount of work accomplished does. New Orleans looks to be a collection of good-timers in town to enjoy themselves; they didn't accomplish much.

By 1859, they had voted for a system that allocated delegates according to the number of Congressional districts in a state, who were to be appointed by the Governors in each states. They had committees assigned to each state who were trying to convince the legislatures to have the delegates elected directly by the people. The 1860 convention was cancelled because of the election campaign, but the Confederates held one in 1861 using that method.

As to why people who care to study the issues pay attention to the Southern Commercial Conventions, it is for exactly the reasons always given. They were the longest-running, biggest, most well-known gatherings of Southern thought in their day. Major figures attended and publicly debated the important issues of the day. What happened there was widely reported on and discussed by people throughout the country. They were, effectively, the only such regional gathering of Southern thought there was.

Beyond that, many Southerners of that time thought they were important. You don't care about that, because it gets in the way of your desires. It remains true. Trying so hard to avoid accepting what Southerners said and did surely brands your positions as bankrupt more than anything I will ever say.

They didn't accomplish a whole lot, although a few of their ideas were workable; mainly they debated and made speeches complaining about things or positing grand ideas. The 1854 Charleston convention was perhaps the most diligent in its work, particularly on the RR to the Pacific (Albert Pike pushed a very detailed plan for it and a corporation was chartered to build it afterwards; the North snickered at the finances of it).

The one that strangely seemed to be working out just as the Civil War started was the solution to the first issue they had -- how to break the Northern dominance of shipping. The corporation was founded, the steamships contracted for, the first one about to arrive in Southern ports direct from England -- when the South seceded, the war came, and the entire thing fell apart. Bitter ashes for those who had worked more than 20 years to make it so.

Other issues came and went over those 14 conventions: Fishing Bounties, Northern dominance of school texts and teachers, lack of good colleges in the South, tariffs, slavery in the territories, etc. The same issues that were important in the eyes of the Southern people of the day. But in the end, the question of slavery came to dominate: the expansion of slavery, the protection of slavery, the Fugitive Slave Act, the Personal Liberty Laws, the re-opening of the slave trade across the Atlantic. Just as it came to dominate Southern politics and civil life in the late 1850s. Just as it split the nation, as it brought about slavery, and as it led the sides to war.

Were there Fire-Eaters at the conventions? Did they come to dominate it? Obviously there, and a strong force -- just as they came to dominate the Southern states by 1860, just as they split the Democratic Party to throw the election to the Republicans to further their goals of secession. In short, what happened at the conventions mirrors what happened in Southern society, which is why people who study the period find it important -- and why you want to hide from it, heap scorn upon it, and deny it. If there is fraud here ... you'd best look in the mirror to find it.

Tim
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,813
#14
trice said:
The numbers above are dictated by things you simply haven't bothered to think about. Among them:

Ever been to a convention? Ever notice that a convention gets a lot more attendees when it is in a popular destination (like Las Vegas or Hawaii) instead of a place no one wants to go to (like Sandusky or Camden)? Ante Bellum Southerners were no different. Conventions in New Orleans drew well. Conventions in places like Vicksburg didn't.

Note also that this was a private -- not governmental -- convention. People paid their own way unless they found a sponsor somewhere. Wives were excited by going to New Orleans and husbands found excuses to go so they could take them -- or men found excuses to leave their wives behind as character dictated. Somehow, Vicksburg, MS didn't seem to have the same appeal.
In other words you are saying that the convention, its resolutions, &etc., are meaningless...and "historians" are committing fraud by claiming otherwise.

trice said:
As to the dominance of Mississippians in a convention held in Mississippi ... well, duh. What else would you expect? When they held it in Richmond, 189 Virginia delegates showed up. Are you somehow surprised? Study all 14 ante-bellum conventions and you'll probably find similar dominance by the host state.
True. The 1858 Montgomery convention was dominated by delegates from Alabama and Georgia.
This skews the results of the convention and makes them, again...meaniningless.

~

By the 1850s the SCC became, basically, a Fire-Eaters political convention...a minority faction within the South.

The "pro slave trade" group was unable to pass its resolution until there was a significant dropoff in attendance to the convention- 600 to 88 (1859).
Prior to that date they had failed by large majorities.

The group promoting the slave trade was a minority within a minority.
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,336
#15
Battalion said:
In other words you are saying that the convention, its resolutions, &etc., are meaningless...and "historians" are committing fraud by claiming otherwise.
Nope. You have just made up a lie to suit yourself and tried to attribute your falsehood to me.

What I did was to attempt to talk to you about how the real world works. What I received in return was your usual tactic of deliberate distortion, putting words never said into the mouths of others, etc. If you paint yourself as totally unreliable in this fashion, you only damage your own credibility and make it obvious you are determined to deceive others.

Tim
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,813
#16
"Historians" focus on this chicken pot-pie convention of unelected delegates to represent the views of the South.

Let's see what they ignored from Elected representatives:

~

"...nearly all the Southern States, ten at least, have laws against the introduction of African negroes. That these laws, Federal or State, will ever be abolished cannot be anticipated." (Charleston News)

At least 10 Southern states had laws against the slave trade in addition to Federal laws (bear in mind that 11 states touch the Atlantic and Gulf, four are landlocked).

~

Resolution introduced by James Orr of South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives (1856): "Resolved, That it is inexpedient, unwise, and contrary to the settled policy of the United States, to repeal the laws prohibiting the African slave trade."

Passed by a vote of 183 to 8.

~

Alabama Secession Convention

"WHEREAS, the people of Alabama are opposed, on the grounds of public policy, to the rëopening of the African Slave Trade: therefore,

Resolved, That it is the will of the people of Alabama that the Deputies elected by this Convention to the Southern Convention, to meet at the city of Montgomery on the 4th day of February next, to form a Southern Republic, be and they are hereby instructed to insist on the enactment by said Convention of such restrictions as will effectually prevent the rëopening of the African Slave Trade.

The Resolution was adopted with only three votes against it [out of 100]."

~

Mississippi Secession Convention

"Resolved, That in the opinion of this Convention, it is not the purpose or policy of the people of the State of Mississippi to re-open the African slave trade."

Passed 67-13 (10 of this 13 later signed a document indicating their vote was for other reasons than being for or against the slave trade)
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,336
#17
Battalion said:
True. The 1858 Montgomery convention was dominated by delegates from Alabama and Georgia.
This skews the results of the convention and makes them, again...meaniningless.
Nope.

You spend all your effort trying to deny what others say, hiding from facts that interfere with what you want to believe, and refusing to accept things that don't fit the particular spin on Southern actions. You will never understand Southerners and the Civil War that way.


Battalion said:
By the 1850s the SCC became, basically, a Fire-Eaters political convention...a minority faction within the South.

So? The same thing happened to the South as a whole. Why else do you think we had secession and Civil War? You are saying that the SCC *DO* fairly represent what was happening in the South as you deny it.

battalion said:
The "pro slave trade" group was unable to pass its resolution until there was a significant dropoff in attendance to the convention- 600 to 88 (1859).
Prior to that date they had failed by large majorities.
Actually, if you follow the pattern of the conventions, you will see a significant increase in support for this measure year over year throughout the period it was being discussed. At the same time, you see mainstream Southern politicians coming out in support of the same measure in one form or another -- men like Toombs of GA, Slidell of LA, and Stephens of GA. Just as the Fire-Eaters came to dominate Southern politics by 1859-60 (particularly in the Deep South), you see the same trend in the conventions. Why? Because they were where Southern political thought was openly debated in 1852-59.

Also, as hopefully you are aware, the 1858 Southern Commercial Convention in Montgomery did not reject the concept of re-opening the slave trade. It spent many days in discussion of it, could not come to a peaceful resolution on it, and decided to continue the debate in 1859 with a committee appointed to continue work on it. Just as had happened in 1857, which is why Pryor and Yancey were debating it in Montgomery in 1858.

Instead the Montgomery convention voted this point: "3. That it is inexpedient for any State or its citizens to attempt to reopen the African slave trade while that State be in the Union." That's pretty weak. "Inexpedient" while still in the Union is essentially saying "we can't get this done unless we secede". Son of a gun, that is what the Southern states did do less than three years later! Sounds like just more evidence the SCCs are in sync with Southern political thought.

battalion said:
The group promoting the slave trade was a minority within a minority.
Everyone discussing this has long ago acknowledged that the movement to re-open the slave trade was a strong and vocal minority within the South. If you search the board, I'd guess you'll find me saying that 10 or 12 times in the last year, with discussion to show it. Why bother acting as if your saying this changes anything?

That minority was very powerful politically, and much of their power continued right up to the formation of the Confederacy. Many Fire-Eaters became powerful members of the government. Many politicians who did not want to be officially considered Fire-Eaters made statements supporting the import of Africans in the late 1850s. Jefferson Davis was another one of those: he thought it was a bad idea for Missisippi, but that was the only reason he would vote against it; he did not want to impose his views on others who might want to re-open the trade. A lot like the "personally-opposed-to-abortion-but-voted-for-it" politicians of a later century, he and others straddled the fence because they wanted votes.

Tim
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Messages
10,260
#18
Those conventions, over time, became a front organization for the promulgation of Session ideology.

The 'other' causes of session and war, whatever they were, drew their potency for disunion from how closely it was identified with the survival of the South's peculiar(because it was unique to the ante-bellum south) institution of chattel slavery . Historically, IMO, there is little evidence of those 'other' causes, either singly nor in the aggregate being sufficient for the breaking up of the Union; except for Slavery.

Almost all the 'other' causes cited for session, then and now, existed, before, during and after the war(some of them exist today I shouldn't wonder) except for Slavery.

The fact is, none of those other causes, RR's included, had much traction for session except in their relationship with the protection of Slavery. As pointed out by Trice, with their control of the Democratic Party, could have had their 'southern' RR to California and its Pacific ports anytime they made a concerted effort, the Gadsden Purchase, being the last piece for its extension, If, that was what they wanted.

The Southern Economic interests and its political leadership, for all intents and purposes being one in the same, had no real desire for those 'other' causes, if not intimately involved with the protection of Slavery.
 

jgoodguy

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
35,552
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
#19
Those conventions, over time, became a front organization for the promulgation of Session ideology.

The 'other' causes of session and war, whatever they were, drew their potency for disunion from how closely it was identified with the survival of the South's peculiar(because it was unique to the ante-bellum south) institution of chattel slavery . Historically, IMO, there is little evidence of those 'other' causes, either singly nor in the aggregate being sufficient for the breaking up of the Union; except for Slavery.

Almost all the 'other' causes cited for session, then and now, existed, before, during and after the war(some of them exist today I shouldn't wonder) except for Slavery.

The fact is, none of those other causes, RR's included, had much traction for session except in their relationship with the protection of Slavery. As pointed out by Trice, with their control of the Democratic Party, could have had their 'southern' RR to California and its Pacific ports anytime they made a concerted effort, the Gadsden Purchase, being the last piece for its extension, If, that was what they wanted.

The Southern Economic interests and its political leadership, for all intents and purposes being one in the same, had no real desire for those 'other' causes, if not intimately involved with the protection of Slavery.
Southerners excised their right to assemble to discuss things of concern to them. How is that interesting? Where is the fraud?
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Messages
10,260
#20
Southerners excised their right to assemble to discuss things of concern to them. How is that interesting? Where is the fraud?


I think that to the extent those conventions are representing 'the' South, rather than being merely representative of a certain subsection of the South, that representation can be viewed as fraudulent.
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top