A Postwar Conversation with Mr. Davis

“Mr. Davis once talked to me long and earnestly on the [postwar] condition of the South. Among other things he said:

“There is no question that the white people of the South are better off for the abolition of slavery. It is an equally patent fact that the colored people are not. If the colored people shall develop a proper degree of thrift, and get a degree of education to keep pace with any advancement they may make, they may become a tenantry which will enable the South to rebuild the waste places and become immensely wealthy.

The colored people have many good traits, and many of them are religious. Indeed, the 4,000,000 in the South when the War began were Christianized from barbarism. In that respect the South has been a greater practical missionary than all the society missionaries in the world.”

War was not necessary to the abolition of slavery, continued Mr. Davis. “Years before the agitation began at the North and the menacing acts to the institution, there was a growing feeling all over the South for its abolition.

But the Abolitionists of the North, both by publications and speech, cemented the South and crushed the feeling in favor of emancipation. Slavery could have been blotted out without the sacrifice of brave men and without the strain which revolution always makes upon established forms of government.

I see it stated that I uttered the sentiment, or indorsed it, that, “slavery is the cornerstone of the Confederacy.” That is not my utterance.”

(Life and Death of Jefferson Davis, A.C. Bancroft, editor, Crown Rights Books, 1999 (original 1889), excerpts pp. 152-154)

Published by Circa 1865 ~ April 15, 2018

~ Reader’s Comment ~
Who’s to say if the slaves are better off? The war of Northern aggression is over. THey liberalization of the Southern States population and the spill-over into the North have taken a great tole on this country. There is no reason for slavery, of that we can be sure, but the conditions for many of these people have not improved and in some cases worsened. Besides, you can’t unscramble eggs.

As for predators, there is no one more ruthless than ones’ own kind. The problem with liberality is the feeling of entitlement it creates in people. Give an inch and they want a foot. I don’t reference any race in particular. Look at the condition of our country and tell me that our move from a conservative family-centric lifestyle to the liberal free-for-all we live in today; now tell me which is better.

We live in fear of a misspoken word or an odd glance. We can’t speak our minds for fear of offending someone, and we don’t dare deviate from the new norm in fear of retribution for some fringe group. We pander to the lowest common denominator and the smallest group with the biggest ax to grind.

Are we, any of us, really better off since this Civil War or are we really victims of the misrepresentation of the facts that slavery is wrong, but forcing people to abandon it at gunpoint is not much better.

You’re all smart… Who actually won that war? ~ Charles R. Dickens

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