What God has joined… (1857 – 1869)

After the Sale: Slaves Going South from Richmond ~ 1853, Eyre Crowe (1824-1910), Oil on canvas; 27 x 36 in.; Chicago History Museum

Artist and painter, Eyre Crowe was struck in Richmond, Virginia, by the scenes after the slave sales, when slaves were ‘marched under escort of their new owners across the town to the railway station, where they took places, and “went South”. They held scanty bundles of clothing, their only possession. These were the scenes, which in a very short number of years made one realize the sources of the fiercest of civil wars’.

This painting was exhibited at the Suffolk Street Gallery in London in 1854, and was described by the critic in the Art Journal in June 1864 (‘British Artists: their Style and Character – No. LXXIII – Eyre Crowe’, as ‘full of life and bustle, but not of the kind that is pleasant to look upon.’ ~ Ed.

~ Foreword ~

“I’m not crying for him. I see something else up there – something more terrible than one man…” – Olivia de Havilland as fictional character, “Kit Carson Halliday,” Santa Fe Trail, Warner Bros. Pictures, 1940

Was de Havilland’s character speaking of the film’s version of John Brown (portrayed by Raymond Massey), or of Adolph Hitler as America watched the rise of Nazi Socialism during the late 1930’s; or was her character speaking of America and its leadership during the current period in our history?

In the earlier chapters of this project, we began America’s story with the signing of the Magna Charta in the year 1215, and concluded nearly a quarter century after the signing of the ultimate Freedom document, the Declaration of the thirteen united States of America. We now pick up where the first volume left off…

Throughout this experiment, which we call ‘America,’ we continue to witness an intertwining of the stories, which have molded us, both as a people and a country, and through my continued studies, my determination is, that this project will do much the same thing,. The previous chapter of WORDS…  began to open up the recognition of the issue of slavery in 1788 from William Pinkney, therefore this chapter will move forward and address this issue from numerous angles – but one must understand that, while “slavery” has been blamed by the “victors” of the Federal Aggression – it was not the prime cause of what became incorrectly known as the ‘Civil War.’

In 2013 as I worked feverishly to expand this project (which I had begun nearly 20 years before), I found myself in a somber mood. When this happens, I find the need to turn to movies for a respite from the daily toil. That night no different, however…

I awoke that morning to the news that the last member of the John Ford stock company of actors had passed away, Harry Carey, Jr.. ‘Dobe‘ as he was known to his friends; continued to work with John Wayne, and continued on for many years after the Duke was gone. And so now the young red-head went on to reunite with the likes of the Duke, Ben Johnson and Pappy Ford himself, and maybe even his folks, Harry Sr. and mother Olive. Maybe the U.S. Calvary of Hollywood does meet up again in the hereafter. Have a good journey Dobe.

But knowing that didn’t tell me where I wanted to go, as far as a film to watch. Three Godfathers (a Biblical western if there ever was one), The Searchers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon? No – a western was not what I needed today. Lawrence of Arabia? No – I was not interested in British Imperialism today, not did I wish to watch, which for me, is one of the most amazing films of our time, Kingdom of Heaven.

What is this chapter of America’s story about? That’s it – Gods and Generals, the 2003 film from Warner Bros.! The bloodiest day of the battle of Fredericksburg has just finished – as it did 150 years ago, and what moves me the most each time I watch this film, are two scenes; the Irish Brigades of both the North and the South battling for their own versions of freedom; and Billy Yank and Johnny Reb meeting each other in the midst of the river and sharing a smoke and a cup of coffee. No words are spoken – just a moment of Christmas peace in the middle of a horrible war, – but then all wars are horrible.

As in all wars, each side is right and both are wrong. And yet, Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (as portrayed by Jeff Daniels) states, “This war didn’t start for the purpose of freeing the slaves, but that is what it has become.” Tell that to the historians of today, and they will disagree with you until the next war begins.

Yes, much of this volume covers the issue of slavery – an issue, which we are still discussing in the twenty-first century – not in some distant land – but right here in America.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on July 9, 1868, and granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves recently freed. In addition, it forbids states from denying any person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law” or to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” By directly mentioning the role of the states, the 14th Amendment greatly expanded the protection of civil rights to all Americans and is cited in more litigation than any other amendment to this day – but what of the right to “life, liberty or property?” Through the lies and deceit of mortgage bankers and criminal prosecutors, in addition to the elected officialdom in Washington, DC and around the nation – our peoples are fast approaching a form of slavery, from which we may never recover. Once again, the lessons of the past are our roadmap to the future. Take heed.

In addition to the issue of slavery, which America tolerated in its early years, we’ll look at the letters, speeches and papers (some of which are rarely seen or read – and certainly no longer taught in the nations Government controlled “education system”), but we’ll share a time in history, where this nation was experiencing its second birth, or as film director, D.W. Griffith called it, “The Birth of a Nation.” If during the War of Independence eighty-five years earlier, we were a “nation conceived in liberty,” then the second time around, we were conceived in…

What does our future hold? Look around the world; Egypt, Greece, Spain, Israel and Palestine, and America’s continued involvement in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and many other “theater’s” around the world. The winds of revolution are blowing, and I fear that we cannot escape this global epidemic.

What we share with you in this chapter of Mr. Adair’s Classroom will expand on the good, the bad and the ugly of our ever evolving experiment.

I’ll see you at Sundown!

Jeffrey Bennett
During the winter of our discontent
December 20, 2012

The Dred Scott Decision ~ March 6, 1857
       “A difference of opinion has arisen in regard to the point of time when the people of a Territory shall decide this question [of slavery] for themselves.”

Abraham Lincoln ~ House Divided (June 16, 1858)
        “I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free.”

Stephen A. Douglas ~ The Debate (August 27, 1858)
        “Leave the people free to do as they please.”

William H. Seward (October 25, 1858)
        “The irrepressible conflict.”

I Wish I Was in Dixie’s Land (April 4, 1859)
       Loved by many, despised by others, “Dixie” is still among the most recognizable of all American songs. Ironically, it was written by a Northerner, Daniel Decatur Emmett…

The Raid on Harper’s Ferry (October 1859)
      “The Spark That Lit a Bonfire.”

Henry David Thoreau (October 30, 1859)
        “A Plea for Captain John Brown”

John Brown (November 2, 1859)
        “I feel no consciousness of guilt”

Secession: If at first you don’t Secede… ~ Part I
       “The war between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty.”

The Issue WAS State’s Rights
The state rights tone was set in the preamble to the Confederate Constitution in the significant phrase, “each State acting in its sovereign and independent character.”

Jefferson Davis (January 2, 1861)
        “If you will have it thus, we will invoke the God of our fathers.”

President Jefferson Davis ~ Inaugural Address (February 18, 1861)
       “I enter upon the duties of the office to which I have been chosen with the hope that the beginning of our career as a Confederacy may not be obstructed by hostile opposition to our enjoyment of the separate existence and independence which we have asserted, and, with the blessing of Providence, intend to maintain.”

Lincoln’s Tariff War (March 2, 1861)
        “We are going to make tax slaves out of you and if you resist, there will be an invasion.”

The Morrill Tariff of 1861: The True Cause of Secession and the War of Northern Aggression
        The U.S. House of Representatives had passed the Morrill tariff in the 1859-1860 session, and the Senate passed it on March 2, 1861, two days before Lincoln’s inauguration.

        “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend it.”

President Abraham Lincoln ~ First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1861)
        “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so..”

Dispelling The Myths About Abraham Lincoln
        “Can you imagine any public figure saying that today and not being crucified by the press or the public? Yet it would seem that not only was Lincoln willing to see that the black man be kept in a perpetual state of bondage, he also felt that they were inferior to him.”

Spivey: Lincoln and The War of Northern Aggression
        “Lincoln started an illegal war under false pretenses, leading to the deaths of nearly three-quarters of a million of his countrymen, Blue and Gray, military and civilian. He destroyed the United States that was; the United States as it was meant to be.”

Constitution of the Confederate States of America (March 11, 1861)
        “We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.”

Lincoln and the Bankers (April 12, 1861)
        The bankers go to work to start the Civil War

Jefferson Davis’ Proclamation of Thanksgiving, 1861
        “Now therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, in view of impending conflict, do hereby set apart Friday, the 15th day of November, as a day of national humiliation and prayer…”

Pvt. Samuel W. Cole; Co. C, 95th Illinois Infantry
        “…enlisted August 13, 1862 for service in the Civil War and was assigned to duty as a private of Company C, 95th Infantry…”

Fredericksburg, Thomas Baily Aldrich
        “‘T was such a night two weary summers fled; The stars, as now, were waning overhead…”

The Emancipation Proclamation ~ President Abraham Lincoln
Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war

Spivey: Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Colonization
        “Lincoln was relatively devoid of personal prejudice, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t incorporate prejudice into his thinking.”

Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (July 2, 1863)
        “Hail, Caesar: We who are about to die salute you”

President Abraham Lincoln (Nov. 19, 1863) – Gettysburg Address

President Jefferson Davis (May 2, 1864) – Speaking to Congress of the Confederate States of America

The Blue and the Gray, Francis Miles Finch

The “Civil Rights” Races (March 3, 1865)
        “…and so we were, officially, off to the Civil Rights Races – which even up to our own day, have had no ending!.”

President Abraham Lincoln (Mar. 4, 1865) – Second Inaugural Address
       “With malice toward none, with charity for all…

The Confederate Cause (April 9, 1865) – Surrender

Lincoln’s Final Public Address: On Reconstruction

Walt Whitman, Oh Captain! My Captain!

Lincoln the Dwarf: Lyon Gardiner Tyler’s War on the Mythical Lincoln
         “Year after year more printer’s ink was spilled upon Lincoln than any other figure in history except Jesus Christ.”

Rev. Dr. J. L. M. Curry, Reflections on Robert E. Lee (1878)
        “It will be the duty of the historian and the sage in all ages to let no occasion pass of commemorating this illustrious man; and until time shall be no more will a test of the progress which our race has made in wisdom and in virtue be derived from the veneration paid to the immortal name of Washington.”

J.D. Longstreet ~ Back to the Future (2013)
The Next American Civil War

The Cost of Southern Cultural Genocide (2019)
        “What passes as standard American history is really Yankee history written by New Englanders or their puppets to glorify Yankee heroes and ideals”

… and much, much more! ~ EDITOR