Day By Day by The Great Chris Muir

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Battle Flag and the Attack on Western Culture




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Too much misinformation has been generated recently about Confederate flags and monuments. A great amount of it floating about on the Internet is as palatable and useful as what my neighbor cleans up out of his horse paddock each week—although what my neighbor cleans out actually has a better and less pungent odor about it than most of the shoddy, culturally Marxist ideological agenda pieces I’ve read.
Back in mid-June, after the Charleston shootings, the frenzied hue and cry went up and any number of accusations and charges were made against historic Confederate symbols, in particular, the Confederate Battle Flag, which is not as some supposedly “informed” writers called it, “the Stars and Bars.” (The Stars and Bars is a completely different flag with a totally different design—this error is an indication of those writers’ supine ignorance).
The best way to examine these charges in a short column is point by point, briefly and succinctly.
First, the demand was made that the Battle Flag needs to come down, that images of that flag need to be banned and suppressed, because, whatever its past may have been, it has now become in the current context a “symbol of hate” and “carried by racists,” that it “symbolizes racism.”
The problem with this argument is both historical and etiological.
Historically, the Battle Flag, with its familiar Cross of St. Andrew, was and is a square ensign that was carried by Southern troops during the War Between the States. It was not the national flag of the Confederacy that flew over slavery, but, rather, was carried by soldiers, 90-plus per cent who did not own slaves (which was roughly comparable to percentages in various regiments of the Union army, which had slave holding soldiers from Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri in its ranks; indeed, General Grant’s wife, Julia Dent Grant, owned slaves).
By contrast, the American flag, the “Stars and Stripes,” not only flew over slavery for seventy-eight years, it flew over the importation, the selling and the purchase of slaves, and the breaking up of slave families. Additionally, the Stars and Stripes flew over the infamous “Trail of Tears,” at the Sand Creek massacre of innocent Native Americans, later at the Wounded Knee massacre, over the brutal internment of thousands of Nisei Japanese American citizens in concentration camps during World War II, and during the action at My Lai during the Vietnam War.
Although there are some zealots who now suggest doing away with the American flag because of these connections, I would suggest that most of the pundits on the Neoconservative Fox News and amongst the Republican governors presently clamoring for banning the Battle Flag would not join them in this demand. Yet, if we examine closely the history of both banners from the radically changing contexts that are used to attack the one, should we not focus as well on the history of other banner, as well? And, pray tell, if only a particular snap shot context is used to judge such symbols, is any symbol of America’s variegated history safe from the hands of those who may dislike or despise this or that symbol?
Second, a comparison has been made between the Battle Flag and the Nazi flag (red background, with a white circle and a black swastika centered). Again, this comparison is ridiculous and demonstrates an utter lack of historical acumen on the part of those making it: the Nazi flag was created precisely to represent the Nazi Party and its ideology. The Battle Flag was designed to represent the historic Celtic and Christian origin of many Southerners and served as a soldier’ flag.
Third, the charge has been made that we should ban Confederate symbols because they represent “treason against the Federal government.” That is, those Southerners who took up arms in 1861 to defend their states, their homes, and their families, were engaged in “rebellion” and were “traitors” under Federal law.
Again, such arguments fail miserably on all counts. Some writers have suggested that Robert E. Lee, in particular, was a “traitor,” that he violated his solemn military oath to uphold and defend the Constitution by his actions. But what those writers fail to note is that Lee had formally resigned from the US Army and his commission before undertaking his new assignment to defend his home state of Virginia, which by then had seceded and re-vindicated its original independence.
And that brings us to point four: the right of secession and whether the actions of the Southern states, December 1860-May 1861, could be justified under the US Constitution.
One of the best summaries of the prevalent Constitutional theory at that time has been made recently by black scholar, professor, and prolific author Dr. Walter Williams. I quote from one his columns:
During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, a proposal was made that would allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. James Madison rejected it, saying, ‘A union of the states containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a state would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.’
In fact, the ratification documents of Virginia, New York and Rhode Island explicitly said they held the right to resume powers delegated should the federal government become abusive of those powers. The Constitution never would have been ratified if states thought they could not regain their sovereignty — in a word, secede.
On March 2, 1861, after seven states seceded and two days before Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration, Sen. James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin proposed a constitutional amendment that read, “No state or any part thereof, heretofore admitted or hereafter admitted into the union, shall have the power to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the United States.”
Several months earlier, Reps. Daniel E. Sickles of New York, Thomas B. Florence of Pennsylvania and Otis S. Ferry of Connecticut proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit secession. Here’s a question for the reader: Would there have been any point to offering these amendments if secession were already unconstitutional? [my emphasis added]
Let me add that an examination of the ratification processes for Georgia, South Carolina, and in my own North Carolina in the late 1780s, reveal very similar discussions: it was the independent states themselves that had created a Federal government (and not the reverse, as Abe Lincoln erroneously and incredibly suggested), and it was the various states that granted the Federal government certain very limited and specifically enumerated powers, reserving the vast remainder for themselves. As any number of the Founders indicated (cf. Elliott’s Debates and voluminous correspondence on this point), there simply would not have been any United States if the states, both north and south, had believed that they could not leave it for just cause.
Interestingly, in my many years of research I can find only one, possibly two, American presidents who openly and frankly denied the right of secession (of course, there is John Quincy Adams, but carefully). Even in March of 1861, lame duck President James Buchanan in his farewell address, while deploring secession in the strongest terms, stated frankly that, under the Constitution he had “no power to halt or interdict it.” Former President John Tyler served in the Confederate Congress, and former President Franklin Pierce, in his famous Concord, New Hampshire, address, July 4, 1863, joined Buchanan in decrying the efforts to suppress the secession of the Southern states:
“Do we not all know that the cause of our casualties is the vicious intermeddling of too many of the citizens of the Northern States with the constitutional rights of the Southern States, cooperating with the discontents of the people of those states? Do we not know that the disregard of the Constitution, and of the security that it affords to the rights of States and of individuals, has been the cause of the calamity which our country is called to undergo?”
More, during the antebellum period William Rawle’s pro-secession text on Constitutional law, A View of the Constitution of the United States (1825,) was used at West Point as the standard text on the US Constitution. And on several occasions the Supreme Court, itself, affirmed this view. In The Bank of Augusta v. Earl (1839), the Court wrote in an 8-1 decision:
“The States…are distinct separate sovereignties, except so far as they have parted with some of the attributes of sovereignty by the Constitution. They continue to be nations, with all their rights, and under all their national obligations, and with all the rights of nations in every particular; except in the surrender by each to the common purposes and object of the Union, under the Constitution. The rights of each State, when not so yielded up, remain absolute.”
A review of the Northern press at the time of the Secession conventions finds, perhaps surprisingly to those who wish to read back into the past their own statist ideas, a similar view: few newspapers took the position that the Federal government had the constitutional right to invade and suppress states that had decided to secede.
Indeed, were it not the New England states in 1814-1815 who made the first serious effort at secession during the War of 1812, to the point that they gathered in Hartford to discuss actively pursuing it? And during the pre-war period various states asserted in one form or another similar rights.
One last point regarding the accusation of “treason”: consider that after the conclusion of the War, the Southern states were put under military authority, their civil governments dissolved, and each state had to be re-admitted to the Union. Now, unless the logic I learned in university is wrong, you cannot be “re-admitted” to something unless you have been out of it. And if you were out of it, legally and constitutionally, as the Southern states maintained (and many Northern writers acknowledged), then you cannot be in any way guilty of “treason.”
The major point that opponents of Confederate symbols assert is that the panoply of those monuments, flags, plaques, and other reminders actually represent a defense of slavery. And since we as a society have supposedly advanced progressively in our understanding, it is both inappropriate and hurtful to continue to display them.
Again, there are various levels of response. Historically, despite the best efforts of the ideologically-driven Marxist historical school (e.g., Eric Foner) to make slavery the only issue underlying the War Between the States, there is abundant evidence—while not ignoring the significance of slavery—to indicate more profound economic reasons why that war occurred (cf. writers Thomas di Lorenzo, Charles Adams, David Gordon, Jeffrey Hummel, William Marvel, Thomas Fleming, et al). Indeed, it goes without saying that when hostilities began, anti-slavery was not a major reason at all in the North for prosecuting the war; indeed, it never was a major reason, as Lincoln made explicit to editor Horace Greeley of The New York Tribune a short time prior to the Emancipation Proclamation (which only applied to states in the South where the Federal government had no authority, but not to the states such as Maryland and Kentucky, where slavery existed, but were safely under Union control).
Here is what he wrote to Greeley on August 22, 1862:
“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union, and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”
The Emancipation Proclamation was a desperate political ploy by Lincoln to churn up sagging support for a war that appeared stale-mated at the time. Indeed, Old Abe had previously called for sending blacks back to Africa and the enforcement of laws that made Jim Crow look benign. He knew fully well that “freeing the slaves” had no support in the North and was not the reason for the conflict.
Professor di Lorenzo, returning afresh to original sources, focuses on the deeper, all-encompassing economic motives:
“Whatever other reasons some of the Southern states might have given for secession is irrelevant to the question of why there was a war. Secession does not necessitate war. Lincoln promised war over tax collection in his first inaugural address. When the Southern states refused to pay his beloved Morrill Tariff at the Southern ports [monies that supplied a major portion of Federal revenues], he kept his promise of ‘invasion and bloodshed’ and waged war on the Southern states.”
Indeed, late in the conflict the Confederate government authorized the formation of black units to fight for the Confederacy, with manumission to accompany such service. As many as 30,000 black men fought for the Confederacy. Would a society ideologically intent on preserving in toto the peculiar institution as the reason for war, even in such dire straits, enact such a measure?
It is, of course, easy to read back into a complex context then what appears so right and natural to us now; but it does a disservice to history, as the late Professor Eugene Genovese, perhaps the finest historian of the Old South, fully understood. Understanding the intellectual struggle in which many Southerners engaged over the issue of slavery, he cautioned readers about rash judgments based on politically correct presentist ideas of justice and right, and in several books and numerous essays defended those leaders of the Old South who were faced with difficult decisions and a nearly intractable context.
And more, he understood as too many writers fail to do today, that selecting this or that symbol of our collective history, singling it out for our smug disapprobation and condemnation, may make us feel good temporarily, but does nothing to address the deeper problems afflicting our benighted society.
As I have written elsewhere about Dylann Roof, the lone gunman responsible for the Charleston shootings: if a rabid fox comes out of the woods and bites someone, you don’t burn the woods down, you stop the fox.
In the United States today we live in a country characterized by what historian Thomas Fleming has written afflicted this nation in 1860—“a disease of the public mind,” that is, a collective madness, lacking in both reflection and prudential understanding of our history. Too many authors advance willy-nilly down the slippery slope—thus, if we ban the Battle Flag, why not destroy all those monuments to Lee and Jackson. And why stop there? Washington and Jefferson were slave holders, were they not? Obliterate and erase those names from our lexicon, tear down their monuments! Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, Fort Gordon? Change those names, for they remind us of Confederate generals! Let’s dig up Nathan Bedford Forest! Amazon sells “Gone with Wind?” Well, to quote an inane writer at the supposedly “conservative,” Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post, ban it, too!
It is, as I say, a slippery slope, but an incline that in fact represents a not-so-hidden agenda, a cultural Marxism, that seeks to take advantage of the genuine horror at what happened in Charleston to advance its own designs which are nothing less than remaking completely what remains of the American nation. And, since it is the South that has been most resistant to such impositions and radicalization, it is the South, the historic South, which enters the cross hairs as the most tempting target. And it is the Battle Flag—true, it has been misused on occasion—which is not just the symbol of Southern pride, but becomes the target of a broad, vicious, and zealous attack on Western Christian tradition, itself. Those attacks, then, are only the opening salvo in this renewed cleansing effort, and those who collaborate with them, good intentions or not, collaborate with the destruction of our historic civilization. For that they deserve our utmost scorn and our most vigorous and steadfast opposition.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

AMPLIFY THE SIGNAL: Meet the 41 Companies That Donate Directly to Planned Parenthood

AMPLIFY THE SIGNAL:

41 corporations are listed at the link below. Start sending emails, complete with quotes from the Planned Parenthood people about selling organs from aborted infants, to the PR/Marketing departments of these corporations and asking them if they support those practices. Put all the relevant names and emails on a central site, complete with various draft emails, and then start sending emails. Recruit others to do so. Talk about your activities under the #PPGate hashtag.

Don't threaten, don't talk about boycotts, don't quote Bible verses, just try to get a statement from them concerning whether they support Planned Parenthood's sale of harvested human organs. Don't whine, suck it up... It will take weeks before getting any results. Another important thing is to regularly push encouraging graphic memes on Twitter. REBLOG THE INFORMATION BELOW ON YOU OWN BLOGS:

Meet the 41 Companies That Donate Directly to Planned Parenthood

http://dailysignal.com/2015/07/21/meet-the-41-companies-that-donate-directly-to-planned-parenthood/

Adobe
American Cancer Society
American Express
AT&T
Avon
Bank of America
Bath & Body Works
Ben & Jerry’s
Clorox
Coca-Cola
Converse
Deutsche Bank
Dockers
Energizer
Expedia
ExxonMobil
Fannie Mae
Ford
Groupon
Intuit
Johnson & Johnson
La Senza
Levi Strauss
Liberty Mutual
Macy’s
March of Dimes
Microsoft
Morgan Stanley
Nike
Oracle
PepsiCo
Pfizer
Progressive
Starbucks
Susan G. Komen
Tostitos
Unilever
United Way
Verizon
Wells Fargo
Xerox

MORE COMPANIES HERE: http://greatdebateusa.com/exposepp.php/

ALSO SEE: PPGate - http://ppgate.blogspot.com/


Also Relevant Quotes for emails:

The buyers ask Nucatola, “How much of a difference can that actually make, if you know kind of what’s expected, or what we need?”
“It makes a huge difference,” Nucatola replies. “I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps. The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium—the head—is basically the biggest part.”
Nucatola explains, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
“And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex,” she continues. “So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.”
Using ultrasound guidance to manipulate the fetus from vertex to breech orientation before intact extraction is the hallmark of the illegal partial-birth abortion procedure (18 U.S.C. 1531).
Nucatola also reveals that Planned Parenthood’s national office is concerned about their liability for the sale of fetal parts: “At the national office, we have a Litigation and Law Department which just really doesn’t want us to be the middle people for this issue right now,” she says. “But I will tell you that behind closed doors these conversations are happening with the affiliates.”
The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2).

OR THIS:

Recently, a Planned Parenthood executive said the following:

“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

Does (Insert name of Company above) support the sale of organs from aborted infants?


OR THIS:

To X,

I have recently read very distressing information that (company) has provided funds to Planned Parenthood. As you are undoubtedly aware by now, a scandal has been broken about Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of dead babies. Below is a copy of the dialogue from the Planned Parenthood executives as they discuss this criminal act:

//The buyers ask Nucatola, “How much of a difference can that actually make, if you know kind of what’s expected, or what we need?”
“It makes a huge difference,” Nucatola replies. “I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps. The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium—the head—is basically the biggest part.”
Nucatola explains, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
“And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex,” she continues. “So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.”

Nucatola also reveals that Planned Parenthood’s national office is concerned about their liability for the sale of fetal parts: “At the national office, we have a Litigation and Law Department which just really doesn’t want us to be the middle people for this issue right now,” she says. “But I will tell you that behind closed doors these conversations are happening with the affiliates.”//

Are you aware that Planned Parenthood is committing a felony by doing this? Here are the laws specifically addressing what they do:

The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2).

Using ultrasound guidance to manipulate the fetus from vertex to breech orientation before intact extraction is the hallmark of the illegal partial-birth abortion procedure (18 U.S.C. 1531).
(Company) has provided funding to Planned Parenthood. Does (company) support this kind of behavior? I would appreciate a response to this disturbing information.






Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Can atheists condemn slavery as immoral? Do atheists believe that slavery is wrong?

Can atheists condemn slavery as immoral? Do atheists believe that slavery is wrong?

By Wintery Knight

Note: For a Christian response to the complaint that the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery, see this article and this article for slavery in the Old Testament, and this article for slavery in the New Testament. These are all by Christian philosopher Paul Copan. You can watch a lecture with Paul Copan on the slavery challenge here, and buy a book where he answers the challenge in more detail. There is also a good debate on whether the Bible condones slavery here, featuring David Instone-Brewer and Robert Price. My post is not a formal logical essay on this issue, it is more that I am outraged that atheists, who cannot even rationally ground objective morality, insist on criticizing the morality of the Bible. I think that atheists who are serious about finding the truth about these issues should check out those links, if they are interested in getting to the truth of these matters.
In other posts, I’ve argued that without an objective moral standard of what is right and wrong, any judgments about right and wrong are just individual opinions. So, when an atheist says slavery is wrong, what he really means is that he thinks slavery is wrong for him, in the same way that he thinks that,say, that chocolate ice cream is right for him. He isn’t saying what is wrong objectively, because on atheism there are no objective moral rules or duties. He is speaking for himself: “I wouldn’t own a slave, just like I wouldn’t eat broccoli – because it’s yucky!”. But he has no rational argument against other people owning slaves in other times and places, because their justification for owning slaves is the same as his justification for not owning slaves : personal preference and cultural conventions.
So do atheists oppose slavery? Do they believe in an objective human right to liberty? Well, there are no objective human rights of any kind on atheism. Human beings are just accidents in an accidental universe, and collections of atoms do not mysteriously accrue “rights”. There is no natural right to liberty on atheism. Now consider abortion, which is favored by most atheists. Like slavery, abortion declares an entire class of human beings as non-persons in order to justify preserving their own happiness and prosperity by means of violence. That’s exactly what slavery does, except abortion is worse than slavery, because you actually kill the person you are declaring as a non-person instead of just imprisoning them.
So how many atheists have this pro-abortion view that it is OK to declare unborn children  as non-persons so they can kill them?
Well, according to Gallup, the “non-religious” are the group most likely to support abortion. In fact, 68% favor legalized abortion, compared to only 19% who oppose it.
Take a look at the Gallup poll data from 2012:
Atheists are OK with the strong killing the weak
Most atheists are OK with the strong killing the weak
The Gallup numbers might actually be low, because “No religion” might include people who are spiritual, but not religious. But what about atheists alone?
As a group, atheists tend to be among the most radical supporters of legalized abortion. The Secular Census of 2012 found that 97% of atheists vote for abortion. There are almost no pro-life atheists. Why is it that atheists look at unborn children and think it’s OK to kill them? Well, let’s see what atheists scholars think about morality, and from that we’ll find out why they think abortion is morally permissible.
Atheist scholars think morality is nonsense
Atheist William Provine says atheists have no free will, no moral accountability and no moral significance:
Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.
Source: http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or161/161main.htm
Atheists Michael Ruse says atheists have no objective moral standards:
The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate when someone says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory.(Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 262-269).
Atheist Richard Dawkins says atheists have no objective moral standards:
In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, or any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference… DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. (Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995))
Most atheists are like this – although some affirm objective morality, without really having a rational basis for it. In general though, when atheists use moral language to condemn God, the Bible, or Christians, it’s very important to understand that it is just theater. They are trying to use words that describe realities that they do not even believe in, usually with the goal of getting you to stop judging them for their own sin. I blogged about two examples of this before – Richard Carrier and Michael Shermer.
Let’s take a closer look at Richard Dawkins’ statement that there is “no evil and no good”.
Richard Dawkins and morality
Here’s Richard Dawkins’ view of abortion:
Richard Dawkins explains morality on atheism
Richard Dawkins explains morality on atheism
But wait! He goes even further than mere abortion:
Dawkins believes in Darwinian evolution. Survival of the fittest. The strong kill the weak. Where is protection for the unborn in that narrative?
Richard Dawkins even advocates for adultery.
So, what Dawkins really believes is that morality is nonsense. But in order to get you to stop condemning abortion, adultery, infanticide and a whole host of other atheistic misbehaviors, he will try to condemn you using moral language to stop you from making moral judgments. But the goal here is to intimidate you into not judging. By his own words, he thinks that the whole notion of objective moral values and objective moral duties is just nonsense.
Who does oppose slavery?
How did slavery end?
Dinesh D’Souza explains:
Slavery was mostly eradicated from Western civilization–then called Christendom–between the fourth and the tenth century. The Greco-Roman institution of slavery gave way to serfdom. Now serfdom has its problems but at least the serf is not a “human tool” and cannot be bought and sold like property. So slavery was ended twice in Western civilization, first in the medieval era and then again in the modern era.
In the American South, Christianity proved to be the solace of the oppressed. As historian Eugene Genovese documents in Roll, Jordan, Roll, when black slaves sought to find dignity during the dark night of slavery, they didn’t turn to Marcus Aurelius or David Hume; they turned to the Bible. When they sought hope and inspiration for liberation, they found it not in Voltaire or D’Holbach but in the Book of Exodus.
The anti-slavery movements led by Wilberforce in England and abolitionists in America were dominated by Christians. These believers reasoned that since we are all created equal in the eyes of God, no one has the right to rule another without consent. This is the moral basis not only of anti-slavery but also of democracy.
And, in fact, you can see Christians pushing the culture hard against abortion today, just as we did with slavery. We also oppose frivolous divorce, and redefining marriage in a way that normalizes removing mothers and/or fathers away from their children. Defending the weak is what we do.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Jefferson Davis - Happy Birthday

From the always gentleman strong Free North Carolina blog:

Jefferson Davis - Happy Birthday

Image result for jefferson davis 
http://www.wadehamptoncamp.org/davis-kids.jpg 
Truth crushed to the earth is truth still and like a seed will rise again.
---Jefferson Davis (1808 - 1889)
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“A question settled by violence or in disregard of law must remain unsettled forever.”
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"The contest is not over, the strife is not ended. It has only entered upon a new and enlarged arena.
---Address to the Mississippi legislature - 16 years after the wars end.
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"The principle for which we contend is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form."
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"When certain sovereign and independent states form a union with limited powers for some general purpose, and any one or more of them, in the progress of time, suffer unjust and oppressive grievances for which there is no redress but in a withdrawal from the association, is such withdrawal an insurrection? If so, then of what advantage is a compact of union to states? Within the Union are oppressions and grievances; the attempt to go out brings war and subjugation. The ambitious and aggressive states obtain possession of the central authority which, having grown strong in the lapse of time, asserts its entire sovereignty over the states.

Whichever of them denies it and seeks to retire is declared to be guilty of insurrection, its citizens are stigmatized as "rebels", as if they revolted against a master, and a war of subjugation is begun. If this action is once tolerated, where will it end? Where is constitutional liberty? What strength is there in bills of rights-in limitation of power? What new hope for mankind is to be found in written constitutions, what remedy which did not exist under kings of emperors? If the doctrines thus announced by the government of the United States are conceded, then look through either end of the political telescope, and one sees only an empire, and the once famous Declaration of Independence trodden in the dust of as a "glittering generality," and the compact of the union denounced as a "flaunting lie".

Those who submit to such consequence without resistance are not worthy the liberties and rights to which they were born, and deserve to be made slaves. Such must be the verdict of mankind."

--- President Jefferson Davis
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Farewell Speech
Jefferson Davis
January 21, 1861

Speech on the Floor of the United States Senate
http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=491
"Jefferson Davis, in his farewell address to the United States Senate, expressed the sentiments of Virginia....when he said:

"Now sir, we are confusing language very much. Men speak of revolution; and when they say revolution, they mean blood. Our fathers meant nothing of the sort. When they spoke of revolution, they meant the inalienable right. When they declared as an inalienable right, the power of the people to abrogate and modify their form of government whenever it did not answer the ends for which it was established, they did not mean that they were to sustain that by brute force...Are we, in this age of civilization and political progress...are we to roll back the whole current of human thought and again return to the mere brute force which prevails between beasts of prey as the only method of settling questions between men?

Is it to be supposed that the men who fought the battles of the Revolution for community independence, terminated their great efforts by transmitting prosperity to a condition in which they could only gain those rights by force? If so, the blood of the Revolution was shed in vain; no great principles were established; for force was the law of nature before the battles of the Revolution were fought."

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"I tried all in my power to avert this war. I saw it coming, for twelve years I worked night and day to prevent it, but I could not. The North was mad and blind; it would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came, and now it must go on till the last man of this generation falls in his tracks, and his children seize the musket and fight our battle, unless you acknowledge our right to self government. We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for Independence, and that, or extermination."
-- President Jefferson Davis, CSA
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“What do you propose, gentlemen of the free soil party? Do you propose to better the condition of the slave? Not at all. What then do you propose? You say you are opposed to the expansion of slavery. Is the slave to be benefited by it? Not at all. What then do you propose? It is not humanity that influences you in the position which you now occupy before the country. It is that you may have an opportunity of cheating us that you want to limit slave territory within circumscribed bounds. It is that you may have a majority in the Congress of the Untied States and convert the government into an engine of Northern aggrandizement. It is that your section may grow in power and prosperity upon treasures unjustly taken from the South, like the vampire bloated and gorged with the blood which it has secretly sucked from its victim. Your desire to weaken the political power of the Southern states, - and why? Because you want, by an unjust system of legislation, to promote the industry of the New England States, at the expense of the people of the South and their industry.”

--Senator Jefferson Davis 1860
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God forbid that the day should ever come when to be true to my constituents is to be hostile to the Union. If, sir, we have reached that hour in the progress of our institutions, it is past the age to which the Union should have lived. If we have got to the point when it is treason to the United States to protect the rights and interests of our constituents, I ask why should they longer be represented here? why longer remain a part of the Union? If there is a dominant party in this Union which can deny to us equality, and the rights we derive through the Constitution; if we are no longer the freemen our fathers left us; if we are to be crushed by the power of an unrestrained majority, this is not the Union for which the blood of the Revolution was shed; this is not the Union I was taught from my cradle to revere; this is not the Union in the service of which a large portion of my life has been passed; this is not the Union for which our fathers pledged their property, their lives, and sacred honor. No, sir, this would be a central Government, raised on the destruction of all the principles of the Constitution, and the first, the highest obligation of every man who has sworn to support that Constitution would be resistance to such usurpation. This is my position.

Jefferson Davis ~ In the Senate of the United States, June 27, 1850, on the Compromise Bill ~ Congressional Globe, p. 995-6
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34. “His moral qualities rose to the height of his genius. Hitherto men have been honoured when successful, but here is one who amid disaster went down to his grave, and those who were his companions in misfortune have assembled to do reverence to his memory. It is an honor to you who give as well as to him who receives, for, about the vulgar test, you show yourselves competent to judge between him who enjoys, and him who deserves, success…He sleeps with the thousands who fought under the same flag; he sleeps in the soil to him and to them the most dear. That flag was furled when there was no one to bear it; and we, a remnant of the living, are here to do homage to his peerless greatness, and there is an army of skeleton sentinels to keep watch over his grave.”

Jefferson Davis’s Eulogy of Lee (extract)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fascism

Original Post Link

Fascism then is that system that maintains the facade of private property, but what you end up having is this bizarre marriage of business and state

Fascism is an economic system that marries the state to business, where business holds the title but state holds control.
The idea that religious people cannot make thoughtful arguments is belied by R C Sproul Jr's commentary on fascism's true nature (audio at the link):
Some of you, though I trust not all of you, are familiar with what we call “Godwin’s law.” This is a particular law which is born out of empirical study of the Internet and it holds that, given enough time, any and all internet arguments will eventually involve some side of the argument accusing the other side of the argument of either being like Hitler or of being a Nazi. The corollary to that is that the first one to make that observation loses the argument.

 … The problem is, however, that because we don’t know what fascism is, and because we associate it with a bunch of accidental trappings to it, we miss it when it comes us.

Fascism, first and foremost, is an economic theory. It has precious little to do with the horrors of the Holocaust, it has precious little to do with world conquest, and it certainly has nothing whatever to do with goose stepping and “heil hitler” signs and all the other kinds of stock bad-guy things that we get from Nazi Germany.

Fascism is an economic system that is distinguished from socialism or communism in a very narrow way. Don’t forget that, while we like to present fascism as the hard right on the political spectrum and communism as the hard left on the political spectrum, fascism is a socialistic concept. The name “Nazi” stands for the “National Socialist Party.” What distinguishes the fascists and the communists is not socialism or not-socialism but rather national socialism versus international socialism.

There is also this critical distinction: communism exists as a theory that suggests that the only way to have economic justice is not merely to divvy up the fruit of production equally among all members of society, but that it is about ownership of the means of production. This has to be universal or ultimately in the hands of the state. The state owns the means of production.

Fascism disagrees with that. Fascism is a system that affirms that private individuals certainly may own property, they certainly may own the means of production, the tools and the factory, the ways in which things get made. What defines fascism however is that while individuals may own property or the means of production, control of that property and the means of production remains in the hand of the state.

Now if we know much at all about what ownership is, what property is, we would recognize that essential to the concept of “property” is control. If you control my car, you drive it, you fill it with gas when you want to fill it with gas, you change the oil when you want to change oil, but you let me hold onto the title in my file cabinet at home then I don’t really own that car, you own that car. Ownership requires control. Fascism then is that system that maintains the facade of private property, but what you end up having is this bizarre marriage of business and state. Where the business is protected by the state, the business is shielded from competition, guaranteed of profits but ultimately controlled by the state.

Does this, I wonder, sound awfully familiar to anyone? Fascism allows us to own property, but it tells us what we have to pay those who work inside our factory. It tells us what percentage of this material we must include in the thing that we make. It tells us how many hours people are allowed to work. It tells is this and it tells us that until finally you are left with the obvious conclusion that the state owns what we think we own because it controls all that we have.

Friends, we don’t have a socialist economy here in United States, despite all the squawking and screaming about President Obama. Nor do we have a free market, despite what we would like to believe or what we once might have enjoyed. What we are living in, economically speaking, is fascism where property is held privately in name only, but controlled by an army of bureaucrats from the central government.

This is one reason why we are called to love and to seek liberty because fascism is a betrayal and assault upon the right of property–a right which was given to us by God Himself. That is what our founding documents say and, more importantly still, that is what the ten commandments say. Fascism isn’t just bad economics, it is theft.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Blacks And Slavery

Two articles for record keeping:

The First Legal Slave Owner in What Would Become the United States was a Black Man

Today I found out the first legal slave owner, in what would eventually become the United States, was a black man.
The man was Anthony Johnson.  Johnson first came over to America as an indentured servant, arriving in 1620 in the Colony of Virginia.  He did not come over willingly, as many did, agreeing to become indentured servants in exchange for passage to the New World. Rather, Johnson was captured in Angola by neighboring tribesmen and eventually sold to a merchant who transported him to Virginia, where he was then sold to a tobacco farmer.
Despite this, Johnson was not technically a slave, as most think of it.  He was simply required to serve the farmer for a time in exchange for room and board.  However, like slaves, indentured servants could be sold or lent out to someone else, and, for the most part, they could be punished how those that owned their contracts saw fit.
One of the biggest differences between slaves and indentured servants was that once the indentured servant’s contract was up, depending on the agreement made with the person paying for transport, often the former servant would be given some small compensation for their services to help them get their start as free individuals.  This might include some amount of land, food (often a year’s worth), clothing, and tools.
During their time serving, indentured servants also typically learned some trade as they worked, which was significant for many who chose to make the journey to the Americas as indentured servants- often poor, uneducated individuals, lacking a trade, and in search of the promise of a better life.  Because of this, in the early days, most indentured servants in the British colonies in America were actually Irish, English, German, and Scottish, rather than African.
Johnson, of course, didn’t choose to come over. Nevertheless, once in America, he toiled away as a tobacco farmer for the duration of his contract.  During this time, he also met a woman (soon to be his wife) named simply “Mary”, who had been brought over to America about two years after Johnson, with her contract also being purchased by the same man who owned Johnson’s contract.
In 1635, after working on the tobacco farm for about 14 years, Johnson was granted his freedom and acquired land and the necessaries to start his own farm.  Sources are conflicting on whether he purchased the remaining years on his wife’s contract or whether she completed it, but in the end, the two, with their lives now their own, began working for themselves.
They soon prospered and took advantage of the “headright” system in place for encouraging more colonists, where if you paid to bring a new colonist over, whether purchasing them at the docks or arranging it before hand with someone, you’d be awarded 50 acres of land.  Similarly, those who paid their own passage would be given land under this system.
This leads us to 1654. One of Johnson’s servants, John Casor who was brought over from Africa, claimed he was under a “seaven or eight yeares” contract and that he’d completed it. Thus, he asked Johnson for his freedom.
Johnson didn’t see things this way, and denied the request. Despite this, according to Casor, Johnson eventually agreed to allow him to leave, with pressure supposedly coming from Johnson’s family who felt that Casor should be free.  Thus, Casor went to work for a man by the name of Robert Parker.
Either Johnson changed his mind or he never said Casor could go, because he soon filed a lawsuit against Parker claiming that Parker stole his servant, and that Casor was Johnson’s for life and was not an indentured servant.
Johnson ultimately won the case, and not only did he get his servant back, but Casor became Johnson’s slave for life as Johnson had said he was.  This officially made Johnson the first legal slave owner in the colonies that would eventually become the United States. (There were other slaves before this, just not ones that were legal in the British colonies under common law).
The judge’s decision on the matter was announced as follows:
This daye Anthony Johnson negro made his complaint to the court against Mr. Robert Parker and declared that hee deteyneth his servant John Casor negro under the pretence that said negro was a free man. The court seriously consideringe and maturely weighing the premisses, doe fynde that the saide Mr. Robert Parker most unjustly keepeth the said Negro from Anthony Johnson his master … It is therefore the Judgement of the Court and ordered That the said John Casor Negro forthwith returne unto the service of the said master Anthony Johnson, And that Mr. Robert Parker make payment of all charges in the suit.
About 7 years later, Virginia made this practice legal for everyone, in 1661, by making it state law for any free white, black, or Indian, to be able to own slaves, along with indentured servants, as they’d been able to have before.
While Johnson’s temporarily gain of being granted the services of one of his indentured servants for life no doubt had a positive affect on his thriving business, ultimately the gradual changing of attitudes in the colonies concerning slavery and race came back to hurt Johnson’s family, with slavery slowly becoming less about one’s original financial situation and more about where you or your ancestors were originally from.
When he died in 1670, rather than his thriving plantation going to his children, the court declared that “as a black man, Anthony Johnson was not a citizen of the colony” and awarded the estate to a white settler. Quite a contrast to the declaration in 1654 by the court that Johnson and his wife were “…inhabitants in Virginia (above thirty years) [and respected for] hard labor and known service.”

Bonus Facts:
  • While most of the land in Johnson’s estate was taken away, his children were allowed a small portion of Johnson’s former property to use to provide for themselves, but even that 40 acres was lost by Johnson’s grandson, John Jr., when he was unable to pay his taxes one year.
  • While Johnson is generally considered by most historians to be the first legal slave owner in what would become the United States, there was one person who preceded him in 1640 who owned a slave in all but name.  The virtual slave was John Punch, ordered to be an indentured servant for life, though by law was still considered an indentured servant with all the rights that went with that.  In Punch’s case, he was made a lifelong indentured servant owing to the fact that he tried to leave before his contract was up.  When he was captured and brought back, the judge in the matter decided a suitable punishment was to have Punch’s contract continue for the rest of his life.
  • What makes Punch’s case even more interesting (and unfair) is that when he ran away, he ran away with two white indentured servants who were also seeking to get out of their contract.  The punishment for the white indentured servants was not a lifetime of servitude, though.  Rather, they were given 30 lashes with a whip and a mere additional 4 years on their contracts.
  • The average price for bringing an indentured servant over to America in the 17th century was just £6.  Meaning that under the headright system, as long as you could afford to feed, clothe, and house them, you could acquire 50 acres of land for just over £1 per 10 acres.
  • The first Africans to be imported to the Americas were brought over in the 1560s, primarily in areas controlled by Spain.  The English colonies didn’t start importing Africans until much later, around 1619, just a couple years before Anthony Johnson was brought over. The first group to the British colonies were imported to Jamestown and comprised of 20 Africans who had been aboard a Spanish ship that was attacked by a Dutch vessel.  After the Dutch crew successfully took over the Spanish ship, they were left with 20 Africans who they took to Jamestown and declared were indentured servants, trading them for supplies.
  • In Virginia, in 1662, legislatures enacted a law stating that if you owned a slave, not only were they yours for life, but any children of a slave mother would also be a slave, regardless of whether the father was a slave or not.  Before this, the father’s status was typically what was used to determine the child’s status, regardless of race or the mother.
  • A further change of the laws came in 1670 when a law was passed forbidding those of African or Indian descent from owning any “Christian” slaves.  In this case, this did not necessarily mean literal Christian slaves; if you had a black or Indian slave who was a Christian, that was fine, as they were black or Indian, and thus “heathen”, regardless of what they said or believed or even if they were baptized.
  • A further hardening of the laws came in 1699. In an attempt to get rid of all the prominent free black people, Virginia enacted a law requiring all free black people to leave the colony, to further cement the majority of free people in the colonies as non-black, and allow the tyranny of the majority with respect to those of African descent to progress unhindered.  Many did not have the funds to actually leave, and some chose to ignore the decree, as relationships between whites and free blacks tended to be as you’d expect humans to act towards one another, namely somewhat friendly in many cases; this included some intermarrying, despite the fact that to some extent this was discouraged even then, primarily because Africans were considered “heathens”.  Obviously those either from Africa or of African descent who had married someone of European descent weren’t inclined to leave their spouses and homes. In fact, it’s estimated that about 80% of all those non-slaves of African descent in the United States between 1790 and 1810 were a product of this intermarrying in the Virginia colony.


In an 1856 letter to his wife Mary Custis Lee, Robert E. Lee called slavery "a moral and political evil." Yet he concluded that black slaves were immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially and physically.
The fact is large numbers of free Negroes owned black slaves; in fact, in numbers disproportionate to their representation in society at large. In 1860 only a small minority of whites owned slaves. According to the U.S. census report for that last year before the Civil War, there were nearly 27 million whites in the country. Some eight million of them lived in the slaveholding states.
The census also determined that there were fewer than 385,000 individuals who owned slaves (1). Even if all slaveholders had been white, that would amount to only 1.4 percent of whites in the country (or 4.8 percent of southern whites owning one or more slaves).
In the rare instances when the ownership of slaves by free Negroes is acknowledged in the history books, justification centers on the claim that black slave masters were simply individuals who purchased the freedom of a spouse or child from a white slaveholder and had been unable to legally manumit them. Although this did indeed happen at times, it is a misrepresentation of the majority of instances, one which is debunked by records of the period on blacks who owned slaves. These include individuals such as Justus Angel and Mistress L. Horry, of Colleton District, South Carolina, who each owned 84 slaves in 1830. In fact, in 1830 a fourth of the free Negro slave masters in South Carolina owned 10 or more slaves; eight owning 30 or more (2).
According to federal census reports, on June 1, 1860 there were nearly 4.5 million Negroes in the United States, with fewer than four million of them living in the southern slaveholding states. Of the blacks residing in the South, 261,988 were not slaves. Of this number, 10,689 lived in New Orleans. The country's leading African American historian, Duke University professor John Hope Franklin, records that in New Orleans over 3,000 free Negroes owned slaves, or 28 percent of the free Negroes in that city.
To return to the census figures quoted above, this 28 percent is certainly impressive when compared to less than 1.4 percent of all American whites and less than 4.8 percent of southern whites. The statistics show that, when free, blacks disproportionately became slave masters.
The majority of slaveholders, white and black, owned only one to five slaves. More often than not, and contrary to a century and a half of bullwhips-on-tortured-backs propaganda, black and white masters worked and ate alongside their charges; be it in house, field or workshop. The few individuals who owned 50 or more slaves were confined to the top one percent, and have been defined as slave magnates.
In 1860 there were at least six Negroes in Louisiana who owned 65 or more slaves The largest number, 152 slaves, were owned by the widow C. Richards and her son P.C. Richards, who owned a large sugar cane plantation. Another Negro slave magnate in Louisiana, with over 100 slaves, was Antoine Dubuclet, a sugar planter whose estate was valued at (in 1860 dollars) $264,000 (3). That year, the mean wealth of southern white men was $3,978 (4).
In Charleston, South Carolina in 1860 125 free Negroes owned slaves; six of them owning 10 or more. Of the $1.5 million in taxable property owned by free Negroes in Charleston, more than $300,000 represented slave holdings (5). In North Carolina 69 free Negroes were slave owners (6).
In 1860 William Ellison was South Carolina's largest Negro slaveowner. In Black Masters. A Free Family of Color in the Old South, authors Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roak write a sympathetic account of Ellison's life. From Ellison's birth as a slave to his death at 71, the authors attempt to provide justification, based on their own speculation, as to why a former slave would become a magnate slave master.
At birth he was given the name April. A common practice among slaves of the period was to name a child after the day or month of his or her birth. Between 1800 and 1802 April was purchased by a white slave-owner named William Ellison. Apprenticed at 12, he was taught the trades of carpentry, blacksmithing and machining, as well as how to read, write, cipher and do basic bookkeeping.
On June 8, 1816, William Ellison appeared before a magistrate (with five local freeholders as supporting witnesses) to gain permission to free April, now 26 years of age. In 1800 the South Carolina legislature had set out in detail the procedures for manumission. To end the practice of freeing unruly slaves of "bad or depraved" character and those who "from age or infirmity" were incapacitated, the state required that an owner testify under oath to the good character of the slave he sought to free. Also required was evidence of the slave's "ability to gain a livelihood in an honest way."
Although lawmakers of the time could not envision the incredibly vast public welfare structures of a later age, these stipulations became law in order to prevent slaveholders from freeing individuals who would become a burden on the general public.
Interestingly, considering today's accounts of life under slavery, authors Johnson and Roak report instances where free Negroes petitioned to be allowed to become slaves; this because they were unable to support themselves.
Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia (University Press of Virginia-1995) was written by Ervin L. Jordan Jr., an African-American and assistant professor and associate curator of the Special Collections Department, University of Virginia library. He wrote: "One of the more curious aspects of the free black existence in Virginia was their ownership of slaves. Black slave masters owned members of their family and freed them in their wills. Free blacks were encouraged to sell themselves into slavery and had the right to choose their owner through a lengthy court procedure."
In 1816, shortly after his manumission, April moved to Stateburg. Initially he hired slave workers from local owners. When in 1817 he built a gin for Judge Thomas Watries, he credited the judge nine dollars "for hire of carpenter George for 12 days." By 1820 he had purchased two adult males to work in his shop (7). In fewer than four years after being freed, April demonstrated that he had no problem perpetuating an institution he had been released from. He also achieved greater monetary success than most white people of the period.
On June 20, 1820, April appeared in the Sumter District courthouse in Sumterville. Described in court papers submitted by his attorney as a "freed yellow man of about 29 years of age," he requested a name change because it "would yet greatly advance his interest as a tradesman." A new name would also "save him and his children from degradation and contempt which the minds of some do and will attach to the name April." Because "of the kindness" of his former master and as a "Mark of gratitude and respect for him" April asked that his name be changed to William Ellison. His request was granted.
In time the black Ellison family joined the predominantly white Episcopalian church. On August 6, 1824 he was allowed to put a family bench on the first floor, among those of the wealthy white families. Other blacks, free and slave, and poor whites sat in the balcony. Another wealthy Negro family would later join the first floor worshippers.
Between 1822 and the mid-1840s, Ellison gradually built a small empire, acquiring slaves in increasing numbers. He became one of South Carolina's major cotton gin manufacturers, selling his machines as far away as Mississippi. From February 1817 until the War Between the States commenced, his business advertisements appeared regularly in newspapers across the state. These included the Camden Gazette, the Sumter Southern Whig and the Black River Watchman.
Ellison was so successful, due to his utilization of cheap slave labor, that many white competitors went out of business. Such situations discredit impressions that whites dealt only with other whites. Where money was involved, it was apparent that neither Ellison's race or former status were considerations.
In his book, Ervin L. Jordan Jr. writes that, as the great conflagration of 1861-1865 approached: "Free Afro-Virginians were a nascent black middle class under siege, but several acquired property before and during the war. Approximately 169 free blacks owned 145,976 acres in the counties of Amelia, Amherst, Isle of Wight, Nansemond, Prince William and Surry, averaging 870 acres each. Twenty-rune Petersburg blacks each owned property worth $1,000 and continued to purchase more despite the war."
Jordan offers an example: "Gilbert Hunt, a Richmond ex-slave blacksmith, owned two slaves, a house valued at $1,376, and $500 in other properties at his death in 1863." Jordan wrote that "some free black residents of Hampton and Norfolk owned property of considerable value; 17 black Hamptonians possessed property worth a total of $15,000. Thirty-six black men paid taxes as heads of families in Elizabeth City County and were employed as blacksmiths, bricklayers, fishermen, oystermen and day laborers. In three Norfolk County parishes 160 blacks owned a total of $41,158 in real estate and personal property.
The general practice of the period was that plantation owners would buy seed and equip~ ment on credit and settle their outstanding accounts when the annual cotton crop was sold. Ellison, like all free Negroes, could resort to the courts for enforcement of the terms of contract agreements. Several times Ellison successfully sued white men for money owed him.
In 1838 Ellison purchased on time 54.5 acres adjoining his original acreage from one Stephen D. Miller. He moved into a large home on the property. What made the acquisition notable was that Miller had served in the South Carolina legislature, both in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, and while a resident of Stateburg had been governor of the state. Ellison's next door neighbor was Dr. W.W. Anderson, master of "Borough House, a magnificent 18th Century mansion. Anderson's son would win fame in the War Between the States as General "Fighting Dick" Anderson.
By 1847 Ellison owned over 350 acres, and more than 900 by 1860. He raised mostly cotton, with a small acreage set aside for cultivating foodstuffs to feed his family and slaves. In 1840 he owned 30 slaves, and by 1860 he owned 63. His sons, who lived in homes on the property, owned an additional nine slaves. They were trained as gin makers by their father (8). They had spent time in Canada, where many wealthy American Negroes of the period sent their children for advanced formal education. Ellison's sons and daughters married mulattos from Charleston, bringing them to the Ellison plantation to live.
In 1860 Ellison greatly underestimated his worth to tax assessors at $65,000. Even using this falsely stated figure, this man who had been a slave 44 years earlier had achieved great financial success. His wealth outdistanced 90 percent of his white neighbors in Sumter District. In the entire state, only five percent owned as much real estate as Ellison. His wealth was 15 times greater than that of the state's average for whites. And Ellison owned more slaves than 99 percent of the South's slaveholders.
Although a successful businessman and cotton farmer, Ellison's major source of income derived from being a "slave breeder." Slave breeding was looked upon with disgust throughout the South, and the laws of most southern states forbade the sale of slaves under the age of 12. In several states it was illegal to sell inherited slaves (9). Nevertheless, in 1840 Ellison secretly began slave breeding.
While there was subsequent investment return in raising and keeping young males, females were not productive workers in his factory or his cotton fields. As a result, except for a few females he raised to become "breeders," Ellison sold the female and many of the male children born to his female slaves at an average price of $400. Ellison had a reputation as a harsh master. His slaves were said to be the district's worst fed and clothed. On his property was located a small, windowless building where he would chain his problem slaves.
As with the slaves of his white counterparts, occasionally Ellison's slaves ran away. The historians of Sumter District reported that from time to time Ellison advertised for the return of his runaways. On at least one occasion Ellison hired the services of a slave catcher. According to an account by Robert N. Andrews, a white man who had purchased a small hotel in Stateburg in the 1820s, Ellison hired him to run down "a valuable slave. Andrews caught the slave in Belleville, Virginia. He stated: "I was paid on returning home $77.50 and $74 for expenses.
William Ellison died December 5, 1861. His will stated that his estate should pass into the joint hands of his free daughter and his two surviving sons. He bequeathed $500 to the slave daughter he had sold.
Following in their father's footsteps, the Ellison family actively supported the Confederacy throughout the war. They converted nearly their entire plantation to the production of corn, fodder, bacon, corn shucks and cotton for the Confederate armies. They paid $5,000 in taxes during the war. They also invested more than $9,000 in Confederate bonds, treasury notes and certificates in addition to the Confederate currency they held. At the end, all this valuable paper became worthless.
The younger Ellisons contributed more than farm produce, labor and money to the Confederate cause. On March 27, 1863 John Wilson Buckner, William Ellison's oldest grandson, enlisted in the 1st South Carolina Artillery. Buckner served in the company of Captains P.P. Galliard and A.H. Boykin, local white men who knew that Buckner was a Negro. Although it was illegal at the time for a Negro to formally join the Confederate forces, the Ellison family's prestige nullified the law in the minds of Buckner's comrades. Buckner was wounded in action on July 12, 1863. At his funeral in Stateburg in August, 1895 he was praised by his former Confederate officers as being a "faithful soldier."
Following the war the Ellison family fortune quickly dwindled. But many former Negro slave magnates quickly took advantage of circumstances and benefited by virtue of their race. For example Antoine Dubuclet, the previously mentioned New Orleans plantation owner who held more than 100 slaves, became Louisiana state treasurer during Reconstruction, a post he held from 1868 to 1877 (10).
A truer picture of the Old South, one never presented by the nation's mind molders, emerges from this account. The American South had been undergoing structural evolutionary changes far, far greater than generations of Americans have been led to believe. In time, within a relatively short time, the obsolete and economically nonviable institution of slavery would have disappeared. The nation would have been spared awesome traumas from which it would never fully recover.

NOTES
1. The American Negro: Old World Background and New World Experience, Raymond Logan and Irving Cohen New York: Houghton and Mifflin, 1970), p.72.
2. Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South, Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roak New York: Norton, 1984), p.64.
3. The Forgotten People: Cane River's Creoles of Color, Gary Mills (Baton Rouge, 1977); Black Masters, p.128.
4. Male inheritance expectations in the United States in 1870, 1850-1870, Lee Soltow (New Haven, 1975), p.85.
5. Black Masters, Appendix, Table 7; p.280.
6. Black Masters, p. 62.
7. Information on the Ellison family was obtained from Black Masters; the number of slaves they owned was gained from U.S. Census Reports.
8. In 1860 South Carolina had only 21 gin makers; Ellison, his three sons and a grandson account for five of the total.
9. Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States, Carl N. Degler (New York, Macmillan, 1971), p.39;
     Negro Slavery in Louisiana, Joe Gray Taylor (Baton Rouge, 1963), pp. 4041.
10. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, Eric Foner (New York; Harper & Row, 1988), p. 47; pp. 353-355.

Kindle Available
Black Slaveowners

Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860
An analysis of all aspects and particularly of the commercialism of black slaveowning debunks the myth that black slaveholding was a benevolent institution based on kinship, and explains the transition of black masters from slavery to paid labor.




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