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Acts of the

Republican Party

as seen by




Acts of the

Republican Party

as seen by








Lest We Forget !

It is not for the purpose of controversy that this paper
is prepared, but that the facts of history of our Southern
country may not be forgotten. The memory of the heroic
acts of Southern men and women during the sixties of the last
century is very dear to Southern hearts today, but that memory
is fast fading away, and it is very dim in the rising generation.
We are zealous in keeping fresh the trials and sufferings of
"the men of seventy-six," that their brave deeds may incite the
youth of our land to emulate them. We of the South, for the
same reason, would keep fresh the memory of the greater deeds,
suffering, and heroism of our men from I860 to 1870 — a cen-
tury later. The constant reading of the word "rebel" applied
to men of the South in Northern literature leads even Southern-
bred boys to adopt it, sometimes with pride, but more often
through ignorance. They do not know that from first to last
it was a false and unjust appellation as to their people, and
should be repelled with scorn. We were no rebels, but freemen
fighting for our liberty.

The educated North has changed much in the last few
years, and today looks upon the course of their section from
'60 to '70 with much disapproval. A prominent Republican
and an ex-Union soldier recently said to the writer: "I look
back upon my former sentiments on these questions with aston-
ishment; I can't understand how I could ever have thought as
I did." Could any Southern man write more beautifully of our
dead than a Northern Republican recently wrote? "Early last
Autumn, while spending a few days in Richmond, I visited the
beautiful cemetery of Hollywood, and there, with uncovered
head, paid silent homage to the dust of those brave heroes of the
Lost Cause whose memory is preserved by that rude pyramid
of stone which loving hearts and strong hands have combined
to rear to the glory of the military achievements of the Con-



federate soldier. Continuing on my way in that silent city of
the dead, I saw the memorials of many who bore names famous
in the history of the commonwealth and the nation, and then
at the extreme end of the enclosure I found the place where
President Davis was laid away. On the banks of the James
overlooking the city he loved so well, and surrounded by those
who were dear to him in life, rests the great leader of the Con-
federacy. Thus are the worthy sons of Virginia honored by
their descendants." Why this change in sentiment of these men?
Why can they write so beautifully of our dead? Because they
have learned the truth and are intelligent and honest enough
to appreciate it. Then let each one of us do what little we
can to carry on the good work, that our dear Southland may
be honored, and our dead have justice done them. This is tin-
sole motive of this paper.



That the late war between the states would have occurred
if the doctrine of secession had never been heard of there is no
doubt. That it never would have occurred if there had been
no African slavery in the country admits of as little doubt.
Slavery was not the direct cause of the war, but it produced
conditions which made the two sections antagonistic in interest
and, shame be it said, men will always fight for interest more
than for principle. We believe it was the interest of New
England prior to 1861 to have a high protective tariff, as it is
now ; it was the interest of the South that we should have no
tariff. New England was a manufacturing section, having no
slaves, as the negro did not thrive in that cold climate, and were
not profitable in agriculture, nor intelligent enough to be em-
ployed in manufactories. New England therefore sold the slaves
to the South where they thrive in a warm and sunny clime, and
were profitable in the cultivation of cotton and tobacco. But
the South had no manufactories and therefore wished to pur-
chase her manufactured goods in the cheapest market, and
were naturally averse to paying tribute to New England m the
way of a large increase in price of these commodities, under
the name of tariff. The people of New England and of the
South came to a great extent from the same stock, but New
England was engaged in trade and commerce, the South in
agriculture. The one occupation through all history has made
men sharp, narrow and selfish, the other has made its votaries
liberal and generous. In the case of the Southern whites, hav-
ing leisure, it also made them cultivated and refined— traits
entirely wanting in the early days in our New England ances-
tors. The shrewd New Englander, wishing to force the South
to acquiesce in the legalized robbery under the name of tariff,
looked about for the most vulnerable point in the Southern
economic structure, and hit upon slavery. The conversion of



New England from slave owners and slave traders to the apos-
tles of liberty is the most remarkable in history. That of
Constantine to Christianity must give place to it.

Who was responsible for the presence of the negro slave
in America? If we trace the history of slavery, we will find
that old England and New England brought them here, and
against many protests from the South.

But first let us say on the other point that we make in re-
gard to secession : The right of revolution was never doubted
by the Southern people, nor today is it doubted by any intelli-
gent man alive. Perhaps not half the Southern people believed
in the right of secession, but practically all believed in the
right of revolution, and exercised it, knowing that they had just
cause. Can the position of many Southern people, not lawyers
or students of Constitutional history, be better stated than by
Robert E. Lee? He says, in a letter to his son from Texas,
January 23, 1861 : "The South in my opinion has been ag-
grieved by the acts of the North as you say. I feel the aggres-
sion, and am willing to take every proper step for redress. But
I can anticipate no greater calamity to the country than a
dissolution of the Union. . . . Secession is nothing but revo-
lution. The framers of our Constitution never expended so
much labor, wisdom and forbearance in its foundation, and sur-
rounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended
to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. Still
a union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets,
and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of
brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me. If the Union
is dissolved and the Government disrupted I shall return to my
native State, and save in its defence I will draw my sword on
none." (Long's Life of R. E. Lee, p. 88.) Thus, when Lee
and many other Southern men joined the Confederacy, they
believed they exercised the inalienable right of freemen, revo-
lution, and were prepared, as their fathers were before them,
to take the consequences.

We repeat, therefore, that the war would have come if
secession had never been a Constitutional right, because the
Southern people never could have endured the wrongs imposed
upon them by the North, and the fanatics of the North wished
to crush them, and never would have permitted them to go in


Slavery was practiced by all the nations of the world from
the earliest time. It was practiced among the Hebrews and was
sanctioned by the express legislation of the Most High. "Both
thy bond men and thy bond maids which thou shalt have, shall
be of the heathen that are round about you. Of them shall ye
buy bond men and bond maids. Moreover, of the children of
the strangers that sojourn among 3'ou, of them shall ye buy,
and of their families that are with you, which they begat in
your land, and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take
them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit
them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen forever."
(Lev. xxi:44, 45, 46.) And so in the New Testament we find:
"Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according
to the flesh." (Eph. vi:5; Col. iii.22; Titus ii.9, 10; I Peter

The Greeks and Romans enslaved every one of all nations
who came within their power, and these were the liberty-loving
people of the earth. It would require too much space even to
call the roll of the slave-owning nations ; we therefore come at
once to our own English people. These, too, we find have been
slaves and slave-owners from the earliest recorded history down
to a recent date.

Edward III gave to a former slave, John Simondrey, a
general power to go through the royal manors and grant manu-
mission to all vassals therein for a certain compensation in
money. This example of the sovereign was followed by many
other lords in similar need, and to this, among other causes,
may be attributed the extinction of villanage. In 1574, we find
a commission issued by Queen Elizabeth, for inquiry into the
condition of "all her bondmen and bondwomen in the counties
of Cornwall, etc., such as were, by blood, in a slavish condition,
and to compound with them for their manumission and freedom."
The benevolence and negligence of lords, and the unfruitful-
ness of villan service (especially when confined to the land)
may be added as principal causes of the gradual extinction of
villanage. It is true, however, in Britain, as on the continent,
that the religious houses were the last to grant freedom to
their villans. (Cobbe on Slavery, 129.) "These villans," says
Blackstone (Black. Com., Bk. II, p. 93), "belonging principally
to the lords of the manors, were either villans regardant, that
is, annexed to the manor or land, or else they were gross, or


at large, that is, annexed to the person of the lord and trans-
ferable by deed from one owner to another. They could not
leave this lord without his permission, but if they ran away, or
were purloined from him, might be claimed and recovered by
action, like beasts, or other chattels." These slaves were white,
and our ancestors. While Queen Elizabeth set her white slaves
free, she did not hesitate to procure black ones, and to engage
in the African slave trade.

"No religious zeal prompted the English nation in this
participation in the African slave trade. In 1553, we are in-
formed by Hakluyt, twenty-four negro slaves were brought to
England from the coast of Africa. The virtuous indignation
of the people seems not to have been aroused, but the slaves were
quietly sold as in open market. The introduction of negro
slaves into that country continued without question as to its
legality until the trial of the celebrated Somerset case in 1771,
when it was discovered that even as far back as the eleventh
year of Elizabeth's reign, in the case of the Russian slave, it
had been solemnly adjudged that the air of England was too
pure for a slave to breathe in. And yet, strange to say, in
I Ed. vi, Chap, iii, certain vagabonds and idle servants were by
Parliament declared to be slaves to their masters ; and still
stranger, while the Russian slave was enjoying the pure air of
England, the virtuous Elizabeth was sharing the profits and
participating in the curses of the African slave trade."

The London Quarterly of 1855 says : "The present philan-
thropists of Boston are greatly horrified at the advertisements
in American newspapers, carefully collected by American aboli-
tionists. To such we commend the files of old English journals,
in the British Museum, where they will find negro runaways
and negro slaves advertised with as much naivete as their vir-
tuous ancestors could assume. Sir John Hawkins has the memo-
rable distinction of being the first English captain of a slave
ship, but Queen Elizabeth regarded the slave trade as an achieve-
ment worthy of honorable commemoration, for when she made
Hawkins a knight she gave him for a crest a device of a negro's
head and bust with arms tightly pinioned. Public opinion on
the subject was expressed by a Captain Lok, who declared that
the negroes were a people of beastly living, without God, law,
religion or commonwealth, so that he deemed himself their bene-
factor in carrying them off to a Christian land where their


bodies might be decently clothed, their souls made fit for heaven."
(Fiske, Old Virginia.) How much more, then, should the South-
ern people be considered the benefactor of the negro, when they
in so short a time transformed him from a savage to one fit to
be an American citizen and the equal in all respects before the
law of a native of Boston !

During the reign of Charles II (1662) a company was
chartered named the Ro}^al African Company, with the exclu-
sive privilege of the slave trade, which included the king. The
king and his brother were stockholders, and the Duke of York
was its head.

By the treaty of Utrecht, Spain and England became the
greatest dealers of all time in human flesh. By this treaty
British subjects were granted the privilege of furnishing negro
slaves to the Spanish colonies; the treaty was to last thirty
3 T ears, and at least 140,000 negroes were to be imported.

It may be a surprise to some to know that a Southern slave
State led the world in prohibiting the African slave trade.
Virginia by Act October, 1778 (9 Henning Stat. 471) pro-
hibited the importation of slaves under a penalty of £1000.
England followed twenty -nine years later, in 1807. In the
year 1771 there sailed from England alone 192 ships provided
for the exportation of 47,146. (Copley's Hist, of Slavery, 114.)
It is strange that the State of Georgia followed Virginia in
abolishing the slave trade in 1798. Thus two slave States of
the South set an example to the world in this humane act. It
is interesting to compare the dates of the abolition of the slave
trade and of slavery by the nations of the earth.
Virginia abolished slave trade 1778, slavery in 1865.

Georgia " "

Great Britain " "

United States

France " "

Congress of Vienna " "

Denmark " " 1848.

Massachusetts never by statute abolished slavery. (Com-
monwealth v. Aves, Pick. 209.) Nor is there any statute in
New Hampshire on that subject, and one slave is reported in
that State emancipated in 1784, but five still existed by census



" 1865.



" 1834.



" 1865.





of 1840, and by the same census seven still lived in Connecticut.
Slavery was not finally abolished in New York until 1827.
The census of 1850 gives 236 as still living in Pennsylvania.

In the Economic and Social History of New England (Vol.
II, p. 467), we find the following. "But can we believe the
curious, prying eyes of modern research, as it uncovers an actual
venture after negroes — a voyage deliberately planned by Peter
Faneuil, owned one-half by himself and one-quarter by a Cap-
tain John Cutter. The name of the craft, too — -did Peter slap
his fat, round belly and chuckle when he named the same Jolly
Bachelor? This must be merely the sad irony of fate, that the
craft deliberately destined to be packed with human pains, and
to echo with human groans, should in its very name bear the
fantastic image of the luxury-loving chief owner. If these be
the sources of profit and property, where is the liberty of
Faneuil Hall; where the charitj' of 'good' Peter's alms? "

"Connecticut was not free from the 'sin of slavery.' In
1650, Indians who failed to make satisfaction for injuries were
ordered to be seized and delivered to the injured party, 'either
to serve or to be shipped out and exchanged for negroes, as the
case will justly bear.' Insolvent debtors also were authorized
to be sold to English purchasers and the proceeds applied to
their debts. Negro slavery was abolished in Connecticut years
before the latter provision was expunged from the statute book."
(Cobb on Slavery, 1 Hild. 372.)

"Last week arrived at Fisher's Island the brig Nancy, be-
longing to this port, Capt. Robert W — (a half-pay British
officer), master, and landed its cargo, consisting of 140 convicts,
taken out of the British jails. Captain W — , it is said, received
51 Stirling a head from the government for this job, and we
hear he is distributing them about the country. Stand to it,
houses, stores, etc., these gentry are acquainted with the busi-
ness." (Salem, Mass., Mercury, July 15, 17 — .)

Rhode Island joined in the general habit of the day, with
the exception of the town of Providence. The community of
the heretical Roger Williams alone placed the services of the
black and the white races on the same footing. [Williams'
heresy consisted in declaring that Indians had souls — for this
he was forced to leave Massachusetts.] In the plantations
generally, slaves abounded to a greater extent than in any other


portion of New England, and in Newport, the second commercial
town in New England, there was a greater proportion of slaves
than in Boston. (2 Hild. 419.)

As early as 1624 slaves were imported into New York.
The city itself owned shares in a slave ship, advanced money for
its outfit, and participated in the profits. The slaves were sold
at public auction to the highest bidder. "That New York is
not now a slave State like Carolina," says the historian, Ban-
croft, "is due to climate, and not to the superior humanity of
its founders/' (2 Bancroft 303.) New Jersey in 1664 of-
fered a bounty of seventy-five acres of land, by the proprie-
taries, for the importation of each able-bodied slave. (Cobb,
p. cxlix.) It is a mooted question whether William Penn him-
self did or did not die a slave-owner. It is certain that his
relatives who settled in Virginia were slave-owners.

In 1712, to a general petition for the emancipation of
negro slavery in Pennsylvania, the Legislature responded, "It
is neither just nor convenient to set them at liberty." The
larger portion of slaves in Pennsylvania were found in Phila-
delphia, one-fourth of the population of which in 1750 are sup-
posed to have been of African descent. (2 Hild. 420; Cobb
cxlix.) The Virginia Gazette, May 24, 1751, contains a letter
dated Philadelphia, which is very interesting in this connection,
showing as it does that the practice of selling white convicts as
slaves in that State was instituted by Penn, and it was kept up
even as late as 1751. "From Bucks County we hear that a
convict servant, one John McCanless, imported here last fall
has broken open and robbed several houses of goods to a con-
siderable value ; but being apprehended at a Ferry is committed
to Prison. When we see our Papers filled continually with ac-
counts of the most audacious Robberies, the most cruel murders,
and infinite other villanies perpetrated by convicts transported
from Europe what melancholy, what terrible reflections must it
occasion ! These are of thy Favors, Briton. Thou art called
our mother country, but what good mother ever sent Thieves
and Villains to accompany her children? And what must we
think of those Merchants who for the sake of a little paltry gain
will be concerned in importing and disposing of these abominable
cargoes ? "

Thus we see all the Northern States owning slaves and
actively engaged in the slave trade — white as well as black.


How, then, can they reproach the South for owning what they
sold her? The greater curse, that of stealing and bartering
for human beings, as well as the horrors of the middle passage,
was upon the Northern slave-trader, and not the Southern
planter. It was no great philanthropic act to declare slavery
illegal in the North, where it was unprofitable, especially when
a large price was obtained from the Southern planter for the
slaves, but it required some sacrifice to abolish the slave trade,
which was a lucrative one to the Northern ship owners. Let us
see who led in this movement.

We have seen that Virginia preceded all the nations of the
earth in prohibiting this trade, and Georgia came next ; but the
voice of Virginia was heard prior to that date in protesting
against it. (9 Hen. Stat. 471.) "In 1699 the General Assem-
bly of Virginia commenced a series of Acts (as many as twenty-
three in all), by which they sought to arrest or discourage the
introduction of slaves, the last being in 1772, which was ac-
companied by an earnest petition to the throne to remove all
restrictions which inhibited His Majesty's Government assenting
to such laws as might check so very pernicious a commerce
as that of slavery. This petition, like its predecessor, was dis-
regarded. The Virginia Constitution of 1776, in its preamble,
complains of it as one of the acts of 'detestable and insupporta-
ble tyranny' of the King of Great Britian, that he had prompted
our negroes to rise in arms among us — those very negroes whom
by an inhuman use of his negation he had refused us permission
to exclude by law." (1 Tucker's Blackstone, Appx. 51 — note.
Va. Court.) Might not Virginians with propriety bring the
same accusation against New England, for they imported the
negro from Africa, against our wishes.

The effort was made in 1779 by Jefferson to abolish slavery
in Virginia, again the first in our history. It was again made
in 1803 and again in 1831 ; each time the effort was nearly
successful. Only the difficult}' of disposing of the free negroes
prevented, for they constituted a large percentage of the popu-
lation. (Jefferson's Notes on Va., 143; 1 Tuck. Blackstone,
Pt. II, Appx. 76— id., 81; 4 Jeff. Mem. 388.)

Let us turn to national legislation on this subject. After
the recognition of the independence of the States, the Conven-
tion which framed the Constitution of the United States were
unanimous in putting a limit upon the introduction of negroes.


Massachusetts, whose merchants were engaged in the slave trade,
joined with Georgia and South Carolina in demanding a few
more years ere the final prohibition, and the year 1808 was
agreed upon. In 1808, when the Act of prohibition took effect,
the State of Rhode Island alone had fifty-four vessels engaged
in the slave trade. Luther Martin, of Maryland, in the Con-
vention moved the prohibition of the trade, and he was most
earnestly sustained by Mason, Madison and Randolph, of Vir-
ginia, and was opposed by Georgia and South Carolina, and
by New England. (3 Madison Papers, 1388-92, 1427.) In
fact, at that time Virginia was much more earnest in wishing
to abolish slavery than were the extreme Northern States. The
Act of 1787, excluding slaves from the Northwest Territory,
originated with Virginia and passed Congress with but one
dissenting vote, and that from New York — the entire South
voting for it.

But the strangest fact in this story of slavery has not been
told. The Proclamation of Mr. Lincoln, issued January 1st,
1863, freeing the slaves, was of course only a piece of buncombe,
and could legally and constitutionally have no effect. The act
which set the negroes free was the thirteenth amendment to the
Constitution. This being granted, let us see what a mess our
Republican fellow citizens have gotten themselves into. This
amendment was declared adopted December 18th, 1865, and at
that time there were thirty-six States members of the Federal
Union. Article V of the Constitution provides that no amend-
ment to the Constitution shall become a part thereof until "rati-
fied by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the States." There-
fore, to ratify an amendment at chat time, the vote of twenty-
seven States was required, and by the proclamation of the Sec-
retary of State, December 18th, 1865, twenty-seven States are
named as having so ratified, but of these only sixteen were
Northern States, the others were Virginia, West Virginia,
Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, South Carolina, Alabama,
North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri and Maryland. Now it must
be very humiliating to Northern Republicans to think that it
required the vote of these Southern States to set the negro free ;
that nine Northern States refused to vote for the measure ; but
it must be "wormwood and gall" to be told that the votes of
these Southern States were illegally given, and that therefore
this amendment was illegally adopted, but Congress by their acts


have so declared. The Acts of Congress known as the Recon-
struction Acts (Stat, at Large, 13 Vol., p. 428; Vol. 14; 15

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Online LibraryC GardnerActs of the Republican Party as seen by history → online text (page 1 of 8)