It Wasn’t About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. – A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Five of Ten

If Heaven ain't a lot like Dixie
I don't wanna go
If Heaven ain't a lot like Dixie
I'd just as soon stay home

From Hank Williams Jr.,
If Heaven Ain't a Lot Like Dixie

A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Part Five of Ten
Chapter VI
Cultural Differences
by Gene Kizer, Jr.

[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : This is a fascinating chapter comparing Southern culture with Northern.

Southern culture today must be superior because Northerners and Westerners are moving to the South in droves.

They are coming here to escape government tyranny and the violence and lawlessness in much of the blue state North and West. In California, four days ago, a mob of 80 people ransacked a Nordstrom department store and assaulted employees near Oakland. Two days before that, another mob robbed several stores in San Francisco.1

Come South and try that.

We have our idiots who think the police are the problem and criminals ought to be slapped on the wrist or not prosecuted for stealing up to $950 but violence and massive theft is a clear sign of a sick decaying civilization.

In 2020 most of the George Floyd rioters and arsonists had their charges dropped and that was applauded by Kamala Harris, but Kyle Rittenhouse, a first-rate all-American kid out to help victims of mob violence was himself the victim of a leftist political prosecution with alleged prosecutorial misconduct. He was slandered by the "president" of the United States and fraud media but found innocent of all charges by a jury of his peers.

What was on trial with Rittenhouse was the right to defend yourself against mob violence. The left, always enamored with mob violence, thinks it gives them power, but average Americans on Rittenhouse's jury rejected that woke idiocy and affirmed the absolute right of self-defense.

That so many of my Democrat friends think this woke garbage is a good idea is why the often predicted electoral bloodbath will take place starting in 2022, and it can't come soon enough.

How about standing up for the law-biding who work every day and would like to raise children in a safe decent country. How about standing up for people who start businesses and risk all to hire other people and provide goods and services.

Of course, the criminals robbing businesses will step in human feces and drug needles in the streets of California, a state that once was great until it became a one-party Democrat state. Now, it can't keep the electricity on, but their leaders are all woke.

Here in the South there is a strong, prosperous civilization of FREEDOM from government tyranny, with happy patriotic people who will wave you into traffic in front of them, though if you cross them unfairly or threaten their families you will end up with a boot in your a_s as Toby Keith says in his song . . . or worse.

Keith's Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue describes it perfectly:

My daddy served in the army where he lost his right eye
But he flew a flag out in our yard until the day that he died
He wanted my mother, my brother, my sister and me
To grow up and live happy in the land of the free2

At the end of this article, beneath the notes I have cited, is "Actual Citation from Book," Mitcham's endnotes for Chapter VI.]

MITCHAM WRITES that the South has always been "more leisurely and less money-oriented" than the North and he quotes a British citizen, Anthony Trollope, who traveled extensively in the South and North. Trollope wrote in 1861:

The South is seceding from the North because the two are not homogeneous. They have different instincts, different appetites, different morals, and a different culture.3

John Adams in the Continental Congress wrote his wife that "the political union between the two people would not hold 'without the utmost caution on both sides.'"4

Mitcham describes it well:

New England, with its Puritan legacy, developed a self-absorbed, holier-than-thou culture that looked down on the rest of America. Their elite believed high tariffs were their natural right, making New England stronger than the rest of the country. They also viewed nature as something dark and foreboding, an evil to be conquered and controlled. The Southerner saw nature as something to embrace and enjoy. They loved hunting, fishing (usually with a cane pole), and horse racing (gambling), and had a relaxed attitude toward life and nature. Some even saw the South as close to paradise on earth.5

Mitcham points out that by 1850 "the North had many secular humanists, including atheists, deists, transcendentalists, and assorted other non-believers" but the South loved its religion. Southerners were not so delusional as to think they know all there is about the universe and meaning of life.

Through prayer, it [the South] looked to God for guidance and regarded secular humanism with suspicion and often with outright hostility. Baptist churches and Churches of Christ sprang up all over the place. Unpretentious, fervent country preachers expounded their simple truths straight from the Bible and gained thousands of converts, and their tent revivals became famous. 6

My Aunt Bell, who, with her husband Bruce, raised my dad and his six brothers and sisters when their mother died during the Depression, used to talk about camp meetings in Saint George, South Carolina. She told me when she was a young girl she would go for a week to the white preachings then stay the next week for the black.

Mitcham notes that the South is known as the Bible Belt and he gives us his best example of Northern and Southern cultural differences:

The fact that many Northerners use the term [Bible Belt] derogatorily while many Southerners (including this author) consider it a compliment further illustrates the differences between the two cultures.7

New Englanders "looked down on Southerners, with their French, Spanish, American Indian, and even African cultural influences, and certainly they considered themselves vastly superior to the uncouth Westerners."8

Mitcham quotes Alexis de Tocqueville who wrote in his famous work, Democracy in America:

Race prejudice seems stronger in those states that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists, and nowhere is it more intolerant than in those states where slavery was never known.9

Tocqueville, a Frenchman, was perhaps the most astute observer of life in antebellum America because he was observing as an outsider. He traveled the country widely and published Democracy in America in two volumes, the first in 1835, the second in 1840.

Tocqueville also stated that any American state that became powerful enough to take over the federal government would do so and force the rest of the country to be tributary to its wealth and power, which is exactly what happened except it wasn't one state. It was all the close-knit populous states of the Northeast.

The North's population exploded in the 1850s with massive immigration. By the time Southerners realized they were going to be outvoted forever by the Northern majority --- something the Founders called the "tyranny of the majority" --- it was too late.

The South should have seceded in the 1830s because of the Tariff of Abominations, or in 1850, or better still, they should have listened to Patrick Henry and never joined the Constitution but instead formed their own country with fellow Southerners.

A big problem for Northerners was the "integrated nature of Southern society." The South was a multi-racial integrated society until it was forced during Reconstruction to adopt the Northern model of rigid segregation.

Segregation had been easy for the North because there were few blacks in the North, but it was impossible for the South until forced on the South after Reconstruction.

Southerners had resisted segregation because they associated it with "the ills of Northern industrial society, as pointed out by C. Vann Woodward in his classic The Strange Career of Jim Crow, a book Martin Luther King called 'the historical Bible of the civil rights movement.'"10

Northerners as the white Yankees in Gone with the Wind showed, were repulsed by the thought of Mammy touching their children.

Scarlett O'Hara thought that was absurd. Here's where fiction perfectly illustrates reality but even more horrifying than Mammy's black hands was the fact that "Black women often served as wet nurses for white babies, something Northerners found offensive, if not odious."11

Mitcham points out that the black population in the South grew rapidly "after the slave trade ended, one indication of relatively good treatment. In other areas, there was no natural increase. The sugar plantations of the Caribbean and other regions required continuous importation of slaves."

Mitcham suggests reading the "Slave Narratives" of the Federal Writers' Project for a good perspective on slavery despite them being written years after slavery ended. They are still first-hand accounts by former slaves in their own words.

Northerners treated free blacks terribly, looked down on them and considered them a curse.

Ironically, most abolitionists were racists who didn't want blacks anywhere near them. They were anti-slavery, often as a political issue, but they were not pro-black. This is an indisputable fact.

The expansion of slavery in the West issue was based on that same Northern racism: Northerners didn't want slavery in the West because they didn't want blacks in the West near them. As Lincoln said in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the West was to be reserved for white working men from all over the world. No blacks allowed.

Mitcham points out the many Northern states that had laws forbidding blacks from living there or even visiting. In Lincoln's Illinois in 1833:

[B]lacks could not vote, sit on juries, testify against white people, or attend public schools. If three or more free blacks assembled for the purpose of dancing, they were fined twenty dollars ($540.90 in 2018 dollars) and were to be publicly whipped. They were not to receive more than thirty-nine lashes, however.12

In 1853, Illinois "passed a law 'to prevent the immigration of free negroes into the state.' It declared it a misdemeanor for a 'Negro or mulatto,' slave or free, to come into the state with the intention of living." Any black person doing so "faced a fine or temporary slavery to pay for these fines and other costs."13

In the 1862 Illinois Constitutional Convention supported by Abraham Lincoln, there was Article XVIII, Section 1: "'No negro or mulatto shall immigrate or settle in the state after the adoption of the Constitution.'" Mitcham writes that:

The article was presented for a vote of the people separate from the Constitution. The Constitution was rejected by more than 16,000 votes, but Article XVIII passed by a majority of 100,500 votes and became an organic law in the Illinois Constitution.14

Indiana and Oregon also had laws which passed by wide margins that forbid blacks from settling there "Nor where these the only states to forbid black people and mulattos from entering. Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, California, Colorado, and New Mexico, had similar language in their constitutions."15

Gen. William T. Sherman got a letter from his brother John Sherman April 2, 1862 that stated:

We do not like the negroes. We do not disguise our dislike. As my friend from Indiana said yesterday: 'The whole people of the Northwestern States are opposed to having many negroes among them and that principle or prejudice has been engraved in the legislation for nearly all the Northwestern States.'16

Gen. Sherman owned two "'house slaves'" when he was president of Louisiana Military Academy in Alexandria. He wrote:

All the Congresses on earth can't make the negro anything else than what he is; he must be subject to the white man, or he must amalgamate or be destroyed. Two such races cannot live in harmony, save as master and slave.17

This was a common attitude in the 19th century North and West. Black people were far more accepted in the South where there was an equal number of free blacks as in the North. Slavery existed but there were also good, loving relationships between blacks and whites that could not even be extinguished by all the carpetbagger hate of Reconstruction.

Slavery was a way to get the cotton picked and nothing more. With the invention of machines to pick cotton, there was no need for slavery and Southerners would have ended it in a much better way than what happened with Lincoln's bloody war that killed 750,000 men and maimed over a million.

Lincoln's war and the corruption and hatred forced on the South during Reconstruction caused problems for blacks and whites for over 100 years but the North was still more racist as well as hypocritical.

Republican Sen. Benjamin Wade of Ohio, an abolitionist leader and Lincoln ally "became extremely critical of him when he failed to recruit black soldiers into the Union Army quickly. Privately, he called Lincoln 'poor white trash.' Wade was a matter of record intensely bigoted against people of color; during the Civil War, he wanted to send dispensable African-American troops into combat as rapidly as possible so Confederates could kill them instead of white soldiers."

In 1851, Wade called Washington, D.C.: "'a God-forsaken N**ger ridden place.' He wanted to hire a white woman as a housekeeper because 'I am sick and tired of n**gers.' He complained that he had eaten food cook 'by n**gers until I can smell and taste the n**er.'"18

Of course, Mitcham is correct when he writes:

Given the hatred much of New England and the rest of the North felt toward people of color, it is absurd and hypocritical to claim that many in the North invaded the South and sacrificed young white men to emancipate slaves.19

The one thing you can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt is that the North did not go to war to end slavery. All of their documents for the first two years of the war like the Corwin Amendment, the War Aims Resolution, the six slave states that fought for the Union, etc. when hundreds of thousands of men died, prove conclusively that the North did not go to war to end slavery. They could care less about slavery. The only thing they cared about was their money and power.

Mitcham writes that before the war "unlike the industrial North, the South as a whole preferred a prosperous and innovative agricultural way of life because it was profitable and more congenial."20

He notes numerous technological achievements in agriculture by Southerners such as the McCormack Reaper and:

Innovation was even more noticeable during the Civil War, when a Southerners invented the Gatling gun, Texas Rangers designed the Colt revolver, and Brigadier General Gabriel Rains developed the landmine. Other Southern innovations included ironclads, submarines, electronically detonated mines, and a workable machine gun.21

About literacy, Mitcham writes:

It is popular in the modern media to portray Southerners---antebellum and after---as illiterate. Frank L. Owsley, however, revealed that the literacy rate of the Old South was 91.73 percent. While that was less than that of New England (98.2 percent) and the Northwest (95 percent), it was higher than the male population of Great Britain (75.4 percent), and no one ever refers to the British of that day as uneducated and illiterate. The Old South's white literacy rate, in fact, was higher than every country in Europe except Sweden and Denmark.22

Mitcham writes that the South in 1860 was "more prosperous than either the West, the North, or New England. Of the top eleven states in per capita income, six were Southern." He also points out:

Nor were all the prosperous people in the Old South planters and plantation owners. There was a significant class of sturdy, yeoman farmers. As the Union army discovered, they also made surprisingly good combat infantrymen.23

Mitcham makes clear that Southerners "had a severe distaste for people from other regions coming to Dixie and telling them how to  live." It is easy to understand why:

In New York City in 1860, women and children were working sixteen-hour days on starvation wages. There were more than 150,000 unemployed, 40,000 homeless, 600 brothels (some with girls as young as ten), and 8,000 bars or grog shops. Half of the children of the city did not live past the age of five. Other Northern slums were at least as bad.24

Mitcham ends this excellent chapter with an absolute truth:

The North, beginning in New England, had a holier-than-thou attitude born of moral self-deception which unfortunately has become a permanent characteristic of some of their "elites."25


Next Week:
A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Part Six of Ten
(Click Here to go to previous week: Part Four: Chapter V, The Nullification Crisis)


(Scroll down for:
It Wasn't About Slavery, Actual Citation from Book)

1 "California police seek 80 suspects in flash-mob department store robbery, Reuters, 11/21/21,, accessed 11-24-21.

2 Toby Keith, Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),, accessed 11-24-21.

3 Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War (Washington, DC: Regnery History, 2020), 51.

4 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 52.

5 Ibid.

6 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 53.

7 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 53.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid.

10 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 54.

11 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 53-54.

12 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 55.

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid.

15 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 56.

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid.

18 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 56-57.

19 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 57.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 Ibid.

23 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 59.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid.


 It Wasn't About Slavery,
Actual Citation from Book

It Wasn’t About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. – A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Four of Ten

A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Part Four of Ten
Chapter V
The Nullification Crisis
by Gene Kizer, Jr.

I am extending this series to ten. Mitcham's book is important enough for this comprehensive treatment because it covers all the important issues of the antebellum era and War Between the States from start to finish, and, as I have said many times, Mitcham cuts right to the chase. He explains everything well and does not waste your time.

Everybody should read this chapter through. It will give you a solid understanding of the antebellum era, nullification, and what they meant for the future.

At the end of this article, beneath the notes I have cited, is "Actual Citation from Book," Mitcham's endnotes for Chapter V.

The epigraphs for this chapter are perfect, especially the one from the Charleston Mercury:

South Carolina will preserve its sovereignty or be buried beneath it. ---Senator Robert Young Hayne, 1832

The real causes of dissatisfaction in the South with the North, are in the unjust taxation and expenditure of taxes . . . and in the revolution the North has effected in this government, from a confederated republic, to a national sectional despotism.---Charleston Mercury editorial, November 8, 1860.

[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : The above excerpt from the Charleston Mercury is the primary reason for the War Between the States. It is ignored by many "historians," academia and the news media, because they are not only ignorant of Southern history, a large number of them are corrupt. This is unquestionably due to the politicization of history that began in the 1960s.

What comes out of academia today is not because of good scholarship and open, honest debate, but instead is the price professors have to pay to keep the mob away from their office. They know what they have to say and teach so they won't be branded a racist and lose their pensions.

The politicized news media is beyond corrupt. Most of its purpose is not truth but to keep 30% of the country voting democrat and hating the rest of the country.

As esteemed historian Eugene Genovese said 25 years ago, academic and media elites have turned Southern history into a "political and cultural atrocity," but truth is still readily available. It's in the outstanding scholarship of independent historians and publishers, and in places like this book of Dr. Mitcham's, not to mention all the excellent history written in the past when the standard was good argument and thorough documentation, unlike the woke politicized history of today that inspires nobody.]

MITCHAM STARTS CHAPTER V by pointing out that "The question of who could interpret constitutional issues was not addressed in the Constitution."

The judiciary moved quickly to take over that power but "Some of the Founders soon realized that, if this continued, the only restraint on the federal government would be the federal government itself, an oxymoron." In those days it was states that got to decide, under the Tenth Amendment, if something was constitutional or not.1 Frankly, that's how it ought to be today. We'd have a lot more freedom if it was.

Nullifying tyrannical laws goes back to the Colonies: "The British Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765, but the North American colonies considered it an illegal tax and resorted to mob violence to resist it." The tax collectors quit, which nullified the act and led to Parliament repealing it in 1766.

But the British wanted their colonies to be tributary to the empire's wealth and power just like the North did in the antebellum days as South Carolina noted in its secession documents.

The British followed the Stamp Act

with other attempts at taxation, including the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Administration of Justice Act, and the Quartering Act. Taken together, these are called the Coercive Acts or the Intolerable Acts. Massachusetts led the way in resisting and trying to nullify them, resulting in the Boston Tea Party, the Suffolk Resolves, and the forming of the First Continental Congress. But did the states still have the right to do so after they joined the United States? This question would need an answer.2

It is fascinating to see how early legal cases reflected and formed political thought in our country. It always comes down to those who want a strong centralized all-powerful federal government, and those who don't.

The main issue in American history since the Revolution has been federal versus state power starting with the more populous North --- the Federals in the War Between the States --- desiring to control the federal government with its larger population so it could pass legislation favorable to itself. The Founding Fathers called this the "tyranny of the majority."

Mitcham points out that in 1792, Alexander Chisholm sued the State of Georgia on behalf of the estate of Robert Farquhar, for payment for goods delivered during the Revolution.

The case was tried in the Supreme Court but the Georgia lawyers refused to appear stating that Georgia was a sovereign state that "could not be sued without its permission."

Chisholm won, giving a "significant victory to centralized government because a branch of the federal government had placed itself above a sovereign state."

But that quickly led to "the Eleventh Amendment, which restored the states' sovereign immunity."3

The next battle "centered around the Alien and Sedition Acts" but they were declared null by the Democrat-Republicans who issued the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, so "this crisis ended without a clear resolution."4

Jefferson won the presidency in 1800 but on his way out the door, John Adams "tried to pack the federal courts with sixteen Federalist judges, who would have lifetime appointments to the recently created seats on the bench (the Judiciary Act of 1801)."

Mitcham writes:

Jefferson's inaugural address was a thing of toleration, art, and beauty. New England was once again threatening to leave the Union because it had lost the election. Jefferson invited it to do so. 'If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve the Union,' he said, 'or to change it republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.'5

The 'Midnight Judges Act' did not stand because Jefferson and supporters in Congress repealed it and "Jefferson swept the lower court benches clear" except for Adams' chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall, Jefferson's cousin. Marshall later "cleverly inserted the principle of judicial review into the decision on the landmark case of Marbury v. Madison (1803)."

Jefferson fought it by trying to impeach an "arrogant and obnoxious Federalist Supreme Court judge" but lost when the Supreme Court decided arrogance and obnoxiousness did not rise to the required "high crimes and misdemeanors" required, so Marshall and the Supreme Court "was thus able to create for itself the right of judicial review, even though it was not in the Constitution."6

The issue was not settled because states could still review constitutional cases.

With regard to slavery, in the "early 1830s, the South inched toward emancipation." Mitcham points out that

there were more anti-slavery societies in the South than the North. The 106 Southern anti-slavery societies had 5,150 members. The twenty-four anti-slavery organizations in the North had 1,475 members.7

Virginia almost voted for emancipation in 1832. It lost 65-58 and the only reason was the emancipationists could not agree on the details. A resolution "that admitted slavery was evil" did pass 73 to 58.

Emancipationists believed it would pass in the future but then virtue-signaling

Northern abolitionists 'began their theatrical antics demanding immediate, uncompensated emancipation, backed by threats of terror and Northern secession.' The Southerners did not like people coming down and telling them how to live. As a result, the slavery issue became sectional. By 1850, there were zero anti-slave societies in the South.8

Meanwhile sectionalism grew. It was the one thing George Washington warned about. He said parties should always be national and not sectional. The moment they become sectional, Washington warned that the country was in trouble.

In 1833, 27 years before South Carolina seceded, "America teetered on the brink of civil war" over tariffs, nullification and states' rights.

The Denmark Vesey plot had been discovered. Vesey "a free black minister in Charleston and one of the founders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), was angry because he had been unable to buy his first wife and children out of slavery." The plot was discovered and Vesey and around 35 others were hanged and others deported.

The South Carolina legislature passed the Negro Seaman Act "which required the confinement of all foreign black sailors to their ships while they were docked in South Carolina ports. If a black sailor disobeyed the law and came ashore, he faced arrest and the prospect of enslavement."9 Other Southern states "which also feared servile insurrection---quickly replicated South Carolina's actions. The entire matter soon ended up in court."10

The Negro Seaman Act was declared unconstitutional because it "violated U.S. treaties with the United Kingdom" but that didn't matter to the South Carolina Senate which nullified the ruling and President James Monroe did nothing about it.

Late in his life Jefferson "recommended that Virginia reassert her sovereignty and nullify federal internal improvement legislation, which he considered unconstitutional." He died in 1826 but before that wrote about slavery "we have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go."11

Two years later, in 1828, the Tariff of Abominations was passed 105 to 94 in the House, and 26 to 21 in the Senate. Southerners voted against it 50 to 3. It raised rates dramatically to around 47 percent on most items, and 51 percent on "implements with iron in them."

Mitcham points out:

The Constitution allowed a tariff for revenue purposes. For those who interpreted the document strictly, this did not mean that it authorized a tariff to protect domestic manufacturers from foreign competition or to favor one section of the country over another. The South solidly opposed protective tariffs, correctly envisioning that restraints on free trade would mean economic exploitation of an exporting region like the Cotton States.12

This use of the federal government to enrich Northerners through tariffs, bounties, subsidies and monopoly status for Northern businesses is why Southerners in the Confederate Constitution forbid protective tariffs. It was not fair to favor one section of the country over another, especially when it cost that other section more in taxes. Even more outrageously, 80% of the tax money was being spent in the North.

No wonder Southerners seceded. Everybody knows that money drives everything. Nobody sends their precious sons off to die because they don't like the domestic institutions in other countries. We aren't at war today though there is more slavery on the planet than at any other time in human history as Mitcham pointed out early in his book.

Slavery as the cause of the American War Between the States is one of the biggest absurdities in all of history. It is the one thing you can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt: that the North did not go to war to free the slaves or end slavery.

Yankees care about money. Black lives did not matter much to them. That's why so many Northern states forbid blacks from living there or even visiting including Lincoln's Illinois.

The Confederate tariff was less than 10% for the operation of a small federal government in a states rights nation. The Yankee tariff, the Morrill Tariff, was 47 to 60%. That's one reason Northern ship captains were beating a path to the South where they could get cargoes.

The Morrill Tariff threatened to destroy the Northern shipping industry overnight, which was the one-two punch that caused Lincoln to start the war. Northerners had already lost much of their manufacturing industry because they manufactured mostly for the captive Southern market, but Southerners did not want overpriced inferior Northern goods. They wanted free trade and had always wanted free trade. They wanted to manufacture for themselves and buy from England and other places.

Lincoln could see the death of the North on the wall, or severe economic damage at the very least. A free trade South with 100% control of the most demanded commodity on the planet --- cotton --- would bury the North in short order. Lincoln needed to fight right when he did, which is why he started the war. Every day that went by, the South got stronger and the North got weaker.

The South with European trade and military agreements would be unbeatable in a war, and Lincoln and Northern leaders knew it.

That's why we had the War Between the States. Certainly not for any mythological freeing of the slaves by the North, or protecting slavery by the South.

Slavery was a way to get the cotton picked. Technology and the invention of machines to pick cotton would have ended slavery by the 1880s. Southerners would much rather do like Yankees and hire when they needed to, and fire when they needed to, without a birth to death commitment. Lincoln didn't need to kill 750,000 people and maim over a million, but then his party would have disappeared from history and there would be no Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln was a sectional president, president of the North. When he went to war, it was to protect and enrich the North. He did not care an iota about the rest of the country. That's why it was always "Union" for Lincoln, because that's where Yankee power and money were. And the Union would be controlled by the Northern majority.

Mitcham points out that the Tariff of 1828 caused John Quincy Adams to lose the presidential election to "hot-tempered, intolerant military man and slaveholder" Andrew Jackson. Jackson believed the high tariff should stay in place "until the national debt was paid off."

Mitcham makes a critically important point about that debt:

(Most of the debt was caused by over expenditures on internal improvements in the North. "Internal improvements" in today's terms means government subsidies to private industry, corporate welfare and crony capitalism, and catering to special interest groups. In the nineteenth century, they were characterized by corruption and enthusiastically supported by Abraham Lincoln and other Northern Whigs.) Despite his sympathy for the South, Jackson would not sanction nullification or secession.13

Here is why this book of Mitcham's is so outstanding. He talks about the tariff debate in the Senate which began December 29, 1829 between mainly Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and allies, and Robert Y. Hayne of South Carolina and allies. Mitcham writes:

According to establishment historical mythology, the intellectually outstanding Webster, using his vastly superior debating skills, isolated the South, discredited states' rights, nullification, secession, and strict constructionism, and affirmed the principles of implied powers, strong central government, federal supremacy, and an indivisible, perpetual Union----- all by himself and in only a couple of speeches.14

However, this myth was "convincingly shattered" in 2016 by H. A. Scott Trask: "Trask examined the documents and newspapers of that time, which give an entirely different picture. At least as many people believed Hayne had defeated Webster."15

Mitcham gives an exciting account of the back-and-forth of Webster and Hayne. The debate begins with Connecticut Senator Samuel A. Foot's resolution about whether it was "desirable to limit the sale of public lands indefinitely and to stop the survey of new areas."

A Hayne ally, Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri,

rose and denounced the proposal as just another attempt by New England to stop immigration to the western states. Their hidden aim, he declared, was to keep people in the East to work in their factories. On January 18, 1830, he spoke again and charged that the business classes of the East were trying to enrich themselves by taxing the South, injuring the West, and pauperizing the poor of the North.16

The debate went on for months with Webster, like New England liberal democrats today, adamantly defending the federal government and its growth. Webster "attacked the South and its institutions, and declared that Southerners were hurting the country by opposing the growing power of the central government."

Benton "correctly accused Webster of trying to isolate the South and form an alliance between the North and West, creating a coalition like the one that led to the election of Adams in 1824" and he added that "New England had threatened to secede on more than one occasion and that the region's attitude toward the Union was one of calculated indifference."17

Mitcham writes:

Hayne spoke again on January 21, attacking the New England faction as motivated by base self-interest and defending his state's right to sovereignty and nullification. He quoted Jefferson's contention that the national government was not the 'exclusive or final judge of the extent of its own powers.' (Like Marshall, Webster believed the Supreme Court was the exclusive evaluator of constitutional disputes.)18

As the debate about the Tariff of 1828 continued, the South Carolina legislature declared it unconstitutional.

Behind the scenes, Vice President John C. Calhoun secretly wrote The South Carolina Exposition and Protest, which advanced the idea of nullification vis-a-vis the tariff. He asserted that the Tariff of 1828 was unconstitutional because it favored manufacturing over commerce and agriculture. In Exposition and Protest, Calhoun held that state conventions (which had originally ratified the Constitution) could nullify any law they considered unconstitutional. The nullification could only be overridden by a three-fourths vote of all the states.19

Jackson was uncompromising, "He demanded immediate and unconditional obedience."

South Carolina refused "for constitutional and economic reasons." Since the "Panic of 1819, and, due to Western migration, its population had dropped from 580,000 to just under 500,000 in the 1820s." South Carolina just could not afford it.

South Carolina congressman and Calhoun supporter, George McDuffie, "expounded the Forty Bale Theory. The theory declared that the 40 percent tax on finished cotton goods in the Tariff of 1816 meant that 'the manufacturer actually invades your barns and plunders you of forty out of every hundred bales that you produce.'"

McDuffie's message was effective and "opened the eyes of many South Carolinians. It made converts to the idea of nullification and stoked the fires of many who already felt the federal government was taking advantage of them."20

In this tense atmosphere, "President Jackson arranged an elaborate dinner at the India Queen Hotel on April 13, 1830, to celebrate Thomas Jefferson's birthday." Everybody was there.

Hayne spoke that evening and "denounced the tariff but avoided any mention of nullification." During the toasts, there were many anti-tariff messages so much so that the entire Pennslyvania delegation left. Tensions were high.

Jackson rose and looked straight at Calhoun and said with vigor, "Our Union, it must be preserved."

The entire room went silent. It could not have been more dramatic had Jackson ordered federal officers to arrest Calhoun on the spot. The vice president was scheduled to give the next toast. He arose, looked directly at Jackson, and in a firm voice said: 'The Union, next to our liberty, most dear. May we all remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the states and by distributing equally the benefits and burdens of the Union.'21

Northerners began realizing the Tariff of Abominations was too much. Thinking the Tariff of 1832 would adjust the rates satisfactorily, South Carolina did not take action:

The Tariff of 1832 did indeed lower the rates but not enough. The average tariff for dutiable good was 33 percent. Thanks to the tariffs, about 90 percent of which were paid by Southerners, the United States now had a budget surplus, but the Northerners drafted a bill that kept the tariffs high and protected the manufacturer's profit margins at the expense of the South. Many Southerners felt hoodwinked. Much of the rest of Dixie wanted a better compromise, but South Carolina was ready to act. Governor James Hamilton conducted pro-nullification, anti-tariff rallies throughout the state. As a result, the nullification forces won the state election of 1832 by a large majority.22

The next events were exciting and important in American history. South Carolina governor James Hamilton "called for a special session to authorize a nullification convention. The legislature concurred, and the convention met on November 24. It chose Senator Hayne presiding officer and quickly declared the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 unconstitutional and nullified them. State and federal officials were forbidden from collecting tariffs within the state after February 1, 1833. The leadership vowed to secede if the United States government tried coercion."23

Jackson in private threatened to invade South Carolina and hang Calhoun. Jackson in public stated "he would use force to prevent nullification."

In the next few weeks, Hamilton's term as governor ended and Hayne was picked governor by the legislature which chose governors and senators in those days. Calhoun's relationship with Jackson was destroyed so he resigned as vice president and was picked to be a senator, replacing Hayne.

On January 16, 1833 Jackson "requested Congress pass the Force Bill authorizing military intervention in South Carolina."

South Carolina "mobilized 27,000 men."

Realizing bloodshed was about to occur and nobody really wanted war, a compromise was worked out by Clay and Calhoun rolling back "the tariffs over a nine-year period until 1842, when it reached the levels of the 1816 Tariff---about 20 percent."

In a final "gesture of defiance," South Carolina nullified the Force Act.


Next Week:

A Comprehensive Review of

It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.

Part Five of Ten

(Click Here to go to previous week: Part Three: Chapter III, Secession: The Constitutional Issue; Chapter IV, Pregnant Events)


(Scroll down for:
It Wasn't About Slavery, Actual Citation from Book)

1 Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War (Washington, DC: Regnery History, 2020), 37.

2 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 37-38.

3 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 38.

4 Ibid.

5 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 39.

6 Ibid.

7 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 40.

8 Ibid.

9 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 41.

10 Ibid.

11 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 41-42.

12 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 42.

13 Ibid.

14 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 42-43.

15 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 43.

16 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 43-44.

17 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 44.

18 Ibid.

19 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 45.

20 Ibid.

21 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 47.

22 Ibid.

23 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 47-48.

 It Wasn't About Slavery,
Actual Citation from Book
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Mitcham-Notes-Chap-5-2 112K 600 pix

It Wasn’t About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. – A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Three of Five

A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Part Three of Five
Chapter III
Secession: The Constitutional Issue
Chapter IV
Pregnant Events
by Gene Kizer, Jr.
Epigraphs at beginning of It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Epigraphs at beginning of It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.

At the end of this article, beneath the notes I have cited, is "Actual Citation from Book," two pages of Mitcham's endnotes for Chapters III and IV.

In Chapter III, Secession: The Constitutional Issue, Dr. Mitcham again cuts right to the chase when he writes:

The Issue of Secession can be dealt with very simply. The United States was a product of secession. The Declaration of Independence was the most beautiful Ordinance of Secession ever written.1

He discusses the Articles of Confederation (1781-1789) among the 13 sovereign states, which was supposed to be perpetual but "every state left or seceded from it by 1790."2

A Constitutional Convention was held starting in Philadelphia in 1787, and on March 4, 1789, the Constitution of the United States went into effect. Mitcham writes:

Every state (colony) recognized the right of secession in 1776 and again in 1789. The Constitution dealt with this right indirectly in Amendment Ten of the Bill of Rights, which states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." It was ratified by the states between 1789 and 1791 and added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.

New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia did not wait for the addition of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution to ensure they could leave the Union if they wished. They explicitly reserved the right to secede when their legislatures ratified the Constitution on July 26, 1788 [NY]; May 29, 1790 [RI]; and June 25, 1788 [VA], respectively.3

Part Two of my book, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument., is entitled "The Right of Secession." I go into detail in 91 pages, which include "An Annotated Chronology of the Secession Debate in the South" in the year leading up to Southern states seceding.

I include much from Is Davis a Traitor by Albert Taylor Bledsoe, the 1995 reprint by Fletcher and Fletcher Publishing with Introduction by Clyde N. Wilson, emeritus professor of History at the University of South Carolina and author of numerous books, hundreds of articles, and primary editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun.

I also include an analysis of a Stetson Law Review article from Stetson University College of Law written by H. Newcomb Morse in 1986 that documents and brings up all the history and legal angles of secession and concludes:

. . . conceivably, it was the Northern States that acted illegally in precipitating the War Between the States. The Southern States, in all likelihood, were exercising a perfectly legitimate right in seceding from the Union.4

One of the most important things that I point out is what Dr. Mitcham just pointed out about New York, Rhode Island and Virginia reserving the right of secession.

Let me make it clear that because all the states entered the Union as equals, the acceptance of the reserved right of secession of New York, Rhode Island and Virginia by all the other states also gave it to them, though there is other, overwhelming, conclusive evidence that secession was a legal right accepted by all. Even Horace Greeley ("let our erring sisters go") and Abraham Lincoln believed in it until they realized it would affect their money. Then they wanted war as did the rest of the North as they watched property values sink and goods rot on New York docks.

In 1847, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, 14 years before he started the War Between the States in Charleston Harbor, Abraham Lincoln said:

Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right, a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.5

Mitcham writes that "the absence of any mention of secession in the Constitution and the intent of the Tenth Amendment remain quite clear." Mitcham means, of course, that nothing in the Constitution prohibits secession, and the Tenth Amendment gives all power not prohibited by the Constitution to the states or people, therefore the right of secession is clear. It is clear for numerous other powerful, conclusive reasons based in history, law, precedent and tradition, too.

Mitcham writes "The argument between Hamiltonians (large, strong, central government) and Jeffersonians ("governs best which governs least") continues---albeit in altered form---to the present day."

Ironically, as Mitcham points out, it was the Northeast, the New England states, who threatened to secede many times before the South actually did. Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison wanted to secede through the 1840s and 1850s because he did not want to be in a country with slavery. The treasonous Hartford Convention led by Massachusetts threatened to secede during the War of 1812 while at the same time aiding our British enemies. That is the very definition of treason.

Southerners never did anything like that. They debated the issue of secession and voted democratically in conventions stating their intent all along in accordance with precedents set by our secessionist Founding Fathers who seceded from the British Empire for the exact same reason Southerners seceded from the federal Union: Independence and Self-government. [And judging by what the Federal Government has become today with its deep-state corruption, an FBI that lies to FISA courts on surveillance warrants so they can spy for the Democrat Party on political rivals and innocent Americans, a DOJ and attorney general, Merrick Garland, who sicced the FBI on parents at school board meetings who are protesting racist Critical Race Theory and transgenderism being taught to their children at school, etc., etc., Southerners were right.]

The most widespread phrase in the secession debate in the South in the year leading up to secession came from the Declaration of Independence:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Anything that New Englanders thought would dilute their political power would provoke talk of secession. Mitcham writes:6

In all, New England seriously considered secession five times:

1) over the Louisiana Purchase

2) over Jefferson's embargo

3) because of the War of 1812

4) over the annexation of Texas

5) over the Fugitive Slave Act

After the War Between the States, which killed over 750,000 and maimed over a million, Northern historians vilified the South to excuse their war to establish the Northeast as the economic and cultural capital of our great nation. Mitcham writes, "Fortunately for Northern historians, the morally abhorrent institution of slavery---of which the North had only recently divested itself, from which it profited until 1885, and which largely funded its industrial revolution---was conveniently available."

He hits the nail on the head when he denies that slavery was the cause of secession or the war:

The fact that there is a vast body of evidence to the contrary and that Southerners of that time gave several other reasons for secession was, and still is, simply ignored. But this is a highly successful Marxist tactic: focus on something that people find highly repugnant and then build an analytic framework around it.7

Chapter IV
Pregnant Events

Mitcham points out the many things that defined the antebellum era and led to the war. They began immediately after George Washington was inaugurated April 30, 1789. Three months later, on July 4, Washington signed the Tariff of 1789.

Tariffs were the "primary source of federal revenue" because there was no income tax in those days. Tariffs "placed an undue burden on the South, whose income, based on agricultural exports, was dependent on foreign imports."

A huge event that traumatized the entire South was the bloody slave revolt in Haiti that began August 14, 1791. Mitcham writes:

Within weeks, 100,000 slaves joined the rebellion. They killed 4,000 whites and destroyed 180 sugar plantations and 900 coffee plantations, as well as hundreds of large indigo farms. The revolution was characterized by extreme violence, torture, rape, and murder. Entire families were wiped out. Survivors often escaped with only the clothes on their backs. Many of them fled to the American South, carrying their stories of horror with them. Meanwhile, the whites who remained on the island formed militia units, which killed some 15,000 black people in an orgy of revenge. The fighting lasted until 1804, when Haiti became an independent republic under black leadership. It was the only successful slave insurrection in the history of the Western Hemisphere.8

Slave trading was not yet outlawed by the United States Constitution, which allowed slave trading until 1808, so New Englanders were going at it full steam. Of course, after 1808, New Englanders still made huge fortunes in the international slave trade picking up slave cargoes from African tribal chieftains and taking them all over the world including secretly into America. This they did until 1885, 20 years after the War Between the States ended.

But in the early antebellum days, Eli Whitney's cotton gin reversed the dying out of slavery and increased the demand for field workers dramatically, which Yankee slave traders were glad to meet.

The 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts of the Federalist Congress restricted immigration and "the speech of people who defamed government officials, including the president." [Sounds like TODAY with the Democrat Party using big tech and cancel culture to censor speech and destroy the businesses and lives of Americans who don't agree with their twisted woke idiocy.]

This led to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, which their legislatures passed in 1798. They "argued that individual states had the power to declare federal laws unconstitutional." A second Kentucky Resolution in 1799 "declared that if a state found a law unconstitutional, nullification was the proper remedy." Alexander Hamilton's solution was the opposite. He wanted "to send the army to Virginia to enforce the Acts."9

Jefferson won the presidential election of 1800, which caused racist New England to show its colors. It was a "racial trauma" for New Englanders because Jefferson had slept with a black woman. New Englanders

considered Jefferson racially tarnished and called him the "first Negro president." They also resented the fact that black folks counted as three-fifths of a person for census purposes, which determined the allocation of electoral votes. If it had not been for this "three-fifths rule," Adams would have been reelected.

Southerners wanted black people to count as the whole human beings they are, but Yankees wanted them reduced to 3/5ths of a person so the North would have more political power.

Mitcham writes, "Northerners of that day were highly prejudiced against black people, and they kept this bias throughout the Civil War era."10

He talks about "Josiah C. Nott, a descendant of one of Connecticut's oldest families, and Louis Agassiz, a zoology professor at Harvard" who did research on the inferiority of blacks to whites, presenting theories that blacks were not of the same species as whites --- "Nott described his racial theories as 'niggerology.'"11

Ralph Waldo Emerson said blacks were "destined for the museums, like the Dodo." He thought they would die out if freed.

Southerners wanted to end slavery in a way that would work:

Thomas Jefferson once suggested that the slaves could go to the Western lands and find liberation. He received no support from the North, but Virginia statesman John Randolph thought it was a capital idea. He freed his 518 slaves in his will and caused them to be sent to Ohio, to lands they inherited from him, along with supplies provided by his estate. But Ohio refused to accept them. The free black contingent had to return to Virginia and ask to be made wards of the state.12

Tariffs increasingly became a problem. Mitcham writes about the "unintended consequences" of the Tariff of 1816:

First, the North became addicted to protective tariffs---and with incredible speed. Second, the nature of the tariff itself changed. It became a corrupt system for the redistribution of wealth by political means. Third, Northern manufacturers were now able to charge more for their own products and thus reap higher profits because the tariffs (taxes) on imported British goods were so high.13

That caused enormous economic problems for the South. They had higher costs, and a higher cost of living because of Northern tariffs.

The debate over the admission of Missouri as a slave state exposed the North's hypocrisy. Mitcham writes:

Among the leaders of the anti-admission faction was Northern flesh peddler Senator James DeWolff of Rhode Island. DeWolff was one of the wealthiest men in the United States. He made his money in the New England slave trade. His company ran eighty voyages to Africa before Washington shut down the importation of human beings to the U.S.A. in 1808. After that, DeWolff's ships engaged in the global slave trade.14

To make it worse, there were heavy federal subsidies of New England business interests including fishing and manufacturing. Like a drug addict, Yankees were addicted to other people's money and their method of theft was the federal government and their domination of it.

The Missouri Compromise of 1820 brought Missouri, a slave state, and Maine, a free state, into the Union.

The "Black Codes" such as were adopted in Lincoln's Illinois prohibited free blacks from entering Illinois.

Lincoln believed, his whole life, in sending black people back to Africa or into a climate they could handle. He was a member of the American Colonization Society and "secretary of the Illinois branch for several years." Lincoln "and his colleagues, who included President James Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall, Alexander Hamilton, Daniel Webster, and Stephen Douglas, had a simple solution to the 'Negro problem': return every African American to Africa, including those born in the United States."15

Meanwhile, a violent abolitionist movement rose in the North with leaders such as Lysander Spooner of Massachusetts, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips and others.

The one thing that Southerners feared worse than all else, after the slaughter in Haiti, was a slave insurrection, but rather than trying to solve the slavery problem with good will, abolitionist extremists who were well-financed by New Englanders "flooded the South with handbills calling for slave revolts."

Mitcham points out that Henry Clay was Abraham Lincoln's idol. Clay was a slaveholder who believed in sending black people back to Africa. He also advocated for the "American System," a system of government largesse to help U.S. manufacturing compete with the British. The American System called for high tariffs, internal improvements for the North at taxpayer expense, and other of what today would be "corporate welfare."

Southerners were not against internal improvements but they believed that states should pay for whatever improvement they wanted. Improvements in one state should not be paid for by the people in another.

This is a prime example of the difference in the South's States' Rights philosophy and that of the North, which wanted to take over the federal government and rule for its own benefit only. Alexis de Tocqueville warned that if one state ever got the power to take over the federal government, it would do exactly as the North did: make the rest of the country tributary to its wealth and power.

Mitcham sums it up well:

The Tariff of 1824 was a sign of Northern political dominance in the United States. It was also a sign that Northern hegemony meant economic exploitation and poverty for the South. To Southerners, it proved that Northerners would ignore the Constitution if its economic interests were involved. James Spence wrote: 'The idea of a moderate system, generally beneficial to the industry of the country, without grievous hardship to any particular class, became altered into the reality of corrupt political bargains between special interests, to impose heavy taxation on all others for their own profit.'16

Two more slave revolts, one in 1811, and the Nat Turner revolt in 1831, kept Southerners on edge about slavery. Mitcham points out that "Abolitionists were irresponsible. Immediate, uncompensated liberation would have resulted in chaos and economic collapse for both the North and the South."

If the North really cared about ending slavery --- which they didn't --- they could have offered a plan of gradual compensated emancipation such as Northern states themselves used to end slavery. But Northerners were not about to spend hard-earned sweatshop money to free the slaves in the South who would then go North and be job competition.

It is clear that most Northerners did not give a damn about Southern slaves and surely did not want free blacks in the North or West.  During this time period the hypocritical North was still slave-trading all over the globe bringing huge fortunes constantly into the North.

Northerners also murdered abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy in Illinois in 1837.

Promoting the murder of Southern men, women and children so the North could gain politically and some could signal their "superior" virtue, was not going to end slavery or help black people, but that was not the goal.

Political domination and Northern wealth and power were always the goal as Alexis de Tocqueville had said.


Next Week:
A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Part Four of Five


(Scroll down for:
It Wasn't About Slavery, Actual Citation from Book)

1 Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War (Washington, DC: Regnery History, 2020), 19.

2 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 20.

3 Ibid.

4 H. Newcomb Morse, "The Foundations and Meaning of Secession," Stetson University College of Law, Stetson Law Review, Vol. XV, No. 2, 1986, 436, in Gene Kizer, Jr., Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument. (Charleston and James Island, SC: Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2014), 107, 121, available on

5 Abraham Lincoln, 1847 Congressional debate in the United States House of Representatives in John Shipley Tilley, Lincoln Takes Command (Hashville: Bill Coats, Ltd., 1991), xv. Tilley's source, as state in footnote #4 on page xv, was Goldwyn Smith, The United States: An Outline of Political History, 1492-1871 (New York and London, 1893), 248, in Kizer, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, Note 104, 109-110.

6 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 22-23.

7 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 23.

8 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 25-26.

9 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 27.

10 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 27-28.

11 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 28.

12 Ibid.

13 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 29.

14 Ibid.

15 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 31.

16 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 33.

 It Wasn't About Slavery,
Actual Citation from Book
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Mitcham-endnotes-Chap-3-4-2 110K 600 pix

It Wasn’t About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. – A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Two of Five

A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Part Two of Five, a close look at
Chapter I
Slavery and the Yankee Flesh Peddler
Chapter II
by Gene Kizer, Jr.
Back cover of It Wasn't About Slavery by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Back cover of It Wasn't About Slavery by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.

In doing this comprehensive review of Dr. Mitcham's It Wasn't About Slavery, my motives are selfish because I wanted to learn his facts and argument thoroughly and the best way to learn anything is write about it.

Everything I have cited in this review shows where it is located in Mitcham's book. Of course, the book itself cites Mitcham's original sources. At the end of this article, beneath the notes I have cited, is "Actual Citation from Book," four pages of Mitcham's actual endnotes for Chapters I and II. Many are explanatory with good additional information.

Chapter I, Slavery and the Yankee Flesh Peddler, is one of the best short histories of slavery I have ever read. As I said before, Dr. Mitcham has a knack for cutting to the chase.

He talks about the word "slave" being mentioned in the Bible in Genesis and slavery today:

According to the International Labor Office, a United Nations-affiliated organization, there were an estimated 40,300,000 slaves in the world in 2017. This means that, in terms of raw numbers, there are more slaves in the world today than at any other time in history. There is, however, no great outcry about this fact, nor any large-scale movements to rid the world of it. After all, there is no money in that.1

He points out how slavery was not racial in ancient times but "based primarily on military conquest or bad luck."2

Arab Muslims started racial slavery by enslaving black Africans and starting the Trans-Sahara trade routes that "took more than 10,000,000 Africans to North Africa and the Arabian peninsula." Many were enslaved by military conquest but others "were sold into slavery by fellow Africans." This era lasted until the 1800s though many African societies had converted to Islam and had slavery before the Muslims arrived. Many became slave traders. 3

Portugal "established trading posts along the West African coast" and began the second wave of race-based slavery.

Spaniards soon introduced race-based slavery into the New World in 1503 followed by the Brits in 1562. The British found the slave trade "so lucrative that they soon wanted to dominate it" but were not successful until 1713 when the "Treaty of Asiento with Spain gave Great Britain the bigger share of the slave trade."4

American Yankees started small in 1638 (18 years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Harbor, Mass.) by importing a few slaves for personal use because "the slave trade was a Crown monopoly until 1749" when it was opened to all Englishmen. New Englanders wasted no time getting into it.5

Mitcham provides a number of fascinating primary source narratives about the inner workings of the slave trade such as "Captain Canot or Twenty Years of an African Slaver" from 1854. Canot netted, what would be today almost a million dollars, on one ship with 220 slaves amongst other cargo. The profits were astronomical.6

Mitcham writes that:

In 1836, English Captain Isaacs visited the slave trading port of Lamu on the island of Zanzibar. It was overrun with Northern fresh peddlers. 'There were so many Yankee slavers and traders active in Zanzibar that the local population thought that Great Britain was a subdivision of Massachusetts,' Isaacs recalled.7

The year 1836 was 25 years before the War Between the States. This was the same period when abolitionists were hated in the North and often beaten or murdered like Elijah Lovejoy, murdered by a mob in 1837 in Alton, Illinois at age 34.

Mitcham writes:

All U. S. slave ships were built in the North; none were constructed in the South. Their crews were mostly Northern men, and Northerners prospered by the trade. New England also prospered indirectly because their capitalists bought Southern goods that were mostly produced by slaves. The Yankees then sold them overseas, usually at a handsome profit. The centers of the slave fleets were not New Orleans, Charleston or Savannah. They docked at Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, later joined by New York City, which was also the financial center of the slave business. New York bankers loaned money to slave buyers and Southern plantation owners to expand their cotton acreage. They often accepted slaves as collateral.8

When some journalist with the Hartford Courant in Hartford, Connecticut were researching slavery and to their shock found that Aetna Insurance Company of Connecticut had insured slaves, they looked further into it and the result was an outstanding book, Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery, by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank: (New York, Ballantine Books, 2005).

They are to be commended as outstanding journalists for their work though most journalists are still ignorant and disgraceful when it comes to Southern history. Esteemed historian Eugene Genovese (Roll, Jordan Roll, The World the Slaves Made, et al.) called their treatment of Southern history, along with academia's, a "cultural and political atrocity."

So many "journalists" and "historians" today accept the fraudulent 1619 Project, which is the worst scholarship in American history. It is based on a complete lie, that the American Revolution was fought because the Brits were about to abolish slavery. That is the main theme of the 1619 Project yet there is no evidence whatsoever for it: not a single letter, speech, editorial or anything else. It is a total fraud, an invention by a white-hating racist, Nikole Hannah-Jones,9 published in the race-obsessed New York Times, which pushed the Russia Hoax, that Trump colluded with Russia to win the election in 2016. Of course Mueller proved that was a fraud but it didn't stop the New York Times from pushing it as hard as they could for a year and winning a Pulitzer Prize for their fraud. Shows Pulitzers mean nothing today because Hannah-Jones won one too.

The news media and academia have outsmarted themselves because most people think much of academia is a joke, which it is, and they despise the news media, which is responsible for so much racist hate and division in our country today with Critical Race Theory. CRT started in academia and is pushed by the Associated Press and rest of the fraud-news media.

Mitcham goes on to discuss the Triangle Trade and he points out that only "six percent of the slaves exported from Africa to the New World were destined for the thirteen American colonies. The bulk of them went to the Caribbean, West Indies, Brazil, or the sugar plantations of South America or the islands such as Trinidad and Tobago."10

The slave trade was so entrenched in New England, when the Brits proposed a tax on molasses, a component of the Triangle Trade, Massachusetts merchants "Protested that the tax would ruin the slave trade and cause more than 700 ships to be docked for lack of work."11

African slavery would have been impossible without the help of other Africans in Africa who sold their own people into slavery as a result of mostly tribal warfare. Mitcham writes:

The Northern flesh peddlers obtained their black chattels primarily from other Africans. Historians Linda Heywood and John Thornton of Boston University estimated that 90% of the slaves shipped to the New World were first enslaved by Africans and only later sold to Europeans and American. Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., of Harvard University writes: 'The sad truth is that without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred.'12

Esteemed black anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston documents this too with such works as Barracoon, which was a slave fort where captured Africans were held by other Africans awaiting the European or New England slave ships that would take them on the horrendous Middle Passage.

Slavery was so entrenched in African culture that Mitcham quotes an African chief, Gezo, who told Britain's Sir Richard Francis Burton:

'The slave trade is the ruling principle of my people. It is the source of their wealth . . . the mother lulls the child to sleep with notes of triumph over an enemy reduced to slavery.'13

Mitcham's sources, quotations and analysis that I have put in this review are the tip of the iceberg you will find in his book.

Mitcham goes into detail on how widespread slavery was in New England in the eighteenth century. He says in Connecticut half of all "ministers, lawyers, and public officials owned slaves, and one-third of all doctors had them as well."14

There were strong laws regulating the behavior of free blacks, Indians and mulattos with serious punishments such as 40 lashes at one point for "even speaking against a white person."15

Mitcham concludes the chapter stating that 24 to 25 million blacks were transported "from Africa to the New World" and between "4 and 5 million of them died en route(the so-called "Middle Passage"), primarily because of the brutality of the slavers."16

As the Age of Enlightenment began, the British turned against the slave trade and promoted the idea of compensated emancipation, but Mitcham writes:

Even so, the North remained linked to slavery. Much of the capital that propelled the Industrial Revolution came from the slave trade. The North continued to profit from and, in one form or another, promote slavery until 1861. It also reaped massive financial benefits from federal tariffs on imports. (A tariff is a tax or duty placed on imports and/or exports.) Slavery and the commodities it produced for export, in fact, funded most of the federal government as late as 1860.17

Mitcham lists five groups involved in slavery in the era of European and American slave traders:18

1) Africans;

2) Arab-Muslim slave traders;

3) Northern flesh peddlers and other Yankees;

4) Latin American plantation owners;

5) Southerners.

He notes that "far too many people 'give a pass' to everyone except the Southerner---often without realizing it. He goes on:

This trend is a grievous injustice. The morally superior, sanctimonious attitude some people adopt when lecturing others concerning the sins of their ancestors isn't factual. When it comes to America's "peculiar institution," there is plenty of guilt---if that is the objective---to spread around.19

Chapter II

By 1750, Mitcham writes, "there were three times as many slaves in Connecticut as there were in Georgia. Massachusetts had four times as many as the Peach State."20

"Northerners never particularly liked black people prior to the Civil War" Mitcham writes.21

That would explain the many Northern and Western states that had laws forbidding black people from even visiting, much less living there, unless they wanted to end up in jail or whipped. Lincoln's Illinois was one of them. Of course, there were the New York City Draft Riots during the War Between the States when scores of blacks were lynched.

Mitcham recounts a fascinating story that says a lot about eighteenth century New York:

In 1741, several fires broke out in the city, including one in the lieutenant governor's house. Further investigation into the fires uncovered the "Conspiracy of 1741," also known as the Negro Plot of 1741 or the Slave Insurrection of 1741. Those believed guilty were quickly arrested. More than two hundred people, including twenty poor whites, were jailed while more than a hundred were hanged, exiled, or burned at the stake. The two black leaders were gibbetted (i.e., hung in chains in a public display and left to die of exposure, thirst, and starvation). At least thirty-eight slaves faced execution along with several whites. Fourteen blacks were burned at the stake.22

During the antebellum era, slavery began to end in the North when massive white immigration made it cheaper to hire a white man, whom one could fire at will, than buy a black and have to take care of him from birth to death.

New York passed a "progressive abolition law in 1799, with the goal of ending slavery by 1827. Rhode Island also passed a manumission law but it was very carefully written to protect the slave trade, which enriched the state. All the Northern states had enacted anti-slavery legislation by 1830. The Northern manumission and emancipation laws were designed so that the slaves' masters did not lose money."23

What usually happened by ever-thrifty Yankees, was, the slave would be sold South back into slavery just before his twenty-first birthday, which would have free him. As Mitcham writes, "There was no moral outrage against slavery in the North. Much of the impetus behind manumission was a desire to protect white labor from cheap black competition."24 Other books, such as Black Bondage in the North, by Edgar J. McManus, prove this too. Mitcham cites it.

Mitcham points out that the percentage of free blacks in the North declined too, in the antebellum period. Free blacks in the North had to worry about being kidnapped and sold into slavery. Between 1790 and 1830, free blacks declined in New York from 2.13 percent to .57 percent.25

There was roughly the same number of free blacks in the North as in the South at war time. There were around 250,000 free blacks in the North, and around 250,000 in the South.

Thousands of free blacks in the South fought for the South in the War Between the States. Some 3,000 to 4,000 were observed by chief inspector of the United States Sanitary Commission, Dr. Lewis Steiner, in Stonewall Jackson's army as he left Frederick, Maryland in 1862.

Frederick Douglas and others confirmed that many blacks were Confederate soldiers; and they were integrated in the Confederate Army alongside whites, "mixed up with all the rebel horde," as Dr. Lewis Steiner observed of Stonewall Jackson's army, not segregated as in the Union Army.

Mitcham writes about the fascinating story of Solomon Northup of Sarasota Springs, New York, who was a free black man, kidnapped, who spent twelve years as a slave then escaped and wrote about his ordeal in Twelve Years a Slave. It tells the truth about slavery because it is fact, unlike Uncle Tom's Cabin, which is fiction.

Slavery was dying out until 1793 when Eli Whitney invented his cotton gin for American cotton, which led to enormous demand for cotton and thus field hands: "Southern cotton production increased from 5 million pounds in 1793 to 500 million in 1835...".26

The slave trade was outlawed in the U.S. in 1808 but "Northern flesh peddlers continued to sail and rack up the profits with tacit support from the United States government." Great Britain and France wanted to board American vessels looking for illegal cargoes of slaves but the American government would not allow it "so the U.S. flag proved to be ample protection for the slave traders" who continued to operate during the War Between the States and on through to 1885, twenty years after Appomattox, when Brazil, the last nation allowing slavery, ended it.

Mitcham writes:

The attitude of the flesh peddler was perhaps best expressed by the other John Brown, a rich slave peddler for whom Brown University in Rhode Island is named (not to be confused with the terrorist hanged in 1859). When he was criticized for traveling to Africa to bring back slaves, he replied that "there was no more crime in bringing off a cargo of slaves than in bringing off a cargo of jackasses."27

Mitcham quotes historian H. V. Traywick, Jr. who describes the horror in Africa of an attack on the Takkoi in West Africa by the Amazon women warriors of Dahomey. They "beheaded the old and sick and carried their heads off as trophies. The rest were marched in a slave column to barracoons (slave barracks) on the beach at Dymdah. The Dahomians stopped on the second day to smoke the heads of their decapitated victimes because they began to stink."28

Traywick's source was African American anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston who wrote about the last known African "illegally smuggled into the United States" before the war as written in Hurston's Dust Tracks on a Road, and also her later book, Barracoon. That African was Cudjo "Kossola" Lewis and the slave ship that brought him to America was the Clotilda out of Maine, which took Lewis to Mobile. He has descendants who still live in the area of Plateau, Alabama.

Mitcham ends the chapter with:

Zora Neale Hurston, a prominent African American writer and anthropologist, said that it "suck in my craw" that her own black people had sold her ancestors into slavery. She had been raised on stories that white people had gone to Africa and lured the Africans onto the slave ships by waving a red handkerchief. When they boarded the ship to investigate, it sailed away with them. But, no, she declared, her own people had "butchered and killed, exterminated whole nations and torn families apart, for a profit." She was sadly impressed with the "universal nature of greed and glory."29


Next Week:
A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Part Three of Five


(Scroll down for: It Wasn't About Slavery, Actual Citation from Book)

1 Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War (Washington, DC: Regnery History, 2020), 1.

2 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 2.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 4.

7 Ibid.

8 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 5.

9 See "In Racist Screed, NYT's 1619 Project Founder Calls 'White Race' 'Barbaric Devils,' 'Bloodsuckers,' Columbus 'No Different Than Hitler'", June 25, 2020, The Federalist,, Accessed 11-2-21.

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.

12 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 6.

13 Ibid.

14 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 7.

15 Ibid.

16 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 8.

17 Ibid.

18 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 9.

19 Ibid.

20 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 11.

21 Ibid.

22 Ibid.

23 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 12.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid.

26 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 15.

27 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 16.

28 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 17.

29 Ibid.

It Wasn't About Slavery,
Actual Citation from Book