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.
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[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)

 

NOTES:
(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, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/california-police-seek-80-suspects-flash-mob-department-store-robbery-2021-11-21/, accessed 11-24-21.

2 Toby Keith, Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American), https://genius.com/Toby-keith-courtesy-of-the-red-white-and-blue-the-angry-american-lyrics, 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.

 

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