A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Tyranny and Emancipation
by Gene Kizer, Jr.
At the end of this article, beneath the notes I have cited, is "Actual Citation from Book," Mitcham's endnotes for Chapter XIV.
ONCE AGAIN, Mitcham's epigraphs are spot on. He quotes the governor of New Jersey, a Union state that still had some slaves in it even after the War Between the States despite its plan of gradual emancipation. New Jersey's slaves remained slaves until the second Thirteenth Amendment finally freed them in December, 1865, eight-and-a-half months after Appomattox.
The first Thirteenth Amendment was the Corwin Amendment in early 1861, which Lincoln strongly supported and which was adopted by five Union states before the war made it moot. The Corwin Amendment left black people in slavery forever even beyond the reach of Congress where slavery already existed.
Here are Chapter XIV's epigraphs:
Slavery is no more the cause of this war than gold is the cause of robbery.
-----Joel Parker, Governor of New Jersey (1863-66; 1871-74)
The sight of the Confederate battle flag always reminded me of the immense bravery of the soldiers who served under it.
-----Union General Joshua Chamberlain
America's first sectional party immediately passed legislation "enriching Republican fat cats on Wall Street and various corporate headquarters throughout the North."1
Republicans passed the "highest tax on imports in American history (the Morrill Tariff)" and created a national banking system so that "favored institutions were basically entitled to create money and control the currency and credit of the United States."2
They gave away some land in the West to homesteaders "but most to railroads and mining interests" and they "set up a contract labor law, which came close to enslaving gangs of foreign workers" while it "depressed the wages of U.S. workers."3
There was also the Morrill Act "for 'land grant' colleges, opening the door for federal involvement in education for the first time."4
Of course, none of this largesse went to blacks.
Mitcham quotes Rev. A. D. Betts of North Carolina whose sad and sobering quotation shows what was coming:
One day in April, 1861, I head that President Lincoln had called on the State troops to force the seceding States back into the Union. This was one of the saddest days of my life. I had prayed and hoped that war might be averted. I had loved the Union and clung to it. That day I saw war was inevitable. The inevitable must be met. That day I walked up and down my porch in Smithville [now Southport, N.C.] and wept and suffered and prayed for the South.5
Rev. Betts "joined his local military company, which became part of the Thirtieth North Carolina Infantry" which "started out with 900 men." Four years later it had only 153 "when it surrendered at Appomattox."6
Irish-born Patrick Cleburne, who rose to the rank of Major-General in the Confederate Army before he was killed in the Battle of Franklin (Tennessee) November 30, 1864 at age 36, wrote:
I am with the South in death, in victory or defeat. I believe the North is about to wage a brutal and unholy war on a people who have done them no wrong, in violation of the constitution and the fundamental principles of the government. They no longer acknowledge that all government derives its validity from the consent of the governed. They are about to invade our peaceful homes, destroy our property, and murder our men and dishonor our women. We propose no invasion of the North, no attack on them, and only ask to be left alone.7
Lincoln was not going to leave the South alone with a 10% tariff as compared to his astronomical Morrill Tariff which was 47 to 60% higher. He could see his shipping industry head South overnight, and his manufacturing industry, which existed mostly to sell to its captive Southern market, go bankrupt.
The South, with 100% control of King Cotton and with long-sought-after European free trade and military alliances, would be unbeatable by the North and old Honest Abe knew it. It was fight right then when he had four times the white population of the South and other enormous advantages including maybe 200 times more armaments, or, eventually, be economically buried by the South.
Cleburne also wrote:
It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.8
Cleburne in the first quote above wrote:
They no longer acknowledge that all government derives its validity from the consent of the governed.9
That, of course, comes from the American Declaration of Independence, from the phrase that was the most widely quoted in the secession debate in the South in the year prior to states seceding:
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.
Southerners were fighting for independence and self-government, the exact same as the colonists who fought the British in 1776.
Yankees were fighting to establish the supremacy of the federal government over the states. They were the federals in the war. They planned to control the federal government with their larger population and rule the country.
Yankees were unquestionably not fighting to free the slaves.
Their money was more important to them than freeing slaves who would then move north with enormous social problems and be job competition. That's why so many Northern and Western states had laws forbidding blacks from living there and many forbid them from even visiting for long.
Southerners agreed with Cleburne.
Robert Stiles "was a Yale graduate and a law student at Columbia University in 1861" with a bright career ahead of him. He gladly gave it up to become a private in the Richmond Howitzers in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia rising to the rank of artillery major. He wrote this after the war:
What now of the essential spirit of these young volunteers? Why did they volunteer? For what did they give their lives? . . . Surely, it was not for slavery they fought. The great majority of them had never owned a slave, and had little or no interest in that institution. My own father, for example, had freed his slaves long years before . . . The great conflict will never be properly comprehended by the man who looks upon it as a war for the preservation of slavery.10
The vast majority of Americans do not properly comprehend the great conflict thanks to the race obsession of academia and the news media with their woke, 100% politicized version of history that is not seeking truth but only political advantage for the left and Democrat Party.
Academia is 100% liberal. I know the actual percentage is closer to 90% but the small number of non-liberals on campuses are not going to say a word and endanger their tenure or have the mob show up at their office. They are petrified of the charge of racism and they regularly dishonor themselves to avoid it.
Also, a good number of our friends in academia have no knowledge of the Southern view of the conflict. They have never heard it or studied it, yet Southerners were right in everything they did including secession. The North threatened to secede many times in the antebellum period.
Esteemed historian, Eugene Genovese, said that what has happened to Southern history since the 1960s is a "cultural and political atrocity." He blamed the atrocity on elites in academic and the media.
Mitcham quotes Dr. Hunter McGuire, "Stonewall Jackson's physician and a future president of the American Medical Association" who wrote:
The Stonewall Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia was a fighting organization. I knew every man in it, for I belonged to it for a long time; and I know that I am in proper bounds when I assert, that there was not one soldier in thirty who owned or ever expected to own a slave. The South fighting for the money value of the negro! What a cheap and wicked falsehood!11
Mitcham brings up Dr. James M. McPherson of Princeton, "no friend of the Confederacy." McPherson, he writes, "researched thousands of original documents, 25,000 personal letters, and 249 diaries." McPherson concludes Southerners were not fighting for slavery, they "were fighting for liberty." 12
Of Confederate enlistees, only "6 percent to 7 percent" owned slaves.13
Mitcham writes, "As if to prove their point, Abraham Lincoln moved with incredible speed to suppress freedom and constitutional rights in the North." Lincoln's jackboot landed first on the face of Marylanders because of their proximity to Washington, D.C. and because of strong Southern sentiment there:
In April 1861, crowds poured into the streets of Baltimore, the third largest city in the United States. On April 20, the Sixth Massachusetts Infantry Regiment showed up and fired on the rioters, a few of whom also shot at the bluecoats. Four soldiers and at least nine civilians were killed.14
The Maryland legislature rejected a secession convention but its pro-Union governor, Thomas H. Hicks, "called for the immediate and peaceful recognition of the Confederacy and an end of the U.S. military occupation of Maryland, which they denounced as a 'flagrant violation of the Constitution.'" Maryland wanted to stay neutral.15
Lincoln responded by suspending the writ of habeas corpus, which was a constitutional safeguard to prevent unlawful imprisonment or imprisonment without due process. Lincoln, Seward, and their henchmen arrested many prominent Marylanders, including thirty-one legislators, the mayor of Baltimore, the chief of police, all of the Baltimore police commissioners, Henry May, a sitting U.S. congressman, the entire Baltimore city council, and dozens of prominent civic leaders, editors, and publishers. Arrests took place in the dead of night so that there would be fewer witnesses. The victims were usually hauled off to Fort Warren, Massachusetts, or some other hellhole where they were incarcerated in crowded casements. If a prisoner asked for a lawyer or tried to send for his family, he was told that this wold hurt his case. Often, the victim was jailed based not on what he had done but what he might do. Some of them remained in prison until the end of the war.16
John Merryman was arrested but appealed to Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney, who was a Marylander. Taney wrote a "blistering opinion against Lincoln's actions, ruling his executive order was unconstitutional, null, and void. He ordered a copy of his decision be sent to the Northern president under the seal of the United States Supreme Court."17
Lincoln wanted to arrest Taney but "couldn't find any Federal marshals who would execute" his unconstitutional order.
Elections were soon held in Maryland but "Federal provost marshals stood guard at the polls, arrested those who were not pro-Union, and granted to U.S. soldiers three-day leaves so they could return home and vote Republican. Voter intimidation kept many pro-Southern Maryland voters far away from the polls. The result was a pro-Union legislature."18
Lincoln's actions should not surprise us in the least. He had just sent five naval missions into the South for the express purpose of starting a war so he could put the new Republican Party on solid ground once and for all. Nothing like a war to solidify political power.
Lincoln had no mandate for any of this. In the election of 1860, over 60% of the country voted against Lincoln.
But the lust for money and control were all Lincoln and the North could think about, along with the fact that they had overwhelming advantages in population, armaments and manufacturing, an existing army and navy, a pipeline to the wretched refuse of the world to enlarge Northern armies. Of course they were going to fight rather than allow a free trade South to rise up on their southern border.
Take note that there is no mention by Lincoln or anybody else in the North about freeing the slaves. Just the opposite. They were quite willing to leave blacks in slavery forever as long as the South returned to the Union and paid all of Lincoln's taxes and tariffs.
Lincoln's commander in Ohio had Ohio Congressman Clement Vallandigham arrested, tried by a military court, found guilty and thrown in jail for the rest of the war until Lincoln interceded and had Vallandigham banished from the country. Vallandigham's crime was calling Lincoln "King Lincoln" and denouncing "Wall Street and its war profiteers, as well as the mercantile, manufacturing, and commercial interests" of the North. He had called for an armistice with the Confederates.19
Lincoln also ordered "the arrest of U.S. senator and former vice president John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky" whose crime was visiting Kentuckians in the hospital who were wounded at First Manassas. Breckinridge was warned and escaped "before Lincoln's thugs could lay their hands on him."20
In all, at least 32,000 political prisoners were thrown in jail, and one authority placed the number as high as 40,000. More than 300 newspapers and journals were also shut down. Frequently, the Lincolnites used federal troops to do the dirty work. Printing presses were often smashed and publisher's offices ransacked.21
In addition to Lincoln's totalitarian tyranny against Northerners, his secretary of state, William Seward, "bragged about his power to Britain's ambassador to the U.S., Lord Lyons."
'I can touch a bell on my right hand and order the arrest of a citizen of Ohio. I can touch the bell again and order the arrest of a citizen of New York. Can Queen Victoria do as much?'22
"'No!'" the outraged Lyons snapped: "'Were she to attempt such an act her head would roll from her shoulders.'"23
Perhaps Lyons should have gone back to Great Britain and insisted they recognize the Confederacy as Lord Acton wished had happened. Acton stated that wish clearly in his 1866 letter to Robert E. Lee.
Lincoln, whom, again, 60% of the country voted against in 1860, "saw immigrants as key to his political future."
Already "one-fourth of the Northern population was immigrants." That's why 25% of the Union army were not born in America. Those enlistment bonuses were mighty enticing to many who arrived with only the shirts on their backs.
Lincoln even bought, secretly, "a German language newspaper to disseminate Republican propaganda to immigrants who were poorly informed about American political issues."24
Lincoln also opened "Union recruiting offices throughout Europe to hire foreign mercenaries" and around "489,200 mercenaries were recruited from fifteen foreign countries, mostly from Ireland (150,000) and Germany (210,000)." Mitcham doubts Lincoln could have won the war without mercenaries.25
Lincoln was not as welcoming toward native born blacks as he was foreigners who would join his army. Many Northern and Western states still had laws forbidding blacks from living there.
A year into the war, Lincoln pushed "a constitutional amendment to buy and deport slaves." He wanted a place they could survive away from the U.S. mainland such as "Haiti, Liberia, New Granada, Ecuador, St. Croix, Surinam, British Guiana, Honduras, and the Amazon."26 Lincoln favored colonization for blacks his entire life. See Colonization After Emancipation, Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement by Phillip W. Magness and Sebastian N. Page (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press), 2011, and other books.
The Trent affair, when the USS San Jacinto seized the RMS Trent and took Confederate commissioners James Mason and John Slidell off and imprisoned them, resulted in Lincoln apologizing to the British and freeing Mason and Slidell. The Brits had threatened war and were dead serious.
This caused Lincoln to realize "the threat of a Franco-Anglo-Confederate alliance was a real one."27 To head it off, the "Myth of the Noble Cause to free the slaves" was born with the Emancipation Proclamation.
Not only would it give the North's barbaric unconstitutional invasion supposed morality, it might encourage the slaves to rise up and start slaughtering whites thus forcing the Confederate army to go home to put down insurrections.
The diabolical Lincoln, like the slick lawyer he was, worded the Emancipation Proclamation so that it supposedly freed slaves where Lincoln had no control and left them in slavery where he could have freed them.
The Emancipation Proclamation exempted the six Union slave states (yes, SIX slave states fought for the Union the entire war, and three of them still had slavery after the war, until the second Thirteenth Amendment kicked in, in December, 1865, and freed them).
Those six Union slave states were Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Kentucky, New Jersey, and West Virginia, which ironically came into the Union as a slave state just weeks after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
The Emancipation Proclamation also did not free slaves in captured Confederate territory such as the plantations in Louisiana because they "were in the hands of New Englanders, who were in bed with Lincoln politically."28
Nor did the EP free the slaves owned by Ulysses S. Grant (Mrs. Grant owned several slaves and used to take one, Black Julia, with her during many of her husband's battles). William T. Sherman kept his slaves too.
This made Lincoln a laughing stock around the world with influential writers such as Charles Dickens.
Even William H. Seward said:
'We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them, and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.'29
Abolitionist Lysander Spooner said basically the same thing.
A popular limerick said it best:
'Lincoln, Lincoln, wily wretch, freed the slaves he couldn't catch.'30
Mitcham writes that in the State of the Union Address of December 1862, "Lincoln offered the Southern states an opportunity to retain their slaves until January 1, 1900, along with financial compensation to any slave owners and a promise to remove all blacks to Africa or Latin America."31
Of course, Southerners were fighting for independence and self-government, not slavery. For the South, 1861 was 1776 all over. They were not interested in returning to Lincoln's tyrannical union and being ruled by Northerners.
A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Tyranny and Emancipation
(Click Here to go to previous week: Part Twelve: Chapter XIII, Over the Edge, Part Two)
(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), 155.
5 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 156.
10 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 157.
14 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 157-158.
15 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 158.
18 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 158-159.
19 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 159.
24 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 160.
27 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 162.
28 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 163.
As usual, many of Mr. Mitcham’s excerpts mirror those of my book, albeit he delves into details I did not as my work was aimed at students and, if we are fair, recognize young minds cannot be subjected to much detail lest they become saturated, I stated that “More than any other cause, the threat of this [Morrill Tariff] had been the final catalyst for secession”. I am very pleased to see that Mr. Mitcham proved that point far beyond argument. I am always pleased when intelligent people agree with me. Thanks for yet another excellent presentation! You should write a book! Oh, wait a minute – you have!
The unforeseen circumstance of the Morrill Tariff is that it threatened the Northern shipping industry with overnight collapse when Yankee ship captains compared it to the South’s low 10% tariff (for the operation of a small federal government in a States Rights nation).
Yankee ship captains correctly determined that they could get cargoes in the South at Charleston and New Orleans because the whole world wanted to do business with the South rather than pay 47 to 60% more to do business with the North. Goods were rotting on New Yorks docks when all this was happening in March and April 1861.
When Lincoln and Northern leaders realized that not only were they going to lose their shipping industry because of their own greed and economic stupidity, they had already lost their manufacturing industry because Southerners were not going to continue to buy inferior, overpriced Yankee goods when they could buy from Europe as they had always wanted to do. They could also easily manufacture for themselves.
So, the Yankee economy was threatened with annihilation as the Southern star was rising and that, sir, in a nutshell is why Lincoln started his war that killed 750,000 men and maimed over a million. That is why Lincoln sent the five belligerent naval missions to Charleston and Pensacola in April, 1861. He wanted his war and blockade so he could chill European recognition of the South because with European recognition and trade and military alliances, the North could not have beaten the South, and Lincoln and Northern leaders knew it.
That’s why Horace Greeley went from “let the erring sisters go” in peace to WE MUST HAVE WAR.
The one thing you can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt is that the North did not go to war to end slavery or free the slaves. They could care less about the slaves. That’s why so many Northern states had laws forbidding blacks from living there including Lincoln’s Illinois.
Supposed “historians” since the 1960s are more fraud than historians. They traded a search for truth to a politicized all out effort to benefit the left.
It is pathetic but nobody respects academia or the news media anymore and they will continue to lose respect because they are too stupid and bigoted to see what they have done. Their big thing today is promoting RACIST Critical Race Theory. Boy, academia has really contributed to our country haven’t they. Their weak-on-crime has destroyed blue-state cities where you have to watch out for drug needles and human feces when you walk.
They are the enemies of America and of civilization itself.
Gene Kizer, Jr.