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An examination of Confederate documents

I’m a big fan of original language, original translation, source-direct, historical documents. So here’s the million dollar question:

Did the Civil War and the Confederacy, including it’s flag, have anything to do with Africa or “Negro” slavery?

From the individual state articles of confederacy and confederate constitution, I present the direct response.

South Carolina

“They have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.”

Mississippi

“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.”

Florida

“It is in so many words saying to you we will not burn you at the stake but we will torture you to death by a slow fire we will not confiscate your property and consign you to a residence and equality with the african but that destiny certainly awaits your children – and you must quietly submit or we will force you to submission – men who can hesitate to resist such aggressions are slaves already and deserve their destiny.”

Alabama

“They are hereby, instructed to insist on the enactment by said Convention of such restrictions as will effectually prevent the re-opening of the African Slave Trade.”

Georgia

“For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.”

“It was the announcement of her purpose to appropriate to herself all the public domain then owned and thereafter to be acquired by the United States. The claim itself was less arrogant and insulting than the reason with which she supported it. That reason was her fixed purpose to limit, restrain, and finally abolish slavery in the States where it exists. The South with great unanimity declared her purpose to resist the principle of prohibition to the last extremity.”

Texas

“That in this free government *all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights* [emphasis in the original]; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.”

Louisiana

“At the same time, white Louisianans shared other southerners’ commitment both to slavery and to opposition to federal interference with the institution either in the states or territories. Consequently, the rise of a sectional Republican Party dedicated to stopping slavery’s expansion caused Louisianans to reevaluate their allegiance to the United States. In particular, two events pushed them toward secession. First, John Brown’s failed abolitionist raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in October 1859 heightened sensitivity toward both immediate threats to slavery and to the strengthening Republican Party.”

Confederate Constitution

“The importation of negroes of the African race from any foreign country other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same.” (Forbidden to send an African negro to potential free union states)

“No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.”

(Forbids slavery criminalization)

“In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government.”

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