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Thread: Maryland Division SCV honors USCT Veteran with gravestone dedication

  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by tompritchett
    However, when it came to protecting their property rights to slaves versus individual states and cities protecting the freedom of all men within their borders, these same politicians were very quick to cite the "supreme law of the land" clause of the Federal Constitution in light of the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott case as well as the Federal Constitution's clauses about the protection of property (read several of the secession resolutions starting with Virginia's). To me this has always been an interesting apparent contradiction.
    I don't really see it as a contradiction, though. If your cow strays onto your neighbor's property while you're trying to catch it, that doesn't mean your neighbor gets to keep it and do what he wants with it. That's just common sense and I expect it goes far back in common law. The fugitive slave act seemed an obvious "good neighbor" compromise, respecting the rights of southern slave-owners.

    Without a fugitive slave act, there was too great a temptation for slaves to get across the border and become free, just as with the law, there was too great a temptation to kidnap free men "by mistake" and carry them south as slaves. Anti-kidnapping laws helped tweak the fugitive slave laws, but I think it was clear the north's heart really wasn't in the compromise, and I think it became just another example to southerners that compromises weren't going to work in the long run, and the north wouldn't be satisfied until the whole country was free.

    Hank Trent
    hanktrent@voyager.net

  2. #102
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    I don't really see it as a contradiction, though. If your cow strays onto your neighbor's property while you're trying to catch it, that doesn't mean your neighbor gets to keep it and do what he wants with it. That's just common sense and I expect it goes far back in common law.
    The problem arose where municipal and state law did not recognize slaves as property and in fact made it illegal to own slaves within the state. One complaint that surfaced in the Virginia secession resolution was the claim that Southern slave holders could be arrested in certain Northern juridictions if they were traveling with their slaves.
    Thomas H. Pritchett
    Moderator, Military & Other Business Conferences
    www.campgeiger.org

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by tompritchett
    The problem arose where municipal and state law did not recognize slaves as property and in fact made it illegal to own slaves within the state. One complaint that surfaced in the Virginia secession resolution was the claim that Southern slave holders could be arrested in certain Northern juridictions if they were traveling with their slaves.
    Interestingly, Virginia and the majority of Southern states vigorously opposed the Constitutional provision protecting the slave trade until 1808, but their efforts were quashed by commercial interests in the North, who insisted on the Constitutional provision. In fact, the General Assembly of Virginia outlawed the slave trade in Virginia in October of 1778 while Patrick Henry was Governor.

    Another very bizarre and ironic twist is how chattel slavery was introduced into Virginia. It appears a free Black by the name of Anthony Johnson petitioned the Virginia Courts for permanent ownership of an Indentured servant, thus introducing chattel slavery to the Nation.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/secret/famous/johnson.html/font]


    http://www.jamestown1607.org/

    Be sure to click on the gentlemen wearing the Thank You Anthony Johnson T-shirt to learn more about this early Virginian, highlighted on the official Jamestown Anniversary web site.
    Terry from Occupied Baltimore
    "As I stood upon the very scene of that conflict, I could not but contrast my position with his, forty-seven years before. The flag which he had then so proudly hailed, I saw waving at the same place over the victims of as vulgar and brutal a despotism as modern times have witnessed."
    Francis Key Howard, Ft. McHenry 1861

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelBugler
    Interestingly, Virginia and the majority of Southern states vigorously opposed the Constitutional provision protecting the slave trade until 1808, but their efforts were quashed by commercial interests in the North, who insisted on the Constitutional provision. In fact, the General Assembly of Virginia outlawed the slave trade in Virginia in October of 1778 while Patrick Henry was Governor.


    The African slave trade was competition for Virginia and the upper south, who had their own slaves they wanted to sell further south, so it makes sense they'd be against it. Coincidentally, on another thread, I just posted something on that. See the quote from General Pinckney here: http://www.cwreenactors.com/forum/sh...4&postcount=87

    When you click on the link in that post, he also said, "South Carolina can never receive the [Constitutional] plan if it prohibits the slave-trade." Colonel Mason of Virginia adds a rant about how Virginia was stuck with the "infernal traffic" due to "the avarice of British merchants." That's when General Pinckney of South Carolina responds by explaining that a ban will prop up the price of Virginia's slaves, while hurting the states who need to buy, like his.

    I've seen the debate reported in slightly different ways elsewhere, but the general meaning is the same, and makes sense. It's the age-old protectionism vs. free trade argument, and the question of who's helped and who's hurt by discouraging imports from overseas.

    The different southern states had different commercial interests in slaves, just like the north, depending on whether they were mostly buyers or sellers. Were the southern states against the African slave trade the ones who benefitted from selling slaves to other states, while the ones for it were the ones who needed more slaves? I'd guess so, but it's a genuine question, since that's not really my era of focus.

    Hank Trent
    hanktrent@voyager.net

  5. #105
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    Ok. I think I get where you are coming from. Slavery was definitely a contributing factor in the cause of the war, but the straw that broke the camel's back was the secession of the Southern states. Is that right?

    I suppose if we keep arguing we would be just arguing over semantics. So you agree that without slavery there would not have been a war? Our difference of opinion comes in because of how we interpret each separate action leading up to the war.

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you on this one point. I have been pretty much kept busy this weekend by my boys. I have checked in on the forum, but been unable to really post anything of substance.
    J. P. Maranto

    A verbis ad verbera

  6. #106
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    Ok. I think I get where you are coming from. Slavery was definitely a contributing factor in the cause of the war, but the straw that broke the camel's back was the secession of the Southern states. Is that right?
    Almost, slavery had put quite a load on the camel's back. Secession then threw more cinder blocks into the load. IMHO, there was still a very slight chance for reconciliation had there been more time. But the true straw that broke the camel's back was the firing on Ft. Sumter. At that point, there would be war.

    I suppose if we keep arguing we would be just arguing over semantics. So you agree that without slavery there would not have been a war? Our difference of opinion comes in because of how we interpret each separate action leading up to the war.
    As far as the semantics, when I first got into the hobby, my first focus of research was into how in the blue blazes did our country ever get to the point that we had to have a war to settle the issue. Therefore, rather than focus on the details of my equipment or on the details of specific battles or campaigns, I focussed on the events and reasons that led up to the secession of the individual states and the events that led up to the firing on Sumter. I guess that shows in the semantics as I try to avoid simplifying the "causes" of the war.

    As to whether or not there would have been a war without the issue of slavery, as do you, I do not believe that the other differences between the two regions would have led to a secession. Yes there would have been tensions as expressed in major p*****g contests in Congress and newspaper editorials over such issues as inequalities of tariff collections, inequalities in government spending within the various regions, and general views on the relative Constitutional roles and powers of the Federal government versus those of the states, and on the fundamental differences in the economies of the different regions. But I very seriously doubt that these tensions would have ever boiled up to the point that there would have been a secession. No, as like you, I fundamentally believe that it took the issue of slavery to generate grievances sufficient that 1) the Democrat party would self-destruct to the point that the election of a Republican President was even possible and that 2) such an election would trigger the first wave of secessions and ultimately a Civil War.

    Finally, in regards to the fact that our basic disagreement is in our interpretation of the individual acts leading up to the war, yes I agree that is indeed where we disagree. In fact, I suspect that several of the disagreements that you have had with individuals here on the forum on the role of slavery as a cause of the war have all been over the same degree and type of differing interpretation of the actions leading up to the war. I am not the only one here that separates the secession and war itself into two separate but very inter-related events; I may just be better able to express myself on this issue in this type of dialog.
    Thomas H. Pritchett
    Moderator, Military & Other Business Conferences
    www.campgeiger.org

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by tompritchett
    Almost, slavery had put quite a load on the camel's back. Secession then threw more cinder blocks into the load. IMHO, there was still a very slight chance for reconciliation had there been more time. But the true straw that broke the camel's back was the firing on Ft. Sumter. At that point, there would be war.

    As far as the semantics, when I first got into the hobby, my first focus of research was into how in the blue blazes did our country ever get to the point that we had to have a war to settle the issue. Therefore, rather than focus on the details of my equipment or on the details of specific battles or campaigns, I focussed on the events and reasons that led up to the secession of the individual states and the events that led up to the firing on Sumter. I guess that shows in the semantics as I try to avoid simplifying the "causes" of the war.

    As to whether or not there would have been a war without the issue of slavery, as do you, I do not believe that the other differences between the two regions would have led to a secession. Yes there would have been tensions as expressed in major p*****g contests in Congress and newspaper editorials over such issues as inequalities of tariff collections, inequalities in government spending within the various regions, and general views on the relative Constitutional roles and powers of the Federal government versus those of the states, and on the fundamental differences in the economies of the different regions. But I very seriously doubt that these tensions would have ever boiled up to the point that there would have been a secession. No, as like you, I fundamentally believe that it took the issue of slavery to generate grievances sufficient that 1) the Democrat party would self-destruct to the point that the election of a Republican President was even possible and that 2) such an election would trigger the first wave of secessions and ultimately a Civil War.

    Finally, in regards to the fact that our basic disagreement is in our interpretation of the individual acts leading up to the war, yes I agree that is indeed where we disagree. In fact, I suspect that several of the disagreements that you have had with individuals here on the forum on the role of slavery as a cause of the war have all been over the same degree and type of differing interpretation of the actions leading up to the war. I am not the only one here that separates the secession and war itself into two separate but very inter-related events; I may just be better able to express myself on this issue in this type of dialog.
    Thanks for the clarification. It amazes me that two people can disagree on this forum and still have a civil discussion!

    I accept your argument that secession is actually a step closer to causing the war than slavery, but I believe that war started the moment the first shot was fired from the Southern batteries in Charleston. The firing on Ft. Sumpter may have been why the North went to war, but the South definitely went to war with the first shot (if not the motions leading up to the first shot). I cannot accept that the firing on Ft. Sumpter was just another step towards war. It was an act of war and, therefore, cannot be separated from the war itself.

    Thanks for making the effort "to express [yourself] on this issue in this type of dialog." I have noticed some others have begun to ignore my posts as they "can't be bothered" with an intelligent and civil discussion.
    J. P. Maranto

    A verbis ad verbera

  8. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by firstmdes
    Thanks for the clarification. It amazes me that two people can disagree on this forum and still have a civil discussion!

    I accept your argument that secession is actually a step closer to causing the war than slavery, but I believe that war started the moment the first shot was fired from the Southern batteries in Charleston. The firing on Ft. Sumpter may have been why the North went to war, but the South definitely went to war with the first shot (if not the motions leading up to the first shot). I cannot accept that the firing on Ft. Sumpter was just another step towards war. It was an act of war and, therefore, cannot be separated from the war itself.

    Thanks for making the effort "to express [yourself] on this issue in this type of dialog." I have noticed some others have begun to ignore my posts as they "can't be bothered" with an intelligent and civil discussion.

    The act of war was Lincoln sending an armed resupply ship to a military installation in a sovereign nation.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 th Alabama Infantry
    The act of war was Lincoln sending an armed resupply ship to a military installation in a sovereign nation.
    At the time the Southern forces fired on Ft. Sumpter, the fort was the property of the United States Government, NOT the government of South Carolina or any other "sovereign nation." As to the "sovereign nation" mentioned in your post, did any other nation recognize it as a legitimate government?
    J. P. Maranto

    A verbis ad verbera

  10. #110
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    The firing on Ft. Sumpter may have been why the North went to war, but the South definitely went to war with the first shot (if not the motions leading up to the first shot). I cannot accept that the firing on Ft. Sumpter was just another step towards war. It was an act of war and, therefore, cannot be separated from the war itself.
    Except that the North chose to ignore the fact that Confederate batteries fired on the Star of the West. Given the fact that Davis was warned by his Secretary of War that firing on Sumter would likely cause the U.S. to declare war, I have to think that Davis and his cabinet where either totally delusional and wanted to provoke the U.S. into a war or they sincerely believed that they could take Sumter by force and get away with it - similar to the way that the Japanese felt that the U.S. would not go to war over the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    As far as 5th Alabama Infantry's comment about sovereignty, the fact that South Carolina felt that Sumter was now part of their sovereign territory as a result of the secession was no doubt a major factor in their sense that their honor was at stake in removing as soon as possible Maj. Anderson's force from Sumter.
    Thomas H. Pritchett
    Moderator, Military & Other Business Conferences
    www.campgeiger.org

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