Thomas Staffords Nov. 6 letter, NAACP, "political correct crowd lie about flag, ignores what the Confederates, themselves, had to say about the causes of secession and the resulting war. The single most dominating issue that concerned them was preserving the institution of slavery and maintaining white supremacy. In fact, they clearly stated this in speeches and documents.
The following quote was taken from the speech of Confederate Gen. Henry Benning delivered before the Virginia secession convention on Feb.18, 1861:
What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? ... It was the conviction, a deep conviction on the part of Georgia, that a separation from the North - was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery.
I chose Benning to make my point because he was a Columbia County native, having been born in the county in 1814. He served six years as a justice on the Georgia Supreme Court and was a delegate to Georgias secession convention, having been selected by the convention to serve as a commissioner to the Virginia secession convention for the purpose of convincing Virginia to join Georgia in secession and forming the Confederacy. Fort Benning was named after this man.
Vice-president Alexander Stephens had this to say during his speech on March 21, 1861 in Savannah, shortly after the creation of the Confederacy: Our new government(s) ...foundations are laid, its truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery - subordination to the superior race - is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first in the history of the world based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
He further states: The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution - African slavery as it exists amongst us - the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.
On Dec.20, 1860, the South Carolina se-cession convention adopted the Declaration of Causes of Secession denouncing enounced the actions of the non-slaveholding states in denying the slaveholders property rights: They have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery.... They have encouraged.... our slaves to leave their homes
Lincolns election could not be accepted because he has declared that "Government cannot endure permanently half-slave, half-free. Because Lincolns party will wage war against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States, the people of South Carolina must secede.
Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama declared slavery as the cause in similar documents, as did Florida and Tennessee. ...
I wonder if Stafford thinks these Confederates are lying, also. Public education has it right - that is, if we believe the Confederates - slavery and white supremacy were indeed the cause, and the boys in grey with their battle flag knew very well what the struggle was about.
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