Leave the Confederate tribute alone
August 19, 2022
After reading the three letters criticizing the Georgetown Historical Society board of directors' Aug. 9 letter defending their Confederate memorial, I am amazed at the writers’ historical amnesia.
If the Confederate flag is considered anathema to them because of slavery, how do these experts reconcile the fact that slavery was legal under Old Glory for 90 years?
Why did Lincoln not implement a peaceful emancipation like England in the 1830s and other countries instead of prosecuting an unnecessary, murderous war that cost 750,000 American lives, or about 2.5% of a population of 30 million, including an estimated 50,000 Southern civilians? To compare, today, 2.5% of our approximate 330 million population would be over 8 million souls.
Contrary to one writer, the war was not a "Civil War," fighting over power to control the federal government. The South wanted to be left alone to create their country like we did with the British. They were not traitors. It was indeed a War Between the States for independence.
And, what about Lincoln’s own intention in perpetuating slavery?
Just look at his first inaugural address where he declared, “...I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”
He added that, “a proposed [Corwin] amendment to the Constitution ... has passed Congress, to the effect that the federal government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the states, including that of persons held to service … I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."
Then, there’s the overhyped Emancipation Proclamation, delayed until 1863 for military reasons. It didn't free anybody, because it was applied only to states and parts of states “in rebellion against the United States” that were not under the control of Lincoln or his armies at the time. In addition, all Union territory was exempted from the emancipation.
It seems in reality that Lincoln was really only interested in preserving the Union for tax revenues which were bleeding the South through increased (Morrill) tariffs (about 50%) on imports that came through Southern ports which the North would lose with Southern secession. Author Charles Adams confirms this, writing, “Secession by the South was a reaction against Lincoln’s high-tax policy."
In 1868, three years after the bloody war, we began to decorate the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers with flowers; that became Memorial Day. Then in 1913, there was a 50-year reunion for Gettysburg veterans both North and South.
But now the current fashion is to displace Southern artifacts, heroes and statues.
The society already lost about $14,000 in grant-in-aid funding in 2019 because of the pernicious efforts of the Progressive Democrats of Sussex County and the Legislature.
Let’s be honest about our history, and leave the Georgetown Historical Society and the Confederate tribute alone.