Welcome

If you think about it, the textbooks we study from kindergarten through 12th grade and then in college are basically the compilation of the history we are supposed to know, yet there are so many people who have been turned off from history because of the tedium of those textbooks. Those books focus on certain people, certain sides and usually include enough date memorization requirements to make people’s eyes glaze over.

I have an interest in many periods and places in history. I have chosen to focus this site on American history and while I will post on matters throughout that history, there is no avoiding that much of it will be about the War of Southern Secession/American Civil War. This is a period of our history that is hard to discuss because most discussions are driven by emotion. While it’s not a negative thing to feel an emotional connection to our past, I do believe there is much that needs to be said on it. People on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line seem unwilling to address the causes of the War of Southern Secession because one side wants to maintain that slavery was the only real issue involved and the other side is so consumed with whitewashing the slavery issue that it undermines credibility when speaking of anything else. Combine with that the racists who have decided to make Confederate symbols represent their cause, and it makes for a frustrating situation.

We are able to discuss the American Revolution without bringing up slavery and racism in every single discussion. We know there were racists then and that slavery was an issue, with multiple disagreements surrounding it, yet we can still discuss the merits of individuals from the time without the entire discussion hinging on whether they were slave owners or whether they were racists.

Why then are we so unable to do that when it comes to the War of Southern Secession? Yes, slavery was a major issue. It was not the only issue. Yet somehow we are unable to discuss anything else without being condemned for failing to mention slavery. Why? What benefit in that is there? Unless it is because once we are allowed to discuss something other than slavery there is information they don’t like that tends to surface.

There are issues in our past that need to be addressed, because we have to know where we’ve been to see where we are going. Certainly I see online many comments from people here, elsewhere in the country, and around the world which don’t align with the information I have found when studying our history. For us to get along as a country, finding ways to live alongside one another and respect each other, we much start acknowledging what got us here rather than clinging to the hurt and distrust I’ve seen from many people.

In another example, often we hear about our “Judeo-Christian” origin and many use that to justify behaving as though there is room only for Christians in this country and that any other faith should be seen as a threat. This is completely overlooking that some of our Founding Fathers spoke of welcoming Muslims. Completely overlooking that the Christian denominations of that time hardly considered each other equals. Overlooking that not everyone who contributed to our founding supported organized religion at all. This is a source of more hate and more division which is not needed and not helpful.

Due to all of that and more, these topics are extremely controversial and emotions run high. I respect that and hope that this site can be a source of a new perspective for those who are open to it. I don’t know how often I’ll be able to add new content because I have a lot on my plate right now, but I wanted to have a drama-free platform to discuss some of these topics which I feel are often overlooked.

If you aren’t sure which post to start with, here are a few I’d suggest:

  • On Slavery – This is something I originally wrote for posting elsewhere and it inspired me to start this site. This will give you a good idea of the perspective I’m writing from.
  • What’s In A Name? – An explanation of why you’ll see me refer to the American Civil War as the War of Southern Secession.
  • The Intent of the Second Amendment – Looking at the debate around the wording of the second amendment in a historical context.
  • The Faith of the Founding Fathers – The beginnings of a series showing the range of religious beliefs and opinions held by the United States of America’s founding fathers.

If you’d like to send feedback or suggestions more privately, you can use the contact form here to message me directly. I hope we see more of you around!

Nikki

“I tried all in my power to avert this war. I saw it coming, and for twelve years I worked night and day for twelve years to prevent it, but I could not. The North was mad and blind; but it would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came; and now it must go on until the last man of this generation falls in his tracks, and his children seize his musket and fight our battle, unless you acknowledge our right to self-government. We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for independence; and that or extermination we will have… ”

President Jefferson Davis of the C.S.A., to Rev. Jacques of Illinois and John R. Gilmore of New York, 17 July 1864

4 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. The Truth About The “Cornerstone Speech” Made By Alexander Stephens, Vice President Of The CSA.

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    What I Really Said in the Cornerstone Speech

    As for my Savanna speech, about which so much has been said and in regard to which I am represented as setting forth “slavery” as the “corner-stone” of the Confederacy, it is proper for me to state that that speech was extemporaneous, the reporter’s notes, which were very imperfect, were hastily corrected by me; and were published without further revision and with several glaring errors. The substance of what I said on slavery was, that on the points under the old Constitution out of which so much discussion, agitation, and strife between the States had arisen, no future contention could arise, as these had been put to rest by clear language. I did not say, nor do I think the reporter represented me as saying, that there was the slightest change in the new Constitution from the old regarding the status of the African race amongst us. (Slavery was without doubt the occasion of secession; out of it rose the breach of compact, for instance, on the part of several Northern States in refusing to comply with Constitution

    I admitted that the fathers, both of the North and the South, who framed the old Constitution, while recognizing existing slavery and guaranteeing its continuance under the Constitution so long as the States should severally see fit to tolerate it in their respective limits, were perhaps all opposed to the principle. Jefferson, Madison, Washington, all looked for its early extinction throughout the United States. But on the subject of slavery – so called – (which was with us, or should be, nothing but the proper subordination of the inferior African race to the superior white) great and radical changes had taken place in the realm of thought; many eminent latter-day statesmen, philosophers, and philanthropists held different views from the fathers.

    I admitted that the fathers, both of the North and the South, who framed the old Constitution, while recognizing existing slavery and guaranteeing its continuance under the Constitution so long as the States should severally see fit to tolerate it in their respective limits, were perhaps all opposed to the principle. Jefferson, Madison, Washington, all looked for its early extinction throughout the United States. But on the subject of slavery – so called – (which was with us, or should be, nothing but the proper subordination of the inferior African race to the superior white) great and radical changes had taken place in the realm of thought; many eminent latter-day statesmen, philosophers, and philanthropists held different views from the fathers.

    The relation of the black to the white race, or the proper status of the coloured population amongst us, was a question now of vastly more importance than when the old Constitution was formed. The order of subordination was nature’s great law; philosophy taught that order as the normal condition of the African amongst European races. Upon this recognized principle of a proper subordination, let it be called slavery or what not, our State institutions were formed and rested. The new Confederation was entered into with this distinct understanding. This principle of the subordination of the inferior to the superior was the “corner-stone” on which it was formed. I used this metaphor merely to illustrate the firm convictions of the framers of the new Constitution that this relation of the black to the white race, which existed in 1787, was not wrong in itself, either morally or politically; that it was in conformity to nature and best for both races. I alluded not to the principles of the new Government on this subject,

    My own opinion of slavery, as often expressed, was that if the institution was not the best, or could not be made the best, for both races, looking to the advancement and progress of both, physically and morally, it ought to be abolished. It was far from being what it might and ought to have been. Education was denied. This was wrong. I ever condemned the wrong. Marriage was not recognized. This was a wrong that I condemned. Many things connected with it did not meet my approval but excited my disgust, abhorrence, and detestation. The same I may say of things connected with the best institutions in the best communities in which my lot has been cast. Great improvements were, however, going on in the condition of blacks in the South. Their general physical condition not only as to necessaries but as to comforts was better in my own neighbourhood in 1860, than was that of the whites when I can first recollect, say 1820. Much greater would have been made, I verily believe, but for outside agitation. I have but small doubt that education would have been allowed long ago in Georgia, except for outside pressure which stopped internal reform.

    Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens edited by Myrta Lockett Avary
    Originally published by Sunny South Publishing Company and Doubleday, Page & Company, 1910

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  2. Richmond Examiner editorial

    August 2nd 1864
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    Mr. Davis, in conversation with a Yankee spy, named Edward Kirk, is reported by said spy to have said, “We are not fighting for slavery; we are fighting for independence.”

    This is true; and is a truth that has not sufficiently been dwelt upon. It would have been very much to be desired that this functionary had developed the idea in some message, or some other State paper… instead of leaving it to be promulgated through the doubtful report of an impudent blockade-runner.… The sentiment is true, and should be publicly uttered and kept conspicuously in view; because our enemies have diligently labored to make all mankind believe that the people of these States have set up a pretended State sovereignty, and based themselves upon that ostensibly, while their real object has been only to preserve to themselves the property in so many negroes, worth so many millions of dollars. The direct reverse is the truth. The question of slavery is only one of the minor issues; and the cause of the war, the whole cause, on our part, is the maintenance of the sovereign independence of these States.…

    The whole cause of our resistance was and is, the pretension and full determination of the Northern States to use their preponderance in the Federal representation, in order to govern the Southern States for their profit. . Slavery was the immediate occasion–carefully made so by them–it was not the cause. The tariff… would have much more accurately represented, though it did not cover, or exhaust, the real cause of the quarrel. Yet neither tariffs nor slavery, nor both together, could ever have been truly called the cause of the secession and the war. We refuse to accept for a cause any thing… than that truly announced, namely, the sovereign independence of our States. This, indeed, includes both those minor questions, as well as many others yet graver and higher. It includes full power to regulate our trade for our own profit, and also complete jurisdiction over our own social and domestic institutions; but it further involves all the nobler attributes of national, and even of individual life and character. A community which once submits to be schooled, dictated to, legislated for, by any other, soon grows poor in spirit;… its citizens, become a kind of half-men, [and] feel that they have hardly a right to walk in the sun.…

    The people of Virginia do not choose to accept that position for themselves and for their children. They choose rather to die. They own a noble country, which their fathers created, exalted, and transmitted to them.… That inheritance we intend to own while we live, and leave intact to those who are to come after us.…

    It is right to let foreign nations, and “those whom it may concern,” understand this theory of our independence. Let them understand that, though we are “not fighting for slavery,” we will not allow ourselves to be dictated to in regard to slavery or any other of our internal affairs, not because thatwould diminish our interest in any property, but because it touches our independence.

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  3. I am an extremely open-minded person who tries to obtain as much information on a topic as possible before coming to any conclusions. I have been researching the history of the Confederate flag extensively and I have some concerns with your article. To begin, it is difficult to accept it as fact when this is the one and only place that I have found (and believe me, I have looked everywhere) asserting that W. T. Thompson did not design the flag. Don’t misunderstand me, there are many sources claiming that the designer was William Porcher Miles (even in the comments above) but yours is the only one stating outright that Thompson is NOT the designer. It is usually difficult, if not impossible, to prove a negative so I don’t know how anyone can state unequivocally that Thompson did not design the flag without proving who actually did design it. It seems that all the literature points to either Thompson or Miles. You address Miles in the comments above but never definitively state that he is NOT the designer as you do with Thompson. Do you have any more information to support that Miles is not the designer and/or information leading to the true designer?

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