Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
A number of advertisements provide physical descriptions of the escaped slave, especially height and complexion. Many of those descriptions like the one above give evidence of abuse; "Upon his body are several old marks of the whip, one of them straight down the back."
It seems that few slaves actually had the classical names, such as Pompey and Caesar, that grace so many fiction works of the antebellum era. The runaway in this ad, Dread, had the most unusual name that I came across in my short search. This ad was from the December 16, 1826 edition of the Paris, Kentucky Western Citizen, and unlike the other ads included his wife Betty.
This slave ad, unlike the others, was a handbill or broadside instead of a newspaper advertisement. The owner was from Mason County which is in northeast Kentucky on the Ohio River. Across the river from Mason County was Ripley, Ohio a well-known Underground Railroad and abolitionist town that helped hundreds of slaves make their way to Canada. One can only wonder if Emily too made the long journey north or if she was returned to Thomas H. Williams.
This last advertisement is a handbill as well, but unlike the others was from western Kentucky. But, like the previous ad, it too was from an owner that lived on the Ohio River. Being so close to the free states must have been a strong temptation to slaves that lived in Kentucky towns and counties along the Ohio River. Of course the fugitive slave act of 1850 meant that they could be "returned to servitude" if caught in Northern states. The would only truly be free if they made their way to Canada.
Monday, December 20, 2010
South Carolina's secession from the Union on December 20, 1860 was followed a few days later with a "Declaration of Immediate Causes" explaining what led them to that drastic measure. I have posted a transcription of that document for viewers to read and thus determine why the Palmetto state decided to dissolve the Union.
Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of
The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
And now the State of
In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing
They further solemnly declared that whenever any "form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government." Deeming the Government of Great Britain to have become destructive of these ends, they declared that the Colonies "are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."
In pursuance of this Declaration of Independence, each of the thirteen States proceeded to exercise its separate sovereignty; adopted for itself a Constitution, and appointed officers for the administration of government in all its departments-- Legislative, Executive and Judicial. For purposes of defense, they united their arms and their counsels; and, in 1778, they entered into a League known as the Articles of Confederation, whereby they agreed to entrust the administration of their external relations to a common agent, known as the Congress of the United States, expressly declaring, in the first Article "that each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right which is not, by this Confederation, expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled."
Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: "ARTICLE 1-- His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof."
Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.
In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the States to revise the Articles of Confederation, and on 17th September, 1787, these Deputies recommended for the adoption of the States, the Articles of Union, known as the Constitution of the
The parties to whom this Constitution was submitted, were the several sovereign States; they were to agree or disagree, and when nine of them agreed the compact was to take effect among those concurring; and the General Government, as the common agent, was then invested with their authority.
If only nine of the thirteen States had concurred, the other four would have remained as they then were-- separate, sovereign States, independent of any of the provisions of the Constitution. In fact, two of the States did not accede to the Constitution until long after it had gone into operation among the other eleven; and during that interval, they each exercised the functions of an independent nation.
By this Constitution, certain duties were imposed upon the several States, and the exercise of certain of their powers was restrained, which necessarily implied their continued existence as sovereign States. But to remove all doubt, an amendment was added, which declared that the powers not delegated to the
Thus was established, by compact between the States, a Government with definite objects and powers, limited to the express words of the grant. This limitation left the whole remaining mass of power subject to the clause reserving it to the States or to the people, and rendered unnecessary any specification of reserved rights.
We hold that the Government thus established is subject to the two great principles asserted in the Declaration of Independence; and we hold further, that the mode of its formation subjects it to a third fundamental principle, namely: the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual; that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other; and that where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences.
In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.
The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."
This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by
The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States.
The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine,
The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; 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.
For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms [emphasis in the original] of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.
This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.
On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the
The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.
Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.
We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.
Adopted December 24, 1860
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Both of Hale's parents were native South Carolinians and they apparently raised their son with strong southern sentiments. Hale received his education in Kentucky at Cumberland University and later at Transylvania University's law school. He emigrated to Greene County, Alabama in 1837 to teach school and began a law practice a couple of years later. In 1843 he was elected to the Alabama state legislature and served in the Mexican War. In 1860 Hale was again serving in Alabama politics, lawyering, and was a small scale planter who owned a dozen slaves. As Alabama contemplated a formal severing of ties with the Union, Hale was named commissioner to Kentucky by governor Albert B. Moore; most likely due to his Bluegrass roots.
Hale took a train from Alabama and arrived in Nashville, Tennessee on Christmas Day, 1860. He planned to arrive in Frankfort, Kentucky the following day. While in Kentucky's capital city he expected to rub elbows with state legislators and convince them that the Bluegrass state belonged in the southern fold that at time did not even include Alabama, as it would not secede until January 11, 1861.
Apparently Hale did not properly prepare for his visit because when he arrived the Kentucky legislature was not in session. And, although it seems that Hale did have some contact with political movers and shakers while the Commonwealth, the secessionist focused his attention on the next best target, the state's governor, Beriah Magoffin.
I have not been able to determine if Hale succeeded in making a face-to-face meeting with Magoffin, but he did leave an amazing letter to the state's executive that outlined his reason for visiting and the reasons slave holding states should remove themselves from the Union forthwith. This letter can be found in the War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, ser. 4, I.
After a quick outline of the responsibilities of the people, the states, and the federal government Hale reminded Governor Magoffin the importance of slavery to the states that practiced the institution. He wrote, "And in the meantime African slavery has not only become one of the fixed domestic institutions of the Southern States, but forms an important element of their political power, and constitutes the most valuable species of property, worth, according to recent estimates, not less than $4,000,000,000; forming, in fact, the basis upon which rests the prosperity and wealth of most of these States, and supplying the commerce of the world with its richest freights, and furnishing the manufactories of two continents with the raw material, and their operatives with bread." He went on to explain that the North had been waging a type of cold war against slavery. "They attack us through their literature, in their schools, from the hustings, in their legislative halls, through the public press, and even their courts of justice forget the purity of their judicial ermine to strike down the rights of the Southern slave-holder and override every barrier which the Constitution has erected for his protection...."
Hale also railed against the refusal of northern states to enforce the fugitive slave law. "A majority of the Northern States, through legislative enactments, have openly nullified it, and impose heavy fines and penalties upon all persons who aid in enforcing this law, and some of those States declare the Southern slave-holder who goes within their jurisdiction to assert his legal rights under the Constitution guilty of a high crime, and affix imprisonment in the penitentiary as the penalty."
John Brown and Harper's Ferry are also alluded to by Hale as reason enough for secession. "The more daring and restless fanatics have banded themselves together, have put in practice the terrible lessons taught by the timid by making an armed incursion upon the sovereign State of Virginia, slaughtering her citizens, for the purpose of exciting a servile insurrection among her slave population, and arming them for the destruction of their own masters." He continued, "Nor is this the mere ebullition of a few half-crazy fanatics, as is abundantly apparent from the sympathy manifested all over the North, where, in many places, the tragic death of John Brown, condemned felon, is celebrated with pubic honors, and his name canonized as a martyr to liberty; and many, even of the more conservative papers of the Black Republican school, were accustomed to speak of his murderous attack upon the lives of the unsuspecting citizens of Virginia in a half-sneering and half-apologetic tone."
Hale claimed that the South's safety rested on secession. He explained that the election of any man to the presidency shouldn't be reason to secede, but in the case of Abraham Lincoln and the Republican party it is justified. "Therefore it is that the election of Mr. Lincoln cannot be regarded otherwise than a solemn declaration, on part of a great majority of the Northern people, of hostility to the South, her property, and her institutions; nothing less than an open declaration of war, for the triumph of this new theory of government destroys the property of the South, lays waste her fields, and inaugurates all the horrors of a San Domingo servile insurrection, consigning her citizens to assassins and her wives and daughters to pollution and violation to gratify the lust of half-civilized Africans. Especially this is true in the cotton-growing States, where, in many localities, the slaves outnumbers the white population ten to one."
Rhetorically Hale asked Magoffin, "Will the South give up the institution of slavery and consent that her citizens be stripped of their property, her civilization destroyed, the whole land laid to waste by fire and sword? It is impossible. She cannot; she will not. Then why attempt longer to hold together hostile States under the stipulations of a violated Constitution? It is impossible. Dissolution is inevitable. Why, then, wait longer for the consummation of a result that must come? Why waste further time only to be met, as we have been for years past, by renewed insults and repeated injuries?"
Hale concluded his letter politely, "Permit me, in conclusion, on behalf of the State of Alabama, to express my high gratification a the cordial manner in which I have been received as her commissioner by the authorities of the State of Kentucky, as well as the profound personal gratification which, as a son of Kentucky, born and reared within her borders, I feel at the manner in which I, as the commissioner from the State of my adoption, have been received and treated by the authorities of the State of my birth. Please accept the assurances of the high consideration and esteem of, your obedient servant..."
During the Civil War Hale represented Alabama in the Confederate congress and later served as Lieutenant Colonel of the 11th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He was wounded in the savage fighting at Gaines Mill, Virginia on June 27, 1862 and died in Richmond on July 18, 1862.
Those that claim that slavery had nothing to do with the South's secession, and thus the Civil War, would do well to read this significant primary source in its entirety.