Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lincoln Lied, People Died

from World Net Dily and Rebellion:



Lincoln lied, people died


Posted: February 11, 2011

1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

Tomorrow is Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Familiar Lincoln idolaters will gather to celebrate the birth, on Feb. 12, 1809, of the 16th president of the United States and finesse his role in "the butchering business" – to use professor J. R. Pole's turn-of-phrase. Court historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is sure to make a media appearance to extol the virtues of the president who shed the blood of brothers in great quantities and urged into existence the "American System" of taxpayer-sponsored grants of government privilege to politically connected corporations.

On publication, in 2002, of the book "The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War," the "Church of Lincoln" gave battle. The enemy was the author, Thomas J. DiLorenzo, who had exposed Lincoln lore for the lie it was – still is. DiLorenzo had dared to examine the Great Centralizer's role in sundering the soul of the American federal system: the sovereignty of the states and the citizenry.

Steeped as they were in the Lockean tradition of natural rights and individual liberty, the constitutional framers held that the unalienable rights to life, liberty and property were best preserved within a federal system of divided sovereignty, in which the central government was weak and most powers devolved to the states, or to the people, respectively, as stated in the 10th Amendment. If a state grew tyrannical, competition from other states – and the individual's ability to switch allegiances by exiting the political arrangement – would create something of an agora in government. This was the framers' genius.

The concentrated powers Lincoln sought were inimical to the founders' loose constitutional dispensation. To realize his expansionist ideals, Lincoln would have to crush any notion of the Union as a voluntary pact between sovereign states and individuals.

Was "Honest Abe" worthy of the moniker? In "Lincoln Unmasked," Thomas J. DiLorenzo takes on historical assumptions about 16th president

By Lincoln's admission, he prosecuted the war between the Union States of the North and the Southern Confederate States in order to maintain the Union; he vowed to so do "by freeing all the slaves or without freeing any slave," as Mark Bostridge conceded uncontroversially in the Times Literary Supplement (Dec. 10, 2010). Duly, Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" guaranteed that slaves were freed only in regions of the Confederacy still inaccessible to the Union army. Union soldiers, for their part, were permitted to seize slaves in rebel territory and put them to work. In areas loyal to the North, slaves were not emancipated. After the war, Lincoln offered little land to the freed men; parceling off the spoils to his constituent power base: the railroad and mining companies.

The North was no more fighting to abolish slavery than the South was fighting to preserve it: A mere 15 percent, or thereabouts, of Southerners owned slaves.

The "pseudo-intellectuals who [are] devoted to pulling the wool over the public's eyes" have a lot to answer for. Lincoln's violent, unconstitutional revolution took the lives of 620,000 individuals (including 50,000 Southern civilians, blacks included), maimed thousands and brought about "the near destruction of 40 percent of the nation's economy." "The costs of an action cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to morality," wrote the Mises Institute's David Gordon in "Secession, State & Liberty." Almost every other country at the time chose the path of peaceful emancipation. Yet today's Americans look upon the terrible forces Lincoln unleashed as glorious events, the native appetite having habituated to carnage over time.

(Column continues below)

Lincoln lovers like to claim that the Constitution ratified in 1788 forbade peaceful secession and authorized a federal government of so-called limited, delegated powers to invade and occupy any seceding state, declare martial law, subdue secessionists by force, burn and ransack entire cities and then establish a military dictatorship over those states lasting a dozen years.

Suppose this indeed is the case, and that it was perfectly constitutional to intentionally wage war on civilians, to imprison without trial thousands of Northern citizens, jail – even execute – people who refused to take an oath of loyalty to Lord Lincoln, declare martial law, confiscate private property, censor telegraph lines and shut down newspapers for opposing the war, incarcerating their editors and owners. Say, for the sake of argument, that it was indeed lawful to suspend the Bill of Rights, the writ of habeas corpus and the international law.

If it endorsed, or even accommodated, what Lincoln did, including his disregard for the Ninth and 10th Amendments, and his violation of the Second, then the Constitution is categorically evil and self-contradictory.

The more plausible explanation is that, in 1861, Lincoln kidnapped and killed the Constitution. The Jacobins who lionize Lincoln's actions (by referring to his billowing prose) have been covering up his crimes and ignoring the consequences of his coup ever since.


Ilana Mercer is a libertarian writer and a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, an independent, nonprofit, economic-policy think tank. By popular demand, Ilana’s libertarian manifesto, "Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash With A Corrupt Society," is back in print. To learn more about Ilana and her work, visit To comment on this column, go to Ilana's blog.

Read more: Lincoln lied, people died

The Commemmoration Of Jefferson Davis' Inauguration, 20 February 1861

From 20 February:

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Underground Railroad And The Coming Of War

From The Tenth Amendment Center and Liberty Pulse:

The Underground Railroad and the Coming of War

by Matthew Pinsker, History Now

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nullify Now! presents a special tribute to human freedom with the story of Joshua Glover. Learn about resistance to slavery in one of history’s greatest acts of nullification – and how it applies to events today – in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 5, 2011 – get tickets and information here – or by calling 888-71-TICKETS


It was all About States’ Rights – Northern States’ Rights

The Underground Railroad was a metaphor. Yet many textbooks treat it as an official name for a secret network that once helped escaping slaves. The more literal-minded students end up questioning whether these fixed escape routes were actually under the ground. But the phrase “Underground Railroad” is better understood as a rhetorical device that compared unlike things for the purpose of illustration. In this case, the metaphor described an array of people connected mainly by their intense desire to help other people escape from slavery. Understanding the history of the phrase changes its meaning in profound ways.

Even to begin a lesson by examining the two words “underground” and “railroad” helps provide a tighter chronological framework than usual with this topic. There could be no “underground railroad” until actual railroads became familiar to the American public–in other words, during the 1830s and 1840s. There had certainly been slave escapes before that period, but they were not described by any kind of railroad moniker. The phrase also highlights a specific geographic orientation. Antebellum railroads existed primarily in the North–home to about 70 percent of the nation’s 30,000 miles of track by 1860. Slaves fled in every direction of the compass, but the metaphor packed its greatest wallop in those communities closest to the nation’s whistle-stops.

Looking into the phrase “Underground Railroad” also suggests two essential questions: who coined the metaphor? And why would they want to compare and inextricably link a wide-ranging effort to support runaway slaves with an organized network of secret railroads?

The answers can be found in the abolitionist movement. Abolitionists, or those who agitated for the immediate destruction of slavery, wanted to publicize, and perhaps even exaggerate, the number of slave escapes and the extent of the network that existed to support those fugitives. According to the pioneering work of historian Larry Gara, abolitionist newspapers and orators were the ones who first used the term “Underground Railroad” during the early 1840s, and they did so to taunt slaveholders (1). To some participants this seemed a dangerous game. Frederick Douglass, for instance, claimed to be appalled. “I have never approved of the very public manner in which some of our western friends have conducted what they call the underground railroad,” he wrote in his Narrative in 1845, warning that “by their open declarations” these mostly Ohio-based (“western”) abolitionists were creating an “upperground railroad”(2).

Publicity about escapes and open defiance of federal law only spread in the years that followed, especially after the controversial Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Anxious fugitives and their allies now fought back with greater ferocity. Douglass himself became more militant. In September 1851, he helped a former slave named William Parker escape to Canada after Parker had spearheaded a resistance in Christiana, Pennsylvania that left a Maryland slaveholder dead and federal authorities in disarray. The next year in a fiery speech at Pittsburgh, the famous orator stepped up the rhetorical attack, vowing, “The only way to make the Fugitive Slave Law a dead letter is to make half a dozen or more dead kidnappers” (3). This level of defiance was not uncommon in the antislavery North and soon imperiled both federal statute and national union. Between 1850 and 1861, there were only about 350 fugitive slave cases prosecuted under the notoriously tough law, and none in the abolitionist-friendly New England states after 1854 (4). White Southerners complained bitterly while abolitionists grew more emboldened.

Yet students often seem to imagine runaway slaves cowering in the shadows while ingenious “conductors” and “stationmasters” devised elaborate secret hiding places and coded messages to help spirit fugitives to freedom. They make few distinctions between North and South, often imagining that slave patrollers and their barking dogs chased terrified runaways from Mississippi to Maine. Instead, the Underground Railroad deserves to be explained in terms of sectional differences and the coming of the Civil War.

One way to grasp the Underground Railroad in its full political complexity is to look closely at the rise of abolitionism and the spread of free black vigilance committees during the 1830s. Nineteenth-century American communities employed extra-legal “vigilance” groups whenever they felt threatened. During the mid-1830s, free black residents first in New York and then across other Northern cities began organizing vigilant associations to help them guard against kidnappers. Almost immediately, however, these groups extended their protective services to runaway slaves. They also soon allied themselves with the new abolitionist organizations, such as William Lloyd Garrison’s Anti-Slavery Society. The most active vigilance committees were in Boston, Detroit, New York, and Philadelphia led by now largely forgotten figures such as Lewis Hayden, George DeBaptiste, David Ruggles, and William Still (5). Black men typically dominated these groups, but membership also included whites, such as some surprisingly feisty Quakers, and at least a few women. These vigilance groups constituted the organized core of what soon became known as the Underground Railroad. Smaller communities organized too, but did not necessarily invoke the “vigilance” label, nor integrate as easily across racial, religious and gender lines. Nonetheless, during the 1840s when William Parker formed a “mutual protection” society in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, or when John Brown created his League of Gileadites in Springfield, Massachusetts, they emulated this vigilance model.

These committees functioned more or less like committees anywhere—electing officers, holding meetings, keeping records, and raising funds. They guarded their secrets, but these were not covert operatives in the manner of the French Resistance. In New York, the vigilance committee published an annual report. Detroit vigilance agents filled newspaper columns with reports about their monthly traffic. Several committees released the addresses of their officers. One enterprising figure circulated a business card that read, “Underground Railroad Agent” (6). Even sensitive material often got recorded somewhere. A surprising amount of this secret evidence is also available for classroom use. One can explore letters detailing Harriet Tubman’s comings and goings, and even a reimbursement request for her worn-out shoes by using William Still’s The Underground Railroad (1872), available online in a dozen different places, and which presents the fascinating materials he collected as head of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee. Anyone curious about how much it cost to help runaways can access the site where social studies teacher Dean Eastman and his students at Beverly High School have transcribed and posted the account books of the Boston vigilance committee. And the list of accessible Underground Railroad material grows steadily (7).

But how did these Northern vigilance groups get away with such impudence? How could they publicize their existence and risk imprisonment by keeping records that detailed illegal activities? The answer helps move the story into the 1840s and 1850s and offers a fresh way to for teachers to explore the legal and political history of the sectional crisis with students. Those aiding fugitives often benefited from the protection of state personal liberty laws and from a general reluctance across the North to encourage federal intervention or reward Southern power. In other words, it was all about states’ rights—Northern states’ rights. As early as the 1820s, Northern states led by Pennsylvania had been experimenting with personal liberty or anti-kidnapping statutes designed to protect free black residents from kidnapping, but which also had the effect of frustrating enforcement of federal fugitive slave laws (1793 and 1850). In two landmark cases –Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842) and Ableman v. Booth (1859)—the Supreme Court threw out these Northern personal liberty protections as unconstitutional.

Students accustomed to equating states’ rights with South Carolina may be stunned to learn that it was the Wisconsin Supreme Court asserting the nullification doctrine in the mid-1850s. They may also be shocked to discover that a federal jury in Philadelphia had acquitted the lead defendant in the Christiana treason trial within about fifteen minutes. These Northern legislatures and juries were, for the most part, indifferent to black civil rights, but they were quite adamant about asserting their own states’ rights during the years before the Civil War. This was the popular sentiment exploited by Northern vigilance committees that helped sustain their controversial work on behalf of fugitives.

That is also why practically none of the Underground Railroad agents in the North experienced arrest, conviction, or physical violence. No prominent Underground Railroad operative ever got killed or spent significant time in jail for helping fugitives once they crossed the Mason-Dixon Line or the Ohio River. Instead, it was agents operating across the South who endured the notorious late-night arrests, long jail sentences, torture, and sometimes even lynching that made the underground work so dangerous. In 1844, for example, a federal marshal in Florida ordered the branding of Jonathan Walker, a sea captain who had been convicted of smuggling runaways, with the mark “S.S.” (“slave-stealer”) on his hand. That kind of barbaric punishment simply did not happen in the North.

What did happen, however, was growing rhetorical violence. The war of words spread. Threats escalated. Metaphors hardened. The results then shaped the responses the led to war. By reading and analyzing the various Southern secession documents from the winter of 1860-61, one will find that nearly all invoke the crisis over fugitives (8). The battle over fugitives and those who aided them was a primary instigator for the national conflict over slavery. Years afterward, Frederick Douglass dismissed the impact of the Underground Railroad in terms of the larger fight against slavery, comparing it to “an attempt to bail out the ocean with a teaspoon” (9). But Douglass had always been cool to the public value of the metaphor. Measured in words, however —through the antebellum newspaper articles, sermons, speeches, and resolutions generated by the crisis over fugitives—the “Underground Railroad” proved to be quite literally a metaphor that helped launch the Civil War.

Matthew Pinsker is Associate Professor of History and Pohanka Chair in American Civil War History at Dickinson College. He has written two books about Abraham Lincoln and currently is working on a book about the Underground Railroad.

NOTE: This article was originally published in the December, 2010 issue of History Now from the Gilder Lerhman Institute of American History. It’s re-published here with permission of the author and History Now.


(1) Larry Gara, The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad (1961; Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996), 143-4.

(2) Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave (Boston: Anti-Slavery Office, 1845), 101 (

(3) Frederick Douglass, “The Fugitive Slave Law: Speech to the National Free Soil Convention in Pittsburgh,” August 11, 1852 (

(4) See the appendix in Stanley W. Campbell, The Slave Catchers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law: 1850-1860 (New York: W.W. Norton, 1970), 199-207.

(5) Out of these four notable black leaders, only David Ruggles has an adult biography available in print –and it was published this year. See Graham Russell Gao Hodges, David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

(6) Jermain Loguen of Syracuse, New York. See Fergus M. Bordewich, Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America (New York: HarperCollins, 2005), 410.

(7) For these materials and others, visit the Additional Resources Page (below).

(8) See secession documents online at The Avalon Project from Yale Law School


(9) Frederick Douglass, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Hartford, CT: Park Publishing, 1881), 272 (

Monday, February 21, 2011

SCV Commemmorates Jefferson Davis Inauguration 19 February In Montgomery, Alabama

From Confederate Catholic:

SCV Commemorate Jefferson Davis Inauguration Feb. 19th in Montgomery, Ala.

February 19, 2011 at 8:49 PM
Tags: American Civil War, Civil War, Jefferson Davis, Montgomery Alabama, Naming the American Civil War, President of the Confederate States of America, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Categories: Federal Government, heritage, North, Political Correctness, Privilege, South, Uncategorized, War For Southern Independence

As we all face enslavement by the federal gov. Those who support the tyranny of the federal gov. and their revisionist history will bark for days about this commemoration. Let us remember and keep freedom alive for our children.

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Hundreds of men in Civil War uniforms marched past the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s church Saturday to commemorate the inauguration of the Confederate president 150 years ago in a city that no longer rolls out the red carpet for them.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans turned back time to recreate the festivities surrounding Jefferson Davis taking the oath of office on Feb. 18, 1861. They surrounded the bronze star on the Capitol steps that marks the spot where Davis took leadership of a war that still stirs emotions in a state proclaimed on license plates as the "Heart of Dixie."

George Washington, Father Of Our Country

From Family Research Council and ADF:

Washington Update

George Washington: Father of Our Country

Today, I wanted to take the opportunity to share a piece written by FRC's resident historian, Senior Fellow Bob Morrison. Bob's research has been featured in some of Dr. Bill Bennett's most recent books, including the series: America: The Last Best Hope. If you haven't read them, I encourage you to get your hands on a copy. Also, check out Bill's The American Patriot's Almanac for daily stories about our great country. Happy Presidents' Day!

By Act of Congress, this is still George Washington's Birthday. Although car dealers and shopping malls have told us over and over again it's Presidents Day, the law is clear: We are honoring today our first president, the Father of our Country.

George Washington has been described as "the gentlest of Christendom's captains." As a military man, he was incredibly brave, facing enemy bullets not once, but many times. But when he put away his sword, he placed a dove of peace--a biblical symbol--atop his beloved Virginia home, Mount Vernon. He was eulogized at his death in 1799 by Gen. Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, the father of Robert E. Lee. The elder Lee called Washington "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Washington was an inspiration to virtually all the presidents who came after him.

Thomas Jefferson, our third President, said of George Washington:

For his was the singular destiny and merit, of leading the armies of his country successfully through an arduous war, for the establishment of its independence; of conducting its councils through the birth of a government, new in its forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly train; and of scrupulously obeying the laws through the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example. . . . These are my opinions of General Washington, which I would vouch at the judgment seat of God, having been formed on an acquaintance of thirty years. . . .I felt on his death, with my countrymen, that 'verily a great man hath fallen this day in Israel.'

Abraham Lincoln sought to model his own conduct on that of George Washington. Leaving Springfield by train for Washington, D.C. 150 years ago this month, President-elect Lincoln bade farewell to his Illinois neighbors with these touching words:

I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

So impressed with Washington's conduct was Lincoln that he made a point of kissing the Bible at this own inauguration--just as Washington had done in 1789. Washington's reliance on the Bible was fully shared by Lincoln, who called it "the best gift God has ever given to man...But for it we could not know right from wrong."

Through the centuries, some few Americans have sought to pull themselves up by pulling Washington down. This tendency was most exaggerated in the 1920s, when so-called Progressives thought they could "de-bunk" American history by giving it a Marxist slant. But when a book purporting to show that Washington was a failure was published, President Calvin Coolidge was asked what he thought of it. "Silent Cal" wasted few words on the muckraking book. He looked out the window of the White House toward the Washington Monument and drawled: "He's still there."

Ronald Reagan surely admired George Washington. When Ed Meese, Reagan's loyal lieutenant, was informed several years ago that Americans in an online poll had voted Reagan the greatest of all Americans, Mr. Meese was stunned. "He didn't think so," the former Attorney General said, "Ronald Reagan thought George Washington was the greatest American."

Today, let us thank God for the life of George Washington, the Father of our Country.

Barbour Refuses To Denounce Tribute To Former (Reputed) KKK Leader

From Personal Liberty Digest:

Barbour Refuses To Denounce Tribute To Former KKK Leader

February 21, 2011 by Personal Liberty News Desk

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has predicted that a State license plate honoring a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan will not be approved by lawmakers. However, the Republican official has not denounced the efforts to produce the controversial plate.

According to media reports, the Mississippi division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a heritage group, has proposed a series of license plates to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. One of the commemorative plates would recognize Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who led a cavalry regiment and was one of the first to grasp the doctrines of mobile warfare. After the war he became the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.

However, it is widely believed that Forrest distanced himself from the KKK later in life and even promoted equal rights for African Americans. Nonetheless, the Mississippi branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has denounced the proposed plate. The group's president Derrick Johnson said it is "absurd" to honor a "racially divisive figure," quoted by The Huffington Post.

Barbour, who is a rumored GOP candidate for the 2012 Presidential election, said that the former KKK leader is a "historical figure."

"I don't go around denouncing people," Barbour said, quoted by the news provider. "That's not going to happen. I don't even denounce the news media."

Barbour was criticized late last year for his praise of the Citizens' Councils of Americans (CCA), a former white supremacy group that opposed racial integration, during an interview with The Weekly Standard. He also said that racial tensions were not "that bad" in Mississippi during the 1950s and 1960s.

Friday, February 18, 2011

League of the South Lambasted At Hearing Of U.S. financial Services Committee

From The League of the South:

League of the South Statement

League of the South Lambasted at Hearing of U.S. House Financial Services Committee

15 February 2011

On Wednesday, 9 February, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) chaired his first meeting of the House Financial Services Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. The subject was the Federal Reserve and U.S. unemployment. Among those testifying before Congressman Paul's committee was economist/historian Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, Professor at Loyola University (Maryland). Dr. DiLorenzo is a former Fellow in the League of the South Institute and was an instructor at some of our summer institutes in the 1990s.

Among the members of the House Financial Services Committee was one William Lacy Clay (D-Missouri) who, in questioning the credentials of Dr. DiLorenzo, brought up the latter's connections to The League of the South.

Rep. Clay then went on to say that the League is an organization that "calls the U.S. government 'an organized criminal enterprise.'"

League President, Dr. Michael Hill noted: “Congressman Clay, while accurate in his statement, failed to put his comment in the proper context. The League of the South has pointed out for many years the corruption in Washington, the failure of the US government to operate within the bounds of the Constitution, and the utter abandonment of the Principles that led to the creation of American Liberty. Indeed, the effects of these corrupt and failed policies on our liberty and prosperity and that of our children and grandchildren are criminal. We encourage Congressman Clay and the other 434 Congressmen to immediately correct their failure to execute their duty. In summary, the words Congressman Clay chose to use are sadly true, and we are pleased he has at least taken note. We hope, for the sake of those who have to live under this regime, that this will be a catalyst for positive change.”

On The Vote To Extend The USA PATRIOT Act

from The League of the South:

League of the South Statement

RE: Vote To Extend The USA Patriot Act

10 February 2011

The League of the South warned Southern conservatives that the Tea Party did not merit their trust. As proof we were correct, we offer this. Thirty-two out of forty members of the US House who were Tea Party-backed candidates voted to extend the tyrannical USA Patriot Act. Those who voted to extend the act are as follows:

Tim Griffin (AR-2), Paul Gosar (AZ-1), Steve Souderland (FL-2),Allen West (FL-22), Sandy Adams (FL-24), Bob Dold (IL-10), AdamKinzinger (IL-11), Marlin Stutzman (IN-3), Todd Young (IN-9), Jeff Landry(LA-3), Dan Benishek (MI-1), Tim Walberg (MI-7), Michelle Bachmann(MN-6), Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), Renee Ellmers (NC-2), Frank Guinta(NH-1), Joe Heck (NV-3), Michael Grimm (NY-13), Steven Chabot (OH-1), BillJohnson (OH-6), Steve Stivers (OH-15), Jim Renacci (OH-16), Tim Scott (SC-1),Jeff Duncan (SC-3), Trey Gowdy (SC-4), Mick Mulvaney (SC-5), Scott DesJarlais(TN-4), Bill Flores (TX-17), H. Morgan Griffith (VA-9), Sean Duffy (WI-7), ReidRibble (WI-8), David McKinley (WV-1)

Please note that nearly half these votes (15) were cast by Southern representatives who are favorable to Tea Party interests.

We don’t claim to know everything, but we do know this: As long as the Republicans and Democrats run things in DC, there will be no meaningful change for the better in America.The League has been proved right once again. But when will our folks turn away from the Establishment and listen to a more reasonable voice? We’ll be waiting. . . with a real solution: Southern independence.


League of the South Statement

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Today In History: The Confederate Navy's Submarine, The H.L. Hunley Attacked And Sank The U.S.S. Housatonic

From Human Events:

February 17, 1864

C.S.S. Hunley

On this day in 1864, the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley attacked and sank the U.S.S. Housatonic in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The Hunley, however, failed to return to base and subsequently sank herself. This marked the first time a submarine had successfully destroyed an enemy ship in wartime history.
And this, related, from
H. L. Hunley

Confederate Submarine History

Date of Historic Mission:

February 17, 1864


H.L. Hunley was a Confederate submersible that demonstrated the advantage and danger of undersea warfare. Although not this nation's first submarine, Hunley was the first submarine to engage and sink a warship.

Privately built in 1863 by Park and Lyons of Mobile, Alabama, Hunley was fashioned from a cylindrical iron steam boiler, which was deepened and also lengthened through the addition of tapered ends. Hunley was designed to be hand powered by a crew of nine: eight to turn the hand-cranked propeller and one to steer and direct the boat. As a true submarine, each end was equipped with ballast tanks that could be flooded by valves or pumped dry by hand pumps. Extra ballast was added through the use of iron weights bolted to the underside of the hull. In the event the submarine needed additional buoyancy to rise in an emergency, the iron weight could be removed by unscrewing the heads of the bolts from inside the vessel.

On 17 February 1864, the Confederate submarine made a daring late night attack on USS Housatonic, a 1,240-ton (B) sloop-of-war with 16 guns, in Charleston Harbor off the coast of South Carolina. H.L. Hunley rammed Housatonic with spar torpedo packed with explosive powder and attached to a long pole on its bow. The spar torpedo embedded in the sloop's wooden side was detonated by a rope as Hunley backed away. The resulting explosion that sent Housatonic with five crew members to the bottom of Charleston Harbor also sank Hunley with its crew of eight. H.L. Hunley earned a place in the history of undersea warfare as the first submarine to sink a ship in wartime.

The Wreck

The search for Hunley ended 131 years later when best-selling author Clive Cussler and his team from the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) discovered the submarine after a 14-year search. At the time of discovery, Cussler and NUMA were conducting this research in partnership with the South Carolina Institute of Anthropology and Archaeology (SCIAA). The team realized that they had found Hunley after exposing the forward hatch and the ventilator box (the air box for the attachment of a snorkel). The submarine rested on its starboard side at about a 45-degree angle and is covered in a 1/4 to 3/4-inch encrustation of ferrous oxide bonded with sand and shell particles. Archaeologists exposed a little more on the port side and found the bow dive plane on that side. More probing revealed an approximate length of 34 feet with most, if not all, of the vessel preserved under the sediment.

In August 2000 archaeological investigation and excavation culminated with the resurrection of Hunley from its watery grave. A large team of professionals from the Naval Historical Center's Underwater Archaeology Branch, National Park Service, the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology and various other individuals investigated the vessel, measuring and documenting it prior to preparing it for removal. Once the on-site investigation was complete, harnesses were slipped underneath the sub one by one and attached to a truss designed by Oceaneering, International, Inc. Then after the last harness had been secured, the crane from Karlissa B began hoisting the submarine from the mire of the harbor. On August 8 at 8:37 AM the sub broke the surface for the first time in over 136 years where it was greeted by a cheering crowd in hundreds of nearby watercraft. Once safely on its transporting barge, Hunley finally completed its last voyage back to Charleston, passing by hundreds of spectators on Charleston's shores and bridges. The removal operation reached its successful conclusion when the submarine was secured inside the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in a specially designed tank of freshwater to await conservation.

All who viewed the vessel said Hunley incorporated an unexpectedly graceful and beautiful design. It is certainly a marvel both for its time period and for modern day researchers. No doubt this small submarine will be the key to unlock many mysteries of a bygone era.


Tours of the Hunley are normally open for public tours every Saturday from 10 - 5 and Sunday from 12 - 5. To order tickets, go to or call 1.877.4HUNLEY (1.877.448.6539).

And this, also related, from Wikipedia:

H. L. Hunley (submarine)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search

Css hunley on pier.jpg

Drawing of the H. L. Hunley. Based on a Photograph taken in 1863 by George S. Cook

Career (C.S.A.)

Name: H. L. Hunley

Builder: Horace L. Hunley

Laid down: early 1863

Launched: July 1863

Acquired: August 1863

In service: February 17, 1864

Out of service: February 17, 1864

Fate: sunk February 17, 1864

Status: examined

General characteristics

Displacement: 7.5 short tons (6.8 metric tons)

Length: 39.5 feet (12.0 meters)

Beam: 3.83 feet (1.17 meters)

Propulsion: hand-cranked propeller

Speed: 4 knots (7.4 kilometers/hour) (surface)

Complement: 1 officer, 7 enlisted

Armament: 1 × spar torpedo

H. L. Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States of America that played a small part in the American Civil War, but a large role in the history of naval warfare. The Hunley demonstrated both the advantages and the dangers of undersea warfare. She was the first combat submarine to sink an enemy warship, although the Hunley was not completely submerged and was lost at some point following her successful attack. The Confederacy lost 21 crewmen in three sinkings of the Hunley during her short career. The submarine was named for her inventor, Horace Lawson Hunley, shortly after she was taken into service under the control of the Confederate Army at Charleston, South Carolina.

H. L. Hunley, nearly 40 feet (12 m) long, was built at Mobile, Alabama, and launched in July 1863. She was then shipped by rail on August 12, 1863 to Charleston, South Carolina. Hunley (then called Fish Boat) sank on August 29, 1863, during a training exercise, killing five members of her crew. She sank again on October 15, 1863, killing all eight of her second crew, including H. L. Hunley himself, who was aboard at the time, even though he was not enlisted in the Confederate armed forces. Both times the Hunley was raised and returned to service. On February 17, 1864, Hunley attacked and sank the 1240-short ton (1124 metric tons)[1] screw sloop USS Housatonic on Union blockade duty in Charleston's outer harbor. Soon after, Hunley sank for unknown reasons, killing all eight of her third crew. This time, the innovative ship was lost

Hunley and two earlier submarines were privately developed and paid for by Horace Lawson Hunley, James McClintock, and Baxter Watson.

Predecessors to HunleyHunley, McClintock, and Watson first built a small submarine named Pioneer in New Orleans, Louisiana. Pioneer was tested in February 1862 in the Mississippi River and was later towed to Lake Pontchartrain for additional trials. But the Union advance towards New Orleans caused the men to abandon development and scuttle Pioneer the following month. The poorly documented Bayou St. John Confederate submarine may have been constructed about the same time as Pioneer.

The three inventors moved to Mobile and joined with machinists Thomas Park and Thomas Lyons. They soon began development of a second submarine, American Diver. Their efforts were supported by the Confederate States Army; Lieutenant William Alexander of the 21st Alabama Infantry Regiment was assigned oversight duty for the project. The men experimented with electromagnetic and steam propulsion for the new submarine, before falling back on a simpler hand-cranked propulsion system. American Diver was ready for harbor trials by January 1863, but it proved too slow to be practical. One attempted attack on the Union blockade was made in February 1863 but was unsuccessful. The submarine sank in the mouth of Mobile Bay during a storm later the same month and was not recovered.

Construction and testing of HunleyConstruction of Hunley began soon after the loss of American Diver. At this stage, Hunley was variously referred to as the "fish boat," the "fish torpedo boat," or the "porpoise." Legend long held Hunley was made from a cast-off steam boiler—perhaps because a cutaway drawing by William Alexander, who had seen the real boat, showed a short and stubby machine. In fact, Hunley was purpose-designed and built for her role, and the sleek, modern-looking craft shown in R.G. Skerrett's 1902 drawing is an accurate representation. Hunley was designed for a crew of eight: seven to turn the hand-cranked propeller and one to steer and direct the boat. Each end was equipped with ballast tanks that could be flooded by valves or pumped dry by hand pumps. Extra ballast was added through the use of iron weights bolted to the underside of the hull. In the event the submarine needed additional buoyancy to rise in an emergency, the iron weight could be removed by unscrewing the heads of the bolts from inside the vessel.

Inboard profile and plan drawings, after sketches by W.A. Alexander (1863)Hunley was equipped with two watertight hatches, one forward and one aft, atop two short conning towers equipped with small portholes and slender, triangular breakwaters. The hatches were very small, measuring 14 by 15¾ inches (36 by 40 centimeters), making entrance to and egress from the hull very difficult. The height of the ship's hull was 4 feet 3 inches (1.2 m).

Hunley was ready for a demonstration by July 1863. Supervised by Confederate Admiral Franklin Buchanan, Hunley successfully attacked a coal flatboat in Mobile Bay. Following this demonstration, the submarine was shipped to Charleston, South Carolina, by rail, arriving August 12, 1863.

The military seized the vessel from its private builders and owners shortly after its arrival in Charleston, turning it over to the Confederate Army. Hunley would operate as a Confederate Army vessel from this point forward, although Horace Hunley and his partners remained involved in the submarine's further testing and operation. While sometimes referred to as CSS Hunley, the Confederate government never officially commissioned the vessel into service.

Confederate Navy Lieutenant John A. Payne of CSS Chicora volunteered to be Hunley's skipper, and a volunteer crew of seven men from Chicora and CSS Palmetto State was assembled to operate the submarine. On August 29, 1863, Hunley's new crew was preparing to make a test dive to learn the operation of the submarine when Lieutenant Payne accidentally stepped on the lever controlling the sub's diving planes while the crew were rowing and the boat was running. This caused Hunley to dive with her hatches still open, flooding the submarine. Payne and two others escaped, while the remaining five crewmen drowned.

On October 15, 1863 Hunley failed to surface during a mock attack, killing Hunley and seven other crewmen. In both cases, the Confederate Navy salvaged the vessel and returned her to service.

ArmamentHunley was originally intended to attack by means of a floating explosive charge with a contact fuse (a torpedo in Civil War terminology) towed behind it at the end of a long rope. Hunley would approach an enemy vessel, dive under it, and surface beyond. As she continued to move away from the target, the torpedo would be pulled against the side of the target and explode. However, this plan was discarded as impractical due to the danger of the tow line fouling Hunley's screw or drifting into Hunley herself.

The floating explosive charge was replaced with a spar torpedo, a cask containing 90 pounds (41 kilograms) of gunpowder[2] attached to a 22-foot (6.7 m)-long wooden spar, as seen in illustrations of the submarine made at this time. The spar was mounted on Hunley's bow and was designed to be used when the submarine was some 6 feet (1.8 m) or more below the surface. The spar torpedo had a barbed point, and would be stuck in the target vessel's side by ramming. The spar torpedo as originally designed used a mechanical trigger attached to the attacking vessel by a cord, so that as the attacker backed away from her victim, the torpedo would explode. However, archaeologists working on Hunley have discovered evidence, including a spool of copper wire and components of a battery, that it may have been electrically detonated. Following Horace Hunley's death, General Beauregard issued an order that the submarine was no longer to attack her target underwater. In response to this order, an iron pipe was attached to the bow of the submarine and angled downwards so the explosive charge would still be delivered under sufficient depth of water to make it effective. This was the same method developed for the earlier "David" type surface craft so successful against the USS New Ironsides. The Confederate Veteran of 1902 printed a reminiscence authored by an engineer stationed at Battery Marshall who, with another engineer, made adjustments to the iron pipe mechanism before Hunley left on her last mission on the night of February 17, 1864. A drawing of the iron pipe spar, confirming its "David" type configuration, was published in several early histories of submarine warfare.

Attack on HousatonicMain article: Sinking of USS Housatonic

Hunley made her first and only attack against a live target on the night of February 17, 1864. The vessel was the USS Housatonic. Housatonic, a 1240-ton (1.1 million-kilogram)[1] steam-powered sloop-of-war with 12 large cannons, was stationed at the entrance to Charleston, South Carolina harbor, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) out to sea. In an effort to break the naval blockade of the city, Lieutenant George E. Dixon and a crew of seven volunteers attacked Housatonic, successfully embedding the barbed spar torpedo into her hull. The torpedo was detonated as the submarine backed away, sending Housatonic and five of her crew to the bottom in five minutes, although many survived by boarding two lifeboats or by climbing the rigging until rescued.

Loss of HunleyAfter the attack, Hunley failed to return. There is evidence that Hunley survived as long as an hour after the attack, which took place at approximately 8:45 p.m. The commander of Battery Marshall reported the day after the attack that he had received "the signals" from the submarine indicating she was returning to her base. The prearranged signal, from a blue carbide gas signal lantern[3], was received at around 9:00 p.m. at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island. The signal was also seen by crew members of Housatonic who were in the ship's rigging awaiting rescue. This type of lantern cannot be seen at distances beyond about one and a half miles, indicating that the submarine had come fairly close to shore after the attack on Housatonic.[4]

After signalling, Dixon would have taken the sub underwater to try to make it back to Sullivan's Island. What happened next is unclear. The finder of the Hunley suggested that the submarine was unknowingly rammed by the USS Canandaigua, which was coming to the recue of the Housatonic's crew.

One possibility is that the torpedo was not detonated on command, but rather malfunctioned due to damage incurred during the attack. It was intended that the torpedo be detonated when Hunley had retreated, playing out its detonation rope, to approximately 150 feet (46 m) from the target[5], to minimize damage to the sub. However, witnesses aboard Housatonic uniformly stated that the submarine was no more than about 100 feet (31 m) away when the torpedo detonated. This is because the crew of the Hunley were fighting the waves, so they stopped one hundred feet away from the Housatonic to wait until the current could carry them away. The crew of the Housatonic fired on the Hunley, and one man hit the detonation box with his pistol. This caused the explosion that sank the Housatonic and damaged the Hunley.

In October 2008, scientists reported that they had found that Hunley's crew had not set the pump to remove water from the crew compartment, which might indicate that it was not being flooded. "It now really starts to point to a lack of oxygen making [the crew] unconscious," the chairman of the South Carolina Hunley Commission said. "They may have been cranking and moving and it was a miscalculation as to how much oxygen they had."[6][dead link]

Her crew perished, but H.L. Hunley had earned a place in the history of undersea warfare as the first submarine to sink a ship in wartime.[7]

The wreckThe Hunley discovery was described by Dr. William Dudley, Director of Naval History at the Naval Historical Center as "probably the most important [American underwater archaeological] find of the [20th] century."[8] The tiny sub and its contents have been valued at over $40 million, making its discovery and subsequent donation one of the most important and valuable contributions ever to South Carolina.

H. L. Hunley, suspended from a crane during its recovery from Charleston Harbor, August 8, 2000. (Photograph from the U.S. Naval Historical Center.)The Hunley discovery is claimed by two different individuals. Underwater Archaeologist E. Lee Spence, president, Sea Research Society, reportedly discovered Hunley in 1970.[9][10] and has a collection of evidence[11] claiming to validate this, including a 1980 Civil Admiralty Case.[12]

On September 13, 1976, the National Park Service submitted Sea Research Society's (Spence's) location for H.L. Hunley for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Spence's location for Hunley became a matter of public record when H.L. Hunley's placement on that list was officially approved on December 29, 1978.[13] Spence's book Treasures of the Confederate Coast, which had a chapter on his discovery of Hunley and included a map complete with an "X" showing the wreck's location, was published in January 1995.[14]

Diver Ralph Wilbanks found the wreck in April 1995 while leading a NUMA dive team led by novelist Clive Cussler,[15] who announced the find as a new discovery[16] and first claimed that it was in about 18 feet (5 m) of water over a mile inshore of the Housatonic, but later admitted to a reporter that that was false.[17] The wreck was actually 100 yards away from the Housatonic in 27 feet (8 m) of water. The submarine was buried under several feet of silt, which had concealed and protected the vessel for over a hundred years. The divers exposed the forward hatch and the ventilator box (the air box for the attachment of a snorkel) to identify her. The submarine was resting on her starboard side at about a 45-degree angle and was covered in a ¼- to ¾-inch (0.6- to 1.9-centimeter) encrustation of rust bonded with sand and seashell particles. Archaeologists exposed part of the ship's port side and uncovered the bow dive plane. More probing revealed an approximate length of 37 feet (11 m), with all of the vessel preserved under the sediment.[18]

On September 14, 1995, at the official request of Senator Glenn F. McConnell, Chairman, South Carolina Hunley Commission,[19] E. Lee Spence, with South Carolina Attorney General Charles M. Condon signing, donated the Hunley to the State of South Carolina.[20][21] Shortly thereafter NUMA disclosed to government officials Wilbank's location for the wreck, which, when finally made public in October 2000, matched Spence's 1970s plot of the wreck's location well within standard mapping tolerances.[22] Spence avows that he not only discovered the Hunley in 1970 he revisited and mapped the site in 1971 and again in 1979, and that after he published his location in his 1995 book that he expected NUMA (which was actually part of a SCIAA expedition directed by Dr. Mark M. Newell and not Cussler[23][24]) to independently verify the wreck as the Hunley, not to claim that NUMA had discovered it. Interestingly, Dr. Newell has sworn under oath that he used Spence's maps to direct the joint SCIAA/NUMA expedition and credits Spence with the original discovery and credits his expedition only with the official verification.[25] This is an ongoing dispute involving allegations of political manipulation, official misconduct, and other questionable behavior.

The "in situ" underwater archaeological investigation and excavation culminated with the raising of Hunley on August 8, 2000.[26] A large team of professionals from the Naval Historical Center's Underwater Archaeology Branch, National Park Service, the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, and various other individuals investigated the vessel, measuring and documenting it prior to removal. Once the on-site investigation was complete, harnesses were slipped underneath the sub and attached to a truss designed by Oceaneering International. After the last harness had been secured, the crane from the recovery barge Karlissa B hoisted the submarine from the sea floor.[27][28] She was raised from the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, just over 3.5 nautical miles (6.5 km) from Sullivan's Island outside of the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Despite having used a sextant and hand-held compass, thirty years earlier, to plot the wreck's location, Dr. Spence's 52 meters accuracy turned out to be well within the length of the recovery barge, which was 64 meters long.[29][30] On August 8, 2000, at 8:37 a.m., the sub broke the surface for the first time in over 136 years, greeted by a cheering crowd on shore and in surrounding watercraft, including author Clive Cussler. Once safely on her transporting barge, Hunley was shipped back to Charleston. The removal operation concluded when the submarine was secured inside the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, at the former Charleston Navy Yard in North Charleston, in a specially designed tank of fresh water to await conservation.

The exploits of the Hunley and its final recovery was the subject of an episode of the television series The Sea Hunters, called Hunley: First Kill. This program is based on a chapter in Clive Cussler's novel by the same name.

The crewThe crew was composed of Lieutenant George E. Dixon (Commander), Frank Collins, Joseph F. Ridgaway, James A. Wicks, Arnold Becker, Corporal C. F. Carlsen, C. Lumpkin, and Agustus Miller.

Apart from the commander of the submarine, Lieutenant George E. Dixon, the identities of the volunteer crewmen of the Hunley had long remained a mystery. Douglas Owsley, a physical anthropologist working for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, examined the remains and determined that four of the men were American born, while the four others were European born, based on the chemical signatures left on the men's teeth and bones by the predominant components of their diet. Four of the men had eaten plenty of maize, an American diet, while the remainder ate mostly wheat and rye, a mainly European one. By examining Civil War records and conducting DNA testing with possible relatives, forensic genealogist Linda Abrams was able to identify the remains of Dixon and the three other Americans: Frank Collins, Joseph Ridgaway, and James A. Wicks. Identifying the European crewmen has been more problematic, but was apparently solved in late 2004. The position of the remains indicated that the men died at their stations and were not trying to escape from the sinking submarine.

On April 17, 2004 the remains of the crew were laid to rest at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina.[31] Tens of thousands of people attended including some 6,000 reenactors and 4,000 civilians wearing period clothing. Color guards from all five branches of the U.S. armed forces—wearing modern uniforms—were also in the procession. [32] Even though all but two of the crew were not from Confederate States they were all buried with full Confederate honors including being buried with a version of the Confederate national flag.[33]

Another surprise occurred in 2002, when a researcher examining the area close to Lieutenant Dixon found a misshapen $20 gold piece, minted in 1860, with the inscription "Shiloh April 6, 1862 My life Preserver G. E. D." and a forensic anthropologist found a healed injury to Lt. Dixon's hip bone. The findings matched a legend, passed down in the family, that Dixon's sweetheart, Queenie Bennett, had given him the coin to protect him. Dixon had the coin with him at the Battle of Shiloh, where he was wounded in the thigh on April 6, 1862. The bullet struck the coin in his pocket, saving his leg and possibly his life. He had the gold coin engraved and carried it as a lucky charm.[34][35]

Tours of the HunleyVisitors can obtain tickets for guided tours of the conservation laboratory that houses the Hunley at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center on weekends. The Center includes artifacts found inside the Hunley, exhibits about the submarine and a video.

In popular cultureThe first episode of the 1963 TV CBS series, The Great Adventure, featured a dramatization loosely based on the events leading up to and including the Hunley's last mission. It starred Jackie Cooper as Lt. "Dickson". [1]

The original TNT Network made-for-cable movie "The Hunley" (1999) tells the story of the H. L. Hunley's final mission while on station in Charleston, SC. It stars Armand Assante as Lt. Dixon and Donald Sutherland as General Beauregard, Dixon's direct superior on the Hunley project. [2]

The Hunley is the inspiration of the Sons of Confederate Veterans H. L. Hunley JROTC Award presented to cadets on the basis of strong corps values, honor, courage and commitment to their unit during the school year.[36]

References1.^ a b





6.^ "Scientists have new clue to mystery of sunken sub". Associated Press. October 18, 2008. (Defunct as of 4/09)


8.^ Facts

9.^ Cover Story: Time Capsule From The Sea - U.S. News & World Report, July 2-9, 2007

10.^ 'Ghosts from the Coast, "Dr. E. Lee Spence, The Man Who Found the Hunley" by Nancy Roberts, UNC Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-8078-2665-2, pp. 89-94

11.^ Attachments to Spence's sworn Affidavit of Discovery

12.^ United States District Court, District of Charleston, Case #80-1303-8, Filed July 8, 1980

13.^ National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form[dead link]

14.^ Treasures of the Confederate Coast: The "Real Rhett Butler" & Other Revelations by Dr. E. Lee Spence, Narwhal Press, Charleston/Miami, © 1995, p.54

15.^ Raising the Hunley: The Remarkable History and Recovery of the Lost Confederate Submarine by B. Hicks and S. Kropf, Ballantine Publishing, NY, © 2002, p. 131

16.^ NUMA News release, Austin, Texas, May 11, 1995

17.^ "Salvaging Hunley clues: Cussler fibs about sub's depth" by Schuyler Kropf, The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC, May 11, 1996

18.^ H.L. Hunley Site Assessment, NPS, NHC and SCIAA, edited by Larry Murphy (SCRU), 1998, pp. 6-13, 63-66

19.^ Minutes of the Hunley Commission Meeting of September 14, 1995

20.^ "Assignment of Interest," September 14, 1995, signed by E. Lee Spence and Charles Molony Condon, Attorney General State of South Carolina

21.^ "Hunley claimant signs over rights to state" by Sid Gaulden, The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC, September 15, 1995

22.^ 'Whose X marks the spot?' by W. Thomas Smith Jr., Charleston City Paper, Charleston, SC, October 4, 2000, p. 16

23.^ "News," official press release by NUMA, listing Clive Cussler as a contact, Austin, Texas, May 11, 1995

24.^ The Hunley: Submarines, Sacrifice & Success in the Civil War by Mark Ragan, Narwhal Press Inc., ISBN 1-886391-04-1, p. 186

25.^ The Andy Thomas Show, live radio interview by Andy Thomas with Dr. Newell, Dr. Spence and Claude Petrone, Columbia, SC, August, 2001

26.^ Neyland, Robert S (2005). "Underwater Archaeology and the Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley.". In: Godfrey, JM; Shumway, SE. Diving For Science 2005. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences Symposium on March 10-12, 2005 at the University of Connecticut at Avery Point, Groton, Connecticut. (American Academy of Underwater Sciences). Retrieved 2011-01-09.








34.^ Ron Franscell (November 18, 2002). "Civil War legends surface with sub Fort Collins expert studies exhumed sailors". The Denver Post. p. A1.

35.^ The Legend of the gold coin


[edit] BibliographyThe H. L. Hunley: The Secret Hope of the Confederacy by Tom Chaffin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), ISBN 0809095122

The Hunley: Submarines, Sacrifice & Success in the Civil War by Mark Ragan (Narwhal Press, Charleston/Miami, 1995), ISBN 1-886391-43-2

Ghosts from the Coast, "The Man Who Found the Hunley" by Nancy Roberts, UNC Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-8078-2665-2

Treasures of the Confederate Coast: the "real Rhett Butler" & Other Revelations by Dr. E. Lee Spence, (Narwhal Press, Charleston/Miami, 1995), ISBN 1-886391-00-9

Civil War Sub ISBN 0-448-42597-1

The Voyage of the Hunley, ISBN 1-58080-094-7

Raising the Hunley, ISBN 0-345-44772-7

The CSS H. L. Hunley, ISBN 1-57249-175-2

The CSS Hunley, ISBN 0-87833-219-7

Shipwreck Encyclopedia of the Civil War: South Carolina & Georgia, 1861-1865 by Edward Lee Spence (Sullivan's Island, S. C., Shipwreck Press, 1991) OCLC: 24420089

Shipwrecks of South Carolina and Georgia : (includes Spence's List, 1520-1865) Sullivan's Island, S. C. (Sullivan's Island 29482, Sea Research Society, 1984) OCLC 10593079

Shipwrecks of the Civil War : Charleston, South Carolina, 1861-1865 map by E. Lee Spence (Sullivan's Island, S. C., 1984) OCLC 11214217

Robert F. Burgess (1975). Ships Beneath the Sea: A History of Subs and Submersibles. United States of America: McGraw Hill. pp. 238.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On Racism

From the League of the South:

League of the South Statement on "Racism"

LS Board of Directors

The League of the South has never before issued a statement denying that it is "racist" because racism is a wax nose charge. Those who resort to this charge can never be satisfied. The more we deny it, the more we will be forced to deny it, until at last all that we will have time to do is to repel the latest charge of "racism." However, we make this one statement, to satisfy strangers of good will, that we bear no ill will or hatred to any racial, ethnic, or religious group.

We believe that Christianity and social order require that all people, regardless of race, must be equal before the law. We do not believe that the law should be used to persecute, oppress, or favour any race or class.

We believe that the only harmony possible between the races, as between all natural differences among human beings, begins in submitting to Jesus Christ's commandment to "love our neighbours as ourselves." That is the world we envision and work for.

We believe that the politics of race -- baiting whites against blacks and blacks against white has been profitable for politicians but catastrophic for the South and Southerners.

We believe that all Southerners - black and white - want and need the same things: a safe country for their families, liberty, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We believe that the last thing the South's enemies want is to see black and white Southerners sitting down together to determine their common destiny and work for authentic harmony, a just social and economic order, and an independent South. We can't foretell precisely what that order will look like, but certainly it will not make room for diversity police and political correctness. Rather, we hope it will bring the greatest freedom for the greatest number of all races, and good will among them all.

The League of the South Board of Directors

21 June 2005

What Is States' Rights, Part Five

From the Southern National Congress:

What is States' Rights? Part 5

by Mike Crane

Morganton, Georgia

“Our Rights are like a cookie, no matter how big the cookie and how small the bites, eventually you run out of cookie”

In Part 1 of this series a concept was presented that runs a bit contrary to current public conception – that the term States’ Rights can be used more for partisan benefit than a true effort to protect the God-Given Rights of the people. Part 2 demonstrated that as early as 1801 incursions attacking American Liberty and State’s Rights had already started and have continued to this day. Part 3 gave details on an obvious expansion of central government powers (authority) by legislative action. Part 4 began listing the causes of the failure of State’s Rights.

Part 5 is a continuation of: Cause # 2: Misconceptions about original Constitution of 1787 (prior to Bill of Rights) from Part 4.

Most of us – especially myself – have believed most of our lives – the intent of the Framers of the Constitution was to give us a “federated” form of government. If you too have believed this during your life you will either find this series of articles educational or will dislike them very much.

The italicized portions below are quotes from the historical record of the Constitutional Convention 1787:

On May 29, 1787

Edmund Randolph, Convention delegate and governor of VirginiaMr Randolph, one of the Deputies of Virginia, laid before the House, for their consideration, sundry propositions, in writing, concerning the american confederation, and the establishment of a national government.

[Bold added][See Note 1 – Edmund Randolph]

Since Virginia was instrumental in first the calling of the Annapolis Convention and later the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the Virginia delegation submitted the first plan to be debated as the “model” of the proposed new government, which became known as the Virginia Plan. Mr. Randolph was the delegate submitting the Virginia Plan which was the main subject of the debate in the convention.

In the Virginia Plan, the word “national” was used frequently. National Legislature is used 6 times. National Executive, National Judiciary, National Officers, National Revenue, National Peace and Harmony and National Laws are all used once. National is one of the most frequently used words in the document.

This was a plan for a national government a consolidated government; it was not a plan for a federated form of government with shared sovereignty with the States. In this plan the States were reduced to a very subordinate role.

Ladies and gentlemen, like myself I am sure that you have been told throughout most of your life that the intent of the Framers of the Constitution was to create a federated or federal form of government. The Framers were educated men and here in the words of the delegates from Virginia, mostly crafted by James Madison, is a plan for a national government – a consolidated government – NOT A FEDERATED government.

Some or many will say that the word “national” was just a casual reference to the central government. I truly wish that were true. But it isn’t as the historical record will demonstrate:

The Virginia Plan was a national form of government, one designed to create a consolidated government. Three parts of this Plan tell the story:

1) The first is item number 5 from the stated objectives of the Virginia Plan

Read carefully: “to be paramount to the state constitutions.”

2) The second is Resolution 6 of 15 in the submitted Virginia Plan

“moreover to legislate in all cases to which the separate States are incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual Legislation; to negative all laws passed by the several States, contravening in the opinion of the National Legislature the articles of Union; and to call forth the force of the Union agst. any member of the Union failing to fulfill its duty under the articles thereof.”

3) The third is Resolution 15 of 15 in the Virginia Plan

“Resd. that the amendments which shall be offered to the Confederation, by the Convention ought at a proper time, or times, after the approbation of Congress to be submitted to an assembly or assemblies of Representatives, recommended by the several Legislatures to be expressly chosen by the people, to consider & decide thereon.”

These are attributes of a “national”, not federated form of government.

The objective was for the National Constitution to be paramount to the State Constitutions,

that the National Legislature would be Supreme and be able to repeal State laws and

that ratification not be by the governing bodies of the States, but by conventions other than the legitimate government of the States!

This Ladies and Gentlemen is the draft plan or model used to start their debate on what became our Constitution. Let’s look at these three points:

National Constitution to be paramount to the State Constitutions. In a federated form of government the National Constitution would be paramount to the State Constitutions in those areas that were mutually agreed. This was not the objective of the Virginia Plan, the National Constitution was to be paramount to the State Constitutions period.

That the National Legislature would be Supreme and be able to repeal State laws. It was the intent of the Virginia Plan for the National Legislature to have a direct “veto” of ALL laws passed by State Legislatures and there were NO provisions to over-ride the veto. The “veto” power proposed was very broad – “the opinion of the National Legislature.”

That ratification not be by the governing bodies of the States, in the Virginia Plan as submitted the existing States and their governing bodies were given as little status as possible. In a federated form of government ratification would be by the legitimate current seated government of the States.

At this point some still cling to the opinion that the usage of the term “national” was just a casual reference to make it distinctive from the State governments. The debate on May 30, 1787 will clarify precisely what the Virginia Plan meant:

Mr. Govr. Morris explained the distinction between a federal and national, supreme, Govt.; the former being a mere compact resting on the good faith of the parties; the latter having a compleat and compulsive operation. He contended that in all Communities there must be one supreme power, and one only.

[See Note 2 - Gouverneur Morris]

This certainly should remove any doubt about a casual use of the word “national.” “compleat and compulsive operation” is very obvious and certainly not compatible with the concept of State’s Rights or a federated form of government. “one supreme power, and one only.” certainly does not sound like shared sovereignty and a lot like what we have in Washington DC today and in the colonies in 1776!

What these terms meant was explained by Mr. Morris to the delegates of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 on May 30, 1787 as documented above. That is a direct quote from the historical record on the Convention of 1787. What these terms mean should be obvious to each and every one of you reading this article; just it was obvious to each and every sitting delegate.

The definition of a federated form of government (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia® Copyright © 2007):

“ … The distribution of powers between the federal and state governments is usually accomplished by means of a written constitution, for a federation does not exist if authority can be allocated by ordinary legislation. …”

A federated form of government was clearly NOT the intent of the Virginia Plan. Without a doubt the Virginia Plan proposed the capability for “authority to be allocated by ordinary legislation …”

But many will ask, “How can this be?”

If you ask that question or if you just don’t believe that the model for what became the Constitution of 1787 was based upon a national government with “compleat and compulsive operation.” - You should find the debate and votes immediately following the submission of the Virginia Plan of great interest and possibly educational.

To be continued …

[Note 1] Edmund Randolph, then governor of Virginia, who submitted the Virginia Plan refused to sign the resulting convention report or proposed Constitution. He claimed in October 1787 - that it did not contain sufficient checks and balances. But then flipped again and voted for the proposed Constitution at the Virginia Ratification Convention. He was a member of the Federalist Party and was appointed the First Attorney General of The United States by President George Washington.

[Note 2] Gouverneur Morris, a delegate from Pennsylvania. In 1779, was defeated for re-election to Congress in New York, largely because his advocacy of a strong central government was at odds with the decentralist views prevalent in New York. Defeated in his home state, he moved to Philadelphia to work as a lawyer and merchant. He was a member of the Federalist Party. In an era when most Americans thought of themselves as citizens of their respective states, Morris advanced the idea of being a citizen of a single union of states.

Mike Crane is a Southern National Congress Delegate from the State of Georgia.

Egypt, Liberty And Secession

From the Southern National Congress:

Egypt, Liberty and Secession

By Russell D. Longcore

Dateline 2-11-11, 11:05 EST

Just a moment ago, we saw a televised news report which showed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s spokesman on state TV announcing Mubarak’s resignation and handing over governmental power to the military. Back a few days ago, I suggested that Mubarak leave the country and phone in his resignation from safer environs. Well, he’s pretty much done that today, except he ran for the eastern palace in posh Sharm al Sheikh, 250 miles from Cairo. From that location, he can go anywhere into exile.

Now the hard work begins.

I keep hearing all the talking heads say that Egyptians want democracy. That is a load of crap. Egyptians want liberty. Big difference. But they want more than liberty. There are over 80 million people in Egypt. Over 50% of them are below 30 years of age. At least 75% of those people are unemployed, barely surviving. They want to move forward economically.

Unfortunately, prosperity is not in Egypt’s future any time soon. Egypt cannot feed its own population at this time, and has been the largest buyer of American wheat for decades. Although think about it. Is that because they do not have enough arable land, or because a corrupt government has mismanaged the Egyptian agriculture for 30-plus years? And with a weak manufacturing base, it’s going to be a long time before the economy begins to rise out of the pitiful Third-World status it presently holds. Tourism represents 8% of the Egyptian economy and tourism will be directly affected by ongoing political turmoil. And without free-market reforms, the Egyptian economy is slated for more of the same.

So, will Egypt now lurch from one repressive, centrally-planned economy to another, with merely new faces in the same roles? Only time will tell. For now, a brutal dictator has been overthrown by a few hundred thousand People of Egypt.

The regime of Hosni Mubarak spanned over 30 years. Most of Egypt’s population knows no other president or government. Now that the president has resigned and the army is in charge of the temporary government, the people of Egypt should demand that a new Constitution be written for Egypt. Otherwise, this historic moment will quickly degenerate into “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Egypt’s first president, Muhammed Naguib, led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. The second president, Gamel Abdel Nasser, and third, Anwar el-Sadat, were cut from the same cloth as Mubarak.

I heard Washington’s President Obama (don’t miss that) speaking from a podium Thursday at Northern Michigan University. He made a big point that America supports the desire and actions of people around the world to throw off tyranny and form governments that protect their human rights…or words to that effect. This is a curious statement coming from an American president. Washington has climbed in bed with nearly every dictator of the past 75 years, sometimes installing them into power and sometimes toppling them, depending on their usefulness to our DC regime. Look around the world and see American foreign policy on the march. Washington hypocrites all SAY they support human rights but seem to back ruthless dictators, playing nation against nation in the real-life game of Risk.

Now America faces some upheaval of its own. Eventually, Washington’s government is going to collapse, the dollar will meltdown, and the economy will collapse also…not necessarily in that order. When these things happen and chaos ensues, a small handful of states will make the decision that they can survive better as independent nations than as colony/states of a failed Empire.

Some states will secede from the United States of America.

At that point, will the Washington President…no matter who it is…support the desires and actions of the citizens of certain colony/states to throw off tyranny and form governments that protect their human rights? If not, then why would Washington support liberty outside our borders but not inside our borders?

I believe that Washington will be powerless to stop secession. Look at what happened in the dissolution of the Soviet Union, second only to the USA in size and world power for most of the 20th Century. When the states of the USSR seceded in the late 1980s, the mighty Red Army did nothing to stop them. The Kremlin made no effort to stop secession. And almost overnight, the USSR was no more.

Fast forward to today’s Egypt. The Egyptian army is almost a wing of the government there. No dictator can rule without their support. And in the early days of the demonstrations (last weekend!!), they did roll out tanks into the streets and fly fighter jets over the downtown Cairo square. But conventional military equipment had no effect. Was a tank going to fire on the crowd? Were fighter jets going to drop bombs into the square? No and No. Mubarak could have ordered the army to clear the square by whatever means necessary. But it would appear that, even if he desired bloodshed, the generals did not agree.

So do not let this lesson go unlearned. In a nation of over 80 million people, less than one million demonstrators in the capitol city caused the collapse of a repressive government in less than 10 days.

Could the same thing happen in the USA? I doubt it. First, we are a confederacy of colony/states [not any more - not since 1865] under a central government as opposed to being a single nation. So, Washington’s power is somewhat protected by our form of government. Secondly, DC’s officials know that Americans won’t try to overthrow Washington’s government because Americans are mostly sheep. And thirdly, economic collapse has not happened yet, so none of us knows what will occur once it does.

But the question is not whether the Washington DC government should be overthrown. I do not believe it should. I believe that colony/states should secede from the United States of America and leave the USA to its own demise. There are far too many benefits in secession, and far too few downsides to remain an American colony/state. After the American economy collapses under the weight of Federal regulation, taxation and hyperinflation, the possibility of secession will be on the lips of most Americans.

Secession is the Hope For Mankind. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Abraham Lincoln, Tyrant

From Personal Liberty Digest:

Abraham Lincoln, Political Tyrant

February 11, 2011 by Chip Wood

We’ve spent a lot of time recently bashing “the worst President who ever lived.” (That’s the description of the current occupant of the White House by many of my readers.) Instead, this week let’s do something different. Let’s turn our attention to the President whose birthday we celebrate tomorrow… the Great Emancipator, who is generally acclaimed as the greatest American President of them all.

But was he, really?

I don’t know what they teach in United States history classes today, but back in the middle of the last century, when I was in elementary school, there was absolutely no question about how we were to regard Abraham Lincoln. We were taught to feel a reverence bordering on awe for Honest Abe, the eloquent martyr who saved the Union.

We were required to memorize the Gettysburg Address. And if we were lucky enough to join a field trip to our nation’s capital, one of the most significant events was our visit to the Lincoln Memorial. (A few of us rapscallions spoiled the solemnity of the moment by sliding down the sides of the monument.)

That was what we were taught in the grade schools of Cleveland. And I suspect it wasn’t any different in any other school in the North. Some of you sons and daughters of the South will have to tell me what your teachers and history books said.

It wasn’t until I became an adult and started reading history on my own that I began to doubt the version of events I was taught several decades earlier. For example, did you know that Lincoln suspended civil liberties in the North, including the writ of habeas corpus? That he filled the jails with more than 13,000 political prisoners, all incarcerated without due process? The Supreme Court protested Lincoln’s disregard for our Constitutional protections, but the President replied he had a war to fight. Since he commanded the army, Lincoln won that argument.

And speaking of the war, guess who uttered these words:

"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable — a most sacred right — a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize, and make their own, of so much of their territory as they inhabit."

I’ll admit this is a trick question. The speaker was Lincoln. But he was not talking about the Southern states that tried to secede from the Union. No, these remarks were made in 1847, when Lincoln was defending the right of Texans to demand their independence from Mexico. A dozen years later, when six Southern states tried to declare their independence, Lincoln’s response was to smash them to bits.

As a child, I never questioned the assertion that the South was wrong to secede. And that Lincoln was right to use as much force as necessary to preserve the Union. Later, as I grew to understand the strength and uniqueness of our Constitutional Republic, I began to question both assumptions.

The U.S. Constitution, I came to believe, was a contract — a contract between the various states and the Federal government they created. Note that the Constitution had to be approved by the states, not a majority of the citizens. There was no "majority rule" here, no popular vote taken.

But this raises the question, if it was necessary for the states to adopt the Constitution, why wouldn’t it be legal for some of those states to rescind that vote, especially if they felt the contract had been broken? More and more, I found myself thinking that the South was legally and morally right in declaring its independence. And the North, by invading those states and waging war on them, was wrong.

And what a terrible war it was. By the time it was over, nearly 625,000 soldiers (and another 75,000 or so women, children and elderly civilians) were dead — more American servicemen than were killed in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined. Fully one-fourth of the draft-age white population of the South was dead.

The devastation in the former States of the Confederacy is hard to imagine. Sherman’s march from Atlanta to Savannah is notorious for its savagery. But he was far from the only Northern officer who ordered his troops to lay waste to Southern farms, fields and plantations. Union troops routinely destroyed crops, sacked homes and even stabled their horses in Southern churches.

As H.W. Crocker III puts it in The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War (Regnery Publishing, 2008), "If abiding by the law of a free republic and fighting a defensive war solely against armed combatants be flaws, the South had them and the North did not. Lincoln ignored the law, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court when it suited him. His armies waged war on the farms, livelihoods and people of the South, not just against their armies."

Of all the big lies about the War Between the States, the biggest of all may be that it was necessary to end slavery. The truth is that many illustrious Southerners, including Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, recognized that slavery had to come to an end. But it should not come by force of arms, they felt; not at the point of a gun, but rather through the free consent of the owners, with the proper preparation of the slaves. To get them ready for their own freedom, for example, Lee’s wife insisted the family’s slaves be taught to read and write, and the women how to sew.

Despite what most of us have been taught, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not free the slaves. It wasn’t a law, but an edict. It specifically exempted the Border States and any parts of the South that were already under the control of Federal forces. It applied only to areas that were still in rebellion. So the Proclamation, of and by itself, did not free a single slave.

What it did, however, was change the nature of the conflict. Now the war was no longer about restoring the Union or preventing Southern independence. Now it was about the morality, and the legality, of slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation did not make the war more popular in the North, but it did end the possibility of other countries, especially France and Britain, from coming to the aid of the South. They might have been willing to assist Southern independence; but support a war in favor of slavery? Never.

As Crocker notes, "In Southern eyes, the Emancipation Proclamation was the ultimate in Yankee perfidy — an attempt to incite slave uprisings against Confederate women and children."

Then he notes, "Happily, while the proclamation did encourage slaves to seek their freedom, there were no slave uprisings, no murders of women and children — which might say something good about Southerners too, both white and black."

Lincoln, more than any other President who came before him, changed the very nature of our government. There would never again be as many limitations on the powers of the Federal government. And just as tragic, the concept of States’ rights suffered a blow from which it has never recovered.

I’m told that more than 14,000 books have been written about Lincoln. Most, of course, are incredibly adulatory. The few that attempt to balance the scales are virtually ignored. While it may not be true that might makes right, it is definitely true that the winners write the history books.

If you’re open-minded enough to consider another point of view, let me recommend two books by Thomas J. DiLorenzo to you: The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked. In these two books he presents a vastly different view of Abraham Lincoln than you’ve heard before, I promise.

Both are available at (What isn’t?) Also, do yourself a favor and go to the website of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, where DiLorenzo serves as a senior fellow. You’ll find an extensive selection of articles, essays, and yes, books you can order that are way out of the academic mainstream.

So there you have this contrarian’s view of Abraham Lincoln. I’m eager to hear what some of you think — especially the sons and daughters of the South, whom I suspect, were raised with a somewhat different slant than I.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The New Dixie Manifesto: States' Rights Will Rise Again...

From The League of the South:

The New Dixie Manifesto:

States' Rights Will Rise Again...

by Dr Michael Hill and Dr Thomas Fleming

First Published in The Washington Post,

Sunday, 29 October 1995

America is only a geographical expression. Metternich's joke was made originally at the expense of Italy, but there are all too many modern states that have tried to build artificial national identities out of the ruins of historic and traditional regions -- the provinces, the sticks, the boondocks, the places where real people live, write poetry and pay their taxes.

In this respect, American Southerners have much in common with the Scots and the Welsh in Britain, the Lombards and Sicilians in Italy and the Ukrainians in the defunct Soviet Union. All have made enormous economic, military and cultural contributions to their imperial rulers, who rewarded their loyalty with exploitation and contempt.

In the United States, where ethnic slurs are punishable as hate crimes, it is still socially acceptable to describe Southerners as "rednecks" and "crackers," even though Southerners have, in fact, contributed to American culture, high and low, to a degree vastly out of proportion to their numbers.

What would American literature be without Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Walker Percy and Eudora Welty? What sort of political system would our ancestors have given us, if George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison had decided to remain British? What kind of popular music could we listen to, if white "crackers" like Hank Williams and Merle Haggard and Southern blacks like Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles had been content with the bland commercial music churned out by Tin Pan Alley? The mind of the South remains distinctive, even today, if only for the tenacity with which its people hold onto their religious faith.

Until recent years, it looked as if the progress of history had condemned all the little nations to the ash heap of history. But the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union and of Yugoslavia have inspired regional and ethnic movements all over Europe. Some of them are threatening secession; others have been content to demand home rule and a right to assert their culture and language.

Here in the United States, a new group of Southerners is calling for nothing more revolutionary than home rule for the states established by the U.S. Constitution. The Southern League was founded in 1994 at a meeting of scholars, journalists and political activists in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Our members are pledged to seek the well-being and independence of the Southern people by every honorable means. Far from wishing any ill to the rest of the nation, we believe that a renewed South will be an inspiration to other regions in search of their own identities and to all Americans who wish to lead their lives in peace.

A concern for states' rights, local self-government and regional identity used to be taken for granted everywhere in America. But the United States is no longer, as it once was, a federal union of diverse states and regions. National uniformity is being imposed by the political class that runs Washington, the economic class that owns Wall Street and the cultural class in charge of Hollywood and the Ivy League.

The easiest way to secure home rule for Southern states is to restore the federal constitution. What had been a genuinely federal union has been turned into a multicultural, continental empire, ruled from Washington by federal agencies and under the thumb of the federal judiciary. And all this is done regardless of the party or ideology that controls the White House. If the liberal Democrats have saddled us with affirmative action, conservative Republicans are busily "federalizing" crimes that used to be within the purview of states and local communities.

We believe it is time for the people of the Southern states to take control of their own governments, their own institutions, their own culture, their own communities and their own lives. On the national political level, this will mean sending men and women to Congress who will insist upon a strict construction of the Constitution and a restoration of the 10th Amendment that explicitly reserves all unenumerated powers to the states and to the people.

On the state level, self-government should be restored to the towns and communities that make up the states. This means an end, not only to federal interference, but to state interference in local government and local schools. Under federal and state mandates, American schools have become the joke of the civilised world, and in the guise of helping black children, we have destroyed educational opportunities for children of all races. It is time to give the schools back to the parents.

Local control over local schools is not a recipe for resegregation. Involuntary desegregation, forced busing and court-ordered redistricting have succeeded only in lowering the standards of education, precipitating "white flight" and de facto segregation and exacerbating racial tensions. As black novelist Zora Neale Hurston observed in 1954, the premise of Brown v. Board of Education -- that all-black schools were inherently inferior -- was an insult to black Americans. Brown, as Hurston predicted, set the stage for "government by fiat." If neighbors, black and white, cannot work out their problems among themselves, then no government can do it for them.

On a personal level it is time for Southerners to wean themselves from dependence on federal largesse. Since the New Deal, Washington has funneled more tax dollars into the South than it has taken out, and this has caused the region to be bound tightly by the attached strings. If Southerners are ever to be free from federal dictates, we must learn to provide for our own needs without depending on government wealth transfers.

On a spiritual level, we take our stand squarely within the tradition of Christianity. This historic faith, though everywhere attacked by the hollow men of modernity, has always been central to the pursuit of personal honor, political liberty and human charity. Asking for only the religious freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, we oppose the government's campaign against our Christian traditions.

The war that is being waged against the Southern identity and its traditional symbols must cease. Legislatures in Southern states are under pressure to rename streets and destroy monuments that honor Confederate soldiers. Corporations headquartered in Southern states have refused to fly state flags that contain a Confederate emblem; public schools have forbidden the display of the Confederate battle flag as if it were an example of gang colors.

If the Confederate flags are tainted by the abuses of slavery, so are the flags of the United States, Great Britain, France and Spain -- all countries that engaged in the trading of human beings. We do not claim that all our ancestors were infallible or even honorable in all their actions, but we utterly repudiate the one-sided and hypocritical movement to demonize Southerners and their symbols.

Race relations are nowhere perfect in the United States, but black and white Southerners have learned through experience, often painful, how to get along with, or at least tolerate, each other. Southerners on both sides who were "racist" by principle were decent and humane in their actual conduct. As Dick Gregory used to say, "Down South they don't care how close you get, so long as you don't get too big; up North they don't care how big you get, so long as you don't get too close." This regional difference in attitude may help to explain why so many decent black American families are moving back to the South.

After so many decades of strife, black and white Southerners of good will should be left alone to work out their destinies, avoiding, before it is too late, the urban hell that has been created by the lawyers, social engineers and imperial bureaucrats who have grown rich on programs that have done nothing to help anyone but themselves.

The same Northern intellectuals, who in the 19th century were denouncing Southern "racism," greeted the arrival of Catholics and Jews with horror. They designed public school programs to Protestantise the Irish and practised the same kinds of genteel and not-so-genteel discrimination against blacks. Southern history tells a different story. Both Jews and Catholics quickly made their way into the highest political and social circles. In fact, the first Catholic and the first Jew to sit in an American cabinet were picked by Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. Southerners have been remarkably free of the anti-immigrant prejudices that have characterised Northern politics since the 1840s.

Southerners respect the rights of all Americans in every region to preserve their authentic cultural traditions and demand the same respect from others. For too long, Northern intellectuals have tried to control Southern culture and to northernise our schools and universities. They and their Southern allies have rewritten history and imposed their mythology upon generations of students, who have come to believe that their ancestors were uniquely guilty in the annals of inhumanity, that their region is -- in the graphic phrase of one brainwashed Southerner -- "the nation's armpit." This is not scholarship but propaganda.

If Southerners were any other people in the world, the campaign to rob them of their symbols, their history and their cultural identity would be termed cultural genocide -- a term that several scholars have not hesitated to apply. The late Raphael Lemkin, the Polish legal scholar who helped give the term its currency, defined "genocide" not merely as an attempt to annihilate a people physically but as a plan for "the disintegration of the political and social institutions of culture, language, national feelings, religion." If Southerners are a blight on the American landscape, as they are almost uniformly portrayed, then the only "solution" is to eliminate them by destroying their cultural identity.

As Southerners, we prefer not to think of ourselves as victims. We are proud, not of what our people have suffered (although they have suffered a good deal), but of the good things they have done. We are not asking for reparations or set-aside programs. All we ask are the rights the Constitution gave us and all Americans over 200 years ago: the right to be let alone to mind our own business, to raise our own children and to say our own prayers in the buildings built with our own money. As one of Faulkner's characters remarks, "That don't seem like too much to ask."


For more information please visit our website or call the League office: 800-888-3163.