Sunday, October 7, 2012

George Purvis Responds to Questions Guelzo Asked Val

Lincoln and the "central idea of America"

Chuck this is my response to questions Guelzo asked Val


Dr. Guelzo,

I have read the questions you have challenged Mrs. Protopapas to answer. I look at these questions as a challenge of sorts so I will attempt to answer them. That being the case I will play your game ------ once. In reality you and I  know your questions are designed to be based mostly on opinions.  Here are my answers 

1.Show me, please, where Lincoln ever directed his troops to return fugitive slaves to their masters. Not in someone else's book, remember, but in Lincoln's own words.
You ask for answers but then choose from were those answers must arise. This suggests that you don't want answers, but argument.
Obviously, not everything directed by a commander is put in writing though it may well have proceeded from that commander. Lincoln was Commander in Chief therefore the Union troops came under his authority. From the "Official Records" we have the following summary of principal events:
March 18, 1861 - Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer, U. S. Army, commanding at Fort Pickens, Fla., returns four fugitive slaves to their masters.
1861. - Major General George B. McClellan, U. S. Army, in a letter of instructions counsels Brigadier General Don Carlos Buell, U. S. Army, appointed to the command in Kentucky, to respect the constitutional rights of Kentuckians in their slave property. 
1861. - Brigadier General William T. Sherman, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Cumberland, expresses the opinion that fugitive slaves must be delivered up on application of their masters in conformity to the laws of Kentucky.
August 30, 1861 John C Fremont declared martial law in Missouri and freed slaves of Missouri Confederates. On September 11th, 1861 Lincoln ordered Fremont to rescind his order freeing some slaves in Missouri and issues a new order conforming to the Confiscation Act passed by Congress.
May 9th 1862 General David Hunter [US] freed the slaves in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. On May 19th Lincoln rescinded Hunter's emancipation of the slaves in his department and used the opportunity to call for a gradual emancipation.
July 17, 1862 Lincoln wrote a letter to the Congressmen from the border states, warning them of his upcoming Emancipation Proclamation. In it he stated, "I do not speak of emancipation at once, but of a decision at once to emancipate gradually."
The creation of West Virginia kept slavery in that state.
Show me, please, why, if you were consigned to bondage by a slavemaster, you would not rise in insurrection. I certainly would.
What Dr. Guelzo would do and what the actual slaves did are two different things—to the honor of the slaves! Why inject personal opinions into a historical discussion? I have over 11,000 persons listed in SHAPES Negroes in Gray website. It could be said each and everyone listed could have a different reason. Furthermore, the "insurrection" Lincoln and his generals envisioned meant the horrific slaughter or men, women and children – and not only whites. Look at Nat Turner and John Brown and that is what they thought would take place throughout the South. That it did not suggests that the poor slave was a better man than Lincoln and his whole government.
Show me, please, why it was wrong for Marx to "adore" Lincoln. Apart from the exaggeration implicit in "adored," Marx should be complimented for getting at least one thing in his life right.
Another  question that is based on opinion. Marx might have loved how the Union soldiers stole everything they could get their hands on. Isn't this the socialist agenda—that is, the "redistribution of wealth?" God knows that had been going on for decades with the North's tariff policies and its American System of fascism which used Southern citizens' money to pay off Northern moguls and politicians. No wonder McClellan had no respect for Lincoln! He was an attorney with the same railroad that employed Lincoln and he knew what he was! Indeed, when Lincoln was given the responsibility of choosing the property for the eastern terminus of the proposed transcontinental railroad, he just happened (by chance, no doubt!) to choose property that HE owned! Lincoln's "nickname," Honest Abe was bestowed upon him with the same tongue-in-cheek motive that gave to Robin Hood's very large lieutenant the appellation "Little John." In other words, in Lincoln's case, it was no compliment!
Show me, please, how successful the so-called "socialists" of the German revolutions were in introducing a socialist regime under Lincoln.
Two books by Al Benson, Jr. and Donald Kennedy about the Lincoln-Marx connection, both of which are very well sourced. You will doubtless "discount" them but if you do so, you merely convict yourself as interested only in what validates your agenda.
Show me, please, in what decisions Lincoln nullified the 10th amendment, and exactly what powers are denied the federal government by that amendment.
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
The States were restricted in their own operations under the Constitution:
"No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility."
But no state did any of the above until it had seceded from the Union at which time such states being no longer under the Constitution, the above restrictions were inoperative.
There is no power listed or alleged or suggested within the Constitution to force any state to remain within that compact as a part of the united States. [And, yes, from the beginning, the "u" in "united" was lower case. Only after the War of Secession was it capitalized to enforce the understanding that the "Union" was eternal and indissoluble, neither of which was ever envisioned by the Founders.]
Show me, please, how opening fire on the U.S. flag, both on January 9, 1861 and on April 12, 1861, is not an act of treason?
Article III Section 3: "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them [the States], or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason."
No matter how this is argued, your side loses. If South Carolina and the other states at that time were no longer in the union, then they could not be guilty of treason. Furthermore, quite apart from that, the CSA was not waging war on any State but on forces sent by the federal government which was, of course not a state at all! So treason does not obtain in this instance.
Even if I were to allow the argument that a State could not secede—and I am not prepared to so allow—the fact is, that by sending men, munitions and supplies to Fort Sumter, the federal government was making war upon South Carolina and the other States involved at that time! Since the federal government was not a state, it—and Lincoln who was leading it—was committing treason by "making war against them (South Carolina et al.)" Ergo, your treason argument is false no matter what you present as the situation extant at the time.
Show me, please, who "Augustus" Fox and "Otto" Browning were (I presume you mean Gustavus Vasa Fox and Orville Hickman Browning; perhaps you should look these things up first) and where Lincoln admitted that he "lied" about Ft. Sumter. He expressed relief to Browning that the Confederates had fired the first shot and taken the onus of starting the war on themselves, but that scarcely constitutes a lie.
To begin with, in a latter communication with Ms. Protopapas, you made it perfectly clear that you know who these people were despite a small error in the name of the captain of the supply ship. Such pettiness does not lend you any gravitas. However, your "question" smacks of duplicity (not surprising) given that the information you ostensibly sought was already known to you. To answer your larger question, in his Inaugural Address, Lincoln makes his war-like intentions clear:
"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you....The power confided in me, will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property, and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion – no using of force against, or among the people anywhere.... You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors."
But Lincoln knew perfectly well that he could say that the Southern States were the "aggressors," but saying so wasn't the same as making it so—or convincing the people of the North that the South was, in fact, "waging war" upon the Union. And he knew, of course, that none of the States involved intended to "wage war" on anyone. They wanted only to be left in peace and to leave in peace which the vast majority of the people of the North seemed willing to allow as Lincoln well knew. But that was not what Lincoln wanted nor was he going to allow it to happen. And so he manufactured the scenario which forced the South to "fire on the flag" and using a compliant press (nothing has changed in 150 years it would seem!), he managed to whip up a war frenzy leading to the bloodiest war in the nation's history and an end to the Great Experiment of self-government. 
For your further edification, two quotes from letters by Lord Acton—one of the greatest men of his time—to Robert E. Lee, another such great man, after the War
"The North has used the doctrines of Democracy to destroy self-government. The South applied the principle of conditional federation to cure the evils and to correct the errors of a false interpretation of Democracy."
"I saw in States' rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. The institutions of your Republic have not exercised on the old world the salutary and liberating influence which ought to have belonged to them, by reason of those defects and abuses of principle which the Confederate Constitution was expressly and wisely calculated to remedy. I believed that the example of that great Reform would have blessed all the races of mankind by establishing true freedom purged of the native dangers and disorders of Republics. Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization, and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo."
In reality both you and I know war could have been avoided had Lincoln so been inclined.

Now I have simply two questions for you easy to answer.

1. This one is two part. Who made the first aggressive move at Fort Sumter? Who really fired the first shot at Fort Sumter and at Pensacola? Sources?

2. Do you believe the total war waged against the South was justified? That is to say you support the abuse of the Confederate Prisoners of War and the rape, burning, and looting of the Yankee army. Do you believe this war was waged to free the slaves??? Again I would like sources.

Best Regards,
George Purvis
Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education