Comment to Mr. Edgerton
To: Douglas Edgerton, LeMoyne College Opinion Blog
Before castigating the South for having African slavery within its borders many years ago, Mr. Edgerton should know that New York was a slave-trading AND slaveholding State well into the 19th century. That State also invented Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise free blacks and enforce segregation, and New York needs to come to terms with its own dark past before casting aspersions Southward.
The South did not invent the slave-labor remnant of British colonialism still being nurtured by New England cotton mills and slavers in the early 1800’s. It is time to look upon the War Between the States for the American political self-determination exercise it truly was; and recognize that this slavery question was better settled peacefully and not with nearly a million American lives lost.  And prior to Alexander Stephen’s much-touted remark about cornerstones, South Carolina abolitionist Angelina Grimke in 1836 stated that slavery was "the cornerstone of our [United States] republic," and that the North feared amalgamation of the races (Appeal to the Christian Women of the South).
The Southern States were fully within the intent of the Declaration of Independence in seeking self-determination and the form of government they wished to live under; and they could have solved the riddle of slavery their own way, and as the North had done itself not long before. It is important to remember that fanatic anti-slavery agitation caused secession, and the war was caused by the North refusing to allow the Southern States to go in peace.
Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute