From: patriot1861@yahoo.com

Mr. Wickham,


In regards to your so called 2nd Myth, I would like to make two quick points based on the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE CONFEDERACY
Vol. 1, Page 415
(For Educational Purposes Only):

1. The Cornerstone Speech was never the official position of the Confederate government.

2. It was immediately deplored by Jefferson Davis who said the cause of south was "State Sovereignty" and not slavery or racism.


Delivered by Confederate vice president Alexander H. Stephens on the night of March 21, 1861, at the Athenaeum in Savannah, Georgia, this speech became notorious for its declaration that the Confederate government’s "cornerstone" rested on the inequality of the races and the institution of black slavery.

Delivered extemporaneously, the speech began with praise for the "improvements" the Confederate Constitution had made on the older one, such as the banning of a protective tariff and federal financing of internal improvements. The Constitution also set the slavery question to rest forever, Stephens said, and during the long justification of the institution that followed he uttered the phrase that gave the speech its name. He went on to commend the conservative Congress and expressed the belief that the new nation would soon be enlarged by the border states. The prospect of war had diminished, but the South, though desirous of peace with all, had to be ready to fight. He warned against factionalism in the South and praised its policy of free trade. If true to itself and its destiny, he concluded, the South would not fail.

The speech was widely reported. Thoughtful Southerners, including JEFFERSON DAVIS, deplored Stephen’s emphasis on slavery rather than the politically advantageous theme of state versus national sovereignty. Northern reaction was uniformly hostile. The abolitionist press used the speech to demand harsh measures from Abraham Lincoln. The speech’s value to the Union cause, one Northern paper later judged, was "incalculable."

Charles Lauret
Grand Prairie, La