From: James King <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, Apr 23, 2011
Posted below for information and educational purposes is my latest Letter To The Editor (Guest Commentary) to be published in the Albany Herald Newspaper–Albany Georgia.
James W. King
Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 141
Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson
April is officially designated as Confederate History and Heritage Month in Georgia. All across the South and to some extent in Northern and Western states, governors, city and county commissions, and mayors signed proclamations recognizing the historical significance, events, and individuals of the Confederate era 1860-1865. This widespread recognition includes the mayor of Long Beach California where several Confederate veterans are interred.
The Old South and the Confederate States of America was a classical civilization with colleges and universities, art and literature, architecture, world class statesmen, and a fine military. Like all classical civilizations including ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome the C.S.A. was driven by slave labor. However, slavery was a dying institution prior to the Civil War. Like the aforementioned civilizations, the C.S.A. deserves to be studied, honored, and respected.
It is the institution of slavery that is primarily responsible for the criticism, misunderstanding, and opposition to Confederate history and heritage. The winner of a war writes the history and biased Northern historians have presented selected facts and intentionally omitted other important facts. Therefore American history is an extremely biased New England perspective of the Old South, Confederacy, and Reconstruction. These dishonest Northern historians write history in such a manner as to cause students to assume that only the South was responsible for slavery. The truth is becoming known. New York City had the second highest slave population in America second only to Charleston SC.
The North was not only complicit, it was largely responsible for the development of slavery in America. The Pilgrims landed in 1620 in Plymouth Colony (Massachusetts) and immediately began enslaving Pequot Indians. They were the first colony to legalize slavery by statute in 1641. It was the New England colonies of MA., CT., NH., RI., and New York that imported slaves to America along with England, Spain, Portugal, and the Dutch. The economic infrastructure of the port cities of colonial New England depended on the nefarious trade. In contrast, in Virginia, a 7 year indentured servitude existed until 1655 when Anthony Johnson became the "Father of Southern Slavery". Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction-THE FATHER OF SOUTHERN SLAVERY WAS A BLACK MAN.
It was Queen Elizabeth of England who put that country in the slave trade business. Colonial Virginia tried over 30 times to prohibit the trade but England and the New England slave traders declined. These Northern colonies had both state owned and privately owned fleets of slave ships. Today, Jewish Americans are some of the most outspoken critics of the Confederacy, but ironically, this ethnic group was very involved in the highly profitable slave trade.
Liberal critics of the Confederate States of America have indoctrinated many Americans, especially African-Americans, to believe that slaves on Southern plantations and farms were constantly abused. Certainly some were, but most were treated fairly and some so well that they considered their status superior to poor whites. It was in Africa during the capture by fellow Africans that the slaves were horribly abused and weaker individuals murdered. Then during the "middle passage" on the ships of European and Yankee Northern captains, they were packed into cramped and unsanitary quarters where many died on the voyages to America, West Indies, and South America. Once they arrived in the South, they were often treated as family.
In 1934-1936, during the Franklin Roosevelt administration’s WPA program, about 2200 old former slaves in 11 Southern states were interviewed and their stories recorded. They are known as the "Slave Narratives" and have been published in books. The vast majority spoke with great affection for their former masters and talked of the good times and kind treatment. In contrast poor white workers in Northern factories were treated harshly. Most did not have single family housing until after 1900 (see the movie "Gangs of New York"). Southern slaves had better food from the plantations and farms than most poor Northern workers. In the South, a slave was cared for from birth to death but in the North workers were fired when they became old and infirm. Thousands were homeless on the streets of the Northern industrial cities.
The flags of England, Spain, Portugal, and other European nations as well as the U.S. flag-the Stars and Stripes flew over slavery at various times from 1492-1865 (373 years) as compared to only 4 years for the Confederate flag. So if you want to hate a flag perhaps you should choose one of the aforementioned as opposed to the Confederate flag. It was the U.S. flag-the Stars and Stripes that flew over the genocide of the Native American Indians who were herded onto reservations and subjected to starvation, disease and murder by U.S. Cavalry troops (including black "Buffalo Soldiers") and corrupt Indian Agents. The ugly truth is–America killed more Indians under the "Stars and Stripes" and colonial American flags (9-14 million) than Germany did Jews under the Swastika (6-7 million). Furthermore the official flag of the KKK is the U.S. flag not the Confederate flag.