Myths about slavery in the United States



Brenda Hill’s opinion ("Myths about slavery in the United States", 11/26/05) was a good start that only scratched the surface of myth versus fact:

Fact – In 1860 there were 25,000 slaves in the South owned by Black slaveowners.

Fact – There were almost a quarter-million Free Blacks and Free People of Color in the South in 1860 (more than in the North).

Fact – The first all-Black regiment of the War was the 1st Louisiana Native Guard, CSA, with 36 Black and mulatto officers and 973 Black and mulatto soldiers.

Fact – The Emancipation Proclamation was careful not to actually free a single slave. Those in Union states and Union-controlled areas of the South were left “as if this proclamation had never been issued.”

Fact – Lincoln’s post-war plans included the “colonization” of ALL Blacks back to Africa. If that proved too expensive he would “hire” them to France to dig the Panama Canal.

Fact – While the Union Army was strictly segregated the Confederate Army included 13,000 Indians (one a Brigadier General), 6500 Hispanics, 5500 Jews (including the Secretary of State), tens of thousands of immigrants, a handful of Louisiana Filipinos, two Amerasian sons of Chang and Eng (the original “Siamese Twins”), and as as-yet undetermined but significant number of Black Confederate combat soldiers.

Fact – Robert E. Lee and many other leading Confederates were opposed to slavery and did not own slaves. U.S. Grant’s wife owned seven “personal servants” who were not freed until well into the war.

Finally, the BIG MYTH – The defeat of the CSA ended slavery in America.

TRUTH – Since the Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in Northern states or Union-controlled areas of the South, slavery of more than 800,000 people in the Union States did not end until December, 1865, eight months AFTER the Confederacy fell and slavery in the South ceased to exist.

Chinese continued to be bought and sold into slavery in California until the 1880s.

History is an amazing thing. Too bad so few people actually learn it rather than a collection of self-serving myths and outright lies perpetrated by the victor.