Rebel Saviours and Benefactors


What irony is found in the British condemning their American brethren of treason and rebellion in 1775, and the revolutionary Republicans of 1861 condemning their American brethren in the South of treason and rebellion. Ohio Congressman Clement Vallandigham lectured Lincoln and his followers on January 14, 1863 in the US House of Representatives by stating, “…Yet after nearly two years of more vigorous prosecution of war than ever recorded in history,…you have utterly, signally, disastrously…failed to subjugate ten millions of “rebels”, whom you had taught the people of the North and West not only to hate, but to despise.  Rebels did I say?  Yes, your fathers were rebels, or your grandfathers.  He

[Washington], who now before me on canvas looks down so sadly upon us, the false, degenerate and imbecile guardians of the great Republic which he founded, was a rebel.  And yet we, cradled ourselves in rebellion and who have fostered and fraternized with every insurrection in the nineteenth century everywhere throughout the globe, would now…make the word “rebel” a reproach.”

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"


Rebel Saviours and Benefactors:

“The devoted band [in Parliament] that dared brave the anger of the King and the madness of the hour, and defend American [colonists] rights under the taunt of being abettors of treason, deserve to be held in lasting remembrance. In the House of Lords the Duke of Richmond having said,” I do not think the people of America in rebellion, but resisting acts of the most unexampled cruelty and oppression,” he was loudly called to order , and the Earl of Denbigh, in an excited and boisterous manner, undertook to reprimand him, closing with the words, “I do openly contend that those who defend rebellion, are themselves little better than rebels; and that there is very little difference between the traitor, and he who openly or privately abets treason.”

The Duke commenced a withering reply…”I am not to be intimidated or deterred from my duty by loud words.” Later in the session upon news of the death of [patriot General Richard] Montgomery in attempting to storm Quebec, Barre’, Burke, and Fox, all passed high eulogies in the House of Commons upon the gallant American.  Lord North thereupon arose, and “censured what he called this unqualified liberality of the praises bestowed on General Montgomery, by the gentlemen in opposition, because they were bestowed upon a rebel; and said he could not join in lamenting his death as a public loss. He admitted, indeed, that he was brave, humane, generous; but still he was only a brave, able, humane, and generous rebel; and said that the verse of the tragedy of Cato might be applied to him –

“Curse on his virtues, they’ve undone his country.”

Mr. [Charles James] Fox arose a second time and said:

“The term “rebel” applied by the noble Lord, to that excellent person, was no certain mark of disgrace, and therefore he was the less earnest to clear him of the imputation; for that all the great assertors of liberty, the saviours of their country, the benefactors of mankind, in all ages, had been called rebels; that [the British] owed the constitution, which enabled them to sit in that house, to a rebellion.”

(Patrick Henry, Life, Correspondence and Speeches, William Wirt Henry, Volume I, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1891, pp. 360-362)