Rebuttal to Leonard Pitts & Charles Richardson
Here is my rebuttal to Leonard Pitts and local editorial columnist Charles Richardson.
‘Corwin Amendment’
In the Sunday, April 25 Telegraph Charles Richardson defended Leonard Pitts’ column, “The South fought to keep Slavery, period.” Perhaps Richardson and Pitts are not historians and have never heard of the “Corwin Amendment.” This amendment, intended to become the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by both the House and the Senate and was supported by presidents James Buchanan and his successor, Abraham Lincoln, and had been sent to the states for ratification.
It stated; “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any state, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said state”
Ohio, Maryland and Illinois had ratified this amendment, but it died in ratification due to the secession of the Southern states. If slavery were the only issue behind the secession of the Southern states, then all they needed to do was remain in the Union and ratify this amendment.
Animosity had been growing in the South ever since Andrew Jackson’s “Tariff of Abominations” of 1828. This Tariff and others following put a hardship on the Southern states by increasing costs for goods they needed for their survival and caused these states to pay nearly 80 percent to the federal budget; money that was being spent developing northern industries.
This animosity was what led directly to the War of Secession (i.e, Civil War). Slavery was a factor, but it was only one of many reasons. Perhaps Pitts and Richardson are also not aware that slavery existed in the United States before and even after the Confederacy was defeated. Slavery was practiced in America for 157 years as a British Colony and for 89 years as the United States. The Confederate States of America only existed for four short years. Pray tell me how it was all our fault?
— Bud Cranford

The Corwin Amendment, passed on March 2, 1861, was an effort to avoid civil war, that started with the attack on Fort Sumter a month later.
— Editors
Bud Cranford – 1st LT. SCV-MC
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