From: James Renwick Manship <email@example.com>
Date: January 20, 2009 5:51:58 PM EST
To: "William Flax" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Robert E. Lee Revisited! // Less than Honest Abe Lincoln, Karl Marx, and Reparations for Slavery…
Dear Mr. Flax and others,
I appreciate your measured and moderate reply to the fellow who regurgitates the pablum we all received in government schools about "The War".
I often say "The War Between the States divided America — and still does, whereas the War for Independence united America – and can again – IF we would only study and live its principles.
First, I too can claim "Northern" heritage, for my Grandfather was from up the river from you at Cincinnati, in Portsmouth, Ohio, with my Grandmother from Massachusetts.
Also it is true, my paternal Grandfather and Grandmother were from South Carolina, and their grandfather fought and died in the Confederatate Army, yet there is no indication any generation of South Carolina kin before he died at Petersburg fighting for the "South" ever owned any slaves, so I have no "Duty of Reparations" to any black man or woman due to any imagined "Sins of my Forefathers".
Second, the legendary "Emancipation Proclamation" ascribed to the greatness of Abe Lincoln is just that – legend and myth. Unlike the Russian Emperor who earlier in the same year issued an Emancipation Decree to give a true measure of freedom to the serfs under his authority, in Lincoln’s case, "his" Emancipation did NOT apply to the slaves in the Northern States (yes there were still slaves in those states), NOR in the Southern territories under the control of the Union Army.
Lincoln’s "false flag" Emancipation Proclamation was a MILITARY proclamation, NOT an humanitarian gesture. Its purpose was to incite riots by slaves in the territories of the South, so to disrupt agricultural production necessary for the economy of the South, AND to siphon away soldiers from the front lines.
Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was designed to have men leave the Confederate Army to go home to defend their families and homes. Yet much like the men in New Jersey who began as Tories but joined the Continental Army when the British raped and pillaged their way through New Jersey while chasing Washington in the fall of 1776, the men of the South stayed with the Army to fight for freedom; so the Emancipation Proclamation did NOT have its intended effect during the duration of the WBTS (by the way, for our younger readers, that is not a Public Television Station in Boston).
Indeed, in 1786, retired General George Washington wrote John Francis Mercer in Maryland, formerly of Stafford, Virginia, to say "There is not a man living who more desires the abolition of slavery, but it must be done in gradual, peaceful means through legislation…"
The next year, Constitution Convention president Washington presided over the document that is the FIRST National Charter of government in the HISTORY of mankind to have some limitation on slavery. Article I, Section 9 says the importation of "such persons" would be forever banned in 1808, about two decades later. Notice the word used was "persons" NOT "slaves", or "chattel", or "bond servants". This Constitution for the United States of America was unique in that it recognized the black men as "persons".
Lincoln did NOT have the wisdom of Washington. Near a century after Lincoln’s War destroyed much of the youth and vigor of our Nation, in the 1960s, the LEGISLATION was passed to accomplish what the Presidential EDICT had failed to accomplish for nearly one hundred years — as Washington had been prophetic in saying.
Brown University was founded and funded by Slave Traders of Rhode Island. Indeed, this past year on C-SPAN a woman whose family name is Brown spoke about that legacy. Most Americans do not know (for We the People have not been taught that truth) that Rhode Island did not initially join the Union in 1787 to 1789 under this Constitution in large part because of concern for loss of its "livelihood" from the slave trade shipped in ships from Rhode Island.
Tiny Rhode Island dominated from 60 to 80 per cent of the slave trade from 1720 until it was banned by this Constitution in 1808.
Wiser heads prevailed and so by the time President Washington made his journey to the New England states in 1790, Rhode Island had ended its "Independence" to continue its future in the slave trade, and joined the United States where its slave trade would end in 1808.
Also remember that Karl Marx wrote several letters to President Lincoln and considered him a good example of a Proletariat leader, and that Karl Marx wrote a book titled "The North American Civil War" that was "amazingly insightful", where one reviewer stated it seemed as if Marx had attended Lincoln’s Cabinet meetings. Maybe that was because Marx and a deputy Secretary of the Army, Dana, were close friends from the early 1850s, and may have provided "inside information" to his England based friend Marx.
There is historical record that suggests that however gracious Lincoln sounded toward the Southerners in his Second Inaugural Speech, his plans for post war reparations were much like were later implemented by the "Radical Republicans".
President Andrew Johnson was impeached, but not convicted by one vote, largely because as a Southerner he opposed the Radical Republican regime.
By the way, after leaving the Presidency, Andrew Johnson returned to Tennessee and was re-elected to the United States Senate but died before he was able to take office.
Finally, as to "Reparations" that some blacks say are owed to them for their many years in slavery, I sometimes ask if they have heard of the highly publicized black historian John Hope Franklin. Some do. Then I ask if they know that J H Franklin says that many of the Egyptian Pharoahs were black men. Many blacks are aware of that aspect of history. So then I ask if the blacks owe past reparations to the Jewish people for many centuries of Slavery under the Pharoahs, plus 25 centuries of interest.
I hear silence.
For Equal Justice in Virginia,
James Renwick Manship, Sr.
Member, Society of Professional Journalists
President, The Virginia Chronicle