Indisputable: Slave states seceded, fired first


I am responding to "History itself refutes Pitts’ logic over Confederate flag," March 17, the letter that disputes the facts presented in Leonard Pitts’ March 5 column, "Nazis had ‘heritage,’ too." The writer bases his defense of the Confederate battle flag on his opinion that the Civil War was not caused by slavery, and therefore should not be deemed as a symbol of an abhorrent practice. He refers to President Lincoln’s famous response to Horace Greeley’s editorial in which he made it plain that his goal was to "save the Union."


Years earlier, Mr. Lincoln said that he did not believe that the country could survive with half the states free and the other half with slaves. His objective was to make sure that slavery did not spread to the territories, and as the country grew, the power of the slave states would become lessened until eventually slavery was no longer economically practical. One can certainly say that he was anti-slavery, but to say that he intended to end slavery during his term in office is debatable.


What is not open to argument is that upon his election, the slave states voted to leave the Union because their politicians felt that President Lincoln intended to end slavery as quickly as possible. It was they who seized government property and fired on Fort Sumter. To suggest that they did this to protect "states’ rights" is preposterous.


I suggest that on Memorial Day or Veterans Day, the writer place American flags on the graves of Confederate Civil War veterans. That way, he can honor their valor without flying a symbol of hatred.


GEORGE M. NEWMAN
Wellington


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