14 Unknown Facts About Slavery

How do we fit the nearly pervasive belief that "The North Fought to Free The Slaves"with thesefacts about slavery?

1. Lincoln didn’t emancipate the slaves until about halfway through the war;

2. Lincoln fired two generals who did free slaves in 1861 and 1862;

3. Lincoln didn’t emancipate any slaves under his actual control (imagine U.S. President George W. Bush stating today that the minimum wage is now going to be $20 an hour– in Mexico and Canada);

4. The underground railroad didn’t stop at the Mason/Dixon line. It reached all the way to Canada. Why? Because such states as Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, had laws that a black could be whipped if found within the state for more than three days;

5. There were five slave states among theNorthern states, and slavery was legal in these five Northern states after the "emancipation" of slavesnot under Northern control;

6. Lincoln’s idea of how to deal withemancipated slaves was to send them to Africa, and a new African country was created for this purpose;

7. Slavery was legal in the north even after the fall of the Confederacy; and

8. The flag that flew over slave ships was the United States’ Stars and Stripes, never a Confederate flag.

9. Africans were captured by other Africans to be sold into slavery;

10.Africans sold other Africans to Northern, not to Southern, slave dealers, for transport in Yankee slave ships;

11.Blacks as well as whites owned slaves;

12. The institution of slavery had never been safer than in 1860.Lincoln personally supported a new constitutional amendment protecting slavery forever, which he signed, which Congress had passed, and Illinois had already ratified, when war broke out.

"The institution of slavery had never been more secure for the slave owners, with the Supreme Court in their back pocket, with the Constitution itself expressly protecting slavery, and mandating the return of fugitive slaves everywhere– a mandate Lincoln said he would enforce; with Lincoln also declaring he had no right to interfere with slavery and no personal inclination to do so; with Lincoln personally supporting a new constitutional amendment protecting slavery forever . . . There is nothing the South could have asked for, for the protection of slavery, that wouldn’t have been gladly provided, just as long as the South remained in the Union" (Adams, 2000).

13. There were more free blacks in the South than in the North in 1860. According to the United States Census of 1860, the free states had 222,745 Free Negros, and the slave states had 259,078 free blacks. These numbers were given in a smallNew York Timesarticle on 31 March 1862, with the note that "the slave-holding states have given a wider extension to the principle of emancipation than the non-slaveholding states. This is a fact which should not be forgotten by those who would admire philanthropy in deed rather than in words."

14. Slavery would have ended in America within a generation without war, as it became economically unsatisfactory. Racism, which we find at least as much in the North, is not the basis for slavery– economic advantage is, and slavery was on its way out as it lost its economic advantage to machinery.

Vernon R. Padgett, Adjutant
California Division
Sons of Confederate Veterans