From All Of Us Here at Civil War Memory, Have a Wonderful Confederate Memorial Day

From Alexander Stephens’s “Cornerstone Speech“:

The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically….Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics…I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.

9 comments… add one

  • Dan Wright Apr 27, 2009

    Interesting that you follow the Kunstler cartoon with an exerpt from Stephens’ speech.
    To honor Confederate Memorial Day, I think I’ll also read South Carolina’s Articles of Secession and some of the speeches of the secession commisioners.
    Those documents from the period eliminate the coloring of someone who might want to alter the way we remember.

  • Peter Apr 27, 2009

    Let’s not forget Mississippi’s Declaration of Secession too, which eliminates the coloring of someone who might want to alter the way we remember:
    “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin…Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England. “

  • TF Smith Apr 27, 2009

    I know Sherman hated it, but it is still a great song…

    Ring the good ol’ bugle, boys, we’ll sing another song,
    Sing it with the spirit that will start the world along,
    Sing it as we used to sing it 50,000 strong
    While we were marching through Georgia.

    CHORUS: Hurrah, hurrah, we bring the jubilee!
    Hurrah, hurrah, the flag that makes you free!
    So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea
    While we were marching through Georgia!

    How the enslaved shouted when they heard the joyful sound!
    How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found!
    How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground
    While we were marching through Georgia!

    CHORUS: Hurrah, hurrah, we bring the jubilee!
    Hurrah, hurrah, the flag that makes you free!
    So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea
    While we were marching through Georgia!

    Yes, and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears
    When they saw the honored flag they had not seen for years.
    Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers
    While we were marching through Georgia!–

    CHORUS: Hurrah, hurrah, we bring the jubilee!
    Hurrah, hurrah, the flag that makes you free!
    So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea
    While we were marching through Georgia!

    “Sherman’s dashing Yankee boys will never reach the coast!”
    So the saucy rebels said, and ’twas a handsome boast,
    Had they not forgot, alas, to reckon with the host
    While we were marching through Georgia!

    CHORUS: Hurrah, hurrah, we bring the jubilee!
    Hurrah, hurrah, the flag that makes you free!
    So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea
    While we were marching through Georgia!

    So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,
    Sixty miles in latitude, 300 to the main.
    Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain
    While we were marching through Georgia!

    CHORUS: Hurrah, hurrah, we bring the jubilee!
    Hurrah, hurrah, the flag that makes you free!
    So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea
    While we were marching through Georgia!

  • William Richardson Apr 27, 2009

    Well thanks Kev and I wish you and your family a wonderful Confederate Memorial Day as well. Being from North Carolina we observer Confederate Memorial Day on May 11th ( It is actually on Sunday May 10th )……..

  • Kevin Levin Apr 28, 2009

    Great comments. I just thought that if we are going to commemorate the Confederacy we should at least reference what those who played a central role in its establishment would want us to remember.

  • ghost Apr 28, 2009

    Here’s another part of that Stephens speech-

    “The principles and position of the present administration of the United States—the republican party—present some puzzling questions. While it is a fixed principle with them never to allow the increase of a foot of slave territory, they seem to be equally determined not to part with an inch ‘of the accursed soil.’ Notwithstanding their clamor against the institution, they seemed to be equally opposed to getting more, or letting go what they have got. They were ready to fight on the accession of Texas, and are equally ready to fight now on her secession. Why is this? How can this strange paradox be accounted for? There seems to be but one rational solution—and that is, notwithstanding their professions of humanity, they are disinclined to give up the benefits they derive from slave labor. Their philanthropy yields to their interest.The idea of enforcing the laws, has but one object, and that is a collection of the taxes, raised by slave labor to swell the fund necessary to meet their heavy appropriations. The spoils is what they are after—though they come from the labor of the slave… “

  • Jim Apr 28, 2009

    And it looks like your not posting my comments again for whatever reason. Keep up the good work.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 28, 2009

      Jim,

      You are correct in noting that I am no longer posting your comments. I am tired of coming across your hateful comments about me on other sites. I see no reason to allow you to use up my bandwidth. This will be your final comment.

  • Richard May 11, 2009

    I was in one of my SC stores today when a customer said the DMV was closed. Did not realize that state employees got the day off for Confederate Memorial Day. Most of the folks pushing for the MLK holiday or Confederate holiday claim to be Christians. Seems like they would push for a day off at Easter and not put their faith in men.

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