Republican House Speaker Joe Straus is calling for the removal of this marker, which was installed by the Texas Division, Children of the Confederacy, in the state Capitol in 1959, on the eve of the centennial. It makes a pretty bold claim about the role of slavery in causing secession and war.

Texas is no stranger to controversies about how history is taught and efforts to shape history textbooks to fit the political agendas of various school boards. In this case all one has to do is look to the states own Declaration of Causes, which propelled the state to leave the union in February 1861. This link will take you to the Texas State Archives and Commission website [a .gov site]. Here is a taste:

For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.

By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments.

They have proclaimed, and at the ballot box sustained, the revolutionary doctrine that there is a “higher law” than the constitution and laws of our Federal Union, and virtually that they will disregard their oaths and trample upon our rights.

They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.

They have invaded Southern soil and murdered unoffending citizens, and through the press their leading men and a fanatical pulpit have bestowed praise upon the actors and assassins in these crimes, while the governors of several of their States have refused to deliver parties implicated and indicted for participation in such offences, upon the legal demands of the States aggrieved.

They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.

They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.

They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.

They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State.

Therefore.

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States.

This is a good day for Texas and American history. I am just grateful that Straus did not propose changing references to slavery to “workers.”

6 comments add yours

  1. While not a fan of removal of all things Confederate en masse, I do believe Straus got this one right.

  2. This was Texas! What about the United States Congress? It would be a good idea, after reading the Texas declaration above, to also see what a committee in the Federal Congress just a few years later stated concerning some of these same issues. Remember this committee report is from the same congress, from the same government we have today but spoke in 1862.

    This from the Albert S. White Committee report of the 37th Congress (2nd Session). The report claimed that America was to be inhabited by whites but not by the “negro.” In 1862 during the second year of the War Between the States, the White Committee concluded:

    [“A Race Among US”: Not To Be Admitted to Social/Political Privileges]

    “Much of the object to emancipation arises from the opposition of a large portion of our people to the intermixture of the races, and from the association of white and black labor….[A]part from the antipathy which nature has ordained, the presence of a race among us who cannot, and ought not to, be admitted to our social and political privileges, will be a perpetual source of injury and inquietude to both.”

    [Question of Color Not of Master-Slave Relation]

    “This is a question of color, and is unaffected by the relation of master and slave. The introduction of the negro, whether bond or free, into the same field of labor with the white man, is the opprobrium [disgrace] of the latter; and we cannot believe that the thousands of non-slaveholding citizens in the rebellious States who live by industry are fighting to continue the negro within our limits…more probably from a vague apprehension that he is to become their competitor in his own right….”

    [White Race Wants the Whole Country]

    “There is no sounder maxim in political economy than that the cultivators of the soil should be the owners of the soil. The committee [concludes] that the highest interests of the white race, whether Anglo-Saxon, Celt, or Scandinavian, require that the whole country should be held, and occupied by those races alone.”

    [Slavery and Color]

    “It is useless, now, to enter upon any philosophical inquiry whether nature has or has not made the inferior to the Caucasian. The belief is indelibly fixed upon the public mind that such inequality does exist. There are irreconcilable differences between the two races that separate them as with a wall of fire….[T]he Anglo-American never will give his consent that the negro…be elevated to such equality….[S]o long as he remains among us the recollection of the former relation of master and slave will be perpetuated by the changeless color of the Ethiop’s sin, and that color will alike be perpetuated by the degrading tradition of his former bondage….”

    [African: Should Not Live in America]

    “The home of the African must not be within the limits of the present territory of the Union. The Anglo-American looks upon every acre of our present domain as intended for him and not for the negro.”

    [Home for Colored Races in West Indies, Central America]

    “A home…must be sought for the African beyond our own limits and in warmer regions to which his constitution is better adapted…and which doubtless the Almighty intended the colored races should inhabit and cultivate. Hayti and others of the West India islands, Central America and the upper portions of South America, and Liberia, are all interesting fields of inquiry in relation to the future of the liberated negroes of the United States. [1]

    Note

    Note — [1] See “Report of The Select Committee on Emancipation and Colonization…” (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1862), pp. 13-16.
    https://d1w7fb2mkkr3kw.cloudfront.net/assets/images/book/lrg/9781/1412/9781141266166.jpg

    Thanks,
    Tom Forehand, Jr.
    editor/compiler
    Robert E. Lee’s Lighter Side
    Robert E. Lee’s Softer Side

    • Yes, this is Texas now, today. That plaque is full of lies and Straus is right to agitate for its removal.

  3. Tom, he Committee report is dated July 16; the next day Congress passed and sent to the President the Second Confiscation Act.

    If you actually read the report, you would have seen it was part of the failed efforts of Congress to convince the slave states to give up their rebellion and return to the Union, in exchange for accepting compensated emancipation. The attempt was a total bust: even the loyal slave states refused compensated emancipation.

    Keep in mind Robert E. Lee would have opposed the report – after all, it was written by a bunch of Black Republicans who want – and were in a very short time, successful – to free the slaves.

    • Bob, Robert E. Lee would’ve opposed the measure up until the very end of the war. He never stood opposed to slavery he always advocated for it and only emancipated his father-in-law’s slaves at the absolute latest time he could stipulated under his father-in-law’s will.

      As proof just read the beginning of his letter to Andrew Hunter written on January 11, 1865, less than three months before he would surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House. While he did advocate for enlisting slaves in the army to preserve the Confederacy and offer them emancipation in exchange (again less than three months before his surrender) here’s what he had to say in the letter about the relationship between the “white” and “black” races in the letter:

      “Considering the relation of master and slave, controlled by humane laws and influenced by Christianity and an enlightened public sentiment, as the best that can exist between the white and black races while intermingled as at present in this country, I would deprecate any sudden disturbance of that relation unless it be necessary to avert a greater calamity to both. I should therefore prefer to rely upon our white population to preserve the ratio between our forces and those of the enemy, which experience has shown to be safe.”

  4. Mr. O’Barr,

    By now you should see that none of your comments are being approved. I suggest that you take your misinformation elsewhere.

    Thanks for your understanding and for taking the time to stop by.

    CWM

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