Jefferson Davis on Equality

As a person whose G-g-g-grandfather fought in the Confederate Army and was also the owner of 29 slave, I can well understand your concern. I can't understand what all this Neo garbage is about. The Confederacy was indeed founded to protect the rights of the states. It seceded in large part because they opposed high tariffs. But anyone who would say the blacks were anything more than second class to these people miss the entire boat. For while Southerners of good will could argue the merits of tariffs, commerce and States Rights, they never questioned the place of the Negro in the scheme of things. It is best summed up in Jeff Davis' Farewell Speech to the US Senate. Here is the important part and the rest can be found on the 'net:

"She (Mississippi) has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races. That Declaration of Independence is to be construed by the circumstances and purposes for which it was made. The communities were declaring their independence; the people of those communities were asserting that no man was born - to use the language of Mr. Jefferson - booted and spurred to ride over the rest of mankind; that men were created equal - meaning the men of the political community; that there was no divine right to rule; that no man inherited the right to govern; that there were no classes by which power and place descended to families, but that all stations were equally within the grasp of each member of the body politic. These were the great principles they announced; these were the end to which their enunciation was directed. They have NO REFERENCE TO THE SLAVE; else, how happened it that among the items of arraignment made against George III was that he endeavored to do just what the North had been endeavoring of late to do - to stir up insurrection among our slaves? Had the declaration announced that the negroes were free and equal, how was the prince to be arraigned for stirring up insurrection among them? " ( Emphasis added).


Tom Pound
January 2002