Confederate History and Heritage: Our Confederate ancestors were white supremacists. Don't take our word for it, hear it straight from a son of the South, Charles Henry Smith aka "Bill Arp"
|(Image courtesy of the University of North Carolina)|
In this piece, published in May of 1893, in The Watchman and Southron, Charles Henry Smith, writing under the pseudonym "Bill Arp" both admits to the white supremacist views of southerners in the Civil War era and also simultaneously vomits Lost Cause ignorance all over the printed page. Enjoy.
“The institution of African slavery is so intimately connected with the history of Georgia and has been so closely interwoven with her civilization that a brief account of its origin and growth and sudden abolition should be recorded. Not for crimination or exculpation, but that the truth of history may be vindicated. Facts - cold facts - are history, and they never blush to be narrated.”
“That the southern states did not emancipate was owing to a variety of circumstances.
The climate was suited to the negro and he seemed contented and happy.
The masters had invested more of their money in them than had been done further north.
The invention of the cotton gin had suddenly stimulated the cultivation of cotton, for which the negro was peculiarly fitted, and the growth of rice, tobacco and sugar cane was equally inviting to his labor.
But more then all these reasons was the fear that slaves were in such fast increasing numbers as to put the commonwealth in peril if they were freed. They were still affected with the same race traits they had inherited from barbarian ancestors, and could not be controlled as freedmen or citizens.”
Smith revealingly adds:
“But, after all, slavery was really the provoking cause of the late unhappy war between the states. Georgia seceded from the union not because she desired to perpetuate slavery, but rather because she could not maintain her rights under the constitution. She desired an outlet in the territories, an outlet for the negro for their rapid increase was alarming. She believed that it was perilous to emancipate and still more perilous to await results. Her white population who were not slave owners were rapidly emigrating to the west. The most thoughtful minds in Georgia and especially those advanced in years, saw and felt the peril of their situation - secession meant war and to remain in the union was to be imprisoned by state lines with an inferior race that might become a terror.”
Smith goes on to say:
“But the common people of the south, the yeomanry, the toilers, were no lovers of the negro. They realized that he was in their way. The masters owned the best of the land and had the best stock and the best houses and tools and vehicles, while the toilers had to take what they could get - no wonder they were jealous of the institution.
And yet these men, poor and struggling for a livelihood in the mountains of north Georgia or down in the piney woods, did not hesitate to shoulder their rifles and hurry to the country’s call. “My country-right or wrong” - was their motto. Only one-seventh of the taxpayers of the state were owners of slaves in 1860 and not more than one soldier in ten was interested in slavery. In fact, some counties in north Georgia sent more soldiers to the field than there were slaves in the county.
Surely these men were not fighting for slavery or its perpetuation. They fought as their forefathers did who resisted a little tax on tea when not one in a thousand drank it. The common idea was that “them fellers up north had been kickin’ at us a long time, and if old Joe Brown and Bob Toombs and Howell Cobb said it was time to cut loose from ‘em and fight them it was all right and they were ready.””
Smith finishes by saying:
“Such, my young friends, were the cause and consequences of the institution of slavery in Georgia. For a half century it had proved a blessing to both races - a blessing to the negro because it had brought him from a savage state into that of semi-civilization and had elevated his posterity and given them a chance to live as human beings and to worship God as Christians - a blessing to the white race in clearing up the forests and advancing agriculture and in building our railroads. But as the years rolled on it seemed to be manifested that the institution had run its course and the time was near at hand when it would cease to be a blessing to either race. Before the late war, its doom was inevitable, for even had secession succeeded and slavery continued it could not have been maintained against the convictions of the unfriendly north and the nations that sympathized with her.
Why this wonderful change in the status of 4,000,000 of slaves had to be baptized in blood and tears to make it a reality is known only to the Providence who doth all things well. We might as well ask why Cain was permitted to kill Abel, or why Napoleon was permitted to ravage Europe and destroy millions of lives, and after all accomplish no good that we can see.
But the negro was safe during all the struggle. Whether he stayed or fled he was in no danger. He seemed to have no deep concern about his freedom or a continuation of his bondage. Thousands of them followed their young masters in the war - many of them were captured, but would not stay. “Gwine back to Dixie” was their song. Never was such mutual affection shown between master and servant; never such proof that in the main the master was kind and the servant loyal. During all these bloody years when our men were in the field and wives and mothers and daughters were unprotected at home not a single act of violence was heard of from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. As General Jackson so beautifully said: “They deserve a monument that should reach the stars, and on it I would inscribe, “To the loyalty of the slaves of the confederate states during the years 1862-’63-’64.’”
What monument will be deserved by their children is the unsolved problem. They are still on probation. - BILL ARP, in the Atlanta Constitution.”
|(Image courtesy of Newspapers.com)|
You never hear the Confederate Heritage agitators arguing over something damning said by one of their own ancestors. Even when their ancestors are making the exact same argument that I am making, I am perpetually a liar and their ancestors are perpetually honorable. Gotta love it. On some points here, I agree with ol' "Bill Arp", overall though, this column was just a way to push the same old, worn out Lost Cause narratives.
Restoring the honor!