Ralph Waldo Emerson Self- reliance (1841)


Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy



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Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy

  • Main Point 1: The new Constitution is similar to the old only better
  • “All the great principles of Magna Charta are retained in it. No citizen is deprived of life, liberty or property, but by the judgment of his peers, under the laws of the land. The great principle of religious liberty, which was the honor and pride of the old Constitution, is still maintained and secured.”
  • “So, taking the whole new Constitution, I have not hesitancy in giving it as my judgment, that it is decidedly better than the old.”

Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy

  • Main Point 2: With the Independence of the Confederate States of America, the South will no longer suffer from the oppressive tariffs of the United States’ federal government.
  • “The old thorn of the tariff, which occasioned the cause of so much irritation in the old body politic, is removed forever from the new…”
  • “The cost of the grading, the superstructure and equipments of our roads was borne by those who entered upon the enterprise…”
  • “The true principle is to subject commerce of every locality to whatever burdens may be necessary to facilitate it.”

Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy

  • Main Point 3: Slavery is the cause of the split of the Union
  • “…African slavery as it exists among us-the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. JEFFERSON anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split”…What was conjecture with him, is now realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. 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 the races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it-when the “storm came and the wind blew, it fell.” (Matthew 7:27)

Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy

  • Main Point 4: Slavery is the “cornerstone” of the Confederacy
  • “Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone 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 moral condition. [Applause] This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
  • “It is upon this, as I have stated, our social fabric is firmly planted.”

Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy

  • Main Point #5: Northerners are fanatics.
  • “Those at the North who still cling to these errors with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind; from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity.”
  • Main Point #6: Northerners are trying to make equal what the Creator has made unequal.
  • “They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights, with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just; but their premises being wrong, their whole argument fails. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.”
  • “The truth of the Negro’s inferiority “has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science.”
  • Anti-Lincoln Political Ad, 1964

Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy

  • Main Point 8: The people of the confederacy are peaceful people, but do not try to coerce them.
  • “Our object is Peace, not only with the North, but with the world… The ideal of coercing us, or subjugating us, is utterly preposterous.”
  • Main Point 9: If we stay true, we will succeed.
  • “If…we are true to ourselves, true to our cause, true to our destiny, true to our high mission, in presenting to the world the highest type of civilization ever exhibited by man—there will be found in our Lexicon no such word as FAIL.”

FAST DAYS SERMONS 1861

  • B.M. Palmer
  • M.J. Raphall
  • Henry W. Beecher

Fast Day Sermons

  • In 1860 Pres. Buchanan called upon the nations ministers to lead their congregations in a day of fasting.
  • Church leaders from around the nation lead sermons discussing their stands on slavery and the possible succession of the south.

Rev. B.M. Palmer

  • From New Orleans, was one of the leading members of the Presbyterian church in the south.

Slavery a Devine Trust: Duty of the South to Preserve and Perpetuate it.

  • God gave us slavery, and is trusting us to keep it going.
  • “My own conviction is, that we should at once lift ourselves, intelligently, to the highest moral ground, and proclaim to all the world that we hold this trust from God…”

Slavery is essential for our nations self-preservation.

  • This system of servitude supports our material inertest.
  • Our wealth is in land and the people who tend it.
  • For production to be certain, we must have certain labor


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