Southern Avenger Jack Hunter: Slaves to ‘Settled’ History
Southern Avenger Jack Hunter: Liberals, and quite a few mainstream conservatives, believe that any questioning of official Civil War history is not even to be permitted.
The controversy over declarations honoring Confederate soldiers opens the question which facts from the Civil War are permissible, and makes yet another argument for getting the government as far away from the public school system as possible. Part of the reason for the lack of civility when it comes to discussions about the civil war is due to how the war is taught in school.
The recent debate over the moral high-ground led me to dig deeper into the history of the war–deeper than what I was taught in school. A little research led to several “that wasn’t in my history book” moments.
Ron Paul had pointed out several times the Civil War might have been avoided if slaves were bought by the federal government to free them.
PAUL: No, I don’t think he was one of our greatest presidents. I mean, he was determined to fight a bloody civil war, which many have argued could have been avoided. For 1/100th the cost of the war, plus 600 thousand lives, enough money would have been available to buy up all the slaves and free them. So, I don’t see that is a good part of our history.
I dug a little deeper and learned something new: what Paul was referring to is called compensation emancipation. President Lincoln did propose compensated emancipation for slaves in six Union slave states. In the proposal Lincoln sent to the Union states, slaves had the cost at $400 per slave, $300 in compensation to the slave owner, and $100 for deportation and colonization.
Not only did Lincoln propose compensated emancipation, on April 16, 1862, it was enacted, at least in the District of Columbia. After the Civil War started, President Abraham Lincoln signed the The District of Columbia Emancipation Act, which ended slavery in the Capital and compensated former owners loyal to the Union $300 per slave.
At the moment, I’m not so sure about Paul’s view that Lincoln was “‘determined to fight a bloody civil war,” because Lincoln supported a version of compensated emancipation; I can’t say I see Lincoln as a great President, though, because Lincoln held a ‘ship ’em back to Africa’ attitude.
At the moment, I say I’m not sure because I have no way of knowing what other facts were buried in Civil War history. The unpopular and obscured facts from Civil War history I’ve stumbled upon feels akin to finding out you’re adopted, because the country I thought I came from turns out not to exist.