“Perpetual Union”–If you can bamboozle enough people into believing it

by Al Benson Jr.

In his rather convoluted thinking, Abraham Lincoln stated that: The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774.” Some historians have noted that this association of the colonies before the Articles of Confederation was adopted, was a body that could only suggest certain courses of action, none of which had the force of law–a deliberative body–nothing more. Such facts made no difference whatever to Abraham Lincoln. They didn’t fit his agenda and so he ignored them. As far as he was concerned, it was all “the Union” even though his ethereal version of it existed in his mind before the documents that founded the Union existed. Walter Kennedy and I noted in Lincoln’s Marxists on page 109 and following, which is chapter 5 entitled Lincoln’s Mystical View of the Union that this was Lincoln’s mindset.

Sad to say, this seems to be a rather strong tack in the Yankee/Marxist mindset in general. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Salmon P. Chase also seemed to lean strongly in this direction with his view of the Union.

John Niven, in his book Salmon P. Chase–a biography also noted: Had the Confederate States by their secession from the Union given up their former identity as Sumner, Stevens and other radical politicians argued? If they had, then it would logically follow that secession was a lawful act and the Union had existed only at the sufferance of the states, an argument Lincoln dismissed as an abstraction…

It has been argued that “The South never really understood the Union.” That may be true–at least they never understood it in the sense that the Yankee did. Had they truly done so, I would submit that the Southern states never should have ratified the Constitution to begin with. Christian statesman Patrick Henry warned his fellow Virginians with common sense arguments and logic of the dangers of Virginia’s ratification of the Constitution. Virginians did not heed his words. They should have. And yet, maybe some of the mud stuck against the wall, for in Virginia’s ratification ordinances it was stated: We the delegates of the people of Virginia, duly elected…do, in the name and behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known, that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them, whenever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression. New York’s ratification statement pretty much says the same thing. And their ratification ordinances were accepted with this language included in them.

In other words, some states ratified the Constitution with the proviso that, should things not work out in this new union, they had the right to leave. That was the Southern understanding of this new Constitution, and it would seem that some Northern folks had the same understanding. I agree with them. Yet, suffice it to say, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, after the War of Northern Aggression (or could we call it the War of Marxist Revolution?) took a view totally opposed to that truth, as had Lincoln. Should anyone really be surprised? After all, the winners always get to redefine the “history.”

Chase noted, in 1869, that the Constitution in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States. He felt that once a state or territory got into the Union, that was it. It was there for eternity unless its status was determined by a revolution, or “consent of the states.” Chase noted the language in the Articles of Confederation about a “perpetual Union.” That term, “perpetual” did not appear in the new Constitution, but rather the new document referred to a “more perfect Union.” Chase apparently took that to mean “more perpetually perfect.” If Chase was aware or either Virginia’s nor New York’s ratification terminology he kept silent about it. After all, those ratification ordinances contradicted his “indestructible Union” tomfoolery.

And Chase was, apparently, more than ready to accept more broad, sweeping powers for the federal government. In 1866 he observed: That the war had changed the government and the powers of government were essentially different from what they were before the war. Now there was an understatement if ever I saw one, and yet a revelation as well. He’s telling you, right flat out, that the war gave the federal government more and expanded powers–probably not constitutional ones–but not to worry, Chase’s Supreme Court would remedy that little problem.

To be continued.

Secession–Not Just Southern and Not Just Secular–Part Two

by Al Benson Jr.

Just before, and during, the War of Northern Aggression, the sentiment in favor of secession came from other areas of the country and not just from below Mason-Dixon.

In Douglas County, Illinois a meeting was held which announced that: “We regard the Emancipation Proclamation…as the entering wedge which will ultimately divide the middle and northwestern states from our mischiefmaking, puritanical, fanatical New England brethren…” Culturally, this has happened, even though Lincoln’s “mystical Union” has been held together with bayonets.

In Brown County, Indiana, a gathering was convened that put forth this sentiment: “…Our interests and inclinations will demand of us a withdrawal from political association in a common government with the New England states, who have contributed so much to every innovation upon the Constitution to our present calamity of civil war, and whose tariff legislation must ever prove oppressive to our agricultural and commercial pursuits.” Mind you, such secession sentiments are coming forth from Indiana and Illinois.

Other sources have cited secession sentiment in even the Middle Atlantic states–New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. Author William C. Wright has written that: “The secession movement was prominent in the five Middle Atlantic states. Within these five states were three types of secessionists; first, those who wanted to join the Confederacy; second, those who wished to form a central confederacy, that is, to join with the other border states and divide the United States into three separate nations; third, those who preferred to let the South go in peace rather than to use force to save the Union.”

Wright noted that Pennsylvania was the most pro-Union of these states, while New Jersey had strong economic and social ties with the South. New York was divided between the up-state region which supported the Union and the Hudson Valley and New York City areas that had ties to the South. New York City Mayor Fernando Wood had even made the proposition that New York City be made into a “free city.” Wright has duly noted that: “Together, the advocates of secession weakened the Lincoln administration’s ability to react to the Confederacy. At the same time, they offered the South hope of Northern support if war broke out.” In view of this, one might be led to wonder if this situation was the real reason for Lincoln’s actions in regard to Fort Sumter. I might also question why almost none of this type of material is ever presented in our “history” books, if such they can seriously be called. But that would be little more than a rhetorical exercise because I already know why.

The majority of people today, North and South, largely due to the abolitionist propaganda presented in our “history” books (whoever said history books had to teach real history?) and the rampant apostasy in the country as a whole, have viewed secession and the War of Northern Aggression in a strictly secular light. Many who have studied history will readily admit to the political and economic causes of the War, though some continue to persist it was all about slavery. However, most will not touch the theological reasons for secession.

However, there were many in the South that viewed secession in the same light that they viewed the biblical separation spoken of in Second Corinthians 6:14-18. They looked at an increasingly apostate and “progressive” North, while, in the main, most Southerners clung to orthodox Christianity. Informed Southerners watched much of the Northern clergy, no doubt influenced by the taint of Unitarianism, seek to deify man and to exalt the goodness of his human nature and his “free will.” It was the same sort of thing they did with abolitionist/terrorist John Brown in 1859 where Northern Unitarians claimed that Brown’s gallows was equal to Christ’s cross.

The late Professor M. E. Bradford, writing in the Southern Partisan magazine for the fourth quarter of 1991, noted that: “…Professor Bell Wiley observes, the Southern churches had always warned their communicants against ‘extreme confidence in human endeavor.’ The ordinary Southerner of 1860 did not approach the world as did those who had voted for Mr. Lincoln. They were…’as dubious of human ability in social and political matters as in the matter of salvation.’ The belief of the sovereignty of God and dependence of man was the whole of their thinking.”

In regard to Southern clergymen, Professor Bradford wrote: “Because most Southern clergymen were, during the years of sectional conflict within their denominations, convinced that apostasy and infidelity had become the dominant religions of the North.” You know something? They were right! Bradford observed that: “As the War approached, these (Southern) clergymen more and more tended to view the sectional controversy as a dispute between those who acknowledged the authority of the Scripture and those who set their own moral sense above it–in other words, between Christians and infidels.”

Thus we have another, seldom acknowledged, yet perhaps the most important dimension to the secession question–the spiritual and theological dimension. The majority probably have no interest in dealing with this aspect of the question. The “history” they’ve been taught tells them not to, but the spiritual dimension was and is here and needs to be dealt with. As someone with a Christian worldview, I believe all truth is educational and all things, ultimately, reflect someone’s theology. Everything eventually comes down to this–choose who you will serve, the Trinitarian God of the Scriptures or the World System. It has to be one or the other. Many Southern secessionists held to this view. For them, although political issues were prominent as were economic ones, their ultimate view of secession was a theological view. They viewed the doctrine of biblical separation and secession as one. In our apostate day, such a conclusion merits our serious consideration.

Bibliography

A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States
by Alexander H. Stephens (volume one)
Krause Reprint Company, New York, 1970

Democracy in America
by Alexis de Tocqueville (volume one)
Vintage Books, New York, July, 1990

The Hidden Civil War
by Wood Gray
Viking Press, New York, 1942

The Secession Movement in the Middle Atlantic States
by William C. Wright
Associated University Presses, Inc. Cranberry, New Jersey, copyright 1973

A Theological and Political View of the Doctrine of Secession
by Al Benson Jr.
The Copperhead Chronicle, Sterlington, Louisiana, copyright 1995, reprinted 2009
(booklet 30 pages)

Secession–Not Just Southern and Not Just Secular

by Al Benson Jr.

Often when the issue of secession has been “historically” dealt with it has been done in such a manner as to give the impression that it was purely a Southern political phenomenon. Clearly our present establishment “historians” love to have it so. As usual, there is a little more to the story than what they are pleased to tell us.

Lots of people other than Southerners, in years gone by, admitted the right of secession in this country. Well-known anti-slavery American jurist Joseph Story admitted the right of a state to withdraw from the Union. Judge Story stated: “The obvious deductions which may be, and indeed have been drawn, from considering the Constitution as a Compact between the States, are, that it operates as a mere treaty, or convention between them, and has an obligatory force upon each State no longer that it suits its pleasures, or its consent continues;…and that each State retains the power to withdraw from the Confederacy, and to dissolve the connection, when such shall be its choice;…” So it would seem that Judge Story thus admitted the right of a state to secede.

Thomas Jefferson believed in the right of state secession, and, according to Alexander H. Stephens, the Kentucky Resolutions fully established this.

Even ultra-nationalist Alexander Hamilton was forced, by his own admission, to admit that the right of state secession existed. In regard to Hamilton, Alexander Stephens, who was named after him, wrote: “Even Mr. Hamilton must have believed that this right was incident to the systems; for in his urgent appeals to Mr. Jefferson, as early as 1790, for his influence with members of Congress, in aid of the bill for the assumption of the States debts, he presented the strong reason, that if the measure should not pass, there was great danger of a secession of the members from the creditor States, which would end in ‘a separation of the States.’…he was Secretary of the Treasury. Would he have urged such an argument if he had not believed that those States had a right to withdraw?” That’s an interesting question that those nationalists today of the Hamilton stripe might consider addressing themselves to–then again, maybe not.

And William Rawle, U.S. District Attorney under George Washington, said: “The Union is an association of the people of Republics; its preservation is calculated to depend on the preservation of those republics…It depends on the State itself, to retain or abolish the principle of representation; because it depends on itself, whether it will continue a member of the Union. To deny this right, would be inconsistent with the principles on which all our political systems are founded;…”

Even DeToqueville addressed the secession question. He had stated: “The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the States; and these, in uniting together, have not forfeited their Nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the States chose to withdraw its name from the contract, it would be difficult to disprove its right of doing so,…”

Even utopian socialist Horace Greeley, no real friend of the South, said that: “The right to secede may be a revolutionary one, but it exists nonetheless;…We hope never to live in a Republic whereof one section is pinned to the residue by bayonets.” It could be that Mr. Greely didn’t really understand the motives of Abraham Lincoln, who had, himself, recognized the right of secession in early 1848–conveniently, just before the onslaught of the socialist revolts in Europe! Again, for more about that read Lincoln’s Marxists.

To be continued.

Confused History–Fascism and Secession

by Al Benson Jr.

The other night I ran across some sort of forum on the Internet, and one of the contributors to it asked the question: What if? Abraham Lincoln goes Fascist instead of socialist. At this point, I can’t recall what the entire forum was all about and I only printed off the one page that had that comment on it. The person who asked the question seemed willing to acknowledge that Mr. Lincoln could fall into the socialist camp, which is more than many are willing to do. But they also considered the possibility that he might end up in the Fascist camp. This might seem an interesting argument to some folks, and I don’t doubt the sincerity of those debating this possibility, but I do have a problem with their conclusions, in that, from my understanding of the political spectrum Fascism is not a rightist, but rather a leftist position–therefore it belongs over there on the left next to socialism and communism.

Fascism, like communism and/or socialism, is a system of collectivism and government control, thus it belongs on the left side of the political spectrum, not on the right. If you are going to view the entire political spectrum from left to right, then you need to place all political systems with total government on the left, and on the right are systems with no government–anarchy–where everyone does that which is right in his own eyes, and that, in a sense, is almost as bad as the leftist position, due to the fact that man is a sinner and, if left to his own devices, he will trample the rights of others for his own personal benefit. And so there needs to be some government, but again, because man is a sinner, the amount of government needs to be limited and defined as to exactly what government can and should do (protection of life and property) and what it is not permitted to do.

So, in a sense, wondering if Lincoln would have ended up as a socialist or a Fascist is almost like saying “Would Lincoln have ended up in socialist party A or socialist party B?” Many forget that the term Nazi stood for “National Socialist.” The main difference between fascists and socialists or communists was that the Fascists were more concerned (at least theoretically) with practicing their total control in a nationalist venue, whereas the communist/socialist had bigger plans and he wanted (and still wants) to do it all on an international scale. Had Lincoln chosen Fascism he would still have been a socialist, just a little different kind than those friends of his that Donnie Kennedy and I wrote about in our book Lincoln’s Marxists.

The same night, I also came across an informative article by Tom DiLorenzo, originally published on LewRockwell.com back in July of 2013. For those who may not know, Tom DiLorenzo is an economics professor at Loyola College in Maryland and is the author of several books, among which are The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked. In this article Professor DiLorenzo made several comments pertaining to the Declaration of Independence. He stated: “The first several generations of Americans understood that the Declaration of Independence was the ultimate states’ rights document. The citizens of the states would delegate certain powers to a central government in their Constitution and these powers (mostly for national defense and foreign policy purposes) would hopefully be exercised for the benefit of the citizens of the ‘free and independent’ states, as they are called in the Declaration…If the day ever came that the national government became the sole arbiter of the limits of its own powers, then Americans would live under a tyranny as bad or worse than the one the colonists fought a revolution against.” Folks, I hate to have to say it, but that day has arrived, if only we will take our heads out of the sand and confront the sad fact. Ahh, but it’s so much easier to just watch the Reality shows and tune all that nasty stuff out. And the Christians will agree and say “Well, we don’t need to worry about all that. The Lord will return anytime now (momentarily if not sooner) and rapture us all out of this mess so we don’t have to deal with it. We don’t have to get involved. After all, politics is a dirty business anyway.” The fact that it might be a little less dirty if Christians had stayed involved instead of tucking tail and running, is a concept that totally eludes them. But I’m getting carried away here with one of my main concerns–Christian couch potatoes.

Professor DiLorenzo continued: “This was the fundamental understanding of the Declaration of Independence–that it was a Declaration of Secession from the British Empire-…” We seem to have lost that concept today. People don’t even want to think about it. I’ve been taken to task for even saying it in some quarters.

Interestingly enough, Professor DiLorenzo quotes the Kenosha, Wisconsin Democrat
for January 11, 1861, where it said: “The founders of our government were constant secessionists. They not only claimed the right for themselves, but conceded it to others. They were not only secessionists in theory, but in practice.” Such an editorial would never make it into a newspaper today–it would be considered “politically incorrect” and the vast majority of newspapers in our day strictly adhere to political correctness (Cultural Marxism).

Also quoted by Professor DiLorenzo was an editorial from the Washington, D.C. States and Union
newspaper for March 21, 1861, which said: “The people are the ruling judges, the States independent sovereigns. Where the people chose to change their political condition, as our own Declaration of Independence first promulgated, they have a right to do so. If the doctrine was good then, it is good now. Call that by whatever name you please, secession or revolution, it makes no sort of difference.”

And then DiLorenzo carefully noted: “This last sentence was in response to the Republican Party propaganda machine of the day that invented the theory that the Declaration allows for a ‘right of revoluton’ but not a right of ‘secession.’ The States and Union recognized immediately that this non-distinction was nothing more than a rhetorical flimflam designed to deceive the public about the meaning of their own Declaration of Independence. It is a piece of lying propaganda that is repeated to this day by apologists for the American welfare/warfare’police state, especially the Lincoln-worshipping neocons at National Revue, the Claremont Institute, and other appendages of the Republican Party.”

That’s a pretty telling analysis of something that has been used since the days of “Father Abraham” right up to and including our day, when we are informed that we have a “right to revolution” but no right to secession. I’m sorry, but I have to consider that rationale to be a pile of high-grade cow chips.

“Father Abraham” Thought Secession Was Great For the Forty-Eighters

by Al Benson Jr.

In 1860, according to Abraham Lincoln, the Southern states did not possess the right to secede from the Union. Lincoln’s view of the Union was that it had actually predated the Constitution, and that, once in the Union, a state basically had no right not granted to it by Big Brother in Washington. Although he would not have couched it in exactly those terms, that was where he was really coming from. Donnie Kennedy and I have dealt with this in our book Lincoln’s Marxists.

However, in light of his own remarks, Mr. Lincoln’s anti-secession sentiments were very selectively applied, just like the edicts of the present Regime are today. Lincoln was opposed to Southern states seceding from the Union to preserve their Christian heritage and the rights of the individual states according to the Constitution and he was also opposed to their secession because they paid the major portion of the country’s tariffs and to have them gone would cost the Northern states big tariff bucks that the South had heretofore paid. In Lincoln’s mind, these were not good enough reasons for secession, but he did view secession as a viable option if the reasons for it were chaos and revolution.

On January 12, 1848, Lincoln, while in Congress, made a speech in which he stated the following: Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right–a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit. Supposedly, Lincoln was applying this to Texas in 1848, after their late unpleasantness with Mexico. Even were such the case, Lincoln should have been honor-bound to recognize, for other states, what he seems to have recognized for Texas.

However, with my suspicious mind, my personal contention is that, while Lincoln may have referred these remarks to Texas in a secondary way, his prime target for these sentiments was the socialist revolutionary movement that was soon to erupt in several countries in Europe in early 1848. That was the year the socialist and communist revolutionaries plunged Europe into chaos with bloody revolts in several countries. This activity began shortly after Lincoln gave his secession speech in Congress.

The carefully crafted persona of “Honest Abe the railsplitter,” the hayseed from the Illinois prairies, is one that has been carefully nurtured by our politically correct, Cultural Marxist, historic spin doctors. They definitely can’t afford to let us know what “Father Abraham” really was, a sharp, politically astute lawyer and lobbyist for the big railroads, as well as a thoroughly pragmatic politician with his own leftward-leaning agenda.

Lincoln was hardly the country bumpkin that biographers and “historians” have made him out to be. He was conscious of world events and had his own ideas and opinions regarding them. He was acquainted with what went on in Europe. By the same token, many in Europe kept tabs on what was happening over here. Lincoln’s 1848 speech in favor of secession (although the historians won’t admit that’s what it was) was well-timed to give European socialists the kind of American support for their endeavors that many of them could only have dreamed about. It let them know that there were American politicians that supported their socialist agenda.

In his book Lincoln And The Emperors A. R. Tyrner-Trynauer stated on page 32: The sympathy of the United States in general and Lincoln’s Republicans in particular for the revolutionaries of Europe was a long-established fact. That was written in 1962. More recently, in 1991, historian James McPherson, revealing a bit more about Lincoln, told us that: Lincoln championed the leaders of the European revolutiion of 1848; in turn, a man who knew something about those revolutions–Karl Marx–praised Lincoln in 1865 as ‘a single-minded son of the working class’ who had led his ‘country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world’. Look at and analyze what McPherson is telling you there. The “reconstruction of a social world” is supposed to be the death knell for the old Christian South, for private property, and of real Christian culture. That’s what it was really all about. Why else do you suppose that, when the Northern radicals (socialists) in Congress sought to destroy the culture of the South they called that program “Reconstruction?” That was Marx’s terminology.

Worth noting again, as Donnie Kennedy and I stress in our book, is the fact that socialist revolutionaries from the 1848 European debacle flocked to join the Union armies as the War of Northern Aggression got under way. Lincoln had the verbal support of Marx and Engels, as well as that of the Russian revolutionary Bakunin. Socialist and communist personalities ended up with high-ranking positions in Lincoln’s armies and also ended up in positions of influence in journalism, education, politics, and the list goes on. The fact that European socialists so lopsidedly supported the Union cause should give people pause to consider the true nature of the Union cause. Was Karl Marx really concerned about Lincoln freeing an “enchained race” of blacks? Hardly! Marx’s own personal comments show that he was prejudiced against blacks, and so was Lincoln for that matter. If you don’t think so, scrounge through the Lincoln Douglas Debates and see what you find. For both Marx and Lincoln the blacks were nothing more than cannon fodder for the socialist world revolution–and nothing has changed since then.

In the final analysis you have to ask, were Lincoln and Marx really that far apart? Such a question today will, no doubt, shock some tender souls who have been taught that Lincoln was, in effect, a secular messiah–the apotheosis of a mere man into a “god.” But, then, today, some feel that way about Obama. A noted television journalist, awhile back, said of her and her colleagues regarding Obama, “We thought he was the messiah.” I can only assume, at this point, that she has had her rude awakening. That same rude awakening needs to take place in regard to “Father Abraham” and his socialist and communist friends in the early Republican Party (and in the same party today along with the Democrats).

Secession the “History” Books Neglect to Mention

by Al Benson Jr.

After posting my last article on secession a reader informed me that I had left out the most important part–the fact that secession in this country went all the way back to 1776. It was never my intention to neglect that, but he felt that I did. I have to agree with him–it did go back that far, though most historians today never bother to label what the 13 colonies did in regard to England as secession. By the same token, we are never informed by the “historians” that the New England states threatened secession in the early 1800s no less than three times, one of those times being over the War of 1812, which interrupted the Northeast’s commerce with England. The fact that British troops were torching Washington was of little consequence to the New Englanders if it caused commerce to be stalled.

However, one writer, James McClellan, in a book called Liberty, Order and Justice published by the Center for Judicial Studies in Washington in 1989. McClellan wrote, on page 65, that: “In any event, 1763 marks an important turning point in Anglo-American relations, for this is the year when the mother country embarked upon a bold new course of action to increase revenue, tighten restrictions on colonial commerce, and require the Americans to assume a greater share of the imperial tax burden. In response to Parliament’s abrupt change of colonial policy, the Americans began to question the constitutional basis of parliamentary statues designed to impose a new economic relationship between the colonies and England. Reaffirming and at the same time reinterpreting their ancient rights and privileges, they turned in the final stages of resistance to thoughts about the nature of free government. In the end, they came reluctantly to the conclusion that secession was their only recourse.” And they had tried a lot of other options first. Secession had not been their first choice, as today it should not be the first choice, but should rather be the one measure to protect the liberties of the people when all other legitimate choices have been tried and failed. When you are in the position of trying to deal honorably with a rogue government and nothing else will work, what other choice to you have except bondage?

And so the Declaration of Independence was written and it listed all the problems the colonists had with England as the reasons for their secession from England. I had not always realized that the Declaration was a secession document. One day, several years ago now, I was rereading it and looking at all the reason the colonists gave for their action and the thought just struck me “The Declaration of Independence is really a secession document.” That was a new thought to me and I wondered if I had, as the English say, gone “a little bit around the bend.” But in subsequent reading in the months after that I found that several other writers had come up with the same conclusion, and so I felt I was not all that far out of line.

Back in June of 1992, Lew Rockwell Jr. wrote an article for “Free Market” in which he said: “In the U.S., meanwhile, the central government gets more tyrannical and expensive by the day. Is it time to think about bidding it adieu? Certainly, secession from Britain made a lot of sense.” And Rockwell quoted Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration where he said: whenever “any Form of Government becomes destructive, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it and to instutute a new Government.” When a “long train of abuses and usurpations” shows “a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.” And to really do that, you need to secede.

Back in 1994, Columnist Sam Francis did a column noting that Professor Walter Williams had argued in favor of secession, and Francis agreed with him. And then Francis went on to mention a couple little tidbits that, for some reason, hardly seem to make it into most “history” textbooks in our day. He said: “The Confederates of yore were hardly the first to uphold the right of states to secede. In 1815 the Hartford Convention seriously discussed the secession of New England. Later, some abolitionists proposed secession because they just couldn’t stand being part of the same country with slaveholders, a sentiment the slaveholders reciprocated. Confederate General George Pickett, who opposed secession on grounds of ‘expediency’ never doubted the right to secede and noted that the textbook on constitutional law he used as a cadet at West Point acknowledged secession’s legality.” I believe that book was written by William Rawle, LL.D and entitled A View of the Constitution Secession is dealt with in Rawle’s book on pages 238-239. So the concept of secession was taught in a book used at West Point, and some future Confederate leaders got their view of secession from a book used at the United States Military Academy. That being the case, you have to wonder at what point secession became treasonous. Today’s “historians” will never tell!

Other sources have cited secession sentiment in even the Middle Atlantic states–New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. Author William C. Wright has written that: “The secession movement was prominent in the five Middle Atlantic states.”

So secession was not just a “Southern Thang.” The spirit of secession manifested itself in New England and the Middle Atlantic states and it was evident, to those who are willing to look, even in the Declaration of Independence. So those that scream that secession is treason either are totally ignorant of U.S. history or they fervently hope their audience is.

Secession Wasn’t Treason. It Still Isn’t

by Al Benson Jr.

Secession and the knee-jerk reactions to it have been of interest to me ever since I started doing historical research. Yankee/Marxist politicians, in 1861, sought to portray secession by the Southern states as the most monstrous of crimes ever perpetrated on the human race. The fact that some Northern states had threatened secession and actually sent delegates to Hartford, Connecticut in 1814 to consider the issue was a historical fact that was lost on them, and they hoped on everyone else too. Somehow, when the Northern states considered it, it was not treason. That was only the case when Southern states did it.

Between 1814 and 1860, secession went from being a favored possibility to a horrendous crime, most notably if the South did it. Even, and especially, in our day, many of our crop of “historians” absolutely howl about how secession was treason and how the Confederate States were seeking to overthrow the United States government–all of which is complete bovine fertilizer–and don’t think they don’t know it. All the Southern states wanted were to be able to go in peace. They had no interest whatever in overthrowing the federal government in Washington; they just wanted to depart and set up their own government. However, Mr. Lincoln and his erstwhile collectivist friends couldn’t allow that, as the Southern states paid the lion’s share of the tariff for the whole country and if they were allowed to depart, why the Northern states might have to start ponying up their share of the tariff because the South would no longer be there to pay over 80% of it.

When the shooting part of the War of Northern Aggression was over and the Confederate States, which never officially surrendered, by the way, were in ruins, the benevolent Yankee/Marxist government took Jeff Davis, who, with his cabinet, had fled rather than surrender, and they tossed him into prison at Fortress Monroe in Virginia for two years, planning at the outset to bring him to trial for treason and secession, which they claimed were one in the same. After two years of prisoner abuse and political horseplay, the Union government finally decided, rather reluctantly, that it could not afford to bring Davis to trial because, should that event transpire, it might well be proven in court that Davis and the South had been right–secession was not at all illegal, nor was it unconstitutional. After all, what did they think the Declaration of Independence was other than a secession document?

Several years back now, 1995 I think it was, I wrote a short 26 page booklet on secession. It has since become one of the booklets I offer in my home school mini-history course. In that booklet I quoted an author, James Street, who had written a book entitled simply “The Civil War.” Mr. Street had a few comments about what happened to Jeff Davis at the end of the War. He said: “The North didn’t dare give him a trial, knowing that a trial would establish that secession was not unconstitutional, that there had been no ‘rebellion’ and that the South had got a raw deal.” You can’t say it much plainer than that.

Later, I picked up another book, written by Burke Davis (no relative to Jeff that I know of), entitled “The Long Surrender.” It dealt with much of what happened with the people involved during the final days of the Confederacy, when Richmond fell, and Jeff Davis and the Confederate government fled the city and tried to set up somewhere else in order that they might carry on the struggle.

After Jeff Davis was captured, the vindictive and radical Yankee/Marxist Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, (who many feel may have known more about the Lincoln assassination than is admitted) wanted to implicate Davis both as a co-conspirator in Lincoln’s assassination and as a traitor for being the head of the secessionist government in Richmond, even though secession had not been original with Davis. Try as they might, the radical leftist Republicans in Washington couldn’t quite bring it off. Burke Davis noted, on page 204 of his book, a quote by Chief Justice Salmon P Chase, telling Stanton “If you bring these leaders to trial, it will condemn the North, for by the Constitution, secession is not rebellion…His (Jeff Davis’) capture was a mistake. His trial will be a greater one. We cannot convict him of treason. Secession is settled. Let it stay settled.” Only it wasn’t–and isn’t. Burke Davis continued on page 214 of his book, noting that a congressional committee proposed a special court for Davis’ trial, headed by Franz Lieber. Again, Davis noted: “After studying more than 270,000 Confederate documents seeking evidence against Davis, this court discouraged the War Department: ‘Davis will be found not guilty,’ Lieber reported, ‘and we shall stand there completely beaten’.”

What the radical, Yankee/Marxist politicians were admitting among themselves (they’d never say it anywhere else) was that they had just fought a “civil war” that had taken or maimed the lives of over 600,000 Americans, both North and South, and that they had no constitutional justification whatever for having done so, nor had they any constitutional right to have impeded the Southern states when they chose to withdraw from the constitutional compact. They had fought solely for the right to keep an empire together. Call is “Manifest Destiny” or whatever noble-sounding euphemism you want to tack onto it, either way, they had been wrong. Now they could ill afford to let Jeff Davis go to trial, else their grievous crime would become public knowledge and beget them even more problems in the future, and that would have given them problems as they sought to redistribute among their friends whatever wealth remained in the South.

Needless to say, you probably have not read about any of this in what passes for “history” books in the last 150 years. As the narrator at the beginning of the movie “Braveheart” so correctly stated: “History is written by those who’ve hanged heroes.”

Real human rights in both North and South had been trampled on, and have continued to be up until and including today. What the Lincoln administration and early Marxist Republicans started and kept up during “reconstruction” has finally come to full fruition in our day, with such legislation as the “Patriot Act” and Obamacare, which effectively cancel out much of the Bill of Rights–as was intended and still is.

The War of Northern Aggression started the trend in this country in which leftist politicians have ever sought to usurp the rights of individual Americans, and to rule over us rather than to represent us as they were originally delegated to do. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. And now, with secessionist sentiment running rampant all over the world, the politicians are getting a bit nervous.

If you want some of the real history of that period in this country I would recommend James and Walter Kennedy’s book “The South Was Right,” Frank Conner’s book “The South Under Siege–1830-2000,” and Walter Kennedy’s and my book “Lincoln’s Marxists.”