Even the Founders of the Confederate States Knew the Founding Fathers Thought Slavery was Wrong

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Even the Founders of the Confederate States Knew the Founding Fathers Thought Slavery was Wrong

Usu­ally every year I put the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence up on the 4th but today I want to put up a piece of a dif­fer­ent speech that iron­i­cally was argu­ing for the dis­so­lu­sion of Ameirca.

Alexan­der Stephens was a mem­ber of the Geor­gia House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Sen­ate. He was elected to Con­gress in 1843 and served till 1859. When Geor­gia was con­tem­plat­ing ses­sion he was voted to the pro­vi­sional con­gress of the Con­fed­er­acy and was elected Vice Pres­i­dent of the Con­fed­er­ate states. After the Civil War he was re-​elected to con­gress in 1873 leav­ing con­gress after being elected gov­er­nor of Geor­gia serv­ing until his death in 1883.

He was one of the more ardent sup­port­ers of ses­sion and after ses­sion but before the shoot­ing began (March 21st 1861) he gave a speech tout­ing the improve­ments in the new Con­sti­tu­tion of the con­fed­er­acy, from the sin­gle pres­i­den­tial terms, the lack of a national tar­iff, cab­net mem­bers hav­ing seats in con­gress and a pro­hi­bi­tion of the national gov­ern­ment to make inter­nal improve­ments in indi­vid­ual states.

He closed his list of improve­ment with a defense of Slav­ery not only argu­ing that it was the cor­ner­stone of the confederacy

Our new gov­ern­ment is founded upon exactly the oppo­site idea; its foun­da­tions are laid, its cor­ner– stone 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 nor­mal con­di­tion. This, our new gov­ern­ment, is the first, in the his­tory of the world, based upon this great phys­i­cal, philo­soph­i­cal, and moral truth

Thus unknow­ingly dis­pelling the revi­sion­ist his­tory that some push today argu­ing that Slav­ery was not the pri­mary cause of the war. But more inter­est­ing to us is what imme­di­ately pre­cedes this para­graph, namely an attack on the found­ing fathers of the Repub­lic from which he has departed.

The new con­sti­tu­tion has put at rest, for­ever, all the agi­tat­ing ques­tions relat­ing to our pecu­liar insti­tu­tion African slav­ery as it exists amongst 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 in his fore­cast, had antic­i­pated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was con­jec­ture with him, is now a 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. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the gen­eral opin­ion of the men of that day was that, some­how or other in the order of Prov­i­dence, the insti­tu­tion would be evanes­cent and pass away. This idea, though not incor­po­rated in the con­sti­tu­tion, was the pre­vail­ing idea at that time. The con­sti­tu­tion, it is true, secured every essen­tial guar­an­tee to the insti­tu­tion while it should last, and hence no argu­ment can be justly urged against the con­sti­tu­tional guar­an­tees thus secured, because of the com­mon sen­ti­ment of the day. Those ideas, how­ever, were fun­da­men­tally wrong. They rested upon the assump­tion of the equal­ity of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foun­da­tion, and the gov­ern­ment built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

All empha­sis mine

Take a note of what he says here. He not only states that Jef­fer­son and most of the lead­ing states­men were opposed to slav­ery and con­sid­ered wrong on every count and that said idea was the pre­vail­ing idea of the time, but that those found­ing fathers held that idea based on an assump­tion of the equal­ity of the races.

It’s impor­tant to note here that his was not mere rhetoric. Stephens despite poor begin­nings was not only well read in an age were illit­er­acy was com­mon, but well edu­cated (Top of his col­lege class) a suc­cess­ful lawyer, mar­ried to the daugh­ter of a Rev­o­lu­tion­ary war colonel but at the time of this speech had been an elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the state of Geor­gia and con­gress for over a quar­ter of a cen­tury. Few men in the entire nation were in a bet­ter posi­tion to know the his­tory and the sen­ti­ment of the Founders than he.

The irony of Alexan­der Stephens expos­ing the woke fools of today for the virtue sig­nal­ing fools that they are is that Stephens con­sid­ered the founders oppo­si­tion to slav­ery and assump­tion of racial equal­ity a fault.

So the next time the Kaeper­nicks of the world try to tell you how back­ward the found­ing fathers were on race and demand they be removed, remind them of this speech and the con­tempt that the speaker had for their opin­ions on race and equality.

Usually every year I put the Declaration of Independence up on the 4th but today I want to put up a piece of a different speech that ironically was arguing for the dissolusion of Ameirca.

Alexander Stephens was a member of the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate. He was elected to Congress in 1843 and served till 1859. When Georgia was contemplating session he was voted to the provisional congress of the Confederacy and was elected Vice President of the Confederate states. After the Civil War he was re-elected to congress in 1873 leaving congress after being elected governor of Georgia serving until his death in 1883.

He was one of the more ardent supporters of session and after session but before the shooting began (March 21st 1861) he gave a speech touting the improvements in the new Constitution of the confederacy, from the single presidential terms, the lack of a national tariff, cabnet members having seats in congress and a prohibition of the national government to make internal improvements in individual states.

He closed his list of improvement with a defense of Slavery not only arguing that it was the cornerstone of the confederacy

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone 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 normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth

Thus unknowingly dispelling the revisionist history that some push today arguing that Slavery was not the primary cause of the war. But more interesting to us is what immediately precedes this paragraph, namely an attack on the founding fathers of the Republic from which he has departed.


The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst 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 in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a 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. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

All emphasis mine

Take a note of what he says here. He not only states that Jefferson and most of the leading statesmen were opposed to slavery and considered wrong on every count and that said idea was the prevailing idea of the time, but that those founding fathers held that idea based on an assumption of the equality of the races.

It’s important to note here that his was not mere rhetoric. Stephens despite poor beginnings was not only well read in an age were illiteracy was common, but well educated (Top of his college class) a successful lawyer, married to the daughter of a Revolutionary war colonel but at the time of this speech had been an elected representative in the state of Georgia and congress for over a quarter of a century. Few men in the entire nation were in a better position to know the history and the sentiment of the Founders than he.

The irony of Alexander Stephens exposing the woke fools of today for the virtue signaling fools that they are is that Stephens considered the founders opposition to slavery and assumption of racial equality a fault.

So the next time the Kaepernicks of the world try to tell you how backward the founding fathers were on race and demand they be removed, remind them of this speech and the contempt that the speaker had for their opinions on race and equality.