The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The ''Great Truth'' about the ''Lost Cause''

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Most Americans hold basic misconceptions about the Confederacy, the Civil War, and the actions of subsequent neo-Confederates. For example, two thirds of Americans—including most history teachers—think the Confederate States seceded for "states' rights." This error persists because most have never read the key documents about the Confederacy.

These documents have always been there. When South Carolina seceded, it published "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union." The document actually opposes states' rights. Its authors argue that Northern states were ignoring the rights of slave owners as identified by Congress and in the Constitution. Similarly, Mississippi's "Declaration of the Immediate Causes …" says, "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world."

Later documents in this collection show how neo-Confederates obfuscated this truth, starting around 1890. The evidence also points to the centrality of race in neo-Confederate thought even today and to the continuing importance of neo-Confederate ideas in American political life. The 150th anniversary of secession and civil war provides a moment for all Americans to read these documents, properly set in context by award-winning sociologist and historian James W. Loewen and co-editor, Edward H. Sebesta, to put in perspective the mythology of the Old South.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604732184
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 6/22/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sociologist James W. Loewen, Washington, D.C., is the best-selling author of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong and Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong. He is also the author of Teaching What Really Happened: How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks; Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism; Social Science in the Classroom; and Mississippi: Conflict and Change. He is professor emeritus at the University of Vermont.

Edward H. Sebesta, Dallas, Texas, is a co-editor of Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction. His articles have appeared in numerous journals.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments and Photo Credits

Introduction Unknown Well-Known Documents 3

Chapter 1

The Gathering Storm (1787-1860) 22

Debate over Slavery at the Constitutional Convention, August 21-22, 1787 25

"On Abolition Petitions," U.S. Senate, February 6, 1837 John C. Calhoun Calhoun, John C. 30

Alabama Platform, February 14-15, 1848 36

"Address to the Southern People," U.S. Senate, January 22, 1849 John C. Calhoun Calhoun, John C. 40

The Rights and the Duties of the Masters, May 26, 1850 James H. Thornwell Thornwell, James H. 50

Resolves of the Southern Convention at Nashville, June 10-11, 1850 55

Journal, Resolution, and Ordinance, State Convention of South Carolina, April 26-30, 1852 60

Two Images of Slavery: Confederate $100 Bill (1862) and Obelisk, Fort Mill, South Carolina (1895) 62

"Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race," 1851 Samuel A. Cartwright Cartwright, Samuel A. 64

Slave Jail, Alexandria, c.1859 71

"Negroes and Negro 'Slavery,' The First an Inferior Race---The Latter, Its Normal Condition," 1853 J. H. Van Evrie Van Evrie, J. H. 73

Cannibals All! Or Slaves Without Masters, 1857 George Fitzhugh Fitzhugh, George 80

"Speech on the Bill to Admit Kansas as a State under the Topeka Constitution," House of Representatives, June 28, 1856 Alexander H. Stephens Stephens, Alexander H. 82

Speech at State Fair, Augusta, Maine, September 29, 1858 Jefferson Davis Davis, Jefferson 87

"An Address Delivered Before the Thalian & Phi Delta Societies of Oglethorpe Unversity," June 18, 1860 John B. Gordon Gordon, John B. 89

Chapter 2

Secession (1859-1861) 92

"Resolutions for a Southern Convention," December 22, 1859 South Carolina General Assembly 94

Congressional Resolutions on "Relations of States," U.S. Senate, March 1, 1860 Jefferson Davis Davis, Jefferson 96

Official Proceedings of the Democratic Convention, April 28-May 1, 1860 98

"Thanksgiving Sermon," November 29, 1860 Benjamin Palmer Palmer, Benjamin 104

Christiana Banner, 1994 (1911, 1851) 109

"Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union," December 24, 1860 South Carolina Secession Convention 111

"The Address of the People of South Carolina, Assembled in Convention, to the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States 1816, " December 24, 1860 South Carolina Secession Convention 118

"A Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union," January 26, 1861 Mississippi Secession Convention 127

"Cause for Secession," January 7, 1861 Florida Secession Convention 130

"Resolution of Resistance," January 7, 1861, and "Ordinance of Secession," January 11, 1861 Alabama Secession Convention 131

"Report on Causes for Secession," January 29, 1861 Georgia Committee of Seventeen 133

"A Declaration of the Causes Which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union," February 2, 1861 Texas Secession Convention 140

Louisiana Secession Commissioner, "Letter to President and Gentlemen of the Convention of the People of Texas," February 11, 1861 George Williamson Williamson, George 145

"Address Delivered Before the Virginia State Convention," February 18, 1861 Henry L. Benning Benning, Henry L. 149

"Resolutions," March 28-April 5, 1861 Virginia Secession Convention 153

"Resolutions," March 11, 1861 Arkansas Secession Convention 156

Governor of Tennessee, "Message to the Legislature," January 7, 1861 Isham Harris Harris, Isham 160

Governor of North Carolina, "Proclamation," April 17, 1861 John W. Ellis Ellis, John W. 166

Chapter 3

Civil War (1861-1865) 167

"Farewell to the U.S. Senate," January 21, 1861 Jefferson Davis Davis, Jefferson 170

"Message to the Confederate Congress about Ratification of the Constitution," April 29, 1861 Jefferson Davis Davis, Jefferson 175

The Constitution of the Confederate States of America, March 11, 1861 182

"African Slavery: The Corner-Stone of the Southern Confederacy," March 22, 1861 Alexander H. Stephens Stephens, Alexander H. 187

Letter to Colonel Sam Leslie, November 28, 1861 Governor H. M. Rector Rector, Governor H. M. 191

Three National Flags of the Confederacy, 1861, 1863, 1865 193

"Proposed Designs for the 2nd National Confederate Flag," April-May 1863 William T. Thompson Thompson, William T. 194

"Message to the Confederate Congress," January 12, 1863 Jefferson Davis Davis, Jefferson 198

Confederate Congress, "Response of the Confederate Congress to Message from Jefferson Davis on the Emancipation Proclamation," May 1, 1863 201

"Treatment of African American Prisoners of War," June 8, 13, 16, 1863 Edmund Kirby Smith Smith, Edmund Kirby 203

Fort Pillow Massacre, April 12, 1864 206

"The Slave Soldiers," June 8, 1864 John R. Eakin Eakin, John R. 209

"The Negro's Place in Nature," December 10, 1863 Henry Hotze Hotze, Henry 213

Letter to Hon. Andrew Hunter, January 11, 1865 Robert E. Lee Lee, Robert E. 216

Macon Telegraph, Editorial Opposing Enlistment of African Americans, January 6, 1865 219

Letter to James A. Seddon, Secretary of War, January 8, 1865 Howell Cobb Cobb, Howell 221

Letter to President Jefferson Davis, February 8, 1865 J. H. Stringfellow Stringfellow, J. H. 223

General Orders, No. 14, An Act to Increase the Military Force of the Confederate States, approved March 13, 1865 228

Chapter 4

Reconstruction and Fusion (1866-1890) 230

"Letter to Armistead Burt," October 14, 1865 Edmund Rhett Jr Rhett, Edmund, Jr 234

Mississippi's Black Code, November 24-29, 1865 237

Testimony before the Congressional Joint Committee on Reconstruction, February 17, 1866 Robert E. Lee Lee, Robert E. 240

"A Youth's History of the Great Civil War in the United States from 1861 to 1865," 1867 Rushmore G. Horton Horton, Rushmore G. 242

Statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, 1998 Jack Kershaw Kershaw, Jack 247

"The Lost Cause Regained," 1868 Edward A. Pollard Pollard, Edward A. 249

"Conclusion," A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States, 1868 Alexander H. Stephens Stephens, Alexander H. 251

"The White Sulphur Manifesto," August 26, 1868 Robert E. Lee Lee, Robert E. 254

"To the Colored People," address in Charleston, South Carolina, September 11, 1868 John B. Gordon Gordon, John B. 257

Ku Klux Klan Postcard, c. 1937 259

"Women's Rights Women," 1871 R. L. Dabney Dabney, R. L. 260

"Speech to the Southern Historical Society," August 14, 1873 Jubal A. Early Early, Jubal A. 267

"Slavery Not the Cause, but an Incident," 1881 Jefferson Davis Davis, Jefferson 271

Chapter 5

The Nadir of Race Relations, 1890-1940 277

The Southern States of the American Union, 1895 J. L. M. Curry Curry, J. L. M. 283

"The Negro Problem," 1899 Stephen D. Lee Lee, Stephen D. 286

White Mob Burns Black Businesses in Wilmington, North Carolina, November 10, 1898 294

"M'Kinley, Roosevelt, and the Negro," January 1903 S. A. Cunningham Cunningham, S. A. 296

"Problem of the Negroes," January 1907 S. A. Cunningham Cunningham, S. A. 299

"Issues of the War Discussed," November 1904 John Sharp Williams Williams, John Sharp 301

Letter to Sam Chapman, July 4, 1907 John Singleton Mosby Mosby, John Singleton 304

"The Negro and the South: Review of Race Relationships and Conditions," August 1907 E. H. Hinton Hinton, E. H. 306

South Carolina Confederate Women's Monument, 1912 312

"Reconstruction Days in South Carolina," July 1921 C. E. Workman Workman, C. E. 314

"The War was Not a Civil War," January 1923 Mildred Rutherford Rutherford, Mildred 320

"The First Convention," 1924 Susan Lawrence Davis Davis, Susan Lawrence 322

"Forrest at Brice's Cross Roads," August 1925 John E. Rankin Rankin, John E. 324

Chapter 6

The Civil Rights Era, 1940 330

Selections from the Southern Tradition at Bay, 1943 Richard Weaver Weaver, Richard 334

"The Southern Confederacy---Dead or Alive?" December 1947 M. Clifford Harrison Harrison, M. Clifford 336

Dixiecrat Convention, Birmingham, Alabama, July 1848 338

Birmingham Post Staff Writers, Untitled Sidebars about the Dixiecrat Convention, July 17, 1948 339

"Address to the State Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy at Winthrop College, South Carolina," October 17, 1957 Strom Thurmond Thurmond, Strom 341

"The Federal Government and Our Constitutional Rights," Address to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, October 15, 1958 Sumter L. Lowry Lowry, Sumter L. 348

The Citizens' Council Logo, March 1957 354

"His Example Inspires Our Efforts of Today," The Citizens' Council, June 1956 355

"The Warning of Robert E. Lee," The Citizens' Council, February 1957 W. E. Rose Rose, W. E. 357

The Citizens' Councils, "Old Censored Joe," November 1957 359

The Citizens' Councils, "Mau Mau Party," December 1958 360

The Citizens' Council, "Conditions in U.S. Today Offer Alarming Parallel to First Reconstruction Era of a Century Ago," August 1960 361

"Martin Luther King Day," Fall 1983 Richard Quinn Quinn, Richard 366

"Equality of Opportunity," 1994 Walter Donald Kennedy Kennedy, Walter Donald 368

"Sic Semper Tyrannis" T-shirt, 1999 370

"Address at Arlington National Cemetery," June 6, 1999 Alister C. Anderson Anderson, Alister C. 371

Arlington Cemetery Confederate Monument, detail, June 4, 1914 Moses Ezekiel Ezekiel, Moses 373

Sons of Confederate Veterans, "Postcard Objecting to Mention of Slavery at Civil War Sites," 2000 375

"Introduction" to The War Between the States: America's Uncivil War, 2005 John J. Dwyer Dwyer, John J. 376

"Lincoln's Worst Nightmare," 1996-99 379

States Voting for Lincoln (Republican, 1860) and Kerry (Democrat, 2004) 380

"Confederate History Month Proclamation," March 5, 2008 Sonny Perdue Perdue, Sonny 382

"Where We Stand Now: And How We Got Here," September 2003 Frank Conner Conner, Frank 384

Concluding Words 392

Notes 394

Index 417

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    This self loathing white Author is from Illinois, the Land of Li

    This self loathing white Author is from Illinois, the Land of Lincoln,
    and He teaches about racism at a black college there. I noticed his
    other books with "Lie" in the title had received a lot of low
    ratings for false advertisement. The cover of the books are Patriotic in
    nature and apparently Abraham Lincoln represents the only white American
    that wasn't racist or slaughtered Indians. Reading the free sample of
    this book and the first couple of paragraphs has him explaining why he
    left out papers that would shine a positive light on Robert E Lee.
    Apparently Robert E Lee can only be considered a "Confederate"
    between 1861 and 1865.The Author appears to be a fraud between the time
    he wakes up and when goes to sleep.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    Excellente read

    The authors compiled historical records letting the confederates speak for themselves

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    This book leaves out more than it brings to light and the author

    This book leaves out more than it brings to light and the author obviously has a skewed view of history.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Biased and largely undocumented account of the Confederacy. Trie

    Biased and largely undocumented account of the Confederacy. Tries to build an anti Confederate history, but is unconvincing.  Overall poorly done, a book to avoid.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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