Letter: On schooling others

I noticed a recent article in the Chronicle headlined “Black leaders offer to school Kelly on history.”

 

Their criticism was of Gen. John Kelly’s comments that the Civil War was the result of a failure to compromise on the issue of slavery and that some Confederates were persons of good faith.

There is no question slavery was the principal cause of the War Between the States. But to condemn an entire population as persons of bad faith is a sweeping generalization of questionable historical value. They may want to look up Andrew Johnson and investigate the people of east Tennessee and the then-citizens of West Virginia on this issue.

They also choose to ignore the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850 as actions other than accommodations of the United States acting through its duly elected representatives to continue the Union and accept slavery. They are obviously unaware, unlike Gen. Kelly, of the frenzied efforts by politicians of the North and South to avoid civil war through compromise after Lincoln’s election.

Congress actually passed a constitutional amendment in 1861, immediately prior to Lincoln’s inauguration, that continued slavery in the states where it already existed. This concept was approved by Lincoln in the beginning sentences of his first inaugural address. But it was too late; Fort Sumter was fired upon.

I agree with Sen. Scott that it is time to stop relitigating the War Between the States. But, if the Left continues to do so in their relentless efforts to revise history, they should read a little history before they offer to “school” anyone.

J. Larry Broyles

Augusta

 

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