Rhett: A Fire Eater Remembers

Rhett's Memoirs: "A Fire Eater Remembers."

South Carolina

Robert Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina is always a pleasure to read. His thoughts are like a ray of sunshine among the dark clouds of American history.

We have already seen how Rhett survived the War Between the States, how he continued to oppose the “negroites” who were destroying the South, and how he looked forward to the distant day when there would be another secession and “the Union of the White Race of the South” would be realized.

Here are some excerpts from Rhett’s Confederate memoir: “A Fire Eater Remembers”

“Resistance, was true conservatism. The most irrevocable and desperate of all revolutions, it that which takes place under a passive, resistless succumbency.”

Very true.

Is Rhett talking about his timid Southern contemporaries in the 1840s and 1850s who dithered over secession until it was too late? He could just as easily be talking about the cultural revolution that has taken place under the “passive, resistless succumbency” of the last fifty years in the South.

“The last act, in the great drama of consolidation, seems now about to take place in the next Presidential election. Sectional candidates, nominated by a sectional convention, upon sectional principles, are brought forward by the North, to rule the South. Hostility to Southern slavery, is the grand principle of their organization. The fact shows, that the Constitution no longer exists. A renegade Southerner, a man with negro blood in his veins (as the papers state), are the candidates for President and Vice President of the United States.

To reward a traitor to the South, and to insult the South, by placing over the Southern States, in the Senate, a man of negro origin, is the policy of this sectional party. Hatred and malignity, as well as sectional ambition, has dictated the choice of their candidates. If they succeed in the election, and the South submits, she will be in a condition of colonial subjection.”

I’m sure that if Rhett could join us today he would be thrilled with the idea “Black Confederates” (the premise of which he denounced at the time), “Heritage Not Hate,” the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, etc.

Rhett would sure get a kick out of Rep. Tim Scott of Charleston … no doubt, he would be all for a literal “Black Republican” congressman representing his own district, and he would be the first to condemn “racism” and “white supremacy.”

“The soldiers of South Carolina will not fight beside a nigger to talk of emancipation is to disband our army. We are free men, and we chose to fight for ourselves—we want no slaves to fight for us…. Hack at the root of the Confederacy—our institutions—our civilization—and you kill the cause as dead as a boiled crab.”Charleston Mercury, January 13, 1865.

The Southern cause is now as dead as a boiled crab – I wonder why.

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