Confederate History Month 2012: The Alternative, A Separate Nationality, or the Africanization of the South (1861)


This is an excerpt from WM H. Holcombe’s  “The Alternative, A Separate Nationality, or the Africanization of the South” that appeared in the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond in February 1861:

“In opposition to the prevailing sentiment of the North, we believe that men are created neither free or equal. They are born unequal in physical and mental endowments, and no possible circumstances or culture could ever raise the negro to any genuine equality with the white. Man is born dependent, and the very first step in civilization was for one man to enslave another. A state of slavery has been a disciplinary ordeal to every people who have ever developed beyond the savage condition. Those who cannot be reduced to bondage, like the American Indian, perish in their isolated and defiant barbarism. Freedom is the last result, the crowning glory of the long and difficult evolution of human society. Few nations have yet attained to that lofty standard. Those who say that the French, the Italians or the Prussians, are still not yet fit for freedom, and are still unable to appreciate of constitutional liberty, would thrust the splendid privilege of the Anglo-Saxon superiority upon the semi-barbarous negro! What folly, what madness!

Man has no “inalienable rights” – not even those of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If the life he leads, the liberty he enjoys, and the happiness he pursues, are not consistent with the order and well-being of society, he may righteously be deprived of them all. Instead of that “glittering generality,” which might serve as a motto for the wildest anarchy, the truth is, that men and races of men have certain natural capacities and duties, and the right to use the one and discharge the other. That government is the best, and its people the happiest, not in which all are free and equal, but in which equal races are free, and the inferior race is wisely and humanely subordinated to the superior, whilst both are controlled by the sacred bonds of reciprocal duty.

The negro is a permanent variety of the human race, inferior to almost all others in intellect, but possessing an emotional nature capable of the most beautiful cultivation. The greater part of this race, in its native Africa, is sunk in the deepest barbarism. What little civilization a few tribes might have, has been imposed upon them by Arabic and Moorish conquerers

The Southern view of the matter, destined to revolutionize opinion throughout the civilized world, is briefly this: African slavery is no retrograde movement, no discord in the harmony of nature, no violation of elemental justice, no infraction of immutable laws, human or divine – but an integral link in the grand progressive evolution of human society as an indissoluble whole …

It may yet deserve (the North’s “free society”) the strange epitaph written for this nation by Elwood Fisher:

“Here lies a people, who, in attempting to liberate the negro, lost their own freedom.”

Have we rightly comprehended the fearful import of those words, the Africanization of the South? According to the present rate of increase, in fifty years the negroes of these states will amount to fifty millions. Suppose them to be restricted to their present arena. Suppose them, in addition, to be free. Imagine the misery, the poverty, the crime, the barbarism, the desolation of the country! The grass would grow in the streets of our cities, our ships would rot in their harbors, our plantations would become a wilderness of canebrakes. The resubjugation of the negro, or the extermination of one race or the other would be inevitable, and in any chance our children would be beggared with an inheritance of woe. Let us swear upon the altar of God, that as Christians and citizens, we will resist to the death which might lead us toward this awful abyss!”

Is this a “white supremacist” magazine? It sounds like Derb’s The Talk: Nonblack Version or something out of Escape From Detroit: The Collapse of America’s Black Metropolis.

I was expecting to consult the venerable pages of the Southern Literary Messenger and find proof of the existence of “Black Confederates” and the “Rainbow Confederacy.” What a disappointment!

Note: In the genealogy of “White Nationalism,” Confederate nationalism is the equivalent of the Y chromosome. This is another excerpt from “Southern Civilization, or the Norman in America”:

“This deeply rooted attachment of the Southern colonies to the institutions of the British monarchy, had its origins in the native reverence of the Cavalier for the authority of established forms over mere speculative ideas; and this original sentiment was greatly strengthened and supported by the existence of a domestic institution, all of whose relations had their foundation in a social condition, resting on the principle of inequality and subordination, and favoring a public policy embodying the ideas of this social status.”

In Confederate war propaganda, we hear about “the principle of inequality and subordination,” “inorganic masses,” “a public policy embodying the ideas of social status,” the superiority of “system of polity” over the individual, the rejection of the idea that “all men are created equal,” the superiority of “established forms” over “mere speculative ideas,” attacks on “fanatics” and “system-builders,” “the negro is a permanent variety of the human race,” etc.

About Hunter Wallace 12381 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. Fabulous post H.W. It should be noted that Thomas Jefferson’s now infamously immortal declaration “all men are created equal” was nothing more than a wild rhetorical flourish directed against the Crown of England during a time of war and was something he clearly did not believe to be true in the literal sense as supposed today by our leading “scholars.”

    Jefferson recognized the biological inequality of both men and races: “There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds for this are virtue and talents . . . There is also an artificial aristocracy, founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these, it would belong in the first class.” It was this artificial aristocracy [plutocracy] that he railed against and rightfully so!

    And on race, Jefferson was explicitly clear regarding the inherent differences between the white and black races: “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people [blacks] are to be free; nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government.” Understanding full well the dangers of maintaining in our midst a large and rapidly multiplying horde of inherently savage anthropoids, he embraced emancipation and resettlement as a solution (either back to Africa or the Island of Hispaniola): “When [a negro] is freed, he is to be removed beyond the reach of mixture” to avoid “staining the blood” of our race!

    Nevertheless, the sacred verbal formula “all men are created equal” is part of this country’s heritage thanks to the Declaration of Independence which codified it into our national conscience and is one of the key mantra’s used by our enemies to paralyze us into inaction. I propose a new creed: Free men are not equal; equal men are not free!

  2. Stay tuned.

    There is much more on “all men are created equal” coming down the pike. The Confederacy rejected that idea. It was based on the proposition that “all men are not created equal.”

  3. “Here lies a people, who, in attempting to liberate the negro, lost their own freedom.”

    Damn, how very true… Good one, Hunter.

  4. While I love many attributes of Jefferson. His flowery words about equality have been used as one of the most effective tools against our people. I also believe he realized the folly of entering the Constitution and I wonder why the southern states ever agreed to it without very strong language guaranteeing the right to leave the Union should we so desire? Conservatives go on about sticking to the constitution, but my question is always going to be why? It hasn’t served southerners. Even the name conservative in any of it’s forms begs the question…conserve what? Secession and reformation coupled with segregation is what is needed. Not conservatism. And Conservatism isn’t anything if it includes mixing with non whites or elevating trash to equal status with quality working southerners.

  5. The end is always encoded in the beginning.

    I don’t think Human biology can be trumped by Jeffersonian verbal flourishes. That phrase embedded in the heart of the current government surely is the seed of that government’s ultimate destruction.

  6. Hunter Wallace says: “There is much more on “all men are created equal” coming down the pike. The Confederacy rejected that idea. It was based on the proposition that “all men are not created equal.””

    That’s very interesting, I did not know that.

  7. @Scipio Americanus April 14, 2012 at 9:24 am

    “Free men are not equal” Lawrence Reed

    This search brings up some hits attributing the quotation to him.

    SPLC talks of William Pierce and this slogan. Search “Free men are not equal” William Pierce

  8. From Jefferson’s book:

    [1] The first difference [between whites and blacks] which strikes us is that of color. . . . The
    difference is fixed in nature, and is as real as if its seat and cause were better known to us. And is
    this difference of no importance? Is it not the foundation of a greater or less share of beauty in
    the two races? Are not the fine mixtures of red and white, the expressions of every passion by
    greater or less suffusions of color in the one, preferable to that eternal monotony, which reigns in
    the countenances, that immoveable veil of black which covers all the emotions of the other race?
    Add to these, flowing hair, a more elegant symmetry of form, their own judgment in favor of the
    whites, declared by their preference of them, as uniformly as is the preference of the orangutan
    for the black women over those of his own species. The circumstance of superior beauty, is
    thought worthy attention in the propagation of our horses, dogs, and other domestic animals;
    why not in that of man? . . .
    [2] They seem to require less sleep. A black, after hard labor through the day, will be induced by
    the slightest amusements to sit up till midnight, or later, though knowing he must be out with the
    first dawn of the morning. They are at least as brave, and more adventuresome. But this may
    perhaps proceed from a want of forethought, which prevents their seeing a danger till it be
    present. When present, they do not go through it with more coolness or steadiness than the
    whites. They are more ardent after their female: but love seems with them to be more an eager
    desire, than a tender delicate mixture of sentiment and sensation. Their griefs are transient.
    Those numberless afflictions, which render it doubtful whether heaven has given life to us in
    mercy or in wrath, are less felt, and sooner forgotten with them. In general, their existence
    appears to participate more of sensation than reflection. . . .
    [3] Comparing them by their faculties of memory, reason, and imagination, it appears to me,
    that in memory they are equal to the whites; in reason much inferior, as I think one [black] could
    scarcely be found capable of tracing and comprehending the investigations of Euclid; and that in
    imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous. It would be unfair to follow them to Africa
    for this investigation. We will consider them here, on the same stage with the whites, and where
    the facts are not apocryphal on which a judgment is to be formed. It will be right to make great
    allowances for the difference of condition, of education, of conversation, of the sphere in which
    they move. Many millions of them have been brought to, and born in America. Most of them
    indeed have been confined to tillage, to their own homes, and their own society: yet many have
    been so situated, that they might have availed themselves of the conversation of their masters;
    many have been brought up to the handicraft arts, and from that circumstance have always been
    associated with the whites. Some have been liberally educated, and all have lived in countries
    where the arts and sciences are cultivated to a considerable degree, and have had before their
    eyes samples of the best works from abroad. The Indians, with no advantages of this kind, will
    often carve figures on their pipes not destitute of design and merit. They will crayon out an
    animal, a plant, or a country, so as to prove the existence of a germ in their minds which only
    wants cultivation. They astonish you with strokes of the most sublime oratory; such as prove their
    reason and sentiment strong, their imagination glowing and elevated. But never yet could I find
    that a black had uttered a thought above the level of plain narration; never see even an
    elementary trait of painting or sculpture. In music they are more generally gifted than the whites
    with accurate ears for tune and time . . . . Whether they will be equal to the composition of a
    more extensive run of melody, or of complicated harmony, is yet to be proved. Misery is often
    the parent of the most affecting touches in poetry. —Among the blacks is misery enough, God
    knows, but no poetry.
    [4] To our reproach it must be said, that though for a century and a half we have had under our
    eyes the races of black and of red men, they have never yet been viewed by us as subjects of
    natural history. I advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a
    distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the
    endowments both of body and mind. It is not against experience to suppose, that different species
    of the same genus, or varieties of the same species, may possess different qualifications.

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