Caribbean Project: Haiti, the British West Indies, and the South’s “Mirror”

Dixie

In light of the weakness of abolitionist fanatics in the North, why was the South so sensitive to abolitionist criticism?

Why was the South willing to reject Lincoln’s promises, secede, and go to war in 1861 to defend slavery? It was because Haiti and the British West Indies offered the South a “window” into its own future should the abolitionists ever succeed in pushing the Overton Window on slavery in the United States:

“By 1861, one Southern woman could write to her cousin in England, arguing the British West Indies had provided the South with a “window” for twenty-seven years – a window for viewing the total disaster of slave emancipation when British abolitionists won their way. By watching the British since 1834, she added, the South had learned that only resistance, even resistance of war, could prevent a West Indian-like collapse into social and economic ruin …

In other words, in the eyes of Turnbull and many others, once a small group of reformers succeeded in hammering in an “entering wedge” and in inflaming a public that had no knowledge of plantation life or the capacity of Africans for freedom, nothing could prevent the destruction of millions of dollars’ worth of property and entire social systems …

As abolitionists tried to counter the depressing reports of economic failure, especially following the end of apprenticeship, Abel Upshur’s State Department released Harrison’s statistics claiming that by 1843 the price of freeholds in Jamaica had declined by half; coffee and sugar production had declined by as much as 50 percent, and some large plantations were worth less than 10 percent of their preemancipation value. Since some Southern writers were convinced that this economic disaster was predictable – as well as being an enormous boon for competitive slaveholders in Cuba, in parts of the South, and in Brazil – the question of Britain’s motives became central. …

The South’s increasing fixation on British abolitionism and the declining economy of Haiti and the British Caribbean helps to explain the Southerners paranoid, disproportionate response to critics in the North. For those convinced that abolitionism was a British-sponsored crusade to destroy American society and transform the South into another Haiti, it was only a short step to contemplate disunion and event to accept Leonidas Spratt’s “global mission” of founding a “slave republic” based on the revival of the African slave trade.”

Note: This excerpt comes from David Brion Davis’ Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of New World Slavery.

About Hunter Wallace 12162 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

50 Comments

  1. Kind of interesting. One trap here though. The Larouchites, Lincoln lovers and our own Joe of the Jewlag also tend to suggest that the Confederacy itself was a British plot. Abolition and the Confederacy can’t both be the brainchild of the same perfidious race at the same time.

  2. John, we’re winning that battle. The more that information from the era becomes easily accessible the less “British were behind it” and “Jews were behind it” is credible.

    At this point, however, I actually wish it had been a British device. Imagine George III coming to the rescue and cutting the throat of “freedom, democracy and equality”. As PK says, we’d have colonized Mars by now.

  3. The Confederates were clearly a very distinct people. It’s quite telling that they were paranoid about Brits and Yankee alike. Seems genuine enough.

  4. HW: Here’s a question. You’ve stated a few times (and I tend to agree) that had slavery been left alone it would have withered away naturally by around the 1920s.

    But of course we have the benefit of hindsight. Have you found anywhere in your research any Southern thinkers who foresaw this outcome? Or did they tend to believe (as people generally do) that something like the present would continue forever?

    If there were any thinkers who predicted this, what was the reaction of their fellows?

  5. Re above, by “Southern thinkers” I meant of the 1850s/60s of course.

    John @ 1: “Abolition and Confederacy couldn’t both be the perfidious brainchild…”

    Sure they could. Not saying they were, and I don’t believe they were, but there’s no logical or inherent contradiction in the thought of it. When your natural cultural inclination is subversion of the host and perfidious plotting and scheming, then you’ll tend to scheme in multiple directions, and hedge your schemes, and nest schemes within schemes, even if they oppose each other.

    Jews have simultaneously played leading roles in revolutionary communism and bourgeois capitalism which are alleged opposites; in cultural marxism and neoconservatism, again allegedly opposed; one could go on all day. Not all Jews are conscious conspirators, indeed I suspect most of them aren’t; lots of them just get caught up in these things because they’re natural busybodies and they have a natural urge to be against whatever is in front of them. (I used to play a little secret game with Jews I worked with, where I’d blithely state just any old random premise as a case, just to watch them instantly contradict me; then I’d pretend to “come around” to their view, just to watch them start to qualify and twist and critique their own premise, anything to be seen as ahead of the goy — it’s an instinct with them, practically a reflex). I think they get taught from a young age that they’re not only smarter but naturally morally superior, so anything the goyim are doing must be implicitly wrong a priori, and so they feel the urge to “improve” it by destroying it or fucking it up somehow. It almost doesn’t matter how, which is why you’ll see multiple or contradictory approaches.

  6. “At this point, however, I actually wish it had been a British device. Imagine George III coming to the rescue and cutting the throat of ‘freedom, democracy and equality’. As PK says, we’d have colonized Mars by now.”

    Whom do you mean by “we,” Mr. Yancey? I’m not being rhetorical, not sarcastic. Are you a man of aristocratic vigor? Maybe you are. I’m not.

    I ask because I’ve been reading a letter by Leonidas Spratt, who lays out a vision of Dixie’s destiny. In the Slave Republic, he seems to be saying, there will be no laboring whites–no paupers, as he calls them. Dixie will be a new civilizational achievement, in which the white race will have been purged of its troublesome lower classes, who will be replaced by blacks.

    I’m sure my own ancestors wouldn’t have made the cut, so I personally wouldn’t have been around to celebrate the Mars colonization. I’m not objecting. I can’t say with confidence that the white world wouldn’t be improved by my absence from it, and my love for the white race is great enough that I’d be willing to disappear to better it. I’m just asking: do you embrace that vision–and do you think your own ancestors would have made the cut? In the end, when all of this talk about the West Indies and sugar plantations and per capita income and the abolitionists’ religiousness is put aside, that vision stands as Dixie’s cause. That, as, come to think of it, Mr. Lincoln said at Gettysburg, is what the Civil War was about.

    Mr. Spratt’s letter, dated, I think, just after the creation of the Confederacy, may be read here:

    http://civilwarcauses.org/spratt.htm

  7. …in the labor of the one there is the elective franchise, in the other there is not; and, as labor is always in excess of direction, in the one the power of government is only with the lower classes; in the other the upper. In the one, therefore, the reins of government come from the heels, in the other from the head of the society; in the one it is guided by the worst, in the other by the best, intelligence; in the one it is from those who have the least, in the other from those who have the greatest, stake in the continuance of existing order.

    The more interesting point is made in the Iron Law of Oligarchy. Even if “the reins of government come from the heels, (in the one and) in the other from the head of the society”, ultimately there will be convergence. Thus the only question remaining is by which governance do you wish to be manipulared.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy

  8. John — nothing underhanded about it at all. I was writing on a smartphone, and didn’t scroll back up to re-read your comment after finishing my question to HW. It turns out I somewhat misread your comment (your mention of Joe/Jewlag stuck in my head the wrong way, I mistook its emphasis and purpose [minor], and it gave me the mistaken impression that you were leading your argument elsewhere.)

    FTR, I don’t think the CSA was anybody’s external plot, but simply a development based on internal American sentiments and historical conditions. It may have had some nudging this or that way from outside interests, simply because history shows that such movements often do, but I know nothing about that; it’s simply a plausible possibility, but even if it were true, a minor one. I don’t have particularly deep scholarship on the subject, so my thinking mostly comes from logic and plausibility and the usual contours of history; and because the subject doesn’t concern me deeply, my thinking on it is not particularly far-reaching.

    I will note in passing that my abstract point stands, viz. that simply because two different vectors of history involve different outcomes, it doesn’t logically rule out meddling on both sides by the same vested interest. The British Imperial powers were first-class schemers and meddlers in their prime, the equals of the Jews any day. Exhibit A: the very existence of a British Empire. My work anecdotes were intended to illustrate the human-behavior point that it is possible to have a conspiracy without any conspirators; or rather, it is possible, without any conspirators to have a net result which may as well have been the work of a conspiracy, in the sense that both outcomes are congruent. This would hold true for imperial Britain as well, (or for mid-20th cent. America for that matter), albeit for different reasons of character.

    Had the British chosen to meddle and scheme in both Abolition and the CSA at the same time (which I don’t have any reason to believe they did, but if they had they would have been eminently capable of it), I see no logical reason to say they couldn’t possibly have done so merely because the two courses had different desired outcomes. Empires are large ungainly critters, and busybodies do all sorts of things that have unintended consequences. History would be an awful lot more tidy if this were not true.

    Now lighten up a bit, and knock off the arch tone. It’s unseemly in a fine scholarly fellow like yourself.

  9. oscar,

    I want to say that the rise in slave prices stimulated the development of the mechanical cotton picker which was invented in Memphis in the 1850s, but world cotton prices collapsed in the late nineteenth century following the abolition of slavery (impoverished sharecroppers grew more cotton), and its technological development was stalled until the 1920s/1930s.

    Right now, I am more focused on the West Indies, where cotton was dwarfed by sugar, but by the time I write the book I will definitively answer the question.

  10. @ John Bonaccorsi, Philadelphia

    My remark was obviously in jest, at least partly, but I do have more faith in a healthy aristocracy and monarchy than I do in a healthy democracy.

    Spratt was being extremely theoretical in pondering a possible trajectory, as a means of arguing his case.

  11. “The more interesting point is made in the Iron Law of Oligarchy. Even if “the reins of government come from the heels, (in the one and) in the other from the head of the society”, ultimately there will be convergence. Thus the only question remaining is by which governance do you wish to be manipulated.”

    No, Mr. Jones, you’re incorrect. Spratt is plainly saying that, in the Slave Republic, the power won’t come from “the heels” because the heels–the lower classes–will be black, not white, and thus too weak to interfere with the wise guidance of the upper classes. It’s not merely a question of by which governance I wish to be manipulated, as you knowingly and evasively say. It’s a question whether I and, presumably, a great many of the other followers of Occidental Dissent, want to exist.

    “The slave trade remained banned under the Confederate constitution in order to attract slave breeding Virginia and Kentucky to the Confederacy.”

    You, too, are being evasive, Mr. Wallace. Mr. Spratt’s letter is directed at that very ban in the Confederacy’s provisional Constitution. He’s arguing that, should the ban be included, yet another civil war will have to be fought–between democracy and the slave republic–within the South itself:

    “It is to be apprehended that this contest between democracy and slavery is not yet over. It is certain that both forms of society exist within the limits of the Southern States; both are distinctly developed within the limits of Virginia; and there, whether we perceive the fact or not, the war already rages.”

    “[T]he contest is not ended with a dissolution of the Union, and … the agents of that contest still exist within the limits of the Southern States. The causes that have contributed to the defeat of slavery still occur; our slaves are still drawn oft by higher prices to the West. There is still foreign pauper labor ready to supply their place. Maryland[,] Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, possibly Tennessee and North Carolina, may lose their slaves, as New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey have done. In that condition they must recommence the contest. There is no avoiding that necessity. The systems cannot mix; and thus it is that slavery, like the Thracian horse returning from the field of victory, still bears a master on his back; and, having achieved one revolution to escape democracy at the North, it must still achieve another to escape it a’ the South.”

    “If you shall elect slavery avow it and affirm it; not as an existing fact, but as a living principle of social order, and assert its right, not to toleration only, but to extension and to political recognition among the nations of the earth. If, in short, you shall own slavery as the source of your authority, and act for it, and erect, as you are commissioned to erect, not only a Southern, but a Slave Republic, the work will be accomplished. Those States intending to espouse and perpetuate the institution will enter your Confederacy; those that do not, will not. Your Republic will not require the pruning process of another revolution; but, poised upon its institutions, will move on to a career of greatness and of glory unapproached by any other nation in the world.”

    The vision couldn’t be plainer. You’re as dishonest about that as you are about everything else. That’s why you constantly have to assure Occidental Dissent’s followers that Dixie didn’t want to extend slavery; that was just something that that dishonorable Abraham Lincoln was charging. And slavery would have died off, on its own, before long, anyway; if only those unreasonable abolitionists hadn’t been unwilling to see that. That, ultimately, is why every one of the Southrons, including you, who’ve defended Dixie’s cause for the last one hundred fifty years has had constantly to argue that the war wasn’t about slavery. You have no choice but to say that–because it’s the exact opposite of the truth.

  12. “My remark was obviously in jest, at least partly, but I do have more faith in a healthy aristocracy and monarchy than I do in a healthy democracy. Spratt was being extremely theoretical in pondering a possible trajectory, as a means of arguing his case.”

    My response, too, was equivalently in jest, Mr. Yancey. So, what? Your statement about Mr. Spratt is a cowardly evasion, an attempt to back away from what I’ve revealed your initial statement to be.

  13. It was about slavery primarily, but it was also about white genocide. It was also about devastating competition, it was also about yoking white’s with a tax burden. Every war has half a dozen different causes. Christ almighty no one would fight in them if they were monocausal.

    Personally I reckon it is more and more about nigger loving northerners, nigger loving.
    A suicidal self abasement, Auto de Fe and cockeyed egalitarian crusade of fanatical maniacs rolled into one.

    ending Slavery didn’t require the death of 1/5 of the white male population. Just money. It was an outstanding grandstanding bunkum powerplay by Lincoln’s backers.

  14. @ John Bona

    If I read you right you’re miffed that everyone doesn’t site slavery as the single cause of the war. There’s usually more than one reason for any war, some sometimes being extensions of other reasons. And each participant’s perspective is obviously different than that of his enemy, thus their reasons are usually different.

    I believe the main reason for Lincoln’s prosecution of the war was political and economic consolidation. The financial powers in the north recognized, long before the war, that their continued exploitation of the South would lead to an attempted secession. Abolitionism was an excuse to turn their greed into a moral cause, built up up over time.

    The Southern reasons were obviously reactions to the hostility that was created by the north, as well as the perceived exploitation itself. Certainly they resented abolitionism and also the attempt to use it to control the Southern states, and thus went to great lengths to turn their defense of it into a moral crusade of its own. But they certainly saw it as a gimmick used to do what the US has been doing ever since, create hostility, provoke, war.

    I’m sorry that you consider my refusal to back up Spratt’s vision of the future as cowardly. All joking aside, anyone who can’t read it and see how unlikely it was is either a bit dim or just looking for a fight.

  15. It was about slavery primarily, but it was also about white genocide.

    White genocide, John? Indeed. Mr. Spratt was obviously intent on ridding the Earth of lower-class whites, those “paupers” and “hirelings”:

    “[It] is demonstrable that negroes are more easily held to slavery than white men; and that more in proportion, therefore, can be held in subjection by the same masters; and yet in the Republic of Athens of white slaves there were four to one; and in portions of the Roman Empire the proportion was greater still; and upon this ratio the slaves might be increased to forty millions, without a corresponding increase among the whites, and yet occur no disaster; but on our rice lands, isolated to a great extent where negroes are employed in thousands, there is often not one white man to one hundred slaves. Nor is there greater danger of an overcrowded population. Slaves may be held to greater density than freemen; order will be greater, and the economy of resources will be greater. Athens had seven hundred to the square mile, while Belgium, the most densely populated state of modern Europe, has but about three hundred and eighty-eight to the square mile; and with a population only as dense as Belgium, South Carolina could hold the population of the Southern States, and Texas three times the present population of the Union.”

    Nigger loving Northerners?

    I’m afraid nobody ever loved niggers as much as did Mr. Spratt:

    “It is assumed that the negro is unfit for mechanical employments, when he exhibits an imitative power of manipulation unsurpassed by any other creature in the world; and when, as a matter of fact, we see him daily in the successful prosecution of the trades, and are forced to know that he is not more generally employed for reason of the higher prices offered for him by our fields of cotton. It is assumed that he cannot endure the cold of the Northern States, when he dies not more readily in Canada than Domingo, and when the finest specimens of negro character and negro form to be met with in the world are on the northern borders of Maryland and Missouri. It is assumed that whenever he comes in contact with free society we must quail before it, when it is evident that the question which shall prevail is dependant on the question which can work the cheapest; and when it is evident that with slaves at starvation prices–slaves at prices to which they will be reduced by the question whether we shall give them up or feed them–at prices to which they will be reduced when the question comes whether they shall starve the hireling or the hireling the slave, the system of domestic slavery, guided always by its best intelligence, directed always by the strictest economy, with few invalids and few inefficients, can underwork the world.”

    And wouldn’t you know it? Those intractable lower-class whites are already pouring into South Carolina, because of the lack of slaves:

    “Within ten years past as many as ten thousand slaves have been drawn away from Charleston by the attractive prices of the West, and laborers from abroad have come to take their places. These laborers have every disposition to work above the slave, and if there were opportunity would be glad to do so; but without such opportunity they come to competition with him; they are necessarily resistive to the contact. Already there is the disposition to exclude him; from the trades, from public works, from drays, and the tables of hotels, he is even now excluded to a great extent. And when enterprises at the North are broken up; when more laborers are thrown from employment; when they shall come in greater numbers to the South they will still more increase the tendency to exclusion; they will question the right of masters to employ their slaves in any works that they may wish for; they will invoke the aid of legislation; they will use the elective franchise to that end; they may acquire the power to determine municipal elections; they will inexorably use it; and thus this town of Charleston, at the very heart of slavery, may become a fortress of democratic power against it. As it is in Charleston, so also is it to a less extent in the interior towns.”

    Exactly what point are you trying to make?

    My point has been quite clear, from the very beginning, Mr. Yancey. By implying otherwise, you’re again simply being evasive, attempting to make it seem that I’m the one who’s blathering. Any literate person who’s following our exchange can see which of us is saying nothing.

  16. I’m sorry that you consider my refusal to back up Spratt’s vision of the future as cowardly. All joking aside, anyone who can’t read it and see how unlikely it was is either a bit dim or just looking for a fight.

    The only persons who couldn’t see how unlikely it was were the leaders who took the South into the Civil War. Whether they were dim or just looking for a fight, I’m not equipped to judge.

  17. @ John Bona

    Are you arguing that his theory meant that Spratt was anti-white? If so, it’s laughable. His position was that the color line needed to be even clearer and more permanently drawn. To ensure the permanent elevation of whites over inferior Africans. What, do you think he intended that poor whites be taken out and executed?

    Quip all you want but it is relevant that he didn’t associate it with any time line. IOW he was talking about where he thought or hoped it might eventually lead. As I said before, extremely theoretical. And believe it or not everything on the subject was not universally agreed upon at the time, any more than it is today.

  18. @Hunter

    Linder & Tom Metzger are in general right in a logical fashion. We on the other hand look somewhat favorably back at the institution of slavery because of family history. I don’t know that my ancestors owned slaves for a fact, but, I do know they owned a lot of property in Virginia, and some of my more distant branches elsewhere in the South. If you bought property, the slaves generally came with the property as a bonus.

    Looking back at it, I look at my friends whose families owned a lot of slaves for Virginia—and it must have been kind of “different” having an African village on your farm.

    My only wish is that my great-grandfather had held onto the piece of property that today is a golf course & resort. LOL

  19. “Spratt is plainly saying that, in the Slave Republic, the power won’t come from “the heels” because the heels–the lower classes–will be black, not white, and thus too weak to interfere with the wise guidance of the upper classes.”

    John, Spratt is saying that the lower class, both black and white will be disenfranchised because if white labor is enfranchised it will lobby for the exclusion of black slave labor, and thus undermine the slaveocracy. The Iron Law of Oligarchy suggests that it does not matter because both forms of democracy, from the heels or from the head, will eventually converge and ultimately become elitist. The choice is, for the lower class, a vote with no power (Northern labor) or no vote with no power (Southern white and black labor).

  20. Quip all you want but it is relevant that he didn’t associate it with any time line. IOW he was talking about where he thought or hoped it might eventually lead. As I said before, extremely theoretical.

    You should be thankful for that quip of mine, Mr. Yancey: it let you off the hook. You were the one who said that if the South had prevailed, we’d be on Mars by now. In saying that anyone who would take Spratt’s vision seriously has to be dim, you were thus condemning yourself. You obviously were taking seriously the vision of Dixie’s triumph; that’s all that Spratt’s vision was. By saying that you were jesting or that Spratt was being theoretical, you were, as I’ve said, simply trying to back away from what you’d said–as you still are. Spratt is simply articulating the vision that inspired the South.

    Yonatan Ben Kohen thinks he has found a smoking gun.

    That’s right–and finding it wasn’t easy, believe me, because all of the Southrons other than Spratt and Hinton Helper are liars.

    Nice try, by the way, re my ethnicity. Let me tell you how you can recognize a Jew: he’s the person to whom you’re paying Thirty Dollars a month for the internet service that enables you to come here and accomplish nothing for the white race.

    John, Spratt is saying that the lower class, both black and white will be disenfranchised because if white labor is enfranchised it will lobby for the exclusion of black slave labor, and thus undermine the slaveocracy.

    I suggest, Mr. Jones, that you reread that passage in which Spratt does the arithmetic, to indicate just how many black slaves a white ruling class could control. He’s almost giddy with the thought of it. He obviously sees the Negro as nature’s great gift to white aristocrats, the solution to their millennia-old problem of mastering the masses. He envisions no need for lower-class whites, whom he disdains.

    Who cares about Spratt? It’s Bonaccorsi’s hobby horse.

    Smoking gun, hobby horse … keep trying, John.

  21. Re: John Bona

    (1) Laughs.

    No, it is dishonest to argue that the Confederacy reopened the slave trade when the slave trade was banned under the Confederate Constitution in order to attract Virginia and Kentucky to join the Confederacy, and because reopening the slave trade was an obvious non-starter due to British opposition to the slave trade.

    (2) Correct me if I am wrong here, but didn’t the Dred Scott decision in 1857 “extend slavery” to all the territories? Didn’t the South win on the point of being able to bring their slaves to all the territories? Weren’t there slaves in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and so on when the South seceded from the Union?

    (3) By seceding from the Union, didn’t the South abandon its claim to the Western territories, with the exception of Arizona/New Mexico?

    (4) In the twentieth century, yes, slavery would have certainly died out in the exact same way that sharecropping died out after the mechanization of agriculture. Sharecropping went on for decades after abolition.

    (5) Lincoln started the war. He could have easily recognized the Confederacy and ceded the federal forts. Especially ones that were virtually abandoned like Fort Sumter and were as worthless as Pacific guano islands.

    (6) Lincoln only abolished slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation. He played the nigger card and was actually disappointed when he failed to incite a race war on the Southern plantations.

  22. What did the Italians do for YT? In 1899 you lot invaded Ethiopia with a massive army , with machine guns and modern cannon and were trounced. Way to go. It gave the blacks funny ideas about defeating modern field armies from Europe.

  23. Apart from Kenya, Egypt, Biafra that would be “truthy”.

    At that point mostly under duress from Eisenhower and then Kennedy of course.

  24. “He envisions no need for lower-class whites, whom he disdains.”

    JB, Disdain of “po’ white trash”, even by slaves in the South is not limited to Spratt.

    Life and Labor in the Old South

    Book by Ulrich Bonnell Phillips; Little, Brown, 1929.

    Infestations by this parasite might have been relieved quite readily by medicine or prevented by the mere wearing of shoes; but its existence unsuspected, no prevention or cure was applied. The victims, ” lank, lean, angular and bony, with . . . a natural stupidity or dullness of intellect that almost surpasses belief “, 5 “the most degraded race of human beings claiming an AngloSaxon origin that can be found on the face of the earth”, 6 suffered the contumely of their contemporaries who might better have given sympathy if they could not afford relief.

    These wretchedly genuine “po’ white trash”, scorned even by the slaves, could not embrace opportunities.

    And beyond that he laments the shift in political power toward the North with mass migration of European hireling labor to their cities, and dissents, like any true nativist to their presence in Southern cities, however, he is not advocating genocide.

    The point is whether disenfranchised po white Anglo Saxon trash ‘makes the cut’ in a South that limits democracy to an upper class, and the answer is an unequivocal yes.

  25. The point is whether disenfranchised po white Anglo Saxon trash ‘makes the cut’ in a South that limits democracy to an upper class, and the answer is an unequivocal yes.

    Spratt doesn’t address the point, but I think you’re incorrect, DJ. I think Spratt is effectively advocating genocide. I don’t mean genocide in the strict sense; I’m not suggesting he’d one day advocate the gassing of lower-class whites (though I’d bet he wouldn’t be troubled by it). He sees them as unnecessary and, what’s worse, a nuisance. The Negro, to him, is a wonder tool: functions well in all climates, can handle agricultural and mechanical work (“exhibits an imitative power of manipulation unsurpassed by any other creature in the world”), and, above all, is “more easily held to slavery” than a white man. (That’s the non-nuisance part.) When Spratt, almost gleeful with anticipation, says that a well-guided Negro slave force will “underwork the world,” where’s the need for the lower-class whites?

    I don’t think the growth in the population of white hirelings in the North bothers Spratt merely because of its political effects, and I don’t think his objection to the influx of white hirelings in South Carolina is merely (or even at all) nativism. He obviously sees no need for these people; their growth in South Carolina, in consequence of the halting of the slave trade and the resultant slave shortage, is just one more thing Dixie’s going to have to deal with. The sooner Dixie can establish her independence and put a stop to that, the fewer of them she’ll have to figure out what to do with. To say it again: he might not be advocating genocide in the strict sense, but he’ll be pleased to see Dixie’s population of lower-class whites vanish, one way or another, the sooner, the better.

    As I’ve said, I’m not objecting. If the aristocrats want to kill off the lower-class whites, including me, fine. I see their point. I’m merely pointing out that that’s what Dixie was about.

  26. That’s absurd.

    Reopening the African slave trade would have lowered the price of slaves. It would have enabled more Whites in the South to own slaves and would have buttressed White racial solidarity and the slave system by reducing the ranks of non-slaveholders, which would have eliminated class division by substituting a racial division of labor.

    In much the same way, Wall Street capitalists encourage the White working class to invest their life savings in the stock market in order to weaken class division. The difference being, a negro slave who toiled for his master increased the leisure time of his master, whereas the Wall Street capitalist simply rips off ordinary people.

  27. BTW, it should noted here that in John Bona’s state of Pennsylvania, the negro could intermarry with Whites before the Constitution was even signed, and was a citizen and a voter until the late 1830s, and then became a citizen and a voter again in a full blown racially integrated society in the 1860s and 1870s.

    Unlike the South, where the negro worked for the White man wouldn’t have to, the White working class in the North worked for capitalists and in many places had a lower life expectancy than negro slaves.

  28. In the Northern states, Yankees imported “hireling laborers” and were themselves swamped by millions of European Catholics in their own states, who just as Spratt predicted soon became polarized along class, ethnic, and religious lines, whereas in the South slavery deterred the immigration of such “hirelings” and created a racial division of labor that preserved the indigenous majority while buttressing racialism, slavery, conservatism, and white supremacy.

  29. John Bona’s ideal of the “White working class” is toiling away their entire lives in poverty for Yankee capitalists in some factory or textile mill.

    In the South, the solution to the White working class was to increase the number of slaveowners and diminish the number of non-slaveowners, or making niggers work for White people wouldn’t have to. In slave societies, the interests of labor and capital were identical because niggers were capital investments, and class division subsided as a result.

    Spratt isn’t arguing in favor of “White genocide.” That’s absurd. He’s arguing in favor of eliminating the White working class by reopening the slave trade to elevate them into the leisure capitalist class.

  30. In response to your numbered points, Mr. W —

    (1) Laughs. No, it is dishonest to argue that the Confederacy reopened the slave trade when the slave trade was banned under the Confederate Constitution in order to attract Virginia and Kentucky to join the Confederacy, and because reopening the slave trade was an obvious non-starter due to British opposition to the slave trade.

    Try laughing less and reading more. I didn’t say the slave trade wasn’t banned under the Confederate Constitution. I said that Spratt was arguing for removal of the ban from the Constitution in its provisional form and that he thought the ban, if included, would eventually split the South. I didn’t say he won the argument. As for his prediction of an eventual Southern split over the question, that was rendered meaningless by the South’s loss to the North (a loss he seems to have thought would be impossible). The British ban on the slave trade doesn’t make the South’s dis-inclusion of such a ban in its own Constitution a non-starter.

    (2) Correct me if I am wrong here, but didn’t the Dred Scott decision in 1857 “extend slavery” to all the territories? Didn’t the South win on the point of being able to bring their slaves to all the territories? Weren’t there slaves in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and so on when the South seceded from the Union?

    I don’t know the details, but I’d bet everything you’ve said is correct. I don’t know what you’re asking me.

    (3) By seceding from the Union, didn’t the South abandon its claim to the Western territories, with the exception of Arizona/New Mexico?

    Again–I don’t know but would bet you’re right; again I don’t know what you’re asking me. It was a great political struggle. All sorts of compromises, trade-offs, and the like were made along the way and, I’m sure, even upon secession. Spratt’s utterances make clear what he thought would have been ideal–and what he thought was maybe yet realizable, even if only after a great time:

    Pari passu with emigrants from Europe came slaves from Africa. Step by step the two in union marched upon the West, and it is reasonably certain, had the means to further union been admitted, that so they would have continued to march upon the West, that slave labor would have been cheaper than hireling labor, that, transcending agriculture, it would have expanded to the arts; and that thus one homogeneous form of labor and one homogeneous form of society, unquestioned by one single dreamer, and cherished at home and honored abroad, would have overspread the entire available surface of the late United States. But, the slave trade suppressed, democratic society has triumphed.” (Emphasis added)

    (4) In the twentieth century, yes, slavery would have certainly died out in the exact same way that sharecropping died out after the mechanization of agriculture. Sharecropping went on for decades after abolition.

    A meaningless string of statements, intended to make the slavery question seem trivial. It wasn’t trivial, and neither you nor anyone else knows what would have happened, regardless of mechanization or anything else, if the South’s slave system hadn’t been destroyed.

    (5) Lincoln started the war. He could have easily recognized the Confederacy and ceded the federal forts. Especially ones that were virtually abandoned like Fort Sumter and were as worthless as Pacific guano islands.

    Again, I’m not sure what you’re asking me. In light of all the political consternation that preceded it, the question of who “started it” seems to me of no importance. I wouldn’t care if Abraham Lincoln were to come back from the dead, go on CNN, and say, “Y’know what? I think the Civil War should be called the War of Northern Aggression, just as the Southrons say, because, really, that’s what it was. Honestly–there came a point at which I said, ‘To hell with these Southerners and their slavery. I’m going to smash their section of the country, get some Constitutional Amendments passed, and put an end to this whole thing.’ So I just invaded them.”

    (6) Lincoln only abolished slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation. He played the nigger card and was actually disappointed when he failed to incite a race war on the Southern plantations.

    I don’t know what were the politics of that. War involves calculation, political and otherwise. I don’t know what you’re asking me.

    PS In saying, repeatedly, that I don’t know what you’re asking me, I’m not affronting you. I really don’t know all these details. I’m not sure you Dixie-heads, if you’ll permit me a flippant appellation, realize how little Northerners think about the Civil War. One of your other Northern blog-followers–maybe oscarthegrinch–said something to that effect here the other day. Except for eleven years that I lived in Los Angeles, I’ve lived in Philadelphia the whole of my nearly fifty-nine years. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Northerner refer to himself as a Yankee–or even use the word Yankee (except in school, in history classes about the Civil War). I’ve certainly never referred to myself as one. All of these political details of the war and the lead-up to it seem to me like the historical and political details that are constantly thrashed back and forth about the founding of Israel and the rights of the Palestinians. What’s going to be settled by one more round of thrashing? If the point of your questions is that the Civil War was not fought over slavery and to end slavery, then, in my view, you’re merely extending a long line of dishonesty that is the most conspicuous of Dixie’s vaunted traditions.

  31. I’ve just seen your several posts about my comments about Mr. Spratt’s attitude toward lower-class whites. If your view is that what Spratt actually expected was that the holding of Negroes by all whites in the South would turn all whites into the sorts of intelligent persons he thought worthy of holding political power, well, maybe you’re right. (Talk about a missed opportunity.) The only thing I’ll take issue with is your statement that I was putting forth some ideal of the white working class. I don’t think I was really doing that. One of your other followers said to me that the Northerners, in the Civil War, were interested in white genocide; my response was intended to indicate that the whites who post comments here about the white population that is being destroyed in the present-day U.S. are probably persons Spratt would prefer had not been born in the first place.

  32. Let me correct my very-last statement, which was disingenuous. Even though I didn’t bring up the word genocide, my initial statement, to Mr. Yancey, did indicate that I thought Mr. Spratt hoped that, in the Slave Republic, the lower-class whites would somehow fade away–stop breeding or whatever. If you’re saying, Mr. Wallace, “No, he thought slaveholding would have a eugenic effect, so to speak; it would purge lack of intelligence and other undesirable qualities from the family lines of lower-class whites,” well, as I say, maybe you’re right.

  33. But while we’re on the subject, Mr. Wallace, let’s come back to this:

    (4) In the twentieth century, yes, slavery would have certainly died out in the exact same way that sharecropping died out after the mechanization of agriculture. Sharecropping went on for decades after abolition.

    And that would have been a shame, right? I mean the dying out of slavery. That would have put an end to the Sprattian wonderland, where all whites are slaveholders and elevated and worthy of political power, right? The South would have just turned into the North, with a lot of worthless black and white hirelings laboring alongside each other on farm equipment, just like the worthless white working class in the factories up North–is that what we’re to understand? Is that what you’re saying? Slavery would have been great–but don’t worry, it would have died out anyway.

    Honestly–maybe I’m missing something.

  34. Spratt was not arguing in favor of “White genocide.”

    He was arguing in favor of eliminating the “White working class” by making slaves cheaper and more affordable. This would have expanded the ranks of slaveholders and diminished the number of non-slaveholders. It would have elevated all the Whites into the leisured capitalist class by giving them a stake in slavery.

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