Was reading the Washington Post‘s coverage for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War recently, and saw this excerpt from the Charleston Mercury’s April 26th editorial [emphasis added]:
The blockade of the ports of the Confederate States, proclaimed by President LINCOLN in his late Proclamation, will certainly be followed by a recommendation, by the President of the Confederate States to the Congress to meet Monday next, to acknowledge the existence of the war against the Confederate States, and to enter upon it accordingly. . .The effort to subdue the fifteen Slave States of the South will, of course, fail; and it will accomplish that most desirable of all results — the formation of a Slaveholding Confederacy. War, it is to be hoped, will raise such an antagonism between the Slave States and the Free States as to end this peril.
Strange that they would keep bringing slavery up, since the Civil War was actually fought over “sectionalism and states’ rights.” Or that’s what the Texas Social Studies/US History standards would lead you to believe (.pdf). Right. The American Civil War was about the rights of the “Slave States” that were forming “a Slaveholding Confederacy” to protect their constitutional right to um, well, do a lot of things, but not necessarily hold slaves. That part wasn’t really a big deal in the “Slave States” who were forming a “Slaveholding Confederacy.” Nope. Didn’t matter to them at all. Just a coincidence that it came up repeatedly in that Charleston editorial.
I mean, just look at South Carolina’s “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union!” Oh, right—they also complain of “an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery.”
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of the commerce of the earth…A blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.
Huh. Strange. Maybe they set the typeface wrong…you know, they meant “S.t.a.t.e.s.’. R.i.g.h.t.s,” but somehow ended up with “S.l.a.v.e.r.y?” It’s vaguely anagrammatic. Perhaps it’s just an “honest” mistake.