tv The Civil War U.S. Constitution and Secession CSPAN June 30, 2018 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
former national park service chief historian and editor of "the u.s. constitution and secession." next, he offers an analysis of the 67 constitutional amendments considered by congress right before the outbreak of the the civil war that sought to address the secession crisis. the ulysses s. grant national historic site in st. louis posted this talk. one-hour dwightto introduce dr. pitcaithley -- he is kind of a rock star for us. teaches attired, he new mexico state university, teaches about history and civil war history and he had a book that came out this week, "the u.s. constitution and secession
." it is my distinct pleasure and honor to introduce you to dr. pitcaithley. dr. pitcaithley: he promised he was not going to include the rockstar part. best laid plans. thank you for coming tonight. thanks to nick that wonderful introduction and thanks to the site -- to the grant site for hosting this event. i'm going to talk about 25 or 30 alternative then over to you, so you can talk about whatever you want to talk about, and we hope that during my time, i have been provocative enough that we can have a conversation that goes on for another 35 or 40 minutes. robert jim moran, who many of you know, three-time loser prizewinner, wrote that the
felt war is our only history, history lived in the national imagination, and i think that is true, whether your ancestry goes back that far on not. mine mostly does not. we sort of -- the civil war, thanks to ken burns may be, is part of us. it's part of our dna. we think about it a lot. every year when i teach the civil war course, for stay, i give the students and exam, and phrase them in a word or to tell me what caused the civil war, what caused secession? everybody has an answer. it's not the same answer. they all have an answer. it's state's right. no, no. it slavery. no, it is tariffs. general economic issues. i think it's cultural differences between the north and south. somebody else will say, well, isn't this the ultimate clash
between an agricultural south and an industrial north? everybody has got an answer. if you are like me, when i started this issue about 10 years ago, i had done a lot of the secondary work, most of it about the war, but not about that time we call secession electionrom lincoln's to the firing on fort sumter. south carolina secedes in december, followed by six deep south states. lincoln is inaugurated on march 4. for sumter is fired on in april. lincoln calls down 75,000 troops, and four more states secede and the war is on. bless you. there's a lot going on where those dots do not connect. i took it upon myself that when i retire does everybody needs a project in retirement -- to
satisfy myself -- i did not have a book in mind, but i wanted to satisfy myself, what caused secession? about?s this all i wanted to dig as deep as i could into the records, and it turns out, much to my surprise, of secession winter is incredibly well documented. incredibly well documented. because why did i want to do this? i wanted to keep it to the elected officials. what did they say? what were they arguing? other historians have used newspaper editorials. they have used sermons by ministers that were published over secession winter. tax, people take different internal workings of the parties and that sort of thing. i wanted to know what the elected officials were saying. they were the ones who had their fingers on the trigger.
they were the ones who were told to solve the problem, the problem being lincoln's election. congress met from december 3 of 1860, about a month after lincoln's election until march 4, inauguration day. 2000 pages ofbout data by day, hour-by-hour, line by line arguments from these men . it's online, things to your tax dollars in the library of congress. this is "the congressional globe." and find out what they were arguing. a word of warning. these are facsimile pages. three columns per page, about 10-point type, so bring your
reading glasses. this is congress. the elected officials in washington. or second large gathering the proceedings of the secession conventions. 11 states called conventions, the democratic process, elected delegates to those conventions. they met, they argued, they kept careful records, they proposed solutions, which i will talk about later -- and except for texas -- publish those almost immediately. except for texas, all these proceedings were the list in 1861 or 1862. texas waited until 1912. virginia -- [laughter] dr. pitcaithley: they claim in the introduction of the 1912 version they did not have enough money until 1912. i don't know if i believe that. virginia deliberated the longest and produced -- and today the way it has been packaged for the centennial -- four volumes, 3000
pages of virginia's deliberations that started in january and did not in until after fort sumter. range of information is from the state legislatures of .ennessee and kentucky tennessee did ultimately secede, but it never called secession convention. it let the state legislature decide on that weighty measure. kentucky never thought about convention,cession but there was a lot of discussion between the governor and the house of representatives and the senate, and they released their printed version am us immediately. finally, there's the record of the washington peace convention. in early january, virginia, the legislature called for a national convention to find out what to do now that lincoln had been elected president. 21 states have representatives, about 131 men. lords hotel, if
you're familiar with washington. the room is still there. the hall that they gathered and is not there. the hotel is there. it is where lincoln spent the night about a week before he moved into the white house. when you aggregate all those pages, you have about 8000 pages of published information over secession winter. within that information -- this was all new to me. i had no idea i was going to enter this world. it is again satisfy myself but i sort of got sucked into it and the more i got into it the more i wanted to get into it because i did not have to deal with handwriting. historians often have to deal with handwriting. some people of good penmanship and some don't. it makes me crazy. i have done research on that side as well. all i had to do was read the printed word. within those 8000 pages there
are three subsets of information that bear directly on what the south was thinking when it was in theg about secession first are the letters in the speeches of the secession commissioners. when the first tier of states decide to leave, they appointed commissioners to go from that state to the other slave states, to convince them to secede as well. charles do has written -- has written a very good book on the commissioners. i think he gathered 40 speeches and letters to the elected officials in those states in a apostles of disunion . the university of virginia press. another part of this, the declarations of secession.
when they decide to secede, they thought, this is important enough we need to create a committee that specifically develops a justification or an nation to the people of the states and the rest of the country and really to the world -- the world was watching -- and about why those states seceded. modeled on the declaration of independence. an introductory paragraph or two. in south carolina's case it goes on for page or two. grievances.ist of this is why we are leaving. you can think of those on the web. kansas graciously publish them in this book. four of them are verbatim. informationtegory
-- sort of the newest and most -- if youin many ways remember your high school history you may remember senator john crittenden of kentucky. he offered the crittenden resolutions on december 18 of 1860 in the senate as a means of solving a problem. if it'd been a cause to determine that it would have been the 13th amendment. it had six articles within it. to first person, however, propose a constitutional amendment to solve the problem was president james buchanan who was in the cap birdseed for those four year -- catbird seat for those four years. he did not leave the white house until 1861. in his last address to congress, december 3, at the end he offers
this constitutional amendment to solve it. many people at that point, mostly southern democrats, constitution was broken. you could not solve the problem with a law by congress. you had to amend the constitution. james buchanan opened the floodgates. as a went through this material, this is all in hindsight right -- it's very clear looking back. i did not know what i was going to get into. but i kept running into proposed constitutional amendments. it turns out i found 67 of these. all designed to solve the problem. they were proposed in congress. proposed in secession conventions. the washington peace conference
proposed six by different people . an early draft of the collected works and finally a final draft of that. president buchanan proposed one. william stewart proposed one. proposed one. stephen douglas proposed at least one. three governors chimed in. my book is built around these amendments because, as i learned, no one else had gathered them or analyze them. what do they mean? james buchanant said three subsets. d several.'s ha had subsets.is's
there were 15 different topics that are embodied in those 67 amendments. so one of the first things i had to do was categorize, create a chart listing the topics around the top. and if you have read extensively ,n the decade of the 1850's these amendments tracked the difficulties this country was trying to deal with. the largest number of articles dealt with slavery in the territories. not surprising because that was the election around which the 1860 turn. what do we do with slavery in the territories?
are southerners allowed to take their slaves there and have them there as long as they want? should the federal government prohibits slavery in the territories? remember the republican party did not come into being until 1856 after the kansas-nebraska act in opposition to this core purpose or in opposition to the expansion of slavery into the territories. this issue cracked the democratic party in 1860. a southern and a northern wing. they could not decide what the policy should be. stephen douglas was the leader of the northern faction. he said let them decide what to do. the governmentd should protect slavery in the territories because slavery's property and property is protected under the fifth amendment. a should he protected throughout the territorial period.
so slavery in the territories was the first or the highest number of issues in these 67 amendments. fugitive slaves was, not surprisingly, the second most. it was a passionate issue. the south is very passionate about having those dman yankee yankees return their slaves to them when they escape northward. southern senators and representatives went to washington, and they would take slaves with them to take care of them while they were there. they wanted to make sure that no one prevented them from doing that. the fourth category was the slaves -- essentially the dred scott issue. they wanted to protect the right owners to take their
northern territories on a sojourning basis. on a temporary basis. southerners, big plantation owners often went to philadelphia and new york to do business, and when they traveled there, they would take their slaves with them. new york, and 18 31, decided that after allowing a leeway period up to 1841 that slaveowners could come into new for nine their slaves months, and if they left before the nine months period, slavery problem.ch was not the legislature decided, if we are a free state, we are a free state. in 1852, i family from virginia went to new york city, did not fully understand the law.
the slaves were taken in the. the slaves immediately went to canada. virginia sued -- or virginia appealed the case, and went through the new york supreme court, and the court of appeals were virginia lost both times. which is exactly what henry wise, the governor of virginia wanted to happen, so he could send it to the supreme court, set. roger tawny historians are pretty certain if the slave case had gone to roger ny, he would have voted for virginia against new york and slaveowners would have been able to take slaves to free states for as long as they wanted, as long as they could call themselves sojourners. five of these, interestingly aough would have created process or a session -- as you know the united states constitution does not provide
for secession. there is no back door. if you are in, you are in. there's no way of getting out. philo these amendments proposed a process for getting out. proposed reorganizing the executive branch to give southern interests a better chance of succeeding. one of those by a northern a triumviratesed executive department. there would be a northern president and a seven president and a western president. all in the law office at the same time. there is the kicker. each one armed with veto power. you can imagine how well that would have worked. did not go anywhere, but nevertheless, that was a proposal by clement landing him, if you know that name. landingham, if you
know the name. third, to protect terrorists. that was a big issue in the 30's and 40's, not so much in the 50's and 60's, -- to protect tariffs. issue in the 30's and 40's, not so much in the 50's and 60's. i think we can say it have very little to do with the secession interests. importantly, when you look at all of these, 90% -- 90% -- of the 67 amendments were carefully and purposefully designed to protect slavery in various ways around the country in the federal constitution. the other 10% had to do with secession issues -- yes, secession issues and reorganizing the oval office. subset is about
10 -- 10 or 11 the proposed nationalizing slavery. at this time slavery was protected under state law. nobody really argued that. everybody assumed if the state wanted slavery, it could do that. if it wanted to opt out, abolish slavery, it could do that is well. we shouldt said that nationalize slavery. slavery should be protected at the national level and the poster child for that was none other than the mississippi senator jefferson davis, who two days before christmas in 1860 proposed minimum it that said "it shall be declared by amendment of the constitution property in slaves, recognized as such by the local laws of any of the states of the union, shells and on the same footing as any other species of property, so recognized."
just before christmas, jefferson davis was very willing to trade state authority for the federal protection of slavery. know about these because none of them asked. that's not quite true. one of them did ask. these so-called core amendment. thomas corwin was the head chair of the house committee set up to solve the problem. byhad been earlier proposed andembers of congress secession conventions and the -- would have protected slavery in the states. it was approved by the senate on the morning of inauguration day. the senate passed it, the house had passed it a couple days earlier and it simply said
congress has no authority to interfere with or abolish slavery in the states, making a very clean distinction between states and territories. if you are familiar with lincoln's first inaugural, he mentions that as he is getting warmed up. , a constitutional amendment passed this morning to read i have not seen it. i know of it and approve of it and would not mind if it was made perpetual. so much in 1861 four lincoln as an abolitionist. he was willing to allow slavery in the federal constitution, protected in the federal constitution in the 15 states where it already existed. it was ratified by five states before the war support rolled over it and it was lost, and in december, 1865, we have another exactlyndment that does the opposite.
it abolishes slavery throughout the united states. let me conclude, make some concluding remarks here and talk about what you want to talk -- three conclusions after going through these 8000 pages two or three or four times. is very easyk it to say that the south needed to protect slavery. i think that's as clear as it can get. a subset of that -- or i should say the united states brand of slavery was undergirded by the assumption of white supremacy. black people are inferior. it is good for them. it's good for us. is the appropriate way of balancing things. i think you could elaborate that to say the south seceded to protect the institution of
slavery and the notion of white supremacy. the amount of verbiage that i found documents both of those. the second point i had to hunt down a little bit. i had to figure out who the antagonist is. theyre the -- who are railing against question mark in the declaration of independence, it is king george. he has done this and this and this. what are the southern states railing against? they were not railing against congress. they were not railing against the federal government. james buchanan and your man john barrett, who is one of your representatives in 1860, said the federal government has not done anything to you. the antagonist was the north. the northern people. the northern states. abolitionists in general. and as they got wound up, the -- those blacky
republicans, as they like to say -- and eventually lincoln. believed thatouth the north was filled with abolitionist of the john brown stripe, that the republican party was an abolitionist party and a ram lincoln was the leading abolitionist in the country. none of it was true, but people believed it. i think the third conclusion was that -- and we hear a lot in any popular discussion you have with my students or others that they would take away the states' rights. in looking at these amendments, it turns out that southerners and perfectly willing proposed treating state authority.or federal the issue was not about states
rights. it was about property rights. about 67here are amendments that make that point very clear. i've got a couple of other points. answersave them into my to your questions. i'm going to stop an open the floor. ranger dave has a microphone and he will be selecting the questionnaires. all i have to do is think of some creative answer. >> first, thank you for your 30 years of service. i had not read the blurb in a while when i signed up for the ticket. dr. pitcaithley: thank you. >> i have a perspective from fallen madly in love with the descendents of dred and served usott who have
so beautifully with the dred scott heritage foundation. my perspective is hearing andies about how dred harriet were vilified in the tragedy of their children having to spend -- in one case, 90 years in seclusion -- he died during the second world war -- dr. pitcaithley: wow. desecration threats was buried indred having to be moved out to cavalry in an unmarked grave. was five they finally did a marker. -- the desecration as i understood it was about the fact that the civil war was his fault , pursuing for freedom.
so in your opening remarks, i noticed that your students -- i assume that is texas tech -- dr. pitcaithley: new mexico state. >> oh, now it's new mexico state. they do not mention dred scott or harriet beecher stowe who was blamed for starting the war. dr. pitcaithley: lincoln, lincoln. yes, yes, that's right. >> the little lady that started this. so, i was just curious if that had struck you and what you thought. dr. pitcaithley: dr. pitcaithley: i think, a couple of answers to that. to place blame, -- i encourage my students not to look for blame. it is sort of a useless exercise. there a number of ways to
look at that. person if you want to blame somebody, you might blame eli whitney, right? in 1793, which created the cotton gin, which people were making money before that. that just exploded it. andou hear -- here elsewhere, slavery was incredibly, incredibly profitable. werenk my students, if i teaching at texas tech, may be a texas school, one of the seceded states, west texas and love -- has anybody been to lubbock? get a different answer fire was teaching in mississippi, there might be a different answer. after i had my students to that list of what caused secession, then i had them vote. one student, one vote. wrote all of their topics on the
boards. nine timests wins out of 10, very partial, that lost cause interpretation of the war. whether we understand it or not. because we are talking about protecting states rights is easier than talking about protecting slavery. if you have an ancestor in it, you want that guy to have fall for something like states rights and not bondage. incidentally, states rights is not recognized in the constitution. states don't have rights. people have rights. states have power to the federal government have power the way the decision is written. although that argument has been, the phrase has been used from the beginning, certainly john c calhoun popularized it in the 1830's. that is a side know. thank you for that question. >> thank you.
i'd like to know your thoughts about whether it's profitability and economics or white supremacy or both that are at the core of 90% amendments proposed that focus on slavery, which is a cause, but since the crux of saying that it's slavery stems economics and profitability, or if it white supremacy? dr. pitcaithley: all of the above. you'd be perfect if you were asked, what the civil war is about and you said economics, you would be absolutely right. andit's economics slavery. it is the $4 billion that were invested in slaves. not a product, slaves themselves. 4 million slaves, $4 billion.
the figures move a little bit $4 billion..5 to that is an investment. and you cannot discount that. at the same time, woven in here, is, and certainly in these arguments and in some of the healthy amendments is the issue of white supremacy. in the northern states there are, in 1860, there are 18 northern states, free blacks could vote without restriction and five of them. -- in five of them. they can vote with restrictions in another three. states,ans that in 10 northern states, free states, they could not vote at all. take anothernk -- subset of the amendments, about 10 prevented black people from voting or holding public office. anywhere. there's a white supremacy thing
coming in. we don't care what massachusetts allows or new york or vermont. they were mostly new england states, those five. we do not want them voting at all or holding office. so, the, the white supremacy thing sort of seeps into it everywhere and the economic basically, the southern way of life which is built on both of those things. i wouldn't try to separate those in any way. they are both very compelling reasons that pop up. let me make one final comment on white supremacy. finallyginia secedes after firing on fort sumter, they are busy working on 13thving articles of the amendment they were putting together on april 12. the day the firing started at
four center. -- at fort sumter. a telegram from the governor of south carolina says we have started bombarding the fort. they stop work and start talking about secession. up until that time they were interested in compromise. but turned just like that. alexander stevens, the vice president of the confederacy is in montgomery where the confederate government is. hasears that virginia finally seceded four days after fort sumter. he gives this long speech on the sayr of the convention and ing that a number of other things, it is a long speech, but he says "our constitution -- the confederate constitution -- is built on the idea of the supremacy of the white man. he doubles down on it and says, i repeat, our way of life is built upon black inferiority."
it's as visible as you can get -- visceral as you can get, the speech as i quoted, that part of it. it is actually startling. i live in new mexico. we have an interesting relation with the number of races. viscerallys expresses it was by alexander stevens and a host of others. >> i have a question. when they talk about superiority and inferiority, what kind of reasoning? like, we have had the bell curve, the size of the head, all these things have come up since then. so, was it just because i say? dr. pitcaithley: oh, no. thank you. that is a great question. slavery did not have to be defended until it was attacked. sort of an interesting equation. it was not really attacked until around 1830.
guy william lloyd garrison publishing the liberator newspaper. big voice in some ways, really irritated the southerners. and, because of his constant attacks on slavery and slaveowners, they had to develop a defense of slavery. that -- sort of a cottage industry, and away, developed throughout the south. and there are no shortages of what some of them -- defending slavery, the title of the book, defending slavery. and they mostly broken down into three sections. natural history. they're just not like this, their brains are smaller. and so forth. they bring in a lot of pseudoscientific arguments. culturally slavery had been around for a long time. a lot of countries headed knowledge it -- had acknowledged
it. most of it was not racially slavery. greece and rome, rushes ser -- russia's serf system and slavery in africa was not race based. but here in the united states we developed quite a robust argument about that. finally, the kicker was it was ordained by god that these are inferior people. so, thae the logical part of ths is fascinating -- the theological part of this is fascinating, because, the one that caught my eye is, if black people are so different from us, and some of the arguments that they are different, they are -- they are different species, they would argue. what does that do to the creation story? wrong?hen did it go
we have one creation story, all come from the garden of eden, and then there is this offshoot. some theologians said, there were two creation stories. we're not sure where the other one took place but there had to be two, because white people came from this branch and black had to come from another branch somewhere. but they would elaborate -- quite a bit on that. i'm sort of interested in that theological part of the white suppressing. i got into this rather late in the manuscript. beforeded it quite a bit santa to the press, but there is more to be done there -- before i sent it to the press, but there is no shortage. stool,a three legged that they argued that black people are inferior. did that -- dr. pitcaithley: the supremacy >> the supremacy was not just
blacks only. that was the reason for the slavery, but it was any other, white -- if you weren't white. so, any other kind of nationality in the state could not be? dr. pitcaithley: they did not make that argument. now, the american party, we need a historian in the room, around 1850's were anti-immigrant. no nothings and all that were against all sorts of those "other" people. but the work i've seen defining slavery kept it simple, white and black. >> were women no nothings? dr. pitcaithley: um... nick? it is the question have women participated in the know nothing party? >> i think it was partly
tongue-in-cheek question. dr. pitcaithley: yes? >> didn't missouri consider secession at all? >> yes, thank you. dr. pitcaithley: we never met before the state. you five dollars. i love talking about missouri because missouri was the only state that called a secession convention. and then decided not to secede by eone v -- by one vote. farmer on st. louis, george best, voted for secession. everyone else voted against it. nearly a unanimous vote, but the far more important talk here is they developed a proceeding that is 350 pages or so. 1862,ublished in 1861 or the arguments in missouri are the same as the arguments everywhere else in the other states. they just reason secession was
not the answer. in fact, the speech by john barrett that i included, i include three speeches at the end, just to give a sense of the arguments. one from illinois. a republican. one from john barrett, democrat from missouri. a wonderfulom character, one of the character fromcters, lewis wigfal texas who was a senator from texas. speech.starts his on the floor of the house of representatives in washington. by talking about red mouth abolitionists and demagogues and heady foggers aimed at northern anti-slavery people. knowts wrapped up and you where this is going he is going to argue for secession immediately. he gets 4/5 th through it and he says but secession isn't the
answer. we agree with everything you said. all the horrible thing to say about northerners. secession is not the answer. and apparently people believed him. and, although, that was in washington, he was a member of the secession convention and the convention voted not to secede by one vote. because he thought as well as alexander stevens -- the question was why was ann't it the answer? they felt that slavery was protected in the constitution as it was. four states felt the same way, missouri, kentucky, maryland and delaware, not much of a slave state but a slave state nevertheless. they felt a protected it just fine. there is an interesting book by woman who looked at kentucky and the confederate movie there. --movement there.
kentucky figured that slavery was protected and united states constitution. what happens at the end of the war? slavery is abolished. the title of the book is something like "when kentucky turned confederate." it's after the war. because they felt they were sold a bill of goods. they were promised protections by slavery, and the war changed everything. and, after the war -- >> do you know the story about buchanan saying, i'm sorry, -- saying to buchanan, do not say anything when you're campaigning for president about slavery because i'm going to take care of the issue because he knew -- dr. pitcaithley: you are talking about at buchanan's inauguration. when buchanan was inaugurated. buchanan was inaugurated on march 4, 1857, right? the dred scott decision came out two days later on march 6. who swears in the can?-
-- swears in buchanan? the chief justice robert g tawny. they are seen whispering on the podium, and republican wags have said ever since that tawny was telling buchanan, do not worry about slavery. i have got it covered. there is some truth to that because the cannon wrote letters to two justices getting them to make sure that they were going to vote against red scott in -- against red scott in the election. there was some collusion. but that sounds like the conversation they might've had during buchanan's inauguration. . >> i am not good on dates. so, help me. how does missouri deciding not to secede fit in with the missouri compromise and missouri and maine? dr. pitcaithley: that was 1820. a long time before.
the trade-off was, congress wanted the senate to make sure there was a northern state and the southern state and that bala nce never got out of whack. in 1819 when missouri petition to become a state, it would have upset the apple cart and part of the missouri compromise is will let missouri come in as a slave state and maine as a free state. and there shall be no slavery north of there. 34 years untilor the kansas nebraska act, which brought the genie out of the bottle yet again. >> yeah, the feeling of the inferiority of the black race was just not a southern feeling. it was also a northern feeling. many of grant's generals had that feeling. but, in the north, it was not a threat. a threat to the way of life as
it was in the south. so, i think it was more of a defense in the south , needed defense. dr. pitcaithley: yeah. we never met, either. give you $5.00 to ask that. when i teach my course, at the beginning, i make it is very clear that there is as much racism as the north as the south. butslaves in 1830 and 1860 a lot of free blacks. as i mentioned earlier, only five states allow those black s to vote without restrictions. no shortage of racism in the north. writes it's emerson who in 1850, that he never thought much about slavery at all. it is just not on his frame of reference until the fugitive slave act of 1850, which then, he could be deputized to help the marshal capture a runaway
slave. but there is, but it wasn't the north that seceded, it was the theh and built the issue, organizational aspects of slavery for labor based on white supremacy. north did not have the labor force but they certainly had no shortage of racism. no question about that. good point. >> [inaudible] five states passed -- the amendment, is that correct? what if they have not fired on fort sumter, is there a chance that could have passed? it is hard to make assumptions. were the southern states the northern states -- dr. pitcaithley: northern and southern states? remember, it was the first state, but it was one of those states. two northern and three
southern, if i remember that, in a footnote. one of the interesting things that i do play around with in the book is, what if the south had not seceded? when does slavery end? it took a war to create the 13th amendment, 14th and 15tr amendment.what if there had been no war? when would slavery, which was, the chart was going up this way, still making lots of money, no signs of weakening, moving south and west, everybody was making money, including those mill workers in lowell, massachusetts , and new hampshire and new jersey. when would it have ended? would it? i was asked this at a conference couple years ago when i had not developed the thinking much. and my sort of answer off my head was, may be during the
1920's and 1930's with the onset of mechanized cotton picking. i'm rethinking that. and i think i was probably too hasty. line of through white supremacy we continue to see in this country, i think one could make an argument that it could still be with us. different form. slavery was very malleable. could be different things at different times. i think there is a pretty good argument that, to be made that it could still be with us without a war. the south at options. the south did not have to secede. i go through a couple of those in the book. it is all counterfactual, of course. but, when i started finding this white supremacist language there, it may be think about, what is the south had not seceded? what if they had argued for the ratification of the corbyn amendment, which would guarantee
slavery in the south. at the same time, slavery was moving westward. only half of texas was settled by white people. if you know texas, the i-35 corridor. the east was settled with 600,000 people. almost none to the west. the territory that was discussed when they talked about the western territories was new mexico. the mexican cession was split into two territories at the 37th parallel. utah to the north, new mexico to the saw. mexico ran from texas to california. arizona was not hived off till 1863. the new mexican territorial legislature developed one of the most sophisticated slave codes in the nation, allowing slaveowners in.ome
there were only 24 slaves brought in by military people but technically, officially, a a slaveco in 1860 was territory. new mexico legally existed from virginia -- slavery legally existed from virginia to california in 1860. what if they sort of backed off? pushed for the ratification of the corwin amendment, pushed slavery west into west texas and to new mexico. i think you have a different political landscape for all of this. >> you don't think -- [inaudible] dr. pitcaithley: would lou wallace have stopped it? the civil war general more famous as the author of "ben hur." i don't think he got any movie rights. it's a counterfactual. i don't know. >> he was governor of the territory. dr. pitcaithley: he was the governor, exactly right. mexico went for the slave code
because a representative congress at the time, a man named miguel otero, believed that the winds were blowing that way. toward the south. or with the south, i should say. he convinced the territorial legislature to enact this slave code. congress,ro wheent to being hispanic from new mexico, but he fell in love with the seveouthern belle. from south carolina. she had three brothers very involved in politics and they turned his head. he became this advocate and just misjudged it. but without a war, it's different. yes? >> two questions. one is, the theology question that you brought up. how did, did northern theologians counter it, or was it just the southern once? dr. pitcaithley: i can't answer
that. the material i have looked at was focused on defending slavery, not the other side. so, i don't know. i don't know if it is there or not. >> then a question is, is there anything that you have not said that you thought you would want to share with us? dr. pitcaithley: good question. i think i have covered most of about.wanted to talk one of the things was the through line of white supremacy that struck me. one of the things in my notes i was going to suggest, in 1860, s slavery was the most obvious manifestation of white supremacy. you could deal with slavery through the 13th amendment. could not do anything with white supremacy. 100 years later, segregation was
the most obvious manifestation of white supremacy. could not legislate against white supremacy. in recent years, it has bubbled up again. in our own times. i think this is the last question. >> -- we heard nothing from you like other pressures international pressures against the united states. regarding the slave trade. don't you think that a lot of that was really important? dr. pitcaithley: it, it, it didn't factor into -- keep my mind my look is that secession itself. it comes to play mostly, much more in jefferson davis then and alexander steen. -- stevens. he wanted and expected the support of france and england during the war because of the large amount of cotton going
mostly to england but a number to france as well. jeffersoneresting -- davis was a far better politician than alexander stevens. he never mentioned slavery as a reason for secession. some good qouotes early in this period that i'm looking at, alexander stevens is the joe biden, can i say that, of the administration. he would say anything. as i said in his speech to the virginia secession commission, convention,, it's about white supremacy. that is why we left. and our constitution is built on that. jefferson davis was playing it a little more carefully and he was quite surprised, think he was rather surprised when england did not come in on the side of the confederacy. and part of that was the slavery issue. england would abolish slavery in the 30's, i think it, throughout
the empire. if it was about slavery, they were not going to get involved. >> also, there was an incredible giving up of slaves that the french and the british did. lost an incredible amount of money. dr. pitcaithley: earlier. >> earlier and during the civil war. longer cotton -- was no being sent to britain and made for the cotton mills. so, what happened in britain was that incredible numbers of slavery,shed against despite the fact that they were now out of work. so, there was, in 1812, around 1812 when spencer perceval was the prime minister. he was an incredibly hardline abolitionist. he actually didn't allow american ships into port if they had any slaves on their ships at
all. so, there was -- there were powerful business reasons to get rid of slavery. have any issues with that? dr. pitcaithley: it's something i did not look into. i think i understand that, at the same time, about beginning of the civil war, cotton was becoming grown much more in india as part of the british empire, and that helped supply some of that need. i told you exactly everything i know about that. but i've read that that's the case, and so it alleviated that need a little bit, but you got the wilberforce issue in england against slavery. and the general, the cultural, i think, tone in england was for freedom, against slavery, and, and so they didn't come in on the side of the confederacy.
best i could do. >> and there was a comment from somebody -- in the confederacy that said, why the hell to expect england would come in on our side? they lost a huge amount of money. the business people. to end slavery. so, why would we think that they would even bother, even think about coming on? dr. pitcaithley: am i correct in understanding that some money was made in england by deploying arms and munitions, under the table to the confederacy through gun runners and that sort of thing? i have no idea how much. it would've been illegal. the international slave trade was a legal in the united states after 1808, but he continued. i think ranger dave had just pulled the plug. dave: he'll be available for more questions. we do have copies of his book in
our gift shop if anyone is interested. come and see us in the lobby. otherwise, thank you again for being here. [applause] >> you are watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook. hoffman, author alan discusses general lafayette's farewell tour. his book is an english translation of a journal written by lafayette's private secretary. we learn about his travels through america and his meetings with the founding fathers. this program was hosted by the massachusetts historical association. it is one hour. >>