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Re: “Our Man in Charleston paints a portrait of a sneaky Civil War diplomat and the slave society he navigated

"Their wives were incredibly angry with them about the children they were having with their slaves."

Interesting way to phrase rape.

Posted by Ron Liberte on July 28, 2015 at 4:35 PM

Re: “Our Man in Charleston paints a portrait of a sneaky Civil War diplomat and the slave society he navigated

"That paved the way for further progressive laws allowing more Americans to enjoy civil liberties."

Yes, we are all free to carry our guns in the waist band of our sweatpants while we're shopping at Wal-Mart. Really sticking it to The Man, just as the founders intended.

I guess it's only an activist court when one disagrees with the rulings. And all I've been hearing for the past several years from you and other persecuted and oppressed white men is how civil liberties are being taken away. Is it really that hard to stick to one disastrous perception of reality? (That was rhetorical.)

Posted by Ron Liberte on July 28, 2015 at 4:29 PM

Re: “Our Man in Charleston paints a portrait of a sneaky Civil War diplomat and the slave society he navigated

It's all so much more complicated when you drill down to the detials. The black and white history everyone fights about looks like a comic book after you've read their letters and private correspondence. The war looks utterly different when you read stuff written by men who were trying to kill each other that afternoon and are now sitting on a stump somewhere trying to get off a letter home assuring their families that they're still alive. Everyone in Charleston was in favor of slavery, except that they weren't. Lots of slave owners wanted out. Their wives were incredibly angry with them about the children they were having with their slaves. Their kids would leave the South and not come back. It's very complicated, but in the Newspaper, it looked simple.

Posted by wjhamilton29464 on July 28, 2015 at 3:45 PM

Re: “Our Man in Charleston paints a portrait of a sneaky Civil War diplomat and the slave society he navigated

Like the study of history, the intent of the Constitution is clear when read correctly based on the standards of the time.

Thus, the Federalist Papers and other contemporary documents were used in the Supreme Court's 2008 Heller decision which affirmed the obvious point that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual one. That paved the way for further progressive laws allowing more Americans to enjoy civil liberties.

Progress like that in our society is indeed a beautiful thing.

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Cid95 on July 28, 2015 at 1:34 PM

Re: “Our Man in Charleston paints a portrait of a sneaky Civil War diplomat and the slave society he navigated

"we have to study history by the contemporary standards of the day."

So what you're saying is that phrases like "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." should be re-examined in the light of progress and societal context, right?

0 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Ron Liberte on July 27, 2015 at 7:38 PM

Re: “Our Man in Charleston paints a portrait of a sneaky Civil War diplomat and the slave society he navigated

Cid, Brett's comment above yours kind of hints that "sickeningly morally bankrupt" isn't far off.
At least Brett oozes humility and a balanced sense of proportion.

0 of 3 people like this.
Posted by landsnark on July 27, 2015 at 5:21 PM

Re: “Our Man in Charleston paints a portrait of a sneaky Civil War diplomat and the slave society he navigated

"It is literally no more to kill a slave than to shoot a dog."

The core of this matter lies in the above statement - we have to study history by the contemporary standards of the day. Slavery today is repugnant to all civilized society. So is shooting a dog. However, the latter was, to Bunch, a matter of apparently no consequence. Why is the author not horrified?

Similarly, slavery in the 19th century was not abnormal.

"...Great Britain, which ardently opposed slavery and had made it a mission to end the practice..."

Great Britain had only outlawed slavery throughout their Empire in the early 1840's. They were admirably at the leading edge of the change in the Western view towards slavery.

The author of this piece seems unaware of historical context.

Saying that Southerners were "sickeningly morally bankrupt" for supporting the slave-based agrarian economic system then in use is like saying that all Americans were also sickeningly morally bankrupt prior to 1920 since no women could vote then. However, that was not abnormal for the time. The US was neither the first nor the last place where women could vote. The American South / CSA was neither the first not the last place where slavery was legal.

I would like to read Dickey's book based on this review, but the author should be more aware of the bigger in order to avoid these mistakes.

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by Cid95 on July 27, 2015 at 1:07 PM

Re: “Our Man in Charleston paints a portrait of a sneaky Civil War diplomat and the slave society he navigated

"...sickeningly bankrupt morality of 19th-century Charlestonians in particular, and Southerners in general."

Good thing those nice Yankee folks came in and showed us Southerners some manners. They sure know how to live up there. And it's certainly comforting to know that while us morally bankrupt Southerners had no other thoughts but slavery, those nice Puritan Northerners had better institutions like indentured servitude. Also nice to know good ol' Abe freed all the slaves--well, for some reason not in Delaware, Missouri and Maryland; but that should never be questioned because since the Yanks know better than us, their slavery was probably morally sufficient. It's too bad us Southerners aren't capable of sorting out our own racial problems because the North is a land of racial harmony, just take a gander at what these great leaders have done in Chicago, Milwaukee and New York to name a few places that never had to deal with the racial strife that is caused by ignorant Southern folks. Those good ol' Northerners alright. We might as well forget that it was two Yankees that kidnapped Solomon Northup and brought him South for a bounty, but we'll just forget about that because it's not nice to generalize, except when talking about those repugnant Southerners.

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Posted by Brett B on July 24, 2015 at 12:42 PM
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