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Those not already aware of it, will be surprised to learn that there are teachers in the South-high in position-but, as we think, very ignorant of our history-who accept the Northern theory that "slavery was the cause of the war," and must accept the dishonoring consequence that its preservation was our sole object in that struggle the favorite position of the Northern advocates and the last support of their cause. This position they take in spite of the fact that the quarrel between the North and the South began when slavery existed in all the States. That writers or readers should ignore the proofs of this is surprising. We cite, for instance, Washington's stern order issued to the army before Boston in 1775, promising summary punishment to any man who should say or do anything to aggravate what he calls "the existing sectional feeling." For that feeling in that day we cannot find cause in slavery, for the good people of New England shared our Southern guiltiness. Nor is it to be explained except as springing from the old jealousy of Puritan and Cavalier, and the resentment of the Virginians against the New Englanders for failing to help them in the Indian war; whence, according to some authorities, the epithet, "Yankee" sprang.

At a later day (in 1786) Mr. Jay recommended to Congress that in exchange for a favorable commercial treaty with Spain we should yield to her condition that "no American vessel should navigate the Mississippi below the mouth of the Yazoo," New Englandcaring nothing for the distant Mississippi-supported this narrow and selfish policy; exciting, say contemporary writers, "the fierce indignation of the South, and especially of Virginia, to which State Kentucky then belonged." We quote in substance from Mr. Fiske's "Critical Period of American History." He recites the fact, but sees no connection between the incident and sectional



So of New England's pursuit of separate interests in 1812, the tariff iniquity of 1828, and the nullification struggle; all of which

intensified the general bad feeling. These are matters of commonest knowledge and of the gravest import. They are, nevertheless, ignored by many Northern writers as causes of the war. One prominent writer-Mr. Fiske-very briefly mentions the Hartford Convention of 1814. Even our old enemy, Mr. Barnes, gives the list in a fine print note. The fact is, these matters do not serve the purpose, as none of them could be depended upon to enlist the sentimental sympathy of the world against the South. Slavery and Southern action thereupon must be, for these historians, the cause of the war. There are people at home who, with these men, ignore all this history and accept and support their view. We are glad they are few, but they exist; and, therefore, Virginians do not feel as they did when, at the touch of hostile spear, the shield of the State rang true; when at the call of honor, the State of Virginia stepped to the front, to stay to the end of the war. For all of us there is cause to fear that our success in suppressing the more flagrant evils has lessened our watchfulness against subtler forms which may prove harder to expel; reason to apprehend that our people of Virginia and other Southern States may sink down into blind content with a situation which is still full of danger. If you will look over the lists of books allowed in some of our States you will be amazed. The artifices and corruption that secured their adoption would furnish a curious subject for a stuIdent of human nature.


Here in Virginia our hope is in this Grand Camp, with its allies among the scholars in the State, and in the men upon whom the law has laid the heavy responsibility belonging to our State Board of Education. We are glad to know that these are good men and true; that they have on the whole given the public schools of Virginia by far the best set of books they have ever had. So we are glad to acknowledge the good work they have done for the State, however strongly we may dissent from and protest against some of their conclusions. With respect to the situation abroad, it describes it not unfairly if we say that the reasons for the existence of our History Committee are, in a modified form, the same that

in 1861 brought into existence and moved to action the armies of the South.

"In the Sectional War" (not the "Civil War," for that title accords with the extreme national conception and admits that we were not separate States) we were called upon to resist an invasion of soldiers, armed and sent into our country by the concurrent purposes of several fairly distinct parties then and now existing in the North. They came seeking our injury and their own profit. A new invasion, with like double purpose, is being prosecuted by the lineal successors of some of these parties. Two of them chiefly concern us and our work. The one came- or sent representatives to the war-bent upon the destruction of our Southern civilization, the eradication of the personal characteristics, opinions, thought, and mode of life which made our men different, antagonists, and hateful to them. The other preferred war to the loss of material prosperity, which they apprehended in case the South should attain a position beyond the reach of Northern law-makers and Northern tax-collectors. Mr. Lincoln represented the latter, when, in reply to Mr. John Baldwin and Mr. A. H. H. Stuart, who, as representatives of the Virginia Convention, then in session, urged him to delay the action that opened the war, he asked, "What is to become of my revenue in New York if there is a 10 per cent. tariff at Charleston?" The following incident points to the former: About the year 1850 a distinguished Northern statesman said to a party of Southern congressmen, "You gentlemen will have to go home and beat your plow-shares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears, for the Northern school-mistresses are training a generation to fight the South.”


No longer concerning ourselves with the sentimental unionists and honest abolitionists-whose work seems to be over-we still struggle against the two parties we have described. These exist in their successors to-day-their successors who strive to control the opinions of our people, and those who seek to make gain by their association with us.

Co-operating with these and representing motives common to them all, is a new form of another party, which has existed since sectionalism had its birth; the party which has always labored to convince the world that the North was altogether right and rightecus, and the South wholly and wickedly wrong in the sectional strife. This party is to-day the most distinctly defined and the most dangerous to us. Its chief representatives are the historians against whose work we are especially engaged. We are enlisted against an invasion organized and vigorously prosecuted by all of these people. They are actuated by all the motives we have described; but they have two well-defined (and, as to us,) malignant purposes. One of them is to convince all men, and especially our Southern children, that we were, as Dr. Curry expresses their view,

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a brave and rash people, deluded by bad men, who attempted in an illegal and wicked manner, to overthrow the Union." The other purpose-and for this especially they are laboring-is to have it believed that the Southern soldier, however brave, was actuated by no higher motive than the desire to retain the money value of slave property. They rightly believe that the world, once convinced of this, will hold us degraded rather than worthy of honor, and that our children, instead of reverencing their fathers, will be secretly, if not openly, ashamed.

They now seek to carry out their purposes not by the aid of armed soldiers, but through the active employment of energies, agencies, and agents, who are as the caterpillar and canker-worm for destructiveness, and as the locust for multitude. The whole force of journalists, poets, orators, and writers of all classes is employed in their cause, especially the Northern history-makers, whose books have been and are now, to some extent, in the hands of Southern children.


The character of the work has been in greater or less degree such as might have been expected. By every variety of effort, from direct denunciation to faint praise, by false statement and more subtle suggestion, by sophistry of reasoning and unexpected inference, by every sin of omission and commission, these writers have

labored since the close of the war, as their predecessors had done before it, to conceal or pervert the facts of our history. In the past they have been to a great extent successful. Up to the war our people were as unknown as if they had lived on another planet— or known only to be condemned. The world has grown wiser. Therefore, these men, hopeless of retaining in the high court of the future the packed juries and prejudiced judges before whom they have heretofore urged their cause against us, gradually despairing of final success in distorting facts as touching either the legal aspect of the case or our military history, still retain the hope, and now bend their energies to the task, of convicting us allleaders and people-of such motives as shall appear to the world, and to our children, as proof of dishonor; and rob statesmen, faithful citizen and soldier alike, of the admiration now justly accorded.

A distinguished writer has lately said that "history as written, if accepted in future years, will consign the South to infamy." He further observes that "the conquerors write the histories of all conquered peoples." Whether or not the records of mankind show this last statement to be true, it is certainly not true that all conquered peoples have so learned the story of their father's deeds; nor can it be shown that the conquerors have habitually sought to force such teachings upon them. Wiser statesmen have known with Macaulay, that "a people not proud of the deeds of a noble ancestry will never do anything worthy to be remembered by posterity." He is a stupid educator who does not know that a boy ashamed of his father will be a base man. Such a direct attempt to change the character of a people has been almost unknown. It is true that traces of the Latin language show us where the Roman legions marched. Norman French was the court language in England after the conquest, and entered our English speech. These results, long resisted by patriotic men, came by natural assimilation. The relentless and remorseless "man of blood and iron" did-as a last measure of utter subjugation— attack the minds of the children of Alsace and Lorraine through the books ordered for the schools. Through dire penalties these orders were enforced; in hopeless despair these provinces submitted. The

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