Thirteen Periods of US History:
The South’s Part in Making History
November 21, 1912 — New Orleans LA
Last year at Washington, you remember, your Historian-General sounded a very sad note; this year she is able to sound a far more cheerful one. Twenty-one of twenty-two State Divisions have reported systematic work along historical lines; six, of the eleven States having no Divisions, have also reported progress; and some individual chapters have sent most valuable contributions recording Southern events.
This advance has been a great encouragement, and it has made me feel that if such advance continues in the same proportion each year, it will not be long before the South shall be placed where she rightly belongs in the annals of history.
I bring you this evening sixteen volumes, averaging 400 pages each, which I have prepared for you in scrap book form. These bound volumes are not for publication, but are compiled for the convenience of the future historian. I desire, after indexing them, to be permitted to place them in our Confederate Museum at Richmond, Va., so that there shall be no excuse hereafter that the truth concerning the South is not available.
As State Historian of Georgia, I have twenty-six similar volumes pertaining to Georgia history; as the historian of my own chapter I have eleven volumes concerning Athens history.
Do you not see the possibilities in our work? Each State Historian has the opportunity of compiling her own State history; each Chapter Historian, her own local history, putting it into scrap-book form, binding it, indexing it, and having it ready when it is needed.
I had hoped to bring you this evening twenty volumes instead of sixteen, but four of these volumes could not be completed because you failed to do your duty.
Our Presential-General urged you to send the history of your State Division — only eleven States responded, so that volume is incomplete. I urged you in my Open Letter to send information regarding the disputed points, connected with our Confederate history, also your state’s part in the making of our history, and the names of our great men of the South in Science, Art and Invention from your State. Very few responded to these requests, so the three other volumes consequently remain unfinished.
Now, Daughters of the Confederacy, while it is true that we are making an advance in collecting and preserving this history, are we really doing all that we can do? Have we in the past done all that could have been done? I answer without hesitation, I do not think so.
We are far too prone to believe that the history of the South is included in the four years of the War Between the States and the seven years of reconstruction which followed. While this is undoubtedly the pivot upon which our Southern history does turn, we should not neglect to know and to teach the events which led to this period, and the results which have followed.
To my mind there are thirteen well-defined eras or periods of United States history. In eight of these eras the South has been pre-eminent; in four the North has been pre-eminent; in one we have shared the honors.
I wish very much that time would permit me this evening to take period by period and show you just what rightfully belongs to the South. As it is, I shall only have time to give you a glimpse of the many good things that we may claim.
May I suggest that the Chapters take these Thirteen Periods for their Historical Programs next year, using these instead of a Year Book? If this is done the next Convention will report marvelous progress in a knowledge of Southern history. The amount expended in Year Books can then be given to our Arlington and Shiloh monuments, and greatly facilitate those objects.
While the Mason and Dixon line was drawn to settle a dispute between the states of Pennsylvania and Maryland regarding their boundary, I shall use that line to separate the colonies and states of the North from those of the South.
One hundred years or more had passed since Columbus discovered America, when Queen Elizabeth, realizing that Spain was not only gaining great wealth by her possessions in America, but that she was also planting a religion that was not Protestant, granted to Sir Walter Raleigh, one of her favorites, permission to organize a company for the purpose of establishing settlements in the New World in England’s name. This settlement was called for the Virgin Queen, Virginia. It extended from “the northern boundary of Florida on the South to the St. Lawrence River including the Great Lakes on the North, and from the Atlantic Ocean on the East to the Great Sea on the West.” So you see that every colony, at the time of the War of Independence, had practically been settled on Virginia’s soil. Eight of these colonies were in the North and only five were in the South. Those in the North included in area 164,000 square miles, while those in the South included 824,000, five times the extent of territory.
Let us now begin with the Early Colonial Period, the first of our history.
Not only was the Jamestown colony in Virginia the first permanent English colony in America, but it was the first to have an Assembly, a written Constitution, a trial by jury, an endowed college, a school house, a school for Indiana, a missionary to the Indiana. First to have a preacher, to build a church, to have a marriage ceremony, a baptism, a Thanksgiving Day (1609), a hospital, a physician, an orphan asylum. First to Christianize the negro, to stand for liberty of conscience, to stand for religious freedom, to demand the right to will one’s property, to have a liberty, to have a free library, to have a circulating library, to have free schools, to have a colonial currency, to write a book, to have a Sunday School, to have a hymn book, to have a court house, to have a post office. First to have a tavern, to have an iron furnace, to plant cotton, rice, indigo, potatoes, and grapes, to discover the love-apple now our tomato, to build a ship, to build a Masonic Temple, to make bricks, to leave a legacy to the poor — yes, first in many things I have not time to mention.
Whitaker’s Good Newes was the first book ever written on America’s soil, although it had to be printed in England, Edwin Sandys wrote the first book ever printed in America, although it was printed on a New England press. Dryden said Sandys was “the best versifier of his age,” and Alexander Pope gave him high praise. William Strachey in 1609 wrote his Shipwreck at Sea, which suggested to William Shakespeare his great play, “The Tempest.” The first Literary Society in the United States was at Charleston in 1748 and it is in existence today.
John Smith, of the Jamestown colony, not only discovered New England and Plymouth but names them, and advised the Pilgrim Fathers to come to them! There were eleven plantations or burgesses in Virginia with negroes on them, and a population of more than 4,000 people before the Mayflower ever sailed for America. So we must not believe that everything good and great in those early days originated in the Plymouth Rock colony, as history represents it. We have in the South the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine, and Jamestown you know was “The Cradle of the Republic.”
Had it not been for the victory at Bloody Marsh is 1742 there would have been no colonies to declare their independence. The Spaniards in Florida had fully determined to take possession of all the land claimed by the English from the boundary of Florida to the St. Lawrence River, and this they could easily have done. Oglethorpe with his brave 682 Georgians and two poorly equipped ships met 5,000 Spaniards, well-disciplined and well-equipped, with 56 ships well-provisioned at Bloody Marsh on St. Simon’s Island, not far from Frederica, and trailed, for the first time on America’s soil, the Spanish flag in the dust.
George Whitfield said “That victory was like one of the Bible victories where God fought the battle for His people.” But for this battle there would probably have been no Bunker Hill, no Saratoga, no Cowpens, no King’s Mountain, no Yorktown, and Spain would be ruling where America rules today. New York acknowledged this, Pennsylvania acknowledged it, so did New Jersey and the other colonies and wrote to Oglethorpe testifying their indebtedness to Georgia for the victory he had achieved.
Surely the South may claim to be pre-eminent in this the first period of our history!
Turning now to the second or Later Colonial Period. It had ever been a principle with the British government that those governing only could levy taxes. It was with this understanding that all of the colonies were settled. When England, contrary to this agreement, began her acts of oppression, such as the Importation Acts, Navigation Acts, acts forbidding the colonies to trade with the West Indies or even among themselves, the colonies began to show a spirit of resistance. But this resistance began with no thought of separation from the mother country, and this thought came only when they were denied a voice in the levying of their taxes. As far back as 1659 Gov. Fendall of Maryland, outraged by the arbitrary acts of the Lords Proprietors at a meeting held at Robert Slye’s house declared Maryland a Republic. Culpepper, of North Carolina, appointed Courts of Justice and imprisoned the president of this colony 100 years before the Declaration. In 1719 South Carolina dismissed her Lords Proprietors and chose her own governor. You well remember Nathaniel Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia, and North Carolina’s trouble with her governor, and Georgia’s arrest of hers.
But the “Child of Independence” was really born in 1735 when Charles Pinckney in the South Carolina Assembly said, “South Carolina has as much right to make her laws and levy her taxes as England.” You were not taught that in history, were you? Your children are not being taught it now. I was taught, and so were you, that “The Child of Independence” was born twenty-six years later when James Otis, of Massachusetts protested against the “Writs of Assistance.”
In 1764 when Lord Grenville, the Prime Minister of England, announced in Parliament that the American colonies must be taxed by an act of Parliament, not by colonial act, in order to defray the war debt incurred by the French and Indian wars, there arose a way cry ¾ “Taxation without representation.”
The Stamp Act Convention in New York followed. South Carolina sent Christopher Gadsden to represent her. When he said, “British lawmakers have no right to make laws for the colonies,” Massachusetts publicly rebuked him for his “intemperate speech.” Soon after this those brave North Carolinians seized a vessel and confiscated all the stamps she had on board.
The celebrated Tea Party then took place. By the way, history as it is now written, makes so much of this tea-party at Boston with its disguised men to throw tea overboard, and says little of that one at Charleston when the tea was thrown overboard in broad daylight by men with no disguises, and the one at Annapolis, Md., about the same time and the tea openly thrown into the sea.
Jonathan Bryan, of Savannah, called a meeting in 1769 to protest against the Stamp Act, and Gov. Wright dismissed him from the Council. The Boston Port Bill followed. Who issued the Non-Importation Act, refusing to trade with England or the West Indies until Boston was relieved? John Hanson of Maryland. Who came in loving sympathy to aid Massachusetts? The Southern colonies. Washington said, “I will equip, if need be, a regiment of soldiers at my own expense to relieve poor Massachusetts.” Georgia said, “I will send her 600 barrels of rice and the equivalent of $720 to aid her.” North Carolina said, “I will send an equivalent of $10,000 to her,” and South Carolina said, “I will also send her rice and money.” George Mason wrote to his daughters in Virginia that when the services were held to pray for the relief of Massachusetts, they must go to those services in deep mourning. Patrick Henry said, “An insult to Massachusetts is an insult to Virginia!”
The ball of the Revolution really started, for this was the first public act of defiance, when Patrick Henry made that speech in the House of Burgesses in Virginia in 1774, when he said, “Cæsar had his Brutus, Charles I. had his Cromwell, and George III. — “The cry arose, “Treason! treason!” Pausing for a moment he added, “may well profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.” That ball continued to roll and gained an impetus until his memorable speech in the St. John Church at Richmond, beginning with, “We must fight if we would be free,” and ending with those memorable words “but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” Those words “liberty or death” became the battle cry of the Revolution.
Following closely came the Mecklenburg Declaration in North Carolina, May, 1775. Then in June of the same year South Carolina declared for independence, and in July following the Liberty Boys of Savannah, Georgia, called a Congress and practically annulled the objectionable acts of Parliament, questioned the supremacy of the British crown, and advocated statehood. They erected a liberty pole, the first in the South.
But the boldest act was when in September, 1775, the Council of Safety of South Carolina, at Fort Johnson, tore down the British flag and raised the flag of South Carolina¾a blue flag with a white crescent in the corner bearing the word “Liberty.” When the Virginia Assembly met, Pendleton, I forget his first name, Edmund, I think, wrote a set of resolutions and, because he was presiding, asked Thomas Nelson to read them. The resolutions were to the effect that a delegate be appointed to go instructed to present at the Second Continental Congress a set of resolutions that the colonies he declared free and independent states. Richard Henry Lee was this delegate. Thus it was a Southern man offered the resolutions for freedom, (Lee); a Southern man was appointed to give the Summary of Rights to answer Lord North, (Jefferson). A Southern man was made chairman of the Committee of Correspondence, (Dabney Carr) — remember, we had no railroads nor telegraph wires in those days — a Southern man organized the first troops for American independence (Hanson, of Maryland), a Southern man was made commander-in-chief of the army, (Washington), commander-in-chief of the navy, (James Nicholson), three Southern men were appointed to arm the colonies, and nothing could have been done had not another Southern man, (George Mason, of Virginia) given his Declaration of Rights.
So can any one dare say that the South was not pre-eminent in this the second period of our history?
The colonies would have declared for freedom earlier had not the French and Indian wars kept their thoughts at home. But even in those Indian wars, who was the hero of Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes? George Rogers Clark, of Kentucky, and but for Clark and his brave men all of that Northwest Territory would now be a part of Canada. Who were the heroes of Council Bluff? Lewis and Clark. Who were the heroes of Point Pleasant? Selby and Lewis. Who was the hero of Duquesne and Great Meadows? George Washington. And did not Burgoyne say his men feared above everything the riflemen of Daniel Morgan of the Shenandoah?
Now let us see the South’s part in the War for Independence, the third period of our history.
We are too apt to think that this began with Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, but remember that the battles of Alamance, Lexington, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Bunker Hill, Quebec, Moore’s Bridge and Charleston, were all fought before July 4, 1776. Again, why do we find in history so much said of those 19 patriots at Lexington, and scarcely a word of those 200 patriots at Alamance? When Clinton went to South Carolina, why did he fail to seize Sullivan’s Island? Ask William Thompson of South Carolina. Who refused to surrender Charleston to Gen. Prevost? Ask Col. Moultrie. Who was the hero of Fort Moultrie? Sergeant Jasper. Who was the hero of Moore’s Creek Bridge? Richard Caswell. Who of Ramsour’s Mill? Col. Moore.
Then for two and a half years, it is true, the war was fought on Northern soil, but Virginia troops were in every battle, our Washington was the leader after Bunker Hill, and Georgia sent the first schooner against the British, and Joseph Habersham, of Georgia, seized all the powder in the magazine at Savannah, besides 14,000 pounds captured from a British ship, and sent it to be used at the Battle of Bunker Hill. North Carolina sent the powder that was used at Boston! Who was the hero of Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth? George Washington. Who was the hero of Saratoga? Daniel Morgan of the Shenandoah. Who was promoted for bravery at the siege of Savannah? Samuel Davis, of Georgia, the father of our Jefferson Davis. Who were the heroes of Kettle Creek? Elijah Clarke and Dooly of Georgia, and Pickens of South Carolina. Who was the hero of Hanging Rock? Thomas Sumter of South Carolina. Who were the heroes of King’s Mountain? Campbell of Virginia, Sevier and Selby of the Wautauga Settlement. Thomas Jefferson said that was the decisive battle of the Revolution. Who was the hero of Blackstock’s Ford? Thomas Sumter of South Carolina. Who were the heroes of Cowpens? Morgan and William Washington of South Carolina. Cornwallis lost one-third of his army at this battle. Who was the hero of Yorktown? Thomas Nelson of Virginia. Who was the Swamp Fox of the Revolution? Francis Marion of South Carolina. Who was the Game Cock of the Revolution? Thomas Sumter. Who were those Partisan Leaders that did such valiant service for Carolina and drove Lord Rawdon from Charleston? Marion, Sumter, Pickens, and Lee.
While the Americans had no regular navy, there were heroes on the sea, nevertheless. Who gained the victory over the Serapis if not John Paul Jones of North Carolina, and, finally, to whom Cornwallis surrender? To our Washington. Five-eighths of the men who fought in the Revolution were from Southern colonies, and nearly every leader of renown was from the South.
George Bancroft, a Northern historian, said, “South Carolina endured more, suffered more, and achieved more than any of the other colonies,” and Reed of Massachusetts, testified that it was the gallantry of Southern men that inspired the whole army.
This brings us to the fourth period of our history — The Period of Adjustment.
When the surrender took place, Cornwallis sent to Washington his sword, and Washington received it. As the soldiers marched away Washington said to his men, “Let there be no loud huzzahs, no loud acclaims, posterity will huzzah for us.” Such was the magnanimity shown by our great commander. Does this not recall to us that General Grant acted with equal magnanimity to our Gen. Lee and his barefoot Confederate braves, except there was no sword incident. Gen. Lee never offered his sword to Gen. Grant, nor did Gen. Grant demand it.
The army gathered around Washington and offered him a crown. “No,” he said, “my home is my throne, my crown shall be the love of my people,” and he devoted his energies to adjust the new states to their new form of government.
When the colonies renounced their allegiance to the English crown, who presided over that Continental Congress to welcome Washington in 1781 after the surrender? John Hanson, of Maryland. A committee had been appointed just after the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to prepare Articles of Confederation by which they could be governed until a more stable form of government could be established. I have never been able to find who wrote these Articles of Confederation. There is nothing strong in them, for they allowed money to be borrowed to carry on war but made no provision to pay it back. They allowed an army to be called, but provided no way to equip it. They would not allow any taxes to be levied. They allowed treaties to be made without provision to bind the nation to keep them.
The States realized their weakness and refused to sign them at first. A convention was called later, in 1777, to discuss them. Henry Laurens, of South Carolina, was made President. The States did not adopt them until 1779, and then under protest. When the Treaty of Paris was signed, 1783, giving peace to the colonies, that Treaty made each colony an independent and sovereign State, not a nation, so no State felt there was anything binding in those Articles to force payment of the war debt.
Alexander Hamilton, “The Financier of the Revolution,” advised with Washington as to the propriety of calling a Convention at Annapolis to revise the Articles of Confederation. Only five States sent representatives and not one was from the South. Then Washington advised that a Convention be held at Philadelphia, and he urged all States to send delegates. Twelve States were represented. Washington was asked to preside, James Madison was made Secretary, and but for Madison, we would not today have any record of that Constitutional Convention of 1787. It was found impossible to revise the Articles of Confederation, so it was proposed to form a National Government with executive, judicial and legislative departments. Edmund Randolph of Virginia, said “Leave out the word National.” Charles Pinckney, of South Carolina, (a nephew of Charles Pinckney, of 1735), said, “We must have a head,” and he suggested that the head be called President. Then he also proposed that Congress he divided into the House of Representatives and a Senate. When it came to the question as to who should vote, Maryland, Rhode Island and the smaller States objected to a vote by population on the score that too much power would thus be given the larger States, especially Virginia. Virginia, magnanimous then as she ever has been magnanimous, yielded without a question her claim to all of that Northwest Territory from which were made the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois Wisconsin, Michigan and a part of Minnesota. Then when the question of the vote of the slave-holder came, it was a Northern delegate, I think from Connecticut, who proposed that the slave-holder should have three votes for every five slaves. Thus slavery became distinctly entrenched within the U. S. Constitution, and that too at the suggestion of the North.
James Madison was the one who wrote the Constitution. Gladstone said it was the greatest State paper every written. When it was first presented for adoption, Patrick Henry said, “Who said, ‘We the people?’ It should be ‘We the States,’ “ and so insistent was he that State Sovereignty should be stressed, that ten amendments become necessary before he would consent for Virginia to sign it. North Carolina waited a year before she signed it, and Rhode Island waited two years. There was never a doubt in Massachusetts’s mind that the Constitution gave the right to a State to secede, if her rights were ever interfaced with. Many times she threatened to secede and no other State ever questioned her right to do it. Even Daniel Webster, that great statesman of the North, so interpreted the Constitution to mean State Sovereignty.
When the question arose of paying the war debt, South Carolina and Georgia paid more than their share and more than any other State unless Massachusetts be excepted.
Do you not think then that the South was pre-eminent in this period?
May I not pause here for a moment to make a statement which I think is just? While I am lauding Southern men and the part they played in the making of the Nation, I would not have you believe that I wish to overlook the great work done by the great men of the North, for there were great men at the North. We can never as a people forget the debt the country owes to Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Robert Morris, Washington’s friend who really financed the Revolution from his own personal means, nor John Jay, Rufus King, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Israel Putnam, James Lawrence, Stephen Decatur, and many others, including Lafayette and our other foreign friends. But there is no danger that these men ever will be forgotten, for their deeds have been and will be always well recorded in history. What I am so earnestly stressing tonight are the unrecorded deeds of unrecorded heroes. The North is right to place before her young people the heroism, the fortitude, and the valor of the great men of the North, and so should we of the South, place before our young people the heroism, the fortitude and the valor of the men of the South.
Thomas Nelson Page says, “We are becoming more and more one people and the day is not far distant when there will be no South to demand a history.” Are you willing to allow history as it is now written to go down to posterity? I am not. It represents our forefathers of the Revolution as “breeders of tyrants,” “fomentors of treason,” “defenders of slavery.” It represents our Confederate fathers as “indolent, vain, haughty,” “semi-barbarious, only saved by Northern civilization, illiterate, cruel slave drivers who strove to disrupt the Union in order to preserve the institution of slavery.” That “secession was heresy, unconstitutional, untenable, and treasonable.” It says also that our fathers of today are “annulling the Constitution, falsifying the ballot, and trampling under foot a weaker race because of race prejudice.” It says “President Davis, Alexander Stephens, Howell Cobb, Robert Toombs and other rebels should have been hanged as traitors at the close of the Civil War.”
It has been a surprise to me that a people so proud of its ancestry, so assertive of its rights, so jealous of its reputation should be so indifferent to the preservation of its history.
Do you wonder that I urged so strenuously this morning at our business meeting that we have a Chair of Southern History in the Teachers’ College at Nashville, Tenn., endowed by the U.D.C.?
Ah! how I wish I could make you, Daughters of the Confederacy, realize the importance of having our Southern teachers taught the truth of Southern history. Here in our midst Southern young men and Southern young women are teaching in Southern schools the things unjust to the South, and do not know it. Why? Because they were taught from Northern text-books and they think it must be right, and they are still using Northern text-books. How can we expect the writers of Northern text-books to know what we do not know ourselves? No, Daughters, it is full time for the teachers of the South to realize this injustice to the South.
You ask, “Why put that Chair of History in Tennessee?” Because Tennessee has the only Teachers’ College in the South, and George Peabody who endowed it was a Marylander — only English by adoption.
I hope the day is not far distant when there shall be in every university and college in our Southland such chairs endowed by the states and named as memorials for the great men of the South and men of the South who really know Southern history placed in charge of them. How I should rejoice to see such a chair at our State University in Georgia and named for an honored graduate, Crawford W. Long, the discoverer of anaesthesia, the greatest boon poor suffering humanity has ever known. And Georgia is going to have it some day.
Daughters of Florida, you should do the same for your Dr. Gorrie who taught us to manufacture ice. What a boon that has been in the sick-room and the hospital service!
But I must hasten. We come now to the fifth period of one history, The Constitutional Period.
I tried to show you at Washington last year how large a part Southern men had in the “Building of the Nation,” so I will not repeat. Much concerning that period will be found in that published Washington Address.
It was under the administration of Washington, Jefferson, Monroe, Polk and Taylor that that vast extent of territory, 2,100,000 square miles, two-thirds of the entire area of our country, was added to the United States. Indeed no very large territory was added under any other administration, unless we except Alaska, and that was added under a “so-called” Southern President, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee. But for these wise statesmen, France, Mexico, Spain and Russia would have firm foothold in our America today.
There was only one “Era of Good Feeling,” and that was in Monroe’s administration. There was only one Monroe Doctrine and that came from a Virginia son. It has been the most dominant political question of more than a century. Europe has stood before it perplexed and baffled.
It was during Southern men’s administrations that the cotton gin was invented and patented by a Southern man, Joseph Watkins, of Georgia; the steamboat became a possibility from the brain of a southern man, James Rumsey, of Maryland, or William Longstreet, of Georgia; the passenger railroad propelled by steam became a possibility in a Southern State, South Carolina; the reaping machine by a talented Southern man, revolutionizing harvesting, Cyrus McCormick, of Virginia; the civil service reform which was first suggested by a Southern woman, Miss Perkins, of South Carolina; and the sewing machine which was first invented by a Southern man and used by a Southern woman, Francis Goulding, used by his wife. The Smithsonian Institution was given to the United States by England under a Southern man’s administration (Polk).
John Tyler of Virginia held the first Peace Conference. The American Navy was born under Jefferson’s administration. It was Washington’s far-sightedness that kept America from being involved in the French Revolution.
My! how many things we can claim for our dear old misrepresented Southland.
The following are all Southern men. Do you know from what States?
The Father of the Constitution, Madison?
The Father of his Country, Washington?
The Father of the Declaration, Jefferson?
The Father of States Rights, Patrick Henry?
The Bayard of the Revolution, John Laurens?
The Great Expounder of the Constitution, John Marshall?
The Supreme Political Thinker of the Age, George Mason?
The Cincinnatus of Mt. Vernon, Washington?
The Great Pacificator, Henry Clay?
The Great Nullifier, John C. Calhoun?
The Pathfinder of the Ocean, Matthew Maury?
Fiske, a Northern historian and so unjust in many ways to the South, says that the five men who shaped the American Nation were Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Marshall and Hamilton — four from the South.
This brings us now to the sixth period, The Second War of Revolution, or the War of 1812.
Have you ever seen a true history of this period? I have not. The North did not want war with England, especially the New England States. Why? Because there was at that time in Massachusetts a spy from England arranging for the annexation of the New England States to England. You know, of course, that Massachusetts threatened to secede if war with England should be declared? No one knows what took place at that Hartford Convention, for the proceedings were kept secret, but it was well understood that the New England States wished to secede. It was Henry Clay that saw the danger. Not that he thought that those States had not the right to secede, but he did not wish to see the Union destroyed, and he felt that war must be declared to prevent any future interference with American seamen. William Lowndes, of South Carolina, said, “Massachusetts must remember that injury to her commerce is also injury to the South’s agriculture.” It was necessary that war be declared before the New England States could secede. Fortunately Henry, the spy, turned traitor, and those states had nothing to do but to aid in carrying on the war, although the government had to compel their militia to serve in their country’s defense.
James Madison was the President at this time; Henry Clay was the Speaker of the House; John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, a member of Congress; William H. Crawford of Georgia, Secretary of War; George Campbell of Tennessee, Secretary of the Treasury; and Felix Grundy of Tennessee, a member of Congress. It was Langdon Cheves of South Carolina, who offered a resolution to increase the navy by forty-five frigates and twenty-five ships of the line. The United States navy had only 16 ships, England had 830. It was John C. Calhoun who offered the resolution declaring war. James Madison was inclined to veto the bill, but Henry Clay said that it would lose him all change for renomination by the South, so he signed it. Henry Clay was asked to be the commander-in-chief of the army, but Congress said he could not be spared as Speaker of the House. Harrison of Virginia, was put over the forces in the Northwest; Hampton, the grandfather of our Confederate Wade Hampton, over the forces in the North; Andrew Jackson in the South. Every one of the six frigates afterwards so well known in the War of 1812, among them the Constitution, Wasp, and Hornet, were built at Norfolk, Va., and built of Georgia wood!
Rogers of Maryland fired the first shot from the President into the Little Belt. Maryland suffered most because her coast was so exposed, but she has the honor of giving to our nation its National Anthem, “Star Spangled Banner,” written at this period by her son, Francis Scott Key.
Andrew Jackson was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, the greatest victory over the British on American soil.
The histories you studied and the ones you are now allowing your children to study will tell you that nothing was achieved by the Treaty of Ghent which brought peace. Indeed, one history will tell you “The War of Independence was directed by a Higher Power, but the War of 1812 was an exhibition of unwarranted folly. It was brought on by the political ambition of such men as John C. Calhoun and Henry Clay, and the country at large has had to suffer for the personal ambition of these two political demagogues.”
What ignorance! That war was just as necessary to secure freedom at sea from England’s rule as the War of Independence was to gain freedom on land, and it effectively secured not only this freedom from British interference, but from interference by all other nations at sea. There can be no doubt that it increased respect abroad for the United States as a Nation, and greatly strengthened the national spirit at home. It sounded the death knell of the Federal party.
Who were the heroes of Fort Meigs, Fort Stephenson, The Battles of York and the Thames and Lundy’s Lane, but Harrison, Grogan, Johnson and Scott? Who led that famous “Cockade” in 1812? Richard McRae of Virginia. See that monument at Petersburg, Va.
When the war began the British Navy was singing “Britannia Rules the Waves,” but when the war ended American seamen were singing, “Hail, Columbia, Happy Land.”
Was not the South pre-eminent in this period?
The War With Mexico is the seventh period of our history,
Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Why so many of the men who fought in the Mexican War were from the South?” It is officially stated that two-thirds were. A Southern man was in the White House, the two leaders were Southern men, and the heroes of nearly every battle were from the South. The South has been misunderstood and therefore misrepresented by the historians of this period of history.
The Missouri Compromise of 1820 left the negroes congested in the Southern States, for after Missouri was admitted as a State there could be no slaves above a certain degree of latitude. Now there were many men in the South very anxious for the gradual emancipation of the slaves, for we were beginning to realize that under the institution of slavery the negro was the free man and the slaveholder was the slave. There were many who did not believe in slavery, but having inherited this property did not know how best to get rid of it. They realized what it has taken the North fifty years to learn, that it would never do to free them in the midst of an Anglo-Saxon race born to rule. Abraham Lincoln realized it, for he was trying in every way up to the time of his death to arrange for the colonization of the negro in Central America or Liberia. Edmund Randolph realized what it would mean. He wanted to free his salves, but he said, “We have a wolf by the ear, to let him loose is dangerous, to hold him is equally dangerous.”
Thirty-two times the Virginia Legislature tried to abolish the slave trade. Massachusetts was the first State to legislate in favor of it, and Georgia was the first State to legislate against it. There were 130 abolition societies in the U. S. before 1850, and 106 were in the South. We had 5,175 members and the North only had 1,162.
By this War with Mexico the men of the South hoped for an extension of territory so as to make the gradual emancipation of slaves a possibility.
Santa Anna had acknowledged the independence of Texas, but Mexico refused to acknowledge it, so when Texas was admitted as on the United States, war was declared.
The independence of Texas had been gained just as the independence of the colonies, by right of arms. Can we ever forget those heroes of that conflict between Texas and Mexico? Moore, Houston, Fannin, Bowie, Crockett, Austin, Travis, Bonham, and many others equally as brave. Can we ever forget our heroes of that War with Mexico?
Who was so highly commended for engineering skill, but our beloved Robert E. Lee? Who was the hero of Buena Vista? Our Jefferson Davis. Can you not hear him now as he said, “Come, Mississippians; cowards to the rear, brave men to the front?” and those brave sons of Mississippi aided by equally brave Kentuckians followed their leader to victory. Who won Brazeto and Sacramento and captured Chihuahua? William Doniphan, “the Patrick Henry of Kentucky.” Who was the hero of Chepultepec? Thomas Jackson, our Stonewall. Who were the heroes of Palo Alto, Matamoras, Resaca de la Palma? All Southern men.
Who planted the U.S. flag in the City of Mexico? Quitman of Mississippi. Who first scaled the ramparts of Monterey? Rodgers of Alabama. And was not Daniel Hill of South Carolina called the bravest soldier of that war? And who wrote “The Bivouac of the Dead,” which immortalized these heroes? Theodore O’Hara of Kentucky.
Yes, Southern arms surely deserve the renown of that victory.
We are now brought to the eighth period of our history, The South on the Defensive, or the Abolition Crusade.
I said that the South was pre-eminent in the last period, but was she allowed to reap the reward of her victory? Not at all. Seward and other Northern politicians gathered in Convention at Pittsburg, Pa., and arranged to so legislate that no slaves should be in this newly acquired territory. This naturally made the South indignant, for she resented the many acts of injustice that had been shown to her. She had been unjustly treated in the Tariff Acts of 1830 when Hayne and Colhoun of South Carolina boldly contended for her rights. Hayne said, “It is unconstitutional for a government to make laws to enrich one section and impoverish another,” and he was right. The hiding of runaway slaves, and believing their representations of plantation life rather than the representations of the Christian men of the South caused increased resentment. Thirty thousand of our negroes, the property of the planters, had been encouraged to run away and hidden from their owners by means of the so-called “Underground Railways” at the North, and sent across the line to Canada.
As in family life, a child is punished if disobedient, so in plantation life a disobedient and unruly negro had to punished. Discipline had to be maintained on the plantation as in the home. Now it was more agreeable for that negro to run away and cross the border line where he knew he would be protected than to receive his just punishment. And it was perfectly natural for this kind of negro to exaggerate his threatened punishment. He told the abolitionists that we yoked them to plows to cultivate our fields, and the abolitionist willing to believe this did so, not realizing that the negro was our salable property and that a $60 mule would be much cheaper for his work than a $1,200 negro. He said that we used dogs to tear their flesh when we used bloodhounds to track the runaway. If an overseer, and these overseers were rarely Southern men, whipped a negro cruelly, as did sometimes happen on the large plantations, but not oftener than parents sometimes whip cruelly a child, that overseer was at once dismissed. Had no other reason than a selfish reason prevailed, a slaveholder could not afford to have his property injured by brutal treatment.
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was founded on one of these cruel misrepresentations by a negro from a Mississippi plantation. Mrs. Stowe, of course, really believed it to be true. But that book did more than any other one thing to bring on the War Between the States. The South felt powerless to stem the tide of popular belief at the North, so fanatical did these political abolitionists become.
A Georgia lawyer, Thos. R.R. Cobb, brought out about this time a book, The Law of Slavery, which really is a most remarkable production. Every available authority upon the subject of slavery among all nations was carefully studied and quoted. Coming about the time of Uncle Tom’s Cabin it was suppressed in the North, and the war coming on prevented a second edition in the South. When William Lloyd Garrison heard that this book proved that the institution of slavery was defended by the Bible, he said, “Better then destroy the Bible,” showing to what length his fanaticism led him. Fourteen Northern States passed “Personal Liberty Bills” and were violating the Fugitive Slave Law which was included in Henry Clay’s Omnibus Bill. The South feeling that this Omnibus Bill was unjust to her, accepted it, hoping to bring peace, when these same Northern States, violating the law, urged the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, and he was elected without a single electoral vote from the South, the Southern States felt no right would be respected and it was full time to secede.
Yes, the North was pre-eminent in this period of our history.
The ninth period is The War Between the States.
Eleven states rapidly seceded and the Confederate government was formed at Montgomery, Ala. The blockade came almost with secession. Had the South found a market for her cotton and tobacco possibly the surrender would never have taken place. Or had the prisoners been exchanged as President Davis and Gen. Howell Cobb so strenuously urged, Gen. Lee would not have been obliged to surrender. Of one thing I am assured the horrors of Andersonville Prison could have been averted.
Do you ask would it have been better had the South been victorious? I must say No. God knew best. Far better to have a Nation as we now have with such a man as Woodrow Wilson at the head, supported by those strong Democratic leaders from North and South, wisely doing the things which stand for right, than to be Sovereign States, as we would have been, the prey of any petty republic which desired to interfere with us.
The war did not begin with the firing on Fort Sumter. It began when Lincoln ordered 2,400 men and 285 guns to the defense of Sumter. The surrender was not due to Federal victories, but to Confederate exhaustion. The Confederate forces were 1 to 5. One hundred and seventy-five thousand men surrendered to 1,050,000. The North lost as many men at the battles of Wilderness and Spotsylvania as were lost in the French and Indian wars, the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War combined.
Yes, the North came out pre-eminent in this period of our history.
You know this history better probably than you do any other, so I shall rapidly pass to the next, which is the eleventh — The Humiliated South or The Reconstruction Period.
After the surrender the soldiers returned to their homes, where homes remained, oppressed and depressed. They literally had nothing left but the ground upon which they stood. Families scattered, negroes freed, banks closed, no currency available. The slaveholder knowing less than his overseer and slaves about the practical part of farming. The lawyer had no clients, the teacher had no pupils, the merchant had no credit, the doctor had no drugs. Ah! it was pitiful! Georgia and South Carolina suffered most on account of the desolation caused by Sherman’s March to the Sea.
This was time when those women of the Confederacy showed of what stuff they were made. They put their loving arms about those husbands and sons and they said “We are not conquered, we are just overpowered, and we think it was better that you fought, even if you did not win, than never to have fought at all. The South is going to come out all right, you wait and see.” What prophets they were, for is not the South today the Nation’s greatest asset?
They began to collect the bodies of the Confederate soldiers scattered over the battlefields, placing them where they could care for them, and where they could deck those graves with flowers. Then they began to erect monuments over them. The men said, “We cannot help you, for we are under an oath of allegiance.” The women said, “We are under no oath,” and the work went on. Ben Butler, in Louisiana, said we should not build monuments to our Confederate dead, and so said Meade, in Georgia, but we did it anyway, didn’t we? They did not know Southern women. More monuments stand to the Confederate soldier today than to any other soldier of any other nation who ever fought for any cause.
Had not Lincoln been assassinated, all would have gone well even then, for the negroes still loved their old owners, and did not wish to leave them. Indeed they were like little children, they did not know how to make a living for themselves, and they did not know that “ole marster” would never let them suffer. Lincoln’s death was the worst blow that could have befallen the South. Lincoln was not such a great negro lover as has been represented in history. He was Southern born and knew the true relation between the owner and his slaves. It is true he did not believe in slavery, neither did Washington, nor Jefferson, nor Mason, nor many other leading men of the South. Stonewall Jackson never owned but two slaves in his life and they begged him to buy them. But Lincoln was an intense Union man, and he determined to preserve the Union at all hazards. If he could do it with slavery, all right; if not, slavery must go. His Emancipation Proclamation did not free the negroes as a race. It freed your father’s slaves, and my father’s slaves, but it did not free Gen. Grant’s slaves, nor the slaves in Missouri, Maryland, Kentucky, Delaware, and other States where slaves still remained after the War. This Proclamation, the result of a rash vow, was only a measure to punish the seceding States. He had said in his Inaugural Address the South need not fear his interference with their slaves. The slaves were not really freed until a Southern man, John Henderson of Missouri, proposed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution after Lincoln’s death. But had Abraham Lincoln lived, he never would have stood for that Reconstruction measure of Thad Stevens. We would never have been put under military rule and divided into Districts; we would never have had the Freedman’s Bureau to humiliate us; he would never have stood for social equality in the South, he knew the thought of the people too well; we would not have had that rule of the carpetbagger and scalawag in the South, and I am perfectly sure he would never have stood for that Exodus Order of Thad Stevens’s, which more than any other one thing is responsible for the present day negro problem. That Order tore more children from their parents than was ever done in all the years of slavery by any slave block.
That Stevens saw that the negroes were remaining with their old owners and he could not accomplish the plans laid for social equality of the negro in the South. He told them if they remained with their former owners they would be made slaves again, and ordered that no two families could remain upon the same plantation. This caused a separation of families and a rending of ties and a fearful alienation between whites and blacks followed. The faithful mammies would not leave “marster’s white chile,” and that is the reason so many were found many years after freedom still with their former owners.
Oh! Daughters of the Confederacy, members of our Indiana Chapters, there was a friend of the South from your Indiana in those awful Reconstruction days. As our Mr. Cunningham has been instrumental in erecting a memorial to Mr. Owens who was so good to our prisoners during the War, so I would like to see you erect some memorial to that Democratic Congressman so anxious to help the South in this hour of her need. I refer to Dan Vorhees, of Indiana. He said it was a shame to make dead provinces our of living States. He said the South was a white man’s country and should be kept so, but that Reconstruction Committee would not listen to his pleading.
The Ku Klux Klan was an absolute necessity in the South at this time. This Order was not composed of the “riff raff” as has been represented in history, but of the very flower of Southern manhood. The chivalry of the South demanded protection for the women and children of the South.
Yes, the North was pre-eminent in this period of our history, but does not the South stand out in no uncertain light? It has proven to the world that she can be as brave in defeat as in victory; she can stand humiliation and lawlessness with Christian resignation; she can bear and forbear, and yet suffer in silence; and while having far more to forgive and forget, she has a heart ever ready to do the things that make for peace, and stands ready today to stretch forth her hand in the true spirit of reconciliation.
The record of the Confederate soldier, the heroism of the Confederate women, the monuments erected to Southern valor have caused the whole world to be lost in admiration and wonder.
Now comes The Second Period of Adjustment.
It was very hard for our Southern men unused to manual labor of any kind to try to adjust themselves to the new order of things in the South. It really was easier for the women than for the men, and some men never did get adjusted, and some women have never been reconstructed.
The kitchens in the old civilization were never in the house, but some distance from it. There was no need that they should be in the house then, for there were plenty of young negroes to run back and forth with the hot waffles, the hot egg bread, the biscuits and the battercakes. But when the women of the South had to go into the kitchen after the negroes left, or had become too impertinent to be allowed around the house, the inconveniences were greatly felt. You must remember there was rarely such a thing as a cooking stove before the War. All cooking had to be done in an open fireplace, with oven and pots. There were no water works, and all water had to be drawn from the well or brought from the spring. There were no electric lights, no gas lights, no kerosene lamps even, and lard lamps were really a rarity used only by the rich. The dependence for light were wax, tallow and sperm candles. The wood had to be cut and the chips had to be picked up, and all this consumed time and required great patience. This was the beginning of the breaking up of home life in the South and it proved the death blow to the old time Southern hospitality. Things began to brighten, however, as the years rolled by, for the new homes in the South began to add the kitchen to the house and conveniences were gradually introduced, so that with gas stoves, electric plates and fireless cookers our Southern women are as independent today as the women of the North, and can cook as good a meal with as little trouble, and wash and from too, if need be. They really have more sympathy and more patience with the negro help than the women of the North, and really are more anxious to aid the negroes in the right way.
The twelfth period is The Industrial South or The South Coming to Her Own.
We had been an agricultural people before the War between the States, and were satisfied to be. We never realized the possibilities in our grasp. We did not know that we had 9,000,000 horsepower in our streams of the South. We did not know that we could make anything worth while out of the cotton seed we were yearly throwing away. We did not know that there was untold wealth lying beneath our feet, but we know it now. South Carolina first began to realize the possibilities in her cotton mills. She discovered that she was selling her cotton crop every year to Massachusetts for $30,000,000, and Massachusetts was making it into cloth and thread and selling it for $100,000,000. The thought came, “Why may I not keep that money in my own States?” and that is what South Carolina is doing today, and other Southern States are following her example.
I think the Spanish-American War did much to make the South realize her own powers. At least it made the two sections know each other better. That war taught us loyalty to the United States flag, which we had not loved during those four years of war, and during those seven years of Reconstruction which followed. But when our boys put on that uniform of blue, and fought under the Stars and Stripes side by side with the boys of the North we began to feel it was our flag as much as it was the flag of the North. The South showed that she was again loyal to the Union, for more volunteers from Southern States, in proportion to population, went to that war than from any of the Northern States, and our boys made themselves known, too.
Who was commander-in-chief of the Atlantic Squadron?
Winfield Scott Schley. Who was made Minister to Havana? Fitzhugh Lee. Who was called “Thee Wizard of the Saddle?” Joe Wheeler. Who commanded the Brooklyn when Cervera’s fleet was destroyed? Schley. What vessel fired the first shot of the war? The “Nashville,” commanded by Maynard of Tennessee. Who fired the first shot at Manilla? Stoakley Morgan of Arkansas. Who was promoted for gallantry on the field? Micah Jenkins of South Carolina. Who shed the first blood of the war? John B. Gibbs of Virginia. Who was the first to fall in battle? Worth Bagley of North Carolina. Who was Dewey’s right-hand man? Tom Brumby of Georgia. Who was the hero of Santiago Bay? Whitfield S. Schley. Who was the backbone of the Santiago campaign? Joe Wheeler. Who sank the ships to block the enemy and saved the day? Hobson of Alabama. Who raised the flag at Manilla? Brumby of Georgia. Who was sent with a message to Garcia? Rowan of Virginia. Who was sent to count the ships in Santiago Bay? Victor Blue of South Carolina. Every one our Southern boys. Then who was put in command of the American troops in the Philippines? Ewell S. Otis. Who was made Governor of the Philippines? Luke Wright of Memphis. And does this not show our boys of the South equalled in courage and heroism the boys of the North.
Who shall say then, that we did not share the honors during this period of our history?
And now we come to the thirteenth and last period of our history — The Triumphant South.
Do you know that three-fourths of all the cotton in the world is raised in the South? Do you know that Europe pays the South annually $800,000,000 for her cotton, and that is only one-third of the products the South supplied to her? Yes, Cotton is King, and that American king was born in Georgia. Do you know that three-fourths of all the sulphur mined in the world comes from the South, and all used in the United States comes from Louisiana? Do you know that Louisiana sulphur mines dominate not only the sulphur trade of America, but all Europe? Do you know that three-fourths of all the coal in the U.S. is in the South? Do you know that seven-eighths of all the forest area of the United States is in the South? Do you know that the only diamond mines out of Africa are in Arkansas? Do you know that all the phosphate beds of the United States are in the South?
Do you know that Tennessee’s coal is better than Pennsylvania’s coal? Do you know that Georgia’s marble is better than Vermont’s marble? Do you know that Texas’ oil wells produce annually 85,000,000 barrels of oil — far more prolific than those of Pennsylvania? Do you know that Joseph Watkins of Georgia patented the cotton gin one year before Eli Whitney? Do you know that the largest cotton warehouse in the world, covering 161 acres of land, is in Memphis, Tenn.? Do you know that Georgia mills are making velvet, and Georgia mills are making the thread from which are made those beautiful curtains in your Philadelphia homes? Do you know how many lumber mills there are in the South? Ask the Manufacturer’s Record. I know that the largest saw mill in the United States is in Arkansas. Do you know that the largest fertilizer plant in the world is in Charleston? Do you know that the largest sulphuric acid plant is in Tennessee? Do you know that lead was first mined in Mississippi?
Do you know that our corn equals that of Iowa? our wheat that of Illinois? our oats that of Ohio? our apples those of the East? and that our Georgia peach is the beat in the World?
Do you know that Dr. Seaman Knapp, for whom Tennessee’s Agricultural College is named, was a Louisiana man? Do you know that the pioneer of scientific agriculture was Edmund Ruffin of Virginia? Do you know that “The Rural Philosopher” was John Taylor of Virginia? Do you know that the first professor of economics and statistics was James De Bow of Louisiana?
I do not believe you know what our Agricultural colleges are doing to make the South realize her own greatness. One county in Georgia has 41 different kinds of soil, and experts are finding our all sorts of things about our Southern soils. Why, we are furnishing food and fibre for the world, and there lies beneath our feet yet untold undeveloped wealth. The South has 55 different minerals.
We have no right to cry hard times in the South, it is a disease, we have caught from others. Our nearness to Panama will make us the center of the world’s trade, and Panama would not be habitable, would it, but for our William Gorgas of Alabama? As we have one-half of the sea coast if the United States, the South will be the logical point for the future naval displays of the world.
No, we do not realize our own greatness, because we do not know our own country. It is a great country this United States of ours. It spans a Continent; it is the youngest, yet it is the noblest of all the nations of the world. Nature has really seemed partial to the South, for while she has given great stretches of land to the West much of it is barren waste. While she has given great fertility to the North and East half the year, there is icy bleakness the remaining half. To the South she has given almost perpetual spring; we scarcely know when summer ends and winter begins; when winter ends and spring begins. Half way between icy bleakness and tropical heat, partaking of the advantages of both but not injured by the disadvantages of either. We have soil and climate the most wonderful in the world; rainfall abundant but not in excess. Situated in the latitude of the Holy land we are the home of the orange, the pineapple and the banana; the home of the rose, the jasmine and the oleander; the home of the palm and the live oak and the magnolia; the home of the pomegranate, the apple, and the peach; the home of the pecan, the walnut and the chestnut, to say nothing of the watermelon, “the ‘possum and the ‘taters.”
Bathed on the East by the Atlantic Ocean, tempered by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream; on the South by the tepid waters of the Gulf of Mexico; on the West reaching to Mexico and California , the land of flowers; protected on the Northwest, by the grand old Rockies from Alaska’s icy blasts. The Mississippi, “The Father of Rivers,” flowing through our entire length of States; the Appalachian range on the eastern shore, with its highest peak in North Carolina; the Blue Ridge running toward us and ending in that geological monstrosity — our Stone Mountain of Georgia. Nature has worked wonders in our midst — the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, the Natural Bridge in Virginia, the bottomless Blue Spring in Florida, and the Tallulah Falls of Georgia.
Are we teaching patriotism to our children? Do you ask me, “What is patriotism?” My! What magic in the word. Love and loyalty to home and country. Love as tender as that of a mother for a child; loyalty so unselfish as to forget self. Patriotism is the spark that kindles the Nation’s fire; it is the fountain from which the Nation’s prosperity flows; it is the helmet that shields the Nation’s life; it is the shield that guards the Nation’s home.
Patriotism is inborn and if you have it not, you are abnormal. It should begin with love of God, then love of home, then love of country, then love of State, then love of place. America is a Christian country, ours by Divine gift. Liberty is God’s acknowledgement that we are capable of receiving the gift.
Our government has no model, nothing like it in the world. A government of the people, by the people, for the people. Benjamin Hill, our “silver-tongued orator” said, “It was planned not by human wisdom but by Divine guidance. The Romans never dreamed of it; the Greeks never could have conceived it; the European mind never could have evolved it.” Alexander Stephens said that the creed of patriotism is “Improvement of the mind, erection of schools and temples of learning, interest in the things that made for industry, and good will to all men!”
A patriot is one who saves his country’s honor. You were patriots, Veterans, for you saved your country’s honor, and now, God bless you, you have lived to see your country’s triumph. Everything you fought for has been acknowledged by those against whom you fought. Even Harriet Beecher Stowe’s son, Rev. Charles Stowe, has publicly said that there was a rebellion but it was the North that rebelled against the Constitution: that slavery could not have been the unmitigated evil it has been represented to be, or one could not account for the faithfulness of the slaves when the men of the South were at the front; that there was undoubtedly some good in a civilization which could produce such a beautiful Christian character as Uncle Tom.
Veterans, “heroes in grey, with hearts of gold,” it was harder to live after the war than it was to face the bullets on battlefields, wasn’t it?
Yes, the South is triumphant today! She is not only the Nation’s greatest asset, but she is the world’s greatest asset. This is the Golden Age¾an age of great power, buoyant strength, great wealth, and freedom to run an unhindered race. But we must remember that there is a danger in golden ages. Hannibal lost the fruits of his victories by the orange groves and vineyards of Campania. Mark Antony lost his by the alluring charms of a Cleopatra. Let us then beware lest greed of gold, selfishness, or intemperance engulf us. Let the public weal be as the apple of our eye. Let us keep the ballot box pure. Let duty ever be our watchword.
Sail on, thou great and mighty Ship of States, sail on over billows and through storms and seas, sail on.
May balmy breezes and gentle winds waft thee into a safe and quiet harbor. May thy keel be strong, thy sails pure and while. May duty be thy polar star. Sail on, sail on, undaunted by Mexico’s threatening waves, by Panama’s alluring charms, by selfish trusts, by tariff blasts, yes, by women’s votes, sail on, and thou shalt surely enter into Rest and Peace, if we as patriots will only firmly stand, and knowing the right dare to maintain it.
One last word:
Now, Daughters of the Confederacy, teach, I pray you, your children this:
Though we were overpowered, we were not degraded,
Southern laurels have never faded;
All is not lost unto us,
Only baseness can undo us.
Kneeling at your country’s altar
Teach your children not to falter
Till the right shall rule in Dixie.
Source: Four Addresses: Mildred Lewis Rutherford (Birmingham, AL: The Mildred Rutherford Historical Circle), 1916, pp. 19-45.