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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:24 PM   #241
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What are you calling profiting from slavery? A recipient of cotton? Or a slave trader? I'd say there isn't much difference between him and the latter.
The difference b/t Lee and Washington is that Washington grew up and changed his stance, he worked to thwart the spread of slavery and he freed his slaves after his death. That being said, owning them was wrong. But he did work to change. You won't see me excusing slavery because a hero of mine indulged. He was human, he was wrong. But he didn't fight a war to preserve and spread slavery. Big difference. I like Jefferson a lot less, but I think he too worked to limit slavery.
I find that someone who makes slavery profitable by purchasing cotton is also profiting from slavery. It was not just the slave traders in the North, it was also the many business owners who profited from southern cotton. The reason slavery was legal was not only because it benefited the South for a time, it also benefited the North. There came a time when the North could afford to change its priorities, but that did take about 8 decades.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #242

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I stand corrected. He owned slaves but later became and abolitionist. I don't know what you mean about "another one bites the dust"? Are you accusing me of making other errors on this thread? If so where? Do we really need to be so personal?
No, we don't need to be personal, so I don't know why you're making it that way. There was no accusation involved at all. What I meant is simply that another American hero bites the dust.

Yes, Franklin changed his mind about slavery. Fortunately for him he lived in a world that wasn't as dependent on slavery as the South was, otherwise I would guess it would have been a lot harder for him to make that turnaround. Jefferson's stance on slavery actually hardened during his life. And Washington, although he did work somewhat against slavery, continued to purchase slaves throughout his life, and only freed them on his death.

But that was all before the cotton gin changed everything. Lee lived in a different world than they did, and a different world than we do now.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #243

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I find that someone who makes slavery profitable by purchasing cotton is also profiting from slavery. It was not just the slave traders in the North, it was also the many business owners who profited from southern cotton. The reason slavery was legal was not only because it benefited the South for a time, it also benefited the North. There came a time when the North could afford to change its priorities, but that did take about 8 decades.
You can find it that way, but I disagree. I assure you something you own was made by slave labor. Do you consider yourself in the wrong for purchasing it? People buying cotton are running a business and often have little other choice. You can find them accountable if you want, but I disagree. I'm against illegal immigration but I find it unavoidable to buy produce that wasn't picked by illegals. And yet I don't cut the employer any slack for what I consider treason. The person buying the cotton paid for it, he did his part. he isn't profiting. He is making a transaction.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #244

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Absolutely disagree. The Catholic Church had been condemning chattel slavery for nearly 2000 years. The north knew it was wrong and had outlawed it. Other countries knew it was wrong and outlawed it. Lee, by his own words, called it evil- though he went on to blame God and convince himself he was doing good. Jefferson and other FFs knew it was wrong. If Lee was the slave, I bet he'd know real quick how wrong slavery is. These things are innate. We're not talking about going ten miles over the speed limit. We're talking about selling children- human trafficking and treating human being like chattel. This isn't a 21st century rule. In fact, slavery is probably more alive today then in Lee's time.
I think you might just be right about that last bit. Alright Yank, it is all a matter of interpretive perception. Let's back up a moment and revisit a post of yours from yesterday.

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"I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race."
He's posing as the victim of slavery.
That is what you get from it, and i believe your convictions to be honest. However, i don't see him playing the victim here. Rather he is talking about the corrupting influence slavery has on the Christian slave owners. In effect turning a Christian man into a brutish beast.

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"The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their further instruction as a race, and will prepare them, I hope, for better things."
This isn't human error, he is claiming this is design. It is *necessary* for the Blacks.
You must understand. At that time, as horribly misguided as they were in their beliefs, quite a few well meaning Southerners against the institution of slavery having looked upon slaves as children, political naifs if you will, were in need of being educated in the ideas of being free as understood by whites of that time period. Most white people then, saw the laws of US governance then as only being able too be best understood by white people and that the ideas of enlightenment were foreign to all non-Europeans. Sound ridiculous? absolutely! But that was their mores and not ours.

A more modern interpretation of what it means to be free, that is, it is a universal right that doesn't need to be taught, just left alone and to respect each other rights. And even now, this understanding is changing while we are mostly unaware. Our current beliefs will be looked upon as either archaic, bad or evil, maybe good in another generation or so. Who really knows the time frame, but it will happen.

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"How long their servitude may be necessary is known and ordered by a merciful Providence." Their slavery is ordained by God. It is necessary and ordained by God. That isn't human error. He is attributing evil to God. He is blaming God and pretends to be mercifully doing God's work.
Yes, believe it or not, before the 1960's generation came along proclaiming the death of God through modern technology of the 60's, that is exactly what they thought, black and white. "Mans evil nature put the slaves into bondage and through God's graciousness, his plans will be fulfilled in some form, one way or another, that his righteousness will set them free according to his will", seems to me to be what Lee is implying.

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"Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storm and tempest of fiery controversy."
Slavery to convert them.
He is saying that he believed God, working through the unmolested Christian belief of their masters, free of abolitionists pressure, would in due time set them free without the need for a bloodletting, which of course, the blood letting came eventually came five years later.

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"The doctrines and miracles of our Saviour have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small portion of the human race, and even among Christian nations what gross errors still exist!"
Our Lord's way was slow and wrong. Slavery is how we are to make converts.
I am not sure how you came to this conclusion. But what i am getting from this is that what he is saying is that after near two thousand years since Christ, a small portion of humanity having subscribed to Christian ethics, and then bewailing what little to no progress had been made by humanity in following Christ's examples.

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That being said, I can strongly dislike the Confederacy and still like Lee(though I don't). I manage to love the Revolutionary War and dislike Light Horse Lee(I wish I could like him, leaving a wife and kids is not redeemable in my book). I dislike the French Revolution and LaFayette's role in it and his infidelity to his wife, btu I still like him as an American hero. I can separate the man from the war. But in Lee's case I think his cause was bad and I think he was not a good guy. I dislike the Confederacy but still manage to like Longstreet. But with Lee I have heard the phrase "Christlike"(I'm not making this up) more than once.
I believe you. I've heard and read of him being described that way too. I think it has more to do with how much he implemented his religious beliefs into his life and daily activities; At least from a historians perceptive. To the idealists out there, he probably is regarded in Christlike fashion and some people do and will want to imitate him. Regardless of the Lee naysayers out there. Personally, i subscribe to the former in bold. I don't worship the man, just trying to find and look at him from a historical perspective, the same as you.

Anyways, this is interesting and fun... having this conversation with you.

Last edited by Panthera tigris altaica; November 13th, 2012 at 03:41 PM.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #245

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No, we don't need to be personal, so I don't know why you're making it that way. There was no accusation involved at all. What I meant is simply that another American hero bites the dust.
Sorry, I guess I have my back up a little. But I think the opposite. He was born into a bad system and he rose above it. It makes me appreciate him more
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Yes, Franklin changed his mind about slavery. Fortunately for him he lived in a world that wasn't as dependent on slavery as the South was, otherwise I would guess it would have been a lot harder for him to make that turnaround. Jefferson's stance on slavery actually hardened during his life. And Washington, although he did work somewhat against slavery, continued to purchase slaves throughout his life, and only freed them on his death.
That is pure conjecture about Franklin. I don't deny what you say about Jefferson, but do you have evidence?
I admitted Washington freed his slaves after death. Half when he died and half when Martha died. Do you have evidence that he continued to purchase them throughout his life? I thought I read that he was a slave trader but became disgusted and gave it up. But I never claimed he gave up his slaves during life, I said he worked to end the slave trade from Africa and thwart the spread of slavery westward. I'd call that maturing.
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But that was all before the cotton gin changed everything. Lee lived in a different world than they did, and a different world than we do now.
Money and inventions don't change morality. Are these men antisocial? Do they not know right from wrong? Or is more profit that powerful? If so, I find that to be a bad quality.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #246
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You can find it that way, but I disagree. I assure you something you own was made by slave labor. Do you consider yourself in the wrong for purchasing it? People buying cotton are running a business and often have little other choice. You can find them accountable if you want, but I disagree. I'm against illegal immigration but I find it unavoidable to buy produce that wasn't picked by illegals. And yet I don't cut the employer any slack for what I consider treason. The person buying the cotton paid for it, he did his part. he isn't profiting. He is making a transaction.
It is a little different when the product of slave labor is being purchased in your own country. In a way I am a little bit guilty if something I own is a product of slave labor, but then again that was my point all along. We are all a little bit guilty. R. E. Lee inherited the issue of slavery in his life, and instead of fighting against it during the war he fought against something else. He saw an enemy of his state, and an enemy of his neighbors, and rightly or wrongly he chose his neighbors and his state over this grand nation known as America. I am just trying to put Lee's image in perspective.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:49 PM   #247

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It is a little different when the product of slave labor is being purchased in your own country. In a way I am a little bit guilty if something I own is a product of slave labor, but then again that was my point all along. We are all a little bit guilty. R. E. Lee inherited the issue of slavery in his life, and instead of fighting against it during the war he fought against something else. He saw an enemy of his state, and an enemy of his neighbors, and rightly or wrongly he chose his neighbors and his state over this grand nation known as America. I am just trying to put Lee's image in perspective.
I am not a little bit guilty and neither are you. Please don't compare a legitimate purchase of cotton or an ipod with owning human being and selling children. The only threat to Virginia was slavery. What had the Union done to threaten or hurt the state? nothing. What rights were denied? nothing. Virginia opted to fight to perpetuate and spread slavery. Plenty of Virginians and members of Lee's family sided with the Union. He wasn't fighting for his state, he was fighting for the confederacy. The confederacy was fighting for slavery. And he had no problem when the confederacy abused his Virginia neighbors.

Lee may have inherited slaves, but he also inherited a conscience. If a grown man doesn't think it's wrong to sell children then he has problems. You are free to disagree but that is how I see it and I am not changing my mind.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #248
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I am not a little bit guilty and neither are you. Please don't compare a legitimate purchase of cotton or an ipod with owning human being and selling children. The only threat to Virginia was slavery. What had the Union done to threaten or hurt the state? nothing. What rights were denied? nothing. Virginia opted to fight to perpetuate and spread slavery. Plenty of Virginians and members of Lee's family sided with the Union. He wasn't fighting for his state, he was fighting for the confederacy. The confederacy was fighting for slavery. And he had no problem when the confederacy abused his Virginia neighbors.

Lee may have inherited slaves, but he also inherited a conscience. If a grown man doesn't think it's wrong to sell children then he has problems. You are free to disagree but that is how I see it and I am not changing my mind.
Actually, that is the best post I have seen from you. I do not argue these points to try to convince you. I think it is important for all of us to argue with ourselves over what we believe and try to figure out why we believe things. There is no doubt that society had a serious problem known as slavery before the civil war. There is plenty of blame to go around. I argue that R. E. Lee was nothing more than a product of his time. There are no saints on the battlefield usually.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 04:07 PM   #249

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Sorry, I guess I have my back up a little. But I think the opposite. He was born into a bad system and he rose above it. It makes me appreciate him more
That is pure conjecture about Franklin. I don't deny what you say about Jefferson, but do you have evidence?
I admitted Washington freed his slaves after death. Half when he died and half when Martha died. Do you have evidence that he continued to purchase them throughout his life?
We recently had a long discussion about Jefferson and Washington and their slaves on this thread:

http://www.historum.com/american-his...jefferson.html


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Money and inventions don't change morality. Are these men antisocial? Do they not know right from wrong? Or is more profit that powerful? If so, I find that to be a bad quality.
It is a "bad" quality of the human race that we tend to justify things when our lifestyle depends on it. We certainly could give up our Ipods and Nikes, but we've become dependent on them, so we justify owning them instead. I think Abraham Lincoln summed it up pretty well in an 1862 conversation with abolitionist Moncure Conway:

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"Throughout the conversation the President spoke with profound feeling of the Southerners, who, he said, had become at an early day, when there was at least a feeble conscience against slavery, deeply involved commercially and socially with the institution. He pitied them heartily, all the more that it had corrupted them; and he earnestly advised us to use what influence we might have to impress on the people the feeling that they should be ready and eager to share largely the pecuniary losses to which the South would be subjected if emancipation should occur. It was the disease of the entire nation, all must share the suffering of its removal." - Moncure Conway

Source: Papers Past — Otago Daily Times — 10 HereturikMk 1865 — Untitled
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Old November 13th, 2012, 04:20 PM   #250
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We recently had a long discussion about Jefferson and Washington and their slaves on this thread:

http://www.historum.com/american-his...jefferson.html




It is a "bad" quality of the human race that we tend to justify things when our lifestyle depends on it. We certainly could give up our Ipods and Nikes, but we've become dependent on them, so we justify owning them instead. I think Abraham Lincoln summed it up pretty well in an 1862 conversation with abolitionist Moncure Conway:
I just wish that Lincoln could have helped mitigate the horrors of reconstruction. He was a great man, and his assassination led to a poor leader becoming President. It took decades of misery to recover.
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