nent an institution tliat all now agree was odious and evil? Onlyrnthis: if it was not wrong for the Founding Fathers to acceptrnslavery as the price of a constitution to establish the UnitedrnStates, it cannot be wrong for Lincoln to reaffirm the FoundingrnFathers’ concession—to repair and restore his fractured country,rnhi appeasing the South on slavery, Lincoln was being faithfulrnto the Constitution he had sworn to protect and defend,rnand to his duty as President to unite his divided nation. He wasrnalso being true to his belief that, if slavery were restricted tornwhere it existed, it would wither and die.rnAt the dedication of Freedmen’s Monument in Washingtonrnin 1876—a sculpture depicting a slave on his knees looking uprnin gratitude into the benevolent face of the Great Emancipatorrn—Frederick Douglass stunned an audience including PresidentrnUlysses S. Grant by calling Lincoln “the white man’s President,rnentireh^ devoted to the welfare of white men.” “‘iewedrnfrom the genuine abolition ground,” Frederick Douglass wentrnon, “Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent;rnbut measuring him b’ the sentiment of his country . . . he wasrnswift, zealous, radical, and determined.” A not unfair assessment.rnDid slavery cause the war? In 1927, historians Chades andrnMar’ Beard produced their famous and first in-depth study ofrnAmerican history. The Rise of American Civilization. It captivatedrnscholars and lav’men alike. After carefully’ examining thernfacts concerning sla’erv and the Ciil War, they concluded;rnSince, therefore, the abolition of slavery never appearedrnin the platform of any great political party, since the onlyrnappeal e’er made to the electorate on that issue wasrnscornfulh’ repulsed, since the spokesman of the Republicansrn[Lincoln] emphatically declared that his party neverrnintended to interfere with slavery in the states in anyrnshape or form, it seems reasonable to assume that the institutionrnof slavery was not the fundamental issue duringrnthe epoch preceding the bombardment of Fort Sumter.rnTo those who yet contend that Lincoln and the Union wentrnto war “to make men free,” how do they respond to the fact thatrnwhen the war began, with the firing on Fort Sumter, there werernmore slave states inside the Union (eight) than in the Confederacrn(seven)? Four Southern states, Virginia, North Carolina,rnTennessee, and Arkansas, had remained loyal. They did notrnwish to secede; they did so only after Lincoln put out a call forrn75,000 volunteers for an army to invade and subjugate thernDeep South. That army would have to pass through the UpperrnSouth, which would have to join a war against its kinfolk. Thisrnthe Upper South would not do. It was Lincoln’s call to warrnagainst the already seceded states of the Deep South thatrncaused Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas tornleae a Union in which thev had hoped to remain. JcffrernHummel notes in Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Menrn(1996):rnPreviousl}’ unwilling to secede over the issue of slavery,rnthese four states [Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee,rnand Arkansas] were now ready to fight for the ideal of arnvoluntary Union. Out in the western territory . . . thernsedentary Indian tribes—Cherokees, Choctaws,rnChickasaws, Creeks, and Seminoles—also joined thernrebellion…. Lincoln [by calling up the militia | hadrnmore than doubled the Confederacy’s white populationrnand material resources.rnBefore Fort Sumter, the Confederacy sent emissaries tornWashington to discuss a compromise. Lincoln refused to meetrnyvith them, lest a presidential meeting confer legitimacy on arnsecession he refused to recognize. Against the advice of armyrnchief General Winfield Scott, Secretary of State William II.rnSeward, Secrctar’ of War Simon Cameron, and Secretary ofrnthe Navy Gideon Welles, all of whom advocated evacuatingrnFort Sumter, he sent the Star of the Sea to resupply the fort.rnViewing this as a provocation, the Southerners fired on the fort,rnand the American flag, and the great war was on.rnAnd Southerners were perhaps not mistaken in their beliefrnthat Lincoln had provoked the conflict. As the President wroternwith quiet satisfaction to Assistant Secretary of the Navy GustavusrnFox, commander of the expedition to Fort Sumter, onrnMay 1,1861:rnYou and I both anticipated that the cause of the countryrnwould be advanced b’ making the attempt to provisionrnFort-Sumpter [sic], even if it should fail; and it is nornsmall consolation now to feel that our anticipation is justifiedrnby the result.rnLike Polk before him, and Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt afterrnhim, Lincoln had maneuvered his enem into firing the firstrnshot.rnDid the South Have a Right to Secede?rnIn the modern era, one reads more and more that the greatrnSouthern leaders were “traitors.” Robert E. Lee, Thomas J.rn”Stonewall” Jackson, and Jefferson Da’is, all heroes of the MexicanrnWar, however, were no more and no less traitors thanrnWashington, Adams, and Jefferson were traitors to GreatrnBritain. At West Point, which George E. Pickett, StonewallrnJackson, and Joe Johnston attended, the constitutional lawbookrnthat all three Confederate generals had studied, A View of thernConstitution of the United States bv William Rawle—arnPhiladelphia abolitionist and Supreme Court Justice—taughtrnthat states had a right to secede: “To deny this right would berninconsistent with the principle on which all our political systemsrnare founded, which is, that the people have in all cases, arnright to determine how they will be governed.”rnUnion officers had studied Rawlc as well. Indeed, the idea ofrnstate supremacy, of states’ rights to nullif}- federal law, and of arnright to secede if the issue were truly grave, had a long, distinguishedrnhistor) in America. In the Kentucky and VirginiarnResolutions of 1798 and 1799, Jefferson and Madison, authorsrnrespectively of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutionrn—enraged at the jailing of editors under the Alien andrnSedition Acts—argued that states had a right to nullify patentlyrnunconstitutional federal law.rnBetween 1800 and 1815, three serious attempts were madernby New England Federalists to secede—at the time of thernLouisiana Purchase in 1803, Jefferson’s Embargo Act of 1807,rnand Madison’s War of 1812. The secessionist leader was a RevolutionaryrnVvar hero and a member of Washington’s Cabinet,rnMassachusetts Senator Timothy Pickering. The Federalistrncauses mirrored South Carolina’s causes: what the’ saw as anrnintolerable regime, interference with trade, incompatibilityrnwith alien peoples (Germans and Scotch-Irish), and a convictionrnthe Union was being run for the benefit of the South. SaidrnOCTOBER 1997/17rnrnrn