Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

“Slavery is the element of all value.”

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on May 25, 2011

A while ago I took former SCV Virginia Division Commander Brag Bowling to task for his A House Divided essay, which repeated the hoary old trope that the Confederacy had been “forced” to open fire on Fort Sumter. Not surprisingly, he’s still pounding that particular drum. In response to a question about whether the South’s secession came about because of a small number of fire-eaters or was actually a movement with wide popularity, Bowling instead prefers to answer a different question that hadn’t been asked:

On December 20, 1860, South Carolina formally withdrew from the Union and was closely followed by Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. Certainly an argument could be made that the fire eaters in those states did much to stir up secession sentiment. The “cotton states” seceded primarily for economic reasons and a fear that their economies would be disrupted by the ascension of Lincoln and the Republican Party to national governance.

This is arguably true, if by “economic reasons” Bowling means the perpetuation of the institution of slavery, and its expansion into the territories, the latter proposition which the Republican Party (i.e., the “Black Republicans”) had vowed to block.

But that’s not what Bowling is suggesting, of course. Is he correct, that those first several states secede because of generalized worries about tariffs and their economies? No, they didn’t; Southern political leaders were torqued about the possible loss of their property. More specifically, their property in slaves. How can we know this? Because they effing told us.

For the umpteenth time, South Carolina:

The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the *forms* [emphasis in the original] of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.


Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

John C. McGehee, President of the Florida Secession Convention:

In the formation of the government of our fathers, the Constitution of 1787, the institution of domestic slavery is recognized and the right of property in slaves is expressly guaranteed. The people of a portion of the States who were parties in the government were early opposed to the institution. The feeling of opposition to it has been cherished and fostered and inflamed until it has taken possession of the public mind at the North to such an extent that it overwhelms every other influence. It has seized the political power, and now threatens annihilation to slavery throughout the Union. At the South and with our people, of course, slavery is the element of all value, and a destruction of that destroys all that is property. This party, now soon to take possession of the powers of government, is sectional, irresponsible to us, and, driven on by an infuriated, fanatical madness that defies all opposition, must inevitably destroy every vestige of right growing out of property in slaves.


The North demanded the application of the principle of prohibition of slavery to all of the territory acquired from Mexico and all other parts of the public domain then and in all future time. It was the announcement of her purpose to appropriate to herself all the public domain then owned and thereafter to be acquired by the United States. The claim itself was less arrogant and insulting than the reason with which she supported it. That reason was her fixed purpose to limit, restrain, and finally abolish slavery in the States where it exists. The South with great unanimity declared her purpose to resist the principle of prohibition to the last extremity. This particular question, in connection with a series of questions affecting the same subject, was finally disposed of by the defeat of prohibitory legislation.

The Presidential election of 1852 resulted in the total overthrow of the advocates of restriction and their party friends. Immediately after this result the anti-slavery portion of the defeated party resolved to unite all the elements in the North opposed to slavery an to stake their future political fortunes upon their hostility to slavery everywhere. This is the party two whom the people of the North have committed the Government. They raised their standard in 1856 and were barely defeated. They entered the Presidential contest again in 1860 and succeeded.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers.

With these principles on their banners and these utterances on their lips the majority of the people of the North demand that we shall receive them as our rulers.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization.

Georgia goes on to argue that “because by [the Republicans’] declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union.” The phrase, “$3,000,000,000 of our property” refers to slaves.

E.S. Dargan, addressing the Alabama Secession Convention:

If pecuniary loss alone were involved in the abolition of slavery, I should hesitate long before I would give the vote I now intend to give. If the destruction of slavery entailed on us poverty alone, I could bear it, for I have seen poverty and felt its sting. But poverty, Mr. President, would be one of the least of the evils that would befall us from the abolition of African slavery. There are now in the slaveholding States over four millions of slaves; dissolve the relation of master and slave, and what, I ask, would become of that race? To remove them from amongst us is impossible. History gives us no account of the exodus of such a number of persons. We neither have a place to which to remove them, nor the means of such removal. They therefore must remain with us; and if the relation of master and slave be dissolved, and our slaves turned loose amongst us without restraint, they would either be destroyed by our own hands– the hands to which they look, and look with confidence, for protection– or we ourselves would become demoralized and degraded. The former result would take place, and we ourselves would become the executioners of our own slaves.

And my own state, Texas:

Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented [in 1845] to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.

These passages are not the writings of some politically-correct textbook author, or a liberal academic, or a South-hating blogger caught in the trap of “present-ism”; they’re not some modern historian’s opinion, or analysis, or interpretation. They’re the words written and spoken at the time, by the men who voted to take their respective states out of the Union. These are the words they themselves chose to explain and justify their actions, to their peers and to posterity. These words are explicitly how they wanted succeeding generations to understand their actions.

We should take them at their word.

Bowling, of course, continues to play his one-note tin whistle, again (and always) placing full and utter responsibility for the war on the sixteenth president, while admitting no missteps or bad faith on anyone in gray:

Lincoln had made his choice to fight. There had been no casualties at Ft. Sumter. Things might still have been worked out peacefully. One must wonder if Lincoln had met with the peace negotiators and tried to negotiate the contentious issues dividing the country such as slavery and tariffs rather than by using coercion and military force, that the ensuing fratricidal war might have been avoided. It must be noted that Lincoln was still willing to legally permit slavery to exist even several years into the war. The war rightfully should be laid at Lincoln’s feet. Lincoln’s premeditated bad choice set in motion a series of events which would lead to the death of 600,000 American citizens and the total devastation of the South for over 100 years.

An online friend of mine, JimmyD,  summed up the secessionists’ situation nicely, saying “first they lost the election, then they lost their minds.” By April 1861 nothing other than complete capitulation on on the part of the Lincoln administration would have avoided a shooting war, and given the indignant lather the fire-eaters had worked the South into, it’s an open question whether even that would have sufficed. “Negotiation,” in those Confederates’ (and Bowling’s) view, meant “give us everything we want.”

A Northern cartoon c. 1862, mocking the terms on which the Confederate states might be persuaded to rejoin the Union. Jeff Davis (left), his coat pockets stuffed with pistols, chides Brother Jonathan, an early representation of the United States: “Well Jonathan, if you agree to bear all the expenses of the war, and on top of that let me impose on you the old burden of slavery, while I hold the chain and the whip, I’ll put up my weapons for a while and we’ll have the ‘Union as it was’ only a great deal more so.” Library of Congress.

Folks committed to the Southron Heritage™ movement are fond of pointing to things like Lincoln’s reluctant support of the Corwin Amendment to demonstrate the the new president was not, at that point, willing to commit to ending the institution of slavery; true enough. But they ignore that his support for that legislation is Exhibit A in his willingness even to go against his own, personal opposition to slavery to ensure what he saw at the time as a more important goal, to preserve the Union intact. That was the one line he would not cross, and the South knew it. As Lincoln himself would later recall, “both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish.”

And the war came.

It’s slightly embarrassing to have to continually remind folks of these inconvenient truths; it’s far more embarrassing for the Washington Post, historically one of this country’s great newspapers, to give over electronic real estate to such revisionist foolishness.



23 Responses

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  1. Mark Douglas said, on May 25, 2011 at 8:43 am

    First they lost the election, then their minds?

    Cute — but inaccurate. They had lost their minds decades before.

    See George Mason’s powerful and accurate prediction of “the mind” of Southern leaders raised from birth to believe slavery was “from God”. Mason called slavery a “slow poison” that drives people insane, mentally. He used different terms, of course, calling it the “hool of the devil or “infernal school”

    We have a similiar saying “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

    If you think Davis, Lee, Toombs, Stephens, and others were not corrupt absolutely — consider that Robert E Lee was obsessed with his light skinned female slave girls, his account books are riddled with this obsession. Lee not only paid six times his normal bounty to get one young girl back (a light skinned girl), he personally kept notes in his financial jourmal about where the girl might be found, where she was seen last, what time of day, ect.

    We don’t seem to grasp that these were men who could — and did — utter words to others, and children were sold, women and men were tortured, and in some cases, burned to death. They could, and did, have slaves terrified. Terror was the stick, a gentle hand was the carrot. Even Robert E Lee defended the pain of slavery, claiming that God intended slavery to be painful, because pain “we necessary for their instruction.” Though no Southerner wants to admiit it, there is no question that Lee had his slaves tortured, including at least one instance where he stood by and screamed at a 14 year old girl, during her torture.

    What did Lee scream? Hit her harder, in the terms of the day “Lay it on”. Over and over this 50 year old man screamed to hit this young girl harder.

    That is a corrupt and vile mind.

    Furthermore, as Edward Pollard states, all through the election of 1860, the South had screamed from the rooftops a promiise of WAR — WAR, yes WAR — if the North dared to elect Lincoln.

    How on earth could they suddenly change course, once Lincoln won? They had been beating their chests, bragging to the women, outdoing each other on how tuff they were. Toombs probably topped them all, when he screamed “EXPAND OR PERISH”.

    He was talking about expanding slavery — or dying in the attempt.

    So once Lincoln was elected, these guys could not tell the women folk “Oh, we were just joshing”. Psychologically, this was a lot like some 10 year old boys, who had been bragging to his class, and the girls he wanted to impress, how he was gonna beat Johnny up if he walked a certain road. Over and over he told Johnny not to walk that road. Over and over he told everyone he would beat Johnny up.

    Johnny walked the road. The boy had no choice, his status, his pretend nonsense of being a big shot, was at stake.

    That is why the Southern leaders attacked, they had to. They had to attack or look like whimps, after all this bragging.

    And they were men that got what they wanted, literally, by force and threats.

    It wasn’t just on the day of the election that they went nuts. They had been headed down this road for a long time. Ask George Mason if you don’t believe me. He was there early on, he was a major slave owner, and he knew men like Lee’s father. He knew where the country was headed, and he said so very clearly.

  2. James F. Epperson said, on May 25, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Good post!

  3. James F. Epperson said, on May 25, 2011 at 8:52 am

    What is the Alabama statement from?

  4. Roderick Gainer said, on May 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Fantastic Post. Why can’t people let the Confederates speak for themselves, rather then create apologia. I just discovered this blog, and will now visit regularly.

  5. Allen Gathman said, on May 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Well done. No matter how many times these documents are quoted, it still does some good to point them out again, because there are people out there who are actively promoting a false view of history. As you say, the principals behind secession were vocal about their reasons; we have to take them at their word.

  6. LordZontar said, on May 25, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Confederacy apologists will never tire of attempting to sidetrack discussion of the causes of the war onto the “states’ rights” excuse, always leaving out the ugly little truth that the one “state right” they were most committed to was the allegedly sacred right to keep slaves.

    Slavery was and always will be the one issue without which the rebellion would never have been launched. Take slavery out of the equation, and there is no dispute between the southern states and the Federal congress that is remotely worth the resort to secession. None.

    • Mark Douglas said, on May 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      Of all the ironies of the slavery – states rights debate, none is more glaring than the fact that the “South” went to war to CRUSH states rights. The five Southern Ultimatums show this clearly. All five ultimatums were an assault on state’s rights, not a defense of them.

      The “territories” must “accept and respect” slavery. This was not a wish, this was not a request, this was not even a demand. This was an ULTIMATUM. Never mind that the people in Kansas had just voted 98% to 2 % to keep slavery out forever. The South reacted to the people’s vote by, in effect, promising WAR — and then delivering war — if slavery was not spread, AGAINST the will of the people.

      Prior to Kansas vote against slavery, the slave owning class always covered their insane desire to spread slavery by claiming they were just acknowledging the will of the (white) population. IT was always a lie. It was never about the will. IT was always about the power and prestige and profit.

      When Kansas rejected slavery, almost as much as absolutely as humanly possible, slave owning class were in a pickle. Their excuse was gone. Their fig leaf had blown away, and they stood there, their greed and true nature exposed. Now they demanded slavery spread REGARDLESS of he will of the people. It was always about power, prestige, and the pleasure, (literally) of owing slaves.

      If you want to know why historians have often skipped over the Southern Ultimatums, it might be that it’s just too revealing. The same reason they skipped over Lee’s torture of his slave girls, the same reason they skipped over the entire basic history of the fanatic, violent, and “religious” nature of the spread of slavery.

      It might be that 150 years is not enough time. We might need 300 years to be able to look honestly into our past, and call it like it was — a violent era, led by violent men, using religious excuses to increase their power.

    • BorderRuffian said, on May 26, 2011 at 8:19 am

      Zontar, The Thing from Venus (1966):
      “Confederacy apologists will never tire of attempting to sidetrack discussion of the causes of the war onto the “states’ rights” excuse, always leaving out the ugly little truth that the one “state right” they were most committed to was the allegedly sacred right to keep slaves.”


      “States Rights”…yeah

      The ultimate state right- The right to exist as a state.

      Most adherents to the Confederate cause were there to defend their state from annihilation. The supposed threats to slavery did not move them. Lincoln’s invasion did.

      • Andy Hall said, on May 26, 2011 at 8:49 am

        The supposed threats to slavery did not move them.

        The secessionists themselves explicitly said otherwise, BR.

      • Lyle Smith said, on May 26, 2011 at 11:28 am

        It’s true a lot of Confederates didn’t go gray until Lincoln’s call for troops, but they were defending their States from annihilation because ultimately their State seceded from the United States over the political threat to slavery.

  7. J.C. Wilmore said, on May 25, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Fantastic entry on a fantastic blog–keep up the great work.

  8. corkingiron said, on May 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Good post Andy. We have an expression in the boatyard: “It’s perfect. But it will have to do….”

    BTW, in Canada during this time, “Brother Jonathan” was called “Cousin Jonathan”.

  9. Martin Husk said, on May 26, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Great post Andy.

    Martin Husk

  10. Corey Meyer said, on May 26, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I have always liked how Henry Benning of Georgia explained it all to Virginia…

    What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? This reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction, a deep conviction on the part of Georgia, that a separation from the North-was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery.

  11. Allen said, on June 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Interesting post. For someone claiming to be a Texan. And you have a real nice Hallelujah Chorus too. Couple of thoughts:

    I don’t give a flip why the first seven states seceded, though “economics” covers everything nicely. If you people want to read “economics” as “slavery”, then be my guest even though it’s only the biggest part of the big picture. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter, except to those with a vested interest in defending the indefensible — suppressing the right of the governed to consent as to how, and by whom, they would be governed. See: Jefferson, Thomas – Declaration of Independence, paragraph 2, sentences 2 and 3.

    Lee encouraged the beating of a 14-year-old slave girl? Source, please? And Kansas voted 98% to 2% to enter the union as a free state? Care to describe the electorate?

    There is nothing in the Constitution which declares it to be perpetual, or which requires any state which joins the union to stay forever. Once in, always in? Sounds like the Mafia.

    Lincoln was pretty good with words, but he got things sort of screwed up in this instance. Accept war rather that let the nation perish? Nah. He should have said make war. And the nation would not have perished. It would have just gotten smaller. As the years have played out, it’s pretty obvious that the north and south would have been better off without each other anyway.

    • Andy Hall said, on June 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks for taking time to comment.

    • Marc Ferguson said, on June 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm

      “There is nothing in the Constitution which declares it to be perpetual, or which requires any state which joins the union to stay forever. Once in, always in? Sounds like the Mafia.”

      Madison did write to Hamilton: “The Constitution requires an adoption in toto, and for ever.”

  12. Nancy said, on June 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    “it’s pretty obvious that the north and south would have been better off without each other anyway.”

    I believe what he means is the slaveholders would have been better off. The people who were enslaved, not so much. But then like all Southern apologists, deep down Allen does not actually think slavery was so bad.

    I would wager that at least 90% of all Southern apologists are also deeply racist.

    • Andy Hall said, on June 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      Nancy, thanks for taking time to comment.Couple thoughts, in no particular order, and not in reference specifically to anything in the thread.

      1. I haven’t found it to be constructive to call folks out as “racist,” even when it seems pretty objectively true. It tends to shut down meaningful discussion, because people so accused tend to immediately tune out anything else you have to say, and dismiss you as someone with something relevant to say.

      2. For many folks, “racist” or “racism” is an either-or thing. The “racists” are the guys in white sheets, who actively preach hatred and violence, and they don’t do those things, therefore they aren’t racists. They just tell a joke every now and then, right? And it’s therefore unreasonable to suggest they are racist. (See no. 1 above.)

      3. I’ve found it really unproductive to try to figure out what people believe, or think, or feel. It’s much simpler to focus on (and call out, if need be) what they say or do. Focus on the conduct, not the (presumed) attitude behind it.

      Now, having said those things, you’re dead right about one thing — the folks who romanticize the mid-nineteenth century South don’t generally even acknowledge African Americans as Southerners, unless it’s to dress them up in a butternut uniform and claim them as “back Confederates.” Heh.

    • Allen said, on June 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      Nancy, I believe I wrote what I meant. You are, of course, free to infer what you will. You’re wrong, both about me and about “90% of all Southern apologists” as well. But I don’t reckon you’re inclined to take my word for it, are you?

  13. Tim from Alabama said, on July 1, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Oh, this is a good thread. There seems to be some confusion when the facts remain so plain and simple. The south was not forced to fire on Fort Sumter. Lincoln was forced to invade Virginia. Fort Sumter was just a convenient excuse. An excuse the south was easily willing to provide since it was of no consequence. The south was compelled to fight when Lincoln invaded Virginia and Lincoln was of course compelled to do so upon secession. Fort Sumter was of absolutely no consequence. Mobilization occurring prior to the run up to First Bull Run and the following spring campaign by McClellan on the peninsula is what forced the south to fight to the finish.
    Lincoln was a political genius. A consummate double dealing, double talking politician who knew the pulse of the American electorate as well as he knew his own self. Lincoln had history and the evolution of western society on his side and he was always fully aware of it. All he needed was enough support from the northern voter to fight a war with southern land owners. Support he maintained just enough of at a critical time. That critical time being November 1864. He did not have a majority in 1860 but he had enough support to gain power. Maintaining power was the key to success. Lee had the war won in June 1864. All he needed to do during the Overland Campaign and the summers of 63′ and 62′ was exactly what he did. All Lee had to do was survive. Survive until November 1864.

    All Lee had to do was not be destroyed on the field of battle prior to that pivotal election. Something history proves to us now. The northern electorate and every important newspaper in the north were more than ready to elect the democrat with the armistice plank in their platform after Cold Harbor during the summer of 64′. The timing of the election made all the difference in the world to us. The war was of no real consequence. All it did was give the northern voter the opportunity to decide the issue after 1861.

  14. X said, on December 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    It seems to me that y’all are dead set that all confederates are treachorous, malicious, war mongering, northern hating, slave holding, pigs that would do everything to destroy what their ancestors had given thier blood to build. You people have forgotten that there was still a class system in the whole continent, as there still is now. Where is the literary source of Robert E. Lee’s torture of slaves, or spouting such statements of “Lay it on”? Where are the sources of any of this? many records have been destroyed or lost to the ravages of time, but you have failed to specify any source for several of these instances in history. I am appauled to see that in this day and age, that fellow americans, and southerners at that too, are willing to put such pieces of propaganda as truth. the sad fact is that people need to be reminded that all of america was under this “insanity” as you have called it. it was an era of extremism in every aspect of life, as we see others now.
    Pertaining to fort Sumpter as an exuse, it was held in the respects of a foriegn held fortress in the middle of a domestic port. The ship being sent to relieve the fort may not have been carrying soldiers or munitions, but it non-the-less was providing subsistance to an enemy-held fortress. The destruction of the fort was and wasn’t forced. You have also failed to note the fact that slavery had only died out in the north by a decade or so in many states. Massachusetts was one of many states in the north that can be held exempt from this, disposing of slavery in thier law by the late 18th century, but New York still held slavery until the 1810s and the upper classes of merchants and businessmen were dealing in the slave trade until the 1850s, not even 10 years until the war errupted. Do not pin blame upon the southerners until you have examined yourselves. The prison of Andersonville has and will be used as a rallying cry for northerners who wish to blemish the image of the confederates. Yet they fail to acknowledge the prison of Camp Douglas, who ACKNOWLEDGED BLACK SOLDIERS OF THE CONFEDERACY in their records. few in number, yes, but they were present. African-Americans are southern and northern and eastern and western. Yes there are many characteristics of the south that are undesireble, but there are several north of the Mason-Dixon as well. Why is it that you have failed to note that? you have nothing to say upon here that is educational or for a civil debate. you have made an old wound, that has started to heal, into a gangrenous sore in this portion of the internet availible to the masses.

    In conclusion:
    I see that you have failed to state anything worth of viewing in this uncivil behavior upon your neighbors, and your heritage. It doesnt matter if your white, black, red, yellow, or even purple, this is our heritage, and many of us have seen it in an unbiased manner, why is it that you cannot? Furthermore, your substituted foul mouth still reeks of a malicious tounge, sharpened to the point of a dagger you wish to drive into fellow southerners and your own history.

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