Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

“Children of the Confederacy Creed” to be Removed from Texas Capitol

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on January 11, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott agreed Friday to remove a plaque in the state Capitol that rejects slavery as the underlying cause of the Civil War, bending after years of resistance by state Republican leaders in the face of Confederate monuments falling nationwide.

A unanimous vote by the State Preservation Board, which Abbott chairs, ordered the removal of the 60-year-old plaque that pledges to teach “the truths of history,” adding that “one of the most important of which is that the war between the states was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery.”

The push to do this has been building for a while. Unlike other Confederate monuments on the Capitol grounds in Austin, this plaque was not placed by actual Confederate veterans; it was put up in 1959, coincident with a lot of pushback against the growing Civil Rights Movement.

It’s notable, I think, that half of the six-member State Preservation Board, that voted unanimously for removal of the plaque, is composed of the three most powerful elected officials in the state, and all of them Republicans — Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. Although the plaque itself is obscure and probably goes unnoticed by almost all of the thousands of people who visit the Capitol every day, it’s nonetheless an important milestone, evidence that now the rejection of Confederate iconography is bipartisan.


h/t Al Mackey


10 Responses

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  1. OhioGuy said, on January 11, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    It was for years the Democrats who promoted the Fake History of the Rebellion. For a while a few southern Republicans were sucked into the conspiracy. I, too, am glad to see that the shameful Era come to and end. The Union Forever! — Carl Jón Denbow

  2. kbrown2225 said, on January 11, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Nice to see. It is long overdue for such a nonsensical and historically inaccurate piece of propaganda to be removed.

  3. J.B. Richman said, on January 11, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    The real reason for the Civil War wasn’t that Lincoln would end slavery. It was that Lincoln would sign a Homestead act which would end the expansion of slavery:

    from Wikipedia:

    The “yeoman farmer” ideal of Jeffersonian democracy was still a powerful influence in American politics during the 1840–1850s, with many politicians believing a homestead act would help increase the number of “virtuous yeomen”. The Free Soil Party of 1848–52, and the new Republican Party after 1854, demanded that the new lands opening up in the west be made available to independent farmers, rather than wealthy planters who would develop it with the use of slaves forcing the yeomen farmers onto marginal lands.[5] Southern Democrats had continually fought (and defeated) previous homestead law proposals, as they feared free land would attract European immigrants and poor Southern whites to the west.[6][7][8] After the South seceded and their delegates left Congress in 1861, the Republicans and other supporters from the upper South passed a homestead act.[9]”

    The Southern planters were planning a war for the West even if Lincoln would accept Southern secession. But of course, Lincoln would not accept it, possibly because he was in essence a Southern Unionist. Andrew Johnson, the leader of Southern Unionism, was a huge supporter of the Homestead Act. Although Lincoln loathed slavery, he had pledged to end it only by constitutional means, and I think this pledge was his own sincere belief. Ask these White Southern Confederate apologists about homesteading and the Civil War and see what their answers are

    • Andy Hall said, on January 14, 2019 at 9:49 am

      The Homestead Act was kicking around Washington for a few years before finally being enacted in 1863. One of the South’s most prominent fire-eaters (and a neighbor of mine today) , Louis T. Wigfall, was a U.S. Senator then and vigorously opposed it because he felt the land allotments proposed were too small to set up a proper plantation-based system of agriculture. You’re correct — the expansion of the independent, free-soil, yeoman farmer was detrimental to the South’s economy and political structure.

  4. Robert Baker said, on January 12, 2019 at 7:15 am

    I will say it’s an interesting step considering Texas’s recent history with history textbook and standards revisionism.

  5. Bill Underhill said, on January 12, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Those Southern Democrats of the “fake history” ( Thurman and his ilk) became Republicans when the Civil Rights movement began. Don’t confuse the Democratic Party of today with those southern racists.

    • Andy Hall said, on January 13, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Understood, and I think most regular readers here understand how the parties have shifted over the years.

      The fact that it was the highest Rs in Texas State government that voted for this seemed notable to me because these days, Rs are generally perceived as more resistant to removal or modification of Confederate monuments, and the Ds are generally more supportive of that. The Republican nominee for Senate last year in Virginia has made preservation of Confederate iconography a primary part of his platform in his runs for governor and the Senate.

      • J.B. Richman said, on January 13, 2019 at 10:33 pm

        I am not a Southern Republican so I can’t speak for them, but I think that many Northern Republicans fear historical revisionism more than they do the honoring of Confederates by their Southern descendants. I myself think that honoring individual Confederates isn’t the same as honoring the Confederacy. The plaque in question is not honoring the sacrifices of Confederate soldiers, or honoring individuals who at one point happened to support the Confederacy, but rather is honoring the central cause of the Confederacy, and is one of the repeated attempts to put lipstick on a pig.

        I am more interested in honoring Southern Unionists in the same way as the Confederates have been honored. Recently, President Trump established a National Monument for Camp Nelson in Kentucky to honor the USCT and contraband refugees who were quartered there during the war. More such monuments are needed. This website is promoting a positive approach to honoring the memory of Southern Unionists (which includes contrabands and USCT).

  6. Msb said, on January 15, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Nice to hear of Abbot and Patrick supporting any good idea.

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