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Don’t erase our history; our past is what created our today…

LARRY MERCKER
Guest Columnist
mercker@lbknews.com

As I see our young people defacing monuments of the Confederacy, I have to ask — do they really know the history that they are trying to destroy.

Southern Rebels and Confederate generals did more to abolish slavery than President Lincoln.

When Lincoln took office in 1860, he had no intention of abolishing slavery in the United States. He wanted to appease the southern states to preserve the union.  It was the blatant rebellion of the southern states with the intention of preserving the institution of slavery, that triggered its demise.

The civil war was the bloodiest war in American history because we had citizens on both sides and Lincoln’s stated goal from the beginning of the war was to preserve the union. But the confederate army under General Robert E. Lee fought so gallantly that Lincoln was forced to make slavery an issue in order to win the war.

On January 1, 1863, Two years into the war with no victory in sight, Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. He proclaimed, “That all persons held as slaves within the rebellious states are and henceforward shall be free.”

Most people do not know that Lincoln did not free the slaves held by some northern states and the District of Columbia by this proclamation. Only in the rebel states where he had lost control anyway. It was considered that he did not have the legal right to deny non-rebellious citizens their property rights as stated in the constitution. And like it or not, slaves were not considered citizens by the constitution, but property.

Even after the war was won, it was a real diplomatic chore to get the 13th Amendment, the abolition of slavery, passed.

Without the civil war, slavery would have continued as an institution for many more years. The reason that slavery was allowed to continue as an institution in the new United States of America in 1776 is that without slavery, the country would not have been formed at all. The Southern colonies would not have joined.

We should continue to acknowledge those Americans who rebelled and forced Lincoln to abolish slavery. Fighting for a bad thing, they created a good thing instead.

Lawrence E. Mercker is a retired US Air Force Colonel and pilot. He resides in downtown Sarasota with his wife Kathleen who is also a retired Air Force Colonel.  They play tennis and enjoy the view of the Sarasota Bay.

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8 Responses for “Don’t erase our history; our past is what created our today…”

  1. Vlad G Spitzer says:

    We are perhaps doomed to a never-ending slew of revisionist drivel by Southern apologists regarding the nobler aspects of a society entirely based upon slave-ownership. One can only hope that in the very least, as we become a more enlightened nation, we can collectively cease the glorification of symbols paying tribute to that time in our history. Though I guess that by publishing such trash, you seek to keep the flame of bigotry alive. Shame on you!

  2. ghostrider says:

    Southern Rebels and Confederate generals did more to abolish slavery than President Lincoln. FALSE

    When Lincoln took office in 1860, he had no intention of abolishing slavery in the United States.
    TRUE

    You are referring to an earlier Lincoln debate. His compassion grew with time after meeting Frederick Douglass, the Black reformer, abolitionist, and orator.

    There is only one question at hand: Would you want to be a Black in America today?

  3. ghostrider says:

    FALSE

    TRUE

    You are referring to an earlier Lincoln debate. His compassion grew with time after meeting Frederick Douglass, the Black reformer, abolitionist, and orator.

    There is only one question at hand: Would you want to be a Black in America today?

  4. The picture of the Confederate Soldier statue called “Appomattox” is in Alexandria Virginia at the corner of Prince and Washington Street. This was my home town for 35 years so I know this statue well since you have to drive around it because it is located in the middle of a busy street intersection. In fact it was once knocked off its pedestal due to a car accident and after some debate restored to its present position. Now it has thankfully been removed. Wonder why there aren’t statues of Union Soldiers. These soldiers saved our Union not undermined it to keep human beings as slaves. Maybe Mr Mercker would have Alexandria put back the “colored only” entrance at the Union Station train depot built in 1903. That was part of history too.

  5. Phil says:

    Based on the author’s logic, we should have statues of Hitler and the other monsters of the Third Reich. After all, if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have banded together to defeat fascism. The whole column is twisted drivel.

  6. John Sims says:

    As a former Virginian who was indoctrinated at an early age by the revisionist history propagated by the Daughters of Confederacy this is a new twist on history. The deification of Rebel Generals and the states right theme along side the story that slaves were treated kindly and enjoyed plantation life was in our text books. Statues are not history. Like my University of Virginia schools are researching and honoring through memorials and education the true story of slave history. This article is an affront to the 400 years that human beings were held in bondage in this so called land of the free. We need more statues to the people who built America not to the ones who tried to destroy it.

  7. Keisha T says:

    This is beyond shameful that a newspaper in 2020 would publish this!

  8. Dan K says:

    Shameful that your newspaper would publish such trash.

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