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The History Some Forget



February 15, 2010 – Comments (15)

I would consider this a must read, especially for those who believe "do-gooders" do more harm than good, or believe the Federal Gov't has no role in the affais of States, or believe that everyone will exhibit Libetarian behaviour, if Gov't gets out of the way.

Even if you just want an accurate history of what slave life was like, politics aside.

A record of the treatment of US slaves, as told by their masters. 

15 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 15, 2010 at 5:34 AM, fmahnke (69.33) wrote:

Hi Devo,

I couldn't take the time to muddle through ancient history at a time when so many more current events shape my thinking.

The Greek debt crisis hits particulary close to home when looking at the BIG GOVT and pro union direction of the obamanation administration. Sure there are differnences between the two countries, and the ability to print the world's reserve currency helps facilitate the extend and pretend myth.

Still it is hard to argue with fact that ultimately the bill will come due, Our current leaders pretend to acknowledge the conequences of thier spending spree, advocating many solutions that fail to address the real problem of out of control spending, Their shrinking contingent of supporters prentend that the so-called "do-gooders" are not destroying our leaderhip position in the world economy.

The good news is that this is still america, and our spirit of independence and individualism will prevail,  I must admit my surprise that the current democratic leadership appears to ignore the voice of the people and push unpopular policies. Luckily, it won't be too long until the voters take their country back


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#2) On February 15, 2010 at 8:07 AM, devoish (65.42) wrote:

I couldn't take the time to muddle through ancient history at a time when so many more current events shape my thinking.

If I promoted your politics, I'd also want people to forget what can happen when the spirit of independence leads a man to stand as an individual and reach for freedom.

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#3) On February 15, 2010 at 9:03 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


It is nice of government to fix the problem that government caused - slavery.  If you look at the history of slavery, it originated with governments and dates back thousands of years.  In America, the first slaves were brought over by a Dutch officer (a government official) and slavery only expanded in America after it was institutionalized by governments with the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705.

Wikipedia History of Slavery

Wikipedia Slave Codes

If States' rights led to or promoted slavery, as your illogical position dictates, why has nearly every government large or small, throughout history used slavery at some point? 

David in Qatar

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#4) On February 15, 2010 at 9:08 AM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:

How one group can dehumanize another, enslave them and treat them with less regard than a beast of burden is beyond my ability to conceive. Institutional cruelty should be fought no matter where it is found.

I live in the southeast United States. I grew up here. I distance myself from the polluted intellects that still judge our citizens of African descent, or any other,  as inferior. Such nonsense errupts from one generation passing it along to another. Or some lost soul with nothing to cling to finds the idea of his supposed racial superiority a corner stone for rebuilding his sense of self worth. It is amazing what kinds of insanity can permiate the mind when one is too weak or young to resist.

I have visited a few antebellum plantations in my years upon this earth. Each time I do I admire the beauty of the home, the grounds, the view of the river...But each time I go I always have the thought in my head that all of what I see was built and  on the backs of an maintained by an enslaved people, dozens of generations of them. At the end of the day after visiting such a place I always feel so sad. And that goes double for Drayton Hall outside of Charleston, South Carolina. That property, that house...well, it has a very negative energy about it.


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#5) On February 15, 2010 at 9:12 AM, Bkeepr100 (< 20) wrote:


Then why is a president of the US, leading all his citizens into economic slavery?

 Woodrow Wilson did the deed in 1913!

 Pres. B.O. is just compounding the problem caused by Wilson.

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#6) On February 15, 2010 at 9:55 AM, fmahnke (69.33) wrote:

Thats funny Devo,

Because if you really understood my politics, you would know that they are based on the fundamental belief that the spirit of independence leads people to stand as individuals and reach for freedom in the face of an overeaching and dishonest gov't

It's just that the slaves have been freed for 150 years, which is 100 times longer than the time that has passed since BHO told america he would televise the health care debates on CSPAN.  Its simply not as relevent,

Greece is very relevant to what is happening today, and I can certainly understand why you choose to not focus on this issue given your politics and the obvious similarities 

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#7) On February 15, 2010 at 9:57 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

States' rights, nullification, and slavery


Are you aware that States' rights were employed to fight against slavery in America? 

David in Qatar


The Compromise of 1850 and How Abolitionists Used Nullification

In 1850, Congress compromised in order to hold the Union together against the divisive issue of slavery. Since the preservation of the Union (Northern control of the South's economy), rather than the abolition of slavery was foremost in the minds of influential Republican bankers, manufacturers and heads of corporations, this compromise made perfect sense.

Part of this compromise was the passage of more stringent fugitive slave legislation that compelled citizens of all states to assist federal marshals and their deputies with the apprehension of suspected runaway slaves and brought all trials involving alleged fugitive slaves under federal jurisdiction. It included large fines for anyone who aided a slave in their escape, even by simply giving them food or shelter. The act also suspended habeas corpus and the right to a trial by jury for suspected slaves, and made their testimony non-admissible in court. The written testimony of the alleged slave's master, on the other hand, which could be presented to the court by slave hunters, was given preferential treatment.

As would be expected, this new legislation outraged abolitionists, but also angered many citizens who were previously more apathetic. In 1851, 26 people in Syracuse, New York were arrested, charged and tried for freeing a runaway slave named William Henry (aka Jerry) who had been arrested under the Fugitive Slave Act. Among the 26 people tried was a U.S. Senator and the former Governor of New York! In an act of jury nullification, the trial resulted in only one conviction. "Jerry" was hidden in Syracuse for several days until he could safely escape into Canada.

The government of Wisconsin went even further and in 1854 officially declared the Fugitive Slave Act to be unconstitutional. The events that lead up to this monumental decision, which is a milestone in the history of the states' rights tradition, is one of the best stories most Americans have never heard.

In 2006, H. Robert Baker, assistant professor of legal and constitutional history at Georgia State University wrote a book called, The Rescue of Joshua Glover: A Fugitive Slave, the Constitution, and the Coming of the Civil War. In its review of the book, The Journal of American History wrote:

"Terribly conflicted about race, Americans struggled mightily with a revolutionary heritage that sanctified liberty but also brooked compromise with slavery. Nevertheless, as The Rescue of Joshua Glover demonstrates, they maintained the principle that the people themselves were the last defenders of constitutional liberty…"

Joshua Glover was a slave in Missouri who managed to escape from his master. In 1854, with the help of the Underground Railroad, he made his way north, all the way to Wisconsin. There he found work at a mill in Racine, a community in which anti-slavery sentiment ran high. Unfortunately for Glover, his former master, B.S. Garland eventually managed to find out where Glover had taken up residence.

Accompanied by two US Marshals, the three of them took Glover by surprise. In spite of his resistance, Glover was subdued with a club and handcuffed. Thrown into a wagon, he was surreptitiously transported to Milwaukee, where he was thrown in jail. Glover's abduction was discovered somehow or another, however, and in no time one hundred or so men landed by boat in Milwaukee.

The men marched towards the courthouse, which was adjacent to the jail, and crowds of people began to join their ranks or follow along as spectators. An abolitionist named Sherman Booth, who published a local daily newspaper there called the "Free Soil Democrat" rallied the supporters of the citizen army shouting:

"All freemen who are opposed to being made slaves or slave-catchers turn out to a meeting in the courthouse square at 2 o'clock!"

When the meeting at the courthouse adjourned, those who had assembled eventually resolved that Joshua Glover was entitled to at least two things: A writ of habeas corpus and a trial by jury. A local judge concurred and delivered the writ to the US Marshals at the jail. As might be expected, the federal officers rejected the writ as invalid. After all, federal law trumps state judicial authority, does it not?

The assembly of citizens from Racine and Milwaukee must have decided that such was not the case in this instance. In fearless defiance, they broke down the doors of the jail and freed Joshua Glover. In an act that probably would have filled Sheriff Mack with joy, had he been there, the Racine County Sheriff arrested Glover's former slave master and the two US Marshals who had kidnapped him. They were charged with assault and put jail. In the meantime, the Underground Railroad assisted Joshua Glover as he crossed the border into Canada.

Although Glover escaped to freedom, it was not without a price. Glover's former master, B.S. Garland was released on a writ of habeas corpus and in the long run would sue Sherman Booth, turning him financially upside down.

In the short run, Booth and two other men were arrested and indicted by a grand jury. While Booth maintained that he had never incited the crowd to liberate Glover or that had helped Glover escape in any way, he did not mince words either. Speaking in his own defense in front of the US Commissioner, he proclaimed:

"...I sympathize with the rescuers of Glover and rejoice at his escape. I rejoice that, in the first attempt of the slave-hunters to convert our jail into a slave-pen and our citizens into slave-catchers, they have signally failed, and that it has been decided by the spontaneous uprising and sovereign voice of the people, that no human being can be dragged into bondage from Milwaukee."

According to his account of these events, Henry E. Legler wrote in 1898:

"Byron Paine made an argument in behalf of Booth that attracted attention all over the country. It was printed in pamphlet form and circulated on the streets of Boston by the thousands. Charles Sumner and Wendell Phillips wrote the author letters of hearty approval and commended his force of logic and able presentation of argument. This pamphlet is now excessively rare; but half a dozen copies are now known to exist."

Judge Smith of the Wisconsin Supreme Court made the following declaration, that ought to inspire and motivate champions of the Tenth Amendment and state sovereignty today. Speaking not only for Wisconsin, but of all the states, he said that they would never accept the idea that:

" officer of the United States, armed with process to arrest a fugitive from service, is clothed with entire immunity from state authority; to commit whatever crime or outrage against the laws of the state; that their own high prerogative writ of habeas corpus shall be annulled, their authority defied, their officers resisted, the process of their own courts contemned, their territory invaded by federal force, the houses of their citizens searched, the sanctuary or their homes invaded, their streets and public places made the scenes of tumultuous and armed violence, and state sovereignty succumb–paralyzed and aghast–before the process of an officer unknown to the constitution and irresponsible to its sanctions. At least, such shall not become the degradation of Wisconsin, without meeting as stern remonstrance and resistance as I may be able to interpose, so long as her people impose upon me the duty of guarding their rights and liberties, and maintaining the dignity and sovereignty of their state."

The United States Supreme Court eventually reversed the action of the Wisconsin's courts. Booth and one other man accused of helping to liberate Joshua Glover were found guilty. Both spent months in jail in addition to having to pay stiff fines. This was the price that was paid for Joshua Glover's freedom.

Rather than being deterred, however, Wisconsin, along with several other states, such as Connecticut (1854), Rhode Island (1854), Massachusetts (1855), Michigan (1855), Maine (1855 and 1857), and Kansas (1858) all went on to pass even more personal liberty legislation designed to neutralize federal enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

It was no coincidence that the 1859 statement of the Wisconsin Supreme Court borrowed words directly from the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798:

"Resolved, That the government formed by the Constitution of the United States was not the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; but that, as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.

Resolved, that the principle and construction contended for by the party which now rules in the councils of the nation, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism, since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the Constitution, would be the measure of their powers; that the several states which formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infractions; and that a positive defiance of those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done or attempted to be done under color of that instrument, is the rightful remedy."

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#8) On February 15, 2010 at 10:05 AM, devoish (65.42) wrote:

It is nice of government to fix the problem that government caused - slavery.- whereaminow

So a Gov't that aligned itself with defending the rights of its weakest, poorest class of people, did something good, that the prior fifty years defending the rights of wealthy property owners did not.

Another thought that comes to my mind when I read your posts, about Libertarian culture when Gov't does not interfere, is the relationship between slaves and their masters. Here is one example of a workforce, rewarded only at the discretion of their boss.

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#9) On February 15, 2010 at 10:06 AM, devoish (65.42) wrote:

I have to go Dave. I'll get back to you.

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#10) On February 15, 2010 at 11:41 AM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:

Forgive what could be called a double post of the last paragraph of my last comment. I feel the need to clean up what I wrote in order to make myself more easily understood:

I have visited a few antebellum homes and plantations. Each time I do I admire the beauty of the home, the grounds, the view of the river. At the same time  I set foot on such a property I have the thought that all of what I see was built on the backs of an enslaved people. Dozens of generations of them lived, suffered and died inside a corrupt system. At the end of the day after visiting such a place I always feel drained, sad. One such location that I had the fortune of visiting is Drayton Hall outside of Charleston, South Carolina. That property, that house...well, it has a very negative energy about it.

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#11) On February 15, 2010 at 12:05 PM, 100ozRound (28.51) wrote:

not to try to hijack this thread but:

Cato, where are you from in the Southeast?  I was born in Atlanta and lived there for the first 30 years of my life....

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#12) On February 15, 2010 at 12:09 PM, chk999 (99.96) wrote:

devoish - I have an off-topic question for you about the auto industry. I apologize for putting it into this blog.

How do the tool companies like Snap-On know about new tools needed for specific car models? Suppose that VW had a new brake design and you needed a very different puller for it. Does VW give the tool companies the specs for it? Is it developed jointly? Do the tool-cos reverse engineer an official VW item? This has bugged me for a while and it hit me that you would be a good person to ask.

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#13) On February 15, 2010 at 12:16 PM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:


Like you I was born in Atlanta. I currently reside in Cobb County.


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#14) On February 15, 2010 at 9:03 PM, devoish (65.42) wrote:


If the carmaker designs for a new tool they usually contract with their preferred tool maker. I honestly don't know if VW gives the specs for it or lets the tool co. design it. I believe both methods are used.

Sometimes mechanics design it and ask a tool maker for it.


Civil disobedience is a time honored Socialist and political tactic. It does not always end well.

Given the opportunity to run their households and farms and business's without Gov't interference, they created one of the ugliest episodes in the History of the United States because they believed in their own superiority over another person.

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#15) On February 15, 2010 at 10:50 PM, chk999 (99.96) wrote:

devoish - thanks for the info!

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