“CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED”
by Michael Gaddy, ©2015, blogging at The Rebel Madman
In the summer of 1787, in Philadelphia, the convention nearly failed over the concern of all present on how to prevent a section, group of states, (larger v smaller) a faction, (slavery v antislavery) or special interest group from taking over control of the government that would see its birth in that convention. This discussion held center stage for weeks and at times appeared it would be the factor that led to the breakup of the convention and possible disunion.
Small states feared the large states; states with small populations feared the more populous ones and slave states feared the antislavery states. (South v North) Supposedly, there was the “great compromise” which was the brainchild of Roger Sherman which led to a bicameral congress with a House of Representatives with delegates selected on a population basis and a Senate with a set number of representatives from each state. Of course this still failed to address who would actually count as a citizen for the purposes of determining population.
Today, there is much weeping and wailing on the national scene by those who criticize the decision to count the black population as three-fifths of a person. While the South catches much of the flack for this decision, it was the Southern states who demanded blacks be counted towards representation. Had the Northern states had their way, the black population would not have been counted at all. While the South insisted the black population be counted in its entirety, a compromise was reached in which blacks were counted as three-fifths of a person.
At the end of the convention, the issue of slavery had not been dealt with in a satisfactory manner completely acceptable to either side. By avoiding this issue, and for the sake of creating a new government, the seeds for what would become the War Between the States were planted. At the ratification of our Constitution and the creation of a new government in 1789—slavery was legal and constitutional.
The delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, for whatever reason, failed to address what has to be considered a moral issue. How many times have we heard the phrase “you can’t legislate morality?” Is it the role of government to decide what is and what is not moral in a society? Better put, where in our Constitution or Bill of Rights is our government granted the authority to legislate for the conscience of an individual? What happens when government acts immorally? Who investigates the investigator?
Obviously our government continues to involve itself in moral issues. What better illustration do we have than abortion? There are those who claim a “woman has a right to choose—after all, it’s her body,” yet do not follow that belief through to its logical conclusion. If a woman is the sole decider of what she can do with her body, without interference either by government or others, why is prostitution illegal?
Various groups, throughout history, have used moral issues to further their immoral agendas. Nowhere in the history of this country is that more evident than during what culminated in the War Between the States. The facts are there; abolitionists made up less than 5% of the people in the Northern States prior to the war and several Northern states did not allow free blacks to visit, much less live there. Yet, we are told today slavery was the driving force behind a war that took almost one million American lives, created an overpowering central government, a massive national debt and destroyed the concept of “consent of the governed.”
Lies are lies; Lincoln did not call for troops to invade the South on April 15, 1861 in order to defeat slavery. If you believe his motive was to eliminate slavery, you are a sanctimonious idiot. The seven slave states were no longer represented in the Congress, therefore, Lincoln could have called for a constitutional amendment outlawing slavery completely, just as easily as he could have called for troops to invade the South. There would not have been enough slave states to block or hinder passage of such an amendment. Instead, he called for support of the Corwin Amendment which would have made slavery legal in perpetuity and outside the purview of Congress. There are historical facts which indicate Lincoln himself might have been the author of the amendment.
First, let us look at the text of the Corwin Amendment:
“No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”
Facts indicate it was not Ohio Congressman Thomas Corwin who authored the amendment. Most possibly it gained the name of Corwin because he was chairman of the “Committee of Thirty Three” which had been formed to possibly pacify the states that had seceded and those who were considering same. The text actually came from committee member Charles Francis Adams who stated he received it from the Senate where it had been introduced by the man who would become Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William H. Seward. The possibility Lincoln himself was the author can be found in Lincoln’s official papers. On December 21, 1860, Lincoln sent the following to Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull “[expect] “three short resolutions which I drew up, and which, on the substance of which, I think would do much good.”
Then, of course, we have Lincoln’s stated intent and mention of the Corwin Amendment in his First Inaugural Address:
“I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”
“I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution — which amendment, however, I have not seen — has passed Congress to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service . . . . [H]olding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable”
There you have it; Lincoln did not object to slavery being made perpetual, endorsed it in his inaugural address and perhaps was the author of the amendment. Obviously, this was a political move to maintain the Union just as Lincoln stated the Emancipation Proclamation was a political move. (a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion.) A move which outlawed slavery only in the areas of which Lincoln had no control, but kept approximately one-half million slaves in bondage in areas where he did have control, namely the border states and areas within the South under control of the Union Army.
Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William H. Seward, acknowledged Lincoln’s duplicity reference the Emancipation Proclamation with the following:
“We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.” (Source: Randall and Donald, The Civil War and Reconstruction p. 371)
Perhaps it was not intentional, but mere coincidence, that had Lincoln not issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, perhaps all of the slaves being held in the border states and Union held parts of the South would have been freed the next day by the “Second Confiscation Act”
According to Black historian and author of “Forced into Glory,” Lerone Bennett, the Emancipation Proclamation actually re-enslaved 500,000 slaves who were about to be freed by the Second Confiscation Act. But, it must also be considered that Lincoln and the Republican dominated Congress could have freed the slaves under their control at any time, which they failed to do until 1865 after the South was in ruins and hundreds of thousands were dead and wounded.
Lincoln did not call for troops to invade the South to abolish slavery; Lincoln invaded the South because the North was facing impending financial collapse and chaos directly attributable to the secession of the seven Southern states from the Union in late 1860 and early 1861. Why would Lincoln have petitioned the border states, which allowed slavery, to provide troops to invade the states in the South if his motive was to abolish slavery? One simply cannot embrace logic and truth and at the same time defend Abraham Lincoln and his unconstitutional war.
(To be continued)
In Rightful Liberty