Defenses of Slavery


(a)        “The Negro is not equal to the White Man”, Alexander H. Stephens Speech at Savannah, March 21 1861


Liberty and slavery – civilization and barbarism are absolute angtagonisms. One or the other must parish in this Continent.


Our new government is founded on exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth …



(b)        “The labor of slaves was and is indispensable”, Jefferson Davis – message to Confederate Congress, April 28 1861


As soon … as the Northern States that prohibited African slavery within their limits had reached a number sufficient to give their representation a controlling voice in the Congress, a persistent and organized system of hostile measures against the rights of the owners of slaves in the Southern States was inaugurated and gradually extended. A continuous series of measures was devised and prosecuted for the purpose of rendering insecure the tenure of property in slaves … Senators and Representatives were sent to the common councils of the nation, whose chief title to this distinction consisted in th display of the spirit of ultra-fanaticism, and whose business was … to awaken the bitterest hatred against the citizens of sister States, by violent denunciation of this institutions; the transaction of public affairs was impeded by repeated efforts to usurp powers not delegated by the Constitution, for the purpose of impairing the security of property in slaves, and reducing those States which held slaves to a condition of inferiority. Finally a great party was organized for the purpose of obtaining the administration of the Government, with the avowed object of using its power for the total exclusion of the slave States from all participation in the benefits of the public domain acquired by all the States in common, whether by conquest or purchase; of surrounding them entirelyby States in which slavery should be prohibited; of thus rendering the property in slaves so insecure asto be comparatively worthless, and thereby annihilating in effect property worth thousands of millions of dollars. This party, thus organized, succeeded in the month of November last in the election for the Presidency of the United Sates. With the interests of such overwhelming magnitude imperiled, the people of the Southern States were driven by the conduct of the North to the adaptation of some course of action to avert the danger with which they were openly menaced.