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There's so much folks don't know about history

October 03, 2004|by Deo Vindice & Michele Hamlin, Atlanta, Ga.

To the editor:

Dear Richard Anderson - please learn "accurate" history and then you will have reason to stop being offended by the Confederate flag. A couple of truths for you to examine: The whole United States was racist and bigoted by today's standards in the 1800s.

Lincoln didn't care if he freed the slaves or not, he wanted to preserve the Union. The original 13th Amendment made slavery legal forever if the South would stay in the Union and keep paying the 40 percent tariffs. The war broke out before all the states could ratify it, but Lincoln was in favor of it.

Although it is unknown exactly how many blacks fought for the Confederacy, it is estimated around 100,000. At the time the war broke out, New Orleans had more black professionals than Boston. Many of the free blacks in New Orleans formed their own Confederate regiment. At the time the war broke out, there were 3,500 free blacks who had their own slaves. They had 10,000 slaves.

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Among these people was William Ellison of South Carolina, who had 150 slaves and bred slaves, which was a looked down upon practice. At the time the war broke out, there were 250,000 free blacks in the South.

Mr. Anderson, everything is not cut and dried. If you get into studying true history, you will realize that. There were abolitionists in the South as well as the North. Gen. Robert E. Lee was an abolitionist and freed the slaves they inherited from his father-in-law.

Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson had a black Sunday school and has written about his affection and financial support for his pupils. It gets more and more interesting as you explore.

To start your process, just put words like "black Confederates" or any other term related to the Confederacy or antebellum period into your search engine. The Sons of the Confederate Veterans nationally and in various states has a lot of good information.

Strom Thurmond's biracial daughter, Essie Mae Washington and her son, are joining the UDC and SCV. They would not do that if they thought they were racist and what they represent is evil.

Education is the key. Sure, bad things happened during slavery, during Jim Crow and now.

It was not all bad, there was also love, respect and fidelity between master and slave, who were often defacto family members. If you are interested in slavery, did you know that there are 2 million blacks and other races enslaved today in Africa and other countries in 2004?

There are 50,000 slaves being brought into the United States every year. Please use your energy to help these people versus using your angst about a practice that ended in the United States 140 years ago.

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