A few points for historian Wiggins to consider

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I see by this morning’s paper (The Natchez Democrat, Nov. 29) that local scholar and self-appointed interpreter of historical truth, Jim Wiggins, has taken up his cudgel in defense of the proposition that slavery was the reason for secession and the formation of the Confederacy.

The problem with what Jim wants to do is that since the 1988 publication of James M. McPherson’s book “The Battle Cry of Freedom” this thesis has been propounded over and over again by so many scholars and pundits that it has become a trite truism that is now accepted by many if not most of us Neo-Confederates.

Still, if Jim feels that he must tilt this tottering windmill one more time here are a couple of points he might address:

  • Even though slavery was the preeminent cause of secession, it was not according to most of the letters and diaries of those who answered the call of their states, the reason why they took up arms against the Federal government.
  • Even though slavery was the preeminent cause of secession, what else was the institution of slavery but an ultimate “states right” enshrined in the Constitution of the United States of that time by Article I, Section 2; Article IV, Section 2; and the ninth and 10th amendments?

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Gary O’Neal

Natchez resident