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Setting the Record Straight – American History in Black and White, Part 2: African-American slavery was established by the Democrat Party and was abolished by Republican Party. Statistics in Setting the Record Straight: America’s History in Black and White puts an end to the debate over which party has historically fought to end slavery. While Republicans in the north were working to end slavery and secure civil rights, the new nation of Southern Democrats was determined to head in an opposite direction. Tune in to hear the true Democratic response to slavery.
Air Date: 02/04/2022
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and politics! This is WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green. Today is a continuation of the series that we’ve been sharing from Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White. It’s a DVD and a book that David has made available that’s just powerful, incredible information a lot of the things that he’s collected there in the library and made available through this DVD with some amazing re-enactments.
So we’re bringing as much of that to life as we can here on radio for you but we also encourage you to check it out at the website at WalBuilders.com. We’re going to pick up right where we left off in our last program. This is called Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White.
If you missed the last program then visit WallBuildersLive.com. You can download that archived program right now and you’ll be able to catch up. We’ll be airing this over the next few days. It’s a really powerful series and you’re going to enjoy it greatly!
The Democratic Slaveholding Confederate States of America
The anti-slavery and pro-civil rights position of the Republicans were about to become reality. What was the Democratic response? Southern Democrats left Congress and took their states with them, forming a nation that described itself as the “Slaveholding Confederate States of America.”
While Northern Democrats did not support secession, they nonetheless generally supported slavery and opposed civil rights for black Americans. In short, the main difference between Southern and Northern Democrats at that time was their view on secession, not slavery.
Regrettably, many Democrats actually rejoiced over Lincoln’s election for it had given them the excuse they had wanted to secede and to form a slaveholding nation. This was especially true with the Knights of the Golden Circle, an organization composed of Democrats.
Before the Civil War, the Knights of the Golden Circle had worked to establish a separate slave nation that included the southern United States, Mexico, and part of Central America. When the Civil War broke out these Democrats narrowed their broad goals and instead focused their efforts on making the Confederate States of America a separate slave nation.
Who were the leaders of that new nation of slaveholding states? Democratic U.S. Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi became the president of this new slaveholding nation and Democratic Representative Alexander Stephens of Georgia became its vice-president.
The citizens of this new slaveholding nation became known as, “Rebels.” This is not to say that every southern rebel was a slaveholder or that every Southerner supported slavery. For such definitely was not the case. Yet, many modern defenders of the Southern Confederacy and their misguided efforts to prove that slavery was not the primary issue during the Civil War assert that only 5% of southerners owned slaves.
Republicans Abolished Slavery
Such numbers are misleading, however. And many of the southern states almost two-thirds of Southerners were slaves, lived in slave households, or owned slaves. Furthermore, much of the remaining one-third of Southerners made their living by supplying materials or services to slave homes or plantations. Therefore, the assertion that only 5 % of Southerners may have owned slaves does not diminish the fact that slavery was the dominant industry in the southern states.
Additionally, according to the official documents of the South, slavery was the primary distinction between the north and the south. Rebels were, therefore, fighting for the existence of a slaveholding nation. While states rights had been the cry of the Southern states before the Civil War. That right had primarily related to the right of the states to make their own decisions about slavery.
When slavery ended, however, the cry of states rights was still heard from the former states of the Confederacy. This time it was on the right of those states to make their own decisions about whether to give civil rights to black Americans. The phrase, “states rights” as related to southern states primarily became a euphemism, first, for holding blacks and slavery and then for subjecting them the black codes, segregation, and discrimination.
However, returning to the election of 1860, with Republicans firmly in control the federal government, they quickly began implementing significant changes. In 1862 Republicans abolished slavery in Washington, DC. Â And in 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was issued freeing all slaves in the southern states and rebellion. The Emancipation Proclamation was eagerly anticipated and many black Americans gathered in groups around clocks or watches, eagerly awaiting the arrival of midnight on December 31st, 1862. For the proclamation was to take effect in the first moment of January 1, 1863.
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. How should we respond if confronted with frustration and conflict? The proper response was given over 200 years ago in a lengthy speech when Benjamin Franklin told the delegates at the Constitutional Convention, “In this situation, of this assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly appealing to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understanding?
Have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? God governs in the affairs of men. I, therefore, move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”
Benjamin Franklin knew that prayer was the proper response. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.
The Fugitive Slave Law Repealed By Republicans
Frederick Douglass was in attendance at one such midnight rally, waiting for the proclamation to become official. When that moment arrived a celebration erupted and Douglas exclaimed, “It was one of the most affecting and thrilling occasions I will witness and a worthy celebration of the first step on the part of the nation and his departure from the of the ages.”
These gatherings were the origin of the modern day watch night services held every year at thousands of churches across the country. They are New Year’s Eve meetings where churchgoers gather to greet the entry of the new year and its glories and hopeful prospects with times of prayer and thanksgiving to God.
In 1864 following the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation several civil rights laws and laws preparing to facilitate civil rights were passed. One of them was this bill establishing the Freedmen’s Bureau. Another was this bill equalizing pay for soldiers in the military whether white or black. The Fugitive Slave Law was also repealed that year over the almost unanimous opposition of the Northern Democrats still in Congress.
African-American slavery, The Cornerstone Of The Southern Confederacy
While Republicans in the north were working to end slavery and secure civil rights, the new nation of Southern Democrats was determined to head in an opposite direction. In fact, Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens, the Democrat from Georgia, delivered a speech entitled, “African Slavery the Cornerstone of the Southern Confederacy.”
In that speech, Stevens first correctly acknowledged that the Founding Fathers, even those from the South, had never intended for slavery to remain in America.
“The prevailing ideas entertained by Thomas Jefferson and most of the leading statesman at the time of the foundation of the old constitution were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature. But, the general opinion of the men of that day was that somehow or other, in the order of Providence the institution would be temporary and pass away.”
So what did Vice-President Stephens and the new Confederate nation think about these anti-slavery ideas of the Founding Fathers? “The Founders ideas against slavery were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error, and the idea of a government built upon it.
Our new government the Confederate States of America is founded upon exactly the opposite idea. 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 white race is the natural and moral condition of the Negro. This, our new Confederate government is the first in the history of the world based upon this great, physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
In 1864 Southern Democrats Still Fighting For Slavery
There was indeed a clear difference between the philosophy of the Republicans and of Democrats on the issue of race and racial equality. Southern Democrats had been willing to form an entire nation on the foundation of white supremacy and there was no doubt that the South was strongly Democratic. As a leading South Carolina Democrat testified during an 1871 congressional hearing, “For the purposes of this hearing, Sir, could you provide a breakdown along party lines as it exists in your state?”
“Almost 999 out of a 1,000 of the decent people of South Carolina belong to the Democratic Party. The Republican Party is composed entirely of the colored people.”
When it came time for the presidential election of 1864 southern Democrats were still fighting against the Union. Therefore, the presidential candidate for the Democrats that year was a Northern Democrat, Union General George B. McClellan.
McClellan was actually running for president against his own commander in chief. But there was a clear difference between the two. In fact, Abraham Lincoln had twice replaced McClellan for failing to obey Lincoln’s orders to launch aggressive attacks against the Confederacy. General McClellan’s pro-southern sympathetic behavior was in direct contrast with that of other northern military leaders.
For example, Fletcher Webster, son of the anti-slavery statesman Daniel Webster, organized the Twelfth Massachusetts. A regiment that adopted the popular abolitionist anthem, John Brown’s Body, as its regimental song.
In fact, here are some of the 1861 organizational records of that regiment. That unit saw some of the fiercest action in the war and Fletcher Webster, a leader of that hard fighting abolitionist unit, gave his own life in the fight against slavery being shot down at the second Battle of Bull Run.
Slaveholding States Had Been Defeated
McClellan then was clearly out of step with many other union military leaders. Not surprisingly, the anti-black tone of the Northern Democrats shone through in his presidential campaign. For example, examine this 1864 campaign piece for General McClellan. Why does he urge citizens to vote for him? Because as he explains, “Our bloody civil war has now lasted nearly four years under the mismanagement of Abraham Lincoln. Nearly 1 million white men have been sacrificed.”
Notice another of his complaints, “Lincoln has declared his intention to convert the Civil War into a war for forcible abolition and negro equality, social and political.” According to McClellan since white lives were being lost and since Republicans were seeking both abolition and Negro equality McClellan argues that he, as a Democrat, should be elected so that he could halt those policies.
Republicans also took clear positions in 1864 presidential campaign. The 1864 Republican platform, therefore, called for a constitutional amendment to completely abolish slavery and work had begun in Congress almost immediately on that amendment.
That same year President Lincoln won re-election to a second term. It was 1865 that the Civil War finally came to a close. The nation of slaveholding States had been defeated.
A Moment From America”s History
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. In the case, Abington vs Schempp the Supreme Court ruled that the Bible could no longer be an independent textbook in public school curriculum. Would our Founding Fathers have agreed?
Benjamin Rush certainly would have disagreed. Benjamin Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and he was a leading educator of the day. In fact, he was the first Founding Father to call for free public schools.
Benjamin Rush declared, “The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effective means of extinguishing Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools. The Bible should be read in our schools in preference to all other books.”
In the view of Founding Father Benjamin Rush, the Bible was the textbook of preference for public schools. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD
The 13th Amendment
President Lincoln and the black troops of the 29th Connecticut Regiment visited Richmond, the former capital of the Confederate States of America. An officer in that black regiment recorded the scene.
“As the president passed along the street the colored people waved their handkerchiefs, hats, and bonnets, and expressed their gratitude by shouting repeatedly. Thank God for His goodness, we have seen His salvation. The white soldiers caught the sound and swell the numbers, cheering as they marched along. All could see the president, who was so tall.”
“One woman shouted, “Thank you, Jesus, for this site of the great conqueror.” No wonder tears came to the president’s eyes when he looked on the poor colored people who were once slaves and heard the blessing uttered from thankful hearts and thanksgiving to God and Jesus. Thousands of colored men in Richmond would have laid down their lives for president Lincoln.”
By the way, in his account and hundreds of others, the strong Christian faith of black Americans is apparent. That faith is as active today as it ever was. For a number of recent polls show that Christian beliefs are higher among African-Americans than among any other group in the country.
Returning to 1865 there were numerous celebrations by black Americans and others at the end of the Civil War. But even before the war had come to an end a vote had been held in Congress on the constitutional amendment to abolish slavery, the 13th Amendment.
Congress passed that amendment and this poster was quickly issued to honor the 137 members of Congress who had voted to abolish slavery. At the time of that vote, there were 118 Republicans in Congress and 82 Northern Democrats. Of the 118 Republicans, all 118 voted to abolish slavery. However, of the 82 Democrats, only 19 voted to end slavery, only 23% of Democrats, and these were the Northern Democrats.
First African-American To speak At Congress
When the vote had been taken in Congress on the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, the chambers had been packed from wall to wall with expectant observers. When the numbers were counted and it was announced that the amendment had passed, a roar erupted from the thousands in the chamber. Hats were thrown and voices were raised in exuberant cheers! Congress had voted to end slavery.
How should something that profound be celebrated? Members of the House asked that a sermon is preached to commemorate the event. And whom did they ask to preach a sermon? The Reverend Henry Highland Garnet. Garnet became the first African-American to speak in the halls of Congress and he delivered this sermon.
The Capitol Was Used For Church Services
Today, it may sound strange to hear that there was a sermon preached in the Capitol. But it was not at all unusual then. In fact, on December 4, 1800 shortly after Congress first moved into the Capitol building Congress authorized that on Sundays the Capitol would be used for church services.
By 1867 the largest church in Washington, D.C. was the one that met inside the U.S. Capitol. 2,000 people a week met there for church. So it was not at all unusual to have sermons and religious services in the Capitol. Reverend Garnet preached this sermon on Sunday, February the 12, 1865 and it was powerful. He began that sermon with a recollection of his own personal experiences.
“What is slavery? Too well do I know what it is. I was born among the cherished institutions of slavery. My earliest recollection of parents, friends, and the whole of my childhood are clouded with its wrongs. The first sight that met my eyes was my Christian mother, enslaved.”
Let Slavery Die
Garnet then reviewed the prominent historical leaders of both church and state who has strongly opposed slavery.
“The other day, when the light of liberty streamed through this marble building, and the hearts of the noble band of patriotic statesmen leaped for joy, and this our national capital shook from foundation to dome with the shouts of a ransomed people.
Then methinks the spirits of Washington, Jefferson, the Jays, the Adamses, and Franklin, and Lafayette, and Giddings, and Lovejoy, and those of all the mighty, and glorious dead, remembered by history, because they were faithful to truth, justice, and liberty, were hovering over this August assembly. Though unseen by mortal eyes, doubtless they joined the angelic choir, and said, ‘Amen! Hallelujah!’”
Reverend Garnet concluded by calling on the states to ratify the amendment passed by Congress.
“Let the verdict of death which has been brought in against slavery by this Congress be affirmed and executed by the people. Let the gigantic monster perish. Yes, perish! Now, and perish forever! Let slavery die. Its death warrant is signed by God and man. And honorable senators and representatives, illustrious rulers of this great nation, your act so sublimed could not escape divine notice. The deed has been recorded in the archives of Heaven.”
The First Black American To Speak In The Capitol
This was a momentous event! The first black American to speak in the Capitol and he delivered a powerful sermon. Interestingly, in the front of the sermon is a revealing message. It is a message of thanks passed by the leadership of Reverend Garnet’s 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.
The church trustees were so pleased with the honor bestowed on their pastor that they passed a resolution declaring that it was the Republican members of the House who had asked Reverend Garnet to speak. The Democrats in the House did not join in inviting him to preach a sermon.
Yet this is not surprising given the demonstrated attitude of Democrats toward blacks at that time. And it’s not surprising judging by the Democratic opposition to traditional public religious expressions and activities they still demonstrate even in the most recent years.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for the truth about the Constitution either.
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. And it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders” library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.
We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution. You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com.
Still Facing Democratic Oppression
Even though nearly 80% of the nation supports voluntarily spoken prayer in public schools only 13% of Democrats voted for a recent constitutional amendment to permit it. And even though almost 80 percent of the nation supports public displays of the Ten Commandments, only 21 percent of Democrats voted for a congressional bill to allow those displays.
Consider too, the congressional bill to remove IRS control from over what pastors can say. A bill that would reinstate freedom of speech to American pulpits, exactly the way it had been before Lyndon Baines Johnson amended the IRS code in 1954 to restrict speech in churches. Only 5 percent of Democrats voted to allow free speech for churches.
And when there was a vote on protecting “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, even though 87 percent of Americans support that phrase only 17 percent of Democrats voted to protect it. And on the issue of preserving marriage is ordained in the Scriptures, 72 percent of Americans support traditional marriage but only 15 percent of Democrats in Congress voted to protect it.
The Democrats simply do not have a good voting record on traditional religious issues. Consider also how Democrats deal with the issue of faith-based programs. Current statistics prove that faith-based programs offer the best solutions to many of society’s most serious problems. For example, on the issue of drug abuse, the average cure rate for governmental type drug abuse programs is under 10 percent.
Protection Of Life Is In The 6th Commandment
Yet, the cure rate for faith-based drug abuse programs, such as those offered by Teen Challenge is over 70 percent. And on the issue of prison incarceration, 67 percent of those in government prisons returned to prison within only two years. Only 8 percent return if they’ve been in faith-based prison programs.
In short, faith-based programs offer the most effective solutions not only for drug abuse and crime but also for poverty and so many other social needs. But when the faith-based bill was presented in Congress only 7 percent of Democrats voted to allow faith-based programs. Democrats try to direct attention away from their position on so many of these religious issues by pointing to their stands on poverty and claiming a religious and a moral mandate for that work. Helping the poor is clearly a religious and moral mandate. But the Democratic portrayal is an accurate and insufficient for two reasons.
First, the most effective way to address the problems of poverty and help so many more of the poor is through faith-based programs, which according to their voting record, most Democrats oppose. Second, while Democrats pointed their funding of governmental bureaucracy related to the poor as a positive stand on a religious and moral issue, they neglect the fact that the Scriptures prioritize certain moral issues. Consider the fact that God took his more than 600 laws and reduced them into his top ten commandments. The protection of innocent life does make God’s top ten. It’s number six.
By the way, in the original language, this commandment actually says, “Do not murder.” Rather than, “Do not kill.” That is, this Biblical mandate involves the protection of innocent life, not guilty life. And when Jesus repeated this commandment in Matthew 5 and then again in Matthew 19, he used the word murder rather than kill thus verifying its Biblical meaning. Abortion clearly is the taking of innocent life and violation of the 6th commandment.
Not only does abortion make Gods top ten, so does the mandate protect the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, addressed in commandment number seven. However, taking care of the poor does not make God’s top ten. Yet Democrats, in contradistinction to the priorities in God’s top ten, have made helping the poor the number one moral issue they address.
Yet, they oppose the faith-based programs that actually do help the poor. Again, helping the poor is important but God has made clear that other issues are even more important.
We’re out of time for today folks. We’re going to continue this series in our next program. So far we’ve covered two of seven. This may be the longest series we’ve ever done on WallBuilders Live.
You can get all the programs there on our website at WallBuildersLive.com as they air and if for some reason you missed yesterday you can pick that up right now and listen to it. Or you can get the DVD and the book out WallBuilders.com. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!