||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Saturday, July 09, 2011
The Politically Incorrect Guide To Reconstruction
Fooled you... there is no such book. Conservatives today have Politically Incorrect Guide books on several other topics. Harold William Crocker III got assigned the Civil War, and Thomas Woods got American history as a whole. Woods offers a chapter on Reconstruction. That has to do.
Pity the modern Conservative, that whimpering cur! He dares preach nothing about that counterReconstruction often called Redemption. Reconstruction and the Fourteenth Amendment are attacked for their unconstitutionality, and the latter additionally for its modern effects; but never for their core ethic.
One service Woods does provide is a bibliography. I find two books that might be interesting. One is The South During Reconstruction by E Merton Coulter, from 1947. The Story of Reconstruction by Robert Selph Henry is even earlier: 1935. Woods won't cite the Dunning School directly - he can't.
Best for business
The article offers the Libertarian-Conservative line frequently, for instance on Louisiana (#40 to #27):
I am most stunned at how quickly Wisconsin has elevated itself from the bottom ten to the top half. Governor Walker is going to go into the history books. ...probably as Wisconsin's greatest villain, if the precedent of 1873-87 Texas is any guide. Leftists really hate it when they are refuted, and they get to write history books and we don't. This assumes that the Right permits the Madison set to get away with it, which assumption is usually safe.
Indiana is more quietly climbing up - from #16 to #6. Daniels has been less confrontational than has Walker. To be noted here: Walker inherited an emergency and Daniels didn't.
By contrast, two governors whom Conservatives like - Christie (NJ) and [more grudgingly] Cuomo (NY) - haven't budged their states off the #47 and #49 ratings. Connecticut (#44) also hasn't budged. However we're all expecting a Nutmeg freefall. That should help NJ and NY budge at least that one step up - two, for NY, given IL's plunge.
Another state Conservatives like is North Dakota. ND turns out to be thoroughly mediocre, from #24 to #21. Its wonderfulness turns out not to stem from much the North Dakotans did for themselves; it's mainly from the windfall of its shale reserves. When those run out we'll see how fast the state reverts to a patch of tundra, best handed back to the Indians.
The other new hydrocarbon state, Pennsylvania, took a fall (#32 to #39) but I expect it will claw its way back.
Let's give it up for Manchin, that "popular governor of West Virginia" back in '10 of whom everyone was afraid! His state took a dive from bad (#34) to awful (#42). Let's give it up for Palin too (#21 to #31). Let's give it up for a pair of overrated hucksters. It's only fitting; both certainly "gave it up" for their states.
I expect Nevada to keep sliding; ditto Colorado, Delaware, Virginia (like Maryland), and Washington (state).
Oregon and Rhode Island surprised me by improving. When will the media report this as a "miracle", a reproach to Christie (and, encoded, to Walker and Daniels)?
That was fun. I take from all this that the states do best when they get a better quality voting pool (LA) or else a governor who just doesn't care what the foolish half of his state wants (WI).
Loewen in Lies I Tell My Students complains that we apply terms like "regime" upon Reconstruction governments - as I have applied it upon Edmund Davis's.
The dictionary - okay, Wikipedia - definitions of régime turn up: a set of conditions, and a form of government. Against that, Loewen says that a "regime" has the connotation of illegitimacy. So - why should it mean that?
The word is French. To the French Enlightenment, Louis XVI was the Ancien Régime. That means, it was the French Left who redefined "regime" to imply "crooked and evil".
The Left, here speaking through Loewen, asserts the trademark for their redefinition of this word. Loewen in his complaint reserves it for Dole's takeover of Hawaii, and for the Republic of Texas(!). Loewen sees as self-evident that Texas from 1836 to 1846 was a "regime".
It seems that Loewen does not like that we grade him by his own textbook. Aww.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Benjamin Hill as applicable to Texas
Moldbug directed me to Senator Hill's "Notes Upon The Situation" long, long ago. This essay reads like a filibuster speech and is as long; pages 730-811 in his collected works. I didn't bother with it at the time - he was, after all, a Georgian and I was Texan. He is also histrionic; I would rate this particular speech eleven Shatners... out of four. The commenters in Moldbug's latest are still citing Hill as a primary text. Moldbug himself, even in citing Hill, understood the old villain as being "buddies" with "sheet-wearers".
Hill is not one of Moldbug's imams. Moldbug does however recommend Charles Francis Adams Jr. - decidedly NOT a cracker redneck good ol boy. Hill and Adams agreed that the South had no right to secession - at least, no right to join the Confederacy. Despite that, these two also agreed that Robert Lee deserved a national statue (not just a Virginian statue); certainly more deserved such a monument in DC than Cromwell deserved one in his land.
Hill in Notes is railing against a series of "Military Bills"; during which he brings up, frequently, the spectre of racial war. For that, Hill has the Haiti card to play, and he deals that card at the end (p. 811). Either the US may permit Jim Crow in the South; or else the South will exterminate its blacks; or else the North and the blacks must exterminate the South's whites.
I find Hill's argument difficult to track with mine own experience. I've dealt with Reconstruction in Texas. I suspect it went differently there than it did in Hill's native Georgia. Yes, there was Klan in Texas, suppressing the black vote. But I also have a comparison between TX and LA; Georgia was politically closer to upriver Louisiana than to Texas as a whole. That means, to the extent that Edmund Davis and his Radical faction won elections, it was because Texans who were not black were willing to give Radicalism a chance.
Texans abandoned Reconstruction by choice; because after enduring Radical government, they judged it a bad one - bad, not the least, for blacks - and thought that Conservatives might do better. (And, yes, some Southerners bore memories of the "outrages" of 1865-6. Imagine if Texas had the female suffrage during the 1870s. Blacks in Texas got off easy.) And I never heard that creepy term "Redemption" until I started into the histories of Louisiana and points east.
Georgia, I take it, was "redeemed" by wet-work as were Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Lucky Texas.
Where Hill starts to speak of concerns I might understand, is in page 804. There he cites the "all the time Union Men":
These last have the greatest cause to complain of the bad faith of the Government and the ungenerous and destructive action of the Radicals since the surrender of the Southern armies. These Military Bills make their wisdom madness, their promises lies, and their hopes the bitterest gall. They would lose their own respect and the respect of all men if they did not denounce and reject these bills as embodying the most infamous treachery to the National faith and the most ungrateful contempt for Union fidelity in the South. They opposed Radicalism for the same reason they opposed secession - because they loved and still love the Constitution and the Union under it. But now they find the United States Congress laughing at the Constitution as a "ghost", and they find General Pope blindly loving the most unprincipled of the secessionists, and denouncing true Union men as "turbulent and disloyal reactionary leaders" who must be banished from the country before peace can be secured under Radical reconstruction.
Then, page 808:
They [whites] are not able to resist. They are tired of war. They are helpless. They have no arms. They surrendered them to you, sir, as to an honorable foe! They are poor. Little bureau officers daily insult them. Little sergeants daily oppress them. Little assessors and collectors daily rob them. High-titled generals daily slander them. Black and white spies daily dog them. A mighty nation, which pledged them protection if they would lay down their arms, dominates in vengeance over them, and will not so much as hear their wrongs or permit them even to make complaint of their grievances.
I repeat, I cannot think as a Georgian white man thinks. But whilst this was going on the majority of Texan whites endured violence (1865-6), despotism (1872-3), and arbitrary rule throughout (1865-74). These parts of Hill's speech would have made sense to Texans then.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Just because it wasn't reported last weekend...
...doesn't mean it didn't happen. Here's a roundup from Anthro, at The Park.
There was another mob in Milwaukee. (Another link, from Drudge today.) This gang has been amuck here "for weeks". The article doesn't mention the demographics of these groups. For that, you gotta go here: it was a black-on-Other assault. "It was pretty scary just because it was so random", says a victim. Said victim looks Asian in the photo - or Hispanic; it's hard to tell from her face, since it has been rearranged. "Random"?
Twelve ganged up against one in Lakeview, IL. This is "a notoriously safe neighbourhood", we're told. Why the "notoriety" of being "safe"? Later, we find there's a Facebook page for "Boystown". Ahh... Lakeview East. So it's black teens against teh white ghey.
Drudge made his point on Memorial Day. There had been security measures in at least South Carolina to hold down the... "teenagers", the "flash mobs". The cops cannot be everywhere.
UPDATE: Okay, Drudge did step up. (There was other stuff going on, which the mcburger-eaters like.) Peoria, again. The Anti-Pundit has banned me for stating the obvious over there, lulz. Three hundred in Mobile. The MSM has since memory-holed that too; it's now "many" - like it was a three dozen. Thirteen stabbed in Boston. Chicagoland is Chicagoland. Atlantic City brawl.
I mean, srsly gaiz. Srsly.
If we need an education, whose?
The Left has built vast walls around the truth of our history; but, then, so has the Right. The question must be: which walls support a prison, and which support a fortress? I have pondered that I might figure out the two walls' purpose, by way of investigating their respective masonry. So on 4 July evening I locked this blog and went to a bookstore.
I gave the Reconstruction sections of Lies My Teacher Told Me another read (in its 2nd ed). Its author James Loewen intends by the book's title's "me", you - as an extension of Loewen. Loewen has sold his book on the claim that factual history is interesting history - which it is, of course. But that is not his real point. His real point is race.
Specificially, Loewen asserts that the "lies", the (politically) incorrect version of history, will cause black children to see themselves as a historical blight. Loewen may even be telling the truth. Another book I looked at, Randall Kennedy's 9ja: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, rubs all our faces into just how damaging our racism is against blacks. So, says Loewen, when blacks hear about Galveston in February 1866, the kids' self-esteem goes down, and they will then fail. Loewen doubles down in an aside in Sundown Towns: that relative self-esteem explains the racial IQ gap(s) - all of it.
Self-esteem will not do, to solve the dire problem [for now, ignore this link's solution, please!]. Blacks have higher self-esteem than whites. And why not? In large part thanks to Loewen, this is a BRA. Whites still outperform blacks intellectually. And we of Ashkenazi ancestry, and Asians, still beat whites. Some might say that Jews and Asians are neurotic, even more than are whites. Some might say we lack... self esteem. It seems relative self-esteem does not explain the racial IQ gap(s).
I personally do worry about hurting blacks' feelings. This happened in my bid to join The Froude Society, just lately. I ended up locking up the blog. But the reason I don't like offending them isn't that I worry that I might cause them to fail!
Self-esteem is good for reasons other than as an intelligence bolster. Self-esteem keeps me alive; and I wish blacks life and happiness as well. The West may be able to support life, liberty, and happiness for all those currently living in it. Westerners telling fibs won't help, not for long.
Back to Loewen. Antiracism, like Communism, is a testable hypothesis. Loewen, like Khrushchev, assumes that when you deny the party line, you are ignorant or mentally ill. Lies gives the example of Lincoln: that Lincoln bore the taint of racism, and managed to "overcome" it. He literally wants teachers to give this out as an Edifying Tale.
Loewen's emphasis is self-refuting. If Good Teacher must feed to blacks the Left's history and anti-racism, for only that it helps blacks; then to be consistent said Teacher can hardly argue against a history for whites which helps whites. I have to conclude that Loewen is not in the business of teaching history.
How then would a history which helps whites look? I think, a lot like the historiography Loewen hates. Even on the most basic level: what helps whites and Asians to survive urban life is "knowledge of one's surroundings". That's racism, racism every moment that we must pass through a "vibrant and diverse community". Every time Loewen levels his dark sarcasm against racism in his classroom, he inculcates Eloi-ism. An Eloi is no match for a Morlock. All those who make innocents of us, have innocent blood on their hands.
But this is academic; no, not that, a disgrace to academe. Ultimately we shouldn't care about what helps blacks or what helps whites or what helps the fucking Sinhalese. We should care about what is true. And what was true in the Reconstruction period . . . is what is true now.
If Professor Loewen truly wishes the best for his students in his home state of Vermont, he is best advised to leave those kids alone.
Monday, July 04, 2011
North Dakota: democratic success story
The state's budget is balanced, housing prices are rising and the labor market is tight. A virtuous circle is in play. More economic activity leads to more investment, which leads to more employment, which in turn creates more demand for all sorts of goods and services. The state has natural resources in abundance, and is prospering by exporting them.
The situation will probably not hold.
The main difference between them - and the reason I should not dump this on her blog - is that North Dakota and, for now, Texas and Wisconsin have been able to do this via the democratic process. Redemption Texas, though, was not a democracy.
Let's say that Conservatives all decided to say to America: hey, you're right, guys; we've all been evil - racist, even, and we're sorry, and we promise to sit out elections en masse for ten years whilst we contemplate our sins. Ramsdell suggests that Conservatives did exactly that in the run-up to EJ Davis's election.
We would all be better off; we would all become as prosperous as North Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Right?
Um... no. Leftism will always fail; it has always failed. Leftism fails when some Leftist cult takes over by force, sure; but Leftism also fails when people vote for it. The Redeemers knew that. Deep down, many Left-voters know it too - they're just sticking it to The Man. We can argue about which Leftists refuse to understand an economy and which just can't. You can guess which blocs I think fall into which camps. It all amounts to the same at the booth.
The great hope of democracy is that we may appeal to Left-voters via reason, and that Leftist thinkers may likewise appeal to us. It assumes intelligence, righteousness, and wisdom. Of these, the latter two might be teachable. But we won't be able to teach them, as long as this nation holds to that most self-evident lie.
Scenes from the class war: the impotence front
Impotence isn't just no-fun; it can ruin marriages. There's a campaign out there to warn us guys off the devilweed - I mean tobacco - because cigarettes cause impotence. Bicycling is also linked to impotence. We should also get a campaign going against bikers. It would have knock-on benefits, like fewer accidents on our roads. Bicycling is an unhealthy and dangerous activity.
... it won't happen.
The assumption that democracy can work in Barbados
Froude, on the Caribbean, is not satisfied merely to report. He offers a What Is To Be Done in 362f. Froude wanted the Caribbean to be an extension of England; a new sea of tropical Irelands, in effect. He wanted it for English retirees and economic interests. His recommendations go toward that end.
Froude contrasts Jamaica and the Antilles against Cuba. He bemoans that the whites have been pushed to a minority in England's islands - which did not happen in Cuba. He calls it out as a betrayal which
Froude lost the argument and England lost the Caribbean. The geopolitical and economic realities differ now. The Caribbean has become an American lake, and Americans are a continental people with no desire to settle abroad.
From that perspective, one might argue it is not our place - even less than Froude's - to suggest a course of action for any region remote from us. But this argument doesn't completely work, for an island; given that tourists have a vote, at least with their dollars. So, the compromise: any outsider can suggest only such measures for which the interests of Bajans and tourists coincide.
That means Barbados would need: more care taken for its Caribbean-heritage sites, a better hospital system (preferably not tied to a pregnant-woman pr0n industry), less tolerance both for crackheads and for those tourists taking advantage of nicegirlniceboy. Outside nations should quit enabling corruption in Barbados, generally.
Most of us assume that Bajans might manage this by means of its democracy. By democratic theory: if corruption is brought to a democracy's attention, the people will vote out the crooks. The Barbados Free Press - currently, a blog, on WordPress - performs the service of bringing this to our attention. That means that the BFP, also, assumes that democracy will work in Barbados.
One hopes. Jamaica is much like Barbados - it's larger, and has more of a tradition of violence, but the people are similar. In Jamaica, the political parties have become gangs. This has happened because the Jamaican people have steadily chosen, to lead them, politicians which have promised more and more Free Stuff.
One can only wish the BFP the best.
Barbados: a report
Texas done wit'. Let's look at Barbados.
I have visited Barbados twice: once as a near-toddler and the second time in 2009. When I stayed, I stayed maybe a 45 minute walk from Bridgetown on the south coast. (The first time too, I vaguely remember.)
I do not expect a warm reception should I return a third time. I have this bad habit of finding out stuff I shouldn't. (BFP, on the sequel to that.)
I'd also have to acknowledge the tone of this blog these days, which will upset what acquaintances I made when I was there. Maybe I could excuse this by saying that my late comments have been directed against Texas and Louisiana (and Jamaica and Haiti), with no aspersions toward the Bajan / Gullah gaeltacht. More likely, not.
Moldbug's latest post - with Moldbug, he posts so infrequently, that one is ever tempted to say "last" - directs us again to a trinity of books, of which two are of Carlyle and his disciple Froude. My interest here is in Froude, "The English in the West Indies"; specifically the fourth chapter, 37-47. Wikipedia tells me that there exists a Caribbean response. At least, it is a Trinidadian response; I am not aware of a Bajan one.
Froude clearly wasted his Bajan sojourn in Bridgetown with but a few strolls around the countryside. Most of what he has of the island's history he has from a Frenchman, one Father Labat (39-41). Froude did not venture far; for instance, he seems not even to know of the Scotland District.
I found Bridgetown now to be almost exactly as Froude described it then. As for the isle, its population was then 200 thousands and 90% black; it is now not much more in population, but 80% black. Demographically, the main change seems to have been the displacement of half that 10% remnant of Anglos, and another 10% of blacks; mostly by Asians, Indians out of Guyana and Trinidad.
Another difference is transportation. There are inexpensive communal taxi services - minivans, basically - all over west and south. Northeast, where Scotland is, remains difficult. I ended up having to hoof it down that coast, to Bathsheba; it must have taken two hours.
Perhaps surprisingly for a reactionary-approved author, Froude omits to be racist here. Later, Froude will exempt Bajans from his general view of West Indians as lazy and childlike; at any rate "
Froude did not report the musical tastes of Bajans, so I'll do it: in his day, Bajans enjoyed steel pan music. Nowadays, they just feed that to the tourists. Bajans today like Jamaican music - mostly Bob Marley - interspersed with a few American rappers. I know this because I was at the Wet-Fête and then at one of the locals' clubs, and because I traveled by the minivans.
Bajans are generally still religious and genteel, if they are middle-aged and middle-classed; and still kind to tourists, for the most part. There are now, sadly, crackheads ("paros") who scavenge amongst the tourists. We must also suffer the Third World riffraff selling "nice boy, nice girl" - the latter seem to be Trinidadian immigrants and their, well, slaves. I was warned away from the Scotland District. I, personally, can suggest not venturing into most rumshops unless you are, also, black and even then in a group.
Froude insists that West Indian blacks'
This does not mean that the policies which Froude proposed would have worked for Barbados, even in his own day.
Sunday, July 03, 2011
The Hell's Angel creed
Terry Goodkind has written this as an ideal, in Naked Empire:
We do not fight for land. We are loyal to an ideal - an ideal of liberty wherever man lives. We do not guard territory, bleed for a piece of dirt. We don't fight because we love violence. We fight for our freedom as individuals to live our own lives, to pursue our own survival, our own happiness.
The "happiness" here betrays dependence upon the Americans' Declaration of Independence, whose birthday American Conservatives celebrate this weekend. It is in that context DMartyr quotes it. (DM has more, about the need to fight for this ideal. I agree with that part, and so it doesn't concern us here.)
In college I read, I think, two-and-a-half Goodkind books. Goodkind, I now know, translates Ayn Rand into the fantasy genre.
Anyway where I don't agree with Goodkind is that I accept that the Conservative - which Goodkind (like Rand) is not - has the right to bleed for his piece of dirt. We also have the right to property - or at least, we shouldn't sneer at it.
Goodkind is preaching the gospel of the Gypsy, the (armed) Jew, the Hell's Angel; he is supporting a liberty of the landless. He is preaching on behalf of my liberty. But there are others, who choose to settle down and to raise a family. Their liberties depend upon a state of order. I cannot deny them that.
Sami the Prophet
After jum'a prayer last Friday, some 36 year old guy got into the Grand Mosque in Mecca, ascended the minbar and delivered his da'wa. He, Sami, is the Mahdi - the one whom God has Guided - and he, Sami, will guide the Umma of Allah from here on.
Sami also declared himself a, er, Prophet. That went a bit far for the Saudis, a regime known worldwide for its moderation and sanity. Sami is now hangin' in a cell with Napoleon XIV and Saint Jerome. [Found this out on Drudge last night.]
Angry Arab has this "postscript":
I must say, I am impressed with Sami's courage. I hope he has a book of rhymed classical-Arabic sermons; I'm sure I'd prefer it to the book I've been dealing with for the past eight years.
As in "Counter Jihad", not as in that CJ... although it's looking a lot like that too. At least, it's looking like one of the poisonous flamewars You Know Who hosted back in 2009.
The timeline is at Winter Soldier's. He's expended more effort on the leadup to this than I have done. (I just spent a weekend reviewing the entire history of Reconstruction in Texas. This not controversial enough for you?)
The report card on the Edmund J Davis regime
I have now finished with Ramsdell's account of Texas Reconstruction. This ends with the EJ Davis regime and its overthrow. So... how did Davis do? And how did he compare with his successors?
I use the term "regime" with full understanding of its connotations. Davis ruled as a despot and his faction was never, and could never be, majoritarian. Ugh, now I've done it; I'll have to go on to explain the term "despot", too. Davis could not be a populist, so "tyrant" can't work. He wasn't appointed for a fixed term in an emergency, so "dictator" is out too. (Texas had Federally-imposed dictators before Davis, in Governor Pease and the various generals.) "Despot" is the only term which fits.
The oral tradition of white Texans recalls Davis's rule ... unfondly. From that perspective, I found yet another book, "Why The Solid South" (Baltimore: RH Woodward & Co, 1890); one Charles Stewart wrote its Texan chapter (349-382). This was done two decades before Ramsdell. Stewart based some of his account on memory.
As for Stewart's account, I have to give out some warning. We've been using Ramsdell as our base text up to now. Ramsdell had by the point of the Davis section devoted hundreds of pages to the evils of Reconstruction. By the time Ramsdell got to Davis's administration, he could afford to be magnanimous. Stewart has ... biases too. [UPDATE 10/10/2011 - William Archibald Dunning, Reconstruction, political and economic, 1865-1877, 352-3, complained about this book as a whole.] For his part Stewart was an archetype of those Southern-Partisan hypocrites who complain about despotism against whites whilst excusing it against blacks. Stewart's biases dwarf Ramsdell's. In fact Stewart is well-nigh unreadable up to Davis; at least Ramsdell had footnotes, usually adequate. Stewart brings in references only for his summary of 1876-90.
Davis wasn't all that bad. Ramsdell points to Davis's veto of the railroad-subsidy as a merit. Overall, he cannot fault Davis for corruption; which is more than may be said, by anyone, for Davis's Radical parliament. As for Davis's police, the historian Eric Foner tells that it was largely involved in rooting out Klan incursions - Foner's a commie, but here he's right. Even there Davis appears to have enforced discipline upon his own police. If black troops raided your house in the 1870s, it was because Davis ordered them to. In 1865 and 1866 they would raid your house when they felt like it.
I am not a Southern partisan. Also, as a Moldbugger I don't mind a dose of despotism here and there. We just care if the cat catches mice - hell, the whole point of this exercise has been to explore how well Benjamin Hill's argument applies to Texas. In Latin America there have been several dictatorships. Some of them were awful. But they also have Trujillo, and Diaz, (controversially) Fujimori, and (the model) Pinochet. Davis must be judged on his merits. So we should let Stewart talk about promise and results (378f):
And then, "
Can we believe all this? These accounts look much like they have come from the Texas budget and census. What do DuBois, Foner, Loewen, Lemann, and Lane have to say about it all? I mean, other than that math is racist?
I find this "$4,237,730" debt in Ainsworth Rand Spofford, American almanac and treasury of facts (1888), 105; from a report of 31 August, 1887. The almanac's footnote:
As for immigration, I find in the "Texas" slave narratives that many of these (black) men and women had arrived in Texas after Governor Davis. Some might say that this just boosts (un)Reconstructed Texas over Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana at the time. But these negroes could've gone to, say, Detroit. They didn't.
Back to Davis, it seems almost as if the Governor was more interested in being seen to make a difference, and in rewarding his supporters; than in actually educating his citizens to the best of their ability, and in growing the economy at large.
But hey. The Redeemers are the bad guys.
Ahh, Texan politics
The character of the Radicals in the 1868^H9 convention needed work.
Footnote, Ramsdell 242:
And let's give it up for HARRIS COUNTY! Ramsdell 257 points to one who, the Thug Report might comment, liked 'em young:
One member, CW Bryant, of Harris County, a negro preacher, was indicted in Austin for rape upon an eleven-year-old colored girl, and the examining trial made his guilt perfectly evident; yet in the face of this evidence, the [E.J.] Davis faction, to which he belonged, resisted every effort to expel the brute, for no other apparent reason than than they desired his vote. However he was finally expelled. A number of personal encounters occurred and added to the general ill-feeling.
I should note here that Bryant wasn't expelled until after this Constitution was finished: p. 261, footnote. Mind you, his vote didn't matter. The Davis faction had lost by then.
Breaking up Texas
Ramsdell devotes most of chapter IX, 200f, to the Convention of 1868... which dragged into 1869. It was mainly a Republican convention, but the Republicans found ways to bicker amongst themselves.
A main problem is that, back then, Texas had regional issues. Texas is still in the same shape it was then, and it is still regional. The difference is that north of the Nueces or so, Texans today are proud to belong to what is essentially a sub-America. Back then... not so much. Germans were liberal and clustered in the centre. West Texas wanted Reconstruction to fall upon the East (p. 245); and in far west Texas, they just didn't care.
Texas had an agreement in 1845 with the US that it legally could split, into five states. Many delegates figured three would suffice (Ramsdell 212). Whether the US Congress would have agreed to this, never got tested.
Texas was also short of cash. El Paso's delegate, WW Mills, had the notion that rather than join any of these new states, the Pecos should just get sold to the US (Ramsdell 203, 213) - to join up with Territorial New Mexico. The US probably would have agreed to that - it would have sped along New Mexico's application to statehood - but it wasn't tested either.
Texans couldn't agree on any of that. Much of the push to break up Texas devolved more into who got to carve up the turkey. The breakup proposals mostly served to waste time (p. 226) and to remind all the delegates of how little they shared in common.
Eventually the breakup idea became the hobbyhorse of EJ Davis and his Radicals. Everyone else gave up on it. And when Davis himself became governor, he didn't do anything to reduce the extent of his writ.
Black conservatives: 1865, 1867, 2011
There was the phenomenon of the black Confederate "soldier" during the Civil War. Ramsdell does note it ... somewhere. I just remember he cites it as a desperation move and that the war was basically over by then. I've mocked modern Confederate nostalgists for showcasing these lawn-jockeys; but perhaps not on this blog, yet. I'll leave it to Coates.
Nowadays, we have the elusive Black Conservative.
Black conservatives existed in Reconstruction as well. I'm not talking about the religious and hopeful freedmen about which General Gregory reported. Ramsdell 233-4 tells it:
Democratic clubs passed resolutions to the effect that they would not give employment, assistance, or patronage to any man, white or black, that belonged to or acted with the Radical [Republican] party. Negro Democratic-Conservative clubs were formed in opposition to the Union League and the Radicals, and special favor was shown in the way of employment and protection to the negroes who went into them. But it could hardly have been expected that many freedmen would long be satisfied in the party that was so desperately bent upon shutting them out of participation in politics, and the superior attractions offered in the Radical camp gradually enticed most of them away.
Black Democratic-Conservatives didn't pass Ramsdell's laugh-test. I'm afraid that "black Confederates" cannot pass this test either. Moving on to today, I don't much trust black Conservatives. I cannot share their motives: extreme religion, misanthropy, or desire to please a white paying constituency. My exceptions run to Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas, and they are very much exceptions.
Black reactionaries, who accept that the whole electoral franchise is overrated as an ideal, we might find some time for.
The Galveston riot of February 1866
We are concerned here with the Victoria and Galveston areas, from June 1865 to April 1866. To set the stage here, I'll cite Richter's 1987 book, The Army in Texas During Reconstruction. In 1865, the first wave of Union troops were "volunteers" - in effect, mercenaries. "Most of the black soldiers in Texas served in the Rio Grande Valley, along the coast, or in the area around Jefferson ... by early 1866 ... black soldiers were at their greatest proportional numbers for the whole Reconstruction period" (25-7). Until January 1867, "black troops had provided most of the Federal power along the Rio Grande and the Texas coast" (27). Federal troops also held a "line from Indianola through Victoria to San Antonio" (27), and these at the time were black too.
Richter claims, "by most accounts their [black soldiers'] discipline was admirable but..." But what? For that, he quotes a newspaper: "but the idea of a gallant and highminded people being ordered and pushed around by an inferior race is shocking to the senses". So if anyone objected to these troops, it was because of raaaaacism. Note that this somewhat contradicts Richter's earlier comment that these troops had mutinied before even arriving at Galveston harbour. Southern belles saw things differently too but who cares?
Let's join with Richter in "admiring" their "discipline". Charles Ramsdell, take it away! Pages 82-83:
In the summer of 1865 Flake's Bulletin, of Galveston, was full of references to outrages perpetrated by the Federal soldiers stationed in that city... by far the greatest complaint was against the colored troops that were brought into the state in the late summer and fall... In November a petition was sent Governor Hamilton from Jackson County for relief from a body of three hundred negro troops that had been detailed there...These negros were heavily armed and parties of them roamed about the country robbing plantations, insulting and sometimes outraging women [that means sexual assault], inciting the resident negroes to like conduct, and keeping the whole country in constant terror.
And then, said troops broke loose in the Galveston riot, the long weekend 24-25 February 1866, extending to Thursday.
What, you didn't know?
The Bulletin, by the way, was a "radical" paper - that is, very proUnion (Ramsdell, 97). When in April the (white) Seventeenth Infantry replaced the volunteers, and went on their own looting spree, the Bulletin declared "we have never had a garrison that so disgraced itself, and violated the public peace" (Richter, 23-9). We may commend the Bulletin's editors for informing us about February... Richter, not so much.
I should add here, given the perspective of a little more reading, that this event may even be a watershed. Up to mid-1866, Ramsdell gives stories like this one, of black terror and Union misrule. After this event is where Ramsdell has to admit of the Ku Klux Klan (at any rate, of its fanclub; 232-3). The tone of events take a decided shift; for instance page 220, in which the crime statistics move toward the white-against-black. Ramsdell excuses away some of it, but the point is that only now does he need to excuse it.
[3 July, I split this post from yesterday's post here. 30-31 July, added Richter's context.]
One of the means by which Southerners once excused their system was by telling the history of Reconstruction. Charles Ramsdell is one; we can tell, because he did not take sufficent measures to keep his biases from affecting his work. Now, Leftists excuse our system by retelling that same history; and we find Kenneth Howell introducing his own pontifications. Surely no-one will mind if I investigate that history.
The reason over this weekend I have taken the TARDIS through to 1865-7 (with occasional detours) was that I had acquired a skepticism against Reconstruction's aims. The reason for that was that I've noted modern newsproviders ignoring and/or excusing modern black crime rates.
I inaugurated this investigation by opening up the possibility that the Decent People have been doing that in accounts about the past as well. So, here is the bottle without a seal. I admit, that post was extrapolative and anecdotal. I didn't mean it to prove anything. It was supposed to free up just the one of its `afârît, the Djinn of Doubt. I abandon all responsibility for whatever mischief it might wreak within your cranium.
I trolled for more data by way of, um, spam. First I spammed Moldbug; last night I spammed Unamused. I did almost keep my spams on topic: Moldbug's original-post was a piece on Slow History, and Unamused's was a piece on crime. I am grateful to them and to their commenters, who did get me that data: the historical-series you've been reading is inspired from a post (anonymously) directing me to the Dunning School.
The history is fascinating in its own right, but we are all here for that one issue; so I'll get to the point. The freedmen ignored their contracts where it was harder to enforce them. Black troops ran amuck in Galveston. Blacks stationed in Victoria would jail the innocent and spring the guilty for political reasons. Ramsdell gets all this from contemporary newspapers up to 1866, some proUnion like Flake's Bulletin.
In the 1860s, too, there were whites oblivious to the facts (although, as the vote-tallies prove, not many) and other whites who lied for short-term advantage. It wasn't until 1867 that the Klan got on their horses. And the Klan wasn't what disgraced Davis's administration; it was his own misrule that did that.
Just to toss some more food for the djinn now playing polo with your preconceptions: I expect blacks in the 1800s to be even less city-functional than they are today. Genetically, blacks were blacker, with less admixture. (Americans, almost alone on the globe, include mixed-race people as "black".) In addition, I think that cities select for urban survival even without interbreeding. I base this on the Iraqi Shi'a - they are the majority of Mesopotamia, which has had cities for longest. Just looking at the most basic metric, the average in Iraq is 87 - and if you take out the Sunnis (Arab / Syrian) and the Kurds (Iranian), you get low-to-mid-80s. In the American black-belt, 1865 AD was very early in the process of moulding the population in question. The black IQ then would not have been today's 85; where I am concerned, Texas, the black IQ would have more closely approached modern Jamaica's 72. Then there's the other traits we've grown to know and love.
Thus far I've been operating on the assumption that we didn't have statistics for the 1800s. This case has been circumstantial up to now. Anyway it's mostly a Reconstruction account; tempers were hotter then. The "demobilised" Confederates - mostly deserters - were no angels either, and in Texas there was also a frontier. Without statistics, the Right is vulnerable to the same charge of "cherry picking" as we are leveling against the Left. I do not think, as vulnerable; but the concern has merit.
We know what we know about today's crime rates not because of Thug Report or Drudge, but because we have institutions like the FBI to collect these data. Here is M.G. Miles, of the blog Those Who Can See. He has compiled statistical tables of African-American criminality in history. (This sure would have helped Ramsdell's case. In his afterlife, among the punishments the Devil has for him is to remind him that he sucks at footnotes.)
Now that we know all this, this gives us the perspective to understand why Southerners distrusted Reconstruction - starting with the Fourteenth Amendment. This Amendment enforced what Northerners would term a "rule of law" upon the States. What could be wrong with that?
We on the 'web with our triple-digit IQs live in a world in which the rule of law and the state of order are equal. If we are tempted to commit a crime, we fear that we will be justly called to account. Those of us with a little more... insight understand that this does not hold for brutes. Brutes do not understand guilt and justice; as Arabs have illustrated for millennia, brutes can understand at best honour and shame. For brutes, only force works; only the Lick An' Lock-Up.
Southerners believed that enough blacks were brutal, and that they had so many blacks, that as long as "the rule of law" meant equality, such law could not ensure white safety. Since the Constitution now barred Southerners from enacting a legal caste system: Southerners enacted instead a legal plutocracy, with leeway for vigilante enforcement. The Fourteenth Amendment did not impose a rule of law upon the South; it ensured the suspension of the rule of law until modern times.
Personally, I should like to wish all this away myself. But the Djinn of Doubt is not in the business of granting wishes.
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