Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why I Did Not Celebrate President's Day

Why I Did Not Celebrate President's Day
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

First, my regular readers must have noticed that yesterday the so-called holiday, referred to as President's Day, was not mentioned by THIS scribe. Rest assured -- there was reason.

First of all, President's Day is an invention of the commercial community. Congress made it plain, when they instituted President's Day; the holiday was to memorialize President George Washington, our first President. But Washington WAS NOT OUR FIRST President! He was, in fact, or fifteenth President!

There were fourteen presidents BEFORE George Washington! Washington actually led the county's seventeenth administration. Washington was the first President of the US under the current US Constitution.

Below is a list of the Presidents of this country serving before George Washington:

Peyton Randolph of Virginia (1723-1775)

Henry Middleton (1717-1784)

John Hancock (1737-1793)

Henry Laurens (1724-1792)

John Jay (1745-1829)

Samuel Huntington (1732-1796)

Thomas McKean (1734-1817)

John Hanson (1715-1783)

Elias Boudinot (1741-1802)

Thomas Mifflin (1744-1800)

Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794)

Nathaniel Gorham (1738-1796)

Arthur St. Clair (1734-1818)

Cyrus Griffin (1736-1796)

If you'd like a bit of a synopsis on each of these men then we suggest you go HERE .

President Cyrus Griffin was a reluctant supporter of the Constitutional ratifying process. It was during Griffin's term in the office of the Presidency—the last before the new national compact (the current US Constitution) went into effect—that ratification was formalized and finalized. Griffin served as the nation's chief executive from January 22, 1788 until George Washington's inauguration on April 30, 1789.
Now, I'm OK with celebrating George Washington's birthday. No problem at all. Washington was a Southern gentleman. It was under Washington's guidance that this country had its first economic boom.

But, when they dragged Lincoln into President's Day, I lost interest in the holiday.

Look, I am a Southerner. I am no lover of Abraham Lincoln. I dare say that if Americans knew the real story of Abraham Lincoln they'd have no more love for the man than I do.

Lincoln was a duplicitous politician... at BEST! He said the following on the floor of the Congress on January 13th, 1848: "Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and to form one that suits them better. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may make their own of such territory as they inhabit. More than this, a majority of any portion of such people may revolutionize, putting down a minority intermingling with or near them who oppose their movement."

I didn't make that up. It is a matter of official record. Lincoln said it. Yet when a portion of the people of the US decided they wanted to do exactly what Lincoln said they could do, he sent an army of aggression into their new country to kill and destroy and drag them back into the very government they had just rejected at the point of a government bayonet.

We ALL know that Lincoln was anti-slavery, right? After all he was The Great Emancipator, right? Well, read the following statement Lincoln made in a speech in Peoria Illinois and then decide: "We know that some Southern men do free their slaves, go north and become tip-top abolitionists, while some Northern Men go south and become most cruel masters.When Southern people tell us that they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said the institution exists, and it is very difficult to get rid of in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know what to do as to the existing institution. My first impulse would possibly be to free all slaves and send them to Liberia to their own native land. But a moment's reflection would convince me that this would not be best for them. If they were all landed there in a day they would all perish in the next ten days, and there is not surplus money enough to carry them there in many times ten days. What then? Free them all and keep them among us as underlings. Is it quite certain that this would alter their conditions? Free them and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this, and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of whites will not. We cannot make them our equals. A system of gradual emancipation might well be adopted, and I will not undertake to judge our Southern friends for tardiness in this matter."Lincoln also said: "I acknowledge the constitutional rights of the States — not grudgingly, but fairly and fully, and I will give them any legislation for reclaiming their fugitive slaves."

In his Inaugural Address Lincoln said: "I have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

In a letter to Alexander H. Stephens, Lincoln said the following: "Do the people of the South really entertain fear that a Republican administration would directly or indirectly interfere with their slaves, or with them about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears. The South would be in no more danger in this respect than it was in the days of Washington." You'll find it on page 150 of "Public and Private Letters of Alexander Stephens." (By the way Alexander Stephens was Vice-President of the Confederate States of America.)

In a letter to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune at the time, and dated August 22nd, 1862, Lincoln said this: “My paramount object, is to save the Union, and not either destroy or save slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing the slaves, I would do it. If I could save the Union by freeing some and leaving others in slavery, I would do it. If I could save it by freeing all, I would do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because it helps save the Union.”

Do you begin to understand why I cannot celebrate the birth of a man who found it necessary to drag the American people into the bloodiest war this nation has ever seen, or is likely to see? Of all the nations involved in the slave trade, the US was the only one to decide to end that horrible traffic with a war between brothers resulting in a patched-up a nation scarred for all eternity.

If you want to celebrate the birthday of George Washington, I’m all for it. But celebrate the birth of Abraham Lincoln? NEVER!

J. D. Longstreet

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