20 March 2014

The Southern States Started The Civil War By Attacking The Northern States

At least that's what some elementary public school students are being taught here in Virginia. Even if one considers the firing upon Fort Sumter as what "stared the Civil War", it is quite a leap - and extremely misleading - to state that "the southern states attacked the northern states. This started the Civil War." Taken at face value, and not knowing any better, one would assume this means the Confederacy invaded northern states. Granted, getting into the complicated issues of causation is a bit heavy for 7 year-olds; however, making this misleading statement does a disservice to their understanding as well.

The image below was sent to me by a concerned parent of a second grader here in Virginia. The book was assigned to his son. The image is of a page taken from the "Easy Reader Biographies" series title: "Abraham Lincoln: A Great American President, A Great American." The author, Violet Findley, has written other juvenile titles including Phonics Bingo Ladders. Wonderful.


A couple of years or so ago, a number of Civil War bloggers and professional historians went to great lengths to criticize a Virginia public school textbook which falsely claimed that two black battalions fought under the command of Stonewall Jackson. Of course, that criticism was justified. Evidently, the Virginia public school system is still struggling with the facts when it comes to teaching students about the Civil War.

Not to worry, however as I've recommended some more appropriate titles about the War For Southern Independence.

I wonder if the Lincoln book mentions Honest Abe's thoughts on colonization? Hmmmm . . .


Anyone who wants to argue that paragraph isn't a bit one-sided and misleading, I'm listening. I doubt I'll hear anything but crickets.

10 comments:

Betty Giragosian said...

I am horrified that these children are being taught this. It is a never ending battle.

I wish there were an icon on your blog, so that i could put your articles on my facebook page. They should be sent far and wide.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Yeah, I'm not sure why Blogger doesn't have the social media icon option. It can probably be done manually, but don't have the time to figure it out. Thanks for the comment.

BTW, my grandchildren aren't being taught this. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Consider the following:

The Daily Dispatch: December 10, 1860.

Opinion of the U.S. Attorney General...

Your right to take such measures as may seem to be necessary for the protection of the public property is very clear. It results from the proprietary rights of the Government as owner of the forts, arsenals, magazines, dock-yards, navy-yards, custom-houses, public ships, and other property which the United States have bought, built, and paid for...

All these provisions are made to protect the States, not to authorize an attack by one part of the country upon another...

The States are colleagues of one another, and if some of them shall conquer the rest and hold them as subjugated provinces, it would totally destroy the whole theory upon which they are now connected.

The Daily Dispatch: March 11, 1861.

Virginia State Convention. Twenty-First Day.
Saturday, March 9, 1861.
... the sites of the Federal forts, arsenals, &c., within the limits of the States of this Union, were acquired by the Federal Government, and jurisdiction over them ceded by the States, as trusts, for the common purposes of the Union, during its continuance; and upon the separation of the States, such jurisdiction reverts of right to the States, respectively, by which the jurisdiction was ceded. Whilst a State remains in the Union, the legitimate use of such forts, &c., is to protect the country against foreign force, and to aid in suppressing domestic insurrection. To use, or prepare them to be used to intimidate a State, or constrain its free action, is a perversion of the purposes for which they were obtained; they were not intended to be used against the States, in whose limits they are found, in the event of civil war...

13thBama said...

I believe if you paste the url it will pull the images and a likeness of the page into Facebook.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Correct.

Garth said...

Thanks for the story. It is things like this that have made this valley boy leave and follow in the footsteps of other southern gentleman. I have been reading you blog for years now and have enjoyed it immensely. But the state of the country convinced me to move to Brazil. Have you heard of the city called Americana? It was founded shortly after TWBTS by Confederates who refused to live under Federal rule.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Garth. We "seceded" from public schools over poor (exceptions granted) education and indoctrination (no exceptions granted).

I am somewhat familiar with Americana and Brazil's connection to former Confederates. Thanks for reading.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Anon - quite interesting. I'd like to see/read the whole context of the first comment. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

The Richmond Daily Dispatch is online.

Or search:

Attorney General Black's Opinion Nov. 20, 1860

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Anon.