On Doing Away With the Symbols of the Confederacy Posted on 6/14/2020 at 19:23:27 by Bill Crawford, (14)
I personally think that we should stop the ongoing actions aimed at doing away with all of the symbols of the Confederacy, such as removing the statues of confederate soldiers, changing the names of military installations named after Confederate generals, etc.; actions which have emerged during the current protests about racism by the police.
Slavery under the Confederacy was a dark period in our history, but I think we should move on.
I go back to the words of Isham G. Harris, the last confederate governor of Tennessee, (who, as it turns out, was married to my great, great aunt [See below]). Subsequent to his governorship, Harris served as the Chief adjutant to Confederate General John Bell Hood, for whom one of the U.S. Military installations is currently named.
When the Confederacy fell, ex-Governor Harris and his family fled to Mexico, carrying with them $60,000 in gold from the state school fund; this, so that the Federals could not get their hands on the money.
When it was safe to return, Harris and his family returned to Nashville, carrying the gold with them.
When Harris approached the new governor with gold in hand, the governor is reported to have said..”While the lamp holds out to burn..’’, to which Harris quickly replied ..”the vilest sinner may return..”
[The above details came from a book about the wives of all of the Tennessee governors, an autographed, first edition copy of which was very kindly sent to me by the author].
I don't think that Harris really meant that the Confederates were all that "vile", but, instead that the past should remain in the past.
I think that is the way we should look back upon the dark times during the Confederacy.
Otherwise, consider the following.
When one digs deeply into the subject, one finds that President Thomas Jefferson was a notorious slave owner.
For example. In addition to keeping various female slaves as mistresses, Jefferson forced young black children to work in his fields (because their height was considered optimal for picking and plucking); this, under the brutal supervision of a tyrannical slave master.
This being the case, should we remove Jefferson’s statue from the Jefferson Memorial, and re-name the Jefferson Memorial?
[George Washington was also a slave holder, but not a notorious one like Jefferson.
Upon his death, Washington freed all of his slaves in his will].