- 21 Mar 2019 12:27
March 21, Thursday
Former naval officer Gustavus Vasa Fox visits Charleston and Fort Sumter on behalf of President Lincoln. He talks to Major Anderson and Confederate leaders. Fox remains convinced that the fort can be relieved by sea.
Louisiana ratifies the Confederate Constitution.
Confederate Vice President Stephens makes an extemporaneous oration that will come to be known as the Cornerstone Speech. In that speech he states:
“But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better [in the new Constitution], allow me to allude to one other—though last, not least: the new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the ‘rock upon which the old Union would split’. He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the Constitution, was the prevailing idea at the time.... Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it—when the ‘storm came and the wind blew, it fell’.
“Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; 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 race, is his natural and moral condition. [Applause.] This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
He goes on to describe those that advocate equal rights for Blacks as being fanatics that believe that Blacks are the equals of Whites and therefore reject the sound science that has been “slow in development, as all truths are, and ever have been, in the various branches of science.”
We are all ignorant, only in different ways, and no one is as ignorant as an educated man outside his own field.
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.