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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886954708

From: John Carpenter <>
Subject: Re: Re Founder of KKK
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 1998 08:18:28 -0800 (PST)

My SI family was mostly in the South during the Civil
War, but my own GGrandfather McElhannon fought for
the Confederacy while his two older brothers died as
Union soldiers. They were born in GA and had moved
to first TX and then AR by the mid 1850's. They
owned slaves, not many, but several. Their
grandfather had stipulated in his will (Jackson co,
GA, 1832) that his slaves be rented out to his
children with the income to go to his widow's support
and then sold after his death except one who was to
go to a grandson who was born with only one arm.
The McElhannons who had gone to MO and IL fought for
the north, but the others fought for the south.
Much has been made of Andersonville prison where so
many prisoners died essentially of starvation, but
the civilians and the guards were also starving while
one of my ancestral first cousins died in a Yankee
prison camp of starvation where there was plenty of
food for the civilians and guards.
So much pain, so much death, so much hatred. We
mustn't forget it and we mustn't do it again.

---Burnside wrote:
> Hi all
> My gr-gr-grandfather Robert and several brothers
came up
> here to Michigan in 1832 from (West)Virginia near
> Virginia border. We've been Michigan farmers ever
> It has been sometimes said that slavery was not
prominent amongst the Scots
> Irish. Not true from my research. Roberts father
and grandfather had a
> handful of slaves in those mountains. The same is
true of other S.I.
> families in the area. I'm not sure yet what slavery
was like there. I have
> read of master and slaves working together in the
> and fighting the Indians and dying side by side.
Robert's grandfather
> stipulated in his will that his slaves were not
> to be sold out of the family. I don't know if this
was some sign of consern
> for their welfare. Still, I agree with Lincoln
that, as I wouldn't be a
> slave I wouldn't be a slave owner.
> I find the whole idea of owning people to be
> Robert couldn't keep his two elder sons from
joining the
> Union Army. He wanted to pay other men's sons to
go, as was
> a common practice. I don't know that it had
anything to do with slavery. He
> finally gave his consent on the stipulation that
the two join different
> units,one Indiana Cavalry, the other Michigan
Infantry. It was not uncommon
> for a man to lose all his sons in one battle if
their unit was wiped out. As
> it was, one of Roberts sons died of tuberculosis
> in an Army hospital after being wounded outside of
Nashville. He left a
> young wife and three children orphans.
> Ambrose E. Burnside, the Union general (yes, he
> "burn-sides" or side-burns) was from a South
Carolina slave owning family.
> In fact his imigrant ancestor was a British officer
who had a large
> plantation in Jamaica. He had family in both
Northern Ireland and in
> Glasgow. He remained a Tory during the Revolution.
His sons however rejected
> his postion and fought on the Patriot side, one
behind General Marion, "The
> Swamp Fox" and two others migrated up to Kentucky
and fought the British and
> Indians there. They were all written out of his
will. I believe it was
> Ambrose's father who migrated to Indiana from South
> One can only wonder which side of "The War" these
men would have fought on
> if their families hadn't have moved north.
> In the border states the War tore families and
> (including ours) apart and "Reconstruction" sparked
local grudges and
> political rivalries which bloodied that ground well
into this century.
> One Burnside, I believe his name was John, a
penniless bastard child came
> from N.Ireland, stayed with some of my distant
relation in (West) Virginia.
> He went into business, migrated to Louisiana where
in time he became the
> largest sugar planter in that state with several
plantations and literally
> thousands of slaves. The Union army didn't torch
his property because
> he claimed to be a foreign national. After the war,
and the loss of his
> slaves, he was amongst the first to try large scale
production with paid
> employees. It is said that he was largly
responsible for pulling the deep
> south out of its economic tailspin after the war.
> Real history is far more interesting than
platitudes and propoganda. My
> mother's family (English in origin) was from New
England. My ancestors there
> also owned black slaves. One of them was a patriot
officer from
> Connecticutt, in the Revolutionary War, who, it is
said, went into battle
> with a black slaveboy behind him on his horse.
Don't know for sure what that
> was about. Perhaps he feared his own men shooting
him in the back. Anyway,
> this is a little known part of American history.
Not only did many New
> England ship owners participate in the slave trade,
Black slavery was not
> uncommon in the North. However, many were offered
their freedom if they
> would fight the British. I am given to understand
that even during the war
> between the states,while slavery no longer existed
in the North, there was
> segregation.
> I enjoyed the movie Amistad and plan to see it
again when it comes out in
> video. But, I had to smirk at the British naval
officer so high and mighty
> about this institution of slavery in America. Who
do you think perpetuated
> the practice in colonial America? This is one of
the complaints in the
> Declaration of Independence, that the states wanted
to pass laws to curtail
> the slave trade and the British government
> would not allow them to do so. Read it. The British
freed many slaves to
> build their fortifications at Yorktown, but, during
the seige, when they
> found their provisions low, they forced all these
slaves out of the
> fortifications and most died in the cross-fire. Not
exactly a glowing
> example. Besides the fact British citizens here and
in the islands obviously
> were slave owners before the British government
apparently made
> it illegal. So, even though the South was slow in
giving up slavery, none of
> us should get all high and mighty about it.
> The War had more to do with national politics and
the tussle for power
> between northern and southern interests than it did
with slavery in
> particular. Even Lincoln had his bottom line when
he said that his object
> was to preserve the Union.
> He said that if he could do this by freeing all the
slaves he would. If he
> could do this by freeing none of the slaves he
would do that. And if he
> could preserve the Union by freeing some but not
others, he would do that.
> It was a fight over larger issues of State's rights
and whether America is a
> republic or a nation. Considering how far we've
strayed from the goals of
> our Revolution, if it weren't for the sickening
institution of slavery, I
> think I would have suited up in the gray.
> Everyone in America suffered from the War. I
remember my mother's mother
> relating stories of that time told to her by her
grandfathers, both of whom
> served for the Union. I remember the sombre tone in
her voice as she told me
> these stories, showed me portraits and memoribilia
from the war.
> One was a large framed lithograph of Lee's
surrender to Grant. One of the
> faces in the crowd was circled and it was said to
belong to one of the
> grandfathers. Another was with Sherman in his march
through Georgia. I
> remember reading somewhere, and I don't know if its
true, that more American
> men died in that war than in all the wars before
and since combined. Often
> the deaths were totally meaningless, like all those
who died of disease
> contracted in hospital and camps. One of my mothers
distant cousins died on
> his way home from the war. It was wintertime and
the train station was miles
> from his farm home in Indiana. He was in sight of
home when
> he started to run towards it across the fields. He
stumbled and fell on a
> frozen corn stalk which impaled and killed him.
Even with those who died
> "honorably",it was a bloody and sad conflict where
Americans stood face to
> face, muzzle to muzzle and slew each other in a
repulsive orgy of death. I
> pray we never see such a war again.
> What I find here in the North and in the media is a
huge anti-South
> prejudice that cares little for inconvenient facts
of history. We seem to
> forget our own complicity on one hand and the
contributions made by the
> South to our common liberty both in intellectual
leadership and in fighting
> the wars of this country. I hate blind racial
prejudice as much as anyone
> else but I find as much of it comes from Northern
as from Southern lips.
> Race relations, even in the small town I live in
here in Michigan, have been
> something less than cordial.
> It is all stupid and unnecessary but it exists
right under Northern noses so
> often stuck in the air. We should remove
> the beam from our own eye before being presumptuous
to our Southern countrymen.
> I believe it was last year that a KKK rally took
place in Ann Arbor, near
> Detroit Michigan. The counter demonstrators had one
of the KKK guys on the
> ground and were kicking and beating him with their
pickets. He was an old,
> bald, overweight, biker-type clown who probably
didn't expect a good beating.
> Anyway, a black woman forced her way through the
crowd and covered the KKK
> guy, sheilding him from the blows with her body.
When asked why she did this
> she said: "You can't change someone's mind by
beating him." Amen
> Tracy

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