It has become fashionable to bash the South – not only by removing war memorials or looking the other way as they are vandalized, but even in discussions of things like slavery.  It’s never just slavery; it’s Southern slavery.  The existence of slavery in the North has been whitewashed and sent down the memory hole.

Frankly, most of our American history as we learn it in school – especially in recent decades – is court history.  It is a narrative.  In the age of political correctness, our American history has been rewritten, often by Socialists and extreme leftists who have a Marxist (Economic or Cultural) agenda.  Often the best history books are the older texts.  And the very best ones are based on the original sources themselves – the compilation of which is painstaking and a great exercise in patience.

John Shipley Tilley (1880-1968) was an attorney and historian with a law degree from Harvard.  His book Lincoln Takes Command unequivocally proves that Lincoln unilaterally started the War Between the States, that he wanted war, and used duplicitous tactics to do so.  It was the Union, and not the Confederacy, that was the aggressor, that on Lincoln’s orders, the Union committed acts of war prior to the bombardment of Fort Sumter.  The Union violated several armistices, and at one point even flagged a military ship with the British Union Jack in a literal false flag operation to inflame war.

Tilley proves this not by means of conjecture and simply quoting other historians.  Rather he cites the United States government’s own Official Records of the War of the Rebellion (OR) – which is a massive collection of 128 volumes of official reports, memos, orders, and other primary source material that is there for anyone with the patience to comb through it all.

Tilley was also the author of Facts the Historians Leave Out, a small introduction to the Southern side of the story.  He wrote another book called The Coming of the Glory which delves into the three controversial topics of the War Between the States, namely slavery, secession, and reconstruction.  In 267 pages of text, Tilley has 721 cited source endnotes.  Since this book doesn’t deal with the war per se, these are not from the OR but from other original sources and historians.

The Coming of the Glory includes well-documented facts that have long been laid aside in favor of a standard revisionist narrative – such as the narrative that slavery was a Southern thing.

The first eight pages of chapter one deal with the slave trade – which is itself damning to the North – especially to New England.  But even laying aside the traffic in slaves (which amounted to a large portion of the New England economy), slavery was itself practiced in the North until it became economically burdensome.

In a section entitled “Northern Ownership of Slaves,” Tilley reports some notable Northerners who were slaveowners: Gen. Ulysses and Julia Grant, the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, Gov. William Penn, and Dr. Benjamin Franklin.

He also reports:

In 1840 there were slaves in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin, as well as in the states to the South.  More noteworthy still, at the very date of Southern secession citizens of Delaware, Kansas, Nebraska, New Jersey, Utah, and the District of Columbia held in bondage African captives; in Delaware the number reached eighteen hundred.

Looking further backward in point of time, in 1830, among other members of the slave-holding commonwealths were Maine, Massachusetts, and Michigan.  In 1790, more than twenty thousand negroes were owned in New York.  A leading American historian is authority for the information that about 1785 there were between three thousand and four thousand colored bondmen in Rhode Island.  In the day of the American Revolution Connecticut’s population included some six thousand, five hundred negroes.  Around the year 1750 the people of Pennsylvania held title to blacks by the thousands.

Tilley does not exonerate the South by any means, but is quick to point out that there is blame enough to go around.

It is little known that before the war, Virginia had a considerable anti-slavery movement.  Tilley reports that John Letcher, the wartime governor of Virginia, was anti-slavery.  He ironically points out that “the Virginia colonel of the United States army who captured John Brown at Harper’s Ferry [Robert E. Lee], the governor of the state in which the execution of the abolitionist leader took place [John Letcher], and a majority of the citizens of that commonwealth, were at heart opposed to slavery.”

He also reports:

Lundy’s Genius of Emancipation records a little-appreciated anomaly, one attesting to the strength of Southern anti-slavery sentiment.  This is that of the one hundred and thirty anti-slavery societies operating in the United States in 1827, four-fifths of the number and an equal proportion of the membership were in the states of the South.  Indeed, a careful student sponsors the finding that, at the very time when Garrison began his abolition crusade, the South was more interested in emancipation than was the North.

While it is true that the death of slavery got a reprieve in the South thanks to the invention of the cotton gin in 1793.  Slavery was not abolished in the Northern states owing to the goodness of the Northerners and the evil of the Southerners, but rather because of the divergent economies of the regions.

It is also important to note that the slaveholding class of the South was small, as Tilley reports, about one-sixth of the white population.

So when you hear slavery referred to as “Southern slavery,” you are being misled by a narrative.  It’s time to dust off the old books and learn what the primary sources have to say instead of politically-correct court historians.

Originally published at Father Hollywood

Rev. Larry Beane

Rev. Larry Beane serves as pastor at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gretna, LA and teaches high school Apologetics, Economics, and Government at Wittenberg Academy (online).


  • Perry Archer says:

    Indeed there were myriad Negro slave holders in the North, male and female.

    God bless Abbeville Institute.

    Perry Archer

  • Tom Wiggins says:

    Good info!
    What a curse African slavery was.
    Never benefited me or my people. Sure hurt us more during and after. I’m sorry that lazy northern scum inflicted it upon the continent.
    If African slaves in America were white, it would have never been talked about. Easy to divide and create problems with such physical distinction.
    God bless DIXIELAND

  • William Quinton Platt III says:

    How many slave uprisings were there during four years of total war when millions of yankees roamed the South burning cities and destroying wealth of non-combatants? How many weapons were discarded on battlefields and picked up by slaves? How many of these discarded weapons were used against their white masters? Southern slave owners took their most loyal slaves with them to the front…from Florida they marched, sailed, locomoted their way to Virginia and Tennessee…leaving their wives and children with their “least” loyal slaves. How many slave uprisings occurred? Florida sent the vast majority of its white male military grade population hundreds of miles away to fight and did so with nary a thought to the safety of their families. Seems slaves were not as oppressed as we have been misled to believe.

    What did BT Washington say in his autobiography, UP FROM SLAVERY? Every Southerner should read this book. Black and White alike.

  • William Quinton Platt III says:

    African negroes/blacks were brought to the New World because there was a labor shortage in the malarial zones. Malaria had wiped out the indigenous Americans, it did not decimate them…it wiped them out…obliterated them. It wouldn’t have mattered if a Spaniard or Italian or African or Asian “found” the New World. All those diseases were coming on the first boat, ready or not. West African negroes previously developed a resistance to malaria in the form of sickle cell. These Africans could survive in King George’s penal colony (Georgia) where the average mortality for one of George’s Caucasian (non sickle cell trait bearers) convicts was 50 percent per year. A sentence of “transportation” was a death sentence. Negroes were needed because there was no one else willing or able to do the work. NO ONE WAS EVER ENSLAVED IN THE ENGLISH COLONIES UNTIL 1655, from 1619 until 1655 negroes were indentured servants…as were all the poor, regardless of race. All negroes were “enslaved” in Africa by African rulers prior and afterwards. In 1655, Anthony Johnson won his case against John Casor and the first Negro slave was created by judgment in the English colonies. Anthony Johnson was also negro.

    Your enemies do not care a tinker’s damn for accurate portrayal of history. Your enemies only want to subjugate you and your ignorance makes the job easier for them. Do not be easy prey.

    • Larry says:

      This Northerner(Western NY) thanks you sir for this info.

      • William Quinton Platt III says:

        You are welcome, sir. You can find UP FROM SLAVERY on the internet for FREE at the Library of Congress.

        Afterwards, I would recommend reading all 6000 plus accounts from The Slave Narratives…these are also available to read for FREE courtesy of Citigroup whom I am sure thought digitizing these narratives would make Southerners look even more barbaric, because, hey, they are FOR REAL SLAVE NARRATIVES! (Sarcasm implied) As the FDR administration discovered, The Slave Narratives do not fit the narrative AND THAT IS WHY YOU’VE NEVER HEARD MENTION OF THEM…you can read a few hundred and realize everything you ever heard about slavery in the US was a lie.

        Then study the Corwin Amendment. (The what?)

        Then study Einstein because Albert used “thought experiments” to prove his basic concepts…for example you can ponder if upon the establishment of the CSA, if the CSA had immediately freed the slaves, would the northern States have invaded the former Southern States? I mean, after all, the war was fought to free the slaves…if there had been no slaves to free then the north would have never invaded the South…the war wasn’t fought because Lincoln said he wouldn’t allow slavery to spread into the territories which condemned the South to be a northern colony (Southern motivation) and it certainly wasn’t fought because the South, with 1/3 of the population paid 3/4ths of the taxes to support the federal government in the form of ag tariffs (northern motivation). Wars are never fought over money and power. (Sarcasm implied)

        I do not mean to insult you by implying you haven’t read any or all of these recommendations. This is for our enemies who are out there lurking and trying to reconnoiter…this is to provoke them to get into their manifesto and defuse questions such as these before EVERYONE becomes aware of the con. And if one or two of them are converted, so be it…all is fair in love and war.

        Every communist movement has a persecuted class…guess who gets persecuted in this revolution…and remember…your enemies do not give a hang about the accurate portrayal of history…they use YOUR ignorance against YOU.

        However, if you can only read one book…UP FROM SLAVERY by BT WASHINGTON.

  • Plaquemine says:

    Dear Abbeville Institute writers:

    I would like to see one who is well-versed in the history of the South and in the history of slavery as it existed there, address an article to the European nations where all too often their elites adopt the politically correct vision that is promoted by the American Federal Government ideology. This is particularly the case with the intellectual elites in France.

    • William Quinton Platt III says:

      Let me describe to you the construction of a capital ship…a ship of commerce. One hundred years (100) before the ship is built, an accountant walks in the King’s forest. He has a few assistants who carry leather-bound ledgers to make multiple copies of his documentation of the status of the King’s forest. You see, Robin Hood wasn’t bothering the King by eating his deer, R-hood was killing his trees; trees meant for the construction of capital ships and warships to guard these capital ships.

      Sixty years later, the great grandson of the accountant walked with a forester and a timber inspector, and recorded the work done by the forester. If a suitable tree had been found a couple of generations prior, the small tree would have been bound to a form, forced to grow in a certain manner until the tree was permanently deformed into the shape of a ship’s rib or spar…each tree would have a specific use, different uses for different types of trees. A journal entry might read, “Tree A137, live oak, ship’s bow spar, twenty years from date of current entry…62 years from date of first entry.”

      These ships moved the wealth of nations. On these ships the wealth of nations rode only very occasionally. GOLD AND SILVER RARELY WAS CARRIED ABOARD SHIP. The reasons are obvious. Pirates, storms, mutiny, all threats to national wealth. LETTERS OF CREDIT TRAVELED ON THESE SHIPS ALONG WITH GOODS OF COMMERCE.

      A ship might leave England, guarded by the Queen’s navy with a CHARTER (PERMISSION FROM THE QUEEN) to move human cargo from West Africa to the Americas. A letter of credit was onboard the ship, perhaps guaranteeing funds in the account of a certain West African chieftain who could make his mark to purchase knives and hatchets and bolts of red cotton cloth if said goods could not be fully purchased based on the value of his good of trade, NAMELY, NEGROES CAPTURED BY HIS FORCES IN BATTLE. The Queen was paid by the merchant for the right to sail her seas, the charter was paid by the merchant for the right to move from port to port. The chieftain was able to purchase on credit from the merchant if his supply of slaves (a word derived from SLAV due to the propensity of Arab raiders to take Slavic humans into bondage) did not equal or exceed the value of goods he desired.

      From Africa, the ship sailed to one of the Queen’s ports of entry. There a tax was levied to enter port…the Queen got paid a bunch of times…and then the ships were allowed to unload their cargo. Then bankers extended letters of credit to land owners who pledged the value of their lands and crops against the value of slaves to work these lands and crops. NO CONFEDERATE EVER SAILED FROM GEORGIA TO AFRICA TO ENSLAVE A NEGRO.

      Read the book, PRINCE AMONG SLAVES…very accurate portrayal of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

      Going from Africa to the New World was like taking a 747 from Heathrow to Dulles…you didn’t just do it without permission and YOU PAID FOR PERMISSION.

      There are ZERO European countries with clean hands to my knowledge. If they didn’t place negroes into bondage, they certainly enslaved their own people.


      For an example…there are only 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere…this is BARELY enough CO2 for earth’s plants to survive…plants need more CO2, not less…however, if your desire is to transfer wealth from fools into your bank account, the lie is the easiest way to do so.

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