Friday, May 28, 2010

The Achievement of American Independence by David Barton

Despite these types of powerful speeches, Democrats continued their relentless attacks against the bill. In fact, immediately following one such Democratic tirade against the bill, black Rep. Robert Brown Elliott rose to respond. It was such a climatic moment that artists of the day created illustrations depicting the verbal battle between this black Republican and racist Democrat Alexander Stephens, former Vice President of the Confederacy who was now a leader of the Democrat’s arguments against the civil rights bill. Elliott’s rebuttal of Stephens was eloquent; he began:

It is a matter of regret to me that it is necessary at this day that I should rise in the presence of an American Congress to advocate a bill which simply asserts equal rights and equal privileges for all classes of American citizens. But the motive that impels me . . . is as broad as the Constitution. Elliott explained how black Americans had long fought for
American freedom:

In the events that led to the achievement of American Independence, the Negro bore his part bravely upon many battlefields. For example, the tall granite shaft which a grateful State Connecticut has reared above its sons who fell in defending Fort Griswold against the attack of Benedict Arnold in 1781 at the Battle of Groton Heights bears the black republican Robert brown Elliott debated and defeated racist democrat Alexander Stephens ft. Griswold monument listing some of the thousands of African American patriots that fought in the American revolution African American rifle marksmen in the war of 1812 African American soldiers in the civil war And in during the Civil War. The Negro – true to ever characterized and marked his history on this continent – came to the aid of the name of Jordan Freeman and other brave men of the African race who there cemented with their blood the cornerstone of the Republic during the American Revolution. . . . And at the battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, under the immortal Jackson, a colored regiment held the extreme right of the American line unflinchingly and drove back the British column that pressed upon them at the point of the bayonet 1861 that patriotism and love of country that have government in its efforts to maintain the Constitution.

Now we are told by the distinguished gentleman from Georgia Mr. Stephens that
Congress has no power under the Constitution to pass such a civil rights law. Has not the judgment of the gentleman from Georgia been warped by the ghost of the dead doctrines of States’ Rights? Has he been altogether free from prejudices engendered by long training in that school of politics that well-nigh destroyed this government? I am astonished that the gentleman from Georgia should have been so grossly misled. He now offers this government – which he has done his utmost to destroy – a very poor return for its magnanimous gracious and forgiving treatment, to come here to seek to continue – by the assertion of doctrines obnoxious to the true principles of our government – the burdens and oppressions which rest upon five millions of his countrymen democrat Alexander Stephens often led the opposition against civil rights bills

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Great Declaration of Independence by David Barton

Congressional parliamentary procedure requires that in any debate, the individual speaking may not directly address any person except the chairman, and that he may not at any time address any other member of the body by name. Therefore, speakers used terms such as “the distinguished gentleman” or “the gentleman from Georgia” rather than “you” or “Mr. Stephens.” they could not prostitute to the base uses of slavery. The gentleman from Georgia has learned much since, but he is behind the times. Let him lend his influence this nation worthy of the great Declaration of Independence most nearly redeems his reputation. – Slaves who never failed to lift their earnest prayers for success of this government when the gentleman Mr. was asking to break up the Union of these and to blot the American Republic from the galaxy of nations. Civilized world by announcing the birth of a government which the progress of events has swept away that pseudo-government which rested on greed, pride, and tyranny; and the race whom he then ruthlessly spurned and trampled on are here to meet him in debate and to complete the proud structure of legislation which makes which heralded its birth, and he will have done that which will the Stephens States Sir, it is scarcely twelve years since that gentleman shocked the rested on human slavery as its cornerstone.

Demand that the rights which are enjoyed by their former oppressors who vainly sought to overthrow a government which 1861 still a laggard Elliott’s magnificent response did not convert Alexander Stephens or the other Democrats, but it was so eloquent that it silenced them. In fact, the Democrats’ rebuttal against Elliott was so weak that the best they could do was to claim that the speech was not really his – which it was so brilliant that someone else must have written it – that surely a black American such as Elliott could not have created such a masterful speech. 230 That Democratic response against Elliott’s eloquence is reminiscent of an old lawyers’ adage that admonishes: “When you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. When you have the law on your side, argue the law. When neither is on your side, change the subject and question the motives of the opposition.” That was exactly the approach taken by the Democrats against Elliott. He so completely befuddled them with his oratorical skills that all they could do was claim someone else must have written his speech.

Rep. John Roy Lynch of Mississippi, in closing his speech on the same bill, predicted what he believed would be the outcome of the vote: In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I say to the Republican Members of the House that the passage of this bill is expected by you. If any of our Democratic friends will vote for it, we will be agreeably surprised. But if Republicans should vote against it, we will be sorely disappointed. . . . But I have no fears whatever in this respect. You Republicans have stood by the colored people of this country when it was more unpopular to do so than it is to pass this bill. You have fulfilled every promise thus far, and I have no reason to believe that you will not fulfill this one.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Honored Individuals by David Barton

George Washington was also a prolific writer. In fact, there are nearly one hundred volumes of his published writings, not including the countless volumes written about him by his friends and contemporaries. In 1855, John Frederick Schroeder went through the available writings and divided washington’s pithy statements into a variety of topical categories. Schroeder compiled those sayings into a book, The Maxims of Washington, dividing Washing-ton’s maxims into four categories: political, social, moral, and religious. 64

In that book, Schroeder introduced each category of maxims with testimonials about Washington from his contemporaries. These testimonials came from noted individuals, many of whom are honored here at the Capitol, including Ben Franklin, General Marquis de Lafayette, John Paul Jones, John Hancock, Alexander Hamilton, and numerous others.

David Barton tells us that in the section on Washington’s religious maxims, those who testified included J. M. Sewell, a poet and songwriter friend of Washington who declared that Washington “was a firm believer in the Christian religion”; 65 Chief Justice John Marshall, who served on Washington’s staff during the Revolution and who declared, “He was a sincere believer in the Christian faith”; 66 Elias Boudinot, who served as a President of Congress during the Revolution and as a member of Congress under President Washington, and who declared “The General was a Christian”; 67 J. Smith, a soldier in the Revolution and a U. S. Congressman throughout Washington’s Presidency, who declared that George Washington was “no[t] ashamed of his Christian profession”; 68 and the Reverend Devereux Jarratt, a Virginia minister who declared that Washington “was a professor of Christianity.” 69 There are several additional testimonials scattered throughout the chapter, but there is no doubt that those who knew George Washington personally declared unequivocally that he was a Christian.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Conviction of Thier Truths by David Barton

James McHenry founded the Baltimore Bible Society, which has since changed its name to the Maryland Bible Society. 62 Notice James McHenry’s forceful declaration on the importance of the Bible in American society:

Public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach – the obligations they impose – the punishment they threaten – the rewards they promise – the stamp and image of divinity they bear which produces a conviction of their truths – [these] can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability, and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses. 63 Constitution signer James McHenry believed that the Bible was the best preventive against crime and the best safeguard of civil government.

David Barton explains that numerous others who signed the Constitution were also strong christians and are highlighted in other parts of the Capitol. However, before moving downstairs to the original Senate Chamber (now called the Old Supreme Court Chamber), allow one other Founder in the picture of the signing of the Constitution – George Washington – to be the focal point illustrating how revisionism works to create the myth that our Founding Fathers were not Christians.

George Washington’s accomplishments are well known: Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, President of the Convention which produced the Constitution, first President of the United States, and the President who oversaw the creation of the Bill of Rights. Having given fifty years of his life to such prominent leadership roles, he is justifiably called “The Father of His Country.”

Sunday, May 2, 2010

United Opposition of Democrats by David Barton

But I can only say that we love freedom more vastly more than slavery; consequently we hope to keep clear of the Democrats!. I will say that in the State of South Carolina, there is no disturbance of an alarming character in any one of the counties in which the Republicans have a majority. The troubles are usually in those sections in which the Democrats have control I say to the entire membership of the Democratic Party, that upon your hands rests the blood of the loyal men of the South. Disclaim it as you will; the stain is there to prove your criminality before God and the world in the day of retribution which will surely come. I pity the man or party of men who would seek to opponent. I can say for my people that. We are fully African Americans continued to vote republican in overwhelming numbers democrats often triumphed through the shedding of innocent blood government. We have resolved to be loyal and firm, “and as Queen Esther said long ago, if we perish, we perish!” I earnestly hope the bill will pass.

That bill did pass, but only over the united opposition of Democrats; not one Democrat either from the North or the South supported the civil rights bill to punish Klan violence. Four years later, black Americans again played a significant role in the debates on a civil rights bill this time the civil rights bill of 1875 to prohibit segregation and racial discrimination. Rep. Richard Cain of South Carolina, a clergyman and bishop of the AME denomination as well as a strong political leader, forcefully rebutted the Democrats’ arguments in favor of segregation and discrimination:

I have sat in this House nearly nine months and I have listened to gentlemen recognized as the leaders on the other side i.e., the Democrats attempting to demonstrate the inferiority of a race of men whom they have so long outraged, and to cast a slur upon them because they have been helpless. And the Democratic gentleman from Virginia calls in question the propriety of passing the civil rights bill. I cannot agree with him. Why not pass the civil rights bill?. The civil rights bill simply declares this: that there shall be no discriminations between citizens of this land so far as the laws of the land are concerned. I can find no fault with that. The great living principle of the American government is that all men are free. We admit from every land and every nationality men to come here and, under the folds republican U. S. rep. Richard Cain to hoe his row in this contest of life, and then let him go down.

All we ask of this country is to put no barriers between us to accomplish our destiny. Do this, sir, and we shall ask of that noble flag repose in peace and protection. Yet because, forsooth in truth, God Almighty made the face of the Negro black, Democrats would deny him that right though he is a man Mr. Speaker, I regard the civil rights bill as among the best measures that ever came before Congress. Why, sir, it is at the very foundation of good government I have no fear for the future I have faith in this country The great principle which underlies our government of liberty, of justice, of right will eventually prevail in this land and we shall enjoy equal rights under the laws. Let the laws of the country are just; let the laws of the country be equitable; this is all we ask, and we will take our chances under the laws in this land. Place all citizens upon one broad platform; and if the Negro is not qualified to lie no stumbling blocks in our way, to give us freedom nothing more.