Two More Problems With Neoconfederates

Al Mackey says that neo-Confederates have two more problems http://studycivilwar.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/two-more-problems-with-neoconfederates/

I know one of them, is we catch Mackey spinning the truth every time can anyone name the other?
At the above blog post Mackey posts a snapshot of what is a Facebook page. He goes on to say that “unilateral secession is not a legal act.” Yet he fails to prove this point by posting any sort of document to support his statement. The Constitution does not address secession.
Mackey’s next comment is this — “Notice they all accept the claim that West Virginia was formed by ignoring the Constitution. That’s pure baloney, and they don’t understand anything about it.”
Then he post this “First, as the article states, the Constitution says, in Article IV, Section 3, “… no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”
He goes on to say that the legal government of Virginia did approve the creation of West Virginia, that legal government being the Restored Government of Virginia. First let’s just clear up a small fact, the Restored government of Virginia was not elected by all of the voters in the state of Virginia as was the government in Richmond.

Mackey then goes on to post a link to the Restored government http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/Civil-War/Restored-Government.htm he continues to proclaim the “rebellion was illegal but fails to prove that point and even notes a court case that he also cites another portion of the constitution that states “Under this article of the Constitution it rests with Congress to decide what government is the established one in a State. For as the United States guarantee to each State a republican government, Congress must necessarily decide what government is established in the State before it can determine whether it is republican or not.”

That article was met when Virginia joined the Union at which time there was no West Virginia.

The fact that US Congress approved of the actions of the Restored government is no surprise as proven by this article at http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Restored_Government_of_Virginia
Which tells us this “The Restored Government of Virginia, or the Reorganized Government of Virginia,[1] was the Unionist government of Virginia during the American Civil War. From 1861 until mid-1863 it met in Wheeling, and from 26 August 1863 until June 1865 it met in Alexandria. However, it claimed Richmond as the capital. The Restored Government had only executive and legislative branches; it did not form a judicial branch.’

Mackey as usual goes on with his insults but it does appear to me that Mackey is the one lacking in knowledge or more precisely the truth.

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26 thoughts on “Two More Problems With Neoconfederates

  1. Excellent post George. I made a few remarks over at Mackey’s blog, but I don’t think he will post them. So, to add to the discussion here, I will offer similar remarks to those made at Mackey’s.

    1. Mackey starts his analysis out very poorly indeed, making an embarrassing and rather egregious factual error. He claims that at the time “West Virginia” was admitted to the United States (as a slave State btw), Virginia was a “country of its own”. This is blatantly false, as Virginia was, at that time, a constituent member of the Confederate States of America.

    2. He claims that Virginia’s act of secession was an illegal act. But he can point to absolutely no language or provision of the Constitution, or the existence of any federal law whatsoever, which prohibits secession. Nor can he point to any law of perpetuity in the Constitution, or any pledge of perpetuity in the State ratifications of the Constitution. Secession was, quite obviously, perfectly legal.

    3. He claims that because secession is illegal, Virginia was, therefore a “State in rebellion” within the United States. But there is absolutely no language anywhere in the Constitution which refers to a “State in rebellion”, nor was there any federal law in exitence which refers to a “State in rebellion”. Insofar as the Constitution and the full body of United States federal law is concerned, the term “State in rebellion” is utterly unknown, completely meaningless, and thoroughly irrelevant. In point of fact, under our system of government and law, there is simply no such thing as a “State in rebellion”.

    4. Mackey thoroughly demolishes his own arguments by his strict reliance on the express language of Article IV to “support” his arguments. Notice, that when he thinks it advances his cause, he carefully and fastidiously cites the express language of the Constitution, but when asked to show a constitutional prohibition against secession, he suddenly claims the text is irrelevant! How convenient!

    5. Mackey seems not to understand the distinction between a State and a geographic region. Virginia, as a State under the United States Constitution, was completely empowered to act consistent within its full panoply of rights and privileges that attend Statehood. “West Virginia”, conversely, was a mere geographic subdivision of Virginia, and had none of the rights that obtain to Statehood. In short, Virginia had a perfect right to secede from the United States, whereas “West Virginia’s” right to secede would be utterly dependent on the Constitution and laws of Virginia, and have nothing at all to do with the Constitution of the United States, which was a foreign government, and country.

    • Thank you I appreciate the support.

      I have noticed over several posts that Mackey intentionally omits information to bolster his agenda. He may think he is getting away with something, but anyone can do as you and I did simply look for the information ourselves.

      • The other funny thing regarding Mackey’s post is his complete disregard for the provision of Article IV, section 4, which expressly says that the United States shall protect each of the States against invasion. Now I fully admit that this a tricky thing to do when the United States is actually the country invading the States they are constitutionally obligated to protect, but still. Also please note that Article IV does not say that the United States shall protect the States against invasion, “unless the States are in illegal rebellion against the United States”. No such language is to be found. None whatsoever.

      • Mackey doesn’t need facts he manufactors his own.

        Have you every heard of the Free State of Jones? Jones County Miss. was much the same as West Virginia. Deserters and that sort of people found their way and actually fought against both the Confederates and Yankees.

  2. I certainly agree that Mackey makes up “facts” to advance his agenda. They are, however, all very transparent and quite easy too see through. In fact, another egregious error of which Mackey is guilty is his interpretation of “Luther v Borden”. The case had nothing at all to do with the secession of a State, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why he thinks it is relevant to a discussion regarding the illegal admission of the slave State of West Virginia into the United States. But in all candor, Mackey’s Achilles heel in Civil War history is the study of constitutional law. He is very, very, bad at it.

  3. Glad to be here 😊 By the way, even Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens openly acknowledged that the admission of West Virginia was blatantly unconstitutional.

  4. The real question, which no one asks, is what West Virginians thought of West Virginia. Most of them did not support the Wheeling government and only a fraction voted in Wheeling’s elections. The creation of the state was taken out of the hands of most West Virginians, who had no desire to leave Virginia, and placed in the hands of the Federal Government. On the day after the vote on statehood, Oct. 25, 1861, the Wheeling “Daily Intelligencer” headed the returns for Wheeling with these words-

    “The Election Yesterday-It will be seen by the returns given below that the vote yesterday was exceedingly small. We give the result in the city and in South Wheeling. When we went to press nothing had been heard from the county. We never witnessed an election here in which there was so little interest manifested.”

    Ohio County had a 30% voter turnout on statehood. Lincoln let the statehood bill sit on his desk for almost 2 weeks, until he received a telegram with a little pointed blackmail from Francis Pierpont, the Unionist governor in Wheeling. He told Lincoln-

    “The union men of West Va were not originally for the Union because of the new state– But the sentiment for the two have become identified If one is stricken down I dont know what is become of the other– I am&c F. H. Peirpoint”

    Effectively telling Lincoln that the statehood movement was actually not a populist movement, and that if Lincoln does not sign the statehood bill he will probably lose what support he does have in West Virginia. Also, Pierpont controls 2 senators and 3 congressmen, who would be against Lincoln if he doesn’t sign.

    THAT is how West Virginia became a state. The Pierpont telegram is in the Lincoln collection in the Library of Congress and has never been referenced by any historian that I am aware of.
    When he was asked about the contents of the telegram that convinced Lincoln to sign the statehood bill Pierpont made up a phony text, which you will see repeated in various histories, but which is actually a lie.

      • Thank you. I’ve done a number of videos for Youtube explaining what was left out of West Virginia’s history books. You can find them by searching for “Secret History of West Virginia”, there are 3 in the series. There is another video called “West Virginians at Gettysburg” which explains the deceptiveness of West Virginia’s monuments there.

        You mentioned the Free State of Jones. Almost no one knows that there was the “Independent State of Webster” in West Virginia, which was mostly Confederate. They even elected a governor, George Sawyer. The county was such a problem to the Union army that George Crook in his memoirs wrote that he had to burn out the entire county.

        I have a website with a lot more information, “West Virginia, the Other History”

        Another little tidbit most historians don’t know is that most of West Virginia’s delegates to the secession convention signed Virginia’s ordinance of secession, 29 of the 49 delegates. Not a large majority, but a majority nonetheless.

      • Sorry about the links. Some websites don’t want linking. Here are the links to my Youtube videos. They are scrolling text, so they should be watched full screen, and use the “pause” button if it’s going too fast.

        This is the first video with basic history.

        The second video concerns the various votes held by the restored government.

        The third video is about the war within West Virginia.

        The last video is about the WV monuments at Gettsyburg and their deceptive nature.

        Here is the link to my website, which has a lot more information as well as information on Confederate organizations from the state.
        https://sites.google.com/site/wvotherhistory/home

        Here is a little about the Independent State of Webster.
        http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/WVBRAXTO/2003-02/1045154191

        I’ll explore the website you suggested. I hope you find my material interesting. There isn’t one single book today that tells the real story of West Virginia.

      • This is a fact based site, the same as SHAPE so I do not mind the links. Do I have your permission to post these to SHAPE? If you set up an account you can post them.

  5. Andy Hall? Isn’t he closely associated with the Texas Historical Commision? Remember, that’s the racist organization where all twenty commissioners are white. Basically, no blacks need apply.

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