Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Here’s a quote from Mike’s interview with Kirkpatrick Sale, for the rest be sure and check out today’s transcript, “The purpose of [the Emancipation Proclamation] was to destroy the Southern economy. The idea was that the slaves would rise up on the plantations and take over the plantations so that foodstuff couldn’t go to the Confederate Army, and maybe they would even start to kill here and there on the plantations, and that would bring the soldiers back home to defend their wives and children. That was the idea of the Emancipation Proclamation. Of course, it didn’t achieve what it intended to do. All it served to do at the time was to give the North and the army of the North a cause that they didn’t have before, a kind of John Brown cause of freedom, liberty for the blacks that they had not had before. Before, they had just been fighting to preserve the union, and that didn’t animate the army the way the idea of freedom animated it. The battle cry of freedom became their battle cry.”
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: To the Dude Maker Hotline, special guest Kirkpatrick Sale, author of a brand-new book that is going to shock the world. It’s called Emancipation Hell. Kirkpatrick is on the Dude Maker line. Kirkpatrick, good to hear from you, my friend, how are you?
Kirkpatrick Sale: Good, how are you?
Mike: I’m very well. I’m especially very well after watching you and Professor Livingston’s wonderful video “Is America Too Big?” You’re looking mighty erudite in your golden years, my friend.
Kirkpatrick: It’s easy to look it.
Mike: That’s not what you called about, but congratulations on the video. It’s a nice component to the book Rethinking the American Union. It also adds the visual component to it that helps explain and illustrate the scale issue. I can’t wait for part two.
Kirkpatrick: They did a good job. Have you told your folks how to get to that?
Mike: Yes. I posted it on the front page of my website. We’ll talk about that in a minute. Let’s get to this book. You told me a year ago when I met you at the Abbeville Conference, “Mike, I’m writing a book. You think things are shocking now, wait till you see this. I’m going to call it Emancipation Hell.” You were excited about it and now you’ve actually written the book. What is Emancipation Hell about?
Kirkpatrick: That’s what Lincoln created in 1863, 150 years ago, when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, illegally but he issued it, a document that freed not a single slave. It was operative only in the Confederate states. Of course, the North didn’t have any control over the Southern states. No one there was freed. In the border states where the union did have control, it didn’t apply. It didn’t free a single slave, but that shouldn’t be so surprising because it wasn’t meant to. That wasn’t the purpose of the whole damn thing. That’s been kept from us all these years, all these 150 years.
The purpose of it was to destroy the Southern economy. The idea was that the slaves would rise up on the plantations and take over the plantations so that foodstuff couldn’t go to the Confederate Army, and maybe they would even start to kill here and there on the plantations, and that would bring the soldiers back home to defend their wives and children. That was the idea of the Emancipation Proclamation. Of course, it didn’t achieve what it intended to do. All it served to do at the time was to give the North and the army of the North a cause that they didn’t have before, a kind of John Brown cause of freedom, liberty for the blacks that they had not had before. Before, they had just been fighting to preserve the union, and that didn’t animate the army the way the idea of freedom animated it. The battle cry of freedom became their battle cry.
The Northern Army just laid waste to the South. It was the kind of devastation that is hard today to imagine. Sherman moves in, his army moves into Georgia, burns Atlanta, burns everything around Atlanta, marches to Savannah and burns everything in the way, marches through South Carolina and burns Columbia, burns half of Charleston. It was just devastating. They were still laying waste to the South in Virginia when a guy in his second inaugural speech says “with mercy toward all.” There was no mercy. It was just complete destruction of the South. After the war was over, the South having been destroyed, there was hardly any chance for blacks or whites to live in this devastated land. What was created was a hell, a multiracial hell that lasted for the better part of 100 years.
It was not until the 1960s that anything toward actual freedom for the black people was achieved. You remember that Martin Luther King on the Washington Mall in 1963, 100 years after this Emancipation Proclamation, he said, “We are not yet free,” and that was the truth. That’s because the Emancipation Proclamation was such an evil and volatile document that did not achieve anything that would advance the black people.
Mike: Kirkpatrick Sale, for those of you that don’t know, he has a penchant for releasing books on anniversaries. The last time you did this was on the alleged date of Columbus discovering the new world.
Kirkpatrick: The quincentennial, yes.
Mike: Kirkpatrick also has been a writer for most of his adult life and was an editor of a very prolific magazine, actually lived the life in New York City and decided he had enough of it. He now lives down the street from Don Livingston in South Carolina.
Kirkpatrick: In Mt. Pleasant, down the street from Don.
Mike: The reason I bring this up, ladies and gentlemen, is just to give a little bit of bio for Kirkpatrick, who is a wonderful classical writer. My favorite book of yours, I haven’t read the Columbus book, is your book on human scale. Just to read the book on human scale is to open one’s eyes to the folly of much of what we do. My point is that Mr. Sale has an impressive pedigree. When he’s writing this book about emancipation, this is not some antiquarian, angry southerner that’s trying to get back at his Yankee enemies. He is a Yankee! [laughing]
Kirkpatrick: I was a Yankee. I have overcome that sin.
Mike: In the introduction I have here to the book, I’d like you to elaborate on this. The book is Emancipation Hell. Here is the rundown: “One month from today” (when you sent this to me on December 1st), “January 1st, marks the 150th anniversary of the official publication of the Emancipation Proclamation.” There’s a little more declarative there. Then you write this: “The result, predictably by most who knew the scene, was a period of black-white conflict and enmity that would sow its bitter seeds deep well into the nineteenth century and beyond. But to Lincoln and Republicans around him, none of this mattered so long as the South was destroyed as an economic and political force never to threaten Northern hegemony and its version of natural capitalism again.” You talked about the purpose of destroying the South and creating the hell. In the book, what do we learn about black-white relations after the end of the war and because of emancipation?
Kirkpatrick: Well, they were not good. What the North did was to send a bunch of people into the South, including Union lees, which were designed to arm black people so that they could defend the newly-won rights they were supposed to have, and set them up against the poor white people who armed themselves. There was that clash between the races right from the very end of the war when the North came down and established military rule over the South, all the Southern states, for the next eleven years, a military rule that put some blacks in power, put a lot of white carpetbaggers from the North in power, created the most corrupt systems for these eleven years that did nothing to advance relations between the races, and in fact only exacerbated them. What the North managed to do after the war was as bad as what it managed to do during the war.
Mike: This is all in the book Emancipation Hell.
Kirkpatrick: That’s it. It’s five bucks in paper, three bucks on Kindle. It’s easy to get and I hope a lot of people will read it. On this 150th anniversary, there’s going to be a lot of propaganda about the Emancipation Proclamation and the great Lincoln. Like this movie that’s out now, a lot of propaganda about how he was a great man who freed the slaves. He didn’t and what he did was the opposite of helping black people. We are the only country that had a war over emancipation. There was a lot of slavery in the nineteenth century. The English Empire had slavery. The French and Dutch had slavery. They all eliminated slavery without a war because they handled it right. They didn’t just issue a proclamation saying “Now you’re free; go at it.”
For one thing, they arranged for compensation for the slave owners. There’s a historian who has called the Emancipation Proclamation the greatest theft of private property in the history of the modern world. The slaves were private property and they were taken away from these plantation owners, very valuable property, just taken away, and caused the plantations to collapse. They collapsed ever after because there was no arrangement, as, for example, wages for most of the freed slaves to be able to earn a living. Both black and white suffered terribly as a result of this. Of course, the war itself, which may have created upwards of 700,000 battle deaths and probably 200,000 civilian deaths, but combined that’s hell. That’s emancipation hell.
End Mike Church Show Transcript