Stone Collection: Volume 20 - Item 49
49. Ernest Crosby, “If the South Had Been Allowed to Go,” North American Review (December 1903): 867-71.
Argument that the Southern states should have been allowed to secede from the Union in peace, given the destruction and loss of life caused by the war that forced them back into the Union. In particular, the author criticizes emancipation as an unintended consequence of secession that has been detrimental to the country as a whole. “This brings us to the sad fact that the war did not settle the race question, but merely aggravated it. Slavery was wrong and should have come to an end, but we ended it in the wrong way. The real trouble with the South at present is, that the question of slavery was settled over the heads of the inhabitants by a hostile and hated power. No people could at heart accept such a settlement with good grace, and it is not to be expected of human nature. We stabbed the South to the quick, and during all the years of reconstruction turned the dagger round in the festering wound.”