Apostles of Disunion Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War In late and early state appointed commissioners traveled the length and breadth of the slave South carrying a fervent message in pursuit of a clear goal to persuade the political leadership

  • Title: Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War
  • Author: Charles B. Dew
  • ISBN: 9780813921044
  • Page: 377
  • Format: Paperback
  • In late 1860 and early 1861, state appointed commissioners traveled the length and breadth of the slave South carrying a fervent message in pursuit of a clear goal to persuade the political leadership and the citizenry of the uncommitted slave states to join in the effort to destroy the Union and forge a new Southern nation.Directly refuting the neo Confederate contentionIn late 1860 and early 1861, state appointed commissioners traveled the length and breadth of the slave South carrying a fervent message in pursuit of a clear goal to persuade the political leadership and the citizenry of the uncommitted slave states to join in the effort to destroy the Union and forge a new Southern nation.Directly refuting the neo Confederate contention that slavery was neither the reason for secession nor the catalyst for the resulting onset of hostilities in 1861, Charles B Dew finds in the commissioners brutally candid rhetoric a stark white supremacist ideology that proves the contrary The commissioners included in their speeches a constitutional justification for secession, to be sure, and they pointed to a number of political outrages committed by the North in the decades prior to Lincoln s election But the core of their argument the reason the right of secession had to be invoked and invoked immediately did not turn on matters of constitutional interpretation or political principle Over and over again, the commissioners returned to the same point that Lincoln s election signaled an unequivocal commitment on the part of the North to destroy slavery and that emancipation would plunge the South into a racial nightmare.Dew s discovery and study of the highly illuminating public letters and speeches of these apostles of disunion often relatively obscure men sent out to convert the unconverted to the secessionist cause have led him to suggest that the arguments the commissioners presented provide us with the best evidence we have of the motives behind the secession of the lower South in 1860 61.Addressing topics still hotly debated among historians and the public at large than a century after the Civil War, Dew challenges many current perceptions of the causes of the conflict He offers a compelling and clearly substantiated argument that slavery and race were absolutely critical factors in the outbreak of war indeed, that they were at the heart of our great national crisis.

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    About “Charles B. Dew

    1. Charles B. Dew says:

      Charles B. Dew Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War book, this is one of the most wanted Charles B. Dew author readers around the world.



    2 thoughts on “Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War

    1. This is a remarkable and eye opening account written by a Southerner on the true cause of the Civil War. No revisionist history, no editorializing, no spinning, just the stark unadulterated words and oratory taken from letters and speeches of a group of men called “Secession Commissioners” who fanned out across the South in late 1860 early 1861. Appointed by governors and legislatures just after the election of Abraham Lincoln their professed aim was to convince and lobby Southern slave stat [...]

    2. As Dave Barry once noted, identifying the causes of the Civil War used to be easy: "Slavery. Now go get grandpa a bottle of wine." Nineteenth-century Confederate apologists and twentieth-century historians, some with significant Southern sympathies, complicated this simple interpretive picture by arguing that the Civil War was caused by extremism, or states' rights, or tariff policy, or classical republicanism. Thomas Dew, in this short but compelling book, provides persuasive evidence that the [...]

    3. Book Review ofCharles B. Dew, Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War (University of Virginia Press, 2002). Dew states in the introduction of Apostles of Disunion: “I believe deeply that the story these documents tell is one that all of us, northerners and southerners, black and white, need to confront as we try to understand our past and move toward a future in which a fuller commitment to decency and racial justice will be part of our shared exp [...]

    4. I was underwhelmed by this book. It is short and its research focus is limited, its popularity having to do with the rising tide of anti-Confederate bend of scholarship. Dew tries to mitigate this by discussing how he is a son of the South, but he is here to tell you he has seen the light, and believes that if we do not condemn the Confederacy then racial justice will be impossible. I too used to be of the same mindset, when I lived in the North and wanted to be a professor. I even studied the U [...]

    5. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in studying the secession winter or the causes of the American Civil War. Although it is based on top-notch scholarship, the book is also concise, well-written, and accessible to the general reader.

    6. In the aftermath of the Charleston, S.C white supremacist terror attack, we are again hearing from some sectors that the South did not secede from the Union because it wanted to preserve slavery. Lest we fall for that tired argument, I would highly recommend the following books: this one---Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War, by Charles Dew---as well as Secession Debated: Georgia's Showdown in 1860, by William W. Freehling, and The Road to Disun [...]

    7. “The Civil War was fought over what important issue?”That question begins and ends the 2001 edition of Charles B. Dew’s Apostles of Disunion. It appeared on a test administered to prospective citizens by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services. According to the INS, either “slavery” or “states [sic] rights” was an acceptable answer. This binary option, in Dew’s words, “reflects the deep division and profound ambivalence in contemporary American culture over the origins [...]

    8. Very short (81 well-spaced pages), but fairly good. Provides plenty of evidence that the Civil War was a war fought over slavery rather than states' rights, but unfortunately doesn't really engage the other side. A bit repetitive too. Not nearly the knock-out punch to states' rights that it portrays itself to be, though only idiots and white supremacists argue that the Civil War was over states' rights.

    9. Very brief, but also slightly repetitive. More context, to turn in into a comprehensive look, would be nice.

    10. Dew's conclusion in Apostles of Disunion, that white supremacy was at the core of the ardent secessionist movement in the winter of 1860-61, is well founded and completed supported by the body of evidence consulted. The correspondence and speeches of the secessionist commissioners, sent out by Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina, to the remaining slave states, clearly illustrated this point. They repeatedly espoused the view that the Southern states must disassociate themselves fro [...]

    11. Anyone who makes the fallacious claim that the Deep South rebelled from the Union in late 1860 and early 1861 because of state’s rights without slavery being an issue should be told, “Here’s your sign,” and then told to read this book. The author, a native Southerner whose devotion to historical truth fortunately (for us) outweighed his love for his native people, gives a damning and historically impeccable account of the pivotal role of racist fears and slavery propaganda in leading to [...]

    12. This is a must-read for anyone who claims slavery was not the primary cause of the Civil War. Written in 2001, it highlights the efforts of Southern secession commissioners to rally the South to secede from the Union. The role of these commissioners is largely unknown, which is a huge omission in Civil War history. Their own words are presented here, which clearly express their attitudes toward slavery and explain their racist motives for seceding from the Union. Any questions about reasons for [...]

    13. Why was the US Civil War fought? State Rights or Slavery? Or, possibly the right of slave-owners to keep slaves in in free states? The author had always thought it was State Rights The Regents essays allow both answers What's the real deal?Early secessionist Southern officials had plenty to say other southern states to entourage them to secede. Southern officials also had plenty to say after the war, and it was a totally different set of ideas.Before the war, the important problem was racial equ [...]

    14. A good read. With this book we read the original letters and speeches used by the South to justify their arguments for secession. (Spoiler alert: it was all about slavery, racism and white supremacy.) Here we find in the secessionists very own words the true irrefutable reason for the cause of the Civil War. There can be no denying the cause or spinning it onto something else. Once the cause is accepted for what it was, a fight for an immoral purpose, we then can better shape our opinions about [...]

    15. I’m so glad this book focused on the true reason Southern states seceded from the Union: slavery. Dew approaches this discussion from a clear and objective standpoint, and provides evidence upon evidence that the Southern states’ dependence on slavery as an institution directly instigated the Civil War. I appreciated the candid and unapologetic nature of Dew’s commentary, and I would love to read more books written by him!

    16. Clear and well-written, albeit a tad repetitive.Among those of us with brains and an inclination towards existing in reality, the causes of the Civil War have been settled for many decades. If you happen to be acquainted with a history denier, however, place this book in their uneducated hands.

    17. Great bookIf we want to know what role slavery may or may not have played in the coming of the Civil War, there is no better place to look than in the speeches and letters of the men who served their states as secession commissioners on the eve of the conflict.

    18. The short of it:This is a very little book on a movement that occurred between the election of Lincoln, and the outbreak of the American Civil War. After declaring secession, several of the lower southern states sent out commissioners who were charged with convincing other slave holding states to follow suit. Dew goes to the source-work to make a convincing argument that the main rationale for the southern cause was white supremacy and fears of "black Republicans."Why did I picked this book up?I [...]

    19. If you wonder how much slavery and race had to do with Southern secession, you should read this book. Charles Dew explores the speeches given by the secession commissioners from the lower South as they sought to persuade Texas, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, etc. to join them in secession during the winder of 1860-61. Two appendices contain full-length speeches from Mississippi's William L. Harris and Alabama's Stephen F. Hale. (See links to these documents at the end of review.)As Dew points out, [...]

    20.  Slavery was the First Cause of the Civil War.  The most obvious and damning documents are the formal declarations of secession by individual states, akin to the Union's Declaration of Independence, which are unambiguous and startlingly clear regarding the need to secede to protect the institution of slavery. Despite Lincoln's strong appeal to those states to remain in the Union, the Southern states, one by one, effected disunion via secession, and South Carolina, one of those Southern states [...]

    21. In Apostles of Disunion, Charles Dew argues for the centrality of race and slavery as the reasons for the South’s secession and the coming of the Civil War. To accomplish this, he examines speeches and documents from the commissioners, who were men sent from the lower southern states for the purpose of convincing other states of the necessities of disunion and forming a Southern Confederation.I found this book to be an interesting and persuasive read, with Dew’s argument concisely expressed [...]

    22. The debate over slavery is as old as slavery itself. The debate over whether or not slavery caused the Civil War makes me feel even older. I hate to say it but this book is a subject that has been beaten to death. I was in Mississippi when this book was published and the whole Confederate flag debate was taking place. I was about as interested then as I am now. There are two reasons for this.One reason is that I don't like to dwell. The Civil War has its own field of expertise, which means peopl [...]

    23. Dew's book is an important contribution to the historiography of the coming of the Civil War. The book primarily consists of Dew's analysis of speeches given by "evangelists of secession" sent out to neighboring Southern states urging them into the secession camp during the "Secession Winter" of 1860-61. These commissioners' words had not been mined extensively before Dew published this work in 2001, making the book an absolute must-read on the causes of the Civil War.Dew concludes that racism w [...]

    24. A concise book (just over 100 pages including Appendix) in which Charles Dew very effectively rebutted the idea of the Lost Cause by using their own words against them. In this case, the "them" refers to various commissioners sent out by the states (primarily SC, AL, MS, and GA) to argue the cause of secession at other southern state secession conventions during the months following Lincoln's election in November, 1860.It is difficult to portray secession as purely a state's rights issue and ove [...]

    25. This is a hard read for a Southerner, but it is worth every uncomfortable line. Charles B. Dew brings to light the words of the 52 men chosen as commissioners and sent as representatives of the Deep South into slave states with the goal of convincing more states to secede from the Union. Later accounts from Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens of the cause of the Civil War attempt to side-step the issue of slavery. However, Dew presents the letters and speeches of Southerners trying to persuad [...]

    26. This slim volume lets the historical record speak for itself in explaining why secession was necessary, and points out the discrepancies between the historical record and the published apologia of Confederate politicians after the Civil War.This book examines speeches and tracts of the secession commissioners, appointed by each Confederate state, whose role it was to secure alliance with other states in late 1860 and early 1861. That slavery was a fundamental cause of secession is clear from the [...]

    27. It's hard to rate a book like this. I didn't really ENJOY reading this book, but it was so fascinating. One of my favorite parts of being married to a historian is when he puts a book down in front of me and says, "you've gotta read this one." It saves me so much time to not have to find the gems myself haha. I think we often look to past events in our nation with the intent to justify. That need for justification can really limit us and our understanding. This book really helped me let go of th [...]

    28. The best argument against the idea that slavery wasn't a major factor in causing Southern secession and the ensuing Civil War is made by those Southerners who advocated for secession. This relatively thin volume examines the words of Southern Secession Commissioners. Specifically it examines the words they used to try to convince fellow Southerners to secede. Those words make it very clear that they felt it was the preservation of slavery and the fear of what might happen should slaves be set fr [...]

    29. A short, but informative book. Very little is mentioned about the secession commissioners, but what they said is important in understanding the Southern mindset before the war. These men were sent out by their respective states after Lincoln's election to encourage other southern states to secede. In letters and speeches they spell out in clear terms why the South had to leave the union. Important for understanding what caused the civil war.

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