On this day in 1864, the US Senate initiated the process of abolishing slavery in the United States of America, by passing an amendment to the US Constitution. Regrettably the constitution protected the slave trade as well as the right to own slaves. This provision could only be undone by a constitutional amendment, which required ratification by both houses of Congress as well as two-thirds of the states:
On April 8, 1864, the Senate passed an amendment to abolish slavery. After one unsuccessful vote and extensive legislative maneuvering by the Lincoln administration, the House followed suit on January 31, 1865. (Wikipedia)
This historical fact is relevant because of what Douglas Wilson believes on the subject. According to his treatise on slavery in the antebellum south — Southern Slavery As It Was — he affirmed that the Civil War was not about slavery:
In a certain sense, we are backing into an informed discussion of the War Between the States. You have been told many times that the war was over slavery, but in reality it was over the biblical meaning of constitutional government. The inflammatory issue is slavery, however, and so the real issue is obscured in the minds of many. (Douglas Wilson & Steve Wilkins, Southern Slavery As It Was [Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1996])
A few pages later he lamented “the way it was abolished”:
None need lament the passing of slavery. But who cannot but lament the damage to both white and black that has occurred as a consequence of the way it was abolished? We are forced to say that, in many ways, the remedy which has been applied has been far worse than the disease ever was. (Ibid)
Presumably this means that Douglas Wilson & Steve Wilkins object to the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. And since slavery could not have been abolished apart from a constitutional amendment, I doubt the authors’ sincerity in the preceding sentence, when they wrote, “None need lament the passing of slavery.” Because both statements cannot be true. They cannot not lament the “passing of slavery” while simultaneously lament “the way it was abolished.” One could not happen without the other.
However, when Douglas Wilson described himself as a “paleo-Confederate,” it was arguably the most truthful statement he ever made. A paleo-Confederate weeps & wails over the passing of slavery.