Don't forget history
In the column by Maryjean Wall regarding Gen. John Morgan's statue downtown, she suggests maybe we move the memorial due to Morgan's role in the Civil War, as well other issues.
Wall is on to something here. Why stop with moving the statue? We should get a bulldozer and knock it down. While we are at it, travel just a few blocks north to Mill Street and knock down Morgan's house as well.
Next, make sure we have plenty of fuel in our dozer and travel out Richmond Road to the Henry Clay Estate. To the ground with Clay descendants' house, as well. Clay was a slaveholder even though his will freed his slaves upon his death.
Where does this end? Even if all artifacts and property are destroyed or hidden away somewhere, we still have history. History is how we learn about the good and the bad. History is a part of us whether you like it, agree with it or not.
Now what do we do with all this historic rubble? Why don't we dump it all right into the CentrePointe hole on Main Street, because it seems it is going to need a lot of fill material.
Slavery not main issue
In his column, Tom Eblen presented opinion, not scholastic history, because it no longer fits into today's political agenda.
Study the economics of slavery. By the beginning of the war, slavery was economically unsound but was prolonged for numerous reasons. The greatest beneficiary of slavery was not the South, but the Midwest, as a large amount of its products were sold in the South.
Jefferson Davis is quoted stating that the war was not about slavery. Another point still argued. Great Britain was considering joining the Confederacy. Abraham Lincoln realized this and made slavery the issue. This was a very effective means to block the arms that may have changed the course of the war.
If the war had been primarily about slavery, then why didn't Lincoln free all slaves? The Emancipation Proclamation freed only those in Confederate states and not those in the bordering states, including Kentucky.
Rewriting history has become a major tool to reshape society to an agenda that may not provide us the real lessons from which we need to learn and grow.
Slavery was a terrible institution. Only when we teach the real reasons behind it can we be assured that it remains in history.
Richard G. Mook
S.C. flag was a protest
Yet another conflict over states' rights? No, it's not. If the Confederate flag had always been flying at the South Carolina statehouse, if it had appeared during the introduction of compulsory universal education, Social Security or Medicare for instance, it could at least tenuously be interpreted as a symbol of states' rights versus an overweening federal intrusion.
It wasn't. The flag appeared over the statehouse in 1961 as part of a commemorative event concerning the Civil War, and never came down because the state kept it up as a clear symbol against integration, especially school integration.
Of most interest to me is noting that some of the people who complain that too many Asian, Latino and Middle-Eastern immigrants don't try hard enough to integrate into the larger society are the same people who support a symbolic bar against integrating by natural-born Americans who have been trying to do the very thing the larger society tells them to do, for generations.
Kinda makes you go hmm ...
Move Davis, add woman
The statue of Jefferson Davis should be removed from the Frankfort Capitol Rotunda. The Civil War is over and two statues of Civil War presidents is one to many.
A statue of a woman should replace Davis' statue. Kentucky is long overdue to honor a woman in the Capitol.
Lee would take flag down
Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is a hero to me. I've been thinking a lot about him lately in reference to the furor over the Confederate battle flag.
I have come to the conclusion that he would remove it from public display. After the war, Lee urged former Confederates to become good citizens of the United States. He served as a prime example in his post-war career as president of Washington College.
Lee in 1856 stated, "Slavery... is a moral and political evil in any country." He supported work by his wife and her mother to liberate slaves and fund their move to Liberia and supported his wife and daughter in setting up an illegal school for slaves on the Arlington plantation.
So, before we go tearing down and/or moving monuments, let's remember that there is much more to a man than just a flag.
I remember our fellow Americans who are justly offended by the battle flag's display but keep our memorial statuary. The statue of Gen. John Hunt Morgan at Lexington's old courthouse reads, "Gen. John H. Morgan and his men."
My ancestor, who owned no slaves, was one of those men.
War was over slavery
Having read the Declaration of Causes of various seceding states of the Confederacy, as well as the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, I cannot see how any reasonable person can claim the war was about anything other than protecting slavery:
¦ Georgia: "That reason was her [the North's] fixed purpose to limit, restrain and finally abolish slavery in the States where it exists. The South with great unanimity declared her purpose to resist the principle of prohibition to the last extremity."
¦ Mississippi: "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world."
¦ Texas: "... they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments."
¦ From the Confederate constitution: "... the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress ..."
The much-vaunted "states right" was the right to buy, sell, trade or destroy as simple property, other human beings.
The Confederate flag is a symbol of this doctrine, which should give offense to any who believe in equality and dignity of all humanity.
Too much hate, hysteria
I have been dismayed by the vicious hysteria and hate directed at the Confederate States of America and the symbols and memorials of its leaders and soldiers since the despicable murders in Charleston by a delusional racist.
Many of our citizens venerate the legacy of the Confederacy and its armies' steadfast defense of the right of the states to remove themselves from a voluntary association when the terms of that association had been violated by the federal government.
There was nothing in the Constitution that prohibited southern states from seceding. The issue was decided by force, not an appeal to the Constitution and the courts.
Of course slavery was an issue, and a huge one, but slavery had nothing to do with why tens of thousands who had nothing to do with slavery — many of whom opposed it — to sacrifice all to defend their states from invasion.
My great-grandfather lost an arm, a brother and his home defending Virginia from invading Yankees. I honor his memory and the memory of those like him, and their leaders such as Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and others who epitomize the ideal of the Christian gentleman.
Leave our symbols and memorials alone.
Morgan statue welcome
I predict in a very short time you people will decide to remove the statue of a beautiful horse that stands in Lexington's old courthouse lawn, and if so, we would like to have it.
Morgan County has over 2,300 horses and 430 equine operations. We are probably the horse capital of East Kentucky.
We love our horses and don't care if it is Gen. John Hunt Morgan up or Gen. William T. Sherman, it is a beautiful horse. Morgan and Sherman are both guilty of the same thing — trying to win a war.
Sherman's place is described in history as revolutionary in the annals of war. The northern newspapers described Morgan as: "The King of horse thieves, a bandit, a free booter, no better than a thug," yet the South made him a hero for his raids to the north.
They even called him the "Thunderbolt of the Confederacy."
My advice to Lexington is, settle down and be calm. Things will work out. If they don't, we would love to have the statue and will take it off your hands for free.
We have a nice place in front of our county office building for it.