Things That Make You Scratch Your Head

Will someone explain to me why Tennessee Ernie Ford recorded a version of “Marching Through Georgia”?  Was it because he was born in East Tennessee, a haven of Unionists?

Bet you didn’t know that earlier this month folks celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Horace Greeley.

Here is Abraham Lincoln meeting Frederick Douglass.  In truth, the remainder of the film is more interesting than one might first think.

And, for those of you who’ve never heard Thomas DiLorenzo, here’s an interview he did on C-SPAN.  Even more curious are some of the statements of Judge Andrew Napolitano, who thinks that the Emancipation Proclamation established slavery in the border states (and that’s for starters).

Enjoy (and comment if you feel so moved).

14 thoughts on “Things That Make You Scratch Your Head

  1. Marc Ferguson February 24, 2011 / 6:03 am

    Napolitano was hilarious; I thought his head was going to explode there near the end of his rant!

  2. David Corbett February 24, 2011 / 7:42 am

    Ford recorded two albums of Civil War songs; one of the North and one of the South. He was multicultural before it was cool.

  3. Bob Huddleston February 24, 2011 / 10:08 am

    As Marc said, Napolitano is hilarious! I am always fascinated by the ignorance of people who are suppose to know better!

    Marching Through Georgia is one of the great cadence songs: both the British and Japanese armies used it. For some reason the 20th Century US Army did not wonder why! I used to have the Tennessee Ernie Blue and Gray records (for you youngsters out there, those are 12 inch CDs) an loved listening to them.

  4. Islander505 February 24, 2011 / 11:37 am

    Hmmm Professor….maybe I am missing something …but didn’t the Emancipation Proclamation ignore the plight of the slaves in the border states of Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maryland?

    What am I missing here as far as Judge Nap’s assessment?

    • Brooks D. Simpson February 24, 2011 / 1:24 pm

      You’re missing a great deal.

      First, the Emancipation Proclamation, contrary to the judge’s claim, did not establish slavery in the states you listed. I’m sure you know that, even if he didn’t.

      Second, the judge erred in equating all of Lincoln’s efforts for emancipation with the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln worked hard to help Maryland end slavery in 1864 and Tennessee and Missouri to abolish it in 1865, while also supporting the passage through Congress of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery. You would think the judge would know these things, but apparently he’s ignorant of them.

      Third, Lincoln himself understood that given the notion of military necessity as a constitutional justification for emancipating slaves, that he could not act where such military necessity did not exist. He once explained that to his treasury secretary, reminding him that if he had simply declared slavery at an end everywhere by mandate, he would be exceeding his constitutional prerogatives, and be indeed the tyrant that people claimed him to be. That would include the good judge, whose grasp of historical fact leaves something to be desired.

      You may like the judge’s politics, but he fails as a historian.

      • Islander505 February 24, 2011 / 2:27 pm

        “First, the Emancipation Proclamation, contrary to the judge’s claim, did not establish slavery in the states you listed. I’m sure you know that, even if he didn’t.”

        Brooks, do you think he meant “establish” slavery as in “initiating” slavery in those states?
        Cuz I don’t believe that’s how he meant “establish”. Remember, this is a JUDGE speaking, who spent a lifetime speaking legalese.

        “Establish” to most of us commoners, immediately draws to mind a synonym like “initiation”. In legal terms, “establish” can also mean “legalizing” or “setting precedent”. Which is the point I believe he was trying to convey.

        If you are taking Judge Nap to task for his choice of the word “establish” when he says “…established and permitted slaves in the border states”, I submit that you are being just a little over the semantic top in “judging” him here.

        It doesn’t take a great historical mind or an abundant knowledge of Civil War History to know that slavery already existed in those border states. A pedestrian wiki or google search can enlighten even the most ignorant.

        I doubt, very much, that Judge Nap is so historically ignorant as to suggest that Lincoln “initiated” slavery in those states.

        Just my opinion.

      • Islander505 February 24, 2011 / 2:35 pm

        I won’t contest your 2nd and 3rd points.

        Very valid. But let’s remember…..he is/was A JUDGE….not a historian.
        And now he’s a TV star.
        But that’s why we have people like you to set them straight. ALL OF THEM.

      • Islander505 February 24, 2011 / 2:42 pm

        Indeed Professor, I am of the opinion that YOU should ask to appear on his show to refute his inaccuracies and set him, and America straight.

        Cuz I got a feeling he would welcome you….(just remember that it is a “legal mind” you are dealing and not a historical one—huge difference). Since he just welcomed Charles Rangel on his show (talk about lowering a bar), I see absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be given the opportunity to RAISE THE BAR……a whole bunch.

      • Brooks D. Simpson February 24, 2011 / 2:55 pm

        As the Emancipation Proclamation said nothing about the border states, it can’t be used to “establish” anything in those states.

        Any time the judge wants to chat, he knows where I can be found. I’ve laid forth my points here. I’m fairly sure I have readers who will notify him of what I’ve said, so the ball’s in his court.

  5. Charles Lovejoy February 24, 2011 / 1:10 pm

    Or why does a guy from Michigan while preforming in places like the New York state fair and Europe have a big Confederate flag as his backdrop?

      • Charles Lovejoy February 24, 2011 / 2:32 pm

        After he answered , I would probably still be scratching my head? I’m not a big Kid Rock fan, but I’m assuming he is trying to go for the Southern rock image 🙂

      • Islander505 February 24, 2011 / 2:47 pm

        If Kid Rock could make a dollar, and create yet another “image” for himself (he’s been into more “genres” of music than Ty Cobb had base hits), he would appear on stage with the characters from a Star Wars bar scene as his backup band and profess his love for that circus music.

        But, that’s just my opinion.

  6. R. B. Bernstein February 24, 2011 / 5:08 pm

    Thank you for a lucid explanation of the Emancipation Proclamation that’s well grounded in both history and law, specifically constitutional law. I’ve given just about the same explanation to my students at New York Law School for years now, and they get it the first time and wonder why nobody ever bothered to explain it that way before.

    Mr. DiLorenzo is unsalvageable and hopeless, and ditto for Judge Napolitano. I feel particularly sorry for the judge, who has never learned that vital lesson that legal theorists who build their theoretical enterprises on bad history are building on sand.

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