Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/110

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102 Southern Historical Society Papers.

the fact that the new edition does not show on the cover, or elsewhere, that it is a new edition at all. It is bound and labeled just as the former was; the preface in the new edition is dated in 1895, and is the same as that in the old; so that if the publishers were so disposed, they could easily palm off on the unwary teacher or child the old for the new edition.

But we have other objections to the book of a much more serious character. The first is that the authors are the same in both editions, and authors who could state the causes of the war, as stated in the first edition at Section 521, and then state them (when objected to) as in Section 520 in the new edition, are not, in our opinion, such historians as we should allow to write the history for our children, it matters not if they are Southern writers. This smacks too much of the methods pursued by the Grand Army Republic of "making history to order." As Dr. Martin wrote of the first edition, so think we of this. He said:

"The book is a feeble production. The controlling idea is evi- dently the production of a history that would be acceptable to both North and South."

To accomplish such a task is (as it should be) an impossibility. But we condemn this work more for what it fails to say about the causes of the war, than for any inaccuracies we have noticed in what it does say on that and other subjects. Its text is on the order of those who say "we thought we were right," rather than that "we were right." We did know we were right then, and we do know it now; and we are entitled to have this told to our children.

Writers at the North are almost daily saying to the world, that the Southern States had the right to secede. Even Goldwin Smith, the most learned and able, as well as the most prejudiced historian against the South, who has written about the war, said in the Atlantic Monthly of this year:

" Few who have looked into the history can doubt that the Union originally was, and was generally taken by the parties to it to be, a compact, dissoluble, perhaps most of them would have said, at pleas- ure, dissoluble certainly on breach of the articles of the Union."

And that liberal and cultured statesman and writer, Mr. Charles Francis Adams, of Boston, in an address delivered by him in June last in Chicago (whilst as we understand him, not conceding the right of secession to exist in 1861), said, quoting from Donn Piet's Life of General George H. Thomas, as follows: