From: "David S. Maddison"
Supersedes: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Analysis of anti-Semitic quote Newsgroups: soc.culture.jewish User-Agent: tin/pre-1.4-19990805 ("Preacher Man") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/3.2-RELEASE (i386)) NNTP-Posting-Host: power.connexus.net.au Message-ID: <email@example.com> Date: 11 Nov 1999 11:08:36 +1100 X-Trace: 11 Nov 1999 11:08:36 +1100, power.connexus.net.au Lines: 186 Path: hub.org!hub.org!ratbert.tds.net!nntp.frontiernet.net!nntp.primenet.com!nntp.gctr.net!su-news-hub1.bbnplanet.com!paloalto-snf1.gtei.net!news.gtei.net!newsfeed.stanford.edu!newsfeed.berkeley.edu!news.ecn.ou.edu!news1.optus.net.au!optus!ozemail.com.au!news.mel.aone.net.au!newsfeed.aone.net.au!news.mira.net.au!news.mel.ausbone.net!news.internex.net.au!not-for-mail Xref: hub.org soc.culture.jewish:421388 [Material not relevant to Sherman analysis snipped by Nizkor] 398 ALLEGED QUOTE "...[We] must stop these swarms of Jews who are trading, bartering and robbing." (General William Sherman). RESPONSE The above quote is #398 from the anti-Semitic document http://abbc.com/quotes/q351-400.htm "1000 Quotes by and about Jews". It is available in similar form from many sources, but not necessarily with the same number. As with most other quotes, this is not properly referenced. However, these remarks from Michael Fellman, "Citizen Sherman - A Life of William Tecumseh Sherman", Random House, New York, 1995, ISBN 0-679-42966-2 will clarify his opinion on Jews and Blacks (he was a supporter of slavery). (See also quote #292 and #837 for which this is also a response.) "I do not think it to our interest to set loose negroes too fast," he wrote Grant in September. On November 12, in a letter to a Southern judge in recaptured Memphis he continued to plan to "reserve this question of slavery," while Northern and Southern armies fought out the real and "dire conflict between National and State authority."(7) Sherman remained a proslavery Unionist even three months after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, on September 22, 1862. Underlying the argument Sherman was making about the impracticability of emancipation lay, of course, his assumptions about the inferiority of the whole race of blacks that fitted them for slavery. This racialism was in large part replicated, during this same period, in Sherman's opinions of the Jews. He blamed the war on blacks as he blamed it on Jews. As he made the linkage in a letter to Ellen on August 20, 1862, "The cause of the war is not alone in the nigger, but in the mercenary spirit of our countrymen." For Sherman, the personification of this evil mercenary spirit was the speculator, and the speculator was the Jew. In Memphis, Sherman observed a lively trade in Southern cotton, and reasoned in a letter to Grant, "I found so many Jews & Speculators here trading in cotton and secessionists had become open in refusing anything but gold that I have found myself bound to stop it. This gold has but one use, the purchase of arms & ammunition" in Northern cities for smuggling south into the Confederacy. As for issuing new trading passes to "swarms of Jews, I have stopped it." Trading with the enemy, including illicit arms sales, was a problem for the Union army, and there were speculators eager to trade, a small minority of whom were Jewish, but for Sherman, as for many other Union generals, "Jews and speculators" was the offending category from which and speculators was often dropped. When he heard that the government had decided to encourage the trade in cotton rather than end it, Sherman fumed to Washington that "the country will soon swarm with dishonest Jews." In this categorization of traders, Sherman was in concert with Grant. On July 26, Grant ordered a subordinate at the cotton trading river port of Columbus, Kentucky, to "examine the baggage of all speculators coming South, and, when they have [gold] specie, turn them back.... Jews should receive special attention." On December 17, 1862, Grant went even further. Like a medieval monarch, he expelled "The Jews, as a class" from his department. Lincoln rescinded the order, pointing out that though he agreed with expelling crooked speculators, he could not agree to the exclusion of Jews "as a class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks." (8) Jews like niggers, niggers like greasers (Mexicans) or Indians, were for Sherman, in common with many of his contemporaries, "classes" or "races" permanently inferior to his own. Lincoln in his way, and John Sherman in his, had an understanding that when it came to defining races, Americans employed customary hierarchical categories rather than natural absolutes-even if these two leaders often agreed with the customs-and thus Lincoln and John Sherman were open to change over time. Men like William T. Sherman did not share this cultural definition of race, taking their prejudices as fixed truths about natural and immutable racial categories. Thus for him Jews were Jews were Jews and "everyone" knew what that meant. Even after Lincoln's order rescinded Grant's expulsion of the Jews, Sherman continued expressing his unchanging opinion of them to his colleagues, if he now slightly disguised it. "Merchants as a class are governed by the law of self-interest," he wrote both Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase and Admiral David Porter on October 25, 1863. The high profits of contraband trade will call many to engage in it, "but this is confined to a class of men you and I know well." Porter certainly knew just whom Sherman meant. "The real merchant - that man who loves his country," the merchants who were not the you-know-who's-would not "endanger our lives" with illegal trade in arms. (9) By the same form of racialist generalization, heightened by his habit of endemic contempt, for Sherman niggers were niggers were niggers, the mudsill of the society that had enslaved them and them alone. After the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863, freeing the slaves of the Confederacy, Sherman did not continue to reinforce the institution of slavery as he marched through the South, but neither did he change his opinion of blacks. Rather, he took emancipation as a further means of punishing his enemies. "The masters by rebelling have freed the negro, and have taken from themselves the courts and machinery by which any real law could be enforced in this country," he wrote General James B. McPherson on November 18, 1863. "They must bear the terrible infliction which has overtaken them, and blame the authors of the rebellion and not us." Concomitantly, Sherman now encouraged slaves to flee their masters and come to Union garrison towns, not to help blacks but to demonstrate to whites that they "must take the consequences" of their rebellion. Whatever the eventual fate of the Negroes, he told a group of Mississippi planters, "ex necessitate, the United States succeeds by act of war to the former lost title of master." For Sherman, emancipation had ended Southern white mastership as part of their ongoing destruction in war. He was not much concerned with its meanings for former slaves, of whom he, as a Union agent, was a new master." In Union war policy, emancipation had led directly to the active recruitment of black Union troops. This next giant step was taken by the Union leadership, from Abraham Lincoln on down. In his attempt to sell this dramatic new policy to the more conservative members of the public and his own army, Lincoln frequently employed arguments that were practical in nature, as he thought these might be more effective than more ideologically based modes of persuasion. As he wrote to one conservative Northern politician on August 26, 1863, "1 thought that whatever, negroes can be got to do as soldiers, leaves just so much less for white soldiers to do, in saving the Union," an opinion he anticipated most of his commanders could share, even archconservatives like Sherman. In his own beliefs, which he did not hesitate to express publicly, Lincoln went beyond such practicality to the moral meanings of emancipation tied to the use of black troops. Thus in this same letter he linked the practical with the ideal when he argued that "negroes, like other people act upon motives.... If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive-even the promise of freedom. And the promise being made, must be kept." Lincoln thus related white honor to the use of black troops. He also comprehended black honor, for he understood the liberation of the spirit that military participation would bring the freedmen. "There will be some black men who can remember that, with silent tongue, and clenched teeth, and steady eye, and well-poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation [of freedom]." Lincoln also insisted that white men who opposed the use of black troops, "with malignant heart, and deceitful speech," would be acting out of a spiritual dishonor they would be ashamed of in future years. (11)" Researched by David S. Maddison (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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