GDG- NPs & Slavery

Jack Lawrence jlawrence at
Tue Jan 3 09:48:26 CST 2012

It sounds to me like trying to limit the interpretation of the war to your 
own limited interest.

Your privelege; the awakening of America will not allow iot though.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Ryan" <pennmardel at>
To: "GDG" <gettysburg at>
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 9:22 AM
Subject: Re: GDG- NPs & Slavery

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> <<The thing that everyone is missing here who complains about the mention
> of slavery in the VC movie is that, for many Americans, Gettysburg will
> be their only taste of CW History.  It may be still, after 150 years, be
> comfortable to for some to face, but without the South's allegiance to
> slavery there would have been no secession, without secession there
> would have been no war, and without the war there would have been no
> Battle of Gettysburg.  It's inclusion in the overall discussion of the
> battle isn't just appropriate, it is in my view essential.>>
> Charles,
> I think you are missing the point in this discussion.  I have no objection
> to the "mention" of slavery in the introductory film; however, I do object
> to the hijacking of the Gettysburg story to fulfill an objective that 
> should
> be accomplished elsewhere.
> The fact that Americans will get their only taste of history at Gettysburg
> is a non-starter.  It is not the responsibility of the NPS at Gettysburg 
> to
> fill a void left the educational system in America regarding the slavery
> issue.  The government and/or the NPS itself can and should do this
> elsewhere -- not at Gettysburg.
> Again, it is all a matter of degree.  From my perspective, people come to
> Gettysburg by the millions to learn more about what happened "there."  It 
> is
> not the time or the place to conduct a tutorial on the slavery issue.  In
> fact, by doing so, it would only tend to distort the understanding of the
> import of the battle itself.
> Your concern about slavery being seen as the cause of secession is 
> certainly
> legitimate, but people should be given the opportunity to pursue the 
> issues
> related to the Civil War at their own leisure and level of desire.  It is
> inappropriate IMO for the NPS to impose itself on these visitors with a
> politically correct agenda that dictates that these visitors will learn
> about the slavery issue whether they want to or not.
> Tom Ryan
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