GDG- NPS & Slavery

ATMackeyJr at aol.com ATMackeyJr at aol.com
Wed Jan 4 21:37:40 CST 2012



In a message dated 1/4/2012 1:43:43 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
pennmardel at mchsi.com writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
Michael,

Thanks for your comments and  sharing some of your personal experiences.  My
sense, however, about  this issue is that the place for educating American
society should be  elsewhere, and not specifically at Gettysburg.
----------------
If Gettysburg is not the place to educate American society, then we may as  
well plow it up, melt down the cannon and monuments, and build houses, a  
Wal-Mart, and an amusement park on the remains.
 
 

There have
been several philosophical reasons given in this thread why it  is important
to insure that visitors to Gettysburg learn how the battle  fits within the
big picture of the war and its causes.

I do not  totally disagree with this concept, but still am uneasy with it.
My  preference is to maintain a certain sense of "purity" about what took
place  at Gettysburg and its significance as so well articulated by  
President
Lincoln at the National Cemetery dedication on November 19,  1863.
-------------
"our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in  
Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."   
I wonder what he's referring to?
 
When he said, "It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the 
 unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly 
advanced. It  is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining 
before us—that  from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause 
for which they  gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly 
resolve that these  dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under 
God, shall have a new  birth of freedom— and that government of the people, 
by the people, for the  people, shall not perish from the earth." what was 
he talking about?
 
I read those words as saying the cause in which they gave their lives was  
the destruction of slavery--that the significance of Gettysburg was the 
eventual  destruction of slavery.  So if we're going to maintain "purity," then 
we  have to discuss slavery at Gettysburg.
 
 
 
 


Gettysburg is and of itself a lesson in perseverance and dedication  to a
cause.  
---------------------------
Which cause?
"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished  
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather 
 for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that 
from  these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which 
they gave the last full  measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that 
these dead shall not have  died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall 
have a new birth of  freedom— and that government of the people, by the 
people,  for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
 
 
To expect or require the NPS to instruct visitors to Gettysburg about  the
causes of the CW to the detriment of what actually took place there,  seems
to me to be beyond the pale.  I realize that this is a minority  opinion on
this board, but it is what it is.
----------------------
 
I disagree that it's to the detriment of anything.  But while I  disagree, 
I respect your position.
 
 


Some have used the term "politically correct" in describing this  recent
phenomenon at Gettysburg.  However it is characterized, it  appears to be a
response to pressures from those who have an agenda to  promote an
interpretation of the war that supercedes to a certain extent  those
singularly important events that occurred at  Gettysburg.
---------------------
 
Or was there previously an agenda to promote an interpretation of the war  
that ignored the centrality of slavery--an interpretation we're only just  
getting over?
 
 
Best Regards,
Al Mackey


More information about the Gettysburg mailing list