Stephen F. Hale, a prominent Southern nationalist, wrote a letter on December 27, 1860 to Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin warning the pro-Southern leader that the South’s cause was one of survival in the face of radical hostility. He argued as a Secession Commissioner of his adopted State of Alabama that “Black Republicanism” would eventually be forced upon the South in the Union and would result in “the dark pall of barbarism” gathering over Dixie just as it had in Haiti and other once civilized and prosperous Caribbean plantation colonies of the Golden Circle. And Hale, who went on to serve and die in the Confederate military fighting for Southern independence, pointed out that Northern conservatives who were friendly to the Southern people and obedient to the strict limitations of the US Constitution were “utterly powerless” against the radical egalitarian bourgeois forces of the North. Hale wrote:
But it is said there are many constitutional conservative men at the North who sympathize with us and battle for us. That is true; but they are utterly powerless, as the late Presidential election unequivocally shows, to breast the tide of fanaticism that threatens to roll over and crush us. With them it is a question of principle, and we award them all honor for their loyalty to the Constitution of our fathers; but their defeat is not their ruin. With us it is a question of self-preservation. Our lives, our property, the safety of our homes and our hearthstones, all that men hold dear on earth, is involved in this issue. If we triumph, vindicate our rights, and maintain our institutions, a bright and joyous future lies before us. We can clothe the world with our staple, give wings to her commerce, and supply with bread the starving operative in other lands, and at the same time preserve an institution that has done more to civilize and Christianize the heathen than all human agencies besides -an institution alike beneficial to both races, ameliorating the moral, physical, and intellectual condition of the one and giving wealth and happiness to the other. If we fail, the light of our civilization goes down in blood, our wives and our little ones will be driven from their homes by the light of our own dwellings, the dark pall of barbarism must soon gather over our sunny land, and the scenes of West India emancipation, with its attendant horrors and crimes (that monument of British fanaticism and folly), be re-enacted in our own land upon a more gigantic scale.
It is worth noting that Hale was correct on all counts. Northern conservatives were not only powerless to prevent Abraham Lincoln’s election, but were likewise powerless to prevent his administration from provoking and executing a total war against the Southern people – a war which resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides. The destruction which the war brought about was followed by a period called “Reconstruction” in which the worst of Northern radical ideas (White disenfranchisement, Black rule, Northern confiscation of Southern resources and hateful attacks upon the defeated White South) were implemented. Only the rise of those such as Wade Hampton, who won a measure of Southern home-rule and forced the withdrawal of Northern military occupation, saved the Lower South from going the way of Haiti.
Now, with the renewed political and cultural war against the South, the demographic replacement of Southerners by Third World immigrants and the empowerment of anti-Southern Leftist radicals we see in our cities such as Baltimore, Memphis, Selma and Birmingham that Hale’s fore-sight was spot on. “The dark pall of barbarism” today threatens Southern survival as it hasn’t since the 1870s. And only Southern nationalists recognize this and offer the hope of Southern renaissance in a multi-polar world.