Pharos-Tribune

December 9, 2012

PUBLIC FORUM: Columnist’s defender wrong on the facts


— I thought my days of responding to the erroneous ramblings of Mr. Bowyer and Mr. Julian were over, but like Mr. Meagher, I am drawn to them “like a moth to a flame.” It must be my unbridled curiosity.

I seriously considered writing after reading Mr. Bowyer’s column (Pharos-Tribune, Nov. 19), but after I saw Mr. Meagher’s response, I thought he covered it quite succinctly. After reading Mr. Julian’s response (Pharos-Tribune, Dec. 2), I could not restrain myself.

Mr. Julian needs to practice what he preaches. I’m not sure what history sources he used to mount his attack on Mr. Meagher’s information, but his information is inaccurate. The Civil War was, in fact, caused by a combination of factors. One of those was slavery and whether the federal government had the right to abolish it or prohibit its spread into the territories. This led Southern states to argue “states’ rights” or that they had the authority to decide, not the federal government. Slavery was tied to the economics issue that Mr. Julian insists was the “true cause.” The Southern states believed they could not exist economically without slave labor since a majority of their income came from products produced by slave labor. South Carolina, in particular, had been threatening to secede for 30 years because of the aforesaid reasons. To say, “the slavery question was not even seriously considered by Lincoln until 1862” is also inaccurate. Any student of Lincoln knows that he had been pondering the slavery issue since he was a circuit-riding lawyer in Illinois in the decades before he was elected president.  

As for Mr. Bowyer, I wonder when he was last in a school classroom to hear what is being taught. I teach history to eighth graders who are taught about the colonies, Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War, U.S. Constitution, the Civil War and many other events and people of American history up to Reconstruction. Sometimes, we are even able to learn about other important events like 9/11, Pearl Harbor, Veterans Day, etc. I can also assure him that patriotism is not missing from our schools. We recite the pledge every morning!

I can also assure him that the first English settlers to come to America in 1607 landed at what is known as Jamestown (Virginia) to look for riches and resources, not for religious reasons. Some later groups did come to America for religious freedom, but not all.

Bobbi S. Fisher,

Logansport