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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/271

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Unveiling a Statue of Dr. Hunter McGuire. 263

movement should be inaugurated, and pressed with their own energy and that of the men they could gather for the work, as would not stop nor stay until the truth should be taught in our public schools, and books and men opposed to it be removed.

Such a movement was inaugurated and a committee appointed, consisting of Professors Dabney, of the University of Virginia ; White, of Washington and Lee; Abbott, of Bellevue; J. P. McGuire, of Rich- mond, and Vawter, of the Miller School, to take the matter in hand. The Grand Camp of Confederate Veterans of Virginia appointed a committee for the same purpose, of which committee, Hunter Mc- Guire was the chairman. On October I, 1899, he submitted the report of the committee, prepared by himself. In that report is ex- pressed his deepest convictions of the evil to be encountered, of the sources of that evil, and of the remedies to be employed for its eradication. In this report, he says:

" No longer concerning ourselves with the sentimental unionists and the honest abolitionists whose work seems to be over we still struggle against the two parties we have described. These exist in their successors to-day their successors who strive to control the opinions of our people, and those who seek to make gain by their association with us. Co-operating with these, and representing motives common to them all, is the new form of another party, which has existed since sectionalism had its birth, the party which has always labored to convince the world that the North was altogether right and righteous, and the South wholly and wickedly wrong in the sectional strife. This party is to-day the most distinctly defined and the most dangerous to us. Its chief representatives are the historians against whose work we are especially engaged. We are enlisted against an invasion organized and vigorously prosecuted by all of these people. They are actuated by all the motives we have described, but they have two well defined (and, as to us, malignant) purposes. One of them is to convince all men, and especially our Southern children, that we were, as Dr. Curry expresses their view, ' a brave, rash people, deluded by bad men, who attempted in an illegal and wicked manner to overthrow the Union.' The other purpose, and for this especially they are laboring, is to have it believed that the Southern soldier, however brave, was actuated by no higher motive than the desire to retain the money value of his slave prop- erty. They rightly believed that the world once convinced of this, will hold us degraded, rather than worthy of honor, and that our