Baptists and the American Civil War: February 28, 1861

Samuel Boykin

Samuel Boykin, Christian Index (Georgia) Editor

Samuel Boykin (illustration), editor of Georgia Baptists’ Christian Index newspaper, offers a glowing assessment of the future of the Confederate States of America and African slavery:

Our young Confederacy has brilliant prospects ahead. Within it are all the elements of Empire; Staples which move the Commerce of the world, vast amounts of finest timber, and mountains embedded with the most valuable minerals. Besides we have noble rivers, and enough of spacious harbors to build up all the commerce we need, and all the Navy required for our protection. What a glorious America this will be! How grand its destiny! how happy and homogeneous its people!

Expansion, too will be its birthright – not the expansion of conquest, but of absorption and assimilation. We will absorb Central America and the contiguous States of Mexico, not by the bloody rescripts of war, but by the generous attractious of our superior civilization and purer religion. We will assimilate the half barbarous peoples of those States to us, by the tuneful paeans of our religion and the superior advantages of our laws. We will elevate and ennoble them in the scale of being, and fit them to be citizens of a pure Republican Government …. This is destiny, and God grant it may be accomplished without drawing the sword. But it must be accomplished, because Providence designs the spreading out of African slavery into regions congenial and suitable to its prosperity. Such regions are represented in Nicaragua, Honduras, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, in which our omnipotent staples will flourish beneath the plastic hand of black labor. When these golden visions become realities, when we shall feed the nations, as well as supply their looms and spindles, with raw material, then will the wisdom and prescience of the founders of our new Government be vindicated – then will the proudest nations of the earth come to woo and worship at the shrine of our imperial Confederacy.

Meanwhile, on a less grand scale, the Territory of Colorado is organized as an incorporated territory of the United States of America. Control of Colorado Territory solidifies Union access to the mineral wealth of the Rocky Mountains. During the war years, the influx of miners – drawn to Colorado by the Pikes Peak Gold Rush – slows to a trickle, and many already residing in the territory return East to fight for the Union. Two volunteer regiments protect the home front of Colorado, and in 1862 deflect a Confederate attempt to invade Colorado territory and cut Union supply lines between the East and California.

Source: “The State of the Country,” Christian Index, February 27, 1861