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Letter to the editor: Civil War was over slavery

Thank you for running the Jan. 20 article on the Civil War exhibit at the Karpeles Manuscript Library museum. Hopefully it will entice people to visit this professionally presented display of historical documents easily accessible at 902 E. First...

Thank you for running the Jan. 20 article on the Civil War exhibit at the Karpeles Manuscript Library museum. Hopefully it will entice people to visit this professionally presented display of historical documents easily accessible at 902 E. First Street.

I would, however, take issue with the opinion piece regarding the exhibit in your Jan. 27 edition by Reyna Crow. In her column, Crow parses the wording of one of the documents, a U.S. congressional resolution meant to assuage as many conflicting positions as modern-day resolutions face. She combines her reading of this resolution with a course she took in college and her avowed goal "to end racial discrimination" and comes to the conclusion that "freeing the slaves was not why the Civil War was fought."

In my opinion, that is her interpretation of history and as such is a valid view. It is not, however, a "truth" as she alludes. My opposing interpretation is that the primary cause of the Civil War was the issue of slavery and the resulting secession by some of the southern states when they felt their rights to slave ownership threatened by the election of Abraham Lincoln.

History is a fascinating topic and generates many theories and interpretations to which each of us brings our own unique perspectives, and biases. To claim that one's interpretation is "the truth," though, does a disservice that restricts rather than encourages civil dialogue and learning.

Peter Krause

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Duluth

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