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Simply Speaking: It is up to us to decide

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Judah P. Benjamin, son of English Jews was born at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands in 1811.

Around 1816, the family moved to Charleston, South Carolina, as the English had abandoned the island in 1815, leaving it to the Danes.

Believing in a genuine quality education for their son, he schooled at a well known academy in Fayetteville, North Carolina, afterward getting in two years at Yale College, at which time his father could no longer support him.

So, at around seventeen, Judah moved to a New Orleans job, continuing his education in a study of law, adding French and Spanish.

He worked-in teaching as a private tutor.

Benjamin was admitted to the bar in 1832 and in 1833 married Natalie St. Martin, a good looking and well-educated Creole lady.

National attention was gained in 1842 with his brief entitled Creole Case.

Being very successful as an attorney, Judah bought an interest in Bellechasse, a sugar plantation below New Orleans, moving there and dedicating himself to studying new and better methods of cultivating cane, manufacturing sugar, and the science of sugar chemistry.

It paid off in winning first prize for his sugar at a state fair.

But Natalie was evidently unhappy with plantation life and moved to France with daughter Ninette, never to return. Judah built her a home in Paris and visited every summer.

Life can throw you a curve every now and then.

Turning Bellechasse over to his mother and sisters in 1847, Judah moved back to New Orleans and continued a career in politics, a career in which he never lost.

Elected to the lower house of the state legislature in 1842, he was a delegate to the framing of a new state constitution in 1844 and a constitutional convention in 1852.

A state senate seat was also won in 1852, leading to his election to the Senate of the United States, where his oratory skills stood out in debates there.

Benjamin’s Farewell Address to the U.S. Senate on Feb. 5, 1861, when his state opted for secession concludes with, "the State of Louisiana has judged and acted well and wisely in this crisis of her destiny."

Hearing voices stating his state had no right to secede, being a bought province, Benjamin responded with a Jefferson quote, "the Government assumed to act as trustee or guardian of the people of the ceded province, and covenanted to transfer to them the sovereignty thus held in trust for their use and benefit, as soon as they were capable of exercising it."

It was generally understood and stated by many that the states were sovereign and had the right of secession, but, the South now had to defend the rights and freedoms handed down by the Founding Fathers against the oppression of a majority, including the right of secession. Benjamin rightly referred to Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence as "our declaration of secession from Great Britain."

There is no freedom without the right of secession.

If not, sovereignty has been stood on its head.

Was our Declaration of Independence a one-time-only declaration...or is it an everlasting statement, should like-conditions arise again at any time?

It is up to us to decide and the times seem similar to those of 1776.

By the way, after Judah Benjamin’s resignation from the U.S. Senate, he was appointed attorney general in the Confederate Cabinet, then secretary of war in 1861, and secretary of state in 1862.

After the war, he began all over again in England, successfully so, before moving to the Paris home he had built for Natalie, and passing away in 1884.

May Yahweh God through Yeshua, Christ Jesus, King of the Universe, bless and keep us, his sovereign creations.


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