Civil War Remark Draws Gasps
February 11, 2009
Jefferson City -- State Rep. Bryan Stevenson caused a firestorm in the House on Tuesday after suggesting federal efforts to undo state laws restricting abortion would be "the greatest power grab" since the North declared war on the South to end slavery. "What we are dealing with today is the greatest power grab by the federal government since the War of Northern Aggression," said Stevenson, R-Webb City.
War of Northern Aggression is a term some Southerners use to maintain that the North illegally invaded the South to put an end to slavery. The remark caused a sudden gasp heard throughout the House chamber, and an immediate rebuke by some black members of the Democratic caucus.
Missouri remained mostly neutral during the Civil War, supplying soldiers and raw materials to both sides. But the state was still considered part of the Union throughout the bloody conflict.Stevenson, who represents parts of Jasper County, later apologized on the House floor, saying he was sorry "for any offense that my earlier comment made."