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THE AFTERMATH 
OF SLAVERY 



THE AFTERMATH 
OF SLAVERY 

A STUDY OF 

THE CONDITION AND ENVIRONMENT 

OF THE AMERICAN NEGRO 

BY 
WILLIAM A. SINCLAIR, A.M., M.D. 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY 
THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON, LL.D. 




BOSTON 
SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY 



MCMV , ^ 



Copyright, 1905, by 

Small, Maynard S^ Company 

(Incorporated) 



THE NE^VV lORf^ All rights reserved 

PUBLIC LIBRARY, 



o»/ 



^1)7927 !' 

^ '^j LENOX ' - 



Published April, 1905 



The University Press, Cambridge, U. S. A. 



TO ALL AMERICANS 
WHO BELIEVE THAT THE FLAG SHALL BE 

THE SYMBOL OF LIBERTY UNDER LAW 

AND OF EQUAL RIGHTS BEFORE THE LAW 

FOR ALL AMERICANS 



CONTENTS 

Page 
A Biographical Note ix 

Introduction (by Thomas Wentwortli Higginson) ... xi 



I The Institution of Slavery and its Abolition . . 3 

II Reconstruction and the Southern "Black Code" . 37 

III Southern Opposition to Reconstruction .... 74 

IV The War on Negro Suffrage 104 

V The False Alarm of Negro Domination .... 153 

VI The Negro in Politics 183 

VII The Negro and the Law 215 

VIII The Rise and Achievements of the Colored Race 259 ' 

IX The National Duty to the Negro 291 

X Public Opinion Omnipotent 330 



A BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 

WILLIAM A, SINCLAIR, the author of this book, 
was horn in slavery at Georgetown, South Carolina. 
When about fmir years of age, in the early part of 
the Civil War, he was sold with his mother, from his home ; 
but about a year after the close of the war, after many trying 
experiences, they returned to his native place, where a ^partial 
reuniting of the family was effected. William's father died 
shortly after this, and the widowed mother became responsible 
for the boy''s maintenance and education. He attended the 
local schools and prepared himself to enter upon a higher course 
of study at Clajlin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina. 
Thence he went to the well-known South Carolina College at 
Columbia, that venerable institution of learning, which, in the 
days of slavery, had been patronized by the aristocracy of the 
state inchiding Haynes, Rhett, McDuffee, Barnwell, and Cal- 
houn, and which, under Republican administration of the state 
after the close of the war, had been thrown open to colored as 
well as white students. Colored students were debarred from 
this college in 1877, and Mr. Sinclair entered Howard Uni- 
versity, Washington, D. C, where he graduated from the 
college and theological departments and zvhere he later received 
the degree of Master of Arts. The necct step in his educational 
development was post-graduute study at Andover Theological 
Seminary, where he won a prize for a dissertation and delivered 
an address at the commencement exercises. 

For six years he devoted himself to missionary work, under 
the auspices of the American Missionary Association, at Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, and here he improved the opportunity to study 
medicine at the MeHarry Medical College of Central Tennessee 
University (now Walden University of Nashville), where he 
took his medical degree, being also the salutatorian of his 
class. 

ix 



A BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 

During his college vacations Mr. Sinclair taught school^ 
and he has Jilled^ with credit and success^ the positions of 
principal of the graded school at Georgetown^ South Car- 
olina, and professor of natural sciences in Livingstone College, 
Salisbury, North Carolina ; and for the past sixteen years he 
has been financial secretary of Howard University, Washing- 
ton, D. C. 

Throughout the period of his education he displayed unusual 
powers of oratory, and in his labors for Howard University he 
has been heard in the pulpit and on the platform throughout 
the United States, aiul in the United Kingdom as well. In this 
field his natural abilities and his evident learning have every- 
where procured him distinctive recognition among thinking 
people. 

Throughout his travels Dr. Sinclair has discussed the race 
question, publicly and at the fireside, with persons of every 
degree and station in life, and in the following pages he gives 
to a wider circle than he can reach by personal discourse the 
information that has been required of him concerning the con- 
dition and environment of the American negro. 



INTRODUCTION 

NO IV that so many authors, Southern and Northern, have 
suddenly broken out into the discussion of the so-called 
negro problem, it is nothing more than fair that an- 
other negro author should have his word to say. The very 
fact that these Southern contributions cover a very wide range 
in quality, from the really high-toned and enlightened work 
entitled Problems of the Present South, by Edgar Gardner 
Murphy, down to the demagogic glorification of the Ku Klux 
Klan by the Reverend Thomas Dixon, Jr. — this range of 
thought makes it only right to recognize the effort of a colored 
man to be fair and plain-spoken in doing justice to his side of 
the house. 

The attempt to do this, at least, is visible in every page of 
the book to which this is a preface. One who like myself 
has visited within nine months the heart of the former slave 
states, who has seen the strong effort made by so many of 
the Southern whites to do justice to the negro and who has 
talked freely with Southern public men — in my own case, for 
instance, with the governors of three different states — must 
needs feel an impulse to take a hand when a colored writer 
enters on a manly and courageous argument for his own side, 
su£h as may be found in the volume which follows ; and I 
cannot decline his request to write a preface for him. 

Readijig the book with some care, I could point out a few 
passages with which I disagree, but surprisingly few ; and 
in some of these cases the disagreement proceeds from the fact 
that I am a man old enough to recall a time when there existed 
all around us at the North instances of the same kinds of in- 
justice of which we now properly complain when we see it at 
the South. It seems like a bit of Egyptian darkness to Dr. 
Sinclair for those states to have entirely separate schools for 
the two races, but that does not seem so hopeless an evil to me, 
who more than fifty years ago in two different cities in New 

xi 



INTRODUCTION 

England took a hand in abolishing jitst such schools. The 
first great step is to have public schools at all^ either for white 
or black. In the same way men justly complain of the " Jim 
Crow'''' cars^ as they call them ; but /, who can remember the time 
in my childhood when a colored woman was taken out of a 
stage-coach opposite what is now Cambridge Common^ because 
other passengers objected to her color ^ cannot feel the evil to be 
so hopeless as he does. The South is merely passing through 
a period such as Massachusetts passed through long ago, and 
the great fact of importance is that it is being passed through 
and men will get beyond it sooner or later. 

I can remember, in the same way, when every Boston Di- 
rectory separated the two races, putting the colored families at 
the end of the book ; and I can remember when the very editor 
who first made the change told me of it beforehand, begging me 
to keep it secret that the newspapers might not get hold of it. 
" When the people once see it done,'''' he said, " they will soon 
forget that it ever was otherwise.'''' Thus much I say of the 
execution of the book, which is in almost all respects admirable 
and shows mu£h mare thoroughness in dealing with both sides 
than any book recently produced by a Southern white man, 
except that of Mr. Murphy, which is a model to all in its tone, 
though even that, I think, does here and there a little less than 
justice to the negro. 

Even this book does not fully bring out the utter injustice 
done by Mr. Thomas Nelson Page when he ignores plain 
facts in the following charge against the Southern negro : 
" In 1865, when the Negro was set free, he held without a 
rival the entire f eld of industrial labor throughout the South. 
Ninety- five per cent of all the industrial work of the Southern 
States was in his hands. And he was fully competent to do it. 
Every adult was either a skilled laborer or a trained mechanic. 
It was the fallacious teaching of equality which deluded him 
into dropping the substance for the shadow.''^ (Page's The 
Negro : The Southerner's Problem, p. 127.) Mr. Murphy 

xii . 



INTRODUCTION 

himself incauticMsly says : " The South has sometimes abridged 
the 7iegro''s right to vote, but the South has not yet abridged 
his right, in any direction of human interest or of honest effort, 
to earn his bread.'''' {Murphy''s The Present South, p. 187.) 

Yet if the reader of the present volume will turn to Chapter 11 
he imllfind m^my pages show'mg, on the authority of Mr. Blaine 
and of Vice-President Henry Wilson, that there was a long period 
of years when the legislation of state after state prohibited 
every black citizen from earning his living by these higher 
forms of labor which Mr. Page now blames a generation of 
negroes for having lost from their grasp. Were it for these 
pages only, the perusail of the present worli may be urged 
upon every fair-minded man. It is nothing less than ludi- 
crous to complain of a generation of negroes for not bringing 
up their boys to be mechanics when, as in South Carolina, the 
legislature enacted that no person of color should pursue any 
work other than husbandry without a special license from the 
judge of the district court, this license being good for one year 
only, and the boy aiming at it having to pay a license fee of ten 
dollars. No such fees had ever been exacted from white men, 
nor even from the free black man during the days of slavery. 

THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON. 

Cambridge, Mass., Jan. 11, 1905. 



XIll 



The Aftermath of Slavery 



CHAPTER I 

THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY 
AND ITS ABOLITION 

THERE is to-day a New South, and the colored people 
are a material part of it. The Old South, with its 
gruesome and unholy institution of human slavery, has 
passed out of existence, never to return. It has, however, 
left a heritage of complicated and vexatious problems, the 
just and righteous solution of which will tax to the utter- 
most the resources of the statesman, the fidelity of the church, 
and the patience and firmness of the nation. It is of prime 
importance to note that the existing blighting evils which 
are an infliction to both the white and the colored people are 
not inherent in either people, but have their roots in the 
essential barbarism of the slave system. 

The Proclamation of Emancipation issued by the immortal 
Abraham Lincoln was intended to break the fetters of the 
slave ; but now it can be seen that it was also an emancipa- 
tion of the white people of the South. For slavery manacled 
the conscience of the master as completely as it did the body of 
the slave. Unhappily, neither the white nor the colored people 
are yet fully set free from the brutalizing evils of the system. 
It would seem that emancipation of the body can be more 
readily accomplished than the emancipation of the conscience. 

In the spirit of liberty, however, the colored people are 
farther removed than the whites from the old regime. To 
the colored people freedom can:^ as a boon from heaven, a 
special gift of God, an answer to the agonizing prayers of 
centuries. It was a treasure above all price. But the white 
people of the South took a different view of it. They loved 
freedom for themselves and would die in defence of it ; un- 
fortunately, however, they regarded the freeing of the colored 
man as a wrong to the white man. The virus of slavery was 

3 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

present in the brain ! And so the chief efforts of Southern 
leadership have been to curtail the freedom of the colored 
people, to minimize their liberty and reduce them as nearly 
as possible to the conditions of chattel slaves. These efforts, 
unremitting and sometimes violent, tremendously affect every 
phase of Southern life. 

In general, a spirit of cruel intolerance dominates the 
white population of the whole Southland. Its church life, 
despite the many excellent and truly Christian members, both 
men and women, betrays strange deformities and inconsist- 
encies ; in large measure ignoring alike the golden rule, 
the Sermon on the Mount, the divinely beautiful lesson of 
the Good Samaritan, and, in short, the more vital and cen- 
tral truth of the entire teaching of Jesus himself — the 
fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Christ's 
saying, " All ye are brethren," is not interpreted with suffi- 
cient breadth to include the negro. 

" Free government '' in the South means, in the attitude of 
the whites toward the negro, disregard of the law, the repudi- 
ation of the orderly processes of the Courts of Justice, the 
rule of the mob, and cruel proscription. President Lincoln 
declared that "those who would deny liberty to others are 
not worthy of it themselves.'' The white people of the 
South, still clinging to the traditions of the slave system, have 
continued to deny liberty to the colored man ; and to this 
attitude is due the existence in that section of a state of law- 
lessness with its long train of evils. 

It has thus come to pass that mobs torture human beings and 
roast them alive without trial and in defiance of law and order ; 
mobs shoot down women and children who have never been 
charged with crime, and against whom there is no suspicion, 
— it is enough that they are negroes. Mobs j,ke possession 
of the streets of great cities and assault and shoot down inno- 
cent colored people, driving them from their homes and burn- 
ing their property, — in one instance more than a thousand 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

colored people, men, women and children, being driven from 
their homes in a single day. Mobs intercept and hold up 
the regularly constituted officers of the law, take prisoners 
from their possession and shoot them to death. Mobs break 
into jails and take out prisoners and hang them, sometimes 
in the jail yard, and riddle their bodies with bullets. Mobs 
even invade the sacred precincts of the court-room, and 
during the actual process of the trial, take prisoners from the 
custody of the lawful authorities and shoot them in the very 
temple of justice, or hang them in the court-yard in the pres- 
ence of judge, jury, and court officers, amid the shouts and 
cheers of hundreds, and, at times, thousands of people. In 
one instance sixteen colored men were shot to death on the 
floor of the court-room in Mississippi, during the actual proc- 
ess of the trial of two colored men charged with a minor 
offence. And these things ai'e done, not in a corner, but 
under the full glare of the noonday sun. 

The white people of the South have taken pains to declare 
through their public press and public men — as if to mitigate 
national indignation and forestall condemnation — that all 
these things were committed by their " best citizens.'' This 
is a most startling indictment of the South, and by the South 
itself, and is an apt illustration of the saying, " Who excuses, 
accuses." It is not contended in these pages, however, that 
all the white people of the South, or the most of them, or even 
the " best " of them, are given over to unrighteous or riotous 
proceedings. For the whole, or even the majority of a people 
are not bad. There are always men and women, true and 
good, as honest as the day is long, who " love mercy, do jus- 
tice, and walk humbly'' as in the sight of God. 

But that there is a prevalence of inconsistencies and barbari- 
ties and a rei^K of terror and blood which darken the sky of 
the Sunny South, the land where 

" Everlasting spring abides 
And never withering flowers," 

5 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

is as clear as the light of the sun. The white people of the 
South, however, are descended from noble and honored ances- 
tors, who were imbued with the highest ideals of liberty, 
humanity, righteousness, and orderly government. Many of 
these were originally opposed to the introduction of the insti- 
tution of human slavery, while others were sceptical or indif- 
ferent about it, and still others accepted it in the spirit of 
liberal toleration. It is a generally acknowledged fact that 
slavery at first existed in a mild and not very offensive form, 
practically devoid of the barbarities and brutalities which 
later characterized it, — the slave owner being somewhat like a 
feudal lord of more or less power and dignity, and the slave 
holding a relation not far removed from that of a liege. It 
is indisputable that the white people of the South carried on 
among themselves for years an agitation for the abolition of sla- 
very, and that they probably would have abolished slavery, or 
eliminated it by colonization or some other means, but for the 
determined minor element composed of slaveholders, whose 
influence was greatly reinforced by the invention, in 1793, of 
the cotton gin, which while a most useful invention yet has 
proved a curse and scourge as well as a profit and blessing 
to mankind. This invention gave a tremendous impetus to 
the demand for slave labor by vastly increasing its commercial 
value : it put new life and vigor into the slave trade, creating 
a limitless demand for slaves, and making the abolition of 
slavery practically impossible save by a national upheaval. 

Through the extension of the interests in the slave trade 
and slave labor, and the realization of the enormous profits 
resulting from these sources, came the Southerner's dream of 
wealth, power, and dominion, which turned any general senti- 
ment for the abolition of slavery in the South into a demand 
for more slaves. Thenceforth the white people of the South 
dedicated themselves, not to the development of their free 
institutions, but to the building up of a slaveholding oli- 
garchy, overbearing and cruel, which was yet to challenge 

6 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

the nation itself to mortal combat, to cover the land with 
mom-ning, and to redden a continent with blood. 

This invention of the cotton gin raised the Cotton Indus- 
try to such supreme importance that cotton became king of 
the products in the world's market. And King Cotton, like 
Satan in the temptation of the Christ on the Mount, said to 
the Southern whites : " All these things will I give thee, if 
thou wilt fall down and worship me, — the kingdoms of the 
world and the glory of them.'' The white people of the 
South did not resist this appeal to their greed and love for 
gilded luxury ; this promise of untold wealth, power, and 
dominion that was held forth to them. They betook them- 
selves to the worship of King Cotton. 

Truly Cotton was King. It became their worshiping 
fetich. They were lured from their high ideals, and even 
threw to the winds those basic principles, those very funda- 
mental truths of Christianity, the fatherhood of God and the 
brotherhood of man. 

"Am I my brother's keeper?" asked one of old. The 
white people of the South were no longer their " brother's 
keeper," certainly not the keeper of their " brother in black." 

The institution of slavery increased and expanded by leaps 
and bounds, and became more and more debasing to the 
whites and blacks alike. The slave trade was stimulated as 
never before, and those engaged in it became brutal beyond 
description. The appalling sacrifice of human life, and the 
wide-spread desolation incident to its operation were matters 
of public knowledge. /Scores of African villages might be 
laid waste, fire and sword work havoc, and thousands of old 
and young people killed in order to secure one cargo of slaves ; 
but what of that ? It was not worthy of a moment's consider- 
ation that to deliver a single slave on a plantation might cost 
the lives of half a hundred of Africans, What concern was 
it to them if a thousand lives were sacrificed, since they ob- 
tained that one slave ? 

7 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

The ghastly horrors of " the middle passage "" ; the clanking 
of chains ; the wild and deep groans of men ; the heart- 
rending weeping and wailing of women and children ; the 
cruel floggings ; the agonizing cries of despair from the dying, 
to whom the visit of death was as the visit of an angel ; the 
dumping of the dead into the sea by hands dyed with human 
blood ; the crowding of these ill-fated and hapless creatures 
of all ages and both sexes into the dark and filthy pest holes 
of slave ships, and all the terrible, unspeakable agonies of body 
and anguish of spirit which they endured — all this and more 
caused the slaveholder no worry, no loss of sleep. The con- 
science was seared. Remorse was dead. 

They had no time for maudlin sympathy. Slaves they 
wanted. Slaves they must have. The cost in horror and 
blood ; life, pain, and devastation ; ruin and desolation were 
as nothing. The cotton fields must be developed, extended, 
and expanded ; the malarial swamps and marshes must be 
redeemed and made to yield their harvest of golden sheaves 
laden with the pearly grains of rice ; all the land, the field 
and forest, and even the earth beneath must be made to yield 
their increase, and the labor of slaves must accomplish this. 
So the white people of the South cried out for slaves — and 
more slaves — and still more slaves. 

It was impossible that these things could have other than 
a disastrous effect on public morality. The white South had 
indeed fallen from its high estate. Its great ideals had 
gradually faded away. 

In an article in the Atlantic Monthly for September, 1901, 
Mr. Thomas Nelson Page, speaking of the condition of the 
South at the time of the War of the Rebellion, says that 
the South was " without ships, without money, without 
machinery that could produce a knife, a blanket, or a tin 
cup ; without an ally, without even the sympathy of a single 
nation, without knowledge of the outside world, or indeed of 
her able and determined opponent." 

8 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

Does he realize the cutting irony, the bald satire of his 
own statement ? For he is pleading, as he always does, in 
season and out of season, for the white people of the South ; 
apologizing for, or justifying, the many hardships imposed 
on the negro, and seeking always to discredit and prejudice 
him in the eyes of the nation. His is indeed a pitiful de- 
scription of a pitiful civilization ; and the pity of the pity is, 
that it is pitifully true. 

The worse than ghoulish horrors commonly practised by 
the brutal kidnappers, or African slave traders ; the ghastly 
spectacle of the slave auction-block, where slaves, men, women, 
and children were examined and sold as though they were 
cattle, and the heartrending, inhuman, and disgusting scenes 
attendant thereon, — these things had caused throughout the 
civilized world such a revulsion of public sentiment against 
the institution of human slavery that the South in the mo- 
ment of its great extremity was indeed absolutely " without 
an ally, without even the sympathy of a single nation.'' It 
was these ghastly abominations of the slave auction-block, 
which on one occasion Abraham Lincoln witnessed as a 
young man when on a visit to New Orleans in 1831, that 
moved him to declare eternal war against the system of 
slavery. 

The incident as reported is this : " He saw a slave, a 
beautiful mulatto girl, sold at auction. She was felt over, 
pinched, trotted around to show to bidders that said article 
was sound. Lincoln walked away from the sad, inhuman 
scene with deep feelings of unsmotherable hatred. He said 
to John Hank, who was with him : ' If I ever get a chance 
to hit that institution, 1 11 hit it — hard, John.' " He got the 
chance, and did " hit it " ; how hard, the world knows. 

It is worth while to point out the cause of the backward 
and pitiable condition of the South in 1861, which Mr. 
Page, with lamentations, so accurately and pithily depicts. 
The institution of slavery laid tribute on the talent, the 

9 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

statesmanship, the loyalty, and all the vital forces — moral, 
spiritual, and material — of the South. It was the all- 
absorbing topic ; it monopolized the brain and heart of the 
South. All other subjects converged into it. 

The South had for years devoted, even dedicated its genius, 
its strength, its energies, to the institution of human slavery, 
and to the development, protection, expansion, and perpetu- 
ation of the system. Its genius and talent for other things 
simply shrivelled up. It devoted itself so completely to the 
institution of slavery that the South made, what William 
Lloyd Garrison declared slavery to be, " an agreement with 
death and a covenant with hell."*' It was death to the public 
morals and conscience of the South ; and it was hell to the 
ill-fated, helpless, down-trodden slave. 

The institution of slavery, as bad and debasing as it was 
for the negro in one way, was probably even worse for 
the whites in another. It so stupefied the conscience of the 
whites that even now, forty years after the destruction of the 
system, they show but few signs of recovery from its baneful 
effects. It so twisted and perverted their moral conceptions 
that they cannot view rationally or with justice the simplest 
question affecting the manhood rights of the negro. 

This fact was demonstrated when President Roosevelt 
simply recognized the eminence and worth of a colored 
American citizen, in the person of Principal Booker T. Wash- 
ington, by inviting him to dinner. What was all the con- 
sequent furor, denunciation, and display of bad temper and 
worse judgment but the manifestation of the entailed, un- 
pitying consequences of the barbarism of slavery ? France 
honors a member of the colored race as a general in her 
army ; another has been vice-president of her Chamber of 
Deputies ; others occupy high stations in the life of the 
nation ; a number are in her leading schools. England's 
gracious sovereign, the late Queen Victoria, repeatedly enter- 
tained colored persons at breakfast or luncheon, extending, for 

10 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

instance, such courtesy to tlie whole company of the famous 
Fisk University Jubilee Singers ; but there was not a person 
in the whole British Empire who protested against it. 

The most powerful empei'ors, kings, and rulers of Europe 
have extended such courtesies without having public decency 
shocked or violated by ribald protestations. Prince Henry, 
the brother of the German Emperor, while on a visit to the 
United States, and when every minute of his time was at 
a premium, denying himself to many prominent people, 
especially commanded that the Hanipton Jubilee Singers, 
colored, be presented to him at the Waldorf- Astoi'ia Hotel. 
Such instances render the more pitiable, if not ridiculous, the 
spectacle that the South made of itself in regard to the Roose- 
velt-Washington dining incident. But this " may be set down 
to the not yet closed account of" the barbarism of slavery. 

This system of slavery, as it existed in the South, was as 
black as moral turpitude could make it. The fond words 
mother^ home, wnd family were devoid of their high and real 
meaning to the slave. For he lived, moved, and had his 
being in the ever-present, dismal, and benumbing shadow of 
the auction-block. His was a life approaching moral deso- 
lation ; a life in which the great moral incentives begotten 
of the ties, honor, and blessedness of the family life, blood, 
and name, were absent. There was next to nothing in the 
family life of the slave to inspire him to noble purpose and 
endeavor. There could be no legal marriage ; the constant 
separation of those who had entered into the marriage rela- 
tion, by the sale of either husband or wife, made this impos- 
sible. For the wife or husband, if sold every day in a week, 
could marry anew after each sale. 

Uncle Torns Cabin, that wonderful work of Mrs. Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, did not depict, nor even scarcely hint at, 
some of the grosser evils and barbarities of the system ; and 
yet the white South winces over it. These people should not 
be blamed for being so sensitive over Mrs. Stowe's incisive 

u 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

and luminous protrayal of the life and civilization of the 
South, although the worst was not told. Much in connection 
with the treatment of slaves and the raising of them for the 
home market was really unprintable. 

The buying and selling, the separation and breaking up of 
negro families were common all over the South. Neither age 
nor sex were rei^arded. The infant was snatched from the 
mother's arms ; the father and mother of a family were torn 
from each other ; they were sold, each in a different direction, 
never more to meet on earth. Strange, passing strange, that 
it never dawned on the white people of the South that 

" The black mother who rocks her boy- 
Feels in her heart all a mother's joy. " 

It is unquestionably true that there were good and humane 
masters. There were some, indeed, who were most consider- 
ate to their slaves ; and others who never even became recon- 
ciled to the system of slavery, but rather hated it to the end, 
and rejoiced at its destruction. But this was the exception, 
and did little to change the general conditions and lessen 
the evils inherent in the system. Neither Washington, the 
father of his country, nor Thomas Jefferson, the author of 
the Declaration of Independence, believed in human slavery ; 
Madison is credited with keeping the word slavery out of the 
Constitution ; while Mason, Tucker, Randolph, and others 
opposed the institution. 

Thomas Jefferson, the father of Democracy, both spoke 
and wrote against slavery. He foresaw that there would be 
a great national convulsion over it, and counselled its elimina- 
tion. He left on record these prophetic words, " Nothing is 
more certainly written in the book of fate than that these 
people shall be free."" The South did not take heed. If 
Thomas Jefferson were living to-day in the dawn of the twen- 
tieth century, with the immense strides of mankind taken 
since his time, he would tell the white people of the South 

12 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

that " nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate 
than that these people shall enjoy equal rights and privileges 
before the law.'' The white people may disregard the warn- 
ing now as they did under the slave regime, but infidelity to 
truth, justice, and good order, and the dragon teeth of un- 
righteousness and oppressive laws will bring a bitter harvest 
to their children, and may long plague the land. 

There were other Southerners, some notable ones, who from 
time to time, because of their conscientious scruples against 
human slavery, set their slaves free. Like Abraham Lincoln, 
their souls burned within them with righteous indignation 
against the unspeakable iniquities of the system ; and they 
sincerely felt that " no man was good enough to own another 
man." Some even left the South to avoid identification with 
the abominations of slavery, and took up their residence in 
the free North. Some sent their children by colored mothers 
North to be educated and to live, and also set the mothers 
free and removed them to the North as well. There were, 
and still exist, instances of tender and even affectionate regard 
between the master class and the slave class. Since emanci- 
pation there have been some of the master class who have 
been devotedly interested in the welfare of their former slaves, 
and have been both a help and a protection to them ; in 
some instances rescuing them from unjust treatment and the 
fury of lawless mobs. Nevertheless, the plain, unvarnished 
truth remains, that the great body of slave owners were either 
inconsiderate or cruel themselves, or put their slaves into the 
hands of heartless slave-drivers, overseers, and hard task- 
masters. And these made the life of the slaves a burden, 
grievous and hard to bear. 

Some apologists seek to gloss over the iniquities of this 
system and even give it a patriarchal tinge with divine virtues ; 
they would make it appear as though American slavery was 
established for the " benevolent assimilation '' of the African 
negro. It is true that the white men of the South did ac- 

13 



THE [AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

complish a large measure of "assimilation,"" the manifold evi- 
dences of which are to be seen in every city, town, village, 
and country district throughout the South ; but there are 
grave, very grave reasons for doubt as to the " benevolent '"* 
character of this " assimilation. "" What good the milder 
slavery actually did for the negro was in spite of its barbarity 
and was due to his great powers for absorbing civilization. 
Slavery was in no sense whatever a philanthropic or humani- 
tarian enterprise, but was developed and conducted on the 
low plane of avarice, greed, and bestiality. There seem to be 
no grounds on which it can be claimed that it was intended 
for the good of the negroes, who in their low estate were but 
chattels to be marketed and sold, and at their best were but 
as beasts of burden to toil and moil in order that the master 
class might live in comfortable ease and luxury. 

The wide-spread and brutal floggings on the bare body 
continued in some cases until the blood flowed ; the bathing 
in salt water to increase the agony ; the general use of blood- 
hounds, in some instances making them lacerate the flesh of 
the slaves to give them a taste for human blood and make 
them more ferocious and thus a greater terror to the slaves ; 
the devices for torture such as the stocks, the thumbscrew, 
the pillory ; and the varied methods of stringing up, — are 
some of the " fascinations "'"' and " beauties " of the slave''s life 
which the apologists of the system ignore. There are well 
authenticated cases of slaves being whipped to death, and of 
others dying from the effects of the floggings. But notwith- 
standing, to borrow the title of one of the beautiful planta- 
tion melodies, their " Hard Trials and Great Tribulations," 
the slaves continued to increase in numbers. 

They learned how to use the title of another of their sweet 
melodies, — to " Steal Away, Steal Aw ay, Steal Away to 
Jesus,"" and find strength, comfort, and sustaining help in 
every time of need. They seem also to have demonstrated 
that liberty is an instinct of the human heart ; for in the 

14 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

blackest hour of the long night of their gloomy bondage, 
they sang most gleefully and with joyous, hopeful hearts, 
another of their soul-inspiring melodies : 

" One of these days I shall be free. 
When Christ the Lord shall set me free. " 

This song was forbidden by the slave owners, because its 
spirit would tend to keep alive the thirst for liberty. It is 
but another illustration of the wisdom of the man who said : 
"Let me write the songs of a people, and I care not who 
may write their laws." 

The negroes hoodwinked the master class by humming the 
music of this particular song, while the words echoed and re- 
echoed deep down in their hearts with perhaps greater effect 
than if they had been spoken. These melodies were to them 
the Incarnation — God w ith them ; and to their keen and 
simple faith He seemed to be visible and tangible, ever 
present and ever blessed. These songs had a meaning and 
power which all men may appreciate, but which the negro 
alone could fully comprehend. Songs are the heart-language 
of a people ; and as the negro heart-language it is not sur- 
prising that these melodies should touch and melt human 
hearts the world over. Queens, emperors, and potentates 
of the Old World; the President in the White House; 
the most cultured and fashionable audiences everywhere 
have been moved and melted to tears by their rendition. 
Of a truth as a heart-language they are at once the in- 
terpretation and exemplification of that wondrous touch 
of nature " which makes the whole world kin."" In them 
was the secret of the sustaining power which enabled the 
negroes to weather the storms of their bitter afflictions and 
sing : — 

*' Nobody knows the trouble I see. 
Nobody knows but Jesus ; 
Nobody knows the trouble I see. 
Glory in ray soul. 

15 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

" I'm sometimes up, and sometimes down, 
O ! yes. Lord ! 

Sometimes almost to the ground, 
O ! yes, Lord ! 

*' Nobody knows the trouble I see. 
Nobody knows but Jesus ; 
Nobody knows the trouble I see. 
Glory in my soul ! " 

It was this " glory in the soul " that enabled them not only 
to withstand all the grinding experiences, tribulations, and 
bestiahties of the slave system, but even to flourish and mul- 
tiply. Only the strongest of races could have survived this 
wasting and agonizing strain of centuries. 

The following table shows the increase in slaves by 

decades : 

Year. Number of Slaves. 

1800 1,002,037 

1810 1,377,808 

1820 1,771,658 

lg30 2,328,642 

lg40 '.'.".'. 2,873,648 

ig^Q 3,638,808 



1860 



4,441,830 



A factor of great yet weird significance in Southern life 
may be referred to here. During all the years of slavery, 
the amalgamation of the races, though practically one-sided, 
was going on with ever-increasing pace. The overwhelming 
evidence of this widely diffused amalgamation which can 
never be blotted out was written and bleached indelibly in 
the faces and features of the servants in the dining-room, 
in the chambers, in the nurseries, in the sewing-rooms, in the 
laundries, in the kitchens, in care of horse and stables, of 
servant gardeners, messengers, and plantation hands; it 
was to be seen in servants in every sphere and vocation in 
Southern life. 

The white men of the South had endowed and were still 
endowing the negro slave with their best blood and greatest 

16 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

names. Some of these slave owners, be it said to their 
credit, did treat their own offspring of a negro mother with 
consideration. But the great body of these slave owners 
would sell their own offspring and their mothers, together or 
separately, without the least show of compunction of con- 
science. For a man to sell his own children and the mother 
of his children, even though they were not legitimate heirs 
at law, into a bondage where hope hardly abideth, is a mon- 
strous act of hard-heartedness. But such monstrous acts 
were common. 

These slave owners well knew to w^hat a horrible life their 
own daughters of negro mothers would be subjected, a life 
worse than death ; but this, too, was of little or no concern 
to them. The touching lines of Longfellow's "The Quad- 
roon GirP' are painfully illuminating on this point. 

In this connection, it may be remarked that an exceedingly 
strange phenomenon, and one that will require the utmost 
resources of the sociologists for a rational explanation, is 
that the white people of the South, who under the degrad- 
ing influences of the slave regime sold their own children 
and the negro mothers of their children into a bondage black, 
bitter, and brutalizing, are to-day, forty years after the de- 
struction of slavery, and under the benign light of a more 
advanced civilization, ostracizing and outlawing by legisla- 
lative acts and otherwise disfranchizing, lynching, and burn- 
ing at the stake their own children of negro mothers, and 
the children of their fathers and grandfathers and more 
remote ancestors. 

It is interesting to note, in connection with this thought, 
that the three colored persons — Principal Booker T. Wash- 
ington, who was invited to dine at the White House by the 
President ; Dr. William D. Crum, who was appointed col- 
lector of the port of Charleston, South Cai'olina ; and Mrs. 
Cox, the capable and accomplished postmistress at Indian- 
ola, Mississippi, who was driven from her position and vir- 
2 17 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

tuallv expelled from the town by a brutal and lawless mob 
of the much-vaunted superior whites — these three colored 
persons, bearing the verv best character, educated, cultured, 
propertv-owners, and in all the essentials of life superior 
to nianv white people of the South, — have actually more 
Caucasian than African blood in their venis. And not- 
withstanding wliich, their recognition by the President as 
American citizens tit to hold office threw the people of the 
South into hysterics, and brought about the most bitter 
denunciation of them and the President; and some South- 
ern whites have even publicly demanded their assassination. 
For lack of a more intelligent and plausible reason, this, 
too, " may be set down to the not yet closed account of" the 
barbarism of slaver v. 

As slaverv became more intrenched in the South, the op- 
position to 'it became more pronounced and determined in 
the North. The people of the North, having voluntarily set 
free their own slaves, were practically united against the 
institution of slaverv, or at least were uncompromisingly 
opposed to its further extension. Thus, the North and 
the South faced each other on the slavery question ; the 
South demanding an extension of the system, and the 
North its limitation, if not destruction. Robert Toombs 
of Georgia, a leading slave owner and statesman of the 
South, declared that he would never be contented "until 
he could call the roll of his slaves at the foot of Bunker 
Hill monument in Massachusetts." Slavery became the para- 
mount issue in national politics, in great religious bodies, 
social circles, at the fireside, everywhere. It was the all- 
absorbing subject. ^ n ^ A 
While many of the antislaverv leaders stood hrmly and 
unequivocally 'upon a broad foundation of liberty, humam- 
tarianism, ov the ethics of the gospel of Christ, yet it 
should not be overlooked that they were strongly urged by 
the tact that the slave labor at the South had already ex- 

18 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

erted a degrading influence on the white free labor at the 
North and was an ever-increasing menace to it. The white 
free labor of the North, in order to maintain its own dignity, 
and preserve its rewards, must perforce join in the crusade 
against slave labor at the South. This positive peril of the 
great masses of white toilers in the North being reduced to 
conditions approaching those of the slave in the South 
became a factor of great importance. Moreover, the aggres- 
sions and intolerance of Southern leaders and their plainly 
expressed contempt for the laborer greatly increased sectional 
animosities and augmented the ranks of the abolitionists. 

In the fierce and bitter conflict of words that arose, the 
South scored signal victories. 

It obtained the Missouri Compromise, but repudiated the 
compact when it served its interest to do so. 

It obtained the Fugitive Slave Law, which imposed on 
Northern white men, under heavy penalties, the duty of 
hounding down the fugitive slave, a fellow-man who was 
guilty of no crime save that of fleeing a bondage which was 
as black as midnight and more cruel than the grave. 

It obtained the Dred Scott decision from the Supreme 
Court of the United States. Chief Justice Taney, speaking 
for the Court, declared that negroes " had no rights which 
the white man was bound to respect." 

It obtained, through Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina, 
the silencing of slavery's greatest foe, and humanity's greatest 
advocate, Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, — not by argu- 
ment, but by blows of a loaded cane stealthily given on the 
floor of the United States Senate. 

Various counties in the State of South Carolina presented 
Brooks with gold-headed canes for his chivalrous f,nd gallant 
act of thus assaulting, in behalf of his State and people, a 
man who was unsuspectingly writing at his desk. 

It brought John Brown to the gallows, but " his soul goes 
marching on." 

19 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

The slaveholders were aggressively domineering. They 
seemed to be " spoiling for a fight,"" and yet they felt sure 
that there would be no fight. Was cotton not king ? Be- 
sides, the South controlled other great staples of the world's 
commerce, and millions of hardy and faithful slave laborers. 
This was the source of their confidence and the strength of 
their intolerance. 

Mr. Hammond of South Carolina, in the United States 
Senate on March 4, 1858, said : " Without firing a gun, 
without drawing a sword, should the North make war on us, 
we could bring the whole world to our feet. What would 
happen if no cotton was furnished for three years ? I will 
not stop to depict what every one can imagine, but this is 
certain, England would topple headlong and carry the whole 
civilized world with her. No, you dare not make war on 
cotton. No power on earth dares to make war on cotton. 
Cotton is King."" War did, however, go on for fou?' years, 
but England did not topple. 

These and other events of more or less national import 
crowding thick and fast on each other fired into a white-heat 
the two great sections of the country, the North and the 
South. When the memorable year of 1860 came, it found 
the nation a seething caldron of political, social, and relig- 
ious excitement. The time for the election of a President 
was at hand. "• The irrepressible conflict "" was on : it was 
to be a duel to the death between the pro-slavery and the 
antislavery forces. 

The forces of liberty and righteousness were triumphant. 
Is it too much to say that God sent confusion into the 
councils of the slaveholdi ng oligarchy, which, instead of nomi- 
nating one candidate who might easily have been elected, 
nominated four candidates and was defeated? 

" Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."" 

The course of events solidified the antislavery forces, and 
served to crystallize the antislavery sentiment. These forces 

20 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

and sentiment found expression through the Union Repub- 
lican party, — a new organization with potentiahties for 
achievements far beyond the ken of the men who stood spon- 
sors at its birth : a party born unto grand moral ideas, and 
reviving and holding fast to the fundamental principles of 
liberty, equality, fraternity, to which the republic was dedi- 
cated. This was a party whose supreme services to the 
nation and whose beneficent and lasting work for humanity 
and the cause of liberty, could hardly have been conceived by 
its founders. It was a party ordained of God not only to 
break the galling fetters of the slave, crowning him with 
manhood, and emancipating the conscience of the master, 
freeing him from blood-guiltiness, but also destined to lift 
the nation itself out of its circumscribed provincialism into 
the sphere of the broadest nationality, giving the republic a 
foremost place among the great nations of the earth. It 
was destined even to carry the blessings of liberty to other 
peoples and climes. Cuba and Porto Rico now rejoice, as 
the Philippines certainly will later on. 

The standard bearer of this party in this historic campaign, 
Abraham Lincoln, was raised up, equipped, and called to the 
Presidency of the republic, as providentially as Moses was 
called to lead Israel out of Egypt. He was the ideal man 
for the hour. 

The slaveholding oligarchy interpreted Lincoln's election 
to mean that their power was broken, their dominion over- 
thrown, and that the institution of slavery was no longer safe, 
within the Union. The reasoning was swift and direct. But 
slavery must be saved at any price ; if not in the Union, then 
out of it ; peacefully if possible, by war if necessary. It was 
but a step to the plunge into the dark abyss of secession. 
Secession and the founding of a great slaveholding empire, 
which had been an open threat for decades, now seemed im- 
minent. The clouds of war were gathering. The murmurs, 
rumblings, and heated utterances were so foreboding that it 

21 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

was deemed wise and prudent for President-elect Lincoln to 
go secretly a portion of the way from his State of Filinois to 
the seat of government at Washington, because of well- 
grounded fears of assassination. 

Lincoln's inaugural address was pacific, but firm. He de- 
clared that his most solemn obligation and paramount duty 
was to enforce the Constitution and preserve the Union. 
Whether the leaders of the South did, or did not commit 
treason when they took up arms and sought to overthrow the 
government of their country is not a part of this discussion. 
There seems to be no ground for doubt, however, that many 
who had taken the oath of office to uphold and defend the 
Constitution and government of the L^nited States were 
actively engaged in planning and plotting to overthrow the 
Constitution and to destroy the government to which they 
had plighted their word and honor. It is enough to say that 
the secession;of Southern States followed the inauguration of 
Lincoln. These leaders plunged the nation into the bloodi- 
est internecine conflict that history records. Amid the loud 
diapason of the cannonade the institution of human slavery 
went down forever, "and the government at Washington 
still lives." 

The storm and stress of the antislavery agitation devel- 
oped many magnificent characters who lend lustre and renown 
to the American name. Men and women of never dying fame, 
— Charles Sumner, John Brown, William Lloyd Garrison, 
Wendell Phillips, Dr. Gamaliel Bailey, Fred Douglass, Henry 
Highland Garnet, Lucre ti a Mott, Owen Lovejoy, Robert 
Morris, Ben Wade, Peter S. Porter, Henry Ward Beecher, 
John Greenleaf Whittier, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William 
Henry Furness, Henry Wadswoiih Longfellow, and others — 
gave intellectual and moral splendor and grandeur to the 
cause, and quickened and lightened up the smoldering con- 
science of the people. They shared the feelings and were 
inspired by the brave words of William Lloyd Garrison, who 

22 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

said : " I am in earnest, I will not equivocate, I will not 
excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard. 
I solicit no man's praise, I fear no man's censure. The 
liberty of a people is the gift of God and Nature. Neither 
God nor the world will judge us by our profession, but by 
our practices.'' 

In the great ti-ansformation which such persons wrought in 
public sentiment, they approach unto those, " who through 
faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained 
promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence 
of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were 
made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the 
armies of the aliens." 

Purely as a matter of history and not in a censorious spirit, 
it may be said that in the discussion of the prosecution of the 
war, the South can hardly escape free from blame for much 
that was rash, and some things that were needlessly cruel and 
inhuman. Its treatment of Union prisoners was often cruel, 
and sometimes deliberately and purposely so. The account of 
Andersonville, Libby, and other prison pens, where captured 
Union soldiers were held, disclosed an awful and most shock- 
ing story of their experiences and treatment. Mr. Blaine, in 
an address in Congress on this point, said : " I have read over 
the details of those atrocious murders of the Duke of Alva in 
the Low Countries, which are always mentioned with a thrill 
of horror throughout Christendom. I have read the details of 
the massacre of St. Bartholomew, that stand out in history as 
one of the atrocities beyond imagination. I have read anew 
the horrors untold and unimaginable of the Spanish Inquisi- 
tion. And I here before God, measuring my words, knowing 
their extent and import, declare that neither the deeds of 
the Duke of Alva in the Low Countries, nor the massacre of 
St. Bartholomew, nor the thumb-screws and engines of tor- 
ture of the Spanish Inquisition begin to compare in atrocity 
with the hideous crime of Andersonville." 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

The South's attitude towards colored soldiers and the white 
officers commanding them was indefensible. When a nation 
clothes a man with the uniform of its soldiers and puts a rifle 
into his hand, and sends him to the firing line, it is bound to 
protect him in all the rights of a soldier. To put a money 
reward on the head of white officers of colored troops, or 
to threaten to shoot or hang such soldiers, and shoot or 
punish their officers if captured is scarcely justifiable. The 
Confederate Congress enacted this extreme law : " That every 
white person, being a commissioned officer or acting as such, 
who, during the present war shall command negroes or mulat- 
toes in arms against the Confederate States, or who shall arm, 
train, organize, or prepare negroes or mulattoes for military 
service against the Confederate States, or who shall volun- 
tarily aid negroes or mulattoes in any military enterprise, 
attack, or conflict in such service, shall be deemed as inciting 
servile insurrection, and shall, if captured, be put to death or 
otherwise punished at the discretion of the Court." The law 
also provided for hanging or shooting colored soldiers cap- 
tured, or for selling them into slavery. 

But neither the colored soldiers nor white officers were 
daunted or terrified. The best exemplification of this is the 
favorite camp song of the Black Regiments, which ran in 
part as follows : — 

" Fremont he told us, when the cruel war begun. 
How to save the Union, and how it must be done ; 
But ' Old Kentuck' swore so hard, father ' Abe ' had his fears. 
And wondered what to do with the colored volunteers. 

" Jeif Davis said he 'd hang 'em if he should catch 'em armed. 
That 's a mighty bad thing, but they ain't at all alarmed ; 
First he 's got to catch 'em 'live, 'fore to hang is clear, 
And that 's what will save the colored volunteers. 

*' Then give us the flag all free without a slave. 
We '11 fight and defend it, as the fathers did so brave ; 
So, forward, boys, forward ! 't is the year of Jubilee ! 
God bless America, we '11 help to make her free. " 

24 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

The desecration of the body of Colonel Robert Gould 
Shaw was a dreadful mistake. This gallant young hero fell 
at the head of his black troops, the immortal 54th Massa- 
chusetts Regiment, on the parapet of Fort Wagner, near 
Charleston. When information was sought as to his body, 
the curt reply was : " He is buried with his niggers." 

Colonel Norwood P. Hallowell of the 55th Massachusetts 
Regiment, in an address before the Military Historical 
Society of Massachusetts, says: "The manner of Colonel 
Shaw's burial has been circumstantially related by two 
Confederate officers, — Major McDonald, Fifty-first North 
Carolina, and Captain H. W. Hendricks, — both of whom were 
present at the time. Colonel Shaw's body was stripped of 
all his clothing save his undershirt and drawers. This dese- 
cration of the dead was done by one Charles Blake and 
others. The body was carried within the fort and there 
exposed for a time. It was then carried without the fort 
and buried in a trench with the negroes." 

Colonel Shaw fell on July 18, 1863, and of him Colonel 
Hallowell further says : " Colonel Shaw was in the twenty- 
sixth year of his age, — how young it seems now ! — and had 
seen two years of hard service in the Army of the Potomac. 
His clean-cut face, quick, decided step, and singular charm 
of manner, full of grace and virtue, bespoke the hero. The 
immortal charge of his black regiment reads like a page of 
the Iliad or a story from Plutarch. I have always thought 
that in the great war with the slave power the figure that 
stands out in boldest rehef is that of Colonel Shaw. There 
were many others as brave and devoted as he, — the humblest 
private who sleeps in yonder cemetery or fills an unknown 
grave in the South is as much entitled to our gratitude, — 
but to no others was given an equal opportunity. By the 
earnestness of his convictions, the unselfishness of "his charac- 
ter, his championship of an enslaved race, and the manner of 
his death, all the conditions are given to make Shaw the best 

25 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

historical exponent of the underlying cause, the real meaning 
of the war. He was the fair type of all that was brave, 
generous, beautiful, and of all that was best worth fighting 
for in the war of the slave-holders' Rebellion." 

This recently made estimate of Colonel Shaw's character 
and place in history was shared by many notable Americans 
who were in the heat of the fray, some of whom have been 
gathered unto their fathers. 

Charles Sumner said : " I know no soldier''s death finer 
than that of a young commander, at the head of his men, on 
the parapet of an enemy's fort, which he had entered by 
storm." 

Thomas Hughes declared : " It was the grandest sepulchre 
earned by any soldier in this century." 

The New York Times said : " He was one of the young 
gentlemen whom this war has developed as a soldier and 
immortalized as a patriot and martyr. Of high social posi- 
tion, surrounded by everything to make life dear to him, he 
accepted the position of colonel of a colored regiment to help 
set at rest the question of respectability of that arm of the 
service." 

Charles A. Dana wrote to Colonel Shaw's parents : " From 
the first I have watched his career as a soldier with a tender 
presentiment that he was to fill a bright place among the 
martyrs of liberty. With the grief of my love for him and 
for you, there is mingled a noble consolation, a thrill of 
almost joy, especially when I remember that he died a leader 
of the outcast and the oppressed. Such a death of such a 
man would renew my faith if I had doubted concerning the 
end. God governs, and the lives of so many among the best 
of his children are not offered up in vain." 

Governor Andrew spoke of him in a message to the 
Massachusetts Legislature as " that gallant young American 
whose spotless life, whose chivalrous character, whose noble 
death there is no marble white enough to commemorate." 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

Henry Ward Beecher wrote from Europe, where he was 
upholding the cause of the Union : " I bear your burden 
with you and yours, and I cease not to bear all your pierced 
and sorrowing hearts to that wounded heart who consoles 
evermore with wonderful love and tenderness." 

John Lothrop Motley wrote : " When we all of us have 
been long gathered into the common granary, sculptors, 
painters, and poets will delight to reproduce that beautiful 
vision of undying and heroic youth, and eyes not yet created 
will dwell upon it with affection and pride." 

The New York World said : " The brutality which sought 
to wreak its vengeance upon the senseless clay of what had 
been a fearless foe, could not be more nobly chastised than it 
is by this lofty and living pride." 

This had reference to Colonel Shaw's father's statement : 
" Our darling son, our hero, has received at the hands of the 
rebels the most fitting burial possible. They buried him 
with his brave, devoted followers, who fell dead over him and 
around him. The poor, benighted wretches thought they 
were heaping indignities upon his dead body, but the act 
recoils on themselves, and proves them absolutely incapable 
of appreciating noble qualities. They thought to give addi- 
tional pang to the bruised hearts of his friends ; but we 
would not have him buried elsewhere if we could. If a wish 
of ours would do it, we would not have his body taken away 
from those who loved him so devotedly, with whom and for 
whom he gave his life." 

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote tenderly of him, and dedicated 
a poem to him, closing : — 

" So nigh is grandeur to our dust. 
So near is God to man, 
When duty whispers low, ' Thou must,* 
The youth replies, ' I can.' " 

James Russell Lowell said : " I would rather have my 
name known and blessed as his will be through all the hovels 

27 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

of an outcast race than blazing from all the trumpets of re- 
pute." And in a poem on the heroism of Colonel Shaw, 
Mr. Lowell also wrote: — 

" Brave, good, and true, 
I see him stand before me now. 
And read again on that young brow, 

Where every hope veas new. 
How stoeet were life! Yet, by the mouth firm set. 
And look made up for Duty's utmost debt, 

I could divine he knew 
That death within the sulphurous hostile lines 
In the mere wreck of nobly pitched designs 
Plucks heart's-ease, and not rue. 

" Happy their end 
Who vanish down life's evening stream 
Placid as swans that drift in dream 

Round the next river bend ! 
Happy long life, with honor at the close, 
Friends' painless tears, the softened thought of foes ! 

And yet, like him, to spend 
All at a gush, keeping our first faith sure 
From mid-life's doubt and eld's contentment poor, 

What more could Fortune send ? 

" Right in the van. 
On the red rampart's slippery swell. 
With heart that beat a charge, he fell 

Foe ward, as befits a man ; 
But the high soul burns on to light men's feet 
Where death for noble ends makes dying sweet." 

Why these splendid tributes to a young man not twenty- 
six years of age ? It was recognized that he was " the 
best historical exponent of the underlying cause, the real 
meaning of the war""; "the figure that stands out in bold 
relief,"" and dared all for liberty and country, justice and 
humanity. 

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, waving his sword on the par- 
apet of Wagner at the head of the 54th Massachusetts Regi- 
ment, thrust an idea and a force into the mighty conflict 

28 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

which neither side had reckoned on at the opening of hos- 
tilities, and which many competent to judge declared turned 
the balance of the scales. It brought to the Union arms 
about two hundred thousand colored soldiers, and as many 
more colored men employed in various lines of labor and 
service. 

When the war began, the South regarded the slaves as the 
strongest pillar of support in the Confederacy. These were 
to raise crops for feeding the armies, to build fortifications, 
to do other service in camp, and to care for the women and 
children. But as the war progressed, it developed that the 
negroes in the cotton fields, the rice swamps, the corn fields 
were quite a different factor from the negroes in uniform, 
with musket in hand and in battle aiTay. What the South 
counted its greatest strength was in fact its greatest weakness. 

The North was quick to seize the advantage. The negroes 
were equal to the emergency. " The grand historic moment 
which comes to a race only once in many centuries came to 
them, and they recognized it." The slaves were used most 
effectively against the masters. So that Colonel Shaw's 
larger service to his country and humanity was in demon- 
strating at a critical moment the availability and heroism of 
the negro as a soldier. It was at a time when the cause of 
the Union was wavering, and, as Colonel Hallowell says, 
" when volunteering had ceased, when the draft was a partial 
failure, and the bounty system a senseless extravagance."" 
While it is true that the negro had rendered invaluable ser- 
vices in the Revolutionary War, and later in the war of 
1812, yet practically, for three quarters of a century he had 
been under the lash of the heartless slave-driver, and had 
ceased to be an object of consideration except to a remnant 
of God-fearing philanthropists and courageous humanitarians. 
The organized government was his oppressor. 

It is just to say that Colonel Shaw gave to the colored 
race a new status. He brought to the race the habiliments 

29 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

of manhood, and the race crowned him with immortal fame. 
He was the first to lead the negroes in large numbers into the 
baptism of fire and to prove their mettle. Thenceforth 
neither the North nor the South doubted. Colonel Shaw 
himself was not without some realization of the magnitude 
and glory of his mission, for in a letter to the lady he was to 
wed, he wrote : " I shall feel that what I have to do is to 
prove that a negro can be made a good soldier. . . . There 
is great prejudice against it, but now that it has become a 
government matter, that will probably wear away. At any 
rate I sha'n't be frightened out of it by its unpopularity. 
I feel convinced that I shall never regret having taken this 
step.'' 

That he took great pride in his black troops and had full 
faith in their soldierly qualities may be evidenced by a letter 
he wrote of the first battle in which he led them against i}ie 
Confederates on James Island, Charleston Harbor, July 16, 
1863. He said : " You don't know what a fortunate day 
this has been for me and for all of us, excepting some poor 
fellows who were killed and wounded. General Terry sent 
me word he was highly gratified with the behavior of my 
men, and the officers and privates of other regiments praise 
us very much." He also wrote : " We hear nothing but 
praise of the 54th on all hands." 

Two days after this he led the charge on Fort Wagner, 
saying to his friends these brave words : " We shall take the 
fort, or die there. Good-by." 

His life blood was poured out on the soil of South Carolina 
and enriched it. His memory is a heritage to the nation. 

The Shaw School at Charleston for colored youths was 
named in honor of him. The Shaw University at Raleigh, 
North Carolina, a flourishing institution for colored pupils, 
also commemorates his memory. 

Harvard College has a bust of him in marble, carved by 
the colored artist Edmonia Lewis, once a slave, but now a 

30 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

sculptor in Italy ; and in Memorial Hall at Harvard there 
is also a life-size portrait of the hero of Fort Wagner. 

Massachusetts has erected a monument in bronze and 
marble, on the Boston Common, directly in front of her State 
Capitol to perpetuate his memory, and that of " his brave 
and devoted followers." The inscription, composed by Presi- 
dent Eliot of Harvard University, is as follows : — 

to the fifty-fourth of massachusetts 

regiment infantry 

the white officers 

taking life and honor in their hands cast in their lot with 
men of a despised race unproved in war and risked death 
as inciters of servile insurrection if taken prisoners. besides 
encountering all the common perils of camp march and battle. 

the black rank and file 

volunteered when disaster clouded the union cause. served 
without pay for eighteen months till given that of 
white troops. faced threatened enslavement if captured, 
were brave in action. patient under heavy and danger- 
ous labors. and cheerful amid hardships and privations. 

together 

they gave to the nation and the world undying proof that 
americans of african descent possess the pride courage and 
devotion of the patriot soldier. one hundred and eighty 
thousand such americans enlisted under the union flag in 
(m.d.c.c.c.lxiii-m.d.c.c.c.lxv) 

But above all Colonel Shaw will live in the hearts of all his 
countrymen who appreciate noble manhood and the virtues 
of heroism, and especially in the hearts of the multiplying 
millions of colored people whose value and power as citizens 
and as soldiers he first conspicuously and convincingly im- 
pressed on the nation. 

31 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Of Fort Wagner, Colonel N. P. Hallowell says: "It 
was armed with eighteen guns of various calibres, of which 
number fifteen covered the only approach by land, which was 
along the beach and was the width of scarcely half a company 
front in one place. This approach was swept not only by the 
guns of Wagner, but also by those of Battery Gregg on Cum- 
ming's Point, the very northern extremity of the Island, and 
by those of Sumter, and it was enfiladed by several heavily 
armed batteries on James and Sullivan Islands. Our Fifty- 
fourth Massachusetts (Colonel Shaw at the head) led the 
column. In quick time that devoted column went on to its 
destiny, heedless of the gaps made in its ranks by the relent- 
less fire of the guns of Wagner, of Gregg, of Sumter, of 
James and Sullivan Islands. AVlien within two hundred 
yards of the fort, the rebel garrison swarmed from the 
bomb-proof to the parapet, and to the artillery was added 
the compact and destructive fire of fourteen hundred rifles at 
two hundred yards' range, a storm of solid shot, shells, grape, 
canister, and bullets, the two hundred yards were passed, the 
ditch was crossed, the parapet was gained, and the State and 
National Colors planted thereon." 

The bearer of the State flag was killed and it fell into the 
fort, and its possession brought about one of the fiercest hand 
to hand struggles witnessed during the war. As the bearer 
of the national flag was killed, Sergeant William H. Carney 
sprang forward and grasped the flag. His valor was attested 
by wounds in both legs, in the breast, and the right arm. He 
won cheers from his comrades by shouting : " The old flag 
never touched the ground." 

Lewis H. Douglass, the son of Fred Douglass, was praised 
by both white and colored for great heroism. He was among 
the first to mount the parapet, and shouted : " Come on, boys, 
and fight for God and Governor Andrew." Captain C. J. 
Russell and W. H. Sim kins were especially mentioned among 
the brave officers killed. Among the officers wounded were 

32 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

Lieutenant-Colonel E. N. Hallowell ; Captains Appleton, 
Jones, Willard, and Pope; Adjutant James; Lieutenants 
Homans, Smith, Pratt, Tucker, and Emerson. Lieutenant 
Emerson sheathed his sword, picked up a musket of a fallen 
comrade, and used it effectively. 

Private George Wilson was shot through both shoulders 
and yet refused to go to tlie rear. 

Captain Emilio, and Lieutenant-Colonel E. N. Hallowell, 
in turn, succeeded Colonel Shaw in command. 

Colonel N. P. Hallowell also says: "The regiment went 
into action with twenty-two officers and six hundred and fifty 
enlisted men. Fourteen officers were killed or wounded. 
Two hundred and fifty-five enlisted men were killed or 
wounded. Prisoners, not wounded, twenty. Total casual- 
ities, officers and men, two hundred and sixty-nine, or forty 
per cent. The character of the wounds attests the nature of 
the contest. There were wounds from bayonet thrusts, sword 
cuts, pike thrusts, and hand grenades ; and there were heads 
and arms broken and smashed by the butt-ends of muskets." 

General Hagood, the Confederate commander of the fort 
said : " It was a dearly purchased compliment to let them 
lead the assault. Their Colonel Shaw was killed upon the 
parapet, and the regiment almost annihilated.'' Lieutenant 
Iredel Jones, another Confederate officer, said: "The 
negroes fought gallantly and were headed by as brave a 
colonel as ever lived. He mounted the breastworks waving 
his sword, and at the head of his regiment, and he and a 
negro orderly sergeant fell dead over the inner crest of the 
works. The negroes were as fine looking a set as I ever 
saw — large, strong, muscular fellows.'' 

General Strong — who, with the approval of General Sey- 
mour, offered the place of honor to Colonel Shaw and his 
men in leading the attack on Wagner — rode up to the 
regiment just before the assault and encouraged them, say- 
ing : " Boys, I am a Massachusetts man, and I know you 
2 33 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

will fight for the honor of the State. I am sorry you must 
go into the fight tired and hungry/' They had marched all 
night previously in a thunder-storm and had covered six 
miles that afternoon, subsisting scantily on the hard tack and 
coffee carried in their haversacks. 

As a matter of history it must be stated that colored 
regiments had already been formed in South Carolina, in 
Louisiana, and in Kansas, and had been under fire, but on a 
comparatively small scale as yet, and had attracted little 
attention in the Northern mind. The First South Carolina 
Volunteers, under Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 
was the first colored regiment in the field. 

The enlistment of Colonel Shaw's regiment was accom- 
panied with grave apprehension, and John A. Andrew, the 
great war Governor of Massachusetts, voiced his deep concern 
in presenting the colors. Many prominent people were pres- 
ent. Governor Andrew said : " My own personal honor, 
if I have any, is identified with yours. I stand or fall as a 
man and a magistrate with the rise and the fall in the history 
of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. I know not, sir, when 
in all human history to any given one thousand men in arms 
there has been permitted a work at once so proud, so pre- 
cious, and so full of hope and glory as the work committed 
to you. And may the infinite mercy of the Almighty God 
attend you every hour of every day through all the experi- 
ences and vicissitudes of that dangerous life in which you 
have embarked. 

" May the God of our fathers cover your head in the day 
of battle. This flag, sir, has connected with its history the 
most touching and sacred memory. It comes to your regi- 
ment from the mother, sister, and family relations of one of 
the dearest and noblest soldier boys of Massachusetts. I need 
but utter the name of Lieutenant Putnam in order to excite 
in every heart the tenderest emotions of fond regard or the 
strongest feelings of patriotic fire.'' 

34 



SLAVERY AND ITS ABOLITION 

Happily indeed for the colored race, and for the republic, 
the soldier boys of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment not 
only met, but surpassed the highest expectations of friends, 
and put to confusion doubters, critics, and detractors. 

Mr. Ezra A. Cook, now a publisher at Chicago, but then 
on the firing line says : " The bravery of this colored regi- 
ment was so conspicuous as to revolutionize the sentiment of 
the Federal soldiers, a majonty of whom had been opposed 
to the colored soldiery up to that time. Those who had the 
most fiercely denounced their employment previously, after 
this assault expressed pleasure at being put into the same 
brigade with the colored troops.""* 

Fort Wagner opened a new epoch in American history. 
It changed the thought and current of national life. It 
showed and sanctified the chattel slave — a Man. 

It only remains to be said that the broad mantle of charity 
now covers all these harrowing events. The experience was 
bitter, terrible ; the cost, staggering. But they are thought 
of now only as matters of history. The lessons they teach, 
however, are not to be minimized or forgotten by either the 
North or the South. But the Civil War is a thing of the past. 
It should be and is regarded as a by-gone event. No South- 
erner is judged to-day by the part he took in it. So is slav- 
ery a by-gone condition. There is and can be no place in 
the life and government of this great republic for the retain- 
ment of its barbarous traditions and brutal ideals. It would 
make for the peace and well-being of the nation for the white 
people of the South to come to this realization. The God of 
the univei-se made the negro a man. The nation clothed 
him with citizenship. His services in peace and in war con- 
firm unto him every right of an American. 

Let the white people of the South cease to live in the past, 
and rather let them profit by the awful lesson with all its 
solemn and bitter warnings, that — 

35 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

" Long trains of ills may pass unheeded, dumb, 
But vengeance is behind and justice is to come. " 

Let them with conscience void of offence toward God and 
man face the future, and, " forgetting the things which are 
behind, and looking forward to the things which are before," 
let them establish law and order and demonstrate their 
capacity for self-government by working out a government 
which shall bestow no special favors or privileges on men 
because God made them white ; and which shall do no injus- 
tice to men because God made them black. 

Then indeed shall righteousness set up her habitations; 
truth and justice shall be ein throned ; and civilization, Chris- 
tianity, and government in the Southland shall stand redeemed, 
regenerated, and disenthralled — a glory forever. 



36 



CHAPTER II 

RECONSTRUCTION AND THE 
SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE " 

THE close of the war was followed by the era of 
Reconstruction. The war suppressed the rebellion; 
reconstruction brought forth order out of the result- 
ing chaos. 

This era of Reconstruction witnessed the issue of the 
Proclamation of Amnesty by President Johnson, which 
pardoned all who took part in the rebellion, except a few 
thousands who held high civil or military or diplomatic 
positions before and during the war, and made provision that 
even these could obtain pardon by the mere asking for it and 
swearing allegiance to the Constitution and Government of 
the United States. This period also witnessed the enactment 
of the " Black Code "" by the legislatures of the seceding 
states ; the enactment by the Congress of the United States 
of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to 
the Constitution ; the overthrow of the "Black Code;"" the 
final annihilation of the institution of human slavery in the 
South ; the fixing forever the status of American citizenship ; 
the rehabilitation of the seceding states, and the resumption 
of their autonomy in the Union ; the mustering out and re- 
turn to their homes and the marts of trade of more than 
a million " citizen soldiers,"" 200,000 of them colored, crowned 
with glory and honor, who counted it not dear unto them- 
selves to offer their lives a willing sacrifice on the altar of 
their country, and who, by their deeds of valor and heroic 
sacrifices, smothered the rebellion, preserved the republic from 
dismemberment, and vindicated the sovereignty of the nation. 

The era of Reconstruction was fraught with gravest solici- 
tude and crowded with vital, complicated, vexatious, and 
far-reaching issues : issues that not only affected the status, 

37 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

liberty, and rights of the colored people, but were of equally 
supreme importance to the republic and to constitutional 
government, and in fact of greatest concern to the whole 
human family, since it seemingly involved the matter of the 
life or death of the experiment of self-government by the 
people. 

It was an era which tried men's souls. Fortunately for 
the republic and the vast and far-reaching interests at stake, or 
hanging in the balance, there were at the helm and standing 
guard on the deck of the " Old Ship of State " men trained 
in self-mastery and self-restraint ; men rooted and grounded 
in the principles of liberty and republican government ; men 
responsive to the dictates of humanity and Christianity, 
sympathetic and charitable ; men who faced with calmness 
and composure the passions within their own councils and the 
defiance hurled at them from the South ; men broad in 
learning and culture ; men with a genius for statecraft and 
masters in statesmanship ; men who saw and knew the right 
and dared to do it. 

In the foundation of the republic, as laid by the fathers, 
there was one radical, vital defect, which has ever remained a 
peril to the majestic structure of liberty and self-government 
which they built so well. It was the rotten stone of human 
slavery, — an ever present challenge and reproach to the 
Declaration of Independence, and always a menace to the 
peace and perpetuity of American institutions. 

The leaders of the Reconstruction era dug out this rotten 
stone, and replaced it with indestructible foundation-stone : 
Equality of rights for all men before the law — the only safe 
and enduring foundation for the Temple of Liberty. Thus 
they crystallized into law the most glorious sentiment of the 
ages: "A government conceived in liberty and dedicated to 
the principle that all men are created equal.'"* In placing 
the republic squarely, solidly, and for all time on this broad 
foundation, " which time cannot wither, nor age decay,"" they 

38 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE'' 

conserved the liberties won and progress achieved in centuries 
of struggles, and revived the drooping hopes of mankind by 
making it positive that " this nation, under God, shall have 
a new birth of freedom."'* Unholy is the hand that would 
remove this foundation-stone, hewn of Heaven, making all men 
equal under the law of the land, as they are equal under the 
law of nature and nature's God ! Vile is the tongue that 
would assault the temple of the nation's liberty and the 
world's hope built thereon ! 

The white people of the South, wherever dominated in the 
main by unbalanced, superheated leadership, have been 
wrought into a frenzy, — a frenzy dangerous to themselves 
and to the best interests of their fair land ; dangerous to 
civilization and to the peace and prosperity of the nation. 
Reason, common-sense, and the nobler instincts of humanity 
seem to have left them for the time. Primarily, this is 
due to the influences begotten of the barbarism incident to 
the institution of human slavery ; for the barbarism of slavery 
has not even yet exacted its last penalty. 

The nation accepted and nurtured slavery, and it is still 
suffering the consequences of its noxious poisons. Let the 
nation be warned of the more serious consequences which 
would follow the obliteration of the liberty and hope of the 
colored people, and the consignment of them to practical 
serfdom. It is an adage hoary with age that " the dancers 
must pay the fiddlers." Great wrongs are sure to bring great 
retributions. But it ought to be plain to every one, includ- 
ing the white people of the South, that the ideals and 
standards of the defunct slaveholding oligarchy can never 
again prevail in this land over the holy principles of liberty 
and free institutions. 

The violent Southern leaders trace their grievances back 
to the events of the Reconstruction era. They make many 
misleading and mischievous declarations about the " damn- 
able crime " committed on the white people of the South by 

39 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

giving the negro the ballot, and restoring to him the rights 
of " life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,"' the heritage 
of every human being. They exercise extraordinary care, 
however, to omit absolutely all reference to the causes and 
conditions which made negro suffrage a possibility, namely : 

First, the war which the South waged against the nation 
in its desperate struggles for four years to rend and destroy 
it. 

Second, the enactment by Southern legislatures — com- 
posed entirely of ex-Confederates, after the war had closed, 
and the white people of the South were given an absolutely 
free hand under the proclamation of President Johnson to 
reconstruct their respective States — of the " Black Code,'' 
the most barbarous series of laws ever written by a civilized 
people. 

Third, the flat, defiant refusal of the white people of many 
Southern states to reconstruct their state governments in 
harmony with the changed conditions produced by the war, 
as embodied in the Proclamation of Emancipation and the 
Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United 
States, which abolished slavery. 

Fourth, the curt and indignant refusal of the white people 
of some Southern states even to participate in such recon- 
struction unless they were permitted to have their own way 
in re-establishing a new form of slavery, — to be in some 
respects even worse than the system which the war had 
overthrown. 

But if a crime was committed on the white people of the 
South, there must have been criminals who committed the 
crime. Who were these criminals? Among the great 
leaders of this era who had more or less to do in formulating 
and completing the measures of reconstruction, there may be 
mentioned, without any attempt at invidious distinction, 
Charles Sumner, Henry Winter Davis, William Pitt Fessen- 
den, Benjamin F. Wade, Henry Wilson, Lyman Trumbull, 

40 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

James G. Blaine, George S. Boutwell, Zachary Chandler, 
James A. Garfield, N. P. Banks, Lot M. Morrill, Roscoe 
Conkling, John Sherman, James W. Grimes, Ira P. Harris, 
Jacob M. Howard, Thaddeus Stevens, Elihu B. Washburn, 
Justin S. Morrill, John A. Bingham, Henry T. Blow, 
George F. Edmunds, Oliver P. Morton, Schuyler Colfax, 
Benjamin F. Butler, H. L. Dawes, W. B. Washburn, W. D. 
Kelley, Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Shellabarger, James 
M. Ashley, S. M. Cullom, John A. Logan, Thomas W. 
Ferry, W. B. Allison, Ignatius Donnelly, Philetus Sawyer, 
William Windom, G. M. Dodge, William Lawrence, C. C. 
Washburn, John A. Kasson, Russell Thayer, George F. 
Hoar, James Harlan, Matt. H. Carpenter, Hannibal Hamlin, 
Carl Schurz, Eugene Hale, O. D. Conger, Timothy O. Howe, 
and Noah Davis. Here is a roster of American statesmen 
the equal of any that ever faced a great crisis in the history 
of the nation. Shall the memory of these men and their 
compeers rest under the black imputation of criminality ? 
What serious citizen would think of mentioning in the same 
breath these devoted patriots, well-poised and self-contained, 
with the leaders like Tillman, Money, McHenery, Vardaman, 
not to mention " Tray, Blanche, and Sweet-heart," et al., 
who to-day seek to dominate the fair Southland? 

The Northern leaders of this era were supported in every 
step taken by the great commanders who suppressed the 
rebellion : Generals Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Hooker, 
Howard, Hartranft, Chamberlain, Cox, Burnside, Meade, 
Miles, Hawley, Gresham, Anderson, Thomas, Birney, and 
their comrades of the land forces, and Admirals Farragut 
and Porter and others of the naval forces. The movement 
was also supported by the great leaders of public sentiment 
in the nation, headed by Henry Ward Beecher ; the whole 
being reinforced by the twenty millions of loyal Americans 
who willingly contributed the treasure and blood which 
saved the Union and emancipated the slave. 

41 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

If the Northern civil leaders of this era were criminals, or com- 
mitted a crime against the South, then the great commanders 
of the army and navy and the vast majority of the people of 
the loval States were sharers in the crime. In such a case 
virtue and patriotism resided only with the men who used 
their might and main to destroy the republic, and after- 
wards to re-establish slavery. To lay the taint of criminality, 
directly or indirectly, by inference or otherwise, on the 
leaders of reconstruction, the saviors of the republic, the 
master builders who launched it on its " new birth of free- 
dom '' — is in itself a shocking offence to the patriotic citizen. 
Within a brief period General Sherman has been referred to 
by Southern leaders as the " brute who burned Columbia,'' 
and General Canby as the *' scoundrel who fastened carpet- 
bag government on the Carolinas ; " John Brown as " an old 
fanatic and murderer,'' and General Sherman's army as 
composed of " chicken thieves, robbers, bums, and the scum 
and filth of Northern cities," who preyed on the people of 
the South. 

These charges are false. The memory of the great states- 
men and leaders of the Reconstruction era, and as well the 
brave men who risked all on land and sea to save the 
nation s life, lies embalmed in the hearts of a grateful and 
loyal people, and should be held as a sacred legacy, free from 
detraction and defamation. They not only did not commit 
a crime against the white people of the South, but on the con- 
trary displayed a gracious magnanimity and generosity in 
deahng with the people of that section ; and in handling the 
delicate, perplexing issues of their day, they showed a con- 
servatism that is unmatched in recorded history. Gen- 
erously they offered the olive branch of peace and good- will ; 
but the South rejected it with scorn and contempt. 

Says Mr. Blaine, in his "Twenty Years of Congress " : "A 
great opportunity was now given to the South. Only a few 
weeks before, they had all been expecting harsh treatment, 

4^ 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE^' 

many, indeed, anticipated punishment, not a few were de- 
jectedly looking forward to a life of exile and want. The 
Pi'esident's policy, which had been framed for him by Mr. 
Seward, changed all this. Confidence took the place of 
apprehension, the fear of punishment was removed, those 
who, conscious of guilt, had been dreading expatriation 
were bidden by the supreme authority of the nation to stay 
in their own homes and to assist in building up the waste 
and desolate places. Never in the history of the world had 
so mighty a rebellion been subdued ; never had any rebel- 
lion been followed by treatment so lenient, forgiving, and 
generous on the part of the triumphant government. The 
great mass of those who had resisted the national authority 
were restored to all their rights of citizenship by the simple 
taking of an oath of future loyalty, and those excepted from 
immediate reinstatement were promised full forgiveness on 
the slightest exhibition of repentance and good works,""* And 
this before the ballot was given to the colored people and 
before the nation was ripe for its bestowal. 

For a clearer understanding of this matter it may be well 
to explain here that there were three distinct efforts at 
reconstruction : 

First : the effort at reconstruction during the war, directed 
by President Lincoln. 

Second : the attempt at reconstruction immediately after 
the close of the war, directed by President Johnson, who suc- 
ceeded Lincoln after the latter's assassination. 

Third : reconstruction proper, when the Congress took 
the whole matter in hand, and not rashly or hastily, but 
after serious and extended deliberations, full and free debates 
in both Houses, and repeated endorsements by the people at 
elections, covering a period of over five years from the 
adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution 
to the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment, brought to a 
righteous and irrevocable settlement all of the pressing, com- 

43 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

plex, and absorbing questions involved in the war, in slavery, 
and in our constitutional government. 

As indicating the easy stages and progression of recon- 
struction legislation, it may be stated that the Thirteenth 
Amendment was passed by the Congress January 30, 
1865 ; the enlargement of the powers of the Freedmen's 
Bureau, July, 1865 ; the Act protecting the civil rights of the 
colored people, April 9, 1866; the Fourteenth Amendment, 
June 13, 1866; the famous Reconstruction Act, March 
2, 1867 ; and the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified March 
30, 1870. 

We will now consider these three attempts at reconstruc- 
tion, in the order named. 

At the very opening of hostihties President Lincoln 
adopted the eminently sagacious and statesmanlike policy of 
cultivating, by every possible means and concessions, the 
friendship and loyalty of those slave states and parts of 
slave states bordering on the free states, including Mary- 
land, West Virginia, East Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri. 
By his wonderful tact and strategy he succeeded in hold- 
ing them from open revolt against the Union, although 
the great body of their citizens sympathized with the Con- 
federacy. This policy was invaluable, in that it nerved the 
loyalists in the South, kept many hesitating ones in line, 
brought valuable support to the Union arms, kept up 
representation from some of the slave states in Congress, and 
thus maimed the Confederacy. In furtherance of his policy 
to reconstruct the seceding states so far as possible and 
encourage the loyalists and hamper the Confederacy, he 
issued a proclamation to the effect that, in any state where 
ten righteous men out of a hundred could be found, — where 
" one tenth of the legal voters " were loyal to the Union, — 
they might reconstmct and reorganize the state government, 
and that such government would be recognized. Military 
commanders were instructed, wherever feasible, to assist 

44 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

and even to take the initiative in reconstructing such 
governments. 

The state of Virginia adopted its ordinance of secession on 
the 17th of April, 1861. And in less than a month after- 
wards, on the 13th of May, the loyalists of the Old Domin- 
ion, residents largely of the western part of the state, met at 
Wheeling, and " denounced the ordinance of secession and 
pledged their loyalty to the national government and their 
obedience to its laws." It was but a little more than a month 
later that a delegated convention met, reconstructed the 
state government by the election of the usual officers, and 
senators and representatives were sent to Congress and were 
admitted ; and the reconstructed government of Virginia was 
recognized as the legal government of the state. But as the 
loyalists were domiciled almost entirely in the western section 
of the state and had no control or power outside of that sec- 
tion — the remainder of the state, and the great body of the 
people being hopelessly in the Confederacy, — the claim that 
they really represented the state of Virginia did not seem, as 
time went on, to be wholly tenable or satisfactory. So the 
loyalists went through the usual form and organized a new 
state, and there rose phoenix-like the progressive, prosperous, 
and rapidly developing commonwealth of West Virginia — 
which thus owes her existence as a sovereign state to the 
loyalty of her sons to the republic in this great crisis. 

And so it came to pass that Virginia, the historic Old 
Dominion, in her gigantic efforts through her masterful Lee, 
her chivalric *' Stonewall " Jackson, her redoubtable Johnson 
and Johnston, and her fighting legions, ever ready for the 
fray, was the most important factor in the attempt to dis- 
member the Union ; but she alone, of all the states of the 
Confederacy, was dismembered. Much of the hardest fight- 
ing and wear and waste of war was on her soil ; she probably 
lost a larger proportion of her sons ; and the loss by the 
" partition " which carved out of her territory the great state 

45 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

of West Virginia probably represents a greater money value 
to-day than was placed on all the slaves in the South at the 
outbreak of the war. Is not this an impressive retribution ? 

The policy of reconstruction under Lincoln was also ap- 
plied to Tennessee with such good recompense that one of 
her loyal sons, Andrew Johnson, was nominated for Vice- 
President by the Republican convention in 1864 Efforts at 
reconstruction were also made under his direction in Louisi- 
ana, with promising results, and in Arkansas and Florida 
with tentative though not very substantial results. To 
Governor Hahn of the reconstructed government of Louisiana, 
Lincoln wrote in March, 1864, advising that the ballot should 
be given to the colored men : " Let in, as for instance, the 
very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gal- 
lantly in our ranks. They would probably help in some try- 
ing time in the future to keep the jewel of liberty in the 
family of freedom." 

This was probably the first utterance from a responsible 
source in favor of bestowing the ballot on the colored people 
of the South. It shows to splendid advantage Lincoln's great 
and noble heart. For the war was still in progress and des- 
tined to last, no one knew how long. It did continue for 
over a year longer. Lincoln's renomination and re-election 
were hanging in the balance. Serious reverses in the field 
might have defeated either or both. He was far in advance 
of the public opinion of the nation. For at this time it was 
not at all likely that a single Northern state could have been 
carried on the simple question of negro suffrage. Yet he 
plainly, positively, unmistakably indicated suffrage for the 
colored man as a part of his policy in reconstructing the 
Southern states. His generous nature, his great and noble 
heart, would have it known that the colored men " who have 
fought gallantly in our ranks '' can be trusted to " help in 
some trying time in the future to keep the jewel of liberty in 
the family of freedom." 

46 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

These words of Lincoln are dwelt upon because they are of 
deep significance and add to our opinion of his greatness, his 
fame, when it is considered that the validity of the Emanci- 
pation Proclamation was at that time a much debated ques- 
tion. Many strong and learned loyal men in the North 
doubted the legal right or power of the President alone, even 
as a war measure, to destroy or confiscate property by pro- 
clamation, especially when that property was beyond the 
control of the government. The slaves were at that time 
property ; they were also, with unimportant exceptions, with- 
in the bounds of the Confederacy and beyond the control of 
the government. Could the President alone, by mere proc- 
lamation, legally destroy and confiscate property which his 
government did not possess ? Would Congress, the people, 
and the Supreme Court finally sustain him ? 

This question, pressed by influential sources in the North, 
weighed heavily on Lincoln. But he was equal to this, as 
he was to every emergency in the greatest conflict in history. 
He found strength and comfort in the "higher law" that 
" the negro was a man, and that no man was good enough to 
own another man and appropriate the fruits of his labor." 
And there was the feeling "that slavery drew the sword 
against the nation and that it should perish by the sword." 
To the realization of this " higher law " he hoped to bring 
the nation. 

So important and pressing was this question that Lincoln 
dealt with it in his message to the Congress in December, 
1864. In this message the President said : " While I remain 
in my present position I shall not attempt to retract or 
modify the Emancipation Proclamation. Nor shall I return 
to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that Proc- 
lamation or by any of the Acts of Congress. If the people 
should, by whatever mode or means, make it an executive 
duty to re-enslave such persons, another, and not I, must be 
their instrument to perform it." 

47 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Here is more than a veiled threat, it is an open defiance. 
Lincoln had just been re-elected to the presidency in No- 
vember, a month before the message was sent to Congress; 
and he distinctly tells Congress and the people that he would 
give up the presidency rather than relinquish the principles 
of his Emancipation Proclamation ; that he would resign his 
office rather than " return to slavery any person who is free 
by the terms of that proclamation or by any of the Acts of 
Congress."' 

Up to this date the Emancipation Proclamation was the only 
charter of liberty for the colored people in the South ; and 
the all-important point is, that Lincoln regarded this as suflS- 
cient to enable the negroes to wear the uniform of a United 
States soldier, to be commissioned as officers, to be treated 
the same as white soldiers, to be protected as prisoners of 
war, to have common rights, and to vote at the ballot-box. 

President Lincoln's deep solicitude for the colored soldiers, 
his profound interest in them, his unqualified respect for and 
appreciation of their invaluable services, and his determina- 
tion that they should receive their full mete of justice, are 
made manifest in his state papers, public addresses and letters. 
In his message to Congress in December, 1863, less than a 
year after the first enlistment of colored soldiers, he said: 
" Full one hundred thousand of them are now in the United 
States military service, about one half of which number actu- 
ally bear arms in the ranks, thus giving the double advantage 
— of taking so much labor from the insurgents' cause and 
supplying the places which otherwise might be filled with 
so many white men."" In a speech at Baltimore, April 18, 
1864, he said : " Upon a clear conviction of duty, I resolved 
to turn that element of strength to account ; and I am re- 
sponsible for it to the American people, to the Christian 
world, to history, and on my final account to God. Having 
determined to use the negro as a soldier, there is no way but 
to give him all the protection given to any other soldier." 

48 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

In a letter of April 4, 1864, he says : "More than a year 
of trial now shows no loss by it in our foreign relations, none 
in our home popular sentiment, none in our white military 
force, — no loss by it anyhow or anywhere. On the contrary, 
it shows a gain of quite a hundred and thirty thousand sol- 
diers, seamen, and laborers. These are palpable facts, about 
which, as facts, there can be no cavilling. We have the men, 
and we could not have them without the measure," — meaning 
the Emancipation Proclamation. At a public meeting in 
Baltimore he said : " The black soldier shall have the same 
protection as the white soldier." 

He threatened retaliation, should the Confederates shoot 
black soldiers when captured, instead of treating them as 
prisoners of war. He refused to exchange a single Confed- 
erate soldier until colored soldiers were recognized by the 
Confederate government. Again, in a public address he de- 
clared : " Negroes, like other people, act from motives. Why 
should they do anything for us, if we do nothing for them ? 
If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by 
the strongest of motives, even the promise of freedom. And 
the promise, being made, must be kept." 

In a general order, issued July 30, 1863, Lincoln said: 
"It is the duty of every government to give protection to its 
citizens, of whatever class or color or condition, and especially 
to those who are duly organized as soldiers in the public ser- 
vice. . . . The government of the United States will give the 
same protection to all its soldiers ; and if the enemy shall sell 
or enslave any one because of his color, the offence shall be 
punished by retaliation upon the enemy's prisoners in our pos- 
session. It is therefore ordered that for every soldier of the 
United States killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel 
soldier shall be executed ; and for every one enslaved by the 
enemy, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the 
public works." 

In defence of the Emancipation Proclamation in a letter,. 
^ 49 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

August 26, 1863, he said : " You are dissatisfied with me 
about the negro. Quite likely there is a difference of opin- 
ion between you and myself upon that subject. I certainly 
wish that all men could be free. . . . You dislike the Eman- 
cipation Proclamation. . . . You say it is unconstitutional. 
I think differently ; I think the Constitution invests its Com- 
mander-in-Chief with law of war in time of war. . . . The 
slaves are property ; ... by the law of war property, both 
of the enemies and friends, may be taken when needed. 
Armies, the world over, destroy enemies'* property when they 
cannot use it, and even destroy their own to keep it from the 
enemy. . . . But the Proclamation, as law, either is valid or 
is not valid. If it is not valid, it needs no retraction. If it 
is valid, it cannot be retracted, any more than the dead can 
be brought to life. . . . The Emancipation policy and the 
use of colored troops constitute the heaviest blows yet dealt 
to the Rebellion.'' 

Replying to an address from the workingmen of Man- 
chester and London, England, who wished him success in 
conquering the rebellion, as by it slavery would be destroyed, 
and indicated their willingness to bear with patience all pri- 
vations and sufferings, — for not only great hardships but even 
starvation faced many in England, owing to the fact that the 
blockade of Southern ports prevented the shipment of cot- 
ton, — Lincoln said : " It has been often ostentatiously rep- 
resented that the attempt to overthrow this government, 
which was built upon the foundation of human rights, and to 
substitute for it one which should rest exclusively on the 
basis of human slavery, was likely to obtain favor in Europe. 
I cannot but regard your decisive utterance upon the ques- 
tion as an instance of sublime Christian heroism, which has 
not been surpassed in any age or country. It is indeed an 
energetic and reinspiring assurance of the inherent power of 
truth and the universal triumph of justice, humanity, and 
freedom.'' 

50 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

To a Western delegation he said : " There are now in the 
service of the United States nearly 200,000 able-bodied colored 
men, most of them under arms defending and acquiring Union 
territory. The Democratic strategy demands that those forces 
be disbanded, and that the masters be conciliated by restor- 
ino- them to slavery. The black men who now assist Union 
prisoners to escape are to be converted into our enemies in 
the vain hope of gaining the good-will of their masters. . . . 
Abandon all the forts now garrisoned by black men ; take 
200,000 from our side and put them in the battle-field or 
corn-field against us, and v.e would be compelled to abandon 
the war in three weeks. We have to hold tenitory in sickly 
places. . . . There have been men base enough to propose 
to me to return to slavery our black warriors of Port Hudson 
and Olustee, and thus win the respect of the masters they 
fought. . . . Come what will, I will keep faith with friend 
and enemy. . . . Freedom has given us 200,000 men raised 
on Southern soil. It will give us more yet. Just so much it 
has abstracted from the enemy."^ 

To a colored delegation at Baltimore, presenting him with 
a handsomely bound copy of the Bible, he said : '' I can only 
say now, as I have often said before, it has always been a 
sentiment with me that all mankind should be free. ... I 
have always acted as I believed was just and right, and done 
all I could for the good of mankind. ... In regard to the 
gi-eat Book, I have only to say, it is the best gift which God 
has ever given to man. All the good of the Saviour of the 
world is communicated to us through this Book. . . . All 
those things desirable to men are contained in it.'' 

In his inaugural address, March, 1865, President Lincoln 
said : " These slaves constitute a peculiar and powerful inter- 
est. ... To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest 
was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union 
by war. . . . It may seem strange that any men should dare 
to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread fi'om 

51 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

the sweat of other men's faces. . . . Fondly do we hope, fer- 
vently do we pray that this mighty scourge of war may 
speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue 
until . . . every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be 
paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three 
thousand years ago, so, still, it must be said that ' the judg- 
ments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." " 

A fact of considerable interest is that the Confederate 
leaders, who dragged the South into secession with the al- 
leged purpose of establishing a government whose very foun- 
dation-stone should be human slavery, should themselves 
have turned their eyes to these very enslaved negroes to save 
their cause. They were ever ready to use the negro for their 
selfish ends. 

The Honorable Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State for 
the Confederacy, in a public speech at Richmond, advocating 
the arming of the negroes, said : " There are 700,000 males 
among the slave population capable of bearing arms — set 
them free and arm them and let them fight the Yankees." 
On the recommendation of General Lee and President Davis 
of the Confederacy, a bill to arm the slaves passed one House 
of the Confederate Congress, and lacked only one vote of 
passing the other House. Nevertheless, this same Confed- 
erate Congress actually passed a law to shoot white union 
officers commanding colored soldiers, and shoot colored 
soldiers when captured. 

President Lincoln, in a public address in Washington, 
true to that humor and irony characteristic of him, said : 
" As they need only one vote, I would be glad to send my 
vote through the lines to help them out."' He felt that 
they would certainly have so many more soldiers shooting 
at them. The well-grounded fear that the armed negroes 
would desert to the Union side defeated the measure. But 
if these 700,000 slaves had been thrown into the breach on 
the Confederate side, and had fought loyally, under promise 

52 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

of freedom, it does not seem possible that the Union could 
have been saved. But it was not to be so. God was 
leading on ! 

The feeling of love, gratitude, and reverence engendered 
towards President Lincoln by his championing of the negro 
cause is shown by the following incident. The Confederate 
government had scarcely evacuated Richmond before Lincoln, 
unheralded and unannounced, and accompanied by his young 
son and Admiral Porter, besides a few sailors from a man-of- 
w^ar, entered the city and " like any other citizen, walked up the 
streets towards General WeitzePs headquarters, in the house 
occupied two days before by Jefferson Davis." The Atlantic 
Monthly thus describes the scene of the colored people coming 
from all sides to see their deliverer : " They gathered round 
the President, ran ahead, hovered upon the flanks of the little 
company, and hung like a dark cloud upon the rear. Men, 
women, and children, joined the constantly increasing throng. 
They came from all the by-streets, running in breathless 
haste, shouting and hallooing and dancing with delight. 
The men threw up their hats, the women waved their 
bonnets and handkerchiefs, clapped their hands and sang 
* Glory to God ! Glory ! Glory ! ' rendering all the praise 
to God, who had heard their wailings in the past, their 
moanings for wives, husbands, children, and friends, sold 
out of their sight ; had given them freedom, and after long 
years of waiting, had permitted them thus unexpectedly 
to behold tlie face of their great benefactor. ' I thank 
you, dear Jesus, that I behold President Linkum ! ' was 
the exclamation of a woman who stood upon the thresh- 
old of her humble home, and with streaming eyes and 
clasped hands gave thanks aloud to the Saviour of men. 
Another, more demonstrative in her joy, was jumping and 
striking her hands with all her might, crying ' Bless de 
Lord ! Bless de Lord ! " as if there could be no end to the 
thanksgiving. 

53 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

" The air rang with a tumultuous chorus of voices. The 
street became ahuost impassable on account of the increasing 
multitude, till soldiers were summoned to clear the way. . . . 
The walk was long, and the President halted a moment to 
rest. ' May de good Lord bless you, President Linkum ! ' 
said an old negro, removing his hat and bowing, with tears 
of joy rolling down his cheeks. The President removed his 
own hat and bowed in silence ; but it was a bow which upset 
the forms, laws, customs, and ceremonies of centuries. It 
was a death-shock to chivalry, and a mortal wound to caste. 
' Recognize a nigger ! Faugh ! "* A woman in an adjoining 
house beheld it, and turned from the scene in unspeakable 
digust." 

From this scene Lincoln returned to Washington, and on 
the 11th of April, 1865, just four days before his death, and 
two days after General Lee's surrender, he made his last 
public address, favoring, as a start in the right direction, 
the reconstructed government which the loyalists had organ- 
ized in Louisiana, abolishing slavery, adopting the Thirteenth 
Amendment, providing schools for black and white alike, 
and providing for the franchise for the colored people. 

In a letter April 4 he said : " I am naturally anti- 
slavery. If slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong. . . . 
I was, in my best judgment, driven to the alternative of 
either surrendering the Union and with it the Constitution, 
or of laying strong hands upon the colored element. I 
chose the latter." And the colored element did respond 
with great heartiness, and answering President Lincoln's 
call, they joyfully sang: — 

" We are coming, Father Abraham, 
Two hundred thousand strong." 

If Lincoln was willing, as he proved to be, to use the 
great power of the United States government to guarantee 
that " the black soldier should have the same protection as 

54 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

the white soldier," then it defames his hallowed memory, 
and libels his nobility of heart to insinuate that he would 
not use the same powers to guarantee to the black citizen 
the same protection under the law as the white citizen. To 
him the Emancipation Proclamation meant freedom for the 
colored people ; and freedom meant citizenship ; and citizen- 
ship the ballot. 

In his general order issued July 30, 1863, President Lin- 
coln said : " It is the duty of every government to give 
protection to its citizens, of whatever class or color or 
condition." 

In this general order, officially promulgated, he made 
direct intervention in behalf of colored men, and secured 
their protection by the exercise of governmental sovereignty 
in obliterating class distinctions. On this question his record 
is unmistakably clear. Sad, sudden, unexpected, and over- 
whelming as was the death of Lincoln, there were two events 
which immediately preceded it that must have been of 
supreme satisfaction and happiness to him. There were two 
overmastering emotions in his heart : one was to see the 
Union saved, and its supremacy made sure forevermore ; the 
other was to see slavery dead, and dead beyond a resurrection. 

The God in whom he believed, whom he trusted, to whom 
he prayed, who sustained and led him " amid the encircling 
gloom " when he was weighted down to the earth with bur- 
dens greater than it seemed possible that man could bear, 
was merciful, gracious, and kind unto him. His eyes beheld 
the salvation of his country ! He saw the imperious, cruel, 
slaveholding oligarchy, which drew the sword against the 
nation, totter to its ruin ; its dreams of an empire on 
the Gulf of Mexico shattered and buried in the dust ; the 
Union saved. 

He signed the death-warrant of slavery, which was em- 
bodied in the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of 
the United States, and passed by the necessary two-thirds 

55 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

vote of both Houses of Congress : " Neither slavery, nor 
involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, 
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist 
in the United States, or any place subject to their juris- 
diction." The final passage of this amendment, probably 
the most momentous legislative Act passed up to that time 
in the whole history of the American Congress, was not re- 
ceived in the rancor of party-spirit, nor with the huzzas of 
partisan triumph, but on the contrary with most profound, 
aye, holy emotions. Mr. Ingersoll of Illinois said : " Mr. 
Speaker, in honor of this immortal and sublime event, I 
move that this House do now adjourn." 

Mr. Blaine said : " The action was of transcendent impor- 
tance — lofty in conception, masterful in execution. Slavery 
in the United States was dead. To succeeding and not dis- 
tant generations its existence in a republic for three-quarters 
of a century, the duration of the organized government of 
the United States up to that time, will be an increasing 
marvel." 

When Mr. Lincoln was waited upon to be apprised of its 
passage, and was congratulated, he said : " In the midst of 
your joyous expressions. He 'from whom all blessings flow' 
must first be remembered." Here is a true exhibition of 
the real spirit of the man ; his eyes beheld salvation for the 
negro ; the salvation of a race from a bondage of despair, 
black, bitter, brutal ; slavery dead and entombed — and he the 
master of the ceremonies. His joy was full, complete. So 
ever shall he wear the " crown, a martyr's diadem, his jewels 
millions of ransomed slaves." 



Still strong he stood among the crowd, 

His head above the clamor loud, 

Unmoved by trial or dismay, 

The sunshine on his face alway. 

Like some firm cliff that guards the strand, 

So Lincoln stood to save the land." 

56 



TFE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

With the elevation of Andrew Johnson to the presidency 
after the death of Lincohi, there began the second effort 
at reconstruction. General Lee surrendered at Appomat- 
tox, April 9, 1865. President Lincoln, " the beloved of all 
hearts," (expired on the 15th of the same month ; Mr. John- 
son took the oath of office just a few hours after Lincoln's 
death. 

It was on the 29th day of May, 1865, that President John- 
son issue 1 his Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to all 
who took part in the Rebellion, except the few thousands 
who held high official positions in the civil, military, or diplo- 
matic service of the United States at the breaking out of 
the war, or held similar positions in the Confederacy; but 
providing that such persons may receive full pardon by 
applying for the same to the President. Thus the rank and 
file of Southerners were let in, and the door kept ajar for the 
exceptions. The conditions imposed on the white people 
of the South were that they would henceforth " faithfully 
support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United 
States and the Union of the States thereunder ; abide by and 
faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have 
been made during the existing Rebellion with reference to 
the emancipation of slaves." Could there have been greater 
magnanimity, wiser generosity to the white people of the 
South ? 

The Emancipation Proclamation had been endorsed and 
confirmed by an overwhelming vote of the people of the 
loyal states, and by the sweeping and triumphant re-election 
of Lincoln in the preceding November. 

The Thirteenth Amendment had passed both Houses of 
Congress by more than the necessary two-thirds vote, and had 
been signed by President Lincoln. The white people of the 
South were commissioned to reconstruct the seceding states 
and bring them back into their proper and normal relations 
with the Union. They were given an absolutely free hand ; 

57 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

their oath bound them to respect the changed i^yiiditions 
" with reference to the emancipation of slaves."" But how- 
did they use this high prerogative, this unfettered power, so 
graciously restored to their hands ? They held, with light- 
ning-like rapidity, state conventions, and their le^ jislatures, 
composed entirely of ex-Confederates, were summoned in 
special sessions, within a few months immediately following 
the war ; and they proceeded forthwith to enact a Black 
Code of Laws, with reference to the colored people who were 
emancipated, and whose emancipation their Amnesty oath 
bound them to respect, that is the scandal and shame of 
civilization. Not a single right dear to a freeman did these 
men respect, " with reference to the emancipation of slaves.'" 
Not a single law or proclamation did they honestly observe. 
These men, in the language of one of old, practically said to 
the colored people : " My little finger shall be thicker than 
my father's loins. For whereas my father put a heavy yoke 
upon you, I will put more to your yoke ; my father chastised 
you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions."" 

We come now to the consideration of the specific points in 
this code of laws that the Southern whites considered proper 
for the government of the emancipated negro. 

Mr. Blaine, in his "Twenty Years of Congress,"" gives such 
a masterly review of the Black Code of Laws passed by 
Southern legislatures after President Johnson"s Amnesty 
Proclamation and when the ex-Confederates had unfettered 
power to reconstruct the Southern states, that it is repro- 
duced here, as follows : 

" That which was no offence in a white man was made a 
misdemeanor, a heinous crime, if committed by a negro. 
Both in the civil and criminal code his treatment was differ- 
ent from that to which the white man was subjected. He 
w^as compelled to work under a series of labor laws appli- 
cable only to his own race. The laws of vagrancy were 
so changed as, in many of their provisions, to apply only 

58 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

to him, and under their operation all freedom of movement 
and transit was denied. The liberty to sell his time at 
a fair market rate was destroyed by the interposition of 
apprentice laws. Avenues of usefulness and skill in which 
he might specially excel, were closed against him, lest he 
should compete with white men. In short, his liberty in all 
directions was so curtailed that it was a bitter mockery to 
refer to him in the statutes as a ' freedman." The truth was 
that his liberty was merely of form and not of fact, and the 
slavery which was abolished by the organic law of a nation 
w^as now to be revived by the enactment of a state. 

" Some of these enactments were peculiarly offensive, not 
to say atrocious. In Alabama, which might indeed serve as 
an example for the other rebellious states, * stubborn or re- 
fractory servants' and 'servants who loiter away their time' 
were declared by law to be ' vagrants,' and might be brought 
before a justice of the peace and fined fifty dollars; and in 
default of payment, they might be ' hired out,' on three days' 
notice by public outcry, for the period of ' six months.' No 
fair man could fail to see that the whole effect, and presum- 
ably the direct intent, of this law was to reduce the helpless 
negro to slavery for half the year — a punishment that could 
be repeated whenever desired, a punishment sure to be desired 
for that portion of each recurring year when his labor was 
specially valuable in connection with the cotton crop, while 
for the remainder of the time he might shift for himself. 
By this detestable process, the ' master ' had the labor of 
the ' servant ' for a mere pittance ; and even that pittance 
did not go to the servant, but was paid into the treasury 
of the county, and thus relieved the white men from their 
proper share of taxation. There may have been more cruel 
laws enacted, but the statute books of the world might be 
searched in vain for one of meaner injustice. 

" The foregoing, a process for restoring slavery in a modi- 
fied form, was applicable to men or women of any age. But 

59 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

for ' minors ' a more speedy and more sweeping method was 
contrived by the law-makers of Alabama, who had just given 
their assent to the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitu- 
tion. They made it the ' duty of all sheriffs, justices of the 
peace, and other civil officers of the several counties," to report 
the 'names of all minors under the age of eighteen years, 
whose parents have not the means, or who refuse to support 
said minors," and thereupon it was made the duty of the 
Court to ' apprentice said minor to some suitable person, on 
such terms as the Court may direct." Then follows a sug- 
gestive proviso^ directing that ' if said minor be the child of 
a freedman " (as if any other class were really referred to !), 
' thefoimer owner of said minor shall have the preference " ; 
and 'the judge of probate shall make a record of all the 
proceedings," for which he should be entitled to a fee of one 
dollar in each case, to be paid, as this atrocious law directed, 
by ' the master or mistress." To tighten the grasp of owner- 
ship on the minor, who was now styled an apprentice, it was 
enacted in almost the precise phrase of the old slave code 
that ' whoever shall entice said apprentice from his master 
or mistress, or furnish food or clothing to him or her, with- 
out said consent, shall be fined in a sum not exceeding five 
hundred dollars." 

"The ingenuity of Alabama legislators in contriving 
schemes to re-enslave the negroes was not exhausted by the 
odious and comprehensive statutes already cited. They passed 
an act to incorporate the city of Mobile, substituting a new 
charter for the old one. The city had suffered much from 
the suspension and decay of trade during the war, and it 
was in great need of labor to make repairs to streets, culverts, 
sewers, wharves, and all other public property. By the new 
charter, the mayor, aldermen, and common council were em- 
powered ' to cause all vagrants," . . . 'all such as have no 
visible means of support," . . . ' all who can show no reason- 
able cause of employment or business in the city," . . . 'all 

60 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE^' 

who have no fixed residence or cannot give a good account 
of themselves," . . . ' or are loitering in or about tippling 
houses,"* . . . ' to give security for their good behavior for a 
reasonable time and to indemnify the city against any charge 
for their support, and in case of their inability or refusal to 
give such security, to cause them to be confined to labor for 
a limited time, not exceeding six calendar months, which said 
labor shall be designated by the said mayor, aldermen, and 
common council, for the benefit of said city."* 

" It will be observed even by the least intelligent that the 
charge made in this city ordinance was, in substance, the 
poverty of the classes quoted — a poverty which was of course 
the inevitable result of slavery. To make the punishment 
for no crime effective, the city government was empowered 
' to appoint a person or persons to take those sentenced to 
labor from their place of confinement to the place ap- 
pointed for their working, and to watch them while at labor 
and return them before sundown to their place of confine- 
ment ; and, if they shall be found afterwards offending, such 
security may again be required, and for want thereof the like 
proceeding may again be had from time to time, as often as may 
be necessary.' The plain meaning of all this was, that these 
helpless and ignorant men, having been robbed all their lives 
of the fruit of their labor by slavery, and being necessarily 
and in consequence poor, must be punished for it by being 
robbed again of all they had honestly earned. If they stub- 
bornly continued in their poverty, the like proceeding (of 
depriving them of the fruit of their labor) * may again be 
had from time to time, as often as may be necessary."* It 
would, of course, be found ' necessary,' just so long as the city 
of Mobile was in need of their labor without paying for it. 

" It has been abundantly substantiated, by impartial evi- 
dence, that when these grievous outrages were committed, 
under the forms of law, by the joint authority of the Ala- 
bama legislature and the city government of Mobile, the 

61 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

labor of thousands of willing men could be hired for the low 
wages of twenty-five cents per day, with an allowance of a 
peck of corn meal and four pounds of bacon for each man 
per week. It does not change the character of the crime 
against these humble laborers, but it certainly enhances its 
degree that the law-makers of Alabama preferred an oppres- 
sive fraud to the honest payment of a consideration so small 
as to be almost nominal. A man must be in abject poverty 
when he is willing to work an entire week for a sum usually 
accorded in the Northern states for the labor of one day. 
But only a community blind to public justice and to public 
decency as well could enact a law that in effect declares the 
poverty of the laborer to be a crime, in consideration of 
which he shall be deprived of the beggarly mite for which he 
is willing to give the sweat of his face. 

" Apparently fearing that the operations of the law already 
referred to would not secure a sufficient number of laborers 
for the work required in the city, the law-makers of Alabama 
authorized the municipal government of Mobile to ' restrain 
and prohibit the nightly and other meetings or disorderly 
assemblies of all persons, and to punish for such offences by 
affixing penalties not exceeding fifty dollars for any one 
offence ; and in case of the inability of any such person to 
pay and satisfy said fine or penalty and the cost thereof, to 
sentence such person to labor for said city for such reason- 
able time, not exceeding six calendar months, for any one 
offence, as may be deemed equivalent to such penalty and 
costs, which labor shall be such as may be designated by the 
mayor, aldermen, and common-council men of the city."* 

" Power was thus given to consider any evening meeting 
of colored persons a disorderly one, and to arrest all who were 
participating in it. Nothing was more natural than that the 
negi'oes, with their social and even gregarious habits, should, 
in their new estate of freedom, be disposed to assemble for 
the purpose of considering their own interests and their 

62 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

future prospects. It is eminently to the discredit of the 
state of Alabama and of the city of Mobile that so innocent 
a purpose should be thwarted, perverted, made criminal and 
punished. 

" The fact will not escape attention that in these enact- 
ments the words ' master,' ' mistress,' and * servant "* are con- 
stantly used, and that under the operation of the laws a form 
of servitude was re-established, more heartless and more cruel 
than the slavery which had been abolished. Under the 
institution of slavery a certain attachment would spring up 
between the master and his slave, and with it came a certain 
protection to the latter against want and against suffering in 
his old age. With all its wrongfulness and its many cruel- 
ties, there were ameliorations in the slave system which soft- 
ened its asperities and enabled vast numbers of people 
possessing conscience and character to assume the relation of 
master. But in the treatment of the colored man now pro- 
posed, there was absolute heartlessness and rank injustice. 
It was proposed to punish him for no crime, to declare the 
laborer not worthy of his hire, to leave him friendless and 
forlorn, without sympathy, without rights under the law^, 
socially an outcast and industrially a serf — a serf who had 
no connection with the land he tilled, and who had none of 
the protection which even the autocracy of Russia extended 
to the lowliest creature that acknowledged the sovereignty 
of the Czar. 

" These laws were framed with malignant cunning so as not 
to be limited in specific form of words to the negro race, but 
they were exclusively confined to that race in their execu- 
tion. It is barely possible that a white vagrant of excep- 
tional depravity might, now and then, be arrested ; but the 
negro was arrested by wholesale on a charge of vagrancy 
which rested on no foundation except an arbitrary law 
specially enacted to fit his case. Loitering around tippling- 
shops, one of the offences enumerated, was in far larger 

63 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

proportion the habit of white men, but they were left un- 
touched and the negro alone was arrested and punished. In 
the entire code this deceptive form, of apparently including 
all persons, was a signally dishonest feature. The makers of 
the law evidently intended that it should apply to the negro 
alone, for it was administered on that basis with rigorous 
severity. The general phrasing was to deceive people outside, 
and, perhaps, to lull the consciences of some objectors at 
home, but it made no difference whatever in the execution of 
the statutes. White men who had no more visible means of 
support than the negro were left undisturbed, while the 
negro, whose visible means of support were in his strong 
arms and his willingness to work, was prevented from using 
the resources conferred upon him by nature, and reduced not 
merely to the condition of a slave, but subjected to the de- 
moralization of being adjudged a criminal. 

"In Florida the laws resembled those of Alabama, but 
were perhaps more severe in their penalties. The 'vagrant' 
there might be hired out for full twelve months, and the 
money arising from his labor, in case the man had no wife 
and children, was directed to be applied for ' the benefit of 
the orphans and poor of the county,' although the negro had 
been declared a vagrant because he had no visible means of 
support, and was therefore quite as much in need of the 
avails of his labor as those to whom the law diverted them. 
Among the curious enactments of that state was one to 
establish and organize a criminal court for each county, em- 
powered to exercise jurisdiction in the trial of all offences 
where the punisment did not affect the life of the offender. 
It is obvious that the law was originated mainly for the 
punishment of negroes ; and to expedite its work it was 
enacted that ' in the proceedings of said court, no present- 
ment, indictment, or written pleading shall be required, but 
it shall be sufficient to put the party accused upon his or her 
trial, that the offence and facts are plainly set forth with 

64 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

reasonable certainty in the warrant of arrest.' It was further 
provided that where fines were imposed and the party was 
unable to pay them, ' the county commissioner may hire out, 
at public outcry, the said party to any person who will take 
him or her for the shortest time, and pay the fine imposed 
and the cost of prosecution.' The fines thus paid went into 
the county treasury for the general expenses of the county. 
The law was thus cunningly contrived to hurry the negro 
into an odious form of slavery, and to make the earnings 
which came from his hard labor pay the public expenses, 
which were legitimately chargeable upon the property of the 
county. 

" Accompanying the act estabhshing this court was a law 
prescribing additional penalties for the commission of offences 
against the state ; and this, like the former, was framed 
especially for the negro. Its first section provided that 
where punishment of an offence had hitherto been limited to 
fine or imprisonment, there should be superadded, as an 
alternative, the punishment of standing in the pillory for one 
hour, or whipping, not exceeding thirty-nine lashes, on the 
bare back. The latter punishment was reserved expressly for 
the negro. It was provided further that it 'shall not be 
lawful for any negro, mulatto, or person of color to own, use, 
or keep any bowie-knife, dirk, sword, firearms, or ammunition 
of any kind, unless he first obtain a license to do so from the 
judge of probate for the county in which he is a resident.** 
The judge could issue the license to him only upon recom- 
mendation of two respectable white men. Any negro at- 
tempting to keep arms of any kind was to be deemed guilty 
of a misdemeanor, compelled to ' forfeit the arms for the use 
of the informer, stand in the pillory ' (and be pelted by the 
mob) ' for one hour, and then whipped with thirty-nine lashes 
on the bare back.' The same penalty was prescribed for any 
person of color ' who shall intrude himself into any religious 
or other pubhc assembly of white persons, or into any rail- 
5 6E> 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

road-car or other vehicle set apart for the accommodation of 
white persons ; ' and with a mock show of impartiahty it was 
provided that a white man intruding himself into an assem- 
bly of negroes, or into a negro-car, might be subjected to a 
like punishment. This restriction upon the negro was far 
more severe than that imposed in the days of slavery, when, 
in many of the Southern states, the gallery of the church 
was permitted to be freely occupied by them. A peculiarly 
atrocious discrimination against the negro was included in 
the sixth section of the law from which these quotations are 
made. It was provided therein that ' if any person or persons 
shall assault a white female with intent to commit rape, or 
be accessory thereto, he or they, upon conviction, shall suffer 
death ; ' but there was no prohibition and no penalty pre- 
scribed for the same crime against a negro woman. She was 
left unprotected by law against the brutal lust and the vio- 
lence of white men. 

" In the laws of South Carolina the oppression and injustice 
towards the negro were conspicuously marked. The restric- 
tion as to firearms, which was general to all the states, was 
especially severe. A negro found with any kind of weapon 
in his possession was punished by 'a fine equal to twice the 
value of the weapon so unlawfully kept, and, if that be not 
immediately paid, by corporal punishment." Perhaps the 
most radically unjust of all the statutes was reserved for this 
state. The legislature enacted that 'no person of color 
shall pursue the practice, art, trade, or business of an artisan, 
mechanic, or shopkeeper, or any other trade or employment 
besides that of husbandry, or that of a servant under contract 
for labor, until he shall have obtained a license from the 
judge of the district court, which license shall be good for 
one year only.' If the license was granted to the negro to 
be a shopkeeper or peddler, he was compelled to pay a hun- 
dred dollars a year for it; and if he wished to pursue the 
rudest mechanical calling he was compelled to pay a license- 

66 



• THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

fee of ten dollars. No such fees were exacted of white men, 
and no such fees were exacted of the free black man during 
the era of slavery. Every avenue for improvement was 
closed against him ; and in a state which boasted somewhat 
indelicately of its chivalric dignity, the negro was merci- 
lessly excluded from all chances to better his condition 
individually, or to improve the character of his race. 

" Mississippi followed in the general line of penal enact- 
ments prescribed in South Carolina, though her code was 
possibly somewhat less severe in the deprivations to which 
the negro was subjected. It was, however, bad enough to 
stir the indignation of every lover of justice. The legisla- 
lature had enacted a law that ' if the laborer shall quit the 
service of the employer before the expiration of his term of 
service without just cause, he shall forfeit his wages for that 
year up to the time of quitting.' Practically the negro was 
himself never permitted to judge whether the cause which 
drove him to seek employment elsewhere was just, the white 
man being the sole arbiter in the premises. It was provided 
that ' every civil officer shall, and every person may, arrest 
and carry back to his or her legal employer any freedman, 
free negro or mulatto, who shall have quit the service of his 
or her employer before the expiration of his term of service 
without good cause, and said officer shall be entitled to 
receive for arresting and carrying back every deserting em- 
ployee aforesaid the sum of five dollars, and ten cents per mile 
from the place of arrest to the place of delivery, and these 
sums shall be held by the employer as a set-off for so much 
against the wages of said deserting employee ; provided that 
said arrested party, after being so returned home, may appeal 
to a justice of the peace, or a member of the board of police, 
who shall summarily try whether said appellant is legally 
employed by the alleged employer.' 

" It requires little familiarity with Southern administration 
of justice between a white man and a negro to know that 

67 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

such appeal was always worse than fruitless, and that its 
only effect, if attempted, would be to secure even harsher 
treatment than if the appeal had not been made. The pro- 
visions for enticing a negro from his employer, included in 
this act, were in the same spirit and almost in the same 
language as the provisions of the slave-code applicable to the 
negro before the era of emancipation. The person * giving 
or selling to any deserting freedman, free negro, or mulatto, 
any food, raiment, or other things, shall be guilty of a mis- 
demeanor,' and might be punished by a fine of two hundred 
dollars and costs, or he might be put into prison, and be 
also sued by the employer for damages. For attempting to 
entice any freedman or free negro beyond the limits of the 
state, the person offending might be fined five hundred dol- 
lars ; and if not immediately paid, the court could sentence 
the delinquent to imprisonment in the county jail for six 
months. The entire code of Mississippi for freedmen was in 
the spirit of the laws quoted. Justice was defied, and injus- 
tice incorporated as the very spirit of the laws. It was 
altogether a shameless proclamation of indecent wrong on 
the part of the Legislature of Mississippi. 

" Louisiana probably attained the worst eminence in this 
vicious legislation. At the very moment when the Thirty- 
ninth Congress was assembling to consider the condition of 
the Southern states and the whole subject of their Recon- 
struction, it was found that a bill was pending in the Legis- 
lature of Louisiana providing that ' every adult freed man or 
woman shall furnish themselves with a comfortable home and 
visible means of support zmthin twenty days after the passage 
of this act^ and that ' any freed man or woman failing to 
obtain a home and support as thus provided shall be imme- 
diately arrested by any sheriff or constable in any parish, or 
by the police officer in any city or town in said parish where 
said freedman may be, and by them delivered to the Recorder 
of the parish, and by him hired out, by public advertisement, 

68 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

to some citizen, being the highest bidder, for the remainder 
of the year." And in case the laborer should leave his em- 
ployer's service without his consent, ' he shall be arrested and 
assigned to labor on some public works without compensa- 
tion until his employer reclaims him." The laborers were 
not to be allowed to keep any live-stock, and all time spent 
from home without leave was to be charged against them at 
the rate of two dollars per day, and worked out at that rate. 
Many more provisions of the same general character were 
contained within the bill, the whole character and scope of 
which were forcibly set before the Senate by Mr. Wilson of 
Massachusetts. It was not only a proof of cruelty enacted 
into law, but was such a defiance to the spirit of the Eman- 
cipation Amendment that it subjected the legislature which 
approved the amendment and enacted these laws to a charge 
of inconsistency so grave as to make the former act appear in 
the light of both a legal and moral fi*aud. It was declaring 
the negro to be free by one statute, and immediately pro- 
ceeding to re-enslave him by another. 

" By a previous law Louisiana had provided that all agri- 
cultural laborers should be compelled to * make contracts for 
labor during the first ten days of January for the entire 
year.' With a demonstrative show of justice it was provided 
that ' wages due shall be a lien on the crop, one-half to be 
paid at times agreed by the parties, the other half to be 
retained until the completion of the contract ; but in case 
of sickness of the laborer, wages for the time shall be de- 
ducted, and where the sickness is supposed to be feigned for 
the purpose of idleness, double the amount shall be deducted ; 
and should the refusal to work extend beyond three days, the 
negro shall be forced to labor on roads, levees, and public 
works without pay.' The master was permitted to make 
deductions from the laborer's wages for 'injuries done to 
animals or agricultural implements committed to his care, or 
for bad or negligent work,' he, of course, being the judge. 

69 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

' For every act of disobedience a fine of one dollar shall be 
imposed upon the laborer ; ' and among the cases deemed to 
be disobedience were ' impudence, swearing, or using indecent 
language in the presence of the employer, his family, or his 
agent, or quarrelling or fighting among one another.' It has 
been truthfully said of this provision that the master or his 
agent might assail the ear with profaneness aimed at the 
negro man, and outrage every sense of decency in foul lan- 
guage addressed to the negro woman ; but if one of the help- 
less creatures, goaded to resistance and crazed under tyranny, 
should answer back with impudence, or should relieve his 
mind with an oath, or retort indecency upon indecency, he 
did so at the cost to himself of one dollar for every outburst. 
The agent referred to in the statute was the well-known 
overseer of the cotton region^ who was always coarse and 
often brutal, sure to be profane, and scarcely knowing the 
border-line between ribaldry and decency. The care with 
which the law-makers of Louisiana provided that his delicate 
ears and sensitive nerves should not be offended with an oath 
or with an indelicate word from a negro, will be appreciated 
by all who have heard the crack of the whip on a Southern 
plantation. 

" The wrongs inflicted under the name of law, thus far re- 
cited, were still further aggravated in a majority of the re- 
bellious states by the exaction of taxes from the colored men 
to an amount altogether disproportionate to their property. 
Indeed, of property they had none. Just emerging from a 
condition of slavery in which their labor had been constantly 
exacted without fee or reward of any kind, it was impossible 
that they could be the owners of anything except their own 
bodies. Notwithstanding this fact, the negroes, en masse, 
were held to be subjects of taxation in the state governments 
about to be reorganized. In Georgia, for example, a state 
tax of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars was levied 
in the first year of peace. The property of the state, even 

70 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

afber all the ruin of the war, exceeded two hundred and fifty 
million dollars. This tax, therefore, amounted to less than 
one-seventh of one per cent upon the aggregate valuation 
of the state, — equal to the imposition of only a dollar and 
a half upon each thousand dollars of property. The legis- 
lature of the state decreed, however, that a large proportion 
of this small levy should be raised by a poll-tax of a dollar 
per head upon every man in the state between the ages of 
twenty-one and sixty years. There were in Georgia at the 
time from eighty-five thousand to ninety thousand colored 
men subject to the tax t perhaps, indeed, the number reached 
one hundred thousand. It was thus ordained that the 
negroes, who had no property at all, should pay one-third 
as much as the white men, who had two hundred and fifty 
millions of property in possession. This odious and unjust 
tax was stringentlv exacted from the negro. To make sure 
that not one should escape, the tax was held as a lien upon 
his labor, and the employer was under distraint to pay it. 
In Alabama they levied for the same purpose two dollars on 
every person between the ages of eighteen and fifty, causing 
a still larger proportion of the total tax to fall on the negro 
than the Georgia law-makers deemed expedient. 

" Texas followed with a capitation tax of a dollar per head, 
while Florida levied upon every inhabitant between the ages of 
twenty-one and fifty-five years a capitation tax of three dollars, 
and upon failure or refusal to pay the same the tax-collector 
was * authorized and required to seize the body of the de- 
linquent, and hire him out, after five days* public notice 
before the door of the court house, to any person who will 
pay the said tax and the costs incident to the proceedings 
growing out of said arrest, for his services for the shortest 
period of time.' As the costs as well as the capitation tax 
were to be worked out by the negro, it is presumable that, 
in the spirit of this tax-law, they were enlarged to the 
utmost limit that decency, according to the standard set up 

71 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

by this law, would permit. It is fair to presume that, in any 
event, the costs would not be less than the tax, and might, 
indeed, be double or treble that amount. As a negro could 
not, at that time, be hired out for more than seven dollars 
and a half per month, the plain inference is that for the sup- 
port of the state of Florida the negro might be compelled to 
give one month^s labor yearly. Even by the capitation tax 
alone, without the incident of the costs, every negro man was 
compelled to give the gains and profits of nearly two weeks' 
labor. 

" A poll-tax, though not necessarily limited in this man- 
ner, has usually accompanied the right of suffrage in the 
different states of the Union, but in the late rebellious 
states it conferred no franchise. It might be supposed that 
ordinary generosity would have devoted it to the education 
of the ignorant class from which it was forcibly wrung, but 
no provision of the kind was even suggested. . . . 

" It was at once seen that if the party which had insisted 
upon the emancipation of the slave as a final condition of 
peace should now abandon him to his fate, and turn him 
over to the anger and hate of the class from whose ownership 
he had been freed, it would countenance and commit an act 
of far greater wrong than was designed by the most ma- 
lignant persecutor of the race in any one of the Southern 
states. When the Congress of the United States, acting 
independently of the executive power of the nation, decreed 
emancipation by amending the Constitution, it solemnly 
pledged itself, with all its power, to give protection to the 
emancipated at whatever cost and at whatever sacrifice. No 
man could read the laws which have been here briefly re- 
viewed without seeing and realizing that, if the negro were 
to be deprived of the protecting power of the nation that 
had set him free, he had better at once be remanded to 
slavery, and to that form of protection which cupidity, if not 
humanity, would always inspire." 

72 



THE SOUTHERN "BLACK CODE" 

" The objectionable and cruel legislation of the Southern 
states — examples of which might be indefinitely cited in 
addition to those already given "" — fairly and forcefully illus- 
trates the spirit and temper of the white people of the South, 
and their utter contempt for the unexampled generosity 
on the part of the nation which gave them commission, 
carte blanche^ to reconstruct their states. They responded 
with a cruel and barbarous code which was an affront to 
Christian civilization. 



73 



CHAPTER III 

SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO 
RECONSTRUCTION 

THE white people of the South thus took the whip hand 
in carrying out reconstruction, free and unhampered. 
They did not improve the opportunity ; rather they 
shamefully abused it. In the same spirit they elected mem- 
bers, senators and representatives, to the Congress, every 
one of them former leaders in the Confederacy. These mem- 
bers presented themselves as early as December, 1865, but 
the Senate and the House of Representatives each refused to 
receive or admit the Southern delegations. Thus an issue 
was raised. A great struggle was on. Who can say that 
God was not leading a people? For out of this issue and 
struggle the ballot finally came to the negro. The ballot 
probably would not have been bestowed upon him, certainly 
not at the time nor in the way and manner it was, if the 
South had been lenient toward him and had shown a dispo- 
sition to respect the Emancipation Proclamation and the 
Thirteenth Amendment as accomplished results; and pro- 
tected him in life and property, the right of contract, mar- 
riage relations, locomotion, the privileges of schools, and 
other just and equitable relations, irrespective of the ballot, 
which make for the peace, prosperity, and well-being of the 
community. 

But the determination of the Southerners to suppress the 
colored man and take vengeance on him for their defeat on 
the field of battle, and by Black Codes make his condition 
worse under emancipation than it was under slavery, depriv- 
ing him of every protection, making him an outcast, with 
every man's hand against him, fired the hearts of the people 
of the North and aroused their keener sense of justice and 
deeper feelings of humanity as nothing else could have done. 

74 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

It should be borne in mind that the Black Code of laws, 
partially outlined above, was only the first instalment of 
oppressive measures against the negro. Other and more 
cruel laws would certainly have followed the admission of the 
Southern delegates to seats in Congress. Besides, the ad- 
mission of the Southern delegates at this time would have 
intrenched the doctrines of state rights in their most obnox- 
ious and menacing forms. The ex-Confederates would have 
been masters of the situation. The solid South combined 
with a few scattering Northern votes would have ruled. The 
conquered would have dictated terms to the conqueror. 
The hands of the nation would have been tied hard and fast. 
The insistence on state rights would have prevented any 
legislation by the Congress which might have interfered with 
the Black Code. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amend- 
ments to the Constitution of the United States, would, ob- 
viously, have been impossible. The Black Code would have 
been enlarged, and the Thirteenth Amendment legislated out 
of existence. The cry would have been, " Slavery is dead ! 
Long live slavery ! " The barren victory of crushing the 
rebellion would have gone to the North, the fruits of the 
victory to the South. The very extremity to which the arro- 
gance of the South carried it in the enactment of the Black 
Code, its open defiance, saved the situation. 

The rejection of the Southern delegations by Congress, and 
the universal condemnation of the Black Code throughout 
the North, and as well by the whole civilized world, were 
to the Southerners like the throwing of a lighted match into 
a powder magazine. They were enraged beyond expression. 
They inaugurated the reign of violence, terrorism, and blood- 
letting, which has continued under different guises, in full 
force and without lapse, until the present time. Their ven- 
geance was visited without mercy on those white men who 
were known to be loyal to the Union, murdering or driving 
them from their homes ; and as for the colored people, they 

75 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

were nobody^s property, so they were often killed for the 
sport of the killing. These two classes they blamed for their 
woes, and on them they heaped their wrath with ruthless and 
indiscriminate slaughter. 

On September 3, 1866, just a little over a year after Pres- 
ident Johnson's Amnesty Proclamation, the Southern loyal- 
ists, all whites, met in national convention at Philadelphia 
and issued an address to the nation, appealing for protection 
and denouncing the outrages and murders inflicted on the 
loyalists of the South. In this address they said : " Our 
last hope under God is in the unity and firmness of the states 
that elected Abraham Lincoln and defeated Jefferson Davis. 
. . . Every original Unionist in the South . . . has been 
ostracized. . . . More tlian one thousand devoted Union 
soldiers have been murdered in cold blood since the surrender 
of Lee, and in no case have their assassins been brought to 
judgment." 

More than a thousand negroes also had been slaughtered. 

On July 20, 1866, at New Orleans, the Union men 
were holding a state convention. This was raided and 
broken up by ex-Confederates, and over two hundred Union 
men were killed and wounded. It is very important to bear 
in mind that when these harrowing occurrences were taking 
place, when this unrestrained violence and blood-shedding 
was sweeping over the South like a " prairie fire," the Southern 
whites themselves, the ex-Confederates, had control of the gov- 
ernment of every one of the Southern states. They had the 
state legislatures and all other offices ; and their senators 
and Representatives, all ex-Confederates, were knocking at 
the doors of Congress. Not a single negro in the South 
was a voter; not a "carpet-bagger" was in office in all the 
land. 

The South thus threw away its opportunity. By the en- 
actment of the Black Code, the practical nullification of the 
Thirteenth Amendment, and the inauguration of the reign of 

76 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

terrorism, violence, and bloodshed, the South openly defied 
the nation, struck it a hard blow, spurned its magnanimity 
and clemency, and challenged the further assertion of its 
sovereignty. This introduces the third effort at recon- 
struction. 

Events were moving rapidly. There was much heat and 
estrangement, — not only between the North and the South, 
but between President Johnson, who sided with the South, 
and Congress, backed by the great body of the people of the 
North. The great masses of the American people are 
humane, and have an innate love for justice and fair play, 
and in the long run are sure to assert these principles with 
irresistible force. 

It was soon discovered that, as President Johnson upheld 
the contention of the ex-Confederates, any reconstructionary 
measures passed by Congress would have to run the gantlet 
of his veto. And as a matter of fact, all such measures of 
reconstruction were vetoed by him and had to be repassed 
over his veto by a two-thirds vote. 

The Republican party that had brought the war to a 
successful termination saved the Union and freed the slave 
was in control of the government. Its line of duty was 
plain. It neither doubted nor faltered. It knew that 
" to doubt would be disloyalty, to falter would be sin.'' 
There were some internal dissensions, it is true, and some few 
members or followers dropped by the wayside ; but the party 
as a whole responded to the call of duty and faced the issues 
with firmness and determination. It was admirably led by 
Charles Sumner, William Pitt Fessenden, Benjamin F. Wade 
in the Senate, and Thaddeus Stevens, Lyman Trumbull, 
Henry Winter Davis, and Samuel Shellabarger in the House. 
They made haste slowly. Their measures of reconstruction 
were taken gradually by easy stages. No more was under- 
taken than the circumstances and necessities of the case 
actually required, and the public sentiment of the North 

77 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

would approve and justify. A joint committee on recon- 
struction was appointed. The Freedmen's Bureau was es- 
tablished, and General O. O. Howard, who had lost an arm 
in the Virginia campaign at Fair Oaks, and also had hurled 
back the flower and chivalry of the South at Cemetery Ridge in 
the battle of Gettysburg, and had rendered other distin- 
guished services throughout the war, was placed at its head. 
He was distinctively a Christian soldier, the Havelock of the 
American army. The Bureau " was primarily designed as a 
protection to the freedmen of the South, and to the class of 
white men known as ' refugees," driven from their homes by the 
rebels on account of their loyalty to the Union." Its powers 
were enlarged so as to not only enable it to protect these 
two classes in life, but all property and civil rights. 

The Congress now applied itself to the more serious question 
of the reconstruction of the lately rebellious states. On the 
30th of April, 1866, Mr. Thaddeus Stevens, in behalf of the 
Committee on Reconstruction, reported a joint resolution 
proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United 
States. 

The amendment as finally adopted constitutes the Four- 
teenth Amendment to the Constitution, and is as follows : 

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, 
and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United 
States, and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall 
make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or 
immunities of citizens of the United States ; nor shall any State 
deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due pro- 
cess of law ; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the 
equal protection of the laws. 

Sect. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the seve- 
ral States according to their respective numbers, counting the 
whole number of persons in each, excluding Indians not taxed. 
But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of 
electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, 

78 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

representatives in Congress^ the executive and judicial officers of 
a State, or members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any 
of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of 
age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, 
except for participation in rebellion or other crime, the basis of 
representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which 
the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number 
of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State. . . . 

The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate 
legislation, the provisions of this article. 

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was 
passed by Congress on the 13th day of June, 1866. The 
principles of this amendment had been presented and debated 
in one form or another from the early part of this session 
until finally formulated and passed as it stands to-day and 
will stand forever. 

The South had trampled the Thirteenth Amendment under 
its feet and treated with scorn the national good-will. The 
Fourteenth Amendment was the nation's answer to the South- 
ern Black Code. Other legislation made it incumbent on 
each of the seceding states to accept and adopt this amend- 
ment before they would be recognized as assuming their 
practical and proper relations with the Union. But neither 
this amendment nor any other legislation of Congress dis- 
franchised the masses of ex-Confederates. Amnesty was open 
to all. 

It is the chief complaint of leading Southerners that " the 
white people of the South were suppressed and that the ballot 
was given to the negro over their heads and for the purpose 
of perpetuating the Republican party in power." This charge 
is not tenable. He who says that the Republican party " was 
playing politics " and gave the negro the ballot with sinister 
motives speaks without knowledge of the facts in the case, or 
states what he knows to be untrue. The Fourteenth Amend- 

79 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

ment simply assured to the negro the ordinary natural rights 
of citizenship which belong to every member of the state, such, 
for instance, as belong to women and children, but it did not 
bestow the ballot. 

The ballot, the exercise of the election franchise, still rested 
with the state. Each Southern state could give it or with- 
hold it as it might please. But no Southern state withhold- 
ing the ballot from the colored people could count the colored 
population in the matter of representation in Congress or for 
presidential electors. 

The Fourteenth Amendment did destroy the Southern 
Black Code and gave the colored people a legal status, and it 
made the ballot possible. It did not actually make a single 
negro voter in all the South. Was this " playing politics " ? 
How could this in any way tend "to perpetuate the 
Republican party in power "' ? 

At this time neither Congress nor the people of the 
North contemplated bestowing suffrage on the negro. But 
the minds of both were fully made up to preserve the fruits 
of emancipation and protect the colored people in all their 
civil and natural rights and prevent all discrimination against 
them on account of " race, color, or previous condition of 
servitude,"' " at any sacrifice."' And on this issue they held 
that there was no ground for compromise. 

The white people of the South received the Fourteenth 
Amendment with a wild tempest of rage. Every Southern state 
still in the hands of ex-Confederates, except Tennessee, re- 
jected it. Outrages, murders, and violence on Unionists and 
especially on the colored people, increased. 

In the rejection of the Fourteenth Amendment the South 
threw away its second opportunity to reconstruct the seced- 
ing states in harmony with the changed conditions and yet 
without bestowing the ballot on the colored people. Its 
acceptance of the Fourteenth Amendment would have made 
unnecessary the Fifteenth Amendment. 

80 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

The Congress, however, was imperturbable. It knew its 
power. It dared to do. It met the defiance, hostiHty, 
and violence of the South with the mailed hand of martial 
law. It promptly accepted the gage of battle laid down 
by the South. It divided the ten seceding States into five 
military districts and General Grant by direction appointed 
for each district a commander of the rank above a brigadier- 
general. These commanders were empowered to arrange for 
the registration of citizens above the age of twenty-one 
"without regard to race or color,'" and without prejudice 
to the masses of ex- Confederates, who should vote for a 
constitutional convention. This convention should adopt 
a state constitution, prohibiting slavery and recognizing the 
results of the war, and it should establish a complete ma- 
chinery of state and local government and provide for 
the election of senators and representatives to Congress. 
The course of events in the South in the meanwhile, the 
indecent haste in enacting the Black Code, with its barbarous 
inflictions, the reign of violence and murder on helpless 
colored people and " refugee" Unionists, the defiant rejection 
of the Fourteenth Amendment by every Southern state except 
Tennessee, the general scorn of the nation's good-will and 
clemency, and the open hostility to national authority, had 
the effect of ripening public sentiment in every Northern 
state in favor of negro suffrage. The South had shown its 
hand. It was perfectly apparent that it could not be trusted 
to do justly or even act humanely towards the colored people 
or the white " refugees '' who were loyal to the Union. The 
critical point was reached, the hour had struck when the 
nation must look to others than the ex-Confederates and 
their sympathizers to reconstruct the lately rebellious states 
" with reference to the emancipation of slaves " and bring 
them into harmonious relations with the Union. 

Mr. Blaine, touching this point, said : " The South had 
its choice, and it deliberately and after fair warning decided 
6 81 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

to reject the magnanimous offer of the North and to insist 
upon an advantage in representation against which a common 
sense of justice revolted. The North, foiled in its original 
design of reconstruction by the perverse course of the South, 
was compelled, under the providence of the Ruler of nations, 
to deal honestly and justly with the colored people. ... A 
higher than human power controlled these great events. 
The wrath of man was made to praise the righteous works 
of God. Whatever were the deficiencies of the negro race 
in education for the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, 
they had exhibited the one vital qualification of an in- 
stinctive loyalty and, as far as lay in their power, a steadfast 
helpfulness to the cause of the national Union, — ... his 
race contributing nearly a quarter of a million troops to 
the national service."" 

The famous Reconstruction Act, placing the South under 
martial law, was passed on March 2, 1867. It embodied 
negro suffrage. Under God, justice had come. The ex-Con- 
federates had been exercising full control over the govern- 
ment of every Southern state for two years after the war, and 
had defied the national laws and authority, and had per- 
sistently thwarted the work of reconstruction. 

In debating this act in Congress, placing the South under 
military law, Mr. Garfield, afterwards President of the 
United States, said : " I call attention to the fact that from 
the collapse of the Rebellion to the present hour. Congress 
has undertaken to restore the States lately in rebellion by 
co-operation with their people, and that our efforts in that 
direction have proven a complete and disastrous failure. . . . 
The constitutional amendment (the Fourteenth Amendment) 
did not come up to the full height of the great occasion. 
It did not meet all I desired in the way of guarantees to 
liberty, but if the rebel States had adopted it as Tennessee 
did, I should have felt bound to let them in on the same 
terms prescribed for Tennessee. I have been in favor of 

82 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

waiting to give them full time to deliberate and act. They 
deliberated. They have acted. The last one of the sinful 
ten has at last, with contempt and scorn, flung back in our 
teeth the magnanimous offer of a generous nation. It is 
now our turn to act. They would not co-operate with us 
in building what they destroyed. We must remove the 
rubbish and build from the bottom." 

Mr. Brandegee of Connecticut said : " The American 
people demand that we shall do something, and quickly. 
Already fifteen hundred Union men have been massacred in 
cold blood (more than the entire population of some of the 
towns in my district), whose only crime has been loyalty to your 
flag. ... In all the revolted states, upon the testimony of 
your ablest generals, there is no safety to property or lives of 
loyal men. Is this what the loyal North has been fighting 
for ? Thousands of loyal white men, driven like partridges 
over the mountains, homeless, houseless, penniless, to-day 
throng this capital. They fill the hotels, they crowd the 
avenues, they gather in these marble corridors, they look 
down from these galleries, and with supplicating eye ask 
protection from the flag that hangs above the Speaker's 
chair, — a flag which thus far has unfurled its stripes, but 
concealed the promise of its stars.''"' 

Mr. Lawrence of Ohio said : " For myself, I am ready to 
set aside by law all these illegal governments. They have 
rejected all fair terms of reconstruction. They have rejected 
the constitutional amendments we have tendered them. They 
are engines of oppression against all loyal men." 

Mr. Boutwell of Massachusetts said : " To-day there are 
eight millions or more of people, occupying six hundred and 
thirty thousand square miles of territory in this country, who 
are writhing under cruelties nameless in their character, and 
injustices such as have not been permitted to exist in any 
other country of modern times. ... It is the vainest delu- 
sion, the wildest of hopes, the most dangerous of aspirations, 

83 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

to contemplate the reconstruction of civil government until 
the rebel despotisms enthroned in power in these ten States 
shall be broken up."" 

Mr. Kelly of Pennsylvania said : " The passage of this bill 
or its equivalent is required by the manhood of this Congress, 
to save it from the hissing scorn and reproach of every South- 
ern man who has been compelled to seek a home in the 
by-ways of the North, of every homeless widow and orphan 
of a Union soldier in the South, who should have been 
protected by the government.'"' 

Mr. Allison of Iowa, now United States Senator, said: 
"Believing as I do that this measure is essential to the 
preservation of the Union men of the South, believing that 
their lives, property, and liberty cannot be secured except 
through military law, I am for this bill.'"* 

Mr. Blaine's amendment to the bill provided that " the 
elective franchise shall be enjoyed equally and impartially by 
all male citizens of the United States twenty-one years of age 
and upwards, without regard to race, color, or previous con- 
dition of servitude."" He said : " I believe the true inter- 
pretation of the election of 1866 was that, in addition to 
the proposed constitutional amendment, impartial suffrage 
should be the basis of reconstruction. Why not declare it 
so ? Why not, when you send out this military police 
through the lately rebellious States, send with it that im- 
pressive declaration ? '"' 

It was even so. The declaration was sent. Under these 
circumstances the ballot came to the negro. The Congress 
and the nation now had to look to others than ex-Confed- 
erates to do the work of reconstruction. The negro was 
commanded to share in it. How otherwise could these 
states have been reconstructed in accordance with the national 
sentiment and the emancipation laws ? It was plain that 
the ex-Confederates would not do it. It was equally clear 
that the colored people composed the only possible large 

84 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

constituency in the South to be depended on ; and that by 
giving them the ballot, and enlisting the support of the 
loyalist and of the more conservative Southerners, and the 
assistance of the Union soldiers who had settled in the South, 
the work of reconstruction could be carried out ; but even 
then only under the protection of martial law. 

These three elements — the large colored populations, the 
Union soldiers who had settled in the South after the close 
of the war, more than two years before, and the loyalists and 
conservative Southerners who accepted the new situation — 
constituted the agency through which the Southern states 
were reconstructed and brought back into their practical and 
proper relations with the Union. They gave the Southern 
states constitutions in harmony with the changed conditions 
and the emancipation laws. They established orderly gov- 
ernments, and because of their necessary participation in 
these governments, there arose the cry of "negro domina- 
tion," " carpet-baggers," and '* scalawags." 

It is quite pertinent to remark here that, notwithstanding 
all the protest of the Southern whites, no one has yet shown — 
not even Senator Tillman or Senator Money — how the seced- 
ing Southern states could have been brought back into their 
normal and proper relation with the Union by the formal 
acceptance of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to 
the Constitution of the United States and the guaranties for 
the protection of life, liberty, and property, " without regard 
to race, color, or previous condition of servitude," otherwise 
than through this very agency which they and others so heat- 
edly and intern perately denounce. 

The reconstruction which proceeded under martial law 
was a necessity. It was an unusual as well as undesir- 
able resort, but there was no alternative; the attitude 
of the ex-Confederates made it necessary — it is a full 
justification. 

The business and financial interests of the country and 

85 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

every other interest demanded a settlement of the questions 
growing out of the war. The nation, righteously, would not 
have the Black Code and its accompaniments ; the South, 
unrighteously, would have nothing else. And yet recon- 
struction must be accomplished. To put the whole South 
under martial law indefinitely or until its passions were cooled 
down was far more objectionable and dangerous than to put 
it under martial law for a limited period and until the states 
could be reconstructed with the assistance of the colored vote 
and the conservative and loyal elements. The American 
people will not tolerate martial law save as a temporary 
necessity. Suppose the ex- Confederates had said to Congress 
and the nation, " Put us under martial law, if you choose. 
We will stay under your martial law forever before we will 
strike one line from the Black Code, before we will accept 
your Fourteenth Amendment or any other law objectionable 
to us. Do your worst. We defy you." And that was the real 
position taken by the South, declared in its press and by its 
leaders on the rostrum, — that they " would never submit to 
the Fourteenth Amendment." What then ? A little child 
can lead a horse to the water, but a giant can't make it drink. 
There was no power by which the Congress could coerce the 
ex-Confederates to reconstruct the Southern states against 
their will. 

Let it be observed here that, as in the course of the 
war the Emancipation Proclamation, as a war measure, was 
necessary to save the Union, increasing as it did its material 
and moral forces at home and abroad, and correspondingly 
decreasing the material and moral forces of the Confederacy 
and destroying with a few strokes of the pen its mightiest 
pillar of support, just so, m the course of reconstruction, the 
bestowal of the ballot on the negro, as a reconstruction meas- 
ure, was absolutely necessary to restore the seceding states 
to their former relations in the Union. The enforcement of 
martial law for an indefinite period would have proved most 

86 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

injurious to the national cause, and increasingly so every day 
after the South had been normally pacified. 

For the Southern leaders would have temporarily desisted 
from acts of violence and murder, until they gained their 
point, the recognition of their states and the admission of 
their members into Congress. Then, fortified by the heresies 
of state rights, they would have " turned loose the dogs of 
war "on the helpless colored people, and the fugitive white 
Unionists, and the lives of these people would have been 
made intolerable. The cruelty and brutalism inflicted on 
the colored people to-day when they are equal citizens show 
what might have been expected without the protection of 
the constitutional amendments ; and are likewise an ample, 
a complete vindication of the wisdom, justice, and humanity 
of reconstruction legislation. 

The Southern people could have appealed to the nation 
and to the Supreme Court of the United States for autonomy, 
declaring that disorder had ceased in their states, that there 
was no resistance to any national law, that the Black Code 
rested upon the rights of the states to regulate domestic 
affairs, and that rejection of the Fourteenth Amendment was 
not resisting the national authority, as that amendment was 
not a law of the land until approved by three-fourths of all the 
states. What then ? The Southerners, finally, would have 
won. The waiting policy would have acted tremendously in 
their favor. They could have forced a compromise, demand- 
ing pay for the slaves ; reimbursement for certain losses by 
the war ; refused to pension Union soldiers unless Confeder- 
ates were also pensioned ; declined to accept the national 
debt unless certain debts of the Confederacy were also ac- 
cepted; legislated as to the colored people according to their 
own capricious will ; and, intrenched behind the doctrines of 
state rights in their most objectionable and dangerous forms, 
they could have hampered and harassed the national govern- 
ment without limit ; and the world would have beheld the 

87 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

amazing and bewildering spectacle of a great and powerful 
nation, triumphant in the greatest war of history, standing 
utterly limp and helpless in the presence of the conquered, 
and meekly yielding to their dictation. For the Fourteenth 
Amendment not only gave the negro a legal status, but its 
fourth section made inviolable the public debt, provided 
for pensions, prohibited payment for slaves, and made void 
all debts of the Confederacy. Without negro suffrage, these 
would remain open questions. 

It was the ballot in the hands of the negro that saved the 
nation from unspeakable humiliations, established beyond 
question its supremacy and sovereignty, destroyed forever 
the menacing and dangerous forms of state rights, and 
preserved "the jewel of liberty in the family of freedom,'* 
thus fulfilling in a most signal, unexpected, and remarkable 
manner Lincoln"'s prophecy that "they would probably 
help in some trying time in the future to keep the jewel of 
liberty in the fomily of freedom."' 

Under the desperate and chaotic conditions existent in 
the South at this time, it is not surprising that in the 
selection and election of men to carry out the work of recon- 
struction serious blunders were made ; that some thieves and 
plunderers forged to the front and filled some of the offices. 
It is the universal experience in governmental affairs that 
under normal conditions, in times of profound peace, bad 
men and thieves have been elected to offices and have be- 
trayed their trusts. It was unavoidable, it could not have 
been otherwise during the Reconstruction era. The cir- 
cumstances were propitious for this. The South had gone 
far beyond her financial ability in the prosecution of a 
disastrous and wasteful war. She had no public moneys, 
and her private fortunes were wrecked ; a billion dollars in 
slave property had evaporated. Money was needed to 
operate state and local government. Taxes were assessed. 
Bonds were issued. From 25 to 75 per cent of the par value 

88 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITIOxN TO RECONSTRUCTION 

of these bonds remained in the safes and lockers of the 
bondholders in the North ; in fact, the Northern bondholders 
got a larger proportion of money which should have been 
used to run these state governments than it was possible for 
the " carpet-baggers " to steal. 

Those Southern leaders who attribute the poverty of the 
South following the war to the stealings of " carpet-baggers " 
are unwise in their utterances. This poverty was due more 
to the waste of war, the unsettled conditions, and the low 
price of Southern bonds than to the stealings of the " carpet- 
baggers.^' Much stealing has been done since the passing of 
these conditions ; millions have been stolen in later years by 
defaulters, embezzlers, grafts, and boodlers. 

But after all that may be charged against the blundering 
and plundering of the carpet-bag governments in the South, 
it is probably true that the Tweed ring in New York City 
actually stole and squandered more of the people's money 
than all the " carpet-baggers '' in the South combined. 

It is also noteworthy that some of the seceding states were 
never under the so-called carpet-bag government ; such were 
Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas ; others were so controlled 
for only a short time, as, for instance, Louisiana, Mississippi, 
Virginia, Alabama, and Arkansas, for three or four years ; 
North Carolina for about six years ; and only Florida and 
South Carolina for about eight years. So it will be seen at 
a glance that the so-called carpet-bag government of the 
South was neither so general nor so extended in time as 
Southern leaders pretend. 

But the rank and file of the Northern men who settled 
in the South after the close of the war were not unworthy 
men, nor were they thieves ; nor were the rank and file of 
the loyalists, and those conservative Southerners who ac- 
cepted the changed conditions, unworthy men or thieves ; 
and as to the colored people, they were far too inflated with 
the ideas of freedom, too happy in their new life of liberty, 

89 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

too deeply impressed and concerned about the " sovereignty 
under the hat,"" too busily engaged in trying to trace the 
members of their families — husband, wife, daughter, son, 
sister, brother, father, mother, and other kindred — who had 
been scattered to the four corners of the earth by the in- 
human and brutal system of the slave-pen and the slave 
auction-block — to give even a thought about money making 
in politics. 

These Northern men who had settled in the South, and 
whom the ex-Confederates called " carpet-baggers," responded 
to the call of their country to assist in reconstructing the 
Southern states in the same spirit of patriotism which they 
displayed when Sumter w^as fired on. The loyalists of the 
South, who had borne contumacy and outrage during the 
four years of the war and the two years following it, and 
whom the ex-Confederates called " scalawags,"" applying this 
term also to those Southerners who accepted the situa- 
tion, responded to the call to assist in reconstructing the 
Southern states, because they rejoiced that the day of judg- 
ment had come to the South, and with their help Old Glory 
would flutter over a restored Union. 

And the colored people ! They bubbled over with re- 
joicings ; there was nothing that they would not have 
done for " the Lincoln government "" and to sustain the 
North. There was not a colored man in the South who 
would not have borne arms in defence of the nation. If 
the South had tried " guerilla warfare " after General Lee's 
surrender, then the very last guerilla would have been driven 
to cover, simply by arming the 700,000 colored men. 

These three classes rendered the nation services of in- 
estimable value in a most critical and perilous hour, — 
services for which the nation owes a lasting and incalculable 
debt of gratitude. There has been entirely too much ran- 
dom abuse of " carpet-baggers " and " scalawags." It is time 
to call a halt to these indiscriminate denunciations. Vilifi- 

90 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

cation and abuse are not arguments. The services which 
they rendered at a grave crisis were as necessary and indis- 
pensable in reconstructing the Southern states as were the 
march of Sherman to the sea, the triumphs of Grant at 
Vicksburg, Banks at Port Hudson, Meade at Gettysburg, 
Farragut at New Orleans and Mobile Bay, the " Monitor " 
over the " Merrimac " in Hampton Roads, and Sheridan's 
famous ride down the valley of the Shenandoah, in strangling 
and stamping out the Rebellion. The perplexing problem 
of reconstruction was as threatening to the nation's sove- 
reignty as the war to the nation's life. The white people 
of the South themselves are responsible for the so-called 
negro domination and carpet-bag governments. They threw 
away two opportunities to reconstruct, and for a third time 
refused even to share in the work of reconstruction. If 
some stealing and plundering accompanied the performance, 
theirs was the blame. 

Among the so-called "carpet-baggers" and "scalawags" 
there were men as pure in purpose, as lofty in patriotism, 
as bright In intellect, as unselfish in the discharge of public 
duties, and as honest, courageous, and noble in spirit as 
America has ever produced. Because the Southerners could 
not rule, or because they were not permitted to work ruin, 
they sulked ; and their sulking brought about the very 
evils of which they so loudly and bitterly complain. For it 
should always be borne in mind that, while there was a 
sufficiently numerous constituency in the large colored popu- 
lation of the Southern states, augmented and supported by 
the strong and important body of Northern settlers and 
reinforced by the large number of loyalists and pacified 
Southerners, to achieve their reconstruction, yet there was no 
inhibition against the great mass of white Southerners par- 
ticipating in the reconstruction of their respective states. 
The great masses of the ex-Confederates could freely register 
and vote under the provisions of the same act which be- 

91 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

stowed the ballot on the colored people. In deliberately 
choosing to sulk and defy the nation, and in large measure 
allow the elections to pass by default so far as they were 
concerned, they became even more responsible for all the 
evils which followed. 

In the meantime, nevertheless, the work of reconstructing 
the Southern states proceeded under the law authorized by 
the Congress. The " voters of twenty-one years of age and 
upward '"* were registered " without regard to race or color,"" 
and without prej udice to the great masses of ex-Confederates, 
who for a third time spurned and rejected the nation's good- 
will. Elections were held ; constitutional conventions as- 
sembled; constitutions were framed and submitted to the 
electorate as registered in the several states for their ap- 
proval ; complete machinery for state and local governments 
was put in operation ; senators and representatives were 
elected to the Congress. Tennessee had already abolished 
slavery, ratified the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, 
and had resumed her place in the Union, July 23, 1866 ; 
Arkansas was restored to her place in the Union June 22, 1868 ; 
North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, 
and Georgia, June 25, 1868 ; Virginia, January 26 ; Mis- 
sissippi, February 23; and Texas, March 30, 1870, the 
delay being due to non-fulfilment of requirements. The 
state of Georgia expelled the colored men elected to her 
legislature, and this raised the question of the right to 
hold office. Whereupon Congress took action and passed a 
bill December 16, 1869, declaring that " the exclusion of 
persons from the legislature upon the ground of race, 
color, or previous condition of servitude would be illegal and 
revolutionary and is hereby prohibited." Georgia's senators 
and representatives were denied admission to Congress until 
the colored members were reinstated. Thus the question of 
the right of colored men to hold office was promptly met 
and settled. 

92 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

The reconstruction of the Southern states was now com- 
pleted, all the seceding states being restored to their autonomy 
in the Union, under a bill providing in each case that the 
said state "is entitled and admitted to representation in 
Congress, as one of the states of the Union upon the follow- 
ing fundamental condition : that the Constitution of [naming 
the state] shall never be so amended or changed as to deprive 
any citizen or class of citizens of the United States of the 
right to vote, who are entitled to vote by the Constitution 
herein recognized, except as a punishment for such crimes as 
are now felonies at the common law, whereof they shall have 
been duly convicted."" 

It was under this solemn compact that the lately rebellious 
states were declared admitted to the Union. The question 
pertinently arises: Has not each of those Southern states, 
adopting new constitutions with the "grandfather clause" 
or other device to deprive the colored people of their right to 
vote, violated, both in letter and spirit, this solemn compact, 
and broken faith with the nation? And again, if South 
Carolina and Louisiana can violate the "fundamental con- 
dition " in relation to the ballot, upon which they were ad- 
mitted to the Union, what is to prevent Utah and other 
states that may choose to do so, from violating their solemn 
compact with the nation in relation to polygamy ? A state 
is in honor bound to respect and observe its compact with the 
nation. The violation of such a compact is an act of bad 
faith which the people of a state cannot afford to uphold ; 
and in case the compact is violated the nation, through 
Congress or the courts, may make intervention. The nation 
may sometime wake up to realize that what is " sauce " for 
the South Carolina " goose " to-day will be " sauce " for the 
Utah " gander "' to-morrow. 

The success attained in organizing these governments did 
not have the effect of softening the animosities or allaying the 
bitter resentment and hostility of the white people. It greatly 

93 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

aggravated them. The South had now suffered two defeats, 
and in each the negro was an important factor. In the war, 
the negro as a soldier was potent. In reconstruction, the 
negro as a voter was indispensable. 

In suffering and blood, the white people of the South have 
exacted a staggering price from the colored people for their 
loyalty and service to the nation. And the end is not yet. 

The Confederate army was practically reorganized into a 
secret, oath-bound society — the Ku Klux Klans — covering 
all the Southern states. They made onslaughts on the 
governments established, and war on their supporters. They 
killed and murdered, by day and by night, loyalists, pacified 
Southerners, and negroes without discrimination and without 
mercy. Mr. Blaine said : " In prosecuting their purposes 
these clans and organizations hesitated at no cruelty, were 
deterred by no considerations of law or humanity. They rode 
by night, were disguised with masks, were armed as freeboot- 
ers. They whipped, maimed, or murdered the victims of 
their wrath. White men who were co-operating with the 
colored population politically were visited with punishments 
of excessive cruelty." " Over two thousand persons were 
killed, wounded, and otherwise injured in " Louisiana " within 
a few weeks of the presidential election of 1868;" . . . the 
state " was oveiTun by violence, midnight raids, secret mur- 
ders, and open riots. " In one parish " the Ku Klux killed 
and wounded over two hundred Republicans, hunting and 
chasing them for two days through fields and swamps." 
"Over twenty-five bodies were found at one place in the 
woods." 

The horrors and cruelties of the Ku Klux Klans in Louis- 
iana were fully rivalled in Mississippi, and more or less largely 
sustained in each of the Southern states. It is estimated by 
persons well acquainted with the situation that from forty to 
fifty thousand colored people, white loyalists, and Northern 
men were murdered in cold blood during this era. The blood 

94 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

of these martyrs to liberty and the Union cries out from the 
ground ! 

Some of the members of the Ku Klux Klan were captured, 
indicted, and put on trial. A number were arraigned before 
the United States Court in South Carolina. The white people 
of the state engaged the most eminent counsel for their de- 
fence. Their leading lawyer was the noted and learned Rev- 
erdy Johnson of Maryland, who, after hearing the evidence, 
much of it confessions by the Ku Klux themselves, his honest 
nature revolting, refused to make a plea for his clients, but 
left them to the mercy of the Court, saying : " I have listened 
with unmixed horror to some of the testimony which has been 
brought before you. The outrages proved are shocking to 
humanity ; they admit of neither excuse nor justification ; 
they violate every obligation which law and nature impose 
upon man ; they show that the parties engaged were brutes, 
insensible to the obligations of humanity and religion. The 
day will come, however, if it has not already arrived, when 
they will deeply lament it. Even if justice shall not overtake 
them, there is one tribunal from which there is no hope. It 
is their own judgment ; that tribunal which sits in the breast 
of every living man ; that small, still voice that thrills through 
the heart, the soul, and the mind, and as it speaks gives happi- 
ness or torture ; the voice of the conscience, the voice of God. 
If it has not already spoken to them in tones which have 
startled them to the enormity of their conduct, I trust, in the 
mercy of Heaven, that that voice will speak before they shall 
be called above to account for the transactions of this world ; 
that it will so speak as to make them penitent, and that 
trusting in the dispensations of Heaven, whose justice is dis- 
pensed with mercy, when they shall be brought before the 
bar of their great tribunal, so to speak, that incomprehensible 
tribunal, there will be found in the fact of their penitence or 
their previous lives some grounds upon which God may say, 
'Pardon.^" 

95 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

When it is considered that Reverdy Johnson w£is a South- 
erner by birth and education, that his sympathies were 
with the Southern people in their contentions, and that he 
strongly opposed the Fourteenth Amendment and denounced 
the great Reconstruction Act, his language constitutes as 
strong an indictment as can be brought against a civilized 
people. 

Governor Daniel H. Chamberlain of South Carolina, one 
of the ablest of the so-called *' carpet-baggers,'' in appealing 
to President Grant for military assistance to guarantee a fair 
and peaceful election in South Carolina, after detailing the 
ruthless slaughter of colored citizens in the Hamburg riot, 
said : " My first duty is to seek to restore and preserve public 
peace and order, to the end that every man in South Carolina 
may freely and safely enjoy all his civil rights and privileges, 
including the right to vote. . . . But I deem it my solemn 
duty to do my utmost to secure a fair and free election in 
this State, to protect every man in the free enjoyment of his 
poHtical rights, and to see to it, that no man or combination 
of men of any political party, shall overawe, or put in fear or 
danger, any citizen of South Carolina, in the exercise of his 
civil rights. ... I understand that an American citizen has 
a right to vote as he pleases ; to vote one ticket as freely and 
as safely as another ; . . . and I know that whenever, upon 
whatsoever pretext, large bodies of citizens can be coerced 
by force or fear into absenting themselves fi'om the polls, or 
voting in a way contrary to their judgment or inclination, 
the foundations of every man's civil freedom is deeply, if not 
fatally, shaken." 

Replying to this letter, President Grant wrote to Governor 
Chamberlain to go on in the discharge of his duties, and that 
he would have the full sympathy and co-operation of the 
national government. Commenting on the general condi- 
tions prevailing in the South, General Grant used these strong 
and forceful words : " The scene at Hamburg, as cruel, blood- 

96 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

thirsty, wanton, unprovoked, and as uncalled for as it was, is 
only a repetition of the same that has been pursued in other 
Southern states within the last few years, notably in Missis- 
sippi and Louisiana. Mississippi is governed to-day by offi- 
cials chosen through fraud and violence, such as would scarcely 
be accredited to savages, much less to a civilized and Christian 
people. . . . How long these things are to continue, or what 
is to be the final remedy, the Great Ruler of the Universe 
only knows. . . . Nothing is claimed for one state that is 
not freely accorded to all the others, unless it may be the 
right to kill negroes and Republicans without fear of pun- 
ishment, and without the loss of caste or reputation. This 
has seemed to be a privilege claimed by a few states." 

Concerning the Ku Kliix Klan, it may be said that " mur- 
der with them was an occupation, and perjury was a pastime." 
Many of their bloodiest and blackest crimes on the colored 
people have been sealed in the stillness of the death of their 
victims. 

The Southland in some respects and at many points had 
now become a charnel-house and chamber of horrors. The 
foul and bloody work so relentlessly carried on by the 
whites, and the general demoralization consequent thereto 
caused the Congress to divine that additional guarantees to 
preserve the civil and political Hberties of the colored people 
were necessary. There was no ground for hope of just or 
humane treatment for them on the part of the whites. Up 
to this time suffrage rested in the states, but the adoption 
of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United 
States, which was ratified March 30, 1870, made suffrage 
national and impartial. 

So far as the organic law of the land is concerned, the 
civil and political rights of the colored people are safe and 
secure fore verm ore. The right of suffrage in this republic 
is now and forever national. It is now and forever im- 
partial. Its abrogation is morally inconceivable, practically 
7 97 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

impossible. The words of this great charter of liberty 
are : 

" The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not 
be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, 
on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." 

The leaders of the South have been protesting so loud and 
long about the " crime " committed in this Reconstruction 
era that the great masses of its people have probably fully 
persuaded themselves that a crime really was committed. 
And because of the bitter and continuous denunciation of 
" carpet-baggers," " scalawags " and " negro domination " — 
some good people in the North, who have not taken the 
trouble to investigate the facts in the case, have been almost 
persuaded that a serious blunder was made in the bestowal 
of the ballot on the negro. 

The Reverend Dr. C. H. Parkhurst, a most distinguished 
divine and the pastor of a wealthy and influential church in 
the city of New York, representing this class, in a public 
address says : " The instance of the convict is in principle 
exactly what occurred in the case of the blacks. Emancipa- 
tion pushed the bolt for them. There was a great deal of 
heroism in the course of the war, North and South, but there 
was not much statesmanship in the construction of the peace, 
and one of the radical mistakes made was in supposing that 
altering the colored man's condition altered the colored 
man ; that letting a wolf out of a cage domesticates the 
wolf; that substituting coat and trousers for swaddling 
clothes makes an infant a man, and that emancipation not 
only relieved the slave of his fetters, but qualified him to be 
a citizen." Dr. Parkhurst also says through the public 
press : " Since my return from the South, I have been in- 
formed that some of my critics have accused me of expressing 
regrets that slavery days are over. That is not true. I 
have merely said that most of the * niggers ' are unfit for the 
responsibilities of citizenship. 

98 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

" The ' niggers ' will never be assimilated by the nation. 
They never, never will contribute, in any part, toward form- 
ing the national type of the Americans of the future. They 
grow blacker and blacker every day. Their color forms a 
physical barrier which even time, the great leveller, cannot 
sweep away. 

" Persons who talk of assimilation in connection with the 
race problem do not understand what they speak of. Future 
generations of our race will be very much as we are. The 
physical barrier that separates the blacks from the whites 
to-day will be just as broad and as high throughout all the 
centuries to come.^' 

Aside from the unparliamentary and unchristian language 
of this minister of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ — 
the decisive answer is forthcoming that the Proclamation 
of Amnesty, pardoning the ex-Confederates, had quite as 
little effect in altering their condition, or lessening in the 
least degree their animosities, or transforming them into 
law-abiding, liberty-loving, patriotic American citizens ; and 
that moreover the ex-Confederates had actually demonstrated 
their unfitness to legislate with wisdom, to deal justly or 
even humaitely with either the freedmen or with white men 
who were loyal to the Union, or to accept in good faith the 
clemency of a magnanimous nation. And the further argu- 
ment is conclusive, that the people of " the North believed, 
and believed wisely, that a poor man, an ignorant man, and 
a black man who was thoroughly loyal, was a safer and a 
better voter than a rich man, an educated man, and a white 
man who in his heart was disloyal to the Union." 

The Honorable Carl Schurz, who was appointed by Presi- 
dent Johnson after the close of the war as a Commissioner 
to visit the South and examine into and report upon the 
condition of things there, in his report says : The loyalty 
of the Southern people " consists in submitting to necessity." 
There was generally " an entire absence of that national 

99 



307927 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

spirit which forms the basis of true loyalty. ... It will 
hardly be possible to secure the freediiien against oppressive 
legislation and private persecution unless he be endowed 
with a certain measure of political power. . . . The exten- 
sion of the franchise to the colored people, upon the develop- 
ment of free labor, and upon the secui^ty of human rights in 
the South, being the principal object in view, the objection 
raised upon the ground of the ignorance of the freedmen 
becomes unimportant. . . . The only manner in which the 
Southern people can be induced to grant to the freedmen 
some measure of self-protecting power, in the form of suf- 
frage, is to make it a condition precedent to readmission." 

Contemplate this report, made in 1866, in the light of the 
attitude of the South to-day, with all the wrongs imposed on 
the colored people, and Carl Schurz will at once take rank as 
a wise seer with the gift of a prophet. 

Some of Dr. Parkhurst's friends might do well to inform 
him that assimilation is not necessarily of blood ; that a 
people may thoroughly, through the course of the years, 
assimilate the civilization of another people and become a 
most pronounced type of that civilization, and yet not be of 
the same blood. As a matter of fact, the assimilation of a 
civilization is far more important than the assimilation of 
blood. It is the former, and not the latter that makes the 
type. There are many thousands of colored people in the 
South who have already assimilated American civilization ; 
who are thorough-going, patriotic, law-abiding Americans 
in every tissue and fibre of their being. There are also in 
the South many thousands of whites who are unassimilated 
and are as alien to the standards and ideals of American 
civilization as if they had not been born and raised in a land 
where the gospel of the Christ is preached from every hill- 
top and in every valley, and where the chief glory of the 
people is their dedication to the principle that all men are 
equal before the law. The color of a man's skin can no 

100 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

more affect " the national type of the American of the future '" 
than will the color of his hair, the heaviness of his eyebrows, 
or the size of his feet ; but, rather, he will be marked by the 
quality and achievement of his intellect, the purity and good- 
ness of his heart, the nobility of his soul and purpose, the 
strength and breadth of his patriotism, his loyalty to the 
truth and to his God, and his love and services for man — 
not white man, not black man, but Man. Race barrier or 
no race barrier, he will best represent the type who best 
represents the civilization, whether he be as white as the 
driven snow or as black as the ace of spades. 

As to " the national type of the American of the future," 
the colored people can well afford to leave that in the hands 
of Almighty God, whom Dr. Parkhurst may perhaps regard 
as being abundantly able to rule over it wisely, beneficently, 
to the well-being of the human family and to His own glory 
and honor. Dr. Parkhurst's ungracious insult, unprovoked 
and unwarranted, to the colored people who have served 
their country nobly in war and faithfully and well in peace, 
by stigmatizing and applying to the whole race the offensive 
and degrading epithet, the " niggers," and comparing them 
with " convicts " and " wolves," belittles him and impeaches 
his own right to be regarded as a consistent disciple of 
the Christ, or a faithful preacher of righteousness. Much 
learning, great eloquence, and a pure white skin, good and 
helpful as they are, yet are not the only nor the chief 
requisites of a Christian minister. These, without the spirit 
and mind of the Christ, are " as sounding brass and a tinkling 
cymbal." Would it not be a happy event for Dr. Parkhurst 
to go into his closet and wrestle with his God, and himself 
" assimilate " the mind and teachings of Jesus, the Christ ; 
giving heed to the injunction of the Apostle Paul, the great 
apostle to the Gentiles : " Let this mind be in you, which 
was also in Christ Jesus." Without this spirit all preaching 
is in vain. 

101 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Would Dr. Parkhurst dare to apply offensive and degrad- 
ing epithets to all the white people of the South ? Why did 
he gratuitously and grossly insult every self-respecting colored 
man and woman in the United States ? He knew that the 
necxro is prostrate and helpless, and he felt that he might 
" dlince a jig '' on the negro's chest with entire safety to him- 
self He may continue his jig dancing on the chest of the 
prostrate negro, but it may yet come to him that he owes 
the colored people - who have never done him aught of harm 
and against whom he has no grievance -an apology for thus 
stigmatizing them ; and as long as that apology is withheld 
considerate thinking people not only in the North and South 
but the world over will regard him as unmanly, and as not com- 
porting himself with the dignity and honor of the scrupulous 
citizen, the punctihous man, or an ambassador of the Christ. 
No one would, perhaps, challenge the correctness of the 
principle that wars are unusual occurrences and theretore 
they call for the exercise of unusual powers, not only in con- 
ducting them but also in the settlement of complex and per- 
plexing questions growing out of them. A nations hfe or 
sovereignty is paramount. 

So it wc4 with the Civil War, and so it was with recon- 
struction And with reference to negro suffrage, it is 
all-important to consider the fundamental truths connected 

therewith. , . 

The giving of the ballot to the negro became the necessaiy 
means for the accomphshment of the rehabilitation of the 
Southern states; and the use of the ballot in the hands of 
the negro was effective in achieving the following results : — 

First • It established the sovereignty of the nation. 

Second : It utterly destroyed all that was vicious, mis- 
chievous, and menacing in the doctrines of state rights. 

Third • It made effective the Thirteenth Amendment, and 
enacted the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the 
Constitution of the United States — giving rise to the 



102 



SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO RECONSTRUCTION 

strange paradox, unique in the history of the world, that 
the ballot of the ex-slave had become necessary to save the 
face of a conquering nation, preserve the fruits of victory, 
and assist in the enactment of laws which made his own 
freedom secure ; and it wrote his own citizenship inefFace- 
ably into the Constitution, the organic law of the land. 

Fourth : It was effective in causing the adoption of free 
constitutions for the Southern states, the establishment of 
orderly government in them, and, in a word, rehabilitating 
them and restoring them to practical and proper relations 
with the Union. 

Fifth : It gave the South its first system of Free Public 
Schools, a benefaction and blessing of incalculable value. 

It is not, therefore, too much to say that the glory and 
the power of the republic to-day — the foremost and most 
powerful nation in the world — may be traced to the effec- 
tive use of the negro as a soldier and as a voter in the 
most stormy and perilous hour of its existence. He was 
unquestionably the deciding factor. " The truth is delight," 
and in the light of the truth these facts blaze forth. 

It must, therefore, appear evident to every serious, patri- 
otic American who has more regard for liberty and Union 
than for race hatred and caste prej udice, that the bestowal of 
the ballot on the colored people, under the circumstances, and 
at the time, and in the manner that it was bestowed, was not 
only not a crime, but, on the contrary, was perhaps the 
sublimest act of enlightened statesmanship. 

All the specious pleas, vituperation, and misrepresentations 
on the part of Southern leaders and their Northern sym- 
pathizers cannot efface or darken the light of this blazing 
truth, which shines forth, and will shine with increasing and 
resplendent glory — 

*' Until seas shall waste, 
And the sky in smoke decay. " 

103 



CHAPTER IV 
THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

THE ballot in the hands of the colored man — this 
is the crux of the Southern problem. 
The ballot is the citadel of the colored man's 
safety ; the guarantor of his liberty ; the protector of his 
rights ; the defender of his immunities and privileges ; the 
savior of the fruits of his toil ; his weapon of offence and 
defence ; his peace maker ; his Nemesis that watches and 
guards over him with sleepless eye by day and by night. 

With the ballot the negro is a man ; an American among 
Americans. 

Without the ballot he is a serf, less than a slave ; a thing. 

It is not at all singular, therefore, that his ballot, this 
fortress of his power, should be beleaguered and stormed 
by all who would oppress, or degrade, or out-law him, or 
alienate him from human society. 

The negrophobists of the South thoroughly understand 
that, in order to annul him as a factor to be reckoned 
with in American life and civilization, his ballot, which keeps 
open " the door of hope, the door of opportunity,"" must 
first be demolished. 

For this reason the dominant Southern leaders, from the 
reconstruction day to the present time, have been discharg- 
ing their heaviest artillery, oratorically speaking, at negro 
suffrage ; their Maxim, machine, and Gatling guns have kept 
up an incessant roar, through the public press, against 
negro suffrage ; their repeating rifles and small arms, through 
stump-speakers and otherwise, have been turned upon it 
without intermission. All this has been accompanied by 
the ruthless murder of many thousands of innocent colored 
people as a bloody feint and demonstration. So common 
has the killing of colored people become that the murder 

104 



I 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

of half a dozen or more, or the driving out of a score, an 
hundred, or even a thousand, from their homes, and the loot- 
ing and burning of their property provokes scarcely more 
than a perfunctory protest here and there and fails to arouse 
public attention in any part of the country. 

It is one of the most serious aspects of the Southern 
question that the determination to destroy the negro's 
ballot by violence and keep the colored people in subjec- 
tion is encouraged by many of its " best citizens."** Senator 
Tillman of South Carolina has recently advocated the killing 
of thirty thousand colored men in that state. Is there not 
*' a better way " to secure good government in South Caro- 
lina? Is not Senator Tillman himself a greater menace to 
all that is decent in politics, orderly in government, laudable 
in citizenship, praiseworthy in manhood, pure in Christianity, 
and humane in society than the worst negro in his state ? 
It is not a difficult matter in the South to deal with a negro, 
man, woman, or child, whether there are any evidences of 
crime or not. In public lectures Senator Tillman has re- 
peatedly boasted of the part he took in shooting down 
" niggers."" For instance, in a lecture in Detroit, Michigan, 
he said : " On one occasion we killed seven niggers ; I don't 
know how many I killed personally, but I shot to kill and I 
know I got my share." Not one of these unfortunate colored 
people had committed, or had even been charged with any 
offence. They simply attempted to exercise their rights as 
American citizens and cast their ballots. For this they were 
shot to death. 

The desideratum of any nation is good government and 
the preservation of liberty. Sometimes this may be secured 
by a government of the few ; sometimes by a government 
of the many ; and sometimes by a government of the whole 
people. 

The special value of republican institutions is that good 
government can be more safely fostered and assured and 

105 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

liberty made impregnable by a government of the whole 
people. 

This does not mean government by the ignorant and 
vicious, or by revolutionists, or by those who believe in 
killing negroes to get rid of their votes, any more than by 
anarchists who believe in assassinating rulers to get rid of 
established governments. It does mean the rule of the 
people ; the sway of their opinion, expressed through the 
ballot-box, in the establishment and enforcement of laws 
under which all the people shall find equal protection of life, 
liberty, and property and in the pursuit of happiness, and all 
who measure up to a fixed standard, and that a reasonable 
one, shall have a common share in the government. 

It does not follow that the whole people, or even most 
of them will always vote wisely ; no, not even in the best 
governed communities. On the contrary, experience has 
shown that they have often made serious mistakes. But the 
redeeming element in republican government is that, despite 
all defects, more of good comes to the people, and liberty is 
better safe-guarded, when they are collectively their own 
master and can elect rulers and enact laws at regular in- 
tervals, than by other methods ; and that although unscru- 
pulous leaders may fool the people some of the time, 
they can't fool them all the time. It is not conceivable 
that the body of the white people of the South will stay 
fooled all the time, for this would mean the failure of 
civilization. 

The nobler and more Christian manhood and womanhood 
of the South must surely arouse themselves and cast out the 
evil spirits which have possessed the corporate body dominat- 
ing Southern life and have produced the present intolerable 
conditions. Never among any civilized people has there 
existed a condition wherein oppression was so heartless and 
wide-spread ; the denial of liberty and the simplest of human 
rights so general ; justice such a mockery ; humiliations and 

106 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

gross injustices so atrocious ; withering wrongs so multiplied, 
and human life held so cheap. The leaders aim at the 
destruction of the ballot in the hands of the colored man, and, 
as a necessary sequence, his elimination as an entity in Amer- 
ican life, his relegation to serfdom. 

To compass this end the most reprehensible methods have 
been employed. Notwithstanding the two hundred and fifty 
years of patient and profitable labor which the negro race 
gave to the South ; notwithstanding the four years of splen- 
did service which they gave to the whites in guarding their 
families and protecting their property during the war, the 
Southern leaders have done their utmost to prejudice man- 
kind against this race. They press with great vigor and mal- 
evolence against the race three specific charges : first, Poverty ; 
second, Ignorance ; third. Immorality. 

If it were strictly true that the negro is poor, and ignorant, 
and immoral, this certainly is not a sufficient reason for his 
further debasement ; it ought rather to ehcit sympathy for 
his misfortune. For these are not inherent qualities ; they are 
incidental conditions in the evolution of a people. Outlawry 
is not a remedial agent. 

If the white people would respect and protect the black 
man's home, and set a worthy example for him, reinforce 
the school facilities, and encourage the Church to do its holy 
work unfettered, these evils would largely disappear. 

If the white people of the South will go back far enough 
in history they can behold their race in a far worse condition 
than the negro is to-day. But would that have constituted 
a just ground for their oppression, and denial of the right 
to rise to the full height of manhood ? Even at the present 
time are there not many thousands of whites in the South, 
who are actually as poor, as ignorant, as immoral as are some 
negroes, and without the excuse of the latter ? On the other 
hand, are there not many thousands of negroes, possessors 
of property, who are educated and clean in character ? 

107 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Not all the unfortunates and the degraded are on the 
nescro side of the race lines. The Southerners cannot afford 
to impeach the negro race on these grounds. After de- 
spoiling the negro race absolutely of all the fruits of its toil 
for two hundred and fifty years, it is not becoming for these 
people to taunt the negro with his poverty. 

After enforcing ignorance on the negro race for two and 
a half centuries, making it a punishable offence for a negro 
even to be caught with a spelling-book in his possession, 
these people are not in a position to sneer at the negro 
because of his ignorance. 

After claiming complete ownership of the negro for eight 
long generations and after enforcing on him day by day 
object lessons of immorality of the most debasing kind, as 
the enormous amount of Anglo-Saxon blood in negro veins 
abundantly testifies, it is the height of inconsistency for these 
people to reproach the negro race on the ground of immoral- 
ity. All that is time in these charges makes for the greater 
misfortune of the colored people, and for the shame of the 
whites. 

Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, in an article in the 
Atlantic Monthly, says : " Supposing, for the sake of argument, 
that there is to be found in the colored race, especially in 
the former slave states, a lower standard of chastity than 
among whites, it is hard to imagine any reasoning more 
grotesque than that which often comes from those who claim 
to represent the white race there. 

" For my own part, I have been for many years in the 
position to know the truth, even on its worst side, upon this 
subject. Apart from the knowledge derived in college days 
from Southern students, then very numerous at Harvard, 
with whom I happened to be much thrown through a South- 
ern relative, my classmate, I have evidence much beyond this. 
I have in my hands written evidence, unfit for publication, 
but discovered in a captured town during the Civil War, — 

108 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

evidence to show that Rome in its decline was not more 
utterly degraded, as to the relation between the sexes, than 
was the intercourse often existing between white men and 
colored women on American slave plantations. How could 
it be otherwise where one sex had all the power and the 
other had no means of escape ? 

"It may be assumed, therefore, that there is no charge 
more unfounded than that frequently made, to the effect that 
the negro was best understood by his former masters. This 
principle may be justly borne in mind in forming an opinion 
upon the very severest charges still brought against him. 

" It was only the Abolitionists who saw him as he was. 
They never doubted that he would have human temptations 
— to idleness, folly, wastefulness, even sensuality. They 
knew that he would need, like any abused and neglected 
race, education, moral instruction, and, above all, high ex- 
ample. They knew, in short, all that we know about him 
now. They could have predicted the outcome of such half- 
freedom as has been given him, — a freedom tempered by 
chain-gangs, lynching, and the lash."*' 

Colonel Higginson also refers to Rufus Choate as among 
the most conservative men of his time and quotes him as 
saying that, " for the colored woman, the condition of slavery 
was ' simply hell.' " 

It is instmctive to note certain stock phrases in use in the 
South, phrases that are used with the purpose of increasing 
race animosities. Among these are " social equality,'' " white 
man's country," "negro inferiority," "negro domination," 
"race prejudice." Such phrases are "the bloody shirt" of 
the South. Their effect has been to nullify, for the time 
being, the benefits guaranteed by the Constitution of the 
United States. 

Since these are weapons aimed at the ballot of the negro 
they invite close examination. Race prejudice is the most 
elastic of them. It can and does cover a multitude of sins. 

109 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

The leaders depend much upon it. Senator Money of 
Mississippi, in a speech in the United States Senate, declared 
with great bravado, " I am glad we have race prejudice, I 
rejoice in it, I thank God for it.'' But the Holy Scriptures 
tell of a Pharisee who lived some centuries before him who 
was also glad and thanked God that he was not as other men. 
The Saviour of the world, however, did not send him away 
justified. 

Race prejudice is variously designated, and is thus made 
into a handy five-chamber weapon. Sometimes it is called 
inborn race prejudice, and then again it is labelled inbred ; 
and some declare it is taken in with the mother''s milk, while 
others heatedly contend that it is an instinct ; but all agree 
that it is ineradicable and must therefore control in Southern 
life. 

This inborn, inbred, mother's-milk, instinctive, ineradi- 
cable race prejudice is set forth as the chief, and sometimes 
as the sufficient cause for the mistreatment of the colored 
people, and the denial to them of civil and political rights 
and the protection of the law. 

The New York World says : " Deeper than the question 
of suffrage, of education, or of political privilege is this ques- 
tion of "racial instinct'' or prejudice. If it is to prevail 
and dominate our land, where is it to stop ? Is it compatible 
with the precepts of a religion based upon 'the fatherhood 
of God and the brotherhood of man ' ? Can it be reconciled 
with the principles of a government founded upon the 
' inalienable rights ' of all men, and ordaining in its Con- 
stitution equal rights and equal privileges for equal citizens ? 
If, for example, Booker Washington, with his heart and 
brain and capacity for elevating his race, cannot enter the 
front door of the White House without arousing a clamor 
of unreasonable protest, or hold any public office, simply and 
solely because he is black, is not the republic a mockery to 
nine millions of its citizens .? 

110 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

" There was something more than rhetoric or sentiment in 
President Roosevelt's pregnant phrase, ' the door of hope ' 
for the negro. When this door leads to education, to in- 
dustry, thrift, and the patriotism that inspires men to fight 
and die for their country, as our negroes did in Cuba, must 
the usual rewards of such character and conduct be denied 
to them because they are black ? This is the real ' negro 
question.'" 

The contention for inborn, inbred, mother's-milk, instinctive, 
ineradicable race prejudice is itself not only dangerous to the 
social organism, but it is also fallacious. It lacks the saving 
grace of even a half-truth. It is a Gibraltar of straw to be 
destroyed by the first volley from the battery of Common- 
Sense. 

In the darkest day of slavery, the colored children of 
household and other servants played and romped freely with 
the children of the masters ; they as freely took " bites " in 
turn from the same apple, and sometimes from the same 
cherry. They never knew the difference in station except as 
they were taught. The colored nurse would shower her 
kisses on the white child, cool its food with her breath, and 
taste it with her tongue. The important question with the 
parents was not the race or color, but the health of the 
nurse. Nurses frequently slept with the children, and cared 
for them with a tenderness and devotion which won their 
affections forevermore. Many were the instances in which 
the white child showed preference for the attendance and 
companionship of the colored nurse to that of the white 
mother. And this is not unusual even to-day. 

Kindness wins, and always will win the hearts and confi- 
dence of children without regard to race prejudice of which 
they know nothing and care less. Many of the very best 
white women in the South never failed to bestow praises and 
kisses on their black " mammies "' who had fondled them in 
childhood, and whom they loved and venerated. 

Ill 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

More significant still, many of the children of the leading 
Southern families drank the milk of their black " mammies'' 
alone ; and many in maturity, like the late Henry W. Grady 
of Atlanta, Georgia, never ceased to express their love and 
veneration for these black " mammies '^ who nursed them with 
a mother's solicitude and guided their early footsteps. If 
race prejudice is an instinct, inborn, and inbred, how could 
the whites drink and thrive on the milk of these black 
" mammies " in childhood, and in the maturity of manhood 
and womanhood lavishly display such glowing respect and 
devotion to these black "mammies"? 

There are numbers of authenticated cases of white children 
being raised entirely by colored families, who never recog- 
nized any difference between themselves and the colored 
children, notwithstanding, " inborn, inbred " race prejudice. 
For obvious reasons they had been given over to colored 
" mammies " to be raised, and they were most happy in these 
relations during childhood ; and in maturity, when apprised 
of their identity and offered privileges, some of them in- 
dignantly refused to give up their colored "mammies" who 
had always shown them a mother's care, fidelity, and love. 
Some such continued to live, and married, among the colored 
people, and became to all intents members of that race. 

The case is too plain for cavil that any white child raised 
entirely in a colored family may grow to old age without 
recognizing its race identity. And the prejudice would be 
against the whites, and not the colored. How is it to be 
explained that this "inborn, inbred, mother's-milk, instinctive, 
ineradicable" race prejudice does not reveal itself to its own 
possessor ? And it may be pertinently asked, of what value 
is it if it cannot reveal itself? 

Conductors of railway trains and street cars in the South 
are of course supposed to have this race prejudice, and they 
are paid to enforce it. But they have repeatedly caused 
awkward and sometimes ugly situations by mistaking white 

112 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

persons for colored persons and colored persons for white 
persons — producing a " comedy of errors.'"* 

Race or color does not necessarily affect the peace or happi- 
ness of a child, or of an adult. Men and women of different 
races have mutually reciprocated good offices and enjoyed 
friendly relations, cherishing the highest respect for each 
other ; while men and women of the same race, sometimes of 
the same family, have despised one another. The white child 
smiles as radiantly with the colored coachman or gardener as 
with its father. It will coo alike to its father, the colored 
nurse, the cat, or rubber doll. 

Race prejudice is largely a matter of teaching and training. 
Any people can teach their children to hate or despise an- 
other people, or even to hate and despise a branch of the 
family of their own blood relations. Also parents can indoc- 
trinate the young in the principles of the Sermon on the 
Mount and the teachings of the lowly Nazarene, and the 
result will be as different as day from night. 

Again, there are other cases, fully authenticated, of per- 
sons possessing African blood and yet passing for white. 
Some are doing so to-day in the North as well as in the 
South. 

It is a great pity — a lamentable evil — that race preju- 
dice should so operate as to compel a man to conceal his race 
identity, and pose as a member of another race in order to 
secure fair or decent treatment or a chance to make an honest 
living. In this particular race prejudice not only harms the 
negro, but it injures the entire social organism. It is most 
creditable to the negro race, to their growing self-respect and 
race pride that only a few of their numbers in sheer despera- 
tion resort to the trick of passing for what they are not. It 
should be noted in this connection that in South Carolina 
and other Southern states there are certain settlements of 
persons possessing African blood who, nevertheless, are not 
treated as a part of the black race, but as whites. When 
8 113 



THE AFTERMATPI OF SLAVERY 

they remove away from their homes, passing for whites, they 
live and move among whites and even marry among them. 
And no one is the wiser. 

Senator Tillman on the floor of the Constitutional Conven- 
tion of South Carolina, more specifically called for the purpose 
of disfranchising the colored people, made a special plea for 
these particular settlements of people with African blood in 
that state, but who were passing for and accepted as white 
people, saying : " Some of them owned slaves before the war, 
all of them sympathized with the Confederacy, and many of 
them fought in its army ; therefore they should be regarded 
and treated as whites.*" Is this not a cruel blow to " inborn, 
inbred, motherVmilk, instinctive, ineradicable'"* race preju- 
dice ? Does not the logic of it expose the fallacy of the 
contention ? 

The whole case falls to the ground ; for here the " ineradi- 
cable " is eradicated. But Senator Tillman's specious plea is 
worthy of more than a casual glance. Those for whom and 
in whose interest he made it were admittedly colored people, 
possessing African blood. But they in most instances were 
set free by their white fathers before the war of the Rebel- 
lion ; and some of them inherited their father's slaves and 
thus became slave owners. They intermarried among white 
and colored ; and because some of them were slave owners, 
and because all of them sympathized with the Southern Con- 
federacy, and because many of them fought in the Confeder- 
ate army, — therefore all of them were transformed from 
"niggers" into white folks. 

Here is the plain enunciation of the doctrine that loyalty 
to the late Confederacy shall count as paramount in fixing 
the status of citizenship in the South, and can even metamor- 
phose a " nigger " into a white man. 

But there were four millions of other colored people who 
were " true-hearted, whole-hearted, faithful, and loyal " to 
the Union and responsive to its martial music. None of these 

114 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

owned slaves ; all of these sympathized with the Union ; and, 
momentous fact, 200,000 of these rushed to the national 
defence and faced the chivalry of the South. 

Shall not the republic show as much concern in the pro- 
tection of the lives and liberty of those who freely offered 
themselves on its altar as the ex-Confederates and their sons 
show in protecting the handful of mixed-bloods who joined 
with them in the effort to " shoot the government to death ? '' 

The " mother's-milk, instinct," argument to bolster up race 
prejudice is worthless. Instinct acts spontaneously, and not 
by promptings ; naturally, and not by moral force or suasion ; 
independently, uniformly ; it peremptorily rejects the incom- 
patible. But there has been no uniformity of race prejudice 
in the South against the colored people. On the contrary, 
there have been many relations, in some cases of the closest 
kind. 

The deplorable conditions existing in the South are not 
natural or spontaneous, but artificial. They are the direct 
result of the vicious and mischievous teachings of the leaders. 
As to the " motherVmilk " end of the argument, this is 
sure to put some veiy good Southerners into a very bad 
dilemma. For if " logic is logic,'' the prejudice should trend 
in favor of the source of the milk. Natural-mother's-milk 
prejudice should be in favor of the natural mother. 

" Black-mammy's "-milk prejudice should be in favor of the 
" black mammy." 

Cow's-milk prejudice should be in favor of the cow. 

Goat's-milk prejudice should be in favor of the goat. 

No milk, then no prejudice. 

And as to " Prepared Food," " that is the question " which 
will command all the acumen and store of legal lore of the 
proverbial Philadelphia lawyer to solve, as to whether prej- 
udice should run in favor of some one manufacturer, or 
what particular component element of his "Food." 

" Logic is logic," — that is all. 

115 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

It is plain, however, that the milk or other food which 
nourishes the child has no more to do in creating race prej- 
udice in the child than corned beef and cabbage, the juicy 
bivalves, Boston baked beans, or Chinese " Chop Suey " have 
in producing race prejudice in the full-grown man. 

Ineradicahle race prejudice ! What hypocrisy ! A greater 
proportion than three out of every five negroes met casually 
in the street or seen in public gatherings will show traces of 
Anglo-Saxon blood. 

A matter of very great importance and one not to be over- 
looked herewith is that the negro race in the United States 
is practically a new race. The race in America is far removed 
from the ancestral African — in language, in method of 
thought, in religion and civilization. Its basic element is in 
the strong and virile blood of the fatherland, but built upon 
by the blood of all the great races. It is sure to become a 
strong and powerful people in the future. It will not seek 
close affiliations with the white race, for the reason that it 
will have all the colors and blendings of every race within 
itself, from the fairest Caucasian to the darkest ebony — mak- 
ing it truly the Colored Race. As a rule, the law of race 
pride and clan allegiance will be the law of natural selection. 
To the simple question of prejudice no great importance is 
to be attached. The history of ages record its existence. 
There is abundant prejudice between white and white ; 
colored and colored ; white and colored ; EngHsh and Irish ; 
French and German ; English and French ; Irish and Ger- 
man ; and the Jews and the rest of the world. 

But it should be borne in mind that there is prejudice and 
prejudice. Every man has prejudices ; and these may control 
his personal habits, his recreations, his associations, his friend- 
ships, his politics, his religion, and all his relations of life. He 
may wear shoes without socks, or go barefoot if his prejudices 
lead him to do so ; but he would not be tolerated if he tried 
to compel a neighbor to become a " Sockless Simpson.*" The 

116 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

white people of the South are at liberty to have and to hold 
their prejudices against the colored people or against Yankees ; 
and against this liberty it is not for public opinion to protest 
nor for the government to make objection. 

To eliminate prejudice from the hearts of men and emanci- 
pate the people from its evil effects is a work generally dele- 
gated to the doctrinaires of religion. But when the white 
people of the South convert their prejudice into an engine of 
hostility, a force of oppression and destruction to others, it 
then becomes the imperative duty of public opinion to protest, 
and the obligation of the government to intervene. 

The Honorable Carl Schurz, writing in McClure's Magazine^ 
referring to this attempt to subjugate the negro race, says : 
" And now the reactionists are striving again to burden the 
Southern people with another 'peculiar institution,' closely 
akin to its predecessor in character, as it will be in its inevitable 
effects if fully adopted by the Southern people, — that is, if 
the bulk of the laboring class is again to be kept in stupid 
subjection, without the hope of advancement and without the 
ambition of progress. For, as the old pro-slavery man was on 
principle hostile to general negro education, so the present 
advocate of semi-slavery is perfectly logical in his contempt 
for the general education of the colored people, and in his 
desire to do away with the negro school. What the reactionist 
really wants is a negro just fit for the task of a plantation hand 
and for little, if anything, beyond. 

" Therefore, quite logically, the reactionist abhors the edu- 
cated negro. In fact the political or social recognition of the 
educated negro is especially objectionable to him for the 
simple reason that it would be an encouragement of higher 
aspirations among the colored people generally. 

" The reactionist wishes to keep the colored people, that 
is, the great mass of the laboring force in the South as igno- 
rant as possible, to the end of keeping it as submissive and 
obedient as possible. . . . And now imagine the moral, intel- 

117 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

lectual, and economic condition of a community whose prin- 
cipal and most anxious — I might say historic — care is the 
sokition of the paramount problem ' how to keep the nigger 
down,' — that is, to reduce a large part of its laboring popu- 
lation to stolid brutishness. . . . That is not all. The reac- 
tionist fiercely insists that the South * must be let alone ' in 
dealing with the negro. 

" This was the cry of the pro-slavery men of the old ante- 
bellum time. But the American people outside of the South 
took a lively interest in the matter, and finally the South was 
not let alone, . . . they can hardly hope to be ' let alone.' 
Thus it may be said without exaggeration that by striving to 
keep up in the Southern States a condition of things which 
cannot fail to bring forth constant irritation and unrest, 
which threatens to burden the South with another ' peculiar 
institution ' by making the bulk of its laboring force again a 
clog to progressive development, — and to put the South once 
more in a position provokingly offensive to the moral sense 
and the enlightened spirit of the world outside, — the reac- 
tionists are the worst enemies the Southern people have to 
fear." 

The white people of the South would hotly resent any sug- 
gestion of their incapacity for self-government. But their 
policy is their own condemnation. For if they cannot rise 
above the low level of race prejudice and vulgar assumptions 
in the making and the enforcement of the law, is it not self- 
evident that they fail in the vital requisites and capacity for 
self-government? A people who cannot, or will not, main- 
tain orderly government in their local affairs invite distrust 
in broader or national affairs. The law of the spiritual life 
prevails here, — he who is faithful over a few things shall be 
made ruler over " many things." 

The republic is governed by law, and not by race preju- 
dice. Race prejudice is not law. Its operation is akin to 
anarchy. To give it the sanction, prestige, and force of law 

118 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

is to subvert American institutions and to destroy liberty and 
civilization. The result is certain. If once justified as law, 
where and when is it to end ? If the colored people are to 
be the victims of it to-day, who are to feel its fell and ruinous 
blow to-morrow ? Shall liberty, truth, and righteousness be 
sacrificed to race prejudice? Is race prejudice everything, 
and the Constitution of the United States and the laws of 
God nothing? 

Good citizenship measures up to the Constitution. The 
Constitution does not and cannot contract to the narrow 
confines of local prejudices, "inborn, inbred," or otherwise; 
for this would mean the ruin of all that has been gained, as 
well as all that is hoped for in the evolution of man and the 
march of civilization. 

When the white people of the South set themselves delib- 
erately and with the purpose aforethought to the work of 
reducing the colored race, as Mr. Schurz says, "to stolid 
brutishness,'' and keep them " in stupid subjection without 
the hope of advancement and the ambition of progress,'' and 
plead as a justification therefor " inborn, inbred, mother's- 
milk, instinctive, ineradicable'' race prejudice, they trans- 
gress against the moral sentiment of Christendom. 

That they should demand that the strong arm of the Fed- 
eral government shall be brought into requisition to aid them 
in consummating so diabolical a work by turning every col- 
ored person out of every Federal office, and discharging every 
colored man from the army and navy, and forcing every 
colored person into inferior relations in every walk of life 
and into serfdom, — this but accentuates the folly and frenzy 
which has possessed the head and heart of the South. That 
the white people of the South are practically united in 
this reactionary, anti-Christian policy does not lessen its 
heinousness. 

That some well-meaning men in the North look upon it with 
sympathy or approval does not add one glimmer of virtue to 

119 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

it. By condoning oppression and outlawry, such apologists 
encourage further disorders and violence. The policy of the 
South is wrong. No number of adherents and advocates for 
it can make it right. Its consummation in the dawn of the 
twentieth century and after forty years of heroic struggle 
against the most tremendous odds, and in the light of the 
wonderful, unsurpassed progress and achievements of the 
negro race in civilization, — would be the crime of these 
centuries. 

God Almighty did not grant to the white people of the 
South a perpetual lien on the labor and toils of the colored 
people, nor the right to rule, oppress, and outrage them to 
their hearts' content. If the whole South approves, then the 
whole South is wrong. But the evidence is not conclu- 
sive that the whole South does approve. There are more 
than murmurs of emphatic dissent from many noble-hearted 
Southerners, who see the blistering disgrace and burning 
shame which overshadow their fair land and discredit its 
civilization. But, at any rate, even the whole South should 
not be permitted to commit the republic to the nefarious 
policy of destroying the hope of millions of its own citizens. 
Many people who approved of slavery, endorsed the hanging 
of John Brown whose " soul goes marching on,*" and ac- 
claimed secession with joy and enthusiasm, now regi'et with 
pangs indescribable the existence of one and the occuiTence 
of the others. 

Some good men have gone wrong on every great moral 
issue of the past, and some good men are sure to go wrong 
on every great moral question of the future. This seems to 
be inevitable. But in the end the Right will win. The 
Right leads the trek of humanity, and God leads the Right. 
Furthermore, the white people of the South themselves dis- 
play grave suspicions of the durability of this race prejudice. 
If this prejudice is all that they claim, why is it necessary 
to hedge it about, buttress it around, prop it up, shield it 

120 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

over, and bastile it over with proscriptive, oppressive, and 
unlawful laws ? Why inaugurate a reign of terror and 
bloodshed to cultivate it? 

After all, to every serious American it will be manifest 
that all the smoke and noise and deadly work of this five- 
barrel weapon — this "inborn, inbred, motherVmilk, in- 
stinctive, ineradicable" race prejudice — are intended to cover 
the enactment of a tragedy in the Southland : the over- 
throw of the ballot of the colored man, the despoiling and 
subjugation of a people. 

The Reverend Dr. Newell D wight Hillis, who fills the 
Plymouth pulpit at Brooklyn, New York, made famous by 
Henry Ward Beecher, in a recent sermon said : " Just now 
the whole country is suffering from a reaction on the negro 
question, and the colored race have known a month of such 
depression and sorrow and heartache as they have not known 
in forty years — and there is reason for the depression. 
Consider the Presbyterian preacher in New York who last 
week said that the emancipation of the slaves was like the 
release of criminals from the penitentiary, and that the 
future of the 'nigger' was blacker and blacker and more 
hopeless. Consider that editorial in the Richmond paper 
that, commenting on the speech of a Southerner and of a 
great religious editor in New York, said that the two men 
evidently might have exchanged addresses. Think of the 
Southern soldier who insists in his article that the negro is 
an animal ; that, like the dog and horse, he has by associa- 
tion borrowed some of man's characteristics, but that he is 
without soul, and that he fears Hke the animal and never 
can have a home. 

" In 1866 Mr. Beecher said here that we must insist on 
suffrage for the negro ; that races, like children, are trained 
by responsibility ; that the poorest government of an ignorant 
man who governs himself is better than the best government 
that is imposed upon him from without. Mr. Beecher also 

121 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

said that in view of two centuries of injustice and slavery it 
might take a century before we would see the outcropping of 
an occasional orator, an occasional colored educator. What 
if Mr. Beecher could return to-day ? He would find that 
the greatest orator, from many points of view, in the country 
is a negro, and a black man to-day receives $150 to $300 a 
night, and there is only one other man in the country who 
receives as much. 

" The colored people are needlessly alarmed. The reaction 
is an eddy from the South itself. All the enemies of liberty, 
whether they want to or not, have to help the forces of 
liberty.'' 

True words these ! " All the enemies of liberty, whether 
they want to or not, have to help the forces of liberty."" 
The violent outburst of Southern wrath on the colored 
people and the extreme and cruel persecution of them " will 
help the forces of liberty.'' Intended for evil, they " will 
work together for good." These things will not be without 
value as an object lesson exposing the mind and purpose of 
the South, — an object lesson of which the nation will not 
fail to take note ; an object lesson which will serve to rally 
'^ the forces of liberty," and assure the decisive defeat of the 
conspiring " enemies of liberty." 

A white man's country ! This phrase is often pressed 
into service, and it has the effect chiefly of exciting race 
intolerance. It has been used with great detriment to 
the colored people, causing many of them to be driven 
from their homes ; and some to be killed because they stood 
on the principle that " a man's home is his castle." 

It would deny them the right of domicile on American 
soil. And if they have not the right of domicile, it would 
follow that they have not the right of citizenship nor the 
ballot, nor the protection of the law. It would place 
the race in the position of interlopers, subject to expul- 
sion at the whim of any party, at any place or at any 

122 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

time, or to be driven helter-skelter by the blind fury of 
the mob. 

A little incident, indeed a very little one, occurred recently 
at Washington City, which throws a flood of light on 
this pretension and dissolves its logic. It happened in 
this wise : A prominent Indian chief went from the Western 
prairies to visit the President at the White House. He was 
received and entertained in the cordial and hearty manner 
characteristic of Mr. Roosevelt. The Indian chief was 
greatly delighted. After the conference with the Great 
Father, he left the White House and soon after this en- 
countered a leading Southerner. In the conversation which 
followed, the Southerner inquired of the Indian chief if 
he did not think it would be a good thing to send all the 
negroes back to Africa. Without a moment's hesitation 
the great chief bluntly replied, " Yes, all the negroes ought 
to be sent back to Africa," and added with true Indian 
sternness, "and all the Chinese to China, and all the 
Germans to Germany, and all the French to France, and 
all the English to England, and all the ItaHans to Italy ; 
and all the other people too should be sent back to their 
own countries, and America should be given back to the 
Indians to whom it rightfully belongs.'' 

This was truly a rebuff to the Southerner. He got his 
answer, and with it a corollary which he had not expected. 
He found that the Indian chief was no respecter of persons. 
The rugged common-sense, the innate honesty, and the irre- 
sistible logic of the answer of this noble son of the plains will 
be applauded by every one. And the probability is that the 
Southern leaders will attain as little success in proving at the 
bar of public opinion that the colored people have no right to 
a domicile in this country as this particular Southerner had 
in demonstrating it to the satisfaction of the Indian chief. 

As a matter of history the white Southerners have barely 
eight years of priority on American soil over the colored 

123 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Southerners. So that if the colored people were obliged 
to make their departure in this year of grace, or at any other 
time, the white Southerners, to be chronologically consistent, 
would have to pack their "carpet-bags" and vacate the 
country just eight years later. 

As a matter of history also, the negroes were here even 
before the ever memorable and historic settlement at Ply- 
mouth Rock which has crowned this country with honor and 
glory. 

A country rightfully belongs to its inhabitants. All in 
common, whatever their race, have vested interests in the 
soil. If the colored people have no such rights, then none 
of the heterogeneous peoples inhabiting the country possess 
them. 

If long and continued residence establishes the right, the 
colored people possess it, for they have been here practically 
as long as the whites. If an entrance which was not an in- 
trusion or a trespass would give the right, the colored 
people have a much stronger claim than the whites, for they 
were not only the unwilling, but the forcefully entreated and 
detained occupant guests. 

If centuries of hard and faithful toil, the toil which 
develops the natural resources of a country, and which 
causes " the wilderness to bloom as the rose," would make 
perfect such a right, the colored people would have a claim 
superior to that of Southern whites. 

If the loyalty and patriotism which move men to offer 
their services, spill their blood, and fight and die in defence 
of their country, would seal the right of inheritance and 
vested interests in the soil, here too the colored people would 
have peculiar advantages over many of their white neighbors 
and would take at least equal rank with any class of the 
population. 

The blood of Crispus Attucks, a negro, was the first blood 
that was shed in the Revolutionary War. He was the first 

124 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

to fall from the volley of the " red coats " in the " Boston 
massacre." Thus a negro's blood actually sealed American 
Independence. 

The City of Boston has erected on her Common, a monu- 
ment to the first martyrs of American liberty, and at the 
head of the list is a negro, the selfsame Crispus Attucks. 
Peter Salem, a negro, fought side by side with Warren and 
his comrades in the battle of Bunker Hill. 

Colored men fought under Washington in several of his 
campaigns. General Greene, in writing to Alexander Ham- 
ilton, the 10th of January, 1781, from the vicinity of Camden, 
South Carolina, said : " There is a great spirit of enterprise 
among the black people, and those that have come out as 
volunteers are not a little formidable to the enemy." 

The negro was with Perry in his great victory on Lake 
Erie. 

Andrew Jackson, whom the South has delighted to honor, 
fought with negroes at the battle of New Orleans, and 
praised their heroism in his official report. The colored 
soldiers held the extreme right of the American lines and 
drove back the British at the point of the bayonet. 

There is certainly no room for equivocation or doubt as to 
the meaning of these words which General Jackson, in his 
proclamation to the negroes dated September 21, 1814, 
used : " To every noble-hearted, generous freeman of color 
volunteering to serve during the present contest with Great 
Britain and no longer, there will be paid the same bounty, 
in money and lands, now received by the white soldiers of 
the United States, namely, one hundred and twenty-four 
dollars in money, and one hundred and sixty acres of land. 
The non-commissioned officers and privates will also be 
entitled to the same monthly pay and daily rations and 
clothes furnished to any American soldier. To assure you 
of the sincerity of my intentions, and my anxiety to engage 
your invaluable services to our country, I have communicated 

125 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

my wish to the Governor of Louisiana, who is fully informed 
as to the manner of enrolment, and will give you every 
necessary information on the subject of this address."" 

Furthermore, on December 18, 1814, General Jackson, in 
an address to his colored soldiers, said: "To the men of 
color. Soldiers ! From the shores of Mobile I collected you 
to arms ; I invited you to share in the perils and to divide the 
glory of your white countrymen. I expected much from you ; 
for I was not uninformed of those qualities which render you 
so formidable to an invading foe. I knew that you could 
endure hunger and thirst and all the hardships of war. 
But you surpassed my hopes. I have found in you, united to 
these qualities, that noble enthusiasm which impels to great 
deeds. Soldiers ! The President of the United States shall 
be informed of your conduct on the present occasion ; and the 
voice of Representatives of the American nation shall applaud 
your valor, as your General now praises your ardor." 

That foremost patriot and expounder of the Constitution, 
Alexander Hamilton, in a letter to John Jay, March 14, 
1779, said : " I have not the least doubt that the negroes 
will make very excellent soldiers with proper management ; 
and I will venture to pronounce that they cannot be put 
into better hands than those of Mr. Laurens [Colonel Laurens 
of South Carolina]. . . . 

" An essential part of the plan is to give them their free- 
dom with their muskets.'"' 

The Honorable Henry Laurens, father of Colonel John 
Laurens of South Carolina, a great figure in the Revolutionary 
War, writing to General Washington, March 16, 1779, says : 
" Had we arms for three thousand such black men as I could 
select in Carolina, I should have no doubt of success in driv- 
ing the British out of Georgia and subduing East Florida 
before the end of July."*' 

A fact of transcendent interest may be recorded here, to 
wit : that the Congress of the United States on March 29, 

126 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

1779, passed a series of resolutions (see " Secret Journals of 
Congress," pages 107-110) in part as follows : 

''Resolved, That it be recommended to the States of 
South Carolina and Georgia, if they shall think the same 
expedient, to take measures immediately for raising three 
thousand able-bodied negroes." . . . And further " Resolved^ 
That Congress will make provision for paying the proprietors 
of such negroes as shall be enlisted for the service of the 
United States during the war a full compensation for the 
property at a rate not exceeding one thousand dollars for 
each active, able-bodied negro man of standard size, not ex- 
ceeding thirty-five years of age, who shall be so enlisted and 
pass muster." 

Congress also passed on the same day the following reso- 
lution : " Whereas John Laurens, Esq., who has heretofore 
acted as aid-de-camp to the Commander-in-Chief, is desirous 
of repairing to South Carolina, with a design to assist in 
defence of the Southern States : — 

''Resolved, That a commission of Lieutenant-Colonel be 
granted to the said John Laurens, Esq." 

Thus Colonel Laurens of South Carolina, who was commis- 
sioned by special resolution of the Congress, was foremost in 
" carrying the plan of the black levees into execution." 

The Honorable William Eustis of Massachusetts, who was 
a soldier through the Revolutionary War and afterwards Gov- 
ernor of Massachusetts and member of Congress, in a speech 
in the Congress, Dec. 12, 1820, said : " At the commencement 
of the Revolutionary War, there were found in the Middle 
and Northern states many blacks, and other people of color, 
capable of bearing arms ; a part of them free, the greater 
part slaves. The freemen entered our ranks with the whites. 
The time of those who were slaves was purchased by the 
states ; and they were induced to enter the service in conse- 
quence of a law by which, on condition of their serving in 
the ranks during the war, they were made freemen. 

127 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

" In Rhode Island, where their numbers were more consid- 
erable, they were formed under the same considerations into 
a regiment commanded by white officers ; and it is required, 
in justice to them, to add that they discharged their duty 
with zeal and fidelity. The gallant defence of Red Bank, in 
which this black regiment bore a part, is among the proofs of 
their valor. 

" Among the traits which distinguished this regiment was 
their devotion to their officers ; when their brave Colonel 
Greene was afterwards cut down and mortally wounded, the 
sabres of the enemy reached his body only through the limbs 
of his faithful guard of blacks, who hovered over him and 
protected him, every one of whom was killed and whom he 
was not ashamed to call his children. 

" The services of this description of men in the navy are also 
well known. I should not have mentioned either, but for 
the information of the gentleman from Delaware, whom I 
understood to say that he did not know that they had served 
in any considerable numbers. 

" The war over and peace restored, these men returned to 
their respective states ; and who could have said to them, on 
their return to civil life, after having shed their blood in com- 
mon with the whites in the defence of the liberties of the coun- 
try, ' You are not to participate in the rights secured by the 
struggle, or the liberty for which you have been fighting ' ? 

" Certainly no white man in Massachusetts." 

Straight to the point are the positive utterances of the Hon- 
orable Charles Pinckney of South Carolina, who, in a speech 
in the Congress, December, 1820, said : " They [the negroes] 
were, as they still are, as valuable a part of our population 
to the Union as any other equal number of inhabitants. 
They were in numerous instances the pioneers, and, in all, 
the laborers, of your armies. To their hands were owing the 
erection of the greatest part of the fortifications raised for 
the protection of our country ; some of which, particularly 

128 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

Fort Moultrie, gave, at that early period of the inexpe- 
rience and untried valor of our citizens, immortality to Ameri- 
can arms ; and in the Northern states numerous bodies of 
them were enrolled into, and fought by the sides of the 
whites, the battles of the Revolution." 

The conclusion is unavoidable that these brave and much 
praised black patriots, whose " invaluable services " were un- 
grudgingly acknowledged by leading men North and South, 
were, with their descendants, gradually forced back into 
slavery. And as the institution grew and flourished they 
were lost in it and their identity and services forgotten. 

The great services of the negroes on land and at sea in the 
War of the Rebellion are well known. Admiral Porter, in 
his Naval History of the Civil War, says : " A remarkable 
instance of patriotism on the part of the colored people was 
evinced in the bringing out of the armed steamer ' Planter ' 
from Charleston and delivering her over to the naval officers 
blockading that port. . . . [This act] would have done credit 
to any one, but the cleverness with which the whole affair 
was conducted deserves more than a passing notice.'' Robert 
Smalls, a mulatto, was the pilot of the Confederate steamer 
" Planter." Seizing the vessel while the white officers were 
on shore, with the assistance of the negro crew he cast off 
the hawser under the very eyes of a sentinel, steamed down 
the bay performing the proper salutes, passed Fort Sumter, 
and proceeded to sea before the Confederates realized that 
the vessel was bound for the blockading fleet. Smalls' heroic 
services were recognized by Congress, and he afterwards 
became a member of Congress from South Carolina. 

Colonel Le Grand B. Cannon, in a volume entitled " Per- 
sonal Reminiscences of the Rebellion," makes this most inter- 
esting recital : " Some little time after the duel in Hampton 
Roads, early in the month of April, four big steamships — 
the " Vanderbilt," the " Arago," the "Ericsson," and the 
" Illinois" — came down to Fort Monroe, to be in the harbor 
9 129 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

in readiness to attack the " Merrimac " if she came out, and 
to destroy her by running her down. Captain Gadsden of 
the " Arago/' a merchant ship chartered for this service, on 
reaching Fort Monroe and opening his orders, found that his 
ship was to be a ram. His crew in some way got to know 
the nature of the mission their ship was in, and the danger- 
ous character of the work in which they were to engage, and 
promptly deserted in a body. 

" The next morning Captain Gadsden found he had not a 
man aboard his ship except his officers. He went to the 
admiral of the fleet and stated his dilemma. The admiral 
said he had not a man to spare. General Wool (of the land 
forces) brought Captain Gadsden to me, and the latter re- 
lated to me the condition of affairs. He said negroes would 
do for his purposes quite as well as white men, and asked me 
if I would give him fifty negroes. 

" ' Yes,' I answered, ' I will let you have all the negroes you 
want under certain conditions."* 

" ' What are they ? "* asked Captain Gadsden. 

" * They must be volunteers,"* I said. 

" ' What will be the pay,' I asked. 

" ' Thirteen dollars a month and rations,' he answered. 

" 'All right,' I said, 'you come to me at 12 o'clock.' 

"At 12 o'clock Captain Wilder had three hundred and 
fifty sturdy negro stevedores drawn up in double lines. I 
addressed them saying : ' I do not know what the result of 
this war will be in regard to your condition. I hope it will 
result in your freedom. Some have got to shed their blood, 
and others to lay down their lives. You have seen the battle 
which has been fought between the "Merrimac" and our 
vessels of war. We have brought down four big ships to 
destroy the " Merrimac " by ramming her. The enterprise 
is a hazardous one, but it is one of glory. From on board 
one ship the white sailors have deserted because of the hazard 
of the service. It is my privilege to offer to fifty of jou the 

130 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

opportunity to volunteer to go on that ship. Every man 
who survives will be a hero, and those who fall will be mar- 
tyrs. Now, those boys who will volunteer to go on board 
this fighting ship will move three paces to the front."* 

"And the whole line moved up in a solid column, as 
though actuated by a single impulse. It was a thrilling 
response, and the most remarkable and impressive scene I 
ever witnessed. We picked out fifty of the most likely men, 
and they were sent at once on board the "Arago.'' They 
were escorted down to the boats by all the negroes round 
about, with shouting, singing, and praying, and every demon- 
stration of exultant joy. It was a most exciting and inspir- 
ing sight. 

" The volunteers put aboard the "Arago" proved them- 
selves most apt and willing workers, and soon proved their 
value and justified our confidence. A week or two after this 
incident Captain Fox, First Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 
came down to Fort Monroe. I told him what we had done, 
and he was greatly pleased and interested and saw the men, 
and inquired fully as to their capabilities and value. Shortly 
afterward he issued an order that the fleets should be re- 
cruited entirely from negroes. Thus were negroes, fugitives, 
slaves, enlisted in the naval service of the United States, as 
free men and free agents, on the same footing as the white 
volunteers, nine months before the Proclamation of Emanci- 
pation by President Lincoln.'" 

Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, of Boston, who in 
turn commanded both white and colored soldiers, in a recent 
issue of the Atlantic Monthly, of the colored soldiers says : 
" As to the general facts of courage and reliability, I think 
that no officer in our camp ever thought of there being any 
essential difference between black and white ; and surely the 
judgment of these officers, who were risking their lives at 
every moment, month after month, on the fidelity of their 
men, was worth more than the opinion of the world besides. 

131 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

As the negroes were intensely human at these points, they 
were equally so in pointing out that they had more to fight 
for than the white soldier. They loved the United States 
flag, and I remember one zealous corporal, a man of natural 
eloquence, pointing to it during a meeting on the Fourth of 
July, and saying with more zeal than statistical accuracy, 
' Dar 's dat flag, we hab lib under it for eighteen hundred 
and sixty-two years, and we 11 lib and die for it now.' But 
they could never forget that, besides the flag and the Union, 
they had home and wife and child to fight for. War was a 
very serious matter to them. They took a grim satisfaction 
when orders were issued that the officers of colored troops 
should be put to death on capture. It helped their espiit de 
corps immensely. Their officers, like themselves, were hence- 
forward to fight with ropes around their necks. Even when 
the new black regiments began to come down from the North, 
the Southern blacks pointed out this difference, that in case 
of ultimate defeat, the Northern troops, black or white, must 
sooner or later be exchanged and returned to their homes, 
whereas, they themselves must fight it out or be re-enslaved. 
All this was absolutely correct reasoning and showed them 
human. And further, no matter how reckless in bearing they 
might be, those negroes were almost fatalists in their confi- 
dence that God would watch over them ; and if they died it 
would be because their time had come. ' If each one of us 
was a praying man,"* said one of my corporals in a speech, * it 
appears to me that we could fight as well with prayers as with 
bullets, for the Lord has said that if you have faith even as a 
grain of mustard seed cut into four parts, you can say to the 
sycamore tree "Arise,'' and it will come up.' And though 
Corporal Long's botany may have got a little confused, his 
faith proved itself by works, for he volunteered to go many 
miles on a solitary scouting expedition into the enemy's 
country in Florida, and got back safe after he had been 
given up for lost." 

132 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Roy, now residing at Oak Park, 
Illinois, in an article in The Nezv Englander and Yale Bevieza, 
on " Our Indebtedness to the Negroes for their Conduct dur- 
ing the War,'" speaks of Wagner, Port Hudson, the " Tragedy 
of the Crater "" at Petersburg, and Fort Pillow as giving the 
severest test of these black soldiers and as winning the favor 
and the admiration of the army and of the country. 

He quotes the opinions of General Grant, General Burn- 
side, Captain Jewett, Colonel Bassett, General Hunter, 
Captain Pease, Governor Rush of Wisconsin, and others, who 
were in touch with colored soldiers and knew their value. 
He then proceeds : " It would be edifying to our patriotism 
to follow them through the two hundred and forty-nine bat- 
tles and engagements in which they participated, down the 
Atlantic coast, down the Mississippi, and along with the 
armies of the Potomac, the James, and Cumberland. In such 
a tour we would find them at Ship Island successfully resisting 
the assault of Confederate veterans twice their number ; we 
would find them at Milliken's Bend, whipping the enemy that 
came yelling, 'No quarter!' at Fort Powhatan, where the 
ex-slaves met three charges from the Virginia masters under 
Fitzhugh Lee and held out for a five hours' fight, carrying 
the day ; at Bermuda Hundred, where they took six redoubts 
with their connecting rifle-pits and captured seven pieces of 
artillery ; at Decatur, capturing a battery with a loss of six 
officers and sixty men ; at Dalton, where an inspecting cap- 
tain reported to General Steedman, *The regiment over 
there is holding dress parade under fire ' ; at Honey Hill, 
where in a battle that had twenty-three hundred union sol- 
diers killed or wounded, as Captain Jewett tells me, his men, 
lying down to protect a battery, would beg permission and 
go out, a few at a time, to join in the fight, only a part of 
them coming back ; and at Nashville, where a negro division 
was put forward to open the battle, and where, as Captain 
Lyman told me, his colored regiment, in making the sixty 

133 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

rods to capture a bastion, had fifty-six men killed and one 
hundred and twenty-eight wounded. 

" Captain H. V. Freeman, of Chicago, addressing the stu- 
dents of Hampton upon the bravery of the colored troops, 
said : ' It was the second day of the battle of Nashville that 
the charge on Overton Hill occurred. Three regiments of 
General Thomas's brigade— the 12th, 13th, and 100th — 
were colored troops. These were put in with a division of 
colored troops — General Wood's 4th Army Corps — for the 
charge on Overton Hill. The first charge was not successful, 
owing to the wounding of General Post of the 4th Army 
Corps, and also to the difficulty of crossing the ploughed 
ground. You know what Tennessee clay soil is when it gets 
wet — there seems no bottom to it. Going through that 
corn field, it seemed as if there was no bottom to it, and as 
we pulled our feet out — all the while the cannons playing 
on us from the hill — each foot seemed to weigh a ton. At 
the bottom of the hill we got over a rail fence — all that were 
left of us — and found ourselves on good turf. It seemed then 
as if we could fly ; but there were tree tops cut down and as 
I saw my men struggling through them, they seemed to be 
sticking to them like flies in a spider's web, the rebel cannon 
sending in grape shot and canister upon them. The result 
was that the only men who reached the ramparts were men 
of the colored regiments. They scaled the ramparts, and 
every man who did was shot down. The first charge, as I 
said, was not a success, but the regiments did not retreat. 
Those left lay down at the foot of the hill, and at the next 
order to charge, with the whole line they swept over the 
ramparts.' " 

Dr. Roy also quotes General S. C. Armstrong, as follows : 
" At the siege of Richmond, I received an order to push my 
regiment — the 9th U. S. Colored Infantry — to the flank of 
General Terry's division, which was being hard pressed. 
Standing there in line we were harassed by an unseen foe 

134 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

hidden in the bushes. It was impossible to hold the position 
and I ordered my men to fall back, and, to avoid a panic 
and stampede, I ordered them to walk ; and they did so the 
whole distance — shot at by the unseen enemy as they went, 
and having to climb over fallen trees and go through rough 
ground. They got back panting with fatigue and lay down 
exhausted. As they lay there the order came from our 
brigade commander to go back over the same ground and 
retake the position. I knew that meant death for every one 
of us, but a soldier has only to obey, so I gave the order and 
we started. But General Terry saw us going, and under- 
standing the position, ordered us back and saved us. What 
struck me was that every man went forward. Exhausted as 
they were, knowing as they did the difficulty of the way and 
the certainty of death before them, not one man faltered." 

At Fort Harrison, within five miles of Richmond, where 
the rebel garrison cried out, " Come on, darkies, we want your 
muskets ! '' they did come on, shouting, " Remember Fort 
Pillow ! '' to capture those taunting cavaliers and their strong- 
hold ; of which exploit General Butler, on the floor of Con- 
gress, said : " It became my painful duty, sir, to follow in 
the track of that charging column, and there, in a space not 
wider than the clerk's desk, and three hundred yards long, 
lay the dead bodies of five hundred and forty-three ebony- 
colored comrades, slain in the defence of their country, who 
had laid down their lives to uphold its flag and its honor as 
a willing sacrifice. 

" Our indebtedness to these people for their conduct during 
the war — who can reckon it up ? We early set about 
discharging a part of that obligation. We gave them their 
freedom. We clothed them with citizenship. We conferred 
upon them the suffrage. The Government is in covenant, 
before God and the nations, with these allies, whose late 
coming was like that of Blucher to our Waterloo. It main- 
tains the rights of only an intended citizen everywhere 

135 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

around the globe. Will it keep faith with ten millions 
of native Americans, whose citizenship has been sealed in 
blood ? 

" They are Americans, baptized as such by the sprinkling 
of blood. We must honor their rights of inheritance and of 
baptism." 

The testimony of two other important witnesses may be 
inserted here. 

General George H. Thomas, the hero of the battle at 
Nashville, Tennessee, after riding over the field and viewing 
the bodies of white and colored soldiers mingled together, 
said : " This day proves the manhood of the negro." 

And President Lincoln said : " I was, in my best judgment, 
driven to the alternative of either surrendering the Union and 
with it the Constitution, or of laying strong hands upon the 
colored element. I chose the latter." 

He also said : " Take 200,000 [black soldiers] from our 
side and put them in the battlefield or cornfield against us 
and we would be compelled to abandon the war in three 
weeks." And again : " Then there will be some black men 
who can remember that, with silent tongue, with clinched 
teeth, with steady eye, and with well poised bayonet, they 
have helped mankind on to this great consummation [the 
preservation of free institutions], while I fear that there will 
be some white men unable to forget that with malignant 
heart and deceitful speech they have striven to hinder it." 

In the Spanish- American war the negro soldier won renown 
for American arms. 

Mr. James Creelman, the war correspondent, reported in 
the New York Journal as follows : '' A perfect storm of shot 
and shell swept the hillside. There was a moment of hesi- 
tation along the line. Then the order was. Forward, charge ! 
Roosevelt was in the lead waving his sword. Out into the 
open and up the hill where death seemed certain, in the face 
of the continuous crackle of the Mauser, came the Rough 

136 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

Riders with the Tenth (colored) Cavahy alongside. Not a 
man flinched, all continuing to fire as they ran. Roosevelt 
was a hundred feet ahead of his troops, yelling like a Sioux, 
while his own men and the colored cavalry cheered him as 
they charged up the hill. There was no stopping as men's 
neighbors fell, but on they went faster and faster. 

" It was something terrible to watch these men race up 
that hill with death. Fast as they were going it seemed 
that they would never reach the crest. . . . We could 
clearly see the wonderful work the dusky veterans of the 
Tenth were doing. Such splendid shooting was probably 
never done under these conditions. As fast as the Spanish 
fire thinned their ranks the gaps were closed up, and after 
an eternity they gained the top of the hill and rushed the 
few remaining yards to the Spanish trenches. The position 
was won. Across the gulch the soldiers wildly cheered the 
gallant Tenth. The Tenth gave tongue with an answering 
cheer and rush on to drive the enemy further. Over the 
Spanish trenches they tore, passing the Spanish dead.'"* 

Associate Justice Curtis, of the Supreme Court of the 
United States, in his dissenting opinion from Chief Justice 
Taney in the celebrated Dred Scott case, says : " At the time 
of the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, all free 
native-born inhabitants of the states of New Hampshire, Mass- 
achusetts, New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina, though 
descendants from African slaves, were not only citizens of 
those states, but such of them as had the other qualifications 
possessed the franchise of electors, on equal terms with other 
citizens. It has already been shown that, in five of the 
thirteen original states, colored persons then possessed the 
elective franchise, and were among those by whom the Con- 
stitution was ordained and established. If so, it is not true, 
in point of fact, that the Constitution was made exclusively 
by the white race. And that it was made exclusively for the 
white race is, in my opinion, not only an assumption not 

137 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

warranted by anything in the Constitution, but contradicted 
by its opening declaration, that it was ordained and es- 
tabhshed by the people of the United States for themselves 
and their posterity. And as free colored persons were then 
citizens of at least five states, and so in every sense, part of 
the people of the United States, they were among those for 
whom and whose posterity the Constitution was ordained 
and established." 

Thus it is absolutely indisputable that the colored man 
not only fought for American independence but also assisted 
as a voter in ordaining and establishing the Constitution of 
the United States. 

In view of these and many other things, it may appear, 
after all, that the negro can establish a very clear title to his 
rights and domicile on American soil — a title as clean and 
as perfect in every respect as that of his persecutors and 
oppressors. 

A white man's country forsooth ! There is but one step 
further for these Southern leaders to take, and that is to 
claim that the God of the universe is a white man's God ; the 
Redeemer of the world is a white man's Redeemer ; the sun, 
moon, and stars are the white man's possession ; the cooling 
zephyr, the air that is breathed, the mighty deep, and all the 
waters which bear the traffic and commerce of the world on 
their bosom, and all the bountiful gifts of nature belong to 
the white man. After this these leaders can wrap them- 
selves in the mantle of their vast and superb superiority and 
wait and watch and even weep for other claims to stake. 

It will seem, however, to rational people, and there are a 
great many such in the South, that this " white-man's-coun- 
try " argument is so monstrously stupid, so silly and inane, 
that the mere statement of its logical inferences is sufficient 
to destroy it. 

Social equality ! This is the bogy-man of the South. 
And it appears that he is nowadays frightening, not the 

138 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

children, but the old folks ; and doubtless many are in a state 
of perturbation bordering on hysteria. 

Some twenty years or so ago, when the white people of the 
South first displayed this bogy-man, Mr. George W. Cable, 
himself a Southerner, a man gifted with the courage of his 
convictions, killed the bogy-man with this simple short, 
piercing sentence, " Social equality is the dream of a fool."" 

The nation instantly accepted this declaration as a verity. 
The poor old bogy-man was laid away in his grave and had 
almost gone "out of the memory of man." But lo, and 
behold, the leaders of the South have dug him up, taken 
off his grave clothes, put strange robes on him, electrified 
him, and made him all over into a most " horrible fright," 
and now present him once more like an automaton to the 
public. By the deft touch of the Southern magicians, he is 
made to pose first this way, and then that way, and still other 
ways, creating wild and violent excitement among the whites 
and carrying violence and death to the colored people. 

The gyrations of the galvanically manipulated old bogy- 
man have been so industriously and effectually worked by 
the Southern leaders that the white people of the South have 
themselves been thrown into a strange panic; while the 
people of the nation at large, self-possessed, are either hot 
with indignation, or are grimly humorous over the excite- 
ment of the leaders of this movement, with their ravings and 
comical and crazy antics, regarding it as a free show by the 
hysterical, frenzied social-equality Southern leaders. 

Social equality ! It is fitful, transient, elusive. Shall this 
visionary, fleeting, intangible thing, with its many-sidedness, 
dominate the life of the republic ? Is it to be a new test of 
American manhood and citizenship ? If so, then who is to 
act as judge in regard to it? The social-equahty man of 
to-day is the convict in the prison cell on the to-morrow. 
Shall not character, good citizenship, competency, talent, 
honest manhood, faithful service, and patriotism outweigh 

139 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

the fooPs dream of social equality ? What matters it, 
whether the prime virtues and graces of life are found under 
the white or the ebony skin ? Did not the same God make 
both ? Does He not plant His divinity in both alike ? Can 
the color of the skin lessen the character and merit of the 
man ? 

Is it not true that 

" All men are equal in God's sight ; 
There is no black, there is no white " ? 

In the constitution of human society social equality has 
never existed anywhere, it does not exist anywhei*e, and it 
never can exist anywhere. There are circles, and circles 
within circles; there are sets and grades and cliques and 
clans within sets and grades and cliques and clans. Which, 
then, is the real thing ? 

What are the lines of differentiation which would shut out 
every colored person — for this is the plain purpose of the 
Southern leaders — from consideration as a member of the 
social organism which would not be an impeachment of 
common-sense, Christianity, and civilization? Members of 
the same family and household are not necessarily social 
equals ; one member may be good, and another bad ; one 
talented and refined, and another ignorant and coarse ; one 
magnificent and glorious in usefulness to the world, and 
another a curse to humanity. 

What of social equality ? Human life does not move 
smoothly on a dead level. Its course is up, down ; down, up. 
Many born to station, luxury, and wealth have died in 
poverty, in the slums, and in the gutter. 

What of social equality ? Many have risen from the 
ranks of the lowliest, the most destitute, and even from the 
abandoned classes, to the highest walks of life, and some 
such have been crowned with a people's respect, love, and 
homage. 

140 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

What of social equality ? The lowly born do not always 
remain lowly. The high born do not always stay on top. 
Each rank is continuously recruiting the other. What of 
social equality ? 

Alexandre Dumas with his strain of negro blood is counted 
an honor to France. There are thousands of colored people 
in the South who in every one of the essentials of life — 
in intelligence, education, refinement, culture, industry, as 
holders of property and tax-payers, as good citizens living 
orderly and decent lives, as public-spirited and useful mem- 
bers of the community, in moral worth — are superior to 
some thousands of whites. Why should these people be 
crushed and offered as a sacrifice to the social-equality bogy ? 

Are free institutions, "government of the people, for the 
people, and by the people" to give place to government of 
social equality, for social equality, and by social equality.? 
The glory of the republic is that it has been governed by 
the people. No social-equality set has ever ruled it. It is a 
presumption for these leaders to mark dividing lines and say 
that an American citizen shall not rise beyond them in life, 
in honor, in the respect of his fellows, in usefulness, in the 
service of the nation. The idea is alien, extremely vicious, 
pernicious, mischievous, hideous. 

If this cry of social equality at one time destroys the 
liberty and rights of the colored people, what is to prevent 
it at another time from crushing out the liberty and rights 
of the Jews, or the Irish, or the Italians, or the Poles, or the 
Swedes, or any other people ? Tyranny or oppression grows 
by what it feeds on. It ever seeks a victim. This nation 
is cosmopolitan, embracing representatives of all the peoples 
of the world. At many places or localities these representa- 
tives may be few, or may not be influential. What is to 
save their liberties and rights from destruction ? Just and 
equal laws for all the people are the only safety of all the 
people. 

141 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

If the republic were in peril, and called on its citizens for 
its defence, who would dare to raise social equality as a test 
or standard for service? All who are competent to bear 
arms and face the enemy would be welcomed. Many were 
the loyal and patriotic citizens who responded to the call of 
their country in 1861, and who never so much as heard of 
such a thing as social equality. They went in with muskets 
on their shoulders, and as unknown quantities. Many came 
out rich in the affection, and amid the glare of trumpets and 
the cheers and shouts, of a great and free people, who will 
never forget their deeds of valor, nor allow the fruitage of 
their sacrifices to be destroyed. 

When the republic is at peace it savors of effrontery for 
any one to presume to make social equality a passport to the 
public service. Are there not men of high social standing 
who are absolutely unfit for the duties of the public service ? 
And on the other hand, are there not men without such 
standing who are qualified to discharge the most delicate 
and arduous duties of the official life? 

The question naturally arises, Are all the white Southern 
office-holders men of the equality type ? If they are, then 
some facts generally known bespeak a condition of social order 
among them which cannot be regarded as encouraging. 

Fresh in the minds of the public are these happenings : A 
lieutenant-governor of South Carolina presided over the 
Senate with a brace of revolvers in his hip pockets, and went 
straight from the Senate chamber to the streets and shot 
down an unarmed and highly respected citizen ; a lieutenant- 
governor of Louisiana was shot to death in a street brawl ; a 
lieutenant-governor of Missouri was forced to resign from 
his office, admitting under oath that he was a bribe taker 
and bribe giver; a United States senator and a congressman 
battered each other in a curbstone fight in Arkansas ; two 
United States senators from South Carolina tried conclusions 
in a pugilistic encounter on the floor of the United States 

142 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

Senate and in open session ; a United States senator from 
Texas demonstrated his ability as an all-round " scrapper " 
by the manner in which he "punched" a most reputable 
member of that body ; a mayor of the leading city in Georgia 
was repeatedly haled to court for intoxication ; a congressman 
from Missouri assaulted and attempted to stab a street-car 
conductor in the city of Washington rather than pay a five- 
cent fare ; a governor of Alabama and a judge of a court in 
that state argued their difference with the strenuosity of 
fisticuffs ; a son of a governor of Kentucky who was also his 
private secretary was shot to death for dishonoring a home, 
and his victim with him ; grave senators and members of a 
state legislature have confessed under oath to receiving 
bribes and giving bribes for votes on matters of legislation ; 
city aldermen and leading citizens more than a score have 
been charged and convicted of betraying their trusts, re- 
ceiving and disbursing bribe money ; feuds have flourished, 
thirty-eight citizens having been assassinated in one Kentucky 
county in a brief period of time ; defalcations and embezzle- 
ments have been frequent — Tennessee lost $500,000 by the 
defalcation of its state treasurer ; Alabama lost $400,000 ; 
three other Southern states also suffered heavy losses ; and 
as to county treasurers, a long list of them have embezzled 
the people's money and voluntarily exiled themselves from 
their homes between the setting and rising of the sun. 

And this is not the half that might be said along these 
lines ; but it is enough to prick the bubble of Southern 
nonsense that social equality shall be the test for holding 
public office. The question is asked again, Do these men — 
for some of them are still in office — represent the ideal of 
Southern social equality ? 

It is a false pretext to claim that the possession of a public 
office establishes social equality. If it were true, the Bowery 
and Fifth Avenue would fraternize ; and there would be no 
difference socially between the typical east-side politician and 

143 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Grover Cleveland, Judge Parker, or Mayor Low ; and the 
dive-keeping alderman might lead the " Grand March '' at 
the most fashionable event of the season. Public office does 
not and cannot estabhsh social equality. The governor of a 
state cannot go into a citizen's home and enjoy his social 
board unless the citizen invites him to come. 

If the appointment or election of a white man to office 
does not make him the social equal of every other white per- 
son, by what species of logic can it be demonstrated that the 
holding of office would make the colored people social equals 
of the white people ? It is a travesty on common-sense to 
say that a man cannot transact any public, or even private 
business with another man without offering his daughter 
in marriage to him, or tendering him the hospitality of his 
home. 

Outside of the South, the world over, men have learned 
how to treat a public official with becoming decency and 
dignity without raising the question of social privileges or 
proffering their daughters in marriage to such officials ; and 
they have also learned how " to break bread " with a cultured 
or reputable man of any race without suggesting a marriage 
during or at the close of the meal. Truly, as Mr. Schurz 
says, these leaders " are the worst enemies the Southern 
people have to fear.*" 

Again, is Southern social equality in public affairs so elas- 
tic that it can take under its protecting wings murderers, 
brawlers, moral lepers, amateur pugilists, bribe givers, bribe 
takers, drunkards, embezzlers, defaulters, and what not, since 
they are white ? And is it yet so lofty in its own self-esteem 
that it can afford to assassinate the liberty of a people, and 
deny to such men as Lyons, Crum, Dancy, Allgood, and 
Washington, the lawful rights of American citizenship because 
of their color ? 

It is of interest to note the attitude of the influential 
Northern press in this matter. 

144 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

The New York World asks these pointed questions : " But 
why is the question of ' social equahty '' never raised by the 
appointment of white men to office or by their attendance 
upon any pubHc meeting — no matter how ignorant, de- 
praved, or even dirty they may be ? When a man is 
appointed Collector of the Port of New York does any body 
think of his ' social equality ' ? Does any one feel obliged to 
invite a white official to dinner, or does such a man consider 
that his commission affects his social status ? " 

The Boston Herald declares : " Americans are fond of 
quoting Robert Burns' immortal line, ' A man 's a man for 
a' that, for a' that.' His ' a' that "* meant more than poverty 
and weakness. It was a noble soul's protest against all the 
ignoble prejudices based on conditions of fortune. ' For a' 
that' means notwithstanding color as much as notwithstand- 
ing ignorance and humbleness. Manliness is a matter of 
character, and does not depend on the color of the skin nor 
on the strain of race. God has not made any race forever 
incapable of it, nor any race forever incapable of recognizing 
and honoring it. The habit of distributing humanity in fixed 
castes according to the accident of birth, from which there 
is no escape, is a trait of immaturity and unreason. Chris- 
tianity wars against it, enlightenment wars against it, de- 
mocracy wars against it. The tendency of civilization is to 
break the arbitrary fetters of manhood, whether of fortune, 
race, or color, and acknowledge and honor the virtues, in 
whomsoever they are found." 

And the Detroit (Michigan) Free Press uses the following 
language : " This Southern childishness in relation to the 
social side of the race question can hardly be treated with 
patience. People of the North, who are quite as good as the 
people of the South, sometimes meet negroes at receptions 
without having the bloom rubbed off their social prestige. 
The social standing of Theodore Roosevelt is, we think, quite 
as good as that of any Southern congressmen, but Mr, 
10 ' 145 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Roosevelt is not constantly tormented by the fear that he 
will be thought no better than a 'blue-gummed nigger"* if 
a respectable negro happens to cross the sill of the White 
House.'' 

This alarm over social equality is a part of the stock in 
trade of the Southern leaders, by which the whites are in- 
flamed and the colored people oppressed. That it should 
scare so many good people in the South is amazing, in view 
of the fact that for forty years colored men have been hold- 
ing offices and white men have repeatedly petitioned for their 
appointment and have repeatedly voted for colored men in 
local elections and have signed their bonds. 

But the ascendency of the Tillmans, the Vardamans, the 
Graves, the Walkers, the Ay cocks, the Candlers, the Baileys, 
Carmacks, Richardsons, and other reactionists has broken the 
bonds of mutual regard between the races, and by their 
wicked harangues they have confused the minds of the white 
people on the race question. 

These men are "the worst enemies the Southern people 
have to fear." It would be a day of jubilee to the Southland 
and to the whole country if these fire-eaters could be deported 
to some distant, uninhabited island in the Pacific ; there to 
end their days. They would be alive but a short time ; for in 
the absence of negroes to oppress and lynch and burn, they 
would soon be oppressing and lynching and burning each 
other, and it would not be long before the last of the brood 
would be reaping what they have sown. But as this cannot 
be done, the country will have to bear their shame, and the 
negroes their violence, for some time to come, and until 
returning reason — " the moral sense and the enlightened 
spirit " — shall assert the true manhood of the South. 

" Negro inferiority "" is a phrase which appeals more to the 
great masses than to the classes among the Southern whites, 
and the lower the social strata, the more effective is the 
appeal. One can readily see how it ministers to the pride 

146 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

and vanity of the lowest element, " no matter how ignorant, 
depraved, or even dirty they may be,'' to feel and be assured 
that they are better than any negro. 

Under other circumstances, the negro of' character, educa- 
tion, and property would receive a degree of consideration 
and respect from the whites who are less prosperous. 

The better class of whites have always held in high esteem 
character, education, and property ; and they would not 
have gone to extremes in refusing all recognition to colored 
people possessing these. Indeed, many among this class have 
given public expression of their surprise and gi-atification at 
the progress made by the colored people since their emanci- 
pation. There are notable instances of true and hearty 
friendship and ungrudging appreciation between some of the 
whites and colored people. 

The former slave has in a number of instances provided 
for the support of the family of the former master which was 
in indigent circumstances. Some have willed their property 
to the former master. And in many cases the former master 
has been sympathetic and helpful to the former slave. 

To destroy respect for the negro among the masses, and all 
interest in the negro among the classes, the leaders boldly pro- 
claim the doctrine that the negro is necessarily an inferior 
to the white man and that there can be no common inter- 
est between them; that the lowest white man is the supe- 
rior of the best negro, and should therefore receive greater 
consideration. 

This means that the white criminal or degenerate is above 
the colored man of probity and standing. Is it true that 
the mere tint of a man's skin makes him either superior or 
inferior to another man ? The leaders know better, but it 
serves their purpose to declare it. And such teaching has 
brought incredible woes upon the negro. 

There are many well known cases of white criminals and 
degenerates who have been pardoned from the penitentiaries, 

147 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

and yet who have the freedom of the ballot, a privilege de- 
nied to colored men of moral and material value to the 
community. 

And these white criminals and degenerates have also other 
privileges of a white man, while the same are denied to colored 
persons. Even in the state prisons white criminals are 
placed on an entirely different footing from colored criminals. 

The idea of negro inferiority entei's into the framing and 
the execution of the law. It has been molded into custom 
and unwritten law. It is enforced with fierceness and cruelty 
unspeakably shocking. It permeates every phase of Southern 
life, and the visible proofs of it are to be seen in every direct 
tion in which one may cast the eye. 

It has resulted in the passage of " Jim Crow '' laws which 
can be fitly described only when called barbarous ; and the 
appropriate apellation for the makers of such laws would be 
the "Jim Crow'' politicians. These "Jim Crow" politicians 
have "Jim-Crowed" all railway trains, stations, lunch-counters, 
dining-rooms, waiting-rooms ; they have " Jim-Crowed " all 
libraries, theatres, museums, art galleries, public parks, and 
places of public resort and amusements ; they have " Jim- 
Crowed" the street cars; they have " Jim-Crowed " all ferry- 
boats and steamboats ; they have " Jim-Crowed " some of the 
trades and callings ; they have " Jim-Crowed " the churches 
and schools and colleges and other institutions of learning ; 
they have "Jim-Crowed" the elevators in stores, office build- 
ings, public buildings, and other places ; they have " Jim- 
Crowed " restaurants, cafes, ice-cream parlors, hotels, saloons, 
and even the soda-water fountains ; they have " Jim-Crowed " 
the courts, the making and the administration of the law ; 
they have " Jim-Crowed" all offices, municipal, county, and 
state ; they have " Jim-Crowed " the jury-box ; they have 
" Jim-Crowed " the ballot-box. In short, they have " Jim- 
Crowed " everything. They have " Jim-Crowed" the beauti- 
ful "Sunny South " into the "Jim Crow South." 

148 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

And controlled by a perverted moral sense and a diseased 
mind, a mania on the questions affecting the negro, some of 
these leaders are now making a bold, desperate, even reckless 
effort to " Jim-Crow " the President of the United States 
and to " Jim-Crow " the government of the United States 
and to "Jim-Crow" this great Christian nation of eighty 
millions of free people into a " Jim Crow nation." Surely 
the cup of iniquity of the " Jim Crow " politicans is not only 
full, but is running over. Is it not time for the decent 
public sentiment of the South to crystallize itself and, re- 
inforced by the irresistible public opinion of the nation, 
call a halt to " Jim Crow " politicians, and strangle Jim 
Crowism ? 

This " Jim-Crowing " of the South by unequal laws, or by 
statutes which contravene the spirit of the Constitution of 
the United States, and by barbarous customs, is intended to 
place all colored persons on a different footing from the 
whites before the law and in every other relation of life, and 
thus force the race into hopeless degradation. It means the 
revival of the ante helium doctrine that negroes have no 
rights which white men are bound to respect. 

Governor Aycock of North Carolina said : " We will force 
every negro in the South to hold an inferior relation to every 
white man ! " Perhaps so, perhaps not. For this work of 
compulsion may encounter opposing forces which Mr. Aycock 
has not taken into consideration, — the opposition of honest 
men ; the antagonism of Christian men ; the overruling 
power of a just God "who loveth righteousness and hateth 
iniquity." 

Who would pretend to say that this frenzy for "Jim- 
Crowing" promotes good government? It is destructive 
to every incentive to good government. It is intended to 
keep the whites inflamed against the colored. His eminence 
Cardinal Gibbons writes to a leading citizen, saying : " In 
reply to your letter of yesterday, I hasten to say that the 

149 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

introduction of the ' Jim Crow ' bill into the Maryland 
legislature is very distressing to me. Such a measure must 
of necessity engender very bitter feelings in the colored peo- 
ple against the whites. 

" Peace and harmony can never exist when there is unjust 
discrimination, and what the members of every community 
must constantly strive for is peace."" 

It may also be noted that the advocates of negro subjuga- 
tion have invaded the North and have been propagating 
their principles in lecture tours, newspaper interviews, and in 
the endless writing of letters to the press. Some have ob- 
tained positions in newspaper offices, in pulpits, and elsewhere, 
and have used these as opportunities of injuring the negro. 
This statement does not include the many excellent South- 
erners in the North, men of high character and who stand for 
liberty and fair play for the negro. 

Some of these emissaries have visited the annual and other 
meetings of great organizations held under Northern skies 
and have attempted to " Jim-Crow '' them. And the mem- 
bers of some of these great organizations have sat as if in a 
trance and meekly permitted themselves to be bulldozed 
into taking the " Jim Crow "" cure. It is a wonder that the 
spirits of their fathers did not rise up before them ! 

The Boston Evening Record^ referring to the meeting of an 
important organization held in that city, says : " Boston was 
a curious place in the world for the stationary engineers to 
meet in, if they expected endorsement or sympathy for their 
action in barring the negro from membership. 

"But that is what the association has just done. The 
question was decided almost unanimously against the negro, 
but not until after the delegates of the North, and especially 
those from Massachusetts, had expressed themselves in a most 
passionate manner. 

"Grant of New Orleans made the demand to have the 
word ' white ' prefixed to the word ' engineers ' in one of the 

150 



THE WAR ON NEGRO SUFFRAGE 

articles of the constitution. Mr. Grant said that the busi- 
ness men in the South look upon the engineers' association as 
one of standing ; and should the negro be allowed the social 
equality which he does not deserve, the association would be 
ruined in the South and the Southern branches would drop 
out. * This is the white man's country. Africa is where the 
negro belongs,' he said. Grant was loudly applauded. 

"Mr. Optenberg of Wisconsin upheld the negro. Mr. 
Babbit of Worcester declared he would stand for the colored 
man at all times. C. S. Howarth of Fall River, speaking for 
the negro, was hissed for at least a full minute, and cries of 
' Put him out ! ' were heard all over the convention floor. The 
speaker, after exalting the negro, said, ' Why, there are men 
in this room whom I would rather discard than the negro.' " 

So the " Jim Crowites " of the South are using the free 
men of the North to strike down the negroes on the ground 
of color alone ; and deny them the right to use their talents 
to make an honest living. Such organizations control in 
large measure the employment of workmen. 

It is not a little amazing that great educational institu- 
tions in the North should invite to their lecture platform the 
worst specimens, the most rabid and frenzied " Jim Crow " 
leaders — well knowing their reputation for abusive and 
intemperate attacks on the negro ; and each attack creates 
race antagonism. There were colored students in these uni- 
versities, young men and women of character, scholarship, and 
promise. These students were compelled to sit quietly and 
hear their race denounced in bitter and violent language. 
This is not in keeping with the fitness of things. The efforts 
of these emissaries are designed to break the bond of peace 
between the negro and the Northern white, man and stir up 
race strife and Southernize the North. 

The policy and methods of the reactionists are a direct 
challenge to the Church. They are incompatible with the 
essentials of Christianity. The Church will not assent to the 

151 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

teaching that the color of the skin is superior to character, 
intelHgence, thrift, godhness ; that the tint of a man's skin is 
sufficient reason to deny him the rights of citizenship in a free 
repubhc, for the creation and preservation of which his blood 
was spilled ; that this tint is a justifiable ground to deny 
him manhood right and to bar every place against him in 
the public service. "God moves in a mysterious way his 
wonders to perform," and it may be that the very madness 
of the policy and acts of the Southern politicians who are 
bent on destroying the suffrage of the negro, and alienating 
him from membership in human society, may be God's way 
of bringing discomfiture to them, safety to the negro, and 
peace and honor to the republic. 



152 



CHAPTER V 

THE FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO 
DOMINATION 

ALTHOUGH, owing to the entailments of slavery, a 
majority of the white people of the South may, at the 
present time, be opposed to negro suffrage, and al- 
though a few people of the North may sneer at it, neverthe- 
less, facts and figures will show that the ballot in the hands 
of the negro has been of priceless value to the republic. It 
is a national asset to be depended upon in emergencies. By 
its service to the republic in trying ordeals it has demon- 
strated its right to exist. No element of the population is 
so broadly and intensely national in character as the negro. 
The Reverend E. F. Williams, D. D., of Chicago, recently said : 
"We need the negro as much as he needs us. In war he 
shouldered the musket and knew how to shoot straight. His 
ballot has been cast, when allowed to be cast, for the good of 
the nation. As we have needed him in the past, we shall 
certainly need him in the future." 

There is no danger in negro suffrage. It is rather a safety- 
valve. The cry of negro domination is a false alarm. 

In the following table are given the states which may come 
under the general designation of Southern states ; also the 
total white and the total colored population of each, as well 
as the total white and the total colored vote of each, accord- 
ing to the census of 1900. A glance at this table will show 
the absurdity of the alarm of negro domination. It will be 
seen that in the South as a whole there are more than two 
white men to every colored man. So that the frightful 
apparition of negro domination does not loom up with such 
hideousness on the political horizon as the alarmists would 
make one believe. 

153 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 





Total 


Total 


Total 


Total 


states 


White 


Colored 


White 


Colored 




Population 


Population 


Vote 


Vote 


Alabama 


1,001,152 


827,307 


232,294 


181,471 


Arkansas . 












944,580 


366,866 


226,597 


87,157 


Florida . . 












297,333 


230,730 


77,962 


61,417 


Georgia . . 












1,181,294 


1,034,813 


277,496 


223,073 


Kentucky . 












1,862,309 


284,706 


469,206 


74,728 


Louisiana . 












769,612 


650,804 


177,878 


147,348 


Maryland . 












952,424 


235,064 


260,979 


60,406 


Mississippi 












641,200 


907,630 


150,530 


197,936 


Missouri 












2,944,843 


161,234 


809,797 


46,418 


North Carolina 










1,263,603 


624,469 


289,263 


127,114 


South Carolina 










557,807 


782,321 


130,375 


152,860 


Tennessee . . 










1,540,186 


480,243 


375,046 


112,236 


Texas . . . 










2,426,669 


620,722 


599,961 


136,875 


Virginia . . 










1,192,855 


660,722 


301,379 


146,122 


West Virginia 










915,233 


43,499 


233,129 


14,786 



Special note should be made of the important fact that in 
only two of the Southern states does the colored population 
exceed that of the whites; that is in South Carolina and 
Mississippi. In all the other Southern states, the white 
population predominates over the colored. So that the cry 
of negro domination is insincere. If the matter were, how- 
ever, reduced to the simple question of the procurement of 
good government in the Southern states, no patriotic citizen 
in the republic would utter a single protest against any law 
treating all races alike. 

Every intelligent colored man would allow that the race 
can work out its destiny under equal laws, but would be 
cruelly handicapped if they are made unequal and oppressive. 

Under normal conditions Collector Crum, Register Lyons, 
Recorder Dancy, Principal Washington, and the army of 
negro school-teachers, preachers, professional men, mechanics, 
and hardy toilers would all line up on the side of good 
government. This has occurred repeatedly, in local elec- 

154 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

tions : as in Atlanta, Nashville, and other places, when the 
more reputable whites, men and women, were freely admitted 
to address meetings in colored churches for the purpose of 
rallying the colored voters to aid them in overthrowing " ring 
government." This met with success in every case. 

When the liberty of the colored man has not been at 
stake, he has never failed to respond to the kindly entreaties 
of the better class of whites. He wants good and just gov- 
ernment : it is his salvation. But when the Southern leaders 
set themselves to the work of disfranchising by the whole- 
sale the colored race without regard to their merit, and grant 
the franchise to every white man regardless of his demerit, — 
the immorality and unrighteousness of the act is without 
question ; and a definite, a direct issue is joined between 
justice and injustice, humanity and inhumanity, the friends 
of liberty and the enemies of liberty. 

Let us briefly analyze the statistics regarding the voters in 
the states which have passed or are contemplating the enact- 
ment of wholesale disfranchisement. 

In Alabama there are 232,^94 white voters against 181,471 
colored voters : the whites having a clear majority over the 
negi'oes of 50,823. Any kind of a fair education or property 
qualification, or both, would probably reduce the colored vote 
not far from fifty per cent, while the white vote would not 
be largely affected. What, then, becomes of the apparition 
of negro domination ? Why resort under false pretences to 
wholesale disfranchisement ? 

In Louisiana the white vote is 177,878 ; against 147,348 
colored voters : the whites having a clear majority of 30,530. 
Here again, any kind of a fair education or property qualifi- 
cation, or both, would operate to cut the colored vote in half, 
making the white vote at the ballot-box twice as large as the 
the colored vote. What chance would one colored man in 
Louisiana have in outvoting two white men ? Wholesale 
disfranchisement is a subterfuge. 

155 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

In North Carolina the white vote is 289,263 against 
127,114 colored voters : the whites having a clear majority 
over the negroes of 162,149 ; this majority itself being 
35,035 more than the total colored vote. And under a fair 
educational or property qualification, or both, the whites 
would be impregnable, — having at the ballot-box probably 
not less than three white men to one colored man. In this 
instance the cry of negro domination is a hollow mockery, 
and wholesale disfranchisement is the perpetration of a fraud. 

In Virginia the white vote is 301,379 against 146,122 
colored voters : the whites having a clear majority over the 
negroes of 155,257 ; this majority by itself being nearly 
10,000 larger than the total colored vote. In this case too, 
a fair educational or property qualification, or both, would 
intrench the whites in power, — giving them three white men 
to one colored man, with some thousands to spare. The 
evidence is cumulative that the alarm of negro domination is 
a sham, and that wholesale disfranchisement is an outrage. 

In Maryland, where the Southern " bloody shirt " is being 
waved so vigorously by Senator Gorman, and where he is 
making the effort of his life to destroy the liberties of the 
colored people — the total white vote is 260,979 against 
barely 60,406 colored voters; the whites having a clear 
majority of 200,573 over the negroes. There are actually 
more than four white men in the state to every colored man. 
Here disfranchisement is a crime. Senator Gorman is fas- 
tening a foul blot on the good name and honor of Maryland. 

In Kentucky the Southern " bloody shirt " is also being 
flaunted with even greater recklessness, and the liberty of the 
negroes hangs in the balance. There are in this state 
469,206 white voters against but 74,728 colored voters : the 
whites having a clear majority of 394,478 over the negroes, 
and there being about six white men in the state to every 
colored man. In these latter two cases, the cry of negro 
domination is too ridiculous for consideration, and the dis- 

156 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

franchisement of the race is a proceeding of which a civilized 
people ought to be incapable. May the nobler spirit of 
" Old Kentucky " keep this stain from her proud escutcheon ! 

As before mentioned, South Carolina and Mississippi are 
the two exceptions where the colored population are in the 
majority. 

In South Carolina the total white vote is 130,375 against 
152,860 colored voters : the colored having a clear ma- 
ority over the whites of 22,485. But a fair educational 
or property qualification, or both, would probably reduce 
the colored vote below 75,000; thus giving the whites a 
safe margin. 

In Mississippi the total white vote is 150,530 against 
197,936 colored voters : the colored having a clear majority 
over the whites of 47,406 voters. But here again, a fair 
educational or property qualification, or both, would proba- 
bly cut the total colored vote in half, giving the whites above 
50,000 majority at the ballot-box. If the " district system " 
which already applies to Mississippi should also be adopted 
in South Carolina, white control would be absolutely cer- 
tain without the demoralizing evils and the deadly effects 
on Southern conscience and public morality of wholesale 
disfranchisement. Under this " district system " the " black " 
counties are consolidated or formed into one " district,'"* 
with a limited number of representatives and senators in 
the legislature, while the great bulk of representatives and 
senators are elected from a number of other "districts." The 
more important local officers, as the conditions require for 
the good of all, are made appointive by the governor. 

If in an honest effort it shall seem necessary in the case of 
South Carolina and Mississippi to take precautionary meas- 
ures to secure good government, and laws are made which are 
reasonable, and humane, and life and property are protected, 
and the civil and political rights are respected of all, without 
regard to race, who measure up to the fixed qualification, — 

157 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

then there can be no reasonable ground of complaint from 
any person. As we have seen, in not one of the other 
Southern states does the colored vote portend negro domina- 
tion. In most of them, it is but a minor fraction of the 
whole vote. In all of them, under just and equal laws, good 
government could be assured. 

But wholesale disfranchisement has bearing on others be- 
sides the negro. 

The New York World speaks most advisedly when it 
says : " If the Southern Democrats who are forcing these 
measures do not perceive their ultimate inevitable conse- 
quence they are lacking in political understanding. The 
preponderating vote of the Northern states will not con- 
sent permanently to representation, in Congress and in the 
electoral college, of millions of disfranchised inhabitants in 
the Southern states. Especially is this true when the dis- 
franchising qualifications apply and are intended to operate, 
not against illiteracy or shiftlessness or unworthiness, but 
solely against color. 

" In the few states of the ' dark belt ' where the colored 
population outnumbers the white, precautions against ' negro 
rule ' are justified, even by residents from the North Hving 
there, by the 'higher law' of necessity. But in border 
states like Maryland and Kentucky, where white preponder- 
ance is overpowering, no such excuse can be urged. Nor do 
the Democrats who are pushing these measures seem to have 
calculated the possible effect upon their party in doubtful 
Northern states of arraying solidly against it the very con- 
siderable negro vote. This issue may make the South solid, 
but it has another side. 

" Back, however, of the questions of political expediency 
and of the inequality growing out of the representation of 
non-voters, is the deeper question of constitutional guaranties 
and of the anomaly and danger in a republic of an enormous 
number of citizens disfranchised for their color alone." 

158 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

" Disfranchised for their color alone "*"* is the burning 
shame, the condemning truth in this whole wretched affair. 
And it is clap-trap to urge in justification that the negroes 
pay but a very small fraction of the taxes. 

The state of South Carolina has a total colored population 
of 782, 321. To say that these negroes are not the tax-payers 
of that state is the merest twaddle. They are more than the 
tax-payers ; they are pre-eminently the tax-makers. And 
the makers of the taxes are quite as important to the well- 
being and prosperity of the state as the payers of the taxes. 

The negroes are the producing element, the backbone of 
every department of labor and industry. To still their hands 
would bring about the paralysis and ruin of every business 
interest in the state. For they represent the productive 
and the industrial life. What would the Custom House in 
Charleston amount to without the patronage of negro pro- 
ductivity ? How could the city of Charleston itself flourish 
without the toil of the thousands of negroes within her 
gates, and the hundreds of thousands of them in the state, — 
the fruits of whose labor, like a never ending stream, are 
poured into her lap ? Without the negro productivity in 
this state, the commercial and other great interests would 
drop to nil. Further, the great educational system, and all 
the charitable and benevolent institutions of the state are 
dependent on negro productivity. It is not to be inferred 
from this that there are no white toilers, for there are many; 
but neither in numbers, nor in the variety of work, nor in 
the total fruitfulness of toil, do they approach unto the 
colored people. If the resources of the state were limited 
to the fruits of white labor. South Carolina would be in 
hopeless, irretrievable bankruptcy. 

The denial, then, of the colored man's liberty, the refusal to 
allow him any share in the government under which he lives 
and of which he is a copartner and to the support of which 
he is not only the largest, but the indispensable contributor, 

159 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

is a wrong which must invoke the condemnation of honest 
men and the frowning displeasure of a righteous God. 

What has been related herewith in reference to South 
Carolina would hold true also as regards Mississippi, with 
her total colored population of 907,630. The negroes are 
the mainstay of her productivity, — the tillers of her soil, 
the makers of her taxes, the guarantors of her prosperity, the 
supporters of her institutions. Without the fruitfulness 
of the negroes' toil Mississippi would be in stagnation as a 
commonwealth, helpless, beggared. 

In the several other Southern states, while the proportion 
of the negroes is not so large, yet their vast productivity 
and their varied labors, especially as the tillers of the soil, 
are generally regarded as the factors of paramount importance 
in the development and prosperity of the South. Agricul- 
ture is the life of the South, and negro labor is the life of 
agriculture. 

But in the wholesale disfranchisement of the colored race, 
a question of greater gravity and far wider scope is involved 
than that of cheating the Constitution of the United States 
in order to destroy the liberty of the negro. This other 
issue affects the constitutional rights of great states and all 
their people. It destroys representative government. For 
the wholesale disfranchisement of the colored race in the 
South necessarily results in the partial disfranchisement 
of every state in the North, by lessening the propor- 
tional share of every Northern man in the government of 
his country. 

Concerning this, the New York Press says : " The fraudu- 
lent misrepresentation, in Congress and the electoral college, 
of the 10,000,000 American blacks, chiefly resident in the 
Southern states, is no more a question to be hushed up and 
put off than was that of the felonious servitude of their 
4,000,000 predecessors. Northern manhood revolted then 
at the spectacle of a great party paltering with a national 

160 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

sin because it was the darling of a powerful section. North- 
ern manhood will revolt again if the spectacle is repeated. 

" It has stood for a good while the glaring violation of its 
rights by which one vote between the Potomac and the Gulf 
counts for two between the Potomac and the Lakes. But it 
will not stand much longer, we verily believe, the gag that 
chokes in the old Calhoun fashion all utterance upon a 
peculiar institution of the South in the halls of Congress."" 

The Wisconsin Evening Journal^ of Milwaukee, speaks to 
the point in saying : " Henry Watterson, of Louisville, . . . 
addressed the Hamilton Club of Chicago, last night. . . . 

" Watterson's whole speech was directed to the point that 
the negro should be disfranchised in the Southern states as 
unfit for the privilege of suffrage. There are many white 
men throughout the country who are unfit for the ballot, and 
they are permitted to vote merely because they have a white 
skin. While Watterson was urging the disfranchisement of 
the Southern blacks he did not say a word in favor of reduc- 
ing the Southern representation in Congress on account of the 
diminished vote in the Southern states. Watterson ignored 
the paramount principle, which is this : The disfranchisement 
of the negro is a gross injustice to white people in the North, 
for one white vote in South Carolina or Virginia is equal to 
five white votes in Wisconsin. This establishes a permanent 
Southern aristocracy to rule the Union. Watterson affects 
to be a Democrat, but he is certainly a false one, because 
such inequality of suffrage cannot be permitted in a republic. 

"The South will find before it gets through with this 
matter that it will be sorely punished by the reduction of its 
representation in Congress. The North begins to wake up 
on this question. The Union League Club of New York, 
one of the strongest and most influential organizations in the 
United States, perceives that by the disfranchisement of the 
negro the nation is drifting into the condition which brought 
on the great Civil War. Cornelius N. Bliss, one of the first 
11 161 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

citizens in the great metropolis, and Secretary of the Interior 
under President McKinley, has taken hold of the matter and 
has issued a thousand circulars to the leading political organi- 
zations in the United States pointing out the dangers that 
will inure to our country if the Southei-n blacks are disfran- 
chised. This disfranchisement will not only be a gross viola- 
tion of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, but 
will establish an aristocracy of white voters in the Southern 
states which will rule the nation as despotically as did the 
slaveholders before the Civil War/' 

When the South disfranchises the negro, and at the same 
time appropriates to itself the full quota of representatives 
in the Congress and members in the electoral college based 
on negro citizenship, it does by this act unduly increase its 
power in the government and destroys the equality of repre- 
sentation which should exist among the people of all the 
states. 

But more significant still : when the South denies the 
negro his rights as a citizen, and at the same time counts 
the very last one of them to increase its representation — 
thus offsetting the entire negro population against an 
equal number of Northern white people — is this not equiv- 
alent to saying that, while the negro shall not be the equal 
of the Southern white man at the ballot-box, he shall be 
the equal of the Northern white man and shall offset his 
vote ? 

The South is thus using the negro to increase her propor- 
tional representation in the national council, in order ulti- 
mately to accomplish the Southern domination of the republic 
and intrench the traditions of a barbarous system of slavery. 
For instance, the state of Connecticut has a white popula- 
tion of 892,424 ; the state of Mississippi has a colored popu- 
lation of 907,630 ; thus Mississippi, by playing its colored 
population against the white population of Connecticut, 
completely offsets and neutralizes the power of this great 

162 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

state in the House of Representatives and in the electoral 
college. 

The state of Maine has a white population of 692,226 ; 
the state of Virginia has a colored population of 660,722 ; thus 
Virginia, by playing its colored population against the white 
population of Maine, puts the quietus on every white man 
in that state, and makes the voice of that state of non-effect 
in the House and in the electoral college. 

The state of Minnesota has a white population of 1,737,036 ; 
the states of Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida have a combined 
colored population of 1,708,841 ; thus Alabama, Louisiana, 
and Florida, by playing their colored population against the 
white population of Minnesota, neutralize the voice and power 
of this great state in the House of Representatives and in 
the electoral college. It is hardly necessary to continue 
these comparisons further, as it must be apparent that the 
wholesale disfranchisement of the negro in the South, in its 
practical effects, may be the wholesale disfranchisement of 
great states in the North. It is beyond question the partial 
disfranchisement of every Northern state. 

The colored people are either citizens or they are not 
citizens. If they are not citizens, the South has no ground 
in law or morals to claim representation for them. If they 
are citizens, their disfranchisement is a crime against citizen- 
ship. For the colored people, who are denied citizenship en 
masse in the South, are nevertheless counted and used as 
equal citizens en masse to neutralize the effectiveness of citi- 
zenship in the North ; thus bringing about the curious 
anomaly that the colored man is not a citizen to cast his 
own vote, or share in the government, but he is a citizen, an 
equal citizen, to offset or nullify a Northern citizen's vote and 
promote Southern domination of the government. 

But this condition must be regarded from still another 
point of view. South Carolina has a white population of 
557,807, while Colorado has a white population of about the 

163 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

same size, being 529,046 ; and yet the white men of South 
Carolina elect seven members of the House of Representatives, 
while the same number of white men in Colorado elect only 
three members. 

North Carolina and Virginia have a combined white popu- 
lation of 2,456,458 ; Indiana has a white population of 
2,458,502 ; and yet the white men of North Carolina and 
Virginia jointly elect twenty members of the House, while 
the same number of white men in Indiana elect only thirteen 
members. 

Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida have a combined white 
population of 2,068,097 ; Wisconsin has a white population 
of 2,057,911 ; and yet the white men of Alabama, Louisiana, 
and Florida jointly elect nineteen members of the House, 
while the same number of white men in Wisconsin elect only 
eleven members. Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas have a 
combined white population of 2,767,074 ; Massachusetts has 
a white population of 2,769,074 ; and yet the white men of 
Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas jointly elect twenty-six 
members of the House, while the same number of white men 
in Massachusetts elect only fourteen members. 

Again, Louisiana with a white population of 769,612 
elects seven members of the House, while Connecticut with a 
white population of 892,424 elects only five members, and 
Nebraska with a white population of 1,056,529 elects only six 
members. 

Mississippi with a white population of 641,200 elects eight 
members of the House, while Kansas with a white population 
of 1,416,319 elects only eight members. Georgia with a white 
population of 1,181,294 elects eleven members of the House, 
while Iowa with a white population of 2,218,667 elects only 
eleven members. South Carolina with a white population of 
557,807 elects seven members of the House, while Maine, 
New Hampshire, and Delaware with a combined white popu- 
lation of 1,255,994 elect only seven members. Florida with 

164 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

a white population of 297,333 elects three members of the 
House, while Rhode Island with a white population of 
419,050 elects only two members. 

Expressed in the popular vernacular, it may be said that the 
Southern leaders are playing their game with loaded dice. 
Furthermore, as recounted, through the disfranchisement of 
the colored race, the white people of the South elect about 
fifty members of the House and about fifty members in the 
electoral college which are based on the count of the negro 
population. 

The power thus gained and wielded is a standing peril to 
republican government. It has happened in the memory, 
not of "the oldest inhabitant,"" but of a majority of the 
people now living, that a single vote in the electoral college 
decided the election of a president of the United States. 
Mr. Hayes was elected by a bare majority of one vote : re- 
ceiving 185 votes, to 184 for Mr. Tilden. 

Not once but many times in the history of the govern- 
ment a single vote, or a small number of votes, has decided 
the fate of a measure of greatest national importance in 
Congress. 

In a close and exciting campaign, or even in calm delibera- 
tion, these fifty votes unrighteously and unlawfully seized 
and cast by the white people of the South may not only 
determine the election of a president of the United States, 
but may also revolutionize the great national policies of the 
government. As we have seen, some of the great states of 
the North would be practically disfranchised or deprived of 
an equal share in the election of a president, and an equal 
voice in matters of legislation. Such a miscarriage of justice 
might occur at any time as would bring ruin to the great 
financial, commercial, and industrial life of the nation. A 
condition of affairs so manifestly unequal and unjust, and so 
perilous, would seem to demand the application of a drastic 
treatment. 

165 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Another feature of this matter which should command the 
serious attention of the American people is the decadence 
of popular government in the South under the ascendency 
of the present leadership. It is no longer the government of 
the people, but the government of the " Jim Crow " leaders, 
for the " Jim Crow " leaders, and by the " Jim Crow "" 
leaders. 

The Honorable John S. Wise, a descendant of a former 
governor of Virginia, in a public address said : " No re- 
publican form of government exists in Virginia to-day. The 
Czar of Russia does not hold more absolute sway than is held 
by the fractional oligarchy of whites in the Southern states. 
By the present system of registration in Virginia, 100,000 
names have been stricken from the lists in the last twelve 
months. 

"The government of the United States should say that 
such a practice is either right or wrong. It must be one or 
the other. The government has the right and the power to 
stop it if it will but enforce that power. The indifference of 
the government is forcing the colored men of the South to 
become law-breakers. A crisis is surely approaching." 

The New York World says : " The World has noted the 
travesty on popular government in South Carolina, where at 
the recent election less than 40,000 votes were cast in a state 
having more than 280,000 men of voting age. 

" The showing in Louisiana was even worse. This Gulf 
state has 325,000 citizens of voting age, yet the total vote 
cast on November 4 was only ^Q,^Q5, of which 22,218 were 
Democratic and 4,047 Republican. The Times-Democrat 
puts it in another way in saying that ' about one out of six 
of the persons who can vote under the constitutional pro- 
visions took the trouble to pay their poll-tax, get registered, 
go to the polls, and cast their ballots." The. negroes, some- 
thing less than half the population, are, of course, for the most 
part disfranchised. 

166 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

"Here is a state having six representatives in Congress 
elected by 22,218 voters — the republican candidates getting 
on an average only 578 votes each. There are several separ- 
ate Congressional districts in this city that cast more votes 
than were polled in the entire state of Louisiana. This is a 
state government neither republican in form nor democratic 
in fact." 

The following table will show the votes cast in the eight 
congressional districts in Mississippi, as compared with the 
first eight districts of Indiana : — 

Indiana Mississippi 

First District 41,397 8,245 

Second District 42,788 2,528 

Third District 38,007 1,146 

Fourth District 41,793 2,834 

Fifth District 47,333 3,081 

Sixth District 44,705 1,774 

Seventh District 48,456 2,022 

Eighth District 49,693 1,433 

Total 354,172 23,063 

Such wholesale disfranchisement of the negroes has reacted 
on the whites. They have ceased to go to the ballot-box. 
And this gives the " Jim Crow " leaders their opportunity to 
establish a corrupt oligarchy which rules with a rod of iron. 

Fair and just election laws would result in bringing prac- 
tically every colored voter to the polls at every election ; for 
the negro, whenever the opportunity is given him, takes 
pride in the exercise of sovereignty. And the knowledge 
that the colored vote would be cast at any election would 
arouse and bring forth the white vote. Thus a healthy 
political condition would result. Nothing would do so much 
to promote good government in the South as the expectation 
that large bodies of colored voters were sure to be at the 
polls. It would rally the whites and secure the nomination 
of the best men for offices. But this, the " Jim Crowites " 
do not want, for their occupation would be gone. 

167 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

These states are in the control of an imperious and un- 
scrupulous oligarchy, and, when the people fail to vote, it 
fraudulently counts and makes such returns of votes as it 
pleases. 

For instance : the new disfranchising Constitution of 
Alabama received a total of 108,613 votes ; but there are 
232,294 white voters, and 181,471 colored voters in that 
state — making 413,765 of both races. So that only 
about one-fourth of the voters gave approval to the new 
constitution. 

In the counting of these votes, numbering 108,613, glaring 
frauds were committed. In Chambers county 4,604 votes 
were returned for the Constitution ; yet the total white vote 
of the county is only 3,457. Dallas county returned 8,125 
votes for the Constitution ; yet Dallas county has but 2,525 
white voters. Hale county returned 4,696 votes for the 
Constitution ; yet this county has only 1,385 white voters. 
Perry county returned 3,209 votes for the Constitution ; yet 
this county has only 1,559 white voters. Wilcox county 
returned 4,652 votes for the Constitution ; yet this county 
has only 1,704 white voters. 

This is the way officers are elected and laws and constitu- 
tions are made in the South. Palpable fraud is plainly 
written on the face of these returns. 

The plan is to use repeaters, or to keep the colored voters 
from the ballot-box, and still count their votes to swell the 
returns. County after county in Alabama show frauds in 
the election returns. 

Mr. Joseph C. Manning, a leading white citizen of Ala- 
bama, in a speech before the Middlesex Club of Boston, 
Massachusetts, says : " The registered vote of about 181,000 
voters in Alabama, out of a population of the voting age of 
413,765, is notice to the country upon the part of the gov- 
erning power of this state that a majority of the voting 
population is without a republican form of government, for 

168 



J 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

232,765 citizens of voting age in Alabama have, with but 
scant exception, been illegally, unjustly, and outrageously 
deprived of suffrage. Of the number of registered colored 
voters there are not 3,000. 

" Out of the total colored male population of over 21 years 
of age in the State of Alabama there are 73,533 literate citi- 
zens. There are 11,123 colored citizens who own farms in 
Alabama, 2,871 part owners, 116 owners and tenants, 72 
managers, 56,202 cash tenants, 23,689 share tenants. The 
report of the department of education of Alabama states 
that 940 colored male teachers drew money from the public 
funds in 1902. A stringent examination as to character and 
education is required of applicants for license to teach in the 
public schools of Alabama. There are fully 1,000 colored 
male teachers engaged in the public and private schools of 
the state. In Alabama there are also colored merchants, 
colored bankers, colored artisans, colored physicians, colored 
lawyers, colored editors, colored ministers, all of these num- 
bering not less than 5,000 citizens. Surely the 5,000 citizens 
engaged in these various callings, surely the 1,000 colored 
male teachers and the many thousand colored owners of their 
own farm homes — I declare that surely these citizens should 
come up to the requirements of good citizenship and of 
character at least under which test no white citizen whatever 
was excluded by the board of registrars in 1902. Had the 
registration been impartial no negro applying for a certificate 
would have been refused registration, for certainly no white 
man who applied was denied this privilege. Only one negro 
was allowed to vote in my county, Tallapoosa, with a colored 
population of 2,055. The negro principal of the colored 
public school in the town in which I live was denied registra- 
tion. He was repeatedly told that the registrars were not 
registering negroes at that day. It was never his day. This 
man was fully qualified to register. Negroes of property and 
good standing were humiliated by the same treatment. 

169 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

"Fellow-countrymen, there is a God of nations and of 
men ; there is a standard of honor for governments and indi- 
viduals ; there is justice and there is injustice. Not in all the 
history of the conduct of Christian governments and acts of 
civilized men can there be found a parallel to the depravity 
to which this Alabama autocracy, the progeny of the former 
slave-holding Democracy, has come." 

In South Carolina, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, 
and other states where disfranchising constitutions and laws 
have been put in force, not a third of the voters of the states 
have sanctioned with their ballots these constitutions. In 
some cases the constitution was promulgated without being 
submitted to the voters. The leaders were afraid of the 
condemnation of the people. Many Southerners are opposed 
to laws which can only be made and sustained through fraud 
and force. Ex-Governor MacCorkle of West Virginia, at 
the Montgomery conference, said : 

"The franchise system, as it is at present constituted in 
many of the states of the South, is, to say the least, practi- 
cally the policy of repression. Repression has been tried at 
every stage of the world's history, and always with the same 
unvarying result, utter and tremendous failure. It leads 
nowhere. It raises no man. It demands no education. It 
holds ignorance as dense as ever. It drives away intelligence. 
It breeds discontent. It represses any rising inspiration of 
the heart. It leaves the land at the end of the cycle just as 
it found it at the beginning. It is the policy of deadly 
inaction overridden by discontent.'' 

The objective of such laws is not good government, but to 
build up an office-holding oligarchy by keeping the races at 
strife. 

Another matter of importance connected with this sub- 
ject is the manner in which the colored man has used 
his ballot. Has that ballot been cast on the side of good 
government and for the national weal.? Have the larger 

170 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

interests of the whole people been promoted by negro 
suffrage ? 

In the Reconstruction era, and in the years immediately 
following, the negro's vote was cast strictly in accordance 
with good sense, the dictates of humanity, and the highest 
welfare of the republic. Even the temporary " carpet- 
bag'' rule established by the negro's vote was demanded 
by national exigency, and was preferable to the infamous 
Black Code, which nullified the Proclamation of Eman- 
cipation and the Thirteenth Amendment, and practically 
re-established slavery. There was no middle ground ; it 
was a choice between the Black Code and all it meant, 
and the temporary evils in such free government as could be 
organized. 

And the negro voted for free government. In so doing he 
rendered an inestimable service to the nation. Let every 
serious American reflect on this, — that it was the negro 
vote which elected General Grant as President of the United 
States in 1868. That is to say, if the negro vote had been 
suppressed in 1868 as it is to-day — the votes of the solid 
South added to the eighty scattering votes which Mr. 
Seymour received in the North would have elected him 
President over General Grant the hero of Appomattox. So 
that in the very first presidential election following the war, it 
was the negro's vote which saved from humiliating defeat the 
greatest military genius of the age, — the man above all 
others then living to whom the nation owes its life. If Mr. 
Seymour had been elected and the South had come back into 
the Union, and by its solidity had gained the ascendency in 
the government in 1868, the gravity of the complications 
which would have ensued cannot be exaggerated. 

In 1876 the negro vote again decided the presidential 
election, giving the electoral vote of South Carolina, Florida, 
and Louisiana to Mr. Hayes, whom a single vote would have 
defeated. 

171 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Mr. Roosevelt, in his canvass for the governorship of New 
York, was elected by about 17,000 majority ; and no one 
doubts that it was 31,425 colored voters of the state of New 
York who sealed his election. Governor Odell was elected 
by about 9,000 majority, and without the colored vote his 
canvass would have been hopeless. 

At many points in the North the negro's vote has effected 
the election of members of Congress and has been decisive in 
local elections; and it has been cast on the side of good 
government. 

Probably the best demonstration of the safety and value 
of the negro as a voter, of late years, is revealed in the 
election returns for the year 1896. An examination of those 
returns will prove beyond a doubt that the negro vote de- 
feated Mr. Bryan and elected Mr. McKinley as President of 
the United States. 

There are the facts : California gave Mr. McKinley eight 
electoral votes by 2,797 majority ; but California has 3,711 
colored voters. Delaware gave Mr. McKinley three electoral 
votes by 3,630 majority; but Delaware has 8,374 colored 
voters. Indiana gave Mr. McKinley fifteen electoral votes 
by 18,181 majority ; but Indiana has 18,186 colored voters. 
Kentucky gave Mr. McKinley twelve electoral votes by 281 
majority ; but Kentucky has 74,728 colored voters. Mary- 
land gave Mr. McKinley eight electoral votes by 32,264 
majority; but Maryland has 60,406 colored voters. West 
Virginia gave Mr. McKinley six electoral votes by 11,487 
majority ; but West Virginia has 14,726 colored voters. These 
six states gave Mr. McKinley 52 electoral votes. 

There can be no doubt of the colored vote being the decid- 
ing factor in each of these states, as that vote outnumbered 
the majority in each state, and the colored vote is practically 
wholly republican. If this vote were suppressed in these 
states, Mr. McKinley''s majorities would be wiped out in 
each case. If these 52 votes are subtracted from the 271 

172 



FALSE AL.iRM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

electoral votes V'hich Mr. McKinley received, it would leave 
him 219. If '.hese 52 votes be added to the 176 electoral 
votes cast for Mr. Bryan, it would give him 228 electoral votes, 
a majority of nine over Mr. McKinley, and he would have 
been made president. 

The evidence seems thus conclusive that, in the most 
exciting campaign of a generation, a campaign involving 
directly the vast financial interest of the nation, and with 
it every business enterprise of whatsoever nature, and the 
direct and immediate interest and welfare of every man, 
woman, and child, — that in this momentous campaign the 
negro vote was the saving factor. It prevented a result 
which would have ruinously affected every class of population. 
The negro vote saved the country from the follies and crime 
of free silver, free trade, and free riot. 

An examination of the election returns of 1880 in Con- 
necticut, Colorado, Indiana, New York, Oregon, and Rhode 
Island will also show that it was the negro vote in these 
states which elected General Garfield to the presidency. 

The returns of the election of 1888 also disclose the fact 
that the negro vote in Illinois, Indiana, New York, Ohio, and 
Rhode Island determined the election of General Benjamin 
Harrison as president. 

The credit is given to the negro vote because it is the only 
vote that is contested, and gigantic efforts have been made 
and are being made to destroy it. If it had been fully sup- 
pressed throughout the country, then, as we have seen, the 
solid South would have defeated Grant in 1868, Hayes in 
1876, Garfield in 1880, Harrison in 1888, and McKinley 
in 1896. Besides, neither the McKinley nor the Dingley 
tariff measures would have been possible if the negro vote 
had been suppressed throughout the country as it is in 
South Carolina and Mississippi to-day. 

It has so happened that in each instance the majority in 
the House of Representatives which has enacted the great 

173 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

national policies of the government from the time of recon- 
struction, 1868, to the present has been due to the ballot in 
the hands of the colored man. It thus becomes evident that if 
by defamation and persecution of the colored maft, his ballot 
can be destroyed, the autocrats of the solid South would 
have a clear chance to gain control of the government, shape 
its destiny, and intrench the barbarous traditions of slavery. 
The majority in the 58th Congress which passed the Panama 
Canal bill and other important legislation is due to the negro 
ballot. 

Senator Blair of New Hampshire, in a recent address at 
Washington, said : " The colored people are the only ones in 
the South that have sense enough to vote the RepubHcan 
ticket, and disfranchisement is not only unwise, and unjust, 
but a crime.'' 

Here is the kernel of a great truth. The white people of 
the South have voted persistently and solidly against every 
measure of great national benefit for forty years. The 
colored people have voted as persistently and as solidly, 
wherever permitted to do so, in favor of such measures ; so 
that while the white vote of the South has been inimical to 
the great interests of the country, these have been saved by 
the colored vote. 

Thus the colored vote has proved a veritable godsend to 
the nation. Without this vote the most important and 
fruitful national policies would have been impossible of in- 
auguration. The negro vote is a failure only when it is sup- 
pressed by the intimidation, fraud, and shot-guns of the 
whites. 

The Union League Club of the city of New York, one of 
the most influential of all political organizations aside from 
the two great parties, has recently taken action which will 
have important bearings on the whole question. This club 
rendered the republic invaluable services in the dark days of 
the rebellion, and it has proved a tower of strength in the 

174 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

emergencies of subsequent years. At a recent meeting, it 
unanimously adopted the following resolutions : — 

" Resolved, That the Government be requested to instruct 
the district attorneys in the various states where an illegal 
suppression of votes is alleged, to prosecute every case where 
there has been a violation of the laws of the United States 
in respect of the suffrage, if adequate evidence can be 
obtained to justify a submission of such case to the grand 

"Resolved, First, That Congress be requested and re- 
spectfully urged to investigate with thoroughness and impar- 
tiality the charges of a suppression of votes contrary to the 
Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution 
of the United States, and in every case where such reduction 
is accomplished by a Hmitation of the franchise for any 
reason, and that in proportion to the number of votes so dis- 
franchised, the representation of such state in Congress be 
reduced ; and also to see that the Fifteenth Amendment be 
in no way violated, either directly or by subterfuge ; and, 

" Second, That where the decisions of the courts or the 
practices at elections disclose the fact that the present statutes 
are inadequate, amendatory acts be passed remedying the 
defects disclosed." 

These resolutions were based on a report of a committee 
which had thoroughly investigated every phase of the ques- 
tion, and which was summarized as follows : — 

" The demoralizing effect of such a condition as this every 
one must admit. The idea that the people of this country, 
great and small, old and young, of every nation, kindred, and 
tongue, are to be educated upon the theory that a continued 
and wholesale violation of the fundamental law of the nation 
can go unpunished must produce a frightful effect ; and there 
has never been a time in the history of the country, when, if 
it be true that these violations exist, there was a condition 
at all like the present. 

175 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

" If the facts asserted in regard to this matter be true, 
there is a deliberate nullification of the Constitution of the 
United States, — a thing which no country can or ought to 
permit while it cherishes the idea that it is governed by law. 
If this condition exists, we are far from our great ideal, for 
we are a government of some of the people, by some of the 
people, and for some of the people." 

Here is a moderate, conservative, dignified petition to the 
Government of the United States to investigate certain evils, 
wrongs, and crimes against a whole class of American citizens ; 
evils, wrongs, and crimes which every man in the republic 
knows to exist, and which are repugnant to civilization, ini- 
mical to good order, and in open violation of the Constitution 
of the United States. 

The Government is petitioned to use its lawful authority 
to ameliorate these conditions. How is this calm, dispassion- 
ate, and dignified petition received ? 

The "Jim Crowites'' were greatly stirred up. Mr. Robert 
C. Ogden, a prominent business man of New York, prac- 
tically voicing Southern sentiment, declared that the influence 
of the petition would be as follows : — 

First. To injure the material, political, and educational 
interest of the negro in the Southern states. 

Second. To discourage the growth of academic freedom 
in the South. The recent action of the board of trustees of 
one of the most important of Southern colleges was a notable 
victory for intellectual independence. The movement toward 
academic freedom will be hindered just in proportion to 
Northern use of the negro in party politics. 

Third. A prominent representative of the opposition party 
is seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency 
upon the negro issue. If the proposed action is taken it 
will contribute powerfully toward securing that nomination. 

Fourth. The Northern introduction of the color question 
into Republican politics will make doubly sure the continuity 

176 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

of the Democratic solidity of the South, and supply the very 
weapons that Democracy needs in the fight against Republi- 
canism, thus adding to the difficulty of electing our national 
candidate. 

Fifth. It will retard and hinder the further progress of 
the sober public opinion of the best South in the effiart to 
secure justice for the negro. 

Mr. Ogden also affirms that he believes in the Fourteenth 
and Fifteenth Amendments, He is like unto the old deacon 
in Maine, who "believed in prohibition, but was agin its 
enforcement." 

Let us examine in detail Mr. Ogden's specific statements. 
His first reason is the same old argument so vigorously em- 
ployed by the Southern leaders — that if the nation shall 
dare to interfere with them in their work of subjugating a 
people they will take reprisals on the negro, cut down his 
school privileges, deny him protection of the law, make life 
hard for him, and otherwise maltreat him, or even lynch him. 
They can at will foment race slaughter, like that at Kishineff, 
and dignify such acts as race nots, but the whole world will 
know that there was a race massacre. 

But the Government should not be moved by such consider- 
ation ; it should go straight ahead and do what is right and 
proper in the premises. When these leaders stir up race riots, 
the Government and the great legions of law-abiding people 
in the South can take care of that matter. There is a large 
and increasing element among the Southern people who be- 
lieve that the leaders have gone entirely too far and have 
brought nothing but disgrace on the South. 

Mr. Ogden\s second reason is an insult to the Southern 
people. " Academic freedom ? '" Is not the South civilized ? 
Is it not a Christian people ? Do they need " academic 
freedom" to decide whether law and order should be ob- 
served ; whether an equal citizen should be outlawed and 
forced into servitude, and the laws of the land and the law& 
12 177 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

of God set at nought ; whether the Constitutional guaran- 
ties of American citizenship and manhood are myths ; and 
whether a man Hving in South Carohna should be three 
times as potential in Congress and in the electoral college 
as a man in New Hampshire or Colorado? 

Does Mr. Ogden not know that while " academic freedom " 
is incubating the Southern leaders are going straight ahead 
fastening the chains of serfdom around the neck of a whole 
race? Will he kindly inform the public just how long it 
will be necessary to suspend the Constitution of the United 
States in order to achieve this " academic freedom '' ? 

His third reason is childish. He is afraid that, if the 
proposed action is taken, the South will "get mad," and 
through the Democratic party nominate a man like Mr. 
Gorman or Mr. Tillman for the presidency. Everybody 
knows that the Democratic party has done rash things, but 
it has done nothing so foolhardy as this. And if it should 
make such a nomination, the day of election would disclose 
that the Democratic party in the North was not only " out 
of business," but stiff in the grasp of rigor mortis. Mr. 
Ogden may rest contented. His fears will not materialize. 
The Democratic party will not commit suicide. 

His fourth reason would seem to indicate, if we did not 
have good evidence to the contrary, that he had been asleep 
forty years, twice as long as good old Rip Van V\^inkle. He 
says, "The Northern introduction of the color question into 
Republican politics will make doubly sure the continuity of 
the Democratic solidity of the South." 

If Mr. Ogden should jog his memory just a Httle, it would 
tell him that the color question was in Republican politics at 
the birth of the party, and it has been very much alive in 
Republican politics ever since. The one thing that has dis- 
tinguished that party and has made it " the party of grand 
moral ideas," that has caused it to represent before the world 
the conscience of the American people, and brought to it its 

178 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

greatest victories, is the color question in its politics. Its 
highest glory and most magnificent achievements in peace 
and in war are inseparably associated with the color question 
in its politics. 

If, because the Republican party upholds the Constitution 
of the United States and demands that the vital issues settled 
by the War of the Rebellion shall stay settled, and that serf- 
dom shall not take the place of slavery, and that all Ameri- 
can citizens shall have equal rights before the law, without 
regard to race or color — if these things shall " make doubly 
sure the continuity of the Democratic solidity of the South," 
then may the good Lord have mercy on the South. 

Mr. Ogden's fifth reason is a flagrant impeachment of the 
" best South." If this petition " will retard and hinder the 
further progress of the sober public opinion of the best 
South," then indeed the conditions of the social organism in 
the South are worse than the average American would like 
to believe. This would seem to prove that the barbarism 
of slavery is a greater handicap on the whites than on the 
colored people. 

The "best South" ought to welcome most heartily any 
lawful steps by the Government which will promote law and 
order, and bring about an honest and righteous settlement of 
the race question, guaranteeing the equal protection of the 
rights and liberty of all classes and restoring the equality of 
representation among the states. 

Alexander Hamilton, the trusted supporter of George 
Washington, and exponent of the Constitution, said : 
"There can be no truer principle than this, that every 
individual of the community has an equal right to the pro- 
tection of Government. Can this be a righteous government 
if partial distinctions are maintained ? " 

The French Constitution of 1793 holds aloft this torch for 
the illumination of the world : " Government is instituted 
to insure to man the free use of his natural and inalienable 

179 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

rights. These rights are equahty, liberty, security, property. 
All men are equal by nature and before the law. Law is the 
same for all, be it protective or penal. Freedom is the power 
by which men can do what does not interfere with the rights| 
of another; its basis is nature; its standard is justice; its 
protection is law ; its moral boundary is the maxim, * Do not 
unto others what you do not wish they should do unto 

you; " 

Inequalities before the law lead surely to abuses, wrongs, 
oppression, and inhumanities. Unsettled questions exist re- 
gardless of the peace of a nation. There can be no peace 
until South Carolina and Mississippi shall be as just m gov- 
ernment as Massachusetts and Minnesota ; until liberty and 
law, for one and for all, shall be respected by all, even as 
it is written in the Constitution of the republic. 

The Supreme Court of the United States has rendered a 
decision covering the vital questions of the Thirteenth, Four- 
teenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of 
the United States. Let that decision (see Wallace^s Reports, 
16th volume) speak for itself. 

Associate- Justice Miller, speaking for the court, said: 
"The process of restoring to their proper relations with the 
Federal Government and with other states those which had 
sided with the Rebellion, undertaken under the proclamation 
of President Johnson in 1865, and before the assembling of 
Cono-ress, developed the fact that, notwithstanding the formal 
recognition by those states of the abolition of slavery, the 
condition of the slave race would, without further protection 
of the Federal Government, be almost as bad as it was before. 
Among the first acts of legislation adopted by several of the 
states in the legislative bodies which claimed to be in then- 
normal relations with the Federal Government, were laws 
which imposed upon the colored race onerous disabilities and 
burdens, and curtailed their rights in the pursuit of life, 
liberty, and property to such an extent that their freedom 

180 



FALSE ALARM OF NEGRO DOMINATION 

was of little value, while they had lost the protection which 
they had received from their former owners from motives 
both of interest and humanity. 

" They were in some states forbidden to appear in the 
towns in any other character than menial servants. 

"They were required to reside on and cultivate the 
soil, without the right to own it or purchase it. They 
were excluded from any occupation or gain, and were 
not permitted to give testimony in the courts in any 
case where a white man was a party. It was said that 
their lives were at the mercy of bad men, either because 
the laws for their protection were insufficient or were not 
enforced. 

"These circumstances, whatever of falsehood or miscon- 
ception may have been mingled with their presentation, 
forced upon the statesmen who had conducted the Federal 
Government in safety through the crisis of the Rebellion, and 
who supposed that by the Thirteenth Article of Amendment 
they had secured the results of their labors, the conviction 
that something more was necessary in the way of Constitu- 
tional protection to the unfortunate race who had suffered so 
much. They accordingly passed through Congress the pro- 
position for the Fourteenth Amendment, and they declined 
to treat as restored to their full participation in the govern- 
ment of the Union the states which had been in insurrection 
until they ratified that article by a formal vote of their 
legislative bodies. 

" Before we proceed to examine more critically the pro- 
visions of this amendment, on which the plaintiffs in error 
rely, let us complete and dismiss the history of the recent 
amendments, as that history relates to the general purpose 
which pervades them all. 

" A few years' experience satisfied the thoughtful men who 
had been the authors of the other two amendments, that, not- 
withstanding the restraints of these articles on the state, and 

181 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

the laws passed under the additional powers granted to Con- 
gress, these were inadequate for the protection of life, liberty, 
and property, without which freedom to the negro was no boon. 
They were in all those states denied the right of suffrage. 
The laws were administered by the white man alone. It was 
urged that a race of men distinctly marked as was the negro, 
living in the midst of another and dominant race, could never 
be fully secured in their person and their right without the 
right of suffrage. 

"Hence the Fifteenth Amendment, which declares that 
' the right of a citizen of the United States to vote shall not 
be denied or abridged by any state on account of race, color, 
or previous condition of servitude.' 

" The negro, having by the Fourteenth Amendment been 
declared to be a citizen of the United States, is thus made a 
voter in every state of the Union. 

" We repeat, then, in the light of this recapitulation of 
events almost too recent to be called history, but which are 
familiar to us all on the most casual examination of the 
language of these amendments, no one can fail to be im- 
pressed with the one pervading purpose found in them all, 
lying at the foundation of each, and without which none of 
them would have been suggested : we mean the freedom 

OF THE slave RACE, THE SECURITY AND FIRM ESTABLISHMENT OF 
THAT FREEDOM, AND THE PROTECTION OF THE NEWLY MADE 
FREEMAN AND CmZEN FROM THE OPPRESSION OF THOSE WHO HAD 
FORMERLY EXERCISED UNLIMITED DOMINION OVER HIM. 

" It is true that only the Fifteenth Amendment in terms 
mentions the negro by speaking of his color and his slavery. 
But it is just as true that each of the other articles was 
addressed to the grievances of that race, and designed to 
remedy them, as was the Fifteenth." 

This clean-cut, invincible decision of the highest tribunal 
of the republic destroys every contention of the enemies of 
liberty and makes impregnable the position of its friends. 

182 



CHAPTER VI 
THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

THREE pen pictures have been made of President 
Roosevelt which, taken together, show us the man. 
One is drawn by the Honorable John D. Long, a 
political partisan and personal friend, formerly Governor of 
Massachusetts, and Secretary of the Navy during the Spanish- 
American War. Another is painted by the New York 
World, a political opponent, but honestly critical. The 
third is drawn by a non-partisan, or independent. President 
Eliot of Harvard University, the foremost educator in the 
land, the Dean of American scholars. There are no more 
discriminating nor more trustworthy sources by which a true 
estimate of a man may be formed. 

These are the pictures presented. John D. Long, depicts 
him as follows : " Theodore Roosevelt. What an American 
career ! What a fitting for his present great place ! Child 
of the great metropolis, graduate of our own Harvard, a 
citizen of the Western plains, touching indeed every phase 
of our national life, a student of our history, a soldier of our 
army. Governor of the Empire State, honest, earnest, brave, 
high-minded, direct, forceful, and always, let us say here, a 
true Republican, whoever else falls off! The people like him. 
He preaches them sermons of manliness and right living, 
fidelity to duty, and they believe that he is himself even a 
better sermon than his sermons. There is no great question 
that he does not face, whether it be the trusts, or the tariff, 
or our duty to Cuba and the Philippines, or the purity of 
the civil service, or the development of our trade, or the 
welfare of the East, or West, or North, or South ! He 
voices even more than the spirit of a party — he voices the 
spirit of the people." 

183 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

The New York World, his most powerful political ^oppo- 
nent, paints him thus : " President Roosevelt does not 
carry his ideas of democratic equality quite so far as Thomas 
Jefferson did. He respects all the conventions of official 
society in public, but in his private and personal relations he 
is a pretty thorough-going democrat. He often goes to 
shake the grimy hand of an engine-di'iver who has carried 
him safely on a railway journey. He is ' hail-fellow well 
met ' with his old friends among the cowboys and the Rough- 
Riders. And just now he has in Washington, as his guest, 
his old Maine woods guide, with his wife and some friends, 
who have all taken lunch with the President and Mrs. 
Roosevelt in the White House. 

" It is safe to say that none of our mushroom aristocracy, 
and very few even of the older growth, would be thus familar 
with their 'plain' friends — though a good type of the 
independent native guide of the Adirondacks or the Maine 
woods is at heart as thorough a gentleman, in the real mean- 
ing of the word, and is certainly much better company than 
one half of the vapid men-folk who help to make up what is 
called ' society.' 

" Yet, Mr. Roosevelt could boast, if he were weak enough, 
of fine old ' Knickerbocker blood,' and, though not rich in 
the modern meaning of the word, he has always lived in an 
atmosphere of wealth, refinement, and culture. 

" That he still believes, in respect to sterling worth un- 
adorned with either wealth or book-learning or social graces, 
that ' a man 's a man for a' that,' and that, though occupying 
the highest station in the land, he has the courage of his 
likings and the fortitude of his friendships, is a trait of his 
character which explains something of that popularity which 
the politicians do not understand and which even his mistakes 
do not seriously impair. A very few Americans may ' dearly 
love a lord.' The great mass of them love and admire a 
democrat like Lincoln, Grant, McKinley, and Roosevelt." 

184 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

And President Eliot draws this portrait of him : " Theodore 
Roosevelt, President of the United States, from his youth 
a member of this society of scholars, now in his prime a 
true type of the sturdy gentleman, and the high-minded 
public servant in a democracy. Harvard delights to honor 
him." 

These three pictures, taken together, faithfully and clearly 
represent the man. 

The Right Honorable James Bryce of England, perhaps 
the greatest living student of history — learned, dispassion- 
ate, and philosophical — says of President Roosevelt : " He is 
among the greatest presidents America has had, and is to be 
mentioned only with Washington and Lincoln." 

It would naturally be supposed that in a republic of free 
men where — in President Roosevelt's own words — " no 
man is above the law and no man below it," the whole citi- 
zenry would have a just pride in such a chief-magistrate. 
But the fact is that no President of the United States, with 
the exception of Lincoln, has been so roundly abused, and so 
heatedly denounced, as Theodore Roosevelt. 

It has happened repeatedly in the South that the mere 
mention of his name, or the presentation of his pictures in 
theatres and public halls has brought forth storms of hisses. 
He has even been burned in effigy. Southerners who take 
part in such performances or approve or condone them, or fail 
to protest against them, injure themselves, by forfeiting the 
respect of law-abiding people. Lincoln ! Roosevelt ! — these 
are the two men seemingly appointed of God to face the 
hate and rancor of Southern leadership. Lincoln's victory 
was complete, absolute. Roosevelt's triumph has come in 
the overwhelming majority by which he has been elected to 
succeed himself in the presidency. God and the right were 
with Lincoln ; God and the right are with Roosevelt. 

There are also noteworthy coincidences in the lives of 
these men. 

185 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Lincoln was born in the South. Roosevelt is of Southern 
extraction on his maternal side. But in this the South finds 
no appeasement. 

Again, Lincoln stood between the colored race and their 
continued enslavement. Roosevelt stands between the colored 
race and a debasing and hopeless serfdom which does not even 
afford the protection of slavery. Both stand firmly on the 
Gospel of Christ and the Declaration of Independence. In 
the lives of both, the laws of God and the laws of the re- 
public find their high exemplification. 

What, then, is the head of the offending of President 
Roosevelt, that he should be the object of such abuse and 
resentment ? 

These are facts : There are ten millions of colored people in 
the United States, one-eighth of the entire population. The 
vast body of them reside in the South. Though equal citizens 
under the law, they are yet in an abnormal condition — subject 
to great wrongs, hardships, and inhumanities, not of their own 
making. Mr. Roosevelt wished to consult with some well- 
known, responsible persons with reference to the condition of 
these people ; for he is the President of the South as well as 
of the North, the President of the colored people just as he 
is of the white people. No man who is worthy to be the 
President of the United States would fail to have a deep 
concern for the welfare of ten millions of loyal, patriotic 
American citizens, especially were they seen to be under 
grievous burdens, serious disadvantage, and debasing in- 
equalities. He therefore invited Principal Booker T. Wash- 
ington's presence at the White House for consultation. 

Mr. Washington is the most widely known educator in the 
colored race ; a man of sterling character ; conservative almost 
to a fault, many think to the injury of his race ; of remarkable 
mental gifts ; an executive of great ability ; a genius in diplo- 
macy. No white man in the South surpasses him ; few, if 
any, equal him. In fact, a leading Southern white educator 

186 






THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

has declared that he is the gi-eatest man the South has pro- 
duced since the masterful Robert E. Lee. 

Mr. Washington, in compliance with the President's invita- 
tion, travelled hundreds of miles to meet him in Washington 
City. What was more natural or becoming than that the 
President should invite him to dinner ? 

This was President Roosevelt's first offending. It was a 
simple act of courtesy as a gentleman ; it was an act which 
any ruler or high official in any country might have per- 
formed with perfect grace and propriety. Yet it set the 
South ablaze with rage. And oh ! how the big '' Jim 
Crowites," and the httle " Jim Crowites,'' and the " me too " 
" Jim Crowites," and the wee wee " Jim Crowites "" did smite 
the air with clenched fists and denounce the President ! 

The following quotations show the exact nature of their 
utterances : — 

Senator Carmack of Tennessee fires this hot shot : "It is 
an out-and-out damnable outrage ! '" 

Senator Tillman of South Carolina, true to his nature, 
demands blood and declares : " Now that Roosevelt has 
eaten with that nigger Washington, we shall have to kill 
a thousand niggers to get them back to their places." 

The Scimitar, a paper published at Memphis, Tennessee, 
makes this declaration : " The most damnable outrage 
which has ever been perpetrated by any citizen of the United 
States was committed yesterday by the President, when he 
invited a nigger to dine with him at the White House." 

The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee, says : 
" The example of president or potentate cannot change our 
views. If some coarse-fibred men cannot understand them 
it is not the concern of the Southern people." 

The News, Richmond, Virginia, declares : " At one stroke 
and by one act he has destroyed regard for him. He has put 
himself further from us than any man who has ever been in 
the White House." 

187 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Governor Candler of Georgia, with vulgar assumption, 
thus explodes : " No self-respecting man can ally himself 
with the President, after what has occurred. . . . And no 
Southerner can respect any white man who would eat with a 
negro." 

The Times-Democrat, New Orleans, Louisiana, makes this 
plaintive appeal : " The President of the United States has 
entertained a negro at dinner in the White House. White 
men of the South, how do you like it? White women of 
the South, how do you like it ? "" 

Governor McSweeney of South Carolina declares : " No 
white man who has eaten with a negro can be respected ; 
it is simply a question of whether those who are invited 
to dine are fit to marry the sisters and daughters of their 
hosts." 

But Japanese, Chinese, and Indians have eaten at the 
White House without raising the thought of a marriage. Is 
it in vogue among any order of society, that an invitation 
to dine canies with it the expectation or the obligation of 
marrying off sisters and daughters ? 

The Enterprise, Birmingham, Alabama, says : " The in- 
cident of counselling with a negro and dining him establishes 
a precedent humiliating to the South." 

His reverence. Bishop Kelly of Savannah, Georgia, uses 
the following intemperate language : " The recreant son of 
a Southern mother, who can hobnob with the Kaiser's brother 
and sit cheek by jowl with an Alabama negro." 

And Senator Money of Mississippi, with a hypocrisy that 
is at once amazing and amusing, declares : " Any white man 
who should sit down to a meal with a negro would be ever- 
lastingly disgraced in the eyes of the South." 

Bishop Kelly well knows. Senator Money well knows, and 
the whole country well knows that white men of the South 
have come into closer relations with negroes and committed 
far grosser sins than that of sitting down to meat with a 

188 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

reputable and representative colored person ; and in the eyes 
of their fellows they suffered no disgrace. So that in this 
particular they are certainly guilty of the charge of " strain- 
ing at a gnat and swallowing a camel."' 

During the sessions of the Congress, especially, and also at 
other times, the President is accustomed to give receptions at 
which the Supreme Court justices, the foreign ambassadors, 
senators, and members of the House of Representatives, offi- 
cials of the army and navy, and high government function- 
aries and distinguished individuals may be bidden to come. 
There are series of such receptions. To one of these recep- 
tions the President invited Mr. Lyons, the Register of the 
Treasury of the United States, who happens to be a colored 
man. The reception was given to officers of his class. Would 
it have comported with the dignity and honor of the Presi- 
dent of the United States to invite every other government 
official of this particular class and deliberately ignore the 
Register of the United States simply on the ground of 
color ? 

If he was unworthy to be invited to the reception, he was 
not worthy to be the Register of the Treasury. President 
Roosevelt only fulfilled the considerations of official etiquette 
and propriety and his duty as the President of all the people 
when he invited Mr. Lyons. 

This simple, gentlemanly act is the second offending of the 
South on the part of the President. But the haters of the 
negro railed at the President, in a manner shown by the fol- 
lowing brief quotations. 

Judge William E. Eve, Augusta, Georgia, said : " The 
invitation is a blow aimed not only at the South, but at the 
whole white race, and should be resented, and the President 
should be regarded and treated on the same plane with 
negroes." He seems to be oblivious of the fact that the 
whole white race outside of the South most heartily com- 
mends and applauds the President. 

189 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Governor Terrell of Georgia declared that he looked upon 
the President and such a scandal with silent contempt. 

Ex- Attorney-General Boykin Wright said : '' It has done 
great harm and is the greatest mistake ever made by a 
president." 

Representative Martin Calvin declared : " It is a blow 
at every white man and woman." 

Senator J. Rice Smith said : " The invitation was the 
most disgusting act ever heard of on the part of any public 
man." 

The News, Richmond, Virginia, prints the following: 
"There is just one thing for the Southern people to do. 
They can and should hold themselves absolutely aloof from 
any social recognition of Mr. Roosevelt. He should be 
treated by Southern people precisely as if he were a negro. 

" Our representatives in Congress should confine their 
dealings with the President to the strictest formality. If he 
should come South, he should be left to associate with the 
negroes, whom he has chosen to regard as equals. He should 
be treated in all respects by Southern people precisely as if 
he were a negro, and with absolute indication that he is not 
of our race or in any respect socially an equal with us or a 
fit associate for us or any of us." 

The country is familiar with various forms of the boycott, 
but with nothing like this. What audacity ! what arrogance ! 
A social boycott is declared against the President of the 
United States by the lordly aristocracy of the South, and the 
President is to be " treated in all respects by Southern people 
precisely as if he were a negro," and with direct intimation 
that " he is not of our race, or in any respect socially an 
equal with us or a fit associate for us or any of us" — 
because he invited the Register of the Treasury, who happens 
to be a colored man, to an official function ! 

The third offence of the President is political in its nature. 
The colored people compose about one-third of the total 

190 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

population of the South. In some of the states they are 
pre-eminently the tax-makers ; in all, their varied labors and 
toils are valuable contributions to the public weal ; yet they 
have been ruthlessly brushed aside by intimidations and by 
the shot-gun policy, and have been denied representation 
in the government. That the 557,807 whites of South 
Carolina should by brute force seize the government of that 
state and deny all representation to the 782,321 colored 
people who make the taxes which support the government ; 
or that the 641,200 whites of Mississippi should by murderous 
methods seize that state and refuse all representation to the 
907,630 colored people without whose fruitful toil the state 
would be in hopeless decay and bankruptcy, is a wrong that 
cries to Heaven. 

The colored people are thus denied all representation in 
the state and local governments. If, now, in addition to 
this, they should be denied representation in the Federal 
Government the door of hope would be closed hard and fast 
against them. The influences which hold them to the politi- 
cal and civil life of the nation would be broken ; ceasing to 
be citizens, they would cease to be treated as men. They 
would become nondescripts, without a definite status. They 
would be derelicts on the political sea, and the nation would 
have a far greater problem than ever before. 

All other things being equal, the colored man has iden- 
tically the same right to office as the white man. The strong 
arm of the Federal Government cannot be used to destroy 
his status as a citizen of the United States, completing the 
work of his enemies who have already sought to eliminate 
him as a citizen of the state. The appointment of colored 
men to Federal offices is not only just, but is absolutely 
necessary to maintain the status of the race as citizens of the 
United States. 

President Roosevelt recognized this principle by appointing 
to Federal ofliices properly equipped colored men as a just 

191 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

and righteous act, where their numbers and importance as 
toilers warrant it. The appointment of Dr. Wilham D. Crum 
as Collector of the port of Charleston, South Carolina, was 
entirely just and proper, but it stirred up a tempest of wrath 
among the Southern leaders. 

If the Federal Government should for one moment concede 
that a citizen shall be denied the right to hold a public office ! 
on the ground of his color or race, it would by such conces- 
sion negative the amendments to the Constitution, and thus 
become a violator of the laws it has sworn to uphold and 
enforce, and play directly into the hands of the lawless 
elements. The right of citizenship and the ballot carries 
with it the right to hold a public office. Nothing could be 
more absurd, foolish, and even suicidal than the proposition 
which is sometimes made to the effect that the colored man 
should waive his right to public office and the ballot for 
about fifty years with the hope of appeasing the implacable 
elements of the South. Such a waiver would be tantamount 
to alienation, and would put the race outside the pale of 
citizenship. What guaranty is to be given, and who is to 
give it, and how is it to be made secure, that political suicide 
to-day will be incarnated into the blessings of liberty fifty 
or a hundred years hence .? This, indeed, is the paradise of 
a fool. Liberty is gained by eternal vigilance, and not by 
political suicide. The upward struggles of mankind show 
that the liberty and political and civil rights of a people 
are to be regarded as more precious than meat or drink, 
or houses and lands, and are more to be valued than even 
life itself. Liberty and their manhood rights being estab- 
lished, these and all things shall be gradually added. Profit- 
ing by his past experience the colored man will not waive a 
single right of an American citizen for fifty years, nor even 
for fifty seconds. What free man would waive his liberty and 
his rights at the behest of a class that is bent on forging 
the chains of servitude around his neck .? Connivance with 

192 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

the South in violating the Constitution would prove embar- 
rassing to the government and perilous to the social organism. 
The upheavals which are shaking the foundations of Russia, 
and the cry of the proletariat for liberty cast their shadows 
and point their lessons. America ! the greatest and freest 
country in the world will eschew the civilization that de- 
grades manhood and will hold true to her ideals of liberty 
and the equality of her citizenship. 

The fourth cause of offence by the President was also of a 
political character. The post-office at Indianola, Mississippi, 
a small town, three-fourths of its inhabitants being colored 
people, had been filled for seven or eight years by Mrs. Cox, 
an estimable and efficient postmistress. She is a refined 
woman of unblemished character, and thoroughly competent 
to discharge the duties of her office. She had given entire 
satisfaction in the performance of all the obligations of this 
little office for over seven years, and there was no complaint 
against her. But she is colored, and the men who had 
carried through the wholesale disfranchisement of the colored 
race and had decided on its subjugation, held a public meet- 
ing and demanded her resignation, — not because she was 
incompetent, but on the ground of color alone. By brutal 
and lawless intimidation she was expelled from her office and 
exiled from the town. 

The President declined to approve this flagrant violation 
of law and unreasonable assault on an officer of the United 
States Government, or to accept under such conditions the 
resignation of the exiled postmistress, and requested that 
the law-abiding element give her protection of the law. 
Less than this he could not have done. Nevertheless, this 
simple stand for law and order caused the most bitter hostility 
throughout the South. 

Senator Money of Mississippi declared : " No colored man, 
no matter what his qualifications may be, should hold a 
Federal office ; " and he added that the white people of the 
13 193 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

South would have all colored men excluded from the army 
and navy. 

Mr. W. C. Chevis, editor of the Daily States^ New Orleans, 
said : " The Indianola incident and the Crum appointment, 
determined upon after mature consideration on the part of 
the President and his cabinet, cannot be interpreted as mean- 
ing anything else than a determination to cram an insult 
down the throats of the white men of the South, and it is 
accepted in this spirit here."" 

Mr. Charles W. Miller, editor of the Nashville Democrat, 
said : " There is no doubt the action of President Roose- 
velt in these two cases has severed the last connecting link in 
the chain of sympathy which bound him to the South."" 

Mr. J. S. McNeily, editor of the Vicksburg Herald, said : 
" If there were a poll now, it would be found that the Presi- 
dent has completely alienated Southern sympathy by the 
Crum appointment and closing the Indianola post-office."" 

Mr. J. C. Hempill, editor of the Charleston News-Courier, 
declared that " The opening of the ' door of hope "" to 
Crum, President Roosevelt's selection for Collector of the 
Port of Charleston, will be the closing of the ' door of hope ' 
to many of Crum"'s race. In a thousand ways and in no way 
that will be in violation of law, Crum's race will be the 
sufferer."" This is a distinct threat that the whites will take 
reprisal on the colored people. That is, if they are not per- 
mitted to snuff out the liberty of that race, destroy their 
citizenship, and force them into serfdom, they will in a thou- 
sand ways harass and torment them and make their life 
unbearable. 

The press despatches reported that " Messages are hourly 
coming in from all parts of the surrounding country offering 
assistance, arms, money, and men if they are needed."" 

Mayor J. L. Davis of Indianola said : " Conditions are 
such that I would not advise Mrs. Cox to open the post- 
office." 

194 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

Major M. C. House, commanding the First Squadron of 
Cavalry of Arkansas, sent this telegram to the governor of the 
state : " Subject to your order, I tender my services with one 
hundred and fifty cavalry to the good people of Indianola 
for their protection against negro domination." Such is the 
Southern chivalry in the twentieth century. This gallant, 
brave, and heroic major oifers to march his squadron of cavalry, 
one hundred and fifty strong, across the state of Arkansas into 
the state of Mississippi, to prevent one little, lone, helpless 
woman, who with her heart in her mouth had taken flight, 
and whose life was at the mercy of a Mississippi lynching 
mob, from forcing negro domination on Indianola, and maybe 
from compelling all the whites of the state to pass under the 
yoke. This vaHant major is verily a subject for caricature. 

The Atlanta News said: "The News has repeatedly 
stated its reasons for objecting to the appointment of negroes 
to Federal office ; it gives the negro a hope that he shall con- 
tinue as a political factor." 

Senator Tillman said: "There might be no alternative 
for the Southern people but to kill negroes to prevent them 
from holding office. There are still ropes and guns in the 
South." 

The Atlanta Journal declared : " No matter how worthy 
certain members of the African race may be in character and 
capacity, yet they are unacceptable as office-holders to the 
white people of the Southern States." The press despatches 
reported "great excitement," "high feehngs," "threats" 
against " all negro postal clerks, letter carriers, and other 
officials, in different parts of the South." A New Orleans 
newspaper boldly demanded the assassination of colored men 
appointed to Federal offices. 

Governor James K. Vardaman of Mississippi declared that 
"Anything that causes the negro to aspire above the 
plow handle, the cook pot, in a word the functions of a ser- 
vant, will be the worst thing on earth for the negro." But 

195 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

the Boston Herald warns the Governor that "hitching a 
negro to a mule will not settle the race question." 

This same Governor Vardaman published in his own 
newspaper the following insult to President Roosevelt : 
" It is said that men follow the bent of their geniuses, and 
that prenatal influences are often potent in shaping thoughts 
and ideas in after life. Probably old lady Roosevelt, during 
the period of gestation, was frightened by a dog, and that 
fact may account for the qualities of the male pup that are 
so prominent in Teddy. I would not do either an injustice, 
but am disposed to apologize to the dog for mentioning it"" 

In reference to Principal Booker T. Washington, Governor 
Vardaman has this to say : " I am opposed to negro voting ; 
it matters not what his advertised moral and mental qualifi- 
cations may be. I am just as much opposed to Booker Wash- 
ington as a voter, with all his Anglo-Saxon reinforcements, as 
I am to the cocoanut-headed, chocolate-colored, typical little 
coon, Andy Dotson, who blacks my shoes every morning. 
Neither is fit to perform the supreme functions of citizenship.*" 
Governor Vardaman denounces the education of negroes and 
publicly advocates murdering and lynching ; concerning which 
the Boston Herald says : " It is a safe judgment that the 
white men of Mississippi who want liberty to murder negroes 
with impunity, or to beat them, or condemn them to the 
slavery called peonage, or to cheat them of the wages of their 
labor, or to debauch their daughters are, as a rule, supporters 
of Vardaman." 

These criticisms and denunciations of the President, al- 
though not the hundredth part of those which have appeared, 
are sufficiently indicative of the dominant Southern senti- 
ment. Well might these people offer the prayer — 

" O ! wad some power the giftie gie us, 
To see oursel's as ithers see us." 

At the recent Constitutional Convention of South Carolina, 

called for the purpose of annulling certain provisions of the 

196 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

Constitution of the United States by cancelling the citizenship 
of the colored race, an influential politician of the state de- 
livered the valedictory address after the convention had 
completed its work, saying : " We can all hope a great deal 
from the Constitution we have adopted. It is not such an 
instrument as we would have made if we had been a free 
people. We are not a free people. We have not been since 
the war. I fear it will be some time before we can call our- 
selves free. I have had that fact very painfully impressed 
upon me for several years. If we were free, instead of hav- 
ing negro sufirage, we would have negro slavery ; instead of 
having the United States Government, we would have the Con- 
federate States Government; instead of paying $3,000,000 
pension tribute, we would be receiving it ; instead of hav- 
ing many things that we have, we would have other and 
better things. But to the extent that we are permitted to 
govern ourselves and pay pension tribute to our conquerors, 
we have framed as good an organic law, take it as a 
whole, as the wisdom and patriotism of the state could have 
desired." 

These utterances were received with hearty and prolonged 
applause and cheering. 

The presiding officer of the Louisiana Constitutional Con- 
vention, which was called for the same purpose, used these 
words in his closing speech : " What care I whether it 
[the Constitution] be more or less ridiculous or not ? Does n't 
it meet the case ? Does n't it let the white man vote, and 
does n't it stop the negro from voting ? — and isn't that what 
we came here for ? " 

And another leading Southerner has declared with great 
warmth and in language strenuously emphatic, if not ele- 
gant : " We have got our heel on the neck of the niggers and 
we can hold them down ; and we have got a clutch on the 
craw of the Yankees, and we can choke down their throats 
our sentiments on the negro question." 

197 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

In the midst of all these things President Roosevelt stands 
calm, firm, serene. He could borrow the language of the 
Apostle Paul and say : " None of these things move me." 
He has beaten no retreat, evaded no responsibility, made 
no apologies, but has met the issues in the only way that a 
man worthy to be the President of the United States could 
meet them and has defined his position as follows : " If I 
could be absolutely assured of my election as president by 
turning my back on the principles of human liberty as enun- 
ciated by Abraham Lincoln, I would be incapable of doing it 
and unfit for president if I could be capable of doing it. I do 
not expect to be elected president by those who would close 
the door of hope against the Afro-American as a citizen. 
If I am elected to this high office it must be on my record as 
the executor of the law without favors or discriminations. 

"The great majority of my appointments in every state 
have been of white men. North and South alike, it has been 
my sedulous endeavor to appoint only men of high character 
and good capacity, whether white or black. But it has been 
my consistent policy in every state where the numbers war- 
ranted it to recognize colored men of good repute and stand- 
ing in making appointments to office. I cannot consent to 
take the position that the door of hope — the door of oppor- 
tunity — is to be shut upon any man, no matter how worthy, 
purely upon the grounds of race or color. . . . Such an 
attitude would be, according to my convictions, funda- 
mentally wrong. ... It seems to me that it is a good 
thing from every standpoint to let the colored man know 
that if he shows in marked degree the qualities of good 
citizenship — the qualities which in a white man we feel 
are entitled to reward — then he will not be cut off* from all 
hope of similar reward." 

President Roosevelt further says : " In this country of 
all others, it behooves us to show an example to the world, 
not by words only, but by deeds, that we have faith in the 

198 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

doctrine that each man should be treated on his own worth 
as a man, without regard to his creed or his race." 

The Hne of cleavage between the President and the domi- 
nant Southern sentiment is unmistakable. Which of these 
sentiments represents American civilization ? Which repre- 
sents American Christianity? Which represents the spirit 
of humanity and the ideals of republican government? Is 
there the slightest doubt that if the American people were 
to be judged by the dominant Southern sentiment, they 
would be regarded in the eyes of the civilized world as a 
backward, retrograde people? But happily there is a wide 
gulf between " Jim Crowism " and Americanism. In no sense 
does " Jim Crowism " represent American public opinion. 
It does not represent even the sober second thought of the 
South. It is the outgrowth of a diseased mind, — a mind 
infected by the virus of slavery ; and by a combination of 
circumstances it has wrought much havoc. Although the 
Southern leaders have organized secret, oath-bound societies 
sworn to destroy the negro as a man, as a citizen, and as a 
member of the social organization, yet, it is as certain as fate 
that an aroused Southern conscience, and an enlightened 
moral sense, and the irresistible public opinion of this re- 
public will ultimately triumph. 

In this conflict, forced on the President by the reactionary 
and retrograde elements in the South, the people of the 
nation at large have not been indifferent spectators. They 
have given him emphatic endorsement, and he has not been 
without whole-souled supporters among the more thoughtful 
and conservative Southerners. The spirit of the North, as in 
the case of that at the South, is best represented by quoting 
the actual words of some of the opinions that have been 
vouchsafed. 

President Eliot of Harvard has thus expressed himself: 
" Harvard dined Booker Washington at the table last com- 
mencement, and Harvard conferred an honorary degree upon 

199 



I 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

him. This ought to show what Harvard thinks about the 
matter.*" 

President Hadley of Yale, President Tucker of Dartmouth, 
President Angell of the University of Michigan, and other 
leading educators give Mr. Roosevelt unqualified endorse- 
ment. They have entertained Mr. Washington and sat at 
meat with colored guests. 

Bishop Potter of New York said : " He is fit to sit at 
any table in the land. Yes, I see the Bourbons are in a fit 
again ! As I entertained Mr. Washington at my table last 
winter, and know that no more courteous and exact man 
exists, I naturally feel that there is no reason in the outcry."" 

The Methodist ministers of Philadelphia and vicinity, at 
their regular meeting, commend the " courageous and broad- 
minded act of our President, and we hail it with joy as an 
auspicious omen that the weight of the great office of the 
President of the United States is to be cast in the interest of 
the equal rights of all our citizens before God under the laws 
of the land."" Other religious bodies in Chicago and in every 
part of the North strongly uphold the President ; many 
churches, separately, also endorsed his actions. 

Governor Richard Yates of Illinois, son of the great war 
governor, has said : " When we were in the crisis of a 
great war we were not so particular about social equality, 
whatever that is. We needed the negro and he helped us, 
and now we will stand by him. All things being equal, he 
has exactly the same rights to the courtesies of the White 
House that a white man has.'"* 

Some additional personal opinions are equally to the 
point : — 

" It is time for Northern justice to demand that the negro 
citizen be accorded the same honor and privileges which are 
accorded to the white citizen. ... I marvel at the patience 
of the negro. . . . He is demanding his rightful citizenship 
and must have it.'"* [Reverend G. S. Rollins of Minneapolis.] 

200 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

" Our President, following in the wake of the immortal 
Lincoln and the crowned McKinley, has contended and still 
contends for the rights of the colored citizens. This has 
called forth a storm of abuse in certain quarters. Two 
million men gave themselves to help the negro to freedom, 
and millions are ready to maintain him there." [Reverend 
E. J. Smith of Cleveland, Ohio.] 

"Every good citizen of the country admires President 
Roosevelt, and every good citizen admires his guest." [Rev- 
erend George A. Gordon, D.D.] 

" I have invited Booker Washington to my house. He 

has been my guest at my table. When he comes to Boston 

I shall be glad to do it again." [Major Henry L. Higginson.] 

" I uphold the President in the bold stand he has taken." 

[Professor Charles Eliot Norton.] 

" The President is just right." [Moorfield Storey.] 
" I think that President Roosevelt did perfectly right in 
inviting Booker T. Washington to dine with him. The 
President did a gracious act in inviting him to partake of his 
hospitality." [Mrs. Mary A. Livermore.] 

" If I were in Roosevelt's place, I would do the same thing 
myself." [Professor Nathaniel S. Shaler, Dean of the Scien- 
tific School of Harvard University.] 

"I heartily approve of President Roosevelt's course." 
[Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson.] 

" The President did just right." [Reverend Paul Revere 
Frothingham.] 

" I think the action of President Roosevelt in entertaining 
Mr. Booker T. Washington at the Executive Mansion was 
eminently wise, timely, and proper." [Henry B. Blackwell.] 
^ "The President should have the privilege of inviting any 
citizen of the United States to his dinner table, regardless of 
race, color, or creed." [Major Charles G. Davis.] 

"It was a fine object lesson and most encouraging. It 
was the act of a gentleman, an act of unconscious, natural 

201 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

simplicity. A democracy should be color blind.'' [William 
Lloyd Garrison.] 

" It is not necessary for me to defend the conduct of the 
President of the United States. He is well able to do that 
himself. I cannot understand why men should criticise the 
Christian act of a Christian magistrate in breaking bread with 
one of the foremost figures of this age, simply because of his 
color." [Reverend George C. Lorimer.] 

" Our President at Washington recently invited to his 
table a good man, a Christian man, a scholar, a gentleman ; 
and any man who is privileged to have Booker Washington 
to eat with him at his table should feel himself honored." 
[Reverend Charles M. Sheldon, Topeka, Kansas.] 

And the following expressions may be regarded as repre- 
senting the press of the North. The Boston Herald says : 
" There has been no incident in politics for a score of years 
that has so united the men who originally comprised the 
Republican party in opinion with regard to a subject as the 
attack upon President Roosevelt for calling Booker Washing- 
ton to his dining-table. Incidents which induced a lower 
tone as regards public affairs have notoriously parted many j 
men of character and ability from that party association dur- 
ing that time ; but the raising of the color issue in this way 
has been to them like a rallying note to the old standard. 
. . . Here is genuine Republicanism of better days. They 
stand by the President in being true to it. No men endorsed 
his action in this matter more promptly and unreservedly 
than those who have felt compelled to separate from the 
Republican organization because its course has been objec- 
tionable in other respects. . . . 

"Booker Washington is a superior man without regard 
to his color. No man can see him and escape the feeling 
that here is a superior example of human nature in its best 
development, aside from accidental conditions as to race or ij; 
birth. The man rises above these, and appeals to something '^'^ 

202 



J 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

they cannot seriously affect. He illustrates their unimpor- 
tance, as weighed in the scale of intellect and manhood, with 
an effectiveness which makes race prejudice appear at its 
worst when brought into operation against him.'"* 

The New York World says : " The President has right and 
reason on his side in insisting upon a vote by the Senate upon 
the nomination of Dr. Crum, the colored man whose nomina- 
tion as Collector of Customs at Charleston has been reported 
adversely by the Committee on Commerce. His position is 
that he made the nomination deliberately, after ascertaining 
the fitness of Dr. Crum for the office, and that as no objec- 
tion except his color is urged against the nominee he desires 
to have a direct expression of the judgment of the Senate 
upon the question at issue — whether men, the represent- 
atives of 8,000,000 citizens equal in political rights, are to be 
debarred from office at the South, on account of * race, color, 
or previous condition of servitude." We certainly hope that 
the President will adhere to this attitude. The Republican 
senators should not be permitted to escape a record upon 
this question. If they are prepared to abandon these princi- 
ples and professions of their party in the past, they ought to 
have the courage of their apostasy. If they are ready to 
stand with the President in refusing to consent that 'the 
door of hope, the door of opportunity," is to be shut upon 
any man, no matter how worthy, purely upon the grounds of 
race or color, they ought to be willing and even anxious to 
let the country know it. 

"The World does not hesitate to say that it thinks the 
Southern whites are making a serious mistake in reviving the 
race issue in its extremest form against a President who has 
made fewer appointments of colored men to office than any of 
his predecessors.""' 

The Evening Sun says : " The Indianola post-office row 
seems to be a tempest in a teapot. Mississippi will hardly 
secede or the South fly to arms, because the negro post- 
203 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

mistress has retired to Alabama and the office is temporarily 
closed. That excitable New Orleans sheet which accuses the 
President of deliberately ' offending and insulting the white 
people of the South ' does not understand Mr. Roosevelt's 
position, and it seems to forget that the postmistress at 
Indianola was an old incumbent who had shown herself 
capable and trustworthy. The appointment and protection 
of postmasters is a Federal matter and the Government must 
not show weakness or vacillation in asserting its authority.'' 

The Press says: "Those who applaud the President's 
militant chivalry, however, must gain no little compensation 
from the savage attitude struck by such organs as the New 
Orleans States, which says: 'If President Roosevelt has 
made up his mind to outrage and insult people of the South 
by appointing and keeping in office obnoxious negroes [not 
incompetent or corrupt negroes, mark you, but merely ob- 
noxious negroes, for all negroes are obnoxious to those people 
of the South for whom this New Orleans paper speaks], 
his negro appointees will he killed, just as the negro 
appointees of other Republican Presidents have been put out 
of the way.'' Yet if the enemies of his race policy will range 
themselves alongside those for whom the New Orleans assassin 
is spokesman the difficult road he must travel will be made 
much easier." 

The Tribune says: "The President has chosen exactly 
the right moment to send to the Senate his long contem- 
plated nomination of Dr. Crum, to be Collector of the port 
of Charleston. The persecution of the capable and respect- 
able postmistress of Indianola, Miss., solely on account of 
color, has made an issue to be faced. The office of Collector 
is considered too sacred to be profaned by an occupant with 
a black skin, just as the postoffice at Indianola is considered 
too sacred to be profaned by a woman with black skin, though 
she profaned it for several years to the satisfaction of the 
white community, until some of the loafers thought it was 

204 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

time to assert their aristocratic Caucasianism and teach the 
' niggers "* their place. Under such circumstances the dignity 
of government and respect for the principles of its Constitu- 
tion call for an emphatic stand, not for negro office-holding 
in general, but for the Government's right to appoint negroes 
to office when it sees fit. The agitation against Dr. Crum 
has practically amounted to a denial of that right, and the 
President correctly judges that the way to defend the right 
is to exercise it." 

" Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." The republic 
has not been vigilant in the safeguarding of the liberty of 
its citizens. In this matter it has fallen into apathy, and this 
apathy was the opportunity of the reactionists. 

In 1890 Mississippi violated the Constitution of the 
United States, defied the national Government, and disre- 
garded the decision of the Supreme Court of the United 
States, by the wholesale disfranchisement of the colored race. 
If this movement had been promptly met by the reduction 
of her representatives in the Congress and the electoral 
college to the basis of her white population plus the actual 
number of registered colored voters, no Southern state would 
have followed her example. Nor would the white people of 
Mississippi have consented to the reduction of their repre- 
sentatives in the Congress and the electoral college simply 
for the glory of disfranchising the negroes. 

If in the early stages the republic had displayed the same 
horror over the various acts of violence in the South that 
they did show over the KishinefF shame in far-off Russia, mob 
rule and lynch law would not have become so firmly intrenched 
on American soil. But the nation has remained quiescent, 
notwithstanding the repeated nullification of its organic laws, 
and the long train of frightful horrors that followed. This 
quiescence has been interpreted by the reactionists as ac- 
quiescence, and they feel emboldened to proceed to crush and 
keep in subjugation the colored race. 

205 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

In dillydallying with the reactionists, the nation has been 
playing with fire, and it is being burnt. These reactionists 
are so well organized into secret clans that by the mere 
" touch of the button '' they can bring forth complaints and 
threats at any time from every Southern centre in the form 
of interviews on the necessity of " teaching the negroes their 
place."' It is, however, all for effect. 

The attempt to " Jim-Crow '" the President of the United 
States and coerce the Government of the United States to dis- 
regard its own citizens on the ground of color alone and deny 
them all share in the government is preposterous. But 
neither Mr. Roosevelt nor the many thousands of people in the 
North, churchmen, professional men, capitalists, bankers, men 
of affairs, educators, sons of toil, and in fact representatives 
of all classes who have broken bread at a feast where there was 
a colored guest, will feel alarmed at the threats of violence, or 
be degraded by the social *' boycott '' declared against them 
by the Southern aristocrats. 

The race problem has reached an acute stage in its de- 
velopment. The serpent of slavery was coddled and nursed 
in the nation's bosom and warmed into life ; it gained in 
strength and power until it all but stung the republic to 
death. If the more subtle and treacherous monster, serfdom, 
shall be allowed to wind itself around the vitals of the re- 
pubhc, it will strangle liberty and constitutional government. 
Its sting may be even more destructive than that of the 
serpent of slavery. 

It ought not to be admitted even for a moment that any 
class of citizens is above the law or any class is below the 
law. Nor, on the ground of color alone, shall a citizen — 
otherwise entirely worthy and capable — be denied the right 
to participate in the government or hold an office under it. 

It is true that any interference with plans of the reaction- 
ists to subjugate the colored race may produce more or less 
trouble. Expressions of defiance are to be expected. Re- 

206 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

prisals threatened on the colored people may be carried out 
to some extent. But all that they can do is inconsequential 
in comparison with the great national object to be attained. 
To use the language of the decision of the Supreme Court of 
the United States, " We mean the freedom of the slave race, 
the security and firm establishment of that freedom, and the 
protection of the newly made freeman and citizen from the 
oppression of those who had formerly exercised unlimited 
dominion over him.''^ The path of duty is plain. 

We have now to consider the political conditions in the 
South which may be included under the significant term 
" Lily-whitism," For some years there has been much 
speculation about the organization of a new republican party 
in the South. The old organization had rendered signal and 
invaluable services to the republic in the hour of its greatest 
need. To it belongs the credit of the establishment of the 
first free governments in the South. It also gave the South 
its first system of free public schools. Through it the nation 
reconstructed the Southern states at the close of the War of 
the Rebellion, and without it reconstruction with free govern- 
ment would have been impossible, and the fruits of the war 
could not have been preserved. 

But its constituency was largely colored men ; its leaders 
were conservative Southerners and Northern men who had 
settled in the South. Naturally these became a mark for the 
great body of the Southern white people, because they stood 
athwart the purposes of the latter and foiled their plans. 
Nevertheless, these Republicans elected presidential electors, 
and United States senators and representatives in Congress ; 
notwithstanding the fact that in recent years they have been 
opposed by the shot-gun policy. 

Gross and serious charges of corruption were laid against 
the old organization, but not always justly. For when one 
considers the surrounding circumstances, the inflamed passions, 
and chaotic conditions at the close of a great war, the cross 

207 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

purposes of the contending parties, and how the organization 
was hedged about and hampered by the great mass of the 
whites — it will be seen that great blunders and venality 
were invited. But the organization was republican in princi- 
ples ; it was patriotic, it was liberty-loving, and it was just 
to colored and white men alike. 

The "Lily-white'' Republican party which assumes in some 
of the states to take the place of the old Republican party is 
composed mainly of disappointed Democrats, men whose ambi- 
tions for power and thirst for office were not satisfied in their 
own party. After bitterly opposing the Republican party for 
years, and not receiving the recognition they sought in the 
Democratic organization, they deserted to the Republican 
party and proceeded at once by the same oppressive methods 
formerly employed to harass and defeat republicanism, to 
seize control of the Republican organization and oust those 
who had been loyal and true to its standards for forty 
years. 

There is absolutely nothing to choose between the democ- 
racy of Tillman and Vardaman and this " Lily-whitism." 
They are equally brutal, unrepublican, unmoral. The chief 
aim of both is to oppress and degrade the members of the 
colored race, destroy their manhood and citizenship, and 
appropriate the offices. 

In the course of American history there have arisen a 
number of political parties, but each party has hitherto 
stood for some definite principle, even though it may have 
been some wild fad or quack nostrum, to be enforced as the 
policy of the government. The Federalists, the Democrats, 
the Whigs, the Free-Soilers, the Republicans, the Green- 
backers, the Populists, the Prohibitionists — these all stand 
for certain governmental policies. 

But what do the " Lily-white ''^ Republicans stand for ? 
Their platform might be expressed in a single sentence. 
Condensed into common Southern speech, it would be: 

208 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

''Down wid de niggers; gin us de offices; dat ''s ivhat loe stan' 
ferr 

The " Lily-whites'" have demanded the control of the Federal 
patronage as a necessary condition for voting the Republican 
ticket. They plaintively appealed to McKinley and took 
the public into their confidence, — promising that, if they 
only had control of the Federal offices in the South, they 
" would build up a respectable white Republican party/' 

The idea that these politicians, who publicly repudiate the 
cardinal doctrine of republicanism — the equality of rights 
before the law for all American citizens — and who have 
assumed the name Republican for purposes of revenue only, 
will " build up a respectable white Republican party '^ through 
the use of the Federal patronage, is absurdly chimerical. 
This " Lily-white " party is unique in American politics. Its 
emblem should be the buzzard. It deserves to be known as 
the " buzzard " party. It scents the camon of office from 
afar, and where the camon is, there it will be found. Lily- 
whitism is the antithesis of republicanism. If the Republi- 
can leaders coquette with this party they will cause the 
disappearance of republican principles in the South. The 
few ineffective votes gained in the South — bought and in- 
fluenced through the bribes of Federal patronage — will be 
more than offset by the manifold loss of effective votes in 
the North. 

The republican conscience of the North will not uphold 
"Lily-whitism." The logical and immediate effect of recog- 
nizing or temporizing with this political movement will be to 
encourage and strengthen " Jim Crowism," and thus further 
complicate an already embarrassing and hazardous situation. 

It will always be true that honorable Southerners, or those 
without sinister motives, who may wish to vote the Republican 
ticket will do so independently of the bribes of Federal 
patronage. Such patronage has never built up a respectable 
party. The Republican party itself came into power without 
14 209 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

the possession of a single Federal office. And it has been 
twice " put out of action " in spite of its possession of the 
Federal offices. 

Wherever the "Lily-whites," by their high-handed and 
unrepublican methods, have conquered Republican organiza- 
tions in the South, they have seriously injured the Repub- 
lican party. Their touch is death to republicanism. They 
have rejected colored delegates regularly elected by the pre- 
cincts and have prohibited them from participating in district 
and state conventions, solely on the ground of color, and 
have expelled them from the floor of the convention. They 
have in some cases obtained offices and used the power thereof 
to oppress and degrade the colored voter, and it has been 
necessary for the President repeatedly to intervene for the 
protection of the colored citizen by dismissing them from the 
public service. 

In the removal of a " Lily-white *" from office in Alabama, 
Postmaster-general Payne, speaking for the President, said : 
" Neither the administration nor the Republican party of the 
North will stand for the exclusion of any section of our 
people by reason of their race or color, . . . and the action 
of the [Lily-white] Republican state convention referred to, 
in arbitrarily excluding them, is not approved.*" 

These men have no respect for the principles of the Re- 
publican party. They despise its history and cherish open 
contempt for its great leaders and its legions of adherents. 
This was shown by the conduct and words of Mr. W. S. 
Robinson, the " Lily-white " member of the national com- 
mittee from North Carolina, at the dinner given by Senator 
Hanna to the national Republican committee. This com- 
mittee was convened at Washington for the purpose of ar- 
ranging for the national Republican convention to nominate 
a president of the United States. Senator Hanna, the 
national chairman, gave a dinner complimentary to the 
committee, at the Arlington Hotel. One of the members of 

210 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

the committee, Mr. Judson Lyons, is a colored man. And it 
may be stated that Mr. Lyons holds the high and important 
position of Register of the Treasury of the United States. 

Senator Hanna, with his guests — some fifty-odd members 
of the national Republican committee — had seated themselves 
around the banquet board. At this moment Mr. W. S. 
Robinson, the " Lily-white " member from North Carolina, ar- 
rived. And on entering the room and seeing Mr. Lyons, 
the colored member from Georgia, at one of the tables, he 
"strode out in high dudgeon, "" and with great show of indig- 
nation exclaimed, " I came here a gentleman, and I shall cer- 
tainly go back one." He also said that no white man who 
was a gentleman could eat in the same dining-room where 
there was a negro seated at one of the tables. 

This, surely, is a singular way for a gentleman to show his 
high breeding. Mr. Robinson could have absented himself 
from Senator Hanna's banquet or declined the invitation, 
and that probably would have been the end of the matter. 
But the manner in which he left the banquet-room, and the 
excuse he gave to the press reporter implied that Senator 
Hanna and his assembled guests were not gentlemen since 
they could sit at meat with Register Lyons. His language 
was, therefore, an insult to his host, an insult to every guest 
at that banquet board, an insult to the national Republican 
party in whose name they had assembled. Who will say 
that such a man is a fit representative of the Republican 
party in a state where there are 624,469 colored citizens ? 

The more serious aspect of the case is that Mr. Robinson 
has been indorsed by the " Lily- whites " of the South. These 
men by treachery and force have seized some of the local 
Republican organizations and shorn them of the Republican 
principles and are making an audacious attempt to stampede 
the national organization, or drag it from its moorings. This 
incident is not a matter to be lightly regarded. It shows the 
temper, spirit, and purpose of " Lily-whitism '' — to rule or 

211 



L 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

ruin. The national organization had to combat this same spirit 
in the South in the great crises of the Reconstruction period. 

Men of this character are not Repubhcans, but interlopers, 
*' wolves in sheep''s clothing," who would rend and destroy 
the organization and trample its principles under their 
feet. They are a reproach to the party, an ulcer on the 
organization. 

Under such circumstances it is clearly the duty of the 
national Republican organization, or the national commit- 
tee, to carry out such plans as may seem wise in reorganiz- 
ing the party along republican lines in the states where the 
organization has been conquered by unrepublican methods, 
and where the men who have loyally stood by the organiza- 
tion for forty years, and suffered untold hardships and risked 
their lives for its principles, have been unjustly thrown out 
by the interlopers, in order that the latter might place a lien 
on the Federal offices. 

Mr. Crumpacker in a recent speech in Congress utters a 
warning to which it would be well for the nation to give ear : 
" I have said enough, Mr. Speaker, to warn the House and 
the country that the situation is rapidly crystallizing into a 
policy of complete subjugation of the colored race in all the 
fields of activity, . . . and slavery is its inevitable result. . . . 
I have been admonished that if the race question were let 
alone and the Constitution were ignored the ' solid South ** 
would go to pieces politically and a white Republican party 
would be built upon the ruins. A white Republican party in 
the South is only possible by universal assent to the practical 
enslavement of the negro. If that imaginary party should 
at any time show any friendship for the colored man or any 
sympathy with his struggles to better his condition, it would 
at once fall under the ban of the hereditary prejudices, and 
social and business proscription would be its fate. 

"If the country will consent that the 8,000,000 colored 
citizens shall be deprived of their rights, that lynching may go 

212 



THE NEGRO IN POLITICS 

on without let or hindrance as a necessary part of the process 
of subjugation, there may be a white Republican party in the 
South, but not otherwise. 

" But can we afford the price ? A white Republican party ? 
Shades of Lincoln and Seward, of Sumner and Chase! A 
white Republican party only a little over a generation after 
the death of the emancipator ! It is an impossibility. The 
Republican party is the party of human liberty and equal 
rights. It is based upon manhood, and not upon race or 
color. The old Whig party forfeited its conscience and lost 
its character temporizing with wrong, injustice, and human 
oppression over half a century ago. The Republican party 
will never make that mistake. Let the South continue to be 
' solid ' if it will, let the Republican party go down in defeat 
if it must, but it will never surrender the great principles of 
human liberty of which it was the born champion." 

The national organization, in dealing with its loyal sup- 
porters in the South, cannot respect the wholesale disfranchise- 
ment which contravenes the Constitution of the United States. 
It must regard the fundamental condition of the Reconstruc- 
tion. It must stand for equal laws for all. Therefore it 
must take the only just ground, that any citizen who has 
voted the Republican ticket at any previous congressional 
or presidential election, and wishes to continue as a member 
of the Republican party of his state, shall have equal rights to 
participate in the councils and elections of the party without 
regard to unlawful disfranchisements. If the " Lily-whites " 
shall wish in this event to return to their democratic or 
populistic allegiance, then let them do that. 

The Charleston News and Courier, a leading Southern 
journal, very pointedly says : " There is no question about 
it that the men who have gone into the Republican party 
in the South in nine cases out of ten have gone in for the 
money they could make out of it, for the prominence it 
would give them, for the influence they would be able to 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

exert toward the accomplishment of their mean, selfish pur- 
poses. There ought to be no room in the Democratic party 
for the returning ' Lily-whites/ '' 

And these discredited creatures boast about organizing a 
respectable white Republican party ! Republicanism is based 
on the eternal certitudes of liberty, justice, equal rights, and 
honest and orderly government. And in the onward sweep 
of civiHzation these principles are sure to triumph. It will 
assuredly prove true that no party. Democratic, Republican 
or other, can gain and hold the favor of the great masses of 
the American people which does not raise aloft and defend 
these principles. 

In the South the Republican party can afford to bide its 
time. It can afford to be overborne by fraud and violence. 
It can stand and suffer persecution for its cause's sake. But 
it cannot afford to be un-American, un -republican, oppressive. 
As " Lily-whitism " and "Jim Crowism,'' twin evils of bar- 
barism, shall wane in power, as they must, decreasing race 
passions and strife, and as the South shall take the second 
sober thought, many white people in the South will be at- 
tracted to the Republican party, not for the sake of the 
offices, but because they accept the righteousness of its car- 
dinal principles and favor the great national policies of 
government which it would enforce. 



214 



CHAPTER VII 
THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

THE colored race, like the white race, like every race, 
has its criminals. It has many of them. Some people 
think and say that it has more than its share in pro- 
portion to the other part of the population. This may be 
true, or it may not be true. To discuss a matter of this 
kind intelligently and fairly, attention must be given to the 
conditions and environments of the class from which the 
criminals come. 

It is not to be disputed that while the web of the law 
catches here and there a member from the higher or more 
prosperous element of the social body, it most frequently 
drags in criminals from the less fortunate, poorer, laboring 
classes. The record of the police and other courts day by 
day would show scores of the latter to one of the former. 

Among the Southern whites, the preponderating element 
consists of the higher or more prosperous class. A man who 
can command good wages and steady employment, even 
though he is obliged to work for a living, should be properly 
classed among the higher or more prosperous element of the 
community. The large majority of the whites belong to this 
class. 

On the other hand, the man who must take the most 
menial places and receives small pay, at times hardly more 
than enough to keep soul and body together, or must depend 
on odd jobs and finds them unremunerative and scarce as a 
rule, belongs to the less fortunate, poorer or common laboring 
class. The great majority of the colored people belong to 
this class. 

It is true, however, that many thousands of colored people 
are engaged in business pursuits, and to such an extent that 
there is not a field of business in which they are not engaged ; 

215 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

and many have achieved remarkable success, some having even 
gained a competency. Scores of thousands are the owners of 
their own homes and farms and may be justly rated as 
prosperous. 

Many occupy commanding places in the professions, law, 
medicine, theology, dentistry, and pharmacy. Some thirty 
thousands of them are teachers in the public schools and in- 
stitutions of higher learning. Thousands are also in the 
employment of the National Government, from the Register 
of the Treasury of the United States and other important 
Federal offices down through the various grades of clerkships 
to the scrub-women. Some thousands are in the army and 
navy. 

Indeed there is not a walk or calling in American life in 
which the negro has not forged ahead and won success. But 
nevertheless, it would be unreasonable to suppose that in the 
brief forty years of struggle in the rise from abject, demor- 
alizing slavery, — in the face of tremendous odds and diffi- 
culties, — the proportion of negroes commanding first-rate 
positions and receiving remunerative wages would be as 
great as among the whites with their long line of free 
ancestry. 

The general progress of the American negro has not only 
been commensurate with his opportunities, but to many it 
has been one of the wonders of the age. Nevertheless it 
must be admitted that the great body of the colored people 
belong to the less fortunate, the poorer or ordinary laboring 
class. Their very condition — the entailment of slavery — 
bears heavily upon them ; their lack of means and the denial 
of remunerative employment and a fair chance for advance- 
ment handicaps them enormously in the race of life; and 
their environments are a serious detriment to them, living 
as they do under degradingly oppressive laws and among 
a people hostile to the recognition of their manhood and 
citizenship. 

216 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

Inasmuch as the great majority of the whites are in- 
cluded in the more fortunate element of the community, and 
the larger body of the colored people — through no fault of 
their own, but because of the greed, avarice, and oppressions 
of the whites — constitute the less fortunate class, it is 
obviously unfair and unreasonable to judge the Southern 
negroes without regard to their opportunities, relations, and 
surroundings. The many and disheartening disadvantages 
under which they labor materially affect the question of 
crime among them. 

If, then, the total number of colored criminals — waiving 
for the time being the blighting and deadly effects of the 
operation of race prejudice — should be compared with the 
total number of criminals who come, not from the whole 
white race, but from that portion of it nearest to the colored 
people in opportunities and circumstances, and which con- 
stitutes the ordinary laboring class of the whites, it may or 
it may not be shown that the colored people have more than 
their proportional share of criminals. But, be this as it may, 
there are forces, manifold forces, irresistible and deadly forces, 
such as no white man ever feels, no matter how ignorant, 
depraved, or even dirty he may be, that are brought to bear 
day bv day upon every member of the colored race, and 
which are productive of criminality. Satan could hardly de- 
vise a scheme better arranged for manufacturing criminals in 
the largest numbers and with the greatest expedition and 
thoroughness, than the policy and methods adopted towards 
the negro by the reactionists who at present are supported 
by the dominant elements of the white people of the South. 

The colored people are equal citizens ; they are copartners 
in the government ; they are a material factor in its support 
and defence; they are peaceful and law-abiding. When, 
therefore, a wide-spread reign of teiTor, violence, and blood- 
shedding is inaugurated to accomplish their abasement and 
degradation ; when they are stripped of the protection of the 

217 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

law, their manhood is trampled in the dust, and they are 
made the victims of open, unremitting, and flagrant persecu- 
tions by a religious people, — conditions exist which inevi- 
tably tend to the multiplication of cnminals and the increase 
of crime. The whites thus place themselves above the law, 
and force the colored people below it. 

Two immediate results follow. First, the whites, regarding 
themselves as above the law, will hold it in contempt and will 
be a law unto themselves — recognizing and being controlled 
by no law, save their own unrestrained passions, in dealing 
with the colored man. They will feel free to treat him 
according to their whims, whether good or evil. In the 
second place, it depresses the colored man ; it blunts his 
moral perceptions ; it confuses his moral conceptions ; it 
deadens his sense of security under the law ; it chills in his 
heart respect for the law and his faith in the honesty of the 
whites; his faith in the justice of the courts is undermined; 
he is enveloped in an atmosphere of doubt, distrust, despair, 
or desperation. 

Many of the weaker-minded among the negroes are driven 
into crime ; some of the stronger- minded are perverted. Is 
it not plain that when the idle, thriftless, or weaker-minded 
negro, or the one criminally bent, sees the white people treat 
with scorn, contempt, and even violence the legitimate aspira- 
tions and ambitions of the negro of probity, substance, and 
intelligence, and refuse him the considerations due an honest 
man and good citizen, simply because of the color of his skin, 
he should naturally conclude that these things are of little or 
no value, that being a " good negro "' is of no moment, and 
that the bad one is just as well off as a good one ? 

The white people of the South are the only people in the 
history of the world — aside from the Boer republics of South 
Africa, which a just and avenging God has removed from the 
face of the earth after exacting a terrible and bloody atone- 
ment — who with deliberation and premeditation have sought 

218 



I 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

to prevent a people as free as themselves under the law of the 
land from making the most of their opportunities to advance 
in a Christian civilization. 

The Holy Scriptures say that out of the mouth of two or 
three witnesses shall the truth be established. But any 
number of Southerners, men in the highest stations of life, 
may be put in the witness chair to testify against the South 
in the wilful, deliberate, and violent persecution of the 
colored people. 

Mr. George W. Cable, formerly of Louisiana, and proba- 
bly the foremost literary man that the South has produced 
since the War of the Rebellion, says : " There is scarcely one 
public relation of life in the South where the negro is not 
arbitrarily and unlawfully compelled to hold toward the 
white man the attitude of an alien, a menial, and a probable 
reprobate by reason of his color " ; and that the white man 
"spurns his ambition, tramples upon his languishing self- 
respect and indignantly refuses to let him either buy with 
money or earn by excellence of inner life or outward behavior 
the most momentary immunity from these public indignities, 
even for his wife and daughters. Steamboat landing, railway 
platform, theatre, concert hall, art display, public library, 
public school, court-house, church, everything — flourish the 
hot branding iron of ignominious distinction." 

Mr. J. Temple Graves of Georgia says : " The negro, whom 
a million died to free, is in present bond and future promise 
still a slave, whipped by circumstances, trodden under foot of 
iron and ineradicable prejudice ; shut out forever from the 
heritage of liberty, and holding in his black hand the hollow 
parchment of his franchise as a free man looks through a 
slave's eyes at the impossible barriers which imprison him 
forever. Straighten the hair and whiten the skin of the 
negro, and the issue is closed." 

Senator McEnery of Louisiana says : " The negro is in- 
ferior in every essential of manhood ; he ought not to aspire 

219 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

to office ; he will be compelled to occupy an inferior and sub- 
ject place/' 

Mr. A. F. Thomas, of Lynchburg, Virginia, in discussing 
the race question in a booklet written especially to influence 
the recent Constitutional Convention of Virginia, says : "The 
negro has progressed wonderfully ; his relative position is 
much nearer the white man's standard of civilization now than 
thirty years ago ; yet the fact is apparent that the races are 
farther apart than they were the day the negro was emanci- 
pated. The nearer the negro approaches to the white man's 
standard of civilization, the less love there is between them. 
Looking backward to the time when our black mammies 
were, in our esteem, second only to our mothers, and when 
we played in perfect harmony with the negro children, and 
contrasting it with the clearly defined relations that exist be- 
tween the races to-day, we readily see the difference. . . . 

" A black man who has never committed a crime, who has 
always lived up to his highest ideals, who has cultivated his 
mind, whose moral character is roundly developed, who has 
been frugal and industrious, and has accumulated wealth, 
goes to a soda fountain to slake his thirst ; he offers in 
exchange his money, but is refused for no other reason than 
that he is black and belongs to a different race. A man, in 
the land of his nativity, with the money to pay for the goods, 
cannot, on account of race, buy the articles that are publicly 
offered for sale. This condition exists to-day, thirty years 
after the United States Constitution had proclaimed the civil 
and political equality of all of its citizens. . . . 

" If we take the view that the negro will remain here 
indefinitely, then the only solution consistent with existence 
is entire subordination. If this be true, it is the greatest 
folly to educate him further than education may make him 
more efficient in the sphere which he must occupy. Viewed 
from this standpoint, he should be educated, not with a pur- 
pose of lifting him to a higher plane, but to increase his 

220 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

power to do those things which would make him most useful 
to his masters. It should be an education of the hand rather 
than the head. This condition, however much freedom the 
race might nominally have, would be practically a mild form 
of slavery.'"* 

Thus Mr. Thomas admits that the Southern leaders are 
aiming at the establishment of "a mild form of slavery." 
But the old system of slavery began as a comparatively mild 
condition and gradually descended into the grossest form, 
and almost wrecked the republic. A new "mild form of 
slavery '^ would degenerate into even greater cruelties and in- 
humanities, and its inauguration would mark the beginning of 
the end of republican government. It would be the death- 
knell of free institutions. 

At a recent meeting of the State Medical Association of 
Georgia, one of its members. Dr. E. C. Ferguson, read a 
paper intended to demonstrate that the negro is not a 
human being. He attacked the negro's skin, mouth, lips, 
chin, hair, nose, nostril, ears, and navel ; and compared him 
with the horse, cow, and dog, and other animals. He 
declared that the " negro is monkeylike ; has no sympathy 
for his fellow-man; has no regard for the truth, and when 
the truth would answer his purpose the best, he will lie. He 
is without gratitude or appreciation of anything done for 
him ; is a natural born thief, — will steal anything, no matter 
how worthless. 

" He has no morals. Turpitude is his ideal of all that 
pertains to life. His progeny are not provided for at home 
and are allowed to roam at large without restraint, and seek 
subsistence as best they can, growing up like any animal.'' 

Some of the things that Dr. Ferguson said in his address 
are really not fit to print. And yet a body of scientific men 
— Southern gentlemen — listened with approval and heartily 
applauded this foul assault on a people who nursed with the 
tenderest affection and all of a mother's love, their fathers 

221 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

and grandfathers, mothers and grandmothers, and themselves ; 
and whose devotion, fidelity, and kindheartedness were never 
challenged in two hundred and fifty years of service. If Dr. 
Ferguson had a sense of humor, he would realize that his 
sweeping and unqualified statement makes him not only a 
dangerous competitor with the ablest negro in the art of 
fabrication, but marks him as a man who may eclipse the 
cleverest negro who " will lie even when the truth would 
answer his purpose the best." 

The Reverend Thomas Dixon, Jr., of North Carolina, 
speaking at a church in Baltimore, said : " My deliberate 
opinion of the negro is that he is not worth hell-room. If 
I were the devil I would not let him in hell." 

This same divine, in a book that he published, says : " The 
more you educate, the more impossible you make his position 
in a democracy. Education ! Can you change the color of 
his skin, the kink of his hair, the bulge of his lips, the spread 
of his nose, or the beat of his heart, with a spelling-book ? 
The negro is a huvnan donkey. You can train him, but you 
can't make him a horse. Mate him with horse, you lose the 
horse and get a larger donkey called a mule, incapable of 
preserving his species." The moral obliquity, the want of 
charity, the absence of dignity indicated by these words, 
mark off their author as seriously beneath the standards 
of thousands of educated colored men, whose life, words, and 
conduct shame these critics into insignificance. 

The Reverend Henry Frank advocates the re-establish- 
ment of slavery, and further says of the negro : " His native 
sluggishness, and the evidence of his general extinction since 
his emancipation, his imperceptible improvement since libera- 
tion, his startling lapse into barbarism, all must incline think- 
ing people to conclude that the freeing of the negro was a 
disastrous failure." 

Senator Tillman of South Carolina, the Mad Mullah of 
American politics, has used on the floor of the United States 

222 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

Senate and on the lecture platform these expressions : " Yes, 
we have stuffed ballot-boxes, and will stuff them again; 
we have cheated niggers in elections, and will cheat them 
again ; we have disfranchised niggers, and will disfranchise 
all we want to ; we have killed and lynched niggers and will 
kill and lynch others ; we have burned niggers at the stake 
and will burn others ; a nigger has no right to live anyhow, 
unless a white man wants him to live. If you don't like it 
you can lump it."' 

Cruel and scurrilous attacks and defamations of this char- 
acter against the colored people could be quoted in sufficient 
quantities to fill a volume. But those just mentioned, taken 
in connection with others recorded in these pages, may serve 
to indicate the fierce and consuming flames of persecution 
in the midst of which the colored man lives and moves and 
has his being. 

A people so vilely abused and outrageously persecuted 
are made an easy mark for malevolence and race hatred. 
Unrestrained abuse of the colored man leads surely to un- 
restrained oppression and violence. And these are not con- 
ditions which inspire a high morality or favor the upbuilding 
of character ; they rather tend to strangle the self-respect and 
debase the souls of the hapless victims and shape many of 
them into criminals. The whites cannot sow to the wind 
without reaping the whirlwind. 

As might be expected, illustrations in the concrete of the 
operation of this bitter persecution abound on every hand. 
Laws are enacted and enforced in the spirit of persecution, 
and the colored people are the victims of such laws ; often 
they are condemned without even the form or semblance 
of law. 

Regarding the latter, planters have combined or conspired 
— in defiance of the law — to arrest under false charges the 
number of colored men needed for service, hold mock trials, 
one of the conspirators acting as judge, condemn and sentence 

223 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

the helpless creatures to penal servitude; and then divide 
the laborers among themselves, put them in chains, and 
work them for long periods of time on their plantations. 
And this crime is committed against liberty and humanity 
rather than pay the small wages which agricultural laborers 
command in the South ! 

And as to the former, it would be difficult to find more 
striking examples of " man's inhumanity to man" than some 
of the crimes committed in the name and under the forms 
of law on the colored people. In Alabama, Mississippi, 
Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, and some of the other 
states, labor and contract laws are deliberately framed with 
the view of facilitating the seizure of colored men and selling 
them into practical slavery. 

In a speech recently made in Congress touching this matter, 
Mr. Edgar D. Crumpacker of Indiana said : " Under exist- 
ing conditions the standard of living among the colored peo- 
ple of the South is low, and the rate of wages is on the same 
basis. The colored laborer is completely at the mercy of the 
employer. In the state of South Carolina to-day there is a 
qualified condition of industrial serfdom. Farm laborers are 
compelled by the penal laws of the state to carry out their 
contracts of employment, however unjust and unfair they 
may be. They must perform all 'the labor reasonably re- 
quired ' of them by the contract or go to jail. If any one 
knowingly shall employ a laborer in any kind of service who 
is under contract to labor for another, he, too, is liable to 
fine and imprisonment, even though the workman or his 
family may be on the verge of starvation." 

Under these laws the great mass of the colored laborers are 
placed in the merciless grasp of the planters, who can readily 
force them to accept any form of contract whatsoever. Some 
of the planters, under a carefully devised system of paying the 
laborers off in plantation " scrip " or " checks," which are 
heavily discounted mediums, or by compelling the laborers 

224 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

to buy their supplies at the " plantation store," where exor- 
bitant rates are charged, or by " padding '" the accounts of the 
laborers, manage to bring them out in debt at the close of 
each year. 

And this system is earned on year after year, and the 
colored man never gets ahead and so cannot leave his plan- 
tation prison-pen. The planter holds the laborer in debt as 
long as it suits his convenience to do so. The laborer has 
no relief in the law of the state. Such hardships drive many 
colored people from the plantations to the cities. 

In the name of the law, colored men may also be arrested 
for debt and sold at public auction, into servitude. And 
those laborers are compelled to work without pay while their 
families are exposed to want and made to suffer ; the wages 
which they ought to receive being divided between the 
planters and the magistrates. 

The following press despatch throws some light on this 
matter: "The Federal grand jury at Montgomery is ex- 
pected to return indictments against ten prominent ' slave- 
holders "^ to-morrow. They will be charged with the almost 
forgotten crime of peonage. Robert M. Franklin is already 
under indictment on the charge of keeping a negro in servi- 
tude for a year. 

" The system was called to the attention of the Department 
of Justice a month ago, and Chief Wilkie sent Captain 
Dickey to Montgomery to investigate. His reports indicate 
collusion between magistrates and plantation owners who 
wanted cheap help. 

" The plan is for a negro to be brought before the magis- 
trate on charges on which he is heavily fined. Some white 
man offers to pay his fine and save him from jail if he will 
agree to work for him until his wages reach the amount of 
the fine. The negroes, it is alleged, are herded together and 
treated like convicts. When they protest, so it is charged, 
they are whipped and beaten until they are cowed, and when 
15 225 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

they run away they are chased with dogs, and in case of 
recapture, compelled to work in chains. They are constantly 
under the eyes of armed guards, and are driven to the limit 
of human endurance. They are fed only enough to keep 
them alive." 

As a further illustration of the operations of the system 
the following press despatch will prove of interest : " The evi- 
dence in the case of Samuel W. Tyson in the Federal court 
which ended yesterday makes it plain that slavery still exists 
in the United States. Tyson was ordered to pay a thousand 
dollars fine, but he handed over only one hundred and fifty 
dollars and the remainder was suspended by the sympathetic 
judge. 

" Tyson runs a lumber mill in Coffee County. There were 
three cases against him. He was charged with holding Will 
Brown, Will Thornton, and Nick Anderson, all negroes, in 
peonage. Anderson was fined five dollars for assault and 
battery. E. L. Warren, a white man, confessed judgment for 
Anderson. He sold Anderson to a white man named Grumpier 
for sixty dollars, who in turn swapped him to Tyson for a 
negro, Jerry Stoval, and a money consideration. 

'' The case of Brown was that Brown borrowed a dollar from 
H. B. Grumpier and failed to pay it back. He was arrested, 
put in jail, handcuffed, and sold to Tyson for ninety-six dollars 
and fifty cents. Tyson later sold Brown to George Stephens 
for thirty-six dollars and fifty cents. Thornton owed G. D. 
Clemens some money that he could not pay. Clemens got 
him and sold him to Tyson, who worked him under guard for 
three months."" 

And again other press despatches, which are fully sustained 
by the best authority, reveal with circumstantial detail the 
criminal practices of planters, who, with the connivance of 
the magistrates, imprison both colored men and women on 
their plantations and rob them of the fruits of their labor. 
" The Department of Justice is preparing to take up again 

226 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

the subject of peonage in the South. Additional reports 
have been received indicating that negroes are held in ser- 
vitude. Assistant Attorney General Purdy has issued in- 
structions to the United States attorney for the western 
district of Louisiana to investigate a number of alleged 
cases of peonage on plantations near Monroe, Ouachita parish, 
and other points in that vicinity. Information regarding 
these cases came to the department from Judge McDaniel, 
assistant attorney for the southern district of Texas, to whom 
complaint had been made by relatives of a number of negroes 
alleged to have been illegally held. Some of the stories told 
are sensational in the extreme. 

" In addition to the charges made by negroes, the Texas 
officials have forwarded the statement of a white man Hving 
in Houston, who has made several trips through northern 
Louisiana recently, and who says that many colored people 
of both sexes are being illegally restrained of their liberty in 
that region. 

" A feature of the affair which makes it of unusual interest 
is the intimation that some of the peace officers are in collusion 
with those who are alleged to be holding the negroes. One 
man, who claimed that he had escaped from a plantation south 
of Shreveport, asked Judge McDaniel's assistance in securing 
the release of his brother, who was still detained there. This 
person asserted that whenever negroes who tried to escape 
were caught, they were soundly beaten and taken back. 

" If they succeeded in getting as far as Shreveport, he said, 
they were taken in charge by the officers and immediately 
returned. The owner of the plantation lived at Shreveport, 
he claimed, and the officers worked in collusion with him. 

" Not long ago A. D. Crenshaw, a negro, who lives at 
Ledbetter, Texas, showed Judge McDaniel and Marshal 
Hanson a letter from his brother, who, it was alleged, was 
held in bondage near Monroe. This communication told of 
awful conditions among the negroes there. 

227 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

" Crenshaw gave Marshal Hanson a sum of money, which 
Hanson forwarded to the marshal of the western district of 
Louisiana, with instructions that it be given to Crenshaw's 
brother. Later the money order was returned by a man who 
said he was the deputy marshal and was acting in the place of 
the marshal, who had died, but that he could do nothing in 
the premises, since the order was not payable to him. The 
necessary change was made and the order sent on again. 
Considerable time has elapsed and nothing has been heard 
of it. 

" A negro named Johnson, whose character has been 
vouched for by white people who knew him in Texas, has 
also wiitten to Houston, claiming that he and his wife are 
being held in bondage and are refi-aining from attempting to 
escape because they fear they will be recaptured and beaten 
or killed. 

" All such letters have been sent out surreptitiously, the 
writers being afraid to forward them through the regular 
channels. 

" Judge McDaniel expresses the opinion that hundi'eds of 
negroes are being held in the region indicated."" 

The Independent of New York City, a leading family 
journal, commissioned one of its representatives to examine 
into this new form of slavery in the South, and it spreads 
before its readers in a recent issue a typical case of a colored 
man held in slavery for thirteen years. The narrative is har- 
rowing indeed, and the saddest reflection is that it is only one 
of many thousands that may be chronicled in the same 
state in which this occurred. 

An additional feature is that a state senator, a maker of 
the laws, M^as the owner of the slave camp, and thus the 
oppressor of those who were equal citizens, subjecting them, 
men and women, to the most humiliating treatment, and 
filching from them all the fruits of their hard and exacting 
toil. The experiences and observation of this colored man, 

228 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

who was held in bondage and treated as a slave for that 
length of time, as told by himself, are in part as follows : — 

" The senator had bought an additional thousand acres of 
land, and to his already large cotton plantation he added two 
great big saw-mills and went into the lumber business. 
Within two years the senator had in all nearly two hun- 
dred negroes working on his plantation. . . . 

" Two or three years before, or about a year and a half 
after the senator had started his camp, he had established a 
large store, which was called the commissary. All of us free 
laborers were compelled to buy our supplies — food, clothing, 
etc. — from that store. We never used any money in our 
dealings with the commissary, only tickets or orders, and we 
had a general settlement once each year, in October. In this 
store we were charged all sorts of high prices for goods, be- 
cause every year we would come out in debt to our employer. 
If not that, we seldom had more than five or ten dollars 
coming to us — and that for a whole year's work. Well, at 
the close of the tenth year, when we kicked and meant to 
leave the senator, he said to some of us with a smile (and I 
never will forget that smile — I can see it now) : ' Boys, I 'm 
sorry you 're going to leave me. I hope you will do well in 
your new places — so well that you will be able to pay me 
the little balances which most of you owe me.' 

" Word was sent out for all of us to meet him at the com- 
missary at two o'clock. There he told us that, after we had 
signed what he called a written acknowledgment of our 
debts we might go and look for new places. The store- 
keeper took us one by one and read to us statements of our 
accounts. According to the books there was no man of us 
who owed the senator less than $100 ; some of us were put 
down for as much as S200. I owed SI 65, according to the 
bookkeeper. No one of us would have dared to dispute a 
white man's word — oh, no — we were after getting away ; 
and we had been told that we might go, if we signed the 

229 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

acknowledgments. We would have signed anything, just to 
get away. So we stepped up, we did, and made our marks. 
That same night we were rounded up by a constable and ten 
or twelve white men, who aided him, and were locked up, 
every one of us, in one of the senator's stockades. The next 
morning it was explained to us by the two guards appointed 
to watch us that, in the papers we had signed the day before, 
we had not only made acknowledgment of our indebtedness, 
but that we had also agreed to work for the senator until 
the debts were paid by hard labor. And from that day 
forward we were treated just like convicts. Really we had 
made ourselves lifetime slaves, or peons, as the laws called us. 
But, call it slavery, peonage, or what not, the truth is we 
lived in a hell on earth what time we spent in the senator's 
peon camp. 

" My wife fared better than I did, as did the wives of some 
of the other negroes, because the white men about the camp 
used these unfortunate creatures as their mistresses. When 
I was first put in the stockade my wife was still kept for a 
while in the ' Big House,' but my little boy, who was only nine 
years old, was given away to a negro family across the river 
in South Carolina, and I never saw or heard of him after 
that. When I left the camp my wife had had two children 
for some one of the white bosses, and she was living in fairly 
good shape in a little house off to herself. But the poor 
negro women who were not in the class with my wife fared 
almost as bad as the helpless negro men. Most of the time 
the women who were peons or convicts were compelled to wear 
men's clothes. Sometimes, when I have seen them dressed 
like men, and plowing or hoeing or hauling logs, or working 
at the blacksmith's trade, just the same as men, my heart 
would bleed and my blood would boil, but I was powerless to 
raise a hand. It would have meant death on the spot to 
have said a word. Of the first six women brought to the 
camp, two of them gave birth to children after they had been 

230 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

there not more than twelve months — and the babies had 
white men for their fathers ! 

" The stockades in which we slept were, I believe, the filth- 
iest places in the world. They were cesspools of nastiness. 
During the thirteen years that I was there I am willing to 
swear that a mattress was never moved after it had been 
brought there, except to turn it over once or twice a month. 
No sheets were used, only dark-colored blankets. Most of 
the men slept every night in the clothing that they had 
worked in all day. Some of the worst characters were made 
to sleep in chains. The doors were locked and barred each 
night, and tallow candles were the only lights allowed. 
Really the stockades were but little more than cow-lots, 
horse-stables or hog-pens. Strange to say, not a great num- 
ber of these people died while I was there, though a great 
many came away maimed and bruised, and, in some cases, 
disabled for life. 

" It was a hard school, that peon camp was, but I learned 
more there in a few short months by contact with those poor 
fellows from the outside world than ever I had known before. 
Most of what I learned was evil, and I now know that I 
should have been better off without the knowledge, but much 
of what I learned was helpful to me. Barring two or three 
severe and brutal whippings which I received, I got along 
very well, all things considered ; but the system is damnable. 
A favorite way of whipping a man was to strap him down to 
a log, flat on his back, and spank him forty or sixty times on 
his bare feet and limbs with a shingle or a huge piece of 
plank. When the man would get up with sore and blistered 
feet and an aching body, if he could not then keep up with 
the other men at work he would be strapped to the log 
again, this time face downward, and would be lashed with a 
buggy trace on his bare back. . . . 

"One of the usual ways to secure laborers for a large 
peonage camp is for the proprietor to send out an agent to 

231 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

the little courts in the towns and villages ; and where a man 
charged with some petty offence has no friends or money, the 
agent will urge him to plead guilty, with the understanding 
that the agent will pay his fine, and in that way save him 
from the disgrace of being sent to jail or the chain-gang! 
For this high favor the man must sign beforehand a paper 
signifying his willingness to go to the farm and work out the 
amount of the fine imposed. When he reaches the farm he 
has to be fed and clothed, to be sure, and these things are 
charged up to his account. By the time he has worked out 
his first debt another is hanging over his head, and so on and 
so on, by a sort of endless chain, for an indefinite period ; as 
in every case the indebtedness is arbitrarily arranged by the 
employer. In many cases it is very evident that the court 
officials are in collusion with the proprietors or agents, and 
that they divide the ' graft ' among themselves. As an 
example of this dickering among the whites, every year many 
convicts were brought to the senator's camp from a certain 
county in South Georgia, way down in the tm-pentine district. 
The majority of these men were charged with adultery. . . . 

" I have been here in the district since they released me, 
and I reckon I "11 die either in a coal mine or an iron furnace : 
it don't make much difference which. Either is better than 
a Georgia peon camp. And a Georgia peon camp is hell 
itself!" 

This unfortunate man also relates the cruel and revolting 
manner in which colored women were thrown across a barrel 
and brutally flogged. 

The New York World prints a picture of a "Stockade 
Pen'' in South Carolina, showing the hapless negroes at 
work in convict garbs, surrounded by bloodhounds and 
guards. And after stating that the negroes whom Abraham 
Lincoln emancipated and whose emancipation a million men 
died to seal are still held and treated as slaves, proceeds to 
give these details : " Convict slaves are traded freely among 

232 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

the land owners. They are forced to labor, for which they 
receive no pay ; they are flogged, made to work when ill, 
made the victims of ' man-hunts," and otherwise ill-used. 
Women are treated with similar cruelty. 

" When the stock of convicts gives out, innocent negroes, 
it is now proved, are railroaded into the penitentiary, and 
thence obtained by the men who become their masters. The 
system has continued for years in open defiance of law and 
humanity. These are facts now officially verified. 

" The offenders are so well protected by money and influ- 
ence that it is doubtful if they can be punished, or even that 
the practice can be stopped. If these proceedings are not at 
first clear, here are the details : William A. Neal, of Ander- 
son, who was superintendent of the state penitentiary, and 
who was tried in court for being short in his accounts, was 
the first man to introduce the convict lease system in Ander- 
son County. A stockade was built and convicts from the 
penitentiary, which was overcrowded with criminals, were 
sent under guard to the place ; it being arranged that the 
state was to receive a revenue. 

"The plan worked splendidly for the planters. The 
expense was small, and the lash, freely administered, made the 
negroes give the best of their efforts for the managers. 

" At this time plans were quietly put on foot to seize 
ignorant negroes, have mock trials, and commit them to the 
stockades where their labor could be had for the scant food 
offered and the expense of the convict garb and shackles. 

"From the state stockade relatives of the managers built 
private prisons on the big farms and a ransom was paid for 
every negro seized and sent in. It was the same system of 
' shanghaiing ' transferred from the sea to the farm. 

" Recent developments have given an inside view into the 
operation of the prisons, and the discovery of the private 
stockades has shown a more terrible condition than was at 
first imagined. . . . 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

" Not one of the freed slaves has dared to testify against 
the man who outrageously ill-used him. There are too many 
sharp eyes about, too many pistols, too many bloodhounds, 
and the unfortunate creatures were long since cowed out of 
every likeness to their manhood. More potent than any law 
on earth is the unreasoning fear which the brutal slave 
owners have succeeded in infusing into the very life-blood of 
the creatures they have deprived of liberty. . . . 

"The death of Will Hull, a poor negro, who had been 
seized on a trumped-up charge and illegally committed to the 
stockade, led to the investigation. Hull protested against 
his incarceration, asked for a fair trial, and got a blow from a 
club. Then the negro planned to escape, and at night, with 
the chains still binding his legs, he stole forth. 

" But the guards had orders to watch him. As Hull was 
going away, a bullet from a 54-calibre rifle bored its way into 
his brain and he fell dead. . . . 

" The most appalling of the abuses is that women were 
seized and made to work. They were whipped with cat-o- 
nine-tails because they failed to scrub and work when com- 
mon humanity showed that they should have been in 
hospitals ; and there was no protest. . . . 

"When sport got dull on the stockade plantations, the 
bloodhounds were called forth, and the speediest negroes were 
unshackled. 

" Sunday was the big day for sporting blood to boil, and 
this thirst could only be satisfied with a vicious ' man-hunt.' 
The negroes were unshackled and sent rurming through 
the swamps and over the hills. There was no danger of 
making an effectual escape. Two hours after the negroes 
left the pen, the dogs were unleashed. Men on horseback 
were ready for the start, and with yelping and crying the 
trail was followed and the 'man-hunt' was on. Once a 
negro failed to reach safety in a tree, and he was mangled 
fearfully. 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

" The so-called contracts by which these negroes were 
jailed gave the owners the right to sell or trade them as 
they saw fit. They were used and handled as convicts, when 
in fact they were free citizens. But laws are not a figure in 
these dens of iniquity. 

" The men had to wear stripes ; and they had to bear 
shackles. When night came and work had to stop they were 
sent to the pens, locked in, and guarded. Long before day- 
light they were called out, and with the first dawn they were 
toiling in the fields. When sickness made them unfit for 
work, they were whipped and lashed for trifling. Even the 
hot iron is said to have been used, and the grand jury is 
searching for the slaves who were branded like wild cattle." 

The World also says that the grand jury by its " verdict 
accuses scores of wealthy South Carolinians of practices of 
atrocious villany."" 

The Chicago Tribune of recent date prints this press de- 
spatch : " A special to the Tribune from Savannah says that 
state senator Foye of Egypt, Georgia, has been brought here 
under arrest by Federal officers on a charge of holding negroes 
in bondage. Foye is one of the wealthiest men in south 
Georgia and is a Democratic leader. He conducts several 
large turpentine farms near Egypt, and Federal officers assert 
that he is holding many negroes as slaves. The negroes are 
confined at night in stockades and are worked in chains 
during the day." 

The gravity of the situation is emphasized in a recent event. 
The Honorable William H. Moody, Attorney-General of the 
United States, in filing a brief with the Supreme Court of 
the United States, in a peonage case recently brought before 
that high tribunal from Georgia, uses these startling words: 
" Immediately upon the certification of this case to the su- 
preme court, several of the district judges in the fifth circuit, 
in which numerous prosecutions for violations of this statute 
were pending, refused to try any of the cases, and postponed 

^35 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

the same to await the decision of the court in this case. It 
is therefore quite evident that the executive arm of the law, 
so far at least as the enforcement of this statute is concerned, 
is practically paralyzed, even in the most typical and flagrant 
cases. We think we may truthfully say that upon the decision 
of this case hangs the liberty of thousands of persons, mostly 
colored, it is true, who are now being held in a condition of 
involuntary servitude, in many cases worse than slavery itself, 
by the unlawful acts of individuals, not only in violation of 
the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, but in viola- 
tion of the law which we have here under consideration." 

Thus it is shown that forty years after the destruction of 
slavery, a new system of servitude is in operation, concerning 
which the Attorney-General of the United States informs the 
Supreme Court of the United States that the executive arm 
of the Government is paralyzed in dealing with it. If 
the Southern leaders are given a free hand for fifty or a 
hundred years more, the fate of the colored man will be worse 
than in the blackest day of slavery. 

The legislature of Georgia, a few years ago, appointed a 
committee to investigate the operations of the penal system 
of the state. The committee reported a shocking state of 
affairs, both in chain-gangs and in many convict stockades 
scattered over the state. It showed that colored men and 
women were poorly fed; worked to the limit of human 
endurance and beyond it ; that the sick forced to work, in 
some cases, had died while at the task ; that men were held 
for years after their sentences had expired, because they were 
profitable workmen ; that convicts were brutally flogged — in 
some cases whipped to death ; that they were shot to death at 
times without justification ; and that they were subject to 
many other inhumanities. But it appears that the condition 
of these unfortunate people has not been bettered. 

An official investigation of the penal system of Florida dis- 
closed even greater abuses. In this state it was shown that 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

convicts were murdered because they dared to protest against 
being held after their sentences had expired ; and any com- 
plaint meant floggings and probable death. 

The chain-gangs in Atlanta, Georgia, reek with horrible 
inhumanities. In that city colored girls of tender age, who 
were guilty of no other offence than that of " sassing back " 
at the "Missus,"' have been sent to the chain-gang stockade. 
The lesson of abject submission must be enforced. In this 
stockade colored men and women are brutally beaten on the 
slightest pretext. 

Another horrible feature of the terrible system is that 
colored women and girls are used for the purpose of training 
the bloodhounds. These unfortunates, in some cases so poorly 
and lightly clad as to sicken the moral sense of the ordinary 
citizen, are summoned to " quarters,"" and at the crack of the 
driver's whip they flee to the woods, and must climb trees be- 
fore the yelping bloodhounds can overtake them, or else their 
bodies will be fearfully mangled. This is oft repeated. 

A writer in the Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican 
says : " As one who has been in close contact with the social 
systems of the Southern states and knows very well the work- 
ings of this penal system, particularly of Georgia, let me say 
to you that the system of criminal justice, or rather injustice, 
applied to the negro is but a system of the worst slavery in 
itself. It is justified in the minds of men by the seldom 
spoken, yet because silent, nevertheless potent, belief and con- 
viction that the ' nigger ought to be a slave anyway.' 

" Slavery fostered and has bequeathed to the population of 
the South a cruelty and a crudity of criminal punishment 
foreign to the humane spirit of our age ; and so outrageous is 
the system that it would long ago have been abolished if it 
were not for the fact that it is the negro who suffers most by 
it. The penitentiaries, or convict settlements, for there are 
no penitentiaries, are simply unspeakable. And the treat- 
ment of the convicts in the camps by lessees who pay the 

237 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

state eleven dollars a year for an able-bodied man, is such 
that an average of three years and five months of hfe in one 
of these camps is the record, while no man has ever been 
known to survive more than seventeen years. 

" A few of the many cases that came under my personal 
observation might be of general interest. I saw a boy twelve 
years old sent to one of these camps for larceny, for a term of 
three years. There are no places for juvenile offenders, and it 
is not strange if their own chickens come home to roost in the 
shape of rape and theft and general cussedness by young 
criminals who have been schooled in these prisons. 

" I saw a man who had served a term under a convict lease 
in a brick company's camp and the condition of that man's 
hands from handling hot bricks, and the condition of his back 
from stripes received were suggestive of the very limit, not 
only of human cruelty but the limit of human endurance as 

well. 

" I saw a man returned after a term of four years, and the 
sides of the fellow, his elbows, his shoulders, hips, and the 
side of his legs were hard and calloused from lying on his 
sides in the mine, where the opening was not allowed to be 
made sufficiently large for comfortable work, and where, he 
told me, he had often worked far into the night, to send 
up his ' stint' before the bucket came down with the order 
to get in and come up ; only to return at sun-up in the 
morning. 

" A mother, half white, with her daughter lighter still, 
about fifteen years old, came to me one day to inquire if any 
redress could be had against the convict authorities for the 
inhuman treatment of the girl, while serving a year s sentence 
in the stockade for some trivial offence. She had been 
whipped unmercifully, as scars on her shoulders and upper 
back plainly showed, and I was afterward told by the 
physician to whom 1 sent her for treatment that she had a 
running sore on her hip, caused by a cut made by a strap in 

238 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

the hands of the ' whipping boss.'' The ' whipping boss,' be 
it known, is a legal functionary and an invariable and much 
overworked adjunct to every convict settlement. This child, 
for she was not more, and frail at that, was at the time I saw 
her, shortly after her release, four months pregnant by one of 
the guards ; which one she did not know. The mother's grief 
was pitiful. There was nothing to be done. It is easy to 
surmise what the remedy would have been had the color of 
the skins of the respective parties been reversed. 

" Two stalwart fellows came with a friend one night to 
consult me about their situation. It was a sorry plight, 
indeed. They had escaped from the chain-gang, after being 
unmercifully beaten. Both were so cut and bruised across 
the back that their shirts stuck in places to the open sores. 
They were desperate and frantic with fear lest they should be 
apprehended, and declared they would rather die than return 
to the camp. This friend, at a loss to know what to do for 
them, fearing to be seen in their company, brought them to 
me. I could do nothing for them, but advised them to get 
out of the country. They took the hint and started. 

"The one least injured was overtaken by the bloodhounds 
next day, and brought into court to be resentenced as an 
* escape,' which means, under the law, doubling his sentence. 
He was shot a few weeks later, as it was said, in an attempt 
to escape. The other I never heard from. This is no tale 
of sixteenth-century barbarity, but of living, existing facts of 
our own day and in our own land. I can make no more tell- 
ing comment on the negro-convict-lease system than to quote 
the language of one of Georgia's men, who sees in it a blot 
upon our civilization and a disgrace to humanity. Dr. Felton, 
a few years ago, while a member of the Georgia legislature, 
said : ' If the fiends of hell had undertaken to devise a penal 
system, devilish, barbarous, and malignant, they could not 
have succeeded more fully than Georgia has succeeded in her 
system.' And what is true of Georgia is also true of the 

239 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

whole South on this subject. Such a system is only possible 
where two centuries of slavery have blunted human hearts to 
all the finer instincts concerning the rights of the subject 
race. One is prone to believe with Samuel Clemens that, 
* while there are many humorous things, one of the most 
ludicrous is the fact that the white man thinks he is less 
savage than the other savages.' " 

So the penal system in the South, which ought to be oper- 
ated for the punishment or correction of criminals, is proved 
by the records of the United States courts and competent 
witnesses to be itself an organized system of crime ; and is 
administered in many instances by criminal officials who are 
more deserving of punishment than the criminals in stripes. 
These records also show that the makers of the law, the 
magistrates of the law, and the sheriffs or guardians of the 
law are in many instances pai-ticipes cr'iminis in the breaking 
of the law and the violation of the liberty of citizens. 

After a colored man or woman has passed through the 
hands of such " schoolmasters " and such a " school of crime,"*' 
what hope is there for such a being ? The state courts take 
no cognizance of these things. The white people have all 
the power necessary to blot out these terrible evils in a week. 

This must be conclusive, if one would but consider what 
would be done if the case was reversed ? Suppose that colored 
farmers were arresting white men and women on trumped-up 
charges and working them by day in chains and sleeping them 
in stockades and subjecting them to the same abuses which 
colored men and women are now compelled to endure. Would 
the whites submit to such conditions for twenty-four hours ? 
If necessary, to wipe out such crimes, would not negro blood 
flow as free as water .? These evils can be remedied and that 
quickly, if there were a disposition to accomplish it. 

They are allowed to exist because they are tributary to 
the plans of the reactionists, to depress the spirit of the 
colored people and aid in making them a subject race by 

240 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

closing " the door of hope " to them. The leaders are acting 
on the principle that every humiliation, oppression, or out- 
rage inflicted on the colored people helps to undermine the 
morale of the race and make alienation and subjugation 
easier. 

There are illustrations in the concrete of other and more 
sanguinary persecutions of which the colored people are the 
helpless victims. These are riots and lynchings. The reac- 
tionists through secret societies, on the order of the Ku Klux 
Klan, are thoroughly organized. They can produce riots 
and lynchings as by clockwork. At Wilmington, North 
Carolina, after rioting and shooting down colored men on 
the streets for three days, the rioters were called off as sud- 
denly as they had assembled. 

When the leaders pass the word for the rioters to act — 
they act. When they say stop — the rioters stop. If they 
decide that a lesson must be taught and negroes must be 
lynched — lynching takes place. If they think that there is 
no particular need for lynching and the courts may act in a 
given case — the courts act. The white people can put down 
lynchings and curb riotings whenever and wherever they may 
make up their minds to do so. 

These lynchings and riots are a fearful strain on the nerves 
of the colored people. No one is safe when the mob starts 
out on its bloody work. Innocent people, who had not even 
heard that a crime had been committed and who were not 
suspecting the existence of the mob and by mere chance 
came within its sphere of operation, have been done to 
the death. 

The lynchings in Statesboro', Georgia, on the 16th and 
17th of August, 1904, show order and method in the per- 
formance — they were directed by a leading mind. A murder 
had been committed. Two negroes were condemned to 
death. Others were under an-est in jail awaiting trial. The 
judge congi'atulates the community on its respect for law 
16 241 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

and order. All was quiet the night before. All is quiet 
in the morning. But suddenly the mob appears, the two 
negroes convicted are seized and burned alive at the stake. 
There were guards on hand ; they had guns, but no bullets, 
and so were brushed aside. The negroes were taken from 
the court house — the temple of justice. The judge and 
others protested. But what does a Georgia mob care for 
judges, justice, or law ? Members of the secret clans can get 
on the jury and save their fellows from the penalty of the 
law. 

The affair is described in part by the following press de- 
spatch to the New York Sun : " Men, as they passed on the 
street during the evening, looked at each other significantly, 
as men lately initiated into the same mysteries, but there was 
little said or heard in public. . . . 

" There was no effort of any sort made on the part of the 
mob at disguise. Everything was done in the broad open 
daylight, without masks or other concealment. Men who 
represented the wealth and the worth of the town openly 
joined in the work of leading the mob. These were the ones 
who led the rush on the court house and up the stairs to the 
little room in which the prisoners were confined. The mob, 
with its victims closely hemmed in, then proceeded to the 
place of execution. Everything had been prepared. The 
stake was a light-wood stump about seven feet high. The 
negroes were bound to this by a stout chain. At their feet 
light-wood knots were piled, and brushwood and splinters 
reached to their waists. 

" This done, a man mounted the top of the stump and 
can after can of kerosene were handed up to him. Probably 
twenty gallons were poured over them in liberal quantities 
and they were ready for fire. Without a pause these prepa- 
rations had gone on. As they were finished a man stepped 
forward and applied the match. The flames rose over the 
negroes and they uttered a simultaneous groan. 

242 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

" Reed seemed to bear the torture with fortitude and died 
quickly. Within three minutes he had ceased to utter sounds, 
and the only sign of life was the convulsive bending of the 
left arm at the elbow. '^Chis soon ceased and he was burned 
to a crisp. 

" Cato seemed to die harder. Long after the life had left 
Reed's body he continued to utter cries and to writhe in the 
flames, which seemed to have less play at him than Reed. 
Finally one of the mob leaned over and with a bludgeon 
smashed Cato's head open and he seemed to give up the ghost. 
His body then turned and took a horizontal position in the 
fire and slowly burned to a crisp and then to ashes.'"* 

After its work, the mob dispersed. The town was again 
quiet until the next day, when the mob suddenly renewed its 
work and lynched three more negroes. 

A special despatch to the New York World says : " ' Regu- 
lators ' are riding Bullock County ; one unidentified negro 
has been riddled with bullets, two others perhaps fatally shot, 
and everywhere negroes are being unmercifully whipped by 
the bands. 

" An absolute reign of terror exists throughout the coun- 
try. A crowd passed the house of Albert Roberts, an old 
negro, living near Register, and fired a broadside into it. 
The old negro, a thoroughly peaceable man, was mortally 
wounded, and his seventeen -year-old son, Raymond, was 
struck by several bullets. The negro was seventy-odd years 
of age. . . . 

" Wild spirits from surrounding counties have flocked to 
Statesboro' and are aiding in the whipping and assaulting of 
the inoffensive negroes. . . . 

" The unidentified body of a negro was found lying by the 
roadside riddled with bullets eight miles from hei-e. It was 
at first believed to be that of Handy Bell, but men who 
know him say that it was not he." 

The World editorially says : 

243 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

" The burning of negroes by a mob at Statesboro', Georgia, 
yesterday, was one of the most barbarous and wanton crimes 
ever committed in the name of lynch law. 

" The victims had been convicted of murder, after a prompt 
and fair trial, and had been sentenced to be hanged on Sep- 
tember 9th. So that the usual excuse of uncertain or delayed 
legal justice was not present. Yet the mob 'overpowered 
the militia ' — without a shot having been fired, apparently — 
and took the condemned prisoners to the woods and burned 
them at the stake. If ' Darkest Africa ' is any blacker than 
this, travellers have failed to report it. Even the savages' 
rude forms of justice are respected.'"* 

The Southern leaders and their apologists are accustomed 
to justify lynchings on the ground of the protection of 
womanhood. Whenever they speak in public, in Congress 
or elsewhere, the blood of negroes lynched is spattered on the 
head of womanhood. To push womanhood to the front and 
make it bear the brunt of barbarous crimes committed on 
the negroes from " stark blood-lust overwhelming the appeal 
to reason," which is absolutely true of the great majority of 
lynchings, is unwise and merits the condemnation of chivalric 
manhood. Negroes have been lynched in the South for every 
crime ; and they have been lynched when no crime whatever 
has been charged. The negro man, the woman, the youth 
fourteen years of age, the child three years of age, the babe in 
the mother's arms who could not lisp the word " mamma," 
have been the victims of the lynching mobs. 

The records of lynchings kept by the Chicago Tribune^ a 
reliable authority, show that only two or three out of every 
ten colored persons lynched are even charged with the name- 
less offence. It has been proved that some of those charged 
with the crime were innocent. In a particular instance a 
white man who killed his wife while in a passion charged 
one of the negroes who worked on his place with having 
assaulted and murdered his wife. And this white man 

244 



I 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

headed the mob which lynched tlie negro. He made a full 
confession on his death-bed of the negro''s innocence. 

Riotings and lynchings have become dominant features in 
Southern life and their reflex influence has caused the enact- 
ment of bloody deeds in a few Northern communities. It 
does not help matters to say that in Illinois, Kansas, or 
Delaware a mob can burn a negro at the stake with all the 
cruelties of a Georgia, Mississippi, or Texas mob. It is due 
to Southern example ; and it has been proved that men from 
the South have been the leaders of Northern mobs. It is 
also true that many Southern men residing in the North, 
and also visiting Southerners, seize every opportunity to 
discredit the colored man and inflame passions against 
him. 

Senator Tillman, while on a visit North, referring to the 
violence committed by a Northern mob, said : " I see you are 
learning how to kill and burn * niggers.' That 's right ; let 
the good work go on. Keep it up ; you are getting some 
sense." Other Southerners, through the press and in addresses, 
have made statements calculated to inflame certain elements, 
and doubtless have caused much mischief. The good people 
of the North can and should call a halt to those Southerners 
who are seeking to create strife between the races in the 
North. The " strikes"" among a few school children against 
colored teachers or pupils are due to the barbarous teachings 
of these Southern leaders. 

The truth remains, however, that lynch-law does not 
dominate any Northern state. It does dominate Southern 
states. It has become a part of Southern civilization and is 
publicly defended by many leading Southern men. The 
Northern man in public life who should advocate lynching 
would be disgi'aced. The Southern men who defend or 
endorse it, like Tillman, Carmack, Vardaman, Richardson, 
Graves, and Money, are honored in public life and kept in 
high places, 

245 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

To indicate how general lynchings have become in the 
South, and to emphasize, if possible, the infamy of it, the 
following cases may be cited : At Carrollton, Louisiana, 
a negro man and two women were lynched : they were sus- 
pected of being implicated in a murder. In Smith County, 
Mississippi, four negro men and one woman were lynched, and 
eight or ten badly beaten, and most of the negroes ordered 
to leave : they were suspected of wounding two white men. 
In Mississippi, a negro woman was lynched ; " the mob 
visited the woman's house and after tying her hands behind 
her, took her to the bridge over Lick Creek. Here she was 
shot through the head and her lifeless body was thrown into 
the stream "" : her offence was that her brother was charged 
with stealing a pocket-book and she could not tell the mob 
of his whereabouts, and so was lynched. 

In Louisiana, a young negi'o was lynched because he 
could not tell the whereabouts of his brother, who was 
charged with theft. At Lewisburg, Tennessee, a negro was 
lynched in the court-house yard : he was suspected of murder. 
In St. James Parish, Louisiana, a negro charged with murder 
was burned at the stake. At Florence, Alabama, a negro 
was lynched by being " hamstrung, hung up by the heels like 
a hog, and allowed slowly to bleed to death '' : his offence was 
that he had protested loudly against the killing of innocent 
negroes. At or near Tuscombia, Alabama, three negroes 
were lynched, because one had resisted arrest. 

In South Carolina, a negro man and wife were intercepted 
while on the way to Abbeville jail, taken from the sheriff, and 
hanged on a bridge, and their bodies riddled with bullets : 
they were suspected of murder. At Langley, South Carolina, 
two negroes who had been wounded in a fight in the " Jim 
Crow " car set apart for colored people, and which had been 
invaded by whites, and whom the doctor said could not 
possibly live, were taken from the jail and lynched. At 
Newbern, Tennessee, two negroes were lynched : they were 

246 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

suspected of murder. At Memphis, Tennessee, four negroes 
were lynched for starting a grocery store, in competition with 
a white man, in a colored settlement. 

At Joplin, Missouri, several negroes were lynched, a number 
of their homes were burned, and over a thousand were driven 
out in one day. The home of postmaster Baker, of South 
Carolina, was surrounded at night ; oil was poured on the 
house and it was set on fire. When the family attempted to 
escape, the mob opened fire on them. Mr. Baker was killed ; 
his young babe in his arms was killed; his wife and two 
daughters and a son were also shot. His only offence was 
that he was a negro who held a Federal office. In Louisiana, 
a leading negro minister was lynched because he advised 
the colored people to become the owners of their own homes 
and farms. In the same state, near Girard, a negro was 
lynched ; the only offence that he was charged with was the 
stealing of a bottle of " pop." 

At Hodenville, Kentucky, a negro was lynched on the 
court-house steps : he was charged with causing a white 
boy to steal. At Brookside, Alabama, three white men shot 
down an inoffensive negro just for fun — one saying, " Watch 
the ' coon ' jump." The negro was shot dead. 

In one case a young white girl was made the executioner. 
She put the rope around the victim's neck ; he was then 
placed on the back of a horse ; the end of the rope was 
thrown over the limb of a tree, and the little girl took 
hold of the bridle of the horse and led it away, leaving 
the victim hanging. The body was then riddled with bul- 
lets. Where else in civilization could such a spectacle be 
witnessed ? 

At Beach Still, Georgia, the negroes were having a dance, 
when the hall was fired upon by white men ; two negroes 
were killed, and nine wounded, including three women. In 
Gunterville, Alabama, a negro was lynched ; the charge was 
barn-burning. In South Carolina five negroes were lynched : 

247 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

they were suspected of having burned a barn. It was after- 
wards proven that they were innocent. 

The Boston Jmirnal cites this case : " Viewed from any 
standpoint the lynching of negro Robert White in Alabama 
was a cowardly murder. A white man had killed all of 
White's chickens. This resulted in a row and shots were 
exchanged. No white participant in the affair was troubled, 
but the negro was arrested, and while in the hands of an 
officer, going to jail, he was seized by a mob of white men 
and put to death. Every man in that mob was nothing less 
than a murderer and should be so treated ; but the victim 
was only a ' nigger ' who had no rights which white folks of 
that sort respect, and the murderer will go scot free.'"* 

In Salisbury, North Carolina, two negro boys were taken 
from the jail and lynched : they were suspected of murder. 

Pierce City, Missouri, shows this record : " For nearly 
fifteen hours to-day this tow^n of 3,000 people has been in 
the hands of a mob of armed men, determined to drive out 
every negro. In addition to the lynching last night of 
William Godley, accused falsely, it is believed, of murder, 
and the shooting of his grandfather, French Godley, the mob 
to-day burned Peter Hampton, an aged negro, alive in his 
home, set the torch to the houses of five blacks and with the 
aid of state militia rifles, stolen from the local company's 
arsenal, drove dozens of negroes from town. After noon the 
excitement died down, the mob gradually dispersing, more 
from lack of negroes upon whom to wreak their hatred than 
from any other cause. Many of the negroes who fled the 
city are hiding in the surrounding woods, while others have 
gone greater distances in seeking safety.'' 

A colored camp-meeting in Mississippi was raided by 
whites ; thirty colored people engaged in the worship of God 
were killed, including the pastor, his wife, a daughter twelve 
years of age, his younger child three years of age, and a 
minister who was assisting in the meetings. The whites in- 

248 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

terfered with the meeting. The killing was wanton ; there 
were no charges against any of the colored people. 

In South Carolina a number of colored men appeared at 
the polls to vote, and a riot was started. Seven of the colored 
men were captured and made to stand up on a log, and were 
there shot to death : their offence was that they had at- 
tempted to vote. The white man who was running for 
Congress and for whom they wanted to vote was also shot. 
In Arkansas, fifteen negroes were lynched as a result of a 
dispute in which a colored man doubted a white man's 
word over a grocery bill. 

The New York World, reviewing the crimes of 1901, says : 
" Lynchings show one hundred and seven cases in the South, 
all colored . . . Race hatred is the cause of many crimes . . . 
Thus ten persons were killed for no other cause than race 
prejudice in the South last year." Many of those lynched 
for "cause" were innocent of crime. 

The New York Journal describes a case in these words : 
" Call to your mind the picture of the negro, with a rope 
hanging around his neck, escaping from the mob the other 
day and running to the sheriff with his face battered in. The 
mob had wanted to lynch him because he would not confess 
that some one else was guilty of arson." The Joiirnal, re- 
ferring to another case, said : " Negroes are lynched for being 
born into the world." 

The Nashville (Tennessee) American gives an account of a 
lynching in Mississippi as follows : " But there was a lynching 
in that state that for fiendish brutality has not yet been sur- 
passed, even when the victims have been roasted at the stake. 
It occurred at Doddsville, recently, and these are the circum- 
stances as related by local newspapers : Luther Holbert, a 
negro, had a quarrel with a white man and, following the 
usual Mississippi method, they exchanged shots, the negro 
escaping and the white man being killed. The negro, 
knowing the penalty "for killing a white man in that section, 

249 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

fled, of course, accompanied by his wife, who had had no 
part in the quarrel. They were captured by the mob and 
this is what was done to them, according to the statement of 
an eye-witness in the Vicksburg Herald. 

" * When the two negroes were captured they were tied to 
trees, and while the funeral pyres were being prepared they 
were forced to suffer the most fiendish tortures. The blacks 
were forced to hold out their hands while one finger at a time 
was chopped o^. The fingers were distributed as souvenirs. 
The ears of the murderers were cut off. Holbert was 
severely beaten, his skull was fractured, and one of his eyes, 
knocked out with a stick, hung by a shred from the socket. 
Neither the man nor the woman begged for mercy, nor made 
a groan or plea. When the executioners came forward to 
lop off fingers, Holbert extended his hand without being 
asked. The most excruciating form of punishment consisted 
in the use of a large corkscrew in the hands of one of the 
mob. This instrument was bored into the flesh of the man 
and the woman, in the arms, legs, and body, and pulled out, 
the spiral tearing out big pieces of raw, quivering flesh every 
time it was withdrawn. 

" ' After these tortures the mutilated bodies were burned. 
Had this negro outraged a white woman ? Oh, no ; he had 
merely killed a white man who was shooting at him. His 
wife had committed no crime, but simply fled with her hus- 
band. Yet she was made to share his fate, and with him to 
suffer the most cruel and brutal tortures the devilish in- 
genuity of the degraded savages could devise."* " 

During the last ten years lynchings have averaged one hun- 
dred and fifty a year. Many of the victims were known to 
be innocent at the time, but when the mob starts out it must 
have blood, whether the victims are guilty or innocent. 
Numerous riots and expulsions have also taken place. 

A feature in connection herewith, worthy of note, is that 
the coroners jury, impanelled to uphold the law, as a rule 

250 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

renders the stereotyped verdict that " The party or parties 
came to their death at the hands of persons unknown/' And 
this in the face of the fact that the press publishes the names 
of the leaders of the mob, and of the man who fires the first 
shot or lights the fire to burn the victim. Sometimes the 
jury treats the matter as a joke ; in one case they rendered 
the verdict that " the deceased came to his death by swinging 
in the air/' Again, that " the deceased came to his death by 
taking too great a bite of hemp rope." At other times their 
verdict is a direct incentive to crime ; as for instance this : 
"We do not know who killed the deceased, but we con- 
gratulate the parties on their work." Members of the mobs 
have also served on the coroner's jury. A grand jury re- 
turned this verdict in Louisiana: "The men who par- 
ticipated in the burning were among the best citizens of the 
county, and nothing but a desire to protect those who are 
nearest and dearest to them would move them to undertake 
such measures." As to the savagery of the tortures inflicted 
upon the victims, these additional facts may be given : Red- 
hot iron has been used to burn the tongue from the mouth ; to 
burn the flesh from the breast and back ; to burn out the eyes ; 
to burn the flesh from the arms and legs ; to burn off* the ears 
and nose. The heart and the liver have been removed from 
the body and cut into small pieces and sold as souvenirs of 
the lynching. Repeatedly, events have occurred which showed 
that the negroes who were lynched were entirely innocent. 

Press despatches gave the following case : " Charleston, 
South Carolina, March 2, 1904. After taking a prominent 
part in lynching three negroes, section -fore man Jones, of the 
Atlantic Coast line, to-day confessed to the murder of his 
wife, for which the innocent men were mobbed. 

" One morning during the early part of May, 1902, the body 
of Mrs. Jones was found in the dog house, in the rear of her 
yard, at Ravenel. Her throat was cut from ear to ear and 
her head crushed in. 

251 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

"The news of the terrible crime soon spread over Colleton 
county and armed parties were organized and the woods were 
scoured for negroes, it having been stated that three negro 
men were seen in the vicinity of the Jones house the morning 
of the tragedy. The description of the negroes corresponded 
with that of Jim Black, James Ford, and Thomas Pryer, who 
had been in the neighborhood, but who had suddenly dis- 
appeared. 

"After searching for the negroes for a week they were 
arrested, taken to the scene of the crime, and swung to the 
limbs of trees. Jones was present and was given the oppor- 
tunity of firing the first shots into their bodies. 

" Several weeks ago section-foreman Jones was taken sick, 
and Dr. Willis was called in to treat him ; but he had passed 
all medical aid, for the disease with which he vi^as afflicted had 
wrecked his constitution, and he began to sink. Realizing 
that he was about to die, Jones confessed to killing his wife. 

" ' I know I am going to die, but I can't die until I tell all 
about killing my wife,' he said to his physician. He then 
recited the details of the crime, declaring that he killed his 
wife in a moment of passion that morning in May before he 
left for his work. He then carried the body from the house 
and dumped it into the dog house, where it was found by his 
little daughter a few hours afterward. Immediately after 
making the confession he expired." 

The first thought that may impress the average mind from 
these recitals is that the negroes are not the only, or the chief, 
or the worst criminals in the South. Colored criminals may 
outnumber white criminals in the penal institutions, but they 
may not be numerically stronger outside the penitentiary. 
Practically all colored criminals, and many not criminals go 
to the penitentiary, but many white criminals go to Canada, 
or into political offices, or become " guards " or " bosses." 
Crime has increased among the colored people since emanci- 
pation, but it should be remembered that there are nearly 

252 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

three times as many colored people now as were emancipated. 
Crime has also increased among the whites. Forty years ago 
there were practically no whites in penitentiaries in the South, 
but now there are thousands ; besides, there are hundreds of 
white females in prison, — a condition unheard of before the 
War of the Rebellion. One of the greatest scandals of recent 
times in the South was the brutal flogging of a white woman 
in a prison in Georgia. 

Another thought that will suggest itself is : Why are these 
inhumanities permitted to exist in Christian, civilized com- 
munities ? The answer is : It is because of the virus of 
slavery in the brain of the whites, called into activity by the 
leaders to compass the subjugation of the colored race. It is 
a part of a carefully evolved plan by the leaders. It is de- 
signed to put the race under the contempt of the whites and 
to destroy its morale. 

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, in the Atlantic Monthly/, 
shows that the reign of terror and lynchings are in defence 
neither of law nor of chastity, but " It is in defence of caste.'"* 
And he further says : " What the whole nation needs is 
to deal with the negro race no longer as outcasts, but simply 
as men and women.'' The Boston Herald says : " In all the 
years since the war it is probable that fifty negi'oes have been 
murdered by white men for every white man murdered by 
negroes, and a hundred negro women have been debauched 
by white men for every white woman outraged by a negro."" 

Miss Caroline Pemberton, of one of the first families of 
Philadelphia, in a communication to the Public Ledger of 
that city, says : " In the first place, the crime of assault is 
not peculiar to the negro race. It is practically unknown in 
the West Indies, in South Africa, and South America, and 
was never charged against the Southern negro until political 
and social conditions ripened in the minds of Southern whites 
a frantic desire to stigmatize the whole negro race as unworthy 
to possess the rights of men. The crime of assault so fre- 

253 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

quently charged against the negro as a race is part of the 
poHtical conspiracy to deprive him of his legal rights. It 
has been proved over and over again that only a very small 
proportion of negroes who are lynched in the South are even 
charged with this crime ; and of those who are charged with 
it, it is safe to conclude that a fair proportion is innocent. I 
reach this last conclusion from knowledge of the fact that 
the charge is often made against men of all races under con- 
ditions that make their comparative innocence almost a fore- 
gone conclusion. 

" In regard to negro criminality, let me assure you that I 
speak from personal experience when I assert that the average 
working negro is as free from pronounced criminal tendencies 
as the white man of the same class. I have for years employed 
colored people in my own household, and found them both 
trustworthy and efficient. . . . 

" I have travelled over the muddy roads of Eastern Virginia 
for many miles, and through the Black Belt of Alabama for 
several days, with no other protector in each case than a negro 
driver, and with no thought of harm coming to me. I have 
visited colored schools in the South, taught by white Northern 
women whose sole protectors were their black students and 
a few colored instructors. The only people these gentle- 
women feared were the white men of the neighborhood, 
whose threats against the school had at one time caused them 
grave anxiety. The loyal devotion of the blacks to these 
white women was something beautiful to see, and was proof 
enough that the faithful character of the negro has not 
changed since slavery."" 

Mr. James S. Stemons, in the Philadelphia Record, says : 
" Shame ! But who can point to any negro crime so loathsome 
as the assault and murder by four white men of Jennie Bos- 
schieter, in Paterson, New Jersey, four years ago ; or as that 
of the two men in Wheehng, VVest Virginia, who, two years 
ago, took a seventeen-year-old girl from her escort at the point 

254 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

of a pistol, assaulted and murdered her, and threw her body 
into the Ohio River ; of the nine men who a few days ago 
assaulted a young girl in this city ; of the two brothers who 
assaulted a five-year-old child ; or that of the more than a 
dozen men who have within the past four years assaulted, in 
some cases at the point of a pistol, their own daughters, 
nieces, and cousins ? "" 

All these cases were committed by white men. And it 
may be noted here that the Confederate Congress, in resolu- 
tions formally adopted in October, 1862, made this same charge 
against the soldiers of the Union army. It was unjustly 
pressed then ; it is unjustly pressed now, against the colored 
people. No large body of people should be held responsible 
for the acts of a few brutal individuals. All races have 
developed brutal men. But neither in the Noith nor in the 
South has the colored race developed the most elusive, danger- 
ous, and brutal criminals. 

The colored race has produced no criminals or desperadoes 
of heartless cruelty like the James brothers ; or the man 
Holmes, who killed so many people, including several wives 
and his own children, that he did not keep trace of them ; or 
the Chicago boy bandits ; or the trained nurse who wiped out 
several families by poisoning ; or some of the guards and 
officials of the stockades or penitentiaries and the leaders of 
the lynching mobs. 

The Chicago Chronicle, referring to an editorial in the 
Atlanta News, edited by Mr. John Temple Graves, in which 
he advocates the systematic establishment of a reign of teiTor 
and lynching, says : 

" In his leading editorial last Friday he advocates not only 
lynching, but a revival of the Ku Klux Klan. In that 
editorial he declares that 'neither law nor statutes, nor 
public opinion, nor armed forces, nor Federal courts, nor any 
other courts will prevent the stern expression of the popular 
horror ' of crime when it is committed by a negro — expression 

255 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

by burning at the stake the negro suspected of the crime 
without trial or proof of any kind. 

"This man threatens to revive the masked night-riding 
murderers if an attempt is made to invoke national law and 
courts for the protection not only of negroes but for the 
preservation of Southern society from lapsing into that sav- 
agery and anarchy into which by admission of the Governor 
of Georgia it has almost fallen in that state already."" 

In order to accomplish the subjugation of the colored race 
and the destruction of its citizenship, these leaders would 
plunge the South into a state of anarchy. 

For forty years the negro has been harassed and harried on 
the right and on the left, in front and behind. He has been 
on the run, and has not had a moment to pause and catch his 
breath or take his bearings. He has been, and is, fearfully 
handicapped. Some of the whites of the South have been 
kind, friendly, and helpful to him ; many have sympathized 
with him in his tribulations and woes, but lacked the courage 
to manifest it ; and a few have spoken out boldly against the 
outrages and outlawry of which he has been the victim. But 
the leaders and the organized South have allowed him no 
quarter, shown him no mercy. 

The proscriptions and oppressions which are laid on the 
colored man either North or South on the ground of color 
alone have made him extremely sensitive to any infraction 
of his rights and liberty. And in desperation he has at times 
struck back at the oppressor, although the lyncher"'s noose was 
dangling in his face. 

Much of the violence of which he is guilty, especially in 
the North, is due to resentment that certain elements in the 
North should seek to outrage him simply because of his 
color. A community which denies a man a fair chance to 
earn an honest living because of his color, thus driving him 
into idleness, is in a manner responsible for the increase of 
its criminals. 

256 



THE NEGRO AND THE LAW 

Every municipal or state law bearing on him enacted in 
the South since his emancipation has been to degrade, 
ostracize, and alienate him, and deprive him of his liberty, or 
restrict him in the realization of his dreams of freedom. On 
the other hand, it is a cheering truth that every law passed 
in the North touching the negro has been to confirm and 
make secure his freedom, protect his civil rights, guarantee 
his ballot, and put him on the same footing with all other 
citizens before the law. 

In the passage of such laws in the North, Democrats and 
members of other political parties have nobly aided the 
Republicans in achieving the security and firm establish- 
ment of the liberty and rights of the colored citizen. 

In the South, in the state of Texas, a colored man who had 
been carrying the mail to and fro from the State House to 
the post-office for fifteen years was discharged under the 
new order of things, which prohibits the negro from being 
recognized in any public or semi-public relation in the South. 
Such repression is general. The Richmond, Virginia, city 
council passed a resolution prohibiting the negro from being 
employed in any position around the City Hall. The brother- 
hood of locomotive and steamboat firemen of the South at 
their meeting at Norfolk, Virginia, passed resolutions protest- 
ing against the employment of negroes as firemen on loco- 
motives or steamboats. Other labor organizations have 
placed the boycott on him. He is being driven to the wall. 
The increase of crime is coincident with the increase of 
oppression and outlawry. The organized South is respon- 
sible for the growth in crime. 

How far — how long — are these things to go on ? 
Ella W^heeler W^ilcox has pubhshed in the New York 
Journal, a poem which, in part, runs as follows : — 

*' Out of the wilderness, out of the night, 
Has the black man crawled to the dawn of light ; 
Beaten by lashes and bound by chains. 
17 257 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

A beast of burden with soul and brains. 

He has come through sorrow and need and woe. 

And the cry of his heart is to know, to know ! 

" Red with anguish his way has been. 
This suffering brother of dusky skin. 
For centuries fettered and bound to earth. 
Slow his unfolding to freedom's birth — 
Slow his rising from burden and ban 
To fill the stature of mortal man. 
You must give him wings ere you tell him to fly — 
You must set the example and bid him try ; 
Let the white man pay for the white man's crime — 
Let him work in patience and bide God's time. 

** Out of the wilderness, out of the night, 
Has the black man crawled to the dawn of hght ; 
He has come through the valley of great despair — 
He has borne what no white man ever can bear — 
He has come through sorrow and pain and woe. 
And the cry of his heart is to know, to know ! " 



258 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE RISE AND ACHIEVEMENTS 
OF THE COLORED RACE 

PRESIDENT ALDERMAN of Tulane University, 
New Orleans, Louisiana, a well-bred, high-minded, and 
highly cultured Southerner, who holds his equipoise even 
in that city which is the storm-centre of " Jim Crowism,'' in a 
public address said : '' Progress is measured by the distance 
one has travelled as well as to the point one has reached." 
He was speaking on the race question. The colored race, 
judged by this standard, measured by this mete-wand, may 
confidently invite comparison in their forty years of struggles 
and ascent in civilization with any people in the world's 
history. 

Another Southerner, the Right Reverend Bishop Haygood, 
one of the greatest men, greatest in heart, greatest in brain, 
that the South has produced, speaking of the progress of the 
colored I'ace, said : " It 's a marvel. It overturns all of our 
preconceived ideas about the negro. We thought we knew 
him, but we did n't. We must in honesty confess that he has 
surprised us and taught us much we did not know and would 
not have believed." 

The Reverend A. B. Curry, D. D., of Memphis, Tennessee, 
who at present represents a small but important class in 
Southern life, but a class like " the mustard seed " of the 
parable, that will certainly multiply and predominate as the 
South shall take the sober second thought, preached a sermon 
in his home city on the 27th of November, 1904, in which he 
pays a deserved tribute to the colored man and paints a word 
portrait of him which should command consideration because 
of its truthfulness. The sermon was published in the Mem- 
phis Commercial Appeal, and carries its own commendation 
of the mind and heart of the minister. 

259 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Dr. Curry said in part : " I am not ashamed to say that I 
have a tender feeling in my heart for the negro. I beheve I 
would be an ingrate if I did not have such feeling. My 
helpless infancy and early childhood were watched over with 
a tender care and affection second only to those of the 
mother who bore me, and it was those of my faithful negro 
nurse on the old plantation home in southern Georgia. . . . 

" We criticise him and complain of him, but we don't want 
to give him up. Let a labor agent go through the South, 
seeking to induce the negroes to leave the country and he 
becomes at once, to say the least, persona non grata. I have 
known such agents in some localities to be fined and imprisoned. 
That means that our country needs him. He is the best 
laborer, for the kind of labor that needs to be done in the 
South, that we have ever found. . . . 

"A year ago, when there was a disagreement between 
our steamboat companies and their negro roustabouts, an 
effort was made to replace the latter with white men ; but it 
was not successful. The white men could not do the work 
satisfactorily ; and when I went up to St. Louis the past 
summer on the river, I understood it. I do not believe there 
is the white race living or any other race, not even the patient 
Chinamen, who either could or would do the work the negro 
roustabouts do, in the way they are required to do it. The 
negro's great muscular-strength, his powers of endurance, his 
healthfulness in a Southern climate, and his docility of spirit 
make him an invaluable factor in the labor problem of the 
South, and the present material development of the South is 
due in no small measure to the brawn and muscle and willing 
industry of the negro. . . . 

" Twenty white tramps come to my door, begging, to one 
negro. An able-bodied negro is almost never a beggar. What 
he asks, and what the white man owes him, is a chance to 
work along every avenue for which his mind and his hand 
capacitate him, with a fair wage fully and promptly paid. . . , 

260 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

^V^ " There is no more docile man, nor loyal friend than 
the negro, when convinced of your disinterested love for 
him. 

" But we are told by some that the game is not worth the 
candle ; that after all, the negro is incapable of a high civili- 
zation and of valuable achievement ; that he is destitute of 
the noble traits of human nature. I cannot believe this, for 
I remember when, during the Civil War, my two oldest 
brothers, both still in their teens, went to the front, and my 
father was called away on a similar mission, leaving my 
mother and her little children to the care and protection of 
the negro slaves, that sacred trust was kept with the utmost 
fidelity ; and there were men among them who, if need arose, 
would have laid down their lives through devotion to their 
trust. . . . 

" I have heard of a negro man, who, after freedom, re- 
moved from his old home in Virginia to Macon, Georgia. 
There through industry and thrift he amassed a nice amount 
of property. Hearing that his old master and mistress in 
Virginia, unable to adjust themselves to changed conditions, 
had become homeless and poor, he built them a comfortable 
little home in Macon, brought them to it, and cared for them 
till they died, and then can'ied their bodies back to the old 
Virginia home for burial. 

" When I was in the Palace of Fine Arts in St. Louis this 
summer, I saw a picture before which I stood and wept. In 
the distance was a battle scene ; the dust of tramping men 
and horses, the smoke of cannon and rifles filled the air; 
broken carriages and dead and dying men strewed the 
ground. In the foreground was the figure of a stalwart 
negro man, bearing in his strong arms the form of a fair- 
haired Anglo-Saxon youth. It was the devoted body ser- 
vant of a young Southerner, bearing the dead body of his 
young master from the field of carnage, not to pause or rest 
till he had delivered it to those whose love for it only sur- 

261 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

passed his own ; and underneath the picture were these 
words : ' Faithful Unto Death "* ; and there are men before 
me who have seen the spirit of that picture illustrated on 
more than one field of battle. 

" I do not think a race possessed of such qualities of heart, 
capable of such noble, unselfish deeds, is to be despised among 
the families of the earth. There is a place for it, and a work 
for it to do, in the world. Is it asked, what will be the final 
destiny of the negro in America ? We cannot tell, but let 
us do our duty to the poor man at our gate in the spirit of 
Christ, and leave results with God. We need not fear ; they 
will be satisfactory." 

Mr. Sarge Plunkett of Georgia, a sane Southerner on the 
negro question, writing to the Atlanta Constitution, says : 
" No matter how others may feel or have felt, the negro 
in the South has been such a surprise to me that I am slow 
to say what he will or will not accomplish ; I am even 
slow to say that he is as inferior as we have heard he was. 
The negro must lift himself, and while it goes mighty hard 
with me to acknowledge it, he is lifting himself, and he will 
keep on lifting up and up at every opportunity. On lines of 
accumulation, the negro has done better than an old timer 
would have ever thought he could do. I know negroes, 
and we all know negroes, who could ' buy," as the saying 
goes, every child of his old master. And I can tell you, as 
a truth, that negroes who are able to do this that I have 
hinted have more prestige, are more respectable if you please, 
than these children I have mentioned. Sit down coolly and 
contemplate the negroes as they were at the end of our war 
and as they are to-day ; do this, after laying aside the preju- 
dice that you have and I have, and I feel more than a great 
majority will have to acknowledge that the negro is not so 
inferior as we thought he was. 

" How well can many now living remember what a picture 
they made about the time of Lee's surrender ! 

262 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

"I admit that I was fooled about their capacity, and I 
know that thousands of others were the same. If we had 
been told then that there would be a black man developed 
into what we know that Washington is, we would have 
honestly thought it fooHsh and passed it as a joke. When I 
pass out about the big negro colleges around Atlanta and 
look upon the students there, I am bound to admit that they 
are beyond anything that I ever dreamed they could be." 

And speaking of the possibilities of a great foreign war, 
and the availability of the negro for service in the United 
States army, Mr. Plunkett further urges : " If we should have 
such a war as is contemplated, I take it that the negroes will 
join our armies just as white men join. They will march 
under the same flag, wear the same uniform, and are bound 
by right to be accorded all the honors that their actions 
mav deserve. It is more than probable — it is certain — > that 
there will develop heroes and heroines from out of the race 
of whom the poets will sing, and when this is accomplished, 
then many other things will belong to them by right and the 
natural consequences. When we get up such a war as will 
call for the need of these negroes, and they are formed into 
regiments and brigades, put on the blue, rally around the 
flag, charge batteries, and do all the duties in a soldierly way, 
then they will feel that they have rights here that they never 
had before, and millions of people outside of their race will 
feel the same about the matter." 

This is precisely true. In the wars in which the negroes 
have worn the blue, they have rallied around the flag, 
charged on batteries even unto the jaws of death, and per- 
formed all their duties in such a soldierly way that millions 
of people outside of their race believe them to be entitled 
to all the honors that their actions may deserve — even the 
full enjoyment of American citizenship. 

But it must be evident to Mr. Plunkett that the dominant 
leaders of the South are not the kind of men who could be 

263 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

moved by the influences of which he speaks, or by humane 
or Christian or patriotic impulses. Neither the negro soldier 
who charged Fort Wagner or San Juan Hill, nor the negro 
educator who has been pronounced to be among the greatest 
of living men, would be recognized by them as an American 
among Americans. 

What then becomes of the contention that it is the white 
man of the South alone w^ho knows the negro ? 

The rise and achievements of the race have not been along 
one line, or two Hues, or three lines, but they have been 
witnessed in every vocation, avenue, and calling of American 
life. In the brief space of a single generation, the manu- 
mitted race has conquered places in all the multiple phases 
of modern activities. Verily, " the republic is opportunity.'' 

The abolitionists, philanthropists, Christians, and human- 
itarians of the North, and those scattering, but greatly 
deserving Southerners who in wisdom " faced the rising sun,"" 
probably built better than they knew — guided and upheld 
by the wisdom and power of Jehovah, God — when they 
decided on the kind of education that should be open to the 
colored race at the close of the war. They refused to regard 
the colored race as a special race, and therefore needing a 
special kind of education. They acted on the principle that 
as the colored people were a part of the human race, then 
any kind and every kind of education that was good enough 
for a white man, was good enough for them. The putting 
in force of this simple, common-sense idea made possible the 
wonderful success of the colored people. 

If they had yielded to a " craze " for industrial education 
and devoted their strength to it, the colored race could not 
have gained in a hundred years the great advance in civiliza- 
tion and the splendid achievements which now stand to its 
credit after only a single generation of endeavor. For empha- 
sis on industrial education would have circumscribed the 
mental vision, limited the aspirations, narrowed the ambitions, 

264 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

stunted all higher and broader growth, and held the race 
close down to the lines of hewers of wood and drawers of 
water, which was the endless routine under the slave regime. 
The colored race can work, it knows how to work, it will 
work, and in an experience of two hundred and fifty years it 
proved its value as the hardiest of toilers in every Southern 
community. 

The South acknowledged the value and profitableness of 
the negro as a toiler and producer when it went to war and 
fought four years with vast loss in blood and treasure to hold 
him as a part of its system. It was divinely wise that the 
colored race in beginning its new life of liberty was taught 
to look also on the higher and greater things of life ; that the 
mind was taken beyond its accustomed sphere ; that the 
things denied it in slavery were open to it in freedom ; that 
the mind might expand with the height and breadth of the 
universe. 

Schools were planted : the lower grades ; the preparatory 
schools ; the normal schools ; the colleges ; the professional 
schools. They began work almost simultaneously, — in 
some cases while the shock of war was still on ; in other 
cases the instant that peace was declared. The work was 
earned on with such rapidity and thoroughness, and there 
was such hearty and overwhelming response from the colored 
people — who crowded and overflowed school-houses with their 
children, and, for lack of room in-doors, sessions were held out- 
of-doors under the oak and elm trees — that the white 
people of the South stood sullenly surprised, and the people 
of the North gladly amazed. It meant a revolution in the 
Southland irresistible, sweeping, all-embracing. It meant a 
New South ! 

For a time this work of education was supported by the 
National Government, supplemented by Northern benevolence 
and by a nominal fee which was charged the colored parent 
for each child. The people of the North contributed money 

^65 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

for this cause without stint ; chiefly through the several 
rehgious denominations. In this work the Congregationahsts, 
Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopahans, Unitarians, 
Friends, and other denominations, and hosts of individuals 
heartily co-operated. But greater and better than the 
money contributions, they gave thousands of their conse- 
crated, devoted, self-denying sons and daughters to this 
humane, patriotic, Christ-like work. The brave men, and 
it may be said, braver women, who left comforts, luxuries, 
refinements of their Northern homes and went to the South 
at the close of the war to teach and lift up a despised and 
prostrate people, performed a service for humanity, for the 
republic, for the kingdom of God in the world that will 
go on with ever-increasing power and beneficent fruitage 
through all the countless ages to come. 

True, they were frequently hampered in their work by 
irreconcilable Southerners; their school-houses were some- 
times burned to the ground ; their homes stoned in the 
night; they were insulted on the streets; they were, and 
still are, socially boycotted; they were sometimes murdered. 
But their work went on. They conquered. The best South 
to-day, notwithstanding the clamor and outlawry inspired 
by " Jim Crowism,'^ is being converted to the education of 
the colored people. Some have materially assisted in the 
work ; others have given it the support of tongue and pen ; 
and still others have become efficient teachers. 

Among the Northern men who rendered distinguished and 
lasting service in the uplifting of the race was the Reverend 
William W. Patton, D.D., late President of Howard Uni- 
versity, Washington, D. C. He was a man with a history ; 
and the impress of his great life was stamped on thousands of 
colored youths. He left school an ardent and uncompromis- 
ing abolitionist. His father was a distinguished Presbyterian 
minister. But he entered the Congregational denomination, 
as it offered and encouraged the greatest freedom for the 

me 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

expression of his antislavery views. For ten years he was 
the pastor of the Fourth Congregational Church at Hartford, 
Connecticut, and made it a great antislavery centre. 

In 1856, because of his antislavery reputation, he was 
called to the First Congregational Church at Chicago, Illinois. 
His sermons, lectures, and addresses soon made him a great 
favorite in the West among all antislavery elements. He 
aided in the organization of the American Missionary Asso- 
ciation, which was an organized protest against slavery, and 
which, through its numerous schools, colleges, universities, 
and churches has bestowed countless blessings on the South 
and the nation. He also aided in organizing the Chicago 
Theological Seminary. He was editor of the Advance. 

Dr. Patton is the author of the words of the famous 
" John Brown " song, which " express the moral issues of the 
war in relation to slavery." It was as follows: — 

I 

" Old John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave, 
While weep the sons of bondage, whom he ventured all to save ; 
But though he lost his life in struggling for the slave, 
His soul is marching on ! O Glory Hallelujah ! 

n 

" John Brown he was a hero, undaunted, true and brave. 
And Kansas knew his valor, where he fought, her rights to save, 
And now, though the grass grows green above his grave. 
His soul is marching on ! O Glory Hallelujah ! 

HI 
" He captured Harper's Ferry with his nineteen men so few. 
And he frightened " Old Virginny," till she trembled through and 

through ; 
They hung him for a traitor, themselves a traitor crew. 
But his soul is marching on ! O Glory Hallelujah ! 

IV 

" John Brown was John the Baptist of the Christ we are to see — 
Christ who of the bondman shall the Liberator be ; 
And soon throughout the sunny South the slaves shall all be free. 
For his soul is marching on ! O Glory Hallelujah ! " 

267 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

The entire song was afterward printed in the Chicago 
Tribune^ and became wonderfully popular in the Western 
army. The "Jubilee Singers/' some years after, adopted 
two of the stanzas for their use, thus giving them yet wider 
currency. Wendell Phillips was accustomed at times to 
quote the third stanza with great effect. 

When the war came Dr. Patton announced from his 
pulpit that the lecture-room of his church should be used 
for the purpose of drilling the soldiers. He was made Vice- 
President of the Sanitary Commission of the Northwest 
and became its chief executive officer, visiting the seat of 
war and looking after the sick and wounded soldiers and the 
sanitary condition of hospitals. He was the inspirer of, and 
chief figure in, the great mass meeting at Chicago which 
sent a memorial to President Lincoln, urging him to issue a 
proclamation freeing the slaves. He was chairman and 
spokesman of the committee which bore the memorial; 
and he was ably assisted by Dr. John Dempster and the 
Honorable Charles Walker. 

President Lincoln talked with them freely. After the 
conference Secretary Stanton said to Mr. Medill of the 
Chicago Tribune : " Tell those Chicago clergymen who waited 
on the President about the Proclamation of Emancipation, 
that their interview finished the business." It was even so. 
The Emancipation Proclamation was issued shortly afterward. 
Scholar, preacher, editor, lecturer, organizer, teacher, president 
of a university, invincible foe of slavery. Behold him ! 

This recital will give some insight into the mental and 
moral stamina and high character of the men and women who 
planned and laid the foundation for the education and the 
uplifting of the colored race. Among the pioneers in this 
work, there should be mentioned : the Reverends M. E. 
Strieby, James Powell, Simeon Gilbert, E. M. Cravath, E. A. 
Ware, John G. Fee, G. W. Andrews, John Braden, John W. 
Alvord, S. C. Logan, Luke Dorland [and his wife], R. S. 

268 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

Rust, J. M. Walden, A. Webster [and his wife and son], L. 
M. Dunton [and his wife], J. C. Hartzell, J. W. Hamilton, 
E. F. Wilhams, Amos Billings [and his wife], Samuel Loomis 
[and his wife], Richard H. Allen, Alfred Owen, Theodore E. 
Balch, D. W. Phillips, M. R. Miller, E. C. Mitchell, E. P. 
CoM^an, Isaac Rendall, A. Wescott, Dr. Tupper [and his 
wife]; Professors C. W. Francis, A. K. Spence, Henry S. 
Bennett, C. H. Richards, John A. Cole, A. J. Steele, Helen 
C. Morgan ; Miss Cahill, Miss Welles, Miss Kate Moorehead, 
Miss Helen Bay den , Mrs. S. J. Neil [widow of a Union 
officer] ; Generals Clinton B. Fisk, George Whipple, E. 
Whittlesey, Charles H. Howard, S. C. Armstrong, Alvord, 
William Birney ; and Doctors G. W. Hubbard, D. S. Lamb, 
and N. F. Graham, who have had such great success in pro- 
moting the education of colored youths in medicine, dentistry, 
and pharmacy. Bishops Haven and Mallalieu were also 
potent forces. General O. O. Howard who was at the head 
of the Freedmen's Bureau was the mentor and rendered in- 
valuable services. It was a work in which thousands were 
engaged, so that the above mention of a few individuals 
to show the character of the whole will not appear invidious. 
Every man and woman who enlisted in this second army of 
invasion of the South, with spelling-books instead of muskets, 
is worthy of mention and deserving of praise. All of them 
faced ostracism, some fell martyrs. 

In certain instances the law of compensation operated 
most directly. Libby prison, which had become infamous 
because of great cruelty inflicted upon Union soldiers impris- 
oned within it, was occupied and used as the first school for 
the education of the colored race in Richmond, the Capital 
of the Confederacy. The school which was started in this 
former prison pen by the Reverends Nathaniel Colver and 
Charles H. Correy has grown into Union University, the 
leading institution conducted for the education of colored 
youths by the Baptists of the North. 

269 \ 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Hampton Institute, which has the name of General Arm- 
strong so inseparably connected with it, had its beginning 
under a colored teacher, Mrs. Mary S. Peake, who was em- 
ployed by the American Missionary Association to open and 
conduct this school. General Armstrong afterwards took 
charge of it and gave it wide and deserved fame, but it was 
organized by a colored person. 

It was also in harmony with the law of compensation that 
a number of colored people who had escaped from slavery 
and settled in the North or in Canada and had taken ad- 
vantage of the schools, as also some who had been born free 
or set free by the slaveholders, and some others who despite 
the watchfulness of the master class had stolen a knowledge 
of the three " R's "" in the dead of the night by the light of 
the light-wood torch — that these, with more or less intel- 
lectual preparation, should have entered with enthusiasm 
upon the work of educating their race. Among such may be 
mentioned : Bishops Daniel A. Payne, H. M. Turner, and J. 
W. Hood; Reverends H. R. Revell, J. B. Reeves, T. W. 
Henderson, and Henry Highland Garnett ; Professors R. T. 
Greener, F. L. Cardoza, John M. Langston, J. M. Gregory, 
W. H. Crogman, and William S. Scarborough, the latter 
being well known as a Greek scholar ; and William H. Jones, 
James A. Bowley, John Shackelford, and P. B. S. Pinchback. 

Naturally, this class was not large in numbers, but it was 
important and forceful, and a great inspiration to the colored 
people in their entrance upon the new life of liberty. Some of 
these, and many other colored men whose chief qualification 
was " mother wit,"" became leaders in religious and political 
affairs among the colored people. Robert Brown Elliot and 
Joseph H. Rainey, as members of Congress from South Caro- 
lina, and Major Martin R. Delaney of the Black Regiment, 
are among the most conspicuous colored men of this period. 

The graded schools and universities established were nu- 
merous and strategetically distributed. It is to these workers 

270 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

and to these schools, and to the workers and to the schools 
that followed, that may be attributed the regeneration of the 
colored race which has been wrought. As a result of this 
impetus the colored man can make this showing in a single 
generation : 

Educationally, his illiteracy has been cut down forty-seven 
per cent, although there are nearly three times as many 
colored people to-day as were emancipated. He fills the 
common schools with 1,200,000 of his children ; 30,000 are 
in schools for higher learning, and trade schools ; over 200 are 
pursuing studies in Northern universities, or taking special 
courses in European institutions. 

There are about 2,000 negro graduates from colleges; 
more than 400 of these have graduated from white colleges 
in the North or from institutions in Europe. Among the 
Northern colleges and universities that have sent out colored 
graduates are : Harvard, Yale, Michigan, Oberlin, Dartmouth, 
Columbia, Brown, Kansas, Stanford, Iowa College, Ohio, Illi- 
nois, Bates, Williams, Indiana, Boston, Middlebury College, 
Minnesota, Wellesley, Smith, Bowdoin, Denver, Amherst, 
Beloit, New York University, Northwestern, Nebraska, Olivet, 
Vassar, Radcliffe, Adelbert, Colby, Rutgers, Chicago, and the 
Catholic University ; there are besides a score of others. 

A number of negro students have won honors in Northern 
colleges, as for instance R. T. Greener, W. M. Trotter, R. C. 
Bruce, at Harvard, Marshall at Michigan, Pickens at Yale ; 
and there are others that might be mentioned. 

It may be noted that 278 colored women are among the 
graduates of colleges ; many of them from colleges at the 
North. American negroes have graduated from French, 
German, and English institutions and some have prosecuted 
successfully studies in Rome. 

The following leading theological seminaries of the North 
have sent out colored graduates : Andover, Princeton, Oberlin, 
General Theological Seminary, Yale, Newton, Drew, Episcopal 

271 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Theological School of Cambridge, Union, Hartford, Boston, 
and others. In all about two hundred colored men have 
graduated from Northern theological seminaries. 

The Central Christian Advocate^ one of the organs of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, pertinently remarks : " What 
kind of negroes does America want ? The negro is here. 
Nothing can uproot him from our soil. He is multiplying 
rapidly. He is millions strong. He is walking about amid 
our institutions, our rights, our constitutional guarantees. 
What kind of a negro does America want ? That is a ques- 
tion that a generation hence will make the republic pause. 

" No country is safe where vast masses of its citizens are 
forced down under the proper exercise of their capacities. 
That is but damming the flood that presses heavier on what 
is, with each new repression and scorn. 

" The long and the short of it is : The negro is capable of 
being a man, and therefore he has a right to a man's chance. 
Professor Shaler of Harvard says : * The negro has mas- 
tered the English in a very remarkable manner. There are 
tens of thousands of untrained blacks in this country who, 
by their command of English phrase, are entitled to rank as 
educated men. I believe, in general, that our negroes have 
a better sense of English than the peasant class of Great 
Britain.''' 

Secretary Thirkield, in his address at the annual meeting 
at Lincoln, Nebraska, said further : " The capacity of the negro 
for genuine scholarship has never been more strongly stated 
than by the Reverend J. E. Edwards, D.D., of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, in the Methodist Review for April, 
1882 : ' In many instances it must be admitted — and exam- 
ples are in this city (Petersburg, Virginia) — that not only do 
they make as rapid advances as the whites, but really acquire 
thorough scholarship in the different departments of learn- 
ing and carry off medals for proficiency in mathematics and 
in the languages that would be creditable to any one of any 

272 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

race or color. It is idle, and only shows the inveteracy of 
our prejudice, to shut our eyes to the fact that the negroes of 
the coming generation are just as capable of scholarship and 
culture as the whites." 

" There is but one way to measure a man — and that is by 
his capacity. We did not do that when we kept the negro 
in slavery. Let us beware failing to do it now, lest the God 
whose thunderbolts are hot bring the republic once more to 
a judgment day." 

The colored man and woman quickly learned to put their 
education into service ; it was not allowed to become a drug on 
the market : about thirty thousand of them are now teachers 
in the public and other schools, and hundreds are filling 
professorships in institutions devoted more especially to the 
higher education of their race. They have organized and 
have complete control over a number of colleges, academies, 
and industrial schools conducted by the several denominations, 
as well as some independent schools. They are the patrons 
of fifty high schools, five law schools, five medical schools, 
and twenty-five theological schools devoted to the educa- 
tion of the race. 

About two thousand negroes are now engaged in the prac- 
tice of law ; perhaps fifteen hundred are in the medical pro- 
fession, in which some have become specialists along various 
lines; some have built and are conducting hospitals, as Doc- 
tors Williams in Chicago, Boyd in Nashville, McClennan in 
Charleston, Mossel in Philadelphia, Purvis in Washington, 
and others in other cities. There are several hundred dentists 
and pharmacists. They have written and published four hun- 
dred books ; they own and publish three hundred newspapers, 
and twelve magazines, some illustrated, and others devoted 
to higher literature and criticism. 

In the public service, individual distinctions have been 
numerous. Two negroes have been members of the United 
States Senate, Revells and Bruce ; and in the House of Repre- 
18 273 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

sentatives these have seen service: EUiot, De Large, Cain, 
Haralson, Lynch, Nash, Rainey, Ransier, Wells, Rapier, 
Smalls, Turner, Ling, Lee, Cheatham, Murray, and White — 
and not one of these violated the decorum of his environments 
by fisticuffs, or brought other scandal on himself or his race. 
There have been in the diplomatic service of the United States, 
in foreign countries : Bassett, Langston, Douglass, Greener, 
Van Home, Garnet, Smyth, Astwood, Turner, Powell, Grimke, 
and Lyons. Negroes have filled the offices of Register of the 
Treasury of the United States and Recorder of Deeds of the 
District of Columbia ; Terrell and Hewlett are now exercis- 
ing judicial functions in the city of Washington. A number 
have served as postmasters ; a few as collectors of ports — 
as Dancy, Smalls, and Crum. 

Negroes have been employed in the United States secret 
service and in other important positions. W. H. Lewis is 
now assistant district attorney of the United States Court 
at Boston, Massachusetts. One of the complaints of the 
reactionists is that the people of the North are forcing negro 
office-holders on the white people of the South, but do not 
sanction the election or appointment of negroes to office in 
the North. In discussing this matter the Atlanta Consti- 
tution has repeatedly referred to the Northerners who hold 
that all things being equal the negro has the same right to 
hold office as the white man, as " Yankee long-range phil- 
anthropists." This complaint is entirely without founda- 
tion. The liberty, the civil and political rights of the colored 
man, so far as impartial laws can make them secure, are 
absolutely assured in the North. Under them the colored man 
is working out his destiny. Besides, the people of the North 
have encouraged every effort he has made to free himself from 
the blighting evils of slavery and rise to the stature of a man. 

Colored men have been repeatedly elected or appointed to 
offices in the North by the white people. D. A. Straker was 
elected and re-elected to a judicial office in Detroit, Michi- 

^74 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

gan ; Ruffin was appointed a judge at Boston, Massachusetts ; 
Mathews was elected a judge at Albany, New York ; Carr is an 
assistant in the district attorney's office of New York City ; a 
colored lawyer fills a similar position in the city of Chicago ; 
the city of Cleveland, Ohio, has elected Green and Smith, 
colored men, to the state Senate and the House of Represen- 
tatives respectively ; Chicago has elected Morris to the legis- 
lature of Illinois ; Detroit elected Pelham and others ; Boston 
has repeatedly elected colored men to the legislature : Reed, 
Teamoh, and others ; and colored men are enrolled in her 
city council ; a colored man was chosen a member of the 
governor's council in Massachusetts ; Philadelphia has elected 
colored men to her city council, and hundreds have been 
appointed on her police force and to various lines of service 
in the city government. Rhode Island has repeatedly elected 
colored men to her legislature, and Pennsylvania in the last 
national election chose a colored man, J. W. Holmes, as a 
presidential elector. 

The Boston Herald^ referring to the colored men who have 
held positions in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says : " The list 
includes an alderman, two representatives in the legislature, 
seven members of the common council, a chief of the fire depart- 
ment, where he was the only man of African blood, a police- 
man in the service for nineteen years, a municipal bacteriolo- 
gist, a commander of a white post of the Grand Army of the 
Republic, a trustee of the public library, and a woman almost 
purely African in blood as principal of a public school in a 
first-class residential district, with six white teachers as her 
subordinates and with several hundred white pupils. Besides, 
Harvard University has paid distinguished honors to not a few 
men of color who have studied there. Cambridge is a city 
which in its rank as a civilized community can certainly com- 
pare with any south of Mason and Dixon's line. And yet 
none of its citizens would ever dream that in thus honoring 
certain of their fellows with negro blood in their veins they 

275 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

would render themselves liable to have a negro ask the hand 
of their daughter in marriage — a contingency that proverbi- 
ally is submitted for consideration as a poser when questions 
as to negro equality are asked in the South. The thing is 
that in Cambridge, as in many other intelligent and corres- 
pondingly unprejudiced communities, a man, whatever his 
race, is regarded according to his capacity as a human being, 
and not by the color of his skin, any more than by the 
color of his eyes or hair." 

These are but a few of the instances of the election and 
appointment of colored men to office in the North ; and they 
are alike complimentary to the colored man, as evidence of 
his rise in civilization, and to the broad, patriotic, and benev- 
olent policy of the people of the North in dealing with him. 

Practically in every Northern state from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific, and from the Mason-Dixon line to the Great 
Lakes, colored men have been and are enjoying political 
preferment with the sanction of the great body of the people. 

The number of colored men and women who are in the 
employment of the Government of the United States in the 
departments at Washington, and othei' places, will probably 
be a surprise to many people. These colored men and 
women reached the positions held, not through political pull 
or favoritism, but by merit — generally through the civil 
service examinations. 

The table on page 277, compiled from official data, shows 
the number of colored employees in the service of the 
Government, exclusive of the United States Capitol and the 
judiciary. 

In the activities of church life the colored man has prob- 
ably scored his greatest success. As a minister he was 
unhampered by race prejudice ; his work was among his own 
people. To this work he gave himself with an earnestness 
and a spirit of self-sacrifice difficult to surpass. He freely 
offered to God and his people the service of the best talents he 

276 



ACHIEVEMENT.S OF THE COLORED RACE 

Colored Officers, Clerks, and Other Employees in the Service 
OF THE United States Government, 1904. 



Diplomatic and consular service .... 
Department service : 

State 

Treasury 

War 

Navy 

Post-Office 

Interior 

Justice 

Agriculture 

Commerce and labor 

Government Printing Office .... 

Interstate Commerce Commission . . 

District government, Washington, D. C. 

Recorder of deeds 

Service at large : 

Customs and internal revenue . . . 

Post-Office at large 

Land Office, New Orleans 

Miscellaneous 

Army Officers 

Total 

Recapitulation by localities : 

At foreign stations 

At Washington, D. C 

At New York City 

At New Orleans, Louisiana .... 

At Atlanta, Georgia 

At Savannah, Georgia 

At Augusta, Georgia 

At Baltimore, Maryland 

At Richmond, Virginia 

At miscellaneous points 

Army Officers 

Total 



No. 



13 

10 
596 
122 

42 
103 
219 

17 

100 

125 

320 

4 

1,891 

22 

258 

750 

3 

5 

10 



4,610 



Salaries 



$32,000 

7,600 

391,834 
94,910 
29,736 
66,840 

167,260 
13,520 
53,272 
78,856 

210,874 
2,280 

847,055 
14,050 

205,047 

611,140 

7,800 

2,400 

17,260 



$2,853,734 



13 

3,663 

188 

108 

94 

42 

12 

40 

50 

390 

10 



$32,000 
>,056,727 

153,982 
96,740 
65,780 
32,766 
8,120 
31,444 
37,820 

321,095 
17,260 



4,610 



$2,853,734 



possessed. He was, and in many cases is at the present time, 
deficient in boolc learning, but there are essential qualities of 

277 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

mind and heart which he did possess and knew how to use to 
the glory of God and well-being of his fellow-men. Above 
all else, the colored minister has demonstrated the ability of 
the negro to organize great masses of the people into solid, 
compact bodies, hold them under discipline, enforce laws in 
the spirit of love, and make millions subservient to the teach- 
ings of the Christ. 

In the religious denominations, the colored man has demon- 
strated his capacity for self-government. Take, for instance, 
the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It has 6,429 
ministers, 5,715 churches, 728,354 communicants, and prop- 
erty valued at nearly $12,000,000 ; it conducts 25 schools, the 
property value of which is $855,000 ; it publishes two weekly 
papers and a monthly magazine ; it has a publishing house for 
its Sunday School literature at Nashville, Tennessee, and a 
publishing house at Philadelphia for books and periodicals ; 
it has over 2,000 missions and about 15,000 members in 
Africa, and, in addition, it has missions in Canada, Hayti, 
and Bermuda, and also conducts schools in Sierra Leone, 
Monrovia, and Cape Town, Africa, and in Bermuda and 
Hayti. To operate this vast machinery over $500,000 is 
now collected and expended annually. It has twelve bishops 
and thirteen general officers ; one of the bishops is assigned to 
Africa to watch over the work on that continent. 

Another denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion, close in name and closer in sympathy and work to the 
African Methodist Episcopal Church, operates along similar 
lines. It has 3,810 ministers, 2,985 churches, and 542,422 
members ; it has all the machinery of its sister body, and its 
Christian Endeavor work is especially prosperous — having 
over 600 societies with more than 30,000 members. It has 
seven bishops, a full complement of general offices, publishing 
plants, and twelve colleges and schools, with Livingstone 
College, Salisbury, North Carolina, founded by the eloquent 
J. C. Price, at the head of its educational system. There 

278 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

are several other colored Methodist bodies working along 
these same general lines. 

The colored Baptists are numerically the strongest denomi- 
nation among the colored people, having 10,726 ministers, 
15,583 churches, and 1,615,321 communicants. It carries on 
important missionary work in Africa, and has a large printing 
and publishing plant at Nashville. And a unique fact is that 
about forty-five newspapers in various cities are published in 
the name of this denomination. It conducts a number of 
schools. Not only in those just mentioned but practically in 
all the denominations, the colored man has found a home 
congenial to himself for the worship of God. 

Dr. H. K. Carroll reports the following membership of 
negro church bodies in the United States, not including 
foreign mission membership, for the year 1903: 



Denominations 


Ministers 


Churches 


Communi- 
cants 


Baptists 

Union American Methodists . . . 

African Methodists 

African Union Methodist Protestants 

African Zion Methodists 

Congregational Methodists .... 

Colored Methodists 

Cumberland Presbyterians .... 
Total 


10,729 

180 

6,500 

68 

3,386 

5 

2,159 

450 


15,614 

205 

5,800 

68 

3,042 

5 

1,497 

400 


1,625,330 

16,500 

785,000 

2,930 

551,591 

319 

207,723 

39,000 


23,477 


26,631 


3,228,393 



A number of colored people are connected with separate 
churches which are not independent denominations, but are 
in fellowship with white denominations, and these may be 
recorded as shown in the table, page 280. 

These figures vary so slightly from those of another au- 
thority as to be practically the same. It is a matter of great 
significance that colored men should be operating great or- 
ganizations, co-extensive with the jurisdiction of the republic 

279 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 



Denominations 



Methodists (Methodist Episcopal) 

Congregationalists 

Episcopahans 

Presbyterians 



Ministers 



139 

83 
209 



Churches 



230 
200 
353 



Membership 



245,954 
12,155 
15,000 
21,341 



and reaching beyond into foreign countries, touching in the 
most direct way the hearts, interests, and welfare of milhons 
of people. This work goes on year after year so smoothly 
that even many who are influenced by it scarcely realize its 
proportions. These colored denominations own $41 ,000,000 
in church property. A large percentage of the college-bred 
colored men are in the colored ministry. Many thousands 
of the colored ministers have had high, normal, or prepara- 
tory school training, and several thousands have had thor- 
ough theological training. There are colored physicians with 
incomes of $5,000 a year and upwards, and colored lawyers 
who earn equally large sums. 

The colored race has successfully applied its education in 
all the vocations of life ; in business enterprises in various 
lines : life insurance ; building associations ; organized chari- 
ties ; slum, prison, and temperance work ; kindergartens, 
and mother's meetings ; hospitals, nurseries, orphanages, and 
homes ; benevolent club work ; farming and truck-gardens ; 
savings-banks ; contributing to newspapers ; contributing to 
magazines; lectures; papers before various bodies; college 
and student aid ; fraternal societies and orders ; theatricals ; 
athletics ; stenography and typewriting ; telegraph operating ; 
instrumental and vocal music ; inventions ; the several trades ; 
and on through the long list of human endeavor. 

In some of these it has won world-wide fame. In the 
colored race there is probably more pathos and humor than 
in any other race, probably than in all other races combined. 

280 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

The Irish is the only other race that approaches it. These 
two races furnish the humor that kills dull and heavy cares 
and makes the people laugh. 

The colored Jubilee singers have made their impress on 
the civilized world. People of every degree have been 
swayed and moved by them. In minstrelsy, Billy Kersands, 
Sam Lucas, Tom Mcintosh, and others, will not be soon for- 
gotten. Several regular theatrical companies have delighted 
audiences in this country and in Europe. " The South be- 
fore the War," " In old Kentucky," " The Smart Set," and 
the superb company, "Williams and Walker," and other 
combinations have ministered to the public with satisfaction 
and profit. In these lines the negro has been frequently 
imitated, but not always with success. 

In athletics, Harte, of Boston, won the championship as a 
pedestrian ; Taylor, " the whirlwind " bicycle rider, broke 
and made records and won fame in America, Europe, and Aus- 
tralia ; and in the " manly sport," Peter Jackson and George 
Dixon held the championship for years against all comers. 

About five hundred patents have been taken out by colored 
men. A negro patented the first machine for pegging shoes. 
Elijah McCoy has taken out twenty-seven patents, mostly for 
lubricating; Granville T. Woods, twenty-two, mostly elec- 
trical ; W. R. Purvis, sixteen ; Frank J. Farrell, ten. The 
patents taken out by negroes cover appliances in domestic 
and personal service, agriculture, transportation, manufactur- 
ing, and mining, and other lines of inventions. 

In the fraternal and beneficial organizations the negro has 
gained great triumphs. The order of True Reformers is 
probably the leading fraternal organization. It was organ- 
ized in 1881 by William H. Browne, and chartered in 1883 
under the laws of Virginia, with headquarters at Richmond. 
It started with 100 members, and without capital. It now 
numbers 72,000 members; conducts a savings-bank with a 
capital stock, paid up, of $100,000 ; has $300,000 on de- 

281 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

posit; 10,000 depositors; conducts five stores in as many 
cities, and which do a business of $100,000 a year ; it oper- 
ates two hotels ; it owns $400,000 worth of real estate ; it 
employs over 800 negroes, and the total business transacted 
aggregates $8,000,000. In its beneficiary department, it has 
paid out in death claims $902,092.75 ; in sick benefits, it has 
paid out a million dollars. It publishes its own newspaper 
and its membership is represented in twenty-six states. 
Hundreds of thousands of colored people are also in other 
orders, including the Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of 
Pythias, Foresters, Elks, Good Templars, and other societies 
intended to care for the sick and bury the dead. 

But it is as artisans and as tillers of the soil that the negroes 
meet with their greatest success. The colored man has put 
his brain and his brawn into the trades and into farming 
and domestic occupations. 

The largely increased crops produced by negro laborers — 
the cotton crop alone has been doubled since emancipation — 
attest their increased efficiency and industry. The millions 
of Afro- Americans engaged in agriculture, mining, manufac- 
turing industries, mechanical vocations and trades, fishing, 
commerce, and transportation, and in domestic service and in 
other lines make themselves felt in the life of the nation. 
Mr. Henry W. Grady of Atlanta, just before his death about 
ten years ago, in a speech in Boston, declared that the negro 
through his labor contributed a billion dollars a year to the 
wealth of the nation. He is contributing more than that 
amount at the present time. 

Mr. Morrell of Pennsylvania, in a speech in Congress, says : 
"In forty years the number of farms operated by white 
farmers increased 371,414, and of that number 148,601, or 
40 per cent, were those of owners or managers, and 222,813, 
or 60 per cent, those of tenants. In the period which wit- 
nessed this addition of white farmers in the South Atlantic 
states 287,933 negroes had acquired control of farm land in 

282 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

those states, of whom 202,578, or 70.4 per cent, were tenants, 
and 85,355, or 29.6 per cent, were owners or managers. 

" In considering these comparative figures, account should 
be taken of the following facts : The negroes at the close of 
the Civil War were just starting out upon their career as wage- 
earners. They had no land and no experience as farm owners 
or tenants, and none of them became farm owners by inheri- 
tance nor inherited money with which to buy land. Of the 
371,414 white farmers added since 1860, very many were the 
children of landowners and came into the possession of farm 
land, or the wherewithal to purchase the same, by inheritance. 
When this difference in the industrial condition of the two 
races in 1860 is taken into account, the fact that the relative 
number of owners among the negro farmers in the South 
Atlantic states in 1900 was practically three-fourths as great 
as the relative number of owners among the white farmers of 
those states added in the same period marks a most note- 
worthy achievement. 

"The statistics for the South Central states show about 
the same proportions. 

" As already stated, the total number of farms in the United 
States operated by negroes in 1900 was 746,717. The value 
of these farms, including buildings, tools, machinery, and live 
stock, was $499,943,734. The value of the products of these 
farms, inclusive of products fed to live stock on the premises, 
was $255,751,145, and exclusive of products fed to live stock, 
$229,907,702. The value of the negro farms was about ^ 
per cent of the total valuation of the farm property of the 
United States, while the value of the products of the negro 
farms was about 6 per cent of the total value of the farm 
products of the United States. 

" Turning to the Southern states again, we find that the 
corresponding proportions are greatly increased. In round 
numbers the values of all the farm property in those states, 
and of the negro farm property, were in 1900 as follows : — 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 



states 


Total farm 
values 


Negro farm 
values 


Virginia 


$323,000,000 
234,000,000 
153,000,000 
228,000,000 
54,000,000 
179,000,000 
204,000,000 
198,000,000 
962,000,000 
181,000,000 


$25,000,000 
28,000,000 
44,000,000 
49,000,000 
6,000,000 
47,000,000 
86,000,000 
38,000,000 
56,000,000 
34,000,000 


North Carolina 

South Carolina 


Florida 


AlflhaTTia 




Louisiana ,....••••• 


Texas 


Arkansas 

Total 


$2,716,000,000 


$413,000,000 



" In other words, the value of the negro farm property in 
these ten states is about 15 per cent of the total farm 
property in those states, and if Texas be eliminated, a state 
which is in much of its area not closely affiliated with the 
South, and in which the negroes have comparatively small 
interests, the proportion would be over 20 per cent. 

" The figures in regard to the relative values of farm 
products at the South are still more striking: — 



States 


Total farm 
products 


Negro farm 
products 


Virmnia 


$73,000,000 
79,000,000 
62,000,000 
92,000,000 
16,000,000 
81,000,000 
91,000,000 
66,000,000 

209,000,000 
66,000,000 


$8,000,000 
13,000,000 
25,000,000 
27,000,000 
3,000,000 
27,000,000 
47,000,000 
19,000,000 
21,000,000 
16,000,000 


North Carolina 


Qrkiitli f^avrtWnfL ....... 




Florida 






T mii«;iJinn .....*•••• 


Texas 


Arkansas 


Total 


$835,000,000 


$206,000,000 



" Here the proportion of the products of negro farms, as 
compared with the total farm products of the ten states, is 

284 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

seen to be nearly 25 per cent, or, taking out Texas, nearly 
30 per cent. 

" In all parts of the country except the far West the per- 
centage of improved lands on farms operated by negroes is 
greater than those of white farmers. In the South Central 
states the farms of negroes had 68.3 per cent, while the 
whites had but 28 per cent. The total acreage of negro 
farms is about 40,000,000 acres." 

The New York World, speaking of the achievements of the 
colored man since his emancipation, says : " He owns 137,000 
farms and homes worth $725,000,000 ; he has personal 
property to the value of $165,000,000 ; and he has raised 
$10,000,000 for his own education ; his per capita possessions 
amount to $72.50. To propose that the nation shall 
step backward in the face of such a stepping forward, is a 
curious way to argue the superiority of the dominant white 
man." 

This is a practical age, and in such an age, it is the results 
that count. The achievements briefly outlined above are 
the direct results of the system of education which was planned 
and executed by the pioneers who laid the foundation for the 
rise of a race. They were men and women of mature thought, 
ripe experience, broad-gauged intellect, great faith in God 
and in the colored man as responsive to the same influences 
as other men ; and their mental vision swept the whole field 
of life rather than one phase of it. They acted on the advice 
of Colonel Higginson forty years before he phrased it, to wit : 
" What the whole nation needs is to deal with the negro race 
no longer as outcasts, but simply as men and women." The 
Afro- American must not permit himself to be " specialized." 
Frederick Douglass was accustomed to say : " It is vastly 
better for the race to be a part of the whole American people, 
in the same sense as other races, than to be a little whole unto 
itself." The splendid record which has been made would 
have been absolutely impossible if emphasis had been put on 

285 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

industrial education and the race had been treated as a special 
order of humanity. 

The leaders of the South ofttimes make the claim that the 
white people are taxing themselves to educate the negroes, 
and that they have spent on negro education over a hundred 
million dollars since the emancipation. This is not a fair state- 
ment ; it is not the truth ; it is a myth. While the bulk of 
the taxes in the South is paid by the white people, it is also 
true that the productivity of the labor of the colored race on 
farm and field, in the rice swamps and wooded lands, in 
mines, factories, and workshops, and in all the diversified 
forms of toil, constitutes an important element in those taxes. 
The New York World is authority for the statement that 
19,000 persons own the property of that city. Suppose 
these 19,000 people should claim that they were taxing 
themselves to educate the children of that city. The reply 
would be quickly made that labor pays the taxes. 

There are towns and cities in New England where one 
family or a few families own the industries which give pros- 
perity to the communities. If the members of such family 
or families should proclaim that they are taxing themselves 
to educate the children of the thousands of working people — 
the answer would be given that labor pays the taxes. 

In the South the masses of colored people are laborers ; 
and the colored man's labor in the South pays the taxes for 
the education of his children, exactly in the same sense that 
a white man's labor in the North pays the taxes for the 
education of his children. It may also be borne in mind 
that the colored man contributes more than a billion dollars 
a year, by his labor, to the wealth of the nation. So that 
he contributes in a single year, ten times as much to the 
common weal as the South has expended on his education 
in forty years. Besides, much of the accumulated wealth of 
the South represents the two hundred and fifty years of the 
unrequited toil of the negro. In all fairness it can be said 

286 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

that the colored man by direct and indirect taxes and by the 
productivity of his toil is carrying his share of the burden 
in educating his children. For generations his labor edu- 
cated the masters. 

In the evolution of the home life the colored man has 
accomplished notable triumphs. 

The chief curse of slavery was the obliteration of the home. 
As the home is the foundation of the social organism, the 
colored people had to unlearn many things which the master 
class had taught by precept and example for two and a 
half centuries, before it was possible to begin aright the 
development of the home life. 

Under the old regime the country life was darker intellect- 
ually, morally, and spiritually than the city life, and the 
closer contact of city life had its leavening influence. 

Barriers apparently unsurmountable have been overcome. 
The newly awakened desire for homes became a strenuous 
passion, which has led to the secure establishment of the 
family life on the legal and scriptural foundations. 

While the colored man has been the master of his own 
home for only forty years, yet in this brief period he has 
bridged the chasm which divided him from his wife and 
separated him from his children — has unlearned the lessons 
taught day by day in the years of his bondage — has met 
with heartiness all the responsibilities involved in the family 
life, and now reaps and realizes to the full its joys, fruitage, 
and blessedness. 

No others among the cosmopolitan population of the 
republic make greater sacrifices for the care and education 
of their children, or are more solicitous about their future, 
or take greater pride in their successes than these humble 
people. 

The colored mother, almost too poor for her poverty to 
be understood, yet with a mother's love and anxiety for her 
children will waste herself away in the kitchen or over the 

287 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

wash-tub that her offspring may have the advantages of the 
schools. Unmindful of herself, the pittance she earns goes 
almost wholly to assist her children through college and 
into the professions. 

The illiterate father lengthens his hours of toil on the 
plantation and practises economy and self-denial in many 
directions in order that his promising sons and daughters 
may receive an education and enter upon a life of broad 
usefulness. 

To this true appreciation of the home and the recognition 
of its obligations may be ascribed not only much of the pros- 
perity, progress, and happiness which freedom has brought to 
the colored race, but it is also the rock on which the race 
must build to insure its salvation and a glorious future. 

The negro race is struggling upward. It should have the 
kind, the sympathetic hand. It has surpassed the expecta- 
tions of its friends ; and it has put to confusion its enemies 
who have taken their last stand on the ground of color alone. 
The rise and achievements of the race in American life and 
civilization overthrow all their preconceived ideas. But 
color cannot be a perpetual barrier in a republic. Manhood, 
patriotism, thrift, and the nobler qualities of mind and heart 
are superior to color and will break down such a bamer. 

The colored people need only to continue to develop 
along all lines and stand firmly for liberty ; be faithful to 
the Church, patronize the school, support the colored press, 
encourage professional men, cultivate the home life, practise 
thrift and economy, be helpful to each other in all the lines 
of endeavor, honor those North and South who champion the 
cause of freedom, and love the flag of their country, and 
these shall be unto them the forces of the Lord of Hosts 
which shall overturn the oppressor and redeem a people. 

It is noteworthy that no dangerous or un-American ten- 
dency has developed among the negroes. They are Americans 
of Americans, and national to the core. 

288 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COLORED RACE 

The late Reverend Dr. J. E. Rankin, for many years 
President of Howard University in the city of Washington, 
a man as strong and inflexible in character as the granite 
hills of his New England home, and whose presence was the 
balm of light and sweetness, and who has accomplished a 
grand and noble work to the uplift of humanity and the 
glory of God, wrote these beautiful lines : — 

" I know no difference of race, 
Of African or Saxon, 
Of tawny skin, or rose-cheek face. 
Of hair of crisp, or flaxen. 
The soul within, that is the man. 
There is God's image hidden. 
And there He looks each guest to scan. 
The bidden, and unbidden. 

*' One God in love broods over all. 
One prayer to Him is taught us. 
One name for mercy when we call. 
One ransom Christ has brought us ; 
One heart of meekness, lowly mind. 
Life's counter-currents breasting. 
One Father's house, we hope to find. 
In God's own bosom resting." 

M. Taine, in his " History of English Literature," Chap- 
ter I, gives a description of a certain people who may not 
now be readily recognized. It is as follows : " Huge, white 
bodies, with fierce, blue eyes, ravenous stomachs, of a cold 
temperament, slow to love, home stayers, prone to brutal 
drunkenness ; pirates at first, sea-faring, war, and pillage their 
only idea of a freeman's work. Of all barbarians the most 
cruelly ferocious. Torture and carnage, greed of danger, 
fury of destruction, obstinate and frenzied, bravery of an 
over-strung temperament, with a great and coarse appetite. 
To shout, to drink, to gesticulate, to feel their veins heated 
and swollen with wine, to hear and see around them the riotous 
orgies, this was the first need of the Barbarians. 
19 289 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

^*They left the land and flocks to the women. They sold 
as slaves their nearest relatives, and even their own children. 
The Latin race never at first glance see in them aught but 
large gross beasts, clumsy and ridiculous when not dangerous 
and enraged."' 

To what people does M. Taine refer? This language 
describes in one stage of their evolution the proud and 
powerful Anglo-Saxon race, who are to-day the leaders and 
light-bearers in the world's thought and civilization. In the 
blaze of this bit of history, there is no ground for despair of 
the American negro. 

Christian education wrought the change in the Anglo- 
Saxon. It will in any people. Let the adherents of the 
Christian faith and the advocates of the commonalty of man 
push the work of Christian education, and every step of its 
advancement will strengthen the foundations of the republic, 
promote the peace of society and the purity of the Church, 
and multiply and realize the grand possibilities of Afro- 
American citizens. And they and the whole nation may 
sing, with a new meaning and power, Julia Ward Howe's 
Battle Hymn of the Republic : — 

'* Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord ; 

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored ; 
He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible, swift sword ; 
His day is marching on. 
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah. 

*' He has sounded forth a trumpet that shall never call retreat ; 
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat ; 
Oh ! be swift my soul to answer him, be jubilant my feet ; 
His truth is marching on. 
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah. 

" In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea. 
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me ; 
As he died to make men holy let us die to make men free ; 
His word is marching on. 
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah." 

290 



CHAPTER IX 

THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE 
NEGRO 

THIS work would be regarded as incomplete if it did 
not at least venture to point out a way to some prac- 
tical and substantial relief, and thus help to pave the 
path for the amelioration and ultimate obliteration of in- 
tolerable conditions. That something can be done, that 
something ought to be done, is the verdict of every patriotic 
citizen. The unwisdom of permitting matters to drift along 
until a dangerously acute state of affairs shall exist in the 
South, breeding serious trouble, must be patent to all. 

The Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican, the Chicago 
Tribune, and the New York Evening Post, three of the most 
important and consei^ative journals in the country, have 
repeatedly called the people's attention to the painfully 
anomalous and threatening conditions in the South. Other 
journals and leading citizens have sounded the alarm. The 
nation remains amazingly apathetic, seemingly believing that 
somehow in the order of Providence these evils will " pass 
away." 

It was so with regard to slavery. But deep-seated evils do 
not cure themselves, and seldom die of their own corruption. 

Is it either common-sense or prudent patriotism to drift 
on until a settled condition, in essential respects worse than 
slavery, disastrous and volcanic in its possibilities — shall be 
established in the South ? Is it not far better to face these 
evils and eliminate them ? The manhood, the womanhood, 
the statesmanship, the all-pervading principles of Christian- 
ity of the mighty republic are entirely competent to bring 
this question to an equitable and righteous settlement. No 
other settlement will be enduring. Compromise may post- 
291 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

pone, but it cannot settle fundamental questions of liberty 
and human rights. 

" Truth crushed to earth shall rise again : 
Th' eternal years of God are hers." 

The journals above mentioned have shown that the colored 
people are becoming restless under long continued persecu- 
tions, ostracisms, and outrages. Here and there they are 
beginning to take a stand under pressure. They have been 
wonderfully blessed with conservative and Christian leaders, 
who have succeeded in restraining all attempts at retaliation. 
" Have faith in God : trust the American people : continue 
to develop along all lines : all things are sure to come right "" 
— this is the teaching of the colored leadership. 

No people have ever displayed greater forbearance and 
long-suffering than the free men of color. Colonel Higgin- 
son, in an interesting magazine article, has taken great pains 
to show that the colored man is " intensely human '" in all 
things and at every point. And here lies the danger, for 
there is a limit to human endurance. 

The dominant elements in the South make a fatal error 
in assuming that they alone must have the final word on 
the question — utterly ignoring the colored man whose 
interests are coequal with their own, and contemptuously 
disregarding the nation whose interests, of necessity, are 
paramount. 

If the final word were in harmony with the Constitution 
and laws of the United States there would indeed be no 
problem. But when the final word contravenes or super- 
sedes the Constitution and laws of the United States, neither 
the colored people nor the nation can or will accept its final- 
ity. The lesson of history should impress itself here : slavery 
was forced on the nation by a radical and minor element 
determined on building up a peculiar institution, and which 
finally dragged the whole South into its support. 

292 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

The War of the Rebellion was made on the life of the 
republic by a radical and minor element determined on per- 
petuating this peculiar institution, and which dragooned the 
whole South into it. 

The peace of the nation is now blasted by a radical and 
minor element determined on the destruction of the liberty 
of the colored citizen and the building up of a new peculiar 
institution ; and which has by incendiary speeches and writ- 
ings and by the machinations of secret conclaves, working 
more stealthily than the Ku Klux Klans, united the white 
people of the South against liberty and human progress, 
without regard for the majesty of the law. 

The Honorable Josiah Quincy, referring to the early days 
of slavery, said : " Disgust at it was so general as to be little 
less than universal. Among slaveholders, the language and 
hope of putting an end to the evil as soon as possible was on 
all tongues; but alas! it was far from being in all their 
hearts. Some of the leaders saw the advantages derived 
from it by the unity and identity of action and motive to 
which it tended, and its effect in making Slave states move in 
phalanx over the Free states. They clung to the institution 
for the sake of power over the other states of the Union, and 
while they were open in decrying it, they were assiduous in 
promoting its interests and extending its influence. By 
constantly declaring a detestation of slavery, they threw dust 
into the eyes of the people of the Free states, while they never 
ceased to seize every opportunity to embarrass the measures 
which would advance the interests of the Free states, and at 
the same time to strengthen and extend the interests of 
the Slave states. We can trace their policy in history. 
We now realize the result. With all their pretensions, the 
leading slaveholders never lost sight for one moment of 
perpetuating its existence and power." 

There may be discerned a sameness in the methods of the 
ante-helium and the post-bellum leadership of the South. 

293 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

"Dust," much dust, is being thrown into the eyes of the 
people now by stock -phrases, dire threats, and bald subter- 
fuges. In the " Sohd South " now there is the same " unity 
and identity of action and motive," and its power in the 
government is unduly magnified. Equal laws for all is the 
antidote. In the light of history it is clear that a majority 
of the American people did not at any time, from the begin- 
ning up to the present time, approve or justify the institu- 
tion of human slavery. Yet it grew and flourished and all 
but brought death and destruction to the republic. 

The vast majority of the American people are now uncom- 
promising in their opposition to a new and peculiar institution. 
The fierce fires of war consumed the dross in the Constitu- 
tion, and that grand instrument as it stands, and the laws 
made in connection therewith, leave no room for doubt that 
the people demand a truly free republic with equal rights 
for all Americans. 

This simplifies the question and indicates the remedy. 

First : The people should zealously and jealously guard 
the offices of president and vice-president, and preserve them 
from defilement and desecration by any persons tinctured 
with caste or sectional prejudices, and who would exalt 
these above the Constitution and laws of the land. 

It is axiomatic that no citizen is worthy to be the presi- 
dent of the whole people who does not stand for equal laws 
for the whole people. The Constitution and laws of the 
United States are the paramount plank of any platform on 
which a president may be elected : these make all citizens 
equal before the law, and positively and absolutely forbid 
all discrimination on account of race, color, or previous con- 
dition of servitude. Race or color should be neither a 
credential to public favor or participation in the govern- 
ment, nor a bar against the full enjoyment of any immunity 
or privilege under the government. 

The people should see to it that only such men as measure 

294 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

up to the constitutional standard shall be elevated to the 
presidential office, or to the vice-presidency. 

In guarding these offices, they will also be guarding 
the various cabinet chairs, and thus the administration of 
the government will be uninfluenced by the brutalism 
of the traditions of slavery, or the "Jim Crowism" which at 
present rules the South. 

It is a travesty on free institutions, a jeer and sneer at 
a righteous national sentiment which demands equality of 
rights for all under the law, that the very men who are 
foremost in working for the wholesale disfranchisement of the 
colored people contrary to justice, reason, and the Consti- 
tution, and subjecting these people, who are equal citizens 
with themselves, to gross humiliations and degradations, and 
inflicting on them many inhumanities — that these men are 
now contending that one of their own number shall be 
placed in the presidential or vice-presidential chair. Is this 
not a mockery on civilization, — a burlesque on republican 
government ? 

At the Virginia State Convention to elect delegates to the 
National Democratic Convention, Governor Montague in an 
address advocated the nomination of a Southern man on the 
ticket, and at the very same time President Roosevelt was 
roundly denounced because "he eateth with negroes and 
drinketh with them." 

Mississippi, at her state convention, nominated the Honor- 
able John Sharp Williams for vice-president, and yet this 
Southerner, in a recent speech in the Congress, vociferously 
declaimed against the recognition of the political and man- 
hood status of the colored man. Yoking the negro to a mule 
is his loftiest idea of Americanism and humanitarianism. 
Such a man the leader in a republic ! 

It may interest the country to know that Mr. Williams 
was elected by a total vote of 1,433, scarcely enough votes to 
elect a constable in a Northern township. This shows the 

295 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

farcical character of a Mississippi election. Think of it : 
1,433 votes elect a member of the Congress from Mississippi 
when the population basis is nearly 200,000. 

Other Southern states are also urging favorite sons for 
these highest offices, without a sign of compunction of con- 
science at the general nullification of the organic law and the 
shameful injustices and persecutions forced on ten millions of 
American citizens. 

These men have already wrought the general ostracism of 
the colored race throughout the South, and by imposing on 
them systematic humiliations and degradations they seek to 
take heart and hope out of the race and bring about its utter 
demoralization, and then plead these very conditions which 
they designedly created as the justification for harsher and 
more oppressive laws. The possession of the office of presi- 
dent or of vice-president would greatly stimulate them in 
putting the final touches on the heinous work, for it would be 
construed as an endorsement by the people. 

The Atlanta Constitution, a leading Southern journal, 
with a snarl demands that the South be represented in one of 
these offices. General Montague of Virginia cynically in- 
quires : " Is this not a reunited nation ? '' 

The following statement from the Boston Herald would 
seem to cover the issue : " The people of the Northern states 
do not carry their willingness to forgive and forget to the 
extent of ignoring the attitude of a representative Southern 
man toward questions of personal rights and public duty 
that are living questions. 

" For example, the people of the North, as a rule,beheve in 
the supremacy of the laws of the land and of the orderly 
processes of the courts of justice in dealing with violators of 
the law. They are not upholders of mob government and 
lynch law, and they will be likely to distrust the influence in 
the highest office of administration of one who has a record of 
approval, or of tolerance, of lynch law in his own state. 

296 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

They would object to a man of that kind from any section of 
the country. 

" But, in consideration of the notorious facts that this man- 
ner of lawlessness is more rife in the Southern states than 
anywhere else, that it is sustained, apparently, by a more 
powerful public sentiment, that vindictive murder by a mob 
is rarely followed by any punishment of the murderers, any 
Southern candidate for the chief magistracy of the nation 
would need to have an especially clear and conspicuous record 
of active fidelity to principles of orderly justice and Christian 
humanity in order to obtain the confidence of communities 
which have, and desire to continue having, assurance of the 
reign of law, according to the standards of civilization. 

" Again, the people of the North, as a rule, have a strong 
feeling that there should be equality of rights at the ballot- 
box. They do not object to a high standard of qualification, 
and especially not to an educational qualification, nor strenu- 
ously, if it be deemed necessary anywhere, to a property 
qualification. But they do not think it to be consistent with 
democratic principles that men who are otherwise qualified 
should be permanently debarred from exercise of this high 
function of citizenship, on account of race, or of accidents of 
birth or fortune, not necessarily involving moral turpitude 
nor inability to understand, exercise, and conform to the obli- 
gations and the duties of a good citizen. They believe in 
the equality of all men before the law, and they are afraid, 
not without reason, that politicians who will resort to such 
tricks and subterfuges as have been resorted to in several 
Southern states, to keep intelligent and moral colored citizens 
from the ballot-box, while allowing unintelligent and immoral 
white citizens to have the suffrage, are not to be trusted with 
implicit confidence to protect the rights of any citizens whose 
opinions may not be agreeable to them. 

"Furthermore, there is a prejudice in the North, not so 
general and exacting as it ought to be, perhaps, that poli- 

297 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

ticians should be trustworthy in the matter of keeping their 
formal pledges to the people. The people are disposed to 
hold their public men to a rather strict accountability in this 
respect. They do not relish being fooled by men who ask 
for power on a specific agreement that they will not exercise 
it in a certain way, and, when power is obtained, use it in pre- 
cisely the way they assured the people they would not. The 
recent action of the Constitutional Convention of Virginia, in 
proclaiming a constitution without submitting it to the rati- 
fication of the people of the state, in violation of the condi- 
tions upon which a convention was authorized, is a case in 
point. Nothing has happened in the last ten years, hardly 
anything since Southern conventions chosen to oppose seces- 
sion voted for it, more influential to make Northern people 
reluctant to trust Southern politicians. Men who will do 
such a thing as if it were honorable must not complain if 
their professions of public policy are regarded with sus- 
picion. This is not because they are Southern men, but be- 
cause of the exhibition of untrustworthiness they have given. 
Northern men doing a similar thing could not command 
Northern support as these Southern men seem to command 
Southern support. 

" Considering the matter in another light, it is to be said 
that the people of the states where poHtical opinion is free 
and where the public men of either party are, as a rule, mut- 
ually tolerant and regardful of the rights of all citizens, have 
a not unreasonable distrust of the narrowness of view and the 
partiality of conduct of a statesman hailing from a section 
where practically there is but one party, where generous tol- 
eration of differences of judgment concerning public affairs 
is not the characteristic of the people, a state controlled, as 
several Southern states are, by an oligarchy, instead of the 
sovereign people, a state which is not democratic in the gen- 
eric sense of the term. It is not because these men belong to 
a geographical section, but because they are of a certain char- 

298 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

acter and represent a type of statesmanship which does not 
stand broadly for the substantial ideals of American institu- 
tions — equal rights and equal opportunities, secured by 
impartial laws justly enforced.'' 

When the South shall produce a man of broad and national 
instincts, a devotee at the shrine of liberty, a man whose char- 
acter and public services shall give evidence that he is more 
an American than a Southerner, who is true to the letter 
and spirit of the Constitution and laws of this country, is 
not the slave of caste or race prejudice, upholds the prin- 
ciples of equal rights, regarding "no man above the law and 
none below it " — the American people will welcome the day 
as the harbinger of the era for which they have prayed and 
wrought, and no honor in their power would be too great or 
lofty for such a man. 

Second : National aid for education is an imperative 
necessity. 

Among the colored people general illiteracy was the chief 
heritage of slavery. Among the whites a heritage of dense 
ignorance existed in great areas. Statutes and penal codes 
prohibited the spelHng-book to the colored people ; and the 
policy pursued to keep the negro's mind in darkness also had 
the effect of blackening the mental vision of the whites. 

The strength of " Jim Crowism " lies largely in the illit- 
eracy among both the white and the colored people of the 
South, powerfully sustained and influenced, of course, by the 
virus of slavery in the brain of the whites. This, in a word, 
is the true explanation of the distressing, disheartening, 
demoralizing; conditions in the Southland. 

Education will raise the veil of mental darkness, and chase 
away the clouds of ignorance, dispelling unreasonable antipa- 
thies, and ameliorating conditions generally. 

It is not claimed here that education is the panacea or 
" cure-all " for every ill under the sun. But it is affirmed, 
without the least reservation or fear of contradiction, that 

299 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Christian education is the greatest force in God's universe 
for the regeneration and uplifting of the people and th« 
harmonizing of a nation. 

In former years the three " R's ", reading, 'riting and 'rith- 
metic, had the right of way in the education of the people ; 
but in these later days these have given place to the three 
"H's", the education of the head, the hand and the 
heart. 

There is no risk in assuming that when this threefold, 
symmetrical education, the highest type of Christian civiK- 
zation, shall have become as general throughout the be- 
nighted South as it is in the great, free and prosperous North 
— great and prosperous, because educated and free, — then 
truly the vile "Jim Crowism " and its attendant lawlessness 
will cease to disgrace the American name. This work of 
education in the Southland is even now advancing. 

The people of the North, patrons and devotees of educa- 
tion, sent the spelling-book in the trail of their armies 
throughout their marches in the War of the Rebellion. And 
when a place was captured, almost before the smoke of battle 
had cleared away, the work of the schoolmaster was begun. 
Children, young people, middle-aged people, old men and old 
women were gathered into schools, both in the day-time and 
at night, and the foundation for the education of a race was 
laid. The barracks occupied by soldiers were, when vacated, 
turned over to the community to be used for schools. Out 
of such beginnings was developed the present school system 
of the South. 

The Republican organizations which achieved the recon- 
struction of the South at the close of the war took the cue 
from this and gave the South its first system of free public 
schools. These schools have grappled with the problem and 
have been nobly reinforced by Northern benevolence. A 
vast work has been done, but a work as vast, probably more 
so, yet remains to be accomplished. 

300 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

The financial power of the several states, ably seconded 
though it is by Northern benevolence, falls far short of 
meeting the emergency. Neither the several states nor the 
benevolence of the North seem to have the capacity to 
increase their working forces materially. 

Supplemental aid from the national treasury is an abso- 
lute necessity, if the illiteracy which hangs over the South 
like a black pall is to be hfted, thereby eliminating the 
blighting and cankerous evils which are gnawing into the 
heart of the republic and are a constant irritation and an 
ever present disturber of the people's peace and prosperity. 

The census of 1900 places the total number of white 
illiterates, above ten years of age, at 3,200,746. The total 
number of negro illiterates is given as 2,853,194. So that in 
the country at large there are more illiterate whites than 
negroes. It is therefore manifestly unjust to single out the 
negro and make him the target for denunciations and the 
object of oppression on the ground of illiteracy. The census 
also reveals the rather startling truth that while the South- 
ern states have only twenty-four per cent of the total white 
population of the United States, yet they nevertheless have 
sixty-four per cent of the white illiterates over ten years of 
age. Naturally, the mass of colored illiterates are also in 
the South. The total negro school population — that is, 
from five to twenty years of age, aggregates 3,485,188. The 
school facilities of the South do not reach half of the negro 
children of school age; and a large percentage of the 
whites are also without school privileges. If the utter inade- 
quacy of the length of the school term should be taken into 
consideration — a school term in many cases being from four 
to eight weeks in the year — it could be said that the large 
majority of the children of both races in the South are 
growing up practically in ignorance and will greatly rein- 
force the present large army of illiterates which mark the 
danger line in the life of the nation. 

301 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

President Charles W. Dabney of the University of Tenn- 
essee, in an address before the Southern Educational Society, 
said : " Our duty to the new time in the South is the duty 
of educating all the people. It is the task set by Jefferson 
for Virginia in 1779, only changed and made more urgent 
by the extension of suffrage to another race. This is the 
real Southern problem : How shall we educate and train the 
people ? It is the problem of the whole country, in fact. 
How shall we educate all the people for intelligent citizen- 
ship, for complete living, and the true service of their God 
and fellow-men ? 

" Our conception of public education has grown very greatly 
in these last years. It has grown in two ways : first, in 
content, and second, in kind. This conception now includes 
every human being ; we realize, now, that all must be edu- 
cated — that every human being has a right to an educa- 
tion. God has a purpose in every soul He sends into the 
world. The poorest, most helpless infant is not an accident, 
a few molecules of matter, merely, but a plan of God, and 
as such deserves to be trained for its work. Every child has 
a ri";ht to a chance in life because God made him and made 
him to do something. . . . 

"But we must consider our problem more nearly and in 
more detail. Our problem is the education of all the people 
of the South. First, V\^ho are this people ? In 1900 these 
states south of the Potomac and east of the Mississippi con- 
tained, in round numbers, 16,400,000 people, 10,400,000 of 
them white and 6,000,000 black. In these states there are 
3,981,000 white and 2,420,000 colored children of school age 
(5 to 20 years), a total of 6,401,000. They are distributed 
among the states as follows. [See table on the next page.] 
Only 60 per cent of them were enrolled in schools in 
1900. The average daily attendance was only 70 per cent of 
these enrolled. Only 42 per cent are actually at school. One 
half of the negroes get no education whatever. ... In North 

302 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 



White 



Colored 



Total 



Virginia . . 
West Virginia 
North Carolina 
South Carolina 
Georgia . . 
Florida . . . 
Alabama . . 
Mississippi 
Tennessee . . 
Kentucky . . 
Total . 



436,000 
342,000 
491,000 
218,000 
458,000 
110,000 
390,000 
253,000 
590,000 
693,000 



269,000 
15,000 
263,000 
342,000 
428,000 
87,000 
340,000 
380,000 
191,000 
105,000 



705,000 
357,000 
754,000 
560,000 
886,000 
197,000 
730,000 
633,000 
781,000 
798,000 



3,981,000 



2,420,000 



6,401,000 



Carolina the average citizen gets only 2.6 years, in South 
Carolina 2.5 years, in Alabama 2,4 years of schooling, both 
private and public. . . . 

" But why is it that the children get so little education ? 
Have we no schools in the country ? Yes, but what kind of 
schools ? The average value of a school property in North 
Carolina is $180, in South Carolina $178, in Georgia $523, 
and in Alabama $212. The average salary of a teacher in 
North Carohna is $23.36, in South Carolina $23.20, in 
Georgia $27, and in Alabama $27.50. The schools are open 
in North Carolina an average of 70.8 days, in South Carolina 
88.4, in Georgia 112, and in Alabama 78.3. The average 
expenditure per pupil in average attendance is, in North Caro- 
lina $4.34, in South Carolina $4.44, in Georgia $6.64, and in 
Alabama $3.10 per annum. In other words, in these states, 
in schoolhouses costing an average of $276 each, under teachers 
receiving the average salary of $25 a month, we are giving the 
children in actual attendance 5 cents worth of education a day 
for 87 days only in the year. In 1900 the percentage of illit- 
erates among males over 21 — native whites, mind you, the 
sons of native parents — was, in Virginia 12.5, in North Caro- 
lina 19, in South Carolina 12.6, in Georgia 12.1, in Alabama 
14.2, in Tennessee 14.5, and in Kentucky 15.5." 

303 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

This exposition of the school facilities in the South, as 
discouraging as it is, does not expose the worst side of the 
question. The colored people are touched near to the heart, 
for the provisions for the education of the millions of colored 
children are woefully and alarmingly inadequate. Commis- 
sioner Harris of the Bureau of Education furnished the infor- 
mation that the state of Florida provides $1.S9 per capita for 
a full year, for the education of colored children. North Car- 
olina $1.02, and South Carolina only $.73. When it is con- 
sidered that Massachusetts spends $38.11 per capita for the 
year on her school children. New York, $41.68, and Illinois, 
$25.16 — the contrast must leave a disturbing impression on 
the mind of every thoughtful citizen. 

It is evident the South cannot handle this problem alone. 
More than half of its children of school age are practically 
without schools to attend. The nation should come to the 
rescue. A system of national schools under the Bureau of 
Education, especially in the agricultural districts, generously 
supported for about fifteen years, would efface illiteracy and 
remove the excuse for unrighteous laws. And this would add 
vastly more to the strength of the republic than more battle- 
ships and a larger army. 

Horace Mann said : " Every follower of God and friend of 
mankind will find the only sure means of carrying forward the 
particular reform to which he is devoted, in universal edu- 
cation. In whatever department of philanthropy he may be 
engaged, he will find that department to be only a segment 
of the great circle of beneficence of which universal education 
is the centre and circumference."" 

Third : Equalization of representation in the Congress and 
the electoral college by reducing the number of Southern 
representatives. 

In a previous chapter the inequality of representation 
has been clearly demonstrated. All that has been said there 
would apply here. A white man in the South is entitled to 

304 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

one man's share in the government, but not more than one 
man's share. When by circumventing the Constitution he 
usurps power which makes him three times as strong at the 
ballot-box as a man in New England, or the great West, 
then the equilibrium of representative government is de- 
stroyed. 

The Constitution of the United States says: "Represen- 
tatives shall be apportioned among the several states accord- 
ing to their respective numbers, counting the whole number 
of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But 
when the right to vote at any election for the choice of elec- 
tors for President and Vice-President of the United States, 
representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers 
of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied 
to any of the male inhabitants of such state being 21 years 
of age and citizens of the United States, or in any way 
abridged except for participation in rebellion or other crime, 
the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the 
proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear 
to the whole number of male citizens 21 years of age in such 
state. The Congress shall have power to enforce by appro- 
priate legislation the provisions of this article."" 

So that the Constitution imposes on Congress the duty 
of fixing representation and preserving the equilibrium of 
the states in the government. 

When the white people of several of the Southern states 
summoned state conventions with the avowed purpose, pro- 
claimed boldly and above-board, to disfranchise the colored 
voters and remove them from all share in the government, 
they well knew the penalty provided in the Constitution to 
meet such a case. They acted with their eyes wide open. 
They ought not to haggle or balk now that the time has 
come for Congress to act. 

The National Republican Convention recently held in 
Chicago wrote this plank in its platform : " We favor such 
20 305 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Congressional action as shall determine whether by special 
discrimination the elective franchise in any state has been 
unconstitutionally limited, and, if such is the case, we demand 
that representation in Congress and in the electoral college, 
shall be proportionally reduced as directed by the Constitu- 
tion of the United States."" 

This plank, which is directly in line with the Constitution, 
and simply seeks the equalization, the due proportioning, of 
the several states in the affairs of the government, has set 
the South ablaze. 

But the country has come to know fi'om exasperating ex- 
periences that anything and everything which would bring 
to the reputable, talented, prosperous colored citizen a just 
meed of recognition, or which would tend to prevent the 
South from having unfair, undue advantage in the affairs of 
the Government, would most certainly set the South ablaze. 

The following expressions from representative Southern 
sources will disclose how unreasoning and unreasonable is the 
Southern mind on questions which may even remotely and 
indirectly affect the colored people. 

Colonel Watterson of Kentucky says : " President Roosevelt, 
by injecting this dreadful racial problem into the contest, has 
invited inevitable defeat.""* 

Mr. Thomas F. Ryan of Virginia says : " Its real spirit is 
found in that deliberate declaration about Southern repre- 
sentation, — a spirit which foreshadows a new force bill and 
makes inevitable a concerted movement to revive all the 
evil passions to which such an appeal is made." 

Colonel Henry B. Gray of Alabama says : " It boldly de- 
clares, in effect, that the Republican party is a negro party, 
playing the negro above the Southern white man. It means 
negro domination."*"* 

The Montgomery Advertiser says : "But there is one result 
that is sure to follow this movement, and that is, that it will 
still further solidify the South."" 

306 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

Congressman Patterson of Tennessee says : " The plank in 
the RepubHcan platform which threatens a reduction in the 
representation of the Southern states is a revival of the worst 
days of the bloody shirt ; is an insult to Southern manhood.'' 

The Atlanta Constitution says : " The South got a slap in 
the face in the shape of the Crumpacker threat to reduce its 
representation because of local suffrage laws." 

Senator Tillman of South Carolina says : " If Roosevelt 
wants to force negro social equality on the South, we are 
ready to meet that issue, and we will meet it, I think, to 
begin with, in our platform." 

Governor Vardaman of Mississippi says : " I sincerely hope 
that the Democrats will accept the challenge and come out 
squarely for the white man's government. I do not believe 
that any announcement that could be made by the conven- 
tion at St. Louis would go quite so straight to the heart of 
the white American voters as a clear-cut declaration against 
permitting negroes to participate in the government of the 
nation." 

These are a few of the multitudinous comments of leading 
Southerners. The plank has not the remotest relation to 
the question of social equality. The reduction of Southern 
representation according to the constitutional limitations 
would not alter or in any way affect the standing of a single 
colored man in the whole South. 

It would not add one single colored voter to the electorate 
of any of the states. It would not disquahfy a single white 
voter. The Southern leaders could continue to carry elec- 
tions unopposed or by a practically unanimous vote. For the 
colored man would be as much out of politics as at present. 

There are two expressions bearing on this plank which are 
of unusual interest. The Honorable John Sharp Williams, 
in his keynote speech at the National Democratic Convention 
at St. Louis, said : 

" The real object of the Republican party, in so far as the 

307 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

plank is concerned, however specious the phraseology in 
which it is clothed, is to reduce Southern representation, 
without reducing that of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and 
other states, or wherever the negroes are disfranchised, not 
as such, but because of ignorance, by an educational qualifi- 
cation, or because of any other right reason, in any other 
constitutional way. 

" Disfranchisement of a negro in Mississippi for ignorance 
is a horrible thing, disfranchisement of a white man for ig- 
norance in Massachusetts or Connecticut is a part of New 
England ' higher education." 

" Let not the business interest of the country deceive it- 
self ; let those controlHng it prepare, if Roosevelt is elected 
on this platform, for another period of uncertainty, unrest, 
business disturbance, and race war in the Southern states, in- 
stead of that peace and prosperity, which both races now 
enjoy and which has been rendered possible only by home 
rule and by white supremacy. 

" In keeping with all this, consider the negro Santo Bam- 
bino scene in the Republican National Convention ; the wild 
adoration of ' my little Alabama coon \ or was it a Georgia 
' coon ' ? Why was it all thus prearranged, and by whom ? 
Who were the two little white girls placed on the same plat- 
form with the little negro boy to march around with him 
carrying flags? Who pretends that it was accidental? 
What was the pretended lesson to be taught? What is 
the subtle, symbolical meaning of it all ? It is the begin- 
ning over of the old scheme, revived for political advantage, 
to retain as a Republican asset the solid negro vote in In- 
diana, Illinois, New Jersey and like-conditioned states — 
this time without price in money paid — by disturbing all 
over the Southland peace and order, by demoralizing reviv- 
ing industries, unsettling business and labor, disintegrating 
society, and, as a remote effect, if successful, hybridizing the 
race there and Africanizing its civilization." 

308 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

Are not these the utterances of the ranting negrophobist 
playing to the mob to excite and inflame race passions and 
strife, rather than those of the cahii and wise statesman hand- 
ling a delicate and weighty question? Every man in this 
country knows, and Mr. Williams himself knows, despite his 
evasions, that the colored man is disfranchised in Mississippi 
and other Southern states on the ground of color alone. 
There is not a reputable citizen, white or colored, who 
would protest against the disfranchisement of the ignorant 
or degraded white or black man. The demand is that there 
shall be one law, applicable alike to both races. Such a law 
applies in every Northern state. 

The people of the North have, at the solicitation of South- 
erners, during late years invested considerable money in the 
railways and street-car systems of the South, and other large 
sums have been invested in factories and various industries 
and in building up the waste places. This generous outpour- 
ing of Northern capital, coupled with Northern hustle and 
brains and the hard and faithful toil and drudgery of the 
colored people, are the two greatest factors in the development 
of prosperity of the former slave states — the New South. 

Nevertheless, Mr. Williams has the hardihood to threaten 
the American people with the direst consequences if, in the 
exercise of their sovereign will as free men, they shall dare elect 
Mr. Roosevelt as the President of the United States. " Pre- 
pare," says he, " if Roosevelt is elected on this platform, for 
another period of uncertainty, unrest, business disturbance, 
and race war in the Southern states." This is a reckless 
challenge. 

It means that if the reactionists, a radical and minor 
element, are not permitted to force on the republic a new 
peculiar institution with incalculable possibilities for evil, — 
destructive of liberty and constitutional government, degrad- 
ing the white man as well as the colored, burdening the 
country with a problem greater and graver than slavery, and 

309 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

securing through this institution enhanced and undue poHti- 
cal power, which would be a revolting injustice to every state 
of the North and West, — then they will make reprisal on 
Northern capital invested in the South and bring about a 
race war on the negroes. 

However, he will not be able to make good his threat so far 
as the business interests of the South are concerned, — the 
good sense of Southern business men will take care of that ; 
but he or his friends can make reprisal on the negroes or 
make "bonfires'' of them at will. But pubHc opinion can be 
depended upon to stay the hand. 

What possible connection is there between the reduction 
of Southern representation to the proper, constitutional 
basis and the "hybridizing'' of the South? 

Such reduction certainly does not bring the races any 
closer together. It does not alter the status one way or 
another of a single colored man, nor change the status of a 
white man. 

As to the hybridizing plaint, Mr. Williams should go slow. 
For all the hybrids in the South are children of white men. 
All the hybridizing which has been done there is the work 
of white men. But why denounce the hybrids ? They have 
absolutely no responsibility in the matter. Would Mr. 
Williams dare to go a step further and pour the vials of 
wrath and indignation on all the fathers of the hybrids ? 

The colored man is far more concerned about keeping the 
white man from entering his back door than he is about 
knocking at the white man's front door for social recognition. 
Such good offices as may come to him, he may accept, but 
he does not clamor for more. 

The truth is that "hybridizing" can progress in the South 
only so far as the whites themselves shall carry it. And the 
colored man would rejoice in the day when the honor of his 
wife and daughter shall be respected and they shall become 
immune from the taint. 

310 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

The people of the North will not go into hysterics because 
a white child and a colored child waved the flag of the 
United States in the presence of ten thousand American 
patriots. Colored men fought and died for that flag even 
when threatened with death, if captured, by those for whom 
Mr. Williams speaks. 

The people of the North want the colored child to love 
and honor "Old Glory" even as the white child honors and 
loves it. And it may come to pass that the little colored 
boy, James B. Cashin, the son of a reputable colored citizen, 
whom Mr. Williams denounces as an Alabama "coon," in his 
maturity shall fight and die in the defence and honor of the 
flag of his country. In all the days of slavery colored chil- 
dren and white children, boys and girls, freely played and 
romped together and ate out of the same plate with their 
fingers. There was no protest against it. 

Another expression of surpassing interest is the plank in 
the platform adopted at the National Democratic Convention, 
which reads as follows : " The race question has brought 
countless woes to this country. The calm wisdom of the 
American people should see to it that it brings no more. 

"To revive the dead and hateful race and sectional ani- 
mosities in any part of our common country means confusion, 
distraction of business, and the reopening of wounds now 
happily healed. North, South, East, and West have but 
recently stood together in line of battle, from the walls of 
Peking to the hills of Santiago, and as sharers of a common 
glory and a common destiny we should share fraternally the 
common burdens. 

"We therefore deprecate and condemn the Bourbon-like, 
selfish, and narrow spirit of the recent Republican Convention 
at Chicago, which sought to kindle anew the embers of 
racial and sectional strife, and we appeal from it to the 
sober common-sense and patriotic spirit of the American 
people." 

311 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

The chief significance of this plank is the fact that it is 
a demonstration that the reactionists and radical leaders of 
the South have accomplished the remarkable feat of captur- 
ing the National Democratic party, horse and foot, and have 
"Jim-Crowed" it. 

The thoughts in this plank are simply the echo of the 
speech of Mr. Williams, supplemented by the views of Sena- 
tor Tillman and Governor Vardaman. The merest glance 
at the proceedings of this convention will show that it was 
dominated by the extreme reactionists of the South. For 
instance : Congressman Williams of Mississippi was the tem- 
porary chairman and keynote speech- m aker ; Congressman 
Champ Clark of Missouri was permanent chairman ; Senator 
Daniels of Virginia was chairman of the committee on res- 
olutions; Senator Tillman of South Carolina was the "High- 
cockalorum""; and he and Senator Carmack of Tennessee, 
Governor Vardaman of Mississippi, and Senator Bailey of 
Texas were the referees and censors and directors of the entire 
proceedings from the beginning to the end. It would seem 
a joke to regard these men as representing Americanism. 
Who would urjre their fitness to fix the standard of American 
life and shape the destiny of the American republic ? 

It was an ill omen that this great national gathering should 
have been, to all practical purposes and intents, turned into a 
sectional, a Southern pow-wow. And it is noticeable that in 
this aggregation not once was the commanding voice of an 
eminent or a trusted Northern leader heard above the din, 
nor was such a leader assigned an important post. The 
South was in the saddle and the extreme reactionists held 
the reins. 

What, indeed, could be more preposterous than that this 
free nation of 80,000,000 people should surrender their gov- 
ernment to the control or influence of Tillman and Varda- 
man and their cohorts that dominated the convention ? The 
thought of it makes the brain reel. 

312 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

Mr. James S. Henry, a special and responsible newspaper 
corre-^ondent, reports in the Philadelphia Press that, " From 
Pettigrew, of South Dakota, who was a member of the com- 
mittee (on resolutions), it is learned that the South's only 
vigorous contention was for something against the * nigger '."" 
And the South got its " Jim Crow " plank, as predicted by 
Senator Tillman and Governor Vardaman. 

A strange fatuity has followed the Democratic party by 
reason of overbearing Southern leaders. In the days of 
slavery it became the helpless tool of the slaveholder. In 
1864, in the great crisis of the war, and a year after the chi- 
valric Lee had been hopelessly beaten and diiven back from 
Gettysburg and the invasion of the North, it declared " the 
experiment of war a failure." 

In 1868 it declared the reconstruction of the South as 
"unconstitutional, revolutionary, null and void." 

In 1876 a streak of sanity came to it, and it " recognized 
the questions of slavery and secession as having been settled 
for all time to come by the war." 

In 1884 Mr. Cleveland saved it from "daftness." 

In 1894, in the midst of President Cleveland's second ad- 
ministration, it broke loose from all restraint, and not even 
the well-known firmness and cleverness of the President could 
"doctor" its mania. It "pitch-forked" him, repudiated 
him, threw him overboard, and went wildly daft. 

In 1896 it fell a victim to Populism, free silver, and other 
fads. In 1900 it did likewise. And in 1904 it became the 
helpless prey to the microbes of " Jim Crowism ", and adopted 
a " Jim Crow " plank which is intended by its sponsors to 
get the people's endorsement for a new peculiar institution, 
more dangerous and less excusable than slavery. 

Not a word of criticism is here directed against Judge 
Parker, the eminent New York jurist who was nominated for 
the presidency of the United States, and not a syllable un- 
favorable against Senator Davis, the distinguished citizen of 

313 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

West Virginia who was nominated for the vice-presidency, — 
for they both represent the best class of Americans ; and not 
a word of disparagement to the progressive and prosperous 
commonwealth of West Virginia, which is rather to be con- 
gratulated on having such a worthy and distinguished citizen 
within her borders. 

But the "Jim-Crowing" of the convention was a national 
misfortune, as it lends plausibility to the Southerner's declara- 
tion : " We have got our heel on the neck of the niggers 
and we can hold them down ; and we have got a clutch in 
the craw of the Yankees and we will choke down their 
throats our views on the negro question.'' 

Successful choking was done when the convention swal- 
lowed the "Jim Crow" plank. This plank is a compound of 
cupidity, cunning, hypocrisy, and mendacity, and will confuse 
no one. Historically it was not " the race question," but in 
truth the slaveholders — a minor element of the people, 
who threatened, at the time of the founding of the govern- 
ment, not to enter the Union unless slavery was recognized, 
saying that it was temporary, and promising its certain 
abolition, and who afterwards strengthened and fastened the 
barbarous institution on the republic — who are responsible 
for the countless woes to this country. 

And it is those who have inherited the ideas of the slave- 
holders that are now exerting all their powers and chican- 
ery — in defiance of the laws of God and the laws of their 
country and the moral sentiment of mankind, and regard- 
less of a most costly and bitter experience — along lines 
which, if continued, will as certainly bring other countless 
woes to this country. Indeed, the calm wisdom of the 
American people should see to it, yes, will see to it, that 
the South is saved from the folly of its leaders, and the 
republic from the crime of serfdom. 

" North, South, East, and West have but recently stood 
together in line of battle, from the walls of Peking to the 

314 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

hills of Santiago." This is mendacious ! Was ever the 
truth so mutilated in order to serve a mean and base 
purpose ? It is a matter of public knowledge that the very 
first regiment summoned from the Western barracks to the 
front in the Spanish- American War, by General Miles, who 
was at that time at the head of the army, was a colored 
regiment. 

It was ungi'udgingly stated at the time and universally 
accepted, that the chief honors won in the fights around the 
hills of Santiago were fully shared by colored soldiers, the 
Ninth and Tenth colored cavalry, and the Twenty-fourth 
and Twenty-fifth colored infantry. It is not intended to 
underrate to any degree the invaluable services of their white 
comrades in arms who contributed to the victory ; but 
while there were of course others. Colonel Roosevelt's Rough 
Riders and the Ninth and Tenth colored cavalry were the 
two forces which make forever memorable the Santiago 
campaign. But for the timely and heroic charge of these 
colored soldiers, San Juan Hill would to-day mark the great- 
est defeat and humiliation that American arms have ever 
met. 

Colonel Roosevelt, by far the most heroic figure in that 
war, said : " I know the bravery and character of the negro 
soldier. He saved my life at Santiago and I have had occa- 
sion to say so in many articles and speeches. The Rough 
Riders were in a bad position when the Ninth and Tenth 
Cavalry (colored) came rushing up the hill carrying every- 
thing before them.'' 

The New York Journal^ concerning this battle, said : " The 
two most picturesque and most characteristically American 
commands in General Shafter's army bore off the great 
honors of the day, in which all won honor. No man can 
read the story in to-day's Journal of the Rough Riders' 
charge on the block house at El Caney, of Theodore Roose- 
velt's mad daring in the face of what seemed certain death, 

315 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

without having his pulses beat faster and some reflected light 
of the fire of battle gleam from his eyes. 

"And over against this scene of the cowboy and the 
college graduate, the New York man about town and the 
Arizona bad man, united in one coherent war machine, 
set the picture of the Tenth United States Cavalry — 
the famous colored regiment. Side by side with Roose- 
velfs men they fought — these black men. Scarce used 
to freedom themselves, they are dying that Cuba may be 
free. 

"Their marksmanship was magnificent, say the eye-wit- 
nesses. Their courage was superb. They bore themselves 
like veterans and gave proof positive that out of natures 
naturally peaceful, careless, and playful, military discipline 
and an inspiring cause can make soldiers worthy to rank with 
Caesar's legions or Cromwell's army. 

"The Rough Riders and the Black Regiment. In these 
two commands is an epitome of almost our whole national 
character." 

And further : hard by the walls of Peking, and in the Philip- 
pine Islands, the colored soldiers, at the command of the 
Government of the United States, in defence of its flag, have 
but recently stood together in line of battle with their white 
compatriots and moistened the parched sands of that tropical 
land with their warm life-blood. 

The late President McKinley, in an address to the State 
Normal and Industrial School for colored persons at Prairie 
View, Texas, shortly before his death, said : " In our recent 
war with Spain your race displayed distinguished qualities of 
gallantry upon more than one field. You were in the fight 
at El Caney, and San Juan Hill ; the black boys helping 
to emancipate the oppressed people of Cuba ; and your race 
is in the Philippines carrying the flag, and they have carried 
it stainless in honor and in its glory." He also said : " Your 
race is moving on and has a promising future before it. It 

316 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

has been faithful to the government of the United States. It 
has been true and loyal and law-abiding.*" 

Be true, then, to the truth and history. The colored sol- 
diers are the Southerners who won the greatest glory in the 
Spanish-American War. 

Is it a " Bourbon-like, selfish, and naiTOw spirit," to demand 
that no section of the country shall enjoy unfair and undue 
advantage in representation in the government over any 
other section ? Should it " kindle anew the embers of racial 
and sectional strife," to equalize representation in a repre- 
sentative government according to the basis and limitations 
of the Constitution ? For what does the Constitution exist ? 
Or is the " solid South " above and beyond the Constitution 
of the United States ? 

Are the immense, incalculable business, financial, industrial, 
and commercial interests of this republic best safeguarded 
by giving a white man in South Carolina or Mississippi three 
times as much power at the ballot-box, in the electoral col- 
lege and in the Congress, as a man in New York, or Wiscon- 
sin, or Indiana, or New Jersey, or Connecticut ? Did not the 
" solid South " vote for free silver and free trade in the last 
two national elections ? 

The facts and figures given in a previous chapter prove 
beyond all cavil or question that it was the negro vote that 
elected Mr. McKinley in 1896 and saved the country from 
disasters and woes which words can hardly overstate. 

The New York World, speaking of some of the grave and 
serious consequences the nation escaped through Mr. Bryants 
defeat in 1896 and for whom the " solid South " voted, says : 
"The 'free-riot' plank was quite as obnoxious as the free- 
silver plank. The resolution proposing to deny the right of 
private contract in money transactions was likewise bad. 
The intimation that the Supreme Court would be packed to 
secure the reversal of distasteful decisions was scandalous. 
The postponement of tariff reform ' until the money question 

317 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

has been settled ' as the cheap-money men wanted it settled, 
was a betrayal of the traditional Democratic principle upon 
which the party has elected its only presidents since the 
war. The opposition to the use by Federal courts of the 
writ of injunction was calculated to leave the Government 
powerless in the face of emergencies i-equiring prompt ac- 
tion to protect life, industry, and property against mobs and 
conspiracies."" 

The votes unjustly wielded by the "solid South'" are the 
greatest menace that faces the nation, and may in a close or 
doubtful election produce embarrassments bordering on chaos. 
The South has seized powers unlawfully, by wholesale dis- 
franchisements. And wholesale disfranchisement in the 
South effects the partial disfranchisement of every Northern 
state. 

The demand, therefore, for equalization of representation 
in the electoral college and in the Congress, and the preser- 
vation of the balance of power among the states of the 
Union is of vital concern to the whole people. 

It is a condition, not a theory, that faces the country. 

The combined white population of South Carolina and 
Mississippi, according to the census of 1900, is 1,199,007, and 
these two states elect 15 members to the Congress; while the 
combined white population of the states of Minnesota and 
Nebraska is 2,793,562, being 1,594,555 greater than the 
white population of South Carolina and Mississippi, and yet 
they elect only 15 Congressmen. The states of Maine, New 
Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut have a 
total white population of 2,757,262, being 1,558,417 greater 
than the white population of South Carolina and Mississippi, 
and yet they elect only 15 members of the Congress. 

By this Southern method 1,594,555 white people in Min- 
nesota and Nebraska or 1,558,417 white people in the New 
England states named above have no voice in their govern- 
ment and are practically disfranchised. 

318 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana have a total 
white population of 1,928,719 and elect 22 Congressmen ; 
while Ohio has a white population of 4,060,204, being 
2,031,485 greater than that of the three named Southern 
states, yet elects only 21 members of Congress. 

The states of Indiana and New Jersey have a total white 
population of 4,270,825, being 2,242,146 greater than 
the combined white population of South Carolina, Missis- 
sippi, and Louisiana, and yet elect only 23 members of 
Congress. 

By this Southern method 2,031,485 white people in Ohio 
or 2,342,106 white people in Indiana and New Jersey are 
deprived of a political status and are without a share in their 
government. 

By massing the colored population of South Carolina, Miss- 
issippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama, the injus- 
tice and inequality will appear even more flagrant and 
condemnable. 

The total colored population of these states is 4,433,605. 
The Southern leaders refuse to recognize the colored man as 
the equal of the white man at the ballot-box in the South, 
nevertheless they count him, and play him as the equal of 
the white man in the North in order to secure unfair, undue 
representation in the government. 

By appropriating to themselves full representation for 
these 4,433,605 colored citizens and playing them against 
great Northern states, they can effectively achieve the political 
effacement of the 4,060,204 white citizens of Ohio ; or the 
4,734,873 white citizens of Illinois ; or the 4,270,825 white 
citizens of Indiana and New Jersey ; or the 4,456,474 white 
citizens of the north central states Wisconsin and Michigan ; 
or the 4,209,881 white citizens of Kansas, Minnesota, and 
Nebraska, or even completely neutralize, nullify in the elec- 
toral college and in Congress the voice of the great Empire 
City of New York with its imperial interests, together with 

319 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island and Delaware 
thrown in for good measure. 

Furthermore, by taking representation on these 4,433,605 
colored people they completely offset, negative in Congress 
and the electoral college, the entire white population of all 
the states west of the Rocky Mountains, namely California, 
Washington, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah, to 
which we can add North Dakota and South Dakota, and still 
have 1,153,508 negroes left to overwhelm and negative white 
voters in other states. 

It is as true now as in the days of slavery that the " solid 
South " grasps the " advantages derived from the unity and 
identity of action and motive,'' and would *' move in phalanx "^ 
over the great states of the North, by dividing them, and 
catching here and there a few Congressmen and presidential 
electors. 

But will not the methods employed to make and keep a 
"sohd South" also make a soHd rather than a divided 
North ? A North soHd, however, only for justice, the right, 
and constitutional government. 

The " solid South " wields approximately 50 votes in the 
electoral college and also in Congress based on its colored 
citizens. All the New England states taken together have 
only 29 votes. What freeman of the North, whether Demo- 
crat or Republican, Socialist or Prohibitionist, or of whatsoever 
party, would condone this flaming injustice and crying wrong, 
which destroys representative government and menaces free 
institutions ? He must regard himself as the third-of-a-man, 
for the white man in South Carolina or Mississippi is three 
times as potential at the ballot-box and in the aifairs of the 
government as he. 

This question is greater than party. It cannot be 
smothered or brushed aside by the hypocritical shrieks of 
sectionalism. The only sectionalism in this republic is that 
which is fomented, kept alive, and forced on the people by 

320 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

the un-American, perverse attitude of the leaders of the 
"sohd South;' 

The Constitution of the United States is plain, explicit, 
mandatory. It imposes on the Congress the duty of equalizing 
representation in the government. Whether the Southern 
constitutions which have wrought wholesale disfranchisement 
of the colored citizen are constitutional or unconstitutional, in 
whole or in part, is not a matter of particular concern to 
Congress in equalizing representation in the government. 
The Southern leaders have proved themselves experts and 
pastmasters in framing laws for the oppression and degrada- 
tion of others. They may, by circumlocutory wordings and 
cunningly devised phrases, and the skilful manipulation of 
sentences, have succeeded to some extent, at least, in cheating 
the Constitution of the United States. But it may be dis- 
covered that cheating one section by " a grandfather clause," 
does not invalidate other sections. 

But the disfranchising constitutions and laws of the South- 
ern states are not constitutional, for the reason that they are 
a fraudulent restraint on liberty and representative govern- 
ment, and were so intended to be. 

The presiding officer of the Louisiana Constitutional Con- 
vention, in his closing address, said : " What care I whether 
it [the Constitution] be more or less ridiculous, or not? 
Does n't it meet the case ? Does n't it let the white man 
vote, and does n't it stop the negro from voting ? — and is n't 
that what we came here to accomplish ? " Thus these lead- 
ers themselves brand their constitutions as frauds, and even 
glory in the fraudulent work. But Congress is master of the 
situation. 

So that it matters not a particle whether the Southern 
constitutions are constitutional in whole or in part, if the 
fact exists that there are bodies of " the male inhabitants, . . . 
21 years of age and citizens of the United States " in sufficient 
numbers to attract attention and destroy the equilibrium of 
21 321 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

representation in the government, and who have not " par- 
ticipated in rebelHon or other crime," and yet are denied 
"the right to vote"; in whatsoever state such bodies of 
" male citizens " are denied " the right to vote," it is the 
imperative duty of Congress to reduce " the basis of repre- 
sentation therein to the proportion which the number of 
such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male 
citizens 21 years of age in such state." 

The enforcement of this section of the Constitution of the 
United States will prevent the republic from being ruled by 
an oligarchy. For although an oligarchy may seize states 
and under one pretence or another disfranchise large bodies 
of the citizens, it cannot count those so disfranchised as a 
basis of its representation in the government. This too 
must promote and strengthen the broader liberty of the 
people. 

Mr. Hardwick of Georgia, in a recent speech in the Con- 
gress, said : " If Congress should be unwise enough to elect to 
exercise this discretionary power vested in it by section 5 of 
Article XIV, it will not only be the most serious strain of the 
present cordial relations so happily existing between the sec- 
tions, but it will require a readjustment of the basis of rep- 
resentation that will not start at the Potomac and at Rio 
Grande, but will stretch from Hatteras to the Golden Gate, 
from Maine to Florida, and will embrace in its majestic sweep 
every state and Territory in the Union and even our new 
islands of the sea." This threat is characteristically Southern. 

The only " cordial relations " that can bind together the 
sections of a republic are based on the equality of representa- 
tion. Inequality destroys cordiality; they cannot coexist. 
The fundamental guarantee of " cordial relations," between 
the sections is the equal obedience of the sections to the 
Constitution of the United States. 

In equalizing representation, it would be fair, wise, and 
just to yield every Southern state full representation for its 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

entire white citizenship, supplemented by the number of 
colored citizens actually enrolled as voters. This informa- 
tion is easily accessible. As the laws and constitution of 
some of the Southern states were made for the expressed 
purpose, openly and publicly avowed, of disfranchising the 
colored citizens, it would not be necessary to follow the in- 
tricacies, windings, and tricks as to how the details are worked 
out. The main purpose and results only are worthy of 
consideration. 

The Northern states should have identically the same 
basis ; its entire white citizenship plus its registered colored 
votes. But as no colored man in the North is disfranchised, 
practically the whole colored citizenship would be counted. 

The South is estopped from all complaints, because it 
would have the full and unrestricted power to enlarge, at 
any time, its electorate and thus increase its representation. 

Reducing Southern representation would not of course 
settle the question of suffrage, but it would be a start in 
the right direction. It would chill the disposition of the 
states for wholesale disfranchisement. States covet more, 
not less power. The struggle will go on until impartial laws 
shall regulate the suffrage in every state. The better South 
will assert itself. The Fifteenth Amendment is an impreg- 
nable fortress, and no law which the reactionist's ingenuity 
can invent can keep all colored men from the ballot-box. 
No one who now has the franchise can lose it. 

The work of the schoolroom will gradually remove all the 
artificial barriers which now exist and the approach to the 
ballot-box will be greatly facilitated. 

Some fears have been expressed that the Southern leaders 
might even accept reduction of representation in order to get 
rid of the negro vote, and that such reduction might be con- 
strued as an endorsement by the nation of wholesale dis- 
franchisement. These fears are illogical and groundless, and are 
entirely without a basis in reason, political science, or history. 

323 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

In the first place, the Southern leaders would oppose re- 
duction of representation to the limit of their power, for 
the sake of their own political salvation. But even if they 
should accept it, it must still be remembered that the South- 
ern leaders are not the Southern jo^o/?/^?, but only a very small 
fraction of them. A majority of the whites would not view 
reduction of representation with the same complacency that 
they show for the disfranchisement of the colored race. As 
a matter of fact, many Southerners are opposed to wholesale 
disfranchisement, and regard the " grandfather clause " as a 
subterfuge reproachful to Southern manhood. The inflamed 
South is not the sober South. The sober South would never 
give up one third of its representatives in Congress and also 
in the electoral college in order to uphold a flagrantly un- 
moral and disastrous policy. More than this — the sober 
South would shrink from thus publicly and directly impeach- 
ing itself in the eyes of civilization and Christianity. 

There should be no temporizing or half-way measures, but 
reduction should be based, in full, on that proportion of the 
colored population not represented on the list of registered 
voters. The South being thus shorn of one third of its 
power, it would be much easier to enact such additional laws 
as the nation may adjudge necessary to enforce the Fifteenth 
Amendment. But nothing can be more certain than that 
the sober South will break away from the reactionists at this 
point, or before it is reached, rather than provoke the nation 
to the enactment of further legislation. It is already realized 
that the madness of the reactionists has produced the woes of 
the South. As sure as the sun shall shine the Southern people, 
under a patriotic, noble-hearted, and broad-minded leadership, 
will rise in revolt and overthrow the "Jim Crowites'' and 
reactionists and wipe out any policy which would thus de- 
stroy the power, dignity, and standing of their states, and 
which would relegate such states to the position of " pocket- 
boroughs,"" or " sage-brush *" communities. 

324 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

In the second place, the reduction of representation would 
not be an endorsement of wholesale disfranchisement, but 
only the application of the penalty. If a man commits a 
theft or any other offence, and the law is invoked and he is 
duly punished, no sane person would ever pretend that the 
invocation of the law and the punishment of the offender is 
an endorsement of the crime. Such reasoning would over- 
turn civilization. Penalties operate correctionally, and not 
as endorsements of offences whatever their character. Re- 
duction of representation would punish, and also, at the same 
time, work out the correction of the offence of wholesale dis- 
franchisement. How ? Such reduction would have the im- 
mediate effect of making the entire colored population a 
valuable asset in the political life of the South ; whereas, as 
things stand now, the colored man is a political nonentity. 

The reactionists disfranchised him because they saw that 
under present conditions nothing was to be gained by allow- 
ing him the ballot, and that by denying him the ballot noth- 
ing was to be lost. The colored man was thus counted, in so 
far as his own recognition was concerned, simply as a cipher 
in the political equation of Southern life. In politics, as in 
other matters, things go by values. In the economy of life, 
everything of value is put to use. Make the negro of politi- 
cal value to the South, just as he is of industrial value, and 
the South will protect his ballot because it will serve its 
interests to do so. Reduction of representation would in- 
stantly reverse present conditions and put a political value 
on the head of every colored man. The reactionists could 
not then treat the colored man as a cipher, and at the same 
time profit by the full representation based on the colored 
population to strengthen their oligarchy. The colored man 
would have inherent political value ; and to secure its bene- 
fits, the South would be compelled to recognize his right to 
cast his own ballot. He would thus be transformed from a 
cipher into a unit ; from a mere abstraction into a political 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

personality. His ballot would be restored under just and 
equal laws, and he would be protected and assisted in the 
wise use of it by the conservative and patriotic elements. 
For it would mean five more votes in Congress and as 
many in the electoral college for Georgia ; four votes each 
for North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, and 
Alabama ; five more for Mississippi, and a corresponding 
increase in other states according to the colored population. 
Is any man crazy enough to believe that a majority of the 
white people of South Carolina, that old and historic com- 
monwealth, rich in renown and prestige, would surrender four 
of her seven representatives in the Congress and the electoral 
college at the beck of Senator Tillman, simply to carry out 
a degrading, unmoral, and unrighteous policy, injurious alike 
to its white and colored citizens ; or that Mississippi would 
give up five of her eight Congressmen and electors at the 
dictation of Governor Vardaman ; or that the great state of 
Georgia would cut her congressional and electoral delegation 
in half to humor the frenzy of the Honorable John Temple 
Graves, or as a tribute to the social-equality bogyman ? 

Such a condition, even if it were possible, would only be 
transient. It would provoke revolt. The liberal and patri- 
otic elements would desire and could have no better platform 
than such an issue on which to appeal to the people to save 
the prestige, power, and honor of their commonwealths and 
demand fair and equal laws for all the people. 

When the white people of the South shall thus approach 
the suffrage question with honest purposes, and in the broad 
spirit of patriotism and humanity, and enact fair and honest 
election laws, taking every needful precaution to insure good 
government by the rule of intelligence, thrift, character, and 
property ; punishing alike the man who sells his vote and the 
man who bribes it ; prohibiting the use of money in cam- 
paigns except for specified purposes ; eliminating fi'om poli- 
tics the ignorant, vicious, shiftless, and criminal classes whether 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

white or colored ; discarding the unholy and un-American 
policy of the reactionists in violating the Constitution and 
subjugating the colored race ; assuring the colored man of 
the protection of his civil and political rights ; giving him 
considerate treatment, recognizing his right to representa- 
tion in the government and so dividing his vote, — they shall 
have the hearty good- will, applause, and benediction of every 
honest man and patriotic citizen of the land ; for the race 
question will then be solved, and in the only way that it can 
be solved, by respecting the ethics of the Christ and by the 
due observance of the organic law of the republic ; and it 
will be removed from the arena of politics. 

The solemn appeals and warnings of two eminent Amer- 
icans may fittingly close this chapter. One is of the South, 
the other of the North. Both are of national reputation, 
and represent the best type of American manhood. 

Ex-Governor William O. Bradley, of Kentucky, in a recent 
address, said : " Men of the North, we come from the battle- 
field, consecrated to freedom with the blood of your brave 
sons. In their names, and by their memories, the disfran- 
chised South appeals to you for justice. Shall it be said that 
your sons marched and fought and died in vain ? Shall it 
be said that a nation can exist part slave and part free? 
Are people free who are forced to bear the burden and yet 
denied the highest privilege of citizenship? If it be true 
that warrant may not be found in the Constitution to pre- 
vent disfranchisement, then we beg that you no longer permit 
the disfranchised and oppressed to be estimated for the pur- 
pose of increasing the electoral strength of their oppressors.'' 

And the late Mr. James G. Blaine, in the North American 
Review, after affirming that the South " wrongfully gains " 
a "great number of electoral votes," "by reason of its 
unlawful seizure of political power,'' goes on to say: "Our 
institutions have been tried by the fiery test of war and have 
survived. It remains to be seen whether the attempt to 

327 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

govern the country by the power of a ' solid South ' unlaw- 
fully consolidated, can be successful. No thoughtful man can 
consider these questions without deep concern. The mighty 
power of a republic with a continent for its possession, can 
only be wielded permanently by being wielded honestly. 
In a fair and generous struggle for partisan power let us not 
forget those issues and those ends which are above party. 
Organized wrong will ultimately be met by organized resist- 
ance. . . . Impartial suffrage is our theory. It must become 
our practice. Any party of American citizens can bear to 
be defeated. No party of American citizens will bear to be 
defrauded. The men who are interested in a dishonest count 
are units. The men who are interested in an honest count 
are millions. I wish to speak for the millions of all political 
parties, and in their name to declare that the republic must 
be strong enough, and shall be strong enough, to protect the 
weakest of its citizens in all their rights. To this simple and 
sublime principle let us, in the lofty language of Burke, 
' attest the retiring generations, let us attest the advancing 
generations, between which, as a link in the great chain of 
eternal order, we stand.' " 

And there may be added these forceful words from the 
New York World: "If the Southern Democrats who are 
forcing these measures do not perceive their ultimate inevita- 
ble consequences, they are lacking in political understanding. 
The preponderating vote of the Northern states will not con- 
sent permanently to representation in Congress and in the 
electoral college of millions of disfranchised inhabitants in 
the Southern states. Especially is this true when the dis- 
franchising qualificMions apply and are intended to operate 
not against illiteracy or shiftlessness or unworthiness, but 
solely against color. . . . 

" Back, however, of the questions of political expediency 
and of the equality growing out of the representation of 
non-voters is the deeper question of constitutional guarantees 

328 



THE NATIONAL DUTY TO THE NEGRO 

and of the anomaly and danger in a republic of an enormous 
number of citizens disfranchised for their color alone." 

Colonel T. W. Higginson read a poem before the Phi 
Beta Kappa Society at the late Commencement of Harvard 
College, which concludes as follows : — 

" The humbler friends who ne'er betrayed a trust, 
And never in defeat yet turned their back, 
Stood firm till gunshot strewed them in the dust. 
Why need they pardon ? For their faces black ! 

♦' A hundred thousand negroes filled your ranks. 
When most depleted, with their manhood strong. 
Shall we not still keep warm the nation's thanks 
While lingering days those modest hves prolong ? 

*' They saved you ; charged Fort Wagner ; they held out. 
Held the coast safe that Sherman might pass through. 
You built Shaw's statue; can you calmly doubt 
That those who marched with him should vote, like you ? 

*' ' Not fit to hve,' some say ; * an alien race. 
Oh, set them all aside ! ' advisers cry. 
' Their birth a shame, their color a disgrace.' 
Not fit to live ? You trusted them to die ! 

*' Not on these walls your tribute need be paid. 
But in that outer world your teachings rule ; 
Here by your thoughts a nobler conscience made 
Gives to the nation's life a loftier school. 

*' To praise one's self by flattering all the great — 
How easy 1 Worthier honors then were won 
When Harvard kept her cherished laurels late 
And placed them on a humbler Washington. 

«' Within this hall she cried, ' Protect the low,' 
Till all earth's children from this life are whirled 
To see fulfilled the debts we vainly owe. 
And find God's justice in a nobler world." 



CHAPTER X 
PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

PRINCE TALLEYRAND, probably the most resource- 
ful, astute, and remarkable European diplomatist of 
his day, said : " There is one who is wiser than Vol- 
taire, and has more understanding than Napoleon and all 
ministers; and that one is — Public Opinion."' 

In the equitable settlement of complex and vital issues 
incident to the life of a free and self-governing nation — the 
arbitrament of the sword being eliminated — public opinion 
is the court of last resort. Its mandates are imperative and 
final. From its inexorable decrees there is no escape. It 
inspires, formulates, and executes the laws of a people. The 
public opinion of the nation is and of necessity must be para- 
mount : the peace and prosperity, the honor and dignity, the 
good order and safety, and the perpetuity and sovereignty of 
the nation are dependent on this. For the laws of a self- 
governing nation represent the consensus of the public opin- 
ion of the nation. 

If South Carolina and Mississippi can violate with open 
defiance and impunity certain sections of the Constitution 
of the United States at will, what is to prevent Utah and 
Wyoming from overthrowing other sections, and still other 
states from nullifying remaining sections? How much of 
the Constitution is to be left intact ? 

If this wonderful instrument, the grandest charter of 
liberty on the face of the earth — " the hope of man " — can 
thus be torn into tatters and threads, of what avail is the con- 
sensus of public opinion, the saving salt of a nation's life ? 
What becomes of national honor, authority, sovereignty? 
When the public opinion of this nation shall cease to be 
sovereign — ihen the republic is dead. The public opinion 

330 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

of this nation, in the free exercise of its plenary and sovereign 
powers, removed the fetters of slavery, and made the colored 
people citizens; acknowledging to them the birthright which 
belongs to every man — " the inalienable rights '' of " life, 
liberty and the pursuit of happiness" ; and it is the preroga- 
tive and binding duty of the nation to make the full enjoy- 
ment of these natural rights and privileges secure and 
complete. 

The United States being a nation, the allegiance and 
loyalty of the citizen is not to a state or section, but to the 
nation. It must necessarily follow, as a corollary, that the 
highest, the supreme, prerogative of the nation is the pro- 
tection of the citizen. The relation is reciprocal. This in- 
volves the very life of the nation itself. In the protection 
of its citizens the nation finds its own protection. 

President Lincoln, in the heat of the antislavery agitation, 
declared: "This nation cannot continue to exist half free 
and half slave."" He was right. 

President Garfield, in his inaugural address, twenty years 
after the slaveholders' unsuccessful rebellion against the re- 
public, said: "There is no middle ground for the negro race 
between slavery and equal citizenship." He was right. 

There was no peace with the nation half free and half 
slave. There can be no peace with the nation half free and 
half serf. "Men may cry peace! peace! but there is no 
peace." The extreme and unreasonable, the unchristian 
and un-American attitude of the South is " the fly in the 
ointment," the disturber of the pubHc peace. 

No one will deny that it ought to be, and is, a most ardent 
and even sacred desire of every good citizen, that peace and 
concord, unity and good fellowship shall exist between the 
several sections of the country and among all of its inhabi- 
tants. But the essential, the elementary condition of this 
consummation most devoutly to be wished for, is a fair and 
faithful, a just and honorable administration of the law for 

331 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

all the people "without regard to race, color or previous 
condition of servitude." 

The policy pursued by the South, and portrayed in these 
pages and proved by evidence unquestioned and incontrover- 
tible — a policy of mob rule and lynch law; oppressive, pro- 
scriptive, and unlawful legislation ; harsh persecutions and 
general ostracism; and debasement of all colored people, 
regardless of their moral worth, their thrift and industry, 
their superior mental endowments, their value to the com- 
munity, or their service and sacrifices for the nation in the 
storm and stress of war — is not constructive of the peace of 
the nation, but on the contrary is destructive of the very 
foundations of peace. 

When one class of citizens seize local governments and 
inflict gross wrongs and inhumanities on another class of 
equal citizens, in defiance of the organic law, it is a matter 
of concern to the whole people. The familiar phrases '* hands 
off," "no interference,'"* "we will settle the question to suit 
ourselves," smack of haughtiness but not wqsdom, of audacity 
but not honesty, and will deceive no one. 

"Hands off" — when the liberty and hope of ten millions 
of American citizens are being openly assassinated ? 

" No interference " — when these people are being stripped 
and despoiled of every essential manhood right of a free 
American ? 

"We will settle the question to suit ourselves" — when 
that settlement leads to serfdom with abuses even blacker 
and more bestial than slavery ? 

If a colored man pre-eminent in character and of superior 
talent, a high officer of the government is invited to a func- 
tion at the White House, or another of admitted ability and 
standing is appointed to a Federal office, the churlish and 
childish plaint is made : " It is an insult to the white 
people of the South." A social boycott is flauntingly pro- 
claimed against the President of the United States and the 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

demand made that he shall "be treated in all respects by 
Southern people precisely as if he were a negro, and with 
absolute indication that he is not of our race, or in any re- 
spect socially an equal with us or a fit associate for us or 
any of us." The press reports show that many leading 
Southerners have absented themselves from the social func- 
tions at the White House, as if by this childish act they 
could coerce the President to violate the liberty and rights 
of citizens whom his oath of office binds him to protect. 

If a Northern man has the temerity to make a manly plea 
for fair and honorable treatment of the colored people and 
condemns oppression, he is met with the charge of " stirring 
up sectional strife "", " waving the bloody shirt '\ and is de- 
nounced as the " fool-friend '"* of the negro. 

The social and business boycott is rigorously applied to 
any white person in the South who may treat the educated 
and cultured negro with the courtesy due a gentleman. The 
Northern man residing in the South and who is the victim of 
this un-American code and who does not show the colored 
man the kindness or courtesy he would show if residing in 
the North, is paraded as being as hostile as the Southerner 
to the recognition of the colored man. 

Principal Booker T. Washington, admittedly the most 
distinguished Southerner living — and pronounced by Mr. 
Carnegie one of the greatest men of the age, registers in an 
Indiana hotel : the next morning a white chambermaid re- 
fuses to make up his bed, because a "nigger'" had slept in it. 
She at once becomes the heroine of every " Jim Crowite "' in 
the South. Letters of congratulation are poured in upon her. 
Subscriptions are made up in various parts of the South, and 
thousands of dollars are showered upon her. Her coura- 
geous act consisted in offering an unprovoked insult to an un- 
offending gentleman. Mr. Washington sends his daughter 
to a Northern boarding-school : the demand is made that 
Southern white girls shall leave the school. 

333 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

An Italian, keeping a restaurant in a Mississippi town, 
sells a colored man a meal ; his place is immediately raided 
and he is driven from his home. Any incident is seized upon 
to inflame passions against the colored man. 

During the riots in New Orleans, a Northern white man 
was arrested, and fined twenty-five dollars for protesting 
against the killing of innocent negroes and admitting to 
the judge he had said that "A negro in body and soul 
is as good as a white man." At Memphis, Tennessee, a 
Northern white man who justified President Roosevelt in 
dining Principal Booker T. Washington was promptly 
thrashed. And the cry has gone forth that "no quarter"" 
shall be given to any one who shall dare to interpose against 
this policy. Is this not choking Southern ideas down North- 
ern throats with a remarkable vehemence ? 

These things are sufficient to cause the patriots of 1861 to 
turn in their graves. Did they destroy slavery and save the 
Union only to have the cardinal doctrine of the Southern 
Confederacy re-enacted into law throughout the Southland, 
and forced on the nation as slavery was forced on it ? This 
is not a basis which makes for the peace of the republic, nor 
will the people be silent in the consummation of such a sin 
against Heaven and crime against humanity. 

The American people lack neither courage nor conscience. 
The issues thus raised must be bravely met and overcome, as 
have other issues equally perplexing and menacing. 

The South was wrong, even if it was united, on the slavery 
question — but public opinion destroyed slavery. 

The South was wrong, even if it was united, in making war 
on the republic — but public opinion saved the republic. 

The South was wrong, even if it was united, in its threats 
to shoot colored soldiers and their white officers when cap- 
tured — but public opinion kept the colored soldiers on the 
firing line and protected them. 

The South was wrong, even if it was united, in passing the 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

Black Code — but public opinion destroyed the Black 
Code. 

The South was wrong, even if it was united, in its hos- 
tility to the great measures of reconstruction — but public 
opinion achieved the reconstruction it wanted. 

The South is wrong, even if it is united, in the extreme un- 
American, and unholy attitude assumed to-day — and public 
opinion will be found equal to the task of dealing with it. 

Public opinion spoke through the ballot-box in the na- 
tional election held in the fall of 1904. The overwhelming 
vote given in support of the victorious candidate attests the 
adherence of the people to the principles advocated in these 
pages. Never before in the history of the republic have the 
people, the true American sovereigns, given such an emphatic 
demonstration of their power through the instrumentality 
of the ballot-box, and so splendidly and gloriously confirmed 
their devotion to the principles of liberty and constitutional 
government. 

Every state in which there was a free and fair expression 
of public opinion was carried by President Roosevelt by ma- 
jorities which daze the political mind. New York gave 
175,000 majority, IHinois 300,000, Michigan 206,000, Kansas 
126,000, Minnesota 126,000, Wisconsin 130,000, Nebraska 
85,000, Massachusetts 92,000, California 125,000, Ohio 
240,000, Connecticut 75,000, Indiana nearly 100,000, Wash- 
ington 72,000, and Pennsylvania over 500,000. In ten 
states his majority ranged from 100,000 to more than 
500,000; and his combined majorities in fifteen states ex- 
ceeded Judge Parker's total vote. 

The total vote cast in the thirteen Southern states, includ- 
ing Maryland, which Judge Parker carried, was 2,033,226, of 
which he received 1,238,878. The total vote polled in the 
thirty-two states carried by President Roosevelt was 
11,475,270. But it must be remembered that the South, 
while casting only 15 per cent of the whole number of votes 

335 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

polled, nevertheless has 34 per cent of the presidential elec- 
tors. About one-third of these electors are based on the 
colored population, who in large measure are disfranchised by 
trick election laws. This is like killing the sheep, and yet 
still expecting to possess and be benefited by the annual crop 
of wool. 

The continuance of such gross inequality invites gravest 
consequences in case of a close election. It is a most impres- 
sive fact that President Roosevelt's majorities alone in the 
four states of New York, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania 
were greater in the aggregate than the total vote cast for 
Judge Parker in the thirteen Southern states, including 
Maryland. President Roosevelt's popular majority, at large, 
was 2,547,578, being more than twice as great as the whole 
number of votes polled by his opponent in the " solid South." 

The political cataclysm struck and shook to the centre the 
border states, and West Virginia and Missouri enrolled 
themselves on the side of progress and humanity ; Maryland 
half yielded, and " Old Kentucky '' weakened. 

The former seceding states stand alone, isolated, embit- 
tered, out of touch with the liberal and progressive ideas of 
the sister states, without reconciliation to the popular will, 
and refusing to keep step in the march of civilization and to 
the " music of the Union." The following post-election ex- 
pressions from leaders of the " solid South " will disclose the 
poverty of the South, in its public life, in capable, sober, 
constructive, statesmanlike leadership. The Louisville 
Courier- Journal says : " From Theodore Roosevelt we ask no 
quarter and expect none. He is infinitely a worse enemy of 
the white men and women of the South than any of the radi- 
cal leaders of the past." 

In the Hunts ville, Alabama, Mercury, Mr. Robert T. Bently 
says : " It appearing that Theodore Roosevelt, the head and 
front of the Republican party, which represents the danger- 
ous policies of civilization, protective tariff, imperialism, and 

336 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

social equality, has been elected President of the United 
States by a strictly sectional vote, and has established an in- 
surmountable barrier between the North and South, I feel 
constrained to express my humble opinion, as a true and 
patriotic American citizen of the South, that, if the Republi- 
can party should continue its dangerous policies for the next 
four years and should triumph in the next national election, 
the thirteen states which voted for Alton B. Parker should 
secede from the union and by force of arms resist an oppres- 
sion which means the early fall of our great republic." 

In an interview, General John W. A. Sanford, one of the 
oldest and best-known citizens of the South, says that " the 
South is practically ostracized. There is one policy for 
the South to pursue that it may retain its prestige, its honor, 
and all it holds dear in its social as well as political life. 
Abjure national politics, participate in no future national 
political conventions. Allow the Northern Democrats and 
Northern Republicans to hold their own conventions and 
vote their own tickets. Let the South select and elect its 
own electoral ticket and vote in the electoral college for that 
party or candidate whose principles are more in accord with 
our own policies, and whose policies will promote in the 
greatest degree the peace, power, and prosperity of the 
Southern people. And when we become more populous and 
more wealthy, the Northerners will court the Southerners, 
our interests will be more respected, and our views of govern- 
ment will receive greater consideration from the political 
parties of the Northern states." 

The Atlanta Journal says : " Let the South remain true 
to its traditions, true to the principle of white supremacy, 
true to the principles of democracy, and let it stand by itself in 
national politics until its support is sought on its own terms.'''' 

The Journal and the Atlanta Constitution also demand that 
the South shall nominate its own candidate for the presi- 
dency at the next election. 

22 337 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

Judge J. M. Chilton says : " We had as well recognize 
this position and make the best of it. In my opinion the 
South ought never again, at least for several years to come, 
enter a national Democratic convention or any sort of 
national political convention. The Southern states which 
have been thus driven to solidification should hold a Southern 
convention and align themselves with that one of the North- 
ern parties which will promise us most. Let them fight it out 
with their own reds and socialists. Let the South give its 
aid to that one of the parties which is least objectionable. 
In such a position the South will hold the balance of power, 
and it will not be long before we will be accorded the 
position and influence to which we are justly entitled." 

The News and Courier^ Charleston, South Carolina, says : 
" The North was also solid, and solid without cause ; solid 
on sectional lines for a sectional party, a sectional candidate, 
and for sectional purposes." 

The Columbia State declares that, " if trouble is provoked, 
the negroes will be the chief sufferers, and a dozen Roosevelts 
cannot help them." 

Senator Carmack of Tennessee denounces " the pharisaical 
people of New England," and " the rotten politicians of the 
North," and " the press of the North " for " misrepresenting 
the Southern people." 

The Honorable John Sharp Williams of Mississippi goes 
to South Carolina, the cradle of the former secession, and 
preaches a new rebellion against the republic. This time, 
however, thanks to his discretion, it is to be a bloodless war. 
He advises the South to uphold its nullification of the Con- 
stitution of the United States by refusing to obey any law 
the sovereign people of the republic may enact through their 
representatives in Congress to equalize representation. 

The New York World makes the following comment on 
Mr. Williams' speech : " Martyrdom was joined to nullifica- 
tion in the doctrine of ' passive resistance ' which John 

338 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

Sharp Williams, the Democratic leader of the House, preached 
to the people of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Friday night. 

" On the assumption that Congress might reduce Southern 
representation in accordance with the provisions of the Four- 
teenth Amendment, Mr. Williams proceeded to lay out a 
programme of ' passive resistance ' for the South. ' I know 
of no power on earth or in heaven, except a direct interven- 
tion of God," he said, ' that can force a state legislature to 
pass a bill redistricting a state so that it shall contain four 
or five or six Congressional districts instead of seven or 
eight. "* 

" Mr. Williams then advised the Southern states to pay 
no attention to an act reducing representation, if one should 
be passed, but to elect their Representatives on the old basis 
and send them to Washington. The House would refuse 
to seat them and would withhold the payment of salaries. 
Judicial proceedings could then be instituted to determine 
whether the act of Congress was constitutional. In the 
mean time all the Southern states would be without repre- 
sentation and would stand as ' a visible object-lesson ' to the 
flinty -hearted brethren of the North. . . . 

" But if the question of reducing representation in accord- 
ance with the Fourteenth Amendment were under serious con- 
sideration in Republican councils, the blame would rest upon 
the South alone — or, more specifically, upon the sinister 
cunning that devised 'the grandfather clause' and the 
other discriminating franchise provisions in the new state 
constitutions. 

" Nobody in the North is disposed to quarrel with the 
South for disfranchising ignorance, for disfranchising vicious- 
ness, or for disfranchising shiftlessness. The objection is to 
a policy that disfranchises only negro ignorance, viciousness, 
and shiftlessness, while assuring the franchise to the most 
worthless ' white trash' that can prove a voting grandfather 
or get a political committee to pay his poll taxes. . . . 

339 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

" Mr. Williams gives his whole case away when he says 
that he and his friends would be willing to submit gracefully 
to reduced representation if the country would repeal the 
Fifteenth Amendment. What the Southern politicians wish 
to do is not to withhold the suffrage from the elements that 
pollute it, but to disfranchise forever such men as Booker 
T. Washington and Professor Du Bois, along with the most 
depraved levee loafers, for the crime of not having white 
skins. 

"To such a programme the country will never give its 
consent, and Mr. Williams wastes his breath in suggesting 
it. The American people are not yet ready to surrender the 
fundamental principle of their institutions — that in respect 
of political rights ' all men are created equal,' and that ' the 
republic is opportunity.' When the South asks this sur- 
render it is asking the impossible." 

The plan of Congressman 1-4-33 Williams (the numerals 
indicate the total number of votes he received in his canvass 
for Congress) has about as much common-sense in it as that 
of the man who attempted to drain the ocean by emptying 
buckets of water on the beach. The republic will not be 
coerced, nor can the government be destroyed by sulking. 
A way will be found under the Constitution to elect dele- 
gations at large, and voters will be found to vote for them. 
The South must repeal its "grandfather" constitutions and 
other trick election laws which defraud the people of an 
equal share in their government, and enact fair laws, or 
representation must be reduced. 

These leaders present the South in a pitiable plight before 
the eyes of the world. It is indeed a matter for deep lamen- 
tation and profound regret that a land so wonderfully blessed 
by nature, and with the members of one class of its population, 
at their best, so hospitable and chivalric, and with the other 
class so peaceful, responsive, and hard-toiling, should become 
the prey of unbalanced leaders and wild reactionists. The 

340 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

justice which man owes to man ; the righteousness which God 
exacts of all ; the peace and fraternity which are the nation's 
meed ; and the love, charity, and helpfulness which the Christ 
teaches apparently find no place in their minds, hearts, or 
works. 

Why does not the South accept with the same heartiness 
and in the same spirit of patriotism and fi-aternity the result 
of the election that has been made manifest in every hamlet 
of other sections of the republic ? Why should it remain 
offensively sectional, to its own detriment and the marring of 
the peace of the nation ? Why does it cling so tenaciously to 
the barbarous traditions of slavery which are out of harmony 
with the age, repugnant to the national conscience and ideals, 
and frowned upon and disowned by the whole civilized world ? 

The Honorable Thomas E. Watson of Georgia, candidate 
of the People's party for president in the last campaign, 
gives the philosophy of the matter in a recent speech in say- 
ing: "The politicians keep the negro question alive in the 
South to perpetuate their hold on public office. The negi'o 
question is the joy of their lives. It is their very existence. 
They fatten on it. With one shout of ' nigger ' ! — they can 
run the native Democrats into their holes at any hour of the 
day." Nevertheless, the tremendous uprising of the people 
on election day and the unprecedented avalanche of ballots 
which carried Mr. Roosevelt to the presidential chair, after a 
campaign of abuse and detraction, cannot fail to have a so- 
bering effect ; and the prophecy may even be ventured that a 
show of firmness in upholding the Constitution by an aroused 
public opinion will mark the opening of a new era in the 
Southland — the beginning of the end of the dominion of 
incapable, rancorous, implacable reactionaries. The hand- 
writing is on the wall. The people have spoken. The 
meaning of the election is plain. 

It means that the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth 
Amendments to the Constitution of the United States are 

341 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

incontestable ; that the liberty and citizenship of the colored 
man are no longer open to challenge and are not to be the 
foot-ball of " cheap- John '' politicians ; that he shall take his 
place before the law in common with other races and thus 
work out his destiny. It means the overwhelming condem- 
nation of v/holesale disfranchisement, lynch-law and burnings 
at the stake, proscriptive laws, the attempt to inaugurate a 
new form of slavery, and the rampant and unbridled " Jim 
Crowism " which was constantly flaunted in the face of the 
nation and offered gross insults and indignities to the 
President of the United States. 

For, indeed, it was not the tariff, nor the gold standard, 
nor the trusts, nor imperiahsm, nor the Philippines, nor large 
expenditures for the army and navy, nor all of these com- 
bined that aroused and rallied the sovereigns of the land to 
the Roosevelt standard. The party in opposition did not 
propose any summary or radical changes along any of these 
Hues. But it was because "the people loved him for the 
enemies he has made," and because he stood as firm as ad- 
amant against the assaults and traducings of the reactionists 
and proclaimed his ceaseless devotion to the ideals of liberty 
as held by Abraham Lincoln, and for a republic of law, or- 
derly government, equal rights and opportunities, and " the 
door of hope" for all Americans without regard to race, 
color, or creed, or whether rich or poor — because his per- 
sonality embodied the American ideal. 

The New York World, which has been repeatedly quoted, 
is generally regarded as the leading Democratic organ of the 
country. It has always been friendly to the South and has 
rendered it invaluable services. No one would accuse it of 
leaning toward the colored man or fawning upon him. But 
in its discussion of the race question it has been fair, firm, 
and fearless. It has emphasized some thoughts since the 
election which the white people should ponder over, calmly 
weigh, and digest. In various issues it says : 

342 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

" The American people will never accept the dictum that 
a negro scholar is the inferior of a white ignoramus, that a 
negro gentleman is the inferior of a white blackguard, that a 
man's title to consideration rests on the color of his skin and 
not on his character and his achievements. 

" The World hopes that this little lesson has finally been 
thoroughly learned. . . . 

" Never before in our history were so many votes cast for 
a candidate for office. Black and white, Protestant and 
Catholic, Jew and Gentile, vied with one another in testify- 
ing at the ballot-box their faith in Mr. Roosevelt's purposes 
and their confidence in his statesmanship. . . . 

" If the South wishes to take the negro question out of 
national politics the quickest way is to stop burning negroes 
at the stake and to abandon the un-American notion that the 
meanest of white scoundrels is better than the most industri- 
ous, intelligent, honorable negro. 

"If the race question played any part in the recent cam- 
paign, the South alone is to blame. It was the South that 
raised the Booker T. Washington issue. It was the South 
that advanced the monstrous doctrine that the better quali- 
fied a negro was to hold a Federal office the more objection- 
able was his appointment. ... 

" You cannot convince the people of the North that it is a 
heinous crime for a President of the United States to lunch 
with a Booker T. Washington, whatever the color of the 
Washington's skin may be. They will no more worry about 
equality between American and African than about equality 
between American and Chinese, when the President invites 
the Chinese Minister to dinner." 

The white people of the South must come back to the first 
principles of liberty, constitutional government, and fraternity. 
They are in fact and by right, and should be in spirit, a har- 
monious part of the Union — cheerfully co-operating with 
other sections in enacting and administering just and equal 

343 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

laws and adding to the moral grandeur of the republic. 
Isolation is a mistaken policy. It bodes no good to the 
South. It keeps alive sectionalism and bitterness. The 
South is the chief sufferer. The policy is childish. It rests 
absolutely in the power of the South, and it alone, to destroy 
sectionalism. This will be a truly harmonious nation and 
the last vestige of sectionalism will disappear when the white 
people of the South, like the people of the North, shall ac- 
cept in good faith the constitutional amendments which 
manumitted the slave and restored him to his place in the 
brotherhood of men. And in recomposing the relations 
between the races there are two elemental truths which 
will count mightily in an honorable, a righteous, and lasting 
settlement. 

The first of these is, that the white people, deep down in 
their hearts, do not hate the colored people. As paradoxical 
as it may sound, they really love them. They would not 
exchange them for any class of laborers in the wide world. 

The second is this : The colored people do not hate the 
whites ; on the contrary, they cherish genuine friendship and 
affection for them. The races are not as far apart as it may 
seem. 

The excessive bitterness, rank intolerance and contempt, 
and the extreme and violent forms of prejudice displayed 
toward the whole colored race are not an expression of the 
true heart of the whites. They are rather due to the arti- 
ficial conditions and influences purposely created by the 
Bourbons, the pernicious and mischievous leaders, to 
strengthen and aggrandize their political power and establish 
an oligarchy. The entailments of slavery made it possible 
for them to inflame the whites beyond reason and drive the 
mass of them into stark madness on the race question. 
To undo their work : the repeal of all proscriptive laws ; the 
enactment of impartial suffrage and acknowledgment of the 
right of its rewards to office based on good citizenship and 

344 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

merit ; the protection of life, liberty and property ; the due 
punishment of all criminals according to law and not color ; 
the protection of the laborer and the elimination of all 
forms of peonage ; the overthrow of mob-rule and the guar- 
anty of equal rights before the law for all, white and colored 
alike — these should become the self-imposed task of the best 
and decent elements of the South. Thus could they bring 
peace to the nation, and reconciliation between the races ; 
thus could they vindicate the honor of the South and eman- 
cipate its name from shame. 

From the womb of the South itself, there surely will come 
men with the honesty, courage and statesmanship of those 
beacon lights in the early history of the nation — men like 
Henry and John Laurens, Pinckney and Gadsden of South 
Carolina ; Jefferson, George Mason, Madison, and Randolph 
of Virginia ; and Luther Martin of Maryland — who cried 
out against the wrong of oppression and servitude at the 
very incipiency of the nation's birth. What they denounced 
as a wrong then is a crime in the light of to-day. 

The advent into public life of men of their mental calibre, 
political honesty, and moral courage — men broad in states- 
manship, liberal-minded, invincible to passion and prejudice, 
devoted to free institutions — will be the harbinger of better 
days for both the white and colored people of the Sunny 
South, as it will also mean the overturn and banishment 
into political oblivion of the reactionists, the negrophobists, 
the "Jim Crowites'' and the whole brood of those who fatten 
on pubHc office or public patronage by preaching hatred and 
strife between the races, and who are the worst enemies the 
Southern people have to fear. 

The nation longs for peace, but peace which is purchased 
at the sacrifice of the dictates of justice and humanity and 
the vital principles of Christianity is not only too costly in 
price but it is a worthless peace. It is worthless because the 
conscience of the American people will not accept it. It 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

would not even bridge over matters. The mere announce- 
ment of peace purchased at such a price would open wide 
the flood gates of agitation and strife. 

The dominant leadership of the South is endeavoring to 
turn back the hands of the dial of time and engraft on the 
republic the leading principles of the Southern Confederacy. 
Thus they would achieve by indirect action what failed of 
accomplishment by open rebellion, — the perpetual subjuga- 
tion and servitude of a people. 

The Honorable Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of 
the Confederacy, made this historical declaration in a speech 
delivered at Savannah, Georgia, on the 21st of March, 1861, 
less than a month before " Old Glory " was fired on at Fort 
Sumter : '' The new Constitution has put at rest forever all 
the agitating questions relating to our pecuhar institution — 
African slavery as it exists among us, the proper status of 
the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immedi- 
ate cause of the rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, 
in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the ' rock upon which 
the old Union would split.' He was right. What was con- 
jecture with him is now a realized fact. But whether he 
fully comprehended the great truth upon which that great 
rock stood and stands may be doubted. 

"The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the 
leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old 
Constitution, were, that the enslavement of the African was 
in violation of the laws of nature ; that it was wrong in 
principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil 
they knew not well how to deal with; but the general 
opinion of the men of the day was that, somehow or other 
in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent 
and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the 
Constitution, was the prevailing idea at the time. 

"The Constitution, it is true, secured every essential 
guarantee to the institution while it should last; and hence 

346 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

no argument can be justly used against the Constitutional 
guaranties thus secured, because of the common sentiment of 
the day. These ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. 
They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. 
This was an eiTor. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea 
of a government built upon it : — when the ' storm came and 
the wind blew,' it fell. Our new government is founded upon 
exactly the opposite ideas. Its foundations are laid, its 
corner-stone rests, upon the truth that the negi'o is not 
equal to the white man ; that slavery, subordination to the 
superior race, is his natural and normal condition. 

" This, our new government, is the first, in the history of 
the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and 
moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its 
development, like all other truths in the various departments 
of science. It has been so even among us. Many who hear 
me, perhaps, can recollect well that this truth was not gener- 
ally admitted, even in this day." 

Mr. Stephens emphasizes the statement that the Confeder- 
ate government was " the first in the history of the world " 
to make human slavery its foundation-stone. It will probably 
be the last. 

He lived to learn, however, that no government in the his- 
tory of the world ever had such a fitful, transient, and mal- 
odorous existence. It died a-boming, in the very throes and 
agonies of its own travail, and without the pity of a single 
civilized nation. The Almighty did not permit it to darken 
the earth or curse humanity with its presence — save as a 
scourge and punishment to the nation, and to cleanse and 
purge it of the sin and crime of slavery. 

When the storm came and the wind blew, it fell. But the 
government based on the immortal and divine principles of 
justice and equality for all stood the severest tests and 
shocks of the greatest war of these ages, and vindicated the 
principles held by Jefferson and most of the leading states- 

347 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

men of his time that " the enslavement of the African was 
in violation of the laws of nature ; that it was wrong in 
principle, socially, morally, and politically." 

It may also be noted that Mr. Stephens further said of the 
Southern Confederacy, that "its foundations are laid, its 
corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not 
equal to the white man ; that slavery, subordination to the 
superior race, is his natural and normal condition." 

The principles enunciated by Mr. Stephens are monstrously 
inhuman. The people of the United States are superior in 
many things to the people of the Latin republics of South 
America, but does that give the right to North America to 
conquer or deport the inhabitants of South America and hold 
them in " slavery, subordination to the superior race," as 
their "natural and normal condition".? 

Some nations in Europe are distinctly superior to other 
nations. But what nation, arrogating its superiority would 
dare to make the attempt to conquer or deport the inhabi- 
tants of a weaker country and make slaves of them ? 

Mr. Stephens, however, speaking in 1861, was uttering the 
exact thoughts and even words that are proclaimed by 
Southern leaders to-day, on the floors of the Congress, in the 
halls of legislation, on the lecture platform, sometimes in the 
pulpit, and frequently in the public press. Truly, some 
neither learn nor forget. 

Mr. Lincoln was far wiser than Mr. Stephens ; he said : 
" If slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong." 

And it would seem to follow that " if outraging and op- 
pressing a man on the ground of color is not wrong, then 
nothing is wrong." 

The truth of God, the sentiment of civilization, and the 
public opinion of the country were with Mr. Lincoln; and 
because of this, in the Constitution of the United States it is 
written : " Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, ex- 
cept as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have 

348 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.'' 
— " All persons born or naturalized in the United States 
and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the 
United States and of the state wherein they reside." — 
" No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge 
the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." 
— " Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, 
or property without due process of law, nor deny to any 
person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the 
laws." — " The right of the citizens of the United States to 
vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or 
by any state, on account of race, color, or previous condition 
of servitude." 

There are also guaranties for the right to the writ of 
habeas corpis ; for freedom of speech ; for a free press ; 
to keep and bear arms ; for a public and speedy trial ; to 
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation ; to 
be confronted with the witnesses ; to compulsory process for 
the attendance of one's own witnesses ; to have counsel ; to 
trial by jury ; immunity from bill of attainder ; from ex 
post facto laws ; from unreasonable searches and seizures ; 
from trial for a capital or otherwise infamous crime 
unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury ; 
from being compelled to testify against one's self; from 
excessive bail ; from excessive fines ; from cruel or unusual 
punishment. 

Not one of these righteous, humane laws is honestly ob- 
served in the South with regard to the colored man. There 
is, on the contrary, a general repudiation of them ; and in 
many essential respects, the South is governed by the galvan- 
ized corpse of the Southern Confederacy rather than by the 
Constitution of the United States. It has often been demon- 
strated that the life of a colored man is not held as sacred in 
the South as the life of a robin on the Boston Common, or 
a swan on the lakes of Lincoln Park in Chicago. 

349 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

But two vital considerations may apply here : one divine ; 
one human. 

First, "the thunderbolts of God are still hot," and "right- 
eousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne." 

Second, the American people have shown in their history 
that when they make up their minds to do a thing, they do 
it ; when they determine to accomplish a result, they will find 
a way or make it. 

The particular manner of the co-operation between the 
divine and the human powers may not be thoroughly under- 
stood. The fact of the co-operation, however, human history 
abundantly illustrates. God's hand can be plainly seen in 
the history of this republic. There is more than euphony in 
these words of Holy Writ : " Righteousness exalte th a nation ; 
but sin is a reproach to any people." Sin is not without its 
wages. 

Thomas Jefferson wrote: "Indeed I tremble for my 
country when I reflect that God is just ; that His justice 
cannot sleep forever." 

The hour came; God's justice did awaken; the country 
was convulsed and shocked from centre to circumference, and 
the best blood of the nation paid the atonement. The lesson 
should not be forgotten. 

The humiliations, outrages, and inhumanities now forced 
on the colored man, contrary to law, human and divine, are 
a sin and a reproach to the nation. Public opinion is the 
remedial agent ; it is all-potent because the truth and God 
are behind it. 

A cloud of witnesses speak from the skies. Some of these 
were " workmen who laid the keel," and were on the deck at 
the launching of the Ship of State. Others were at quarters, 
on guard, and at the wheel through all the trying ordeals 
and the perilous voyages of a century and a quarter. The 
voices of the most eminent men and women now living are 
also heard with no uncertain sound. They plead for right- 

350 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

eousness, for justice, for humanity ; and in the name of 
God. 

Fundamentally, a nation is wise in so far as it is righteous ; 
it is strong and powerful in so far as it is just ; it is safe and 
invincible in so far as it has the favor of the God of battles. 

From the depth of hearts warmed with the fire of liberty, 
and with love for their country, faith in humanity, and 
abiding confidence in the Almighty and Righteous Ruler 
of the universe — the illustrious fathers and the glorious sons 
of the republic speak out. Will the South give ear ? Will 
the nation take heed ? Hear them ! 

Thomas Jefferson says : " And with what execration 
should the statesman be loaded, who, permitting one half the 
citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms 
those into despots, and these into enemies ; destroys the 
morale of the one part, and the amor patriae of the 
other. . . . And can the liberties of a nation be thought 
secure when we have removed their only firm basis — a con- 
viction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the 
gift of God, — that they are not to be violated but with His 
wrath ? " 

Mr. Bancroft, writing of Mr. Jefferson says : " The heart 
of Jefferson in writing the Declaration, and of Congress in 
adopting it, beat for all humanity ; the assertion of right 
was made for all mankind and all coming generations, with- 
out any exception whatever ; for the proposition which 
admits of exceptions can never be self-evident." 

The last public act of Benjamin Franklin was the signing 
and presentation of a memorial to Congress as President of 
the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, in which these words 
occur : " That mankind are all formed by the same Al- 
mighty Being, alike objects of His care, and equally designed 
for the enjoyment of happiness, the Christian religion teaches 
us to believe, and the political creed of Americans fully coin- 
cides with the position. They have observed, with real 

351 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

satisfaction, that many important and salutary powers are 
vested in you for ' promoting the welfare and securing the 
blessings of liberty to the people of the United States ' ; and 
as they conceive that these blessings ought rightfully to 
be administered without distinction as to color, to all de- 
scriptions of people, so they indulge themselves in the pleas- 
ing expectations that nothing which can be done for the 
relief of the unhappy objects of their care will be omitted 
or delayed. 

" From the persuasion that equal liberty was originally the 
position, and is still the birthright, of all men, and influ- 
enced by the strong ties of humanity and the principles of 
their institutions, your memorialists conceive themselves 
bound ... to promote a general enjoyment of the bless- 
ings of freedom." 

To General Lafayette, who denounced slavery as " a crime 
blacker than any African's face,"' and labored for its aboli- 
tion, George Washington wrote: "Would to God a like 
spirit might diffuse itself generally into the minds of the 
people of this country." 

Washington also declared that, " the propitious smiles of 
Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards 
the eternal rules of order and right." 

The Honorable Henry Laurens of South Carolina, Presi- 
dent of the Continental Congress, minister to Holland, and 
commissioner with Franklin and Jay to negotiate peace with 
Great Britain, left on record these emphatic words : " I am 
not one of those who arrogate the peculiar care of Providence 
in each fortunate event ; nor one of those who dare trust 
in Providence for defence and security of their own liberty, 
while they enslave and wish to continue in slavery thousands 
who are as well entitled to freedom as themselves." 

The Reverend Isaac Backus of Massachusetts, says : " The 
American Revolution was built upon the principle that all men 
are born with an equal right to liberty and propertj^." 

352 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

The voices of George Mason of Vii-ginia, and Livingston of 
New York ; Gadsden of South Carolina, and the Adamses of 
Massachusetts; Alexander Hamilton of New York, and 
John Tyler of Virginia; Roger Sherman of Connecticut, 
and Luther Martin of Maryland ; Joshua Atherton of New 
Hampshire, and George Tucker of Virginia ; Rufus King of 
Massachusetts, and Edmund Randolph of Virginia, and a 
host of others — these all express the sentiment of liberty 
and humanity. 

Of special significance are the declarations of the Honor- 
able John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 
of the United States, and thus the first final authority in in- 
terpreting the Constitution and laws under it ; he says : " I 
believe that God governs the world ; and I believe it to be a 
maxim in His as in our Court, that those who ask for equity 
ought to do it.'' And again : " Till America comes into this 
measure her prayers to Heaven for liberty will be impious.'' 
And further : " To contend for our own liberty and to deny 
that blessing to others involves an inconsistency not to be 
excused. . . . 

" What act of pubHc or private justice and philanthropy 
can occasion more pleasing emotions in the breast of Chris- 
tians, or be more agreeable to Him who shed His blood for 
the redemption of men, than such as tend to restore the 
oppressed to their natural rights, and to raise unfortunate 
members of the same gi'eat family with ourselves from the 
abject situation of beasts of burden, bought and sold and 
worked for the benefit and at the pleasure of persons who 
were not created more free, more rational, more immortal, 
nor with more extensive rights and privileges, than they were." 

Concerning the discordant note of Chief Justice Taney, 
which was the embodiment of the slaveholders' idea, that the 
negro " had no rights which the white man was bound to re- 
spect," Mr. George Livermore, in his Historical Research^ says : 
" It shocked the moral sentiment of our own community, 
23 353 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

and excited the indignant rebuke of some of the most eminent 
jurists and statesmen of Europe, who declared the sentiments 
to be 'so execrable as to be almost incredible/"" The 
Honorable George Bancroft says : " He has not only denied 
the rights of manhood, the liberties of mankind, but has not 
left a foothold for the liberty of the white man to rest upon. 
. . . No nation can adopt that judgment as its rule, and live ; 
the judgment has in it no element of political vitality.""* 

If black men can be put into practical slavery, or be op- 
pressed, the same kind of power can force white men into 
practical slavery, or under the rod of oppression. 

*' Fleecy locks and dark complexions. 
Do not alter nature's claim ; 
Skins may differ, but affections 
Dwell in black and white the same." 

This idea of Justice Taney, however, is the central idea 
in the plan of campaign of Southern leaders. And this ac- 
counts for the '*Jim Crow" laws and the "Jim Crowism"*"* 
which disgraces the South and is the shame of the nation. 

A press despatch recently reports : " Thomas Grades, a well- 
dressed negro, is more familiar to-day with the ' Jim Crow ■* 
laws of Virginia than he was when he left New York. He 
was draffged from a train at Alexandria and taken to the 
station house, where he said he was unfamiliar with the law, 
and on payment of $10 collateral for his appearance was re- 
leased. Grades had travelled from New York in comfortable 
fashion, but at the Virginia end of the long bridge the con- 
ductor requested him to go forward to the little pen set aside 
for negroes. He refused, and at Alexandria the entire force 
was employed to drag him from the car. After depositing 
the $10 he proceeded on his journey in the 'Jim Crow' 
pen." 

Is this civilization ? Is it Christianity ? Is it not barbar- 
ous ? Yet every colored person regardless of the excellence 
of his inner life, or outward behavior, whatever his talents, 

354 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

possessions, or high standing in the repubHc, is subject to 
these barbarous laws of the South. A colored woman or 
schoolgirl is treated the same way. In every case first-class 
fare is demanded and paid, and "Jim Crow'' accommodations 
are forced on them. Sad, indeed, that the ineffable mean- 
ness of it does not appeal to the higher sense of justice, the 
spirit of humanity or the Christian ethics of the white people 
of the South. 

A colored man travels from the city of Washington, 
the nation's capital, to the Pacific coast. The time required 
is about five days, and the distance is over three thousand 
miles. He may be a high official of the government, de- 
spatched on public business. The train stops at various 
places for breakfast, for dinner, for luncheon, for supper. 
Every person on board of the train, except a colored person, 
can freely buy refreshments or meals. But no colored person, 
not even the Register of the Treasury of the United States, 
who is a colored man, can cross the threshold of a single 
dining-room, or even slake his thirst with a cup of coffee, or 
munch a sandwich at a lunch counter. And yet it is written 
in the Holy Scriptures : " And whosoever shall give to 
drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only, 
in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you he shall not 
lose his reward." " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of 
the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." 

The colored man, government official, minister, or bishop of 
a great denomination, with money in his pockets, cannot buy 
food and drink to refresh his body. Not in all civilization 
outside the boundary of the South is such a condition possi- 
ble, nor even among semi-civilized people, and hardly among 
the savages. The negro has " no right which the white man 
[that is, the Southern white man] is bound to respect." 

The harsh and discordant words of Chief Justice Taney 
may, however, serve to emphasize the strength of the spirit 
of liberty in the American heart. That spirit has survived 

355 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

every assault and is the abiding heritage of the American 
people. 

But the sons of the republic, like the fathers, also speak 
for liberty and humanity. President Garfield said : " And 
this thing we will remember ; we will remember our alHes 
who fought with us. Soon after the struggle began, we 
looked behind the army of white rebels, and saw four millions 
of black people condemned to toil as slaves for our enemies ; 
and we found that the hearts of these four millions were 
God-inspired with the spirit of liberty, and that they were 
our friends. We have seen white men betray the flag, but in 
all that long, dreary war we never saw a traitor in a black 
skin. Our prisoners escaping from the starvation of prisons, 
fleeing to our lines by the light of the North Star, never 
feared to enter the black man's cabin and ask for bread. In 
all that period of suflering and danger no Union soldier was 
ever betrayed by a black man or woman. And now that we 
have made them free, so long as we live we will stand by 
these black allies. We will stand by them until the sun of 
liberty, fixed in the firmament of our Constitution, shall shine 
with equal ray upon every man, black or white, throughout 
the Union.'** 

General Sherman said : " The South went out of the 
Union ; it came back with five-fifths voting power based on 
the negro population. And it is not fair ; it is not just ; it 
is not honorable for the South to suppress the negro vote.""* 

Mr. Blaine said: "No human right on this continent is 
more completely guaranteed than the right against dis- 
franchisement on account of race, color, or previous condition 
of servitude, as embodied in the Fifteenth Amendment of the 
Constitution of the United States." And he further says : 
" Without the right of citizenship his (the negro's) freedom 
could be maintained only in name, and without the elective 
franchise his citizenship would have no legitimate and no 
authoritative protection." 

356 



PUBLIC OPINION OMNIPOTENT 

General Grant in his Memoirs, said : " Four millions of 
human beings held as chattels have been liberated ; the ballot 
has been given to them ; the free schools of the country have 
been opened to their children. The nation still lives, and 
the people are just as free to avoid social intimacy with the 
blacks as ever they were, or as they are with white people." 

President Benjamin Han*ison said : " As long as free 
suffrage shall be held by our people to be a jewel above 
price ; as long as each for himself shall claim its free exer- 
cise and shall generously and manfully insist upon an equally 
free exercise of it by every other man, our government will 
be preserved and our development will not find its climax 
until the purpose of God in establishing this government 
shall have spread throughout the world — government of the 
people, for the people, and by the people."*' 

And with the voices of these sons of the republic are 
heard the voices of Logan, John Sherman, Stanton, Chase, 
Sheridan, Longfellow, Whittier, Joshua R. Giddings, McKin- 
ley, and a mighty host of others — a glorious company speak- 
ing as it were from the skies to the American people. 

The vast body of the American people to-day think the 
same thoughts and would say the same words. And their 
voice is the voice of God speaking through the human heart. 

Public opinion is omnipotent. Let it speak in thunder 
tones ! Its commanding voice will be heard, respected, and 
obeyed. 

It will prevail because it carries with it the grandeur of 
noble conviction, the majesty of the truth, the sovereignty of 
the right, and the power and determination of execution. 

Kipling's " Recessional,"" penned in celebration of the fif- 
tieth anniversary of the reign of Victoria, that most gracious 
queen and sovereign of a world empire, in essentials perhaps 
the most illustrious ruler the world has ever seen, embodies at 
once the hopes, doubts, vanities, and fears; the struggles, 
triumphs, and prayers of a people. 

357 



THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY 

It points the way to greatness and glory because it points 
the way to the mind of God. 

Its lesson cannot fail to impress the American heart. 

♦' God of our fathers, known of old, 
Lord of our far flung battle line. 
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold 

Dominion over palm and pine — 
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, 
Lest we forget — lest we forget ! 

" The tumult and the shouting dies; 

The captains and the kings depart: 
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, 

An humble and a contrite heart 
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet. 
Lest we forget — lest we forget ! 

" Far-called, our navies melt away; 

On dune and headland sinks the fire: 
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday 

Is one with Nineveh and Tyre ! 
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet. 
Lest we forget — lest we forget ! 

*' If, drunk with sight of power, we loose 
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe. 

Such boasting as the Gentiles use, 
Or lesser breeds without the Law— 

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet. 

Lest we forget — lest we forget ! 

" For heathen heart that puts her trust 

In reeking tube and iron shard. 

All valiant dust that builds on dust. 

And guarding calls not Thee to guard. 
For frantic boast and foolish word — 
Thy mercy on Thy people. Lord ! 

" Amen." 



358 



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of the special case in hand. Copiously illustrated with repro- 
ductions of recent advertisements, criticised in the light of the 
general principles discussed, and of advertisements made up 
in accordance with some of the suggestions of the volume. 

8vo, half leather, gilt top, copiously illustrated. 
Price, ^2.00 net. By post, ;g2.i5 

SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY 
PUBLISHERS, BOSTON 



WITH WALT WHITMAN 
IN CAMDEN 

A Diary Record of Conversations kept by 

HORACE TRAUBEL 

With many important letters, documents, and other manu- 
script. Copiously illustrated with portraits and facsimiles. 

The publication of the initial volume of this diary is one of 
the most important events in the literary history of America, 
and one which should attract wide-spread interest among all 
classes of readers. For nineteen years Mr. Traubel was most 
intimately associated with Walt Whitman in Camden. During 
the greater part of this period he saw the poet daily. In 1887 
he began to record, consecutively and faithfully, the conversa- 
tions and events of each meeting, whether important or seem- 
ingly trivial; and this record was continued until the poet's 
death in 1892. 

In preparing the diary for publication Mr. Traubel has made 
no attempt to dress up Whitman in any way. Everything is 
informally presented, just as it occurred, and the result is a 
picture of the daily life and thought of Whitman during his 
last years, when his judgments and his personality were finally 
matured, such as we have of no other great author, possibly 
excepting Dr. Johnson. Moreover, the work contains a wealth 
of letters and other documents by Whitman and by very many 
of the greatest of his contemporaries, including Emerson, Al- 
cott, Lowell, Whittier, Taylor, Lanier, Stedman, Burroughs, 
Tennyson, Symonds, Gosse, Carpenter, Dowden, etc. 

All of the letters (many of which are now first published), 
fall naturally into place in the diary, having been discussed by 
Whitman ; and therefore the conversations give his estimates 
and opinions of contemporary men and events. 

It is expected that the work in its entirety will extend to 
several volumes, which will appear consecutively, as Mr. Traubel 
is able to prepare the matter for the printer. Each volume, 
however, will be complete in itself, covering consecutive con- 
versations for a specified portion of the time. 
Svo, cloth, copiously illustrated, . Net, ^3.00; by post, ;?3. 20 

SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY 
Publishers, Boston 



STANDARD EDITIONS of THE 
WRITINGS OF WALT WHITMAN 



NEW and definitive editions issued under the superin- 
tendence of Whitman's Literary Executors, and 
prepared with careful attention to accuracy and to 
perfection of typography. The only complete and authorized 
trade editions of Whitman's works, and the only such editions 
which in contents and arrangement conform with Whitman's 
wishes and his final instructions to his Executors. 
LEAVES OF GRASS. Including Sands at Seventy, Good 
Bye My Fancy, Old Age Echoes (posthumous additions), 
and A Backward Glance o'er Travelled Roads. 
Library Edition, 8vo, gilt top, gold decorative, 

two portraits, and index of first lines. Price . J2.00 
The same, Popular Edition, i2mo, cloth binding, 

with portrait i-oo 

The same, paper covers 'S^ 

COMPLETE PROSE WORKS. 

Library Edition, 8vo, gilt top, gold decorative. 

Five full-page illustrations and a facsimile . 2.00 
Popular Edition, i2mo, cloth, with portrait . 1.25 

Each of these volumes is uniform with the corresponding 
edition of *' Leaves of Grass *^ 

LETTERS 

Calamus. Letters to Peter Doyle . . . 51.2$ 
The Wound Dresser. Hospital Letters in War- 
time i-SO 

SELECTIONS FROM THE PROSE AND 
POETRY OF WALT WHITMAN. Edited 
with an introductiom and a brief bibliography by 
Oscar Lovell Triggs, Ph.D., of the University 
of Chicago. i2mo, cloth, with portrait of Walt 
Whitman »-25 



SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY 
Publishers, Boston 



POSTHUMOUSLY PUBLISHED 
"WRITINGS OF "WALT WHITMAN 

AN AMERICAN PRIMER. 

Edited with a foreword by Horace Traubel. 
A very early Whitman manuscript, originally prepared as 
notes for a lecture, with an alternative title, The Primer 
of Words for A?nerican Young Men and Women, etc. It 
was only recently discovered that the apparently desultory 
notes possess a definite unity, and that this material had 
never been included in Whitman's works. Limited to five 
hundred copies, with facsimiles of the original manuscripts 
and a photogravure portrait. 
8vo .... Net, $2.00; by post, ^2.10 

WALT WHITMAN'S DIARY IN CANADA. With 
extracts from other of his journals. 

Edited by William Sloane Kennedy. 
These travel notes have the autobiographic charm of all 
of Whitman's lighter and spontaneous work, and show in 
detail an experience in his life only hinted at by a few 
paragraphs in his collected prose works. The edition is 
limited to five hundred copies, and contains a fine photo- 
gravure portrait from a little-known photograph taken 
during the Canadian journey. 
8vo Net, $2.50; by post, $2.60 

A NEW^ BEACON BIOGRAPHY 

V7AL,T WHITMAN. 

By Isaac Hull Platt. 
This is the first biography of Whitman (except Dr. 
Bucke's volume, published ten years before the poet's 
death) which has yet appeared, and is also notable as an 
entirely adequate statement, in brief compass, of the life 
and work of this eminent American. Pocket size, with 
chronology of dates, a bibliography, and photogravure 
portrait. 

Net, 75c. ; by post, 80c. 

SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY 
Publishers, Boston 



THREE NOTABLB N£\¥ BOOKS 



WIT AND HUMOR OF WELL-KNOWN QUOTA- 
TIONS. 

Edited by Marshall Brown. 

A unique collection arranged in the nature of •• Themes 
with Variations." Grouped with each well-known quo- 
tation are many of the wise or witty comments which 
serve to illustrate its significance. Beyond its interest 
to the general reader, it should have an especial value to 
after-dinner speakers, furnishing a wealth of bright gems 
of wit, arranged under familiar maxims, which furnish a 
ready topical reference. 

1 2mo, cloth, decorative . Net, i^i. 20; by post, ^1.30 



TERRITORIAL ACQUISITIONS OF THE UNITED 
STATES (1787-1904). An Historical Review. 

By Edward Bicknell. 
Third edition, revised and enlarged. 

"A little volume crammed with exactly the information 
many interested in the political development of the country 
are searching through libraries for." — Western Christia7i 
Advocate. 

24mo, cloth . . . Net, 50c. ; by post, 55c. 



CHANTS COMMUNAL. 

By Horace Traubel. 

A representative collection of prose pieces, radical but 
constructive, treating of the economic situation of the 
time and imbued with the spirit and the letter of the 
communistic ideal. 

i2mo, paper boards, cloth back. 

Net, $1.00; by post, $1.10 



SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY 
Publishers; Boston 



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