years transformed from the purely agricultural condition of ante-bellum times.
Coal and iron were found in untold quantities beneath the fertile soil.
Manufactures developed with astonishing rapidity.
Railways and telegraph lines spread a network over the entire section.
Millions of Northern capital were poured in a quickening stream upon these newly springing industries.
Amid such absorbing and multifarious activities, the old alienation receded into a hazy background.
The South was no longer a peculiar section founded on a distinct civilization.
It shared the interests of the whole mighty and growing Republic, and it became proud of this unification, eager to have its part in the national life everywhere recognized.
The most conspicuous Southern leader in the progress of nationalization was Henry W. Grady
, of Georgia
His father, a Confederate soldier on the staff of General Gordon
, met his death at Petersburg
in the attack on Fort Stedman
only two weeks before the surrender at Appomattox
Yet the son looked back on the conflict with no feeling of bitterness.
‘With the eyes of a statesman and the heart of a patriot,’ he lent his great energy, his talent for organization, his influence as a journalist to fostering the spirit of activity that had now awakened throughout his section.
Better still, in all his public speeches he endeavored to bring about a more thorough understanding between the North
and the South
A recognition of his prominence came in the first invitation extended a Southerner to address the New England Society of New York city.
His address on the evening of December 22, 1886, not only brought him national renown, but became one of the most important events in the unification of the once-sundered sections.
The illness and death of Grant
, in 1885, had already shown to what extent cordiality of feeling was displacing the old antagonism and alienation.
From all over the country came messages of sympathy during the last months of his life, especially at the time when it was thought he was at death's door.
Among his last words were: “I am thankful for the providential ”