even now, glory in the apparent chaos that follows the death of slavery.Hostile to liberty, they raised large armies; they fought with desperation; they are conquered, but they will not be brought in a day to love the thing they hated. No, the contrary is true; the Southern man lets go of slavery inch by inch, piece by piece; he says, ‘We will give it up’ but he really does not do so, and I do not think, as a general rule, he will till he is constrained to it by the power and the needs of freedom itself. You should read the systems proposed from so many different quarters. Every plan has in it the very gist of slavery; ‘ compulsory labor ’ is stamped upon it. The whole thought seems to be, How can we white men maintain our authority over these black men? How can we keep them from renting and owning land; how hinder them from suits and testimony against us? How can we restrain them from rising in the social scale; how prevent their individuality from cropping out; their holding meetings; their bearing arms; how prevent them from having a voice in making or executing the laws? I do not say that there is unanimity on all these points; but that the great body of the Southern white people are to-day with regard to some one or more of them, avowedly as I have described. I do not say it to injure them, or to alienate you from them, but because I believe it is a truth that must underlie every measure adopted to secure to us and to the freedmen the fruits of our recent struggle. On the other hand, let me say that there is a large class of our fellow-citizens in the North brought up under influences diametrically opposite to those under
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.