which the Southern mind has been molded, who reason in this way: ‘Slavery is a great crime, therefore all slaveholders are conscious criminals.’ No kindness is shown them, no sympathy felt for them. They are denominated oppressors, heathen, or condemned by other opprobious epithets. One who uses the dirk and pistol against negroes who chance to cross his path is represented as an exponent of all Southern feeling and principles. Those who believe and reason in this way are themselves either partially informed or are incrusted with prejudice quite as real as that exhibited by Southern extremists.Southern men are generally outspoken. What is the truth T It is that a large body of them are sincere. Strange as it may seem, they heartily disbelieve in freedom for the negro. They even now reason upon emancipation as a curse of God cast upon them. The warmest — hearted Christian regards his Northern brother as carried away by a delusion which is founded altogether on ignorance of the negro character. The great body of the emancipated no doubt will be purified and strengthened by the experiences they are passing through, just as the children of Israel were by the experiences they encountered in passing from Egypt to the promised land. Those beyond middle age have been dependent so long that freedom gives them a hard trial. Work they can, and the most will, but what they lack is the ability to provide for themselves in such way (to use their method of expressing it) as ‘ to enjoy the fruits of their own labor.’ Again, thousands and thousands are poor women with families of children, without husbands to care for them. In Virginia, where large numbers of children
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.