story they could invent, to make them believe that we sought their ruin. Every brawl between white and black was magnified into the beginning of a war against their race. They were told that we would prevent their voting by violence, and on this pretext they were armed by the State, the further to alarm and excite them. They were told that we were rebels, enemies of the General and State Governments; that the President, the Governor and the great Republican party were our enemies and their friends; that they would never be hurt, do what they might; that high taxes were nothing to them— they did not pay them; that it would be good for them if the landowner should be forced to sell his lands down to a mere homestead; they would then have homes through the operation of the land commission and other causes; that all the accumulated property here was the result of their labor; that it rightfully belonged to them, and that the way to get it was to vote for what they were pleased to term the “Republican party,” meaning the ruling dynasty of South Carolina. This summary of the arguments by which the colored people were led to fasten upon the State for the next two years the same men who have so nearly ruined us in the past, demonstrates the existence among them of a fatal hostility towards us which cannot now be overcome by gentle and kindly overtures. It is so violent in certain quarters as to threaten the existence of society. It has been fostered and favored and kept alive in a large degree by those whose duty it is to protect society. Magistrates and conservators of the peace have been foremost and unrebuked in incendiary utterances and actions. It is allied not only with demagogueism, that demon whose province it is to prostitute the spirit of liberty, but also with agrarianism, which strikes at the foundation of civil society. To this add ignorance and and the leadership of the worst, most unscrupulous and selfish men, as a rule, and some idea may be formed of the dangers of the situation.With this report the Republican Reform party came to an end; Governor Scott was re-elected by an overwhelming vote, and the suffering whites could only hope in patience, while the mad orgies of Republican misrule went on unchecked. In 1872 the office of Governor was filled by a young South Carolinian, who acquired a sad notoriety throughout the country. He had been Speaker of the House of Representatives, and showed a wonderful fitness to hold office in this saturnalia of extravagance and debauchery. The recklessness with which he signed money orders on the Treasury created a large debt, which ought to have been repudiated.
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.