After the war.
was destroyed by the memorable earthquake of 1755, and the fair city lay in ruins, with thousands of its inhabitants crushed beneath the wreck of its homes and temples, the horrors of a great conflagration were added to a scene at which the heart sickens and which defies description.
To this pathetic picture the condition of the South
, at the close of the civil war, may justly be compared.
To the ruin already wrought by the convulsions that had shaken her, and the storm that had swept over her, the fierce passions of reconstruction were added to complete one of the darkest scenes in the history of any civilized people.
To those who passed through that terrible age, which was crowded into the ten years of reconstruction, it appears even now as some hideous nightmare, or the troubled dream of a disordered fancy.
Future generations will never realize it. No other people could have stood the test and passed the ordeal successfully.
But the law-abiding, courageous, determined spirit of the Anglo-Saxon
triumphed at last.
The people of the South
, trained as men were never trained before, to lessons of danger, self-sacrifice, self-reliance, and patience, have met every difficulty that confronted them and solved all the perilous problems of their situation but one, and that one the future must trust to them, and to them alone, for ultimate solution.
The question may well be asked to-day: