previous next

[128] Incidentally the report makes another concession, and it is, as said above, curious and interesting to compare it with what Mr. Cleveland now proposes as the cure for the country's grievous embarrassment about the emancipated negro.

The authoritative document referred to above, issued by the Government in Washington for the instruction of the people of the United States expressly declares that the best technical education that the world has ever seen or can ever hope to see was the education that was given by their masters to the negroes before their emancipation. There was good reason why it should be so. Every boy and every girl was set to such work as each was best fitted for and taught to do it well; for the teaching was not done by a salaried official with the inefficiency so familiar to us all, but by a person strongly prompted by interest to make the teaching successful and having power to enforce exertion in the pupil, while he or she was at the same time strongly restrained by self-interest from impairing the health of the pupil by work at too early an age, or too hard work or too dangerous work at any age. Is not this in strange contrast with the ‘free’ labor of to-day, when such strong protests are urged every day against child labor, overwork and dangerous work in the factories and the mines of the North and the South?

One of the worst of the many reproaches brought against the slaveowner by the abolitionist was the allegation that he denied his slaves education. Is it not curious to observe that the highest authorities now say that it is necessary to change the existing system of education to one radically different, and to learn that the highest authority in the United States, the Department of Education, has conceded that the technical education to which we are turning had attained its highest perfection in the system of slavery which has disappeared?

Another truth about slavery seems to have escaped the observation of all. No one will deny that the evils of drunkenness are among the greatest that society has to encounter. It is needless to recite them. It is no less incontestible that nineteen-twentieths of these evils fall on the laboring class. The drunken laborer brings the miseries of cold and hunger and death from want upon mothers, sisters, wives, widows and children. Drink hurt the health of an exceedingly small number of the negro slaves and the life of almost none. And when disabling sickness or death from that or from any other cause did come, it made no difference at all in the supply of

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Grover Cleveland (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: