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[336]

Advance from Appomattox. From the Richmond News-leader, January 21, 1907.

John Skelton Williams tells of the South's great forward March—Talks to Virginians living in Atlanta.


Startling figures of Development and how the cotton Growers could Tie up the Commerce of the world.


On Saturday the Virginia Society of Atlanta, Ga., gave a banquet in honor of General Lee's birthday. John Skelton Williams was the orator of the occasion. While his address in a great measure was statistical, many of his facts and figures are new and some of them are startling, and they will be found of intense interest by thinking people of the South and North. The address follows:


Our advance from Appomattox.

General Lee was one of the few men who have lived whose greatness and glory culminated with defeat and who won from disaster the ever-deepening love, the ever-rising reverence of mankind. I say he was. He is. His character and his qualities, which are the essentials and the realities of a man, live. As those who knew and followed him in his lifetime die, the hosts of those who know and love him multiply continually. With his body resting quietly in its humble grave in a little Virginia town these thirty-six years, his fame spreads more widely. An immediate personal recollection of him recedes along the ever-lengthening vista of time and becomes dim and misty, the world beyond the boundaries of the dead republic for which he fought learns him more intimately, feels more strongly the power of his sublimity. As the serene white light of history shines upon him more clearly and more brightly it shows him rising ever higher and more majestic and reveals to humanity that one of its highest ideals is realized, one of its noblest conceptions is personified, its foremost hero and gentleman presented to it in this beaten leader of a vanished army, this baffled hope of a [337] country stricken from the map and now but a loved name and a cherished memory.

As Lee is among the few who from defeat and disaster have grown to glory ever increasing, so the people whom he led and whose old ideals his life expressed, are conspicuous in history in marching from surrender to conquest, in coning through humiliation to victory, to dazzling achievement through subjugation. The South has marched straight over stone strewn roads and towering obstacles from Appomattox to Empire.

During weeks of early springtime weather in that fateful year of 1865, the roads were crowded with men wearily trodding to distant homes-men who were ragged and ill-fed, war-worn and weatherbeaten, the valiant units of peerless armies overcome and disintegrated. Behind them lay glory veiled in cloud and hope smitten down, and they faced doubt and desolation. Each man carried a sore and anxious heart to the home from which he had marched long months before with heart beating high, throbbing for the fierce joy of battle and confident of conquest. Some of the homes to which thoughts and footsteps turned when the last gun had been stacked and the last flag furled were humble and remote, some stately, and formerly the centers of bountiful and princely hospitality, some but heaps of ashes and all were in the shadow of fear for the future in the very grip and bitterness of poverty. Yet to each of these homes—in the lonely mountains, along the coasts or plains, in city, village and hamlet—each man returning from the war bore with him a purpose and an inspiration.

General Lee did not need the stern discipline of the army or the articles of war to exact obedience from those who followed him. His spirit pervaded his camps. The mightiness and the beauty of his soul were felt and shared regardless of distance or difference in military rank. These men continued to be Lee's men after they had ceased to be Lee's soldiers. They bore home with them his pure courage, his deathless faith, his calm but indomitable determination that for the South defeat should not meam despair, and disppointment should not bring with it ruin and obliteration. At Spotsylvania the Texans sent ‘Lee to the rear,’ and by the power of their love for Lee burst through smoke and with bullets crowding the air swept over tangled field of the wilderness. Lee was sent to the rear at Appomattox, but Lee's men and Lee's woman have come steadily forward against dangers such as never before had [338] threatened an established civilization, through tangles of perplexities and problems such as never before confronted and bewildered a people. The sons and the grandsons, the daughters and the granddaughters of Lee's men and Lee's women have continued the advance steadily. We people and pupils of Lee have done work his soul would exult to look upon. The waste places have been built up. The barren and fallow fields have been made to yield boundless wealth and ever-increasing power. From ashes and death and desolation Lee's people in Lee's land have established life and growth, and not only a smiling and peaceful prosperity but commercial supremacy.

No time could be more appropriate than this, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, for some recitation of the results of our advance from Appomattox. We have overcome obstacles set thick and deadly before us. We have made our foes our friends and cordial colaborers. We have taken our high place among the mighty people of whom we are part, and have proved our right to rank with the noblest of them. Our victories are expressed, not in dismal lists of killed, hurt and prisoners, but in magnificent totals showing the additionswe make annually to the country's wealth; not in cities ravaged, but in cities built; not in trampled fields and devastation, but in fields made to bear more abundantly than ever before, and in idle and forsaken ground made the site of industry and the places of productions.

Before the wild roses of the summer of 1865 had begun to spread their blossoms above the fields where the bloody banners of battle waved in the spring, Lee's people were at work. The feet that had tramped, tramped, tramped while the boys were marching, and had borne brave men onward in tumultuous charge towards death, were patiently plodding along the furrows behind the plow. The hands that had drawn swords and kept muskets busy were planting, working, building. Food was the first consideration, because famine stood gaunt at every door, and in many sections the meal bins had been scraped and the corn cribs emptied to feed the troops at the front or the families of the soldiers at home. Yet even in 1865-6, we produced 2,661,000 bales of cotton and by 1871, in the very midst of the calamitous process of reconstruction, we gave the world more than four million bales, although six years before we had hardly a dollar or a seed, an animal or a tool, or a dust of fertilizer to begin with. [339]

In the season of 1879 when the last of the alien State governments had been overthrown and order had been conquered from social and political chaos, the South produced a cotton crop of 5,074,155 bales, valued at $250,000,000. For 1906 the value of the cotton crop is placed at $650,000,000, an increase of $400,000, ooo in the same territory, an increase of 160 per cent., while the population increased but 60 per cent in the cotton States, showing an increase in the value of cotton produced to the individual of 66 2-3 per cent. The cotton mills in the United States last year consumed approximately 5,000,000 bales of cotton, or as much as the entire cotton crop produced in 1879, and the value of our exports of raw cotton for the past season is placed at more than $400,000, ooo. The crop of 1879, with which this comparison is made, was, at that time, the largest the South had ever raised, the production having more than doubled in the preceding ten years, or since 1869, when the total crop was 2,366,467 bales. The mere recitation of these results, however, does not impress the average mind. People of this age are too accustomed to thinking in millions to be easily awed by figures.

I ask you to dwell, however, for a moment upon the remarkable fact that the cotton growing States of the South have, during the past six years, received for their cotton approximately thirty-three hundred million dollars, or more than the aggregate of the preceding ten years. This means that the cotton crops raised in the Southern States during these last six years have exceeded in value the total product of all the gold mines of the world from the discovery of America up to the year 1850.

Each cotton crop since 1900 has exceeded in value the greatest cotton crop raised prior to that year. The South is now an empire to which we may say that practically all the rest of the world is tributary and more or less dependent, not for a luxury, or a thing that can be easily dispensed with, but for one of the chief necessities of life.

Let us pause for a moment to consider the consequences which would ensue if the people of the South should decide for only one year to grow no more cotton than enough to supply their own immediate requirements, and not export a bale. As the South now produces three-fourths of all the cotton raised in the world, it follows that about three-fourths of the cotton mills of the world would have to cease running and begin to rest. Ten million people in the [340] British Isles, it is said, derive their support directly or indirectly from the cotton industry. These gigantic armies of workers would be brought to the verge of starvation. The industries of Great Britain would be paralyzed, and the economists admit that a period of general industrial depression and financial panic would probably ensue more severe than any recorded in the past in any country. It is not easy for the imagination to realize the conditions of misery, want and nakedness which would come with the civilized world shut off from its supply of American cotton. Clothing would be scarce; the ships that ply the seas would be without canvas for sails, armies would be without tents, the great dry-goods stores whose merchandise is mainly cotton fabrics, would have to close and their employes would join the throngs of the idle. Keep before you that fact that the people who would be the least of all affected by such conditions would be the Southern people. On their own soil they can raise every other crop which they may need to supply them with food or vesture, and funds for living quite as easily as the farmers of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana or Illinois, who, with an abundance of corn and wheat and wool, have never yet raised, or attempted to raise, a pound of cotton.

The people of Great Britain know all this. They are well aware of the fearful losses, the demoralization and starvation which would inevitably follow in the wake of a cotton famine. Therefore, it is that the English government has for the past fifty years periodically taken alarm and agitated the question of opening new cotton fields in other countries, so as to mitigate to some extent England's dependence upon our Southern cotton fields. At a conference recently held at the foreign office in London, attended by the premier and other leading members of the British cabinet, this subject was discussed with great earnestness. It was stated there that the consumption of raw cotton was increasing at the rate of about a half million bales a year, and it was declared that even a shortage of 25 per cent in the cotton supply would mean a loss to British industries of a million and a half to two million dollars a week. Thus, it is for patriotic, as well as commerical reasons, that the countries of Europe renew from time to time the extraordinary but futile efforts which they have been making during the last fifty years to develop a supply of cotton in other portions of the globe. The suggestion has been made and is being seriously discussed in English papers, that a sufficient amount of English capital should be invested in [341] lands in the Southern States to secure the raising of at least 3,000,000 bales a year for the English mills. In 1905 Great Britain imported 4,407,000 bales of cotton, while the value of the manufactured cotton goods which that country exported is placed at more than $447,000, 0000.

The South is now producing approximately about three times as much cotton as the rest of the world combined, and the proportion of the world's supply produced in the Southern States is increasing rather than diminishing.

There is produced in the whole of Egypt scarcely more than one-third of the cotton produced in Texas, and the production of cotton in Egypt is practically stationary, last year's production there being considerably below the average for the previous three years. There is produced in the whole of India scarcely more than in the State of Texas, and of that production more than one-half is consumed locally, leaving but a limited supply for export.

The advantages which we possess over Great Britain for the manufacture of cotton are undeniable, and will be still further emphasized with the opening of the Panama canal, putting us in close touch with the West coast of South America and the Orient, where our markets are constantly widening. A bulletin issued by the Department of Commerce and Labor January 5, 1967, on the Lancashire cotton trade illustrates the opportunity for development which we have when it points out that during the year 1906 there have been put to work, organized and placed under construction and projected in England new spinning mills which will contain 8,026,356 spindles, or three-fourths as many spindles as there are today in all the Southern States. Surely, if the world is increasing its demands for cotton goods at that rate, we are in the best possible position to participate in the great demand and to supply it.

The development of the cotton milling industry in the Southern States since the year 1900 has exceeded all hopes or dreams. The increase from 1900 to 1906 in the number of spindles is reported by recognized authority, the Manufacturers' Record, of Baltimore, to be 5,018,000; this increase alone being approximately three times as great as the total number of spindles in operation in the South in the year 1890, only sixteen years ago, while the capital invested in cotton mills is now reported at $230,000,000 against

Twenty years ago the most ardent friend of the South, the most [342] optimistic believer in its possibilities, would scarcely have dared predict the results in material development which we accomplished.

Four years of bloody, wasting and destructive war had been followed by nearly ten years of plundering, wilder and grosser and more reckless than any conquered people ever suffered, of blundering, blind, fanatical experiments in government of which the people of the South, of both races, were the helpless victims. In 1860 the cotton-growing, slave-owning States contained 1,065,000 men of producing age; 900,000 of these fought against the Union armies, whose enlisted men numbered 2,800,000. Of the Confederate soldiers 300,000, one-third were killed, died or disappeared under the ominous report of ‘missing’ at the roll calls after the battles. The bulk of the South's property, her individual bases of credit, was destroyed by proclamation at one stroke of Mr. Lincoln's pen. Untold millions of her long accumulated wealth invested in Confederate securities, vanished with the Confederacy. The land lay waste and barren, stock was destroyed, not even tools to work with were left. Cities were heaps of ruins, fields were overgrown in weeds and undergrowth. Yet the Confederate veteran, hobbling patiently on his unaccustomed crutches or trying to guide a worn-out army mule and a broken plow with his one remaining arm, had to pay his full share of taxes to the general government and contribute to the pension of his prosperous and victorious opponent, to pay taxes to his State government, ever increasing its extortionate demands, to face the problem of educating his own children and the children of four million freed slaves and to meet forty per cent. interest on the money he might be able to borrow on his possible crop to secure the means to make it. More than this, he had to reorganize his civilization, to meet a thousand new and hard conditions, to reconstruct society and politics, to learn a new life and new conditions, and to do it all in the face of a general government which did not understand him or his troubles or purposes, and of carpetbag State government's intent only on repressing him and draining him to the last drop of his agonized possibilities.

The pages of history present no parallel—no instance of any conquered people subjected to the hardships and difficulties which were thrust upon our Southern people in the dark and hopeless years of reconstruction which followed the Civil War. Four million former slaves were turned loose, and the reigns of government [343] placed in their hands, by majority rule, protected and encouraged by Federal bayonets. Neither the Persians, after Alexander's conquest of the East, nor Rome, after the Goths and Vandals had laid waste the Eternal city, nor the countries of Europe after the Napoleonic conquest, were called upon to face the appalling burden of government by former slaves, so recently, so very recently emerged from absolute barbarism. We are told that there are still in the South old black men and women whose memory takes them back to their early life in the jungle, and I have heard my father tell of an old slave of his grandfather's plantation who knew the choice cuts of the human carcass, as a result of her early cannibal life on the African coast. Mighty Rome did not recover in a thousand years from the blow when struck down and ravaged by Alaric and his Northern barbarians. Yet, it is now scarcely forty years from Appomattox, and the South has regained all her losses and has forced her way triumphantly forward to the very foremost rank among the nations.

Nothing is needed, surely, to convince the world that the land that can yield restoration, growth, power, prosperity and supremacy of the world's markets from such conditions, is beyond the possibility of exhaustion. No evidence is needed to give assurance for our race. It came through two centuries and a half of enervating influences of slavery, of pastoral prosperity and kindly feudalism, through four years of desperate and devastating war; through ten years of sorrow, inexpressible poverty, humiliation, doubt and oppression, with work to do such as no people ever had to do and no help in doing it. It came through all these varying tests and trials, tempting and assailing every possibility of human weakness, with manhood maintained, with standards and ideals held high above all the rack and strain of long indolence, of carnage and affliction and fearful dangers, with civilization untainted, patriotism pure and strong, courage never faltering. In the blood of these people the seeds of cowardice, treason or decadence never have been sown. Each new burden was carried bravely, with smiling lip and fearless eye and faces turned ever to the roads leading upward—how steep and how far they seemed—and towards the light of the morning—how wan and distant it gleamed then! Each new horror and danger was faced dauntlessly as became the begotten by lions of lions' mates. Sturdily, steadily, patiently and fearlessly as Lee's people pressed up the hill and broke through [344] the smoke clouds on the heights of Gettysburg, as they burst through the wilderness thickness to the salient at Spotsylvania, as they followed to the gloomy glory of Appomattox, Lee's people have pressed and striven and climbed from Appomattox to and now are through the clouds and toward the crest, in the full glow of the light, marching abreast with those who were victors over them, shoulder to shoulder with former enemies in strong and joyous emulation, the spreading spirit of Lee's heroism and patience, purity and splendid purpose and manhood, urging all, ennobling all.

Surely nothing more than the bare facts of history are needed to prove that such a people on such a land, and land yielding such results and a people extorting from it such results are invincible and that we have no need to fear for the future, no need to fix any limits to our expectations of wealth and greatness.

During the first five and seventy years of our national life, or, say from the Declaration of Independence by the thirteen original States until 1850, the South was dominant. In the executive chair at Washington, on the bench and in the halls of legislature, Southern men were foremost. Of the first twelve presidents of the Republic, from 1789 until 1850, seven were the sons of one Southern State—the Old Dominion—Virginia, the mother of presidents. A majority of the chief justices of the United States Supreme Court during these years were Southern men; and more than half of the speakers of the House of Representatives for the same period came from the South.

Surely, it takes no oracle to foresee that the time is now hastening on when the South, seated on the throne of greatness, shall again hold the sceptre of power in our forever united country.

I have no wish to give life to any old quarrels, to arouse the memory of any old wrongs or to pursue any dead men in their graves. It is no unkindly spirit that I recall some of the hideous mistakes that were made in dealing with us, which all now recognize. I concede frankly that if it had been Grant instead of Lee who surrendered at Appomattox, we of the South probably would have erred in dealing with the North, as the North did in dealing with us—errors of long hatred intensified by the smell of the blood of our own, of old and rooted and fortified misconception and wrong valuations, of honest, intense fanaticism and prejudice, of greed and ambition and lust suddenly loosed and regnant by the [345] demoralization of war and the opportunities of conquest over a rich soil and an obedient or helpless population. It is necessary and right, however, for us to reassure ourselves and to gather for ourselves new inspiration for the future by remembering the darkness and the dangers, the wideness and the barrenness of the wilderness through which we have come to conquest and realization.

Against a population of 16,300,000 in 1880, at the close of the dark period of reconstruction, the Southern States now have a population of approximately 25,900,000, with a constantly diminishing proportion of blacks.

Our prodigious increase in values from 1900 to 1906 is shown in official assessed value of property, which has grown from $3,000,000,000 in 1870, and $5,266,000,000 in 9000, to $7,750,000,000 in 1906, an increase of more than 46 per cent. in six years.

The progress we have shown in every department of human effort in the recent past provokes the admiration of the world. Great as has been the development of the United States in the past few decades, the South has far-outstripped the rest of the country in relative growth. Our agriculture shows this. Our manufactures proclaim it. Our mining interests emphasize it. Foreign commerce asserts it.

The figures which express the South's advance in these four great departments of human industry—agriculture, mining, manufactures and commerce—are profoundly eloquent.

Ceres, goddess of agriculture, is easily queen, and the products of our farms and gardens, which in 1880, represented the gold equivalent of $660,000,000, yielded to our people last year three times as much, or two thousand million dollars—an increase over 1890 of more than 60 per cent.

It is said, and I believe correctly, that your own State of Georgia can raise within her borders every product which is grown to any important commercial extent in any other part of the United States, while our Southern States taken together can grow anything produced elsewhere in the entire world—the tea of China, the coffee of Brazil, the indigo and rubber of Africa, the wine of France, the olives of Italy, or the cedars of Lebanon. No nation on earth has a product for export approximating the value of our cotton. It brings to us five times as much as coffee carries to Brazil, and five times as much as tea and silk combined bring to China.

In fact, the total value of all the tea and silk exported from the [346] Chinese empire is not quite sufficient to pay China's bill for the manufactured cotton goods which she imports.

The Secretary of Agriculture, in his report to Congress a few weeks ago, made the declaration that the ‘National welfare has been promoted by a few revolutions in agriculture and economics to the extent that it has been, and will be, promoted by ten cent cotton. The greater part of the cotton planters are out of their former bondage to future maintenances, and they are paying no enormous rates of interest for advancements-rates which we estimated fifteen years ago to average 40 per cent. a year.’

The products of our forests have grown from nine and thirty millions in 1880 to more than $250,000,000 last year. Southern forests are now the country's main reservoirs of timber, and, as I have stood on the docks at Hamburg, I have seen navies of merchantmen arriving loaded down with the timber which our Southern lumbermen were exchanging for the foreigner's gold. Our plains and pastures and the blue grass meadows of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee can raise cattle enough to supply tile continent.

From the mines and quarries of our hillsides and mountains were extracted last year $260,000,000 in value against $20,000,000 in 1880, 1200 per cent. increase in mining, the results in 1905 in the South being three times as great as from all the mines and quarries in New England.

In foreign commerce against exports of $261,000,000 from Southern ports in 1880, we find our exports in 1906 amount to $642,000,000. During the past five years our exports have increased more than 21 percent., while the increase for all the other ports of the country are less than 15 per cent. In the same five years the imports of the United States increased 46 per cent., while the increase of imports throughout Southern harbors exceeded 75 per cent.

During the past three years the South exported raw cotton alone to foreign countries to the value of approximately twelve hundred million dollars. In the fiscal year, 1905-6, in addition to raw cotton exported, we sent over 711,000,000 yards of cotton cloth, or enough to furnish a suit of clothing to each of 100,000,000 Chinese, or other Orientals, at seven yards per capita.

The mighty development in the cotton milling industry in the [347] Southern States may be said to have begun and to have received its great impetus with the Atlanta exposition of 1880. Census reports show that in that year there were only 561,360 spindles in the Southern States. In one year, from 1905 to 1906, the increase in the number of spindles in cotton-growing States amounted to 1,363,537, or nearly two and a half times the number of spindles in the whole South in 1880, while the total number of actual spindles in operation in the South in 1906 amounted to 8,994,868, or sixteen times as many as we had in 1880, six times as many as we had in 1890, and twice as many as we had in 1900, six years ago.

In 1880 the New England States consumed in their cotton mills six times as much cotton as the cotton-growing States. In 1906 the cotton-growing States had not only caught up with New England in the manufacture of raw cotton, but the Southern mills actually manufactured 15 per cent. more cotton than all the mills in the New England States combined. In other words, the Southern mills are now manufacturing approximately as much cotton as was manufactured in all the States of the Union as late as 1890.

The cotton milling industry is the most universally profitable, and is growing by leaps and bounds. Our cotton mills are rapidly introducing their products into foreign countries. In 1895 the value of manufactured cotton goods exported amounted to $13,789,000. By 1906 this bad increased practically fourfold, to $52,994,000. Our trade with the Chinese is developing rapidly. Ten years ago, in 1895, we sent them manufactured products valued at $1,723,000. In 1906 our shipments to China aggregated $29,814,075.

The diversification of Southern manufacturing interests is shown in the census report of 1905, from which it is seen that of the 339 different kinds of general industries reported by this census, approximately 80 per cent. are represented in the South. In other words, of the many industries carried on in the United States there are only about 20 per cent. which are not already being carried on in the Southern States, and these 20 per cent. are industries of secondary importance.

Of the 262 different industries of the South, the value of the product of the twelve principal ones already exceeds one thousand million dollars per annum. [348]

Speaking here, I cannot forbear an illusion to the magnificent part your own city of Atlanta has done in the work of upbuilding. It never can be expressed in figures, because the power and effect of Atlanta's inspiration and leadership, her tonic force, are incalculable and beyond knowledge, but we may note what the figures do tell of this city forty years ago beleagured and a battle ground, burned and wasted, a fallen and dismantled fortress.

The government census of 1905 shows that from 1900 to 1905, the value of the product of Atlanta's manufacturing establishments increased more than 75 per cent.—a larger relative increase than either. Chicago, New York, Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco, or any other large city in the North or West.

From 1900 to 1905 there was an increase in the value of manufactured products in the whole United States of 29 per cent. The increase of manufactured products in the State of Georgia for the same period was 60 per cent., or larger than in any other State in the Union east of the Rockies, except the Southern States of North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas, where the growth in manufactures was about the same as in Georgia. The capital engaged in manufacturing in Georgia for 1906 shows the astonishing increase in six years of 70 per cent.

As rapidly as their resources have permitted it, the Southern States have looked to the increase of educational facilities and the multiplication of the common schools. The figures show that the expenditures for public schools in 1870-71 in the sixteen former slave States and the District of Columbia amounted to $10,385,000. Ten years later, at the close of the period of reconstruction, or say 1879-80, these expenditures amounted to $12,678,000. It was then that the South began to recuperate. Expenditures for 1890 practically doubled, increasing to $24,880,000, while for 9000 the common school expenditures amounted to $34,805,000. Year by year the amount has steadily increased, until for 1906 the money expended by the sixteen former slave-holding Southern States and the District of Columbia for the education of the young in their public schools approximated $50,000,000.

Optimist as I am—as I cannot help being when I look backward to what we have come through and overcome and around me at the [349] evidences of what we are and have done — I know that we have problems yet to solve, dangers to meet, obstacles to overcome. It is no part of my province to discuss the rights or wrongs, the necessity or the possibility of the avoidance or the voluntary abolition of slavery. But my feeling is that the negro, the corpse of a murdered race, whether justly or unjustly, dangled helpless about the strong limbs of the South; a weight upon her back—not a crushing weight, because that sturdy and leonine back cannot be crushed by any weight that may be piled upon it—but a weight and hindrance. Do not understand me as depreciating or denouncing the negro. He has done the best he could—with the opportunities he has had, wonderfully well, I think. Generally speaking, and especially when of the older generations, he has done his humble and docile and faithful and patient part in building the South from the earliest times to the most recent.. We, too, have done our patient part by him. Since Appomattox the Southern white man has spent, as nearly as I can gather from the figures available, more than $160,000,000 from his own sweat and brain, and at the cost of the education of his own children to be loyal to his undertaking and to educate the negro. So the negro has outgrown the South for the use it has for him—as a laborer—and the South has outgrown or is outgrowing fast, its dependence on negro labor. We are educating him for the larger opportunities offered him at the North, and he is going there in numbers accelerating every year.

From 1890 to 900 the negro population of the United States increased 18 per cent. The increase, however, in the Eastern and Northern States, including New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, was more than twice the average, or 43 per cent., against an average increase in the sixteen Southern States of 16 1/2 per cent., and against an increase for the same period in the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan of more than 24 per cent.

We have begun in the South to replace the negro with immigration under ruling by which our ports are thrown open wide to the world of white people whom we can assimilate—with whom in a generation or two we can begin to amalagamate, whom we can accept as part of us. This will continue to drive the negro North, and when he is there the American people under the unfailing [350] guidance of God, may be trusted to deal with him kindly, generously and magnanimously, but so effectually that the divorce shall be eternal, and we shall have no mongrelized government or race anywhere within this union.

As a spirit of Lee lives, so the spirit and the underlying instincts and purposes of the Confederacy live. These were for the maintenance of the rights of the States, the rights of local selfgovern-ment, the rights of the individual against the mass, even against the government itself. The right of secession from the Union was the only right of the States surrendered at Appomattox. The other rights promised by the Constitution remain and ought to be inviolate, and in the defence of them California is as immediately and as deeply interested as Virginia; Massachusetts is as anxious and as determined as Florida. The tendency toward centralization of power and authority extends from the government to the corporation and the individual stockholder, and the minority find themselves alike helpless, their rights disregarded, their protests unheeded, their interests not considered; against all this it is the right, the duty and the high priviledge of Lee's people to fight and to lead the way. The country is caught, but only for the moment, between the upper and nether millstones. We have incorporated capital and power on the one side threatening our very right to breathe. We have the Federal government on the other side offering rescue at the cost of breaking the bulwarks of the State lines, making the imperial Commonwealths dependencies by the surrender of the sovereignty of the States.

Steady and stern and sure of purpose as Lee's veterans with measured tramp moving on to battle, let the States of the South move; the States that never have and never can be frightened or bought because their people can not be scared or bribed.

This time the Union will be with them in the demand that the central government shall recognize itself as the servant of the States, bound to help and serve them, pledged and doubly bound by double and inviolate vow not to attempt to usurp their functions or powers, not to disregard their prerogatives.

Gigantic combinations of capital are neither healthy nor necessary for the surest and highest development of a country. The great question is how big is it good to be, and at what point should ‘sovereign law the States collected will’ step in and say, ‘so far [351] shalt thou come and no further, and here shalt thy proud ways be stayed.’ The cotton mill industry has enjoyed tremendous growth without the interposition of a trust. In fact, an attempt was made to organize a cotton mill trust a few years ago, but the cotton mills which were taken into that combination failed ingloriously.

I have no fears concerning any of these things. I have supreme confidence in our fellow citizens of the East and the North and the West. Their acceptance now of Lee as the supreme—the sublime, the ideal and the perfect type of American manhood and soldiership—is evidence enough for me of their magnanimous and eager-seeking of the best and the highest.

Forty-two years after Lee's surrender, thirty-six years after Lee's death they have become Lee's people. Was ever such a wonderfully sublime climax, such a glittering and amazing and perfectly beautiful crown of transcendent glory in the career of any hero of history before — that after forty years his former and conquering enemies accept him as an ideal and guide and teacher of manhood and of the stern and, clean military virtues?

Let me remind you of the tribute of your own matchless orator, Benjamin Hill to Lee, most appropriate now for quotation at the honoring of Lee's hundredth birthday:

‘He was a foe without hate, a friend without treachery, a soldier without cruelty, a victor without oppression, and a victim without murmuring. He was a public officer without vice, a private citizen without wrong, a neighbor without reproach, a Christian without hypocrisy, and a man without guile. He was Ceasar without his ambition, Frederick without his tyranny, Napoleon without his selfishness, and Washington without his reward. He was as obedient to authority as a servant, and royal in authority as a true king. He was gentle as a woman in life, and modest and pure as a virgin in thought. Watchful as a Roman vestal in duty, submissive to law as Socrates, and grand in battle as Achilles.’

My dream is—my confident hope is—that the Southern States of the Union, with their marvellous gifts of soil and climate, and varying and abundant production and their unconquered manhood and womanhood, will presently be in the van of this Union of States, and will lead it on to compelling power for peace and growth in the [352] world-power of wealth and strength and moral influence, whatever be the process, however many the years that may be required for the fulfilment.

My earnest hope and prayer are that in the advance of our country toward world supremacy as in the advance of the South from ashes and darkness and desolation to prosperity and wealth, all our going may be guided by the manly honesty, the supreme courage, the purity of thought of Lee, and that the new South, however brilliant its future may be, shall be governed always and incite others to be governed, by the rigid sense of personal honor, the high chivalry, the plain, straightforward dealing, and the fine sense of integrity that marked and honored the old South, and has made the memory, the glory and the beauty of it imperishable.

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