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[60]

The negroes as slaves. From the N. O. Picayune, October 13, 1907.

Paper prepared by Capt. James Dinkins, of New Orleans.


The following paper by Captain James Dinkins, of New Orleans, was read at the recent Reunion of Confederate Veterans at Shreveport, La.:

Mr. President and comrades,—I have long thought that I would make record of the character and virtues of the negroes before and during the war, and I take advantage of the opportunity afforded me as a member of the History Committee to do so as far as I am able.

Should I leave the task undone—or rather did I fall to bear testimony in a public way to the fidelity of the negroes to their masters' familiar at all times, and specially during those dreadful days of the war—I would not fulfill an obligation to a loyal and devoted people. My own experience and that of my father and family and friends was so closely associated with the negroes, and those experiences were so satisfactory and pleasant, I feel impelled by every sense of duty, appreciation and love for my dear old black mammy, as well as for many of the other negroes, old and young, to record such facts as I can. I think it is but simple justice, because I do not believe that any people at any time ever proved themselves more loyal than the negroes did under the temptations that beset and tried them. I do not intend to say that all the negroes were good, but in most cases where they were unfaithful they were either wrought up by harsh and cruel treatment by heartless owners, or were incited by evildis-posed, envious, intermeddling incendiaries from the Northern States.

There was a natural desire, too, upon the part of some of the more intelligent negroes to throw off the yoke of slavery and be free, but as a rule the negroes were loyal to their masters' families and respected and loved them. The masters were, as a rule,

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