Some curious Developments of how the Yankees Dispose of their contrabands.
--The St. Louis Republican
(Abolition) contains some rich exposures of what the Yankees
do with the negroes who fall into their hands out West
The article must read well in Boston
, where the man and brother elevateth his horn to the utmost.
We make an extract from it:
It is not true philanthropy which has inspired the Abolitionists in their course with regard to the Southern
With them the question has been, not how many slaves would be benefited by abolition, but how much it would irritate and harass the slaveholders and contribute to the gratification of a sectional malice.
During the present war thousands of negroes have been released from servitude to their masters, but we say unhesitatingly that in nine cases out of ten, if not in a far greater ratio, the change has been positively injurious to their condition, morally and physically.
How many of the contrabands are better provided for than they were in slavery?
How many are more useful to society?
How many are happier?
It has been developed during the progress of military events in the last two years that trading in negroes is not an uncommon kind of speculation among Northern men in Federal service. --There is a case of a superintendent of contrabands at Cairo
, who was discovered to be extensively engaged in this business, and was finally arrested for selling a young negro for $50 to his master in Kentucky
On being detected, this sharper divulged upon others among whom was a chaplain whom he accused of having sold eighty.
Contrabands have been exchanged for cotton.
A Massachusetts Republican paper relates, in the following language, an instance of the sale of a mulatto boy for a pig:
"A few days ago we were at a place where a pretty colored lad, about fifteen years old and almost white, was busying himself.
One man asked, 'Whose negro is that?' 'He belongs to such a man,' was the reply. 'Where did he come from? ''A member of — regiment gave him to — for a pig, that was worth five dollars.' Such talk in Massachusetts
sounds badly, but we have reason to believe that it was literally true."
Officers in the army, after having enticed negroes from their Southern homes, and kept them in camp until they have found them incident and worthless, have taken or sent them North
, and turned them adrift to starve or beg. Abundant cases of this kind have occurred.
Some of the Northern
cities are overrun with "freedmen."--Many, perhaps, are disposed to work, but such are kept in the same menial condition as when they were slaves, and few of them are so well treated, fed, or clothed.
Few receive wages like other hired laborers.
If they get sick they are shifted off upon the corporations.
If they break the laws, to do which they are so tempted, jail doors fly open to receive them.
They are employed when they are profitable, but if useless no more regard is paid to them than to other paupers.
It is a fact, apparent and undeniable, that there is less sympathy for the negro at the North
than in the Southern States
The contraband camps, established by the Government
, have been little else than pens of idleness, squalor and disease.
We shudder to think of the scores of hundreds, of black men, women and children whose miserable deaths are attributable solely to the change in their condition produced by the war — to their own helplessness, and to the neglect and indifference of those whom they in their ignorant and strange faith, looked upon as their benefactors and friends.
In the cities they wander about in poverty and despair until they sicken, and the cold ground shuts them in from a colder world.
The negro is finding freedom to be a fallacy, and himself a sacrifice to the pitiless philanthropy of the Abolitionists.