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Title: Black and White - Land, Labor, and Politics in the South
Author: Fortune, Timothy Thomas, 1856-1928
Language: English
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BLACK AND WHITE

_LAND, LABOR, and POLITICS in the SOUTH_

By

TIMOTHY THOMAS FORTUNE


1884



AUTHOR'S PREFACE


In discussing the political and industrial problems of the South, I
base my conclusions upon a personal knowledge of the condition of
classes in the South, as well as upon the ample data furnished by
writers who have pursued, in their way, the question before me. That
the colored people of the country will yet achieve an honorable status
in the national industries of thought and activity, I believe, and try
to make plain.

In discussion of the land and labor problem I but pursue the theories
advocated by more able and experienced men, in the attempt to show
that the laboring classes of any country pay all the taxes, in the
last analysis, and that they are systematically victimized by
legislators, corporations and syndicates.

Wealth, unduly centralized, endangers the efficient workings of the
machinery of government. Land monopoly--in the hands of individuals,
corporations or syndicates--is at bottom the prime cause of the
inequalities which obtain; which desolate fertile acres turned over to
vast ranches and into bonanza farms of a thousand acres, where not one
family finds a habitation, where muscle and brain are supplanted by
machinery, and the small farmer is swallowed up and turned into a
tenant or slave. While in large cities thousands upon thousands of
human beings are crowded into narrow quarters where vice festers,
where crime flourishes undeterred, and where death is the most welcome
of all visitors.

The primal purpose in publishing this work is to show that the social
problems in the South are, in the main, the same as those which
afflict every civilized country on the globe; and that the future
conflict in that section will not be racial or political in character,
but between capital on the one hand and labor on the other, with the
odds largely in favor of nonproductive wealth because of the undue
advantage given the latter by the pernicious monopoly in land which
limits production and forces population disastrously upon subsistence.
My purpose is to show that poverty and misfortune make no invidious
distinctions of "race, color, or previous condition," but that wealth
unduly centralized oppresses all alike; therefore, that the labor
elements of the whole United States should sympathize with the same
elements in the South, and in some favorable contingency effect some
unity of organization and action, which shall subserve the common
interest of the common class.

                                        T. THOMAS FORTUNE.
New York City, July 20, 1884.



                          CONTENTS

           I--Black                                    1
          II--White                                    6
         III--The Negro and the Nation                13
          IV--The Triumph of the Vanquished           19
           V--Illiteracy--Its Causes                  28
          VI--Education--Professional or Industrial   38
         VII---How Not to Do It                       55
        VIII--The Nation Surrenders                   62
          IX--Political Independence of the Negro     67
           X--Solution of the Political Problem       79
          XI--Land and Labor                          89
         XII--Civilization Degrades the Masses        96
        XIII--Conditions of Labor in the South       107
         XIV--Classes in the South                   120
          XV--The Land Problem                       133
         XVI--Conclusion                             145
              Appendix                               151


On a summer day, when the great heat induced a general thirst, a Lion
and a Boar came at the same moment to a small well to drink. They
fiercely disputed which of them should drink first, and were soon
engaged in the agonies of a mortal combat. On their suddenly stopping
to take breath for the fiercer renewal of the strife, they saw some
vultures in the distance, waiting to feast on the one which should
fall. They at once made up their quarrel, saying, "It is better
for us to be friends, than to become the food of crows or
vultures."--_Æsop's Fables_.



CHAPTER I

_Black_


There is no question to-day in American politics more unsettled than
the negro question; nor has there been a time since the adoption of
the Federal Constitution when this question has not, in one shape or
another, been a disturbing element, a deep-rooted cancer, upon the
body of our society, frequently occupying public attention to the
exclusion of all other questions. It appears to possess, as no other
question, the elements of perennial vitality.

The introduction of African slaves into the colony of Virginia in
August, 1619, was the beginning of an agitation, a problem, the
solution of which no man, even at this late date, can predict,
although many wise men have prophesied.

History--the record of human error, cruelty and misdirected
zeal--furnishes no more striking anomaly than the British Puritan
fleeing from princely rule and tyranny and dragging at his heels the
African savage, bound in servile chains; praying to a just God for
freedom, and at the same time riveting upon his fellow-man the gyves
of most unjust and cruel slavery. A parallel for such hypocrisy, such
sacrilegious invocation, is not matched in the various history of
peoples.

It did not matter to the early settlers of the American colonies that,
in the memorable struggle for the right to be represented if taxed, a
black man--Crispus Attucks, a full-blooded Negro--died upon the soil
of Massachusetts, in the Boston massacre of 1770, in common with other
loyal, earnest men, as the first armed protest against an odious
tyranny; it did not matter that in the armies of the colonies, in
rebellion against Great Britain, there were (according to the report
of Adjutant General Scammell), on the 24th day of August, 1778, 755
regularly enlisted negro troops; it did not matter that in the second
war with Great Britain, General Andrew Jackson, on the 21st day of
September, 1814, appealed to the "free colored people of Louisiana" as
"sons of freedom," who were "called upon to defend _our_ most
inestimable blessing," the right to be free and sovereign, and to
"rally around the standard of the eagle, to defend all which is dear
in existence;" it did not matter that in each of these memorable
struggles the black man was called upon, and responded nobly, to the
call for volunteers to drive out the minions of the British tyrant.
When the smoke of battle had dissolved into thin air; when the
precious right to be free and sovereign had been stubbornly fought for
and reluctantly conceded; when the bloody memories of Yorktown and New
Orleans had passed into glorious history, the black man, who had
assisted by his courage to establish the free and independent States
of America, was doomed to sweat and groan that others might revel in
idleness and luxury. Allured, in each instance, into the conflict for
National independence by the hope held out of generous reward and an
honest consideration of his manhood rights, he received as his portion
chains and contempt. The spirit of injustice, inborn in the Caucasian
nature, asserted itself in each instance. Selfishness and greed rode
roughshod over the promptings of a generous, humane, Christian nature,
as they have always done in this country, not only in the case of the
African but of the Indian as well, each of whom has in turn felt the
pernicious influence of that heartless greed which overleaps honesty
and fair play, in the unmanly grasp after perishable gain.

The books which have been written in this country--the books which
have molded and controlled intelligent public opinion--during the
past one hundred and fifty years have been written by white men, in
justification of the white man's domineering selfishness, cruelty and
tyranny. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson's _Notes on Virginia_, down
to the present time, the same key has been struck, the same song as
been sung, with here and there a rare exception--as in the case of
Mrs. Stowe's _Uncle Tom's Cabin_, Judge Tourgée's _A Fool's Errand_,
Dr. Haygood's _Our Brother in Black_, and some others of less note.
The white man's story has been told over and over again, until the
reader actually tires of the monotonous repetition, so like the
ten-cent novels in which the white hunter always triumphs over the red
man. The honest reader has longed in vain for a glimpse at the other
side of the picture so studiously turned to the wall.

Even in books written expressly to picture the black man's side of the
story, the author has been compelled to palliate, by interjecting
extenuating, often irrelevant circumstances, the ferocity and
insatiate lust of greed of his race. He has been unable to tell the
story as it was, because his nature, his love of race, his inborn,
prejudices and narrowness made him a lurking coward.

And so it has been with the newspapers, which have ever been the
obsequious reflex of distempered public opinion, siding always with
the strong and powerful; so that in 1831, when the "Liberator"
(published in Boston by the intrepid and patriotic Garrison) made its
appearance, it was a lone David among a swarm of Goliaths, any one of
which was willing and anxious to serve the cause of the devil by
crushing the little angel in the service of the Lord. So it is to-day.
The great newspapers, which should plead the cause of the oppressed
and the down-trodden, which should be the palladiums of the people's
rights, are all on the side of the oppressor, or by silence preserve a
dignified but ignominious neutrality. Day after day they weave a false
picture of facts--facts which must measurably influence the future
historian of the times in the composition of impartial history. The
wrongs of the masses are referred to sneeringly or apologetically.

The vast army of laborers--men, women, and even tender children--find
no favor in the eyes of these Knights of the Quill. The Negro and the
Indian, the footballs of slippery politicians and the helpless victims
of sharpers and thieves, are wantonly misrepresented--held up to the
eyes of the world as beings incapable of imbibing the distorted
civilization in the midst of which they live and have their being.
They are placed in the attic, only to be aired when somebody wants an
"issue" or an "appropriation."

There are no "Liberators" to-day, and the William Lloyd Garrisons have
nearly all of them gone the way of all the world.

The part played by the ministry of Christ in the early conflict
against human slavery in this country would be enigmatical in the
extreme, utterly beyond apprehension, if it were not matter of history
that the representatives of the Christian Church, in conflicts with
every giant wrong, have always been the strongest supporters, the most
obsequious tools of money power and the political sharpers who have
imposed their vile tyrannies upon mankind. They have alternately
supplicated and domineered, crawled in the dust or mounted the
house-top, as occasion served, from Gregory to the Smiths and Joneses
of the present time. So that it has passed into a proverb, that the
ministers of the gospel may be always counted upon to take sides with
the strongest party--always seeking to conciliate "King Cotton," "King
Corporation," "King Monopoly," and all the other "Kings" of modern
growth--swaying, like the reed in the wind, to the powers that be,
whether of tyranny reared upon a thousand years of usurpation,
military despotism of a day's growth, or presumptuous wealth
accumulated by robbery, hypocrisy and insidious assassination. Instead
of leading in the reformation of leviathan wrongs, the ministry waits
for the rabble to applaud before it commends.[1] It was not in this
manner that the great Christ set the world in motion, sowed broadcast
the dynamite which uprooted long-established infamies, and prepared
the way for the ultimate redemption of the world from sin and error.

If the Christian ministry of the United States did at last recognize
the demoralization and iniquity of slavery, it was because the heroic
band, headed by William Lloyd Garrison, first fired the heart of the
people and forced the ministry to take sides with the righteous cause.
I speak not of the few heroic exceptions, but of the mass of the
American clergy. If in the evangelization of the black man since the
rebellion, the ministry have largely furthered the work, they have
done so because there were hundreds and thousands of brave men and
women ready to give their time and money to the upbuilding of outraged
humanity and the cause of Christ. They have simply put in operation
movements conceived and nurtured by the genius and philanthropy of
others, and no one of them will claim that he has not reaped an
abundant pecuniary harvest for his labors. Yet, I would accord to the
ministry of the United States full meed of praise for all that they
have done as the agents of the humane, intelligent and philanthropic
opinions of the times; and, too, there have been good men who fought
the good fight simply because the cause was just.


FOOTNOTES:

[1]  _Be thou the first true merit to befriend,
     His praise is lost who waits till all commend._
                                _Pope's_ Essay on Man.



CHAPTER II

_White_


It is my purpose in writing this work to show that the American
Government has always construed people of African parentage to be
aliens, not only when the Constitution was tortured by narrow-minded
men to shield the cruel, murderous slave-holder in the possession of
his human property, but even now, when the panoply of citizenship is,
presumably, all-sufficient to insure to the late slave the enjoyment
of full manhood rights as a sovereign citizen.

The conflict of law and the moral sentiment of the country has been
long and bloody, and the end is not yet. Political parties in this
country do not lead, but follow, public opinion. They hang upon the
applause of the rabble, and succeed or fail in their efforts to
administer the affairs of Government in proportion as they interpret
the wishes of the rabble. Not alone do parties defer to the wishes of
the illiterate, the "great unwashed" majority, but individuals as
well, who prefer to ride upon the wave of success as the champions of
great wrongs rather than to go into retirement as the champions of
just principles. The voice of the Charmer is all too powerful to be
successfully resisted.

Republics have always been fruitful of demagogues. Such vermin find
the soil of democratic government the most fertile and congenial for
their operations, because the audiences to which they speak, the
passions to which they appeal, are not always of the most reflective,
humane or enlightened. Demagogues are the parasites of republics; and
that our country is afflicted with an abnormal number of them is to be
expected from the tentative nature of our institutions, the extent of
our territory and the heterogeneity of our vast population.

Under our government all the peoples of the world find shelter and
protection--save the African (who was formerly used as a beast of
burden and now as a football, to be kicked by one faction and kicked
back by the other) and the industrious Chinaman, who was barred out by
the over-obsequiousness of the Congress of the nation, in deference to
the Sand-Lot demagogues of the Pacific coast, headed by Denis Kearney,
because it was desirable to conciliate their votes, even at the
expense of consistency and the unity of the Constitution. That great
document, while constantly affirmed to be the most broad and liberal
compact ever devised for the governance of man, has always been found
to be narrow enough to serve the purposes of the slave oligarch and
the make-shifts of the party in power; and has always afforded ample
shelter and protection to the lazzaroni of Italy, the paupers of
Ireland, and the incendiary spirits of other countries, but yet cannot
shield a black man, a citizen and to the manor born, in any common,
civil or political right which usually attaches to citizenship.

A putative citizen of the United States commits murder in the
jurisdiction of a friendly power, and the Chief Executive of fifty
millions of people deems it incumbent upon him as the head of the
faction to which he belongs to "call the attention of Congress" to the
fact, ostensibly in the interest of justice and fair-play, but
obviously to court the good will of the American sympathizers of the
assassin. While on the contrary, within a few hundred miles of the
National capital, an armed mob of citizens shoot down in cold blood a
dozen of their fellow-citizens, but the Chief of the Nation did not
deem it at all pertinent or necessary to "call the attention of
Congress" to the matter. And why? Because, forsooth, the newspapers,
voicing the wishes of the rabble and the cormorants of trade, cry down
the "Bloody Shirt," proclaiming, with brazen effrontery, that each
State is "_sovereign_," and that its citizens have a _perfect right_
to terrorize and murder one another, if they so desire. The Bible
declares that "Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach
to any people." God save the Union!

But such argument is indicative, not only of American politics but of
Caucasian human nature as well--that human nature which seldom rises
above self-interest in business or politics. If you have abundance of
money, the merchant is all accommodation, the lawyer all smiles; if
you have votes that count, politicians cannot be too obsequious, too
affable, too anxious to serve you. But if you simply have common
humanity, clothed in the awful majesty of a just cause, you appeal in
vain to the cormorants of trade, the harpies of law, or the demagogues
of power. Unless you are of the salt salty, unless you are clothed in
broadcloth and fine linen, you cannot obtain even a respectful
hearing.

It took the Abolitionists full thirty years to convince the American
people, the ministry of Christ included, that slavery was, pure and
simple, a "Covenant with death and an agreement with hell;" and then,
sad to say, they were convinced against their wills. Their sense of
justice had become so obtuse as to wholly blunt the sense of reason,
the brotherly sympathy of a common race-feeling, and the broad,
liberal and just inculcations of Jesus Christ. The nation was sunk to
the moral turpitude of Constantinople; and not even a John crying in
the wilderness could arouse it to a sense of the exceeding foulness in
the midst of which it grovelled, or of the storm gathering on the
distant horizon.

Although the abolition of slavery had been agitated for more than
thirty years, the nation, which was ruled by politicians of the usual
mental caliber, was startled at the defiant shot upon Fort
Sumter--the shot that echoed the downfall of the foulest institution
which has sapped the vitality of any modern government, and that
aroused the people to a sorrowful realization that the power which
defied them was strong enough and desperate enough to stop at nothing
short of the disintegration of the American Union. So the nation,
still sympathizing with slavery, still playing with a coal of fire,
grappled with the monster, feeling itself powerful to crush it in a
few short months.

It was not because the people of the nation hated slavery and
oppression that they rushed upon the field of battle; no such
righteousness moved them: it was because the slave-power, which had
for so long dictated legislation and the interpretation of the laws,
would tolerate no adverse criticism or legislation upon the foul
institution it championed, and appealed from the forum of reason to
the forum of treasonable rebellion to enforce the right so long and (I
blush to say it!) _constitutionally_ conceded to it.

I do not believe that, in 1860, a majority (or even a respectable
minority) of the American people desired the manumission of the slave;
it is evident, from the temper of the political discussions of that
time, that the combination of parties out of which, in 1856, the
Republican party was formed, desired to do no more than to confine the
institution of slavery within the territory then occupied. There was
certainly very little comfort for the black man in this position of
the "party of great moral ideas."

The overtures[2] made by President Lincoln to the slave-power during
the first year of the war were all made in the interest of the
perpetuation of the Union, and not in the interest of the slave.

His reply to Mr. Horace Greeley, who urged upon him the importance of
issuing an emancipation proclamation is conclusive that he was more
concerned about the Union than about the slave:

     EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
     _August 22, 1862_

     HON. HORACE GREELEY:--Dear Sir: I have just read yours of
     the 19th, addressed to myself through the _New York
     Tribune_. If there be in it any statements or assumptions of
     facts which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and
     here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences
     which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not, now and
     here, argue against them. If there be perceptible in it an
     imperious and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to
     an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be
     right.

      As to the policy I seem to be pursuing, as you say, I have
     not meant to leave any one in doubt.

      I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way
     under the constitution. The sooner the national authority
     can be restored, the nearer the Union will be the Union it
     was.

      * * * If there be those who would not save the Union,
     unless they could at the same time _destroy slavery, I do
     not agree with them_. My paramount object in this struggle
     _is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to
     destroy slavery_. If I could save the Union _without_
     freeing _any_ slave _I would do it_, and if I could save it
     by freeing _all_ the slaves I would do it; and if I could
     save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would
     also do that. _What I do about slavery and the colored race,
     I do because I believe it helps to save the Union_; and what
     I forbear I forbear because I do not believe it would help
     to save the Union. I shall do _less_ whenever I shall
     believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do
     _more_ whenever I shall believe doing more will help the
     cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be
     errors, and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall
     appear to be true views.

      I have here stated my purposes according to my view of
     _official_ duty; and I intend no modification of my
     oft-expressed _personal_ wish that all men, everywhere,
     should be free.

                         Yours,
                                A. LINCOLN

Everything--humanity, justice, posterity--was placed upon the
sacrificial altar of the Union, and the slave-power was repeatedly and
earnestly invited to lay down its traitorous arms, be forgiven, and
keep its slaves. With Mr. Lincoln, as President, it was the Union,
first, last, and all the time. And he but echoed the prevailing
opinions of his time. I do not question or criticise his _personal_
attitude; but what he himself called his "view of official duty" was
to execute the will of the people, and that was _not_ to abolish
slavery, at that time.

As the politicians only took hold of the great question when they
thought it would advance their selfish interests, they were prepared
to abandon it or immolate it upon the altar of "expediency," when the
great clouds of treason burst upon them in the form of gigantic
rebellion. The politicians of that time, like the politicians of all
times, were incapable of appreciating the magnitude of the questions
involved in the conflict.

But the slave-power had been aroused. It was not to be appeased by
overtures; it wanted no compromise. It would brook no interference
inimical to its "peculiar institution." In the Congress of the nation,
in the high places of power, it had so long been permitted to dictate
the policy to be pursued towards slavery, it had so inoculated the
institutions of the government with the virus of its vicious opinions,
that, to be interfered with, to be dictated to, was out of the
question. It was Ephraim and his idol repeated.

The South forced the issue upon the people of the country. The
Southerners marched off under the banner of "States Rights"--a
doctrine they have always championed. They cared nothing for the Union
_then_; they care less for the Union _now_. The State to them is
sovereign; the nation a magnificent combination of nothingness. The
State has in its keeping all option over life, individual rights, and
property. The spirit of Hayne and Calhoun is still the star that
lights the pathway of the Southern man in his duty to the government.
He recognizes no sovereignty more potential than that of his State.

Long years of agitation and bloody war have failed to decide the
rights of States, or the measure of protection which the National
government owes to the individual members of States. We still grope in
the sinuous by-ways of uncertainty. The State still defies the
National authority; and the individual citizens of the Nation still
appeal in vain for protection from oppressive laws of States or the
violent methods of their citizens. The question, "Which is the
greater, the State or the Sisterhood of States?" is still undecided,
and may have to be adjudicated in some future stage of our history by
another appeal to arms.


FOOTNOTES:

[2] I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and
Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim
and declare * * * that, on the first day of January, in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held
as slaves within any State, or designated part of the State, the
people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall
be then, and thenceforward, and forever free; * * * That the Executive
will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation,
designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people
thereof respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United
States.--" President Lincoln's _"Conditional" Emancipation
Proclamation_.



CHAPTER III

_The Negro and the Nation_


The war of the Rebellion settled only one question: It forever settled
the question of chattel slavery[3] in this country. It forever choked
the life out of the infamy of the Constitutional right of one man to
rob another, by purchase of his person, or of his honest share of the
produce of his own labor. But this was the only question permanently
and irrevocably settled. Nor was this _the_ all-absorbing question
involved. The right of a State to secede from the so-called _Union_
remains where it was when the treasonable shot upon Fort Sumter
aroused the people to all the horrors of internecine war. And the
measure of protection which the National government owes the
individual members of States, a right imposed upon it by the adoption
of the XIVth Amendment[4] to the Constitution, remains still to be
affirmed.

It was not sufficient that the Federal government should expend its
blood and treasure to unfetter the limbs of four millions of people.
There can be a slavery more odious, more galling, than mere chattel
slavery. It has been declared to be an act of charity to enforce
ignorance upon the slave, since to inform his intelligence would
simply be to make his unnatural lot all the more unbearable. Instance
the miserable existence of Æsop, the great black moralist. But this is
just what the manumission of the black people of this country has
accomplished. They are more absolutely under the control of the
Southern whites; they are more systematically robbed of their labor;
they are more poorly housed, clothed and fed, than under the slave
régime; and they enjoy, practically, less of the protection of the
laws of the State or of the Federal government. When they appeal to
the Federal government they are told by the Supreme Court to go to the
State authorities--as if they would have appealed to the one had the
other given them that protection to which their sovereign citizenship
entitles them!

Practically, there is no law in the United States which extends its
protecting arm over the black man and his rights. He is, like the
Irishman in Ireland, an alien in his native land. There is no central
or auxiliary authority to which he can appeal for protection. Wherever
he turns he finds the strong arm of constituted authority powerless to
protect him. The farmer and the merchant rob him with absolute
immunity, and irresponsible ruffians murder him without fear of
punishment, undeterred by the law, or by public opinion--which
connives at, if it does not inspire, the deeds of lawless violence.
Legislatures of States have framed a code of laws which is more cruel
and unjust than any enforced by a former slave State.

The right of franchise[5] has been practically annulled in every one
of the former slave States, in not one of which, to-day, can a man
vote, think or act as he pleases. He must conform his views to the
views of the men who have usurped every function of government--who,
at the point of the dagger, and with shotgun, have made themselves
masters in defiance of every law or precedent in our history as a
government. They have usurped government with the weapons of the
coward and assassin, and they maintain themselves in power by the most
approved practices of the most odious of tyrants. These men have shed
as much innocent blood as the bloody triumvirate of Rome. To-day,
red-handed murderers and assassins sit in the high places of power,
and bask in the smiles of innocence and beauty.

The newspapers of the country, voicing the sentiments of the people,
literally hiss into silence any man who has the courage to protest
against the prevailing tendency to lawlessness[6] and bare-faced
usurpation; while parties have ceased to deal with the question for
other than purposes of political capital. Even this fruitful mine is
well-nigh exhausted. A few more years, and the usurper and the man of
violence will be left in undisputed possession of his blood-stained
inheritance. No man will attempt to deter him from sowing broadcast
the seeds of revolution and death. Brave men are powerless to combat
this organized brigandage, complaint of which, in derision, has been
termed "waving the bloody shirt."

Men organize themselves into society for mutual protection. Government
justly derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. But
what shall we say of that society which is incapable of extending the
protection which is inherent in it? What shall we say of that
government which has not power or inclination to insure the exercise
of those solemn rights and immunities which it guarantees? To declare
a man to be free, and equal with his fellow, and then to refrain from
enacting laws powerful to insure him in such freedom and equality, is
to trifle with the most sacred of all the functions of sovereignty.
Have not the United States done this very thing? Have they not
conferred freedom and the ballot, which are necessary the one to the
other? And have they not signally failed to make omnipotent the one
and practicable the other? The questions hardly require an answer. The
measure of freedom the black man enjoys can be gauged by the power he
has to vote. He has, practically, no voice in the government under
which he lives. His property is taxed and his life is jeopardized, by
states on the one hand and inefficient police regulations on the
other, and no question is asked or expected of him. When he protests,
when he cries out against this flagrant nullification of the very
first principles of a republican form of government, the insolent
question is asked: "What are you going to do about it?" And here lies
the danger.

You may rob and maltreat a slave and ask him what he is going to do
about it, and he can make no reply. He is bound hand and foot; he is
effectually gagged. Despair is his only refuge. He knows it is useless
to appeal from tyranny unto the designers and apologists of tyranny.
Ignominious death alone can bring him relief. This was the case of
thousands of men doomed by the institution of slavery. _But such is
not the case with free men._ You cannot oppress and murder freemen as
you would slaves: you cannot so insult them with the question, "What
are you going to do about it?" When you ask free men that question you
appeal to men who, though sunk to the verge of despair, yet are
capable of uprising and ripping hip and thigh those who deemed them
incapable of so rising above their condition. The history of mankind
is fruitful of such uprisings of races and classes reduced to a
condition of absolute despair. The American negro is no better and no
worse than the Haytian revolutionists headed by Toussaint l'Overture,
Christophe and the bloody Dessalaines.

I do not indulge in the luxury of prophecy when I declare that the
American people are fostering in their bosoms a spirit of rebellion
which will yet shake the pillars of popular government as they have
never before been shaken, unless a wiser policy is inaugurated and
honestly enforced. All the indications point to the fulfillment of
such declaration.

The Czar of Russia squirms upon his throne, not because he is
necessarily a bad man, but because he is the head and center of a
condition of things which squeezes the life out of the people. His
subjects hurl infernal machines at the tyrant because he represents
the system which oppresses them. But the evil is far deeper than the
throne, and cannot be remedied by striking the occupant of it-_the
throne itself must be rooted out and demolished_. So the Irish
question has a more powerful motive to foment agitation and murder
than the landlord and landlordism. The landlord simply stands out as
the representative of the real grievance. To remove _him_ would not
remove the evil; agitation would not cease; murder would still stalk
abroad at noonday. _The real grievance is the false system which makes
the landlord possible._ The appropriation of the fertile acres of the
soil of Ireland, which created and maintains a privileged class, a
class that while performing no labor, wrings from the toiler, in the
shape of rents, so much of the produce of his labor that he cannot on
the residue support himself and those dependent upon him aggravates
the situation. It is this system which constitutes the real grievance
and makes the landlord an odious loafer with abundant cash and the
laborer a constant toiler always upon the verge of starvation.
Evidently, therefore, to remove the landlord and leave the system of
land monopoly would not remove the evil. Destroy the latter and the
former would be compelled to go.

Herein lies the great social wrong which has turned the beautiful
roses of freedom into thorns to prick the hands of the black men of
the South; which made slavery a blessing, paradoxical as it may
appear, and freedom a curse. It is this great wrong which has crowded
the cities of the South with an ignorant pauper population, making
desolate fields that once bloomed "as fair as a garden of the Lord,"
where now the towering oak and pine-tree flourish, instead of the corn
and cotton which gladdened the heart and filled the purse. It was this
gigantic iniquity which created that arrogant class who have exhausted
the catalogue of violence to obtain power and the lexicon of sophistry
for arguments to extenuate the exceeding heinousness of crime. How
could it be otherwise? To tell a man he is free when he has neither
money nor the opportunity to make it, is simply to mock him. To tell
him he has no master when he cannot live except by permission of the
man who, under favorable conditions, monopolizes all the land, is to
deal in the most tantalizing contradiction of terms. But this is just
what the United States did for the black man. And yet because he has
not grown learned and wealthy in twenty years, because he does not own
broad acres and a large bank account, people are not wanting who
declare he has no capacity, that he is improvident by nature and
mendacious from inclination.


FOOTNOTES:

[3] Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment
for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall
exist within the United States, or any place subject to their
jurisdiction.--Art. XIII. Sec. 1 of the Constitution.

[4] All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject
to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of
the State in which they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law
which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the
United States; _nor shall any State deprive any person of life,
liberty, or property without due process of law, nor deny to any
person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the
laws_--XIVth Amendment, Section 1.

[5] The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be
denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account
of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.--XVth Amendment,
Sec. 1.

[6] While I write these lines, the daily newspapers furnish the
following paragraph. It is but one of the _waifs_ that are to be found
in the newspapers day by day. There is always some _circumstance_
which justifies the murder and exculpates the murderer. The black
always deserves his fate. I give the paragraph:

"SPEAR, MITCHELL CO., N.C., March 19, 1884.--Col. J.M. English, a
farmer and prominent citizen living at Plumtree, Mitchell County,
N.C., shot and killed a mulatto named Jack Mathis at that place
Saturday, March 1. There had been difficulty between them for several
months.

"Mathis last summer worked in one of Col. English's mica mines.
Evidence pointed to him being implicated in the systematic stealing of
mica from the mine. Still it was not direct enough to convict him, but
he was discharged by English. Mathis was also a tenant of one of
English's houses and lots. In resentment he damaged the property by
destroying fences, tearing off weather boards from the house, and
injuring the fruit trees. For this Col. English prosecuted the negro,
and on Feb. 9, before a local Justice, ex-Sheriff Wiseman, he got a
judgment for $100. On the date stated, during a casual meeting, hot
words grew into an altercation, and Col. English shot the negro.
Mathis was a powerful man. English is a cripple, being lame in a leg
from a wound received in the Mexican war.

"A trial was had before a preliminary court recently, Col. S.C. Vance
appearing for Col. English. After a hearing of all the testimony the
court reached a decision of justifiable homicide and English was
released. The locality of the shooting is in the mountains of western
North Carolina, and not far from the Flat Rock mica mine, the scene of
the brutal midnight murder, Feb. 17, of Burleson, Miller, and Horton
by Rae and Anderson, two revenue officers, who took this means to gain
possession of the mica mine."

My knowledge of such affairs in the South is, that the black and the
white have an altercation over some trivial thing, and the white to
end the argument shoots the black man down. The negro is always a
"_powerful fellow_" and the white man a "weak sickly man." The law and
public opinion always side with the white man.



CHAPTER IV

_The Triumph of the Vanquished_


There are those throughout the length and breadth of our great country
who make a fair living by traducing better men than themselves; by
continually crying out that the black man is incapable of being
civilized; that he is born with the elements of barbarity,
improvidence and untruthfulness so woven into his very nature that no
amount of opportunity, labor, love, or sacrifice can ever lift him out
of the condition, the "sphere God designed him to occupy"--as if the
great Common Parent took any more pains in the making of one man than
another. But those who utter such blasphemy, who call in the
assistance of the Almighty to fight the battles of the devil, are the
very persons who do most by precept and example to make possible the
verification of their blasphemy. They carry their lamentations into
the pulpit, grave convocations, newspapers, and even into halls of
legislation, State and Federal. They are the false prophets who blind
the eye of reason and blunt the sympathies of honest, well-meaning
men. They are the Jonases on board the ship of progress. They belong
to that class of men who would pick flaws in the finest work of art.
They find fault with the great mass of ignorance around them,
contending that the poor victims have only themselves to blame for
their destitute and painful condition, and, therefore, are not
entitled to the sympathy or charity of their more fortunate
brethren--unmindful that the great Master, judging by the false laws
of men, declared that "the poor ye have always with you;" while the
very rich are held up as monsters of selfishness, rapacity and the
most loathsome of social vices. It is, therefore, hardly to be
expected that this class of persons would find anything good in the
nature of the lately enslaved black man, or any improvement in his
condition since a generous Government had made him an ignorant voter
and a confirmed pauper--the victim of his former master, to be robbed
outright by designing and unscrupulous harpies of trade, and to be
defrauded of his franchise by blatant demagogues or by outlaws, to
whom I will not apply the term "assassins" for fear of using bad
English.

When the American Government conferred upon the black man the boon of
freedom and the burden of the franchise, it added four million men to
the already vast army of men who appear to be specially created to
labor for the enrichment of vast corporations, which have no souls,
and for individuals, whom our government have made a privileged class,
by permitting them to usurp or monopolize, through the accepted
channel of barter and trade, the soil, from which the masses, the
laboring masses, must obtain a subsistence, and without the privilege
of cultivating which they must faint and die.[7] It also added four
millions of souls to what have been termed, in the refinement of
sarcasm, "the dangerous classes"[8]--meaning by which the vast army of
men and women who, while willing and anxious to make an honest living
by the labor of their hands, and who--when speculators cry
"over-production," "glutted market," and other clap-trap--threaten to
take by force from society that which society prevents them from
making honestly.

When a society fosters as much crime and destitution as ours, with
ample resources to meet the actual necessities of every one, there
must be something radically wrong, not in the society but in the
foundation upon which society is reared. Where is this ulcer located?
Is it to be found in the dead-weight of illiteracy which we carry? The
masses of few countries are more intelligent than ours. Is it to be
found in burdensome taxation or ill-adjusted tariff regulations? Few
countries are burdened with less debt, and many have far worse tariff
laws than curse our country. Is it to be found in an unjust pension
list? We hardly miss the small compensation which we grant to the men
(or their heirs) who, in the hour of National peril, gave their lives
freely to perpetuate the Union of our States. Where, then, is secreted
the parasite which is eating away the energies of the people, making
paupers and criminals in the midst of plenty and the grandest of
civilizations? Is it not to be found in the powerful monopolies we
have created? Monopoly in land, in railroads, telegraphs, fostered
manufactures, etc.,--the gigantic forces in our civilization which
are, in their very nature, agents of public convenience, comfort and
absolute necessity? Society, in the modern sense, could not exist
without these forces; they are part and parcel of our civilization.
Naturally, therefore, society should control them, or submit to the
humiliation of being ruled by them. And this latter is largely the
case at the present time. Having evolved those forces out of its
necessities, made them strong and permanent, society failed to impose
such conditions as wise policy should have dictated, and now suffers
the calamitous consequences. The tail wags the dog, instead of the dog
wagging the tail.

No government can afford, with any degree of safety, to make four
million of citizens out of so many slaves. And when it is remembered
that our slaves were turned loose upon their former masters--lifted by
one stroke of the pen, as it were, from the most degraded condition to
the very pinnacle of sovereign manhood--the equals in unrestricted
manhood, with the privileges and immunities of citizens who had been
born to rule, apparently, instead of being ruled--it will be seen
readily how critical was the situation.

But the condition having once been created by the strong arm of the
Federal Government, based upon a bloody and costly war in open
defiance of the Constitution as designed by the compromising Fathers
of the Republic; the slave once made a free man the same as his former
master, and given the ballot, the highest privilege of government a
man can exercise;--the Government having once gone so far, there was
absolutely nothing for it to do but to interpose its omnipotent
authority between the haughty and arrogant free man on the one hand
and the crouching and fearful freed man on the other--the lion and the
lamb. To do less would be more than cruel, it would be murderous;--the
agency which created the condition was bound by all law and precedent
to see that those conditions were maintained in their entirety. It
could not evade the issue except at the expense of dignity,
consistency and humanity. There was but one honorable course to
pursue. Any other would be a horrible abandonment of principle. If it
were powerful to create, to make free men and citizens, it must,
manifestly, be powerful to insure the enjoyment of the freedom
conferred, and protect the inviolability of the franchise granted. Any
other conclusion would make government a by-word and a scoffing to the
nations; any other conclusion would make its conferring of freedom and
citizenship absurd in the extreme, a mere trick of the demagogue to
ease the popular conscience. To do such a thing would sink a decent
government lower in the estimation of the world than the miserable
apology of government represented by the Khedive of Egypt.

No patriotic American would admit to himself, or to a foreigner, that
the United States Government, through its accredited representatives
in Congress, possessed constitutional power to confer a benefit and
did not possess power to make that benefit available; to contract an
obligation, pecuniary or other, which it had not inherent power to
liquidate. The validity of a contract, as a matter of fact, depends
upon the ability of the parties to enter into it, for no court can
enforce a contract when it is shown that the principals to it had not
legal right to make it or to fulfill the conditions of it. It is
accepted as a surety of power to observe the conditions when a
sovereign government makes itself a party to a contract. The people
are bound by their agents, to whom they delegate authority. Nothing is
regarded in a more obnoxious light than the repudiation of their
honest debts by sovereign States. It is regarded in financial circles
as the crime of all crimes the blackest. The credit of the State is
reduced to a song, and moneyed men shun it as they would a
rattlesnake. The State and its people are held up as monsters of
depravity. It matters not how unjust the debt, how poor the people;
the mere fact that they repudiate an obligation which they entered
into in good faith is sufficient to destroy their credit in New York
or London and make them the target of every virtuous newspaper which
voices the sentiment of the class that deals in "futures" and
"corners." As an illustration, take the State of Virginia. The people
of that State contracted large debts to aid and abet the cause of the
so-called Confederate Government, a thing which crystallized around
the question: "Have the Sovereign States absolute, undivided authority
to regulate their own internal concerns, slave and other, or is this
authority vested in the Federal or National Government?" When the
people of Virginia contracted those large debts, drawing upon her
future resources, and placing burdens upon men yet unborn, to
propagate theories at variance with sound doctrines of government, and
to perpetuate an institution too vile to be mentioned with respect, in
1860, and immediately subsequent thereto, when the State of Virginia
contracted the debts in question for the perpetuation of slavery, she
had a population of 1,047,299; 65.6 per cent of which was white
(free), and 34.4 per cent was colored (slave). Virginia, therefore, in
contracting debts in 1860, did not calculate that twenty-two years
thereafter the obligations would be repudiated, and the credit of the
State depreciated, by the assistance of the very class of persons to
bind whom to a cruel and barbarous servitude those debts were
contracted. It is one of the most striking instances of retributive
justice that I ever knew. Nothing was more natural, when the question
came up for final settlement a few years ago, than that the black
voters of Virginia should take sides with those who opposed the full
settlement of the indebtedness. It is too much to expect of sensible
men that they will assent, in a state of sovereign citizenship, to
cancel debts contracted when they had no voice in the matter, and
when, as a matter of fact, the debts were contracted to rivet upon
them the chains of death. And yet for the part the black men of
Virginia took upon the settlement of her infamous debt, they have been
abused and maligned from one end of the country to the other. Because
they refused to vote to tax themselves to pay money borrowed without
their consent, and applied to purposes of death and slaughter, no man
has been found to commend them or to accept as sufficiently
extenuating, the peculiar circumstances surrounding the question.
Shylock must have his pound of flesh, though the unlucky victim bleed
his life away. But there are laws "higher" than any framed in the
interest of tyrannical capital. In my opinion, the man who
deliberately invests his money to perpetuate so vile an institution as
slavery deserves not only to lose the interest upon his investment but
the principal as well. I therefore have not a grain of sympathy for
the greedy cormorants who invested their money in the so-called
Confederate Government. Neither have I any sympathy for the people of
the South who, having invested all their money in human flesh, found
themselves at the close of the Rebellion paupers in more senses than
one--being bankrupt in purse and unused to make an honest living by
honest labor--too proud to work and too poor to loaf.

In a question of this kind, no one disputes the power of Virginia to
contract debts to propagate opinions, erroneous or other, but it is a
question whether the people of one generation have the right to
tax--that is, enslave--the people of generations yet unborn. The
creation of public debts is pernicious in practice, productive of more
harm than good. What right have I to create debts for my grandson or
granddaughter? I have no right even to presume that I will have a
grandson, certainly none that he will be able to meet his own debts in
addition to those I entail upon him. The character of the people
called upon to settle the debt of Virginia, contracted in 1860, before
or immediately after, differed radically from the character of the
people who were called upon to tax themselves to cancel that debt. Not
only had the character of the people undergone a radical change; the
whole social and industrial mechanism of the state had undergone a
wonderful, almost an unrecognizable, metamorphosis. The haughty
aristocrat, with his magnificent plantation, his army of slaves, and
his "cattle on a thousand hills," who eagerly contracted the debt,
had been transformed into a sour pauper when called upon to honor his
note; while the magnificent plantation had been in many instances cut
into a thousand bits to make homes for the former slaves, now freemen
and citizens, the equals of "my lord," while "his cattle on a thousand
hills" had dwindled down to a stubborn jackass and a worn out milch
cow. True, the white man possessed, largely, the soil; but he was,
immediately after the war, utterly incapable of wringing from it the
bounty of Nature; he had first to be re-educated.

But, when the bloody rebellion was over, the country, in its sovereign
capacity, and by individual States, was called upon to deal with grave
questions growing out of the conflict. Mr. Lincoln, by a stroke of the
pen,[9] transferred the battle from the field to the halls of
legislation. In view of the "Emancipation proclamation" as issued by
Mr. Lincoln, and the invaluable service rendered by black troops[10]
in the rebellion, legislation upon the status of the former slave
could not be avoided. The issue could not be evaded; like Banquo's
ghost, it would not down. There were not wanting men, even when the
war had ended and the question of chattel slavery had been forever
relegated to the limbo of "things that were," who were willing still
to toy with half-way measures, to cater to the caprices of that
treacherous yet brave power--the South. They had not yet learned that
Southern sentiment was fundamentally revolutionary, dynamic in the
extreme, and could not be toyed with as with a doll-baby. So the
statesmen proceeded to manufacture the "Reconstruction policy"--a
policy more fatuous, more replete with fatal concessions and far more
fatal omissions than any ever before adopted for the acceptance and
governance of a rebellious people on the one hand and a newly made,
supremely helpless people on the other. It is not easy to regard with
equanimity the blunders of the "Reconstruction policy" and the
manifold infamies which have followed fast upon its adoption.

The South scornfully rejected and successfully nullified the
legislative will of the victors.

Judge Albion W. Tourgee says of this policy in his book called _A
Fool's Errand_: "It was a magnificent sentiment that underlay it
all,--an unfaltering determination, an invincible defiance to all that
had the seeming of compulsion or tyranny. One cannot but regard with
pride and sympathy the indomitable men, who, being conquered in war,
yet resisted every effort of the conqueror to change their laws, their
customs, or even the _personnel_ of their ruling class; and this, too,
not only with unyielding stubbornness, but with success. One cannot
but admire the arrogant boldness with which they charged the nation
which had overpowered them--even in the teeth of her legislators--with
perfidy, malice, and a spirit of unworthy and contemptible revenge.
How they laughed to scorn the Reconstruction Acts of which the wise
men boasted! How boldly they declared the conflict to be
irrepressible, and that white and black could not and should not live
together as co-ordinate ruling elements! How lightly they told the
tales of blood--of the Masked Night-Riders, of the Invisible Empire of
Rifle clubs and Saber clubs (all organized for peaceful purposes), of
warnings and whippings and slaughter! Ah, it is wonderful! * * *
Bloody as the reign of Mary, barbarous as the chronicles of the
Comanche!"


FOOTNOTES:

[7] We of the United States take credit for having abolished slavery.
Passing the question of how much credit the majority of us are
entitled to for the abolition of Negro slavery, it remains true that
we have only abolished one form of slavery--and that a primitive form
which had been abolished in the greater portion of the country by
social development, and that, notwithstanding its race character gave
it peculiar tenacity, would in time have been abolished in the same
way in other parts of the country. We have not really abolished
slavery; we have retained it in its most insidious and widespread
form--in the form which applies to whites as to blacks. So far from
having abolished slavery, it is extending and intensifying, and we
made no scruple of setting into it our own children--the citizens of
the Republic yet to be. For what else are we doing in selling the land
on which future citizens must live, if they are to live at all.--Henry
George, _Social Problems_, p. 209.

[8] Although for the present there is a lull in the conflict of races
at the South, it is a lull which comes only from the breathing-spells
of a great secular contention, and not from any permanent pacification
founded on a resolution of the race problem presented by the Negro
question in its present aspects. So long as the existing mass of our
crude and unassimilated colored population holds its present place in
the body politic, we must expect that civilization and political
rights will oscillate between alternate perils--the peril that comes
from the white man when he places civilization, or sometimes his
travesty of it, higher than the Negro's political rights, and the
peril that comes from the black man when his political rights are
placed by himself or others higher than civilization--President James
C. Willing, on "Race Education" in _The North American Review_, April,
1883.

[9] By virtue of the power and for the purposes aforesaid, I do ordain
and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated
States and parts of States, are and henceforth shall be free; and that
the Executive Government of the United States, including the military
and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom
of said persons.--Abraham Lincoln's _Emancipation Proclamation_.

[10] From Williams's _History of the Negro Race in America_ I
construct the following table showing the number of colored troops
employed by the Federal Government during the war of the Rebellion:

                                       Colored Troops Furnished 1861-65
  Total of New England States                                     7,916
  Total of Middle States                                         13,922
  Total, Western States and Territories                          12,711
  Total, Border States                                           45,184
  Total, Southern States                                         63,571
                                                                -------
         Grand Total States                                     143,304
         At Large                                                   733
         Not accounted for                                        5,083
         Officers                                                 7,122
                                                                -------
            Grand total                                         156,242

This gives colored troops enlisted in the States in Rebellion; besides
this, there were 92,576 colored troops (included with the white
soldiers) in the quotas of the several States.



CHAPTER V

_Illiteracy--Its Causes_


At the close of the rebellion there were in the Union (according to
the census of 1860) 4,441,830 people of African origin; in 1880 they
had increased to 6,580,793. Of this vast multitude in 1860, it is safe
to say, not so many as one in every ten thousand could read or write.
They had been doomed by the most stringent laws to a long night of
mental darkness. It was a crime to teach a black man how to read even
the Bible, the sacred repository of the laws that must light the
pathway of man from death unto life eternal. For to teach a slave was
to make a firebrand--to arouse that love of freedom which stops at
nothing short of absolute freedom. It is not, therefore, surprising
that every southern state should have passed the most odious
inhibitary laws, with severe fines and penalties for their infraction,
upon the question of informing the stunted intelligence of the slave
population. The following table will show the condition of education
in the South in 1880:

         COMPARATIVE STATISTICS OF EDUCATION AT THE SOUTH
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      White                     Colored
           -------------------------- -------------------------
States     School        Enroll-  [A]  School      Enroll-  [A]     [B]
           population    ment          population  ment
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama       217,590    107,483   49    170,413    72,007  42  $375,465
Arkansas   [b]181,799  [c]53,229   29  [b]54,332 [c]17,743  33   238,056
Delaware       31,505     25,053   80      3,954     2,770  70   207,281
Florida     [b]46,410  [c]18,871   41  [b]42,099 [c]20,444  49   114,895
Georgia    [d]236,319    150,134   64 [d]197,125    86,399  45   471,029
Kentucky   [e]478,597 [c]241,679   50  [e]66,564 [c]23,902  36   803,490
Louisiana  [c]139,661  [d]44,052   32 [c]134,184 [d]34,476  26   480,320
Maryland   [f]213,669    134,210   63  [f]63,591    28,221  44 1,544,367
Mississippi   175,251    112,994   64    251,438   123,710  49   850,704
Missouri      681,995    454,218   67     41,489    22,158  53 3,152,178
N.Carolina    291,770    136,481   47    167,554    89,125  53   352,882
S.Carolina  [g]83,813     61,219   73 [g]144,315    72,853  50   324,629
Tennessee     403,353    229,290   57    141,509    60,851  43   724,862
Texas      [h]171,426    138,912   81  [h]62,015    47,874  77   753,346
Virginia      314,827    152,136   48    240,980    68,600  28   946,109
W.Virginia    202,364    138,799   68      7,749     4,071  53   716,864
District of
  Columbia     29,612     16,934   57     13,946     9,505  68   438,567
            ------------------------------------------------------------
Total       3,899,961  2,215,674       1,803,257   784,709    12,475,044
------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Table Header A: Percentage of the school population enrolled]
[Table Header B: Total Expenditure for both races[a]]

[a] In Delaware the colored public schools have been supported by
the school tax collected from colored citizens only; recently,
however, they have received an appropriation of $2,400 from the State;
in Kentucky the school-tax collected from colored citizens is the only
State appropriation for the support of colored schools; in Maryland
there is a biennial appropriation by the Legislature; in the District
of Columbia one-third of the school moneys is set apart for colored
public schools, and in the other States mentioned above the school
moneys are divided in proportion to the school population without
regard to race.

[b] Several counties failed to make race distinctions.

[c] Estimated.

[d] In 1879.

[e] For whites the school age is 6 to 20, for colored 6 to 16.

[f] Census of 1870.

[g] In 1877.

[h] These numbers include some duplicates; the actual school
population is 230,527.

Speaking in the Senate of the United States June 13, 1882, the bill
for National "Aid to Common Schools" being under consideration,
Senator Henry W. Blair, of New Hampshire, said:

     Excluding the states of Maryland and Missouri and the
     District of Columbia, and the total yearly expenditure for
     both races is only $7,339,932, while in the whole country
     the annual expenditure is, from taxation, $70,341,435, and
     from school funds $6,580,632, or a total of $76,922,067,
     (see tables 2 and 7,) or one-tenth of the whole, while they
     contain one-fifth of the school-population. The causes which
     have produced this state of things in the Southern States
     are far less important than the facts themselves as they now
     exist. To find a remedy and apply it is the only duty which
     devolves upon us. Without universal education, not only will
     the late war prove to be a failure, but the abolition of
     slavery be proved to be a tremendous disaster, if not a
     crime.

     The country was held together by the strong and bloody
     embrace of war, but that which the nation might and did do
     to retain the integrity of its territory and of its laws by
     the expenditure of brute force will all be lost if, for the
     subjection of seven millions of men, by the statutes of the
     States is to be substituted the thraldom of ignorance and
     the tyranny of an irresponsible suffrage. Secession, and a
     confederacy founded upon slavery as its chief cornerstone,
     would be better than the future of the Southern
     States--better for both races, too--if the nation is to
     permit one-third, and that the fairest portion of its
     domain, to become the spawning ground of ignorance, vice,
     anarchy, and of every crime. The nation as such abolished
     slavery as a legal institution; but ignorance is slavery,
     and no matter what is written in your constitutions and your
     laws, slavery will continue until intelligence, handmaid of
     liberty, shall have illuminated the whole land with the
     light of her smile.

     Before the war the Southern States were aristocracies,
     highly educated, and disciplined in the science of polities.
     Hence they preserved order and flourished at home, while
     they imposed their will upon the nation at large. Now all is
     changed. The suffrage is universal, and that means universal
     ruin unless the capacity to use it intelligently is created
     by universal education. Until the republican constitutions,
     framed in accordance with the Congressional reconstruction
     which supplanted the governments initiated by President
     Johnson, common-school systems, like universal suffrage,
     were unknown. Hence in a special manner the nation is
     responsible for the existence and support of those systems
     as well as for the order of things which made them
     necessary. That remarkable progress has been made under
     their influence is true, and that the common school is fast
     becoming as dear to the masses of the people at the South as
     elsewhere is also evident.

     The Nation, through the Freedmen's Bureau, and perhaps to a
     limited extent in other ways, has expended five millions of
     dollars for the education of negroes and refugees in the
     earlier days of reconstruction, while religious charities
     have founded many special schools which have thus far cost
     some ten millions more. The Peabody fund has distilled the
     dews of heaven all over the South; but heavy rains are
     needed; without them every green thing must wither away.

     This work belongs to the Nation. It is a part of the war.
     We have the Southern people as patriotic allies now. We are
     one; so shall we be forever. But both North and South have a
     fiercer and more doubtful fight with the forces of ignorance
     than they waged with each other during the bloody years
     which chastened the opening life of this generation.

The South lost in the destruction of property about two billion
dollars and in prosecuting the war two billion more. No people can
lose so much without seriously disarranging the entire mechanism of
their government. It is for this reason, therefore, that the measure
of "National Aid to Education" has so many and so persistent
advocates. I wish to place myself among them. If the safety of
republican government abides in the intelligence and virtue of the
people, it can very readily be seen how much safety there is in the
South at present. If it be true that an ulcer will vitiate the entire
body, and endanger the life of the patient, we can see very plainly to
what possible danger the spread of illiteracy may lead us.

Illiteracy in the South is one of the worst legacies which the
rebellion bequeathed to the nation. It has been the prime cause of
more misgovernment in the South than any other one cause, not even the
insatiable rapacity of the carpet-bag adventurers taking precedence of
it. It has not only served as a provocation to peculation and
chicanery, but it has nerved the courage of the assassin and made
merry the midnight ride of armed mobs bent upon righting wrongs by
committing crimes before which the atrocities of savage warfare pale.
Wholesale murders have been committed and sovereign majorities awed
into silence and inaction by reason of the widespread illiteracy of
the masses. The very first principles of republican government have
been ruthlessly trampled under foot because the people were ignorant
of their sovereign rights, and had not, therefore, courage to maintain
them.

That there should be in sixteen States and the District of Columbia a
population of 5,703,218 people to be educated out of $12,475,044 is
sufficient to arouse the apprehension of the most indifferent friend
of good government. The State of New York alone, with a school
population of only 1,641,173 spent, in 1880, $9,675,922.

But I base my argument for the establishment and maintenance of a
comprehensive system of National education upon other grounds than the
"safety of the Union," which is the same argument used by Mr. Lincoln
when he emancipated the slaves. This argument is strong, and will
always greatly influence a certain class of people. And, naturally, it
should, for the perpetuation of the Union is simply the perpetuation
of a republican form of government. But there are stronger grounds to
be considered.

1. The United States government is directly responsible for the
illiteracy and the widespread poverty which obtain in the South. Under
its sanction and by its connivance the institution of slavery
flourished and prospered, until it had taken such deep root as to be
almost impossible of extirpation. It was the _Union_, and not the
_States_, severally, which made slavery part and parcel of the
fundamental law of the land. If this be a correct statement of the
case, and I assume that it is, the _Union_ (and not the _States_,
severally) is responsible for the ignorance of the black people of the
South. Slavery could not have existed and grown in the Union save by
permission of all the States of the Union. It is therefore obvious
that the agency which created and fostered a great crime is obligated,
not only by the laws of God but of man as well, to assume the
responsibility of its creation and to remedy, as far as possible, the
evil results of that crime. The issue cannot be evaded. The
obligation rests upon the Union, not upon the several States, to
assume the direction of methods by which the appalling illiteracy of
the South is to be diminished.

2. There have not been wanting men and newspapers to urge that the
United States should reimburse the slave-holders of the South for the
wholesale confiscation, so to speak, of their property. True, these
men and newspapers belong to that class of unrepentants who believed
that slavery was a _Divine institution_ and that the slave-holder was
a sort of vicegerent of heaven, a holy Moses, as it were. But when we
leave the absurdity of this claim, which lies upon the surface, there
is much apparent reason in their representations. It was the _Union_
which legalized the sale and purchase of slave property, thereby
inviting capitalists to invest in it; and it was the _Union_ which
declared such contracts null and void by the abolition of slavery, or
confiscation of slave property. As I said before, I have no sympathy
with those who invested their money in slave property. They not only
received their just deserts in having their property confiscated, but
they should have been compelled to make restitution to the last penny
to the poor slaves whom they had systematically robbed. But perhaps
this would have been carrying justice too near the ideal. For the
great debt to the slave, who was robbed of his honest wage, we go
behind the slave-holder, who had been invited by the government to
invest his money in blood; we go to the head of the firm for the
payment of debts contracted by the firm, for each member of the
government is, measurably, an agent of the government, contracting and
paying debts by its delegated authority. Thus the law holds him guilty
who willfully breaks a contract entered into in good faith by all the
parties to it. Instead of holding the slave-holder responsible for the
robbery of the black man through a period of a hundred years, we hold
the _government_ responsible.

What man can compute the dollars stolen from the black slave in the
shape of wages, for a period of a hundred years! What claim has the
slave-holder against the government for confiscation of property by
the side of the claim of the slaves for a hundred years of wages and
enervated and dwarfed manhood! A billion dollars would have bought
every slave in the South in 1860, but fifty billions would not have
adequately recompensed the slave for enforced labor and debased
manhood. The debt grows in magnitude the closer it is inspected. And
yet there are those who will laugh this claim to scorn; who will be
unable to see any grounds upon which to base the justice of it; who
will say that the black man was fully compensated for all the ills he
had borne, the robbery to which he had been subjected, and the
debasement--not to say enervation--of his manhood, by the great act by
which he was made a free man and a citizen.

But there is, or should be, such a claim; it rests upon the strongest
possible grounds of equity; while the conference of freedom and
citizenship was simply the rendering back in the first instance that
which no man has any right to appropriate, law or no law; and, in the
second, bestowing a boon which had been honestly earned in every
conflict waged by the Union from Yorktown to Appomatox Court House--a
boon, I am forced to exclaim, which has, in many respects, proved to
be more of a curse than a blessing, more a dead weight to carry than a
help to conserve his freedom; and to aid in the fixing of his proper
status as a co-equal citizen. I deny the _right_ of any man to enslave
his fellow; I deny the _right_ of any government, sovereign as the
Union or dependent as are the States in many respects, to pass any
regulation which robs _one man or class_ to enrich _another_.
Individuals may invest their capital in human flesh, and governments
may legalize the infamous compact; yet it carries upon its face the
rankest injustice to the man and outrage upon the laws of God, the
common Parent of all mankind. There are those in this country--men too
of large influence, however small their wit, who, aping miserably the
masterly irony of _Junius_, speak of the black man as the "ward of the
nation"--a sort of pauper, dependent upon the charity of a generous
and humane people for sustenance, and even tolerance to dwell among
them, to enjoy the blessing of a civilization which I pronounce to be
reared upon quicksand, a civilization more fruitful of poverty, misery
and crime than of competence, happiness and virtue. Those who regard
the black man in the light of a "ward of the nation," are too
narrow-minded, ignorant or ungenerous to deserve my contempt. The
people of this country have been made fabulously affluent by legalized
robbery of the black man; the coffers of the National Government have
overflowed into the channels of subsidy and peculation, enriching
sharpers and thieves, with the earnings of slave labor; while nineteen
out of every twenty landowners in the South obtained their unjust hold
upon the soil by robbing the black man. When the rebellion at last
closed, the white people of the South were poor in gold but rich
indeed in lands, while the black man was poor in everything, even in
manhood, not because of any neglect or improvidence on his part, but
because, though he labored from the rising to the setting of the sun,
he received absolutely nothing for his labor, often being denied
adequate food to sustain his physical man and clothing to protect him
from the rude inclemency of the weather. He was a bankrupt in purse
because the _government_ had robbed him; he was a bankrupt in
character, in all the elements of a successful manhood, because the
_government_ had placed a premium upon illiteracy and immorality. It
was not the individual slave-owner who held the black man in chains;
it was the _government_; for, the government having permitted slavery
to exist, the institution vanished the instant the government declared
that it should no longer exist!

I therefore maintain that the people of this Nation who enslaved the
black man, who robbed him of more than a hundred years of toil, who
perverted his moral nature, and all but extinguished in him the Divine
spark of intelligence, are morally bound to do all that is in their
power to build up his shattered manhood, to put him on his feet, as
it were, to fit him to enjoy the freedom thrust upon him so
unceremoniously, and to exercise with loyalty and patriotism the
ballot placed in his hands--the ballot, in which is wrapped up the
destiny of republican government, the perpetuity of democratic
institutions. It is the proper function of government to see to it
that its citizens are properly prepared to exercise wisely the
liberties placed in their keeping. Self-preservation would dictate as
much; for, if it be considered the better part of valor to discretely
build and maintain arsenals and forts to bar out the invader, to
prepare against the assaults of the enemy from without, how much more
imperative it is to take timely precautions to counteract the mischief
of insidious foes from within? Are our liberties placed more in
jeopardy by the assaults of an enemy who plans our destruction three
thousand miles away than of the enemy within our very bosoms? Was it
the puissance of the barbarian arms or the corruption and enervation
of the character of her people which worked the downfall of Rome? Was
it influences from _without_ or influences from _within_ which
corrupted the integrity of the people of Sparta and led to their
subjugation by a more sturdy people? Let us learn by the striking
examples of history. A people's greatness should be measured, not by
its magnificent palaces, decked out in all the gaudy splendors of art
and needless luxuries, the price of piracy or direct thievery; not in
the number of colossal fortunes accumulated out of the stipend of the
orphan and widow and the son of toil; not in the extent and richness
of its public buildings and palaces of idle amusement; not in vast
aggregations of capital in the coffers of the common treasury--capital
unnecessarily diverted from the channels of trade, extorted from the
people by the ignorance of their "wise men," who seek in vain for a
remedy for the evil, _because they do not want to find one_.[11] A
people's greatness should not be measured by these standards, for
they are the parasites which eat away the foundations of greatness and
stability. On the contrary, such greatness is to be found in the
general diffusion of wealth, the comparative contentment and
competency of the masses, and the general virtue and patriotism of the
_whole_ people. It should, therefore, manifestly be the end and aim of
legislators to so shape the machinery placed in their hands as to
operate with the least possible restraint upon the energies of the
people. It should not be the studied purpose to enrich the few at the
expense of the many, to restrain this man and give that one the
largest possible immunity. No law should be made or enforced which
would abridge my right while enlarging the right of my neighbor. That
such is the case at this time--that legislatures are manipulated in
the interest of a few, and that the great mass of the people feel only
the burdens placed upon them by their servants, who are more properly
speaking become their masters--that to such perversion of popular
sovereignty we have come, is admitted by candid men.

Therefore, that the people may more clearly know their rights and how
best to preserve them and reap their fullest benefits, they should be
instructed in the language which is the medium through which to
interpret their grand _Magna Charta_.


FOOTNOTES:

[11] Since all sensible men know that the evil lies in a protective
tariff and the bulky catalogue of monopoly.



CHAPTER VI

_Education--Professional or Industrial_


The "Religious Training of the Freedmen" and the "Education of the
Freedmen" have raised up an army of people more _peculiar_ in many
respects than any other like class in all the history of mankind. They
stand off by themselves; they are not to be approached by any counter
method of "advocating a cause" or "building up the Kingdom of Christ"
in _their_ field. Millions of dollars have been "raised" to root out
the illiteracy and immorality of the Freedmen, and to build up their
shattered manhood. Indeed, there have been times when I have seriously
debated the question, whether the black man had any manhood left,
after the missionaries and religious enthusiasts had done picturing,
or, rather, caricaturing his debased moral and mental condition. He
has been made the victim of the most exalted panegyric by one set of
fanatics, and of the most painful, malignant abuse and detraction by
another set. The one has painted him as a sort of angel, and the other
as a sort of devil; when, in fact, he is neither one nor the other;
when, simply, he is a _man_, a member of the common family, possessing
no more virtue nor vice than his brother, the brother who has managed
to so impose upon himself that he is pretty thoroughly convinced that
nature expended all its most choice materials in the construction of
his class. But this is simply the work of the devil, who delights in
throwing cayenne pepper into the eyes of good men.

The aspects of the work which has been done in the South for the
colored people by "missionaries," so to term them, by the assistance
of large sums of money donated by philanthropic men and women, are
very many-sided indeed. I would in no wise underrate the magnitude of
the work performed, nor attribute to those who have been the agents in
disbursing these unparalleled benefactions motives other than of the
purest and loftiest, in a majority of cases; but I think the time has
arrived when we may disrobe the matter of the romance which writers
have industriously woven about it. In the early stages of the work a
few men and women of large fortunes, who had been "born with a silver
spoon in their mouths," may have gone South to labor for humanity and
the Master, may have left comfortable firesides and congenial
companionships to make their homes among strangers who shut them out
from their affections and sympathies because they had come to labor
for the poor and the despised. Examples of this lofty devotion to a
good cause there undoubtedly were in the days long ago; but the bulk
of the work was performed by persons, male and female, to whom
employment, an opportunity to make an honest living in an honest way,
was a godsend. That they possessed much bravery to undertake a work
which shut them out from the sympathy and social recognition of those
who may be called their equals, is not denied; but that they were the
pampered children of fortune, laboring simply for God and humanity,
which zealous persons have painted them to be in newspapers and
magazines, religious and other, is simply making a mountain out of a
mole-hill. They were neither millionaires nor paupers, but they were
educated men and women, like thousands throughout the North and West,
who went into the field to labor because it was rich unto the harvest
and the laborers were few. To say that salaries offered were not
accepted always with promptness would be to get on the wrong side of a
correct statement of fact. There are hundreds and thousands of
educated men and women in the North and West to-day "waiting for
something to turn up," and who would not hesitate a moment to embrace
an opportunity, honorable and lucrative, which should present itself.
There was little romance in the undertaking; there was far less in the
work to be performed. I simply desire to protest against the
correctness of the distorted pictures drawn ostensibly to magnify the
sacrifices, which were many, and to belittle the rewards, which were
great, in the performance of an ordinary piece of work, by a class of
persons now rapidly disappearing from the scenes that once knew them.
Their work is fast being transferred to the hands of colored men and
women--the pupil is taking the place of the master; the demand drawing
upon the colored--not the white--supply, because "birds of a feather
flock together," more especially when one class is composed of
chickens and the other of chicken-hawks. When lines are drawn, men
unconsciously, as it were, keep on their own side. So, in colored
churches and schools the whites are at a discount because it is easier
and more congenial to employ colored help. Colored people are like
white people. When they see nothing but white ministers in the white
churches they conclude that it is best to have nothing but colored
ministers in their own pulpits, and they are perfectly consistent and
logical in their conclusion; the rule which actuates mankind in such
matters being, not the biblical one, which enjoins that we do unto
others as we _would have them_ do unto us, but, rather, do unto others
as _they do_ unto us; and this latter rule would seem to be better
adapted for worldly success than the former, because it has more of
the practical than the theoretical about it, and is more earthly than
heavenly in its observance. The same is true of schools and school
teachers. The colored people everywhere are constantly clamoring for
colored teachers, since the rank injustice of _separate_ schools is
forced upon them.

I would interject just here a few words on the _separate-school
system_. Aside from the manifest injustice of setting up two
schoolhouses in the same ward or district--injustice to the children
in the spirit, false from every standpoint, that one child is better
than another--the _double expense_ of maintaining two schools is
obvious, and is sufficiently absurd to repel the sympathy or practical
philanthropy of any man, Christian or Infidel. Why should the people
be called upon to support _two_ schools within speaking distance of
each other to preserve an infamous distinction, a sneaking caste
prejudice? Why! Because the people are wise in their own
conceit--perfectly rational upon all other questions save the _color
question_. The South is weighted down with debt, almost as poor as the
proverbial "Job's turkey," and yet she supports a dual school system
simple to gratify a _prejudice_. I notice with surprise that among the
bills pending before Congress to give national aid to education it is
not proposed to interfere with the irregular and ruinous dual caste
schools; thereby, in effect, giving the national assent to a system
repugnant to the genius of the constitution. But it is nothing new
under the sun for the Congress of the Nation to aid and abet
institutions and theories anti-republican and pernicious in all their
ramifications.

Perhaps no people ever had more advantages to dedicate and prepare
themselves for the ministry of Christ than the colored people of the
South. The religious "idea" has been so thoroughly worked that other
branches of study, other callings than the ministry, have paled into
insignificance. The Cross of Christ has been held up before the
colored youth as if the whole end and aim of life was to preach the
Gospel, as if the philosophy of heaven superseded in practical
importance the philosophy of life. The persistence with which this one
"idea" has been forced upon colored students has produced the reverse
of what was anticipated in a large number of cases, and very
naturally. It is a false theory to suppose all the people of any one
class to be specially fitted for only one branch of industry: for I
maintain that preaching has largely become a trade or profession, in
which the churches with large salaries have become prizes to be
contended for with almost as much zeal and partisanship as the prizes
in politics. This is true not only of colored ministers but white ones
as well. It is no disparagement of colored ministers to say that day
by day they grow more and more in favor of serving churches with fair
salaries than in carrying around the cross as itinerants, without any
special place to lay their heads when the storms blow and the rains
descend. In this they do but pattern after white clergymen, who do not
always set examples that angels would be justified in imitating.

Colored people are naturally sociable, and intensely religious in
their disposition. Their excellent social qualities make them the best
of companions. They are musical, humorous and generous to a fault.
Coupled with their strong religious bias, these attractive qualities
will in time lift them to the highest possible grade in our dwarfed
civilization, where the fittest does not always survive; the
drossiest, flimsiest, most selfish and superficial often occupying the
high places, social and political. But I have still higher aspirations
for my race. There is hope for any people who are social in
disposition, for this supposes the largest capacity for mutual
friendships, therefore of co-operation, out of which the highest
civilization is possible to be evolved; while a love of music and the
possession of musical and humorous talent is, undeniably, indicative
of genius and prospective culture and refinement of the most approved
standard.

Indeed, the constant evolution of negro character is one of the most
marked and encouraging social phenomena of the times; it constantly
tends upwards, in moral, mental development and material betterment.
Those who contend that the negro is standing still, or "_relapsing
into barbarism_," are the falsest of false prophets. They resolutely
shut their eyes to facts all around them, and devote columns upon
columns of newspaper, magazine and book argument--imaginary
pictures--to the immorality, mental sterility and innate improvidence
of this people; and they do this for various reasons, none of them
honorable, many of them really disreputable. In dealing with this
negro problem they always start off upon a false premise; their
conclusions must, necessarily, be false. In the first place,
disregarding the fact that the negroes of the South are nothing more
nor less than the laboring class of the people, the same in many
particulars as the English and Irish peasantry, they proceed to regard
them as intruders in the community--as a people who continually take
from but add nothing to the wealth of the community.

It is nothing unusual to see newspaper articles stating in the most
positive terms that the schools maintained by the State for the
education of the blacks are supported out of the taxes paid by _white
men_; and, very recently, it was spoken of as a most laudable act of
justice and generosity that the State of Georgia paid out annually for
the maintenance of colored schools more money than _the aggregate
taxes paid into the treasury_ of the State by the Negro property
owners of the State; while the grand commonwealth of Kentucky only
appropriates for the maintenance of colored schools such moneys as are
paid into the State treasury by the colored people. Can the philosophy
of taxation be reduced to a more hurtful, a more demoralizing
absurdity!

Suppose the same standard of distribution of school funds should be
applied to the city or the State of New York; what would be the
logical result? Should we appropriate annually from nine to twelve
millions of dollars to improve the morals of the people by informing
their intelligence? Would the State be able, after ten years of such
an experiment, to pay the myriads of officials which would be required
to preserve the public peace, to protect life and insure proper
respect for the so-called rights of property? Such an experiment would
in time require the deportation to New York of the entire male adult
population of Ireland, to be turned into the "finest police in the
world," to stem the tide of crime and immorality which such premium
upon ignorance would entail. Since even under the present munificent
and well ordered school system, it is almost impossible to elect a
Board of Aldermen from any other than the _slum_ elements of the
population--the liquor dealers, the gamblers, and men of their kind,
the President of the New York Board of Aldermen at this very writing
being a liquor-dealer, who can estimate the calamity which the
inauguration of the Kentucky system would bring upon the people of New
York--appropriating to the support of the public schools only such
taxes as were paid by the parents of the children who attend them!

And, yet, there is hardly an editor in the South who does not regard
it as so much robbery of the tax-payers to support schools for the
colored people--for the proletarian classes generally, white and
colored. They stoutly maintain that these people really add nothing to
the stock of wealth, really produce nothing, and that, therefore
charity can become no more magnanimous than when it gives, places in
reach of, the poor man the opportunity to educate his child, the
embryo man, the future citizen.

They think it a sounder principle of government to equip and maintain
vast penal systems--with chain gangs, schools of crime, depravity and
death, than to support schools and churches. Millions of money are
squandered annually to curb crime, when a few thousand dollars,
properly applied, would prove to be a more humane, a more profitable
preventive. The poor school teacher is paid _twenty-five dollars per
month_ for three months in the year, while the prison guards is paid
_fifty dollars per month_ for twelve months--ninety days being the
average length given to teach the child in the school and three
hundred and sixty-five being necessary to teach him in the prison,
whence he is frequently graduated a far worse, more hopeless enemy of
society than when he matriculated.

And the brutality of the convict systems of Southern States is equaled
by no similar institutions in the world, if we except the penal system
enforced by Russia in Siberia. The terms of imprisonment for minor
offenses are cruelly excessive, while the food and shelter furnished
and the punishments inflicted would bring the blush of shame to the
cheeks of a savage. The convict systems of Alabama, Georgia, South
Carolina and Arkansas are a burning disgrace to the Christian
civilization which we boast. Nothing short of a semi-barbarous public
opinion would permit them to exist. Governors have "called attention"
to them; legislatures have "investigated" and "resolved" that they
should be purified, and a _few_ newspapers here and there have held
them up to the scorn and contempt of the world; yet they not only grow
worse year by year, but the number of them steadily multiplies. And so
they will. How is it to be otherwise? To prevent such ulcerations upon
the body you must purify the blood. You cannot root them out by
probing; that simply aggravates them.

A system of misrepresentation and vilification of the character and
condition of the Southern Negro has grown up, for the avowed purpose
of enlisting the sympathies of the charitable and philanthropic people
of the country to supply funds for his regeneration and education,
which the government, State and Federal, studiously denies; so that it
is almost impossible to form a correct opinion either of his moral,
mental or material condition. Societies have organized and maintain a
work among that people which requires an annual outlay of millions of
dollars and thousands of employees; and to maintain the work, to keep
up the interest of the charitable, it is necessary to picture, as
black as imagination can conceive it, the present and prospective
condition of the people who are, primarily, the beneficiaries. The
work and its maintenance has really become a heavy strain upon the
patience and generosity of the liberal givers of the land--whose
profuse behests have no parallel in the history of any people. They
have kept it up wellnigh a quarter of a century; and it is no
disparagement to their zeal to say the tax upon them is becoming more
of a burden than a pleasure. They have done in the name of humanity
and of God for the unfortunate needy what the government should have
done for its own purification and perpetuity for the co-equal citizen.
And it is high time that the government should relieve the individual
from the unjust and onerous tax.

I do not hesitate to affirm, that while the work done by the
charitable for the black citizen of this Republic has been of the most
incalculable benefit to him, it has also done him injury which it will
take years upon years to eradicate. The misrepresentations resorted
to, to obtain money to "lift him up," have spread broadcast over the
land a feeling of contempt for him as a man and pity for his lowly and
unfortunate condition; so that throughout the North a business man
would much rather _give a thousand dollars_ to aid in the education of
the black heathen than to give a black scholar and gentleman an
opportunity to honestly _earn a hundred dollars_. He has no confidence
in the capacity of the black man. He has seen him pictured a savage,
sunk in ignorance and vice--an object worthy to receive alms, but
incapable of making an honest living. So that when a black man
demonstrates any capacity, shows any signs of originality or genius,
rises just a few inches above the common, he at once becomes an object
rare and wonderful--a "Moses," a "_leader_ of his people."--It is
almost as hard for an educated black man to obtain a position of trust
and profit as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. The
missionaries, the preachers, and the educators, assisted by the
newspapers and the magazines, have educated the people into the false
opinion that it is safer to "donate" a thousand dollars to a colored
college than it is to give one black man a chance to make an honest
living.

Let us now look at the system of education as it has been operated
among the colored people of the South.

It cannot be denied that much of the fabulous sums of money lavishly
given for the education of the Freedmen of the South, has been
squandered upon experiments, which common sense should have dictated
were altogether impracticable. Perhaps this was sequential in the
early stages of the work, when the instructor was ignorant of the
topography of the country, the temper of the people among whom he was
to labor, and, more important still, when he was totally ignorant of
the particular class upon whom he was to operate--ignorant of their
temperament, receptive capacity and peculiar, aye, unique,
idiosyncrasies. Thus thousands upon thousands of dollars were expended
upon the erection and endowment of "colleges" in many localities where
ordinary common schools were unknown. Each college was, therefore,
necessarily provided with a primary department, where the child of ten
years and the adult of forty struggled in the same classes with the
first elements of rudimentary education. The child and the adult each
felt keenly his position in the college, and a course of cramming was
pursued, injurious to all concerned, to lessen the number in the
primary and to increase the number in the college departments. No man
can estimate the injury thus inflicted upon not only the student but
the cause of education. Even unto to-day there are colleges in
localities in the South which run all year while the common school
only runs from three to eight months.

Indeed, the multiplication of colleges and academies for the "higher
education of colored youth" is one of the most striking phenomena of
the times: as if theology and the classics were the things best suited
to and most urgently needed by a class of persons unprepared in
rudimentary education, and whose immediate aim must be that of the
mechanic and the farmer--to whom the classics, theology and the
sciences, in their extremely impecunious state, are unequivocable
abstractions. There will be those who will denounce me for taking this
view of collegiate and professional preparation; but I maintain that
any education is false which is unsuited to the condition and the
prospects of the student. To educate him for a lawyer when there are
no clients, for medicine when the patients, although numerous, are too
poor to give him a living income, to fill his head with Latin and
Greek as a teacher when the people he is to teach are to be instructed
in the _a b c's_--such education is a waste of time and a senseless
expenditure of money.

I do not inveigh against higher education; I simply maintain that the
sort of education the colored people of the South stand most in need
of is _elementary and industrial_. They should be instructed for the
work to be done. Many a colored farmer boy or mechanic has been
spoiled to make a foppish gambler or loafer, a swaggering pedagogue or
a cranky homiletician. Men may be spoiled by education, even as they
are spoiled by illiteracy. Education is the preparation for a future
work; hence men should be educated with special reference to that
work.

If left to themselves men usually select intuitively the course of
preparation best suited to their tastes and capacities. But the
colored youth of the South have been allured and seduced from their
natural inclination by the premiums placed upon theological, classical
and professional training for the purpose of sustaining the reputation
and continuance of "colleges" and their professorships.

I do not hesitate to say that if the vast sums of money already
expended and now being spent in the equipment and maintenance of
colleges and universities for the so called "higher education" of
colored youth had been expended in the establishment and maintenance
of primary schools and schools of applied science, the race would have
profited vastly more than it has, both mentally and materially, while
the results would have operated far more advantageously to the State,
and satisfactorily to the munificent benefactors.

Since writing the above, I find in a very recent number of

Judge Tourgèe's magazine, _The Continent_, the following reflections
upon the subject, contributed to that excellent periodical by Prof.
George F. Magoun of Iowa College. Mr. Magoun says:

     May I offer one suggestion which observation a few years
     since among the freedmen and much reflection, with
     comparisons made in foreign countries, have impressed upon
     me? It is this, that the key of the future for the black men
     of the South is _industrial_ education. The laboring men of
     other lands cannot hold their own in skilled labor save as
     they receive such education, and this of a constantly
     advancing type. The English House of Commons moved two years
     since for a Royal Commission to study the technical schools
     of the continent, and the report respecting France made by
     this commission has been republished at Washington by the
     United States Commissioner of Education. In our two leading
     northwestern cities, St. Louis and Chicago, splendid manual
     training-schools have been formed, and east and west the
     question of elementary manual training in public schools is
     up for discussion and decision. All this for _white_
     laboring men. As long ago as December, 1879, the Legislature
     of Tennessee authorized a brief manual of the Elementary
     Principles of Agriculture to be "taught in the public
     schools of the State," for the benefit of _white_ farmers
     again. The Professor of Chemistry in the Vanderbilt
     University, Nashville, prepared the book--107 pages. Where
     in all this is there anything for the educational
     improvement of the black laborer just where he needs
     education most? The labor of the South is subject in these
     years to a marvelous revolution. The only opportunity the
     freedman has to rise is by furnishing such skilled labor as
     the great changes going on in that splendid section of the
     land require. How can he furnish it, unless the education
     given him is chiefly industrial and technical? Some very
     pertinent statements of the situation are made in the
     _Princeton Review_ for May. They confirm all that you have
     said.[12] As to the various bills before Congress, the
     writer says: "Immediate assistance should be rendered to the
     ex-slave States in the development of an education suited to
     their political and _industrial_ needs." Can this be an
     education in Latin and Greek?"(The writer contends earnestly
     for retaining these studies in classical college and academy
     courses for students of all colors.) Can it be anything else
     than training in elementary industry, such as is now
     demanded for our Northern common-schools? If the
     denominational freedmen's schools find this a necessity, is
     it anything less for the Southern public schools act which
     is contemplated in the bills before Congress?

Mr. Magoun reasons wisely. If the colored men of the South are to
continue their grip as the wage-workers and wealth-producers of that
section they must bring to their employments common intelligence and
skill; and these are to be obtained in the South as in the North, by
apprenticeship and in schools specially provided for the purpose.
Instead of spending three to seven years in mastering higher
education, which presupposes favorable conditions, colored youth
should spend those years in acquiring a "common school education," and
in mastering some trade by which to make an honest livelihood when
they step forth into the world of fierce competition.

Some may ask: Shall we, then, not have some scholars, men learned in
all that higher education gives? Of course; and we should have them.
Men fitted by nature for special pursuits in life will make
preparation for that work. Water will find its level. Genius cannot be
repressed. It will find an audience, even though the singer be Robert
Burns at his plow in the remoteness of Ayr, or the philosophic Æsop in
the humble garb of a Greek pedant's slave. Genius will take care of
itself; it is the mass of mankind that must be led by the hand as we
lead a small boy. It is therefore that I plead, that the masses of the
colored race should receive such preparation for the fierce
competition of every day life that the odds shall not be against them.
I do not plead for the few, who will take care of themselves, but for
the many who must be guided and protected lest they fall a prey to the
more hardy or unscrupulous.

Mr. Magoun follows out his train of thought in the following logical
deductions:

     Plainly, if this opportunity for furnishing the skilled
     labor of the South hereafter (as he has furnished the
     unskilled heretofore) slips away from the black man, he can
     never rise. In the race for property, influence, and all
     success in life, the industrially educated white
     man--whatever may be said of Southern white men "hating to
     work"--will outstrip him. Before an ecclesiastical body of
     representative colored men at Memphis, in the autumn of
     1880, I urged this consideration, when asked to advise them
     about education, as the one most germane to their interests;
     and preachers and laymen, and their white teachers,
     approved every word, and gave me most hearty thanks. I
     counseled aspiring young men to abstain from unsuitable
     attempts at merely literary training; from overlooking the
     intermediate links of culture in striving after something
     "beyond their measure;" from expecting any more to be shot
     up into the United States Senatorships, etc., by a
     revolution which had already wellnigh spent its first
     exceptional force (as a few extraordinary persons are thrown
     up into extraordinary distinction in the beginning of
     revolutions); from ambitious rejection of the steady,
     thorough, toilsome methods of fitting themselves for
     immediate practical duties and nearer spheres, by which
     alone any class is really and healthfully elevated. To shirk
     elementary preparation and aspire after the results of
     scholarship without its painstaking processes is THE
     _temptation of colored students_, as I know by having taught
     them daily in college classes. I rejoice in every such
     student who really climbs the heights of learning with
     exceeding joy. But a far greater proportion than has thus
     far submitted to thorough-going preparation for skilled
     labor must do so, or there is no great future for them in
     this land as a race.

But already the absurdity of beginning at the apex of the educational
fabric instead of at the base is being perceived by those who have in
hand the education of colored youth. A large number of colleges are
adding industrial to their other features, and with much success, and
a larger number of educators are agitating the wisdom of such feature.

Perhaps no educational institution in the Union has done more for the
industrial education of the colored people of the South than the
Hampton (Virginia) Normal and Agricultural Institute under the
management of General S.C. Armstrong. The success of this one
institution in industrial education, and the favor with which it is
regarded by the public, augurs well for the future of such
institutions. That they many multiply is the fervent wish of every man
who apprehends the necessities of the colored people.

In a recent issue of the _New York Globe_, Prof. T. McCants Stewart of
the Liberia (West Africa) College, who is studying the industrial
features of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute for use in
his capacity as a professor among the people of the Lone Star
Republic, photographs in the following manner the great work being
done at Hampton. Prof. Stewart says:

     The day after my arrival, I was put into the hands of an
     excellent New England gentleman, who was to show me through
     the Institute. He took me first to the barn, a large and
     substantial building in which are stored the products of the
     farm, and in which the stock have their shelter. We ascended
     a winding staircase, reached the top, and looked down upon
     the Institute grounds with their wide shell-paved walls,
     grassplots, flower-beds, orchards, groves and many
     buildings--the whole full of life, and giving evidence of
     abundant prosperity, and surrounded by a beautiful and
     charming country. We came down and began our rounds through
     "the little world" in which almost every phase of human life
     has its existence.

     We went into the shoe-making department. It is in the upper
     part of a two-story brick building. On the first floor the
     harness-making department is located. We were told that
     Frederick Douglass has his harness made here. One certainly
     gets good material and honest work; and reasonable prices
     are charged. In the shoe department several Indian boys and
     youths were at work. There were also three or four colored
     boys. They make annually for the United States government
     two thousand pairs of shoes for the Indians. They also look
     after outside orders, and do all the repairing, etc., of
     boots and shoes for the faculty, officers, and
     students--making fully five thousand pairs of shoes a year,
     if we include the repairing in this estimate. At the head of
     this department is a practical shoemaker from Boston. Each
     department has a practical man at its head. We visited, not
     all the first day, the blacksmith, wheelwright and tin
     shops, and looked through the printing office, and the
     knitting-room, in which young men are engaged manufacturing
     thousands of mittens annually for a firm in Boston. These
     two departments are in a commodious brick edifice, called
     the "Stone Building." It is the gift of Mrs. Valeria Stone.

     One of the most interesting departments is located also in
     the "Stone Building"--the sewing-room. In it are nearly a
     score, perhaps more, of cheerful, busy girls. The rapid
     ticking of the machine is heard, and the merry laugh
     followed by gentle whispers gives life to the room. These
     young girls are the future wives and mothers; and the large
     majority of them will be married to poor men. In the
     kitchen, the laundry, and the sewing-room, they are
     acquiring a knowledge and habits of industry that will save
     their husbands' pennies, and thus keep them from living from
     hand to mouth, making an everlasting struggle to save their
     nose from the grindstone. In the schoolroom, they are
     gathering up those intellectual treasures, which will make
     them in a double sense helpmeets unto their husbands.

     Standing in the carpenter and paint shops, and in the saw
     mill, and seeing Negro youths engaged in the most delicate
     kind of work, learning valuable and useful trades, I could
     not help from feeling that this is an excellent institution,
     and that I would like to have my boys spend three years
     here, from fourteen to seventeen, grow strong in the love
     for work, and educated to feel the dignity of labor, and
     get a trade: then if they have the capacity and desire to
     qualify for a "top round in the ladder," for leadership in
     the "world's broad field of battle," it will be time enough
     to think of Harvard and Yale and Edinburgh, or perhaps
     similar African institutions.

     Mr. George H. Corliss, of Rhode Island, presented to the
     school in 1879 a sixty-horse power Corliss engine. Soon
     after Mr. C.P. Huntington, of the Missouri & Pacific R.R.,
     gave a saw mill, and as a result of these gifts large
     industrial operations were begun. The saw mill is certainly
     an extensive enterprise. Logs are brought up from the
     Carolinas, and boards are sawn out, and in the turning
     department fancy fixtures are made for houses, piazzas, etc.

     There are two farms. The Normal School farm, and the
     Hemenway farm, which is four miles from the Institute. On
     the former seventy tons of hay and about one hundred and
     twenty tons of ensilaged fodder-corn were raised last year,
     besides potatoes, corn, rye, oats, asparagus, and early
     vegetables. Five hundred thousand bricks were also made. The
     Hemenway farm, of five hundred acres, is in charge of a
     graduate and his wife. Its receipts reach nearly three
     thousand dollars a year, and the farm promises to do
     invaluable service in time towards sustaining this gigantic
     work. All of the industries do not pay. For example, the
     deficit in the printing office last year was about seven
     hundred dollars. This is due to the employment and training
     of student labor. The primary aim is not the making of money
     but the advancement of the student. After they learn, they
     are good, profitable workmen; but they then leave the
     Institute to engage in the outside world in the battle of
     life. On the farm is a large number of stock, milch cows and
     calves, beef cattle, horses and colts, mules, oxen, sheep
     and hogs--in all nearly five hundred heads.

     In these various industries, the farm, saw mill, machine
     shop, knitting, carpentering, harness making, tinsmithing,
     blacksmithing, shoe-making, wheel-wrighting, tailoring,
     sewing, printing, etc., over five hundred students were
     engaged in 1883. They earned over thirty thousand
     dollars--an average of seventy dollars each. There is no
     question about the fact that this is a "beehive" into which
     a bee can enter, if accepted, with nothing but his soul and
     his muscle, and get a good education!

Professor Stewart's article carries upon its face the proper reply to
Mr. Magoun's apprehensions and my own deductions, and is the very
strongest argument for a complete and immediate recasting of the
underlying principles upon which nearly all colored colleges are
sustained and operated.

Money contributed for eleemosynary purposes is a sacred trust, and
should so be applied as to net the greatest good not only to the
beneficiary but the donor. The primary object of educational effort
among the colored people thus far has been to purify their perverted
moral nature and to indoctrinate in them correcter ideas of religion
and its obligations; and the effort has not been in vain. Yet I am
constrained to say, the inculcation of these principals has been
altogether a too predominant idea. Material possibilities are rightly
predicated upon correct moral and spiritual bases; but a morally and
spiritually sound training must be sustained by such preparation for
the actual work of life, as we find it in the machine shop, the grain
field, and the commercial pursuits. The moralist and missionary are no
equals for the man whose ideas of honest toil are supplemented by a
common school training and an educated hand. This is exemplified every
day in the ready demand for foreign-born skilled labor over our own
people, usually educated as gentlemen without means, as if they were
to be kid-gloved fellows, not men who must contend for subsistence
with the horny-handed men who have graduated from the machine shops
and factories and the schools of applied sciences of Europe. Indeed,
the absence of the old-time apprentices among the white youth of the
North, as a force in our industrial organization to draw upon, can be
accounted for upon no other ground than that the supply of
foreign-born skilled help so readily fills the demand that employers
find it a useless expenditure of means to graduate the American boy.
Thus may we account for the "grand rush" young men make for the
lighter employments and the professions, creating year after year an
idle floating population of miseducated men, and reducing the
compensation for clerical work below that received by hod-carriers.
This is not a fancy picture; it is an arraignment of the American
system of education, which proceeds upon the assumption that boys are
all "born with a silver spoon in their mouths" and are destined to
reach--not the poor-house, but the Senate House or the White House.

The American system of education proceeds upon a false and pernicious
assumption; and, while I protest against its application generally, I
protest, in this connection, against its application in the case of
the colored youth in particular. What the colored boy, what all boys
of the country need, is _industrial not ornamental_ education; shall
they have it? Let the State and the philanthropists answer.


FOOTNOTES:

[12] Judge Tourgee has for years been urgently and admirably writing
in advocacy of National Aid in Southern Education.



CHAPTER VII

_How Not to Do It_


Revolutions are always the outgrowth of deepest wrongs, clearly
defined by long and heated agitation, which inflame the mind of the
people, and divide them into hostile factions. The field of battle is
simply the theater upon which the hostile factions decide by superior
prowess, or numbers, or sagacity, the questions at issue. In these
conflicts, right usually, but not invariably, triumphs, as it should
always do. Revolutions quicken the conscience and intelligence of the
people, and wars purify the morals of the people by weeding out the
surplus and desperate members of the population; just as a
thunderstorm clarifies the atmosphere.

But the problems involved in the agitation which culminated in the War
of the Rebellion are to-day as far from solution as if no shot had
been fired upon Fort Sumter or as if no Lee had laid down traitorous
arms four years thereafter.

The giant form of the slave-master, the tyrant, still rises superior
to law, to awe and oppress the unorganized proletariat--the common
people, the laboring class. Even when slavery was first introduced
into this country, Fate had written upon the walls of the nation that
it "must go," and go it must, as the result of wise statesmanship or
amid the smoke of battle and the awful "diapason of cannonade." No man
can tell whether wisdom will dictate further argument of peaceful, or
there must be found a violent, solution; but all men of passable
intelligence know and feel that justice will prevail. Progress goes
forward ever, backward never.

That human intelligence has reached higher ground within the present
century than it ever before attained, goes without saying. That we
have marvelously improved upon all the mechanism of government is
equally true. But whether we have improved upon the time-honored rules
of dealing with rebels by extending to them general amnesty for all
their sins of commission is seriously to be debated. If we may judge
of the proper treatment of treason by the example which, according to
Milton, High Heaven made of Lucifer, amnesty is a failure; if we may
judge by the almost absolute failure of the results of the war of the
Rebellion, we may emphatically pronounce amnesty to be a noxious weed
which should not be permitted to take too firm a rooting in our
dealing with traitors. Human, it may be, to err, and to forgive
Divine; but for man to extend forgiveness too far is positively fatal.
Examples are not wanting to show the truthfulness of the reasoning.

There is no error which has been productive of more disaster and death
than the stupid plan adopted by the Federal government in what is
known as the "Reconstruction policy." This _policy_, born out of
expediency and nurtured in selfishness, was, in its inception,
instinct with the elements of failure and of death. Perhaps no piece
of legislation, no policy, was ever more fatuous in every detail. How
could it be otherwise? How could the men who devised it expect for it
anything more than a speedy, ignominous collapse? All the past history
of the Southern states unmistakably pointed to the utter failure of
any policy in which the whites were not made the masters; unless,
indeed, they were subjected to that severe governmental control which
their treason merited, until such time as the people were prepared for
self-government by education, the oblivion of issues out of which the
war grew, the passing away by death of the old spirits, and the
complete metamorphosis of the peculiar conditions predicated upon and
fostered by the unnatural state of slavery.

At the close of the Rebellion, in 1865, the United States government
completely transformed the social fabric of the Southern state
governments; and, without resorting to the slow process of educating
the people; without even preparing them by proper warnings; without
taking into consideration the peculiar relations of the subject and
dominant classes--the slave class and the master class--instantly, as
it were, the lamb and the lion were commanded to lie down together.
The master class, fresh from the fields of a bloody war, with his
musket strapped to his shoulder and the sharp thorn of ignominious
defeat penetrating his breast; the master class, educated for two
hundred years to dominate in his home, in the councils of municipal,
state and Federal government; the master class, who had been taught
that slavery was a divine institution and that the black man, the
unfortunate progeny of Ham, was his lawful slave and property; and
the slave class, born to a state of slavery and obedience, educated in
the school of improvidence, mendacity and the lowest vices--these two
classes of people, born to such widely dissimilar stations in life and
educated in the most extreme schools, were declared to be _free, and
equal before the law_, with the right to vote; to testify in courts of
law; to sit upon jury and in the halls of legislation, municipal and
other; to sue and be sued; to buy and to sell; to marry and give in
marriage. In short, these two classes of people were made co-equal
citizens, entitled alike to the protection of the laws and the
benefits of government.

I know of no instance in the various history of mankind which equals
in absurdity the presumption of the originators of our "Reconstruction
policy" that the master class would accept cordially the conditions
forced upon them, or that the enfranchised class would prove equal to
the burden so unceremoniously forced upon them. On the one hand, a
proud and haughty people, who had stubbornly contested the right of
the government to interfere with the extension of slavery, not to say
confiscation of slave property--a people rich in lands, in mental
resources, in courage; on the other, a poor, despised people, without
lands, without money, without mental resources, without moral
character--these peoples _equal_, indeed! These peoples go peaceably
to the ballot-box together to decide upon the destiny of government!
These peoples melt into an harmonious citizenry! These peoples have
and exercise mutual confidence, esteem and appreciation of their
common rights! These peoples _dissolve into one people!_ The bare
statement of the case condemns it as impracticable, illusory, in the
extreme. And, yet, these two peoples, so different in character, in
education and material condition, were turned loose to enjoy the same
benefits in common--to be one! And the _wise men_ of the nation--as,
Tourgee's _Fool_ ironically names them--thought they were legislating
for the best; thought they were doing their duty. And, so, having made
the people free, and equal before the law, and given them the ballot
with which to settle their disputes, the "_wise men_" left the people
to live in peace if they could, and to cut each other's throats if
they could not. That they should have proceeded to cut each other's
throats was as natural as it is for day to follow night.

I do not desire to be understood as inveighing against the manumission
of the slave or the enfranchisement of the new-made free man. To do
so, would be most paradoxical on my part, who was born a slave and
spent the first nine years of my life in that most unnatural
condition. What I do inveigh against, is the unequal manner in which
the colored people were pitted against the white people; the placing
of these helpless people absolutely in the power of this hereditary
foeman--more absolutely in their power, at their mercy, than under the
merciless system of slavery, when sordid interest dictated a modicum
of humanity and care in treatment. And I arraign the "Reconstruction
policy" as one of the hollowest pieces of perfidy ever perpetrated
upon an innocent, helpless people; and in the treatment of the issues
growing out of that policy, I arraign the dominant party of the time
for base ingratitude, subterfuge and hypocrisy to its black partisan
allies. With the whole power of the government at its back, and with a
Constitution so amended as to extend the amplest protection to the
new-made citizen, it left him to the inhuman mercy of men whose
uncurbed passions, whose deeds of lawlessness and defiance, pale into
virtues the ferocity of Cossack warfare. And, for this treachery, for
leaving this people alone and single-handed, to fight an enemy born in
the lap of self-confidence, and rocked in the cradle of arrogance and
cruelty, the "party of great moral ideas" must go down to history amid
the hisses and the execrations of honest men in spite of its good
deeds. There is not one extenuating circumstance to temper the
indignation of him who believes in justice and humanity.

As I stand before the thirteen bulky volumes, comprising the "Ku Klux
Conspiracy," being the report of the "Joint Select Committee, to
inquire into the condition of affairs in the late Insurrectionary
States," on the part of the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States, reported February 19, 1872, my blood runs cold at the
merciless chronicle of murder and outrage, of defiance, inhumanity and
barbarity on the one hand, and usurpation and tyranny on the other.

If the shot upon Fort Sumter was treason, what shall we call the
bloody conflict which the white men of the South have waged against
the Constitutional amendments from 1866 to the murder of innocent
citizens at Danville, Virginia, in 1883--even unto the present time?
If the shot upon Fort Sumter drew down upon the South the indignation
and the vengeance of the Federal government, putting father against
son, and brother against brother, what shall we say the Federal
Government should have done to put a period to the usurpation and the
murders of these leagues of horror?

The entire adult male population of the South, though no longer in
armed "Rebellion," appeared to be in league against the government of
the United States. The arm of State authority was paralyzed, the
operation of courts of justice was suspended, lawlessness and
individual license walked abroad, and anarchy, pure and simple,
prevailed. Under the name of the "Ku Klux Klan," the South was bound
by the following oath, ironclad, paradoxical and enigmatical as it is:

     I, [name] before the great immaculate Judge of heaven and
     earth, and upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, do, of
     my own free will and accord, subscribe to the following
     sacred, binding obligation:

     I. I am on the side of justice and humanity and
     constitutional liberty, as bequeathed to us by our
     forefathers in its original purity.

     II. I reject and oppose the principles of the radical
     party.

     III. I pledge aid to a brother of the Ku-Klux Klan in
     sickness, distress, or pecuniary embarrassments. Females,
     friends, widows, and their households shall be the special
     object of my care and protection.

     IV. Should I ever divulge, or cause to be divulged, any of
     the secrets of this order, or any of the foregoing
     obligations, I must meet with the fearful punishment of
     death and traitor's doom, which is death, death, death, at
     the hands of the brethren.

Murderers, incendiaries, midnight raiders on the "side of justice,
humanity and Constitutional liberty"! Let us see what kind of
"justice, humanity and Constitutional liberty" is meant. In Volume I,
page 21, I find the following:

     Taking these statements from official sources, showing the
     prevalence of this organization in every one of the late
     insurrectionary States and in Kentucky, it is difficult now,
     with the light that has recently been thrown upon its
     history, to realize that even its existence has been for so
     long a mooted question in the public mind. Especially is
     this remarkable in view of the effects that are disclosed by
     some of this documentary evidence to have been produced by
     it. That it was used as a means of intimidating and
     murdering negro voters during the presidential election of
     1868, the testimony in the Louisiana and other
     contested-election cases already referred to clearly
     establishes.

     Taking the results in Louisiana alone as an instance, the
     purpose of the organization at that time, whatever it may
     have been at its origin, could hardly be doubted.

     A member of the committee which took that testimony thus
     sums it up:

     The testimony shows that over 2,000 persons were killed,
     wounded, and otherwise injured in that State within a few
     weeks prior to the presidential election; that half the
     State was overrun by violence; midnight raids, secret
     murders, and open riot kept the people in constant terror
     until the Republicans surrendered all claims, and then the
     election was carried by the Democracy. The parish of Orleans
     contained 29,910 voters, 15,020 black. In the spring of 1868
     that parish gave 13,973 republican votes. In the fall of
     1868 it gave Grant 1,178, a falling off of 12,795 votes.
     Riots prevailed for weeks, sweeping the city of New Orleans,
     and filling it with scenes of blood, and Ku-Klux notices
     were scattered through the city warning the colored men not
     to vote. In Caddo there were 2,987 Republicans. In the
     spring of 1868 they carried the parish. In the fall they
     gave Grant one vote. Here also there were bloody riots.

     But the most remarkable case is that of St. Landry, a
     planting parish on the River Teche. Here the Republicans had
     a registered majority of 1,071 votes. In the spring of 1868
     they carried the parish by 678. In the fall they gave Grant
     no vote, not one; while the democrats cast 4,787, the full
     vote of the parish, for Seymour and Blair.

     Here occurred one of the bloodiest riots on record, in
     which the Ku-Klux killed and wounded over two hundred
     Republicans, hunting and chasing them for two days and
     nights through fields and swamps. Thirteen captives were
     taken from the jail and shot. A pile of twenty-five dead
     bodies was found half buried in the woods. Having conquered
     the Republicans, killed and driven off the white leaders,
     the Ku-Klux captured the masses, marked them with badges of
     red flannel, enrolled them in clubs, led them to the polls,
     made them vote the Democratic ticket, and then gave them
     certificates of the fact.

It is not my purpose to weary the reader with tedious citations from
the cumbersome reports of the "Ku Klux conspiracy." Those reports are
accessible to the reading public. They tell the bloody story of the
terrible miscarriage of the "Reconstruction policy;" they show how
cruel men can be under conditions favorable to unbridled license,
undeterred by the strong arm of constituted authority; they show how
helpless the freed people were; how ignorant, how easily led by
unscrupulous adventurers _pretending to be friends_ and how easily
murdered and overawed by veterans inured to the dangers and the toils
of war; and, lastly, they show how powerless was the national
government to protect its citizens' rights, specifically defined by
the Federal constitution. _Was_, do I say? It is as powerless to day!

In this brief review, then, of the history and present political
condition of the American Negro I cannot omit, though I shall not
detail, the horrors of the Ku Klux period. They are a link in the
chain: and though today's links are different in form and guise, _the
chain is the same_. Let the reader, then, be a little patient at being
reminded of things which he has perhaps forgotten.



CHAPTER VIII

_The Nation Surrenders_


The mind sickens in contemplating the mistakes of the "Reconstruction
policy;" and the revolting peculation and crime--which went hand in
hand from 1867-8 to 1876, bankrupting and terrorizing those
unfortunate States--plunging them into all but anarchy, pure and
simple.

A parallel to the terror which walked abroad in the South from 1866,
down to 1876, and which is largely dominant in that section even unto
the present hour, must be sought for in other lands than our own,
where the iron hand of the tyrant, seated upon a throne, cemented with
a thousand years of usurpation and the blood of millions of innocent
victims, presses hard upon the necks of the high and the backs of the
low; we must turn to the dynastic villanies of the house of Orleans or
of Stuart, or that prototype of all that is tyrannical, sordid and
inhuman, the Czar of all the Russias. The "Invisible Empire," with its
"Knights of the White Camelia," was as terrible as the "Empire" which
Marat, Danton and Robespierre made for themselves, with this
difference: the "Knights of the White Camelia" were assassins and
marauders who murdered and terrorized in defiance of all laws, human
or divine, though claiming allegiance to both; while the Frenchmen
regarded themselves as the lawful authority of the land and rejected
utterly the Divine or "higher law." The one murdered men as highwaymen
do, while the other murdered them under the cover of law and in the
name of _Liberty_, in whose name, as Madame Roland exclaimed on the
scaffold of revolutionary vengeance, so many crimes are perpetrated!
The one murdered kings and aristocrats to unshackle the limbs of the
proletariat of France; the other murdered the proletariat of the South
to re-rivet their chains upon the wretched survivors. And each class
of murders proclaimed that it was actuated by the motive of _justice
and humanity_. Liberty was the grand inspiration that steeled the arm
and hardened the heart of each of the avengers!

And thus it has been in all the history of murder and plunder.
Liberty! the People! these are the sacred objects with which tyrants
cloak their usurpations, and which assassins plead in extenuation of
their brazen disregard of life, of virtue, of all that is dear and
sacred to the race. The dagger of Brutus and the sword of Cromwell,
were they not drawn in the name of Liberty--the People? The guillotine
of the French Commune and the derringer of J. Wilkes Booth, were they
not inspired by Liberty--the People?

The innocent blood which has been spilt in the name of liberty and the
people, which has served the purposes of tyranny and riveted upon the
people most galling chains, "would float a navy."

By the side of the robbery, the embezzlement, the depletion of the
treasury of South Carolina, and the imposition of ruinous and
unnecessary taxation upon the people of that state by the Carpet-Bag
harpies, aided and abetted by the ignorant negroes whom our government
had not given time to shake the dust of the cornfield from their feet
before it invited them to seats in the chambers of legislature, we
must place the heartless butcheries of Hamburgh and Ellenton.

By the side of the misgovernment, the honeycomb of corruption in which
the Carpet-Bag government of Louisiana reveled, we must place the
universal lawlessness which that state witnessed from 1867 to 1876.

The whole gamut of states could be run with the same deplorable, the
same sickening conclusion.

The Federal authority had created the wildest confusion and retired to
watch the fire-brand. The "wise men" of the nation had made possible a
system of government in which robbery and murder were to contend for
the mastery, in which organized ignorance and organized brigandage
were to contend for the right to rule _and_ to ruin.

It is not complimentary to the white men of the South that their
organized brigandage proved to be more stubborn, more far-sighted than
was unorganized ignorance. In a warfare of this disreputable nature
very little honor can be accorded to the victorious party, be he
brigand or ignoramus. The warfare is absolutely devoid of principle,
and, therefore, victory, any way it is twisted, is supremely
dishonorable.

The South, therefore, although she rooted out the incubus of
_carpet-baggism_ (one of the most noxious plants that ever blossomed
in the garden of any nascent society), and stifled the liberties and
immunities of a whole people, turning their new-found joy into sadness
and mourning--although the South succeeded in accomplishing these
results, she lies prostrate to-day, feared by her fellow-citizens, who
will not trust her with power, and shunned by the industrious aliens
who seek our shores, because they will not become members of a society
in which individualism and absolutism are the supreme law--for was it
not to escape these parasites that they expatriated themselves from
the shores of the Volga, the Danube and the Rhine? Men will not make
their homes among people who, spurning the accepted canons of justice
and the courts of law, make themselves a community of _banditti_.
Thus, the South lies prostrate, staggering beneath a load of
illiteracy sufficient to paralyze the energies of any people; dwelling
in the midst of usurpation, where law is suspended and individual
license is the standard authority; where criminals and suspected
criminals are turned over to the rude mercy of mobs, masked and
irresponsible; where caste corrupts every rivulet that issues from the
fountain of aspiration or of chastity;[13] where no man is allowed to
think or act for himself who does not conform his thoughts and shape
his actions to suit the censorious and haughty _dictum_ of the
dominant class.

"You must think as we think and act as we act, or you must go!" This
is the law of the South.

In each of the late rebellious states the ballotbox has been closed
against the black man. To reach it he is compelled to brave the
muzzles of a thousand rifles in the hands of silent sentinels who
esteem a human life as no more sacred than the serpent that drags his
tortuous length among the grasses of the field, and whose head mankind
is enjoined to crush.

The thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the Federal
constitution which grew out of the public sentiment created by thirty
long years of agitation of the abolitionists and of the "emancipation
proclamation"--issued as a war measure by President Lincoln--are no
longer regarded as fundamental by the South. The beneficiaries of
those amendments have failed in every instance to enjoy the benefits
that were, presumably, intended to be conferred.

These laws--having passed both branches of the Federal legislature,
having received the approval and signature of the Chief Executive of
the nation, and having been ratified by a majority of the states
composing the sisterhood of states--these laws are no longer binding
upon the people of the South, who fought long and desperately to
prevent the possibility of their enactment; and they no longer
benefit, if they ever did, the people in whose interest they were
incorporated in the _Magna Charta_ of American liberty; _while the
Central authority which originated them, has, through the Supreme
Court, declared nugatory, null and void all supplementary legislation
based upon those laws, as far as the government of the United States
is concerned!_ The whole question has been remanded to the
legislatures of the several states! The Federal Union has left to the
usurped governments of the South the adjudication of rights which the
South fought four years in honorable warfare to make impossible, and
which it has since the war exhausted the catalogue of infamy and
lawlessness to make of no force or effect. The fate of the lamb has
been left to the mercy of the lion and the tiger.

The "party of great moral ideas," having emancipated the slave, and
enfranchised disorganized ignorance and poverty, finally finished its
mission, relinquished its right to the respect and confidence of
mankind when, in 1876, it abandoned all effort to enforce the
provisions of the war amendments. That party stands today for
organized corruption, while its opponent stands for organized
brigandage. The black man, who was betrayed by his party and murdered
by the opponents of his party, is absolved from all allegiance which
_gratitude_ may have dictated, and is to-day free to make conditions
the best possible with any faction which will insure him in his right
to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

The black men of the United States are, today, free to form whatever
alliances wisdom dictates, to make sure their position in the social
and civil system of which, in the wise providence of a just God, they
are a factor, for better or for worse.


FOOTNOTES:

[13] "Southerners fire up terribly, as has been noted in these columns
again and again, when the subject of intermarriage between whites and
negroes is discussed. But the terrible state of immorality which
exists there, involving white men and colored women, is something upon
which the papers of that region are silent as a rule. Not so the grand
jury that met recently at Madison, Ga., which thus spoke out in its
presentment with all plainness of the Old Testament:

"After several days of laborious investigation we have found the moral
state of our country in a fair condition, and the freedom of our
community from any great criminal offenses is a subject for
congratulation to our people. But the open and shameless cohabitation
of white men with negro women in our community cries to heaven for
abatement. This crime in its nature has been such as to elude our
grasp owing to the limited time of our session. It is poisoning the
fountains of our social life; it is ruining and degrading our young
men, men who would scorn to have imputation put on them of
equalization with negroes, but who have, nevertheless, found the
lowest depths of moral depravity in this unnatural shame of their
lives."

"The despatch chronicling the presentment adds: 'The reading of this
presentment in court aroused a great feeling of indignation among men
who declare that the private affairs of the people should not be
intruded upon.' It strikes the Northern mind that until these 'private
affairs' do not need to be 'intruded upon,' Southern newspapers and
Southern clergymen would with better grace bottle up their indignation
upon the terrible evils likely to result from the legitimate
intermarriage of the two races."--_Newspaper waif._



CHAPTER IX

_Political Independence of the Negro_


The following chapter is, in the main, a reproduction of an address
delivered by me before the Colored Press Association, in the city of
Washington, June 27, 1882:--

       *       *       *       *       *

In addressing myself to a consideration of the subject: "The colored
man as an Independent Force in our Politics," I come at once to one of
the vital principles underlying American citizenship of the colored
man in a peculiar manner. Upon this question hang all the conditions
of man as a free moral agent, as an intelligent reasoning being; as a
man thoughtful for the best interests of his country, of his
individual interests, and of the interests of those who must take up
the work of republican government when the present generation has
passed away. When I say that this question is of a most complex and
perplexing nature, I only assert what is known of all men.

I would not forget that the arguments for and against independent
action on our part are based upon two parties or sets of principles.
Principles are inherent in government by the people, and parties are
engines created by the people through which to voice the principles
they espouse. Parties have divided on one line in this country from
the beginning of our national existence to the present time. All other
issues merge into two distinct ones--the question of a strong Federal
Government, as enunciated by Alexander Hamilton, and maintained by the
present Republican party, and the question of the rights and powers of
the States, as enunciated by Thomas Jefferson, and as maintained by
the present Democratic party,--called the "party of the people," but
in fact the party of oligarchy, bloodshed, violence and oppression.
The Republican party won its first great victory on the inherent
weakness of the Democratic party on the question of Human Rights and
the right of the Federal Government to protect itself from the
assumption, the aggression, the attempted usurpation, of the States,
and it has maintained its supremacy for so long a time as to lead to
the supposition that it will rule until such time as it shall fall to
pieces of itself because of internal decay and exterior cancers. There
does not appear to exist sufficient vitality outside of the
Republican party to keep its members loyal to the people or honest to
the government. The loyal legislation which would be occasioned by
dread of loss of power, and the administration of the government in
the most economical form, are wanting, because of the absence of an
honest, healthy opposing party.

But it is not my purpose to dwell upon the mechanism of parties, but
rather to show why colored Americans should be independent voters,
independent citizens, independent men. To this end I am led to lay it
down: (1.) That an independent voter must be intelligent, must
comprehend the science of government, and be versed in the history of
governments and of men; (2.) That an independent voter must be not
only a citizen versed in government, but one loyal to his country, and
generous and forbearing with his fellow-citizens, not looking always
to the word and the act, but looking sometimes to the undercurrent
which actuates these--to the presence of immediate interest, which is
always strong in human nature, to the love of race, and to the love of
section, which comes next to the love of country.

Our country is great not only in mineral and cereal resources, in
numbers, and in accumulated wealth, but great in extent of territory,
and in multiplicity of interests, out-growing from peculiarities of
locality, race, and the education of the people. Thus the people of
the North and East and West are given to farming, manufacturing, and
speculation, making politics a subordinate, not a leading interest;
they are consequently wealthy, thrifty and contented: while the people
of the South, still in the shadow of defeat in the bloodiest and most
tremendous conflict since the Napoleonic wars, are divided sharply
into two classes, and given almost exclusively to the pursuits of
agriculture and hatred of one another. The existence of this state of
things is most disastrous in its nature, and deplorable in its
results. It is a barrier against the progress of that section and
alien to the spirit and subversive of the principles of our free
institutions.

It is in the South that the largest number of our people live; it is
there that they encounter the greatest hardships; it is there the
problem of their future usefulness as American citizens must have full
and satisfactory, or disastrous and disheartening demonstration.
Consequently, the colored statesman and the colored editor must turn
their attention to the South and make that field the center of
speculation, deduction and practical application. We all understand
the conditions of society in that section and the causes which have
produced them, and, while not forgetting the causes, it is a common
purpose to alter the existing conditions, so that they may conform to
the logic of the great Rebellion and the spirit and letter of the
Federal Constitution. It is not surprising, therefore, that, as an
humble worker in the interest of my race and the common good, I have
decided views as to the course best to be pursued by our people in
that section, and the fruits likely to spring from a consistent
advocacy of such views.

I may stand alone in the opinion that the best interests of the race
and the best interests of the country will be conserved by building up
a bond of union between the white people and the negroes of the
South--advocating the doctrine that the interests of the white and the
interests of the colored people are one and the same; that the
legislation which affects the one will affect the other; that the good
which comes to the one should come to the other, and that, as one
people, the evils which blight the hopes of the one blight the hopes
of the other; I say, I may stand alone among colored men in the belief
that harmony of sentiment between the blacks and whites of the
country, in so far forth as it tends to honest division and healthy
opposition, is natural and necessary, but I speak that which is a
conviction as strong as the Stalwart idea of diversity between Black
and White, which has so crystallized the opinion of the race.

It is not safe in a republican form of government that clannishness
should exist, either by compulsory or voluntary reason; it is not good
for the government, it is not good for the individual. A government
like ours is like unto a household. Difference of opinion on
non-essentials is wholesome and natural, but upon the fundamental idea
incorporated in the Declaration of Independence and re-affirmed in the
Federal Constitution the utmost unanimity should prevail. That all men
are born equal, so far as the benefits of government extend; that each
and every man is justly entitled to the enjoyment of life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness, so long as these benign benefits be not
forfeited by infraction upon the rights of others; that freedom of
thought and unmolested expression of honest conviction and the right
to make these effective through the sacred medium of a fair vote and
an honest count, are God-given and not to be curtailed--these are the
foundations of republican government; these are the foundations of our
institutions; these are the birthright of every American citizen;
these are the guarantees which make men free and independent and
great.

The colored man must rise to a full conception of his citizenship
before he can make his citizenship effective. It is a fatality to
create or foster clannishness in a government like ours. Assimilation
of sentiment must be the property of the German, the Irish, the
English, the Anglo-African, and all other racial elements that
contribute to the formation of the American type of citizen. The
moment you create a caste standard, the moment you recognize the
existence of such, that moment republican government stands beneath
the sword of Damocles, the vitality of its being becomes vitiated and
endangered. If this be true, the American people have grave cause for
apprehension. The Anglo-African element of our population is classed
off by popular sentiment, and kept so. It is for the thoughtful, the
honest, the calm but resolute men of the race to mould the sentiment
of the masses, lift them up into the broad sunlight of freedom.
Ignorance, superstition, prejudice, and intolerance are elements in
our nature born of the malign institution of servitude. No fiat of
government can eradicate these. As they were the slow growth, the
gradual development of long years of inhuman conditions, so they must
be eliminated by the slow growth of years of favorable conditions. Let
us recognize these facts as facts, and labor honestly to supplant them
with more wholesome, more cheering realities. The Independent colored
man, like the Independent white man, is an American citizen who does
his own thinking. When some one else thinks for him he ceases to be an
intelligent citizen and becomes a dangerous dupe--dangerous to
himself, dangerous to the State.

It is not to be expected now that the colored voters will continue to
maintain that unanimity of idea and action characteristic of them when
the legislative halls of States resounded with the clamor of
law-makers of their creation, and when their breath flooded or
depleted State treasuries. The conditions are different now. They find
themselves citizens without a voice in the shapement of legislation;
tax-payers without representation; men without leadership masterful
enough to force respect from inferior numbers in some States, or to
hold the balance of power in others. They find themselves at the mercy
of a relentless public opinion which tolerates but does not respect
their existence as a voting force; but which, on the contrary, while
recognizing their right to the free exercise of the suffrage, forbids
such exercise at the point of the shotgun of the assassin, whom it not
only nerves but shields in the perpetration of his lawless and
infamous crimes. And why is this? Why is it that the one hundred and
twenty thousand black voters of South Carolina allow the eighty
thousand white voters of that State to grind the life out of them by
laws more odious, more infamous, more tyrannical and subversive of
manhood than any which depopulate the governments of the old world? Is
it because the white man is the created viceregent of government? The
Scriptures affirm that all are sprung from one parental stem. Is it
because he is the constitutionally invested oligarch of government?
The magna charta of our liberties affirms that "all men are created
equal." Is it because the law of the land reserves unto him the
dominance of power? The preamble of the Federal Constitution declares
that "We" and not "I," constitute "the people of the United States."
If the law of God and the law of man agree in the equality of right of
man, explain to me the cause which keeps a superior force in
subjection to a minority. Look to the misgovernment of the
Reconstruction period for the answer--misgovernment by white men and
black men who were lifted into a "little brief authority" by a mighty
but unwieldy voting force. That black man who connived at and shared
in the corruption in the South which resulted in the subversion of the
majority rule, is a traitor to his race and his country, wherever he
may now be eking out a precarious and inglorious existence, and I have
nothing to heap upon his head but the curses, the execrations of an
injured people. Like Benedict Arnold he should seek a garret in the
desert of population, living unnoticed and without respect, where he
might die without arousing the contempt of his people.

The love of Liberty carries with it the courage to preserve it from
encroachments from without and from contempt from within. A people in
whom the love of liberty is in-born cannot be enslaved, though they
may be exterminated by superior force and intelligence, as in the case
of the poor Indian of our own land--a people who, two hundred years
ago, spread their untamed hordes from the icebergs of Maine to the
balmy sunland of Florida. But to-day where are they? Their love of
freedom and valorous defense of priority of ownership of our domain
have caused them to be swept from the face of the earth. Had they
possessed intelligence with their more than Spartan courage, the wave
of extermination could never have rolled over them forever. As a man I
admire the unconquerable heroism and fortitude of the Indian. So brave
a race of people were worthy a nobler and a happier destiny. As an
American citizen, I feel it born in my nature to share in fullest
measure all that is American. I sympathize in all the hopes,
aspirations and fruitions of my country. There is no pulsation in the
animated frame of my native land which does not thrill my nature.
There is no height of glory we may reach as a government in which I
should not feel myself individually lifted; and there is no depth of
degradation to which we may fall to which I should not feel myself
individually dragged. In a word, I am an American citizen. I have a
heritage in each and every provision incorporated in the Constitution
of my country, and should this heritage be attempted to be filched
from me by any man or body of men, I should deem the provocation
sufficiently grievous to stake even life in defense of it. I would
plant every colored man in this country on a platform of this
nature--to think for himself, to speak for himself, to act for
himself. This is the ideal citizen of an ideal government such as ours
is modelled to become. This is my conception of the colored man as an
independent force in our politics. To aid in lifting our people to
this standard, is one of the missions which I have mapped out for my
life-work. I may be sowing the seed that will ripen into disastrous
results, but I don't think so. My conception of republican government
does not lead me to a conclusion so inconsistent with my hopes, my
love of my country and of my race.

I look upon my race in the South and I see that they are helplessly at
the mercy of a popular prejudice outgrowing from a previous condition
of servitude; I find them clothed in the garments of citizenship by
the Federal Government and opposed in the enjoyment of it by their
equals, not their superiors, in the benefits of government; I find
that the government which conferred the right of citizenship is
powerless, or indisposed, to force respect for its own enactments; I
find that these people, left to the mercy of their enemies, alone and
defenseless, and without judicious leadership, are urged to preserve
themselves loyal to the men and to the party which have shown
themselves unable to extend to them substantial protection; I find
that these people, alone in their struggles of doubt and of prejudice,
are surrounded by a public opinion powerful to create and powerful to
destroy; I find them poor in culture and poor in worldly substance,
and dependent for the bread they eat upon those they antagonize
politically. As a consequence, though having magnificent majorities,
they have no voice in shaping the legislation which is too often made
an engine to oppress them; though performing the greatest amount of
labor, they suffer from overwork and insufficient remuneration; though
having the greater number of children, the facilities of education are
not as ample or as good as those provided for the whites out of the
common fund, nor have they means to supply from private avenues the
benefits of education denied them by the State. Now, what is the
solution of this manifold and grievous state of things? Will it come
by standing solidly opposed to the sentiment, the culture, the
statesmanship, and the possession of the soil and wealth of the South?
Let the history of the past be spread before the eyes of a candid and
thoughtful people; let the bulky roll of misgovernment, incompetence,
and blind folly be enrolled on the one hand, and then turn to the
terrors of the midnight assassin and the lawless deeds which desecrate
the sunlight of noontide, walking abroad as a phantom armed with the
desperation of the damned!

I maintain the idea that the preservation of our liberties, the
consummation of our citizenship, must be conserved and matured, not by
standing alone and apart, sullen as the melancholy Dane, but by
imbibing all that is American, entering into the life and spirit of
our institutions, spreading abroad in sentiment, feeling the full
force of the fact that while we are classed as Africans, just as the
Germans are classed as Germans we are in all things American citizens,
American freemen. Since we have tried the idea of political unanimity
let us now try other ideas, ideas more in consonance with the spirit
of our institution. There is no strength in a union that enfeebles.
Assimilation, a melting into the corporate body, having no distinction
from others, equally the recipients of government--this is to be the
independent man, be his skin tanned by the torrid heat of Africa, or
bleached by the eternal snows of the Caucasus. To preach the
independence of the colored man is to preach his Americanization. The
shackles of slavery have been torn from his limbs by the stern
arbitrament of arms; the shackles of political enslavement, of
ignorance, and of popular prejudice must be broken on the wheels of
ceaseless study and the facility with which he becomes absorbed into
the body of the people. To aid himself is his first duty if he
believes that he is here to stay, and not a probationer for the land
of his forefathers--a land upon which he has no other claim than one
of sentiment.

What vital principle affecting our citizenship is championed by the
National Republican party of to-day? Is it a fair vote and an honest
count? Measure our strength in the South and gaze upon the solitary
expression of our citizenship in the halls of the National
Legislature. The fair vote which we cast for Rutherford B. Hayes
seemed to have incurred the enmity of that chief Executive, and he and
his advisers turned the colored voters of the South over to the
bloodthirsty minority of that section.

The Republican party has degenerated into an ignoble scramble for
place and power. It has forgotten the principles for which Sumner
contended, and for which Lincoln died. It betrayed the cause for which
Douglass, Garrison and others labored, in the blind policy it pursued
in reconstructing the rebellious States. It made slaves freemen and
freemen slaves in the same breath by conferring the franchise and
withholding the guarantees to insure its exercise; it betrayed its
trust in permitting thousands of innocent men to be slaughtered
without declaring the South in rebellion, and in pardoning murders,
whom tardy justice had consigned to a felon's dungeon. It is even now
powerless to insure an honest expression of the vote of the colored
citizen. For these things, I do not deem it binding upon colored men
further to support the Republican party when other more advantageous
affiliations can be formed. And what of the Bourbon Democratic party?
There has not been, there is not now, nor will there ever be, any good
thing in it for the colored man. Bourbon Democracy is a curse to our
land. Any party is a curse which arrays itself in opposition to human
freedom, to the universal brotherhood of man. No colored man can ever
claim truthfully to be a Bourbon Democrat. It is a fundamental
impossibility. But he can be an independent, a progressive Democrat.

The hour has arrived when thoughtful colored men should cease to put
their faith upon broken straws; when they should cease to be the
willing tools of a treacherous and corrupt party; when they should
cease to support men and measures which do not benefit them or the
race; when they should cease to be duped by one faction and shot by
the other. The time has fully arrived when they should have their
position in parties more fully defined, and when, by the ballot which
they hold, they should force more respect for the rights of life and
property.

To do this, they must adjust themselves to the altered condition which
surrounds them. They must make for themselves a place to stand. In the
politics of the country the colored vote must be made as uncertain a
quantity as the German and Irish vote. The color of their skin must
cease to be an index to their political creed. They must think less of
"the party" and more of themselves; give less heed to a name and more
heed to principles.

The black men and white men of the South have a common destiny.
Circumstances have brought them together and so interwoven their
interests that nothing but a miracle can dissolve the link that binds
them. It is, therefore, to their mutual disadvantage that anything but
sympathy and good will should prevail. A reign of terror means a
stagnation of all the energies of the people and a corruption of the
fountains of law and justice.

The colored men of the South must cultivate more cordial relations
with the white men of the South. They must, by a wise policy, hasten
the day when politics shall cease to be the shibboleth that creates
perpetual warfare. The citizen of a State is far more sovereign than
the citizen of the United States. The State is a real, tangible
reality; a thing of life and power; while the United States is,
purely, an abstraction--a thing that no man has successfully defined,
although many, wise in their way and in their own conceit, have
philosophized upon it to their own satisfaction. The metaphysical
polemics of men learned in the science of republican government,
covering volume upon volume of "debates," the legislation of
ignoramuses, styled statesmen, and the "strict" and "liberal"
construction placed upon their work by the judicial _magi_, together
with a long and disastrous rebellion, to the cruel arbitrament of
which the question had been, as was finally hoped, in the last resort,
submitted, have failed, all and each, to define that visionary thing
the so-called Federal government, and its just rights and powers. As
Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson left it, so it is to-day, a
bone of contention, a red flag in the hands of the political matadors
of one party to infuriate those of the other parties.

No: it is time that the colored voter learned to leave his powerless
"protectors" and take care of himself. Let every one read, listen,
think, reform his own ideas of affairs in his own locality; let him be
less interested in the continual wars of national politics than in the
interests of his own town and county and state; let him make friends
of the mammon of unrighteousness of his own neighborhood, so far as to
take an intelligent part among his neighbors, white and black, and
vote for the men and for the party that will do the best for him and
his race, and best conserve the interest of his vicinity. Let there be
no aim of _solidifying_ the colored vote; the massing of black means
the massing of white by contrast. Individual colored men--and many of
them--have done wonders in self-elevation; but there can be no general
elevation of the colored men of the South until they use their voting
power in independent local affairs with some discrimination more
reasonable than an obstinate clinging to a party name. When the
colored voters differ among themselves and are to be found on _both
sides_ of local political contests, they will begin to find themselves
of some political importance; their votes will be sought, cast, _and
counted_.

And this is the key to the whole situation; let them make themselves a
part of the people. It will take time, patience, intelligence,
courage; but it can be done: and until it is done their path will lie
in darkness and perhaps in blood.



CHAPTER X

_Solution of the Political Problem_


I have no faith in parties. In monarchical and imperial governments
they are always manipulated by royal boobies, who are in turn
manipulated by their empty-pated favorites and their women of
soporific virtue; while in republics they are always manipulated by
demagogues, tricksters, and corruptionists, who figure in the
newspapers as "bosses," "heelers" and "sluggers," and in history as
statesmen, senators and representatives. These gentlemen, who _rule_
our government and _ruin_ our people, comprise what Mr. Matthew Arnold
recently termed the "remnant" which should be permitted to run things
to suit themselves, the people, the great mass, being incapable of
taking care of themselves and the complex machinery of government. Of
course, Mr. Arnold, who is necessarily very British in his ideas of
government, intended that the "remnant" he had in his "mind's eye,"
should comprise men of the most exalted character and intelligence,
the very things which keep them out of the gutters of politics. Men of
exalted character are expected in our country to attend to their own
concerns, not the concerns of the people, and to give the "boys" a
chance; while the men of exalted intelligence are, by reason of the
great industry and seclusiveness necessary to their work, too much
wedded to their books and their quiet modes of life to rush into ward
meetings and contend for political preferment with the "Mikes" and
"Jakes" who make their bread and butter out of the spoils and
peculations of office. A Clay or Webster, a Seward or Sumner,
sometimes gets into politics, but it is by accident. There is not
enough money in our politics to cause honest men to make it an object,
while the corruption frequently necessary to maintain a political
position, is so disgusting as to deter honest men from making it a
business.

A love of power easily degenerates from patriotism into treason or
tyranny, or both. As it is easier to fall from virtue to vice than it
is to rise from vice to virtue, so it is easier to fall from
patriotism than to rise to it.

Before the war the men of the South engaged, at first, in politics as
an elegant pastime. They had plenty of leisure and plenty of money.
They did not take to literature and science, because these pursuits
require severe work and more or less of a strong bias, for a thorough
exposition of their profound penetralia. It may be, too, that their
assumed patrician sensitiveness shrank from entering into competition
with the plebeian fellows who had to study hard and write voluminously
for a few pennies to keep soul and body together. And your Southern
grandees, before the war, were not compelled to drudge for a
subsistence; they had to take little thought for the morrow. Their
vast landed estates and black slaves were things that did not
fluctuate; under the effective supervision of the viperous
slave-driver the black Samson rose before the coming of the sun, and
the land, nature's own flower garden and man's inalienable heritage,
brought forth golden corn and snowy cotton in their season. Southern
intelligence expended its odors in the avenues where brilliance, not
profundity, was the passport to popularity. Hence, Southern
hospitality (giving to others that which had been deliberately stolen)
became almost as proverbial in the _polite_ circles of America and
Europe as the long established suavity and condescension of the
French. And even unto the present time the hospitality of the South,
shorn of its profuseness and grandiloquence, is frequently the theme
of newspaper hacks and magazine penny-a-liners. But the shadow alone
remains; the substance has departed--"There are no birds in last
year's nest."

If the literary reputation of the United States had been rated, up to
the close of the Rebellion, on the contributions of Southern
men--fiction, prose and poetry, science, art, and invention--the
polite nations of the world would have regarded us as a nation of
semi-barbarians. But, happily, the rugged genius of New England made
up then and makes up now for the poverty of literary effort on the
part of the South. True, a few men since the war have placed the
South in a better light; but even their work, as an index of Southern
genius, is regarded as highly precocious and tentative.

The South has yet to demonstrate that she has capacity for high
literary effort. In the process of that demonstration, I am fully
persuaded that the Anglo-African--with his brilliant wit and humor,
his highly imaginative disposition and his innate fondness for
literary pursuits--will contribute largely to give the South an
enviable and honorable position.

What the South lacked in literary effort before the war she made up in
a magnificent galaxy of meteoric statesmen, who rushed into politics
with the instinct of ducks taking to water, and who were forgotten, in
the majority of cases, before they had run out their ephemeral career.
A few names have survived the earthquake, and are remembered for their
cleverness rather than their depth. A few more decades, and they will
be remembered only by the curious student who plods his weary way
through the labyrinth of Congressional records and the musty archives
of States, seeking for data of times which long ago passed into the
hazy vista of history and romance. Before the war the Southern man of
leisure took to politics more as a pastime than as a serious business.
But as the pastime was agreeable, and as it gave additional weight and
distinction, all those who could, strived to make it appear that they
were men of importance in the Nation. They were largely a nation of
politicians, always brilliant, shallow, bellicose and dogmatic, as
ready to decide an argument with the shotgun or saber as with reason
and logic.

This was the temper of the people who rushed into the war with the
confidence of a schoolboy and who limped out like a man overtaken in
his gymnastic exercise by a paralytic stroke. The war taught the South
a very useful lesson, but did not sufficiently convince it that it was
preëminently a supercilious, arrogant people, who did not and do not
possess all the virtue, intelligence, and courage of the country;
that its stock of these prime elements is woefully small considering
the long years it had posed as America's own patrician class.

But when the war was over, and the Southern nobility turned its
thoughts once more to social arrogance and political dominion, it
found that Othello's occupation was entirely gone. A revolution had
swept over the country more iconoclastic and merciless than that which
followed in the wake of the French revolution nearly a hundred years
before. The bottom rail had been violently placed upon the top;
industrial adjustments had been so completely metamorphosed as to defy
detection; while the basis and the method of political representation
and administration had been so altered as to confound both the old and
the new forces.

Aside from the ignorance of the black citizens and the insatiate greed
and unscrupulousness of their carpet-bag leaders--a band of vultures
more voracious and depraved than any which ever before imposed upon
and abused the confidence of a credulous people--the white men of the
South had been educated to regard themselves as, naturally, the
factors of power and the colored people as, naturally, the subject
class, no factor at all. It was these two things which produced that
exhibition of barbarity on the part of the South and impotence on the
part of the government which make us go to Roumania and the Byzantine
court for fit parallel.

But, as I have said, a love of power easily degenerates into treason.
If we may not call the violence, the assassinations, which have
disgraced the South, _treason_ by what fitter name, pray, shall we
call it? If the nullification of the letter and spirit of the
amendments of the Federal Constitution by the conquered South was not
renewed _treason_, what was it? What is it?

The white men of the South, to the "manor born," having shown their
superiority in the superlative excellencies of murder, usurpation and
robbery (and I maintain they have gone further in the execution of
these infamies than was true of the Negro-Carpet-bag _bacchanalia_);
having made majorities dwindle into iotas and vaulted themselves into
power at the point of the shot gun and dagger (regular bandit style);
having made laws which discriminate odiously against one class while
giving the utmost immunity to the other; having, after doing these
things, modeled the government they rule upon the pro-slavery doctrine
that it is a "white man's government"--having had time to become
sobered, the white men of the South should be open to reason, if not
to conviction.

The black men of the South know full well that they were disfranchised
by illegal and violent methods; they know that laws are purposely
framed to defraud and to oppress them. This is dangerous knowledge,
dangerous to the black and the white man. It will be decided by one of
two courses--wise and judicious statesmanship or bloody and disastrous
insurrection. When men are wronged they appeal either to the
arbitrament of reason or of violence. No man who loves his country
would sanction violence in the adjudication of rights save as a last
resort. Reason is the safest tribunal before which to arraign
injustice and wrong; but it is not always possible to reach this
tribunal.

The black and white citizens of the South must alter the lines which
have divided them since the close of the war. They are, essentially,
one people, and should be mutual aids instead of mutual hindrances to
each other. By "one people" I don't wish to be understood as implying
that the white and black man are one in an ethnological, but a generic
sense, having a common origin. Living in the same communities,
pursuing identical avocations, and subject to the same fundamental
laws, however these may differ in construction and application in the
several States, it is as much, if not even more, the interest of the
white man that the black should be given every possible opportunity to
better his mental, material and civil condition. Society is not
corrupted from the apex but from the base. It is not the pure rain
that falls from the heavens, but the stagnant waters of the pool, that
breed disease and death. The corruption of the ballot by white men of
the South is more pernicious than the misuse of it by black men; the
perversion of the law in the apprehension and punishment of criminals,
by being wielded almost exclusively against colored men, not only
brings law into contempt of colored men but encourages crime among
white men. Thus the entire society is corrupted. Mob law is the most
forcible expression of an abnormal public opinion; it shows that
society is rotten to the core. When men find that laws are purposely
framed to oppress and defraud them they become desperate and reckless;
and mob law, by usurping the rightful functions of the judiciary,
makes criminals of honest men. As Alexander Pope expressed it:

    _Vice is a monster of such frightful mien,
    That to be hated needs but to be seen;
    Yet, seen too oft, familiar with his face,
    We first endure, then pity, then embrace._

The South has nothing to gain and everything to lose in attempting to
repress the energies and ambition of the colored man. It is to the
safety as well as to the highest efficiency of society that all its
members should be allowed the same opportunities for moral,
intellectual and material development. "Do unto others as you would
have them do unto you." "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
There is no escape from the law of God. You either deal justly or
suffer the evil effects of wrong-doing. The disorders which have made
the South a seething cauldron for fifteen years have produced the most
widespread contempt of lawful authority not only on the part of the
lawless whites but the law-abiding blacks, who have suffered patiently
the infliction of all manner of wrong _because they were a generation
of slaves, suddenly made freemen_. They permitted themselves to be
shot because they had been educated to bare their backs at the command
of the white oligarch. But that sort of pusillanimous cowardice cannot
be expected to last always. Men in a state of freedom instinctively
question the right of others to impose unequal burdens upon them, or
to deny to them equal and exact protection of the laws. When oppressed
people begin to murmur, grow restless and discontented, the opposer
had better change his tactics, or lock himself up, as does the
cowardly tyrant of Russia.

A new generation of men has come upon the stage of action in the
South. They know little or nothing of the regulations or the horrors
of the slave régime. They know they are freemen; they know they are
cruelly and unjustly defrauded; and they _question the right_ of their
equals to oppose and defraud them. A large number of these people have
enjoyed the advantage of common school education, and not a few of
academic and collegiate education, and a large number have "put money
in their purse." The entire race has so changed that they are almost a
different people from what they were when the exigencies of war made
their manumission imperative. Yet there has been but little change in
the attitude of the white men towards this people. They still
strenuously deny their right to participate in the administration of
justice or to share equally in the blessings of that justice.

There must be a change of policy. The progress of the black man
demands it; the interest of the white man compels it. The South cannot
hope to share in the industrious emigration constantly flowing into
our ports as long as it is scattered over the world that mob law and
race distractions constantly interrupt the industry of the people, and
put life and property in jeopardy of eminent disturbance; and she
cannot hope to encourage the investment of large capital in the
development of her industries or the extension of her national system.
Capital is timid. It will only seek investment where it is sure of
being let alone. Again, while the present state continues, no Southern
statesman, however capable he may be, can hope to enjoy the confidence
of the country or attain to high official position. Thoughtful, sober
people will not entrust power to men who sanction mob law, and who
rise to high honor by conniving at or participating in assassination
and murder. They have too much self-respect to do it.

Only a few weeks since, a narrow-minded senator from the State of
Alabama, speaking upon the question of "National Aid to Education,"
said he would rather vote for an appropriation to place the Southern
States in direct communication with the Congo than to vote money to
educate the blacks. There is no ingrate more execrable than the one
who lifts up his hand or his voice to wrong the man he has betrayed.
This senator from Alabama does not represent the majority of the
people of his state. Take away the shot gun and mob law and he would
be compelled to crawl back into the obscurity out of which he was
dragged by his accomplices in roguery.

The colored man is in the South to stay there. He will not leave it
voluntarily and he cannot be driven out. He had no voice in being
carried into the South, but he will have a very loud voice in any
attempt to put him out. The expatriation of 5,000,000 to 6,000,000
people to an alien country needs only to be suggested to create mirth
and ridicule. The white men of the South had better make up their
minds that the black men will remain in the South just as long as corn
will tassel and cotton will bloom into whiteness. The talk about the
black people being brought to this country to prepare themselves to
evangelize Africa is so much religious nonsense boiled down to a
sycophantic platitude. The Lord, who is eminently just, had no hand in
their forcible coming here; it was preëminently the work of the devil.
Africa will have to be evangelized _from within_, not _from without_.
The Colonization society has spent mints of money and tons of human
blood in the selfish attempt to plant an Anglo-African colony on the
West Coast of Africa. The money has been thrown away and the human
lives have been sacrificed in vain. The black people of this country
are Americans, not Africans; and any wholesale expatriation of them is
altogether out of the question.

The white men of the South should not deceive themselves: the blacks
are with them to remain. Whether they like it or not, it is a fact
that will not be rubbed out.

If this be true, what should be the policy of the whites towards the
blacks? The question should need no answer at my hands. If it were not
for the unexampled obtuseness of the editors, preachers and
politicians of that section, I should close this chapter here.

The white men and women of the South should get down from the
delectable mountain of delusive superiority which they have climbed;
and, recognizing that "of one blood God made all the children of men,"
take hold of the missionary work God has placed under their nose.

Instead of railing at the black man, let them take hold of him in a
Christian spirit and assist him in correcting those moral abscesses
and that mental enervation which they did so awfully much to infuse
into him; they should first take the elephant out of their own eyes
before digging at the gnat in their neighbor's eyes. They should
encourage him in his efforts at moral and religious improvement, not
by standing off and clapping their hands, but by going into his
churches and into his pulpits, showing him the "light and the way" not
only by precept but example as well. Can't do it, do you say? Then
take your religion and cast it to the dogs, for it is a living lie; it
comes not from God but from Beelzebub the Prince of Darkness. A
religion that divides Christians is unadulterated paganism; a minister
that will not preach the Gospel to sinners, be they black or white, is
a hypocrite, who "steals the livery of Heaven to serve the Devil in."
They should make liberal provision for the schools set apart for the
colored people, and they should visit these schools, not only to mark
the progress made, and to encourage teacher and pupil, but to show to
the young minds blossoming into maturity and usefulness that they are
friends and deeply interested in the progress made. In public, they
should seek first to inspire the confidence of colored men by just
laws and friendly overtures and by encouraging the capable, honest
and ambitious few by placing them in position of honor and trust. They
should show to colored men that they accept the Constitution as
amended, and are earnestly solicitous that they should prosper in the
world, and become useful and respected citizens. You can't make a
friend and partisan of a man by shooting him; you can't make a sober,
industrious, honest man by robbing and outraging him. These tactics
will not work to the uplifting of a people. "A soft answer turns away
wrath." Even a dog caresses the hand that pats him on the head.

The South must spend less money on penitentiaries and more money on
schools; she must use less powder and buckshot and more law and
equity; she must pay less attention to politics and more attention to
the development of her magnificent resources; she must get off the
"race line" hobby and pay more attention to the common man; she must
wake up to the fact that--

    _Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow,_

and that it is to her best interest to place all men upon the same
footing before the law; mete out the same punishment to the white
scamp that is inexorably meted out to the black scamp, for a scamp is
a scamp any way you twist it; a social pest that should be put where
he will be unable to harm any one. In an honest acceptance of the new
conditions and responsibilities God has placed upon them, and in
mutual forebearance, toleration and assistance, the South will find
that panacea for which she has sought in vain down to this time.



CHAPTER XI

Land and Labor


There is more prose than poetry in the desperate conflict now
waging in every part of the civilized world between labor and
capital,--between the dog and his tail, again, for, when the question
is reduced to a comprehensive statement of fact, it will be readily
seen that capital is the offspring of labor, not labor the offspring
of capital. Capital can produce nothing. Left to itself, it is as
valueless as the countless millions of gold, silver, copper, lead and
iron that lie buried in the unexplored womb of Nature. This storied
wealth counts for nothing in its crude, undeveloped state. As it is
to-day, so it was a thousand years ago. Years may add to the bulk,
and, therefore, the richness of its value; but until man, by his labor
of muscle and brain, has brought it forth, it has no value whatever.
To have value, it must become an object of barter, of circulation, in
short, of exchange. As its value depends upon its utility, so when it
can no longer be used it again becomes a useless mass of perishable
wealth. It is the product of labor, pure and simple. Speaking on
"Management of the Banks" (footnote p. 223), in his work on _Labor and
Capital_, Edward Kellogg says:--

     All who become rich by speculations in bank, state and other
     stocks, gain their wealth at the expense of the producing
     classes; for no increased production is made by the changing
     market value of these stocks. It is clear, that when the
     rate of interest is increased, the gains of money-lenders
     are augmented, and the money gained will buy a greater
     quantity of property and labor. The increased gains of the
     lender must be paid by the borrowers, by the productions of
     their own or of others' labor.

So Adam Smith, speaking of "the Origin and Use of Money" (_Wealth of
Nations_, p. 33), says:

     In order to avoid the inconveniency of such situations,
     every prudent man in every period of society, after the
     first establishment of the divisions of labor, must
     naturally have endeavored to manage his affairs in such a
     manner as to have at all times by him, besides the peculiar
     produce of his own industry, a certain quantity of some one
     commodity or other, such as he imagined few people would be
     likely to refuse in exchange for the produce of their
     industry.

Labor is the one paramount force which develops the resources of the
world. It produces all the wealth; it pays, in the last analysis, all
the taxes--National, State and municipal; it produces the wealth which
sustains all the institutions of learning, as well as ministers to the
profligate luxuries of the idlers and sharpers who add nothing to the
wealth of society, but on the contrary constantly take from it, and
who have not inaptly been termed by Dr. Howard Crosby the "dangerous
classes;" it makes the wealth which gives a few men millions of
dollars as their share, either as rental or usurious interest upon
capital invested in the production of wealth; and it creates the vast
surplus which lies in the coffers of the Federal and State treasuries
of our land.

The producing agency, without which there could be no wealth; without
which the landlord could exact no rent and capital could draw no
interest, the producing agency alone receives an inadequate proportion
of the wealth it produces. The man who conducts any business requiring
labor and capital not only exacts an unjust proportion of the
laborer's hire, but takes more than he justly should as interest upon
his capital and as reward for his own time and labor, often amounting
to no trouble or labor, he delegating to other hands, such as foremen
or overseers, the absolute control of his investment. Yet, the man who
invests capital not only derives, in a majority of cases, a sufficient
income to enable him to live in more than comfort but to have a
healthy bank account; while the laborer, who alone makes capital draw
interest by giving it employment in developing the resources of
nature, derives only a bare subsistence, frequently not sufficient to
meet the absolute necessaries of his daily life. His wife and children
must be content with life simply--bare, cold life--often without any
of the conveniences or the commonest luxuries which make existence
anything more than the curse it is to a large majority of humankind.
This is peculiarly true of the condition of the masses of the Old
World, and is fast becoming true in our own young and vigorous
country.

In every quarter of the globe the cry of depressed and defrauded labor
is heard. The enormous drain upon the producing agents necessary to
maintain in idleness and luxury the great capitalists of the world who
accumulated their ill-gotten wealth by fraud, perjury and "conquest,"
so called, grinds the producing agent down to the lowest possible
point at which he can live and still produce. The millionaires of the
world, so called "aristocracies," and the taxes imposed by sovereign
states to liquidate obligations more frequently contracted to enslave
than to ameliorate the conditions of mankind, are a constant drain
which comes ultimately out of the laboring classes in every case.

What are millionaires, any way, but the most dangerous enemies of
society, always eating away its entrails, like the cultures that
preyed upon the chained Prometheus? Take our own breed of these
parasites; note how they grind down the stipend they are compelled to
bestow upon the human tools they must use to still further swell their
ungodly gains! Note how they take advantage of the public; how they
extort, with Shylock avarice, every penny they possibly can from those
who are compelled to use the appliances which wealth enables them to
contrive for the public convenience and comfort; how they corrupt
legislatures and dictate to the unscrupulous minions of the law. The
Athenians were wise who enacted into law the principle that when a
citizen became too powerful or rich to be controlled within proper
bounds, the safety of society demanded that he should be exiled--sent
where his power or riches could not be used to the detriment of his
fellow-citizens. Should such a rule be applied to-day, society in
every land could disgorge with much advantage the men who ride the
people as the Old Man of the Sea rode Sindbad the luckless sailor. But
our civilization is built upon a higher conception of individual right
and immunity; there is now no limit to the right of one man to rob
another of the produce of his labor or his natural and conferred
rights. Not only may individuals rob and plunder their fellows with
absolute impunity, but our laws have put breath into that soulless
thing which has become notoriously infamous as a "corporation." Around
this thing, this engine of extortion and oppression, our laws have
placed bulwarks which the defrauded laborer, the widow and orphan, and
even the sovereign public, cannot overleap. Here is where Monopoly
first shows its cormorant head.

If millionaires are enemies of society, and I assume that they
are--not because they have property, but because, as a rule, they have
acquired it by unjust processes and use it tyrannically--what excuse
have we for aristocracies, an idle class, a privileged class, who toil
not, nor spin? What is a recognized aristocracy, such as England
maintains? From what perennial fountain did it draw its nobility and
wealth? Came they not through Norman conquest and robbery? Who pay the
heavy taxes levied upon the people to support the privileged classes
of England? The royal revenues and princely preserves, are they not
supported out of the sweat of the poorer classes, upon whom all the
burdens of society fall at last? And why should there be royal
revenues and princely preserves? Do they add anything to the wealth of
a nation or the happiness of a people? Let us see.

Brassey (Sir Thomas), in his book on _Work and Wages_, p. 71, says:

     The Irish Poor Law Commissioners stated that the average
     produce of the soil in Ireland was not much above one half
     the average produce in England, whilst the number of
     laborers employed in agriculture was, in proportion to the
     quantity of land under cultivation more than double, viz.:
     as five to two. Thus ten laborers in Ireland raised only the
     same quantity of produce that four laborers raised in
     England, and this produce was generally of an inferior
     quality.

Why is it that ten men in Ireland produce no more than four men
produce in England?

Henry George says (_Social Problems_, p. 150):

     A year ago I traveled through that part of Ireland from
     which these government-aided emigrants come. What surprises
     an American at first, even in Connaught, is the apparent
     sparseness of population, and he wonders if this can indeed
     be that over-populated Ireland of which he has heard so
     much. _There is plenty of good land_, but on it are only fat
     beasts, and sheep so clean and white that you at first think
     that they must be washed and combed every morning. Once,
     this soil was tilled and was populous, but now you will find
     only traces of ruined hamlets, and here and there the
     miserable hut of a herd, who lives in a way that no Terra
     del Fuegan could envy. For the 'owners' of this land, who
     live in London and Paris, many of them having never seen
     their estates, find cattle more profitable than men, and so
     the men have been driven off. _It is only when you reach the
     bog and the rocks_ in the mountains and by the sea shore,
     that you find a dense population. Here they are crowded
     together on land on which nature never intended men to live.
     It is too poor for grazing, so the people who have been
     driven from the better lands are allowed to live upon it--as
     long as they pay their rent. If it were not too pathetic,
     the patches they called fields would make you laugh.
     Originally the surface of the ground must have been about as
     susceptible of cultivation as the surface of Broadway. But
     at the cost of enormous labor the small stones have been
     picked off and piled up, though the great boulders remain,
     so that it is impossible to use a plow; and the surface of
     the bog has been cut away and manured by seaweed, brought in
     from the shore on the backs of men and women, till it can be
     made to grow something.

Sir Thomas Brassey writes from a capitalist's standpoint, while Mr.
George writes from the standpoint of a philosopher who not only sees
gross social wrongs but boldly applies the remedy. But let us see if
the same fester which irritates the body of Irish society has not also
a parasitical existence in our own land, where society is yet in its
infancy, where the people are supposed to enjoy all the advantages of
the competitive system, and where all are, measurably, free to take
and to use the opportunities offered the pioneers, or him who gets
first his grip upon the three natural elements absolutely essential to
man's existence, viz.: air, water, and land.

Wm. Goodwin Moody says (_Land and Labor in the United States_, p. 77):

     Instead of being able to boast, as could our fathers, that
     every man who tilled the soil was lord of the manor he
     occupied, owning no master, the last census report made a
     return of 1,024,701 tenant farms in our country in 1880.

     A comparison of this showing with the land-holdings of
     Great Britain and Ireland will help to a better
     understanding of what these things import. The very latest
     statistics give the total number of holdings in England and
     Wales at 414,804; in Ireland, at 574,222; in Scotland, at
     80,101; total, 1,069,127. Showing that in the whole of Great
     Britain and Ireland, counting all the holdings as tenant
     occupations, which they are not, there are 200,000 less
     tenant farms than in the United States.

Again:

     Among the owners of the tenant farms in our country are
     English, French, and German capitalists, non-residents, who
     have bought immense tracts of the railroad lands, and seized
     upon the alternate government sections lying within their
     railroad purchases, and on those tracts have commenced their
     bonanza operations, or planted their tenants on the American
     system.

When it is remembered that the entire network of railroads in the
United States is practically under the absolute control of five or six
men who, having derived their valuable franchises and more than
princely land grants from the people, show the utmost disregard of the
comfort, convenience or rights of the donors; when it is remembered
that one family in the city of New York controls enough land with
enough tenants to constitute an overgrown village; and that what they
do not claim as their own is held by one-fourth of the rest of the
population; when it is remembered that nearly every article which has
become a household necessity has been seized upon and can be obtained
only through some corporation, in the manufacture of which the
government has virtually granted a monopoly, as Charles granted to the
Duke of Buckingham a monopoly in the sale of gold lace; when it is
remembered that, even in this new country, three-fourths of the
population rent their homes and cannot buy them[14]; when these things
are remembered, as they should be, it will be readily seen that the
condition of our work-people is fast becoming no better than that of
the people of Europe, where a thousand years of false social
adjustments, of usurpation and of tyranny, have reduced the
proletariat class to the verge of starvation and desperation.

True, the immigrant laborers from Europe in the North, and the
colored people at the South tend to crowd into the cities, where their
labor is least needed and the conditions of life for them must be at
the hardest; true, in America if a man _has it in him_ the way is open
for him to mount to the topmost round of the social ladder; true, too,
the operatives in manufactures and the agricultural laborers here live
on a far higher plane than in Europe; but the elements of degradation
as well as of elevation are present in our land, and "easy in the
descent" to the infernal regions. Let us be warned in time.



CHAPTER XII

_Civilization Degrades the Masses_


There are men in all parts of the world, whose names have become
synonyms of learning and genius, who proclaim it from the housetops
that civilization is in a constant state of evolution to a higher,
purer, nobler, happier condition of the people, the great mass of
mankind, who properly make up society, and who have been styled, in
derision, the "_mudsills_ of society." So they are, society rests upon
them; society must build upon them; without them society cannot be,
because they are, in the broadest sense, society itself,--not only the
"mudsills" but the _superstructure_ as well. They not only constitute
the great producing class but the great consuming class as well. They
are the bone and sinew of society.

It is therefore of the utmost importance to know the condition of the
people; it is not only important to know exactly what that condition
is, but it is of the very first importance to the well-being of
society that there should be absolutely nothing in that condition to
arouse the apprehension of the sharks who live upon the carcass of the
people, or of the people who permit the sharks to so live. There is
nothing more absolutely certain than that the people--who submit to be
robbed through the intricate and multifarious processes devised by the
cupidity of individuals and of governments--when aroused to a full
sense of the wrongs inflicted upon them, will strike down their
oppressors in a rage of desperation born of despair.

Modern tyrannies are far more insidious than the military despotisms
of the past. These modern engines which crush society destroy the
energy and vitality of the people by the slow process of starvation,
sanctioned by the law, and in a majority of instances, are patiently
borne by the victims. It is only when human nature can endure no more
that protests are first heard; then armed resistance; then anarchy.
Thus it was with the French of the eighteenth century. Thus it is with
the Russian, the German, the English, the Irish peoples of to-day. The
heel of the tyrant is studded with too many steel nails to be borne
without excruciating pain and without earnest protest.

If in their desperate conflict with the serpent that has coiled its
slimy length about the body of the people the latter resort to
dynamite, and seek by savage warfare to right their wrongs, they are
to be condemned and controlled, for they confound the innocent with
the guilty and work ruin rather than reform. Yet there is another side
to be considered, for when injustice wraps itself in the robes of
virtue and of law, and calls in the assistance of armies and all the
destructive machinery of modern warfare to enforce its right to
enslave and starve mankind, what counter warfare can be too savage,
too destructive in its operations, to compel attention to the wrong?
The difficulty is that vengeance should discriminate, but that is a
refinement which blind rage can hardly compass.

I believe in law and order; but I believe, as a condition precedent,
that law and order should be predicated upon right and justice, pure
and simple. Law is, intrinsically, a written expression of justice;
if, on the contrary, it becomes instead written _injustice_, men are
not, strictly speaking, bound to yield it obedience. There is no law,
on the statute books of any nation of the world, which bears unjustly
upon the people, which should be permitted to stand one hour. It is
through the operations of law that mankind is ground to powder; it is
by the prostitution of the rights of the masses, by men who pretend to
be their representatives and are not, that misery, starvation and
death fill the largest space in the news channels of every land.

In New York City--where the intelligence, the enterprise, the wealth
and the christianized humanity of the New World are supposed to have
their highest exemplification--men, women and children die by the
thousands, starved and frozen out of the world! Thousands die yearly
in the city of New York from the effects of exposure and insufficient
nutriment. The world, into which they had come unbidden, and the
fruits of which a just God had declared they should enjoy as reward of
the sweat of their brows, had refused them even a bare subsistance;
and, this, when millions of food rot in the storehouses without
purchasers! The harpies of trade prefer that their substance should
resolve itself into the dirt and weed from which it sprung, rather
than the poor and needy should eat of it and live.

I have walked through the tenement wards of New York, and I have seen
enough want and crime and blasted virtue to condemn the civilization
which produced them and which fosters them in its bosom.

I have looked upon the vast army of police which New York City
maintains to protect life and so-called "vested rights," and I have
concluded that there is something wrong in the social system which can
only be kept intact by the expenditure of so much productive force,
for this vast army, which stands on the street corners and lurks in
the alley ways, "spotting," suspicious persons, "keeping an eye" on
strangers who look "smart," this vast army contributes nothing to the
production of wealth. It is, essentially, a parasite. And yet,
without this army of idlers, life would be in constant danger and
property would fall prey not only to the vicious and the desperate,
but to the hungry men and women who have neither a place to shelter
them from the storms of heaven, nor food to sustain nature's cravings
from finding an eternal resting place in the Potter's Field. And, even
after every precaution which selfishness can devise, courts of law and
police officers are powerless to stay the hand of the pariahs whom
society has outlawed--the men and women who are doomed to starve to
death and be buried at the expense of society. The streets of every
city in the Union are full of people who have been made desperate by
social adjustments which prophets laud to the skies and which
philosophers commend as "ideal," as far as they go.

One-half the producing power of the United States is to-day absolutely
dependent upon the cold charity of the world; one fourth does not make
sufficient to live beyond the day, while the other one-fourth only
manages to live comfortably at the expense of the most parsimonious
economy.

It is becoming a mooted question whether labor-saving machinery has
not supplanted muscle-power in the production of every article to such
a marvelous extent as to make thoughtful men tremble for the future of
those who can only hope to live upon the produce of their labors. The
machine has taken the place, largely, of man in the production of
articles of consumption, of wear and of ornamentation; but no machine
has, as yet, been invented to take the place of human wants. The
markets of the world are actually glutted with articles produced by
machine labor, but there are no purchasers with the means to buy, to
consume the additional production caused by machinery and the
consequent cheapening of processes of producing the articles of
consumption, ornamentation, etc. When men have work they have money;
and when men have money they spend it. Hence, when the toilers of a
land have steady employment trade is brisk; when business stagnation
forces them into idleness vice and crime afflict the country.

What avail the tireless labor of the machine and the mountains of
material it places upon the market, if there are no purchasers? One
man at a machine will do as much work in a factory to-day as required
the work of fifty men fifty years ago; but the enhanced volume of
production can have only one purchaser now where there was once fifty,
hence the fitful existence of the one and the desperate struggle for
existence of the forty-nine.[15] As iron and steel cannot compete with
muscle and brain in the volume of production, so iron and steel cannot
compete with muscle and brain in consumption. And, without
consumption, what does production amount to? What does it avail us
that our stores and granaries are overstocked, if the people are
unable to buy? The thing is reduced to a cruel mockery when stores and
granaries are over-gorged, while people clamor in vain for clothing
and food, and drop dead within reach of these prime elements of warmth
and sustentation.

What does it avail us if the balance of trade be in our favor by one,
or two, or three hundred millions of dollars, if this result be
obtained by the degradation and death of our own people? More; not
only at the expense of the well being of our own people, but of the
people of those countries in whose markets we are enabled to undersell
them, by reason of the more systematic pauperization of our own
producing classes.

Competition, it is declared, is the life of trade; if this be true, it
is truer that it is the death of labor, of the poorer classes. For
Great Britain has established herself in the markets of the world at
the expense of her laboring classes. While the capitalists of that
country hold up their heads among the proudest people of the world,
her laboring classes are absolutely ground to powder. Because of the
inhuman competition which her manufacturers have been led to adopt,
and the introduction of improved labor-saving machinery, her balance
of trade runs far into the millions of pounds, and political
economists place their hands upon their hearts and declare that Great
Britain is the most happy and prosperous country on the face of the
globe. But the declaration is illusory in the extreme. No country can
be happy and prosperous whose "mudsills" live in squalor, want,
misery, vice and death. If Great Britain is happy and prosperous, how
shall we account for the constant strikes of labor organizations for
higher pay or as a protest against further reduction of wages below
which man cannot live and produce? The balance of trade desire is the
curse of the people of the world. It can be obtained only by
underbidding other people in their own markets; and this can be done
only by the maximum of production at the minimum of cost--by forcing
as much labor out of the man or the machine as possible at the least
possible expense.

There is death in the theory; death to our own people and death to the
people with whom we compete. When a people no longer produce those
articles which are absolutely necessary to sustain life the days of
such people may be easily calculated.

Men talk daily of "over production," of "glutted markets," and the
like; but such is not a true statement of the case. There can be no
over production of anything as long as there are hungry mouths to be
fed. It does not matter if the possessors of these hungry mouths are
too poor to buy the bread; if they are hungry, there is no
overproduction. With a balance of $150,000,000 of trade; with
plethoric granaries and elevators all over the land; with millions of
swine, sheep and cattle on a thousand hills; with millions of surplus
revenue in the vaults of the National treasury, diverted from the
regular channels of trade by an ignorant set of legislators who have
not gumption enough to reduce unnecessary and burdensome taxation
without upsetting the industries of the country--with all its
grandiloquent exhibition of happiness and prosperity, the laboring
classes of the country starve to death, or eke out an existence still
more horrible.

The factories of the land run on half time, and the men, women and
children who operate them grow pinch-faced, lean and haggard, from
insufficient nutriment, and are old and decrepit while yet in the bud
of youth; the tenements are crowded to suffocation, breeding
pestilence and death; while the wages paid to labor hardly serve to
satisfy the exactions of the landlord--a monstrosity in the midst of
civilization, whose very existence is a crying protest against our
pretensions to civilization.

Yet, "competition" is the cry of the hour. Millionaires compete with
each other in the management of vast railroads and water routes,
reducing labor to the verge of subsistence while exacting mints of
money as tolls for transportation from the toilers of the soil and the
consumers who live by their labor in other industrial enterprises; the
manufacturers join in the competition, selling goods at the least
possible profit to themselves and the least possible profit to those
who labor for them; and, when no market can be found at home, boldly
enter foreign markets and successfully compete with manufacturers who
employ what our writers are pleased to style "pauper" labor. Every
branch of industry is in the field _competing_, and the competition is
ruining every branch of industry. The constant effort to obtain the
maximum of production at the minimum of cost operates injuriously upon
employer and employee alike; while the shrinkage in money circulation,
caused by the competition, reduces, in every branch of industry, the
wages of those who are the great consumers as well as producers; it
produces those "hard times" which bear so hardly upon the poor in
every walk of life. Even the laboring man has entered the race, and
now competes in the labor market with his fellow for an opportunity to
make a crust of bread to feed his wife and child. When things reach
this stage, when the man who is working for one dollar and a half per
day is underbid by a man who will work for a dollar and a quarter,
then the condition of the great wealth producing and consuming class
is desperate indeed. And so it is.

Frederick Douglass, the great Negro commoner, speaking at Washington,
April 16, 1883, on the "Twenty-first Anniversary of Emancipation in
the District of Columbia," said:

     Events are transpiring all around us that enforce respect of
     the oppressed classes. In one form or another, by one means
     or another, the ideas of a common humanity against
     privileged classes, of common rights against special
     privileges, are now rocking the world. Explosives are heard
     that rival the earthquake. They are causing despots to
     tremble, class rule to quail, thrones to shake and
     oppressive associated wealth to turn pale. It is for America
     to be wise in time.

And the black philosopher, who had by manly courage and matchless
eloquence braved the mob law of the North and the organized brigandage
and robbery of the South in the dark days of the past, days that tried
men's souls, standing in the sunlight of rejuvenated manhood, still
was the oracle of the oppressed in the sentiments above quoted.

All over the land the voice of the masses is heard. Organizations in
their interests are multiplying like sands on the seashore. The
fierce, hoarse mutter of the starved and starving gives unmistakable
warning that America has entered upon that fierce conflict of
money-power and muscle-power which now shake to their very centers the
hoary-headed commonwealths of the old world. In _John Swintons Paper_
of a recent date I find the following editorial arraignment of the
present state of "Labor and Capital:"

     The cries of the people against the oppressions of capital
     and monopoly are heard all over the land; but the capitalist
     and monopolist give them no heed, and go on their way more
     relentlessly than ever. Congress is fully aware of the
     condition of things; but you cannot get any bill through
     there for the relief of the people. The coal lords of
     Pennsylvania know how abject are the tens of thousands of
     blackamoors of their mines; but they grind them without
     mercy, and cut their days' wages again whenever they squeal.
     Jay Gould knows of the wide-spread ruin he has wrought in
     piling up his hundred millions; but he drives along faster
     than ever in his routine of plunder. The factory Christians
     of Fall River see their thousands of poor spinners
     struggling for the bread of life amid the whirl of
     machinery: but they order reduction after reduction in the
     rate of wages, though the veins of the corporations are
     swollen to congestion. The "Big Four" of Chicago, who corner
     grain and provisions, and the capitalists here and elsewhere
     who do the same thing, know well how the farmers suffer and
     the tables of the poor are ravaged by their operations; but
     they prosecute their work more extensively and recklessly
     than ever. The railroad and telegraph corporations know
     that, in putting on "all that the traffic will bear," they
     are taking from this country more than the people can stand;
     yet their only answer is that of the horseleech....

     Our lawmakers know how the people are wronged through
     legislation in the interest of privilege and plunder; but
     they add statute to statute in that same interest. They know
     how advantageous to the producers would be the few measures
     asked in their name; yet they persistently refuse to adopt
     them. The great employers of labor, the cormorants of
     competition, know through what hideous injustice they enrich
     themselves; but speak to them of fair play, and they flout
     you from their presence. The wealthy corporations owning
     these street car lines in New York see that their drivers
     and conductors are kept on the rack from sixteen to eighteen
     hours every day of the week, including Sundays; but when a
     bill is brought into the State Legislature to limit the
     daily working hours to twelve, they order their hired agents
     of the lobby to defeat it. These gamblers of Wall street
     know that their gains are mainly through fraud; yet
     forever, fast and furious, do they play with loaded dice.

     The landlords of these tenement quarters know by the
     mortality statistics how broad is the swathe that death cuts
     among their victims; but they add dollar to dollar as coffin
     after coffin is carried into the street. * * *

     These owners of the machinery of industry know how it bears
     upon the men who keep it flying; but they are regardless of
     all that, if only it fills their coffers. These owners of
     palaces look upon the men by whom they are built; but think
     all the time how to raise the rent of their hovels. These
     great money-lenders who hold the mortgages on countless
     farms know of the straits of the mortgage-bound farmers; yet
     they never cease to plot for higher interest and harder
     terms. The gilded priests of Mammon and hypocrisy cannot get
     away from the cries of humankind; but when do you ever hear
     them denouncing the guilty and responsible criminals in
     their velvet-cushioned pews? Harder and harder grow the
     exactions of capital. Harder and harder grows the lot of the
     millions. Louder and louder grow the cries of the sufferers.
     Deafer and deafer grow the ears of the millionaires. _Yet_,
     if those who cry would but use their power in action,
     peaceful action, they could right their wrongs, or at least
     the most grievous of them, before the world completes the
     solar circuit of this year.

Wm. Goodwin Moody (_Land and Labor in the United States_, p. 338),
reverting to the difficulties which beset the pathway of labor
organizations, which have so far been productive of nothing but
disaster to the laboring classes, says:

     Is it not time that new weapons should be adopted, and new
     methods introduced? * * * Will not the working men of the
     country learn anything from the bitter experiences they have
     passed through, and abandon methods that have been so
     uniformly followed by the ultimate failure of all their
     efforts. But the great evils by which we are surrounded, and
     that are destroying the foundations of society, can be
     removed by the working-men only. They form the large
     majority of its members, and in our country they are
     all-powerful. Still it is only by absolutely united action
     that the working-men can accomplish any good. By disunion
     they may achieve any amount of evil. The enemy they have to
     contend against, though few in number, are strong in
     position and possession of great capital. Nevertheless,
     before the united working-men of the country, seeking really
     national objects and noble ends, by methods that are just
     and in harmony with the institutions under which we live,
     the tyranny of capital will end. The working-men will also
     draw to their support a very large part of the best thought
     and intelligence of the country, that will be sure to keep
     even step with the labor of society in its attack upon the
     enemies of humanity and progress.

There is no fact truer than this, that the accumulated wealth of the
land, and the sources of power, are fast becoming concentrated in the
hands of a few men, who use that wealth and power to the debasement
and enthrallment of the wage workers. Already it is almost impossible
to obtain any legislation, in State or Federal legislatures, to
ameliorate the condition of the laboring classes. Capital has placed
its tyrant grip upon the throat of the Goddess of Liberty. The power
of railroad and telegraph corporations, and associated capital
invested in monopolies which oppress the many, while ministering to
the wealth, the comfort and the luxury of the few, has become
omnipotent in halls of legislation, courts of justice, and even in the
Executive Chambers of great States, so that the poor, the oppressed
and the defrauded appeal in vain for justice.

Such is the deplorable condition of the laboring classes in the west,
the north and the east. They are bound to the car of capital, and are
being ground to powder as fast as day follows day. They organize in
vain; they protest in vain; they appeal in vain. Civilization is doing
its work. "To him that hath, more shall be given; to him that hath
nothing, even that shall be taken from him."

Let us turn to the South and see if a black skin has anything to do
with the tyranny of capital; let us see if the cause of the laboring
man is not the same in all sections, in all States, in all
governments, in the Union, as it is in all the world. If this can be
shown; if I can incontestably demonstrate that _the condition of the
black and the white laborer is the same, and that consequently_ _their
cause is common_; that they should unite under the one banner and work
upon the same platform of principles for the uplifting of labor, the
more equal distribution of the products of labor and capital, I shall
not have written this book in vain, and the patient reader will not
have read after me without profit to himself and the common cause of a
common humanity.


FOOTNOTES:

[14] W.G. Moody: _Land and Labor in the United States._

[15] Wm. Goodwin Moody shows this conclusively in his work on _Land
and Labor in the United States_.



CHAPTER XIII

_Conditions of Labor in the South_


I am not seriously concerned about the frightful political disorders
which have disgraced the Southern States since the close of the War of
the Rebellion; nor am I seriously concerned about the race-wars in
that section about which so much has been justly said, and about which
so very little is really known, in spite of the vast mass of testimony
that did not more than begin to tell the tale. I know that time and
education will give proper adjustment to the politics of the South,
and that the best men of all classes, the intelligent and the
property-holders will eventually grasp the reins of political or civil
power and give, as far as they can, equilibrium to the unbalanced
conditions.

The men of natural parts, of superior culture and ambitious spirit
usually, in all societies, manage to rise to the top as the natural
rulers of the people. You cannot keep them down; you cannot repress
them. They rise to the top as naturally as sparks fly upward to the
heavens. Demagogues and quacks manage only to impose upon the ignorant
and confiding, upon men, conscious of their own inability to rule, who
gladly transfer the responsibility to the first loud-mouthed fellow
who comes along claiming, as his own, superior capacity and virtue.
Intelligent men do not permit ignoramuses and adventurers to rule
them; they prefer to rule themselves; and they submit to be ruled by
such interlopers only so long as it takes them to thoroughly
understand the condition of affairs. It is not, therefore, to be
marvelled at that the white men of the South spread death and terror
in their pathway to the throne of power in subverting the governments
of the Reconstruction policy, based as those governments were, upon
_disorganized_ ignorance on the part of the blacks and organized
robbery on the part of the white adventurers, who have become infamous
under the expressive term "carpet-baggers;" although the genuine
Northern immigrants, the "Fools" who came in good faith to cast in
their lot with the Southern people supposing themselves to be welcome,
should not share in the obloquy of that epithet. But, should the white
men of the South continue indefinitely as the rulers of the South, to
the absolute exclusion of participation of the black citizens of those
states, then would my surprise be turned into profound amazement and
horror at what such tyranny would produce as a logical result. Yet I
know the temper of the people of the South too well to base any
deduction upon a proposition so full of horror and despair. And, then,
too, such a proposition would be at variance with all accepted
precedents of two peoples living in the same community, governed by
the same laws and subject to the same social and material conditions.
I submit that I have no fears about the future political status of the
whites and blacks of the South. The intelligent, the ambitious and the
wealthy men of both races will eventually rule over their less
fortunate fellow-citizens without invidious regard to race or previous
condition. And the great-grandson of Senator Wade Hampton may yet vote
for the great-grandson of Congressman Robert Smalls to be Governor of
the chivalric commonwealth of South Carolina. Senator Wade Hampton may
grit his teeth at this aspect of the case; but it is strictly in the
domain of probability. The grandson of John C. Calhoun, the great
orator and statesman of South Carolina, has not as yet voted for a
colored Governor, but he has for a colored sheriff and probate judge,
as the following testimony he gave before the Blair committee on
"Education and Labor," (Vol II, p. 173), in the city of New York,
September 13, 1883, will show:

     "Q. (the Chairman) What do you think of his [the black
     man's] intellectual and moral qualities and his capacity for
     development? A. (Mr. Calhoun, John C.) ... The probate judge
     of my county is a Negro and one of my tenants, and I am here
     now in New York attending to important business for my
     county as an appointee of that man. He has upon him the
     responsibilities of all estates in the county; he is probate
     judge.

     "Q. Is he a capable man? A. A very capable man, and an
     excellent, good man, and a very just one."

Again (_Ibid_ p. 137), Mr. Calhoun testified:

     The sheriff of my county is from Ohio, _and a Negro_, and he
     is a man whom _we all support in his office_, because he is
     capable of administering his office.

When the grandson of John C. Calhoun can make such admissions,
creditable alike to his head and his heart, may not the great-grandson
of Wade Hampton rise up to chase the Bourbonism of his
great-grandfather into the tomb of disgruntlement? I have not the
least doubt of such probability. Again, I say, I am not seriously
concerned about the future political status of the black man of the
South. He has talent; he has ambition; he possesses a rare fund of
eloquence, of wit and of humor, and these will carry him into the
executive chambers of States, the halls of legislation and on to the
bench of the judiciary. You can't bar him out; you can't repress him:
he will make his way. God has planted in his very nature those
elements which constitute the stock-in-trade of the American
politician--ready eloquence, rich humor, quick perception--and you may
rest assured he will use all of them to the very best advantage.

I know of municipalities in the South to-day, where capable colored
men are regularly voted into responsible positions by the best white
men of their cities. And why not? Do not colored men vote white men
into office? And, pray, is the white man less magnanimous than the
black man? Perish the thought! No; the politics of the South will
readily adjust themselves to the best interest of the people; be very
sure of this. And the future rulers of the South will not all be
white, nor will they be all black: they will be a happy commingling of
the two peoples.

And thus with the so-called "war of races:" it will pass away and
leave not a trace behind. It is based upon condition and
color-prejudice--two things which cannot perpetuate themselves. When
the lowly condition of the black man has passed away; when he becomes
a capable president of banks, of railroads and of steamboats; when he
becomes a large land-holder, operating bonanza farms which enrich him
and pauperize black and white labor; when he is not only a prisoner at
the bar but a judge on the bench; when he sits in the halls of
legislation the advocate of the people, or (more profit if less honor)
the advocate of vast corporations and monopolies; when he has
successfully metamorphosed the condition which attaches to him as a
badge of slavery and degradation, and made a reputation for himself as
a financier, statesman, advocate, land-holder, and money-shark
generally, his color will be swallowed up in his reputation, his
bank-account and his important money interests.

Is this a fancy picture? Is there no substantial truth seen in this
picture of what will, must and shall be, as the logical outgrowth of
the Divine affirmation that of one blood he created all men to dwell
upon the earth, and of the Declaration of Independence that "we hold
these truths to be self-evident:--That all men are created equal; that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;
that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"?

Let us see.

A few months ago I sat in the banking office of Mr. William E. Mathews
and ex-Congressman Joseph H. Rainey (of South Carolina), in
Washington. As I sat there, a stream of patrons came and went. The
whites were largely in the majority. They all wanted to negotiate a
loan, or to meet a note just matured. Among the men were contractors,
merchants, department clerks, etc. They all spoke with the utmost
deference to the colored gentleman who had money to loan upon good
security and good interest.

A few months ago I dined with ex-Senator B.K. Bruce (of Mississippi),
now Register of the United States Treasury. The ex-Senator has a
handsome house, and a delightful family. In running my eyes over his
card tray, I saw the names of some of the foremost men and women of
the nation who had called upon Register and Mrs. Bruce. In passing
through the Register's department with the Senator, sight-seeing, I
was not surprised at the marks of respect shown to Mr. Bruce by the
white ladies and gentlemen in his department. Why? Because Mr. Bruce
is a gentleman by instinct, a diplomat by nature, and a scholar who
has "burned the midnight oil." Such a person does not have to ask men
and women to respect him; they do so instinctively.

I walked down F street and called at the office of Prof. Richard T.
Greener, a ripe scholar and a gentleman. The professor not only has a
paying law practice, but is president of a new insurance company. He
has all that he can do, and his patrons are both black and white.

All this and more came under my observation in the course of an hour's
leisure at the capital of the nation. And the black man has not yet
aroused himself to a full sense of his responsibilities or of his
opportunities.

In Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston we have colored men
of large wealth, who conduct extensive business operations and enjoy
the confidence and esteem of their fellow citizens without regard to
caste.

Speaking upon the progress of the colored race, in the course of an
address on the "Civil Rights Law," at Washington, October 20, 1883,
the Hon. John Mercer Langston, United States Minister and Consul
General to Hayti, and one of the most remarkable, scholarly, and
diplomatic men the colored race in America has produced, drew the
following pen-picture:

     Do you desire to witness moral wonders? Start at Chicago;
     travel to St. Louis; travel to Louisville; travel to
     Nashville; travel to Chattanooga; travel on to New Orleans,
     and in every State and city you will meet vast audiences,
     immense concourses of men and women with their children,
     boys and girls, who, degraded and in ignorance because of
     their slavery formerly, are to-day far advanced in general
     social improvement.

     It would be remarkable now for you to go into the home of
     one of our families, and find even our daughters incompetent
     to discourse with you upon any subject of general interest
     with perfect ease and understanding. Excuse me, if I refer
     to the fact that some two weeks ago I visited St. Louis for
     two reasons; first to see my son and daughter, and secondly
     and mainly to attend the seventy-second anniversary of the
     birth of perhaps the richest colored man in the State of
     Missouri. I went to his house, and I was surprised as I
     entered his doors and looked about his sitting-room and
     parlors, furnished in the most approved modern style, in the
     richest manner; but I was more surprised when I saw one
     hundred guests come into the home of this venerable man, to
     celebrate the seventy-second anniversary of his birth, all
     beautifully attired; and when he told me, indirectly, how
     much money he had made, since the war, and what he was worth
     on the night of this celebration, I was more surprised than
     ever. I am surprised at the matchless progress the colored
     people of this country have made since their emancipation. I
     have traveled in the West Indies; I have seen the
     emancipated English, Spanish and French Negro; but I have
     seen no emancipated Negro anywhere who has made the progress
     at all comparable with the colored people of the United
     States of America.

I desire it to be distinctly understood, that I am not at all anxious
about the mental and material development of the colored people of the
United States. They are naturally shrewd, calculating and agreeable,
possessing in a peculiar degree the art of pleasing; and these
qualities will give them creditable positions in the business
interests of the country in a few years. But they must have time to
collect their wits, to sharpen their intelligence, to train their
moral sense and the feeling of social responsibility, to fully
comprehend all that the change from chattel slavery to absolute
freedom implies. Men cannot awaken from a Rip Van Winkle slumber of a
hundred years and grasp at once the altered conditions which flash
upon them. The awakening is terrific, appalling, staggering.

When a man has been confined for long years in a dark dungeon he has
not trouble in discerning objects about him which, when he first
entered his dungeon, were indistinct or invisible to him. So when he
is brought suddenly to the strong light of the sun the effulgence
overmasters him, and he is blind as a bat. But slowly and painfully he
becomes accustomed to the transition from absolute darkness to
absolute light, and then nature wears to his vision her naturally gay
and winsome appearance. So with the slave. His grasp of the conditions
of freedom is slow and uncertain. But give him time, lend him a
helping hand, and he will completely master the situation.

In one of the most remarkable pamphlets of the time, written by C.K.
Marshall, D.D., of Vicksburg, Miss., entitled _The Colored Race
Weighed in the Balance_, being a reply to a most malicious speech by
J.L. Tucker, D.D., of Jackson, Miss., I find many truths that the
American people should know. Both Dr. Marshall and Dr. Tucker are
white ministers of the South, and both should be intimately acquainted
with the characteristics, capacity and progress of the colored people.
But Dr. Tucker appears to be as ignorant of the colored race as if he
had spent his days in the Sandwich Islands instead of the sunny land
of the South.

Dr. Marshall says (p. 55):

     I think I know nearly all that can be said against a Negro.
     In one form or another, the complaints have been a thousand
     times reiterated; but has he not been, and is he not now
     what the white man and society have made him? He is
     naturally peace-loving, docile, and imitative. If kindly and
     justly treated, with due allowance for the _peculiar
     elements_ that make up his life, he will render back, in
     kind at least, equally with the brother in white in _like
     surroundings_. Everybody knows some reliable, trustworthy
     Negro man and woman; and John Randolph said that of two of
     the politest men he ever saw one was a Negro. _Gentleness_
     is a wonderful agency in managing a Negro: I know it tells
     powerfully upon white folks. The psalmist, addressing his
     Maker, says, "Thy gentleness hath made me great." It is a
     mighty lever; it moves the world; it moved it before
     Archimedes; it moves it still; but peevishness,
     fault-finding, scolding, cursing, premature censure, haughty
     and assuming ways, sullenness, ill-temper, whether in the
     field, the kitchen, the nursery, or parlor, will
     legitimately result in thriftlessness, revolt, departure,
     and contempt for white people! Many of the young generation
     have not yet found their places in the new order of things;
     and their silly parents work themselves nearly to death to
     keep their sons from the plow and to make ladies of their
     daughters, just like white folks; but time, gentleness,
     bread, and neat homes will, with religion and culture, bring
     great changes. And I say it to the credit of their former
     owners, and their own instincts and capabilities, that _they
     constitute to-day the best peasantry, holding similar
     relations to the ruling classes on the face of the earth_.
     Their vices are no greater; their respect for law about the
     same; and their care for their children little inferior.
     Besides, they speak the language of their country better,
     are less cringing and craven, freer from begging; more
     manly, more polite, less priest-ridden, less obsequious;
     have a higher estimate of human rights and obligations;
     understand farming, cooking, house-work, and manual labor,
     in which they have been trained, better, I insist, than any
     similarly conditioned race or people. They are less
     profane--very much less--than white people; less bitter,
     vindictive, and bloodthirsty; less intemperate, and far, far
     less revengeful; and less selfish than what they
     contemptuously snub as "poor white trash." But he is a
     sinner! I believe the old stale rhyme tells some truth in a
     modified sense, "In Adam's fall we sinned all;" but I do not
     believe the serpent's tooth struck a more deadly and
     depraving virus into the Negro's share of the apple of Eden,
     dooming him as a sinner to a lower plane of wickedness than
     others. He commits not all, but many, of the sins, crimes,
     and misdemeanors, and indulges many of the vices of polished
     humanity--cultured Caucasian humanity. They have had but
     moderate experience in the sole management of their own
     affairs.

Again (p. 66):

     The Negro is neither a beggar, nor a pauper, nor a tramp;
     and if honestly dealt with, he can make his own way. Where
     they are idle and profligate, execute the law vigorously
     against them, and they will approve and aid in the work. We
     can lift them up, or cast them down. For one, I think we owe
     them a debt of gratitude and impartial justice for their
     faithful conduct during the war; and when disposed to
     criticise and reproach them for not coming in all things up
     to your sentimental notions, just put yourself in their
     place. Then you will, if your scales are true and your
     weights just, settle the question with little difficulty. I
     cannot serve my readers better, perhaps, than by quoting the
     words of the Rev. Dr. Callaway, lately Professor in Emory
     College, Oxford, Ga., and new President of Paine Institute,
     Augusta, Ga., a native of that State, and to the manor born.
     In a late address, he says: "We have spoken of the Negro as
     related to the conduct of the war, but it remains to be said
     that, in his relation to us as a friend during that period,
     and to our wives and children as guardian, the testimony of
     his fidelity is on the lips of every surviving soldier. It
     is easy to conjecture how, with a race less loyal to home
     and patron, the testimony in the case might have been a
     narrative of lawlessness and license. What he refrained
     from, therefore, is to his credit. But in the four years of
     darkness and demoralization, when, besides those of military
     age, every boy whose muscles were equal to the support of a
     musket, and every old man with vigor enough to mark time,
     was called to the front, the Negro, commanding as a
     patriarch and reverent as a priest, kept sacred vigil at our
     homes. Besides this, with a foresight not developed for
     himself or his family, but evoked by virtue of his office,
     and the piteous destitution of our loved ones, he provided
     for their wants. 'They were a-hungered, and he fed them.'
     What he did is to his honor. What we refrain from in our
     place of power as the superior race, shall be to our credit;
     what we do in return shall be in proof of our appreciation.
     The conduct of the Negro during the war proves him kindly,
     temperate, trustworthy; his conduct since the war reveals in
     him considerateness, purpose, capacity, an order of growing
     good qualities. During the war his inferior courage, it may
     be assumed, inured to his superior serviceableness, his
     fears giving counsel to his courtesy and care. So set it
     down, if you will, though the logic is as lame as the charge
     is ungrateful."

This testimony upon the character, temper and adaptability of colored
people is all the more valuable because Dr. Marshall not only treats
the question from a Christian standpoint, but because his intimate
acquaintance with the subject adds weight and authority to his
opinion.

In the same strain, Dr. Atticus G. Haygood, President of Emory
College, in Georgia, a man of the largest culture, Christian
intelligence and progressive ideas, says, in his masterful work, _Our
Brother in Black, His Freedom and His Future_ (p. 194):

     If white people and black people wish to know how to treat
     each other in all the relations of life, let them study the
     Bible. Take for example the business relations of life, the
     old question of capital and labor, of service and wages. For
     the settlement of all questions that grow out of these
     relations the laws laid down and the principles taught in
     the Bible, are worth all the "political economies" in the
     world. They apply to all races and conditions of men, in all
     countries and in all times. They are as needful and useful
     in New England factories as on Southern plantations. Free
     Negroes are not the only underlings in the world, Negro
     servants are not the only hirelings. There are thousands of
     factory operatives, day laborers, domestic servants,
     mechanics, sewing women, clerks, apprentices, and such like,
     whose cry for justice against oppression goes up to heaven
     by day and by night. "For which things' sake," in all lands,
     "the wrath of God is come upon the children of
     disobedience." Let us here recall some of these
     half-forgotten laws; they must do us all good. I know they
     are needed in the South; I am persuaded that they are needed
     wherever there are masters and servants.

Having heard a great deal about the condition of the colored people in
Louisiana, I decided that it would not be uninteresting to have an
authentic statement of that condition by some person fully capable of
furnishing the desired information. I therefore addressed a letter to
the Hon. Theophile T. Allain, a colored member of the Louisiana
Legislature for Sweet Iberville parish, and a large sugar planter.
From Mr. Allain's letter I condense the following statement, which
will be found to be interesting for many reasons:

"First," says Mr. Allain, "I speak as a man of the South, who pays
taxes on thirty-five thousand dollars worth of property, and without
owing to any man one dollar. I claim to be well informed as to the
condition of the colored people of the South, the people who bear the
heat and burden of the day.

"In the cotton section of the South the Negroes are kept in
subjugation, and are not permitted to exercise the right of suffrage
guaranteed to them by the provisions of the Federal constitution. In
the sugar-growing districts of Louisiana the colored and white people
live upon terms of friendship and cordiality. In these districts there
are thousands of colored men, who before the war were slaves, who now
pay taxes upon property, assessed in their own names, ranging in value
from five hundred to fifty thousand dollars. They produce principally
rice and sugar. It is a self-evident fact that the labor of the
colored men produces two-thirds of all the cotton raised in the South,
four-fifths of the sugar, and nine-tenths of all the rice.

"In the cotton sections of Louisiana the colored men work mostly on
shares, and here and there some of them have accumulated a little
money; but, as a rule, they make fortunes for the landlords and die in
poverty because of no fault of their own. Rent here, as everywhere
else, pulls the laborer down, and keeps him down. What remains to him
after the landlord has taken his _share_, goes to the Jew shopkeepers
and other middle men at crossroads, who will not be satisfied with any
profit less than one hundred to one hundred and fifty per cent.

"But the sugar districts of Louisiana are like oases in the desert.
Vacuum pans, steam cars, fine machinery and smiling faces are to be
met on every hand. Colored laborers find employment very readily in
the sugar districts from October to February; and during
cultivation-time, in many places, the colored laborers receive _as
high as one dollar and twenty cents per day_, and during the grinding
season, which is the harvest time, laborers receive from one dollar
and twenty-five cents to one dollar and fifty cents per day in the
field and seventy-five cents for one half of the night. At this
season we run the sugar machinery night and day. I should not omit to
state that colored men are, in the majority of cases, employed as
engineers at our sugar mills, and receive from two to two and a half
dollars per day:

"You will be surprised when I tell you that the most of the
bricklaying and plastering work, and the blacksmithing and
carpentering work is done in the sugar districts by colored men, who
average three dollars per day for their work.

"There are fifty-eight parishes in Louisiana, twenty-four of them
being sugar districts. To illustrate the degree of toleration which
obtains in the cotton and sugar growing districts, take the following
statement: In the Louisiana House of Representatives there are
thirteen colored members--all from the sugar districts; in the Senate
there are four colored members--all from the sugar districts. This
condition of things is readily accounted for by the fact that the
colored people in the sugar districts are more generally tax payers
than they are in the cotton districts, and, having mutual interests,
both white and black are more tolerant and better informed. The
Bulldozer and White Liner can find but little room to ply their
nefarious work where everybody finds plenty of work that pays well,
and where material prosperity is the first and political bickering the
secondary consideration. Because of the mutual interests at stake,
colored men in the sugar districts are often protected by their
bitterest political opponents.

"The State of Louisiana is assessed at $200,000,000, of which her
colored population pay taxes upon more than $30,000,000.--Two thirds
of this is owned by colored men in the sugar districts."

I could multiply quotations, but they would serve only to confirm my
view, that the colored man merely requires time to fully comprehend
his freedom and his opportunities, to enjoy the ample immunities of
the first and to improve to the utmost the advantages of the second.
All over the country the colored man is coming to understand that if
he is ever to have and enjoy a status in this country at all
commensurate with that of his white fellow-citizens, he must get his
grip upon the elements of success which they employ with such effect,
and boldly enter the lists, a competitor who must make a way for
himself. Dr. Marshall says truly: "The Negro is neither a beggar, nor
a pauper, nor a tramp." He is, essentially, a man of the largest
wealth, God having given him, under tropical conditions, a powerful
physique, with ample muscle and constitution to extract out of the
repositories of nature her buried wealth. He only needs intelligence
to use the wealth he creates. When he has intelligence, he will no
longer labor to enrich men more designing and unscrupulous than he is;
he will labor to enrich himself and his children. Indeed, in his
powerful muscle and enduring physical constitution, directed by
intelligence, the black man of the South, who alone has demonstrated
his capacity to labor with success in the rice swamps, the cotton, and
the cornfields of the South, will ultimately turn the tables upon the
unscrupulous harpies who have robbed him for more than two hundred
years; and from having been the slave of these men, he, in turn, will
enslave them. From having been the slave, he will become the master;
from having labored to enrich others, he will force others to labor to
enrich him. The laws of nature are inexorable, and this is one of
them. The white men of the South may turn pale with rage at this
aspect of the case, but it is written on the wall. Already I have seen
in the South the black and white farm laborer, working side by side
for a black landlord; already I have seen in the South a black and a
white brick-mason (and carpenters as well) working upon a building
side by side, under a colored contractor. And we are not yet two
decades from the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the manumission of the
black slave.

I have no disposition to infuriate any white man of the South, by
placing a red flag before him; we simply desire to accustom him to
look upon a picture which his grand-children will not, because of the
frequency of the occurrence, regard with anything more heart-rending
than complacent indifference. The world moves forward; and the white
man of the South could not stand still, if he so desired. Like the
black man, he must work, or perish; like the black man, he must submit
to the sharpest competition, and rise or fall, as the case may be. And
so it should be.



CHAPTER XIV

_Classes in the South_


Since the war the people of the South are, from a Northern standpoint,
very poor. There are very few millionaires among them. A man who has a
bank account of fifty thousand dollars is regarded as very rich. I am
reminded of an incident which shows that the Southern people fall down
and worship a golden calf the same as their deluded brothers of the
North and West.

A few years ago I was a resident of Jacksonville, the metropolis of
Florida. Florida is a great Winter resort. The wealthy people of the
country go there for a few months or weeks in the Winter. It is
fashionable to do so. A great many wealthy northern men have acquired
valuable landed interests in Jacksonville, among them the Astors of
New York, who have a knack for pinning their interests in the soil.
The people of Jacksonville were very proud to have as a resident and
property holder, Mr. Wm. B. Astor. And Mr. Astor appeared to enjoy
immensely the worship bestowed upon his money. He built one or two
very fine buildings there, which must net him a handsome return for
his investment by this time. Mr. Astor had with him a very shrewd "Man
Friday," and this Man Friday got it into his head that he would like
to be Mayor of Jacksonville, and he sought and obtained the support of
his very powerful patron. It leaked out that Mr. Astor favored his Man
Friday for Mayor. The "business interests" of the city took the matter
"under advisement." After much "consultation" and preliminary
skirmishing, it was decided that it would be unwise to antagonize Mr.
Astor's Man Friday; and so he was placed in nomination as the
"Citizens' Candidate." He was elected by a handsome majority. I
believe it is a disputed question to-day, whether Mr. Astor's Man
Friday was, or was not, a citizen of the place at the time he was
elected Mayor. Be that as it may, it showed beyond question that the
people knew how to go down upon their knees to the golden calf.

A condition of slavery or of serfdom produces two grievous evils,
around which cluster many others of less importance, viz: the creation
of vast landed estates, and the pauperization and debasement of labor.
Pliny declared that to the creation of vast _latifundia_ (aggregated
estates) Italy owed its downfall. The same is true of the downfall of
the South and its pet institution, since they produced a powerful and
arrogant class which was not content to lord it on their vast demesnes
and over their pauper labor, but must needs carry their high-flown
notions into the councils of the nation, flaunting their gentle birth
and undulating acres in the faces of horny-handed statesmen like
Abraham Lincoln, Henry Wilson, and others.

The operations of the vast landed estates of the South produced all
the industrial disjointments which have afflicted the South since the
war. The white man was taught to look upon labor as the natural
portion of the black slave; and nothing could induce a white man to
put his hand to the plow, but the gaunt visage of starvation at his
door. He even preferred ignominious starvation to honest work; and, in
his desperate struggle to avoid the horror of the one and the disgrace
of the other, he would sink himself lower in the scale of moral infamy
than the black slave he despised. He would make of himself a monster
of cruelty or of abject servility to avoid starvation or honest work.
It was from this class of vermin that the planters secured their
"Nigger drivers" or overseers, and a more pliable, servile, cruel,
heartless set of men never existed. They were commonly known as "_poor
white trash_," or "crackers." They were most heartily and righteously
detested by the slave population. As the poor whites of the South were
fifty years ago, so they are to-day--a careless, ignorant, lazy, but
withal, arrogant set, who add nothing to the productive wealth of the
community because they are too lazy to work, and who take nothing from
that wealth because they are too poor to purchase. They have graded
human wants to a point below which man could not go without starving.
They live upon the poorest land in the South, the "piney woods," and
raise a few potatoes and corn, and a few pigs, which never grow to be
hogs, so sterile is the land upon which they are turned to "root, or
die." These characteristic pigs are derisively called "shotes" by
those who have seen their lean, lank and hungry development. They are
awful counterparts of their pauper owners. It may be taken as an index
of the quality of the soil and the condition of the people, to observe
the condition of their live stock. Strange as it may appear, the
faithful dog is the only animal which appears to thrive on "piney
woods" land. The "piney woods" gopher, which may be not
inappropriately termed a "highland turtle," is a great desideratum in
the food supply of the pauper denizens of these portions of the South.
There is nothing enticing about the appearance of the gopher. But his
flesh, properly cooked, is passably palatable.

The poor white population of the South who live in the piney woods are
sunk in the lowest ignorance, and practice vices too heinous to be
breathed. They have no schools, and their mental condition hardly
warrants the charitable inference that they would profit much if they
were supplied with them. Still, I would like to see the experiment
tried. Their horrible poverty, their appalling illiteracy, their
deplorable moral enervation, deserve the pity of mankind and the
assistance of philanthropic men and a thoughtful government. Though
sunk to the lowest moral scale, _they are men_, and nothing should be
omitted to improve their condition and make them more useful members
of the communities in which they are now more than an incubus.

It may not be out of place here to state that the Kuklux Klan, the
White Liners League, the Knights of the White Camelia, and other
lawless gangs which have in the past fifteen years made Southern
chivalry a by-word and reproach among the nations of the earth, were
largely recruited from this idle, vicious, ignorant class of
Southerners. They needed no preparation for the bloody work
perpetrated by those lawless organizations, those more cruel than
Italian brigands. They instinctively hate the black man; because the
condition of the black, his superior capacity for labor and
receptivity of useful knowledge, place him a few pegs higher than
themselves in the social scale. So these degraded white men, the very
substratum of Southern population, were ready tools in the hands of
the organized chivalrous brigands (as they had been of the slave
oligarch), whose superior intelligence made them blush at the
lawlessness they inspired, and who, therefore, gladly transferred to
other hands the execution of those deeds of blood and death which make
men shudder even now to think of them. It was long a common saying
among the black population of the South that "I'd rudder be a niggah
den a po' w'ite man!" and they were wise in their preference.

It is safe to say, that the peasantry of no country claiming to be
civilized stands more in need of the labors of the schoolmaster and
the preacher, than do the so-called "poor white trash" of the South.
On their account, if no other, I am an advocate of a compulsory system
of education, a National Board of Education, and a very large National
appropriation for common school and industrial education.

I name this class first because it is the very lowest.

Next to this class is the great labor force of the South, the class
upon whose ample shoulders have fallen the weight of Southern labor
and inhumanity for lo! two hundred years--_the black man_. Time was,
yesterday, it appears to me, when this great class were all of _one_
condition, driven from the rising to the setting of the sun to enrich
men who were created out of the same sod, and in the construction of
whose mysterious mechanism, mental and physical, the great God
expended no more time or ingenuity. Up to the close of the Rebellion,
of that gigantic conflict which shook the pillars of republican
government to their center, the great black population were truly the
"mudsills" of Southern society, upon which rested all the industrial
burdens of that section; truly, "the hewers of wood and the drawers of
water;" a people who, in the mysterious providence of God, were torn
root and branch from their savage homes in that land which has now
become to them a dream "more insubstantial than a pageant faded," to
"dwell in a strange land, among strangers," to endure, like the
children of Israel, a season of cruel probation, and then to begin
life in earnest; to put their shoulders to the wheel and assist in
making this vast continent, this asylum of the oppressed of the world,
the grandest abode of mingled happiness and woe, and wealth and
pauperization ever reared by the genius and governed by the
selfishness and cupidity of man. And to-day, as in the dark days of
the past, this people are the bone and sinew of the South, the great
producers and partial consumers of her wealth; the despised, yet
indispensable, "mudsills" of her industrial interests.

A Senator of the United States from the South, whose hands have been
dyed in the blood of his fellow citizens, and who holds his high
office by fraud and usurpation, not long since declared that his State
could very well dispense with her black population. That population
outnumbers the white three to one; and by the toil by which that State
has been enriched, by the blood and the sweat of two hundred years
which the soil of that State has absorbed, by the present production
and consumption of wealth by that black population, we are amazed at
the ignorance of the great man who has been placed in a "little brief
authority." The black population cannot and will not be dispensed
with; because it is so deeply rooted in the soil that it is a part of
it--the most valuable part. And the time will come when it will hold
its title to the land, by right of purchase, for a laborer is worthy
of his hire, and is now free to invest that hire as it pleases him
best. Already some of the very best soil of that State is held by the
people this great magnus in the Nation's councils would supersede in
their divine rights.

When the war closed, as I said, the great black population of the
South was distinctively a laboring class. It owned no lands, houses,
banks, stores, or live stock, or other wealth. Not only was it the
distinctively laboring class but the distinctively pauper class. It
had neither money, intelligence nor morals with which to begin the
hard struggle of life. It was absolutely at the bottom of the social
ladder. It possessed nothing but health and muscle.

I have frequently contemplated with profound amazement the momentous
mass of subjected human force, a force which had been educated by the
lash and the bloodhound to despise labor, which was thrown upon itself
by the wording of the Emancipation Proclamation and the surrender of
Robert E. Lee. Nothing in the history of mankind is at all comparable,
an exact counterpart, in all particulars, to that great event. A
slavery of two hundred years had dwarfed the intelligence and morality
of this people, and made them to look upon labor as the most baneful
of all the curses a just God can inflict upon humankind; and they were
turned loose upon the land, without a dollar in their hands, and, like
the great Christ and the fowls of the air, without a place to lay
their head.

And yet to-day, this people, who, only a few years ago, were bankrupts
in morality, in intelligence, and in wealth, have leaped forward in
the battle of progress like _veterans_; have built magnificent
churches, with a membership of over two million souls; have preachers,
learned and eloquent; have professors in colleges by the hundreds and
schoolmasters by the thousands; have accumulated large landed
interests in country, town and city; have established banking houses
and railroads; manage large coal, grocery and merchant tailoring
businesses; conduct with ability and success large and influential
newspaper enterprises; in short, have come, and that very rapidly,
into sharp competition with white men (who have the prestige of a
thousand years of civilization and opportunity) in all the industrial
interests which make a people great, respected and feared. The
metamorphosis has been rapid, marvelous, astounding. Their home life
has been largely transformed into the quality of purity and refinement
which should characterize the home; they have now successful farmers,
merchants, ministers, lawyers, editors, educators, physicians,
legislators--in short, they have entered every avenue of industry and
thought. Their efforts yet crude and their grasp uncertain, but they
are in the field of competition, and will remain there and acquit
themselves manfully.

Of course I speak in general terms of the progress the colored people
have made. Individual effort and success are the indicators of the
vitality and genius of a people. When individuals rise out of the
indistinguishable mass and make their mark, we may rest assured that
the mass is rich and capable of unlimited production. The great mass
of every government, of every people, while adding to and creating
greatness, go down in history unmentioned. But their glory, their
genius, success and happiness, are expended and survive in the few
great spirits their fortunate condition produced. The governments of
antiquity were great and glorious, because their proletarians were
intelligent, thrifty and brave, but the proletarians fade into
vagueness, and are great only in the few great names which have been
handed down to us. It has been said that a nation expends a hundred
years of its vitality in the production of a great man of genius like
Socrates, or Bacon, or Toussaint l'Overture, or Fulton. And this may
be true. There can now be no question that the African race in the
United States possess every element of vitality and genius possessed
by their fellow citizens of other races, and any calculation of race
possibilities in this country which assumes that they will remain
indefinitely the "mudsills" only of society will prove more brittle
than ropes of sand.

At this time the colored people of the South are largely the
industrial class; that is, they are the producing class. They are
principally the agriculturists of the South; consequently, being
wedded to the soil by life-long association and interest, and being
principally the laboring class, they will naturally invest their
surplus earnings in the purchase of the soil. Herein lies the great
hope of the future. For the man who owns the soil largely owns and
dictates to the men who are compelled to live upon it and derive
their subsistence from it. The colored people of the South recognize
this fact. And if there is any one idiosyncrasy more marked than
another among them, it is their mania for buying land. They all live
and labor in the cheerful anticipation of some day owning a home, a
farm of their own. As the race grows in intelligence this mania for
land owning becomes more and more pronounced. At first their
impecuniosity will compel them to purchase poor hill-lands, but they
will eventually get their grip upon the rich alluvial lands.

The class next to the great black class is the _small white farmers_.
This class is composed of some of the "best families" of the South who
were thrown upon their resources of brain and muscle by the results of
the war, and of some of the worst families drawn from the more thrifty
poor white class. Southern political economists labor hard to make it
appear that the vastly increased production of wealth in the South
since the war is to be traced largely to the phenomenally increased
percentum of small white farmers, but the assumption is too
transparent to impose upon any save those most ignorant of the
industrial conditions of the South, and the marvelous adaptability to
the new conditions shown by colored men. I grant that these small
white farmers, who were almost too inconsiderable in numbers to be
taken into account before the war, have added largely to the
development of the country and the production of wealth; but that the
tremendous gains of free labor as against slave labor are to be placed
principally to their intelligence and industry is too absurd to be
seriously debated. The Charleston (S.C.) _News and Courier_, a
pronounced anti-negro newspaper, recently made such a charge in all
seriousness. The struggle for supremacy will largely come between the
small white and black farmer; because each recurring year will augment
the number of each class of small holders. A condition of freedom and
open competition makes the fight equal, in many respects. Which will
prove the more successful small holder, the black or the white?

The fourth class is composed of the _hereditary land-lords_ of the
South; the gentlemen with flowing locks, gentle blood and irascible
tempers, who appeal to the code of honor (in times past) to settle
small differences with their equals and shoot down their inferiors
without premeditation or compunction, and who drown their sorrows, as
well as their joviality in rye or Bourbon whiskey; the gentlemen who
claim consanguinity with Europe's titled sharks, and vaunt their
chivalry in contrast to the peasant or yeoman blood of all other
Americans; the gentlemen who got their broad acres (however they came
by their peculiar blood) by robbing black men, women and children of
the produce of their toil under the system of slavery, and who
maintain themselves in their reduced condition by driving hard
bargains with white and black labor either as planters or
shop-keepers, often as both, the dual occupations more effectually
enabling them to make unreasonable contracts and exactions of those
they live to victimize. They are the gentlemen who constantly declare
that "this is a white man's government," and that "the Negro must be
made to keep his place." They are the gentlemen who have their grip
upon the throat of Southern labor; who hold vast areas of land, the
product of robbery, for a rise in values; who run the stores and
torture the small farmer to death by usurious charges for necessaries;
these are the gentlemen who are opposed to the new conditions
resultant from the war which their Hotspur impetuosity and Shylock
greed made possible. In short, these gentlemen comprise the moneyed
class. They are the gentlemen who are hastening the conflict of labor
and capital in the South. And, when the black laborer and the white
laborer come to their senses, join issues with the common enemy and
pitch the tent of battle, then will come the tug of war.

But the large land-owners and tradesmen of the South will not in the
future belong exclusively to the class of persons I have described. On
the contrary this class of hereditary land-owners will be sensibly
diminished and their places be taken by successful recruits from the
ranks of small white and black farmers. Indeed, I confess, I strongly
incline to the belief that the black man of the South will eventually
become the large land-holding class, and, therefore, the future
tyrants of labor in that section. All the indications strongly point
to such a possibility. It is estimated that, already, the colored
people own, in the cotton growing states, 2,680,800 acres, the result
of seventeen years of thrift, economy, and judicious management; while
in the State of Georgia alone they own, it is reliably estimated,
680,000 acres of land, and pay taxes on $9,000,000 worth of property.
Dr. Alexander Crummell, a most learned African, in a very interesting
pamphlet drawn out by the malicious misstatements of Dr. Tucker,
before referred to by me, makes the following deductions and
statements, to wit:

     Let me suggest here another estimate of this landed property
     of the Negro, acquired _since_ emancipation. Taking the old
     slave States in the general, there has been a large
     acquisition of land in each and all of them. In the State of
     Georgia, as we have just seen, it was 680,000 acres. Let us
     put the figure as low as 400,000 for each State--for the
     purchase of farm lands has been everywhere a passion with
     the freedman--this 400,000 acres multiplied into 14, _i.e._
     the number of the chief Southern States, shows an aggregate
     of 5,600,000 acres of land, the acquisition of the black
     race in less than twenty years.

     But Dr. Tucker will observe a further fact of magnitude in
     this connection: It is the increased PRODUCTION which has
     been developed on the part of the freedman since
     emancipation. I present but _one_ staple, and for the reason
     that it is almost exclusively the result of $1.

     I will take the five years immediately preceding the late
     civil war and compare them with the five years preceeding
     the last year's census-taking; and the contrast in the
     number of cotton-bales produced will show the industry and
     thrift of the black race as a consequent on the gift of
     freedom:

     _Years_                                       _Bales_
     1857                                         2,939,519
     1858                                         3,113,962
     1859                                         3,851,481
     1860                                         4,669,770
     1861                                         3,656,006
                                                 ----------
       Total                                     18,230,738

     _Years_                                       _Bales_
     1878                                         4,811,265
     1879                                         5,073,531
     1880                                         5,757,397
     1881                                         6,589,329
     1882                                         5,435,845
                                                -----------
     The five years' work of _freedom_           27,667,367
     The five years' work of _slavery_           18,230,738
                                                 ----------
     Balance in favor of freedom                  9,436,629

     Now this item of production is a positive disproof of Dr.
     Tucker's statement, "that the average level in material
     prosperity is but little higher than it was before the war."
     Here is the fact that the Freedman has produced one-third
     more in five years than he did in the same time when a
     slave!

     Another view of this matter is still more striking. The
     excess of yield in cotton in seven years [_i.e._, from 1875
     to 1882] over the seven years [_i.e._, from 1854 to 1861]
     is 17,091,000 bales, being $1. If Dr. Tucker will glance at
     the great increase of the cotton, tobacco, and sugar crops
     South, as shown in Agricultural Reports from 1865 to 1882,
     and reflect that NEGROES have been the producers of these
     crops, he will understand their indignation at his
     outrageous charges of "laziness and vagabondage:" and
     perhaps he will listen to their demand that he shall take
     back the unjust and injurious imputations which, without
     knowledge and discrimination, he makes against a whole race
     of people.

     This impulse to thrift on the part of the Freedmen was no
     tardy and reluctant disposition. It was the _immediate_
     offspring of freedom.

It is not possible even to approximate the landed acquisitions of the
colored people, but that they have been large purchasers of small
holdings will readily be admitted by all candid persons who are
acquainted with the intense pastoral nature of the people, their
constant thrift, and their deepseated determination to own their own
homes. If we assume, with Dr. Crummell, that in the past seventeen
years, the hardest, most disadvantageous years they will ever again be
compelled to go through, they have come into possession of 5,600,000
acres, the gain in the next seventeen years must be vastly greater. At
any rate, we are free to place the holdings in the next fifty years at
not less than 35,000,000 acres, and the probability is that it will be
vastly more.

In the _Popular Science Monthly_ for October 1881, Mr. J. Stahl
Patterson, in an article on the "Movement of the Colored Population,"
says: "It would seem that in the industrial aspects of the case the
white and colored men may be, under certain circumstances, the
complement of each other." Again: "There are two distinct classes of
colored economists. One is satisfied with dependence on others for
employment, the other affects independent homes, and struggles to
secure them, however humble. Some even acquire wealth."

In the same monthly for February, 1883, Prof. E.W. Gilliam has a long
article on the "African in the United States," in which he does all he
can to make wider the breach between the blacks and the whites. He has
very little good to say of the black man. But he was forced to make
the following admissions, viz:

"The blacks are an improving race, and the throb of aspiration is
quickening. * * * Advancement in mental training and in economic
science must needs be slow but there _is_ advancement."

The learned professor makes the interesting calculation that the
blacks in the Southern States will increase from 6,000,000 in 1880, to
192,000,000, in 1980; while the whites in the South, in 1880,
12,000,000, will number only 96,000,000, in 1980. The learned
professor infers that this vast army will be "doomed to remain where
they have been, and be hewers of wood and drawers of water," because
they form a "distinct alien race." I think, if the professor will wait
until 1980, he will find that this "alien race," which profligate
white men have done and are doing so much to amalgamate with their own
race, will not only increase approximately as he has figured it out,
in numbers, but in wealth as well.

The future landlord and capitalist of the South are no longer confined
to the white race: the black man has become a factor, and he must be
counted.



CHAPTER XV

_The Land Problem_


The ownership of land in the South is the same pernicious thing it has
come to be in every civilized country in the world. Instead of being,
as it was intended to be, a blessing to the people, it is the crying
curse which takes precedence of all other evils that afflict mankind.
And the cause is not far to seek. Land is, in its very nature, the
common property of the people. Like air and water, it is one of the
natural elements which inhere in man as a common right, and without
which life could in no wise be sustained. A man must have air, or he
will suffocate; he must have water, or he will perish of thirst; he
must have access to the soil, for upon it grow those things which
nature intended for the sustentation of the physical man, and without
which he cannot live. Deprive me of pure fresh air, and I die; deprive
me of pure fresh water, and I die; deprive me of free opportunity to
earn my bread by the sweat of my brow, by sowing in the sowing time
and reaping in the reaping time, and I die. There is no escape from
this aspect of the case: there is no logic that can reduce these
truisms to sophistries. They are founded in the omnipotent laws of
God, and are as universal as the earth. They apply with as much truth
to life in the United States as in Dahomey; they operate in like
nature upon the savage as upon man in the civilized state. Individual
ownership in the land is a transgression of the common right of man,
and a usurpation which produces nearly, if not all, the evils which
result upon our civilization; the inequalities which produce
pauperism, vice, crime, and wide-spread demoralization among all the
so-called "lower classes;" which produce, side by side, the
millionaire and the tramp, the brownstone front and the hut of the
squatter, the wide extending acres of the bonanza farm and the small
holding, the lord of the manor and the cringing serf, peasant and
slave.

I maintain, with other writers upon this land question, that land is
common property, the property of the whole people, and that it cannot
be alienated from the people without producing the most fearful
consequences. No man is free who is debarred in his right, to so much
of the soil of his country as is necessary to support him in his right
to life, for without the inherent right to unrestrained access to the
soil he cannot support life, except in primitive society where land is
plentiful, population sparse, and industry undiversified. As
population becomes denser and land becomes scarcer from having been
monopolized by the more far seeing, or more fortunate, and industry
becomes more diversified, mankind begins to feel the pressure of
population described by Malthus, and the scarcity of subsistence;
caused, not by this pressure of population, as Malthus maintains, but
by the restricted production of subsistence caused by the monopoly and
concentration of the soil, which inhibits the producing agency from
the production of the increased subsistence necessary to the increased
number of mouths to be fed. There can be no such thing as
overproduction when there are hundreds and thousands who perish for
food; there can be no pressure upon population when there are hundreds
and thousands of acres of arable land locked up in a deed purchase, or
entail, or primogeniture, upon which alone beasts are allowed to
trespass. The idea is preposterous. And yet men who are regarded as
standard authority upon economic questions impose this sophistry of
overproduction and pressure of population upon mankind, and are
applauded for their ignorance, or the cupidity which makes them to
pervert the truth.

Monopoly of land is the curse of the race in every modern government.
Being the one great source from which all wealth must and does spring,
its concentration in the hands of a few men not only impoverishes the
people, but seriously cripples the operations of government (the one
and the other being substantially identical) by curtailing the
productive energies of the people and diverting into the coffers of
individuals rental which should flow into the common treasury as
taxes, thus lifting from the shoulders of the people the enormous
burden of the maintenance of government which falls upon them.

Monopoly of land was the prime element which hastened the decay of
Roman greatness and strength, because when the people no longer had
homes to fight for they ceased to be patriots, ceased to be virtuous,
and became mercenaries, or slaves or tyrants; left to those who had
monopolized the soil, the defense of their property: and these, being
few in numbers, parsimonious after the nature of their class, and
effeminate from luxurious living and habits of indolence, fell easy
victims to the rapacity and iron nerve of Goth and Vandal. The great
French Revolution would have never occurred but for the monopoly of
land, which, after long ages, became centered in a few hands, who by
reason of this were a privileged class and in the refinement of
language had been designated as the "nobility." The nobility, as was
natural, having been created by the State, not only ground the
proletariat to powder but dictated to the State. When it was no longer
possible to purchase land, because those whose nobility rested upon it
would not alienate it, and when the proletariat had been reduced to a
state of vassalage, more vile and grinding than slavery itself, the
proletariat rose up in its might and crushed at one tremendous blow
the hydra-headed monstrosity. Marat, Danton and Robespiere
concentrated in their intense natures the venom, the hate, and the
desperation of the people--a more terrible triumvirate than the
celebrated one which colored the Tiber with the patrician blood of
Rome. The Nihilism of Russia is the outgrowth of monopoly in land and
the consequent enslavement of the people by the aristocracy, beginning
with the autocrat upon his throne. England has reached a transition
period. The pressure of her population has become so intense, that the
great producing classes can no longer stand the tension and live. The
land has been filched from the people to enrich the brainless
favorites and the courtesans of kings, and entailed upon their progeny
generation after generation. The land of Great Britain is held by the
nobility and the princely cormorants of trade, who exact rental which
cannot be paid from the produce of the soil, so usurious is it, or who
turn the rich acres into pleasure grounds and pasturages. As Nero
fiddled while Rome was one vast blaze of conflagration and horror, so
the nobility of Great Britain dance and make merry while the people
starve or seek in other lands that opportunity to live which their
country denies to them. For the past five years the government of
Great Britain has been engaged in a most desperate struggle with the
people of one of her constituent islands, the agitation assuming, like
the chameleon, different colors or names as the exigencies of the
contending forces determined. But the one great question at the root
of the agitation is the monopoly of the land by the "nobility" and the
successful cormorants of trade, and the consequent pressure of
population upon the enforced circumscription of production. The best
lands have been alienated from the people, while the inferior lands
upon which they are allowed to live will not yield the exorbitant
rental demanded and the necessary subsistence for those who work them.
Hence, Ireland is in a state so explosive that it can only be
appropriately described by the term "dynamitic." In the interest of a
few landlords the whole Irish nation has been demoralized and
impoverished, so that the government of Great Britain finds it
necessary to "_assist_" able-bodied men to reach America, or any other
portion of the world they desire to go to, in order to make a living.

If monopoly in land produces such results as these is it not to be
condemned as subversive of correct social adjustments and the
perpetuity of government? The question admits of but one answer. If
monopoly in land compels a government to "assist" its able-bodied men,
its laborers, its producers of wealth, its soldiery, to go to other
lands, is it not to be condemned as parasitical, destroying the very
bone and sinew of government? The answer is self-evident. If monopoly
in land produces such results as these, would it not be wise
statesmanship and sound governmental policy to confiscate to the
people the millions of acres which avarice, cunning, favoritism and
robbery have turned into parks, pasturages and game preserves--making
the few thousands who constitute the land monopolists, the idlers and
the harpies, go honestly to work to make a living, and giving at the
same time the same opportunity to the great laboring classes, who
earnestly desire to make a living but to whom the opportunity is
cruelly and maliciously denied?

I am opposed to aristocracies and so-called privileged classes,
because they are opposed to the masses. They make inequalities, out of
which grow all the miseries of society, because there is no limit to
their avarice, parsimony and cruelty. So _they_ thrive, _all the rest_
of humanity may go to the dogs; so they revel in luxury and
debauchery, all the rest of humanity may revel in poverty, vice and
crime; so they enjoy all the blessings of organized society, all the
rest of humanity may bear its curses. Man is essentially a selfish
animal. Self-preservation is the very first law which he learns to
observe and to practice. That he may get on top of the social ladder
and remain there, he will sacrifice family, common humanity and
patriotism. Naturally, Moloch-self is the god he serves. To enjoy a
little brief authority, he would enslave universal mankind, and
declare, as Solomon did, after exhausting the catalogue of tyranny and
libertinism, "all is vanity"--emptiness! Thus, it is dangerous to
confide in the humanity of man. To place in his hands a weapon so
all-powerful as land, is to place him upon a pinnacle from whose vast
altitude he can, will, and does crush his unfortunate fellowman.

Like the small stream which gathers volume and momentum in its
wanderings from the small lake to the gulf, into which it debouches as
a mighty river like the "Father of Waters," so the first encroachments
of the land shark are small, and hardly felt; but give him time, let
him grow from the Norman soldier of fortune into the English nobility
of to-day, and you have a monster whose proportions and rapacity
stagger the imagination to fully apprehend. What the common soldier of
fortune received as reward for his valor eight hundred years ago, and
which he held subject to confiscation to his prince if he failed to
render him service in person and with retainers, has developed into a
huge monopoly which appropriates in rental more than the tenant can
pay, with the added necessary subsistence required to sustain him.
There are also the imposition of direct taxes by the government and
indirect taxes upon all implements and other articles of manufacture,
occasioned by the division of labor, which he must use; all of which
taxes the land monopolists have managed to shift upon the tenant and
wage-laborer. Time augments the evil. So that, to-day, in Great
Britain, a man cannot purchase land, except in rare cases, and then
the purchaser must pay a fortune for the privilege. The poor farmer,
the wage-laborer, the common man, has not and cannot have any grip
upon the soil, but must come into the world a slave, and go down to
his grave after a life of toil and self-denial, a slave, with the
tormenting consciousness that as he was, so must the unfortunate
offspring of his loins be!

If this be the tendency of organized society--if the tendency be to
enslave mankind, place a premium upon human woe and crime--then
organized society is organized robbery, and the savage state is
preferable. There is no appeal from this deduction. What avail the
triumphs of art, science and commerce, if the majority of mankind are
ground to powder to make those triumphs possible!

It is not the law of God, but the law of man, that produces these
herculean evils which constantly threaten the peace and safety of
society.

But the British land-owner, having enslaved the people of his own
island, has shackled the people of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, doomed
them and their posterity to be perpetual aliens in their native lands;
he has, upon the plea of conquest, the argument of the base assassin
and robber, reduced the people of India to a state worse than death;
and his iron grip has been placed upon the uncounted millions of
African soil; the Islands of the sea squirm in his grasp; the West
India Islands are his prostrate prey; while a portion of the vast
continent of America owns his sway and groans under his exactions.

But this is not all. In our own country the British land shark has
made his appearance. His vile clutch, which our forefathers unwrenched
in the strength of their Colonial greatness, has again been fastened
upon our throat. The following table will show the extent to which the
parasite has insinuated himself into our vital parts. Let the good
people of this country--who should know that monopoly in land is the
death note of free institutions; that large estates are the parasites
of republics and the death of small freeholders--let the people read
the following table with the closeness which its gravity should
inspire. The San Francisco _Daily Examiner_, a leading paper on the
Pacific coast says:

     Besides the millions of acres belonging to railroad and
     other corporations, the amount of land that is being
     acquired by foreign capitalists and landlords is fairly
     amazing. Ireland is to-day groaning beneath the yoke of
     oppression, and not many years will roll around before the
     American tenant, upon his knees, will also look up into the
     scowling face of his master and acknowledge his obedience.
     Following are a few of America's foreign landlords, and the
     amount of their holdings expressed in acres:--

     An English Syndicate, No. 3, in Texas                    3,000,000
     The Holland Land Company, New Mexico                     4,500,000
     Sir Edward Reid, and a syndicate in Florida              2,000,000
     English Syndicate, in Mississippi                        1,800,000
     Marquis of Tweedale                                      1,750,000
     Philips, Marshal & Co., London                           1,300,000
     German Syndicate                                         1,100,000
     Anglo-American Syndicate, Mr. Rogers President, London     750,000
     Byron H. Evans, of London, in Mississippi                  700,000
     Duke of Sutherland                                         425,000
     British Land Company, in Kansas                            320,000
     William Whallay, M.P., Peterboro, England                  310,000
     Missouri Land Company, Edinburgh, Scotland                 300,000
     Robert Tennant, of London                                  230,000
     Dundee Land Company, Scotland                              247,000
     Lord Dunmore                                               120,000
     Benjamin Newgas, Liverpool                                 100,000
     Lord Houghton, in Florida                                   60,000
     Lord Dunraven, in Colorado                                  60,000
     English Land Company, in Florida                            50,000
     English Land Company, in Arkansas                           50,000
     Albert Peel, M.P., Leicestershire, England                  10,000
     Sir J.L. Kay, Yorkshire, England                             5,000
     Alexander Grant, of London, in Kansas                       35,000
     English Syndicate (represented by Closs Bros.) Wisconsin   110,000
     M. Ellerhauser, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in West Virginia  600,000
     A Scotch Syndicate, in Florida                             500,000
     A. Boysen, Danish Consul, in Milwaukee                      50,000
     Missouri Land Company, of Edinburgh, Scotland              165,000

           Total                                             20,747,000

Commenting upon these startling figures, the _New York (Daily) World_,
one of the best informed papers of the time says:

     The land grabber is not a fungus of nineteenth century
     growth. He first came among English-speaking peoples over
     eight centuries ago. Wherever his foot has found a
     standing-place pauperism and its sequence, crime, have
     followed. In the British Isles he is known as an Acreocrat.
     Since he has extended his operations from his native country
     to our own free soil the land-grabber should be examined
     under the microscope of history analytically, impartially,
     and truthfully.

     The unnaturalized foreigner threatens us with other dangers
     than those which would be created by our indigenous American
     land-grabber. The British acreocrat who owns real estate in
     this country believes in the cancer of English monarchy with
     its hideous annals of nearly a thousand years. He accepts
     the tradition of an hereditary House of Lords, a body
     composed of the effete and played out descendants of the
     most tyrannical and profligate rascals which Europe ever
     produced, and he will remain an English blueblood in every
     thought and action, which cannot fail to bring about in free
     America and on his own acres here the same poverty-stricken
     class of peasants as now curse Great Britain and Ireland.

     English "upper-tendom" is represented in recent purchases
     of American soil by one duke, one marquis, two earls, a
     baron, two baronets and two members of Parliament. The
     British duke owns 425,000 acres; the marquis, 1,750,000
     acres; the two earls, 160,000 acres; the baron, 60,000
     acres; the brace of baronets, 2,000,500 acres; and the pair
     of Parliamentary politicians, 860,000 acres. In the rest of
     the land purchased by our brand-new imported lords of the
     soil, England's governing acreocrats, are largely
     represented in their 20,941,666 acres.

     Much ignorance is affected in American society respecting
     the manner in which the British landocrats came by their
     property. It is enough that "my lud" has a handle to his
     name, and Murray Hill shoddyocracy will wine and dine and
     toady him, and perhaps for his title marry him to some
     sweet, pure and good American girl, whose life hereafter
     will be a purgatory to herself and a mutual misery to both.

But the land held by the foreigner in the United States is a mere
bagatelle. He is odious not because he is a foreigner, but only
because he is the representative, on the one hand, of the odious land
system of the Old World, and on the other of those monarchical ideas
which have made the great body of the European people unwilling
slaves, reducing them to the very verge of desperation and starvation.
Archimedes explained, as illustrating the vast power of the fulcrum,
that if he had a place to stand he could move the world. The British
land-shark, having got his hold upon the soil, possesses the place to
stand for which the Greek sighed in vain, and no man will say he does
not move the world; and he will continue to move _it_ until such time
as the world shall move _him._

The foreign land-shark is still in his infancy. We have an indigenous
land-shark whose maw is so capacious that the rapacity of his appetite
in no wise keeps pace with its lightning-like digestion. Congressman
William Steel Holman, of Indiana, one of the purest statesmen of these
corrupt times, and one of the most thoroughly informed men of the
country upon the question of eminent domain, and the bestowal of that
domain upon corporations and syndicates, recently said, on the floor
of the House of Representatives, in the course of a discussion on the
Post-office Appropriation bill:

     Is it just and proper to require the landgrant railroads to
     transport your mails at 50 per cent of the rates you pay to
     corporations whose railroads were built by private capital?
     I think it is. I think it liberal and more than liberal when
     the cost in public wealth is considered in the building of
     these land-grant railroads. I submit tables of the railroads
     built under the land-grant system, compiled from official
     reports, and they show an aggregate of 218,386,199 acres,
     192,081,155 acres of which were granted between June 30,
     1862, and March 4, 1875, the aggregate length of railroads
     for which the grants were made being 20,803 miles, 13,071
     miles independent of the 7,732 mileage of the Pacific roads;
     and the reports of the Post-office Department show that last
     year the Government paid, on 11,588,56 miles of land-grant
     railroad, independent of the Union Pacific system and the
     great body of lapsed grants, $1,144,323.91 for postal
     service. The startling fact appears that in the gradual
     development of these grants, great as they are, they still
     swell in their proportions. I pointed out on a former
     occasion the startling discrepancies that appear in the
     official statements of these grants, and can only say now,
     as I did then, that in such enormous grants a few million
     acres either way is considered of no moment.

Again:

     There are other grants which I have not included in either
     of the foregoing tables where not a spadeful of earth has
     been dug in the construction of a railroad, yet the lands
     are withdrawn from settlement and claimed by the
     corporation, although the grants were long since forfeited.
     The forfeiture of these grants will, of course, be declared.
     Of all of these grants over 109,000,000 acres, including
     over 16,000,000 this House has already declared forfeited,
     are beyond any reasonable question forfeited, and the
     declaration of that forfeiture by Congress is demanded by
     the highest consideration of public policy, common honesty,
     and justice to the people. Even to the extent these
     land-grant railroads enumerated in the first table were
     completed, you paid them, as I have shown, last year
     $1,144,323.91 for transporting your mails. This bill would,
     as to these roads, to the extent they are entitled to the
     lands granted and including the Pacific systems, save to the
     Treasury annually, I think, near a million dollars, perhaps
     more.

Deducing from the foregoing statement of land-grants to corporations,
Mr. Holman draws the following picture of what the people may do when
they are fully informed and aroused to the enormous extent to which
they have been despoiled by their unfaithful servants in congress:

     The wealth that builds palaces, undermines the foundations
     of free Government, and wrings from the heart of labor the
     cry of despair! With the public lands exhausted, with
     remnants of the Indian-tribes despoiled of their
     reservations, and the lands seized upon by capitalists and
     merciless speculators (except so far as you have pledged
     them in advance to the railroad corporations), and lands
     everywhere advanced in price beyond the reach of laboring
     men, with the hope of better fortune and of independent
     homes dying out of the heart of labor, with men fully
     conscious of the wrong you have done them by your
     legislation, can the peaceful order of society be hoped for
     as of old? I am not astonished that gentlemen deem this
     early hour an opportune moment to urge the policy of a great
     navy; it will come, if it does come, in the natural order
     before a great army. Capital is timid and full of
     suggestions; the Navy is the most remote, but I am not
     surprised that here and there comes also the intimation that
     your Army is too small. These, too, may be some of the
     bitter fruits of your imperial grants. I fear that it will
     be seen soon enough that when you have destroyed the very
     foundations of security and hope upon which labor has rested
     so long, the old-time repose and peaceful order will be no
     more. Gentlemen should not forget that the wrong that has
     been done to laboring men and their children by giving over
     their natural inheritance to an accursed monopoly will in
     due time be considered by the most intelligent body of
     laboring men who ever debated a public wrong--men fully
     aware of their rights and capable of asserting them.

But the foreign land-shark, and the corporate land-shark, dwindle into
insignificance by the side of the individual land-shark. Every hamlet,
town, city, and state in the Union is in the grasp of the individual
land holder. Starting with his fellows as a pioneer two hundred and
fifty years ago, with his pickaxe on his shoulder, he has steadily
grown in size and importance, so that today he holds in his hands the
destinies of the Republic and the life of his fellow citizens. His
bulk has become mastodonian in proportions and his influence has
shrivelled up the energies of the people. More absolute than the Iron
Prince of Germany, he pays no taxes; he limits production, not to the
requirements of the population but to the demand of the market, at
such figures as he can extort from the crying necessities of the
people through the operations of "corners;" he regulates the wheels of
government, State and Federal, and dictates to the people by making
them hungry and naked.

We stand only upon the threshold of governmental existence; the
nation, in comparison to the hoary-handed commonwealths of Europe, was
born but yesterday; but, having adopted at the beginning the system
which hastened the downfall of Rome after she had spread her authority
over the known world, we are already weak and exhausted. Monopoly has
stunted the people, and they stagger to the grave, starved to death by
a system of robbery almost too transparent to require minute
elucidation at the hand of the conscientious writer upon economic
questions. The suppressed groans of the toiling masses are echoed and
reëchoed from every corner of the land, and burst forth in mobocratic
fury that the entire police authority finds it almost impossible to
stay. The newspapers are a daily chronicle of the desperate condition
to which the country has been brought by the rapacity and ignorance of
legislators and the parasitical manipulations of the gang which has
rooted itself in the soil of the country.

The fires of revolution are incorporated into the _Magna Charta_ of
our liberties, and no human power can avert the awful eruption which
will eventually burst upon us as Mount Vesuvius burst forth upon
Herculaneum and Pompeii. It is too late for America to be wise in
time. "_The die is cast._"



CHAPTER XVI

_Conclusion_


I know it is not fashionable for writers on economic questions to tell
the truth, but the truth should be told, though it kill. When the wail
of distress encircles the world, the man who is linked by "the touch
of nature" which "makes the whole world kin" to the common destiny of
the race universal; who hates injustice wherever it lifts up its head;
who sympathizes with the distressed, the weak, and the friendless in
every corner of the globe, such a man is morally bound to tell the
truth as he conceives it to be the truth.

In these times, when the law-making and enforcing authority is leagued
against the people; when great periodicals--monthly, weekly and
daily--echo the mandates or anticipate the wishes of the powerful men
who produce our social demoralization, it becomes necessary for the
few men who do not agree to the arguments advanced or the interests
sought to be bolstered up, to "cry aloud and spare not." The man who
with the truth in his possession flatters with lies, that "thrift may
follow fawning" is too vile to merit the contempt of honest men.

The government of the United States confiscated as "contraband of war"
the slave population of the South, but it left to the portion of the
unrepentant rebel a far more valuable species of property. The slave,
the perishable wealth, was confiscated to the government and then
manumitted; but property in land, the wealth which perishes not nor
can fly away, and which had made the institution of slavery possible,
was left as the heritage of the robber who had not hesitated to lift
his iconoclastic hand against the liberties of his country. The baron
of feudal Europe would have been paralyzed with astonishment at the
leniency of the conquering invader who should take from him his slave,
subject to mutation, and leave him his landed possessions which are as
fixed as the Universe of Nature. He would ask no more advantageous
concession. But the United States took the slave and left the thing
which gave birth to _chattel slavery_ and which is now fast giving
birth to _industrial slavery_; a slavery more excruciating in its
exactions, more irresponsible in its machinations than that other
slavery, which I once endured. The chattel slave-holder must, to
preserve the value of his property, feed, clothe and house his
property, and give it proper medical attention when disease or
accident threatened its life. But industrial slavery requires no such
care. The new slave-holder is only solicitous of obtaining the maximum
of labor for the minimum of cost. He does not regard the man as of any
consequence when he can no longer produce. Having worked him to death,
or ruined his constitution and robbed him of his labor, he turns him
out upon the world to live upon the charity of mankind or to die of
inattention and starvation. He knows that it profits him nothing to
waste time and money upon a disabled industrial slave. The multitude
of laborers from which he can recruit his necessary laboring force is
so enormous that solicitude on his part for one that falls by the
wayside would be a gratuitous expenditure of humanity and charity
which the world is too intensely selfish and materialistic to expect
him. Here he forges wealth and death at one and the same time. He
could not do this if our social system did not confer upon him a
monopoly of the soil from which subsistence must be derived, because
the industrial slave, given an equal opportunity to produce for
himself, would not produce for another. On the other hand the large
industrial operations, with the multitude of laborers from which Adam
Smith declares employers grow rich, as far as this applies to the
soil, would not be possible, since the vast volume of increased
production brought about by the industry of the multitude of co-equal
small farmers would so reduce the cost price of food products as to
destroy the incentive to speculation in them, and at the same time
utterly destroy the necessity or the possibility of famines, such as
those which have from time to time come upon the Irish people. There
could be no famine, in the natural course of things, where all had an
opportunity to cultivate as much land as they could wherever they
found any not already under cultivation by some one else. It needs no
stretch of the imagination to see what a startling tendency the
announcement that all vacant land was free to settlement upon
condition of cultivation would have to the depopulation of
over-crowded cities like New York, Baltimore and Savannah, where the
so-called pressure of population upon subsistence has produced a
hand-to-hand fight for existence by the wage-workers in every avenue
of industry.

This is no fancy picture. It is a plain, logical deduction of what
would result from the restoration to the people of that equal chance
in the race of life which every man has a right to expect, to demand,
and to exact as a condition of his membership of organized society.

The wag who started the "forty acres and a mule" idea among the black
people of the South was a wise fool; wise in that he enunciated a
principle which every argument of sound policy should have dictated,
_upon the condition that the forty acres could in no wise be
alienated_, and that it could be regarded _only_ as _property_ as
_long as it was cultivated_; and a fool because he designed simply to
impose upon the credulity and ignorance of his victims. But the
justness of the "forty acre" donation cannot be controverted. In the
first place, the slave had earned this miserable stipend from the
government by two hundred years of unrequited toil; and, secondly, as
a free man, he was inherently entitled to so much of the soil of his
country as would suffice to maintain him in the freedom thrust upon
him. To tell him he was a free man, and at the same time shut him off
from free access to the soil upon which he had been reared, without a
penny in his pocket, and with an army of children at his
coat-tail--some of his reputed wife's children being the illegitimate
offspring of a former inhuman master--was to add insult to injury, to
mix syrup and hyssop, to aggravate into curses the pretended
conferrence of blessings.

When I think of the absolutely destitute condition of the colored
people of the South at the close of the Rebellion; when I remember the
moral and intellectual enervation which slavery had produced in them;
when I remember that not only were they thus bankrupt, but that they
were absolutely and unconditionally cut off from the soil, with
absolutely no right or title in it, I am surprised,--not that they
have already got a respectable slice of landed interests; not that
they have taken hold eagerly of the advantages of moral and
intellectual opportunities of development placed in their reach by the
charitable philanthropy of good men and women; not that they have
bought homes and supplied them with articles of convenience and
comfort, often of luxury--but I am surprised that the race did not
turn robbers and highwaymen, and, in turn, terrorize and rob society
as society had for so long terrorized and robbed them. The thing is
strange, marvelous, phenomenal in the extreme. Instead of becoming
outlaws, as the critical condition would seem to have indicated, the
black men of the South _went manfully to work_ to better their own
condition and the crippled condition of the country which had been
produced by the ravages of internecine rebellion; _while the white men
of the South, the capitalists, the land-sharks, the poor white trash,
and the nondescripts, with a thousand years of Christian civilization
and culture behind them, with "the boast of chivalry, the pomp of
power," these white scamps, who had imposed upon the world the idea
that they were paragons of virtue and the heaven-sent vicegerents of
civil power, organized themselves into a band of outlaws, whose
concatenative chain of auxiliaries ran through the entire South, and
deliberately proceeded to murder innocent men and women for POLITICAL
REASONS and to systematically rob them of their honest labor because
they were too accursedly lazy to labor themselves._

But this highly abnormal, unnatural condition of things is fast
passing away. The white man having asserted his superiority in the
matters of assassination and robbery, has settled down upon a barrel
of dynamite, as he did in the days of slavery, and will await the
explosion with the same fatuity and self-satisfaction true of him in
other days. But as convulsions from within are more violent and
destructive than convulsions from without, being more deepseated and
therefore more difficult to reach, the next explosion will be more
disastrous, more far-reaching in its havoc than the one which
metamorphosed social conditions in the South, and from the dreadful
reactions of which we are just now recovering.

As I have said elsewhere, the future struggle in the South will be,
not between white men and black men, but between capital and labor,
landlord and tenant. Already the cohorts are marshalling to the fray;
already the forces are mustering to the field at the sound of the
slogan.

The same battle will be fought upon Southern soil that is in
preparation in other states where the conditions are older in
development but no more deep-seated, no more pernicious, no more
blighting upon the industries of the country and the growth of the
people.

It is not my purpose here to enter into an extended analysis of the
foundations upon which our land system rests, nor to give my views as
to how matters might be remedied. I may take up the question at some
future time. It is sufficient for my purpose to have indicated that
the social problems in the South, as they exfoliate more and more as
resultant upon the war, will be found to be the same as those found in
every other section of our country; and to have pointed out that the
questions of "race," "condition" "politics," etc., will all properly
adjust themselves with the advancement of the people in wealth,
education, and forgetfulness of the unhappy past.

The hour is approaching when the laboring classes of our country,
North, East, West and South, will recognize that they have a _common
cause_, a _common humanity_ and a _common enemy_; and that, therefore,
if they would triumph over wrong and place the laurel wreath upon
triumphant justice, without distinction of race or of previous
condition _they must unite_! And unite they will, for "a fellow
feeling makes us wond'rous kind." When the issue is properly joined,
the rich, be they black or be they white, will be found upon the same
side; and the poor, be they black or be they white, will be found on
the same side.

_Necessity knows no law and discriminates in favor of no man or race._



APPENDIX


I append to this volume a portion of the testimony of Mr. John
Caldwell Calhoun because of the uniform fairness with which he treated
the race and labor problem in the section of country where he is an
extensive landowner and employer of labor.

Mr. Calhoun's testimony was given before the Blair Senate Committee on
Education and Labor and will be found in the Committee's Report as to
_The Relations between Labor and Capital_. (Vol. II, pp. 157).

     NEW YORK, _Thursday, September 13, 1883_

     LABOR IN THE SOUTHWEST

     JOHN CALDWELL CALHOUN sworn and examined

     By the CHAIRMAN:

     Question. Where do you reside?--Answer. In Chicot County,
     Arkansas.

     Q. State to the committee, if you please, where you were
     born, of what family connection you are, and what have been
     your opportunities for becoming acquainted with the past and
     the present condition of agricultural labor in the Southern
     States.
     --A. I was born in Marengo County, Alabama. My father was a
     planter there before the war.

     Q. He was a son of John C. Calhoun, the statesman?--A. He
     was a son of Mr. John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina.

     Q. You are his grandson, then?
     --A. Yes, sir; I am his grandson. My father was Col. Andrew
     P. Calhoun. I was reared in South Carolina. In 1854 my father
     removed his residence from his plantations in Alabama to Fort
     Hill, South Carolina, near Pendleton, where I was raised. I
     have been identified with the agricultural interest of the
     South from my earliest recollections, and have been a
     practical cotton planter myself since the war, giving my own
     personal attention to my interests since 1869.

     Q. When did you remove from South Carolina?
     --A. I removed from South Carolina to Chicot County,
     Arkansas, in 1869.

     Q. Until 1869 you had been a resident of South Carolina?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. And of course very familiar with the condition of things
     on the Atlantic coast. Since that time you have been in the
     Mississippi Valley?
     --A. Yes, sir; my experience as a cotton planter and with
     the laborers of the South is confirmed, I may say, almost
     entirely to the Mississippi Valley, for I left South
     Carolina so soon after the war that things had hardly shaped
     themselves there so that I could form an accurate estimate
     of the labor or the condition of affairs in South Carolina
     or on the Atlantic coast.

     The CHAIRMAN. Not having had a personal acquaintance with
     Mr. Calhoun, and learning of his rare opportunities to give
     valuable information to the committee, and of his presence
     in the city, I addressed him a letter, calling attention to
     the subject-matter upon which we should like information,
     and which I had reason to think he could give us better than
     almost any one else, indicating certain questions which I
     would like to have him prepared to answer, and receiving a
     courteous reply, expressing a willingness to oblige the
     committee, I have called him before the committee, and will
     now read the questions:--

     1st. What is the condition of the laborers in your
     section?

     2d. Under what system are the laborers in your section
     employed?

     3d. When hired for wages what is paid?

     4th. What division is made between labor and capital of
     their joint production when you work on shares?

     5th. When you rent what division is made?

     6th. How many hours do the laborers work?

     7th. Under what system do you work?

     8th. What is the relation existing between the planters and
     their employees?

     9th. What danger is there of strikes?

     10th. How can the interest of the laborers of your section
     be best subserved?

     If you have prepared answers to these questions, and can
     give your answers consecutively, I would like you to do so.
     The WITNESS. I have prepared replies in order that I might
     save the committee time as well as condense my ideas.

     Q. 1. What is the condition of the laborers in your
     section?
     --A. The laborers in the Mississippi Valley are
     agricultural. But few whites are employed; they soon become
     landowners or tenants. Your question, therefore, reduces
     itself to, What is the condition of the negroes? I should
     say good, as compared with a few years ago, and improving.
     You must recollect that it has only been 18 years since the
     negroes emerged from slavery without a dollar and with no
     education, and that for generations they had been taught to
     rely entirely upon others for guidance and support. They
     became, therefore, at once the easy prey of unscrupulous
     men, who used them for their personal aggrandizement, were
     subjected to every evil influence, and did not discover for
     years the impositions practiced upon them. They were
     indolent and extravagant, and eager to buy on a credit
     everything the planter or merchant would sell them. The
     planter had nothing except the land, which, with the crop to
     be grown, was mortgaged generally for advances. If he
     refused to indulge his laborers in extravagant habits during
     the year, by crediting them for articles not absolutely
     necessary, his action was regarded as good grounds for them
     to quit work, and there were those present who were always
     ready to use this as an argument to array the negroes
     against the proprietors. This, of course, demoralized the
     country to a very great extent, and it has only been in the
     past few years the negro laborers have realized their true
     condition and gone to work with a view of making a support
     for themselves and families. There is yet much room for
     improvement, but they will improve just as they gain
     experience and become self-reliant.

     Considering their condition after emancipation and the evil
     influences to which they have been subjected, even the small
     advancement they have made seems surprising.

     Q. 2. Under what systems are the laborers in your section
     employed?
     --A. There are three methods: we hire for wages, for a part
     of the crop, or we rent.

     Q. 3. When hired for wages what is paid?
     --A. When hired by the month we pay unskilled field hands
     from $10 to $20 per month and board. When hired by the day,
     for unskilled laborers, from 75 cents to $1. Teamsters, $1 a
     day and board. Artisans, from $2 to $5. In addition to their
     wages and board, the laborers are furnished, free of cost, a
     house, fuel, and a garden spot varying from half to one
     acre; also the use of wagon and team with which to haul
     their fuel and supplies, and pasturage, where they have
     cattle and hogs, which they are encouraged to raise.

     Q. 4. What division is made between labor and capital of
     their joint production when you work on shares?
     --A. I doubt if there is greater liberality shown to
     laborers in any portion of the world than is done under this
     system. The proprietor furnishes the land and houses,
     including dwelling, stables, and outhouses, pays the taxes,
     makes all necessary improvements, keeps up repairs and
     insurance, gives free of cost a garden spot, fuel, pasturage
     for the stock owned by the laborer, and allows the use of
     his teams for hauling fuel and family supplies, provides
     mules or horses, wagons, gears, implements, feed for teams,
     the necessary machinery for ginning, or, in short, every
     expense of making the crop and preparing it for market, and
     then divides equally the whole gross proceeds with the
     laborers. In addition to all this, the proprietor frequently
     mortgages his real estate to obtain means to advance to the
     laborers supplies on their portion of the crop yet to be
     grown, thus mortgaging what he actually possesses, and
     taking a security not yet in existence, and which depends
     not only upon the vicissitudes of the seasons, but the
     faithfulness of the laborers themselves. Under this system
     thrifty, industrious laborers ought soon to become
     landowners. But, owing to indolence, the negroes, except
     where they are very judiciously managed and encouraged, fail
     to take advantage of the opportunities offered them to raise
     the necessaries of life. They idle away all the time not
     actually necessary to make and gather their corn and cotton,
     and improvidently spend what balance may remain after paying
     for the advances made to them.

     Q. 5. When you rent, what division is made?
     --A. Where the laborer owns his own teams, gears, and
     implements necessary for making a crop, he gets two-thirds
     or three-fourths of the crop, according to the quality and
     location of the land.

     Under the rental system proper, where a laborer is
     responsible and owns his team, &c., first-class land is
     rented to him for $8 or $10 per acre. With the land go
     certain privileges, such as those heretofore enumerated.

     Q. 6. How many hours do the laborers work?
     --A. This is an extremely difficult question to answer.
     Under the wages system, from sunrise to sunset, with a rest
     for dinner of from one and one-half to three hours,
     according to the season of the year.

     Under the share or rental system there is much time lost;
     for instance, they seldom work on Saturday at all, and as
     the land is fertile, and a living can be made on a much
     smaller acreage than a hand can cultivate, they generally
     choose one-third less than they should, and it is safe to
     say that one third of the time which could and would be
     utilized by an industrious laborer is wasted in fishing, and
     hunting, and idleness.

     Q. 7. Under what system do you work?
     --A. We are forced to adopt all systems heretofore stated.
     We prefer, however, the tenant system. We wish to make small
     farmers our laborers, and bring them up as nearly as
     possible to the standard of the small white farmers. But
     this can only be done gradually, because the larger portion
     of the negroes are without any personal property. We could
     not afford to sell the mules, implements, &c., where a
     laborer has nothing. Therefore the first year we contract to
     work with him on the half-share system, and require him to
     plant a portion of the land he cultivates in corn, hay,
     potatoes, &c. For this portion we charge him a reasonable
     rent, to be paid out of his part of the cotton raised on the
     remainder. In this way all of the supplies raised belong to
     him, and at the end of the first year he will, if
     industrious, find himself possessed of enough supplies to
     support and feed a mule. We then sell him a mule and
     implements, preserving, of course, liens until paid. At the
     end of the second year, if he should be unfortunate, and not
     quite pay out, we carry the balance over to the next year,
     and in this way we gradually make a tenant of him. We
     encourage him in every way in our power to be economical,
     industrious, and prudent, to surround his home with
     comforts, to plant an orchard and garden, and to raise his
     own meat, and to keep his own cows, for which he has free
     pasturage. Our object is to attach him as much as possible
     to his home. Under whatever system we work, we require the
     laborer to plant a part of his land in food crops and the
     balance in cotton with which to pay his rent and give him
     ready money. We consider this system as best calculated to
     advance him. Recognizing him as a citizen, we think we
     should do all in our power to fit him for the duties of
     citizenship. We think there is no better method of doing
     this than by interesting him in the production of the soil,
     surrounding him with home comforts, and imposing upon him
     the responsibilities of his business. Who will make the best
     citizen or laborer, he who goes to a home with a week's
     rations, wages spent, wife and children hired out, or he who
     returns to a home surrounded with the ordinary comforts, and
     wife and children helping him to enjoy the products of their
     joint labor? We recognize that no country can be prosperous
     unless the farmers are prosperous. Under our system, we seek
     to have our property cultivated by a reliable set of
     tenants, who will be able to always pay their rent and have
     a surplus left.

     Again, a large portion of the cotton crop of the country is
     made by small white farmers. These to a great extent are
     raising their own supplies, and making cotton a surplus
     crop. The number who do this will increase year by year. It
     must be apparent that the large planters cannot afford to
     hire labor and compete with those whose cotton costs nothing
     except the expenditure of their own muscle and energy. The
     natural consequence resulting from this condition of things
     is that the negro, if he is to prosper, must gradually
     become a small farmer, either as a tenant or the owner of
     the soil, and look himself upon cotton as a surplus crop.

     Q. 8. What is the relation existing between the planters
     and their employers?
     --A. Friendly and harmonious. The planter feel an interest
     in the welfare of his laborers, and the latter in turn look
     to him for advice and assistance.

     Q. 9. What danger is there of strikes?
     --A. Very little. As a rule the laborers are interested in
     the production of the soil, and a strike would be as
     disastrous to them as it would be to the proprietors. There
     is really very little conflict between labor and capital.
     The conflict in my section, if any should come in future,
     will not assume the form of labor against capital, but of
     race against race.

     Q. 10. How can the interest of the laborers of your section
     be best subserved?
     --A. By the establishment by the States of industrial
     schools, by the total elimination from Federal politics of
     the so-called negro question, and by leaving the solution to
     time, and a reduction of taxation, both indirect and
     incidental. It is a noteworthy fact that the improvement of
     my section has kept pace, _pari passu_, with the cessation
     of the agitation of race issues. The laborers share equally
     with the landowners the advantages of the improvement, and
     there is every reason to expect increasing and permanent
     prosperity if all questions between the landowners and their
     laborers in our section are left to the natural adjustment
     of the demand for labor. For many years the negroes regarded
     themselves as the wards of the Federal Government, and it
     were well for them to understand that they have nothing more
     to expect from the Federal Government, than the white man,
     and that, like him, their future depends upon their own
     energy, industry, and economy. This can work no hardship.
     The constant demand for labor affords them the amplest
     protection. Nothing, probably, would contribute so
     immediately to their prosperity as the reduction of the
     tariff. They are the producers of no protected articles. The
     onerous burdens of the tariff naturally fall heaviest upon
     those who are large consumers of protected articles and
     produce only the great staples, grain and cotton, which form
     the basis of our export trade, and which can, from their
     very nature in this country, receive no protection from a
     tariff.

     Q. In your own State, Arkansas, what portion of the land
     cultivated and what proportion of the acreage of the land
     cultivated is in the form of large plantations?
     --A. That lying along the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers.
     It would be hard for me to estimate the proportions. I do
     not know that I have ever considered it, but the portions
     which are cultivated in large plantations lie directly on
     the Mississippi River in front of the State of Arkansas and
     on the Arkansas River. The rest of the State is cultivated
     very much by small white farmers.

     Q. And are the productions of the small holdings and large
     holdings similar; I inquire as to cotton particularly?
     --A. No, sir. In the interior of the State cotton is made a
     surplus crop entirely.

     Q. What are the principal crops there?
     --A. Our people are raising their own supplies, fruits and
     vegetables. For instance, it was stated by the land agent of
     the Iron Mountain Railroad at a public meeting in Little
     Rock some weeks ago that that road had carried out from the
     State of Arkansas in one week 800,000 pounds of green peas
     and strawberries.

     Q. To what market?
     --A. To Saint Louis, going to different markets. The section
     of the State lying between Little Rock and Fort Smith is
     peculiarly adapted for growing fruit, and there is a very
     large fruit trade.

     Q. What kinds of fruit?
     --A. I might say almost all kinds, but particularly apples;
     that section of country is noted for its apples.

     Q. Are peaches raised there also?
     --A. Very fine, indeed.

     Q. Plums?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. Are oranges raised there?
     --A. No, sir; we do not raise any of the tropical fruits,
     such as oranges, bananas, and lemons.

     Q. How in regard to oats, rye, corn, wheat, potatoes, and
     crops of that description?
     --A. If our exhibit, which is now being made at the
     Louisville Exposition, can be seen it will compare
     favorably with that of any other portion of the United
     States.

     Q. Even with the Northwest?
     --A. Even with the Northwest.

     Q. Would you judge that one-half the cultivated surface of
     Arkansas is made up of the larger plantations?
     --A. No, sir; I should not say more than a third, as a
     rough estimate.

     Q. Upon these plantations is there any crop raised for
     consumption anywhere but upon the plantations, save the
     cotton?
     --A. Only in a very limited way. We raise Irish potatoes
     for the northern markets, and it is an extremely profitable
     and productive crop with us.

     Q. What is the home market price?
     --A. We do not sell these potatoes at home at all. We get
     them to Saint Louis, Chicago, and Cincinnati before the
     ground is really thawed out up there. We get from $5 to $10
     a barrel for them.

     Q. A barrel of about 3 bushels?
     --A. A barrel of about 3 bushels. That of course is a fancy
     price, and only lasts until the product comes in from other
     sources.

     Q. That is an advantage no farmer has elsewhere in the
     United States than in Arkansas?
     --A. In Arkansas and Louisiana, on the Mississippi River.

     Q. Are potatoes raised largely in Louisiana?
     --A. Yes, sir; in parts. The cultivation of the alluvial
     lands in Louisiana is very similar to what I am speaking of
     in Arkansas.

     Q. Is the potato of good quality raised on those rich
     lands?
     --A. Of very fine quality.

     Q. Can you give the average crop of potatoes per acre?
     --A. I cannot, as I have never raised any myself for market.
     We leave it almost entirely to our small farmers to do that
     sort of thing.

     Q. About 300 bushels per acre, Senator Pugh says. This is
     the Irish potato you speak of, not the sweet?
     --A. The Irish potato. We raise also the sweet potato there.
     I have raised sweet potatoes that weighed five pounds.

     Q. And of good quality?
     --A. Of fine quality.

     Q. The size does not depreciate the quality, then?
     --A. Not at all.

     Q. They, I suppose are raised for exportation from the
     State?
     --A. No, sir; they are raised almost entirely for home
     consumption by our farmers.

     Q. Do your people at home prefer the sweet to the Irish
     potato for their own use?
     --A. I cannot say they do. I think they raise both in equal
     proportions.

     Q. Which, on the whole, is the most profitable crop to
     raise of potatoes?
     --A. The Irish potatoes because we export and sell them. The
     sweet potato does not mature until the fall of the year.

     Q. Upon your plantations you encourage the raising of the
     variety of crops you have spoken of for consumption, by the
     laborers, and for the use of the planter, I suppose, but not
     for exportation and sale?
     --A. Not for sale. We merely raise them for home consumption
     in case of a disaster to our cotton crops. The cotton crop
     is subjected to very many vicissitudes, and we want to have
     all our supplies at home, so that in case of a failure of
     the cotton crop we have our living made at least.

     Q. Are the planters and those who labor upon the
     plantations substantially independent of the small farmers
     surrounding them, or do they constitute consumers for the
     smaller farmers in the interior?
     --A. We have our own gardens, and generally raise our own
     supplies, but every planter interests himself to find a
     market for all the products of his laborers. For instance,
     we encourage them to raise poultry to a great extent. If
     they have a surplus of potatoes, or eggs, or chickens, we
     will buy it and create a market for it, and ship the
     articles off in order that if they have any surplus they may
     realize on it. On the Mississippi River we have nearly all
     the markets. Boats are passing there every day going
     directly by the banks of the river. We have the markets of
     New Orleans, Vicksburg, Memphis, Saint Louis, Chicago, and
     we have, you may say, the whole country open before us where
     we can create a market. We make the best market we can for
     the products of our small farmers.

     Q. Do you know something of the prices in the North for the
     various crops you have mentioned, and if so, how do they
     compare with the price realized by your laborers at home?
     --A. Our laborers realize the prices of the Northwest. We
     ship the articles for them. For instance, a negro has
     several barrels of potatoes; I consign them to my merchants
     in Saint Louis, and have them sold for his account.

     Q. There are no middlemen, really; you transact this
     business for them?
     --A. I transact this business for them direct.

     Q. Charging them simply the cost of transportation?
     --A. You are asking me the relationship between the
     proprietor and the negro. There are a great many stores on
     the Mississippi River, and negroes sometimes go and trade
     directly. There are a great many properties in the
     Mississippi Valley owned by non-residents. There are some
     plantations rented out to negroes that there is not a white
     man on at all. The proprietor comes and collects his rent at
     the end of the year when the crop is made; or it may be his
     negro tenant consigns the cotton to a factor in New Orleans.

     Q. Where is the proprietor himself usually resident?
     --A. In different States. We have people who are proprietors
     of real estate who live out in Orange, New Jersey; some live
     in South Carolina; some live in Georgia, in the various
     States, but they own property with us, and this property is
     rented directly to the negroes. Generally, though, there is
     a responsible manager in charge of this property, but there
     are instances where there is not even a white man on the
     place at all.

     Q. In those instances, how do matters work? Do the negroes
     conduct affairs with reasonable prudence, and consult the
     interest of the owners?
     --A. No, sir; in these instances the property generally goes
     to decay gradually; the negro will not make an improvement
     on real estate at all.

     Q. In these cases do the negroes work together and carry on
     the plantation as a whole, or is the plantation cut up into
     small holdings and rented out to negroes?
     --A. It is cut into small portions and rented according to
     the size of the family. Some men work two mules; some four.
     It is regulated better by the number of animals he works.
     For instance, a mule can cultivate in that country with ease
     about fifteen acres. A man with two mules would work thirty
     acres; a man with four, sixty, and so on. I know some
     negroes who work eight and ten mules that they have paid
     for; but I will say this right here, and it shows the
     necessity of the education of the negro and of fitting him
     for the condition of being able to take care of himself and
     make his own contracts and sign his own name to a contract:
     I have known of numerous instances where negroes, working
     under the management of a proprietor of a plantation, have
     made enough money to buy a home; such a one will go back out
     in the hills, that section of country lying back of the
     alluvial lands, and buy a home. In three or four years he
     will move back to the river again, having lost all his
     property, mortgaged it to some storekeeper, become
     extravagant, and that storekeeper in a short time--three or
     four years probably--will have absorbed all he had earned
     under the management of a planter.

     Q. About that store system; how extensive is it, and how
     great an evil does it constitute?
     --A. It constitutes a very considerable evil, but you
     cannot blame the storekeeper for it, for this reason, or he
     can only be blamed partially: Capital in that country is
     very limited. When you consider the fact that New Orleans,
     which handles the cotton crop of that country, has a smaller
     banking capital than any one of your little towns in
     Massachusetts or New Hampshire, it shows at once that there
     is not enough capital to be advanced to the country people
     at reasonable enough rates of interest for those people to
     conduct a strictly legitimate business. I have known capital
     to cost in New Orleans, counting the commissions, 15 or 20
     per cent, for money loaned. The storekeeper who borrows
     money to conduct his business with has to buy his goods from
     some merchant at some point who must make his profit. He
     cannot go directly to the producer, because he has got to
     have somebody to help him out if his capital falls short.
     Therefore, before the goods get down to him, they cost him
     perhaps 30, 40, or 50 percent more than the first price.
     Therefore he has to tack on an enormous profit to bring
     himself out whole and pay his expenses in order to meet his
     obligations with the factor in New Orleans. There is,
     however, among a certain class, as there would be in all
     sections of the country, as exists right here in New York,
     or anywhere else, a set of people who will always prey upon
     ignorance. The best protection that can be afforded to the
     laborer of that country is education; fit him for his
     condition of life, that he may protect himself.

     Q. Do you mean to be understood that these traders do
     business upon borrowed capital?
     --A. Almost entirely.

     Q. Their capital is hired in New Orleans?
     --A. Or any points they may go for it; I merely mention New
     Orleans as one point. A number of our people borrow money in
     Memphis, and some borrow money in Vicksburg.

     Q. Do you know whether those people to any extent borrow
     capital of Northern capitalists in New York and other
     portions of the North
     --A. That class of people do not. In the last few years--I
     might say almost within the last two years--Northern capital
     has begun to seek investment in our section of the country,
     but only upon mortgages on real estate. The class of
     storekeepers I allude to generally have no real estate at
     all; they only have their stores.

     Q. Your system by which the planter makes a market for the
     surplus productions of the laborers upon his plantation
     dispenses with a middleman, and enables the laborer to make
     a saving, whereas, if he goes to the hills he makes a loss?
     --A. Yes, sir. I will put it more definitely: As long as he
     is under the guidance and care of the proprietor of the
     plantation he prospers, the planter, as we express it in
     that country, "loaning him our aid"; we make it very
     expressive to the negro, we loan him our aid, that is, he
     must follow our advice, and he has learned to do that, and
     by doing that he accumulates; but when thrown upon his own
     resources--there are individual exceptions, of course, where
     a good many negroes prosper themselves when thrown upon
     their own resources in Arkansas--but as a general fact,
     where he leaves the guidance and care of the proprietor of a
     plantation and subjects himself just as any one else does to
     the common trading with storekeepers, in a very few years he
     loses what he has accumulated.

     Q. Under these favorable circumstances which surround the
     laborer on the plantation one would think he ought to
     accumulate; but I understand you that as a rule he is rather
     improvident and fails to accumulate. To what do you
     attribute that improvidence on the part of the negro
     laborer?
     --A. It is simply from the want of a proper appreciation of
     the opportunities of advancement from his condition. The
     negroes are just beginning, as I expressed it, to realize
     the responsibilities of life, and just as they begin to
     realize the responsibilities of life here, they begin to
     prosper. The prosperity of the South has only begun in the
     last few years, and it has begun to increase just as the
     race issue has ceased. I will demonstrate that to you by a
     little paragraph I cut out of the _New York Herald_ last
     night, taken from the New Orleans _Times-Democrat_. If you
     take the assessed valuation of real estate in Alabama, in
     1879 it was at $117,486,581; in 1883 it is assessed at
     $152,920,115. There has been that increase in four years
     from $117,000,000 to $152,000,000. Now let us take the State
     of Arkansas: in 1879 our real estate was valued at
     $86,892,541; in 1883 it is valued at $136,000,000. It goes
     on just in that same proportion. For instance, this shows
     that in eight of the Southern and Southwestern States there
     has been an increase of nearly half a billion dollars--that
     is, $494,836,686--in value of taxable property during the
     short period of four years.

     I happened to pick up this book last night. If I had an
     opportunity I could have gotten some statistics to show you
     the increased production in these different States, and how
     completely it has taken place, as the laborer has begun to
     rely on himself and been thrown on his resources.

     Q. Have you observed the origin of these statistics?
     --A. They come from the New Orleans _Times-Democrat_. I will
     read this in order that they may be known. This is from the
     _Herald_ of yesterday:

                       SOUTHERN PROGRESS

     The New Orleans TIMES-DEMOCRAT has gathered from
     trustworthy sources and given to the public valuable
     statistics showing the industrial progress made in the
     Southern States during the past four years. This covers the
     period since 1879, the year to which the figures of the
     latest national census apply. The census returns show a
     marvelous material growth in the South during the preceding
     ten years. But, according to the reports published by our
     New Orleans contemporary, the progress of the past four
     years is greater and more wonderful than that achieved
     during the decade between the census years.

     Taking the important item of assessed value of property, a
     comparison between the years 1879 and 1883 gives the
     following remarkable results:

     -----------------------------------------------------------------
                     Assessment      Tax        Assessment      Tax
       States          1883          rate           1879        rate
     -----------------------------------------------------------------
     Alabama        $152,920,115     6-1/2     $117,486,581     7
     Arkansas        136,000,000     7           86,892,541     6-1/2
     Florida          56,000,000     5           29,471,648     7
     Georgia         300,000,000     2-1/2      135,659,530     5
     Louisiana       200,000,000     6          209,361,402     6
     Mississippi     116,288,810     2-1/2      129,308,345     3-1/2
     Tennessee       252,289,873     2          223,211,345     1
     Texas           500,000,000     3          304,470,736     5
     -----------------------------------------------------------------
        Total      1,710,498,798     4-1/2    1,215,662,128     5
     -----------------------------------------------------------------

     This shows that in eight Southern and Southwestern States
     there has been an increase of nearly half a billion
     dollars--$494,836,668--in the value of taxable property
     during the short period of four years, while the rate of
     taxation has been actually reduced. At the same time liberal
     appropriations have been made for schools, public
     improvements, and other useful purposes. "Nor is this
     marvelous advance in valuation," says the _Times-Democrat_,
     "the result of any inflation in value, but the natural
     sequence of grand crops, new industries developed, new
     manufactories, mines, and lumber mills established."

     The extension of railroads has been hardly less
     astonishing. In the eight States above enumerated there were
     in 1879 11,604 miles of railroad. There are now 17,891
     miles, showing an increase in four years of 6,287 miles. The
     agricultural progress made is shown by the fact that the
     value of raw products raised in these States, including all
     crops, lumber, cattle, and wool, has advanced from
     $398,000,000 in 1879 to $567,000,000 in 1883, or an increase
     of $169,000,000. During this period the mineral output of
     Alabama alone has increased from $4,000,000 to $19,000,000,
     and the lumber product of Arkansas from $1,790,000 to
     $8,000,000.

     The trade of New Orleans is a barometer of Southern
     industry and commerce. The value of domestic produce in that
     city in 1881-82 was $159,000,000; in 1882-83 it was
     $200,000,000. The value of exports of domestic produce to
     foreign countries in the former year amounted to
     $68,000,000; in the latter it reached $95,000,000.

     These figures tell a remarkable story of recent progress in
     the Southern States. Always rich in natural resources, the
     South has long been poor through lack of development. It has
     at last entered upon a new era of industrial activity, and
     is now making rapid strides toward a stage of material
     prosperity commensurate with its great natural wealth.--_New
     York Herald_, September 12,1883.

     Now, here is quite a remarkable fact to which I wish to
     call your attention, to show you the opportunities for labor
     existing in the South and what is the condition of certain
     counties in the South. I hold in my hand a book that is
     compiled for the benefit of the Georgia Pacific Railroad,
     but I happened to find it in my room and thought these
     matters would be interesting.

     Q. The data you consider reliable?
     --A. What I read I think comes from the census report; I
     think this is reliable:

          In this connection let us glance at Montgomery
          County, Alabama, which, although not in the belt
          we are studying, is on the same prairie formation
          crossed by the Georgia Pacific Railway, on the
          edge of Mississippi. Compare it with Butler
          County, Ohio, which "shows the best record of any
          county in the West." In live stock Montgomery has
          $1,748,273; Butler, $1,333,592.

     That is the largest producing county in Ohio as compared
     with Montgomery County, Alabama, before the war.

          Montgomery had 63,134 hogs; Butler, 51,640.
          Animals slaughtered: Montgomery, $336,915;
          Butler, $318,274. In grain Butler was
          considerably ahead, but in roots Montgomery led.
          Montgomery doubled Butler in the production of
          wool, and had its cotton crop to show besides.
          The total value of the crops of Montgomery County
          was $3,264,170; those of Butler only $1,671,132.

     There is Montgomery County, Alabama, compared with the
     leading producing county in Ohio.

     Q. Do you know as to the relative size of the two counties?
     --A. I think it was given here:

          A handsome triumph for the Alabama county! And
          yet Montgomery is not up to the average of the
          prairie counties of Alabama.

     I do not know the relative size. Here is a fact to which I
     wish to call particular attention:

          We have examined the mortality tables of the
          United States census for 1880, and find that as
          regards health, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi
          make a better showing than some of the oldest and
          most densely populated Northern States.

     There is generally an idea prevailing that the Southern
     States are very unhealthy. It is a point that bears directly
     on our labor question, and for that reason I wish to call
     special attention to this table, which is taken directly
     from the census:

     ANNUAL DEATH RATE FOR EACH THOUSAND OF POPULATION

     New York       17.38
     Pennsylvania   14.92
     Virginia       16.32
     Massachusetts  18.59
     Kentucky       14.39
     Georgia        13.97
     Alabama        14.20
     Mississippi    12.89

     Mississippi has the smallest average death rate of any of
     that number of States which I have enumerated.

     Q. I suppose the circumstance that the average death rate
     is larger in cities ought to be taken into account, the
     Southern population being mostly rural, is it not?
     --A. The Southern population is to a very great extent
     rural--Still there are cities in Georgia which I suppose in
     proportion to our rural population would not make the latter
     in excess of what it is here. If you take your rural
     population here and in New Jersey, where you are densely
     populated, we are no more densely populated in the
     proportion of our city population to the country than you
     are here, I think.

     Q. Of the population, which is, as a rule, the more healthy
     in the South, the colored or the white population?

     By Mr. PUGH:

     Q. There must be some qualification of that difference
     between the death rate between such States as Massachusetts,
     for instance, and Georgia, on account of the fact--which I
     suppose must be conceded--that in these new States
     population is younger and more vigorous than in the older
     States. The emigration to these States has been of the
     younger and more vigorous population, not so liable to die
     as those who remain behind and are older?
     --A. There has been but very little emigration into these
     States up to this census.

     MR. PUGH. That is the fact to some extent, I suppose,
     anyway.

     The CHAIRMAN. In that same connection, I suppose, should be
     borne in mind the fact that the population of these Eastern
     States is largely re-enforced by immigration from Europe,
     and that is of the younger and more vigorous European
     population, and I do not know but what the people in
     Massachusetts will insist upon it that they are as young and
     as vigorous as anybody.

      Mr. PUGH. I have no doubt. I saw a great many very old
     people there.

     The WITNESS. I merely mentioned this because I wanted to do
     away with the impression which generally exists that the
     Southern States are very unhealthy.

     Mr. PUGH. I have no doubt that what you state is true as a
     general fact.

     The WITNESS. Now, to bear out the assertion which I made
     that the prosperity of the negroes began to increase with
     the cessation of race issues in the South, which has been so
     apparent to me that I can almost mark the time that it
     began, look at the cotton crop that is being made to a great
     extent by small farmers; look at the increase of the cotton
     crop in the different States in the last few years. For
     instance, take Georgia: in 1870 she made 473,934 bales of
     cotton; in 1880 she made 814,441, an increase of 75 per
     cent. Alabama in 1870 produced 429,482 bales; and in 1880
     699,654, an increase of 62 per cent. Mississippi in 1870
     produced 564,938 bales; in 1880 she produced 955,808 bales,
     an increase of 69 per cent.

     Here is a very significant fact also with regard to the
     condition of our laborers in the South, and it shows one of
     the disadvantages we have had to labor under. During the
     war, and from the results of the war, nearly all of our
     live stock was destroyed, a great portion of it was
     destroyed, which left us after the war without the means of
     raising our own meat and such supplies at home, and took
     away from the South a great portion of our wealth, for we
     know that cattle, hogs &c., increase in arithmetical
     progress. If you have a hog, this year she bears so many
     pigs, and in a couple of years those pigs bear so many, and
     so on. But we were left without live stock. I have here a
     table which shows, even under those difficulties, the
     increase in that respect in the Southern States of live
     stock. These are very significant figures. It is entirely an
     accident that I happened to get hold of them last night. The
     live stock of New York in 1870 was 5,286,421; in 1880,
     5,422,238, an increase of 2 per cent. In Pennsylvania it was
     4,484,748 in 1870; in 1880, 5,255,204, an increase of 17 per
     cent. In Georgia, in 1870, it was 2,275,137; in 1880,
     3,139,101, an increase of 38 per cent. In Alabama it was
     1,606,299 in 1870, and in 1880, 2,586,221, an increase of 61
     per cent, and in Mississippi, in 1870, it was 1,724,295, and
     in 1880, 2,398,334, an increase of 38 per cent. This shows
     that with all the disadvantages the South had to contend
     with of their stock cattle being destroyed, the natural
     advantages of climate and pasturage, to which I attribute
     it, existing in the South have enabled them to increase more
     rapidly their live stock than any other of the States of the
     Union. That shows clearly the advantages which that country
     offers for immigration and labor. This is an advantage to
     labor. As I stated in my written reply to your submitted
     questions, we work but few white laborers in my section of
     the country. Why? Because they soon become land-owners with
     the opportunities which present themselves to them. The
     white men will not be there more than two or three years
     before he has bought and paid for his land in almost every
     instance.

     By the CHAIRMAN:

     Q. And he becomes an employer himself?
     --A. He becomes an employer himself.

     Q. Does he usually locate upon the plantation lands along
     the rivers?
     --A. No, sir; he cannot buy this land, because the planter
     would not divide a large plantation into tracts; he would
     not sell off a portion of his land without selling the
     whole.

     Q. In how large tracts are the plantations held? Just
     mention the acreage of some of them that you are acquainted
     with.
     --A. I would say variously from 500 to 2,500 acres in
     cultivation.

     Q. How valuable are these plantations per acre?
     --A. That is a question which cannot be answered definitely
     except in this way: where a planter owns the land, and he is
     out of debt, the land is not for sale, because he cannot
     invest his money in anything that is so profitable; but
     where a planter's property is mortgaged, and the mortgagee
     wants to foreclose and will foreclose, and there is not in
     that country the money which the planter can borrow to
     relieve himself of his indebtedness, he will probably sell
     his land at a small excess of his debt in order to save
     something. You see there is a want of capital in that
     country, and if a planter is involved, as many planters are
     and have been ever since the war, he must do the best he
     can. There are many planters in that country who are nothing
     but agents of the factors, from the fact that the interest
     and commissions they pay upon the debt amount to more than
     the rent for the property, and they hold on to it as a home.
     Therefore, a planter in that condition will sell at a
     nominal price, whereas a plantation owned and paid for is
     not for sale.

     By Mr. PUGH:

     Q. There is really no established market price?
     --A. None at all, owing to the necessity of the one to sell
     and the desire of another to buy.

     By the CHAIRMAN:

     Q. At what rates per acre have you known the title to
     change in some instances?
     --A. I have known lands to be bought there, including
     woodlands and cleared lands, at from $20 to $25 an acre,
     which would be, say, $40 or $50 an acre for the cleared
     land, and I have known other planters to refuse $80 an acre,
     cash.

     Q. Do you think that $80 or $100 per acre would be a
     reasonable price for these plantation lands?
     --A. They sold before the war for $120 an acre.

     By Mr. CALL:

     Q. You are speaking now of the alluvial lands?
     --A. I am speaking of the alluvial lands on the Mississippi
     River, cleared, ready for cultivation, with the improvements
     existing upon them.

     By the CHAIRMAN:

     Q. Improved plantations?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. Upon what price per acre do you think those lands would
     pay, one year with another, an interest of 6 per cent?
     --A. I will best answer that question by the figures of
     rents which I have given. The rent, without any
     responsibility attached to the proprietor at all, is from $8
     to $10 an acre.

     Q. In money?
     --A. In money. I will say further that I have been living in
     that country since 1869, and I have never yet known a year
     when there has not been a sufficient crop made to pay the
     rent, without a single exception.

     By Mr. CALL:

     Q. What is left to the tenant after he pays this $10 an
     acre?
     --A. That land produces on an average 400 pounds of lint
     cotton to the acre, which at 10 cents a pound is $40.

     By the CHAIRMAN:

     Q. To what extent is Northern capital availing itself of
     opportunity to invest in these plantations?
     --A. I might say it is limited.

     Q. From what fact does that arise?
     --A. From the fact that the safety of investments there is
     just becoming apparent to capitalists. Capitalists up to
     this time have been afraid to go to the South, owing to the
     disturbed condition of affairs politically and this very
     race-issue question. A man does not want to carry his money
     down there and put it into a country that might be involved
     in riots and disturbances. Those questions are now just
     beginning to settle themselves, and capital is beginning to
     find its way.

     Q. Do you anticipate in the near or remote future any
     further difficulty from the race question?
     --A. Not at all, and if we are left to ourselves things will
     very soon equalize themselves.

     Q. You are left to yourselves now, are you not?
     --A. We are now.

     Q. All you ask is to continue to be let alone?
     --A. Just to be let alone. The South, with her natural
     resources and advantages of climate and soil, feels that she
     is perfectly able to take care of herself and her affairs,
     and all she wants is that the legislation of the country,
     both Federal and State, should be that which will mete out
     justice to all her citizens, colored as well as white.

     Q. Does the South feel as though all she had got to do was
     to take care of herself, or does she feel a little
     responsibility for the other section of the country?
     --A. She feels, more immediately now, responsibility for
     that section, for this reason, that the negro population of
     the South, compared with the white population of the South,
     might be a dangerous element, but the negro population,
     compared with the whole white population of the United
     States as an integral body, sinks into insignificance.
     Therefore, the forces which are at work in the South today
     make us strongly Union. They are directly contrary to what
     were existing before the war, and there are no people in
     this Government today who have the same interest in the
     Federal Union that the people of the Southern States have,
     and they appreciate it.

     Q. You feel that it is to your advantage that the negro
     population should be dealt with by the forty or fifty
     millions of whites, that the races should be balanced in
     that proportion rather than in the proportion that exists
     between them and the white population of the South alone?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. The central idea of the South is a national idea, then?
     --A. The central idea of the South is more a national idea
     now than it has been in this respect.

     Q. I would use the word "leading" rather than "central"
     there--the leading idea?
     --A. We, of course, claim that we want to manage the
     internal affairs of our States just as much as New York, or
     New Hampshire, or Massachusetts would want to manage theirs,
     but that it is necessary for us to have the guidance and
     protection of the Government: we want it just as much as
     either of those States.

     Q. Have you traveled considerably through the North?
     --A. I have.

     Q. What portions of the North have you visited within the
     last few years?
     --A. I have visited Philadelphia, New York, Boston,
     Hartford, and I might say a number of other points in the
     States of which they are the chief cities.

     Q. While we are speaking of this matter of reciprocal
     feeling between the sections of country, as you have
     mentioned the attitude of the South, I should like to know
     from you, from your personal observation and knowledge, what
     you find to be that of the North toward the South?
     --A. I think it is of the kindliest character. I have never
     in my life been treated with more consideration than I have
     been by gentlemen in the East who were most opposed to the
     South during the war.

     Q. I do not refer simply to personal courtesy, but I mean
     the expression of feeling as between the sections, the
     general tendency and drift of Northern feeling towards the
     Southern portions of the country, to the people of the
     South?
     --A. I think, so far as I have been able to observe, that
     the feeling in the East towards the South is a general
     anxiety for her prosperity. I would go so far as to speak of
     it as anxiety for her prosperity.

     Q. You think the war of sections is pretty much over?
     --A. I think it is obliterated, and for that reason I go
     back to this point, that our prosperity in the South has
     begun.

     Q. You have described with some minuteness the condition of
     things among the planters and those who work upon the
     plantations. I should like to ask this question further,
     whether any of the negroes along the alluvial bottoms are
     obtaining ownership of lands in fee-simple?
     --A. In very few instances in the alluvial lands. When they
     make enough money to buy a home they generally go to the
     hill country, where land can be bought at a much more
     reasonable price.

     Q. With what amount of accumulation will a negro get up and
     go to the hills?
     --A. There are negroes right in my section of the country
     who have an accumulation clear of all expenses of from a
     thousand to $3,500 a year.

     Q. Do they remain or do they go and buy homesteads for
     themselves?
     --A. They probably remain until they accumulate a few
     thousand dollars, and then go and buy a home. We encourage
     it, from the fact that we want the others behind to be
     stimulated to do the same thing. I will say in that
     connection that the future of the negro of the South is the
     alluvial lands.

     Q. These plantations?
     --A. Not only these plantations particularly. What I mean by
     alluvial lands are the alluvial lands on the coast and the
     alluvial lands of the Mississippi Valley, the rich lands
     where the negro relies on his own energy and exertion rather
     than on his brains. There is an immigration coming into the
     older States now.

     Q. The older Southern States?
     --A. The older Southern States. As they come in the negroes
     gradually give way and go to the richer lands. For instance,
     one railroad last year brought into the Mississippi Valley
     over 10,000 negro immigrants.

     Q. From what States?
     --A. From the Atlantic and Gulf States.

     Q. What became of them?
     --A. They were scattered along the alluvial lands of the
     Mississippi Valley. As the negroes of the Mississippi Valley
     either immigrate from that valley and go in different
     directions and buy land, the planters of the Mississippi
     Valley send out to the older States and replace them with
     labor from those States. A negro in the older States,
     probably, to make his support would have to cultivate 15 or
     20 acres of land, whereas a negro in the Mississippi Valley
     can make his support on 8 or 10 acres of land.

     Q. Will this result in the ownership of the alluvial lands
     being transferred to the negro?
     --A. No, sir; because as he makes money he goes off.

     Q. He is a Chinese immigrant?--A. I mean by "goes off" he
     does not go out of the State, but he goes to the hills.

     Q. And to smaller ownerships?--A. To smaller ownerships.

     Q. And the aim of the Southern planter is to accommodate
     this tendency of things to smaller rentings?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. Do you think a plantation is more productive where,
     under a general supervision by the planter or the owner, it
     is let out in small sections to the negroes to cultivate, or
     is it better to cultivate the plantation as a whole?
     --A. It is better to let it out, as I stated in my written
     answers. The cotton crop of this country is being raised to
     such an extent by the small white farmers that the large
     planter can no longer afford to hire and compete with that
     class of labor who only expend their own energy;
     consequently the tendency is to make farmers of the negroes.

     Q. What chance is there of the planter securing white
     labor to carry on these plantations?
     --A. There is such a small proportion of white labor in the
     South that it would be difficult for him to find them, and
     the tide of foreign immigration is just beginning to be
     turned in that direction. There has been a prejudice against
     white emigrants going to the South, on account of going
     among the negroes.

     Q. Do you think that is diminishing?
     --A. Diminishing yearly.

     Q. You mean that immigration from Europe is being employed
     on the plantations?
     --A. Not exactly upon the large cotton plantations, but the
     smaller plantations are now being converted into farms. For
     instance, there has been a large immigration of European
     emigrants into that section of the country between Little
     Rock and Fort Smith.

     Q. Do they, upon these farm or small plantations being
     converted into farms, work in companionship with the negro
     laborer?
     --A. No; they generally buy the land and work it themselves;
     they may hire a negro and work with him; they are laborers
     themselves.

      Q. Is there any tendency among the white and colored
     laborers of any class to work in companionship, or to
     fraternize at all in labor?
     --A. I cannot say that there is. A white man would not take
     a negro in as a partner to work with him in the field.

     Q. And will a white man find any difficulty in hiring
     another white man and negro to work together side by side in
     the field?
     --A. No, sir; I have them myself working side by side.

     Q. There is no prejudice of that kind?
     --A. None at all.

     Q. No white man inquires whether he can work by himself or
     is to work in company with a negro? Do they exhibit any
     reluctance to work in company with the negro?
     --A. The class of white people that work in our country for
     wages comes from Ohio, and Missouri, and Indiana, and that
     section of country, and I find there is some prejudice among
     that class of people sometimes, but still there are
     instances--as I say, I have men from Indiana now myself
     hired working right in a gang with negroes.

     Q. There is no strong tendency in that way, I suppose?
     --A. No strong tendency in that way. There are no white
     laborers from the South proper; at least the number we can
     hire for wages is so small that it is not sufficient to call
     it a class.

     Q. In the Southern States proper about two thirds of the
     population is white, is it not?
     --A. I do not recollect. According to the census returns I
     think there are about seven millions of negroes. The census
     would give the exact statement.

     Q. Not far from two thirds of the population, I think, is
     white. In the Gulf States proper at least one half the
     population must be white. In what way is the white laboring
     population of the South employed?
     --A. They are employed as small farmers nearly almost
     entirely.

     Q. Not to as great extent as mechanics and artisans?
     --A. I suppose there is a liberal proportion of them to the
     population; we have to have our artisans and mechanics; but
     as a rule the white population of the South are small
     farmers, either owners of the land themselves or tenants.

     Q. How as to their material prosperity and thrift and
     saving?
     --A. It varies very much. For instance, take the State of
     Georgia--and I believe it is admitted that Georgia is one of
     the most thrifty and prosperous of all the Southern
     States--I think the small farmers are generally
     self-sustaining; they raise their own supplies.

     Q. Do these small white farmers employ negro help to any
     extent?
     --A. To a certain extent. If a man has more land than his
     family can work he will hire a negro laborer. There is no
     prejudice against his doing so either on the part of the
     farmer hiring him or the negro hired.

     Q. He may hire some white and other colored laborers, I
     suppose?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. Do they work together?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. How in regard to the value of the hill lands you have
     spoken of in the State of Arkansas; as compared with the
     alluvial, what is the difference in value?
     --A. It is very great. There are farms in Arkansas that can
     be bought, partially cleared up, and with some improvements
     upon them, for from $5 to $20 an acre, less than the rent of
     fair lands on the river. There is no finer section of
     country in the world--I say that unhesitatingly--for a
     foreign immigrant, or the immigrant from the East, or from
     anywhere, than is afforded to-day in Arkansas and Texas.

     Q. And political disturbances are at an end?
     --A. We apprehend nothing at all; there is no reason why we
     should.

     Q. You were speaking of the necessity of the education of
     the laborer of the South, the negro especially. Will you not
     describe to us the actual condition of the masses of the
     colored people in the matter of education, to what extent it
     has progressed, and what facilities and opportunities exist,
     and what additional are required?
     --A. It varies in different sections. For instance, Georgia,
     and Tennessee are probably ahead of any of the Southern
     States in point of educating the colored people; they have
     more facilities; they have negro primary schools and
     colleges where a man is educated. The education that I was
     speaking of, more particularly for the negro, is a plain
     English education, sufficient to enable him to read and
     write.

     Q. What we call up North a common school education?
     --A. A common school education. I will illustrate that.
     Suppose a negro comes to me to make a contract that I have
     written for him, and he cannot read or write. I offer that
     contract to him, and I read it to him. He touches a pen and
     signs his mark to it; there is no obligation attached at
     all. He says at once, "That man is an educated man; he has
     the advantage of me; he shows me that contract; I do not
     know what is in it; I cannot even read it." Therefore a
     contract made with a negro in that way is almost a nullity;
     but if he could read that contract himself and sign his own
     name to it, it would be a very different thing. I never
     allow a negro to sign a written contract with me before he
     has taken it home with him and had some friend to read it
     over and consult with him about it, because I want some
     obligation attached to my contracts.

     Q. It is necessary for you as well as the negro?
     --A. Necessary for my protection as well as his.

     Q. How many of the negroes on the plantations can
     comprehend a written contract by reading it, because a man
     may be somewhat educated and not be able to decipher a
     contract?
     --A. I cannot give you an exact proportion, for it varies to
     a great extent. I can only say that that number is
     increasing rapidly.

     Q. From what circumstances comes this increase?
     --A. From their desire to gain knowledge.

     Q. Do you find that desire strong among the colored people?
     --A. Very strong indeed; and there are two ideas which a
     negro possesses that give me great hopes for his future. If
     I did not believe the negro was capable of sufficient
     development to make him a responsible small farmer, I should
     not want to remain in the business that I am any longer,
     because I believe that the development of my business is
     necessarily based upon the development of the negro and the
     cultivation of my lands. The negro possesses two remarkable
     qualifications: one is that he is imitative, and the other
     is that he has got pride; he wants to dress well; he wants
     to do as well as anybody else does when you get him aroused,
     and with these two qualifications I have very great hopes
     for him in the future.

     Q. What do you think of his intellectual and moral
     qualities and his capacity for development?
     --A. There are individual instances I know of where negroes
     have received and taken a good education. As a class, it
     would probably be several generations, at any rate, before
     they would be able to compete with the Caucasian. I believe
     that the negro is capable of receiving an ordinary English
     education, and there are instances where they enter
     professions and become good lawyers. For instance, I know in
     the town of Greenville, Miss., right across the river from
     me, a negro attorney, who is a very intelligent man, and I
     heard one of the leading attorneys in Greenville say he
     would almost have anybody on the opposite side of a case
     rather than he would that negro. The sheriff of my county is
     from Ohio, and a negro, he is a man whom we all support in
     his office. We are anxious that the negroes should have a
     fair representation. For instance, you ask for the feeling
     existing between the proprietor and the negroes. The probate
     judge of my county is a negro and one of my tenants, and I
     am here now in New York attending to important business for
     my county as an appointee of that man. He has upon him the
     responsibilities of all estates in the county; he is probate
     judge.

     Q. Is he a capable man?
     --A. A very capable man, and an excellent, good man, and a
     very just one.

     Q. Do you see any reason why, with fair opportunities
     assured to himself and to his children, he may not become a
     useful and competent, American citizen?
     --A. We already consider him so.

     Q. The question is settled?
     --A. I thought you were speaking personally of the man I
     referred to.

     Q. No; I was speaking of the negro generally--the negro
     race.
     --A. Let me understand your question exactly.

     Q. Do you see any reason why the negroes, as a component
     part of the American population, may not, with a fair
     chance, come to be useful, industrious, and competent to the
     discharge of the duties of citizenship?
     --A. I think they may as a class, but it will take probably
     generations for them to arrive at that standard.

     Q. It has taken us generations to arrive at the standard,
     has it not?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. There is some talk about our ancestors having been
     pirates, I believe. Now, will you state to us what the
     existing facilities for education are among the negroes?
     --A. I can only speak as regards Arkansas. Of course I do
     not know much of the other States. In Arkansas we have in
     each county a school board. These boards examine and employ
     teachers. We are taxed for a school fund, from which these
     teachers are paid.

     Q. What proportion of the colored children attend school,
     do you think?
     --A. On my own property there are five schools, and I think
     the larger portion, I might say nearly all that are capable
     of going to school, do go to school.

     Q. How many children are there on your own property?
     --A. I could scarcely form an idea.

     Q. There are five schools?
     --A. There are five schools, and I should suppose from 300
     to 500 children.

     Q. Those are educated in public schools?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. I understand you to say that nearly all of them attend?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. For how long a time each year is school kept open?
     --A. The schools extend all the year except vacation, I
     think, which is about three months; but a number of the
     negroes will withdraw their children from school during
     cotton-picking season, to help them pick the crop.

     Q. Between what ages do they actually attend school?
     --A. From 6 to 19. I know a great many of them who are going
     to school who are 17, 18, and 19, who can just begin to read
     and write a little.

     Q. Do you find any inclination among the older negroes who
     are past school age to endeavor to read and write?
     --A. Not very much, but they are anxious their children
     should, and appeal to them. In almost every instance where a
     man has a child who can read and write, he will bring him
     along with him when he makes a contract. They are very proud
     of their children being able to read and write.

     Q. Are they satisfied, as a rule, with their simply
     becoming able to read and write, or do they like to have
     them make a little further progress in mathematics,
     geography, &c.?
     --A. As a class they look to them simply to read and write.
     They think when they have got that far they know everything;
     but then there are certain ones who have ambition, just as
     it is with our own race. There are some men who have tastes
     for literature, and receive a better education than others
     do, but it is not the same proportion of the negro race of
     course that it is with our own. There are instances where
     negroes are also anxious to obtain a collegiate education,
     and become school teachers.

     Q. I do not know that you are able to state to what extent
     they actually attend school in the hill districts?
     --A. I am not.

     Q. You speak both of your own plantation and of other
     plantations as well as your own in that regard?
     --A. I am speaking of the alluvial lands along the
     Mississippi River.

     Q. In Arkansas?
     --A. Not only in Arkansas, but in Louisiana and Mississippi;
     I will say the alluvial lands on the Mississippi River
     between Memphis and Vicksburg.

     Q. Are the negroes on those lands generally having the same
     opportunities for education that they do on your plantation?
     --A. Oh, yes, sir; there is a common school system.

     Q. And it is as prevalent in Louisiana and Mississippi as
     in Arkansas?
     --A. I think it is.

     Q. What is the nativity of those teachers, as a rule?
     --A. They are generally colored people from either the East
     or the Northwest. There are some white teachers, but very
     few.

     Q. Are any of the white teachers Southern in birth?
     --A. There is not a white teacher on my own property; they
     are all colored teachers on my own property. The proportion
     of white teachers is very small.

     Q. How much do these colored teachers themselves know?
     --A. Some of them are remarkably well educated.

     Q. And generally earnestly devoted to their work?
     --A. Perfectly so.

     Q. Or is it simply to get their money?
     --A. No; I think some of them really have a desire to see
     their scholars advance.

     Q. Some pride in their race, to have them get on, I
     suppose?
     --A. I think there is a certain pride in that respect; and,
     again, they want to gain a reputation as teachers.

     Q. What compensation does a teacher get?
     --A. I think about from $50 to $100 a month.

     Q. Do they pay their own expenses, board and shelter?
     --A. Yes, sir; but board is cheap, merely nominal.

     Q. About what amount?
     --A. I should say these teachers can get board for $10 a
     month.

     Q. Is the cost of clothing in your part of the country
     about the same as here?
     --A. This is our market.

     Q. You buy the ready-made clothing largely for the
     population in general, I suppose?
     --A. We buy both ready-made clothing and cloth to make up.

     Q. I suppose the colored population hardly buy custom
     goods?
     --A. A great many of them buy the cloth, and some of their
     women are as good tailoresses as you would find anywhere.
     They buy the cloth and make it up themselves.

     Q. That must bring a suit of clothes pretty cheap in a
     colored family; they really expend nothing but buy the cloth
     themselves?
     --A. They sell very good jeans cloth there at 35 or 40 cents
     a yard; they generally wear jeans.

     Q. All seasons of the year?
     --A. Generally in all seasons of the year. In the summer
     time a laboring man hardly ever wears a coat at all.

     Q. What do you think an average colored Southern laborer
     expends per annum for his clothing, say the head of the
     family, the man--what does it cost him for clothing a year?
     --A. I cannot give you a definite answer. I will only say
     that we who are the producers of cotton are very glad to see
     them get in a prosperous condition in order that there may
     be more consumption, and when a man is prosperous he will
     buy two suits of clothes, where if he is not prosperous he
     will make one do.

     Q. We have had a good deal of testimony as to what it
     actually costs a Northern laborer a year for clothing. I
     have no desire to show that any laborers dress cheaply or
     poorly; I merely want to get an idea of the relative cost of
     the laboring man living North or South, in the item of
     clothing?
     --A. I can sell and do sell a man a pair of jeans pants and
     a coat from $7 to $12 per suit.

     Q. How many suits will he want in a year?
     --A. That will depend on his condition and his ability to
     pay me. If he is a prosperous man and beginning to
     accumulate he will make one do. Whenever a negro begins to
     accumulate he goes to extremes; he does not want to buy
     anything; he wants to accumulate rapidly. Where a man is not
     doing so well, and there is little doubt of his ability to
     pay, he would probably want several suits; but I would
     confine him to one or two.

     Q. The same is true, I suppose, of his wife and children?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. But you look on the matter of clothing as a much less
     expensive item in the laborer's account in your country than
     here in the North where the climate is colder, I suppose?
     --A. Yes, sir. What absorbs the profit of the laborers with
     us is their want of providence; that is, if they get surplus
     money they throw it away for useless articles.

     Q. It has been suggested that a postal savings bank might
     be a good thing as a place of deposit of the savings of the
     colored population of the South; they might feel some
     confidence in an institution of that kind, and that it would
     be a beneficial thing to them. What is your own judgment?
     --A. I advocate it and approve it, and indeed propose to
     start a savings bank in our own neighborhood. In this
     connection I will mention another important feature. In the
     Mississippi Valley--and when I speak of the Mississippi
     Valley I mean both sides of the river, Arkansas and
     Louisiana on one side and Mississippi on the other--there
     are numbers of negroes who have considerable accumulations
     and use their surplus to advance to other negroes. For
     instance, there are negroes right on our property who have
     accumulated enough to help out certain others, as they
     express it, and they use their money as an investment in
     that way. For instance one negro who has got something will
     advance it to another negro and take a mortgage on his crop.
     Consequently there are numbers of them who are getting
     advances from their co-laborers, and I always give them that
     opportunity when they want it. My idea of the adjustment in
     the Mississippi Valley, seeing what I can make from the
     mercantile portion of my business, is that it is simply my
     revenue that I get from the rent of my land as an investment
     on my capital; and whenever a negro can get his own merchant
     in New Orleans--a number of them have very good factors in
     New Orleans and ship their cotton direct--I encourage it.
     When one negro wants to help out another, I give him the
     privilege of doing it and encourage it. There are several
     negroes, a great many, not a few in Chicot County to-day who
     have their own factors in New Orleans, ship their own goods,
     and receive their own accounts of sales.

     Q. They are not owners of alluvial lands?
     --A. They are not owners at all; they are tenants.

     Q. I suppose some time they will be liable to make some
     accumulations, and they will now and then own a plantation?
     --A. I do know of one instance on the river below Vicksburg
     where the old property of Mr. Davis was bought by a former
     slave of his.

     Q. Is that the only instance?
     --A. The only instance I know of.

     Q. One question we have been accustomed to put is as to the
     actual personal feeling that exists between the laborers and
     capitalists of different parts of the country. What is the
     feeling between the laborers, colored and white, and the
     owners of the land and of capital at the South?
     --A. I confine my replies to my own section, because I am
     not familiar with the others. I have answered that question
     in the written answers. The feeling is harmonious and good,
     as I have expressed it there. The negro naturally looks to
     the planter for advice and for assistance, and the planter
     looks to his laborers for the development of his property.
     Consequently their interests are identical and their
     feelings good.

     Q. You have alluded once or twice to the pressure of
     outside, and I suppose Northern, opinion; I assume that you
     mean political opinion in the past and the desirability that
     it should cease. What is the fact as to a progressive
     disintegration of the solid Republican or solid negro vote
     of the South? What are the chances of its dividing, and of
     the white vote dividing? We hear now of a "solid South,"
     colored on the one side and white on the other. What
     prospect is there of a division in that regard; to what
     extent does it exist, or is it going on?
     --A. The negroes of the South are already divided in their
     votes. There are a great many who vote with the proprietors
     of the properties. There are instances where they vote with
     what they call their Republican friends. A few years ago in
     the South any man who was an escaped convict from one of
     your penitentiaries here who would come down to that country
     and tell the negroes that he was one of General Grant's
     soldiers, and fought to free him, would vote the last one
     out; but any of those negroes would come to me at that very
     time with his money and get me to save it for him, and take
     care of it for him. He would put all his confidence in me so
     far as his money was concerned, but when it would come to
     politics he would vote with this man, who probably did not
     own the coat he had on his back. Those kind of inferences
     were what did do us in the South very material damage. Let
     me illustrate that by a riot in my own county. In Chicot
     County, in 1872, there was a proposition to impose upon the
     county a railroad tax of $250,000 for the purpose of
     building a railroad.

     Q. What proportion of the taxable property of the county
     would that have been?
     --A. Our whole assessed valuation was about $1,500,000 at
     that time. This was brought out by a promise that if the
     appropriation was made, the levees on our river should be
     built and this road would run on the levees. At that time
     the whole of the local government in Chicot County was in
     the hands of men who did not own any property in the county,
     and had just come down there and been elected by the
     negroes, who have a very large majority in that county. This
     tax was a very great imposition upon us. At that time there
     was a negro attorney at Lake Village, who was one of the
     prime movers in this thing. The planters knew that this was
     only intended as a speculation upon the county, for the vote
     was afterwards taken, the appropriation was made, and not
     one foot of levee was put up, and not one foot of that
     railroad was built in Chicot County. Still we are mandamused
     now for the interest on that debt that was put on us by that
     kind of influence. One of our planters was remonstrating
     with this negro attorney about this debt and told him it was
     an imposition on the property owners, and that the thing
     ought not to be done, when the man became violent and
     insolent, and it resulted in a difficulty between this
     planter and the negro. The planter had a little pen-knife in
     his pocket, the blade not longer than my little finger; he
     struck the negro with it and it happened accidentally to hit
     him on a vital point and killed him. The sheriff of the
     county was a negro. The planter, with two innocent parties
     in whose house this occurrence took place at the
     county-seat, in Lake Village, was arrested and lodged in
     jail. A few days afterwards--probably not more than two or
     three--nearly every negro in the county was summoned to
     Lake Village, and they rose like so many locusts, coming in
     from every direction, took those three men out of jail shot
     them to pieces, murdered them. It was such an outrage that
     the people from Memphis and Vicksburg and from the hill
     countries, commenced to come in there with companies,
     started down with companies. On investigation we found out
     that the sheriff of the county had exercised his authority
     to send out to the ignorant negroes of the county and summon
     them to the village, and these fellows went because they
     were afraid not to obey the mandate of the sheriff. At that
     time feeling was running very high, and these people were
     anxious to come in and quell this riot, but a few of us who
     were more prudent, a few of the leading planters of the
     county, got together, sent these different companies word
     not to come there, that we did not want them in the county;
     some of the companies were already on their way to Chicot
     County, thinking the people there were going to be
     massacred. A great many of our people had to run away from
     their homes for several days; but we took the ground that we
     would let the thing take its natural course. As soon as
     things quieted down, which they did so partially in three or
     four days, some of our gentlemen who had gone off with their
     families returned, and it resulted in our arresting a few of
     the ringleaders in the county. The courts and the
     administration were all at that time in the hands of persons
     not identified with the interests of the county, and it was
     impossible for us to get justice meted out. We saved a
     massacre of the negroes of the county, but we never could
     bring those men to any kind of punishment before the courts,
     and finally we came to a compromise with them, that if they
     would leave the county we would withdraw the suit against
     them, and that was the way the thing was ended. Now, I do
     not believe you could get up a riot in Chicot County because
     I think there are many intelligent negroes there who would
     not permit it. Those are the kind of race issues that I
     referred to. Relieve us of that sort of thing, and leave our
     government to ourselves and our people, and give to the
     negro the same protection the white man has, but do not give
     him any more. Do not let him feel that he has the United
     States Government standing behind him, and that he is the
     child of the United States Government to be taken care of,
     but that he must rely on his own resources and energy for
     his living, and time will solve the question, and the demand
     for his labor will protect him.

     Q. Do you find that the feeling among the negroes which
     resulted in the exodus of a few years ago has been allayed
     and perhaps has disappeared?
     --A. I will tell you something that is rather amusing about
     that. The first that I heard of a negro exodus in my section
     of the country--it was to Kansas--was my manager coming into
     my room one morning and saying that the negroes were going
     out to the river to go to Kansas. I said, "It is several
     miles to the river; how are they going?" Said he, "They are
     toting their things out on their heads." Said I, "Go right
     at once there and offer them the wagons on the plantation to
     haul the things. What is the matter?" Said he, "I don't
     know; I went out this morning and summoned the hands to the
     field, but they say they are all going to Kansas." I got on
     my horse and rode out and met a negro who had been my
     engineer. I said to him, "What is the matter, where are you
     all going?" He stopped right on the road and said, "Mr.
     Calhoun, you never have deceived me, and I am going to tell
     you what is the matter. There were two men came through here
     last week, one night, and said 'You see this picture?' There
     is a picture of a farm in Kansas for me that General Grant
     has bought out there for me. That is so because my name is
     on the back of it, and here is my ticket; that carries me to
     Kansas." Said I, "Let me see it." He showed me a piece of
     pasteboard that had printed on it "Good for one trip to
     Kansas." Said I, "What did you pay him for this?" He said,
     "We paid him $2 a piece." "How many of you are in this
     thing?" "Over eighty of us are in this thing." Said I, "That
     man then swindled you out of $160; he is an imposter; there
     is no farm bought for you in Kansas." I saw that the time
     for me to remonstrate with them was not then; they were on
     their way to the Mississippi River, and I let them all go.
     After they got out there I went and expostulated with them;
     told them of the difference in climate, soil, and everything
     else that they were accustomed to, and that if they went
     there many of them would lose their families and children.
     They would not listen to me. They went on to the river bank,
     and those negroes who went out there owed me over $109,000.

     Q. How many of them were there? Eighty I think you said?
     --A. There were 80, I think. Once, I suppose, there were 150
     negroes, perhaps more, on the bank of the river. They were
     not at a regular landing. They went out to the intermediate
     points where a boat would not be compelled to land. We
     notified all the boats coming up the river not to land at
     this point. I did not want these negroes to go off, being
     satisfied that they were going to their ruin if they did;
     that they were leaving comfortable homes; many of them had
     sold their mules or given them away at a mere sacrifice. One
     negro sold a mule worth $150 for $15 to get off. They opened
     their potato-houses, they opened their corn-cribs and
     scattered the corn, giving it away to everybody that would
     offer them five cents a bushel. I had given two of these
     people a piece of land, the productions of all of which
     they were to have for bringing it into cultivation and
     improving it. Knowing the negro nature as I do, and knowing
     that he would not want anybody to derive the benefit of
     something that he thought he was entitled to, I got two
     white men in the county to come and offer me to take this
     piece of land and cultivate it on shares with me, giving me
     one half its product, whereas with them I was entitled to
     nothing. As soon as those two fellows found out that I had
     made a good bargain for their land they went back home from
     the river bank, and as soon as they went back all the rest
     followed. Then I called the whole plantation up and told
     them to appoint two representatives and that I would send
     them to Kansas at my own expense to examine into this matter
     and report to them. These two men went to Kansas, came back,
     and reported the true condition of affairs; and now if what
     they call in that country "a poor white man"--the negro's
     expression--goes through the country and says "Kansas," they
     almost want to mob him. That was the result of the Kansas
     movement.

     Q. What has become of those who went to Kansas?
     --A. Many of them have returned and many have died; numbers
     of them have died. Quite a large number went to Washington
     County Mississippi, just opposite me.

     Q. From time to time, at Washington, efforts are being made
     to secure public lands in the Territories, the Indian
     Territory and elsewhere, for the purpose of colonizing such
     tracts with negroes. Do you think there is any sort of
     occasion for that?
     --A. None in the world. If the alluvial lands on the
     Mississippi River were protected from overflow and brought
     into a condition where they could be cultivated they would
     afford all the homes, and of the best character, that the
     negroes could possibly want in the South, and the natural
     tendency is to come to just such lands.

     Q. And the negroes prefer to be there to anywhere else?
     --A. Those that come, I notice, never go back.

     Q. You suggested the improvement of the levees. What is the
     necessity, and in what degree is it difficult for those
     residing along the river banks to protect themselves?
     --A. I am the president of the levee board of Chicot County.
     The plan which has been suggested by the Mississippi River
     Commission and Mr. Eads, as their chief engineer, is
     unquestionably the correct one for the improvement of the
     Mississippi River. We know this not only from theory, but
     from long experience with the river, those of us who have
     lived there. The Mississippi River being, as it is generally
     termed, the "Father of Waters," and passing through several
     States, it is almost a national system, and it would be
     impossible for any system to be adopted by the States which
     would be local. Consequently it is imperatively the duty of
     the Government of the United States to take care of the
     improvement of the Mississippi River. There are certain
     sections of the Mississippi River that are naturally above
     overflow, made so by cut-offs. The fall of the Mississippi
     River is about four inches to the mile. Consequently, when
     there is one of those large bends, where the river runs
     around where the cut-off is, no increase of water is needed.
     The fall being four inches to the mile, the lands just above
     the cut-off are made higher and above overflow, whereas just
     below, the lands are overflowed or become liable to
     overflow. The improvement of the Mississippi River itself
     for commercial purposes, as well as the protection of the
     lands, is dependent upon the building of the levees, for the
     levees of course confine the water within its banks, and
     give not only a greater volumn of water, but greater
     velocity for scouring purposes, which scours out the sand
     bars that are formed continually on the river. Captain
     Eads's plan of forming jetties where the banks cave, saves
     this deposit, as it were, in the water, which makes the sand
     bars. A mattress is put against the caving banks which
     prevents the alluvial land caving into the river which forms
     the sand bars below. Then the increased volumn and increased
     velocity of the water wash out the channel, and improve it
     for commercial purposes, answering the object of protecting
     the land, and at the same time opening that immense channel
     for commerce.

     Again, there are very important lines of railroad that are
     being built up and down either bank of the Mississippi
     River, and it is necessary they should be protected for
     commercial purposes, as well as that the Mississippi River
     should be improved for commercial purposes, and they can
     only be protected by the building of levees. We who have
     been on the river, and who feel that we are familiar with
     it, have closely watched the course of the Commission, and I
     can only say, as an expression of the opinion of the people,
     that we indorse what the Commission are doing.

     Q. And desire still more of it?
     --A. Yes, sir; it is absolutely necessary. What has already
     been expended by the Government would be absolutely useless
     unless additional appropriations are made to complete the
     work. I would like to call your attention to this point. The
     Atchafalaya, in Louisiana, is a stream which runs from just
     about the mouth of Red River into the Gulf of Mexico. The
     fall from the mouth of the Atchafalaya and Red River to the
     Gulf of Mexico is very much greater than the fall from the
     mouth of Red River to the Gulf by way of New Orleans down
     the Mississippi River. A few years ago the Atchafalaya was a
     stream which could be waded across, but owing to the current
     gradually going through it, it commenced to wash out until
     now it has got to be a stream 100 feet deep.

     Q. Is there or not any perceptible increase or diminution
     of the column of the Mississippi itself as compared with 25,
     or 50, or 100 years ago?
     --A. We think that our waters are higher now than they have
     ever been before.

     Q. Greater extremes, or is there a uniform flow?
     --A. A larger uniform flow, and it is attributed to the
     destruction of the forests, though that is mere theory. One
     of the arguments, at any rate, is that it is owing to the
     destruction of the forests in the Northwest, which causes
     more rain storms and gives a larger rainfall.

     Q. I have heard the idea advanced that the destruction of
     the woods and timber about the headwaters would, in case of
     rain, lead to a more rapid deposit in the stream, it would
     not be held back by the swampy nature of the soil, and so
     you might have more sudden rises and falls in the river than
     formerly without the volume of water or the uniform flow
     being increased or lessened?
     --A. I think--at least I have heard it so expressed by men
     experienced on the river--that the flow of the Mississippi
     River is greater now than it was formerly.

     Q. That one year with another, more water runs down the
     channel?
     --A. We can see a slight increase of the water of the
     Mississippi River. I do not know how it may increase in the
     future, or if it will at all, but that is the opinion of
     people there now. The point I want to call your attention to
     specifically is the necessity for the prevention of the
     water of the Red River going down through the Atchafalaya,
     for if the Atchafalaya washes out it leaves New Orleans, a
     large commercial city, upon, as it were, an inland sea. The
     waters which overflow from the banks of the Mississippi
     River on the front of Arkansas go over into the Red River
     and never come back into the Mississippi River any more
     until they come out at the mouth of the Red River. Just at
     the mouth of Red River, and before Red River reaches the
     Mississippi, is the Atchafalaya. So that all of this
     overflow water that could be kept in the Mississippi River
     by building the levees on the front of Arkansas, now goes
     into Red River and helps to wash out the Atchafalaya, which
     will ruin the city of New Orleans if that is not prevented.
     It is a very strong commercial point, for the commerce of
     New Orleans is a matter to be considered in our affairs.

     Q. I suppose there is no doubt that the Atchafalaya
     furnishes an outlet, which relieves your plantations very
     much?
     --A. No, sir; it does not affect where I live at all.

     Q. Below the Red River, in Louisiana, is it not a relief in
     case of an overflow?
     --A. A partial relief; but in Louisiana, when you get down
     that far, they pretty much have their system of levees
     built, which protect the sugar district; there are only
     probably a few gaps; and the Mississippi River, when it gets
     that far down, does not rise in the same proportion that it
     does where I live, 500 miles above. The mouth of the
     Atchafalaya is 500 miles below where I am.

     Q. Has this increased drainage from the Atchafalaya
     resulted in any injury to the navigation of the river as far
     north?
     --A. Not as yet; but if it is not stopped--the commission
     realize the fact I am now telling you--if it is not checked,
     the whole Mississippi River will naturally turn through the
     Atchafalaya, because the fall is so much greater.

     Q. How do they propose to check it?
     --A. That is a matter the commission and scientific
     engineers would have to decide.

     Q. Can they block it at the outlet of the Red River?
     --A. They propose to check it principally by stopping the
     water from the Mississippi River that goes into the Red
     River. There would in that way be an enormous quantity of
     water kept out of Red River. That would be one method. What
     the engineers would consider sufficient or necessary to be
     done, of course I would not venture to express an opinion
     upon.

     Q. What danger is there to the large mass of capital
     invested in these alluvial lands, unless something is done
     to prevent the overflows of which you speak?
     --A. The lands that are now liable to overflow are almost
     entirely abandoned.

     Q. To how large an extent are they now abandoned?
     --A. Taking in the whole of Mississippi Valley proper, from
     Memphis down.

     Q. Has there been any computation or reasonable estimate
     that you know of the value of those lands affected by the
     overflow?
     --A. I have never heard of it; but I will say that those
     lands which are liable to overflow now, if brought into
     cultivation, are just as valuable as any we are cultivating;
     probably more so, because they have the alluvial deposits
     upon them. There is a deposit there from 3 to 4 inches.

     Q. You have no idea of the extent of those lands?
     --A. I cannot give you the proportion. I will simply say it
     is a very large proportion.

     Q. A third, or a half, or a quarter?
     --A. More than a half. I saw it estimated some time ago, at
     least I will give it as a statement published in the
     _Planters' Journal_, published in Vicksburgh, that there are
     thirteen counties on the Mississippi River which, if all
     cleared up and put into cultivation, are capable of
     producing the entire cotton crop of the United States, and I
     have heard the question discussed.

     Q. What prevents their being cleared up and put into
     cultivation?
     --A. Simply the overflow.

     Q. Have they ever been cleared as yet?
     --A. A great portion of them; and now destroyed because the
     levee system is not complete. On these lands all the negro
     labor which is not found profitable on the poorer lands in
     the older States, could be made extremely profitable, not
     only to the proprietors of the lands, but to the laborers
     themselves.

     Q. Do you think it would be within limit to say that one
     half of the alluvial plantation lands, such as you have
     described in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, is now
     practically destroyed by reason of this overflow occasioned
     by the destruction of the levee system?
     --A. Yes, sir.

     Q. At least one half?
     --A. At least one half of that which has been in
     cultivation, and which can be brought into cultivation.

     Q. Of that which is thus useless now, what portion has been
     formerly under cultivation?
     --A. It would be impossible for any one to form an estimate,
     because it is so varied.

     Q. The amount of land that has been improved and which is
     now destroyed by reason of the overflow, you cannot state?
     --A. I cannot state it accurately; I will state it
     approximately; I should say at least one third.

     Q. One third of the entire amount that has been improved is
     now destroyed by reason of the overflow, resulting from
     imperfections in the levee system?
     --A. Yes, sir; that is what I mean to say.

     Q. And of that which has not been improved but might be
     improved, how much?
     --A. At least half.

       *       *       *       *       *

As I have devoted some space to the general condition of labor in the
whole country, and as some of my statements and conclusions may be
looked upon as extravagant, I deem it very pertinent to add to the
appendix a portion of the testimony of Dr. R. Heber Newton, given
before Senator Blair's Committee on the "_Relations between Capital
and Labor_," in New York City, September 18, 1883 (Vol. II., p. 535).
Dr. Newton is recognized as a clear thinker and a ready writer not
only on theological but on economic questions as well. His testimony
on the points to which I have asked attention was as follows:

                     A LABOR QUESTION COMING

     The broad fact that the United States census of 1870
     estimated the average annual income of our wage-workers at a
     little over $400 per capita, and that the census of 1880
     estimates it at a little over $300 per capita, is the quite
     sufficient evidence that there is a labor question coming
     upon us in this country. The average wages of 1870
     indicated, after due allowance for the inclusion of women
     and children, a mass of miserably paid labor--that is, of
     impoverished and degraded labor. The average wages of 1880
     indicated that this mass of semi-pauperized labor is rapidly
     increasing, and that its condition has become 25 per cent
     worse in ten years. The shadow of the old-world
     _proletariat_ is thus seen to be stealing upon our shores.
     It is for specialists in political economy to study this
     problem in the light of the large social forces that are
     working such an alarming change in our American society. In
     the consensus of their ripened judgment we must look for the
     authoritative solution of this problem. I am not here to
     assume that role. I have no pet hobby to propose, warranted
     to solve the whole problem without failure. I do not believe
     there is any such specific yet out. * * *


                                 I

                       THE FAULTS OF LABOR

     Plainly, labor's fault must be found with itself.

     1. Leaving upon one side the class of skilled labor, a
     large proportion of our wage-workers are notoriously
     inefficient. In the most common tasks one has to watch the
     average workingman in order to prevent his bungling a job.
     Hands are worth little without some brains; as in the work
     done, so in the pay won. Our labor is quite as largely
     uninterested--having no more heart than brains back of the
     hands. Work is done mechanically by most workingmen, with
     little pride in doing it well, and little ambition to be
     continually doing it better.

     2. There is too commonly as little sense of identity with
     the employer's interests, or of concern that any equivalent
     in work should be rendered for the pay received. In forms
     irritating beyond expression employers are made to feel that
     their employees do not in the least mind wasting their
     material, injuring their property, and blocking their
     business in the most critical moments. Under what possible
     system, save in a grievous dearth of laborers, can such
     labor be well off, and incompetence and indifference draw
     high wages?

     3. Our labor is for the most part very thriftless. In the
     purchase and in the preparation of food--the chief item of
     expense in the workingman's family and that wherein economic
     habits count for most--men and women are alike improvident.
     The art of making money go the farthest in food is
     comparatively unknown. Workingmen will turn up their noses
     at the fare on which a Carlyle did some of the finest
     literary work of our century. I remember some time ago
     speaking to one of our butchers, who told me that workingmen
     largely ordered some of his best cuts. Now an ample supply
     of nutritious food is certainly essential for good work,
     whether of the brain or of the brawn. The advance of labor
     is rightly gauged, among other ways, by its increasing
     consumption of wheat and meat, but the nutritiousness of
     meat is not necessarily dependent upon its being from the
     finest cut. I should like to see all men eating "French"
     chops and porter-house steaks if they could afford it; but
     when I know the average wages of our workingmen and the cost
     of living on the simplest possible scale, it is discouraging
     to learn such a fact as that which I have mentioned, since
     all the elements of necessary sustenance can be had in so
     much cheaper forms. * * *

     4. Labor must fault itself further, on the ground of its
     lack of power of combination and of its defective methods in
     combination. It has been by combination that the middle
     class has arisen, and by it that capital has so wonderfully
     increased. The story of the Middle Ages, familiar to us all,
     is the story of the rise of the industrial class by
     combination in guilds. Labor's numbers, now a hindrance,
     might thus become a help. In a mob men trample upon each
     other; in an army they brace each other to the charge of
     victory.

     Trades-unions represent the one effective form of
     combination won by American labor. Trades-unions need no
     timid apologists. Their vindication is in the historic tale
     of the successful advances which they have won for
     workingmen. Called into being to defend labor against
     legislation in the interests of capital, in the days when to
     ask for an advance in wages led to workingmen's being thrown
     into prison, they have in England led on to the brilliant
     series of reforms which mark our century, as told so well in
     the articles by Mr. Howell (_The Nineteenth Century_ for
     October, 1882) and by Mr. Harrison (_The Contemporary
     Review_ for October, 1883). Doubtless they have committed
     plenty of follies, and are still capable of stupid tyrannies
     that only succeed in handicapping labor, in alienating
     capital, and in checking productivity--that is, in lessening
     the sum total of divisible wealth. Such actions are
     inevitable in the early stages of combination on the part of
     uneducated men, feeling a new sense of power, and striking
     blindly out in angry retaliation for real or fancied
     injuries.

     Trades-unions are gradually, however, outgrowing their
     crude methods. The attempts, such as we have seen lately,
     of great corporations to break them up, is a piece of
     despotism which ought to receive an indignant rebuke from
     the people at large. Labor must combine, just as capital has
     combined, in forming these very corporations. Labor's only
     way of defending its interests as a class is through
     combination. It is the abuse and not the use of
     trades-unions against which resistance should be made.

     The chief abuse of our trades-unions has been their
     concentration of attention upon the organization of strikes.

     Strikes seem to me in our present stage of the
     "free-contract" system entirely justifiable when they are
     really necessary. Workingmen have the right to combine in
     affixing a price at which they wish to work. The supply of
     labor and the demand for goods, in the absence of higher
     considerations, will settle the question as to whether they
     can get the increase. The trying features of this method of
     reaching a result are incidental to our immature industrial
     system. Strikes have had their part to play in the
     development of that system. We note their failures and
     forget their successes; but they have had their signal
     success, and have won substantial advantages for labor.
     Their chief service, however, has been in teaching
     combination, and in showing labor the need of a better
     weapon by which to act than the strike itself.

     The strike requires long practice and great skill to wield
     it well. Practice in it is more costly than the experiments
     at Woolwich. Mr. Dolles, in his new work on political
     economy, gives some statistics which abundantly illustrate
     the folly of strikes, although he only gives one side of the
     case, namely, the losses which fall directly upon the
     laborers themselves. If to these were added the losses of
     capitalists, the aggregate would become colossal. In 1829
     the Manchester spinners struck, and lost $1,250,000 in wages
     before the dispute was at an end. The next year their
     brethren at Ashton and Stayleybridge followed their example
     in striking and in losing $1,250,000. In 1833 the builders
     of Manchester forfeited $360,000 by voluntary idleness. In
     1836 the spinners of Preston threw away $286,000. Eighteen
     years afterward their successor, seventeen thousand strong,
     slowly starved through thirty-six weeks and paid $1,200,000
     for the privilege. In 1853 the English iron-workers lost
     $12,000 by a strike. Such losses marked, too, the strikes of
     the London builders in 1860, and tailors in 1868, and the
     northern iron-workers in 1865. The strike of the Belfast
     linen-weavers, which was ended a few weeks since by the
     mediation of the British Association for the Advancement of
     Science, cost the operatives $1,000,000.

     The cost of strikes is expressible only in the aggregate of
     the savings of labor consumed in idleness, of the loss to
     the productivity of the country, of the disturbance of the
     whole mechanism of exchange, and of the injury wrought upon
     the delicate social organization by the strain thus placed
     upon it. The famous Pittsburgh strike is estimated to have
     cost the country ten millions of dollars. When so costly a
     weapon is found to miss far more often than it hits, it is
     altogether too dear. * * *

     Trades-unions in this country seem to me to be gravely at
     fault in clinging to such an obsolete weapon. They should
     have turned their attention to our modern improvement upon
     this bludgeon.

     Arbitration is a far cheaper and more effective instrument
     of adjusting differences between capital and labor--a far
     more likely means of securing a fair increase of wages. It
     places both sides to the controversy in an amicable mood,
     and is an appeal to the reason and conscience--not wholly
     dead in the most soulless corporation. It costs next to
     nothing. It is already becoming a substitute for strikes in
     England, where the trades-unions are adopting this new
     weapon. * * *

     Trades-unions ought, among us, to emulate the wisdom of
     European workingmen, and use their mechanism to organize
     forms of association which should look not alone to winning
     higher wages but to making the most of existing wages, and
     ultimately to leading the wage-system into a higher
     development. The provident features of the English
     trades-unions are commonly overlooked, and yet it is
     precisely in these provident features that their main
     development has been reached. Mr. George Howell shows that a
     number of societies, which he had specially studied, had
     spent in thirty years upward of $19,000,000 through their
     various relief-funds, and $1,369,455 only on strikes. Mr.
     Harrison speaks of seven societies spending in one year
     (1879) upward of $4,000,000 upon their members out of work.
     He shows that seven of the great societies spent in 1882
     less than 2 per cent of their income on strikes; and states
     that 99 per cent of union funds in England "have been
     expended in the beneficent work of supporting workmen in bad
     times, in laying by a store for bad times, and saving the
     country from a crisis of destitution and strife."

     Trades-unions ought to be doing for our workingmen what
     trades-unions have already done in England. * * * It has
     been by the power of combination among the workingmen,
     developed through the trades-unions, that this long list of
     beneficent legislation--factory acts, mines-regulation acts,
     education acts, tenant-right acts, employers' liability
     acts, acts against "truck," acts against cruelty to animals,
     etc.--has been secured. It has been wrested from reluctant
     parliaments by the manifestations of strength on the part of
     the laboring classes. * * *

     Our trades unions ought to be the means of securing one of
     the great necessities of labor in this country--accurate and
     generally diffused information concerning the state of the
     labor-market. Were there any thorough combination in
     existence on the part of these unions in hard times, there
     could be diffused through the great centers of labor in the
     East regular reports of the labor-market in the different
     local centers of the country, such as would guide workingmen
     in their search for opportunities of work. * * *

     Another action that our labor unions might take in the
     interest of the workingmen is in the development of
     co-operation. The story of European co-operation is one of
     the most encouraging tales of our modern industrial world.
     Germany, for example, had in 1877 some 2,830 credit
     societies; of which 806 reported 431,216 members; advances
     for the year, in loans to their members, $375,000,000, with
     a loss of one mark to every 416 thalers, or 23-4/5 cents on
     every $297--an indication of soundness in their financial
     operations that many capitalistic corporations might well
     envy. The rapid growth of these societies is bringing the
     omnipotence of credit to the aid of the workingmen in
     Germany.

     We have within the past decade had a most encouraging
     growth of a somewhat similar form of co-operation in the
     building and loan associations, which are now estimated to
     number probably about 8,000 in the nation, with a membership
     of 450,000, and an aggregated capital of $75,000,000.

     The co-operative stores have reached a wonderful
     development in England, with most beneficent results. There
     were 765 stores reporting to the congress in 1881, which
     showed aggregate sales of $65,703,990, with profits of
     $435,000; while Scotland reported 226 stores in the same
     year, representing sales of $17,423,170, and profits of
     $113,665.

     Against this showing our workingmen have comparatively
     little to offer. We have, it is true, had a great deal more
     of experimenting in co-operative distribution than is
     ordinarily supposed. Co-operative stores began among us
     between 1830 and 1840. The Workingmen's Protective Union
     developed a great many stores at this time, which together
     did a business in their best days ranging from $1,000,000 to
     $2,000,000 per annum. In the decade 1860-70 there was an
     extensive revival of co-operative stores; plans for
     wholesale agencies being even discussed. A few of these
     earlier stores still live. Two great national orders have
     arisen, seeking to build up co-operative stores, among other
     aims.

     The Grangers had in 1876 twenty State purchasing agencies,
     three of which did a business annually of $200,000, and one
     of which did an annual business of $1,000,000. They claimed
     to have, about the same time, five steamboat or packet
     lines, fifty societies for shipping goods, thirty-two grain
     elevators, twenty-two warehouses for storing goods. In 1876
     one hundred and sixty Grange stores were recorded. In he
     same year it was officially stated that "local stores are in
     successful operation all over the country."

     The Sovereigns of Industry also developed co-operative
     distribution largely. In 1877 President Earle reported that
     "ninety-four councils, selected from the whole, report a
     membership of 7,273, and with an average capital of only
     $884 did a business last year of $1,089,372.55. It is safe
     to assume that the unreported sales will swell the amount to
     at least $3,000,000."

     There have been numerous stores started apart from these
     orders. The finest success won is by the Philadelphia
     Industrial Co-operative Society. Starting in 1875 with one
     store, it has now six stores. Its sales for the quarter
     ending February 18, 1882, were $51,413.63. A considerable
     increase of interest in such stores marks the opening of our
     decade. Stores are starting up in various parts of the
     country. The Grangers claim to have now hundreds of
     co-operative stores, upon the Rochdale plan, in successful
     operation. Texas reports officially (1881) seventy-five
     co-operative societies connected with this order. * * *

     We had an epoch of brilliant enthusiasm over co-operative
     agriculture in 1840-50, but little has been left from it.
     One form of agricultural co-operation, a lower form, has
     been astonishingly successful--the cheese-factories and
     creameries. It is estimated that there are now 5,000 of them
     in the country. In co-operative manufactures we have had
     many experiments, but few successes, from 1849 onward.
     Massachusetts reported twenty-five co-operative
     manufactories in 1875. All of them, however, were small
     societies.

     Now, co-operation has its clearly marked limitations. It is
     of itself no panacea for all the ills that labor is heir to.
     But it can ameliorate some of the worst of those ills. It
     can effect great savings for our workingmen, and can secure
     them food and other necessaries of the best quality. If
     nothing further arises, the spread of co-operation may
     simply induce a new form of competition between these big
     societies; but no one can study the history of the movement
     without becoming persuaded that there is a moral development
     carried on which will, in some way as yet not seen to us,
     lead up the organization of those societies into some higher
     generalization, securing harmony. It is constantly and
     rightly said that business can never dispense with that
     which makes the secret of capital's success in large
     industry and trade, namely, generalship. Co-operation can,
     it is admitted, capitalize labor for the small industries,
     in which it is capable of making workingmen their own
     employers, but it is said it can never, through committees
     of management, carry on large industries or trade. I can,
     however, see no reason why hereafter it may not enable large
     associations to hire superior directing ability at high
     salaries, just as paid generals give to republics the
     leadership which kings used to supply in monarchies. There
     are in the savings-banks of many manufacturing centers in
     our country amounts which if capitalized would place the
     workingmen of those towns in industrial independence; moneys
     which, in some instances, are actually furnishing the
     borrowed capital for their own employers. In such towns our
     workingmen have saved enough to capitalize their labor, but
     for lack of the power of combination, let the advantage of
     their own thrift inure to the benefit of men already rich.
     They save money and then loan it to rich men to use in
     hiring them to work on wages, while the profits go to the
     borrowers of labor's savings.

     But the chief value of co-operation, in my estimate, is its
     educating power. It opens a training school for labor in the
     science and art of association.

     Labor once effectively united could win its dues, whatever
     they may be. The difficulties of such association have lain
     in the undeveloped mental and moral condition of the rank
     and file of the hosts of labor. * * *

     Now, of this effort at co-operation I find scarcely any
     trace in the trade organizations of our workingmen.
     Trades-unions have until very lately passed the whole
     subject by in utter silence. What has been done by
     workingmen in this country in the line of co-operation has
     been done outside of the great trade associations, which
     form the natural instrumentalities for organizing such
     combination. They offer the mechanism, the mutual knowledge,
     the preliminary training in habits of combination, which
     together should form the proper conditions for the
     development of co-operation. Is it not a singular thing,
     considering the manifold benefits that would come to labor
     from such a development, that the attention of these great
     and powerful organizations has not heretofore been seriously
     called to this matter. * * *

     The story of such attempts as have already been made in
     this direction is one of a sad and discouraging nature to
     all who feel the gravity of this problem. Again and again
     great organizations have risen on our soil, seeking to
     combine our trade associations and promising the millennium
     to labor, only to find within a few years suspicion,
     distrust, and jealousy eating the heart out of the order,
     and disintegration following rapidly as a natural
     consequence. The time must soon come let us hope, when the
     lesson of these experiences will have been learned.

     These are some of the salient faults of labor--faults which
     are patent to all dispassionate observers. The first step to
     a better state of things lies through the correction of
     these faults. Whatever other factors enter into the problem,
     this is the factor which it concerns labor to look after if
     it would reach the equation of the good time coming. No
     reconstruction of society can avail for incompetent,
     indifferent, thriftless men who cannot work together.
     Self-help must precede all other help. Dreamers may picture
     utopias, where all our present laws are suspended, and
     demagogues may cover up the disagreeable facts of labor's
     own responsibility for its pitiful condition, but sensible
     workingmen will remember that, as Renan told his countrymen
     after the Franco-Prussian war, "the first duty is to face
     the facts of the situation." There are no royal roads to an
     honest mastery of fortune, though there seem to be plenty of
     by-ways to dishonest success. Nature is a hard
     school-mistress. She allows no makeshifts for the discipline
     of hard work and of self-denial, for the culture of all the
     strengthful qualities. Her American school for workers is
     not as yet overcrowded. The rightful order of society is not
     as yet submerged on our shores. There are the rewards of
     merit for all who will work and wait. No man of average
     intelligence needs to suffer in our country if he has clear
     grit in him. "The stone that is fit for the wall," as the
     Spanish proverb runs, "will not be left in the road."


                               II

                       FAULTS OF CAPITAL

     But--for there is a very large "but" in the case--when all
     this is said, only the thorough going _doctrinaire_ will
     fail to see that merely half the case has been presented.
     There is a shallow optimism which, from the heights of
     prosperity, throws all the blame of labor's sufferings on
     labor's own broad shoulders; steels the heart of society
     against it because of these patent faults, and closes the
     hand against its help, while it sings the gospel of the
     Gradgrinds--"As it was and ever shall be. Amen."

     Labor itself is not wholly responsible for its own faults.
     These faults spring largely out of the defective social
     conditions amid which the workingman finds himself placed.
     Before we proceed to administer to him the whole measure of
     the "whopping" due for his low estate, we had better look
     back of him, to see why it is that he is as he is.

     The inefficiency of labor is by no means the fault of the
     individual laborer alone. Heredity has bankrupted him
     before he started on his career. His parents were probably
     as inefficient as he is--and most likely _their_ parents
     also. One who sees much of the lower grades of labor ceases
     to wonder why children turn out worthless, knowing what the
     parents were. General Francis A. Walker, in opening the
     Manufacturers' and Mechanics' Institute at Boston lately,
     said:

     "There is great virtue in the inherited industrial
     aptitudes and instincts of the people. You can no more make
     a first-class dyer or a first-class machinist in one
     generation than you can in one generation make a Cossack
     horseman or a Tartar herdsman. Artisans are born, not made."

      Our incompetents may plead that they were not born
     competent. It does not readily appear what we are going to
     do about this working of heredity against labor, except as
     by the slow and gradual improvement of mankind these low
     strata of existences are lifted up to a higher plane.
     Meanwhile we must blame less harshly and work a little more
     earnestly to better the human stock.

     The environment of labor handicaps still further this
     organic deficiency. In most of our great cities the homes of
     the workingmen are shockingly unwholesome; unsunned, badly
     drained, overcrowded. The tenements of New York are enough
     alone to take the life out of labor. City factories often
     are not much better. The quality of the food sold in the
     poorer sections of our cities--meat, bread, milk, etc.--is
     defectively nutritious, even where it is not positively
     harmful. The sanitary conditions are thus against labor.

     This could be largely reflected by the State and city
     authorities, and ought to be rectified in simple justice to
     society at large, which is now so heavily burdened by the
     manifold evils bred under such conditions. Government guards
     carefully the rights both of land and capital by an immense
     amount of legislation and administration. Has not labor a
     fair claim to an equal solicitude on the part of the State?
     Health is the laborer's source of wealth, but it is by no
     means so farefully looked after as are the resources of the
     other two factors of production. It is only within the last
     three years that in New York we have had a satisfactory
     tenement-house law or a fair administration of any law
     bearing on this evil. There ought to be the exercise of some
     such large wisdom as led the city of Glasgow to spend
     $7,000,000 in reconstructing three thousand of the worst
     tenements of that city, with a consequent reduction of the
     death rate from 54 per thousand to 29 per thousand, and with
     a corresponding decrease in pauperism and crime.

     To this end our municipal governments should be taken out
     of party politics and made the corporation business that
     they are in German cities.

     We have in none of the States of our Union any such
     legislation as that of the thorough system of factory laws
     in England, and we ought to supply the lack promptly.
     Whatever may be said as to interference on the part of
     legislation with the rights of capital, the sufficient
     answer is that the whole advance of society has been a
     constant interference on the part of legislation with the
     merely natural action of the law of supply and demand; and
     that only thus has England, for example, secured the immense
     amelioration in the condition of the problem of labor and
     capital which marks her state to-day.

     It can be said also in this connection that if Government
     has one business more peculiarly her own than another, it is
     to look after the class that most needs looking after; and
     that not simply from the interest of the class itself, which
     would rarely supply a basis for governmental interference,
     but in the interests of society at large--of the State
     itself. The State's first concern is to see her citizens
     healthful, vigorous, wealth-producing factors; and to this
     end bad sanitary conditions, which undermine the
     "health-capital" of labor, imperatively demand correction.

     The deeper seated the roots of labor's inefficiency in
     heredity and environment, the greater the need for an
     education that will develop whatever potencies may lie
     latent. Inefficiency will rarely correct itself. Superior
     ability must train it into better power. Where is there any
     proper provision for such an education?

     State governments and our National Government have for a
     number of years been fostering certain branches of
     industrial education, chiefly in the line of agriculture.
     The late report of the Bureau of Education upon industrial
     education presents a very encouraging summary of what is
     thus being done under the guidance of the State. It reports
     concerning forty-three colleges aided by State grants to
     give agricultural and mechanical training, besides a large
     number of technical departments in other colleges,
     industrial schools, evening classes for such instruction,
     etc. Probably the finest example of industrial education
     that the country possesses is found in the Hampton schools
     in Virginia. Of attempts, however, to combine general and
     intellectual education with practical training and
     handicrafts we have few examples. The Hampton schools,
     already alluded to, present one of the best. Professor
     Adler's school in this city is very interesting in this
     respect.

     Our common schools have until lately signally passed by the
     whole field of practical education. Drawing is at last being
     generally introduced, and sewing is also being introduced to
     a small extent, I believe, especially in New England. But
     the schools which are supposed to be intended for the mass
     of the people, and which are supplied at the public cost,
     have made next to no provision for the practiced training of
     boys and girls to become self-supporting men and
     women--wealth-producing citizens; while the whole curriculum
     of the school-system tends to a disproportionate
     intellectuality, and to an alienation from all manual labor.
     * * *

     The necessity of the State's entering the educational field
     is disputed by no one; but if it is to educate children at
     the public cost it is bound, I think, to so educate its
     wards that they shall return to society the taxation imposed
     for their education. Its justification in becoming
     school-master lies in the necessity of making out of the raw
     material of life citizens who shall be productive factors in
     the national wealth and conservators of its order. If,
     therefore, it is justified in teaching the elementary
     branches of education, if it is justified in adding to those
     elementary branches departments that may be considered in
     the nature of luxuries, how much more is it justified in
     training the powers by which self-support shall be won and
     wealth shall be added to society! * * *

     That such efforts to encourage industrial education would
     pay our Government is best seen in the example of England.
     The International Exhibition of 1851 revealed to England its
     complete inferiority to several continental countries in
     art-industries, and the cause of that inferiority in the
     absence of skilled workmen. The Government at once began to
     study the problem, and out of this study arose the
     Kensington Museum, with its art-schools, and similar
     institutions throughout the country, which have already made
     quick and gratifying returns in the improvement of the
     national art-industries, and in the vast enrichment of the
     trade growing therefrom.

     Concerning the uninterestedness of labor and its too common
     lack of any identification with capital, we must also look
     beyond labor itself to find the full responsibility of this
     evil.

     The whole condition of industrial labor has changed in our
     century. Contrast the state of such labor a century ago with
     what it is now. Then the handicraftsman worked in his own
     home, surrounded by his family, upon a task all the
     processes of which he had mastered, giving him thus a sense
     of interest and pride in the work being well and thoroughly
     done. Now he leaves his home early and returns to it late,
     working during the day in a huge factory with several
     hundred other men. The subdivision of labor gives him now
     only a bit of the whole process to do, where the work is
     still done by hand, whether it be the making of a shoe or a
     piano. He cannot be master of a craft, but only master of a
     fragment of the craft. He cannot have the pleasure or pride
     of the old-time workman, for he _makes_ nothing. He sees no
     complete product of his skill growing into finished shape
     in his hands. What zest can there be in this bit of manhood?
     Steam machinery is slowly taking out of his hands even this
     fragment of intelligent work, and he is set at feeding and
     watching the great machine which has been endowed with the
     brains that once were in the human toiler. Man is reduced to
     being the tender upon a steel automaton which thinks and
     plans and combines with marvelous power, leaving him only
     the task of supplying it with the raw material, and of
     oiling and cleansing it.

     Some few machines require a skill and judgment to guide
     them proportioned to their own astonishing capacities, and
     for the elect workmen who manage and guide them there is a
     new sense of the pleasure of power.

     But, for the most part, mechanism takes the life out of
     labor as the handicraft becomes the manufacture--or, more
     properly, the _machino_-facture; and the problem of to-day
     is, how to keep up the interest of labor in its daily task,
     from which the zest has been stolen.

     Manufacturers ought to see this problem and hasten to solve
     it. Those who profit most by the present factory system
     ought, in all justice, to be held responsible to those who
     suffer most from it. They ought to be held morally bound to
     make up to them in some way the interest in life that has
     gone out with the old handicrafts. They could interest their
     hands _out_ of the working hours, and in ways that would
     give them a new interest _in_ their working hours. * * *

     Not a few of our manufacturers are already opening their
     eyes to the facts of the industrial problem, and, with
     far-seeing generosity and human brotherliness that will,
     according to the eternal laws, return even the good things
     of this world unto them, they are providing their workingmen
     with libraries, reading-rooms, and halls for lectures and
     entertainments. They are encouraging and stimulating the
     formation of literary and debating societies, bands, and
     clubs, and such other things as give social fellowship and
     mental interest. All this can be done at comparatively small
     cost. The men in the employ of a great establishment can be
     taught a new interest in their task as they learn to
     understand its processes and the relation of these processes
     to society at large, which can easily be done by lectures,
     etc. Such work as this is a work that demands the
     leadership, the organizing power, which the employer can
     best furnish. At the last session of the Social Science
     Association an interesting paper sketched some of these
     efforts. In what wiser way could our wealthy manufacturers
     use a portion of the money won for them by the labor which
     has exhausted its own interest in its task?

     Such personal interest on the part of employers in their
     employees leads up to a clue to that other branch of the
     uninterestedness of labor--its lack of identification with
     the welfare of capital--its lack of any feeling of loyalty
     toward the capitalist. How can anything else be fairly
     expected in our present state of things from the _average_
     workingman under the _average_ employer? I emphasize the
     "average" because there are employees of exceptional
     intelligence and honor, as there are employers of
     exceptional conscientiousness, anxious to do fairly by their
     men. The received political economy has taught the average
     workingman that the relations of capital and labor are those
     of hostile interests; that profits and wages are in an
     inverse ratio; that the symbol of the factory is a see-saw,
     on which capital goes up as labor goes down. As things are,
     there is unfortunately too much ground for this notion, as
     the workman sees.

     Mr. Carroll D. Wright, in the fourteenth annual report of
     the Massachusetts Bureau of Labor (1883), shows that in 1875
     the percentage of wages paid to the value of production, in
     over 2,000 establishments, was 24.68; and that in 1880 it
     was 20.23. This means that the workingmen's share of the
     returns of their own labor, so far from increasing, has
     decreased one sixth in five years.

     The workingman is disposed to believe in the light of such
     figures that the large wealth accumulated by his employer
     represents over and above a fair profit the increased wages
     out of which he naturally regards himself as being mulcted.
     He may be thick-headed, but he can see that in such a
     see-saw of profits _versus_ wages the superior power of
     capital has the odds all in its favor. He learns to regard
     the whole state of the industrial world as one in which
     _might_ makes _right_, and feebleness is the synonym of
     fault.

     How, in the name of all that is reasonable, can the average
     man take much interest in his employer or identity himself
     with that employer under such a state of things as the
     economy sanctioned by the employer has taught him? This is
     aggravated by the whole character of our modern industrial
     system.

     The factory system is a new feudalism, in which a master
     rarely deals directly with his hands. Superintendents,
     managers, and "bosses" stand between him and them. He does
     not know them; they do not know him. The old common feeling
     is disappearing. And--this is a significant point that it
     behooves workingmen to notice--the intermediaries are
     generally workingmen who have risen out of the ranks of
     manual labor and have lost all fellow-feeling with their old
     comrades, without gaining the larger sympathy with humanity
     which often comes from better culture. The hardest men upon
     workingmen are ex-workingmen. It is stated, on what seems to
     be good authority, that the general superintendent of the
     great corporation which lately has shown so hard a feeling
     towards its operatives when on a strike was himself only ten
     years ago a telegraph-operator.

     A further aggravating feature of this problem is the
     increasing tendency of capital to associated action. What
     little knowledge of his employees or sympathy with them the
     individual manufacturer might have is wholly lost in the
     case of the corporation. To the stockholders of a great
     joint-stock company, many of whom are never on the spot, the
     hundreds of laborers employed by the company are simply
     "hands"--as to whose possession of hearts or minds or souls
     the by-laws rarely take cognizance. Here there is plainly a
     case where capital--the party of brains and wealth--the head
     of the industrial association, should lead off in a
     systematic effort and renew, as far as may be, the old human
     tie, for which no substitute has ever been devised.

     To conciliate the interests of the classes, and identify
     labor with capital, individual employers must re-establish
     personal relationships between themselves and their men.
     What might be done in this way, and how, this being done,
     the present alienation of feeling on the part of our
     working-men would largely disappear, must be evident to any
     one who has watched some of the beautiful exemplifications
     of this relationship which have already grown into being on
     our shores. I know of one large manufacturer, in a city not
     a hundred miles from this, who started to enter the ministry
     as a young man, but found to his intense disappointment that
     he had no aptitude for the work of a preacher, and turned
     his attention, on the insistent advice of those nearest to
     him, to active business. He took up the business which his
     father had left him at his death and had left largely
     involved. His first task was to pay off, dollar for dollar,
     all the debts which his father had bequeathed him, although
     in most instances they had been compromised by his
     creditors. He then threw the energy of his being into
     development of the business, and, in the course of a few
     years, put it at the forefront of that line in his native
     city. Into his business he breathed the spirit of love to
     God and man which had moved him originally to take up the
     work of the ministry. He felt himself ordained to be what
     Carlyle would have called a "captain of industry." From the
     start he established personal, human, living relationships
     with his men. He taught them by deed rather than by word to
     consider him their friend. He was in the habit of calling in
     upon their families in a social and respecting way. In all
     their troubles and adversities he trained them to counsel
     with him, and gave them the advantage of his riper judgment
     and larger vision. In cases of exigency his means were at
     their service in the way of loans to tide them over the hard
     times. His friends have seen, more than once, coming from
     his private office some of the hard-fisted men of toil in
     his employ, with tears streaming down their faces. He had
     called them into the office on hearing of certain bad habits
     into which they had fallen, and so impressive had been his
     talk with them, that they left his presence with the most
     earnest resolves to do better in the future. The result of
     all this relationship has been that during some fifteen
     years of the management of this large business he has rarely
     changed his men, and while strikes have abounded around him
     he has never known a strike.

     I hold in my possession a letter from one of our leading
     iron-manufacturers in this country, who, in response to an
     appeal for participation in a charity of this city, gave
     answer that it had been a practice of the firm to invest a
     certain portion of their profits in developing the comforts
     of their workingmen, and that they were obliged to limit
     their desire to give in charity in order that they might be
     able to build homes, club-rooms, reading-rooms, and all the
     _et ceteras_ of a really civilized community in their
     work-village. These are examples, in our own country, of
     what might be done.

     One of the most beautiful models that I know of in modern
     history is furnished by the town to which reference has
     already been made--the town of Mulhouse, where, after some
     thirty years, the spirit of brotherliness has so entered
     into the relationships of capital and labor that a firm
     would be disreputable which there attempted to carry on
     business as business is ordinarily done here. All the
     manufacturers plan out, organize, and carry on what to most
     of us would seem impossible schemes for the amelioration and
     uplifting of the condition of their working people. No one
     wonders that, as he walks through the town which his large
     hearted philanthropy imbued with this fine spirit, the
     workingmen salute the originator of these schemes as "Father
     Peter."

     In addition to this personal, human relationship, capital
     might and should, in all justice and humanity, identify the
     pecuniary interests of labor with its own interests. What is
     known as industrial partnership is simply a solution of this
     branch of the problem. The principle is simply that of
     giving labor a pecuniary interest in the profits of the
     establishment _pro rata_ with his own wages. A _bonus_ is
     set on frugality and industry and conscientiousness of work
     by making the hands small partners in the concern. * * *





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