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Title: The Brothers' War
Author: Reed, John Calvin
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  _Copyright, 1905_,

  _All rights reserved_

  Published October, 1905



I would explain the real causes and greater consequences of the bloody
brothers' war. I pray that all of us be delivered, as far as may be, from
bias and prejudice. The return of old affection between the sections
showed gracious beginning in the centennial year. In the war with Spain
southerners rallied to the stars and stripes as enthusiastically as
northerners. Reconcilement has accelerated its pace every hour since. But
it is not yet complete. The south has these things to learn:

1. A providence, protecting the American union, hallucinated Garrison,
Wendell Phillips, Mrs. Stowe, Sumner, and other radical abolitionists, as
to the negro and the effect of southern slavery upon him, its purpose
being to destroy slavery because it was the _sine qua non_ of southern
nationalization, the only serious menace ever made to that union. This
nationalization was stirring strongly before the federal constitution was
adopted. The abolitionists, as is the case with all forerunners of great
occurrences, were trained and educated by the powers directing evolution,
and they were constrained to do not their own will but that of these
mighty powers.

2. The cruel cotton tax; the constitution amended to prevent repentance of
uncompensated emancipation, which is the greatest confiscation on record;
the resolute effort to put the southern whites under the negroes; and
other such measures; were but natural outcome of the frenzied
intersectional struggle of twenty-five years and the resulting terrible
war. Had there been another event, who can be sure that the south would
not have committed misdeeds of vengeance against citizens of the north?

3. We of the south ought to tolerate the freest discussion of every phase
of the race question. We should ungrudgingly recognize that the difference
of the northern masses from us in opinion is natural and honest. Let us
hear their expressions with civility, and then without warmth and show of
disrespect give the reasons for our contrary faith. This is the only way
for us to get what we need so much, that is, audience from our brothers
across the line. Consider some great southerners who have handled most
exciting sectional themes without giving offence. There is no invective in
Calhoun's speech, of March 4, 1850, though he clearly discerned that
abolition was forcing the south into revolution. Stephens, who had been
vice-president of the Confederate States, reviewed in detail soon after
the brothers' war the conflict of opinion which caused it, and yet in his
two large volumes he spoke not a word of rancor. When congress was doing
memorial honor to Charles Sumner, it was Lamar, a southerner of
southerners, that made the most touching panegyric of the dead. And the
other day was Dixon's masterly effort to prove that the real, even if
unconscious, purpose of the training at Tuskegee is ultimately to promote
fusion, which the southern whites deem the greatest of evils. His language
is entirely free from passion or asperity. He wonders in admiration at the
marvellous rise of Booker Washington from lowest estate to unique
greatness. And he gives genuine sympathy to Professor DuBois, in whose
book, "The Souls of Black Folk," as he says, "for the first time we see
the naked soul of a negro beating itself to death against the bars in
which Aryan society has caged him."

These examples of Calhoun, Stephens, Lamar, and Dixon should be the
emulation of every southerner speaking to the nation upon any subject that
divides north and south. This done, we will get the audience we seek. It
was this which not long ago gave Clark Howell's strong paper opposing
negro appointments to office in the south prominent place in _Collier's_,
and which last month obtained for Dixon's article just mentioned the first
pages of the _Saturday Evening Post_. When we get full audience, other
such discussions as those of Howell and Dixon, and that in which Tom
Watson, in the June number of his magazine, showed Dr. Booker Washington a
thing or two, will be digested by the northern public, to the great
advantage of the whole country.

The last I have to say here is as to differing opinions upon social
recognition of prominent negroes. We of the south give them great honor
and respect. Could not Mr. Roosevelt have said to us of Georgia protesting
against his entertainment of Booker Washington, "Have I done worse than
you did when you had him to make that address at the opening of your
Exposition in 1895, and applauded it to the echo?" Suppose, as is true,
that hardly a man in the south would eat at the same table with Dr.
Washington or Professor DuBois, how can that justify us in heaping
opprobrium upon a northern man who does otherwise because he has been
taught to believe it right? What has been said in denunciation of the
president and Mr. Wanamaker for their conduct towards Booker Washington
seems to me rather a hullabaloo of antediluvian moss-backs than the voice
of the best and wisest southerners.

Amid all her gettings let the south get complete calmness upon everything
connected with the race question--complete deliverance from morbid
sensitiveness and intemperate speech in its discussion.

Now here is what the north should learn:

1. Slavery in America was the greatest benefit that any large part of the
negro race ever received; and sudden and unqualified emancipation was woe
inexpressible to nearly all the freedmen. The counter doctrine of the
abolitionists who taught that the negro is equal to the Caucasian worked
beneficently to save the union, but it ought now to be rejected by all who
would understand him well enough to give him the best possible
development. The fifteenth amendment was a stupendous blunder. It took for
granted that the southern negroes were as ready for the ballot as the
whites. The fact is that they were as a race in a far lower stage of
evolution. Consider the collective achievement of this race, not in savage
West Africa, but where it has been long in contact with civilization, in
Hayti, and the south. Hayti has been independent for more than a hundred
years. "Sir Spencer St. John ... formerly British Minister Resident in
Hayti, after personally knowing the country for over twenty years, claims
that it is ... in rapid decadence, and regards the political future of the
Haytians as utterly hopeless. At the termination of his service on the
island, he said: 'I now quite agree with those who deny that the negro can
ever originate a civilization, and who assert that with the best of
educations he remains an inferior type of man.'

"According to Sir Spencer, Hayti is sunk in misery, bloodshed,
cannibalism, and superstition of the most sensual and degrading character.
Ever since the republic has been established Haytians have been opposed to
progress, but of recent years retrogression has been particularly

In the south, where reversion to West African society has been checked by
white government, this is a full catalogue of the main institutions
evolved by the freedmen. They have provided themselves with cheaply built
churches, in which their frequent and long worship is mainly sound and
fury. In the pinch of crop cultivation or gathering they flock away from
the fields to excursion trains and "protracted meetings." Perhaps their
most noticeable institutions are "societies," some prohibiting hiring as
domestic servants, except where subsistence cannot otherwise be had, and
others providing the means of decent burial. Compare these feeble negro
race performances with such white institutions, made in the same territory
and at the same time, as Memorial Day, which the north has adopted; the Ku
Klux Klan; enactment of stock laws when the freedmen's refusal to split
rails made much fencing impossible; and the white primary.

Institutions--what I have just called the collective achievement of a
race--mark in their character its capacity for improvement, and also its
plane of development. When the negro, with his self-evolved institutions,
is compared with the race which has furnished itself with fit organs of
self-government all the way up from town-meeting to federal constitution,
and is now about to crown its grand work with direct legislation, it is
like comparing the camel dressed to counterfeit an elephant, of which dear
old Peter Parley told us in his school history, with a real elephant, or
trying to make a confederate dollar in an administrator's return of 1864
count as a gold one.

And yet the negro, Professor Kelly Miller, replying to Tom Watson, assumes
that Franks, Britons, Germans, Russians, and Aztecs have severally been in
historical times as incapable as West Africans of rising from savagery and
crossing barbarism into civilization. He outdoes even this--he would have
it believed that Hayti is now a close second behind Japan in striding

Surely the good people of the north ought to learn the difference between
the negro race and the white. There is a small class of exceptional
negroes which is assumed by a great many at the north to be most fair
samples of the average negro of the south. Dr. Washington and Professor
DuBois severally lead the opposing sections of this class. It consists of
authors, editors, preachers, speakers, some who with small capital in
banking, farming, and other business, have each by Booker Washington's
blazon been exalted into a national celebrity, and others. Its
never-sleeping resolve, fondly cherished by the greater part, is to "break
into" white society and some day fuse with it. Its members are nearly all
at least half white, and many are more than half white. But when a Bourbon
snub to one of them is received, as it often is, with dignity and proper
behavior, Mr. Louis F. Post, and a few more, exclaim to the country, "See
how this coal-black and pure negro excels his would-be superiors!" This
man, almost white, is to them a coal-black, genuine, unmixed negro. Ought
not attention to facts incontrovertibly cardinal to rule here as
everywhere else? To what is due the great accomplishment of Dumas,
Douglass, and Booker Washington--to their negro blood or to their white
blood? If half negro blood can do so well, why is it that pure negro blood
does not do far better?

I have seen it asserted that Professor Kelly Miller is pure negro. His
head has the shape of a white man's. The greyhound crossed once with the
bull-dog, as Youatt tells, and each succeeding generation of offspring
recrossed with pure greyhound until not a suggestion of bull-dog was
visible, occurs to me. Thus there was bred a greyhound, possessing the
desired trait of the bull-dog. Who can say that there is not among the
professor's American ancestors one of half white blood? If there is in
fact no such, he is, in his high attainment, almost a _lusus naturae_.

The north, by due attention, will discern that the small number
constituting what I provisionally name the upper class of negroes, is
hardly involved in the race question.

The negroes in the south outside of the upper class--the latter not
amounting to more than five percent of the entire black population--are
slowly falling away from the benign elevation above West Africa wrought by
slavery. That they are here, is felt every year to be more injurious. They
greatly retard the evolution of a white-labor class, which has become the
head-spring of all social amelioration in enlightened communities. There
appears to be but one salvation for them if they stay, which is fusion
with the whites. Though Herbert Foster, and a few others, confidently
assume that our weakening Caucasian strain would be bettered by infusion
of African blood, we see that while amalgamation would bless the negro it
would incalculably injure us. It would be stagnation and blight for
centuries, not only to the south but to the north also. Northerners are
more and more attracted to the south by climate and other advantages, and
intermarriage between the natives of each section increases all the while.
The powers, protecting America, inscrutably to contemporaries kept busy
certain agencies that saved the union. It seems to me that these same
powers are now in both sections increasing white hostility to the blacks,
of purpose to prevent their getting firm foothold and becoming desirable
in marriage to poorer whites. One will think at once of the frequent
lynchings in the south. But let him also think of how the strikers in
Chicago were moved to far greater passion by the few black than the many
white strike-breakers, the late inexplicable anti-negro riot in New York
City, and the negro church dynamited the other day in Carlisle, Indiana.
These powers, who have protected our country from the first settlement of
the English upon the Atlantic coast down to the present time, appear to
speak more plainly every day the fiat, "If Black and White are not
separated, Black shall perish utterly." I am convinced that at the close
of the century, if this separation has not been made long before,
Professor Willcox's apparently conservative estimate of what will then be
their numbers will prove to be gross exaggeration. In my judgment he comes
far short of allowing the anti-fusion forces their full destructiveness.

Let the north purge itself from all delusion as to the negro, and help the
south do him justice and loving kindness, by transplanting him into
favorable environment.

2. It is high time that the Ku Klux be understood. When in 1867 it was
strenuously attempted to give rule to scalawags and negroes, the very best
of the south led the unanimous revolt. Their first taste of political
power incited the negroes to license and riot imperilling every condition
of decent life. In the twinkling of an eye the Ku Klux organized. It
mustered, not assassins, thugs, and cutthroats, as has been often alleged,
but the choicest southern manhood. Every good woman knew that the order
was now the solitary defence of her purity, and she consecrated it with
all-availing prayers. In Georgia we won the election of December, 1870, in
the teeth of gigantic odds. This decisive deliverance from the most
monstrous and horrible misrule recorded among Anglo-Saxons was the
achievement of the Ku Klux. Its high mission performed, the Klan, burning
its disguises, ritual, and other belongings, disbanded two or three months
later. Its reputation is not to be sullied by what masked men--bogus Ku
Klux, as we, the genuine, called them--did afterwards. The exalted
glorification of Dixon is not all of the Klan's desert. It becomes dearer
in memory every year. I shall always remember with pride my service in the
famous 8th Georgia Volunteers. I was with it in the bloody pine thicket at
First Manassas, where it outfought four times its own number; at
Gettysburg, where, although thirty-two out of its thirty-six officers were
killed or wounded, there was no wavering; and in many other perilous
places, the last being Farmville, two days before Appomattox, where this
regiment and its sworn brother, the 7th Georgia, of Anderson's brigade,
coming up on the run, grappled hand-to-hand with a superior force pushing
back Mahone, and won the field. But I am prouder of my career in the Ku
Klux Klan. The part of it under my command rescued Oglethorpe county, in
which the negroes had some thousand majority, at the presidential election
of 1868,--the very first opportunity,--and held what had been the home of
William H. Crawford, George R. Gilmer, and Joseph H. Lumpkin, until
permanent victory perched upon the banners of the white race in Georgia.

3. I observe that the north begins in some sort the learning of the two
lessons above mentioned. But now comes one which seems hard indeed.
Calhoun, Toombs, Davis, and the other pro-slavery leaders, ought to be
thoroughly studied and impartially estimated. They were not agitators, nor
factionists, nor conspirators. They were the extreme of conservatism.
Their conscientious faithfulness to country has never been surpassed.
Their country was the south, whose meat and bread depended upon slavery.
The man whose sight can pierce the heavy mists of the slavery struggle
still so dense cannot find in the world record of glorious stands for
countries doomed by fate superiors in moral worth and great exploit. In
their careers are all the comfort, dignity, and beauty of life, supreme
virtue, and happiness of that old south, inexpressibly fair, sweet and
dear to us who lived in it; and in these careers are also all the varied
details of its inexpressibly pathetic ruin. What is higher humanity than
to grieve with those who grieve? Brothers and sisters of the north, you
will never find your higher selves until you fitly admire the titanic
fight which these champions made for their sacred cause, and drop genuine
tears over their heart-breaking failure.

The foregoing summarizes the larger obstacles which bar true sight of the
south and the north. The devastation attending Sherman's march beyond
Atlanta, the alleged inhumanity at Andersonville, and many other things
that were bitterly complained of during the brothers' war, and afterwards,
by one side or the other, seem to me almost forgotten and forgiven.
Brothers who wore the gray with me, brothers who wore the blue against me,
I would have all of you freed from the delusions which still keep you from
that perfect love which Webster, Lincoln, and Stephens gave south and
north alike. I am sure that you must make the corrections indicated above
before you can rightly begin the all-important subject of this book. With
this admonition I commit you to the opening chapter, which I hope you will
find to be a fit introduction.


  September, 1905.


  CHAPTER                                                         PAGE

     I. INTRODUCTORY                                                 1

    II. A BEGINNING MADE WITH SLAVERY                               35



        UNION STRONGER AND STRONGER                                 62


   VII. CALHOUN                                                     93

  VIII. WEBSTER                                                    130

    IX. "UNCLE TOM'S CABIN"                                        161


    XI. TOOMBS                                                     212


  XIII. JEFFERSON DAVIS                                            296

   XIV. THE CURSE AND BLESSING OF SLAVERY                          330

        AND THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR THE CONFEDERACY                   346



  APPENDIX                                                         429

  INDEX                                                            451




The inhabitants of the English colonies in Canada, Australia, and New
Zealand are all of the same race, language, religion, and institutions of
government. Such homogeneousness, as has long been recognized, works
powerfully for the political coalescence of separate communities. With the
adjacent ones of the colonies just mentioned there has always been trend
to such coalescence, as is impressively illustrated by the recent
establishment of the Australian Federation. The thirteen colonies out of
which the United States developed were likewise English, and there was the
same homogeneousness in their population, which made in due time, and also
maintained for a few generations, a union of them all--a continental
union. But there had crept in a heterogeneity, overlooked for many years,
during which time it acquired such force that it at last overcame the
homogeneousness just emphasized and carried a part of the inhabitants of
the United States out of the continental union. African slavery dying out
in the north, but prospering in the south, was this heterogeneity. By a
most natural course the south grew into a nation--the Confederate
States--whose end and purpose was to protect slavery, which had become
its fundamental economical interest, against the north standing by the
original union, and which having gained control of the federal government
was about to use its powers to extirpate slavery. The continental or
Pan-American nation--the American union, as we most generally think of
it--could not brook dismemberment, nor tolerate a continental rival, and
consequently it warred upon and denationalized the Confederate States. The
last two sentences tell how the brothers' war was caused, what was its
stake on each side, and the true result. This compendious summary is to
serve as a proposition, the proof of which we now purpose to outline.

Our first step is to emphasize how the free-labor system which prevailed
in the north, and the slave-labor system which prevailed in the south,
were utterly incompatible. Free labor is far cheaper and more efficient
than slave labor. It had consequently superseded slavery in the entire
enlightened world. But certain exceptional peculiarities of climate, soil,
and products planted made slavery profitable in the south.

To maintain the market value of the slaves two things were needed: (1) the
competition of free labor and the import of cheap slaves must be
rigorously prevented; (2) a vast reserve of virgin soil, both to replace
the plantations rapidly wearing out and to afford more land for the
multiplying slaves. The fact last mentioned made it vital to the south to
appropriate such parts of the soil of the Territories as suited her cotton
and other staples. Therefore whenever she made such an appropriation she
turned it into a slave State; for thus the competition of free labor would
be effectually excluded therefrom. The much more rapid increase of her
population made appropriation of lands in the Territories likewise vital
to the north. Hers were all free-labor interests, as the south's were all
slave-labor interests; and whenever the former appropriated any of the
Territories, she made a State prohibiting slavery in order to protect her
free-labor interests. The north was not excluded by nature from any part
of the public domain as the other section was. Her free labor could be
made productive everywhere in it, and she really needed the whole.

Thus the brothers of the north and the brothers of the south commenced to
strive with one another over dividing their great inheritance. The former
wanted lands for themselves, their sons, and daughters in all the
Territories possible made into States protecting their free-labor system;
the latter wanted all of the Territories suiting them made into States
protecting their slave-labor system. What ought especially to be
recognized by us now is that this contention was between good, honest,
industrious, plain, free-labor people on one side, and good, honest,
industrious, plain, slave-labor people on the other, those on each side
doing their best, as is the most common thing in the world, to gain and
keep the advantage of those of the other. It was natural, it was right, it
was most laudable that every householder, whether northerner or
southerner, should do his utmost to get free land for himself and family.
This fact--which is really the central, foundation, and cardinal one of
all the facts which brought the brothers' war--must be thoroughly
understood, otherwise the longer one contemplates this exciting theme the
further astray from fact and reasonableness he gets.

The foregoing shows in brief how there came an eager contention for the
public lands between parents, capitalists, workers, employers,
manufacturers, and so forth, bred to free labor and hostile to slavery on
the one side--that is, in the northern States; and the same classes bred
to slavery and hostile to free labor on the other side--that is, in the
southern States. The contention grew to a grapple. As this waxed hotter
the combating brothers became more and more angry, called one another
names more and more opprobrious; and at last each side, in the height of
righteous indignation, denounced their opponents as enemies of country,
morality, and religion. Here the root-and-branch abolitionist and the
fire-eater begin their several careers, and get more and more excited
audience, the former in the north and the other in the south. Both were
emissaries of the fates who had decreed that there must be a brothers'
war, to the end that slavery, the only peril to the American union, be
cast out.

Under the necessity of defending slavery against free labor there came
early an involuntary concretion of the southern States. This was very
plainly discernible when the epoch-making convention was in session. It
was the beginning of a process which has been well-named nation-making.
After a while--say just before Toombs takes the southern lead from
Calhoun--it had developed, as we can now see, from concretion into
nationalization--not nationality, yet--of the south. It was bound, if
slavery was denied expansion over the suitable soil of the Territories and
the restoration of its runaways, to cause in the ripeness of time
secession and the founding of the Confederate States. But there was
another nationalization, older, of much deeper root and wider scope--what
we have already mentioned as the continental or Pan-American. Its origin
was in an involuntary concretion of all the colonies--both the northern
and the southern--antedating the commencement of the southern concretion
mentioned a moment ago. While southern nationalization was the guardian of
the social fabric, the property, the occupations, the means of subsistence
of the southern people, the greater nationalization was not only the
guardian of the same interests of the northern people, but it had a higher
office. This was in due time to give the whole continent everlasting
immunity from war and all its prospective, direct, and consequential
evils, by federating its different States under one democratic
government--this higher office was to perpetuate the American union. This
continental nationalization had probably ripened into at least the
inchoate American nation by 1776. It was this nation, as I am confident
the historical evidence rightly read shows, that made the declaration of
independence and the articles of confederation, carried the Revolutionary
war on to the grandest success ever achieved for real democracy, and then
drafted and adopted the federal constitution. The constitution was not the
creator of this nation, as lawyers and lawyer-bred statesmen hold, but the
union and the constitution are both its creatures. This nation is
constantly evolving, and as it does it modifies and unmakes the
constitution and system of government of the United States, and the same
of each State, as best suits itself. Why do we not trace our history from
the first colonial settlements down to the present, and learn that the
nation develops in both substance and form, in territory, in aims and
purposes, not under the leading hand of conventions, congress, president,
State authority, of even the fully decisive conquest of seceding States by
the armies of the rest, but by the guidance of powers in the unseen, which
we generally think of as the laws of evolution? To illustrate: For some
time after I had got home from Appomattox I was disheartened, as many
others were, at the menace of centralization. A vision of Caleb Cushing's
man on horseback--the coming American Cæsar--seared my eyeballs for a few
years. But after the south had been actually reconstructed I was cheered
to note that the evolutionary forces maintaining and developing local
self-government were holding their own with those maintaining and
developing union. To-day, you see the people of different localities all
over the north--in many cities, in a few States--driven forward by a power
which they do not understand, in a struggle which will never end till they
have rescued their liberties from the party machine wielded everywhere by
the public-service corporations.

To resume what we were saying just before this short excursion. Of course
when the drifting of the south toward secession became decided and strong,
Pan-American nationalization set all of its forces in opposing array. As
soon as the southern confederacy was a fact, the brothers' war began. I
emphasize it specially here that this war was mortal rencounter between
two different nations.

The successive stages by which her nationalization impelled the south to
secession are roughly these:

1. The concretion mentioned above probably passes into the beginning of
nationalization when the south was aroused by the resistance of the
free-labor States to the admission of Missouri as a slave State. With a
most rude shock of surprise she was made to contemplate secession.
Although there was much angry discussion and the crisis was grave, you
ought to note that the root-and-branch abolitionist and fire-eater had not
come. That crisis over, which ended the first stage, there was apparently
profound peace between the free-labor communities and the slave-labor
communities for some while.

2. The south rises against the tariff which taxes, as she believes, her
slave-grown staples for the profit of free-labor manufacturers. Here the
next stage begins. Perhaps the advent of nullification, proposed and
advocated by Calhoun as a union weapon with which a State might defend
itself against federal aggression, signalizes this stage more than
anything else.

3. The second gives place to the third stage, when the congressional
debate over anti-slavery petitions opens. It is in this stage that the
root-and-branch abolitionist and the fire-eater begin their really
effective careers. Opposition to the restoration of fugitive slaves was
spreading through the north and steadily strengthening. It ought to be
realized by one who would understand these times that this actual
encouragement of the slaves to escape was a direct attack upon slavery in
the southern States, becoming stronger and more formidable as the
root-and-branch abolitionists became more zealous and influential, and
increased in numbers, and the slaveholder was bound to recognize what it
all portended to him. It was natural that when he had these
root-and-branch abolitionists before himself in mind, he should say of

    "The lands of the Territories suiting slave labor are much less in
    area than the due of the south therein. She will soon need all these
    lands, as the slaves are multiplying rapidly, and the virgin soil of
    her older States is going fast. With an excess of slaves and a lack of
    fit land soon to come, if we are barred from the Territories our
    property must depreciate until it is utterly worthless. But these
    abolitionists attempt a further injury. They instigate our slaves to
    fly into the north, and then encourage the north not to give them up
    when we reclaim them. They deny our property the expansion into what
    is really our part of the Territories which it ought to have in order
    to maintain its value; and further they try to steal as many of our
    slaves from us in the States as they can."

This was the double peril, as it were, which gathered in full view against
the south.

I cannot emphasize it enough that the hot indignation of such as Garrison
against slavery as a hideous wrong was not excited before the competition
between north and south over the public lands had become eager and
all-absorbing. It is nearly always the case that such excitement does not
appear until long after an actual menace by a rival to the personal or
selfish interest of another has shown itself. It is not until the menace
becomes serious that the latter wakes up to discover that the former is
violating some capital article of the decalogue. This was true of the
root-and-branch abolitionist. And his high-flown morality was made still
more Quixotic by his conscientiously assuming that the negro slave was in
all respects just such a human being as his white master.

This third stage extends from about January, 1836, until the country was
alarmed as never before by the controversy of 1849-50 over the admission
of California, in southern latitude, with an anti-slavery constitution. At
its end the southern leadership of Calhoun standing upon nullification, a
remedy that contemplated remaining in the union, is displaced by that of
Toombs, who begins to feel strongly, if not to see clearly, that the south
cannot preserve slavery in the union.

4. The fourth stage begins with the compromise of 1850. Afterwards during
the same year was an occurrence which cannot be overrated in importance by
the student of these times. That was the consideration of the pending
question in Georgia, and action upon it by a convention of delegates
elected for that special purpose. The Georgia Platform, promulgated by
that convention, is as follows:

    "To the end that the position of this State may be clearly apprehended
    by her confederates of the south and of the north, and that she may be
    blameless of all future consequences, _Be it resolved by the people
    of Georgia in convention assembled_, _First_, that we hold the
    American union secondary in importance only to the rights and
    principles it was designed to perpetuate. That past associations,
    present fruition, and future prospects, will bind us to it so long as
    it continues to be the safeguard of these rights and principles.

    _Second._ That if the thirteen original parties to the compact,
    bordering the Atlantic in a narrow belt, while their separate
    interests were in embryo, their peculiar tendencies scarcely
    developed, their Revolutionary trials and triumphs still green in
    memory, found union impossible without compromise, the thirty-one of
    this day may well yield somewhat in the conflict of opinion and
    policy, to preserve that union which has extended the sway of
    republican government over a vast wilderness to another ocean, and
    proportionally advanced their civilization and national greatness.

    _Third._ That in this spirit the State of Georgia has considered the
    action of congress, embracing a series of measures for the admission
    of California into the union, the organization of territorial
    governments for Utah and New Mexico, the establishment of a boundary
    between the latter and the State of Texas, the suppression of the
    slave-trade in the District of Columbia, and the extradition of
    fugitive slaves, and (connected with them) the rejection of
    propositions to exclude slavery from the Mexican Territories, and to
    abolish it in the District of Columbia; and, whilst she does not
    wholly approve, will abide by it as a permanent adjustment of this
    sectional controversy.

    _Fourth._ That the State of Georgia, in the judgment of this
    convention, will and ought to resist, even--as a last resort--to a
    disruption of every tie which binds her to the union, any future act
    of congress abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, without
    the consent and petition of the slaveholders thereof, or any act
    abolishing slavery in places within the slaveholding States, purchased
    by the United States for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals,
    dockyards, and other like purposes; or any act suppressing the
    slave-trade between slaveholding States; or any refusal to admit as a
    State any Territory applying, because of the existence of slavery
    therein; or any act prohibiting the introduction of slaves into the
    Territories of Utah and New Mexico; or any act repealing or materially
    modifying the laws now in force for the recovery of fugitive slaves.

    _Fifth._ That it is the deliberate opinion of this convention, that
    upon the faithful execution of the fugitive slave bill by the proper
    authorities depends the preservation of our much loved union."

This platform was the work of statesmen who had added to the wisdom of the
fathers, making the declaration of independence, articles of
confederation, and the great constitution, worthy wisdom of their own from
a far more varied experience and better training in government. These
statesmen came indiscriminately from all parties. The people in the State,
from the highest in authority through every intermediate circle down to
the humblest citizen, deliberately, without excitement or passion,
endorsed this platform with practical unanimity. And all parties stood
upon it to the end. This was not an ignorant, debased, corrupt,
unrighteous people; but it was even better in everything that makes a
people great and good than the former generation which had given the
country Washington and Jefferson.

Especially should the student meditate what this solemn declaration shows
was the sentiment of the people of the State at that time towards the
American union. Every one of the five planks contains its own most
convincing proof of deepest devotion. Think of the child who at last
resolves to fly from the home which had been inexpressibly sweet until the
stepmother came; of the father whose conscience commands him to save the
mother's life by killing the assailing son; of what the true Othello felt
when he had to execute the precious Desdemona for what he believed to be
her falseness--think of these examples, if you would realize the agony of
the better classes of the southern people when they at last discovered
that the union had changed from being their best friend into their most
fell enemy.

The Georgia Platform was actually drafted, I believe, by A. H. Stephens,
then a whig. It was probably moulded in its substance--especially in the
fourth and fifth planks--more by Toombs, also a whig, than any other.
Howell Cobb, a democrat, approved, and was elected governor upon it the
next year, receiving the ardent support of Toombs and Stephens. Toombs was
just forty, Stephens a year or two, and Cobb some six or seven years, less
than forty. These three were the leading authors. Note how much younger
they were than Calhoun, who had a few months before died in his
sixty-ninth year. The platform indicates the new sentiment, not only of
Georgia but of the entire south. When its contents are compared with the
doctrine of nullification, it clearly shows as the production of a new era
in the history of southern nationalization; for it marks what we may
somewhat metaphorically distinguish as the close of the pro-union and
opening of the anti-union defence of slavery. The proclivity to secession
uninterruptedly increases from this point on.

I would have it noted that the tactics of this fourth stage are
unaggressive. The Georgia Platform was no more than most grave and serious
warning against being driven to the wall. It did not bully nor hector. The
threat of what must be done in case certain menaced blows to slavery were
struck was so calmly, deprecatingly, and decorously made, that one wonders
it was not heeded. He ceases to wonder only when history reveals to him
that fate had become adverse to the good cause of this noble people.

5. A change of tactics characterizes the fifth stage. The faster growing
population of the north, furnishing settlers in far greater number than
that of the south, was sweeping away all chance of new slave States. The
situation commanded that the defence of the south change to the
aggressive, just as Stoessel was constrained the other day to take the
offensive against 203 Meter Hill. In the first sortie the south got the
Missouri compromise repealed. Then she tried to make a slave State of
Kansas. She failed. When she had lost Kansas--like California in southern
latitude--she could not help recognizing that the outlook for slavery in
the union had become desperate. My northern countrymen, if you were as
free from the surviving influence of the old intersectional quarrel as we
all ought to be, you would applaud the ability and valor with which the
south had fought this losing fight for the welfare and comfort of her
people; and especially would you admire her supreme effort in behalf both
of that people, and also of the union which she loved next to the cause of
her people. Not quailing before odds incalculable, she was as brave and
self-sustained as Miltiades, coming forth with his little ten thousand to
fight the host of Mardonius hand-to-hand. The only thing for her now was
new aggression, to make a demand never seriously urged before. That was
that congress protect the master's property in every Territory until it
became a State. If this were done, she could, perhaps, keep slavery in
some of the Territories long enough for it to strike root permanently. If
it could not be done she must choose between her own cause and the union.
Her persistence in the demand mentioned--and she was obliged to
persist--split the democratic party, which had until this time been her
main upholder in the union. The north refused her demand by electing
Lincoln. This was the end of the fifth stage. Her nationality had become
fully ripe. She seceded into the Confederate States, her only opportunity
of conserving the property and occupation interests of her people. Of
course she expected to get her part of the public domain, and to enforce
extradition of her fugitive slaves.

The foregoing is the barest outline of the rise and conflict between the
two nationalizations. The subject has been neglected too long. There
begins to be some faint understanding of the greater nationalization, but
that understanding is far short of completeness. There is hardly a
suspicion of the other. And yet as to our own special subject it is really
the more important, for in it is the initiative of the brothers' war.
There has been made by nobody any investigation at all of the main parts
of that train of events which I designate as southern nationalization. Not
Wilson's "The Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in the United States," nor
any book by a partisan of either side in the struggle, gives any help
towards this investigation. The historical sources have never been studied
at all; such as the colonial records now publishing, the records and
papers of the probate court in some of the older and more important
counties of the south--especially the returns of administrators,
executors, and guardians, and files of newspapers advertising their
citations. Here can be found the prevailing prices of slaves, their rate
of multiplication, all details of their management, from the very
beginning. The trial and equity courts contain records of litigation about
slaves; of advice of chancellors to trustees seeking to make or change
investment; of wills manumitting slaves; and a thousand other relevant
matters. The course of legislation as to slaves from the first to the end
is also important. From these, from local literature such as "Georgia
Scenes," "Simon Suggs," biography, and various pamphlets, and other
original sources,--far better historical evidence than any which is now
generally invoked,--can be learned the real facts as to the growth of
slavery; and especially how in its economic potency consequent upon the
invention of the gin it supplanted or made dependent upon itself all other
property, and became the solitary foundation of every kind of production
and mode of making a living; so that even by 1820 to abolish slavery would
have been almost to beggar the southern people for two or three
generations. It is to be hoped that Professor Brown, finding the
opportunity which he desires, may yet exhaust not only the sources I have
mentioned, but also important ones that I have not even thought of, and
give the true ante-bellum history of the lower south. Some such work is
necessary to explain the active principle, the _raison d'etre_ of southern

How north and south were sundered by the different nationalizations is yet
to be told in full detail without any censure of the people of either.
Practically every American was born into an occupation or way of life
connected with or founded upon either slave or free labor interests, and
so was born into one or the other of these two nationalizations, and his
conscience coerced him to stay with it. These nationalizations made two
different publics and two different countries in the United States. After
the slavery agitation had become active the masses in either public knew
but little of the other, and cared for it less; and when war broke out
between the two countries every man, woman, and child was ready to die, if
there was need, for his own. When the history of the times has been
impartially and adequately written the world will recognize that the
patriotism and moral worth of neither side excels that of the other, and
it will crown both.

The evolution indicated above produced not only the two hostile peoples,
but also their leaders and representatives of every class. I have taken
pains in a relevant chapter to show how the fire-eaters and the
root-and-branch abolitionists were at last brought upon the stage. Every
fierce controversy in history has had their like on each side. Their
coming is late. The antagonists have become excited. The intelligence
guiding evolution deceives them as to the parts they must play. They
believe that their mission is to arouse the public conscience in order to
right some alleged moral wrong. Their real mission is to excite to angry
action. Cicero condemns the Peripatetics for asserting that proneness to
anger has been usefully given by nature.[2] He overlooked the fact that
the outbreak of the passion is intended to spur us into doing something
important for our own protection; and that it is therefore an
indispensable weapon in our self-defensive armory. These fanatics, as we
often call them, instigated north and south to quarrel more and more
fiercely, and finally to fight. The purpose of the powers in the unseen in
causing the fight has already been stated.

What especially concerns us here is that we avoid adhering to the mistakes
of these partisans which still have injurious effect upon opinion. Thus
the fire-eater could see no good whatever in the yankees, as he called
them, denying them honesty, trustworthiness, and other elementary virtues;
accusing them of robbing us by the tariff and other measures, and hating
us for the prosperity and comfort which the slavery system had blessed us
with. Other of his false charges are still lodged in the memory of some
influential southerners. But the fire-eater's predictions were all
completely falsified by the result of the war; and he has become so much
discredited as an authority, there is no very great need for consuming
much time and effort in correcting his misstatements. On the other hand
the decisive success of their side has kept thousands at the north fully
believing the wildest fabrications of the root-and-branch abolitionists.
The latter believed that the African slave of the south was just such a
human being, ready for liberty and self-government in all particulars, as
civilized and enlightened whites. They believed that the condition of his
immediate ancestors in West Africa was one of high physical, mental,
moral, and social development, and that if there was in him now any
inferiority to his master it was entirely due to the sinister influence of
American slavery. They also believed that the system was fraught with such
cruelties as frequent separation of man and wife and of mother and young
children, under- feeding and clothing, and grinding overwork,--that, in
short, the average slave was daily exposed to something like the torture
of the Inquisition. All this was invention. American slavery found the
negro gabbling inarticulately and gave him English; it found him a
cannibal and fetishist and gave him the Christian religion; it found him a
slave to whom his savage master allowed no rights at all, and it gave him
an enlightened master bound by law to accord him the most precious human
rights; it found him an inveterate idler and gave him the work habit; it
found him promiscuous in the horde and gave him the benign beginning of
the monogamic family,--in short, as now appears very strongly probable,
American slavery gave him his sole opportunity to rise above the barbarism
of West Africa.

These tremendous mistakes of fact, after knitting the north in solid
phalanx against dividing the Territories with the south and restoring
fugitive slaves and thus hasting forward the war, prompted that folly of
follies the fifteenth amendment, and have ever since kept the north from
understanding the race question.

I am sure that it is high time that we of each section should school
ourselves into impartially appreciating the civil leaders of the other
side. The south has made more progress towards this than the north.
Certain causes have operated to help her onward. One of these is that
practically all of us recognize it is far better for the section that the
union side won. Another is that the great mass have learned that slavery
both effeminated and paralyzed the whites and was a smothering incubus
upon our due social and material development. It is natural that although
we give our pro-slavery political leaders and the confederate soldiers
increasing love, we should more and more commend the pro-union and
anti-slavery activity of the northern statesmen. Nothing like this has led
the north to revise the reprobation which in the heat and passion of the
conflict it bestowed upon the public men of the south. If I ever read a
good word from a northern writer as to them, it is for something in their
careers disconnected with the southern cause. Even Mr. Rhodes, the ablest
and most impartial of northern historians of the times, finds in Calhoun
only a closet spinner of utterly impractical theories. Further, I could
hardly believe it when I read it--and it is hard for me to believe it
yet--that, citing some flippant words of Parton in which a slander of
contemporary politics is toothsomely repeated as his voucher, he flatly
charges the lion-hearted knight of the south with playing the coward in
the most heroic episode of his grand career. My faith is strong that this
mode of treating the good and great southern leaders will soon go out of

I am greatly in earnest to vindicate these leaders--especially Calhoun,
Toombs, and Davis. Much of the public life of each one was concerned with
matters of national interest. To this I give special attention, for I want
my northern readers to know what true Americans they all were. Without
this they cannot have their full glory. And their justification is that of
their people. Such effective leaders are always representative. It is a
misnomer to call them leaders. They were really followers of their
constituents who were struggling for the subsistence of themselves and
their dear ones. During this time Calhoun, Toombs, and Davis, had they not
labored in every way to protect this great cause--the cause of their own
country--as they did, would have been as recreant as the confederate
soldier, skulking away from the line defending home and fireside. When our
country is in peril the unseen lords of its destiny do not take any one of
us, from the greatest to the humblest, into their confidence as to the
event. Every man of us must support in politics and on the field the cause
of our people. If that must go down it will make defeat glorious to go
down with it, as contentedly and bravely as did Demosthenes, Cicero, and

Whoever diligently studies the facts will be convinced that southern
nationalization, with a power superior to human resistance, carried the
southern people into secession, and that their so-called leaders were
carried with them. He will discern that the parts of the latter were
merely to serve as floats to mark the course of the current beneath.
Therefore be just to these leaders for justice' sake. Further, you
brothers and sisters of the north ought to bethink yourselves and keep in
mind how we regard them. The reputation of these our civil champions and
their graves are as dear to us as those of our mothers. If you adopted an
orphan, you would feel it to be unpardonable to speak slightingly to him
of his parents. Cleopatra, her conqueror sending her word to study on what
fair demands she would have, answered:

  "That majesty to keep decorum, must
  No less beg than a kingdom."

Let those who wore the blue and their descendants think over it long
enough to realize how unspeakably low and treacherous it would be in us to
abet any condemnation whatever of these men for their anti-union
acts--these men whom we or our fathers voted for and supported because of
these acts. If you deny justification to them, how can we keep decorum in
accepting it ourselves?

I would say one more word, where perhaps I am a little over-earnest. These
southern leaders have contributed richly to the treasures of American
history. Their moral worth,--nay, moral grandeur,--their great natural
parts, their statesmanly ability, their eloquence, their heroic fidelity
to their people,--by these each has won indefeasible title to the best of
renown. Whenever the north has made real study of them, she will give them
as generous admiration as she now does to the charge of Pickett. I have
done my utmost to present Calhoun, Toombs, and Davis faithfully, using, as
I believe, all the main facts which are relevant and incontrovertible. I
am sure that every northerner who reads them, after he has laid aside all
prejudice, will admit that I did not claim too much when I was recounting
their merits a moment ago.

I invite close consideration of all that I say of Webster. The purpose of
providence, bestowing birthplace, early environment, training, and career
as preparation for a paramount mission, shows more conspicuously in him
than in any other of America's great, with the solitary exception of
Washington. How the names of detracting agitators and mere politicians
written over his in the temple of fame are now fading off, and how the
invincible and lovable champion of the brother's union looms larger upon
us every year!

I am painfully conscious of how certain omissions, unavoidable in my
limited space, mar the symmetry of my ground-plan. The average reader will
probably think that I ought to have sketched Lincoln, Grant, and Lee. I
was convinced that the public had already become reasonably instructed as
to them.

John Q. Adams is one of the most conspicuous men of his day. Standing
aloof from parties, completely self-reliant, opulently endowed with every
high power of moderation, insight, and effective presentation, his good
genius gave him the championship in congress of the free-labor cause
during the critical years that it was preparing for the decisive meeting
with the slave-labor cause. In this time it seems to me that single-handed
he achieved more for the latter than all its other champions. A pleasant
parallel between him and Lee occurs to me. Each had filled the proudest
place in the chosen avocation of his life. Adams had been the chief
magistrate of the great republic, elected by the votes of a continent. Lee
had been the foremost general of the bravest and most puissant nation that
ever lost its existence by war. Each one of the two passed from power down
into what is usually a condition of inaction and accumulating rust till
the end of life, and to each was most kindly granted the achievement of
new fame and glory. In the national house of representatives, Adams,
during the last twelve years of his life,--1836-48,--did the great deeds
which we have just lauded. In the last years of his life Lee, as the head
of an humble institution of learning, showed not only the youth in his
charge, but all of his stricken people, how to conquer direst adversity
with such grand success in an example of unmurmuring endurance that every
future generation of men will give it more loving appreciation.

John Q. Adams, as I have tried to explain, is almost an American epoch of
himself; but I could not give him the chapter that is his due.

I felt that it would have been well to pair Stephen A. Douglas of the
north with Alexander H. Stephens of the south. They are in nearly exact
antithetical contrast. The former clung to the south, the other to the
union, until the clock struck the dread hour of separation. How they loved
each other and each other's people! They most strikingly exemplify the
adamantine grip which each one of the two nationalizations kept upon its
greatest and best.

Wendell Phillips and William L. Yancey should be contrasted. Each one was
the very prince of sectional agitators, helping with great efficiency to
make the public opinion that carried forward Seward and Lincoln, the
actual leaders of the north, and Toombs, the actual leader of the south.
It is my strong conviction that Phillips and Yancey were the most gifted,
eloquent, and influential stump speakers in America since Patrick Henry.

Chase steadily rises in my estimate. His solid parts, his consistent,
conscientious, and able anti-slavery career, and especially that decisive
speech in the Peace Congress,--these, and other relevancies that can be
mentioned, drew me powerfully. The firm candor with which he avowed in
that memorable speech that the north had decided against the expansion of
slavery, demonstrates the clearness of his vision. The part of it which
recurs to me most frequently is that in which he impressively recounts the
intersectional dissension over the fugitive slave law,--the south
believing slavery right, the north believing it wrong,--and proposes that
in place of the remedy given by that law the master be paid the value of
his slave. "Instead of judgment for rendition," he said, "let there be
judgment for compensation determined by the true value of the services,
and let the same judgment assure freedom to the fugitive. The cost to the
national treasury would be as nothing in comparison with the evils of
discord and strife. All parties would be gainers."

Calhoun devised to restrain the sections from mutual aggression by
endowing each with an absolute veto against the other. Webster fondly
believed that if he could be president he would bring back the wrangling
brothers to love one another again as much as he loved them all. Chase
also had his pet impracticable project. Each one of the three recoiled and
racked all of his invention to save his country from the huge fraternal
slaughter that his divining soul whispered to him was near.

The south will cherish the memory of Chase more and more fondly as she
learns better how he firmly stood for civil law against military rule, and
that he was heart and soul for universal amnesty.

It was all I could do to deny a chapter to William H. Seward. He seems to
me to have been the only northern man whose foresight of the coming
convulsion equalled that of Calhoun. He did not become a Jeremiah as the
other did, for his section was not, after it had just emerged from a gulf
of blood, to be plunged and held for years in a gulf of poverty and
disorder. He was far less serious and much more optimistic in his nature
than Calhoun. Affectionate, sympathetic, rarely agreeable in his
manners--how well Mrs. Davis depicts him in what is to me one of the
pleasantest passages of her book.[3] He was spoils politician, able
popular leader, and great statesman in rare combination. While his heart
was extremely warm, his head was never turned by his feelings. Lincoln
ardently believed in his soul what Choate calls "the glittering
generalities" of the declaration of independence. But to Seward current
illusions were the same as they were to Napoleon Bonaparte--he was to lead
the masses with them just as far as possible, but not to deceive himself.
Read in your closet his two epochal speeches, the "higher law" one of
March 11, 1850, and that proclaiming the irrepressible conflict at
Rochester, October 25, 1858, then read that of Chase at the Peace
Congress, and you cannot avoid feeling that while Chase opposes slavery
mainly because he conceives it to be a gross moral wrong, the other
opposes because it is the belonging of an inferior civilization. In my
opinion no man of that time had such a clear conception as Seward of the
utter economical incompatibility of the free-labor system and the
slave-labor system, and of the doom of the latter in their conflict then
on. While he had this superior insight and wisdom it was the better way
for him to follow the tide of morbid moral sentiment and unreasoning zeal
carrying the country on to his goal. Following thus he proved a leader
unsurpassed. The longer I contemplate Seward the stronger becomes my
conviction that he is the most entertaining subject and the most
delightful in variety of parts and traits of all American statesmen for
the essayist portrait painter. To give a picture true to life demands the
very best and highest art.

In my last two chapters I do all I can to clear up the race question,
which is now densely beclouded with northern misunderstanding and southern
prejudice. The negro has a nature that in some material particulars
differs so widely from that of the Caucasian that it ought to be duly
allowed for; and yet as people are so prone to think all others just like
themselves, this is hardly ever done. Now, forty years after emancipation,
we see that the promptings and consequences of his nature just emphasized
in combination with the social forces operating upon him have caused
changes in the situation, of the gravest import to him. His native
idleness, coming back stronger and stronger the further he gets in time
from the steady work of slavery, his lack of forecast, his vice,
inveterate pauperism, increasing disease and insanity, on one side; the
hostility excited against him by the inexpressibly unwise grant to him of
equal political rights, and the rapid invasion by white labor since the
early nineties of the province which he appropriated during the years when
the whites had not recovered from the paralyzing shock and surprise of
emancipation, on the other side, example these changes. There has evolved
a division of the southern negroes into two classes. One class, which I
most roughly distinguish as the upper, contains all those who are not
compelled by their circumstances to be unskilled laborers in country and
town. It hardly amounts to one-twentieth of the whole. The millions are
all in the other class, which I again most roughly distinguish as the
lower. Ponder what I tell you of them, their helplessness, their
accelerating degradation, their mounting death rate, their gloomy
prospects. I try hard also to have the upper class well understood. To a
southerner it is amazing how many outside people of education,
intelligence, and fair-mindedness assume that the multitude in the lower
class are the same in every material detail of character and ability as
those few who by various favors of fortune have found place in the upper
class. To stress here, in the beginning, a fact as its very great
importance demands, nearly all the negroes who get high station are part
white. Dumas, the father, was at least half white. The son Dumas was
probably three-quarters white. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Anglo-African
composer, is half white. Such as these are the samples by which nearly all
the continent and England, and many northerners, estimate the capacity of
the pure negroes of the south, grovelling in depths out of which one
climbs only now and then by a miracle. The men just mentioned are not real
negroes. It is the same with nearly all the so-called negroes of America,
from Douglass to Dr. Washington, who have become famous. They are but
examples of what whites can do against adversity. The coal-black equalling
these in achievement would be as rare among his fellows as Hans, the
Berlin thinker, is among horses. This palpable distinction between men who
are largely, if not nearly all, Caucasian, and men who are purely West
African in descent, is utterly overlooked by many most conscientious and
earnest ones of the north, like Mr. Louis F. Post, who is always telling
us of the south what the negro is--not, and how we should treat him,
magisterially reading us lessons in A B C democracy.

There will be fewer and fewer part-white negroes in the south by reason of
the steadily increasing hostility of each race to mixed procreation. This
upper class has long shown a drift northward. Under the expulsion of many
of its members from certain occupations by white competition, lately
commenced and fast increasing, this drift now gathers strength. From what
I see every day it seems to me that the destiny of much the greater part
of this upper class is disappearance partly by absorption and partly by

It is the millions of the lower class that should be our deepest concern.
If they be left where their utopian emancipators and enfranchisers have
placed them, it is almost certain that nearly the whole will go into the
jaws of destruction, now opening wide before them and sucking them in.
Such a result of the three amendments--that is, to have annihilated hosts
upon hosts of pure negroes in order to make just a few part-whites
all-white--would be a fit monument to the statesmanship of the maddest
visionaries in all history. We must come resolutely and lovingly to the
help of these wretched creatures. I tell you at large how it is our duty
to give the black man his own State in our union, and supervise him in it
even better than we are now doing for the Philippine.

I believe that the foregoing, re-enforced by a glance over the
chapter-titles, will give a reader the preconception which he ought to get
from an introduction to a book which he is about to begin. In dealing with
the causes and some of the more important consequences of the brothers'
war my method is rationale rather than narrative. My first purpose is to
indicate how everything happened according to laws that with cosmic force
reared two great economic powers, divided the whole land into a vast host
standing up for one of the two in the south, and a still larger host
standing up for the other in the north, and how these same laws were most
faithfully served by all the actors on each side. I try to set out and
explain what are the principles of evolution and the ways of human action,
and especially the commanding view-points, which must be rightly attended
to in their supreme importance before the greater one of the two critical
American eras can have its fit history. The man who writes it will be
entirely free from the monomania and orgiastic fury of both fire-eater and
root-and-branch abolitionist, from their excessively emotional
assumptions, their explosive and exclamatory argumentation; he will have
the industry, the undisturbed vision, and the perfect fairness of the
foremost sociologists of our time; he will show how each side was right
from first to last in upholding its own separate country,--all belonging
to it, statesmen, agitators, demagogues, fanatical fire-eaters and
abolitionists, generals and soldiers. He will show that such things which
in expedience ought not to have been done were unavoidable, and therefore
to be excused. He will show what erroneous judgments of each section
should now be challenged and kept from working injury. Especially do I
emphasize it, he will convince every average reader that north and south
were equally conscientious, honest, heroic, and lovable from beginning to
end. Such a history will be even greater than that by which Thucydides
realized his soaring ambition to give the world an everlasting possession;
and it will become the bible of America, treasured and loved alike by the
people both north and south.

This bible is coming, as many signs show. I will illustrate by examples
from three northern authors, given not exactly in the order of time, but
in that of their approximation to full attainment. After a circumstantial
description of each one of the three days' fighting at Gettysburg, fair
and impartial in the extreme, Mr. Vanderslice eulogizes both sides,
without invidious distinction, for "their fidelity and gallantry, their
fortitude and valor," and because there was nothing done by either "to
tarnish their record as soldiers," and most becomingly emphasizes the
"martial fame and glory" thereby won "for the American soldier." But just
here he sounds a most unpleasantly discordant note by saying, "One was
right and the other wrong."[4] He forgot that brothers who fight as those
did at Gettysburg are all right, and that whenever one falls on either
side flights of angels sing him to his rest.

In June, 1902, Mr. Charles F. Adams, making an academic address at
Chicago, startled many of his auditors with this outspoken vindication of
the south:

    "Legally and technically,--_not morally_,-- ... and wholly
    irrespective of humanitarian considerations,--to which side did the
    weight of argument incline during the great debate which culminated in
    our civil war?... If we accept the judgment of some of the more modern
    students and investigators of history,--either wholly unprejudiced or
    with a distinct union bias,--it would seem as if the weight of
    argument falls into what I will term the confederate scale."[5]

Mr. Adams, having made further inquiry of his own, December 22 of the same
year, announced a still more advanced conclusion. He had said at Chicago
that the confederate scale preponderated; but now his vision having become
more certain he said the scales hung even.[6] Note that in the passage
just quoted from him I have italicized the two words "not morally." I do
not understand that in the Charleston speech he meant to revoke the
italicized words, and to say anything more than that each side was right
in its own view of the nature of the government. Even with this
reservation, the utterances of Mr. Adams evince a grateful improvement
upon the dogmatism which characterizes nearly every other northerner or
southerner who has treated the subject.

Professor Wendell sees clearly that both sides were morally right, and he
is impartially just and equally loving to both. I feel that the quotations
from a late work of his which I now make are the chief merits of this
chapter. Considering the controversy between the sections, he says, with
the truest insight, "The constitution of the United States was presenting
itself more and more in the light of an agreement between two incompatible
sets of economic institutions, assuming to each the right freely to exist
within its own limits."[7]

In this next passage as to the same subject, rising above Mr. Adams to the
high frankness which the facts demand, he says, "The truth is that an
irrepressible social conflict was at hand, and that both sides were as
honorable as were both sides during the American Revolution, or during the
civil wars of England."[8]

How just to north and south each, and how fraternally compassionate
towards the south is this: "Solemn enough to the uninvaded north, the war
meant more than northern imagination has yet realized to those southern
States into whose heart its horrors were slowly, surely carried. Such a
time was too intense for much expression; it was a moment rather for
heroic action; and in south and north alike it found armies of heroes. Of
these there are few more stirring records than a simple ballad made by Dr.
Ticknor, of Georgia, concerning a confederate soldier."[9] And then he
quotes "Little Giffen" in full.

Professor Wendell reaches a still greater height when he decorates the
Tyrtæus of the Confederate States and the supereminent anti-slavery
lyricist of the north with equal homage and admiration. He says:

    "The civil war brought forth no lines more fervent [than the
    concluding thirty-six of Timrod's 'The Cotton Boll,' which are set
    out], and few whose fervor rises to such lyric height. In the days of
    conflict, north regarded south, and south north, as the incarnation of
    evil. Time, however, has begun its healing work; at last our country
    begins to understand itself better than ever before; and as our new
    patriotism strengthens, we cannot prize too highly such verses as
    Whittier's, honestly phrasing noble northern sentiment, or as
    Timrod's, who with equal honesty phrased the noble sentiment of the
    south. A literature which in the same years could produce work so
    utterly antagonistic in superficial sentiment, and yet so harmonious
    in their common sincerity and loftiness of feeling, is a literature
    from which riches may come."[10]

These words are more golden than I can tell. They parallel the elevation
of Webster, showing the same love for South Carolina and Massachusetts, in
the pertinent parts of the reply to Hayne, which since my boyhood I have
cherished as a nonpareil. It is cheering to a faithful southerner to
receive such sure proof that the day must soon come when all obloquy will
be lifted from the fame of Calhoun, Toombs, and Davis. What a grand
triumph of contrast, almost surpassing the best achievement of Shakspeare,
it will be when some honest Griffith, having shown Webster, Lincoln, and
Grant in all the worth which merited their unspeakably happy lot, each
radiant with the victor's glory, places opposite the great civic heroes of
the southern nation, their due renown at last fitly blazoned. That renown
will be that they devoted the very greatest human powers and virtues all
their lives, with never remitted effort and spotless fidelity, to save a
doomed country,--the imperishable renown of grand failure in a cause which
adverse fate cannot keep from being ever dear to all humanity.

My last word as to what I have just quoted from the three northern authors
is that all of us--and especially the fast widening public of
readers--ought to be forever in earnest to applaud such sentiments and
chide every manifestation of excessive sectional bias or prejudice from
either northerner or southerner. This has been my incessantly kept faith
for years. As proof I refer to my article, "The Old and New South," nearly
all of it written in the early part of 1875--thirty years ago--and which I
published the next year. I give an exact copy of it in the Appendix. As
you go through it remember these things of the author: The election of
Lincoln made me believe, as it did thousands of other southerners, that
secession was the only patriotic course. I therefore voted for secession
delegates to the State convention. I served in the confederate army all
the war, taking part in the First Manassas and many other battles; and
when I had been surrendered and paroled at Appomattox I walked back to my
home in Georgia. Ten years after this I had found full solace and comfort
for the direful event to the south of the brothers' war; and I had learned
that the brothers on each side had complete justification in conscience
for their contrary parts as statesmen, public leaders, voters, and at the
end as soldiers. I want my readers of each section to see that I have long
practised what I am now preaching.

I beg attention to the article on another score. It shows that the
opinions expressed in this book have not been formed in haste. Nearly all
of the more important will be found therein, in embryo, at least; and the
present book will show, I hope, that they have prosperously grown. There
are passages in the article, such as those touching the relations of the
races, the future of the negro, the maintenance by the decentralizing
forces of the union of their balance with the counter ones, and also
others, which I might now justly claim to have proved prophetic; and I do
not believe that a serious misprediction can be found in the entire
article. This is, I hope, such corroboration by after occurrences as
indicates that even my early studies of the transcendently important
theme were not unfruitful.

Further, the article serves in some sort to mark a definite stage in
evolution. To give but one illustration: Although my close attention to
planting interests at the time and for the seven or eight preceding years
had kept me closely watching the negro, I had not then discovered even the
beginning of that division of the race into two classes which is now so
plain to me.

Possibly some readers may shy away from my book, deeming that its subject
is hackneyed and worn out. They will exclaim, What can this author say
that has not been said in the vast library of books already written upon
the civil war? This will be asked, I am sure, only by the unobservant and
unreflecting. If one but turn away from the assumptions, dogmas, and
philippics, with which north and south cannonaded each other's morality
with increasing fury from 1831 to 1861, to the _rerum causæ_, the play of
resistless social forces, and the other actualities and great things
indicated above, their huge stores of varied novelty, interest, romance,
and wisdom will greatly embarass him--as has been my painful
experience--both in making the best selection and in his felt inability to
give what he does at last select its fit presentation.

As illustration I will say that every thoroughly impartial northern reader
who meditates what I narrate as to Toombs will, I believe, be astonished
to learn that one so prodigally gifted with supreme virtue and supreme
genius, and who was of unexampled success in doing all the common and all
the extraordinary duties of high place, has become worse than forgotten in
almost his own day; and such a reader will suspect, as I do myself, that
there is much more of value in his career that I have overlooked.

Perhaps this chapter is too long already. But I pray my reader to allow me
to say a little more. We are upon the threshold of a new American era.
Evidently because of our western coast we are to dominate the Pacific
ocean commerce and to develop it into proportions so enormous as to be now
almost inconceivable. That coast will soon outstrip the Atlantic in
population and great cities. Our people, safe against wars on the
continent, maintaining armies only of workers, taught better methods every
year by practice and science, will soon be far in advance of their present
enviable prosperity and comfort. Cheering as is the promise of their
material progress, that of their progress in virtue and good government is
still more cheering. Everywhere in the north--which was not impoverished,
deprived of familiar modes of production, and paralyzed with a race
question by the event of the brothers' war--the State electorates are
rebelling successfully against the party machine, cashiering the boss, and
subverting the corporation oligarchy. That in the last election the voters
most intelligently split their tickets assures the early expulsion of
spoilsmen, grafters, and public-service franchise-grabbers from the
control of our politics, legislation, and administration of government,
and the real and permanent elevation of the people to being their own
absolute governors. In several States--one of these a southern--the vote
was for the most democratic and anti-plutocratic president since Lincoln,
while at the same time the anti-plutocratic State candidates, either of
the other party or independent, were elected. Our population will soon
outstrip all the world in average riches, comfort, virtue, and education.
The special note to be made of this new American era now beginning is that
we are to lead the nations into a war-abolishing United States of the
world, which in the end will make and keep them our equals in solid
welfare and happiness. With this prospect in view, the brighter and more
enrapturing as I cannot keep from contrasting it with the black and
hopeless future which settled around me at Appomattox, I would do all that
I can to bring about that better understanding between north and south
which befits the good time near at hand.



As a distinguished southerner, familiar with the subject, says, slavery in
the United States was "a stupendous anachronism."[11] It is almost
incredible to the average northerner of to-day that the enlightened people
of the south sank backwards in social development a thousand years or
more, and hugged to their bosoms for several generations such a monstrous
evil and peril.

The co-operation of two facts fully explains the wonder just noted. Now
let us try to understand this.

The first fact is the part played by tobacco and cotton before the
anti-slavery sentiment became influential. At a time when there was
practically no industry but agriculture these two staples became the most
lucrative of all common American crops. Tobacco found its true soil in
Virginia, and cotton farther south. It developed in time that both could
be made far more profitably with African slaves than by free white labor,
the only other labor to be had. Of course you are to remember that slave
cultivation of tobacco did not become general in Virginia until near the
end of the seventeenth century, and that it was the invention of the gin
soon after the adoption of the federal constitution in 1789 that started
cotton production on a large scale. What you are especially to grasp here
is the economic conditions which naturally spread slavery from its
beginning at Jamestown, first over Virginia, and then throughout the
entire south, either settled in large measure from Virginia, or looking
thither for example. The Virginian who could not replace his exhausted
fields with virgin soil at home went with his slaves either west or south,
and hacked down enough of the primeval forest to give his working force
its quantum of arable land. We need not stop here to tell of rice and
cane, nor of other crops and industries which for a while engaged slave
labor in northern regions of the south where the soil did not suit
tobacco. The foregoing suggests adequately for this place how slavery
became general in the south.

The second fact is that the prevalent opinion of that time was far
different from that of to-day, for certain reasons, to which I would now
have you attend.

Long before the discovery of America personal slavery had fallen under the
ban of the christian church and become in Europe a thing of the past. The
Divine Comedy catalogues in detail the religious, political, moral, and
social events of its age. It is utterly silent throughout as to slavery.
Dante died in 1321, soon after he had finished the Divine Comedy. That was
nearly three hundred years before the appearance of African slavery in

Now for something of very great importance to us here, which occurred soon
afterwards, and before the introduction of African slavery into America.
It is that by the Renascence the literature of slaveholding Greece and
Rome suddenly acquired and long held commanding influence upon almost
every educator of the public in the enlightened world. It was in the last
quarter of the fourteenth century--some fifty years after Dante had
died--that the classics revived in Italy. Spreading thence over Europe,
they are found dominating the great Elizabethan divines, philosophers,
poets, and other opinion-forming writers at the end of the fifteenth
century. And during all of the time from the landing of the twenty
Africans at Jamestown by the Dutch man-of-war in 1619 until slavery had
become the solitary prop of southern industry and property, the Greek and
Latin ancient writers were in our mother country almost the sole subjects
of school or university education, and the main reading of all those that
read at all. And every page of this literature, studied with enthusiastic
worship and resorted to day in and day out for instruction and
inspiration, disclosed that in Greece and Rome the average family was
dependent for its maintenance upon slaves; and that so far from slavery
being a relic of barbarism, as the American root-and-branch abolitionists
afterwards fulminated in a platform, it was the very foundation of the
state in those two great nations whose philosophy, learning, science,
jurisprudence, poetry, art, and eloquence are still the models in every
enlightened land. Naturally the educated classes, now that it had been
several hundred years since slavery was a burning question, had forgotten
or had never heard of the old disinclination of the church, and could not
see any evil in that which their most admired and dearest ones had all
practised. The classics did not stop with giving slavery the negative
support just mentioned. Although such authors as Quintilian and Seneca,
and the later jurists--all of the discredited silver, and not of the
glorified Ciceronian and Augustan ages--do express, theatrically and
academically, anti-slavery opinions, yet what they say was merely dust in
the balance when weighed against the commendations of the institution to
be found in the writings of Aristotle, Plato, and Cicero, who had now
become the great idols of intellectual society.[12]

The church would not stay out in the cold and dark, whither it had been
suddenly and rudely cast by the Renascence. It woke up to discover that as
the African was a heathen barbarian it was God's mercy to kidnap him for a
christian master, and thus give him his only opportunity of saving his
soul. And although it is not right to enslave other races, the descendants
of Ham are an exception, who by reason of Noah's curse are to be the
servants of servants to the end of time--that is what Holy Church taught
by precept and example.

"Sir John Hawkins has the unenviable distinction of being the first
English captain of a slave-ship, about the year 1552."[13] His venture
proved a great success. Good Queen Bess reproached him for his
mistreatment of human beings. He answered that it was far better for the
African thus to become a slave in a christian community, than to live the
rest of his life in his native home of idolatry; and this was so
convincing that "in the subsequent expeditions of this most heartless
man-stealer, she was a partner and protector."[14] Until the end of the
seventeenth century the masses regarded the negro as being rather wild
beast than man, showing no more scruples in catching and making a drudge
of him than later generations did in lassoing wild horses and working them
under curb-bit, spur, and whip. And the more understanding ones, who
recognized that the negro belonged to humanity, re-enforced Aristotle[15]
and Pliny[16] with much that they found both in the Old and New
Testaments.[17] The many who preached liberty or the true religion posed
as humanitarians, pharisaically comparing themselves with the best
characters of Greece and Rome. The citizens of those great republics, they
said, in spite of their advanced democracy, tore men and women of their
own race and blood away from home and country and forced them with the
scourge to toil in chains, while we do that only with savages and
heathens, who cannot be civilized or christianized in any other way. We
eschew slavery in the abstract. We tolerate it only in the concrete, which
is the slavery of those destined for it by God and nature. Slave-catcher,
slaveholder, and the public seriously and conscientiously held this creed.

You must now add to the list of influences planting and stimulating
slavery in America the protection it got in the constitution under which
the federal government started in 1789. As Mr. Blaine says:

    "The compromises on the slavery question, inserted in the
    constitution, were among the essential conditions upon which the
    federal government was organized. If the African slave-trade had not
    been permitted to continue for twenty years, if it had not been
    conceded that three-fifths of the slaves should be counted in the
    apportionment of representatives in congress, if it had not been
    agreed that fugitives from service should be returned to their owners,
    the thirteen States would not have been able in 1787 'to form a more
    perfect union.'"[18]

Think over it until you can fully take in the prodigious favor to slavery
which this countenance of it by the American bible of bibles naturally
created in the north and south.

The forces rapidly sketched in the foregoing were so powerful in their
co-operation to bring in slavery that its establishment and a long era of
vigorous growth were inevitable. Note the years during which they met no
sensible or only a fitful opposition. The first anti-slavery agitation
that shook the entire country was that over the Missouri question, which
having lasted a little more than two years ended in 1821, thirty-two years
after the adoption of the constitution. This agitation was only against
the extension of slavery. It was not until 1835 that the presentation to
Congress of petitions for the abolition of slavery in the District of
Columbia disclosed to the far-seeing Calhoun alone that serious and mighty
aggression upon slavery in the States was commencing. Here we may date the
beginning of the abolition movement. But that movement did not become
respectable with the great mass of northern people until the application
of California in 1850 for admission into the union as a free State widened
the chasm between the sections so that it commenced to show to the dullest
eye, and "Uncle Tom's Cabin," which came out in 1852, stirred the north to
its depths. The growth of slavery was then and had been for a quarter of a
century complete. The soil, climate, and best agricultural interests of
the south, at a time when she was to be wholly agricultural or
economically nothing at all, the practice and precepts of the sages of
Greece and Rome, of the patriarchs of Israel, of Jesus and his disciples
and apostles, of the great and good of modern times,--all these had, with
oracular consensus, led her understanding and conscience into adopting,
nurturing, and on into extending slavery over her territory. Thus when
abolition first emerged into open day, slavery had become the very
economical life of the south. It had so permeated and informed the
combined property, social, and political structure, that abolition would
subvert the community fabric and beggar the population of the southern
States now living in content and comfort.

I trust that the foregoing shows you that it is not so strange after all
that slavery ran the career just described.

But some one says, how could the southerners as Americans, the especial
champions of liberty, stultify themselves by slaveholding? how could they
forget the world-arousing words of the declaration of independence that
all men are created equal, and endowed with unalienable rights to life,
liberty, and pursuit of happiness?

This has already been answered. The slaveholding republics of Greece and
Rome had advanced in democracy so far beyond anything to be found in
Europe at the revival of learning, that from that time on for many years
the political doctrine in the recovered classics was the very greatest of
all the intellectual influences that made for mere democracy. The
celebrated passage in which Burke eulogizes the stubborn maintenance of
their freedom by free slaveholders has been the text of speakers from
Pinkney, addressing the United States senate on the Missouri question, to
Toombs, lecturing in Tremont Temple, Boston, and it has never been
confuted. History shows no instance where such men ever reproached
themselves for slaveholding, and while it was profitable put it aside
because it is undemocratic.

As to the words which you quote from the declaration of independence,
Jefferson, the draftsman, doubtless, meant them to include the African;
but the majority of the congress making it, and the American people
actually ratifying it, almost unanimously held that the African was not
enough of man to come within the words.

A Roman law parallel aptly illustrates. In the Institutes it is said that
slavery is contrary to the law of nature, for under this every one is born
free;[19] and again, that slavery was established by the _jus gentium_
under which a man is made subject to the dominion of another _contra
naturam_, that is, against nature, against _jus naturale_, or the law of
nature.[20] And in the Pandects this is weakly echoed.[21] But the actual
enactment of the _corpus juris civilis_ fortifies slavery as it had been
established all over the world by the _jus gentium_ with these plain
words: "The master has power of life and death over his slave; and
whatever property the slave acquires, he acquires for the master."[22]

Our forefathers making the declaration of independence, and the Romans of
Justinian's time, sentimentalized in the same words over the natural right
to equality and liberty of all human beings, and also resolutely held on
to their slaves. The solemn assertion that all men are created equal and
of inalienable liberty made by American slaveholders was but a repetition
of what Roman slaveholders had already said; and it is curious that the
fact has not attracted due attention.

I fancy that my objector now shoots his last bolt. He exclaims that
southerners were incredibly dull and obtuse not to discern that
resistlessly puissant economical, political, moral, and intellectual
forces, not of America only but of the entire world, were leaguing
together against slavery, and therefore they ought to have fled in time
from the coming wrath and evil day.

A satisfactory reply need not postulate any other than ordinary
intelligence and alertness for the south. Note how people dwell near
overflowing rivers, or a sea of tidal waves, or live volcanoes, or in
earthquake districts, or near a tribe of scalping redskins, where they,
their wives and children, keep merry as the day is long until calamity
comes. The warning of the abolitionists was too late. Suppose we had given
the inhabitants of Herculaneum or Pompeii or St. Pierre timely counsel to
abandon their homes and settle beyond the reach of eruption. How many
would have done it? I knew hundreds of people, and among all of them there
was but one who showed by his actions that he foresaw the early fall of
slavery. That was Mr. Frank L. Upson of Lexington, Georgia, a highly
accomplished and well-informed man. In 1856, I think it was, he sold all
of his slaves, declaring as his reason that he believed if he kept them he
would see them freed without compensation. He was so serious that he
declared this even to his purchasers. They merely laughed, and everybody
else laughed too, to think how green he was to give them the good bargain
that he did. But after the war he enjoyed comfort from the money those
slaves had brought him, when all his neighbors had been plunged into hard
times by emancipation. There may have been others that did like him. There
could not have been many such, for I have never been able to hear of a
single one.

We did like the rest of mankind do or would have done. We stuck to our
homes and business until the tidal wave washed them away. Yet there are
wise ones who are positive that had we not been far more dull and
unforeseeing than the average we would have understood many years before
the final convulsion that the forces arrayed against slavery were
irresistible, and surrendered it in time to get compensated emancipation.
Look at the monopolists now preying upon the public in every corner of the
land. They are confident that their holdings are impregnable against
democracy coming invincibly against them. Look at the great mass of our
population, shutting the fresh air out of their houses in order to be
comfortably warm, and thereby rearing parents--especially mothers--who
unawares are incessantly developing tuberculosis to destroy themselves and
their children. Some years hence when resumption by government of its
functions now granted to private persons has dispossessed all the
monopolists, and when every dwelling-house is kept perfectly ventilated
and free from infected air, there will be other wise ones to believe that
hindsight is just the same as foresight, and to inveigh against the
monopolists and parents just mentioned for their unwonted stupidity and



Now a brief explanation of the antagonism between free and slave labor.
The expense of his slaves to the farmer is the same whether they are
resting or at work. Sundays, days and even seasons of unfavorable weather,
in long do-nothing intervals succeeding the making and also the gathering
of the crop, they cost him just as much as when he can work them from sun
to sun. But this is not all of his load. The year round he must subsist
the numerous non-workers in the families of his laborers, whether young,
superannuated, or afflicted. Suppose another farmer to be on adjoining
land who can employ laborers just as he wants them, and discharge them as
soon as he has no further use for them. Do you not perceive that this
free-labor farmer can produce far more cheaply than the slave farmer? And
do you not also perceive that if there is a supply of free labor to be had
in a slave country, and it can be got by every farmer _ad libitum_, slaves
must lose their value as property and be driven to the wall? Free labor
was kept out of the south by the repugnance of the white laborer to the
negro. Note also that when the number of slaves had become considerable
their owners would naturally combine to protect the market value of their
property by preventing the coming in of cheaper labor. This was the real
reason why Virginia and Delaware opposed the extension of the African
slave-trade from 1800 to 1808, and the Confederate States' constitution
refused to reopen it. Slavery made some headway in the north. But not
finding there the stimulus of such products as tobacco and cotton, it
could not become so widespread and deep-seated as to sweep out free labor.
The latter under favorable conditions commenced the competition in which
it could not fail to win; and in due time slavery died out in the north.
We especially desire to emphasize the attitude towards extension of
slavery that free labor was bound to take. That it had already ejected
slavery from every other enlightened community will occur to the reader at
once as weighty proof that the two cannot live together.[23] Think of the
free worker's suffrage, and you cannot believe that he could long be
induced to vote for the protection and further spread of a system taking
the bread out of his own mouth, and degrading him by engendering profound
disrespect for his class; and then think of the vast and rapidly growing
numbers of the free laborers of the north, receiving every day great
accessions of foreign immigrants avoiding the south as they would the
plague; think of all these, and you begin to discern what a mighty power
was rising against slavery.

This has brought us to the place where we can properly treat the
contention for the Territories. Consider their vast area. Remember that
our people have settled thereon in such numbers that thirty-two new States
have been added to the old thirteen, and others still are to be added.
Here for some generations was land for the landless; the full meaning of
which Henry George has made us plainly see. The adventurous and
enterprising of the old States of each section set their faces
thitherward in a constantly swelling stream. Attend to the only material
difference for us between the northerner and the southerner going west.
Each settler wanted a community like his native one. The northerner had
not been trained to manage slave labor and property; he did not like it;
he thought it out of date and vastly inferior to free labor; and he could
not endure to have himself and family live among negroes, repulsive to him
because of unfamiliarity. He had learned from its history in the south
that wherever slavery established itself it superseded all other labor.
Therefore he would none of it in his new home; and he settled in a
non-slave community. Of course the southerner, knowing nothing of free
labor and bred into a love of the slave system, settled among
slaveholders. And so for a generation or two free and slave States were
steadily added to the union in pairs.

But the unsettled lands were diminishing in area. Its population
multiplying so marvellously, the north felt urgent need for the whole of
these lands. The great majority of settlers going thence into the
Territories were farmers. Note some of the more influential classes left
behind them. The parents, relatives, and friends who wanted them suited in
the west--this was the largest class of all, and it was of prodigious
intellectual, political, and moral potency. Then the manufacturers of
agricultural implements, and of many articles, all of which the
southerners either had their mechanic slaves to make by hand, and of
oldtime fashion, or did without; the millers, and many sorts of wholesale
merchants who had found slave owners poor and the employers of free labor
good customers; and these manufacturers and merchants were greedy for the
new markets which they could get only in free States.

These are but the merest hints, but they serve somewhat to suggest the
all-powerful motives which at last united the great majority of northern
people, east and west, in intelligent and inveterate opposition to the
further spread of slavery.

Now look at the southern situation. At the outset, note that his slaves
were the southerner's only laborers, and practically his only property.
And note especially that this property was not only self-supporting, but
it was also the most rapidly self-reproducing that Tom, Dick, and Harry
ever had in all history. A reliable witness tells this: "On my father's
plantation an aged negro woman could call together more than one hundred
of her lineal descendants. I saw this old negro dance at the wedding of
her great-granddaughter."[24]

Let me repeat that slaves were not only money-making laborers, but also
things of valuable property, which of themselves multiplied as dollars do
at compound interest. Let the northern man unfamiliar with slavery try to
understand this one of its phases by supposing that he has orchards
abundantly yielding a fruit which is in good demand, and that the trees
plant and tend themselves, gather and store the fruit, set out other
orchards, and do all things else necessary to care for the property and
keep it steadily growing. Such trees with their yearly produce and
prodigious increase--each by an easy organic or natural, and not by a
difficult artificial, process, relieving the owner from all but the
slightest attention and labor of superintendence--would soon be the only
ones in their entire zone of production; bringing it about that all other
occupations and property therein would be dependent upon this main and
really only industry. Such orchards would be somewhat like the slaves in
their automatic production and accumulation, but they would be much
inferior as marketable property in many particulars.

Although the profits of slave-planting were considerable, the greatest
profit of all was what the master thought of and talked of all the day
long,--the natural increase of his slaves, as he called it. His negroes
were far more to him than his land. His planting was the furthest removed
of all from a proper restorative agriculture. Quickly exhausting his new
cleared fields, he looked elsewhere for other virgin soil to wear out. The
number of the slaves in the south was growing fast, and the new lands in
the older slave States were nearly gone. To keep the hens laying the
golden eggs of natural increase, nests must be found for them on the
cotton, sugar, and rice lands of the Territories. In other words, the area
of slave culture must be extended; for whenever there is no land for a
considerable number of our workers, it is evident that we have a surplus
of slaves; and the effect of that will be at the first to lower the market
value of our only property, and then gradually to destroy it. So the
instincts of the southerners whispered in their ears.

We hope that we now have helped you to an understanding of the active
principles each of free labor and of slave labor; how by reason of them
the interests of north and south in dividing the public domain were in
irreconcilable conflict; and how it was natural that the free States
should band together against, and the slave States band together for,
slavery. Thus the country split into two geographical though not political
sections, the political division which ripened later being as yet only
imminent and inchoate. That these sections had been made by deadly war
between free labor and slave labor is all that we have to say here. The
development went further, as we shall explain in the next chapter--all of
it under the propulsion of the two active principles. They were always the
ultimate and supreme motors. Often they are not to be seen at all. Still
more often what they did was disguised. To read the facts of that time
aright you must always and everywhere look for their work. Do that
patiently, and you will detect every one of the many controversies over
matters affecting an interest of either section as such--whether questions
apparently of national politics, of morals, or religion, in newspapers,
pamphlets, reviews, books, and all the vast contemporary literature, in
the pulpit, on the platform, and in every place and corner of the entire
land where policy and impolicy or right and wrong were mooted--to be but a
part of one or the other of two great complexes of machinery, each geared
to its particular motor and kept going by its mighty push.



Nationalization is the process by which a nation makes itself. The process
may be active for a long while without completion, as we see in the case
of Ireland; it may form a nation, but to be overturned and wiped out, as
the southern confederacy was; or it may find its consummation in such a
powerful one as the United States. The most conspicuous effect of the
process we now have in hand is to make one of many communities. But
sometimes a part breaks off from a nation and sets up and maintains its
independence as a country. Thus a portion of the territory of Mexico was
settled over from our States, and after a while these settlers tore
themselves loose from Mexico and became the nation of Texas. We shall tell
you more fully in another chapter how the separate colonies became
nationalized into the United States, and what we say here of southern
nationalization will illustrate to the reader that important
transformation, to understand which is of especial moment to us in
examining the brothers' war. But we must emphasize the characteristic
feature of the nationalization of the south. I have searched the pages of
history in vain for an example like it. The idiosyncrasy is that the south
was homogeneous in origin, race, language, religion, institutions, and
customs with the north, and yet she developed away from the north into a
separate nation. I have long been accustomed to parallel the case of
Ireland's repulsion from Great Britain, but I always had to admit that
there was dissimilarity in everything except the strong drift towards
independence and the struggle to win it;[25] for the Irish are largely
different from the English in origin, race, language, religion,
institutions, and customs. The more you consider it the more striking
becomes this uniqueness of southern nationalization. Think of it for a
moment. Thirteen adjacent colonies; each a dependency of the same nation;
all settled promiscuously from every part and parcel of one mother
country, and therefore the settlers rapidly becoming in time more like one
another everywhere than the English were who at home were clinging to
their several localities and dialects; governed alike; standing together
against Indians, French, and Spanish, and after a while against the mother
country;--where can you find another instance of so many common ties and
tendencies, all prompting incessantly and mightily to union in a political
whole, which is ever the goal of the nationalizing process. That the
colonies did grow into a political whole is not at all wonderful to the
historical student. The wonder is that after they had done this a number
of them just like the others in the particulars above pointed out, which
fuse adjacent communities into a nation, turn away from the old union and
seek to form one of their own. The southern States all did the same thing
with such practical unanimity that even the foreigner may know that the
same cause was at work in every one of them. Manifestly there was a
nationalizing element in them which was not in the others, and which made
the former homogeneous with one another and heterogeneous to the rest.
And that element which differenced the south from the rest of the union so
greatly that it was, from a time long before either she or the north had
become conscious of it, impelling her irresistibly towards an independent
nationality of her own, all of us natives know was the constructive and
plastic principle of her slave industrial and property system.

It is not the purpose of the foregoing expatiation to prove to you such a
familiar and well-known fact as that slavery parted north and south and
caused the brothers' war. Its purpose is to arouse you to consider
nationalization, and have you see how it acts according to a will of its
own and not of man, and now and then works out most stupendous results
contrary to all that mortals deem probabilities. You ought to recognize
that the forces which produced the Confederate States were just as
all-powerful and opposeless as those which produced the United States;
that in fact they were exactly the same in kind, that is, the forces of

To have you see that even at the time of making the federal constitution
the south had grown into a pro-slavery section and was far on the road
towards independence, it is necessary to correct the prevalent opinion
that there was then below Mason and Dixon's line a very widespread and
influential hostility to slavery. The manumission of his slaves by
Washington, the fearless and outspoken opposition to the institution by
Jefferson and some other prominent persons, and certain facts indicating
unfavorable sentiment, have been too hastily accepted by even historians
as demonstrations that the opinion is true. Here are the facts which prove
it to be utterly untrue. In 1784, three years before our epochal
convention assembled, Jefferson, as chairman of an appropriate committee
consisting besides himself of Chase of Maryland and Howell of Rhode
Island, reported to congress a plan for the temporary government of the
West Territory. This region contained not only all the territory that was
subsequently covered by the famous ordinance of 1787, but such a vast deal
more that it was proposed to make seventeen States out of the whole.
Consider this provision of the report, the suggestion and work of

    "That after the year 1800 of the christian era there shall be neither
    slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of said States, otherwise
    than in punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been
    convicted to have been personally guilty."

When the report was taken up by congress, Spaight of North Carolina made a
motion to strike out the provision just quoted, and it was seconded by
Reed of South Carolina. On the vote North Carolina was divided; but all
the other southern States represented, to wit, Maryland, Virginia, and
South Carolina, voted for the motion, the colleagues of Jefferson of
Virginia and those of Chase of Maryland out-voting these two southerners
standing by the provision. All the northern States represented, which were
the then four New England States, New York, and Pennsylvania, voted for
the provision. But as it failed to get the necessary seven States it was
not retained.

Thus it appears that at the close of the Revolutionary war the interest of
the south in and her attachment to slavery were so great that by her
representatives in congress she appears to be almost unanimous against the
proposal to keep the institution from extending.

This action of the south shows that both Virginia in ceding that part of
the West Territory which was three years afterwards by the ordinance of
1787 put under Jefferson's provision which had been rejected when it had
been proposed for all the territory, and the south in voting unanimously
for the ordinance, were not actuated by hostility to slavery. The soil of
the territory north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi to which the
ordinance applied probably may have been thought by Virginians unsuited to
tobacco, the then sole crop upon which slave labor could be lucratively
used. Be that as it may, that the southern States in subsequent cessions
made not long afterwards guarded against slavery prohibition must be kept
in mind. When they are, it is proved that always from the time that
Jefferson's provision failed to carry in 1784, as has been told above, the
prevalent sentiment of the southern people overwhelmingly favored slavery.

Let us illustrate from later times. Writers who claim that the south,
meditating secession, purposed to reopen the African slave-trade, adduce
some relevant evidence which at first flush appears to be very weighty, if
not convincing. They show that A. H. Stephens of Georgia, who afterwards
became vice-president of the confederacy, in 1859 used language indicating
that he thought it vital to the south, in her struggle to extend the area
of slavery, to get more Africans; and they further show similar utterances
made at the time by certain papers and other prominent men of the south.

But the constitution of the Confederate States, adopted in 1861, contains
this provision:

    "The importation of negroes of the African race from any foreign
    country other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the
    United States of America is hereby forbidden, and congress is required
    to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same."

Of course this solemn act unanimously voted for by the members of the
congress, Stephens being one of them, counts incalculably more in weight
to prove that predominant southern sentiment was against reopening the
African slave-trade, than the counter evidence just stated. Likewise all
that Washington, Jefferson, and other of their contemporaries may have
done or said against slavery is outweighed by the contemporary pro-slavery
legislation and measures dictated by the south. It is very probable that
during the time we are now contemplating anti-slavery men were really as
few in the south as union men were after the first blood spilled in the
brothers' war.

Recall the three compromises between north and south, mentioned above, by
which the union was formed, and you will understand that the fathers were
preaching but to stones when they impugned slavery. And at this point
meditate the language of Madison in the historic convention, which shows
that he saw accurately even then the permanence of slavery, and the
unequivocal geographical division it had made. He was discussing the
apprehension of the small States, New Jersey, Delaware, and Rhode Island,
that under the union proposed they would be absorbed by the larger
adjacent States. He affirmed there was no such danger; and that the only
danger arose from the antagonism between the slave and the non-slave
sections. To avert this danger he proposed to arm north and south each
with defensive power against the other by conceding to the former the
superiority it would get in one branch of the federal legislature by
reason of its greater population if the members thereof came in equal
numbers from every State, large or small, and at the same time giving the
south superiority in the other branch by allowing it increased
representation therein for all its slaves counted as free inhabitants.
This prepares you for the language which we now give from the report, and
which we would have you meditate:

    "He [Madison] admitted that every peculiar interest, whether in any
    class of citizens, or any description of States, ought to be secured
    as far as possible. Wherever there is danger of attack, there ought to
    be given a constitutional power of defence. But he contended that the
    States were divided into different interests, not by their difference
    of size, but by other circumstances; the most material of which
    resulted partly from climate, but principally from the effects of
    their having or not having slaves. These causes concurred in forming
    the great division of interests in the United States. It did not lie
    between the large and small States. It lay between the northern and
    southern; and if any defensive power were necessary, it ought to be
    mutually given to these two interests. He was so strongly impressed
    with this important truth, that he had been casting about in his mind
    for some expedient that would answer the purpose. The one which had
    occurred was that, instead of proportioning the votes of the States in
    both branches to their respective number of inhabitants, computing the
    slaves in the ratio of 5 to 3, they should be represented in one
    branch according to the number of free inhabitants only; and in the
    other according to their whole number, counting the slaves as free. By
    this arrangement the southern scale would have the advantage in one
    house and the northern in the other."

Madison meant to say that the great danger of disunion was that--we
emphasize his statement by repeating and italicizing the essential
part--"_the States were divided into different interests ... principally
from the effects of their having or not having slaves. These causes
concurred in forming the great division of interests in the United

How truly he expresses the economical antagonism of the southern and
northern States, although he hints nothing of the nationalizing tendency
of the former which was bound in time to show itself as one of "the
effects of their having slaves."

It seems to me that Mr. Adams overeulogizes the political instinct and
prophecy evinced by Madison at this tune. I cannot see that the latter
does anything more than merely recognize the fact then plain to all. Note
as proof this other passage quoted by Mr. Adams from Madison in the
convention, in which the material words are given by me in italics: "_It
seems now well understood_ that the real difference of interests lies, not
between the large and small, but between the northern and southern

If the historical expert but duly consider the important facts marshalled
in the foregoing he must find them to be incontrovertible proofs that in
1787, when our fathers were making the federal constitution, and for some
years before, southern nationalization was not simply inchoate, but that
it was growing so rapidly its course could be stopped in but one way; that
is, by the extirpation of slavery, which was both its germ and active
principle. This was before the invention of the gin. After that the lower
south and west quickly added a vast territory to the empire of slavery,
and southern nationalization received throughout its whole domain a new, a
lasting, and a far more powerful impetus. And when the cotton States, as
we call them, had really developed their industry, the southern
confederacy was inevitable.

The fact of this nationalization is indisputable. When the confederates
organized their government at Montgomery, everybody looking on felt and
said that a new nation was born. Why ignore what is so plain and so
important? Thus Mr. Adams most graphically contrasts the two widely
different northern and southern civilizations which were flourishing side
by side,[26] and with a momentary inadvertence he ascribes national
development only to the civilization north of the Potomac and Ohio, and
treats State sovereignty as anti-national. The fact is that a
nationalization, the end of which was southern independence, had been long
active, as we have perhaps too copiously shown, and the doctrine of State
sovereignty was really nothing but its instrument, nurse, and organ. Every
southern State that invoked State sovereignty and seceded was shortly
afterwards found in the new southern nation. Had that nation prospered,
the doctrine would soon have died a natural death even in the confederacy.
Nationalization is the cardinal fact, the _vis major_, on each side. The
free-labor nationalization of the north, purposing to appropriate and hold
the continent, fashioned a self-preserving weapon of the assumption that
the fathers made by the constitution an indissoluble union; the slave
nationalization of the south, purposing to appropriate and hold that part
of the continent suiting its special staples, assumed that the fathers
preserved State sovereignty intact in the federal union.

The closer you look the plainer you will see that the United States held
within itself two nationalities so inveterately hostile to each other that
gemination was long imminent before it actually occurred. The hostility
between the statesmen of Virginia and her daughter States and those of the
north, and especially New England,--Jefferson on one side and Hamilton and
Adams on the other,--the party following the former calling itself
republican and that following the latter calling itself federalist, was
really rooted in the hostility of the two nationalities; and a survival of
this hostility is now unpleasantly vigorous between many northern and
southern writers and lecturers, each class claiming too much of the good
in our past history for its own section and ascribing too much of the bad
to the other. As a lady friend, a native of Michigan who has lived in the
south some years, remarked to me not long since, as soon as one going
north crosses the Ohio he feels that he has entered another country;
behind him is a land of corn-pone, biscuit, three cooked meals a day, and
houses tended untidily by darkey servants; before him is a land of bakers'
bread of wheat, where there is hardly more than one warm meal a day, and
the houses are kept as neat as a pin by the mothers and daughters of the
family. Greater public activity of the county while there is hardly any at
all of its subdivisions, the representative system almost everywhere in
the municipalities, no government by town-meeting and no direct
legislation except occasionally, a most crude and feeble rural common
school system, distinguish and characterize the south; buoyant energy of
the township in public affairs, government by town-meeting instead of by
representatives, a common-school system energetically improving,
distinguish and characterize the north. The manners and customs of
southerners are peculiar. To use an expressive cant word, they "gush" more
than northeners. In cars and public meetings they give their seats to
ladies, while northerners do not. Southerners are quick to return a blow
for insulting words, and in the consequent rencounter they are prone to
use deadly weapons; while northerners are generally as averse to personal
violence as were the Greeks and Romans in their palmiest time. The
battle-cry of the confederates was a wild cheering--a fox-hunt yell, as we
called it; that of the union soldiers was huzza! huzza! huzza! From the
beginning to the end, even at Franklin and Bentonville, and at Farmville,
just two days before I was surrendered at Appomattox, the confederates
always, if possible, took the offensive; the union soldiers were like the
sturdy Englishmen, whose tactics from Hastings to Waterloo have generally
been defensive.

This battle yell, this impetuous charge after charge until the field is
won, marks the fighting of the Americans at King's Mountain--all of them
southerners; and it is another weighty proof of the early coalescence of
the south as a community on its way to independence.

Many other contrasts could be suggested. Think over the foregoing. They
are the respective effects of two different causes,--a free-labor
nationalization above, and a slave-labor nationalization below, Mason and
Dixon's line. The latter--its origin and course--is the especial subject
of this chapter. I believe that the proofs marshalled above demonstrate to
the fair and unprejudiced reader that southern nationalization commenced
before the making of the federal constitution, and afterwards went
directly on, gathering force and power all the while, until it culminated

  "A storm-cradled nation that fell."



Greece was going down in her contest with Macedon when she gave the world
to come the Achæan league, the first historical example of full-grown
federation. As Freeman says of such a federal government: "Its perfect
form is a late growth of a very high state of political culture."[27] This
historian thus summarizes its essentials:

    "Two requisites seem necessary to constitute federal government in
    this its most perfect form. On the one hand, each of the members of
    the union must be wholly independent in those matters which concern
    each member only. On the other hand, all must be subject to a common
    power in those matters which concern the whole body of members

No author has yet shown a better-considered and more accurate appreciation
of the benefits to different communities of federal union. But the
islander could not conceive--even at the centre of the British empire
spread over the world--the advanced phase of Anglo-Saxon federation in
America and Australia, which for want of a better name we may call, using
a grand word of our fathers, continental federation.

And Americans of every generation have misunderstood the true nature of
our union, and especially how it was made and how it could be unmade. The
fathers were as much mistaken as to the real authorship of the
declaration of independence, the articles of confederation, and the
federal constitution, as Burke and many people of his time were as to the
true causes of the French revolution, or as the brothers were as to those
of their war. In all that the fathers did they were sure that they acted
as agents solely of their respective colonies or States, which they
believed to be independent and sovereign. Therefore they maintained that
the authorship of the three great documents just mentioned was that of the
separate States, when in truth it was that of the union. When the latter,
which had been long forming its rudiments, came into something like
consciousness, it at once spurred our fathers to make the declaration of
independence. The declaration corresponds to the later ordinances of
secession. And this union, gathering strength, led our fathers to make the
old confederation; and its articles and the belonging government are
closely paralleled by the constitution of the Confederate States and its
belonging government. As southern nationalization brought forth the
southern confederacy, so it was American nationalization that caused
secession from England, the declaration of independence, and the
confederation which won the Revolutionary war. To summarize the foregoing:
Southern nationalization evolved the southern union, and American
nationalization evolved the American union. The fathers, with the usual
undiscernment of contemporaries, by a most natural _hysteron proteron_
conceived the latter union to be the work, product, and result of the
constitution. In the intersectional contention, the south accepted the
mistakes of the fathers and rested her cause upon them, and the north,
instead of correcting them, substituted a huge and glaring mistake of her
own. Advocating the maintenance of the constitution over all the States,
she sought to refute the doctrine of State sovereignty urged by the south
with the arguments of those who had opposed the adoption of the federal
constitution. Patrick Henry and Nathan Dane--we omit the others--argued
that the constitution, if ratified, would really wipe out State lines and
make the central government supreme in authority over the States, and
actually sovereign. Could the people of the thirteen States have been made
to believe this, they would have unanimously rejected the instrument.
Washington, Hamilton, Madison, and many others competent to advise, stood
in solid phalanx on the other side, and the people were convinced by them
that adoption would have no such effect. They decided that the arguments
were not good, and the constitution was ratified. But the discredited
arguments were afterwards, by a very queer psychological process, taken up
by Story, Webster, and a great host, and paraded as unanswerable
refutation of the doctrine of State sovereignty, and demonstration that by
the constitution the United States had acquired absolute supremacy over
the different States.[29] At a later place we will try to show you how
Webster's glory outshines that of every other actor, except Lincoln, in
the great struggle between north and south. But here we must emphasize
how, when supporting the fallacies of Patrick Henry and Nathan Dane, he
met the one real and signal defeat of his life, to which the drubbing he
received from Binney in the Girard College case was a small affair--a
defeat none the less signal because at the time, and long afterwards, it
was and still is crowned as a glorious victory by thousands upon

The force-bill had just been introduced into the senate of the United
States. It provided for the collection of the revenue in defiance of the
nullification ordinance of South Carolina. The next day, January 22, 1833,
Calhoun offered in that body his famous resolutions, embodying his
doctrine of nullification, under which he justified the ordinance just
mentioned. The 16th of the next month, Webster discussed the two cardinal
ones of these resolutions at length. As he summarized them, they affirmed:

    "1. That the political system under which we live, and under which
    congress is now assembled, is a compact, to which the people of the
    several States, as separate and sovereign communities, are the

    2. That these sovereign parties have a right to judge, each for
    itself, of any alleged violation of the constitution by congress; and
    in case of such violation, to choose, each for itself, its own mode
    and measure of redress."

He had not long before contemplated making an address to the public in
answer to Calhoun's pro-nullification letter to Governor Hamilton in the
form of a letter from himself to Kent; and it cannot be doubted that he
had got himself ready for this; nor can it be doubted that in the
twenty-five days' interim he had not only worked over and adapted the
unused materials of the address mentioned, but he had most diligently made
special preparation for his speech--in short, it may be assumed that he
had bestowed upon the subject of the resolutions the most searching
examination and profound meditation of which, with his superhuman powers,
he was capable. In spite of all his conscientious labors, as I am now
especially concerned to impress upon you, he injured and set back the
cause of the union by defending it with answerable arguments--nay, rather,
with arguments helping the other side.

At the outset he severely and sternly rebukes two terms of Calhoun's, one
being the use of _constitutional compact_ for _constitution_, and the
other being _the accession of a State to the constitution_. These terms
are utterly impermissible, and are to be scouted. If we accept them, _we
must acquiesce in the monstrous conclusions which the author of the
resolutions draws from them_. That is really what Webster says. Note the
confident positiveness of his pertinent language, some of which we

    "It is easy, quite easy, to see why the honorable gentleman has used
    it [constitutional compact] in these resolutions. He cannot open the
    book, and look upon our written frame of government, without seeing
    that it is called a _constitution_. This may well be appalling to him.
    It threatens his whole doctrine of compact, and its darling
    derivatives, nullification and secession, with instant confutation.
    Because, if he admits our instrument of government to be a
    _constitution_, then, for that very reason, it is not a compact
    between sovereigns; a constitution of government and a compact between
    sovereign powers being things essentially unlike in their very
    natures, and incapable of ever being the same.

    We know no more of a constitutional compact between sovereign powers
    than we know of a _constitutional_ indenture of copartnership, a
    _constitutional_ bill of exchange. But we know what the _constitution_
    is; we know what the bond of our union and the security of our
    liberties is; and we mean to maintain and to defend it, in its plain
    sense and unsophisticated meaning."

This is enough of the exorcism of that malignant spirit, constitutional
compact. Now as to the other malignant spirit. Webster says:

    "The first resolution declares that the people of the several States
    '_acceded_' to the constitution, or to the constitutional compact, as
    it is called. This word 'accede,' not found either in the constitution
    itself, or in the ratification of it by any one of the States, has
    been chosen for use here, doubtless, not without a well-considered

    The natural converse of _accession_ is _secession_; and, therefore,
    when it is stated that the people of the States acceded to the union,
    it may be more plausibly argued that they may secede from it. _If in
    adopting the constitution, nothing was done but acceding to a compact,
    nothing would seem necessary to break it up, but to secede from the
    same compact._ But the term is wholly out of place.... The people of
    the United States have used no such form of expression in establishing
    the present government. They do not say that they _accede_ to a
    league, but they declare that they _ordain and establish_ a
    constitution. Such are the very words of the instrument itself; and in
    all the States, without exception, the language used by their
    conventions was, that they '_ratified_ the constitution;' some of them
    employing the additional words 'assented to' and 'adopted,' but all of
    them 'ratifying.'"

Note that I have italicized in the quotation certain admissions of
Webster, which, in case his premises should be disproved, concede the
cause to his adversary. And we will now tell you how Calhoun did disprove
those premises.

He showed that Webster himself had in a senate speech called the
constitution a _constitutional compact_; and that President Washington, in
his official announcement to congress, described North Carolina as
_acceding_ to the union by the ratification she had at last made of the

As to these two points Calhoun further sustained himself with
unquestionable authority and also argument inconfutable by one who, like
Webster, did not find the true _ratio decidendi_, that is, the effect of
evolution to bring forth the nation.

The rest of Calhoun's answer will be considered a little later. But what
of it has already been given covers the essentials of the controversy. In
supporting his proposition that the States were sovereign when they made
the constitution, and kept their entire sovereignty intact afterwards, he
was too strong for his antagonist. And yet had his knowledge of the facts
been fuller, how much better he could have done. He could have quoted from
all the great men who made the constitution and secured its ratification
language, in which _accede_ is used again and again in the same sense as
it is in his resolutions.

Likewise, he could have quoted language in which they designated the
constitution as a compact or something synonymous. Madison--to mention
only one of many instances--advocating ratification in the Virginia
convention, called the constitution "a government of _a federal nature_,
consisting of _many coequal sovereignties_." What an effective _argumentum
ad hominem_ could Calhoun have found in the provision of the constitution
of the State of Webster, to wit: that Massachusetts is free, sovereign,
and independent, retaining every power which she has not expressly
delegated to the United States.[30]

Webster also made blunders in construing the context of the constitution,
as well as the clauses specially involved, in contrasting the constitution
with the articles of confederation, and in his reading of our
constitutional history. These blunders were exhaustively, ably,
relentlessly exposed.

We who are trained either in forensic or parliamentary debate well know
the conquering and demolishing reply. Although, as we have just shown,
Calhoun's reply could have been far more effective than it really was,
still its success and triumph were so evident that when he closed, John
Randolph, who had heard it, wanted a hat obstructing his sight removed, so
that, as he said, he might see "Webster die, muscle by muscle."

Master the question at issue, and read the two speeches as impartially as
you strive to read the discussion of Æschines and Demosthenes, and if you
are qualified to judge of debate between intellectual giants you must
admit that Webster was driven from every inch of ground chosen by him as
his very strongest, and which he confidently believed that he could hold
against the world.

Yet the union men, who were hosts in the north and numerous even in the
south at that time, accepted Webster's speech as the bible of their
political faith, and as its reward ennobled him with the pre-eminent title
of Expounder of the Constitution. They ignored, or they never learned of,
the pulverizing refutation. But the State-rights men and the south
generally understood. Webster also understood. He did not make any real
rejoinder. And his subsequent utterances are in harmony with the
State-rights doctrine to which Calhoun seems to have converted him.[31] I
fancy that with that rare humor which was one of his shining gifts, he
dubbed himself in his secret meditations, "Expounder because not
expounding." Later I shall tell you how Webster builded better than he
knew, and that there was, after all, in the speech that which fully
justifies the worship it received from the union men.

But there is something else pertinent to be learned here. That the north
generally found out only what Webster said in the debate for his side, and
never even heard of what was said on the other, and that the south became
at once familiar with both speeches, proves that each section had already
formed its own belonging and independent public, and that the southern
public kept attentive watch upon all affairs of fact or opinion
interesting the other, while the northern public knew hardly anything at
all of the south. A large percentage of the southern leaders had studied
in northern schools and colleges. In this and many other ways they had
been instructed as to the north. Such instruction contributed very greatly
to southern supremacy in the federal government until the election of
Lincoln. We can now see that the powers in charge, as a part of their
work, made the great northern public, which, as Lincoln observed, was to
be the savior of the union, stop its ears to all anti-union sentiments or
arguments. How else can you understand it that the ante-bellum notices of
Webster, the memoir by Everett, the different utterances of Choate, and
many, many other sketches, are so utterly dumb as to Calhoun's great
reply? And is not the same dumbness of Curtis, Von Holst, and McMaster,
writing after the war, due to the survival in the north of the old
constraint? a constraint so powerful that, while Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge, in
1883, did concede just a little to Calhoun, he stopped far short of the
full justice that I believe he would now render were he to traverse the
ground again.

We must now go beyond what we have already hinted, and show you plainly
how both the union men and the State-rights men assumed untenable
premises, and how the south, maintaining a cause foredoomed, vanquished in
the forum of discussion her adversary, maintaining the side which fate had
decreed must win. In no other way can the reader be better made to
understand the incalculable potency of the forces which preserved the
American union after its orators and advocates had all been discomfited;
and in no other way can he better learn what principles are to be invoked
if he would grasp the real essence of the union.

We emphasize the material and cardinal mistake of the union men, thus
phrased by Webster in the speech we have discussed: "Whether the
constitution be a compact between States in their sovereign capacities, is
a question which must be mainly argued from what is contained in the
instrument itself."

This was to abandon inexpugnable ground. That ground was the great body of
pertinent facts, known to all, which begun the making of the union before
the declaration of independence, and which, from that time on to the very
hour that Webster was speaking, had been making the union stronger and
more perfect. He ought to have contended that a nation grows; that it
cannot be made, or be at all modified, even by a constitution. Any
constitution is its creature, not its creator.

How weak he was when he invoked construction of the federal constitution
as the main umpire. That constitution had been always construed against
him. The three departments of the federal government had each uniformly
treated it as a compact between sovereign States; and they kept this up
until the brothers' war broke out. Mr. Stephens, in his great
compilation,[32] demonstrates this unanswerably. But the State-rights men
had a still greater strength than even this, if the question be conceded
to be one of construction. As the author of the Republic of Republics
shows by a mountain of proofs, the illustrious draftsmen of the
constitution and their contemporaries who finally got the constitution
adopted--all the people, high and low, who favored the cause--declared at
the time that the sovereignty of the States would remain unimpaired after

To sum up, the generation that drafted and adopted the constitution, and
all the succeeding ones who had lived under it, agreed that the States
were sovereign.

How could even Webster talk these facts out of existence? At every stage
of the intersectional debate the cause of the south supporting State
sovereignty became stronger. And there were great hosts at the north who
understood the record as the south did; and, while they hoped and prayed
that separation would never come, they conscientiously conceded State
sovereignty to the full. It seems to me to be the fact that, although the
federal soldiers cherished deep love for the union, a very great majority
of the more intelligent among them did not long keep at its height the
emotion excited by the attack on Fort Sumter, and soon settled back into
their former creed, holding, because of the reasons summarized above, the
States to be sovereign; and while they thought it supreme folly in the
south to set up the confederacy, they still believed that to do so was
but the exercise of an indubitable right of the States creating it. From
what I saw at the time, and the many proofs that appeared to accumulate
upon me afterwards, this explains the unprecedented panic with which the
federal army abandoned the field at the First Manassas. Consider just a
moment. The federal army, giving the confederates a complete surprise,
turns their position and drives them back in rout. The confederates make
an unexpected stand, fight for some hours, and at last, assuming the
offensive, win the field. The troops on each side practically all raw
volunteers, very much alike in race and character. But the federals had
much more than two to one engaged, as is demonstrated by the fact that the
confederates had only twenty-five regiments of infantry in action, and
they took prisoners from fifty-five. The more one who, like me, observed
much of the war, thinks it over, the more clearly he sees that the flight
from Manassas is not to be explained because of the superior courage and
stamina of the southern soldiers. I believe that the union men, observing
how brave and death-defying their brothers on the other side were in
facing disaster that seemed irretrievable and odds irresistible, at last
became convinced that these brothers, defending home and firesides, were
right, and that they themselves, invading an inviolably sovereign State,
were heinously wrong; and thus awakened conscience made cowards of all
these gallant men. And it is thoroughly established, I believe, that
everywhere in the first engagements of the war, the southern volunteers,
if they were commanded by a fighter, showed far more spirit and stomach
than their adversaries. In the amicable meetings, often occurring upon the
picket line, when we confederates would with good humor ask the union men
how it was that we won so many fights, it was a stereotyped reply of the
latter, "Why, you are fighting for your country and we only for $13 a
month." It was but natural that, by reason of what has been told in the
foregoing, the south unanimously, and a very large number at the north,
should believe any State could under its reserved powers rightfully secede
from the union whenever and for whatever cause it pleased.

We see now what the angry brothers did not see. The absolute sovereignty
of the States, and the right of secession both _de facto_ and _de jure_
could have been conceded, and at the same time the war for the union
justified. The unionists could well have said to the south:

    "Your independence is too great a menace to our interests to be
    tolerated, and the high duty of self-defence commands that we resist
    to the death. The _status quo_ is better for us all. Now that you have
    set up for yourself, we must tell you, sadly but firmly, that if you
    do not come back voluntarily, we must resort to coercion,--not under
    the constitution, for you have thrown that off, but under the law of
    nations to which you have just subjected yourself."

The man who of all southerners has given State sovereignty its most
learned and able defence--Sage, the author of "The Republic of
Republics"--says: "To coerce a state is unconstitutional; but it is
equally true that the precedent of coercing states is established, and
that it is defensible under the law of nations."[34]

To have received the confederate commissioners as representing an
independent nation, and made demand that the seceding States return to the
union, would have been a far stronger theory than that on which the war
was avowedly waged; for it would have taken from the south that
superiority in the argument which had given her great prestige in Europe,
and even in the north. And lastly, under the law of nations, the federal
government, after coercing the seceding States back, would have had--even
according to the theory of State rights as maintained in the
south--perfectly legitimate power to abolish slavery. The statement that
emancipation was "sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by
the constitution, upon military necessity," protests so much that one sees
that the highly conscientious man hesitated and doubted. And well may he
have doubted; for what warrant can be found in the constitution for
destroying that property which it solemnly engaged to defend and protect
as a condition precedent of its adoption?--that is, if the southern States
were still in the union and under the constitution, as was claimed by all
who justified the proclamation? But if the southern States had gone out of
the union, they had revoked their ratification and had thrown away all the
protection of slavery given by the constitution; and while the
constitution did not direct how the federal government should act in the
matter, the law of nations gave full and ample directions. Its authority
was not stinted nor hampered by any rights recognized in the constitution
as reserved to the States under it. The subsequent amendment, imposed as a
condition of reconstruction, shows that the people of the north seriously
questioned if slavery had been abolished by the proclamation and its
enforcement by the union armies.

But this, strong as it was, would not have been the true theory. The true
theory--the real fact--is that at the outbreak of the brothers' war, and
long before, the States had become more closely connected than the
Siamese Twins,--indissolubly united as integral parts of the same
organism, like the different trunks of the Banyan tree; and while the
southern nationalization was opposing the union forces with might and
main, it was really but an excrescence, with roots far more shallow than
those of the American union--a parasite like the mistletoe, growing upon
the American body politic, fated to die of itself if not destroyed by its
fell foe. For, as we have explained, the sole motor of this southern
nationalization--slavery--could no more maintain itself permanently
against free labor than the handloom could stand against the steam-loom,
or the draft-horse can much longer compete with artificial traction power.

Now let us rapidly set in array the stronger supports of this true theory.
We should start with the impulse to combine which adjacency always gives
to communities of the same origin; and external compression and joint
interest to those of diverse origin, as we see in the case of the Swiss.
How clearly does our great American sociologist trace the effect of this
impulse in ancient society. First a body of consanguinei grows into a
gens; after a while, neighboring gentes of the same stock-language form a
tribe; then neighboring tribes, as some of the Iroquois and Aztecs, form a
confederacy. At this point the development of the American Indians was
arrested by the coming of the whites. "A coalescence of tribes into a
nation had not occurred in any case in any part of America," says the
great authority.[35] But we can easily understand what would have occurred
had the Indians been left to themselves. They would have passed out of the
nomadic state into settlements of fixed abodes, local and geographical
political divisions evolving from the old gentes and tribes, the
contiguous ones often uniting. History furnishes many examples of
neighboring communities coalescing into nations. One of the most
remarkable of all is the environment which has constrained peoples of four
different languages to coalesce into the little Swiss nation. Turning away
from prehistoric times and also ancient history, let the student
re-enforce the case of the Swiss, just alluded to, with the modern
nation-making in Italy and Germany. These few of the many instances which
can be given show how and what sorts of adjacent communities are prone to
co-operate or combine for a common purpose, and how such combination
develops at last an irresistible proneness to national union. Drops of
liquid in proximity to one another on a plane may long maintain each their
independent forms; but bring them into actual contact, and presto! all the
globules have coalesced into a single mass. After the belonging part of
the evolutionary science of sociology has been fully developed--which time
does not seem very far off--the subject will receive adequate
illustration. Then all of us will understand that, many years before
Alamance and Lexington, the colonies, in their defence of themselves
against the Indians and the French, in their intercommunication over
innumerable matters of joint interest, in the beneficent example of the
Iroquois confederacy and the advice of our fathers by the Iroquois, as
early as 1755, to form one of the colonies similar to their own,[36] and
in many other things that can be suggested, were steadily becoming one
people, and more and more predisposed to political union. We shall also
see, much more clearly than we do yet, that the Revolutionary war, by
keeping them some years under a general government, imparted new and
powerful impetus to the nationalizing forces, which were working none the
less surely because unobserved. Our lesson will be completely learned
when we recognize that about the time the war with the mother country
commenced the globules, that is, the separate colonies, had become
actually a quasi-political whole,--a stage of evolution so near to that of
full nationality that it is hard to distinguish the two. It seems to me
that the nation had come at least into rudimentary existence when the
declaration of independence was made. Surely from that time on something
wondrously like a _de facto_ national union of the old colonies grew
rapidly, and became stronger and stronger; and this to me is the
sufficient and only explanation of the seismic popular upheaval that
displaced the weaker government under the articles of confederation with
one endowed by the federal constitution with ample powers to administer
the affairs of the nation now beginning to stir with consciousness. And
yet so blind was everybody that in 1787 the delegates and their
constituents all believed the convention to be the organ of the States,
when in truth it was the organ of the new American nation. Prompted by a
self-preserving instinct, this nationality deftly kept itself hid. Had it
been disclosed, the federal constitution could not have been adopted; and
had a suspicion of it come a few years later, there would have been
successful secession. And so each State dreamed on its sweet dream of
dominion until the call to the stars and stripes rang through the north.
Then its people began darkly and dimly to discern the nationalization
which had united the States and become a hoop of adamant to hold the union
forever stanch. Of course to the south nothing appeared but the State
sovereignty of the fathers. Her illuded sight was far clearer and more
confident than the true vision of the north, and she magnified State
sovereignty which she thought she saw, and damned the American
nationality preached by the north as anti-State-rights, when at that very
time a nationality of her own had really put all the southern States at
its feet. It mattered not for the thick perception of the north and the
optical illusion of the south, the American nation was now full grown; and
by the result of the brothers' war it made good its claim to sovereignty.

The historian must accurately gauge the effect wrought by the wonderfully
successful career of the United States under the federal constitution in
its first years. War with France imminent, Pinckney's winged word,
"Millions for defence, but not a cent for tribute," the sword buckled on
again by the father of his country--and peace; the extension of our domain
from the Mississippi to the Pacific by the Louisiana purchase; the
victories won against the men who used to say scornfully that our fathers
could not stand the bayonet, and the still more surprising victories won
with an improvised navy against the mistress of the seas, in the war of
1812; the brilliant operations of Decatur against Algiers; the military
power of the Indians decisively and permanently outclassed, until soon our
women and children on the border were practically secure against the
tomahawk and scalping knife; and perhaps above all the world-wide
spaciousness, as it were, and the inexpressibly greater dignity and
splendor of the public arena, as compared with that of any single colony
or State, which was opened at once to every ambitious spirit--these are
some, only, of the feats and achievements which gave the United States
unquestioned authority at home and incomparable prestige around the world.
And on and on the American nation rushed, from one stage of growth into
and through another, until the result was that for some years before
secession State sovereignty, for all of the high airs it gave itself and
the imposing show of respect it extorted, had become merely a survival.

Thus did the American nation form, from a number of different neighboring,
cognate, and very closely-akin communities, under that complex of the
forces of growth and those of combination which imperceptibly and
resistlessly steers the social organism along the entire track of its
evolution. The nationalizing leaven was hidden by the powers in charge of
our national destiny in the colonial meal, and it had in time so
completely leavened the whole lump that Rhode Island, and North Carolina,
trying hard to stay out, and Texas desporting joyfully and proudly under
the lone star in her golden independence, could not break the invisible
leading strings, which pulled all three into the United States. Note how
Oregon and California, though largely settled from the south yet being
without slavery, in their extreme remoteness from the brothers' war
adhered to the union cause. And had the southern confederacy triumphed in
the war, the States in it would have staid out of the federal union only
the few years necessary for slavery to run its course. When there was no
more virgin soil for cotton, the southern nation, which was merely a
growth upon the American nation, would have collapsed of itself, as did
the State of Frankland; and that continental brotherhood which brought in
Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Texas, would have commandingly
reasserted itself. The more you contemplate the facts, the more it is seen
that this continental brotherhood was and is the most vigorous tap-root
and stock of nationality in all history. The providence which at first
gradually and surely mixed the colonies into one people, then into a
feeble and infirm political whole, rapidly hardening in consistency, and
lastly into an indissoluble union, and which was from the beginning more
and more developing us into a nation--this overruling evolution, and not
constitution or lawmaking organs, has been, is, and always will be the
ultimate and supreme authority, the opposeless lawgiver, the resistlessly
self-executing higher law in America, creating, altering, modifying or
abolishing man-made constitutions, laws, ordinances, and statutes, as
suits its own true democratic purpose, often inscrutable to

The foregoing is the substance of the argument that must now take the
place of that made by Webster and the unionists after him, which was
convincingly confuted by the south. It proves the complete and immaculate
justice of the war for the union.

This view differs from the other, which we admitted above to be very
strong, mainly in refusing to concede that a State is sovereign and can
legitimately secede at will. But under it, it ought to be conceded that
the States in the southern confederacy were for the time actually out of
the American union by revolution. It is not possible to say they were in
rebellion; that is an offence of individuals standing by an authority
hastily improvised and manifestly sham. It was not by the action of
individuals, but it was by the action of States, veritable political
entities and quasi sovereigns, that the confederacy was organized. When
these States were coerced back, they could not invoke the protection to
their slaves given in a constitution which they had solemnly repudiated.
The United States could therefore deal with them as it had with the
Territories from which it excluded slavery. While of course adequate
protection of the freedmen against their former masters ought to have been
provided, it should at the same time have been made clear to the world
that slavery was abolished solely because events had demonstrated it to be
the only root and cause of dismemberment of the union. Such a familiar
example as the often-exercised power of a municipality to blow up a house,
without compensation therefor, to stop the progress of conflagration, and
many other seemingly arbitrary acts done by society in its
self-preservation, would have occurred to conscientious people
contemplating. And it would have been a long flight in morals above the
proclamation, merely to have justified emancipation on the ground that the
existence of slavery was a serious menace to the life of the nation.

One's logic may be often wrong, and yet his proposition has been rightly
given him by an instinct, as we so often see in the case of good women. O
this subliminal self of ours, how it bends us hither and thither, as the
solid hemisphere does the little human figure upon it, posing with a
seeming will of his own! Hence, and not from our argument-making faculty,
come not only our own most important principles of action, but also our
very strongest persuasive influence. And it is the subconscious mental
forces moving great masses of men and women all the same way--that is, the
national instincts--which are the all-conquering powers that the apostle
of a good cause arouses and sets in array. And while it is true that the
mere logic of Webster's anti-nullification speech is puerile, the after
world will more and more couple that speech with the reply to Hayne, and
keep the two at the top--above every effort of all other orators. In the
reply to Hayne, in 1830, he had magnified the union in a passage which
ever since has deservedly led all selections for American speech books.
And now, in 1833, when dismemberment actually makes menace of its ugly
self, the great wizard of speech that takes consciences and hearts
captive,[37] proclaimed to his countrymen that there could be no such
thing as lawful secession or nullification. The earnestness and the
emphasis with which he said this were supreme merits of the speech. And
thenceforth it was enough to the hosts of the north to remember that the
American, towering like a mountain above them all, had in his high place
solemnly declared that secession is necessarily revolution. And, to one
who is familiar with the hypnotizing effect of subconscious national
suggestion it is not strange that they scouted Calhoun's demolishing
reply, and treasured Webster's false logic as supreme and perfect
exposition of the constitution.



For a long while opposition to slavery was moderate and not unreasoning.
The first actual quarrel over it between the sections was when Missouri
applied for admission to the union in 1818. That was settled by the famous
compromise of 1820. The most of the anti-slavery men of that day stood
only against the extension of slavery. While many a one of them believed
his conviction was dictated, independently and entirely, by his
conscience, it was in fact given him because of his relation to the
free-labor nationalization claiming the public lands for itself. That was
also true of the great mass of northerners opposed to slavery down to the
very beginning of the war. They wanted the Territories for themselves. The
contest between the United States and England for Oregon is a parallel
case. The American felt, if this territory falls to the United States, I
and my children and children's children can get cheap land somewhere in
it; but if it falls to England, I and they are forever shut out. In the
intersectional contest over the public lands northerners felt that they
would be practically excluded from any part of them into which slavery was
carried; for infinitely preferring, as they did, the free-labor system, to
which they had been bred, to the slavery system, of which they had no
experience, and against which they were prejudiced, they would never
voluntarily settle where it obtained. This, the prevalent view, brought
about the compromise of 1820, by which all the territory north of 36° 30'
was guaranteed to free labor, that is, to the north, not because its
inhabitants were burning with zeal to repress the spread of what they
thought to be an unspeakable moral wrong, but because they purposed
thereby to insure a fair inheritance to their own children.

So much for what we have called the first quarrel between the sections
over slavery. Let us now glance at the stages following until the
root-and-branch abolitionist shows himself.

For some twenty years after the Missouri compromise was made there was
hardly any public agitation at all as to slavery. In 1840 an abolition
ticket for the presidency was nominated, but it received a support much
smaller than had been currently predicted. It is not until January, 1836,
when, upon Calhoun's motion in the senate of the United States to reject
two petitions for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia,
there ensued a prolonged and passionate discussion, that we can say that
the old free-soil practically begins to pass into an abolition movement.
Here moral attack upon slavery seriously begins. If we think but a moment
we will understand it too well to explain it as an arousal of conscience,
which ought to have been aroused many years before if slavery was indeed
the terrible sin the abolitionists now commenced to say it was. The
agitation of 1830, the year that Webster replied to Hayne, and that of
1833, when he and Calhoun crossed swords over nullification, mark a great
advance of intersectional antagonism beyond that of the time of the
Missouri compromise. We can see now as we look back what contemporaries
could not see, that is, that the two were _avant couriers_ of the southern
confederacy. But some of the contemporaries did discern the fact--not
consciously, but instinctively. With these there was, in subliminal
ratiocination, a process somewhat as follows: The southern confederacy, if
it does come, will disrupt the union, which assures, while it lasts,
immunity of our country from frequent wars upon its own soil, and from the
heavy load of great armies kept up even in the intervals of peace. This
disruption will establish in America all the evil conditions of Europe
from which our fathers fled hither. Slavery is the _vis matrix_, the sole
developing force, the life of this menaced confederacy. Let us abolish
slavery, and preserve the union.

How accurately the common instincts--especially those protecting our
private interests--discern both the favorable and unfavorable, becomes
more of a marvel to me every year. To them the favorable is morally right,
the unfavorable morally wrong. If the latter threatens great injury, they
excite against it deep-seated indignation as if it were a crime. How else
can you explain it that all the churches, accepting the same Christ and
worshipping the same God, were at last divided, the northern churches
impugning and the southern churches defending slavery. Dwell upon this
fact until you interpret it aright. On one side the most conscientious and
the best of the north unanimous that slavery is morally wrong; on the
other the most conscientious and best of the south unanimous that it is
morally right. Then think of the northern and southern statesmen, jurists,
and the great public leaders; and at the last consider that the entire
people of one section prayed for, fought and died for, slavery, while that
of the other did the same things against it. When you do this, you must
admit that our community, our country, the society of which we are
members, fashions our consciences and makes our opinions.

The economic interest of the north was against slavery. It was her
interest to get all the territory possible for opportunity to her free
workers. It was also a transcendent economic interest of hers that there
be no great foreign power near her to require of her that she put
thousands of bread-winners and wealth-makers to idle in a standing army.
On the other side the economic interest of the south in slavery was so
great it commanded her to sacrifice all the advantages of union to
preserve slavery, if that should be necessary. Each side feels deeply and
more and more angrily that the other is seeking to rob it of the means of
production and subsistence--the property to which of all it believes its
title most indefeasible. It required some years to bring affairs to this
point; but it was accomplished at last; and the north was ready for the
root-and-branch abolitionist and the south for the fire-eater. Of course
all this effect of oppugnant economical interests is under the guidance of
the directors of evolution, who generally have their human servants to
masquerade as characters widely different from the true. When these
servants put on high airs as if they were doing their own will and not
that of their masters, how the directors must smile. They have guaranteed
animal reproduction from one generation to another by the impulsion of a
supreme momentary pleasure, as Lucretius most philosophically recognizes
in his _dux vitæ dia voluptas_. The passion of anger is the converse of
that of love. When consent cannot settle some great controversy that must
be settled, the passion of anger is so greatly excited by the instigation
of the directors that the disputants leave arguments and come to blows. In
the ripeness of time the Ransy Sniffleses[38] come forth. They say and do
everything possible to bring on the impending mortal combat. They never
grasp the essence of the contention, for it is their mission to arouse
feeling, passion, anger. They are resistlessly--most conscientiously and
honestly--impelled to make the other side appear detestable and
insultingly offensive in heinous wrong-doing. The most zealous and the
most influential of the root-and-branch abolitionists were young when they
vaulted into the arena. Garrison was twenty-six when he started the
"Liberator" in 1831, Wendell Phillips was some six years younger than
Garrison, and he was about twenty-six when he made his début with a
powerful impromptu in Boston, in 1837. Whittier was two years younger than
Garrison, and he was early a co-worker in the "Liberator." It is
demonstrated by everything they said that they were entirely ignorant of
the south and its people, of the average condition of the slave in the
south, and especially of the negro's grade of humanity. They never studied
and investigated facts diligently and impartially, desiring only to
ascertain the truth. They assumed the facts to be as it suited their
purposes, given them by the directors, of exciting hatred of their
opponents,--and it added greatly to their efficiency that they fully
believed their assumptions. Knowing really nothing of the negro except
that he was a man, it was natural for them to believe, as they did, that
the typical, average negro slave of the south was in all the essentials of
good citizenship just such a human being as the typical, average white. If
they did not go quite so far, they surely claimed for him something so
near to it that it is practically the same. We shall, as suggested above,
treat this pernicious error more fully in later chapters.

The root-and-branch abolitionists have claimed ever since the
emancipation proclamation became effective that the overthrow of slavery
was brought about by them; and thousands upon thousands believing it sing
them hosannas. But it is an undeniable fact that the superior power of
free labor in its irreconcilable conflict with slavery was bound to do in
America what it had done everywhere else. And without the abolitionist at
all the days of slavery were numbered, and they were few even if there had
been no secession, and very few if secession had triumphed. For free
labor--its fell and implacable foe--was on the outside steadily and surely
encircling it with a wall that hemmed it from the extension that was a
condition of its life; and within its ring fence necessarily it was
rapidly exhausting all of its resources. It was the mighty counteraction
of free labor that crushed slavery. The root-and-branch abolitionist
thrown up by this movement which had set forward irresistibly, long before
he was ever heard of, and who believed that he started it and was guiding
it, strikingly examples the proverb

  "Er denkt zu schieben und ist geschoben."

I believe that future history will give him credit only for having a
little hastened forward the inevitable.

Another abolition misstatement ought to be corrected. Sumner fulminated
against what he called the oligarchs of slavery. And it was common at the
north to speak of southern aristocracy and southern aristocratic
institutions. Of course the slaves had no political privileges, no more
than they had in Athens, which has always been deemed the most genuine
republic ever known. There was in the old south no oligarch, or anything
like him, unless you choose to call such a man as Calhoun an oligarch,
whose influence over his State was entirely from the good opinion and
unexampled confidence of the free citizens of all classes, which he had
won. There was no aristocracy, except such a natural one as can be found
in every one of our States, as is illustrated by the Adamses in
Massachusetts, the Lees in Virginia, and the Cobbs in Georgia. In those
days property was much more equally distributed than now; and it was easy
for the energetic and saving poor young man, of the humblest origin, to
make his way up. In all my day there was universal suffrage, and it was
political death to propose any modification. I explained nearly thirty
years ago how southern conditions prevented the development of anything
like the beneficent New England town-meeting system.[39] But for all of
that the entire spirit of southern society was democratic in the extreme,
far more so than it is now with the nominating machinery everywhere in the
south except South Carolina, controlled by corporation oligarchs. When the
root-and-branch abolitionist inveighed against oligarchy and aristocracy,
and aristocratic institutions in the south, he was just as mistaken as he
was in denouncing what he asserted to be the guilt in morals of

The more I study the abolitionists whom I distinguish as root-and-branch,
the more completely self-deceived as to facts, the wilder and more
emotional I find them to be. I have just mentioned some of their
misrepresentations; and in later chapters I shall dwell upon their
cardinal mistake as to the place of the negro in the human scale. I have
not sufficient space for more of these things. I will give just one
example of their wildness. They put in circulation that Toombs had said he
expected some day to call the roll of his slaves at the foot of Bunker
Hill monument,--a slander which they persisted in renewing after he had
solemnly and publicly denied it.[40] In their excited imaginations they
were sure that the south was cherishing a scheme by which, under the help
of the court that made the Dred Scott decision, slavery was to be
established and protected by law everywhere in the north. The only
parallel I can think of to this utterly groundless panic is that of some
poor souls in the Confederate ranks in front of Richmond in 1862, who,
when they learned that Jackson had got in the enemy's rear, expressed
lively fears that he was going to drive McClellan's army over them.

And the fire-eaters,--how they got important facts wrong! They habitually
said that the northern masses were too untruthful and dishonest for us of
the south to stay in the partnership without disgrace and loss of
self-respect. I heard of one who was wont gravely to assert that
prostitutes and ice were all that the south was dependent upon the north
for; and these were only luxuries which it was better to do without.
Perhaps the height of falsification by the hotspurs was the assertion,
made everywhere again and again, that northerners were such cowards that,
even if they were spurred into a war in defence of the union, any one
average southerner would prove an overmatch for any five of them.

It is now high time that each section turn resolutely away from these
fanatics, and the literature which they have made or informed, to seek
right instruction as to slavery, the struggle over it, the characters of
the masses on each side and of their leaders, and all other belonging
details, in the real facts. Especially must we understand the internecine
duel between free labor and slavery, and what was the purpose of the
directors of evolution placing the fanatical abolitionist and the
fire-eater upon the stage. When we grasp that purpose clearly, how
pretentious do we understand their claims and self-laudation to be, and
how clearly we see that they are like the fly on the cart-wheel that
became so vain of the great dust it was raising, and also like the little
fice egging on the big dogs to do their fighting. I have still vivid
recollections of hearing in amicable interviews of hostile pickets these
characters denounced for keeping out of the war which, as was then said,
they had caused,--the fanatical abolitionists denounced by the federals,
the fire-eaters, original secessionists, the blue cockade wearers, by the



After John Caldwell Calhoun, who was born March 18, 1782, the birth-year
of Webster, had become large enough to go to the field, the most of his
time until he was eighteen was spent in work on the plantation. His father
had never had but six months' schooling. There were no schools in that
region except a few "old field" ones, where the three R's only were
taught. To one of these John went for a few months. The boy learned to
read, and manifestly he had acquired some habit of reading. In his
thirteenth year he was sent to school to his brother-in-law, Moses
Waddell, who was an unusually good teacher. He found a circulating library
in the house. This was his first access to books. He read old Rollin, and
he probably moused about in Robertson's History of America and Life of
Charles V, and Voltaire's Charles XII. Having laid Rollin aside, he
assailed Locke's famous Essay; but when he got to the chapter on Infinity
his health had become bad, doubtless due to his change from active to
sedentary habits and from physical to mental activity. So he was taken
back to his work at home. His father had died in the meanwhile, and his
mother, who had great business talent, taught him, as we are told, "how to
administer the affairs of a plantation."[41] It will appear in the sequel
that he was superbly trained.[42] When he attained the age of eighteen the
family had become convinced that he ought to be got ready for a
profession. John, knowing himself to be the mainstay of his mother, and
having resolved to be a planter, at first would not hear to this. But the
family persisted. This doubtless influenced him to turn the subject
carefully over in his mind; and the decision which he made showed an
understanding of his own peculiar talents and needs, and also a prescience
of his future which, when his youth, small opportunity of observation, and
want of schooling are remembered, are very wonderful. He gave this family,
who were not well-to-do, to understand he would not accept a limited and
makeshift education. Naturally they asked what sort did he mean, and he
answered, "The best school, college, and legal education to be had in the
United States."[43] Then they asked, How long did he think all this would
take, and he promptly answered seven years. To the average reader it seems
that the time necessary to carry this unschooled lad through the course he
proposed had been egregiously underestimated by him; but to the family, as
they thought of the appertaining annual expenses, it must have looked very
long. They had to give in. That irrefragable influence over his people
which showed itself as soon as he came upon the public stage begins here.
Some one long afterwards said of him, that if he could but talk with every
man he would always have the whole United States on his side. It is more
than probable that in the five years after he had left Waddell's school he
had, in plantation management and other interests of the family,
convinced them that he always acted or advised wisely. Another comment is
in place here. Study of the record of his early life convinces you that
very soon after, if not before, the commencement of his legal studies, he
decided to make law only a stepping-stone by which to enter public life
and also acquire the means to plant. I cannot help inferring that this
was--somewhat vaguely it may be--his intention already formed when he
dictated terms to the family as just told. It is not at all impossible
that to him who afterwards astonished the world by the sureness of his
prophecy there had even then been revealed the career awaiting; and so he
resolved to get ready for college in two years, and pass the rest of the
seven where, besides competent instructors, he would have cultivated
society, libraries, and the best of opportunities to qualify himself for
public life. Be our conjecture true or not, in two years after he had
opened his Latin grammar he entered the junior class at Yale, and two
years later he graduated with credit. After reading law in an office he
took a year's course at the Litchfield law school in Connecticut, and then
he went into an office again for a while. Some time in June, 1807, he hung
out his shingle at Abbeville Court-house, as it was called up to the time
of reconstruction. A few days afterwards in that month occurred the attack
on the Chesapeake, and when the news came it caused a public meeting in
the town. Some good report of him must have been bruited about in the
community in advance of his coming. It is almost certain that his
education had greatly developed those powers of conversation mentioned
above, and that many listeners had greatly approved his views of the
outrage, and the patriotic indignation he uttered over it. It is not
stretching probability too far to assert that, young as he was, he was by
far the ablest man that could be found in the locality to advise upon the
burning question which had arisen so suddenly. He was selected to draft
appropriate resolutions and present them. There is no record of these or
of his speech. But as we know that the resolutions carried, and that
tradition still reports admiringly of the speech, we may be sure that his
performance in both was extraordinarily good. Although there had been a
strong popular prejudice in the county--or district, as it was then
called--against lawyer representatives, October 13, 1807, less than four
months after the meeting just described, he was elected to the legislature
at the head of the ticket.

In that day presidential electors were appointed by the State
legislatures. Shortly after the session of this legislature to which
Calhoun had been elected opened, there was an informal meeting of the
republican members to make nominations for president and vice-president.
The first was unanimously given to Madison. When the other was up, Calhoun
declared his conviction that there was soon to be war with England. At
such a time there should be no dissension in the party. He gave strong
reasons why George Clinton should not be nominated, as had been proposed;
and he suggested John Langdon of New Hampshire as the proper man. The
thorough acquaintance with the grave situation which he manifested, the
due respect he showed Clinton while opposing his nomination, and the
ability with which he discussed the question, advanced him at once to a
place among the most distinguished members of the legislature.

"Several important measures were originated by Mr. Calhoun while in the
legislature which have become a permanent portion of the legislation of
the State, and he soon acquired an extensive practice at the bar."[44] He
kept in the very midst of the political swim. His reputation as an honest,
true, and able adviser had become so great and influential that the
people, in their warm approval of the strong measures he advocated as
preparation for the threatened war, pushed him out as their candidate for
congress and elected him most triumphantly in October, 1810. The first
session of this, the twelfth congress, commenced November 4, 1811. Clay,
then speaker of the house, evidently expecting much of him, gave him the
second place in the committee on foreign relations. There came before the
house a measure contemplating an increase of the army in view of the war
which appeared to many to be nearer than ever. John Randolph was against
it. In March, 1799, a year before Calhoun started to school, Randolph,
then not twenty-six years old, had fearlessly met the great Patrick Henry
in stump discussion, and had, in the opinion of his auditors, got the
better of it. He was elected to congress in this year. Steadily since then
he had developed, until he was now one of the most prominent figures upon
the national stage. While his powers of discussion of a subject were
great, the power that especially characterized him was that of nonplussing
his antagonist with a snub or a sarcasm. Randolph made an earnest speech.
Calhoun replied. It is not enough to say of this speech that it evinces
full mastery of the subject. It presents every important view most
effectively, satisfactorily answering everything which had been said on
the other side. And it is especially happy in the wise use made at each
proper place of the commands of morality and patriotism.

Mr. Pinkney has instructively and entertainingly illustrated this speech
by his excerpts.[45] To them I here add another, which I would have you
consider,--Randolph had strenuously insisted that the cause of this war,
said by the other side to be impending, should first be defined; and until
this plain duty was done there should be no preparation. To this Calhoun

    "The single instance alluded to, the endeavor of Mr. Fox to compel Mr.
    Pitt to define the object of the war against France, will not support
    the gentleman from Virginia in his position. That was an extraordinary
    war for an extraordinary purpose. It was not for conquest, or for
    redress of injury, but to impose a government on France which she
    refused to receive--an object so detestable that an avowal dared not
    be made."

This is a thrust which Randolph especially could appreciate.

The more I examine this first speech of a very young member of congress
upon a question of such transcendent importance to the people of the
United States, the more sound, able, complete,--to sum up in one
word,--the more statesmanly it appears. I am confident that whoever will
weigh it carefully will agree with me. He will not be surprised to learn
that it carried the house decisively. Even in Randolph's own State it drew
great praise. But its fame went abroad everywhere, and it was revealed to
America that she had found among her public men another giant.

In the year 1800 Calhoun was a lad of eighteen, without even a complete
common school education. Represent to yourself clearly what he had
accomplished in the interval from the year last mentioned to December 12,
1811, when, not yet thirty, he made the speech we have just considered. If
any public man of America, burdened with such disadvantages, has
surpassed, or even equalled, this meteoric stride, I do not now recall
him. I am not emphasizing especially that he got to congress in such a
short while. What I do especially emphasize is that he so early won place
as an eminent statesman. In these eleven years he lost no time at all in
idleness, or probation, or waiting.

January 8, 1811, some three months after his election to congress, he
married his cousin, Floride Calhoun--not a first cousin, but a daughter of
a first cousin. His letters of courtship, not to her, but, in the old
style, to her mother; his only letter to her, written shortly before the
marriage; and other letters from and to him afterwards, all of which you
can read in the Correspondence,--show him to be such a lover, father,
brother, son-in-law, brother-in-law, grandfather, etc., as everybody
wants. Some South Carolinian, adequately gifted, ought to tell befittingly
the tale of Calhoun's beautiful domestic life.

I must now mention some other facts which will further enlighten you as to
the man.

I was fourteen when Calhoun died. For four or five years before, and
afterwards until I went to the brothers' war, I heard much of Calhoun from
relatives in Abbeville county and the Court House. I still recall most
vividly what a paternal uncle habitually said of the brightness and
unexampled impressiveness of Calhoun's eyes, and the charm and
instructiveness of his conversation. In Georgia there was not a public man
whose course in politics commended itself to all of my acquaintances. I
had become accustomed to hearing much disparagement of Toombs and of
Stephens, with whom I was most familiar. But my South Carolina relatives,
and every man or woman of that State whose talk I listened to; every boy
or girl with whom I talked myself, yea, all of the negroes,--always warmly
maintained the rightfulness of Calhoun's politics, national or State. I
thought it a good hit when a Georgia aunt of mine dubbed the Palmetto
State "The Kingdom of Calhoun," and Abbeville Court House "its capital."
This universal political worship was a great surprise to me. But there was
a still greater one to come. That was, that according to all accounts, and
without any contradiction, in spite of his living away from home the most
of his time, he yet gave his planting interests and all else appertaining
the very best management, and with such unvarying financial success it
would be unkind to compare Webster's money-wasting and amateur farming at
Marshfield. In this community, where he seemed to be known as well as he
was before he removed to Fort Hill, some sixty miles distant, in 1825, he
had become a far greater authority in business than he had even attained
in politics. His acquaintances all sought his advice, which they followed
when they got it; thus making this busiest of public servants their
agricultural oracle.

The reader will find in Starke's memoir and the Correspondence ample
proofs of that diligent attention of Calhoun to his home affairs which
made him the exceptionally successful planter that he was. Starke happily
calls him "the great farmer-statesman of our country."[46]

Now let us see where he made his mark as an able business man in another
place. He was Monroe's secretary of war from 1817 to 1825. When he entered
the office he found something like $50,000,000 of unsettled accounts
outstanding, and jumble in every branch of the service. He soon brought
down the accounts to a few millions. And he reduced the annual expenditure
of four to two and a half millions, "without subtracting a single comfort
from either officer or soldier," as he says with becoming pride. He
established it, that the head of every subordinate department be
responsible for its disbursements. His economy was not parsimonious. He
was especially popular at West Point, for which he did great things, and
with the officers and men of the army.

And if one chose to look through the belonging parts of the Correspondence
and the other accessible pertinent records, he will find ample proofs that
he was ever alert to all the duties of his office, performing each one,
whether important or trivial, with the height of skill and diligence.

Consider, as to his career in the war department, this language of one of
the most inveterate of his disparagers:

    "Many of his friends and admirers had with regret seen him abandon his
    seat in the legislative hall for a place in the president's council.
    They apprehended that he would, to a great extent, lose the renown
    which he had gained as a member of congress, for they thought that the
    didactic turn of his mind rendered him unfit to become a successful
    administrator. He undeceived them in a manner which astonished even
    those who had not shared these apprehensions. The department of war
    was in a state of really astounding confusion when he assumed charge
    of it. Into this chaos he soon brought order, and the whole service of
    the department received an organization so simple and at the same time
    so efficient that it has, in the main, been adhered to by all his
    successors, and proved itself capable of standing even the test of the
    civil war."[47]

Now let us glance at his magnificent success in winning for the United
States the vast territory of Texas and Oregon. The latter had long been in
dispute between us and England. Ever since 1818 it had been jointly
occupied under agreement. We wanted all of it; and of course as our
settlements in the west approached nearer and nearer, our desire for it
mounted. And England wanted all of it too. Soon after Texas achieved her
independence she applied for admission into our union, but as the settlers
had carried slavery with them free-soil opposition kept her out. Texas got
in debt, and the only thing for her to do was to tie to some great power
willing to receive her. England, seeing her opportunity, was trying to
propitiate Mexico in order, with the favor of the latter, to get Texas for
herself. Of course the south wanted Texas to come in, but the free-soilers
did not. And the north wanted Oregon; and although its soil and climate
did not admit of slavery, the south was against its acquisition unless the
concession be made that it be permitted to slavery to occupy all the
suitable soil of the Territories. As early as 1843 Calhoun, with his
piercing vision, saw the situation clearly. If the dispute as to Oregon
provoked war, England could throw troops thither from China by a much
shorter route than ours, the latter going as it did from the States on the
Atlantic coast around Cape Horn. That would be bad enough for us. But
suppose England gets Texas. A hostile power, with a vast empire of land,
will spring up under the very nose of the States, where our adversary will
acquire a base of operations in the highest degree unfavorable to us. Then
England will rise in her demands as to Oregon, and perhaps win all of it
from us. In an affair of inter-dependent contingencies it is of the first
importance to do the right thing instead of the wrong thing first. Texas
was ripe, Oregon was not. Calhoun saw the first thing to do was to annex
Texas. For when England cannot secure that base of operations in Texas she
will shrink from making Oregon a cause of war, and while she is
hesitating, Oregon--which is near to us and far from her--is steadily
filling with population in which settlers from the United States more and
more preponderate; and at the same time the populous States are fast
approaching. After a while the inhabitants will all practically be on our
side, and they will have hosts of allies to the eastward in supporting
distance, which would give us an invincible advantage in case war for
Oregon does come. This is what Calhoun styled "masterly inactivity" on our
part, and which, had it been fully carried out as he advised, Oregon would
now extend much further north than it does. To sum up in a line, he saw
that activity as to Texas and inactivity as to Oregon was each masterly.

But the hotheads of the south and the fanatical wing of the anti-slavery
men at the north rose up, obstructing his way like mountains. At the same
time there was lack of vision in even the leaders of each section who
could rise to patriotism above prejudice. Polk blundered in not continuing
Calhoun as secretary of State, in which place he had made so good a
beginning that it soon accomplished the annexation of Texas. In his
inaugural Polk asserted that our title to Oregon was good, and to be
maintained by arms if need be; and he went further away from "masterly
inactivity" in his first annual message. He evoked great popular
excitement, and "Fifty-four forty or fight!" and "All of Oregon or none!"
came forth in passionate ejaculations in every corner of the land. Calhoun
had been called from retirement to take Texas and Oregon in hand, and when
Polk made a new secretary he went back into the retirement for which he
greatly longed. The record shows that the best men of all parties, north
and south, felt that as Tyler's secretary he was the man of all to manage
the two matters so vitally important to the United States, and they deeply
regretted that the place was not continued to him by Polk. And now
instead of the happy settlement they had been sure the master would
effect, the country was face to face with a war that portended direful
disaster to each section. The eyes of patriots turned to Calhoun again;
and as he cannot be secretary, he must be in the senate. And a way being
made, he was seated in due time. It needs not to go into much detail. The
situation had changed greatly. The especial thing to do now was to avoid
war. And as a resolution to terminate the joint occupation had been passed
by congress, and as the ire of Great Britain had been greatly aroused,
there must at once be a settlement of the Oregon controversy. And so the
controversy was compromised and averted, this good result being mainly due
to the efforts of Calhoun. Even Von Holst calls his speech of March 16,
1846, great. It will live forever. It is paying it gross disrespect to
treat it as mere oratory, even if one concede to it the highest eloquence.
It voices the ripest wisdom of the ablest practical statesman dealing with
a most momentous public affair, in a crisis delicate and perilous in the
extreme. The vindication of the true course of action is majestic. But to
my mind the great achievement of the speech is his sublime philanthropic
deprecation of war between England and America. When the papers told us at
the outbreak of our war with Spain that all the British subjects on the
warships of the latter had thrown up their places, it seemed to me that
nothing else could so fairly omen co-operation of England and America in
the near future to democratize and make happy the world. And I believe
that that inexpressibly sweet token of Anglo-American brotherhood would
have been postponed at least a half-century, if not much longer, had it
not been for that speech.

This speech likewise discomfited pro-slavery and anti-slavery fanatics
alike, and won the hearty approval of the wisest and best of every part of
the country.

Calhoun's self-education merits the closest attention. Railroaded through
school and college, as he was, his tuition was necessarily defective in
some important particulars. In the main he spelled accurately, but the
Correspondence shows that he wrote "sylable," "indisoluably," "weat" for
wet, "merical" for miracle, "sperit," "disappinted," "abeated," etc. It is
doubtless to be regretted that he did not have larger familiarity with
polite literature. Admitting these faults, still we must know he had been
uncommonly studious and thoughtful to win his degree in four years after
his start to school; but his systematic study, careful observation, and
hard thinking really commenced with his entrance of public life, and were
kept up to his very death. Note this pertinent excerpt from Webster's
memorial speech, in which I italicize a passage happily describing his

    "I have not, in public nor private life, known a more assiduous person
    in the discharge of his appropriate duties. I have known no man who
    wasted less of life in what is called recreation, or employed less of
    it in any pursuits not connected with the immediate discharge of his
    duty. He seemed to have no recreation but the pleasure of conversation
    with his friends. _Out of the chambers of congress, he was either
    devoting himself to the acquisition of knowledge pertaining to the
    immediate subject of the duty before him_, or else he was indulging in
    those social interviews in which he so much delighted."

From his first speech in congress to the end of his life you note that he
has always mastered the pertinent facts, literature, and guiding
principles of whatever he has to do with, whether in speech or action.
This indicates continuous, most industrious, and most wise
self-instruction. I believe it was Mr. Parton who said that Jefferson was
the best educated man of his time. His full equipment from all belonging
learning and science was surpassed only by the versatility with which he
instantly solved all new questions. But Calhoun's was more of a special
training than Jefferson's. Having for some years learned by doing,--doing
after the best study and reflection, consistent with due promptness, that
he could give each thing he had to do,--his capital of knowledge and
developed faculty had become all-sufficient. Stephens, a profound student
of both Jefferson and Calhoun, makes this comparison:

    "Amongst the many great men with whom he associated, Mr. Calhoun was
    by far the most philosophical statesman of them all. Indeed, with the
    exception of Mr. Jefferson, it may be questioned if in this respect
    the United States has ever produced his superior."[48]

Government--that is, good democratic government--he studied all his life
with rare devotion. His two special works,[49] and the parallel parts of
his speeches, warmly commended by such a thinker and friend of democracy
as John Stuart Mill, are sufficing proof. In all the long tract from Plato
and Aristotle down to the popularization of direct legislation, which
commences with the publication of Mr. Sullivan's pamphlet a few years ago,
there is to be found nobody who has penetrated so deeply into the secrets
of those principles by which alone true democracy must be maintained. With
what clear vision does he read us lessons from the unanimous veto of the
Roman tribunes; the political history of the twelve tribes of Israel; the
balance of interests in the English constitution and our own, intended to
guarantee what he calls government of the concurrent majority. His
illustration from the confederacy of Indian Tribes is to be especially
emphasized as demonstration of his industry in collecting his materials
and of his great insight.[50]

I must give still another example, which I am sure will yet benignly
enlighten America.

Ever since Adam Smith fell into my hands in early manhood I have had a
strong predilection for political economy. My conviction during the
brothers' war that proper management of the currency of the confederacy
was indispensable to the success of our cause initiated me into an earnest
study of the science of money. And later intense interest in the greenback
question, and afterwards the silver question, added to the impetus. The
longer I observed the more plainly I saw a few private persons controlling
the coinage, the greenbacks, and the national bank currency of purpose to
monopolize government credit, and also fix the interest rate and the price
level, at any particular time, as suited their selfish interests. The
remedy became clear,--government must retake and fulfil all its money
functions. Especially must it keep the country supplied with a volume of
money which never becomes either redundant or contracted. How to do this
properly brought up the question, What is money? What is it that makes a
sheep, or cow, or coin, or piece of paper, money? For the true answer to
this question is the very beginning and foundation of all monetary
science. I took up Ricardo again, who, with a solitary exception mentioned
a little farther on, had, from the time I turned into him during my study
of the confederate currency, of all the economists by profession, showed
to me the best understanding of the real nature of money; and of course
John Stuart Mill, Jevons, Carl Marx, and others of less note, were
examined. The result confirmed Ricardo in his primacy; although I felt
that the true nature of money was assumed--rather vaguely--by him, and not
clearly expressed as it ought to be. I believed myself familiar with all
the important work of Calhoun. Somehow I had overlooked his contributions
to this subject. A few brief quotations from the more unimportant of these
I found in certain American books, which made me read the pertinent
speeches.[51] It was a most inexpressible surprise to me to find that he
had perfected Ricardo. Briefly stated, this is the true doctrine according
to Calhoun. It is not legal-tender laws, nor is it intrinsic value, which
makes even gold go as money. Well, what is it? Calhoun was not the first
to answer it, for others had given the true answer; but they ran away from
it as soon as they made it. He divined the full satisfactoriness of the
true answer, which he demonstrated to be true by a method as nearly
mathematical as the case admits of. And he lightens up what was dark
before by showing that that is money, and good money, whatever it may
be,--gold, silver, paper, property, what not,--which the government
receives in payment of its dues. The practice of the government,--not
laws, nor the market value of different materials of money,--this is the
great thing. If the United States should refuse to receive gold for its
dues, that would so greatly lessen the demand for gold as money that the
coin would depreciate and drop out of circulation. Nothing--not the
precious metals, not diamonds of the first water, not radium, not the
bills of the best bank, not greenbacks, not treasury notes can maintain
themselves as money if the government will not receive it. This is the
first half of the subject. Calhoun adds the other by showing that whatever
the government makes money, its volume can always be kept of the proper
quantity,--which proper quantity varies with the needs of commerce,--so as
to avoid the too much or too little. His illustration from the treasury
notes of North Carolina, which could not be a legal tender under the
federal constitution, but which circulated briskly and buoyantly and
stayed at par for many years, because they were received without discount
by the State, and also because their volume was kept within bounds, will
yet greatly help the cause of honest money.

In the achievement just told Calhoun not only excelled the economists of
his day, but he is yet in advance of all of the present except Del
Mar,[52]--the only economist who has excelled Ricardo in divining the
essence of money. These two alone explain clearly and fully why it is that
bankers keep such tenacious grip upon the money function of
government--they thereby so shape its practice that their wares shall be
money, with all the incidents of profit therefrom, and no others shall.
Del Mar never quotes him; and I almost know he has never studied his views
upon this subject.

America will yet have a "rational money," a term which Prof. Frank Parsons
has happily chosen as the name of his invaluable book.[53] To win it she
must fight many battles with the money power. When this war of the people
is waging by the people for the people, the doctrine of Calhoun will be
the banner of the right. After the sordid money oligarchy is overthrown
and the United States is blessed with a people's money, that benign
deliverance will add prodigiously to the fame of Calhoun.

My space does not admit of telling you how deeply Calhoun loathed the
spoils system. That must be borne in mind, and taken into account in any
true estimate of him as a statesman.

I deem it especially important to have you consider his standing with the
people of his State. Literally his word was law in South Carolina. Hayne
in 1832, and Huger in 1845, resigned their seats in the national senate to
give place to him. Everybody in his State always wanted him to lead, and
everybody always wanted him to lead according to his own will. This
unwonted influence, utterly without precedent, was due to the accurate
measure which the masses had taken of him. As he lived and aged among them
they knew him better and better to be irreproachable in private and public
life, the ablest of the able, the most diligent of the diligent, and the
truest of the true as a representative or official, and of that severe and
lofty virtue which scorns all popularity that is not the reward of
righteousness. And so he became example, model, worship, to all classes.
The forty years political ascendency of Pericles in the Athenian democracy
is the only befitting historical parallel which I can think of. Familiar
with the State from boyhood, I have long thought its people the most
advanced of the south. In spite of the revenge wreaked upon her in war,
and in spite of the direr devastation of the twelve years of negro rule
following the fall of the Confederate States, that little community, with
her dispensary and her system of really direct nomination,[54] to say
nothing of her wise management of all her material resources, is teaching
the nation lessons of the highest wisdom. These are the people from whom
Calhoun won a crown more resplendent than any other of our States has ever
bestowed upon a loved son. How eloquent were her last offices. Read Mr.
Pinkney's extracts from the "Carolina Tribute," narrating the reception of
his mortal remains in Charleston:[55] the novel procession of vessels,
displaying emblems of mourning, the solemn landing at noon, an imposing
train moving amid houses hung with black, "a Sabbath-like stillness"
resting on the city, "The solemn minute gun, the wail of the distant bell,
the far-off spires shrouded in the display of grief, the hearse and its
attendant mourners waiting on the spot, alone bore witness that the pulse
of life still beat within the city, that a whole people in voiceless woe
were about to receive and consign to earth all that was mortal of a great
and good citizen."

Appropriately and impressively Mr. Pinkney closes his description of this
forever memorable demonstration by quoting Carlyle's "How touching is the
loyalty of men to their sovereign man."[56]

Some men reserve out of the pillage of their fellows a great fund to
signalize their graves. Stronger cars must be made, bridges strengthened,
and too narrow passages avoided by long circuits in order that their huge
piles be transported to the conspicuous spot selected in a fashionable
cemetery. How the funerals which a weeping people give a Calhoun,
Liebknecht, Pingree, Altgeld, and other true ones dwindle such monuments
into smallness and contempt!

I must add something here to what has been said in the foregoing of
Calhoun's speeches. Somebody must after a while do for him what the
compilation called "The Great Speeches and Orations" has done so well for
Webster. His very greatest effort is that against the force bill,
delivered in the United States senate February 15 and 16, 1833. As an
appeal in behalf of the rights of the minority against the oppressive
majority it is unequalled. All through it, from its most befitting
exordium to the righteous indignation of the closing sentence, there are
passages which "the world will not willingly let die." No one who has ever
given it attention can forget the paragraph defending Carolina against the
charge of passion and delusion; that demolishing as by a tornado the
assertion of a senator that the bill was a measure of peace; the far-famed
one as to metaphysical reasoning; what is said as to the nature of the
contest between Persia and Greece; the rupture in the tribes of Israel
graphically expounded; the first mention of the government of "the
concurring majority" as distinct from and far better than that of the
absolute majority; the lesson to us of the Roman tribunes. To read this
speech becomingly, purge yourself of all prejudice; by an adequate effort
of the historical imagination see all the main things of the then
situation, and put yourself fully in Calhoun's place; so that you cannot
fail to feel all of his deep earnestness. You will have succeeded when you
can rightly appreciate this outburst:

    "Will you collect money when it is acknowledged that it is not wanted?
    He who earns the money, who digs it from the earth with the sweat of
    his brow, has a just title to it against the universe. No one has a
    right to touch it without his consent except his government, and this
    only to the extent of its legitimate wants. To take more is robbery;
    and you propose by this bill to enforce robbery by murder."

When I pronounced that against the force bill, the greatest of his
speeches, I was not unmindful of his last, that of March 4, 1850, not
four weeks before his death. I can hardly class it as a speech. It was a
revelation of the woe in store for America if the abolition movement was
not checked. Its analysis and demonstration of the preponderant power of
the north, and its retrospection over the progressive stages by which the
former equilibrium of the sections had been destroyed, are as
clear-sighted as its prediction. Never in all history has an actor in a
revolution described its course behind him so understandingly, nor its
future course with such true prophecy.

Let us give you the fewest possible selected brief passages that will do
something towards possessing you of the core of Calhoun's valedictory to
the United States and the South.

This is first in order: "How can the union be saved? There is but one way
by which it can with any certainty; and that is by a full and final
settlement, on the principles of justice, of all the questions at issue
between the two sections. The south asks for justice, simple justice, and
less she ought not to take. She has no compromise to offer but the
constitution, and no concession or surrender to make."

The vital concern of his section against abolition, and what it must do to
avoid it, he tells in these passages:

    "[The South] regards the relation [of master and slave] as one which
    cannot be destroyed without subjecting the two races to the greatest
    calamity, and the section to poverty, desolation, and wretchedness,
    and accordingly she feels bound, by every consideration of interest
    and safety, to defend it."

    "Is it not certain that if something is not done to arrest it [the
    abolition movement], the south will be forced to choose between
    abolition and secession?"

If the south must choose secession, he justifies her by the example of
Washington, with a calm and repose that prove his deepest conviction of
its rightfulness, and with a power that cannot be confuted. He says:

    ["The Union cannot] be saved by invoking the name of the illustrious
    southerner whose mortal remains repose on the western bank of the
    Potomac. He was one of us--a slaveholder and a planter. We have
    studied his history, and find nothing in it to justify submission to
    wrong. On the contrary, his great fame rests on the solid foundation
    that, while he was careful to avoid doing wrong to others, he was
    prompt and decided in repelling wrong. I trust that, in this respect,
    we have profited by his example.

    Nor can we find anything in his history to deter us from seceding from
    the union should it fail to fulfil the objects for which it was
    instituted, by being permanently and hopelessly converted into a means
    of oppressing instead of protecting us. On the contrary, we find much
    in his example to encourage us should we be forced to the extremity of
    deciding between submission and disunion.

    There existed then as well as now a union,--that between the parent
    country and her then colonies. It was a union that had much to endear
    it to the people of the colonies. Under its protecting and
    superintending care the colonies were planted, and grew up and
    prospered, through a long course of years, until they became populous
    and wealthy. Its benefits were not limited to them. Their extensive
    agricultural and other productions gave birth to a flourishing
    commerce which richly rewarded the parent country for the trouble and
    expense of establishing and protecting them. Washington was born and
    grew up to manhood under that union. He acquired his early distinction
    in its service; and there is every reason to believe that he was
    devotedly attached to it. But his devotion was a rational one. He was
    attached to it, not as an end, but as a means to an end. When it
    failed to fulfil its end, and, instead of affording protection, was
    converted into the means of oppressing the colonies, he did not
    hesitate to draw his sword and head the great movement by which that
    union was forever severed, and the independence of these States
    established. This was the great and crowning glory of his life, which
    has spread his fame over the whole globe, and will transmit it to the
    latest posterity."

With what moving entreaty does he thus adjure the victorious north:

    The north "has only to wish it to accomplish it--to do justice by
    conceding to the south an equal right in the acquired territory, and
    to do her duty by causing the stipulations relative to fugitive slaves
    to be faithfully fulfilled, to cease the agitation of the slavery
    question, and to provide for the insertion of a provision in the
    constitution, by an amendment, which will restore to the south, in
    substance, the power she possessed of protecting herself before the
    equilibrium between the sections was destroyed by the action of the
    government. There will be no difficulty in devising such a
    provision--one that will protect the south and which at the same time
    will improve and strengthen the government instead of impairing and
    weakening it."

    "The responsibility of saving the union rests on the north, and not on
    the south. The south cannot save it by any act of hers, and the north
    may save it without any sacrifice whatever, unless to do justice and
    to perform her duties under the constitution should be regarded by her
    as a sacrifice."

This sleepless watchman since 1835 had again and again blown the trumpet
as the sword of disunion was coming upon the land. Now, the grave yawning
before him, he sees that sword nearer and sharper, and conscious that it
is his last public duty he sends forth to all his country a blast of
warning more earnest and more solemn than ever. Warning that the bloodiest
of all wars is coming, and that between brothers. Warning--it is the whole
of this dread deliverance. Here is the first paragraph:

    "I have, senators, believed from the first that the agitation of the
    subject of slavery would, if not prevented by some timely and
    effective measure, end in disunion. Entertaining this opinion, I have
    on all proper occasions endeavored to call the attention of both the
    two great parties which divide the country to adopt some measure to
    prevent so great a disaster, but without success. The agitation has
    been permitted to proceed, with almost no attempt to resist it, until
    it has reached a point where it can no longer be disguised or denied
    that the union is in danger. You have thus had forced upon you the
    greatest and the gravest question that can ever come under your
    consideration,--How can the union be preserved?"

And this is the last paragraph:

    "I have now, senators, done my duty in expressing my opinions fully
    and candidly on this solemn occasion. In doing so, I have been
    governed by the motives which have governed me in all stages of the
    agitation of the slavery question since its commencement. I have
    exerted myself during the whole period to arrest it with the intention
    of saving the union, if it could be done, and if it could not, to save
    the section where it has pleased providence to cast my lot, and which
    I sincerely believe has justice and the constitution on its side.
    Having faithfully done my duty to the best of my ability both to the
    union and my section, throughout this agitation, I shall have the
    consolation, let what will come, that I am free from all

Had abolition been in charge of men, Calhoun, claiming, as appeared to
them, the most palpable rights under current views of justice, under the
constitution, under the law, and under patriotic duty, would have
prevailed. He never understood, no more than the abolitionists themselves
did, that providence was making an instrument of abolition to remove the
only danger to the American union, and that providence was not under human
constitutions, laws, and convictions of duty. As you meditate this
superhuman achievement of the true citizen in his last stand for his
doomed section, does it not help you to appreciate better the high saying
of the Greeks, that the struggle of a good man against fate is the most
elevating of all spectacles?

The speeches that will find place in the selection suggested above will
not enrapture the reader with the proud diction, learning, ornateness, and
exquisite finish of Webster, but he will find them everywhere to be proofs
of the dictum of Faust:

  "Es trägt Verstand and rechter Sinn
  Mit wenig Kunst sich selber vor;
  Und wenn's euch Ernst ist, was zu sagen,
  Ist's nöthig, Worten nachzujagen?"[57]

He will also note that many of the wisest and most eloquent passages are
almost the extreme of choice, but chaste and severe, expression. Here read
aloud the passage as to Washington quoted above from the speech of March
4, 1850, and you will hardly dissent.

America owes it to Calhoun to publish a cheap edition of his best
speeches, and also of his "Dissertation on Government."

A word as to the "Dissertation" and the "Discourse on the Constitution of
the United States." The project of these two books lay close to his heart
for many years. He intended them as his last admonitions to the people of
the great republic. Doubtless the special object of his retirement was to
finish them, but he had to return to the senate. What we have of the books
was written in the little leisure which he snatched from the pressure of
public duties, domestic affairs, and ill-health. The resoluteness with
which, in the midst of these difficulties, he worked at the self-imposed
task proves a lofty and unselfish love. He did not finish them to his
satisfaction. Darwin did not do that with his epoch-making "Origin of
Species," for he found there was no need to do so. I believe that, as the
essentials of the belonging part of evolution are all to be found in the
"Origin of Species," so all the essentials of Calhoun's great doctrine of
government are fully set forth in his two books. To me the "Dissertation"
seems complete. I note with pleasure that, though slowly, it is steadily
climbing to the lofty height which is its due place in the world's
estimation. And the "Discourse"--of which he did not live to finish the
final draft--surely leads all the productions of the State sovereignty
school. The providence which opposed his wishes was kind to his country,
to the world, and to himself in calling him from his desk; for it allowed
him to get Texas and Oregon for us, to give mankind his Oregon speech, and
his last, and thus to finish his good work and make his fame full.

The foregoing is intended to influence my readers to turn away from Von
Holst, who wrote Calhoun's life, with the smoke and dust of the brothers'
war still in his eyes, and from Trent, who merely says ditto to Mr. Burke,
to Stephens, to the great Webster, to the touching "Carolina Tribute," to
the happy and appreciative sketch of Pinkney, to the man himself and his
grand career, in order to find the facts and principles by which one of
America's very greatest ought to be judged. And I do hope that they now
begin to discern that Calhoun was nothing at all of a doctrinaire, nor
chop-logic, nor fanatic, nor professional politician, nor ignorant and
over-zealous partisan, but was the very height of practical talent and an
extraordinarily successful man of affairs, of more than Roman integrity,
conscientious and diligent beyond almost all others in the duties of his
place, and a foremost statesman of wide and profound culture. Whether I
have accomplished my design or not, let me beg you to read for yourself
with careful attention what Webster said of him in the United States
senate just after his death. Remember two things as you read: (1) The
speaker and the dead had been opposed to one another in politics for more
than twenty years, the former being the great exponent of free-labor
nationalization and the other the great exponent of slave-labor
nationalization; (2) nobody ever weighed his public utterances more
carefully than did Webster, and that he would not say anything which he
did not believe, even as a politeness.

Let us now try to follow with proper discernment this man whom we hope we
have proved to be good and wise through his titanic defence of the cause
which fate had decreed must fail. As our explanation of how evolution, and
not the north on one side nor the south on the other, brought forward the
crisis in which slavery, the sole menace of American dismemberment, was to
perish, is so nearly complete, we can be much briefer in the rest of the

The true beginning here is with the proposition that everything which
Calhoun did as the southern leader was prompted by a righteous conscience
and the highest and most unselfish patriotism. He was the very first to
discern the full menace of abolition to the welfare of the people he
represented. And when years afterwards the situation became darker and
more serious, and more and more importunately put to him the question, If
abolition can be avoided only by leaving the union, what ought the south
to do? he answered to himself, with the fullest approval of his
conscience, she must go out; for manifestly it is her paramount duty to
protect her citizens against any such invasion of their rights as
abolition. But he had no illusion as to peaceable secession; and he
likewise worshipped the union, believing with deepest conviction that it
is far better for neighboring communities to be federated than
independent. And the memories of the great American history were as sweet
to him as they were to Webster. To sum up, only one thing in his opinion
could justify secession. That was control of the federal government by the
abolitionists. If that comes, the south must seek her independence, even
if it is beyond a sea of blood.

Abolition was on its way then to overturn the supports of comfort and
domestic peace in the south, as it afterwards did. Suppose Webster had
seen the imminence of such a dreadful evil to New England, would he not
have felt that his duty to his section was now the great thing? My brother
who wore the blue, ought he not to have so felt? If the union had been
turned into a course which would not only impoverish and beggar the people
of New England, but would for long years actually deprive the masses of
those modes of business and labor by which they were subsisting themselves
and their families, can it be thought that Webster, with his exalted
admiration of the fathers, who endured all privations to win liberty from
their oppressors, would not have been heart and soul for secession?

The only actual difference between the two great patriots was that to
Calhoun the dread alternative of looking outside the union for defence and
protection of home and fireside was commended by a cruel fate, while a
kind fate withheld it from Webster.

I shall corroborate the foregoing by some pertinent excerpts from
Calhoun's speeches in the United States senate. And as my purpose is to
build everywhere in this book, as far as possible, upon only the most
obvious facts and to vouch therefor the most accessible authorities, I
take the excerpts from quotations made by Von Holst:

    "It is to us a vital question. It involves not only our liberty, but,
    what is greater (if to freeman anything can be), existence itself. The
    relation which now exists between the two races in the slaveholding
    States has existed for two centuries. It has grown with our growth,
    and strengthened with our strength. It has entered into and modified
    all our institutions, civil and political. None other can be
    substituted. We will not, cannot, permit it to be destroyed.... Come
    what will, should it cost every drop of blood and every cent of
    property, we must defend ourselves; and if compelled, we should stand
    justified by all laws, human and divine; ... we would act under an
    imperious necessity. There would be to us but one alternative,--to
    triumph or perish as a people."[58]

           *       *       *       *       *

    "To destroy the existing relations would be to destroy this prosperity
    [of the southern States] and to place the two races in a state of
    conflict, which must end in the expulsion or extirpation of one or the
    other. No other can be substituted compatible with their peace or
    security. The difficulty is in the diversity of the races.... Social
    and political equality between them is impossible. The causes lie too
    deep in the principles of our nature to be surmounted. But, without
    such equality, to change the present condition of the African race,
    were it possible, would be but to change the form of slavery."[59]

    "He must be blind, indeed, who does not perceive that the subversion
    of a relation which must be followed with such disastrous consequences
    can be effected only by convulsions that would devastate the country,
    burst asunder the bonds of union, and engulf in a sea of blood the
    institutions of the country. It is madness to suppose that the
    slaveholding States would quietly submit to be sacrificed. Every
    consideration--interest, duty, and humanity, the love of country, the
    sense of wrong, hatred of oppressors and treacherous and faithless
    confederates, and, finally, despair--would impel them to the most
    daring and desperate resistance in defence of property, family,
    country, liberty, and existence."[60]

The student unfamiliar with the confederate side of the brothers' war can
find the whole of it clearly stated in these short passages re-enforced by
the cognate ones quoted above from the speech of March 4, 1850. The
maintenance of the then existing relations between white and black was
vital both to liberty and existence. Because of the world-wide diversity
of the two races they cannot be socially or politically equal (a subject
which we will deal with specially after a while). And it was the duty of
the south to fight to the bitter end "in defence of property, family,
country, liberty, and existence." This is the marrow of the quotations.
They convincingly show not only the grasp of the statesman, but the
prescience of the prophet, as has been plainly proved by the brothers' war
and what followed in its track.

Opposition to the tariff, which in his judgment favored the manufacturing
at the expense of the staple States, seems to have been the first thing
that led Calhoun to take a pro-Southern stand in politics.[61] It finally
produced the famous nullification episode, which we have already somewhat
discussed. In this his platform was simply anti-tariff. But the current,
without his being aware of it, was carrying him resistlessly and rapidly
on into the anti-abolition career in which his life ended. It was the
petition presented in 1835 to congress against slavery in the District of
Columbia which, it seems, was the first thing that opened his eyes to the
menace of abolition. Note his wonderful foresight. Compare him with Cicero
just before the outbreak of the war between Pompey and Cæsar; or with
Demosthenes before Philip discloses his purpose towards Greece; or with
Carl Marx, predicting the future of co-operative enterprise. Cicero almost
foresees nothing--he mostly fears; Marx is utterly mistaken. The
divination of Demosthenes is far superior, and it is clear; yet it is
belated when it comes. But Calhoun sees with "appalling clearness," as Von
Holst says, all the storm-cloud from which tempest and tornado will ravage
the entire land, just as its first speck shows on the horizon; and nobody
else will see that. If this abolition movement is not stopped in its
incipiency, it will soon get beyond all control. This he says over and
over in his public place. What a horrible spectre of the future haunted
him for the rest of his life! The south in her self-defence forced out of
the union, and then perhaps overcome in war. After her braves have
perished, and their dear ones at home have been plunged in the depths of
want, the triumphant abolitionists will have the former slaves to lord it
over them.

His conscience commanded him to stand by slavery as the fundamental
condition of his people's well-being; it also at the same time commanded
him to strain all his energies to save the union by making it the
protector instead of the assailant of slavery. This was the insuperable
task which the powers in the unseen put him in the treadmill to do. From
the time he commenced the discussion of the anti-slavery petitions until
his exclamation over the "poor south," on his death-bed, life was to him
but a deepening agony of solicitude and utmost effort,--solicitude for his
country and section, effort to avert the danger that became greater and
more awful to him every day. He strove after remedies under the
constitution. The more he recalled the success of the single stand of
South Carolina against the tariff, the prouder he became of being the
author of nullification. Its dearness to him was that it was peaceable as
well as efficient. The better opinion of the State-rights school is that
nullification is an absurdity, and that South Carolina's only true remedy
against the tariff was to secede if it were not repealed. But he knew
better than everybody else that secession meant internecine war between
the sections, and this influenced him to exalt peaceable nullification
above bloody secession.

It needs not to consider each barrier, whether party combinations,
admission of new slave States, legislation, etc., that he tried to erect
against the incoming oceanic wave. But we must briefly consider the
amendment of the constitution which he proposed. He wanted the north and
the south each to have a president, as he said, "to be so elected, as that
the two should be constituted the special organs and representatives of
the respective sections in the executive department of the government; and
requiring each to approve all the acts of congress before they shall
become laws."[62] Do this, he urged, and neither section can use the
powers of government to injure the other, for whatever proposed law
menaces a section will be vetoed by its president. It profits the student
of the science of government to consider the historical examples which
Calhoun adduced here. They are indeed so apt that the hearing which has
ever been denied him should be granted him at least academically. He says:
"The two most distinguished constitutional governments of antiquity both
in respect to permanence and power had a dual executive. I refer to those
of Sparta and Rome."[63]

It is interesting to be informed that those same wise Iroquois from whom
our fathers probably got the precedent of the old confederation, put in
practice something very like what Calhoun advises. We append both the
account and instructive comment of Morgan:

    "When the Iroquois confederacy was formed, or soon after that event,
    two permanent war-chiefships were created and named.... As general
    commanders they had charge of the military affairs of the confederacy,
    and the command of its joint forces when united in a general
    expedition.... The creation of two principal war-chiefs instead of
    one, and with equal power, argues a subtle and calculating policy to
    prevent the domination of a single man even in their military affairs.
    They did without experience precisely as the Romans did in creating
    two consuls instead of one, after they had abolished the office of
    _rex_. Two consuls would balance the military power between them, and
    prevent either from becoming supreme. Among the Iroquois this office
    never became influential."[64]

But Calhoun lays much more stress upon another example,--that of the
protection which the Roman plebeians got in tribunes elected from their
own order alone, which tribunes could veto any act of the lawmaking
organs, all of which were then actually in the hands of their oppressors,
that is, the order of patricians; the result being that in course of time
the plebeians achieved equality.[65]

Of course the inevitable could not be put off. And yet ought we not to
admire the inventive genius of the statesman who of all proposed the
remedy that promised the best? And ought we not also to cherish in
affectionate memory this last and high effort of Calhoun to avert a
dreadful brothers' war at hand, the end and consequences of which nobody
could then forecast?

The situation of Rome granting tribunes to the plebs was widely different
from ours. That was a case of giving a veto to one class only, and to a
class which belonged to the entire body politic. Calhoun proposed not a
single veto, but two; neither one to be given such a class as we have just
mentioned, but a veto to each one of two geographical divisions, in one of
which there was a developed, and in the other a nascent and almost
complete, nationality, these two nationalities already closed with each
other in a life and death grapple. His hope must have been to confine the
combatants to an arena which could be effectually policed by the civil
power, and in which all fighting except with buttoned foils be prevented.
We may be almost sure that his heart broke when that presentiment which
often comes to the dying as clear as sunlight revealed the bloody war that
was quickening its approach.

O the unutterable pathos of his life from 1835 to 1850! During this time
he was like the mother of a boy whom consumption has marked for its own.
In advance of all others she reads the first symptom, nay, she anticipates
it. All those who believe that they know him as well as she does, laugh at
her fears with unsympathetic incredulity. But her eyes never fail to see
grim death at the door, although bravely she hopes against hope, and
fights, fights, fights. Inexorably, relentlessly the end, which others now
begin to discern, comes on, but until the last breath of her darling she
has ever some suggestion of change of place or climate, of a new remedy,
of something else to be done. It is the supreme tragedy of her trial that
while outwardly she is all self-gratifying love, inwardly she is all
self-consuming misery. We say the love of a mother is greater than all
other. But we know that she loves her country better than she does her
child. Patriotism is as yet the strongest love of all. Realize that our
exalted patriot was tending and nursing the cause of his country. Think of
the noble Lee, his career of victory over, wearing away the winter at
Petersburg, hourly expecting his line, so tensely stretched in order to
face overwhelming odds, to break; think of him after it does break, on the
retreat, when he has discovered that his supplies have gone wrong; and
think of him when he must yield the sword as ever memorable as Hannibal's.
The world has given Lee, and will long give him, rains of gracious tears.
But he was never plagued with Calhoun's sharpened eyes to future disaster,
and he was confident that he would reach the mountains almost until the
very moment of surrender. Think rather of the great sufferers for high
causes,--Bonnivard, wearing a pathway over the stone floor of his prison;
Lear, of all of Shakspeare's heroes, in the deepest gulf of misfortune;
and especially of Calvary and the crucifixion, for Jesus travailed for his
brothers and sisters. It is here you must look for the like of Calhoun.
For fifteen years that "mass of moan" which was coming to his dear ones
pierced his ears plainer and plainer and made his heart sicker and sicker,
and during this long bloody sweat he gave the rarest devotion and
self-sacrifice to his country which he feared more and more was to plunge
over the precipice. As we recall the scene of his death it makes us
rejoice to know that the cross he had borne so long has at last been cast
off and he has entered into the rest of the martyr-patriot. Then it
occurs to us that he carried with him his affections,--too lofty not to be
immortal,--and we cannot believe that the sad spirit ever smiled until
Wade Hampton, twenty-six years afterwards, re-erected white domination in
South Carolina.

Dixie will never forget that one who of all her sons loved her best and
suffered for her the most. And it is my conviction that each noblest soul
of the north will after a while revere in Calhoun the American parallel to
the moral grandeur of Dante, of whom Michaelangelo said he would
cheerfully endure his exile and all his misfortunes for his glory.



Calhoun was the pre-eminent champion of the southern cause in the union,
while Toombs was that of southern nationalization seeking independence.
Webster was the pre-eminent champion of American nationalization seeking
continental union. Toombs and Webster are therefore in antithesis; and it
will be well for me to begin the chapter by anticipating some of the
characteristics of the former, who will be treated at large later on, and
briefly contrasting the two.

By nature Toombs was so prone to action that even in his daily
recreation--talk with the nearest to him was by far the most of it--his
immense and tireless outpouring of fine phrase, wisdom, and wit was the
increasing wonder of all who knew him. Webster's proneness was to repose,
almost indolence. He often seemed lethargic. His activity could be excited
only by the pressure of necessity. This difference between the two showed
itself very markedly in their several careers. Toombs, coming to the bar
in the last year of his nonage, took the profession at once to his heart,
settled in his native county, in a lucrative field of practice, overcame
all hindrances of natural defects and insufficient training seemingly by a
mere act of will, and in four or five years his collecting a
thousand-dollar fee in an adjoining county was no very uncommon thing.
When he was twenty-eight he was a fully developed lawyer and advocate on
every side--law, equity, and criminal--of the courts of that prosperous
planting community, then overrunning with cases of importance, and his
annual income from practice was $15,000. Webster went up much more slowly.
He read long and industriously; was not called until he was twenty-three;
for the next two and a half years was content with an income of $600 or
$700; and then for nine years at Portsmouth his average income was $2,000
yearly. Even when Webster at thirty-four removed to Boston he was hardly
as a lawyer the equal of Toombs at twenty-eight; and I believe that the
latter was always the superior lawyer. The greater reputation of Webster
is due to the greater reputation of his cases, and of the tribunal wherein
he long held the lead.

We see a like difference between the two in congress. Webster shirks the
routine duties of his place to gain opportunity for practice in the United
States supreme court. Toombs stays away from all courts during the
session, and gives every measure before the body to which he belongs its
proper attention, study, and labor. But the performance by him of all the
many duties of representative or senator, whether little or great, with
unparalleled diligence, ability, and splendor, has been so completely
obscured by the few of Webster's great congressional exploits, that it is
not now cared for by anybody.

The greater lawyer and the greater congressman has been accorded the
lesser renown. This is because of the relation which each one bore to the
two publics which I have tried to make you understand,--the southern
public and the northern public. Toombs's legal career was mainly in the
courts of his own State. It was not much heard of outside, in even the
southern public, until his extraordinarily meritorious discharge of
congressional duties involving a mastery of law was observed. Although
some of Webster's cases in State courts were celebrated, his greatest
ones, to be considered in a moment, were won in the United States supreme
court, in the eyes of both publics watching intently. The highest
accomplishments of Toombs in the non-sectional parts of his congressional
career were almost matters of indifference at the time to both publics,
becoming steadily more absorbed in pro- and anti-slavery politics; and
what he did in the other part of it excited the hostility of the northern
public, and brought him obloquy instead of good name. The few memorable
deeds of Webster in congress were victorious vindications of the cause
clearest of all to the northern, that is, the free-labor, public. That
public has at last not only conquered, but it has annexed the other as a
part of itself. And so Toombs's fame as a lawyer and statesman has been
left so far behind that it can hardly hope ever to have impartial and fair
comparison with that of Webster.

Just one more parallel, and I shall proceed with my sketch. Each one of
the two, in order to accept his mission of leadership, was plainly made by
his destiny to abandon a previously cherished doctrine for a new and
contrary one. Toombs was once an ardent union man, Webster was once almost
a secessionist. In his Taylor speech, made in the United States house of
representatives July 1, 1848, speaking of the then expected acquisition of
territory, Toombs said:

    "All the rest of this continent is not worth our glorious union, much
    less these contemptible provinces which now threaten us with such
    evils. It were better that we should throw back the worthless boon,
    and let the inhabitants work out their own destiny, than that we
    should endanger our peace, our safety, and our nationality by their
    incorporation in our union."

The silly embargo measures, making war upon our own citizens instead of
our enemies, had deeply injured New England interests. On their heel came
the second war with England, into which the government of France had, as
Mr. Lodge says, "tricked us ... by most profligate lying."[66] This war
paralyzed the production and occupations of Webster's people.

A speech made by him July 4, 1812, is "a strong, calm statement of the
grounds of opposition to the war."[67] Mr. Lodge quotes and emphasizes a
passage as proof that Webster, although a federalist, and the majority of
his party in New England were--to use the words of the same
author--"prepared to go to the very edge of the narrow legal line which
divides constitutional opposition from treasonable resistance,"[68] was
then standing by the union with might and main. This quotation, separated
from its circumstances and the immediate sequel, strongly supports the
contention. The speech being printed, circulated widely among those
federalists who were gravitating so strongly towards "treasonable
resistance." By reason of it Webster was chosen as a delegate to a
convention, held the next month. This man, whom Mr. Lodge would have us
believe to be so fixedly counter to the then uppermost revolutionary
sentiment of his party, was chosen to be their mouthpiece. He wrote their
report--the "Rockingham Memorial" in the form of a letter to President
Madison. Mr. Lodge thus contrasts the report and the speech. "In one point
the memorial differed curiously from the oration of the month before. The
latter pointed to the suffrage as the mode of redress; the former
distinctly hinted at and almost threatened secession, even while it
deplored a dissolution of the union as a possible result of the
administration's policy."[69] Then the biographer most confidently states
that in the speech Webster was declaring his own views, but in the other
document he was declaring those of members of his party.

But the average American will be sure that those familiar with the speech
at the time did not strain its counsels as far away from their own as Mr.
Lodge does, otherwise they would not have elected him as delegate; and
further, he never would have made their report for them unless he had been
known to entertain their own sentiments.[70]

The popular wave that he had thus mounted carried the draftsman of the
"Rockingham Memorial" into congress, where, while British armies were
actually treading our soil, he voted against the taxes proposed for
national defence. Mr. Lodge does not go the full length of sustaining this
conduct.[71] The severe comment of another biographer will be cordially
approved by average readers, northern and southern.[72]

The facts properly considered show that from the speech of July 4, 1812,
on, Webster, although he stood aloof from the Hartford convention
movement, was in full sympathy with the federalists of New England, whom
the national government by its unrighteous oppressions had driven to
contemplate disunion as a possible measure of self-protection.

This attitude of Webster towards the union was entirely contrary to that
which afterwards became his power and glory among his countrymen. We wish
it noted that as he changed with the people of New England from
anti-tariff to pro-tariff politics, he likewise changed with them in their
principles as to the union; and that Toombs went with the south, in an
opposite direction, that is, from embrace to rejection of the union.

Having in the foregoing brought out the prominent characteristics of
Webster's nature and career, and having also impressed you that he, like
all other great statesmen, could lead only by following his people, I will
cursorily trace him from stage to stage through his development. He was
selected in infancy, if not before by providence, to be made not the
expounder of the constitution, but the invincible defender of the union.
When his activity begins, he is at first to consolidate the union by the
management of some great law cases, and delivery of occasional addresses
to popular assemblies; and afterwards in his high place as United States
senator he is to demonstrate to the northern public its complete guaranty
of their highest material interests, and set it in their hearts above all
things else. Thus did providence assign to him the preservation of the
greatest of all democracies, to the end that there be no break in the
future course of human improvement.

Before his activity begins the powers train him. They gave him a long
education, and a slow growth as a statesman. He could never remember when
he had been unable to read. His feeble physique while a child shielded him
from the labor required of the other children, and permitted him to enjoy
books. Early he soaked his mind in the King James version of the bible and
other good English standards. As he grew apace his opportunities of
reading were far better than those of Calhoun, who never saw even a
circulating library until he was in his thirteenth year, and soon was
taken away from that. These opportunities he used in his leisurely way.
His mind was strong and his memory good, and he digested and kept under
command what he read. His schooling and college course were in the main
continuous. He got to Dartmouth at fifteen, where he spent four years.
Here he made the reputation of being the best speaker and writer of all
the students. In his study for the law he took ample time. And in his
first years of practice he had much leisure. Besides revelling in the
Latin classics, Shakspeare, Milton, Pope, and Cowper, and much history, he
was keenly observant of what was going on about him. We know how Jeremiah
Mason gave him lessons both in law, rhetoric, and elocution to his great
advancement. We know too that his interest in current political questions
was vigilant. He took his seat in congress May, 1813, being then a little
over thirty-one. His speech against a bill to encourage enlistments made
January 14, the next year, shows, as Mr. Lodge says, that "he was now
master of the style at which he aimed."[73] Of this peculiar style I shall
say something after a while. Mention of his greatest exploits in
consolidating the union is now in order.

The first of these is his conduct of the Dartmouth college case in the
United States supreme court. It is entirely out of place for me to give
even the briefest notice of the details which fill Mr. Shirley's unique
book.[74] Little more than emphasis of the effect of the decision to knit
more closely the bonds of union between the States is required. This
effect will be considered more carefully when we comment on Gibbons _v._
Ogden, which finishes the important work commenced in the other. It needs
only to remind the reader now that the protection of contracts against
impairing State legislation has contributed probably more than anything
else to the prosperous development of American internal trade and
commerce,--a most potent factor in consolidating the union,--and that this
protection originates in the Dartmouth college decision. But there is
something special to be said of Webster as to the case. He did not stress
the constitutional point--that upon which the judgment was finally
placed--either in his law-brief or argument. The victory is all due to his
consummate management of the court, especially of the chief-justice. The
latter really found the true ground of the decision. But the powers had
Webster in hand, and it suited their purposes to crown their _Liebling_
with the credit of the decision. When he found out the reasons given for
the ruling he had won, I fancy that a good angel of his destiny whispered
in his ear he ought to have discerned that the weal of all classes of his
entire country, and not merely that of its colleges, was at stake in his
case, and he must never in the future overlook such an opportunity again.
In his Hanover fourth of July speech, made when he was only eighteen years
old, to quote from the authority we make so much use of, "the boy Webster
preached love of country, the grandeur of American nationality, fidelity
to the constitution as the bulwark of nationality, and the necessity and
the nobility of the union of the States."[75] Mr. Lodge impressively adds,
"and that was the message which the man Webster delivered to his fellow
men."[76] His Fryeburg fourth of July speech, made not long afterwards,
was in the same strain. After the powers had thus started him in the way
they wanted him to go, we have noted above how he was carried by the
federalists of New England into a movement hostile to the union. This
brief wandering from his destiny, as it were, is to be compared with his
neglect to grasp the point in the Dartmouth college case which was in the
exact line of that high destiny. This shows how even the greatest genius
must stumble and grope before it has found the right road. I think the
Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, First Part of Henry VI, and the Sonnets of
Shakspeare are like examples.

The Plymouth oration, delivered in 1820, begins a new and very important
stage of Webster's career. As Virginia was the mother of the southern
States, so New England was in large measure the mother of the northern.
The latter was the very fountain of the free-labor nationalization. And as
she was known to be exceptionally advanced in intellectual as well as
material development, she was to all the free States both their great
example and highest authority. Hardly anybody has even yet fully taken in
all the permanent good which New England has done for herself at home and
for her children and scholars outside. Of course still less of it was
understood in 1820. But in the Plymouth oration Webster set forth so much
of it, the effect upon New England was magical. It was as if he had raised
a curtain concealing great riches and treasures of her merit and glory,
the existence of which had not been suspected. New Englanders all fell in
love with him, and accorded him the foremost place among their

The anti-slavery spirit of the speech deserves special notice. I do not
mean to emphasize the oft-quoted passage denouncing the African
slave-trade; for everybody in the south--even the smuggler and the few
purchasers who encouraged him--had been against legalizing it, for reasons
mentioned above, from a time long before the southern States showed a
desire in the constitutional convention to stop the trade at once. I mean
his mention of slavery in the West Indies. I do not think that he had the
south in mind, stressing as he does the absenteeism of the masters and the
mortgages of their lands for capital borrowed in England. But much else
that he says of the evil effects of slavery could be easily applied, at
least in some measure, to the system as it then existed in the south, such
as, for instance, the backwardness to make permanent improvements or endow
colleges. His contrast of New England with the West Indies is intended to
show that a free-labor community is far superior to a slave-labor
community in the most important elements of a good and progressive
civilization. His conviction of this truth is serious and undoubting. And
those few words, "the unmitigated toil of slavery," which show that he
erroneously believed that the slave toiled as hard as the wage-earning
laborer, evince a strong moral revulsion on his part.

We summarize as to the Plymouth oration. It made Webster really the
political leader of New England, which--the animosity excited by the
embargo and the late war having become a forgotten thing of the past--is
now both in command of and also in the van of the free-labor and
anti-slavery nationalization, destined by the powers to perpetuate the

We have told you how Webster--being at the time the very antipodes of what
he was afterwards when he talked with Bosworth as to the Rhode Island
case--missed the true and cardinal point in the Dartmouth college case,
and how the powers, after having Marshall to establish it, gave all the
glory of the great accomplishment to Webster. We come now to Gibbons _v._
Ogden, argued in 1824, in which the latter made far more than ample amends
for his shortcoming, and taught even the great Marshall how to decide.

New York State had given Fulton and Livingston for a term exclusive steam
navigation of all its waters, and Webster was to maintain that the grant
impugned the federal constitution and was therefore invalid. The question
was _res integra_, without analogies which often help us forlorn advocates
who cannot find a precedent and are utterly without any literature
suggesting the _ratio decidendi_. I know I cannot explain to a layman how
such cases as these bewilder and paralyze the typical Anglo-American
judge, who has walked all his life by precedent and not by sight. Further,
Webster's side antagonized prevailing sentiment and, it would be hardly
too much to say, the public conscience; either one of which generally
sways courts more powerfully than the law-brief, argument, and appeal of
complete advocates. The only thing which Webster could oppose to these
formidable odds was just a clause of a sentence of the constitution, this
clause being only of twelve words when even the belonging context is read
into it,[77] and appearing to be, we cannot say surplusage, but neither
well-considered nor of any particular force. Out of this he constructed
such a perfect and wise doctrine of the immunity of our interstate
commerce from local attack and restraint that every succeeding generation
has admired its wisdom more, and subsequent additions and extensions of
importance are all manifest conclusions from the promises which he made

Reading and reflecting for writing my "American Law Studies" familiarized
me with a few instances in which a man has left a lasting impress upon the
development of the law (some of which instances will be mentioned in a
moment). Thus I was led to meditate Webster's work in this case; and it
becomes an increasing wonder to me. Read what his biographer tells of the
unfavorable circumstances of the preparation for the argument and how he
overcame them by superhuman effort. Read also his own account as given by
Harvey, how Wirt, his associate, older and of much more experience in that
court, disparaged the ground upon which he said he should stand, and
proposed another; and how Marshall drank in every word of Webster's
argument, and afterwards virtually reproduced it in the opinion.

But the great thing is what he did for the law. The current distribution
of the common law under its larger heads was made by Hale and Blackstone
after that of the contemporary civilians, which is founded upon that of
the Institutes of Justinian. This book is but a reproduction of that of
Gaius. So we may assert of this last mentioned author that it is his
systematization which still obtains both in the English and Roman law,
that is to say, the entire law of the enlightened world.[78] A few English
chancellors perceptibly moulded equity; Mansfield almost created English
commercial law; in our country, Hamilton, in one argument overturned the
doctrine of tacking securities, and in another remade the essentials of
libel; our great text-author Bishop, with his treatise often worked over
in new editions, is really the enacter of the American law of divorce; and
Marshall's additions to our federal law will never be forgotten. By what
he did in Gibbons _v._ Ogden, Webster has won a proud place in the small
company of great law-givers.

And he is entitled to a liberal share of the glory which the Dartmouth
college decision has won, for without him Marshall would have had no

To estimate the prodigious effect of the rulings in these two cases, try
to realize to yourself what would be the consequences to American trade
and commerce if the States were not effectually kept from infringing
contracts or granting monopolies of transportation. Try to realize the
loss, the inconvenience, the trouble, the vexation, all the evil that
would have unavoidably befallen us if these two companion decisions and
the subsequent ones following them as precedents or extending them as
analogies, had not made practically the whole of American inland business
a unit--to use Webster's word--under the protection everywhere of the same
impartial law. The longer you think it over the more confirmed will be
your opinion that from no other cause has the evolution away from the old
independence of States towards a permanent union and a single organism of
perpetually federated communities been more furthered. The unification of
production and distribution thus given resistless impulse has almost of
itself alone worked the unification of all our States. So looking back
from the standpoint of to-day we may be sure that the powers had Webster
by his accomplishment in the cases now in mind, to build for perpetual
union far better than he knew.

It needs not to dwell upon the Bunker Hill oration, made June 17, 1825. It
is, as I believe, the most familiar as a whole of all speeches to
Americans. It did not stop with adding greatly to the influence he had won
over New England by the Plymouth oration; it revealed him to the whole
country as its supreme orator. Bear in mind its theme, remembering how
large a part the battle of Bunker Hill was in founding our union.

The plainest manifestation that providence ever made of its favoritism to
Webster was its having Adams and Jefferson both to die on the same day of
all the year the most commemorative of each. By the eulogy of the two
patriots which Webster made the next month he attained the height of his
popular celebrity. His subject was no longer one that principally
concerned New England and the north, but it was the co-operation of both
sections in making the United States. Slowly, but surely, he has climbed
to the top of authority, whence he ever draws audience and attention from
north and south, both in the present and for ages after the brothers' war.

These three popular speeches just noticed are unique in oratory, not in
their general character, but in the nobility of the subjects, the ripeness
of the occasion, the profound wisdom of treatment, and the extraordinary
elevation and perfection of style.

Another stage begins in 1830 with the reply to Hayne. What Webster says
therein, recommending brotherly love between the sections, and commending
the union, he reproduced with grateful variation in many memorable
passages of later speeches. The original and reproductions are the most
precious gems of our literature, ranking in excellence even above Poe's
poetry, America's best.

The speech of 1833 against Calhoun's nullification resolutions, that which
won for Webster the cognomen, The Expounder of the Constitution, belongs
to the next succeeding stage, wherein he rose from supreme panegyric to
invincible defence of the union. As we have already given in a former
chapter this performance its due praise, we need not say more of it.

This chapter would not be complete if we failed to glance at the
essentials of Webster's greatness as an orator, and to point out the means
used by the powers to give him his extraordinary excellence. He did not
stale himself by discussing trivial matters. When he rose, people knew
that he had an important message, and they ought to attend. In harmony
with this was his uniform seriousness, gravity, and becoming dignity of
manner; and even in his merry-making humor, as instanced in describing
Hayne leading the South Carolina militia, he never stooped. He spoke to
the sound common sense and the regnant conscience of the masses. His
propositions, his illustrations, his argument went home without effort to
every one who thought at all and who cared for moral virtue. The entire
country has heard with great acceptance that Davy Crockett said to him,
"Mr. Webster, you are not the great orator people say you are; for I heard
your speech, and I understood every word of it." Whether this be an
invention or not, it well characterizes his easy intelligibility. Herbert
Spencer could have exampled the main proposition of his able essay on
style by Webster's best efforts, and every part and parcel of
them--statement of proposition, necessary explanation and narrative,
distinctions, illustrations, reasoning, invocation of feeling--appeal to
the sense of justice. I often feel that he is not more majestic in any
particular than the always manifest meaning of what he says. In this he
reminds of Bacon.

He chose only the most important subjects; he befittingly addressed always
the higher nature of his hearers; and he always spoke with a transparent
clearness. But all this does not indicate more than the mere beginning of
true eloquence. The greatest teachers--those who win and keep the
admiration of the world--have, as their worshippers teach us, gifts of
expression commensurate with the desert of their communications. Remember
Homer, Plato, Demosthenes, Vergil, Cicero, Dante, Bacon, Goethe, and above
all Shakspeare. As the reader hangs over them he becomes more and more
unconscious of what we call, rather vaguely, their style. Their diction,
in unhackneyed use of hackneyed words, in metaphors that flash like
electric sparks, in appropriateness of varied rhythm, and all appertaining
jewels, becomes to him but a belonging of the much more precious sense. As
it must impart that without impediment it is unconsciously made as like it
as the protecting coloring of animals is made like that of the objects
amidst which they lurk. There has been but one other which admits of
comparison in world-wide secular importance with Webster's theme--that
which inspired

  "Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento."

We have learned how the Æneid was prized above all other poetry, not only
by the Romans themselves, but, long after they had become a mere name and
memory, by the different nations of Europe. Plainly it was because Vergil,
in that "stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man," had fitly
celebrated the greatest factor delivering from barbarism, and spreading
civilization abroad, that had yet appeared in history,--the Roman empire.
The American union, immeasurably exceeding that empire in immediate good
to millions at home, and in fair promise to all the earth, was Webster's
subject. It got from him an appropriate style. The variety of ornament in
his language reaches all the way from the modest violets of the
Anglo-Saxon common to Bunyan and King James's version, up to the most
gorgeous trappings which are part and parcel of the sense in the best
passages of Paradise Lost. There is also a variety of idiom. He uses that
of the field or street, or of the gentleman or of the scholar, as best
suits. He affected short sentences, and also pure English words. He told
Davis to weed the Latin words out of his speech on Adams and Jefferson.
But when occasion calls he can revel in that latinity of our tongue which,
as De Quincey has noted, becomes intense with Shakspeare, when he is
soaring his strongest. If you are inclined to dispute this, look over the
last two sentences of the reply to Hayne. How you would lower this sublime
peroration into the dust, if you replaced the Latin with native
derivatives, or changed the long for short sentences in what is now above
all example in English or American oratory, and can be paralleled in
structure, "ocean-roll of rhythm," and exquisite words only by the most
famous paragraphs of Cicero and Livy. As our last word here, Webster
always imparts the wisest counsel as to the American union in phrase
all-golden, and his eloquence is entitled to praise beyond all other,
because it is always what his high subject demands.

As I have to do mainly with the permanent and lasting in Webster, I can
merely allude to his physical endowments, described with such rapture by
March, Choate, and many others of his time, and well summarized by Mr.
Lodge. I must remind the reader how it accorded with the purpose of the
powers to bestow upon their favorite majesty of form, mien, and look, a
voice that suggested the music of the spheres, action that would have been
a model to Demosthenes; in short, a physique for the orator superior to
any on record. These things helped him mightily in his day.

Apparently I finished with Webster's education some pages back of this.
But the more important part of it has not as yet been touched upon; and it
is incumbent upon me to tell it, because of the lesson we ought to learn
from it.

The largest and most characterizing part of our education--perhaps it
would more accurately express my meaning to say our culture--each one of
us gets from his associations, from his contact with the people of all
sorts around him in his infancy, boyhood, and manhood often as far on as
middle age, if not sometimes farther. We get it by imitation, unconscious
and conscious, and by absorption from what we see, hear, and read, etc.,
which absorption is often most active when we are least aware of it. Now
let us consider the community of which Webster was the product.

In the Plymouth oration, as we have already suggested, he exhibits the
exceptional progress and acquisitions of New England. What other community
ever showed greater courage against danger or greater energy against
obstacles, and such wise building-up of a new country in a strange land?
The Pilgrim Fathers could not have liberty and their own religion at home,
and for these they went into the wilderness. There they kept the savage at
bay. With soil and climate both unfavorable they wrought out general
plenty and comfort. They prospered in industry. They equalized as far as
they could all in property rights. And these liberty-lovers gave the
regulation of local affairs to the town meeting, of which Webster says:
"Nothing can exceed the utility of these little bodies. They are so many
councils or parliaments, in which common interests are discussed, and
useful knowledge acquired and communicated."

Jefferson, the great apostle of popular self-government, most earnestly
longed to see all America outside of New England divided into such
townships as hers.

But to return to the Pilgrims. They established schools and churches
everywhere. Free education was maintained by taxation of all property.

Let us sum up. Here was a country in which everybody had been well trained
in the available ways of self-support and also of saving and
accumulating,--the very first essential to make good citizens. Such
citizens were required to administer their public affairs themselves; and
thus they received the very best political education and training in a
school of genuine democracy,--which is the next essential. The children of
each generation were schooled better than those of the former, the
colleges and universities constantly did better with the students, and
libraries open to the public both multiplied and enlarged,--the third
essential. And education and business were rationally mixed, until in
Webster's time it might be said with truth that the average New Englander
worked with a will, and wisely, every day to maintain himself and family,
and also found leisure to add something of value to his store of
knowledge. Here is another essential. The moral and religious atmosphere
became purer and purer, and more and more on all sides good intention was
conspicuous in the light, and evil intention hid itself deep in the dark.
This is the last essential.

The foregoing is made up from the Plymouth oration. Webster was too near
to discern all the intellectual and moral advancement and the opulent
future promise of his own community, the proper fruit of the conditions
just summarized.[79] Let us indicate by only such a paucity of examples as
we have room for. Able and fully furnished lawyers everywhere. Think of
Story, a most diligently attending judge and one of the best; also
finding time both to be the first law professor and most fertile and
eminent author of the age, exhausting English and American sources and
authority in his books, and crowding them with a civil law learning to be
surpassed only by that of the Roman jurists of Germany; let Ticknor, whom
we may call the founder of the post classical school of literature in our
country, suggest the students of modern languages who followed in an
illustrious line,--let him suggest also the famous historians, such as
Prescott, Bancroft, Hildreth, Motley, Parkman, really representatives of
the school just mentioned, using methods that got into the American air
first from Ticknor; let Channing suggest the pulpit,--Channing, who raised
religion from the gloom of dogma and orthodoxy into a life of angelic joy;
what can one say to describe Emerson in a breath,--the teacher to us all
of fit aspiration, right thinking, noble expression, the highest virtue
and truest religion, and who lived, as Dr. Heber Newton has lately told,
the most perfect of lives as a man; Hawthorne, showing the world sick with
its yearning for moral redemption that even a disgraced, lone, and
friendless woman can by a subsequent life of unreserved confession,
purity, and love to her neighbors turn a horrible brand of guilt into a
jewel more precious and brilliant than diamond,--how his consummate
achievement rebukes the sixty years' dilatoriness of Goethe over his
unfinished Faust; and divine poets, Whittier, Longfellow, Lowell, and
Holmes,--the last two conspicuous in letters, Lowell being in my judgment
the greatest American man of letters; I have said nothing of the statesmen
and orators, beginning with Fisher Ames and John Adams,--and there are
others in every high round of the intellectual life known all over the
land whose names I must omit.

In this enumeration I have intentionally looked somewhat forward; for what
is in one particular generation you cannot find out until its effects are
plain in the next. I want to accentuate it that Webster belonged to a
society which had made some of the extraordinary figures whose names are
given, and was making the rest of them. When the view just suggested has
been taken, and if in comparing New England with any other community--even
with Athens, Florence, England, or Germany, in their best eras--periods of
time be equalized and differences of population be properly allowed for,
it will appear that the conditions moulding Webster were more energetic in
productivity than can be found elsewhere. And if, in this comparison, the
relative general condition of the masses in each community be duly taken
into the account, the result will be far more favorable to New England;
for a high level of the masses is a much better proof of a fecund culture
than merely many striking individual instances.

Thus we bring out the point that Webster was born, grew up, and lived in a
nursery prolific in men and women of extraordinary powers and virtues. How
insignificant is the muster-roll of any other part of our country! I
compare that of the south because I am familiar with it, and one can with
better manners disparage his own section than another. The ante-bellum
southern treasures of art and literature except speeches, political and
forensic, can be counted on the fingers of one hand without taking them
all. The poetry of Poe, a few essays of Legaré, especially that on
Demosthenes, Calhoun's Dissertation on Government, and Toombs's Tremont
Temple lecture, are all that are pre-eminent; and some of the historians
of our literature insist that Poe was southern only in his prejudices, and
not in his making. To turn away from authors, how few can be found to
compare in education, polish, and literary or scientific accomplishments
with average New Englanders of their several professions or occupations.
Toombs, in the diamond-like brilliance of his extempore effusion in talks
or speeches, is as solitary in the south as Catullus, the greatest of the
spontaneous poets of his nation, was in the Rome of his day.

Webster absorbed and absorbed, assimilated and assimilated, all the better
elements of this marvellous New England culture, which I am painfully
conscious of having most insufficiently described above, until at last he
mounted its eminences in his profession, in the politics of democracy,
æsthetic taste, and especially statesmanly eloquence. So assured was his
stand upon these eminences that all the wisest and most refined of the
section spontaneously and involuntarily did him obeisance, recognizing in
him their ideal of wisdom and counsel befittingly expressed. We can stop
to give only two examples. Edward Everett is the one American master of
grand rhetoric. He heard the reply to Hayne, and, as he says, he could not
but be reminded throughout of Demosthenes' making the unrivalled crown
oration. Choate, profoundly versed in the law, the incomparable forensic
advocate and popular speaker, daily flying higher with inspiration drawn
from Demosthenes and Cicero--he poured out his admiration in many
utterances that have already become classic. Webster was made in and by
New England, and not for herself alone. The toast, "Daniel Webster,--the
gift of New England to his country, his whole country, and nothing but his
country," to which he responded December 22, 1843, tells but the truth. No
American other than a New Englander ever had what one may term such a
greatness breeding environment as he. And passing in review all the famous
children of those famous six States, whether they spent their lives at
home as Choate, or developed elsewhere as Henry Ward Beecher, it is my
decided opinion that Daniel Webster as fruit and example of her culture is
New England's greatest glory.

There remain now but a few prominences of Webster for me to touch upon.

His speech of March 7, 1850, was fiercely denounced by the root-and-branch
abolitionists. Horace Mann called him a fallen Lucifer. Sumner charged him
with apostasy. Giddings said he had struck "a blow against freedom and the
constitutional rights of the free States which no southern arm could have
given." Theodore Parker could think of no comparable deed of any other New
Englander except the treachery of Benedict Arnold. Wittier condemned him
to everlasting obloquy in a lofty lyric, which from its very title of one
word throughout was reprobation more stinging than the world-known lampoon
of Catullus against Julius Cæsar. The effect of this tempest has not yet
all died out; and in many quarters of the north Webster is still regarded
as a renegade. His defenders, however, multiply and become more earnest
and strong. Let us consider this speech with the serenity and riper
judgment which should mark the historical writer of to-day.

First and foremost let us grasp the wide difference of the situation from
that at the beginning of 1833. Then, the question was only remotely a
pro-slavery or southern one. A southern president, the most popular
American, of great firmness of purpose and extraordinary courage, had
taken a decided stand against the movement of one southern State hostile
to the general government,--a stand the more decided because he cordially
hated Calhoun, who was leading the movement. The southern leaders outside
of that State did not approve of nullification; most of them believing it
was an absurdity for a State to contend she could stay in the union and
at the same time rightfully refuse to perform a condition of that union.
It seemed that no southern State except Virginia would stand by South
Carolina in the event of a collision between her and the United States. We
can well understand that Webster could then see no danger to the cause he
loved above all others, that is, the union, in uncompromisingly demanding
that the revenue be collected, and with force if necessary.

Nullification was palpably unjustifiable, even under the doctrine
prevalent in the south. We have explained how Calhoun's extreme desire for
peaceable remedies only, led him to champion this illogical measure. The
theory of State sovereignty demanded that, instead of the nullification
ordinance, South Carolina pass an ordinance of secession, conditioned to
commence its operation at a stated time if the objectionable duties had
not been repealed. The situation in 1833 was that all the north and nearly
all of the south were arrayed under a southern leader against only one
southern State, making a demand which was plainly untenable in either one
of the two differing schools of constitutional construction.

But the situation, in 1850, was a south solidly united, not upon such an
obvious heresy as nullification, but aroused as one man to protect the
very underpinning of its social structure. It was standing confidently
upon the doctrine of State sovereignty, which, as the historical records
all showed, was the creed of the generation, both north and south, that
made the constitution. As we have already told, Calhoun in 1833 probably
convinced Webster that the States were sovereign. That did not mean that
the force-bill was wrong; it meant only that if South Carolina chose, she
could rightfully secede. And we may say that this great argument of
Calhoun, demolishing as it does the premises of Webster, was really
irrelevant, for it did not support his own proposition. Now in 1850, as
Webster saw it, the south was justified by the constitution, however
foolish might be her policy, and he was too conscientious to oppose what
he believed right and just. In addition to this claim by the south of
State sovereignty as abstractly right, his conscience told him that some
of her practical demands were just. It had been provided not only that all
of Texas south of 36° 30' be admitted with slavery, but further that four
other States be made out of the same territory. Although Webster was a
free-soiler from first to last, his conscience told him peremptorily that
the only honest course of congress as to the provision mentioned, which
was really a solemn contract with Texas, was to perform the contract in
good faith. This advice, of course, aroused the ire of the abolitionists,
who had united upon the position that no other slave State should ever be
admitted into the union. And he boldly said that the south was right in
her complaint that there was disinclination both among individuals and
public authorities at the north to execute the fugitive slave law.
Meditate these serious words:

    "I desire to call the attention of all sober-minded men at the north,
    of all conscientious men, of all men who are not carried away by some
    fanatical idea or some false impression, to their constitutional
    obligations. I put it to all the sober and sound minds at the north as
    a question of morals and a question of conscience, What right have
    they, in their legislative capacity or any other capacity, to endeavor
    to get round this constitution, or to embarrass the free exercise of
    the rights secured by the constitution to the persons whose slaves
    escape from them? None at all; none at all. Neither in the forum of
    conscience, nor before the face of the constitution, are they, in my
    opinion, justified in such an attempt."

I must believe that as time rolls on the outcry against this position of
Webster's, so unshakably founded in conscience and reason as the position
is, must not only cease, but turn to words of praise and commendation. The
northern fanatics who tried to abolish slavery by repudiating such solemn
contracts as the resolution of March 1, 1845, respecting the admission of
Texas, and the fugitive slave restoration clause of the federal
constitution, _while purposing to stay in the union_, were just as morally
wrong as were the southern fanatics who proposed to stay in the union and
enjoy its benefits and not pay the taxes necessary for its maintenance.

One other passage of this speech has been strongly attacked. Webster
opposed applying the Wilmot proviso to California and New Mexico, where,
as he said, "the law of nature, of physical geography, the law of the
formation of the earth ... settles forever with a strength beyond all
terms of human enactment, that slavery cannot exist." To apply the proviso
would be, as he added, to "take pains uselessly to reaffirm an ordinance
of nature," and "to re-enact the will of God;" and its insertion in a
Territorial government bill would be "for the mere purpose of a taunt or
reproach." Mr. Lodge, reprehending most severely, confidently asserts that
though these Territories were not suited to slave agriculture, yet that
their many and rich mines could have been profitably worked by slaves.[80]
He stresses the fact that certain slave owners declared that they would,
if they could, so work these mines. This distinguished author is to be
reminded of how cheaply Seius could replace any one of his slaves that he
worked to death in Ilva's mines. Let him re-read the Captivi of
Plautus,--not to mention many other ancient records just as
instructive,--and realize that in that time it was not only one race that
furnished slaves, but that every free human being was in lifelong danger
of falling to a master. The prisoners taken in the incessant wars kept the
slave markets glutted. A few months' work of one of his slaves would bring
the master enough to pay the purchase money and leave a considerable sum
to his credit with the banker. The Spaniards worked their mines with
Indians to be had for the catching in near-by places. And Mr. Lodge
mentions mining with the labor of criminals and serfs. In all the
instances that he has in mind the worker can be had for his keep or a
little more than that. But to have mined with the slaves of the
south,--that was widely different. There was no way to get such a slave
except to rear or hire or buy him in a protected market. Does Mr. Lodge
really believe that Seius would have permitted his eight hundred slaves to
sicken in the mines of Ilva if each one had been worth at least $1,000 in
the market? Really the leading industry of the south was slave rearing.
The profit was in keeping the slaves healthy and rapidly multiplying. This
could be done at little expense in agriculture, where even the light
workers were made to support themselves. But had a planter gone into a
mining section, where he could get no land, for corn to feed his slaves
and stock, and for cotton to bring him money, he would have found no
margin of profit whatever in mining. I was reared in the gold-bearing
district of Georgia. I can remember old Mr. John Wynne, a wealthy cotton
planter living in Oglethorpe county, some six or seven miles from my
father's, who, when--to use plantation parlance--he had laid by his crop
at the middle or end of July, would work his gold mine until
cotton-picking became brisk about the middle of September. He made money
out of his gold mine, without injuring his other far more valuable mine,
that is, the natural increase of his negroes. And I heard of other such
mine workers. But you could not have tempted one of these shrewd business
men to settle with his slaves outside of a cotton-making district in order
to mine. Had either Mr. Clingman or Mr. Mason--mentioned by Mr.
Lodge--made the trial, he would have soon returned to his old neighborhood
a sadder and wiser man.

The negro's work as a slave in the coal and iron mines of the south never
commenced until after the thirteenth amendment freed him. Since then he
has done much cruelly hard work as _servus poenae_--a slave of
punishment--in these mines, for convict lessees, having no other interest
in him than to get all the labor possible during his term.

So it is clear that Webster, in contending that the conditions in these
Territories were prohibitive of slavery was as statesmanly and
perspicacious as he was generally in other matters.

His detractors charged that the entire speech was a bid for the support of
the south in his eager struggle for the presidency. That he passionately
longed for the chair was manifest. But his was not the sordid ambition of
the professional place-hunter. He had a heaven-reaching aspiration to show
America what a president should be in those angry times. He must have been
conscious that he was the only man of gifts to do the great deed. What an
appropriate climax that would have been for the invincible defender of the
union, who, when replying to Hayne twenty years before, had outsoared
Pindar in eulogizing South Carolina leading the south, and Massachusetts
leading the north, in the same breath; and who, neither from prepossession
in favor of his native community or resentment because of attack upon it
by those of the other section, had ever been removed out of brotherly
love for all his countrymen alike. If you can do an all-important thing
for your fellows which you believe no one else can do, and are without
ambition for opportunity, are you not a poor grovelling creature? Webster,
knowing that secession could not be peaceable, and seeing it become more
and more probable, racked with fears for the union, and aghast at the
menace of fraternal bloodshed, like Calhoun, he cheated himself with a
futile remedy. We have told you of Calhoun's proposal to disarm the
combatants. In his amiability Webster believed with his whole soul that he
could as president make his countrymen love one another as he himself
loved them, and that he could pour upon the waters now beginning to rage
oil enough to safe the ship of union through the tempest soon to be at its
height. It was an aspiration high and holy, deserving of eternal honor
from all America. You cannot read this great speech of March 7 aright if
you do not discern that Webster was seriously alarmed. When you see that a
dear one's malady is fatal, you will not confess it to others,--not even
to yourself. His excited exclamations, "No, sir! no, sir! There will be no
secession! Gentlemen are not serious when they talk of secession," cannot
deceive a reader whose wont it has been to look into his own heart.
Webster did not see the future with the superhuman prevision of Calhoun;
but he had observed the course of things in that stormy session. Is it to
be believed that he had overlooked the tremendous significance of Toombs's
speech of December 13, and of the wild plaudits it brought from the
southern members? And try to conceive what must have been the effect upon
him of that most solemn and the saddest great speech in all oratory of
Calhoun just three days before. Read the 7th of March speech by its
circumstances and it is revealed to you, as by a flashlight, that Webster
had peeped behind the curtain which he had prayed should never rise in his
lifetime. Horror-struck as he was, he would not despair of his
country,--he would not believe that the brothers' union was about to turn
into a brothers' war. Oh, let nobody dishonor his better self by seeing in
this glorious speech, which our best and most lovable have placed in their
hearts beside Washington's farewell address, the bid of a turncoat. Rather
let us learn to understand its supreme statesmanly reach; its impartiality
towards and just rebuke of the orator's own section and its merited
castigation of the other courageously given, while affection for both is
kept uppermost; its grand dignity, moral height, and pre-eminent
patriotism. Let us also learn properly to estimate the disfavor with which
he regarded ever afterwards during the rest of his life the active
anti-slavery men of the north, whom he could not understand to be other
than bringers of the unspeakable calamity he would avert. And let us give
him his due commiseration for missing the nomination, and realizing that
the hopes of saving his country which he had cherished so fondly were all,
all shattered. When we do our full duty to him we will, northerners and
southerners alike, agree that Whittier's palinode ought to have gone full
circle before it paused.

What is Webster's highest and best fame? In answer we think at once of the
reply to Hayne, its loftiness throughout, its eagle ascensions here and
there, and most of all the organ melodies at the grand close, beside which
the famous apostrophe of Longfellow is harsh overstrain. The next moment
we feel he is higher in his profound love for his whole country than in
his unequalled eloquence. He and Lincoln were the supereminent Americans
who could never, never forget that the people of the other section were
their own full-blood brothers and sisters. They are the supreme exponents
of that American brotherhood, more deeply founded and more lasting than
either one of the nationalizations which we have explained, out of which a
continental is first, and then a world-union to come. To save our union
was also to do the better deed of saving that brotherhood. For this each
strove in his own way. I believe that the people of the world-union will
pair them in Walhalla, and set them above all other heroes, crowning
Webster as the monarch of speech which prepared millions with faith and
fortitude for the crisis, and crowning Lincoln the monarch of counsels and
acts in the crisis. It will be understood that neither was called away
before his mission was finished. The greatest work of each was example of
the love with which we should all love one another; and that was



The misrepresentations in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" of the character of the
negro and his usual treatment in southern slavery have been taken as true
by the best-informed and most unprejudiced everywhere outside of the
south. The quotations which I make above from Prof. Barrett Wendell's
_bahnbrechend_ work on American literature[81] show a rare and exemplary
freedom from sectional bias. But he is a most convincing witness to the
statement with which I begin this chapter, as I shall now show by two
other excerpts from the same book, making it appear that even Professor
Wendell has accepted without question the misrepresentations mentioned. In
these excerpts I italicize the important statements, and I follow each
with a contradictory one of my own. I invite close attention to what
Professor Wendell says on one side and I on the other, for they make up
issues of fact that must be rightly settled before the historical merit of
the work which is the subject of this chapter can be accurately judged.

This is the first excerpt:

    "Written carelessly, and full of crudities, 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' even
    after forty-eight years, remains a remarkable piece of fiction. The
    truth is that almost unawares Mrs. Stowe had in her the stuff of which
    good novelists are made. Her plot, to be sure, is conventional and
    rambling; but her characters, even though little studied in detail,
    have a pervasive vitality which no study can achieve; _you
    unhesitatingly accept them as real. Her descriptive power, meanwhile,
    was such as to make equally convincing the backgrounds in which her
    action and her characters move. What is more, these backgrounds, most
    of which she knew from personal experience, are probably so faithful
    to actual nature that the local sentiment aroused as you read them may
    generally be accepted as true._"[82]

I say as to the characters in the novel that the negroes are monstrous
distortions, being drawn in the main with the leading peculiarities of
whites and without those of negroes; and that as to her most
representative southern whites Mrs. Stowe is utterly untrue to fact by
making them all anti-slavery. I say as to the "backgrounds," that she knew
as little of them as she did of the negroes. I expect to demonstrate that
the "personal experience" claimed for her by Professor Wendell was scanty
and inadequate in the extreme.

I now give the second and last excerpt: "She [Mrs. Stowe] differed from
most abolitionists _in having observed on the spot all the tragic evils of

I do not dispute that her opportunity of learning southern slavery, small
as it was, was very far superior to that of the other prominent
abolitionists except Seward, who had taught school in the black belt of
Georgia.[84] I maintain that she knew but little of southern slavery, and
they less; that what both they and she conscientiously and most
confidently believed to be their knowledge of this slavery, the slave, and
of the slaveholder, was but a prodigious mass of delusion and prejudice.

I shall show, I think, that, instead of observing, she merely fancied and
imagined, and that, to say the least, it is very misleading to allege
that this fancying and imagining of hers was done "on the spot."

By the words, "all the tragic evils of slavery," Professor Wendell
evidently means that the evils of southern slavery to the slave were both
very many and very great. I shall show, I believe, that the condition of
the average negro in southern slavery was far better than it was in Africa
whence he came, and far better than it is now since he has been freed.
There are occasionally incident to every human condition--even to the
relation of parent and child--some tragic evils of its own. In the native
home of the negro in West Africa all the women and nearly all the men are
slaves of brutally cruel savages, without any protection of law whatever.
The social organism is in the very lowest stage; and there is complete
inability to evolve into a better one as the stationariness of ages
proves. In the new south, certain causes which I have described at length
in the last two chapters of this book have, ever since emancipation, been
steadily and with acceleration depressing the average negro; and the rise
of the few who have managed to acquire some property, or to get a good
industrial education, only brings out more conspicuously the misery and
wretchedness of the mass. It is correct to say that there was a vast
multitude of tragic evils to the negroes in West Africa; and it is also
correct to say that there is now the same to them in the south; but it is
not correct to say that the tragic evils of southern slavery to the slave
were frequent or general. The truth as to southern slavery ought to be
known everywhere, which is, that it raised the negro very greatly in
condition, and, now that he has been taken out of it, his progress has
been arrested, and he is relapsing.

The great proposition of Mrs. Stowe and of the root-and-branch
abolitionists was that slavery in the south was such a flagrant and
atrocious wrong to the negro, that every human being was commanded by
conscience to do everything possible to help him if he should try to
escape from his master. Combating this proposition, without any concession
whatever, I think it well that we try at the outset to ascertain how
southern slavery affected the negro, whether cruelly or beneficially. To
do this, his condition in his native land, his condition while a slave in
America, and, lastly, his condition after his emancipation, must be
compared. I beg my reader to follow me attentively as I now review and
contrast these three conditions. First, as to his condition in Africa.
Here is what Toombs said of him to a Boston audience, January 24, 1856:

    "The monuments of the ancient Egyptians carry him back to the morning
    of time--older than the pyramids; they furnish the evidence both of
    his national identity and his social degradation before history began.
    We first behold him a slave in foreign lands; we then find the great
    body of his race slaves in their native land; and after thirty
    centuries, illuminated by both ancient and modern civilization, have
    passed over him, we still find him a slave of savage masters, as
    incapable as himself of even attempting a single step in
    civilization--we find him there still, without government or laws of
    protection, without letters or arts of industry, without religion, or
    even the aspirations which would raise him to the rank of an idolater;
    and in his lowest type, his almost only mark of humanity is, that he
    walks erect in the image of the Creator. Annihilate his race to-day,
    and you will find no trace of his existence within half a score of
    years; and he would not leave behind him a single discovery,
    invention, or thought worthy of remembrance by the human family."[85]

If my reader deems Toombs's picture overdrawn let him consult those parts
of the recent work of a most diligent and conscientious investigator
describing the negroes of West Africa, and note what is there told of
heathen practices still surviving,--slavery of women to their polygamic
husbands, pitiless destruction of useless members of the family, robbery,
murder, cannibalism, the utter want of chastity.[86] We quote this as to
slavery, which is especially important here:

    "Slavery, having existed from time immemorial, is bound up with the
    whole social and economic organization of West African society. There
    are, broadly speaking, three kinds of slaves: those captured in war,
    those purchased from outside the tribe,--usually from the
    interior,--and the native-born slaves. _All alike_ are mere chattels,
    and _by law are absolutely subject to the master's will without
    redress_. But in practice a difference is made, for obvious reasons,
    between native-born slaves and captives taken from hostile tribes.
    _The latter are numerous, and the severest forms of labor fall to
    their lot. They are treated with constant neglect, and cruelly
    punished on the slightest provocation. Their lives are at no time
    secure; they serve as victims for the sacrifice; when sick they are
    driven into the jungle; in times of scarcity they starve._"[87]

The master has the power of life and death over all slaves.[88]

The same author adds: "_The pawning of persons for debt is exceedingly
common. If the debt is never paid in full, the pawn_ and his descendants
become slaves in perpetuity."[89]

Surely the reader who has attended to these details which I have given
from Mr. Tillinghast will admit that the southern master transferred the
African into a condition far better than any he could find at home. In the
south two agencies gave him beneficent favor to which he and his fathers
had always been strangers. The law of the land protected his life and
shielded him from cruelty; and his high market value made it the interest
of his American master not to overwork or under- feed and clothe him. And
he was introduced into the first stage of monogamic life, which he
developed steadily and rapidly until he was freed. In this he was
travelling the only true road up from barbarism. If he could have but
stayed in it until, after some generations--perhaps centuries--chaste
wives and mothers had been evolved, he would have stood firmly on the
threshold of permanent civilization and improvement.

Whatever evil of southern slavery to the negro my readers, prompted by the
root-and-branch abolitionists, may suggest, they will find on reflection
that it would have been far greater to him and more frequent had he
remained in Africa. Separation of members of the family has been
repeatedly emphasized as a most horrible evil of slavery in the south.
Such separation was incalculably more cruel and frequent in West Africa
than it ever was among the negro slaves in America. And how have the
root-and-branch abolitionists mended matters? What do we see in the new
south, now that slavery, the great rupturer of family circles, is no more,
and a master no longer can part parent and child, or husband and wife?
Before the end of the brothers' war there had not been a single
separation of a family among my father's slaves. At much expense and
inconvenience he had bought the husband of one and the wife of another in
order to keep each one of these two pairs united. In 1866, Bob, a boy of
sixteen, who, because of his obedience and merry-making gifts, had always
been a greatly indulged pet, signalized his new-found freedom by stealing
from the house of one of our neighbors some articles of considerable
value. He fled from justice, and, never seeing his parents or his brothers
and sisters again, died among strangers. In 1868, Lewis abandoned his wife
Esther and their young child, and went to a distant town. Some ten years
afterwards, Bill, a brother of Bob, and several years younger, convicted
of an unmentionable crime, received a ten years' chain-gang sentence. Not
long before this the body of one of his two wives who was at the time out
of his favor was found in a well. Reputable whites living near were
convinced that he had murdered her. If that be true, it should count as a
separation. While he was serving out his sentence his remaining wife
married again, and this should be set down also as a separation. Bob,
Lewis, Esther, and Bill were slaves of my father. He did not own twenty in
all. This example shows how, as to the same negroes, southern slavery
operated to prevent separation of families, and how freedom has operated
to encourage and stimulate it. It is not an exceptional example. My
maternal grandfather and a maternal aunt owned each many more slaves than
my father did. Some of my father's near neighbors had slaves in
considerable number. In all of these slaves, while I knew them, there
never was a separation of a family except by death or the voluntary act of
parties to a marriage? But when they were freed in 1865 separation at once
became rife, and it has always been active. What I have just told is
fairly representative of the new south throughout the cotton States.

There were now and then sales made of slaves which sundered man and wife,
and parent and child; but such were extremely few, and their proportion
was steadily decreasing under two potent influences. Restraint of them by
the law had commenced and was growing. But the stronger influence was
custom and public opinion. Before approaching sales at public outcry by
sheriffs or representatives of a deceased, and also before private sales,
the slaves to be sold were given opportunity to find their new masters.
There was generally a neighbor who owned husband, wife, parents, or
children, or wanted a cook, washerwoman, seamstress, boy to make a
carpenter, striker, or blacksmith of, somebody careful with stock, etc.,
and the upshot would be that the man selected by the slave had got him.
The seller had natural feelings. His wife and all of his children would do
their utmost to get such new masters as the negroes preferred. I shall
always cherish in memory the affectionate regard which the mother of the
household and all the family habitually showed to their slaves. As I
write, a sweet reminiscence comes of how the children would always clamor
and mutiny against the most merited punishment of their nurse by father or
overseer. There is no doubt that the slave steadily won larger place in
the domestic affections, and that his treatment by each generation of
masters was more kind and humane. And as a part of this amelioration the
percentage of forced separation of slave families was all the while
becoming less.

Let us devote a moment to the negro trader, as he was called, and his
slave-pens, which were the subjects of much and heated invective. The
first suggestion in order here is that there were such in West Africa, far
more frequent and far exceeding in cruelty any ever known in the south.
To take the African away from the latter and turn him over to the former
was great kindness to him. I remind my readers, in the next place, that
the factors constantly minimizing separation of slaves from other members
of the family--law, public opinion becoming more sensitive, custom
becoming more merciful, and the sway of the domestic affections
stronger--were _pari passu_ humanizing every incident of the commerce in
slaves as property. Lastly, the negro trader and the pen, by reason of the
small number of the slaves to whom they caused real suffering, were mercy
and prosperous condition itself beside the convict gangs and pens which
emancipation has put in their place, as will come out more clearly in a
short while.

His use of the lash was a dire accusation of the master. The reader thinks
at once of the relevant words in a famous passage so often quoted from one
of President Lincoln's messages: "If this struggle is to be prolonged till
... every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn
with the sword." This was said March 4, 1865, a month and five days only
before General Lee's surrender, and when all the great battles of the
brothers' war had been fought,--a war by far the most sanguinary in the
world's history. Blood did sometimes follow the blow of the lash, but not
often. The overseer who could not correct without breaking the skin always
lost his place. When the statement of Mr. Lincoln just commented on is
compared with the actual fact, it appears to be one of the most
extravagant hyperboles ever uttered.

Before I have my readers to look at the actual facts I want to say a
preliminary word. The parent was enjoined by Solomon not to spare the rod.
The rod was permitted to the master of the apprentice, the school-teacher,
the drill officer, and others. It was often used with great severity. As
we see from the Decameron husbands were wont to correct their wives by
beating them with sticks. Whipping on the bare back was a common execution
of the judgment of a criminal court. Our insubordinate convicts are
strapped. The usual punishment of a slave's disobedience was to whip him.
A switch was not generally used, because by reason of his thick and tough
skin and lower nervous development--to use a common expression--it would
not hurt him. It was a familiar thing to me in my childhood to hear some
negro tell of the use of a switch on him by women or feeble men, how the
blows could scarcely be felt, and yet with what outcry and clamor he
pretended that each one gave him great pain. The cowhide, but far more
frequently the whip, took the place of the switch. The former was more and
more discredited, because it could seldom be laid on hard enough without
cutting the skin. The whip had a flat lash at the end, with which, as the
strap or paddle now used on our convicts, a stinging blow could be hit
that would not draw blood.

An ordinary correction of a negro did not cause him as much pain as your
child, with his far superior sensitiveness, receives when you give him the
rod. Large and heavy as the overseer's whip looked, the negro, with his
high degree of insensibility to physical pain inherited from his African
ancestors, who for a hundred generations or more had bestowed upon one
another all kinds of corporal torture, cared far less for it than the
abolitionist who insisted on making him merely a black white man, could
ever understand. How little of both mental and corporal suffering the lash
causes the average negro is strikingly shown by the fact that ever since
his emancipation, when he is detected in a serious offence, he is prone to
propose that he be whipped instead of being carried to court. If his
offer is accepted he strips off his clothes with alacrity, exclaims the
conventional "O, Lordy!" under every fall of the whip; and when the
contract number of lashes has been given he goes away with the look and
air of one who has just learned that he has drawn a lottery prize of
thousands; and his nearest and dearest, his wife and children, all his
sweethearts, congratulate him cordially, and the entire negro community
rate him as rarely fortunate. This is enough here of the lash; but a word
or two more will be appropriate when we give the chain-gang attention.

  "Run, nigger, run, patroller get you."

The riotous merriment of this air can be fully appreciated only by one who
has heard Cuffee sing it at the quarters while picking his banjo. It
completely confutes the charge often made that the patrol law was a cruel
one. To the negro, the execution of that law was more of fun and frolic
than punishment. Let this air, and all the others to which the slaves used
to dance, be meditated by those, if there are such, who incline to believe
that Professor DuBois has really detected, as he seriously contends, in
the negro melodies of the old south deep sorrow over slavery. If miserable
conditions give character to musical expression, the songs, if any, that
now come forth spontaneously from the mass of southern negroes--that is,
from those of the lower class, which class will be described later
herein--ought to be sadder than the tears of Simonides.

My reader who has his memory stored with the raw-head and bloody bones
fiction of abolitionists who had never set foot on an inch of slave
territory, probably thinks of bloodhounds, and wonders if I will be frank
enough to mention them. He has been made to believe that runaway slaves
often had the flesh torn from their bones by these dogs. I witnessed
several chases of runaways, and in every one, when the negro was overtaken
by the dogs, he was in a tree far above their reach. Think about it, and
bring it home to yourself. Put yourself in the runaway's place, you would
surely understand as well as a common house cat does how to avoid pursuing
dogs. Negro dogs, as they were called, were bred to be far more slow than
fox dogs. The tricks of the runaway would put the latter at fault so often
that they could hardly ever catch him. Further, the packs of negro dogs
were usually too small to overpower a stout negro. He was often armed with
a scythe-blade for use if overtaken where he could not find a tree. When
he could keep ahead no longer he preferred taking refuge to fighting with
the dogs. He knew he could kill or disable only the few that would rush in
recklessly, and that the others would stay too far from him to be hurt and
yet keep him at bay. He was now going to be caught, and he would think it
better not to provoke the ire of the owners by killing or injuring their

The negro hunted the 'possum and 'coon by night and the hare--the rabbit,
as everybody called it--on Sundays, half-holidays, and Christmas, either
with his young master or without him, and always with the dogs; which he
thus learned to control. A negro woman cooked the corn-bread and
pot-liquor, with which they were fed by her or some other slave. They were
always waiting near when the slaves ate by day in the fields or at all
hours of night in their cabins, and many a bit was thrown to them. Usually
there was the greatest friendship between the dogs on the plantation,
those intended for chasing runaways included, and the negroes. It was
great entertainment for a negro, at the command of his master, to give the
young negro dogs a race, as it was called. These races were frequent, and
they were the entire training of the dogs for their business. A hunting
dog when lost will track his master. And many a runaway was caught by dogs
which he was in the habit of feeding and hunting with. The average negro
of those days, prowling so much at night as he did, necessarily became a
most expert dog-tamer. How often I have been diverted with this sight! A
strange negro, coming on some errand, intrepidly opens the front gate and
enters the yard of a dwelling. A savage dog dashes forward. Just as the
dog couches near for his spring, the negro, by a very quick movement,
takes off his hat and extends it to the dog. The latter turns his eyes
away from the negro, looks at the old, soiled wool hat, smells it, and
then retires, nonplussed.

As a general rule a negro was safe from the bite of dogs. Running away was
not frequent. The almost insuperable difficulty of final escape from the
dogs prevented it. And it was in practice a most mild means of prevention.
I suppose that I knew and heard of the catching of some twenty odd slaves
in the contiguous parts of Oglethorpe, Wilkes, Taliaferro, and Greene
counties, which constituted the locality with which I was familiar, and in
not a single case was one injured by the bloodhounds. The dogs that are
now turned loose after our convicts are of far more savage temper than
were the negro dogs of the old south; and consequently the human game,
when come up with, is more prompt to go up a tree than was the old slave.

There was much less lack of food and raiment among the slaves than among
the class known as the white trash. It was considered a business blunder
not to keep them supplied always with more food than they wanted. They
were in better physical condition than the average white laborer now

And they were not worked hard. Even in the longest days of the year, when
the battle with the grass was fiercest, at night the quarters were
resonant with mirth, song, and dancing as soon as the mules had been
watered, stabled, and fed.

The foregoing is a report, from my observation on the spot, of "all the
tragic evils of slavery" to the negro in the south. I have been at pains
to make it as true as can be. I purpose to follow it now with a like
report of all the gladsome blessings to him of his freedom.

His true and fast friends, the abolitionists, equalized him _per saltum_
to his master as a voter and office-holder. This single measure was sure
to make deadly enemies of white and black in the south, and to bring a war
of races in which the superior one was bound to conquer and become
absolute. This war did come, and was fought out. Profound peace has
reigned for some years, and the negroes now contentedly stay away from the
polls, and manifest no aspiration whatever for office and place.

His same friends gave the ex-slave equality with his old master under the
criminal law. He had this in slavery only when charged with a capital
offence; and if he was charged with a graver one of the non-capital
offences, such as breaking and entering a dwelling, stealing something of
considerable value, he was brought before a statutory court of justices of
the peace, and if upon his summary trial he was convicted, his punishment
was usually a short term in jail, the sheriff to give him so many lashes
each day until he had received the full number adjudged in his sentence. I
never heard of one that was seriously injured by this kind of punishment.
It never gave him any permanent mental anguish. His conscience approved
whipping as the most fit punishment for every offence. The crimes of
negroes mentioned above in this paragraph were very infrequent. Their many
peccadillos were in practice wholly ignored by the law, and given over to
private and domestic jurisdiction. Cuffee would sometimes indulge a sudden
craving for fresh meat by appropriating a shoat or grown lamb, or he would
gratify a watering mouth by stealthy invasion of melon patches or sweet
potato patches and banks. And he was prone to other small larcenies. If
caught,--which was very far from always happening,--he was whipped; and
that was the last of it. Now he must replace the bounty of his master
which sheltered, clothed, and fed him comfortably all his life by living
from hand to mouth. His forecast utterly undeveloped, and more and more
losing the work habit, there is often but one way for him to avoid
starving or freezing, and that is to get the necessaries of life by
various acts which are crimes in the law. It is but a scanty supply that
he thus manages to get. His year is nearly always, from beginning to end,
but an alternation of short feasts upon the cheapest fare, and prolonged
fasts. Yet in the eye of the stern and severe law how many gross offences
does he commit by doing only the things which, if he did not do, he could
not keep soul and body together. And so he is brought before every court
of any criminal jurisdiction, and when convicted, as he generally is, for
he is nearly always guilty,--not in conscience, but guilty under the law
which his emancipators have put him under,--often he cannot find a friend
to pay his fine, and he must work it out in the chain-gang. The city has
its chain-gang, the county has its chain-gang, and the State works or
farms out its convicts. The percentage of whites among these convicts is
very small. Often when you encounter a gang at work you cannot find a
single white person in it. These negro convicts are many, many. As fast
as one's time expires his place is filled by another. Disease, decay of
energy from irregular food supply, growing habits of idleness, and other
things in the train, bring forth tramps more plentifully, and from these
the chain-gangs are more and more largely recruited. These slaves of
punishment work under the eyes of guards furnished with the best of
small-arms loaded to kill. The most of them work in shackles. If they do
not work as their superintendents think they ought, they are strapped. I
have seen them working in the rain, as I never saw required of slaves. At
night they are put to sleep in a crowded log-pen, all of them chained
together, the chain being made fast to each bunk. The guards are practised
marksmen, known to be men who will promptly and resolutely "do their
duty." This hell-like life constantly keeps each convict watching for
opportunity to make a dash for liberty. If the guards have anything like
fair shots when he starts, one more unmarked and soon forgotten grave is
dug and filled in the paupers' burial ground, and that is the earthly end
of this poor derelict of the human race. Suppose he gets safely away from
the guard. In a few minutes the unleashed dogs are yelping on his track.
In the old days even the negro dogs were fed and tended by slaves, and
almost every dog in the land seemed to love negroes. But these bloodhounds
in the convict camps have been bred into a deadly hatred of every negro.
Escaping Cuffee is usually caught. Then more of the paddle, heavier
shackles, chains at night stronger and more taut, and the bosses harder to
satisfy as he works under greater hindrances--these make his lot more
hell-like than it was before.

It is a melancholy proof of the insufficient dietary and bad hygiene of
the common negroes that these convicts fatten in spite of their cruel

The long-term convicts, farmed out to coal and other mine owners and
various manufacturers, and private employers, I know but little of from
observation. But what I hear makes me believe that their condition is
worse than that of those just described. This is to be expected, for two
reasons. First, they are worked for profit by persons whose only interest
is to get the largest possible product out of their labor. The labor
exacted by the owner, bear in mind, would not be severe enough either to
impair the market value or check vigorous reproduction of his slaves.
Second, the places where these convicts are worked are more or less
retired, and thus the employer escapes scrutiny nearly all the year. Think
of a negro who, receiving a twenty years' sentence for burglariously
stealing a ham when he was hungry, is put to work in the coal mine! Who
ever hears of him afterwards? He is soon forgotten by his wife, who takes
another husband, and by his children either skulking here and there to
shun the officer, or toiling in a chain-gang. Here is indeed a bitter
slavery--bitterer by far than any West Africa ever knew. There the slave
does not labor underground and out of the sun so dear to him. His
manumission comes mercifully in many ways, long before the expiration of
twenty years--the sacrifice may need a victim; he may starve; he may fall
sick and be cast out in the bush. But the mine slave--the mine boss will
not whip him hard enough to give him even short rest from his work, work,
work; he shall always have enough of raiment, food, and sleep to keep him
able to work, work, work; when he gets very sick the mine doctor will
patch him up and send him back to his work, work, work; he will work,
work, work out his twenty years in this hell hole. Miss Landon in her
immortal invective against child labor exclaims:

  "Good God! to think upon a child
    That has no childish days,
  No careless play, no frolics wild,
    No words of prayer and praise!"

This factory child that never knew any of the proper joys of a child is
without either sweet memory or unavailing wish. But the mine slave, the
most of whose former life was passed in the open air, how he pines for the
splendor of his loved sun by day; how in his bunk he recalls his rounds by
night when the Seven Stars, the Ell and Yard and Job's Coffin were his
clock and the North Star his compass. Each part of the revolving year
whispers to him when he is at work or dreaming. Christmas suggests the jug
with the corn-cob stopper, the 'possum cooked brown, the yams exuding
their sugary juice, the banjo picker and his song, the fiddle playing a
dancing tune, and the floor shaking under the thumping footfalls; the cold
weather following suggests the 'possum and 'coon hunt; the early spring
brings what he used to call the corn-planting birds and their lively
calls; and on and on his thoughts go over mocking-bird, woodpecker, early
peaches and apples, full orchards spared by frost, the watermelon,
solitary and incomparable among all things for a negro to eat, his Sunday
fishings and rabbit hunts, his church and society meetings, this and that
dusky love who fooled him into believing that he was dearer to her than
husband or any other man, especially some yellow girl, his nonesuch,
exceeding all other women as the watermelon excels all other produce of
tree or vine,--on and on his thoughts go over what he can never have
again. I need not say a word for the white victims of child labor, for
their race is rousing for their rescue, and I know its power to achieve.
But I do feel that it is my duty to put that friendless, forgotten,
long-term negro convict in the minds of my southern readers. If he must
be a convict, do not farm him out to mine operators or where he will be
worked behind any screen. Put all our convicts, both felony and
misdemeanor, upon the public roads until they need only a little working
now and then, say I. There the convicts will not be worked for profit, nor
in secret.

The total of the negroes suffering in southern slavery from all causes
falls in amount far below that alone which has come upon him because he
was stupidly subjected to the white man's criminal law, and not given
reformatories and other belongings of the system which we are perfecting
for juvenile offenders. The suffering in slavery was occasional only, and
soon over. The present suffering of the negroes under the criminal law is
constant, and is to be found rife in every locality. The aggregate of the
felony and misdemeanor convicts of Georgia now at hard labor is about
4,500. The convicts sentenced by city and town police courts for short
terms of days I cannot give with any approximate accuracy. I think it
probable that the number of those convicted each year in the municipal
courts is somewhat larger than that of those convicted in the State
courts. By reason of a late wholesale reduction of felonies the number of
long-term convicts does not increase,--it is at a standstill,--but the
number of the misdemeanor and municipal convicts steadily increases. More
than nine-tenths of those in each one of the three classes are negroes.
The stench, filth, and discomfort of their nights and the hardship of
their days, who can describe? How it moves my pity to see, as I often do,
the convict toiling incessantly for long hours, impeded and tortured by
his iron shackles, the paddle at hand, and a double-barrel or Winchester
frowning over him, each to be used on occasion by somebody who cares
nothing for and has no interest in him. Weary as the worker may be, a
word from the boss gives new impetus to his pick or shovel. Here is the
only place I have ever known on American soil where one can find "poor,
oppressed, bleeding Africa." How different it was with the slave offender!
It mattered not what was the charge against him, he had persons related to
him both in interest and affection who would intercede powerfully at his
call. Wherever he might be,--in the sheriff's hands, or locked up by the
overseer in the gin-house,--a messenger-service as secret and more sure
than wireless telegraphy even if not as quick, was at his command; and
some child, white or colored, or favorite servant would carry his
entreaties to the Big House. And the justices, or ole master or the
overseer, would be influenced by a word from ole miss, or the tears of
young miss, or the importunity of young master. In the end Cuffee's
punishment would be made tolerable; and after it was over he would the
next night at the cabin brag joyfully of the many friends he had and what
great things they had done for him--the children of his master present and
showing more gladness than himself.

Which of the two was the more humane and christian punitive system for the
negro? Which of the two was the better for him? That of slavery, or that
produced by the conditions which his professed friends put in place of

I assert it most solemnly that I never saw a negro slave worked in
shackles and under a loaded firearm, neither by his master nor an
overseer, nor by their command, nor by an officer of the law; and,
further, that I never had information or report that such had been done.

When their emancipators led the negroes out of their cabins into their new
life it was something like throwing our domestic animals into the forest
and desert, where they, without formed habits of self-maintenance and
without knowledge of the new environment, must live, if they can live,
only in competition with their wild brothers and sisters knowing the
environment and who are self-maintaining experts therein. That comparison
serves somewhat. But this comes nearer: Suppose children between the ages
of eight and twelve, who have never been taught to do anything for
themselves, to be taken away from their parents, and settled among a
people lately made bitterly hostile to the children, as the whites were
made to the negroes by the effort of the emancipators to give political
equality--nay, supremacy--to the latter. Those emancipated children must
subsist themselves. How little they could earn by begging or work. They
would have to steal to live. Those that did not steal, and for whom no
companion would steal, would perish. The philanthropists who founded this
infantile colony would have outdone but by a very little those who thrust
the reluctant negroes into freedom.

I ask my reader to add here mentally the full description which in my last
two chapters I have given of the lower class of the negroes in the
south--this description showing them to be ninety-five per cent of the
whole, far below their average condition in American slavery, and steadily
becoming worse.

I believe that in due time the people of the north will make these

1. Any and every evil of southern slavery to the negro was accidental, and
not a necessary incident of the system, just as the occasional evils of
marriage to the parties are not necessarily incidental to that

2. As this slavery had improved and was still improving the negroes so
prodigiously in every particular, and as their condition during the forty
years following emancipation has been going uninterruptedly from bad to
worse, until now the extinction of the great body is frightfully probable,
as I shall show in my last two chapters, the sudden and sweeping abolition
of 1865 was an unutterable misfortune to these dependent creatures.
Emancipation ought to have been gradual. Especially ought there to have
been established something like the Roman patronate, under which the
freedman would have been sure of wise advice, beneficial overlooking, and
efficient protection from his former master.

3. The grant at once of right to vote and hold place and office to the
southern negroes indiscriminately exceeds all blunders of democracy in
madness and stupidity.

4. Southern slavery, so far from being wrong morally, was righteousness,
justice, and mercy to the slave. The federal constitution was simply
obeying the commands of good conscience in recognizing the slave as the
property of his owner, and protecting that property. Therefore, when the
federal government emancipated the slaves it ought to have given the
masters just compensation.

       *       *       *       *       *

So much for what American slavery was to the negro, and what its abolition
has done for him in the south. This can be told now. But for years the
powers watching over our union kept the subject in the dark. It did not
suit their purpose that the people of the union-preserving section should
see and understand. They had decreed that northern resistance to slavery,
as the solitary root of disunion, should go beyond refusing it extension
into the Territories. They chose to add another provocation of the
secession which they had planned as the means of abolishing slavery. This
new provocation was that the north be induced to make the fugitive slave
law a dead letter. To drive the south into early secession, perhaps it
would not be enough merely to deny her new territory. But unite the north
against the law mentioned, and encourage both running away and the
underground railroad by an active public opinion, then soon all along the
southern border slavery will lose its hold, some of the slaves escaping
and the rest going south. This zone will, after a while, be settled by the
friends and employers of free labor, who from year to year will push the
southern non-slave district further in. The menace of this hostile
occupation will steadily become greater to the slaveholders, and finally
it will convince them that they cannot protect slavery in the union.

Many northerners who declared it was wrong to interfere with slavery in
the States, at the same time sympathized with the public opposition to
restoring the fugitive to his master. It is clear that they did not regard
this opposition to be what it really was; that is, actual war upon slavery
where it existed. To oppose execution of the law was both to invite and
help runaways. And if such invitation and help was persisted in, from one
end of Mason and Dixon's line to the other, the risk of escape of slaves
and their consequent depreciation in market value would both steadily
increase. The refusal to enforce the fugitive slave law was therefore a
deadly attack upon slavery in the States; and this was so plain that the
union-loving people of Georgia declared in the famous Georgia Platform of
1850 that the union could not be preserved if that law was not faithfully

The faithful guardians of the American union had "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
written of purpose to prevent the execution of the fugitive slave law.
They hypnotized the root-and-branch abolitionists and Mrs. Stowe into
believing that to abet in any way the restoration of a flying slave was an
unpardonable crime; and that the obligation of conscience to refrain from
committing such a crime imperatively commanded disregard of all counter
provisions of the constitution and the law of the land. One cannot at all
understand the mighty abolition movement if he stop with the professed
motives of Phillips, Whittier, Garrison, Mrs. Stowe, and the rest. They
believed in their hearts, and declared, its purpose was to wipe out the
great national disgrace of slavery, to lift the slave out of an abyss of
unspeakable outrage and injustice, and to better his condition. As we have
shown you, they were, in their very extreme of conscientiousness, as wide
from the facts and right as wide can be. They were not doing their own
wills, as they thought they were. They but did the will of the fates. The
latter ruthlessly--so it seems to us now--sacrificed both the prosperity
and comfort of the southern people for several generations, and the very
existence, it may be, of nearly all the negroes in America, besides also
making a laughing-stock of the abolitionists--all to the end to kill that
nationalization which threatened the integrity of the American union.

I believe that I can now take my reader on with me in what I have to say
of Mrs. Stowe's book. Let him bear in mind that the object of the fates
was to have in it not a representation true to fact, but such an untrue
and probable one as would unite the people of the north in moral and
conscientious resolve against any and every attempt to restore a fugitive
slave. What the fates wanted was an author who appeared to have extensive
and accurate acquaintance with slavery, and who, while believing it most
conscientiously to be the extreme of evil to the black, was endowed with
the power to make the north see with _her_ eyes. They found their author
in Mrs. Stowe, whom they had educated and trained from infancy.

In view of the mighty influence which "Uncle Tom's Cabin" exercised upon
public opinion, it is important to examine what were Mrs. Stowe's
qualifications to speak as an authority on southern slavery. And in this
investigation the same qualifications of all others who arraigned the
system for what they alleged were its heinous moral wrongs to the slave
are likewise involved. The statement of Professor Wendell, quoted above,
that she was the only one of the abolitionists who had observed slavery
"on the spot," can be corroborated by overwhelming proofs. If it be made
to appear, as I think will be the case, that she was from first to last
under a delusion which metamorphosed the negro into a Caucasian, and
further that she had no real opportunities of learning the facts of
slavery, then the case of the root-and-branch abolitionists must fall with
the testimony of the only eye-witness whom they have called.

Whether she was biased or not we will let her own words decide. Here they

    "I was a child in 1820 [she was then nine years old] when the Missouri
    question was agitated; and one of the strongest and deepest
    impressions on my mind was that made by my father's sermons and
    prayers, and the anguish of his soul for the poor slave at that time.
    I remember his preaching drawing tears down the hardest faces of the
    old farmers in his congregation. I well remember his prayers morning
    and evening in the family for 'poor, oppressed, bleeding Africa,' that
    the time of her deliverance might come; prayers offered with strong
    crying and tears, and which indelibly impressed my heart, and made me
    what I am from my very soul, the enemy of all slavery. Every brother
    that I have has been in his sphere a leading anti-slavery man. As for
    myself and husband, we have for the last seventeen years lived on the
    border of a slave State, and we have never shrunk from the fugitives,
    and we have helped them with all we had to give. I have received the
    children of liberated slaves into a family school, and taught them
    with my own children, and it has been the influence that we found in
    the church and by the altar that has made us do all this."[90]

No comment is needed. The passage shows that her strongly excited feelings
unavoidably shaped all her perceptions and formed all her judgments as to
everything in slavery.

Now as to the means she had of acquiring the facts. Although she had seen
a little of Kentucky, a border slave State, she had never lived in it, nor
anywhere else in the south. Especially is it to be emphasized that she had
had no experience of the cotton region, the real seat of slavery, and the
only place where it could be fully studied and learned. She passed some
eighteen years in lower Ohio, just across the river from Kentucky, where
she saw much of escaping slaves. Of course, being aflame with zeal as she
was for her subject, she had observed closely the native negroes of the
north. Such of these as she met were widely different from the mass in
slavery; for, born and bred in the north, they had had the beneficent
training of the free-labor system, and also opportunity to absorb
considerable of a higher culture. These negroes were exceptional, even of
the northern natives. And the fugitives were also exceptional; for they
far excelled the companions left behind them in intelligence, spirit, and
every essential of good character. An ordinary Cuffee had liberty the
least of all things in his thoughts. A negro like Hector or Garrison, the
former escaping from Calhoun and the other from Toombs, was as much above
the average as the shepherd dog is above common sheep-worriers and
egg-suckers. Mrs. Stowe, as her book shows, had no conception whatever of
the ordinary plantation negro. And while she had seen much of some
Kentuckians, these were not representative southerners. They lived upon
the border, where slave labor found but little lucrative opportunity, and
they were also affected more or less with the sentiments of their nearby
northern neighbors. Naturally only those Kentuckians of the border who
really were of her opinion would consort with this decided anti-slavery
partisan; the others would stand aloof. Mrs. Stowe never knew either real
negroes or real slaveholders. And she also knew nothing whatever of cotton
plantation management. Some authors show an amazingly full and accurate
knowledge of countries and communities which they never saw. Burke's
knowledge of every detail touching India occurs to me. Lieber had visited
Greece while Niebuhr had not. When the former had minutely described to
the other some famous landscape,--say the battlefield of
Marathon,--Niebuhr would make copious inquiries about remains of old roads
and belongings which the other had forgotten, although he had seen them.
Tom Moore had never been in Persia, but there is so much of that country
drawn to the life in Lalla Rookh that somebody applied to him the saying
that reading D'Herbelot was as good as riding on the back of a camel. Mrs.
Stowe could not collect, sift, and read facts, and see through the most
cunningly devised masks, as Henry D. Lloyd showed his marvellous power to
do in "Wealth against Commonwealth." That was not her gift. Her gift was
to tell the best of stories--to vary it prodigally and artistically
throughout with wonders, with things to make you shudder and also thrill
with pleasure, with things to make you cry and laugh. Her emotional
invention was the great factor. Here is her own account:

    "The first part of the book ever committed to writing was the death of
    Uncle Tom. This scene presented itself almost as a tangible vision to
    her mind while sitting at the communion-table in the little church in
    Brunswick. She was perfectly overcome by it, and could scarcely
    restrain the convulsion of tears and sobbings that shook her frame.
    She hastened home and wrote it, and her husband being away she read it
    to her two sons of ten and twelve years of age. The little fellows
    broke out into convulsions of weeping, one of them saying through his
    sobs, 'Oh, mamma, slavery is the most cursed thing in the world!'"

The description of Uncle Tom's death is the goal and climax of the novel.
Its scene is laid far down in the south, hundreds of miles below any place
which she or the children had ever seen or studied. It would have been
more in order for her to submit the draft to observant residents of that
locality; but the fates did not intend that her convictions should be
weakened by real information. Evidently she considered that her truth to
fact was fully vindicated by the effect of the narrative upon her
children, who, like herself, were entirely without knowledge of the
subject. They wept and exclaimed over it. Why, of course, like all
children they loved horrible tales, which their weeping and lamentation
proved that they thought were true. Doubtless these same children had made
respectable demonstrations over Bluebeard or Little Red Ridinghood. And
now over Uncle Tom's death, which is more dreadful than anything in
Dante's Inferno, and as pure figment, their feelings were shaken with
storm and tempest as never before.

The statement just quoted proceeds thus:

    "From that time the story can less be said to have been composed by
    her than imposed upon her. Scenes, incidents, conversations rushed
    upon her with a vividness and importunity that would not be denied.
    The book insisted upon getting itself into being, and would take no

I often fancy, as I think over it, that the last quotation describes
suggestions from the fates.

But we must let Mrs. Stowe finish what we have had her tell in part.
Informing us that, after writing "two or three first chapters," she made
an arrangement for weekly serial publication in the _National Era_, she

    "She was then in the midst of heavy domestic cares, with a young
    infant, with a party of pupils in her family to whom she was imparting
    daily lessons with her own children, and with untrained servants
    requiring constant supervision, but the story was so much more intense
    a reality to her than any other earthly thing that the weekly
    instalment never failed. It was there in her mind day and night
    waiting to be written, and requiring but a few moments to bring it
    into veritable characters. _The weekly number was always read to the
    family circle before it was sent away, and all the household kept up
    an intense interest in the progress of the story._"[91]

This household had been indoctrinated by the zeal of Dr. Lyman Beecher
into believing unreservedly all the inventions of ignorant assailants of
slavery instead of the widely different facts.

Before I begin a detailed statement of the material errors and perversions
of fact in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" I want to emphasize it that every one of
them appeared to northern readers, unfamiliar with the negro and the
south, to be true, and most efficiently helped to form and strengthen
sentiment against enforcement of the fugitive slave law.

Many things that she writes show that Mrs. Stowe was completely ignorant
of the ways of the cotton plantation. I have space to mention but one. Tom
was bred in Kentucky, where no cotton was grown. And Cassy, by reason of
her indulgent rearing, had had as little experience as Tom in
cotton-picking. Yet these two show such expertness that Tom can add to the
sack of a slower picker, and Cassy give Tom some of her cotton, and each
have enough to satisfy the weigher at night. The good cotton-picker is
surely a most skilled laborer. He must be trained from childhood to use
both hands so well that he becomes almost ambidexterous. The training that
the typewriter is now urged to take is a parallel.

Mrs. Stowe shows that she had no accurate knowledge of the sentiments of
the whites of the south as to slavery. As we have already suggested, there
may have been among the Kentuckians of the border some outspoken opponents
of slavery; but it is very probable that in her womanly ardor for her
great cause she lavishly magnified their numbers. In her novel she has
nearly all of her white southerners--I may add all of the attractive
ones--to declare themselves as abolitionists at heart. Misrepresentation
of fact could not be grosser than this. I was twenty-five years old when
the brothers' war commenced. I had mingled intimately with the people,
high and low, of my part of the south. During all of this time I never
found out there was a single one of my acquaintances, man, woman, boy, or
girl, who did not believe slavery right. The charge implied by Mrs. Stowe
that we southerners were doing violence to our consciences in holding on
to our slaves is utterly without evidence; nay, it is unanimously
contradicted by all the evidence. As we and our parents read the bible, it
told us to hold on to them, but to treat them always with considerate

Mrs. Stowe emphasizes the frequent cruelty of the master to the slave; and
she emphasizes more strongly still that under the law he was helpless. The
slave was not helpless. He was protected by law. Note this example, given
by Toombs:

    "The most authentic statistics of England show that the wages of
    agricultural and unskilled labor in that kingdom not only fail to
    furnish the laborer with the comforts of our slave, but even with the
    necessaries of life, and no slaveholder could escape _a conviction for
    cruelty to his slaves_ who gave his slave no more of the necessaries
    of life for his labor than the wages paid to their agricultural
    laborers by the noblemen and gentlemen of England would buy."[92]

The witness just called has full knowledge, and is the extreme of frank
honesty and truthfulness.

The statute-book demonstrates that the law was steadily bettering the
condition of the slave. I have not space to state the progression which
can be found in the different Georgia enactments. But I must mention two
instances. In 1850 the procedure of trying a white person charged with a
capital offence was extended to the slave. The code which came of force
January 1, 1863, and which had been adopted some while before, prevented
any confession made by a slave to his master--it mattered not how
voluntary or free from suspicion it might be--from ever being received in
evidence against him.

I commenced law practice in 1857. From that time until I went to the front
I observed that public opinion was becoming more decided against
mistreatment of the blacks. The masters of _ashcats_,--as ill-fed negroes
were called in derision of their lean and dingy faces by the great
multitude of sleek and shining ones,--those who punished with unreasonable
severity, those who exacted overwork,--they were few and far
between,--they were all more and more detested; and grand juries became
more and more prone to deal properly with them. I would support this by
cases, if their citation would not be unpleasant to descendants of

Mrs. Stowe has his master to brand George Harris in the hand with the
initial letter of the former's surname. She has Legree's slaves to pick
cotton on Sunday. I never heard of any cases of branding human beings
except as a punishment for crime in execution of a judgment of conviction,
and very few of them. Tidying up the house, cooking, serving meals, caring
for the animals on the place, and such other things as are done everywhere
on Sunday, were of course required of the domestic slaves. Leaving these
out, no slave was ever put to work on Sunday except to "fight fire," or at
something commanded by a real emergency. Their employers now exact from
thousands of white persons of both sexes all over the country a great
amount of such hard and grinding Sunday work as was never exacted of the
slaves in the south. Peep into stores, offices of large corporations, and
elsewhere, while others are at Sunday-school or church, and count those
weary ones you find finishing up the work of the last week.

But all of the mistakes of Mrs. Stowe noticed in the foregoing are mere
matters of bagatelle as compared with the character and nature which she
gives the average negro of the south.

She represents the women as chaste as white women, and the husbands
faithful to their wives even when separated from them. I shall now tell
the truth as I know it to be--the truth that all observant people who have
had experience with negroes know.

The moment almost that a married pair of slaves were separated for any
cause, each one secretly, or more often openly, took another partner. Even
when not separated, infidelity of both was the rule. Mrs. Stowe has the
girls and their parents to shrink with horror from the desires of the
master. To the simple-hearted African the master was always great, and
there was among them not a woman to be found who would not dedicate
herself or her daughter to greatness, finding it so inclined,--husband,
father, brothers, and sisters all in their desire for a friend at court
heartily approving. The white whose concubine gave favors behind his back
to her slave friends was the stalest joke of every neighborhood.

The mass of the negroes are more unchaste now than they were in slavery, a
subject of which I shall say something further in another chapter. But
even where the master's steady requirement from one generation to another
of a stricter observance of family ties, and the natural imitation of the
ways of the dominant race, had lifted the slaves, in appearance at least,
far above their West African ancestors, not even mothers had become
chaste. Boys, girls, men, and women, both married and unmarried, were as
promiscuous by night as houseflies are by day. The horror of horrors in
this abyss of moral impurity to one of a superior race was their utter
unconsciousness of incest.[93]

Mrs. Stowe has their philoprogenitiveness--as phrenologists call it--as
fully developed as the whites. One bred in the cotton districts well
remembers that it required all the vigilance of master and mistress,
overseer, and the deputies selected from the older slave women, to secure
from the mothers proper attention to their children, and especially to
keep them from punishing too cruelly. But I do not mean to say that this
parental misbehavior was as general as the unchastity mentioned. When the
mothers aged beyond forty-five or fifty, they would begin to think
somewhat less of beaux and somewhat more of their children.

George Harris and Eliza are next of the slave characters in prominence and
importance to Uncle Tom. With their large admixture of white blood, their
comparatively good education and superb moral training, a southerner would
think that you were merely mocking him if you named these as fairly
representative negroes. As they are drawn, they are really whites--whites
of high refinement--with only a physical negro exterior, and that softened
down to the minimum.

But Uncle Tom--I pray my northern readers to take counsel of their common
sense and consider what I shall now say of him. Rightly to estimate him, I
must begin with some contrasts. The first that occurs to me is Tyndarus,
the slave hero of the Captivi of Plautus, pronounced by the great critic
Lessing to be the most beautiful play ever brought upon the stage.
Tyndarus and Philocrates, his young master, taken prisoners, are sold to
Hegio. The two captives personate each other, and induce Hegio to send
home Philocrates, who was a wealthy noble, and keep only the born slave.
Hegio was scheming to recover his own son, now a slave in the land of the
captives, by a bargain for Philocrates, this bargain to be negotiated by
the counterfeit Tyndarus. Discovering how he had been duped, the anguished
father tells the real Tyndarus that he shall die a cruel death. This is
the reply of the slave:

    "As I shall not die because of evil deeds, that is a small matter. My
    death will keep it ever in remembrance that I delivered my master from
    slavery and the enemy, restored him to his country and father, and
    chose that I myself should perish rather than he."

That is exalted. But Tyndarus has not the complete goodness of Uncle Tom.
As soon as he is at last rescued from the horrible mines, to find
Philocrates true and himself a free man, he threatens woe to a slave who
had injured him, and looks approvingly upon the execution of his threat.

Compare Uncle Tom with the good men of the bible, such as Moses, Peter,
and Paul, to mention no more. Not one of these was able always to keep his
feelings and tongue in that complete subjection that never fail Uncle Tom.

Uncle Tom, in whom love alone prompts all thoughts and deeds, surpasses
every saint in Dante's Paradise--he surpasses even the incomparably sweet
Beatrice, who now and then chides unpleasantly.

The climax of my comparison is reached when I suggest that Uncle Tom is
made from first to last a more perfect Christ than the Jesus of the
gospels. The latter, as Matthew Arnold and other reverent christians
remark, was sometimes unamiable. Remember his expulsion of the money
changers and traders from the temple, and the many opprobrious words he
used of and to the Pharisees. Growing recognition of the all-human Jesus
is benignly replacing a religion of superstition, intolerance, and dogma
with one of universal love and brotherhood. I cannot fully express my
appreciation of the liberal divines, from Charming to Savage, who are
preparing us so well for the millennium. But I am sure a new study of
Uncle Tom would give each one of them firmer grasp of christlikeness and
far more power to present it. Think over such instances in that holiest
and most altruistic of lives as these: He has just learned that he has
been sold; that he is to be carried down the river. His wife suggests that
as he has a pass from his master permitting him to go and return as he
pleases, he take advantage of it and run away to the free States. As
firmly as Socrates, unjustly condemned to death, refused to escape from
prison when his friends had provided full opportunity, Tom declared he
would stay, that he would keep faith with his master. He said that,
according to Eliza's report of the conversation she had overheard, his
master was forced to sell him, or sell all the other slaves, and it was
better for himself to suffer in their place. And as he goes away he has
nothing but prayers and blessings for the man who sends him into dread
exile from his wife and children. He falls to a new master, whom, and his
family, he watches over with the fidelity and love of a most kind father,
doing every duty, but above all things trying to save that master's soul.
Then his cruel fortune delivers him to the monster Legree. For the first
time in his life he is treated with disrespect, distrust, and harshness.
Yet he forgets his own misery, and finds pleasure in helping and
comforting his fellow sufferers, striving his utmost to bring them into
eternal life. He will not do wrong even at the command of his cruel
master, who has him in a dungeon, as it were, into which no ray of justice
can ever shine. And here he dies from the cruel lash--almost under it. He
falters some, it is true; but there was no sweat of blood as in
Gethsemane, nor exclamation upon the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou
forsaken me!" He went more triumphantly through his more fell crucifixion.

I believe that the character of Uncle Tom is the only part of the book
which future generations will cherish; not for the lesson against slavery
it was intended to teach, but because it excels in ideal and realization
all imitation of Christ in actual life or the loftiest religious fiction.
Consider its marvellous effect upon Heine, as told by a quotation from the
latter in The Author's Introduction to the book.[94]

The detailed comparison which I have just made puts Uncle Tom upon a
pinnacle, where he is above all the saints in lofty, self-abnegating, and
lovingly religious manhood; and the reader notes how fruitlessly I have
tried to find another like him. But Mrs. Stowe was confident that she had
not exaggerated or overdrawn him, and further that such were common among
the southern slaves. Here is what she deliberately says in her Key:

    "The character of Uncle Tom has been objected to as improbable; and
    yet the writer has received more confirmations of that character, and
    from a greater variety of sources, than of any other in the book.

    Many people have said to her, 'I knew an Uncle Tom in such and such a
    southern State.' All the histories of this kind which have thus been
    related to her would of themselves, if collected, make a small

Toombs once said to me, "It would have been a matchless eulogy of slavery
if it had produced an Uncle Tom." But, as we see from the last quotation,
she claims far more. She really claims that it was fruitful of Uncle Toms
in every southern State.

Shall we attribute this firm belief, that there were among the southern
slaves many who were better christians than Christ himself is represented
to have been, to a mere hallucination? That word is not strong enough. To
explain the belief, we must think of visions suggested by the hypnotizing
powers, or something like the spell on Titania, when Bottom with his ass's
head inspired her with the fondest admiration and love.

Although the foregoing is far from being exhaustive, it is enough; it
shows incontrovertibly that Mrs. Stowe builded throughout upon the
exceptional and imaginary. My father, a Presbyterian clergyman, with the
strictest notions as to the Sabbath, as he generally called Sunday, made
me read, when a boy, a book called, if I recollect aright, "Edwards's
Sabbath Manual." Be the title whatever it may, the entire book was but a
collection of instances of secular work done on Sunday, and always
followed closely by disaster, which appeared to be divine punishment of
sabbath-breaking. The author was confident he had proved his case. He
believed with his whole soul that if one should do on Sunday any week-day
work not permitted in the catechism, it was more than probable that God
would at once deal severely with him for not keeping his day holy.

This is a somewhat overstrained example of Mrs. Stowe's method. I will
therefore give one which is as close as close can be. Suppose a diligent
worker to cull from newspaper files, law reports, and what he hears in
talk, the cases in which one party to a marriage has cruelly mistreated
the other. If he digested his collection with a view to effect, it would
prove a far more formidable attack upon the most civilizing and improving
of all human institutions than Mrs. Stowe's Key is upon slavery; and if he
had her rare artistic gift he could found upon it a wonderful
anti-marriage romance. The author of such a Key and romance would be
confuted at once by the exclamation, "If these horrors are general, people
would flee marriage as they do the plague." Let it be inquired, "If 'Uncle
Tom's Cabin' and Mrs. Stowe's Key truly represent, why did not more of the
blacks escape into the free States? and why did they not revolt in large
bodies during the war in the many communities whence all the able-bodied
whites had gone to the front far away?" and there can be but one answer,
which is, there was no general or common oppression of the African in
slavery--there were no horrors to him in the condition--but on the
contrary he was contented and happy, merry as the day is long.

How was it that a book so full of untrue statement and gross exaggeration
as to an American theme found such wide acceptance at the north and
elsewhere out of the south? For years I could not explain. When I read it
at Princeton, I talked it over with the southern students. We pooh-poohed
the negroes, but we admired the principal white characters except Mrs. St.
Claire, whom we all regarded as a libellous caricature. The representation
of slavery was incorrect, and the portrayal of the negro as only a black
and kinky-haired white was so absurd that one of us dreamed that either
would be taken seriously by the north. It was some ten years after the
brothers' war that the true explanation commenced to dawn upon me, and it
has at last become clear.

It is an important fact that the great body of the people of the north
knew almost next to nothing of the south, and especially of the average
negro. As one calmly looks back now he sees that in the agitation over the
admission of California, the cleavage between the two nationalizations
treated in foregoing chapters was becoming decided, and that the people
belonging to each were losing their tempers and getting ready to fight.
When even a political campaign in which the only question is, who shall be
ins and who outs, is on, each party is prone to believe the hardest things
of the other. But when such a fell resort to force as that of 1850 and the
years immediately following is impending, all history shows that those on
one side will believe any charge reflecting upon the good character of
those on the other side which is not grossly improbable. Such quarrels are
so fierce that we never weigh accusations against our adversaries--we just
embrace and circulate. Thus had the northern public become ripe for an
arraignment of the morality of slavery, which--as was with purblind
instinct felt, not discerned--was the sole active principle of the
southern nationalization. Even without the provocation just mentioned, a
northern man would liken the African in everything but his skin and hair
to a white. We always classify a new under some old and well-known object.
When the Romans first saw the elephant they thought of him as the Lucanian
ox. The automobile which propels itself around our streets is made as much
like the corresponding horse-drawn vehicle familiar to the public for ages
as can be. The northerner knew no man well but the Caucasian, and he had
long been led by a common psychological process to give his characteristic
essentials to the negro. And now when anti-slavery partisans positively
maintained that the latter was a white in all but his outside, adducing
seeming proofs, and the free-labor nationalization was with its leading
strings pulling all the northern people into line, even the calmest and
most dispassionate among them were influenced to believe that the negroes
were so much like our Anglo-Saxon selves it was an unspeakable crime to
keep them in slavery. And all tales of cruelty and horror found easy

Thus had the northern public been made ready for "Uncle Tom's Cabin." And
although the book wholly ignored and obscured the really live and burning
issue, and it was packed from beginning to end with the most gigantic
errors of fact, it took the section by storm.

It is a great book. When something has been as persistently demanded as
long as "Uncle Tom's Cabin" has been by the northern public and the
"Conquered Banner" by the southern public; when thousands upon thousands
of plain people weep over them and lay them away to weep over them again,
you may know--it matters not what the unruffled and sarcastic critic may
say--that each is a work of the very highest and the very rarest genius.
Tears of sympathy for tales of distress and misery, whoever can set their
fountain flowing is always a nature's king or queen.

I have read "Uncle Tom's Cabin" four times: first at Princeton in 1852;
the second time amid the gloom of reconstruction, more accurately to
ascertain northern opinion of the negro and forecast therefrom, if I
could, what was in store for the south; the third time as I was meditating
the Old and New South; and just the other day the last time. The more
familiar I become with it the greater seems to me the power with which the
attention is taken and held captive. The very titles to the first twelve
chapters are, in their contents and sequence, gems of genius, and draw
resistlessly. I become more and more impatient with Ruskin's reprehending
the escape of Eliza, when, with her child hugged to her bosom, she leaps
from block to block of floating ice in the Ohio until she is safe on the
other side--a marvel like the ghost's appearance in the first scene of
Hamlet, exciting a high and breathless interest at the outset, which is
never allowed to flag afterwards. Whenever I begin to read the book, I
fall at once into that illusion which Coleridge has so well explained. I
accept all her blunders and mistakes as real facts, and although it is
hard to tolerate her negro travesties and the anti-slavery sentiments of
her southern whites, somehow they do not then offend me, and there is
chapter after chapter in which I follow the action with breathless
interest. "Gulliver's Travels" and "Pilgrim's Progress" are examples to
show how little of reality either entertaining or moving fiction needs.
From a mass of false assumptions, seasoned with the merest sprinkling of
fact; and especially from her taking for granted that the negro is really
on a par of development with the white, she has constructed the Iliad of
our time. The nursery tale out of which Shakspeare fashioned the drama of
Lear did not furnish him with smaller resources. What a wonderful action
he puts in the place of the nursery tale! how natural and probable it all
appears to us as it unfolds! how we hate, or pity, or admire, or love as
we cannot keep from following it! Likewise every reader in the north
accepted Mrs. Stowe's novel as the very height of verity, and afterwards
saw in every fugitive slave a George Harris, or Eliza, or an Uncle Tom.
And the book evoked the same effect out of America. The most curious proof
of this that I can think of is the statue of The Freed Slave, which I saw
on exhibition at the Centennial. It has nearly all the peculiar physical
characteristics of the Caucasian; and it represents not a typical man of
African descent, but a negro albino, that is, a white negro, not a black
one. There are albino negroes, but there are also albino whites. That
statue shows what was European conception of the negroes whose chains were
broken by the emancipation proclamation. Its reception in America shows
also that the same conception prevailed here. Day after day I saw crowds
of northern people contemplating that counterfeit with deep emotion, many
of the women unable to restrain their tears.

Surely "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in its propagandic potency is unrivalled. It
did more than the anti-slavery statesmen, politicians, preachers, talkers,
and orators combined. To it more than to all other agencies is due that
the people of the north took such a stubborn stand in opposition that the
south at last saw that the fugitive slave law had been practically
nullified. Thus the fates worked to bring about secession. For secession
was to bring the brothers' war; and this war was to do what could not be
done by law or consent,--that is, to get rid of slavery as the informing
principle of southern nationalization.

The post-bellum propagandic effect of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" has been very
malign. With the companion literature and theories, it formed the opinion
that devised and executed the reconstruction of the southern States. The
cardinal principle of that reconstruction was to treat the blacks just
emancipated as political equals of the whites.

Those who did this are to be forgiven. They had been made to believe that
the negroes of the south were as well qualified for full citizenship as
the whites, and it was but meet retributive punishment of the great crime
of slavery and waging war to hold on to it, that the masters be put under
their former slaves. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" had made them believe it.

The only parallel of mass of pernicious error engendered by a book, so far
as I know, is "Burke's Reflections." Constitutional England ought to have
followed Charles Fox as one man, and given countenance to the rise in
France for liberty. But Burke's piece of magnificent rhetoric effectually
turned the nation out of her course, and had her in league with
absolutists to put back the clock of European democracy a hundred years or
more. Even yet intelligent Englishmen magnify that most unEnglish
achievement. The bad effects of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" have not been so
lasting in our country. We Americans get out of ruts much more easily than
the English. The north is now rapidly learning the real truth as to the
utter incapacity of the mass of southern negroes to vote intelligently,
and complacently acquiesces in their practical disfranchisement by the
only class which can give good government.

We must utterly reject and discard everything that Mrs. Stowe and those
whom I distinguish as the root-and-branch abolitionists have taught, in
their unutterable ideology, as to the nature and character of the negro,
and in its place we must learn to know him as he really is--to tolerate
him, nay, to love him as such. This is the only way in which we can
prepare ourselves for giving the negroes their due from us.

Further, we owe it to our proud American history, now that the brothers'
war is forty years past, to ascertain the real cause of that mighty
struggle, maintained most laudably and gloriously by each side. Those whom
I am here criticising made many believe that the real stake was whether
the slave should remain the property of his master or not. Note the
emphasized adjuration in the "Battle Hymn of the Republic:"

  "As he [Christ] died to make men holy, let us die to make men free."

A most beautiful sentiment, fitly expressed; but how it humiliates the
grand issue, which was whether federal government should live or perish!
And that greatest of American odes, Whittier's "Laus Deo," how wide of the
true mark is its sublime rejoicing! Celebrating the abolition of slavery
by constitutional amendment, the occasion demanded that he extol the
really benign achievement. That achievement was that all cause of diverse
nationalization in the States had been forever removed, and thus it was
assured that brotherhood of the nations was to grow without check. But the
rapt bard was blinded, as his utterances show, by what now almost appears
to have been a fit of delusional insanity. He says:

      "Ring! O bells!
  Every stroke exulting tells
  Of the burial hour of crime."

What does he mean is the crime? Why, the delivering of certain Africans
and their descendants from lowest human degradation and misery, and
blessing them with opportunity and help to rise far upward? Had he seen,
as we do now, forty years later, instead of pouring out this wild and mad
delight, he would have dropped scalding tears over the "burial hour" of
all that promised anything of welfare to those for whom he had labored so
long and faithfully. And in the last stanza his command that

  "With a sound of broken chains"

the nations be told

                "that He reigns,
  Who alone is Lord and God!"

The poet misunderstood the "broken chains" as greatly as he did the
"burial hour." Chains were broken, but their breaking was no blessing to
the negro. Golden chains of domestic ties, drawing him gently, kindly,
surely up to higher morality and complete manhood--these were broken; and
far other were forged for him, with which fear he has been made fast to
destruction. His only friends able to help alienated; what a clog! Given
back to African improgressiveness; what a fetter! How he is held to the
body of death by unbreakable chains of want, misery, vice, disease, and
utter helplessness! and how his shackles gall him and his convict chains
clank in every corner of the land which was once an earthly paradise to

Let us not sully with Whittier the glory of the federal arms by ascribing
to them as their chief triumph the gift of illusory freedom to a few
negroes. Rather let us inform ourselves with the spirit of Webster, and
give praise and thanks without end for the actual blessings and the richer
promise of the restored union to myriads of that race whose mission it is
to spread an inexpressibly fair socialism over all the earth.

And let me say at the last, the people of the north should learn that all
the tragic evils which Professor Wendell and others outside of the south
have in mind belong only to the slave-ships, and by a strange
psychological metastasis--no stranger, however, than that by which the
fourth commandment, in popular conception, has been abrogated as to the
seventh day, and applied to the first day of the week--they have firmly
attached themselves to the reputation of southern slavery. For long years
we of the south, our mothers and our mothers' mothers, our fathers and our
fathers' fathers, have been charged with cruelties and outrages purely
fancied. These fabrications are the stock comparisons with which almost
every invective against the wrongs of any lower class is sharpened. The
writer or speaker whenever he is taken short says something of the
dreadful condition of the southern slave under the sway of an entirely
absolute master. Variety of the misdeeds invoked as illustration is
limited only by the promptness with which the utterer can think of what he
has read in abolition literature or its sequel. It is all mere parrot
gabble. To hear so much of it as we do is "a little wearing," as Reginald
Wilfer said. Surely if our brothers and sisters of the north but think,
they will acknowledge that these so-called horrors of slavery were all
nothing but the inventions of the angry passions provoked by the powers in
the unseen after they had decided that slavery must be sacrificed in the
interests of the union. And these dear brothers and sisters will no longer
persist in asserting that southern slavery was but robbery and oppression
of and cruelty to the slave; that the system was evil to him of itself.
They will talk no more of the pro-slavery infamy, of the unscrupulousness
and perfidy of the slave power, and all such false twaddle, that can now
serve no purpose whatever except to offend good men and women and their
children without cause.



Until the crisis of 1850, slavery had never changed from purely defensive
tactics. This year made it seem that the north had fully resolved that
slavery should never be allowed another inch of new territory; and also
was very near, and was rapidly coming nearer to, the point of practically
preventing the enforcement of the fugitive slave law. We have explained
how slave property could not live unless it found new virgin soil in the
Territories; and we have also explained what a deadly blow it would
receive, in the refusal to restore fugitives. This refusal would be really
indirect abolition. Read the masterly sketch by Calhoun, in his speech
March 4, 1850, of the conquering advance of the anti-slavery party, until
now--to use his language--"the equilibrium between the two sections ...
had been destroyed;" and he demonstrates that the actual exercise of the
entire national political power must soon be in the hands of the
free-labor section. The south instinctively felt that the time for her old
tactics was over, and that she must do more than merely fend off the blows
of abolition. And, as we will tell in the next chapter, she found her new
leader in Toombs. Nullification as advocated by Calhoun was the extreme
energy of the pure defensive of the south. His proposed dual executive
amendment was merely that nullification be made a right granted to the
federal government instead of remaining one reserved to the States.
Toombs had grown up in the school of William H. Crawford. George R.
Gilmer, a follower of Crawford, tells of the latter: "He was violently
opposed to the nullification movement, considering it but an ebullition
excited by Mr. Calhoun's overleaping, ambition."[96]

Toombs scouted nullification. Under his lead his State, in 1850, adopted
the Georgia Platform quoted above. This platform was considerate and
resolute preparation for the southern offensive.

Next the south assumes initiative. Extension of slave-territory is so
great an economical _sine qua non_ that she attacks its barriers. Using
her control of the then dominant democratic party she got the Missouri
compromise repealed. Her main purpose in this was to wrench from the
anti-slavery men the weapon of congressional restriction, then deemed by
them the most powerful of all in their armory. She also contemplated
extorting a concession of all lands in the Territories which could be
profitably cultivated by slaves from the north, alarmed into apprehending
that otherwise slavery might be carried above 36.30'.

This repeal did more than anything else--more even than "Uncle Tom's
Cabin"--to arouse the north into mortal combat with slavery. The historian
cannot understand why the south procured it, if he ignores that energy of
southern nationalization which we have done our utmost to explain. This
nationalization had got into what we may call the last rapids, and was
bound to go over the precipice into the gulf of secession.

The bootless struggle by the south against overwhelming odds of northern
settlers to make Kansas a slave State was the sequel to the repeal of the
Missouri compromise. When the South understood that Kansas was really
gone, she advanced her forlorn hope in her endeavor to secure slavery in
the union. The essence of the compromise measures of 1850 was that the
demand of congressional non-interference with slavery in the States and
Territories, made by the south, was declared adopted as future policy. As
the forlorn hope just mentioned she now made the demand that the owner's
property in his slaves, if he should carry them into a Territory, should
be protected by congress until its people had made the constitution under
which the Territory would be admitted into the union. Her adherence to
this demand split the democratic party; and the election of Lincoln
ensued. This election meant that slavery--the property supporting more
than nine-tenths of the southern people, and which was virtually their
entire economic system--was put under a ban. There was nothing for it but
depreciation in the near future; soon more and more depreciation; until
after prolonged stagnation and paralysis the value of all her property
would collapse as did that of the continental currency. That was the way
it looked to her. We believe that the facts show that her conviction was
right. She felt with her whole soul that the time had come to invoke State
sovereignty. So she seceded, with intent to save the property of her
people and maintain their domestic peace. Of course she purposed an
equitable apportionment of the public domain between herself and the north
under which she would get the small part that suited slave agriculture.

The circumstances constrained the south throughout every part and parcel
of her offensive as powerfully as exhaustion of his supplies constrains
the commander of a garrison to a sortie upon what he has reason to believe
is the weakest point of the circumvallation. She was hypnotized by the
powers. They made her believe that she was always doing the right thing
to protect slavery when they were having her to do that only which assured
its destruction. She was all the while as conscientious as the mother who,
afraid of drafts, keeps the needed fresh air from her consumptive child
and thereby kills him.

We recognize the resistless play of the cosmic forces upon the sun, moon,
and stars; upon our earth; in the yearly round of the seasons; in the
ocean tides; in storms and heated terms; in vegetation; and in things
innumerable taken note of by the senses. But this is not all of their
empire. They sway individuals, communities, peoples, nations, making the
latter even believe that they are having their own way when in fact they
are most servilely doing the will of the powers.



Calhoun solidified the south in resolve to leave the union if the
abolition party got control of the federal government. Just before his
death there commenced such serious contemplation of an aggressive defence
of slavery that we may call it an actual aggressive. Although by reason of
his unquestioned primacy he could have assumed the conduct of this
aggressive, he did not. Toombs was its real, though not always apparent,
leader, from its actual commencement until it resulted in secession. Thus
he played an independent part of his own, and deserves a chapter to
himself. While Calhoun was the forerunner, Toombs was both apostle and the
Moses of secession. As nearly all of my readers have never thought of any
one else than Calhoun in this capacity, the statement of Toombs's
prominence just made will probably startle them. But I know if they will
follow me through the record they will all at last agree with me. In view
of Calhoun's conspicuousness in the southern agitation from 1835 until his
death in 1850, this misapprehension of my readers is very natural.
Contemporaries following Sulla, named Pompey, not Julius Cæsar, The Great.
Similarly Toombs, as an actor in the intersectional arena, is as yet
dwarfed from comparison with the really great but not greater Calhoun.

It is much more necessary than I saw such a method was with Calhoun to
deal first with what we may call the non-sectional parts of Toombs's
career. And I wish to assure my readers at the outset that these parts
are exceptionally important and valuable not only to every American, but
to all those anywhere who prize shining examples of private virtue and
exalted teachers of good and honest government.

I was nearly ten years old when Toombs's congressional career commenced in
December, 1845. Living only eighteen miles from him I heard him often
mentioned. It was the delight of many people to report his phrases and
repartees. By reason of their wisdom or wit and fineness of expression,
the whole of each one lodged in the dullest memory. I never knew another
whose sayings circulated so widely and far without alteration. As they
serve to introduce you to his rare originality, I will tell here a few of
them that I heard admired and laughed at in my boyhood.

He had not then left off tobacco, but he chewed it incessantly, and a
spray of the juice fell around him when he was speaking. Once while he was
haranguing at the hustings, a drunken man beneath the edge of the platform
on which he was standing, rudely told him in a loud voice not to let his
pot boil over. Toombs, looking down, saw that his interrupter had flaming
red hair: "Take your fire from under it, then," he answered.

In another stump speech he was earnestly denying that he had ever used
certain words now charged against him. A stalwart, rough fellow--one of
Choate's bulldogs with confused ideas--rose, and asserted he had heard him
say them. When and where was asked. The man gave time and place, and added
tauntingly, "What do you say to that?" Toombs rejoined, "Well, I must have
told a d--d lie."

A rival candidate, really conspicuous and celebrated for his little
ability, in a stump debate pledged the people that if they would send him
to congress he would never leave his post during a session to attend the
courts, as he unjustifiably charged Toombs with habitually doing. The
latter disposed of this by merely saying, "You should consider which will
hurt the district the more, his constant presence in, or my occasional
absence from, the house."

In another discussion this same opponent charged him with having voted so
and so. Replying, Toombs denied it. The other interrupted him, and
sustained his charge by producing the _Globe_; and he expressively
exclaimed, "What do you think of that vote?" Toombs answered without any
hesitation--nothing ever confused him--"I think it a d--d bad vote. There
are more than a hundred votes of mine reported in that big book. He has
evidently studied them all, and this is the only bad one he can find. Send
_him_ to congress in my place, the record will be exactly inverted; it
will be as hard to find a good one in his votes as it is now to find a bad
one in mine."

In the congressional session of 1849-50 Toombs had made his Hamilcar
speech, to be told of fully after a while. In this he avowed his
preference of disunion to exclusion of the south from the Territories so
positively and strongly that the ultra southern rights men hailed him as
their champion. But soon afterwards, with the great majority of the people
of the State, he took his stand upon the compromise of 1850 and the
Georgia Platform quoted above. This was really on his part a recession
from the extreme ground he had taken in the speech. In 1851, a coalition
of the whigs and democrats of Georgia nominated Howell Cobb, a democrat,
for governor, and Toombs, then a whig, canvassed for him with great zeal.
He had an appointment to speak, in Oglethorpe county, at Lexington, the
county seat. There were quite a number of ardent southern rights men in
the county, who held that the admission of California, really in southern
latitude, with its anti-slavery constitution, called for far more decided
action on the part of the south than was counselled in the Compromise and
Georgia Platform. Hating Toombs, whom they regarded as a renegade, they
plotted to humiliate him when he came to Lexington. As he never shrank
from discussion they easily got his consent to divide time with--as the
phrase goes--a canvasser for McDonald, their candidate for governor.
Toombs was to consume a stated time in opening the stump debate; then the
other was to be allowed a stated time; after which Toombs had a reply of
twenty minutes--these were the terms. In opening, Toombs, as was natural,
stressed the compromise measures and set forth the advantages of
preserving the union; and he fiercely inveighed against the men who could
not be satisfied with the Georgia Platform, embraced as it had been by a
great majority of all parties, denouncing them as disunionists. The other
disputant took the Hamilcar speech of Toombs, made just the year before,
as his text. Deliberately, accurately, systematically he unfolded the
doctrine of that speech, and he did the same for the speech just made, and
contrasting the two, he put them into glaring inconsistency. Southern
rights stock rose and union stock sunk rapidly as the comparison went on.
In his peroration the speaker commented upon Toombs's tergiversation with
such effective severity it elicited wild applause from the men of his
side. They had pushed themselves to the front. Toombs rose to reply. In
their riotous rejoicing over the great hit of their speaker, they forgot
the proprieties of the occasion; forgot that it was Toombs's meeting, as
was said in common parlance; and they rapped on the floor with canes, and
even clubs provided for the nonce, howled, and made all kinds of noises
to drown his voice. Unabashed he looked upon them, smiling that grandest
and blandest of smiles. As the foremost of these roysterers told me long
afterwards, his self-possession excited their curiosity. They wanted to
hear if he could say anything to get out of the trap in which they had so
cleverly caught him; and they became still. "It seems to me," he
commenced, "that men like you meditating a great revolution ought first to
learn good manners." At this condign rebuke of behavior which, according
to stump usage, was as uncivil and impolite as if it had been shown Toombs
in his own house by guests accepting his hospitality, spontaneous cheers
from the union men, who were in very large majority, appeared to raise the
roof. In his highest and readiest style--for mob opposition always lifted
him at once into that--he reminded his hearers that their whole duty was
to decide whether they would approve the compromise and the Georgia
Platform or not; and that to discuss whether what he had spoken last year
before these measures were even thought of, was right or wrong, was to
substitute for a transcendently important public question a little
personal one of no concern to them whatever. "If there is anything in my
Hamilcar speech that cannot be reconciled with the measures which I have
supported here to-day with reasons which my opponent confesses by his
silence he cannot answer, I repudiate it. If the gentleman takes up my
abandoned errors, let him defend them."

How the union men cheered as he broke out of the trap, and caught the
setters in it!

I heard much of this day, still famous in all the locality, when six years
afterwards I settled in Lexington, to begin law practice. Over and over
again the Union men told how their spirits fell, fell, fell as the
southern rights speaker kept on, until it looked black and dark around;
and then how the sun broke out in full splendor at the first sentence of
Toombs's reply, and the brightness mounted steadily to the end. That
sentence last quoted is a proverb in that region yet. If in a dispute with
anybody there you try to put him down by quoting his former contradictory
utterances, he tells you that if you take up his abandoned errors you must
defend them.

The interest excited in me by what is told in the foregoing was the
beginning of my study of Toombs, which never at any time entirely ceased,
and which will doubtless continue as long as I live. He has impressed me
far more than any other man whom I ever knew. Soon after his return, in
1867, from his exile I resolved I would try to write his Life under the
title, "Robert Toombs, as a Lawyer, Statesman, and Talker;" and for ten or
fifteen years I had been systematically collecting the data. These had
accumulated under each head--especially reports of his epigrams and winged
phrases--far more considerably than was my expectation at first. I added
to them very largely by copious notes of the record of his congressional
life which I read attentively in course, commencing immediately after his
death. In a few years I had finished my task. As yet I have not found the
times favorable for publication, and the MS. may perplex my literary
executor. Of course my object in the too egotistic narrative just made is
to inform you that I have bestowed very great labor and study upon the
subject, hoping thus to draw your attention.

Robert Toombs was born July 2, 1810, on his father's plantation in Wilkes
county, Georgia. He went to school at Washington, the county seat; then to
the State university; which having left, he finished his collegiate course
at Union. Next he spent a year at the law school of Virginia university.
He never was a bookworm. His habitual quotations during the last fifteen
years of his life--when I was much with him--betrayed a smattering of the
Roman authors commonly read at school, a much greater knowledge of the
Latin quoted by Blackstone and that of the current law maxims, and
considerable familiarity with "Paradise Lost," "Macbeth," and the Falstaff
parts of "King Henry IV.," and "Merry Wives," Don Quixote, Burns, and the
bible. But this man, whose diction and phrases were the worship of the
street and the despair of the cultured, had no deep acquaintance with any
literature. Erskine got the staple of his English from a long and fond
study of Shakspeare and Milton; but Toombs must have drawn his only from
the fountains whence Tom, Dick, Harry, and Mariah get theirs, and then
purified and refined it by a secret process that nobody else knew of,--not
even himself, as I believe. If he had only corrected after utterance as
assiduously as Erskine did, of the two his diction would be much the

The year before he came of age he was admitted to the bar by legislative
act. In the same year he married his true mate and settled at Washington.
For four years the famous William H. Crawford was the judge of the
circuit. Toombs was born into the Crawford faction, and the judge who, as
there was no supreme court then, was law autocrat of his circuit, gave him
favor from the first. The courts were full of lucrative business. The old
dockets show that in five years Toombs was getting his full share in his
own county and the adjoining ones. The diligent attention that he gave
every detail of preparation of his cases, had, in a year or two after his
call, made him first choice of every eminent lawyer for junior. One of
these was Cone, a native of Connecticut, who had received a good education
both literary and professional, before he came south. Toombs, who had
known the great American lawyers of his time, always said after his death
in 1859 that Cone was the best of all. Lumpkin used to tell that during a
visit to England he haunted the courts, but he never found a single
counsel who spoke to a law point as luminously and convincingly as Cone.
Another one of these was Lumpkin. He is, I believe, the most eloquent man
that Georgia ever produced. He had some tincture of letters; but he was
without Choate's pre-eminent self-culture and daily drafts of inspiration
from the immortal fountains. A. H. Stephens admired Choate greatly. He
heard the latter's reply to Buchanan. Often, at Liberty Hall--as Stephens
called his residence--he would repeat with gusto the passage in which
Choate roasts Buchanan for his inculcation of hate to England. Stephens
contended that if all that education and art had done for each--Choate and
Lumpkin--could have been removed, a comparison would, as he believed, show
Lumpkin to be the stronger advocate by nature.

These three--Cone, Lumpkin, and Toombs--were often on the same side. But
whether Toombs had them as associates or as adversaries, they were always
in these early years of his at the bar, in his eye. With the unremitted
attentiveness of what we may call his subconscious observation, and a
receptivity always active and greedy, he seems to have soon appropriated
all of Cone's law and all of Lumpkin's advocacy--that is, he had, as he
did with the speech and language heard by him every day, transmuted them
into the rare and precious staple peculiar to his own _sui generis_ self.

In his first forensic arguments his rapid utterance was as indistinct as
if he had mush in his mouth, old men have told me. But after a year or two
of practice he developed both power and attractiveness. In due time when
Cone or Lumpkin were with him, he would be pushed forward, young as he
was, into some important place in court conduct. I myself heard Lumpkin
tell that the greatest forensic eloquence he had ever heard was a rebuke
by Toombs--then some twenty-seven years old--of the zeal with which the
public urged on the prosecution of one of their clients on trial for
murder. The junior--the evidence closed--was making the first speech for
the defence. As he went on in a strong argument, the positiveness with
which he denied all merit to the case for the State, angered the
spectators outside of the bar, and a palpable demonstration of dissent
came from some of them, which the presiding judge did not check as he
ought to have done. Toombs strode at once to the edge of the bar, only a
railing some four feet high separating him from these angry men, and
chastised them as they merited. His invective culminated in denouncing
them as bloodhounds eager to slake their accursed thirst in innocent
blood. These misguided ones were brought back to proper behavior, and with
them admiration of the fearless and eloquent advocate displaced their
hostility, and carried upon an invisible wave an influence in favor of the
accused over the entire community, and even into the jury box. And the
narrator, who was one of Toombs's greatest admirers, told with fond
recollection how the popular billows were laid by the speech of his
junior, and how he himself took heart and found the way to an acquittal
which he feared he had lost.

This affair is illustrative of Toombs in two respects. In the first place
it shows his extempore faculty and presence of mind. I have seen him so
often in sudden emergencies do exactly the thing that subsequent
reflection pronounced the best, that I believe had he been in Napoleon's
place when the Red Sea tide suddenly spread around, he would have escaped
in the same way, or in a better one. I do not believe that this can be
said of any one else of the past or present. In the second place it is one
of the many proofs extant that he could always vanquish the mob.

He divined what offered cases are unmaintainable more quickly, and
declined them more resolutely than any one I ever knew. So free was he
from illusion that he could not contend against plain infeasibility. It
was impossible for clients, witnesses, or juniors to blind him to the
actual chances. For ten years or more, commencing with 1867, I observed
him in many _nisi prius_ trials, and I noted how unfrequently, as compared
with others, he had either got wrong as to his own side or misanticipated
the other. But now and then it would develop that the merits were
decidedly against him. He would at once, according to circumstances,
propose a compromise, frankly surrender, or, if it appeared very weak,
toss the case away as if it was something unclean. When he had thus
failed, his air of unconcern and majesty reminded of how the lion is said
to stalk back to his place of hiding when the prey has eluded his spring.

Stephens came to the bar some four years after Toombs did, and settled in
an adjoining county. I need merely allude to their long and beautiful
friendship, full details of which are to be found in the biographies of
the former. I merely emphasize the importance of Stephens's help to
Toombs's development in his early politics. The former got to congress two
years before he did. Toombs evidently relied greatly upon the sagacity
with which the other divined how a new question would take with the
masses. On his return from a brief and bloodless service in the Creek war
as captain of a company of volunteers, Toombs commenced a State
legislative career, which Mr. Stovall has creditably told.[97] I can stop
only to say it was honorable, and contributed greatly to his political

When Toombs was at the Virginia law school, he heard some of Randolph's
stump speeches; and for a few years afterwards he often vouched passages
from them as authority. Stephens would tell this; and then with
affectionate mischief tell further that his friend, before he had finished
in the Georgia legislature, had ceased entirely to support his contentions
with anything else than his own reasons.

Before he got to Congress, he had made reputation at the hustings. In 1840
he crossed the Savannah, and meeting the veteran McDuffie in stump debate
is reported to have come off with the high opinion of all hearers,
including his adversary.

Let us now take an inventory of him as he is about to enter congress. He
is the best lawyer in the State, except Cone, and fully his equal; while
as a speaker he did not have Lumpkin's marvellous suasion of common men,
yet with them he was almost the next, and he was far greater than Lumpkin
in quelling the mob, convincing the honest judge that his law was right,
and convincing also the better men of the jury and citizens present that
the principles of justice involved in the issue of facts were to be
applied as he claimed; he had acquired enough of property to be considered
rich in that day, although he had always lived liberally; his legislative
and political career had convinced the people that he was incomparably the
best and ablest man of the district for their representative. It is to be
especially emphasized that he had practical talent of the highest order.
His plantation was a model of good management. His investments were always
prudent and lucrative. Practical men of extraordinary ability were bred
by the conditions about him. In the Raytown district of Taliaferro
county--about ten miles distant--my maternal grandfather, Joshua Morgan,
lived on his plantation of more than a thousand acres, which he managed
without an overseer. His father had been killed by the tories. His
education had been so scant that he found reading the simplest English
difficult, and to sign his name was the only writing I ever knew him to
do. But his plantation management was the admiration of all his neighbors.
His land was sandy and thin, but he made it yield more than ample support
for his numerous family, his rapidly increasing force of negroes, his
blooded horses, his unusually large number of hogs, cows, sheep, and
goats; and a fair quantity of cotton besides. The slaves loved sweet
potatoes more than any other food, and they were a favorite food in the
Big House. His supplies never failed, there being some unopened "banks or
hills" when the new potatoes came. His hogs were his special attention.
His fine horses required so much corn, and so much more of it was needed
for bread, that he could not feed it lavishly to his hogs. So he developed
a succession of peach orchards, with which he commenced their fattening in
the summer. These were four in all; the first ripened in July and the last
the fourth week in October. The fruit in any particular one ripened at the
same time, and he cared not how many different varieties there were.
Whenever he tasted peaches away from home that he liked, if they were not
from grafted trees, he would carry away the seed, and there was a
particular drawer labelled with the date, into which they were put.
Whenever he had need to plant a tree whose fruit was desired at that
particular time of the year, the seed was planted where he wanted the
tree. Many of his neighbors planted the seeds in a nursery, whence after
a year or two they transplanted the young trees; but my grandfather, as he
told me, saved a year by his method. He was always replanting in place of
injured trees and those he had found to be inferior. The "fattening"
hogs--that is, those to be next killed for meat--were turned into the July
orchard just as soon as the peaches commenced to fall; and they went on
through the rest of the series. There was running water in each orchard.
After peach-time, these hogs ran upon the peas which were now ripe in the
corn fields, the corn having been gathered. And for some two weeks before
they were to be killed they were penned and given all the corn they would
eat. What pride the good planter of that time took in keeping independent
of the Tennessee hog drover, who was the main resource of his rural
neighbors who did not save their own meat, as the phrase then was!
Observing that his hogs were not safe against roving negroes when away
from the house on Sunday, on that day they were kept up. One of my
earliest recollections is that of Old Lige driving them to the spring
branch twice every Sunday. For a long while he tried in various ways to
protect his sheep against worrying dogs. At last he had them "got up"
every night in some enclosure he wished to enrich near enough to the Big
House for his own dogs to be aware of any invasion by strangers, and he
never had a sheep worried afterwards. The foregoing is enough to suggest
the whole of the system. The management of its different trains and many
separate departments upon an up-to-date railroad was not superior in
punctuality and due discharge of every duty. He lived well, entertained
hospitably, and kept out of debt. Mr. Thomas E. Watson has lately given a
graphic description of good plantation conduct,[98] which ought to be
considered by all those who now believe that every planter was necessarily
slipshod and slovenly in his vocation. It was a good training school for
the born business man. Let me give an example to show how extensive
planting bred experts in affairs. The Southern Mutual fire insurance
company--its principal office being at Athens, some forty miles distant
from Toombs's home--at the beginning of the brothers' war had for some
years almost driven all other insurers out of its territory. It is still
such a favorite therein that it is hardly exaggeration to state that its
competitors must content themselves with its leavings. The plan of this
great company is a novel form of co-operative insurance--indeed, I may
say, it is unique. It was invented, developed, and most skilfully worked
forward into a success which is one of the wonders of the insurance world.
The men who did this were never any of them reputed to be of exceptional
talents. They had merely grown up in the best rural business circles of
the old south. A similar fact explains the mastery of money, banking, and
related matters which Calhoun acquired in a locality of South Carolina,
not forty miles distant from Washington, Georgia. It also explains why
Toombs, bred in the interior and far away from large cities, had perfectly
acquired the commercial law; had complete knowledge of the principles and
practice of banking, and those of all corporate business, and also a
familiarity with the fluctuating values of current securities equalling
that of experts.

He was also, as I know, almost a lightning calculator, and fully
indoctrinated in the science of accounts.

Surely this man, now thirty-five, is ripe for congress.

January 12, 1846, the United States house of representatives having under
consideration a resolution of notice to Great Britain to abrogate the
convention between her and the United States, of August 6, 1827, relative
to the region commonly called Oregon, Toombs made his congressional debut.

It is an able speech for a new member--especially for one grappling with a
question peculiar to a part of the country so far away from his own.
Convinced that the adoption of the resolution could give no just cause of
offence, he will not yield anything to those who merely cry up the
blessings of peace. The warlike note is deep and earnest. Then comes the
most original part of the speech. Showing great familiarity with the facts
and the applicable international law, he does his utmost to prove that the
title of each country is bad; and it seems to me that he succeeds. He
urges that the time has arrived when American settlers are ready to pour
into Oregon. "Terminate this convention and our settlements will give us
good title."

Of course I believe that Calhoun's policy, as I have explained it above,
was the true one, and that we should have continued the convention as to
joint occupancy as long as possible. Toombs was bred among the followers
of Crawford, who regarded Calhoun as his rival for the presidency, and I
doubt if he ever did neutralize this early influence enough to enable
himself to do full justice to Calhoun. And as a further palliation, his
combative temperament must be remembered, and also that he had inherited
from a gallant Revolutionary father an extreme readiness to fight England.

July 1, 1846, he discusses a proposal to reduce import duties in a long
speech, carefully premeditated as is evident. He shows great familiarity
with Adam Smith, economical principles, fluctuations in prices of leading
commodities, and the consequences of affecting legislation. Its main
interest here is the detailed argument in its concluding passages against
the expediency of free trade, of which he afterwards became an advocate.

January 8, 1847, a speech on the proposed increase of the army is his next
considerable effort. He denounces the Mexican war as unjust in its origin,
but he reprehends its feeble conduct. He is very strong, from the southern
standpoint, in what he says of the Wilmot proviso. Here is a passage
characteristic of Toombs later on:

    "The gentleman from New York [Grover] asked how the south could
    complain of the proposed proviso accompanying the admission of new
    territory, when the arrangement was so very fair and put the north and
    south on a footing of perfect equality. The north could go there
    without slaves, and so could the south. Well, I will try it the other
    way. Suppose the territory to be open to all; then southerners could
    go and carry slaves with them, and so could northerners. Would not
    this be just as equal? [Much laughter.] I will not answer for the
    strength of the argument, but it is as good as what we of the south
    get. [Laughter.]"

Winthrop, who followed, commences by deprecating the necessity that
exposed him to the disadvantage of contrast with a speech which had
attracted so much attention and admiration. And Stephens praised the
effort greatly.[99]

December 21, 1847, Toombs offered a resolution in the house, that neither
the honor nor interest of the republic demand the dismemberment of Mexico,
nor the annexation of any of her territory as an indispensable condition
to the restoration of peace.

His Taylor speech of July 1, 1848, evinces warm whig partisanship.

In his first years at the bar he loitered a while as a speaker. And one
who studies his record in congress discerns that it is some two years
before he commences to feel easy as a member of the house. The speeches
which I have mentioned above, with the solitary exception of that of
January 8, 1847, are labored communication of cram rather than the
peculiar language of the speaker who, when I commenced to observe him a
few years later on the stump, had become a marvel both of strong thinking
and fit expression extempore.

I detect a gleam of the coming man, when August 4, 1848, and February 20,
1849, he exhibits his inveterate hostility to maintaining and increasing
an army in time of peace. Next he begins his lifelong war upon high
salaries, and the extravagance and waste of congressional printing. Note
what he says February 29, 1848, advocating reduction of salaries of patent
examiners; and his denouncing the evil of congress's publishing
agricultural works, in two speeches, the one made March 20, 1848, the
other January 18, 1849. These are short, but strong, and their forcible
style gives sure promise that the true Toombs is at hand. He suddenly
found his real self in December, 1849, when his lead towards secession
commenced, as I shall detail later. After that date he soon becomes one of
the strongest and most influential members; and especially one whose
speech greatly attracts audience. I must support this assertion by the
record. With my limited space I must be very brief. My trouble is that the
many examples which I could use are all so good it is hard to decide what
must be left out. While I shall always give dates, so that my statements
can be checked by reference to the _Globe_, I need not confine myself
strictly to the order of time.

His mastery of parliamentary law is a good subject to begin with.

January 18, 1850, it was moved that the sergeant-at-arms act as doorkeeper
until one be elected. The chair decided that the question affected the
organization of the house and was therefore one of privilege. On an
appeal there was much discussion. Here is the part played by Toombs:

    "_Mr. Toombs._ I apprehend that the speaker has committed error. This
    is not an office known to the law; it was created only by the rules of
    the house. The office of speaker and clerk alone are known to the
    law.... It is not every officer whom by their rules they may choose to
    appoint, that is necessary to the organization of the house. Suppose
    that by a rule they provided for the appointment of a bootblack; could
    a resolution for his appointment be made a question of privilege to
    arrest and override all other business?

    Mr. Bayley inquired of the gentleman from Georgia if a rule was not as
    clearly obligatory upon the house as a law.

    _Mr. Toombs._ It is; but its execution is not a question of

A reversal was the result.

The following took place February 20, 1851, and is a good illustration of
his forcible way of putting things:

    "_Mr. Toombs._ (Interrupting Mr. Stanton) called the gentleman to
    order. The committee ought not to tolerate this custom of speaking to
    matters not immediately before it.

    _The Chairman._ Does the gentleman from Georgia raise the point of
    order that the remarks of the gentleman from Tennessee are not in
    order because they have no reference to the bill before the committee.

    _Mr. Toombs._ My point is that debate upon steamboats is not in order
    upon a pension bill.

    _The Chairman._ I decide the gentleman is in order. It has been
    invariable practice to permit such debate in committee of the whole on
    the state of the union.

    _Mr. Toombs._ The practice may have been permitted; but it was wrong."

On appeal by Toombs the chairman was reversed.

Though Toombs--a whig--had stubbornly opposed the candidacy of Howell
Cobb--a democrat--he soon became to the latter, after his election as
speaker, the leading parliamentary authority. Often there would be
confused clamor and wild disorder, nearly every member proposing
something. At a loss himself, Cobb would look at Toombs and see him
intently conning his Jefferson. Soon he would rise, and being recognized
by the speaker at once, would forthwith suggest the right thing.

The foregoing was often told by Cobb, as his friends have informed me.

February 24, 1853, he shows up the bad consequences of overpaid offices,
the duties of which the holders can hire others to do for half of its
compensation; and March 2, the same year, he thus speaks of a cognate

    "The gentleman seems to go upon the principle that as many clerks with
    high salaries should be attached to one office as to any other--the
    principle of equalizing the patronage of these different offices
    without regard to the species of labor required by each."

I append here a collection of short extracts from Toombs's speeches in the
lower house, which illustrate his power to tickle the ear by striking
presentation, epigram, and novel expression:

    _Debate always Harmless._ "A little more experience will show the
    gentleman that he is mistaken, and that the absence of discussion here
    does not accelerate adjournment. The most harmless time which is spent
    by the house, he will find, is that spent in discussion." February 17,

    _Nominees of National Conventions._ "What are the fruits of your
    national conventions?... They have brought you a Van Buren, a
    Harrison, a Polk, and a General Taylor.... I mean no disparagement to
    any one of these. All of them but one [Van Buren] have paid the last
    debt of nature, and the one who survives, unfortunately for himself,
    has survived his reputation." July 3, 1852.

    _Two Classes of Economists._ "There is a class of economists who will
    favor any measure by which they can cut off wrong or extravagant
    expenditures. But there is another class who are always preaching
    economy--who are always ready to apply the rule of economy and get
    economical in every case except that before the house." February 17,

    _Principles of Banking._ "If we intend to regulate the business of
    banking in this District, the bill does too little; if we do not, it
    does too much, As it does not seek to control generally the business
    of banking, but permits the issue of notes greater than five dollars,
    it violates the principles of unrestrained banking, but does not go to
    the extent of regulation by law. I think the public are more likely to
    suffer, and to a greater extent, from bank issues above five dollars
    than those under that amount." January 11, 1853.

    _The Dahlonega Mint, in his own State._ "I believe the mints at
    Dahlonega, Charlotte, and New York are each unnecessary.... I do not
    desire to continue abuses in Georgia any more than in New York. I am
    willing to pull up all abuses by the root.... I think the existing
    mint is adequate to the wants of the country." February 17, 1853.

    _Personal Explanations in Debate of Appropriations._ "I believe that
    with all the abuses we have had in the discussion of appropriation
    bills, we have never had personal explanations." February 21, 1850.

Toombs is now about to leave the lower for the upper house. He has grown
in all directions in the qualifications and powers marking the good
representative. There is no other man in the house, from either section,
whose ability is superior or whose promise greater. Three days before his
career in the United States senate begins, he made the following appeal,
protesting against hasty and reckless expenditure, which seems to me a
model of matter and extemporaneous expression:

    "In this bill the fortification bill is introduced; and provision made
    for private wagon ways for Oregon and California. There is in it an
    appropriation of $100,000 to pay somebody for the discovery of ether.
    You have a provision for a Pacific railroad; and you have job upon job
    to plunder the government in the military bill;--and the
    representatives of the people are called upon to vote on all these
    grave questions under five minutes' speeches. You do gross injustice
    to yourselves; you betray great interests of the people when you act
    upon such important measures in this manner. Let the house reject the
    amendments; let the senate devote its time to maturing bills, and send
    them to us to be acted upon deliberately; and then whichever way
    congress determines for itself, it will have a right so to do. But to
    act upon them in this way, is not only to abdicate our powers, but to
    abdicate our duties. Put your hands upon these amendments and strike
    them out." March 1, 1853.

Manifestly all that he had learned of the pending bill was from having
heard it read. The instant apprehension and accurate statement, and the
exhaustion of the subject in far shorter time than his small
allowance--these recall what I often heard Stephens say, "No one else has
ever made such perfect and telling impromptus as Toombs."

His famous Hamilcar outburst did not consume all of his five minutes.

Toombs was United States senator from March 4, 1853, until the spring of
1861. His peculiarities must be suggested. Although he was perhaps the
ablest lawyer in the senate, loved the profession with all the ardor of
first love, and had great cases with large fees offered him every day, he
resolutely subordinated law practice to his congressional duties. He did
much practice, but it was all in the vacations of congress. He did not
seek office. There is not to be found, so far as I know, a trace of any
aspiration of his during his congressional career for other than the place
of senator. If on a special committee, he worked energetically; but he
avoided the standing committees. He says:

    "It is only occasionally that I go to the committee meetings to make a
    quorum to act on important business. I do not attend them one day more
    than I am obliged to, for I am quite sure it is not my duty unless
    charged with a certain subject. This whole machinery is a means of
    transferring the legislation of the country from those to whose hands
    the constitution commits it to irresponsible juntas.... I say general
    standing committees, without any exception, are great nuisances, and
    they ought to be abolished.... They are not proper bodies to exercise
    legislative powers. They are not known in the country from which we
    derive our institutions. The English have no standing committees. They
    raise special committees on special objects."[100] February 18, 1859.

"The general business of the country," as he expressed it, January 10,
1859, that was his concern. Each subject requiring the action of the
senate, whether important or trivial, received his industrious attention,
as his course and language on the floor always show; and he evidently
feels it his duty to furnish the body on all questions the utmost
instruction and aid that he can possibly give. He had no ambition to be
the author of novel measures--he was strenuous only to bestow upon every
subject of current legislation the proper consideration. His premeditated
efforts are but few. He never shows any distrust of his offhand faculty.
He takes part in nearly all the discussions, often being up several times
the same day on the same subject. He is seldom lengthy, hardly ever away
from the point needing explanation, and never, never dull. Generally he
comes with correcting fact or enlightening principle, and it is seldom
that his matter and words are not both impressive. I found it well in
writing the Life mentioned above to present the most of his senatorial
course by assorting his utterances under their proper heads, with the
briefest possible comment, rather than to narrate chronologically in the
common way of biographers. In his speeches it is only now and then that he
is steadily progressive as he was in the Iowa contested election case. His
advocacy or opposition is generally founded upon a principle, and from
this principle--usually central and self-evident--the different passages
radiate in aphorisms, self-supporting paragraphs, and detached
arguments,--this common radiation being their only connection. Accordingly
if you know what is the particular subject that is under discussion, a
part taken at random anywhere from any of his extempore speeches is nearly
always complete in itself and fully intelligible. Therefore we can have
him to give in his own words, in a comparatively small space, an
approximately full collection of the rich and varied teachings of his
senatorial career, although our chrestomathy would appear to one putting
it beside the unmutilated report of the _Globe_ as a beggarly and jejune
abstract. I know of no other public man with whom this can be as
satisfactorily done. Of course the compilation made by me, as just told,
cannot be given here. He challenged every bad and defended every good
measure. He is on record both by speech, nearly always hitting the nail on
the head, and by vote, nearly always right, upon every one. What he did in
the house deserves close attention; but his actings and doings in the
senate, to which he belonged from March 4, 1853, until shortly after his
famous speech of January 7, 1861, when he left to go with his seceding
State, are such that I challenge all students of history to produce a
single example of such earnest grappling with and able handling of so many
matters of importance in so short a time--not eight full years--by any
member of ancient or modern parliaments.

Having now, I hope, aroused my readers to some faint conception of
Toombs's greatness as a senator in non-sectional matters, I must bring
that greatness into fuller view, if I can. I therefore add to the
foregoing catalogue the rough character sketch next following.

We begin with his devotion to his duties. One examining the _Globe_ will
hardly find any other member who calls as often for the reading of the
reports accompanying bills to pay private claims, and such other small
matters; and he will always observe that his immediate comment shows that
he has fully taken in what has been read. He said once, "I have been
reproached half a dozen times within the last two days as being rather
fractious because I desired to understand the business on which I was
called to vote." August 3, 1854.

The alert and intelligent vigilance which he gives every measure proposed
seems superior to that of all his colleagues. They acknowledge this by the
many inquiries they make of him for information as to pending bills. Thus
June 20, 1860, Green asks him where is the amendment? when was it adopted?
has the house disagreed to it? has it been before a committee? etc., and
every query is answered without hesitation. This but examples how the
other senators very often made a convenience of Toombs's accurate note of
what was passing.

He shows a like readiness upon facts of history--especially English and
American--on clauses of the constitution, or statutes, or treaties,
provisions of the law of nations, principles of political economy,
institutions, commercial systems, customs of particular nations, and all
such topics as may illustrate the pending question, however suddenly it
may have risen. And so he discusses every matter, grave or trivial, with
perfect grasp of the proposition submitted, and with fullness of
knowledge and understanding. He avoids strained and over-ingenious
reasoning. Plain and safe men never disparaged his arguments by calling
them hair-splitting or metaphysical. But though he took his stand upon the
palpable meaning of undisputed facts and the most plainly applicable
doctrines of reason and justice, he displayed an unparalleled power of
formulating in intelligible and striking words the key principles of
common affairs. This gift always found instant appreciation with practical
men, and they admired it as genius. Though he has his eye ever open to
principle, he is the very opposite of the mere doctrinaire. He is
practical, and always pushing business on, except when the bills depleting
the treasury--to use his favorite name for them--are up and likely to pass
because of the coalition between the opposition and the fishy democrats
which he is always exposing with exhaustless variety of language. Only
then he prefers to do nothing.

As to his own measures, he changes words, accepts amendments--in short
makes every concession which will gain him the substance of his desire.

We will here say a little of him as a speaker. He thus describes himself:

    "I speak rapidly; but the idea which I intend to utter generally comes
    out, sometimes perhaps with too much plainness of speech. What I say,
    I mean; and the whole of what I mean generally gets out." July 30,

He shows in the following a contemptuous opinion of written speeches:

    "As a general rule a speech that is fit to be spoken is not fit to be
    printed, and one fit to be printed is not fit to be spoken.... The
    senator from New York [Seward] comes in with his already in type;
    other gentlemen around me, on both sides of the house, from all
    sections of the union, who think proper to write essays, bring them
    here and read them to the senate.... I am not objecting to their
    character, but I would rather read them in my room. Of course nobody
    pays any attention to them here." April 22, 1858.

He did not habitually correct the report of his speeches, as he says May
13, 1858; at the same time entering a general disclaimer as to all that he
does not report himself. This disclaimer must not be pressed too far. If
you are familiar with the man you need not fear being led astray by the
inaccuracies, the number of which he greatly exaggerates. His stamp is so
unmistakable that you always know what is his. Extempore discussion was
his forte. Therefore nearly all the quotations I use in the Life which I
have written I intentionally take from his shorter, impromptu, and
evidently unrevised speeches. These unlabored effusions, it matters not
how dry or small the particular theme may be, have generally the double
merit of showing the true solution and refreshing with figure, apt
illustration, or wit.[101]

In important debate he is conspicuously the strongest man in the senate.
We will run over the leading ones:

July 28, 1854, a bill containing appropriations for places in nearly every
one of the States came up. Through the long debate he evinces uncommon
power and readiness. He is too tart in rejoinder, and too much gives the
rein to invective.

In the two days' debate of the mail steamer appropriation--February 27,
28, 1855,--he distinguishes himself.

February 6, 1856, Toombs, with Hunter and Toucey, supports a resolution
proposing the origination of appropriation bills in the Senate. Sumner and
Seward take the other side. The argument of Seward is very elaborate,
notwithstanding his declaration at the outset that he is wholly
unprepared. It is demolished by Toombs in his most crushing style. Note,
too, how accurate the latter is as to the proceedings of the
constitutional convention, how familiar he is with the abuses of wild
appropriations which he is trying to correct, and how graphically he
depicts them.

July 28, 1856, the Black Lake harbor appropriation is the subject. All
that he says is noticeable for power; especially his replies to
interruptions by Pugh, Wade, and Cass. Though the bill was passed over his
head, as you read the report you feel that his was the actual triumph.

July 30, 1856, another debate of river and harbor improvements. It is
begun by Hunter. Benjamin takes the lead in support of the bill; Toombs
joins discussion with the latter, who by his coolness and adroitness for a
while foils his adversary; but soon Toombs gets his feet firmly on the
constitution, and still more firmly upon the injustice of extorting the
support of commerce from other interests, and he is resistless. The
disputants often put questions to one another. Toombs's promptness to
answer every adverse position is a taking exhibition. It is to be noted
that many sparkling sentences are struck out of him by the incessant
hammering of the others. At the close, he seems either to have wearied or
silenced his opponents. One cannot but feel that this is no arena for a
man who can make only written speeches.

August 4, 1856, the subject being the improvement of the Mississippi,
Toombs urges that the valley is prosperous, and it should improve its
river. The examination he gives the question is profoundly searching.
Towards the conclusion of the debate, Cass reads the counter doctrine of
Calhoun, in the report of latter to the Memphis convention, his reason
being, as he says: "I will confess frankly my object in reading it. The
senator from Georgia has treated the question with great ability; and I
want the same vehicle that carries his remarks to the public to carry
also the opinions and views of Mr. Calhoun, whose authority is vastly
better than mine."

Through the whole of this debate the faculty and force exhibited by Toombs
are wonderful even for him.

Consider all that he says of the proper management of the post-office,
February 28, 1859.

January 30, 1860, there was an animated debate, which occupied the morning
and was renewed in the evening. The vigorous blows which he deals the
coalition passing the appropriations--ever the theme of his severest
reprehension--and the review he makes of each item in the appropriation
bill, taken all in all, are high feats.

His conduct, January 6, 1857, in the Iowa contested election manifests
such rare courage against party and section for the right that it must be
told at some length. We think it belongs with the more important matters
just noticed rather than to its chronological place.

Harlan, a republican, had been sitting for some time as a senator from
Iowa. There was no contestant. The adverse report was grounded upon a
protest of the Iowa senate, stating that that body did not participate in
the so-called joint convention which had affected to elect Harlan. It
appeared that both houses of the Iowa legislature had met in joint
convention, had balloted without result, and the convention had adjourned
to meet at 10 A. M. the next day. On this day the senate--the majority of
its members manifestly being democrats and opposed to the sense of the
joint majority--met in their own chamber and adjourned before the hour
appointed for the assembling of the convention. But a majority of the
senate were present in the convention when it made the election--several
of them having been brought in by the sergeant-at-arms, and who protested
that they did not act in the proceedings. In the United States senate the
democrats were in a majority, but Toombs, who was always above mere party
considerations, supported the cause of Harlan, saying afterwards, "I
maintained his title, black Republican though he was, because I believed
it stood on right." February 15, 1858. The decision was against Harlan;
but I do not think that an unbiased man who regards mere technical rules
as no more than the instruments of justice, will fail to concur with
Toombs. His treatment of the subject is extremely good and entertaining.
Every material fact is given prominence; every important distinction
taken, as, for instance, that the convention, as it could do no
legislative act and did not require the concurrence of the executive, was
not really the legislature, but only the persons constituting the
legislature acting in a body of their own as electors; and further, his
position that after the convention had organized it could proceed with the
election as long as it had a quorum. Having completed a most lawyer-like
and concatenated argument, which is a wonderful exhibition of concise and
exhaustive extemporaneous reasoning, he rises to the higher plane of
statesmanship and justice, in which he shows in a vivid light what a
monstrous evil it would be to approve the factious withdrawal of the
majority of the Iowa senate from the convention. Note especially the many
questions asked him by different members, and the readiness and
satisfactoriness of his answers.[102] It is all in all one of the best
samples of Toombs's dispassionate debate to which I can refer. Very
probably the democrats would have done right by Harlan had it not been for
Bayard's argument, the special effectiveness of which was the use he made
of the case of his own election, in 1839, to the United States senate by
the Delaware legislature. As he stated it, it was this: There being a
majority of one in the Delaware house of representatives in favor of the
opposite party, a majority of that house refused to go into the joint
balloting. Bayard was elected, and it was maintained by his party, the
democrats, that a majority of the members of the two houses had authority
to proceed; but he hesitated, and at last consulted Silas Wright, of New
York. The latter gave a decided opinion that such an election was invalid.
Whereupon Bayard succumbed, and his State was without a senator for two
years. I cannot help feeling that if Wright had considered the subject and
bottomed it on true principle, as Toombs afterwards did, Bayard would have
settled down in the opposite conclusion, and he and Toombs in concert
would have forced their fellow-democrats of the United States senate into
doing justice to an opponent.

Many have been superior to Toombs in making perfect orations, but it is
hard to find in any deliberative body a match for him as a debater.
Charles Fox was a giant; but he did not have the strength, the grip, the
never remitted activity, the infinite thrust, the parry, illustration,
wit, epigram, and invincible appeal to conscience, feeling, and reason--in
short, the complete supply and command of all resources that marked Toombs
as foremost in the pancratium of parliamentary discussion. It ought to add
inexpressible brightness to his fame that he sought for no triumphs except
those of justice and good policy. He was far more than a mere logician in
debate. His brilliant snatches, his sudden uprisings, his thawing humor,
and flashing wit--all these did their part as effectively in winning favor
and working suasion as his array of facts and his ratiocination did theirs
in convincing. He was too prone to use harsh language towards the other
side. There are many places in his speeches where I wish he had used soft
instead of bitter words. That he could observe perfect parliamentary
propriety there are proofs in the _Globe_. Especially would I refer to his
behavior in the Harlan debate, spoken of a moment ago, and his discussion
of the Indiana senatorial election, June 11, 1858. Note the last
especially (belonging volume, 2943-2947) for his moderation, courtesy, and
invitation of question while he is most ably supporting the central
proposition he had before urged in the Iowa case.

Yet, in spite of his occasional vehemence and acrimonious language, he
seems to have the respect and regard of even his most decided political
opponents. Wade and he recognize each the great merit of the other. Once
after applauding his honesty and frankness, Toombs says of him: "He and I
can agree about everything on earth until we get to our sable population,
I do believe." March 22, 1858.

Wade had already said this of Toombs: "I commend the bold and direct
manner in which the senator from Georgia always attacks his opponents."
February 28, 1857.

February 8, 1858, Fessenden said, "I am very happy to get that admission
from the senator from Georgia. It is made with his customary frankness and

Hale also respects him. January 23, 1857, he says that Toombs ought to
have been on the bench, complimenting his desire for justice and fairness
as well as his legal ability.

The northern democrat Simmons loves to praise him, as is evidenced by what
he says June 2, 1858, February 9, 1859, and June 23, 1860.

Such unsought and spontaneous commendations of the great southern partisan
by northern men during the heat of sectional agitation are extraordinarily
strong proofs of his high character as well as great genius.

Of course the southern members showed their appreciation. Especially note
what Bayard says March 21, 1860, and what Butler says January 6, 1857. I
could give many more such; but I shall only add here how, February 14,
1860, by reason of the importunate urgency of some of these, evidently
regarding him as the special southern champion, he is pushed into making
an able rejoinder to Hale, who had just concluded a reply to Toombs's
speech on the Invasion of States.

Toombs's inflexible keeping to what he deemed the right course parallels
the absolute fearlessness with which Julius Cæsar, when a young man, clung
to the wife whom the all-powerful and bloody-minded Sulla commanded him to
put away. The Sulla of America are the people in their unconscientious
moments, and unpopularity the proscription threatened which disquiets
almost all public men with torturing apprehension. And so there is in
nearly every one some admixture of the trimmer. But Toombs never showed
fear either of the people at large or of those of his own State and
locality. He thus scourges juries assessing the value of land condemned
for the government:

    "It has come to such a pass that in getting places for the army, it
    seems to be considered better to be cheated by the owners of a site
    out of a few hundred thousand for $10,000 worth of property rather
    than trust a jury." June 12, 1860.

When he uttered the following he knew it was extremely unpalatable to his

    "The southern States from their sparseness of population do not pay
    all their postal expenses. The whole mail service of the south ought
    to pay its whole expenses, and I am ready to put it on that ground....
    I say the point to retrench is in the south." February 28, 1859.

The following distasteful lesson he read his own State:

    "I know that some of the mail routes in my own neighborhood were taken
    away, and I never was consulted about them, and I never thought it was
    the duty or business of the postmaster-general to consult me. I have
    not been to his office during this winter in regard to a single one;
    and I have been very much complained of, even in my own county and
    town, on account of it.... I have a word to say about the _Isabel_.
    She touches at Savannah; and I have received memorials from people,
    letters from interested people, from the Savannah chamber of commerce,
    and others, saying, 'By all means keep up the _Isabel_; we want it.'
    It is a very popular thing; it is a good ship, and has done its duty
    well. What have I to do but follow my uniform line of policy, and give
    them the same rules as everybody else? Sixteen years' experience
    here--and I was here in 1847, when this steamship system
    commenced--have satisfied me that congressional contracts are always
    unwise, and are the fruitful sources of boundless legislative
    corruption. Therefore, I will never sustain one under any necessity
    whatever." May 28, 1860.

February 22, 1859, though Iverson, his companion from Georgia, was the
other way, he advocated abolishing the mint at Dahlonega in that State,
and the mint also in North Carolina.

The last instance we cite is his declaration, April 25, 1856, that he had
always voted against a claim of the daughter of Governor Irvin of Georgia.

And to this proud independence he was without spot of corruption. This was
never questioned but once. May 13, 1858, he was taunted for having
supported the Galphin claim. When at last he sees that the charge is
seriously urged, in a becoming glow he demands an explanation. A
disclaimer of reflection upon his character being made, he gives a
detailed account of the claim, his steady support of it, and a complete
justification of George W. Crawford in the affair. At its close, Hammond
of South Carolina, who was familiar with all the details, bestowed upon it
his unqualified voucher. The lofty spirit and just indignation informing
this statement of Toombs from beginning to end distinguish it as that of
one who has kept out of dark places and walked so purely in the light that
accusation is far more of a surprise than insult.[103]

He never showed any symptom of the presidential fever, which, to say
nothing of its many other victims, enfeebled each one of the great
trio,--Clay, Calhoun, and Webster. Fully content with his place in the
senate, he did not look elsewhere. Taking popularity at its exact worth;
candid and frank to the extreme; contented in the course dictated by his
judgment and conscience though opposed by his people or party and his own
private interest; in no bargains with men nor smirching connections with
women, doing nothing in secret which, if published, would bring a blush;
elevated above the amiable weaknesses of unwise benevolence, ever
championing with all his powers the righteous cause of the weak and
unpopular,--as exampled in his maintaining the claims of certain persons
in Louisiana to the Houmas land against the formidable opposition of the
two senators from that State, in his extraordinarily eloquent appeal for
the naval officers retired without a hearing, in his heroic endeavor to
have his party seat the republican Harlan; incorruptible and really
consistent forever and always,--when he is scrutinized as a public man his
character rises into a grandeur of unselfishness, firmness of high
purpose, honesty, and power to show and do the right almost superhuman. It
stands by itself awe-striking and imposing.

But let us particularize the special lesson of his senatorial career. We
must begin by suggesting his peculiar bent. It is clear that he chose as
his province commerce and industry, with the related themes of political
economy, finance, the currency, taxation, the tariff, the principles of
exchange and distribution, and so on.[104] He probably had the best
business insight of all our prominent statesmen, Calhoun even not
excepted. Though Hamilton and Webster--the former especially--evince
titanic comprehension of financial theory, yet we see from their lives and
poor money-saving success that commercial and business affairs were not to
them both practice and theory as they were to Toombs. Of all his peers he
was most at home in the ways and principles which dictate proper
legislation as to trade and business. To judge by his words, uttered year
in and year out, nobody else ever saw more clearly that there ought to be
no tariff, improvement, job, or any other pets of government. The latter
should not foster such a class, yearly increasing in number, as it always
will, living idly and luxuriously upon the public income, that is, upon
the labor and property of others. This class supplants the vigorous
products of natural selection by pampered fatlings of bounty, always
raising their demands for support, and ever more and more clamorously
calling for the suppression of all self-supporting competition at home and
abroad. With the moral hardihood of Shakspeare, who shrinks not from
rudely shocking our feelings by making Henry V discard his old boon
companion Falstaff, Toombs never wearied of proclaiming the unpopular
truth that the government ought not to be the helper, guardian, patron,
protector, guarantor, surety, almoner, of any of its citizens. Ponder
these stout-hearted and golden words of his, although the evil represented
therein is now established and magnified into dimensions far beyond what
he could conceive when they were said--an evil, to suppress which let us
hope all patriots will soon unite:

    "Whenever the system shall be firmly established that the States are
    to enter into a miserable scramble for the most money for their local
    appropriations, and that senator is to be regarded the ablest
    representative of his State who can get for it the largest slice of
    the treasury, from that day public honor and property are gone, and
    all the States are disgraced and degraded." February 27, 1857.

He is always preaching against the heinous abuse of diverting government
from impartially guarding the whole community and making it profit only a
few. His text is never far-fetched. He finds it in the proposed
legislation of the day, which it is his duty to consider in his place. He
cares not that he makes no present effect. Just before Bell's bill for
improving the Cumberland river was passed, he said of it and its
companions: "These bills are passing _sub silentio_, and I suppose attempt
to resist is wholly useless. I wish it understood that I do not assent to
their passage. I am opposed to all of them." February 24, 1855.

He sees that the appropriations for harbors and rivers, lighthouses,
private claims, pensions, etc., are almost as baneful as was the
distribution of corn to the Roman populace, and yet the people everywhere
are eager for the corrupting gifts. Against his party, against many of his
section, he fights alone and single-handed, reminding of Horatius keeping
the bridge against the Etruscan host. Though always outvoted, he behaves
with spirit and dignity. Either he, or some one of the faithful few who
act with him in the slim minority, always have the yeas and nays recorded.
His grand purpose was to appeal to the American people upon an issue
involving the article of his creed which he had held up with so much
puissance and fidelity in days of evil report. These words contain the
motto of the long contest which occupied all of his non-sectional career
in the senate:

    "I think every one of these bills should be considered. I do not wish
    to have them considered in such a manner as improperly to occupy the
    time of the senate. I desire to spread before the country reasonable
    information. That is the only purpose we can have now; because the
    combination is sufficient to carry everything that the committee
    report. But there is a day of reckoning to come; and I trust that
    those who support this system will be called to judgment."

    "I desire the truth to go to the honest people all over the country.
    Let the taxpayers look at this matter; let the jobbers beware. 'To
    your tents, O Israel!'" July 29, 1856.

The sectional agitation, mounting higher and higher, as Toombs said often,
blinded the people to this great subject. Secession came, and his
State--to him the only sovereign--called the solitary combatant away from
the ground that ought to be kept forever in loving memory for his long,
desperate, thrice-valiant stand. And the world should also remember that
the clauses of the constitution of the Confederate States, "prohibiting
bounties, extra allowances, and internal improvements," came from

The struggle that wins our deliverance from the monopolists now causing us
to go hungry, cold, and unshod is yet to be. I cannot say when; but I know
it will come soon, and that the people will conquer. As in that day
Calhoun's monetary doctrine will be brought out of its obscurity to add
new lustre to his fame, as I believe, so I believe also that the name of
Robert Toombs will become an object of affectionate reverence to all his
countrymen, and the weighty and eloquent sentences in which he sought to
shield general industry from drones and rivals favored by government, and
in which he advocated that the public burdens be reduced to the minimum,
and then apportioned justly,--these stirring words will be quoted
everywhere to receive at last their due audience and favor. And when no
branch of our government either robs or gives to its citizens, Toombs's
never-remitted, brave, unselfish, and gigantic endeavor to bring on this
millennium ought to be put by Americans in their Sunday-school books. When
we who fought the brothers' war completely forget and forgive, as we soon
will, it will then be understood how much the sectional agitation impeded
him, and that when he was caught away from the senate by the whirlwind of
secession he was only fifty years old, and of such constitutional vigor
that he had the guaranty of at least a quarter of a century more of
undiminished activity. A fond imagination will inquire: Suppose the energy
spent upon the Kansas discussion; the protection of slavery in the
Territories; in the great speech of January 24, 1860, on the Invasion of
States, and in that of January 7, 1861, justifying secession, his supreme
effort, as most of his admirers claim, could have been saved for themes of
Pan-American concern; and suppose him remaining in the senate, eschewing
all other place, with increasing years loved the more by his people for
his courageous fidelity to the right, age assuaging his vehemence and
softening his invective, ripening his judgment and bringing him charity
and wisdom to the full,--to what a height and glory he would have grown!

If there had been no slavery, I verily believe that the south would have
been the leading and most prosperous part of the union, and that Toombs
would have been the greatest American. Stephens knew Webster, Calhoun, and
Clay. The longer he lived the more positive he became in believing that
Toombs was superior in ability to each one of the three. I have heard him
say often that he had never found anything to which he could compare the
power of Toombs, discussing a great theme extempore, except Niagara.

Turning back from these unavailing conjectures, I must say a last word as
to that part of Toombs's career in the senate which I have been
discussing. Its exemplariness is not so much in single great achievements.
It is his uniform attention to the current duties of his place. Whether
the particular duty impending was important or trivial, whether it was
popular or not, it received from him at the proper time whatever effort
was needed for doing it rightly. His performance averages so high in merit
that I cannot find a like. No plodder ever kept more closely to the safe
and beaten path. But he did far more than plod. Almost every day for eight
years he showed how genius can manifest itself fully and fitly and find
its true activity in the common round of affairs; how it can better,
exalt, ennoble, and beautify daily routine. I believe that if you will
reflect over this, you will at last see that such are the greatest of men,
and those that the world most needs.

       *       *       *       *       *

I now take up Toombs's sectional career. The aggressive defence of
slavery, looming in sight as Calhoun is within a few months of death,
called for a leader who did not hug the union, and whose eyes were shut to
everything but the justice and sanctity of the southern cause. Calhoun's
last speech, that of March 4, 1850, was throughout an appeal to the north.
In that same session, and some while before that speech was delivered, the
true apostle of secession begins the proclamation of his mission, and some
time after Calhoun's death and before the end of the session that
portentous proclamation was complete. Robert Toombs--then in his fortieth
year, and having as yet attained but little conspicuousness in
congress--is the man I mean. His appeal was really to the south.

Just after the new congress assembled in December, 1849, a caucus of the
whigs, to which party Toombs then belonged, having met to nominate a
candidate for speaker of the house, he introduced a resolution to the
effect that congress ought not to put any restriction upon any State
institution in the Territories, nor abolish slavery in the District of
Columbia, and, the resolution being rejected, Toombs, Stephens, and a
small number of others retired from the caucus, and they did not act any
further with their party in the organization of the house. Toombs and his
following declared their purpose to disregard former connections and side
with whatever party accorded the south the guaranty demanded by the
resolution above mentioned. As these southern whigs, and also fourteen
northern democrats and whigs, would not support for speaker either Cobb,
the democratic nominee, or Winthrop, the whig, neither one of the two
nominees could muster the majority necessary under the rules for election.
Toombs's tactics were like those of the commons who would not vote the
supplies until the king granted their wishes in other matters. At this
time all the southern democrats and a majority of the southern whigs were
opposed to his action. He was leading what appeared to be a hopeless
advance. This is the beginning.

The next stage is when, after nine days of balloting for speaker without
result, a resolution was introduced declaring Cobb, who had received a
plurality, speaker, when Duer of New York opposing, said he was willing
for the sake of organizing to elect a whig, democrat, or free-soiler--only
that he could not support a disunionist. This manifest reflection upon the
whigs who had held themselves aloof made Toombs break the silence he had
theretofore kept.

He surprised everybody--perhaps himself--with an impromptu of powerful
argument and burning eloquence. Note, in order to compare it with whatever
utterance of Calhoun you please, these passages:

    "Sir, I have as much attachment to the union of these States, under
    the constitution of our fathers, as any freeman ought to have. I am
    ready to concede and sacrifice for it whatever a just and honorable
    man ought to sacrifice. I will do no more. I have not heeded the
    aspersions of those who did not understand or desired to misrepresent
    my conduct or opinions. The time has come when I shall not only utter
    them, but make them the basis of my political action here. I do not,
    then, hesitate to avow before this house and the country, and in the
    presence of the living God, that if by your legislation you seek to
    drive us from the Territories of California and New Mexico, purchased
    by the blood and treasure of the whole people, and to abolish slavery
    in the District, thereby attempting to fix a national degradation upon
    half of the States of this confederacy, _I am for disunion_; and if my
    physical courage be equal to the maintenance of my convictions of
    right and duty, I will devote all I am and all I have on earth to its

    "The Territories are the common property of the United States.... You
    are their common agents; it is your duty while they are in the
    territorial state to remove all impediments to their free enjoyment
    by both sections ... the slaveholder and the non-slaveholder. You have
    made the strongest declarations that you will not perform this trust;
    that you will appropriate to yourselves all the Territories.... Yet
    with these declarations on your lips, when southern men refuse to act
    with you in party caucuses in which you have a controlling
    majority--when we ask the simplest guaranty for the future--we are
    denounced out of doors as recusants and factionists, and indoors we
    are met with the cry of 'Union, union!'"

    "Give me securities that the power of the organization which you seek
    will not be used to the injury of my constituents, then you have my
    co-operation; but not till then.... Refuse them, and, as far as I am
    concerned, 'let discord reign forever.'"

I must emphasize the effect of this speech made December 13, 1849,--nearly
three months before that of Calhoun last mentioned,--and which goes great
lengths beyond anything ever said by Calhoun. The _Globe_ mentions that
the speaker was loudly applauded several times. Stephens, who was present,
says "it received rounds of applause from the floors and the galleries,"
and we can well believe his assertion that it "produced a profound
sensation in the house and in the country."[106] Another eye-witness,
Hilliard of Alabama, a southern whig who was not in sympathy with his
refusal to act with his party, relates with rapturous reminiscence the
full-orbed splendor with which Toombs unexpectedly rose upon the house at
this time. He tells: "A storm of applause greeted this speech. Mr. Toombs
had left his desk and taken his stand in the main aisle and the southern
members crowded about him."[107]

For completeness and height, and for sudden surprise, this speech exceeds
all impromptus on record. To appreciate it you must recognize it as surely
forerunning the future uprising of southerners as one man in what they
deemed the holiest of causes. When you do this you can adapt to it
Webster's words:

    "True eloquence ... does not consist in speech.... It must exist in
    the man, in the subject, and in the occasion.... It comes ... like ...
    the bursting forth of volcanic fires, with spontaneous original,
    native force.... Then patriotism is eloquent, then self-devotion is
    eloquent.... This, this is eloquence; or rather it is something
    greater and higher than all eloquence--it is action, noble, sublime,
    godlike action."

The remaining facts of this remarkable session, which show that Toombs and
not Calhoun was the apostle of secession, can now be told very briefly.

December 14, 1849, debate in the house was prohibited by resolution. On
the 22d the whigs and democrats, in order to organize without agreeing to
the demands of Toombs, joined in a resolution that the person receiving
the largest vote on a certain ballot, if it should be a majority of a
quorum, should be speaker. This was a palpable violation of the rules, but
perhaps authorized by the great emergency. When the resolution was
presented, Toombs, having resolved to prevent any organization until he
had secured the guaranty he was standing for, in defiance of the
prohibition of debate, made a demonstration of his surpassing endowment,
as compared with all other orators, to outmob a hostile mob and scourge
them into respectful audience. He adroitly led Staunton, introducing the
resolution, to yield the floor. Why should he want the floor? The house
had forbidden any discussion, and especially were nine-tenths of them deaf
to him, deeming him the cause of their failure to organize. Announcing his
purpose of discussion, he was called to order. Then a point of order was
raised, which the clerk tried to put. The yeas and nays being demanded,
the clerk began to call the roll. There was turmoil and din, but Toombs
held on, denying the right of anybody to interrupt him, supporting his
attack on the resolution by the constitution, the act of 1789, and the
high authority of John Q. Adams, challenging the right of the clerk
calling the names, and indignantly inquiring of the house how they could
so permit an intruder and an interloper in nowise connected with them to
interrupt their proceedings. At the last he forced the house into quiet,
and completed the argument he had risen to make. You will not understand
this marvellous achievement if you deem it, as many do, to have been
prompted by the pride of ostentation and the rage of turbulence. Toombs
was thinking only of securing the rights of his people. He was as earnest
in this cause as ever Webster was for the union. And destiny,
providence,--not himself nor other men,--was in this juncture revealing
him to the south as her leader.

He now begins to be conscious of his coming leadership, and to feel that
he is an authority and entitled to pronounce _ex cathedra_ upon the
question of southern equality in the disposition of the Territories.
Consequently, February 27, 1850, he made a long speech on the subject of
the admission of California--one far more elaborate and finished than his
average efforts. Especially to be noted is its ending with the famous
words of Troup, "When the argument is exhausted, we will stand by our

One other exploit of Toombs during this session must be told. It crowned
him as the leader of the south.

Excitement had become intense. The extreme northern partisans for bringing
in California were challenged to answer if they ever would vote to admit a
slave State, and they declined to say that they would. Thereupon came from
Toombs an outburst which is perhaps the finest example of his miraculous
extempore declamation which has survived. He did not consume the five
minutes to which he was limited. We append the conclusion, which is a
little more than a third of the whole:

    "We do not oppose California on account of the anti-slavery clause in
    her constitution. It was her right to exclude slavery, and I am not
    even prepared to say she acted unwisely in its exercise--that is her
    business; but I stand upon the principle that the south has the right
    to an equal participation in the Territories of the United States. I
    claim for her the right to enter them all with her property and
    securely to enjoy it. She will divide with you, if you wish it; but
    the right to enter all, or divide, I shall never surrender. In my
    judgment, this right, involving as it does political equality, is
    worth a thousand such unions as we have, even if they each were a
    thousand times more valuable than this. I speak not for others, but
    for myself. Deprive us of this right and appropriate this common
    property to yourselves, it is then your government, not mine. Then I
    am its enemy, and I will, if I can, bring my children and my
    constituents to the altar of liberty, and, like Hamilcar, swear them
    to eternal hostility to your foul domination. Give us our just rights,
    and we are ready, as ever heretofore, to stand by the union, every
    part of it, and its every interest. Refuse it, and for one I shall
    strike for independence."

Stephens, ever a most accurate and trustworthy witness, says that of all
speeches which he heard during his congressional course, which covered the
years 1843-1859, this produced the greatest sensation in the house.[108]
Its effect outside--that is, in the southern public--was widespread, deep,
and permanent. The comparison with which it closed had been, I believe,
used before; but what of that? It exactly voiced the revolutionary
sentiment which, as his deliverances on the 13th of December before
showed, was beginning to come into consciousness in his section. It gave
new impetus to the circulation of the other speeches. The young men of
Georgia, as I know, and perhaps those of other southern States, read them
over and over, reciting with passionate emphasis the most stirring
passages. Especially did they delight to declaim the peroration of the
Hamilcar speech, as that of June 15, 1850, has always been called in
Georgia. To the stump orators, the last mentioned and that of December 13
became examples which they emulated only to find in their despairing
admiration that parallel was impossible. And even the retiring, quiet, and
elderly people who care for nothing but their daily business caught the
fire. Not long ago, one who is now old, who was entering middle age in
1850, and who has been a stanch union man all his life, told me that he
could not keep from reading these speeches over and over, and whenever he
read one of them, it made him for the time a disunionist.

The part played by Toombs in the congressional session of 1849-50 seems to
me one of the most wonderful exploits in all parliamentary annals. Since
slavery is gone, and I can at last understand that it was all blessing to
the African and all curse to us, my joy is inexpressible. But I must ever
hold that its defence was one of the noblest efforts of the best of
people. It will soon be understood by the whole world, and especially by
our brothers of the north. They will acknowledge that neither Greek nor
Scot nor Swiss were more manly or heroic than southerners, and the
supporters of the Lost Cause will be crowned with such lustre and glory as
magnify Hannibal succumbing to Rome, or Demosthenes unvailingly stirring
up his country against Macedon. It will forever bring me ecstatic emotion
to recall the many, many places where my fellows suffered or fell at my
side without a murmur. Our victories at the opening of the brothers' war;
then the drawn battles; then the defeats; and the round of sickening
disasters at the end,--all these come thronging back, and I can never be
other than proud of the prowess and endurance of our out-numbered armies,
the energy and untamable spirit of our people, and the devotion of our
blessed women to the weal of our soldiers. I often look back over the
track of what I have called the aggressive defence of slavery. Though it
was disguised under various names, such as the threat of disunion in
certain contingencies by the Georgia Platform, just division of the public
domain between the sections called for by all parties in the south, and
finally the demand for full protection of slavery in the Territories; and
though it was now and then seemingly at rest, that movement from the day
it set in was in reality one directly towards secession, and it kept on as
steadily as the Propontic. And as I look back at the further edge of this
retrospect, marking the beginning, towering above all who took high place
later,--even above Lee and Jackson,--ever comes more plainly into view the
majestic figure of Robert Toombs, revealing his unsuspected power like a
thunderclap from the sunny sky, December 13, 1849, when he extorts wild
acclamations of applause from the majority of southern whigs and all of
the southern democrats, both unanimous against his stand for a guaranty of
congressional non-restriction; a few days later coercing an infuriated
house trying to cry him down into wondering silence; and through the whole
session upholding his cause with such might that the single champion
proves an overmatch for the two parties striking hands against him, and he
finally conquers preaudience and dictation upon the main southern theme.

I become more and more confident that future history will find the
achievement of Toombs in the session of 1849-50 to be the exact point
where the drift towards secession, which had before that been only latent
and potential, becomes actual, and that here is the dawn of the
Confederate States. The more I gaze at it the plainer and redder that dawn

We need not tell the rest of Toombs's sectional career with much detail.
The all-important part of it historically is its beginning, and how he
vaulted into the lead of the aggressive defence of the south, which I hope
I have adequately told. From this time he showed in all that he did the
quality which Mommsen glorifies in Julius Cæsar,--ready insight into the
possible and impossible. Much discontent manifested itself in Georgia, and
also in Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina, against the compromise
measures, and especially against the admission of California with its
constitution prohibiting slavery. A convention being called in Georgia to
consider what should be done, there was thorough discussion. An
overwhelming majority of delegates opposing any resistance was elected. To
this result Toombs contributed more than any one else, and he really
shaped the platform finally promulgated by the convention. This--the
Georgia Platform of 1850, as we always called it--is a most important
document to the historian; for it was the weighed and solemn declaration
of some nine-tenths of the people of a pivotal southern State.

The southern-rights men, as a small but noisy part of the southern people
then called themselves, had mistaken Toombs's last-mentioned speeches in
congress as declarations for immediate disunion in case California was
admitted under her free constitution; and when he supported the compromise
measures, and also the Georgia Platform, they hotly denounced him as a
turncoat. In their blind fury they could not see, as everybody else did,
that vehement and fervent language, proper to awaken one's people from
perilous apathy, may really be at the time understatement, and that, after
the people have awakened, to seek in that same language the counsel of
right action would be the extreme of immoderate folly. The more you
meditate it the more plainly you discern that his leadership was masterly.
From the first to the last his appeal was to the middle class of property
owners--then so numerous that it was practically the whole of southern
society. His object at the first, as he declared, was to make with this
class the protection of their fundamental property interest the prominent
question of national politics. And the end showed that he not only took,
but that he kept, the right road. The Georgia Platform became the bible of
every political following in the State. The next year, 1851, Toombs, still
a whig, supported Howell Cobb, a democrat, for governor against McDonald,
one of the most popular men of the State, the southern-rights candidate.
Toombs's side, which won by a large majority, was called the union party.
You will not be deceived by this if you keep in mind that Cobb was elected
on the Georgia Platform, which had pledged the people of the State to
resist, even to disunion, certain named encroachments upon slavery which
providence had already ordered to be made.

In 1848 Yancey had aroused the people of Alabama into demanding that the
United States protect slavery in the Territories, and he advocated
secession in 1850. But in both these things he was premature. As compared
with Toombs he uncompromisingly stood for every tittle of what he believed
were the rights of the south. Toombs was a far more practical and able
opportunist. His falling back upon the Georgia Platform from a much more
advanced position, as I have just told, is an instance. I want to give
others. He always declared in private conversation after the war that the
democratic party was ripened and committed by Douglas and his co-workers
to the repeal of the Missouri compromise while he was kept away from
Washington by necessary attention to the interests of a widowed sister,
otherwise, with his commanding position at the time, he would have crushed
the scheme at its first proposal. When he returned to his public duties,
to his amazement he found that every prominent member of the party was
irrevocably for the repeal, and he could do nothing but embrace the
inevitable. Then he would say substantially, "Had it not been for that
administratorship which I could not avoid taking, we would all still be
working our slaves in peace and comfort. That Missouri settlement was not
right, but we had agreed to it; and with me a wrong settlement, when I
agree to it, is just as binding as a righteous one."

When others are urging that the United States ought to protect slavery in
the Territories, the record does not show that he is interested at first;
although when at last the question is forced into debate he makes by far
the strongest speech of all in championship of the Davis resolutions. I
believe the current sucked him in.

Just after Lincoln's election--an event which influenced nearly all of
even the most moderate elderly people of my acquaintance to declare at
once for a southern confederacy--he proposed that Stephens join with him
in an address to the people of Georgia, counselling that no immediate
secessionist nor non-resistance man be elected to the convention;[109] and
later he professed willingness to accept the Crittenden compromise.

The truth is that the ablest leaders, as we call them, do not lead--they
are led. If they should become non-representative, their followers would
go elsewhere. And those of these leaders whose influence is the most
potent and permanent are the conservative and moderate. Toombs was never
really ahead in the southern movement except when for a brief while in the
session of 1849-50 he planted the standard far to the front and called his
people forward. Afterwards there were always others who appeared to be
fighting much in advance of him.

He companioned his people as they steadily developed their readiness for
the dread action commanded by the Georgia Platform if the north should say
not another inch of extension for slavery, and no extradition of fugitive
slaves. Of course he matured in feeling for secession far beyond what
appeared to be his ripeness in 1850. With all his conservatism, he was of
that stuff out of which the most earnest and biased partisans are made.
There are many who can admit nothing against those they love, and a still
larger number who hug their country with a religious acceptance of
everything in it as the best in the world. To him and his people, the
south, under the mighty influence of the nationalization we have
explained, had long been unconsciously displacing the union in their
hearts. As one may learn from his Tremont Temple lecture, he saw and
magnified all of the good in the society to which he belonged, and was as
blind to the bad as a mother is to the faults of her children. He was
often heard to run through an enumeration of southern superiorities. The
courage and valor of the men, the virtue and loveliness of the women, the
purity of the administration of justice and of the performance of all
public duties; especially did he love to say that the honesty of his
section was so well established that its few venal congressmen were like a
woman of easy virtue in a good family, whom the reputation of the latter
keeps from solicitation; and he would fall to praising the kingliness of
cotton, the beneficence of slavery both to master and slave, the delicacy
of our yam, the excelling flavor given by crab grass to beef and butter,
the juice of the peach of Middle Georgia, sweeter than nectar, the
incomparable melon, and cap the climax by asserting persimmon beer to be
more acceptable to the palate of a connoisseur than any champagne. And in
the days just preceding the great outbreak he had become more intense in
his deep love for his State and section. The raid of John Brown into
Virginia was, I think, the event which turned the scale with him, and made
him feel that secession was near. Taking the occasion offered by Douglas's
resolution, directing the judiciary committee to report a bill for the
protection of each State against invasion by the authorities and
inhabitants of other States, January 24, 1860, he delivered in the senate
a speech which we must notice. It is common in Georgia to adopt the eulogy
of Stephens and pronounce the speech of January 7, 1861, justifying
secession, as Toombs's greatest effort. But I hesitate, unable to decide
which is superior. He states his propositions thus:

    "I charge, first, that this organization of the abolitionists has
    annulled and made of no effect a fundamental principle of the federal
    constitution in many States, and has endeavored and is endeavoring to
    accomplish the same result in all non-slaveholding States.

    Secondly, I charge them with openly attempting to deprive the people
    of the slaveholding States of their equal enjoyment of, and equal
    rights in, the common Territories of the United States, as expounded
    by the supreme court, and of seeking to get the control of the federal
    government, with the intent to enable themselves to accomplish this
    result by the overthrow of the federal judiciary.

    Thirdly, I charge that large numbers of persons belonging to this
    organization are daily committing offences against the people and
    property of the southern States which, by the law of nations, are good
    and sufficient causes of war even among independent States; and
    governors and legislatures of States, elected by them, have repeatedly
    committed similar acts."

The facts are reviewed closely and summed up with extraordinary force; the
subject is treated as carefully under the law of nations as under the
constitution; the quotation from Mill's "Moral Sentiments," and that from
Thucydides, narrating the successful effort of Pericles in persuading the
Athenians to resort to war rather than concede the right of the Megareans
to receive their revolted slaves, are appositely used; the conviction that
there is no longer safety for the south in the union speaks out in every
line; and, with the exception of a few overheated passages, the entire
speech is from the loftiest height of the statesman who bids his people
arm for self-preservation. Just preceding the peroration there are
paragraphs describing nervously and graphically the great resources of the
south and her rapid development from feeble beginnings, one of which
especially emphasizes the past and present of Virginia, adding at the last

  "One blast upon her bugle horn
  Were worth a million men."

Next before this are words which invoke the northern democracy, but they
seem out of place and foreign. He abruptly ends his appeal to the national
classes who have his respect by saying, "The union of all these elements
may yet secure to our country peace and safety. But if this cannot be
done, peace and safety are incompatible with this union. Yet there is
safety and a glorious future for the south. She knows that liberty in its
last analysis is but the blood of the brave. She is able to pay the price
and win the blessing. Is she ready?"

The last three sentences are the southern correlative of Webster's soaring
when he magnified the union in his reply to Hayne. They were repeated over
and over by everybody with a wild acceptance utterly without parallel in
my knowledge, and after the election of Lincoln became the war cry of

The position taken in the very conclusion of this truly Periclean speech
is especially to be attended to here. It is that in the event of the
success of the republican party in the next presidential election the
people of his State must redeem their pledge made nine years before in the
Georgia Platform.

From this time on he is _facile primus_ of southern champions. Note his
long and elaborate reply to Doolittle, February 27, 1860; the discussion
with Wade, March 7, 1860,--both relating to his speech last noticed above;
and his very able argument, May 21, 1860, on the duty of protecting
slavery in the Territories.

During the presidential campaign of 1860 the Douglas men and the Americans
in Georgia charged the supporters of Breckinridge with plotting disunion
that would bring on war. The charge was generally denied. The truth is,
hardly anybody was aware that the awful crisis was near. Those who really
expected secession believed with Howell Cobb and his brother Thomas, and
with Thomas W. Thomas, that it would be peaceable, and perhaps they were
about a tenth; the rest followed Stephens, believing that the American
people on each side of Mason and Dixon's line would, when it was demanded,
rise up in resistless co-operation and make safe both southern
institutions and the union. Generally Stephens was far superior to Toombs
in forecast and discernment of the sentiment of the masses. But while the
former was too wise to consider even for one moment the probabilities of
peaceable secession, he had a most un-American conviction that nothing
good was ever gained by war, and he so loved peace and the union that he
could not believe his people would secede. In his great sympathies Toombs
was here far more clear-sighted. While he was the only speaker in this
presidential campaign that was disrespectful to the union, often calling
it in derision "the gullorious," and he gave no promise that withdrawal
from the union would be peaceful, and so appeared to be to himself and
alone, he was really the only one riding the waves of the undercurrent
rising every day nearer the surface, and soon to sweep all of us onward
upon its raging waters. The other speakers discussed the rival platforms,
but the nearer election day approached the more potently he was preparing
the people and himself for secession, though unawares to both. And when
Lincoln was elected,--the man who had solemnly published his belief that
this government could not endure permanently part slave and part free,--an
occurrence which aroused the south throughout as the firing upon Fort
Sumter afterwards aroused the north, Toombs drank in every accession to
the emotion of his people, and towered more largely before them every day
as the soul of the revolution now palpable in its coming to all. When
secession was debated before the Georgia legislature, after enumerating
what he declared to be the wrongs of the south, he said, "I ask you to
give me the sword; for if you do not give it to me, as God lives, I will
take it myself." In his immortal eulogy of the union the next night,
Stephens quoted these words, and Toombs, who was present, answered in a
voice of thunder, "I will." The house rocked to and fro with frenzied
applause. Long afterwards Stephens told me that this outburst was the
first revealing sign to him that his people were rushing to war. He lost
his breath while gasping out the awful word, and there was terror in his
looks as if the direful ghost had risen again. Some ardent secessionists
professed themselves ready to drink all the blood that would be spilled,
but Toombs, in his warlike nature, was already revelling in the joy of
fighting for his people in this most sacred of causes. In one of his
speeches he eulogized beforehand those who were to fall in defence of the
south, giving them the requiem of sleeping forever where

  "Honor guards with solemn round
  The silent bivouac of the dead."

I did not hear this, but a friend told me that the speaker's electric
recitative made the hackneyed words forever new and fresh to him.

I must go faster. January 7, 1861, Toombs made in the United States senate
his famous defence of secession. He presented in behalf of the south these
demands expressed in writing:

1. Any person to be permitted to settle in any Territory, with any of his
property, including slaves, and be protected in his property till such
Territory is admitted as a State on an equality with the other States,
with or without slavery as its people may determine.

2. Property in slaves to receive everywhere from the United States
government the same protection which under the constitution it can give
any other property, it being reserved to each State to deal with slavery
within its limits as it pleases.

3. Extradition of persons committing crimes against slave property, as
commanded by the constitution.

4. Extradition of fugitive slaves as commanded by the same constitution.

5. Congress to pass efficient laws punishing all persons aiding or
abetting invasion of a State or insurrection therein, or committing any
other act against the law of nations that tends to disturb the
tranquillity of the people or government of the State.

It is plainly evident to the unprejudiced that he had the warrant of the
constitution, the law of nations, of the practice and professions of the
great body of even northern citizens ever since the adoption of the
constitution, for every one of these demands. It is also as plainly
evident that every one was vital to each southern community, founded as it
was from basement to roof, upon property in slaves. The justice of his
demands could not be denied without repudiating the constitution, the law
of nations, and the solemn compacts of the fathers, their children and
children's children. And providence had really made each one of these
astounding repudiations, in her purpose to extirpate slavery as the only
menace to the American union, even if the people so dear to Toombs must be
all cast out of their prosperity and comfort into beggary. But when a man
is fighting for his loved ones,--especially if he is fighting for his
country,--and he has the valor of Toombs, his not-to-be-shaken conviction
is that providence is on his side, and the nearer great disaster
approaches, the stouter becomes his heart. Toombs's support of his
demands, and his defence of what he knew the south would do if they were
refused, are the most earnest words he ever spoke. Note these paragraphs:

    "You cannot intimidate my constituents by talking to them about
    treason. They are ready to fight for the right with the rope around
    their necks."

    "You not only want to break down our constitutional rights; you not
    only want to upturn our social system; your people not only steal our
    slaves and make them freemen to vote against us; but you seek to
    bring an inferior race into a condition of equality, socially and
    politically, with our own people. The question of slavery moves not
    the people of Georgia one half as much as the fact that you insult
    their rights as a community. You abolitionists are right when you say
    that there are thousands and ten thousands of men in Georgia, and all
    over the south, who do not own slaves. A very large portion of the
    people of Georgia own none of them. In the mountains there are
    comparatively few of them; but no part of our people are more loyal to
    their race and country than our brave mountain population; and every
    flash of the electric wires brings me cheering news from our mountain
    tops and our valleys that these sons of Georgia are excelled by none
    of their countrymen in loyalty to the rights, the honor, and the glory
    of the commonwealth. They say, and well say, this is our question; we
    want no negro equality, no negro citizenship; we want no mongrel race
    to degrade our own; and as one man they would meet you upon the
    border, with the sword in one hand and the torch in the other. We will
    tell you when we choose to abolish this thing; it must be done under
    our direction, and according to our will; our own, our native land
    shall determine this question, and not the abolitionists of the north.
    That is the spirit of our freemen."

Here is the grand conclusion:

    "This man, Brown, and his accomplices, had sympathizers. Who were
    they? One who was, according to his public speeches, his defender and
    laudator, is governor of Massachusetts. Other officials of that State
    applauded Brown's heroism, magnified his courage, and no doubt
    lamented his ill success. Throughout the whole north, public meetings,
    immense gatherings, triumphal processions, the honors of the hero and
    conqueror, were awarded to this incendiary and assassin. They did not
    condemn the traitor; think you they abhorred the treason?

    Yet ... when a distinguished senator from a non-slaveholding State
    proposed to punish such attempts at invasion and insurrection, Lincoln
    and his party say before the world, 'Here is a sedition law.' To carry
    out the constitution, to protect States from invasion and suppress
    insurrection therein, to comply with the laws of the United States is
    a 'sedition law,' and the chief of this party treats it with contempt;
    yet, under the very same clause of the constitution which warranted
    this bill, you derive your power to punish offences against the law of
    nations. Under this warrant you have tried and punished our citizens
    for meditating the invasion of foreign States; you have stopped
    illegal expeditions; you have denounced our citizens engaged therein
    as pirates and commended them to the bloody vengeance of a merciless
    enemy. Under this principle alone you protect our weaker neighbors of
    Cuba, Honduras, and Nicaragua. By this alone are we empowered and
    bound to prevent our people from conspiring together, giving aid,
    money, or arms to fit out expeditions against a foreign nation.
    Foreign nations get the benefit of this protection; but we are worse
    off in the union than if we were out of it. Out of it we should have
    the protection of the neutrality laws. Now you can come among us;
    raids may be made; you may put the incendiary torch to our dwellings,
    as you did last summer for hundreds of miles on the frontier of Texas;
    you may do what John Brown did, and when the miscreants escape to your
    States you will not punish them, you will not deliver them up.
    Therefore, we stand defenceless. We must cut loose from the accursed
    'body of this death,' even to get the benefit of the law of nations.

    You will not regard confederate obligations; you will not regard
    constitutional obligations; you will not regard your oaths. What,
    then, am I to do? Am I a freeman? Is my State a free State? We are
    freemen. We have rights; I have stated them. We have wrongs; I have
    recounted them. I have demonstrated that the party now coming into
    power has declared us outlaws, and is determined to exclude thousands
    of millions of our property from the common Territories, that it has
    declared us under the ban of the union, and out of the protection of
    the law of the United States everywhere. They have refused to protect
    us by the federal power from invasion and insurrection, and the
    constitution denies to us in the union the right either to raise
    fleets or armies for our defence. All these charges I have proved by
    the record; and I put them before the civilized world and demand the
    judgment of to-day, of to-morrow, of distant ages and of heaven
    itself, upon the justice of these causes. I am content, whatever may
    be the event, to peril all in so noble, so holy a cause. We have
    appealed time and time again for these constitutional rights. You have
    refused them. We appeal again. Restore us these rights as we had them,
    as your court adjudges them to be just as our people have said they
    are; redress these flagrant wrongs, seen of all men, and it will
    restore fraternity and peace and unity to all of us. Refuse them, and
    what, then? We shall ask you, 'Let us depart in peace.' Refuse that,
    and you present us war. We accept it; and inscribing upon our banners
    the glorious words 'Liberty and Equality,' we will trust to the blood
    of the brave and the God of battles for security and tranquillity."

No new nation about to be launched upon a sea of blood was ever heralded
with words that were above these in appeal to the conscience and strongest
affections of humanity. They are not outvied by those of Patrick Henry
reported by Wirt, or those of John Adams reported by Webster, which the
world will ever treasure as all gold. O that he had corrected them! He
could not use the file, as we have already said.

Soon after making the speech he went away from the senate without taking
leave. March 14, 1861, that body passed a resolution reciting that the
seats before occupied by Brown, Davis, Mallory, Clay, Toombs, and Benjamin
had become vacant, and directing that the secretary omit their names from
the roll.

It was clear from his incomparable and faultless leadership of the active
defence of the south, and his unique ability in affairs, that he was the
choice of the directors of southern nationalization for president of the
Confederate States; but these were overcome by stronger spirits, and Davis
was made president. I have always believed that Toombs regarded this as
the great miscarriage of his life. He could not continue his connection
with the unbusinesslike conduct of the administration, and he retired from
his secretaryship of state. Read what his superiors say of him at
Sharpsburg, and what Dick Taylor with admiration tells of the help he
afterwards got from him in a dark hour, as specimens of his gallantry and
efficiency in the service. But his was not the nature of Epaminondas, to
doff his natural supereminence and sweep the streets. Pegasus did not show
more unsuited to the plow than he did to his inferior station in this
stage of the great conflict which was his meat and drink.

The collapse came, flight from America, return at last to his stricken
people, and disability for the rest of his life. Though he had something
of even a great career at the bar, and in State politics, his longing for
the old south and discontent with the new increased, slowly at first, then
faster and faster. As infirmity from age came on apace, and his wife whom
he had always made his good angel went to heaven, every day he became more
lonely. He had survived _his_ country. Such love as his for that loves but
once and always. The sacrifices that he had made for it became his
treasures. He hugged his disability as his most precious jewel. Our
gallant Gordon was not more proud of the scars on his face. Not long
before his mind and memory were failing, speaking of the past, he said
with the utmost firmness: "I regret nothing but the dead and the failure.

  'Better to have struck and lost,
  Than never to have struck at all.'"

What a fall! Greater by far than Lucifer's. Lucifer was rightfully cast
out because of heinous offence. But Toombs was cashiered because he had
been the best, ablest, and most faithful servant of his people, whose
dearest rights were in jeopardy. According to our merely human view it is
the way of fiends to reward such supremacy in virtue and achievement with
hell pains. If we cannot hope confidently, may not we survivors at least
send up sincere prayers that the Lord will yet give this Job of the old
south twice as much of fair fame as he had before.

If the defeated in the wars between England and Scotland and in the
English civil wars; and if Cromwell and the regicides who set up a
government that had to fall,--if all these have found respectful and fully
appreciative mention at last, why shall not Calhoun and Toombs look to
have the same after some years be passed? Trusting that such will come, I
close this sketch by suggesting where Toombs will, I think, be niched in
American history.

He is often spoken of as the southern correspondence to Wendell Phillips.
There was nothing whatever in common between the two except extraordinary
fluency of zealous speech. Early in life, Phillips, almost a mere boy,
broke with Mrs. Grundy by advocating abolition before his neighbors were
ripe for it. While Toombs cared nothing for Mrs. Grundy, he always so
comported himself that he was her great authority. He was a very able
lawyer, who had made a considerable fortune by practice, and a thorough
statesman, when fate confided the southern lead to him; and while Phillips
was reckless and rash, Toombs never, never essayed the impossible with his
people. The more you balance him and Phillips against each other, the more
unlike you will find them. Prof. William Garrott Brown is quite correct in
pairing Phillips and Yancey.

There is a northern character to whom Toombs as a southern opposite
corresponds in so many important particulars that it surprises me it has
not been proclaimed. As Webster was the special apostle of the
preservation of the union, Toombs was the same of secession. Their
missions were parallel in that each one was the foremost champion of his
nationality, Webster of the Pan-American, as we may call it; and Toombs of
the southern. All through the brothers' war their phrases were on the lips
and fired the hearts of each host, those of Webster impelling to fight for
the union, those of Toombs for the southern confederacy. Each was probably
the ablest lawyer of his day. Each was surely the ablest debater to be
found. Each was of sublime courage in defying what he thought to be unjust
commands of his constituents. And the last point which I think of is that
each was of most complete and perfect physical development, and was the
most majestic presence of his day. The busiest men in the streets of all
sorts and ranks always found time to look upon either Webster or Toombs as
he passed, and admire. I never saw Webster. But I believe that from his
pictures, from long study of his best speeches, and from what I have
greedily read and heard of him in a fond lifelong contemplation, I have an
almost perfect figure of him before my mind's eye. Toombs from my boyhood
I saw often. I will describe him as I observed him at the hustings just
before the war. His face, almost as large as a shield, but yet not out of
proportion, was in continual play from the sweetest smile of approval to
the scowl of condemnation, darkening all around like a rising
thundercloud. His flowing locks tossed to and fro over his massive brow
like a lion's mane, as was universally said. In every attitude and gesture
there was a spontaneous and lofty grace--not the grace of the
dancing-master, but the ease and repose of native nobility. His face was
not Greek, but in his total he looked the extreme of classic symmetry and
the utmost of power of mind, will, and act. Princely, royal, kingly, even
godlike, were the words spontaneously uttered with which men tried in vain
to tell what they saw in him. He and just one other were the only men of
my observation whose greatness, without their saying a word, spoke plainly
even to strangers. That other man was Lee. I noted, when we were near
Chambersburg in Pennsylvania those three or four days before the great
battle, that, while the natives would curiously inquire the names of
others of our generals as they rode by, every one instantaneously
recognized Lee as soon as he came near. This publication of her chosen in
their mere outside which destiny makes is not to be slighted nor
underprized. And so remember that Webster looked the greatest of all men
of the north, and Toombs the greatest of all men of the south.

To my mind I give each unsurpassable praise and glory when I call Webster
the northern Toombs and Toombs the southern Webster.

       *       *       *       *       *

I add a note by way of epilogue. I observe with pain that the obloquy
against Toombs in the north seems to increase, while that against him in
the rising generation of the south--who do not know him at all--is surely
increasing. It is, however, a growing consolation to me to note that every
charge, currently made against him north or south, is founded either upon
complete mistake of fact or the grossest misunderstanding of his character
and career. It is a duty of mine not only to him as my dead and revered
friend, but a high duty to my country, to set him in his right place in
the galaxy of America's best and greatest. I never knew a man of kinder or
more benevolent heart; nor one who had more horror of fraud, unfairness,
and trick; nor one whiter in all money transactions; nor one whose
longing and zeal for the welfare of neighbors and country were greater;
nor one who showed in his whole life more regard for the rights and also
the innocent wishes of everybody. The model men of the church, such as Dr.
Mell and Bishop George Pierce, loved him with a fond and cherishing love.
The humblest and plainest men were attracted to him, and they gave him
sincere adulation. Many of my contemporaries remember rough old Tom
Alexander, the railroad contractor. I saw him one day in a lively talk
with Toombs. As he passed my seat while leaving the car he whispered to
me: "Bob Toombs! his brain is as big as a barrel and his heart is as big
as a hogshead." From 1867 until 1881 I was often engaged in the same cases
with Toombs, either as associate or opposing counsel, and I saw a great
deal of him. It falls far short to say that he was the most entertaining
man I ever knew. He was just as wise in judgment as he was original and
striking in speech. I am sure that his superiority as a lawyer towered
higher in the consultation room just before the trial than even in his
able court conduct. And he led just as wisely and preeminently in the
politics of that day, when it was vital to the civilization of the south
to nullify the fifteenth amendment. Georgia would indeed be an ungrateful
republic should she forget his part in the constitution of 1877. That was
deliverance from the unspeakable disgrace of nine years--a constitution
made by ignorant negroes, also criminals who, to use the words of Ben
Hill, sprang at one bound from State prisons into the constitutional
convention, and some native deserters of the white race--the constitution
so made kept riveted around our necks by the bayonet. The good work would
have remained undone for many years had not Toombs advanced $20,000 to
keep the convention, which had exhausted its appropriation, in session
long enough to finish our own constitution. The railroad commission
established by that instrument is really his doing. This post-bellum
political career of his, in which he restored his stricken State to her
autonomy and self-respect, has not yet won its full appreciation.

If Toombs could but be delineated to the life in his extempore action,
advice, and phrase he would soon attain a lofty station in world
literature. It mattered not what he was talking about,--an affair of
business or of other importance, communicating information, telling an
experience, complimenting a girl, disporting himself in the maddest
merriment, as he often did after some great accomplishment,--his language
flashed all the while with a planet-like brilliancy, and the matter was of
a piece. Those of us who hang over Martial, how we learn to admire his
perpetual freshness and variety! But when we compare him with Catullus,
his master, we note that while his epigram is always splendid, the
language is commonplace beside that of the other.[110] Toombs was even
more than Martial in exhaustless productivity and unhackneyed point, and
his words always reflected, like those of Catullus, the hues of Paradise.
Perhaps a reader exclaims, "As I do not know Martial and Catullus your
comparison is nothing to me." Well, I tell him that I have read Shakspeare
from lid to lid more times than I can say, and that I have long been close
friends with every one of his characters, all the way from Lear, Othello,
Hamlet, and Macbeth at the top, down to his immortal clowns at the bottom.
Surely with this experience it can be said of me, "The man has seen some
majesty." I have often tried, and that with the help of a few intimates
almost as deeply read in Shakspeare as myself, to find in the dainty plays
an equal to Toombs throwing away everywhere around him with infinite
prodigality gems of unpremeditated wisdom and phrase. Samuel Barnett,
Linton Stephens, Henry Andrews and my cousin, his wife, Samuel Lumpkin,
and S. H. Hardeman, all of whom knew him well, were among these. The end
of every effort would be our agreement that Shakspeare himself could
hardly have made an adequately faithful representation of Toombs.

The mental torture of the last three or four years of his life I must
touch upon again. The most active anti-slavery partisan and most scarred
soldier of the union will compassionate if he but contemplate. I met him
only now and then. As I read his feelings--one eye quenched by cataract
and the other failing fast; his contemporaries of the bar and political
arena dead; the wife whom he loved better than he did himself sinking
under a disease gradually destroying her mind; ever harrowed with the
thought that his country was no more, and that he was a foreigner and
exile in the spot which he had always called home,--though I was full of
increasing joy over the benefit of emancipation to my people and gladness
at the promise of reunited America, my tranquillity would take flight
whenever he came into my mind. He was that spectacle of a good man in a
hopeless struggle against fate that moves enemies to pity. To me his last
state was more tragic and pathetic than that of Oedipus.

Of course his powers were declining. I know that he would never have drank
too much if there had been no sectional agitation, secession, war, nor
reconstruction. His appetite was never that insane thirst, as I have heard
him call it, which impels one into delirium tremens. He always
disappointed his adversaries at the bar calculating that drink would
disable him at an important part of the conduct. Others as well as myself
can testify to this. Near the end he deliberately chose to drain full cups
of purpose to sweeten bitter memories. With moderation he had more
assurance of longevity than any other of his generation; and he would, I
verily believe, have been green and flourishing in his hundredth year. He
lost his rare faculty of managing money. It was a shock of surprise to me
when the fire in August, 1883, disclosed that he had let the insurance of
his interest in the Kimball house run out shortly before. It was a
pitiable sight to see him in his growing blindness and wasting frame armed
by his negro servant along the streets of Atlanta in his last visits to
the place. During all this time he was dying by inches.

But the sun going down behind heavy clouds would now and then send forth
rays of the old glory. It was in May, 1883, during the session of the
superior court of Wilkes, where I had some of my old business to wind up,
that I was last in his house. He had made invitations to dinner without
keeping account. At the hour his sitting-room was densely packed. A few of
us were late. When we arrived many were compounding their drinks. He
hospitably suggested to us new-comers that there was still some standing
room around the sideboard. In a little while the throng was treading the
well-known way to the dining-hall, which we overflowed so suddenly that
his niece, whom Mrs. Toombs, then keeping her room, had charged with
seeing the table laid, was astounded to find she could not seat all of the
bidden guests. Just as her flurry was beginning to make us uncomfortable
our host entered. In spite of his infirmity and purblindness he took in
the situation with his wonted quickness. He said in a tone of tender
remonstrance to his niece, "O, I do not object to having more friends
than room; it is usually the other way in this world." And with despatch
and order he had the surplus given seats at side tables. My eyes
moistened. I had an unhappy presentiment that this was my last observation
of the only man I ever knew whose fine acts and words never waited when
occasion called. I was aroused by the whisper of a neighbor, "Can any one
else in the world do such a beautiful thing on the spur of the moment?"
The admiring looks that followed inspired him, and his talk seemed to have
more than its old lustre and gleam.

In his final illness, when paralysis was slowly creeping up his frame, and
he had lost the sense of place and time, he would now and then start from
his stupor and send across the State a bolt from the bow which no other
could bend. Somebody spoke of a late meeting of "prohibition fanatics."
"Do you know what is a fanatic?" he asked unexpectedly. "No," was replied.
"He is one of strong feelings and weak points," Toombs explained. And
overhearing another say that an unusually prolonged session of the State
legislature had not yet come to an end, he exclaimed with urgency, "Send
for Cromwell!"

He died December 15, 1885, in his seventy-sixth year.

If I have told the truth in this chapter,--and God knows I have tried my
utmost to tell it,--ought not my brothers and sisters of each section to
lay aside their angry prejudices and bestow at last upon the only and
peerless Toombs the love and admiration which are the due reward of his
virtues, his towering example, his wonder-striking achievements, and his
incomparable genius? May that power which incessantly makes for
righteousness, and which always in the end has charity to conquer hate,
soon bring to us who really knew him our dearest wish!



If you are not balked by adherence, either to the rapidly waning
overpositiveness of materialism, or to the ferocious orthodoxy which
denies that there has been any providential interference in human affairs
since that told of in the bible; and if you are exempt from the fear of
being regarded as superstitious which keeps a great number of even the
most cultivated people forever in a fever of incredulity as to every
example of what they call the supernatural, you have long since become
convinced that evolution is intelligently guided by some power or powers
in the unseen. I seem to myself to discern plainly in many important
crises of history the palpable influence of what are to me the directors
of evolution. Washington, to found our great federation, and Lincoln to
perpetuate it--these come at once as examples. Now follow me while I try
to show you what the directors did in preparation for and in conduct of
the brothers' war, of purpose that the north should triumph and save the
union. Of course I am precluded from all attempt to be exhaustive. I shall
only glance at a few of the facts that appear to me cardinal and most

In the first place, they deferred the war until under the effect of
foreign immigration the population of the north greatly outnumbered that
of the south and had become almost unanimous against slavery; and until
the south was almost entirely dependent upon her railroads and her river
and ocean commerce. Had secession occurred because of the excitement over
the application of Missouri for admission into the union with a slave
constitution, there might have been a war, but it would have been short,
the end being that every foot of the public domain admitting of profitable
slave culture would have fallen to the south. Suppose a serious effort had
been made in 1833 to collect the revenue in South Carolina, how long would
the south have endured invasion of the little State and slaughter of its
citizens? Even President Jackson would have soon forgotten his enmity to
Calhoun and recognized that blood is thicker than water. The time was not
then ripe, as the directors saw; and so they effected an adjustment of the
controversy. It did not suit the directors to have the war commence in
1850, for there was at the time no general use of ironclads, and the
railroad system was far from completion. Consider for a moment the
advantage to the north of having gunboats and the disadvantage to the
south of not having them. Fort Donelson really fell because of gunboats.
Grant got re-enforcements in time to save him from disastrous defeat at
Shiloh because of the command of the river by gunboats. The gunboats
caused the fall of Vicksburg. And it was the holding of the James from its
mouth to Fort Darling by gunboats which gave Grant such secure grip at
Petersburg that Richmond had to fall at last, and with it the confederacy.

Now a word as to the southern railroads. Next to the navigable rivers they
were the lines of easiest penetration to invaders. Remember how the
British in 1898 advanced in Africa only as they completed their railroad
behind them. Of course had the railroad been already made their advance
would have been along it. How could Sherman have ever crossed the
devastated tract from Dalton to Atlanta had he been without the railroad
behind him? During his retreat Johnston kept the invading army between
himself and the railroad without which it could not have been subsisted,
and staid so close that Sherman had him constantly in view; conduct which
is still lauded by some people in the south as masterly beyond compare.

To conceive more vividly the river and railroad situation which I am
striving to explain, suppose that during the Revolutionary war the States
had been as dependent as the south afterwards became upon rivers and
railroads, and the British had and the Americans did not have iron-clad
gunboats; as matters now look, our forefathers would have been beaten back
to the foot of the throne. I believe that the railroads alone would have
rendered their subjugation certain.

So much for the matchless judgment shown by the directors in deciding as
to the time of the war. I shall now tell what I have long thought is most
unmistakably their work in conducting that war.

As soon as secession was an accomplished fact, they deprived the better
southern statesmanship of all guidance of the brothers' war now inevitable
and about to begin. In such a war a proper executive is of far more
importance than good legislators and even good generals. Toombs was the
man who stood forth head and shoulders above all others as the logical
president of the southern confederacy. But the wily directors hypnotized
the electors into believing that Davis, because of his military education,
service in Mexico, and four years' secretaryship of war, was the right
man. It is generally believed in the south that the considerations just
mentioned turned the scale in favor of Davis. But sometimes I think that
the true explanation is different. Stephens has told how Toombs was got
out of the way. When this narrative[111] was published, both Toombs and
Davis, with many of the partisans of each were alive, and regard for them
may have kept him silent as to a reported mischance to Toombs, which
provoking opposition--as was whispered--from some of those who had been
among his most earnest supporters, decided him to retire. A biographer
writes: "There was a story, credited in some quarters, that Mr. Toombs's
convivial conduct at a dinner party in Montgomery estranged from him some
of the more conservative delegates, who did not realize that a man like
Toombs had versatile and reserved powers, and that Toombs at the banquet
board was another sort of a man from Toombs in a deliberative body."[112]

Something like that stated in the quotation just made did happen, as
Stephens was wont to relate at Liberty Hall--the name which he gave his
hospitable home at Crawfordville, Georgia. I was present more than once at
such times.

Such could have been the work of the directors.

Georgia, being the pivotal State of the new federation, was by many
conceded the presidency. Besides Toombs she had two other men, far abler
statesmen than Davis and then as conspicuous in the public eye--A. H.
Stephens and Howell Cobb. The election of either one of these would really
have been the same almost as the election of Toombs, for the three were in
complete accord, and Toombs was the natural and actual leader. So great
was their fealty to him that neither one could have been induced to stand
for the place after he had missed it. The directors saw to it that neither
one of the three should be president of the Confederate States.

Suppose that Toombs--or that either Stephens or Cobb--had been made
president, what a different conduct there would have been of the war.
Besides being the foremost statesman of the south, Toombs was its very
ablest man of affairs, and as far superior to Davis in practical and
business talent as a trained and experienced man is to an untrained and
inexperienced woman. Not intending to disparage the other great
qualifications of Toombs, I must emphasize it that of all his
contemporaries he alone evinced a clear understanding of the principles
according to which the confederate currency could have been better managed
than were the greenbacks by the other side. A letter of his during the war
to Mr. James Gardner, of Augusta, Georgia, published at the time in the
paper of which the latter was then editor, shows insight and grasp of the
subject equal to Ricardo's. Toombs as president of the confederacy would
have had congress enact proper currency measures. When he was in place to
advise and lead, his influence exceeded by far that of any other man that
I ever knew.

But this, important as it is, is far from being the most important. He and
Stephens were fully convinced at the very first of the overruling
importance to the confederacy of these two things: (1) to make full use of
cotton as a resource; (2) to prevent a blockade of the southern ports. I
make these extracts following from a speech of Stephens's at
Crawfordville, Georgia, November 1, 1862:

    "What I said at Sparta, Georgia, upon the subject of cotton, many of
    you have often heard me say in private conversation, and most of you
    in the public speech last year to which I have alluded. Cotton, I have
    maintained, and do maintain, is one of the greatest elements of power,
    if not the greatest at our command, if it were but properly and
    efficiently used, as it might have been, and still might be. Samson's
    strength was in his locks. Our strength is in our locks of cotton. I
    believed from the beginning that the enemy would inflict upon us more
    serious injury by the blockade than by all other means combined. It
    was ... a matter of the utmost ... importance to have it raised. How
    was it to be done?... I thought it ... could be done through the
    agency of cotton.... I was in favor, as you know, of the government's
    taking all the cotton that would be subscribed for eight per cent
    bonds at a rate or price as high as ten cents a pound. Two millions of
    the last year's crop might have been counted upon as certain on this
    plan. This, at ten cents, with bags of the average commercial weight,
    would have cost the government one hundred millions of bonds. With
    this amount of cotton in hand and pledged, any number, short of fifty,
    of the best ironclad steamers could have been contracted for and built
    in Europe--steamers at the cost of two millions each, could have been
    procured, equal in every way to the 'Monitor.' Thirty millions would
    have got fifteen of these, which might have been enough for our
    purpose. Five might have been ready by the first of January last to
    open some one of the ports blockaded on our coast. Three of these
    could have been left to keep the port open, and two could have
    conveyed the cotton across the water if necessary. Thus, the debt
    could have been promptly paid with cotton at a much higher price than
    it cost, and a channel of trade kept open till other ironclads, and as
    many as were necessary, might have been built and paid for in the same
    way. At a cost of less than one month's present expenditure on our
    army, our coast might have been cleared. Besides this, at least two
    more millions of bales of the old crop on hand might have been counted
    upon--this with the other making a debt in round numbers to the
    planters of $200,000,000. But this cotton, held in Europe until its
    price became fifty cents a pound, would constitute a fund of at least
    $1,000,000,000 which would not only have kept our finances in sound
    condition, but the clear profit of $800,000,000 would have met the
    entire expenses of the war for years to come."[113]

The reader who carefully reflects over the passage just quoted may well
think that the extravagant profit pictured savors more of Mulberry Sellers
than of a cool-headed statesman; but if the war price of cotton be
recalled he readily agrees that under the plan proposed the south could
easily have got a fleet of the best ironclads. Such a fleet would have
kept the southern ports open. The advantage of which would have been very
great. It would have held the Mississippi from the first, or have
recovered it after the capture of New Orleans. It would have cleared the
gunboats out of all the navigable rivers in the south. And we must not
forget how it might have ravaged the northern coast, perhaps capturing New
York, and forcing an early peace.

I must make you see the greatness of cotton as a resource. There has been
from soon after the invention of the gin a steadily increasing world
demand for it, and the south has practically monopolized its production. I
can think of no other product of the soil except wine and liquor that is
as imperishable. But wine and liquor spill, leak, and evaporate, while
cotton does neither. If you but safe it against fire it will not
deteriorate by age. In 1884 I was told of a sale just made of some cotton
for which the owner had refused the famine price in 1865. It brought the
market price of the day, and experts said it sampled as well as new
cotton. It was at least 19 years old. Wine and liquor cannot be
compressed, but the same weight of raw cotton becomes less and less bulky
every year. By reason of the foregoing, cotton is always the equivalent of
cash in hand. Now add the effect of the steadily growing war scarcity, and
remember how easy it was during the first two years of the war to carry
out cotton in spite of the blockade. The European purchasing agent of the
Confederate States government says "it possessed a latent purchasing
power such as probably no other ... in history ever had."[114] He means
cotton. There were several million bales of it in the confederacy, all of
which could be had for the taking--much of it for merely the asking. And
there were a legion of carriers eager to run the blockade. I cannot
understand how Professor Brown could have ever written, "The government
had not the means either to buy the cotton or to transport it."[115]
Surely the government could have seized the cotton as easily as it did all
the men of military age, and collected the tithes in kind.

If Toombs had been president of the southern confederacy, the very best
possible use of its cotton as a resource would have been made. At the
time, if but managed with the financial skill which he always showed, that
cotton would have been a great war chest in a secure place, always full
and appreciating. It is very probable that almost at the beginning of the
war the confederacy would have struck terror into its adversaries with
some warships far superior to any with which the United States could have
then supplied itself. In this case there never would have been any
Monitor. And the south would have had all the benefits of wise husbandry
and conduct.

During his short premiership of the confederacy Toombs showed marked
ability. Note his extraordinary insight when instructing the
commissioners, that "So long as the United States neither declares war nor
establishes peace, the Confederate States have the advantage of both
conditions;" and consider how accurately he foresaw that the north would
be rallied as one man to the stars and stripes by attack upon Fort Sumter,
and how earnestly he opposed the proposed attack.[116]

Stephens was thoroughly against the policy of many pitched battles. He
counselled from the very first that we should draw the invaders within our
territory, where, having them far from their base and taking advantage of
our shorter interior lines, we could when the right moment came, by
attacking with superior numbers, virtually destroy their entire army. The
more I think over it, the more clearly I see that this was the true way
for us to have fought. Stephens's influence would have been so great with
Toombs or Cobb as president that he would have shaped the conduct of the

There would have been no keeping of inefficient men in high command; and
no efficient one would have been kept out. Mr. Lincoln would have had an
executive rival worthy of his steel. As the former searched diligently and
with rare judgment for his commander-in-chief and at last found him in
Grant, so Toombs would in all probability have found the proper southern
general in the west. It would have been Forrest. The marvellous military
genius of this illiterate man, who at the beginning of the war could not
have put a recruit through the manual of arms, showed him far superior to
his superiors who sacrificed the southern army at Fort Donelson. The
lieutenant-colonel would not surrender, and his escape with his entire
command proved that he could have executed the offer he had made to the
commander to pilot the whole army out. From this moment Forrest moves on
and upward with the stride of a demigod. The night after Johnston has
fallen at Shiloh he alone in the southern army discovers that Grant is
receiving by the river thousands as re-enforcement, and he gives
Beauregard wise counsel which the latter is not wise enough to heed. Read
his letter of August 9, 1863, to Cooper, adjutant-general of the
Confederate States,[117] in which he proposes to do what will virtually
wrest the Mississippi from the federals, and the sane comment thereon of
his biographer.[118] Think of him just after the battle of Chickamauga;
how, had Bragg listened to him, he would have reaped the fruits of a great
victory which he was too stupid to know he had won. Meditate the capture
of Fort Pillow, in spite of its strong defences and the succoring gunboat,
by dispositions of his troops and a plan of attack which, though made and
executed on the spur of the moment, are the most superb and brilliant
tactics of all the engagements of the brothers' war. And his incomparable
conduct by which the army of Sturgis was almost annihilated at Brice's
Cross-Roads. The conception of Forrest is as yet, even in the south, very
untrue. He is thought of only as always meeting charge with countercharge,
in the very front crying "Mix!" sabring an antagonist, and having his
horse killed under him. When he is rightly studied he is found to be a
happy compound of the characterizing elements of such fighters as mad
Anthony Wayne and Paul Jones, of such swoopers and sure retirers as Marion
and Stonewall Jackson, of such as Hannibal, whose action both before,
during, and after the engagement, is the very best possible. Of all the
northern generals Grant showed by far the best grasp of the military
problem. I think Forrest's grasp was equal. Toombs would have divined the
genius of Forrest. The confederate army under him would probably have
equalled--possibly surpassed--the achievements and glory of that under

It was one of Toombs's epigrams that the southern confederacy died of too
much West Point. Of course one must not unjustly disparage the military
school. Yet there were plainly graduates on both sides who had in them too
much of it. This was true of Halleck and McClellan; also of Davis and
Bragg. Mr. Davis, by reason of his exaggerated West Point spirit, was not
nearly so well qualified as Mr. Lincoln for finding the few real generals
in the south. Toombs, with the help of Stephens and all the real statesmen
of the section, would have kept the best generals in command.

Let us briefly summarize. Had Toombs been president these things would
have followed:

1. The cotton of the south, fully realized as a resource, would have given
her an adequate gold supply, a stable currency, and an unimpaired public
credit. It would have also kept our ports open and the hostile gunboats
out of our rivers.

2. There would have been no unwise waste of our precious soldiers. As it
was, their very gallantry in our contest with a foe so greatly
outnumbering, was made a guaranty of defeat.

3. These magnificent soldiers would have been led always by the best

These were resources enough, and more than enough, to have won for the
south. I often paralleled her neglect to use them with the supineness of
the French Commune in 1871. Lassigaray tells us how there were piles of
money and money's worth in the bank deposits and reserves, which could
have all been had by mere taking.[119] But the Commune made no use of this
great treasure. It surprises one as he reads of it. Then it occurs to him
that the new French government was in the hands of men who generally had
had no experience in government whatever. It was widely different with the
southern confederacy. No other revolutionary government ever started with
so little jolt and difficulty. The grooves along which it was to run were
all ready. "Confederate States" was instantaneously substituted for
"United States" in the constitution, organic federal statutes, and the
thoughts of the people, and the administration of the new government
seemed to everybody in the south but a continuation of that of the United
States. And this new federation was inaugurated by the best-trained
statesmen in America. That these men should have overlooked the great
resources we have pointed out is a far more strange and wonderful blunder
than was that of the raw and inexperienced managers of the Commune. You
can explain it only by recognizing it as the accomplishment of fate. Fate
put in charge of the fortunes of the confederacy an executive as just as
ever was Aristides, and as much respected and confided in by his people.
That executive most conscientiously drove out of the public counsels the
only men who could have saved the southern cause.

To the foregoing I shall add but a few other instances briefly told.

Grant was at the opening of his career put in a place which taught him the
importance of gunboats, and held there until his skill in using them had
given him resistless prestige. Beauregard's failure to make use of the
daylight remaining after the fall of Albert S. Johnston seems to have been
prompted by the powers who had the future conqueror in charge. Had he been
sent against Lee in 1862 or 1863 he would hardly have done better than
McClellan, Burnside, or Hooker. Compare how the powers in charge of the
Roman empire prevented a too early encounter of Scipio with Hannibal.

Ordinary conduct ought to have captured McClellan instead of driving him
to the James. The tone of McClellan's boasting over the flank movement by
which he successfully marched across the entire front of Lee's army within
cannon shot is really that of a man who feels that he has miraculously
escaped an unshunnable peril.

The directors sent Stuart astray and hypnotized Lee into believing that
Gettysburg was to be another Chancellorsville.

They blinded Davis to the merits of Forrest. Especially to be thought of
here is the rejected proposal of the latter to recover the Mississippi
shortly after the fall of Vicksburg.

I need not go further. The student of the brothers' war can add to the
foregoing many other favors shown the union cause by the powers in the

Of course we of the south stood by our side, fighting to the last against
increasing odds with the resoluteness of hereditary freemen. In spite of
all their potency the powers were often hard pressed by Lee, Jackson,
Forrest, and the incomparable valor of the confederate soldiers. These
should have some such eternizing epitaph as this:

"For four years they kept the fates banded against them uneasy."

The parallelism of the fall of the confederacy to that of Troy has
incalculably deepened the interest I take in Vergil's great description.
Especially of late years do I realize more vividly how his goddess mother
removed the cloud darkening his vision, and gave Æneas to see Neptune,
Juno, and Pallas busy in the destruction of the burning city; and a lurid
illumination falls upon the statement,

  "Apparent diræ facies inimicaque Troiæ
  Numina magna deum."[120]



For some time after the brothers' war it was very generally believed that
Davis had been one of the Mississippi repudiators; that through all his
ante-bellum public career he had been an unconditional secessionist--what
we in the south mean by a fire-eater; that cherishing an accursed ambition
for the presidency of the southern confederacy he organized a secret
conspiracy which consummated secession; that as the chief executive of the
Confederate States he aided and abetted the perpetration of inhuman
cruelties upon federal prisoners of war; that he was accessory to the
murder of President Lincoln; and that when captured he was disguised as a
woman. I suppose that these accusations--all of which are utterly
untrue--are still in the mouths of many at the north. They have attained
some currency abroad. I note that the leading German encyclopedia--that of
Brockhaus--repeats those as to the conspiracy and disguise. But "The Real
Jefferson Davis," as Landon Knight has of late presented
him,[121]--without hostile bias and with something like an approach to
completeness--is at least beginning to be recognized outside of the south.
It is about as certain as anything in the future can be that all
detraction from the moral character and patriotism of Davis will after
some while wear itself out. I believe far greater favor than mere
vindication from false accusation will at last be awarded him in every
part of his own country and also abroad. Later in the chapter I shall try
to bring out fully the praise and appreciation which world history will,
as seems probable to me, shower upon his career. Here I can take time to
mention only the beginning of that great fame which we of this day have
looked upon. We saw him fall from one of the highest and proudest places
in which for four years he had been the talk and envy of the earth. We saw
him in sheer helplessness, accused of murder and treason, his feeble
health and personal comfort made a jest of, disrespect and insult heaped
upon him--we saw him endure all the most refined tortures of imprisonment.
Then we saw him set free--his innocence confessed by the acts of his
accusers. Then for over twenty years he lived with the people who under
his lead had been conquered and despoiled; and we saw them always eager to
pay him demonstrations of the warmest love; we saw them bury him with
inconsolable grief; and we see them keeping his memory green by
reinterring him in the old capital of the Confederate States, giving him
there a conspicuous monument, and making the anniversary of his birth a
legal holiday in different States. This--which we impressively mark now as
only a beginning of glory--must develop into something far larger.

Whenever Davis comes into your mind, of course, you first think of that
with which his name is most closely connected--his elevation and his great
fall. Therefore it is quite right that we make our start from this point,
which is, that he was the head of a subverted revolutionary government. He
is one of a few who, like Richard Cromwell, Napoleon, and Kruger, were
suffered to survive deposition. Nothing in nature hates a rival more than
sovereignty--which, be it remembered, is the representative of a distinct
nationality. Note how inevitably a young queen bee is killed by her own
mother when found in the hive by the latter. Humanity has not in this
particular evolved as yet very far above bee nature; and the fate of
Maximilian, emperor of Mexico, usually befalls the sovereign head of a
defeated revolution. To the student of history it is a surprise that the
life of Davis was spared when American frenzy was at its height. Think of
some of the things which then occurred. Mrs. Surratt and Wirz were hanged;
the cruel cotton tax; the negroes were made rulers of the southern whites;
it was provided _ex post facto_ that the high moral duty of paying for the
emancipated slaves should never be done. While good men and women both of
the north and the south will always censure with extreme severity the
treatment which Davis as a prisoner received, they ought to note it as a
most significant sign of American progress that he was at last allowed to
go forth and live without molestation the rest of his life among his old

Before we begin the sketch which we contemplate let us bring out more
vividly the novelty of his example by contrasting him with the failing
leaders of revolutions mentioned above. Richard Cromwell could be
tolerated as a private man by the restored royal government, because his
protectorate had been, so far as he himself is considered, a mere
accident. It was the mighty Oliver, his father, that overthrew and
beheaded Charles I, and then took the reins of rule. These, when he died,
came to his son, who in ability and ambition was a cipher. They who set
him aside would have been ashamed to confess the slightest fear of him.
His captors exiled Napoleon, and Kruger exiled himself. Richard Cromwell,
having been cast out of the protectorate, living forgotten in England, is
no parallel to Davis spending his last years in Mississippi honored by the
entire south with mounting demonstration to his death. Had Napoleon lived
in France and Kruger in the Transvaal, each after his overthrow, they
would be parallels. As it is, the subsequent life of Davis is without any

Having thus shown you what it is that Davis especially examples, let us
now give you briefly such a biography as suits the purpose of this book.

The fairies bestowed upon him treasures of mind and heart, of form, mien,
and face, of speech and manners. He was not of the very first rank, as
Webster, Toombs, and Lee, who suggest comparison with the Pheidian Zeus,
nor was he in the next with Poseidon and Ares. When President Pierce and
the members of his cabinet were passing by Princeton, a throng of citizens
and students called them out during the stop of the train at the Basin. As
we went away it seemed to me that no speech but that of Davis was
remembered. Compliments were rained upon him. At last a student from New
York State cried, "He's an Apollo!" and all the hearers assented with
enthusiasm. This placed him right,--at the head of the Olympians in the
third circle.

Though he became a very prominent political leader, the choice of a
profession made by him was that of a soldier. And that profession was
always his first love. His early education, though very deficient and
limited, was far superior to that with which Calhoun had to be content
until he was eighteen. But Davis had when a boy something which supplies
educational defects--a taste for study and a fondness of and access to
books. When at the age of thirty-five he made his début in politics he had
become really a well-schooled and highly cultured man. He completed his
West Point course, graduating in July, 1828. His wife says: "He did not
pass very high in his class; but he attached no significance to class
standing, and considered the favorable verdict of his classmates of much
more importance."[122]

He served in the army until June 30, 1835, when he resigned. I will cull
from the entertaining narrative of Mrs. Davis certain occurrences of his
army life which are characteristic.

Reaching a ferry on Rock river in Illinois, in 1831, with his scouts, he
found the boat stopped by ice, and the mail coach with certain wagons
going to the lead mines waiting on the bank. All the crowd put themselves
at his direction. He had the men to cut blocks from the ice for a bridge.
Water was poured upon each block as soon as it was laid, and this
freezing, the block was kept firmly in its place. Whenever a cutter would
fall overboard, he was sent to turn himself round and round before the
fire until he was dry and ready to resume work. The bridge was soon
finished, and the entire party crossed the river. This incident shows that
there was something in Davis's appearance that invited full trust, and
that he was unwontedly quick and ingenious in expedient.

How he disabled a disobedient soldier of ferocious temper and great size
by an unexpected blow, and then beat him into complete submission; and how
he captivated the other soldiers by announcing that he would not notice
the affair officially, illustrates his talent for command.

Men desperate and well armed had taken possession of the lead mines, and
they were to be removed. He tried to induce their consent by making them a
speech. Some weeks later he sought another conference. Finding a number
of them in a drinking booth, he was begged by his orderly not to go in.
"They will be certain to kill you," the orderly said; "I heard one of them
say they would."

"Lieutenant Davis entered the cabin at once, and, as they expressed it,
'gave them the time of day' [that is, he said "Good-morning" or what the
hour demanded]. He immediately added, after saluting them, 'My friends, I
am sure you have thought over my proposition and are going to drink to my
success. So I shall treat you all.' They gave him a cheer."[123]

How much more heroic is such Cæsar-like courage and tact in quelling the
mob than to butcher misguided men with musketry.

I have reserved for emphasis here, as illustrating Davis's presence of
mind and readiness in emergency, two incidents which are earlier in time
than what I have just been telling. The first is this. One of the
professors disliked and was inclined to disparage Davis while he was a
cadet at West Point. Lecturing on presence of mind, this professor fixed
his eye on Davis "and said he doubted not there were many who, in an
emergency, would be confused and unstrung, not from cowardice, but from
the mediocre nature of their minds. The insult was intended, and the
recipient of it was powerless to resent it. A few days afterwards, while
the building was full of cadets, the class were being taught the process
of making fireballs, when one took fire. The room was a magazine of
explosives. Cadet Davis saw it first, and calmly asked of the doughty
instructor, 'What shall I do, sir? This fireball is ignited.' The
professor said, 'Run for your lives!' and ran for his. Cadet Davis threw
it out of the window, and saved the building and a large number of lives

In the affair last told, Davis showed a freedom from confusion and an
alertness that is very rare. But the second thing which I have to tell is
still more remarkable.

While stationed at Fort Crawford in 1829, he had set out in a boat with
some men to cut timber, accompanied by two _voyageurs_.

    "At one point they were hailed by a party of Indians who demanded a
    trade of tobacco. As the Indians appeared to have no hostile
    intentions, the little party rowed to the bank and began to parley.
    However, the voyageurs ... soon saw that their peaceful tones were
    only a cloak. They warned Lieutenant Davis of the danger, and he
    ordered his men to push out into the stream and make the best time
    they could up the river. With yells of fury the Indians leaped into
    their canoes and gave chase. There was little, if any, chance for the
    white men to escape such experienced rowers.... If taken ... death by
    torture was inevitable. They would have been captured had not
    Lieutenant Davis thought of rigging up a sail with one of their
    blankets. Fortunately the wind was in their favor, but it was very
    boisterous. As it was a choice between certain death by the hands of
    the Indians, or possible death by drowning, they availed themselves of
    the slender chance left and escaped."[125]

These things which we have selected to tell of him prove that he had in
large measure some of the endowments which are indispensable to the
excellent soldier. They will be recalled by you when we tell his feats in
Mexico. I must say here that I do not mean to claim first-rate ability for
him; but I do believe that he was equal or almost equal to the best in
that great department of the military requiring the powers of the gifted
officer and not those of the few born generals of the world.

It is a most amiable touch that he left the army to marry a woman the
choice of his heart, and give her a happy home. He cordially sacrificed
for her an occupation which he loved only less than herself. He had had as
brilliant a career as could be won by a lieutenant in garrison duty and
service against the Indians. It must be remembered he had been promoted to
first lieutenant for gallantry.

It is proper to mention here one other fact of his army life. He had
resolved that if the regiment to which he belonged should be sent to help
execute the force bill in South Carolina, he would resign. Though he never
was a nullifier, his conscience could not permit him to abet in any way
the coercion of a sovereign State, as he always believed each one of the
United States to be.

His wife lived only a few months. Her death was a fell blow. Her husband
mourned her for nearly ten years. Then he made a most happy marriage with
the lady who survives him.

In 1836--the next year after the death of his first wife--he settled on a
plantation. Mr. Knight is especially happy in telling how, with his elder
brother Joseph, who had been a successful lawyer, but was now a rich
planter, as instructor and guide, he studied diligently for some while. To

    "During the period of their residence together, the time not required
    by business the brothers devoted to reading and discussion. Political
    economy and law, the science of government in general and that of the
    United States in particular, were the favorite themes. Locke and
    Justinian, Mill, Adam Smith, and Vattel divided honors with the
    Federalist, the Resolutions of ninety-eight, and the Debates of the
    Constitutional Convention. It was said they knew every word of the
    last three by memory; and it is certain that year after year, almost
    without interruption, they sat far into the night debating almost
    every conceivable question that could arise under the constitution of
    the United States."

Jefferson Davis, as his congressional speeches and his book show, became
deeply versed in the subjects of the joint study just described. I must
note, however, that the discussion which engaged him for such a
considerable period of his ante-public life was had only with one who was
of the same State-rights creed as he himself was, and that it was all in
the closet, as it were. You can only begin the making of a great lawyer by
feigned cases and moot courts. Likewise the true political leader must
early be plunged into real contentions over questions of actual interest,
and thus almost from the very first mix practice with theory. Compare
Webster and Toombs, each at his outset combating with the ablest lawyers
of his State as adversaries, and also publicly discussing varied questions
of policy. I suspect that this prolonged closet training, with its
abundance of academic debate, had much to do in developing Davis into that
supra-logical consistency, stiffness, and unmodifiability of opinion which
is one of his special differences as a practical statesman from the two
great men last mentioned. This, and the mental habitude given by his
military education and experience, mark him as _sui generis_ among our
political leaders. His public career shows more of the doctrinaire and
precisian than can be found in any other one of these.

In the long post-graduate course which he took in private under his
brother, he was preparing for public life without being aware of it, as it
seems to me.

He had now but one acquisition to make--to think on his legs and tell his
thoughts at the same time. Extempore speakers are generally made. But
Davis was a born one. He did not have that experience at the bar and in
the State legislature which has been the beginning of so many famous
American orators. The democrats of his county nominated him for the
legislature in 1843, and his first experience in public speaking was in a
stump-debate immediately afterwards with the redoubtable S. S. Prentiss,
Davis then being thirty-five years old. The debate consumed most of the
day. The disputants had each fifteen minutes at a time. The result of the
campaign was in favor of Prentiss. As Davis, a democrat, was merely
leading a forlorn hope in a county overwhelmingly whig, that was to be
expected. But the pluck, readiness, and power which he exhibited in this,
his maiden effort, pitted as he was against the ablest speaker of the
State, astounded the auditors, and it seemed even to the whigs that the
raw debater while nominally losing had really triumphed.

The next experience he had is thus narrated by Mr. Knight: "Mr. Davis took
a conspicuous part in the presidential campaign of 1844, and was chosen as
one of the Polk electors. Before this campaign he was but slightly known
beyond his own county, but at its conclusion his popularity had become so
great that there was a general demand in the ranks of his party that he
should become a candidate for congress in the following year."

He had to receive just one more lesson as a speaker. In 1845 Calhoun was
coming to Natchez. Davis was selected to welcome him with a speech. He
made careful preparation, which his wife, whom he had lately married, took
down at his dictation. But when Calhoun had come, after a moment or two of
slowness in the exordium, Davis gave up trying to recite from memory, and
delivered with grace and effect an unpremeditated speech of taking

What Mrs. Davis says of him as a speaker is so just and in such good
taste, that I quote it:

    "From that day forth no speech was ever written for delivery. Dates
    and names were jotted down on two or three inches of paper, and these
    sufficed. Mr. Davis's speeches never read as they were delivered; he
    spoke fast, and thoughts crowded each other closely; a certain
    magnetism of manner and the exceeding beauty and charm of his voice
    moved the multitude, and there were apparently no inattentive or
    indifferent listeners. He had one power that I have never seen
    excelled; while speaking he took in the individuality of the crowd,
    and seeing doubt or a lack of coincidence with him in their faces, he
    answered ... with arguments addressed to the case in their minds. He
    was never tiresome, because, as he said, he gave close attention to
    the necessity of stopping when he was done.

    Only so much of his eloquence has survived as was indifferently
    reported. The spirit of the graceful periods was lost. He was a
    parenthetical speaker, which was a defect in a written oration, but it
    did not, when uttered, impair the quality of his speeches, but rather
    added a charm when accentuated by his voice and commended by his
    gracious manner. At first his style was ornate, and poetry and fiction
    were pressed from his crowded memory into service; but it was soon
    changed into a plain and stronger cast of what he considered to be,
    and doubtless was, the higher kind of oratory. His extempore addresses
    are models of grace and ready command of language."[127]

He took his seat in the United States house of representatives in
December, 1845, he and Toombs, who was two years younger, beginning their
congressional careers together. Davis made a very creditable speech on the
Oregon question early in February, 1846. He was a modest member, but he
did all the duties of his place with praiseworthy diligence.

Although he was a thoroughgoing anti-tariff democrat and Webster a
pro-tariff whig leader, he could not be induced to join in the effort to
make political capital for his own party by blackening the name of
Webster. The minority report of the committee which investigated the
conduct of Webster, as secretary of state, was really made by Davis, who
was one of the committee. The stand taken by the latter, and the true
presentation which he made, at last got the whole committee to adopt his
report substantially. Webster was greatly pleased with it.

Early in May, 1846, Taylor had won his first victories. On the 29th Davis,
supporting joint resolutions of thanks to the general and his army, made
reply to what he deemed were unwarranted reflections upon West Point. He
emphasized Taylor's operations as proving the high value of military
education. He asked Sawyer of Ohio, who had disparaged the Academy, if the
latter believed that a blacksmith or tailor could have done such good
work. Thus, without knowing it, he trod upon the toes of two members of
the house; for Sawyer had been a blacksmith, and Andrew Johnson, of
Tennessee, a tailor. Sawyer took it good-humoredly, but Johnson, the next
day, passionately defended tailors, and used language very offensive to
Davis, implying that the latter belonged to "an illegitimate, swaggering,
bastard, scrub aristocracy." To this the latter, justly indignant,
rejoined with cutting severity. There was never any love lost between the
two afterwards. When President Lincoln was murdered Johnson, succeeding
him, committed the unspeakable folly of offering by proclamation $100,000
reward for the arrest of Davis as accessory. When Davis, having been
captured, was told of the proclamation he said to General Wilson--hoping
his words would be reported to Johnson--that there was one man in the
United States who knew the charge was false; this was the man who had
signed the proclamation; "for," said Davis, "he at least knew that I
preferred Lincoln to himself."

Of course had Davis possessed the chief qualifications of popular
leadership he would have made a fast friend instead of a bitter enemy of
this man, whose rise from low estate to greatness proves that he had in
him elements of manhood and virtue that ought to have homage from the
highest and proudest.

It was by his course in the Mexican war that Davis commenced life in the
eye of the nation. Without canvassing for the place--he never did canvass
for a place--he was elected colonel of the First Mississippi volunteers,
and "he eagerly and gladly accepted." The president, authorized by a new
law, offered to make him a brigadier general. Mrs. Davis says: "My husband
expressed his preference for an elective office; when pressed, he said
that he thought volunteer troops raised in a State should be officered by
men of their own selection, and that after the elective right of the
volunteers ceased, the appointing power should be the governor of the
State whose troops were to be commanded by the general. This was his first
sacrifice to State rights, and it was a great effort to him."[128]

General Scott doubted if the percussion lock was as well suited to field
use as the flint lock, but Davis knew better. He had his men furnished
with the percussion-lock rifle, a very superior arm to the old
smooth-bore. He drilled his regiment well. And he kept its members from

As the storming of Monterey opened, the head of the column recoiled in
confusion from a deadly cross-fire, "producing the utmost confusion among
the front of the assaulting brigade. The strong fort, Taneira, which had
contributed most to the repulse, now ran up a new flag, and amid the wild
cheering of its defenders redoubled its fire of grape and canister and
musketry, under which the American lines wavered and were about to break.
Colonel Davis, seeing the crisis, without waiting for orders, placed
himself at the head of his Mississippians, and gave the order to charge.
With prolonged cheers his regiment swept forward through a storm of
bullets and bursting shells. Colonel Davis, sword in hand, cleared the
ditch at one bound, and cheering his soldiers on, they mounted the works
with the impetuosity of a whirlwind, capturing artillery and driving the
Mexicans pell-mell back into the stone fort in the rear. In vain they
sought to barricade the gate; Davis and McClung [the lieutenant-colonel]
burst it open, and leading their men into the fort, compelled its
surrender at discretion. Taneira was the key of the situation, and its
capture insured victory. On the morning of the 23d of September, the
following day, Henderson's Texas Rangers, Campbell's Tennesseeans, and
Davis's Mississippians, the latter again leading the assault, stormed and
captured El Diabolo, and the next day General Ampudia surrendered the

Davis's quickness, coolness, and dash--and especially his promptness to
take such wise initiative as is permissible to a colonel in action--shone
forth conspicuously in this affair.

He was the very soul of the glorious stand of the Americans at Buena Vista
against odds of more than 4 to 1. At the opening of the battle a ball
drove a part of his spur into the right foot just below the instep, making
a very painful wound. He kept his seat as though nothing had happened.
Later in the day, his bleeding foot thrown over the pommel, he spurred his
horse into leaping a ravine, in which he saw a horse and cart beneath him
as he flew over. But his great exploit was the re-entering line of his
regiment and Bowles's Indianians, with which he received the charge of a
host of heavy cavalry. His rifles being without bayonets, the hollow
square, then the approved mode of defence, was not to be thought of. So
necessity, the mother of invention, suggested to him a formation which
poured something like two crossing enfilades into the head of the cavalry
column. The brilliant conception was brilliantly executed. The carnage
that befel the cavalry drove it from the field. Did not the spirit of
Napoleon looking on regret that he had not given the pesky Mamelukes like
punishment? The world has noted how Sir Colin Campbell learned from Davis
the right way of opposing infantry to the onset of heavy cavalry.

The great distinction won most deservedly by Davis, as the colonel of a
raw regiment in these important engagements, is, so far as I know, without
any parallel. It was but natural that he should always afterwards believe
himself to be a great military genius. Of course he had become famous
throughout the whole country.

There was a vacancy in one of the United States senatorships from
Mississippi, and Davis was appointed to fill it. I need not go into much
detail at this point. He was warmly greeted at his entrance into the upper
house. He maintained himself with growing ability. While he was
independent and self-reliant enough now and then to differ with Calhoun,
in the main he followed the latter as his leader. There was a dignity and
poise in his nature that suited the senate better than the house of
representatives. And he was doubtless frank when he asserted later that he
preferred the senate to any other place. As I contemplate his record at
this part of his life he impresses me as that one of all the more
prominent southern public men who was most fixed in the opinion that the
very surest preservative of the union was for the south to be always
unflinching and utterly uncompromising in demanding exact enforcement of
every constitutional protection of slavery. He loved the union most
fondly. It was only the south that he loved more. Conscientious
doctrinaire as he was, he believed that the rights of the south were so
plain and palpable that if they were but stated they would be conceded by
the great mass of the northern people. He thought it was to encourage
disunion to surrender even a jot of our claim to equality in the
Territories and that the fugitive slave law should be fully enforced. His
anticipation was that the more we yielded to the anti-slavery men the more
we would be asked to yield, until at last we would be driven into the
ditch, when we could save the south only by secession. So he counselled
with all his might that the south should resolve to surrender nothing
whatever--to go out of the union rather than so to do. Let the north
understand this and the abolition party will disappear. That is the only
way to save the union. This explains why he refused to support the
compromise measures of 1850. He was beaten for governor of Mississippi on
that issue. He was classed with the fire-eaters. But that was utterly
untrue. Remember that in 1860 he actually contemplated being the
democratic presidential candidate, and that Massachusetts sent a
delegation to the Charleston convention instructed for him.

A word or two as to his secretaryship of war. He was as up to date in
adopting every new thing of merit as he had been in insisting upon
percussion-lock rifles for his regiment in the Mexican war. The diligence
and prolonged labor which he conscientiously gave his official duties were
truly exemplary. I wish especially to have my reader reflect upon two
things belonging here. In selecting men to fill offices, from the highest
to the lowest, he was utterly regardless of their politics. When
remonstrated with by democratic partisans for not giving democrats the
preference in competition for appointments, he declared positively that he
should always make fitness and qualification the only conditions of such
selection. And his actions as long as he held the important office spoke
even louder than his words. Surely here is an example for these times to
profit by. The second thing really belongs to the same class as the first.
It is that when civil war actually prevailed in Kansas between the
anti-slavery men on one side and the pro-slavery men on the other, and the
commander of the federal troops in the Territory would virtually be
absolute in power, though Davis was the very extreme of pro-slavery he
gave the place to Colonel Sumner, an outspoken abolitionist, "whose honor,
ability, and judgment recommended him as the best man for the difficult

The secretaryship must be noted as deepening the regular-army grooves in
which Davis's thoughts and tastes had long been moving.

He became United States senator again in 1857, which position he held
until the secession of his State. I need touch upon nothing but the
prominent part he took. Without knowing it he became the guide that
conducted the south in the aggressive defensive which the closing in
around her of the hostile lines imperatively dictated. All that he did of
importance but led up to or supported his famous resolutions of February
2, 1860. Their gist was that if the judiciary and executive could not and
the Territorial legislature would not protect slave property in any of the
Territories, congress was bound to pass efficiently protecting laws, to
remain of force until the Territory was admitted as a State, with a
constitution that authorized or prohibited slavery.

Compare the speech he made for these resolutions with that made for them
by Toombs, and the wide difference of the two men comes out plainly. The
former is the height of commonplace morality and patriotism, expressed
with manly strength and eloquence, while the speaker does not see clearly
into the gulf of the brothers' war into which his measure has been made by
the fates the lever to plunge America. That of Toombs shows titanic
mastery of law and statesmanship, and almost full discernment of the
national catastrophe at the door. It is destined, I believe, to stand in
the highest class of great speeches.

Compare the last speeches of each in the senate. Toombs's justification of
secession is with argument and appeal to conscience that the greatest men
cannot, and only cosmic forces, the fates, the directors of evolution, can
answer. Davis's does satisfy the conscience of the typical southerner, and
in the tone preserved from beginning to end is a marvel of propriety. The
pathos of his leave-taking melted the sternest hearts on the other side.
It was especially in his freedom from offensive words and the gentlemanly
self-restraint of his manner that Davis showed as decidedly superior to
the other. In the speech of Toombs last noticed there are some harsh and
heated words that I would blot into complete oblivion if I could. There is
not a single line in the other that I can find fault with. I will here
parallel them in another place that is strikingly illustrative. Some years
after the war the people of Mississippi wanted to send Davis back to the
United States senate. To this end the legislature memorialized him to
apply for the removal of his disability. He replied that repentance ought
always to precede asking for pardon, and that he had not yet repented. One
day about the same time a sympathizing southerner asked Toombs if the
yankees had pardoned him yet. He scowled his darkest, and thundered, "No.
And God damn 'em, I haven't pardoned them." Of course the average man or
woman will cordially approve the decorum of Davis's reply, and on
reflection will censure the other.

Davis was completely representative of the real chivalry of the south; and
from the Mexican war on, this was more and more recognized in the section.
When he was made president of the confederacy the great majority of the
people approved. He is such a gentleman; so conscientious; so attentive to
his public duties; and then his military education and experience make him
far superior to Lincoln--this was said by the general. Thus were his
disqualifications for the place concealed from the people of the south.

His chief defect was that not being a successful business man, he was not
a practical statesman. On this point we have already said enough.

His own judgment upon himself was that he ought to command the armies of
the confederacy. To the very last he believed he had the extreme of
military ability. During the gloomy days that set in after Gettysburg he
often exclaimed, "If I could take one wing and Lee the other, I think we
could between us wrest a victory from those people."[131]

But he did not have extraordinary military capacity, as appears from the
facts which I will now tell.

He was on the field at First Manassas when that unprecedented panic seized
the federal army. It was instantaneously understood by the latest recruit
looking on from our side. The men and line officers around me ejaculated,
"We ought to press forward and go into Washington with 'em." Davis with
his training should have seen better even than these raw volunteers, and
recognized it was his part by pursuit to accelerate the flight and raise
that panic to its top. There were remaining several hours of daylight,
during which five of his men could chase a hundred and a hundred put ten
thousand to flight, and when night came the excited imagination of the
fliers would re-enforce the confederates with a vast host of destroying
monsters behind and before. The federals losing all organization, were
racing to escape over the bridge at Washington which was a little more
than twenty miles away. They were choking the roads with abandoned
vehicles and artillery. As it was, they seriously choked the bridge. Had
there been rapid advance by us, and firing in the rear, it is more than
probable we should have got the bridge unharmed. We should have added
thousands to our prisoners. But far more important than this, would have
been the arms, ammunition, wagons, horses, quartermaster and commissary
supplies of all sorts--in short, the entire baggage of the enemy--that
would have been ours for the taking. And if the federals had destroyed the
bridge before we reached it, we should have had McDowell's pontoons, or
captured material out of which to make a bridge of our own. We should have
crossed somehow, and at the place which circumstances and the insight of
genius suggested. The capital would have fallen, really without a blow;
and what an immense addition to our booty would have been here. And the
prestige! In a day or two our flag would have waved over Baltimore, the
consequence being that Maryland, with a throng of most true and valiant
fighters, would have been won for the Confederate States, and its northern
line instead of the Potomac would have become the frontier. All this would
have happened if Davis had been a Cæsar and had Cæsar-like used the one
great opportunity of the war. It must be set down to his credit that he
did far more than Johnston and Beauregard insist upon pursuit. But he does
not seem to have thought of it until night; and at last he permitted
himself to be reasoned out of it.

There have been earnest efforts to justify the fateful supineness of our
army after this victory. We were without transportation means, and a
retreating army always outruns its pursuers, said Johnston. Mr. Knight
says Northrop had left us without commissary supplies, and of course men
without anything to eat had to wait until they could be fed. Beauregard
says we ought to have made for the upper Potomac, which was fordable. All
such reasons come from those who ignore the situation. A real general
would have said to his soldiers, in the first moment of the panic, "You
are weary; it will rest you to chase your flying foe; you can catch him
because of the obstructing bridge. You are hungry; there are full
haversacks and commissary wagons of your enemy just beyond Centerville
without defenders. Forward, and escort the grand army into Washington
city!" And such a general with just what infantry he could find to hand,
all the while being re-enforced by eager men catching up, pressing forward
as persistently as Blucher spurred with his cavalry after the French
flying from Waterloo, would have been in sight of Washington when the sun

Mr. Knight sets forth very truly the incapacity of Davis as the military
chieftain of the Confederate States.[132] I would abridge what can be said
here under these heads:

1. Each particular army ought to have operated as a part of the whole
force of the confederacy, and that whole force ought to have been wielded
as one machine. Instead of trying to effect this end, the president
decided that all exposed points must be defended. The result was that
these were taken one after another by superior armies. A military man will
understand me when I say his strategy was below mediocrity. True strategy
dictated the abandonment of many places in order to assemble by using our
shorter interior lines a resistless power on a really decisive occasion.
McClellan, in Virginia, and Grant, in Mississippi, ought each to have been
captured as Burgoyne and Cornwallis were.

2. He selected his generals and important officers according to his likes
and dislikes, and not according to their true qualifications.

3. He was without practical administrative talent in any high degree. Such
a man as Joseph E. Brown, of Georgia, would have shown far superior to

It will doubtless be the decision of future history that he was neither
statesman nor military man of sufficient ability for the presidency. He
did not want it. Compare him as secession was dawning, with Toombs, who
was the man of all to be president. The latter scenting battle in the air,
was really eager for the inevitable fighting to begin; Davis was cast down
and dejected. He loved the union, and it was inexpressibly bitter to him
to part with it. And then he was sure that there would be a long and
bloody brothers' war. What he wanted was to fight for the south so dear to
him. The news of his election as president was perhaps the greatest
surprise of his life. Says Mrs. Davis: "When reading the telegram he
looked so grieved that I feared some evil had befallen our family. After a
few minutes' painful silence he told me, as a man might speak of a
sentence of death."[133]

Writing of his inauguration at Montgomery, he says to his wife: "The
audience was large and brilliant. Upon my weary heart were showered
smiles, plaudits, and flowers; but, beyond them, I saw troubles and thorns

And she tells this of his inauguration as president of the permanent

    "Mr. Davis came in from an early visit to his office and went into his
    room, where I found him an hour afterwards on his knees in earnest
    prayer 'for the divine support I need so sorely' [as he said].... 'The
    inauguration took place at twelve o'clock.' [The anterior proceedings
    having been described, the contemporary account she quotes goes on

    "The president-elect then delivered his inaugural address. It was
    characterized by great dignity, united with much feeling and grace,
    especially the closing sentence. Throwing up his eyes and hands to
    heaven he said, 'With humble gratitude and adoration, acknowledging
    the providence which has so visibly protected the confederacy during
    its brief but eventful career, to Thee, O God, I trustingly commit
    myself, and prayerfully invoke Thy blessing on my country and its

Then she adds:

    "Thus Mr. Davis entered on his martyrdom. As he stood pale and
    emaciated, dedicating himself to the service of the confederacy,
    evidently forgetful of everything but his sacred oath, he seemed to me
    a willing victim going to his funeral pyre; and the idea so affected
    me that, making some excuse, I regained my carriage and went

So did this thrice-noble man sacrifice his dearest wishes and with
superhuman resolution step into the arena at the command of the fates, to
be the target of their wrath against his people.

He was like Hamlet upon whom destiny had imposed a high task far beyond
his powers. We can believe that to the end of his presidency Davis sorely
sighed more and more often:

  "The time is out of joint: O cursed spite
  That ever I was born to set it right."

His official career from beginning to end was full of fatal mistakes. But
in every one of these he did the right--to use Lincoln's grand word--as
God gave him to see it. This will more and more through all the future
turn his failure to glory. He will be like Hector, who draws the
admiration of the world a thousand-fold more than Achilles, his

At the last, when the sword of Grant had beaten down the sword of Lee, and
all of us, it seemed to me, knew that it was the highest duty of
patriotism to yield our arms, he was for fighting on. Casabianca would
not go with those who were leaving the burning ship until his dead father
bade him go. Davis would not abandon the cause of his nation without its
command; and it could give none; for it was dead and he did not know it.
He was trying his hardest to reach the west, intent upon prosecuting the
war from a new base, when he was taken.

His capture was accepted by the southern people as the fall of the blue
cross. Every man, woman, and child old enough to think, in the late
confederacy became sick and faint. Sorrow after sorrow, and grief after
grief tore their hearts. The first was the thought, for all the blood we
have poured out during four years of such effort on the battlefield as the
world never knew before we have lost; we have been beaten, and we are
subjugated. The next thought that pierced was, the property that made our
homes the sweetest and most comfortable on earth has all been destroyed,
and for the rest of their lives our dear ones must pine in hardship and
misery. O how this pang actually killed many old men and women! It seems
to me that heart failure commenced in the south with the great harvest it
gathered in the first five years succeeding the war. But the agony of
agonies was that the negroes were put over us. Those five
years--particularly the last three of them--are the one ugly dream of my
life. To pay his debts, which would have been a small thing to him had he
kept his slaves, but which were now monsters, my father overworked
himself, while trying to make a cotton crop with freedmen. I did not learn
of his imprudence until I had been summoned to see him die. There was
something like this in every family. A night of impoverishment, misery,
contumely, and insult descended upon us, and the sun would not rise. I
kept the stoutest heart that I could. Now and then it was a comforting
day dream to imagine how well it would have been for me if I had fallen in
the front of my men on the second day of Gettysburg, when I was trying my
utmost to make them do the impossibility of charging across the narrow bog
staying us, and mixing with the men in blue lining the other side. Had
that happened to me I should never have known, in the flesh, of our
decisive defeats, nor of the trials of my people after they laid down
arms; and even if my grave could not have been found, there would have
been at a place here and there for some years honorable mention of me with
tears on Memorial Day, to gladden my spirit taking note. This would
sometimes be my thought, and thousands of others had like thoughts.

Early in this time of sorrow and suffering the women of the south
instituted Memorial Day. Each year when it comes they do rites of
remembrance to the fallen soldiers of the confederacy. These soldiers lie
in every graveyard from the Ohio and Potomac to the Rio Grande. When the
day comes these women in their unforgetting love assemble the people, have
praises and lamentations of their dead darlings fitly spoken; and then
they deck their graves with the fairest flowers of spring. It is an annual
holiday, sacred to grief for our heroes who died in vain. It is the
fairest, tenderest, and sweetest testimonial of love ever given--love from
those who have nothing else to bestow, lavished upon those who can make no
return; and it is further the most splendid and glorious, being the
co-operative demonstration of a whole people of "true lovers."[137]

I cannot say where and when the observance of Memorial Day began. Perhaps
Miss Davidson correctly asserts that it was in Petersburg, Virginia, in
1866.[138] It had reached its height at Charleston, South Carolina, in the
spring of 1867, when as prelude to decorating the graves in Magnolia
cemetery, Timrod's hymn, containing this oft-quoted passage, was sung:

  "Behold! your sisters bring their tears,
  And these memorial blooms.

  "Small tributes! but your shades shall smile
  More proudly on these wreaths to-day,
  Than when some cannon-moulded pile
  Shall overlook this bay.

  "Stoop, angels, hither from the skies!
  There is no holier spot of ground
  Than where defeated valor lies,
  By mourning beauty crowned."

The "true lovers" could no more forget their living leader in prison than
they could forget their soldiers in the grave. "Out of sight, out of mind"
could not be said of Davis during his two years' confinement. The concern
of his people mounted steadily. They made all his sufferings their own,
lamenting and praying for him as a loved father. When he was about to be
released on bond the news gave the south a wilder joy than did the
unexpected victory of First Manassas. He was brought in custody to
Richmond by a James river steamboat. Mrs. Davis thus describes how he was

    "A great concourse of people had assembled. From the wharf to the
    Spottswood Hotel there was a sea of heads--room had to be made by the
    mounted police for the carriages. The windows were crowded, and even
    on to the roofs people had climbed. Every head was bared. The ladies
    were shedding tears.... When Mr. Davis reached the Spottswood Hotel,
    where rooms had been provided for us, the crowd opened and the beloved
    prisoner walked through; the people stood uncovered for at least a
    mile up and down Main street. As he passed, one and another put out a
    hand and lightly touched his coat. As I left the carriage a low voice
    said: 'Hats off, Virginians,' and again every head was bared. This
    noble sympathy and clinging affection repaid us for many moments of
    bitter anguish.

    When Mr. Davis was released, one gentleman jumped upon the box and
    drove the carriage which brought him back to the hotel, and other
    gentlemen ran after him and shouted themselves hoarse. Our people
    poured into the hotel in a steady stream to congratulate, and many
    embraced him."

Bear in mind the people, and where it was, and when it was, from whom this
show of respect so great, so earnest and unfeigned, spontaneously came.
They were of that part of the south which had lost more in blood,
property, and devastation than any other, and who, one might think, were
too embittered against their defeated leader to show him anything but
disapproval. They were also of a State which had not been readmitted into
the union. The axe was suspended over their necks by a party seeking
excuses for letting it fall; by a party to whom Davis was the most hated
of men. Surely these Virginians who thus risked their fortunes were the
truest of lovers.

No reader of mine, though he search history and encyclopedias through and
through for years, can find anything like the Southern Memorial Day and
the honors given Davis in Richmond as we have just told. They unmistakably
mark an ascent of humanity. But it is not my purpose to emphasize them as
specially signalizing the south. Their great lesson is not learned if it
is not understood that they are glories of federal government. Under any
other form of government such demonstrations would be suppressed as
disloyal and treasonable.

For more than twenty-two years after this auspicious day the ex-president
of the southern confederacy lived most of his time among his people. Their
love for him steadily grew. He proved worthy of it. He would not accept
the bounty they stood ready to shower upon him, and he was poor and
without money-making faculty. When Mississippi wanted to make him United
States senator again, he felt that he was too old and broken to serve the
State efficiently, and he declined. It occurred to all of us that he
sorely needed the salary of the place. He struggled on under the load of
poverty and ill-health. All of us knew that the latter came from that
cruel and inhuman imprisonment, and the more he suffered the closer our
hearts drew to him. The cause of his section he justified to the last, and
with all his energy. His book defending that cause was written under
difficulty almost insurmountable by man. His character as one tried in
every way and found true came out clearer and clearer. He showed more and
more of spotless virtue, becoming all the while to us a stronger
justification of the fight we had made under him for the lost cause. We
thought to ourselves with pride that the world will some day learn what a
good man he was, and that will be our complete vindication from the
slanders now current.

Let me tell of some of the other demonstrations made over him. I witnessed
that in Atlanta, in 1886. April 30, all the State of Georgia was there, as
it seemed. Old and young, white and colored, waited impatiently for the
railroad train bringing him from Montgomery. My wife, divining the rare
sight thus to be gained, secured a station out of town where she could see
the train pass without obstruction. As long as she lived afterwards, his
car, prodigally and appropriately bedecked with the fairest May flowers of
the sunny south, was her proverb for that which pleases too greatly for

When he had come out of his bower of flowers and we knew he was resting,
we felt as if the angel of the Lord was here with tidings of great joy for
all our people.

Who can describe the rejoicing of the next day that came forth everywhere
as Mr. Davis showed himself to his people! I have seen popular outbursts
of gladness, but nothing like this. It surpassed in profundity of feeling
and sustained energy and flow that which seemed to come straight out of
the ground when, in 1884, we knew at last that Cleveland was elected, and
the south was convulsed with an ecstasy of happy surprise. The women and
men who had tasted the war all crying; all pouring benedictions upon his
gray hairs as they came in sight; "God bless him" displayed on every
corner. I am utterly unable adequately to report this grand occasion. I
will tell only a few things that I saw or heard of. He passed by a long
line of school-children in Peachtree street. They made the sincere and
decided demonstrations of children whose pleasure is at its height. But
what was especially noticeable to me here was the behavior in the section
of colored children. Their delight seemed, if that were possible, to be
somewhat wilder and more unrestrained than that of the white children. The
occurrence has come back to me a thousand times. Is it to be explained by
Mr. Davis's character as a master, to whom, as to all really typical
masters, his slaves were but a little lower in his affections than his
children? Or was it unconscious approval of the resistance by the south
with all her might against the emancipation proclamation, the end of which
may be the wholesale destruction of the black race in America, such
approval being suggested by a cosmic influence as yet inexplicable?

When he was going through Mrs. Hill's yard to enter her house, little
girls on each side of the walk threw bouquets before him, every one
begging, "Mr. Davis, please step on my flowers." The feeble man tried to
gratify all of them. The flowers that he did step on were eagerly caught
up by the owners, to be treasured as the dearest of relics and keepsakes.

I was told that some old grayhead who met him during the day, gently
raised Mr. Davis's hands to his lips, saying, "Let me kiss the hands that
were manacled for me," and as he kissed his tears fell in a flood.

What we have just described occurred in Georgia--a State in which of all
during the brothers' war the most formidable opposition to his
administration was developed. This opposition was lead or upheld by
Toombs, both the Stephenses, and Brown--the most influential of all the
Georgians at that time. That for all this the State gave him this
wonderful ovation shows how deep and strong is the southern sentiment that
glorifies the lost cause. It was Henry Grady, a Georgian revering and
treasuring the men I have just mentioned, who when Mr. Davis was in
Atlanta, in 1886, called him the uncrowned king of our hearts, the words
evoking plaudits from the entire south. And remember that Georgia voted
for Greeley in 1872, although Toombs and the Stephenses opposed him. I
think I was representative of the dominant public feeling at the time.
While my companions and I avowed the fullest confidence in Greeley's
integrity and statesmanship, we each said we were in haste to honor with
our votes the northern man who got Mr. Davis bailed and became one of his
sureties. And Georgia is among the States which has made June 3 a legal
holiday, because it is the anniversary of Mr. Davis's birth.

Some northern paper sympathetically described the reception given Mr.
Davis in Atlanta, in 1886, as the swan song of the southern confederacy.
And to me it has always been the funeral of the old south. But there were
other obsequies and swan songs. When he died December 6, 1889, the south
sorrowed as it never sorrowed before. We are pleased to quote from the
memoir, the noblest monument a true wife has ever given a dead
husband--far nobler, more splendid and immortal than that which Artemisia
gave Mausolus. Mrs. Davis tells:

    "Floral offerings came from all quarters of our country. The orphan
    asylum, the colleges, the societies, drew upon their little stores to
    deck his quiet resting-place. Many thousands passed weeping by the
    bier where he lay in state, in his suit of confederate gray, guarded
    by the men who had fought for the cause he loved, and who revered his
    honest, self-denying, devoted life. His old comrades in arms came by
    thousands to mingle their tears with ours. The governors of nine
    states came to bear him to his rest. The clergy of all denominations
    came to pray that his rest be peaceful, and to testify their respect
    for and faith in him. Fifty thousand people lined the streets as the
    catafalque passed. Few, if any, dry eyes looked their last upon him
    who had given them his life's service. The noble army of the West and
    that of Northern Virginia escorted him for the last time, and the
    Washington Artillery, now gray-haired men, were the guard of honor to
    his bier. The eloquent Bishops of Louisiana and Mississippi, and the
    clergy of all denominations, delivered short eulogies upon him to
    weeping thousands, and the strains of 'Rock of Ages,' once more bore
    up a great spirit in its flight to Him who gave, sustained, and took
    it again to himself."

These aptly chosen words come short of describing the general grief.
Nobody can yet tell all of it. One but feebly expresses it by saying that
when Jefferson Davis died, broken-hearted men, women, and children
gathered in funeral assemblies everywhere in that vast area from Mason and
Dixon's line on the north to the Mexican border on the south, wept over
his bier, and hung the air and heavens with black.

In 1893 his remains were carried to Richmond, the dead capital of the dead
Confederate States, and there reinterred. The ceremonies were impressive,
and thoroughly in keeping with those I have narrated in the foregoing.

And in 1896 the corner-stone of a monument to him was laid in Monroe Park.
On this occasion General Stephen D. Lee delivered an oration which, as a
monument itself, will long outlast the stone one.

Thus has the overthrown and most evilly entreated president of the
Confederate States become, by some marvel of fortune, far more than the
proudest conqueror. The honors which every one who "can above himself
erect himself" estimates as the very richest, Mr. Davis has had given him
more prodigally than any other man. These honors that make everything else
shabby in appearance and cheap, are the spontaneous offerings of sincere
love from those who know us. Smiles, tender words, prayers for blessing,
tears of joy, admiration, pity, and sympathy, flowers--how dear are any of
these from a friend, brother, sister, father, mother, sweetheart, wife,
child. For almost a generation all these tokens were given the
ex-president by everybody in the south, and each year to his death they
were given in greater profusion. And really the whole south mourned at his
burial. Our wives, mothers, and other dear ones give us up, and we give,
them up, to fight and perhaps die for the country. We are so made that we
love the great brotherhood better than we do ourselves. And so an offering
of regard from that brotherhood--to be made to feel that throughout the
whole of it one is recognized as most worthy of love--the true man would
prize this above every other. Before this time this great honor has been
given only by happy ones to their victors--to such as Washington, Lincoln,
Grant. But the south has begun a new era. In the misery and ruin of her
subjugation she magnifies her deposed chief. Much of the applause heaped
upon the victor is selfish and feigned, but the whole of that given the
conquered hero comes direct and straight from the hearts of his
countrymen. It seems, therefore, to me that this decoration of the
conquered hero is the crown of crowns of this world. It is Davis's
historical uniqueness that he has won this lone crown.

The achievement is so counter to common-sense that it is not yet credited
nor understood. I cannot help believing that when all the fog raised by
the brothers' war has cleared away, and our historians tell what brought
and what followed that war with unclouded vision of cosmic agency, that
Jefferson Davis will be permanently placed high in the American temple of
fame. There he will be the world's contemplation, showing something like
Hester Prynne. As what was at first to her the branding placard of guilt
turned to a badge of the greatest righteousness, so has that which was
unutterable obloquy and disgrace to him become unparalleled fortune and



The master got the curse and the negro the blessing of slavery.

We set out by mentioning how certain ants have been injured by becoming
masters. Before this they were doubtless the equals of any
non-slaveholding tribe in self-maintenance. Now they "are waited upon and
fed by their slaves, and when the slaves are taken away the masters perish
miserably."[139] It did not become so bad as this with human slaveholders;
but the consequent disadvantage was very great, as we shall now exemplify
with some detail. We shall throughout keep to the average and typical man
and woman. And for brevity's sake, we shall not look beyond the domestic
and agricultural spheres, because when the reader has learned what slavery
did in these, he can of himself easily add the little required to make
complete statement of its entire effect.

In non-slave communities baby is tended only by mother and near relatives.
Though petted and indulged, it is steadily constrained into more obedience
to those who tend it. In due time the child is taking care of itself in
many things, and is also doing light chores. Until the parental roof has
been left he or she has every day something to do. What we may call the
open-air home-work is done by the boys, and the inside by the girls. But
in the old south baby commenced its life as a slaveholder with a nurse
that it learned to command by inarticulate cries and signs before it could
talk. And to the end, as grandfather or grandmother, self-service in many
common things, as is usual with all other people, was never learned, but
great expertness in getting these things done by slaves was learned

I was only fifteen years old in 1851, when I entered the sophomore class
in Princeton College, never having been out of the south before. Of course
much of my time at first was consumed in observing and thinking over many
sights very novel and strange to me. I came in August. Soon afterwards I
saw them saving their Indian corn. In the south we "pulled" the fodder,
and some weeks later we "pulled" the corn, leaving the stripped stalks
standing. But the New Jersey farmers, without removing the blades or the
ears, cut the stalks down, put them up in stacks, and after a while hauled
them to the barn. This was such a wonder that I described it minutely in a
letter to my mother. The next great surprise that I had was to note the
lady of the family and her daughters doing everything in and about the
house, which I used to see at home only the negroes do. They were
marvellously more expert and neat in despatch than the negroes. Their easy
and, as it seemed, effortless way of getting through their daily
employment grew upon me steadily. What I intently observed in those times
and reflected over much subsequently, I have had a recent experience to
refresh and enforce. In the summer of 1902 two ladies from Pennsylvania
took a house in Atlanta next to mine. They had never before been in the
south. I found out these lonely strangers at once, and was soon seeing
much of them. They kept no servant. The two did all the household tasks.
The younger washed the clothes. This is something which but few city
southern ladies, except those whose ancestors were not slaveholders, have
ever consented to do. The laundry of even the poorest families in our
towns is nearly always the care of a negro washerwoman. Although their
work was every day punctually done by my two new-found friends, and their
house always the tidiest, like the New Jersey ladies of my boyhood at
Princeton, they were never flustered nor worried, but were always pleasant
and agreeable.

Plainly they lived in far more ease and comfort than the native
housekeepers. There are two classes of the latter. In one is the woman who
is greatly plagued by the waste, dishonesty, and eye-service of her negro
cook and housemaid, and always in craven fear that she will wake up some
morning to know that they have taken French leave. In the other class is
the woman who often must, with the help only of her children, do
everything at home. What a laborious, fatiguing botch they make of it!
Their day-dream all the year round is to find that needle in a haystack, a
servant who will take no more than the established holidays and always
come in time to get breakfast.

I sorrow for these present housekeepers of the south. They all know by
heart and often retell to their children the tales of their mothers and
grandmothers,--how, early in the morning, the affectionate and faithful
nurses stole the children out of the room, without waking papa and mamma;
how the cook and the waiters, not superintended, had the best of
breakfasts ready at the right time; how at this meal there was happy
reunion of the family beginning a new day, the children bathed and in
their clean clothes, each one pretty as a picture and sweet as a pink; and
how all the affairs of the household under the magic touch of angel
servants were fitly despatched without trouble or worry to mamma, until
the day ended by the nurses' bathing the little tots again, putting them
to bed, and mammy's getting them to sleep by telling "The Tar Baby" or
some other adventure of Brer Rabbit over and over as often as sleepily
called for, or by singing sweet lullabies. With this vision of a real
fairyland in which their ancestors lived not so very long ago, how can any
one of these mothers of the new south contentedly make herself the only
nurse, cook, and house servant of her family? For many a year yet, to do
every day the drudgery of all three will be the extreme of discomfort and
sore trial to her. We must give her loving words and sympathy without
ceasing, and trust her to the slow but sure healing of inevitable

This lamentable condition of our southern woman is due, as plainly
appears, to the miseducation given their ancestors by slavery. Slavery
went forty years ago; but it left the negro, and the dependence of these
women upon her as their only servant. It is indispensable that they cut
loose completely from this dependence. Their resolve should be firm and
unwavering that they will learn to minister to themselves and their dear
ones, and teach the blessed art to their children; as their northern
sisters have always done. I would have them here receptively contemplate,
as a part of the new lesson which they must learn, this true and
enchanting picture of a New England home:

    "There are no servants in the house, but the lady in the snowy cap,
    with the spectacles, who sits sewing every afternoon among her
    daughters, as if nothing had ever been done, or were to be done,--she
    and her girls, in some long-forgotten forepart of the day _did up the
    work_, and for the rest of the time, probably, at all hours when you
    would see them, it is _done up_. The old kitchen floor never seems
    stained or spotted; the tables, the chairs, and the various cooking
    utensils never seem deranged or disordered; though three and sometimes
    four meals a day are got there, though the family washing and ironing
    is there performed, and though pounds of butter and cheese are in some
    silent and mysterious manner there brought into existence."[140]

Of course it is not to be demanded that the southern woman exactly
reproduce the New England system of fifty years ago just described by Mrs.
Stowe. But she must learn to be entirely independent of servants in the
era of co-operation, electric dish-washers, and other helping machines,
about to begin.

Let us see how it has been with the fathers and boys. The planting of the
old south required proportionally less cash outlay annually than any
common business that I now call to mind. The owner of 750 acres of
land--an ordinary plantation--worth $6,000, thirty slaves worth $18,000,
and mules and live-stock worth $1,000, had usually but five considerable
items of expense: the overseer with his family was "found"--to use the
then current vogue--and paid not more than $150 yearly wages; a few sacks
of salt to save the pork--a little to be given the live animals
occasionally; a few bars of iron for the plantation blacksmith shop--the
latter being furnished with bellows, anvil, tongs, screwplate, vise, and a
few other tools, all hardly amounting to $100 investment; sometimes coarse
cotton and woollen cloth for the clothes of the negroes, made by the
slave-women tailors (even in my day this cloth was, on many plantations,
spun and wove at home from the cotton and wool grown by the owner); and
the fifth item was a moderate bill of the family physician for attendance
upon the sick slaves. The whole would seldom amount to $350; and remember
the income yielding capital was $25,000. This planter paid no wages for
his labor; he bred his slaves, and all animals serving for work, food, or
pleasure;--in short, the establishment was self-supporting. The good
manager sold every year more than enough of meat, grain, and other produce
to pay the expense itemed a moment ago, and so the $1,200 from the sale of
his crop of thirty bales of cotton was often net income.

The natural increase of slaves which I have explained above operated in
many cases to encourage wastefulness and idleness. But even in the
majority of these cases the estates more than held their own.

Let us illustrate the change wrought by emancipation by having you to
contemplate a small middle Georgia farmer of to-day. If he employ but four
hands to his two plows, he will, in wages, fertilizers that have come into
general use since the war, purchase of meat, corn, and other supplies that
the slaves used to produce, necessarily lay out annually more than did the
planter making thirty bales as we mentioned above. If this small farmer
makes twenty bales--which is far above the average--worth, if the price
be, say, eight cents, $800--more than half of it will be needed to cover
his outlay. It is to be emphasized that as a general rule this farmer and
his boys have not yet been trained to work as steadily and diligently as
their circumstances demand of them. As the women slight in the house what
they regard as fit employment only of negroes, so the men do the same in
the farm. The whites of both sexes cling to the negro instead of making
good workers of themselves.

In the old south money grew of itself. Now constant alertness is needed to
see that every dollar laid out comes back, if not with addition, at least
without loss. To keep from falling behind, the farmer must have a very
much higher degree of mercantile capacity than he could ever acquire under
the old system. And he and his boys ought to supplant much of the negro
labor he now employs by their own systematic and steady work. All these
necessary lessons are very hard to learn, because to do that we must first
unlearn widely different ones.

This examination shows that the men of the new south are almost as
inadequate to the demands of the day as we found the women to be.

I do not mean to say that our women and men have not improved at all in
their respective spheres in the last forty years. I believe that when due
allowance is made for the unavoidable effect upon them of the system into
which they were all born it must be conceded that the little improvement
which they have made is greater than what could have been reasonably
expected. But I see clearly that the habits of thought and the modes of
house and farm economy, bred first from our contact with the negro slave
and then with the negro freedman, are yet an oppressively heavy load upon
our section.

I have now to do with a still greater evil as part of the curse of slavery
to the southern whites; which is, that it prevented the normal rise in the
section of a white labor class. If one but look steadily at developments,
either now in progress or surely impending, in Germany, France, England,
the English colonies, and the United States he sees that the workers most
of all are influencing the other classes to pursue the best policy in all
departments of government. The truth is that in every stage of society
there is the leading energy of some particular class. Let me make you
reflect over a few well-known examples. In their unremitted struggle with
the patricians, the plebeians of Rome gradually climbed out of their low
estate into complete political, civil, and social equality with the former
who had long been the constituency of the so-called republic. Some
centuries later a tacit combination of those belonging to each division of
the middle class dried all the fountains of civil disorder and made
domestic peace sure and permanent by establishing the Roman empire. Much
later employers of the free labor which had displaced slavery made
European towns democratic, and set them in such strong array against the
feudal barons that the latter were at last restrained from plundering the
new industry. The American revolution and the French revolution were each
mainly middle-class movements. By them the middle class cleared out of its
way, as far as it could, distinctions of birth, title, rank, and all other
special personal privileges. But, unawares, it put in the place of the old
hereditary lords and monopolists, known as such by everybody, a nobility
in disguise. The members of this nobility make no claim to our labor or
substance by reason of their having had such and such fathers or having
received such and such grants or patents to themselves as natural persons.
They pose as government agents in such functions as the transportation and
monetary, of which efficient, cheap, and impartial performance is vital to
the general welfare. Clandestinely they have had the law of the land made
or interpreted and the practice of government shaped each as they want it;
and sitting in their masks wherever these sovereign powers must be invoked
by producer or worker, it is these usurpers and not the legitimate public
authorities who must be applied to and given, not the just cost of the
service, but the supreme extortion possible. These masked rulers toll our
wages, profits, and property as insidiously and deeply as does indirect
compared with direct taxation. In fact they are government licensees,
levying upon us for their own benefit all the indirect taxation that we
can bear. Some--I may say, a large number--of middle-class property owners
and producers are heart and soul in strong and strengthening resistance
now forming against the tyrants they have unwittingly set up. But the
initiative and most effective elements of this benign uprising do not come
from the middle class. It was the workers who excited and kept at its
height the righteous indignation of the country that shamed the coal-trust
into decency. It is the workers who are the most influential of all that
strive to arm us with those plutocracy-destroying weapons, direct
nomination and direct legislation; and of all who demand that the
railroads pay just taxes; of all who would lay the axe at the root of
public corruption by having government resume its powers and do every one
of its duties without favor or prejudice to a single human being. It is
clear that the laborers are gathering all the anti-monopoly interests and
classes of society to their banner, and that from the steady and
increasing impulsion of these laborers, in unions and political campaigns,
industrial democracy will at last come in, to open the millennium by
keeping every man, woman, and child, except the wilfully idle and
criminal, permanently supplied with necessaries and comforts.

Who are the laborers that are both to spur and lead us forward in this
great course? Why, the white laborers, whose interests and whose
qualifications to share in governments are the same as those of the rest
of us; who are really part and parcel of the body politic and whose sons
and daughters can be married by our sons and daughters without social
degradation to themselves or degeneration of the proud Caucasian stock in
their children. The negroes cannot do the great work we are contemplating.
They are strangers in blood. They are as yet far too low in development.
It is idle to think of making these aliens, whose highest interests are
irreconcilably antagonistic to ours and our children's, allies of the
white laborers--a point which will be treated at large in later chapters.

To bring out the situation more clearly, suppose that instead of the eight
millions of negroes now in the south we had eight millions of native white
workers and no negroes at all. Would it not be far better for us of the
section? Would it not be far better for the anti-monopoly cause in the
north? Ought there not to be a real labor party in the south instead of
what we now see? The so-called labor party of the south has a large
percentage of leaders whose chief activity is to win positions in the
unions, in agitation, in the city and State government wherein they can
serve themselves by delivering the labor vote to corporate interests, or
doing the latter legislative or official favor--a sure symptom that the
movement is as yet merely incipient. In no northern State have the
railroads and allied corporations such complete command of nominative,
appointive, and legislative machinery as in Georgia; and it seems to me
that Georgia is but fairly representative of all the south except South
Carolina, which has advanced further in direct nomination than any other
one of the United States. In many places the people of the north are
successfully rising against the corporation oligarchs. In New York and
Michigan the latter have been made to pay some of the taxes which they had
always been dodging. In a recent Boston referendum the street railroad,
which for years had ridden roughshod over the public at will, was snowed
under, although it had the machine, all the five daily papers but one, and
the outside of that, fighting for it with might and main. Los Angeles,
followed by three or four other towns, has just made a beginning with the
_Recall_. Oregon has direct legislation. Illinois has pushed ahead with
both direct nomination and direct legislation. Cities here and there, in
very grateful contrast with the apathy prevalent in this section, have
awakened to the importance of rightly guarding the common property in
public-service franchises. I could cite many other examples which show
that the anti-plutocratic tide gathers force all over the north. Why is it
that there is this blessed insurgence against corporation misrule there,
and hardly a trace of it here? Simply because the north has and the south
has not the motor of insurgence--a real labor class, growing steadily in
zeal and organization, and rapidly increasing in numbers.

That a southern State has no real labor class with potent influence upon
the public, puts it as far behind the most enlightened communities in
political and governmental condition, as it was with its slaves behind
them in productive condition. Such a State lacks a most essential organ of
the highest types of democracy.[141]

To sum up: Slavery disqualified the white men and women of the south for
the domestic and business management proper to this era; and ever since
emancipation the presence of a large number of negroes available for labor
in house and on the farm, and preventing the coming in of any other labor,
has powerfully helped both races in their efforts naturally made to retain
the familiar ways of the old system. Thus the south has been sadly
retarded in her due economical rehabilitation. In the second place, it has
kept the political influence of labor at the minimum, and consequently
sent her backwards in true democracy, while England, the English
colonies, and the northern States, are slowly but surely going forward.

These are the main things. Let me in briefest mention suggest some of
their results, which, at first blush, seem to be independent.

Slavery engendered among the whites a disrespect for labor, which,
although now at last dying out, is still of hurtful influence.

As negroes were always and everywhere in number sufficient to do every
task of labor, there was but little demand for labor-saving machines and
methods--a fact which prevented the southern whites from developing the
inventive faculty equally with their northern brothers. We all are
beginning to see that, except in much of agriculture and other activities
in which the process is that of nature and not of art, the future of
industry belongs more and more to the constantly improving machine.

Think of such things as these in the brood of evils brought forth by
slavery;--agriculture primitive or superannuated in many particulars; our
entire structure of investment, production, and occupation bottomed upon
slaves, property in which could be, and was, totally destroyed by a stroke
of the pen; immigration both from Europe and the north repelled; slowness
in exploiting our water power and mines; inferior common schools, and lack
of town-meeting government due to the sparseness of the population and
their roving habits which were incident to the plantation system. I have
given some consideration to these in the "Old and New South," and I refer
you to that.[142]

Of course had there never been any negro slavery in America we should have
escaped the brothers' war, its spilling of blood, its waste of wealth, and
the long sickness of the section unto death which has ensued. And to-day
in solid prosperity, institutions, government, and progressiveness in
everything good, the section would be abreast of the other. Nay, her
better climate, her agricultural products--especially her cotton, which
she would have learned to make with white labor--these and other resources
would, I fully believe, have by this time pushed her far into the lead. As
it actually is, she is far, far behind. She has been sorely scourged, not
for any moral guilt.

  "Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt."

It was because she did that which the wisest and best had done--the Greeks
who gave the world culture and democracy, the Jews who gave it religion,
the Romans who gave it law and civil institutions. She really did far
better than they did. She did not enslave the free. She merely took some
of the only inveterate slaves upon earth out of lawless slavery, in which
they would have otherwise remained indefinitely without recognition of the
dearest human rights, and placed them in a far other slavery which was for
them an unparalleled rise in liberty and well-being; which was, as becomes
more and more probable with time, the only opportunity by which any
considerable portion of the negro race can ever evolve upward into the
capability of enlightened self-government. In doing this she unconsciously
antagonized the purposes of the iron-hearted powers guarding the American
union, and when the critical moment of that union came, they dashed her to

It will be many a year before the pathos of southern history can be fully
told. I must satisfy myself here by saying only that the curse of African
slavery to her has been of magnitude and weight incredible, and that one
cannot yet be sure when it will end.

The title of the chapter demands that I now tell you of the blessing of
African slavery in the United States to the negro. Of course there are
many who have been born into the unequalified condemnation of every form
of slavery, which was resolutely preached for years all over the north by
conscientious men and women of great ability and influence. Such will
exclaim against me, and perhaps some of them will not even read the rest
of the chapter. But it is my note, which becomes surer and more confident
every year, that the great body of men and women shrink from every
over-positively urged dogma. I have already mentioned those who are trying
to curb the evils of drink. All the while an increasing majority of them
recognize that to assert that any use of liquor, wine, or beer is a moral
wrong, as do a noisy few in season and out of season, is too extreme to be
true or even politic. The ultra democrat will zealously justify the
assassination of Julius Cæsar, while the wisest friends of the people
become more firmly convinced every century that the empire which Cæsar
founded was, by reason of the circumstances, the best possible government
for the Romans of that and the succeeding times;--the surest guaranty that
the main benefits of ancient civilization should be preserved for the
human race. And as there has now and then been something of substantial
good in even absolute government, there has also been good to the slave in
his slavery. Surely it was an improvement of the captor and a bettering of
the condition of the prisoner of war, not to barbecue the latter, as was
the custom for ages, but to have him work for a master. Perhaps the
fabulist Æsop had been a slave. Terence, a great Roman dramatist, surely
had been. Horace's father had been one. It may well be true that it was
slavery that gave each one of these three immortals his opportunity. The
more familiar you become with ancient history the larger you estimate the
number of those to have been who as slaves got many of the benefits of
Greek and Roman civilization, which benefits they afterwards transmitted
to free descendants. I need not repeat what I have already told--how the
negroes in the mass were advantaged by transfer from slavery in Africa to
slavery in America. But do let me inquire, would Professor DuBois have
ever outstripped all the white children in a New England school, graduated
creditably from two American universities, studied at the university of
Berlin, acquired the degree of Master of Arts and then that of Doctor of
Philosophy, been made in sociology fellow of Harvard and assistant of the
university of Pennsylvania, become president of the American Negro
Academy, got the professorship of economics and history in Atlanta
University, and pushed forward as an author into prominent and most
respectable place; all before he was thirty-six years old--would Professor
DuBois have surpassed this brilliant career, if an "evil, Dutch trader"
had not seized his "grandfather's grandmother--two centuries ago"?[143] If
the transfer just mentioned had not been made what would now be Fred
Douglass, Booker Washington, Richard R. Wright, Professor DuBois, Bishop
Turner, and other great negroes, their good works and glory? Would Hayti
have arranged for some of its young men to be trained in farming at
Tuskegee? more especially do I ask, would negroes educated at Tuskegee be
now teaching the missionaries how to christianize the Africans of
Togoland? Who would now be arousing people north and south in behalf of
the race? and where could nine millions of blacks be found--or even half a
million--as far above the African level of to-day as ours?

My conclusion is that the whites and the negroes of the south ought to
learn wisdom and interchange their holidays and great annual rejoicings.
The former ought to keep the anniversary of the emancipation proclamation
as the southern 4th of July, and the blacks ought to observe that day by
wearing mourning and eating bitter herbs. Further, the negroes of America
ought to celebrate the day when the Dutch ship landed the first Africans
at Jamestown as the dawn of their hopes as a people.



The proposition of the heading has really been demonstrated in the
foregoing chapters. I feel that the demonstration should have impressive
enforcement. It will surely be for the great good of our country if the
brothers of each section be truly convinced that those of the other were
morally right in the slavery struggle from beginning to end.

Let us begin by noting the ambiguity of the word "right." Something may be
right in expediency, policy, or reason, and yet wrong ethically. Likewise
something may be a mistake and wrong in policy while it is right in
morals. General Sherman was a conspicuous example of the almost universal
proneness to confound right in the sense first mentioned above with it in
the other. The two are widely different--not merely in degree, but in
kind. That which is right or wrong in expediency is decided by the
understanding--by the head; that which is right or wrong ethically is
decided for every human being by his own conscience--by his heart. To try
with all my might to do a particular thing may be my highest moral duty;
to try with all your might to keep me from doing it may be yours. The
brothers who set up the southern confederacy and defended it, the brothers
who warred upon it and overturned it--they were on each side sublimely
conscientious; for every one--to use the high word of Lincoln--was doing
the right as God gave him to see it. No people ever waged a war with
deeper and more solemn conviction of duty than did our northern brothers.
Rome, rising unvanquished from every great victory of Hannibal, much as
she has been most justly lauded by foremost historians, fell behind them
in supreme effort--in undaunted perseverance in spite of disaster after
disaster until the difficulty insuperable was overcome. We of the south
should be proud of this unparalleled achievement of our brothers. Most of
all should we be proud of the complete self-abnegation and unwavering
obedience to conscience with which they waded a sea of blood, for the
welfare of future generations rather than their own. I am glad to observe
that many who most affectionately remember the lost cause have come at
last to concede without qualification that the restoration of the union by
force of arms was morally right. But I note that as yet only a few at the
north--men like Dr. Lyman Abbott, Mr. Charles F. Adams, and Professor
Wendell--have learned that the south, in all that she did in "The Great
War,"[144] was likewise morally right. To show that the confederates were
exemplary champions of a legitimate government, I need not repeat what I
have said above when I told how southern nationalization had given them a
country of their own as dear to them and as much mistress of their
consciences as the union was to the northern people. If there are those
who cannot bring themselves to allow the all-potent coercion of the
nationalization mentioned as justification, and who still think of us as
traitors and rebels, I beg them to give due consideration to the feelings
with which the southerner now looks back upon his life in the confederate
army. I call a most convincing witness to testify. I do not know a man who
ever followed what his conscience pronounced right more faithfully, who
was truer to the better traditions of the old south, and who was a more
devoted soldier in the brothers' war, nor do I know another who now draws
from every class in his community more respect for real manhood and
honesty. All who know him will believe his word against an oracle or an
angel. Here is what he said thirty-seven years after the close of the war:

    "That period of my life is the one with which I am the most nearly
    satisfied. A persistent, steady effort to do my duty--an effort
    persevered in in the midst of privation, hardship, and danger. If ever
    I was unselfish, it was then. If ever I was capable of self-denial, it
    was then. If ever I was able to trample on self-indulgence, it was
    then. If ever I was strong to make sacrifices, even unto death, it was
    in those days; and if I were called upon to say on the peril of my
    soul, when it lived its highest life, when it was least faithless to
    true manhood, when it was most loyal to the best part of man's nature,
    I would answer, 'It was when I followed a battle-torn flag through its
    shifting fortune of victory and defeat.'

    My comrades, how easy it is to name the word that characterizes and
    strikes the keynote of that time and should explain our pride to all
    the world--self sacrifice--that spirit and that conduct which raise
    poor mortals nearest to divinity. Oh, God in heaven, what sacrifices
    did we not make! How our very heart strings were torn as we turned
    from our home, our parents, our children!... How poor we were! How
    ragged! How hungry! When I recall the light-heartedness, the courage,
    the cheerfulness, the fidelity to duty which lived and flourished
    under such circumstances, from the bottom of my heart I thank God that
    for four long years I wore, if not brilliantly, at least faithfully
    and steadfastly, in camp and bivouac, in advance and retreat, on the
    march and on the battlefield, the uniform of a confederate

The passage just quoted most truly expresses the feelings with which the
southern people stood by their cause and now look back upon the support
which they gave it. In this matter their word will be taken by everybody.
Their actions before, during, and ever since the war speak louder than
their word. There can be no doubt that in founding the Confederate States
and waging the resulting war everything they did was counselled by the
most tender and enlightened conscience. Bear in mind how they clung to
Davis and how they still remember him, winning the precious eulogy

            "--he that can endure
  To follow with allegiance a fallen lord
  Does conquer him that did his master conquer,
  And earns a place i' the story."

Bear in mind how truly they keep Memorial Day. The love which the south
gives Davis and her dead soldiers protests to all the earth and heaven the
righteousness of her lost cause. Calmly, serenely, confidently she awaits
future judgment upon her love. It needs that all the north appreciate this
fealty as the height of heaven-climbing virtue.

The real soldiers of each section--those who--to use a confederate
saying--were "in the bullet department," and fighting every day, learned
great regard for their foes; and when the war ended they became at once
advocates of speedy reconciliation. And the non-combatants on each side
felt far less resentment towards the actual fighters of the other than
they did towards its political leaders. It is a common error to overrate
the accomplishment of potent and ambitious men in tumultuous times. As the
world long ascribed meteorological phenomena to the mutations of the moon,
conspicuous above all things else as the apparent cause, so most people
now believe that revolutions are caused by the men who appear to be
leading. We have explained above that the only effective leaders--even of
revolutions--are those who are the most completely led by the people. To
lead, the leader must keep on the tide and let it lead him. If he makes
serious effort to balk it, he is at once stranded as a piece of drift
thrown out of the current. All of us--both those north and those south of
Mason and Dixon's line--ought to learn this truth thoroughly. The former
should correct their false judgments as to Calhoun, Toombs, Yancey, and
Davis; the latter as to Sumner, Garrison, and Phillips. It was but to be
expected that these false judgments would be cherished all through what we
may call the era of civil fury. That begins with the excitement over the
admission of California and extends to the time after the war when the
project of giving a negro constituency the balance of political power in
each southern State was abandoned. But now as the brothers can look back
upon those evil days with at least the beginning of dispassionate
calmness, the task of convincing the whole people of each section that the
more prominent figures of the other in the era mentioned were all true men
and patriots, should be pushed forward with his whole might by every one
who loves his country. It is not demanded that we claim too much for them.
To begin illustrating: Toombs's Tremont Temple lecture on slavery is such
an able and powerful defence of the south that its reputation must forever
increase. Yet as we consider it now we see that what he believed with all
his heart to be the perpetual pillar and weal of his community was in fact
its woe and ruin. We see, as to Calhoun, that if he had but given the
resources of southern slavery against the implacable oppugnancy of free
labor, roused for decisive combat, the sure and marvellous vision with
which he searched the innermost nature of money, he would have had to
acknowledge that the proud structure of southern society was wholly
builded upon sands. The rains descended and the floods beat, and we saw
the great fall. Of course we must admit that had our leaders been endowed
with unerring prescience they ought to have warned us, and striven heart
and soul for compensated emancipation. I need merely allude to State
sovereignty, treated fully above. We of the south now see that though in
advocating it we showed that the fathers were with us, and thus got the
better of the argument, yet that the north was right in historical fact,
and right also as to the true interest and welfare of America. Thus I have
indicated some important acknowledgments which we of the south must make
to our brothers of the north. Now I must state some that they must make to

The root-and-branch abolitionists and many following their lead
interpreted the statement in the declaration of independence that all men
are created equal and with inalienable liberty as both intentional and
actual condemnation of the slavery then existing in our country. They shut
their eyes to the significant fact that the same document published to the
world, as one of the causes justifying the solemn act therein proclaimed,
that the king had "excited domestic insurrections amongst us"; which means
he had instigated the slaves to rise against their masters. Many of the
signers owned slaves then and to the end of their lives afterwards.
Palpably the declaration did not mean to say that the negroes in America
were unjustly held in slavery, but did mean to say that inciting them--as
John Brown with the approval of Phillips, Garrison, and such, afterwards
sought to do--to gain their liberty by insurrection was inhuman and
atrocious. These root-and-branch abolitionists confidently alleged that
slavery in America was proscribed by the christian religion. Yet Jesus,
the founder, who definitely reprehended every particular sin, never once
denounced slavery. Paul, or some one else, whom the canon accepts as
speaking with the authority of Jesus, says: "All who are in the position
of slaves should regard their masters as deserving of the greatest
respect, so that the name of God, and our teaching may not be maligned.
Those who have christian masters should not think less of them because
they are brothers, but on the contrary they should serve them all the
better, because those who are to benefit by their good work are dear to
them as their fellow-christians. Those are the things to insist upon in
your teaching. Any one who teaches otherwise, and refuses his assent to
sound instruction--_the instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ_--and to the
teaching of religion, is puffed up with conceit, not really knowing
anything, but having a morbid craving for discussions and arguments."[146]

The passage last quoted--to which several others from the new testament,
almost as strong, can be added--demonstrates that christianity did not
disapprove of slavery. Further, as I have already suggested, the slavery
not rebuked by Jesus and his apostles was mainly that of kin in blood and
race, of those who had been in a measure free themselves or descendants of
the free. The slaves of the south were far remote in blood, and their
native condition so bad that American slavery was for them elevation and
great improvement.

The new testament, the declaration of independence, and the federal
constitution--surely three very respectable authorities, in America at
least--stand together in solid phalanx. They clearly demonstrate that the
charge that southern slavery was heinously wrong in itself, and that the
masters were wicked man-stealers and kidnappers, made for a long while in
every corner of the north, was mere opprobrium and abuse. Both sections
ought to learn that there was nothing in negro slavery to shock the moral
sense, but that on the contrary it was in its general effect of the utmost
beneficence to the slave. Both ought to learn also that the white-hot zeal
with which the institution was fought was due mainly to these things:

1. Free labor had long been in an uncompromising hand-to-hand struggle
with slave labor. Years before this commenced the employing class had
subconsciously divined it was far more profitable to hire the laborer only
when his work was needed, and then let him go until he was needed again.
The worker with the advance of democracy had become more and more hostile
to a system coercing his labor and denying him all political and civil
rights. The co-operation of employer and laborer had expelled slavery of
white men from Europe. The feeling towards slavery had become one of
decided opposition.

2. In America the opposition to slavery was powerfully re-enforced, first,
by the new cause the latter gave in competing with free labor for the
unsettled public domain, and then in its operation to nationalize the
south into a separate federation. With this combined the growing
conception among the northern people of the negro as a man who had reached
the stage of development characterizing the typical white. This huge
mistake, hugged to their bosoms and championed with unflagging zeal by the
ablest and most influential root-and-branch abolitionists, had a
prodigious propagandic effect. It identified the cause of the negro slave,
whom evolution had not yet made ready for liberty, with that of the
oppressed European who had been long ready for it; and consequently that
cause was continuously advocated with the passion which the French
revolution had started against human inequality. The root-and-branch
abolitionists at last excited a pseudo-moral paroxysm among thousands at
the north and kept it increasing for a long while.

Facts which cannot now be gainsaid plainly justify me in denying that
conscientious conviction was the real primary motive. The northern and
southern churches split, all the wisest and best of the former standing
against, all those of the latter for slavery. You must see that their
moral convictions were secondary, not primary motives; that some superior
power had given to one side to regard slavery as wrong and to the other to
regard it as right; that it really had given the two sides differing
consciences. If you but invoke the universal history of mankind this fact
now under consideration will cease to appear marvellous. You will find it
to be the rule that the struggle for existence develops in every community
an instinct which resistlessly prompts to the maintenance of its great
economic interest. This instinct is the special preserver of the family,
of the neighborhood, of the country. It is not strange that that which
gives sustenance and comfort to one's family, and what he sees all the
best of his neighbors using as he does, will seem unquestionably right to
him. It is not strange that, in such a serious conflict of interest as the
intersectional one of dividing a vast empire between such fell
competitors as free labor and slave labor, each side will differ
diametrically in conscience as to right and wrong. Also it is not strange
that they should lose temper, shower abuse upon their opponents, and fill
the land with mutual accusations of heinous moral offences.

It is just as far wrong to regard the controversy between anti- and
pro-slavery men--which was at bottom but a quarrel between north and south
at first over the division of the Territories between the free labor
system and the slave labor system, and later over the other question
whether a slave republic should divide the continent with the United
States--as a contest over a moral question, as it would be to make either
the American or the French revolution such a contest. All three--the
intersectional struggle as to slavery and the two revolutions--were mainly
impelled by a desire of each side in every one to better or hold on to its
material resources--that is, the leading impulsion was economic. Of course
the combatants on each side claimed that they themselves were right and
their adversaries wrong in morals. The rencounter between free labor and
slave labor was very much like that now on between capitalists and labor
organizations. Note how each side denounces the conduct of the other,
alleging it to be against moral justice. The most superficial observer
discerns that the real cause of difference between them is not one of
conscience, but one of interest. We ought to understand that the
crimination of the root-and-branch abolitionist and the recrimination of
the fire-eater were each but stage thunder. The southern master must be
wholly exonerated from the charge that in working his slave he committed
moral offence against the dearest American rights; the claim for the
African, who was in a far lower circle of development, of equal civil and
political privileges with the white must be disallowed; and it be fully
conceded that the southern people, leaders and all, were but doing their
conscience-commanded duty throughout. Also we of the south must learn that
the root-and-branch abolitionist, even in his wildest moments--Sumner
refusing in the United States senate to show respect to Butler's gray
hairs, Wendell Phillips degrading Washington below Toussaint, Garrison
denouncing the slavery-protecting constitution as a covenant with death
and an agreement with hell, John Brown's raid into Virginia--was just as
conscientious as Robert Lee was when he was defending the soil of his
native State. They were each irresistibly constrained by the powers
working to save the union to think his particular action right and the
highest patriotism.

When the quarrel is over, when the broil and the feud have been fought out
and the survivors have shaken hands, when the lawsuit has become a thing
of the past and the litigants have renewed their old relations, no wise
and good man keeps repeating the accusations of bad faith and of
unrighteous conduct which he passionately hurled against his adversary
during the variance. Rather he confesses to himself, "I wronged him when I
said those hot words;" and his repentance does not bring complete peace
until he has found his brother and taken all of them back.

If it only could be, the nation ought to have a great reunion, a feast of
reconcilement, where, with proper solemnities, the people of each section,
with their forefathers and leaders, should be fully and finally exculpated
as to everything done for or against slavery by the people of the other
section. It is plain that both ought to forget and forgive. They ought to
do still more. They ought to compete each in utmost effort to vindicate
the favorites and loved ones of the other the more intelligently, and to
admire and praise them the more enthusiastically. This would be to bring
the millennium nearer, and give our country "a nobleness in record upon"
all others. It only needs for this consummation to cast aside the remnant
of greatly diminished prejudice, and make a brief study of a small volume
of material evidence and of the ordinary principles which guide the
conduct of the good citizen. Such study will show that southerner and
northerner throughout their fell encounter have each the very highest
claims to the respect and love of the entire nation.

What a golden deed it was of President McKinley when, December 14, 1898,
fully using a rare opportunity, he spake in his high place to the members
of the Georgia legislature this message of reunion:

    "Sectional lines no longer mar the map of the United States. Sectional
    feeling no longer holds back the love we bear each other. Fraternity
    is the national anthem, sung by a chorus of forty-five States and our
    Territories at home and beyond the seas. The union is once more the
    common altar of our love and loyalty, our devotion and sacrifice. The
    old flag again waves over us in peace with new glories, which your
    sons and ours have this year added to its sacred folds. What cause we
    have for rejoicing, saddened only because so many of our brave men
    fell on the field or sickened and died from hardship and exposure, and
    others returning bring wounds and disease from which they will long
    suffer. The memory of the dead will be a precious legacy, and the
    disabled will be the nation's care.

    Every soldier's grave made during our unfortunate civil war is a
    tribute to American valor. And while when those graves were made we
    differed widely about the nature of this government, these differences
    have been settled by the arbitrament of arms. The time has now come,
    in the evolution of sentiment and feeling, under the providence of
    God, when in the spirit of fraternity we should share with you the
    care of the graves of the confederate soldiers. The cordial feeling
    now happily existing between the north and south prompts this
    gracious act. If it needs further justification, it is found in the
    gallant loyalty to the union and the flag so conspicuously shown in
    the year just passed by the sons and grandsons of these heroic dead."

By the favor given Fitzhugh Lee, Joe Wheeler, and other old confederates,
and his earnest and successful efforts for universal amnesty to all who
had helped our cause, Mr. McKinley had already won the hearts of the
southern people. This speech increased our love a hundred fold. We
repeated the "soft words" over and over, companioning them with

  "O they banish our anger forever
  When they laurel the graves of our dead."

On each one of our three subsequent Memorial Days during his life he was
thought of as tenderly as the precious dead. And since the death of
Jefferson Davis there has been no sorrow of the south equal to that over
his assassination. This is the age of funerals that crown with supreme
popular honor the doers of high deeds for country and race. The imposing
obsequies given the president, the demonstrations in his own section, and
those in foreign lands, have rarely been outdone. But he had a greater
glory. It was the genuine lamentation over him that day by reconciled
brothers and sisters in every southern household. You that know history
better, tell me when and where a whiter and sweeter flower was ever laid
upon a coffin.

Let all of us on each side of the old dividing line strive without ceasing
to give the good work which the great peacemaker begun so well its fit

And replacing hate and anger with love, fiction with fact, and false
doctrine with true, let the people of the north and the people of the
south join heads, consciences, and hearts to ascertain what is our duty
both to negro and white, and then join hands and do that duty.



1. Dense fogs from various sources have settled over this subject. The
root-and-branch abolitionists have made many believe that emancipation of
the slaves was the great object of the north in the brothers' war. The
authors and defenders of the three amendments--especially of the
fifteenth--have made many others believe that the inferiority of the
southern negro is the effect of American slavery; that the cause having
been removed by emancipation he became at once ready and well prepared for
the exercise of political privileges; and that the practical denial to him
of this exercise is a heinous crime of the southern whites. Politicians
want southern negro ballots in national conventions and the northern negro
vote in elections. The bounty, both public and private, founding,
sustaining, and multiplying colleges, schools, and other negro educational
institutions, finds a growing host of beneficiaries--such as site-owners,
who scheme to sell for two prices, those who want to be presidents,
principals, professors, teachers, even janitors and floor-scrubbers,
schoolbook publishers, and still others--who would keep it copiously
flowing; and so they all magnify the ability of the typical negro and the
benefit to him of the institutions mentioned. Respectable and influential
magazines and newspapers, with an increasing number of negro readers,
really believe that very many more can be added by a little effort, and so
they champion what these readers favor. Persuasive speakers and writers
like Mr. Edgar Gardner Murphy, unconsciously influenced either by
employers who would always have a wage-depressing lever at command, or by
those who would have Cuffee do what they ought themselves to do, overrate
the importance of negro labor as a southern resource. And the last fog
makers whom I shall mention are the inveterate optimists--amiable beyond
expression--who will not admit that there is now any serious menace to
either race in the south.

The several fogs enumerated overlay one another in an aggregate too opaque
for the uncleared eye to pierce. As examples of their obscuring effect,
consider anything said in the census as to the negro, and the articles
"Negro Education," "Negro in America," and especially "Hayti" in the
Encyclopedia Americana lately published. The authors of the fifteenth
amendment, in making voters and rulers of late negro slaves, repeated what
had been done in Hayti. It seems therefore that the Encyclopedia must tell
nothing of the island but what is good. So we read in the relevant article
that it abolished slavery in 1804, being "the first country to rid
humanity of such a sad practice;" that there education "is compulsory and
gratuitous," a sixth of the revenues being devoted to it, and the most
pleasant things concerning religion, liberal naturalization practice,
natural and artificial products, railroads, telegraph, and telephone. One
without other information would surely think the community greatly
advanced and blessed. Its true condition is thus told in Brockhaus by
somebody who does not swear by the fifteenth amendment: "It may be said in
general that the country is sparsely populated, partly because of
incessant civil wars, partly because of a high infant death rate."[147]

These fogs must be lifted. Great harm to each race will follow if we
persist in keeping the facts concealed.

2. Do not confound the feeling that you are different from Jew, European,
protestant, catholic, absolutist, socialist, anarchist, or any other
white, with the feeling that you are different from negroes; for to do
this is to keep you from all clear thinking upon our present subject. The
former are all of our own race, and we can and do intermarry with them to
the improvement of our population. If the per cent of negroes was no
greater in the south than in the north, fusion could not be a very grave
matter; for should it become complete, our lily-white would not be
diminished by the fraction of a shade. But to absorb the eight millions of
them now in our section would make us chocolate, if not mulatto. Their
color is the smallest racial objection. Although their schooling for two
centuries and more in American slavery has elevated them--as Mr.
Tillinghast proves--far above what they were in native slavery, still
their cranial capacity, brain convolutions, and moral, intellectual, and
social development--inherited without fault of theirs--from West African
ancestors, are still greatly inferior to ours. Remote generations of our
forefathers were much lower than the present American negroes, as Darwin
admits in the oft quoted passage, describing his first sight of the
Fuegians. We should never forget that the Caucasian was once on a level
with those Fuegians. The negroes when they came to America were little
better. And yet they have gone up so much higher, it is plain that
evolution, if only permitted to work in a proper environment, will do for
them what it has done for us.

But the whites cannot consent to intermarriage. That would greatly benefit
the negroes. While some who have never had good opportunity of actual
observation confidently contend that there are no backward or lower
races, we southerners have noted all our lives that a very great majority
of the negroes who climb above the level and prosper in occupation, have a
large admixture of white blood. It would be an enormous rise for the mass
if fusion were assured. But for us--why, we should disinherit our children
of their share in the grand destiny of the Caucasian race if we made
average negroes their fathers or mothers.

Southern dread of amalgamation is not to be scouted as a mere bugbear.
Think of the half-breeds that lined all the border between the States and
the Indians; of how the whites have mixed with native races in Mexico,
Central and South America; of white and negro intermingling in Cuba,
Hayti, Jamaica, in the United States, and especially in the south. Think
of whites and negroes now legally married and marrying in the neighboring
States of the Union. In 1902, eight white women were living with negro
husbands in Xenia, Ohio;[148] and there were children of all these mixed
marriages except one.[149] Consider also that prominent negroes advocate
these marriages. Douglass had a white wife. He preached that the American
negro must set before himself assimilation as his true goal. Professor
DuBois is really a disciple of Douglass, as appears from some of his
utterances. We give in a footnote what another prominent negro has
recently said in public.[150] The moment that the negro became an
influential factor in southern politics, a real agitation against the
anti-intermarriage laws would begin. There would come a small number of
negroes, controlling votes, of so much property and respectability that
their children would be regarded as eligible matches by some of the poorer
and more destitute whites. Marriages between such, solemnized on a visit
to a State permitting, would occur. And our laws last mentioned would be
more and more evaded and their repeal become gradually more probable. When
they had won political equality with the patricians, the Roman plebeians
repealed the prohibition of intermarriage which the former had stubbornly
maintained. These two orders were of the same race. Therefore
intermarriage could not be the boon to the plebeians that it would now be
to the southern negro, lifting him up as it would do. If he has
opportunity, he will struggle for it more resolutely than the plebeians
did. A small number of negroes have already been assimilated in America,
and a few more are still to be assimilated, as I shall explain later on.
This sure deliverance from the destruction which now threatens is more and
more sought after by the intelligent few. And if the vote of the negroes
was allowed to count, it would not be long until, under the example and
appeal of their leaders, all of them would be making for that haven of
refuge. Mongrelism beats upon the border all around the south; it
threatens to burst forth from an exhaustless source within. We know we
must keep it out as Holland does the ocean. Subconsciously discerning that
fusion would probably follow the entrance of the negro into government,
the whites have made of the race primary and other measures _de facto_
disfranchising him, dikes against the filthy waters of mongrelism which
they would not have to wash over themselves. This is not because we hate
the negro. We love and cherish him. It is not to be demanded of us that we
sacrifice ourselves, our children, and our children's children for his
sake. We will gladly do all that friends--nay, that near relatives--can
with justice ask of one another, to better his condition and rescue him.
We cannot give him political power at the cost of our degeneration.

I would enforce the foregoing contents of this section with these
profoundly true and very forcible words of a northern man, now residing in
Columbia, South Carolina:

    "A word about race hatred, race revulsion, or race antipathy. Many
    people in the north believe the devil is the author of it, and some
    people in the south are more devoted to it than to religion. Race
    antipathy is really a race instinct, a moral anti-toxin developed by
    nature in the individual whose environment involves constant and close
    contact with an inferior race in large numbers. It works for the
    salvation of the purity of the superior race."[151]

Professor DuBois says that "legal marriage is infinitely better than
systematic concubinage and prostitution."[152] And some writers seem to
think it would be well to coerce miscegenators to legitimate their
relations by intermarrying. An innocent girl--a maid--undone; all good men
and women are agreed that her seducer should be made to marry her.[153]
But that is only where the marriage would be tolerated by society. Thus it
would not make man and wife of parties to an incestuous liaison. No
moralist contends that one who has received a favor from a public woman is
under obligation to become her husband. The miscegenation common is that
between white men and promiscuous black women. How idle is the attempt to
put these cases on a par with that of the ruin of a virtuous woman. And
Professor DuBois could not have rightly weighed the words in which he
represents them to be as criminal as those horrible offences which
especially provoke lynching; that is, that the negro woman who consented
most willingly to the embraces of her master was as foully wronged by him
as her mistress would be by a slave who outraged her against her
will.[154] No. Intermarriage of these mixed lovers is not demanded by any
principle of justice. But the public weal does demand that such a
tremendous evil as amalgamation be kept off by the surest and most
decisive measures. It is playing with plague and curse unspeakable for us
of the south to permit the existence of any condition which tends even in
the slightest degree to legalize intermarriage.[155]

3. Writers still under the spell of the root-and-branch abolitionists who
were wont to exalt Toussaint, the Haytian general, above our Washington,
strain hard to conceal the real cause of the lamentable conditions now
prevailing in Hayti and San Domingo. One tells us that because of the many
mountains, there being no railroad system, separate communities are
defended by almost impregnable natural barriers, and as neighboring
peoples are hereditary enemies, there is always war somewhere. The remedy
recommended is to build railroads in the island as the English have done
in Jamaica. Another writer tells us that we must not jump to the
conclusion that all the inhabitants of San Domingo are degraded negroes;
that while the population of the interior are sunk in ignorance,
superstition, and barbarism, yet in the capital and the coast towns there
are some people of apparently lily-white strain, well educated, speaking
two or three languages, who supply the mulatto republic with generals and
political leaders. The masses of these Dominicans are very patriotic, and
would indeed do finely if they were not divided into hostile parties by
self-seeking agitators. And you may consult many others who keep back the
real explanation. There is one cardinal fact which stands forth in the
history of Hayti as prominently as slavery does in the train of American
events which brought on the brothers' war. It is this: soon after the
outbreak of the French revolution the mulattoes were accorded political
privileges, and then a little later--it was in 1794--France equalized the
negroes of her colonies just freed with the whites in political and civil
rights. This made the negroes of Hayti, who were in intelligence and
development somewhat below those of the south when the latter were
emancipated, full-fledged self-governing republicans. The whites were but
few. What of them were not massacred at once by the blacks fled for their
lives. The history of both the Haytian and the Dominican republic (the
latter achieving its independence in 1844) is the same. Their people make
a hell on earth of the most beautiful and fertile of islands. As slavery
was plainly the cause of the southern confederacy, the grant of political
power to the mulattoes and negroes not at all qualified to use it is just
as plainly the cause and sole author of chronic civil war and anarchy in
Hayti and San Domingo.

This enfranchisement of semi-barbarians was from the 'prentice hand of a
new republic, without any experience in free institutions. The English did
far better when they emancipated the Jamaica negro by the act of 1833.
They gave him full protection of his liberty, person, and contract and
property rights. Five sixths of the 800,000 of its present population are
colored people or blacks. These--to quote the Encyclopedia
Americana--"have no share in the government whatever." It further says:
"The Jamaica negroes are fairly good laborers when well fed; the menial
work of the island is performed by them, and they are regarded as
cheerful, honest, and respectful servants."

This happy condition of quiet and content is not due to the fact that the
railroads prevent settlement of the negroes in separate neighboring
communities to quarrel and fight with one another; but it is because the
English never allowed them to get the taste of blood as the French
permitted to their brothers in Hayti; they have not been incited by
unseasonable political power to license and riot.

The negroes of Jamaica are evidently bettering in condition slowly. They
need only enough of Booker Washingtons to rise much faster. I beg
attention to this comparison of Jamaica and Hayti, made by a well-informed
negro, a native of the former, who lived there until some nine years ago,
and who has lately lived several years in Hayti:[156]

    "They [the negroes of Jamaica] aim at rising, but many make the
    mistake of not rising, _in_ but _out_ of labor: the most intelligent
    flock to the professions, civil service, &c. Few turn their steps to
    what is for the real upbuilding of the country, agriculture, that for
    which it is best adapted.

    "The people of Hayti and San Domingo are of a political turn of mind,
    and sacrifice everything for politics, or are made to do so. That
    island produces as fine coffee and cocoa as can be found anywhere, but
    the most intelligent keep out and deprive these crops of scientific

The negroes of Hayti and San Domingo spurred by their politics into
perpetual fighting and bloodshed; the negroes of Jamaica peaceful and ripe
for industrial training, which it seems the English have resolved to give
them--if Booker Washington had to choose one of the two islands for his
future activity, do you not know that he would decide he could do great
things in Jamaica and nothing in the other?

The thirteenth amendment emancipated the slaves instantly and not
gradually, the fourteenth made them complete citizens of the United States
and of the particular State wherein they reside, and the fifteenth
practically conferred unlimited suffrage upon them. The Hayti, and not the
Jamaica, precedent was followed. The brothers that had conquered were
blind from civil fury: and they had been brought by the root-and-branch
abolitionists into full persuasion that the southern negroes were ready
for and entitled to these high privileges. By the amendments they
confidently tried to railroad the African slave in one instant of time up
the long steep to the topmost Caucasian who had established liberty and
self-government over a continent, and made it perpetual. We pray that they
be forgiven, for they knew not what they were doing. Had the white
population of the south been at the time as disproportionate to the black
as it was in Hayti in 1794, it would also have been massacred. But the
section was full of late confederate soldiers. When the fates had decided
against the dear cause for which they had fought for four years they
accepted peace in good faith. Now their conquerors turned loose a horde of
black plunderers to despoil the little that war had left. When I read
Professor Brown's inability to say whether the work of the Ku-Klux was
justifiable or not,[157] I thought of Christ's asking if it was right to
do good on the sabbath day.

The lesson to be learned here is that while it is now too late to make the
thirteenth amendment what it ought to have been, and there is perhaps no
need to alter the fourteenth, yet there must be abrogation of the
fifteenth as to the great mass of southern negroes. In fact this has
really come already through the white primary. Booker Washington is a
great, a decisive authority on this question. He counsels the negroes to
eschew politics. This is wise. It is the solid interest of the negro
masses that they accept the inevitable; just as the south gave up slavery
when we could hold on to it no longer.

4. The southern negroes have split into what I shall roughly distinguish
as an upper and a lower class. The former includes property owners and
such as are in higher occupations, trades, and professions. I do not
believe that the entire class contains three per cent, but I shall take it
to be five per cent of the whole negroes in the section. Exact accuracy
here is not important. It needs only to be remembered that the lower class
outnumbers the other many times over. They are moving in different
directions. The dominant inclination of the upper class is towards
incorporation as citizens, exercising all the rights of the white. The
dominant inclination of the lower class is towards segregation in their
own circles. A true representative of the former would always travel in a
white railroad car, while a true representative of the other is perfectly
content with the shabbiest Jim Crow, if the whites be kept out of it.
Thousands in the south never think of any negroes but those of the lower,
thousands in the north never think of any but those in the upper class.
The lower class subsists mainly upon agricultural, domestic, and day
labor. There is a rural and urban section of each one of the two. The
rural section of the upper class has little promise of permanence and
growth, but its urban section seems to have securer foothold. For a while
this urban section will probably increase and rise in condition--both
slowly. This upper class is now steadily sending some of its members from
country and town, to settle in the north. As I read the signs its destiny
is ultimate dispersion over the entire country and gradual disappearance.
The lower class settles downwards steadily. The outlook for it is gloomy
in the extreme.

5. Somewhere about 1890--which year we may regard as approximately
beginning the manufacturing era of the South--many whites in the section
had broken with the old ways and methods and resolved to substitute their
own for negro labor as far as possible. These awakened men and women
multiply. They are pushing the lower class out of all rural labor, and
both classes out of agriculture; and they are also pushing some of the
upper class out of the trades and more important occupations in both town
and country. Evidently the powers have decreed that the labor class of the
south shall be white and homogeneous with that of the north. These powers
who delivered the white laborers of the west from the Chinese will also
deliver the white laborers of the south from the negroes.

6. There is soon to be a New Industrial South, in which the most advanced
machinery and laborers of the very highest skill are to be chief factors.
A little later there is to be a still more important New Agricultural
South. In this, the empirical restorative methods of the Chinese, which
Liebig, in his day, showed to be ahead of the world, must be far
surpassed. Economy of the enormous mass of fertile elements now washing
into the sea; adequate exploitation of the nitrogen of the air and of all
accessible mineral elements needed; scientific dairy industry, stock
rearing, fruit culture, and all related branches; farmers of the most
efficient training, and laborers whose deft hands are the proper
instruments of the strongest brains--all these must combine to give the
south that perfect intensive culture which she will add to her blessings
of climate and soil in order to supply the fast growing demand of all the
world outside for her especial products. Further, as everything now seems
to indicate, the southern yield of the more important minerals and metals
will lead that of the entire country. Further again, the bulk of
transcontinental railroad traffic must be across the south on snow-free
routes, and the upbuilding which in time will follow from this is as yet
incalculable. And when the inter-ocean canal connects us with the Pacific
trade--what new impetus will this give to our development! What needs and
opportunities there will then be for skilled labor, for inventive talent,
for managerial ability, for every element of a most highly organized
community of unwontedly many diversified prospecting interests. The demand
will be for a vast population of the very best strain and breed, knowing
the best methods of physical, moral, and self-subsisting education of
their children, out of whom will come the best of all workers and
producers. To attempt to do the required tasks of the new south of the
near future and hold our own against the competition of the world--to try
to do these with negro laborers, negro farmers, negro producers, negro
employers, would be like substituting the ox-wagon for the present
railroad freight train. Nay, it would be more like one with a wooden leg,
and a millstone around his neck, offering to run against a trained racer.
The negro laborer, farmer, manufacturer, and contractor show more clearly
every day that they are hopelessly outclassed in the struggle with white
competitors. As a body where they now are they are becoming useless and an
incubus. They will soon be still more in the way, and a more serious
hindrance to southern development. They keep back the immigration which is
especially called for. That is the immigration of northern and European
farmers, producers, and manufacturers of all kinds to teach us their
advanced methods, and the most skilled labor in every department to
stimulate with example our native white labor to its highest
accomplishment. The northern people would come south very largely if there
were no negroes here. Their desire to come increases steadily, and so does
our desire to have them come. The whites of both sections naturally
co-operate more and more earnestly to effect their joint wishes. The
disinclination of the United States supreme court to overturn the recent
anti-negro amendments of the constitutions of southern States, and the
palpably growing favor showed these amendments at the north are very
significant signs that the south is to be made more to the liking of
northern settlers.

Since the last sentence was written that court has ruled it to be a crime,
punishable severely, to hold one to the performance of a contract to pay
his debt by laboring for you.[158] The average negro has no resource but
credit on the faith of such a contract. So soon as it becomes generally
known that he cannot be lawfully held to its performance, the credit will
be denied. As has been suggested to me by an observant and far-seeing man,
the decision overturns the main pillar of the negro's subsistence. It will
powerfully favor northern immigration, as well as the substitution of
white for black labor--that is, if it is vigorously enforced.

7. I believe that the two races together, in the same community as they
are now in the south, are oil and water. Meditate the course and portent
of these facts. Immediately upon emancipation the negroes set up their own
churches and schools; they manifested approval of the separate passenger
car for themselves, politely hinting in season that the whites ought to be
kept out of it; and they influenced the planter to remove their cabins out
of sight and hearing of the Big House. They showed a great
disinclination, the men to do agricultural work by the year for standing
wages, the women to hire as house servants. It was some while before the
whites really recognized this drift of the negro towards segregation, when
many of them--especially the wives and mothers--gave the rein to much
unreasonable resentment. Now, if you but know how to look, you will find
everywhere the proofs of deepening antagonism. The black driver will not
see even a white lady--not to mention a man--on the crossing, but he will
always see a negro of either sex. The face of the white inconveniently
stepping aside flushes with momentary anger. If your colored servant tells
you there is a lady at the door you may know it is a negro woman; he never
calls a "white 'oman" a lady. A negro woman is prone to make the most
prominent white lady give the street. In Atlanta, a negro man or a white
boy cannot safely go at night the former through the factory white
settlement, the latter through Summer Hill, a negro residence quarter. I
have been informed that where the mill operatives of Anderson, South
Carolina, have their cottages, there is conspicuously posted, "Nigger,
don't let the sun go down on you here." I hear that the same is true of
certain places in the Texas Panhandle; also that a negro settlement in the
Indian territory displays a similar warning to the white man.[159] Parties
of black and white children meeting on unfrequented streets of Atlanta
nearly always exchange opprobrious language, often throw stones at one
another, and sometimes fight--a proof so significant that, whenever I see
it, it always makes me serious. The most decided change from old times
that I note is that white society everywhere proscribes mixed sexual
intercourse and the procreation of mulattoes with rapidly increasing
severity. The advocate of mixed marriages is more and more regarded as a
fiend. The white woman seized by a negro man--how gladly would she change
place with the victim of the torturing savage or of the tiger that would
mangle and eat her alive! This menace is everywhere, and naturally it is
magnified by excited imagination. It increases in fact. The trial of
negroes for capital offences was given the superior court of Georgia in
1850. From then until the end of the brothers' war but two cases of rape
of white women by negroes are in the supreme court reports;[160] and I
never heard of but two other cases occurring in that time. But there have
been many since. It steadily becomes more frequent. Women more and more
dread to be left alone. And now there is hardly a man in the Black Belt
who, when he is to be a night away from wife, daughters, mother, and
sisters, without help at call, does not have uncomfortable thoughts of the
sooty desecrator. The increasing effect of these multiplying outrages and
the increasing horror which they cause is proved by a fact which ought to
receive more intelligent recognition from everybody. This fact is that
lynching of a negro for rape, and lately for other crimes of violence
against whites, whether in the south or in the north, seems to be every
time marked with a greater outburst of popular fury. The public grows more
decidedly anti-negro. They give as little heed to the appeals of the
papers in these matters as they do to the editorials always advocating the
projects of the machine and corporations. The mob sweeps aside the
military. The military will not load its rifles. If they were loaded it
would probably refuse to fire, or would fire into the air. A few exclaim
against lawlessness, while it is plain that the great mass of the whites
do not really condemn in their hearts.

Let us try to understand the real cause of these things. The plainest
parallel that occurs to me is the riots and violence excited by attempts
to execute the fugitive slave law. The greatest of our southern statesmen
misunderstood. What they thought to be lawlessness was in fact the
struggle of nature by which the social organism of the United States
expelled all cause of dissolution. These hostile demonstrations of the day
against negroes are, as they seem to me, far other than acts of
unenlightened and ignorant race prejudice, to which some writers ascribe
them. They indicate, I think, another struggle of nature to expel a
foreign and death-breeding substance out of the American body politic;
they are each the protest of the self-preserving instincts against keeping
the negro with us to counteract our progress, to debase our politics, to
corrupt our blood, to injure us more than even successful secession could
have done. How aptly has Matthew Arnold said, "O man, how true are thine
instincts, how overhasty thine interpretation of them!"

8. Plainly the disparity of the negro in the deadly struggle with the
white over every resource of subsistence fast becomes greater; plainly
does his stay in the south more and more injure both sections; plainly
under the effects of hard life, growing idleness and growing crime,
increasing ravages of disease, and the naturally engendered feeling of
helplessness, the average negro in the lower class gravitates downwards;
plainly this negro ought to have, in a sphere of his own, opportunity and
stimulus for self-recovery and progress. Plainly whites and negroes ought
to be separated. The latter seriously clog the evolution of the desired
southern labor class, and the southern whites completely exclude the
negroes from public life. The two are really each different communities in
juxtaposition, but not united. You may think of them as plants, one of
which has a diseased root, and the other has its top kept in the dark and
out of the sun. Both these evils result unavoidably from keeping the two
races together. So let us give the negro his own State in our union. That
will allow the root of the one plant to get well, and it will give the top
of the other permanently to the sun.

We are rich enough and have land enough to give the negro this State,
which is his due from us. His especial need is to exercise political and
civil privileges, in his own community, all the way up from town meeting
to congress.

If something like this is not done it is extremely probable that the great
mass of the lower class of the negroes will die out. Let not this crime be
committed by the American nation.

9. We should be extremely liberal to the negro in education--in primary,
in industrial, and also in the higher. Especially ought we to combine the
second with the first, and give it the lead for both races.

10. All the southern states should at once by proper constitutional and
legal provisions substitute judicial for mob lynching.



The distinction between the two classes of southern negroes, glanced at in
the last chapter, is to be always kept in mind--at the beginning, in the
middle, and at the end, of our discussion. Its importance commands that we
say something of it here. Consider how enormously the two differ in
numbers. Five per cent of these negroes, that is, some four hundred
thousand, in the upper; ninety-five per cent, that is, seven million and
four hundred thousand, in the lower class. The latter, being nineteen
times as large as the other, first demands attention.

In the country many of the men are croppers. A group of negroes--generally
parents and children--do the labor of preparation, cultivation, and
gathering, while the owner contributes the land, necessary animals, and
feed for the latter. The croppers get half the crop, and the land owner
half. The latter retains out of their half whatever he has advanced the
croppers. The advances must be limited with firmness, otherwise they will
cause loss. These croppers are the great bulk of the agricultural
laborers. So few of the men work for standing wages that they need not be
noticed. In the towns the men subsist upon day labor, the pay of which
ranges from 50 cents to $1.25. It hardly averages 80 cents. Some of the
women, both in country and town, take places as house servants and nurses
at weekly wages that vary from $1 to $2 with board. The growing
disinclination of the women to these places is much stronger in the
country than in town. In country and town the women do laundry for the
whites at an average price per family of a dollar a week; and they get
jobs of sewing, cleaning kitchen utensils, scrubbing, etc. In the country
these women do some field labor, sometimes plowing, often hoeing. If
trained in childhood they make expert cotton-pickers. But the women
agricultural workers steadily decrease in number.

The negro has inherited from a thousand generations of forefathers, bred
in the humid and enervating tropical West African climate, a laziness
which is the extreme contrary of Caucasian energy and enterprise.[161]
Thus we are told of him in Jamaica, "In many cases a field negro will not
work for his employer more than four days a week. He may till his own plot
of ground on one of the other days or not as the spirit moves him."[162]
The first Saturday in June, 1904, I saw the thriving little town of
Abbeville, South Carolina, thronged with idle negroes from the surrounding
plantations. A merchant, who was kept busy in his store, offered to pay
several of them 75 cents to cut up a load of firewood--something more than
the market price. They do not work on Saturday unless compelled by
something unusual; and so each one replied at once, without any inquiry if
the logs were large or small, seasoned or not, and thus finding whether
the job was hard or easy, that the weather was too hot. And yet these
negroes all exhibited in their clothes and hungry looks unmistakable signs
of want. Those that superintend the gangs working for contractors in
Atlanta and the vicinity, all--except now and then one who has managed to
form a small party of picked laborers--tell me that it is very seldom that
a negro can be induced to work Saturday; if that does happen he will make
up his lost holiday by not returning to work before Tuesday. Your cook,
nurse, maid, or black servant of any kind will every now and then suddenly
inconvenience you by taking an utterly unnecessary rest. When Booker
Washington was starting his system of industrial training, as he tells us,
"Not a few of the fathers and mothers urged that because the race had
worked for 250 years or more, it ought to have a chance to rest."[163]

The negro has likewise inherited lack of forecast and providence. If at
the end of the year he finds himself with a small purse from his part of
the crop, standing wages, or profits from a tenancy, he will often
squander much of it for a top buggy, a piano which none of his family can
play, or expensive furniture. Those in the gangs just mentioned always
want to fool away their money before it is made. If one has been advanced
$4, and his wages amount to $5, he will hardly ever abridge his holiday by
turning up to get the dollar balance when the others who have not been
advanced are paid Saturday night. He will waste his cash on watermelons
and fish that an average white will not even smell. When forced down to it
he can live contentedly upon almost nothing. A very large proportion of
both sexes are happy upon a real meal every two or three days, and a sly
change of mate every two or three weeks. Toombs, who was always looking at
Cuffee, pronounced him "rich in the fewness of his wants." Bring him out
more clearly to yourselves by comparison with an Irishman struggling up
from starvation wages of hard daily work into comfort and ease. Reflect
over the only success a cotton mill has had with black labor, which was
due to whipping the operatives for breach of duty.[164]

In Atlanta--which of course is but like other southern cities in the
particular now to be mentioned--many of the men live upon their women. It
is a common saying that you cannot keep a colored cook if you do not allow
her to carry the keys. There is great complaint that the colored
washerwomen help their dependents out of the clothes. The criminal class
of negro men, women, and children is large and growing much faster than
that of the whites. Two very striking developments are the negro burglar
and the negro footpad. There are many breakings and entries every year in
Atlanta, many holdups of pedestrians, and nearly all of them are by
negroes. Now and then a negro snatches a lady's purse from her on the
street. The prisoners sent to the Atlanta stockade during the twelve
months beginning December 15, 1902, were

            Colored.      Whites.
  Men         2325          1030
  Women       1168           100
  Boys         471            18
              ----          ----
              3964          1148

According to the twelfth census, the negro population of Atlanta was
35,727, and the white 54,090. So, while there are in every thousand of the
whites 21 of these criminals, there are in every thousand of the blacks
110. But the case is worse still. About an equal number of convicts
escaped the stockade by paying fines. Allowance for this will much
increase the per cent of negro criminals. I wish I could get the
approximate number whose fines are paid by their employers, white friends,
mothers, wives, and other relatives. I have observed facts which make me
confident that it is large. The number of boys that in one year were sent
to the stockade--471--is a most important fact, showing as it does that a
large per cent of negroes become criminals in childhood. Nearly all of
these boys have been abandoned by their fathers. There are just as many
abandoned girls in the city. Of course under the prevailing conditions the
proportion of criminals in each generation must increase portentously.

The depth of the negroes' debasement is shown in the impurity of the
women. This is another inheritance from their ancestors. The "ancient
African chastity" alleged by Professor DuBois,[165] if it ever existed,
was entirely prehistoric. A white who has not been bred in close contact
with the race is quite unable to understand the degree and universality of
this impurity. I will illustrate by a case which occurred in a prosperous
town of Middle Georgia not very long before I settled in Atlanta. A
prominent negro preacher had been caught in adultery. The woman, who was
the mother of several children, and her husband, were both members of the
same church as the preacher, and of unctuous piety. The detection was so
complete and certain, and it had immediately become so notorious that
church notice was unavoidable. The problem was how to whitewash the
affair. The office of a lawyer friend of mine in the town last mentioned
was waited on by a member of the church--a say-nothing sort of negro, who
always applied for leave to attend the meetings at which the preacher was
being tried. This office boy had returned several times with the news,
when inquired of, that nothing had been done. At last, one day he answered
that they had cleared the preacher. My friend commanded that this be
explained. The darkie said, in his laconic way, "Well, he 'fessed de act,
but he 'scused de act." "How in the world did he excuse it?" was asked.
"He said his heart wasn't in it." "Were you fools enough to believe
that?" was ejaculated. The negro, with an air as superior as was
compatible with the great politeness of his race, replied, "He said it was
de debble dat had his body dar; but all de time his soul was at de throne,
praying for God's people. In course we couldn't blame him for what de
debble done."

This defence, suggesting the make-believe loan of his body by the friar in
the Decameron to the angel Gabriel, which, of course, had never been heard
of by the accused, convinced the church, willing to be convinced. It
appeased the injured husband, willing to be appeased. It fully vindicated
the gay clergyman and the erring sister, who were in effect told to go and
sin no more with such little discretion.

Had this case, or another like it, occurred at that time or since in any
other negro church of that region, there would have been acquittal and
justification of the accused, although perhaps the good plea and the right
psychological moment to make it might not have been so aptly found.[166]

The habits and customs of the race mix men and women always and
everywhere; and in those opportunities each one of the young and the old,
married and unmarried of both sexes--of even children just arrived at
puberty--chases a short-lived amour with ever eager zest.[167] The blacker
the Lothario the more show of white blood he seeks in his fancies. Now
and then furious desire for real white overmasters him. Surprising some
unattended angel of a girl or matron, he chooses to see Rome and then die.
Her avengers pour kerosene on him and burn him to a crisp. His lusty
fellows think to themselves what Hermes, in the song of Demodocus, says to
Apollo of the mishap to Ares and golden Aphrodite--that is, that for the
same brief pleasure they would each gladly endure thrice the penalty.

Professor DuBois says that the chastity of the negro women has improved so
greatly "that even in the back country districts not above nine per cent
of the population may be classed as distinctly lewd."[168] Inquire of
honest witnesses who have good opportunities of observing--the farmers,
small and large, and the storekeepers, in the country, those who do
contract work and the police in the cities--of all who have close access
to negroes at all times, and especially at night; and the concurring
report will be that right correction of Professor DuBois' statement just
given cannot stop with mere inversion of his percentages; that the fact
is, no negroes in this lower class which we are now dealing with are
chaste except those whose physical condition has made a virtue of

It is sadly true that men of all races are too prone to unchastity. It is
chaste women that give human amelioration its main propulsion; for they
make every husband to know that the children around his fireside are his
own. If I were asked in what one particular had my life-long comparison
convinced me that the two races are farthest apart, I would unhesitatingly
answer, in the character of the women of each--the average white woman,
from her marriage on, forgetting all other men but her husband, the black
wife always with a paramour, if to be had.

The tie which holds the family stanch is wanting. The men often cast aside
their domestic burdens, and begin their lives over in a distant region
with a new woman. The wife and mother left behind does not mope. She has
generally prearranged satisfactorily with another man.

Disease is making great ravages in this lower class of negroes. I never
knew of a case of consumption among the slaves, and I can recall but one
serious case of pneumonia. Now these two diseases slay the negroes by
hundreds. Before the war the negro was regarded as immune from yellow
fever, and almost immune from dangerous malarial affections. He has lost
his charm against these also. There has been a dreadful increase of
insanity among them. The only ante-bellum case that I can recall was due
to an accidental injury of the head.

It is but natural that the death rate among the negroes mounts fearfully.
Their great multiplication has far outrun their reasonable means of
subsistence. We note what a heavy burden a large family is to a man in
hard times. I must believe that the thirteenth census will show a still
greater negro death-rate.

We shall sum up as to this lower class after we have described the
displacement of black by white labor.

Now we must consider the upper class. We need look only at its main
divisions, to wit, the negro farmers, and the well-to-do urban negroes.

The rose-colored statements of Professor DuBois as to the former cannot
impose upon residents of the south.[170] I shall begin with the negro farm
owners of Georgia. In what he says of them in the second Bulletin
mentioned in the last footnote he hardly ever looks away from the report
of the comptroller-general of the State. I shall deal with relevant facts
about which the comptroller-general is not required to concern
himself--and of which the census takes but little note. Where agricultural
land commands only a few dollars per acre a large part of it will get into
possession of purchasers under title-bond who expect to work it and pay
for it in annual instalments out of its produce. Of course the vendor sees
to it that he himself escapes taxation on this land, and so the
purchasers, although they may have paid him but a trifle or nothing at
all, are assessed as if they were the real owners, while the vendors are
retaining the title as security. Soon after the war many a white planter,
in order to get out of a failing business and procure capital for
something else, sold his land in whole or part. He could find no purchaser
but some exceptional negro; and the latter could buy only on credit. Much
of the lands so sold had to be retaken because the purchasers failed to
meet their payments. It was my observation when I left Greene county
twenty-three years ago that in that and the adjoining counties the number
of negro owners of agricultural land was decreasing, and it is my
information that such is now the case. This indicates an important fact
not shown in the reports of the comptroller-general, to wit, that a large
number of the negroes appearing therein as owners are really not owners,
and are losing their holdings.

The next fact to be mentioned is that, as I learn from residents, many
farms of which a negro had acquired the fee are heavily encumbered, and
often fall to the local merchants.

Further, as Professor DuBois states, "the land owned by negroes is usually
the less fertile, worn-out tracts."[171]

According to the comptroller's report for 1903 the acres of white
ownership are 29,762,259, returned at a value of $121,629,094; which is
$4,139 per acre. The per cent of the total value owned by the blacks is
4.07. This result--that the negroes own a fraction over four per cent of
the improved lands of Georgia--must be corrected by proper deduction for
purchase money debts, and also for encumbrances. It must be further
corrected by another deduction. The negroes land is considerably below the
average of the rest in quality and market value. Yet while the white
returns at $4.08 an acre, the other returns at $4.13. This higher
valuation is not because of conscientious avoidance of tax-dodging. It
comes from that optimistic exaggeration characterizing the race, which is
vividly illustrated in Booker Washington's gravely stating that the love
of knowledge by the average negroes of the south has become the "marvel of
mankind,"[172] and in the extravagant assertion of Professor DuBois as to
their chastity commented on a few pages back.

There are a few negro owners of farming lands that are prospering, but I
am credibly informed that as a class they are falling behind.

The tenants--the renters, as they are commonly called--are the more
prosperous negro farmers. The whites hold on to their lands more firmly
than they did some years ago, and the tenantry class both of whites and
blacks is becoming larger. The whites in the Black Belt all believe that
the negroes generally belong to societies, in which they have bound
themselves not to hire to the former as house servants or for standing
wages except when they cannot otherwise subsist. So most of the cotton is
made by tenants and croppers. They grade as many bad and mediocre, and a
few good. The latter work with a will, and make fair crops. They send
their children off to expensive schools. When they die the property they
have accumulated is distributed and squandered, and a new
tenant--generally, of late years, a white--succeeds.

It is to be observed everywhere that some reliable white man is generally
backing or superintending a negro farmer that can get credit. The negro
farmers, in almost any large county in the Black Belt that you may select,
that are an exception can usually be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Their implements and methods are primitive;[173] and they employ hardly
any labor except that of their own families.[174] As soon as the negro
farmer's children have grown up they leave him; the negro laborers in his
neighborhood become more idle every year, and they become also more
scarce. It is not to be thought of that he employ white labor. This class
will give no help to the new agriculture, which I have glanced at in the
last chapter.

Twenty-odd years ago when I left the planting section, the white
landowners all preferred negro tenants. But white tenants are now
preferred. They do not send their children to school as much as the
negroes do, but keep them at work while the hoeing, which is the first
main thing to the cotton farmer, and the gathering, which is the second
and last and greatest by far, are unfinished. The negroes' hoeing and
other cultivation are bad; and after the crop is laid by until Christmas,
during which time comes the all-important laborious cotton-picking, they
spend so much of their nights at church they are incapacitated from doing
good work. They lose much time by going to camp-meetings in the late
summer and early autumn, and riding on railroad excursion trains at every
opportunity. The white tenants and their families, by careful "chopping
out" and hoeing, get the proper "stand" and they pick clean; the negroes
fall behind in both respects. The bettering credit of the white steadily
hits the negro harder. The only tenants who are good for the rent are the
class a few of whom have cash of their own and the rest can get credit
with the local merchant for necessary supplies. Such tenants the
landowners seek after, and find every year more and more among the whites,
and less and less among the blacks.

Every year a larger part of the staple crops of the south is made by
whites. The negroes have lately decreased in Kentucky. Mr. Tillinghast
brings forward, from Hoffman, weighty proofs that in the State just
mentioned, which has just become the principal seat of tobacco growing,
and also in the largest yielding counties of Virginia, that black labor
constantly grows less of the crop.[175] He uses Hoffman, too, to show that
white labor is slowly expelling black from rice production.[176] The old
south believed that rice culture was sure death to the white, Mr.
Tillinghast quotes, as to the greatest agricultural product of the south,
this from Professor Wilcox: "It would probably be a conservative
statement to say that at least four-fifths of the cotton was ... in 1860
grown by negroes; at the present time [i.e. in 1899] probably not one-half
is thus grown."[177]

Compare this further: "He [Hoffman] finds that 'with less than one-half as
large a colored population as Mississippi,... Texas produced in 1894
almost three times the cotton crop of the former State.' Even more
significant is the fact that with almost twice the colored population of
1860, Mississippi, in 1894, produced less cotton than thirty-four years

Very significant are the facts lately published by the Agricultural
Department which show that in an area of some sixty-three per cent of the
production, the white outpicks the negro. "One hundred and fifty-two
counties, with a negro population amounting to seventy-five per cent of
the whole, averaged one hundred and eleven pounds per day, whereas one
hundred and ninety-two counties, with a white population constituting
seventy-five per cent or more of the whole, averaged one hundred and
forty-eight pounds per day,"[179] that is, the white picked one-third more
than the black. There are other statements in this bulletin of importance
here. I can give this one only:

    "In the Indian Territory and Oklahoma, where the whites represent
    about eighty per cent of the population (including Indians) the
    average number of pounds picked is greater than in any of the States
    except Arkansas and Texas. The highest number of pounds picked in any
    State is one hundred and seventy-two in Texas, the counties
    represented having a white population of eighty per cent."[180]

In Arkansas the population of the counties mentioned was fifty-nine per
cent white, the rest negro.

It is almost certain that the foregoing estimates do great injustice to
the whites. They assume that there is no inferiority of the negro to the
white except the per diem quantity of cotton picked. Ponder the statement
as to a county of Georgia which I now give.

    "According to the ginners' report, Madison county made sixteen
    thousand bales of cotton in 1902. Its negro population is about three
    thousand, its white, twelve thousand. The negroes are one-fifth and
    the whites four-fifths, and out of every five bales the negroes ought
    to have made at least one and the whites four. But the former do not
    average as well as the others. The white who runs one plow, whose wife
    and children do the hoeing and picking, probably makes ten bales. The
    negro who runs one plow, whose wife and children hoe and pick, hardly
    makes more than five or six bales. The greater part of the cotton
    credited to negro labor is made by negroes who are superintended by
    white men."[181]

Weighing all that I have just told, I am as sure as I can be of anything
in the near future, that the negro will soon be of greatly diminished
importance as laborer, cropper, renter, or farming landowner in the
staples of southern agriculture.

There are other kinds of property than improved lands set out in the
report of the comptroller-general, such as $3,531,471 of horses, cattle,
and stock of all kinds, $810,553 of plantation and mechanical tools. Such
needs no separate consideration. These holdings do not in view of what we
have told, give the negro farmer any strong foothold.

Nearly all that remains of the rural upper class--the negroes in trades,
professions, mercantile business, etc.--is so evidently dependent upon the
masses of the lower class, now gravitating away from the country that the
most of it can be incidentally disposed of at certain places later on in
the chapter and the rest be treated as negligible.

The "city or town property" of the negroes of Georgia, according to the
report of the comptroller-general for 1903, amounts in value to
$44,668,620. From all that I can learn, while it is largely, it is
considerably less, encumbered than the real and personal property of the
negro farmers.

A large admixture of Caucasian blood marks nearly every member of the
upper class both in country and town. I note that occasionally a coalblack
acquires property, on which his miser grip is tighter than that of an
accumulating Irishman; but such are very few. There is hardly a well-to-do
negro in work, occupation, profession, or property, who is not several
shades at least removed from coalblack. Mr. Tillinghast observes "that the
porters, cooks, and waiters on a Pullman train are usually mulattoes,
while the laborers in the gang on the roadbed are nearly all black."[182]
In this day when the pictures of prominent men and women are in many
illustrated magazines and papers, it is to be observed that hardly one of
a negro shows unmixed blood. Thus a recent monthly contains pictures of
Judson W. Lyons, R. H. Terrell, Kelly Miller, Archibald H. Grinke, T.
Thomas Fortune, Daniel Murray, and Booker Washington.[183] Of these the
third only, to my eye, seems all negro; and I cannot be confident that he
is wholly without appreciable white blood. His head has the shape of a
white man's.

It is my observation that a negro entirely pure in blood hardly ever gets
out of the lower class; and that if he does he is much more unprogressive
than an average member of the upper class. Note what Bishop Holsey says of
how amalgamation with the white improves the descendants of the blacks, in
a passage quoted later herein.

This upper class contains only persons of exceptional blood, talent, or
some other rare fortune. The higher education, and the education which is
now best of all for the negro--industrial education--is for this little
circle only. Hampton and Tuskegee do not open to all comers. Mr.
Tillinghast convincingly proves that those who have got really good
training at the two institutions just named are far above the average
negro in physical stamina, education, and other important
particulars.[184] The graduates go forth, not to benefit their brothers in
the lower class, but to win for themselves surer and higher standing in
the upper class.

Some of the resources which this urban section of the upper class have
enjoyed for a while they are losing, as I shall tell when I hereinafter
summarize the details of white encroachment. But other resources open to
them. Such are professions like dentists, eye, ear, and throat surgeons,
doctors, barbers, and others who must content themselves with only colored
patronage; such the growing retail trade, multiplying boarding-houses,
restaurants, and saloons, finding their custom exclusively in the
increasing negro town population. The number of negroes who become
teachers, lecturers, preachers, authors, etc., steadily augments. Other
resources of this upper class can be pointed out, but it needs not here.
Although nearly always when the father who has struggled up dies, his
property, as we saw to be the case with the negro farmer, goes, and no
child succeeds to his occupation, there is perhaps generally compensation
for his loss by the accession of some other who has got up out of the
lower class by an extraordinarily lucky jump. It is clear that the class
is without the wholesome influence of uninterrupted inheritance, from
generation to generation, of faculty and character progressively
improving. Take this inheritance away from the men and women of any
enlightened nation and it would be to lower them very near to the level of
barbarism. It is also nearly certain that there will be no further
infusion of white blood into this class, by reason of the hostility to
inter-mixture which becomes stronger--yea, intenser--every year. The
probable consequence will be the dilution of much of the white blood now
in the upper class through the lower class to such an extent that it will
practically disappear. But some of it, I think, will persist, perhaps
increase in degree--preserved by the aversion of many to intermarriage
with persons less white than themselves, and occasional intermarriage with
white persons in northern States.

Exceptional ones of this class enjoy privileges of the higher education,
afforded by schools and colleges opulently endowed by private persons,
which education is bringing forth fruit in teachers, clergymen, and
representatives of the learned class. There are already some good books,
as well as sermons, speeches, poems, essays, and short articles, by
negroes which have won favorable opinion in our literature; and there is
evidently to be steady increase.

There is among some of this urban upper class the beginning at least of
better things under the lead of better mothers. We must not be
unreasonable in our demands that these women who carry in their veins a
very appreciable proportion of polyandrous blood shall become immaculately
chaste at once. Leave them to the influence of the improving society in
which they move; to the noble and faithful efforts of such as Mrs. Booker
Washington; their persistent imitation of white mothers; the teachings of
the really christian pastors whom the negro universities are beginning to
send abroad in numbers far too few; but especially of all to devoted
conjugal, maternal, and domestic duty. This last has made the pigeon
mother unconquerably true to her life mate. It will do the same for the
negro woman.--Let us consider the class further for a moment.

The longer you look at it with unbefogged eyes the more plainly you see it
is really a natural aristocracy hugging its special privileges more
jealously every year, and that cleavage in interest, affection, and
destiny between it and the other class goes on so steadily that it must
after some little while yawn in the sight of the entire nation. Here in
Atlanta, as seems to be the case in all the southern cities, there are
respectable negro districts and also negro slums. The latter are the more
numerous and far more populous. The inhabitants of these several districts
are almost as wide apart as are the whites in the fashionable circle and
the million of poor folk without.

I must postpone my final contrast of these two classes until I have
completed what remains to be said of the displacement of black by white
labor. For a few years after the war it was so slow moving that I was not
confidently aware of it. Now it has proceeded so far, and so much
accelerated its pace, that I can indicate it with something like accuracy.
In the thirteenth chapter I noted its beginning. This was when the mother
and her girls took upon themselves the daily indoor work, and the father
and sons took upon themselves the outdoor work, morning, noon, and night,
around the house and the horse-lot,--the word which in the south
corresponds to the barnyard of the northern farmer. Especially significant
is it that a large per cent of the white matrons in the country have at
last discarded the negro laundry-woman and habitually themselves use the
washtub for their families. The impulse to supplant negro labor showed its
greatest energy where the black population had been sparse. I have heard
my friend, F. C. Foster, a resident of Morgan county, often mention that
what were before the war the rich and poor sides of that county have
become interchanged; where most of the large slave-owners lived was the
rich, but now is the poor side; and the other, where there were but few
slaves, is now the rich side.

I see many proofs in every quarter that the whites of the Black Belt have
commenced to learn good lessons from their neighbors outside, and show
every year a greater self-reliance. Many more causes than I have space to
set down conspire to increase this self-reliance. The small farmer must,
by himself or his wife and children or white help, do such things as
these: work his brood mare; care for his blooded stock, fine poultry, and
bees; handle his reaper, mower, and more expensive tools and implements;
give all necessary attention to his orchards and larger and smaller
fruits,--industries which, with that of the dairy, are now pushing
forward with mounting energy; for he has learned that the average negro
cannot be trusted in these and many other things which can be suggested.

I must not overstate the advance of white production and labor upon black
in the country. In the regions of densest negro populations the whites
show a backwardness in taking to work that is discouraging. A very
observant man familiar with Jackson and Madison counties of Georgia, both
of which are out of the Black Belt, and who now lives where negroes
outnumber the whites, not long ago made this comparison, while answering
my inquiries: "In Jackson and Madison the whites work. A farmer who runs
but one plow does all the plowing. He hires but one negro. In my present
county the one-horse farmer always hires two negroes, one to plow and the
other to hoe, and the only work he does is to boss them." But the negroes
are going away from many parts, in fact from nearly all, of the Black
Belt. Wherever they have become scarce, the whites go to work; and, as is
now occurring in that part of Greene county called "The Fork," and in
places in adjoining counties, the lands rise greatly in market value. In
many parts of Oglethorpe, Wilkes, Taliaferro, and Greene counties, where
negroes were doing practically all the agricultural labor when I came to
Atlanta, I learn that many white boys are becoming good all-around
workers. It surprised me greatly to be told that in this region in
different places the white women and children, as soon as the dew is off
in the morning, go to cotton picking, and they become so efficient that
often no extra labor need be hired to finish that greatest task of all to
the farmer. Before the war, all of us white boys picked just enough of
cotton to learn that our backs could never be made to stand picking all
day. The whites now beating the negro in what we once thought he only
could do, and white women in the old slave regions doing the family
laundry,--these begin a marvellous economic revolution.

The cotton mills and other manufactories rapidly springing up in many
southern localities are developing a class of white operatives. Mining of
various kinds is on the increase. Stone, slate, and marble cutting,
cabinet making, and other trades attract greater numbers to follow them.
White railroad employees, printers, engravers, stenographers, typewriters,
and those in numerous other gainful occupations, grow in numbers. White
women and girls stream to work for employers every morning. In all places,
if you but look long enough, you catch sight of swelling crowds of the
race who once lived almost entirely from slave labor now doing their own

I will close what I have to say of this part of the subject by
observations of Atlanta. When I settled here, the barbers, shoe repairers,
blacksmiths, band-musicians, sick-nurses, seamstresses, ostlers, and
carriage-drivers were, so far as I noted, black almost without exception.
Now the first five are nearly all white, and whites steadily multiply in
the rest, although they are far from being in a majority. The only
expulsion of white by negro labor that I have noted is the substitution by
the bicycle messenger service and the telegraph of negro for white
messengers, made not long ago. These messenger services thrive by
exploiting child labor. By the change mentioned they got much larger and
stronger boys--often grown-up ones--for the same price which they used to
pay white children a year or two older than mere tots. Against the recent
loss just told I have these two recent gains of the whites to tell. There
had always been only negro waiters in the restaurants. In some of them
the eaters at the lunch counters are now served by a white man standing
behind it; and what he needs, if it is not kept in store so near that he
can reach it, is brought to him, at his command, by a negro, whom you may
call his waiter. This negro also wipes off the counter. After we became
used to white barbers we generally preferred them to the black ones. And I
note that a growing majority of those who frequent the counters like the
white waiters, although I now and then hear a growler say that he would
rather have a waiter that he can reprimand and speak to as he pleases.
Some of the restaurants begin to advertise that their help is all white.
With the superior alertness and quickness of his race, a white behind the
counter accomplishes more than twice as much as the former black. To use a
common saying, the white waiters keep at active work all their twelve
hours as if they were fighting fire, while the negroes commanded by them
take things easy. Every one of the whites is constantly on the lookout for
a better place; and generally he manages somehow, after a short while, to
get it. One who now serves me studies bookkeeping two hours every night,
and will doubtless soon be giving satisfaction in his chosen occupation to
some business house. The negroes look out only for tips, are interested in
nothing but amusements, and never get any higher. Bear in mind, they are
considerably above the average negro in qualifications and station.

The other instance is that some co-operating Greek boys have recently
captured a very considerable proportion of the shoe-shining. They provide
more convenient and comfortable seats and give a better shine than the
negro does, in a much shorter time, and for the same price. It looks now
as if they are bound to make full conquest of the business. With my
experience it is more of a surprise to me to see clothes laundered,
tables waited on, and shoes shined by the whites, than even to see cotton
picked by them.

But to go on with Atlanta. Occupations requiring the management of
machinery or peculiar skill are nearly always filled by whites. The street
railroad conductors and motormen are all white. The only negroes connected
with the road that I, as a passenger, generally see is the curve-greaser,
and now and then a helper on the construction car. The steam railroads
will employ a negro fireman because of his ability to stand heat, but they
do not trust him to oil and wipe. In the smaller buildings negro
elevator-runners some time ago were frequent, but now it is clear that the
whites will soon have the occupation exclusively. There is, I believe,
more building, in this year of 1904, in Atlanta than ever before. The
preparation of all the material is done by white labor in the
planing-mills and machine-shops, while the more unskilled work of putting
it in place is done by the negro carpenter.

The lathers and plasterers are all negroes, there are more negro brick and
stone masons than white, and the carpenters are nearly all negroes, there
being but few young white ones. The painters are about equally divided.
The negro's standard of living is so much lower than that of the white,
that where there is competition he proves victor by accepting a price upon
which the white man cannot live. But the latter does not throw up the
sponge. At the point where race competition begins he induces the negroes,
whenever he can, to join his union, and soon to have one of their own.
Just now (August, 1904) there are not enough of brickmasons to supply the
demand, and there is both a white and black union of that trade. But so
far there has been no success in the efforts made for a black carpenters'
union. The negroes have of late years kept such firm hold of the trade,
that it seems no young whites come into it, there being but few white
carpenters in Atlanta under forty years of age. The negroes understand
that their grip is due to their ability to work for lower pay than the
whites, and when the union is proposed they say to themselves, that means
only more places for white carpenters and less for us. But the trend to
form unions seems to strengthen. There is a mixed union of tailors,
separate unions of blacksmiths' helpers, moulders' helpers, painters, and
also of brickmasons, as just mentioned. There is a black union of
plasterers and no white one. It is to be remembered that the initiative to
unionize the negro workman comes from the other race, the purpose being to
balk the exertions of employers to depress wages by encouraging the
cheaper worker. Consider the dilemma of the negro workman invited into the
union by whites. He foresees that if he accepts, his race will after a
while be swamped in the trade by white competition. At the same time he
foresees that if he does not accept, he cannot increase his income, which
in its smallness becomes more and more inadequate to sustain himself and
family under the constant demands of the day for larger and larger
expenditure. The immediate needs of those dependent upon him will
generally decide his course. I cannot say how long the negro carpenters of
Atlanta will refuse the proposal to federate themselves in a union with
the whites; but this I can say, that all attempts of the negroes to keep
the whites out of any well-paid vocation must fail, even with the most
resolute and stubbornly maintained effort. As I view it on the spot the
white forward movement palpably strengthens and the defence weakens. Bear
in mind that the whites receive constant re-enforcement from all other
white American and European communities, and the blacks are confined to
their own resources of supply, all the while declining.

What I have just told as happening in Atlanta intelligent and observant
negroes detect to be but a part of the general recession before white
competition. The National Negro Business League had its last meeting at
Indianapolis. In one of the resolutions adopted, mainly because of the
influence of Dr. Booker T. Washington, its president, occurs this
allegation, "During our discussions it has been clearly developed that the
race has been steadily losing many avenues of valuable employment." The
resolution ascribes this to lack of proper training, and recommends that
the lack be supplied. A negro makes this acute and true comment, which I
would have attended to here, and considered again when further on I
discuss what the industrial schools can do:

    "That the colored man has of late years been losing many avenues of
    employment is quite true, but the conclusion that this is due to a
    lack of training is not to be hastily accepted. Nobody believes that
    our people are now less capable of work than they were when recognized
    in these avenues of labor. As a matter of fact they are far better
    equipped now than they were then, or Tuskegee and Hampton and the
    other industrial schools that are crowded from year to year are making
    a signal failure. In those days men were picked up here and there and
    started in as apprentices as green as they could be. Now thousands of
    them are prepared before they go out to work. The two chief reasons
    our folks are not employed so universally now is, first, the fact,
    that _the white south has gone to work with its own hands_, and
    second, the negro refuses longer to work for nothing. _The continued
    assertion by some of our leaders that a man who can labor will not be
    discriminated against, is untrue. The preference is given to the white
    man in almost every case, and the negro is allowed to do the work he
    refuses._ It is well enough to ask our people to secure industrial
    education, but it is wrong to place all our ills upon a lack of such
    training or to recommend industrial education as a panacea. Though it
    was quite inevitable that the league should adopt such a resolution as
    an endorsement of its president's policy."[185]

I have italicized in the quotation the statements specially pertinent
here. They are very weighty proofs supporting my proposition of fact, to
wit, that there is now waging between the whites and negroes an
internecine war for every opportunity of labor above the very lowest and

I ask also that it be noted that the writer is utterly unconscious of any
negroes than those of the upper class. Not a thing that he says can be
applied to the ninety-five per cent.

The death rate of the negro is coming close to, while that of the white
keeps far below, the birth rate. Rapid native increase and vigorous
immigration for the whites, nothing but slow and decreasing propagation
for the negroes; and larger and larger hosts of the former giving their
champions active sympathy and help--the event of this inter-race struggle
over the trades and occupations may be delayed, but it cannot be doubtful.

The reader must not forget that the negroes now in mind belong all to what
I have called the upper class. Their number is so small and its promise of
increase so slight that I should hardly have done more than allude to
them, if the subject did not emphasize so impressively as it does the
inevitable expulsion of negro by white labor. Let me explain this fully.
Professor Wilcox, summarizing the pertinent information of the twelfth
census as to ten leading occupations competed for by the two races in the
south, states that in the year 1900 the per cent of negroes was larger in
seven and smaller in nine of them than ten years before.[186] That alone
shows white gain. But I want you to add to Professor Wilcox's statement
something of which the census gives no hint, that is, the bound forward of
the negroes on one side, and the inaction of the whites on the other,
during many years beginning with emancipation in 1865. When that has been
done, the encroachment of white labor upon black effected in the
comparatively short time since its beginning appears almost prodigious. It
is somewhat like the race-horse, who, falling far behind in the first
stages of a long heat, at last wakes up and gains so fast that nobody will
bet against him. It means that the whites are now as ruthlessly taking all
opportunities of labor away from the blacks, as their fathers took his
lands away from the American Indian.

We can now say our last word in contrasting the two classes. Many fail to
see clearly the difference between them. Thus Ernest Hamlin Abbott[187]
and Edgar Gardner Murphy,[188] in their pleasant discussions, only here
and there, and as if casually, say something which momentarily implies
existence of the lower class, and then relapse into claiming for all of
the southern negroes, if not the actual condition of the upper class, at
least hopeful possibility of soon achieving it. These two kind-hearted men
represent a large number who firmly believe that education and the church
are now rapidly elevating the negro masses, when the fact is far
otherwise. Many from the north see nothing but the upper class. In what he
writes of the negroes whom he knew in public life, the late Senator Hoar
was utterly unconscious of the average negro whom all of us in the south
know.[189] Dr. Lyman Abbott, a most benign example of broad and almost
perfect tolerance to both sections, taking all southern hearts by his
loving sympathy with and full justice to the better sentiment of our
section in every matter of importance except the appointment of negroes to
office, he never seems to have in mind any negroes but the prominent ones
who are giving their fellows industrial or the higher education, and those
who have been blessed with either. Do but consider how pathetically he
lately lamented the case of the "white negro" lady shut out from the
circle of cultivation and kept confined in one of ignorance and lowness.
This last circle--its magnitude, its bad and desperate state--he really
knows nothing about. He can no more study its deplorable and heartrending
conditions than the mother can endure to have the expectoration of her
child threatened with tuberculosis examined under the microscope. Chicago
has been for some while "farthest to the front" in the struggle against
corporation rule. Her battles for direct nomination, direct legislation,
and municipal ownership have been chronicled more accurately and
intelligently in the _Public_ than I can find elsewhere. Therefore I read
it with diligence; and I relish more and more Mr. Post's sound and able
anti-machine and anti-plutocratic advocacy. But in everything that the
paper says or quotes on the race question I am pained to note that its
shortcoming is greater than its very high merit in preaching democratic
democracy. Mr. Ernest Hamlin Abbott does now and then call the negroes a
child race, but Mr. Post repudiates all backwardness and inferiority of
race. He seems to maintain the equality of the average negro to the
average white in all essentials of good citizenship with the zeal of
Wendell Phillips, when the providence of the American union frenzied and
deputed him to infuriate its defenders against the disunion slave-owners.
Mr. Post, as appears to me, believes with all his heart in the doctrine of
Mrs. Stowe and Whittier, to mention no others, as to the negro. Every
pertinent utterance in his paper indicates that he has no thought whatever
of the lower class. A most striking illustration of this is how he treats
the story of the negro Richard R. Wright.[190] When the latter was ten
years old he won great fame by the answer he made General Howard, who had
inquired of the negro children at the Storrs School in Atlanta, just after
the close of the war, "Tell me what message I shall take back from you to
the people of the north?" His face ablaze with enthusiasm, the boy Richard
said, "Tell 'em we're risin'." Whittier went as far astray over this as we
saw that he did in his "Laus Deo." In his poem celebrating he sang--

  "O black boy of Atlanta!
  But half was spoken:
  The slave's chain and the Master's
  Alike are broken.
  The one curse of the races
  Held both in tether:
  They are rising--all are rising,
  The black and white together."

I never read the last two lines without in mind admonishing the author,
"Praise in departing."

When Mr. Post published the story, he ought to have mentioned that while
the boy who sent forth the winged words did rise and has become president
of the Georgia Industrial College, yet that such negroes are far more rare
than millionaires, and the main host of their people in the south were
sinking at the time, and have been sinking ever since. It is not true that
"all are rising." The whites have recently begun to rise; five per cent
only of the negroes, most of whom are largely white, are rising, while the
rest of them are doomed, if the nation does not interpose. And the colored
dentist of Chicago, slighted by some of the white dentists--Mr. Post sees
in him, just as he sees in Richard R. Wright, a representative of the
negro millions.

These conscientious and amiable gentlemen are wasting much effort
uselessly. There is no very urgent problem as to the upper class of
negroes. It has two strings to its bow. If the lower class should perish,
a large part of it--perhaps the greater part--will be assimilated. Every
day I detect a larger movement toward the north among our better-to-do
negroes. I hear of girls that get places as chambermaids and cooks, of
boys that find places as ostlers or other domestic service; and I have
heard of a few families who have gone in a body, also of some men who have
left wife and children here. They believe the north will allow their votes
to be counted, will not proscribe them in society as the south does, and
they will probably get for themselves or their descendants intermarriage
with whites. The determination of these southern negroes towards the north
will probably gain in volume and energy. It is plain that those who go do
much increase their chances of final absorption into the body of whites.
This assimilation is one of the two strings. And if the American negroes
shall one day be conceded their own State, as I hope and pray for, their
leaders must come from the upper class. That is the other of the two

This upper class of southern negroes has demonstrated full ability to take
care of itself. It has its schools and colleges, newspapers, magazines,
and augmenting literature, its widening circle of students and readers,
and its good shepherds and able leaders. It rapidly wins favor in the
south. A few of our residents see no other negroes but those in this upper
class, a most striking instance of which is Joel Chandler Harris's
sweeping assertion "that the overwhelming majority of the negroes in all
parts of the south, _especially in the agricultural regions, are leading_
sober and _industrious lives_."[191] When one who fully understands the
situation studies the assertion just quoted he sees from the context that
the writer was led to make it because he had at the time in his eyes only
a few of the better negroes in the Atlanta upper class. This is powerful
testimony to their prosperity and self-maintaining faculty. Similarly the
Chicago _Public_ rates the four hundred inhabitants of Boley in the Creek
nation as common or average negroes. According to a news dispatch
mentioned in that paper the town is only a year old, has "two churches, a
school-house, several large stores, and a $5,000 cotton gin, owned and
controlled exclusively by negroes." It is without a system of law and
without municipal government, and "yet no serious crime or offence of any
kind has been committed in the place." These four hundred negroes do not
permit any white man to settle in the town. Commenting in conclusion upon
the news, the _Public_ says, "If that dispatch is not a canard,
Anglo-Saxon civilization has something to learn of one race which it has
outraged and abused and despised."[192]

Any such place as Boley, if a reality, is peopled only by negroes of the
upper class, and, further, only by those who have been sifted out from the
rest of that class by a peculiarly drastic selection. Had they not each
had remarkable good fortune, extraordinary capacity, and exceptional
experience and training, Boley would never have been heard of. I ask that
the fair-minded make two comparisons. 1. Suppose four hundred negroes--not
naturally selected, but taken in a body, just as each one comes, from the
masses of the lower class described herein--given opportunity to found a
town of their own amid what we may call Boley conditions, what would be
the result? You may be sure that what occurred in Hayti when the reins of
government were suddenly given to the negroes at large would in some sort
be repeated. 2. Compare Boley in all its bloom and happy condition as
described in the _Public_ with certain communities of select whites, which
have flourished now and then for years, without formal government; say the
Amana community. If this be rightly done, social organism of select whites
will at once appear to be incomparably superior to that of select negroes.

I have tried my hardest to make my readers see as clearly as one bred in
the south ought to see what a world-wide difference there is between the
small upper class and the numerous lower class of negroes. If I have
succeeded they will agree with me that it is the better policy to leave
the upper class, for the present, just where it is. If this advice be
followed, that class will flourish, and some day either be assimilated, or
be giving benign salvation to the lower class in the negro State.
Especially should this upper class eschew politics. Booker Washington in
preaching this is the only real American prophet of the day. With all of
his zeal for his race, he is far better appreciated in the south than in
the north, and perhaps just as popular. What a lamentable arrest of its
benign development it would be to this upper class to turn it away from
industrial betterment of its condition to lead the mass of the negroes at
the polls in a struggle for rule and office! That would be something like
renewing the conditions that developed the Ku-Klux Klan.

It is the great body of the southern negroes--those in the lower class,
who have no string at all, nor even a bow--that demands the profoundest
attention. I wish I could make every white man, woman, and child of
America see them just as they are. As I compare them with what they were
in 1865 I note they have advanced somewhat in mental arithmetic, because
of practice in computing small sums of money involved in their wages and
purchases; that they have learned somewhat of self-providence, and very
much endurance of want (which last is really a reversion to a trait of
their West African ancestors); and that the per cent of illiteracy among
them has been greatly lessened. On the other hand, each generation becomes
more disinclined to work, and its vagrants multiply; each generation more
prone to live by crime, more unchaste, and more quick to desert their
conjugal partners and children. Especially are they far more unhealthy and
prone to insanity, and their death rate rapidly rising. They have no
resource but unskilled labor of the lowest and cheapest grade; white
competition in agriculture and domestic service, machinery in other
fields, such as the scrape which has superseded the dump-cart, the
improved steam-shovel and method of handling construction trains, and the
steam laundry, steadily curtailing that resource; a slothful, improvident,
and wasteful disposition curtailing it still further. The resurrecting
hand of the trades union cannot reach down to them. Steadily they are more
useless to every upbuilder of the coming south except the wage-depresser.
More and more they get in the way of real progress in every direction. And
as their supplies of necessaries diminish they get in one another's way.
Nearly all of the whites who were bound to them in the domestic love of
the old south times are dead. Most naturally and unavoidably as the new
generation discerns the growing incompatibility of their stay in the
section with its true welfare, unfriendliness comes and grows. Listless,
lethargic, careless, without initiative, without opportunity and coercion
to make use of it, these multitudes of inveterate have-nothings are in a
bottomless gulf of want, immorality, crime, and disease. A true
philanthropist has familiarized the world with the "submerged tenth." Mr.
Ernest Hamlin Abbott, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Joel Chandler Harris, Dr. Abbott,
Mr. Post, stand beside me on the strand, and fix your eyes, minds, and
hearts upon the slowly drowning ninety-five per cent of the southern
negroes. Lay aside the excess of your devotion to the upper class. It does
not need it. The Chicago dentist, as the _Public_ itself reports, was
really more than indemnified for the insult given him because of his color
by the sympathetic resentment of white members of his profession. Why will
you keep agitating the nation in behalf of a few thousands, who are well
able to maintain themselves, and neglect millions who require, as Mr.
Tillinghast says, some heroic remedy for their salvation?

I shall now tell you the utter inadequacy of Hampton, Tuskegee, and the
like, after which I shall consider what, in my judgment, is the only

The annual output, as we may call it, of all the negro educational
institutions in the south is a mere drop in the bucket when compared with
the enormous need. The latest reliable figures accessible to me are those
of Booker Washington for 1897. They are as follows: 13,581 receiving
industrial training, 2,108 collegiate education, 2,410 classical
instruction, and 1,311 "taking the professional course,"[193]--the last
three aggregating 5,829. Suppose the entire 17,999 were following
industrial courses, and that every one graduated with credit; and suppose
there be added the work of the land companies providing homes and every
other enterprise helping the negro in any way--suppose this output to be
trebled annually from this time on (which is far above possibility for
many years yet, to say nothing of probability), what would be its
accomplishment? Why, no more than a slight shower in a few townships
during the drought a few years ago would have done in preventing injury to
the Kansas corn crop. When you attend, you understand that the great
advantages of these excellent institutions are only for a few lucky
negroes,--picked ones of the upper class,--and not for the millions whose
crying need is for opportunity to earn honest daily bread and a really
benevolent coercion to use the opportunity. The problem, what to do for
this mass, cannot be solved by philippics against such things as _de
facto_ or constitutional disfranchisement of the blacks, lynching them,
showing them disrespect in military parades, giving them Jim Crow cars,
and not dividing the educational fund more liberally with them; nor would
it contribute one jot or tittle towards its solution if every lady in
America cordially received in her drawing-room the few negroes who have
most deservedly won the respect of the nation. To solve this problem,
something must be found which will train and elevate the average negro,
while the exceptional one is at the industrial school or college, or
studying for a profession; something which will check the prevalent
reversion away from monogamic family life, and stimulate that life to
develop steadily; something also which will impart to this entire mass
permanent and strengthening impulse to better its condition. The only
thing that can do this is to separate the negro as far as may be from the
whites, give him his own State in our union, and constrain him there with
vigilant kindness to subsist and govern himself in such ways as suit him.
I have long thought that our negroes had far stronger claim upon the
nation for land than the uncivilizable redskins on whom we have lavished
so much expense in vain.

Righteousness demands that we give the former full opportunity to develop
normally in self-government. Put him in a State of his own on our
continent; provide irrepealably in the organic law that all land and
public service franchises be common property; give no political rights
therein to those of any other race than the African; compel nobody to
settle in this State, but let every black reside in whatever part of the
nation that pleases him; let this community while in a Territorial
condition, and also for a reasonable time after it has been admitted as a
State, be faithfully superintended by the nation in order that republican
government be there preserved,--do these things, and there need be no fear
that the examples of Hayti and San Domingo, which were not so
superintended, will be repeated. Nearly all of the American Indians,
because of rigid adherence to their old customs and ways, were crushed by
Caucasian rule. But the negro, wherever he comes in contact with a
superior, shows a pliancy, a self-adaptability to new circumstances, to
which no parallel has ever been suggested, so far as I know. If civilized
self-government will but kindly keep him a while at its labor school where
he is to learn by doing, I am profoundly convinced that he will develop
into the very best of citizens. And I am also just as profoundly convinced
that if something like what I recommend is not done at a comparatively
early day, after some while, as there are now in America a few prosperous
Indians and in New Zealand a few prosperous Maoris, we will have here and
there a few prosperous negroes; but the rest of them will either be
confirmed degenerates, or have gone no one will know whither. And Booker
Washington, the moral exemplar of the day, rivalling Horace's

  "Iustum et tenacem propositi virum,"

as he resists the pernicious counsels of the overwhelming majority of
negroes and keeps to the wise and right course which they passionately
condemn; who is far more able and who has accomplished infinitely more of
good than Toussaint or Douglass--he will be a great hero statesman of a
great cause lost. The historian of the future that has something like
Shakspeare's genius for contrast will make his glory and that of Calhoun
magnify each other by comparison.

The foregoing as to a negro State, which is the result of years of
observation and reflection, had all been written for some time when I fell
in with the address of Bishop Holsey, mentioned above. It is the
proposition of the address that a part of the United States should be
assigned to the negroes. I add an abstract from the synopsis of his views
given in the address:

1. Negroes and whites "are so distinct and dissimilar in racial traits,
instincts, and character, it is impossible for them to live together on
equal terms of social and political relation, or on terms of equal

2. The general government only has power to settle the problem, and it
ought to settle it.

3. Separation of the negroes and whites "is the most practicable, logical,
and equitable solution of the problem."

4. "Segregation and separation should be gradual ... and non-compulsory,
so as not to injure ... labor, capital, and commerce ... where the negro
is an important factor of production and consumption."

5. The southern negroes should petition the president and congress "for
suitable territory ... as ... equal citizens ... and not go out of their
country to be exposed to doubtful experiment and foreign complications.
Afro-Americans should remain in their own country, in the zone of
greatness, and in the latitude of progress."

6. The government should, in effecting segregation, maintain "civil order,
peace, progress, and prosperity."

7. The place for the negroes may be in the western public domain, such as
a part of the Indian Territory, New Mexico, or elsewhere in the west.

8. No white person unless married to a negro, or a resident federal
official, to be allowed citizenship in the negro State or Territory, but
all citizens of the United States to be protected therein as in the other

9. Only those of reputable character and some degree of education, and
perhaps those possessed of a year's support, to become citizens. Criminals
and undesirable persons to be kept out.

It was gratification extreme to me to find a prominent negro so much in
accord with my long-cherished project. I hope there is a determination of
the mass of southern negroes thitherward, as seems to be indicated by the
activity both of Bishop Holsey and also by that of Bishop Turner. With
nearly all of the negro writers and speakers now in the public eye
upper-class sympathies are dominant. But Holsey, demanding a State in the
union, and Turner, putting his whole soul into immigration to Liberia, are
actuated by lower-class sympathies. The others just mentioned really
advocate assimilation,--and at bottom, only the assimilation of the upper
class,--but these two are of far different and higher ambition. They are
patriotic, and as true to their race as that famous heathen who rejected
christianity when told that it consigned his forefathers to perdition. He
declared he would go to hell with his people and not to heaven without
them. The others are representative of only some five per cent, these two
represent the ninety-five per cent--the real negroes. I never took to
Bishop Turner's proposal, for all of the ability with which he advocates
it, because I want the negroes where our nation can foster and protect
their State, it matters not what may be the resulting pains and expense. I
highly approve the earnestness of Bishop Holsey in objecting to
expatriation by the Afro-Americans.

Let our negroes have their own State. That will be the fit culmination
which was foreshadowed in their deserting the galleries assigned them in
our churches and flocking to their own churches, immediately upon
emancipation, and their effecting soon afterwards the removal of their
cabins from the old site. Their masses have ever since been inclining
towards a community of their own by an internal impulsion in harmony with
the external white expulsion. The impulsion and the expulsion are each, as
it seems to me, manifestations of the same all-powerful cosmic force.

Further, I would say a negro State makes a precedent for the world
federation. Each race that ought not to intermarry with others can
flourish under its separate autonomy. Then loving brotherhood between
white, yellow, red, and black people will bless all the earth. Whether the
proneness of opposites to fancy each other, progressively going from the
smaller to the greater differences, will ultimately compound a universal
color, no man can now tell.

Of course some reader has exclaimed, "Your proposal is absurdly
chimerical." Is it indeed chimerical to demand of the great republic that
it do its very highest duty? Suppose an ignorant, neglected child taken
home by a rich man, taught to work, the world of industry, with all of its
prizes, kept in his sight, until he begins to cherish the hope that some
day he can have a happy fireside of his own; suppose further that just as
he reaches the age of discretion the adopting father sets him where he may
see the fair world plainer and long for it more than ever, but so
completely strips him of all means and opportunity that there is nothing
for the outcast but ignoble life and uncared-for death. How you would pity
the outcast! how you would curse the false father! I cannot believe that
the nation will prove such an unnatural parent to these its helpless and
lovable children. It may be that some thousands of them, nay, some
millions, may be left to perish in their dire constraint. But when the
people fully understand, their consciences will awaken, and they will give
the American negro a bright house-warming.

Suppose we do not give him his State, or suppose it will be long years
before we give it to him, what do you say we are to do for him?

We must help Booker Washington and his co-laborers to the utmost. Grant
that they can snatch only a few brands from the burning. Is it not most
praiseworthy to save even one? Further, I can never abandon the hope that
the nation will yet allot the negroes their State, even if to do it land
must be condemned on a large scale. When that fair day does dawn on
America, out of the scholars of these worthy teachers will come many a
good shepherd for the blacks in their new land. This may now be but a
glimmering of hope. All the good must join in effort to enlarge and
brighten it.

We should not begrudge the higher education to the few in the upper class
who can get it. The negroes need teachers, preachers, writers, and others
of the learned occupations.

We should impartially equalize the negro population to the white in common
school privileges. Both ought to have rational industrial training. The
right primary education is just beginning to show itself. It will more and
more recognize what a prominent factor the hand has been in evolution.
Think of the superiority of animals with, to those without, hands. What a
high brain the elephant has made for himself by exercising his single
hand; the polar bear kills the seal by throwing a block of ice; the 'coon
goes through his master's pockets for sweetmeats; the greater intelligence
of the house-cat as compared with the average dog is due to long use of
the forepaws as rudimentary hands. Think of how we note humanity dawning
in the monkey ever busy with his hands. Think of the importance of his
hands to beginning man. With them he could gather fruits, rub fire-sticks
together, make war-clubs, spears, fish-hooks, bow and arrows, bar up his
cave door against beasts of prey, elevate his roosting place in a tree too
high for night prowlers, and do all other vital things up the whole ascent
to civilization. The steady enlargement of man's brain has been mainly
because of his progressive use of his hands; for whenever a new thing was
to be done his brain had first to acquire faculty of telling hands how to
do it. To train the hands is the true way to develop brain power. The
negroes in American slavery had risen far above the level of West African
hand ability, and at emancipation they were prepared to go higher by leaps
and bounds. Had they from that time steadily on been drafted off into
their State, gradually, as Bishop Holsey suggests, and a tithe of the
millions which have since been lavished in giving them premature literacy
and smattering of learning been applied in teaching their children
handicraft faculty and the best methods of labor, the promise for them now
would be satisfactory to their dearest friends. Somebody wisely advises,
Never do the second thing first. Those who took charge of the negro when
he was freed tried to make him do the hundredth or thousandth thing first.
Instead of patiently schooling him in handicraft and self-support until he
was really ready to take part in his own self-government, they made the
ignorant and inexperienced slave of yesterday a complete citizen, and
plunged him up to his neck into politics and letters. What a baleful
_hysteron proteron_ was this. The looming greatness of Booker Washington
is that he teaches by his actions that the seeming advance was in fact
prodigious retrogression, and he strives with all his might to draw the
negro backwards to his right beginning. Let us further his good work by
incorporating the utmost practicable of his industrial training in our
common school system for both whites and blacks. America has learned
important military lessons from the redskin; and, as I am almost sure, she
acted on his suggestion when she confederated the separate colonies. Let
her now show similar good sense in permitting a negro to teach her the
true system of education for the new times.[195]

Now as to lynching. It is entirely wrong to conceive of a popular outbreak
against one who has outraged a sacred woman as lawless. It is the furthest
possible from that, being prompted by the most righteous indignation. The
wretch has outlawed himself. Society can no more tolerate such an insult
to its peace than it can permit a tiger to go at large. It is under no
obligation to him whatever. It is the people dealing with him that should
concern us. We ought to keep them from brutalizing themselves and their
children. We must put down lynching with gentle firmness. The first thing
to do is to shorten the "law's delay" as much as possible. After the State
has made the enabling constitutional amendment, if such be necessary, let
an act provide that whenever an alleged crime likely to excite popular
violence has been committed the governor select a judge to try and finally
dispose of the case, three days only, say, being allowed for motion for
new trial or taking direct bill of exceptions; both the supreme court and
the court below to proceed as fast as may be through all stages until
acquittal or execution. Let the governor earnestly ask for some such
measure, and let him also, after he gets it, impressively appeal to the
people to assist in enforcing the law. With this preparation, more than
ninety per cent of the whites will approve the most decided action of the
military protecting prisoners, if that be necessary. Just at this time
(September 27, 1904) there is a very decided manifestation of
anti-lynching public opinion in the south. We should strike while the iron
is hot, and bring it about that the law itself make quick riddance of the
ravisher. It should be a spur to us that the party opposed in politics to
the great majority of southerners finds much support and help from every
lynching in this section. Why should we play into its hands?

The last thing that I have to say is that the south ought to invite
immigrants only of white blood. We want no settlers from whose
intermarriage mongrels would spring. All Europeans should receive
welcome--the Germans perhaps the warmest. But in my judgment those that
will most advantage us are the truckmen, growers of the smaller and larger
fruits, grass, grain, and stock farmers, manufacturers, miners, builders,
contractors, business men, and skilled laborers, of the north. It looks
now as if the cotton mills of England as well as of the north would be
profited by coming to us; and it also seems probable that there will be
for many years so great a demand for our cotton that the worn-out soil of
the older parts of the lower south must be restored to more than virgin
richness by the method which Dr. Moore has patented and made a gift of to
the nation, or some other intensive culture; and that there must be
consequently great multiplication of southern mill-operatives and
agricultural workers in the near future. Recall what we have said in the
last chapter as to the future promise of the section. Every day the south
by disclosing some new opportunity cogently makes new invitation to
immigrants. It is the interest as well as the duty of the nation to remove
the great clog upon development of the south. That clog is the presence of
some millions of unassimilable negroes in the section. It is also the best
interest and the highest duty of the nation to segregate these negroes
into a territory of their own. As Bishop Holsey says, and what I believe
with my whole soul, "The union of the States will never be fully and
perfectly recemented with tenacious integrity until black Ham and white
Japheth dwell together in separate tents."[196]

       *       *       *       *       *

I must add an epilogue to these chapters on the race question as I did to
that on Toombs.

Brothers and sisters of the north, you should learn why there is a solid
south. There is but one cause. It is the menace to the whites from the
political power given the negroes by the fifteenth amendment. There is
nothing in your section--in its past or its present--from which I can
illustrate to you the gravity of this menace to us. In not one of your
States are there ignorant negroes in so great a number that, by combining
with the debased whites, they can make for it such a constitution and laws
and set up such authorities as they please. We, your brothers and sisters
of the south, have lived under the rule of this foulest of coalitions. We
know from actual experience how it plunders and preys upon honest workers,
producers, and property owners; how it licenses and fosters crime. In my
own State, from the first day that a governor, elected by fiat voters and
ex-whites, as we called the latter, was inaugurated, until we virtually
restored the supremacy of our race by carrying the three days' election in
December, 1870, fifty dollars would get a pardon for the greatest offence,
and robberies, burglaries, horse-stealing, and the like each went free for
a much smaller sum. Is it forgotten that the negro speaker was voted one
thousand dollars by a South Carolina legislature, ostensibly as extra
compensation for unusual services, but really of purpose to reimburse him
for a bet lost upon a horse race? Why, the foremost of our people in
virtue, wisdom, and patriotism were agreed that these sordid tyrannies
should be subverted at once and at any cost to ourselves. The emergency
justified any practice, device, or stratagem at the polls by which we
could defend our homes, families, and subsistence against assassins of the
public peace, wholesale robbers of the people, and instigators and
protectors of every crime. It justified the shotgun and six-shooter in
politics just as legitimate war justifies the musket in the hands of the
soldier. It called forth most righteously the Ku-Klux. That spontaneous
resistance finds a close parallel in the battles of Lexington and Bunker
Hill, fought before American independence was declared. But the Ku-Klux
fought for something still dearer than the dear cause for which our
forefathers bled in the two battles just mentioned. Had the latter failed
in the war they had thus begun, their children and people would
nevertheless have had such good government as England is now giving the
defeated Boers; but had the southern whites failed in their defence, their
land would have for long years been befouled like Hayti, and those who had
not been slaughtered unspeakably degraded. I think that all our countrymen
who so rightfully eulogize the heroes of Lexington and Bunker Hill should
also learn to give the greater praise to the southern heroes whose
indomitable spirit routed the madmen that, with all the power of the
federal government in their hands, tried their best to give the section
over to negro rulers. Brothers and sisters, "picture it, think of it,"
until you can fully understand that hour of our trial. All my northern
acquaintances who have resided in the south for several years--they are
many--come to look at the subject just as the natives do. A candid and
honest settler from Vermont has told me how he was made to change his
mind. Conversing with a southerner, he had reprehended the different ways
in which the negro's ballot had been rendered nugatory. The other replied,
"Suppose that there was an incursion of Indians given suffrage into your
State in such a mass as to make them seventy-five per cent of all the
voters, wouldn't you whites in some way manage either to outvote or
outcount them!" The Vermonter answered in the affirmative. We had to
deliver ourselves. We used the only means at our command.

It was not to be thought of that these negro governments be endured, even
if tempered by the Ku-Klux, for government is in its nature lasting and
permanent while the other was only temporary. They would have gradually
gathered strength. Then there would have been rapid enrichment of a few
exceptional negroes and rapid expulsion of the whites impoverished by
emancipation, from all their little that was left. And then, the leading
negroes desiring nothing else so much, there would have come many white
men and women, each one willing to climb out of the depths of want by
intermarriage with a prosperous negro. Who can predict what would have
been the future of mongrelism thus beginning? We of the south are most
conscientiously solid against what we know from actual trial to be the
worst and most corrupting of all government; and we are still more solid
against everything that tends to promote amalgamation. Can you blame us
for standing in serried phalanx by white domination and against the
misrule exampled in the early years of reconstruction, and for our own
uncontaminated white blood and against fusion with the negro? We must be
solid in the face of these dangers, and as long as they are threatened by
the presence of millions of negroes in our midst. There is no other
solidity in the south. In all matters of the locality republicans and
democrats count alike. When one offers to vote in the primary, if his name
is on the registry list, and he appears on inspection to be white, his
vote is accepted; and he generally casts that vote, not for the interest
of a political party, but for that of the public. The triumphant election
in November, 1904, of independents or democrats, in four northern States
which at the same time went for Mr. Roosevelt, indicates solidity for the
true local welfare of the people as against the behests of party. So what
the white primary has produced in the south, has commenced in the north.
And the result in Missouri, voting for Roosevelt, republican, and Folk,
democrat, shows that what we may call federal independentism has commenced
in the south. This will spread as the people learn it does not hurt them
to split their tickets while voting upon national questions, if they but
maintain their solidity while voting upon State or municipal.

Now may I be allowed some decided words, most kindly and inoffensively
spoken, as to appointing negroes to federal offices in the south. It is no
sound argument for it that now and then some negro may have been appointed
in a northern community which manifested no opposition. Consider the case
of Mr. William H. Lewis, a negro lately made assistant district attorney
in Boston by Mr. Roosevelt. He is a Harvard graduate, was captain of the
Harvard eleven while in college, had represented Cambridge in the
Massachusetts legislature, and the community was not at all averse to his
appointment.[197] Therefore when it was made there was no disregard of the
wishes and feelings of Boston and the regions adjoining. But when a negro
is given office in the south, it is felt by all the community to be an
insult. Would President Roosevelt cram the appointment of a white down the
throats of a northern community in which all the best citizens protested
against it? Would he not confess to himself that the wishes and feelings
of these good people ought to be respected, even if he considered them
foolish and unreasonable? It seems to me that he would, and that he would
find for the place somebody else in his party acceptable to the locality.
Why should he not do the like when his southern brothers and sisters who
have such convincing reasons against the encouragement of negroes in their
politics, protest unanimously against his filling an office in their midst
with a negro? Will he snub them because a negro has more sacred right than
a white? Is that what he means by keeping open the door of hope and
opportunity? Or will he snub them because enough of punishment has not yet
been given them, and because the south is still a province or dependency
on which he is justified in quartering his partisans and pets without
regard to the feelings and wishes of all the better inhabitants?

Brothers and sisters of the north, I cannot believe that any one of you
who impartially considers the subject, would ever approve appointing even
the most competent and deserving negro to a southern office in the teeth
of universal objection by the whites of the community.

My last word is to implore every honest one in the country to lay aside
all prejudice and master the southern situation before judging. Whoever
does this, whoever will accurately place himself in the shoes of a good
southern citizen, will, I most firmly believe, approve the attitude of the
south, with his whole heart and soul.


THE OLD AND NEW SOUTH, a Centennial article for the International Review,
afterwards corrected and published separately. New York: A. S. Barnes &
Co. 1876.

The approach of the Centennial Celebration is not hailed in the south with
the demonstrative joy of the north. It would be out of taste to expect
that the former should appear to triumph greatly over the life of the
nation preserved at the cost of her recent overthrow. Her late antagonist
can rejoice in a vast and happy population, great material prosperity, and
the fresh fame of a world-renowned success. It is meet, while remembering
she has so lately saved the union by her stupendous armipotence, that the
north should exult as a people never did before. The south has been made
to feel the pangs of a sudden impoverishment and the incalculable
discomfort of complete economical unsettlement; and she has not learned
the new lessons which she must learn to become self-sustaining and
progressive. But her earnest spirits, doing painfully the slow task of
repairing lost fortunes; seeking after the system proper to succeed
planting; striving to make their homes pleasant again and to give their
children a fair hope in the land,--these intent workers, who are most of
them scarred confederate veterans, even if they will not say it loudly,
have come around to hold in steadfast faith that it is far better the Blue
Cross fell, and the American union stands forever unchallengeable
hereafter. And they have brought with them the great mass of their people.
They cannot joy so happily as the north, but they have a warm welcome for
the Great Commemoration. For they see that the evils which followed as the
scourge of defeat are soon to pass away, while the fall of slavery and
the failure of secession are to prove greater and greater blessings as
years roll on.

And so the time has come for a southerner calmly to discuss the past,
present, and future of the south. He has no use for the methods of popular
and unscientific politics, wherein everything is blamed or applauded as
being the result of party measures. The intentions and motives of the
actors, on both sides of the late strife, will give but proximate
explanations. How the two sections became, to use the fine phrase of Von
Holst, economically contrasted; how the southern people and their
representative politicians were bred, under their circumstances, into
opposition to the union; and how the northern people and their
representative politicians were bred, under widely different
circumstances, into love of the union; how the long clashing in politics
culminated in civil war; how the south was utterly crushed and her whole
industrial system destroyed; how she slowly re-erects herself into a new
condition better than the old,--the ultimate solution of these questions
can only be found by discussing them in the light of those laws of
development which give every community a policy suited to what it discerns
to be its best interest. These laws are of far more importance than the
politician, who is but their creature. Leaving to others to fight over the
old struggles of the political arena and bandy hard words with one
another, we will try to discuss our subject in the manner we have
indicated to be appropriate.

To understand the present and future, we must first understand the past.
To understand the New south, we must first understand the Old south, the
distinguishing feature of which was negro slavery. Mr. Stephens, then
Vice-President of the southern confederacy, in an address to a large
assembly in Savannah, in March, 1861, said of the new government: "Its
foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth, that
the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery--subordination to
the superior race--is his natural and normal condition." There is no doubt
slavery was the corner-stone of southern society; and when it was removed,
four years later, a thorough disintegration of the whole fabric was the
logical result.

When our country was first settled, the southern regions were far more
attractive in soil and climate; and their other natural
resources--minerals, good harbors, navigable streams, water-power idling
everywhere, to mention no more--were equal to those of the other section.
The subsequent advancement of the north has been so rapid as to excite the
wonder of the world; while it is said by us of the south, jesting upon our
worn-out and exhausted land, that we have done worse for the country than
the Indians before us, who stayed here many centuries and yet left the
soil as good as they found it.

The plantation system was the great barrier to southern progress. From its
first historical appearance, among the Carthaginians, from whom the Romans
seem to have derived it, this rude and wholesale method of farming has
rested on slaveholding. Its workings have been similar everywhere. In
Italy, under the Roman republic, absorbing the petty holdings, it drove
out the small farmer; it destroyed the former respect for trades and
handicrafts, and brought them into disfavor; it prevented the development
of the industrial arts; it created a non-reciprocal commerce. Centuries
later, it did the same things in our southern States.

A sketch of the leading features and results of the plantation system, as
it existed in America, is our proper beginning.

The driver, as the negro foreman was called, was not very common in the
south, and was generally under the superintendence of the overseer. Could
the planters have made a good overseer of the driver, of course they would
have consulted their interest, and reproduced the ancient slave-steward of
Rome. Slaveholders keep their slaves under careful surveillance, but they
do not usually overlook them in person. It is not often that a master
engages in an employment which brings him into daily and intimate contact
with the lowest orders, and which he instinctively feels to be degrading.
The planter could have neither his first choice, which would have been a
slave overseer, nor his second choice, a superintendent from his own rank
in society; and so, as the next best thing, he took as overseer a white
hireling from the non-slaveholding class. The tillage of the fields was
thus intrusted to the overseers, who were, for the most part, men of
little education and business skill, and who had no interest in their
employment except to draw its wages. Thus the foremost, if not the only,
southern industry was managed by incompetent and careless agents.

The Roman master, in the later days of the republic, having always vast
markets open to him, shunned the expense of providing for women and
children, and bought new slaves instead of breeding them; but the closing
of the African slave-trade, and the softer hearts and manners of modern
times, led our planters, at last, to rely on propagation as their only
source of supply. The negroes were, therefore, well cared for, and, in a
genial clime, increased rapidly. This increase, however, did not keep pace
with the increasing demand for southern products, and so the market value
of the slave rose rapidly. To the Roman slaveholder, land was almost
everything, and his rustic slaves nothing; to the southerner, the slaves
were almost everything, and the land nothing. There was no careful
cultivation of the soil, no judicious rotation of crops, and no adequate
system of fertilization. Southern husbandry was, for the most part, a
reckless pillage of the bounty of nature. The planter became possessed
with a roving spirit, and was continually seeking "fresh land," as virgin
soil was termed. In the older sections, where there was most stability,
the best farming consisted in judiciously eking out the natural fertility
of the fields, and when that was exhausted, in leaving them to recuperate
by years of rest. Thus a given working force required, year by year, a
greater and greater allowance of land, and the plantations became steadily
larger, the small farmer retiring, and the white population becoming
continually less. Many of these older sections turned, from being
agricultural communities, into nurseries, rearing slaves for the younger
States where virgin soil was abundant. The fertile lands of the new
settlements, by yielding bountiful crops, gave fresh impulse to the
plantation system, and here the small holdings were absorbed more rapidly
than they had been in the older States. The southern slaves, regarded as
property, were the most desirable investment open to the generality of
people that has ever been known. They were patient, tractable, and
submissive, and never revolted in combined insurrections, as did the
slaves of antiquity. Their labor was richly remunerative; their market
value was constantly rising; they were everywhere more easily convertible
into money than the best securities; and their natural increase was so
rapid that a part of it could be squandered by a shiftless owner every
year to make both ends meet, and he still be left enough of accumulation
to enrich him steadily. And so the plantation, or rather the slave, system
swallowed up everything else.

There were no distinct industrial classes. There were negro blacksmiths,
negro carpenters, negro shoemakers, etc., all over the land, but they were
mere appendages to the plantations, and far inferior in capacity and skill
to the artisan slaves of antiquity.

The commerce of the south was non-reciprocal. She traded raw produce for
manufactures which she should have made herself, or which she should have
got in exchange for manufactures of her own. The over-mastering energy of
slave property, dissolving, as it were, all things into itself, kept her
from that development of trades, manufactories, and industrial arts which
is the solid and unprecedented progress, and far more durable wealth, of
the north.

There were a few exceptions in the way of restorative agriculture, and of
diversified investments of capital in railways, manufactories, inland
navigation, and mercantile enterprises. All along the northern border
there were efforts to let go slavery, and non-slave industry was slowly
emerging in a few places; but these things were as dust in the balances.
The slave system was rooted in the best portions of the land, and nearly
all of the productive wealth of the south was in, or dependent upon,
planting. Implacable enemies of slavery were rapidly increasing in numbers
and power, but she continued blindly sacrificing everything to rear
negroes. When actual emancipation came--that nipping May frost--the south
showed, on a gigantic scale, in her poverty and one solitary and
portentously dried-up source of wealth, a parallel to Ireland, smitten
with famine by the sudden failure of her only supply of food. When the
charity of the world and the returning bounty of nature had again fed the
Green Isle, everything fell back into the old track, and she could go on
smoothly as before. But not so with the south: her wealth has fled; her
occupation, the plantation system, is gone; and she must, for a
generation, grope painfully in the dark, trying novel ways of subsisting,
enduring want and many failures, before finding again the light of plenty
and comfort.

The duties of the planter have changed. The management of a farm is not
like that of a plantation, and one skilled in the management of slaves is
not necessarily efficient in the directing of freedmen. Many other
countries have been impoverished by wars; but is not this instantaneous
and almost complete taking away of a great people's mode of living unique
in history? The most resolute secessionist would have lost heart and put
up his sword, could he have seen, before the war commenced, how easily the
solitary prop of southern wealth and comfort could be overturned, to be
set up no more. But in none of the ablest of the anti-secession arguments
of 1860 were the consequences of defeat predicted.

Some portions of our country have been built up into a high degree of
prosperity by a steady influx of foreign settlers. How much has been added
to the power and wealth of the northern States by the immigration from the
old lands of those who, when first they come, can do no more than subsist
themselves by their own industry, almost defies computation. How the force
of the preponderant population of the north pressed upon the south during
the war, and at last crushed her down! Slavery repelled the free immigrant
from the south, and he went elsewhere with his power to enrich and defend.

The uniform and rapid advancement of civilization is mainly due to the
struggle of the poor to better their condition. These efforts result in
complex division of labor, accumulation of wealth, and better than these,
in the production of a great population engaged in diversified industries.
In such a population, improving year by year in business habits, consists
the strength of a nation. The slave had no hope of rising, and the system
of which he was a part repelled free workingmen, and thus the south lost
the benign emulation and energy of a lower class. The ancient slaves were
not alone rural laborers and domestic servants, as were those of the
south. The former, being of kindred blood with their masters and near
their level in natural capacity, were initiated in the various industries,
some of which flourished greatly under their management. Though the slaves
of old were very degraded, they were not as low and grovelling as those of
our day. Enfranchisement was common; and, in a few generations afterwards,
the descendants of the freedman were indistinguishable amid the body of
free citizens. The ancient states were not, therefore, prevented by
slavery from having advanced and diversified industries, nor were they
denied the impulse of a possible rising from the lower to the higher
classes. But the American slave was of the remotest race, far below his
master in development, and the horror of receiving him into the body of
free citizens grew continually stronger. The law discouraged manumission,
and frowned upon the increase of freedmen. Thus, the African slavery of
the south was the most hopeless form of servitude the civilized world has
ever seen; and, by preventing the formation of a great class of freemen,
engaged in respectable industry, it killed the very roots of social
progress. These influences of slavery, so repugnant to American ideas,
will be more vividly seen and understood in the answer to the question,
What would have been the present condition of the south had it not been
for slavery? Undoubtedly her land would have smiled with a fertility
richer than the endowment of nature; her industrial arts would, ere this
time, have branched out into multifarious activity; her own ships would
have been carrying her produce and manufactures abroad; and, as the crown
of all, she would have had a teeming population of workers, whose
education in the methods of self-support would have been the assurance of
unlimited future advancement. In brief, in all the elements of the
greatness of a community, the south might now have equalled, if not
excelled, the north.

But there are some other effects of slavery to be noted before the outline
of the Old south can be clearly and fully drawn.

Among the planters, costly and liberal instruction was given to a few of
those who were to adorn places of leisured ease, or to fill the necessary
professions and public positions; but, in the midst of the sparse and
shifting rural population, there could not be that devotion to the
education of all, which is one of the most conspicuous glories of the
northern States.

In consequence of the sparseness of the planters and their roving habits,
there was not that subdivision of different portions of the counties into
small self-governing wards, which Jefferson so fondly desired. He said of
the New England townships, that they had "proved themselves the wisest
invention ever devised by the wit of man for the perfect exercise of
self-government, and for its preservation." He also said that he
considered the continuance of republican government as absolutely hanging
on two hooks, to wit, "the public education, and the subdivision into
wards." This government of every vicinage in its home affairs by itself,
as originated in New England, and is now spread far and wide throughout
the northern States, is the most beneficent achievement of American
democracy. By this coercion of the citizen to participate in the constant
administration of public matters directly concerning his interests,
self-government becomes, as it should be, the business of everybody, and
everybody is compulsorily educated in the best of all learning for the

The finale of slavery remains to be told. As opposition to it increased
from without, the south became more and more closely united. She honestly
believed that wanton intermeddlers were attacking her dearest rights. The
steady and continually strengthening warfare against slavery, and her
continuous and earnest defence of it, began--it is impossible to determine
precisely when--to knit her into a nationality of her own. He who
understands what Mr. Bagehot calls "nation-making" will discover, in the
past history of the south, if he looks attentively, many signs of this
tendency, which steadily progressed unperceived on her part, and still
more so on the part of the north, until the south began to coalesce into a
nation as compact as her scattered and random elements would permit. The
long advocacy and support of slavery in the political arena had fevered
her whole people, and finally, under these promptings to a national life,
politics absorbed nearly all of her intellectual powers.

There is a striking parallel between this sustained effort of the south
and the struggle of Ireland, when the latter, for the fifty years ending
with the advent of the present century, was arrayed against the British,
in their encroachments upon her independent government. During this
half-century, Ireland maintained that she was an independent integral part
of the British Empire, just as Virginia contended that she was a sovereign
in the federation of States. Ireland, like a southern State, challenged
every seeming interference, by the general government, in her local
affairs; and the claims put forth, in each instance, were inexorably
contested by an adverse government, claiming supremacy and supported by
superiority of power. Both were on the eve of revolutionary secession
without knowing it. The results in Ireland and the south were similar:
there was but one intellectual activity, namely, politics. The memory of
all Irishmen of that time not forgotten--and many of their names are
familiar words--is nothing but resistance to English aggression. Even
Curran, Ireland's great forensic advocate, made his world-wide fame in
defending Irishmen against the prosecutions of the British ministry. It
was much the same at the south in the period antecedent to the civil war.
She had neither literature nor science; but she had statesmen and
advocates, who will be remembered as long as her soldiers and generals.

The national germ had long been growing below the surface, in darkness,
and at last it burst into view, and shot up into a body of amazing
proportions. There was not the birth of a new nation at Montgomery in
1861; only the majority of this vigorous young member of the family of
nations was there proclaimed. But, for all of the eloquence of its orators
and the virtue and bravery of its people, it was, as compared with its
adversary, in raw and untutored nonage, and the great disaster that befell
four years afterwards was then preordained. It was her unshunnable fate
that she should be denationalized on the battle-field.

The late war was a conflict between implacable enemies. Each belligerent,
standing up for national life, was resistlessly coerced to fight to the
last. Neither can be blamed. The past may be taxed with lack of wisdom. It
may be that as Scotland and, more lately, Ireland have been peacefully
denationalized, a preventive, anticipating the dreadful event of war,
might years before have been devised by statesmanly forecast. The actual
combatants--the southerner fighting for the confederacy, and the northern
soldier bearing up the flag of the union--were equals in manhood and
virtue. The survivors, federal and confederate, at last see this, and
therefore they go in company to decorate alike the graves of the dead of
both armies.

The cause of all these evils--the backwardness and stationariness of the
south; a wasteful husbandry, without other industries; the instability of
her wealth; her want of a great class of freemen engaged in the different
arts; her barbarically simple social structure; her neglect of common
schools; the absorption of all her intellectual energies in feverish and
revolutionary politics; and, finally, secession and the reddened ground of
a thousand battle-fields--was slavery. It is gone. The malignant cancer,
involving, as it seemed, every vital and menacing hideous and loathsome
death, was plucked out by the roots; and after a ten years' struggle of
nature, we see the body politic slowly but surely reviving to a health and
soundness never known before.

Here we find the dividing line between the Old and the New south. The
former ended, and the latter began, with the giving of freedom to the
negroes--an event which will prove in the future to have been an
emancipation even more beneficial to master than to slave. Immunity from
all the evils of slavery which we have catalogued will distinguish the
New south from the Old.[198]

The sudden impoverishment of the southern people, and the unlooked-for
change in their ways of living and thinking, had they occurred in the most
peaceful times, and been followed with the best of government, would have
produced a profound shock and a long paralysis. But the bitterness of
subjugation, and the mistake of needlessly offensive and goading
government, with harsh reconstructive measures, have prolonged the
lethargy. And yet the American union shows benignly in the present
condition and promised future of the section. The ten years since
emancipation are instructive. Slowly has the New south been disentangling
herself from the débris of the Old, and she has emerged far enough to
enable us to perceive that a better era has commenced. Much has been lost,
but more has been saved. All the germs of true wealth and power and the
solid well-being of a community have survived; and solace for the past and
earnest of a great future may be found in the fact that she has reached at
last, and for the first time, a position in which she can develop these
elements, free from the suffocating hindrances of former days. We may now
properly inquire, What of the past does the south retain, and in what will
consist her future progress?

She retains her genial climate, her kindly soil, and her many natural
resources. If the peace of the American union is assured, as everything
now graciously promises, these natural advantages will, in a few
generations, far more than compensate for all her losses, and ultimately
place her in the very van of progress.

The best inheritance of the New from the Old south is the southern people.
We have seen how slavery checked industrial development, and how many of
its other effects were hurtful. After allowing fully for all these, there
will be found a great residuum of progressive energy, of intellectual
strength, and of moral worth in the people of the southern States. They
need not fear a comparison, in these respects, with the most enlightened
communities. Great men, like Washington, Jefferson, Calhoun, Jackson, and
Lee; political and military heroes, judges, lawyers, and orators, such as
the south has given birth to, in unbroken succession,--are the
unmistakable signs of a great people.

The rank and file of the confederate armies have given proof that the men
of the south must be classed, in all the elements of complete character,
with the best that the world has ever seen. Crime was so infrequent that a
single morning of the term of a rural court, before the war, nearly always
sufficed to dispose of every indictment; there was little want or
pauperism; virtue was everywhere the rule in private life, and there was
seldom even the suspicion of corruption in government or the
administration of justice. The history of this people since the war shows
that they are possessed of the best Anglo-Saxon mettle. They are slowly
beginning to thrive wherever they have been left to govern themselves, in
spite of the complete industrial revolution, the loss of property, and
change of occupation, of which we have written. And in many places, where
reconstruction has been harshest, and negro misrule yet prevails, the
whites have developed an unlooked-for self-maintaining capacity, and have
demonstrated that even there must be the eventual predominance of
intelligence and virtue, should "natural selection" alone work to secure

The southern people have learned much wisdom in the last ten years. Their
heavy vote in 1872 for Horace Greeley--a man to whom a foreigner would
have supposed them unappeasably hostile--if there was nothing else, would
alone suffice to show that they are rapidly laying aside all hindrances to
progress. And now that slavery is gone and she has so quickly conquered
the animosities of the war, the south may be likened to a capable and
energetic young man, who, having failed, as the result of inevitable
misfortune, in a wrongly-chosen business, has been relieved of all
embarrassments and has entered upon his proper calling. More may
reasonably be expected of such a man than of one more prosperous who has
not had the like discipline.

As her nationalizing tendency has been destroyed by the removal of
slavery, and as her future must necessarily be shaped by union influences,
she will heartily embrace the political creed of the union. The doctrine
of the sovereignty of the States, which was advocated with very great
ability by many of the southern statesmen--notably by Calhoun, in his
speeches in congress, and in his "Discourse on the Constitution of the
United States," and with still more taking effect by Mr. Stephens in his
"Constitutional View of the War between the States,"--has now no disciples
at the south. General Logan gave expression to the prevailing creed of the
present, when he said, at a recent reunion of former confederate

    "In considering, then, the future of the south, there is one fact
    suggested at the outset which has been demonstrated to us by the logic
    of events. It is, that under the operation of causes, which, although
    unseen at the time, appear now to have been inevitable in their
    results, a vast _social organism_ has been developed, and is now so
    far advanced in its growth as a _national body politic_, and no longer
    a mere aggregation of States, that _unity_ is a necessity of its
    further development. In reviewing the past, we can now clearly see
    that this national organism has been _gradually developed_; and, while
    many seek by various theories to account for the failure of the
    confederacy, the result may be regarded as the necessary consequence
    of those laws of development under which this social organism--the
    United States--was being evolved."

And the south is pleased to observe that there are no genuine signs of too
much centralization. On the contrary, the town system is destined to
spread fast and far; and the increase of local option laws; the splitting
of larger into smaller counties; the strengthening tendency to submit
constitutions and many legislative acts to voters; the greater disposition
often to amend the State constitutions in the interests of progress; the
vigorous growth in each State of its own body of laws; the rapid
multiplication of towns and cities, with governments peculiar to each, are
some of the many convincing proofs that local self-government is
increasing and flourishing. Of the last particular Judge Dillon says:

    "We have popularized and made use of municipal institutions to such an
    extent as to constitute one of the most striking features of our
    government. It owes to them, indeed, in a great degree, its
    decentralized character. When the English Municipal Corporations
    Reform Act of 1835, was passed, there were, in England and Wales,
    excluding London, only two hundred and forty-six places exercising
    municipal functions; and their aggregate population did not exceed two
    millions of people. In this country, our municipal corporations are
    numbered by thousands, and the inhabitants subjected to their rule, by

Reflecting southerners see, in the present condition of the southern
States, the very strongest possible guaranty that the true balance
between national cohesion and local freedom is to be preserved. They see
that the happy equilibrium is of a character so permanent and stable as to
have survived the convulsion of civil war. The southern States are not
held as conquered provinces. On the contrary, aside from the abolition of
slavery and the fundamental legislation securing to the old slaves the
full fruition of their freedom, there has been no perceptible change in
the relations of these States to the United States.

Surely, to the student of history, wherein _vae victis!_ is written on
every page, this fact has wonderful significance. It recommends the
American form of government to the rest of the world as the incoming of
the new stage of civilization, wherein oppression and war shall become
unknown. However long contending armies may devour populations and
paralyze industry elsewhere, we are assured that war-sick America will
fight with herself no more. This assurance repays the south a thousand
fold for all that she has lost and endured.

The great economical interest of the south is her agriculture; and in this
industry, as well as among those who conduct it, a constant transition has
been taking place during the ten years since emancipation. There is a
melancholy change in the homes of landholders from the case and comfort of
_ante bellum_ days. The neat inclosures have fallen; the pleasant grounds
and the flower-gardens, once so trim and flourishing, are a waste; all the
old smiles and adornments are gone. Change at home is accompanied by still
greater change without. The negroes--and they constitute the great bulk of
the laboring population--tend to become a tenantry, cultivating the land,
in some instances, for a part of the produce, but oftener for a fixed sum
of money. Many of these realize from their labors little more than enough
to pay a moderate rent. Others work for wages, either in money or in some
portion of the crop made by their labor. As the negroes are scarce, and
their labor so important, they have often, directly or indirectly, a voice
in the area of land cultivated, the mode of cultivation, and the kind of
crop raised. The result, in many places, is retrogression. The face of
the country is much altered. Only a small part of the land, as compared
with that tilled before the war, is under cultivation, the remainder
becomes wild. Could the fallen confederates return they would not in many
places recognize their old homes. Nearly every man of average business
ability could control his slaves, before the war, with little trouble; but
it now requires far more than ordinary capacity to find and keep good
tenants, to employ laborers amid the present scarcity, and to retain and
make them remunerative when employed. The freedman is a different
character from his former slave self, and is to be governed by different
methods; and the true art of managing him is cabalism to many who were
prosperous planters before the war. Multitudes of these show great
despondency, for there have been thousands of failures among them.

But when we examine into this depression, we find that it is but the
result of the transition from the former _régime_, and not a deep-seated
and fatal decay of the vitals. These are some of the symptoms of assured
recovery, noted within the last three or four years: a steady contraction
of credit, and widening prevalency of the cash system; growing conviction
that the whites must depend upon their own labor more, and less on that of
the negroes; augmenting number of land-owners who decline to secure the
merchants advancing supplies to their tenants and laborers; a greater
acreage devoted to food crops; general advocacy of diversified planting;
spreading dissatisfaction with the laws giving large exemptions to
debtors. Southern economical affairs, in their sinking, "touched bottom"
(to use the forcible expression now in vogue) about the end of 1874.[199]
There has been a probable increase since of the mass of distress, as the
heat of a summer day increases, by accumulation, for a while after noon,
though the sun is imparting less and less. Steady amelioration will soon
be general. A new system is slowly developing, and can be plainly
discerned among the rubbish of the old. The change from former days most
noticeable now is the multiplication, increased energy, and continually,
growing trade of the smaller towns. This is due to the decay of planting,
which was a wholesale system, and the coming-in of farming, which is a
small trading system using much less concentrated capital. The large
moneyed man, for evident economical reasons, buys in commercial
centres--in cities--but the small purchaser must needs buy in the nearest
market. Allowing for the great increase of farmers, and the control by the
negroes of their earnings, there are many thousands more of small buyers
in the south than there were before the war, and towns build up to sell to

There is another fact, not so noticeable as the rapidly growing local
trade, but still more important. A class of new planters, consisting
mainly of men too young to have become fixed in the methods and habits of
former days, is springing up. They are new yet; but there is, in many
parts of the south, at least one who is teaching many watching idlers by
deeds and silence. They have remodelled their domestic economy,
accommodating it to their smaller incomes and to the uncertainty of
household help. They have discarded the outside kitchen, have substituted
the cooking stove for the old voracious fireplace, and have brought the
well with a pump in it, instead of the old windlass and bucket, under the
roof of the dwelling, so that the household duties may be more easily
despatched by their wives and children. And they have also remodelled
their planting. They diversify their crops and products, raising more
grain, and introducing clover and new forage plants. Some abandon entirely
the cultivation of the old slave crops, and supply the nearest towns with
feed and provisions. These planters of the New south till less land, and
strive to improve it; they study the superiority and economy of machinery;
they provide themselves with better cotton-gins, often using steam to work
them; they have presses which require fewer hands than the old
packing-screw; better plows are used; and harrows, reapers, and mowers,
which, in many parts of the south, were seldom known before the war, are
now common. This little band keeps pace with agricultural progress, as
recorded in the journals; they seek for and find many new sources of
profit; they prepare the people for laws fostering the interest of the
planter in many particulars; they mold the opinion of their neighborhood;
and their ability, skill, and wealth slowly increase. They struggle with a
new order of things, having to think for themselves at every turn, and
often misstep and fall in the dark, but they pick themselves up, and find
the way again. The light of the new experience which they are kindling
grows brighter each year, and is beginning to draw some of their neighbors
to travel in it.

It is not our object to give a false impression of the influence of the
class of farmers last referred to. They are but few, and their efforts are
but the beginnings of the happy coming change. Their courage, power, and
numbers are manifestly on the increase; and, as there is no other
progressive activity in agriculture, and they meet no opposition save the
passive resistance of despondency and inaction, it is almost certain that
they will lay deep and sure the foundations of the needed renovation of
the south. It is their belief that, to make agriculture generally
prosperous, and to school the people to habits of thrift and saving, are
the first steps, and that manufactories and trades and heterogeneous
industries will naturally follow.

They desire northern settlers, to add useful features to agricultural
economy, and diversify planting. A few have come, and they are prospering.
It seems rational to expect a steady influx of these for many years,
bringing capital and methods better suited to the needs of the changed
times, raising the value of landed property out of its impeding
prostration, and strengthening the industrial force. The climate; the
abundance of cheap, cleared land; the long settlement having demonstrated
the country to be healthy; the fact that plowing and other important
outdoor work can be done on the farms all the winter round; the many
railways, the multiplying towns and growing cities; the variety of
products, and easy access to market--now that slavery and the animosity of
war are gone, and the misrule of the carpetbagger has ended nearly
everywhere--these, and many other advantages daily disclosing themselves,
excel most of the new States and the Territories in offering inducements
to immigrants; and, in due course of time, a vast number of settlers, both
American and foreign, will be added to the population. There are many
indications that the immigration of stock-raisers, wool-growers,
market-gardeners, orchardists, beekeepers, in fine, small farmers of every
kind, adapted to the soil and climate, will soon begin in earnest. When it
does, the rebuilding of the south will be rapid.

The coming-in of northern capitalists, to invest in railways, mines,
manufactories, and other large moneyed enterprises--most especially to
develop the great resources of water-power--may be expected to begin at
once, and considerably, upon the close of the centennial year. It seems
now that this is the most powerful agency that may be expected to begin
immediate work, in introducing the much-needed higher type of industrial

The feelings of the two races toward each other were, for a few years
after the war, bitterly hostile. The whites had, all their lives, seen the
negroes in slavery, and from their infancy they had heard their preachers
defend slavery, not in the abstract, as their phrase was, but in the
concrete. The "concrete" meant African slavery, which was justified on the
ground that the African was divinely intended in his nature for slavery,
which was to him christianization and civilization, so long as he remained
a slave; while, the moment he was set free, he would revert to his
primitive barbarism. When these God-given slaves were suddenly cut loose
from mastership, and the wealth of the capitalist, the portion of the
orphan, and the mite of the widow were swept away at once by emancipation,
either directly or as a necessary consequence, there was a great shock
given to the whites. But when, three years afterwards, a new constituency
was created, in which the slaves, just emancipated, outnumbered the
whites, in many counties, the storm of passion that burst forth can hardly
be described. The whites feared that the old relation was about to be
inverted, and that they would be made slaves to the negroes. There was
many a deed of violence, and many a poor negro paid his life for a few
offensive words.

But a wonderful change has taken place. When the southern States were
"reconstructed," as it is termed, in 1868, a negro school-keeper or
preacher, if known to be a republican in politics--as he generally
was--was hardly safe anywhere beyond the limits of a city. The negro
schools were often broken up by mobs, and sometimes black congregations
were attacked at night in their churches and dispersed by armed whites in
disguise. Now, the colored children troop securely to school, and the
colored churches and their congregations are sternly protected by law
everywhere. Seven years ago a colored person could hardly get justice, in
even the plainest case, from a jury of the other race. Now, in all of the
courts, he has the influence of white men to aid him, and rarely is an
unjust verdict rendered against him. He makes better friends of the
whites. There is no need for him to legislate or hold office over them; he
cannot yet do these things right for himself. He rises, however, and his
importance is felt more and more. His labor is a necessity. Learning to
use it aright, he will surely win all that he deserves. The healthful
sentiment prevails everywhere, at the north as at the south, and with the
late slave also, that to force his growth is as unfortunate to him as is
misjudged parental assistance, which often keeps adult children from ever
becoming self-reliant. The colored race in the south must be educated by
the struggle for existence into self-maintenance. This training, like the
material recuperation of the south, will require time, with patience and

The negro tends resistlessly to a fixed position in his own class. He does
not wish to ride in the same railway-car with fine ladies and gentlemen,
nor could you persuade him to send his children to a mixed school to be
teased by white scholars. He will not be legislated out of his natural
circle, where he feels comfortable, into one where he will be ill at case.
He seeks for himself a separate home, school, church, and occupation, in
all of which he can, at a distance, imitate the white, to whom he is ever
looking up. The statute books may be covered with laws having a different
purpose, but they will be as powerless to check the current of separation
as prescribed rates of interest are impotent to keep down usury when
money is dear. In a domestic world, a company and circle of his own, the
negro will make a start for himself.

But the negro is grossly misunderstood. It is too generally forgotten that
he is many centuries below the white in evolution. Slavery has elevated
him far above the savagery of Africa, and introduced him to perhaps his
only chance of civilization.

His future in the south is a mystery. Many of his best friends do not
believe that he can hold all the great advantages that he has gained in
the last ten years. The whites have been muzzled by hostile government.
They were stunned, while the negro was stimulated, by emancipation. Their
natural effort to hold on to the _ante bellum_ system has also helped the
old slave. But, when small and diversified farming is fully developed, and
accumulating capital brings in the higher industries, there may be a
general need for more efficient and skilled labor than the average negro
can supply. While he is forever safe politically against the white, he may
not be economically safe.

In noticing the leading features of the New south, we have merely hinted
at her rich natural endowments. We have deemed of more importance the
character of her people, the new views and principles beginning to assert
themselves, the great economical changes following and to follow the
abolition of slavery, and the potent effects soon to be wrought by copious
immigration. For upon these the future mainly depends.

The south is in a thorough and long transition. Her fields are to be made
fertile and to smile beautifully with an infinite variety of products; her
provisional labor is to be gradually supplanted by a permanent system;
industries, trades, and manufactories are to be founded and everywhere
multiplied; she is to have local organizations which will foster more of
self-government; her common schools are to be reconstituted and rendered
truly serviceable to all; and she has also her part to do in literature,
science, and art, as well as in domestic and national politics. We must
not be oversanguine in hope of her immediate progress; but we can
certainly take courage, when we find that every one who perceptibly
influences society by precept or by example--whether he be prominent like
Gordon or Lamar, or only a humble planter leading the fore-row in his
fields--is seeking for and finding the right path. These leaders must, in
the nature of things, have a larger following every year. In due time,
their children and their children's children will make the south of a
piece with the more prosperous portions of our country.

       *       *       *       *       *

[I intended to incorporate in the foregoing these two passages, but by
some inadvertence they were not printed in their several places:

I said of Von Holst:

    "Though he does not equal Mommsen's vivid delineation of the effects
    of Roman slavery, his work is in grateful contrast with most of the
    anti- and pro-slavery literature of America, by reason of his freedom
    from ethical declamation, and his presentation of the real evils of
    slavery, in the light of social, and especially economical, laws."

I also said of the negro:

    "His flexibility; his receptivity to civilization, so different from
    the inveterate repugnance of the Indian; his satisfaction and almost
    complete freedom from discontent, insuring him against any violent
    change; the probably long necessity for his labor; are all great
    things in his favor."]


[To decide what is the right handle to a passage not pointed to by a
chapter title, and place it in an index where an average reader will
expect it, is often very hard. An alphabetical list of proper names and
rememberable words that are in or near passages which one may wish to look
for is much more easy to make than a minute subject-index, and it supplies
much surer clews. What an _Index Nominum_ does for the Latin or Greek
scholar suggests the serviceableness of this Index.]


  Abbott, Ernest Hamlin, 404.

  Abbott, Dr. Lyman, 347, 405.

  Abolitionists, root-and-branch, 15, 16, 84 _sq._

  Achæan league, 62.

  Adams, Charles F., 28, 57, 58, 347.

  Adams, John, 59, 142.

  Adams, John Q., 20, 256.

  Æschines, 69.

  Æsop, 343.

  Africa, "poor, oppressed, bleeding," 180, 185.

  Alamance, 77.

  Alexander, Tom, 277.

  Altgeld, 112.

  Amana community, 409.

  Aristides, 293.

  Aristocracies, natural, 90.

  Aristotle, 37, 39, 106.

  Arnold, Matthew, 196, 376.

  Athens, 89.

  Atlanta stockade, 381.


  Bacon, 144.

  Bagehot, 437.

  Barnett, Samuel, 279.

  "Battle Hymn of the Republic," 205.

  Bayard, 241, 244.

  Beatrice, 195.

  Beauregard, 293, 316.

  Beecher, Henry Ward, 152.

  Beecher, Dr. Lyman, 189.

  Benjamin, 239.

  Benton, 126.

  Bentonville, 60.

  Bible, the, 39.

  Binney, 64.

  Bishop, J. P., 141.

  Blaine, 39.

  Boley, 374, 408.

  Bonnivard, 128.

  Breckinridge, 266.

  Brockhaus, 296, 360.

  Brooks, Preston S., 237.

  Brown, John, 264, 270, 352.

  Brown, Joseph E., 317.

  Brown, Prof. William Garrot, 274, 289, 369.

  Buena Vista, 310.

  Bunyan, 145.

  Burgoyne, 317.

  Burke, 41, 187, 204.

  Butler, 244.


  Cæsar, 244, 343.

  California, 40, 80.

  Calhoun Correspondence, 100, 105, 123.

  Calhoun, Floride, 99.

  Calhoun, John C., 17, 18, 19, 22, 30, 40, 65 _sq._, 85, 89, 135, 143,
      150, 152, 153, 158, 186, 208, 209, 212, 225, 226, 239, 247, 250,
      251, 253, 254, 255, 299, 311, 351.

  Casabianca, 319.

  Cass, 239.

  Catullus, 151, 278.

  Centralizing and decentralizing forces in America, 5.

  Channing, 196.

  Chase (of Maryland), 54.

  Chase, Salmon P., 21.

  Choate, 146, 219.

  Cicero, 15, 18, 38, 124, 144, 237.

  Classics, ancient, 37.

  Clay, 97, 246, 251.

  Cleopatra, 19.

  Cleveland, Grover, 325.

  Clingman, 157.

  Clinton, George, 96.

  Cobb, Howell, 214, 229, 252, 253, 261, 285.

  Cobb, T. R. R., 38, 39, 42, 48, 266.

  Coleridge, 202.

  Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, the Anglo-African composer, 25.

  Comings, S. H., 368, 419.

  Cone, 218, 222.

  Confederate States, its evolution similar to that of the United States,
    African slave-trade prohibited by its constitution, 55;
    its commissioners, 74.

  Cornwallis, 317.

  Cosmic force and law, 26, 211.

  Cotton, 35.

  Cowper, 136.

  Crawford, George W., 246.

  Crawford, William H., 218.

  Crittenden compromise, 262.

  Crocket, 144.

  Cromwell, Oliver, 274, 281.

  Cromwell, Richard, 297, 298.

  Cumming, Major Joseph B., 35, 321, 347, 348.

  Curran, 437.

  Curtis, 70.


  Dahlonega mint, 231, 245.

  Dane, Nathan, 64.

  Dante, 36, 129, 144.

  Darwin, 119.

  Davidson, Miss, 322.

  Davis, Jefferson, 18, 19, 30, 262, 272, 284, 349.

  Davis, Mrs. Jefferson, 22, 238, 300, 301, 302, 305, 306, 308, 315, 318,
      323, 327.

  Decameron, 170, 383.

  Decatur, 79.

  Declaration of independence, 41, 42.

  Delaware, 45, 56.

  Del Mar, 109.

  Demodocus, 384.

  Demosthenes, 18, 69, 124, 144, 258.

  De Quincey, 145.

  Dillon, 442.

  Dispensary, South Carolina, 111.

  Dixon, 369.

  Doolittle, 266.

  Douglas, Stephen A., 21, 262, 264, 266.

  Douglass, Frederick, 25, 362, 414.

  Dred Scott decision, 91.

  DuBois, Professor, 171, 193, 344, 362, 365, 382, 384, 386, 387.

  Duer, 233.

  Dumas, father and son, 25.


  "Edwards's Sabbath Manual," 198.

  Elizabeth, Queen, 38.

  Epaminondas, 273.

  Erichsen, Hugo, 360.

  Erskine, 218, 237.

  Everett, Edward, 70.


  Falstaff, 248.

  Farmville, 60.

  Faust, 118.

  Fessenden, 243.

  Fire-eaters, 15.

  First Manassas, 73, 315.

  Force-bill of 1833, 65 _sq._

  Forrest, 290-293, 294.

  Fort Darling, 283.

  Fort Donelson, 283.

  Foster, F. C., 396.

  Frankland, 80.

  Franklin, battle of, 60.

  Freed Slave, the statue, 202.

  Free-labor and slave-labor systems, their antagonism, 45 _sq._, 49.

  Freeman, 62.

  Fuegians, 361.


  Gaius, 141.

  Galphin claim, 245 _sq._

  Gardner, James, 286.

  Garrison, 88, 350.

  Georgia Platform, 8-11, 183, 209, 215, 259, 260, 261, 263, 266.

  Germany, 77.

  Gethsemane, 197.

  Giddings, 152.

  Goethe, 144.

  Gordon, 273, 450.

  Grady, 326.

  Grant, U. S., 20, 30, 293.

  Greeley, 326, 441.

  Green, 235.

  Grinke, Archibald H., 392.

  Grover, 227.

  Grundy, Mrs., 274.

  "Gulliver's Travels," 202.


  Hale, 141, 244.

  Ham, descendants of, 38.

  Hamilton, Alexander, 59, 64, 141, 247.

  Hamilton, Governor, 65.

  Hamlet, 319.

  Hammond, 246.

  Hampton, 393, 411.

  Hampton, Wade, 129.

  Hannibal, 258, 294.

  Hans, the Berlin horse, 25.

  Hardeman, S. H., 279.

  Harlan, 240 _sq._

  Harris, Joel Chandler, 408.

  Harvey, 141.

  Hastings, 60.

  Hawkins, Sir John, 38.

  Hayne, Robert Y., 30, 82, 144.

  Hayti, 360, 366 _sq._

  Heine, 197.

  Henry, Patrick, 21, 64, 97, 272.

  Herculaneum, 43.

  Hill, Ben, 277.

  Hill, Mrs. Ben, 326.

  Hilliard, 254.

  Hoar, Senator, 404.

  Holsey, Bishop, 362, 422.

  Homer, 144.

  Horace, 343.

  Horatius, 249.

  Houmas land, 246.

  Howard, General, 406.

  Howell, 54.

  Hunter, 238.

  Huschke, 141.

  Huse, Caleb, 289.


  Iowa contested election, 240 _sq._

  Ireland, 51, 52, 437.

  Iroquois, 77, 126.

  _Isabel_ (steamer), 245.

  Italy, 77.


  Jackson, President, 283.

  Jackson, Stonewall, 91, 259.

  Jamaica, negroes of, 367 _sq._, 379.

  Jamestown, 36, 37, 345.

  Jefferson, 41, 53, 54, 56, 59, 106, 142, 147, 436.

  Jesus, 40, 128, 352.

  Jevons, 107.

  Johnson, Andrew, 307.

  Johnston, Joseph E., 284, 316.


  Kansas, 209.

  Kent, Chancellor, 65.

  Kentucky, 186.

  Kimball House fire, 280.

  King's Mountain, 61.

  Knight, Landon, 296, 303, 305, 312, 316, 317, 319.

  Ku-Klux, 369, 423.


  "Lana Rookh," 187.

  Lamar, 450.

  Landon, Miss, 177.

  Langdon, John, 96.

  Lassigeray, 293.

  "Laus Deo," 205.

  Lear, 128, 202.

  Lee, R. E., 20, 21, 128, 259, 276, 299, 356.

  Lee, Stephen D., 328.

  Legaré, 150.

  Lewis, William H., 425.

  Lexington, 77.

  Lieber, 187.

  Liebknecht, 112.

  Lincoln, Abraham, 20, 21, 23, 30, 33, 64, 160, 169, 210, 262, 267.

  "Little Giffen," 29.

  Livy, 146.

  Lloyd, H. D., 187.

  Lodge, Henry Cabot, 70, 72, 133, 134, 136, 137, 146, 155.

  Logan, General, 441.

  Lower class of negroes, 24-26, 410 _sq._

  Lucanian ox, 200.

  Lucifer, 273.

  Lucretius, 87.

  Lumpkin, 83, 219, 222.


  Madison, 56-58, 64, 68, 96, 133.

  Mallory, 272.

  Mann, Horace, 152.

  Mansfield, 141.

  Maoris, 413.

  March, 146.

  Marshall, C. J., 141.

  Martial, 278.

  Marx Carl, 107, 124.

  Maryland, 54.

  Mason, Jeremiah, 136.

  Maximilian, 298.

  McClellan, 294

  McClung, 309.

  McDonald, 261.

  McDuffie, 222.

  McKinley, President, 357.

  McMaster, 70, 134.

  Megareans, 265.

  Mell, Dr., 277.

  Memorial Day, 322.

  Mexico, 51.

  Michaelangelo, 129.

  Mill, John Stuart, 106, 107, 265.

  Miller, Kelley, 392.

  Milton, 136.

  Missouri question, 40, 84, 209.

  Mitchell, John, 240.

  Mommsen, 260, 450.

  Monitor, 289.

  Monterey, 309.

  Morgan, Joshua, 223.

  Morgan, Lewis H., 76, 126.

  Murphy, Edgar Gardner, 359, 404.


  Napoleon, 297 _sq._, 310.

  Nationalization, American, 4, 5, 61-83.

  Nationalization, southern, 4, 6-14, 51-61, 436-438.

  National Negro Business League, 402.

  Nations, law of, 75.

  Natural increase of slave property, 48, 49.

  New England, 54, 59;
    environment of Webster therein, 147-152.

  New Jersey, 56.

  New York, 54.

  Niagara, 251.

  Noah's curse, 38.

  North Carolina, 80, 109.


  Oedipus, 279.

  Oregon, 80, 84, 101, 226.


  Pace, J. M., 322.

  Page, Thomas Nelson, 165, 384.

  Parker, Theodore, 152.

  Parsons, Prof. Frank, 109.

  Pennsylvania, 54.

  Pennsylvania ladies, two, 331.

  Peonage decision, 373.

  Pericles, 110, 265.

  Philippine, the, 26.

  Phillips, Wendell, 21, 88, 274, 356.

  Pickett, 19.

  Pierce, Bishop, 277.

  Pierce, President, 299.

  _Pilgrim, The_, 296.

  "Pilgrim's Progress," 202.

  Pingree, 112.

  Pinkney, Gustavus M., 98, 112, 119.

  Pinkney, William, 41, 79.

  Plato, 37, 106, 144.

  Plautus, 155, 195.

  Pliny, 39.

  Poe, 143, 150.

  Polk, President, 103.

  Pompeii, 43.

  Pompey, 212.

  Pope, 136.

  Post, Louis F., 25, 403, 406.

  Prentiss, S. S., 305.

  Primary, Georgia, 111.

  Primary, South Carolina, 111.

  Princeton, 331.

  Propontic, 259.

  Prynne, Hester, 329.

  Pugh, 239.


  Quintilian, 37.


  Race question, 23-26.

  Randolph, John, 69, 97, 222.

  Ransy Sniffles, 87.

  Rebellion, 81.

  Reed, of South Carolina, 54.

  Renascence, 36, 41.

  "Republic of Republics," 64, 68, 69, 71, 72, 74.

  Rhode Island, 56, 80.

  Rhodes, James Ford, 17.

  Ricardo, 108, 109, 286.

  Roman law as to slavery, 42.

  Roosevelt, President, 33, 425.

  Ruskin, 202.


  Saint Pierre, 43.

  Savage, 196.

  Sawyer, 307.

  Schurz, Carl, 134.

  Scipio, 294.

  Scott, General, 309.

  Scribner, Anne, 406.

  Sellers, Mulberry, 288.

  Seneca, 37.

  Seward, William H., 21, 22, 236.

  Shakspeare, 30, 136, 138, 144, 278.

  Sharpsburg, 273.

  Sherman, General, 346.

  Shiloh, 283.

  Shirley, 136.

  Simmons, 243.

  Simonides, 171.

  Slavery. (See chaps. ii., iii., x., xiv.)

  Slavery, ancient contrasted with southern, 155 _sq._, 432.

  Slave-trade, African, 46.

  Smith, Adam, 107.

  Smith, James M., 391.

  Smith, W. B., 365.

  Socrates, 196.

  South Carolina, 54, 90, 111.

  Southerners and northerners contrasted, 59-61.

  Southern Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 225.

  Spaight, 54.

  Spencer, Herbert, 144.

  Starke, W. Pinkney, 93, 94, 97, 100.

  State, for the negroes, 413 _sq._

  Staunton, 255.

  Stephens, A. H., 21, 55, 69, 71, 82, 99, 106, 219, 221, 227, 232, 249,
      251, 252, 254, 257, 264, 266, 268, 285, 286 _sq._, 290, 306, 430.

  Story, 64.

  Stovall, 222, 290.

  Stowe, Mrs., 185, 187, 189, 197, 333.

  Stuart, J. E. B., 294.

  Sulla, 244.

  Sullivan, 106.

  Summer, Charles, 89, 152, 356.

  Summer, Colonel, 312.

  Surratt, Mrs., 298.

  Switzerland, 77.


  Taylor, Dick, 273.

  Taylor, Edward B., 364, 383.

  Territories, intersectional strife over, 3, 46-49.

  Texas, 51, 80, 101.

  "The Fork," 397.

  Thomas, Thomas W., 266.

  Thomas, William Hannibal, 383.

  Thucydides, 27.

  Thurston, 381.

  Ticknor, Dr., 29.

  Tillinghast, 163, 166, 194, 361, 379, 380, 389, 392, 393, 411.

  Timrod, 29, 322.

  Titania, 198.

  Tobacco, 35, 55.

  Togoland, 344.

  Toombs, 18, 19, 30, 32, 41, 90, 99, 130-135, 150, 164, 186, 191, 198,
      208, 209, 284, 290, 292, 313, 380.

  Toucey, 238.

  Toussaint, 366.

  Town-meeting, 90, 436.

  Trent, 119.

  Troup, 256.

  Troy, 294.

  Turner, Bishop, 416.

  Tuskegee, 344, 411.

  Tyrtæus, 29.


  "Uncle Tom's Cabin," 40, 161 _sq._

  Upper class of negroes, 24, 25, 370.

  Upson, Frank L., 43.


  Van Buren, 230.

  Vanderslice, 27.

  Vergil, 145.

  Vicksburg, 283.

  Virginia, 35, 36, 45, 54, 59, 153.

  Von Holst, 70, 101, 104, 119, 122, 123, 124, 439, 450.


  Waddell, James, 262.

  Waddell, Moses, 93, 94.

  Wade, 239, 243, 266.

  Walker, J. B. A., 368.

  Washington, Booker, 25, 380, 387, 402, 409, 411, 414, 415, 417, 419, 420.

  Washington, Mrs. Booker, 395.

  Washington, George, 19, 53, 56, 64, 115, 118, 282, 440.

  Waterloo, 60.

  Watson, Tom, 224.

  Webster, Daniel, 19, 30, 64, 65 _sq._, 82, 83, 85, 100, 105, 113, 118,
      120, 121, 247, 255, 266, 275 _sq._, 304, 307.

  Wendell, Prof. Barrett, 28-30, 161, 162, 163, 206.

  West Territory, 54.

  White labor class, 336 _sq._

  Whittier, 29, 88, 406.

  Wilfer, Reginald, 207.

  Willcox, Professor, 390, 403.

  Wilmot proviso, 155, 227.

  Wilson, General, 308.

  Winthrop, 252.

  Wirt, 141.

  Wirz, 298.

  Wright, Richard R., 344, 406.

  Wright, Silas, 242.

  Wyeth, 291.

  Wynne, John, 156.


[1] "Where Black Rules White," article by Hugo Erichsen, in _The Pilgrim_
for July, 1905.

[2] De Officiis, 1, § 89.

[3] Memoir of Jefferson Davis, vol. i. 579-583.

[4] Gettysburg, 164, 165.

[5] Quoted by himself in his Charleston speech, mentioned later on.

[6] Speech at the banquet of the New England Society of Charleston, S. C.

[7] A Literary History of America, 345.

[8] _Id._ 346.

[9] _Id._ 489.

[10] A Literary History of America, 494, 495.

[11] Major Joseph B. Cumming, speaking to the toast, "New Ideas, New
Departures, New South," at fourteenth annual dinner of New England Society
of Charleston, S. C., December 22, 1893.

[12] See Cobb, Slavery, xcvii, xcviii, for relevant citations. Chaps. V.
and VI. of the Historical Sketch, the former entitled "Slavery in Greece,"
and the latter, "Slavery among the Romans" (pp. lix-xcviii), are very
readable, learned, and adequate treatments of their respective subjects.

[13] Cobb, Slavery, cxii.

[14] _Id._

[15] Aristotle maintained the justice of wars undertaken to procure
slaves. See Cobb, Slavery, xii, foot-note 3, for references.

[16] "Pliny compares them to the drones among the bees, to be forced to
labor, even as the drones are compelled." _Id._ xcviii.

[17] In his chapter entitled "Slavery among the Jews" Mr. Cobb cites most
of the important passages. _Id._ xxxviii _sq._

[18] Twenty Years in Congress, vol. i. I.

[19] 1, 2, 2.

[20] _Id._ 1, 3, 1-2.

[21] Dig. 1, 1, 4, where, in an excerpt from Ulpian, it is said that all
human beings are _jure naturali_ (that is, by the law of nature) born

We of to-day must not regard the last three passages cited from the Corpus
Juris Civilis as particularly reprehending the property of the master in
his slave. Cicero asserts that there is no private property whatever
according to the law of nature; that according to that law all things are
common property. He details some of the ways by which private
appropriation is made, such as long holding, entry into vacant lands,
capture in war, acquisition by contract, etc. According to this, a
prisoner of war stood on the same footing as a horse captured from the
enemy. By the law of nature there could be private property in neither.
But this law of nature was really repealed by the _jus gentium_, under
which both horse and prisoner alike became private property. If another
took either the horse or slave away from the owner, he would--to use
Cicero's language--violate the law of human society. De Officiis Lib. 1.
cap. 7, §§ 20, 21.

[22] Inst. 1, 8, 1. When Mr. Cobb says that there is "but one voice in the
Digest and Code," book cited, xcviii, meaning that they give no
countenance to slavery, the statement is misleading.

[23] In the first chapter of his History of England Macaulay ascribes this
result to moral causes, and to religion as chief agent. He is only one of
many acute historians who overlook the play of economical forces.

[24] Cobb, Slavery, ccxviii (foot-note).

[25] See p. 437 _infra_, where I have compared the struggle of Ireland for
autonomy during the last half of the eighteenth century with that of the
south narrated in this book.

[26] Charleston Address mentioned above, 15.

[27] Hist. of Fed. Gov., 2d ed., 59.

[28] _Id._ 2.

[29] See the Republic of Republics, 4th ed. The references in the copious
index, under the names Dane, Henry, Story, Webster (Daniel, not Noah),
will suffice to put the student in the way to finding ample support of the
statements in the text.

[30] See Republic of Republics, 204-212 (chap. viii. of Part III.)
entitled "Daniel Webster's Masterpiece of Criticism," for copious proofs
of the statements made in the text. Hamilton, Madison, John Jay, and
Franklin are cited, and some eight or nine quotations from Washington are
made. The chapter is also instructive in showing State-rights utterances
of Webster made before and after the speech.

[31] See Stephens, War between the States, vol. i. 388, 389-392, 397-8;
and Republic of Republics, 4th ed., 207-211.

[32] War between the States, two volumes.

[33] The Republic of Republics; or, American Federal Liberty. By P. C.
Centz, Barrister, 4th ed., Boston, 1881. See what I said of it in 1882,
Am. Law Studies, §§ 943, 944. Subsequent examination and comparison have
given me a still higher opinion of this book; which in its well-digested
presentation of evidence exhaustively collected, and complete
demonstration of its main proposition, to wit, that in the opinion of the
draftsmen, also of all the advocates of the constitution, and of the
people ratifying, the States were sovereign before adoption and would so
remain afterwards, is unique, and far foremost, in the literature of the
subject. Compare this strong statement of Henry Cabot Lodge, uttered in

"When the constitution was adopted by the votes of States at Philadelphia,
and accepted by the votes of States in popular conventions, it is safe to
say that there was not a man in the country, from Washington and Hamilton
on the one side, to George Clinton and George Mason on the other, who
regarded the new system as anything but an experiment by the States and
from which each and every State had the right peaceably to withdraw, a
right which was very likely to be exercised." Daniel Webster, 176.

[34] Republic of Republics, 4th ed., 23. The entire chapter entitled
"Secession and Coercion," _id._ 22-27, will repay consideration, setting
forth as it does what according to the author the brothers on each side
ought to have done under the law of nations.

[35] Lewis H. Morgan, Ancient Society, 103.

[36] Morgan, Ancient Society, 132.

[37] "It used to be a remark often made by Chief Justice Lumpkin, who was
a man himself of wonderful genius, profound learning, and the first of his
State, that Webster was always foremost amongst those with whom he acted
on any question, and that even in books of selected pieces, whenever
selections were made from Webster, these were the best in the book." A. H.
Stephens, War between the States, vol. i. 336.

[38] Ransy Sniffles is a character in Georgia Scenes, who has long been a
proverb in the south for one who habitually provokes personal encounters
among his neighbors.

[39] See _infra_, p. 436.

[40] See what he said February 20, 1860, in the United States senate, to
Clark, repeating the charge, as reported in the "Globe."

[41] W. Pinkney Starke, Account of Calhoun's Early Life, Calhoun
Correspondence, 69.

[42] The inscription on her tombstone states--so I have been
informed--that she died in May, 1802. In a short while afterwards he put
the mother of his future wife in her place and bestowed on her the highest
filial love.

[43] W. Pinkney Starke, Account of Calhoun's Early Life, Calhoun
Correspondence, 78.

[44] Starke's Account of Calhoun's Early Life, Calhoun Correspondence, 87.

[45] Life of John C. Calhoun. By Gutasvus M. Pinkney, of the Charleston,
S. C., Bar, Charleston, S. C., 1903.

[46] Calhoun Correspondence, 88.

[47] Von Holst, John C. Calhoun, 41.

[48] War between the States, vol. i. 341.

[49] A Disquisition on Government, and A Discourse on the Constitution and
Government of the United States, Works, vol. i.

[50] Works, vol. i. (A Disquisition on Government) 72.

[51] They were made in the United States Senate, one, September 19, 1837,
on the bill authorizing issue of treasury notes; the other, October 3,
1837, on his amendment of the bill just mentioned.

[52] His "Barbara Villiers" and his "History of Money in America" are very
important. But his most valuable addition to the few books which have
taught true monetary doctrine is his "Science of Money." While in this he
does not state the fundamental principle of good money as clearly as
Calhoun does, yet he assumes it most accurately and builds upon it

[53] "Rational Money," published by C. F. Taylor, 1520 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia. The author does not show the deep insight and genial
originality of Calhoun and Del Mar; but he has presented the entire
subject with a judgment so sane in accepting the true and rejecting the
false in the belonging theory, that the book is the very best of existing

[54] To be nominated in the South Carolina primary, a candidate for
governor or any other State place must receive a majority in the whole
State, one for congress a majority in the district, one for a county place
a majority in the county. Where no candidate receives a majority a new
primary is held only to decide between the two who got the largest vote.
The primary first mentioned is a State primary, held on the last Tuesday
of August. At this date, the crop--to use planting parlance--having been
laid by for some six weeks, the voters have had ample opportunity from
reading the papers, talks with one another, and hearing speeches to inform
themselves fully. Just across the Savannah in Georgia, the State
democratic executive committee, so called, being the faithful organ of the
railroads, has since 1898 put the primary in the early days of June, in
busiest crop-time. This precludes any real canvass. It also keeps
thousands from voting; and so the always full turnout of railroad regulars
and workers--which is but a relatively small portion of the body of
electors--wins a plurality. The committee allows a plurality to nominate,
as of course a plurality can be had more easily than a majority. To be
sure of the State senate, nominations to it are made by a convention
instead of a primary. And conventions in the congressional districts
nominate candidates for the lower house.

Contrasting the results--in South Carolina nomination is really the voice
of the people; in Georgia the people seem to get, while the railroads
really get, the governor, and, as everybody now expects, the railroads and
liquor men always have at least twenty-three of the forty-four senators.

I believe that the Swiss-like grip of the people of South Carolina upon
their liberties, shaming Georgia so greatly as it does, is mainly due to
the influence of Calhoun. That influence is still benignly powerful, even
where unrecognized.

I think that if the dispensary law were so altered as to give each county
the purchase of its liquor by, say, its supervisor, nominated by this
primary, the opportunity of graft, now discrediting the administration of
the law with many, would be effectually closed. There would then be
everywhere a trustworthy official, of their own election, to keep the
people advised as to proper prices and cost. It would be to lose all
chance of re-election for the official to cheat the public by colluding
with the liquor sellers.

[55] Life of John C. Calhoun, 225-229.

[56] _Id._

[57] Heyward thus translates: "Reason and good sense express themselves
with little art. And when you are seriously intent on saying something, is
it necessary to hunt for words?"

[58] Von Holst, John C. Calhoun, 133.

[59] _Id._ 141.

[60] Von Holst, John C. Calhoun, 148.

[61] As illustrating his anti-tariff progress, see what he says in his
letter of July, 1828, to James Monroe, Correspondence, 266; what in that
to his relative, Noble, of January, 1829, _id._ 269, 270; in that to
Samuel L. Gouvernour, of February, 1832, _id._ 310, 311; and what as to
benefit from having concentrated opinions in south, in that to his
brother-in-law, _id._ 313, 314.

[62] Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States,
Works, vol. i. 392.

[63] Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States,
Works, vol. i. 393.

[64] Ancient Society, 147, 148.

[65] A Disquisition on Government, Works, vol. i. 92-96. Compare for
Calhoun's treatment Benton's report of his conversations, and the
pertinent excerpts he gives from Calhoun's speech in the United States
Senate of February 15 and 16, 1833, Thirty Years' View, vol. i. 335 _sq._

[66] Daniel Webster, 50.

[67] _Id._ 45, 46.

[68] _Id._ 46.

[69] _Id._ 48.

[70] In his _Encyclopedia Americana_ article Mr. Carl Schurz strains as
hard as Mr. Lodge does in his biography to conceal the real position of
Webster. I commend the homespun reasoning of this paragraph to all such.

[71] Daniel Webster, 59.

[72] McMaster, Daniel Webster, 88.

[73] Daniel Webster, 52.

[74] Dartmouth College Causes.--Mr. Lodge's narrative, Daniel Webster,
74-98--is a very helpful introduction to the book just mentioned.

[75] Lodge, Daniel Webster, 22.

[76] _Id._ 22.

[77] The twelve words meant are, "The congress shall have power to
regulate commerce among the several States."

[78] Huschke ought to have stated this fact at page 19 of his edition of
Gaius, in order to give the latter his full posthumous glory.

[79] We support our statement in this sentence by quoting below in this
footnote two passages which stand a page or two apart in the Plymouth
oration, italicizing one word in the former, and one word and a clause in
the other, which, if Webster had taken accurate note of the intellectual
ferment then active throughout all New England, he would have made much

"We may flatter ourselves that the means of education at present enjoyed
in New England are not only adequate to the diffusion of the elements of
knowledge among all classes, but sufficient also for _respectable_
attainments in literature and the sciences."

"With nothing in our past history to discourage us, and with _something_
in our present condition and prospects to animate us, let us hope, that,
as it is our fortune to live in an age when we may behold a wonderful
advancement of the country in all its other great interests, _we may see
also equal progress and success attend the cause of letters_."

[80] Daniel Webster, 318-321.

[81] _Ante_, 28-30.

[82] Literary History of America, 354.

[83] _Id._

[84] Consider his virtual confession when Mrs. Davis good humoredly taxes
him with saying in his speeches hard things of slavery which he knew from
actual observation to be fictions. Memoir of Jefferson Davis, vol. i. 581.

[85] Lecture in Tremont Temple, Stephens, War between the States, vol. i.
637, 638 (Appendix G).

[86] The Negro in Africa and America, by Alexander Tillinghast, M. A., N.
Y., 1902.

This really scientific work, very complete though very brief, is as
indispensable to whomsoever would enlighten the country upon the race
question, as is the latest and best text-book to the lawyer considering a
case under the law treated therein.

Mr. Page's "The Negro: The Southerner's Problem," N. Y., 1904, has not the
scientific merit of the last. But it most ably advocates the side
generally taken by the south.

Both books are free from blinding passion and prejudice.

[87] Book cited, 88. The italics are mine.

[88] _Id._ 88.

[89] The Negro in Africa and America, 88, 89. Italics mine, again.

[90] Uncle Tom's Cabin and Key, Riverside ed., vol. i. p. xviii.

[91] These quotations from The Author's Introduction, Riverside ed.,
lviii, lix. The last sentence italicized by me.

[92] Tremont Temple Lecture, Stephens, War between the States, vol. i.
641. The italics are mine.

[93] Professor DuBois, born in 1868, in New England, whose writings show
that his mind has been soaked to saturation in abolition misstatement and
bitterness, and that consequently he is utterly unfamiliar with either the
average negro slave of the south and the conditions and effects of slavery
in the section, attributes the present unchastity of the negroes to the
frequent separation of man and wife by the master. Here is what he says:

"The plague-spot in sexual relations is easy marriage and easy separation.
This is no sudden development, nor the fruit of emancipation. It is the
plain heritage from slavery. In those days Sam, with his master's consent,
took up with Mary. No ceremony was necessary, and in the busy life of the
great plantations of the Black Belt it was usually dispensed with. If now
the master needed Sam's work in another part of the same plantation, or if
he took a notion to sell the slave, Sam's married life with Mary was
usually unceremoniously broken, and then it was clearly to the master's
interest to have both of them take new mates. This widespread custom of
two centuries has not been eradicated in thirty years." The Souls of Black
Folk, 142.

This statement is utterly untrue, as Professor DuBois can easily find out
from thousands of most credible witnesses. I never knew of a single such
separation. Of course, I will not say that there were none at all. But I
do say, in contradiction of his assertion, as flat as contradiction can
be, that the separations which he describes were not common. Every
impartial investigator who has formed his opinion from the actual evidence
knows that the unchastity of the negro slave of America was an inheritance
from Africa. I do not dispute the assertion often made that there were and
are still chaste negro tribes of that continent. But our negroes did not
come from them. They came from the West Africans, accurately described
above in citations from Mr. Tillinghast.

[94] Uncle Tom's Cabin and Key, Riverside ed., vol. i. p. lxxxix _sq._

[95] Uncle Tom's Cabin and Key, Riverside ed., vol. ii. 273.

[96] Georgians, 128.

[97] The Life of Robert Toombs, 29-49 (New York, Cassell Pub. Co.).

[98] Bethany, A Story of the Old South, 10 _sq._

[99] Johnston and Browne's Life of A. H. Stephens, 218.

[100] Toombs thus anticipates the trenchant but kindly criticism by
Woodrow Wilson of congressional ways of governing. Congressional Gov.
58-192, and in other places.

[101] What he says July 29, 1857, on death of Preston S. Brooks is a good
example of the forced and labored style of his set speeches. Stephens
often said that his set speeches were failures. And unless they were made,
as that on the invasion of States, that on the duty of congress to protect
slavery in the Territories, and his justification of secession, January 7,
1861, under the excitement of a great cause, working the same effect upon
him as the ardor of extemporaneous effort, his set speeches are below the
mark. And I wish he had more carefully revised the three just mentioned,
following the example of Cicero, Erskine and Webster, who habitually
corrected and improved their words after they had been spoken. He does not
seem to have given his good speeches--the extemporaneous ones--any
systematic correction. Of all speakers and orators I ever knew or heard
of, he has used the file the least. It is my belief that he did not know
how to use it. Had he but polished just some of his best unpremeditated
efforts; as for instances his first speech for the retired naval officers;
his most important utterances under various heads of internal
improvements; his humorous anti-pension harangues; and his titanic
struggle in vain with his own party to keep Harlan seated--what a find
they would be for the school speech books of the future! His lecture on
slavery, delivered in Tremont Temple, Boston, January 24, 1859,--a good
copy of which is given by Stephens (The War between the States, vol. i.
625-647)--is the best specimen extant, within my knowledge, of his
deliberate style. If I may make such a distinction, it was carefully
revised, but never corrected. The reader will find it, I believe, the very
ablest of all the many defences of slavery in the south.

Mrs. Davis states that during the times of excitement concerning the
compromise of 1850, "He [Toombs] would sit with one hand full of the
reporter's notes of his speeches, for correction," with a French play in
the other, over which he was roaring with laughter. (Memoir of Jefferson
Davis, vol. i. 411.) As his speech of December 13, 1849, and the Hamilcar
speech of June next following, need very little correction, I incline to
believe that he did at least try to revise them. Naturally leading such a
novel movement as he then was--it will be fully explained a little later
on--he would desire to send forth his views in only carefully considered
words, and probably he corrected the proofs of the two speeches just
mentioned with something like diligence. In his pleadings, law-briefs,
sketches of proposed statutes, letters, etc., of which I saw much in his
last years, he was so palpably indifferent towards improving his first
draft that one might know it came from lifelong habit.

[102] Third Session, 240-244.

[103] _Globe_, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., Appendix, 360 (I am thus particular
in giving this reference, from a sense of justice to the memory of George
W. Crawford, which is now and then ignorantly aspersed because of the
Galphin claim).

[104] See his argument, May 25, 1858, for putting duties on the home
valuation of imports; note also how familiar he is with trade, the motive
of smuggling, the relation of exchange; also what he says of the tariff of
1857, _Globe_, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., 466, 467, 470. For his mastery of
trade and commerce, see what he says June 9, 1858, especially pp.

[105] Stephens, War between the States, vol. ii. 338.

[106] War between the States, vol. ii. 186.

[107] Address in the Supreme Court of Georgia, March 9, 1886.

[108] War between the States, vol. ii. 217.

[109] Waddell, Life of Linton Stephens, 237.

[110] The rare perfection of Catullus's spontaneous poetic expression is
something like adequately represented in two quotations made by Baehrens,
one from Niebuhr, and the other from Macaulay, especially in the former.
Catulli Veronensis, Liber II. 42.

[111] War Between the States, vol. ii. 329-333.

[112] Pleasant A. Stovall, The Life of Robert Toombs, 218.

[113] The War between the States, vol. ii. 781 (Appendix).

[114] The supplies for the Confederate Army, How they were obtained in
Europe and How paid for.--Personal Reminiscences and Unpublished history.
By Caleb Huse, Major and Purchasing Agent, C. S. A. Boston, Press of T. R.
Marvin & Son, 1904.

I commend this narrative to Professor Brown. Should he study it he will
have cause to retract what he has written (The Lower South in American
History, 164) in disparagement of this resource. Had Toombs, or Stephens,
or Cobb been president and represented by such an extraordinarily able
agent, the Confederate States would have got ironclads, broken the
blockade, kept out invaders, and had a money that would have held its own
much better than the greenbacks unsustained by cotton or anything like it.
From what I know of these men I am sure the right agent would have been

[115] Book cited, 164, 165.

[116] Stovall, Life of Robert Toombs, 226.

[117] Wyeth, Life of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, 268, 269.

[118] _Id._ 271.

[119] See his 14th chapter.

[120] "I see a vision of awful shapes--mighty presences of gods arrayed
against Troy." _Æneid_, II. 622-23, Transl. by JOHN CONINGTON, _Writings_,
II., Longmans, Green & Co. (1872).

[121] In six consecutive numbers of the _Pilgrim_, beginning with that of
October, 1903. This is a monthly, edited by Willis J. Abbot, and published
by the Pilgrim Magazine Co., _Ltd._, Battle Creek, Mich.

[122] Memoir of Jefferson Davis, vol. i. 59.

[123] Memoir, vol. i. 86.

[124] _Id._ 52, 53.

[125] Memoir, _Id._ vol. i. 59, 60.

[126] Mrs. Davis tells all the details most delightfully; Memoir, vol. i.

[127] Memoir, vol. i. 214, 215. Compare what Stephens says of the speech
made by President Davis at the African church in Richmond in February,
1865, just after the return of our Commissioners who had sought in vain
for terms of peace which the south could consider. We give the part of the
passage pertinent here.

"The newspaper sketches of that speech were meagre, as well as inaccurate
... and ... came far short of so presenting its substance even, as to give
those who did not hear it anything like an adequate conception of its full
force and power. It was not only bold, undaunted, and confident in tone,
but had that loftiness of sentiment and rare form of expression, as well
as magnetic influence in its delivery, by which the passions of the people
are moved to their profoundest depths, and roused to the highest pitch of
excitement. Many who had heard this Master of Oratory in his most
brilliant displays in the senate and on the hustings, said they never
before saw him so really majestic. The occasion, and the effects of the
speech, as well as all the circumstances under which it was made, caused
the minds of not a few to revert to like appeals by Rienzi and
Demosthenes." War between the States, vol. ii. 623, 824.

[128] Memoir, vol. i. 146, 147.

[129] Landon Knight, "The Real Jefferson Davis," already cited.

[130] Landon Knight, "The Real Jefferson Davis."

[131] Mrs. Davis's Memoir, vol. i. 392.

[132] In his fourth chapter.

[133] Memoir, vol. ii. 18.

[134] _Id._ 32, 33.

[135] Memoir, vol. ii. 180-183.

[136] Mr. Landon Knight is happy in showing the fidelity, diligence,
courage, and unsurpassed conscientiousness, of Mr. Davis in his
presidency, and especially how he bore himself amid the multiplying
disasters of the last two years.

[137] "We embraced the cause [i. e., of the Confederate States] in the
spirit of lovers. True lovers all were we--and what true lover ever loved
less because the grave had closed over the dear and radiant form?--And so
we--we, at least, who as men and women inhaled the true spirit of that
momentous time--come together on these occasions not only with the fresh
new flowers in our hands, but with the old memories in our thoughts and
the old, but ever fresh, lover spirit in our hearts, and seek to make
these occasions not unworthy of the cause we loved unselfishly and of
these its sleeping defenders." Major Joseph B. Cumming, in introducing
General Butler, orator of the day, when the Confederate soldiers' graves
were decorated at the Augusta (Ga.) cemetery in 1895.

[138] The celebration at Covington, Georgia, April 26, 1866, was complete.
My friend Hon. J. M. Pace has just shown me a copy of the local newspaper
issued the next day, containing an account of the ceremony and the rarely
appropriate address which he made as part thereof. The fact is that the
observance of Memorial Day commenced everywhere in the south at the time
just mentioned.

[139] Encyc. Americana, article "Ant."

[140] Uncle Tom's Cabin and Key, vol. i. 206 (Riverside ed.).

[141] Says John Mitchell: "The Southern States, which have made rapid
progress, especially in cotton manufacturing, have, as a general rule, not
responded to the demand for a shorter working-day--the south lacking
effective labor organizations to compel such legislation." (Organized
Labor, 122.) He might have said the same as to the desired prohibition of
child labor.

[142] _Infra_, pp. 431-438.

[143] The Souls of Black Folk, 254.

[144] In an address mentioned in the next footnote Major Joseph B. Cumming
rightly insists that this is the proper name for what is called "the
American Civil War" with some show of justification, and "the war of
rebellion" without any justification whatever.

[145] Address of Major Joseph B. Cumming, entitled "The Great War," before
Camp 435 of United Confederate Veterans, Augusta, Ga., Memorial Day, 1902.

[146] I Timothy vi. 1-4. I have quoted the Twentieth Century Testament
because of its extremely faithful version. Of course the italics are mine.

[147] "Where Black Rules White," by Hugo Erichsen, in the _Pilgrim_ for
July, 1905, deserves the title "Hayti As It Is." The Americana article
ought to be conspicuously labelled "Hayti Whitewashed."

[148] Bureau of Labor Bulletin, No. 48, September, 1903, pp. 1006, 1013,

[149] _Id._ 1020.

[150] Bishop Lucius H. Holsey, D.D., of the colored M. E. Church, is much
more in touch and sympathy with the negro masses than Professor DuBois.
Here is something recently said by him:

"_As long as the two races live in the same territory in immediate
contact, their relations will be such as to intermingle in that degree
that half-bloods, quarter-bloods and a mongrel progeny will result._ This
is not only going on now, but is destined to annihilate the true typical
ante-bellum negro type, and put in his place a stronger, a longer lived,
and a more Anglo-Saxon-like homogeneous race. In other words, the negro to
come will not be the negro of the emancipation proclamation, but he will
be the Anglo-Saxonized Afro-American. It seems true, as has been said, 'No
race can look the Anglo-Saxon in the face and live.' Certainly no other
race can hold its own in his immediate presence. Being in immediate
contact and underrating the mental and moral virtues of others and
exercising a sovereignty over them, his opportunities are enlarged to make
other races his own in consanguinity. This he never fails to do." Address
before the National Sociological Society at the Lincoln Temple
Congregational Church, The Possibilities of the Negro in Symposium, 107
(Atlanta, Ga.).

In the same address, just a little above the quotation just made, this
occurs: "Legal intermarriage in the south, although not wrong in its
consummation, is a matter as yet undebatable, and belongs only to the
future." _Id._ 107.

These words of Bishop Holsey are weighty proof that the negroes strongly
desire and expect amalgamation.

[151] Edward B. Taylor, _The Outlook_, July 16, 1904, p. 670.

[152] The Souls of Black Folk, 106.

[153] See Exodus xxii. 16.

[154] The Souls of Black Folk, 106.

[155] May 6, 1905. Having finished my work I read two days ago, "The Color
Line. A Brief in behalf of the Unborn." By William Benjamin Smith, N. Y.,
1905. It ably and vividly explains the transcendent importance of keeping
the blood of Caucasians in America uncontaminated with that of the
African, and demonstrates that to do this the color line must be rigidly
maintained between negroid as well as coal-black, on one side, and white
on the other. The utter impossibility of making the man of a particular
race like the man of another extremely remote one by even the most careful
education is shown with startling effect. The inability of the black to
hold his own against white competition, and his gradual and sure expulsion
is proved by overwhelming evidence. The book is useful as an introduction
to all the literature of the subject. The only fault that I note is its
excessive warmth and combativeness--especially in the first half. With the
dispassionate serenity of Mr. Tillinghast, it would have been perfect.

[156] The quotations which immediately follow are from a letter of J. B.
A. Walker, dated Tuskegee, Ala., July 27, 1904, written to S. H. Comings,
who has kindly permitted me to make use of it.

[157] Lower South in Am. Hist. 223. When Professor Brown read "The
Clansman" doubtless his hesitation ended.

[158] Clyatt _v._ United States, March 13, 1905.

[159] Possibly this is the village of Boley, mentioned in the next

[160] They are Stephen, a slave, _v._ State, 2 Ga. 225; Jesse, a slave,
_v._ State, 20 Ga. 161.

[161] See Tillinghast, The Negro in Africa and America, 10-14.

[162] New Encyc. Britan., Article, "Jamaica."

[163] Working with the Hands, 40.

[164] Tillinghast, book cited above, 180, 181. Consider the quotation
there made from Thurston, the negro manager, in which he asserts that it
is only by this means that negro operatives can be made to do good work.

[165] Souls of Black Folk, 9.

[166] During the years after the war until the end of 1881, when I came to
Atlanta, I kept my eye upon the negro preachers in the country. Whenever I
could closely observe one and had opportunity of sifting members of his
congregation, I generally found him to be _vir gregis_. My acquaintances
tell me that there has been no perceptible change. Compare what Mr. Edward
B. Taylor, a northern man, now residing in Columbia, S. C., says of "the
immoral negro preacher" in _The Outlook_ of July 16, 1904.

[167] William Hannibal Thomas, a negro of Massachusetts, says the same as
to the early corruption of children and "marital immoralities" both of the
poor, the ignorant, and the degraded among the freed people, and also of
those who assume to be educated and refined. Quoted by Mr. Page, The
Negro; The Southerner's Problem, 82-84.

[168] Encyc. Am. Article, "Negro in America."

[169] Noticing Mr. Page's book just mentioned, Professor DuBois treats
William Hannibal Thomas as utterly unworthy of credit. All of us in the
south familiar with negroes know that Thomas's statement quoted by Mr.
Page is unqualifiedly true.

[170] That part of Department of Commerce and Labor Bureau Census,
Bulletin 8, called "The Negro Farmer," is by him. Consider the extravagant
claims made therein for the magnitude of negro farming in the United
States in the comment on Table xxxv. p. 92. Professor DuBois is also
author of the "Negro Landholder of Georgia," Bulletin of Department of
Labor, No. 35, July, 1901.

[171] Bulletin 8, before cited, 75.

[172] Article, "Negro Education," Encyclopedia Americana.

[173] Professor DuBois, Bulletin 8, cited above, 73.

[174] _Id._ 77.

[175] Book cited, 183-185.

[176] _Id._ 184.

[177] Book cited, 184.

[178] _Id._ 184.

[179] Bureau of Statistics--Bulletin No. 28, p. 71.

[180] _Id._ 72.

[181] Extract from a letter of Hon. James M. Smith to the author. He is, I
believe, the largest planter in Georgia. His lands lie in the adjoining
edges of Oglethorpe county, which is in the Black Belt, and of Madison
county, which is outside. From his experience, and because of the great
accuracy of his observation, which I have noted for nearly forty years, I
regard him as better qualified than any one else who can be suggested, to
give a correct opinion on the subjects he deals with in the quotation.
Especially do I emphasize his exceptional advantages for comparing whites
and negroes as farmers, tenants, croppers, and laborers for standing
wages, in making cotton.

[182] Book cited above, 121, 122.

[183] The Voice of the Negro, September, 1904 (Atlanta, Ga.)--Consider
picture of "Board of Directors of the True Reformers' Bank, Richmond,
Va.," in number of same magazine for November, 1904. These directors are
nine in all, and there is but one who is decidedly black. Six of them look
to be more than three-quarters white. The number for March, 1905, contains
a sketch of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, Ph.D., stating that the
Professor's ancestry is largely white and his color a rich brown. The
picture of his mother shows her hair to be straight and her complexion

[184] Book cited above, 213-215.

[185] The Voice of the Negro, October, 1904, p. 435.

[186] Department of Commerce and Labor Bureau of the Census, Bulletin 8,
Negroes in the United States, p. 13.

[187] I have in mind his late articles in the _Outlook_.

[188] See his "Problems of the Present South."

[189] Autobiography of Seventy Years, vol. ii. 60-62.

[190] By Anne Scribner, and copied in the _Public_ of September 17, 1904,
from the Chicago _Evening Post_.

[191] The passage with the context quoted by Dr. Booker Washington,
"Working with the Hands," 238.

[192] Issue of October 15, 1904.

[193] Encyclopedia Americana, Article "Negro Education."

[194] But the most drastic provisions to keep the greedy whites from
preying upon the negroes as they did upon the Indians most be adopted,
such as permitting the negro State to tax without limit whites owning
property or doing business therein. This will prevent the result
anticipated by Booker Washington.

[195] The best thing upon the joint education of hand and brain known to
me is "Pagan _vs._ Christian Civilization," by S. H. Comings (Charles H.
Kerr & Co., Chicago). The title does not indicate, as it ought to do, the
special purpose of the book to show that to give the scholar expertness
with his hands at the first and thus develop his self-supporting ability
is far better than to cram his memory. What the author says in maintenance
of his proposition, that our industrial schools should be operated upon a
plan that will make the scholar pay as he goes, out of his own work, for
his subsistence and expense of education during the entire course,
deserves respectful and thoughtful consideration. In its brevity, and at
the same time variety and fulness, coming as it does at the beginning of a
new era, it reminds me of Sullivan's tract which some years ago started
the American agitation for direct legislation, with store of examples and
exposition almost sufficient for its entire needs.

The above had been written when Booker Washington's "Working with the
Hands" came along. The well-chosen title informs accurately as to the
subject of the book. Its scope covers working with the hands from its
beginning in childhood to the close of life. As illustration of his
principles Dr. Washington circumstantially tells of the beneficent
industrial and moral training given at Tuskegee, in all its many
departments, to children, youth, and adults, in everything which it is
important that a negro of either sex should know how to do. Besides its
wisdom, its attention-commanding and interest-exciting style deserves high
commendation. Any reader longing for the day of real education to dawn who
opens the book will go to the end, without skipping, in a delightful
gallop. It is my conviction that it will be of far more advantage to the
white industrial and technological schools than to those for which it is
specially intended by the author.

[196] Book cited, 119.

[197] See Collier's Weekly for November 26, 1904.

[198] The English translation of the first volume of Von Holst's
"Constitutional and Political History of the United States" has just been
published. The titles of the ninth and tenth chapters, to wit, "The
Economic Contrast between the Free and Slave States," and "Development of
the Economic Contrast between the Free and Slave States," are very apt and
striking, and the contents of the chapters are profoundly original and
instructive. Having ample space, the author has, among other merits, well
handled the following incidents and consequences of slavery:

1. Implacable hostility of slave and non-slave labor.

2. Self-protecting necessity to slavery of continuous expansion, and, to
insure this expansion, necessity that the south keep political mastery of
the country.

3. Economic importance to south of invention of cotton-gin in 1793.

4. Exclusive possession by north of wholesale trade.

5. Greater immigration to north.

6. Missouri Compromise, and rise therefrom of geographical parties.

7. Internal improvements and tariff passing inter-geographical question.

8. Economic decay of south due to slavery, and not to tariff.

9. Opposition of slavery to the spirit of the age.

The following is a brief statement of the chief demerits of the two

1. Misstatement that there were different circles of slaveholders;
overstatement of inhumanity of masters; and unjust disparagement of
character of smaller slaveholders.

2. Failure to note the great absorbing energy of slave property.

3. Failure to note the lack of a population of free workers.

But the work, considering the short time the clouds of battle have had to
clear away, recollecting, too, that the author is a foreigner, is,
excepting a little heated partisanship here and there, a most valuable
contribution to the history of our country.

[199] I see now--in 1905--that the statement in the text was a great
mistake; and that nadir was not reached until some fifteen or twenty years



With sixteen full-page illustrations from photographs

  300 pages.    12mo.    Cloth, $1.50 net.    Postpaid, $1.64.

A plain, connected, carefully prepared narrative of the actual and proved
dealings of the United States government with the subdued Indian--the
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regions unattractive to white settlers, and of the confiscation of Indian
property, are supported by extracts from official records. After chapters
describing the experience of the Umatillas (with whom the government held
to its treaty), the Flathead Indians of the Bitter Root, the Nez Perces,
the Poncas, and the Mission Indians, comes an important chapter on
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the final chapter gives an original and convincing explanation of the
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face of the equally persistent desire of the American people to grant the
Indian fair play. Helen Jackson's "A Century of Dishonor" has received a
valuable companion work in the present book.

  LITTLE, BROWN, & CO., _Publishers_

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