Sunday, May 11, 2014



Many outrages were committed upon these blacks by that class of poor whites who formed a scab on every community before the war, and who never received from the slave owners the recognition and warm treatment they meted out to the slaves. This poor, miserable class of whites thought that to afflict the manumitted black man was to gain for them the approval and applause of the rich people, or the "bone and sinew" of this section. Although the proclamation of Mr. Lincoln was declared in operation from the first day of January, 1863, it was fully two years later before the colored man in these parts was given to understand

that he was his "own boss". Many of the colored people made this mistake: They defined "freedom" to mean that they were masters of their own time; and "liberty" to mean that they had no use for it; and they practiced the definition to the strictness of the letter. Another mistake was a failure to distinguish between humility and politeness. Very few colored men who wanted to stand well in colored circles, or in their own opinions, as free men, would suffer themselves to pull off their hats when entering the homes and parlors of those who formerly owned them. Such a complete change in conduct added its help towards driving
away from the minds of the whites any "compromise policy" benefiting the Negro.

The cry went up that the Negroes, once oppressed, were becoming oppressors. The blacks, many of them, expected a division of the lands and other property to be made, and the strange political parasites, which pretended to represent the Moses family, come to lead the "blacks"' from the Egypt of oppression to the Canaan of idleness and plenty, were very careful to keep them thinking so. All this added fuel to the fire, filling the blacks with hate for their own white folks, and their own white folks with anger towards them for being so easily imposed upon.

Often was the "forty acres and a mule" discussed: often were they told they should get them; often did they look, in vain, to see the promise fulfilled. And so it was. Instead of the races
here coming to an amicable settlement of a "future policy" to be pursued by both, without outside interference, they were set aside by the worn-out politicians of another section, who could see in the South's new condition a rich field of grain to harvest, the poor Negro as usual coining in for the "blows and cuffs" given by the whites, whose indignation had gone beyond control.

Poor men of a dark hue, truly you have been more sinned against than sinning. During all the long years of war, when every able bodied white man had left home for the "front of battle" or to do work in the Confederate halls of legislation, you, with that faithfulness which distinguished you as among the noblest sons of God, remained at "old master's” home and protected, fed and clothed his family. You never allowed them to suffer or want for anything which the farm or the woods could produce. When "old master"" and "young master” returned from war, you, at first glimpse, we’re as glad to see them as were their families tied to them by the ties of consanguinity: and when you ran up to bid them welcome you were bidden, in a great majority of cases, to "be off with you to your Yankee friends." For three years your life as a "free laborer" has been filled with thorns. Men have been allowed to vent their spite on you, for their defeat in war. Chain-gangs and penitentiaries have been and are being replenished from among your ranks.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Oh yeah?

Tweets by @hotchocolatefox