Изображения страниц

edent for it. This objection falls at once when we note that there is no part of the plan which has not been tried and found to work well. Scholarships, fellowships, traveling bachelorships, certificates of proficiency, competitive examinations at distant points, and all the other features of the plan have been tried successfully at various colleges and universities. Harvard and Johns Hopkins have each a very large number of scholarships and fellowships; Yale, Columbia, and Princeton have many; Cornell has 512 small scholarships, 36 larger ones, and 8 fellowships. Dr. McCosh but uttered the feeling of every observing teacher when he said, in effect, that half a million dollars invested in scholarships and fellowships at Princeton would do more for her than anything else. As to traveling bachelorships, the famous report of Kaye-Shuttleworth is an example of their value, even when very inadequately provided for.

In conclusion, I call attention to this plan, imperfectly sketched as it is, in the belief that no institution could now be founded with the same outlay, which would do immediately and permanently so much to strengthen our whole American system of instruction, from the common school to the university; and that no movement would lift so high, spread so far, or sustain so long the name and fame of a great national benefactor.

The arguments for a teaching university in the city of Washington, independent of that which I have now proposed, or supplementary to it, I may present in a future article.



THE question has been asked in some quarters, "What would be the effect upon the South, morally, socially, and commercially, of the political supremacy of the negro?" Every one in the South who had the misfortune to experience that baleful supremacy while it existed would answer, without hesitation, that it would involve total and absolute ruin to the South, and infinite and irreparable loss to the whole country. But a large class at the North, mainly honest and conscientious men, but knowing nothing of the condition of affairs at the South, and profoundly ignorant of the characteristics of the negro, think that he should, of right, rule, wherever his race is in the majority. To this class I shall address myself, and I shall endeavor to prove, by facts cited from the recent history of South Carolina, while under negro rule, how erroneous are their opinions, and how sound are those of the southern people who have had direful experience of negro supremacy. All arguments on such a subject are worthless, unless drawn from induction or based on experience; and we of the South claim that our arguments against the supremacy of the colored citizen stand upon this firm ground. In this article I shall present established facts, leaving my readers to draw their own conclusions. The facts presented are collated from the legislative records of South Carolina, from 1868, when the government of that State was turned over to the negroes and their carpet-bag allies, to 1876, when the State was redeemed from a domination more debasing, more disgraceful, than any which has ever obtained on this continent. Every reader is familiar with the means by which this condition of things was brought about. The reconstruction acts, which disfranchised many whites in the State, gave the elective franchise to the negroes, not only without any constitutional authority, but in direct violation of the Constitution, for they were

allowed to vote before the adoption of the constitutional amendment permitting them to do so. In confirmation of this statement I quote from the message of President Grant, dated March 30, 1870:

"To the Senate and House of Representatives :

"It is unusual to notify the two houses of Congress, by message, of the promulgation, by proclamation of the Secretary of State, of the ratification of a constitutional amendment. In view, however, of the vast importance of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, this day declared a part of that revered instrument, I deem a departure from the usual custom justifiable. A measure which makes at once four millions of people voters, who were heretofore declared, by the highest tribunal in the land, not citizens of the United States, nor eligible to become so, . . . is indeed a measure of grander importance than any other one act of the kind, from the foundation of our free government to the present day."

[ocr errors]

In this message President Grant congratulates Congress and the country that a measure which makes at once four millions of people voters" had been ratified; but he seems to forget that these same people, "who were heretofore declared, by the highest tribunal in the land, not citizens of the United States, nor eligible to become so," had already voted under the reconstruction acts; while those who, by inalienable right, were entitled to do so were disfranchised. It will be seen, by the message of President Grant, that the right to vote was conferred on the negro in 1870; and yet we know that this privilege was exercised in 1867, when the negroes, by their votes, took possession of the government in South Carolina. I am making no argument against their right to vote, for in 1867, before Congress had taken any action looking to this result, I maintained that this privilege should be extended to them under educational qualifications. I recognized then that in a republic such as ours no citizen ought to be excluded from any of the rights of citizenship because of his color or of any other arbitrary distinction. I therefore advocated, in a public State, which then, under the Constitution, fix the qualifications ofters, should give to the negroes, protecting itself by in qualification.

dress, that the avente power to elective franchise an educational


I need not, at this late day, and in view of the experience

we have had of the effect of the negro vote, give the reasons which actuated me in advocating this measure. But I dreaded the threatened infusion of so large a mass of ignorant voters as universal suffrage would give into our body-politic, and I regarded such a result as a great crime against humanity, civilization, and Christianity. I believed that the best class of the negroes could safely be intrusted with the ballot, and that this privilege would be an incentive to the others to qualify themselves for the duties and the responsibilities of citizenship. By these means we should gradually have absorbed these new-made citizens into our body-politic, without any violent shock to our system, and without danger to the republic. Other counsels prevailed, and "four millions of people were made voters" by the Fifteenth Amendment, as President Grant rather loosely expressed it, in his congratulatory message.

A few words are necessary in order to trace the steps by which the negroes in South Carolina came to exercise the electoral franchise. On the 30th June, 1865, Hon. B. F. Perry was appointed provisional governor of the State, and on the 18th of October Hon. James L. Orr was elected governor. The autonomy of the State was complete, and its government fully organized in all departments. Upon the passage of the reconstruction acts, in 1867, this government was supplanted by one of a military character, and General Sickles was placed in command of the district, composed of North and South Carolina. He was superseded in September by General Canby, by whom orders were given for a registration of voters, preliminary to the calling of a convention to frame a constitution. At this election, held in November, 1867, 68,876 colored men voted, and, of the members of the convention chosen, 63 were negroes and 34 whites. This motley convention met in January, 1868, and framed a constitution, which was ratified by a vote of 70,700 negroes in April following. At this last election the State officers and members of Congress and of the legislature were elected. Of the latter, 85 were negroes and 72 white. Many of these negroes could neither read nor write, and the white contingent was chiefly made up of carpet-baggers, men without character, principle, or property. Thus the regularly organized govern

ment of the State was arbitrarily overthrown, and another government established by the votes of people who were recognized as voters neither by the Constitution of that State nor by that of the United States. In other words, the negroes voted to make themselves voters, and by their votes took possession of the State government. At this "election," if such a term can be applied to a proceeding violative of all law, and in defiance of the Constitution, Robt. R. Scott was chosen to be governor of South Carolina, and from that time dates the carnival of crime and corruption which shocked the country, brought discredit on republican institutions, and won for my unfortunate State the name of the "Prostrate State." How deservedly that name was applied to her the facts attending the eight years of negro domination, which I shall present, establish beyond question.

When the government of the State was wrenched from the hands of its legitimate custodians, the State debt amounted to about six millions of dollars. This fact must be borne in mind, in order to comprehend fully the conduct of financial affairs by the new rulers. With very few exceptions these chosen representatives of the people owned no property, they paid no taxes, they were profoundly ignorant, and equally unscrupulous. Devoid of principle and incapable of shame, the sole object of their public acts was to enrich themselves at the expense of the tax-payers of the State. How persistently they pursued this course, how successfully they accomplished their end, will best be shown by the public records from which I shall now quote. But, before giving extracts from the report of the investigating committee, appointed by the legislature in 1877, I desire to quote from another authority, a little work written by James S. Pike, late minister to the Hague, entitled "The Prostrate State." This work was written in South Carolina during the session of the legislature in February and March, 1873, and, as a penpicture of the members of that general assembly and of affairs in the State, as seen by a northern man, his description possesses historic value. The picture he gives is not overdrawn; no colors were too dark to portray that hideous scene, no language strong enough to denounce it. The only difficulty in making selections from the volume is, that every page shows a record of

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »