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only of capital, but of all forms of wealth, reproductive or otherwise, during the last century has not exceeded three cents a day per capita, or ten per cent. upon a consumption measured at thirty cents per day, then the present value of all our national wealth, aside from the valuation put upon land, would be nearly three times the computed and probably large valuation which I have put upon the present annual product. I think it is a wellestablished fact that such an accumulation can be reached only in the richest and most prosperous State. I made an analysis of the wealth and product of Massachusetts in 1875, with the aid and criticism of Carroll D. Wright, and we could then barely find a sum of wealth equal to three years' product in what is probably the richest State per capita in the Union.
If, then, we cannot find in existence any form of capital or wealth aside from the valuation of land, even including, as in the census estimates, public property which is of the common wealth -and my critics, Mr. Hawley and others, who doubt my estimates or my distribution of the annual product should find an annual product of much greater value than my estimate-then it would follow that less than ten per cent. has been or can be saved in a normal year to be applied to the maintenance and increase of capital. It would then be proved that want treads closer on the heels of plenty than even I have ventured to suggest.
In the last analysis it will appear that there is no such thing as fixed capital; there is nothing useful that is very old except the precious metals, and all life consists in the conversion of forces. The only capital which is of permanent value is immaterial, the experience of generations and the development of science. It is not given to material capital to save any one generation from the work of getting its own living ; all that it can accomplish is to lighten the labor; the condition on which it attains its own income is, that it render full service for all tbat it receives and that it also render the general struggle for life less and less severe.
OUR SOUTHERN MASTERS.
The political control of the United States is now in the hands of a southern oligarchy as persistent and unrelenting as was that which plunged the nation into the slave holders' rebellion. Its members own President Cleveland, constitute the majority in the national House of Representatives, and include twenty-four of the thirty-seven Democrats of the Senate, where thirty-eight northern Republicans, aided by one from the South, precariously hold nominal control. This complete southern domination of the government is as evidently founded on the colored people of the South as it was when the cries and groans of the bondmen invoked the vengeance of Heaven on their oppressors. Then, as now, the negroes entered into the basis of representation in Congress and the electoral colleges. Now, as then, the negroes have no voice or vote in the elections; but the white men vote for them and wield their power, and thereby rule the North and the nation. The excuse offered for thus trampling ruthlessly, by murder and fraud, upon the right of suffrage as guaranteed by the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, is, that negro suffrage would produce negro supremacy, and negro supremacy would curse the country. Is this attempted justification of wrong and crime sufficient?
In an article in the FORUM for June, Senator Wade Hampton attempts to establish the proposition that the “political supremacy of the negro" would involve “total and absolute ruin to the South, and infinite and irreparable loss to the whole country.” In proof of this assertion, with which he begins his article, he recounts the history of South Carolina when “ turned over to the negroes and their carpet-bag allies," and he makes this recital bis whole contribution.
Believing as I do that the bestowal of suffrage upon the negro, whatever the consequences to the South, was an overwhelming and inevitable necessity under the circumstances then existing, it is not necessary for me to controvert the truth of the charge, that the first civil government established in South Carolina, at the close of the bloody rebellion which that State bad begun (which government, solely through the fault and malevolence of the white rebels, was composed of a large majority of loyal negroes) fell into corrupt practices, deserving a portion, at least, of the characterizations which have constituted the sole excuse for a forcible overthrow of that government, by the white Democrats, quite as unjustifiable and cruel in its character as their original secession and war against the Union.
It may be that, in the providence of God, the temporary ascendency of the negro was designed as a special chastisement of the guilty authors of the Rebellion, and that the sins of the fathers were intended to be visited upon the children, even unto the third and fourth generations. Consider the lamentation of President Lincoln :
“The Almighty has his own purposes. 'Woe unto the world because of offenses, for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.' If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a loving God always ascribe to him ? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondmen's 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, so still it must be said, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'”
Any defense of the so-called negro and carpet-bag government of South Carolina may well be left to Daniel H. Chamberlin, its refugee governor. He has meekly kissed the hand which smote him, and is now a New York City Democrat, a maligner of the Republican Party, and a defender or apologist for every crime of the Democratic Party. Another similar outcast, ex-Governor Rufus B. Bullock, has purchased his peace and a safe return to Georgia by publicly advocating, while yet claiming to be a Republican, the deliberate abandonment by the North of the Fifteenth Amendment.
The account given by James S. Pike, of Maine, of the “ Black Parliament" of South Carolina, which makes a large share of Mr. Hampton's proofs, was written in the winter of 1872-73, directly after the disastrous defeat of Horace Greeley, whom Mr. Pike had followed into the Democratic Party because of the Republican policy of reconstruction; and his narrative is necessarily intended as a justification of himself and Mr. Greeley, and is an exaggeration and caricature. The redeeming features of “negro rule” he and Mr. Hampton wholly omit. Mr. George W. Cable wisely reminds us that the reconstruction party, though the upper ranks of society warred “as fiercely against its best principles as against its bad practices, planted the whole South with public schools for the poor and illiterate of both races, welcomed and cherished the missionaries of higher education, and when it fell, left them still both systems, with the master class converted to a belief in their use and necessity."*
The constitutions and the governments established in the southern States under the reconstruction policy of the Republican Party have all been torn down by fraud, violence, and murder; and these revolutions have been submitted to by the complaisant northern people, tired of war and controversy, and anxious for commerce and money. The immediate question now is not one of negro supremacy, but of white equality; not whether the negro shall be the political superior of the white man at the South, but whether the white southerner shall be the political superior of every citizen at the North.
It is necessary to look at the case historically. President Johnson began reconstruction with a proclamation, May 29, 1865, granting wholesale amnesty and pardon, and absolute impunity for their treason, to all the rebels except certain specified classes, who were probably not one-tenth of the southern whites; and he promised special pardons to the excepted persons. At the same time he authorized and directed the re-establishment of the southern State governments. The only conditions which he imposed were, that each State should assent to the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery, and should repudiate all rebel war debts. Under these circumstances the south. ern States made rapid work in reconstruction; and when the thirty-ninth Congress assembled in December, 1865, senators and representatives appeared from the late insurrectionary States, headed by Alexander H. Stephens, the late Vice-President of the southern Confederacy. Legislating for the freedmen, the southern legislatures had enacted infamous labor laws almost as restrictive and oppressive as slavery itself.
* See Mr. Cable's thoughtful, philosophical, and candid article on "The Negro Question,” published first in the New York “ Tribune." and lately by the American Missionary Society, 56 Reade Street, New York City.
Although alarmed at President Johnson's policy and its results, Congress took no hasty action. June 18, 1866, the report from the Committee on Reconstruction was made, signed by W. P. Fessenden, James W. Grimes, Ira Harris, J. M. Howard, Geo. H. Williams, Thaddeus Stevens, Elihu B. Washburne, Justin S. Morrill, John A. Bingham, Roscoe Conkling, George S. Boutwell, and Henry T. Blow. The following extracts from that report show the reason why the loyal North, as a condition of recognizing President Johnson's reconstructed governments in the rebel States, determined to propose and demand nothing less than the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment:
“ By an original provision of the Constitution representation is based on the whole number of free persons in each State, and three-fifths of all other persons. When all become free representation for all necessarily follows. As a consequence the inevitable effect of the rebellion would be to increase the political power of the insurrectionary States whenever they should be allowed to resume their positions as States of the Union. . It did not seem just or proper that all the political advantages derived from their becoming free should be confined to their former masters, who had fought against the Union, and withheld from themselves, who had always been loyal. Slavery, by building up a ruling and dominant class, had produced a spirit of oligarchy adverse to republican institutions, which finally inaugurated civil war. The tendency of continuing the domination of such a class, by leaving it in the exclusive possession of political power, would be to encourage the same spirit, and lead to a similar result.
The question before Congress is, then, whether conquered enemies have the right, and shall be permitted at their own pleasure and on their own terms, to participate in making laws for their conquerors; whether conquered rebels may change their theater of operations from the battlefield, where they were defeated and overthrown, to the halls of Congress, and through their representatives seize upon the government which they fought to destroy; whether the national treasury, the army of the nation, its navy, its forts and arsenals, its whole civil administration, its credit, its pensioners, the widows and orphans of those who perished in the war,