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South-Western districts, known to the botanical geographer as the Cape-Flora.
In the extreme South and South-West, where the winter rains are constant and regular, the valleys and plains are covered with proteas, heaths and Restionaceae, but North of the Langebergen these plants do not occur in the lower regions, being confined entirely to the mountains. The reason is a twofold one, for this remarkable distribution of the plants is partly due to the nature of the rocks; the mountains consisting of sandstone and the plains and hills mostly of shales; but principally it is caused by the clouds which supply moisture to the plants of the mountains, but not to the valleys or the hills.
On the Zwartebergen, the Anysberg, Touwsberg, the Kamanassi mountains, the Wittebergen near Matjesfontein, and a number of others, the line of demarcation between the karroid vegetation of the hills and the Cape-Flora is always well defined, for there is no mixing of the two formations. But even on the Cape Peninsula the contrast between the region of the clouds and the lower slopes is most remarkable. Many of the most famous flowers of the Cape are confined to the mountains, where the summer climate is so largely modified by the moisture-bearing clouds. The Disa uni flora, more justly called D. grandiflora, for specimens with 2 or 3 blooms are not uncommon, the blue Disa graminifolia, also known as Herschelia coelestis, the beautiful Disa longicornu and D. ferruginea, and many other orchids, do not descend below the region of the clouds. The gorgeous Nerine sarniensis, the Anemone capensis, Watsonia Meriana, and many beautiful heaths are confined to the heights, and the Cape cedar of the cedar mountains thrives at its best only above the 3000 feet level, where the winter brings more rain and the summer the clouds. There are hundreds, probably thousands, of species of plants which are dependent on this source of supply, and cannot exist where it fails, but it would be impossible to deal with them here
How considerable the quantity of water is, which the South-East clouds bring, and which, it must be remembered, is not indicated by our rain gauges, was well demonstrated during a five-days' SouthEast storm in February, 1905, when the top of Table Mountain was transformed into a swamp, as if it were midwinter, although not a quarter of an inch of rain had fallen during a period of three weeks.
The area over which the South-East clouds extend is very considerable, for it reaches from Cape Point to the Bokkeveld and the Kamiesbergen in the North, and to the mountains of Uitenhage in the East, occasionally even to others further East and North. But the plants referred to above as some of the chief elements of the CapeFlora, cannot thrive where the winter is dry, hence, being dependent on the rain of the winter months, and an intermittent supply of moisture in summer, thev are hemmed in from East and North, and form a floral region of their own in a territory so small that it has no parallel in other parts of the world.
By T. LANE CARTER.
[ABSTRACT.] The first African slaves were taken to the New World by the Spaniards to work the gold and silver mines, as the Red Men had proved utter failures as labourers. Eventually the British excelled the Spaniards as slave dealers. The important part played by Great Britain in the introduction and spread of slavery in America was forgotten during the 19th Century, when the children of the men who had done so much to introduce negro slavery vehemently denounced the South for this institution. The British Parliament watched with zealous care the interests of the slave trade; slaves were forced on the Colonists for years after they cried out against the institution.
It should be remembered that the Civil War was not fought to liberate the slaves. No man in America dreamed of final emancipation, when hostilities commenced in 1860.
Lincoln's Inaugural Address contains the declaration that “he had no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists." At first Lincoln leaned to gradual emancipation, 103 as the war dragged on, he conceived the idea of doing away with the institution of slavery, which had brought such misery on the country. On January ist, 1863, he signed the final Edict of Freedom. When the war came to an end there were four millions of freedmen in the South. The ex-slaves were entirely ignorant, untrained as a rule, save for servile occupations. Childlike in mind and habits, they interpreted their new liberty to mean release from restraint. In 1865 they began to wander away from the plantations, to enjoy the delights of idleness, to indulge thievish and immoral propensities to the full, and to work no more and no longer than they found agreeable. The dominant party at the North, the Republican, never rested until the whites of the South, the ex-Confederates, were disfranchised, and the negroes were enfranchised.
After the Civil War the victors did everything in their power to lift up the ex-slaves, and to debase and humiliate their
race living in the South. Wholesale confiscation of the Southerners' property carried out in every State, and the lower class of politicians from the North (the “carpet baggers”) promised the negroes forty acres and a mule" for their votes. Red and blue pegs were sold to the negroes with which to mark off their forty acres. A pretended deed for land, sold to ignorant negroes, commenced as follows:
“ Know all men by these presents, that a nought is a nought and a figure is a figure, all for the white man and none for the nigger. And whereas Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so also have I lifted this damed old nigger out of four dollars and six bits. Amen! Selah!”
In spite of desperate efforts to make the negro a permanent part of the political life of the country, the results attained by negro
politicians never amounted to much. While they got hold of several State Governments, they had little or no effect on the National Government.
The first members were in the 42nd Congress, which convened in the year 1872, and the last went out in the 56th Congress, in the year 1900. It is highly improbable that there will be any more negroes in the House of Representatives or the Senate. The general consensus of opinion of the statesman of the United States is that the negro, after centuries of contact with the white race, is unfit for self-government.
The period of Reconstruction is known as the dark days in the South. The whites saw with terror the dangers of a black peril ; in every State political corruption was rampant.
What was to be done? To use force was out of the question. Had the South tried to resist by force of arms, the whole strength of the victorious Union would have been arrayed against her.
One peculiarity of the ex-slaves was taken advantage of by their former masters, namely, the negro's intense superstition and fear of the supernatural. It was this fear that made possible the work accomplished by such organizations as the Ku-Klux Klan.
These societies were secret companies which sprang up all over the South. The members wore a disguise of a white mask, a tall cardboard hat, a gown or robe that covered the whole person, and when a member rode on horseback, a white cover for the bodies of the horses, and a sort of muffling for their feet.
Wherever ex-slaves grew unruly, disguised horsemen appeared by night, and thereafter the negroes of the neighbourhood remained under
after daylight failed. The black voters informed by the “ spirit horsemen” that negroes should keep away from the ballot-boxes. And on the whole negroes followed the supernatural advice.
Granting the franchise to the ex-slaves proved a grievous error. Most of the political history of the South since the War is bound up in the question of negro suffrage. It has been almost impossible for a white man to vote as he chose. Perhaps on national questions he was in entire sympathy with the Republican party, yet he dare not throw in his lot with that party in the past, as it stood for negro domination in the South.
Enfranchising the ex-slaves brought about a vast solidarity in the social and political life of the South, so that one heard of the “ Solid South" in politics. The class distinctions between the whites of the South were by no means so sharply drawn as they would be had there been no negroes.
The wisest men in the South saw the dangers of the secret societies in maintaining the supremacy of the white race. Thev realised that a disregard for the statutes of the land would lead to lawlessness. So the methods of the Ku-Klux Klan and kindred organisations were dropped, and a constitutional solution of the difficulty was sought.
After the Civil War two amendments to the Constitution of the United States were adopted, namely, the 13th and 15th. The 15th amendment reads as follows:-“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, colour, or previous condition of servitude The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
In all the Southern States the negroes were illiterate, and by degrees laws were passed calling for an educational qualification before the franchise was granted. This law has debarred the vast majority of the ignorant, penniless negroes from the ballot-box. Practically all the Southern States have passed laws qualifying the franchise. Here is an epitome of the legislation ::-In all of the Southern States any negro who possesses a limited amount of taxable property, valued at $300 (£60 about), and can read and write the English language, is allowed to vote ; in three of the Southern States any negro who can read and write the English language, and has paid his poll-tax can vote, although he own no taxable property; and in three States he can vote if he owns taxable property, even though he cannot read or write. In none of the Southern States is a negro legally disqualified from voting because he is a negro; in none of the Southern States is he disqualified if he possesses $300 worth of property and gives evidence of his ability to use intelligently the English language. It was simple enough for the Southern States to adopt these laws, but they had to pass before the searchlight of the highest tribunal in the land, to decide whether they infringed the constitution of the United States. When the Supreme Court of the United States decided that these laws of the Southern States did not conflict with the Constitution of the United States, there was a feeling of relief in the political life of the South.
The contention of the South all along has been that each State has the right to decide who shall vote, and who shall not vote. It is not a question for the National Government to decide.
What an extraordinary page of history is this experience of negro suffrage in the South! The conquerors declared that the freed slaves should become full-fledged citizens at once. The former masters quietly made up their minds to die rather than lose their ascendency. Their ingenuity saved a situation which could never have been won by force. It was one of the critical situations of modern times. Had the Southern people been of a less heroic mould, the future race might have been negroid, for you cannot acknowledge the absolute political equality of a race for ever, without acknowledging the social equality as well. Instead of the future of the South being worthy of the records and ideals of the Anglo-Saxon race, it would probably have sunk to the low level of a South American Republic. Now in the South laws of restriction have been passed to keep out the vast bulk of illiterate, indigent negroes, to take from them what they never had a right to, the vote given by a power which had no right to give it.
There is a terrible side to the negro question in America, namely, the unmentionable crime against white women. While the women of the black race can walk unmolested (so far as the white man is concerned) from one end of the South to the other, the wives and daughters of the white men in lonely districts dare not go far into the forest or away from their male protectors, lest a fate worse than death overtake them.
The chief explanation of this “New Negro Crime ” can be traced to the promiscuous granting of the franchise. It was preached to the negro that he was the equal of the white man in every way, that he was free to do as he pleased.
The “ New Negro Crime" will disappear when the conditions which brought it about pass away. Take the case of Mississippi, where the blacks greatly outnumber the whites. Since the disfranchisement of the negroes the crime has practically vanished from this State, where the negro has learned that, whatever may have been the theory that inspired reconstruction legislation, the black man in that State is not the political, much less the social, equal of the white. The crime is liable to vanish from the other States when the same hard, but indispensable, lesson is driven home.
The social and economic side of the negro question presents as great a problem as the political. To-day the two races are further apart in social relations than ever before, and the breach is ever widening. The difficulty of the negro problem is enhanced by the fact that the vast majority of the blacks are concentrated in the Southern States. The figures are, roughly, 8,000,000 in the South, and 1,000,000 in the North.
The negroes are not increasing at a greater rate than the white race. Numerical supremacy of the blacks in the South is a danger that will not threaten the country. During the years 1880-1890 the increase of the coloured population in the Southern States was only 13.24 per cent., while that of the whites for the same section was 23.91 per cent. The increase of white population for all the United States was 26.68 per cent., while the increase for the whole coloured population was 13:51 per cent. It might be claimed that the large immigration of the past 50 years is responsible for the big increase of the white population, but the South has scarcely felt the tide of immigration, which flowed to the West and North.
The tendency of the negroes of the United States, both in the South and North, to flock to the cities is very marked. In 1860 fourteen cities in the Southern States contained a black population of 18.85 per cent., while in 1890 these large cities had 29.08 per cent. coloured population, although the total per cent. of negro population for the whole country was less. There are few such instances of wholesale migration to the cities as is shewn by the negroes.
In the cities the negroes concentrate in single wards. Needless to say, these districts are the most undesirable parts of the cities. The vast majority of the criminals come from the negro wards. Extra police precautions are taken.