BLACK RECONSTRUCTION
IN AMERICA


by the same author

DARKWATER:
VOICES FROM WITHIN THE VEIL

DARK PRINCESS

BLACK
RECONSTRUCTION

AN ESSAY TOWARD A HISTORY OF THE PART
WHICH BLACK FOLK PLAYED IN THE ATTEMPT
TO RECONSTRUCT DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA,
1860-1880

BY

W. E. Burghardt Du Bois

PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY IN THE ATLANTA UNIVERSITY


Ad Virginiam Vitae Salvatorem


TO THE READER

The story of transplanting millions of Africans to the new world, and of their bondage for four centuries, is a fascinating one. Particularly interesting for students of human culture is the sudden freeing of these black folk in the Nineteenth Century and the attempt, through them, to reconstruct the basis of American democracy from 1860-1880.

This book seeks to tell and interpret these twenty years of fateful history with especial reference to the efforts and experiences of the Negroes themselves.

For the opportunity of making this study, I have to thank the Trustees of the Rosenwald Fund, who made me a grant covering two years; the Directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who allowed me time for the writing; the President of Atlanta University, who gave me help and asylum during the completion of the work; and the Trustees of the Carnegie Fund who contributed toward the finishing of the manuscript. I need hardly add that none of these persons are in any way responsible for the views herein expressed.

It would be only fair to the reader to say frankly in advance that the attitude of any person toward this story will be distinctly influenced by his theories of the Negro race. If he believes that the Negro in America and in general is an average and ordinary human being, who under given environment develops like other human beings, then he will read this story and judge it by the facts adduced. If, however, he regards the Negro as a distinctly inferior creation, who can never successfully take part in modern civilization and whose emancipation and enfranchisement were gestures against nature, then he will need something more than the sort of facts that I have set down. But this latter person, I am not trying to convince. I am simply pointing out these two points of view, so obvious to Americans, and then without further ado, I am assuming the truth of the first. In fine, I am going to tell this story as though Negroes were ordinary human beings, realizing that this attitude will from the first seriously curtail my audience.

W. E. BURGHARDT DU BOIS

Atlanta, December, 1934

CONTENTS

I.    THE BLACK WORKER (3)

II.   THE WHITE WORKER (17)

III   THE PLANTER (32)

IV.   THE GENERAL STRIKE (55)

V.    THE COMING OF THE LORD (84)

VI.   LOOKING BACKWARD (128)

VII.  LOOKING FORWARD (182)

VIII. THE TRANSUBSTANTIATION OF A POOR WHITE (237)

IX.   THE PRICE OF DISASTER (325)

X.    THE BLACK PROLETARIAT IN SOUTH CAROLINA (381)

XI.   THE BLACK PROLETARIAT IN MISSISSIPPI AND
      LOUISIANA (431)
  
XII.  THE WHITE PROLETARIAT IN ALABAMA, GEORGIA,
      AND FLORIDA (487)

XIII. THE DUEL FOR LABOR CONTROL ON BORDER AND
      FRONTIER (526)

XIV.  COUNTER-REVOLUTION OF PROPERTY (580)

XV.   FOUNDING THE PUBLIC SCHOOL (637)

XVI.  BACK TOWARD SLAVERY (670)

XVII. THE PROPAGANDA OF HISTORY (711)

BIBLIOGRAPHY (731)

INDEX (739)

I. THE BLACK WORKER

How black men, coming to America in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, became a central thread in the history of the United States, at once a challenge to its democracy and always an important part of its economic history and social development

Easily the most dramatic episode in American history was the sudden move to free four million black slaves in an effort to stop a great civil war, to end forty years of bitter controversy, and to appease the moral sense of civilization.

From the day of its birth, the anomaly of slavery plagued a nation which asserted the equality of all men, and sought to derive powers of government from the consent of the governed. Within sound of the voices of those who said this lived more than half a million black slaves, forming nearly one-fifth of the population of a new nation.

The black population at the time of the first census had risen to three-quarters of a million, and there were over a million at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Before 1830, the blacks had passed the two million mark, helped by the increased importations just before 1808, and the illicit smuggling up until 1820. By their own reproduction, the Negroes reached 3,638,808 in 1850, and before the Civil War, stood at 4,441,830. They were 10% of the whole population of the nation in 1700, 22% in 1750, 18.9% in 1800 and 11.6% in 1900.

These workers were not all black and not all Africans and not all slaves. In i860, at least 90% were born in the United States, 13% were visibly of white as well as Negro descent and actually more than one-fourth were probably of white, Indian and Negro blood. In i860, 11% of these dark folk were free workers.

In origin, the slaves represented everything African, although most of them originated on or near the West Coast. Yet among them appeared the great Bantu tribes from Sierra Leone to South Africa; the Sudanese, straight across the center of the continent, from the Atlantic to the Valley of the Nile; the Nilotic Negroes and the black and brown Hamites, allied with Egypt; the tribes of the great lakes; the Pygmies and the Hottentots; and in addition to these, distinct traces of both Berber and Arab blood. There is no doubt of the presence of all these various elements in the mass of 10,000,000 or more Negroes transported from Africa to the various Americas, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

Most of them that came to the continent went through West Indian tutelage, and thus finally appeared in the United States. They brought with them their religion and rhythmic song, and some traces of their art and tribal customs. And after a lapse of two and one-half centuries, the Negroes became a settled working population, speaking English or French, professing Christianity, and used principally in agricultural toil. Moreover, they so mingled their blood with white and red America that today less than 25% of the Negro Americans are of unmixed African descent.

So long as slavery was a matter of race and color, it made the conscience of the nation uneasy and continually affronted its ideals. The men who wrote the Constitution sought by every evasion, and almost by subterfuge, to keep recognition of slavery out of the basic form of the new government. They founded their hopes on the prohibition of the slave trade, being sure that without continual additions from abroad, this tropical people would not long survive, and thus the problem of slavery would disappear in death. They miscalculated, or did not foresee the changing economic world. It might be more profitable in the West Indies to kill the slaves by overwork and import cheap Africans; but in America without a slave trade, it paid to conserve the slave and let him multiply. When, therefore, manifestly the Negroes were not dying out, there came quite naturally new excuses and explanations. It was a matter of social condition. Gradually these people would be free; but freedom could only come to the bulk as the freed were transplanted to their own land and country, since the living together of black and white in America was unthinkable. So again the nation waited, and its conscience sank to sleep.

But in a rich and eager land, wealth and work multiplied. They twisted new and intricate patterns around the earth. Slowly but mightily these black workers were integrated into modern industry. On free and fertile land Americans raised, not simply sugar as a cheap sweetening, rice for food and tobacco as a new and tickling luxury; but they began to grow a fiber that clothed the masses of a ragged world. Cotton grew so swiftly that the 9,000 bales of cotton which the new nation scarcely noticed in 1791 became 79,000 in 1800; and with this increase, walked economic revolution in a dozen different lines. The cotton crop reached one-half million bales in 1822, a million bales in 1831, two million in 1840, three million in 1852, and in the year of secession, stood at the then enormous total of five million bales.

Such facts and others, coupled with the increase of the slaves to which they were related as both cause and effect, meant a new world; and all the more so because with increase in American cotton and Negro slaves, came both by chance and ingenuity new miracles for manufacturing, and particularly for the spinning and weaving of cloth.

The giant forces of water and of steam were harnessed to do the world's work, and the black workers of America bent at the bottom of a growing pyramid of commerce and industry; and they not only could not be spared, if this new economic organization was to expand, but rather they became the cause of new political demands and alignments, of new dreams of power and visions of empire.

First of all, their work called for widening stretches of new, rich, black soil — in Florida, in Louisiana, in Mexico; even in Kansas. This land, added to cheap labor, and labor easily regulated and distributed, made profits so high that a whole system of culture arose in the South, with a new leisure and social philosophy. Black labor became the foundation stone not only of the Southern social structure, but of Northern manufacture and commerce, of the English factory system, of European commerce, of buying and selling on a world-wide scale; new cities were built on the results of black labor, and a new labor problem, involving all white labor, arose both in Europe and America.

Thus, the old difficulties and paradoxes appeared in new dress. It became easy to say and easier to prove that these black men were not men in the sense that white men were, and could never be, in the same sense, free. Their slavery was a matter of both race and social condition, but the condition was limited and determined by race. They were congenital wards and children, to be well-treated and cared for, but far happier and safer here than in their own land. As the Richmond, Virginia, Examiner put it in 1854:

"Let us not bother our brains about what Providence intends to do with our Negroes in the distant future, but glory in and profit to the utmost by what He has done for them in transplanting them here, and setting them to work on our plantations.... True philanthropy to the Negro, begins, like charity, at home; and if Southern men would act as if the canopy of heaven were inscribed with a covenant, in letters of fire, that the Negro is here, and here forever; is our property, and ours forever;... they would accomplish more good for the race in five years than they boast the institution itself to have accomplished in two centuries...."

On the other hand, the growing exploitation of white labor in Europe, the rise of the factory system, the increased monopoly of land, and the problem of the distribution of political power, began to send wave after wave of immigrants to America, looking for new freedom, new opportunity and new democracy.

The opportunity for real and new democracy in America was broad. Political power at first was, as usual, confined to property holders and an aristocracy of birth and learning. But it was never securely based on land. Land was free and both land and property were possible to nearly every thrifty worker. Schools began early to multiply and open their doors even to the poor laborer. Birth began to count for less and less and America became to the world a land of economic opportunity. So the world came to America, even before the Revolution, and afterwards during the nineteenth century, nineteen million immigrants entered the United States.

When we compare these figures with the cotton crop and the increase of black workers, we see how the economic problem increased in intricacy. This intricacy is shown by the persons in the drama and their differing and opposing interests. There were the native-born Americans, largely of English descent, who were the property holders and employers; and even so far as they were poor, they looked forward to the time when they would accumulate capital and become, as they put it, economically "independent." Then there were the new immigrants, torn with a certain violence from their older social and economic surroundings; strangers in a new land, with visions of rising in the social and economic world by means of labor. They differed in language and social status, varying from the half-starved Irish peasant to the educated German and English artisan. There were the free Negroes: those of the North free in some cases for many generations, and voters; and in other cases, fugitives, new come from the South, with little skill and small knowledge of life and labor in their new environment. There were the free Negroes of the South, an unstable, harried class, living on sufferance of the law, and the good will of white patrons, and yet rising to be workers and sometimes owners of property and even of slaves, and cultured citizens. There was the great mass of poor whites, disinherited of their economic portion by competition with the slave system, and land monopoly.

In the earlier history of the South, free Negroes had the right to vote. Indeed, so far as the letter of the law was concerned, there was not a single Southern colony in which a black man who owned the requisite amount of property, and complied with other conditions, did not at some period have the legal right to vote.

Negroes voted in Virginia as late as 1723, when the assembly enacted that no free Negro, mulatto or Indian "shall hereafter have any vote at the elections of burgesses or any election whatsoever." In North Carolina, by the Act of 1734, a former discrimination against Negro voters was laid aside and not reenacted until 1835.

A complaint in South Carolina, in 1701, said:

"Several free Negroes were receiv'd, & taken for as good Electors as the best Freeholders in the Province. So that we leave it with Your Lordships to judge whether admitting Aliens, Strangers, Servants, Negroes, &c, as good and qualified Voters, can be thought any ways agreeable to King Charles' Patent to Your Lordships, or the English Constitution of Government." Again in 1716, Jews and Negroes, who had been voting, were expressly excluded. In Georgia, there was at first no color discrimination, although only owners of fifty acres of land could vote. In 1761, voting was expressly confined to white men.1

In the states carved out of the Southwest, they were disfranchised as soon as the state came into the Union, although in Kentucky they voted between 1792 and 1799, and Tennessee allowed free Negroes to vote in her constitution of 1796.

In North Carolina, where even disfranchisement, in 1835, did not apply to Negroes who already had the right to vote, it was said that the several hundred Negroes who had been voting before then usually voted prudently and judiciously.

In Delaware and Maryland they voted in the latter part of the eighteenth century. In Louisiana, Negroes who had had the right to vote during territorial status were not disfranchised.

To sum up, in colonial times, the free Negro was excluded from the suffrage only in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia. In the Border States, Delaware disfranchised the Negro in 1792; Maryland in 1783 and 1810.

In the Southeast, Florida disfranchised Negroes in 1845; and in the Southwest, Louisiana disfranchised them in 1812; Mississippi in 1817; Alabama in 1819; Missouri, 1821; Arkansas in 1836; Texas, 1845. Georgia in her constitution of 1777 confined voters to white males; but this was omitted in the constitutions of 1789 and 1798.

As slavery grew to a system and the Cotton Kingdom began to expand into imperial white domination, a free Negro was a contradiction, a threat and a menace. As a thief and a vagabond, he threatened society; but as an educated property holder, a successful mechanic or even professional man, he more than threatened slavery. He contradicted and undermined it. He must not be. He must be suppressed, enslaved, colonized. And nothing so bad could be said about him that did not easily appear as true to slaveholders.

In the North, Negroes, for the most part, received political enfranchisement with the white laboring classes. In 1778, the Congress of the Confederation twice refused to insert the word "white" in the Articles of Confederation in asserting that free inhabitants in each state should be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of free citizens of the several states. In the law of 1783, free Negroes were recognized as a basis of taxation, and in 1784, they were recognized as voters in the territories. In the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, "free male inhabitants of full age" were recognized as voters.

The few Negroes that were in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont could vote if they had the property qualifications. In Connecticut they were disfranchised in 1814; in 1865 this restriction was retained, and Negroes did not regain the right until after the Civil War. In New Jersey, they were disfranchised in 1807, but regained the right in 1820 and lost it again in 1847. Negroes voted in New York in the eighteenth century, then were disfranchised, but in 1821 were permitted to vote with a discriminatory property qualification of $250. No property qualification was required of whites. Attempts were made at various times to remove this qualification but it was not removed until 1870. In Rhode Island they were disfranchised in the constitution which followed Dorr's Rebellion, but finally allowed to vote in 1842. In Pennsylvania, they were allowed to vote until 1838 when the "reform" convention restricted the suffrage to whites.

The Western States as territories did not usually restrict the suffrage, but as they were admitted to the Union they disfranchised the Negroes: Ohio in 1803; Indiana in 1816; Illinois in 1818; Michigan in 1837; Iowa in 1846; Wisconsin in 1848; Minnesota in 1858; and Kansas in 1861.

The Northwest Ordinance and even the Louisiana Purchase had made no color discrimination in legal and political rights. But the states admitted from this territory, specifically and from the first, denied free black men the right to vote and passed codes of black laws in Ohio, Indiana and elsewhere, instigated largely by the attitude and fears of the immigrant poor whites from the South. Thus, at first, in Kansas and the West, the problem of the black worker was narrow and specific. Neither the North nor the West asked that black labor in the United States be free and enfranchised. On the contrary, they accepted slave labor as a fact; but they were determined that it should be territorially restricted, and should not compete with free white labor.

What was this industrial system for which the South fought and risked life, reputation and wealth and which a growing element in the North viewed first with hesitating tolerance, then with distaste and finally with economic fear and moral horror? What did it mean to be a slave? It is hard to imagine it today. We think of oppression beyond all conception: cruelty, degradation, whipping and starvation, the absolute negation of human rights; or on the contrary, we may think of the ordinary worker the world over today, slaving ten, twelve, or fourteen hours a day, with not enough to eat, compelled by his physical necessities to do this and not to do that, curtailed in his movements and his possibilities; and we say, here, too, is a slave called a "free worker," and slavery is merely a matter of name.

But there was in 1863 a real meaning to slavery different from that we may apply to the laborer today. It was in part psychological, the enforced personal feeling of inferiority, the calling of another Master; the standing with hat in hand. It was the helplessness. It was the defenselessness of family life. It was the submergence below the arbitrary will of any sort of individual. It was without doubt worse in these vital respects than that which exists today in Europe or America. Its analogue today is the yellow, brown and black laborer in China and India, in Africa, in the forests of the Amazon; and it was this slavery that fell in America.

The slavery of Negroes in the South was not usually a deliberately cruel and oppressive system. It did not mean systematic starvation or murder. On the other hand, it is just as difficult to conceive as quite true the idyllic picture of a patriarchal state with cultured and humane masters under whom slaves were as children, guided and trained in work and play, given even such mental training as was for their good, and for the well-being of the surrounding world.

The victims of Southern slavery were often happy; had usually adequate food for their health, and shelter sufficient for a mild climate. The Southerners could say with some justification that when the mass of their field hands were compared with the worst class of laborers in the slums of New York and Philadelphia, and the factory towns of New England, the black slaves were as well off and in some particulars better off. Slaves lived largely in the country where health conditions were better; they worked in the open air, and their hours were about the current hours for peasants throughout Europe. They received no formal education, and neither did the Irish peasant, the English factory-laborer, nor the German Bauer; and in contrast with these free white laborers, the Negroes were protected by a certain primitive sort of old-age pension, job insurance, and sickness insurance; that is, they must be supported in some fashion, when they were too old to work; they must have attention in sickness, for they represented invested capital; and they could never be among the unemployed.

On the other hand, it is just as true that Negro slaves in America represented the worst and lowest conditions among modern laborers. One estimate is that the maintenance of a slave in the South cost the master about $19 a year, which means that they were among the poorest paid laborers in the modern world. They represented in a very real sense the ultimate degradation of man. Indeed, the system was so reactionary, so utterly inconsistent with modern progress, that we simply cannot grasp it today. No matter how degraded the factory hand, he is not real estate. The tragedy of the black slave's position was precisely this; his absolute subjection to the individual will of an owner and to "the cruelty and injustice which are the invariable consequences of the exercise of irresponsible power, especially where authority must be sometimes delegated by the planter to agents of inferior education and coarser feelings."

The proof of this lies clearly written in the slave codes. Slaves were not considered men. They had no right of petition. They were "devisable like any other chattel." They could own nothing; they could make no contracts; they could hold no property, nor traffic in property; they could not hire out; they could not legally marry nor constitute families; they could not control their children; they could not appeal from their master; they could be punished at will. They could not testify in court; they could be imprisoned by their owners, and the criminal offense of assault and battery could not be committed on the person of a slave. The "willful, malicious and deliberate murder" of a slave was punishable by death, but such a crime was practically impossible of proof. The slave owed to his master and all his family a respect "without bounds, and an absolute obedience." This authority could be transmitted to others. A slave could not sue his master; had no right of redemption; no right to education or religion; a promise made to a slave by his master had no force nor validity. Children followed the condition of the slave mother. The slave could have no access to the judiciary. A slave might be condemned to death for striking any white person.

Looking at these accounts, "it is safe to say that the law regards a Negro slave, so far as his civil status is concerned, purely and absolutely property, to be bought and sold and pass and descend as a tract of land, a horse, or an ox."2

The whole legal status of slavery was enunciated in the extraordinary statement of a Chief Justice of the United States that Negroes had always been regarded in America "as having no rights which a white man was bound to respect."

It may be said with truth that the law was often harsher than the practice. Nevertheless, these laws and decisions represent the legally permissible possibilities, and the only curb upon the power of the master was his sense of humanity and decency, on the one hand, and the conserving of his investment on the other. Of the humanity of large numbers of Southern masters there can be no doubt. In some cases, they gave their slaves a fatherly care. And yet even in such cases the strain upon their ability to care for large numbers of people and the necessity of entrusting the care of the slaves to other hands than their own, led to much suffering and cruelty.

The matter of his investment in land and slaves greatly curtailed the owner's freedom of action. Under the competition of growing industrial organization, the slave system was indeed the source of immense profits. But for the slave owner and landlord to keep a large or even reasonable share of these profits was increasingly difficult. The price of the slave produce in the open market could be hammered down by merchants and traders acting with knowledge and collusion. And the slave owner was, therefore, continually forced to find his profit not in the high price of cotton and sugar, but in beating even further down the cost of his slave labor. This made the slave owners in early days kill the slave by overwork and renew their working stock; it led to the widely organized interstate slave trade between the Border States and the Cotton Kingdom of the Southern South; it led to neglect and the breaking up of families, and it could not protect the slave against the cruelty, lust and neglect of certain owners.

Thus human slavery in the South pointed and led in two singularly contradictory and paradoxical directions — toward the deliberate commercial breeding and sale of human labor for profit and toward the intermingling of black and white blood. The slaveholders shrank from acknowledging either set of facts but they were clear and undeniable.

In this vital respect, the slave laborer differed from all others of his day: he could be sold; he could, at the will of a single individual, be transferred for life a thousand miles or more. His family, wife and children could be legally and absolutely taken from him. Free laborers today are compelled to wander in search for work and food; their families are deserted for want of wages; but in all this there is no such direct barter in human flesh. It was a sharp accentuation of control over men beyond the modern labor reserve or the contract coolie system.

Negroes could be sold — actually sold as we sell cattle with no reference to calves or bulls, or recognition of family. It was a nasty business. The white South was properly ashamed of it and continually belittled and almost denied it. But it was a stark and bitter fact. Southern papers of the Border States were filled with advertisements: — "I wish to purchase fifty Negroes of both sexes from 6 to 30 years of age for which I will give the highest cash prices."

"Wanted to purchase — Negroes of every description, age and sex."

The consequent disruption of families is proven beyond doubt:

"Fifty Dollars reward. — Ran away from the subscriber, a Negro girl, named Maria. She is of a copper color, between 13 and 14 years of age — bareheaded and barefooted. She is small for her age — very sprightly and very likely. She stated she was going to see her mother at Maysville. Sanford Tomson."

"Committed to jail of Madison County, a Negro woman, who calls her name Fanny, and says she belongs to William Miller, of Mobile. She formerly belonged to John Givins, of this county, who now owns several of her children. David Shropshire, Jailer."

"Fifty Dollar reward. — Ran away from the subscriber, his Negro man Pauladore, commonly called Paul. I understand Gen. R. Y. Hayne has purchased his wife and children from H. L. Pinckney, Esq., and has them on his plantation at Goosecreek, where, no doubt, the fellow is frequently lurking. T. Davis." One can see Pauladore "lurking" about his wife and children.3

The system of slavery demanded a special police force and such a force was made possible and unusually effective by the presence of the poor whites. This explains the difference between the slave revolts in the West Indies, and the lack of effective revolt in the Southern United States. In the West Indies, the power over the slave was held by the whites and carried out by them and such Negroes as they could trust. In the South, on the other hand, the great planters formed proportionately quite as small a class but they had singularly enough at their command some five million poor whites; that is, there were actually more white people to police the slaves than there were slaves. Considering the economic rivalry of the black and white worker in the North, it would have seemed natural that the poor white would have refused to police the slaves. But two considerations led him in the opposite direction. First of all, it gave him work and some authority as overseer, slave driver, and member of the patrol system. But above and beyond this, it fed his vanity because it associated him with the masters. Slavery bred in the poor white a dislike of Negro toil of all sorts. He never regarded himself as a laborer, or as part of any labor movement. If he had any ambition at all it was to become a planter and to own "niggers." To these Negroes he transferred all the dislike and hatred which he had for the whole slave system. The result was that the system was held stable and intact by the poor white. Even with the late ruin of Haiti before their eyes, the planters, stirred as they were, were nevertheless able to stamp out slave revolt. The dozen revolts of the eighteenth century had dwindled to the plot of Gabriel in 1800, Vesey in 1822, of Nat Turner in 1831 and crews of the Amistad and Creole in 1839 and 1841. Gradually the whole white South became an armed and commissioned camp to keep Negroes in slavery and to kill the black rebel.

But even the poor white, led by the planter, would not have kept the black slave in nearly so complete control had it not been for what may be called the Safety Valve of Slavery; and that was the chance which a vigorous and determined slave had to run away to freedom.

Under the situation as it developed between 1830 and i860 there were grave losses to the capital invested in black workers. Encouraged by the idealism of those Northern thinkers who insisted that Negroes were human, the black worker sought freedom by running away from slavery. The physical geography of America with its paths north, by swamp, river and mountain range; the daring of black revolutionists like Henson and Tubman; and the extra-legal efforts of abolitionists made this more and more easy.

One cannot know the real facts concerning the number of fugitives, but despite the fear of advertising the losses, the emphasis put upon fugitive slaves by the South shows that it was an important economic item. It is certain from the bitter effort to increase the efficiency of the fugitive slave law that the losses from runaways were widespread and continuous; and the increase in the interstate slave trade from Border States to the deep South, together with the increase in the price of slaves, showed a growing pressure. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, one bought an average slave for $200; while in 1860 the price ranged from $1,400 to $2,000.

Not only was the fugitive slave important because of the actual loss involved, but for potentialities in the future. These free Negroes were furnishing a leadership for the mass of the black workers, and especially they were furnishing a text for the abolition idealists. Fugitive slaves, like Frederick Douglass and others humbler and less gifted, increased the number of abolitionists by thousands and spelled the doom of slavery.

The true significance of slavery in the United States to the whole social development of America lay in the ultimate relation of slaves to democracy. What were to be the limits of democratic control in the United States? If all labor, black as well as white, became free — were given schools and the right to vote — what control could or should be set to the power and action of these laborers? Was the rule of the mass of Americans to be unlimited, and the right to rule extended to all men regardless of race and color, or if not, what power of dictatorship and control; and how would property and privilege be protected? This was the great and primary question which was in the minds of the men who wrote the Constitution of the United States and continued in the minds of thinkers down through the slavery controversy. It still remains with the world as the problem of democracy expands and touches all races and nations.

And of all human development, ancient and modern, not the least singular and significant is the philosophy of life and action which slavery bred in the souls of black folk. In most respects its expression was stilted and confused; the rolling periods of Hebrew prophecy and biblical legend furnished inaccurate but splendid words. The subtle folk-lore of Africa, with whimsy and parable, veiled wish and wisdom; and above all fell the anointing chrism of the slave music, the only gift of pure art in America.

Beneath the Veil lay right and wrong, vengeance and love, and sometimes throwing aside the veil, a soul of sweet Beauty and Truth stood revealed. Nothing else of art or religion did the slave South give to the world, except the Negro song and story. And even after slavery, down to our day, it has added but little to this gift. One has but to remember as symbol of it all, still unspoiled by petty artisans, the legend of John Henry, the mighty black, who broke his heart working against the machine, and died "with his Hammer in His Hand."

Up from this slavery gradually climbed the Free Negro with clearer, modern expression and more definite aim long before the emancipation of 1863. His greatest effort lay in his cooperation with the Abolition movement. He knew he was not free until all Negroes were free. Individual Negroes became exhibits of the possibilities of the Negro race, if once it was raised above the status of slavery. Even when, as so often, the Negro became Court Jester to the ignorant American mob, he made his plea in his songs and antics.

Thus spoke "the noblest slave that ever God set free," Frederick Douglass in 1852, in his 4th of July oration at Rochester, voicing the frank and fearless criticism of the black worker:

"What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages....

"You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation (as embodied in the two great political parties) is solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen. You hurl your anathemas at the crown-headed tyrants of Russia and Austria and pride yourselves on your democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the mere tools and bodyguards of the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina. You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from your own land you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot, and kill. You glory in your refinement and your universal education; yet you maintain a system as barbarous and dreadful as ever stained the character of a nation — a system begun in avarice, supported in pride, and perpetuated in cruelty. You shed tears over fallen Hungary, and make the sad story of her wrongs the theme of your poets, statesmen, and orators, till your gallant sons are ready to fly to arms to vindicate her cause against the oppressor; but, in regard to the ten thousand wrongs of the American slave, you would enforce the strictest silence, and would hail him as an enemy of the nation who dares to make those wrongs the subject of public discourse!"4

Above all, we must remember the black worker was the ultimate exploited; that he formed that mass of labor which had neither wish nor power to escape from the labor status, in order to directly exploit other laborers, or indirectly, by alliance with capital, to share in their exploitation. To be sure, the black mass, developed again and again, here and there, capitalistic groups in New Orleans, in Charleston and in Philadelphia; groups willing to join white capital in exploiting labor; but they were driven back into the mass by racial prejudice before they had reached a permanent foothold; and thus became all the more bitter against all organization which by means of race prejudice, or the monopoly of wealth, sought to exclude men from making a living.

It was thus the black worker, as founding stone of a new economic system in the nineteenth century and for the modern world, who brought civil war in America. He was its underlying cause, in spite of every effort to base the strife upon union and national power.

That dark and vast sea of human labor in China and India, the South Seas and all Africa; in the West Indies and Central America and in the United States — that great majority of mankind, on whose bent and broken backs rest today the founding stones of modern industry — shares a common destiny; it is despised and rejected by race and color; paid a wage below the level of decent living; driven, beaten, prisoned and enslaved in all but name; spawning the world's raw material and luxury — cotton, wool, coffee, tea, cocoa, palm oil, fibers, spices, rubber, silks, lumber, copper, gold, diamonds, leather — how shall we end the list and where? All these are gathered up at prices lowest of the low, manufactured, transformed and transported at fabulous gain; and the resultant wealth is distributed and displayed and made the basis of world power and universal dominion and armed arrogance in London and Paris, Berlin and Rome, New York and Rio de Janeiro.

Here is the real modern labor problem. Here is the kernel of the problem of Religion and Democracy, of Humanity. Words and futile gestures avail nothing. Out of the exploitation of the dark proletariat comes the Surplus Value filched from human beasts which, in cultured lands, the Machine and harnessed Power veil and conceal. The emancipation of man is the emancipation of labor and the emancipation of labor is the freeing of that basic majority of workers who are yellow, brown and black.


Dark, shackled knights of labor, clinging still
Amidst a universal wreck of faith
To cheerfulness, and foreigners to hate.
These know ye not, these have ye not received,
But these shall speak to you Beatitudes.
Around them surge the tides of all your strife,
Above them rise the august monuments
Of all your outward splendor, but they stand
Unenvious in thought, and bide their time.
                                Leslie P. Hill

i. Compare A. E. McKinley, The Suffrage Franchise in the Thirteen English Colonies in America, p. 137.

2. A Picture of Slavery Drawn from the Decisions of Southern Courts, p. 5.

3. Compare Bancroft, Slave-Trading in the Old South; Weld, American Slavery as It Is.

4. Woodson, Negro Orators and Their Orations, pp. 218-19.


II. THE WHITE WORKER

How America became the laborer's Promised Land; and flocking here from all the world the white workers competed with black slaves, with new floods of foreigners, and with growing exploitation, until they fought slavery to save democracy and then lost democracy in a new and vaster slavery

The opportunity for real and new democracy in America was broad. Political power was at first as usual confined to property holders and an aristocracy of birth and learning. But it was never securely based on land. Land was free and both land and property were possible to nearly every thrifty worker. Schools began early to multiply and open their doors even to the poor laborer. Birth began to count for less and less and America became to the world a land of opportunity. So the world came to America, even before the Revolution, and afterward during the nineteenth century, nineteen million immigrants entered the United States.

The new labor that came to the United States, while it was poor, used to oppression and accustomed to a low standard of living, was not willing, after it reached America, to regard itself as a permanent laboring class and it is in the light of this fact that the labor movement among white Americans must be studied. The successful, well-paid American laboring class formed, because of its property and ideals, a petty bourgeoisie ready always to join capital in exploiting common labor, white and black, foreign and native. The more energetic and thrifty among the immigrants caught the prevalent American idea that here labor could become emancipated from the necessity of continuous toil and that an increasing proportion could join the class of exploiters, that is of those who made their income chiefly by profit derived through the hiring of labor.

Abraham Lincoln expressed this idea frankly at Hartford, in March, i860. He said:

"I am not ashamed to confess that twenty-five years ago I was a hired laborer, mauling rails, at work on a flat boat — just what might happen to any poor man's son." Then followed the characteristic philosophy of the time: "I want every man to have his chance — and I believe a black man is entitled to it — in which he can better his condition — when he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this year and the next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for him. That is the true system."

He was enunciating the widespread American idea of the son rising to a higher economic level than the father; of the chance for the poor man to accumulate wealth and power, which made the European doctrine of a working class fighting for the elevation of all workers seem not only less desirable but even less possible for average workers than they had formerly considered it.

These workers came to oppose slavery not so much from moral as from the economic fear of being reduced by competition to the level of slaves. They wanted a chance to become capitalists; and they found that chance threatened by the competition of a working class whose status at the bottom of the economic structure seemed permanent and inescapable. At first, black slavery jarred upon them, and as early as the seventeenth century German immigrants to Pennsylvania asked the Quakers innocently if slavery was in accord with the Golden Rule. Then, gradually, as succeeding immigrants were thrown in difficult and exasperating competition with black workers, their attitude changed. These were the very years when the white worker was beginning to understand the early American doctrine of wealth and property; to escape the liability of imprisonment for debt, and even to gain the right of universal suffrage. He found pouring into cities like New York and Philadelphia emancipated Negroes with low standards of living, competing for the jobs which the lower class of unskilled white laborers wanted.

For the immediate available jobs, the Irish particularly competed and the employers because of race antipathy and sympathy with the South did not wish to increase the number of Negro workers, so long as the foreigners worked just as cheaply. The foreigners in turn blamed blacks for the cheap price of labor. The result was race war; riots took place which were at first simply the flaming hostility of groups of laborers fighting for bread and butter; then they turned into race riots. For three days in Cincinnati in 1829, a mob of whites wounded and killed free Negroes and fugitive slaves and destroyed property. Most of the black population, numbering over two thousand, left the city and trekked to Canada. In Philadelphia, 1828-1840, a series of riots took place which thereafter extended until after the Civil War. The riot of 1834 took the dimensions of a pitched battle and lasted for three days. Thirty-one houses and two churches were destroyed. Other riots took place in 1835 and 1838 and a two days' riot in 1842 caused the calling out of the militia with artillery.

In the forties came quite a different class, the English and German workers, who had tried by organization to fight the machine and in the end had to some degree envisaged the Marxian reorganization of industry through trade unions and class struggle. The attitude of these people toward the Negro was varied and contradictory. At first they blurted out their disapprobation of slavery on principle. It was a phase of all wage slavery. Then they began to see a way out for the worker in America through the free land of the West. Here was a solution such as was impossible in Europe: plenty of land, rich land, land coming daily nearer its own markets, to which the worker could retreat and restore the industrial balance ruined in Europe by the expropriation of the worker from the soil. Or in other words, the worker in America saw a chance to increase his wage and regulate his conditions of employment much greater than in Europe. The trade unions could have a material backing that they could not have in Germany, France or England. This thought, curiously enough, instead of increasing the sympathy for the slave turned it directly into rivalry and enmity.

The wisest of the leaders could not clearly envisage just how slave labor in conjunction and competition with free labor tended to reduce all labor toward slavery. For this reason, the union and labor leaders gravitated toward the political party which opposed tariff bounties and welcomed immigrants, quite forgetting that this same Democratic party had as its backbone the planter oligarchy of the South with its slave labor.

The new immigrants in their competition with this group reflected not simply the general attitude of America toward colored people, but particularly they felt a threat of slave competition which these Negroes foreshadowed. The Negroes worked cheaply, partly from custom, partly as their only defense against competition. The white laborers realized that Negroes were part of a group of millions of workers who were slaves by law, and whose competition kept white labor out of the work of the South and threatened its wages and stability in the North. When now the labor question moved West, and became a part of the land question, the competition of black men became of increased importance. Foreign laborers saw more clearly than most Americans the tremendous significance of free land in abundance, such as America possessed, in open contrast to the land monopoly of Europe. But here on this free land, they met not only a few free Negro workers, but the threat of a mass of slaves. The attitude of the West toward Negroes, therefore, became sterner than that of the East. Here was the possibility of direct competition with slaves, and the absorption of Western land into the slave system. This must be resisted at all costs, but beyond this, even free Negroes must be discouraged. On this the Southern poor white immigrants insisted.

In the meantime, the problem of the black worker had not ceased to trouble the conscience and the economic philosophy of America. That the worker should be a bond slave was fundamentally at variance with the American doctrine, and the demand for the abolition of slavery had been continuous since the Revolution. In the North, it had resulted in freeing gradually all of the Negroes. But the comparatively small number of those thus freed was being augmented now by fugitive slaves from the South, and manifestly the ultimate plight of the black worker depended upon the course of Southern slavery. There arose, then, in the thirties, and among thinkers and workers, a demand that slavery in the United States be immediately abolished.

This demand became epitomized in the crusade of William Lloyd Garrison, himself a poor printer, but a man of education, thought and indomitable courage. This movement was not primarily a labor movement or a matter of profit and wage. It simply said that under any condition of life, the reduction of a human being to real estate was a crime against humanity of such enormity that its existence must be immediately ended. After emancipation there would come questions of labor, wage and political power. But now, first, must be demanded that ordinary human freedom and recognition of essential manhood which slavery blasphemously denied. This philosophy of freedom was a logical continuation of the freedom philosophy of the eighteenth century which insisted that Freedom was not an End but an indispensable means to the beginning of human progress and that democracy could function only after the dropping of feudal privileges, monopoly and chains.

The propaganda which made the abolition movement terribly real was the Fugitive Slave — the piece of intelligent humanity who could say: I have been owned like an ox. I stole my own body and now I am hunted by law and lash to be made an ox again. By no conception of justice could such logic be answered. Nevertheless, at the same time white labor, while it attempted no denial but even expressed faint sympathy, saw in this fugitive slave and in the millions of slaves behind him, willing and eager to work for less than current wage, competition for their own jobs. What they failed to comprehend was that the black man enslaved was an even more formidable and fatal competitor than the black man free.

Here, then, were two labor movements: the movement to give the black worker a minimum legal status which would enable him to sell his own labor, and another movement which proposed to increase the wage and better the condition of the working class in America, now largely composed of foreign immigrants, and dispute with the new American capitalism the basis upon which the new wealth was to be divided. Broad philanthropy and a wide knowledge of the elements of human progress would have led these two movements to unite and in their union to become irresistible. It was difficult, almost impossible, for this to be clear to the white labor leaders of the thirties. They had their particularistic grievances and one of these was the competition of free Negro labor. Beyond this they could easily vision a new and tremendous competition of black workers after all the slaves became free. What they did not see nor understand was that this competition was present and would continue and would be emphasized if the Negro continued as a slave worker. On the other hand, the Abolitionists did not realize the plight of the white laborer, especially the semi-skilled and unskilled worker.

While the Evans brothers, who came as labor agitators in 1825, had among their twelve demands "the abolition of chattel slavery," nevertheless, George was soon convinced that freedom without land was of no importance. He wrote to Gerrit Smith, who was giving land to Negroes, and said:

"I was formerly, like yourself, sir, a very warm advocate of the abolition of slavery. This was before I saw that there was white slavery. Since I saw this, I have materially changed my views as to the means of abolishing Negro slavery. I now see, clearly, I think, that to give the landless black the privilege of changing masters now possessed by the landless white would hardly be a benefit to him in exchange for his surety of support in sickness and old age, although he is in a favorable climate. If the Southern form of slavery existed at the North, I should say the black would be a great loser by such a change."1

At the convention of the New England anti-slavery society in 1845, Robert Owen, the great champion of cooperation, said he was opposed to Negro slavery, but that he had seen worse slavery in England than among the Negroes. Horace Greeley said the same year: "If I am less troubled concerning the slavery prevalent in Charleston or New Orleans, it is because I see so much slavery in New York which appears to claim my first efforts."

Thus despite all influences, reform and social uplift veered away from the Negro. Brisbane, Channing, Owen and other leaders called a National Reform Association to meet in New York in May, 1845. In October, Owen's "World Conference" met. But they hardly mentioned slavery. The Abolitionists did join a National Industrial Congress which met around 1845-1846. Other labor leaders were openly hostile toward the abolitionist movement, while the movement for free land increased.

Thus two movements — Labor-Free Soil, and Abolition, exhibited fundamental divergence instead of becoming one great party of free labor and free land. The Free Soilers stressed the difficulties of even the free laborer getting hold of the land and getting work in the great congestion which immigration had brought; and the abolitionists stressed the moral wrong of slavery. These two movements might easily have cooperated and differed only in matters of emphasis; but the trouble was that black and white laborers were competing for the same jobs just of course as all laborers always are. The immediate competition became open and visible because of racial lines and racial philosophy and particularly in Northern states where free Negroes and fugitive slaves had established themselves as workers, while the ultimate and overshadowing competition of free and slave labor was obscured and pushed into the background. This situation, too, made extraordinary reaction, led by the ignorant mob and fomented by authority and privilege; abolitionists were attacked and their meeting places burned; women suffragists were hooted; laws were proposed making the kidnaping of Negroes easier and disfranchising Negro voters in conventions called for purposes of "reform."

The humanitarian reform movement reached its height in 1847-1849 amid falling prices, and trade unionism was at a low ebb. The strikes from 1849-1852 won the support of Horace Greeley, and increased the labor organizations. Labor in eastern cities refused to touch the slavery controversy, and the control which the Democrats had over the labor vote in New York and elsewhere increased this tendency to ignore the Negro, and increased the division between white and colored labor. In 1850, a Congress of Trade Unions was held with no delegates. They stressed land reform but said nothing about slavery and the organization eventually was captured by Tammany Hall. After 1850 unions composed of skilled laborers began to separate from common laborers and adopt a policy of closed shops and a minimum wage and excluded farmers and Negroes. Although this movement was killed by the panic of 1857, it eventually became triumphant in the eighties and culminated in the American Federation of Labor which today allows any local or national union to exclude Negroes on any pretext.

Other labor leaders became more explicit and emphasized race rather than class. John Campbell said in 1851: "Will the white race ever agree that blacks shall stand beside us on election day, upon the rostrum, in the ranks of the army, in our places of amusement, in places of public worship, ride in the same coaches, railway cars, or steamships? Never! Never! or is it natural, or just, that this kind of equality should exist? God never intended it; had he so willed it, he would have made all one color."2

New labor leaders arrived in the fifties. Hermann Kriege and Wilhelm Weitling left their work in Germany, and their friends Marx and Engels, and came to America, and at the same time came tens of thousands of revolutionary Germans. The Socialist and Communist papers increased. Trade unions increased in power and numbers and held public meetings. Immediately, the question of slavery injected itself, and that of abolition.

Kriege began to preach land reform and free soil in 1846, and by 1850 six hundred American papers were supporting his program. But Kriege went beyond Evans and former leaders and openly repudiated abolition. He declared in 1846:

"That we see in the slavery question a property question which cannot be settled by itself alone. That we should declare ourselves in favor of the abolitionist movement if it were our intention to throw the Republic into a state of anarchy, to extend the competition of 'free workingmen' beyond all measure, and to depress labor itself to the last extremity. That we could not improve the lot of our 'black brothers' by abolition under the conditions prevailing in modern society, but make infinitely worse the lot of our 'white brothers.' That we believe in the peaceable development of society in the United States and do not, therefore, here at least see our only hope in condition of the extremest degradation. That we feel constrained, therefore, to oppose Abolition with all our might, despite all the importunities of sentimental philistines and despite all the poetical effusions of liberty-intoxicated ladies."3

Wilhelm Weitling, who came to America the following year, 1847, started much agitation but gave little attention to slavery. He did not openly side with the slaveholder, as Kriege did; nevertheless, there was no condemnation of slavery in his paper. In the first German labor conference in Philadelphia, under Weitling in 1850, a series of resolutions were passed which did not mention slavery. Both Kriege and Weitling joined the Democratic party and numbers of other immigrant Germans did the same thing, and these workers, therefore, became practical defenders of slavery. Doubtless, the "Know-Nothing" movement against the foreign-born forced many workers into the Democratic party, despite slavery.

The year 1853 saw the formation of the Arbeiterbund, under Joseph Weydemeyer, a friend of Karl Marx. This organization advocated Marxian socialism but never got a clear attitude toward slavery. In 1854, it opposed the Kansas-Nebraska bill because "Capitalism and land speculation have again been favored at the expense of the mass of the people," and "This bill withdraws from or makes unavailable in a future homestead bill vast tracts of territory," and "authorizes the further extension of slavery; but we have, do now, and shall continue to protest most emphatically against both white and black slavery."

Nevertheless, when the Arbeiterbund was reorganized in December, 1857, slavery was not mentioned. When its new organ appeared in April, 1858, it said that the question of the present moment was not the abolition of slavery, but the prevention of its further extension and that Negro slavery was firmly rooted in America. One small division of this organization in 1857 called for abolition of the slave trade and colonization of Negroes, but defended the Southern slaveholders.

In 1859, however, a conference of the Arbeiterbund condemned all slavery in whatever form it might appear, and demanded the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law. The Democratic and pro-slavery New York Staats-Zeitung counseled the people to abstain from agitation against the extension of slavery, but all of the German population did not agree.

As the Chartist movement increased in England, the press was filled with attacks against the United States and its institutions, and the Chartists were clear on the matter of slavery. Their chief organ in 1844 said: "That damning stain upon the American escutcheon is one that has caused the Republicans of Europe to weep for very shame and mortification; and the people of the United States have much to answer for at the bar of humanity for this indecent, cruel, revolting and fiendish violation of their boasted principle — that 'All men are born free and equal.'"

The labor movement in England continued to emphasize the importance of attacking slavery; and the agitation, started by the work of Frederick Douglass and others, increased in importance and activity. In 1857, George I. Holyoake sent an anti-slavery address to America, signed by 1,800 English workingmen, whom Karl Marx himself was guiding in England, and this made the black American worker a central text. They pointed out the fact that the black worker was furnishing the raw material which the English capitalist was exploiting together with the English worker. This same year, the United States Supreme Court sent down the Dred Scott decision that Negroes were not citizens.

This English initiative had at first but limited influence in America. The trade unions were willing to admit that the Negroes ought to be free sometime; but at the present, self-preservation called for their slavery; and after all, whites were a different grade of workers from blacks. Even when the Marxian ideas arrived, there was a split; the earlier representatives of the Marxian philosophy in America agreed with the older Union movement in deprecating any entanglement with the abolition controversy. After all, abolition represented capital. The whole movement was based on mawkish sentimentality, and not on the demands of the workers, at least of the white workers. And so the early American Marxists simply gave up the idea of intruding the black worker into the socialist commonwealth at that time.

To this logic the abolitionists were increasingly opposed. It seemed to them that the crucial point was the matter of freedom; that a free laborer in America had an even chance to make his fortune as a worker or a farmer; but, on the other hand, if the laborer was not free, as in the case of the Negro, he had no opportunity, and he inevitably degraded white labor. The abolitionist did not sense the new subordination into which the worker was being forced by organized capital, while the laborers did not realize that the exclusion of four million workers from the labor program was a fatal omission. Wendell Phillips alone suggested a boycott on Southern goods, and said that the great cause of labor was paramount and included mill operatives in New England, peasants in Ireland, and laborers in South America who ought not to be lost sight of in sympathy for the Southern slave.

In the United States shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War there were twenty-six trades with national organizations, including the iron and steel workers, machinists, blacksmiths, etc. The employers formed a national league and planned to import more workmen from foreign countries. The iron molders started a national strike July 5, 1859, and said: "Wealth is power, and practical experience teaches us that it is a power but too often used to oppress and degrade the daily laborer. Year after year the capital of the country becomes more and more concentrated in the hands of a few, and, in proportion as the wealth of the country becomes centralized, its power increases, and the laboring classes are impoverished. It therefore becomes us, as men who have to battle with the stern realities of life, to look this matter fair in the face; there is no dodging the question; let every man give it a fair, full and candid consideration, and then act according to his honest convictions. What position are we, the mechanics of America, to hold in Society?"

There was not a word in this address about slavery and one would not dream that the United States was on the verge of the greatest labor revolution it had seen. Other conferences of the molders, machinists and blacksmiths and others were held in the sixties, and a labor mass meeting at Faneuil Hall in Boston in 1861 said: "The truth is that the workingmen care little for the strife of political parties and the intrigues of office-seekers. We regard them with the contempt they deserve. We are weary of this question of slavery; it is a matter which does not concern us; and we wish only to attend to our business, and leave the South to attend to their own affairs, without any interference from the North."4

In all this consideration, we have so far ignored the white workers of the South and we have done this because the labor movement ignored them and the abolitionists ignored them; and above all, they were ignored by Northern capitalists and Southern planters. They were in many respects almost a forgotten mass of men. Cairnes describes the slave South, the period just before the war:

"It resolves itself into three classes, broadly distinguished from each other, and connected by no common interest — the slaves on whom devolves all the regular industry, the slaveholders who reap all its fruits, and an idle and lawless rabble who live dispersed over vast plains in a condition little removed from absolute barbarism."

From all that has been written and said about the ante-bellum South, one almost loses sight of about 5,000,000 white people in 1860 who lived in the South and held no slaves. Even among the two million slaveholders, an oligarchy of 8,000 really ruled the South, while as an observer said: "For twenty years, I do not recollect ever to have seen or heard these non-slaveholding whites referred to by the Southern gentleman as constituting any part of what they called the South." 5 They were largely ignorant and degraded; only 25% could read and write.

The condition of the poor whites has been many times described:

"A wretched log hut or two are the only habitations in sight. Here reside, or rather take shelter, the miserable cultivators of the ground, or a still more destitute class who make a precarious living by peddling 'lightwood' in the city....

"These cabins ... are dens of filth. The bed if there be a bed is a layer of something in the corner that defies scenting. If the bed is nasty, what of the floor? What of the whole enclosed space? What of the creatures themselves? Pough! Water in use as a purifier is unknown. Their faces are bedaubed with the muddy accumulation of weeks. They just give them a wipe when they see a stranger to take off the blackest dirt.... The poor wretches seem startled when you address them, and answer your questions cowering like culprits." 6

Olmsted said: "I saw as much close packing, filth and squalor, in certain blocks inhabited by laboring whites in Charleston, as I have witnessed in any Northern town of its size; and greater evidences of brutality and ruffianly character, than I have ever happened to see, among an equal population of this class, before." 7

Two classes of poor whites have been differentiated: the mountain whites and the poor whites of the lowlands. "Below a dirty and ill-favored house, down under the bank on the shingle near the river, sits a family of five people, all ill-clothed and unclean; a blear-eyed old woman, a younger woman with a mass of tangled red hair hanging about her shoulders, indubitably suckling a baby; a little girl with the same auburn evidence of Scotch ancestry; a boy, and a younger child all gathered about a fire made among some bricks, surrounding a couple of iron saucepans, in which is a dirty mixture looking like mud, but probably warmed-up sorghum syrup, which with a few pieces of corn pone, makes their breakfast.

"Most of them are illiterate and more than correspondingly ignorant. Some of them had Indian ancestors and a few bear evidences of Negro blood. The so-called 'mountain boomer,' says an observer, 'has little self-respect and no self-reliance.... So long as his corn pile lasts the "cracker" lives in contentment, feasting on a sort of hoe cake made of grated corn meal mixed with salt and water and baked before the hot coals, with addition of what game the forest furnishes him when he can get up the energy to go out and shoot or trap it.... The irregularities of their moral lives cause them no sense of shame.... But, notwithstanding these low moral conceptions, they are of an intense religious excitability.'" 8

Above this lowest mass rose a middle class of poor whites in the making. There were some small farmers who had more than a mere sustenance and yet were not large planters. There were overseers. There was a growing class of merchants who traded with the slaves and free Negroes and became in many cases larger traders, dealing with the planters for the staple crops. Some poor whites rose to the professional class, so that the rift between the planters and the mass of the whites was partially bridged by this smaller intermediate class.

While revolt against the domination of the planters over the poor whites was voiced by men like Helper, who called for a class struggle to destroy the planters, this was nullified by deep-rooted antagonism to the Negro, whether slave or free. If black labor could be expelled from the United States or eventually exterminated, then the fight against the planter could take place. But the poor whites and their leaders could not for a moment contemplate a fight of united white and black labor against the exploiters. Indeed, the natural leaders of the poor whites, the small farmer, the merchant, the professional man, the white mechanic and slave overseer, were bound to the planters and repelled from the slaves and even from the mass of the white laborers in two ways: first, they constituted the police patrol who could ride with planters and now and then exercise unlimited force upon recalcitrant or runaway slaves; and then, too, there was always a chance that they themselves might also become planters by saving money, by investment, by the power of good luck; and the only heaven that attracted them was the life of the great Southern planter.

There were a few weak associations of white mechanics, such as printers and shipwrights and iron molders, in 1850-1860, but practically no labor movement in the South.

Charles Nordhoff states that he was told by a wealthy Alabaman, in i860, that the planters in his region were determined to discontinue altogether the employment of free mechanics. "On my own place," he said, "I have slave carpenters, slave blacksmiths, and slave wheelwrights, and thus I am independent of free mechanics." And a certain Alfred E. Mathews remarks: "I have seen free white mechanics obliged to stand aside while their families were suffering for the necessaries of life, when the slave mechanics, owned by rich and influential men, could get plenty of work; and I have heard these same white mechanics breathe the most bitter curses against the institution of slavery and the slave aristocracy."

The resultant revolt of the poor whites, just as the revolt of the slaves, came through migration. And their migration, instead of being restricted, was freely encouraged. As a result, the poor whites left the South in large numbers. In i860, 399,700 Virginians were living out of their native state. From Tennessee, 344,765 emigrated; from North Carolina, 272,606, and from South Carolina, 256,868. The majority of these had come to the Middle West and it is quite possible that the Southern states sent as many settlers to the West as the Northeastern states, and while the Northeast demanded free soil, the Southerners demanded not only free soil but the exclusion of Negroes from work and the franchise. They had a very vivid fear of the Negro as a competitor in labor, whether slave or free.

It was thus the presence of the poor white Southerner in the West that complicated the whole Free Soil movement in its relation to the labor movement. While the Western pioneer was an advocate of extreme democracy and equalitarianism in his political and economic philosophy, his vote and influence did not go to strengthen the abolition-democracy, before, during, or even after the war. On the contrary, it was stopped and inhibited by the doctrine of race, and the West, therefore, long stood against that democracy in industry which might have emancipated labor in the United States, because it did not admit to that democracy the American citizen of Negro descent.

Thus Northern workers were organizing and fighting industrial integration in order to gain higher wage and shorter hours, and more and more they saw economic salvation in the rich land of the West. A Western movement of white workers and pioneers began and was paralleled by a Western movement of planters and black workers in the South. Land and more land became the cry of the Southern political leader, with finally a growing demand for reopening of the African slave trade. Land, more land, became the cry of the peasant farmer in the North. The two forces met in Kansas, and in Kansas civil war began.

The South was fighting for the protection and expansion of its agrarian feudalism. For the sheer existence of slavery, there must be a continual supply of fertile land, cheaper slaves, and such political power as would give the slave status full legal recognition and protection, and annihilate the free Negro. The Louisiana Purchase had furnished slaves and land, but most of the land was in the Northwest. The foray into Mexico had opened an empire, but the availability of this land was partly spoiled by the loss of California to free labor. This suggested a proposed expansion of slavery toward Kansas, where it involved the South in competition with white labor: a competition which endangered the slave status, encouraged slave revolt, and increased the possibility of fugitive slaves.

It was a war to determine how far industry in the United States should be carried on under a system where the capitalist owns not only the nation's raw material, not only the land, but also the laborer himself; or whether the laborer was going to maintain his personal freedom, and enforce it by growing political and economic independence based on widespread ownership of land.

This brings us down to the period of the Civil War. Up to the time that the war actually broke out, American labor simply refused, in the main, to envisage black labor as a part of its problem. Right up to the edge of the war, it was talking about the emancipation of white labor and the organization of stronger unions without saying a word, or apparently giving a thought, to four million black slaves. During the war, labor was resentful. Workers were forced to fight in a strife between capitalists in which they had no interest and they showed their resentment in the peculiarly human way of beating and murdering the innocent victims of it all, the black free Negroes of New York and other Northern cities; while in the South, five million non-slaveholding poor white farmers and laborers sent their manhood by the thousands to fight and die for a system that had degraded them equally with the black slave. Could one imagine anything more paradoxical than this whole situation?

America thus stepped forward in the first blossoming of the modern age and added to the Art of Beauty, gift of the Renaissance, and to Freedom of Belief, gift of Martin Luther and Leo X, a vision of democratic self-government: the domination of political life by the intelligent decision of free and self-sustaining men. What an idea and what an area for its realization — endless land of richest fertility, natural resources such as Earth seldom exhibited before, a population infinite in variety, of universal gift, burned in the fires of poverty and caste, yearning toward the Unknown God; and self-reliant pioneers, unafraid of man or devil. It was the Supreme Adventure, in the last Great Batde of the West, for that human freedom which would release the human spirit from lower lust for mere meat, and set it free to dream and sing.

And then some unjust God leaned, laughing, over the ramparts of heaven and dropped a black man in the midst.

It transformed the world. It turned democracy back to Roman Imperialism and Fascism; it restored caste and oligarchy; it replaced freedom with slavery and withdrew the name of humanity from the vast majority of human beings.

But not without struggle. Not without writhing and rending of spirit and pitiable wail of lost souls. They said: Slavery was wrong but not all wrong; slavery must perish and not simply move; God made black men; God made slavery; the will of God be done; slavery to the glory of God and black men as his servants and ours; slavery as a way to freedom — the freedom of blacks, the freedom of whites; white freedom as the goal of the world and black slavery as the path thereto. Up with the white world, down with the black!

Then came this battle called Civil War, beginning in Kansas in 1854, and ending in the presidential election of 1876 — twenty awful years. The slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery. The whole weight of America was thrown to color caste. The colored world went down before England, France, Germany, Russia, Italy and America. A new slavery arose. The upward moving of white labor was betrayed into wars for profit based on color caste. Democracy died save in the hearts of black folk.

Indeed, the plight of the white working class throughout the world today is directly traceable to Negro slavery in America, on which modern commerce and industry was founded, and which persisted to threaten free labor until it was partially overthrown in 1863. The resulting color caste founded and retained by capitalism was adopted, forwarded and approved by white labor, and resulted in subordination of colored labor to white profits the world over. Thus the majority of the world's laborers, by the insistence of white labor, became the basis of a system of industry which ruined democracy and showed its perfect fruit in World War and Depression. And this book seeks to tell that story.


Have ye leisure, comfort, calm,
Shelter, food, love's gentle balm?

Or what is it ye buy so dear
With your pain and with your fear?
The seed ye sow, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps;
The robes ye weave, another wears;
The arms ye forge, another bears.
             Percy Bysshe Shelley

1. Schliiter, Lincoln, Labor and Slavery, p. 66.

2. Campbell, Negromania, p. 545.

3. Schliiter, Lincoln, Labor and Slavery, pp. 72, 73.

4. Schliiter, Lincoln, Labor and Slavery, p. 135.

5. Schliiter, Lincoln, Labor and Slavery, p. 86.

6. Simkins and Woody, South Carolina During Reconstruction, p. 326.

7. Olmsted, Seaboard Slave States, p. 404.

8. Hart, The Southern South, pp. 34, 35.


III. THE PLANTER

How seven per cent of a section within a nation ruled five million white people and owned four million black people and sought to make agriculture equal to industry through the rule of property without yielding political power or education to labor

Seven per cent of the total population of the South in i860 owned nearly 3 million of the 3,953,696 slaves. There was nearly as great a concentration of ownership in the best agricultural land. This meant that in a country predominantly agricultural, the ownership of labor, land and capital was extraordinarily concentrated. Such peculiar organization of industry would have to be carefully reconciled with the new industrial and political democracy of the nineteenth century if it were to survive.

Of the five million whites who owned no slaves some were united in interest with the slave owners. These were overseers, drivers and dealers in slaves. Others were hirers of white and black labor, and still others were merchants and professional men, forming a petty bourgeois class, and climbing up to the planter class or falling down from it. The mass of the poor whites, as we have shown, were economic outcasts.

Colonial Virginia declared its belief in natural and inalienable rights, popular sovereignty, and government for the common good, even before the Declaration of Independence. But it soon became the belief of doctrinaires, and not a single other Southern state enacted these doctrines of equality until after the Civil War. The Reconstruction constitutions incorporated them; but quite logically, South Carolina repudiated its declaration in 1895.

The domination of property was shown in the qualifications for office and voting in the South. Southerners and others in the Constitutional Convention asked for property qualifications for the President of the United States, the federal judges, and Senators. Most Southern state governments required a property qualification for the Governor, and in South Carolina, he must be worth ten thousand pounds. Members of the legislature must usually be landholders.

Plural voting was allowed as late as 1832. The requirement of the ownership of freehold land for officeholders operated to the disadvantage of merchants and mechanics. In North Carolina, a man must own 50 acres to vote for Senator, and in 1828, out of 250 voters at Wilmington, only 48 had the qualifications to vote for Senator. Toward the time of the Civil War many of these property qualifications disappeared.

Into the hands of the slaveholders the political power of the South was concentrated, by their social prestige, by property ownership and also by their extraordinary rule of the counting of all or at least three-fifths of the Negroes as part of the basis of representation in the legislature. It is singular how this "three-fifths" compromise was used, not only to degrade Negroes in theory, but in practice to disfranchise the white South. Nearly all of the Southern states began with recognizing the white population as a basis of representation; they afterward favored the black belt by direct legislation or by counting three-fifths of the slave population, and then finally by counting the whole black population; or they established, as in Virginia and South Carolina, a "mixed" basis of representation, based on white population and on property; that is, on land and slaves.

In the distribution of seats in the legislature, this manipulation of political power appears. In the older states representatives were assigned arbitrarily to counties, districts and towns, with little regard to population. This was for the purpose of putting the control in the hands of wealthy planters. Variations from this were the basing of representation on the white population in one House, and taxation in the other, or the use of the Federal proportion; that is, free persons and three-fifths of the slaves, or Federal proportion and taxation combined. These were all manipulated so as to favor the wealthy planters. The commercial class secured scant representation as compared with agriculture. ,

"It is a fact that the political working of the state [of South Carolina] is in the hands of one hundred and fifty to one hundred and eighty men. It has taken me six months to appreciate the entireness of the fact, though of course I had heard it stated."*

In all cases, the slaveholder practically voted both for himself and his slaves and it was not until 1850 and particularly after the war that there were signs of self-assertion on the part of the poor whites to break this monopoly of power. Alabama, for instance, in 1850, based representation in the general assembly upon the white inhabitants, after thirty years of counting the whole white and black population. Thus the Southern planters had in their hands from 1820 to the Civil War political power equivalent to one or two million freemen in the North.

They fought bitterly during the early stages of Reconstruction to retain this power for the whites, while at the same time granting no political power to the blacks. Finally and up to this day, by making good their efforts to disfranchise the blacks, the political heirs of the planters still retain for themselves this added political representation as a legacy from slavery, and a power to frustrate all third party movements.

Thus, the planters who owned from fifty to one thousand slaves and from one thousand to ten thousand acres of land came to fill the whole picture in the South, and literature and the propaganda which is usually called history have since exaggerated that picture. The planter certainly dominated politics and social life — he boasted of his education, but on the whole, these Southern leaders were men singularly ignorant of modern conditions and trends and of their historical background. All their ideas of gentility and education went back to the days of European privilege and caste. They cultivated a surface acquaintance with literature and they threw Latin quotations even into Congress. Some few had a cultural education at Princeton and at Yale, and to this day Princeton refuses to receive Negro students, and Yale has admitted a few with reluctance, as a curious legacy from slavery.

Many Southerners traveled abroad and the fashionable European world met almost exclusively Americans from the South and were favorably impressed by their manners which contrasted with the gaucherie of the average Northerner. A Southerner of the upper class could enter a drawing room and carry on a light conversation and eat according to the rules, on tables covered with silver and fine linen. They were "gentlemen" according to the older and more meager connotation of the word.

Southern women of the planter class had little formal education; they were trained in dependence, with a smattering of French and music; they affected the latest European styles; were always described as "beautiful" and of course must do no work for a living except in the organization of their households. In this latter work, they were assisted and even impeded by more servants than they needed. The temptations of this sheltered exotic position called the finer possibilities of womanhood into exercise only in exceptional cases. It was the woman on the edge of the inner circles and those of the struggling poor whites who sought to enter the ranks of the privileged who showed superior character.

Most of the planters, like most Americans, were of humble descent, two or three generations removed. Jefferson Davis was a grandson of a poor Welsh immigrant. Yet the Southerner's assumptions impressed the North and although most of them were descended from the same social classes as the Yankees, yet the Yankees had more recently been reenforced by immigration and were strenuous, hard-working men, ruthlessly pushing themselves into the leadership of the new industry. Such folk not only "love a lord," but even the fair imitation of one.

The leaders of the South had leisure for good breeding and high living, and before them Northern society abased itself and flattered and fawned over them. Perhaps this, more than ethical reasons, or even economic advantage, made the way of the abolitionist hard. In New York, Saratoga, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, a slave baron, with his fine raiment, gorgeous and doll-like women and black flunkies, quite turned the heads of Northern society. Their habits of extravagance impressed the nation for a long period. Much of the waste charged against Reconstruction arose from the attempt of the post-war population, white and black, to imitate the manners of a slave-nurtured gentility, and this brought furious protest from former planters; because while planters spent money filched from the labor of black slaves, the poor white and black leaders of Reconstruction spent taxes drawn from recently impoverished planters.

From an economic point of view, this planter class had interest in consumption rather than production. They exploited labor in order that they themselves should live more grandly and not mainly for increasing production. Their taste went to elaborate households, well-furnished and hospitable; they had much to eat and drink; they consumed large quantities of liquor; they gambled and caroused and kept up the habit of dueling well down into the nineteenth century. Sexually they were lawless, protecting elaborately and flattering the virginity of a small class of women of their social clan, and keeping at command millions of poor women of the two laboring groups of the South.

Sexual chaos was always the possibility of slavery, not always realized but always possible: polygamy through the concubinage of black women to white men; polyandry between black women and selected men on plantations in order to improve the human stock of strong and able workers. The census of i860 counted 588,352 persons obviously of mixed blood — a figure admittedly below the truth.

"Every man who resides on his plantation may have his harem, and has every inducement of custom, and of pecuniary gain [The law declares that the children of slaves are to follow the fortunes of the mother. Hence the practice of planters selling and bequeathing their own children.], to tempt him to the common practice. Those who, notwithstanding, keep their homes undefiled may be considered as of incorruptible purity."1

Mrs. Trollope speaks of the situation of New Orleans' mulattoes:

"Of all the prejudices I have ever witnessed, this appears to us the most violent, and the most inveterate. Quadroon girls, the acknowledged daughters of wealthy American or Creole fathers, educated with all the style and accomplishments which money can procure at New Orleans, and with all the decorum that care and affection can give — exquisitely beautiful, graceful, gentle, and amiable, are not admitted, nay, are not on any terms admissible, into the society of the Creole families of Louisiana. They cannot marry; that is to say, no ceremony can render any union with them legal or binding."2

"It is known by almost everybody who has heard of the man, Richard M. Johnson, a Democratic Vice-President of the United States, that he had colored daughters of whom he was proud; and his was not an exceptional case."3 Several Presidents of the United States have been accused of racial catholicity in sex.

And finally, one cannot forget that bitter word attributed to a sister of a President of the United States: "We Southern ladies are complimented with names of wives; but we are only mistresses of seraglios."4

What the planters wanted was income large enough to maintain the level of living which was their ideal. Naturally, only a few of them had enough for this, and the rest, striving toward it, were perpetually in debt and querulously seeking a reason for this indebtedness outside themselves. Since it was beneath the dignity of a "gentleman" to encumber himself with the details of his finances, this lordly excuse enabled the planter to place between himself and the black slave a series of intermediaries through whom bitter pressure and exploitation could be exercised and large crops raised. For the very reason that the planters did not give attention to details, there was wide tendency to commercialize their growing business of supplying raw materials for an expanding modern industry. They were the last to comprehend the revolution through which that industry was passing and their efforts to increase income succeeded only at the cost of raping the land and degrading the laborers.

Theoretically there were many ways of increasing the income of the planter; practically there was but one. The planter might sell his crops at higher prices; he might increase his crop by intensive farming, or he might reduce the cost of handling and transporting his crops; he might increase his crops by making his laborers work harder and giving them smaller wages. In practice, the planter, so far as prices were concerned, was at the mercy of the market. Merchants and manufacturers by intelligence and close combination set the current prices of raw material. Their power thus exercised over agriculture was not unlimited but it was so large, so continuous and so steadily and intelligently exerted that it gradually reduced agriculture to a subsidiary industry whose returns scarcely supported the farmer and his labor.

The Southern planter in the fifties was in a key position to attempt to break and arrest the growth of this domination of all industry by trade and manufacture. But he was too lazy and self-indulgent to do this and he would not apply his intelligence to the problem. His capitalistic rivals of the North were hard-working, simple-living zealots devoting their whole energy and intelligence to building up an industrial system. They quickly monopolized transport and mines and factories and they were more than willing to include the big plantations. But the planter wanted results without effort. He wanted large income without corresponding investment and he insisted furiously upon a system of production which excluded intelligent labor, machinery, and modern methods. He toyed with the idea of local manufactures and ships and railroads. But this entailed too much work and sacrifice.

The result was that Northern and European industry set prices for Southern cotton, tobacco and sugar which left a narrow margin of profit for the planter. He could retaliate only by more ruthlessly exploiting his slave labor so as to get the largest crops at the least expense. He was therefore not deliberately cruel to his slaves, but he had to raise cotton enough to satisfy his pretensions and self-indulgence, even if it brutalized and commercialized his slave labor.

Thus slavery was the economic lag of the 16th century carried over into the 19th century and bringing by contrast and by friction moral lapses and political difficulties. It has been estimated that the Southern states had in i860 three billion dollars invested in slaves, which meant that slaves and land represented the mass of their capital. Being generally convinced that Negroes could only labor as slaves, it was easy for them to become further persuaded that slaves were better of! than white workers and that the South had a better labor system than the North, with extraordinary possibilities in industrial and social development.

The argument went like this: raw material like cotton, tobacco, sugar, rice, together with other foodstuffs formed the real wealth of the United States, and were produced by the Southern states. These crops were sold all over the world and were in such demand that the industry of Europe depended upon them. The trade with Europe must be kept open so that the South might buy at the lowest prices such manufactured goods as she wanted, and she must oppose all Northern attempts to exalt industry at the expense of agriculture.

The North might argue cogently that industry and manufacture could build up in the United States a national economy. Writers on economics began in Germany and America to elaborate and insist upon the advantages of such a system; but the South would have none o£ it. It meant not only giving the North a new industrial prosperity, but doing this at the expense of England and France; and the Southern planters preferred Europe to Northern America. They not only preferred Europe for social reasons and for economic advantages, but they sensed that the new power of monopolizing and distributing capital through a national banking system, if permitted in the North in an expanding industry, would make the North an even greater financial dictator of the South than it was at the time.

The South voiced for the Southern farmer, in 1850, words almost identical with those of the Western farmer, seventy-five years later. "All industry," declared one Southerner, "is getting legislative support against agriculture, and thus the profits are going to manufacture and trade, and these concentrated in the North stand against the interests of the South."

It could not, perhaps, be proven that the Southern planter, had he been educated in economics and history, and had he known the essential trends of the modern world, could have kept the Industrial Revolution from subordinating agriculture and reducing it to its present vasssalage to manufacturing. But it is certain that an enlightened and far-seeing agrarianism under the peculiar economic circumstances of the United States during the first half of the nineteenth century could have essentially modified the economic trend of the world.

The South with free rich land and cheap labor had the monopoly of cotton, a material in universal demand. If the leaders of the South, while keeping the consumer in mind, had turned more thoughtfully to the problem of the American producer, and had guided the production of cotton and food so as to take every advantage of new machinery and modern methods in agriculture, they might have moved forward with manufacture and been able to secure an approximately large amount of profit. But this would have involved yielding to the demands of modern labor: opportunity for education, legal protection of women and children, regulation of the hours of work, steadily increasing wages and the right to some voice in the administration of the state if not in the conduct of industry.

The South had but one argument 'against following modern civilization in this yielding to the demand of laboring humanity: it insisted on the efficiency of Negro labor for ordinary toil and on its essential equality in physical condition with the average labor of Europe and America. But in order to maintain its income without sacrifice or exertion, the South fell back on a doctrine of racial differences which it asserted made higher intelligence and increased efficiency impossible for Negro labor. Wishing such an excuse for lazy indulgence, the planter easily found, invented and proved it. His subservient religious leaders reverted to the "Curse of Canaan"; his pseudo-scientists gathered and supplemented all available doctrines of race inferiority; his scattered schools and pedantic periodicals repeated these legends, until for the average planter born after 1840 it was impossible not to believe that all valid laws in psychology, economics and politics stopped with the Negro race.

The espousal of the doctrine of Negro inferiority by the South was primarily because of economic motives and the inter-connected political urge necessary to support slave industry; but to the watching world it sounded like the carefully thought out result of experience and reason; and because of this it was singularly disastrous for modern civilization in science and religion, in art and government, as well as in industry. The South could say that the Negro, even when brought into modern civilization, could not be civilized, and that, therefore, he and the other colored peoples of the world were so far inferior to the whites that the white world had a right to rule mankind for their own selfish interests.

Never in modern times has a large section of a nation so used its combined energies to the degradation of mankind. The hurt to the Negro in this era was not only his treatment in slavery; it was the wound dealt to his reputation as a human being. Nothing was left; nothing was sacred; and while the best and more cultivated and more humane of the planters did not themselves always repeat the calumny, they stood by, consenting by silence, while blatherskites said things about Negroes too cruelly untrue to be the word of civilized men. Not only then in the forties and fifties did the word Negro lose its capital letter, but African history became the tale of degraded animals and sub-human savages, where no vestige of human culture found foothold.

Thus a basis in reason, philanthropy and science was built up for Negro slavery. Judges on the bench declared that Negro servitude was to last, "if the apocalypse be not in error, until the end of time." The Atlanta Daily Intelligencer of January 9, i860, said, "We can't see for the life of us how anyone understanding fully the great principle that underlies our system of involuntary servitude, can discover any monstrosity in subjecting a Negro to slavery of a white man. We contend on the contrary that the monstrosity, or, at least, the un-naturalness in this matter, consists in finding Negroes anywhere in white communities not under the control of the whites. Whenever we see a Negro, we presuppose a master, and if we see him in what is commonly called a 'free state,' we consider him out of his place.

This matter of manumission, or emancipation 'now, thank heaven, less practiced than formerly,' is a species of false philanthropy, which we look upon as a cousin-German to Abolitionism — bad for the master, worse for the slave."

Beneath this educational and social propaganda lay the undoubted evidence of the planter's own expenses. He saw ignorant and sullen labor deliberately reducing his profits. In fact, he always faced the negative attitude of the general strike. Open revolt of slaves — refusal to work — could be met by beating and selling to the harsher methods of the deep South and Southwest as punishment. Running away could be curbed by law and police. But nothing could stop the dogged slave from doing just as little and as poor work as possible. All observers spoke of the fact that the slaves were slow and churlish; that they wasted material and malingered at their work. Of course, they did. This was not racial but economic. It was the answer of any group of laborers forced down to the last ditch. They might be made to work continuously but no power could make them work well.

If the European or Northern laborer did not do his work properly and fast enough, he would lose the job. The black slave could not lose his job. If the Northern laborer got sick or injured, he was discharged, usually without compensation; the black slave could not be discharged and had to be given some care in sicknesses, particularly if he represented a valuable investment. The Northern and English employer could select workers in the prime of life and did not have to pay children too young to work or adults too old. The slave owner had to take care of children and old folk, and while this did not cost much on a farm or entail any great care, it did seriously cut down the proportion of his effective laborers, which could only be balanced by the systematic labor of women and children. The children ran loose with only the most general control, getting their food with the other slaves. The old folk foraged for themselves. Now and then they were found dead of neglect, but usually there was no trouble in their getting at least food enough to live and some rude shelter.

The economic difficulties that thus faced the planter in exploiting the black slave were curious. Contrary to the trend of his age, he could not use higher wage to induce better work or a larger supply of labor. He could not allow his labor to become intelligent, although intelligent labor would greatly increase the production of wealth. He could not depend on voluntary immigration unless the immigrants be slaves, and he must bear the burden of the old and sick and could only balance this by child labor and the labor of women.

The use of slave women as day workers naturally broke up or made impossible the normal Negro home and this and the slave code led to a development of which the South was really ashamed and which it often denied, and yet perfectly evident: the raising of slaves in the Border slave states for systematic sale on the commercialized cotton plantations.

The ability of the slaveholder and landlord to sequester a large share of the profits of slave labor depended upon his exploitation of that labor, rather than upon high prices for his product in the market. In the world market, the merchants and manufacturers had all the advantage of unity, knowledge and purpose, and could hammer down the price of raw material. The slaveholder, therefore, saw Northern merchants and manufacturers enrich themselves from the results of Southern agriculture. He was angry and used all of his great political power to circumvent it. His only effective economic movement, however, could take place against the slave. He was forced, unless willing to take lower profits, continually to beat down the cost of his slave labor.

But there was another motive which more and more strongly as time went on compelled the planter to cling to slavery. His political power was based on slavery. With four million slaves he could balance the votes of 2,400,000 Northern voters, while in the inconceivable event of their becoming free, their votes would outnumber those of his Northern opponents, which was precisely what happened in 1868.

As the economic power of the planter waned, his political power became more and more indispensable to the maintenance of his income and profits. Holding his industrial system secure by this political domination, the planter turned to the more systematic exploitation of his black labor. One method called for more land and the other for more slaves. Both meant not only increased crops but increased political power. It was a temptation that swept greed, religion, military pride and dreams of empire to its defense. There were two possibilities. He might follow the old method of the early West Indian sugar plantations: work his slaves without regard to their physical condition, until they died of over-work or exposure, and then buy new ones. The difficulty of this, however, was that the price of slaves, since the attempt to abolish the slave trade, was gradually rising. This in the deep South led to a strong and gradually increasing demand for the reopening of the African slave trade, just as modern industry demands cheaper and cheaper coolie labor in Asia and half-slave labor in African mines.

The other possibility was to find continual increments of new, rich land upon which ordinary slave labor would bring adequate return. This land the South sought in the Southeast; then beyond the Mississippi in Louisiana and Texas, then in Mexico, and finally, it turned its face in two directions: toward the Northwestern territories of the United States and toward the West Indian islands and South America. The South was drawn toward the West by two motives: first the possibility that slavery in Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Nevada would be at least as profitable as in Missouri, and secondly to prevent the expansion of free labor there and its threat to slavery. This challenge was a counsel of despair in the face of modern industrial development and probably the radical South expected defeat in the West and hoped the consequent resentment among the slaveholders would set the South toward a great slave empire in the Caribbean. Jefferson Davis was ready to reopen the African slave trade to any future acquisition south of the Rio Grande.

This brought the South to war with the farmers and laborers in the North and West, who wanted free soil but did not want to compete with slave labor. The fugitive slave law of 1850 vastly extended Federal power so as to nullify state rights in the North. The Compromise of 1850 permitted the extension of slavery into the territories, and the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 1854, deprived Congress of the right to prohibit slavery anywhere. This opened the entire West to slavery. War followed in Kansas. Slaveholders went boldly into Kansas, armed and organized:

"The invaders went in such force that the scattered and unorganized citizens could make no resistance and in many places they did not attempt to vote, seeing the polls surrounded by crowds of armed men who they knew came from Missouri to control the election and the leaders of the invaders kept their men under control, being anxious to prevent needless violence, as any serious outbreak would attract the attention of the country. In some districts the actual citizens protested against the election and petitioned the governor to set it aside and order another.

"We can tell the impertinent scoundrels of the Tribune that we will continue to lynch and hang, to tar and feather and drown every white-livered Abolitionist who dares to pollute our soil."5 Shut out from the United States territories by the Free Soil movement, the' South determined upon secession with the distinct idea of eventually expanding into the Caribbean.

There was, however, the opposition in the Border States. The employers of labor in the Border States had found a new source of revenue. They did not like to admit it. They surrounded it with a certain secrecy, and it was exceedingly bad taste for any Virginia planter to have it indicated that he was deliberately raising slaves for sale; and yet that was a fact.

In no respect are the peculiar psychological difficulties of the planters better illustrated than with regard to the interstate slave trade. The theory was clear and lofty; slaves were a part of the family — "my people," George Washington called them. Under ordinary circumstances they were never to be alienated, but supported during good behavior and bad, punished and corrected for crime and misdemeanor, rewarded for good conduct. It was the patriarchal clan translated into modern life, with social, religious, economic and even blood ties.

This was the theory; but as a matter of fact, the cotton planters were supplied with laborers by the Border States. A laboring stock was deliberately bred for legal sale. A large number of persons followed the profession of promoting this sale of slaves. There were markets and quotations, and the stream of black labor, moving continuously into the South, reached yearly into the thousands.

Notwithstanding these perfectly clear and authenticated facts, the planter persistently denied them. He denied that there was any considerable interstate sale of slaves; he denied that families were broken up; he insisted that slave auctions were due to death or mischance, and particularly did he insist that the slave traders were the least of human beings and most despised.

This deliberate contradiction of plain facts constitutes itself a major charge against slavery and shows how the system often so affronted the moral sense of the planters themselves that they tried to hide from it. They could not face the fact of Negro women as brood mares and of black children as puppies.

Indeed, while we speak of the planters as one essentially unvarying group, there is evidence that the necessities of their economic organization were continually changing and deteriorating their morale and pushing forward ruder, noisier, less cultivated elements than characterized the Southern gentleman of earlier days. Certainly, the cursing, brawling, whoring gamblers who largely represented the South in the late fifties, evidenced the inevitable deterioration that overtakes men when their desire for income and extravagance overwhelms their respect for human beings. Thus the interstate slave trade grew and flourished and the demand for the African slave trade was rapidly becoming irresistible in the late fifties.

From fifty to eighty thousand slaves went from the Border States to the lower South in the last decade of slavery. One planter frankly said that he "calculated that the moment a colored baby was born, it was worth to him $300." So far as possible, the planters in selling ofl their slaves avoided the breaking up of families. But they were facing flat economic facts. The persons who were buying slaves in the cotton belt were not buying families, they were buying workers, and thus by economic demand families were continually and regularly broken up; the father was sold away; the mother and the half-grown children separated, and sometimes smaller children were sold. One of the subsequent tragedies of the system was the frantic efforts, before and after emancipation, of Negroes hunting for their relatives throughout the United States.

A Southerner wrote to Olmsted: "In the states of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, as much attention is paid to the breeding and growth of Negroes as to that of horses and mules. Further south, we raise them both for use and for market. Planters command their girls and women (married or unmarried) to have children; and I have known a great many Negro girls to be sold off because they did not have children. A breeding woman is worth from one-sixth to one-fourth more than one that does not breed."

Sexual chaos arose from economic motives. The deliberate breeding of a strong, big field-hand stock could be carried out by selecting proper males, and giving them the run of the likeliest females. This in many Border States became a regular policy and fed the slave trade. Child-bearing was a profitable occupation, which received every possible encouragement, and there was not only no bar to illegitimacy, but an actual premium put upon it. Indeed, the word was impossible of meaning under the slave system.

Moncure D. Conway, whose father was a slaveholder near Fredericksburg, Virginia, wrote: "As a general thing, the chief pecuniary resource in the Border States is the breeding of slaves; and I grieve to say that there is too much ground for the charges that general licentiousness among the slaves, for the purpose of a large increase, is compelled by some masters and encouraged by many. The period of maternity is hastened, the average youth of Negro mothers being nearly three years earlier than that of any free race, and an old maid is utterly unknown among the women."

J. E. Cairnes, the English economist, in his passage with Mr. Mc-Henry on this subject, computed from reliable data that Virginia, had bred and exported to the cotton states between the years of 1840 and 1850 no less than 100,000 slaves, which at $500 per head would have yielded her $50,000,000.

The law sometimes forbade the breaking up of slave families but:

"Not one of these prohibitions, save those of Louisiana, and they but slightly, in any way referred to or hampered the owner of unencumbered slave property: he might sell or pawn or mortgage or give it away according to profit or whim, regardless of age or kinship.

"Elsewhere in the typical South — in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas — there seems to have been no restriction of any sort against separating mothers and children or husbands and wives or selling children of any age. Slavery was, indeed, a 'peculiar institution.'"6

The slave-trading Border States, therefore, in their own economic interest, frantically defended slavery, yet opposed the reopening of the African slave trade to which the Southern South was becoming more and more attracted. This slave trade had curious psychological effects upon the planter. When George Washington sold a slave to the West Indies for one hogshead "of best rum" and molasses and sweetmeats, it was because "this fellow is both a rogue and a run-away.7

Thus tradition grew up that the sale of a slave from a gentleman's plantation was for special cause. As time went on and slavery became systematized and commercialized under the Cotton Kingdom, this was absolutely untrue. The "buying or selling of slaves was not viewed as having any taint of 'hated' slave-trading; yet it early became a fully credited tradition, implicitly accepted generation after generation, that 'all traders were hated.'"8

The sacrifices necessary for economic advance, Southern planters were on the whole too selfish and too provincial to make. They would not in any degree curtail consumption in order to furnish at least part of the necessary increase of capital and make dependence upon debt to the North and to Europe less necessary. They did not socialize the ownership of the slave on any large scale or educate him in technique; they did not encourage local and auxiliary industry or manufacture, and thus make it possible for their own profit to exploit white labor and give it an economic foothold. This would have involved, to be sure, increased recognition of democracy, and far from yielding to any such inevitable development, the South threw itself into the arms of a reaction at least two centuries out of date. Governor McDufrle of South Carolina called the laboring class, bleached or unbleached, a "dangerous" element in the population.

A curious argument appeared in the Charleston Mercury of 1861:

"Within ten years past as many as ten thousand slaves have been drawn away from Charleston by the attractive prices of the West, and [white] laborers from abroad have come to take their places. These laborers have every disposition to work above the slave, and if there were opportunity, would be glad to do so; but without such opportunity they come into competition with him; they are necessarily restive to the contact. Already there is disposition to exclude him from the trades, from public works, from drays, and the tables of the hotels; he is even now excluded to a great extent, and ... when more laborers ... shall come in greater numbers to the South, they will still more increase the tendency to exclusion; they will question the right of masters to employ their slaves in any work that they may wish for; they will invoke the aid of legislation; they will use the elective franchise to that end; they will acquire the power to determine municipal elections; they will inexorably use it; and thus the town of Charleston, at the very heart of slavery, may become a fortress of democratic power against it."

The planters entirely misconceived the extent to which democracy was spreading in the North. They thought it meant that the laboring class was going to rule the North for labor's own economic interests. Even those who saw the seamy side of slavery were convinced of the Tightness of the system because they believed that there were seeds of disaster in the North against which slavery would be their protection; "indications that these are already beginning to be felt or anticipated by prophetic minds, they think they see in the demands for 'Land Limitation,' in the anti-rent troubles, in strikes of workmen, in the distress of emigrants at the eddies of their current, in diseased philanthropy, in radical democracy, and in the progress of socialistic ideas in general. 'The North,' say they, 'has progressed under the high pressure of unlimited competition; as the population grows denser, there will be terrific explosions, disaster, and ruin, while they will ride quietly and safely at the anchor of slavery.'"9

Thus the planters of the South walked straight into the face of modern economic progress. The North had yielded to democracy, but only because democracy was curbed by a dictatorship of property and investment which left in the hands of the leaders of industry such economic power as insured their mastery and their profits. Less than this they knew perfectly well they could not yield, and more than this they would not. They remained masters of the economic destiny of America.

In the South, on the other hand, the planters walked in quite the opposite direction, excluding the poor whites from nearly every economic foothold with apparently no conception of the danger of these five million workers who, in time, overthrew the planters and utterly submerged them after the Civil War; and the South was equally determined to regard its four million slaves as a class of submerged workers and to this ideal they and their successors still cling.

Calhoun once said with perfect truth: There has never yet existed "a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not, in point of fact, live on the labor of the other." Governor McDufne of South Carolina said: "God forbid that my descendants, in the remotest generations, should live in any other than a community having the institution of domestic slavery."10

The South elected to make its fight through the political power which it possessed because of slavery and the disfranchisement of the poor whites. It had in American history chosen eleven out of sixteen Presidents, seventeen out of twenty-eight Judges of the Supreme Court, fourteen out of nineteen Attorneys-General, twenty-one out of thirty-three Speakers of the House, eighty out of one hundred thirty-four Foreign Ministers. It demanded a fugitive slave law as strong as words could make it and it was offered constitutional guarantees which would have made it impossible for the North to meddle •with the organization of the slave empire.

The South was assured of all the territory southwest of Missouri and as far as California. It might even have extended its imperialistic sway toward the Caribbean without effective opposition from the North or Europe. The South had conquered Mexico without help and beyond lay the rest of Mexico, the West Indies and South America, open to Southern imperialistic enterprise. The South dominated the Army and Navy. It argued that a much larger proportion of the population could go to war in the South than in the North. There might, of course, be danger of slave insurrection in a long war with actual invasion, but the possibility of a long war or any war at all Southerners discounted, and they looked confidently forward to being either an independent section of the United States or an independent country with a stable economic foundation which could dictate its terms to the modern world on the basis of a monopoly of cotton, and a large production of other essential raw materials.

The South was too ignorant to know that their only chance to establish such economic dictatorship and place themselves in a key economic position was through a national economy, in a large nation where a home market would absorb a large proportion of the production, and where agriculture, led by men of vision, could demand a fair share of profit from industry.

When, therefore, the planters surrendered this chance and went to war with the machine to establish agricultural independence, they lost because of their internal weakness. Their whole labor class, black and white, went into economic revolt. The breach could only have been healed by making the same concessions to labor that France, England, Germany and the North had made. There was no time for such change in the midst of war. Northern industry must, therefore, after the war, make the adjustment with labor which Southern agriculture refused to make. But the loss which agriculture sustained through the stubbornness of the planters led to the degradation of agriculture throughout the modern world.

Due to the stubbornness of the South and the capitalism of the West, we have had built up in the world an agriculture with a minimum of machines and new methods, conducted by ignorant labor and producing raw materials used by industry equipped with machines and intelligent labor, and conducted by shrewd business men. The result has been that a disproportionate part of the profit of organized work has gone to industry, while the agricultural laborer has descended toward slavery. The West, instead of becoming a country of peasant proprietors who might have counteracted this result, surrendered itself hand and foot to capitalism and speculation in land.

The abolition of American slavery started the transportation of capital from white to black countries where slavery prevailed, with the same tremendous and awful consequences upon the laboring classes of the world which we see about us today. When raw material could not be raised in a country like the United States, it could be raised in the tropics and semi-tropics under a dictatorship of industry, commerce and manufacture and with no free farming class.

The competition of a slave-directed agriculture in the West Indies and South America, in Africa and Asia, eventually ruined the economic efficiency of agriculture in the United States and in Europe and precipitated the modern economic degradation of the white farmer, while it put into the hands of the owners of the machine such a monopoly of raw material that their domination of white labor was more and more complete.

The crisis came in i860, not so much because Abraham Lincoln was elected President on a platform which refused further land for the expansion of slavery, but because the cotton crop of 1859 reached the phenomenal height of five million bales as compared with three million in 1850. To this was added the threat of radical abolition as represented by John Brown. The South feared these social upheavals but it was spurred to immediate action by the great cotton crop. Starting with South Carolina, the Southern cotton-raising and slave-consuming states were forced out of the Union.

Their reason for doing this was clearly stated and reiterated. For a generation, belief in slavery was the Southern shibboleth:

"A suspicion of heresy on the subject of the 'peculiar institution' was sufficient to declare the ineligibility of any candidate for office; nay, more, orthodoxy began to depend upon the correct attitude toward the doctrine of 'Squatter Sovereignty' and the extreme view held as to Federal protection of slavery in the territories."11

Jefferson Davis said that the North was "impairing the security of property and slaves and reducing those states which held slaves to a condition of inferiority."

Senator Toombs said that property and slaves must be entitled to the same protection from the government as any other property. The South Carolina convention arraigned the North for increasing hostility "to the institution of slavery," and declared for secession because the North had assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of Southern domestic institutions.

Governor R. C. Wickliffe in his message at the extra session of the legislature of Louisiana expressed his belief that the election was "a deliberate design to pervert the powers of the Government to the immediate injury and ultimate destruction of the peculiar institution of the South."12

Slidel's farewell speech in the Congressional Globe of February 5, 1861:

"We separate," he said, "because of the hostility of Lincoln to our institutions.... If he were inaugurated without our consent there would be slave insurrections in the South."13

The Alabama Commissioner to Maryland arraigned the Lincoln government as proposing not "to recognize the right of the Southern citizens to property in the labor of African slaves." The Governor of Alabama arraigned the Republicans for desiring "the destruction of the institution of slavery."

In the Southern Congress, at Montgomery on the 2d of February, 1861, Senator Wigfall, from Texas, said that he was fighting for slavery, and for nothing else. The patent of nobility is in the color of the skin. He wanted to live in no country in which a man who blacked his boots and curried his horse was his equal. Give Negroes muskets and make them soldiers, and the next subject introduced for discussion will be miscegenation.14 And finally, Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy, stated fully the philosophy of the new Confederate government: "The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions — African slavery as it exists among us — the proper status of the Negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this as the 'rock upon which the old union would split.' He was right. What was conjecture with him is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away.... Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a government built upon it; when the 'storm came and the winds blew, it fell.'

"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea, 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. This, our new government, is the first in the history of the world, based upon this great physical and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day....

"Now they are universally acknowledged. May we not, therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths upon which our system rests. It is the first government ever instituted upon principles of strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of certain classes; but the classes thus enslaved, were of the same race, and in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature's laws. The Negro, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper materials, the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes He has made one race to differ from another, as He has had 'one star to differ from another star in glory.'"15

The rift between the Southern South and the Border States was bridged by omission of all reference to the reopening of the slave trade and stressing the reality of the Northern attack upon the institution of slavery itself.

The movement against the slave trade laws in the Southern South was strong and growing. In 1854, a grand jury in the Williamsburg district of South Carolina declared: "As our unanimous opinion, that the Federal law abolishing the African Slave Trade is a public grievance. We hold this trade has been and would be, if reestablished, a blessing to the American people and a benefit to the African himself."

Two years later, the Governor of the state in his annual message argued for a reopening of the trade and declared: "If we cannot supply the demand for slave labor, then we must expect to be supplied with a species of labor we do not want" (i.e., free white labor). The movement was forwarded by the commercial conventions. In 1855, at New Orleans, a resolution for the repeal of the slave trade laws was introduced but not reported by committee. In 1856, at Savannah, the convention refused to debate the matter of the repeal of the slave trade laws but appointed a committee. At the convention at Knoxville, in 1857, a resolution declaring it inexpedient to reopen the trade was voted down. At Montgomery, in 1858, a committee presented an elaborate majority report declaring it "expedient and proper that the foreign slave trade should be reopened." After debate, it was decided that it was inexpedient for any single state to attempt to reopen the African slave trade while that state is one of the United States of America. Finally, at Vicksburg in 1859, it was voted 40-19, "that all laws, state or Federal, prohibiting the African slave trade, ought to be repealed."

Both the provisional and permanent constitutions of the Confederate states forbade the importation of Negroes from foreign countries, except the "slave-holding states or territories of the United States of America." Nevertheless, the foreign ministers of the Confederate states were assured that while the Confederate government had no power to reopen the slave trade, the states could, if they wanted to, and that the ministers were not to discuss any treaties to prohibit the trade.16

Thus the planters led the South into war, carrying the five million poor whites blindly with them and standing upon a creed which opposed the free distribution of government land; which asked for the expansion of slave territory, for restricted functions of the national government, and for the perpetuity of Negro slavery.

What irritated the planter and made him charge the North and liberal Europe with hypocrisy, was the ethical implications of slavery. He was kept explaining a system of work which he insisted was no different in essence from that in vogue in Europe and the North. They and he were all exploiting labor. He did it by individual right; they by state law. They called their labor free, but after all, the laborer was only free to starve, if he did not work on their terms. They called his laborer a slave when his master was responsible for him from birth to death.

The Southern argument had strong backing in the commercial North. Lawyer O'Conner of New York expressed amid applause that calm reasoned estimate of the Negro in 1859, which pervaded the North:

"Now, Gentlemen, nature itself has assigned, his condition of servitude to the Negro. He has the strength and is fit to work; but nature, which gave him this strength, denied him both the intelligence to rule and the will to work. Both are denied to him. And the same nature which denied him the will to work, gave him a master, who should enforce this will, and make a useful servant of him in a climate to which he is well adapted for his own benefit and that of the master who rules him. I assert that it is no injustice to leave the Negro in the position into which nature placed him; to put a master over him; and he is not robbed of any right, if he is compelled to labor in return for this, and to supply a just compensation for his master in return for the labor and the talents devoted to ruling him and to making him useful to himself and to society."

What the planter and his Northern apologist did not readily admit was that this exploitation of labor reduced it to a wage so low and a standard of living so pitiable that no modern industry in agriculture or trade or manufacture could build upon it; that it made ignorance compulsory and had to do so in self-defense; and that it automatically was keeping the South from entering the great stream of modern industry where growing intelligence among workers, a rising standard of living among the masses, increased personal freedom and political power, were recognized as absolutely necessary.

The ethical problem here presented was less important than the political and far less than the economic. The Southerners were as little conscious of the hurt they were inflicting on human beings as the Northerners were of their treatment of the insane. It is easy for men to discount and misunderstand the suffering or harm done others. Once accustomed to poverty, to the sight of toil and degradation, it easily seems normal and natural; once it is hidden beneath a different color of skin, a different stature or a different habit of action and speech, and all consciousness of inflicting ill disappears.

The Southern planter suffered, not simply for his economic mistakes — the psychological effect of slavery upon him was fatal. The mere fact that a man could be, under the law, the actual master of the mind and body of human beings had to have disastrous effects. It tended to inflate the ego of most planters beyond all reason; they became arrogant, strutting, quarrelsome kinglets; they issued commands; they made laws; they shouted their orders; they expected deference and self-abasement; they were choleric and easily insulted. Their "honor" became a vast and awful thing, requiring wide and insistent deference. Such of them as were inherently weak and in efficient were all the more easily angered, jealous and resentful; while the few who were superior, physically or mentally, conceived no bounds to their power and personal prestige. As the world had long learned, nothing is so calculated to ruin human nature as absolute power over human beings.

On the other hand, the possession of such power did not and could not lead to its continued tyrannical exercise. The tyrant could be kind and congenial. He could care for his chattels like a father; he could grant indulgence and largess; he could play with power and find tremendous satisfaction in its benevolent use.

Thus, economically and morally, the situation of the planter became intolerable. What was needed was the force of great public opinion to make him see his economic mistakes and the moral debauchery that threatened him. But here again in the planter class no room was made for the reformer, the recalcitrant. The men who dared such thought and act were driven out or suppressed with a virulent tyranny reminiscent of the Inquisition and the Reformation. For these there was the same peculiar way of escape that lay before the slave. The planter who could not stand slavery followed the poor whites who could not stand Negroes, they followed the Negro who also could not stand slavery, into the North; and there, removed from immediate contact with the evils of slavery, the planter often became the "copperhead," and theoretical champion of a system which he could not himself endure.

Frederick Douglass thus summed up the objects of the white planter:

"I understand this policy to comprehend five cardinal objects. They are these: 1st, The complete suppression of all anti-slavery discussion. 2d, The expatriation of the entire free people of color from the United States. 3d, The unending perpetuation of slavery in this republic. 4th, The nationalization of slavery to the extent of making slavery respected in every state of the Union. 5th, The extension of slavery over Mexico and the entire South American states."17

This whole system and plan of development failed, and failed of its own weakness. Unending effort has gone into painting the claims of the Old South, its idyllic beauty and social charm. But the truth is inexorable. With all its fine men and sacrificing women, its hospitable homes and graceful manners, the South turned the most beautiful section of the nation into a center of poverty and suffering, of drinking, gambling and brawling; an abode of ignorance among black and white more abysmal than in any modern land; and a system of industry so humanly unjust and economically inefficient that if it had not committed suicide in civil war, it would have disintegrated of its own weight.

With the Civil War, the planters died as a class. We still talk as though the dominant social class in the South persisted after the war. But it did not. It disappeared. Just how quickly and in what manner the transformation was made, we do not know. No scientific study of the submergence of the remainder of the planter class into the ranks of the poor whites, and the corresponding rise of a portion of the poor whites into the dominant portion of landholders and capitalists, has been made. Of the names of prominent Southern families in Congress in i860, only two appear in 1870, five in 1880. Of 90 prominent names in 1870, only four survived in 1880. Men talk today as though the upper class in the white South is descended from the slaveholders; yet we know by plain mathematics that the ancestors of most of the present Southerners never owned a slave nor had any real economic part in slavery. The disaster of war decimated the planters; the bitter disappointment and frustration led to a tremendous mortality after the war, and from 1870 on the planter class merged their blood so completely with the rising poor whites that they disappeared as a separate aristocracy. It is this that explains so many characteristics of the post-war South: its lynching and mob law, its murders and cruelty, its insensibility to the finer things of civilization.


Not spring; from us no agony of birth
Is asked or needed; in a crimson tide
Upon the down-slope of the world
We, the elect, are hurled
In fearful power and brief pride
Burning at last to silence and dark earth.
    Not Spring.
                              James Rorty

* Quoted in speech of Charles Sumner, in the United States Senate, December 20, 1865, from "a private letter which I have received from a government officer." Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, p. 93, Column 2.

1. Nevin, American Social History as Recorded by British Travellers, p. 209.

2. Trollope, Frances, Domestic Manners of the Americans, p. 10.

3. An Appeal of a Colored Man to His Fellow-Citizens of a Fairer Hue, in the United States, 1877, pp. 33, 34.

4. Goodell, American Slave Code, p. in.

5. Brewster, Sketches of Southern Mystery, Treason and Murder, pp. 48, 51.

6. Bancroft, Slave-Trading in the Old South, p. 199.

7. Mazyck, George Washington and the Negro, p. 13.

8. Bancroft, Slave-Trading in the Old South, p. 381.

9. Olmsted, A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States, pp. 183-184.

10. Studies in Southern History and Politics, footnote, pp. 329, 346.

11. Ficklen, History of Reconstruction in Louisiana, p. 12.

12. Ficklen, Reconstruction in Louisiana, p. 15.

13. Ficklen, Reconstruction in Louisiana, p. 27.

14. New Orleans Tribune, February 15, 1865.

15. Stewart, The Reward of Patriotism, pp. 41-43.

16. Compare Du Bois, Suppression of Slave-Trade, Chapter XI.

17. Woodson, Negro Orators and Their Orations, p. 224.


IV. THE GENERAL STRIKE

How the Civil War meant emancipation and how the black worker won the war by a general strike which transferred his labor from the Confederate planter to the Northern invader, in whose army lines workers began to be organized as a new labor force

When Edwin Ruffin, white-haired and mad, fired the first gun at Fort Sumter, he freed the slaves. It was the last thing he meant to do but that was because he was so typically a Southern oligarch. He did not know the real world about him. He was provincial and lived apart on his plantation with his servants, his books and his thoughts. Outside of agriculture, he jumped at conclusions instead of testing them by careful research. He knew, for instance, that the North would not fight. He knew that Negroes would never revolt.

And so war came. War is murder, force, anarchy and debt. Its end is evil, despite all incidental good. Neither North nor South had before 1861 the slightest intention of going to war. The thought was in many respects ridiculous. They were not prepared for war. The national army was small, poorly equipped and without experience. There was no file from which someone might draw plans of subjugation.

When Northern armies entered the South they became armies of emancipation. It was the last thing they planned to be. The North did not propose to attack property. It did not propose to free slaves. This was to be a white man's war to preserve the Union, and the Union must be preserved.

Nothing that concerned the amelioration of the Negro touched the heart of the mass of Americans nor could the common run of men realize the political and economic cost of Negro slavery. When, therefore, the Southern radicals, backed by political oligarchy and economic dictatorship in the most extreme form in which the world had seen it for five hundred years, precipitated secession, that part of the North that opposed the plan had to hunt for a rallying slogan to unite the majority in the North and in the West, and if possible, bring the Border States into an opposing phalanx.

Freedom for slaves furnished no such slogan. Not one-tenth of the Northern white population would have fought for any such purpose. Free soil was a much stronger motive, but it had no cogency in this contest because the Free Soilers did not dream of asking free soil in the South, since that involved the competition of slaves, or what seemed worse than that, of free Negroes. On the other hand, the tremendous economic ideal of keeping this great market for goods, the United States, together with all its possibilities of agriculture, manufacture, trade and profit, appealed to both the West and the North; and what was then much more significant, it appealed to the Border States.

"To the flag we are pledged, all its foes we abhor,
And we ain't for the nigger, but we are for the war."

The Border States wanted the cotton belt in the Union so that they could sell it their surplus slaves; but they also wanted to be in the same union with the North and West, where the profit of trade was large and increasing. The duty then of saving the Union became the great rallying cry of a war which for a long time made the Border States hesitate and confine secession to the far South. And yet they all knew that the only thing that really threatened the Union was slavery and the only remedy was Abolition.

If, now, the far South had had trained and astute leadership, a compromise could have been made which, so far as slavery was concerned, would have held the abnormal political power of the South intact, made the slave system impregnable for generations, and even given slavery practical rights throughout the nation.

Both North and South ignored in differing degrees the interests of the laboring classes. The North expected patriotism and union to make white labor fight; the South expected all white men to defend the slaveholders' property. Both North and South expected at most a sharp, quick fight and victory; more probably the South expected to secede peaceably, and then outside the Union, to impose terms which would include national recognition of slavery, new slave territory and new cheap slaves. The North expected that after a threat and demonstration to appease its "honor," the South would return with the right of slave property recognized and protected but geographically limited.

Both sections ignored the Negro. To the Northern masses the Negro was a curiosity, a sub-human minstrel, willingly and naturally a slave, and treated as well as he deserved to be. He had not sense enough to revolt and help Northern armies, even if Northern armies were trying to emancipate him, which they were not. The North shrank at the very thought of encouraging servile insurrection against the whites. Above all it did not propose to interfere with property. Negroes on the whole were considered cowards and inferior beings whose very presence in America was unfortunate. The abolitionists, it was true, expected action on the part of the Negro, but how much, they could not say. Only John Brown knew just how revolt had come and would come and he was dead.

Thus the Negro himself was not seriously considered by the majority of men, North or South. And yet from the very beginning, the Negro occupied the center of the stage because of very simple physical reasons: the war was in the South and in the South were 3,953,740 black slaves and 261,918 free Negroes. What was to be the relation of this mass of workers to the war? What did the war mean to the Negroes, and what did the Negroes mean to the war? There are two theories, both rather over-elaborated: the one that the Negro did nothing but faithfully serve his master until emancipation was thrust upon him; the other that the Negro immediately, just as quickly as the presence of Northern soldiers made it possible, left serfdom and took his stand with the army of freedom.

It must be borne in mind that nine-tenths of the four million black slaves could neither read nor write, and that the overwhelming majority of them were isolated on country plantations. Any mass movement under such circumstances must materialize slowly and painfully. What the Negro did was to wait, look and listen and try to see where his interest lay. There was no use in seeking refuge in an army which was not an army of freedom; and there was no sense in revolting against armed masters who were conquering the world. As soon, however, as it became clear that the Union armies would not or could not return fugitive slaves, and that the masters with all their fume and fury were uncertain of victory, the slave entered upon a general strike against slavery by the same methods that he had used during the period of the fugitive slave. He ran away to the first place of safety and offered his services to the Federal Army. So that in this way it was really true that he served his former master and served the emancipating army; and it was also true that this withdrawal and bestowal of his labor decided the war.

The South counted on Negroes as laborers to raise food and money crops for civilians and for the army, and even in a crisis, to be used for military purposes. Slave revolt was an ever-present risk, but there was no reason to think that a short war with the North would greatly increase this danger. Publicly, the South repudiated the thought of its slaves even wanting to be rescued. The New Orleans Crescent showed "the absurdity of the assertion of a general stampede of our Negroes." The London Dispatch was convinced that Negroes did not want to be free. "As for the slaves themselves, crushed with the wrongs of Dred Scott and Uncle Tom — most provoking — they cannot be brought to 'burn with revenge.' They are spies for their masters. They obstinately refuse to run away to liberty, outrage and starvation. They work in the fields as usual when the planter and overseer are away and only the white women are left at home."

Early in the war, the South had made careful calculation of the military value of slaves. The Alabama Advertiser in 1861 discussed the slaves as a "Military Element in the South." It said that "The total white population of the eleven states now comprising the Confederacy is 5,000,000, and, therefore, to fill up the ranks of the proposed army, 600,000, about ten per cent of the entire white population, will be required. In any other country than our own such a draft could not be met, but the Southern states can furnish that number of men, and still not leave the material interest of the country in a suffering condition."

The editor, with fatuous faith, did not for a moment contemplate any mass movement against this program on the part of the slaves. "Those who are incapacitated for bearing arms can oversee the plantations, and the Negroes can go on undisturbed in their usual labors. In the North, the case is different; the men who join the army of subjugation are the laborers, the producers and the factory operatives. Nearly every man from that section, especially those from the rural districts, leaves some branch of industry to suffer during his absence. The institution of slavery in the South alone enables her to place in the field a force much larger in proportion to her white population than the North, or indeed any country which is dependent entirely on free labor. The institution is a tower of strength to the South, particularly at the present crisis, and our enemies will be likely to find that the 'Moral Cancer' about which their orators are so fond of prating, is really one of the most effective weapons employed against the Union by the South."1

Soon the South of necessity was moving out beyond this plan. It was no longer simply a question of using the Negroes at home on the plantation to raise food. They could be of even more immediate use, as military labor, to throw up breastworks, transport and prepare food and act as servants in camp. In the Charleston Courier of November 22, able-bodied hands were asked to be sent by their masters to work upon the defenses. "They would be fed and properly cared for."

In 1862, in Charleston, after a proclamation of martial law, the governor and counsel authorized the procuring of Negro slaves either by the planter's consent or by impressment "to work on the fortifications and defenses of Charleston harbor."

In Mississippi in 1862, permission was granted the Governor to impress slaves to work in New Iberia for salt, which was becoming the Confederacy's most pressing necessity. In Texas, a thousand Negroes were offered by planters for work on the public defenses.

By 1864, the matter had passed beyond the demand for slaves as military laborers and had come to the place where the South was seriously considering and openly demanding the use of Negroes as soldiers. Distinctly and inevitably, the rigor of the slave system in the South softened as war proceeded. Slavery showed in many if not all respects its best side. The harshness and the cruelty, in part, had to disappear, since there were left on the plantations mainly women and children, with only a few men, and there was a certain feeling and apprehension in the air on the part of the whites which led them to capitalize all the friendship and kindness which had existed between them and the slaves. No race could have responded to this so quickly and thoroughly as the Negroes. They felt pity and responsibility and also a certain new undercurrent of independence. Negroes were still being sold rather ostentatiously in Charleston and New Orleans, but the long lines of Virginia Negroes were not marching to the Southwest. In a certain sense, after the first few months everybody knew that slavery was done with; that no matter who won, the condition of the slave could never be the same after this disaster of war. And it was, perhaps, these considerations, more than anything else, that held the poised arm of the black man; for no one knew better than the South what a Negro crazed with cruelty and oppression and beaten back to the last stand could do to his oppressor.

The Southerners, therefore, were careful. Those who had been kind to their slaves assured them of the bad character of the Yankee and of their own good intentions.

Thus while the Negroes knew there were Abolitionists in the North, they did not know their growth, their power or their intentions and they did hear on every side that the South was overwhelmingly victorious on the battlefield. On the other hand, some of the Negroes sensed what was beginning to happen. The Negroes of the cities, the Negroes who were being hired out, the Negroes of intelligence who could read and write, all began carefully to watch the unfolding of the situation. At the first gun of Sumter, the black mass began not to move but to heave with nervous tension and watchful waiting. Even before war was declared, a movement began across the border. Just before the war large numbers of fugitive slaves and free Negroes rushed into the North. It was estimated that two thousand left North Carolina alone because of rumors of war.

When W. T. Sherman occupied Port Royal in October, 1861, he had no idea that he was beginning emancipation at one of its strategic points. On the contrary, he was very polite and said that he had no idea of interfering with slaves. In the same way, Major General Dix, on seizing two counties of Virginia, was careful to order that slavery was not to be interfered with or slaves to be received into the line. Burnside went further, and as he brought his Rhode Island regiment through Baltimore in June, he courteously returned two Negroes who tried to run away with him. They were "supposed to be slaves," although they may have been free Negroes. On the 4th of July, Colonel Pryor of Ohio delivered an address to the people of Virginia in which he repudiated the accusation that the Northern army were Abolitionists.

"I desire to assure you that the relation of master and servant as recognized in your state shall be respected. Your authority over that species of property shall not in the least be interfered with. To this end, I assure you that those under my command have peremptory orders to take up and hold any Negroes found running about the camp without passes from their masters."2

Halleck in Missouri in 1862 refused to let fugitive slaves enter his lines. Burnside, Buell, Hooker, Thomas Williams and McClellan himself, all warned their soldiers against receiving slaves and most of them permitted masters to come and remove slaves found within the lines.

The constant charge of Southern newspapers, Southern politicians and their Northern sympathizers, that the war was an abolition war, met with constant and indignant denial. Loyal newspapers, orators and preachers, with few exceptions, while advocating stringent measures for putting down the Rebellion, carefully disclaimed any intention of disturbing the "peculiar institution" of the South. The Secretary of State informed foreign governments, through our ministers abroad, that this was not our purpose. President Lincoln, in his earlier messages, substantially reiterated the statement. Leading generals, on entering Southern territory, issued proclamations to the same effect. One even promised to put down any slave insurrection "with an iron hand," while others took vigorous measures to send back the fugitives who sought refuge within their lines.

"In the early years of the war, if accounts do not err, during the entire period McClellan commanded the Army of the Potomac, 'John Brown's Body' was a forbidden air among the regimental bands. The Hutchinsons were driven from Union camps for singing abolition songs, and in so far as the Northern army interested itself at all in the slavery question, it was by the use of force to return to their Southern masters fugitives seeking shelter in the Union lines. While the information they possessed, especially respecting the roads and means of communication, should have been of inestimable service to the Federals, they were not to be employed as laborers or armed as soldiers. The North avoided the appearance of a desire to raise the Negroes from the plane of chattels to the rank of human beings."3

Here was no bid for the cooperation of either slaves or free Negroes. In the North, Negroes were not allowed to enlist and often refused with indignation. "Thus the weakness of the South temporarily became her strength. Her servile population, repulsed by Northern pro-slavery sentiment, remained at home engaged in agriculture, thus releasing her entire white population for active service in the field; while, on the other hand, the military resources of the North were necessarily diminished by the demands of labor."4

It was as Frederick Douglass said in Boston in 1865, that the Civil War was begun "in the interests of slavery on both sides. The South was fighting to take slavery out of the Union, and the North fighting to keep it in the Union; the South fighting to get it beyond the limits of the United States Constitution, and the North fighting for the old guarantees; — both despising the Negro, both insulting the Negro."

It was, therefore, at first by no means clear to most of the four million Negroes in slavery what this war might mean to them. They crouched consciously and moved silently, listening, hoping and hesitating. The watchfulness of the South was redoubled. They spread propaganda: the Yankees were not only not thinking of setting them free, but if they did anything, they would sell them into worse slavery in the West Indies. They would drive them from even the scant comfort of the plantations into the highways and purlieus. Moreover, if they tried to emancipate the slaves, they would fail because they could not do this without conquest of the South. The South was unconquerable.

The South was not slow to spread propaganda and point to the wretched condition of fugitive Negroes in order to keep the loyalty of its indispensable labor force. The Charleston Daily Courier said February 18, 1863: "A company of volunteers having left Fayette County for the field of action, Mr. Nance sent two Negro boys along to aid the company. Their imaginations became dazzled with the visions of Elysian fields in Yankeedom and they went to find them. But Paradise was nowhere there, and they again sighed for home. The Yanks, however, detained them and cut off their ears close to their heads. These Negroes finally made their escape and are now at home with Mr. Nance in Pickens. They are violent haters of Yankees and their adventures and experiences are a terror to Negroes of the region, who learned a lesson from their brethren whose ears are left in Lincolndom!"

The Charleston Mercury, May 8, 1862, said: "The Yankees are fortifying Fernandina (Florida) and have a large number of Negroes engaged on their works. Whenever the Negroes have an opportunity, they escape from their oppressors. They report that they are worked hard, get little rest and food and no pay."

The Savannah Daily News reports in 1862 that many stolen Negroes had been recaptured: "The Yankees had married a number of the women and were taking them home with them. I have seen some who refused to go and others who had been forced off at other times who had returned."

It was a lovely dress parade of Alphonse and Gaston until the Negro spoiled it and in a perfectly logical way. So long as the Union stood still and talked, the Negro kept quiet and worked. The moment the Union army moved into slave territory, the Negro joined it. Despite all argument and calculation and in the face of refusals and commands, wherever the Union armies marched, appeared the fugitive slaves. It made no difference what the obstacles were, or the attitudes of the commanders. It was "like thrusting a walking stick into an anthill," says one writer. And yet the army chiefs at first tried to regard it as an exceptional and temporary matter, a thing which they could control, when as a matter of fact it was the meat and kernel of the war.

Thus as the war went on and the invading armies came on, the way suddenly cleared for the onlooking Negro, for his spokesmen in the North, and for his silent listeners in the South. Each step, thereafter, came with curious, logical and inevitable fate. First there were the fugitive slaves. Slaves had always been running away to the North, and when the North grew hostile, on to Canada. It was the safety valve that kept down the chance of insurrection in the South to the lowest point. Suddenly, now, the chance to run away not only increased, but after preliminary repulse and hesitation, there was actual encouragement.

Not that the government planned or foresaw this eventuality; on the contrary, having repeatedly declared the object of the war as the preservation of the Union and that it did not propose to fight for slaves or touch slavery, it faced a stampede of fugitive slaves.

Every step the Northern armies took then meant fugitive slaves. They crossed the Potomac, and the slaves of northern Virginia began to pour into the army and into Washington. They captured Fortress Monroe, and slaves from Virginia and even North Carolina poured into the army. They captured Port Royal, and the masters ran away, leaving droves of black fugitives in the hands of the Northern army. They moved down the Mississippi Valley, and if the slaves did not rush to the army, the army marched to the slaves. They captured New Orleans, and captured a great black city and a state full of slaves.

What was to be done? They tried to send the slaves back, and even used the soldiers for recapturing them. This was all well enough as long as the war was a dress parade. But when it became real war, and slaves were captured or received, they could be used as much-needed laborers and servants by the Northern army.

This but emphasized and made clearer a truth which ought, to have been recognized from the very beginning: The Southern worker, black and white, held the key to the war; and of the two groups, the black worker raising food and raw materials held an even more strategic place than the white. This was so clear a fact that both sides should have known it. Fremont in Missouri took the logical action of freeing slaves of the enemy round about him by proclamation, and President Lincoln just as promptly repudiated what he had done. Even before that, General Butler in Virginia, commander of the Union forces at Fortress Monroe, met three slaves walking into his camp from the Confederate fortifications where they had been at work. Butler immediately declared these men "contraband of war" and put them to work in his own camp. More slaves followed, accompanied by their wives and children. The situation here was not quite so logical. Nevertheless, Butler kept the fugitives and freed them and let them do what work they could; and his action was approved by the Secretary of War.

"On May twenty-sixth, only two days after the one slave appeared before Butler, eight Negroes appeared; on the next day, forty-seven, of all ages and both sexes. Each day they continued to come by twenties, thirties and forties until by July 30th the number had reached nine hundred. In a very short while the number ran up into the thousands. The renowned Fortress took the name of the 'freedom fort' to which the blacks came by means of a 'mysterious spiritual telegraph.'"5

In December, 1861, the Secretary of the Treasury, Simon Cameron, had written, printed and put into the mails his first report as Secretary of War without consultation with the President. Possibly he knew that his recommendations would not be approved, but "he recommended the general arming of Negroes, declaring that the Federals had as clear a right to employ slaves taken from the enemy as to use captured gunpowder." This report was recalled by the President by telegraph and the statements of the Secretary were modified. The incident aroused some unpleasantness in the cabinet.

The published report finally said:

"Persons held by rebels, under such laws, to service as slaves, may, however, be justly liberated from their constraint, and made more valuable in various employments, through voluntary and compensated service, than if confiscated as subjects of property."

Transforming itself suddenly from a problem of abandoned plantations and slaves captured while being used by the enemy for military purposes, the movement became a general strike against the slave system on the part of all who could find opportunity. The trickling streams of fugitives swelled to a flood. Once begun, the general strike of black and white went madly and relentlessly on like some great saga.

"Imagine, if you will, a slave population, springing from antecedent barbarism, rising up and leaving its ancient bondage, forsaking its local traditions and all the associations and attractions of the old plantation life, coming garbed in rags or in silks, with feet shod or bleeding, individually or in families and larger groups, — an army of slaves and fugitives, pushing its way irresistibly toward an army of fighting men, perpetually on the defensive and perpetually ready to attack. The arrival among us of these hordes was like the oncoming of cities. There was no plan in this exodus, no Moses to lead it. Unlettered reason or the mere inarticulate decision of instinct brought them to us. Often the slaves met prejudices against their color more bitter than any they had left behind. But their own interests were identical, they felt, with the objects of our armies; a blind terror stung them, an equally blind hope allured them, and to us they come."6

"Even before the close of 1862, many thousands of blacks of all ages, ragged, with no possessions, except the bundles which they carried, had assembled at Norfolk, Hampton, Alexandria and Washington. Others, landless, homeless, helpless, in families and in multitudes, including a considerable number of wretched white people, flocked North from Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Missouri. All these were relieved in part by army rations, irregularly issued, and by volunteer societies of the North, which gained their money from churches and individuals in this country and abroad. In the spring of 1863, there were swarming crowds of Negroes and white refugees along the line of defense made between the armies of the North and South and reaching from Maryland to Virginia, along the coast from Norfolk to New Orleans. Soldiers and missionaries told of their virtues and vices, their joy and extreme suffering. The North was moved to an extraordinary degree, and endless bodies of workers and missionaries were organized and collected funds for materials.

"Rude barracks were erected at different points for the temporary shelter of the freedmen; but as soon as possible the colonies thus formed were broken up and the people encouraged to m,ake individual contracts for labor upon neighboring plantations. In connection with the colonies, farms were cultivated which aided to meet the expenses. Hospitals were established at various points for the sick, of whom there were great numbers. The separation of families by the war, and illegitimate birth in consequence of slavery, left a great number of children practically in a state of orphanage."7

This was the beginning of the swarming of the slaves, of the quiet but unswerving determination of increasing numbers no longer to work on Confederate plantations, and to seek the freedom of the Northern armies. Wherever the army marched and in spite of all obstacles came the rising tide of slaves seeking freedom. For a long time, their treatment was left largely to the discretion of the department managers; some welcomed them, some drove them away, some organized them for work. Gradually, the fugitives became organized and formed a great labor force for the army. Several thousand were employed as laborers, servants, and spies.

A special war correspondent of the New York Tribune writes: "God bless the Negroes,' say I, with earnest lips. During our entire captivity, and after our escape, they were ever our firm, brave, unflinching friends. We never made an appeal to them they did not answer. They never hesitated to do us a service at the risk even of life, and under the most trying circumstances revealed a devotion and a spirit of self-sacrifice that was heroic. The magic word 'Yankee' opened all their hearts, and elicited the loftiest virtues. They were ignorant, oppressed, enslaved; but they always cherished a simple and a beautiful faith in the cause of the Union and its ultimate triumph, and never abandoned or turned aside from a man who sought food or shelter on his way to Freedom."8

This whole move was not dramatic or hysterical, rather it was like the great unbroken swell of the ocean before it dashes on the reefs. The Negroes showed no disposition to strike the one terrible blow which brought black men freedom in Haiti and which in all history has been used by all slaves and justified. There were some plans for insurrection made by Union officers:

"The plan is to induce the blacks to make a simultaneous movement of rising, on the night of the 1st of August next, over the entire States in rebellion, to arm themselves with any and every kind of weapon that may come to hand, and commence operations by burning all the railroad and country bridges, and tear up railroad tracks, and to destroy telegraph lines, etc., and then take to the woods, swamps, or the mountains, where they may emerge as occasion may offer for provisions and for further depredations. No blood is to be shed except in self-defense. The corn will be ripe about the 1st of August and with this and hogs running in the woods, and by foraging upon the plantations by night, they can subsist. This is the plan in substance, and if we can obtain a concerted movement at the time named it will doubtless be successful."9

Such plans came to naught for the simple reason that there was an easier way involving freedom with less risk.

The South preened itself on the absence of slave violence. Governor Walker of Florida said in his inaugural in 1865: "Where, in all the records of the past, does history present such an instance of steadfast devotion, unwavering attachment and constancy as was exhibited by the slaves of the South throughout the fearful contest that has just ended? The country invaded, homes desolated, the master absent in the army or forced to seek safety in flight and leave the mistress and her helpless infants unprotected, with every incitement to insubordination and instigation, to rapine and murder, no instance of insurrection, and scarcely one of voluntary desertion has been recorded."

The changes upon this theme have been rung by Southern orators many times since. The statement, of course, is not quite true. Hundreds of thousands of slaves were very evidently leaving their masters' homes and plantations. They did not wreak vengeance on unprotected women. They found an easier, more effective and more decent way to freedom. Men go wild and fight for freedom with bestial ferocity when they must — where there is no other way; but human nature does not deliberately choose blood — at least not black human nature. On the other hand, for every slave that escaped to the Union army, there were ten left on the untouched and inaccessible plantations.

Another step was logical and inevitable. The men who handled a spade for the Northern armies, the men who fed them, and as spies brought in information, could also handle a gun and shoot. Without legal authority and in spite of it, suddenly the Negro became a soldier. Later his services as soldier were not only permitted but were demanded to replace the tired and rebellious white men of the North. But as a soldier, the Negro must be free.

The North started out with the idea of fighting the war without touching slavery. They faced the fact, after severe fighting, that Negroes seemed a valuable asset as laborers, and they therefore declared them "contraband of war." It was but a step from that to attract and induce Negro labor to help the Northern armies. Slaves were urged and invited into the Northern armies; they became military laborers and spies; not simply military laborers, but laborers on the plantations, where the crops went to help the Federal army or were sold North. Thus wherever Northern armies appeared, Negro laborers came, and the North found itself actually freeing slaves before it had the slightest intention of doing so, indeed when it had every intention not to.

The experience of the army with the refugees and the rise of the departments of Negro affairs were a most interesting, but unfortunately little studied, phase of Reconstruction. Yet it contained in a sense the key to the understanding of the whole situation. At first, the rush of the Negroes from the plantations came as a surprise and was variously interpreted. The easiest thing to say was that Negroes were tired of work and wanted to live at the expense of the government; wanted to travel and see things and places. But in contradiction to this was the extent of the movement and the terrible suffering of the refugees. If they were seeking peace and quiet, they were much better off on the plantations than trailing in the footsteps of the army or squatting miserably in the camps. They were mistreated by the soldiers; ridiculed; driven away, and yet they came. They increased with every campaign, and as a final gesture, they marched with Sherman from Atlanta to the sea, and met the refugees and abandoned human property on the Sea Islands and the Carolina Coast.

This was not merely the desire to stop work. It was a strike on a wide basis against the conditions of work. It was a general strike that involved directly in the end perhaps a half million people. They wanted to stop the economy of the plantation system, and to do that they left the plantations. At first, the commanders were disposed to drive them away, or to give them quasi-freedom and let them do as they pleased with the nothing that they possessed. This did not work. Then the commanders organized relief and afterward, work. This came to the attention of the country first in Pierce's "Ten Thousand Clients." Pierce of Boston had worked with the refugees in Virginia under Butler, provided them with food and places to live, and given them jobs and land to cultivate. He was successful. He came from there, and, in conjunction with the Treasury Department, began the work on a vaster scale at Port Royal. Here he found the key to the situation. The Negroes were willing to work and did work, but they wanted land to work, and they wanted to see and own the results of their toil. It was here and in the West and the South that a new vista opened. Here was a chance to establish an agrarian democracy in the South: peasant holders of small properties, eager to work and raise crops, amenable to suggestion and general direction. All they needed was honesty in treatment, and education. Wherever these conditions were fulfilled, the result was little less than phenomenal. This was testified to by Pierce in the Carolinas, by Butler's agents in North Carolina, by the experiment of the Sea Islands, by Grant's department of Negro affairs under Eaton, and by Banks' direction of Negro labor in Louisiana. It is astonishing how this army of striking labor furnished in time 200,000 Federal soldiers whose evident ability to fight decided the war.

General Butler went from Virginia to New Orleans to take charge of the city newly captured in April, 1862. Here was a whole city half-filled with blacks and mulattoes, some of them wealthy free Negroes and soldiers who came over from the Confederate side and joined the Federals.

Perhaps the greatest and most systematic organizing of fugitives took place in New Orleans. At first, Butler had issued orders that no slaves would be received in New Orleans. Many planters were unable to make slaves work or to support them, and sent them back of the Federal lines, planning to reclaim them after the war was over. Butler emancipated these slaves in spite of the fact that he knew this was against Lincoln's policy. As the flood kept coming, he seized abandoned sugar plantations and began to work them with Negro labor for the benefit of the government.

By permission of the War Department, and under the authority of the Confiscation Act, Butler organized colonies of fugitives, and regulated employment. His brother, Colonel Butler, and others worked plantations, hiring the Negro labor. The Negroes stood at Butler's right hand during the trying time of his administration, and particularly the well-to-do free Negro group were his strongest allies. He was entertained at their tables and brought down on himself the wrath and contempt, not simply of the South, but even of the North. He received the black regiment, and kept their black officers, who never forgot him. Whatever else he might have been before the war, or proved to be afterwards, "the colored people of Louisiana under the proper sense of the good you have done to the African race in the United States, beg leave to express to you their gratitude."

From 1862 to 1865, many different systems of caring for the escaped slaves and their families in this area were tried. Butler and his successor, Banks, each sought to provide for the thousands of destitute freedmen with medicine, rations and clothing. When General Banks took command, there was suffering, disease and death among the 150,000 Negroes. On January 30, 1863, he issued a general order making labor on public works and elsewhere compulsory for Negroes who had no means of support.

Just as soon, however, as Banks tried to drive the freedmen back to the plantations and have them work under a half-military slave regime, the plan failed. It failed, not because the Negroes did not want to work, but because they were striking against these particular conditions of work. When, because of wide protest, he began to look into the matter, he saw a clear way. He selected Negroes to go out and look into conditions and to report on what was needed, and they made a faithful survey. He set up a little state with its department of education, with its landholding and organized work, and after experiment it ran itself. More and more here and up the Mississippi Valley, under other commanders and agents, experiments extended and were successful.

Further up the Mississippi, a different system was begun under General Grant. Grant's army in the West occupied Grand Junction, Mississippi, by November, 1862. The usual irregular host of slaves then swarmed in from the surrounding country. They begged for protection against recapture, and they, of course, needed food, clothing and shelter. They could not now be reenslaved through army aid, yet no provision had been made by anybody for their sustenance. A few were employed as teamsters, servants, cooks and scouts, yet it seemed as though the vast majority must be left to freeze and starve, for when the storms came with the winter months, the weather was of great severity.

Grant determined that Negroes should perform many of the camp duties ordinarily done by soldiers; that they should serve as fatigue men in the departments of the surgeon general, quartermaster, and commissary, and that they should help in building roads and earthworks. The women worked in the camp kitchens and as nurses in the hospitals. Grant said, "It was at this point where the first idea of the Freedmen's Bureau took its origin."

Grant selected as head of his Department of Negro Affairs, John Eaton, chaplain of the Twenty-Seventh Ohio Volunteers, who was soon promoted to the colonelcy of a colored regiment, and later for many years was a Commissioner of the United States Bureau of Education. He was then constituted Chief of Negro Affairs for the entire district under Grant's jurisdiction.

"I hope I may never be called on again to witness the horrrible scenes I saw in those first days of the history of the freedmen in the Mississippi Valley. Assistants were hard to get, especially the kind that would do any good in our camps. A detailed soldier in each camp of a thousand people was the best that could be done. His duties were so onerous that he ended by doing nothing.... In reviewing the condition of the people at that time, I am not surprised at the marvelous stories told by visitors who caught an occasional glimpse of the misery and wretchedness in these camps.... Our efforts to do anything for these people, as they herded together in masses, when founded on any expectation that they would help themselves, often failed; they had become so completely broken down in spirit, through suffering, that it was almost impossible to arouse them.

"Their condition was appalling. There were men, women and children in every stage of disease or decrepitude, often nearly naked, with flesh torn by the terrible experiences of their escapes. Sometimes they were intelligent and eager to help themselves; often they were bewildered or stupid or possessed by the wildest notions of what liberty might mean — expecting to exchange labor, and obedience to the will of another, for idleness and freedom from restraint. Such ignorance and perverted notions produced a veritable moral chaos. Cringing deceit, theft, licentiousness — all the vices which slavery inevitably fosters — were hideous companions of nakedness, famine, and disease. A few had profited by the misfortunes of the master and were jubilant in their unwonted ease and luxury, but these stood in lurid contrast to the grimmer aspects of the tragedy — the women in travail, the helplessness of childhood and of old age, the horrors of sickness and of frequent death. Small wonder that men paused in bewilderment and panic, foreseeing the demoralization and infection of the Union soldier and the downfall of the Union cause."10

There were new and strange problems of social contact. The white soldiers, for the most part, were opposed to serving Negroes in any manner, and were even unwilling to guard the camps where they were segregated or protect them against violence. "To undertake any form of work for the contrabands, at that time, was to be forsaken by one's friends and to pass under a cloud."11

There was, however, a clear economic basis upon which the whole work of relief and order and subsistence could be placed. All around Grand Junction were large crops of ungathered corn and cotton. These were harvested and sold North and the receipts were placed to the credit of the government. The army of fugitives were soon willing to go to work; men, women and children. Wood was needed by the river steamers and woodcutters were set at work. Eaton fixed the wages for this industry and kept accounts with the workers. He saw to. it that all of them had sufficient food and clothing, and rough shelter was built for them. Citizens round about who had not abandoned their plantations were allowed to hire labor on the same terms as the government was using it. Very soon the freedmen became self-sustaining and gave little trouble. They began to build themselves comfortable cabins, and the government constructed hospitals for the sick. In the case of the sick and dependent, a tax was laid on the wages of workers. At first it was thought the laborers would object, but, on the contrary, they were perfectly willing and the imposition of the tax compelled the government to see that wages were promptly paid. The freedmen freely acknowledged that they ought to assist in helping bear the burden of the poor, and were flattered by having the government ask their help. It was the reaction of a new labor group, who, for the first time in their lives, were receiving money in payment for their work. Five thousand dollars was raised by this tax for hospitals, and with this money tools and property were bought. By wholesale purchase, clothes, household goods and other articles were secured by the freedmen at a cost of one-third of what they might have paid the stores. There was a rigid system of accounts and monthly reports through army officials.

In 1864, July 5, Eaton reports: "These freedmen are now disposed of as follows: In military service as soldiers, laundresses, cooks, officers' servants, and laborers in the various staff departments, 41,150; in cities on plantations and in freedmen's villages and cared for, 72,500. Of these 62,300 are entirely self-supporting — the same as any industrial class anywhere else — as planters, mechanics, barbers, hack-men, draymen, etc., conducting enterprises on their own responsibility or working as hired laborers. The remaining 10,200 receive subsistence from the government. 3,000 of them are members of families whose heads are carrying on plantations and have under cultivation 4,000 acres of cotton. They, are to pay the government for their sustenance from the first income of the crop. The other 7,200 include the paupers — that is to say, all Negroes over and under the self-supporting age, the crippled and sick in hospital, of the 113,650 and those engaged in their care. Instead of being unproductive, this class has now under cultivation 500 acres of corn, 790 acres of vegetables and 1,500 acres of cotton, besides working at wood-chopping and other industries. There are reported in the aggregate over 100,000 acres of cotton under cultivation. Of these about 7,000 acres are leased and cultivated by blacks. Some Negroes are managing as high as 300 or 400 acres."

The experiment at Davis Bend, Mississippi, was of especial interest. The place was occupied in November and December, 1864, and private interests were displaced and an interesting socialistic effort made with all the property under the control of the government. The Bend was divided into districts with Negro sheriffs and judges who were allowed to exercise authority under the general control of the military officers. Petty theft and idleness were soon reduced to a minimum and "the community distinctly demonstrated the capacity of the Negro to take care of himself and exercise under honest and competent direction the functions of self-government."12

When General Butler returned from Louisiana and resumed command in Virginia and North Carolina, he established there a Department of Negro Affairs, with the territory divided into districts under superintendents and assistants. Negroes were encouraged to buy land, build cabins and form settlements, and a system of education was established. In North Carolina, under Chaplain Horace James, the poor, both black and white, were helped; the refugees were grouped in small villages and their work systematized, and enlisted men taught in the schools, followed by women teachers from the North. Outside of New Bern, North Carolina, about two thousand freedmen were settled and 800 houses erected. The department at Port Royal continued. The Negroes showed their capacity to organize labor and even to save and employ a little capital. The government built 21 houses for the people on Edisto Island. The carpenters were Negroes under a Negro foreman. There was another village of improved houses near Hilton Head.

"Next as to the development of manhood: this has been shown in the first place in the prevalent disposition to acquire land. It did not appear upon our first introduction to these people, and they did not seem to understand us when we used to tell them that we wanted them to own land. But it is now an active desire. At the recent tax sales, six out of forty-seven plantations sold were bought by them, comprising two thousand five hundred and ninety-five acres, sold for twenty-one hundred and forty-five dollars. In other cases, the Negroes had authorized the superintendent to bid for them, but the land was reserved by the United States. One of the purchases was that made by Harry, noted above. The other five were made by the Negroes on the plantations, combining the funds they had saved from the sale of their pigs, chickens and eggs, and from the payments made to them for work, — they then dividing off the tract peaceably among themselves. On one of these, where Kit, before mentioned, is the leading spirit, there are twenty-three fieldhands. They have planted and are cultivating sixty-three acres of cotton, fifty of corn, six of potatoes, with as many more to be planted, four and a half of cowpeas, three of peanuts, and one and a half of rice. These facts are most significant."12

Under General Saxton in South Carolina, the Negroes began to buy land which was sold for non-payment of taxes. Saxton established regulations for the cultivation of several abandoned Sea Islands and appointed local superintendents.

"By the payment of moderate wages, and just and fair dealing with them, I produced for the government over a half million dollars' worth of cotton, besides a large amount of food beyond the needs of the laborers. These island lands were cultivated in this way for two years, 1862 and 1863, under my supervision, and during that time I had about 15,000 colored freedmen of all ages in my charge. About 9,000 of these were engaged on productive labor which relieved the government of the support of all except newly-arrived refugees from the enemy's lines and the old and infirm who had no relations to depend upon. The increase of industry and thrift of the freedmen was illustrated by their conduct in South Carolina before the organization of the Freedmen's Bureau by the decreasing government expenditure for their support. The expense in the department of the South in 1863 was $41,544, but the monthly expense of that year was steadily reduced, until in December it was less than $1,000."14

Into this fairly successful land and labor control was precipitated a vast and unexpected flood of refugees from previously untouched strongholds of slavery. Sherman made his march to the sea from Atlanta, cutting the cotton kingdom in two as Grant had invaded it along the Mississippi.

"The first intimation given me that many of the freedmen would be brought hither from Savannah came in the form of a request from the General that I would 'call at once to plan the reception of seven hundred who would be at the wharf in an hour.' This was Christmas day, and at 4 p.m., we had seven hundred — mainly women, old men and children before us. A canvass since made shows that half of them had traveled from Macon, Atlanta and even Chattanooga. They were all utterly destitute of blankets, stockings or shoes; and among the seven hundred there were not fifty articles in the shape of pots or kettles, or other utensils for cooking, no axes, very few coverings for many heads, and children wrapped in the only article not worn in some form by the parents." Frantic appeals went out for the mass of Negro refugees who followed him.

A few days after Sherman entered Savannah, Secretary of War Stanton came in person from Washington. He examined the condition of the liberated Negroes found in that city. He assembled twenty of those who were deemed their leaders. Among them were barbers, pilots and sailors, some ministers, and others who had been overseers on cotton and rice plantations. Mr. Stanton and General Sherman gave them a hearing.

As a result of this investigation into the perplexing problems as to what to do with the growing masses of unemployed Negroes and their families, General Sherman issued his epoch-making Sea Island Circular, January 18, 1865. In this paper, the islands from Charleston south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea and the country bordering the St. John's River, Florida, were reserved for the settlement of the Negroes made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President.

General Rufus Saxton was appointed Inspector of Settlements and Plantations and was required to make proper allotments and give possessory titles and defend them until Congress should confirm his actions. It was a bold move. Thousands of Negro families were distributed under this circular, and the freed people regarded themselves for more than six months as in permanent possession of these abandoned lands. Taxes on the freedmen furnished most of the funds to run these first experiments. On all plantations, whether owned or leased, where freedmen were employed, a tax of one cent per pound on cotton and a proportional amount on all other products was to be collected as a contribution in support of the helpless among the freed people. A similar tax, varying with the value of the property, was levied by the government upon all leased plantations in lieu of rent.

Saxton testified: "General Sherman's Special Field Order No. 15 ordered their colonization on forty-acre tracts, and in accordance with which it is estimated some forty thousand were provided with homes. Public meetings were held, and every exertion used by those whose duty it was to execute this order to encourage emigration to the Sea Islands, and the faith of the government was solemnly pledged to maintain them in possession. The greatest success attended the experiment, and although the planting season was very far advanced before the transportation to carry the colonists to the Sea Islands could be obtained, and the people were destitute of animals and had but few agricultural implements and the greatest difficulty in procuring seeds, yet they went out, worked with energy and diligence to clear up the ground run to waste by three years' neglect; and thousands of acres were planted and provisions enough were raised for those who were located in season to plant, besides a large amount of sea island cotton for market. The seizure of some 549,000 acres of abandoned land, in accordance with the act of Congress and orders from the head of the bureau for the freedman and refugees, still further strengthened these ignorant people in the conviction that they were to have the lands of their late masters; and, with the other reasons before stated, caused a great unwillingness on the part of the freedmen to make any contracts whatever. But this refusal arises from no desire on their part to avoid labor, but from the causes above stated....

"To test the question of their forethought and prove that some of the race at least thought of the future, I established in October, 1864, a savings bank for the freedmen of Beaufort district and vicinity. More than $240,000 had been deposited in this bank by freedmen since its establishment. I consider that the industrial problem has been satisfactorily solved at Port Royal, and that, in common with other races, the Negro has industry, prudence, forethought, and ability to calculate results. Many of them have managed plantations for themselves, and show an industry and sagacity that will compare favorably in their results — making due allowances — with those of white men."

Eventually, General Saxton settled nearly 30,000 Negroes on the Sea Islands and adjacent plantations and 17,000 were self-supporting within a year. While 12,000 or 13,000 were still receiving rations, it was distinctly understood that they and their farms would be held responsible for the payment. In other such cases, the government had found that such a debt was a "safe and short one."

Negroes worked fewer hours and had more time for self-expression. Exports were less than during slavery. At that time the Negroes were mere machines run with as little loss as possible to the single end of making money for their masters. Now, as it was in the West Indies, emancipation had enlarged the Negro's purchasing power, but instead of producing solely for export, he was producing to consume. His standard of living was rising.

Along with this work of the army, the Treasury Department of the United States Government was bestirring itself. The Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, early in 1862, had his attention called to the accumulation of cotton on the abandoned Sea Islands and plantations, and was sure there was an opportunity to raise more. He, therefore, began the organization of freedmen for cotton raising, and his successor, William Pitt Fessenden, inaugurated more extensive plans for the freedmen in all parts of the South, appointing agents and organizing freedmen's home colonies.

On June 7, 1862, Congress held portions of the states in rebellion responsible for a direct tax upon the lands of the nation, and in addition Congress passed an act authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to appoint special agents to take charge of captured and abandoned property. Military officers turned over to the Treasury Department such property, and the plantations around Port Royal and Beaufort were disposed of at tax sales. Some were purchased by Negroes, but the greater number went to Northerners. In the same way in North Carolina, some turpentine farms were let to Negroes, who managed them, or to whites who employed Negroes. In 1863, September 11, the whole Southern region was divided by the Treasury Department into five special agencies, each with a supervising agent for the supervision of abandoned property and labor.

Early in 1863, General Lorenzo Thomas, the adjutant general of the army, was organizing colored troops along the Mississippi River. After consulting various treasury agents and department commanders, including General Grant, and having also the approval of Mr. Lincoln, he issued from Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, April 15th, a lengthy series of instruction covering the territory bordering the Mississippi and including all the inhabitants.

He appointed three commissioners, Messrs. Field, Shickle and Liver-more, to lease plantations and care for the employees. He sought to encourage private enterprises instead of government colonies; but he fixed the wages of able-bodied men over fifteen years of age at $7 per month, for able-bodied women $5 per month, for children twelve to fifteen years, half price. He laid a tax for revenue of $2 per 400 pounds of cotton, and five cents per bushel on corn and potatoes.

This plan naturally did not work well, for the lessees of plantations proved to be for the most part adventurers and speculators. Of course such men took advantage of the ignorant people. The commissioners themselves seem to have done more for the lessees than for the laborers; and, in fact, the wages were from the beginning so fixed as to benefit and enrich the employer. Two dollars per month was charged against each of the employed, ostensibly for medical attendance, but to most plantations thus leased no physician or medicine ever came, and there were other attendant cruelties which avarice contrived.

On fifteen plantations leased by the Negroes themselves in this region there was notable success, and also a few other instances in which humanity and good sense reigned; the contracts were generally carried out. Here the Negroes were contented and grateful, and were able to lay by small gains. This plantation arrangement along the Mississippi under the commissioners as well as the management of numerous infirmary camps passed, about the close of 1863, from the War to the Treasury Department. A new commission or agency with Mr. W. P. Mellon of the treasury at the head established more careful and complete regulations than those of General Thomas. This time it was done decidedly in the interest of the laborers.

July 2, 1864, an Act of Congress authorized the treasury agents to seize and lease for one year all captured and abandoned estates and to provide for the welfare of former slaves. Property was declared abandoned when the lawful owner was opposed to paying the revenue. The Secretary of the Treasury, Fessenden, therefore issued a new series of regulations relating to freedmen and abandoned property. The rebellious States were divided into seven districts, with a general agent and special agents. Certain tracts of land in each district were set apart for the exclusive use and working of the freedmen. These reservations were called Freedmen Labor Colonies, and were under the direction of the superintendents. Schools were established, both in the Home Colonies and in the labor colonies. This new system went into operation the winter of 1864-1865, and worked well along the Atlantic Coast and Mississippi Valley. In the Department of the Gulf, however, there was discord between the treasury agents and the military authorities, and among the treasury officials themselves. The treasury agents, in many cases, became corrupt, but these regulations remained in force until the Freedmen's Bureau was organized in 1865.

By 1865, there was strong testimony as to the efficiency of the Negro worker. "The question of the freedmen being self-supporting no longer agitated the minds of careful observers."

Carl Schurz felt warranted in 1865 in asserting: "Many freedmen — not single individuals, but whole 'plantation gangs' — are working well; others are not. The difference in their efficiency coincides in a great measure with a certain difference in the conditions under which they live. The conclusion lies near, that if the conditions under which they work well become general, their efficiency as free laborers will become general also, aside from individual exceptions. Certain it is, that by far the larger portion of the work done in the South is done by freedmen!"

Whitelaw Reid said in 1865: "Whoever has read what I have written about the cotton fields of St. Helena will need no assurance that another cardinal sin of the slave, his laziness — 'inborn and ineradicable,' as we were always told by his masters — is likewise disappearing under the stimulus of freedom and necessity. Dishonesty and indolence, then, were the creation of slavery, not the necessary and constitutional faults of the Negro character."

"Returning from St. Helena in 1865, Doctor Richard Fuller was asked what he thought of the experiment of free labor, as exhibited among his former slaves, and how it contrasted with the old order of things. 'I never saw St. Helena look so well,' was his instant reply; 'never saw as much land there under cultivation — never saw the same general evidences of prosperity, and never saw Negroes themselves appearing so well or so contented.' Others noticed, however, that the islands about Beaufort were in a better condition than those nearer the encampments of the United States soldiers. Wherever poultry could be profitably peddled in the camps, cotton had not been grown, nor had the Negroes developed, so readily, into industrious and orderly communities."15 Similar testimony came from the Mississippi Valley and the West, and from Border States like Virginia and North Carolina.

To the aid of the government, and even before the government took definite organized hold, came religious and benevolent organizations. The first was the American Missionary Association, which grew out of the organization for the defense of the Negroes who rebelled and captured the slave ship Amistad and brought it into Connecticut in 1837. When this association heard from Butler and Pierce, it responded promptly and had several representatives at Hampton and South Carolina before the end of the year 1861. They extended their work in 1862-1863, establishing missions down the Atlantic Coast, and in Missouri, and along the Mississippi. By 1864, they had reached the Negroes in nearly all the Southern States. The reports of Pierce, Dupont and Sherman aroused the whole North. Churches and missionary societies responded. The Friends contributed. The work of the Northern benevolent societies began to be felt, and money, clothing and, finally, men and women as helpers and teachers came to the various centers.

"The scope of our work was greatly enlarged by the arrival of white refugees — a movement which later assumed very large proportions. As time went on Cairo (Illinois) became the center of our activities in this direction. It was the most northerly of any of our camps, and served as the portal through which thousands of poor whites and Negroes were sent into the loyal states as fast as opportunities offered for providing them with homes and employment. Many of these became permanent residents; some were sent home by Union soldiers to carry on the work in the shop or on the farm which the war had interrupted. It became necessary to have a superintendent at Cairo and facilities for organizing the bands of refugees who were sent North by the army. There was an increasing demand for work."16

New organizations arose, and an educational commission was organized in Boston, suggested by the reports of Pierce, and worked chiefly in South Carolina. Afterward, it became the New England Freedmen's Aid Society and worked in all the Southern States. February 22, 1862, the National Freedmen's Relief Association was formed in New York City. During the first year, it worked on the Atlantic Coast, and then broadened to the whole South. The Port Royal Relief Committee of Philadelphia, later known as the Pennsylvania Freedmen's Relief Association, the National Freedmen's Relief Association of the District of Columbia, the Contraband Relief Association of Cincinnati, afterward called the Western Freedmen's Commission, the Women's Aid Association of Philadelphia and the Friends' Associations, all arose and worked. The number increased and extended into the Northwest. The Christian Commission, organized for the benefit of soldiers, turned its attention to Negroes. In England, at Manchester and London, were Freedmen's Aid Societies which raised funds; and funds were received from France and Ireland.

Naturally, there was much rivalry and duplication of work. A union of effort was suggested in 1862 by the Secretary of the Treasury and accomplished March 22, 1865, when the American Freedmen's Union Commission was incorporated, with branches in the chief cities. Among its officers were Chief Justice Chase and William Lloyd Garrison. In 1861, two large voluntary organizations to reduce suffering and mortality among the freedmen were formed. The Western Sanitary Commission at St. Louis, and the United States Sanitary Commission at Washington, with branches in leading cities, then began to relieve the distress of the freedmen. Hospitals were improved, supplies distributed, and Yeatman's plan for labor devised. Destitute white refugees were helped to a large extent. But even then, all of these efforts reached but a small portion of the mass of people freed from slavery.

Late in 1863, President Yeatman of the Western Sanitary Commission visited the freedmen in the Mississippi Valley. He saw the abuses of the leasing system and suggested a plan for organizing free labor and leasing plantations. It provided for a bureau established by the government to take charge of leasing land, to secure justice and freedom to the freedmen; hospital farms and homes for the young and aged were to be established; schools with compulsory attendance were to be opened. Yeatman accompanied Mellon, the agent of the department, to Vicksburg in order to inaugurate the plan and carry it into effect. His plan was adopted by Mellon, and was, on the whole, the most satisfactory.

Thus, confusion and lack of system were the natural result of the general strike. Yet, the Negroes had accomplished their first aim in those parts of the South dominated by the Federal army. They had largely escaped from the plantation discipline, were receiving wages as free laborers, and had protection from violence and justice in some sort of court.

About 20,000 of them were in the District of Columbia; 100,000 in Virginia; 50,000 in North Carolina; 50,000 in South Carolina, and as many more each in Georgia and Louisiana. The Valley of the Mississippi was filled with settlers under the Treasury Department and the army. Here were nearly 500,000 former slaves. But there were 3,500,000 more. These Negroes needed only the assurance that they would be freed and the opportunity of joining the Northern army. In larger and larger numbers, they filtered into the armies of the North. And in just the proportion that the Northern armies became in earnest, and proposed actually to force the South to stay in the Union, and not to make simply a demonstration, in just such proportion the Negroes became valuable as laborers, and doubly valuable as withdrawing labor from the South. After the first foolish year when the South woke up to the fact that there was going to be a real, long war, and the North realized just what war meant in blood and money, the whole relation of the North to the Negro and the Negro to the North changed.

The position of the Negro was strategic. His was the only appeal which would bring sympathy from Europe, despite strong economic bonds with the South, and prevent recognition of a Southern nation built on slavery. The free Negroes in the North, together with the Abolitionists, were clamoring. To them a war against the South simply had to be a war against slavery. Gradually, Abolitionists no longer need fear the mob. Disgruntled leaders of church and state began to talk of freedom. Slowly but surely an economic dispute and a political test of strength took on the aspects of a great moral crusade.

The Negro became in the first year contraband of war; that is, property belonging to the enemy and valuable to the invader. And in addition to that, he became, as the South quickly saw, the key to Southern resistance. Either these four million laborers remained quietly at work to raise food for the fighters, or the fighter starved. Simultaneously, when the dream of the North for man-power produced riots, the only additional troops that the North could depend on were 200,000 Negroes, for without them, as Lincoln said, the North could not have won the war.

But this slow, stubborn mutiny of the Negro slave was not merely a matter of 200,000 black soldiers and perhaps 300,000 other black laborers, servants, spies and helpers. Back of this half million stood 3V2 million more. Without their labor the South would starve. With arms in their hands, Negroes would form a fighting force which could replace every single Northern white soldier fighting listlessly and against his will with a black man fighting for freedom.

This action of the slaves was followed by the disaffection of the poor whites. So long as the planters' war seemed successful, "there was little active opposition by the poorer whites; but the conscription and other burdens to support a slaveowners' war became very severe; the whites not interested in that cause became recalcitrant, some went into active opposition; and at last it was more desertion and disunion than anything else that brought about the final overthrow."17

Phillips says that white mechanics in 1861 demanded that the permanent Confederate Constitution exclude Negroes from employment "except agricultural domestic service, so as to reserve the trades for white artisans." Beyond this, of course, was a more subtle reason that, as the years went on, very carefully developed and encouraged for a time the racial aspect of slavery. Before the war, there had been intermingling of white and black blood and some white planters openly recognized their colored sons, daughters and cousins and took them under their special protection. As slavery hardened, the racial basis was emphasized; but it was not until war time that it became the fashion to pat the disfranchised poor white man on the back and tell him after all he was white and that he and the planters had a common object in keeping the white man superior. This virus increased bitterness and relentless hatred, and after the war it became a chief ingredient in the division of the working class in the Southern States.

At the same time during the war even the race argument did not keep the Southern fighters from noticing with anger that the big slaveholders were escaping military service; that it was a "rich man's war and the poor man's fight." The exemption of owners of twenty Negroes from military service especially rankled; and the wholesale withdrawal of the slaveholding class from actual fighting which this rule made possible, gave rise to intense and growing dissatisfaction.

It was necessary during these critical times to insist more than usual that slavery was a fine thing for the poor white. Except for slavery, it was said: "'The poor would occupy the position in society that the slaves do — as the poor in the North and in Europe do,' for there must be a menial class in society and in 'every civilized country on the globe, besides the Confederate states, the poor are the inferiors and menials of the rich.' Slavery was a greater blessing to the non-slaveholding poor than to the owners of slaves, and since it gave the poor a start in society that it would take them generations to work out, they should thank God for it and fight and die for it as they would for their 'own liberty and the dearest birthright of freemen.'"18

But the poor whites were losing faith. They saw that poverty was fighting the war, not wealth.

"Those who could stay out of the army under color of the law were likely to be advocates of a more numerous and powerful army.... Not so with many of those who were not favored with position and wealth. They grudgingly took up arms and condemned the law which had snatched them from their homes.... The only difference was the circumstance of position and wealth, and perhaps these were just the things that had caused heartburnings in more peaceful times.

"The sentiments of thousands in the upland countries, who had little interest in the war and who were not accustomed to rigid centralized control, was probably well expressed in the following epistle addressed to President Davis by a conscript....

"... 'It is with intense and multifariously proud satisfaction that he [the conscript] gazes for the last time upon our holy flag — that symbol and sign of an adored trinity, cotton, niggers and chivalry.'"19

This attitude of the poor whites had in it as much fear and jealousy of Negroes as disaffection with slave barons. Economic rivalry with blacks became a new and living threat as the blacks became laborers and soldiers in a conquering Northern army. If the Negro was to be free where would the poor white be? Why should he fight against the blacks and his victorious friends? The poor white not only began to desert and run away; but thousands followed the Negro into the Northern camps.

Meantime, with perplexed and laggard steps, the United States Government followed the footsteps of the black slave. It made no difference how much Abraham Lincoln might protest that this was not a war against slavery, or ask General McDowell "if it would not be well to allow the armies to bring back those fugitive slaves which have crossed the Potomac with our troops" (a communication which was marked "secret"). It was in vain that Lincoln rushed entreaties and then commands to Fremont in Missouri, not to emancipate the slaves of rebels, and then had to hasten similar orders to Hunter in South Carolina. The slave, despite every effort, was becoming the center of war. Lincoln, with his uncanny insight, began to see it. He began to talk about compensation for emancipated slaves, and Congress, following almost too quickly, passed the Confiscation Act in August, 1861, freeing slaves which were actually used in war by the enemy. Lincoln then suggested that provision be made for colonization of such slaves. He simply could not envisage free Negroes in the United States. What would become of them? What would they do? Meantime, the slave kept looming. New Orleans was captured and the whole black population of Louisiana began streaming toward it. When Vicksburg fell, the center of perhaps the vastest Negro population in North America was tapped. They rushed into the Union lines. Still Lincoln held off and watched symptoms. Greeley's "Prayer of Twenty Millions" received the curt answer, less than a year before Emancipation, that the war was not to abolish slavery, and if Lincoln could hold the country together and keep slavery, he would do it.

But he could not, and he had no sooner said this than he began to realize that he could not. In June, 1862, slavery was abolished in the territories. Compensation with possible colonization was planned for the District of Columbia. Representatives and Senators from the Border States were brought together to talk about extending this plan to their states, but they hesitated.

In August, Lincoln faced the truth, front forward; and that truth was not simply that Negroes ought to be free; it was that thousands of them were already free, and that either the power which slaves put into the hands of the South was to be taken from it, or the North could not win the war. Either the Negro was to be allowed to fight, or the draft itself would not bring enough white men into the army to keep up the war.

More than that, unless the North faced the world with the moral strength of declaring openly that they were fighting for the emancipation of slaves, they would probably find that the world would recognize the South as a separate nation; that ports would be opened; that trade would begin, and that despite all the military advantage of the North, the war would be lost.

In August, 1862, Lincoln discussed Emancipation as a military measure; in September, he issued his preliminary proclamation; on January 1, 1863, he declared that the slaves of all persons in rebellion were "henceforward and forever free."

The guns at Sumter, the marching armies, the fugitive slaves, the fugitives as "contrabands," spies, servants and laborers; the Negro as soldier, as citizen, as voter — these steps came from 1861 to 1868 with regular beat that was almost rhythmic. It was the price of the disaster of war, and it was a price that few Americans at first dreamed of paying or wanted to pay. The North was not Abolitionist. It was overwhelmingly in favor of Negro slavery, so long as this did not interfere with Northern moneymaking. But, on the other hand, there was a minority of the North who hated slavery with perfect hatred; who wanted no union with slaveholders; who fought for freedom and treated Negroes as men. As the Abolition-democracy gained in prestige and in power, they appeared as prophets, and led by statesmen, they began to guide the nation out of the morass into which it had fallen. They and their black friends and the new freedmen became gradually the leaders of a Reconstruction of Democracy in the United States, while marching millions sang the noblest war-song of the ages to the tune of "John Brown's Body":


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword,
His Truth is marching on!

1. Public Opinion Before and After the Civil War, p. 4.

2. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, II, p. 244.

3. Oberholtzer, Abraham Lincoln, p. 263.

4. Results of Emancipation in the United States of America by a Committee of the American Freedman's Union Commission in 1867, p. 6.

5. Journal of Negro History, X, p. 134.

6. Eaton, Grant, Lincoln and the Freedmen, p. 2.

7. Results of Emancipation in the United States of America by a Committee of the American Freedman's Union Commission in 1867, p. 21.

8. Brown, Four Years in Secessia, p. 368.

9. Ashe and Tyler, Secession, Insurrection of the Negroes, and Northern Incendiarism, p. 12.

10. Eaton, Grant, Lincoln and the Freedmen, pp. 2, 3, 19, 22, 134.

11. Eaton, Grant, Lincoln and the Freedmen, p. 22.

12. Eaton, Grant, Lincoln and the Freedmen, p. 166.

13. Pierce, "Freedmen at Port Royal," Atlantic Monthly, XII, p. 310.

14. Testimony Before Reconstruction Committee, February 21, 1866, Part II, p. 221.

15. Taylor, Reconstruction in South Carolina, pp. 29, 30.

16. Eaton, Grant, Lincoln and the Freedmen, pp. 37, 38.

17. Campbell, Black and White in the Southern States, p. 165.

18. Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy, p. 145.

19. Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy, pp. 18-20.


V. THE COMING OF THE LORD

How the Negro became free because the North could not win the Civil War if he remained in slavery. And how arms in his hands, and the prospect of arms in a million more black hands, brought peace and emancipation to America

Three movements, partly simultaneous and partly successive, are treated in different chapters. In the last chapter, we chronicled the swarming of the slaves to meet the approaching Union armies; in this we consider how these slaves were transformed in part from laborers to soldiers fighting for their own freedom; and in succeeding chapters, we shall treat the organization of free labor after the war.

In the ears of the world, Abraham Lincoln on the first of January, 1863, declared four million slaves "thenceforward and forever free." The truth was less than this. The Emancipation Proclamation applied only to the slaves of those states or parts of states still in rebellion against the United States government. Hundreds of thousands of such slaves were already free by their own action and that of the invading armies, and in their cases, Lincoln's proclamation only added possible legal sanction to an accomplished fact.

To the majority of slaves still within the Confederate lines, the proclamation would apply only if they followed the fugitives. And this Abraham Lincoln determined to induce them to do, and thus to break the back of the rebellion by depriving the South of its principal labor force.

Emancipation had thus two ulterior objects. It was designed to make easier the replacement of unwilling Northern white soldiers with black soldiers; and it sought to put behind the war a new push toward Northern victory by the mighty impact of a great moral ideal, both in the North and in Europe.

This national right-about-face had been gradually and carefully accomplished only by the consummate tact of a leader of men who went no faster than his nation marched but just as fast; and also by the unwearying will of the Abolitionists, who forced the nation onward.

Wendell Phillips said in Washington in 1862:

"Gentlemen of Washington! You have spent for us two million dollars per day. You bury two regiments a month, two thousand men by disease without battle. You rob every laboring man of one-half of his pay for the next thirty years by your taxes. You place the curse of intolerable taxation on every cradle for the next generation. What do you give us in return? What is the other side of the balance sheet? The North has poured out its blood and money like water; it has leveled every fence of constitutional privilege, and Abraham Lincoln sits today a more unlimited despot than the world knows this side of China. What does he render the North for this unbounded confidence? Show us something; or I tell you that within two years the indignant reaction of the people will hurl the cabinet in contempt from their seats, and the devils that went out from yonder capital, for there has been no sweeping or garnishing, will come back seven times stronger; for I do not believe that Jefferson Davis, driven down to the Gulf, will go down to the waters and perish as certain brutes mentioned in the Gospel did."

Horace Greeley was at Lincoln's heels. He wrote in August, 1862, his editorial, "Prayer of Twenty Millions," which drew Lincoln's well-known reply: "If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it would help to save the Union "

"Suppose I do that," said Lincoln to Greeley, discussing general emancipation. "There are now 20,000 of our muskets on the shoulders of Kentuckians who are bravely fighting our battles. Every one of them will be thrown down or carried over to the rebels."

"Let them do it," said Greeley. "The cause of the Union will be stronger if Kentucky should secede with the rest, than it is now."

In September, 1862, Lincoln said to representatives of the Chicago Protestants:

"I admit that slavery is at the root of the rebellion, or at least its sine qua non.... I will also concede that Emancipation would help us in Europe.... I grant, further, that it would help somewhat at the North, though not so much, I fear, as you and those you represent imagine.... And then, unquestionably, it would weaken the Rebels by drawing off their laborers, which is of great importance; but I am not so sure we could do much with the Blacks. If we were to arm them, I fear that in a few weeks the arms would be in the hands of the Rebels...,

"What good would a proclamation of Emancipation from me do, especially as we are now situated? I do not want to issue a document that the whole world will see must necessarily be inoperative, like the Pope's bull against the comet...."1

Nevertheless, just nine days later, Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. What caused the sudden change? Was it the mounting mass of Negroes rushing into Union lines? Was it the fighting of Negro soldiers which showed that weapons given to them were never found in the hands of Confederates, or was it the curious international situation?

The failure or success of the war hung by a thread. If England and France should recognize the Confederacy, there was little doubt that the Union cause would be beaten; and they were disposed to recognize it. Or did Lincoln realize that since a draft law was needed to make unwilling Northern soldiers fight, black soldiers were the last refuge of the Union? The preliminary proclamation came in September, and in October and November mass meetings in New York and Brooklyn denounced the proposal as inexpedient and adopted resolutions against it with jeers. Ministers, like the Reverend Albert Barnes of Philadelphia, preached against emancipation, declaring that the control of slavery ought to be left absolutely and exclusively to the states. The New York Herald pointed out that even if the proclamation was effective, slave property would have to be restored or paid for eventually by the United States government. "The Herald is correct. The slaves taken from our citizens during the war have to be accounted for at its end, either by restoration or indemnity."2 The New Orleans Picayune pointed out in November that abolition would flood the North with Negroes, and that this would "tend to degrade white labor and to cheapen it."

The final proclamation was issued January i, 1863, and carried a special admonition to the colored people:

"And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

"And I further declare and make known that such persons, of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

"And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God."

The Charleston Courier jeered:

"The Pope's bull against the comet has been issued, and I suppose Mr. Lincoln now breathes more freely. The wonderful man by a dash of his wonderful pen has set free (on paper) all the slaves of the South, and henceforth this is to be in all its length and breadth the land of liberty!...

"Meanwhile, I would invite his own and the attention of all his deluded followers to a paragraph in the late number of the New Orleans Picayune, wherein it is stated that inquests had been held upon the bodies of 21 contrabands in one house alone in that city. These poor Negroes had been stolen or enticed away from the comfortable homes of their masters, and left to starve and rot by these philanthropic (?) advocates of liberty for the slave."3

The Savannah Republican in March declared:

"In our judgment, so far as the Border States are concerned, his proposition will have exactly the opposite eflect to that for which it was designed. Those states, who have held on to the Union with the belief that their Southern sisters were hasty and wrong in the belief that they were about to be brought under an abolition government, will now see that they were right and that all their worst apprehensions have been justified by the acts of that government."

Beauregard sent an impudent telegram to Miles at Richmond:

"Has the bill for the execution of abolition prisoners, after January next, been passed? Do it, and England will be stirred into action. It is high time to proclaim the black flag after that period; let the execution be with the garrote."

The reaction to emancipation in the North was unfavorable so far as political results indicated, although many motives influenced the voters. The elections of 1862 in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois went Democratic, and in other parts of the West, Lincoln lost support. In the Congress of i860, there were seventy-eight Republicans and thirty-seven Democrats, and in 1862, the administration had only fifty-seven supporters, with sixty-seven in the opposition.

Only among Negroes and in England was the reaction favorable, and both counted. The Proclamation made four and a half million laborers willing almost in mass to sacrifice their last drop of blood for their new-found country. It sent them into transports of joy and sacrifice. It changed all their pessimism and despair into boundless faith. It was the Coming of the Lord.

The Proclamation had an undoubted and immediate effect upon England. The upper classes were strongly in favor of the Confederacy, and sure that the Yankees were fighting only for a high tariff and hurt vanity. Free-trade England was repelled by this program, and attracted by the free trade which the Confederacy offered. There was strong demand among manufacturers to have the government interfere and recognize the Southern States as an independent nation. The church and universities were in favor of the Confederacy, and all the great periodicals. Even the philanthropists, like Lord Shaftesbury, Car-lyle, Buxton and Gladstone, threw their sympathies to the South. Carlyle sneered at people "cutting each other's throats because one-half of them prefer hiring their servants for life, and the other by the hour."4

As Henry Adams assures us:

"London was altogether beside itself on one point, in especial; it created a nightmare of its own, and gave it the shape of Abraham Lincoln. Behind this it placed another demon, if possible more devilish, and called it Mr. Seward. In regard to these two men, English society seemed demented. Defense was useless; explanation was vain; one could only let the passion exhaust itself. One's best friends were as unreasonable as enemies, for the belief in poor Mr. Lincoln's brutality and Seward's ferocity became a dogma of popular faith."5

Confederate warships were being built and harbored in English ports and in September, 1862, Palmerston, believing that the Confederates were about to capture Washington, suggested intervention to members of his cabinet. Lord John Russell wanted to act immediately, but the rebels were driven back at Antietam the same month, and the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation appeared. Gladstone and Russell still tried to force intervention, but Palmerston hesitated.

There was similar demand in France, but not as strong, because cotton did not play so large a part. Nevertheless, the textile workers in both France and England were hard-pressed by the cotton famine. Napoleon III was in favor of the South, but the mass of the French nation was not. Napoleon was assured by the Confederate government that a Southern alliance with French Mexico and a guaranty of Cuba could be had for the asking, if France would recognize the Confederacy. No danger from the North was anticipated, for Seward was certain to accept Napoleon's assurances of France's neutrality.

Public opinion stood back of the English government and was, on the whole, in favor of the South; but Garrison and Douglass by their visits, and later Harriet Beecher Stowe, had influenced the opinion of the middle and laboring classes. Nevertheless, it was reported in 1862: "We find only here and there among the Englishmen one who does not fanatically side with the slave states." Various meetings in favor of the South were arranged by the workingmen and the General Council of Workingmen's Associations opposed the pro-Southern movement. The war had created a great scarcity of cotton, and in addition to this, there had already been an over-production of the cotton industry in England in i860, so that the effect of the blockade was not felt until later, so far as the sale of goods was concerned. But the factories closed, and more than half the looms and spindles lay idle. Especially in Lancashire there was great distress among laborers. Fever and prostitution were prevalent in 1865.

Notwithstanding this, the English workers stood up for the abolition of Negro slavery, and protested against the intervention of the English. Up until 1863, it was argued with some show of right that the North was not fighting to free the slaves; but on the contrary, according to Lincoln's own words, "was perfectly willing to settle the war and leave the Negroes in slavery." But as soon as Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the workingmen of England held hundreds of meetings all over the country and in all industrial sections, and hailed his action.

Ernest Jones, the leader of the Chartist movement, raised his eloquent voice against slavery. During the winter of 1862-1863, meeting after meeting in favor of emancipation was held. The reaction in England to the Emancipation Proclamation was too enthusiastic for the government to dare take any radical step. Great meetings in London and Manchester stirred the nation, and gave notice to Palmerston that he could not yet take the chance of recognizing the South. In spite of Russell and Gladstone, he began to withdraw, and the imminent danger of recognition of the South by England and France passed.

In the monster meeting of English workingmen at St. James' Hall, London, March 26, 1863, John Bright spoke; and John Stuart Mill declared that: "Higher political and social freedom has been established in the United States." Karl Marx testified that this meeting held in 1863 kept Lord Palmerston from declaring war against the United States. On December 31, 1863, at meetings held simultaneously in London and Manchester, addresses were sent to Lincoln, drafted by Karl Marx. The London address said:

"Sir: We who offer this address are Englishmen and workingmen. We prize as our dearest inheritance, bought for us by the blood of our fathers, the liberty we enjoy — the liberty of free labor on a free soil. We have, therefore, been accustomed to regard with veneration and gratitude the founders of the great republic in which the liberties of the Anglo-Saxon race have been widened beyond all the precedents of the old world, and in which there was nothing to condemn or to lament but the slavery and degradation of men guilty only of a colored skin or an African parentage. We have looked with admiration and sympathy upon the brave, generous and untiring efforts of a large party in the Northern States to deliver the Union from this curse and shame. We rejoiced, sir, in your election to the Presidency, as a splendid proof that the principles of universal freedom and equality were rising to the ascendant. We regarded with abhorrence the conspiracy and rebellion by which it was sought at once to overthrow the supremacy of a government based upon the most popular suffrage in the world, and to perpetuate the hateful inequalities of race."6

The Manchester address, adopted by six thousand people, said among other things:

"One thing alone has, in the past, lessened our sympathy with your country and our confidence in it; we mean the ascendancy of politicians who not merely maintained Negro slavery, but desired to extend and root it more deeply. Since we have discerned, however, that the victory of the free North in the war which has so sorely distressed us as well as afflicted you, will shake oft" the fetters of the slave, you have attracted our warm and earnest sympathy.

"We joyfully honor you, as the President, and the Congress with you, for the many decisive steps towards practically exemplifying your belief in the words of your great founders: 'All men are created free and equal.' ...

"We assume that you cannot now stop short of a complete uprooting of slavery. It would not become us to dictate any details, but there are broad principles of humanity which must guide you. If complete emancipation in some states be deferred, though only to a predetermined day, still, in the interval, human beings should not be counted chattels. Woman must have rights of chastity and maternity, men the rights of husbands; masters the liberty of manumission. Justice demands for the black, no less than for the white, the protection of the law — that his voice may be heard in your courts. Nor must any such abomination be tolerated as slave-breeding States and a slave market — if you are to earn the high reward of all your sacrifices in the approval of the universal brotherhood and of the Divine Father. It is for your free country to decide whether anything but immediate and total emancipation can secure the most indispensable rights of humanity, against the inveterate wickedness of local laws and local executives.

"We implore you, for your own honor and welfare, not to faint in your providential mission. While your enthusiasm is aflame, and the tide of events runs high, let the work be finished effectually. Leave no root of bitterness to spring up and work fresh misery to your children. It is a mighty task, indeed, to reorganize the industry, not only of four millions of the colored race, but of five millions of whites. Nevertheless, the vast progress you have made in the short space of twenty months fills us with hope that every stain on your freedom will shortly be removed, and that the erasure of that foul blot upon civilization and Christianity — chattel slavery — during your Presidency, will cause the name of Abraham Lincoln to be honored and revered by posterity."7

Lincoln in reply said that he knew the suffering of the working-men in Manchester and Europe in this crisis, and appreciated the action of the English workingmen as an example of "sublime Christian heroism," which "has not been surpassed in any age or in any country." He declared that the Civil War was "the attempt to overthrow this government, which was built upon a foundation of human rights, and to substitute one which should rest exclusively on the basis of human slavery."

In the North, the Emancipation Proclamation meant the Negro soldier, and the Negro soldier meant the end of the war.

"We have come to set you free!" cried the black cavalrymen who rode at the head of the Union Army as it entered Richmond in 1864. These soldiers were in the division of Godfrey Weitzel; when Ben Butler first assigned Negro troops to Weitzel's command in Louisiana, Weitzel resigned. It was a good thing for him that he recalled this resignation, for his black soldiers at Port Hudson wrote his name in history.

Here was indeed revolution. At first, this was to be a white man's war. First, because the North did not want to affront the South, and the war was going to be short, very short; and secondly, if Negroes fought in the war, how could it help being a war for their emancipation? And for this the North would not fight. Yet scarcely a year after hostilities started, the Negroes were fighting, although unrecognized as soldiers; in two years they were free and enrolling in the army.

Private Miles O'Reilly expressed in the newspapers a growing public opinion:

"Some say it is a burnin' shame
   To make the naygurs fight,
 An' that the thrade o' bein' kilt
   Belongs but to the white;

"But as for me 'upon me sowl'
   So liberal are we here,
 I'll let Sambo be murthered in place o' meself
   On every day in the year."

In December, 1861, Union officers were ordered not to return fugitive slaves on pain of court-martial. In 1862 came Hunter's black regiment in South Carolina.

In the spring of 1862, General Hunter had less than eleven thousand men under his command, and had to hold the whole broken seacoast of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. He applied often and in vain to the authorities at Washington for reinforcements. All the troops available in the North were less than sufficient for General McClellan's great operations against Richmond, and the reiterated answer of the War Department was: "You must get along as best you can. Not a man from the North can be spared."

"No reinforcements to be had from the North; vast fatigue duties in throwing up earthworks imposed on our insufficient garrison; the enemy continually increasing, both in insolence and numbers; our only success the capture of Fort Pulaski, sealing up Savannah; and this victory offset, if not fully counterbalanced, by many minor gains of the enemy; this was about the condition of affairs as seen from the headquarters fronting Port Royal bay, when General Hunter one morning, 'with twirling glasses, puckered lips and dilated nostrils' [he had just received another "don't-bother-us-for-reenforcements" dispatch from Washington] announced his intention of 'forming a Negro regiment, and compelling every able-bodied black man in the department to fight for the freedom which could not but be the issue of our war.'"8

Hunter caused all the necessary orders to be issued, and took upon himself the responsibility for the irregular issue of arms, clothing, equipments and rations involved in collecting and organizing the first experimental Negro regiments.

Reports of the organization of the First South Carolina Infantry were forwarded to headquarters in Washington, and the War Department took no notice. Nothing was said, nor was any authority given to pay the men or furnish them subsistence. But at last a special dispatch steamer plowed her way over the bar with word from the War Department, "requiring immediate answer."

It was a demand for information in regard to the Negro regiment, based on a resolution introduced by Wickliffe of Kentucky. These resolutions had been adopted by Congress. Hunter laughed, but as he was without authority for any of his actions in this case, it seemed to his worried Adjutant-General that the documents in his hands were no laughing matter. But Hunter declared:

"That old fool has just given me the very chance I was growing sick for! The War Department has refused to notice my black regiment; but now, in reply to this resolution, I can lay the matter before the country, and force the authorities either to adopt my Negroes, or to disband them."9f

So Hunter wrote: "No regiment of 'fugitive slaves' has been, or is being, organized in this department. There is, however, a fine regiment of loyal persons whose late masters are fugitive rebels." He said that he did this under instructions given by the late Secretary of War, and his general authority to employ "all loyal persons offering their service in defense of the Union." He added:

"Neither have I had any specific authority for supplying these persons with shovels, spades, and pickaxes, when employing them as laborers; nor with boats and oars, when using them as lighter-men; but these are not points included in Mr. Wickliffe's resolutions. To me it seemed that liberty to employ men in any particular capacity implied and carried with it liberty, also, to supply them with the necessary tools; and, acting upon this faith, I have clothed, equipped and armed the only loyal regiment yet raised in South Carolina, Georgia or Florida....

"The experiment of arming the blacks, so far as I have made it, has been a complete and even marvelous success. They are sober, docile, attentive, and enthusiastic; displaying great natural capacities in acquiring the duties of the soldier. They are now eager beyond all things to take the field and be led into action; and it is the unanimous opinion of the officers who have had charge of them that, in the peculiarities of this climate and country, they will prove invaluable auxiliaries, fully equal to the similar regiments so long and successfully used by the British authorities in the West India Islands.

"In conclusion, I would say, it is my hope — there appearing no possibility of other reinforcements, owing to the exigencies of the campaign in the Peninsula — to have organized by the end of next fall, and be able to present to the government, from forty-eight to fifty thousand of these hardy and devoted soldiers."

When the reply was read in the House of Representatives: "Its effects were magical. The clerk could scarcely read it with decorum; nor could half his words be heard amidst the universal peals of laughter in which both Democrats and Republicans appeared to vie as to which should be the more noisy.... It was the great joke of the day, and coming at a moment of universal gloom in the public mind, was seized upon by the whole loyal press of the country as a kind of politico-military champagne cocktail."

When the Confederate Government heard of this, it issued an order reciting that "as the government of the United States had refused to answer whether it authorized the raising of a black regiment by General Hunter or not," said general, his staff, and all officers under his command who had directly or indirectly participated in the unclean thing, should hereafter be outlaws not covered by the laws of war; but to be executed as felons for the crime of "inciting Negro insurrection wherever caught."

In Louisiana, the colored Creoles in many cases hesitated. Some of them had been owners of slaves, and some actually fought in the Confederate Army, but were not registered as Negroes. On November 23, 1861, the Confederate grand parade took place in New Orleans, and one feature of the review was a regiment of free men of color, 1,400 in number. The Picayune speaks of a later review on February 9, 1862:

"We must pay deserved compliment to the companies of free men of color, all well-dressed, well-drilled, and comfortably uniformed. Most of these companies have provided themselves with arms unaided bv the administration."

When Butler entered the city in 1862, the Confederates fled tu-multuously or laid aside their uniforms and stayed. The free Negro regiment did neither, but offered its services to the Federal army. Butler at first was in a quandary.

"The instructions given by General McClellan to General Butler were silent on this most perplexing problem. On leaving Washington, Butler was verbally informed by the President, that the government was not yet prepared to announce a Negro policy. They were anxiously considering the subject, and hoped, ere long, to arrive at conclusions."10

Butler found the Negroes of great help to him, but he could not, as in Virginia, call them "contraband," because he had no work for them. He wanted to free them, but on May 9, the news came that Hunter's proclamation in South Carolina had been revoked. Butler, however, abolished the whipping houses, and encouraged the Negroes who called on him. "One consequence was that the general had a spy in every house, behind each rebel's chair, as he sat at table."

General Butler asked for reinforcements all summer on account of the growing strength of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the condition of Mobile and camps near New Orleans. The answer from Washington was: "We cannot spare you one man; we will send you men when we have them to send. You must hold New Orleans by all means and at all hazards."

Earlier, General Phelps, who commanded the Federal forces about seven miles from New Orleans, had received a number of refugees, some of them in chains and some of them bleeding from wounds. Butler ordered him May 23, 1862, to exclude these from his lines. He replied at length:

"Added to the four millions of the colored race whose disaffection is increasing even more rapidly than their number, there are at least four millions more of the white race whose growing miseries will naturally seek companionship with those of the blacks."

He demanded that the President should abolish slavery, and that the Negroes be armed. Butler forwarded Phelps' reply to Washington. Phelps again demanded the right to arm Negro troops. He was ordered July 1, 1862, to use the Negroes to cut wood. He immediately handed in his resignation, saying:

"I am willing to prepare African regiments for the defense of the government against its assailants. I am not willing to become the mere slave-driver which you propose, having no qualifications in that way."11

The use of Negro troops was precipitated by the attack which Breckinridge made August 5, 1862, on Baton Rouge. Butler had to have troops to defend New Orleans, and had applied to Washington, but none could be sent. Therefore, by proclamation, August 22, 1862, Butler "called on Africa," accepted the free Negro regiment which had offered its services, and proceeded to organize other Negro troops. He recited at length the previous action of the Confederate Governor in organizing the Negro regiment, April 23, 1861, and quoted directly from the Confederate Governor's proclamation:

"Now, therefore, the Commanding General, believing that a large portion of this militia force of the State of Louisiana are willing to take service in the volunteer forces of the United States, and be enrolled and organized to 'defend their homes' from 'ruthless invaders'; to protect their wives and children and kindred from wrong and outrage; to shield their property from being seized by bad men; and to defend the flag of their native country, as their fathers did under Jackson at Chalmette against Packenham and his myrmidons, carrying the black flag of 'beauty and booty':

"Appreciating their motives, relying upon their 'well-known loyalty and patriotism,' and with 'praise and respect' for these brave men — it is ordered that all the members of the 'Native Guards' aforesaid, and all other free colored citizens recognized by the first and late governor and authorities of the State of Louisiana, as a portion of the militia of the State, who shall enlist in the volunteer service of the United States, shall be duly organized by the appointment of proper officers, and accepted, paid, equipped, armed and rationed as are other volunteer troops of the United States, subject to the approval of the President of the United States."12

Thousands of volunteers under Butler's appeal appeared. In fourteen days, a regiment was organized with colored line officers and white field officers. More than half of the privates were not really free Negroes but fugitive slaves. A second regiment with colored line officers was enlisted, and a third, with colored mess officers.

In the Kansas Home Guard were two regiments of Indians, and among them over four hundred Negroes; and 2,500 Negroes served in the contingent that came from the Indian nations. Many of them enlisted early in 1862.

In the meantime, the war was evidently more than a dress parade or a quick attack upon Richmond. One hundred thousand "three months" soldiers were but a "drop in the bucket." More and more troops must be had. The time of enlistment for many of the white troops was already expiring, and at least Negro troops could be used on fatigue duty in the large stretches of territory held by the Federal armies down the Atlantic Coast, and in the Mississippi Valley, and in the Border States.

Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, introduced a bill in July, 1862, which empowered the President to accept Negroes for constructing entrenchments, or any other war service for which they might be found competent. If owned by rebels, such Negroes were to be freed, but nothing was said of their families. Thaddeus Stevens championed the bill in the House, and it was signed by Lincoln, July 17, 1862.

The debate was bitter. Senator Sherman of Ohio said:

"The question rises, whether the people of the United States, struggling for national existence, should not employ these blacks for the maintenance of the Government. The policy heretofore pursued by the officers of the United States has been to repel this class of people from our lines, to refuse their services. They would have made the best spies; and yet they have been driven from our lines."

Fessenden of Maine added: "I tell the generals of our army, they must reverse their practices and their course of proceeding on this subject.... I advise it here from my place — treat your enemies as enemies, as the worst of enemies, and avail yourselves like men, of every power which God has placed in your hands, to accomplish your purpose within the rules of civilized warfare." Race, of Minnesota, declared that "not many days can pass before the people of the United States North must decide upon one or two questions: we have either to acknowledge the Southern Confederacy as a free and independent nation, and that speedily; or we have as speedily to resolve to use all the means given us by the Almighty to prosecute this war to a successful termination. The necessity for action has arisen. To hesitate is worse than criminal." The Border States demurred, and Davis of Kentucky was especially bitter with threats.

The bill finally was amended so as to pay the black soldier's bounty to his owner, if he happened to be a slave!

All that was simply permissive legislation, and for a time the War Department did nothing. Some of the commanders in the field, however, began to move. On the other hand, Senator Davis of Kentucky tried in January, 1863, to stop the use of any national appropriations to pay Negro soldiers. This attempt was defeated, and on January 6, 1863, five days after the Emancipation Proclamation, the Secretary of War authorized the Governor of Massachusetts to raise two Negro regiments for three years' service. These were the celebrated 54th and 55th Negro regiments — the first regularly authorized Negro regiments of the war.

The recruiting of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment of colored men was completed by the 13th of May. It had been planned to have the regiment pass through New York, but the Chief of Police warned that it would be subject to insult, so that it went by sea to South Carolina.

In October, the Adjutant-General of the United States issued a general order permitting the military employment of Negroes. The Union League Club of New York appointed a committee to raise Negro troops, and after some difficulty with Governor Seymour, they received from Washington authority to raise a regiment. One thousand Negroes responded within two weeks, and by January 27, 1864, a second regiment was raised. No bounty was offered them, and no protection promised their families. One of the regiments marched through the city.

"The scene of yesterday," says a New York paper, "was one which marks an era of progress in the political and social history of New York. A thousand men with black skins and clad and equipped with the uniforms and arms of the United States Government, marched from their camp through che most aristocratic and busy streets, received a grand ovation at the hands of the wealthiest and most respectable ladies and gentlemen of New York, and then moved down Broadway to the steamer which bears them to their destination — all amid the enthusiastic cheers, the encouraging plaudits, the waving handkerchiefs, the showering bouquets and other approving manifesta-; tions of a hundred thousand of the most loyal of our people."13

Pennsylvania was especially prominent in recruiting Negro troops. A committee was appointed, which raised $33,388, with which they proposed to raise three regiments. The committee founded Camp William Penn at Shelton Hill, and the first squad went into camp June 26, 1863. The first regiment, known as the Third United States, was full July 24, 1863, The third regiment, known as the Eighth United States, was full December 4, 1863. Two more regiments were full January 6 and February 3. The regiments went South, August 13, October 14, 1863, and January 16, 1864.

In the Department of the Cumberland, the Secretary of War authorized George L. Stearns of Massachusetts to recruit Negroes. Stearns was a friend of John Brown, and a prominent Abolitionist. He took up headquarters at Nashville, and raised a number of regiments. In the Department of the Gulf, General Banks, May 1, 1863, proposed an army corps to be known as the Corps d'Afrique. It was to consist of eighteen regiments, infantry, artillery and calvary, and to be organized in three divisions of three brigades each, with engineers and hospitals, etc. He said in his order:

"The Government makes use of mules, horses, uneducated and educated white men, in the defense of its institutions. Why should not the Negro contribute whatever is in his power for the cause in which he is as deeply interested as other men? We may properly demand from him whatever service he can render."

In March, 1863, the Secretary of War sent the Adjutant-General, Lorenzo Thomas, into the South on a tour of inspection. Stanton's orders said:

"The President desires that you should confer freely with Major-General Grant, and the officers with whom you may have communication, and explain to them the importance attached by the Government to the use of the colored population emancipated by the President's Proclamation, and particularly for the organization of their labor and military strength....

"You are authorized in this connection, to issue in the name of this department, letters of appointment for field and company officers, and to organize such troops for military service to the utmost extent to which they can be obtained in accordance with the rules and regulations of the service."14

Thomas spoke to the army officers in Louisiana, and expressed himself clearly.

"You know full well — for you have been over this country — that the Rebels have sent into the fields all their available fighting men — every man capable of bearing arms; and you know they have kept at home all their slaves for the raising of subsistence for their armies in the field. In this way they can bring to bear against us all the strength of their so-called Confederate States; while we at the North can only send a portion of our fighting force, being compelled to leave behind another portion to cultivate our fields and supply the wants of an immense army, THE ADMINISTRATION HAS DETERMINED TO TAKE FROM THE REBELS THIS SOURCE OF SUPPLY — TO TAKE THEIR NEGROES AND COMPEL THEM TO SEND BACK A PORTION OF THEIR WHITES TO CULTIVATE THEIR DESERTED PLANTATIONS — AND VERY POOR PERSONS THEY WOULD BE TO FILL THE PLACE OF THE DARK-HUED LABORER. THEY MUST DO THIS, OR THEIR ARMIES WILL STARVE....

"All of you will some day be on picket duty; and I charge you all, if any of this unfortunate race come within your lines, that you do not turn them away, but receive them kindly and cordially. They are to be encouraged to come to us; they are to be received with open arms; they are to be fed and clothed; they are to be armed."15

It would not have been American, however, not to have maintained some color discrimination, however petty. First, there was the matter of pay. The pay of soldiers at the beginning of the war was $13 a month. Negro soldiers enlisted under the same law. In the instructions to General Saxton, August 25, 1862, it was stated that the pay should be the same as that of the other troops. Soon, however, this was changed, and Negro soldiers were allowed but $10 a month, and $3 of this was deducted for clothing. Many of the regiments refused to receive the reduced pay. The 54th Massachusetts Infantry refused pay for a whole year until the regiment was treated as other regiments. The State of Massachusetts made up the difference to disabled and discharged soldiers until June 15, 1864, when the law was changed. In the Department of the Gulf, white troops who did provost duties about the city were paid $16 a month, while the Negro regiments were paid $7. At one time, this came near causing a mutiny.

But the Negroes did not waver. John M. Langston in a speech in Ohio in August, 1862, said:

"Pay or no pay, let us volunteer. The good results of such a course are manifold. But this one alone is all that needs to be mentioned in this connection. I refer to thorough organization. This is the great need of the colored Americans."

With regard to officers, the people of Pennsylvania secured from the Secretary of War permission to establish a free military school for the education of candidates for commissioned officers among the colored troops. The school was established, and within less than six months, examined over 1,000 applicants and passed 560. In the Department of the Gulf, Butler was in favor of colored officers, because in the First Colored Regiment there were a number of well-trained and intelligent Negro officers. But Banks was very much against colored officers, and would not use them. There was at first a very great distaste on the part of white men for serving in colored regiments. Hunter found this difficulty with his first regiment, but he quickly cured it by offering commissions to competent non-commissioned officers. Later, when the black troops made their reputation in battle, the chance to command them was eagerly sought.

Congress finally freed the wives and children of enlisted soldiers; a measure which Davis of Kentucky quickly opposed on the ground that "The government had no power to take private property except for public use, and without just compensation to the owner."

Abraham Lincoln, under a fire of criticism, warmly defended the enlistment of Negro troops. "The slightest knowledge of arithmetic will prove to any man that the rebel armies cannot be destroyed with Democratic strategy. It would sacrifice all the white men of the North to do it. There are now in the service of the United States near two hundred thousand able-bodied colored men, most of them under arms, defending and acquiring Union territory....

"ABANDON ALL THE POSTS NOW GARRISONED BY BLACK MEN; TAKE TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND MEN FROM OUR SIDE AND PUT THEM IN THE BATTLEFIELD OR CORNFIELD AGAINS US, AND WE WOULD COMPELLED TO ABANDON THE WAR IN THREE WEEKS....

"My enemies pretend I am now carrying on this war for the sole purpose of abolition. So long as I am President, it shall be carried on for the sole purpose of restoring the Union. But no human power can subdue this rebellion without the use of the emancipation policy, and every other policy calculated to weaken the moral and physical forces of the rebellion. Freedom has given us two hundred thousand men raised on Southern soil. It will give us more yet. Just so much it has subtracted from the enemy."16

The question as to whether Negroes should enlist in the Federal army was not nearly as clear in 1863 as it seems today. The South still refused to believe that the Civil War would end in the emancipation of slaves. There not only were strong declarations to the contrary in the North, but there was still the determined opposition of the Border States. The Confederates industriously spread propaganda among slaves, alleging that Northerners mistreated the Negroes, and were selling them to the West Indies into harsher slavery. Even in the North, among the more intelligent free Negroes, there was some hesitancy.

Frederick Douglass spoke for the free and educated black man, clear-headed and undeceived: "Now, what is the attitude of the Washington government towards the colored race? What reasons have we to desire its triumph in the present contest? Mind, I do not ask what was its attitude towards us before this bloody rebellion broke out. I do not ask what was its disposition, when it was controlled by the very men who are now fighting to destroy it, when they could no longer control it. I do not even ask what it was two years ago, when McClellan shamelessly gave out that in a war between loyal slaves and disloyal masters, he would take the side of the masters against the slaves — when he openly proclaimed his purpose to put down slave insurrections with an iron hand — when glorious Ben Butler, now stunned into a conversion to anti-slavery principles (which I have every reason to believe sincere), proffered his services to the Governor of Maryland, to suppress a slave insurrection, while treason ran riot in that State, and the warm, red blood of Massachusetts soldiers still stained the pavements of Baltimore.

"I do not ask what was the attitude of this government when many of the officers and men who had undertaken to defend it openly threatened to throw down their arms and leave the service if men of color should step forward to defend it, and be invested with the dignity of soldiers. Moreover, I do not ask what was the position of this government when our loyal camps were made slave-hunting grounds, and United States officers performed the disgusting duty of slave dogs to hunt down slaves for rebel masters. These were all the dark and terrible days for the republic. I do not ask you about the dead past. I bring you to the living present.

"Events more mighty than men, eternal Providence, all-wise and all-controlling, have placed us in new relations to the government and the government to us. What that government is to us today, and what it will be tomorrow, is made evident by a very few facts. Look at them, colored men. Slavery in the District of Columbia is abolished forever; slavery in all the territories of the United States is abolished forever; the foreign slave trade, with its ten thousand revolting abominations, is rendered impossible; slavery in ten States of the Union is abolished forever; slavery in the five remaining States is as certain to follow the same fate as the night is to follow the day. The independence of Haiti is recognized; her Minister sits beside our Prime Minister, Mr. Seward, and dines at his table in Washington, while colored men are excluded from the cars in Philadelphia; showing that a black man's complexion in Washington, in the presence of the Federal Government, is less offensive than in the city of brotherly love. Citizenship is no longer denied us under this government.

"Under the interpretation of our rights by Attorney General Bates, we are American citizens. We can import goods, own and sail ships and travel in foreign countries, with American passports in our pockets; and now, so far from there being any opposition, so far from excluding us from the army as soldiers, the President at Washington, the Cabinet and the Congress, the generals commanding and the whole army of the nation unite in giving us one thunderous welcome to share with them in the honor and glory of suppressing treason and upholding the star-spangled banner. The revolution is tremendous, and it becomes us as wise men to recognize the change, and to shape our action accordingly.

"I hold that the Federal Government was never, in its essence, anything but an antislavery government. Abolish slavery tomorrow, and not a sentence or syllable of the Constitution need be altered. It was purposely so framed as to give no claim, no sanction to the claim of property in man. If in its origin slavery had any relation to the government, it was only as the scaffolding to the magnificent structure, to be removed as soon as the building was completed. There is in the Constitution no East, no West, no North, no South, no black, no white, no slave, no slaveholder, but all are citizens who are of American birth.

"Such is the government, fellow-citizens, you are now called upon to uphold with your arms. Such is the government, that you are called upon to cooperate with in burying rebellion and slavery in a common grave. Never since the world began was a better chance offered to a long enslaved and oppressed people. The opportunity is given us to be men. With one courageous resolution we may blot out the handwriting of ages against us. Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters U. S.; let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder, and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on the earth or under the earth which can deny that he has earned the right of citizenship in the United States."17

In the meantime, two fateful occurrences took place. First, the white workers of New York declared in effect that the Negroes were the cause of the war, and that they were tired of the discrimination that made workers fighters for the rich. They, therefore, killed all the Negroes that they could lay their hands on. On the other hand, in Louisiana and South Carolina, Negro soldiers were successfully used in pitched battle.

The opposition to the war in the North took various forms. There was the open sedition, led by Vallandingham and ending in the mass opposition of the working classes. This Copperhead movement was pro-slavery and pro-Southern, and was met in part by closer understanding and alliance between the Abolitionists and the Republican administration. But the working class movement was deeper and more difficult. It was the protest of the poor against being compelled to fight the battles of the rich in which they could conceive no interest of theirs. If the workers had been inspired by the sentiment against slavery which animated the English workers, results might have been different. But the Copperheads of the North, and the commercial interests of New York, in particular, were enabled to turn the just indignation of the workers against the Negro laborers, rather than against the capitalists; and against any war, even for emancipation.

When the draft law was passed in 1863, it meant that the war could no longer be carried on with volunteers; that soldiers were going to be compelled to fight, and these soldiers were going to be poor men who could not buy exemption. The result throughout the country was widespread disaffection that went often as far as rioting. More than 2,500 deserters from the Union army were returned to the ranks from Indianapolis alone during a single month in 1862; the total desertions in the North must have been several hundred thousands.

It was easy to transfer class hatred so that it fell upon the black worker. The end of war seemed far off, and the attempt to enforce the draft led particularly to disturbances in New York City, where a powerful part of the city press was not only against the draft, but against the war, and in favor of the South and Negro slavery.

The establishment of the draft undertaken July 13 in New York City met everywhere with resistance. Workingmen engaged in tearing down buildings were requested to give their names for the draft; they refused, and drove away the officers. The movement spread over the whole city. Mobs visited workshops and compelled the men to stop work. Firemen were prevented from putting out fires, telegraph wires were cut, and then at last the whole force of the riot turned against the Negroes. They were the cause of the war, and hence the cause of the draft. They were bidding for the same jobs as white men. They were underbidding white workers in order to keep themselves from starving. They were disliked especially by the Irish because of direct economic competition and difference in religion.

The Democratic press had advised the people that they were to be called upon to fight the battles of "niggers and Abolitionists"; Governor Seymour politely "requested" the rioters to await the return of his Adjutant-General, whom he had dispatched to Washington to ask the President to suspend the draft.

The report of the Merchants' Committee on the Draft Riot says of the Negroes: "Driven by the fear of death at the hands of the mob, who the week previous had, as you remember, brutally murdered by hanging on trees and lamp posts, several of their number, and cruelly beaten and robbed many others, burning and sacking their houses, and driving nearly all from the streets, alleys and docks upon which they had previously obtained an honest though humble living — these people had been forced to take refuge on Blackwell's Island, at police stations, on the outskirts of the city, in the swamps and woods back of Bergen, New Jersey, at Weeksville, and in the barns and out-houses of the farmers of Long Island and Morrisania. At these places were scattered some 5,000 homeless men, women and children."18

The whole demonstration became anti-Union and pro-slavery. Attacks were made on the residence of Horace Greeley, and cheers were heard for Jefferson Davis. The police fought it at first only halfheartedly and with sympathy, and finally, with brutality. Soldiers were summoned from Fort Hamilton, West Point and elsewhere.

The property loss was put at $1,200,000, and it was estimated that between four hundred and a thousand people were killed. When a thousand troops under General Wool took charge of the city, thirteen rioters were killed, eighteen wounded, and twenty-four made prisoners. Four days the riot lasted, and the city appropriated $2,500,000 to indemnify the victims.

In many other places, riots took place, although they did not become so specifically race riots. They did, however, show the North that unless they could replace unwilling white soldiers with black soldiers, who had a vital stake in the outcome of the war, the war could not be won.

It had been a commonplace thing in the North to declare that Negroes would not fight. Even the black man's friends were skeptical about the possibility of using him as a soldier, and far from its being to the credit of black men, or any men, that they did not want to kill, the ability and willingness to take human life has always been, even in the minds of liberal men, a proof of manhood. It took in many respects a finer type of courage for the Negro to work quietly and faithfully as a slave while the world was fighting over his destiny, than it did to seize a bayonet and rush mad with fury or inflamed with drink, and plunge it into the bowels of a stranger. Yet this was the proof of manhood required of the Negro. He might plead his cause with the tongue of Frederick Douglass, and the nation listened almost unmoved. He might labor for the nation's wealth, and the nation took the results without thanks, and handed him as near nothing in return as would keep him alive. He was called a coward and a fool when he protected the women and children of his master. But when he rose and fought and killed, the whole nation with one voice proclaimed him a man and brother. Nothing else made emancipation possible in the United States. Nothing else made Negro citizenship conceivable, but the record of the Negro soldier as a fighter.

The military aid of the Negroes began as laborers and as spies. A soldier said: "This war has been full of records of Negro agency in our behalf. Negro guides have piloted our forces; Negro sympathy cared for our prisoners escaping from the enemy; Negro hands have made for us naval captures; Negro spies brought us valuable information. The Negroes of the South have been in sympathy with us from the beginning, and have always hailed the approach of our flag with the wildest demonstrations of joy."19

All through the war and after, Negroes were indispensable as informers, as is well known. The Southern papers had repeated notices of the work of Negro spies. In Richmond, a white woman with dispatches for the Confederate army was arrested in 1863 on information given by a Negro. At the Battle of Manassas, the house of a free Negro was used as a refuge for the dead and wounded Union men. Negro pilots repeatedly guided Federal boats in Southern waters, and there were several celebrated cases of whole boats being seized by Negro pilots. A typical instance of this type was the action of William F. Tillman, a colored steward on board the brig S. J. Waring, which carried a cargo valued at $100,000. He had succeeded, by leading a revolt, in freeing the vessel from the Confederates who had seized it, and with the aid of a German and a Canadian had brought the vessel into port at New York. This action brought up the question of whether a Negro could be master of a vessel. In the Official Opinions of the Attorney-General for 1862, it was declared that a free colored man if born in the United States was a citizen of the United States and that he was competent to be master of a vessel engaged in the coasting trade.

The case of Smalls and the Planter at Charleston, South Carolina, became almost classic. "While at the wheel of the Planter as Pilot in the rebel service, it occurred to me that I could not only secure my own freedom, but that of numbers of my comrades in bonds, and moreover, I thought the Planter might be of some use to Uncle Abe....

"I reported my plans for rescuing the Planter from the rebel captain to the crew (all colored), and secured their secrecy and cooperation.

"On May 13, 1862, we took on board several large guns at the Atlantic Dock. At evening of that day, the Captain went home, leaving the boat in my care, with instruction to send for him in case he should be wanted.... At half-past three o'clock on the morning of the 14th of May, I left the Atlantic Dock with the Planter, went to the Ettaoue; took on board my family; and several other families, then proceeded down Charleston River slowly. When opposite ... Fort Sumter at 4 a.m., I gave the signal, which was answered from the Fort, thereby giving permission to pass. I then made speed for the Blockading Fleet. When entirely out of range of Sumter's guns, I hoisted a | white flag, and at 5 a.m., reached a U. S. blockading vessel, commanded by Capt. Nicholas, to whom I turned over the Planter."20

After Lincoln was assassinated, General Hancock appealed to Negroes for help in capturing his murderers:

"Your President has been murdered! He has fallen by the assassin and without a moment's warning, simply and solely because he was your friend and the friend of our country. Had he been unfaithful to you and to the great cause of human freedom he might have lived. The pistol from which he met his death, though held by Booth, was held by the hands of treason and slavery. Think of this and remember how long and how anxiously this good man labored to break your chains and make you happy. I now appeal to you, by every consideration which can move loyal and grateful hearts, to aid in discovering and arresting his murderer."21

This was issued on the 24th of April. On the next day, the cavalry and police force, having crossed the Potomac, received information from a colored woman that the fugitives had been seen there. They were followed toward Bowling Green, and then toward Port Royal. There an old colored man reported that four individuals, in company with a rebel Captain, had crossed the river to Bowling Green. This information brought the police to Garrett's house, where Booth was found.

Negro military labor had been indispensable to the Union armies. "Negroes built most of the fortifications and earth-works for General Grant in front of Vicksburg. The works in and about Nashville were cast up by the strong arm and willing hand of the loyal Blacks. Dutch Gap was dug by Negroes, and miles of earth-works, fortifications, and corduroy-roads were made by Negroes. They did fatigue duty in every department of the Union army. Wherever a Negro appeared with a shovel in his hand, a white soldier took his gun and returned to the ranks. There were 200,000 Negroes in the camps and employ of the Union armies, as servants, teamsters, cooks, and laborers."22

The South was for a long time convinced that the Negro could not and would not fight. "The idea of their doing any serious fighting against white men is simply ridiculous," said an editorial in the Savannah Republican, March 25, 1863.

Of the actual fighting of Negroes, a Union general, Morgan, afterward interested in Negro education, says:

"History has not yet done justice to the share borne by colored soldiers in the war for the Union. Their conduct during that eventful period, has been a silent, but most potent factor in influencing public sentiment, shaping legislation, and fixing the status of colored people in America. If the records of their achievements could be put into shape that they could be accessible to the thousands of colored youth in the South, they would kindle in their young minds an enthusiastic devotion to manhood and liberty."23

Black men were repeatedly and deliberately used as shock troops, when there was little or no hope of success. In February, 1863, Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson led black troops into Florida, and declared: "It would have been madness to attempt with the bravest white troops what successfully accomplished with black ones."24

In April, there were three white companies from Maine and seven Negro companies on Ship Island, the key to New Orleans. The black troops with black officers were attacked by Confederates who outnumbered them five to one. The Negroes retreated so as to give the Federal gunboat Jackson a chance to shell their pursuers. But the white crew disliked the Negro soldiers, and opened fire directly upon the black troops while they were fighting the Confederates. Major Dumas, the Negro officer in command, rescued the black men; repulsed the Confederates, and brought the men out safely. The commander called attention to these colored officers: "they were constantly in the thickest of the fight, and by their unflinching bravery, and admirable handling of their commands, contributed to the success of the attack, and reflected great honor upon the flag."25

The first battle with numbers of Negro troops followed soon after. Banks laid siege to Port Hudson with all his forces, including two black regiments. On May 23, 1863, the assault was ordered, but the various cooperating organizations did not advance simultaneously. The Negro regiments, on the North, made three desperate charges, losing heavily, but maintained the advance over a field covered with recently felled trees. Confederate batteries opened fire upon them. Michigan, New York and Massachusetts white troops were hurled back, but the works had to be taken. Two Negro regiments were ordered to go forward, through a direct and cross fire.

"The deeds of heroism performed by these colored men were such as the proudest white men might emulate. Their colors are torn to pieces by shot, and literally bespattered by blood and brains. The color-sergeant of the 1st Louisiana, on being mortally wounded, hugged the colors to his breast, when a struggle ensued between the two color-corporals on each side of him, as to who should have the honor of bearing the sacred standard, and during this generous contention, one was seriously wounded. One black lieutenant actually mounted the enemy's works three or four times, and in one charge the assaulting party came within fifty paces of them. Indeed, if only ordinarily supported by artillery and reserve, no one can convince us that they would not have opened a passage through the enemy's works.

"Captain Callioux of the ist Louisiana, a man so black that he actually prided himself upon his blackness, died the death of a hero, leading on his men in the thickest of the fight."26

"Colonel Bassett being driven back, Colonel Finnegas took his place, and his men being similarly cut to pieces, Lieutenant-Colonel Bassett reformed and recommenced; and thus these brave people went on, from morning until 3130 p.m., under the most hideous carnage that men ever had to withstand, and that very few white ones would have had nerve to encounter, even if ordered to. During this time, they rallied, and were ordered to make six distinct charges, losing thirty-seven killed, and one hundred and fifty-five wounded, and one hundred and sixteen missing, — the majority, if not all, of these being in all probability, now lying dead on the gory field, and without the rites of sepulture; for when, by flag of truce, our forces in other direction were permitted to reclaim their dead, the benefit, through some neglect, was not extended to these black regiments!"27

In June, came the battle of Milliken's Bend. Grant, in order to capture Vicksburg, had drawn nearly all his troops from Milliken's Bend, except three Negro regiments, and a small force of white cavalry. This force was surprised by the Confederates, who drove the white cavalry to the very breastworks of the fort. Here the Confederates rested, expecting to take the fortifications in the morning. At three o'clock, they rushed over with drawn bayonets, but the Negroes drove them out of the forts and held them until the gunboats came up. One officer describes the fight:

"Before the colonel was ready, the men were in line, ready for action. As before stated, the rebels drove our force toward the gunboats, taking colored men prisoners and murdering them. This so enraged them that they rallied, and charged the enemy more heroically and desperately than has been recorded during the war. It was a genuine bayonet charge, a hand-to-hand fight, that has never occurred to any extent during this prolonged conflict. Upon both sides men were killed with the butts of muskets. White and black men were lying side by side, pierced by bayonets, and in some instances transfixed to the earth. In one instance, two men, one white and the other black, were found dead, side by side, each having the other's bayonet through his body. If facts prove to be what they are now represented, this engagement of Sunday morning will be recorded as the most desperate of this war. Broken limbs, broken heads, the mangling of bodies, all prove that it was a contest between enraged men: on the one side from hatred to a race; and on the other, desire for self-preservation, revenge for past grievances and the inhuman murder o£ their comrades."28

The month of July, 1863, was memorable. General Meade had driven Lee from Gettysburg, Grant had captured Vicksburg, Banks had captured Port Hudson, and Gilmore had begun his operations on Morris Island. On the 13th of July, the draft riot broke out in New York City, and before it was over, a Negro regiment in South Carolina, the 54th Massachusetts, was preparing to lead the assault on Fort Wagner. It was a desperate, impossible venture, which failed, but can never be forgotten.

The black Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts regiment was to lead the assault. "Wagner loomed, black, grim and silent. There was no glimmer of light. Nevertheless, in the fort, down below the level of the tide, and under roofs made by huge trunks of trees, lay two thousand Confederate soldiers hidden. Our troops advanced toward the fort, while our mortars in the rear tossed bombs over their heads. Behind the 54th came five regiments from Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Maine. The mass went quickly and silently in the night. Then, suddenly, the walls of the fort burst with a blinding sheet of vivid light. Shot, shells of iron and bullets crushed through the dense masses of the attacking force. I shall never forget the terrible sound of that awful blast of death which swept down, battered or dead, a thousand of our men. Not a shot had missed its aim. Every bolt of iron and lead tasted of human blood.

"The column wavered and recovered itself. They reached the ditch before the fort. They climbed on the ramparts and swarmed over the walls. It looked as though the fort was captured. Then there came another blinding blaze from concealed guns in the rear of the fort, and the men went down by scores. The rebels rallied, and were reenforced by thousands of others, who had landed on the beach in the darkness unseen by the fleet. They hurled themselves upon the attacking force. The struggle was terrific. The supporting units hurried up to aid their comrades, but as they raised the ramparts, they fired a volley which struck down many of their own men. Our men rallied again, but were forced back to the edge of the ditch. Colonel Shaw, with scores of his black fighters, went down struggling desperately. Resistance was vain. The assailants were forced back to the beach, and the rebels drilled their recovered cannons anew on the remaining survivors."

When a request was made for Colonel Shaw's body, a Confederate Major said: "We have buried him with his niggers."29

In December, 1863, Morgan led Negro troops in the battle of Nashville. He declared a new chapter in the history of liberty had been written. "It had been shown that marching under a flag of freedom, animated by a love of liberty, even the slave becomes a man and a hero." Between eight and ten thousand Negro troops took part in the battles around Nashville, all of them from slave states.

When General Thomas rode over the battlefield, and saw the bodies of colored men side by side with the foremost on the very works of the enemy, he turned to his staff, saying: "Gentlemen, the question is settled: Negroes will fight."

How extraordinary, and what a tribute to ignorance and religious hypocrisy, is the fact that in the minds of most people, even those of liberals, only murder makes men. The slave pleaded; he was humble; he protected the women of the South, and the world ignored him. The slave killed white men; and behold, he was a man!

The New York Times said conservatively, in 1863:

"Negro soldiers have now been in battle at Port Hudson and at Milliken's Bend in Louisiana, at Helena in Arkansas, at Morris Island in South Carolina, and at or near Fort Gibson in the Indian territory. In two of these instances they assaulted fortified positions, and led the assault; in two, they fought on the defensive, and in one, they attacked rebel infantry. In all of them, they acted in conjunction with white troops, and under command of white officers. In some instances, they acted with distinguished bravery, and in all, they acted as well as could be expected of raw troops."

Even the New York Herald wrote in May, 1864:

"The conduct of the colored troops, by the way, in the actions of the last few days, is described as superb. An Ohio soldier said to me today, 'I never saw men fight with such desperate gallantry as those Negroes did. They advanced as grim and stern as death, and when within reach of the enemy struck about them with pitiless vigor, that was almost fearful.' Another soldier said to me: 'These Negroes never shrink, nor hold back, no matter what the order. Through scorching heat and pelting storms, if the order comes, they march with prompt, ready feet.' Such praise is great praise, and it is deserved."

And there was a significant dispatch in the New York Tribune July 26th:

"In speaking of the soldierly qualities of our colored troops, I do not refer especially to their noble action in the perilous edge of the battle; that is settled, but to their docility and their patience of labor and suffering in the camp and on the march."

Grant was made Lieutenant-General in 1864, and began to reorganize the armies. When he came East, he found that few Negro troops had been used in Virginia. He therefore transferred nearly twenty thousand Negroes from the Southern and Western armies to the army of Virginia. They fought in nearly all the battles around Petersburg and Richmond, and officers on the field reported:

"The problem is solved. The Negro is a man, a soldier, a hero. Knowing of your laudable interest in the colored troops, but particularly those raised under the immediate auspices of the Supervisory Committee, I have thought it proper that I should let you know how they acquitted themselves in the late actions in front of Petersburg, of which you have already received newspaper accounts. If you remember, in my conversations upon the character of these troops, I carefully avoided saying anything about their fighting qualities till I could have an opportunity of trying them."30

When the siege of Petersburg began, there were desperate battles the 16th, 17th and 18th of June. The presence of Negro soldiers rendered the enemy especially spiteful, and there were continual scrimmages and sharp shooting. Burnside's 9th Corps had a brigade of black troops, who advanced within fifty yards of the enemy works. There was a small projecting fort which it was decided to mine and destroy. The colored troops were to charge after the mine was set off. An inspecting officer reported that the "black corps was fittest for the perilous services," but Meade objected to colored troops leading the assault. Burnside insisted. The matter was referred to Grant, and he agreed with Meade. A white division led the assault and failed. The battle of the Crater followed. Captain McCabe says: "It was now eight o'clock in the morning. The rest of Potter's (Federal) division moved out slowly, when Ferrero's Negro division, the men beyond question, inflamed with drink [There are many officers and men, myself among the number, who will testify to this], burst from the advanced lines, cheering vehemently, passed at a double quick over a crest under a heavy fire, and rushed with scarcely a check over the heads of the white troops in the crater, spread to their right, and captured more than two hundred prisoners and one stand of colors."

General Grant afterward said: "General Burnside wanted to put his colored troops in front. I believe if he had done so, it would have been a success."31

The following spring, April 3rd, the Federal troops entered Richmond. Weitzel was leading, with a black regiment in his command —a long blue line with gun-barrels gleaming, and bands playing: "John Brown's body lies a-moldering in the grave but his soul goes marching on."

President Lincoln visited the city after the surrender, and the Connecticut colored troops, known as the 29th Colored Regiment, witnessed his entry. One member of this unit said:

"When the President landed, there was no carriage near, neither did he wait for one, but leading his son, they walked over a mile to General Weitzel's headquarters at Jeff Davis' mansion, a colored man acting as guide.... What a spectacle! I never witnessed such rejoicing in all my life. As the President passed along the street, the colored people waved their handkerchiefs, hats and bonnets, and expressed their gratitude by shouting repeatedly, 'Thank God for His goodness; we have seen His salvation.'...

"No wonder tears came to his eyes, when he looked on the poor colored people who were once slaves, and heard the blessings uttered from thankful hearts and thanksgiving to God and Jesus.... After visiting Jefferson Davis' mansion, he proceeded to the rebel capitol, and from the steps delivered a short speech, and spoke to the colored people, as follows:

"'In reference to you, colored people, let me say God has made you free. Although you have been deprived of your God-given rights by your so-called masters, you are now as free as I am, and if those that claim to be your superiors do not know that you are free, take the sword and bayonet and teach them that you are—for God created all men free, giving to each the same rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'"32

The recruiting of Negro soldiers was hastened after the battle of Fort Wagner, until finally no less than 154 regiments, designated as United States Negro troops, were enlisted. They included 140 infantry regiments, seven cavalry regiments, 13 artillery regiments, and 11 separate companies and batteries.33 The whole number enlisted will never be accurately known, since in the Department of the Gulf and elsewhere, there was a practice of putting a living Negro soldier in a dead one's place under the same name.

Official figures say that there were in all 186,017 Negro troops, of whom 123,156 were still in service, July 16, 1865; and that the losses during the war were 68,178. They took part in 198 battles and skirmishes. Without doubt, including servants, laborers and spies, between three and four hundred thousand Negroes helped as regular soldiers or laborers in winning the Civil War.

The world knows that noble inscription on St. Gaudens' Shaw Monument in Boston Common written by President Eliot:

THE WHITE OFFICERS

Taking Life and Honor in their Hands—Cast their lot with Men of a Despised Race Unproved in War—and Risked Death as Inciters of a Servile Insurrection if Taken Prisoners, Besides Encountering all the Common Perils of Camp, March, and Battle.

THE BLACK RANK AND FILE

Volunteered when Disaster Clouded the Union Cause—Served without Pay for Eighteen Months till Given that of White Troops— Faced Threatened Enslavement if Captured—Were Brave in Action —Patient under Dangerous and Heavy Labors and Cheerful amid Hardships and Privations.

TOGETHER

They Gave to the Nation Undying Proof that Americans of African Descent Possess the Pride, Courage, and Devotion of the Patriot Soldier—One Hundred and Eighty Thousand Such Americans Enlisted under the Union Flag in mdccclxiii-mdccclxv.

Not only did Negroes fight in the ranks, but also about 75 served as commissioned officers, and a large number as subalterns. Major F. E. Dumas of Louisiana was a free Negro, and a gentleman of education, ability and property. He organized a whole company of his own slaves, and was promoted to the rank of Major. Many of the other Louisiana officers were well-educated. Among these officers were 1 Major, 27 Captains and 38 Lieutenants, and nearly 100 non-commissioned officers. In the other colored regiments, most of the officers were whites; but Massachusetts commissioned 10 Negro officers, and Kansas 3. There were, outside Louisiana, 1 Lieutenant-Colonel, 1 Major, 2 Captains, 2 Surgeons, and 4 Lieutenants, whose records are known. There were a number of mulattoes who served as officers in white regiments; one was on the stafl of a Major-General of Volunteers.34 Medals of honor were bestowed by the United States government for heroic conduct on the field of battle upon 14 Negroes.

The Confederates furiously denounced the arming of Negroes. The Savannah Republican called Hunter "the cold-blooded Abolition miscreant, who from his headquarters at Hilton Head, is engaged in executing the bloody and savage behests of the imperial gorilla, who from his throne of human bones at Washington, rules, reigns and riots over the destinies of the brutish and degraded North." The officers in command of black troops were branded as outlaws. If captured, they were to be treated as common felons. To be killed by a Negro was a shameful death. To be shot by the Irish and Germans from Northern city slums was humiliating, but for masters to face armed bodies of their former slaves was inconceivable. When, therefore, black men were enrolled in Northern armies, the Confederates tried to pillory the government internationally on the ground that this was arming barbarians for servile war.

In a message to the Confederate Congress, Jefferson Davis asked "our fellowmen of all countries to pass judgment on a measure by which several millions of human beings of an inferior race—peaceful and contented laborers in their sphere—are doomed to extermination, while at the same time they are encouraged to a general assassination of their masters by the insidious recommendation to abstain from violence unless in necessary defense. Our own detestation of those who have attempted the most execrable measures recorded in the history of guilty men is tempered by profound contempt for the impotent rage which it discloses. So far as regards the action of this government on such criminals as may attempt its execution, I confine myself to informing you that I shall—unless in your wisdom you deem some other course expedient—deliver to the several State authorities all commissioned officers of the United States that may hereafter be captured by our forces in any of the States embraced in the Proclamation, that they may be dealt with in accordance with the laws of those States providing for the punishment of criminals engaged in exciting servile insurrection."35

In December, 1862, he issued a proclamation, "that all Negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the executive authorities, of the respective States to which they belonged and to be dealt with according to the law of the said States," which, of course, meant death. The same month, the Confederate Congress passed resolutions confirming in the main the President's Proclamation ordering that commissioned officers commanding Negro troops be put to death by the Confederate government, while the Negroes be turned over to the states.

The fire of the Confederates was always concentrated upon the black troops, and Negroes captured suffered indignities and cruelties. Frederick Douglass, who visited the White House in the President's carriage "to take tea," appealed in behalf of his fellow blacks. If they served in Federal uniform, he said that they should receive the treatment of prisoners of war. This treatment of Negro soldiers brought rebuke from Abraham Lincoln; but worse than that, it brought fearful retaliation upon the field of battle.

The most terrible case of Confederate cruelty was the massacre at Fort Pillow. When Major Booth refused to surrender the fort the Confederate General Forrest gave a signal, and his troops made a fierce charge. In ten minutes, they had swept in. Federal troops surrendered; but an indiscriminate massacre followed. The black troops were shot down in their tracks; pinioned to the ground with bayonets and saber. Some were clubbed to death while dying of wounds; others were made to get down upon their knees, in which condition they were shot to death. Some were burned alive, having been fastened inside the buildings, while still others were nailed against the houses, tortured, and then burned to a crisp.

The dilemma of the South in the matter of Negro troops grew more perplexing. Negroes made good soldiers; that, the Northern experiment had proven beyond peradventure. The prospect of freedom was leading an increasing stream of black troops into the Federal army. This stream could be diverted into the Southern army, if the lure of freedom were offered by the Confederacy. But this would be an astonishing ending for a war in defense of slavery!

In the first year of the war large numbers of Negroes were in the service of the Confederates as laborers. In January, at Mobile, numbers of Negroes from the plantations of Alabama were at work on the redoubts. These were very substantially made, and strengthened by sand-bags and sheet-iron. Elsewhere in the South Negroes were employed in building fortifications, as teamsters and helpers in army service. In 1862, the Florida Legislature conferred authority upon the Governor to impress slaves for military purposes, if so authorized by the Confederate Government. The Confederate Congress provided by law in February, 1864, for the impressment of 20,000 slaves for menial service in the Confederate army. President Davis was so satisfied with their labor that he suggested, in his annual message, November, 1864, that this number should be increased to 40,000, with the promise of emancipation at the end of their service.36

In Louisiana, the Adjutant-General's Office of the Militia stated that "the Governor and the Commander-in-Chief relying implicitly upon the loyalty of the free colored population of the city and state, for the protection of their homes, their property and for Southern rights, from the pollution of a ruthless invader, and believing that the military organization which existed prior to February 15, 1862, and elicited praise and respect for the patriotic motives which prompted it, should exist for and during the war, calls upon them to maintain their organization and hold themselves prepared for such orders as may be transmitted to them."

These "Native Guards" joined the Confederate forces but they did not leave the city with these troops. When General Butler learned of this organization, he sent for several of the prominent colored men and asked why they had accepted service under the Confederate government. They replied that they dared not refuse, and hoped by serving the Confederates to advance nearer to equality with the whites.

In Charleston on January 2, 150 free colored men offered their services to hasten the work of throwing up redoubts along the coast. At Nashville, Tennessee, April, 1861, a company of free Negroes offered their services to the Confederates, and at Memphis a recruiting office was opened. The Legislature of Tennessee authorized Governor Harris, on June 28, 1861, to receive into military service all male persons of color between the ages of fifteen and fifty. A procession of several hundred colored men marched under the command of Confederate officers and carried shovels, axes, and blankets. The observer adds, "they were brimful of patriotism, shouting for Jeff Davis and singing war songs." A paper in Lynchburg, Virginia, commenting on the enlistment of 70 free Negroes to fight for the defense of the State, concluded with "three cheers for the patriotic Negroes of Lynchburg."

After the firing on Fort Sumter, several companies of Negro volunteers passed through Augusta on their way to Virginia. They consisted of sixteen companies of volunteers and one Negro company from Nashville. In November of the same year, twenty-eight thousand troops passed before Governor Moore, General Lowell and General Ruggles at New Orleans. The line of march was over seven miles, and one regiment comprised 1,400 free colored men. The Baltimore Traveler commenting on arming Negroes at Richmond, said: "Contrabands who have recently come within the Federal lines at Williams-port, report that all the able-bodied men in that vicinity are being taken to Richmond, formed into regiments, and armed for the defense of that city."

In February, 1862, the Confederate Legislature of Virginia considered a bill to enroll all free Negroes in the State for service with the Confederate forces.

While then the Negroes helped the Confederates as forced laborers and in a few instances as soldiers, the Confederates feared to trust them far, and hated the idea of depending for victory and defense on these very persons for whose slavery they were fighting. But in the last days of the struggle, no straw could be overlooked. In December, 1863, Major-General Patrick R. Cleburne, who commanded a division in Hardee's Corps of the Confederate Army of the Tennessee, sent in a paper in which the employment of the slaves as soldiers of the South was vigorously advocated. Cleburne urged that "freedom within a reasonable time" be granted to every slave remaining true to the Confederacy, and was moved to this action by the valor of the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts, saying: "If they [the Negroes] can be made to face and fight bravely against their former masters, how much more probable is it that with the allurement of a higher reward, and led by those masters, they would submit to discipline and face dangers?"

President Davis was not convinced, and endorsed Cleburne's plea with the statement: "I deem it inexpedient at this time to give publicity to this paper, and request that it be suppressed."

In September, 1864, Governor Allen of Louisiana wrote to J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War in the Confederate government: "The time has come to put into the army every able-bodied Negro as a soldier. The Negro knows he cannot escape conscription if he goes to the enemy. He must play an important part in the war. He caused the fight, and he will have his portion of the burden to bear.... I would free all able to bear arms, and put them in the field at once." In that year, 1864, 100,000 poor whites deserted the Confederate armies. In November, 1864, Jefferson Davis in his message to the Confederate Congress recognized that slaves might be needed in the Confederate army. He said: "The subject is to be viewed by us, therefore, solely in the light of policy and our social economy. When so regarded, I must dissent from those who advise a general levy and arming of slaves for the duty of soldiers. Until our white population shall prove insufficient for the armies we require and can afford to keep the field, to employ as a soldier the Negro, who has merely been trained to labor, and as a laborer under the white man accustomed from his youth to the use of firearms, would scarcely be deemed wise or advantageous by any; and this is the question before us. But should the alternative ever be presented of subjugation or of the employment of the slave as a soldier, there seems no reason to doubt what should be our decision."

In response to an inquiry from the Confederate Secretary of War, as to arming slaves, Howell Cobb of Georgia opposed the measure to arm the Negroes. "I think that the proposition to make soldiers of our slaves is the most pernicious idea that has been suggested since the war began ... you cannot make soldiers of slaves or slaves of soldiers. The moment you resort to Negro soldiers, your white soldiers will be lost to you, and one secret of the favor with which the proposition is received in portions of the army is the hope when Negroes go into the army, they [the whites] will be permitted to retire. It is simply a proposition to fight the balance of the war with Negro troops. You can't keep white and black troops together and you can't trust Negroes by themselves.... Use all the Negroes you can get for all purposes for which you need them but don't arm them. The day you make soldiers of them is the beginning of the end of the revolution."

J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of State, on the other hand, declared that the slaves would be made to fight against the South, if Southerners failed to arm them for their own defense. He advocated emancipation for such black soldiers at a large meeting at Richmond: "We have 680,000 blacks capable of bearing arms, and who ought now to be in the field. Let us now say to every Negro who wishes to go into the ranks on condition of being free, go and fight—you are free."37

In a letter to President Davis, another correspondent added: "I would not make a soldier of the Negro if it could be helped, but we are reduced to this last resort." Sam Clayton of Georgia wrote: "The recruits should come from our Negroes, nowhere else. We should away with pride of opinion, away with false pride, and promptly take hold of all the means God has placed without our reach to help us through this struggle—a war for the right of self-government. Some people say that Negroes will not fight. I say they will fight. They fought at Ocean Pond [Olustee, Florida], Honey Hill and other places. The enemy fights us with Negroes, and they will do very well to fight the Yankees."

In January, 1865, General Lee sent his celebrated statement to Andrew Hunter:

"We should not expect slaves to fight for prospective freedom when they can secure it at once by going to the enemy, in whose service they will incur no greater risk than in ours. The reasons that induce me to recommend the employment of Negro troops at all render the effect of the measures I have suggested upon slavery immaterial, and in my opinion the best means of securing the efficiency and fidelity of this auxiliary force would be to accompany the measure with a well-digested plan of gradual and general emancipation. As that will be the result of the continuance of the war, and will certainly occur if the enemy succeeds, it seems to me most advisable to do it at once, and thereby obtain all the benefits that will accrue to our cause.38

This letter was discussed by the Confederates, and February 8, Senator Brown of Mississippi, introduced into the Confederate Congress a resolution which would have freed 200,000 Negroes and enrolled them in the army. This was voted down.

JefTerson Davis in a letter to John Forsythe, February, 1865, said that "all arguments as to the positive advantage or disadvantage of employing them are beside the question, which is simply one of relative advantage between having their fighting element in our ranks or in those of the enemy."

On February 11, another bill to enroll 200,000 Negro soldiers was introduced, and for a while it looked as though it would pass. General , Lee again wrote, declaring the measure not only expedient but necessary, and that "under proper circumstances, the Negroes will make efficient soldiers."

The Richmond Whig of February 20, 1865, declared "that the proposition to put Negroes in the army has gained rapidly of late, and promises in some form or other to be adopted.... The enemy has taught us a lesson to which we ought not to shut our eyes. He has caused him to fight as well, if not better, than have his white troops of the same length of service."

Jefferson Davis discussed the matter with the Governor of Virginia, and said that he had been in conference with the Secretary of War and the Adjutant-General. He declared that the aid of recruiting officers for the purpose of enlisting Negroes would be freely accepted. March 17, it was said: "We shall have a Negro army. Letters are pouring into the departments from men of military skill and character asking authority to raise companies, battalions, and regiments of Negro troops."39

Thus on recommendation from General Lee and Governor Smith of Virginia, and with the approval of President Davis, an act was passed by the Confederate Congress, March 13, 1865, enrolling slaves in the Confederate army. Each State was to furnish a quota of the total 300,000. The preamble of the act reads as follows:

"An Act to increase the Military Force of the Confederate States: The Congress of the Confederate States of America so enact, that, in order to provide additional forces to repel invasion, maintain the rightful possession of the Confederate States, secure their independence and preserve their institutions, the President be, and he is hereby authorized to ask for and accept from the owners of slaves, the services of such number of able-bodied Negro men as he may deem expedient, for and during the war, to perform military service in whatever capacity he may direct...." The language used implied that volunteering was to be rewarded by freedom.

General Lee cooperated with the War Department in hastening the recruiting of Negro troops. Recruiting officers were appointed in nearly all Southern States. Lieutenant John L. Cowardin, Adjutant, 19th Battalion, Virginia Artillery, was ordered April 1, 1865, to recruit Negro troops according to the act. On March 30, 1865, Captain Edward Bostick was ordered to raise four companies in South Carolina. Other officers were ordered to raise companies in Alabama, Florida, and Virginia. "It was the opinion of President Davis, on learning of the passage of the act, that not so much was accomplished as would have been, if the act had been passed earlier so that during the winter the slaves could have been drilled and made ready for the spring campaign of 1865."

It was too late now, and on April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered.

Negroes well within the Confederate lines were not insensible of what was going on. A colored newspaper said:

"Secret associations were at once organized in Richmond, which rapidly spread throughout Virginia, where the venerable patriarchs of the oppressed people prayerfully assembled together to deliberate upon the proposition of taking up arms in defense of the South. There was but one opinion as to the rebellion and its object; but the question which puzzled them most was, how were they to act the part about to be assigned to them in this martial drama? After a cordial interchange of opinions, it was decided with great unanimity, and finally ratified by all the auxiliary associations everywhere, that black men should promptly respond to the call of the Rebel chiefs, whenever it should be made, for them to take up arms.

"A question arose as to what position they would likely occupy in an engagement, which occasioned no little solicitude; from which all minds were relieved by agreeing that if they were placed in front as soon as the battle began the Negroes were to raise a shout about Abraham Lincoln and the Union, and, satisfied there would be plenty of supports from the Federal force, they were to turn like uncaged tigers upon the rebel hordes. Should they be placed in the rear, it was also understood, that as soon as firing began, they were to charge furiously upon the chivalry, which would place them between two fires; which would disastrously defeat the army of Lee, if not accomplish its entire annihilation."40

Of the effect of Negro soldiers in the Northern army, there can be no doubt. John *C. Underwood, resident of Virginia for twenty years, said before the Committee on Reconstruction:

"I had a conversation with one of the leading men in that city, and he said to me that the enlistment of Negro troops by the United States was the turning-point of the rebellion; that it was the heaviest blow they ever received. He remarked that when the Negroes deserted their masters, and showed a general disposition to do so and join the forces of the United States, intelligent men everywhere saw that the matter was ended. I have often heard a similar expression of opinion from others, and I am satisfied that the origin of this bitterness towards the Negro is this belief among the leading men that their weight thrown into the scale decided the contest against them. However the fact may be, I think that such is a pretty well settled conclusion among leading Rebels in Virginia."41

A Unidn general said: "The American Civil War of 1861-1865 marks an epoch not only in the history of the United States, but in that of democracy, and of civilization. Its issue has vitally affected the course of human progress. To the student of history it ranks along with the conquests of Alexander; the incursions of the Barbarians; the Crusades; the discovery of America, and the American Revolution. It settled the question of our National unity with all the consequences attaching thereto. It exhibited in a very striking manner the power of a free people to preserve their form of government against its most dangerous foe, Civil War. It not only enfranchised four millions of American slaves of African descent, but made slavery forever impossible in the great Republic, and gave a new impulse to the cause of human freedom."42

It was not the Abolitionist alone who freed the slaves. The Abolitionists never had a real majority of the people of the United States back of them. Freedom for the slave was the logical result of a crazy attempt to wage war in the midst of four million black slaves, and trying the while sublimely to ignore the interests of those slaves in the outcome of the fighting. Yet, these slaves had enormous power in their hands. Simply by stopping work, they could threaten the Confederacy with starvation. By walking into the Federal camps, they showed to doubting Northerners the easy possibility of using them as workers and as servants, as farmers, and as spies, and finally, as fighting soldiers. And not only using them thus, but by the same gesture, depriving their enemies of their use in just these fields. It was the fugitive slave who made the slaveholders face the alternative of surrendering to the North, or to the Negroes.

It was this plain alternative that brought Lee's sudden surrender. Either the South must make terms with its slaves, free them, use them to fight the North, and thereafter no longer treat them as bondsmen; or they could surrender to the North with the assumption that the North, after the war, must help them to defend slavery, as it had before. It was then that Abolition came in as a determining factor, and itself was transformed to a new democratic movement.

So in blood and servile war, freedom came to America. What did it mean to men? The paradox of a democracy founded on slavery had at last been done away with. But it became more and more customary as time went on, to linger on and emphasize the freedom which emancipation brought to the masters, and later to the poor whites. On the other hand, strangely enough, not as much has been said of what freedom meant to the freed; of the sudden wave of glory that rose and burst above four million people, and of the echoing shout that brought joy to four hundred thousand fellows of African blood in the North. Can we imagine this spectacular revolution? Not, of course, unless we think of these people as human beings like ourselves. Not unless, assuming this common humanity, we conceive ourselves in a position where we are chattels and real estate, and then suddenly in a night become "thenceforward and forever free." Unless we can do this, there is, of course, no point in thinking of this central figure in emancipation. But assuming the common humanity of these people, conceive of what happened: before the war, the slave was curiously isolated; this was the policy, and the effective policy of the slave system, which made the plantation the center of a black group with a network of white folk around and about, who kept the slaves from contact with each other. Of course, clandestine contact there always was; the passing of Negroes to and fro on errands; particularly the semi-freedom and mingling in cities; and yet, the mass of slaves were curiously provincial and kept out of the currents of information.

There came the slow looming of emancipation. Crowds and armies of the unknown, inscrutable, unfathomable Yankees; cruelty behind and before; rumors of a new slave trade; but slowly, continuously, the wild truth, the bitter truth, the magic truth, came surging through.

There was to be a new freedom! And a black nation went tramping after the armies no matter what it suffered; no matter how it was treated, no matter how it died. First, without masters, without food, without shelter; then with new masters, food that was free, and improvised shelters, cabins, homes; and at last, land. They prayed; they worked; they danced and sang; they studied to learn; they wanted to wander. Some for the first time in their lives saw Town; some left the plantation and walked out into the world; some handled actual money, and some with arms in their hands, actually fought for freedom. An unlettered leader of fugitive slaves pictured it: "And then we saw the lightning—that was the guns! and then we heard the thunder—that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling, and that was the drops of blood falling; and when we came to git in the craps it was dead men that we reaped."

The mass of slaves, even the more intelligent ones, and certainly the great group of field hands, were in religious and hysterical fervor. This was the coming of the Lord. This was the fulfillment of prophecy and legend. It was the Golden Dawn, after chains of a thousand years. It was everything miraculous and perfect and promising. For the first time in their life, they could travel; they could see; they could change the dead level of their labor; they could talk to friends and sit at sundown and in moonlight, listening and imparting wonder-tales. They could hunt in the swamps, and fish in the rivers. And above all, they could stand up and assert themselves. They need not fear the patrol; they need not even cringe before a white face, and touch their hats.

To the small group of literate and intelligent black folk, North and South, this was a sudden beginning of an entirely new era. They were at last to be recognized as men; and if they were given the proper social and political power, their future as American citizens was assured. They had, therefore, to talk and agitate for their civil and political rights. With these, in thought and object, stood some of the intelligent slaves of the South.

On the other hand, the house servants and mechanics among the freed slaves faced difficulties. The bonds which held them to their former masters were not merely sentiment. The masters had stood between them and a world in which they had no legal protection except the master. The masters were their source of information. The question, then, was how far they could forsake the power of the masters, even when it was" partially overthrown? For whom would the slave mechanic work, and how could he collect his wages? What would be his status in court? What protection would he have against the competing mechanic?

Back of this, through it all, combining their own intuitive sense with what friends and leaders taught them, these black folk wanted two things—first, land which they could own and work for their own crops. This was the natural outcome of slavery. Some of them had been given by their masters little plots to work on, and raise their own food. Sometimes they raised hogs and chickens, in addition. This faint beginning of industrial freedom now pictured to them economic freedom. They wanted little farms which would make them independent.

Then, in addition to that, they wanted to know; they wanted to be able to interpret the cabalistic letters and figures which were the key to more. They were consumed with curiosity at the meaning of the world. First and foremost, just what was this that had recently happened about them—this upturning of the universe and revolution of the whole social fabric? And what was its relation to their own dimly remembered past of the West Indies and Africa, Virginia and Kentucky?

They were consumed with desire for schools. The uprising of the black man, and the pouring of himself into organized effort for education, in those years between 1861 and 1871, was one of the marvelous occurrences of the modern world; almost without parallel in the history of civilization. The movement that was started was irresistible. It planted the free common school in a part of the nation, and in a part of the world, where it had never been known, and never been recognized before. Free, then, with a desire for land and a frenzy for schools, the Negro lurched into the new day.


Suppose on some gray day, as you plod down Wall Street, you should see God sitting on the Treasury steps, in His Glory, with the thunders curved about him? Suppose on Michigan Avenue, between the lakes and hills of stone, and in the midst of hastening automobiles and jostling crowds, suddenly you see living and walking toward you, the Christ, with sorrow and sunshine in his face?

Foolish talk, all of this, you say, of course; and that is because no American now believes in his religion. Its facts are mere symbolism; its revelation vague generalities; its ethics a matter of carefully balanced gain. But to most of the four million black folk emancipated by civil war, God was real. They knew Him. They had met Him personally in many a wild orgy of religious frenzy, or in the black stillness of the night. His plan for them was clear; they were to suffer and be degraded, and then afterwards by Divine edict, raised to manhood and power; and so on January i, 1863, He made them free.

It was all foolish, bizarre, and tawdry. Gangs of dirty Negroes howling and dancing; poverty-stricken ignorant laborers mistaking war, destruction and revolution for the mystery of the free human soul; and yet to these black folk it was the Apocalypse. The magnificent trumpet tones of Hebrew Scripture, transmuted and oddly changed, became a strange new gospel. All that was Beauty, all that was Love, all that was Truth, stood on the top of these mad mornings and sang with the stars. A great human sob shrieked in the wind, and tossed its tears upon the sea,—free, free, free.


There was joy in the South. It rose like perfume—like a prayer. Men stood quivering. Slim dark girls, wild and beautiful with wrinkled hair, wept silently; young women, black, tawny, white and golden, lifted shivering hands, and old and broken mothers, black and gray, raised great voices and shouted to God across the fields, and up to the rocks and the mountains.

A great song arose, the loveliest thing born this side the seas. It was a new song. It did not come from Africa, though the dark throb and beat of that Ancient of Days was in it and through it. It did not come from white America—never from so pale and hard and thin a thing, however deep these vulgar and surrounding tones had driven. Not the Indies nor the hot South, the cold East or heavy West made that music. It was a new song and its deep and plaintive beauty, its great cadences and wild appeal wailed, throbbed and thundered on the world's ears with a message seldom voiced by man. It swelled and blossomed like incense, improvised and born anew out of an age long past, and weaving into its texture the old and new melodies in word and in thought.

They sneered at it—those white Southerners who heard it and never understood. They raped and defiled it—those white Northerners who listened without ears. Yet it lived and grew; always it grew and swelled and lived, and it sits today at the right hand of God, as America's one real gift to beauty; as slavery's one redemption, distilled from the dross of its dung.


The world at first neither saw nor understood. Of all that most Americans wanted, this freeing of slaves was the last. Everything black was hideous. Everything Negroes did was wrong. If they fought for freedom, they were beasts; if they did not fight, they were born slaves. If they cowered on the plantations, they loved slavery; if they ran away, they were lazy loafers. If they sang, they were silly; if they scowled, they were impudent.

The bites and blows of a nation fell on them. All hatred that the whites after the Civil War had for each other gradually concentrated itself on them. They caused the war—they, its victims. They were guilty of all the thefts of those who stole. They were the cause of wasted property and small crops. They had impoverished the South, and plunged the North into endless debt. And they were funny, funny —ridiculous baboons, aping man.

Southerners who had suckled food from black breasts vied with each other in fornication with black women, and even in beastly incest. They took the name of their fathers in vain to seduce their own sisters. Nothing—nothing that black folk did or said or thought or sang was sacred. For seventy years few Americans had dared say a fair word about a Negro.

There was no one kind of Negro who was freed from slavery. The freedmen were not an undifferentiated group; there were those among them who were cowed and altogether bitter. There were the cowed who were humble; there were those openly bitter and defiant, but whipped into submission, or ready to run away. There were the debauched and the furtive, petty thieves and licentious scoundrels. There were the few who could read and write, and some even educated beyond that. There were the children and grandchildren of white masters; there were the house servants, trained in manners, and in servile respect for the upper classes. There were the ambitious, who sought by means of slavery to gain favor or even freedom; there were the artisans, who had a certain modicum of freedom in their work, were often hired out, and worked practically as free laborers. The impact of legal freedom upon these various classes differed in all sorts of ways.

And yet emancipation came not simply to black folk in 1863; to white Americans came slowly a new vision and a new uplift, a sudden freeing of hateful mental shadows. At last democracy was to be justified of its own children. The nation was to be purged of continual sin not indeed all of its own doing—due partly to its inheritance; and yet a sin, a negation that gave the world the right to sneer at the pretensions of this republic. At last there could really be a free commonwealth of freemen.

Thus, amid enthusiasm and philanthropy, and religious fervor that surged over the whole country, the black man became in word "henceforward and forever free."

"Fondly do we hope and 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 up by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'' Thus spake Father Abraham, "the Imperial Gorilla of Washington," Lord of armies vaster than any the Caesars ever saw, over a barnyard reeking with offal, and a land dripping with tears and blood. Suddenly, there was Reason in all this mad orgy. Suddenly the world knew why this blundering horror of civil war had to be. God had come to America, and the land, fire-drunk, howled the hymn of joy:

Freude, schoner Gotterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum.
Deine Zauber binden wieder,
Was die Mode streng geteilt,
Alle Menschen werden Briider,
Wo dein sanfter Fliigel weilt.
  Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
  
Alle Menschen ... 
Alle Menschen ...

                  JOHANN SCHILLER

1. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, II, pp. 265-266.

2. Charleston Daily Courier, January 8, 1863.

3. Charleston Daily Courier, February 16, 1863.

4. Jordon and Pratt, Europe and the American Civil War, p. 73.

5. Education of Henry Adamσ, pp. 130-131.

6. Schliiter, Lincoln, Labor and Slavery, p. 158.

7. Schliiter, Lincoln, Labor and Slavery, pp. 161, 162, 163.

8. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, pp. 146, 147.

9. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, pp. 151-154.

10. Parton, Butler in New Orleans, pp. 491, 493.

11. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, p. 192.

12. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, p. 195.

13. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, II, pp. 292, 293.

14. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, p. 120.

15. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, pp. 289, 290. (Italics ours.)

16. Herz, Abraham Lincoln, II, pp. 931-932. (Italics ours.)

17. Woodson, Negro Orators, pp. 249, 251.

18. Report of the Merchants Committee, p. 7.

19. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, p. 394.

20. Story told by Smalls to the A. M. E. General Conference, Philadelphia, May, 1864.

21. New Orleans Tribune, May 4, 1865.

22. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, II, p. 262.

23. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, p. 305.

24. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, II, p. 314.

25. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, p. 211.

26. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, II, p. 321.

27. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, II, pp. 320, 321.

28. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, II, p. 327.

29. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, p. 256.

30. Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, II, pp. 338, 339.

31. Testimony Before Congressional Committee; cited in Wilson, p. 428.

32. Hill, Sketch of the 29th Regiment of Connecticut Colored Troops, pp. 26, 27.

33. Nicolay and Hay give 149 regiments. VI, p. 468.

34. Cf. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, Chapter IV; and Williams, History of the Negro Race in America, II, pp. 299-301.

35. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, pp. 316, 317.

36. The following account is mainly from Charles Wesley's article, Journal of Negro History, IV, pp. 242-243.

37. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, pp. 491, 492.

38. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, p. 490.

39. Wilson, History of the Black Phalanx, p. 494.

40. New Orleans Tribune, February 25, 1865.

41. Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 1866, p. 8.

42. General T. J. Morgan, in Wilson, Black Phalanx, p. 289.


VI. LOOKING BACKWARD

How the planters, having lost the war for slavery, sought to begin again where they left off in i860, merely substituting for the individual ownership of slaves, a new state serfdom of black folk

The young Southern fanatic who murdered Abraham Lincoln said, according to the New York Times, April 21, 1865:

"... This country was formed for the white, not the black man; and looking upon African slavery from the same standpoint held by the noble framers of our Constitution, I, for one, have ever considered it of the greatest blessings (both for themselves and us) that God ever bestowed upon a favored nation. Witness heretofore our wealth and power; witness their elevation and enlightenment above their race elsewhere. I have lived among it most of my life and have seen less harsh treatment from master to man than I have beheld in the North from father to son. Yet Heaven knows, no one would be willing to do more for the Negro race than I, could I but see a way to still better their condition. But Lincoln's policy is only preparing the way for their total annihilation."

The South had risked war to protect this system of labor and to expand it into a triumphant empire; and even if all of the Southerners did not agree with this broader program, even these had risked war in order to ward off the disaster of a free labor class, either white or black.

Yet, they had failed. After a whirlwind of battles, in which the South had put energy, courage and skill, and most of their money; in the face of inner bickerings and divided councils, jealousy of leaders, indifference of poor whites and the general strike of black labor, they had failed in their supreme effort, and now found themselves with much of their wealth gone, their land widely devastated, and some of it confiscated, their slaves declared free, and their country occupied by a hostile army. "The South faced all sorts of difficulties. The hostilities, military and naval, had practically destroyed the whole commercial system of the South, and reduced the people to a pitiable primitive, almost barbaric level....

"It has been said that the ruining of the planting class in the South through war was more complete than the destruction of the nobility and clergy in the French Revolution. The very foundations of the system were shattered."1

There was at the end of the war no civil authority with power in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas; and in the other states, authority was only functioning in part under Congress or the President. "The Northern soldiers were transported home with provisions for their comfort, and often with royal welcomes, while the Southern soldiers walked home in poverty and disillusioned."

Lands had deteriorated because of the failure to use fertilizers. The marketing of the crops was difficult and the titles to land and crops disputed. Government officials seized much of the produce and the cotton tax of 3 cents a pound bore hard upon the planters. The mortality of the whites was so great in the decade following 1865, as to be "a matter of common remark."2

When a right and just cause loses, men suffer. But men also suffer when a wrong cause loses. Suffering thus in itself does not prove the justice or injustice of a cause. It always, however, points a grave moral. Certainly after the war, no one could restrain his sorrow at the destruction and havoc brought upon the whites; least of all were the Negroes unsympathetic. Perhaps never in the history of the world have victims given so much of help and sympathy to their former oppressors. Yet the most pitiable victims of the war were not the rich planters, but the poor workers; not the white race, but the black.

Naturally, the mass of the planters were bitterly opposed to the abolition of slavery. First, they based their opposition upon a life-long conviction that free Negro labor could not be made profitable. The New Orleans Picayune said, July 8, 1862:

"In sober earnest, we say, and we believe all who know anything from observation or experience will corroborate our assertion, that this is an absolute impossibility. There could be no full crop produced under that system. The earlier processes might be performed in a manner and to some extent; but the later and more arduous, those upon the prompt performance of which depends the production of any crop at all, would be slighted, if not indeed entirely lost. The thriftless, thoughtless Negro would jingle his last month's wages in the planter's face and tell him to do the rest of the work himself. Look at Jamaica, Barbadoes, Antigua, and the other British West Indies where this experiment is having a most suggestive trial."

The Texas Republican, a weekly newspaper, said: "The ruinous effects of freeing four millions of ignorant and helpless blacks would not be confined to the South, but the blight would be communicated to the North, and the time would come when the people of that section would be glad to witness a return to a system attended with more philanthropy and happiness to the black race than the one they seem determined to establish; for they will find that compulsory labor affords larger crops and a richer market for Yankee manufacturers." The masters were advised, therefore, not to turn their slaves loose to become demoralized, but to maintain a kind and protecting care over them.

In addition to this, it was said that even if free Negro labor miraculously proved profitable, Negroes themselves were impossible as freemen, neighbors and citizens. They could not be educated and really civilized. And beyond that if a free, educated black citizen and voter could be brought upon the stage this would in itself be the worst conceivable thing on earth; worse than shiftless, unprofitable labor; worse than ignorance, worse than crime. It would lead inevitably to a mulatto South and the eventual ruin of all civilization.

This was a natural reaction for a country educated as the South had been; and that the mass of the planters passionately believed it is beyond question, despite difficulties of internal logic. Even the fact that some thought free Negro labor practicable, and many knew perfectly well that at least some Negroes were capable of education and even of culture, these stood like a rock wall against anything further: against Negro citizens, against Negro voters, against any social recognition in politics, religion or culture.

The poor whites, on the other hand, were absolutely at sea. The Negro was to become apparently their fellow laborer. But were the whites to be bound to the black laborer by economic condition and destiny, or rather to the white planter by community of blood? Almost unanimously, following the reaction of such leaders as Andrew Johnson and Hinton Helper, the poor white clung frantically to the planter and his ideals; and although ignorant and impoverished, maimed and discouraged, victims of a war fought largely by the poor white for the benefit of the rich planter, they sought redress by demanding unity of white against black, and not unity of poor against rich, or of worker against exploiter.

This brought singular schism in the South. The white planter endeavored to keep the Negro at work for his own profit on terms that amounted to slavery and which were hardly distinguishable from it. This was the plain voice of the slave codes. On the other hand, the only conceivable ambition of a poor white was to become a planter. Meantime the poor white did not want the Negro put to profitable work. He wanted the Negro beneath the feet of the white worker.

Right here had lain the seat of the trouble before the war. All the regular and profitable jobs went to Negroes, and the poor whites were excluded. It seemed after the war immaterial to the poor white that profit from the exploitation of black labor continued to go to the planter. He regarded the process as the exploitation of black folk by white, not of labor by capital. When, then, he faced the possibility of being himself compelled to compete with a Negro wage worker, while both were the hirelings of a white planter, his whole soul revolted. He turned, therefore, from war service to guerrilla warfare, particularly against Negroes. He joined eagerly secret organizations, like the Ku Klux Klan, which fed his vanity by making him co-worker with the white planter, and gave him a chance to maintain his race superiority by killing and intimidating "niggers"; and even in secret forays of his own, he could drive away the planter's black help, leaving the land open to white labor. Or he could murder too successful freed-men.

It was only when they saw the Negro with a vote in his hand, backed by the power and money of the nation, that the poor whites who followed some of the planters into the ranks of the "scalawags" began to conceive of an economic solidarity between white and black workers. In this interval they received at the hands of the black voter and his allies a more general right to vote, to hold office and to receive education, privileges which the planter had always denied them. But before all this was so established as to be intelligently recognized, armed revolt in the South became organized by the planters with the cooperation of the mass of poor whites. Taking advantage of an industrial crisis which throttled both democracy and industry in the North, this combination drove the Negro back toward slavery. Finally the poor whites joined the sons of the planters and disfranchised the black laborer, thus nullifying the labor movement in the South for a half century and more.

As the Civil War staggered toward its end, the country began to realize that it was not only at the end of an era, but it was facing the beginning of a vaster and more important cycle. The emancipation of four million slaves might end slavery, but would it not also be the end of its four million victims? To be sure there were many prophets, South and North, who foretold this fate of Negro extinction, but they were wrong. It was the beginning of Negro development, and what was this development going to be?

Back of all the enthusiasm and fervor of victory in the North came a wave of reflection that represented the sober after-thought of the nation. It harked back to a time when not one person in ten believed in Negroes, or in emancipation, or in any attempt to conquer the South. This feeling began to arise before the war closed, and after it ended it rose higher and higher into something like dismay. From before the time of Washington and Jefferson down to the Civil War, the nation had asked if it were possible for free Negroes to become American citizens in the full sense of the word.

The answers to this problem, historically, had taken these forms:

1. Negroes, after conversion to Christianity, were in the same position as other colonial subjects of the British King. This attitude disappeared early in colonial history.

2. When the slave trade was stopped, Negroes would die out. Therefore, the attack upon slavery must begin with the abolition of the slave trade and after that the race problem would settle itself. This attitude was back of the slave trade laws, 1808-20.

3. If Negroes did not die out, and if gradually by emancipation and the economic failure of slavery they became free, they must be systematically deported out of the country, back to Africa or elsewhere, where they would develop into an independent people or die from laziness or disease. This represented the attitude of liberal America from the end of the War of 1812 down to the beginning of the Cotton Kingdom.

4. Negroes were destined to be perpetual slaves in a new economy which recognized a caste of slave workers. And this caste system might eventually displace the white worker. At any rate, it was destined to wider expansion toward the tropics. This was the attitude of the Confederacy.

It is clear that from the time of Washington and Jefferson down to the Civil War, when the nation was asked if it was possible for free Negroes to become American citizens in the full sense of the word, it answered by a stern and determined "No!" The persons who conceived of the Negroes as free and remaining in the United States were a small minority before 1861, and confined to educated free Negroes and some of the Abolitionists.

This basic thought of the American nation now began gradually to be changed. It bore the face of fear. It showed a certain dismay at the thought of what the nation was facing after the war and under hypnotism of a philanthropic idea. The very joy in the shout of emancipated Negroes was a threat. Who were these people? Were we not loosing a sort of gorilla into American freedom? Negroes were lazy, poor and ignorant. Moreover their ignorance was more than the ignorance of whites. It was a biological, fundamental and ineradicable ignorance based on pronounced and eternal racial differences. The democracy and freedom open and possible to white men of English stock, and even to Continental Europeans, were unthinkable in the case of Africans. We were moving slowly in an absolutely impossible direction.

Meantime, there was anarchy in the South and the triumph of brute physical force over large areas. The classic report on conditions in the South directly after the war is that of Carl Schurz. Carl Schurz was of the finest type of immigrant Americans. A German of education and training, he had fought for liberal thought and government in his country, and when driven out by the failure of the revolution of 1848, had come to the United States, where he fought for freedom. No man was better prepared dispassionately to judge conditions in the South than Schurz. He was to be sure an idealist and doctrinaire, but surely the hard-headed and the practical had made mess enough with America. This was a time for thought and plan. Schurz's reports on his journey remain today with every internal evidence of truth and reliability.

His mission came about in this way: he had written Johnson on his North Carolina effort at Reconstruction and Johnson invited him to call.

"President Johnson received me with the assurance that he had read my letters with great interest and appreciation, and that he was earnestly . considering the views I had presented in them. But in one respect, he said, I had entirely mistaken his intentions. His North Carolina proclamation was not to be understood as laying down a general rule for the reconstruction of all 'the states lately in rebellion.' It was to be regarded as merely experimental, and he thought that the condition of things in North Carolina was especially favorable for the making of such an experiment. As to the Gulf States, he was very doubtful and even anxious. He wished to see those states restored to their constitutional relations with the general government as quickly as possible, but he did not know whether it could be done with safety to the Union men and to the emanicipated slaves. He therefore requested me to visit those states for the purpose of reporting to him whatever information I could gather as to the existing condition of things, and of suggesting to him such measures as my observations might lead me to believe advisable."3

In his report, Schurz differentiated four classes in the South:

"1. Those who, although having yielded submission to the national government only when obliged to do so, have a clear perception of the irreversible changes produced by the war, and honestly endeavor to accommodate themselves to the new order of things.

"2. Those whose principal object is to have the states without delay restored to their position and influence in the Union and the people of the states to the absolute control of their home concerns. They are ready in order to attain that object to make any ostensible concession that will not prevent them from arranging things to suit their taste as soon as that object is attained.

"3. The incorrigibles, who still indulge in the swagger which was so customary before and during the war, and still hope for a time when the Southern confederacy will achieve its independence.

"4. The multitude of people who have no definite ideas about the circumstances under which they live and about the course they have to follow; whose intellects are weak, but whose prejudices and impulses are strong, and who are apt to be carried along by those who know how to appeal to the latter."4

He thus describes the movements immediately following the war:

"When the war came to a close, the labor system of the South was already much disturbed. During the progress of military operations large numbers of slaves had left their masters and followed the columns of our armies; others had taken refuge in our camps; many thousands had enlisted in the service of the national government. Extensive settlements of Negroes had been formed along the seaboard and the banks of the Mississippi, under the supervision of army officers and treasury agents, and the government was feeding the colored refugees who could not be advantageously employed in the so-called contraband camps.

"Many slaves had also been removed by their masters, as our armies penetrated the country, either to Texas or to the interior of Georgia and Alabama. Thus a considerable portion of the laboring force had been withdrawn from its former employments. But a majority of the slaves remained on the plantations to which they belonged, especially in those parts of the country which were not touched by the war, and where, consequently, the emancipation proclamation was not enforced by the military power. Although not ignorant of the stake they had in the result of the contest, the patient bondmen waited quietly for the development of things.

"But as soon as the struggle was finally decided, and our forces were scattered about in detachments to occupy the country, the so far unmoved masses began to stir. The report went among them that their liberation was no longer a mere contingency, but a fixed fact. Large numbers of colored people left the plantations; many flocked to our military posts and camps to obtain the certainty of their freedom, and others walked away merely for the purpose of leaving the places on which they had been held in slavery, and because they could now go with impunity. Still others, and their number was by no means inconsiderable, remained with their former masters and continued their work on the field, but under new and as yet unsettled conditions, and under the agitating influence of a feeling of restlessness.

"In some localities, however, where our troops had not yet penetrated and where no military post was within reach, planters endeavored and partially succeeded in maintaining between themselves and the Negroes the relation of master and slave partly by concealing from them the great changes that had taken place, and partly by terrorizing them into submission to their behests. But aside from these exceptions, the country found itself thrown into that confusion which is naturally inseparable from a change so great and so sudden. The white people were afraid of the Negroes, and the Negroes did not trust the white people; the military power of the national government stood there, and was looked up to, as the protector of both....

"Some of the planters with whom I had occasion to converse expressed their determination to adopt the course which best accords with the spirit of free labor, to make the Negro work by offering him fair inducements, to stimulate his ambition, and to extend to him those means of intellectual and moral improvement which are best calculated to make him an intelligent, reliable and efficient free laborer and a good and useful citizen....

"I regret to say that views and intentions so reasonable I found confined to a small minority. Aside from the assumption that the Negro will not work without physical compulsion, there appears to be another popular notion prevalent in the South which stands as no less serious an obstacle in the way of a successful solution of the problem. It is that the Negro exists for the special object o£ raising cotton, rice and sugar for the whites, and that it is illegitimate for him to indulge, like other people, in the pursuit of his own happiness in his own way....

"I made it a special point in most of the conversations I had with Southern men to inquire into their views with regard to this subject. I found, indeed, some gentlemen of thought and liberal ideas who readily acknowledged the necessity of providing for the education of the colored people, and who declared themselves willing to cooperate to that end to the extent of their influence. Some planters thought of establishing schools on their estates, and others would have been glad to see measures taken to that effect by the people of the neighborhoods in which they lived. But whenever I asked the question whether it might be hoped that the legislatures of their states or their county authorities would make provisions for Negro education, I never received an affirmative, and only in two or three instances feebly encouraging answers. At last I was forced to the conclusion that, aside from a small number of honorable exceptions, the popular prejudice is almost as bitterly set against the Negro's having the advantage of education as it was when the Negro was a slave. There may be an improvement in that respect, but it would prove only how universal the prejudice was in former days. Hundreds of times I heard the old assertion repeated, that 'learning will spoil the nigger for work,' and that 'Negro education will be the ruin of the South.' Another most singular notion still holds a potent sway over the minds of the masses — it is, that the elevation of the blacks will be the degradation of the whites....

"The emancipation of the slaves is submitted to only in so far as chattel slavery in the old form could not be kept up. But although the freedman is no longer considered the property of the individual master, he is considered the slave of society, and all independent state legislation will share the tendency to make him such. The ordinances abolishing slavery passed by the conventions under the pressure of circumstances will not be looked upon as barring the establishment of a new form of servitude."

Carl Schurz summed the matter up:

"Wherever I go — the street, the shop, the house, the hotel, or the steamboat — I hear the people talk in such a way as to indicate that they are yet unable to conceive of the Negro as possessing any rights at all. Men who are honorable in their dealings with their white neighbors, will cheat a Negro without feeling a single twinge of their honor. To kill a Negro, they do not deem murder; to debauch a Negro woman, they do not think fornication; to take the property away from a Negro, they do not consider robbery. The people boast that when they get freedmen's affairs in their own hands, to use their own expression, 'the niggers will catch hell.'

"The reason of all this is simple and manifest. The whites esteem the blacks their property by natural right, and however much they admit that the individual relations of masters and slaves have been destroyed by the war and by the President's emancipation proclamation, they still have an ingrained feeling that the blacks at large belong to the whites at large."

Corroboration of the main points in the thesis of Schurz came from many sources.5 From Virginia:

"Before the abolition of slavery, and before the war, it was the policy of slaveholders to make a free Negro as despicable a creature and as uncomfortable as possible. They did not want a free Negro about at all. They considered it an injury to the slave, as it undoubtedly was, creating discontent among the slaves. The consequences were that there was always an intense prejudice against the free Negro. Now, very suddenly, all have become free Negroes; and that was not calculated to allay that prejudice."

A colored man testified:

"There was a distinct tendency toward compulsion, toward reestablished slavery under another name. Negroes coming into York-town from regions of Virginia and thereabout, said that they had worked all year and received no pay and were driven off the first of January. The owners sold their crops and told them they had no further use for them and that they might go to the Yankees, or the slaveholders offered to take them back but refused to pay any wages. A few offered a dollar a month and clothing and food. They were not willing to pay anything for work."

The courts aided the subjection of Negroes. George S. Smith of Virginia, resident since 1848, said that he had been in the Provost Marshal's department and "have had great opportunities of seeing the cases that are brought before him. Although I am prejudiced against the Negro myself, still I must tell the truth, and must acknowledge that he has rights. In more than nine cases out of ten that have come up in General Patrick's office, the Negro has been right and the white man has been wrong, and I think that that will be found to be the case if you examine the different provost marshals."

It was common for Virginians in 1865 and 1866 to advocate wholesale expulsion of the Negroes. This attitude arose from the slave trade:

"The slave system in Virginia has been such as to exhaust very largely the able-bodied laborers; I have been informed that twenty-thousand of that class were annually sold from Virginia; consequently, a very large portion of the colored population there is composed of the aged, infirm, women and children, and the being freed from the necessity of supporting them is really a great relief in the present poverty of the people — a relief to their former owners."

Of course, those who wanted Negro labor immediately and were pushed on by the current high prices for products, were willing to compromise in some respects.

"The more intelligent people there, those who have landed estates, need their labor. Being dependent upon them for labor, they see the necessity of employing them, and are disposed to get along with them. All of the people, however, are extremely reluctant to grant the Negro his civil rights — those privileges that pertain to freedom, the protection of life, liberty and property before the laws, the right to testify in the courts, etc. They are all very reluctant to concede that; and if it is ever done, it will be because they are forced to do it. They are reluctant even to consider and treat the Negro as a free man."

Lieutenant Sanderson, who was in North Carolina for three years, said that as soon as the Southerners came in in full control, they intended to put in force laws "not allowing a contraband to stay in any section over such a length of time without work; if he does, to seize him and sell him. In fact, that is done now in the county of Gates, North Carolina. The county police, organized under orders from headquarters, did enforce that.

"Mr. Parker told me that he had hired his people for the season: that directly after the surrender of General Lee, he called them up and told them they were free; that he was better used to them than to others, and would prefer hiring them; that he would give them board and two suits of clothing to stay with him till the ist day of January, 1866, and one Sunday suit at the end of that time; that they consented willingly — in fact, preferred to remain with him, etc. But from his people I learned that though he did call them up, as stated, yet when one of them demurred at the offer, his son James flew at him and cuffed and kicked him; that after that they were all 'perfectly willing to stay'; they were watched night and day; that Bob, one of the men, had been kept chained nights; that they were actually afraid to try to get away."

Sometimes the resentment at the new state of affairs was funny. A county judge near Goldsboro, who had never been addressed by a Negro unbidden, came to the quarters of Lieutenant Sanderson:

"'Lieutenant, what am I to stand from these freed people? I suppose you call them free. What insults am I obliged to suffer? I am in a perfect fever.' I told him I saw he was, and asked him what he complained of? If there was anything wrong I would right it. 'Well,' said he, 'one of these infernal niggers came along as I sat on my piazza this morning and bowed to me, and said good morning; — one of your soldiers!'"

From Alabama it was reported:

"The planters hate the Negro, and the latter class distrust the former, and while this state of things continues, there cannot be harmonious action in developing the resources of the country. Besides, a good many men are unwilling yet to believe that the 'peculiar institution' of the South has been actually abolished, and still have the lingering hope that slavery, though not in name, will yet in some form practically exist. And hence the great anxiety to get back into the Union, which being accomplished, they will then, as I have heard it expressed, 'fix the Negro!'...

"It is the simple fact, capable of indefinite proof, that the black man does not receive the faintest shadow of justice. I aver that in nine cases out of ten within my own observation, where a white man has provoked an affray with a black and savagely misused him, the black man has been fined for insolent language because he did not receive the chastisement in submissive silence, while the white man has gone free."6

The New York Herald says of Georgia:

"Springing naturally out of this disordered state of affairs is an organization of 'regulators,' so called. Their numbers include many ex-Confederate cavaliers of the country, and their mission is to visit summary justice upon any offenders against the public peace. It is needless to say that their attention is largely directed to maintaining quiet and submission among the blacks. The shooting or stringing up of some obstreperous 'nigger' by the 'regulators' is so common an occurrence as to excite little remark. Nor is the work of proscription confined to the freedmen only. The 'regulators' go to the bottom of the matter, and strive to make it uncomfortably warm for any new settler with demoralizing innovations of wages for 'niggers.'"7

A committee of the Florida legislature reported in 1865 that it was true that one of the results of the war was the abolition of African slavery.

"But it will hardly be seriously argued that the simple act of emancipation of itself worked any change in the social, legal or political status of such of the African race as were already free. Nor will it be insisted, we presume, that the emancipated slave technically denominated a 'freedman' occupied any higher position in the scale of rights and privileges than did the 'free Negro.' If these inferences be correct, then it results as a logical conclusion, that all the arguments going to sustain the authority of the General Assembly to discriminate in the case of 'free Negroes' equally apply to that of 'freedmen,' or emancipated slaves.

"But it is insisted by a certain class of radical theorists that the act of emancipation did not stop in its effect in merely severing the relation of master and slave, but that it extended further, and so operated as to exalt the entire race and placed them upon terms of perfect equality with the white man. These fanatics may be very sincere and honest in their convictions, but the result of the recent elections in Connecticut and Wisconsin shows very conclusively that such is not the sentiment of the majority of the so-called Free States."

Some Southerners saw in emancipation nothing but extermination for the Negro race. The Provisional Governor of Florida became almost tearful over the impending fate of the Negroes and the guilt of the North.

"This unfortunate class of our population, but recently constituting the happiest and best provided for laboring population in the world, by no act of theirs or voluntary concurrence of ours; with no prior training to prepare them for their new responsibilities, have been suddenly deprived of the fostering care and protection of their old masters and are now to become, like so many children gamboling upon the brink of the yawning precipice, careless of the future and intent only on revelling in the present unrestrained enjoyment of the newly found bauble of freedom...."8

Judge Humphrey of Alabama said:

"I believe in case of a return to the Union, we would receive political cooperation so as to secure the management of that labor by those who were slaves. There is really no difference, in my opinion, whether we hold them as absolute slaves or obtain their labor by some other method. Of course, we prefer the old method. But that question is not now before us!"

A twelve-year resident of Alabama said:

"There is a kind of innate feeling, a lingering hope among many in the South that slavery will be regalvanized in some shape or other. They tried by their laws to make a worse slavery than there was before, for the freedman has not now the protection which the master from interest gave him before."9

"Every day, the press of the South testifies to the outrages that are being perpetrated upon unoffending colored people by the state militia. These outrages are particularly flagrant in the states of Alabama and Mississippi, and are of such character as to demand most imperatively the interposition of the national Executive. These men are rapidly inaugurating a condition of things — a feeling — among the freedmen that will, if not checked, ultimate in insurrection. The freedmen are peaceable and inoffensive; yet if the whites continue to make it all their lives are worth to go through the country, as free people have a right to do, they will goad them to that point at which submission and patience cease to be a virtue.

"I call your attention to this matter after reading and hearing from the most authentic sources — officers and others — for weeks, of the continuance of the militia robbing the colored people of their property — arms — shooting them in the public highways if they refuse to halt when so commanded, and lodging them in jail if found from home without passes, and ask, as a matter of simple justice to an unoffending and downtrodden people that you use your influence to induce the President to issue an order or proclamation forbidding the organization of state militia."10

In Mississippi:

"In respectful earnestness I must say that if at the end of all the blood that has been shed and the treasure expended, the unfortunate Negro is to be left in the hands of his infuriated and disappointed former owners to legislate and fix his status, God help him, for his cup of bitterness will overflow indeed. Was ever such a policy conceived in the brain of men before?"

Sumner quotes "an authority of peculiar value" — a gentleman writing from Mississippi:

"I regret to state that under the civil power deemed by all the inhabitants of Mississippi to be paramount, the condition of the freed-men in many portions of the country has become deplorable and painful in the extreme. I must give it as my deliberate opinion that the freedmen are today, in the vicinity where I am now writing, worse off in most respects than when they were held slaves. If matters are permitted to continue on as they now seem likely to be, it needs no prophet to predict a rising on the part of the colored population, and a terrible scene of bloodshed and desolation. Nor can anyone blame the Negroes if this proves to be the result. I have heard since my arrival here, of numberless atrocities that have been perpetrated upon the freedmen. It is sufficient to state that the old overseers are in power again.... The object of the Southerners appears to be to make good their often-repeated assertions, to the effect that the Negroes would die if they were freed. To make it so, they seem determined to goad them to desperation, in order to have an excuse to turn upon and annihilate them."

General Fisk early in 1866 said:

"I have today received the statement of two very respectable colored men who went into northern Mississippi from Nashville and rented plantations. Both of them were men of means, and one a reputed son of Isham G. Harris, a former Governor of Tennessee. Both were very intelligent colored men. They have been driven out and warned not to put their feet within the state again. Their written statements and affidavits I have, and will cheerfully place them in the hands of the committee if they desire it. They are reliable men; I know them both."

A former Mississippi slaveholder wrote:

"As a man who has been deprived of a large number of persons he once claimed as slaves, I protest against such a course. If it is intended to follow up the abolition of slavery by a liberal and enlightened policy, by which I mean bestowing upon them the full rights of other citizens, then I can give this movement my heart and hand. But if the Negro is to be left in a helpless condition, far more miserable than that of slavery, I would ask what was the object of taking him from those who claimed his services.

"General Chetlain tells us that while he was in command, for two months, of the Jackson District, containing nine counties, there was an average of one black man killed every day, and that in moving out forty miles on an expedition he found seven Negroes wantonly butchered. Colonel Thomas, assistant commissioner of the [Freed-men's] bureau for this state, tells us that there is now a daily average< of two or three black men killed in Mississippi; the sable patriots in blue as they return, are the objects of especial spite."

Governor Sharkey of Mississippi said:

"My expectation concerning them is that they are destined to extinction, beyond all doubt. We must judge of the future by the past. I could tell you a great many circumstances to that effect; I am sorry I did not come prepared with means to state the percentage of deaths among them. It is alarming, appalling, I think they will gradually die out."

General Fisk received a letter from a rich planter living in DeSoto County, Mississippi. "He had on his plantation a little girl, and wrote me a long letter in relation to it, which closed up by saying: 'As to recognizing the rights of freedmen to their children, I will say there is not one man or woman in all the South who believes they are free, but we consider them as stolen property — stolen by the bayonets of the damnable United States government. Yours truly, T. Yancey.'

"There is one thing that must be taken into account, and that is there will exist a very strong disposition among the masters to control these people and keep them as a subordinate and subjected class. Undoubtedly they intend to do that. I think the tendency to establish a system of serfdom is the great danger to be guarded against. I talked with a planter in the La Fourche district, near Tebadouville; he said he was not in favor of secession; he avowed his hope and expectation that slavery would be restored there in some form. I said: 'If we went away and left these people now, do you suppose you could reduce them to slavery?' He laughed to scorn the idea that they could not. 'What!' said I. 'These men who have had arms in their hands?' 'Yes,' he said; 'we should take the arms away from them, of course.'"

There was no inconsiderable number of Southerners who stoutly maintained that Negroes were not free. The Planters' Party of Louisiana in 1864 proposed to revive the Constitution of 1852 with all its slavery features. They believed that Lincoln had emancipated the slaves in the rebellious parts of the country as a war measure. Slavery remained intact within the Federal lines except as to the return of fugitives, and might be reinstated everywhere at the close of hostilities; or, in any case, compensation might be obtained by loyal citizens through the decision of the Supreme Court.

The situation in Texas was peculiar. During the war, Texan produce had been sent to Europe by the way of Mexico, and a steady stream of cash came in which made slavery all the more valuable. At the end of the war slavery was essentially unimpaired. When the Federal soldiers approached, some of the planters set their Negroes free and some Negroes ran away, but most of the Negroes were kept on the plantations to await Federal action, and there was widespread belief that slavery was an institution and would continue in some form.

The Houston, Texas, Telegraph was of the opinion that emancipation was certain to take place but that compulsory labor would replace slavery. Since the Negro was to be freed by the Federal Government solely with a view to the safety of the Union, his condition would be modified only so far as to insure this, but not so far as materially to weaken the agricultural resources of the country. Therefore, the Negroes would be compelled to work under police regulations of a stringent character.

Mr. Sumner reported in 1866 a special slave trade from the South to the West Indies and South America.

"Another big trade is going on; that of running Negroes to Cuba and Brazil. They are running through the country dressed in Yankee clothes, hiring men, giving them any price they ask, to make turpentine on the bay, sometimes on the rivers, sometimes to make sugar. They get them on the cars. Of course the Negro don't know where he is going. They get him to the bay and tell him to go on the steamer to go around the coast, and away goes poor Cuffee to slavery again. They are just cleaning out this section of the country of the likeliest men and women in it. Federal officers are mixed up in it, too."

So much for the attitude of the owning class, the former slaveowners. But the great mass of the Southerners were not slaveholders; they were white peasant-farmers, artisans, with a few merchants and professional men. Large numbers of these were fed by the Federal government and formed a considerable proportion of the fugitives after the war.

General Hatch reported in 1866: "The poorer classes of the white people have an intense dislike" toward Negroes in Mississippi. Five-sixths of the soldiers in the Confederate Army were not slave-owners, and had fought against the competition of Negroes, and for their continued slavery.

"The most discouraging feature was the utter helplessness of the white community in the face of the terrible problem. Almost any thoughtful traveler could see that the majority of the whites were parasites, idlers and semi-vagabonds. According to Sidney Andrews, 'The Negro, as bad as his condition is,' said he, 'seems to me, on the whole, to accommodate himself more easily than the whites to the changed situation. I should say that the question at issue in the South is not 'What shall be done with the Negro?' but 'What shall be done with the whites?' The blacks manage to live comfortably for the most part and help each other; but the whites, accustomed to having all their affairs managed by an aristocracy which was then ruined, seemed powerless. They chose committees and reported cases of suffering, but any organized action on a large scale could not be expected. It was hoped that aid for the whites would come from the North, for fearful distress from hunger was inevitable."

General Turner said of the conditions in Virginia:

"Among the lower classes of the whites there is a spirit of aggression against the Negro.... And a great many of the Negroes are inclined to take the thing in their own hands; they are not disposed to be imposed upon by those people, if they can have half a show to defend themselves....

"With the lower classes — I speak now more particularly of the city of Richmond — probably the feeling does not exist to such an extent in the rural districts — there is an impulsive feeling of aggression — a desire to get the Negro out of the way. They do not think of his rights; they do not appear to know what it means; only they feel that the Negro has something."

General Fisk spoke of Tennessee:

"It is a melancholy fact that among the bitterest opponents of the Negro in Tennessee are the intensely radical loyalists of the mountain district — the men who have been in our armies...."

"The poorer classes of the white people have an intense dislike toward them," said General Hatch. He especially emphasized the situation in Tennessee and spoke of the aid that was being given the white fugitives. He said that the Negro knew that without legal rights he was not safe from the poor whites, and that they had not issued to the Negroes one-tenth of the rations that they had given the poor whites.

"The hatred toward the Negro as a freeman is intense among the low and brutal, who are the vast majority. Murders, shootings, whippings, robbing and brutal treatment of every kind are daily inflicted upon them, and I am sorry to say in most cases they can get no redress. They don't know where to complain or how to seek justice after they have been abused and cheated. The habitual deference toward the white man makes them fearful of his anger and revenge."

The Union members of the Tennessee legislature said:

"That long before the war common laborers had learned to curse the Yankees and Abolitionists and to talk about Negro equality and his rights in the territories. With all this went a great degree of personal violence. Leaving out for the moment the group violence, the organized fight against the Negro which was continuous, the personal physical opposition was continually in existence."

A candidate for Congress in Virginia in 1865 said:

"I am opposed to the Southern states being taxed at all for the redemption of this national debt, either directly or indirectly; and I will vote to repeal all laws that have heretofore been passed for that purpose; and, in doing so, I do not consider that I violate any obligations to which the South was a party. We have never plighted our faith for the redemption of the war debt. The people will be borne down with taxes for years to come; even if the war debt is repudiated, it will be the duty of the government to support the maimed and disabled soldiers, and this will be a great expense; and if the United States Government requires the South to be taxed for the support of Union soldiers, we should insist that all disabled soldiers should be maintained by the United States Government without regard to the side they had taken in the war.

"The national debt doubtless seems to you beyond the reach of any hand. Yet I regard it as very probable that one or two or all of three things will be attempted within three years after the Southern members of Congress are admitted to seats — the repudiation of the national debt, the assumption of the Confederate debt, or the payment of several hundred million dollars to the South for property destroyed and slaves emancipated."

A leader from South Carolina, James H. Campbell, said:

"I believe that when our votes are admitted into that Congress, if we are tolerably wise, governed by a moderate share of common sense, we will have our own way. I am speaking now not to be reported. We will have our own way yet, if we are true to ourselves. We know the past, we know not what is to be our future. Are we not in a condition to accept what we cannot help? Are we not in a condition where it is the part of wisdom to wait and give what we cannot avoid giving? I believe as surely as we are a people, so surely, if we are guided by wisdom, we will by the beginning of the next presidential election which is all that is known of the Constitution — for when you talk of the Constitution of the United States it means the presidential election and the share of the spoils — I believe then we may hold the balance of power."

Thus gradually, the South conceived a picture. It deliberately looked backward towards slavery in a day when two Southern poor whites were Presidents of the United States.

Although he was the Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, too, in many respects, was looking backward toward the past. Lincoln's solution for the Negro problem was colonization. In this respect he went back to the early nineteenth century when the American Colonization Society was formed, with what proved to be two antagonistic objects: The first was the philanthropic object of removing the Negro to Africa and starting him on the road to an independent culture in his own fatherland. The second and more influential object was to get rid of the free Negro in the United States so as to make color caste the permanent foundation of American Negro slavery. The contradiction of these two objects was the real cause of the failure of colonization, since it early incurred the bitter opposition of both Abolitionists and Negro leaders. The result of the movement was the establishment of Liberia in an inhospitable land and without adequate capital and leadership. The survival of that little country to our day is one of the miracles of Negro effort, despite all of the propaganda of criticism that has been leveled against that country.

When the Negro question became prominent before the war, the project of colonization was revived, and Abraham Lincoln believed in it "as one means of solving the great race problem involved in the existence of slavery in the United States.... Without being an enthusiast, Lincoln was a firm believer in colonization."11

In the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Lincoln said at Peoria, Illinois:

"If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do as to the existing institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves and send them to Liberia — to their own native land. But a moment's reflection would convince me that, whatever of high hope (as I think there is) there may be in this, in the long run its sudden execution is impossible. If they were all landed there in a day, they would all perish in the next ten days; and there are not surplus shipping and surplus money enough in the world to carry them there in many times ten days. What then? Free them all and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I think that I would not hold one in slavery at any rate, yet the point is not clear enough for me to denounce people upon. What next? Free them and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this, and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of whites will not."12

Later, speaking at Springfield, Illinois, Lincoln declared: "That the separation of races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation."

Several prominent Republicans espoused deportation in 1859. F. B. Blair of Missouri wrote to Senator Doolittle of Minnesota:

"I am delighted that you are pressing the colonization scheme in your campaign speeches. I touched upon it three or four times in my addresses in Minnesota and if I am any judge of effect it is the finest theme with which to get at the hearts of the people and [it] can be defended with success at all points.... I made it the culminating point and inevitable result of Republican doctrine."13

When the general strike of slaves began during the war, and the black fugitives began to pour into the Federal lines, Lincoln again brought forward his proposal of colonization, not simply for the freedmen, but for such free Negroes as should wish to emigrate. He suggested an appropriation for acquiring suitable territory and for other expenses.

By an act of April 16, 1862, which abolished slavery in the District of Columbia, Congress made an appropriation of $100,000 for voluntary Negro emigrants at an expense of $100 each; and later, July 16, an additional appropriation of $500,000 was made at Lincoln's request. The President was authorized "to make provision for transportation, colonization, and settlement, in some tropical country beyond the limits of the United States, of such persons of the African race, made free by the provisions of this act, as may be willing to emigrate, having first obtained the consent of the government of said country to their protection and settlement within the same, with all the rights and privileges of freemen."14

By an act of July 17, 1862, the President was authorized to colonize Negroes made free by the confiscation acts. Proceeds from confiscated property were to replace monies appropriated for colonization.

Charles Sumner vigorously attacked these plans. He said colonization was unwise: "Because, besides its intrinsic and fatal injustice, you will deprive the country of what it most needs, which is labor. Those freedmen on the spot are better than mineral wealth. Each is a mine, out of which riches can be drawn, provided you let him share the product, and through him that general industry will be established which is better than anything but virtue, and is, indeed, a form of virtue."15

In several cases, President Lincoln interviewed delegations on the subject. He believed that a good colonization scheme would greatly encourage voluntary emancipation in the Border States. He spoke to the Border State representatives and said that room in South America for Negro colonization could be obtained cheaply. He received in August, 1862, a committee of colored men, headed by E. M. Thomas, and urged colonization on account of the difference of race.

"Should the people of your race be colonized and where? Why should they leave this country? You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think. Your race suffers very greatly, many of them, by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted it affords a reason why we should be separated. If we deal with those who are not free at the beginning and whose intellects are clouded by slavery, we have very poor material to start with. If intelligent colored men, such as are before me, would move in this matter much might be accomplished."16

A bill was introduced into the House in 1862 appropriating $200,000,000 — $20,000,000 to colonize and the rest to purchase 600,000 slaves of Unionist owners in Border States. The bill was not passed but the committee made an elaborate report on colonization July 16, 1862, declaring:

"The most formidable difficulty which lies in the way of emancipation in most if not in all the slave states is the belief which obtains especially among those who own no slaves that if the Negroes shall become free they must still continue in our midst, and ... in some measure be made equal to the Anglo-Saxon race.... The belief [in the inferiority of the Negro race] ... is indelibly fixed upon the public mind. The differences of the races separate them as with a wall of fire; there is no instance in history where liberated slaves have lived in harmony with their former masters when denied equal rights — but the Anglo-Saxon will never give his consent to Negro equality, and the recollections of the former relation of master and slave will be perpetuated by the changeless color of the Ethiop's skin. Emancipation therefore without colonization could offer little to the Negro race. A revolution of the blacks might result, but only to their undoing. To appreciate and understand this difficulty it is only necessary for one to observe that in proportion as the legal barriers established by slavery have been removed by emancipation the prejudice of caste becomes stronger and public opinion more intolerant to the Negro race."17

In his second annual message, December 1, 1862, the President referred to communications from colored men who favored emigration, and to protests from several South American countries against receiving Negroes. He requested further appropriations for colonizing free Negroes with their own consent, but showed a deviation from his former philosophy:

"I cannot make it better known than it already is, that I strongly favor colonization; and yet I wish to say there is an objection urged against free colored persons remaining in the country, which is largely imaginary, if not sometimes malicious. It is insisted that their presence would injure and displace white labor more by being free than by remaining slaves. If they stay in their old places they jostle no white laborers; if they leave their old places, they leave them open to white laborers. Logically then there is neither more nor less of it. Emancipation, even without deportation, would probably enhance the wages of white labor and very surely would not reduce them. Reduce the supply of black labor by colonizing the black laborer out of the country and by precisely so much you increase the demand for and wages of white labor."

Several negotiations were begun with foreign countries that owned colonies in the West Indies, and with South American countries. The Cabinet discussed the matter. Bates wanted compulsory deportation, but the President objected to this. Finally, he settled on two projects: one, in Panama, and the other in the West Indies, where an island was ceded by Haiti. An adventurer, named Kock, undertook to carry five thousand colored emigrants to the island, but the result was a fiasco and a large number of the four hundred actually sent died of disease and neglect, and were finally brought back to the United States on a war vessel.

As late as April, 1865, President Lincoln said to General Butler:

"'But what shall we do with the Negroes after they are free?' inquired Lincoln. 'I can hardly believe that the South and North can live in peace unless we get rid of the Negroes. Certainly they cannot, if we don't get rid of the Negroes whom we have armed and disciplined and who have fought with us, to the amount, I believe, of some 150,000 men. I believe that it would be better to export them all to some fertile country with a good climate, which they could have to themselves. You have been a staunch friend of the race from the time you first advised me to enlist them at New Orleans. You have had a great deal of experience in moving bodies of men by water — your movement up the James was a magnificent one. Now we shall have no use for our very large navy. What then are our difficulties in sending the blacks away?...

"'I wish you would examine the question and give me your views upon it and go into the figures as you did before in some degree so as to show whether the Negroes can be exported.' Butler replied: 'I will go over this matter with all diligence and tell you my conclusions as soon as I can.' The second day after that Butler called early in the morning and said: 'Mr. President, I have gone very carefully over my calculations as to the power of the country to export the Negroes of the South and I assure you that, using all your naval vessels and all the merchant marine fit to cross the seas with safety, it will be impossible for you to transport to the nearest place that can be found fit for them — and that is the Island of San Domingo, half as fast as Negro children will be born here.'"18

The Secretary of the Interior in December, 1863, reported that the Negroes were no longer willing to leave the United States and that they were needed in the army. For these reasons, he thought that they should not be forcibly deported. On July 2, 1864, all laws relating to Negro colonization were repealed.

Lincoln was impressed by the loss of capital invested in slaves, but curiously never seemed seriously to consider the correlative loss of wage and opportunity of slave workers, the tangible results of whose exploitation had gone into the planters' pockets for two centuries.

A. K. McClure says: "Some time in August, 1864, I spent an hour or more with him alone at the White House, and I, then, for the first time spoke with frankness on the subject of restoring the Insurgent States.... He startled me by his proposition that he had carefully written out in his own hand on a sheet of note paper, proposing to pay the South $400,000,000 for the loss of their slaves. He was then a candidate for reelection, and grave doubts were entertained, until after Sherman's capture of Atlanta and Sheridan's victories in the valley, as to the result of the contest between Lincoln and McClellan; and he well knew that if public announcement had been made of his willingness to pay the South $400,000,000 for emancipation it would have defeated him overwhelmingly."19

This project of compensation for lost capital invested in slaves was permanently dropped and Lincoln had to turn to the question of the relation of the seceded states to the Union once the war was ended. The situation was absolutely unique. It was impossible to appeal to constitutional precedence, for the Constitution never contemplated anything like the things that had happened between 1861 and 1865.

The grave question of the future relation of the seceded states to the Union could not be settled by Lincoln's pragmatic procedure. It must be visioned as a whole and put into law and logic. Toward this, Lincoln was moving slowly and tentatively seeking a formula that would work and yet be just to all men of all colors, and consistent with the legal fabric of the nation.

Charles Sumner first laid down a comprehensive formula February 11, 1862:

"1. Resolved, That any vote of secession, or other act, by a state hostile to the supremacy of the Constitution within its territory, is inoperative and void against the Constitution, and, when sustained by force, becomes a practical abdication by the State of all rights under the Constitution, while the treason it involves works instant forfeiture of all functions and powers essential to the continued existence of the State as a body politic; so that from such time forward the territory falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress, as other territory, and the State becomes, according to the language of the law, felo-de-se."20

This plan was too radical for Lincoln, but that spring he proceeded to appoint military governors in Tennessee, North Carolina, Arkansas and Louisiana, where the Union Army held parts of the states. During the summer, he corresponded with Southern friends in Louisiana, and in December, clue to his pressure, two members of Congress were elected in Louisiana from New Orleans and its suburbs, which was the only part under the control of the Union Army.

The Confederate legislature which was meeting simultaneously at Shreveport declared:

"(1) Every citizen [Negroes were not citizens] should vote who had not forfeited his citizenship by electing to adhere to the government of the United States.

"(2) Five hundred thousand dollars were voted to pay for slaves lost by death or otherwise, while impressed on the public works.

"(3) Any slave bearing arms against the inhabitants of the state or the Confederate States, or who should engage in any revolt or rebellion or insurrection should suffer death."21

The two Louisiana Congressmen were admitted to Congress with some hesitation, and Lincoln was encouraged to make further experiment along this line. In his message of December 8, 1863, therefore, he outlined a general plan of Reconstruction.

He regarded the states as still existing, even during the war, and that the rebellion was a combination of disloyal persons in the states. Reconstruction was an executive problem which consisted in creating a loyal class in the states and supporting that class by military power until it organized and operated the state government. The loyal class was to swear allegiance to the United States and to the Acts of Congress unless they were held void or changed, and all persons could take this oath unless they were civil officials of the Confederate Government, or military officers above the rank of Colonel or Lieutenant in the navy; or unless they had resigned from Congress or the United States Courts, or from army and navy, in order to aid the rebellion; or unless they had not treated colored soldiers or the leaders of colored soldiers as prisoners of war.

Such a loyal class he was prepared to recognize in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina, when they formed not less than one-tenth of the votes cast in their state at the presidential election of i860. Lincoln was careful to say that whether members who went to Congress from any of these states should be admitted or not rested exclusively with the Houses of Congress and not with the President.

Virginia was not included because Lincoln had already recognized the government at Alexandria as the true government of Virginia during the war, and, therefore, assumed that Virginia needed no Reconstruction, but was to be treated like Kentucky and Missouri. Of course, the support of a government consisting of only one-tenth of its voters had to come from the outside; that is, from the Federal army. In his accompanying proclamation of the same date, the President also engaged by this proclamation not to object to any provision which might be adopted by such state governments in relation to the freed people of the states which should recognize and declare their permanent freedom and provide for present condition "as a laboring, landless, and homeless class."

Here emerged a clear feature of the Lincoln plan which has not been emphasized. On this matter of the freedom of the Negroes, and a real, not a nominal freedom, Abraham Lincoln was adamant. In December, 1863, his "message contained an unusually forcible and luminous expression of the principles embraced in the proclamation. The President referred to the dark and doubtful days which followed the announcement of the policy of emancipation and of the employment of black soldiers; the gradual justification of those acts by the successes which the national arms had since achieved; of the change of the public spirit of the Border States in favor of emancipation; the enlistment of black soldiers, and their efficient and creditable behavior in arms; the absence of any tendency to servile insurrection or to violence and cruelty among the Negroes; the sensible improvement in the public opinion of Europe and of America.

"In justification of his requiring, in the oath of amnesty, a submission to and support of the anti-slavery laws and proclamations, he said: 'Those laws and proclamations were enacted and put forth for the purpose of aiding in the suppression of the rebellion. To give them their fullest effect, there had to be a pledge for their maintenance. In my judgment they have aided and will further aid the cause for which they were intended. To now abandon them would be not only to relinquish a lever of power, but would also be a cruel and an astounding breach of faith.'"

The reception of Lincoln's message to Congress in December, 1863, was enthusiastic:

"Men acted as though the millennium had come. Chandler was delighted, Sumner was joyous, apparently forgetting for the moment his doctrine of state suicide; while at the other political pole, Dixon and Reverdy Johnson said the message was 'highly satisfactory.' Henry Wilson said to the President's secretary: 'He has struck another great blow. Tell him for me, God bless him.' The effect was similar in the House of Representatives. George S. Boutwell, who represented the extreme anti-slavery element of New England, said: 'It is a very able and shrewd paper. It has great points of popularity, and it is right.' Owen Lovejoy, the leading abolitionist of the West, seemed to see on the mountain the feet of one bringing good tidings. 'I shall live,' he said, 'to see slavery ended in America.'... Francis W. Kellogg of Michigan went shouting about the lobby: 'The President is the only man. There is none like him in the world. He sees more widely and more clearly than any of us.' Henry T. Blow, the radical member from St. Louis (who was six months later denouncing Mr. Lincoln as a traitor to freedom) said: 'God bless old Abe! I am one of the Radicals who have always believed in him.' Horace Greeley, who was on the floor of the House, went so far as to say the message was 'devilish good.'"22

The causes of this jubilation were, however, dangerously diverse; the Abolitionists saw mainly the determination of Lincoln utterly to abolish slavery. This had not been clear before. Lincoln had never been an Abolitionist; he had never believed in full Negro citizenship; he had tried desperately to win the war without Negro soldiers, and he had emancipated the slaves only on account of military necessity. On the other hand, Lincoln learned; he stood now for abolishing slavery forever; he gave full credit and praise to Negro soldiers; and he was soon to face the problem of Negro citizenship.

Northern capital and Southern sympathizers in the North hailed the message because it carried no note of revenge or punishment, and contemplated speedy restoration of political independence in the South and normal industry.

Now came the very pertinent question as to just how this freedom of Negroes was to be enforced and maintained. Lincoln, working at this problem in Louisiana, in his correspondence with Banks, who was now in command, and Shepley, Military Governor, encouraged preparations for a reconstructed state government. Banks arranged to elect state officials and accepted as the basis of voting the provisions of the Louisiana Constitution of 1852 which, of course, allowed no Negroes to vote. v

Accordingly, he declared the electors to be:

"Every free white male, 21 years of age, who had been resident in the state 12 months, and in the parish 6 months, who shall be a citizen of the United States and shall have taken the oath prescribed by the President in December, 1863." The total vote on February 22, 1864, was 11,355, °f which Hahn received 6,171, Fellows, 2,959, an d Flanders, 2,225, g lvm g a majority to Hahn for Governor.23

If this experiment in Reconstruction had been attempted anywhere but in Louisiana, it is possible that the whole question of Negro suffrage would not have been raised then or perhaps for many years after. But by peculiar fate, it happened that a problem of Negro voting was immediately raised in Louisiana by the election of 1864, which simply could not be ignored. Usually, the argument concerning Negro suffrage after the war was met by an expression of astonishment that anybody could for a moment consider the admission of ignorant, brutish field hands to the ballot-box in the South. But that was not the problem which faced General Banks and Abraham Lincoln in 1864.

In Louisiana, where the question of Negro suffrage first arose as a problem, there existed a group of free Negroes. Their fathers had been free when Louisiana was annexed to the United States. Their numbers had increased from 7,585 in 1810 to 25,505 in 1840, and then declined to 18,647 m i860, by emigration and by passing over into the white race on the part of their octoroon and lighter members.

Negroes in Louisiana in i860 owned fifteen million dollars' worth of property. The Ricaud family alone in 1859 owned 4,000 acres of land and 350 slaves, at a total value of $250,000. The development of this mulatto group was extraordinary. Beginning under the French and Spanish, they played a remarkable part in the history of the state. The Spanish government while in possession of Louisiana had raised among them two companies of militia, "composed of all the mechanics which the city possessed."

This group of Negroes took part in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, and was extravagantly praised by Andrew Jackson. They were the cause of an extraordinary blossoming of artistic life, which made New Orleans in the early part of the nineteenth century the most picturesque city of America. Negro musicians and artists arose. Eugene Warburg, a colored man, went from New Orleans to become a sculptor in France. Dubuclet became a musician in France, and the Seven "Lamberts taught and composed in North and South America and Europe. Sidney was decorated for his work by the King of Portugal, and Edmund Dede became a director of a leading orchestra in France.

Alexandre Pickhil was a painter, who died between 1840 and 1850. Joseph Abeillard was an architect and planned many New Orleans buildings before the war. Norbert Rillieux invented the vacuum-pan used in producing sugar; as an engineer and contractor Rillieux had no rivals in Louisiana. The general periodicals in New Orleans praised him but seldom alluded to his Negro descent.

In 1843-1845, New Orleans colored folk issued a magazine and seventeen of the young mulatto poets collected an anthology called Les Cenelles, which they published as a small volume. They were all men educated either in France, or in private schools in Louisiana, and were in contact with some of the best writers and literature of the day. It is doubtful if anywhere else in the United States a literary group of equal culture could have been found at the time. In 1850, four-fifths of the free Negroes living in New Orleans could read and write, and they had over a thousand children in school. Among them were carpenters, tailors, shoemakers and printers, besides teachers, planters and professional men.

James Derham, a colored man in New Orleans in 1800, had a medical practice of $3,000 a year. He was especially commended by Dr. Benjamin Rush. Below the professional level were numbers of Negroes of ability. There was the celebrated sorceress, Marie Laveau, who, about 1835, exercised an extraordinary influence throughout the city. In 1850, Louisiana had a colored architect, 6 physicians, 4 engineers, and over 20 teachers in schools and in music. As early as 1803, free colored men were admitted to the police force to patrol outside the city limits, to catch runaway slaves and stop looting and crime.

There was systematic common law marriage between whites and mulattoes. The connections formed with the quadroons and octoroons were often permanent enough for the rearing of large families, some of whom obtained their freedom through the affection of their father-master, and received the education he would have bestowed upon legitimate offspring.

When Butler came to New Orleans, it was one of these colored Creoles who entertained him at a banquet of seven courses served on silver.

"The secret, darling desire of this class is to rank as human beings in their native city; or, as the giver of the grand banquet expressed it, 'No matter where I fight; I only wish to spend what I have, and fight as long as I can, if only my boy may stand in the street equal to a white boy when the war is over.'"24

"The best blood of the South flowed in their veins, and a great deal of it; for 'the darkest of them,' said General Butler, 'were about of the complexion of the late Mr. Webster.'"25

This was the history of the free Negroes of New Orleans, and to this must be added their labor, cooperation and enlistment as soldiers. Could the government of the United States allow Confederate soldiers to vote simply because they were white, and exclude Union soldiers simply because they were yellow or black? Even if the Negroes had been quiescent and willing to be ignored at this critical time, their rights were indisputable. But they were not quiet.

The Negroes themselves made strong statements. In November, 1863, the free men of color held a meeting in New Orleans and drew up an appeal to Governor Shepley "asking to be allowed to register and vote." They reviewed their services under Jackson, who called them "my fellow citizens" just after the battle of New Orleans, and they declared their present loyalty to the Union. "For forty-nine years," the petition ran, "they have never ceased to be peaceable citizens, paying their taxes on assessments of more than nine million dollars."

But, however strongly this petition appealed to Shepley, it was manifestly impossible to grant it at this time. The decisive reason was that if Negroes had been allowed to vote in this election they would have formed the majority of the voting population of Union Louisiana!

So far as is known, Shepley returned no answer to the appeal; for in the following January, the colored Union Radical Association sent a committee to call on Shepley requesting him to recognize the "rights" of the free colored population to the franchise. Shepley, unwilling and unable to assume such responsibility, referred the committee to General Banks, but the latter gave them no definite reply. He explained later:

"I thought it unwise to give them the suffrage, as it would have created a Negro constituency. The whites might give suffrage to the Negroes, but if the Negroes gave suffrage to the whites, it would result in the Negro losing it. My idea was to get a decision from Judge Durell declaring a man with a major part of white blood should possess all the rights of a white man; but I had a great deal to do, and a few men who wanted to break the bundle of sticks without loosening the band defeated it."26

Accordingly, the colored committee sent P. M. Tourne to Washington to advocate their claims before the President. The President sent a man named McKee to New Orleans to study conditions among the colored people. Lincoln was impressed but characteristically reticent and slow in action.

General Banks next issued a call for a constitutional convention to be held March 28, 1864, to amend the Constitution of 1852. Contrary to this Constitution, he based representation in the new government on the white population alone, so as to reduce the power of the great landholders; and Negroes were not allowed to vote. The total vote for this convention was only 6,400.

When asked to direct the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1864, Lincoln refused and wrote: "While I very well know what I would be glad for Louisiana to do, it is quite a difficult thing for me to assume direction in the matter. I would be glad for her to make a new Constitution recognizing the Emancipation Proclamation, and adopting emancipation in those parts of the state to which the Proclamation does not apply. And while she is at it, I think it would not be objectionable for her to adopt some practical system by which the two races could gradually lift themselves out of their old relation to each other, and both come out better prepared for the new. Education for young blacks should be included in the plan. After all, the power or element of 'contract' may be sufficient for this probationary period, and by its simplicity and flexibility be better.

"As an anti-slavery man, I have a motive to desire emancipation which pro-slavery men do not have; but even they have strong enough reasons to thus place themselves again under the shield of the Union, and to thus perpetually hedge against the recurrence of the scenes through which we are now passing....

"For my own part, I think I shall not, in any event, retract the Emancipation Proclamation; nor, as executive, ever return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that Proclamation, or by any of the acts of Congress. If Louisiana shall send members to Congress, their admission will depend, as you know, upon the respective Houses and not upon the President."27

Here again was the same insistence that Negro freedom must be real and guaranteed and again the puzzling question, how could this be accomplished? Abraham Lincoln took a forward step and by his letter of March 13 to the newly elected Governor Hahn, he made the first tentative suggestion for a Negro suffrage in the South. Evidently, the persistent agitation of colored New Orleans inspired this:

"Executive Mansion,
"Washington, March 13, 1864.
HON. MICHAEL HAHN:"

"My dear Sir: In congratulating you on having fixed your name in history as the first Free State Governor of Louisiana, now you are about to have a convention, which, among other things, will probably define the elective franchise, I barely suggest, for your private consideration, whether some of the colored people may not be let in, as, for instance, the very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks. They would probably help in some trying time in the future to keep the jewel of Liberty in the family of freedom. But this is only suggestion, not to the public, but to you alone.

"Truly yours,
"A. Lincoln."28

This was a characteristic Lincoln gesture. He did not demand or order; he suggested, and incidentally adduced logical arguments of tremendous strength. This letter of Lincoln's, says Blaine, was "of deep and almost prophetic significance. It was perhaps the earliest proposition from any authentic source to endow the Negro with the right of suffrage."29

Thus, with his unflinching honesty of logic, Lincoln faced the problem of Negro voters. It was unthinkable that Negroes who had fought to preserve the Union or that Negroes of education and property should be excluded from the right to vote by the very nation whose life they had saved. On the other hand, unless a state saw this clearly, he did not see how it could be forced to see it. He made the suggestion, therefore, quietly and secretly, and he knew that he had a slowly growing public opinion in the North behind him.

"To keep the jewel of Liberty in the family of freedom," was a splendid and pregnant phrase and it had back of it unassailable facts.

The delegates met April 6, 1864, and sat for 78 days. The convention was divided on the question of compensation for loyal slaveholders, the education of the freedmen at the expense of the state, and Negro suffrage. Slavery was abolished by a vote of 72-13. An appeal was made to Congress for compensation for slaves; and on May 10, the convention adopted a resolution declaring that the legislature should never pass any act authorizing free Negroes to vote. Banks and Hahn, however, brought pressure to bear and some forty votes were changed, so that June 23, Gorlinsky moved that "The legislature shall have power to pass laws extending the right of suffrage to such persons, citizens of the United States, as by military service, by taxation to support the government, or by intellectual fitness, may be deemed entitled thereto." Many members did not understand this, but Sullivan of New Orleans denounced it as "A nigger resolution," and moved to lay it on the table. Without discussion, it was adopted 48-32.

Before the assembling of the convention, Banks on his own responsibility had appointed a Board of Education, of three members, for the freedmen's schools and given it power to establish schools in every school district, and to levy a tax to support the system. This order was discussed in the convention, and finally approved by a vote of 72-9. Also, by a vote of 53-27, general taxation for the support of free public schools for all was approved. The convention discussed a proposition of recognizing all persons as white who had less than one-fourth of Negro blood. But this involved too intricate inquiries into ancestry, a matter which often in Louisiana led to duels and murder. It was, therefore, voted down.

The expense of this white convention amounted to more than $1,000 a day and included liquor, cigars, carriage hire, stationery and furniture. It illustrated the extravagant habits of the time, and was quite as bad as any similar waste in South Carolina when Negroes were part of the legislature. The New Orleans Times described some of the proceedings of the convention as "sickening and disgusting" and said that the president was "drunk and a damned fool," and that "pandemonium" had reigned.30

The Constitution was finally adopted, 67-16, and the convention adjourned in August with a provision that it could be reconvoked by the president for further amending the Constitution. The Constitution was adopted by a vote of 6,836 to 1,566.

On September 5, 1864, a legislature was elected according to the new Constitution. There were 9,838 votes cast, and it was alleged that many colored persons were allowed to register and vote. The new legislature met October 3, 1864. This legislature is said by some authorities to have refused by a large majority to grant the suffrage to the Negro. Ficklin, on the other hand, says that no final vote was actually taken. Certainly the legislature was against Negro suffrage. And when a petition was introduced from five thousand Negroes, "many if not the majority" of whom had been in the Federal army, asking for the suffrage, no action was taken. One member, apparently expressing the general sentiment, said: "It will be time enough to grant this petition when all the other free states grant it and set us the example. When this state grants it, I shall go to China."31

Governor Hahn made no suggestion, and when he resigned from office, said that universal suffrage would be granted "whenever it is deemed wise and timely. Louisiana has already done more than three-fourths of the Northern states."

The Legislature refused to permit marriages between blacks and whites, and there was one attempt to refer the question of Negro suffrage to the people. The Thirteenth Amendment was adopted and United States Senators were elected, including Governor Hahn for the term beginning in 1865.

Meantime, the whole problem of Reconstruction in Louisiana came up in Congress and met the opposition represented by the Wade-Davis Bill.

In Arkansas, in a similar way, by white suffrage, an anti-slavery Constitution was adopted, and Senators and Representatives elected in the spring of 1864.

Yet, after all, this was general and preliminary, and certain details must be settled before Representatives and Senators from these states could be received in Congress; especially the question loomed as to how far Reconstruction was going to be an automatic executive function and how far a matter of Congressional supervision.

Congress, thereupon, decided to lay down a fundamental plan. The part of the President's message on Reconstruction was referred in the House to a select committee, of which Henry Winter Davis was chairman. The result was a congressional scheme of Reconstruction.

The Wade-Davis Bill, passed July 4, 1864, provided that the eleven states which had seceded were to be treated as rebellious communities, over each of which the President would appoint a Provisional Governor. This Governor should exercise all powers of government until the state was recognized by Congress as restored. Whenever the Governor regarded the rebellion in his state as suppressed, he was to direct the United States Marshal to enroll all resident white male citizens, and give them an opportunity to swear allegiance to the United States. When a majority of these citizens had taken the oath, they could elect delegates to a convention and the convention would establish a state government. Persons who had held any office under the Confederate government could not vote for delegates, or be elected as delegates to the convention. The Convention was to adopt a state constitution which must abolish slavery, repudiate Confederate and state debts incurred by the Confederates, and disqualify Confederate officials from voting, or being elected Governor or a member of the Legislature. When this Constitution was ratified by a majority of the voters, the President, with the consent of Congress, would proclaim the state government as established. After that, Representatives, Senators, and presidential electors could be chosen. The bill also abolished slavery in the rebellious states during the process of Reconstruction.

Thus Congress followed Charles Sumner's "State Suicide" theory and formulated Reconstruction measures which regarded the seceding states as territories and administered them as such by civil government until they were re-admitted.

This bill did not differ radically from the President's plan. It was quite as liberal to the Confederates and wiser in requiring a majority of voters, instead of only one-tenth, for Reconstruction. It was more methodical and complete because Lincoln had been leaving the matter vague until he could sense more clearly the possibilities.

Both the Wade-Davis plan and the Lincoln plan excluded the Negro from the right of suffrage. In the House there was a motion to strike out the word "white," but this was cut off by the previous question. Boutwell regretted, May 4, that this limitation of the right to vote seemed required by the present judgment of the House and of the country. When the bill came to the Senate July 1, Wade, as Chairman, reported it to the Committee with an amendment striking out the word "white." This amendment received only five votes, including that of Charles Sumner. Sumner, however, finally voted for the bill because of its provisions against slavery. He had already introduced, May 27, 1864, another resolution anticipating the Committee of Fifteen in the 39th Congress, and declaring that no representatives from Confederate states should be admitted without a vote of both Houses. Lincoln, however, became more and more obdurate. He wrote: "Some single mind must be master," and he wished strongly to carry through Reconstruction without too much interference.

When the Wade-Davis Bill came to the President July 4, 1864, he laid it aside and refused to sign it, explaining his position July 8, 1864, in a proclamation: "While I am — as I was in Decemberlast, when by proclamation I propounded a plan of restoration — unprepared by formal approval of this bill to be inflexibly committed to any single plan of restoration; and while I am also unprepared to declare that the free State constitutions and governments, already adopted and installed in Arkansas and Louisiana, shall be set aside and held for naught, thereby repealing and discouraging the loyal citizens who have set up the same as to further effort, or to declare a constitutional competency in Congress to abolish slavery in states; but am at the same time sincerely hoping and expecting that a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery throughout the nation may be adopted, nevertheless, I am fully satisfied with the system for restoration contained in the bill as one very proper plan for the loyal people of any state choosing to adopt it; and I am, and at all times shall be, prepared to give the executive aid and assistance to any such people, so soon as military resistance to the United States shall have been suppressed in any such state, and the people thereof shall have sufficiently returned to their obedience to the Constitution and the laws of the United States, in which cases military governors will be appointed, with directions to proceed according to the bill."

Senator Wade and Representative Davis took their contentions to the country in the summer of 1864.

"We have read without surprise, but not without indignation, the proclamation of the President of the 8th of July, 1864. The supporters of the Administration are responsible to the country for its conduct; and it is their right and duty to check the encroachments of the Executive on the authority of Congress, and to require it to confine itself to its proper sphere."

They denounced Lincoln's Reconstruction plan and emphasized the distinction between Executive and Legislative power in Reconstruction. Despite the manifesto and opposition on other grounds, Lincoln was reelected; but the issue remained to be fought out between Congress and Johnson.

Again in his message of December, 1864, Lincoln returned even more emphatically to the matter of the freedom of the slaves. One cannot be in much doubt as to what Abraham Lincoln's reaction would have been to the black codes of South Carolina and Mississippi. Certainly no state with such laws concerning the black laborer would have been admitted to the Union with Abraham Lincoln's consent:

"While I remain in my present position I shall not 'attempt to retract or modify the Emancipation Proclamation. Nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that Proclamation, or by any of the Acts of Congress. If the people should, by whatever mode or means, make it an Executive duty to reenslave such per sons, another, and not I, must be their instrument to perform it."32

The Trumbull Resolution of February 18, 1865, recognizing the restored Louisiana government, revealed a disposition in the Senate to yield to Lincoln. But the rising Abolition-democracy protested. Wendell Phillips spoke in Faneuil Hall.

"Gentlemen, you know very well that this nation called 4,000,000 of Negroes into citizenship to save itself. (Applause.) It never called them for their own sakes. It called them to save itself. (Cries of 'Hear, Hear.') And today this resolution offered in Faneuil Hall would take from the President of such a nation the power to protect the millions you have just lifted into danger. (Cries of 'Played out,' 'Sit down,' etc.) You won't let him protect them. (Cries of 'No.') What more contemptible object than a nation which for its own selfish purpose summons four millions of Negroes to such a position of peril, and then leaves them defenseless."

In the Senate, Sumner was adamant in his demand that all men, irrespective of color, should be equal as citizens in the reconstructed states. He believed that a first false step in this matter would be fatal. The debate began February 23, 1865, and Sumner fought every step. He moved a substitute which received only eight votes. He tried to displace the resolution, and filibustered. When asked to give up, he replied, "That is not my habit."

Sumner sent in a second substitute declaring that the cause of human rights and of the Union needed the ballots as well as the muskets of colored men. He offered another amendment imposing equal suffrage as the fundamental condition for the admission of the seceded states. A night session was called which lasted until nearly Sunday morning. Sumner was rebuked for his arrogance and assumed superiority and the Senate finally adjourned, half an hour before midnight.

Only five days of the session remained. Wade now entered the debate and denounced the Louisiana government as a mockery and compared it to the Lecompton Constitution of Kansas. Sumner again bitterly arraigned the proposed Louisiana state government as "a mere seven months' abortion, begotten by the bayonet, in criminal conjunction with the spirit of caste, and born before its time, rickety, unformed, unfinished, whose continued existence will be a burden, a reproach, and a wrong."33

The bill finally failed. It was Sumner's greatest parliamentary contest and with his triumph, the cause of Negro suffrage was won. Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglass, Parker Pillsbury and others wrote to congratulate Sumner. Douglass said:

"The friends of freedom all over the country have looked to you and confided in you, of all men in the United States Senate, during all this terrible war. They will look to you all the more now that peace dawns, and the final settlement of our national troubles is at hand. God grant you strength equal to your day and your duties, is my prayer and that of millions!"

Ashley's Reconstruction bill came before the House of Representatives January 16, February 21, and February 22, 1865. Each draft confined sulTrage to white male citizens, except one, in which colored soldiers were admitted to the suffrage. Ashley opposed this discrimination, but his committee overruled him.

In his last public speech, April 11, 1865, Lincoln returned to the subject of Reconstruction. "The new Constitution of Louisiana, declaring Emancipation for the whole State, practically applies the proclamation to the part previously excepted. It does not adopt apprenticeship for freed people, and it is silent, as it could not well be otherwise, about the admission of members to Congress. So that, as it applies to Louisiana, every member of the Cabinet fully approved the plan. The message went to Congress, and I received many commendations of the plan, written and verbal, and not a single objection to it from any professed emancipationist came to my knowledge until after the news reached Washington that the people of Louisiana had begun to move in accordance with it. From about July, 1862, I had corresponded with different persons supposed to be interested [in] seeking a reconstruction of a State government for Louisiana. When the message of 1863, with the plan before mentioned, reached New Orleans, General Banks wrote me that he was confident that the people, with his military cooperation, would reconstruct substantially on that plan. I wrote to him and some of them to try it. They tried it, and the result is known. Such only has been my agency in setting up the Louisiana government....

"We all agree that the seceded States, so-called, are out of their proper practical relation with the Union, and that the sole object of the Government, civil and military, in regard to those States, is to again get them into that proper practical relation. I believe that it is not only possible, but in fact easier, to do this without deciding or even considering whether these States have ever been out of the Union, than with it. Finding themselves safely at home, it would be utterly immaterial whether they had ever been abroad. Let us all join in doing the acts necessary to restoring the proper practical relations between these States and the Union, and each forever after innocently indulge his own opinion whether in doing the acts he brought the States from without into the Union, or only gave them proper assistance, they never having been out of it. The amount of constituency, so to speak, on which the new Louisiana government rests, would be more satisfactory to all if it contained 50,000, or 30,000, or even 20,000, instead of only about 12,000, as it does. It is also unsatisfactory to some that the elective franchise is not given to the colored man. I would myself prefer that it were now conferred on the very intelligent, and on those who serve our cause as soldiers.

"Still, the question is not whether the Louisiana government, as it stands, is quite all that is desirable. The question is, will it be wiser to take it as it is and help to improve it, or to reject and disperse it? Can Louisiana be brought into proper practical relation with the Union sooner by sustaining or by discarding her new State government? Some twelve thousand voters in the heretofore slave State of Louisiana have sworn allegiance to the Union, assumed the rightful political power of the state, held elections, organized a State government, adopted a free State constitution, giving the benefit of public schools equally to black and white, and empowered the Legislature to confer the elective franchise upon the colored man. Their Legislature has already voted to ratify the constitutional amendment, recently passed by Congress, abolishing slavery throughout the nation. These twelve thousand persons are thus fully committed to the Union and to perpetual freedom in the State — committed to the very things, and nearly all the things, the nation wants — and they ask the nation's recognition and its assistance to make good their committal.

"Now, if we reject and spurn them, we do our utmost to disorganize and disperse them. We, in effect, say to the white man: You are worthless or worse; we will neither help you, nor be helped by you. To the blacks we say: This cup of liberty which these, your old masters, hold to your lips, we will dash from you, and leave you to the chances of gathering the spilled and scattered contents in some vague and undefined when, where, and how. If this course, discouraging and paralyzing both white and black, has any tendency to bring Louisiana into proper practical relations with the Union, I have so far been unable to perceive it. If, on the contrary, we recognize and sustain the new government of Louisiana, the converse of all this is made true. We encourage the hearts and nerve the arms of the twelve thousand to adhere to their work, and argue for it, and proselyte for it, and fight for it, and feed it, and grow it, and ripen it to a complete success. The colored man, too, in seeing all united for him, is inspired with vigilance and energy and daring to the same end. Grant that he desires the elective franchise, will he not attain it sooner by saving the already advanced steps towards it than by running backward over them? Concede that the new government of Louisiana is only to what it should be as the egg is to the fowl, we shall sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it."34

The tragic death of Lincoln has given currency to the theory that the Lincoln policy of Reconstruction would have been far better and more successful than the policy afterward pursued. If it is meant by this that Lincoln would have more carefully followed public opinion and worked to adjust differences, this is true. But Abraham Lincoln himself could not have settled the question of Emancipation, Negro citizenship and the vote, without tremendous difficulty.

First of all he was bitterly hated by the overwhelming mass of Southerners. Mark Pomeroy, a Northern Copperhead, voiced the extreme Southern opinion when he wrote:

"It is you Republicans who set up at the head of the nation a hideous clown ... who became a shameless tyrant, a tyrant justly felled by an avenging hand, and who now rots in his tomb while his poisonous soul is consumed by the eternal flames of hell."35

Even conservative Southern papers continually referred to Lincoln as a "gorilla" or a "clown." And when we consider the fact that Lincoln was determined upon real freedom for the Negro, upon his education, and at least a restricted right to vote, it is difficult to see how the South could have been brought to agreement with him.

In the South there was absence of any leadership corresponding in breadth and courage to that of Abraham Lincoln. Here comes the penalty which a land pays when it stifles free speech and free discussion and turns itself over entirely to propaganda. It does not make any difference if at the time the things advocated are absolutely right, the nation, nevertheless, becomes morally emasculated and mentally hog-tied, and cannot evolve that healthy difference of opinion which leads to the discovery of truth under changing conditions.

Suppose, for instance, there had been in the South in 1863 a small but determined and clear-thinking group of men who said: "The Negro is free and to make his freedom real, he must have land and education. He must be guided in his work and development but guided toward freedom and the right to vote. Such complete freedom and the bestowal of suffrage must be a matter of some years, but at present we do not propose to take advantage of this and retain political power based on the non-voting parts of our population. We, therefore, accept the constitutional amendment against slavery; we accept any other amendment which will base representation on voting, or other proposals which will equalize the voting power of North and South. We admit the right of the government to exercise a judicious guardianship over the slaves so long as we have reasonable voice in this guardianship, and that the interests of the employer as well as the employee shall be kept in mind. And in anticipation of this development, we propose to pass a reasonable code of laws recognizing the new status of the Negro."

If there had been in the white South at this time far-seeing leadership or even some common sense, the subsequent history of Reconstruction and of the Negro in the United States would have been profoundly changed. Suppose a single state like Louisiana had allowed the Negro to vote, with a high property qualification, or the ability to read and write, or service in the army, or all these? Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens would not have been wholly satisfied, but certainly their demands would have been greatly modified. Both of them were perfectly willing to wait for Negro suffrage until the Negro had education and had begun his economic advance. But they did insist that he must have the chance to advance.

There cannot be the slightest doubt that such a program would have gathered enough support in the North to have made the history of Reconstruction not easy and without difficulty, but far less difficult than it proved to be. There were in the South in 1865 men who saw this truth plainly and said so. But true effective leadership was denied them; just as before the war public opinion in the South was hammered into idolatrous worship of slavery, so after the war, even more bitterly and cruelly, public opinion demanded a new unyielding conformity.

Here was a land of poignant beauty, streaked with hate and blood and shame, where God was worshiped wildly, where human beings were bought and sold, and where even in the twentieth century men are burned alive. The situation here in 1865 was fatal, and fatal because of the attitude of men's minds rather than because of material loss and disorganization. The human mind, its will and emotions, congealed to one set pattern, until here were people who knew they knew one thing above all others, just as certainly as they knew that the sun rose and set; and that was, that a Negro would not work without compulsion, and that slavery was his natural condition. If by force and law the Negro was free, his only chance to remain free was transportation immediately to Africa or some outlying district of the world, where he would soon die of starvation or disease. Such colonization was impracticable, and Southern slavery, as it existed before the war, was the best possible system for the Negro; and this the vast majority of Southerners were forced to believe as firmly in 1865 as they did in i860.

The whole proof of what the South proposed to do to the emancipated Negro, unless restrained by the nation, was shown in the Black Codes passed after Johnson's accession, but representing the logical result of attitudes of mind existing when Lincoln still lived. Some of these were passed and enforced. Some were passed and afterward repealed or modified when the reaction of the North was realized. In other cases, as for instance, in Louisiana, it is not clear just which laws were retained and which were repealed. In Alabama, the Governor induced the legislature not to enact some parts of the proposed code which they overwhelmingly favored.

The original codes favored by the Southern legislatures were an astonishing affront to emancipation and dealt with vagrancy, apprenticeship, labor contracts, migration, civil and legal rights. In all cases, there was plain and indisputable attempt on the part of the Southern states to make Negroes slaves in everything but name. They were given certain civil rights: the right to hold property, to sue and be sued. The family relations for the first time were legally recognized. Negroes were no longer real estate.

Yet, in the face of this, the Black Codes were deliberately designed to take advantage of every misfortune of the Negro. Negroes were liable to a slave trade under the guise of vagrancy and apprenticeship laws; to make the best labor contracts, Negroes must leave the old plantations and seek better terms; but if caught wandering in search of work, and thus unemployed and without a home, this was vagrancy, and the victim could be whipped and sold into slavery. In the turmoil of war, children were separated from parents, or parents unable to support them properly. These children could be sold into slavery, and "the former owner of said minors shall have the preference." Negroes could come into court as witnesses only in cases in which Negroes were involved. And even then, they must make their appeal to a jury and judge who would believe the word of any white man in preference to that of any Negro on pain of losing office and caste.

The Negro's access to the land was hindered and limited; his right to work was curtailed; his right of self-defense was taken away, when his right to bear arms was stopped; and his employment was virtually reduced to contract labor with penal servitude as a punishment for leaving his job. And in all cases, the judges of the Negro's guilt or innocence, rights and obligations were men who believed firmly, for the most part, that he had "no rights which a white man was bound to respect."

Making every allowance for the excitement and turmoil of war, and the mentality of a defeated people, the Black Codes were infamous pieces of legislation.

Let us examine these codes in detail.36 They covered, naturally, a wide range of subjects. First, there was the question of allowing Negroes to come into the state. In South Carolina the constitution of 1865 permitted the Legislature to regulate immigration, and the consequent law declared "that no person of color shall migrate into and reside in this State, unless, within twenty days after his arrival within the same, he shall enter into a bond, with two freeholders as sureties ... in a penalty of one thousand dollars, conditioned for his good behavior, and for his support."

Especially in the matter of work was the Negro narrowly restricted. In South Carolina, he must be especially licensed if he was to follow on his own account any employment, except that of farmer or servant. Those licensed must not only prove their fitness, but pay an annual tax ranging from $io-$ioo. Under no circumstances could they manufacture or sell liquor. Licenses for work were to be granted by a judge and were revokable on complaint. The penalty was a fine double the amount of the license, one-half of which went to the informer.

Mississippi provided that "every freedman, free Negro, and mulatto shall on the second Monday of January, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and annually thereafter, have a lawful home or employment, and shall have written evidence thereof ... from the Mayor ... or from a member of the board of police ... which licenses may be revoked for cause at any time by the authority granting the same."

Detailed regulation of labor was provided for in nearly all these states.

Louisiana passed an elaborate law in 1865, to "regulate labor contracts for agricultural pursuits." Later, it was denied that this legislation was actually enacted; but the law was published at the time and the constitutional convention of 1868 certainly regarded this statute as law, for they formally repealed it. The law required all agricultural laborers to make labor contracts for the next year within the first ten days of January, the contracts to be in writing, to be with heads of families, to embrace the labor of all the members, and to be "binding on all minors thereof." Each laborer, after choosing his employer, "shall not be allowed to leave his place of employment until the fulfillment of his contract, unless by consent of his employer, or on account of harsh treatment, or breach of contract on the part of the employer; and if they do so leave, without cause or permission, they shall forfeit all wages earned to the time of abandonment....

"In case of sickness of the laborer, wages for the time lost shall be deducted, and where the sickness is feigned for purposes of idleness, ... and also should refusal to work be continued beyond three days, the offender shall be reported to a justice of the peace, and shall be forced to labor on roads, levees, and other public works, without pay, until the offender consents to return to his labor....

"When in health, the laborer shall work ten hours during the day in summer, and nine hours during the day in winter, unless otherwise stipulated in the labor contract; he shall obey all proper orders of his employer or his agent; take proper care of his work mules, horses, oxen, stock; also of all agricultural implements; and employers shall have the right to make a reasonable deduction from the laborer's wages for injuries done to animals or agricultural implements committed to his care, or for bad or negligent work. Bad work shall not be allowed. Failing to obey reasonable orders, neglect of duty and leaving home without permission, will be deemed disobedience.... For any disobedience a fine of one dollar shall be imposed on the offender. For all lost time from work hours, unless in case of sickness, the laborer shall be fined twenty-five cents per hour. For all absence from home without leave, the laborer will be fined at the rate of two dollars per day. Laborers will not be required to labor on the Sabbath except to take the necessary care of stock and other property on plantations and do the necessary cooking and household duties, unless by special contract. For all thefts of the laborers from the employer of agricultural products, hogs, sheep, poultry or any other property of the employer, or willful destruction of property or injury, the laborer shall pay the employer double the amount of the value of the property stolen, destroyed or injured, one half to be paid to the employer, and the other half to be placed in the general fund provided for in this section. No live stock shall be allowed to laborers without the permission of the employer. Laborers shall not receive visitors during work hours. All difficulties arising between the employers and laborers, under this section, shall be settled, and all fines be imposed, by the former; if not satisfactory to the laborers, an appeal may be had to the nearest justice of the peace and two freeholders, citizens, one of said citizens to be selected by the employer and the other by the laborer; and all fines imposed and collected under this section shall be deducted from the wages due, and shall be placed in a common fund, to be divided among the other laborers employed on the plantation at the time when their full wages fall due, except as provided for above."

Similar detailed regulations of work were in the South Carolina law. Elaborate provision was made for contracting colored "servants" to white "masters." Their masters were given the right to whip "moderately" servants under eighteen. Others were to be whipped on authority of judicial officers. These officers were given authority to return runaway servants to their masters. The servants, on the other hand, were given certain rights. Their wages and period of service must be specified in writing, and they were protected against "unreasonable" tasks, Sunday and night work, unauthorized attacks on their persons, and inadequate food.

Contracting Negroes were to be known as "servants" and contractors as "masters." Wages were to be fixed by the judge, unless stipulated. Negroes of ten years of age or more without a parent living in the district might make a valid contract for a year or less. Failure to make written contracts was a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $5 to $50; farm labor to be from sunrise to sunset, with intervals for meals; servants to rise at dawn, to be careful of master's property and answerable for property lost or injured. Lost time was to be deducted from wages. Food and clothes might be deducted. Servants were to be quiet and orderly and to go to bed at reasonable hours. No night work or outdoor work in bad weather was to be asked, except in cases of necessity, visitors not allowed without the master's consent. Servants leaving employment without good reason must forfeit wages. Masters might discharge servants for disobedience, drunkenness, disease, absence, etc. Enticing away the services of a servant was punishable by a fine of $20 to $100. A master could command a servant to aid him in defense of his own person, family or property. House servants at all hours of the day and night, and at all days of the week, "must answer promptly all calls and execute all lawful orders."

The right to sell farm products "without written evidence from employer" was forbidden in South Carolina, and some other states. "A person of color who is in the employment of a master, engaged in husbandry, shall not have the right to sell any corn, rice, peas, wheat, or other grain, any flour, cotton, fodder, hay, bacon, fresh meat of any kind, poultry of any kind, animals of any kind, or any other product of a farm, without having written evidence from such master, or some person authorized by him, or from the district judge or a magistrate, that he has the right to sell such product."

There were elaborate laws covering the matter of contracts for work. A contract must be in writing and usually, as in South Carolina, white witnesses must attest it and a judge approve it. In Florida, contracts were to be in writing and failure to keep the contracts by disobedience or impudence was to be treated as vagrancy. In Kentucky, contracts were to be in writing and attested by a white person. In Mississippi, contracts were to be in writing attested by a white person, and if the laborer stopped work, his wages were to be forfeited for a year. He could be arrested, and the fee for his arrest must be paid by the employer and taken out of his wages.

There were careful provisions to protect the contracting employer from losing his labor. In Alabama, "When any laborer or servant, having contracted as provided in the first section of this act, shall afterward be found, before the termination of said contract, in the service or employment of another, that fact shall be prima facie evidence that such person is guilty of violation of this act, if he fail and refuse to forthwith discharge the said laborer or servant, after being notified and informed of such former contract and employment."

Mississippi provided "that every civil officer shall, and every person may, arrest and carry back to his or her legal employer any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto who shall have quit the service of his or her employer before the expiration of his or her term of service without good cause; and said officer and person shall be entitled to receive for arresting and carrying back every deserting employee aforesaid the sum of five dollars, and ten cents per mile from the place of arrest to the place of delivery, and the same shall be paid by the employer and held as a set-off for so much against the wages of said deserting employee."

It was provided in some states, like South Carolina, that any white man, whether an officer or not, could arrest a Negro. "Upon view of a misdemeanor committed by a person of color, any person present may arrest the offender and take him before a magistrate, to be dealt with as the case may require. In case of a misdemeanor committed by a white person toward a person of color, any person may complain to a magistrate, who shall cause the offender to be arrested, and, according to the nature of the case, to be brought before himself, or be taken for trial in the district court."

On the other hand, in Mississippi, it was dangerous for a Negro to try to bring a white person to court on any charge. "In every case where any white person has been arrested and brought to trial, by virtue of the provisions of the tenth section of the above recited act, in any court in this State, upon sufficient proof being made to the court or jury, upon the trial before said court, that any freedman, free Negro or mulatto has falsely and maliciously caused the arrest and trial of said white person or persons, the court shall render up a judgment against said freedman, free Negro or mulatto for all costs of the case, and impose a fine not to exceed fifty dollars, and imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed twenty days; and for a failure of said freedman, free Negro or mulatto to pay, or cause to be paid, all costs, fines and jail fees, the sheriff of the county is hereby authorized and required, after giving ten days' public notice, to proceed to hire out at public outcry, at the court-house of the county, said freedman, free Negro or mulatto, for the shortest time to raise the amount necessary to discharge said freedman, free Negro or mulatto from all costs, fines, and jail fees aforesaid."

Mississippi declared that: "Any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto, committing riots, routs, affrays, trespasses, malicious mischief and cruel treatment to animals, seditious speeches, insulting gestures, language or acts, or assaults on any person, disturbance of the peace, exercising the functions of a minister of the gospel without a license from some regularly organized church, vending spirituous or intoxicating liquors, or committing any other misdemeanor, the punishment of which is not specifically provided for by law, shall, upon conviction thereof, in the county court, be fined not less than ten dollars, and not more than one hundred dollars, and may be imprisoned, at the discretion of the court, not exceeding thirty days."

As to other civil rights, the marriage of Negroes was for the first time recognized in the Southern states and slave marriages legalized. South Carolina said in general: "That the statutes and regulations concerning slaves are now inapplicable to persons of color; and although such persons are not entitled to social or political equality with white persons, they shall have the right to acquire, own, and dispose of property, to make contracts, to enjoy the fruits of their labor, to sue and be sued, and to receive protection under the law in their persons and property."

Florida forbade "colored and white persons respectively from intruding upon each other's public assemblies, religious or other, or public vehicle set apart for their exclusive use, under punishment of pillory or stripes, or both."

Very generally Negroes were prohibited or limited in their ownership of firearms. In Florida, for instance, it was "unlawful for any Negro, mulatto, or person of color to own, use, or keep in possession or under control any bowie-knife, dirk, sword, firearms, or ammunition of any kind, unless by license of the county judge of probate, under a penalty of forfeiting them to the informer, and of standing in the pillory one hour, or be whipped not exceeding thirty-nine stripes, or both, at the discretion of the jury."

Alabama had a similar law making it illegal to sell, give or rent firearms or ammunition of any description "to any freedman, free Negro or mulatto."

Mississippi refused arms to Negroes. "No freedman, free Negro, or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States Government, and not licensed to do so by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry firearms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk, or bowie-knife; and on conviction thereof, in the county court, shall be punished by fine, not exceeding ten dollars, and pay the costs of such proceedings, and all such arms or ammunition shall be forfeited to the informer."

A South Carolina Negro could only keep firearms on permission in writing from the District Judge. "Persons of color constitute no part of the militia of the State, and no one of them shall, without permission in writing from the district judge or magistrate, be allowed to keep a firearm, sword, or other military weapon, except that one of them, who is the owner of a farm, may keep a shot-gun or rifle, such as is ordinarily used in hunting, but not a pistol, musket, or other firearm or weapon appropriate for purposes of war ... and in case of conviction, shall be punished by a fine equal to twice the value of the weapon so unlawfully kept, and if that be not immediately paid, by corporal punishment."

The right of buying and selling property was usually granted but sometimes limited as to land. Mississippi declared: "That all freedmen, free Negroes and mulattoes may sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded in all the courts of law and equity of this State, and may acquire personal property and choses in action by descent or purchase, and may dispose of the same in the same manner and to the same extent that white persons may: Provided, that the provisions of this section shall not be so construed as to allow any freedman, free Negro or mulatto to rent or lease any lands or tenements, except in incorporated towns or cities, in which places the corporate authorities shall control the same."

The most important and oppressive laws were those with regard to vagrancy and apprenticeship. Sometimes they especially applied to Negroes; in other cases, they were drawn in general terms but evidently designed to fit the Negro's condition and to be enforced particularly with regard to Negroes.

The Virginia Vagrant Act enacted that "any justice of the peace, upon the complaint of any one of certain officers therein named, may issue his warrant for the apprehension of any person alleged to be a vagrant and cause such person to be apprehended and brought before him; and that if upon due examination said justice of the peace shall find that such person is a vagrant within the definition of vagrancy contained in said statute, he shall issue his warrant, directing such person to be employed for a term not exceeding three months, and by any constable of the county wherein the proceedings are had, be hired out for the best wages which can be procured, his wages to be applied to the support of himself and his family. The said statute further provides, that in case any vagrant so hired shall, during his term of service, run away from his employer without sufficient cause, he shall be apprehended on the warrant of a justice of the peace and returned to the custody of his employer, who shall then have, free from any other hire, the services of such vagrant for one month in addition to the original term of hiring, and that the employer shall then have power, if authorized by a justice of the peace, to work such vagrant with ball and chain. The said statute specified the persons who shall be considered vagrants and liable to the penalties imposed by it. Among those declared to be vagrants are all persons who, not having the wherewith to support their families, live idly and without employment, and refuse to work for the usual and common wages given to other laborers in the like work in the place where they are."

In Florida, January 12, 1866: "It is provided that when any person of color shall enter into a contract as aforesaid, to serve as a laborer for a year, or any other specified term, on any farm or plantation in this State, if he shall refuse or neglect to perform the stipulations of his contract by willful disobedience of orders, wanton impudence or disrespect to his employer, or his authorized agent, failure or refusal to perform the work assigned to him, idleness, or abandonment of the premises or the employment of the party with whom the contract was made, he or she shall be liable, upon the complaint of his employer or his agent, made under oath before any justice of the peace of the county, to be arrested and tried before the criminal court of the county, and upon conviction shall be subject to all the pains and penalties prescribed for the punishment of vagrancy."

In Georgia, it was ruled that "All persons wandering or strolling about in idleness, who are able to work, and who have no property to support them; all persons leading an idle, immoral, or profligate life, who have no property to support them and are able to work and do not work; all persons able to work having no visible and known means of a fair, honest, and respectable livelihood; all persons having a fixed abode, who have no visible property to support them, and who live by stealing or by trading in, bartering for, or buying stolen property; and all professional gamblers living in idleness, shall be deemed and considered vagrants, and shall be indicted as such, and it shall be lawful for any person to arrest said vagrants and have them bound over for trial to the next term of the county court, and upon conviction, they shall be fined and imprisoned or sentenced to work on the public works, for not longer than a year, or shall, in the discretion of the court, be bound over for trial to the next term of the county court, and upon conviction, they shall be fined and imprisoned or sentenced to work on the public works, for not longer than a year, or shall, in the discretion of the court, be bound out to some person for a time not longer than one year, upon such valuable consideration as the court may prescribe."

Mississippi provided "That all freedmen, free Negroes, and mulat-toes in this state over the age of eighteen years, found on the second Monday in January, 1866, or thereafter, with no lawful employment or business, or found unlawfully assembling themselves together, either in the day or night time, and all white persons so assembling with freedmen, free Negroes or mulattoes, or usually associating with freedmen, free Negroes or mulattoes on terms of equality, or living in adultery or fornication with a freedwoman, free Negro or mulatto, shall be deemed vagrants, and on conviction thereof shall be fined in the sum of not exceeding, in the case of a freedman, free Negro or mulatto, fifty dollars, and a white man two hundred dollars and imprisoned, at the discretion of the court, the free Negro not exceeding ten days, and the white men not exceeding six months."

Sec. 5 provides that "all fines and forfeitures collected under the provisions of this act shall be paid into the county treasury for general county purposes, and in case any freedman, free Negro or mulatto, shall fail for five days after the imposition of any fine or forfeiture upon him or her, for violation of any of the provisions of this act to pay the same, that it shall be, and is hereby made, the duty of the Sheriff of the proper county to hire out said freedman, free Negro or mulatto, to any person who will, for the shortest period of service, pay said fine or forfeiture and all costs; Provided, a preference shall be given to the employer, if there be one, in which case the employer shall be entitled to deduct and retain the amount so paid from the wages of such freedman, free Negro or mulatto, then due or to become due; and in case such freedman, free Negro or mulatto cannot be hired out, he or she may be dealt with as a pauper."

South Carolina declared to be vagrants all persons without fixed and known places of abode and lawful employment, all prostitutes and all persons wandering from place to place and selling without a license; all gamblers; idle and disobedient persons; persons without sufficient means of support; persons giving plays or entertainments without license; fortune-tellers, beggars, drunkards and hunters. If a person of color is unable to earn his support, his near relatives must contribute. Pauper funds were composed of fines paid by Negroes and taxes on Negroes. On the other hand, former slaves who were helpless and had been on plantations six months previous to November 10, 1865, could not be evicted before January 1, 1867.

In Alabama, the "former owner" was to have preference in the apprenticing of a child. This was true in Kentucky and Mississippi.

Mississippi "provides that it shall be the duty of all sheriffs, justices of the peace, and other civil officers of the several counties in this state to report to the probate courts of their respective counties semiannually, at the January and July terms of said courts, all freedmen, free Negroes and mulattoes, under the age of eighteen, within their respective counties, beats, or districts, who are orphans, or whose parent or parents have not the means, or who refuse to provide for and support said minors, and thereupon it shall be the duty of said probate court to order the clerk of said court to apprentice said minors to some competent and suitable person, on such terms as the court may direct, having a particular care to the interest of said minors; Provided, that the former owner of said minors shall have the preference when, in the opinion of the court, he or she shall be a suitable person for that purpose."

South Carolina established special courts for colored people, to be created in each district to administer the law in respect to persons of color. The petit juries of these courts were to consist of only six men. The local magistrate "shall be specially charged with the supervision of persons of color in his neighborhood, their protection, and the prevention of their misconduct." Public order was to be secured by the organization of forty-five or more militia regiments.

"Capital punishment was provided for colored persons guilty of willful homicide, assault upon a white woman, impersonating her husband for carnal purposes, raising an insurrection, stealing a horse, a mule, or baled cotton, and house-breaking. For crimes not demanding death Negroes might be confined at hard labor, whipped, or transported; 'but punishments more degrading than imprisonment shall not be imposed upon a white person for a crime not infamous.'"37

In most states Negroes were allowed to testify in courts but the testimony was usually confined to cases where colored persons were involved, although in some states, by consent of the parties, they could testify in cases where only white people were involved. In Alabama "all freedmen, free Negroes and mulattoes, shall have the right to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded in all the different and various courts of this State, to the same extent that white persons now have by law. And they shall be competent to testify only in open court, and only in cases in which freedmen, free Negroes, and mulattoes are parties, either plaintiff or defendant, and in civil or criminal cases, for injuries in the persons and property of freedmen, free Negroes and mulattoes, and in all cases, civil or criminal, in which a freedman, free Negro, or mulatto, is a witness against a white person, or a white person against a freedman, free Negro or mulatto, the parties shall be competent witnesses."

North Carolina, March 10, 1866, "gives them all the privileges of white persons before the courts in the mode of prosecuting, defending, continuing, removing, and transferring their suits at law in equity," and makes them eligible as witnesses, when not otherwise incompetent, in "all controversies at law and in equity where the rights of persons or property of persons of color shall be put in issue, and would be concluded by the judgment or decree of courts; and also in pleas of the State, where the violence, fraud, or injury alleged shall be charged to have been done by or to persons of color. In all other civil and criminal cases such evidence shall be deemed inadmissible, unless by consent of the parties of record."

Mississippi simply reenacted her slave code and made it operative so far as punishments were concerned. "That all the penal and criminal laws now in force in this State, defining offenses, and prescribing the mode of punishment for crimes and misdemeanors committed by slaves, free Negroes or mulattoes, be and the same are hereby re-enacted, and declared to be in full force and effect, against freedmen, free Negroes, and mulattoes, except so far as the mode and manner of trial and punishment have been changed or altered by law."

North Carolina, on the other hand, abolished her slave code, making difference of punishment only in the case of Negroes convicted of rape. Georgia placed the fines and costs of a servant upon the master. "Where such cases shall go against the servant, the judgment for costs upon written notice to the master shall operate as a garnishment against him, and he shall retain a sufficient amount for the payment thereof, out of any wages due to said servant, or to become due during the period of service, and may be cited at any time by the collecting officer to make answer thereto."

The celebrated ordinance of Opelousas, Louisiana, shows the local ordinances regulating Negroes. "No Negro or freedman shall be allowed to come within the limits of the town of Opelousas without special permission from his employer, specifying the object of his visit and the time necessary for the accomplishment of the same.

"Every Negro freedman who shall be found on the streets of Opelousas after ten o'clock at night without a written pass or permit from his employer, shall be imprisoned and compelled to work five days on the public streets, or pay a fine of five dollars.

"No Negro or freedman shall be permitted to rent or keep a house within the limits of the town under any circumstances, and anyone thus offending shall be ejected, and compelled to find an employer or leave the town within twenty-four hours.

"No Negro or freedman shall reside within the limits of the town of Opelousas who is not in the regular service of some white person or former owner, who shall be held responsible for the conduct of said freedman.

"No Negro or freedman shall be permitted to preach, exhort, or otherwise declaim to congregations of colored people without a special permission from the Mayor or President of the Board of Police, under the penalty of a fine of ten dollars or twenty days' work on the public streets.

"No freedman who is not in the military service shall be allowed to carry firearms, or any kind of weapons within the limits of the town of Opelousas without the special permission of his employer, in writing, and approved by the Mayor or President of the Board.

"Any freedman not residing in Opelousas, who shall be found within its corporate limits after the hour of 3 o'clock, on Sunday, without a special permission from his employer or the Mayor, shall be arrested and imprisoned and made to work two days on the public streets, or pay two dollars in lieu of said work."38

Of Louisiana, Thomas Conway testified February 22, 1866: "Some of the leading officers of the state down there — men who do much to form and control the opinions of the masses — instead of doing as they promised, and quietly submitting to the authority of the government, engaged in issuing slave codes and in promulgating them to their subordinates, ordering them to carry them into execution, and this to the knowledge of state officials of a higher character, the governor and others. And the men who issued them were not punished except as the military authorities punished them. The governor inflicted no punishment on them while I was there, and I don't know that, up to this day, he has ever punished one of them. These codes were simply the old black code of the state, with the word 'slave' expunged, and 'Negro' substituted. The most odious features of slavery were preserved in them. They were issued in three or four localities in the state, not a hundred miles from New Orleans, months after the surrender of the Confederate forces, and years after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.

"I have had delegations to frequently come and see me — delegations composed of men who, to my face, denied that the proclamation issued by President Lincoln was a valid instrument, declaring that the Supreme Court would pronounce it invalid. Consequently they have claimed that their Negroes were slaves and would again be restored to them. In the city of New Orleans last summer, under the orders of the acting mayor of the city, Hugh Kennedy, the police of that city conducted themselves towards the freedmen, in respect to violence and ill usage, in every way equal to the old days of slavery; arresting them on the streets as vagrants, without any form of law whatever, and simply because they did not have in their pockets certificates of employment from their former owners or other white citizens.

"I have gone to the jails and released large numbers of them, men who were industrious and who had regular employment; yet because they had not the certificates of white men in their pockets they were locked up in jail to be sent out to plantations; locked up, too, without my knowledge, and done speedily and secretly before I had information of it. Some members of the Seventy-Fourth United States Colored Infantry, a regiment which was mustered out but one clay, were arrested the next because they did not have these certificates of employment. This was done to these men after having served in the United States army three years. They were arrested by the police under the order of the acting mayor, Mr. Hugh Kennedy...."39

The aim and object of these laws cannot be mistaken. "In many cases the restraints imposed went to the length of a veritable 'involuntary servitude.'"40

Professor Burgess says: "Almost every act, word or gesture of the Negro, not consonant with good taste and good manners as well as good morals, was made a crime or misdemeanor, for which he could first be fined by the magistrates and then consigned to a condition of almost slavery for an indefinite time, if he could not pay the bill."41

Dunning admits that "The legislation of the reorganized governments, under cover of police regulations and vagrancy laws, had enacted severe discriminations against the freedmen in all the common civil rights."42

A recent study says of South Carolina:

"The interests of both races would have been better served had there never been a 'black code.' This would be true even if there had been no Northern sentiment to take into account. Economically, the laws were impracticable, since they tried to place the Negro in a position inferior to that which competition or his labor would have given him."43

"But it is monotonous iteration to review the early legislation of the reconstructed governments established under the proclamation of the President. In most of the states the laws established a condition but little better than that of slavery, and in one important respect far worse; for in place of the property interest, which would induce the owner to preserve and care for his slave, there was substituted the guardianship of penal statutes; and the ignorant black man, innocent of any intention to commit a wrong, could be bandied about from one temporary owner to another who would have no other interest than to wring out of him, without regard to his ultimate condition, all that was possible during the limited term of his thraldom."44

These slave laws have been defended in various ways. They were passed in the midst of bitterness and fear and with great haste; they were worded somewhat like similar vagrancy laws in Northern States; they would have been modified in time; they said more than they really meant. All of this may be partly true, but it remains perfectly evident that the black codes looked backward toward slavery.

This legislation profoundly stirred the North. Not the North of industry and the new manufactures, but the ordinary everyday people of the North, who, uplifted by the tremendous afflatus of war, had seen a vision of something fine and just, and who, without any personal affection for the Negro or real knowledge of him, nevertheless were convinced that Negroes were human, and that Negro slavery was wrong; and that whatever freedom might mean, it certainly did not mean reenslavement under another name.

Here, then, was the dominant thought of that South with which Reconstruction must deal. Arising with aching head and palsied hands it deliberately looked backward. There came to the presidential chair, with vast power, a man who was Southern born; with him came inconceivable fears that the North proposed to make these Negroes really free; to give them a sufficient status even for voting, to give them the right to hold office; that there was even a possibility that these slaves might out-vote their former masters; that they might accumulate wealth, achieve education, and finally, they might even aspire to marry white women and mingle their blood with the blood of their masters.

It was fantastic. It called for revolt. It called in extremity for the renewal of war. The Negro must be kept in his place by hunger, whipping and murder. As W. P. Calhoun of Greenville, South Carolina, said as late as 1901: "Character, wealth, learning, good behavior, and all that makes up or constitutes good citizenship in the black man is positively of no avail whatever. Merit cannot win in this case."45

The cry of the bewildered freeman rose, but it was drowned by the Rebel yell.


 I am a Southerner;
I love the South; I dared for her
To fight from Lookout to the sea,
With her proud banner over me.
But from my lips thanksgiving broke,
As God in battle-thunder spoke,
And that Black Idol, breeding drouth
And dearth of human sympathy
Throughout the sweet and sensuous South,
 Was, with its chains and human yoke,
Blown hellward from the cannon's mouth,
 While Freedom cheered behind the smoke!
                       Maurice Thompson

1. Compare Dunning, Reconstruction, Political and Economic, pp. 11-13; Beard, American Civilization, II, p. 99.

2. Herbert, "The Conditions of the Reconstruction Problems," Atlantic Monthly, LXXXVII, p. 146.

3. The Reminiscences of Carl Schurz, III, pp. 157-158.

4. 39th Congress, 1st Session, Senate Executive Document Number 2, Report of Carl Schurz.

5. Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 1866, Part II.

6. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 94.

7. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 94.

8. Wallace, Carpetbag Rule in Florida, pp. 34-35.

9. Quotations of testimony are from Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 1866, Parts II, III, and IV.

10. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 94.

11. Nicolay-Hay, Abraham Lincoln, VI, pp. 354-355.

12. Wesley, "Lincoln's Plan for Colonizing the Emancipated Negro," Journal of Negro History, IV, p. 9.

13. Fleming, Deportation and Colonization: Studies in Southern History and Politics, p. 10.

14. Nicolay-Hay, Abraham Lincoln, VI, p. 357.

15. Quoted: Journal of Negro History, IV, pp. 11-12.

16. Wesley, "Lincoln's Plan for Colonizing the Emancipated Negro," Journal of Negro History, IV, pp. 12-13.

17. Fleming, Deportation and Colonization: Studies in Southern History and Politics, P- 13-

18. Wesley, "Lincoln's Plan for Colonizing the Emancipated Negro," Journal of Negro History, IV, p. 20.

19. McClure, A. K., Recollections.

20. Sumner, Charles, Complete Works, VI, p. 302.

21. Ficklen, History of Reconstruction in Louisiana, John Hopkins Studies, 28th Series, pp. 65, 66.

22. Nicolay-Hay, Abraham Lincoln, IX, pp. 105-110.

23. Compare Ficklen, History of Reconstruction in Louisiana, p. 62.

24. Parton, General Butler in New Orleans, pp. 489-490.

25. Parton, General Butler in New Orleans, p. 517.

26. Ficklen, History of Reconstruction in Louisiana, p. 65.

27. Compare Ficklen.

28. McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, p. 20.

29. Blaine, Twenty Years of Congress, II, p. 40.

30. Ficklen, History of Reconstruction in Louisiana, pp. 74-77.

31. Ficklen, History of Reconstruction in Louisiana, p. 89.

32. Italics ours.

33. Pierce, Memoirs and Letters of Charles Sumner, IV, p. 226.

34. Nicolay-Hay, Abraham Lincoln, IX, pp. 459-462.

35. Clemenceau, American Reconstruction, 1865-1870, p. 232.

36. Quotations from McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, pp. 29-44.

37. Simkins and Woody, South Carolina During Reconstruction, pp. 49, 50.

38. Warmoth, War, Politics and Reconstruction, p. 274.

39. Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 1866, Part IV, pp. 78-79.

40. Atlantic Monthly, LXXXVII, January, 1910, p. 6.

41. Du Bois, Reconstruction and Its Benefits, p. 784.

42. Dunning, Essays on the Civil War and Reconstruction, p. 92.

43. Simkins and Woody, Reconstruction in South Carolina, p. 51.

44. Morse, Thaddeus Stevens, American Statesmen, pp. 253-254.

45. Brewster, Sketches of Southern Mystery, p. 275.


VII. LOOKING FORWARD

How two theories of the future of America clashed and blended just after the Civil War: the one was abolition-democracy based on freedom, intelligence and power for all men; the other was industry for private profit directed by an autocracy determined at any price to amass wealth and power. The uncomprehending resistance of the South, and the pressure of black folk, made these two thoughts uneasy and temporary allies

A printer and a carpenter, a rail-splitter and a tailor — Garrison, Christ, Lincoln and Johnson, were the tools of the greatest moral awakening America ever knew, chosen to challenge capital invested in the bodies of men and annul the private profit of slavery.

This done, two quite distinct but persistently undifferentiated visions of the future dominated the triumphant North after the war. One was the prolongation of Puritan idealism, transformed by the frontier into a theory of universal democracy, and now expressed by Abolitionists like Wendell Phillips, students of civilization like Charles Sumner, and leaders of the common people like Thaddeus Stephens, together with some of the leaders of the new labor movement. The other trend was entirely different and is confused with the democratic ideal because the two ideals lay confused in so many individual minds. This was the development of industry in America and of a new industrial philosophy.

The new industry had a vision not of work but of wealth; not of planned accomplishment, but of power. It became the most conscienceless, unmoral system of industry which the world has experienced. It went with ruthless indifference towards waste, death, ugliness and disaster, and yet reared the most stupendous machine for the efficient organization of work which the world has ever seen.

Thus the end of the Civil War was the beginning of vast economic development in the industrial expansion of the East, in the agricultural growth of the Middle West, in the new cattle industry of the plains, in the mining enterprises of the Rockies, in the development of the Pacific Coast, and in the reconstruction of the Southern market.

Behind this extraordinary industrial development, as justification in the minds of men, lay what we may call the great American Assumption, which up to the time of the Civil War, was held more or less explicitly by practically all Americans. The American Assumption was that wealth is mainly the result of its owner's effort and that any average worker can by thrift become a capitalist. The curious thing about this assumption was that while it was not true, it was undoubtedly more nearly true in America from 1820 to i860 than in any other contemporary land. It was not true and not recognized as true during Colonial times; but with the opening of the West and the expanding industry of the twenties, and coincident with the rise of the Cotton Kingdom, it was a fact that often a poor white man in America by thrift and saving could obtain land and capital; and by intelligence and good luck he could become a small capitalist and even a rich man; and conversely a careless spendthrift though rich might become a pauper, since hereditary safeguards for property had little legal sanction.

Thus arose the philosophy of "shirt-sleeves to shirt-sleeves," on which the American theory of compensated democracy was built. It asked simply, in eighteenth century accents, freedom from government interference with individual ventures, and a voice in the selection of government officials. The continued freedom of economic opportunity and ever possible increase of industrial income, it took for granted. This attitude was back of the adoption of universal suffrage, the disappearance of compulsory military service and imprisonment for debt, which characterized Jacksonian democracy. The American Assumption was contemporary with the Cotton Kingdom, which was its most sinister contradiction. The new captains of industry in the North were largely risen from the laboring class and thus living proof of the ease of capitalistic accumulation. The validity of the American Assumption ceased with the Civil War, but its tradition lasted down to the day of the Great Depression, when it died with a great wail of despair, not so much from bread lines and soup kitchens, as from poor and thrifty bank depositors and small investors.

The American labor movement, founded in the spirit that regarded America as a refuge from oppression and free for individual development according to conscience and ability, grew and expanded in America, basing itself frankly upon the American Assumption. Its object was rule by the people, the wide education of people so that they could rule intelligently, and economic opportunity of wealth free for thrift. It found itself hindered by slavery in the South: directly, because of the growing belief of the influential planter class in oligarchy and the degradation of labor; and indirectly by the competition of slave labor and the spread of the slave psychology. It became, therefore, at first more and more opposed to slavery as ethically wrong, politically dangerous, and economically unprofitable.

Capital, on the other hand, accepted widespread suffrage as a fact forced on the world by revolution and the growing intelligence of the working class. But since the new industry called for intelligence in its workers, capitalists not only accepted universal suffrage but early discovered that high wages in America made even higher profits possible; and that this high standard of living was itself a protection for capital in that it made the more intelligent and best paid of workers allies of capital and left its ultimate dictatorship undisturbed. Nevertheless, industry took pains to protect itself wherever possible. It excluded illiterate foreign voters from the ballot and advocated a reservoir of non-voting common labor; and it stood ready at any time by direct bribery or the use of its power to hire and discharge labor, to manipulate the labor vote.

The true significance of slavery in the United States to the whole social development of America, lay in the ultimate relation of slaves to democracy. What were to be the limits of democratic control in the United States? If all labor, black as well as white, became free, were given schools and the right to vote, what control could or should be set to the power and action of these laborers? Was the rule of the mass of Americans to be unlimited, and the right to rule extended to all men, regardless of race and color, or if not, what power of dictatorship would rule, and how would property and privilege be protected? This was the great and primary question which was in the minds of the men who wrote the Constitution of the United States and continued in the minds of thinkers down through the slavery controversy. It still remains with the world as the problem of democracy expands and touches all races and nations.

The abolition-democracy was the liberal movement among both laborers and small capitalists, who united in the American Assumption, but saw the danger of slavery to both capital and labor. It began its moral fight against slavery in the thirties and forties and, gradually transformed by economic elements, concluded it during the war. The object and only real object of the Civil War in its eyes was the abolition of slavery, and it was convinced that this could be thoroughly accomplished only if the emancipated Negroes became free citizens and voters.

The abolition-democracy saw clearly the difficulties of this step, due to the ignorance and poverty of the freedmen. For the first time in the classic democracy in the United States, it was made aware that the American Assumption was not and could not be universally true. Some of the leaders of the labor movement even came to see that it was not true in the case of the mass of white labor. But that thought came to the Abolitionists afterwards and in the minds o£ only a few clear-sighted men like Wendell Phillips.

At the time of the Civil War, it was, however, perfectly clear to Sumner and Stevens that freedom in order to be free required a minimum of capital in addition to political rights and that thL could be insured against the natural resentment of the planters only by some sort of dictatorship. Thus abolition-democracy was pushed towards the conception of a dictatorship of labor, although few of its advocates wholly grasped the fact that this necessarily involved dictatorship by labor over capital and industry.

On the other hand, industrialists after the war expected the South to seize upon the opportunity to make increased profit by a more intelligent exploitation of labor than was possible under the slave system. They looked upon free Negro labor as a source of profit, and considered freedom, that is, a legal doing away with individual physical control, all that the Negroes or their friends could ask. They did not want for Negro labor any special protection or political power or capital, any more than they wanted this for Irish, German or Scandinavian labor in the North. They expected some popular education and a gradual granting of the right to vote, which would be straitly curtailed in its power for mischief by the far larger power of capital. The South, however, persisted in its pre-war conception of these two tendencies in the North. It sought to reestablish slavery by force, because it had no comprehension of the means by which modern industry could secure the advantages of slave labor without its responsibilities. The South, therefore, opposed Negro education, opposed land and capital for Negroes, and violently and bitterly opposed any political power. It fought every conception inch by inch: no real emancipation, limited civil rights, no Negro schools, no votes for Negroes.

In the face of such intransigence, Northern industry was, on the whole, willing to yield, since none of these concessions really obstructed the expansion of industry and capital in the nation. When, however, the South went beyond reason and truculently demanded not simply its old political power but increased political power based on disfranchised Negroes, which it openly threatened to use for the revision of the tariff, for the repudiation of the national debt, for disestablishing the national banks, and for putting the new corporate form of industry under strict state regulation and rule, Northern industry was frightened and began to move towards the stand which abolition-democracy had already taken; namely, temporary dictatorship, endowed Negro education, legal civil rights, and eventually even votes for Negroes to offset the Southern threat of economic attack.

The abolition-democracy was not deceived. It at once feared and dared. It wanted no revenge on the South and held no hatred. It did want to train Negroes in intelligence, experience and labor, the ownership of land and capital, and the exercise of civil rights and the use of political power. In the advocacy of these things it reached the highest level of self-sacrificing statesmanship ever attained in America; and two of the greatest leaders of the ideal, Stevens and Sumner, voluntarily laid down their lives on the altar of democracy and were eventually paid, as they must have anticipated they would be paid, by the widespread contempt of America.

Even to this day, the grandsons of Abolitionists, ashamed of their fathers' faith in black men, are salving their conscience with a theory that democratic government by intelligent men of character is impossible, when, in fact, nothing else is possible; and the grandsons of the planters and of the poor whites who displaced them are excusing their apostasy to civilization by charging the Negro with all the evil caused by war, destruction and greed, and by the deeds of white men, Northern and Southern.

The abolition-democracy advocated Federal control to guide and direct the rise of the Negro, but they desired this control to be civil rather than military, like the strict government of territories until new states should develop. They had to help them in the furtherance of this plan a degree of enthusiasm, humility and hard work on the part of the depressed Negro which is not paralleled in modern history. When now they were offered alliance with Northern industry, temporary military control instead of civil government, and then immediate citizenship and the right to vote for Negroes, instead of a period of guardianship, they accepted because they could not refuse; because they knew that this was their only chance and that nothing else would be offered. Their theory of democracy led them to risk all, even in the absence of that economic and educational minimum which they knew was next to indispensable. When Sumner saw his failure here, he went home and wept. But the belief in the self-resurrection of democracy was strong in these men and lent unconscious power to the American Assumption. They expected that both Northern industry and the South, in sheer self-defense, would have to educate Negro intelligence and depend on Negro political power.

The South was too astonished for belief, when it saw industry and democracy in the North united for a policy of coercion. In the past, the South had always been able by mere gesture of concession to bring Northern industry to its knees begging. It did not realize how strong Industry had grown and how conscious its power; and how boundless its plans. It did not realize that the basis of the South's own power had literally been swept away. Even the West, on which the South had long counted in theory, although sympathy had seldom led to effective action, while it fought industrial monopoly, the national debt and the money power, yet when it had to choose between a continuation of Southern oligarchy and a great democratic movement, swung inevitably towards democracy. Northern capital went South and vied with the planters for the direction of the Negro vote. The poor whites scurried to cover, now here, now there, and a dictatorship of labor ensued, with a new democratic Constitution, new social legislation, public schools and public improvements. But of that we shall speak more in detail in later chapters.

On the other hand, Northern industry seemed at last free and un-trammeled. It began in 1876 an exploitation which was built on much the same sort of slavery which it helped to overthrow in 1863. It murdered democracy in the United States so completely that the world does not recognize its corpse. It established as dominant in industry a monarchical system which killed the idea of democracy.

The basis of the argument for Negro suffrage has usually been interpreted as a gesture of vengeance. But it was much deeper than this. It was phrased, first by Abraham Lincoln himself, as a method of retaining "the Jewel of Liberty in the Family of Freedom"; this was echoed, however unwillingly, by Andrew Johnson as a sop to the Radicals; but it gradually came in the thought of the nation to be an inescapable thing. Votes for Negroes were in truth a final compromise between business and abolition and were forced on abolition by business as the only method of realizing the basic principles of abolition-democracy.

All of the selfishness, cunning and power that were back of the new industry of the North have been looked upon as simply the other side of abolition-democracy; and the reason for this was that in several cases, the two ideas were mingled in individuals' minds. One can see that in the sermons of Henry Ward Beecher, who was a great advocate of votes for Negroes, but nevertheless instinctively capitalistic; standing on the side of the exploiter, he had scant sympathy for the exploited. There was something of this, although not nearly as much, in the case of Thaddeus Stevens, who was at heart the greatest and most uncompromising of abolitionist-democrats, but who advocated not only universal suffrage and free schools, but protection for Pennsylvania iron; yet in that protection he had just as distinctly in mind the welfare of the laborer as the profit of the employer.

What, then, was the strength of the democratic movement which succeeded the war? In many respects it was emotional. It swept the land with its music and poetry. A war, which to the intense dissatisfaction of the Abolitionists had begun with the distinct object, even on the part of the great Emancipator, to save and protect slavery, and in no way to disturb it, except to keep it out of competition with the free peasant of the West, had resulted in Emancipation. Men like William Lloyd Garrison, who had no sympathy with the platform of the Republicans in i860, became suddenly the center of the stage of the new dispensation. Thus, a legal-metaphysical dispute, involving the right of slave states to expand into the territories, was rapidly changed, first to a question of freedom for slaves, and then to a struggle for inaugurating a new form of national government in the United States.

When the physical war ended, then the real practical problems presented themselves. How was slavery to be effectively abolished? And what was to be the status of the Negroes? What was the condition and power of the states which had rebelled? The legal solution of these questions was easy. The states that had attempted to rebel had failed. They must now resume their relations to the government. Slavery had been abolished as a war measure. This should be confirmed and extended by a constitutional amendment. Some control of the Negro population must be devised in the place of slavery, so as to introduce the Negro into his new freedom. The power of the national government had been greatly expanded by war. This expansion must be consolidated so that in the future secession would be impossible and slavery never reestablished.

The difficulty with this legalistic formula was that it did not cling to facts. Slavery was not abolished even after the Thirteenth Amendment. There were four million freedmen and most of them on the same plantation, doing the same work that they did before emancipation, except as their work had been interrupted and changed by the upheaval of war. Moreover, they were getting about the same wages and apparently were going to be subject to slave codes modified only in name. There were among them thousands of fugitives in the camps of the soldiers or on the streets of the cities, homeless, sick and impoverished. They had been freed practically with no land nor money, and, save in exceptional cases, without legal status, and without protection.

Negroes deserved not only the pity of the world but the gratitude of both South and North. Under extraordinary provocation they had acted like decent human beings; they had protected their masters' families, when their masters were away fighting for black slavery. They did this naturally because they were not sure that the North was fighting for freedom, and because they did not know which side would win. But, at any rate, they did it. And even when they understood that the North, willing or unwilling, was bound towards freedom, and that they could fight for their own freedom, they were neither vindictive nor cruel towards their former masters, although they were quite naturally widely accused of "laziness" and "impudence," which are the only weapons of offense which a rising social class can easily use.

These black men wanted freedom; they wanted education; they wanted protection. They had been of great help to the Union armies and that help had been given under great stress. Black soldiers had been outlawed, and in many cases ruthlessly murdered by the enemy who refused to regard them as soldiers or as human. They took chances every time they put on a uniform. Yet after the war they were still not free; they were still practically slaves, and how was their freedom to be made a fact? It could be done in only one way. They must have the protection of law; and back of law must stand physical force. They must have land; they must have education. How was all this to be done?

Lincoln tried hard in the Border States, long before the end of the war, to get voluntary emancipation and pay for the slaves, so that a new system of labor under favorable circumstances could be arranged. The Border States would have none of it. The war ended in anarchy as war always ends. The cost had been so great that there could be no thought of pay for the slaves, even on the part of the South, after the first flush of Reconstruction. There was no possibility of paying for capital destroyed in other ways, or of quickly restoring the neglected land and tools.

Thus by the sheer logic of facts, there arose in the United States a clear and definite program for the freedom and uplift of the Negro, and for the extension of the realization of democracy. Some of the men who had this vision were identified with the new industry, but saw no incongruity or opposition between their ideas or between the rise and expansion of tariff-protected corporations and their equally sincere beliefs in democratic methods. Others were not identified with industry at all. They were, some of them, rich men, supported by incomes derived from industry; most of them were poor men earning a salary. Some of them were laborers. These men started from the Abolitionist's point of view. Slavery was wrong because it reduced human beings to the level of animals. The abolition of slavery meant not simply abolition of legal ownership of the slave; it meant the uplift of slaves and their eventual incorporation into the body civil, politic, and social, of the United States. There was, of course, much difference as to the exact extent of this incorporation, but less and less desire to limit it in any way by law.

The Negro must have civil rights as a citizen; he must eventually have political rights like every other citizen of the United States. And while social rights could not be a matter of legislation, they, on the other hand, must not be denied through legislation, but remain a matter of free individual choice. This outlook and theory of the Abolitionists received tremendous impetus from the war. Those who had been classed as fanatics, who had been left out of the society of the respected, and mobbed, North, East and West, suddenly became the moral justification by which the North marched on to victory.

All of the great literature of the Civil War was based mainly upon human freedom, and in so far as it stressed union, it had to make it "liberty" and union. The war songs, the war stories, the war afflatus, were based on the freedom of the slaves, just as in the World War we mobilized the mass of mankind in a war to end war and to promote the freedom and union of nations.

Moreover, the new abolition-democracy that came after the war had a tremendous and unexpected source and method of propaganda, and that lay in the crusade of the New England schoolmarm. "The annals of this Ninth Crusade are yet to be written — the tale of a mission that seemed to our age far more quixotic than the quest of St. Louis seemed to his. Behind the mist of ruin and rapine waved the calico dresses of women who dared, and after the hoarse mouthings of the field guns rang the rhythm of the alphabet. Rich and poor they were, serious and curious. Bereaved now of a father, now of a brother, now of more than these, they came seeking a life work in planting the New England schoolhouse among the white and black of the South. They did their work well. In that first year they taught one hundred thousand souls, and more."1

Here for the first time there was established between the white and black of this country a contact on terms of essential social equality and mutual respect. There had been contact between Negroes and white people in the old South; and in some cases contact of beautiful friendship, and even warm love and affection. But this was spasmodic and exceptional and had to be partially concealed; and always it was spoiled by the sense of inferiority on the part of the Negro, and the will to rule on the part of the whites.

But in a thousand schools of the South after the war were brought together the most eager of the emancipated blacks and that part of the North which believed in democracy; and this social contact of human beings became a matter of course. The results were of all sorts. Sometimes the teachers became disgusted; sometimes the students became sullen and impudent; but, on the whole, the result was one of the most astonishing successes in new and sudden human contacts. We must also remember that the population of the sixties was divided into church congregations, and the great majority of these Methodist, Baptist, Congregational, Presbyterian and Quaker congregations in the North were represented directly or indirectly in the South, after the war, by one of their members who reported the work that she (and it was usually she) was doing with colored people. This work, to an unusual degree, was so successful and so helpful that her words carried widespread conviction.

At the beginning of the war probably not one white American in a hundred believed that Negroes could become an integral part of American democracy. They were slaves and cowards, ignorant by nature and not by lack of teaching. Even if they were going to be freed, they must be got rid of or rid the land of themselves. During the war came the first real revulsion of feeling when it was found that Negroes could and would fight; were apt subjects for military discipline, and indispensable in the conduct of the war. Beyond that came the change in feeling when the rise of schools over all the South showed that the Negro would and could learn. There might be continued doubt as to the extent of the learning and the height to which the race could rise; but nobody in that day of widespread immigration from Europe could doubt that the Negro was capable of at least as much education as the ordinary Northern laborer.

Present America has no conception of the cogency of this argument. In 1865, the right of all free Americans to be voters was unquestioned, and had not been questioned since the time of Andrew Jackson, except in the case of women, where it interfered with sex-ownership. The burden of the proof lay on the man who said there could be in the United States four or five million Americans without the right to vote. What would they be? What status would they hold? Would they not inevitably be slaves, in spite of the fact that they were called free? There were, to be sure, Northern states which would not allow Negroes to vote; but many of the Northern states did; and most of those that did not had comparatively few Negroes. The whole argument against Negro suffrage, even in those states, had been based on the status of the slave in the South. When the slave became free, a new problem was staged for such Northern states.

Two men stand in the forefront of this new attempt to expand and implement democracy: Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens.

Sumner had been fighting steadily not simply against slavery, but for the manhood rights of the free Negro, ever since he entered Congress. By amending the Act of March 3, 1863, he stopped discrimination on street cars between Washington and Alexandria and by the Act of March 3, 1865, extended this to all the railways of the District. June 25, 1864, by amending an appropriation bill, he stopped discrimination in the United States courts, a result which he called "The most important of all in establishing the manhood and citizenship of the colored people.... For this result, I have labored two years."

He fought for equal pay to Negro soldiers and finally secured a favorable decision of the Attorney-General. In 1863-1864, he fought unsuccessfully against "white" suffrage in the new territory of Montana; he tried to include colored citizens among the voters of the city of Washington, but lost again.

"At this moment of revolution, when our country needs the blessing of Almighty God and the strong arms of all her children, this is not the time for us solemnly to enact injustice. In duty to our country and in duty to God, I plead against any such thing. We must be against slavery in its original shape, and in all its brood of prejudice and error."2

Four years later, Senator Doolittle said that Sumner had "always been in favor of pushing Negro suffrage; he was the originator of that notion; he is the master of that new school of Reconstruction."

In December, 1864, Sumner sketched an anti-slavery amendment. This was adopted by the American Anti-Slavery Society and early in the session was moved by Ashley of Ohio and Wilson of Iowa in the House, and Henderson of Missouri in the Senate. Sumner yielded to Trumbull, who adopted the formula of the Ordinance of 1787, which finally became the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. Sumner secured a special committee on slavery and freedmen in the Senate in January, 1864, and became the Chairman. He introduced a bill to repeal all fugitive slave laws and the Committee reported it. It was opposed by both Democratic and Republican Senators. It was amended so as to save the law of 1793, and the Committee dropped it. Two months later, a House bill reached the Senate, and Sumner reported it. Sauls-bury of Delaware wanted "one day without the nigger." The bill was finally passed, 27-12, and Lincoln signed it June 28, 1864.

Sumner indeed assumed a mighty task, and one realized it as he stood February 5, 1866, before the Senate of the United States, before all the Representatives that could crowd into the hall, before an audience including the whole nation and in some degree the whole world. He spoke four hours on two successive days. Public interest was intense; the galleries of the Senate were crowded, and there were a number of colored people, including Frederick Douglass and Henry Highland Garnett.

The voice of the speaker was solemn and earnest. His style and presence held the audience to every word.3 "Rarely, if ever did he make a deeper impression in the Senate or awaken wider interest in the country." Thomas Wentworth Higginson found nothing in contemporary statesmanship, here or abroad, to equal the speech, and when Sumner sat down, the audience broke into applause. Charles Sumner was at the time fifty-five years of age, handsome, but heavy of carriage, a I. scholar and gentleman, no leader of men but a leader of thought, and one of the finest examples of New England culture and American courage. His speech laid down a Magna Charta of democracy in America.

"I begin by expressing a heart-felt aspiration that the day may soon come when the states lately in rebellion may be received again into the copartnership of political power and the full fellowship of the Union. But I see too well that it is vain to expect this day, which is so much longed for, until we have obtained that security for the future, which is found only in the Equal Rights of All, whether in the court-room or at the ballot-box. This is the Great Guarantee, without which all other guarantees will fail. This is the sole solution of our present troubles and anxieties. This is the only sufficient assurance of peace and reconciliation....

"Our fathers solemnly announced the Equal Rights of all men, and that Government had no just foundation except in the consent of the governed; and to the support of the Declaration, heralding these self-evident truths, they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.... And now the moment has come when these vows must be fulfilled to the letter. In securing the Equal Rights of the freedman, and his participation in the Government, which he is taxed to support, we shall perform those early promises of the Fathers, and at the same time the supplementary promises only recently made to the freedman as the condition of alliance and aid against the Rebellion. A failure to perform these promises is moral and political bankruptcy....

"Twice already, since rebel slavery rose ... [necessity] has spoken to us, insisting: first, that the slaves should be declared free; and secondly, that muskets should be put into their hands for the common defense. Yielding to necessity, these two things were done. Reason, humanity, justice were powerless in this behalf; but necessity was irresistible. And the result testifies how wisely the Republic acted. Without emancipation, followed by the arming of the slaves, rebel slavery would not have been overcome. With these the victory was easy.

"At last the same necessity which insisted first upon emancipation and then upon the arming of the slaves, insists with the same unanswerable force upon the admission of the freedman to complete Equality before the law, so that there shall be no ban of color in court-room or at the ballot-box, and government shall be fixed on its only rightful foundation — the consent of the governed. Reason, humanity, and justice, all of which are clear for this admission of the freedman, may fail to move you; but you must yield to necessity, which now requires that these promises shall be performed....

"The freedman must be protected. To this you are specially pledged by the Proclamation of President Lincoln, which, after declaring him 'free,' promises to maintain this freedom, not for any limited period, but for all time. But this cannot be done so long as you deny him the shield of impartial laws. Let him be heard in court and let him vote. Let these rights be guarded sacredly. Beyond even the shield of impartial laws, he will then have that protection which comes from the consciousness of manhood. Clad in the full panoply of citizenship he will feel at last that he is a man. At present he is only a recent chattel, awaiting your justice to be transmuted into manhood. If you would have him respected in his rights, you must begin by respecting him in your laws. If you would maintain him in his freedom, you must begin by maintaining him in the equal rights of citizenship.

"Foremost is the equality of all men. Of course, in a declaration of rights, no such supreme folly was intended as that all men are created equal in form or capacity, bodily or mental; but simply that they are created equal in rights. This is the first of the self-evident truths that are announced, leading and governing all the rest. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are among inalienable rights; but they are all held in subordination to that primal truth. Here is the starting-point of the whole, and the end is like the starting-point. In announcing that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, the Declaration repeats again the same proclamation of Equal Rights. Thus is Equality the Alpha and the Omega, in which all other rights are embraced. Men may not have a natural right to certain things, but most clearly they have a natural right to impartial laws, by which they shall be secured in Equal Rights. Equality in rights is the first of rights....

"Taking the sum total of the population in the eleven states, we find 5,447,222 whites to 3,666,110 colored persons; and you are now to decide, whether in the discharge of your duties under the Constitution, and bound to guaranty a republican form of government, you will disfranchise this mighty mass, shutting them out from those Equal Rights promised by our fathers, and from all voice in the government of their country. They surpass in numbers by at least a million the whole population of the colonies at the time our fathers raised the cry, 'Taxation without Representation is Tyranny'; and now you are to decide whether you will strip them of representation while you subject them to a grinding taxation by tariff and excise, acting directly and indirectly, which dwarfs into insignificance everything attempted by the British Parliament....

"Let me be understood. What I especially ask is impartial suffrage, which is, of course, embraced in universal suffrage. What is universal is necessarily impartial. For the present, I simply insist that all shall be equal before the law, so that, in the enjoyment of this right, there shall be no restriction which is not equally applicable to all. Any further question, in the nature of 'qualification,' belongs to another stage of debate. And yet I have no hesitation in saying that universal suffrage is a universal right, subject only to such regulations as the safety of society may require. These may concern (1) age, (2) character, (3) registration, (4) residence. Nobody doubts that minors may be excluded, and so, also, persons of infamous life. Registration and residence are both prudential requirements for the safeguard of the ballot-box against the Nomads and Bohemians of politics, and to compel the exercise of this franchise where a person is known among his neighbors and friends. Education also may, under certain circumstances, be a requirement of prudence, especially valuable in a Republic where so much depends on the intelligence of the people. These temporary restrictions do not in any way interfere with the rights of suffrage, for they leave it absolutely accessible to all....

"The ballot is a schoolmaster. Reading and writing are of inestimable value, but the ballot teaches what these cannot teach. It teaches manhood. Especially is it important to a race whose manhood has been denied. The work of redemption cannot be complete if the ballot is left in doubt. The freedman already knows his friends by the unerring instinct of the heart. Give him the ballot, and he will be educated into the principles of the government. Deny him the ballot, and he will continue an alien in knowledge as in rights. His claim is exceptional, as your injustice is exceptional. For generations you have shut him out from all education, making it a crime to teach him to read for himself the Book of Life. Let not the tyranny of the past be an apology for any further exclusion....

"Having pleaded for the freedman, I now plead for the Republic; for to each alike the ballot is a necessity. It is idle to expect any true peace while the freedman is robbed of this transcendent light and left a prey to that vengeance which is ready to wreak upon him the disappointment of defeat. The country, sympathetic with him, will be in a position of perpetual unrest. With him it will suffer and with him alone can it cease to suffer. Only through him can you redress the balance of our political system and assure the safety of patriot citizens. Only through him can you save the national debt from the inevitable repudiation which awaits it when recent rebels in conjunction with Northern allies once more bear sway. His is our best guarantee. Use him. He was once your fellow-soldier; he has always been your fellow-man....

"I speak today hoping to do something for my country, and especially for that unhappy portion which has been arrayed in arms against us. The people there are my fellow-citizens, and gladly would I hail them, if they would permit it, as no longer a 'section,' no longer 'the South,' but an integral part of the Republic — under a Constitution which knows no North and no South and cannot tolerate any 'sectional' pretensions. Gladly do I offer my best efforts in all sincerity for their welfare. But I see clearly that there is nothing in the compass of mortal power so important to them in every respect, morally, politically, and economically — that there is nothing with such certain promise to them of beneficent results — there is nothing so sure to make their land smile with industry and fertility as the decree of Equal Rights which I now invoke. Let the decree go forth to cover them with blessings, sure to descend upon their children in successive generations. They have given us war; we give them peace. They have raged against us in the name of Slavery. We send them back the benediction of Justice for all. They menace hate; we offer in return all the sacred charities of country together with oblivion of the past. This is our 'Measure for Measure.' This is our retaliation. This is our only revenge....

"In the fearful tragedy now drawing to a close there is a destiny, stern and irresistible as that of the Greek Drama, which seems to master all that is done, hurrying on the death of Slavery and its whole brood of sin. There is also a Christian Providence which watches this battle for right, caring especially for the poor and downtrodden who have no helper. The freedman still writhing under cruel oppression now lifts his voice to God the avenger. It is for us to save ourselves from righteous judgment. Never with impunity can you outrage human nature. Our country which is guilty still, is paying still the grievous penalty. Therefore by every motive of self-preservation we are summoned to be just. And thus is the cause associated indissolubly with the national life....

"Strike at the Black Code, as you have already struck at the Slave Code. There is nothing to choose between them. Strike at once; strike hard. You have already proclaimed Emancipation; proclaim Enfranchisement also. And do not stultify yourselves by setting at naught the practical principle of the Fathers, that all just government stands only on the consent of the governed, and its inseparable corollary, that taxation without representation is tyranny. What was once true is true forever, although we may for a time lose sight of it, and this is the case with those imperishable truths to which you have been, alas! so indifferent. Thus far the work is only half done....

"According to the best testimony now, the population of the earth — embracing Caucasians, Mongolians, Malays, Africans, and Americans — is about thirteen hundred millions, of whom only three hundred and seventy-five millions are 'white men,' or little less than one-fourth, so that, in claiming exclusive rights for 'white men,' you degrade nearly three-quarters of the Human Family, made in the 'image of God' and declared to be of 'one blood,' while you sanction a Caste offensive to religion, an Oligarchy inconsistent with Republican Government, and a Monopoly which has the whole world as its footstool.

"Against this assumption I protest with mind, soul, and heart. It is false in religion, false in statesmanship, and false in economy. It is an extravagance, which, if enforced, is foolish tyranny. Show me a creature with erect countenance looking to heaven, made in the image of God, and I show you a MAN who, of whatever country or race, whether darkened by equatorial sun or blanched by northern cold, is with you a child of the heavenly father, and equal with you in title to all the rights of human nature."

The second seer of democracy was Thaddeus Stevens. He was a man different entirely in method, education and thought from Charles Sumner. We know Stevens best when he was old and sick, and when with grim and awful courage he made the American Congress take the last step which it has ever taken towards democracy. Yet in one respect Stevens in his thought was even more realistic than Charles Sumner, although Sumner later followed him; from the first, Stevens knew that beneath all theoretical freedom and political right must lie the economic foundation. He said at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, September 7, 1865:

"The whole fabric of Southern society must be changed, and it never can be done if this opportunity is lost.... How can republican institutions, free schools, free churches, free social intercourse, exist in a mingled community of nabobs and serfs; of the owners of twenty thousand acre manors with lordly palaces and the occupants of narrow huts inhabited by 'low white trash'? If the South is ever to be made a safe republic let her lands be cultivated by the toil of the owners or the free labor of intelligent citizens. This must be done even though it drives her nobility into exile! If they go, all the better. It will be hard to persuade the owner of ten thousand acres of land, who drives a coach and four, that he is not degraded by sitting at the same table or in the same pew, with the embrowned and hard-handed farmer who has himself cultivated his own thriving homestead of 150 acres. The country would be well rid of the proud, bloated and defiant rebels.... The foundations of their institutions ... must be broken up and relaid, or all our blood and treasure have been spent in vain."4

"He figured that there were in the rebel states four hundred sixty-five million acres of land. Of this three hundred ninety-four million acres were owned by 70,000 persons, each of whom possessed more than two hundred acres. He argued that these three hundred ninety four million acres ought to be confiscated by the government. To each adult freedman should be given forty acres which approximately would dispose of about forty million acres. The remaining three hundred fifty-four million acres, he would divide into suitable farms and sell to the highest bidder. Including city property it should bring an average price of ten dollars an acre, making a total of three billion five hundred forty million in six per cent bonds, the income of which should go towards the payment of pensions to the deserving veterans, and the widows and orphans of soldiers and sailors who had been killed in the war. Two hundred million dollars should be appropriated to reimburse loyal men in both North and South whose property had been destroyed or damaged during the war. With the remaining three billion, forty million dollars he would pay the national debt. Stevens argued that since all this property which has to be confiscated was owned by 70,000 persons, the vast majority of the people in the South would not be affected by this policy. These 70,000 were the arch-traitors and since they had caused an unjust war they should be made to suffer the consequences."5

Sumner, thinking along these lines, had hesitated. He said in June, 1862, when confiscation first was broached:

"I confess frankly that I look with more hope and confidence to liberation than to confiscation. To give freedom is nobler than to take property.... There is in confiscation, unless when directed against the criminal authors of the rebellion, a harshness inconsistent with that mercy which it is always a sacred duty to cultivate.... But liberation is not harsh; and it is certain, if properly conducted, to carry with it the smiles of a benignant Providence."6

Later, however, he began to see the economic demands of emancipation and he wrote to John Bright, March 13, 1865: "Can emancipation be carried out without using the lands of the slave-masters? We must see that the freedmen are established on the soil, and that they may become proprietors. From the beginning I have regarded confiscation only as ancillary to emancipation. The great plantations, which have been so many nurseries of the rebellion, must be broken up, and the freedmen must have the pieces. It looks as if we were on the eve of another agitation. I insist that the rebel states shall not come back except on the footing of the Declaration of Independence, with all persons equal before the law, and government founded on the consent of the governed. In other words, there shall be no discrimination on account of color. If all whites vote, then must all blacks; but there shall be no limitation of suffrage for one more than for the other. It is sometimes said 'What! let the freedman, yesterday a slave, vote?' I am inclined to think that there is more harm in refusing than in conceding the franchise. It is said that they are as intelligent as the Irish just arrived; but the question has become immensely practical in this respect: Without their votes we cannot establish stable governments in the Rebel States. Their votes are as necessary as their muskets; of this I am satisfied. Without them, the old enemy will reappear, and under the forms of law take possession of the governments, choose magistrates and officers, and in alliance with the Northern Democracy, put us all in peril again, postpone the day of tranquillity, and menace the national credit by assailing the national debt. To my mind, the nation is now bound by self-interest — ay, self-defense — to be thoroughly just. The Declaration of Independence has pledges which have never been redeemed. We must redeem them, at least as regards the rebel states which have fallen under our jurisdiction. Mr. Lincoln is slow in accepting truths. I have reminded him that if he would say the word we might settle this question promptly and rightly. He hesitates. Meanwhile I feel it my duty to oppose his scheme of government in Louisiana, which for the present is defeated in Congress."7

Stevens' declaration found few echoes. Senator Wade of Ohio was the only one who blazed a further path toward industrial democracy. He "declared in public meetings that after the abolition of slavery, a radical change in the relations of capital and of property in land is next upon the order of the day." And Wade added frankly that this democratic movement of freedom and power for men was easily confused in men's minds with the older slogans of freedom for trade and industry.

"There is no doubt," he also remarked, "that if by an insurrection [the colored people] could contrive to slay one half their oppressors, the other half would hold them in the highest respect and no doubt treat them with justice."

All of this simply increased Industry's fear of Western radicalism and was regarded as advocacy of industrial revolution. These were the demands of the extreme leaders of abolition-democracy; leaders like Phillips and Douglass agreed with the demand for the ballot. Wendell Phillips said at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1865:

"Our philosophy of government since the Fourth day of July, 1776, is that no class is safe, no freedom is real, no emancipation is effectual which does not place in the hands of the man himself the power to protect his own rights. That is the genius of American Institutions.

"The Negro must be given the franchise because we have no other timber to build states with, and unless we build with him, we must postpone reconstruction for so many years, that the very patronage of territorial government would swamp republican institutions. Keep them territories, let the democracy come in eight years or four, with the money power of this bank system in one hand and territorial government in the other, and republican government will be almost a failure."

At a Tremont Temple meeting in Boston, it was "Resolved, That since the denial of rights to black men was the cause of the disruption of the Union, their enfranchisement and free equality before the law must be the cornerstone of the Reconstruction."

Douglass said, "I am for the 'immediate, unconditional and universal' enfranchisement of the black man, in every state in the Union. Without this his liberty is a mockery; without this, you might as well almost retain the old name of slavery for his condition; for, in fact, if he is not the slave of the industrial master, he is the slave of society, and holds his liberty as a privilege, not as a right. He is at the mercy of the mob, and has no means of protecting himself."

Not all Abolitionists agreed, however; Garrison in the Liberator refused to demand immediate enfranchisement. He said, in 1864, in reply to an English critic, "When was it ever known that liberation from bondage was accompanied by a recognition of political equality? Chattels personal may be instantly translated from the auction-block into freemen; but when were they ever taken at the same time to the ballot-box, and invested with all political rights and immunities? According to the laws of development and progress, it is not practicable. To denounce or complain of President Lincoln for not disregarding public sentiment, and not flying in the face of these laws, is hardly just. Besides, I doubt whether he has the constitutional right to decide this matter. Ever since this government was organized, the right of suffrage has been determined by each state in the Union for itself, so that there is no uniformity in regard to it. In some free states, colored citizens are allowed to vote; in others, they are not. It is always a state, never a national matter.

"Nor, if the freed blacks were admitted to the polls by Presidential fiat, do I see any permanent advantage likely to be secured by it; for, submitted to as a necessity at the outset, as soon as the state was organized and left to manage its own affairs, the white population, with their superior intelligence, wealth, and power, would unquestionably alter the franchise in accordance with their prejudices, and exclude those thus summarily brought to the polls. Coercion would gain nothing. In other words — as in your own country — universal suffrage will be hard to win and to hold without general preparation of feeling and sentiment. But it will come, both at the South and with you; yet only by a struggle on the part of the disfranchised, and a growing conviction of its justice, 'in the good time coming.' With the abolition of slavery in the South, prejudice or 'colorphobia,' the natural product of the system, will gradually disappear — as in the case of your West Indian colonies — and black men will win their way to wealth, distinction, eminence, and official station. I ask only a charitable judgment of President Lincoln respecting this matter, whether in Louisiana or any other state."8

Here was sound political argument but unsound economics based on the American Assumption of wealth through thrift, applied to slaves, where Thaddeus Stevens alone knew it could not be applied. Nevertheless the demand for Negro suffrage grew, chiefly because of the necessity of implementing emancipation and making Negro freedom real. The New York Times said in April, 1865:

"Nobody, we believe, wishes to keep any Southern state under disabilities simply as punishment. Mr. Sumner, himself, probably does not want to transform the Southern states into territories for any such object. The real concern herein is whether the Southern states, if restored at once to their full state rights, would not abuse them by an oppression of the black race. This race has rendered an assistance to the government in times of danger that entitles them to its benign care. The government cannot, without the worst dishonor, permit the bondage of the black man to be continued in any form. It is bound by every moral principle, as well as every prudential consideration, not to remit him to the tender mercies of an enemy. But it is to be hoped that the Southern people will understand that the interests of both races require a just relation between them and that they will secure this by a prompt change of their state constitution and laws."

The New York Tribune laid down seven points in May, 1865:

"1. Everyone must realize that the blacks will not emigrate but stay in America.

"2. The blacks may not be spared, for their labor makes land valuable, and the land may not be spared.

"3. Fair pay for fair work is a sine qua non.

"4. Education for freedmen.

"5. With education comes self-elevation, and the desire to deny him the vote will disappear.

"6. However, white men who are ignorant and vicious, vote. Suffrage for blacks regardless of this ignorance.

"7. Fidelity to the political creed of the nation to secure the happiness of all."

Later, Horace Greeley said: "We would consent to submit to the suffrage only those who could read and write or those who pay taxes or are engaged in some trade. Any standard which could limit the voting privilege to the competent and deserving would be agreeable to us." He adds, "The Abolitionists are most anxious that political rights, and especially the right of self-protection by suffrage, shall be accorded to the freedmen of the South; and waiving all questions of power, they would gladly prefer that such extension of suffrage be accorded by, rather than imposed on, Southern whites. They cannot realize that hanging some of the late insurgents as rebels and traitors will dispose the survivors toward according the elective franchise even to the most capable of emancipated blacks. In fact the obstacles to such extension of suffrage are many and formidable — they are not to be surmounted (though many act as though they could) by a mere order from the War Department, nor even by an act of Congress."9

The most popular argument for Negro suffrage was that of Carl Schurz:

"It would seem that the interference of the national authority in the home concerns of the Southern states would be rendered less necessary, and the whole problem of political and social reconstruction be made simplified, if, while the masses lately arrayed against the government are permitted to vote, the large majority of those who were always loyal, and are naturally anxious to see the free labor problem successfully solved, were not excluded from all influence upon legislation. In all questions concerning the Union, the national debt, and the future social organization of the South, the feelings of the colored man are naturally in sympathy with the views and aims of the national government. And while the Southern whites fought against the Union, the Negro did all he could to aid it; while the Southern white sees in the national government his conqueror, the Negro sees in it his protector; while the white owes to the national debt his defeat, the Negro owes to it his deliverance; while the white considers himself robbed and ruined by the emancipation of the slaves, the Negro finds in it the assurance of future prosperity and happiness. In all the important issues the Negro would be led by natural impulse to forward the ends of the government, and by making his influence, as part of the voting body, tell upon the legislation of the states, render the interference of the national authority less necessary.

"As the most difficult of the pending questions are intimately connected with the status of the Negro in Southern society, it is obvious that a correct solution can be more easily obtained if he has a voice in the matter. In the right to vote, he would find the best permanent protection against oppressive class-legislation, as well as against individual persecution. The relations between the white and black races even if improved by the gradual wearing off of the present animosities, are likely to remain long under the troubling influence of prejudice.

"It is a notorious fact that the rights of a man of some political power are far less exposed to violations than those of one who is, in matters of public interest, completely subject to the will of others. A voter is a man of influence; small as that influence may be in the single individual, it becomes larger when that individual belongs to a numerous class of voters who are ready to make common cause with him for the protection of his rights. Such an individual is an object of interest to the political parties that desire to have the benefits of his ballot. It is true, the bringing face to face at the ballot box of the white and the black races may here and there lead to an outbreak of feeling, and the first trials ought certainly to be made while the national power is still there to prevent or repress disturbances; but the practice once successfully inaugurated under the protection of that power, it would probably be more apt than anything else to obliterate old antagonisms, especially if the colored people — which is probable, as soon as their own rights are sufficiently secured — divide their votes between the different political parties.

"The effect of the extension of the franchise to the colored people upon the development of free labor and upon the security of human rights in the South being the principal object in view, the objections raised on the ground of the ignorance of the freedman become unimportant. Practical liberty is a good school, and, besides, if any qualification can be found, applicable to both races, which does not interfere with the attainment of the main object, such qualification would in that respect be unobjectionable. But it is idle to say that it will be time to speak of Negro suffrage when the whole colored race will be educated, for the ballot may be necessary to him to secure his education. It is also idle to say that ignorance is the principal ground upon which Southern men object to Negro suffrage, for if it were, that numerous class of colored people in Louisiana who are as highly educated, as intelligent and as wealthy as any corresponding class of whites, would have been enfranchised long ago.

"It has been asserted that the Negro would be but a voting machine in the hand of his employer. On this point opinions seem to differ. I have heard it said in the South that the freedmen are more likely to be influenced by their schoolmasters and preachers. But even if we suppose the employer to control to a certain extent the Negro laborer's vote, two things are to be taken into consideration: i. The class of employers or landed proprietors will in a few years be very different from what it was heretofore; in consequence of the general breaking up, a great many of the old slaveholders will be obliged to give up their lands and new men will step into their places; and 2. The employer will hardly control the vote of the Negro laborer so far as to make him vote against his own liberty. The beneficial effect of an extension of suffrage does not always depend upon the intelligence with which the newly admitted voters exercise their right, but sometimes upon the circumstances in which they are placed; and the circumstances in which the freedmen of the South are placed are such that when they only vote for their own liberty and rights, they vote for the rights of free labor, for the success of an immediate important reform, for the prosperity of the country, and for the general interests of mankind. If, therefore, in order to control the colored voter, the employer or whoever he may be, is first obliged to concede to the freedman the great point of his own rights as a man and a free laborer, the great social reform is completed, the most difficult problem is solved, and all other questions it will be comparatively easy to settle.

"In discussing the matter of Negro suffrage, I deemed it my duty to confine myself strictly to the practical aspects of the subject. I have, therefore, not touched its moral merits nor discussed the question whether the national government is competent to enlarge the elective franchise in the states lately in rebellion by its own act.

"I deem it proper, however, to offer a few remarks on the assertion frequently put forth that the franchise is likely to be extended to the colored man by the voluntary action of the Southern whites themselves. My observation leads me to a contrary opinion. Aside from a very few enlightened men, I found but one class of people in favor of the enfranchisement of the blacks: it was the class of Unionists who found themselves politically ostracized and looked upon the enfranchisement of the loyal Negroes as the salvation of the whole loyal element. But their numbers and influence are sadly insufficient to secure such a result. The masses are strongly opposed to colored suffrage; anybody that dares to advocate it is stigmatized as a dangerous fanatic; nor do I deem it probable that in the ordinary course of things, prejudices will wear off to such an extent as to make it a popular measure. Outside of Louisiana, only one gentleman who occupied a prominent political position in the South expressed to me an opinion favorable to it. He declared himself ready to vote for an amendment to the constitution of his state bestowing the right of suffrage upon all male citizens without distinction of color, who could furnish evidence of their ability to read and write, without, however, disfranchising those who are now voters and are not able to fulfill that condition. This gentleman is now a member of one of the state conventions, but I presume he will not risk his political standing in the South by moving such an amendment in that body.

"The only manner in which, in my opinion, the Southern people can be induced to grant to the freedman some measure of self-protecting power in the form of suffrage is to make it a condition precedent to 'readmission.'

"Practical attempts on the part of the Southern people to deprive the Negro of his rights as a freeman may result in bloody collisions, and will certainly plunge Southern society into restless fluctuations and anarchical confusion. Such evils can be prevented only by continuing the control of the national government in the states lately in rebellion, until free labor is fully developed and firmly established, and the advantages and blessings of the new order of things have disclosed themselves. This desirable result will be hastened by a firm declaration on the part of the government that national control in the South will not cease until such results are secured. Only in this way can that security be established in the South which will render numerous immigration possible, and such immigration would materially aid a favorable development of things.

"The solution of the problem would be very much facilitated by enabling all the loyal and free-labor elements in the South to exercise a healthy influence upon legislation. It will hardly be possible to secure the freedman against oppressive class legislation and private persecution unless he be endowed with a certain measure of political power.

"As to the future peace and harmony of the Union, it is of the highest importance that the people lately in rebellion be not permitted to build up another 'peculiar institution' whose spirit is in conflict with the fundamental principles of our political system; for as long as they cherish interests peculiar to them in preference to those they have in common with the rest of the American people, their loyalty to the Union will always be uncertain.

"I desire not to be understood as saying that there are no well-meaning men among those who were comprised in the rebellion. There are many, but none of these in number nor in influence are strong enough to control the manifest tendency of the popular spirit. There are great reasons for hope that a determined policy on the part of the national government will produce innumerable and valuable conversions. This consideration counsels leniency as to persons, such as is demanded by the human and enlightened spirit of our times, and vigor and firmness in the carrying out of principles such as are demanded by the national sense of justice and the exigencies of our situation."10

The inevitable result of the Civil War eventually had to be the enfranchisement of the laboring class, black and white, in the South. It could not, as the South clamored to make it, result in the mere legalistic freeing of the slaves. On the other hand, it would not go as far as economic emancipation for which Stevens and the freedmen clamored, because the industrial North instinctively recoiled from this and the Northern white working man himself had not achieved such economic emancipation. The politically enfranchised slave was accused, as every laboring class has been, of ignorance and bad manners, of poverty and crime. And when he tried to go to school and tried to imitate the manners of his brothers, and demanded real economic emancipation through ownership of land and right to use capital, there arose the bitter shriek of property, and the charge of corruption and theft was added to that of ignorance and poverty, just as we have seen in our day in the case of Russia.

Democracy, that inevitable end of all government, faces eternal paradox. In all ages, the vast majority of men have been ignorant and poor, and any attempt to arm such classes with political power brings the question: Can Ignorance and Poverty rule? If they try to rule, their success in the nature of things must be halting and spasmodic, if not absolutely nil; and it must incur the criticism and raillery of the wise and the well-to-do. On the other hand, if the poor, unlettered toilers are given no political power, and are kept by exploitation in poverty, they will remain submerged unless rescued by revolution; and a philosophy will prevail, teaching that the submergence of the mass is inevitable and is on the whole best, not only for them, but for the ruling classes.

In all this argument there is seldom a consideration of the possibility that the great mass of people may become intelligent, with incomes that insure a decent standard of living. In such case, no one could deny the right and inevitableness of democracy. And in the meantime, in bridging the road from ignorance and poverty to intelligence and an income sufficient for civilization, the real power must be in someone's hands. Shall this power be a dictatorship for the benefit of the rich, the cultured and the fortunate? This is the basic problem of democracy and it was discussed before the people of the United States in unusual form directly after the Civil War. It was a test of the nation's real belief in democratic institutions. And the fact that the ideal of abolition-democracy carried the nation as far as it did in the matter of Negro suffrage must always be a source of intense gratification for those who believe in humanity and justice.

"In a republic the people precede their government. Throughout the war the people demanded more stringent and more energetic measures than the administration was prepared to adopt. They called for emancipation before it was proclaimed; for a Freedmen's Bureau before it was organized; for a Civil Rights bill before it was passed; and for impartial suffrage before it was finally, by act of Congress, secured. In the history of emancipation the voluntary activities of a portion of the people in benevolent, philanthropic and Christian effort preceded, prepared for, and helped to produce that governmental action which has largely contributed to the present condition and well-grounded hopes of the colored people."11

The reports on conditions in the South gained wide currency and had great influence. Salmon P. Chase, Whitelaw Reid, Carl Schurz, all supported with views and logic the prevailing trend of abolition-democracy. In the South itself, long before there was any unanimity in the North on the subject of Negro suffrage or signs of pressure, the question of votes for Negroes came to the front. It was first precipitated by the proposed Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery. December 14, 1863, Ashley of Ohio had introduced into the House an amendment prohibiting slavery, and Wilson of Iowa introduced a similar amendment. Both were referred, but not discussed until five months after their introduction. Four other similar amendments were introduced in the House during the season.

In the Senate, January 11, 1864, Henderson of Missouri introduced an amendment to abolish slavery, which was referred. A few days later, Charles Sumner submitted a joint resolution against slavery. The committee preferred Henderson's resolution. The Border State men were especially opposed and Garrett Davis of Kentucky made long and fiery speeches and offered eight amendments. Senator Powell of Kentucky also offered various amendments.

A proposed Thirteenth Amendment finally passed the Senate April 8, 1863, by a vote of 36-6. It was considered in the House the last day of May. On June 15, it was approved by a vote of 95-66, but this was less than the necessary two-thirds majority.

Meantime, Lincoln had been reelected, receiving 2,216,067 out of 4,011,413 votes; Maryland had abolished slavery, and there was a movement for abolition throughout the Border States. At the second session of the 38th Congress, the President urged the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. On January 31, 1865, Ashley called the proposed Thirteenth Amendment for reconsideration. Eleven Democrats deserted their leader and enabled the resolution to pass, on January 31, 1865.

Blaine said: "When the announcement was made, the Speaker be-came powerless to preserve order. The members upon the Republican side sprang upon their seats cheering, shouting, and waving hands, hats, and canes, while the spectators upon the floor and in the galleries joined heartily in the demonstrations. Upon the restoration of order, Mr. Ingersoll of Illinois rose and said, 'Mr. Speaker, in honor of this immortal and sublime event, I move that this House do now adjourn.'"12 This amendment was signed by the President and submitted to the states. On December 18, 1865, it was declared adopted by the Secretary of State.

The Amendment carried an unusual provision in Section II which asserted: "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation." Charles Sumner and others declared that this gave Congress power to enfranchise Negroes if such a step was necessary to their freedom. The South took cognizance of this argument. Of the states which seceded, Virginia and Louisiana ratified the Thirteenth Amendment in February, 1865, and Arkansas in April. All of these states were at the time in the control of minorities supported by the Union armies, and strong pressure was exerted on them by the administration in Washington.

In November, 1865, South Carolina ratified with this proviso:

"That any attempt by Congress towards legislating upon the political status of former slaves, or their civil relations, would be contrary to the Constitution of the United States as it now is, or as it would be altered by the proposed amendment; is in conflict with the policy of the President, declared in his amnesty proclamation, and with the restoration of that harmony upon which depend the vital interests of the American Union."13

Alabama ratified the Amendment the same month with this proviso:

"That this amendment to the Constitution of the United States is adopted by the Legislature of Alabama with the understanding that it does not confer upon Congress the power to legislate upon the political status of freedmen in this State."14

North Carolina and Georgia ratified in December just before the amendment was proclaimed. Mississippi refused ratification until after the Amendment was in force. Florida ratified it with the Alabama reservations. Texas did not ratify until 1870. It is difficult to see in these proceedings any indication that the South was willing to abolish slavery and certainly there was not the slightest indication of granting any Negro political rights.

In South Carolina, "the assembly shunned all suggestions that suffrage be given the Negro in any form." When a number of Charleston Negroes prepared a memorial on this, the convention refused to hear it. "It cannot but be the earnest desire of all members," said the Charleston Daily Courier, "that the matter be ignored in toto during the session.... The white democracy, especially that of the up-country, felt that a restricted suffrage which took no account of racial discriminations would disfranchise a large portion of the white vote and give the large landowners an unfair influence through their control of Negro votes...." "It may safely be said," wrote the Columbia correspondent of the Charleston Daily Courier, "that the views and opinions of Sumner, Thad Stevens, Wilson, and some other Northern Radicals have been considered too unworthy to be seriously commented upon by the members of the convention. It is well known that the sentiments of those gentlemen are extremely unpopular in the North."15

Universally, the South was reported as adamant on the subject of Negroes voting. "That is not a question they even allow themselves to debate. They consider it too monstrous a proposition even to debate. That is one of the things they imagine they will never submit to. They will suffer confiscation and everything before they will endure the degradation."16

Governor Walker of Florida said in his inaugural speech: "Each one of us knows that we could not give either an honest or conscientious assent to Negro suffrage. There is not one of us that would not feel that he was doing wrong, and bartering his self-respect, his conscience and his duty to his country and to the Union itself, for the benefits he might hope to obtain by getting back into the Union. Much as I worship the Union, and much as I would rejoice to see my State once more recognized as a member thereof, yet it is better, a thousand times better, that she should remain out of the Union, even as one of her subjugated provinces, than go back, 'eviscerated of her manhood,' despoiled of her honor, recreant of her duty, without her self-respect, and of course without the respect of the balance of mankind — a miserable thing, with seeds of moral and political death in herself, soon to be communicated to all her associates."17

Judge Underwood of Virginia reports a candid gentleman of Alexandria talking to him in friendly conversation:

"'Sooner than see the colored people raised to a legal and political equality, the Southern people would prefer their total annihilation.' I had regarded him as well informed and almost as candid a man as we have among the Rebels."18 Grattan, a native of Virginia, said Feb-bruary 10, 1866:

"I believe that if the blacks are left to themselves, if all foreign influence were taken away, the whites would control their votes. It is not in that the difficulty lies, but it is in the repugnance which the white race would feel to that sort of political equality. It is the same sort of repugnance which a man feels toward a snake. He does not feel any animosity to the snake, but there is a natural shrinking from it."19 He thought that any attempt to give the Negroes a vote would lead to their extermination.

In all this reported opposition to Negro suffrage, the grounds given were racial and social animosity, and never the determination of land and capital to restrict the political power of labor. Yet this last reason was the fundamental one.

While the South was in suspense, and the abolition-democracy was slowly debating and crystallizing opinion, industry in the North was forging forward with furious intensity; and this movement was foremost and predominant in the mind and vision of living persons in that day. During the war, business prospered. There were few failures and the inflated currency increased prices and favored business profits; while, on the other hand, it decreased real wages and the income of farmers. Wealth became concentrated among the manufacturers, merchants, the financiers and the speculators. There was, consequently, a large accumulation of capital for investment in new business enterprises; industrial development was hastened. Inventions and technical improvements increased. Plants became larger and more efficient; steel manufacture became the basis of modern industry and developed rapidly because of the demands of war. The metal industry, thus expanded, turned to the production of peace goods. The war itself called for more efficiency and larger plants and consolidation of plants.

The freeing of the nation from the strangling hands of oligarchy in the South freed not only black men but white men, not only human spirit, but business enterprise all over the land. This happened in surprising ways. Quite naturally, and logically, under the stress of war, national and local taxes rose and rose and rose yet again, forcing the whole community and nation to pay for things formerly paid for by individuals. First, necessary money was provided by taxing imports; then, to encourage local manufacturers of goods that must be had for war; thus by imperceptible transition, the nation was taxed to support manufacturers. The South had forced down the tariff until in 1857 there was practically free trade. Northern manufacturers during the war pressed for higher tariff rates. Taxes on imported goods were the easiest method of raising money. The tariff acts of 1862-1864 raised the average rates of taxation to 37.2% and 47%. And since then the tariff rates have been raised higher and higher so as to foster industrial monopoly.

The industrialists were not without scientific support. Henry Carey, the American economist, published his "Principles of Social Science" in 1858-1859. He attacked free trade and joined the German Liszt in a demand for a self-contained national economy. Carey sought to show the beneficial effects that the proximity of protected industry would have upon agriculture. Thus in the name of the new national spirit, came "America for Americans" as a great and self-sufficing farming and manufacturing country.

We emerged, therefore, from the war with a tremendous industry, over-organized, but efficient in many directions through the exigencies and demands of war. Two things beckoned further; first, the discovery and realization of the extraordinary natural resources of America, its iron, coal and oil, its forests, and of course raw materials like wool, sugar and cotton; secondly, a unified and wonderful system of transportation. The nation borrowed three billion dollars for war and paid heavy interest because of the price of gold. The money borrowed by the government had to be spent and spent quickly without deliberation, without careful decision. Contractors and managers, therefore, who furnished goods to the government could make, legally and illegally, fabulous sums. The prosperity which thus came to them had to be passed on in part to the workers, who received higher wages, and who, despite the increased cost of living, had money to spend freely. Boom times were on. There was plenty of money for investment and plenty of chances for investment. Speculation ran riot. The whole moral fabric of the country was changed, not simply by the blood and cruelty, hate and destruction, of war, but by the prospects of a golden future. We are told that when the Secretary of the Treasury visited New York early in 1864, he found business men interested not in the blood of battle but in the stock market. Workers and foreigners caught the fever and naturally enough held the South to blame for the past. Had not the South held up the distribution of the Western lands since 1845 against the protest of Northern farmers and new immigrants; against Southern poor whites led by Andrew Johnson, and with sympathy on the part of the managers and hirers of labor of the North? Early in the war, the Homestead Law was passed and threw open the Western lands to settlers on easy terms. The new farmers and the new immigrant laborers were scarcely aware when this land was given mostly to railroads to help finance them, and then sold to farmers at prices which made profitable farming increasingly difficult. They saw agricultural prices rising; they expected them, of course, to continue to rise.

Railways in the United States increased from three miles in 1828 to 23,476 miles in i860, 30,283 miles in 1870, and over 50,000 miles in 1880. The railroads had been financed by selling bonds abroad before the war and after the war by large increases in domestic capital invested. Gifts of public lands were showered upon the railway builders, amounting to half the farm area opened by the Homestead Act. Great railway systems began to be consolidated, and through them population drifted to the cities.

Especially did industry begin to fear the unrest in the West after the war. The West was uneasy. It became more uneasy on account of the land distribution to the railroads, the high and discriminatory railroad rates, the whole money situation, and the taxation. Finance and industry, therefore, after the war, while it looked forward confidently to tremendous industrial development, was wary. It proposed to protect itself. There was going to be no new free trade, no agricultural bloc, no drives for cheap money, no state intervention in industry. The new national development, protected from foreign competition, must be protected from state intervention. Otherwise state control of railroads and industries, state taxation and regulation, would reduce the United States to a series of small exclusive industrial territories instead of one vast market.

All this thought and development went on with little attention to the social or political results of the war. But soon attention had to be given to these matters. Although industry was now in control of the national government, the Republican party which represented it was a minority party; and Northern and Southern Democrats, especially Southern Democrats with increased power by counting the full Negro population, together with Western malcontents, could easily oust the Republicans. It was because of this thought that Northern industry made its great alliance with abolition-democracy. The consummation of this alliance came slowly and reluctantly and after vain effort toward understanding with the South which was unsuccessful until 1876.

When Lincoln first laid down his general proclamation concerning Reconstruction, industry paid little attention to it: let the South come back; let it come back quickly, and let us go to work and make money and repair the losses of the war by increased business; and then let the nation go far beyond this through domination of the American market, and perhaps even of the markets of the world.

However, right here the dreams of the industrialists were quickly shadowed by unwelcome reflections. In the harsh voices of certain leading citizens of the South, who were about to return to Congress, there was something of that same arrogance that had cowed the North in days gone by. What these voices said concerning Negroes and, indeed, concerning slavery, was of little importance to industry; but if they proposed to come back with increased political power, would this mean a drive for free trade? Would it mean a drive against the national banks? Would it mean an attempt to readjust and tax the immense profit made in the rise of the national debt? Beyond this, could it be that the new South was set upon some move to make the whole country assume all or part of the Confederate debt and pay for emancipated slaves? Perhaps not, but this was something to watch. State economic rights must be curbed. Southern opposition to finance and the tariff must be kept in bounds. Very soon, then, the party which represented sound money — that is, the payment of interest on depreciated currency at the same rate as though it had been gold — and who wanted Federal control of industry, began to see the necessity of consolidating their political power.

This point of view of industry began to be expressed frankly. Brewer of Newport wrote Sumner: "In a selfish point of view free suffrage to the blacks is desirable. Without their support, Southerners will certainly again unite, and there is too much reason to fear successfully, with the Democrats of the North, and the long train of evils sure to follow their rule is fearful to contemplate ... a great reduction of the tariff doing away with its protective feature — perhaps free trade to culminate with repudiation ... and how sweet and complete will be the revenge of the former if they can ruin the North by free trade and repudiation."

The most selfish argument was made by Elizur Wright of Boston in 1865. He said that it would take years of military subjugation to educate the white South out of its rebel propensities so that a majority of it could be relied on for loyal state government. In the meantime two things would happen: "1st. The public debt would accumulate, for a military occupation never pays as it goes. 2nd. The blacks are largely trained to arms, for they are the cheapest and best troops we can have under the circumstances. Hence, when we arrive at the period when loyal state governments — that will go alone — can be set up, the blacks must be enfranchised or they will be ready and willing to fight for a government of their own; and here is more war, and more public debt, and more taxation.

"If the Southern states are brought back in too soon the North would either have to pay the rebel debt or borrow the rebel theory and secede from the very Union that had been restored by conquering the rebels.

"There is only one way to avoid this and make our victory immediately fruitful. In two states, a decided majority of the population is black, and, by necessity, loyal. In five others, the black element is more than one-third; and it is strong enough to make an effective balance of power in every state where the rebellious element is of any serious magnitude. Again, the particular chivalry which got up and engineered the rebellion has such an honor of sharing political power with its former chattels that when the enfranchisement of the blacks is determined on as the sine qua non of Reconstruction, and its own military power is overthrown, it will emigrate to a more congenial political atmosphere. We have then nothing to do but convert whites enough to make a majority when added to the enfranchised blacks, to have state governments that can be trusted to stand alone. I think I could easily convince any man, who does not allow his prejudices to stand in the way of his interests, that it will probably make a difference of at least $1,000,000,000 in the development of the national debt, whether we reconstruct on the basis of loyal white and black votes, or on white votes exclusively, and that he can better afford to give the government at least one-quarter of his estate than have it try the latter experiment.

"I am not disputing about tastes. A Negro's ballot may be more vulgar than his bullet. Being already in for it, the question with me is, how the one or the other can be made to protect my property from taxation; and I am sure I would rather give away half the little I have, than to have the victories of 1865 thrown away, as I am sure they will be, if, endeavoring to keep the South in subjugation by black armies, the government allows 4,000,000 of black population to continue disfranchised."

Thus industry between 1860-1870 was in control of the government but was insecure. The Republican party which represented it was a minority party, and if Northern and Southern Democrats had been able to unite with the disaffected West, the Republicans would have been swept out of power. But the Republican party, united with abolition-democracy and using their tremendous moral power and popularity, their appeal to freedom, democracy and the uplift of mankind, might buttress the threatened fortress of the new industry. And finally in extremity, votes for Negroes would save the day. Thus a movement, which began primarily and sincerely to abolish slavery and insure the Negroes' rights, became coupled with a struggle of capitalism to retain control of the government as against Northern labor and Southern and Western agriculture.

The union of these two points of view is seen in an Ohio pamphlet then current. "What is to be done with six millions of rebels? What shall be done with four million blacks?

"1. Loyal white men only shall vote.

"2. Loyal white men and rebels, except certain classes, shall vote.

"3. Loyal men, white and black, shall vote.

"4. Loyal men, white and black, and as many of the rebels as can be controlled by loyal voters, shall vote.

"5. Educational standards.

"6. Segregation of whites and blacks. The blacks to be in one territory with full rights to vote.

"7. Rebel states to be held by military power until the rebels have purged themselves.

"In the first plan, 1,200,000 voters in the rebel states will have as much voting power as two million voters in the North. Under the second plan before the Rebellion, the South, with six million whites, boasted as much political power as 8,400,000 of the North. By this second plan, 6,000,000 would possess the power of 10,000,000 of the North. By the third plan, one voter in the South would have more voting power than two voters in the North. Under the fourth plan, the uneducated blacks are almost the only friends of the government, while the educated whites are all wrong. This illustrates the folly of an educational standard. Under the sixth plan, the whites forced the mixing of the races of the country, and those men who have been raised on Negro milk, and some of them who have children by Negro mothers, should not talk about separation."

Slowly the rank and file of the nation began to respond to the combined argument of industrialists and Abolitionists, especially as their seeming unity of purpose increased. A correspondent of the New York Tribune writes in 1865 from the South:

"The freed people are truly and unreservedly our friends, and they are almost the only ones. They are more intelligent as a class, and more available as a trustworthy material for citizenship, than I expected to find them. The poor whites whom I saw are decidedly inferior to the average of the slave population. If there is to be for the future a stable basis for loyal states in the South, it must be made up largely of the freed people. It will not do at present to trust the ballot in the hands of the white men who have been rebels, and still are such under the guise of Union men. I believe this to be true whether the blacks be allowed to vote or not. There should be a long intermediate probationary state prescribed before they are again allowed to approach the ballot-box."20

The abolition-democracy found support in the West. The German and Scandinavians, who had settled in the Northwest, were naturally democratic. Before the war, they had stood against Southern pretensions, and in their midst, the Republican party was born. They disliked aristocracy and they disliked the South because the South was against foreigners and immigration. Among the Germans were many labor leaders and doctrinaires, so that the Northwest could be counted on for democracy. But at the same time, it could be counted on for opposition to the new industrial organization with which the North-eastern Abolitionists were making alliance. However, the union of industrialists and the Abolitionists became closer, and since it was unanswered by any move towards democracy in the South or any sympathy for democracy by Johnson, the West followed the Abolitionists, until later they were seduced by the kulak psychology of land ownership.

In the displacement of Southern feudal agriculture by Northern industry, where did the proletariat, the worker, stand? The proletariat is usually envisaged as united, but their real interests were represented in America by four sets of people: the freed Negro, the Southern poor white, and the Northern skilled and common laborer. These groups never came to see their common interests, and the financiers and capitalists easily kept the upper hand. On the other hand, the West and South bore peculiar relations to the new industry. The South clung to the ideal of aristocracy and had no thought of the real democratic movement. Even the poor whites thought of emancipation as giving them a better chance to become rich planters, landowners and employers of Negro labor, and never until the twentieth century envisaged themselves as a labor class. The Western farmers in the same way vacillated between the ideal of speculative landholders and peasant farmers. They harked back to the opportunism of the frontier and wanted freedom to exploit as well as to vote. In New York, Negroes had replaced workers who were on strike, and the two parties fought on the docks of the Morgan Line. In Ohio there were various outbreaks; in Cincinnati and in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo and Albany, race riots occurred during the war. In 1862, Negro longshoremen were assaulted, and colored working men employed in a Brooklyn tobacco factory were mobbed in August. In July, 1862, there were disturbances in New York City, and finally, in 1863, July 13, came the terrible draft riot. As Abraham Lincoln said, March 21, 1864, "None are so deeply interested to resist the present rebellion as the working people. Let them beware of prejudice, working division and hostility among themselves. The most notable feature of a disturbance in your city last summer was the hanging of some working people by other working people. It should never be so. The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds."

When Lincoln died a year later, Irish organizations refused to march with Negroes, and the common council of New York City refused to allow Negroes in the Lincoln funeral procession; but the New York Tribune announced that through the intervention of the Police Commissioner, "a place in the procession had been assigned to the colored societies and other personages, and the police will see that they occupy it without hindrance from any quarter." Meantime, the common council declined to revoke their order.

When the war closed, a million men were returning to the labor market. Gold was at its height, prices were high, and unemployment spread. Strikes took place, soldiers were used to put them down, and laws were introduced to prevent strikes.

The labor movement comprehended, therefore, chiefly Northern skilled laborers. Among them organization was growing. Recovering from the oppressions of war, there were 79 craft unions at the end of 1863, and they had grown to 270 in 1864. Ten national unions were formed between 1863 and 1866, and by 1870 there were 32 national unions. But almost none of these unions mentioned the Negro, or considered him or welcomed him. A "National Assembly of North America" was held at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1864, and passed resolutions concerning working men and labor conditions; but it said nothing of the greatest revolution in labor that had happened in America for a hundred years — the emancipation of slaves.

Meantime, a new flood of cheap immigrant labor was brought into the country to work on the railroads and in the new industries. Northern mill owners who had feared free farms because they might decrease the number of laborers and raise their wages, were appeased by the promotion of alien immigration. It was interesting to hear the Union Party, as the Republicans called themselves in 1864, say, in their platform: "Foreign immigration which in the past had added so much to the wealth and development of resources and the increase of power to this nation — the aspirations of the oppressed of all nations — should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy." That year the Bureau of Immigration was created, and it was authorized to import workers bound for a term of service. The letter of the law was afterwards changed, but the practice continued for a long time.

In i860, immigrants were coming in at the rate of 130,000 a year. The outbreak of the war brought the number down, but the new homestead laws began to attract them so that after the war immigration quickly rose from 200,000 to 350,000 a year, and in 1873, had reached 460,000 annually.

It was all too true, as Senator Wilson of Massachusetts said in the 38th Congress, but it was a truth that white laborers did not yet realize: "We have advocated the rights of the black man, because the black man was the most oppressed type of toiling man of this country. I tell you, sir, that the man who is the enemy of the black laboring man is the enemy of the white laboring man the world over. The same influences that go to keep down and crush the rights of the poor black man bear down and oppress the poor white laboring man."

The First International Workingmen's Association formed by Karl Marx in London in 1864 wrote Lincoln after his second election and said: "From the commencement of the titanic American strife, the workingmen of Europe felt distinctly that the Star-Spangled Banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the epoch, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labor of the immigrant or be prostituted by the tramp of the slave driver?

"When an oligarchy of 300,000 slaveholders dared to inscribe for the first time in the annals of the world 'Slavery' on the banner of armed revolt, when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first declaration of the rights of man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European Revolution of the eighteenth century, when on those very spots counter-revolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding 'the ideas entertained at the time of the formation of the old Constitution' and maintained 'slavery to be a beneficial institution,' indeed, the only solution of the great problem of the 'relation of capital to labor,' and cynically proclaimed property in man 'the cornerstone of the new edifice' — then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes, for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warnings, that the slaveholders' rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy war of property against labor, and that for the men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the pro-slavery intervention importunities of their betters, and from most parts of Europe contributed their quota of blood to the good of the cause.

"While the workingmen, the true political power of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.

"The workingmen of Europe felt sure that as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendency for the Middle Class, so the American Anti-Slavery war will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest sign of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggles for the rescue of the enchained race and the Reconstruction of a social world."21

The first fruit of the growing understanding between industrial expansion and abolition-democracy was the Freedmen's Bureau. While industry in the North was dividing the labor movement and establishing a far more effective dictatorship of capital over labor than it had ever had before, it was compelled in the South to institute another dictatorship, designedly and expressly for the protection of emancipated Negro labor. In the Freedmen's Bureau, the United States started upon a dictatorship by which the landowner and the capitalist were to be openly and deliberately curbed and which directed its efforts in the interest of a black and white labor class. If and when universal suffrage came to reenforce this point of view, an entirely different development of American industry and American civilization must ensue. The Freedmen's Bureau was the most extraordinary and far-reaching institution of social uplift that America has ever attempted. It had to do, not simply with emancipated slaves and poor whites, but also with the property of Southern planters. It was a government guardianship for the relief and guidance of white and black labor from a feudal agrarianism to modern farming and industry. For this work there was and had to be a full-fledged government of men. "It made laws, executed them and interpreted them; it laid and collected taxes, defined and punished crimes, maintained and used military force, and dictated such measures as it thought necessary and proper for the accomplishment of its varied ends. Naturally, all these powers were not exercised continuously nor to their fullest extent; and yet, as General Howard has said, 'scarcely any subject that has to be legislated upon in civil society failed, at one time or another, to demand the action of this singular Bureau.'"22 Thus the Freedmen's Bureau, which rose automatically as a result of the slaves' general strike during the war, and came directly out of the consolidation of the various army departments of Negro affairs, now loomed as the greatest plan of reasoned emancipation yet proposed. For this reason, the bill for its establishment met covert and open opposition. It was opposed by all advocates of slavery, and all persons North and South who did not propose that emancipation should really free the slaves; it was advocated by every element that wanted to achieve this vast social revolution by reasoned leadership, money and sacrifice. It was finally emasculated and abolished by those in the North who grudged its inevitable cost, and by that Southern sentiment which passed the black codes.

A bill to establish a Bureau in the War Department for the care of refugees and freedmen was passed March 3, 1865. It had been proposed as early as 1863, when a number of petitions for a bureau of emancipation were presented to Congress. In January, 1863, less than a month after the Emancipation Proclamation, T. D. Eliot introduced into the House the first bill. But the committee did not report it, and the Freedmen's Aid Societies renewed their petitions.

At the opening of the new session in December, 1863, Eliot introduced another bill. This bill was objected to in the House because of its cost, its charitable features, and the possible corruption of its employees. Eliot defended the bill vigorously. The Negroes had been freed by proclamation, law, and force, and their freedom must be maintained. They were freed through selfish motives, to weaken the enemy. It would be the depth of meanness to let them now grope their way without guidance or protection. The President, by proclamation, had pledged the maintenance of Negro freedom, and Congress had recognized its obligation to secure employment and support of Negroes on abandoned lands. Negroes were now oppressed by Southerners and Northern harpies. Further legislation was imperatively demanded. In the ensuing debates, the bill was defended as encouraging the enlistment of colored soldiers, and as calculated to bring order out of the present chaos. It would form a new class of consumers for Northern products. On the other hand, opponents insisted that the Bureau would open a vast field for corruption, and that it was a revolutionary effort on the part of a government of limited powers. Brooks of New York denounced it because it would put black labor under Northern taskmasters in competition with white labor and capitalists in the North. It was passed March 1, 1864, by the close vote of 69-67.

In the Senate it was referred to the Committee on Slavery and Freedom, of which Charles Sumner was chairman. Here it was transformed from a temporary makeshift and war expedient and began to take the form of a great measure of social uplift and reform. The Bureau was attached to the Treasury Department. Sumner pressed the bill, arguing that private benevolence could not cope with the problem and that a bureau was necessary; that the Treasury was already in charge of abandoned property and had special agents in the field. The bill passed the Senate, June 28, by a vote of 21-9. The House refused to concur and the whole subject went over to the next session. Renewed arguments and petitions came in favor of the bill. In July, seven Freedmen's Aid associations of the West met in Indianapolis. They drew up a memorial complaining of the current methods of dealing with the freedmen and asking for a supervising agent, because of the failure of Congress to establish a bureau.

December 20, 1864, the matter was taken up again in the House and a conference committee appointed with Sumner and Eliot. This committee reported February 2, 1865, and recommended an independent Department of Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. In the debates, there was great diversity of opinion. Some feared that the freedman would be too strictly controlled and that this would curtail his "initiative" and "self-reliance." Others urged the necessity of the bill to rescue these wards from ignorance and pauperism, and guide them into confidence and self-control. The bill passed that House by another close vote of 64-62.

However, there appeared at the same time another bill for the relief of both white refugees and freedmen and the temporary use of abandoned property. It was a short and temporary measure. Both these bills went to the Senate. Sumner stoutly defended the comprehensive measure agreed upon in conference. But the opposition of both Democrats and Republicans was too strong and the conference report was rejected. A second conference was held and a new bill presented, creating a Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands in the War Department.

All these proposals meant that there was a question as to whether this bureau was to be a temporary war measure, or a permanent institution for abolishing slavery and inducting Negroes gradually into economic and political freedom. If it were attached to the War Department, it would end with the war. In the Treasury, it would serve to settle problems of taxation, crops and finance, but presumably end when war finance yielded to peace. In the Interior Department or as a separate department, the Freedmen's Bureau would be permanent, with regular revenues and a wide and comprehensive program of work.

The debate on the final bill was limited, and without a vote the report of the Conference Committee was accepted March 3rd. Abraham Lincoln immediately signed the bill. This bill provided for a Bureau to last "during the present War of Rebellion, and for one year thereafter." It had at its head a commissioner appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate, and assistant commissioners might be appointed for each of the ten states in rebellion. Army officers could be used as assistant commissioners. The Secretary of War was to issue necessary provisions, clothing, and fuel, and under the direction of the President, the Commissioner could set aside for freedmen and refugees tracts of land of not more than forty acres to be leased to tenants; the lessees were to be protected in the use of the land for three years at a low rent. At the end of the term, the tenant could purchase the land at an appraised value.

Some Congressmen, like Conness, could not conceive of a Freedmen's Bureau conducted for the benefit of labor. "Where will the freedman get the capital to buy his horse or his oxen and other agricultural implements, to put his crop of cotton or corn in the ground? All these require capital far beyond the ability of the freedman to command, and renders the scheme impractical so far as it professed to be of benefit to the freedman.

"The inevitable result will be that the freedman will lease no land. He will not be able to lease and cultivate land. He will not be able to purchase equipment of horse and agricultural implements that will be necessary for its cultivation. Then he must fall into general line and become simply a laborer to be hired to some man with whom they are secretly in partnership, with whom they share the profits and the produce of the freedman's labor from these abandoned lands."23 The inevitable corollary that under the especial circumstances of emancipated slave labor, the state must furnish capital, was inconceivable to men like Conness. He, like Lane of Indiana, made the old American Assumption of economic independence open to all. "I am opposed to the whole theory of the Freedmen's Bureau. I would make them free under the law. I would protect them in the courts of justice; if necessary, I would give them the right of suffrage, and let loyal slaves vote their rebel masters down and reconstruct the seceded states; but I wish to have no system of guardianship and pupilage and overseership over these Negroes."

There was in the debate, inside and outside of Congress, distinct evidence that industry, rather than pay the cost of social uplift on the scale which an efficient Freedmen's Bureau evidently demanded, would accept immediate Negro suffrage as a preferable panacea. Just as the refuge of those who opposed the right to vote was work for the freedman and regular habits of labor; so on the other hand, those who opposed systematic organization of such work, found refuge in the ballot. Pomeroy had seen thousands of colored and white refugees "coming into my state and I say here distinctly that the colored people are able to take care of themselves and find their places and adapt themselves to their new conditions easier and quicker than the poor white refugees who are driven out of the Border States.

"I desire that those who advocate this bill will stop here and spend their time and talent in demanding for the Negro race all the rights and privileges of freedom. Do this and no Freedmen's Bureau at all is necessary.

"Sir, I am for all races of men. I do not believe that it is necessary to secure the property of one race that another shall be destroyed ...

"Let us refuse admittance to every rebel state unless the privilege of the elective franchise is granted to the colored man. I believe the future permanency of this government depends upon this, and I believe those who have fought this war have no safety or security with-out it.

Here was a logical resting place; no funds or permanency for a Freedmen's Bureau, and Negro suffrage to defend Northern industry; and no element fought harder and more determinedly to make this possible than the white South. With the possibility of a government guardianship to conduct the Negro in freedom by industry, land, and education at the expense of the nation, the South deliberately and bitterly fought and maligned the Bureau at every turn, and in the end it received the Reconstruction bills as its just reward.

For the stupendous work which the Freedmen's Bureau must attempt, it had every disadvantage except one. It was so limited in time that it had small chance for efficient and comprehensive planning. It had at first no appropriated funds, but was supposed to depend on the chance accumulations of war time, unclaimed bounties of Negro soldiers, confiscated land and property formerly belonging to the Confederate Government, and rations. Further than this it had to use a rough military machine for administrating delicate social reform. The qualities which make a good soldier do not necessarily make a good social reformer. And while in many instances the Bureau was fortunate in its personnel, in others it was just as unfortunate, and had to put in administrative positions military martinets, men disillusioned and cynical after a terrible war, or careless and greedy and in no way suited for farsighted social building.

The most fortunate thing that Lincoln gave the Bureau was its head, Oliver Howard. Howard was neither a great administrator nor a great man, but he was a good man. He was sympathetic and humane, and tried with endless application and desperate sacrifice to do a hard, thankless duty. "His high reputation as a Christian gentleman gave him the esteem of the humane and benevolent portion of the public, upon whose confidence and cooperation his success was largely to depend."24

The task that Howard had was of the gravest, because there were three things that the conquered South fought with bitter determination:

1. Any Federal interference with labor.

2. Arms in the hands of Negroes.

3. Votes for Negroes.

This opposition did not arise primarily from any failure of the Bureau in the performance of its duty, or because its work functioned imperfectly. Even if it had been a perfect and well-planned machine for its mission, the planters in the main were determined to try to coerce both black labor and white, without outside interference of any sort. They proposed to enact and enforce the black codes. They were going to replace legal slavery by customary serfdom and caste. And they were going to do all this because they could not conceive of civilization in the South with free Negro workers, or Negro soldiers or voters.

Howard, therefore, had a battle on his hands from the start. His bureau was limited by temporarily extended and incomplete laws until its main work was practically done in 1869, although some of its functions extended until June 30, 1872. Under these circumstances, the astonishing thing is that the Bureau was able to accomplish any definite and worth-while results; yet it did and the testimony in support of this comes from its friends and enemies.

Howard says: "The law establishing the Bureau committed to it the control of all subjects relating to refugees and freedmen under such regulations as might be prescribed by the head of the Bureau and approved by the President. This almost unlimited authority gave me great scope and liberty of action, but at the same time it imposed upon me very perplexing and responsible duties. Legislative, judicial and executive powers were combined in my commission, reaching all the interests of four millions of people, scattered over a vast territory, living in the midst of another people claiming to be superior, and known to be not altogether friendly...." The conditions facing the Bureau were chaotic. "In every state many thousands were found without employment, without homes, without means of subsistence, crowding into towns and about military posts, where they hoped to find protection and supplies. The sudden collapse of the rebellion, making emancipation an actual, universal fact, was like an earthquake. It shook and shattered the whole previously existing social system. It broke up the old industries and threatened a reign of anarchy. Even well-disposed and humane landowners were at a loss what to do, or how to begin the work of reorganizing society and of rebuilding their ruined fortunes. Very few had any knowledge of free labor, or any hope that their former slaves would serve them faithfully for wages. On the other hand, the freed people were in a state of great excitement and uncertainty. They could hardly believe that the liberty proclaimed was real and permanent. Many were afraid to remain on the same soil that they had tilled as slaves lest by some trick they might find themselves again in bondage. Others supposed that the Government would either take the entire supervision of their labor and support, or divide among them the lands of the conquered owners, and furnish them with all that might be necessary to begin life as an independent farmer."25

Twelve labors of Hercules faced the Freedmen's Bureau: to make as rapidly as possible a general survey of conditions and needs in every state and locality; to relieve immediate hunger and distress; to appoint state commissioners and upwards of 900 bureau officials; to put the laborers to work at regular wage; to transport laborers, teachers and officials; to furnish land for the peasant; to open schools; to pay bounties to black soldiers and their families; to establish hospitals and guard health; to administer justice between man and former master; to answer continuous and persistent criticism, North and South, black and white; to find funds to pay for all this.

In four years the Bureau issued over twenty-one million rations to the hungry and unemployed — fifteen and a half million to blacks and five and a half million to whites. The number rose to five million in 1866, and then fell from three and one-half to two and one-half million in 1867-1868. The total cost of food and clothing, 1865-1871, was set down at $3,168,325.

In the eyes of a nation dedicated to profitable industry, as well as in the eyes of bureau officials, the first major problem was to set the Negroes to work under a wage contract. "To secure fairness and to inspire confidence on both sides, the system of written contracts was adopted. No compulsion was used, but all were advised to enter into written agreements and submit them to an officer of the Bureau for approval. The nature and obligations of these contracts were carefully explained to the freedmen, and a copy filed in the office of the agent approving it; this was for their use in case any difficulty arose between them and their employers. The labor imposed upon my officers and agents by this system was very great, as evinced by the fact that in a single state not less than fifty thousand (50,000) such contracts were drawn in duplicate and filled up with the names of all the parties."

The purely economic results of this effort were unusually satisfactory. There was cheating by employers, and malingering by laborers, and widespread disorder; yet "in spite of all disorders that have prevailed and the misfortunes that have fallen upon many parts of the South, a good degree of prosperity and success has already been attained. To the oft-repeated slander that the Negroes will not work, and are incapable of taking care of themselves, it is a sufficient answer that their voluntary labor has produced nearly all the food that supported the whole people, besides a large amount of rice, sugar and tobacco for export, and two millions of bales of cotton each year, on which was paid into the United States treasury during the years 1866 and 1867 a tax °f more than forty millions of dollars ($40,000,000). It is not claimed that this result is wholly due to the care and oversight of this Bureau, but it is safe to say, as it has been said repeatedly by intelligent Southern white men, that without the bureau or some similar agency, the material interests of the country would have greatly suffered, and the government would have lost a far greater amount than has been expended in its maintenance...." Three-quarters of a million of dollars was spent in transporting laborers to homes and to work, and teachers and agents to their fields of duty.

The insistent demand of the Negro, aided by army officers and Northern churches and philanthropic organizations, began the systematic teaching of Negroes and poor whites. This beginning the Freedmen's Bureau raised to a widespread system of Negro public schools. The Bureau furnished day and night schools, industrial schools, Sunday schools and colleges. Between June i, 1865, and September 1, 1871, $5,262,511.26 was spent on schools from Bureau funds, and in 1870 there were in day and night schools 3,300 teachers and 149,581 pupils. Nearly all the present Negro universities and colleges like Howard, Fisk, and Atlanta, were founded or substantially aided in their earliest days by the Freedmen's Bureau.

There were systematic plans to care for the sick. In the summer of 1865 there were detailed in the several states fourteen surgeons and three assistant surgeons, who took care of white and black people in distress, and engaged local surgeons to help them. By September, 1867, there were forty-six hospitals with 5,292 beds. The hospitals were distributed in fourteen different states, and the annual appropriation for medical purposes was nearly $500,000 in 1866 and 1867; the total expenditure for the Medical Department has been estimated to have been $2,000,000. With this money, 452,419 cases were treated, and perhaps an equal number unrecorded. In all, nearly a million persons were given medical aid. The death rate among the freedmen was reduced from 30% to 13% in 1865, and to 2.03% in 1869. Something was done in providing physicians in large towns, inspecting sanitation, and treating lame, blind, deaf and dumb and aged persons and orphans. Temporary care was given the insane.

The judicial work of the Bureau consisted in protecting the Negro from violence and outrage, from serfdom, and in defending his right to hold property and enforce his contracts. It was to see that Negroes had fair trials and that their testimony was received, and their family relations respected. The Commissioner laid down general rules for the administration of justice by bureau officials. Freedmen's courts and boards of arbitration were organized when needed, and while an attempt was made to secure uniformity in these courts, they presented much variety in composition and procedure. Sometimes the Assistant Commissioner constituted the court; sometimes it consisted of an agent appointed by him, and a representative of the freedmen and one of the whites. They acted only in cases where one or both parties were Negroes, and they imposed fines and enforced their judgments.

The financial support of the Bureau was haphazard. No appropriations were made under the original Freedmen's Bureau Bill, but funds were supplied from many departments of Negro affairs and from the handling of abandoned property and from taxes and fees. Nearly eight hundred thousand acres of farming land and about five thousand pieces of town property were transferred to the bureau by military and treasury officers, or taken up by assistant commissioners. Of this enough was leased to produce a revenue of nearly four hundred thousand dollars. Some farms were set aside as homes for the destitute and helpless, and a portion was cultivated by freedmen prior to its restoration. The necessary task of settling the Negroes on their own homesteads was begun by the bureau but soon rendered impossible by lack of land and funds and deliberately hostile executive action. Through the agency of the bureau, the government paid out eight thousand dollars in bounties to over five thousand Negro soldiers and their heirs, and thus helped furnish some capital to the new laborers.

Under the second Freedmen's Bureau Bill, passed in 1866, these sources were being exhausted so that the Army Appropriation bill included $594,450 for the Bureau. Succeeding appropriations brought the total to $12,961,395. Adding the cost of various army supplies used, Howard estimated "the total expenses of our Government for refugees and freedmen to August 31, 1869, have been $13,579,816.82."26 If we add to this the increase in the army payroll caused by the Bureau, and other items, Pierce estimates that the total expenditure for the Bureau was between $17,000,000 and $18,000,000.

This does not prove that the Freedmen's Bureau was a complete success, for it was not; from the nature of the organization and its limitations it could not be. The white South made it the object of its bitterest attacks. It accused the agents of every crime and mistake and planned for its removal. This was natural; for, in its essence, the bureau was a dictatorship of the army over property for the benefit of labor. It was aimed at the worst methods of exploitation; it sought to give the Negro some standing at law; it compelled the keeping of contracts; and while the testimony as to the net results varies it seems true, as Pierce says:27 "Notwithstanding abuses and extravagances, the bureau did a great, an indispensable work of mercy and relief, at a time when no other organization or body was in a position to do that work.

"To the Negro was imparted a conception — inadequate and distorted though it may have been — of his civil rights as a freeman. In a land long dominated by slavery, when freedom had just been decreed, when neither black nor white well understood the value of free labor, and before the law of supply and demand could readjust labor relations, the bureau set up a tentative scale of wages.... When under the direction of broad, temperate, capable agents, the labor division unquestionably accomplished much of the larger purpose for which it was ordained and which its friends maintain that it fulfilled. All things considered in this branch of the work, more marked success was achieved than a calm study of the perplexing situation would lead the thoughtful man of today to think that such an abnormal and shortlived institution could have attained."

A white citizen of Louisiana adds: "The best influence in settling the state of things in Louisiana, would be to maintain there for some years a rigid administration of the Freedmen's Bureau to protect the blacks and their rights, as well as to see that they complied with reasonable and proper contracts they might make. I consider that such an establishment would stand as a barrier to the encroachments of one class upon the rights of the other."28

Other critics are worth hearing. A Virginian, J. M. Botts, said: "I have heard of a great many difficulties and outrages which have proceeded, in some instances, if the truth has been represented to me, from the ignorance and fanaticism of persons connected with the Freedmen's Bureau.... On the other hand, there are many of the persons connected with the Freedmen's Bureau who have conducted themselves with great propriety; and where that has been so, there has been no difficulty between the whites and blacks."29 Judge Hill writes, "Like all other efforts of humanity, the results of the Freedmen's Bureau depended very much upon those appointed to carry it out and give it the aid intended. Where the agent was a man of good sense and free from prejudice to either party or race, good results were attained; but, in many instances, the agents were deficient in these necessary qualifications, and the results were, not only a failure to accomplish the purpose of the bureau, but a decided evil."30

Wallace bitterly arraigns the bureau officials in Florida:

"The Freedmen's Bureau, an institution devised by Congress under the influence of the very best people of the Northern States, and intended as a means of protection of the freedmen, and preparing them for the new responsibilities and privileges conferred, in the hands of bad men proved, instead of a blessing, to be the worst curse of the race, as under it he was misled, debased and betrayed."31

The various investigations of the bureau brought out damaging facts as to the handling of funds and careless administration and yet "the peculiar difficulties of the bureau's financial problems must not be lost sight of. The amount involved was large. It was impossible to avoid errors in identifying the hordes of nameless, irresponsible claimants to public money entrusted to the bureau. The thousands of agents scattered over a vast area were beyond the close personal supervision of higher officials, and much of the irregularity and fraud was clearly traceable to unscrupulous local agents. There is no reason to believe that the commissioner was guilty of embezzlement, fraud, or personal dishonesty; but he certainly was not a strict constructionist. Doubtless his liberal interpretation of statutes was designed to benefit the freed-men and refugees to whose protection and welfare his efforts were directed. Often such interpretation was due to the delay of Congress in making appropriations demanded by the exigencies of the hour."32

Grant brought forward some hearsay criticism during the first year. President Johnson sent two generals South who uncovered cases of fraud and maladministration, but commended Howard and believed the Bureau had done much to preserve order and to organize free labor. A final court of inquiry was commenced by act of Congress in 1874, and sat for forty days.

The. committee gave in its majority report its judgment of this extraordinary experiment. "The general effect of the policy pursued by this people towards the freedmen and the general results of the administration of the Freedmen's Bureau by General Howard are matters of history. Without civil convulsion, without any manifestation of violence or hate towards those who had subjected him and his ancestors to the accumulated wrongs of generations of servitude, the enfranchised Negro at once and quietly entered upon new relations of freeman and citizen. During the five years since the bureau has been established, General Howard has directed the expenditure of twelve million nine hundred and sixty-five thousand, three hundred and ninety-five dollars and forty cents; has exercised oversight and care for the freedmen and refugees in seventeen States and the District of Columbia, a territory of 350,000 square miles, and cooperated with benevolent societies, aiding in the education of hundreds of thousands of pupils, and in the relief of vast numbers of destitute and homeless persons of all ages and both sexes..,.

"The world can point to nothing like it in all the history of emancipation. No thirteen millions of dollars were ever more wisely spent; yet, from the beginning this scheme has encountered the bitterest opposition and the most unrelenting hate. Scoffed at like a thing of shame, often struck and wounded, sometimes in the house of its friends, apologized for rather than defended; yet, with God on its side, the Freedmen's Bureau has triumphed; civilization has received a new impulse, and the friends of humanity may well rejoice. The Bureau work is being rapidly brought to a close, and its accomplishments will enter into history, while the unfounded accusations brought against it will be forgotten."33

This is perhaps an overstatement. The Freedmen's Bureau did an extraordinary piece of work but it was but a small and imperfect part of what it might have done if it had been made a permanent institution, given ample funds for operating schools and purchasing land, and if it had been gradually manned by trained civilian administrators. All this was clear when Andrew Johnson vetoed the Freedmen's Bureau bill in 1866.

For the first time in history the people of the United States listened not only to the voices of the Negroes' friends, but to the Negro himself. He was becoming more and more articulate, in the South as well as in the North.

Also the actions of the Negroes were telling on public opinion, and were given for the first time intelligent and sympathetic publicity. Black soldiers paraded; black petitions, some illiterate, some like that from the District of Columbia, in excellent and logical form, were published. Black men began to enter public movements and there was a subsidence of ridicule and caricature. The meetings and petitions of Southern Negroes were significant and cannot be discounted. Many were doubtless instigated by white friends, but not all; and even these had significant internal evidence of genuine thought and action.

In May, 1864, the Negroes at Port Royal, South Carolina, participated in a meeting which elected delegates to the National Convention at Baltimore in June. Robert Smalls and three other Negroes were among the sixteen delegates, but were denied seats. "On the seventh of August last [1865] a convention of colored men was held in this city [Nashville].... It was resolved that the colored people of the State of Tennessee respectfully and solemnly protest against the congressional delegation from this State being admitted to seats in your honorable bodies until the Legislature of this State enact such laws as shall secure to us our rights as freemen.

"We cannot believe that the General Government will allow us to be left without such protection after knowing, as you do, what services we have rendered to the cause of the preservation of the Union and the maintenance of the laws. We have respectfully petitioned our Legislature upon the subject, and have failed to get them to do anything for us, saying that it was premature to legislate for the protection of our rights."34 September 3, 1865, a Negro convention was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, and adopted resolutions for proper wages, education, protection for their families, and repeal of unjust discrimination. October 7, 1865, the colored citizens of Mississippi protested against the reactionary policy of the state and expressed the fear that they were to be reenslaved. "They set forth that, owing to the prejudice existing there, they have not been able to assemble in convention, but that they have done as well as they could, through a few of their number to set forth their grievances. They represent four hundred and thirty-seven thousand four hundred and four citizens of the United States, being a majority of nearly one hundred thousand in that State. These people, in a very brief petition, asked Congress to grant them the right of suffrage, that 'we may,' they say, 'the more effectually prove our fidelity to the United States; as we have fought in favor of liberty, justice, and humanity, we wish to vote in favor of it and give our influence to the permanent establishment of pure republican institutions in these United States; and also that we may be in a position in a legal and peaceable way to protect ourselves in the enjoyment of those sacred rights which were pledged to us by the emancipation proclamation.'"35

A colored people's convention met in Zion Church, Charleston, S. C, in November, 1865, to protest against the work of the convention and legislature. This began concerted political action by the Negroes of the state. Robert C. DeLarge, A. J. Ransier, }. J. Wright, Beverly Nash, Francis L. Cardozo, M. R. Delany, and Richard H. Cain, were there. They declared that this was "an extraordinary meeting, unknown in the history of South Carolina, when it is considered who composed it and for what purposes it was allowed to assemble." Complaint was lodged against the state authorities in depriving Negroes "of the rights of the meanest profligate in the country"; Congress was asked to throw "the strong arm of the law over the entire population of the state," and grant "equal suffrage," and abolish the "black code."36

The petition of this meeting, signed by people of South Carolina, was presented to the Senate in December. "They respectfully asked Congress, in consideration of their unquestioned loyalty, exhibited by them alike as bond or free, as soldier or laborer, in the Union lines under the protection of the Government, or within the rebel lines under the domination of the rebellion, that in the exercise of our high authority over the reestablishment of civil government in South Carolina their equal right before the law may be respected; that in the formation and adoption of the fundamental law of the State, they may have an equal voice with all loyal citizens, and that Congress will not sanction any State constitution which does not secure the exercise of the right of the elective franchise to all loyal citizens otherwise qualified in the common course of American law, without distinction of color."37

The colored people of Alabama, in convention at Mobile, in 1866, called upon Congress to provide some means of making their freedom secure. "They say that in the city where they were assembled in convention several of their churches had been already burned to the ground by the torch of the incendiary, and threats are frequently made to continue the destruction of their property; the means of education for their children are secured to them only by the strong arm of the United States Government against the marked opposition of their white fellow-citizens, while throughout the whole State the right to participate in the franchises of freemen is denied as insulting to white men; and a respectful appeal addressed by some of their people to the late State convention was scornfully laid upon the table, some of the members even refusing to hear its reading. They also state that many of their people daily suffer almost every form of outrage and violence at the hands of whites; that in many parts of the state their people cannot safely leave the vicinity of their homes; they are knocked down and beaten by their white fellow-citizens without having offered any injury or insult as a cause; they are arrested and imprisoned upon false accusations; their money is extorted for their release, or they are condemned to imprisonment at hard labor; that many of their people are now in a condition of practical slavery, being compelled to serve their former owners without pay and to call them 'master.' They express a hope that Congress may be led to give them an opportunity to verify these statements by suitable testimony, and also further hope that Congress will grant them the protection they need."38

In 1866, January 10, a Negro convention at Augusta, Georgia, appealed to the Georgia legislature. The freedmen declared that during the period di the war the majority of them had remained silendy at their homes, although they had known their power to rise, and to "fire your houses, burn your homes and railroads, and discommode you in a thousand ways." During the war, they had been forced into war service by the South. They had been compelled to throw up breastwork forts and fortifications and do the work of prisoners under the guns of the enemy, where, said they, "many of us in common with yourselves were killed." But now, they declared that they could no longer remain indifferent when the state was passing laws which would bind them in future years. Against these laws, they would protest firmly and openly. Another address in the same year called attention to the treatment which the Negroes were receiving in all walks of life throughout the state. On the railroads they paid equal fare with others, but they did not "get half the accommodation." They were "cursed and kicked by the conductors" — their wives and sisters were "blackguarded and insulted by the scrapings of the earth" — and if they spoke of their treatment they were "frowned upon with contempt and replied to in bitter epithets."39

Major Martin R. Delaney, the most distinguished Northern Negro in South Carolina, declared in a letter to President Johnson, "What becomes necessary to secure and perpetuate the Union is simply the enfranchisement and recognition of political equality of the power that saved the nation from destruction — a recognition of the political equality of the blacks with the whites in all their relations as American citizens...."40

"A correspondent of the Charleston Daily Courier writing from Sumter, South Carolina, reported November 4, 1866, an organized movement among Negroes to better their condition. They held a large assembly to deal with the problems of the hour, this being a meeting on a larger scale than that of many other such which had been held for that purpose in that section. During the four hours of this meeting the correspondent reported that there was not uttered a word about Negro suffrage and other political questions. The keynote of the meeting was to secure 'a fair and remunerative reward for labor.' The contract system had proved to be unequal and unjust and they were advised to resort to the share system."

The black West protested to the admission of Colorado with white suffrage. On January 24, 1866, Senator Brown of Missouri said: "I present a petition of certain citizens of Denver, in the Territory of Colorado, showing that the State Constitution, framed by a citizens' convention, and adopted by an almost insignificant majority of the legal voters of Colorado, preparatory to admission as a State, excludes all colored citizens of the Territory of Colorado from the right of suffrage by the incorporation in that instrument of the words 'all white male citizens.' The petitioners, therefore, beseech your honorable body not to admit the Territory as a State until the word 'all white' be erased from her constitution."41

The most significant meeting took place in the North where a National Convention met in Syracuse, New York, in October, 1864. Besides Frederick Douglass, it was attended by George L. Ruffin, who afterwards became the first Negro to sit on the bench of Massachusetts, George T. Downing of Rhode Island, Robert Hamilton of New York, William Howard Day of New Jersey, Jonathan C. Gibbs, who later became Secretary of State and Superintendent of Education in Florida; Peter H. Clark of Ohio, Henry Highland Garnet, the Negro preacher, Dr. Peter W. Ray of Brooklyn, and many other leaders of the free Negroes. The resolution said: "The weakness of our friends is strength to our foes. When the Anti-Slavery Standard, representing the American Anti-Slavery Society, denies that the society asks for the enfranchisement of colored men, and the Liberator apologizes for excluding the colored men of Louisiana from the ballot-box, they injure us more vitally than all the ribald jests of the whole pro-slavery press ...

"In the ranks of the Democratic party, all the worst elements of American society fraternize; and we need not expect a single voice from that quarter for justice, mercy, or even decency. To it we are nothing; the slave-holders everything....

"How stands the case with the great Republican party in question? We have already alluded to it as being largely under the influence of the prevailing contempt for the character and rights of the colored race. This is seen by the slowness of our Government to employ the strong arm of the black man in the work of putting down the rebellion; and in its unwillingness, after thus employing him, to invest him with the same incitements to deeds of daring, as white soldiers; neither giving him the same pay, rations, and protection, nor any hope of rising in the service by meritorious conduct. It is also seen in the fact, that in neither of the plans emanating from this party for reconstructing the institutions of the Southern States, are colored men, not even those who had fought for the country, recognized as having any political existence or rights whatever....

"Do you, then, ask us to state, in plain terms, just what we want of you, and just what we think we ought to receive at your hands? We answer: First of all, the complete abolition of the slavery of our race in the United States. We shall not stop to argue. We feel the terrible sting of this stupendous wrong, and that we cannot be free while our brothers are slaves....

"We want the elective franchise in all the states now in the Union, and the same in all such states as may come into the Union hereafter. We believe that the highest welfare of this great country will be found in erasing from its statute-books all enactments discriminating in favor or against any class of its people, and by establishing one law for the white and colored people alike. Whatever prejudice and taste may be innocently allowed to do or to dictate in social and domestic relations, it is plain, that in the matter of government, the object of which is the protection and security of human rights, prejudice should be allowed no voice whatever....

"Your fathers laid down the principle, long ago, that universal suffrage is the best foundation of Government. We believe as your fathers believed, and as they practiced; for, in eleven States out of the original thirteen, colored men exercised the right to vote at the time of the adoption of the Federal Constitution....

"Fellow-citizens, let us entreat you, have faith in your own principles. If freedom is good for any, it is good for all. If you need the elective franchise, we need it even more. You are strong, we are weak; you are many, we are few; you are protected, we are exposed. Clothe us with this safeguard of our liberty, and give us an interest in the country to which, in common with you, we have given our lives and poured out our best blood. You cannot need special protection. Our degradation is not essential to your elevation, nor our peril essential to your safety. You are not likely to be outstripped in the race of improvement by persons of African descent; and hence you have no need of superior advantage, nor to burden them with disabilities of any kind....

"We may conquer Southern armies by the sword; but it is another thing to conquer Southern hate. Now what is the natural counterpoise against this Southern malign hostility? This it is: give the elective franchise to every colored man of the South who is of sane mind, and has arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and you have at once four millions of friends who will guard with their vigilance, and if need be, defend with their arms, the ark of Federal Liberty from the treason and pollution of her enemies. You are sure of enmity of the masters, — make sure of the friendship of the slaves; for, depend upon it, your Government cannot afTord to encounter the enmity of both."42

And so at first Abraham Lincoln looked back towards some stable place in the relation of blacks and whites in the South on which men could begin to build a new edifice for freedom, and he gave only one word that had in it a ring of harshness. He was willing to accept almost any overture on the part of the South except that he would not return the Negroes to slavery, and if any law compelled the executive to do this, that executive would not be Abraham Lincoln. There can be no doubt that Abraham Lincoln never would have accepted the Black Codes. He began by looking backward and then turned with this forward-looking word.

On the other hand, Andrew Johnson started looking forward, towards free land, and the interests of the suppressed laborers in the South; and then realizing that one-half this laboring class was black, he turned his face towards reaction. He accepted the Black Codes, and thus he faced in the winter of 1865 the representatives of the people of the United States in the 39th Congress assembled.


Symbolic mother, we thy myriad sons,
  Pounding our stubborn hearts on Freedom's bars,
Clutching our birthright, fight with faces set,
  Still visioning the stars!
                                 Jessie Fauset

1. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk, p. 25.

2. Pierce, Memoirs and Letters of Charles Sumner, IV, pp. 181, 183.

3. Congressional Globe, Sumner's Speech, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, pp. 674, 675, 680, 683, 685, 686, 687.

4. Herberg, The Heritage of the Civil War, pp. 11, 12.

5. Compare Woodburn, Life of Thaddeus Stevens, Chapter XX.

6. Pierce, Memoirs and Letters of Charles Sumner, IV, p. 76.

7. Pierce, Memoirs and Letters of Charles Sumner, IV, p. 229.

8. Garrison, Life of Garrison, IV, 1861-1879, pp. 123, 124.

9. New York Tribune, May 8, 1865.

10. Carl Schurz, Senate Documents, No. 2, 39th Congress, 1st Session, 1865-1866, pp. 42-45.

11. Results of Emancipation, p. 13.

12. Blaine, Twenty Years of Congress, I, p. 538.

13. McPherson, History of Reconstruction, p. 23.

14. McPherson, History of Reconstruction, p. 21.

15. Simkins and Woody, South Carolina During Reconstruction, pp. 41, 42.

16. Testimony of Frederick H. Bruce, Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 1866, Part 2, p. 154.

17. Wallace, Carpetbag Rule in Florida, pp. 24, 25.

18. Testimony of Judge J. C. Underwood, Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 1866, Part II, p. 7.

19. Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 1866, Part II, p. 163.

20. New York Tribune, April 22, 1865.

21. Schliiter, Lincoln, Labor and Slavery, pp. 188-197.

22. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk, p. 27.

23. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session.

24. Howard Investigation, p. 5.

25. Atlanta University Studies, No. 12, pp. 39, 40, 41.

26. Du Bois, Atlanta University Studies, II, p. 42.

27. Pierce, The Freedmen's Bureau, pp. 104, 160.

28. Testimony of Heinstadt, Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 1866, January 27, Part III, p. 25.

29. Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 1866, Part II, p. 123.

30. Pierce, The Freedmen's Bureau, p. 157.

31. Wallace, Carpetbag Rule in Florida, p. 40.

32. Pierce, The Freedmen's Bureau, pp. 127, 128.

33. Howard Investigation, p. 20.

34. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 107.

35. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 128.

36. Simkins and Woody, South Carolina During Reconstruction, p. 55.

37. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, pp. 107-108.

38. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 127.

39. Wesley, Negro Labor in the United States, pp. 122, 123.

40. Simkins and Woody, South Carolina During Reconstruction, p. 54.

41. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 390.

42. Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored Men Held in Syracuse, New York, October 4-y, 1864, pp. 48-61.


VIII. TRANSUBSTANTIATION OF A POOR WHITE

How Andrew Johnson, unexpectedly raised to the Presidency, was suddenly set between a democracy which included poor whites and black men, and an autocracy that included Big Business and slave barons; and how torn between impossible allegiances, he ended in forcing a hesitant nation to choose between the increased political power of a restored Southern oligarchy and votes for Negroes

Like Nemesis of Greek tragedy, the central problem of America after the Civil War, as before, was the black man: those four million souls whom the nation had used and degraded, and on whom the South had built an oligarchy similar to the colonial imperialism of today, erected on cheap colored labor and raising raw material for manufacture. If Northern industry before the war had secured a monopoly of the raw material raised in the South for its new manufactures; and if Northern and Western labor could have maintained their wage scale against slave competition, the North would not have touched the slave system. But this the South had frustrated. It had threatened labor with nation-wide slave competition and had sent its cotton abroad to buy cheap manufactures, and had resisted the protective tariff demanded by the North.

It was this specific situation that had given the voice of freedom a chance to be heard: freedom for new-come peasants who feared the competition of slave labor; peasants from Europe, New England and the poor white South; freedom for all men black and white through that dream of democracy in which the best of the nation still believed.

The result was war because of the moral wrong, the economic disaster and the democratic contradiction of making human labor real estate; war, because the South was determined to make free white labor compete with black slaves, monopolize land and raw material in the hands of a political aristocracy, and extend the scope of that power; war, because the industrial North refused to surrender its raw material and one of its chief markets to Europe; war, because white American labor, while it refused to recognize black labor as equal and human, had to fight to maintain its own humanity and ideal of equality.

The result of the war left four million human beings just as valuable for the production of cotton and sugar as they had been before the war — but during the war, as laborers and soldiers, these Negroes had made it possible for the North to win, and without their actual and possible aid, the South would never have surrendered; and not least, these four million free men formed in the end the only possible moral justification for an otherwise sordid and selfish orgy of murder, arson and theft.

Now, early in 1865, the war is over. The North does not especially want free Negroes; it wants trade and wealth. The South does not want a particular interpretation of the Constitution. It wants cheap Negro labor and the political and social power based on it. Had there been no Negroes, there would have been no war. Had no Negroes survived the war, peace would have been difficult because of hatred, loss and bitter grief. But its logical path would have been straight.

The South would have returned to its place in Congress with less than its former representation because of the growing North and West. These areas of growing manufacture and agriculture, railroad building and corporations, would have held the political power over the South until the South united with the new insurgency of the West or the old Eastern democratic ideals. Industrialization might even have brought a third party representing labor and raised the proletariat to dominance.

Of this, in 1865 there were only vague signs, and in any case, the former Southern aristocracy would not easily have allied itself with immigrant labor, while the Southern poor whites would have needed long experience and teaching. Thus, the North in the absence of the Negro would have had a vast debt, a problem of charity, distress and relief, such reasonable amnesty as would prevent the old Southern leaders from returning immediately to power, the recognition of the reorganized states, and then work and forgetting.

"Let us have peace." But there was the black man looming like a dark ghost on the horizon. He was the child of force and greed, and the father of wealth and war. His labor was indispensable, and the loss of it would have cost many times the cost of the war. If the Negro had been silent, his very presence would have announced his plight. He was not silent. He was in unusual evidence. He was writing petitions, making speeches, parading with returned soldiers, reciting his adventures as slave and freeman. Even dumb and still, he must be noticed. His poverty had to be relieved, and emancipation in his case had to mean poverty. If he had to work, he had to have land and tools. If his labor was in reality to be free labor, he had to have legal freedom and civil rights. His ignorance could only be removed by that very education which the law of the South had long denied him and the custom of the North had made exceedingly difficult. Thus civil status and legal freedom, food, clothes and tools, access to land and help to education, were the minimum demands of four million laborers, and these demands no man could ignore, Northerner or Southerner, Abolitionist or Copperhead, laborer or captain of industry. How did the nation face this paradox and dilemma?

Led by Abraham Lincoln, the nation had looked back to the status before the war in order to find a path to which the new nation and the new condition of the freedmen could be guided. Only one forward step President Lincoln insisted upon and that was the real continued freedom of the emancipated slave; but the abolition-democracy went beyond this because it was convinced that here was no logical stopping place; and it looked forward to civil and political rights, education and land, as the only complete guarantee of freedom, in the face of a dominant South which hoped from the first, to abolish slavery only in name.

In the North, a new and tremendous dictatorship of capital was arising. There was only one way to curb and direct what promised to become the greatest plutocratic government which the world had ever known. This way was first to implement public opinion by the weapon of universal suffrage — a weapon which the nation already had in part, but which had been virtually impotent in the South because of slavery, and which was at least weakened in the North by the disfranchisement of an unending mass" of foreign-born laborers. Once universal suffrage was achieved, the next step was to use it with such intelligence and power that it would function in the interest of the mass of working men.

To accomplish this end there should have been in the country and represented in Congress a union between the champions of universal suffrage and the rights of the freedmen, together with the leaders of labor, the small landholders of the West, and logically, the poor whites of the South. Against these would have been arrayed the Northern industrial oligarchy, and eventually, when they were re-admitted to Congress, the representatives of the former Southern oligarchy.

This union of democratic forces never took place. On the contrary, they were torn apart by artificial lines of division. The old anti-Negro labor rivalry between white and black workers kept the labor elements after the war from ever really uniting in a demand to increase labor power by Negro suffrage and Negro economic stability. The West was seduced from a vision of peasant-proprietors, recruited from a laboring class, into a vision of labor-exploiting farmers and land speculation which tended to transform the Western farmers into a petty bourgeoisie fighting not to overcome but to share spoils with the large land speculators, the monopolists of transportation, and the financiers. Wherever a liberal and democratic party started to differentiate itself from this group, the only alliance offered was the broken oligarchy of the South, with its determination to reenslave Negro labor.

The effective combination which ensued was both curious and contradictory. The masters of industry, the financiers and monopolists, had in self-defense to join with abolition-democracy in forcing universal suffrage on the South, or submit to the reassertion of the old land-slave feudalism with increased political power.

Such a situation demanded an economic guardianship of freedmen, and the first step to this meant at least the beginning of a dictatorship by labor. This, however, had to be but temporary union and was bound to break up before long. The break was begun by the extraordinary corruption, graft and theft that became more and more evident in the country from 1868 on, as a result of the wild idea that industry and progress for the people of the United States were compatible with the selfish sequestration of profit for private individuals and powerful corporations.

But those who revolted from the party of exploitation and high finance did not see allies in the dictatorship of labor in the South. Rather they were entirely misled by the complaint of property from the Southern oligarchy. They failed to become a real party of economic reform and became a reaction of small property-holders against corporations; of a petty bourgeoisie against a new economic monarchy. They immediately joined Big Business in coming to an understanding with the South in 1876, so that by force and fraud the South overthrew the dictatorship of the workers.

But this was only the immediate cause. If there had been no widespread political corruption, North and South, there would still have arisen an absolute difference between those who were trying to conduct the new Southern state governments in the interest of the mass of laborers, black and white, and those North and South who were determined to exploit labor, both in agriculture and industry, for the benefit of an oligarchy. Such an oligarchy was in effect back of the military dictatorship which supported these very Southern labor governments, and which had to support them either as laborers or by developing among them a capitalist class. But as soon as there was understanding between the Southern exploiter of labor and the Northern exploiter, this military support would be withdrawn; and the labor governments, in spite of what they had accomplished for the education of the masses, and in spite of the movements against waste and graft which they had inaugurated, would fail. Under such circumstances, they had to fail, and in a large sense the immediate hope of American democracy failed with them.

Let us now follow this development more in detail. In 1863 and 1864, Abraham Lincoln had made his tentative proposals for reconstructing the South. He had left many things unsaid. The loyal-minded, consisting of as few as one-tenth of the voters whom Lincoln proposed to regard as a state, must naturally, to survive, be supported by the United States Army, until a majority of the inhabitants acquiesced in the new arrangements. It was Lincoln's fond hope that this acquiescence might be swift and clear, but no one knew better than he that it might not.

He was careful to say that Congress would certainly have voice as to the terms on which they would recognize the newly elected Senators and Representatives. This proposal met the general approval of the country, but Congress saw danger and enacted the Wade-Davis Bill. This did not recognize Negro suffrage, and was not radically different from the Lincoln plan, except that the final power and assent of Congress were more prominently set forth.

Lincoln did not oppose it. He simply did not want his hands permanently tied. The bill failed, leaving Lincoln making a careful study of the situation, and promising another statement. He was going forward carefully, hoping for some liberal movement to show itself in the South, and delicately urging it. In the election of 1864, the country stood squarely back of him. The Northern democracy carried only New Jersey, Delaware and Kentucky. But he died, and Andrew Johnson took his place.

Thus, suddenly, April 15, 1865, Andrew Johnson found himself President of the United States, six days after Lee's surrender, and a month and a half after the 38th Congress had adjourned, March 3.

It was the drear destiny of the Poor White South that, deserting its economic class and itself, it became the instrument by which democracy in the nation was done to death, race provincialism deified, and the world delivered to plutocracy. The man who led the way with unconscious paradox and contradiction was Andrew Johnson.

Lately the early life and character of Andrew Johnson have been abundantly studied. He was a fanatical hater of aristocracy. "Through every public act of his runs one consistent, unifying thread of purpose — the advancement of the power, prosperity and liberty of the masses at the expense of intrenched privilege. The slaveholding aristocracy he hated with a bitter, enduring hatred born of envy and ambition. 'If Johnson were a snake,' said his rival, the well-born Isham G. Harris, 'he would lie in the grass to bite the heels of the rich men's children.' The very thought of an aristocrat caused him to emit venom and lash about him in fury."1

His political methods were those of the barn-storming demagogue.

"Johnson's speeches were tissues of misstatement, misrepresentation, and insulting personalities, directed to the passions and unreasoning impulses of the ignorant voters; assaults upon aristocrats combined with vaunting of his own low origin and the dignity of manual labor."2 Yet a biographer says that Johnson was "the only President who practiced what he preached, drawing no distinction between rich and poor, or high and low....

"Do not these facts furnish an explanation of Johnson's life? Do they not show why he had the courage to go up against caste and cheap aristocracy, why he dared to stand for the under-dog, whether Catholic, Hebrew, foreigner, mechanic, or child; and to cling like death to the old flag and the Union?...

"'Gladly I would lay down my life,' he wrote, 'if I could so engraft democracy into our general government that it would be permanent.'"3

To all this there is one great qualification. Andrew Johnson could not include Negroes in any conceivable democracy. He tried to, but as a poor white, steeped in the limitations, prejudices, and ambitions of his social class, he could not; and this is the key to his career.

Johnson sat in Congress from 1843 to 1853, and was Senator from 1857 to 1862. He favored the annexation of Texas as a gateway for Negro emigration. He was against a high tariff, championed free Western lands for white labor, and favored the annexation of Cuba for black slave labor.

McConnell introduced a homestead bill into Congress in January, 1846. Johnson's bill came in March. He returned to Tennessee as Governor, but induced the legislature to instruct members of Congress to vote for his bill. The bill finally passed the House but was defeated in the Senate, and this was repeated for several sessions. Meantime, Johnson found himself in curious company. He was linked on the one hand to the Free Soilers, and in 1851 went to New York to address a Land Reform Association. On the other hand, the South called him socialistic and Wigfall of Texas dubbed him: "The vilest of Republicans, the reddest of Reds, a sans-culotte, for four years past he has been trying to please the North with his Homestead and other bills."4 The Abolitionists meanwhile looked askance because Johnson favored the bill for annexing Cuba.

He voted against the Pacific railroad, owned eight slaves and said at one time: "You won't get rid of the Negro except by holding him in slavery."5 In the midst of such vacillation and contradiction, small wonder that Lane referred to Johnson's "triumphant ignorance and exulting stupidity." Yet Johnson hewed doggedly to certain lines. In i860, he was advocating his homestead bill again. It finally passed both House and Senate, but Buchanan vetoed it as unconstitutional. Johnson called the message "monstrous and absurd." At last, in June, 1862, after the South had withdrawn from Congress, Johnson's bill was passed and Lincoln signed it.

Yet it was this same Johnson who said in the 36th Congress that if the Abolitionists freed the slaves and let them loose on the South, "the non-slaveholder would join with the slave-owner and extirpate them," and "if one should be more ready to join than another it would be myself."

Johnson early became a follower of Hinton Helper and used his figures. The Impending Crisis was "Andrew Johnson's vade mecum — his arsenal of facts."6

Johnson made two violent speeches against secession in 1860-61, with bitter personalities against Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and their fellows. He called them rebels and traitors; the galleries yelled and the presiding officers threatened to clear them. Johnson shouted: "I would have them arrested, and if convicted, within the meaning and scope of the Constitution, by the Eternal God, I would execute them; Sir, treason must be punished; its enormity and the extent and depth of the offense must be made known!"

Clingman of North Carolina said that Johnson's speech brought on the Civil War. Alexander Stephens said that it solidified the North. Letters came in to congratulate and to encourage "the only Union Senator from the South." Labor rallied to him. A Baltimore laborer wrote that "the poor working man will no doubt be called on to fight the battles of the rich." From Memphis another wrote: "It was labor that achieved our independence and the laborers are ready to maintain it." The New York Working Man's Association passed a resolution of thanks.7

Lincoln set about winning Tennessee, and as a step toward it, asked Andrew Johnson to go and act as Military Governor, and restore the state. Johnson resigned from the Senate and went to Tennessee early in March, 1862. He arrived in Nashville March 12, and took possession of the State House. His courage and sacrifice eventually redeemed the state and restored it to the Union.

Several times Johnson spoke on slavery and the Negro. When he asked that plantations be divided in the South and lands opened in the West, he had in mind white men, who would thus become rich or at least richer. But for Negroes, he had nothing of the sort in mind, except the bare possibility that, if given freedom, they might continue to exist and not die out.

Johnson said in January, 1864, at Nashville in reply to a question as to whether he was in favor of emancipation:

"As for the Negro I am for setting him free but at the same time I assert that this is a white man's government.... If whites and blacks can't get along together arrangements must be made to colonize the blacks.... In 1843, when I was candidate for Governor, it was said, 'That fellow Johnson is a demagogue, is an Abolitionist.'... Because I advocated a white basis for representation — apportioning members of Congress according to the number of qualified voters, instead of embracing Negroes, they called me an Abolitionist.... What do we find today? Right goes forward; truth triumphs; justice is supreme; and slavery goes down.

"In fact, the Negroes are emancipated in Tennessee today, and the only remaining question for us to settle, as prudent and wise men, is in assigning the Negro his new relation. Now, what will that be? The Negro will be thrown upon society, governed by the same laws that govern communities, and be compelled to fall back upon his own resources, as all other human beings are.... Political freedom means liberty to work, and at the same time enjoy the products of one's labor.... If he can rise by his own energies, in the name of God, let him rise. In saying this, I do not argue that the Negro race is equal to the Anglo-Saxon.... If the Negro is better fitted for the inferior condition of society, the laws of nature will assign him there!"8

As a reward for Johnson's services and to unite the sections Lincoln chose Johnson as his running mate in 1864. Before the campaign June 10, from the St. Cloud Hotel, Johnson gave his philosophy of Reconstruction:

"One of the chief elements of this rebellion is the opposition of the slave aristocracy to being ruled by men who have risen from the ranks of the people. This aristocracy hated Mr. Lincoln because he was of humble origin, a rail-splitter in early life. One of them, the private secretary of Howell Cobb, said to me one day, after a long conversation, 'We people of the South will not submit to be governed by a man who has come up from the ranks of the common people, as Abe Lincoln has.' He uttered the essential feeling and spirit of this Southern rebellion. Now it has just occurred to me, if this aristocracy is so violently opposed to being governed by Mr. Lincoln, what in the name of conscience will it do with Lincoln and Johnson?...

"I am for emancipation for two reasons: First, because it is right in itself; and second, because in the emancipation of the slaves, we break down an odious and dangerous aristocracy; I think that we ate freeing more whites than blacks in Tennessee.

"I want to see slavery broken up, and when its barriers are torn down, I want to see industrious, thrifty immigrants pouring in from all parts of the country. Come on! we need your labor, your skill, your capital....

"Ah, these Rebel leaders have a strong personal reason for holding out — to save their necks from the halter. And these leaders must feel the power of the government. Treason must be made odious, and the traitor must be punished and impoverished. Their great plantations must be seized and divided into small farms, and sold to honest, industrious men. The day for protecting the lands and Negroes of these authors of rebellion is past. It is high time it was."9

During the campaign he addressed a torchlight procession of thousands of Negroes and whites. He said, October, 1864:

"Who has not heard of the great estates of Mack Cockrill, situated near this city, estates whose acres are numbered by the thousand, whose slaves were once counted by the score? And of Mack Cockrill, their possessor, the great slave-owner and, of course, the leading rebel, who lives in the very wantonness of wealth, wrung from the sweat and toil and stolen wages of others, and who gave fabulous sums to aid Jeff Davis in overturning this Government?...

"Who has not heard of the princely estates of General W. D. Harding, who, by means of his property alone, outweighed in influence any other man in Tennessee, no matter what were that other's worth, or wisdom, or ability. Harding, too, early espoused the cause of treason and made it his boast that he had contributed, and directly induced others to contribute, millions of dollars in aid of that unholy cause.... It is wrong that Mack Cockrill and W. D. Harding, by means of forced and unpaid labor, should have monopolized so large a share of the lands and wealth of Tennessee; and I say if their immense plantations were divided up and parceled out amongst a number of free, industrious, and honest farmers, it would give more good citizens to the Commonwealth, increase the wages of our mechanics, enrich the markets of our city, enliven all the arteries of trade, improve society, and conduce to the greatness and glory of the State.

"The representatives of this corrupt, and if you will permit me almost to swear a little, this damnable aristocracy, taunt us with our desire to see justice done, and charge us with favoring Negro equality. Of all living men they should be the last to mouth that phrase; and, even when uttered in their hearing, it should cause their cheeks to tinge and burn with shame. Negro equality, indeed! Why, pass any day along the sidewalks of High Street where these aristocrats more particularly dwell — these aristocrats, whose sons are now in the bands of guerillas and cut-throats who prowl and rob and murder around our city — pass by their dwellings, I say, and you will see as many mulatto as Negro children, the former bearing an unmistakable resemblance to their aristocratic owners.... Thank God, the war has ended all this ... a war that has freed more whites than blacks.... Suppose the Negro is set free and we have less cotton, we will raise more wool, hemp, flax and silk.... It is all an idea that the world can't get along without cotton. And, as is suggested by my friend behind me, whether we attain perfection in the raising of cotton or not, I think we ought to stimulate the cultivation of hemp (great and renewed laughter); for we ought to have more of it and a far better material, a stronger fiber, with which to make a stronger rope. For, not to be malicious or malignant, I am free to say that I believe many who were driven into this Rebellion, are repentant; but I say of the leaders, the instigators, the conscious, intelligent traitors, they ought to be hung."10

"'Looking at this vast crowd of colored people,' continued the Governor, 'and reflecting through what a storm of persecution and obloquy they are compelled to pass, I am almost induced to wish that, as in the days of old, a Moses might arise who should lead them safely to their promised land of freedom and happiness.'

"'You are our Moses,' shouted several voices, and the exclamation was caught up and cheered until the Capitol rung again....

"'Well, then,' replied the speaker, 'humble and unworthy as I am, if no other better shall be found, I will indeed be your Moses, and lead you through the Red Sea of war and bondage to a fairer future of liberty and peace. I speak now as one who feels the world his country, and all who love equal rights his friends. I speak, too, as a citizen of Tennessee. I am here on my own soil; and here I mean to stay and fight this great battle of truth and justice to a triumphant end. Rebellion and slavery shall, by God's good help, no longer pollute our State. Loyal men, whether white or black, shall alone control her destinies; and when this strife in which we are all engaged is past, I trust, I know, we shall have a better state of things, and shall all rejoice that honest labor reaps the fruit of its own industry, and that every man has a fair chance in the race of life.'"11

Winston interpreted the latter part of this speech as directed to the whites, when clearly he was speaking directly to the colored people; but he was afterward unwilling to live up to its promises. As a matter of fact, he favored emancipation "in order to save the Union and to free the white man and no further. 'Damn the Negroes,' he once said when charged with race equality. 'I am fighting those traitorous aristocrats, their masters.'"12

Johnson appeared to take the oath of office as Vice-President so drunk he was taken into prolonged seclusion after a maudlin speech; his resignation was discussed. He was not a habitual drunkard, although he drank "three or four glasses of Robertson's Canada Whiskey" some days. In 1848 Johnson writes that he had been "on a kind of bust — not a big drunk."13 Both of Johnson's sons became drunkards and were cut off before they reached middle life. Yet Lincoln was right:

"Oh, well, don't you bother about Andy Johnson's drinking. He made a bad slip the other day, but I have known Andy a great many years, and he ain't no drunkard." Johnson was deeply humiliated by the inauguration episode and perhaps here began his alienation from those who might have influenced him best.

Charles A. Dana, Assistant Secretary of War, says that he met Vice-President Johnson in Richmond. "He took me aside and spoke with great earnestness about the necessity of not taking the Confederates back without some conditions or without some punishment. He insisted that their sins had been enormous, and that if they were let back into the Union without any punishment the effect would be very bad. He said they might be very dangerous in the future. The Vice-President talked to me in this strain for fully twenty minutes, I should think — an impassioned, earnest speech on the subject of punishing rebels."14

His sudden induction as President was marked by modesty and genuine feeling. Carl Schurz says that the inaugural speech of Andrew Johnson, in 1865, was very pleasing to the liberals of the North, and made them believe that he was going to allow the Negro to have some part in the reconstruction of the states.

For a month after coming to the Presidency, Johnson indulged in speech-making, and his words were still so severe that the anti-slavery people became uneasy, feeling that Johnson would give his attention primarily to punishing the whites rather than protecting the Negroes. April 21, 1865, he said in an interview with some citizens of Indiana:

"They [the Rebel leaders] must not only be punished, but their social power must be destroyed.... And I say that, after making treason odious, every Union man and the government should be remunerated out of the pockets of those who have inflicted this great suffering upon the country." This was exactly the thesis of Thaddeus Stevens enunciated in September of the same year.

A number of Virginians visited Johnson in July and complained that they were seeking credits in the North and West, but could get no consideration while they remained under the ban of the government. The President replied: "'It was the wealthy men who dragooned the people into secession; I know how this thing was done. You rich men used the press and bullied your little men to force the state into secession.' He spoke as a poor white for poor whites and the planters left in gloom."

He kept on insisting upon punishment for the South, and not only personal punishment but economic punishment, so that many conservatives were afraid that they had elected to the Presidency a radical who would seriously attack the South.

This would have been true but for one thing: the Southern poor white had his attitude toward property and income seriously modified by the presence of the Negro. Even Abraham Lincoln was unable for a long time to conceive of free, poor, black citizens as voters in the United States. The problem of the Negroes, as he faced it, worried him, and he made repeated efforts to see if in some way they could not be sent off to Africa or to foreign lands. Johnson had no such broad outlook. Negroes to him were just Negroes, and even as he expressed his radical ideas of helping the poor Southerners, he seldom envisaged Negroes as a part of the poor.

Lincoln came to know Negroes personally. He came to recognize their manhood. He praised them generously as soldiers, and suggested that they be admitted to the ballot. Johnson, on the contrary, could never regard Negroes as men. "He has all the narrowness and ignorance of a certain class of whites who have always looked upon the colored race as out of the pale of humanity."15

The Northern press had been quite satisfied with Lincoln's attitude. He had served liberty and America well. "Lincoln," said Senator Doolittle, representing industry in the West, "would have dealt with the Rebels as an indulgent father deals with his erring children. Johnson would deal with them more like a stern and incorruptible judge. Thus in a moment has the scepter of power passed from the hand of flesh to the hand of iron."

At a cabinet meeting with Mr. Lincoln on the last day of his life, Friday, April 14, Stanton submitted the draft of a plan for the restoration of governments in the South. The draft applied expressly to two states, but was intended as a model for others. The President suggested a revision, and the subject was postponed until Tuesday the 18th.

Andrew Johnson became President, and on Sunday, April 16, Stanton read his draft to Sumner and other gentlemen. Sumner interrupted the reading with the inquiry: "'Whether any provision was made for enfranchising the colored men,' saying, also, that 'unless the black man is given the right to vote his freedom is a mockery.' Stanton deprecated the agitation of the subject ... but Sumner insisted that the black man's right to vote was 'the essence — the great essential.' Stanton's draft, now confined to North Carolina, was considered in the Cabinet May 9, when it appeared with a provision for suffrage in the election of members of a constitutional convention for the State. It included 'the loyal citizens of the United States.' This paragraph, it appears, Stanton had accepted April 16, as an amendment from Sumner and Colfax.... He admitted that it was intended to include Negroes as well as white men."16

Stanton invited an expression of opinion; several members of the Cabinet were absent. Stanton, Dennison and Speed favored the inclusion; McCulloch, Welles and Usher were against it. The President expressed no opinion, but Sumner was certain of the President's decision in favor of Negro suffrage.

Sumner sought to keep close to Johnson. He and Chase had an interview with him a week after he had taken the oath of office. Johnson was reserved but sympathetic and they left light-hearted. A few days later, when the President and Senator Sumner were alone together, the President said: '"On this question [that of suffrage] there is no difference between us; you and I are alike.' Sumner expressed his joy and gratitude that the President had taken this position, and that as a consequence there would thus be no division in the Union party; and the President replied, 'I mean to keep you all together.' As he walked away that evening, Sumner felt that the battle of his own life was ended."17

He wrote to Bright, May 1, 1865, encouragingly: "Last evening, I had a long conversation with him [Johnson], mainly on the rebel states and how they shall be tranquillized. Of course my theme is justice to the colored race. He accepted this idea completely, and indeed went so far as to say 'that there is no difference between us.' You understand that the question whether rebel states shall be treated as military provinces or territories is simply one of form, with a view to the great result. It is the result that I aim at and I shall never stickle on any intermediate question if that is secured. He deprecates haste; is unwilling that states should be precipitated back; thinks there must be a period of probation, but that meanwhile all loyal people, without distinction of color, must be treated as citizens, and must take part in any proceedings for reorganization. He doubts at present the expediency of announcing this from Washington lest it should give a handle to party, but is willing it should be made known to the people in the rebel states. The Chief Justice started yesterday on a visit to North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and New Orleans, and will on his way touch the necessary strings, so far as he can. I anticipate much from this journey. His opinions are fixed, and he is well informed with regard to those of the President. I would not be too sanguine, but I should not be surprised if we had this great question settled before the next meeting of Congress — I mean by this that we had such expression of opinion and acts as will forever conclude it. My confidence is founded in part upon the essential justice of our aims and the necessity of the case. With the President as well disposed as he shows himself, and the Chief Justice as positive, we must prevail. Will not all this sanctify our war beyond any in history?"

The next day writing to Lieber, Sumner quoted Johnson as saying that "colored persons are to have the right to suffrage; that no state can be precipitated into the Union; that rebel states must go through a term of probation. All this he had said to me before. Ten days ago, the Chief Justice and myself visited him in the evening to speak of these things. I was charmed by his sympathy, which was entirely different from his predecessor's. The Chief Justice is authorized to say wherever he is what the President desires, and to do everything he can to promote organization without distinction of color. The President desires that the movement should appear to proceed from the people. This is in conformity with his general ideas; but he thinks it will disarm the party at home. I told him that while I doubted if the work could be effectively done without federal authority, I regarded the modus operandi as an inferior question; and that I should be content, provided equality before the law was secured for all without distinction of color. I said during this winter that the rebel states could not come back, except on the footing of the Declaration of Independence, and the complete recognition of human rights. I feel more than ever confident that all this will be fulfilled. And then what a regenerated land! I had looked for a bitter contest on this question; but with the President on our side, it will be carried by simple avoirdupois."

Chase wrote Johnson from South Carolina the same month: "Suffrage to loyal blacks; I find that readiness and even desire for it is in proportion to the loyalty of those who express opinions. Nobody dissents, vehemently; while those who have suffered from rebellion and rejoice with their whole hearts in the restoration of the National Authority, are fast coming to the conclusion they will find their own surest safety in the proposed extension....

"All seem embarrassed about first steps. I do not entertain the slightest doubt that they would all welcome some simple recommendation from yourself, and would adopt readily any plan which you would suggest....

"I am anxious that you should have the lead in this work. It is my deliberate judgment that nothing will so strengthen you with the people or bring so much honor to your name throughout the world as some such short address as I suggested before leaving Washington. Just say to the people: 'Reorganize your state governments. I will aid you in the enrollment of the loyal citizens; you will not expect me to discriminate among men equally loyal; once enrolled, vote for delegates to the Convention to reform your State Constitution. I will aid you in collecting and declaring their suffrages. Your convention and yourselves must do the rest; but you may count on the support of the National Government in all things constitutionally expedient.'"18

In April and May of 1866, Tennessee had confined the right to vote to whites. The Tennessee Senate refused a suffrage bill which allowed all blacks and whites of legal age to vote, but excluded after 1875 all who could not read. Sumner wanted Johnson to insist on Negro suffrage in Tennessee, but Johnson explained that if he were in Tennessee he would take a stand, but that he could not in Washington.

Sumner remained in Washington half through May and saw the President almost daily, always seizing opportunity to present his views on Reconstruction, and insisting on suffrage for Negroes.

Just before leaving Washington, Sumner had a final interview with the President. He found him cordial and apparently unchanged. Sumner apologized for repeating his views expressed before. Johnson said, with a smile, "Have I not always listened to you?" Sumner, as he left, "assured his friends and correspondents that the cause he had at heart was safe" with Andrew Johnson.19

Disturbing signs, however, began to occur. Carl Schurz wrote in May concerning the plans of Southern leaders in Mississippi, Georgia and North Carolina. Thaddeus Stevens was alarmed at the President's recognition of the Pierpont government of Virginia. A caucus was, therefore, called at the National Hotel at Washington, May 12, to prevent the administration from going completely astray. Wade and Sumner said the President was in no danger, and that he was in favor of Negro suffrage.

Sumner may have been over-sanguine and read into Johnson's words more than Johnson intended, but it is certain that Sumner received a definite understanding that President Johnson stood for real emancipation and Negro suffrage.

Here then was Andrew Johnson in 1865, born at the bottom of society, and during his early life a radical defender of the poor, the landless and the exploited. In the heyday of his early political career, he railed against land monopoly in the South, and after the Civil War, wanted the land of the monopolists divided among peasant proprietors.

Suddenly, by the weird magic of history, he becomes military dictator of a nation. He becomes the man by whom the greatest moral and economic revolution that ever took place in the United States, and perhaps in modern times, was to be put into effect. He becomes the real emancipator of four millions of black slaves, who have suffered more than anything that he had experienced in his earlier days. They not only have no lands; they have not owned even their bodies, nor their clothes, nor their tools. They have been exploited down to the ownership of their own families; they have been poor by law, and ignorant by force. What more splendid opportunity could the champion of labor and the exploited have had to start a nation towards freedom?

Johnson took over Lincoln's cabinet with an Anti-Abolitionist Whig, a Pro-Slavery Democrat, and a liberal student of industry, among others. This cabinet lasted a little over a year when early in July, 1866, three members, Dennison, Harlan and Speed, resigned, being unwilling to oppose Congress.

In all their logical sequence, the Reconstruction policies now associated with Johnson's name were laid down by Seward, and his logic overwhelmed Johnson. As Stevens explained: "Seward entered into him, and ever since they have been running down steep places into the sea."

The Cabinet met at Seward's house May 9, and on May 29, Johnson issued a Proclamation of Amnesty which showed the Seward influence. Indeed, nothing was left, apparently, of Johnson's liberalism, except the exclusion from amnesty, not simply of the leaders of the Confederacy, but of the rich — those worth $20,000 or more. Seward opposed this, but it was the only thing that he yielded to Johnson's liberalism. He early convinced Johnson that Reconstruction was a matter for the President to settle and especially he opened the door to his thorough conversion when the power of further pardons was put into Johnson's hand.

"Seward, who had remained secretary after Lincoln's death, had used all the powers of his persuasive eloquence to satisfy President Johnson that all now to be done was simply to restore the Union by at once readmitting the 'States lately in rebellion' to their full constitutional functions as regular States of the Union, and that then, being encouraged by this mark of confidence, the late master class in the South could be trusted with the recognition and protection of the emancipated slaves. That Mr. Seward urged such advice upon the President, there is good reason for believing. Not only was it common report, but it accorded also strikingly with Mr. Seward's singular turn of mind concerning the slavery question. As after the outbreak of the secession movement he peremptorily relegated the slavery question to the background in spite of its evident importance in the Civil War and of the influence it would inevitably exercise upon the opinion and attitude of foreign nations, so he may have been forgetful of the national duty of honor to secure the rights of the freedmen and the safety of the Southern Union men in his impatient desire to 'restore the Union' in point of form."20

Johnson was transformed. From the champion of peasant labor, he saw himself as the restorer of national unity, and the benefactor and almsgiver to those very elements in the South which had formerly despised him. Of his real role as emancipator, and the one who was to give effective freedom to Negroes, he still had not the slightest idea. He could not conceive of Negroes as men. And equally, he had no adequate idea of the industrial transformation that was going on in the North. There were, of course, the inevitable scars of the war: the loss of a million men and twelve billion dollars in property; eventual pensions and indirect losses; the revolution in Southern agriculture; the universal lowering of ethical standards which always follows war. The West was uneasy on account of taxes, debt and the money situation. In New York and Boston, men engaged in foreign commerce wanted speedy restoration of the South and a reduction in the tariff to increase their business. These complicated threads varied and changed as time went on. But when the 39th Congress met, the war business boom was still on; failures had disappeared; prices had increased. Wealth was being concentrated among the manufacturers, merchants, financiers and speculators. There were great amounts of waiting capital and all of these interests wanted the war stopped, and the South restored.

Sumner had not left Washington ten days before his hopes for a just reconstruction on the basis of Negro suffrage were killed by the President's proclamation.

Johnson's plan of reconstruction included the abolition of slavery, the repudiation of war debts, the nullification of secession ordinances, and the appointment of provisional governors to help in the reconstruction of civil government. Only those white folks who could take the loyal oath would take part in this reconstruction. In other words, this was practically Lincoln's plan and it was also the Wade-Davis plan, save that there was no open or expressed recognition of any power or function of Congress except as judging the legality of elections. Johnson did not eventually even admit, as Lincoln apparently had agreed, that Congress was final judge as to whether these states could hold legal elections.

Congress had adjourned before Lee's surrender, and it was widely believed that had Lincoln lived, a special session would have been summoned. The Seward-Johnson compromise proposed not to call Congress. In one way, the decision was shrewd. It gave the administration nine months to carry out its policy, and if the policy was successful, Congress would, when it met, be faced by a fait accompli, a nation at peace, a South restored with slavery abolished. What more could the nation want?

On the other hand, the attempt was full of risk. Already the power of the Executive had gone far beyond the dreams of living men. It must be curbed sooner or later. The military dictatorship which had carried on the war must, as soon as possible after the war, be tempered by democracy. The attempt to do even what the nation wanted without this was foolish. An attempt to override the will of the nation was suicidal, and yet that was precisely what Seward and Johnson eventually attempted. May 29, the Declaration of Amnesty was issued; and that same month, Provisional Governors were appointed for North Carolina and Mississippi. In June, Georgia, Texas, Alabama and South Carolina were given Governors, and in July, Florida. Thus, three months after the assassination of Lincoln, Reconstruction was in operation; the Union party divided in opinion; the Northern Democrats encouraged, and the South particularly encouraged.

The South thereupon turned its attention on Johnson and brought to bear a second influence next in power to Seward's and in the end exceeding it. Southern leaders descended upon the President; not simply the former slave barons but new representatives of the poor whites. In less than nine months after the Proclamation of Amnesty, 14,000 prominent persons are said to have received pardons from the President.

No wonder the attitude of Johnson towards the South and the leaders of the rebellion was transformed. The very inferiority complex which made him hate the white planter concealed a secret admiration for his arrogance and address. Carl Schurz was coldly received when he returned from the Southern trip which Johnson had urged upon him.

"Arrived at Washington, I reported myself at once at the White House. The President's private secretary, who seemed surprised to see me, announced me to the President, who sent out word that he was busy. When would it please the President to receive me? The private secretary could not tell, as the President's time was much occupied by urgent business. I left the ante-room, but called again the next morning. The President was still busy. I asked the private secretary to submit to the President that I had returned from a three months' journey made at the President's personal request, that I thought it my duty respectfully to report myself back, and that I should be obliged to the President if he would let me know whether, and, if so, when, he would receive me to that end. The private secretary went in again and brought out the answer that the President would see me in an hour or so. At the appointed time, I was admitted.

"The President received me without a smile of welcome. His mien was sullen. I said that I had returned from the journey which I had made in obedience to his demand and was ready to give him, in addition to the communications I had already sent him, such further information as was in my possession. A moment's silence followed. Then he inquired about my health. I thanked him for the inquiry and hoped the President's health was good. He said it was. Another pause, which I brought to an end by saying that I wished to supplement the letters I had written to him from the South with an elaborate report giving my experiences and conclusions in a connected shape. The President looked up and said that I need not go to the trouble of writing out such a general report on his account. I replied that it would be no trouble at all, but I considered it a duty. The President did not answer. The silence became awkward and I bowed myself out.

"President Johnson evidently wished to suppress my testimony as to the condition of things in the South. I resolved not to let him do so. I had conscientiously endeavored to see Southern conditions as they were. I had not permitted any political considerations or any preconceived opinions on my part, to obscure my perception and discernment in the slightest degree. I had told the truth as I learned it and understood it, with the severest accuracy, and I thought it due to the country that the truth be known.

"Among my friends in Washington there were different opinions as to how the striking change in President Johnson's attitude had been brought about. Some told me that during the summer the White House had been fairly besieged by Southern men and women of high social standing who had told the President that the only element of trouble in the South consisted in a lot of fanatical abolitionists who excited the Negroes with all sorts of dangerous notions, and that all would be well if he would only restore the Southern State governments as quickly as possible, according to his own plan as laid down in his North Carolina proclamation, and that he was a great man to whom they looked up as their savior. Now it was thought that Mr. Johnson, the plebeian who before the war had been treated with undisguised contempt by the slave-holding aristocracy, could not withstand the subde flattery of the same aristocracy when they flocked around him as humble suppliants cajoling his vanity."21

In fact, personally, Johnson liked the slave-holders. He admired their manners; he enjoyed their carriage and clothes. They were quite naturally his ideal of what a gentleman should be. He could not help being tremendously flattered when they noticed him and actually sued for his favor. As compared with Northerners, he found them free, natural and expansive, rather than cold, formal and hypocritical.

Johnson's change of mind during the last ten days of May, 1865, was probably due to the flatteries of Southern leaders; to the notice taken of his intoxication in the Senate by Sumner and others; to the counsels of Preston King and the Blairs who sheltered him after that unfortunate exhibition; and above all to Seward. Johnson's program swung swiftly into its stride.

Already May 9, the laws of the United States had been put in operation in Virginia and the Alexandria government thus recognized. Johnson recognized the reconstruction already accomplished in Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee. So that by mid-summer all the seceded states had been reconstructed under the Johnson plan except Texas. During the autumn, summer and winter of 1865, elections for delegates to constitutional conventions were ordered in Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, on the basis of white suffrage. Before Congress met, these conventions had all passed ordinances repealing the secession ordinances, or pronouncing them null and void. All except Mississippi and South Carolina had repudiated the Confederate debt. All had amended their constitutions abolishing slavery or recognizing its disappearance. State officers and representatives in Congress had been elected. Senators had also been chosen, except in Florida. All the states had adopted the Thirteenth Amendment, except Florida and Mississippi; North Carolina had adopted the amendment with reservations; Florida adopted the amendment with reservations December 18, and elected Senators.

Against this suddenly marshaled and quickly executed plan of Johnson and his advisers, there was at the time no organized opposition. Congress was unquestionably determined to have the last word in the matter but not decided as to what the word would be. The Abolitionists wanted the freedom of the slaves guaranteed, and some of them saw Negro suffrage as the only method of accomplishing it, while still fewer recognized that a minimum of land and capital was absolutely necessary even to make the ballot effective. The majority of Northerners simply wanted to get rid of the question as quickly as possible. They were disposed to agree in the main with Johnson, but they were afraid that he was moving too fast, and that the South was returning to the Union without guarantees, either so far as the freedmen were concerned, or with regard to the problem of debt, the tariff, and national finance.

Charles Sumner, representing the abolition-democracy, agitated the question all summer. He brought up the matter on the streets, at dinner, and in society. He wrote his views for the Atlantic Monthly and had it and his speeches distributed widely. On June 21, 1865, there was a public meeting in Philadelphia, on Negro suffrage, at which reports were read of reaction in the South. Sumner wrote to the members of Johnson's cabinet and urged them to change their course of action and not to follow the advice of Seward. But, although four members of the cabinet were sympathetic, they took no action, and Sumner wrote to Lieber on August 11: "They were all courtiers, as if they were councilors of the King."

Stevens, Davis and Wade were in despair against an executive who had both military power and the power of patronage and was as yet unmoved by any unity of opinion in the North. Moreover, it did not seem wise to make as yet a fight on the basis of Negro suffrage. Too few Northern people agreed with it. Most public men and journalists gave no support to Sumner's demand for Negro suffrage. The Governor of Indiana denounced it; the Governor of Massachusetts was sure of the President's honesty of purpose; the editor of the New York Evening Post advised against any coercive action by Congress in the matter of suffrage, and the New York Times stood absolutely against it.

"Is there no way to arrest the insane course of the President in reorganization?" asked Stevens, in the summer of 1865. "If something is not done," wrote Sumner, "the President will be crowned King before Congress meets."

The abolitionists opened a campaign to convert the North to Negro suffrage, carrying on a propaganda with the money of industry and the logic of abolition-democracy. The speeches of Sumner, Kelley, Phillips and Douglass on Negro suffrage were printed and sent broadcast. Stearns wrote: "I am distributing 10,000 copies to anti-slavery men in all the free states; but desiring to increase the number to 100,000 or more, invite you to aid in its circulation."22 He raised $50,000 in the fall of 1865 to send out 100,000 newspapers and 50,000 pamphlets a week, and himself printed between 20,000 and 40,000 copies of Sumner's Worcester speech, October 12, 1865. Later the Schurz report and his newspaper articles formed strong documents.

Yet the conversion of public opinion in the United States to Negro citizenship and suffrage was long and difficult. There were harassing questions that presented themselves to the majority of people in the North: Could a government, by united and determined effort, raise the Negroes to full American citizenship? Of course it could, if they were men; but were they men? Even if they were men, was it good policy thus to raise a great new working, voting class? On this point there was less open argument; but it lay in the minds of business men, and influenced their outlook and action.

Johnson sensed the trend toward Negro suffrage and taking a leaf from Lincoln's book, sought to stem it. But Johnson's mind was not like Lincoln's. Lincoln moved forward to Negro suffrage; Johnson, alarmed, retreated to it. August 15, he had wired to his nominee, Sharkey, Provisional Governor of Mississippi:

"If you could extend the elective franchise to all persons of color who can read the Constitution of the United States in English and write their names, and to all persons of color who own real estate valued at not less than two hundred and fifty dollars, and pay taxes thereon, you would completely disarm the adversary and set an example the other states will follow. This you can do with perfect safety, and you thus place the Southern States, in reference to free persons of color, upon the same basis with the free States. I hope and trust your convention will do this, and, as a consequence, the Radicals, who are wild upon Negro franchise, will be completely foiled in their attempt to keep the Southern States from renewing their relations to the Union by not accepting their senators and representatives."23

Blaine says that this advice was sent to other provisional governors, but nothing came of it, chiefly because Johnson did not insist and his heart was not in the suggestion.

Sumner's words showed that union between Northern industrialists and abolition-democracy had been growing during the summer. After the autumn elections, Sumner sent a long telegram to President Johnson. On the Saturday evening before Congress met, he was with him two hours. He found him "changed in temper and purpose ... no longer sympathetic, or even kindly," but "harsh, petulant and unreasonable." Near the end of the interview, there was a colloquy, in which the President reminded the Senator of murders in Massachusetts and assaults in Boston as an offset to outrages in the South visited on Negroes and white Union men, under the inspiration of political or race animosity. The two parted that evening not to meet again — the senator leaving "with the painful conviction that the President's whole soul was set as a flint against the good cause, and that by assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the rebellion had vaulted into the Presidential chair."24

Meantime, the Massachusetts Republican convention approved Negro suffrage as a condition of Reconstruction, and they were followed by Vermont, Iowa, and Minnesota. The other Republican conventions were not explicit, but the conviction grew in the North that state governments in the South, which would curb the political power of ex-Confederates and insure the freedom of Negroes, could not be established without Negro suffrage.

Sumner led in spreading this opinion, stressing naturally the rights of Negroes. He wrote to Mr. Bright, November 14:

"The President's 'experiment' appears to be breaking down; but at what fearful cost! The Rebels have once more been put on their legs; the freedmen and the Unionists are down. This is very sad. I cannot be otherwise than unhappy as I think of it. Our session is uncertain. Nobody can tell certainly what pressure the President will bring to bear on Congress, and how Congress can stand it. I think that Congress will insist upon time — this will be our first demand, and then generally upon adequate guarantees. There are unpleasant stories from Washington; but we must persevere to the end."25

In October, Johnson began openly to argue against Negro suffrage. In an interview with George L. Stearns of Massachusetts, he reminded him that Negro suffrage could not have been argued in the North seven years before and that the South must have time to understand its new position.

"If I interfered with the vote in the rebel states, to dictate that no Negro shall vote, I might do the same for my own purpose in Pennsylvania. Our only safety lies in allowing each state to control the right of voting by its own laws, and we have the power to control the rebel states if they go wrong....

"My position here is different from what it would be if I were in Tennessee. There I should try to introduce Negro suffrage gradually; first, those who had served in the army; those who could read and write; and perhaps a property qualification for others, say $200 or $250. It would not do to let the Negro have universal suffrage now; it would breed a war of races."26

He went on to develop this thesis which was a favorite one with him: that Negroes and poor whites naturally hated each other; and that the outrages in the South were chiefly of poor whites on Negroes, and Negroes on poor whites; and if suffrage was given the Negro, he would vote with the master and thus precipitate a race war in the South. That there was truth in this fear, the subsequent history of Reconstruction proved; but it did not turn out as Andrew Johnson anticipated.

Johnson had little knowledge of Negroes; although he had owned a few slaves, he accepted most of the current Southern patterns. He believed that the Negro was lazy and could not survive freedom. He was afraid he might be tempted to lawlessness and insurrection. He spoke to certain colored folk May 11, 1865, according to the Philadelphia Press of May 20, and stated that he had to "deplore the existence of an idea among them that they have nothing to do but to fall back upon the government for support in order that they may be taken care of in idleness and debauchery." October 10, 1865, he talked to the First Colored Regiment of the District of Columbia troops who had recently returned from the South. He congratulated them on serving with patience and endurance and exhorted them to be tranquil and peaceful now that the war was ended:

"Freedom is not a mere idea.... Freedom is not simply the principle to live in idleness. Liberty does not mean merely to resort to the low saloons and other places of disreputable character. Freedom and liberty does not mean that people ought to live in licentiousness; but liberty means simply to be industrious and to be virtuous, to be upright in all our deals and relations with men.... You must give evidence that you are competent for the rights that the government has guaranteed you....

"The institution of slavery is overthrown. But another part remains to be solved, and that is, can four millions of people, reared as they have been, with all the prejudices of the whites — can they take their places in the community, and be made to work harmoniously and congruously in our system? This is a problem to be considered. Are the digestive powers of the American government sufficient to receive this element in a new shape, and digest it and make it work healthfully upon the system that has incorporated it?"

He then hinted at colonization of the Negro population:

"If it should be so that the two races cannot agree and live in peace and prosperity, and the laws of Providence require that they should be separated — in that event, looking to the far distant future, and trusting in God that it may never come — if it should come, Providence, that works mysteriously, but unerringly and certainly, will point out the way, and the mode, and the manner by which these people are to be separated, and they are to be taken to their land of inheritance and promise, for such a one is before them. Hence we are making the experiment."27

Congress met in December, 1865, with the determination to control the reconstruction of the Union. And in this there is no question but that Congress was right. If the nation was going backward to the same status in which it was before the war, it was conceivable that this might be done by executive action. But there were two tremendous changes that made this unthinkable: one was the abolition of slavery, and the other was the new political power which the emancipation of these slaves would confer upon the South. Moreover, there appeared from the South, demanding seats at the opening of Congress, the Vice-President of the Confederacy, four Confederate generals, five Confederate colonels, six Confederate cabinet officers, and fifty-eight Confederate Congressmen, none of whom was able to take the oath of allegiance. "The case of Alex H. Stephens, late Vice-president of the Confederacy, was especially aggravating. Four months before he had been a prisoner at Fort Warren. Pardoned by the President, he waited not a moment to repent and returned to Georgia, was elected to the United States Senate, and was now asking admission — asking to govern the country he had been trying to destroy."28 Moreover one of the worst of the new black codes was passed in Mississippi in November.

Thaddeus Stevens took immediate lead. He called in caucus twenty or thirty of his followers, December 1; on December 2, the Republican caucus met, and Stevens submitted his plan:

1. To claim the whole question of Reconstruction as the exclusive business of Congress.

2. To regard the steps taken by the President as only provisional.

3. Each House to postpone consideration of the admission of members from Southern states.

4. And that a Joint Committee of Fifteen be appointed to inquire into the condition of the former Confederate states.

Without waiting even for the reception of the President's message, Stevens proposed in the House a resolution for a Joint Committee of Fifteen members of the House and Senate to "inquire into the condition of the states which formed the so-called Confederate States of America, and report whether they or any of them are entitled to be represented in either House of Congress, with leave to report at any time by bill or otherwise; and until such report shall have been made and finally acted upon by Congress, no member shall be received into either House from any of the said so-called Confederate States; and all papers relating to the representation of the said states shall be referred to the said committee without debate."29

By vote of 129-35 with 18 not voting, the rules were suspended and this resolution passed. This was the first test of political strength in the new Congress.

The Senate did not take up the matter until December 12. The joint resolution was changed to a concurrent resolution in order to make the approval of the President unnecessary. The section of the resolution concerning the reception of members and reference of all papers was objected to and the resolution was amended so as to direct the committee "to inquire into the condition of the States which formed the so-called Confederate States of America, and report whether they, or any of them, are entitled to be represented in either House of Congress, with leave to report at any time by bill or otherwise."30

This amended form the House concurred in, but passed another House resolution to admit no Southern members, and to refer all motions and papers. Eventually, Stevens had his way, and after Johnson's speech of February 22, the Senate assented to excluding representatives from the South until both Houses agreed.

Industry was uneasy at the Stevens plan. The New York Herald claimed it created lack of business confidence North and South. Such a lack of confidence, of course, would hinder economic development in the South, and to that extent limit New York's commercial prosperity. Commerce was especially alarmed lest Thaddeus Stevens should use his machine for carrying out his scheme of confiscation of Southern lands. Such wholesale confiscation, capital could not contemplate. Local harmony, law and order, the development of the vast industrial resources of the South, seemed wisest in New York.

Johnson, in his message of December 4, began an extraordinary series of state papers which he could never have written all by himself.

"Johnson's state papers, including vetoes, were uniformly in good temper, conservative, historical and well considered. In the preparation of them he made use of every person on whom he could lay his hands. Bancroft wrote the first message to Congress; Jerre Black, the hero of Ex Parte Milligan, wrote the Reconstruction veto; Seward, the precise scholar, supervised much that the President wrote; Stanton, the practical lawyer, wrote the bill to admit North Carolina and other states into the Union in 1865; the Attorney-General, Welles, Secretary of the Navy, and other members of the cabinet he frequently used."31

In his first message, he forecast the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, which, in fact, occurred December 18th. He explained that because of this anticipated abolition of slavery, he had proceeded to begin reorganization of the states and admission to their full rights in the Union. He knew that this policy was attended with some risk but the risk must be taken:

"The relations of the General Government towards the four millions of inhabitants whom the war has called into freedom has engaged my most serious consideration. On the propriety of attempting to make the freedmen electors by the proclamation of the Executive, I took for my counsel the Constitution itself, the interpretation of that instrument by its authors and their contemporaries, and recent legislation by Congress. When, at the first movement towards independence, the Congress of the United States instructed the several States to institute governments of their own, they left each State to decide for itself the conditions for the enjoyment of the elective franchise.... Moreover, a concession" of the elective franchise to the freedmen, by act of the President of the United States, must have been extended to all colored men, wherever found, and so must have established a change of suffrage in the Northern, Middle, and Western States, not less than in the Southern and Southwestern. Such an act would have created a new class of voters, and would have been an assumption of power by the President which nothing in the Constitution or laws of the United States would have warranted.

"On the other hand, every danger of conflict is avoided when the settlement of the question is referred to the several States. They can, each for itself, decide on the measure, and whether it is to be adopted at once and absolutely, or introduced gradually and with conditions. .In my judgment, the freedmen, if they show patience and manly virtues, will sooner obtain a participation in the elective franchise through the States than through the General Government, even if it had power to intervene. When the tumult of emotions that have been raised by the suddenness of the social change shall have subsided, it may prove that they will receive the kindliest usage from some of those on whom they have heretofore most closely depended.

"But while I have no doubt that now, after the close of the war, it is not competent for the General Government to extend the elective franchise in the several States, it is equally clear that good faith requires the security of the freedmen in their liberty and in their property, their right to labor, and their right to claim the just return of their labor. I cannot too strongly urge a dispassionate treatment of this subject, which should be carefully kept aloof from all party strife. We must equally avoid hasty assumptions of any natural impossibility for the two races to live side by side, in a state of mutual benefit and good will. The experiment involves us in no inconsistency; let us, then, go on and make that experiment in good faith, and not be too easily disheartened. The country is in need of labor, and the freedmen are in need of work, culture, and protection."

And then came a characteristic turn of thought: "While their right of voluntary migration and expatriation is not to be questioned, I would not advise their forced removal and colonization."

Here President Johnson was clearly envisaging the extinction or voluntary removal of four million laborers in the South, and the settlement of the problem of their presence in the United States by replacing them with white labor. On the other hand, he seemed anxious to have them protected in their present new status and it was understood, both from the message and from other sources, that the President was in favor of continuing the Freedmen's Bureau.

The temper of Congress was firm. What should be done in Reconstruction was a matter for deliberation, thought and care. It could not be settled by the Southern leaders who brought on the crisis, working alone in conjunction with the President and his cabinet. On the other hand, what the nation wanted was by no means clear. There was among its millions no one mind. There was among its various groups no unanimity.

The mind of Thaddeus Stevens evolved a course of action. This plan was to set up at least temporarily a cabinet form of responsible government in the United States: to put in power a camarilla of representatives of the various sections, groups and parties, who, by deliberation and inquiry, would find out what action could command a majority in the House and in the Senate. This in itself was the beginning of a momentous change in our government, a change unfortunately, never carried completely through; and the failure to carry it through has hampered the United States government ever since.

The original idea of the Congress was a small, deliberative assembly in two Houses which should think and argue matters through, and then have their decisions enforced by the Executive, and coordinated and clarified by a Supreme Court. But Congress grew to unwieldy size; the Executive grew in prestige and power, until during the Civil War, he became a dictator, while the Supreme Court was destined to assume powers which would at times threaten to stop the progress of the nation, almost without appeal.

Moreover, the contingency of an Executive, who far from being the servant of a congressional majority was antagonistic and even a contradictory source of authority and action, never occurred to the fathers. They did not intend to have the President a mere mouthpiece of Congress, and, for this reason, they gave him the message and the veto; but on the other hand, they never conceived that he should be in himself both executive and lawgiver and yet this he practically was during and after the Civil War; he exemplified at the time of Andrew Johnson a new and extraordinary situation in which the President of the United States in vital particulars was opposed to the overwhelming majority of the party in Congress which had elected him, and refused in effect to do their will.

This had to be remedied, and for this, the Committee of Fifteen, on the motion of Thaddeus Stevens, came into being in the 39th Congress. It was government on the English parliamentary model with two modifications: it was responsible to two Houses instead of to one, which enormously delayed and complicated its functioning; and it contained representatives of the opposition party — although this representation was often nullified through caucuses and sub-committees.

It was the business of the Committee of Fifteen to see how the government of the United States was to be changed after the war, from its form before the war; and this involved, first, some change in the basis of popular representation; secondly, a clarification of the status of the Negro; and finally it brought a modification of the relation of the national government to state government, not simply in civil rights but even more in industry and labor. It was through the first and second that the majority, which eventually dominated the 39th Congress, gained its moral power. It was through the third that the moral power was implemented.

Stevens was too astute a politician to stress first the moral foundation of his argument. In his first speech, as leader of the 39th Congress, he placed his main argument on representation, because he knew that that would appeal to the men sitting in front of him, and representing national wealth and industry.

In December, 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment was adopted, a curious result followed: twenty-nine Representatives were added to the South. Since the adoption of the Constitution, the basis of congressional representation had been the free population, including free Negroes and three-fifths of the slaves. Stevens said that with this basis of representation unchanged, "The eighty-three Southern members, with the Democrats, that will in the best times be elected from the North, will always give them a majority in Congress and in the Electoral College. They will at the very first election take possession of the White House and the halls of Congress. I need not depict the ruin that would follow. Assumption of the rebel debt or repudiation of the Federal debt would be sure to follow. The oppression of the freedmen; the reamendment of their State constitutions, and the reestablishment of slavery would be the inevitable result. That they would scorn and disregard their present constitutions, forced upon them in the midst of martial law, would be both natural and just. No one who has any regard for freedom of elections can look upon those governments, forced upon them in duress, with any favor."

This was the cogent, clear argument of Thaddeus Stevens, the politician. But Thaddeus Stevens was never a mere politician. He cared nothing for constitutional subtleties nor even for political power. He was a stern believer in democracy, both in politics and in industry, and he made his second argument turn on the economic freedom of the slave.

"We have turned, or are about to turn, loose four million slaves without a hut to shelter them or a cent in their pockets. The infernal laws of slavery have prevented them from acquiring an education, understanding the commonest laws of contract, or of managing the ordinary business life. This Congress is bound to provide for them until they can take care of themselves. If we do not furnish them with homesteads, and hedge them around with protective laws; if we leave them to the legislation of their late masters, we had better have left them in bondage."

He then resolutely went further in a defense of pure democracy, although he knew that in this argument he was venturing far beyond the practical beliefs of his auditors:

"Governor Perry of South Carolina and other provisional governors and orators proclaim that 'this is the white man's government.'... Demagogues of all parties, even some high in authority, gravely shout, 'this is the white man's government.' What is implied by this? That one race of men are to have the exclusive rights forever to rule this nation, and to exercise all acts of sovereignty, while all other races and nations and colors are to be their subjects, and have no voice in making the laws and choosing the rulers by whom they are to be governed....

"Our fathers repudiated the whole doctrine of the legal superiority of families or races, and proclaimed the equality of men before the law. Upon that they created a revolution and built the Republic. They were prevented by slavery from perfecting the superstructure whose foundation they had thus broadly laid. For the sake of the Union they consented to wait, but never relinquished the idea of its final completion.

"The time to which they looked forward with anxiety has come. It is our duty to complete their work. If this Republic is not now made to stand on their great principles, it has no honest foundation, and the Father of all men will still shake it to its center. If we have not yet been sufficiently scourged for our national sin to teach us to do justice to all God's creatures, without distinction of race or color, we must expect the still more heavy vengeance of an offended Father....

"This is not a white man's Government, in the exclusive sense in which it is used. To say so is political blasphemy, for it violates the fundamental principles of our gospel of liberty. This is Man's Government, the Government of all men alike; not that all men will have equal power and sway within it. Accidental circumstances, natural and acquired endowment and ability, will vary their fortunes. But equal rights to all the privileges of the Government is innate in every immortal being, no matter what the shape or color of the tabernacle which it inhabits....

"Sir, this doctrine of a white man's Government is as atrocious as the infamous sentiment that damned the late Chief Justice to everlasting fame; and, I fear, to everlasting fire."32

The ensuing debate in the House and Senate flamed over all creation, but it started with a note of moral triumph. The newly elected Speaker declared: "The fires of civil war have broken every fetter in the land and proved the funeral pyre of slavery." The chaplain of the Senate increased this moral afflatus with religious fervor, thankful that "the statue of Freedom now looks down from our capital upon an entire nation of free men, and that we are permitted by the dispensation of Thy Providence, and the way being prepared, to give liberty to the captive, the opening of the prison to them that are bound, and to proclaim the acceptable year of our God."

The chaplain of the House said: "O God, we stand today on the soil of a nation which is, not alone by inference or report, but by the solemn announcement of the constituted authorities, declared free in every part and parcel of its territory. Blessed be Thy name, O God, for Thy wonderful ending of this terrible conflict!"

Congressional amendments of every sort poured into Congress concerning the national and Confederate debt, the civil rights of freedmen, the establishment of republican government, the basis of representation, payment for slaves and the future powers of Federal government and the states. Argument swirled in a maelstrom of logic. No matter where it started, and how far afield in legal metaphysics it strayed, always it returned and had to return to two focal points: Shall the South be rewarded for unsuccessful secession by increased political power; and: Can the freed Negro be a part of American democracy?

Thither all argument again and again returned; but it tried desperately to crowd out these real points by appealing to higher constitutional metaphysics. This constitutional argument was astonishing. Around and around it went in dizzy, silly dialectics. Here were grown, sensible men arguing about a written form of government adopted ninety years before, when men did not believe that slavery could outlive their generation in this country, or that civil war could possibly be its result; when no man foresaw the Industrial Revolution or the rise of the Cotton Kingdom; and yet now, with incantation and abracadabra, the leaders of a nation tried to peer back into the magic crystal, and out of a bit of paper called the Constitution, find eternal and immutable law laid down for their guidance forever and ever, Amen!

They knew perfecdy well that no such omniscient law existed or ever had existed. Yet, in order to conceal the fact, they twisted and distorted and argued: these states are dead; but states can never die. These states have gone out of the Union; but states can never go out of the Union, and to prevent this we fought and won a war; but while we were fighting, these states were certainly not in the Union, else why did we fight? And how now may they come back? They are already back because they were never really out. Then what were we fighting for? For union. But we had union and we have got union, only these constituent states are dead and we must bring them to life. But states never die. Then they have forfeited statehood and become territories. But statehood cannot be forfeited; conspirators within the states interfered, and now the interference has stopped. But as long as the interference lasted, there was surely no union. Oh, yes, only it did not function; we need not now provide for its functioning again, for the Constitution already provides for that.

Where was the Constitution during the war? But the war is ended; and now the Constitution prevails; unless the Constitution prevails, this is no nation, there is no President; we have no real Congress, since it does not represent the nation. But who represented the nation during the war? And by that token, who saved the nation and killed slavery? Shall the nation that saved the nation now surrender its power to rebels who fought to preserve slavery? There are no rebels! The South is loyal and slavery is dead. How can the loyalty of the South be guaranteed, and has the black slave been made really free? Freedom is a matter of state right. So was secession. Must we fight that battle over again? Yes, if you try to make monkeys equal to men. What caused the war but your own insistence that men were at once monkeys and real estate? Gentlemen, gentlemen, and fellow Americans, let us have peace! But what is peace? Is it slavery of all poor men, and increased political power for the slaveholders? Do you want to wreak vengeance on the conquered and the unfortunate? Do you want to reward rebellion by increased power to rebels?

And so on, around and around, and up and down, day after day, week after week, with only here and there a keen, straight mind to cut the cobwebs and to say in effect with Seward through Johnson: Damn the Nigger; let us settle down to work and trade! Or to declare with Stevens and Sumner: Make the slaves free with land, education and the ballot, and then let the South return to its place. Or to say with Blaine and Conkling and Bingham, not in words but in action: Guard property and industry; when their position is impregnable, let the South return; we will then hold it with black votes, until we capture it with white capital.

After all this blather, the nation and its Congress found itself back to the two plain problems: The basis of representation in Congress and the status of the Negro. When it came to the Negro, the old dogmatism leaped to the fore and would not down. Chandler of New York regarded Farnsworth's demand for Negro equality as not only an attack on foreigners but "an insult to white citizens." When the Constitution said "people," it meant "white people." And he stood for "the purity of the white race." Fink declared that Ohio would never let Negroes vote with his consent. This is "and of right ought to be a white man's government," said Boyer of Pennsylvania, and he declared that eighteen of the twenty-five states now represented in Congress would not let the Negro vote.

Yet the argument for freedom and democracy loomed high and clear. "Slavery, but a short time ago received as a God-given condition of men, has fallen under the banner of a purer morality, and come down with the curses of a Christian world. With the fall of slavery must also fall the things pertaining thereto. The master who yesterday had his heel upon the neck of his slave, today meets that slave upon the level of common equality.... The Negro should be carefully considered in this question of Reconstruction, for after all we are our brother's keeper and we must see that even-handed justice is meted out to the black man if possible."

Woodbridge of Vermont declared: "New social and political relations have been established. Four million people have been born in a day. The shackles have been stricken from four million chattels, and they have become in an hour living, thinking, moving, responsible beings, and citizens of these United States. And if Congress does not do something to provide for these people, if they do not prove equal to their duty, and come up to their work like men, the condition of the people will be worse than before."

The South represented by the Border States had to confine itself to constitutional metaphysics, or else blurt out, as some of its spokesmen did, a new defense of the old slavery. The West, on the other hand, had a real and disturbing argument and it was voiced by Voorhees in his dramatic attempt to drive a wedge between Johnson and the Republicans. He said, January 6, 1866:

"How long can the inequalities of our present revenue system be borne? How long will the poor and laborious pay tribute to the rich and the idle? We have two great interests in this country, one of which has prostrated the other. The past four years of suffering and war has been the opportune harvest of the manufacturer. The looms and machine shops of New England and the iron furnaces of Pennsylvania have been more prolific of wealth to their owners than the most dazzling gold mines of the earth....

"They are the results of class legislation, of a monopoly of trade established by law. It may be said that they indicate prosperity. Most certainly they do; but it is the prosperity of one who obtains the property of his neighbor without any equivalent in return. The present law of tariff is being rapidly understood. It is no longer a deception, but rather a well-defined and clearly-recognized outrage. The agricultural labor of the land is driven to the counters o£ the most gigantic monopoly ever before sanctioned by law. From its exorbitant demands there is no escape. The European manufacturer is forbidden our ports of trade for fear he might sell his goods at cheaper rates and thus relieve the burden of the consumer. We have declared by law that there is but one market in which our citizens shall go to make their purchases, and we have left it to the owners of the markets to fix their own prices."33

This was another unanswerable argument. But, having made it, what was Voorhees' remedy? His logical remedy would have been to unite the industrial democracy of the West with the abolition-democracy of the East in order to fight oligarchy in Northern industry and the attempt to reestablish agricultural oligarchy in the South. Yet this was farthest from his intention. His immediate effort was to embarrass and split the Republicans by forcing them to endorse or repudiate their own President and leader; his ultimate program, if he had one, was to seek with Andrew Johnson to restore oligarchy in the South with a dominant planter class and serfdom for the emancipated Negroes. This was unthinkable, and it deprived the radical West of all moral sympathy and voting power which its economic revolt deserved.

What was it the nation wanted? Charles Sumner told the nation what it ought to want, but there was no doubt but that it did not yet want this. Thaddeus Stevens knew what the nation ought to want, but as a practical politician his business was to see how much of this he could get enacted into actual law.

There came before the 39th Congress some 140 different proposals to change the Constitution of the United States, including 45 on apportionment, 31 on civil and political rights, and 13 forbidding payment for slaves. Over half of these affected the status of the freedmen. Before the Committee of Fifteen could sift these and settle to its larger task of fixing the future basis of representation and the degree of national guardianship which Negro freedmen called for, there seemed to be two measures upon which public opinion in the North was so far crystallized that legislation might safely be attempted. These were: a permanent Freedmen's Bureau, and a bill to protect the civil rights of Negroes. On the first day of business of the 39th Congress, there were introduced into the Senate two bills on these subjects.

The Civil Rights Bill was taken up December 13, but Sherman of Ohio reminded the Senate that there was scarcely a state in the Union that did not make distinctions on account of color, and wished, therefore, to postpone action until the Thirteenth Amendment had been adopted. Saulsbury of Maryland called it "an insane effort to elevate the African race to the dignity of the white race," and claimed that the Thirteenth Amendment would carry no such power as Sherman assumed.

Trumbull of Illinois, on the contrary, declared that the second section of the Thirteenth Amendment as reported by his committee was drawn "for the very purpose of conferring upon Congress authority to see that the first section was carried out in good faith, and for none other; and I hold that under that second section Congress will have the authority, when the constitutional amendment is adopted, not only to pass the bill of the Senator from Massachusetts, but a bill that will be much more efficient to protect the freedman in his rights. We may, if deemed advisable, continue the Freedmen's Bureau, clothe it with additional powers, and if necessary back it up with a military force, to see that the rights of the men made free by the first clause of the constitutional amendment are protected. And, sir, when the constitutional amendment shall have been adopted, if the information from the South be that the men whose liberties are secured by it are deprived of the privilege to go and come when they please, to buy and sell when they please, to make contracts and enforce contracts, I give notice that, if no one else does, I shall introduce a bill and urge its passage through Congress that will secure to those men every one of these rights: they would not be freemen without them."34

Congress asked the President for the specific facts concerning the situation in the South. The President replied with the report of General Grant, containing the superficial results of a hasty, five-day trip, and disingenuously tried to suppress the report of Carl Schurz, undoubtedly the most thorough-going and careful inquiry into the situation just after the war that had been made. Sumner expressed his indignation and the evident need of a civil rights bill.

"When I think of what occurred yesterday in this Chamber; when I call to mind the attempt to whitewash the unhappy condition of the rebel States, and to throw the mantle of official oblivion over sickening and heart-rending outrages, where Human Rights are sacrificed and rebel Barbarism receives a new letter of license, I feel that I ought to speak of nothing else. I stood here years ago, in the days of Kansas, when a small community was surrendered to the machinations of slave-masters. I now stand here again, when, alas! an immense region, with millions of people, has been surrendered to the machinations of slave-masters. Sir, it is the duty of Congress to stress this fatal fury. Congress must dare to be brave; it must dare to be just."35

He claimed that the Civil Rights Bill aimed "simply to carry out and maintain the Proclamation of Emancipation, by which this republic is solemnly pledged to maintain the emancipated slave in his freedom. Such is our pledge: 'and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons.' This pledge is without any limitation in space or time. It is as extended and as immortal as the Republic itself. Does anybody call it vain words? I trust not. To that pledge we are solemnly bound. Wherever our flag floats as long as time endures we must see that it is sacredly observed.

"But the performance of that pledge cannot be entrusted to another; least of all, can it be entrusted to the old slave-masters, embittered against their slaves. It must be performed by the National Government. The power that gave freedom must see that this freedom is maintained. This is according to reason. It is also according to the examples of history. In the British West Indies we find this teaching. Three of England's greatest orators and statesmen, Burke, Canning, and Brougham, at successive periods, united in declaring, from the experience in the British West Indies, that whatever the slave-masters undertook to do for their slaves was always 'arrant trifling,' and that, whatever might be its plausible form, it always wanted 'the executive principle.' More recently the Emperor of Russia, when ordering Emancipation, declared that all efforts of his predecessors in this direction had failed because they had been left to 'the spontaneous initiative of the proprietors.' I might say much more on this head but this is enough. I assume that no such blunder will be made on our part; that we shall not leave to the old proprietors the maintenance of that freedom to which we are pledged, and thus break our own promises and sacrifice a race."

But Congress was not yet ready for this high ground and Sumner's scheme was widely criticized. Whitelaw Reid, in a letter to the Cincinnati Gazette, March 3, 1868, recalled the profound surprise and bitterness of feeling with which Sumner's remarks were received by Senators. Republican journals and leaders within the inner circles of the party were hostile.36

The Republicans were, especially, afraid of any split with the President lest this bring the Democrats into power; Forney of the Philadelphia Press begged Sumner to yield for the sake of harmony within the great political army in which he had been "a conscientious and courageous leader."

Protests against President Johnson's policy were therefore slow in expression. The nation was weary of war and objected to military administration in the South. Capitalists wanted pacification of the Southern territory to open a market closed for four years. They wanted any method which would bring the quickest results. Moreover, Republicans held some of the largest states of the North by narrow majorities. Any unpopular step might put the Democrats in power. Officeholders did not want to break with Johnson and candidates for office were timid.

Congress made in effect the first overture to the South and instead of forcing civil and possibly political rights, turned to take up the bill which proposed government guardianship and tutelage for the blacks. The Civil Rights Bill was postponed and the Freedmen's Bureau Bill, which Johnson's message seemed to accept, was substituted. This was introduced as an amendment to the act of March 3, 1865, and contained the following propositions: (1) That the bureau should continue in force until abolished by law; (2) That it should embrace the whole country wherever there were freedmen and refugees; (3) That bureau officials should have annual salaries of $500 to $1,200; (4) That the President should set apart for the use of freedmen and loyal refugees unoccupied lands in the South, to be allotted in parcels not exceeding forty acres each; (5) That the titles granted in pursuance of General Sherman's orders of January 16, 1865, be made valid; (6) That the commissioner procure land and erect suitable buildings as asylums and schools for dependent freedmen and refugees; (7) That it be the duty of the President to extend military protection and jurisdiction over all cases where any of the civil rights or immunities belonging to white persons, including the rights to make and enforce contracts, to give evidence, to inherit, buy, sell and hold property, etc., are refused or denied by local law, prejudice on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude; or where different punishments or penalties are inflicted than are prescribed for white persons committing like offenses; (8) That it be made a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of f 1,000 or imprisonment for one year or both, for anyone depriving another of the above rights on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude. These last sections were to apply to those states or districts where ordinary judicial proceedings had been interfered with by war.37

The bill was opposed as establishing a permanent bureau instead of a war-time emergency institution. Its great power was criticized and it was declared that its expense would be enormous. There were special objections to the validation of land titles under Sherman's orders and to the section on civil rights. It was defended as being not necessarily permanent; as in accordance with our Indian policy; and as not being expensive, since it was manned by army officers. It passed the Senate in January, 1866, by a vote of 37-10.

In the House, Thaddeus Stevens tried to strengthen the bill by the most thorough-going provisions for government guardianship yet proposed. These provisions directed that food, clothes, medical attention and transportation be furnished white refugees and black freed-men and their families; that public land be set aside in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas, and also from forfeited estates, to the extent of three million acres of good land; and that this should be parceled out to loyal white refugees and black freed-men at a rental not to exceed ten cents an acre; and that at the end of a certain period this land be sold to the applicants at a price not to exceed two dollars an acre. The occupants of land, under Sherman's order, were confirmed in their possession, unless the former owner proved his title, and in that case, other land at the rate of forty acres a farm should be given to the applicant. The bureau was to erect buildings for asylums and schools, and provide a common school education for all white refugees and freedmen who applied. This thoroughgoing substitute unhappily was lost.

The bill which finally passed the House, February 6, extended the power of the Freedmen's Bureau to freedmen throughout the whole United States and provided for food and clothing for the destitute, a distribution of public lands among freedmen and white refugees in parcels not exceeding forty acres each at a nominal rent and with an eventual chance of purchasing. The land assigned by Sherman was to be held for three years and then, if restored, other lands secured by rent or purchase. School buildings and asylums were to be erected when Congress appropriated the money. Full civil rights were to be enforced, and punishment was provided for those thwarting the civil rights of Negroes.

This bill encountered strong opposition, especially from the Border States. Saulsbury of Delaware deliberately reiterated his contention that Congress had no right to abolish slavery, even if three-fourths of the states assented! With minor changes the bill was accepted by the Senate, February 9, and thus the first great measure of Reconstruction went to the President. Southern slavery had now been definitely abolished by constitutional amendment, and government guardianship of the Negro with land and court protection was assured by a permanent Freedmen's Bureau.

What was the answer of the South to this? Where were Southern brains and leadership? Why did so many hide, like Toombs? Why did the South have to trust its guidance to a half-educated, poor white President and a New York corporation lawyer? Suppose a Southern leader had appeared at that time and had said frankly: "We propose to make the Negro actually free in his right to work, his legal status, and his personal safety. We are going to allow him to get, on easy terms, homesteads, so as gradually to replace the plantation system with peasant proprietors; and we are going to provide him and our poor whites with elementary schools. And when in time, he is able to read and write and accumulate a minimum of property, then, and not until then, he can cast a vote and be represented in Congress."

What was there so wild and revolutionary, so unthinkable, about a manly declaration of this sort? But a native of Alabama knew that this attitude was entirely lacking: "I do not think that Congress should wait for the people of the South to make regulations by which, at some future time, the Negroes will be provided with homes, have their rights as freemen acknowledged, be given a participation in civil rights, and be made a part of the framework of the country. They will not do that; you need not wait for it. If Congress can constitutionally commence a system of educating and elevating the Negroes, let them do it, and not wait for the people of the South to do it."38

It is nonsense to say that the South knew nothing about the capabilities of the Negro race. Southerners knew Negroes far better than Northerners. There was not a single Negro slave owner who did not know dozens of Negroes just as capable of learning and efficiency as the mass of poor white people around and about, and some quite as capable as the average slaveholder. They had continually in the course of the history of slavery recognized such men. Here and there teachers and preachers to white folks as well as colored folks had arisen. Artisans and even artists had been recognized. Some of these colored folks were blood relatives of the white slaveholders: brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. They had sometimes been given land, transported to the North or to Europe, freed and encouraged.

Of course, the Southerners believed such persons to be exceptional, but all that was asked of them at this time was to recognize the possibility of exceptions. To such a reasonable offer the nation could and would have responded. It could have paid for the Negro's land and education. It could have contributed to relief and restoration of the South. Instead of that came a determination to reestablish slavery, murder, arson and flogging; a dogmatic opposition to Negro education and decent legal status; determination to have political power based on voteless Negroes, and no vote to any Negro under any circumstances.

This showed the utter absence of common sense in the leadership of the South. Their attitude was expressed best, however, not by a Southerner but by William H. Seward, and it came in the shape of a veto to the Freedmen's Bureau Bill. If this veto had applied to a civil rights bill or to a bill providing for Negro suffrage, it would have been much more logical; but to veto a bill for the guardianship of Negroes, even though that bill carried and had to carry a defense of civil rights, was reactionary to the last degree. The veto was a shrewd document, as was every argument written by that master of subtle logic. The President was made to say:

"I share with Congress the strongest desire to secure to the freed-men the full enjoyment of their freedom and property and their entire independence and equality in making contracts for their labor." But he objected to the bill because it was "unconstitutional"; because the bureau was permanent; because it did for the colored people what had never been done for white people; because it confiscated land, and because its cost would be prodigious. It was unconstitutional, because it extended jurisdiction all over the United States, and gave the Bureau judicial power in that jurisdiction. It was made permanent in spite of the fact that slavery had been abolished. Conceive a President, born a poor white laborer, saying:

"Congress has never felt itself authorized to spend public money for renting homes for white people honestly toiling day and night, and it was never intended that freedmen should be fed, clothed, educated and sheltered by the United States. The idea upon which slaves were assisted to freedom was that they become a self-sustaining population."

The bureau, he said, would be costly. During war times, we had already spent $5,876,272 for the relief of Negroes, and $2,047,297 for the relief of whites. For 1866, the present bureau needed $11,745,000. Now we are planning to spend money for land and education which will double this sum. The bill proposes to take away land from former owners without due process of law. Finally, comes this extraordinary economic philosophy for serfs:

"Undoubtedly, the freedman should be protected, but he should be protected by the civil authorities, especially by the exercise of all constitutional powers of the courts of the United States and of the states." His condition* is not so bad. His labor is in demand, and he can change his dwelling place if one community or state does not please him. The laws that regulate supply and demand will regulate his wages. The freedmen can protect themselves, and being free, they could be self-sustaining, capable of selecting their own employment, insisting on proper wages, and establishing and maintaining their own asylums and schools.

"It is earnestly hoped that, instead of wasting away, they will, by their own efforts, establish for themselves a condition of responsibility and" prosperity. It is certain that they can attain that condition only through their own merits and exertions."

This was the answer of Andrew Johnson and William H. Seward to the Freedmen's Bureau Bill. Practically, it said that the Negroes do not need protection. They are free. Let them go to work, earn wages, and support their own schools. Their civil rights and political rights must depend entirely upon their former masters, and the United States has no constitutional authority to interfere to help them. As Stevens said later, the President himself favored confiscation of Southern land for the poor when he was "clothed and in his right mind."39

It was an astonishing pronouncement. It was the American Assumption, of the possibility of labor's achieving wealth, applied with a vengeance to landless slaves under caste conditions. The very strength of its logic was the weakness of its common sense.

Yet, Andrew Johnson was the President of the United States. He was the leader of the Republican party which had just won the war. He declared in the face of an astounding array of testimony to the contrary, that the South was peaceful and loyal, and the slaves really free. Congress did not believe the President or agree with him, but some were not yet prepared to break with him. Six Republicans deserted their party and voted to uphold the veto. The result was that by a vote of 30-18, the attempt to over-ride the President's veto failed. The rift made in the Republican party was wide. On the one side stood abolition-democracy in curious alliance with triumphant Northern industry, both united in self-defense against Johnson and the South. This Northern unity, Johnson and Seward intended to disrupt, and did so in part when the veto of the Freedmen's Bureau Bill was sustained. Seward followed this by an appeal for the quick resumption of peace and industry, and Johnson made an appeal to labor unrest and Western radicals. But here again, there was no natural union and this Seward knew. His defense, therefore, of Johnson's plan was intended to soothe both industry and abolition without stressing radicalism.

Washington's Birthday had been fixed upon by the President's friends for a grand demonstration. The New York Aldermen endorsed the President's "conservative, liberal, enlightened, and Christian policy," with "one hundred guns salute on February 21 and one hundred on February 22." Johnson was declared "greater than 'Old Hickory.'" "He was on the highest pinnacle of the mount of fame"; "his feet were planted on the Constitution of his country"; "he was a modern edition of Andrew Jackson bound in calf." "Indeed, it was said by the Radicals in reply to the Democratic fireworks that 'more powder was burned in honor of the veto by the Copperheads than they consumed during the four years of war.'"40

Seward said at Cooper Union:

"This, I think, is the difference between the President, who is a man of nerve, in the Executive chair at Washington, and the nervous men who are in the House of Representatives. Both have got the Union restored not with slavery, but without it; not with secession, flagrant or latent, but without it; not with compromise, but without it; not with disloyal states, or representatives, but with loyal states and representatives; not with Rebel debts, but without them; not with exemption from our own debts for suppressing the rebellion, but with equal liabilities upon the Rebels and the loyal men; not with freedmen and refugees abandoned to suffering and persecution, but with freedmen employed in productive, self-sustaining industry, with refugees under the protection of law and order. The man of nerve sees that it has come out right at last, and he accepts the situation.

"He does not forget that in this troublesome world of ours, the most to be secured by anybody is to have things come out right. Nobody can ever expect to have them brought out altogether in his own way. The nervous men, on the other hand, hesitate, delay, debate and agonize — not because it has not come out right, but because they have not individually had their own way in bringing it to a happy termination."

As to the Freedmen's Bureau Bill, he said: "I have not given prominence in these remarks to the conflict of opinion between the President and Congress in reference to the bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees. That conflict is, in its consequences, comparatively unimportant; it would excite little interest and produce little division if it stood alone. It is because it has become the occasion for revealing the difference that I have already described that it has attained the importance which seems to surround it."

He proceeded to point out that the present Freedmen's Bureau Bill had not expired and might not expire for another year and that, therefore, during the next year Congress might still prolong its existence. "Ought the President of the United States to be denounced in the house of his friends, for refusing in the absence of any necessity, to occupy or retain, and to exercise power greater than those which are exercised by any imperial magistrate in the world? Judge ye! I trust that this fault of declining imperial powers, too hastily tendered by a too confiding Congress, may be forgiven by a generous people."41

This was an adroit defense, but Johnson could not let well enough alone. He was deprived of his mentor and assuming his vivid role of stump speaker, possibly with a few stimulants, he felt called upon this same Washington's Birthday to reply to a committee which had waited upon him with resolutions. He was speaking after the Fourteenth Amendment in its first form had been reported to the House of Representatives and sent back to the Committee of Fifteen. With that as well as the vetoed Freedmen's Bureau Bill and the pending Civil Rights Bill in mind, he recited again his services to the Union during the war; he reminded his auditors that when rebellion manifested itself in the South, he stood by the government. He was for the Union with slavery; he was for the Union without slavery. In either alternative, he was for the government and the Constitution. Then he went on with the classic argument:

"You have been struggling for four years to put down a rebellion. You contended at the beginning of that struggle that a state had not a right to go out.... And when you determine by the executive, by the military and by the public judgment, that these States cannot have any right to go out, this committee turns around and assumes that they are out, and that they shall not come in.... I say that when the states that attempted to secede comply with the Constitution, and give sufficient evidence of loyalty, I shall extend to them the right hand of fellowship, and let peace and union be restored. I am opposed to the Davises, and Toombses, the Slidells, and the long list of such. But when I perceive, on the other hand, men ... still opposed to the Union, I am free to say to you that I am still with the people.... Suppose I should name to you those whom I look upon as being opposed to the fundamental principles of this Government, and now laboring to destroy them. I say Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania; I say Charles Sumner of Massachusetts; I say Wendell Phillips of Massachusetts."

Finally, Johnson became melodramatic: "Are they not satisfied with one martyr? Does not the blood of Lincoln appease the vengeance and wrath of the opponents of this Government? Is their thirst still unslaked? Do they want more blood? Have they not honor and courage enough to effect the removal of the Presidential obstacle otherwise than through the hands of the assassin? I am not afraid of assassins," etc., etc.42

Small wonder that the New York Tribune and the Philadelphia Press reported that Johnson was drunk when he made his speech; but the main cause of his drunkenness was not necessarily whiskey, it was constitutional inability to understand men and movements. This was not time to straddle on the slavery question; that question has been settled. The crucial question now was, what will the South do when it comes back to Congress; what will it do to Negroes, and even more important in the minds of many, what will it do to the new industry? The latter question struck deepest, but the former voiced itself loudest.

"The masses of the loyal people must be as agreed to arise against this veto of a measure, intended as a bulwark against slavery and treason, as they were on the night when the flag of the Union was first hauled down from Fort Sumter," said the Chicago Tribune.43

Congress immediately hit back with a concurrent resolution not to admit Southern Congressmen to either House until the status of the Southern states was settled. This had passed the House of Representatives after dilatory tactics February 20, but was not considered in the Senate until February 23, after Johnson's speech. It was passed after debate March 2, and thus Stevens' original resolution of December 4 was finally confirmed.

Here evidently there was small ground for compromise. Either Johnson must bow to the will of the majority of his party in Congress, or, led by him, the South would be in the saddle in 1866. Many who had criticized Sumner in December, now were on his side.

The President and the South, on the other hand, were greatly encouraged: despite the majority which the Republicans had in Congress, they could not override a Presidential veto; with the reaction that Johnson and the South expected at the next election, the Republicans would lose power and the South, united with Northern and Western Democracy, would rule. The Southerners resumed their drive to complete their black codes and their program of reducing the Negro to a servile caste.

The President, drunk with his new feeling of power, showed his entire misapprehension of the nature of the forces working against him. Congress girded itself for battle, not mainly because the virtual reenslavement of the Negro aroused them, but because this was the symptom of a reassertion of power on the part of the South which might affect the debt, the tariff and the national banking system.

The President and his supporters were going to insist upon the full political power of the South, unhampered by a Freedmen's Bureau or by Negro civil rights. Had it not been for the presence of the Negro, this attitude of the South could not have arisen. Never before in modern history has a conquered people treated their conqueror with such consummate arrogance. The South hid behind the darkness of the colored men and thumbed their noses at the nation.

For the Negro, Andrew Johnson did less than nothing, when once he realized that the chief beneficiary of labor and economic reform in the South would be freedmen. His inability to picture Negroes as men made him oppose efforts to give them land; oppose national efforts to educate them; and above all things, oppose their rights to vote. He even went so far as to change plans which he had thought out and announced before he faced the Negro problem. He once said that representation ought to be based on voters; but no sooner did he learn that Thaddeus Stevens advocated the same thing, than he became dumb on the subject, and had no advice to offer. He had advocated the confiscation of the land of the rich Southerners and penalties on wealth gained through slavery. When he realized that Negroes would be beneficiaries of any such action, he said not another word. He was a thick-and-thin advocate of universal suffrage in the hands of the laborer and common man, until he realized that some people actually thought that Negroes were men. He opposed monopoly on the New Jersey railroads, until Charles Sumner joined him.

The Civil Rights Bill which was taken up next made Negroes citizens of the United States and punished any person who deprived them of civil rights under any state law: "They shall have the same right in every State and Territory in the United States to make and enforce contracts; to sue, be parties and give evidence; to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property; and to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property as is enjoyed by the white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, and penalties, and to none other, any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, to the contrary notwithstanding."

It gave to the District Courts of the United States jurisdiction in crimes and ofifenses against the act, gave the power of arrest to United States marshals and District Attorneys, and provided fines and penalties.

David Bingham, of Ohio, brought up a difficulty. He reminded Congress that the first eight amendments to the Constitution could not be enforced by the Federal Government since they were held to be limitations upon the Federal power, and that, therefore, the power to punish offenses against life, liberty and property was one of the reserved powers of the state. He, therefore, suggested a constitutional amendment which would punish all violations of the bill of rights by state officers. He reminded the House that even when property had been taken by the states without due process of the law, there was no remedy in the Federal Courts, and that this had been affirmed in a recent case in Maryland. His proposal went to the Committee of Fifteen.

The Civil Rights Bill passed the Senate, was amended in the House, and was agreed to by both Houses, March 14, 1866. The debate on the Civil Rights Bill and the Freedmen's Bureau Bill made it clear that the emancipation of the slaves meant increased representation in Congress and in the Electoral College, whenever the Southern states were readmitted, and that this increase in power would take place whether the Negroes were enfranchised or not.

Moreover, the Civil Rights Act might be repealed; the United States might be made to pay all or a part of the Confederate debt, and Congress might repudiate the debt. The debate, therefore, on the Civil Rights Bill made the necessity of a constitutional amendment clear. On March 27, President Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights Bill with curious logic. He feared that under this bill Chinese, Indians and Gypsies, as well as Negroes, might be made citizens. He declared that a citizen of the United States would not necessarily be a citizen of a state. He again questioned whether it was good policy to act on citizenship of Negroes, since eleven of the thirty-six states were unrepresented.

"Four million of them have just emerged from slavery into freedom. Can it be reasonably supposed that they possess the requisite qualifications to entitle them to all the privileges and equalities of citizens of the United States?"

One wonders what Andrew Johnson expected the Negroes to be. They were not to be citizens; they were not to be voters; and yet he repeatedly assured them that they were free. He went on with another strange argument, declaring that the bill discriminated "against large numbers of intelligent, worthy and patriotic foreigners, and in favor of the Negro, to whom, after long years of bondage, the avenues of freedom and opportunity have just now been suddenly opened." Thus, he thought Negroes less familiar with the character of American institutions than foreigners. And yet foreigners must wait "five years" for naturalization and be "of good moral character."

He said that if Congress could give the equal civil rights enumerated to Negroes, it could also give them the right to vote and the right to hold office. He objected to state officers being liable to arrest for discriminating against Negroes. He objected to the interference of Congress with the judiciary, and assuming jurisdiction of subjects which had always been treated by state courts.

Again, he returned to his astonishing economics:

"The white race and the black race of the South have hitherto lived together under the relation of master and slave — capital owning labor. Now, suddenly, that relation is changed, and, as to ownership, capital and labor are divorced. They stand now each master of itself. In this new relation, one being necessary to the other, there will be a new adjustment, which both are deeply interested in making harmonious. Each has equal power in settling the terms, and, if left to the laws that regulate capital and labor, it is confidently believed that they will satisfactorily work out the problem. Capital, it is true, has more intelligence, but labor is never so ignorant as not to understand its own interests, not to know its own value, and not to see that capital must pay that value.

"This bill frustrates this adjustment. It intervenes between capital and labor, and attempts to settle questions of political economy through the agency of numerous officials, whose interest it will be to foment discord between the two races; for as the breach widens their employment will continue, and when it is closed their occupation will terminate."

He declared that this law establishes "for the security of the colored race safeguards which go infinitely beyond any that the General Government have ever provided for the white race," and, therefore, discriminates against the white race.

He declared the bill a step toward concentrating all legislative power in the national government. "A perfect equality of the white and colored races is attempted to be fixed by Federal law in every State of the Union, over the vast field of state jurisdiction covered by the enumerated rights. In no one of these can any State ever exercise any power of discrimination between the different races."

He then fetched up his heavy artillery of ".Social Equality" to stampede the prejudiced.

"In the exercise of State policy over matters exclusively affecting the people of each State, it has frequently been thought expedient to discriminate between the two races. By the statutes of some of the States, Northern as well as Southern, it is enacted, for instance, that white persons shall not intermarry with a. Negro or a mulatto." While he did not believe that this particular bill would annul state laws in regard to marriage, nevertheless, if Congress had the power to provide that there should be no discrimination in the matters enumerated in the bill, then it could pass a law repealing the laws of the states in regard to marriage!

He continued: "Hitherto, every subject embraced in the enumeration of rights contained in this bill has been considered as exclusively belonging to the States. They all relate to the internal police and economy of the respective States.... If it be granted that Congress can repeal all State laws discriminating between whites and blacks in the subjects covered by this bill, why, it may be asked, may not Congress repeal, in the same way, all state laws discriminating between the two races, on the subject of suffrage and office?"

Speaking of the general effect of the bill, he declared it interfered "with the municipal legislation of the states, with the relations existing exclusively between a State and its citizens, or between inhabitants of the same State — an absorption and assumption of power by the General Government which, if acquiesced in, must sap and destroy our federative system of limited powers, and break down the barriers which preserve the rights of the States. It is another step, or rather stride, toward centralization, and the concentration of all legislative powers in the national government."

The President's veto of the Civil Rights Bill offended the nation. Senator Stewart declared that the President had promised not to veto this bill and for that reason the Senator had voted to sustain the veto of the Freedmen's Bureau Bill. Senator Trumbull had publicly announced that the President would not veto the Civil Rights Bill. Henry Ward Beecher had urged him to sign it.

Even in the President's cabinet, none of the members, except Seward and Wells, agreed with Johnson. Sumner wrote: "Nobody can yet see the end. Congress will not yield. The President is angry and brutal. Seward is the marplot. In the cabinet, on the question of the last veto, there were four against it to three for it; so even there, among his immediate advisers, the President is left in a minority. Stanton reviewed at length the bill, section by section, in the Cabinet, and pronounced it an excellent and safe bill every way from beginning to end. But the veto message was already prepared, and an hour later was sent to Congress."44

The time for the final test between Johnson and Congress had come. There ensued some sharp political maneuvering. Morgan, Wiley and Stewart were won over to the majority and Stockton, a Johnson man from New Jersey, was unseated on a technicality. Thus on April 6 and 9 Congress overrode the veto. The Civil Rights Bill became law, and Johnson faced a Congress able to work its will.

There was one other matter, besides amending the Constitution, on which Congress might take significant action. According to the current American creed, full protection of a citizen could only be accomplished by possession of the right to vote. This was not wholly true, even in the North, and with the ballot in the hands of white men. Nevertheless, it still retained a great element of truth, for only with universal suffrage could the mass of workers begin that economic revolution which would eventually emancipate them. They would have to use their ballot at first in conjunction with the petty bourgeois; that is, in conjunction with the small property holder, who was being hard-pressed by the new concentrated capital of industry; in conjunction with the small Western farmer, who was pushed to the wall by the railway and land monopoly. But armed with the ballot, this preliminary fight against the power of capital would clear the way for the final fight which would make democracy real among the workers.

While the Committee of Fifteen was groping its way to action, there was a chance for Congress to express its real feeling on the ballot. There might be a question in the minds of constitutional hair-splitters as to how far Congress could coerce states in defining the right of suffrage. But Congress ruled directly the District of Columbia. Congress had the right to decide as to the political franchise in territories. Would it not be the first step toward a logical and consistent end for Congress to establish Negro suffrage in the District, and in all territories which were set up? Thus, among the first bills introduced in the 39th Congress were bills to give the Negro the right to vote in the District of Columbia, and this demand was supported by petitions and speeches, and especially well-written petitions from the educated Negroes of the District.

In January, 1866, there came a notable petition from the colored people signed by John F. Cook, a wealthy octoroon of a free Negro family, and twenty-five other citizens. It did not come from freedmen or laborers, but from property holders of Negro descent, many of whom had been born free. Kelley of Pennsylvania read it in part to the House:

"We are intelligent enough to be industrious, to have accumulated property, to build and sustain churches and institutions of learning. We are and have been educating our children without the aid of any school fund, and until recently had for many years been furnishing, unjustly as we deem, a portion of the means for the education of the white children of the District.

"We are intelligent enough to be amenable to the same laws and punishable alike with others for the infraction of said laws. We sustain as fair a character on the records of crime and statistics of pauperism as any other class in the community, while unequal laws are continually barring our way in the effort to reach and possess ourselves of the blessings attendant upon a life of industry and self-denial and of virtuous citizenship.

"Experience likewise teaches that that debasement is most humane which is most complete. The possession of only a partial liberty makes us more keenly sensible of the injustice of withholding those other rights which belong to a perfect manhood. Without the right of suffrage, we are without protection, and liable to combinations of outrage. Petty officers of the law, respecting the source of power, will naturally defer to the one having a vote, and the partiality thus shown will work much to the disadvantage of the colored citizens."45

However, there were some special reasons for avoiding this ticklish subject. After all, Washington was the capital of the nation. It had long been a center of Southern society. To give the Negroes political freedom and partial control there, was a long step and a decisive one.

The people of the District hastily organized a counter-stroke, and presented to the Senate a communication from the Mayor in which he asserted that a special vote had been taken December 21, "to ascertain the opinion of the people of Washington on the question of Negro suffrage." He meant, of course, the white people, and the vote was overwhelming: 6,591 against Negro suffrage and 35 for it. The communication proceeded, in a fine climax of Southern rhetoric. to say that "This unparalleled unanimity of sentiment which pervades all classes of this community in opposition to the extension of the right of suffrage to that class, engenders an earnest hope that Congress, in according to this expression of their wishes the respect and consideration they would as individual members yield to those whom they immediately represent, would abstain from the exercise of its absolute power, and so avert an impending future apparently so objectionable to those over whom, by the fundamental law of the land, they have exclusive jurisdiction."

A long argument ensued, which showed that Congress was not ready to declare itself on Negro suffrage; further action was postponed for another year, and a bill for Negro suffrage in the District of Columbia did not pass Congress until December, 1866; it became a law in January, 1867.

Meantime, the Committee of Fifteen had met first December 26, 1865. Charles Sumner was considered too radical on the Negro question to be a member of it, and so the committee was headed by a Conservative, Fessenden of Maine, who wished to stand by President Johnson, and was strongly, sometimes even bitterly, opposed to the radicalism of Sumner. Stevens, the great protagonist of curbing the political power of the South and completely emancipating the Negro, was the prime figure in the committee. Then, there were Bingham of Ohio, the more or less conscious defender of property; Conkling of New York, the sophisticated, exquisite corporation lawyer; and Bout-well of Massachusetts. There were three Democrats, of whom the most distinguished was Johnson of Maryland, the strongest Border State representative in Congress, handicapped by a legal mind; and the narrow-minded Rogers of New Jersey.

A sub-committee of the Committee of Fifteen courteously waited on President Johnson, and he consented to do nothing more toward Reconstruction for the present, in order to secure harmony of action. On December 26, at the first meeting of the Committee, Stevens brought forward his proposal to base representation on voters. And singularly enough, later in this same month, Johnson in an interview with Senator Dixon of Connecticut said that if, however, amendments are to be made to the Constitution, changing the basis of representation and taxation (and he did not deem them at all necessary to the present time), he knew of none better than a simple proposition, embraced in a few lines, making in each state the number of qualified voters the basis of representation, and the value of property the basis of direct taxation. Such a proposition could be embraced in the following terms:

"'Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this Union according to the number of qualified voters in each state.'...

"Such amendment, the President also suggested, would remove from Congress all issues in reference to the political equality of the races. It would leave the States to determine absolutely the qualifications of their own voters with regard to color; and thus the number of Representatives to which they would be entitled in Congress would depend upon the number upon whom they conferred the right of suffrage.

"The President, in this connection, expressed the opinion that the agitation of the Negro franchise question in the District of Columbia at this time was a mere entering-wedge to the agitation of the question throughout the States, and was ill-timed, uncalled-for, and calculated to do great harm. He believed that it would engender enmity, contention and strife between the two races, and lead to a war between them, which would result in great injury to both, and the certain extermination of the Negro population. Precedence, he thought, should be given to more important and urgent matters, legislation upon which was essential to the restoration of the Union, the peace of the country, and the prosperity of the people."46

Here, surely, was logic and understanding in plain sight. But not only did the President eventually drop this proposal, but even in committee, opposition appeared. Boutwell suggested at the third meeting of the Committee, January 9, that he preferred to retain population as the basis of apportionment, with the provision that no state should make "any distinctions in the exercise of the elective franchise on account of race or color." Boutwell was from Massachusetts, and New England, through Blaine, had protested vigorously against the Stevens proposition in the House the day before, January 8. It was a curious situation, which Blaine explained in part; and in part, he did not.

New England had lost a good proportion of its male population by migration to the West, and it did not allow women to vote. New England, moreover, had a large immigrant population which she was using in her mills, and on which a part of her representation in Congress was based. She proposed to make this population still larger. She proposed, also, to reduce the voting power of this laboring population, not only by confining the vote to the native-born and naturalized, but also by a literacy qualification. Through Blaine, therefore, spoke the exploiting manufacturer, and voiced an idea as different from Sumner's as one could well imagine. To base population on voters was, in the eyes of industry, to keep down the representation of the South, to be sure; but also to transfer the balance of political power from the East to the West, and in the West industry was not so sure of its dictatorship. Consequently, the Committee of Fifteen was compelled to take steps in another direction.

On January 12, Bingham introduced a proposal to the committee for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing civil rights. It said: "The Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper to secure to all persons in every state within this Union, equal protection in their rights of life, liberty and property."47 This proposition, destined to become part of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, had been introduced early in December in the House of Representatives.

The Committee of Fifteen referred the Bingham proposal to a subcommittee, consisting wholly of Republicans. At the same time, the committee insisted that the basis of representation provided for in the Constitution should be changed. Johnson of Maryland adhered to the Stevens proposal of making voters the basis. New England and New York objected, and this matter was left to the consideration of the same sub-committee. Meantime, three other propositions were submitted :

1. Representation should be based on population, but if colored people were disfranchised, they should not be counted in the apportionment. (Morill.)

2. Representatives should be apportioned according to population, except that Negroes, Indians, Chinese and other colored persons, if they were not allowed to vote, should not be counted in the apportionment. (Williams.)

3. Representatives were to be apportioned among the states according to the whole number of citizens of the United States; provided that whenever in any State, civil or political rights or privileges should be denied or abridged, on account of race or color, all persons of such race or color should be excluded from the basis of representation or taxation. (Conkling.)

On January 16, a proposed Fourteenth Amendment was considered in two parts; the first part had alternative propositions:

A. Apportioning representation according to the number of citizens and making "inoperative and void" any laws "whereby any distinction is made in political or civil rights or privileges on account of race, creed or color."

B. The alternative proposition was the Conkling proposal.

The second part of the amendment was Bingham's proposal that:

"Congress shall have power to make all laws necessary and proper to secure to all citizens of the United States the same equal protection in the enjoyment of life, liberty and property."

These propositions went to sub-committees and were reported back January 20. The Civil Rights section of Bingham appeared in the strongest and most specific form which it ever took: "Congress shall have power to make all laws necessary and proper to secure to all citizens of the United States, in every State, the same political rights and privileges; and to all persons in every State equal protection in the enjoyment of life, liberty and property."

It was voted 10-4 to consider this proposition of Bingham's separately; and by a vote of 11-3, the second resolution on apportionment was chosen as a proposed Fourteenth Amendment. This excluded from representation Negroes who were denied the right to vote. Stevens wished to amend this by declaring who were citizens. Conkling, however, moved to strike out the phrase "citizens of the United States," and insert "persons in every state, excluding Indians not taxed." This was a move to insure the counting of the foreign-born as a part of the basis of apportionment, and was in accordance with the New England idea. Stevens, Fessenden and Bingham were against it, but it passed 11-3.

On January 22, this section on apportionment was reported to Congress as a Fourteenth Amendment, and was the first effort of the Committee of Fifteen to prepare for Reconstruction by constitutional amendment. This was before the Freedmen's Bureau Bill or the Civil Rights Bill had passed Congress, and the bill for suffrage in the District of Columbia, while it had passed the House, had not been considered in the Senate, and was not destined to be for several months. This fact is a sufficient answer to the accusation that the Committee of Fifteen purposely delayed action on the problems of Reconstruction. Within less than a month after it began work, it laid its first proposition before Congress.

Stevens reported this first form of the Fourteenth Amendment to the House and asked rather peremptorily that it pass before sundown. His reason was that there were numbers of state legislatures in session and that they could consider it immediately. But he was disappointed. There was too much opposition in his own group. Conkling elaborated and made specific the argument which Stevens had first brought forward:

The four million people who had suddenly been released from slavery, while falling within the category of "free persons," were not yet political persons. "This emancipated multitude has no political status. Emancipation vitalizes only natural rights, not political rights. Enfranchisement alone carries with it political rights, and these emancipated millions are no more enfranchised now than when they were slaves. They never had political power. Their masters had a fraction of power as masters." But since the relationship of master and slave was destroyed, this fraction of power could no longer survive in the masters. There was only one place where it could logically go, and that was to the Negroes; but since it was said that "they are unfit to have it ... it is a power astray, without a rightful owner. It should be resumed by the whole nation at once.... If a black man counts at all now, he counts as five-fifths of a man, not as three-fifths.... Four millions, therefore, and not three-fifths of four millions, are to be reckoned in here now," and in eleven states most of these four millions were presumed to be "unfit for political existence." Since the framers of the Constitution did not foresee such contingency, and expected that emancipation would come gradually and be accompanied by education and enfranchisement, they provided for no situation whereby eleven states might claim twenty-eight (or twenty-nine) representatives besides their just proportion.

"Twenty-eight votes to be cast here and in the Electoral College for those held not fit to sit as jurors, not fit to testify in the court, not fit to be plaintiff in a suit, not fit to approach the ballot box. Twenty-eight votes, to be more or less controlled by those who once betrayed the Government, and for those so destitute, we are assured, of intelligent instinct as not to be fit for free agency.

"Shall this be? Shall four million beings count four million, in managing the affairs of the nation, who are pronounced by their fellow beings unfit to participate in administering government in the states where they live ... who are pronounced unworthy of the least and most paltry part in the political affairs? Shall one hundred and twenty-seven thousand white people in New York cast but one vote in this House and have but one voice here, while the same number of white people in Mississippi have three votes and three voices? Shall the death of slavery add two fifths to the entire power which slavery had when slavery was living? Shall one white man have as much share in the Government as three other white men merely because he lives where blacks out-number whites two to one? Shall this inequality exist, and exist only in favor of those ... who did the foulest and guiltiest act which crimsons the annals of recorded time? No, sir; not if I can help it.

"This proposition," he continued, "rests upon a principle already imbedded in the Constitution, and as old as free government itself," a principle "that representation does not belong to those who have no political existence, but to those who have. The object of the amendment is to enforce this truth.... Every State will be left free to extend or withhold the elective franchise on such terms as it pleases, and this without losing anything in representation if the terms are impartial as to all...." If, however, there is found "a race so vile or worthless that to belong to it is alone cause of exclusion from political action, the race is not to be counted here in the Congress."48

Thus spoke New York in cold contrast to Thaddeus Stevens but with quite as merciless logic. This argument made it clear that the basis of representation must be changed in some way, unless the South was coming back with increased political power. What change should be made? The West wanted Stevens' original proposition which had early been introduced in Congress by Stevens himself and also separately by two Ohio representatives, and which based representation on voters; but this proposition would have increased the power of the Middle and Western states at the expense of New England, and New England had had her warning from Voorhees. While, then, a majority of Republicans undoubtedly favored this, the proposition could not pass Congress without the support of New England, and the West yielded.

Eliot of Massachusetts submitted an amendment, which was practically the Fifteenth Amendment, but it was agreed that this could not pass Congress. And so, finally, the report was sent back to the Committee of Fifteen.

Meantime, on January 22, the Bingham Amendment on Civil Rights was considered in the Committee of Fifteen and referred to a subcommittee, after Boutwell had tried to make its wording milder, by saying that "Congress shall have power to abolish any distinction in the exercise of the elective franchise."

On January 27, this section was reported from the sub-committee with modifications, and appeared now in the following words: "Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper to secure to all persons in every state full protection in the enjoyment of life, liberty and property; and to all citizens of the United States the same immunities and also equal political rights and privileges."

It was postponed; Bingham explained in 1871 that, after postponement, he had introduced this section of the amendment in the Committee of Fifteen in the words in which it now stands in the Constitution. He had changed the form in the hope that the amendment might be so framed that "in all the hereafter it might be accepted by the historian of the American Constitution like Magna Charta as the keystone of American legislation." The decision of Marshall vs. the City Council of Baltimore, a celebrated case, had induced him to take counsel with Marshall. Thus, curiously enough, constitutional restraints designated to protect persons were changed into a form which eventually made the Federal Government the protector of property against state enactments:

"The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper to secure to the citizens of every state all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states."49

This substitute, which Bingham reported to the committee February 3, was adopted in the Committee of Fifteen and on February 10, by a vote of 9-5, it was referred to Congress. It came up before the House of Representatives, February 13, as a proposed constitutional amendment and was debated at length February 27-28, when the House refused to table it, but postponed it until April.

When the Committee of Fifteen received the amendment on apportionment back from the House, it made the minor change of taking out the reference to direct taxes, which was irrelevant and of little importance. So that, again, January 31, the proposition came back to the House of Representatives.

Stevens was unequivocal:

"I do not want them [the Southern states] to have representation — I say it plainly — I do not want them to have the right of suffrage before this Congress has done the great work of regenerating the Constitution and laws of this country according to the principles of the Declaration of Independence."50 Again, Schenck of Ohio tried to base representation on voters, but this was defeated. Stevens said that he favored it, but that it could not pass Congress. The House passed this form of the Fourteenth Amendment, January 3, 1866, and sent it to the Senate.

In the meantime, the whole aspect of the political situation changed. The Freedmen's Bureau Bill had passed Congress, and, to the astonishment of the country, had been vetoed. The Civil Rights Bill had passed the Senate, and Johnson had made his speech of February 22, definitely aligning himself now with the South and their Northern Democratic allies, and against his own party. Black Codes had been passed in Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia and Louisiana.

On the other hand, Northern business was afraid.

"Viewed as a practical matter," asked the Nation, "what would be the effect upon Government securities of the immediate admission to Congress of 58 Southern Representatives and 22 Senators, nearly all of whom could be counted on as determined repudiationists?... It would hardly be a safe thing for the national credit to have such a body of men in Congress, reenforced as they would probably be, by a considerable number of Northern men ready to go for at least qualified repudiation."51

Seward, himself, it is said, was greatly disappointed and embarrassed by the Black Codes of the South. He found that the South was getting stronger in Johnson's confidence. Nemesis again dogged Seward's steps, as when before he was defeated for the Presidential nomination by the anti-slavery men to whom he had given a slogan. It was then that Toombs had sneered: "Actaeon had been devoured by his dogs." The dogs were at it again. Blaine says that, "When Congress reassembled after the holidays, there was a great change in its attitude. Many feared that the President and the Democrats together would win.

"The leading commercial men, who had become weary of war, contemplated with positive dread the reopening of a controversy which might prove as disturbing to the business of the country as the struggle of arms had been, and without the quickening impulses to trade which active war always imparts. The bankers of the great cities, whose capital and whose deposits all rested upon the credit of the country and were invested in its paper, believed that the speedy settlement of all dissension, and the harmonious cooperation of all departments of the government, were needed to maintain the financial honor of the nation and to reinstate confidence among the people. Against obstacles so menacing, against resistance so ominous, against an array of power so imposing, it seemed to be an act of boundless temerity to challenge the President to a contest, to array public opinion against him, to denounce him, to deride him, to defy him."52

The Committee of Fifteen paused to get its bearings. In the first place, what was the attitude of the country toward Negro suffrage? In 1865, Wisconsin had rejected a proposal to let Negroes vote. Minnesota, the same year, had defeated a constitutional amendment giving Negroes the suffrage. Connecticut, also, in 1865 gave a majority of 6,272 against Negro suffrage. Later, in 1867, Ohio defeated Negro suffrage by 50,629. In Michigan, 1868, a new Constitution, omitting the word "white," was defeated by a majority of 38,849. In the Nebraska Constitution of 1866, only whites were allowed the suffrage. In New York and some other states, there was special legislation on the voting of Negroes, which was not changed. Evidently, the country was not ready for Negro suffrage.

Moreover, the pinch of economic difficulties following the war, was beginning to be felt. The price of gold which was at 170 in 1864, rose to 284 in 1865. The income tax had been increased in 1865. The United States was paying out vast sums of interest on its annual debt. Cotton was high, selling at forty-three cents a pound in 1865; it dropped to thirty cents only in 1866, with a crop of 1,900,000 bales, as compared with that marvelous crop that precipitated the Civil War, 5,740,000 bales in 1861. The price of agricultural products had increased, but not nearly as much as the prices of manufactured goods, and the farmers were feeling the difference. Gambling and speculation were wide-spread.

The United States Treasury was trying to reduce the circulation of the depreciated greenbacks, and under the Act of 1866, retired some $75,000,000; but early in 1868, the contraction of the currency was prohibited and the West began to cry for inflation. A Western editor wrote Senator Trumbull of Illinois: "You all in Washington must remember that the excitement of the great contest is dying out, and that commercial and industrial enterprises and pursuits are engaging a large part of public attention. The times are hard; money is close; taxes are heavy; all forms of industry here in the West are heavily burdened; and in the struggle to pay debts and live, people are more mindful of themselves than of any of the fine philanthropic schemes that look to making Sambo a voter, juror and office holder."53

Johnson knew nothing of finance, and left the Treasury entirely to McCulloch, who was struggling, October 31, 1865, with a national debt that stood at $2,800,000,000. There was still doubt of the legal tender constitutionality of the greenbacks. Taxation was enormous and applied to almost every available subject. There faced the country a tremendous problem of reorganizing the debt, reestablishing the currency and reducing the revenue.

Stevens had rushed the Committee of Fifteen as fast as or faster than his majority wished. The first draft of the Fourteenth Amendment reached the Senate and was attacked by Charles Sumner. There was no greater proof of his courage, and his learning and keenness of mind were unquestioned. From the day of his great speech on Kansas to his unswerving advocacy of civil rights for Negroes and their political enfranchisement, he towered above his contemporaries. He was unwilling to compromise like Stevens, and for that reason was not made head of the great Committee of Fifteen. But there was no question about his integrity and his idealism.

Sumner had no sympathy with an amendment which made the disfranchisement of Negroes possible and regarded it as "another compromise with human rights" and a discrimination on account of race and color which hitherto had been kept out of the Constitution. Thus the first proposition which Northern industry made, met the direct opposition of abolition-democracy. Charles Sumner, in a tremendous speech February 6, 1865, laid down the thesis that under no circumstances should it be possible to disfranchise a man simply on account of race or color; that here for the first time we had a chance to realize the democracy which the fathers of the Republic foresaw, and he spoke prophetic words on future disfranchisement.

"I am not insensible to the responsibility which I assume in setting myself against a proposition already adopted in the other House, and having the recommendation of a committee to which the country looks with such just expectations, and to which, let me say, I look with so much trust. But after careful reflection, I do not feel that I can do otherwise....

"There are among us, four millions of citizens now robbed of all share in the government of their country, while at the same time they are taxed according to their means, directly and indirectly, for the support of the Government. Nobody can question this statement. And this bare-faced tyranny of taxation without representation it is now proposed to recognize as not inconsistent with fundamental right and the guarantee of a republican government. Instead of blasting it you go forward to embrace it as an element of political power.

"If, by this, you expect to induce the recent slave-master to confer the right of suffrage without distinction of color, you will find the proposition a delusion and a snare. He will do no such thing. Even the bribe you offer will not tempt him. If, on the other hand, you expect to accomplish a reduction of his political power, it is more than doubtful if you will succeed, while the means you employ are unworthy of our country.

"There are tricks and evasions possible, and the cunning slave-master will drive his coach and six through your amendment stuffed with all his representatives. Should he cheat you in this matter, it will only be a proper return for the endeavor on your part to circumvent him at the expense of fellow-citizens to whom you are bound by every obligation of public faith."54

Seldom has a great political prophecy been so strikingly fulfilled!

Stevens in the House had, by his diplomacy, ranged back of his policy the industrial leaders of the North who feared that a return of the South would mean attack upon the tariff, the national banks, the debt, and the whole new post-war economic structure. Sumner in the Senate, on the other hand, took little account of the political game. He set his strategy on the high ground of democracy, and democracy for all men, and it was his opposition that killed the first draft of the Fourteenth Amendment which permitted the disfranchisement of Negroes on penalty of reduced representation. Stevens with infinite pains had gotten this much through the Committee of Fifteen and the House of Representatives. Sumner spoke his convictions despite the desertion of friends and party. Senator Williams of Oregon expressed admiration, but could not follow him. "The echoes of his lofty and majestic periods will linger and repeat themselves among the corridors of history."

There was wide discussion throughout the country. Garrison was converted, and to him Sumner's speech seemed unanswerable. To Whittier, it was irresistible; Phillips' voice was filled with enthusiasm, while Henry Ward Beecher said that the speech rose far above the occasion, "covering a ground which will abide after all contemporary questions of special legislation have passed away."

The proposed amendment went down to defeat on March 9, receiving only 25 votes against 22, instead of the necessary two-thirds majority. Sumner's wide influence, while it did not command the full sympathy of Republicans or Democrats, nevertheless, was enough to block compromise between Northern industry and the abolition-democracy. Fessenden was bitter and Stevens furious. No man demanded more for Negroes than Stevens, or was more thoroughly an advocate of complete democracy. But, as he said, "The control of republics depends on the number, not the quality, of the voters. This is not a government of saints. It has a large sprinkling of sinners."

As the head of the Committee of Fifteen, he was trying to get a proposition for which a two-thirds majority of Congress would vote, and start the country as far on the road towards democracy and abolition of caste as was possible under the circumstances. He complained that his proposition had "been slaughtered by a puerile and pedantic criticism."

Andrew Johnson was deeply incensed by Sumner's speech and sneered at it next day. "I am free to say to you that I do not like to be arraigned by someone who can get up handsomely-rounded periods and deal in rhetoric, and talk about abstract ideas of liberty, who never periled life, liberty, or property. This kind of theoretical, hollow, unpractical friendship amounts to but very little."

He was receiving a group of Negroes who were trying by direct appeal either to get his sympathy or to probe his animus against the race. The Freedmen's Bureau Bill had passed, but Johnson had not yet indicated what action he would take. The Civil Rights Bill and the first draft of the Fourteenth Amendment were before the Senate. Perhaps the delegation hoped to influence him.

Douglass had seen Johnson on inauguration day in 1865 when President Lincoln had pointed Douglass out to him. "The first expression which came to his face, and which I think was the true index of his heart, was one of bitter contempt and aversion. Seeing that I observed him, he tried to assume a more friendly appearance, but it was too late."55

In the interview with President Johnson, February 7, 1866, there were present George T. Downing of Rhode Island, William E. Mathews of New York, John Jones of Philadelphia, John F. Cook of Washington, Joseph E. Otis, A. W. Ross, William Whipper, John M. Brown, Alexander Dunlap, Frederick Douglass and his son Lewis.

"What was said on the occasion brought the whole question virtually before the American people. Until that interview the country was not fully aware of the intentions and policy of President Johnson on the subject of reconstruction, especially in respect to the newly emancipated class of the South. After having heard the brief addresses made by him to Mr. Downing and myself, he occupied at least three quarters of an hour in what seemed a set speech, and refused to listen to any reply on our part, although solicited to grant a few moments for that purpose."56

The President shook hands with the colored men and then George T. Downing, a leading Negro from Newport, Rhode Island, opened the discussion. He said to the President: "We desire for you to know that we come feeling that we are friends meeting a friend." He said that they represented colored people from the "States of Illinois, Wisconsin, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, the New England states, and the District of Columbia." They were not satisfied with an amendment prohibiting slavery but wanted it enforced by appropriate legislation.

"We are Americans, native-born Americans; we are citizens.... We see no recognition of color or race in the organic law of the land.... It has been shown in the present war that the government may justly reach its strong arm into the States and demand from those who owe it allegiance, their assistance and support. May it not reach out a like arm to secure and protect its subjects upon whom it has a claim?"

Then Frederick Douglass came forward and said: "Your noble and humane predecessor placed in our hands the sword to assist in saving the nation, and we do hope that you, his able successor, will favorably regard the placing in our hands, the ballot with which to save ourselves."

The President was evidently embarrassed and floundered. He was not going to make a speech; he had jeopardized life, liberty and property, not only for the colored people, but for the great mass of people. He was a friend of the colored man, but "I do not want to adopt a policy that I believe will end in a contest between races, which if persisted in will result in the extermination of one or the other."

He remembered his speech to Nashville Negroes before the election and repeated his willingness to be a "Moses to lead him from bondage to freedom," but not into a war of races. He said that one can talk about the ballot-box and justice and Declaration of Independence, but "suppose by some magic touch you can say to everyone, 'You shall vote tomorrow.' How much would that ameliorate their condition at this time?"

Then the President approached Douglass and said, "Now let us get closer up to this subject." He said he opposed slavery because it was a monopoly and gave profit and power to an aristocracy. By getting clear of the monopoly, they had abolished slavery.

Douglass started to interrupt, but the President was not through. He went on to show the position of the poor white in relation to the slave owners, and how the slaves despised the poor whites. Douglass denied this personally, but the President insisted that anyway, most colored people did, and this made the poor white man opposed both to the slave and his master; and that, therefore, there was enmity between the colored man and the poor white. Already the colored man had gained his freedom during the war, and if he and the poor white came into competition at the ballot-box, a "war of races" would result.

Moreover, was it proper to put on a people, without their consent, Negro suffrage? "Do you deny that first great principle of the right of the people to govern themselves?" Here Downing interrupted. "Apply what you have said, Mr. President, to South Carolina, for instance, where a majority of the inhabitants are colored." The President twisted uncomfortably and said that the matter to which he referred "comes up when a government is undergoing a fundamental change" and he preferred to instance Ohio rather than South Carolina. Was it right to force Ohio to make a change in the elective franchise against its will?

He could not touch the question as to whether it was right to prevent a majority in South Carolina from ruling because, to his mind, no number of Negroes could outweigh the will of whites. He stumbled on without mentioning this suppressed minor premise and said, "It is a fundamental tenet of my creed that the will of the people must be obeyed. Is there anything wrong or unfair in that?"

Douglass smiled, still thinking of South Carolina: "A great deal that is wrong, Mr. President, with all respect." But the President insisted: "It is the people of the states that must for themselves determine this thing. I do not want to be engaged in a work that will commence a war of races." Then he indicated that the interview was at an end; he was glad to have met them, and thanked them for the compliment paid him.

Douglass returned the thanks, and said that they had not come to argue but if the President would grant permission, "We would endeavor to controvert some of the positions you have assumed." Mr. Downing, too, suggested persuasively that the President, by his kind explanation, "must have contemplated some reply to the views which he has advanced."

Douglass continued, "I would like to say one or two words in reply: You enfranchise your enemies and disfranchise your friends.... My own impression is that the very thing that your Excellency would avoid in the Southern states can only be avoided by the very measure that we proposed.... I would like to say a word or so in regard to that matter of the enfranchisement of the blacks as a means of preventing the very thing which your Excellency seems to apprehend — that is a conflict of races."

The President naturally did not want to give publicity to views of Negroes antagonistic to his own, and said shortly that there were other places besides the South for the Negro to live. "But," said Douglass, "the masters have the making of the laws and we cannot get away from the plantation." "What prevents you?" asked Johnson. Douglass replied that, "His master then decides for him where he shall go, where he shall work, how much he shall work.... He is absolutely in the hands of those men."

The President replied, "If the master now controls him or his actions, would he not control him in his vote?" Douglass answered: "Let the Negro once understand that he has an organic right to vote, and he will raise up a party in the Southern states among the poor, who will rally with him. There is this conflict that you speak of between the wealthy slave owner and the poor man." The President replied eagerly: "You touch right upon the point there. There is this conflict, and hence, I suggest emigration."

The President then bowed his dark visitors out, saying they were all desirous of accomplishing the same ends but proposed to do so by following different roads. Douglass, turning to leave, said:

"The President sends us to the people and we go to the people." "Yes, sir," answered the President, "I have great faith in the people. I believe they will do what is right."57

Afterwards the colored delegation published a reply to various points brought up by the President, and especially stressed the matter of enmity between the Negroes and the poor whites:

"The first point to which we feel especially bound to take exception is your attempt to found a policy opposed to our enfranchisement, upon the alleged ground of an existing hostility on the part of the former slaves towards the poor white people of the South. We admit the existence of this hostility, and hold that it is entirely reciprocal; but you obviously commit an error by drawing an argument from an incident of slavery, and making it a basis for a policy adapted to a state of freedom. The hostility between the white and blacks of the South is easily explained. It has its root and sap in the relation of slavery, and was incited on both sides by the cunning of the slave masters. Those masters secured their ascendency over both the poor whites and blacks by putting enmity between them.

"They divided both to conquer each. There was no earthly reason why the blacks should not hate and dread the poor whites when in a state of slavery, for it was from this class that their masters received their slave catchers, slave-drivers and overseers. They were the men called in upon all occasions by the masters whenever any fiendish outrage was to be committed upon the slave. Now, sir, you cannot but perceive, that the cause of this hatred removed, the effect must be removed also. Slavery is abolished. The cause of this antagonism is removed, and you must see that it is altogether illogical (and putting 'new wine into old bottles') to legislate from slaveholding premises for a people whom you have repeatedly declared it your purpose to maintain in freedom.

"Besides, even if it were true, as you allege, that the hostility of the blacks towards the poor whites must necessarily project itself into a state of freedom, and that this enmity between the two races is even more intense in a state of freedom than in a state of slavery, in the name of heaven, we reverently ask, how can you, in view of your professed desire to promote the welfare of the black man, deprive him of all means of defense and clothe him whom you regard as his enemy in the panoply of political power? Can it be that you recommend a policy which would arm the strong and cast down the defenseless? Can you, by any possibility of reasoning, regard this as just, fair, or wise? Experience proves that those are most abused who can be abused with the greatest impunity....

"On the colonization theory you were pleased to broach, very much could be said. It is impossible to suppose, in view of the usefulness of the black man in times of peace as a laborer in the South, and in time of war as a soldier in the North, and the growing respect for his rights among the people and his increasing adaptation to a high state of civilization in his native land, that there can ever come a time when he can be removed from this country without a terrible shock to its prosperity and peace."58

The Committee of Fifteen began its work again. The indomitable Stevens never gave up, never despaired; if he could not get all he wanted, he stood fast and took what he could. He said sadly June 13, 1866, in the House of Representatives, referring to the proposed Fourteenth Amendment with its permission to disfranchise the Negro: "In my youth, in my manhood, in my old age, I had fondly dreamed that when any fortunate chance should have broken up for a while the foundation of our institutions, and released us from obligations the most tyranical that ever man imposed in the name of freedom, that the intelligent, pure and just men of this Republic, true to their professions and their consciences, would have so remodeled all our institutions as to have freed them from every vestige of human oppression, of inequality of rights, of the recognized degradation of the poor, and the superior caste of the rich. In short, that no distinction would be tolerated in this purified Republic but what arose from merit and conduct. This bright dream has vanished 'like the baseless fabric of a vision.' I find that we shall be obliged to be content with patching up the worst portions of the ancient edifice, and leaving it, in many of its parts, to be swept through by the tempests, frosts and the storms of despotism.

"Do you inquire why, holding these views and possessing some will of my own, I accept so imperfect a proposition? I answer, because I live among men and not among angels; among men as intelligent, as determined and as independent as myself, who, not agreeing with me, do not choose to yield up their opinions to mine. Mutual concessions is our only resort, or mutual hostilities."59

The Committee of Fifteen now tried to find out by actual inquiry just what the situation in the South was with regard to the Negro. It did this, not so much because anyone was in doubt, as because the situation of the Negro was the most appealing thing that could be used to bring a majority to vote for the industrial North. It would increase the tremendous moral afflatus which made the war more and more symbolic in the minds of the people of the United States of a great triumph of human freedom. Sub-committees of the main committee took testimony for months all over the South and eventually issued an unanswerable array of evidence.

April 20, Robert Dale Owen brought a proposal for a Fourteenth Amendment to Stevens in the Committee of Fifteen. "Stevens picked up my manuscript, looked it carefully over, and then, in his impulsive way, said: 'I'll be plain with you, Owen. We've had nothing before us that comes anywhere near being as good as this, or as complete. It would be likely to pass, too; that's the best of it. We haven't a majority, either in our committee or in Congress, for immediate suffrage; and I don't believe the states have yet advanced so far that they would be willing to ratify it. I'll lay that amendment of yours before our committee tomorrow, if you say so; and I'll do my best to put it through.'"60

Previous to this time, the thought was to bring in several separate amendments, but now the attitude was to unite the whole matter in one comprehensive amendment, so that the proposition of April 21 was presented as follows:

"Section 1. No discrimination shall be made by any state, nor by the United States, as to the civil rights of persons because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

"Section 2. From and after the fourth day of July, in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six, no discrimination shall be made by any state, nor by the United States, as to the enjoyment of classes of persons of the right of suffrage, because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

"Section 3. Until the fourth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six, no class of persons, as to the right of any of whom to suffrage discrimination shall be made by any state, because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, shall be included in the basis of representation.

"Section 4. Debts incurred in aid of insurrection or of war against the Union, and claims of compensation for loss of involuntary service or labor, shall not be paid by any state nor by the United States."

Bingham moved a fifth section to the amendment, along the lines of his previous efforts:

"Section 5. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

The Bingham proposal was first adopted and then struck out by the committee. It was voted 7 to 6 to report the first three sections to Congress. Bingham tried in vain to bring in his proposal as a separate amendment.

Thus Owen's proposition was ordered sent to Congress and had a good chance of being adopted; but Fessenden, the chairman, was sick with varioloid and it was decided to delay final report until he was better. Stevens told Owens the sequel:

"Our action on your amendment [said Stevens] had, it seems, gotten noised abroad. In the course of last week the members from New York, from Illinois, and from your state too, Owen — from Indiana — held, each separately, a caucus to consider whether equality of suffrage, present or prospective, ought to form a part of the Republican program for the coming canvass.

"They were afraid, so some of them told us, that if there was a 'nigger in the wood-pile' at all (that was the phrase), it would be used against them as an electioneering handle; and some of them — hang their cowardice! — might lose their elections. By inconsiderable majorities each of these caucuses decided that Negro suffrage in any shape, ought to be excluded from the platform; and they communicated these decisions to us.

"Our committee hadn't backbone enough to maintain its ground. Yesterday, the vote on your plan was reconsidered, your amendment was laid on the table, and in the course of the next three hours we contrived to patch together — well, what you've read this morning."61

The sections were changed so as simply to exclude disfranchised Negroes from being made the basis of apportionment. Williams then presented a new section which allowed the Negroes gradually to be enfranchised, and thus gradually to become a basis of representation.

"Representatives shall be apportioned among several states which 1 may be included within this Union according to their respective num-; bers, counting the whole number of persons in each State excluding Indians not taxed. But whenever in any State the elective franchise shall be denied to any portion of its male citizens, not less than twenty-one years of age, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion or other crime, the basis of representation in such State shall i be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens not less than twenty-. one years of age." This was adopted as Section II of the final amendment.

Finally, on this same date, the Committee reinserted, by a vote of 10-3, Bingham's proposition on civil rights as Section I. Afterward, Conkling, before the Supreme Court, explained this action.

"At the time the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, individuals and joint stock companies were appealing for congressional and administrative protection against the invidious and discriminating state and local taxes. One instance was that of an express company, whose stock was owned largely by citizens of the State of New York, who i came with petitions and bills seeking acts of Congress to aid them in 1 resisting what they deemed oppressive taxation in two states, and oppressive and ruinous rules of damages applied under state laws. That complaints of oppression in respect of property and other rights, made by citizens of Northern states who took up residence in the South, ; were rife, in and out of Congress."

The Committee then considered Section III. Mr. Harris moved to insert the following:

"Until the 4th day of July, in the year 1870, all persons who voluntarily adhered to the late insurrection, giving it aid and comfort, shall be excluded from the right to vote for Representatives in Congress and for electors for President and Vice President of the United States."62

This was finally adopted by a vote of 8-7. The Committee then discussed the readmission of the Southern states with the Fourteenth Amendment as a condition. Finally, the Joint Resolution and the bill concerning the readmission of the Southern states were adopted by a i vote of 12-3. This proposed amendment and bill were reported to the House April 30, debated May 8, 9, and 10, and passed May 10. Stevens defended it May 8 and May 10.

"Our fathers had been compelled to postpone the principles of their great Declaration, and wait for their full establishment until a more propitious time. That time ought to be present now. But the public mind has been educated in error for a century. How difficult in a day to unlearn it. In rebuilding, it is necessary to clear away the rotten and defective portions of the old foundations, and to sink deep and found the unrepaired edifice upon the firm foundation of eternal justice. If, perchance, the accumulated quick-sands render it impossible to reach in every part so firm a basis, then it becomes our duty to drive deep and solid the substituted piles on which to build. It would not be wise to prevent the raising of the structure because some corner of it might be founded upon materials subject to the inevitable laws of mortal decay. It were better to shelter the household and trust to the advancing progress of a higher morality and a purer and more intelligent principle to underpin the defective corner....

"This proposition is not all that the committee desired. It falls far short of my wishes, but it fulfills my hopes. I believe it is all that can be obtained in the present state of public opinion. Not only Congress but several States are to be consulted. Upon a careful survey of the whole ground, we did not believe that nineteen of the loyal States could be induced to ratify any proposition more stringent than this. I say nineteen, for I utterly repudiate and scorn the idea that any State not acting in the Union is to be counted on the question of ratification. It is absurd to suppose that any more than three-fourths of the States that propose the Amendment are required to make it valid; that States not here are to be counted as present. Believing then that this is the best proposition that can be made effectual, I accept it. I shall not be driven by clamor or denunciation to throw away a great cause because it is not perfect. I will take all I can get in the cause of humanity and leave it to be perfected by better men in better times. It may be that that time will not come while I am here to enjoy the glorious triumph; but that it will come is as certain as that there is a just God...."

Stevens then referred to the previous draft of the amendment.

"After having received the careful examination and approbation of the committee, and having received the united Republican vote of one hundred and twenty Representatives of the people, it was denounced as 'utterly reprehensible,' and 'unpardonable'; 'to be encountered as a public enemy'; 'positively endangering the peace of the country, and covering its name with dishonor.' 'A wickedness on a larger scale than the crime against Kansas or the fugitive slave law; gross, foul, outrageous; an incredible injustice against the whole African race'; with every other vulgar epithet which polished cultivation could command.... I confess my mortification at its defeat. I grieved especially because it almost closed the door of hope for the amelioration of the condition of the freedmen. But men in pursuit of justice must never despair. Let us again try and see whether we cannot devise some way to overcome the united forces of self-righteous Republicans and unrighteous copperheads. It will not do for those who for thirty years have fought the beasts at Ephesus to be frightened by the fangs of modern catamounts."63

Thaddeus Stevens continued his speech, May 10: "Let not these friends of secession sing to me their siren song of peace and good will until they can stop my ears to the screams and groans of the dying victims at Memphis. I hold in my hand an elaborate account from a man whom I know to be of the highest respectability in the country, every word of which I believe. This account of that foul transaction only reached me last night. It is more horrible in its atrocity, although not to the same extent, than the massacre at Jamaica. Tell me Tennessee or any other State is loyal of whom such things are proved!...

"Ah, sir, it was but six years ago when they were here, just before they went out to join the armies of Cataline, just before they left this Hall. Those of you who were here then will remember the scene in which every Southern member, encouraged by their allies, came forth in one yelling body, because a speech for freedom was being made here; when weapons were drawn, and Barksdale's bowie-knife gleamed before our eyes. Would you have these men back again so soon to reenact those scenes? Wait until I am gone, I pray you. I want not to go through it again. It will be but a short time for my colleagues to wait....

"Now, sir, if the gentlemen had remembered the scenes twenty years ago, when no man dared to speak without risking his life, when but a few men did do it — for there were cowards in those days, as there are in these — you would not have found them asking to bring these men in, and I only wonder that my friend from Ohio [Mr. Bingham] should intimate a desire to bring them here."

The announcement of the vote, May 10, was 128 to 37, 19 not voting. It was received with applause on the floor and in the galleries. Mr. Elridge of Wisconsin rose angrily to a question of order. "I want to know if it is understood that the proceedings of this House are to be interrupted by those who come here and occupy the galleries."

"The gentleman from Wisconsin," replied the speaker, "makes the point of order that expressions of approbation or disapprobation from persons occupying the galleries are not in order. The chair sustains the point of order." But Mr. Elridge was still angry.

"I do not want our proceedings to be interrupted by the 'niggerheads' in the galleries."

The galleries hissed and Stevens asked, "Is it in order for members on the floor to disturb those in the galleries?"

"Members upon the floor should not insult the spectators in the galleries," said the speaker.64

The Fourteenth Amendment came up in the Senate April 30, but Fessenden was still ill and no action was taken for two weeks. Finally, May 23, Howard of Michigan began the debate. He declared that the object of the Fourteenth Amendment was primarily to give Congress the power to enforce the guarantees of freedom in the first eight amendments to the Constitution. The West, led by Sherman, Doolittle and others, tried to reintroduce voters as the basis of representation. New England, through Senator Wilson of Massachusetts, was opposed to striking from the basis of representation 2,100,000 unnaturalized foreigners who gave the North 17 representatives. Sherman did not agree. "If it is right to exclude four millions of blacks in the Southern states who are denied representation, is it not also right to exclude all other classes in every other state who are denied political power?"65

The question of Negro citizenship was discussed, and Julian of Indiana opposed the conservative stand; to follow conservatism we would recognize the revolting states as still in the Union; it opposes the protection of the millions of loyal colored people of the South through the agency of the Freedmen's Bureau; it opposes the Civil Rights Bill; it opposes, with all bitterness, the policy of giving the freedmen the ballot. On the other hand, radicalism would hold treason a crime; it would base representation on the actual voters; it favors the protection of the colored people of the South through the Freedmen's Bureau and the Civil Rights Bill; it demands the ballot as the right of every colored citizen.

Evidently the breach between the East and West was growing, and coupled with Sumner's attitude, it looked as though the Fourteenth Amendment was again doomed. The Republican party fell back upon the caucus. From May 24 to May 28, the Senate was in session but a few hours, which gave the Republicans time to discuss the whole matter in party caucus. The party at that time showed clear division into conservative, industrial elements, like Fessenden, Trumbull and Morgan; and the abolition-democracy, led by Sumner, Wade and Yates. The opposition of Sumner and the abolition-democracy was finally overcome by the plain facts of the case: this was the utmost that could be got from Congress in defense of democracy. Was it not worth taking? What could be hoped for in further delay?

As a result of the caucuses, certain amendments were made. The second section was amended to strike out the word "citizen" and insert "inhabitants being citizens of the United States." A new first section was inserted: "That all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of states wherein they reside."

The Senate's changes thus consisted in defining who were citizens, and in substituting for disfranchisement of all participants in secession until 1870, the ineligibility of certain high officials; it opened the elective franchise to such persons as the states may choose to admit, and adopted the third section in its present form.

We have thus followed, as well as records let us, the inner history of the Reconstruction measures of Congress in the Committee of Fifteen and other sources. Now let us look at the proceedings of Congress, as negotiations on these matters rose among the leaders, here and there and now and then, in a sea of struggling unorganized action.

In the matter of civil rights, the final draft of the Fourteenth Amendment said:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

The first proposition on civil rights was introduced into the House by Mr. Stevens, December 5, 1865. On December 6, Bingham of Ohio offered an amendment. Both these resolutions went to the Committee on the Judiciary. Two other propositions were introduced December 11. February 1, 1866, a motion was passed directing the Committee of Fifteen to inquire into this matter. Williams suggested an amendment, February 5, empowering Congress to enforce "all obligations, prohibitions or disabilities imposed by the Constitution on the several states."66 February 13, 1866, the Committee of Fifteen, as we have noted, reported to both Houses a proposed amendment by Mr. Bingham in the House and by Mr. Fessenden in the Senate. Both motions were indefinitely postponed, and there was a strong desire to get the whole final report of the Committee of Fifteen.

On March 9, 1866, while the Senate was discussing the apportionment of representatives, Senator Yates of Illinois moved an amendment for civil and political rights, but it secured only seven votes. Two other and similar propositions were made in the Senate but received small support. The first section of the resolution reported to the House April 30, 1866, became eventually the civil rights section of the Fourteenth Amendment passed by the House, but the Senate, as we have seen, did not adopt it. Several attempts were made to amend it in the Senate: Mr. Wade offered a substitute for the entire resolution, but the whole proposition failed. When the second proposition came before the Senate, May 30, Howard of Michigan, in behalf of Senate members of the Joint Committee, presented a series of resolutions which had been adopted by the Republican caucus as a substitute for the House Amendment. The substitute was accepted. The first change was to prefix these words to the first clause of the amendment: "All persons born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."

Later, Fessenden of Maine secured the inclusion of "naturalized persons." Senator Johnson of Maryland tried unsuccessfully to strike out the guarantee that states should not make or enforce any law to abridge the privileges of immunity of citizens.

Disability for participation in secession was covered by Section III:

"No person shall be a senator or representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each house, remove such disability."

Four amendments on disabilities for participation in the rebellion were introduced in 1866. In the report of the Committee of Fifteen April 30, 1866, there was included a third section by which all persons who voluntarily adhered to the late insurrection were excluded from the right to vote until July 4, 1870. Attempts were made to amend this in the House. When the resolution reached the Senate there were 15 (attempts to alter this section. On May 30, Senator Howard of Michigan in behalf of the Senate members of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction presented a new draft in which he proposed in place of the third section, the provision which now appears in the Fourteenth Amendment. Many efforts were made to amend it. The Democratic Senators seemed to prefer the Howard substitute to the House amendment. This section passed.

The question of suffrage for Negroes was covered by Section II:

"Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive or judicial officers of a State, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged except for participation in rebellion or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State."

This question of Negro suffrage gave rise to five proposed amendments just before the Civil War. All these excluded persons of Negro descent from the right to vote, and most of them excluded from them the right to hold office.

In the opening days of the 39th Congress, there were six propositions to guarantee the right to vote to Negroes. Two proposed an educational standard in voting for Federal officials. Boutwell proposed an amendment making unlawful any distinction in the elective franchise on account of race or color. Another amendment proposed to give Congress power to define the qualifications of voters, and members of Congress, and of Presidential electors. Henderson, January 23, 1866, proposed an amendment denying the state the right to discriminate against voters on account of race or color. January 22, 1866, the proposal on the apportionment of Representatives and abridgment of Representatives was presented by the Committee of Fifteen to the House. It was recommitted January 29, and reported again January 31. It passed January 31.

In the Senate, there were five attempts to amend this resolution. Sumner presented a resolution making color discrimination impossible in the courtroom or ballot-box. This was rejected, 39 to 8. Howard proposed to admit to the franchise Negroes in the army and navy, or those able to read and write, or those who had property to the value of $250. This was not acted on. Sumner again attempted to amend the resolution by making illegal discrimination on account of race and color. It was lost, 39-8. A similar proposal by Yates of Illinois was rejected.

Three other propositions to amend the Constitution, relative to the suffrage, were introduced before the close of this Congress. One was a proposition by Stewart of Nevada on March 16; this foreshadowed the subsequent "Grandfather Clause." It admitted the Southern states on several conditions, one of which was: "The extension of the elective franchise to all persons upon the same terms and conditions, making no discrimination on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude; provided that those who were qualified to vote in the year ; i860 by the laws of their respective states shall not be disfranchised by reason of any new tests or conditions which have been or may be prescribed since that year.

"That when the aforementioned condition shall have been complied with and ratified by a majority of the present voting population, a general amnesty shall be proclaimed.

"That all the loyal states be respectfully requested to incorporate in their constitutions an amendment corresponding to the one above described.

"That it is not intended to assert a coercive power on the part of Congress, in regard to the regulation of the suffrage in the different states, but only to make an appeal to their own good sense and love of country, with a view to the prevention of serious evils now threatened."

Seward said in 1870, "When the Reconstruction question arose about the Fourteenth Amendment, I proposed that all persons born in the United States after the date of Mr. Lincoln's proclamation abolishing slavery should be entitled to vote on arriving at the age of twenty-one years, and this should enter into Reconstruction."67

The resolution for the new Fourteenth Amendment passed the Senate June 8, 1866, by a vote of 33-11; five members not voting. The amended resolution was brought before the House and was called up June 13. After a limited debate, the amendments made by the Senate were concurred in by a vote of 120-32, thirty-two not voting. Thus the Fourteenth Amendment was sent to the states for approval.

After the President's veto of the Freedmen's Bureau Bill, many members wanted the question immediately reconsidered, and the day after the President's speech of February 22, Senator Wilson introduced a bill which was not reported. The legislatures of several states approved of a bill, by petitions which urged maintaining the Bureau. The President tried to counteract this by sending two agents, Generals Steedman and Fullerton, to investigate the Bureau. They were both in sympathy with his policy and made a tour of four months. They commended Howard and believed that the Bureau had done much to preserve order and organize free labor, but that it had sometimes been dishonestly and injudiciously administered, and that it was time for it to come to an end.

This report was widely circulated and discussed. The charges were investigated and public confidence in the Bureau was shaken. Nevertheless, May 22, a bill to continue the Bureau was introduced. It differed from the bill of February 9, in limiting the Bureau to two years. Land held under Sherman's orders was to be restored to former owners and other land furnished the dispossessed freedmen. Army officers were retained in the service of the Bureau, and commissioners were authorized to cooperate with agents of benevolent associations; property was to be appropriated for the education of the freedmen, and military protection of their civil rights guaranteed.

After discussion, the bill passed the House May 29, by vote of 96-32. In the Senate, the bill was amended and a conference was held. The conference agreed that the questions arising out of Sherman's orders should be left entirely with the President for settlement. On June 16, the President vetoed the bill and called the Freedmen's Bureau a proposition to transfer four million slaves from their original owners to a new set of taskmasters. By a severe exercise of party discipline, according to Blaine, the necessary two-thirds vote was procured in each House, and the bill passed over the President's veto on the same day that it was received. Thus government guardianship of freedmen was given a temporary extension under a grudging and partly inimical administration. The disposition of Congress to yield in part to the President was manifest.

On June 6, the Committee of Fifteen was reappointed. Sub-committees had been taking testimony all over the South.

The final report of the Committee of Fifteen was made June 18. It made an eight hundred page book and 100,000 copies were distributed. Its majority and minority sections summed up the strongest arguments available for and against the proposed methods of Reconstruction. The part of the majority report that touched the Negro said:

"Slavery had been abolished by constitutional amendment. A large proportion of the population had become, instead of mere chattels, free men and citizens. Through all the past struggle these had remained true and loyal, and had, in large numbers, fought on the side of the Union. It was impossible to abandon them without securing them their rights as free men and citizens. The whole civilized world would have cried out against such base ingratitude, and the bare idea is offensive to all right-thinking men. Hence, it became important to inquire what could be done to secure their rights, civil and political. It was evident to your committee that adequate security could only be found in appropriate constitutional provisions.... The increase of representation necessarily resulting from the abolition of slavery was considered the most important element in the questions arising out of the changed condition of affairs, and the necessity for some fundamental action in this regard seemed imperative.

"It appeared to your committee that the rights of these persons by whom the basis of representation had been thus increased should be recognized by the General Government. While slaves, they were not considered as having any rights, civil or political. 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....

"Doubts were entertained whether Congress had power, even under the amended Constitution, to prescribe the qualifications of voters in a state, or could act directly on the subject. It was doubtful, in the opinion of your committee, whether the states would consent to surrender a power they had always exercised, and to which they were attached. As the best, if not the only, method of surmounting the difficulty, and as eminently just and proper in itself, your committee came to the conclusion that political power should be possessed in all the states exactly in proportion as the right of suffrage should be granted, without distinction of color or race....

"It appears quite clear that the anti-slavery amendments, both to the state and Federal Constitutions, were adopted in the South with re-luctancy by the bodies which did adopt them, while in some states they have been either passed by in silence or rejected. The language of all the provisions and ordinances of these states on the subject amounts to nothing more than an unwilling admission of an unwelcome truth....

"Looking still further at the evidence taken by your committee, it is found to be clearly shown, by witnesses of the highest character, and having the best means of observation, that the Freedmen's Bureau, instituted for the relief and protection of freedmen and refugees, is almost universally opposed by the mass of the population, and exists in an efficient condition only under military protection, while the Union men of the South are earnest in its defense, declaring with one voice that without its protection the colored people would not be permitted to labor at fair prices, and could hardly live in safety. They also testify that without the protection of United States troops Union men, whether of Northern or Southern origin, would be obliged to abandon their homes. The feeling in many portions of the country towards the emancipated slaves, especially among the uneducated and ignorant, is one of vindictive and malicious hatred. This deep-seated prejudice against color is assiduously cultivated by the public journals, and leads to acts of cruelty, oppression, and murder, which the local authorities are at no pains to prevent or punish. There is no general disposition to place the colored race, constituting at least two-fifths of the population, upon terms even of civil equality. While many instances may be found where large planters and men of the better class accept the situation, and honestly strive to bring about a better order of things by employing the freedmen at fair wages and treating them kindly, the general feeling and disposition among all classes are yet totally averse to the toleration of any class of people friendly to the Union, be they white or black; and this aversion is not infrequently manifested in an insulting and offensive manner...."68

This part of the report was signed by twelve members of the Committee. The other three members submitted a Minority Report. It was in the main, the old metaphysical argument, signed by Johnson, the constitutional lawyer from Maryland, Rogers, the extreme advocate of Southern rights from New Jersey, and Grider.

"They are asked to disfranchise a numerous class of their citizens, and also to agree to diminish their representation in Congress, and of course in the electoral college, or to admit to the right of suffrage their colored males of twenty-one years of age and upwards (a class now in a condition of almost utter ignorance), thus placing them on the same political footing with white citizens of that age. For reasons so obvious that the dullest may discover them, the right is not directly asserted of granting suffrage to the Negro. That would be obnoxious to most of the Northern and Western states, so much so that their consent was not to be anticipated; but as the plan adopted, because of the limited number of Negroes in such States, will have no effect on their representation, it is thought it may be adopted, while in the Southern States it will materially lessen their number.

"That these latter States will assent to the measure can hardly be expected. The effect, then, if not the purpose, of the measure is forever to deny representatives to such States, or, if they consent to the condition, to weaken their representative power, and thus, probably, secure a continuance of such a party in power as now controls the legislation of the government. The measure, in its terms and its effect, whether designed or not, is to degrade the Southern States. To consent to it will be to consent to their own dishonor."

Neither Sumner nor Stevens was satisfied with the Fourteenth Amendment. On the last day of the session, July 28, 1866, Thaddeus Stevens made his last defense of Negro suffrage. He was at the time worn out; his health was precarious; he was seventy-three years of age, and he hardly expected to return to his seat in the House. With deep solemnity, he sought "'to make one more — perhaps an expiring — effort to do something which shall be useful to my fellow men; something to elevate and enlighten the poor, the oppressed, and the ignorant in this great crisis of human affairs.' The black man, he declared, must have the ballot or he would continue to be a slave. There was some alleviation to the lot of a bondman, but 'a freeman deprived of every human right, is the most degraded of human beings.' Without the protection of the ballot-box the freedmen were 'the mere serfs,' and would become 'the victims of their former masters.' He declared that what he had done he had done for humanity. 'I know it is easy,' he said, 'to protect the interests of the rich and powerful; but it is a great labor to guard the rights of the poor and downtrodden — it is the eternal labor of Sisyphus, forever to be renewed. In this, perhaps my final action on this great question, I can see nothing in my political course, especially in regard to human freedom, which I could wish to have expunged or changed. I believe that we must all account hereafter for deeds done in the body, and that political deeds will be among those accounts. I desire to take to the bar of that final settlement the record which I shall this day make on the great question of human rights. While I am sure it will not make atonement for half my errors, I hope it will be some palliation. Are there any who will venture to take the list with their negative seal upon it, and who will dare to unroll it before that stern judge who is the Father of the immortal beings whom they have been trampling under foot, and whose souls they have been crushing out?"69

This was not, in fact, his last speech, but it had the tone of a final message. Congress adjourned before a congressional plan of reconstruction reached its final form, but its general outline was clear, and no further compromise between the congressional majority and Johnson was possible.

Already, the President's attitude on the Fourteenth Amendment and Reconstruction had led to two suicides, the resignation of three members of the Cabinet; and although Stanton remained, his retention caused the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Sumner, much against his will, had remained silent when the Senate, by party caucus, had decided upon the Fourteenth Amendment. On the last day of Congress, he wrote the Duchess of Argyll:

"The suffering at the South is great, through the misconduct of the President. His course has kept the rebel spirit alive, and depressed the loyal, white and black. It makes me very sad to see this. Considering the difficulties of their position, the blacks have done wonderfully well. They should have had a Moses as a President; but they had found a Pharaoh."70

Particularly had the situation in Louisiana become tense. The New Orleans riot of July 30, 1866, confirmed the Abolitionists in their opinion that the reconstructed states were in the power of the rebels, and that they were using their power to put the Negro back into slavery; and that no man, white or black, who was friendly to the Union, .was safe in the South. There were reported a thousand murders in the South, with few of the criminals brought to justice. And the country was convinced that the President had disrupted the Union party, and was conspiring with Democrats, North and South, to drive out the Republicans.

In the election of 1866, there was on the side of Congress, a Union party with a center bloc of Republicans; a left wing of radical Abolitionists, and a right wing of reactionary War Democrats. Andrew Johnson tried to unite the Western Radicals and the War Democrats into a new third party, to be reenforced eventually by the returned Secessionists. But between extreme democracy and reaction there was no common ground. He only succeeded in getting the support of a few of the War Democrats, and the copperheads, who were either Southerners living North, or Northern men with Southern principles.

State and national conventions met. Johnson and his friends started out August 14 to form a Johnson Party. The National Union Convention met in Philadelphia with states North and South represented. A special wigwam, two stories high, was erected on Girard Avenue, seating ten thousand people. The interior was decorated with flags. Horace Greeley called it a bread and butter convention, composed of 99% of rebels and copperheads. Thomas Nast ridiculed the convention in his cartoons in Harper's Weekly.

Their declaration of principles, accepted unanimously, declared the war had maintained the Constitution and the Union unaltered, and that neither Congress nor the general Government had any authority to deny the constitutional right of congressional representation to any state. They urged the election of Congressmen who would admit all "loyal" representatives from the South. They affirmed the inability of a state either to secede or exclude any other state from the Union, and the constitutional right of each state to decide for itself the qualifications for voting, within its borders. They insisted that the Constitution could not be legally amended, except with all the states voting in Congress, and action by all the legislatures. They denied any desire in the Southern states to restore slavery. They proclaimed the invalidity of the rebel debts, the inviolability of the Federal debt, and the right of freedmen to the same protection of persons and property as afforded to whites. They urged government aid for Federal soldiers and their families. Finally, they expressed whole-hearted endorsement of Andrew Johnson.

The weakness of this meeting was that, first, it contained in fact few Republicans, most of the delegates being well-known Democrats who had opposed Lincoln. It was dubbed the conference of "copperheads," and among the delegates were Vallandigham and Fernando Wood. Secondly, the meeting was not followed up with careful organization.

No sooner had this convention adjourned than Southern Loyalists met in Philadelphia on September 3, to confer with Northern Republicans, including Horace Greeley, John Jacob Astor, Carl Schurz, Frederick Douglass, Brownlow, Thomas E. Benton, Morton, Cameron, and Gerry. This conference met in two parts, one Northern and one Southern.

Frederick Douglass was elected delegate from Rochester to attend the convention. It was a great honor for a black man in a white city. On the train, he met Southern and Western delegates, including Governor Oliver P. Morton of Indiana. After consultation, a committee waited on him, and through a Louisiana spokesman, insisted on their high respect for him, but also on their fear that it was inexpedient for him to attend the convention, on account of the cry of social and political equality which would be raised against the Republican party. Douglass replied: "Gentlemen, with all respect, you might as well ask me to put a loaded pistol to my head and blow my brains out, as to ask me to keep out of this convention, to which I have been duly elected."71

He pointed out that the fact of his election was widely known, and his failure to attend would be inexplicable. Later, he was warned against walking in the procession, and for a while it looked as if he would have to walk alone, until Theodore Tilton of New York offered to walk with him. In that parade, he met a daughter of his former owner!

During the convention, Speed, who had just resigned from the Cabinet, called the President a tyrant, and the Southern Loyalists attacked Johnson, but split on Negro suffrage. A part of the convention finally adopted this declaration: "... The Government by national and appropriate legislation, enforced by national authority, shall confer on every citizen in the States we represent, the American birthright of impartial suffrage and equality before the law. This is the one all-sufficient remedy. This is our great and pressing necessity."72

Governor Brownlow of Tennessee, in discussing Negro suffrage at this same convention on September 3, 1866, said:

"Some gentlemen, from a mistaken view of my character, said they were afraid of Negro Suffrage, and wanted to dodge it. I have never dodged any subject, nor have I ever been found on both sides of any subject. While I am satisfied with everything done here, I would go further. I am an advocate of Negro suffrage, and impartial suffrage. I would rather associate with loyal Negroes than with disloyal white men. I would rather be buried in a Negro graveyard than in a rebel graveyard; and after death I would sooner go to a Negro heaven than a white rebel's hell."73

There followed in September two military conventions, one in Cleveland, September 18, by friends of Johnson, which did not mention Negro suffrage. It denounced the Abolitionists and said that they were trying to force another war. It contained many Democrats and a few conservative Republicans. Confederate officers at Memphis, including General Forrest of Fort Pillow fame, sent sympathy by telegram, which was unfortunate publicity. In answer to this a National Convention of "Citizens, Soldiers and Sailors" was held at Pittsburgh, September 25 and 26. There were many volunteer officers of high rank and Johnson was denounced and the Fourteenth Amendment advocated. This convention had great influence on public opinion and popularized the Fourteenth Amendment.

The issue in the election of the fall of 1866, turned on whether Congress should recognize Southern states as reconstructed by Johnson. It was not a presidential year, but congressmen and state legislatures were to be elected.

The real campaign began in August, with the fourteenth of August convention in Philadelphia. This convention greatly encouraged Johnson, and he wrote it, attacking Congress for preventing the restoration of peace and union, and denying that it was really a legal Congress. "If I had wanted authority, or if I had wished to perpetuate my own power, how easily could I have held and wielded that which was placed in my hands by the measure called Freedmen's Bureau Bill."74

On July 4, he had issued another proclamation of general amnesty, and on August 20, he declared the Civil War at an end. Already, in the spring, he had promised to lay the cornerstone of a monument to Stephen A. Douglas in Chicago, and he left Washington, August 28, on a great campaign tour, which was to sweep the country. He took General Grant with him and members of his Cabinet, and Seward joined him in New York. Johnson stopped at Philadelphia, New York, Albany, and then went West by way of Cleveland, Chicago and St. Louis.

It was an extraordinary and increasingly painful effort, by which Johnson definitely defeated himself and his own political policies. He showed genius for saying the wrong thing. In New York, for instance, he asked, "Are we prepared, after the cost of war, to continue the disrupted condition of the country? Why are we afraid of the representatives of the South? Some have grown fat, some have grown rich by the aggression and destruction of others."

In Philadelphia, he declared that God was a tailor, like himself. At Cleveland his audience became a mob while the President himself increased the hubbub. The city authorities had made preparations for a polite reception, but as he proceeded with his harangue, the mob took complete possession of the crowd. Someone cried, "Why not hang Thad Stevens and Wendell Phillips?" "Yes," yelled Johnson, "why not hang them?"75

Some towns hung out blacks flags and banners, "No welcome to traitors." Bands played the death march; Johnson shouted in defiance. His egotism was ridiculed. He was charged with being drunk, a traitor and a demagogue. On he reeled. As Burgess said, "The trip degraded the presidential office." The New York Tribune watched it with a "feeling of national shame," and called it "the stumbling tour of an inebriated demagogue." The New York World excused him by asking: "Who of all presidents had been lower than Lincoln in personal bearing?" The Herald put the blame on Seward's shoulders, "the Mephistopheles of the administration." Lowell called the journey "an indecent orgy"; Rhodes says he was "intoxicated" at Cleveland, while Schouler declares he was sober. The culmination came in St. Louis, where Johnson declared that the blood of the New Orleans riot was on Congress, and decried the "diabolical and nefarious policies of Stevens, Phillips and Sumner."

The most charitable thing that the defenders of Andrew Johnson can say of him is that occasionally he got drunk; for too much liquor alone would excuse such extraordinary conduct and performances as his Vice-Presidential inauguration, his speech of February 22, 1866, his exhibition at Cleveland, and his St. Louis debauch. If he was not an occasional drunkard, he was God's own fool.

"He returned to Washington," as Schurz says, "an utterly discomfited and disgraced man, having gone out to win popular support, and having earned only public disgust."

The role of Seward during this episode was pathetic. One of the wits of the time spoke of Seward's new office of bear-leader. "Unfortunately he was very unsuccessful even in this task, for he could do little more than apologize for Johnson, and in a few commonplace sentences call upon the audience to support the President in opposition to Congress. At Niagara, he told the crowd that Lincoln had been traduced when alive, but after his assassination all hearts inclined to the deepest sorrow; and it would be the same if Johnson should be taken off. To the citizens of Buffalo he stated the issue as follows: 'The question is between the President and the Congress. Of all that has been done to bring us so near the consummation [of Reconstruction] you see that nothing has been done that was not done through the direction, agency, activity, perseverance and patriotism of Andrew Johnson, President of the United States. Will you stand by Congress? Or will you stand by the President?'"

The Republicans took every advantage of the situation. They saw in Johnson the instinct of the poor white cropping out. "He cannot shake of! the boot-licking proclivity, born and bred in him, towards the aristocracy of the South. Miserable fool!"

Stevens made but one speech in the campaign of 1866. He said that he had been directed by his physician neither to think, speak nor read until the next session of Congress; that he had followed the orders not to read almost literally. "It is true, I have amused myself with a little light, frivolous reading. For instance, there was a serial account from day to day of a very remarkable circus that traveled through the country, from Washington to Chicago and St. Louis, and from Louisville back to Washington. I read that with some interest, expecting to see in so celebrated an establishment, — one which from its heralding was to beat Dan Rice and all the old circuses that ever went forth, — I expected great wit from the celebrated character of its clowns."76

As the campaign of 1866 progressed, the agitation in favor of granting suffrage to the Negro as a necessary protection of his freedom became marked. First of all, Industry and Trade were convinced that they could not trust the white South. Therefore, the more extreme ideas which Stevens had advocated, were allowed to be broadcast. Their logic was strong and their methods popular. People had faith in laws and wanted some great enactment in keeping with the greatness of the war. It was a ripe time for amending the Constitution and inaugurating final reforms. These reforms might be in advance at the time, but they were worth trying, and there appeared to be no middle path.

Thus, as the campaign went on, Negro suffrage occupied a more and more important position. Stevens, Wade, Sumner, Chase, Schurz and Chandler were in favor of it. To many Northerners it had been at first unthinkable, but more and more they became convinced. The Nation urged full Negro suffrage and Negro civil rights, but opposed the exclusion of white leaders from office.

"The doctrine that 'this is a white man's government and intended for white men only,' is, as the Perrys profess it, as monstrous a doctrine as was ever concocted." To allow the states to reorganize on this basis, the Nation added, "will make the very name of American democracy a hissing and a byword among the nations of the earth.... To have this theory of the nature of our government boldly thrust in our faces now, after the events of the last four years, by men who have come red-handed from the battlefield, and to whose garments the blood of our brothers and sons still clings; and to know that the President, who owes in part at least his ability to be President to the valor and blood of colored troops, concurs with them in this scandalous repudiation of democratic principles, are things which the country, we trust, will find it hard to bear."77

For a brief period — for the seven mystic years that stretched between Johnson's "Swing round the Circle" to the Panic of 1873, the majority of thinking Americans of the North believed in the equal manhood of Negroes. They acted accordingly with a thoroughness and clean-cut decision that no age which does not share that faith can in the slightest comprehend. They did not free draft animals, nor enfranchise gorillas, nor welcome morons to Congress. They simply recognized black folk as men. "The South called for war," said James Russell Lowell, "and we have given it to her. We will fix the terms of peace ourselves and we will teach the South that Christ is disguised in a dusky race."78

Then came in 1873-76 sudden and complete disillusion not at Negroes but at the world — at business, at work, at religion, at art. A bitter protest of Southern property reenforced Northern reaction; and while after long years the American world recovered in most matters, it has never yet quite understood why it could ever have thought that black men were altogether human.

There were men in the South and former slaveholders who knew the truth and spoke it. They knew that there could be no salvation for the South in time or eternity, until the former slave went forth as a man. But the intrenched intolerance of the South, coupled with the awful grief at the death of the flower of Southern manhood, let such prophets speak but few words. They spoke here and there in nearly every Southern state, but they were soon threatened into silence; and there prevailed a bitter hatred and cry for vengeance from people who could not brook defeat because they had been used to victory, and had the slave-born habit of arrogance. For their grief, none had greater sympathy than the bulk of their former slaves. They served and even succored their former masters; and yet, upon these and their fellows, was eventually placed the whole wrath of the South which it could not turn toward the North. And especially it fell upon those freedmen who felt their freedom; who were uplifted by new ambition; who showed the gathered resentment of two hundred years of whipping, kicks and cuffs; in fine, on them who had rolling in their ears God's great: "Deposuit potentes —"

"He hath put down the Mighty
From their seats
And hath exalted them
Of low degree!"

After the final elections of 1866, the Republicans had 143 members in the House, and the Democrats 49. All states gave strong majorities to the Republican party, except the Border States of Maryland, Delaware and Kentucky. In the South, Democratic candidates were universally successful. Not counting the South, the Republicans in the Senate had a two-thirds majority, and nearly a three-fourths majority in the House.

Through the winter of 1866-1867, notwithstanding the results of the elections of 1866, the South rejected the Fourteenth Amendment. Virginia gave one vote in favor; North Carolina, 11 out of 148; South Carolina, 1 vote; Georgia, 2 out of 169; Alabama, 10 out of 106; Texas, 5, and Arkansas, 3; Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana were unanimously against it.

Thus the South defied Congress, and demanded that the disfranchised Negro should be counted as basis of representation. The South was encouraged in this stand by the President. The Governor of Alabama telegraphed him that the rejection of the Fourteenth Amendment could be reconsidered by his state, but Johnson discouraged him. This increased the strength of the Republicans in the North.

The President's message of December 4, 1866, with all the earmarks of Seward, was calm and skillful. He said that the war was ended, and that the nation should now proceed as a free, prosperous and united nation. He had already informed Congress of his efforts for the gradual restoration of the States. All that remained now was the admission to Congress of loyal Senators and Representatives. While Congress had been considering this, the President had appointed various public officials, and the Thirteenth Amendment had been passed. Yet Congress hesitated to admit the Southern states to representation, and after eight months, only Tennessee had been admitted. He wished to leave the whole matter of suffrage to the States and he was significantly silent on the Black Codes.

The second session of the 39th Congress began December 3. The Senate asked for a report on the condition of the Southern states, since the President had said practically nothing about it. The President replied, December 19, 1866:

"As a result of the measures instituted by the Executive, with the view of inducing a resumption of the functions of the States comprehended in the inquiry of the Senate, the people of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee, have reorganized their respective State governments, and are yielding obedience to the laws and government of the United States with more willingness and greater promptitude than under the circumstances could reasonably have been anticipated. The proposed amendment to the Constitution, providing for the abolition of slavery forever within the limits of the country, has been ratified by each one of those states, with the exception of Mississippi, from which no official information has yet been received; and in nearly all of them measures have been adopted or are now pending, to confer upon freed-men rights and privileges which are essential to their comfort, protection, and security. In Florida and Texas, the people are making commendable progress in restoring their State governments, and no doubt it is entertained that they will, at an early period be in a condition to resume all of their practical relations to the Federal Government.

"It is true that in some of the States the demoralizing effects of the war are to be seen in occasional disorders; but these are local in character, not frequent in occurrence, and are rapidly disappearing as the authority of civil law is extended and sustained. Perplexing questions were naturally to be expected from the great and sudden change in the relations between the two races; but systems are gradually developing themselves under which the freedman will receive the protection to which he is justly entitled, and by means of his labor make himself a useful and independent member of the community in which he has his home."

The transubstantiation of Andrew Johnson was complete. He had begun as the champion of the poor laborer, demanding that the land monopoly of the Southern oligarchy be broken up, so as to give access to the soil, South and West, to the free laborer. He had demanded the punishment of those Southerners who by slavery and war had made such an economic program impossible. Suddenly thrust into the Presidency, he had retreated from this attitude. He had not only given up extravagant ideas of punishment, but he dropped his demand for dividing up plantations when he realized that Negroes would largely be beneficiaries. Because he could not conceive of Negroes as men, he refused to advocate universal democracy, of which, in his young manhood, he had been the fiercest advocate, and made strong alliance with those who would restore slavery under another name.

This change did not come by deliberate thought or conscious desire to hurt — it was rather the tragedy of American prejudice made flesh; so that the man born to narrow circumstances, a rebel against economic privilege, died with the conventional ambition of a poor white to be the associate and benefactor of monopolists, planters and slave drivers. In some respects, Andrew Johnson is the most pitiful figure of American history. A man who, despite great power and great ideas, became a puppet, played upon by mighty fingers and selfish, subtle minds; groping, self-made, unlettered and alone; drunk, not so much with liquor, as with the heady wine of sudden and accidental success.


My wild soul waited on as falcons hover.
I beat the reedy fens as I trampled past.
  I heard the mournful loon
  In the marsh beneath the moon
And then, with feathery thunder, the bird of my desire
    Broke from the cover
    Flashing silver fire.
High up among the stars I saw his pinions spire.
  The pale clouds gazed aghast
As my falcon dropped upon him, and gript and held him fast.
                                       William Rose Benét

1. Hall, C. A., Andrew Johnson, p. 22.

2. Hall, C. A., Andrew Johnson, p. 21.

3. Winston, Andrew Johnson, pp. xiv, xvi, 24, 25.

4. Winston, Andrew Johnson, p. 172; Congressional Globe, 36th Congress, 2nd Session, P- 1354-

5. Winston, Andrew Johnson, p. 118.

6. Winston, Andrew Johnson, p. 108.

7. Hall, Andrew Johnson, p. 27; Moore, Speeches of Andrew Johnson, p. 294.

8. Hall, Andrew Johnson, p. 117; Winston, Andrew Johnson, p. 252

9. McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, pp. 46, 47.

10. Winston, Andrew Johnson, pp. 228, 229.

11. Moore, Speeches of Andrew Johnson, p. xli.

12. Winston, Andrew Johnson, pp. 260, 261.

13. Winston, Andrew Johnson, p. 515.

14. Warmoth, War, Politics and Reconstruction, p. 26.

15. Pierce, Memoirs and Letters of Charles Sumner, IV, p. 276.

16. Pierce, Memoirs and Letters of Charles Sumner, IV, p. 244.

17. Pierce, Memoirs and Letters of Charles Sumner, IV, pp. 242-243, 245.

18. Fleming, Documentary History of Reconstruction (Chase to Johnson), Vol. I, pp. 142, 143-

19. Pierce, Memoirs and Letters of Charles Sumner, IV, p. 246.

20. Schurz, Reminiscences, III, pp. 202, 203.

21. Schurz, Reminiscences, III, pp. 201-204.

22. Beale, The Critical Year, p. 68. Footnote.

23. McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, pp. 19, 20.

24. Pierce, Memoirs and Letters of Charles Sumner, IV, pp. 267-268.

25. Pierce, Memoirs and Letters of Charles Sumner, IV, pp. 258-259.

26. McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, p. 49.

27. McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, pp. 50, 51.

28. Winston, Andrew Johnson, p. 314.

29. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 6.

30. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 30.

31. Winston, Andrew Johnson, p. 381.

32. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, pp. 74, 75.

33. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 154.

34. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 43.

35. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, pp. 90, 91.

36. Cf. Pierce, Charles Sumner, IV. Note at bottom, p. 272.

37. Pierce, Freedmen's Bureau, p. 59 (for Sections I-VI); Flack, The Adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, p. 13 (Johns Hopkins University Studies, XXVI).

38. Report of Committee on Reconstruction, Part III, pp. 65, 66 (Judge Humphreys).

39. Speech of March 19, 1867.

40. Winston, Andrew Johnson, p. 343.

41. Seward, Works, VII, p. 532.

42. McPherson, History of U. S. During Reconstruction, pp. 60, 61.

43. Cf. Oberholtzer, A History of the U. S. Since the Civil War, I, p. 171.

44. Pierce, Charles Sumner, IV, p. 276.

45. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 183.

46. McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, pp. 51, 52.

47. This account of the Committee of Fifteen mainly follows Kendrick, Journal of the Joint Committee of Fifteen on Reconstruction.

48. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, pp. 356-358.

49. Article 4, Section 2, of the Constitution.

50. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 536.

51. New York Nation, Jan. 11, 1866.

52. Blaine, Twenty Years of Congress, Vol. II, pp. 146-147.

53. Beale, The Critical Year, p. 229.

54. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part I, p. 673.

55. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, p. 442.

56. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, p. 467.

57. McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, pp. 52-55.

58. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, pp. 467-468.

59. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part IV, p. 3148.

60. Kendrick, Journal of the Joint Committee of Fifteen on Reconstruction, p. 300.

61. Kendrick, Journal of the Joint Committee of Fifteen on Reconstruction, p. 302.

62. Flack, Adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment (Johns Hopkins University Studies, XXVI, p. 128).

63. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part III, pp. 2459, 2544-2545.

64. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part III, p. 2545.

65. Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, Part IV, p. 2987.

66. Ames, Amendments to the Constitution, p. 220.

67. Seward, Works, III, p. 24.

68. McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, pp. 88-93.

69. McCall, Thaddeus Stevens, p. 275-76.

70. Pierce, Charles Sumner, p. 359.

71. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, p. 474.

72. McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, p. 242.

73. Warmoth, War Politics and Reconstruction, p. 50.

74. McPherson, History of United States During Reconstruction, pp. 129, 133, 137.

75. Oberholtzer, History of U. S. After the Civil War, Vol. I, pp. 405, 406.

76. Morse, Thaddeus Stevens, pp. 282, 283.

77. New York Nation, Sept. 28, 1865. Cf. New York Herald, Sept. 20, 1865.

78. North American Review, Vol. 102, p. 520.


IX. THE PRICE OF DISASTER

The price of the disaster of slavery and civil war was the necessity of quickly assimilating into American democracy a mass of ignorant laborers in whose hands alone for the moment lay the power of preserving the ideals of popular government; of overthrowing a slave economy and establishing upon it an industry primarily for the profit of the workers. It was this price which in the end America refused to pay and today suffers for that refusal

The year 1867 comes. The election of 1866 has sent to the 40th Congress a Republican majority of 42 against 11 in the Senate and 143 against 49 in the House. The decisive battle of Reconstruction looms. Abolition-democracy demands for Negroes physical freedom, civil rights, economic opportunity and education and the right to vote, as a matter of sheer human justice and right. Industry demands profits and is willing to use for this end Negro freedom or Negro slavery, votes for Negroes or Black Codes.

The South, beaten in war, and socially and economically disorganized, was knocking at the doors of Congress with increased political power and with a determination to restore land monopoly, and to reorganize its agrarian industry, and to attempt to restore its capital by reducing public taxation to the lowest point. Moreover, it had not given up the idea that the capital which it had lost through the legal abolition of slavery, should and might be reimbursed from the Federal Treasury. Especially it was determined to use for its own ends the increased political power based on voteless Negroes. Finally, there was the West, beginning to fear the grip of land and transportation monopoly, rebelling against the power of Eastern industry, and staggering under the weight of public debt and public taxation.

In the midst of these elements stood Andrew Johnson, with the treme ndous p ower which lay in his hands as commander-in-chief of the Army, wiriTlKcfiarge patronage which arose through the expansion of governmental functions during the war, and with a stubborn will and a resourceful and astute Secretary of State. Logically, Andrew Johnson as an early leader of land reform, and of democracy in industry for the peasant-farmer and the laboring class, was in position to lead the democracy of the West. But perversely, he had been induced by flattery, by his Southern birth, and his dislike of New England puritanism, to place himself at the head of the Southerners. Between the program of the South and that of the West, then, there was absolutely no point of alliance. The South represented the extreme of reactionary capitalism based upon land and on the ownership of labor. It showed no sign of any more sympathy with the labor movement in the North or the extension of democratic methods than it had before the war. There was not a single labor voice raised in the Southern post-war clamor. Yet Johnson could not see this. He continued to flirt with Western liberalism at the very time he was surrendering completely to Southern reaction and ultra-conservatism.

In his advice to the South, he no longer contemplated Negro suffrage in any form, and he said nothing of poor whites. In 1867, Negro votes were refused in the municipal elections in Virginia. Judge Moore asked President Johnson concerning the right of freedmen to participate in these elections, but Johnson gave no answer. On the other hand, in an interview with Charles Halpine, March 5, he sought again to make alliance with the Western unrest. He said: "To the people the national debt is a thing of debt to be paid; but to the aristocracy of bonds and national securities it is a property of more than $2,500,000,000, from which a revenue of $180,000,000 a year is to be received into their pockets. So we now find that an aristocracy of the South, based on $3,000,000,000 in Negroes, who were a productive class, has disappeared, and their place in political control of the country is assumed by an aristocracy based on nearly $3,000,000,000 of national debt — a thing which is not producing anything, but which goes on steadily every year, and must go on for all time until the debt is paid, absorbing and taxing at the rate of six or seven per cent a year for every $100 bond that is represented in its aggregation.

"The war of finance is the next war we have to fight; and every blow struck against my efforts to uphold a strict construction of the laws and the Constitution is in reality a blow in favor of repudiating the national debt. The manufacturers and men of capital in the eastern States and the States along the Atlantic seaboard — a mere strip or fringe on the broad mantle of our country, if you will examine the map — these are in favor of high protective, and, in fact, prohibitory tariffs, and also favor a contraction of the currency. But against both measures the interests and votes of the great producing and non-manufacturing States of the West stand irrevocably arrayed, and a glance at the map and the census statistics of the last twenty years will tell every one who is open to conviction how that war must end."1

This was a maladroit argument. It placed the national debt against the loss of slave property as equally sinister phenomena. It suggested partial repudiation and thus frightened and antagonized investors. It rightly protested against the extravagance of war-time finance, but this protest came from a man who was now the acknowledged leader of property and reaction in the South. What basis of alliance could there be between those determined to control and exploit freed labor in the South and those who wished to fight exploitation and monopoly in the West?

Moreover, in his effort to conciliate and lead the West, Johnson attacked the most powerful enemy before him. That enemy was not abolition-democracy, as he falsely conceived. It was a tremendous, new, and rising power of organized wealth and capitalist industry in the North. Monopoly profits from investments were increasing, and destined to increase, and their increase depended upon a high protective tariff, the validity of the public debt, and the control of the national banks and currency. All of these things were threatened by the South and by Andrew Johnson as leader of the South. On the other hand, humanitarian radicalism, so far as the Negro was concerned, was not only completely harnessed to capital and property in the North, but its program for votes for Negroes more and more became manifestly the only protection upon which Northern industry could depend. The Abolitionists were not enemies of capital.

"The American Abolitionists were typical bourgeois-democratic revolutionists under specific American conditions. They felt their movement linked up with the great humanitarian causes of the day (the 'labor question,' the 'peace question,' the emancipation of women, temperance, philanthropy) and with the bourgeois revolutionary movement in Europe. 'He hailed the revolution (of 1848) in France,' Moor-field Storey tells of Sumner, 'and similar outbreaks in other countries as parts of the great movement for freedom, of which the anti-slavery agitation in America was another part.'"2

But the former Abolitionists were gradually developing. Under the leadership of Stevens and Sumner, they were beginning to realize the economic foundation of the revolution necessary in the South. They saw that the Negro needed land and education and that his vote would only be valuable to him as it opened the doors to a firm economic foundation and real intelligence. If now they could get the industrial North, not simply to give the Negro the vote, but to give him land and give him schools, the battle would be won. Here, however, they were only partially successful. Stevens could not get them to listen to his plan of land distribution, and Sumner failed in his effort to provide for a national system of Negro schools. But they could and did get the aid of industry, commerce, and labor for Negro suffrage, and this vast step forward they gladly took. Public opinion followed philanthropy, but it was guided by Big Business.

In the meantime, the nation was in the midst of the transition period. Nothing could be settled until the fate of the Fourteenth Amendment was known, and during this time of waiting, from July 16, 1866, until July 20, 1868, the status of the South and its relation to the Union was unsettled. Slowly, the nation voted on the Fourteenth Amendment, destined to curb the political power of the South. Most of New England and two Western states ratified it in the summer and fall of 1866. Before January, seven Southern states rejected it almost unanimously, and in the first three months of 1867, the whole South and the Border States had pronounced against it. They said, in effect, no Negro citizens nor voters; no guaranty of civil rights to Negroes; and all political power based on the counting of the full Negro population. The North, by 1868, had ratified the Fourteenth Amendment unanimously, although New Jersey, Ohio and Oregon made attempts to reverse their decision, when Democrats gained power in those states.

There was not only the vast final problem of economics and government — there was an immediate transition problem. In the interval during which the nation was awaiting the fate of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, what was to be the status of the South? The South was in the midst of industrial, civil and political anarchy. Crime, force, and murder, disorganized and wandering laborers, unorganized industry, were widely in evidence. The United States as a sovereign nation could declare the Southern states, where rebellion had occurred, unorganized territory, and could rule them by civil government, backed by Federal police. By those who regarded the Constitution as a fetich, this might be pronounced sacrilegious, but to ordinary human beings it was by far the best and sanest thing that the nation could have done, and it would have saved the United States and the whole world untold injury, retrogression and world war.

This was the plan of both Stevens and Sumner, and constitutional lawyers have pronounced it reasonable. With some reluctance, the nation refused to do this while the South and its friends howled in opposition. It was, one would have thought, an unhallowed attempt to rock the foundations of the universe and overthrow the kingdom of Almighty God. The refusal of the nation was chiefly because the new industry, the money-making financiers and organizers of a vast economic empire, hesitated at a government guardianship of labor and control of industry on a scale that might embarrass future freedom of exploitation, and certainly would increase present taxation.

Many advocates of abolition-democracy were also doubtful. They were still under the "freedom" cry of the eighteenth century and obsessed by the American Assumption of the nineteenth. They were still, on the whole, afraid of the full logic of democracy and the ability of the state to secure servants as honest and efficient as private industry. Only their most courageous leaders dared all.

The easiest way out, then, was to prolong the military rule already established as a necessity of the war. This was cheapest and easiest; but also it was of necessity temporary. It must be a step toward civil rule and it must inaugurate civil rule. The law of March 2, 1867, was enacted. It provided for Negro suffrage. What else could it have provided for? If it had confined the vote to whites, not only would the anti-Negro legislation be confirmed, but the gift of additional political power to the South to be used against Northern industry and against democracy would be outright and irrevocable. Johnson vetoed the bill, and when it was passed over his veto, had recourse to executive action which would nullify it. Eventually it was this that led to the attempt to impeach him.

Let us now, more in detail, study the facts of this development. The second session of the 39th Congress assembled in December, 1866, with a distinct mandate from the people. This mandate called for the reorganization of the Southern states on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment, and for the definiteness of this mandate the South had only itself and Andrew Johnson to blame.

From 1864 to 1868, by a succession of elections, with wide publicity on both sides, and unusually full discussion, national public opinion had come to these decisions by a large majority.

1. The emancipated slave must be protected because he had helped save the Union which slavery had disrupted.

2. The first protection for the slave was a legal status of freedom. This the South opposed in the fifteen former slave states, including the Border States. Four flatly refused to accept the Thirteenth Amendment. Three others accepted but only on condition that freedom should not imply full civil and political rights. Eight states accepted the Thirteenth Amendment, but five of these and the three which accepted on condition, acted under pressure from Johnson, and their action expressed the opinion of a minority of the former voting population, and for this reason these states feared to refer their action to popular approval.

3. A legal status of freedom without actual civil rights would mean almost nothing. The answer of the South to a proposal of civil rights was the Black Codes, which established a new status of slavery with a modified slave trade.

4. The Freedmen's Bureau and the Civil Rights Bill represented an attempt at Federal intervention to enforce freedom by Federal law. The South bitterly opposed these attempts on the part of the national government and declared with Johnson that such attempts were unconstitutional.

5. To set this point at rest, the Fourteenth Amendment was proposed which made Negroes citizens, guaranteed them civil rights by national law, and political rights, if they were counted as a basis of representation in Congress. The South promptly rejected this overture unanimously, except in Tennessee, and there the majority of white voters had to be disfranchised before the acceptance was carried through.

But behind all this, and explaining this interest in the Negro on the part of most Northerners, was a growing conviction that an arrogant South was returning to Congress with increased political power; that its leaders were essentially the same men who had disrupted the Union and precipitated a costly and bloody war; that there was no reason to suppose that these men had changed their convictions in the slightest or surrendered for a moment their determination to dominate the country, and fight monopoly in industry with monopoly in agriculture.

In the face of their fatal failure, Southerners were demanding increased political power, and that political power could and in all probability would be used for everything disadvantageous to the majority of the nation: it would be used against the spread of democratic ideals; it would be used for further increasing the political power of the South; it would be used against industry, property, and capital as buttressed by the tariff, the national banks, and the public debt.

It was in vain that before, during and since the war, the North had offered to compromise with this unyielding bloc. There was only one defense against the power of the South and while that was revolutionary and hitherto undreamed of, it was the only way, and it could not be stopped by the stubbornness of one narrow-minded man. That was Negro suffrage.

Senator Sherman of Ohio said March 11, 1867: "A year ago I was not in favor of extending enforced Negro suffrage upon the Southern states."3 But the rejection of the Fourteenth Amendment led him to give his support.

There was evidently an understanding among the Republican Senators and Representatives that if the legislatures of the Southern states organized under Johnson's scheme of Reconstruction accepted the Fourteenth Amendment and thus would say that either they would allow the Negro to vote or, in case they did not allow him, would forego representation based upon his numbers; then these states would be recognized and admitted to Congress. This was more than fair to the South. Charles Sumner to be sure would not consent to it and Stevens did not like it; but the industrial North was willing to throw the Negro over on these terms.4

However, with the exception of Tennessee, the Southern states rejected the Fourteenth Amendment almost unanimously and insisted upon the Black Codes, and accompanied their demand by widespread violence.

Meantime in minor measures the sentiment for Negro suffrage was seen to be crystallizing. Colorado had sought admission in 1866 and had less than 100 Negroes, Sumner opposed the application because of the small population and chiefly because the suffrage was confined to white males. He spoke March 12 and 13, April 17, 19 and 24 on the subject. The bill passed the Senate despite Sumner. In the House, the attempt to strike out the word "white" as a qualification for voters was defeated. The President vetoed the bill on account of insufficient population.

Next session, Sumner's amendment prevailed, but the President again vetoed the bill. Sumner made at the close of the session an unsuccessful attempt to make the same condition in the bill to admit Nebraska but failed; the President did not sign that bill. At the next session, the bill with Negro suffrage was passed over the President's veto. Sumner opposed the admission of Tennessee because Negroes were denied the right to vote. He failed to influence public sentiment but made his opponents apologetic.5

Sumner wrote to F. W. Bird, January 10, 1867: "I think you will be satisfied with the result on Nebraska and Colorado. The declaration that there shall be no exclusion from the elective franchise on account of color is not in the form which I preferred; but you have the declaration, which to my mind is a great gain. Is it not? And thus ends a long contest, where at first I was alone. Mr. Stewart of Nevada, who is sitting near me, says that 'it cannot be said now that the Republican party is not committed to Negro suffrage.' You have (1) The District Bill; (2) The Nebraska Bill; (3) The Colorado Bill; and (4) The Territorial Bill passed today, declaring that in the territories there shall be no exclusion from the suffrage on account of color."

In February, 1867, from the Committee of Fifteen, Stevens presented the leading Reconstruction measure. This measure declared that life and property were not safe in the former Confederate states, and that good order had to be enforced until loyal governments could be legally established. It divided the Confederate states into five military divisions: one, Virginia; two, North and South Carolina; three, Georgia, Alabama and Florida; four, Mississippi and Arkansas; five, Louisiana and Texas. A general with sufficient forces was to be assigned to each of these districts. These generals might use the United States civil courts to enforce the laws, but if these were not effective, they might govern through military commissions. The sentences of commissions must be approved by the commanding officers. United States courts should issue no writs of habeas corpus against the acts of these commissions.

This bill established martial law, after the President had declared the war was ended. It put the appointing of the district military masters in the hands of the General of the Army instead of the President, and suspended the writ of habeas corpus. Congress hesitated at these thorough-going terms. Blaine suggested an Amendment which would provide a way of escape from martial rule by promising admission when a state adopted the Fourteenth Amendment and provided for Negro suffrage. Stevens refused to accept this and the bill was passed February 13.

The Senate began to consider the bill February 15, and stayed in session until three o'clock in the morning. Resort was had to a party caucus, the Republican Senators meeting at 11 a.m., February 16. Sherman, Sumner, Fessenden and four others were put on a sub-committee to revise the House bill, and remained in session a greater part of the afternoon. The bill was changed so as to restore the appointment of heads of the military districts, and adopt the Blaine amendment. The House had already passed Eliot's bill admitting Louisiana with Negro suffrage and Sumner wished that taken as a model. Sumner asked for Negro suffrage but only one of his committee supported him. At 5 p.m. the caucus met and Sumner renewed his proposition, excluding discrimination as to race and color for the basis of suffrage. It was carried in the caucus, 15 to 13 or 14. This action committed the Republicans to the requirement of suffrage irrespective of race or color in the election of delegates to the Reconstruction conventions, and as the basis of suffrage for the constitutions of the rebel states. Senator Wilson of Massachusetts said that "then and there in that small room, in that caucus, was decided the greatest pending question of the North American continent."6 It was accepted by the caucus, although Fessenden was greatly displeased. He left the caucus and sought to defeat it by personal appeals. This led to an acrimonious debate in Congress, February 19, but the bill passed after a night's session at 6:22 Sunday morning, February 17.

Congress had a difficult time passing this Reconstruction bill. The House rejected the Senate bill and time was flying. Finally agreement was reached February 20 and Congress expired by limitation on March 4. The essential parts of the bill on Negro suffrage remained.

The President by taking the full time allowed by law in returning his veto would leave only two days for Congress to pass the bill over his veto. Johnson and Seward immediately saw this and the veto was held up to the last moment, reaching the House on the afternoon of March 2. The President said that the bill placed the people of ten states under the complete domination of military rulers; these states had made provisions for the preservation of order, yet it was proposed to put them under military law; "the Negroes have not asked for the privilege of voting, and the vast majority of them have no idea of what it means"; we carried on a four years' war to punish the "crime of defying a constitution; if we now ourselves defy the constitution we prove that they were in fact fighting for Negro liberty."

Stevens demanded immediate consideration of the veto but allowed jihort statements from Democratic members who declared this bill a death knell of republican liberty.

One opponent declared that the bill should not pass unless he was "overpowered from physical exhaustion, or restrained by the rules of the House." Stevens, in closing the debate, said that he had listened to the gentlemen, because he appreciated "the melancholy feelings with which they are approaching this funeral of the nation," but as he desired the passage of the bill he asked Mr. Blaine to move a suspension of the rules. Mr. Blaine accordingly made the motion, and after an ineffectual attempt at filibustering, the bill was passed over the veto by a vote of 135 yeas to 48 nays. The Senate speedily took similar action, and the Reconstruction bill became a law.

As finally passed, the bill set up the five districts, declaring that no adequate protection for life and property existed there. The President instead of the General of the Army was to assign an army officer to each of these districts. These commanders might rule by martial law, but sentence of death had to be approved by the President. To escape from this regime, there must be universal suffrage without regard to race or color, and the framing of a state constitution with a convention composed of delegates not disqualified by participation in rebellion. The constitution so adopted must provide for universal suffrage, and this constitution must be ratified by a majority of the voters. The constitution must also be approved by Congress. The state could not be admitted until the Fourteenth Amendment had been approved by three-fourths of the states of the United States. Thus Congress avoided making the admission of the states conditional upon their individual acceptance of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Still Andrew Johnson was not beaten; as commander-in-chief of the army he could execute the Reconstruction legislation and he could throw its interpretation into the courts with a good chance of favorable decision; just as the faltering attempt of Congress to give the Negroes land was at last utterly nullified by Johnson's edicts of restoration, so there was equal chance to frustrate Congress in restoring states' functions.

Congress tried to tie Johnson's hands with the Tenure of Office Bill. It was introduced in December, 1866. The Constitution gave the President no express power to dismiss persons from office. But custom and logic had allowed it. The Republicans feared that by dismissal from office Johnson would gain control of the entire executive division of the government at a time of crisis. The bill proposed that all officers appointed with the consent of the Senate could be removed only with the consent of the Senate, except in the case of cabinet officers. The House insisted on including cabinet officers and finally the bill was passed providing that cabinet officers should hold their offices during the term of the President by whom they were appointed and one month thereafter; during that time they could be removed only with the consent of the Senate. This measure went to the President on the 20th of February, together with the Reconstruction bill, and was vetoed March 2. The veto argued, from statutes and uniform practice, that Congress had no power to force the President to retain in office against his judgment subordinates whom he had appointed.

Johnson said with curious logic: "Whenever administration fails, or seems to fail, in securing any of the great ends for which republican government is established, the proper course seems to be to renew the original spirit and forms of the Constitution itself." Who was to be the judge of the "original spirit" — Andrew Johnson or the Congress? Which was to yield? Congress must yield to one stubborn, narrow-minded man or it was forced by the necessity of controlling the Executive, to adopt this revolutionary measure.

Sumner said in December, 1866:

"It is possible that the President may be impeached. If we go forward and supersede the sham governments set up in the rebel states, we encounter the appointing power of the President, who would put in office men who sympathize with him. It is this consideration which makes ardent representatives say that he must be removed. Should this be attempted, a new question will be presented."7

Through fear of Johnson's actions, the 40th Congress assembled in special session immediately after adjournment of the 39th, so that Congress was practically in continuous session and there was no interregnum during which Johnson could exercise his uncurbed power.

The new Congress immediately passed a supplementary Reconstruction bill to implement the main measure. This bill laid down a plan of registration for all male citizens, twenty-one years of age and over, who could take the oath of loyalty, and made it the duty of the commanding generals to order elections and choose delegates for constitutional conventions. If the voters favored such conventions, constitutions were to be formed and if adopted transmitted to Congress. The whole machinery of election was placed in the hands of the commanding generals.

The veto of this supplemental bill came immediately. The President in effect declared that the rise of the masses of black labor to political power was "an untried experiment" which "threatened" the whites with "even worse wrongs" than disfranchisement for attempted rebellion, and made "their condition the most deplorable to which any people can be reduced." And this from the life-long man of the people and champion of the rights of the poor!

It was bad enough when Johnson confined himself to speeches, as at Antietam, but when he came to action, Congress was further aroused. First, June 20, he issued liberal instructions concerning the loyal oath and the duty of commanding generals. He decided on advice of his Attorney General, Stanbery, that those taking the oath of loyalty were judges of their own honesty and could not be questioned by the Board of Registration; that actual disfranchisement for rebellion could only be made valid by law or court decision. Disloyal sentiments alone did not involve disfranchisement.

Moreover, in appointing generals, Johnson evidently proposed to appoint, as far as possible, generals who were sympathetic with the South. In July he removed Sheridan from Louisiana and Texas and appointed first General Thomas, a Virginia Democrat, in his place, and finally General Hancock, a loyal follower of Johnson. The removal of Sheridan caused great excitement. The Loyal Legion held a great meeting asking for the immediate summoning of Congress and the deposition of the President. He replaced General Sickles in the Caro-linas with General Canby. Sheridan and Sickles were given posts in the North.

These instructions were published June 20 and Congress replied by the Act of July 19, 1867. This act specifically included Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas in the states to be reconstructed; it provided that all the so-called governments in the South should be subject to the orders of the District Commanders and the General of the army and not of the President. The bill made the Boards of Registration judges of fact in regard to persons seeking to take the oath of loyalty and it extended the time limit for registration of voters.

The bill passed the Houses July 13, and was vetoed July 19. Johnson protested against the attempt of the Federal Government to carry on state governments, and especially against the invasion of the constitutional powers of the President. His words were bitter: "Whilst I hold the chief executive authority of the United States, whilst the obligation rests upon me to see that all the laws are faithfully executed, I can never willingly surrender that trust or the powers given for its execution. I can never give my assent to be made responsible for the faithful execution of laws, and at the same time surrender that trust and the powers which accompany it to any other executive officer, high or low, or to any number of executive officers." The bill was passed over the veto by both Houses by overwhelming majorities, and talk of impeachment started anew.

The discussion which has raged round the Reconstruction legislation is of the same metaphysical stripe characterizing all fetich-worship of the Constitution. If one means by "constitutional" something provided for in that instrument or foreseen by its authors or reasonably implicit in its words, then the Reconstruction Acts were undoubtedly unconstitutional; and so, for that matter, was the Civil War. In fact, the main measures of government during 1861-1870 were "unconstitutional." The only action possibly contemplated by the authors of the Constitution was secession; that action, the constitutional fathers feared and deprecated, but their instrument did not forbid it and distinctly implied the legality of a state withdrawing from the "more perfect union."

Certainly no one could argue that the founders contemplated civil war to preserve the Union or that the Constitution was a pro-slavery document. Yet, unconstitutionally, the South made it a pro-slavery document and unconstitutionally the North prevented the destruction of the Union on account of slavery; and after the war revolutionary measures rebuilt what revolution had disrupted, and formed a new United States on a basis broader than the old Constitution and different from its original conception.

And why not? No more idiotic program could be laid down than to require a people to follow a written rule of government 90 years old, if that rule had been definitely broken in order to preserve the unity of the government and to destroy an economic anachronism. In such a crisis legalists may insist that consistency with precedent is more important than firm and far-sighted rebuilding. But manifestly, it is not. Rule-following, legal precedence, and political consistency are not more important than right, justice and plain common-sense. Through the cobwebs of such political subtlety, Stevens crashed and said that military rule must continue in the South until order was restored, democracy established, and the political power built on slavery smashed. Further than this, both he and Sumner knew that land and education for black and white labor was necessary.

On the first day of the second session of the Thirty-Ninth Congress, Sumner was on hand with his bill for establishing universal suffrage in the District of Columbia. He had accepted a place on the Committee of the District of Columbia, in addition to his other duties, to secure Negro suffrage. The Committee reported a bill in December, 1866. Reading and writing as a qualification was moved as an amendment but was rejected by a vote of 15-19. Sumner voted "No." The bill did not reach a final vote but came up again December 10, 1867, when it passed after four days' debate by a vote of 32-13. The next day it passed the House, and went to the President.

Johnson and Seward, in the veto, kept hammering at the old thesis. Northern states will not allow Negro suffrage to be forced upon them against their will. The Negro population of the District has recently been greatly increased by migration. Their rights can be protected in the District without the right of suffrage, just as much as in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, which refuse Negroes the right to vote. Because of slavery, the Negro is not as well fitted to vote as the intelligent foreigner. And yet five years' residence and a knowledge of our government are required of the latter.

The bill was re-passed over the President's veto, January 7, and after it came the first proposal to impeach the President. "A great step along the path to universal suffrage without color distinctions has just been taken in the House of Representatives, in its session of the 18th. The bill giving the right to vote to the blacks in the District of Columbia passed with a majority of 114 to 54. An anxious crowd, of whites and blacks mixed, filled the galleries of the House and all the approaches to the Capitol, and the passage of the bill was hailed with a great outburst of frenzied applause."8

Three days after the 40th Congress opened, Sumner offered a series of resolutions to provide homes and schools for freedmen. This supplemented the Freedmen's Bureau law and provided a permanent policy of national aid to education and economic redress of the robbery of slavery. The resolutions did not come to a vote; Sumner then tried to amend the Reconstruction Acts of March 22 and July 19 by provisions for free schools in the South without discrimination as to race. A tie vote defeated this effort, although a majority of the Republicans stood by him. He tried again and failed July 11 and July 13. "His disappointment at his failure in 1867 to secure schools and homes for the freedmen was so keen that he left the Senate chamber, and when he reached his house, his grief found vent in tears."9

Charles Sumner, frustrated in these demands, continued to direct the line of attack which he had initiated during the Civil War. He had in mind relief for free Negroes in the North as well as freedmen in the South, and he was determined that petty race prejudice in the North should not escape attention because of the fight against slavery and its aftermath in the South.

Early in the spring of 1867, March 11, Stevens introduced a set of resolutions for the enforcement of the Confiscation Act of July 17, 1862, with preamble as follows: "Whereas it is due to justice, as an example to future times, that some proper pain should be inflicted on the people who constituted the 'Confederate States of America,' both because they declared an unjust war against the United States for the purpose of destroying republican liberty and permanently establishing slavery, as well as for the cruel and barbarous manner in which they conducted said war, in violation of all rules of civilized warfare, and also to compel them to make compensation for the damage and expense caused by said war, therefore: Be it enacted that all public lands belonging to the ten states that formed the so-called 'Confederate States of America,' shall be forfeited by said states and become vested forthwith in the United States." The measure further provided as follows: "Section 2, that the President should proceed at once to condemn the property forfeited under the aforesaid Act of July 17, 1862; section 3, that a commission of appraisers be appointed to appraise said property; section 4, that the land so seized and condemned should be distributed among the slaves who had been made free by the war and constitutional amendments, and who were residing on said land on the 4th of March, 1861, or since: to each head of a family 40 acres; to each adult male whether head of a family or not, 40 acres; to each widow, head of a family, 40 acres; to be held by them in fee simple, but to be inalienable for ten years after they should become so seized thereof. Section 5 provided for the raising of the sum of fifty dollars for each homesteader, to be used for the erection of a building on his homestead; and that the further sum of five hundred million dollars be raised for the purpose of pensioning the veterans of the Union army." The bill contained several other sections dealing with the subject in connection with the main features as above set forth.

Stevens called up this measure for consideration by the House on March 19, when he made one of his characteristic speeches, brilliant and pungent; age seems never to have had any effect upon his mental vigor nor any tendency to modify his sharp invectives. Said he: "I am about to discuss the question of pain of belligerent traitors.... The pain of traitors has been wholly ignored by a treacherous executive and a sluggish Congress.... I wish to make an issue before the American people and see whether they will sanction the perfect impunity of a murderous belligerent and consent that loyal men of this nation who have been despoiled of their property shall remain without remuneration, either by rebel property or the property of the nation. To this issue, I desire to devote the small remainder of my life.... No committee or party is responsible for this bill. Whatever merit it possesses is due to Andrew Johnson and myself."

Andrew Johnson did not falter and began to pin his faith on the fall elections of 1867. On September 7, 1867, Johnson extended full pardon to Confederates. His former proclamation, according to the Tribune, had "left about one hundred thousand citizens outside the amnesty, but this one leaves out one or two thousand."

Undoubtedly at this time Johnson was being urged toward stronger counter-revolutionary measures. He entertained the idea of ordering the military governors of the five Southern districts to enroll as voters the former Confederates whom he had included in his last Proclamation of Amnesty. Clemenceau said that when some of his Southern friends called on him, he admitted frankly that only the fear of being deposed prevented him from acting and he advised them to take the matter into court.

To court the South flew. Johnson's provisional governor of Mississippi tried in the name of his state to enjoin the President from executing the Reconstruction laws. The Supreme Court found in April, 1867, that its interference would be improper. Thereupon Governor Jackson of Georgia sought to enjoin the Secretary of War, the General of the Army, and the District Commander in Georgia; but the court decided it had no jurisdiction. A second time Georgia went to the Supreme Court and failed. Finally, late in 1867, W. H. McCardle of Mississippi, arrested by military authority under the Reconstruction acts, appealed from the Circuit to the Supreme Court, but Congress over the President's veto repealed the statute which allowed such an appeal, and by this revolutionary procedure made good its supreme power in Reconstruction over court and President.

Radical newspapers published in October a statement that the President had told certain friends in Tennessee that he would resist by force if Congress attempted to impeach him. Johnson denied that he had said anything of the sort, but Republicans made much of the fact that Johnson had ordered cannon furnished to Swann, Governor of Maryland, who like Johnson had been elected by the Republicans and had gone over to the Democrats. Swann asked the government to furnish him with cannon. Johnson gave Stanton the order to deliver the weapons needed. Stanton flatly refused. When General Grant took his place as Secretary of War, the Governor of Maryland renewed his request, which was again granted by Johnson and again refused by Grant. Finally, Swann made up his mind to buy the cannon. Most of the officers serving in Swann's militia were former Confederates.

During the fall campaign of 1867, there was fear of panic in the air on account of the vast circulation of greenbacks and bank notes to the extent of a billion dollars. With money fluctuating in value, trade became a lottery. Higher protection was put on steel and woolen goods. But curiously enough, the Democrats in general avoided the tariff issue. They did not follow Johnson's attack on finance because they saw its inconsistency with the reaction of property in the South. Leaving the economic argument, they embraced with avidity race prejudice and concentrated their campaign on this.

Clemenceau said, "The best point of attack for the Democrats is the Negroes. Any Democrat who did not manage to hint in his speech that the Negro is a degenerate gorilla, would be considered lacking in enthusiasm. The idea of giving political power to a lot of wild men, incapable of civilization, whose intelligence is no higher than that of the animal! That is the theme of all Democratic speeches."10 With this, of course, went fetich worship of the Constitution.

Johnson looked forward with hope. October elections took place in Ohio and Pennsylvania and showed reaction toward the Democrats.

In Ohio, R. B. Hayes, afterward president, ran against Allan G. Thurman, and Negro suffrage played a large part. Hayes denied the assertion that the government was a white man's government. "It is not the Government of any class or sect or nationality or race.... It is not the Government of the native born or of the foreign born, of the rich man or of the poor man, of the white man or of the colored man — it is the Government of the freeman." The "monstrous inconsistency and injustice of excluding one-seventh of our population from all participation in a Government founded on the consent of the governed" was held to be impossible. There was no necessary antagonism between the two races which could not be broken down by justice and equality.11

Hayes won by less than 3,000 votes, as compared with a Republican majority of 42,000 in 1866. Also, at the same time, the voters rejected the Negro suffrage amendment by 38,000 votes, and elected a Democratic legislature. There were, however, certain other elements. The Republicans had sought to disfranchise deserters from the army, and Ben Wade had aroused the bitter hostility of Southern elements in southern Ohio.

Ohio expressed itself against the high tariff "to fill the pockets of Eastern monopolists," and in favor of agricultural labor, showing the peculiar contradiction in the minds of the voters. Johnson telegraphed Ohio: "Ohio has done its duty and done it in time. God bless Ohio." Pennsylvania lost nearly the whole of its Republican majority of thirty thousand. In New York cannon were kept firing for two days.

Most of the state elections came in November, and showed some reaction toward the Democrats but not so great as in October. The Republicans won in Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Illinois, but were completely defeated in New York, New Jersey and Maryland.

New Jersey refused to strike out the word "white" from the requirements for suffrage; in New York, the Republicans did not dare to submit to popular vote the proposal to drop the property discrimination against Negro voters. Maryland adopted a new registry law which gave the vote to whites only.

On the other hand, during 1867, Iowa and Dakota admitted Negroes to the ballot, and Minnesota in 1868. In this latter year Negroes were voting in all the New England states except Connecticut, in Iowa, Minnesota and Dakota — a total of 8 Northern states. The South and its friends had a right to charge that 8 other Northern states refused to enfranchise a class to which they were forcing the South to give the vote.

In the third annual message of Andrew Johnson, December 3, 1867, all masking of the Negro problem is removed. He is no longer evasive as to the relation of the black worker to the white worker and his whole economic argument is drowned in race hate. There is no suggestion that Negro soldiers or Negro property owners or Negroes who can read and write should have any political rights. He bases his whole argument flatly on the inferiority of the Negro race.

"It is the glory of white men," he proclaims magniloquently, "to know that they have had these qualities in sufficient measure to build upon this continent a great political fabric and to preserve its stability for more than ninety years, while in every other part of the world all similar experiments have failed. But if anything can be proved by known facts, if all reasoning upon evidence is not abandoned, it must be acknowledged that in the progress of nations, Negroes have shown less capacity for government than any other race of people. No independent government of any form has ever been successful in their hands. On the contrary, wherever they have been left to their own devices they have shown a constant tendency to relapse into barbarism. In the Southern States, however, Congress has undertaken to confer upon them the privilege of the ballot. Just released from slavery, it may be doubted whether as a class they know more than their ancestors how to organize and regulate civil society. Indeed, it is admitted that the blacks of the South are not only regardless of the rights of property, but so utterly ignorant of public affairs that their voting can consist in nothing more than carrying a ballot to the place where they are directed to deposit it.

"The great difference between the two races in physical, mental and moral characteristics will prevent an amalgamation or fusion of them together in one homogeneous mass. If the inferior obtains the ascendency over the other, it will govern with reference only to its own interests — for it will recognize no common interest — and create such a tyranny as this continent has never yet witnessed. Already the Negroes are influenced by promises of confiscation and plunder. They are taught to regard as an enemy every white man who has any respect for the rights of his own race. If this continues it must become worse and worse, until all order will be subverted, all industry cease, and the fertile fields of the South grow up into a wilderness. Of all the dangers which our nation has yet encountered, none are equal to those which must result from the success of the effort now making to Africanize the half of our country."

It is easy to believe now that the idea that Andrew Johnson and the South planned a coup d'etat was fanciful. The point is that sane and thoughtful men at the time widely believed it. No matter how incredible it may seem to us, we must remember that this was a generation to which it had seemed incredible that the South should secede. They had seen the incredible happen at fearful cost. It might happen again. The Republicans, therefore, refused to be frightened by the elections of 1867. Carl Schurz said that "I think that I do not exaggerate that an overwhelming majority of the loyal Union men, North and South, saw in President Johnson a traitor bent upon turning over the national government to the rebels again, and ardently wishing to see him utterly stripped of power, not so much for what he had done, but for what, as they thought, he was capable of doing and likely to do."

Impeachment proceedings now hurried forward. They had begun in December, 1866. On February 28, 1867, the Committee on Judiciary had refused to recommend impeachment of the President but asked for further investigation. March 2, the Reconstruction Act passed, and March 7, impeachment was moved for the second time in the House. Johnson had notified the Senate of the suspension of Secretary Stanton in December, 1867. Early the next year, the Senate refused to concur, Grant gave up the office, and Stanton resumed his duties. Stanton was dismissed again in February, 1868, and the impeachment of Johnson was determined upon in March.

The beginning of the attempt to impeach President Johnson was a memorable scene. Thaddeus Stevens made his speech February 16, 1868. He was hopelessly broken in health, and a hushed and expectant audience listened to every word. He spoke with force and solemnity. "I doubt," said Charles Sumner, "if words were ever delivered to more effect."12 He was a dying man and this was his last word.

Who in 1867 represented the considered will of the people of the United States? Certainly not Andrew Johnson, backed by Northern copperheads and the supporters of a futile attempt at secession. Just as certainly two-thirds of the members of Congress, with the South excluded as it had been excluded for six terrible years, had a clear right to express the repeatedly registered popular will.

The problem was a difficult one. When can a ruler rule in the United States? The nation by overwhelming majority had declared for union, for emancipation to preserve the Union, for no increase in the political power of the white South, and for Negro suffrage to prevent this increased political power and reward Negro loyalty.

This clear will of the majority of the people, represented in Congress, was frustrated by a President who repeatedly refused to obey the plain manclate of the party which elected him. Johnson virtually declared Congress illegal because the South was unrepresented. Congress denied that a criminal could be his own judge. Who could settle this dispute? By the whole theory of party government, a President must be at least in general accord with his party. His utmost power should not go beyond a suspensory veto compelling a plebiscite. Yet no president in the history of the United States up to this time had used the veto power like Andrew Johnson to oppose the expressed will of the nation. In twenty-three cases, he opposed his will to the will of Congress, while Andrew Jackson, his closest competitor, made only eleven vetoes and pocket vetoes. Party responsibility in government was absolutely blocked at a time of crisis. Under any, even partial, theory of such responsibility, Johnson would have been compelled to resign; but the antiquated constitutional requirements of a system of laws built for another age and for entirely different circumstances were now being applied to unforeseen conditions.

The Constitution made the removal of the President contingent upon his committing "high crimes and misdemeanors." Here then came a plain question of definition: was it a crime, in the judgment of the people of the United States in 1867, for a President to block the overwhelming will of a successful majority of voters during a period of nearly three years? Stevens and those who followed him said that it was. They did not all pretend that Johnson was personally a criminal with treasonable designs, although some believed even that; on the other hand it was clear even to many of Johnson's friends that he was "an unfit person to be President of the United States."13 They all did assert that he had broken the rules by which responsible government could be carried on.

The trial started March 30, 1868, and ended May 6. Over two-thirds of the members of the United States House of Representatives, 35 out of 54 Senators, and the great majority of the voters of the nation, outside the former slave states, agreed that Johnson should be removed from office. Whether they were right or wrong, the failure legally to convict Johnson has remained to frustrate responsible government in the United States ever since. But no President since Johnson has attempted indefinitely to rule in defiance of Congress.

The leaders of abolition-democracy still pressed on. Sumner was especially active and destined for several more years of active work.

Thaddeus Stevens was near death, but to the very end he fought on. He wished to ask Congress to declare by law that no state had the right to forbid citizens of the United States from taking part in the national elections.

Thaddeus Stevens died August 11, 1868, three weeks after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment was announced, and in his last breath and even after death, stood true to his principles. "Two colored clergymen called, and asked leave to see Stevens and pray with him. He ordered them to be admitted; and when they had come to his bedside, he turned and held out his hand to one of them. They sang a hymn and prayed.... It was then within ten minutes of midnight, and the end was to come before the beginning of the new day. He lay motionless for a few minutes, then opened his eyes, took one look, placidly closed them, and, without a struggle, the great commoner had ceased to breathe."14

Thaddeus Stevens was buried in a colored graveyard. Upon the monument there is the following inscription, prepared by himself: "I repose in this quiet and secluded spot, not from any natural preference for solitude, but finding other cemeteries limited as to race by charter rules, I have chosen this, that I might illustrate in my death the principles which I advocated through a long life, [the] Equality of Man before his Creator."

As Charles Sumner said: "Already he takes his place among illustrious names, which are the common property of mankind. I see him now, as I have so often seen him during life. His venerable form moves slowly and with uncertain steps; but the gathered strength of years is in his countenance and the light of victory on his path. Politician, calculator, time-server, stand aside! a hero statesman passes to his reward!"15

As a result of the legislation of the 39th and 40th Congresses, the United States in 1867 took a portentous forward step in democracy. For the mass of the nation, it was a step taken under compulsion of fear, without deep forethought and with a rather didactic following out of certain conventional principles which made universal suffrage seem natural and inevitable. To the South, it was the price of that disaster of slavery and war which spelled its history from 1830 to 1865; and it was the only price adequate to that fatal mistake.

To those men who were guiding American industry toward a new and fateful path, the Southern experiment was simply a political move by which they silenced and held in check the tremendous political power built on slavery, which in many ways and for a generation had threatened the nation and checked its economic development.

To a few far-seeing leaders of democracy this experiment appeared in its truer light. It was a test of the whole theory of American government. It was a dictatorship backed by the military arm of the United States by which the governments of the Southern states were to be coerced into accepting a new form of administration, in which the freedmen and the poor whites were to hold the overwhelming balance of political power. As soon as political power was successfully delivered into the hands of these elements, the Federal government was to withdraw and full democracy ensue.

The difficulty with this theory was the failure to realize that such dictatorship must last long enough really to put the mass of workers in power; that this would be in fact a dictatorship of the proletariat which must endure until the proletariat or at least a leading united group, with clear objects and effective method, had education and experience and had taken firm control of the economic organization of the South. Unfortunately, the power set to begin this dictatorship was the military arm of a government which more and more was falling into the hands of organized wealth, and of wealth organized on a scale never before seen in modern civilization.

The new organization of Northern wealth was not comparable to the petty bourgeoisie which seized power after the overthrow of European feudalism. It was a new rule of associated and federated mon-archs of industry and finance wielding a vaster and more despotic power than European kings and nobles ever held. It was destined to subdue not simply Southern agrarianism but even individual wealth and brains in the North which were creating a new petty bourgeoisie of small merchants and skilled artisans.

It was inconceivable, therefore, that the masters of Northern industry through their growing control of American government, were going to allow the laborers of the South any more real control of wealth and industry than was necessary to curb the political power of the planters and their successors. As soon as the Southern landholders and merchants yielded to the Northern demands of a plutocracy, at that moment the military dictatorship should be withdrawn and a dictatorship of capital allowed unhampered sway.

We see this more clearly today than the nation of 1868, or any of its leaders, could possibly envisage it; but even then, Northern industry knew that universal suffrage in the South, in the hands of Negroes just freed from slavery, and of white people still enslaved by poverty, could not stand against organized industry. They promptly calculated that the same method of controlling the labor vote would come in vogue in the South as they were already using in the North, and that the industry which used these methods must in the meantime cooperate with Northern industry; that it could not move the foundation stones upon which Northern industry was consolidating its power; that is, the tariff, the money system, the debt, and national in place of state control of industry. This would seem to be what the masters of exploitation were counting upon and it certainly came true in the bargain of 1876.

Thus by singular coincidence and for a moment, for the few years of an eternal second in a cycle of a thousand years, the orbits of two widely and utterly dissimilar economic systems coincided and the result was a revolution so vast and portentous that few minds ever fully conceived it; for the systems were these: first, that of a democracy which should by universal suffrage establish a dictatorship of the proletariat ending in industrial democracy; and the other, a system by which a little knot of masterful men would so organize capitalism as to bring under their control the natural resources, wealth and industry of a vast and rich country and through that, of the world. For a second, for a pulse of time, these orbits crossed and coincided, but their central suns were a thousand light-years apart, even though the blind and ignorant fury of the South and the complacent Philistinism of the North saw them as one.

Reconstruction was an economic revolution on a mighty scale and with worldrwide reverberation. Reconstruction was not simply a fight between the white and black races in the South or between master and ex-slave. It was much more subtle; it involved more than this. There have been repeated and continued attempts to paint this era as an interlude of petty politics or nightmare of race hate instead of viewing it slowly and broadly as a tremendous series of efforts to earn a living in new and untried ways, to achieve economic security and to restore fatal losses of capital and investment. It was a vast labor movement of ignorant, earnest, and bewildered black men whose faces had been ground in the mud by their three awful centuries of degradation and who now staggered forward blindly in blood and tears amid petty division, hate and hurt, and surrounded by every disaster of war and industrial upheaval. Reconstruction was a vast labor movement of ignorant, muddled and bewildered white men who had been disinherited of land and labor and fought a long battle with sheer subsistence, hanging on the edge of poverty, eating clay and chasing slaves and now lurching up to manhood. Reconstruction was the turn of white Northern migration southward to new and sudden economic opportunity which followed the disaster and dislocation of war, and an attempt to organize capital and labor on a new pattern and build a new economy. Finally Reconstruction was a desperate effort of a dislodged, maimed, impoverished and ruined oligarchy and monopoly to restore an anachronism in economic organization by force, fraud and slander, in defiance of law and order, and in the face of a great labor movement of white and black, and in bitter strife with a new capitalism and a new political framework.

All these contending and antagonistic groups spoke different and unknown tongues; to the Negro "Freedom" was God; to the poor white "Freedom" was nothing — he had more than he had use for; to the planter "Freedom" for the poor was laziness and for the rich, control of the poor worker; for the Northern business man "Freedom" was opportunity to get rich.

Yet, with interpretation, agreement was possible here; North and South agreed that laborers must produce profit; the poor white and the Negro wanted to get the profit arising from the laborers' toil and not to divide it with the employers and landowners. When Northern and Southern employers agreed that profit was most important and the method of getting it second, the path to understanding was clear. When white laborers were convinced that the degradation of Negro labor was more fundamental than the uplift of white labor, the end was in sight.

Not only did all those factors becloud this extraordinary series of movements so that the truth of the matter in itself was baffling to observers and interpreters — but over all has spread, to this day, a cloud of lying and slander which leaves historians and philosophers aghast and has resulted in a current theory of interpretation which pictures all participants as scoundrels, idiots and heroes — a combination humanly improbable and demonstrably untrue.

One cannot study Reconstruction without first frankly facing the facts of universal lying; of deliberate and unbounded attempts to prove a case and win a dispute and preserve economic mastery and political domination by besmirching the character, motives, and commonsense, of every single person who dared disagree with the dominant philosophy of the white South.

The campaign of slander against "carpetbaggers" rose to a climax which included every Northern person who defended the Negro, and every Northern person in the South who was connected with the army or Freedmen's Bureau or with the institutions of learning, or who admitted the right of the Negro to vote or defended him in any way. It was the general, almost universal, belief that practically without exception these people were liars, jailbirds, criminals and thieves, and the hatred of them rose to a crescendo of curses and filth. Later, this universal attack upon the carpetbaggers was modified considerably, and it was admitted that there were among them some decent and high-minded men, although most of them still were regarded as selfish stealers of public funds.

On the other hand, so far as the Negro was concerned, almost no exceptions were admitted. It was easier to traduce him because everyone was ready to believe the worst and no reply was, for the moment, listened to. There was not a single great black leader of Reconstruction against whom almost unprintable allegations were not repeatedly and definitely made without any attempt to investigate the reliability of sources of information.

For the first time in national history interstate migration became a crime. Hundreds of thousands of Southerners had gone North and West and had been welcomed and integrated into the various states despite their divergent ideas and alien heredity. But when there came a comparatively small number of Northerners into the South, they were reviled unless they conformed absolutely in thought and action with a dead past.

The Northern whites were of many classes: former soldiers and officers, lingering in the South in connection with the army or the Freedmen's Bureau, or as investors and farmers. They were reenforced by an army of men who came South with small capital and in many cases succeeded in making their fortune. Most of these had no especial love for the Negroes. They had come into a white man's war, and now that the Negro was free, they were perfectly free to use him and to organize his industrial and political power for their own advantage.

Many of these were agents for capital and went down from the North with something of the psychology of modern investment in conquered or colonial territory: that is, they brought the capital; they invested it; they remained in charge to oversee the profits; and they acquired political power in order to protect these profits.

On the other hand, there were teachers who came down from the North, army chaplains, social workers and others, who whole-heartedly went into the new democracy to the limit. Extraordinary persons stood forth in this role, like General Fisk and Erastus Cravath at Nashville, Edmund Ware at Atlanta, General Armstrong at Hampton, and dozens of others. They were crusaders in a great cause and meticulously honest. Naturally, their numbers were comparatively small. They reached primarily students, teachers and preachers among the Negroes and only incidentally the class of field hands.

It was a battle between oligarchy whose wealth and power had been based on land and slaves on the one hand; and on the other, oligarchy built on machines and hired labor. The newly organized industry of the North was not only triumphant in the North but began pressing in upon the South; its advance guard was represented by those small Northern capitalists and officeholders who sought to make quick money in raising cotton and taking advantage of the low-priced labor and high cotton prices due to the war famine.

The labor on the market, instead of being owned like the slaves or excluded from competition like the poor whites, suddenly found itself bid for and offered not only money wages, but political power and social status. The bidders had no realization at first how high their labor bids were in Southern custom; they were offering something below the current price of labor in all civilized lands; the Northern United States, England, France, most of Germany and parts of Italy were giving labor some voice in governing and a money wage contract.

To the plantation planters such a wage contract was economic heresy and social revolution. It was blasphemy and eternal damnation to them, and they fought by every conceivable weapon — political power, social influence, murder, assassination and systematic lying.

The mass of poor whites were in an anomalous position. Those of them who were intelligent or had during slavery accumulated any capital or achieved any position, had always attached themselves in sympathy and interest to the planter class. This meant that the mass of ignorant poor white labor had practically no intelligent leadership. Only here and there were there men, like Hinton Helper, who were actual leaders of the poor whites against the planters. The poor white was in a quandary with regard to emancipation. He had viewed slavery as the cause of his own degradation, but he now viewed the free Negro as a threat to his very existence. Suppose that freedom for the Negro meant that Negroes might rise to be landholders, planters and employers? The poor whites thus might lose the last shred of respectability. They had been used to seeing certain classes of the black slaves above them in economic prosperity and social power. But after all, they were still Negroes and slaves. Now that freedom had come, poor whites were faced by the dilemma of recognizing the Negroes as equals or of bending every effort to still keep them beneath the white mass in income and social power.

Here and there certain leaders appeared among the planters, among the more intelligent of the poor whites, and even among the masses, who looked toward political combination and economic alliance with the Negro. Such persons, the Southerners called "scalawags," but they were in fact that part of the white South who saw a vision of democracy across racial lines, and who were willing to build up a labor party in opposition to capitalists and landholders. They were, therefore, especially to be feared and were endlessly reviled. They were forced into certain extreme positions as compared with the carpetbagger and the planter. Men like Hunnicutt of Virginia asked not only political rights, but full social equality for the Negroes, and taunted planters and the carpetbaggers when they did not dare advocate this.

When Andrew Johnson said in his veto of the Reconstruction bill, March 2, 1867: "The Negroes have not asked for the privilege of voting; the vast majority of them have no idea what it means," he was exaggerating. Negroes had certainly voted, not only in the North but in South Carolina in the eighteenth century and in North Carolina, Louisiana and Tennessee in the nineteenth. They had asked to vote in the South repeatedly since Emancipation. The difference that now came was that an indefinitely larger number of Negroes than ever before was enfranchised suddenly, and 99% of them belonged to the laboring class, whereas by law the Negroes who voted in the early history of the country were for the most part property holders, and prospective if not actual constituents of a petty bourgeoisie.

When freedom came, this mass of Negro labor was not without intelligent leadership, and a leadership which because of former race prejudice and the present Color Line, could not be divorced from the laboring mass, as had been the case with the poor whites. The group of intelligent, free Negroes in Washington, Richmond, Charleston and especially New Orleans, had accumulated some wealth and some knowledge of group cooperation and initiative. Almost without exception, they accepted the new responsibility of leading the emancipated slaves, unselfishly and effectively. Free Negroes from the North, most of whom had been born in the South and knew conditions, came back in considerable numbers during Reconstruction, and took their place as leaders. The result was that the Negroes were not, as they are sometimes painted, simply a mass of densely ignorant toilers. The rank and file of black labor had a notable leadership of intelligence during Reconstruction times.

It was, however, a leadership which was not at all clear in its economic thought. On the whole, it believed in the accumulation of wealth and the exploitation of labor as the normal method of economic development. But it also believed in the right to vote as the basis and defense of economic life, and gradually but surely it was forced by the demand of the mass of Negro laborers to face the problem of land. Thus the Negro leaders gradually but certainly turned toward emphasis on economic emancipation. They wanted the Negro to have the right to work at a decent rate of wages, and they expected that the right to vote would come when he had sufficient education and perhaps a certain minimum of property to deserve it. It was this among other things that was the cause of the tremendous push toward education which the Negroes exhibited.

On the other hand, their desire for economic enfranchisement, for real abolition of slavery, had been affronted by the Black Codes. They were scared and hampered in the very beginning of their freedom by these enactments and by the way in which these and other laws were executed.

The government replied before the death of Abraham Lincoln with government guardianship in the shape of the Freedmen's Bureau. This bureau never had a real chance to organize and function properly. It was hastily organized. It had to use the persons at hand and on the ground largely for its personnel. It had at first no government appropriations and in the end only limited appropriations and it was always faced by the probability of quick dissolution. It was surrounded from the beginning by the spirit which enacted the Black Codes. Southerners were desperately opposed to it because it stood between them and the exploitation of labor toward which they were impelled by their losses and the high price of cotton. If they had been allowed to exploit and drive black labor after the war, many Southerners despite their losses could have partially recouped their fortunes. But here came an organization which demanded money wages of employers who had no money, and demanded the modern treatment of labor from former slave drivers.

Beside the Freedmen's Bureau and before it, there was the chance for the Negroes to seek the advice of their former masters and in many cases this was willingly and wisely given, particularly in the case of masters ready to assist a new economic regime; but it was hindered by several considerations. First, any new union between former masters and Negroes was rekindling the old enmity and jealousy of the poor whites against any combination of the white employer and the black laborer which would again exclude the poor white. The planter, therefore, had to be careful of any open sympathy or cooperation with the black laborer. Already his ranks had been decimated by war and his social status threatened by poverty. Then, too, insofar as the black laborer was guided by the Freedmen's Bureau, by Northern philanthropy and by Northern capital, he brought upon himself the bitter enmity of the former master; so that on the whole, while there was considerable advice and help from the former master, in the long run it did not and could not amount to much.

Then, too, we must remember that these former slaveholders did not believe that Negroes could advance in freedom. They knew, of course, that some could, but even if these could, how could white men and masters cooperate with them? The whole trend of teaching had been that this was utterly impossible. If Negroes succeeded and insofar as they did, it would lead straight to social equality and amalgamation; and if they did not succeed it would lead to deterioration in culture and civilization.

The real economic battle, then, lay finally in a series of attempted compromises between planters, carpetbaggers, scalawags, poor white laborers and Negroes. First, the planters moved toward the political control of Negroes to fix their economic control. This the poor whites had of course feared and their fears were voiced repeatedly by Andrew Johnson. Many people in the North looked upon this as a possible and threatening answer to the enfranchisement of the blacks. The combination was frustrated because the carpetbaggers offered the Negroes better terms; offered them the right to vote and to hold office and some economic freedom. When this economic freedom looked toward landholding and higher wages, it could be accomplished only at the expense of the employing class, and so far as Negro labor accepted, as it had to accept the offer of the carpetbaggers and scalawags, it alienated the planters, and not only that, but it frightened the poor whites.

Here again, as in the case of slavery, there was a combination in which the poor whites seemed excluded, unless they made common cause with the blacks. This union of black and white labor never got a real start. First, because black leadership still tended toward the ideals of the petty bourgeois, and white leadership tended distinctly toward strengthening capitalism. The final move which rearranged all these combinations and led to the catastrophe of 1876, was a combination of planters and poor whites in defiance of their economic interests; and with the use of lawless murder and open intimidation. It was a combination that could only have been stopped by government force; and the army which was the agent of the Federal Government was sustained in the South by the organized capital of the North. All that was necessary, then, was to satisfy Northern industry that the new combination in the South was essentially a combination which aimed at capitalistic exploitation on conventional terms. The result was the withdrawal of military support and the revolutionary suppression not only of Negro suffrage but of the economic development of Negro and white labor.

It was not until after the period which this book treats that white labor in the South began to realize that they had lost a great opportunity, that when they united to disfranchise the black laborer they had cut the voting power of the laboring class in two. White labor in the Populist movement of the eighties tried to realign the economic warfare in the South and bring workers of all colors into united opposition to the employer. But they found that the power which they had put in the hands of the employers in 1876 so dominated political life that free and honest expression of public will at the ballot-box was impossible in the South, even for white men. They realized that it was not simply the Negro who had been disfranchised in 1876, it was the white laborer as well. The South had since become one of the greatest centers for exploitation of labor in the world, and labor suffered not only in the South but throughout the country and the world over.

Curious and contradictory has been the criticism and comment accompanying this great controversy and revolution of 1866-1876. Floods of tears and sentiment have been expended on the suffering and disillusionment of the slave baron, while the equally great losses of Northern and Southern labor have been forgotten. And above all, the plight of the most helpless victims of the situation, the black freedmen, has been treated with callous and hardened judgments, cemented with hate. The Northern business man has justly been accused of being motivated, during this period, chiefly by greed and profit. But the profit and greed of the slaveholder which caused the whole catastrophe, and of the planter who forced an unjust and still dangerous solution, has been sicklied o'er with sentiment.

In all this, one sees the old snobbery of class judgment in new form — tears and sentiment for Marie Antoinette on the scaffold, but no sign of grief for the gutters of Paris and the fields of France, where the victims of exploitation and ignorance lay rotting in piles.

The South, after the war, presented the greatest opportunity for a real national labor movement which the nation ever saw or is likely to see for many decades. Yet the labor movement, with but few exceptions, never realized the situation. It never had the intelligence or knowledge, as a whole, to see in black slavery and Reconstruction, the kernel and meaning of the labor movement in the United States.

After Lincoln's assassination, the General Council of the International Workingmen's Association, under Karl Marx, sent an address to Andrew Johnson:

"After a gigantic Civil War, which if we consider its colossal extension and its vast scenes of action, seems in comparison with the Hundred Years' War and the Thirty Years' War and the Twenty-three Years' War of the Old World scarcely to have lasted ninety days, the task, Sir, devolves upon you to uproot by law what the sword has felled, and to preside over the more difficult work of political reconstruction and social regeneration. The profound consciousness of your great mission will preserve you from all weakness in the execution of your stern duties. You will never forget that the American people at the inauguration of the new era of the emancipation of labor placed the burden of leadership on the shoulders of two men of labor — Abraham Lincoln, the one, and the other, Andrew Johnson."16

In 1865, September, another address over the signature of Marx declared boldly: "Injustice against a fraction of your people having been followed by such dire consequences, put an end to it. Declare your fellow citizens from this day forth free and equal, without any reserve. If you refuse them citizens' rights while you exact from them citizens' duties, you will sooner or later face a new struggle which will once more drench your country in blood."

The National Labor Union of workers was organized at Baltimore, Maryland, August 20, 1866. There were sixty delegates and on their banner was inscribed "Welcome to the sons of toil from the North, East, South and West." An address was issued on cooperation, trade unions, apprenticeship, strikes, labor of women, public land and political action. As to the Negroes, the union admitted that it was unable to express an opinion which would satisfy all, but the question must not be allowed to pass unnoticed. The Negro worker had been neglected. Cooperation of the African race in systematic organization must be secured. Otherwise, Negroes must act as scabs, as in the case of the colored caulkers, imported from Virginia to Boston, during the strike on the 8-hour question. There should be no distinction of race or nationality, but only separation into two great classes: laborers and those who live by others' labor. Negroes were soon to be admitted to citizenship and the ballot. Their ballot strength would be of great value to union labor. If labor did not accept them, capital would use the Negro to split white and black labor, just as the Austrian government had used race dissension. Such a lamentable situation should not be allowed to develop in America. Trade unions, eight-hour leagues, and other groups should be organized among Negroes.

Here was a first halting note. Negroes were welcomed to the labor movement, not because they were laborers but because they might be competitors in the market, and the logical conclusion was either to organize them or guard against their actual competition by other methods. It was to this latter alternative that white American labor almost unanimously turned.

This was manifest at the second annual meeting in Chicago in 1867, where the Negro problem was debated more frankly and less successfully. The President called attention to Negroes whose emancipation had given them a new position in the labor world. They would now come in competition with white labor. He suggested that the best way to meet this situation was to form trade unions among Negroes. A committee of three on Negro labor was selected. The Committee on Negro Labor reported that having had the subject under consideration, and after having heard the suggestions and opinions of several members of this convention — pro and con — they had arrived at the following conclusions:

"That, while we feel the importance of the subject, and realize the danger in the future of competition in mechanical Negro labor, yet we find the subject involved in so much mystery, and upon it so wide diversity of opinion amongst our members, we believe that it is inexpedient to take action on the subject in this National Labor Congress.

"Resolved, that the subject of Negro labor be laid over till the next session of the National Labor Congress...."

The report of this committee brought a whirlwind of discussion which lasted throughout the whole day:

"The Negro will bear to be taught his duty, and has already stood his ground nobly when a member of a trades' union....

"Did not like to confess to the world that there was a subject with which they were afraid to cope....

"This very question was at the root of the rebellion, which was the war of the poor white men of the South, who were forced by the slaveholders into the war....

"In New Haven, there were a number of respectable colored mechanics, but they had not been able to induce the trades' unions to admit them.... Was there any union in the states which would admit colored men?

"The colored man was industrious, and susceptible of improvement and advancement....

"There was no need of entering on any discussion of the matter.

"There was no necessity for the foisting of the subject of colored labor, or the appointment of a committee to report thereon.... The blacks would combine together of themselves and by themselves, without the assistance of whites. God speed them; but let not the whites try to carry them on their shoulders....

"Time enough to talk about admitting colored men to trades' unions and to the Congress when they applied for admission....

"Whites striking against the blacks, and creating an antagonism which will kill off the trades' unions, unless the two be consolidated. There is no concealing the fact that the time will come when the Negro 'will take possession of the shops if we have not taken possession of the Negro. If the workingmen of the white race do not conciliate the blacks, the black vote will be cast against them.'

"The capitalists of New England now employ foreign boys and girls in their mills, to the almost entire exclusion of the native-born population. They would seek to supplant these by colored workers....

"Little danger of black men wanting to enter trades' unions any more than Germans would try to join the English societies in America "17

The whole question was finally dodged by taking refuge in the fact that the constitution invited "all labor."

Sylvis, President of the International Labor Movement, spoke out in 1868 on slavery:

"Whatever our opinions may be as to immediate causes of the war, we can all agree that human slavery (property in man) was the first great cause; and from the day that the first gun was fired, it was my earnest hope that the war might not end until slavery ended it. No man in America rejoiced more than I at the downfall of Negro slavery. But when the shackles fell from the limbs of those four millions of blacks, it did not make them free men; it simply transferred them from one condition of slavery to another; it placed them upon the platform of the white working men, and made all slaves together. I do not mean that freeing the Negro enslaved the white; I mean that we were slaves before; always have been, and that the abolition of the right of property in man added four millions of black slaves to the white slaves of the country. We are now all one family of slaves together, and the labor reform movement is a second emancipation proclamation."18

In the meeting of the National Labor Union in New York in 1868, there was no mention of Negroes, but in 1869 at Philadelphia among 142 representatives, there appeared nine Negroes representing various separate Negro unions and organizations. This pointed a way out which labor eagerly seized. Contrary to all labor philosophy, they would divide labor by racial and social lines and yet continue to talk of one labor movement. Through this separate union, Negro labor would be restrained from competition and yet kept out of the white race unions where power and discussion lay. A resolution was adopted saying that the National Labor Union would recognize neither color nor sex in the question of the rise of all labor, and the colored laborers were urged to form their own organizations and send delegates to the next conference. The Negroes responded and declared that all Negroes wanted was a fair chance and no one would be the worse off for giving it. Isaac Myers, their leader, said: "The white laboring men of the country have nothing to fear from the colored laboring men. We desire to see labor elevated and made respectable; we desire to have the highest rate of wages that our labor is worth; we desire to have the hours of labor regulated as well to the interest of the laborer as to the capitalist. Mr. President, American citizenship for the black man is a complete failure if he is proscribed from the workshops of the country."19

In 1869, the General Council of the National Working-Men's Association sent a letter signed by Karl Marx to the President of the National Labor Union.

"The immediate tangible result of the Civil War was of course a deterioration of the condition of American Workingmen. Both in the United States and in Europe the colossal burden of a public debt was shifted from hand to hand in order to settle it upon the shoulders of the working class. The prices of necessaries, remarks one of your statesmen, have risen 78 per cent since i860, while the wages of simple manual labor have risen 50 and those of skilled labor 60 per cent. 'Pauperism,' he complains, 'is increasing in America more rapidly than population.' Moreover the sufferings of the working class are in glaring contrast to the new-fangled luxury of financial aristocrats, shoddy aristocrats and other vermin bred by the war. Still the Civil War offered a compensation in the liberation of the slaves and the impulse which it thereby gave your own class movement. Another war, not sanctified by a sublime aim or a social necessity, but like the wars of the Old World, would forge chains for the free workingmen instead of sundering those of the slaves."20

Sylvis, President of the International Labor Movement, acknowledged this letter but said nothing about slavery, confining himself to attacking the monied aristocracy.

Thus American labor leaders tried to emphasize the fact that here was a new element; new not in the sense that it had not been there, — it had been there all the time — but new in the sense that the Negro worker must now be taken account of, both in his own interest and particularly in their interest. He was a competitor and a prospective under-bidder. Then difficulties appeared; the white worker did not want the Negro in his unions, did not believe in him as a man, dodged the question, and when he appeared at conventions, asked him to organize separately; that is, outside the real labor movement, in spite of the fact that this was a contradiction of all sound labor policy.

As the Negro laborers organized separately, there came slowly to realization the fact that here was not only separate organization but a separation in leading ideas; because among Negroes, and particularly in the South, there was being put into force one of the most extraordinary experiments of Marxism that the world, before the Russian revolution, had seen. That is, backed by the military power of the United States, a dictatorship of labor was to be attempted and those who were leading the Negro race in this vast experiment were emphasizing the necessity of the political power and organization backed by protective military power.

On the other hand, the trade union movement of the white labor in the North was moving away from that idea and moving away from politics. They seemed to see a more purely economic solution in their demand for higher wages and shorter hours. Ira Stewart spoke for "men who labor excessively ... robbed of all ambition to ask for anything more than will satisfy their bodily necessities, while those who labor moderately have time to cultivate tastes and create wants in addition to mere physical comforts."21 But Stewart was not thinking of Negroes and only once barely mentioned them:

"That we rejoice that the rebel aristocracy of the South has been crushed, that we rejoice that beneath the glorious shadow of our victorious flag men of every clime, lineage and color are recognized as free. But while we will bear with patient endurance the burden of the public debt, we yet want it to be known that the workingmen of America will in future claim a more equal share in the wealth their industry creates in peace and a more equal participation in the privileges and blessings of those free institutions, defended by their manhood on many a bloody field of battle...."

Not a word was said of Negro suffrage and the need of the labor vote, black and white, if the demands of labor were to be realized. Indeed, at the very time that Southern labor was about to be enfranchised, Northern labor realized that the right to vote meant little under the growing dictatorship of wealth and corporate control. It made little difference what laws were made as long as their interpretation by the courts and administration was dictated by capital. Some proposed, therefore, to fight their battle out directly with the employer, on the one battle ground of economic bargaining, with strikes, violence and secret 'horganization as the methods.

The National Labor Union veered from consumers' and producers' cooperation into a fight to control credits and capital and afterward through the Greenback party into an attempt to gain these ends by manipulating money. With falling prices and unemployment directly after the war, and rising prices and normal employment in 1868-1873, labor leaders became increasingly petty bourgeois and turned their backs on black labor. Farmers organized the Grange but not for black farm tenants and laborers, not for the struggling peasant proprietors among the freedmen. The Knights of Labor did not turn their attention to Negroes until after 1876.

There was, too, no rapprochement between the liberal revolt against big industry and Northern labor. Horace Greeley, a pioneer of the labor leaders, drew little labor support. The labor leaders went into the labor war of 1877 having literally disarmed themselves of the power of universal suffrage. And thus in 1876, when Northern industry withdrew military support in the 3outh anc [ refused to support longer the dictatorship of labor, they did this without any opposition or any intelligent comprehension of what was happening on the part of the Northern white worker.

Labor and Negro history illustrate these paradoxes. For instance in 1869, there came up the celebrated case of Lewis H. Douglass, the son of Frederick Douglass, who worked in the government printing office and was not allowed to join the Printers' Union. Rather than face the question, the matter was postponed for three years and all sorts of excuses given. This and other cases led and practically compelled the Negroes to form not only separate local trade unions but to work toward a separate national organization. White labor was organizing to fight against the new industrial oligarchy, which was growing in the North; but it was this same oligarchy which in its own self-defense had forced the South to accept Negro suffrage, allying itself temporarily with the abolition-democratic movement in the North.

This placed the white and black labor movement in a singularly contradictory position. The alliance of the black labor movement with the Republican Party was simply the political side of an economic fact. The Republican Party had given the black man the right to vote. This right to vote he was going to use to better his economic and social position. To oppose the Republican Party, then, was to oppose his own economic enfranchisement.

On the other hand, the white Labor Party had allied themselves with the Democrats, chiefly because the Democratic Party had opposed the "Know-nothing Party." The anti-foreign immigration movement was now the only organized political opposition to the great industrial forces represented by the Republicans in the North. It represented in some degree and voiced the radical demands of the West for low tariff and cheap money; but it was at the same time violently opposed to the new enfranchisement of black labor in the South. These two sets of facts alone put white and black labor in direct opposition, and because their leaders did not altogether understand the basis of this opposition, it made the attempt to achieve a common platform for white and black workers exceedingly difficult, especially when the anomalous position of the Northern Negro worker was taken into account.

Negro leaders, naturally, resented the attack made by white labor organizations on the Republican Party. Nor did they understand how far this new Southern labor government was dependent on Northern industrial reaction and capitalistic oligarchy. Northern labor was equally ignorant and did not dream that in the South the Republican Party was par excellence the party of labor.

This matter came to a crisis at the meeting of the National Labor Union in Cincinnati in 1870. A number of Negroes were present, including Isaac Myers, Josiah Weirs and Peter H. Clark. John M. Langston wanted to speak, but the labor leaders opposed him because he was a Republican politician. The motion to grant him the privilege to speak was lost by a vote of 29 to 23. There was excitement. Weirs remarked that a Democrat had been allowed to speak and that he regarded the Republican Party as a friend of the workingman. Myers lauded the Republicans amid cries of approval and disapproval. Senator Pinchback, colored leader of Louisiana, was also denied the privilege of the floor. Nevertheless, in the resolutions adopted after much debate, it was said, "The highest interest of our colored fellow-citizens is with the workingmen, who, like themselves, are the slaves of capital and politicians."

The Negroes, especially the Northern artisans, tried to keep in touch with the white labor movement. In September, 1870, Sella Martin, a colored man, went as delegate of the colored workers to the World Labor Congress in Paris. In 1871, the International Working-men's Association, with its headquarters in London, and under the influence of Karl Marx, began to organize labor in the United States on a large scale, and in a parade held in New York in 1871, Negro organizations appeared.

The international movement, however, took no real root in America. Even the white National Labor Union began losing ground and ceased to be active after 1872. The main activity of the International was in the North; they seemed to have no dream that the place for its most successful rooting was in the new political power of the Southern worker.

Negroes, however, increased their attempts to organize and to think in groups. In 1865, an Equal Rights League met in Pennsylvania and tried to influence Negroes to secure real estate and give their sons business education.

In the District of Columbia, in 1867, a meeting of colored workers took place. They asked Congress to secure equal apportionment of employment to white and colored labor. Their petition was printed and a committee of fifteen was appointed to circulate it. In 1868 a similar petition was sent to Congress asking for equal share in work on public improvements authorized by law. There was a state colored convention in Indiana in 1865, another one in Pennsylvania in 1866, and in July, 1869, a Negro convention was held in Louisville, Kentucky, as a result of the agitation for immigrant workers. At this last convention there were 250 delegates who discussed political, economic and educational matters. They asked for the final abolition of slavery, equal education, rights in the courts, equality of taxation, the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment. They recommended the purchase of land and the learning of trades.

A national convention of Negroes met in Washington in January, 1869. This convention was more really national than most Negro conventions hitherto. It was not simply a convention of Southern Negroes as that at Louisville, nor of Northern Negroes like the various conventions at Philadelphia and New York. In 1869, Negroes, representing a number of trades, met in Baltimore in July to form a state organization. Later, colored representatives in the same city urged Negroes to enter the movement for the formation of labor unions. In the Washington convention, there were a number of colored delegates from the South, including Henry M. Turner, a black political leader of Georgia, and in all, 130 delegates, including many men of intelligence and ability, came together. Frederick Douglass was elected permanent President and resolutions were passed in favor of the Freed-men's Bureau, a national tax for Negro schools, universal suffrage, and the opening of public land especially in the South for Negroes. The reconstruction policy of Congress was commended and there was opposition to colonization.

This was not primarily a labor convention, but it illustrated the connection in the Negroes' minds between politics and labor. They were beginning, more and more clearly, to see that their vote must be used for their economic betterment, and that their right to work and their income depended upon their use of the ballot. They were consequently groping for leadership in industry and voting, both within and without the race. In their conception of the ballot as the means to industrial emancipation, they were ahead of the Northern labor movement. But in their knowledge of the lurking dangers of the power of capital, they were far behind. This January convention was followed the same year by a national Negro labor convention sponsored by the Baltimore meeting which assembled in Washington in December. This had been called by Negro artisans of the North, and was again national in its membership. This national labor convention assembled in Union League Hall, Washington, December, 1869. There were 159 delegates present, and Isaac Myers called the meeting to order.

While the committees were at work, James H. Harris addressed the convention. He was an astute and courageous Reconstruction leader of North Carolina and saw politics and labor in clear alliance. He stated that several millions of colored men were looking to the convention with much interest, and that the South, having passed through a political reconstruction, needed another reconstruction in the affairs of the laboring classes. John M. Langston spoke of the treatment of Negroes in public places and at their work. He especially scored the Printers' Union for its action toward Lewis H. Douglass. Remarks were made also by Richard Trevellick, the President of the white National Labor Convention, and A. M. Powell, the editor of the Anti-Slavery Standard.

The convention was permanently organized with James M. Harris of North Carolina as President. Committees were appointed on education, finance, business, platform and address, female labor, homesteads, travel, temperance, cooperative labor, bank savings, and agriculture. The platform of the convention covered the following subjects:

1. The dignity of labor. 2. A plea that harmony should prevail between labor and capital. 3. The desirability of an interchange of views between employers and employees. 4. Temperance in liquor consumption. 5. Education, "for educated labor is more productive and commands higher wages." 6. Political liberty for all Americans. 7. The encouragement of industry. 8. The exclusion from the trades and workshops regarded as "an insult to God, injury to us." 9. Immigrant labor should be welcomed, but coolie labor was an injury to all working classes. 10. The establishment of cooperative workshops, building and loan associations. 11. Gratitude to the agencies interested in Negro education. 12. Protection of the law for all. 13. The organization of workingmen's associations which should cooperate with the National Labor Union. 14. Capital must not be regarded as the natural enemy of labor.

At the third day's session, a special committee of five was appointed to draft a plan for the organization of mechanics and artisans, in order to secure recognition for them in the workships of the country. Langston addressed the meeting concerning his observations in the South. There he had found skilled workers among the Negroes in gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, brick, mortar and the arts. He stated that all these workmen were asking for themselves and their children was that the trades should be open to them and that no avenue of industry should be closed, whether in workshops, printing offices, factories, foundries, railroads, steamboats, warehouses or stores.

On the fifth day, a resolution was passed which urged the delegates to call and organize state labor associations so that they might work in full cooperation with a committee which was to conduct its work as a labor bureau. This bureau was planned to serve as a clearing house for all questions of Negro labor and it was to aid in opening new labor opportunities. Isaac Myers was selected permanent President of the organization, and in his acceptance he stated that he expected to rely upon the Labor Bureau in reaching the Negro workingmen of the United States.

It is interesting to note that this convention was more representative of the large groups than the first general convention, and it deserves for this reason, as well as for its work, to be called the first organized national group of Negro laborers. Many political and religious leaders were not present at its sessions. These absentees included Douglass, Garnett, William Wells Brown, Purvis and Whipper. The definite results of this meeting included the organization of a permanent national Labor Union and a Bureau of Labor. Before the sessions were ended it was stated that there were 23 states represented and 203 accredited delegates in attendance during the period of five days.

The American Workingman of Boston called attention to the fact that this separate Negro organization had been formed and the writer said: "The convention of colored men at Washington last week was in some respects the most remarkable one we ever attended. We had always had full faith in the capacity of the Negro for self-improvement, but were not prepared to see, fresh from slavery, a body of two hundred men, so thoroughly conversant with public affairs, so independent in spirit, and so anxious apparently to improve their social condition, as the men who represented the South, in that convention."

There were some white fraternal delegates present and Langston attacked them as emissaries of the Democratic Party, but Sella Martin replied and told the convention plainly that they could not afford to repel the sympathy of white friends of the labor cause, and that the interests of the laboring classes, white and black, on this continent, were identical. Of the presiding officer, the writer in the American Workingman says:

"And here we feel impelled to say that in all our experience in tumultuous public assemblies, we have never seen a presiding officer show more executive ability than Mr. Harris, and certainly he does not owe it to white blood, as he is evidently a full-blooded Negro, so far as color and features are any evidence of being so. His success was largely owing, we think, to the fact that he possessed the entire confidence of the convention, as well as superior ability for the position."

He is sorry that a separate union has been formed. "But we are convinced that for the present at least, they could not do better. It is useless to attempt to cover up the fact that there is still a wide gulf between the two races in this country, and for a time at least they must each in their own way work out a solution of this labor problem. At no very distant day they will become united, and work in harmony together; and we who have never felt the iron as they have must be slow to condemn them because they do not see as we do on this labor movement. For ourselves, we should have felt better satisfied had they decided to join the great national movement now in progress, but fresh as they are from slavery, looking as they naturally do on the Republican Party as their deliverers from bondage, it is not strange that they should hesitate joining any other movement. Although they did not distinctly recognize any party in their platform, yet the sentiment was clearly Republican, if their speeches were any indication. Still, strange as it may seem, parties were ignored in their platform, and this course was taken mainly through the influence and votes of the Southern delegates."

The resolutions of this body stressed education as one of the strongest safeguards of the republic; advocated industrious habits, and the learning of trades and professions, and declared:

"That the exclusion of colored men and apprentices from the right to labor in any department of industry or workshops, in any of the states and territories of the United States, by what is known as 'trades unions,' is an insult to God, injury to us, and disgrace to humanity; while we extend a free and welcome hand to the free immigration of labor of all nationalities, we emphatically deem imported, contract, coolie labor to be a positive injury to the working people of the United States — is but the system of slavery in a new form, and we appeal to the Congress of the United States to rigidly enforce the Act of 1862, prohibiting coolie importations, and to enact such laws as will best protect free American labor against this or any similar form of slav-ery.

They recommended the establishment of cooperative workshops, building and loan associations, the purchase of land "as a remedy against their exclusion from other workshops on account of color, as a means of furnishing employment, as well as a protection against the aggression of capital, and as the easiest and shortest method of enabling every man to procure a homestead for his family; and to accomplish this end we would particularly impress the greatest importance of the observance of diligence in business, and the practice of rigid economy in our social and domestic arrangements.

"Resolved, that we regard education as one of the greatest blessings that the human family enjoys, and that we earnestly appeal to our fellow citizens to allow no opportunity, no matter how limited and remote, to pass unimproved; that the thanks of the colored people of this country is due to the Congress of the United States for the establishment and maintenance of the Freedman's Bureau, and to Major General Howard, commissioner; Reverend J. W. Alvord, and John M. Langston, Esq., general inspectors, for their cooperative labors in the establishment and good government of hundreds of schools in the Southern States, whereby thousands of men, women and children, have been, and are now being taught the rudiments of an English education ... and we appeal to the friends of progress and to our citizens of the several states to continue their efforts to the various legislatures until every state can boast of having a free school system, with no distinction in dissemination of knowledge to its inhabitants on account of race, color, sex, creed or previous condition."

The low wages of labor in the South were cited, and according to the New York Tribune, December 11, 1869, it was said:

"To remedy this, labor must be made more scarce, and the best way to do that was to make laborers landowners. Congress is to be asked, therefore, to subdivide the public lands in the South into twenty-acre farms, to make one year's residence entitle a settler to a patent, and also to place in the hands of a Commission a sum of money, not exceeding two million dollars, to aid their settlement, and also to purchase lands in states where no public lands are found, the money to be loaned for five years, without interest. Congress will also be asked not to restore to Southern railroads the lapsed land grants of 1856, and to require that Texas, prior to readmission to representation, shall put her public lands under the operations of provisions similar to the United States Homestead Law of 1866...."

"... Mr. Downing from the Committee on Capital and Labor, submitted the following.... Your committee would simply refer to the unkind, estranging policy of the labor organizations of white men, who, while they make loud proclaims as to the injustice (as they allege) to which they are subjected, justify injustice, so far as giving an example to do so may, by excluding from their benches and their workshops worthy craftsmen and apprentices only because of their color, for no just cause. We say to such, so long as you persist therein, we cannot fellowship with you in your struggle, and look for failure and mortification on your part; not even the sacred name of Wendell Phillips can save you, however much we revere him and cherish toward him not only profound respect, but confidence and gratitude "

In February, 1870, the Bureau of Labor issued an address to the colored people which stressed the need of organizing Negro labor, and said that the lack of organization was the cause of low wages. It stated the following purposes of the Colored National Labor Union and the Bureau of Labor:

"1. To encourage and superintend the organization of labor.

"2. To bring about legislation which would secure equality before the law for all and enforce the contracts for labor.

"3. To secure funds from bankers and capitalists for aid in establishing cooperative associations.

"4. To overcome the opposition of white mechanics who excluded workers from their unions and shops.

"5. To organize state labor conventions.

"6. To organize, where there were seven or more mechanics, artisans and laborers of any particular branch of industry, separate labor associations and to advertise their labor in the daily papers.

"7. To encourage independent effort in creating capital, buying tools, building houses, forging iron, making brick.

"8. To own a homestead.

"The address was signed by Isaac Myers, President, and G. T. Downing, Vice-President...."22

Local organizations were formed, meetings held, and a weekly paper, The New Era, was made the national organ. On February 21, a plan was adopted to send an agent South to organize Negro labor. Isaac Myers, President of the Union, was selected. He held a meeting in Norfolk, Virginia, urging the union of white and colored workmen in the same trade. Other labor meetings took place in 1870 in New York and the District of Columbia.

The second annual meeting of the National Labor Union took place January 9, 1871, with delegates from North and South, including Alabama, Virginia, Texas and North Carolina. Congress was petitioned for a national system of education with technical training. The convention desired to see industries and factories because the South was confined to a few staples, which created ignorance and poverty among both white and colored laborers and among the owning classes fear that industry would help elevate the status of the laborer.

The next annual meeting of the National Labor Union was called at Columbia, South Carolina, coincidental with the Southern convention which was a political gathering. Here there began to appear rivalry between the economic and political objects of the Negro. The New Era, national organ of the National Labor Union, inquired into the real objects of this meeting. It wanted to know if this union was another name for communism, or if it was a colored offshoot of the International, which intended eventually to impose a mobocracy on America?

The convention at Columbia was presided over by H. M. Turner of Georgia. Committees were appointed on education and labor, on printing, finance, civil rights, organization, immigration, and on Southern outrages. The committee on the address made a report which called for political rights, justice, protection of the courts, and advancement in the industrial arts.

In 1872, in April, a Southern states' convention assembled at New Orleans with Frederick Douglass presiding. Evidently, the National Labor Union was steadily becoming political in its influences and leadership. Efforts were made to show that Negro labor could only achieve its end by political organization. Frederick Douglass wrote an editorial to this effect, and concluded with the words: "The Republican Party is the true workingmen's party of the country." This sounded strange for the North but it was at the time true of the South. The National Labor Union issued an address to its state unions, saying that while it was not a political organization, it regarded it as the duty of every colored man to be interested in the Republican Party and stand by it. "'By its success, we stand; by its defeat, we fall. To that party we are indebted for • the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the homestead law, the eight-hour law and an improved educational system.' The presidents of the state labor unions were directed to read this address before their organizations."

As the Negroes moved from unionism toward political action, white labor in the North not only moved in the opposite direction from political action to union organization, but also evolved the American Blindspot for the Negro and his problems. It lost interest and vital touch with Southern labor and acted as though the millions of laborers in the South did not exist.

Thus labor went into the great war of 1877 against Northern capitalists unsupported by the black man, and the black man went his way in the South to strengthen and consolidate his power, unsupported by Northern labor. Suppose for a moment that Northern labor had stopped the bargain of 1876 and maintained the power of the labor vote in the South; and suppose that the Negro with new and dawning consciousness of the demands of labor as differentiated from the demands of capitalists, had used his vote more specifically for the benefit of white labor, South and North?

If the basic problem of Reconstruction in the South was economic, then the kernel of the economic situation was the land. This was clear to the sophisticated leadership of Stevens and to the philanthropy of Sumner and Oliver Howard; but it was equally clear to the ignorant and inexperienced of the freed slaves.

The Northern labor leaders and the mass of the North were slow in realizing that the center of the South's labor problem was the land, and not as yet industry. Here in the South, after the war, was a chance to keep the economic balance between farm and factory. And if it had been done, the result would have been fateful for the nation and for the world.

The Negro unerringly and insistently led the way. The main question to which the Negroes returned again and again was the problem of owning land. It was ridiculed as unreasonable and unjust to the impoverished landholders of the South, and as a part of the desire for revenge which the North had. But in essence it was nothing of the sort.

Again and again, crudely but logically, the Negroes expressed their right to the land and the deep importance of this right. And as usual here the government played fast and loose because it had two irreconcilable ideas in mind. Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner were perfectly clear; the Negroes must have land furnished them either for a nominal sum or as a gift, and this land should be furnished by the government and paid for either out of taxation, or as Stevens repeatedly insisted, as an indemnity placed on the South for civil war. Moreover, for 250 years the Negroes had worked on this land, and by every analogy in history, when they were emancipated the land ought to have belonged in large part to the workers.

On the other hand, to the organized industry of the North, capital in machines or land was sacred; they did not wish to appear to punish the South by taking any more of its already partly confiscated capital. They did not want to set an example of confiscation before a nation victimized by monopoly; and they were bitterly opposed to giving capital to workers or redistributing wealth by public taxation. The result was that the nation moved backward and forward according as to one or the other idea gained the upper hand. Sir George Campbell said:

"All that is now wanted to make the Negro a fixed and conservative element in American society is to give him encouragement to, and facilities for, making himself, by his own exertions, a small landowner; to do, in fact, for him what we have sought to do for the Irish farmer. Land in America is so much cheaper and more abundant, that it would be infinitely easier to effect the same object there. I would by no means seek to withdraw the whole population from hired labor; on the contrary, the Negro in many respects is so much at his best in that function, that I should look to a large class of laborers remaining; but I am at the same time confident that it would be a very great benefit and stability to the country if a large number should acquire thrift and independent position as landowning American citizens."23

Most writers and speakers thought of the land problem so far as the Negro was concerned as an incidental thing; it was something that "would come." On the other hand, the former slave holders knew that land was the key to the situation and they tried desperately to center thought on labor rather than on land ownership. "One universal opinion is that they shall not be allowed to acquire or hold land. I have heard that expressed from the first. They say that unless Negroes work for them they shall not work at all."24

The freed slaves were desperately poor; the poor whites had always been poor except insofar as they were pensioners of the planters. How could industry be set going again and what was the relation of free Negro labor to this industry? Of course, the full realization of freedom could not be accomplished in a minute. Unless crops were raised and the wheels of industry started, emancipation would have been an experiment so costly that no nation could have supported it. And we must remember that in the end and as a logical matter of dollars and cents, emancipation paid. This is so much a matter of common knowledge today that we forget how bitterly and with what absolute certainty the South and even many in the North declared that free Negro labor was economically impossible.

What they insisted on during Reconstruction was labor, continuous, steady labor to continue production of high-priced crops. What they slurred over or refused to discuss was the object of this labor and the distribution of its product. Of labor for the economic benefit of the laborer except to the extent of the lowest possible wage that would sustain him they had no conception; and to any transfer of capital in land to the laborer as a basis of his right to demand a fairer share of the products, they were bitterly opposed.

The white South believed that it was being deliberately insulted in a petty spirit of vengeance by the North. But this was a childish way of attributing human emotions to an economic situation. The North as a whole harbored no thoughts of vengeance. Sumner wrecked his career on a deed of forgiveness; and Stevens punished the slave system and its promoters only insofar as they still interfered with freedom, or kept the ill-gotten capital accumulated by exploiting slaves.

The party of Northern industry watched the beginnings of democratic government in the South with distrust. They did not expect Negro suffrage to succeed, but they did expect that it would soon compel the Southern oligarchy to capitulate to the dictatorship of industry. Their hopes were fulfilled in 1876.

The abolition-democracy faced the Southern conventions of 1867 with fear. It was the greatest test of democracy that the nation had known. Even after the great Reform Bill of 1832, England had less than one million voters. It was not until 1867 that a million or more skilled laborers in England got the vote.

Here, at the stroke of the pen, more than one million Negroes were given the right to vote, of whom probably three-fourths could not read or write; and at the same time more than one million whites were given the same right, and at least one-third of them were equally illiterate. This was a desperate venture forced by a slave-minded regime; it had refused to grant complete physical freedom to black workers; it refused them education and access to the land and insisted on dominant political power based on the number of these same serfs. Under these circumstances the experiment had to be made. For to surrender now was to have sacrificed blood and billions of dollars in vain.

But, it was the American Blindspot that made the experiment all the more difficult, and to the South incomprehensible. For several generations the South had been taught to look upon the Negro as a thing apart. He was different from other human beings. The system of slave labor, under which he was employed, was radically different from all other systems of labor. There could be no comparison between labor problems in the South and in the North; between the Negro and white laborer.

"It must be confessed that the representatives of the white oligarchy are having a hard time, being forced to consider their own former slaves no longer as Negroes, 'niggers,' that is to say, members of a category unrecognized in any natural history, somewhere between men and monkeys in the animal scale, but as men, who have, as Jefferson phrased it, equal rights with them in the free development of their talents and in the pursuit of happiness; or, in other words, as citizens on an equal footing with themselves."25

"The Northern Democrats encouraged resistance on the part of the South, and yet some of them saw the situation clearly. The intrinsic difficulties of the situation are not to be denied. The ruling classes of the Southern people had attempted to disrupt the Union in order to establish their own independence. The overthrow of their armies had not changed their opinions nor their feelings. Necessity compelled their submission, but necessity could not make them love a union with the victorious North, nor make them cordially recognize and support the rights of the freedmen."26

During the winter and spring of 1867-1868 in accordance with the legislation of Congress, Southern conventions met and adopted new constitutions. These constitutions provided for equal civil rights, established universal suffrage and disfranchised disloyal whites. After the framing of these constitutions, they were voted on by the people. Also, state officers and members of the legislature were chosen at the same election and by the same voters. The army commanders did their best to bring out the vote and to counteract various devices for keeping Negroes away from the polls. The polls were kept open two and three days and in Georgia even five days.

Officials of the Freedmen's Bureau helped in the enforcement of the Reconstruction Acts. The act of March 23 provided that registration and elections should be conducted by boards of three loyal officers or persons appointed by the district commander. They were required to take the "Iron Clad Oath." Bureau officials were often appointed as members of these boards and Negroes were often used. The bureau officials advised Negroes about registration and voting and disabused their mind of fears of taxation or military service or reenslavement. They promised to protect them in case of a boycott of employers against those that voted.

Thus in 1867 there took place in the South a series of elections in which a new electorate registered and expressed its desire as to constitutional conventions to reconstruct the states. One million, three hundred and sixty-three thousand, six hundred and forty persons voted, of whom 660,181 were whites, and 703,459 were Negroes, as compared with a total vote of 721,191 whites voting in i860.27

                                            Vote on Holding
                    Registered                 Convention    Total
                                     Total                   Vote
                   White  Colored    Vote     For  Against   1860
Virginia ........ 120,101 105,832   225,933 107,342 61,887 167,223
North Carolina .. 106,721  72,932   179,653  93,006 32,961  96,230
South Carolina ..  46,882  80,550   127,432  68,768  2,278
Georgia .........  96,333  95,168   191,501 102,283  4,127 106,365
Alabama .........  61,295 104,518   165,813  90,283  5,583  90,357
Florida .........  11,914  16,089    28,003  14,300    203  14,347
*Mississippi ....  62,362  77,328   139,690  69,739  6,277  69,120
*Arkansas .......  49,722  17,109    66,831  27,576 13,558  64,053
Louisiana .......  45,218  84,436   129,654  75,083  4,006  50,510
Texas ...........  59,633  49,497   109,130   4,689 11,440  62,986
  Total ......... 660,181 703,459 1,363,640                721,191
 * Division by race estimated; total official.

At first, the planters thought to defeat Reconstruction by refusing to vote and thus making the whole experiment a failure at the very start. Many leading whites, small in total number but large in influence and in former wealth and power, were disfranchised, perhaps 200,000 in all.

On the other hand, the poor whites must have voted widely, especially when we note the large white vote in most of the states despite war, mortality, abstentions and disabilities. It is probable that in 1868 not only did Negroes vote freely, but more poor whites than ever before exercised the franchise. Democracy for the first time in at least a century succeeded oligarchy in the South. The voting of nearly three-fourths of a million Negroes was especially significant and represented a very large proportion of, perhaps, a million eligible black voters.

The elections which reconstructed the South under the Congressional plan were fair and honest elections, and probably never before were such democratic elections held in the South and never since such fair elections. Indeed, as a special champion of the South says: "It would be hard to deny that, so far as the ordinary civil administration was concerned, the rule of the generals was as just and efficient as it was far-reaching. Criticism and denunciation of their acts were bitter and continuous; but no very profound research is necessary in order to discover that the animus of these attacks was chiefly political."28

As a result of the elections, constitutional conventions were decided on in all the Southern states and the following number of members of the Conventions elected:

                     Delegates — 1868    per Cent
State              Black   White   Total   Negro
South Carolina.....  76      48     124      61
Louisiana..........  49      49      98      50
Florida............  18      27      45      40
Virginia...........  25      80     105      24
Georgia............  33     137     170      19
Mississippi........  17      83     100      17
Alabama............  18      90     108      17
Arkansas...........   8      58      66      12
North Carolina.....  15     118     133      11
Texas..............   9      81      90      10

As these conventions were being voted on, the presidential election approached. The campaign began in May, 1868. The Republican national platform did not dare to stand squarely for Negro suffrage but evolved this illogical compromise: "The guaranty by Congress of equal suffrage to all loyal men at the South was demanded by every consideration of public safety, of gratitude, and of justice, and must be maintained; while the question of suffrage in all the loyal states properly belongs to the people of these States."29

Grant and Colfax were nominated. Colfax declared that peace had been prevented by "executive opposition, and by refusals to accept any plan of reconstruction proffered by Congress. Justice and public safety at last combined to teach us that only by an enlargement of suffrage in those States could the desired end be attained, and that it was even more safe to give the ballot to those who loved the Union than to those who had sought ineffectually to destroy it."

In 1865-1868, the Democratic Party controlled from 44 per cent to 50 per cent of the voters in the North, so that if the white people of the South had been included, undoubtedly the Democratic Party would have been in the majority. By the exclusion of the South, the Democratic Party had been beaten in 1866, and in 1867 had carried only Maryland and Kentucky, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California; nevertheless, on the whole, the Democratic vote increased, as compared with the Republican.

The elections of 1867 made it clear that if the Democrats won in 1868, the entire system of Reconstruction would be changed. The business elements of the North, therefore, while not willing to follow abolition-democracy to the extreme, were even less willing to put Reconstruction entirely in the hands of Southerners. Congress, therefore, prepared to clinch its political hold on the South, and reconstruct Southern states on a basis of Negro suffrage.

While, then, the conservative and commercial elements in the North went into the Republican Party, on the other hand, former Democrats began to return to the Democratic Party, where they were received with more or less suspicion. Meetings began to be held by Democratic leaders to determine candidates and procedure. On Jackson Day, January 8, 1868, a meeting was held in Washington, at which President Johnson spoke and many Democratic leaders. This meeting was dominated by the War Democrats, rather than by Copperheads, and emphasis was laid upon cooperation between the War Democrats and the Johnson administration, on the one hand, and the Democratic organization on the other. New measures and new men were sought. August Belmont, the banker, was chairman of the National Committee. New York was chosen as the seat of the convention, and a general invitation was issued to former Democrats.

The New York Herald enumerated the elements of the new democracy: merchants who opposed the protective tariff, the unemployed, the foreign born, the Catholics, the women opposed to Negro suffrage, the opponents of military control in the South. Many papers warned the pro-Southern elements in the Democratic Party not to oppose the loyal sentiment in the nation. The Springfield Republican, July i, mentioned "the mere stupid, causeless, aimless hatred of the Negro" in the Democratic Party.

The opposition of the Democrats to Negro suffrage was not clearly expressed. Evidently, the tide in favor of democracy had risen so high in the country that as a party the Democrats did not dare oppose it. The party, therefore, would not come out flatly in opposition to Negro suffrage but simply declared that suffrage was a question to be settled by the states. Twenty-two state Democratic conventions were held in 1868. Eleven of these opposed Negro suffrage anywhere. Only the convention of South Carolina in April approved it. Ten other conventions either were silent on the subject or announced their belief that this was a matter of state control.

The various state platforms illustrated local Northern thought. California Democrats declared that they "now and always confide in the intelligence, patriotism, and discriminating justice of the white people of the country to administer and control their Government, without the aid of either Negroes or Chinese."30

The Democrats of Washington territory agreed with California in opposing the extension of the elective franchise to Negroes, Indians and Chinese.

The Ohio Democrats declared that the attempt to regulate suffrage in Ohio was "subversive of the federal Constitution." The Democrats of Pennsylvania were opposed to conferring upon the Negro the right to vote. Most of the Republican conventions approved the Fifteenth Amendment. A minority report of the Virginia Conservatives called for white control and said: "We call upon white men, whether native or adopted citizens, to vote down the Constitution, and thereby save themselves and their posterity from Negro suffrage, Negro office-holding, and its legitimate consequence — Negro social equality."

This was a time of changing of political allegiance. The Johnson movement collapsed. Conservative Republicans, like Fessenden and Trumbull, united with the Republicans. Seward, McCulloch, and Welles, former supporters of Lincoln, stood staunchly by President Johnson. Other Republicans, like the Blairs, Doolittle, and Chase, drifted toward the Democrats. But the Democratic Party, by its action during the campaign, repelled many of the Conservatives on account of its attitude on money, and its radical attitude on Reconstruction. State and local elections in the spring of 1868 encouraged the Democrats. The Republican vote was reduced in New Hampshire; in Michigan Negro suffrage was defeated by a vote of 110,000 to 71,000, and the Democrats triumphed in Connecticut.

Before the war, Salmon P. Chase was a prominent Abolitionist, and after the war, a Radical Republican. He advocated Negro suffrage, and in May, 1865, made a trip to the South to investigate the position of the Negro. In Charleston, he spoke to the Negroes, and urged them to deserve the suffrage, even if they did not get it.

On the other hand, Chase did not like the military governments of the South, and favored state rights as against the increased power of the Federal Government. He said once: "While we freed the Negro, we enslaved ourselves." Becoming Chief Justice, he presided at Johnson's impeachment and favored Johnson possibly on account of his dislike of Benjamin F. Wade of Ohio. Wade would have become President if Johnson had been impeached. Chase's daughter Kate was said to have made some fiery declarations at "the idea of that horrid Ben Wade being put over my father." For his stand in this trial, he was practically read out of the Republican Party, and became a formidable candidate for the Democratic nomination.

The Chase supporters had headquarters in New York, and his daughter was there in person. It was suggested that Chase should declare Reconstruction acts unconstitutional "as the Supreme Court would probably decide." This statement, of course, Chase could not make, and he had to warn his daughter against too great activity. A small group of some twenty Negroes assisted the Chase movement, and argued that Chase would carry many Southern Negro votes. After a long deadlock, Seymour of New York, the former Copperhead Governor of Draft Riot fame, was nominated chiefly because he failed to swing his followers to Chase, as he had promised.

The platform of the convention recognized slavery and secession as closed questions. It demanded the immediate restoration of all states, amnesty for all political offenses, and the regulation of suffrage in the states by their citizens. It asked for the abolition of the Freedmen's Bureau and all agencies for Negro supremacy. It said that the Republicans, instead of restoring the Union, had dissolved it, subjecting ten states to military despotism and Negro supremacy; and that the corruption of the Radical Party had been unprecedented.

The New York Herald called Seymour "the embodiment of copper-headism." Greeley declared that Seymour had proposed resisting secession by force; had declared that if the Union could only be maintained by abolishing slavery, then the Union should be given up; had given grudging support to the government while war governor, and had opposed the draft. The New York Sun said that he represented fairly the average sentiment of his party. Seymour accepted the platform but did not discuss it in detail. He attacked Congressional Reconstruction, but pointed out that no violent change could take place since the Republicans would continue to control the Senate. Frederick Douglass, writing in the Independent, August 20, 1868, said that Seymour's letter of acceptance "was smooth as oil and as fair-seeming as hypocrisy itself, containing every disposition to deceive but without the ability. It was cunning and cowardly." Seymour made no reference to finance or suffrage.

Blair, the Democratic candidate for Vice President, was a wild Mis-sourian given to drink, who openly advocated that the new President "disperse the carpetbag governments" by force as soon as his party triumphed.

President Johnson was disgusted and chagrined at not receiving the nomination and said that Seymour had not lifted a finger to sustain his administration. In the campaign, he was finally induced to give some support to the Democratic ticket. Seymour, on the other hand, practically offered Johnson an appointment if he should be elected. Seward took little part in the campaign, although he spoke once for the Republican ticket, and included praise for President Johnson.

Thus the campaign started with contradictions inside the Democratic Party. Seymour opposed the greenback idea before the national convention, and then ran on a platform that advocated it. Blair advocated revolution; Hampton opposed Negro suffrage, and appealed to Negro voters. Chase asked universal suffrage, and remanded the question to the states. There were charges that the Democrats proposed to repudiate the national debt and pay for emancipated slaves and property lost during the war. Southern Democrats were prominent. Toombs, Cobb, and Forrest took part. The New York Nation said that "these Southerners were of more service to the Republicans than all of their orators and literature." Many of them were accused of incendiary speeches. Vance of North Carolina was accused of saying that Seymour and Blair would win what the Confederates fought for. Hill of Georgia declared that the South was going to regulate its own internal democratic affairs in its own way. Toombs declared that if the Democrats were victorious, the Reconstruction governor and legislators would be made to vacate at once. Howell Cobb said that those in control of the Southern states would be ousted, while Albert Pike of Arkansas wrote in the Memphis Appeal: "The day will come when the South will be independent."31

Violence and intimidation were widespread in the South during this election, and bribery and fraud were prevalent in the North. In Philadelphia, a Supreme Court justice issued over five thousand naturalization papers within two weeks.

The Nation, November 12, charged that Georgia and Louisiana were carried by "organized assassination, and New Jersey and New York by fraud." The Democratic majority of 165 in Oregon was due, it was said, to voters brought in from neighboring states. Late in October, there was a movement to get Seymour to withdraw and substitute Chase or Johnson. The New York World led the movement, but nothing came of it. Grant was elected by 214 electoral votes to 80 for Seymour, and 3,012,833 to 2,703,249 popular votes. Thus Grant received 52.71%. Seymour carried Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisian