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close of the last English war, aided in imposing on the old Union-the tariff policy-and should, as probably might be the case, her associates object to her proceedings, what more would be needful for her, if determined to gratify her own willfulness, than to retire from the Confederacy, as she had formerly retired from the Union. Or, should Florida, recalling her traditions, and remembering that on her soil the African first set his foot on this continent, desire a reopening of the profitable Guinea trade, and make ready her dépôts at Pensacola and St. Augustine, in vain would the slave-breeding states of the Confederacy exert their opposition. Falling back on her sovereign rights, it was only for her to secede from her associates and carry out her intent.
But the founders of the Confederacy never seriously contemplated the recognition of such a political absurdity as the right of secession; it was too slippery a principle; they never practically accepted its kindred delusion of individual state rights as against the united whole; they never be lieved that a powerful dominion could be constructed out of disconnected communities. They were too astute to attempt to build a tower whose top was to reach to the sky, with nothing but slime for mortar. They knew that when something of that kind was formerly tried, it led to a confusion of tongues and the dispersion of the projectors.
On the contrary, once in possession of power, they subjected every thing to a despotism of iron. Instead of a garden of Eden, in which every one might gratify his own will, the South became a vast intrenched camp, and instant obedience was exacted to the orders of a military superior. The poor white, who had innocently amused himself with a day-dream of anticipated idleness, riches, pleasure, and liberty to the verge
Real principles of the leaders of secession.
They institute a despotism.
THE RIGHT OF SECESSION.
of license, was aghast when he found that he was torn from his home, and even from his state, and compelled to march to the battle front by order of a central authority at Richmond.
CLASSES OF THE POPULATION.
The population of the proposed Confederacy may be considered as having presented four distinctthe Confederacy ly marked divisions or groups, constituting, socially and intellectually, a descending series. (1.) The planters, or great land and slave owners; (2.) Persons constrained by their circumstances, more or less narrow, to occupy themselves in certain industrial pursuits-professional politicians, clergymen, lawyers, merchants, mechanics, farmers, laborers; (3.) Domestic slaves; (4.) Field slaves. It is not necessary to add to these the free negroes, for they, in truth, were of little political importance.
(1.) The planters were a true aristocracy—a ruling class. They were educated, wealthy, hospitable. Foreseeing that, under the operation of the existing Constitution, the North must necessarily take from them that control of the national government, which they had so long enjoyed, they had become alienated from it. Accustomed to command, impatient of any control, a civil government of the representative type suited them far less than a purely military rule— one readily adapting itself to actual occurrences, and able to enforce its laws and resolves promptly and emphatically.
The first class.
As forming what might be termed a section of this group were its young men. Brave, splendid riders, capital shots, bold to rashness, they held labor in absolute contempt, and pined for the maddening excitements of
(2.) The small farmers, mechanics, merchants, professional men. This group probably numbered three fourths
of the white population. They had no real interest in the establishment of a Southern Confederacy. Some were led, and some driven to take the risk of war; they hoped to be benefited by it somehow, but they knew not how. Guided by the opinions of the great slaveholding planters, they had become intolerant supporters of the overshadowing institution.
One portion of this group-the clergy-has still to render to the world an account of its conduct. At the bar of civilization it has yet to explain or to defend its support of slavery. It took the responsibility of training the women of the South in the belief that that institution is authorized by Christianity.
(3.) Of the slave groups, the domestic slaves had gained The third class, do- a certain degree of intellectual culture from their closer association with the whites. When it is said that the proportion of mulattoes to the whole slave population had risen in 1860 to one eighth, the statement does not convey the whole truth. It was on the class of domestic slaves that the adulteration chief ly fell. Persons who were extensively and familiarly ac quainted with Southern society were disposed to believe that more than a majority of this group showed unmistakable traces of white blood. The women of it, from their necessary connection with the household, were more exposed to their masters, and perhaps they were not less attractive from the fact that many of them possessed lineaments of a European cast, and had lost the repulsive features of the African. As a general thing, they were treated with kindness; but, from the political knowledge they incidentally acquired; from their comparative physiological elevation above the true black, arising from the white constituent of their blood; from the bitterness awakened in them against the
a dangerous class.
The second class.
The course of the clergy.
CLASSES OF THE POPULATION.
whites through the trivial daily incidents of their lives, they constituted emphatically the dangerous class of the South.
(4.) As for the field slave, every thing tended to em bitter him. On him fell heavily all the hardships of the plantation—yet not on him alone, for the female field slaves shared all the toils of the men. It was the intention of the slave system to keep these people in animal-like ignorance; it considered them in the light of machines, useful for the gains they could create. And yet, even under these most disad vantageous conditions, human nature would often assert its power. There were many of this class who manifested no uncertain tokens of a capacity for better things; who endeavored, with what intelligence they had, to act faithfully in the station in which Providence had placed them, and who found a consolation for the sorrows of the present life in the religious hope of a happier future beyond the grave.
Justice has not yet been done to the white women of the South for their conduct to the slave population. Through their benevolent influence, and not through any ecclesiastical agency, was the Christianization of this African race accomplished a conversion which was neither superficial nor nominal, but universal and complete. The paganism of the indigenous negro had absolutely disappeared from the land. Nor must it be supposed that this wonderful change was accomplished merely by the passive example of the virtues which adorn the white woman; she took an active interest in the eternal well-being of those who were thus cast upon her hands, administering consolation to the aged, the sick, and the dying, and imparting relig ious instruction to the young. The annals of modern missionary exertion offer no parallel success.
The fourth class, field slaves.
CONVERSION OF THE NEGRO.
Conversion of the slaves to Christianity.
CONDUCT OF THE SLAVES.
"Our clergy and our women are the real leaders of se cession"—such was the declaration of Southern political writers, and such was unquestionably the truth. We can not fail to remark that there was hardly a war order issued by a Southern general which did not contain a ref erence to, or derive inspiration from, the women. It will ever remain a psychological paradox that they who were, in a moral point of view, most outraged by slavery, should not have been its bitterest enemies; that the Southern matron, recognizing the lineaments of her own children in the young slaves playing round her door, should not have regarded it with the most implacable jealousy and hatred.
It was impossible to foresee what would be the rela tions between these white and black races
Doubtful position of the slaves before the war.
in the impending war. Very contradictory opinions were held. In the North slavery was looked upon as a source of weakness to the Confed eracy; it was believed that an insurrection was inevita ble. On the contrary, in the South the institution was considered as imparting great strength. The fidelity of the negroes to their masters in the wars of the Revolu tion and of 1812 was often cited as indicating what would now take place. In this sanguine expectation, it was perhaps forgotten that a great mental change had, during the last thirty years, happened to the slaves. They had gathered hopes of freedom, and were universally expecting that the North would be their deliverer. Their conduct during the war was above all praise. It extorted the admiration of even their ing the war. masters. The plantations were left at their mercy; the women and children were almost without protection. And yet the slaves took no advantage of their opportunity; no passion was gratified, no wrong avenged. In regions at a distance from military move
Their conduct dur