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ANDREW H. REEDER.
a fund provided to establish them at some future day in Africa or in the West Indies. It is my wish that my children shall not transmit them to any of my grandchildren.”
It was a sad yet happy day and a half I spent among these interesting men. Amid their abounding hospitality there was still a presentiment upon me, and so when I returned to Washington, and found Sydney Webster, private secretary of President Pierce, waiting for me at the station, I knew something had happened. He had come to announce that Andrew H. Reeder had been that day removed as Governor of Kansas. It was the beginning of the end. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, was too powerful for either Hon. Asa Packer or myself, and our gallant friend was ejected from his place only because he had refused to consent to the conspiracy to make Kansas a slave State,
We had jointly recommended the appointment of Andrew H. Reeder to this post, really in response to President Pierce's suggestion, who was anxious to give it to a Pennsylvanian. When Reeder accepted he was in high favor with the Democracy of the old Tenth Legion of Pennsylvania. An extreme sympathizer with the South at all times, his experience in Kansas completely converted him. Honest, independent in his circumstances, a very able lawyer, and an entrancing speaker, he was just the character for a new country, just the man to save the Administration from fatal complications. When the President nominated him, Hon. Richard Brodhead, then one of the Pennsylvania Senators, and always the rival of Reeder, or Reeder of him, did not conceal his disappointment, but Judge Packer, who lived in the same Congressional district, was too strong for Brodhead to fight, and Reeder was confirmed. Then our friend went forth to Kansas, free, fair, and unprejudiced. He had not been there long before he wrote back to us, denouncing the open frauds of the slaveholders. I well remember the effect produced upon our minds. But Jefferson Davis's friends were potent with the Executive ; their falsehoods were
credited ; Reeder's statements discredited, and a brave, honest man sacrificed. The news of his dismissal, after my agreeable visit to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, was the gloomy sequel of a happy day. What rendered it more unpleasant was the fact that I was at that time one of the editors of the Washington Union, the Democratic Administration organ. Many will blame President Pierce for consenting to the proscription of Governor Reeder; but I can never forget that when I told him I could not remain in the Union, and write in support of the policy which had displaced Governor Reeder, or even consent to let others do so, he refused to accept my resignation, and I continued under the proffered generous condition that the paper should remain silent on the subject. And so it did, until I formally retired, and returned to Pennsylvania to make James Buchanan President.
Of the parties to this event I have named, incidentally and otherwise, three only survive; Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Andrew H. Reeder, Richard Brodhead, and Franklin Pierce have been gathered to their fathers.
[October 8, 1871.]
THERE is always something grotesque in the manners and habits of the old Southern slaveholders. Every body has noticed how the negro dialect pervades the conversation of the so-called superior race. A beautiful Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, or Louisiana woman is made more interesting by the infusion of the plantation patois into her liquid language. Long and constant communication between the master and the slave created and crystallized affinities and eccentricities that will require generations to modify. As some friends and myself were
IN THE LEGISLATURE.
passing through one of the Southern States, a little more than two years ago, an odd incident illustrative of the characteristics of the old-time school took place in one of the smoking-cars. A venerable gentleman, with white hair and gold-headed cane, got in at one of the stations, took his seat, and drew from his large coat-pocket a long pipe, which he proceeded to fill and light. He was soon followed by another of the same school, a little older, who took his seat next to him and lit a cigar. They were evidently near neighbors, and the dialogue ran about as follows: How are you all at home, sah?” “Well, sah !" Miz Smith well ?” “Very well, sah !" "Is Miz Jones well?" “Yes, sah," question and answer being rapidly punctuated with alternate puffs. Then came the more serious topic. “Mr. Smith," said the one to the other, “I notice that Tom has gone back on you, sah. I never had any opinion of Tom, and I am not surprised that he did go back on you, sah !” “Yes, sah," was the reply, "he has gone back on me. Is it not an astonishing thing, sah, that this boy of mine should now be representing me in the Legislature, sah, when I am prevented from voting by this d-d Radical Congress and Government, sah? He was a first-rate servant; wrote a good hand, sah; frequently kept my books, sah, and yet he sits in the Legislature, sah, and I can not even vote, sah.” On inquiry I learned that Tom was a former slave of our worthy Polonius, but, after emancipation and reconstruction, was elected a member of the Legislature, and was then at Raleigh doing the work that the masters had done for a century. The simple-hearted old man did not seem to know that in every complaint against Tom he was paying the highest tribute to his qualifications.
During the same trip one of the same class came into our special car and regaled us with a long catalogue of his sufferings and losses. Like most Southern men and women, he was full of talk and full of politics. It is the characteristic of these people that they hardly ever hold a conversation which is not
interlarded with their own affairs. Addicted to it before the war, they enlarge upon it now. I had barely been presented to my new friend before he opened his budget. We were passing over some of the historic fields of the rebellion, and it was amusing to note, in the midst of his lamentations, how he stopped to say, “Well, sah, here's the spot whar we gave the Yankees h, sah.”
“Now we are coming to the place where you uns rather got the advantage of us, sah, and here is whar we had to fly to when Wilmington fell;" and then he would resume his wail. I listened a good hour without interruption. The oblivious simplicity of the man rather pleased me, and when there was a pause in the torrent, I said, “Pray, Mr. , in all your accusations of the National Government, have you ever once reflected upon the part you played against it? Do you ever think that all these sufferings have been brought upon you by yourselves ?” I think if I had struck him in the face he would not have been more surprised. This honest, kind-hearted man was so completely absorbed in his grievances that he had never taken account of his own offenses. And so it is with the entire class. Naturally generous, confiding, and brave, they are so much absorbed in themselves, and have lived so long in their exclusive world, that they have finally come to believe in nothing but their own wrongs, and never indulge the habit of self-examination. Herein we have the source of their steady resistance to mental and material progress. They do not feel the world move. They do not see the vast improvements all around them. They will retain thousands of acres without going out of their way for purchasers, and even when they find them, they are very apt to forfeit a bargain on account of politics. To them every advance in science and in government is a Radical innovation. They can't be called malignant, although their exclusiveness operates precisely as if they were. They are generous as long as their vanity is flattered. Very brave in personal combat, they fought gallantly on the rebel side, but,
lacking true courage and self-respect, they do not admit that they committed the slightest wrong against their Government, even while they expect that Government to extend its blessings over them. It remains to be seen whether the children of these men and women will follow their example. Happily for themselves, and happily for the country, the Government of the United States and the welfare of all its citizens do not depend upon the fiat of the old slaveholders.
But I was talking of the peculiar dialect of these people rather than their opinions. Henry Clay's speaking was strongly marked by it. James M. Mason, of Virginia, seemed to delight in the African accent. But there was no better specimen than the late Thomas H. Bayley, for many years the Representative in Congress of the Accomac district. He was a man of considerable force and education, and I can easily recall his tall form, his expressive face and ringing voice, as, spectacles on nose, he would address "Mr. Speakah," and refer to the honorable member who had just had the “flo'.”. Keitt, of South Carolina, had the same accent and pronunciation. So, too, Linn: Boyd, of Kentucky, and Howell Cobb, of Georgia. All these men, and most of the former leaders of opinion in the South, are in their graves, but Toombs, Stephens, Henry A. Wise, Bocock, John Forsyth, and Jeff Davis, still live, as warnings, if not as examples.
(October 15, 1871.]
JOHN SERGEANT is one of the many. Philadelphians whose memory will always be honored. His reputation, ripened by culture, integrity, and winning manners, became national before he was forty, and when he died, in his seventy-third year, he