Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/153
Southern Historical Society Papers.
man thinks so well bought at so frightful a price to those he loves. We look at it, and we find these to be the only distinctive features of this felicitous blessing : 1. The falsification of all the solemn pledges given by the conquering government to the conquered, to their own citizens, to the civilized world, and to God, when they were initiating the war. 2. The wreck of the Constitution. 3. Carpetbagism and scalawagism, 4. The malignant oppressions and disgraces of "reconstruction." 5. Universal negro suffrage, with its bottomless political corruptions. 6. The reopening of civil war in Columbia, South Carolina, and in the author's own city, by oppressions so ruthless as to incense even the crushed worms. 7. Crushing loads of debt on the conquered States. 8. The putrescence of Federal politics, and the infamies of the "gift-taking" administrations. 9. A tariff system the most monstrous ever known in America. 10. The steady descent of the old property holders, with their innocent families, into the doleful abyss of insolvency, destitution and misery, under which as many hearts have been broken by sorrow as were pierced on the battlefield, dying deaths of slow torture, compared with which the murders of their sons and brothers were mercies. But the government Mr. Cable so admires has restored peace? Yes; the peace of subjugation; not of liberty. Some Southerners are retrieving their losses? Yes, thanks to their own sturdy right arms, those right arms which would have made a free Confederacy bloom like a garden! But it has been done in spite of every pressure of unequal taxation and hostile legislation.
The only rationale of Mr. Cable's hallucination of which we can think, is this: That in the enjoyment of the liberal recompense, his patrons and masters at the North pay him for amusing them with his fictions and flatteries, and for depreciating the people they contemn, he simply forgets where the people of the South that was, now are, and what they are enduring. He may be assured they are tasting none of the fatness of his luck. With their wealth transferred by confiscations and legislative juggleries to the coffers of Northern capitalists, their homesteads dropping into decay, their farms lapsing into barren thickets, their gallant sons reduced to a laboring peasantry, they sit under the grim shadow of an unjust poverty, and they sink into obscure graves, whence their misery does not reach Mr. Cable's exceptional prosperity or disturb his good luck.His conclusion is as illogical as his reasonings. He assures us that he is still as proud as ever of being a Confederate, although he now sees he was wrong, so wrong as to make him thankful for this