Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 03.djvu/162

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Southern Historical Society Papers

rebellion against it are also those that had the least right to call themselves its founders." Page 7.

In speaking of the slave of a good master, he says: "In short, his owner will take care of him, will not impose any labor above his strength, and will administer to his material wants in a satisfactory manner, precisely as he will do for the animals that are working by his side under one common lash. But, in order that he may enjoy this pretended good fortune, he has to be reduced to the moral level of his fellow-slaves and have the light of intelligence within him extinguished forever; for if he carries that divine spark in his bosom he will be unhappy, for he will feel that he is a slave." Page 80.

If the Comte de Paris really believes that this picture represents the true condition of the negro slave, under the most favorable circumstances, what must he think of his Northern friends, who in March, 1867, less than two years after the abolition of slavery by the result of the war, enacted the Reconstruction Laws, by which they disfranchised a large portion of the white people of the South, and that the most experienced and intelligent, and conferred suffrage on the recently emancipated slaves—by which the latter were entrusted with the formation of constitutions and governments for all the Southern States? What does he think of the fact that some of those emancipated slaves, within whom "the light of intelligence" had been "extinguished forever," have even occupied seats in the House of Representatives and in the Senate of the United States? Nay, what can he think of the further fact, that the votes of the negroes of South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana (where they are certainly more ignorant and depraved than in other part of the South), as ascertained and declared by certain returning boards, composed in one case of half negroes, have recently settled the question of the election of a President of the United States, against a majority of at least one million of the white votes of the country?

Either he must be mistaken in his estimate of the effects of slavery on the negro's mental and moral faculties, or the people whom he so admires, and whom he exalts so far above the people of the South in refinement, morals, education, intelligence and civilization, must be the most unmitigated villains in this wicked world of ours.

In speaking of the classes into which he alleges slavery divided the people of the South, he says of the class which he designates