Imágenes de páginas

“A prominent member of the Legislature, and an old secession leader, stated to me in conversation a short time before the election, that he was a stronger secessionist than he ever was, and that he hated the United States Government from the bottom of his heart, and if he ever got a chance he would strike a death-blow at it. I state from memory nearly his own language. “Now, sir, I am prepared to assert that at least ninetenths of his colleagues entertain the same sentiments, leaving out one solitary Union man elected from one of the country parishes. “All their proceedings, so far, sustain this conclusion.” Hon. H. C. Warmoth, of New Orleans, in his argument addressed to Senator George H. Williams, of the Teconstruction Committee, after speaking of other rebel influences in Louisiana, adds: “And finally the Legislature comes with new enactments, in order to more effectually, if possible, destroy the friends of equal suffrage and equal rights. And thus without opposition or question re-enslave the colored people.” But why should I accumulate the opinions of citizens, however trustworthy and honorable, when a simple statement of facts cannot but bring you to a similar opinion ? The Legislature elected its officers on account of distinguished services to the confederacy, and the criterion of success was persistent devotion and bitterness in the rebel cause. It refused to have the American flag about its halls until some colored ladies formally tendered it one as a present, which offer, however, was indignantly ignored. It refused action on a resolution offered by Mir. Wil, liam Brown, of Iberville, as follows: “Whereas, In the opinion of this body, the Government of the United States is the best Government on the face of the earth, and, whereas, the flag of the said Government is worthy of all respect; therefore be it “IResolved, That the Sargeant-at-arms of the Senate be directed to procure a large United States’ flag, to have the same properly and tastefully arranged over the President of the Senate’s chair.” Shortly after its assembling the Senate expelled Mr. Wm. Brown, the author of the foregoing resolution, and some other Union Senators, who held over in their term from the previous Legislature, on the pretext that they were elected by a small vote of Union men before the rebels had given up the Confederacy. The present Constitution of Louisiana, framed while most of the members of this Legislature were in the rebellion, contains this provision: “The Legislature shall provide for the education of all children of the State between the ages of six and eighteen years, by maintenance of free public schools, by taxation or otherwise.” The former Constitution, made in the interests of slavery, used the word “white” before the word “children.” The members of the Legislature have sworn to carry out the constitutional mandate as it now stands. They assert in their preamble that “sufficient provision is made by the Constitution and laws of the State, &c.” They have made no provision for or sign of willingness to open colored schools, and no existing colored school is recognized, fostered or encouraged by their action.

But, you may ask how can these evils be remedied ? IHow can justice be secured to the Union men without dealing harshly with the rebels? My answer is ready. Give EvDRY COLORED CITIZEN THE RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE. This will settle all difficulties connected with recons' rugtion. It is not only just and proper to extend this inestimable right to our colored citizens, but it is a debt we owe them. Tet the nation be as scrupulous in discharging its moral obligations growing out of the war, as it is to pay its financial obligations. Let us be true to those who have been true to us. In granting this right we obtain security for the future. By doing this act of justice, by paying this debt, we close the rebellion. There is no other question seriously dividing the people which is not settled, with the discharge of this duty.

Respectfully yours, MICHAEL HAHN.



By order of municipal authority, in harmony with the new reconstruction laws, the Public Schools of New Orleans were placed in charge of those who had fled into the “Confederacy” upon the arrival of General Butler in that city in 1862. The Loyal School Board was superseded, with one or two noble exceptions, by a disloyal Board of Education. Wm. O. Rogers was appointed to the position he had held in the schools—when the black flag was considered an honorable emblem of the “Confederate Schools.” His subtle influence was used to gradually displace Union teachers. The United States flags, placed over the Public School buildings through the influence of Dostie and his co-laborers, were torn down, the flag staff used for kindling wood and the flags destroyed. The names of Beauregard, Lee, Sidney and A. Johnson were reverenced. The names of Lincoln, Grant, Butler and Banks were treated with contempt by the Superintendent and scholars of the reconstructed Schools.

In one of the rebel sheets of New Orleans we find the policy of the public schools referred to in the following article. “Unless for cause,” in that article means volumes of injustice. It pointed to the expul. sion from those schools of more than one hundred teachers for their known Union sentiments: “The policy here, as elsewhere, in relation to our public schools, has been to make no changes of teachers, wnless for cause. When, however, such men as A. P. Dostie were potential in the management of the public schools in New Orleans, while the war was progressing and less attention was bestowed on education, than on military science, oaths thick as leaves of Vallambrosa were administered to all who proposed to become instructors of the youth of this city, and woe be to him or her who could not swallow the gilded pill, and sol emnly swear to swallow an entire nigger at the same instant.” Glendy Burke was President of the reconstructed School Board. His first proposition in that relation was to “dismiss all the Union teachers from the schools,” claiming as his reason for such action, “Their mismanagement and incapacity.” Engraved in letters of gold, stands the name of Dr. Goldman in that School Board. This distinguished friend of Union teachers, and liberal education, indignantly repelled the charges of Glendy Burke, and exerted his influence to retain the teachers who had faithfully labored in the cause of the Union. The churches under the new reconstruction laws were ordered to be given up to their old pastors and congregations. Palmer, Leacock and Goodridge returned to honor the memory of the “lost cause” and give aid to “my policy” under the garb of Christianity. The following from a leading paper of New Orleans—indicates the

« AnteriorContinuar »