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engaged in building the South from its desolation that we have scarcely understood what an advance it has made in the commercial and manufacturing affairs of the world. It is only by comparison that we can see the wonderful opportunities for absorbing every particle of intelligent labor in the South. This commercial increase came slowly, but to-day it is increasing in arithmetical progression.
I will be pardoned if I give some plain figures of comparison made by Mr. Richard Edmonds, the greatest living master of Southern commercial conditions. The mere statement will enable us to appreciate the advance of the South and its marvellous growing ability to absorb all labor.
THE SOUTH–YESTERDAY AND TO-DAY.
Railroad mileage . - - - 20,600 50,000 Cotton crops, bales . - - 5,750,000 II, IQ9,000 Cotton consumption in Southern
mills, bales - - - - 233,006 I,231,000 Capital invested in Southern manu
facturing - - - . $257,200,000 $1,000,000,000 Grain produced, bushels - 431,000,000 736,600,000
Value of Southern mfg. products, $457,400,000 $1,500,000,000 Wages paid to factory hands in
South - - - - . $75,000,ooo $350,000,ooo Capital invested in cotton-seed-oil
manufacturing . • ? $3,500,000 $40,000,ooo Pig-iron produced, tons - - 397,000 2,500,000 Coal mined, tons - - - . 6,000,000 40,000,000
As a distinguished editor in the South well says, the increased prosperity that would come to the South could her idle Negroes be put to work would make place on a higher plane of employment for millions of white men. I will say here that, as a matter of fact, whilst much has been done for the Negro, much of it has been badly done. For ten or fifteen years after his emancipation, he was largely in the hands of people who were using him for political effect. He was in a period of transition. He was disturbed in body and mind, his whole environment had been changed, and, I think, considering the vast disadvantages under which he has worked, that we see in him a bright hope that he will be uplifted and upbuilt, and become a useful, practical, and necessary member of the body politic. Dr. Mayo and Dr. Curry are the greatest of authorities upon this work, and Dr. Curry well says: “Of the desire of the colored people for education the proof is conclusive, of their capacity to receive mental color there is not the shadow of a reason to support an adverse hypothesis.” Dr. Mayo arrives at the same conclusion. In conclusion, I will say that the problem will be worked out by the South. Wise men believe that the greatest danger is over. It seems the boundary limit has been passed. There is no question but that the races are greatly improved by daily contact with each other. There is a kindly feeling on both sides in all of the interests of life which are not racial and inherent. The racial distinction will be and should be permanent. In the business relations there is no question about a vast improvement and a desire on the part of each race to live and to let live. Each race is beginning to learn the true status of separate and race livelihood. Each race is beginning to understand that there are inherent and social antagonisms which cannot be overstepped. This makes a vast advance. When this has been understood the relationship has been in every way improved. In addition to this our Northern friends no longer concern themselves with interfering with social affairs between the two races in the South. They understand that these matters the South will settle for herself. From the situation she is better able to settle them. This is redounding to the better relations of the two races. The idea of non-interference with the social status of the South will be vigorously insisted upon by the South, and this is being understood thoroughly in the North. I would be bold and arrogant and indeed foolish did I presumptuously suggest the plan which I have outlined as the only solution of the Race Question. Any man may seem presumptuous when he discusses the future of the Negro Question. With the lights before me it seems in the present state of evolution the most feasible plan. I do, however, know this with all my heart, that the education of the Negro, the making him better and more intelligent, and withholding the ballot from him until he has evolved himself into an intelligent citizen, is certainly the best plan for the present. Without looking into the future we know what is best for the present.
This plan seems less attended with difficulties than any other. With this general idea it will take years of patience and mutual forbearance. This is the greatest social question which has confronted any nation, and will not be settled without much travail, without many discouragements, and only by a long process of time. Neither the white man nor the negro is perfect, but I earnestly believe that the evolution of this great question and its full and complete settlement under the Providence of God will come in its own time and will conclude to the ultimate glory of our country.
THE AT TITUDE OF THE PROGRESSIVE SOUTH
W M 7 HEN your courteous note of invitation to address this splendid assembly of workers for our country came to my home in the South, my first impulse, after making full obeisance to you, was to continue in the shadow of my mountains as one not fitted by education or opportunity to discuss commerce with the Masters of Trade. Yet, sir, the significance of the event hurried my memory to other days long past, and whispered that in this day of coming change no good man, however humble, should turn his face away from therising sun or withhold his hand from the plough. The son of a Southern soldier conferring with the men of the North as to what is best for the Republic, with naught of unkindness for the North, with naught of selfishness for the South, but only with love and kindness for each, and the welfare of the Republic crowning and glorifying all, fills me with emotions too sacred for expression, and well assures me that, amidst the grave imaginings of harm and hurtful change, the Republic is founded on eternal foundations and that its glory and permanence
are secure. Ah, sir, when citizens hold before my eyes