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a most careful and able expert, fully maintains my contention. Let us appeal to the figures. The three States of the South in which the Negro element is in greatest strength are South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana. If, by restricting suffrage in these States to the literate or to the property holders, or to the literate and the property holders, it would leave the whites in numerical majority, such restriction in other States would certainly have similar effect. First, then, as to the matter of property holding. I find that the owners of farms and homes in the three States in question are as follows:
FARMS AND HomEs.
White owners . . . . 42,982
From the above, it is seen that, if the suffrage were restricted to those owning their farms or homes, the whites of South Carolina would outnumber the colored two to one; of Mississippi, nearly four to one; and of Louisiana, three and one-half to one.
The next question is on the matter of illiteracy, and here I present the following table, showing the total males and the illiterates over twenty years of age :
Literate . . 90,851 48,092
Males over 20 . . I25,457 I57,2O2
Illiterate . . 13,932 IO6,463
Literate . . III,525 5O,739
Literate . . III,945 34,707 Here we see that, if the suffrage be restricted to the literate, the whites of South Carolina would outnumber the colored nearly two to one; those of Mississippi, more than two to one ; and those of Louisiana, more than three to one. It must be remembered that these figures represent the situation as it existed ten years ago. Doubtless, the Negroes have gained upon the whites in literacy to some extent during the decade, but certainly not sufficiently to change the general result. In the light of these figures, can the argument of fear of Negro domination be sustained? It is true that our first duty is the preservation of the civilization of the South upon the lines of our race, and this franchise provision does so upon the firm basis of justice and fairness. Then, sir, should we remain longer chained to the past? Let us consider a most practical and potent reason why, as soon as possible, this or some other plan of settlement should be adopted which will hurry the Negro along the road of intelligent and settled citizenship. In this day of industrial and financial change, the South, in the adjustment of the commercial affairs in the next twenty-five years, will be the chief factor. We can no longer devote ourselves to the one and sole idea of holding ourselves solid on the Negro Question. Believing in the Southern leaders and trusting to their guidance in the past, still with the most absolute earnestness I believe that the time for change is upon us. The South has other things to occupy its attention. The great objection to the present system is that it demands our absolute attention and effectiveness to the exclusion of all else. We are busy. We are growing rich. We are the seat of a great commerce. Wealth is coming among us. This demands that we should have freedom of action to take advantage of our opportunities. How can we proceed on the grand march of industrial progress when our whole attention is absorbed with our inherent political complexities? Surely this settlement must be made and this question forever closed, so there will be nothing to distract our attention from the great question of developing the South in the manner which it deserves. That problem behind us, how easy will it be for us to grasp our imperial opportunities The tyranny of the solid vote to be maintained on the one question is the most burdensome and exhausting which ever afflicted a people. Let us now cast it off. More than this will arise out of the commercial change of to-day. As surely as we live, this marvellous industrial transformation of the South will sooner or later produce a division among us on the great questions of commerce. It is sure to do so. In every progressive Southern State, it has already made a division of the white voters. In my State, it has made an absolute and almost equal division of the vote. Under this condition of affairs, the Negro vote will count, and will surely be consulted. It is inevitable. We cannot put off the day. Then let that vote be intelligent and carry with it the dignity and consideration of propertyowning and intelligence. Let the status of the voter be settled and the question will be out of the way and behind us. We do not wish to emulate the condition of affairs exemplified by the monarchies of Europe and be compelled to entirely devote our lives to the public safety. Believing in the preservation of our civilization and holding to all the time-honored sentiments of the South, yet I believe that the changed condition of affairs today demands that the South should settle emphatically and once for all this great political question. Should prejudice stand in the way when almost rising to our splendid destiny? Should time-honored opinions interfere with our progress? Out from the shadows of the cloud, how glorious would be the light of our day ! Relieved from its paralyzing effect, what country could equal our achievements In the words of a great English statesman : “Or shall we expect from time, the physician of brutes, a lingering and uncertain deliverance? Shall we wait to be happy till we can forget that we are miserable, and owe to the weakness of our faculties a tranquillity which ought to be the effect of their strength Far otherwise. Let us set all our past and present afflictions at once before our eyes. Let us resolve to overcome them, instead of flying from them, or wearing out the sense of them by long and ignominious patience. Instead of palliating remedies, let us use the incisive knife and the caustic, search the wound to the bottom, and work an immediate and radical cure.” A fair and honest franchise will once for all settle the question of Negro domination, the mere fear of which has been so great a blight to the South.