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Of those who quickly rose to office, a few were by character and attainments really fit for their position; many won favor by shallow arts; and others were thrown up like driftwood by the tide. The negroes as a body could follow only a personal leadership,-how many whites, North or South, really follow any other?-could be organized in bodies, attached to a party name and watchwords, and voted in mass by the men who had their confidence. They understood that their freedom and their right to vote had been given them by the North and by the Republican party, and to that party they naturally turned. Their old masters -in many cases their best friends-frankly told them they were unfit to vote, and wanted no dealings with them in political affairs. So they found leadership principally in the men who had come from the North.

There was a Northern immigration which may be classified as business men, teachers and adventurers. A considerable number sought an opportunity in reviving and developing industry,-substantial men and good citizens. Sometimes a patriotic motive mingled with the industrial. Governor Andrew, on retiring to private life as a lawyer, tried for some time to advance a company for bringing into conjunction Southern lands and Northern enterprise and capital. There were various projects of this kind, but they met with little success. Private individuals, however, added something to the industrial and civic forces of the South. A larger class were the teachers. Men and women by hundreds went to the South, some sent by missionary organizations, some independently, to organize schools and to teach the children of the freedmen. Many of them were of the highest character, devoted, self-sacrificing, going to the blacks simply because they supposed their need was greatest. But Beecher's warning proved sound-because as a whole this movement took the negroes as a

distinct field, ignoring the needs of the whites, it incurred odium as an alien and half-hostile work. The barbaric element among the whites-and slavery had left a deep taint of barbarism-came out at its worst in insults to the "nigger teachers," with occasional burning of a school-house. The better social elements looked askance at those whose presence was a reminder of conquest and humiliation.

From the business and the educational immigration, a few Northern men were drawn into public affairs, less by choice than by necessity of the situation. With these mingled a different class, men who had been disreputable hangers-on of the army or the Freedmen's Bureau, or who had come for the sole purpose of plunder. It was a very mixed company of whites and blacks that made up the conventions and then filled the legislative halls and the public offices. The constitutions were not badly framed, except as they, for the most part, continued the exclusive clauses. The general legislation was various in its character. There were some excellent features, above all the institution in every State of a genuine public school system, where before there had been only makeshifts or make-believes. Some other good constructive work was done, toward establishing society on the new basis. Certainly nothing was enacted so bad as the "black codes" of a few years earlier, not to speak of the legislation under slavery. There were some unsuccessful attempts at engrafting institutions, like the township system, which had worked well in their native soil but could not be created out of hand. In general the white leadership of the dominant party averted much that might have been expected from the ignorance of its legislators as a mass. But plenty of waste and mischief was wrought. Place a crowd of hungry and untaught men next the public treasury with the lid off, and some results are sure. The men will not be safer guardians of the

treasure for having had for most of their lives no property rights of their own, not even the ownership of their own souls and bodies. Yet most of the plunder seems to have gone into the pockets of knaves of the superior race. There was a degree of extravagance, waste and corruption, varying greatly with localities and times, but sufficient to leave a permanent discredit on the Southern Republican governments as a class. To judge accurately of the merits and demerits of these governments is perhaps as difficult a task as historian ever undertook. So fierce is the passion which invests these events in the memory of the present generation, that it is almost hopeless to sift and adjudicate the sober facts. Time has softened much; even the Civil War begins to stand forth in some firmness of outline and clarity of atmosphere. But when we come to reconstruction-grave historians grow almost hysterical, romancers pass the bounds of possibilities, and even official figures contradict one another with sublime effrontery.

Yet this very passion of remembrance, which in one way obscures, in another way illuminates the historical situation. The grievance most profoundly felt in the reconstruction period was not unwise laws nor waste of public money nor oppressive taxes. It was the consciousness by the master class of political subjection to the servile class. It was the spectacle of rude blacks, yesterday picking cotton or driving mules, sitting in the legislators' seats and executive offices of Richmond and Columbia, holding places of power among the people of Lee and Calhoun. Fancy the people of Massachusetts, were the state-house on Beacon hill suddenly occupied by Italian, Polish and Russian laborers,-placed and kept there by a foreign conqueror. Add to the comparison the prouder height of the slaveholder, and the lower depth of his serf. Put this as the case of a people high-strung and sensitive, still fresh from the

passion of war, still smarting from defeat. They had fought to exhaustion, and their banner had fallen without disgrace. Now the victors who had won by superiority of force had placed their late bondmen as their rulers. The offices from which their own captains and chiefs were shut out were filled by plantation field-hands.

It was not likely that the first attitude of scornful passivity would long continue, and it did not. The warnings vainly uttered beforehand,-that the natural leaders would surely lead, and had best be won as allies, were proved right when it was too late. Said the Republican, August 10, 1868, in protesting against the plan of the party managers in organizing the Southern wing to consist mainly of the blacks: "The Republican party cannot long maintain its supremacy at the South by negro votes alone. The instincts of submission and dependence in them and of domination in the whites, are too strong to permit such a reversal of the familiar relations and the natural order. The slave-holding element has learned to combine, conspire and command, in the best school on earth, and they will certainly come to the top. Nor is it desirable that such a state of things should continue."

The old official class being excluded-to the number, it was estimated, of 160,000,-and the stand-aloof policy, or drift rather, prevailing in the political field, it was the more lawless element that first began to conspicuously assert the white supremacy. There grew up an organization called "the Ku-Klux Klan," designed at first partly as a rough sport and masquerade, partly to overawe the negroes. There were midnight ridings in spectral disguises, warnings, alarms and presently whippings and even murders. The society, or imitations of it, spread over most of the South. It was at its height in 1868-70, and in the latter year it gradually gave way,

partly owing to vigorous measures ordered from Washington, and partly perhaps as legitimate political combinations again occupied the whites. But it is to be noted that throughout the decade of reconstruction, though the present fashion is to lay exclusive stress on the wrong-doing of the negroes and their friends, yet the physical violence, frequent and widespread, was almost wholly practiced by the whites.

From the political torpor, due to discouragement and resentment, there was an early recovery. When it was found that cotton-planting pure and simple, with ignoring of politics, resulted in heavy taxes for the planter; when to the first numbness there succeeded the active smart,-the whites betook themselves to the resource which in most States soon proved adequate,-the ballot, and political combination. In several States the whites were easily in the majority, and where they were slightly outnumbered their superior intelligence soon gave them the advantage. In Georgia, finally readmitted at the end of 1869, the Democrats-constituting the great body of the whites-carried the election in the next year, and remained in control of the State. Virginia, which had advisedly kept under military rule until, with President Grant's aid, she came in without the excluding clauses, early in 1870, passed at once under Democratic rule. In the same year North Carolina became Democratic. Texas and Arkansas remained under Republican sway until the majority shifted to the Democrats in 1874. In Alabama, the Democrats gained the Governorship and the lower House as early as 1870; two years later the result was disputed, the Democrats conceding the Governor but claiming the Legislature, while the Republicans organized a rival Legislature; the Republican Governor-elect called for United States troops, which were promptly dispatched, and with their backing a

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