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not alone from a question of patriotism for the whole country, but also from the fact that millions of Northern money have been poured into the South, and the sons and daughters of the North are with us as part and parcel of our political, economic, and social existence. Therefore, I say that the North from a mere practical standpoint is interested as well as the South in all of the complexities of the Race Question.
As to actual development in the South I will be pardoned for a moment. Within ten years, the greatest number of railroads have been developed in the South. Within ten years, more mills and factories have been erected in the South than in any other part of the country. Within ten years, more cities have been founded and more towns have grown into great cities than in any other part of the United States. Within ten years, there has been a greater change of immigration towards the South than towards any other part of the United States. So I reiterate, that it is a national question that we are confronting. What are we to do about it? With the great practical genius of the American people, there is no question about our ability to grapple with it. Let us not refine. Let us discuss the question plainly, yet with mutual and decent forbearance both for the white and for the black and for the North and for the South.
In the first place, we must disabuse the mind in each section of the prejudice which surrounds the Race Question. I speak as a Southern man who springs from two
hundred years of Southern ancestry, and am naturally filled with the prejudice of the South. The Southern men generally believe that the enfranchisement of slaves at the Reconstruction period was entirely from hate, viciousness, and revenge on the part of the Northern people. A great many of the Northern people have the idea that the whole object of the Southern man is to nullify the post-bellum amendments to the Constitution and practically to re-enslave the black ; that there was no great or salient question of race instinct or race supremacy, and that the Southern man's treatment of the Negro after the war was intended as an insult to the North ; that the Ku-Klux plan was purely for revenge and wanton spirit and not for protection. Now, as a matter of fact, neither one of these propositions is correct. A majority of the Northern people in their idea of reconstruction were honest, and their desire for the complete emancipation of the slaves was the influence behind them. To some extent there was a vast deal of narrowness and ignorance among the Northern people, but as a Southern man I do not believe that the horrors of reconstruction were for the mere purpose of revenge or viciousness on the part of the Northern people. A great number of the political leaders, misinforming and misleading the Northern people, were largely responsible for these wrongs; but I do not believe that the mass of the people in the North intended to wantonly injure and degrade the South.
On the other hand, the Southern man was confronted
with the most gigantic problem that had ever fallen to a people. With an ignorant, superstitious, and alien race in absolute control of his home, holding control of his State government, directing the affairs of his city, wrecking and looting the State, devastating the fields, destroying the schools, and asserting itself ignorantly in all of the affairs of the State, he was naturally restive, and did things which to the Northern eye and to the Northern mind were not demanded by the circumstance of the situation. To the credit of both North and South, however, the situation is daily being better understood. In the North they are beginning to understand that there is a great question which concerns both sections, the South, more nearly, because the South is the seat of the trouble. The South, on its side, has gotten its bearings, laid out its ground, and is more thoroughly understanding the situation and how to deal with it. Therefore, there is before us an actual question of vast moment, and it is our duty as honest men to give it the best consideration of our lives, so that it may be settled for the glory of this great civilization. Many methods have been suggested of settling the question. Much has been written and said upon the subject. We will take each proposed remedy and discuss it separately. What are they?
1. Colonization, domestic and foreign 2. Diffusion. 3. Absorption or Amalgamation. To some extent I ask to be pardoned for a discussion
of these general plans. I do so for the reason that as quickly as possible the whole of the country should be united upon one conservative plan for the settlement of the Race Question. I do not propose to go into detail. It will no doubt be disappointing that I discuss this question in the manner I propose, but in my judgment every plan should be thoroughly discussed in order that the best one may obtain. Dissipation of ideas is the destruction of our purpose, and it has heretofore largely impeded progress in the practical affairs of the South. Numbers of honest, zealous, and sincere men working upon different plans have accomplished very little, and it is our duty, if at all possible, to combine our theories into a practical unity of plan. When we settle upon a plan as an absolute finality, and all work along those lines, wonders will result. To accomplish this by honest and plain statements seems to be the best. Let us see what are the weak points of the general plan of this settlement of the question. When the acute stage is passed, the practical will immediately appear. When the mind has become settled, the whole body politic can go to work, and thus material advancement will be the immediate result. I base my whole argument upon the idea that in the South the Negro will live. He is here to stay.
We had just as well make up our minds to that effect. A number of intelligent people, backed by powerful sentimental influence, look to colonization as the best settlement. It is the oldest idea, and one upon which vasts sums of
noney have been spent. Is it practicable? Let us consider it.
First we will take the question of domestic colonization, which means, in the language of one of its greatest disciples, “the purchasing or procuring of a territory within our limits, erecting it into a statehood and placing thereon all of the colored population of the United States." This is a dream of the brighest colors, yet but a dream. This plan of late has many and eminent followers in this country. The carrying out of the statehood plan involves the settlement of greater questions than confront us in the Race Question.
First consider the question of property. The Negro of the South owns three hundred and fifty thousand farms and homes without incumbrance. He is paying taxes on four hundred million dollars' worth of property. He has great possessions in churches, schools, and colleges. In a thousand ways he is intermingled in the vast rights of innumerable business affairs.
With either foreign or domestic colonization, how are you going to get rid of the Negro's property. Sell it ? Confiscate it? Force him to sell it? Nay, verily. To do so you have to change the Constitution of the United States and also of the States in which the Negro largely lives. He is under the protection of the Constitutions, National and State. Under the Constitution of the United States, you cannot interfere with his status except for crime. The men generally who propose the exportation of the Negro for the reason