The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, July 09, 1903, Page 13, Image 13
JULY 9, 1803. THE NEBRASKA INDEPENDENT 13 THE NEGRO QUESTION ary Ward BMehir! Letter t the Lottts Till Coarir Jonrnai fUeently Pab . liihd im The CUtlook In The Independent . of March 19, 1903, we publirhed a communication from Mr. De Hart, of Jersey City, N. J., relative to the negro problem. His views were combatted by a number of writers, whose communications were printed and in a number of oth ers which The Independent did not tuse. In the issue of April 23 was printed the communications of J. H. M.. E. J. Benton, and S. G. Shelf er, at which time this was said editorial ly la a note: "The Independent 'de sires not to devote too much space to this negro discussion, believing that the real problem is humanity without regard to nativity or color. But it gives space to the article above and the ones following, and trusts that the incident may close. Mr. De Hart seems to have aroused the ire of sev eral gentlemen but his heart will be found to be in the right place, even if his views of the negro question are attacked." Not long since ' a communication was received from Traverse A. Sprag gins, also of Jersey City, whose view;, are similar to those expressed by Mr. De Hart in the nain a rational dis cussion of the subject, but contain ing some statements which could not fail to arouse a bitter discussion and one which could hardly fail to arouse antagonisms between men who are " equally anxious for the good of man kind. The Independent admires the sharp conflict between bright minds the flint against the steel but prefers to avoid those profitless discussion1? which result only in hatred and ac complish nothing in eradicating evil. So, with considerable reluctance be cause of our rule to give as far as possible all earnest men a hearing we d3cide not to print Mr. Spraggins letter. " ' - . The article below is quoted from The Outlook of May SO, 1903, and In the main expresses the Ideas on the -. negro question entertained by the editor of The Independent for the past twenty .years. It was printed from the original manuscript by The Out look, received through the kindness of Major J. B. Pond, Mr. Beecher's lecture agent. It was probably pub lished in the Courier Journal at the time, being dated at Louisville, Ky March 30, 1885, and is as follows: Courier-Journal: The "interview published this morning in your paper, while in the main correct, has mis taken my views on one- or two points which I beg permission to correct ' The statement that I said that South Carolina might almost have been jus tified in rising against the voting colored population and massacring them is far from my feelings or opin ions. The question before me and the interviewer was on the counting of votes. I said that in a case like Carolina I could well understand why the white people refused to count the votes fairly. I did not think that they were to be justified in a false count, or a suppression of the vote, or an in timidation of the voter. But I said that, considering the evils suffered under legislation of colored men, just emancipated, .ignorant of government, late "-.he slaves of white men, but now put over their masters by their num bers, taxing without wisdom, Issuing bonds without skill or prudence, I did not wonder that the white pop ulation resorted to unfair means to suppress their foolish legislation. Even that was wrong in morals, ami the savage idea that theywere justi fied In massacre is a revolting senti ment Allow me to state explicitly my views of the past and present rela tions of the colored people. I. The state of slavery in the south, before the war, with all its softening, was evil and only evil, both in its ef fects upon the blacks and the whites alike, and was, on the whole, both In morals and in political economy, ex ceedingly bad. A terrible price was paid for the destruction of the slave system; but it was worth to posterity a hundred times what it cost II. The putting the vote iiio the hands of an Ignorant race was an as tounding event in political history. It came not from a belief of their fitness for suffrage, but from a conviction that it was necessary for their de fense. The tentative legislation of some of the southwestern states, which under the form of vagrancy laws seemed intended to subject ths colored people - to essential slavery again, alarmed the north and led to But, audacious as was that faith In liberty and suffrage which led the west and the north to give full citizen ship and political power to the eman cipated, the result has shown that the colored people have not misused this power. I must say that colored vot ing since the war has ben fully as wise as white voting was before the war. The colored people of the south, after becoming citizens, did not seek revenge nor mischief. They Intended welL It was not their fault that many cf the results were evil. It was bad enough, for white citizens to see their late slaves led by foreign influence. It might be a political nec essity it was not any the less a thing grievous to be borne by their white fellow citizens. But where tna emancipated were largely in excess of the white voters, it amounted in fact to the subjection of the white people to the legislation of the colored. And In those states where legislatures were In the powe: of the late slaves, andwhere northern men, not always the wisest, led them on to foolish and wasteful legislation, Increasing taxation and squandering the results of it, plunging the state deeply into debt by an unmerciful is sue of bonds, It is not to be won dered that something like revolution ary methods were adopted, and that self-defense led men to violent resist ance. ill. When, at a little later period, history, no longer under the Influ ence of violent and heated passions, shall sit in impartial judgment upon this whole movement of the past quarter of a century, two results will stand out prominently. (1) The admirable conduct of the slave population during the war, in dustrious, orderly, humane, an 5 peaceful; their great bravery when the north made them a part of the army; their general good conduct af ter peace was established, and their thirst for education as the indispens able .condition of good citizenship. Their future may not be what theor ists predict, but it will b.e auspicious. (2) The remarkable conduct of the white population of the south. Hurlel from political power, defeated In war, wasted in all, resources, wounded ii every household, in the loss of hus band, son or father; all industries Lsubverted and to be refonnded on a new basisand, worse than all, to see their late slaves changing ' plac i with their masters and holding the reins of legislation under foreign leadership is it wonderful that at such a revolution, convulsion rather, southern citizens often mistook the way of duty, that some rude rem edies of violence were practiced, that some1 counter methods of violence were attempted? These things are not to be Justified. But is It not now a matter of tran scendent" wonder that the evils were so few, and that the patience and self control of southern people so soon re adjusted the whole industrial and civil economy? I glory in a history which, with air its infirmities and blemishes yet presents . to the world the most notable instance of the force of self government which has ever occurred in history! IV. Passing from city to city, and the prey of reporters, who report from memory, I am grateful to them that eo few misconceptions of my lan guage creep into their statements. On one or two points allow me to be ex plicit (1) I do not think it wise that the whites and blacks should mix blood. Yet it is their right and liberty to do so, if they choose. But it is to be dis couraged, on grounds of humanity. But if it must be, it should not be illicit, but under the sanctions of mar riage. (2) The slaveb are free. They must come under a universal law as to their social position. No ' legislation can put ignorance and knowledge on a level; indolence and industry, vir tue and vice, rudeness and refine ment The household is to be frej to choose or refuse Its company. Nj obstruction should be put in the path of education. All opportunities for development should be sacredly kept open to every class; - every encour agement given to Industry, . wealth, refinement, and good citizenship. Af ter that society must be free, so far as legislation is concerned, to choose Iti own partnerships. (3) The Atlanta Constitution makes me point out Mississippi as the great central state; I said Missouri, not Mississippi. 1 V. I was born in New England. but from my childhood I breathed the air of the whole continent I was from my a cradle a friend of the oppressed. of the poor, and of the struggling. An anii-siavery man Dy the force of m lineage and of my Inherited nature, I spared no energy In fighting aeainsl slavery and against that whole malar- ious political influence which ex haled from this Dismal Swamp. "When, by the supreme folly of southern leaders, the war broke out I gave my children to the army and myself to every influence at home and abroad which should give victory to the federal army. When peace came, with, vigor I plead for mild settlements : and against all bloody sacrifices. There had been blood enough shed. ; There must be no victims for the gallows, the sword, or the prison. And now that a new era and a read justment of all national questions has been reached, I am for the welfare of the undivided nation, and I be long, in detail, to that party which shall be3t serve the interests of the whole land; I am not a slave of either. The party is my servant, I am not Its slave. The administration, with that strong and Just man, Cleve land, at its head, has my hearty sup port and my full confidence, not be cause It Is democratic but because it is national, patriotic, and adapted Lo the exigencies of the hour. Should It fail in Its national duty, I shall still seek the honor and welfare of thirf great nation, but by another road. HENRY WARD BEECHER. v Bible Reading Editor Independent: Last January I sent you two letters one criticising the actions of the petitioners for a rehearing of the Bible reading In the public schools case and the other one doing the same thing for the supreme court on account of its decision in the rehearing. Of course I did not much expect to see these letters in print, but I thought at least to see a few quotations and your comment in one of the Issues of The Independent so that I could know whether In your opinion I was right or wrong. I have also been waiting patiently for some more extended report of the court's decision in this case than the short paragraphs of yourself and Mr. Har dy, which I asked you and him to ex plain, but it seems that I have waited in vain. While The Independent is true to its name when politics are In question It seems to cringe consider ably when It comec to Bible decisions end religious matters. Why did you not give the report of the .court's decision In full? Then your readers could have Judged for themselves. ' Is that not what you say ali populists (the majority of your readers) insist on doing? Why then do you give only a short garbled para graph, and the same from Mr. Hardy, on this important case? Do you not know that the court's decision Is cer tain to cause quarrels in many school districts throughout the state . when part of the board wants the Bible read and the other part not? If . the school boards insist on having the Bible read in the schools what are those parents going to do who do not want their children to hear the read ing? You may garble reports of such cases as much as you piease; you may extol the grand literature of the Bi ble to your heart's content; you may try to sweeten the atrocities recorded in that book from now until dooms day, and all your efforts will hot make it fit to be placed in the hands of children! You know that there is rot one clergyman in the state of Ne braska who dares to read each and every chapter of the Bible publicly in his church, and why then will you insist that it Is right and just that n be read In the nubile schools? In conclusion allow me to ask you which version of the Bible !s non-sectarian? I presume you will show acaln that you actually believe in "eaua! rights to aii ana special privileges to none" oy throwing this into the waste basket. GEO. S. PETERS. Peters. Neb. 1 (The editor has constantlv on hnn.i from one hundred to five hundred let ters from subscribers commentine more or less at length upon a great variety of subjects. In the nature of tnmgs these cannot all be printed. The Independent did not give the court's decision "in full" for the same reason that it does not print every communi cation received simply because it cannot print all the things which may be of interest .Write the West Pub lishing Co., St Paul, Minn., for a copy of the Northwestern Reporter advance sheets containing the latest decision in full. ' Doubtless people may quarrel over reading the Bible, just as they may quarrel over the tariff or the money question or whether potatoes should be planted In the dark or the light of the moon. The Independent does not pretend to map out a course- of action lo be followed by parents who do not want the Bible read in the public school where their children attend. They might help elect a school board that would not Insist UDon the rend ing; they might do as Dan Freeman did go to law oyer it (for the case decided was upon the record made In that case alone)1: thev mteht their children out of school and defy the compulsory education law and thus ret Into court-from anoth w I VV or half a dozen other things. The best, plan would be to consult a good Lawyer and take his advice. Ed. Ind.) rU Stopped nii Ppf. He would stop his local paper to economize, he said. The dollar that It cost him he would save. , ) Said he' was so busy working that the sheet was never read, And other reasons weighty then be ' gave. "Nothing in it that's worth reading," was the thought he had in mind, And he chuckled that he'd saved a dollar bill. But while neighbors were progressing he was left so far behind That the bunco men could see him standing still. He didn't see the warning 'gainst tho sharpers going around . With cheap pot-metal ranges called , the best; And the contract signed to take one to his horror soon he found A note he had to pay with Interest Next he signed a little paper for a pair of wily guys Who said the fact would help 'em sell their trees, And In just three months thereafter, to his very great surprise, The local hank wrote: "Pay this, if you please." One bright day a fellow net him and said, "Say, I'll' buy your land And give you Jast six thousand for the pjace." , And the owner said, "I'll take It; put the money In my hand," So the stranger posted forfeit with good grace. But next day another fellow hove In sight and offered more, And the owner paid a premium t the first Then when both the sharpers faded loud the owner then did roar, .. For he saw that in the deal he'd got the . worst Next he bought a lot of woolens from a man who whispered low ' -t He'd smuggle! them and so could sell them cheap. Then when he set out to wear them quick and fast his tears did flow The stuff was but base libel on a sheep.. .... ; Then a wily gold brick artist filled hl ears with thoughts of gain. " He said a chance like that should never pass. So he hustled for the money with hi utmost might and main, ? And paid It for a shining chunk of " brass. ' : w When he'd squandered all his money and he'd mortgaged all his land , He realized he'd been a blooming; . dunce; ; And he struck out for the village with a dollar In his hand . And hunted up the editor at once. "I have got to hae your paper, and here's for a year ahead," He shouted as he struck the office door. , "I have saved one blasted dollar, but of thousands I've been bled, And I'll never stop my paper any, more." Will M. Maupin, In The Commoner. Cyrus E. Gallatin, Garrett, Ind.: I prize your paper higaly because of. the ability with which it discusses democratic principles. However, whea I realize the united and successful ef forts of the money power to pervert t..e American form of government and enslave the people through the man-.' ipulatlon of the republican party, I cannot help but feel that it is a great waste of power for the opposition f divide up In hostile camps when ther could work so much more effectively if their energies were directed 1a making the democratic party In real ity what it has long been In nam, "the party of the people." - Indirect taxation is a delusion and a snare: under the single tax every citizen of the state must fulfill an hon est obligation. GREATLY REDUCED RATES.. . VicL WABASH RAILROADS Below is a partial list of the many half rates offered via the Wabash Railroad: $21.00 Detroit, Mich.,- and return;1 sold July 14,-15. $32.25 Baltimore, Md., and return; sold July 17, 18. . ' $32.25 Baltimore, Md., and return;' sold Sept 17, 18, 19. All tickets reading over the Wa bash are good on steamers in either direction between Detroit and Buf falo without extra charge, except meals and berths. Lone limits aurt stop overa allowed. Remember this Id "The World's Fair Line." Go this route and view the grounds. For folders and all Information ad dress, HARRY E. MOORES, G. A. P. D., . . Omaha, Neb.