The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, July 09, 1903, Page 13, Image 13

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    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.