THE SEED THAT WAS SOWN
IN THE
COLONY OF GEORGIA 


THE HARVEST AND THE AFTERMATH
1740-1870

 
BY
CHARLES SPALDING WYLLY


New York and Washington
THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY
1910



Copyright, 1910, by

THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY
 

--- PAGE 5---

This work is respectfully inscribed to my friend, C. Downing, of Brunswick, Georgia, whose clear brain, kind heart and free hand is an example and inspiration

            "An honest heart is one that strongly feels
            The pulse of passion and the throb of pain,
            But asks assistance from a healthy brain
            To stem all morbid current sentiment, should it steal
            Into the veins with darkening stain;
            A heart light beating, which may reveal
            The torch of sin but struggles free again,
            Repentant, looking to the Lamb who heals.
            Not such my heart, a football for the crowd,
            Now high in air, now trampled on the ground,
            Till bruised, benumbed, and ossified, it lies,
            And mercy, Lord, should mutter ere it dies.

--- PAGE 7---

PREFACE

        When a writer has assumed the burden of reviewing the result of any great national decision it is impossible to ignore the surroundings and environments of the participants therein. The beliefs held by the adverse parties as essential articles of their faith become not only the causes but personages in the conflict: To one party immediate increase of prosperity and probable wealth seemed a creed entitled to universal assent. To a smaller number a patient awaiting for a natural growth and strength appeared a wiser choice. The first asserted "That in this climate a white man could not labor," the other claimed "That in a year a white man's labor was more than that of a slave." I have but moved the shadow backward on the dial: where now does it point? In endeavoring to give concisely and truthfully the political steps that finally led to the Break, I have been mindful that to the children of to-day the war of the sixties seems but "old history" and that any investigation into the causes of that war would appear like a groping for a former life, through and by the footprints found in fossil remains. This, with the fact that in those days a

--- PAGE 8---

great national drama was being enacted before my very eyes, must be my apology for writing as I have.

Charles Spalding Wylly.
Brunswick, Georgia, December 20, 1908.
 

--- PAGE 9---

CONTENTS

Chapter                                                            Page
I. The Seeding                                                  11
II. The Harvest                                                 34
III. The Aftermath                                             82
IV. The Pilots                                                   93
V. St Simon's and Jekyl Islands                        132
Appendix I                                                      145
Appendix II                                                     158
 

--- PAGE 11---

The Seed that Was Sown in the Colony of Georgia
I.  THE SEEDING

            To-day I have been permitted to read the "Recollections of Mrs. George C. Dent, written for her grandson." So impressed have I been that I find myself tempted to emulate this model of a departed culture in an attempt to place on record what I have known, and what I have had told me, of those who once lived in the counties of Glynn and McIntosh.
            An Eastern writer says: "A man will not after death be remembered unless he has left a son, built a house, or written a book."
            A son has not been granted to me; a house I have not built; a real book I cannot write. Once, with effort, I published a pamphlet entitled "Annals of Glynn." In its pages many of the families with whom I am connected, socially and by blood, are briefly noted. In the limits to which I will be bound only the fragments of those busy lives can be recast, and the mental characteristics that I shall seek to disclose will be but the shadowy skeletons of

--- PAGE 12---

minds that were once ruling factors in the communities where they lived. I have thought, and still think, that one telling anecdote will often better illustrate and give more life to a word-picture than pages of description.
            As I think, so I will write; and I trust these addenda to the first work may meet at least that pardoning and half-pitying smile I have often seen creep to young lips as they gave meek hearing to the prosy words of the old.
            My memories are mostly confined to the residents of the tide-water sections, and more especially to those of the islands of Sapelo, Saint Simon and Jekyl. These sea- and marsh-encircled barriers to the ocean were early settled by a class of immigrants who in a large measure became the seed beds from which much of the manhood and culture of the coming State were drawn. Immediately adjoining were the planters of the reclaimed swamp lands. A difference in the form of agriculture had, by the inexorable law of environment, affected those following the diverse industries. On the islands both a winter and a summer home were possible, and there was no absenteeism. The ever-present, ever-dictating, always over-ruling influence of slavery there assumed its least harmful form. In the best instances it became patriarchal in its government; and in its worst it was tempered by the pride of ownership and softened by the direct personal attention and interest of the owner.

--- PAGE 13---

            On the richer lands a summer residence was impossible. From May to December the fortune and well-being of the subject race was committed to a hired substitute--often chosen from a class totally unworthy of trust. And again, the returns from these lands being large, the possession of money in considerable sums increased absenteeism and fostered a desire for luxurious surroundings. The result, in many cases, was unfortunate.
            Gradually, and certainly, what had been serfhood became slavery, and the slave sank to but a "chattel," having lost even the personal acquaintanceship and feudal love which once had gilded his chain. The consequence of an expensive and dissipated habit of life pressed upon the owner, prompting harsh measures toward the exaction of greater tasks; while too often, by the terms of a mortgage, a public sale was forced, and, with that, there came the partial breaking up of family ties--which gave to the great novelist1 of the fifties the "climaxes and situations" with which she hypnotized the world into a stern determination that an end must be made of this reversal and denial of American declarations.
            I have written the above passages, knowing well under what a light of ante-bellum semi-darkness they will be viewed by kinsman or acquaintance who may chance upon them. Be it so. Marie-Bashkirtsseff-like, I shall bare my thoughts and beliefs, even

 1.  Mrs. Stowe

--- PAGE 14---

to their nudities. Too long jealously cloaked in the hereditary garments of personal interest and masked from any light of discussion have they laid dormant, for there was no feature in the "peculiar" institution that did not work far more to the injury of the white than to the black race.
            It was the cause and the very "raison d'être" of failure and want of enterprise in the young. It encouraged idleness by the debasement of honest manual work to the standard of slave labor. It clouded the vision, so that only in the stronger minds were the eyes uplifted to the nobler realms of thought and action. It even, in some cases, perverted justice by the spectre2 of a coming débâcle, in which all might be lost.
            And yet it was a legacy made sacred by the traditions of years and strong by its social power, since it claimed, with truth, that only through investment in that form could money certainly and surely bring to its owners a social equality with the higher and the most aristocratic circles of our Southern land. And in a neighboring State (a fair sample of all) even the doors of the "St. Cecelia"--jealously closed where entrance was asked for mere wealth, however great--in time would swing wide at the touch of those who knocked accompanied by a train of inherited slaves, with the accompanying prestige of a plantation home.
            It is a pleasure to close these pessimistic views

2.  See Appendix II on use of word “spectre.”

--- PAGE 15---

and turn to the recollections of my youth, which are greatly suffused with visits to Sapelo, the home of my grandfather, Thomas Spalding.
            Neither himself nor his house had any counter-part in the county. He had, early in life, married a Miss Sarah Leake, who must have been a woman of great gifts and endowed by nature with every beauty of person, mind and heart, since, as afterward of my cousin Mrs. M. C. S., neither I nor anyone before me have yet heard any words but those lifted in unstinted testimony to a perfection of heart and mind unknown and unmet with in others.
            Mrs. Dent writes that Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, after a visit to Mr. Spalding, "stopped at my father's, and said: 'Mrs. Spalding, sir, would grace a king's court, or make a dairy sweet.'" I am very sure, had he met my cousin and sister-in-law, his phrase would have been repeated and reiterated.
            Du Maurier tells of a legend that in every hundred years one nightingale is given to the world, so that each recurring century may listen to a perfection of melody! This may or may not be; but I am sure that these two lovely women were created that we who knew them and their daughters might take to heart and realize the full meaning of the words of the Annunciation:
            "Blessed art thou among all women . . ."
            (See St. Luke 1:42.)
            Thomas Spalding was born in 1774. His father

--- PAGE 16---

was from Ashantilly, Scotland, and had embarked in the Indian trade. His storehouses made a chain from Sunbury, Georgia, to Volusia, Florida, and northward by the Chattahoochee to the Tennessee; his canoes floated southward and northward to Frederica, the central storehouse. Adhering to the Crown at the bursting of the revolutionary storm, he saw his possessions seized and confiscated. "Under an act of banishment and exile" he retired to Florida, then a British province, and devoted himself to the education of his only child. So well did he succeed, that in after years, his son was recognized as one of the foremost scholars of his day, for he had brought an unmatched memory to bear upon the history of the past; had himself been a witness to the birth of the State, a nurse to her infancy, and a guide to her manhood. A biographical sketch of him can be found on page 634 of White's Historical Records. It is from the pen of James Hamilton Couper, Esquire, and tells the life of Mr. Spalding in better words than it is given me to use.
            In 1796 he bought the larger part of Sapelo Island, selling his home at "Retreat," on St. Simon. Here he built, at the "South End," a house modeled after Roman examples. The walls were three feet thick; the four reception-rooms, thirty-two by twenty-six feet; with chambers of corresponding size. Nor was the frame unworthy of the building: north, south, and west it was embraced and absolutely enveloped by gigantic oaks; eastward, it

--- PAGE 17---

looked direct on the sea. The waving moss cast constant shadowy glooms, interlaced, like life, with gleams of light and brightness--with mind attuned to Nature's somber picture, it might be.
            Steeped in retrospective thought, through columned aisles, high-arched in living green, a visitor passed; cool shadows from bannered moss moved ahead and beside you--shadows that, at times, seemed to flit away, as though in the presence of a memory or a sorrow. The eastern doorway is reached--then look!
            The blue sea rolled before him, every wave with sparkling crest, every ripple smiling to chase some mournful thought or fretful care away.
            In this druid-like grove my grandfather idly dreamt he had founded, in perpetuity, the seat of a family. But a year ago I stood by the ruined wall, and, in the deep monotone of a stormy sea, I thought I could hear, in each in-coming wave, a warning of a To Be, succeeded by a To Have, whilst every out-going rush and sweep of the surge gave, in fateful response--And Nothing More.
            "A PARAPHRASE
            The South End Sapelo Island The splendor falls on castle-walls
            And moss-grown oaks now old in story;
            The long light shakes across the sea,
            And the great white waves leap in glory:
            Blow, bugle, blow: set the wild echoes flying;
            Blow, bugle: answer echoes,--dying, dying, dying.

--- PAGE 18---

            "Oh, hark! Oh, hear! How thin and clear
            And thinner--clearer--further going--
            Oh, sweet and far, o'er sea and wave
            The horns of woodland faintly blowing--
            Blow! Let us hear the purple glens replying;
            Blow, bugle: answer echoes,--dying, dying, dying.
            "The Princess.


            In addition to the Spalding household two families resided on the island. I have now the Marquis de Montalet's edition of Rousseau's works, Paris, 1792, in 39 volumes, calf bound. On the fly leaf appears the following:
            Marquis de Montalet, Sapelo, 1793;
            James Spalding, 1813;
            Charles Spalding, 1825;
            C.S. Wylly, 1886.


            The Marquis de Montalet had made his home at the north point, and on the northeastern front Monsieur de Boeufeillet had established his seat. The Marquis, a widower and emigre, devoted himself to horticulture, and his flowers and gardens were the envy of all visitors. He also paid attention to the development of the native talent of his colored cook, "Cupidon," hoping to make him worthy of a cordon bleu in the art cuisine. Two at least of Cupidon's pupils became famous. Mr. John Couper's man "Sans-foix" excelled even his master; and "French Davy," afterward my mother's cook, had greatly profited by his teaching.

--- PAGE 19---

            Monsieur Boeufeillet, with Madame and their daughter Natalie, were the would-be aristocrats of the island. Their servants wore livery, and the family left cards after calling, or, more often, "spending the day."
            Among the frequent visitors there was often found the household of Captain Cottineau,3 consisting of Madame and her brother, the "Abbé Carl." The Captain had commanded the sloop Alliance, consort to Le bonne Homme Richard in the historical sea fight with the Serapis; and had given Commodore Paul Jones loyal aid; had remained faithful to the lilies of Bourbon; and now lived in the hope of a day of restoration, and recall to "beautiful France." With true Gallic light-heartedness they bore their bad and good fortune; fraternized with their neighbors at the "South End"; gave formal dinners, one to the other; with Mr. Spalding, discussed the latest works of Rousseau and of Voltaire; sacre'd all republican ideas and institutions, as they drank the healths of the royal family of France, never losing their sweetness of temper save

3.  Mde. Cotteneau in co-operation with her brother the Abbé kept a very exclusive school for the teaching, as see advertisement in Georgia Gazette, of the " true Parisian accent and polite manner with the Classics."--Mr. Randolph Bryan, Joseph Bryan, James Scrieven, Charles Spalding, George Houston McIntosh, Miss Bryan, afterward Mrs. Wm. MacKay, Elizabeth Spalding, Katharine Spalding and James Spalding with Margery Baillie, afterwards Mrs. J. W. Kell, were for years students and boarders. The school was on West Broad St., Savannah.

--- PAGE 20---

at the mention of some late victory of "le scelerat de Napoleon."
            Thus on the little island there had been thrown a nobleman, whose very breath had been that of the Court of France; a man of the successful bourgeois class of Paris, with his wife and daughter; and lastly a gentleman, American born, of Scotch descent and education, whom travel had made somewhat cosmopolitan.
            In each of the homes the library was the room most frequented. The paucity of social life forced a book companionship, and when chance or purpose threw the residents together the conversation turned into channels as unlike the talk, chat, and repartee of the present day as is possible to be imagined. To lend color to this life there were, on the eighteen square miles comprising the island, some five hundred slaves, many fresh from darkest Africa, some of Moorish or Arabian descent, devout Mussulmans, who prayed to Allah morning, noon and evening; all loyal and devoted to their respective owners, never questioning act or motive, taking an absolute pride in their servitude to those of the family name, and as devoted to their title of Spalding as ever a McIntosh to his Chief of Clan Chattan in the mountains of Scotland. The work required of them was of the lightest. Fully one-third of the day was given to them to devote to their own industries. The women worked their own plots and gardens; the men fished, wove baskets for

--- PAGE 21---

sale, and hunted. Fish abounded in the creeks. Oysters, crabs, clams and turtle were to be had for the gathering, and I honestly believe that in this early stage of the planting life of the sea-coast there was here perhaps found the happiest form of peasant life that our country could show.
            I have used the words "happiest form of peasant life that our country could show." I would say that I refer only to that early and almost initiative stage found in the evolution of the savage into a higher state of civilization, before there has been born in him that inherent love of personal freedom which rises in every breast as mental manhood is approached. Slavery, in its first stage, is not an unmitigated evil; it is an apprenticeship, through which a race becomes worthy of freedom. The wrong is in its continuation after a goal has been reached which should have marked the end of the course. It is as though, in the evolution of plant life, you should deny fruit to follow after the flower and so bring the species to its end.
            It is of the days long anterior to my own that I have thus written. When first I recall personal memories the Marquis was long dead and buried under his fruit trees at "Chocolate"; Monsieur de Boeufeillet, with Madame, had removed themselves to Savannah; Mademoiselle Natalie had been twice married, first to Ralph Clay, Esquire, of Bryan County, Georgia, and after his death to Doctor Kearney of New Jersey, Surgeon in the United

--- PAGE 22---

States Army; Captain Cottineau was lying in Christ Church Cemetery (now Colonial Park), Savannah. The Bourbons had come again to their own. Madame Cottineau, with her brother the Abbé, had been recalled and rewarded by pension and posts in the restored Court. Madame Cottineau's only son had been commissioned in the United States Navy, had served in active service, and had died in a duel, the only duel I have ever known that was instigated and prompted by the generous and affectionate love he bore to the adversary by whose pistol he fell. The story is worth telling.
            Lieutenant Cottineau, when on a cruise, noticed that a comrade, like himself, of Savannah, was placed in the disagreeable situation of finding himself, in naval parlance, "in coventry" with his brother officers. One evening, when the night-watch had accidentally fallen to himself and this officer, after a long silence he called to him:
            "P_____st,4 come here," and said, "I see you are in a very bad fix."
            "I know it," was the answer, "but what can I do?"
            "You must 'call one of them out,'" answered Cottineau.
            "So I would," said P_____st, "but they will

4.  Lieut. P____st, U. S. N. He walked the streets of Savannah the rest of his life, having been forced to resign from the service. I in my youth saw him haunting the Pulaski bar and a supernumerary in life.

--- PAGE 23---

say they can't meet me, for that would break the coventry."
            "Then, by G____d, I will break it," was the answer. "Challenge me; I will meet you."
            The ship made port a week afterward. Matters, as arranged, were carried out, and at the first fire Cottineau fell dead, shot through the heart.
            The home life of the household was enlivened by a constant succession of visitors. The word "house-party" was not then coined, but in its practice was of long standing. The most common mode of entertainment was the giving of formal dinners. Dancing, unlike at Saint Simon Island, was not usual until near the fifties. Cards were not approved of and in many families were held in abhorrence. The men arranged hunting, fishing and shooting parties for the mornings and forenoons. The ladies rode much on horseback, but never, as is now common, joined the men in their field sports; conversation and needlework were their chief resources. Some used pencil and brush, but almost invariably the work consisted in the mere copying of a print, or a painting. Sketching from nature or drawing from life was very rare. The first persons I ever saw cultivating and appreciative of genuine art were my wife's brothers, Hamilton and John Couper; and I do remember, in addition, a Mr. Walker, a relative I believe of Washington Alston, the artist, who was a visitor to "Elizafield," the home of Major Hugh Fraser Grant.

--- PAGE 24---

            The mistress of one of these plantation houses, and hostess to this never-ending house-party, led an arduous life. Servants she had in numbers; but, excepting perhaps a butler or a head house-maid, they were often idle, incompetent, and needed her constant oversight and care. Almost every half hour during the day would she be called to administer to some want or to grant or refuse some request from her many dependents. At nine the plantation nurse arrived with a list or "tally" of the sick.
            The serious cases had to be visited first, and, if necessary, a physician summoned; for the others, medicine to be prescribed, weighed and measured. At eleven the wagon from the quarters came, with probably the whole carcass of a beef or sheep, and she was required to direct the cutting of the joints reserved for the table and kitchen and order the disposal of the remainder. The cook must have a personal interview and minute directions. The same was demanded by the fisherman, who wished to show his catch and receive orders regarding the opening of oysters, clams, or the boiling of crabs or prawn. At twelve the three seamstresses, whose perpetual work was the fashioning of plantation garments, arrived with their baskets of completed coats, pants or shirts. These must be "checked up" against the cloth, buttons and thread that had been issued them and other woolens and home-spuns measured and delivered. And by now the butler wished to

--- PAGE 25---

know what he had best serve to the gentlemen returning from their hunt.
            At two a tired and weary woman sank into a chair, hoping for a brief rest. Vain hope--a frightened mother calls for "Missis" to "just run up to de quarter to see little Nancy, who is fall into a fit." A half mile of unshaded road intervenes. But go she must. The fit is found to be but indigestion; and once again this "self-indulgent, pampered child of luxury" dreams of rest! Not so; old Simon stops to say he would like some pain killer, also tobacco. Bella says she must tell her Missis she and Tom, her husband, have agreed to part; a lesson on marital duties is to be read, and after that some kind words are to be spoken.
            It is more than three in the afternoon before the grateful shade of the home mansion is reached. Dinner is to be served at half after four and to a number unknown until the sounding of the bell, but which experience has taught will certainly have been increased by any stray men or women her husband may have met during his morning's ride or hunt.
            I have refrained from reciting the countless additional duties and requirements, should she chance to be the mother of a growing family. Then nothing but the presence of that, to Southern mothers, "best and most blessed gift of the gods," the colored mammy, whose faithful love and never-tiring care soothed every childish grief and watched over

--- PAGE 26---

both sleeping and waking hours, could hinder a daily uplifting of the Psalmist's cry: "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove, For then would I flee away and be at rest."
            The reader may ask: And what part of these tasks and never-laid-down burdens did the master and husband assume as his share?
            I regret to answer that, for the large majority, their duty, as they saw it, was to look to the proper cultivation of the various crops and to supervise the discipline and expenses of the establishment. These two completed, their only other aim was to draw from life, for themselves, just as much pleasure and amusement as they could possibly contrive. The largest number occupied themselves entirely in field sports; a smaller portion found interest in local or State politics; while the small remainder cultivated, in their libraries, an acquaintance with the best literature of the past and present day, their reading greatly tending more to history and belle lettres than to scientific subjects. Gibbon's "Decline and Fall," Hume's and Smollet's histories of England, and the Annual Register, which mirrored the contemporary life of Europe, were the books handed oftenest to me in my youth. Afterward, the great writings of Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu were recommended for perusal as a diet more suitable to my increased strength of mind.
            The sons of "well-to-do" families were sent

--- PAGE 27---

abroad and received fair educations, with collegiate training. But that of the daughters was in general intrusted exclusively to governesses. The colleges and finishing schools that now offer to the feminine sex advantages not inferior to what Princeton, Harvard and Yale give to their brothers, were unknown. One or at most two years in Charleston or Savannah gave the finishing touch to an education that was often followed quickly by an early marriage. Yet, in some way, so great was the desire for excellence, so bright the minds, and so thorough the grounding, that, in comparing the style in writing, conversation, and manner of the mothers with their children of to-day, I am forced to the conclusion that the careful and special work of the past loses nothing when brought in contrast with the more extended curricula of the present time.
            The County of McIntosh was first exclusively settled by a body of Highlanders from the mountains of Scotland, who preserved for a time their national garb and, in a measure, their speech. "With Claymore plaid and target," we are told, they met Oglethorpe on his first visit of inspection,5 offering at night a couch fitted with the only pair of sheets owned by the good souls that composed the outpost, which the General very gallantly declined. I have been told that at a comparatively modern day the

5.  This was the first uniformed parade in Georgia. Wm. McIntosh, son to John McIntosh, was the first officer to hold a commission in the cavalry raised by the State of Georgia. See "Georgia Hussars," by A. McDuncan.

--- PAGE 28---

ballads of Ossian could be recited in Gaelic by a Miss Jeannie McDonald of Arduch (she having received them direct from her Highland mother),--a fact, if true, that should go far in refuting the accepted belief that these so-called translations are only forgeries of McPherson's.
            When we consider the innate love of personal freedom that in all ages and in all climes has distinguished every mountaineer, a love that seems to have sprung from daily association with nature in her sublimest form and to have been nourished by the uplifting peaks that hold always a silent communion with free thought, free speech, and free men, it ought not to surprise us when we find so early as January, 1739, a strong and prophetic petition from the citizens of New Inverness addressed to the Governor-General and praying that he give no ear to the constant appeal of Savannah and the other settlements for the repeal of the clause in the Georgia charter forbidding forever the introduction of African slaves.
            I copy it, and it can be read in volume one, pages 90, 91 and 92 of McCall's History of Georgia, and, if stronger evidence is desired, in the "Journals of the Trustees," at London, England.

"To his excellency General Oglethorpe:
                We are informed that our neighbors of Savannah have petitioned your excellency for the liberty of having slaves. We hope and earnestly entreat, before such proposals are hearkened unto, your excellency will consider

--- PAGE 29---

our situation and of what dangerous and bad consequences such liberty would be to us, for many reasons.
                First. The nearness of the Spaniards, who have proclaimed freedom to all slaves who run from their masters, makes it impossible for us to keep them without more labor in watching them than we would be at to do their work.
                Second. We are laborious and know a white man may be, by the year, more usefully employed than a negro.
                Third. We are not rich; and becoming in debt for slaves, in case of their running away or dying, would inevitably ruin the poor master and he would become a greater slave to the negro-merchant than the slave he bought could have been to him.
                Fourth. It would oblige us to keep a guard duty at least as severe as when we expected daily an invasion; and if that should be the case, how miserable would be to us and our wives and children to have an enemy without and a more dangerous one in our own bosom.
                Fifth. It is shocking to human nature that any race of mankind and their posterity should be sentenced to perpetual slavery. Nor in justice can we think otherwise of it that they are thrown amongst us, to be our scourge one day or other for our sins; and, as freedom to them must be as dear as to us, what a scene of horror must it bring about! And the longer it is unexecuted, the bloody scene must be greater.
                We therefore, for our own sakes, our wives, and our posterity, beg your consideration and interest, that, instead of introducing slaves, you will put us in the way

--- PAGE 30---

to get some of our countrymen, who, with their own labor, in time of peace and our vigilance, if we are invaded, with the help of them will render it a difficult thing to hurt us or that part of the province we may possess.
                We will forever pray for your excellency and we are, with all submission, Your excellency's most obedient Humble Servants, etc.
New Inverness (Darien), January 3, 1739."

           
            The history says: "This petition was signed by eighteen persons of New Inverness."
            In an old manuscript I have the names as given to Mr. Charles Spalding by his father, as follows:

John Mohr McIntosh
John McIntosh of Lynvulgie
Ronald McDonald
Hugh Morrison
John McDonald
John McLean
John McIntosh
(son to Lynvulgie)
John McIntosh of Bain
James MacKay
David Clark
Alexander Clark
Donald Clark
Joseph Burgess
Donald Clark junior
Archibald McBain
Alexander Munro
William Munro
John Cuthbert
"

--- PAGE 31---

All of the settlement who could write their names," says the manuscript.
            I have written these words with some pardonable pride, for the first signature is that of a direct ancestor, and others of the same blood follow.
            To these men fortune had been niggardly in her favors. Proscribed, landless, and exiled through participation in the "Stuart Rising" of 1715, they had brought to a Western world little but sturdy strength and steadfast hearts. But, besides these, they gave to their General and his associates an unquestioning loyalty and affection. Their letter addressed to him was issued with no hope of influencing or even retarding the final decision, for they well knew the weight of pressure exerted by the older and richer settlements on or near the Savannah River. Rather was it the declaration of a Creed and a warning to the children who might follow them; for in Savannah they had heard, at convivial meetings, and at home gatherings, the frequent toast of—

"The one thing needful: may we soon have it"

—drunk deep, with its approving cheers. Augusta and all outlying posts were of the same mind. But to these Scotchmen of Darien and McIntosh it was given to see far into the coming years. As Arnold phrases it,--they saw "straight" into the cloudy future, and beheld the coveted African undergoing a metamorphosis as strange and as baneful as any

--- PAGE 32---

that is told in the pages of Ovid. They saw far, for at that era England herself countenanced and approved of the desired traffic; and the North, whence even now, after a lapse of near fifty years can still be heard the faint vibration and echo of the victorious shouts of '65, was eager to furnish men, money and ships for its prosecution, and a Phillips, a Parker, or a Garrison would have had no hearing--no, not even in Boston itself.
            On December 29, 1749, the decision was made. As I have said, the result was sure, and by a vote of a few hundred men Georgia, with its broad boundaries-to-be--from the mountains of Tennessee to the ocean, and from the Savannah westward to the Mississippi--ceased to be a province from which by the very terms of its charter African slavery was forever debarred. The trustees of the province resigned their commissions and offices, and the government passed directly to his Majesty George the Second, who appointed Colonel Reynolds, of H. M. S., Royal Governor of the last province or colony that England was fated to make in the limits of the Republic of the United States
            Imagination itself may be startled in considering the possibilities, to province and future republic, had the "Creed of New Inverness" found faith in Savannah.
            I have dreamed that, with a State whose boundaries were the Mississippi, the mountains of Tennessee and the ocean,--every acre of whose 140,000

--- PAGE 33---

square miles being pledged by its birth charter to free institutions and free labor,--no soil would have been found in which to sow the seed from which was to spring sectionalism, division and a "Lost Cause."
            But it was not to be. From the hands of those whose names I have cited, and from others with like hopes and like beliefs, was the grain cast on the land from which was to spring
            "The harvest," and
            " The scourge:"
            --a harvest foretold in the very infancy of the colony.

--- PAGE 34---

II.  THE HARVEST

            In the preceding chapter has been told the result of the struggle between the spirit in which the Colony of Georgia was conceived, and the utilitarian beliefs and desires of a majority of her citizens.
            At the head of the winning party were the names of Whitfield, Habersham and Thomas Stephens. Leading the slender band who lost we find John Mohr McIntosh of New Inverness and the Reverend Mr. Bolzius of Ebenezer.
            I have told the story so that any descendant of this fragment of very far-seeing men might, if he so choose, point to the date 1739 and say: "In that year my grandsire wrote, signed and published, so far as I know, the first protest against the use of Africans as slaves, issued in the history of the New World, and that every count in the indictment as drawn by him has been made good by the verdict of years."
            To the critic of expressions and sentiments that have been expressed and uttered I answer that the year of our Lord 1909 has proved the truth of the arguments addressed to the authorities of 1739, and that now their children's children, after "times and

--- PAGE 35---

times" of contrary belief, are forced to recognize the evils that have followed the ultimate decision.
            In truth, Georgia at that date was suffering from what James Habersham called a "mirasmus" or weakness, like to that of a man who sinks into lethargy from the want of food. Give to him bread or meat, and in a week his natural health and strength would return; administer a stimulant such as brandy or nitroglycerine, and a transitory quickening of heart action alone would follow and with it but a temporary strength. Man's life is measured by months; a nation's, by half centuries. To the dying colony was given, not sturdy emigrants or food, but the stimulant of African slave labor. The tokens of a quickened energy soon appeared, and the citizens of Savannah openly declared that, with the granting of "the one thing needful" had come permanent prosperity.
            The natural resources of the country were developed. Planters from Virginia and the Carolinas, having already exhausted the virgin fertility of their farms, came in numbers, bringing money and slaves to till the fresh lands of Georgia. They bought up the smaller grants of land and consolidated them into large plantations. The Puritan migration into St. John's parish flowed in, and this united Darien or New Inverness (until then a military outpost) with Savannah, the capital. Labor being supplied, exports and trade sprang into being and all went well and "merrily as wedding bells."

--- PAGE 36---

            On the Altamaha the Scotch emigrants of 1735 and their descendants held almost exclusive possession of the islands and rich river lands, while the pine lands of the interior had been granted in a great part to that flotsam of rather undesirable people which is found always to accompany any tide of immigration.
            It might be thought that the strong opposition shown by the people of Darien and Ebenezer to the recent radical change in the laws and policy of the province would have manifested itself by their slow adoption, and, at least, to have affected the habits and life of those communities. But in this belief the power of the temptation would be underestimated. Their consciences being quieted by previous public declarations openly and boldly expressed, when now to the sanction of law was added the example of neighbors, accompanied by the natural craving for an easier life with quickly acquired wealth, it would be too much to expect faith to an abstract principle; and, as early as 1760, we see the county passing rapidly from the conditions that had marked its first creation (which had been that of a military outpost, receiving its orders direct from the Governor-General, and with no representation in council) to that of a prosperous and fast-growing agricultural and cattle-raising community.
            In this they were greatly aided and encouraged by Spain's cession of the East and West Floridas to Great Britain. By the terms of the Treaty of 1763

--- PAGE 37---

Great Britain not only received this grant, but also established royal governments and garrisons at St. Augustine and at Pensacola, thus removing any fear of Spanish hostility and adding security to the new form of property. I would here remark that this treaty and cession displaced Frederica from its military position as a fortress, necessary in time of war, and eventually brought about its practical evacuation and reduction in course of time to one of the "dead cities" of Georgia.
            The settlement of Darien, or McIntosh County, as in future I shall call it, had been peculiar. "Stevens" says it consisted of 110 free men and servants, with whom 50 women and children were allowed. All were picked men, the largest number from the glen of Strathl'dean, nine miles from Inverness, Scotland. They were commanded by their own officers or chiefs, most respectably connected, and, besides them, there came a number of MacKays, Baillies and Cuthberts. All settled either at Darien or Frederica, St. Simon. Mr. Spalding says, "From 1735 to 1740, 300 came to Georgia and more after 1753." And Mr. Spalding's grandfather was William McIntosh, eldest son of John Mohr McIntosh, the leader in the emigration of 1735, and William McIntosh was a lad of fourteen at the landing in Georgia, whilst his wife was Mary MacKay, a daughter of Donald MacKay, and born in Scotland before the year 1735.
            In the seven years of the Revolutionary struggle

--- PAGE 38---

McIntosh County suffered, not from its occupation by the regular armies, but greatly from the predatory incursions of partisans of either side. McGirt plundered, burned, stole and murdered in the cause of the Crown. Paddy Carr and Nephew flogged, murdered and carried off in the name of the State or Committee of Safety. The people were much divided in sentiment. The McIntoshes were all ardent patriots. James Spalding and George McIntosh endeavored to remain neutral, or rather conservative,--which in such times is always the most dangerous course.
            George McIntosh, direct ancestor of many noted families, such as the Clinches, Sadlers and others, resided at Rice-Hope, McIntosh County. His home was burned by Nephew, his negroes run off and sold, his barns and property destroyed. A letter from him written July 3, 1777, reads (like words from some old Scottish border story):
                "They have taken possession of my estate, destroyed my crops on the ground by turning their horses on to them; killed and drove off my stock of every kind; broke open my house, barn and cellar; plundered and carried off everything of value they could find, wantonly committing every act of waste and destruction."
            Two days after he writes:  "I am just informed one of my most trusty negroes, on my indigo place, has been cruelly whipped until he died in the rope, because he could not tell my hiding place," and

--- PAGE 39---

adds: "Excuse this handwriting, for it is done on my knee, and under a tree in my own woods."
            The storehouses of James Spalding at Sunbury were rifled, plundered and burned, his dwelling house likewise, and everything of value scattered to the winds; all the accumulations of industry and thrift were engulfed and destroyed by roving bands of tories or so-called loyalists.
            By reference to pages 78 and 82 of Marbury's Digest of 1784, one may learn the number and names of the families whose persons were attainted and whose property was confiscated, and know how great was the division in political belief. It was Governor Gwinnet's approval of the treatment of George McIntosh that led to a correspondence with Colonel Lachlan McIntosh, brother of George, which terminated in a duel, in which Gwinnet lost his life. The meeting took place on Hutchinson's Island. The Governor lived but an hour. McIntosh was thought to be fatally wounded, but recovered; was transferred from Georgia to serve under General Washington at Valley Forge; was promoted to a brigadier generalship of the Continental Army; was given a separate command in western Virginia; conducted himself so as to win the personal esteem of his great chief, and lived to receive General Washington as his guest in the home to which he had retired, two doors from the corner of State and Bull streets, in Savannah.
            Peace came in 1783, and, with it, were resumed

--- PAGE 40---

neglected pursuits and industries. The State rewarded the returning soldiers of the Revolution with generous grants of vacant or confiscated lands. Upon these money could be raised. The soil was new and fertile, while labor could be cheaply purchased from Northern traders, more especially at Charleston, where a credit of two and three years was extended, usually for two-thirds of the purchase money; and by 1810 the scars of strife and heated passions were replaced by the signs of prosperity.
            By now McIntosh County had lost her distinctive Scotch habits and traditions, and, in social and political manner and belief, exactly resembled her sister seaboard counties of Chatham, Camden and Glynn. It was at this period and in the year immediately prior and succeeding that the county and the State presented its best and most interesting features. The "system" of slavery was yet in its comparative infancy, presenting none of its worse sides. A genuine affection existed between the master and those who were then more serfs to the land than slaves; their value was not then computed in dollars, but in labor contributed toward the building up and improvement of the home. They were rather an appendage than an asset to the family,--an asset not to be reckoned until, by death or gift, it passed to a son or daughter. Fresh from Africa, they lived in greater safety of person and comfort in life than in their soon-forgotten native land. In the

--- PAGE 41---

slow, forward evolution of the savage the thought of personal right had not yet been conceived. No contrasting of their lot with the fortunes of the other race gave birth to moody contemplation. The goal that marked the station where freedom of body and mind was desirable or to be achieved was yet far distant; and the character of the men to whom they were brought nearest was, in general, kind and just, requiring no extreme hard labor and granting indulgences that greatly mitigated the severities of the written law.
            In manner, mind, and bearing the planter and gentleman of that day exhibited a constant courtesy to equal and inferior. They were men of wide education and often of travel and experience. The fatal "environment" had not yet poisoned spirit, heart or action. They were distinguished by a universal desire for the upbuilding of the country and for love of the Union. To a certain extent they were overbearing in opinion, for the habit of command asserted itself in their mental as well as their daily life, and, with it, a dogmatism not open to argument.
            I have, in this rapid sketch of events long passed, reached near to the date of 1843 or 1845, at which time my memories of conversations and of events transpiring come into use, and in future I shall write as a looker-on, and not as one telling of a game that he has heard was once played.
            The rich lands that bordered the Altamaha, with

--- PAGE 42---

its adjacent islands, had been acquired by a small number of families, twenty or thirty in number, some by this time possessed of large wealth, others of smaller means. They were people of birth, position, education, and refinement in manner and thought; and beside them, on the less fertile portions, were settled, it might be twice their number, men of smaller properties but people of fair education and in comfortable circumstances of life, generally small planters, cattlemen or storekeepers, owners of but few slaves. And, lastly, we must count an overwhelming plurality of ignorant and poverty-stricken whites dwelling in the backwoods, and differing only in their degrees of utter shiftlessness.
            In a society so formed, and mingled in such proportions, it was inevitable that this poorest, but in a democratic state, through its number, most powerful, class, should sink into a state of dependence upon those who, possessing the richer lands and greatest wealth, were able in time of need to offer the most effectual aid and help. There was little solicitation—by an almost tacit agreement the rôle of patron was assumed by one, and that of client adopted by the other. Equally unspoken was the promise of political support. That went without saying, and, with that, there followed a rule of the minority, a minority which was represented entirely by the wealthy families of the district and which was immensely the superior in intelligence, education

--- PAGE 43---

and foresight. In South Carolina this result was attained by virtue of the State's constitution, a freehold of $1500 being there a requisite for eligibility to a seat in the upper house of the "Assembly"; and, again, the number of representatives in the districts was not fixed by the number of white citizens, but by the amount of property returned. In Georgia, in theory a purely democratic government, the law I have before cited--the inexorable law of environment--issued its fiat, and, in practice, a minority represented always by the wealthier class of citizenship ruled and governed the State. The same goal was reached, but in one by a roadway not blazed out by the written words of the constitution.
            The character of men whose lives were spent in such surroundings, whose horizon was bounded by the neighboring fields and forests, whose self-esteem was nourished by a daily companionship and association with either a dependent of his own color or of one of another race to whom his simple word was law itself, without appeal, became enervated, in many instances, by the absence of any necessity for personal exertion; and while to a limited number leisure and the secured provision of the future induced the cultivation of literature, science or art, yet such studies or pursuits were seldom prosecuted save as accomplishments, and rarely was an acknowledged leadership sought or striven for. "Eating the lotus, day by day," the serious ends of life were

--- PAGE 44---

ignored, and it is in the marked difference between the youth of the last half century and those of the preceding years that the good resulting from the new conditions of life is most apparent. The one was content with the narrow limits that bounded their natural, mental and physical visions, and were blind to the progress of the world. By them the customs, manners and habits of their own little neighborhood and county were esteemed and cherished as representing the very highest in type. Life was to them, too often—certainly by the men—regarded as a term of being, during which as much of pleasure as possible should be concentrated. Their lives might be intemperate, even vicious, but only in the rarest cases would open condemnation be incurred, and seldom, very seldom, would ostracism follow.
            On the other hand, look!—under the kind though hard hand of poverty--nurse to near all the youth of the South for the last forty years--see how we find self-reliance replacing unfounded self-esteem, industry in lieu of indolence and self-indulgence; while, always, vice or intemperance is followed by a quick condemnation, with the doors of all reputable society closed to him who by his own acts has forfeited both his birthright and his opportunities. And often in happier cases, though the stern law of necessity has left little time for the lighter graces of the salon or drawing-room, are we forced to recognize a transmigrated or inherited

--- PAGE 45---

grace of speech and manner, with a courage in the expression of opinion, combined with a courtesy to all, which had marked the characters of the men of the earlier date.
            The home life of these owners of generally large plantations was delightful; hospitality was universal, and to be the guest of one family ensured constant invitations to others. Courtesy, one to the other, was greatly in evidence in speech and demeanor. Indeed, the "code duello" had long issued its decree, that the slightest deviation from a studied etiquette demanded quick reparation, and that to women was due double caution in speech and approach. The mode of entertainment was lavish, and, though in somewhat of a "castle-racket" order, had yet, to every visitor, the subtle charm of being made to feel that in his stay he was conferring a favor and not in receipt of one. To this there was added a constant change in the company, for in some houses the procession of incoming and outgoing guests was continuous.
            An aunt of mine has said to me that, when a young lady in her father's house, she scarcely remembered sitting down to the dinner table with less than twenty-four. And I have often been told of the gentleman and his wife, who, being asked to dine at a residence on St. Simon, found that during the meal a boat had been sent to Darien, fifteen miles distant, for their luggage, and that so much pleased were host, hostess and guests with one another,

--- PAGE 46---

that the stay was prolonged until two children had been born to the visiting couple--the last of whom was duly baptized John Couper--.
            Emerson has said, in an essay on Intellect, that "Every man finds his curiosity inflamed concerning the modes of living and thinking of other men, and especially of those classes whose minds have not been subdued by the drill of a school education." It is in my conviction of the truth of this observation that I shall find apology for an attempt to place on record something that may show the habits and character of that African race which had been transported and sold by foreign and Northern traders to the residents of the Georgia coasts.
            A race docile, obedient and affectionate, especially to the youth of a family, identifying themselves with grotesque readiness and sincerity to the standing and wealth of their respective owners, and loyal to the very name; possessed of the strongest local attachment to places and surroundings, yet given by a kind Providence a calm and philosophical power of accepting the most radical changes in life without comment, complaint, or even show of feeling:--it was as though, deep in their hearts, laid fatalism, as the true creed of their race. In the soughing of the lofty pines, when no wind blew, they had heard, caught to heart, and retained the never-ceasing admonition of "To wait, To await"; and by that counsel they shaped their lives, with what, to the careless eye, was sometimes indifference and even

--- PAGE 47---

cheerfulness—with what I should call a "mens aequa in arduis" they met or welcomed the varying fortunes that came with the changing years.
            In the county of which I write their burden was, in general, less than elsewhere. Public opinion frowned on an unkind master, and self-interest prompted and, in a measure, enforced sufficient food, clothing and shelter. The "task" system was universal, and with it came freedom for a considerable portion of each day. The great wrong, the absolute obliteration of every personal right, gave little trouble to those who never thought, and they were, seemingly, perfectly content with a life in which all physical wants were provided, since neither imagination nor aspiration craved a higher and different lot. But twice in my life have I known "The Spectre" to which I have alluded to appear, pervert justice, silence, speech, stifle even thought and, after a brief day's reign, vanish and disappear; and in one case the provocation was very great. In general, both races made honest efforts "To do their duty in that state of life in which it had pleased God to call them."
            To a Rousseau, a thinker, and most assuredly to the dreamer--"who loved, not God, but his fellowman"--this apathy and contentment with what existed may have been the saddest and most hopeless mental picture shown in the shifting scenes of the System. To the unreflecting mind and to those directly interested, it appeared the strongest argument

--- PAGE 48---

and proof in defense. Each person must judge for him or herself; so much depends upon the ends in life to be desired or sought to be attained. For myself, I know not in what grade I should place a soul devoid of aspiration, with imagination--the one gift that brings us akin to the gods--dwarfed in its power to the mere bodily wants of the present.
            On Butler's Island and Hampton Point were concentrated near one thousand of the African race, composing nearly one-fourth the slave population of the county.
            Those of the Butler estate were governed by laws more arbitrary than elsewhere enforced. By their owners' orders no intercourse with the neighboring plantations was permitted. The whole estate was made into a closed district, a self-providing and working colony. The stronger of both sexes labored in the production of rice and cotton. Others were employed in the manufacture of articles needful for the support and comfort of the whole. Forges and smith shops furnished the greater part of the plantation tools. Carpenters and boatbuilding docks supplied both houses and means of transportation. Tanneries and shoe shops gave the footwear. Caps and hats were knitted and plaited by the older men and women and the children, whilst a number of the superannuated were kept constantly patching and mending garments that otherwise would have been cast aside. The language spoken by these members and descendants of many varying tribes

--- PAGE 49---

was absolutely unintelligible to one not long conversant with them. In their training no attention at all had been paid to morals, religion or to the improvement of their minds; industry and thrift had been inculcated, but every sign of independence or personality in character was checked and discouraged, and, in many ways, this large estate represented some of the worse features of the "System," especially so since there alone was the immense influence of the sight-companionship and example of the superior race altogether lost, and by and through their isolation all imitation—the germ in general of every mental improvement, as well as of the bettering of bodily habits—was neither known nor felt.*
            Strange to say and contradictory to the theory under which I write, here, where absenteeism was greatest, loyalty, affection and pride in their owner's name and wealth was greatest: it seemed as though the very infrequent and brief visits of master and mistress had ended in the deifying of them in the hearts of this simple people. So long had they been indoctrinated with the creed, "To a Butler they owed all things, even life itself," and that nothing came to them but by the gift of master and mistress, that they lifted those two high in their

* In 1866, the property passed to Mrs. Frances Butler Leigh, wife of the Dean of Hereford Cathedral, England. A church was built and regular evening worship was held by the Dean.

--- PAGE 50---

hearts, as the one power absolute, not to be gain-said in the world as they knew it; and, in a measure, thus they remain to this day—to respect and honor all who bear in their veins one drop of the Butler blood.
            Even now, in 1909, were Alice Butler or Owen Wister to meet a daughter of the Angus, Alexander, or Bleach families--all noted colored foremen of the estate--it would be in this wise: Jane, Chloe or Phillis, as it might be, upon seeing the approach of "one of the family," would slowly advance to within three paces, her head held erect, with eyes cast down; then with lowered head sweep, with bended knee, a deep curtsy to the very ground; then rise, with smiling eyes and outstretched hand to touch my lady's fingers.
            An instructive contrast could be drawn between the mode of life enforced on Butler's and that followed on the Sapelo Island property.
            On the first discipline was supreme, the work constant, not always very arduous, but unceasing. Every step toward individuality, self-reliance or independence was repressed and checked. "By the law of the plantation, thou shalt live," was the order ever inculcated and reiterated. "The master will give what is needed--what is not given is not to be desired," was early taught to the young by the old.
            On the other island the labor exacted was light, not, in general, amounting to more than six or seven

--- PAGE 51---

hours. To each head of a family a certain acreage of land was allotted, and he was expected to provide from his industry and the natural resources of the island many additions to the weekly rations which were issued. The raising of poultry, pigs and garden produce was encouraged, and to a few favored families cattle and horses were permitted; the absolute personal possession was guaranteed and inviolable.
            The young ladies of the "House" gave instruction in the elements of religion; the Sunday exercises for the children and such of the older ones who wished to attend, were never omitted, though in practice little but the decalogue and fervent hymn singing was found to suit the minds and taste of the hearers. Mr. Spalding had pondered deeply upon the dangers to the Union as threatened by the "System." A slaveholder himself by inheritance he had not been blind to evils foretold by his own grandfather. He had seen the growth of new and free States in rapid recurrence. His convictions and hopes leant, not toward the ending, but to the amelioration of the conditions of servitude and the awaiting of events. In early life, when a member of the State legislature, he had introduced and pressed the enactment of a law which should make the slave immovable from the estate to which he was born, through any process of sale. He thus hoped to contract, in a measure, the separating of families. I need hardly say that this rather impossible but humane

--- PAGE 52---

law received little encouragement from the then members of the Georgia legislature, and met no favor even from his fellow-citizens.
            He strove, in the management of the large number owned by him, to teach reliance on themselves, for every improvement in their physical wants and condition. He gave them the means, the tools and the leisure in which to improve their own houses or cottages. He had every confidence in their loyalty, so much so that, in 1813, when a British fleet lay off Sapelo Island he applied to the Governor for arms and received 80 muskets, with which he armed and drilled his negro men, saying that from the want of depth of water, only a boat attack could be carried out and that if that was attempted "he and Bu-Allah1 [his slave foreman] would make a good account of them." No landing was made on Sapelo Island, though on St. Simon's almost constant attacks, with great losses of property, were suffered. The result of this training has been shown by the ease with which the transition was made from slavery to freedom by the colored people belonging to this island. On the one, self-reliance had been taught; on the other, an absolute dependence on the master.
            In the preceding pages I have sought more to

1.  He died leaving twelve sons and seven daughters. He kept all the plantation "Acts" in Arabic, and was buried with his Koran and praying sheep skin. Three times each day he faced the East and called upon Allah.

--- PAGE 53---

portray the development of a people, than to tell the events which would have been a history of the State. It is my belief that the surroundings, occupations and associations of men and also of women, enforce the adoption of certain uniform usages and habits of life, which are so permanently impressed and stamped on the mind as eventually to become the cause, or rather the creator of a race distinctive in its type; mentally as well as physically, in faith, as in body. The type is the product of the habit, and the habit the legitimate offspring of a long-continued environment.
            In Georgia the existing system of labor made it sure that all industry would be of an agricultural nature, for its form was unsuited to the prosecution of mineral, manufacturing or commercial interests; it discouraged the foreign immigration which might have entered into such pursuits, by forcing a competition, or rather a comparison, repugnant to the ruling sentiment of the new settler. In the mechanical trades it was almost prohibitory to the skilled artisan, since the employer, always a planter, could usually find the required craftsman among his own laborers. With no foreign immigration the growth in population was greatly retarded and limited to the natural increase, to which should be added a number, by removals from the Carolinas and Virginia, whose citizens were already seeking new and unworn lands. The increase of wealth, being solely due to the sale of the crude products of the soil, and

--- PAGE 54---

not to their enhanced value after manufacture, was slow. Nor did it require or demand the creating of any great center of distribution. An accessible seaport only being needed, the most convenient and nearest was selected, and thus St. Mary's, Brunswick, Darien and Savannah divided the meager profits derived from the transshipment of the staple crops of the State. Communication being difficult, for not until 1840 were railroads in operation, the interchange of ideas, opinions and views was equally slow, and the mass of the people lived for much the larger part of their lives in communities more or less isolated one from the other, each having its own mode of life and, in a large measure, of thought. The members of each community were busy in the same industry, with every dollar that they possessed invested in that same industry, and in their minds that occupation assumed a supreme importance not warranted by its nature. It was this that gave life and authority to the phrase "King Cotton will order it," a monarch who, it was said, would dictate a peace between the two warring sections, sections divided by a deep and impassable chasm of sentiment and faith.
            In comparison with the Western, Eastern and Northern States, Georgia had made slow progress in the march to wealth and population. In the one hundred and twenty-eight years that had elapsed between 1732 and 1861, her largest city had only attained to a population of twenty-five thousand.

--- PAGE 55---

Not one rolling mill, foundry of capacity, or ore furnace testified to the richness of the mineral belt. No coal mines had been opened in her mountain region. A few small cotton factories, with perhaps a little more than one thousand miles of railway, alone bore witness to a growing spirit of enterprise and of expansion into internal improvements. The pine forests were scarcely touched, and the placid river as it ran beneath the boughs of the great trees seemed in its murmur to whisper a reproach at this neglect of its offered free transportation to the markets of the world. The exports representing the gross income of the owners of land and personal property were comprised in a total of 500,000 bales of cotton and 500,000 bushels of rice of a value roughly computed of eighteen to twenty millions. The imports I am unable to state, but their volume was not great, the general habit of the people tending toward the use of home products.
            No large fortunes, or, to be more correct, not many large fortunes could be accumulated in mercantile business, for as late as 1860 the State numbered as citizens but 521,000 whites, with the addition of 385,000 colored laborers. For the support and maintenance of the colored, otherwise than what was produced by themselves, only about twelve dollars per year was required, and for at least one-half of the white race but little more. The patronage, therefore, of those engaged in merchandising was limited in one class in numbers, and in

--- PAGE 56---

the other and larger class by their poverty and inability to gratify their desires.
            At the close of every year the planter living at home simply, but abundantly, with, from his comparative isolation, few temptations to extravagance, often found he had money to his credit ready to invest. There being within the limits of the State no openings in other industries, it was only natural that the new investment should be made in more land and more labor. It was this constant re-investment of the profits of an industry into one of a like nature, that produced from the similarity of occupations, like usages and like habits of life, and the recreations as well as the labors being similar, a mental standard was conceived by which all opinion and excellence was measured and contrasted, and the type of the better classes of society was thus vivified into being. Travel being slow and costly, there was little intermixing of sections. Books were freely bought, and education among the true planter-class was even better than now. Reading was more general and of a more solid nature than at present, for fiction had not yet assumed the task of teaching political, theological and even legal truths.
            All material interests being centered in one form of property, the deterioration or loss of which meant absolute ruin to each and every one, the right to hold that form of property became sacred in the eyes of all, and any criticism became blasphemy. The dependent, or "client" as I have called him,

--- PAGE 57---

of this planter-class was taught, and believed in his heart, that any change that might come would lower him to the level of the subject-race, and it was this conviction which gave bone and sinew to the armies of the Confederacy, recruited in the main from those who had nothing to gain by the victories of the South. The "guarantee of the Constitution" became a cry by which foresight and expediency were routed. Both Jefferson and Madison lost their power over men's hearts by presuming to point to dangers they foresaw, and the men and the women true to the teachings of their lives, and of their material property interests, called all history and the Bible to the stand as witnesses in their behalf. The habit of command not only in one form, but of dominancy over three-fourths of the people, gave personal dignity and courage, and with these there came grace of person and deportment, for grace is essentially an absence of embarrassment, and none of them I refer to could feel diffidence at the presence of an acknowledged inferior. Generosity was usual and common, for it is in the bestowing on others that our own sense of superiority is most subtly appealed to. In the seaboard counties of Georgia the universal application of the task system to all labor gave more leisure to the employer than where, as in the upper and middle parts of the State, the hours of industry were regulated by the sun.
            The forests and streams were filled with game and fish, and the life, both indoor and outdoor, must have

--- PAGE 58---

closely resembled that of the English gentry, the amusements being much the same; but the "tone" and what was deemed correct in manner, to and with the female sex, was almost puritan in word and deed. A Squire Western as painted by Fielding would have been driven from the county. Physical accomplishments appealed stronger to general admiration than scholarly acquirements, except in oratory, which even in the most primitive nations always has had a supremacy. To be an accomplished horseman, or a sure shot with rifle or gun, was to gain more admirers than to be a lover of books or an acknowledged scholar. An agreeable companion and a good raconteur and one who graced both drawing-room and dancing-hall was oftener met with, than a man devoted to and eminent in scientific or professional life. By many families cards were abhorred and considered as conducive to bad habits. The cultivation of music by men was thought to be effeminate, but in the other sex appropriate and to be desired. Two vices only, as I remember, ostracized a man forever from association with his neighbors and compeers. To maliciously lie, or to show any symptoms of cowardice, was to brand himself as unworthy of mention, much less of personal intercourse.
            To sum up. The governing and higher classes of Georgia were men with sound hearts, minds and bodies; hardy of constitution and brave, truthful and frank of manner; generous and graceful in deportment;

--- PAGE 59---

courteous save when one subject was mentioned; educated and refined in mode of life; somewhat arrogant and disposed to walk the world with the Irishman's chip—in this case a very black chip—on the shoulder and dare the united world to touch, or even speak of it.
            There was genuine love for the Union. Not even the unmeasured devotion borne by South Carolina for John C. Calhoun, not the reverence and respect felt throughout Georgia for George M. Troup, could secure a working majority in either of those States to favor a dissolution of the Union. Not until 1860 was that majority attained, and then only by a wide-spread conviction that an absolute and entire change of a system—a system in which and upon which every pecuniary interest of the States rested—would surely follow the continued confederation.
            There is no error more prevalent, or more commonly believed, than that the ownership of slaves insured very large profits from the capital thus invested; yet it is true beyond controversy that the net dividends received from money so placed were comparatively small.
            A relative of my own, of most distinguished ability in agricultural pursuits and who had for fifty years administered as trustee a very large estate, has remarked to me that, as trustee, for forty years he had had in charge a large block of Schuylkill River bonds issued by the city of Philadelphia and

--- PAGE 60---

for the same number of years 600 slaves and 1500 acres of rice lands, and that the estate of Hamilton had received more from the bonds than from the Georgia investments.
            The records as left by him do not quite bear out this statement but approach very nearly to it, and we have to remember that the factor of deterioration might be very present in the mind of the speaker and yet not be apparent in the book accounts. And, again, the income was not constant but subject to the fluctuations due to seasons and prices.
            I submit a page of tables of expense and amount of sales as examples:

Long-Staple Cotton Plantation.

-------- 

Average of Expense Account and Amount of Sales
Hamilton Plantation, St. Simon.

Investment.
120 slaves; value--                               $54,000
800 acres land,                                     $16,000
stock, horses, mules,                             $2,000
boats, flats, &c.,                                   $2,000
                                                            $74,000

Average sales of Cotton, &c.,               $5,277

Expense Account.
Support of 120 slaves                           $2,200

--- PAGE 61---

This amount covers clothing,
shoes, blankets, food other than
there raised on plantation, phy-
sician's bills and miscellaneous,
and includes overseer and man-
ager; the average for 40 years.

 

less expense,                                        $2,200
less taxes,                                             $162                $2,362
                                                                                    $2,915

The valuation of slaves was
placed at $450 per capita. The
books show an annual increase
over the death rate of 4: at
$450,                                                                           $1,800

Total—(a little more than 6 per
cent)—                                                 $4,715             $4,715
           
            Again the same distinguished manager of great planting interests gives an itemized statement, showing the value in 1858 of lands, buildings, stock and slaves owned by a part of the Hamilton estate, in which a total of $271,000.00 is reached, the 372 slaves are valued at $350.00 each, the 800 acres of diked and banked rice lands at $75.00 per acre, the buildings, stock and general plant, at what they cost. None of these valuations can be considered too high. The whole 800 acres he states will be planted, from which he expects a crop of 36,880

--- PAGE 62---

bushels, which should bring, after deducting freight and commission, 80 cents per bushel; a gross revenue of $29,440.00.
            In another and more confidential paper, he places the cost of maintaining, clothing, shoeing, blanketing and providing food not raised on the plantation, and medical attendance at $15.00 per year to each slave,

Three hundred and seventy-two slaves  $5580.00
Salary of himself, as manager ($3500), and

            an overseer ($1500)                             $5000.00
Taxes, Insurance, etc                                        $1000.00
Miscellaneous, Charity, Church etc                   $300.00     
                                                             Total   $11880.00              Balance $17560.00

not 7% on the sum invested. The books show but a nominal increase, the births and deaths nearly balancing, and we must remember that this estimate was made by an exceptionally successful planter, having the use of unusually rich lands, and engaged in what was thought to be the most lucrative form of agriculture, with no debts or incumbrances to hamper industry. In these examples are demonstrated the truth, that money invested in slave property did not, in the older States, and especially on lands long worked, yield large returns, 7% being fully the general average. In the new States--in parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and the sections bordering

--- PAGE 63---

the great river, larger profits were secured; too often by methods not warranted by laws that should govern the heart and conscience: and so there grew up a steady and constant westward migration of this form of property. So early as 1838 Mrs. Fanny Kemble writes "that her husband, Mr. Pierce Butler, has thought of removing his large force of slaves, to middle Alabama, where he is informed great sums of money may be made." The phosphate beds of Carolina and Florida, the real foundation of the present agricultural prosperity, were unknown. The acres under cultivation were quickly exhausted of their primal fertility, the process of restoration was slow and required the use and ownership of large stocks of cattle, with the accompanying expense in capital and land, and thus there came a general and almost universal demand for new territory and fresher lands. This individual desire, by consolidation, became a political demand that the "Institution" should be received with its owners into all the Territories acquired by the Government, whether it be by cession or purchase—and which of a right should be open for settlement to every citizen of the United States, with the privilege to there transfer any or all property owned by them, in whatsoever form that property might be. The ordinance of 1787—adopted by Congress, even before the ratification of the Constitution—had long previously declared all territory lying north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi exempt from

--- PAGE 64---

this claim. That ordinance had been drawn by Mr. Jefferson, and contained the clause "That after the year 1800 there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any State or States that may be created from the lands lying within the limits above mentioned, otherwise than for the punishment of crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."
            Like the colonists of Georgia in 1739, Indiana had in 1803 petitioned Congress to be relieved from this anti-slavery ordinance. Three times did she repeat this petition. John Randolph of Roanoke, himself a slave owner, had been chairman of the committee to whom the petition was referred, and in his report recommending a denial to the prayer, he said, "That this labor, demonstrably the dearest of any, in his and the committee's opinion, was not necessary to Indiana, as shown by her sister State of Ohio, and that at no distant day Indiana would find ample remuneration for a temporary deprivation." But in 1820, owing to the purchase of the Louisiana country, a great extent of fertile land had become open to settlement, and it is to be noted that it was a territory that, at the time of purchase, recognized slavery as the law of the land, and the "Institution" as one of long usage within her limits. As the country filled rapidly with settlers the question as to the form of constitution to be adopted was soon raised, and first upon the admission of the Territory of Missouri as a State into the Union.

--- PAGE 65---

That State became a member of the Union, with her fundamental law allowing the existence of slavery within her limits, but by the same Congress a line was adopted, known as the "Missouri Compromise Line," running westwardly on the parallel of 36 degrees, 30 minutes, and extending to the limits of the United States. North of this line, no territory was to be admitted into the Union, but with laws prohibitory of slavery. South of the line, citizens should have entry with their property, and any State to be formed of such part, should be admitted into the Union, with a constitution that might or might not prohibit slavery, as the people of such territory "may" choose.
            It was believed that by this memorable enactment2 the irreconcilable differences in the faiths and beliefs of the two sections had been so adjusted and balanced as to remove their cause from future legislation. How unfounded was this confidence was soon to be shown--in truth, no legislation could keep pace with the marvelous expansion of the Western Country.
            Not until years after the adoption of the "Missouri Compromise Line" were the legislative halls disturbed by the clamors of sectionalism. In 1837 a petition from the State of Vermont, and other petitions from various societies and organizations, were presented, and introduced into the proceedings of the United States Senate, then in session.

2.  The effort was to prevent any controversy on the subject.

--- PAGE 66---

These petitions "prayed" for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and protested against any resolution or act that might favor a future annexation of the Republic of Texas: excited and angry members desired and demanded that they be returned to their makers, with votes of censure. Calmer members reminded their colleagues that the right of petition was inalienable and could not be denied. After too long a discussion, they were laid on the table, never to be acted on, but still fruitful of harm, for by them many angry words had been prompted, and worse still, much bitter feeling engendered. Not until 1845 was Texas admitted into the Union, and in the act of admission is found this clause: "Provided that any State, that may be formed of any portion of such territory lying south of the parallel 36 degrees, 30 minutes, shall be admitted into the Union, with laws allowing or prohibiting slavery, as the people of such State or Territory may choose—and any State lying north of said line shall, by its constitution, prohibit slavery, before admittance into the Union." The great area of the new State, capable of providing ample limits for the creation of four sovereign States all south of the "compromise line," had appealed with irresistible force to the leaders of a party anxious to increase, perpetuate, and solidify their present control of the Federal Government, and not less strongly to their constituents covetous of rich and new soil, from which greater returns might be reaped by their

--- PAGE 67---

"labor." In the admission of Texas the balance of senatorial power was for a time shifted, the Union being composed of fifteen pro-slavery and thirteen free States. The war with Mexico followed as a necessary corollary to the annexation, and by its successful termination and the expenditure of eighteen millions of dollars as purchase money, the United States found herself in possession of the great domain, and countless square miles embraced in the limits of New Mexico and California, an empire of undiscovered wealth stretching westward to the Pacific, a land in which the institution of slavery had been debarred by the power from which it had been ceded and purchased. Not until 1850 was the Government to be called on to act upon the admission of any State whose limits were within and whose lands were a part of this purchase, and in addition were south of the compromise boundary line.
            The years between 1845 and 1850 had been filled with party strife and rancor. Unable to find any solid ground for conflict in any act of the Government, each side sought opportunity to inflame the passions of its constituents. Among the most harmful measures, were the adoption or attempted adoption of "resolutions," resolutions necessarily nugatory in themselves since they carried no executive force or power, but powerful in furnishing the elements of party strife and controversy. On a bill appropriating three millions toward the purchase of New Mexico and California, David Wilmot of

--- PAGE 68---

Pennsylvania had added, "Provided that in no part of the territory acquired shall slavery ever be permitted." The proviso was not adopted and was struck off, but its after effects were far reaching and cannot be over-estimated. The rejected proviso became a fire brand with which to spread alarm in one section, and a banner under which the theorists of the North might rally. In the South, State conventions were called to consider what measures "were necessary to meet the danger threatened." In more than one instance conditional resolutions were adopted which pointed to disunion, as the inevitable result of what was termed federal aggression. These conventions had met, pursuant to a call, or what might be styled a manifesto, signed and issued by thirty-nine Senators and representatives from the South, among whom are the names of the two Senators from Georgia, Iverson and Lumpkin, and the address had closed with the words, "Entertaining these opinions, we earnestly entreat you to be united, and for that purpose adopt all necessary measures."
            In Georgia the convention was summoned to meet at Milledgeville, the then capital, in December, 1850. The crisis was such that it appeared certain, to the thoughtful, that as Georgia in solemn assembly determined, so would her sister States of the South and Southwest act.
            Mr. Thomas Spalding of Sapelo Island was requested to allow the use of his name as a delegate.

--- PAGE 69---

He was seventy-seven years of age, his health was poor and he was the last survivor of the framers of the State constitution of 1798. He answered that nothing could prevent him from using his last strength in an effort to preserve the Union,3 and at the same time save the honor of the State. He was elected without opposition, was chosen at the meeting of the assembly, president of the convention, and gave his large influence and weight of personal character toward the calming of excited members, and the moderating of the words used in debate. In his opening address, to which his long life and services to the State lent force, he had recommended a conservative and dignified course of action, and he succeeded in his hope of so influencing his fellow members as to free the adopted resolutions from any threat of a separation of the States. In his valedictory, upon the adjournment of the body, he was able to affirm his hope and belief, that "This convention had done much towards the preservation of the Union of States, and nothing that could imperil it." He died on his way, and before reaching, but in sight of, his island home, a home that he had

3.  Mr. Spalding's words were, "Gentlemen, I thank you for the honor. I think you should have at this time some intimation of my views on the subject upon which we meet. I unhesitatingly say to you that rather than see a separation of these States under whose Union we have so prospered for sixty-three years, I would prefer to see myself and all of mine buried under the sods of Georgia."—Savannah Georgian , January 10, 1851.
erected, low and massive, defiant, like the compact between the States, of storm and tempest, but fated to be now but a memory and a lesson. Such was the love of country that existed in Georgia before greed of place and power had displaced reason and sound judgment in the minds of the leaders, in both the North and the South.

--- PAGE 70---

            We read in Benton's "Thirty Years in the Senate" that on January 1, 1850, a leading paper of South Carolina wrote, "When the future historian shall address himself to the task of portraying the rise, progress, and decline of the American Union, the year 1850 will attract his attention as denoting the first marshaling and arraying of those hostile forces, which resulted in the dissolution of the Union." No statement, so far as it relates to the marshaling and arraying of the forces, could be more true. By that time and even before that date, the mass of the Southern people, and especially the young and ardent, had been taught and trained by their political leaders to expect and in a measure to desire a separation of the States. They were told that in that alone could safety and security be found for a form of property to which they were wedded and attached, to the utter obliteration of all other interests, and by that time the people of the North and West had determined that in no event was there to be any further expansion into a new State of a system in opposition to which the element of sentiment, the consciousness of growing

--- PAGE 71---

power, and hope of national supremacy had been crystallized into a resolute unanimity, and opposition to any future extension. It was not difficult to divine to which side ultimate victory would ensue. The forces of the North were continually recruited by armies of emigrants, who with marvelous rapidity filled the territories and new lands of the West, fraternizing in temper, sentiment, and political faith with the "Mover in" from the New England or Middle States; and had even the inviolability of the "Compromise" been respected such would have been the character of the citizenship of any new State as to have ensured a "prohibitory" form of the fundamental laws to be adopted, for the population of the South was not sufficient to allow a margin for emigration great enough to become a dictating factor in the character of any new State, or Territory about to become a State.
            In the Congress of 1850 and 1851, Mr. Clay had brought forward new measures for a lasting compromise, the adoption of which the dying statesman declared with pathetic earnestness was necessary to the life of the country. Almost the first resolution read, "Resolved, That as slavery does not exist now, by law, and is not likely to be introduced into any part of the territory acquired by the United States from the Republic of Mexico, it is inexpedient for Congress to provide by law, either for its introduction into, or exclusion from, any part of said territory." Mr. Davis, Senator from

--- PAGE 72---

Mississippi, had answered for the South: "I here assert that never will I take less than the Missouri line, with the specific right to hold slaves south of that line extended to the Pacific."
            Mr. Clay, speaking for the border States, had responded, "And now, sir, coming from a slave State, I owe it to myself, I owe it to the subject, to say, that no earthly power could induce me to vote for a specific measure for the introduction of slavery where it has not before existed, whether it be south or north of that line."
            The glove was cast and lifted by the respective champions, the challenge was accepted, the lists and field of conflict was to be the bill for the admission of the State of California. In his last speech Mr. Calhoun briefly stated, "If you who represent the stronger portion can not agree to settle on the broad principles of justice and duty, say so, and let the States we represent agree to separate in peace. If you remain silent you compel us to infer by your acts, what you intend in that case--California will become the test question." Mr. Calhoun was in his grave, in the shadow of stately St. Phillips, when, by a vote of 32 to 24, California became one of the United States of America. Her admission with her form of law marked the date from which a separation or attempted separation became inevitable. With varying fortunes, attempted compromises, and real concessions, the controversy had extended over a period of thirty years. The admission

--- PAGE 73---

of this Western State, south of the line which had marked the limit of 1820, was the very "Crowning mercy vouchsafed" to those whose watchwords had been "restriction not extension," and insured to them the future command in the Senate of the United States, and made certain that from henceforth there could be no enlargement of policies which the leaders of the Southern sections had made the test questions of their political future. From now on they must ever remain in a helpless minority.
            I have thus written that the reader might realize how great was the pressure personally, and of environment, toward a division of the Union, or a secession of States. A proud and powerful portion of the country, hitherto largely dominant in a Union they had greatly helped to build, and whose foundations they had laid, found themselves, through the altered spirit of the age, destined to be silent factors in the councils of the Nation.
            Two roads only were open to them, one to fall back and retire into the impregnable fortress of the "Compact with the States," and surrendering the hope of extension, to there await the onset, an onset which certainly would have met with defeat, through desertion and disaffection. But this would have required from the leaders then in office an absolute resignation of all hopes of personal advancement, or the holding of power. The other pathway shewed down a shadowed vista, a possible peaceful

--- PAGE 74---

secession of ten or twelve States, and offered the establishment of a Confederacy, with a probable after accession of Cuba and Nicaragua, and in addition it appealed to the pride of the masses, and held in view the honor and place of a President to be contended for, with Cabinet officers, and foreign appointments for distribution. No course but one of these two was open to wise choice. Every other that led away from the cross-roads marked "California" was but a by-way, lengthening the journey, concealing the final end, and sure to lead back to one or the other of the great highways.
            From 1853 to 1859 Georgia journeyed over a roadway the mile stones on which were marked "Repeal of Missouri Compromise," "Congress no power to legislate on slavery," "Passage of Nebraska Bill," and finally "Dred Scott," a decree which forced the declaration of an "Irrepressible conflict," and from which, in turn, was the inherent and latent right of secession to be given life and formed into the Confederate States of America. In Georgia the leaders, Toombs, Stephens and Cobb, who in 1849 had kept the State faithful to the Union, were now divided as to what action was expedient, but unanimous in declaring that a crisis in the national life had been arrived at.
            Toombs in burning words, and with superb presence, appeared to all men as the very genius of a revolution. To his aid Cobb brought his knowledge of men, and his mastership over men's hearts. Stephens, Hill and Johnson pleaded for time and reflection,

--- PAGE 75---

and counseled the awaiting of some overt act or legislation tending thereto. At one time it looked as though the massive intellect of Johnson had raised a barrier over which the wave of secession could never rise--but this was not to be. William R. Yancey summoned every man of Southern birth, irrespective of State lines, to answer to his name on a common muster ground, and forwarded the "fiery cross" from the Rio-Grande to the northern border of Virginia. The air was vibrant and tremulous with expectation of a new birth; a great comet blazed on the horizon, spanning thirty degrees of the sky, and to the imaginative boding war and disaster; but to whom? was the question--surely victory to us will mean loss to our enemies.
            In these years of controversy the people also had altered. In the North the constitutional guarantee of slavery, affirmed by the decree of the Supreme Court, meant only a concession that slavery should not be interfered with, where it now existed, by Congressional action; not that it should receive Congressional protection from partisan attack. In the South the ruling manhood of the States had lost all reverence or love for the General Government, and to a growing number of the young, thoughtless and arrogant, it seemed easy to divide the States, organize a Confederacy, conquer and annex Cuba, Nicaragua and Honduras, and openly or covertly re-open the trade with Africa: the parent cause of this very difference and issue, but in which they saw wealth, success, and self-indulgence.

--- PAGE 76---

            Such was the number and character of the population of the country when the year 1860 drew to its close, and 1861, big with the momentous issues of the coming events, cast its shadow upon a people absolutely ignorant and unheedful of the gravity of the situation.
            I say "ignorant," in the sense of being, as a mass, totally unaware of the immense superiority in numbers and resources of the States which opposed them, and ignorant of the fact that it takes years and years of careful preparation to amass and gather the material with which to wage a successful war. In lieu of arms they had confidence in their own marksmanship, tried and proved in woodland sports. In the place of numbers they had an unfounded belief that each Southern soldier would equal a platoon of the Northern invaders. Skilfully led up to the fever-point of Secession by two superbly gifted orators who, with tongues of fire, declaimed in every district of the State, and again and again foretold and promised a bloodless revolution, the State on January 19, 1861, declared herself freed from the bonds of the Union.
            If, hitherto, there had been division as to the advisability, there was none as to the right of this action. With its announcement there came an entire unanimity. It was as though from mountain to ocean there had flashed an electric spark, so strong in intensity and fervent in heat as to dissipate or recreate every thought that did not beat true

--- PAGE 77---

to State sovereignty and lift that doctrine high above every federal compact and law. The young men clamored to be enrolled in the volunteer soldiery. The trained officers native to the State sheathed their swords and resigned their commissions. The old gave their approval and pledged themselves for the care of those left behind. None believed war inevitable, but all stood expectant, awaiting the coming of events. All classes—the rich and the poor, the richer and the poorest—mustered side by side, every man hopeful and confident of the result should the fateful order of "forward march" be given.
            With 1861 came four years of matchless endeavor to create a nation; from crude natural resources to develop ordnance and war material sufficient to supply a half million of men at arms; from one, or, at most, two foundries, to cast cannon and shell with which to arm a hundred forts and vessels of war; from caves, until then unknown, to dig sulphur and nitre with which to manufacture powder and explosive; with hand looms and a few, very few factories, to clothe twelve millions of men, women and children, and with the labor of three millions of slaves to feed four times their number; with the added waste of a war throughout which an army of invaders pressed in on every border--surely, if ever faith manifested itself it was in those days and those years.
            The South, to a man—ah, even to the man-child

--- PAGE 78---

—was in arms. As the lad of sixteen reached his birth date the mother laid her sacred and trembling lips to his brow, bade him god-speed, and hurried him to fill the place of some dead or crippled kinsman or brother. Indolence fled, and, in its stead, there was born a glorious belief in the justice of the cause and the eventual sure success of their arms. No laggard, unless he indeed were dead to shame, could face the accusing eyes of mother, wife or sweetheart. They formed the last and true reserve to the armies in the field. They sent forward recruits gathered from "the cradle and the grave" to skeleton battalions, and they cheered sinking hearts by a steadfast assurance of final victory. By them the want of every comfort and necessary of life was borne without a murmur and met with a smile. To them are due the noblest memories connected with the history of the Confederacy.
            Victories—alas, barren of results—came at first in unbroken succession, until finally, depleted in number to a handful, without food or munition of war, unshod and half clothed, the fragment that once was "The Army of Northern Virginia" surrendered on the 9th day of April, 1865. And so ended the long and heroic struggle--throughout which deep-rooted convictions of guaranteed constitutional rights had been arrayed in hopeless conflict against the spirit of the age and the awakened conscience of mankind--through which and by whom a barrier has been built, over which foreign

--- PAGE 79---

intervention could never pass, not even when prompted by every material interest.
            It was my lot, as captain of Company G, First Georgia Regulars, Anderson's Brigade, D. R. Jones' Division, Longstreet's Corps,4 to serve with that army, and the remembrances of those days and years are fixed in my mind and my heart, as were they in the passing spirits of the two great leaders, one of whom died with the order, "Tell Hill to cross the river and rest in the shade"; while Lee's last words were: "Say to A. P. Hill to move forward."
            With the fall of the Confederacy there came to many despair, for never in the history of the world had a whole people--every one, with scarce an exception--been reduced to a universal poverty. The whole system of industry had been based on the permanence in value of slave holdings. They had formed the collateral, in numberless transactions, the maturing of which business obligations had been extended by State laws and on which now not only payment became due, but interest for five years. This slave labor had been the basis of all credits and all industries. Robert Toombs

4.  The battle flag of the First Georgia Regiment is in the custody of the Georgia Historical Society, having been there deposited by its last Colonel, R. A. Wayne, the best and bravest soldier I have ever seen. Upon it is painted the names of the battles in which the regiment took part--"Lewnville, Dam No. 1, Williamsburg, Peach Orchard, Savage Station, Malvern Hill, 2nd Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Lake City, O'Lustee, John's Island, Evacuation of Savannah, Cheraw, Bentonville.

--- PAGE 80---

had said: "Gold, in its last analysis, is but the sweat of the laborer's brow"; and trebly true was the saying, of this Southern and purely agricultural region. In the necessarily excited feeling of one race, fields and lands that, until then, had yielded great returns, laid idle, reverting to swamp and forest, whilst the former tillers—more than three-fifths of the number of the inhabitants—awaited their expected "mule and forty acres," supporting themselves by petty theft and chance employment, and reveling in idleness. By the act of a madman and criminal5 the South was delivered over to the theories of Charles Sumner and the envenomed hatred of Thad. Stevens. The magnanimity shown in the terms of surrender dictated by Grant, and approved by Lincoln, was dissipated in the fierce heat of partisan controversy, and the crime of the 14th and 15th amendments was attached to the Constitution.
            Through these amendments a race, knowing not even the elements of government or order, was placed, by the disfranchisement of a majority of the whites, in absolute control of the legislative halls, and became masters of the State. Such travesties

5.  In an article on Julius Cæsar, found in the Brittanica Encyclopedia, I read: "Those who excuse or deify Brutus, as some did during the French Revolution, know little of Roman history. Dante has been a better judge. The divine poet relates to us with appalling realism, that in the center of the earth, in the bottom of the pit of hell, Lucifer holds in his three mouths the three greatest malefactors the world has even seen—Brutus, Cassius and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed his master with a kiss."

--- PAGE 81---

of legislation had never been witnessed. Such reckless issuance of State bonds and promises to pay had never before been thrown on the market. Not until 1870 did the white race regain control--and of the manner and in what way it was regained, it is right and best that those who were actors therein and those who have knowledge thereof should keep silent. Suffice it to say, the State's life and her honor demanded the price, for, without it, even "honor was lost."
            And so we reap "The Harvest" gathered by the offspring of those who clamored, in 1739, for "the one thing needful" to the growth of the colony; and in the result there is nothing that falsifies the "protest and declaration" made by the men of "New Inverness."
            "Nor in justice can we think otherwise of it but that they are thrown amongst us to be our scourge one day or another. And we therefore pray, for our own sakes, our wives, our posterity," &c., &c.
            "The Harvest" has shown that, after many years, the foretold "one day or another" had arrived; that the "scourge" had fallen, and, with it, a ruined and impoverished land cried out in witness to the fruit of the "Seeding."

            "The sessamon was sessamon, the corn was corn;
            He cometh, Reaper of the things he sowed.
            Sessamon, corn, so much cast, in past birth,
            And so much weed and poison stuff.
            " -- "Light of Asia."

--- PAGE 82---

III.  THE AFTERMATH

        From 1865 to 1870 the fields from which had been reaped the fateful harvests of the sixties lay either fallow or unproductive. From the inexperience of employers in the management of a disorganized labor, and from the "cost of borrowed capital" loaned on call, little more could have been hoped for. Yet some foundations had been laid upon which industry might rebuild former prosperity, for immediately after 1866 citizens of the North had been very generous in their aid. Capitalists, moved by the mixed motives of a hope of gain and the laudable ambition of re-creating this section of a common country, had jeopardized great sums in internal improvements. Friends and relatives, estranged for years, had hastened to give or advance largely of their means to those to whom misfortune had come. Too often were these sums sunk without real benefit to giver or receiver, not from culpable extravagance or dishonesty, but from the inability to meet conditions which it had been impossible for either party correctly to measure. The inherited habits of generations could not be

--- PAGE 83---

laid aside at the bidding of a "pocket journal of daily expenses" (about the only books that were kept); nor would the newly made freedman recognize the obligation that followed his "contract of hire," nor that his yearly or monthly wage could only be made good by the sweat of his brow.
            It was in those years that the measures most harmful and distasteful to the South were formulated by Congress into laws. Had the South simply been let alone, the passions created by the war and fostered long previous to that struggle would soon have disappeared. The personal freedom of the colored race being secured, the accompanying benefit to much the larger number of the white citizens of the State would shortly have been recognized. The loss of property, immense as it was, had fallen on a class greatly outnumbered in every election return. The opportunities offered for the creation of new business relations were the same to all, and to many the war had been in itself an education, in which reliance upon one's own energy had been taught; and to some the habit of command had become natural. No doubt, for a time, sympathy with those who, until now, had controlled political action might have ruled in the minds of many; but sympathy, strong as is its effect upon men, has but a short term of life, and all legislative action would have been in the hands of men open to new ideas, new convictions and new situations. The equal chances for advancement offered to everyone,

--- PAGE 84---

more especially to that large majority of white citizens whose lives had been, till now, clouded by the contact with the now emancipated race, and the dominancy of their owners, would have insured loyalty and love in lieu of the sullen acceptance of defeat,—which, at first, was too evident.
            But this fair and hoped-for end was not to be attained. The theories and policies of Sumner and Stevens were adopted. A U. S. general, with his attendant troops, was sent to govern the State. Amendments to the Constitution were passed, which, by declaring the absolute equality of the two races, in fact made certain the eventual annihilation of the colored vote in all practical legislation. Race antipathy was stirred; and while, at first, threats and intimidation were the weapons used on a people not yet free-men in spirit or courage, it was soon perceived that some legal process would be safer and more effectual.
            And so there came about the creation of what was termed the "White Primary," an organization by which the Democratic party has made victory certain throughout the Southern States, and from which was born the "Solid South."
            Some words are here necessary to explain from what cause and in what way this strong party weapon was able to overcome all opposition and insure a unanimity of purpose and action from all white citizens of Georgia.
            First. The population of the State in 1868 was

--- PAGE 85---

nearly 54 per cent white and 46 per cent colored. By the calling of a primary to which none but white voters were eligible, the pride of race was appealed to, so as to force into the Democratic ranks all who felt the tie of their blood. To do otherwise would have been to ally themselves, in a weak minority, with an overwhelming plurality of colored electors.
            Thirty days or more prior to any State or county election each and every candidate for office submitted his claims to a vote in the Primary, supervisors and magistrates for which were duly appointed by the authorities; and he bound himself and his supporters to abide by the result. In fact, endorsement by the voters in the primary became a prerequisite to any candidacy in either a State, district or county election. The members of that organization being limited to the white race, their whole vote was necessarily cast for one candidate, a member of the organization. There could be no division of strength by contesting aspirants. And when to the actual majority was added the percentage that could be drawn by money and the natural influence of employers, the party power became certain and overwhelming.
            And in this manner and by this organization were the numbers, weight of influence and intelligence of one race so vivified and animated as to make the late federal amendments to the Constitution absolutely null and of no effect. Every effort toward their enforcement drew closer the bonds which bound

--- PAGE 86---

their opponents in a close and irresistible union—a union composed of seven States of the South, and aggregating one hundred and sixty votes in the electoral college, fourteen Senators and eighty members of Congress.
            With the assurance of white supremacy came a New South, a South that turned all its energies to the rebuilding of the State and the laying of a solid foundation upon which business prosperity could rise. A new constitution was adopted and ratified, one which guarded the interests of the people by limiting the rate of taxation and defining the amounts and the issuing of bonds by State, county or city. Mindful of the need of education and recognizing the prevalent illiteracy, now supplemented by the absolute ignorance of the newly enfranchised citizen, the legislature of 1872 pledged one-third of the whole yearly revenue to the support of a system of free schools. Separate schools were created for the races, but the pro rata in the distribution of the fund was the same irrespective of color, and this was done when the tax collected from the freed-man did not amount to one per cent of the money appropriated. Railroads which heretofore had been separate corporations, with lines having neither proper connections nor terminals, were merged into "systems" which united the points of production with the centers of consumption and manufacture. Aid was extended to the State University, and every effort was made to encourage the colleges

--- PAGE 87---

that had been founded by the religious denominations in years prior to the war.
            Gradually the character of the people has changed with their new surroundings. Emulation and ambition have appeared in the sons of men who had been content with illiteracy; their descendants are found always at the schools, and many are seeking and have gained honor at the colleges. Indolence has become a stigma, and a readiness to seize all opportunities for advancement has marked the upward tendency of a class who hitherto had given little promise to the future. The excessive use of alcoholic drinks has greatly lessened; indeed, it should be the proudest boast of the prohibition party that they have created the feeling among young men of the present day that it is "bad form" to drink at all: in my youth it would have been termed effeminate not to do so.
            The home capital of the State is steadily increasing. Great banks with sufficient means to furnish the money necessary for large enterprises, if not common, are not infrequent; and our State and our people are now no longer altogether dependent on Eastern or Northern capital. All this has been the fruit of the patient labor of a people who in 1866 had seen little promise in the coming years.
            To one who has known the people of the South prior to 1865 there is nothing so fruitful in hope and more productive of thought than the rapid upward progress in education, manner and mode of life

--- PAGE 88---

made by that very large portion of her citizens that has hitherto been known as "The Cracker," "The Pinelander," or as "Poor white trash." No writer on, or traveler through, the South has failed to make note of them. Their mode of living stained the fairest diary of travel. Gilmore Simms, in his Revolutionary tales, portrays their characteristics in no flattering colors; and yet, in Horry's Life of General Marion, we read of an interview between Baron de Kalb and the General, during which the latter said:
            "The people of Carolina form two classes, the rich and the poor. The poor are very poor, because, not being necessary to the rich, who have slaves, they get no employment, and, being unemployed, they continue poor and care not for the country. As to the rich, they are afraid of their losses should the British burn their houses and carry off their negroes and stock. And so we get no recruits.

Mrs. Kemble says in her Journal, page 146:

            These are the so-called "pine landers" of Georgia,—I  suppose the most degraded race of human beings claiming an Anglo-Saxon origin that can be found on the face of the earth. They own no slaves, for they are almost without exception abjectly poor, and will not work, for that they conceive would reduce them to an equality with the abhorred negro.

            Olmstead writes:

--- PAGE 89---

            Among the people inhabiting the pine forests, clearly a majority of the white population, are a class of uneducated, poverty-stricken vagabonds. I mean by vagabonds, simply people without habitual and definite occupation or reliable means of livelihood. They will own or pre-empt a few acres of unproductive, or what is considered here worthless, land. They build a log cabin; clear a small patch for corn or potatoes; own swine that roam the woods, and, it may be, a small bunch of cattle. With them life has no future. The women take such care as they deem right of the home and garden plot, and the men hunt game in the winter and fish in summer.

            In the year 1909 the offspring of these very men have forged to the front throughout the State. They have been quick to grasp opportunities for the improving of their fortunes, and many are now men of far more than comfortable means. They send their daughters to the best institutions for education, and their sons to the State University or business colleges. To a large extent they are representative of the best element of the State. By their new environment a new man has been created; shrewdness has been developed, industry has grown; but, as yet, the higher senses of honor and reliability remain either unfelt or, if felt, lie dormant for the present in breasts to which in future years will come a finer culture, and, with that, a higher appreciation of the value of personal character.
            As for those and their descendants who bore the

--- PAGE 90---

losses incurred by the Emancipation—victims, as they were, of an inscrutable judgment to be awarded by the sword—it becomes me to speak with a reverence born of love and a common blood. They were true to their inherited beliefs and the teachings of years. They contended for what they believed were rights guaranteed their fathers, and by them transmitted, in trust, to their children. Unmindful of the years that had rolled by and of the ages in thought, they essayed, with the mere words of a legal document, to estay the convictions of the world and the birth of a new people,—unmindful that there is a power divine which is fixed and moves to good:
            "It maketh and unmaketh, mending all;
            What it has wrought is better than hath been.
            Its threads are love and life; and death and pain
            The shuttles of its loom."

            They appealed to the sword, and they have accepted the award as not only final but as one creative of a finer type of the general manhood of the State than was possible under the old order; that is to say, a higher average of education and intelligence has been produced by the altered social and educational conditions under which they live; for, while their own individual rate has been lowered, by the uplifting of a much more numerous class the net result of the whole has been immensely raised, and there can now be found no one so bound by tradition or so narrowed in nature, as not to feel in his

--- PAGE 91---

heart that all that has come to pass has worked for the bettering of the people as a mass and a whole.
            Nor can any deny that the men of Appomattox, who found no homes to receive them and only destroyed farms to restore, have built from the ruins of a State a commonwealth greater by far than that which had preceded it.
            To the race composing near one-half the population to whom has been given freedom—not from toil, but liberty of person and the right to hold and enjoy the fruits of their labor—has come, in addition, hazards and responsibilities in life that call for the exercise of the greatest patience and self-control. Their danger lies in their own number, which prompts the unthinking to overweening estimates of their own strength, a strength which has already been discounted in all practical legislation, and is only realized in the labor unions which, until recently, have been unknown in the cities and workshops of the South. To them, the old maxim of their race, "Wait, oh wait," is now more especially to be counselled.

SUCH HAS BEEN THE AFTERMATH OF THE SEEDING AND THE HARVEST

            A Commonwealth more than doubled in numbers; cities quadrupled in population, wealth and taxable values; education more general and yearly increasing; a white citizenship emancipated from the bonds

--- PAGE 92---

of a fatal environment, and in the year 1909 a generation of men and, more marvelous, of women, loyal to the Great Republic and proud of her stand amongst the nations,--a generation whose hearts beat true to the notes of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," which daily sways in the morning air from the halls of every schoolroom,—a generation who, in their loyalty to the present and to the future, are not disloyal or forgetful of the faith that moved their fathers, and has transformed defeat into what we know as "The Lost Cause," a cause that has been hallowed by a poverty nobly borne, made sacred by the blood that has flowed, and consecrated in memories that breathe only of courage, constancy and endurance.

 

--- PAGE 93---

IV.  THE PILOTS

            In the chapters that have been written the dangers encountered and partial wrecking of the State have been told. The voyage of one hundred and thirty years was ended. The ship which had been freighted with such fair and noble ideals as "Not for thyself but for others," and the self-denying ordinances adopted by the trustees; the decks of which had been paced, and whose beams had echoed to the daily prayers of John and Charles Wesley, "Loyola"-like souls, whose hearts "burned to lead the heathen into the ways of civilization and the paths of Godliness," had soon met disaster, for the crew had found it expedient to flotsam the larger and nobler portion of the cargo. George Whitfield, the gifted orator, man-of-affairs, and evangelist, had counseled, assisted and directed the movement. Habersham, the epitome of business sagacity, had given his aid. The representatives of Savannah, and all outlying districts, had concurred and approved. Only the fervid Celt of Darien and the sturdy German of Ebenezer had remained true to their indentures, as it was written in their shipping articles.

--- PAGE 94---

            I shall now endeavor to recall the names of those who, as masters of the deck, or as pilots at the helm, gave out the courses to be sailed, pored over the chart and guided the "Empire State" as she made way into an uncertain future.
            Of James Edward Oglethorpe, her builder and first Governor, no words but those of grateful and unstinted praise can be written. He was the embodiment of courage and resolution, and had the rare power of infusing with his own high spirit all who acted under and with him. Indian hostility was transformed by his presence into friendly association, and threatening savage tribes became faithful and devoted allies. Industry and self-abnegation marked every day of his stay in Georgia. Distances were not measured, or hardships to be endured considered, if his presence was to be to the advantage or the safety and interests of those he had led to this primal world "Where wild Altama murmured to their woe."
            He added not one dollar to his private fortune by his stay in a new land, for save and except a modest home on St. Simon's, of the thousands of square miles that through him were ceded or sold to the white man, not one acre was reserved or appropriated to himself. Unlike William Penn, he retired to his English home, landless and with no lordly fortune carved from a Western empire.

--- PAGE 95---

Great as were his labors, pure and disinterested as was his life, he has yet not passed into history as an accepted hero, builder of states, or even as a philanthropist. Boswell says Dr. Johnson remarked of him, "Sir, Oglethorpe never completes anything." So when in 1743 he left Georgia, he bade farewell to an unfinished work. Yet it is of him that Dr. Oliver Holmes writes, "His was the first example in modern times of the founder of a colony who lived to see that colony recognized by the world and by the Mother Country, as a sovereign and independent power." In the sixty-five thousand square miles that make the State of Georgia, no stone, no tablet commemorating his labor, or sacred to his name, was erected until 1903, when the Daughters of the American Revolution of Brunswick, Georgia, lifted a granite cross, which bears upon its tablet,"

In memory of
James Edward Oglethorpe
Founder of the Province of Georgia
Philanthropist and lover of his fellow-men
Most ardently, of those of poor estate"

            Of the two royal governors who succeeded him, Reynolds and Ellis, there is nothing of moment to relate, and nothing is recorded greater than a wearisome detail of the granting of lands and the growth of Indian discontent. To the third, Sir James Wright, whose fate it was to defend and support the measures adopted by a home government incapable

--- PAGE 96---

of weighing either the temper or the strength of the colonies, we owe both sympathy and respect. Assuming the governorship in 1760, the material interests of the province had been fostered, and Indian invasions and hostility had been checked, but in 1765 bills for the taxation of the North American provinces had aroused anger and discontent which grew by 1774 and 1775 into an open confederation with those provinces whose wishes were for absolute independence. Governor Wright's large fortune ($160,000) was confiscated and sold for the benefit of the new State. He himself, with his very numerous friends and supporters, lost the proceeds of years of thrift and industry, and were banished from the soil of Georgia. Great division of opinion prevailed. Family ties were broken. Alexander Wylly, Speaker of the Assembly of that date, clung to the Royal cause; his brother, Richard, to the "Republican or patriot" side. The McIntoshes of Tombigbee, and of the elder house of "Moy," through John McIntosh, Lachlan McGilveray and Roderick McIntosh were faithful to the King, whose "salt they had eaten." The McIntoshes of Borlam, now of Darien, were ardent republicans. James Spalding claimed neutrality, but his partner in business, Roger Kelsal, a retired army officer, raised a royal company, and he was driven from the State.
            At McIntosh Bluff on the Tombigbee River, near its confluence with the Alabama River, is found the

--- PAGE 97---

home of Captain John McIntosh, and with him his eccentric uncle, Roderick, a daughter, and a son, William, also an officer in the British Army; and other sons who died early in life. The daughter, Catherine, married George Troup. Pickett, in his history of Alabama, says that George Troup was an officer in the British Army. Major Wm. J. McIntosh, of "Fair Hope," McIntosh County, a cousin of Catherine Troup, and a near neighbor to him when he resided at and owned Belleville, McIntosh County, says, "He had been extensively engaged in commercial pursuits, and was a person of much polish and literary acquirement." His son, afterwards Governor George M. Troup, in a letter to Pickett, writes, "I actually know nothing of my father's life, and have no record except the births and deaths recorded in his family Bible." The mother of Catherine Troup was Marian McGilveray, of Inverness, Scotland, and a frequent visitor to her husband's home was Lachlan McGilveray, British Agent to all the Indian Nations from the Ohio to the Atlantic and Gulf. In an old letter book of Mr. Spalding's I read, "And those, who like myself, have known this highbred couple, can well understand how a transmuted refinement must cling to a family, even when the adventitious gifts of fortune have been taken away."
            George Michael Troup, the eldest son of George Troup, is historically the most important personage of his State between 1801 and 1839-1852. No

--- PAGE 98---

Governor of Georgia, until 1861, has had to meet questions of such moment, and lay out the policies to be followed. His gift of prescience and foresight of dangers to be met was of inestimable value to the people he served. His resolution and courage was adamantine. His addresses to the different convening State Assemblies, when read in the twentieth century, startle a thinker with a conception of "what might have been" had his counsel been adopted and carried to its legitimate end. Senator Hoar, of Massachusetts, in his published reminiscences alludes, without mentioning his name, to the "success of his policies" had they been adopted by the people of Georgia.
            From the McIntoshes of Borlam, now of Darien, came Lachlan, the first general officer from the State to be commissioned by Congress; his elder brother, William, colonel of cavalry and first to hold that rank under State authority; his son, John McIntosh, lieutenant colonel of the only regiment of infantry raised by the State and offered and received into the Continental service, and others of the same name, who in after years wore the badge of the "Cincinnati," so much to the credit of the parish of St. Andrews.
            In the Medway, or St. John's settlement, there was entire unanimity. Every one of these zealous lovers of religion and of liberty were outspoken in words, and ready to support their words with deeds. Patriots in hearts, they were ready to peril life and

--- PAGE 99---

goods in the cause of liberty. Had it not been for the weight of their influence, it is quite possible that the energy of Governor Wright, with his official strength and patronage, might for a time have held the province aloof from the confederation and loyal to the crown.
            In Savannah, the republicans or "Patriots" were led by Noble W. Jones, John Houston, Archibald Bulloch and George Walton. Under the call of these four distinguished men, the first meeting in favor of avowed and open resistance was held at the Tondee tavern on July 14, 1774, and a liberty pole raised amid the cheers and speeches of an attending crowd.
            Steadily dissatisfaction grew, but Georgia's position toward England was peculiar and unique when compared to that of the other provinces. She had been the youngest and most favored colony, and had received large grants of money in aid of her maintenance and for supporting her defense. Many of her wealthiest and most respected citizens had at one time or another held offices of trust and emolument under the home government. Her population was small and extremely scattered. Westward and northward she was watched by Indian tribes, sure to be pledged as allies of the British forces should war be declared. Of manufactories she was destitute. But the Patriots were aggressive and confident. In their ranks were found all the young and adventurous, hopeful of attaining distinction and influence,

--- PAGE 100---

and they were counseled and led by men of determination, patriotism and matured wisdom1.  In the Tory or Royal party, lethargy prevailed, the lethargy that comes with an attained competence and years of ease. Many sought to conceal their faith behind a pretended conservatism, or an avowed neutrality. On May 10, 1775, the news of Lexington—"the shot that echoed around the world"—came, and on the night following the first overt act in Georgia, of a rebellion to be afterwards ennobled into a Revolution, was enacted. Noble W. Jones, Joseph Habersham and Edward Telfair, with a few followers, broke into the King's Magazine, seized five hundred pounds of powder there stored, and it is said sent the same to be used by the guns at Bunker Hill. Governor Wright was arrested by a self-appointed committee and confined to his house. He broke his parole and took refuge, with the help of Mr. Mulryne, aboard a British man-of-war. For a short

1.  During the second week in January, 1775, a district congress was held by the inhabitants of St. Andrew's Parish (now Darien), in which a series of resolutions were passed embodying with great force and earnestness the views of the free-holders of that large and flourishing parish. The resolutions were six in number. The first expresses their approbation "of the conduct of the loyal and brave people of Boston" and their acquiescence in all the resolutions of the American Congress." The fifth expresses "our disapprobation and abhorrence of the unnatural practice of slavery in America, and our purpose to urge the manumission of our slaves in this Colony." (Stevens: "Georgia," Vol. II, page 87.) Signed--Lachlan McIntosh, George Threadcraft, John McIntosh, and some thirty more names.

--- PAGE 101---

period the Council of Safety, with Mr. Bulloch as President, presided over the whole territory, passing many bills or ordinances for the raising of troops, and acts that banished from the State, and confiscated the property of such persons as they judged were friendly to the former government.
            The invasion, from Florida, of General Prevost, with the landing of Colonel Campbell on Tybee Island, the capture of Savannah and after advance to Augusta, gave for a time an absolute supremacy to the Royal cause, the State authority having been restricted to the one County of Wilkes. Confiscatory bills were passed by both sides. At almost every meeting of the now fugitive State Assembly, some citizen was denounced and exile pronounced. Two hundred and eighty persons of reputation and means were proscribed, and their estates declared forfeited to the government. In many cases the rigor of the law was extended to "their heirs and assigns." How great this proportion, will be realized when we learn that in Pennsylvania, with her large population, but ninety-eight were proscribed; in Virginia but a few and in New York none. The close of the war found the new government triumphant in arms and principle, but bankrupt of all assets except the public land, whose value was yet unknown.
            The men who had distinguished themselves by energy and courage during the war became naturally the leaders in the days of peace. It was his deserved fame as a soldier that gave to James Jackson,

--- PAGE 102---

as of a right, the power to greatly influence the growth and character of the State.
            Successive governors were chosen and elected, whose very names have now been forgotten. Their duties were chiefly the forging into shape, and bringing into practical working the still inchoate State government. The Federal Union was effected by the adoption and ratification of the Constitution of the United States. Senators and Representatives took their seats, and the great wheel of a government "of the people, for the people and by the people" turned on an axis that rested on the expressed will of the citizens of the entire thirteen States.
            In 1793 Governor Mathews had been elected to the Chief Magistracy in Georgia. A Virginian by birth, a gallant soldier of Morgan's Corps, his reputation was spotless. But on December 24, 1794, a bill had been passed by the legislature then sitting in Augusta. This bill was entitled, An act providing for the sale of the Western Territory to several Companies. On January 7 it was presented to the Governor and signed by him. By its provisions thirty-five millions of acres, as then estimated, now known to have been eighty millions, were sold to four companies for the sum of five hundred thousand dollars, or less than one cent per acre. By the publication of the act and the knowledge of the signing of the warrants, every part of the State was roused into indignation. Grand jury presentments demanded

--- PAGE 103---

that the interests of the people should be protected. Judges and men of influence declared that both fraud and bribery had been used in effecting the passage and signature of the act. Wm. H. Crawford, the foremost Georgian of his day, declaimed in private and publicly against such an abuse of the legislative power, and asserted that the legislature had exceeded its just powers in selling the public domain. James Jackson, Senator at Washington, resigned his seat and office and hastened to Savannah to offer himself as a candidate for legislative powers. He was elected from Chatham County, and consecrated his life toward the rescinding of the bill, and the annulment of the act. Judge Beverley Evans, of the Supreme Court of Georgia, has published an elaborate account of the "Yazoo Speculators," as it is termed by him. The facts as told by him are indisputable. With his conclusions some may differ, for even the argument of Jackson before the rescinding legislature might have served as a brief for the counsel of the United States in 1824. The affidavits to the acceptance of bribes by members of the legislature, ordered "to be engrossed in the journals of the House, so as to be forever preserved," lack strength and directness, and are in general rambling assertions of conversations, heard or overheard. In truth, the conviction of the parties concerned, and the rescinding and burning of the records, came not from the evidence produced, but from a general belief that a totally

--- PAGE 104---

unnecessary sacrifice had been made of the State's only great asset. The Federal courts, to which the rights of a holder to whom fifteen thousand acres had been transferred, and, by the way, whose title from the selling parties contained no warrantee clause, but in lieu thereof a clause specially exempting the vendor from a re-payment, found four counts as good against the defendant.
            First,—That the land belonged to Georgia, and not to the United States or to South Carolina. See Jackson's argument in which he asserted the title to be in the United States, if not in South Carolina.
            Second,—That the legislature had the power to sell.
            Third,—That no subsequent legislature could by any act affect the rights of third persons under grants of a previous legislature.
            Fourth,—That a legislative act could not be attacked collaterally.
            Under this decision of Chief Justice Marshall, in after years, the United States, having accepted a cession from Georgia in 1802 of this same territory, conditional upon her paying to Georgia one and a quarter millions of dollars, and also extinguishing any claims on Georgia for previous grants made by her, paid to the four companies, claiming under the Georgia Act, for final release, five millions of dollars; five millions in 1814 for $500,000 paid to Georgia in 1795, three hundred and ten thousand of which had been paid back to the holders of the certificates,

--- PAGE 1005---

and receipted for by them. The profit and loss account of the Yazoo claimants stood in 1814 thus: $189,000 paid in 1795; $5,000,000 received in 1814. The companies to whom this money was paid are as follows:

To T.B. Scott, John C. Nightengale, Wade
Hampton and their associates, who had
paid to Georgia as the Upper Mississippi
Co. $35,000                                                                            $355,000

To James Gunn, Mathew McAllister, George
Walker
and their associates, who as the
Georgia Co. had paid to the State
$250,000                                                                                 $2,225,000

To Thomas Glascock, Ambrose Gordon,
Nicholas Long and associates, who as the
Georgia-Mississippi Co., has paid the
State $155,000                                                                       $1,555,000

To Zechariah Cox and associates, who had
as the Tennessee Co. paid the State
$60,000                                                                                   $600,000

To the Citizens Company                                                   $300,000

            Such was the final disposal of a claim in the prosecution of which the bitterest feelings and passions had first been engendered, and then nourished, and which in its end furnished the nucleus for more than one of the great fortunes of the South.
            I shall not attempt to tell in detail the history of

--- PAGE 106---

Georgia. Too many dry and arid wastes would have to be traversed in the journey, deserts that bear no fruit of taste or of interest to reader or writer. The itinerary of such a march would closely resemble the diary of an individual, who born in poverty had by slow and patient accumulation attained to competence, influence and command, and in it only the wearisome items of a natural development would be disclosed. No pioneer life with capture and rescue as told by Cooper or Boone would thrill the imagination of youth. No especial revolutionary hero like Marion or Sumter would make of patriotism and courage an undying object lesson. The Germans of Ebenezer, in the cultivation of rice and cotton, had forgotten the convictions that made their fathers, for conscience sake, exiles from Moravia. The Puritans of Medway, busy in the building of fortunes, the getting of money and the training of newly imported Africans, had relaxed the rigor of their religious observances; and the Celt of New Inverness, ignoring the prayer of 1739 and the endorsement of 1775, had yielded to the environment and was indistinguishable in mode and habit of life. Intermarriages had been frequent, and with that the German, the Saxon, the Covenanter and the Scotchman had been fused into the one distinctive type—the Southern Planter of America.
            Here and there an oasis is met in this "dry as dust" recital of bare facts, episodes in a monotonous movement toward strength and population. At

--- PAGE 107---

times some leader appears on the stage, whose message is to the people, and still more to the people yet to come. Wm. H. Crawford, with his superb presence and commanding genius, illustrated the State. He was envoy in Paris, when, after Waterloo, the princes and the great men of the world, like ravens to the carcass, were gathered, and the Iron Duke is said to have remarked, "Mr. Crawford's personality is the strongest and most imposing of all these notabilities." George M. Troup rises to make his opening address to an audience who for twenty odd years hearkened to his voice, saw and appreciated the wisdom of his counsel, but shrank from its adoption as a child would shrink from a plunge into the cold waters of a stream. Some words are due to this Representative in Congress, Senator at Washington and Governor of the State, whose fortune it was to deliver the prologue to the coming drama or tragedy of States' rights versus a centralized government. His principles and character were almost Spartan in their severity. When a candidate for office, he was urged by his friends to show himself at Milledgeville, the capital. He answered, "A candidate for the executive chair should not debase that high office by seeking to influence voters." His political creed was the same as that of James Jackson, declaring that the will of the people was the only and one sovereign power, confining the powers delegated to the central government to a strict construction of the words used in the grant, with a

--- PAGE 108---

vigorous denial and rejection of the doctrine of "implied powers," and the declaration that by that construction the one word, "necessary," inserted in the last clause of the Constitution might be used as a lever with which to overthrow the separate and sovereign rights of the individual States. At the commencement of his administration Governor Troup, owing to the non-removal of the Indians from the soil of Georgia, had found himself beset with difficulties. Twenty-six millions of acres of the lands of the State had been occupied by these aborigines in 1802, at which time a cession had been made to the United States, of the "Western Territory." That Government had bound herself by Article four of that compact to extinguish for Georgia all Indian claims in the reserved limits of the State, "as soon as it could be done peaceably and on reasonable terms." By treaty, fourteen millions of acres had been acquired by the Government as agent for Georgia. Twelve millions were still held by two tribes, the Cherokees and Creeks, who were yearly becoming more restless and aggressive. Their removal was imperative and necessary to the peace and welfare of the country. The position assumed by President Adams and his Cabinet was that the proviso, "so soon as it can be done peaceably and on reasonable terms," debarred Georgia from making any demand upon the Federal powers, and in spirit if not in words asserted that the State's claims would be adjusted and the Indian "rights be extinguished"

--- PAGE 109---

at such date as might be convenient to the Congress of the United States. Governor Troup refused to acquiesce in this decision, and protested in forcible words against such an invasion of the essence of the compact. In his letters to President Adams he denied that the Indian held a "fee simple title to the land," and affirmed that by royal proclamation of 1764 the boundaries of Georgia had been fixed, and the holding of the red man reduced to that of tenants-at-will. For the royal right to so fix boundaries, and grant great areas of land, he cited as precedents the history of the colonization of the Western World, whether Spanish, French or English. For Georgia's title he referred to the Treaty of Ghent, 1783, and the judgment of the United States Supreme Court, which had said in 1810, first that the lands belonged to Georgia, and second that the legislature had the power to sell. If Georgia could sell, then as a corollary, the power to enter into and occupy followed. The labor and cost of this entering into possession and removal of the tenants had been assumed by the United States as part payment in a sale of more than fifty millions of acres of Georgia territory, of which two States had already been created. That the proviso "so soon as can be done peaceably and on reasonable terms" had in equity a time limit, and that in the twenty-three years that had elapsed since the pledge was given, a full period for its execution had been granted. His words, happily, had effect, and a specific

--- PAGE 110---

promise was given that should a majority of the heads of the tribes agree to a removal, that then by virtue of that agreement and treaty, the United States would demand of the "Nations" an exchange of their Eastern for Western homes. Commissioners holding State and Federal authority for the making of a treaty were appointed. A meeting or council with the head men and chiefs was held at the Indian Springs on the Oconee River, where an agreement in accordance with the wishes of Georgia was reached. Some threats of resistance ensued; one notable murder or execution was a consequence, but in time, by the provisions of that treaty of February, 1825, the State entered into quiet possession of the whole territory, and for the first time in her history extended her laws and jurisdiction over all the lands embraced within her limits.
                        It was in this year that the movement known as "Slavery Agitation" first assumed a menacing front. Ohio and Vermont had before, through their representatives, presented at Washington the petitions of societies and individuals, living and fostered within their limits; but not until February 18, 1825, had a Senator or Representative of any State offered of himself a bill, ordinance or resolution which struck expressly and directly at the maintenance of an "Institution," without the guarantee of which it would have been impossible to form from the Confederation of States the great Republic of the United States.

--- PAGE 111---

            On the date above, the Hon. Rufus King, of New York, laid on the table of the United States Senate the following resolution:

            "Resolved by the Senate of the United States of America, That as soon as the portion of the existing funded debt of the United States for the payment of which the public land of the United States is pledged, shall have been paid off, then and thenceforth the whole of the public land of the United States, with the net proceeds of all future sales thereof, shall constitute and form a fund, which is hereby appropriated, and the faith of the United States is pledged, that the said fund shall be inviolably applied to aid the emancipation of such slaves, within any of the United States, and to aid the removal of such slaves, and the removal of such free persons of color in any of the said States, as by the law of the States respectively, may be allowed to be emancipated, or removed to any territory or county without the limits of the United States of America.3"

            The introduction of this resolution by a Senator of the ability of Senator King made a profound impression upon the people of Georgia. The character and spirit of the movement was instantly recognized by Governor Troup, and in his message to the legislature of June 25, 1825, he said, "The spirit

3.  It was this resolution which caused the adoption of bills and acts forbidding the "manumission" of slaves by many Southern States; up to this date, manumission had been frequent. See Mabry's "Statutes and Laws of Georgia."  [this note was mis-numbered in the original text—ALH]

--- PAGE 112---

which animates these disturbers of our peace is of no ordinary kind; it is the same that rallied under the banner of the cross, sought to propagate religion by the sword; it is the spirit of the crusader, and that never dies. Temporize no longer; make known your resolution that this subject must not be touched. I entreat you therefore, most earnestly, now, that it is not too late to step forth, and having exhausted the argument, to stand by your arms." It is of this and the subsequent action of 1849 that Senator Hoar speaks in his Memoirs, and says had it then been adopted, there would have been no opposition to such State action, for at that time Northern feelings had not crystallized into bodies strong enough to have resisted. Afterward, ignoring the share of the public lands due to Northern States, Governor Troup said, "Mr. King proposes to buy out our interest in our property, by the sale of our own landed property." From that time and onward he was the avowed champion of the rights of the States as reserved to themselves, and an enemy to all centralized power. To the day of his death, he held the ear of the people and the respect of his bitterest political enemies. In 1852 he was nominated for the Presidency at a convention held in Montgomery. In his letter of acceptance he said, "I do so, solely for the purpose of furthering an organization of a States' rights party." He was the John the Baptist and forerunner of the future President of the Southern

--- PAGE 113---

Confederacy. His whole life was spent in the political arena; for even after his retirement from active participation, his letters were sought and solicited as of one who could speak with the authority that is granted to great knowledge and experience in public affairs, and in a sense to many they were ex-cathedra utterances to which all were bound to give adherence.

EXTRACTS FROM GOVERNOR TROUP'S MESSAGES AND LETTER:

                "It is worse than useless to conceal anything from ourselves—it is far better to lay bare the naked truth—and in good time.
                I say, prepare for the last resort. Are we to surrender because the civilized world, and more than half of our own country are against us? I answer, "No, by no means."
                Prepare now for the last resort by the establishment in every State, without any delay, of military schools, foundries, armories, arsenals, manufactories of powder. Have you not observed that our adversaries are constantly growing stronger in all the elements of power, population, wealth and military resources, and are sustained by a government strong and ready for the combat? Create from your militia a military organization. They know you have courage, but they see no artillery, no munitions of war. If ready, we yet may save ourselves. The victory is not always to the strong, and Alexander conquered the world with little more than thirty thousand men.

--- PAGE 114---

                When the adversary becomes strong enough to alter the Constitution and abolish slavery, what are you to do?
                I do not favor conventions of the Southern States. I favor each Southern State making for itself, and at its own cost, such preparations as will cause, and ensure respect for her station. The militia forces should be transformed into effective military organizations, arsenals with foundries for cannon and manufactories of powder and all munitions necessary for war, should be owned and built by the State.
                Cease braggadocia and act."

            From the date of Mr. King's resolution Georgia was constantly and continually embroiled in an aggressive and bitter correspondence with the Federal authorities. The claims regarding the removal of the Indians, and its long-deferred settlement, had done much to destroy the friendship and comity that should have existed, and from 1825 to 1850, the date of Mr. Clay's "compromise measure," the party favoring division had been growing in number—not yet able to count themselves as a majority. Each year had added recruits to their number, while in the hearts of their opponents the abstract love to the united government had been supplanted by a utilitarian belief, that for the present it was better and more expedient to hold to the established form and order.
            After the retirement of Governor Troup from active politics, and the death of his great rival, General

--- PAGE 115---

Clarke, the leadership had fallen to four men, all eminent for energy, oratory and mastership over men's minds and hearts. This group consisted of Senator John MacPherson Berrien, Howell Cobb, Robert Toombs and Alexander Stephens. Others there were of more or less weight and influence, but they were but the decimals in any column of figures arranged as an exhibit of personal and political strength. The four that I have named were the units, that at a glance disclosed how great their value to the aggregate. The senior of these four, Senator Berrien, had held every office in the gift of the people, and was distinguished at the Bar and Bench before he had accepted any public office. His power as a debater and speaker was uncommon, and his perfect dignity, combined with courtesy and grace of deportment, had insured to him the friendship and confidence of all with whom he might be associated.
            The Honorable Howell Cobb, after long service in the legislature, had been elected to Congress in 1842, and had risen rapidly into national prominence. His speeches were impressive, but his greatest strength laid in his personal intercourse with those with whom he was thrown. His suavity, good nature, broadmindedness and common sense disarmed his political opponents and drew all wavering minds to his side. In practical politics and the management of friends and opponents he had no equal. As Speaker of the House of Representatives he was

--- PAGE 116---

distinguished for fair dealing and urbanity, and in the trying position of a divided party and an antagonistic executive, he had gained the esteem of all of his own party and incurred the hatred of none but the most violent of his adversaries.
            Robert Toombs, a genius, if this State has ever produced one, was of a totally different type. Princely in person and mind, his fiery soul brooked no evasion in words, or concealment of thought or intention. His utterances were Danton-like in audacity, and with him words were vivified into living things with which to overwhelm and stifle opposing forces. In debate he reached the heart of a subject, not by any process of reasoning, but by an instinctive sense of the field upon which the argument rested, and all not estranged from him by their nativity, or else immuned by education and early association, if thrown into personal contact, yielded and bowed to his vehement and towering spirit.
            Alexander Stephens, perhaps the best loved of the four, added to mental gifts of the very highest order, the clear sagacity of a deep and calm thinker, and, when aroused, the power of intense and impassioned speech. His pure, generous and courageous life endeared him to all. Of him Toombs once said, "Richmond district will return Stephens to Congress until he dies, and then, his heirs and assigns."
            The men that have been named were, in truth, the officers who guided and directed the State in her long progress from colony and province to that of

--- PAGE 117---

sovereign State; from statehood to membership in a great and growing republic, and onward, first into the morning lights of a confederacy of sister States, and then into the midnight gloom of the "lost cause."
            Oglethorpe, founder and guardian; Wright, who sought in vain to hold a people true to their sovereign and to the "salt they had eaten"; Bulloch, Jones, Walton,4 Hall, Gwinnet, Habersham and McIntosh, who saw a nobler future, in an armed resistance, than that offered by a slothful, peaceful and prosperous dependence.
            George M. Troup, self-chosen champion for his sovereign!—The State!—whose counsels, if followed, might have led to some safe passageway through the narrow strait, already beset Eastward, Westward and Northward "by the spirit of intolerance," and other spirits born of the new age and awakened

4.  In the words of another writer, those who did not know Robert Toombs can form no conception of "The splendor with which he moved amid the dramatic scenes of 1859 and '60. A man of marked physical beauty, golden tongued and lion hearted, he gloried in the whirlwind and caught his inspiration from the storm. He inflamed by his speech and swayed by his magnetic fire. To the rights of the South as he comprehended them, was his supreme devotion pledged. In tone and manner emphatic, even to the verge of menace, and essaying by sudden bursts, savoring almost of inspiration, to decide the fate of great questions. Such was Robert Toombs, greatest of Georgia's sons. Mighty was his influence in precipitating the coming struggle. Most potent were his persuasions in inducing Georgia to secede from the Union. He died unreconciled to existing conditions.

--- PAGE 118---

thought. Berrien, Cobb, Toombs and Stephens, who, true to their blood-bond, gave their all, their mentality in counsel, and their blood and their strength in the field in aid of their native land.
            And now as we close this brief record of a part of Georgia's past history are we not forced to acknowledge and recognize the supremacy and power of the surroundings and environment of a people toward the declaration of their creed and the shaping of the characters and actors in national and political life?
            The fate of the State rested on a form of labor which in a measure forbade the inflow of workmen and artisans, the want of whom checked the coming in of capital, since it restricted industrial activity to the one pursuit of agriculture and limited its profits to those arising from the sale of the crude products of the soil—a system not of intensive farming but of the plantation type, necessitating often a removal to and a residence in the new and remoter portions of the State, forcing a comparative isolation in family life, and a consequent ignoring of the standards of belief brought into being and accepted by the world. As the years progressed in thought, an accompanying mental isolation, which insured and built up a false estimate of personal value and strength, since its only contrast, at home and abroad, was with the offspring of indigence or the "chattel" held to till the fields; a gradual, if not rapid, exhausting of the soil, a demand for new territory,

--- PAGE 119---

capable of giving larger returns, a demand adopted by "client and patron," or by poor and rich, as necessary and their right under the terms of the Union, and the support of which was absolutely necessary to all who might seek public office. From which came the demand for "equal share in all territory acquired by the General Government" with its after momentous consequences, thus providing the fulcrum for the lever destined to change the fate of a nation and its life, and provide the down-pressing weight of the harvest that had come from the seed that had been sown in 1740 throughout the Colony of Georgia.
            To close this sketch of Georgia's past history and make no mention or reference to the present condition and probable future of the race that has been transplanted from the shores of Africa would be to ignore the most difficult, weighty and momentous problem that ever has been offered for solution to any government or nation.
            It is well to state what are the elements of the discord and differences that confront us, but first it is just to tell of the present character of the people to whom forty-five years ago was given the right of citizenship and freedom from the bonds of slavery. In that less than half century of years they have risen from absolute illiteracy and poverty into, comparatively, a much higher rank. Great advancement has been made by them in mental and, in my belief, in their physical abilities, and by this I mean,

--- PAGE 120---

in their power to utilize to the best advantage such strength, vitality and knowledge as they may possess. Even in feature they have changed, and are no longer so typically African, and I refer especially to those in whose veins there runs no drop of mixed blood. As mere laborers, they are unexcelled and have no superiors, whether it be in the field, the mine, the forests, or on the city wharves. They are not addicted to the formation of "Union Societies," and in general give to a contractor less trouble—excepting the necessary overseeing—and more work, for the same money, than any laborer on the face of the earth. Their power of existing and thriving on the smallest daily allowance is remarkable, and were thrift added, wealth would follow. But in this respect the whole race are living paradoxes. The same man or woman that will thrive and grow strong on a daily expenditure for all needs of ten cents, will at another time when receiving one, or more than a dollar a day, expend for "excursions," shoddy clothes, and make-believe finery, every cent of his or her increased income. And, should that cease, drop back to their former manner of life with no sigh of regret. One of them once said to me, "You see, we black people are like this: what we have not got we don't want, but what we have we'll 'joy." They seem incapable of taking thought of to-morrow, and as a class, not without notable exceptions, they remain poor and add little to the realized wealth of their communities. The primary

--- PAGE 121---

branches of education are quickly absorbed, and reading, writing and some knowledge of figures has become common, and now that the temptations of the whiskey and gin saloons have been by law suppressed, it is hoped the criminal record will be lessened. Their rate of increase will not be accurately known until after the census of 1910, but in my belief will be found identical with that of the white, less the added immigration to the latter. In habit of life they are cleanly. More so at least than is often found to be the case with laborers and workers of a different nationality. The homes of large numbers are well kept and show a love for neatness and the acquisition of the comforts of life. The women are good mothers and ambitious that their children should excel at their school studies. Chastity is not regarded by them or the men as the crowning virtue of a woman. Indeed, no universal or individual condemnation seems to follow a lapse from purity, and until their own sex shall create a "caste" which shall enforce such condemnation there can, and will be, no change. After marriage and while the ties of marriage are acknowledged, I am inclined to think the larger part of the colored women feel bound by honor and custom to lead lives consistent with their vows. But before marriage and when the quickly uttered "we will part" has been said, they consider themselves released from any covenant. The number of mulattoes is steadily decreasing. The union between the white man and the colored woman is now

--- PAGE 122---

greatly restricted to casual intercourse, and the lifelong association with a woman of color is plainly less often met with than in the days of slavery.
            In the words I have written I have endeavored to be absolutely just and to present in the fairest manner the better qualities and attainments of a people whose future is at least uncertain. The habits and characteristics that militate against any radical improvement are these: a want of thoroughness in the completion and execution of any work intrusted to them; this, combined with an absence of persistence, and great slovenliness in the execution, debars them from leadership in branches of labor where, individually, they may be skilled, and restricts their fields to mere manual tasks; and again a total or rather a too general disregard for truth, in verbal statements, has gone far toward discrediting even their sworn testimony before the juries of the country. And worse than all that precedes, a universal attempt and effort to screen and hide from the officials of the law any criminal who may escape has destroyed faith in their loyalty to good order and good government. With them no individual disgrace accompanies and follows a conviction for crime or felony. The returned penitentiary convict or released server on the chain gang resumes the same place in his society and home circle as had been relinquished by him at the time of sentence. No social ban or stain accompanies crime, and the failure to do so is largely the cause and germ from which

--- PAGE 123---

spring crimes, felonies, and misdemeanors. Such is the nature, character, habit of life, and industrial value of the twelve or fourteen million of people of African descent whose presence and residence within the Southern States gives rise to, and forms, the unknown quantity, in the equation, or race problem, which is to be solved, one day or another, by the citizens of this land.
            To them are opposed seventeen millions of a different race and birth, possessed of all the realized wealth of the communities, and the owners or masters of every industry; they alone enact the statutes under which both parties must live, and from them are chosen the judges, the juries, and the officers of the law. Centuries of educational advantages have developed their minds and taught them the value and power of organization. The same centuries of absolute supremacy have given to them undoubting faith in their right to this supremacy. Experience has taught them what colored legislation means, and faith in themselves teaches that Federal laws can give but useless paper titles to State citizenship, and now they are resolutely determined, cost what it may, to remain masters of the country, and as firmly resolved that there shall be no fusion of interests, division of places, or mixing of blood. To the inferior race they say, "With your rights of person and property safely guarded" you must remain content. That with educational facilities we give you, "Be ye silent and with your labor build up the country." Having

--- PAGE 124---

thus outlined the character and industrial value of one party to this problem, and the claims and demands of the other, both of whose future is involved in the settlement, the difficulty of finding a possible, practical and acceptable solution becomes evident.
            And first, it should be recognized that at present the labor of one is necessary to the prosperity of the other, and that any general removal or migration of one would need to be gradual and extend over years of time, for a different course would bring disaster and ruin to the business and agricultural interests of the South, and, furthermore, no demand for such removal is likely to be made by the white race, since a dread of any radical change is strongly felt by every party where monied interests are at stake. By so much, then, is the problem simplified; accepting this theory, the question will be not what shall be done with the negro? but what shall be done with the negro as a permanent resident in the South. Nearly equal in number to the white and increasing at the same rate; improving in education and power of organization and slowly, very slowly, adding to their fortunes, can it be hoped that existing conditions will continue, and that the citizens under the Federal laws can be practically debarred from the privileges of State citizenship, for this, in fact, is the outcome of the unexpressed declarations. In an article published in McClure's Magazine, Mr. William Archer, a scholar and writer of note, gives his conclusions and adds those of a man of Southern

--- PAGE 125---

birth, now a resident of Virginia, and supplements the two with the baseless assertions of a distinguished professor of Oxford, England, noted for his critical knowledge of history and political economy. Each of these gentlemen has solved, in his own opinion, the question, or rather foretold the final end which will be reached by way of a solution.
            If we could give faith to the Virginian, we could dismiss every thought on the subject, for he says, "Owing to the constant trend of the colored men, from the fields to the cities, and their inability to withstand the temptations there met, combined with a strenuous competition and bad hygienic surroundings, the race as a whole is dying out, from the losses incurred from the diseases and vices which are encountered in the slums and tenements of the great cities."
            The Oxford professor asserts that there is no such thing as antagonism; that the feeling that is so called is purely imaginative, and is due solely to past environment, and will in time disappear; that all State laws forbidding the marriage of those of opposing color will be repealed and that a thorough amalgamation of the African and the Caucasian will follow.
            After a consideration of these statements and an investigation by himself, Mr. Archer rejects both. The first as improbable, the second as impossible. He then lays down four possibilities, one of which, he asserts, must be the end or solution of the race question

--- PAGE 126---

in the States of the South. Those as stated by him are as follows:
            First. We may worry along in the present condition until the colored race dies out or is reduced by disease and vice to a negligible quantity. This is the Virginia solution.
            Second. The education of both races to such a point that they may continue to live side by side without clashing politically or materially. This is Professor Booker Washington's solution, known as the "Atlanta Compromise."
            Third. Amalgamation by the repeal of all laws which forbid intermarriage. This is our Oxford professor's solution.
            Fourth. Segregation of the colored race into some Western territory, to be set aside by the General Government for the sole occupancy of the African race. This is Mr. Archer's solution.
            Upon reflection, it becomes apparent that in one of these "four possibilities," as stated by Mr. Archer, must be found the end of this race question, for collectively they embrace every resolution that might be adopted, and every action that might be taken by those interested.
            "Possibility Number One" asserts the decadence in vitality and number of the colored race, and foretells their extinction or dying out. I reject this as unproved by statistics, as contrary to the laws of nature, where a people have a sufficient amount of food, shelter, and other necessities of life; as false to

--- PAGE 127---

my own observation, and unmindful of the safeguards that the late prohibition laws have thrown as barriers from temptation. Number one can, therefore, be eliminated from discussion, and we can turn to number three, leaving number two for future examination.
            Number three is comprised in the one word "Amalgamation," and that is the repeal of all laws which forbid the marriage of persons of different color. This according to the "eminent English authority" is sure to take place sooner or later. He pronounces racial antipathy to be merely "imaginative suggestion" which has its birth in past environment. Such a baseless assertion could only be born of a total ignorance of the status and life of the two parties to the question. The repugnance to the legitimate union of the two is based upon a deep conviction that the offspring of such a union would be lowered in the scale of humanity. And for its absolute rejection, it would only be necessary to appeal to the heart of every white man or woman, whether native to the South or resident by adoption. Again the product of such amalgamation as has been shown in that of the West Indies and the Republics of South America has not been of a character to commend itself as an example to be followed; while finally, the law-making power being now undeniably in the hands of the white race, no member of any future convention or legislature would dare face wife, daughter, sister, or mother after supporting or

--- PAGE 128---

fathering the repeal of a law which had declared that women of their color were alone eligible to the bearing of legitimate children to the men of the white race.
            This alone insures the permanency of the present statutes, and practically declares that possibility number three, or Amalgamation, must, like number one, be rejected and dismissed from consideration.
            Passing on to Mr. Archer's suggestion embodied in number four, and in which he has adopted the "Segregation" of one race and its removal to a separate territory, wherein none but those of African descent should have a right of occupancy, we are met at once with the difficulty of determining the manner in which this migration and exodus of over twelve million of people is to be effected. If voluntary, what inducement could be offered strong enough to overcome the interest and ties that bind them to their present places of residence—what power could be invoked sufficient to outweigh that inertia which resists any movement or change of place, always encountered in natural life as well as in inanimate nature: I know not, and cannot even imagine any State or Federal offer great enough to induce a successful move in that direction. Voluntary segregation may safely be pronounced incompatible with the temper and disposition of the party directly interested, and for involuntary segregation, or compulsory removal, no possible sanction

--- PAGE 129---

of law could be obtained, even in the States to whom the question is vital. So indispensable is the labor of the one to the other in all agricultural and other business interests, that no legislative action compelling segregation could meet with a support sufficient for its enactment.
            In 1865 and 1866 such a movement was possible. The newly emancipated slave would have given quick assent to any expressed wish of the General Government, and a "trek" of the entire race would in all likelihood have followed. No property interests then offered obstacles to emigration, but now it is to be noted, that small as is the aggregate of real estate held by the colored citizen, so minute are the divisions that very many holders are represented in what appears as but a fraction of the realized wealth of the country. Had such a policy been adopted in 1866 the South would have started later on the path of recovery. The shifting of class distinctions would have been greater than what has taken place, and the changes in fortune larger and more numerous. But 1909 would have found more solid prosperity and no sword of Damocles, or race question, overshadowing. No solid South would have been needed, as a guard against irresponsible law making. But now it is too late to speak of the transfer of a whole people, of an exchanging of material interests and established habits of life, and for these reasons one who knows the temper and spirit of the two parties must reject the possibility

--- PAGE 130---

of any segregation of the colored race, and turn to number two as the only solution possible.
            Thus have we been forced to abandon and dismiss from consideration three of the four "possibilities," in one of which Mr. Archer has rightly affirmed must be found an answer to a question which involves the future well being of a part of this union of States.
            The second proposition alone remains to be examined, and, since collectively the four embrace every possible solution or action, the adoption of the one now to be examined is inevitable. It asserts that by the education of both races a point may be reached where the two may live side by side without clashing in either material or political life. Before the acceptance of this assertion it will be necessary to define what in our belief is here meant by the word "education," for certainly no mere advance in literary or even industrial development could warrant a change from the use of the word "possibility" to the more hopeful term of "probability." A cultivation of a higher order will be absolutely requisite and the progress to be made must be in schools dedicated to justice, forbearance and patience. The now dominating class must learn to give absolute justice in personal as well as in property rights, excepting only their right of being recognized as giver and law maker; the other in the acceptance of personal and property guarantees must simply strive to do their best in that state of

--- PAGE 131---

life in which it has pleased God to place them. With this utopian idea of moral improvement realized, it might be possible to find warrant for writing, "We can educate both races so that they may live amicably and without clashing," even when grown, the one to thirty, and the other to forty millions. This education must take its origin in absolute justice, with personal and proprietary rights guaranteed to one and practiced by the other, and in patience and forbearance in acceptance by the one. No other course can avert final and sure disaster. It should be the part of those to whom is intrusted the duty of enacting the statutes under which both must live, to see that as a first step the law should deal squarely and equally with white and black, giving to each the right of trial before his own peers, a part at least to be of his own color, in every jury empaneled before which either might be arraigned.
            This first step taken, others would then follow. Many nations have lived in great happiness under a despotism when the despot was just and true in his government, and it may be that we might yet repeat the story, otherwise an "Armageddon," or battle of races, will one day ensue.

 

--- PAGE 132---

V. ST. SIMON’S AND JEKYL ISLANDS

            I cannot end this record of past years and personages that are now no more, and make no mention of the homes and the people that were once to be found on the islands of St. Simon's and Jekyl.
            In a book more read and reverenced in olden days than at present, we learn that once "A Sower went forth to sow." A great artist for our inspiration has depicted the scene.
            Amid the brown and freshly turned furrows of our Mother Earth, with extended arm and noble gesture, stands the grand figure of a man instinct with life and primal strength; from his open palm he casts the seed, nay, "The Word," fated, some to fall amid the dry stones of the fields, some on fruitful soil, and to return twenty, even thirty fold. No sainted Madonna wears a more rapt expression, for the harvest to be reaped from the seed being sown was the knowledge and reception into the heart, of The Truth, in which I conceive is to be included all the eternal verities, equities, and duties incumbent upon man throughout this life.
            The island of St. Simon's had been peopled entirely

--- PAGE 133---

by men of Scotch nativity, and its lands had in the largest measure been granted to the MacKays, Cuthberts, Grants and McIntoshes, all connected by blood or marriage with the colonists of New Inverness. When the leaders of that outpost had deemed it fit and proper to declare to the world and the general commanding "The Creed" under which they had hoped to live, their kinsmen of Frederica and St. Simon's had remained silent, and had not joined in that declaration for "Satan" in the guise of a growing property and ease of life; "had taken away the good seed" and substituted a love of trade and of military importance. Unmindful of "The deceitfulness of riches" and of the warning of "The Scourge that would some day or other return," the men of Frederica and of the islands had not lifted voice for, or against, the popular demands; the material rewards had quickly appeared and were evidenced by an increase of population and of wealth, as then measured, and a little direct trade with the Mother Country.
            With 1742 all attempts of Spain against the coasts of Georgia had terminated. The victory at Bloody Marsh had been a practical assertion of what is now known as the Monroe Doctrine. "Frederica," the chief settlement of the island, was garrisoned by a battalion of regular troops of "H. M. A." The wants of the soldiers furnished a ready market for all that might be raised on the farm.

--- PAGE 134---

            The young men found employment at the outposts, as guides, scouts or teamsters; the older made their homes more attractive by the cultivation of the orange, vine, fig and mulberry. The trade in peltries and furs with the Indian tribes, northward and southward, was inaugurated and great prosperity followed.
            I doubt if anywhere within the circle of British colonization such picturesque contrasts of social conditions could have been found as in the narrow circle of Colonial Georgia, for in Savannah might be found the adventurers of that day, many of them the loose-living English gentlemen of Fielding's novels, and most unfitted for pioneer life. A few miles to the west the steady German tilled his fields under his own pastor and teacher, and was by his terms of emigration exempt from any call to arms, even in defense of his adopted land. But a day's ride to the south a band of Puritans, of strictest tenets, had planted their stakes and given "hostages to Fortune," whilst southward and on the very frontier could be seen their moral antipodes--the fervid Celts of the Altamaha and the islands; amid these latter free and friendly roamed the Red Man of the Woods, to whom the bonnet and the kilt of the Highlander had become a "token" that symbolized friendship and fair dealing.
            By 1810 St. Simon's had become a social center. Almost every acre of arable land was in cultivation, and the owners were, in general, persons of refined

--- PAGE 135---

tastes and liberal education. Some were retired officers of the British army, who had traveled and seen the world in many phases. The mode of life was essentially simple, but the hospitality was immense. Every door stood open to the stranger, and to be the guest of one was to be made welcome in every household. With the exception of the master of "Hampton Point" there was no extreme wealth, but there existed a much happier condition, there were none without an easy competence, and many possessed incomes far above the average. In number there were fourteen homesteads or plantations, as they were then called, and on the island there was a slave population of about twelve hundred.
            The church was well supported and well attended. One service, at 11 a.m., was given to the whites, and a lecture in the afternoon to the colored race. The effect of this mode of instruction was shown in the improved character of the island slaves, who, in general, were far in advance of their race in intelligence and civilization. This church, one of the oldest in the State, had, I believe, the unique distinction of being perhaps the only one in Georgia to which a clerk and a pew-opener were, on each succeeding Easter Monday, duly elected. The clerk, pronounced by the congregation "clark," was, for many years, the venerable Mr. Davis. He sat on a high seat immediately in front of the officiating priest and led the responses in a fine bass voice. The pew-opener, the estimable Mrs. Davis, never failed in attendance.

--- PAGE 136---

At nine the congregation had commenced to arrive. The older ladies came wearing "calashes," made of wire and green silk—a sort of miniature buggy top—which were laid aside upon entering their pews. They then gathered together for gossip and talk, which did not cease until the "Dearly beloved" was uttered by the preacher. The men seated themselves upon benches built under the trees, received their mail, which was always brought to the church door by the postmaster, read letters and discussed the last news from Milledgeville, Washington or Charleston, until the sound of the organ called them to worship. The children played in the shade until summoned, and they in general were dismissed when the sermon commenced. The young people of my own family were not allowed to leave the church, but at the first verse of the litany we seated ourselves upon the floor and opened our lunch baskets.
            At the northern end of the island was situated the home of Major Butler. This gentleman was, at the outbreak of the Revolution, an officer in the British army. He married an heiress of the Middleton family of South Carolina. He had resigned his commission and became an ardent supporter of the colonies. He afterward removed to Georgia, and brought great wealth with him. More than 800 slaves called him master. They were equally divided between the rice place in McIntosh County, of Butler's Island, and the cotton plantation of Hampton's Point. Here everything was pervaded by a

--- PAGE 137---

species of military rule. No one came to visit him but was met on the landing by a vidette, who enquired your business and escorted you to the mansion. Everything was made on the plantation. Tanneries existed, a shoe-making establishment, a manufactory for clothes, socks, caps, furniture, etc., and indeed almost every industry was represented. No person, however old or feeble, was allowed to be altogether idle. One story I recollect that typifies this fact. An old woman coming up to him said: "Master, I am old, I can work no longer." "It is true," said Mr. Butler, but calling his head man he said: "Flora is not to work, but get a goose, give her a line and say to her each day she must lead my goose to graze for an hour," and for ten years did goose and woman pasture together at Hampton's Point.
            The Butler mansion, or "big house," as termed by its dependents, was placed at the confluence of a bold creek, with the river that ran in the front. Spacious and comfortable, it made no attempt toward architectural beauty, the only striking feature being the seven massive chimneys that towered over the roof and broke the line of sky and the great avenue of oaks that led landward. A full corps of servants was always in attendance, irrespective of the presence or absence of the family, and these included a hunter, a fisherman, four boat hands, a housekeeper and her many assistants. Here I think feudalism died; for the relations between the

--- PAGE 138---

"Major" and his slaves much resembled that which once existed between a grand seigneur or a great lord and his "villains." The language used by the house servants has always been to me productive of both amusement and thought. Very often the words uttered were misplaced and at the same time carried great strength of expression. One once said to me, when indignantly expostulating against an encroachment on his mistress' lands, "I say to de surveyor, when he tell me 'twas vacant land, 'for Lawd sake, Mr. Penman, ain't you know dere is no modderless land in Georgia, or else white man would long before now done adopt him.'" Another in excusing her son for some negligence in the execution of his work, said, "You know my child was born 'short o' knowledge.'"
            Here Aaron Burr spent a few months alone in an enforced retirement after his fatal encounter with Hamilton. Of the manner of his entertainments he thus speaks in letters to his beloved "Theodosia":

Hampton Point, August 1804.
                I am quite settled. My establishment consists of a housekeeper, cook and chamber maid, seamstress, and two footmen, two fishermen, and four boat men always at my command. The laundry work is done outside, etc."

                Again on another day, having dined and evidently dined well, his bright soul breaks out as follows:

--- PAGE 139---

Hampton Point, September 1804.
Madame:—
                J'ai bein diner, and J'ai' fait' mettre mon writing deck sur le table a diner. What a scandalous thing to sit here all alone drinking champagne and yet, ("Madame Je bois a votre sante, et a celle de monsieur votre fils.") and yet I say if champagne be that exhilarating cordial which ("Je bois a la sante de Madame 'Sumtare'") can there ever be an occasion more appropriate. ("Mais buvons a la sante de mon hote et bon ami Major Butler.")"

Again:

"Mr. Cooper has just sent me an assortment of French wines, clarets and sauternes, also an orange shrub, a delicious punch sufficient to last at least twelve months—and so on."

                Separated only by the narrow creek that I have mentioned was the home of John Couper of "Cannon's Point." This place was surrounded by orange and olive trees with other semi-tropical plants; even the date here yielded its tardy fruit. Mr. Couper had here resided since 1780 and had had personal acquaintance with all the great men of our country, and his conversation, enriched by anecdote and reminiscence, was charming. His life was extended to the age of 92, and he had always indulged himself in a lavish hospitality. He was looked up to by all as a type of integrity—generosity, kindness and humor; "his man Johnson" he had taught to play on

--- PAGE 140---

the pipes, and when appealed to in the great church war, known locally as "organ or no organ," he had sent Johnny to the next Sunday meeting with his bagpipe and a note recommending the wardens of the church "to try the pipe as a compromise."
            At the extreme southern point was the home of Major Wm. Page, whose only child had married the Hon. Thomas Butler King. Around this home hovers only recollections of grace, beauty and courtesy. An indescribable air of refinement environed and encircled it. Thomas Higginson, the author and man of letters, who visited it, when abandoned in 1863, writes, "The loveliest spot I have seen in the South and with a garden filled with hyacinthine odors." That garden had been the creation of Mrs. Ann Page King, to whom all plants that breathed sweetness were especially dear. Of her in the fashion of old days had long been written in an album:

                Good sense, good nature, and good breeding
                Went on a pilgrimage
                They visited the fair of every clime
                And rested on sweet Ann Page.

            Not great poetry, but from the heart.
            The woodland paths and roads on the island had great beauty, overhung as they were by majestic oaks and towering magnolias, which last lifted their sweet blossoms high to the heavens. The views over the waters and the green marshes were entrancing, especially when colored by the sumptuous sun settings.

--- PAGE 141---

The very air, clouded by myriads of birds and slowly sailing greater birds, had a softness not felt elsewhere, and peace, contentment, and moderate well doing with a general competence seemed ever present.
            Jekyl Island remained a government reservation or military post from 1736 to 1766. In the latter year it was granted by the Crown to Clement Martin, and was afterward sold under a decree of court to four French gentlemen, and finally it passed into the possession of Capt. Poulain du Bignon. In his family it remained until the organization of the Jekyl Island Club in 1886. The Club has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in buildings and improvements. Many of its members have built winter residences of the most costly character, and the whole island now presents a most beautiful appearance. Shelled roads and the beautiful beach offer drives that cannot be excelled, while everywhere bridle and bicycle paths wander amid the oaks and sink into the dells that border the ocean. Game of every kind abounds, and under the "strict preservation" rules of the club multiply to an extent elsewhere unknown. A palatial club house offers accommodations to members and their families, and in its management and cuisine it is not excelled even by the Waldorf or Netherlands. The owners of the island are the capitalists of the country and no money is spared toward making of it an ideal Southern home. But a great novelist has written in "Endymion,"

--- PAGE 142---

"In nature the insect world is strongest." Here in this delta of the river of wealth we find a Rockefeller, a Flagler and a Lorillard, and just as their Island Eden is most attractive, when the jessamine scents the air, when the crabapple and dogwood begin to illustrate the winter's woods, they are driven from their homes, and flee before the tiny sand fly, native and sprung from Southern soil. Neither wealth, position nor art can secure immunity. The war of the rebellion was largely won by numbers and money, but here, like ghosts at eventide, the reserves of the South arise and declare that in their land no permanent home shall be made. In millions the "little people" come, and before them the four hundred flee away.
            In closing this short and geographical sketch of the country I trust I may be pardoned a digression as to the characteristics of the people who here made and established their homes. If great generosity of heart, great honesty of purpose, unbounded sympathy with the oppressed and unblemished integrity in life can outweigh the faults arising from impulsiveness and excesses, in a great measure attributable to the habits of the day, then the men of the past ages have little to fear in the judgment yet to be meted out. Charles the fifth, Emperor and absolute ruler over one-half of Europe, said to Titian the great painter, as he seated himself for portraiture, "Paint me not as I am, but as what I might have been." "Think not what evils I have committed,

--- PAGE 143---

but (rather with my power) what temptations I might have yielded to." So with many of these men, brought up from childhood with the belief in their own superiority over all of an inferior race. "Think rather of what they refrained from, than of sins committed." "Lead me not into temptation," the child of to-day lisps at his mother's knee. Far more did those of a past age need that supplication that should have come from the inner heart. In time, Providence rights all wrongs, and in my judgment the expiation has been full and complete.
            In this retrospect of the past I have been more mindful of the facts and surroundings that forced and made the history and life of a people than to collect the dates and particular events that were comprised in that life.
            I have thought to shew that the drift of political and domestic thought was the inevitable result of the situation, comparative isolation, and immediate material interests of those who, virtually a minority, yet composed and governed the State. If I have failed to impress my view upon any reader I pray his or her pardon and indulgence. If I have in any case gained the favor of even one I shall feel rewarded in my effort.
            The century is now ended. Behind me lie days of harassment and days of struggle, days of "Reconstruction and days of Destruction," days when brave hearts strove to gather the fragments of a lost prosperity and other hearts as brave sank into cynicism

--- PAGE 144---

or despair. One I remember who, having spent his all, finally disappeared, leaving upon the table in his room three packets, each containing a little gold. Upon them were written, "This for my last week's board," "This for my funeral expenses," "This for masses for my soul." On the last was added, "Go to wharf No. 23. On its cap sill you will find the end of a rope. Pull on it and you will find me." "Requiescat in pace!" Did he remember Goethe's hymn to our parent Earth?
            "'Let me in.' 'Let me in,' Oh Mother."

 

--- PAGE 145---

APPENDIX I

            On every plantation, both among the field- and the house-servants, would be found one or two recognized and professional story-tellers. Joel Chandler Harris has only approximated to the "true-and-true" adventures of Brer Rabbit which every child of the years gone by has heard told, not read. Their recital demanded a subtle dramatic power, calling in certain passages for a recitative, declaimed in cadence to a rhythmic march and the clapping of hands. The voice was modulated to suit the situations; the general tone, a low falsetto. I have thought that had a graphophone then been in use the records would now be in great demand. Among the more primitive or field laborers the basis of all the stories were the deeds or perils of the denizens of the woods or waters, and were given in true dialect intermixed with unmeaning words or gibberish, but which possibly were remnants of a tribal language. In tales related by house-servants (generally nurses or housemaids), a distinct change would be apparent; a forward evolution of construction, with something approaching to a poetic thought; and always a moral or maxim of life was inculcated.

--- PAGE 146---

            I have thought that in some I could detect an unconscious imitation of some novel or drama from the library: reading aloud in the family circle was then much more common than now, and no one could possibly tell whose ears might be drinking in every word and sentence. The "dialect" was improvised and became what might be termed a "patois."
            It is very many years since I have heard one of these plantation stories, but I add a specimen of each.
            The first is that of the original African. The second, one next in progress; and the last, from the mouth of one who had nursed three generations in my mother's family, and whose heart was as white as my own.

HOW BUH WAS' GOT HIS LEETLE WAIS'.

            One time Buh Was' meet Buh 'Skeeter in de road, en 'e say:
            "Huddy, Buh Skeeter?"
            En Buh Skeeter say: "How do you do, Buh Was'?"
            En Buh Was' say: "How yo' Pa do, Buh Skeeter?"
            En Buh Skeeter, 'e say: "My Pa do berry well, I tenk you."
            "En yo' Pa put-tetter1 patch, how him do?"
            En Buh Skeeter, him full ob swonger, en 'e say:

1.  Potato

--- PAGE 147---

"Oh, my Pa put-tetter patch, him berry fine! Oh, sich big put-tetter! W'y Buh Was', de bigges' put-tetter in my Pa put-tetter patch is ez big ez de bigges' pa'at ob my laig!"
            En Buh Skeeter, 'e roll up 'e breeches tell 'e show 'e leetle tie (thigh).
            En w'en Buh Was' yeddy dat de bigges' put-tetter in Buh Skeeter Pa Put-tetter patch ent no bigger en de bigges' pa'at of Buh Skeeter leetle bit o' laig, 'e clap 'e han' ter 'e side, en 'e laf, en 'e laf; en 'e draw in 'e breff tell, w'en 'e stop laffin, 'e wais' all drawn in--
            En 'e nebber come out no mo'!
            Now, children, you say I mus' tell you a new story. You ain' yeddy 'bout poor Simon; I ain't b'leve I tell you 'bout him befo'.
            Simon use to lib on old Marsa Shellbank place, w'er de crik run up rite in front o' de door, an' you kin see now de old oak snag rise up out de water. Now, Simon bin berry lub fish, an' ebery Sund'y, w'en 'e wife say "Simon, praise-bell, dey ring," 'e answer: "I ain' feel well," or maybe 'e say: "It e'e too hot;" an' all de time 'e hab 'e yie cock fo' see eef de tide rite fo' fish.
            Well, one Sunday mawnin' Patty git up, cook pot o' rice, mek coffee from some ole Missis bin gib um, an' Simon an' she eat dere wash-mout wat come befo' dinnah. Praise bell ring: Patty say: "Come, Simon, you yeddy to him; come." Simon answer:

--- PAGE 148---

"I got misery in my back; I ain't gwine." Patty mek answer:
            "Las' Sund'y Uncle Billy say: 'Patty, how come Simon nebber show 'e face in de praise-house, an nebber harken to de w'ud o' de Lord?' Simon say: 'I got misery in my back.' Patty say, I tell brudder Billy: 'I ain' know wat you do, but w'en I does come home I sure fine de pot dirty, an' fish bone to clean up.' An' Uncle Billy say: 'You tell Simon, 'e better tek care, old debbil ketch him yet, ketch him sure, ef 'e doan stop fish on de Sabbat.'"
            Patty stop talk, an' look long on Simon; den she rise up and go to sing hallalulah in de praise-house.
            Jist soon as 'e see Patty gone Simon reche for de rod, and mek for de ribber. 'E sit on de snag I bin tell you 'bout, an' 'e fish an' e' fish--de bell, dey ring yit--an' one time 'e say, I ain' b'leve fish gwine bite to-day, and 'e look to'rds de church. Jist den 'e feel a nibble; fish tek de bait; Simon ju'k; dat suttinly bin a big fish. Simon mek play, up ribber, down ribber. One time fish mos' clear, but Simon land him, carry him to de house, clean him an' cook him; an' den 'e eat dat whole fish, and reche up for his pipe to smoke. Just as Simon rise up de fish inside Simon begin to sing, and say:

            Eat bones and all, Simon;
            Eat bones and all; you, Simon.
            Oh-de sinner, oh-ah-de sinner Simon.

--- PAGE 149---

            So por Simon tried to eat do bones, but 'e kan't; an' den de fish inside him begin to sing again:
            Go down to de ribber, Simon;
            Go down to de ribber, Simon.
            Ah-de sinner, oh-ah-de sinner Simon.

            So he had to go out o' de house to de ribber, an' 'e scaid till 'e knees do tremble; an' de fish, soon as 'e foot touch de water, begin to sing again:

            Go a little deeper, Simon;
            Oh-ah de sinner Simon:
            Go deeper, go deeper, Simon.

            An' Simon scaid, scaid to death—had to go; first to 'e waist, den to 'e mout; an' 'e den stop a while, an' de fish sing again:

            Go down to de ribber, Simon;
            Go down to de ribber, Simon;
            Go deeper, Simon—Simon,
            Go a little deeper, you sinner Simon.

            An' den poor Simon gone, gone, gone.
            Now w'en Patty come home from church, she fine de door open an' a pile o' fish bones on de table an' de pot ware Simon bin cookin', an' she call Simon.
            No answer; an' she call three time, an' no sound come back. An' Patty put 'e han' to 'e head an' study, an' den 'e say to 'eself: "I bin tell Simon ef

--- PAGE 150---

'e don't stop fish on a Sabbat, de debbil sure gwine git him, an' my wud done come true."
            An' chillum, eben now, once ebry yere, you kin see Simon fish from de ole snag in Shellbank crik, in de night time.

 

" Mary Bell”
(AS TOLD BY NURSE "BABA")

            Mary Bell was the handsomest lady in the Ogeechee country, and all the gentlemen in Liberty and McIntosh wanted to marry her, and near every day one of them would call; but she was proud and dearly loved fine dress and fine things, and she would have none and told them she would marry no one who did not come for her in a coach, and that the horses must have harness mounted in silver.
            Now, when the devil heard this he thought he would try his chance. So he dressed himself in his finest clothes, and got into his coach drawn by his two black horses, "Woe" and "Wodin," with their shining silver trappings, and drove up the wide road that led from Rose-Dew to the house where Mary lived. And after he had met Mary he told her of his beautiful home, and showed her Woe and Wodin as they stood at the gate, and said he had many other fine things and lots of money. So Mary thought him a very nice man, and she promised to marry him.
            Then he invited her, with her sister Nancy, to

--- PAGE 151---

lunch at his house, where they could look over his beautiful furniture and surroundings and all that belonged to him, and they went with him. But when he had shown them into the parlor he pretended to leave them for a moment, and, locking the door, went out on his business.
            Now the devil had a nice young man, that is, he had been nice until he fell into bad company. His name was Jack, and his business was the care of the devil's three horses. He was very sorry when he saw so beautiful a woman as Mary enter the devil's parlor, and he climbed up to the window and called out and said: "You must never marry the man who brought you here, for he is very bad, and in truth he is the devil himself."
            And Mary and Nancy were frightened, and Mary said: "Oh, save me, only save me and I will marry you." And Jack answered: "I will try, but it must be now, while the devil is away, going to and fro throughout the world." And he saddled Woe and Wodin for Mary and Nancy, and the other horse for himself, and led them under the window. Then he got a ladder and they came to the ground, and he put Mary on Woe, Nancy on Wodin, and the third he mounted himself; and he told them: "We will have to jump over the gate, for it is bolted and locked, and we will have to be careful and not touch the bell that hangs over it, for if we do it will give the alarm and the devil and his army of angels will surely catch us."

--- PAGE 152---

            Jack jumped first, and he went clear. Nancy followed, and she did not touch bell or clapper. Mary came last, and, though the horse cleared the gate the long feathers in her hat, which she would wear, flew up and struck the bell, and it rang out loud:

            Ding-dong, the ladies gone, long-time,
            Ding-dong, long-time, gone.

            Now, when the devil heard that, he flew to his stable to get his horses to follow them, and when he saw all three were out he was so mad he did not know what to do, but he started after them on foot, and knowing, if the horses could but hear his voice, they would stop and refuse to go further, he began to sing:

--- PAGE 153---

            Whoa, Wodin, whoa--e-e Woe,
            Whoa--e-e Woe, who--e-e," &c

           And Jack saw the horses turning their ears backward and listening and he said to Mary: "Look in your horse's left ear and you will find a black bean; throw it behind us, over your left shoulder." And Mary did as he told her, and straightway there grew a great wood behind them so thick and tangled that nothing, not even a bad spirit, could pass through it. And when the devil got there he was mad, for he could not get through but had to go back for the angels who served him to cut a pathway. It was soon done, and he followed the trail still singing:

                Whoa--e-e, Wodin, whoa;
                Woe, whoa--e-e, Wodin," &c.

            And the horses heard him and they trembled and stopped, and nothing that Jack or Mary did could make them take one step forward, while behind them they could see the devil coming, not fast, but as quick as his cloven hoof would let him.
            Then Jack said: "Mary, look in the pocket on the side of your saddle and you will find an egg; throw it over your left shoulder and behind us." And Mary did so, and straightway there ran a great river between them and the figure that followed. The horses stood still, looking back at their master, while Mary, Jack and Nancy made their way on foot homeward; and the devil, first calling to the horses by name, sat down and waited until they swam the river and stood by his side.
            Before night they were safe at home, but Jack would not go with them; he had lived so long, he said, sinning and serving the great tempter to sin, that he was unfit to be with them, smirched and besoiled as he was by his remembrances. So he hid himself in the woods, that he might be by himself and think how best he might escape.
            As for the devil, whom they had left on the river bank, when he saw how fast the water ran he knew he could never get across at that place, but swore he would follow the stream to where the tide from the ocean met its current, so as to make still water, and,

--- PAGE 154---

having crossed, he would yet force Mary to keep the promise she had made. Thro wood, thro waste, his way he took, guided only by the water as it ran to the sea. Through swamps of bay and magnolia, where white-cupped flowers breathed heavy sweetness, by waters whose green margins were starred with lily and spiderwort, under dark-shadowing oaks and cypress, he journeyed. The birds hushed their song at sight of the figure that cast no shadow; the screech owl alone looked down on him, with the eyes that foretold sickness and trouble; and when he came to the ferry at Rose-Dew, where ocean and river met, the water was not clear and running, but dark and turbid as his own spirit.
            Day was breaking as he crossed the water—still, only until the flood pressed in from the sea. No morning song of awakening nature hummed in the air; the grass grew scorched and cracked under his footsteps; all living things fled at his approach, for, changed though he be in shape, by their innocence they knew him; to only those born of Adam and Eve, whom he had blinded in times before, did he seem but a gentleman who, in the fair morning light, was seeking the house that could be seen on the hill in the distance—the house where watched the woman who had craved fine things and who in her desire for them had promised him love and wifehood.
            With no call to servant or knock at door the evil one entered, as of a right. In the hallway stood Mary Bell, with a clasped book in her hand.

--- PAGE 155---

            "And why did you so rudely leave my house, and you, my promised wife, madame, I ask?"
            "A little of my own will, and still more of Heaven's promptings, caused me to leave your house, sir," answered Mary Bell; and then, lifting and opening the Bible, she cried: "Away from me, Satan; in God I trust." And the devil trembled and his frame shook, and there came a whirlwind which blew him out of the window, as Mary dropped on her knees; and the thunder rolled by, and there was silence.
            And as the devil passed through the woods he spied Jack sitting by a tree, and he rushed at him and caught him, and said: "You I will keep and torment." Now Jack had been all night thinking about Mary, for he now knew that he loved her and that a soul had been born in him, and he prayed God to give him a new life; and though he was mightily frightened, he remembered what his mother had read to him when a child. So he answered: "I have sinned much, but God's mercy is greater." And at the name of God the devil rushed into the woods and vanished.
            And a little dog that belonged to Nancy Bell, that had found Jack when he was in hiding, came and licked his hand; and Jack told the dog to go and find Mary Bell, and the dog went home and jumped into Mary's lap and kissed her on the cheek, and took her by the skirt and led her to where Jack sat. And when they saw each other they ran, and put their arms around each other's necks, and

--- PAGE 156---

on the following day they were married. And afterward they lived very happily.
            Now, the devil, when he had to go home, was very mad, so mad that he tormented everything in his sight, and he took and beat his old wife, and he beat her again and again until the very sun was sorry for her and rained down in tears, so that even now, whenever it rains when the sun is shining we say, "The old devil is beating his wife."

            The following is a letter received in 1865 from "Prince," who, with his wife Judy, had been left at Resaca, Georgia, at the approach of General Sherman, and who there remained a caretaker until 1866:

Dear Mausser:
                I yeddy say me kin write one letter to my Mausser. Dem people bout yah tink say Mausser, en de res ob de quality folks nebber bin gwine come back no mo'. So Mis' Cobb him tec one ax en him breck open dat closet do' wha got one lock on em, way Misses keep him jahs en him bottle; en Mis' Cobb him teaf all Missis preza'aba en ting.
                Wen me see ebbry ting bin gwine, me tec de clabber-seen ile, en me put em up tell me want bittle fer eat, den me sell em fer some flour in one bag. Me no tink me oughter sell Mausser ile.
                Me en Tyra en Judy go fer git Mausser hog frum Mr. Jones. Him ent bin dey, but him wife say him buy em. Wen we go to Mr. Jones him no bin hab time to yeddy wha him wife bin say, else him would hab

--- PAGE 157---

lie too. Wen we show em de order say 'e de use de hob, dem bin mighty mad, en dem cuss we. Mr. Jones flo' being cobber wid Mausser corn wussa nurrar foot.
                Yeddy me wen I tell you Mausser, Judy yent wut shucks; she wunt wuck; it one shame fer one big strong 'oman fer mec Mausser feed em en him no wuck. Me tell em ef 'e no wuck e must n't eat Mausser corn, en 'e do berry well now.
                Mausser niggar would ha bin hab nuff corn to las me tree year, only cause de wah come tru yah, en dem soldier dem teaf all me corn en we cotton. Mausser, me berry sorry me tec dat ile.
                To morrow de Chris'mas. We wish wonnah bin yah, fah gie me someting good. Us wanter see wonnah, but we cant tinker ridin' on dem ting who go wussa nurra bud de fly. [A train?]

Yo humble sa'vant,
Prince.

--- PAGE 158---

APPENDIX II

            On page 14 I have used the words "spectre of a coming débâcle." I have meant to allude to a mental fright, or vision of a possible future, which at rare intervals seized a community, stifling for a time even in men of the highest character and principle any regard for justice or the primal equities of life—at such moments every ear was closed to reason, and courtesy was transformed into intolerance and justice to indifference.
            I submit the following letters. The first is from the U. S. Collector of the Port of Brunswick and Darien in answer to inquiry as to "truth of reports," made by the U. S. District Attorney.
            The second is in answer to report to the Department made by the District Attorney, and is from the Secretary of State, Hon. Lewis Cass.
            The third is from Lord Lyons to the Secretary of State at Washington. I regret I have misplaced the instructions to the District Attorney for Attorney General Black, which were in effect that it was Georgia, not the U. S., that was bound to take action. The injustice to an innocent man was not even protested against by men who in all other respects were models of integrity and culture. Did

--- PAGE 159---

they not lay themselves open to St. Paul's reproach of himself when he wrote concerning the stoning of Stephen, "And I also was standing by, and consenting?"
            (Written in response to an inquiry from Hamilton Couper, U. S. Atty., regarding the newspaper account of sale).

Darien, 1st., March 1860.
Dear Sir:
                Your letter came to hand this morning and not being in the county at the time of sale spoken of, have endeavored to glean such information as to enable me to reply to your inquiry. The negro was sold by an order from the Mayor's Court (James M. Harris at the time Mayor) to a Mr. Striplan of Tatnall County, for $550.00, for a term of 65 years, $200.00 of this amt. was paid into the City Treasury, $250.00 to Capt. , and the balance in fees etc. Mr. Striplan fearing (as I learn) some trouble following his purchase, if illegal, to his loss sent the negro West and disposed of him for $1200. Mr. Thomas W. Baker interposed several objections to this sale as counsel for the negro, but was over-ruled and the sale ordered to go on. He can give you a more full and satisfactory explanation of the whole proceeding.

Very truly yours,
Woodford Mabry.

U. S. Collector Port of Brunswick & Darien. Hamilton Couper, Esq.
Savannah.

--- PAGE 160---

Department of State,
Washington, 28th March, 1860.
Hamilton Couper, Esq.,
U. S. District Attorney,
Savannah, Georgia.

Sir:
                I have received your letter of the 23rd. instant, and in answer have to inform you that the subject you refer to, in its present shape, is not one with which this Department can interfere. No representation has been received by the authority of the British Government, and the matter seems to be one over which the laws of Georgia have jurisdiction. With respect to the propriety of your acting in your private capacity as assistant counsel, I consider it a question entirely for your own decision, and in which this Government has no right to interfere.

I am, Sir, Respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
L.W. Cass.

Washington,
March 30th., 1860.

Sir:
                Mr. Molyneux, Her Majesty's Consul at Savannah, has brought to my notice a very serious outrage of which a colored British subject, named William Brodie, a native of the Bahama Islands, has been the victim. My attention has also been called to the matter by the Governor of the Bahamas.
                It appears that on the 27th of July, 1858, (or about that date) Brodie, who was at the time a seaman belonging to the American barque "Overman" of New

--- PAGE 161---

York, James Stirling, Master, was arraigned in the Mayor's Court at Darien in Georgia, on a charge of attempting to entice a slave to run away; that he was convicted (in opposition, it is stated, to the evidence) and that he was sentenced to pay a fine of five hundred dollars or be sold into slavery. Being of course unable to pay the fine, he was, it seems, put up for sale and purchased by a man named Striplan, of Tatnall County, Georgia.
                This flagitious proceeding came to the knowledge of Mr. Consul Molyneux only at the beginning of the present month. He immediately took the advice of counsel, and was informed that the Mayor's Court at Darien had no jurisdiction in the case; that the sentence was one which no court in Georgia had authority to pronounce; and that the parties implicated were amenable to the State Courts of Georgia, but not to the Federal Courts. Accordingly Mr. Molyneux gave instructions to institute forthwith a criminal prosecution in the State Courts, with a view to bringing the perpetrators of the outrage to justice.
                But in the more important and more difficult task of tracing Brodie and restoring him to freedom, Mr. Molyneux is anxious to obtain the assistance of the Federal authorities; and it is with the object of soliciting that assistance that I now do myself the honor to address you.
                It appears that Brodie was removed by Striplan from Darien, McIntosh County, Georgia, to Tatnall County, in the same State, and thence sent to the West and sold. Mr. Molyneux apprehends that under these circumstances it will be almost impossible to find him without the aid of Striplan. He suggests that the most effectual

--- PAGE 162---

means of inducing Striplan to co-operate in the search would be to give him notice of a prosecution on the part of the Federal Authorities; and he begs me to request that instructions to that effect may be sent to the United States District Attorney.
                I lay this distressing case before you, Sir, in full confidence that you will urge the competent authorities to give effectually, and without delay, all the aid which it is in the power of the Federal Government to afford, toward redressing the grievous wrong of which Brodie has been the victim, and especially toward discovering the unfortunate man and restoring him to freedom.
                I have the honor to be with the highest consideration, Sir, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) Lyons.
Minister for Great Britain.
The Honorable Lewis Cass.

Department of State.
Washington, 31st. March 1860.
Hamilton Couper, Esq.,
U. S. District Attorney,
Savannah, Georgia.

Sir:
                Since my letter to you of the 23rd. instant, I have received from Lord Lyons, the British Minister here, a communication respecting the case of William Brodie, a copy of which I enclose.
                It is impossible for this Department, for the want of sufficient information, to give any specific instructions as to the course which it is proper to take, and I will thank you for any suggestions which may occur to you on the subject. From present appearances, a

--- PAGE 163---

great wrong has been done by the sale of Brodie and his deportation to an unknown place. The authors of the wrong, as I understand from your last letter, are likely to be dealt with under the laws of Georgia as they deserve, but in the mean time the unfortunate victim ought to be restored to his rights. I hope you may be able to adopt or suggest some measures which will lead to his discovery and to such redress as he may be entitled to under the laws.

I am, Sir, respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
L. W. Cass.

Home     Contact      Site Map
 Copyright ©GlynnGen.com 2003-2012 All Rights Reserved
  
Material on this site is one of kind, having been published here for the first time ever. This data was compiled by Amy Hedrick
  for the GlynnGen website to be used for your personal use and it is not to be reproduced in any manner on other websites or electronic media,
  nor is it to be printed in any resource books or materials. Thank you!

Want to make a contribution?

Donate via PayPal: