and intelligent citizen, was to be self-sustaining. That
man that is worth nothing contributes nothing to the
government to which he belongs. The wealthy support
this government and not the poor; nearly every foot of land,
all live stock, every library, all house furniture, all railroads
and bank stocks are taxed. Do the Negroes own any prop¬
erty in this country ? If so they are live factors in the
support of the government to which they belong.
As a race, they are more wealthy than any other, con¬
sidering the time they have had to amass it. Twenty-
three years ago they walked from bondage, clothed not in
silk nor satin, but wearing the mantle of poverty. The
North gave them freedom (?) but did not give them wealth.
They settled doAvn in the South among their former mas¬
ters to eat their bread in the sweat of their own face.
Worked at very low wages: Men (50) fifty cents per day
and women (25) twenty-five cents.
Those who wished to be more independent rented lands,
much pine thickets and oak forests, cleared them with their
uxe, and "grubbing" hoe, making bread that way, and
gave part of that for rent.
Many bought old teams at high prices, that would die
after one year's service. Some rented farms and team and
worked on shares; having but little knowledge of mathe¬
matics, the white man worked figures while they worked
the muscle, and counted one for himself and naught for the
Negro. When pay-day came he took the corn and left the
Negro the shucks; he the cotton and the Negro the stalk;
he the meat and the Negro the bone.
Through all of this the Negroes struggled, and to-day in
the South they own over 200,000 acres of land, many fine
houses, stock beyond number, and bank deposits unknown.
They had in Charleston banks over $100,000 when the panic