whom alone I address myself, know the negroes well, it would be
perhaps unnecessary to say even that little except to call attention
to a few facts which prove the accuracy of Mr. Bruce's picture.
How has education affected
Their Political Relations?
In 1871, by reversing their vote,on the Funding Bill in about three
hours' time,* with a promptness and unanimity which proved that
they had been bribed, they enabled a ring of stock-jobbers, in com¬
bination with a few romantic Democrats, to burden the State with a
debt settlement which embarrasses her to the present day, though
the Democratic party is now fully committed to the justice of refu¬
sing to pay it. In 1881 they voted with the Readjusters to undo, as
far as practicable, their mischievous work of 1871. And they had
no more knowledge or convictions in the one case than in the other;
they were merely carrying out Republican decrees. In all the in¬
termediate time, and down to this day, their proclivity to unite with
the Republican party, represented in Virginia by the carpet-baggers
and the scalawags—with the fewest exceptions the refuse of our
white 1nen—has kept our people in a state of constant and feverish
anxiety Hence, besides the boon of education, the money for which
has been always readilj* voted to them, the Democratic (or White
Man's) party has felt impelled in self-defence to make other earnest
efforts to conciliate them, and has always, on prudential grounds,
declined to tender the race issue, or to argue it on the stump, except
when it has been raised by the Republicans.
But the negroes have been found to be irreclaimably deceitful and
venal ; and have always shown the inherent servility of their race by
the eagerness with which they seek masters like General Mahone, who
have found no difficulty, except in the case of the last Congressional
election in the Petersburg District, in purchasing and controlling
them tlirough their leaders, especially their preachers, whom they
follow'without question. So much for their behavior in politics.
That education has failed to improve.
Their Industrial Condition
need not be minutely pointed out. It is so universally known that
they have depreciated from a high degree of efficiency as agricul¬
tural laborers, in shivery, to a state of utter worthlessness in free¬
dom, that it will be sufficient to cite a very few instances of their
condition, as a means of enabling every man to call to mind num¬
bers of similar instances within his own observation. Recently
I have heard two gentlemen, one from Powhatan, the other from
* Journal House of Delegates, LS70-'71, pages 186-87.