Another table, furnished by Mr. Moses, shows the average age of
the convicts at the date of their admission to the penitentiary to be
27 years and 10 months. From which it is evident that a majority
of them must have had the advantage of the public schools.
The record of executions for murder and rape does not show the
color of the criminals; and whether negroes commit more or less
than their proportion of murders does not therefore appear. But
they commit much more than their ratable proportion of rape, es¬
pecially upon white women. But the largest number of these cases
are punished by lynching and never get into the courts; whither,
in my judgment, it is discreditable as well as impolitic that any of
them should be allowed to go. The newspapers, however, though I
know their record is not full, show that since the 10th of March last,
six days after Harrison's inauguration, up to the 10th of August, 12
white women have been assaulted by 16 negro men; and in some
cases under circumstances of-worse than brutal atrocity. Respect
for the victims and their families prevents specification of these
It is as well before leaving this branch of the subject to remind
the reader that conviction and service in the penitentiary brings no
disgrace to the criminal. On the contrary, no matter what the
offence, it is rather a mark of distinction, calling for renewed social
recognition as soon as the convict is discharged.
Such an outcome of Yankee statesmanship and philanthropy as
the above was inevitable, and was predicted from the beginning by the
South, which knew the negro race by the observation of two centuries.
In all that time it had learned by daily contact how radical and or¬
ganic is the difference between the black and Caucasian races, and
how impotent education would be to change the negro nature. But
this the North ignored or failed to understand, and committed the
crime of attempting, or affecting, " to change the type of a social
structure by a rearrangement wrought out through a revolution"*
against all the teachings of sociology, and against the suggestions of
common sense and the dictates of humanity.
They have ignored the great law of society that all governments
must grow out of the character of the nation, and that institutions
out of keeping with the character of the people upon whom they are
imposed can no more produce conformity to the pattern than a corn-
docket in two years. But since '72 there have been 140 convictions and about
thrice that number of prosecutions." He adds, he cannot inform me as to the
cases where the party charged with the offence is of such tender years as to
make a conviction improper ; but he says this class of cases is increasing to an
alarming extent. But in the great majority of these cases the merchants never
have the parties arrested because of the small amounts of the swindle, or be¬
cause of the youth of the offenders. From this it appears that their education
has widened the range of their instinctive thievishness.
* The Study of Sociology, page 121; see also page 275, et seq.