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that have ever before been garnered in recompense for the toils of the husbandman. While our free citizens have shouldered their muskets and have gone forth to fight the battles of their country, the Africans are contentedly working in the fields. Faithful and true to the interests of their masters; watching with kind solicitude over the unprotected women and children who have been left with no other defence than their fidelity afforded; rejoicing in the successes, or mourning over the reverses of the Southern armies, of which they are themselves a chief element of strength by means of the products of their labour; resisting alike the promises and the threats of the Yankee invaders; they have put to shame the enemies of the South, who predicted their unfaithfulness, and have taught mankind a lesson of experience, in regard to the influences and nature of the institution of slavery in the Southern States, which it is to be hoped will be more instructive than the speculative theories which have hitherto formed the basis of public opinion.*
* If any real sentiment of humanity, or consideration for the welfare of the African race in America, animates disinterested foreigners whose sympathies are enlisted in favour of the North, in the present struggle between the dissevered members of the late Confederacy, the events developed during the progress of the war should satisfy them that their hopes can never be realised under such auspices. That it is possible for the present relations between the master and slave to be broken up, by the annihilation of the white race, may not be questioned. It may even be granted that the Yankees may seize upon and occupy the plantations made vacant by the murder of their present possessors ; but who can
Never yet in the past history of nations has an ignorant or a servile population been subjected to
believe that the cold-hearted, cruel, and avaricious Northerner would prove to be more lenient in his exactions upon the Africans than those who at present control them ? The Northerners are proverbially more cruel towards the blacks than any other nation of the civilised world. Even the small number who are living amongst them in the enjoyment of nominal freedom, are not treated with the humanity which is accorded to beasts of burthen, and the conduct of both government and people since the war commenced, precludes the hope of any change in their conduct towards the degraded race. They first declare that they do not intend, under any circumstances, to interfere with the relations of master and slave. Next they propose to free the slave as a punishment to the master. Again they propose to inaugurate a servile war, in order that they may accomplish their fiendish designs against the Southerners. Now their government proposes to employ the slaves, as menial labourers in their camps, as hewers of wood and drawers of water, and diggers of ditchęs. But in all this we discover no approximation to that '
' equality and fraternity,' which they would have the world believe is the purpose they seek to accomplish. The isolation of the poor African is intensified and perpetuated by the degradation of the offices assigned to him; and in the very act of being called upon to sacrifice his life in their service, he is reminded that his heart's blood, even in death, must not be mingled with the blood of the white man.
We remember with pleasure the conduct of the American Colonies during the war of Independence. Even Massachusetts repudiated the employment of Africans to aid them in their unequal struggle against the mother-country, as will be seen by the following resolution adopted by the Committee of Safety':
*Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee, as the contest now between Great Britain and the Colonies respects the liberties and privileges of the latter, which the Colonies are determined to maintain, that the admission of any persons, as soldiers, into the army now raising, but only such as are freemen, will be inconsistent with the principles that are to be supported, and reflect dishonour on this colony, and that no slaves be admitted into this army upon any consideration whatever.'
But there is still higher authority to show that even in the most gloomy period of their struggle, the fathers of the revolution refused to employ the Africans to aid them in securing their independence. Washington himself in 1775 instructed the recruiting officers not to enlist Africans in the service of the United States.
At a council of war held at head-quarters, October 8, 1775, present
similar temptations, which have produced such small results. The Yankee invaders, by demoniac appeals
General Washington, Major-General Putnam, Brigadier-General Gates, and others, the question was proposed :
Whether it would be advisable to employ negroes in the army, and if there be a distinction between such as are slaves and those who are free. It was agreed unanimously to reject all slaves, and by a great majority to reject negroes altogether.'
A Committee of Conference, consisting of Mr. Franklin, the Governor of Rhode Island, the Committee of the Council of Massachusetts and others, met at Cambridge, October 18, 1775, to confer with General Washington as to the best means of recruiting for the army. On October 23, the question arose :
Ought not negroes to be excluded from the new enlistment, especially such as are slaves? All were thought improper by the council of officers.
*Agreed that they be rejected altogether.
Neither negroes, boys unable to bear arms, nor old men unfit to endure the fatigues of the campaign, are to be enlisted.'
At a subsequent period the rigour of this exclusion was somewhat mitigated in consideration of the fact that the British Government might otherwise succeed in enlisting the negroes into the armies of the enemy. But there was no period of time when the numbers in the service of the United States exceeded ten or twelve hundred men. Of these there was one regiment of slaves consisting of about three hundred from the State of Rhode Island. Although the colonists numbered only three millions of souls arrayed in rebellion against the greatest Power on earth, yet they scorned to win their liberties by the employment of a degraded race. Now the Northerners, with a population of eighteen millions, confess that without the assistance of the Africans they cannot subdue eight millions of Southerners. The following general order issued by the present Governor of Rhode Island, presents a striking contrast to the part acted by his predecessor in that office in 1775:STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS.
• Adjutant General's Office,
• Providence, Aug. 4, 1862. • The 6th Regiment, authorised by the Secretary of War, under date of October 23, 1861, and orders issued therefor from this Department, No. 103, Dec. 28, 1861, will consist entirely of coloured citizens. Enlistment will commence immediately. Camp will be established under direction of General Robbins, who is directed to organise the regiment. Our coloured fellow-citizens are reminded that the regiment from this
to their passions, have invited them to imbrue their hands in the blood of their masters, and to banquet
State in the Revolution, consisting entirely of coloured persons, was pronounced by Washington equal, if not superior, to any in the service. They constitute a part of the quota from this State, and it is expected they will respond with zeal and spirit to this call.
• The Commander-in-Chief will lead them into the field, and will share with them, in common with the patriotic soldiers of the army of the Republic, their trials and dangers, and will participate in the glories of their successes.
• By order of the Commander-in-Chief.'
The ferocious governor of this little State, while refusing to permit his 'coloured' brethren to be enlisted promiscuously in the ranks of the patriotic white soldiers, announces his own willingness as an individual to lead them up to the cannon's mouth. The question here suggests itself, if the Africans are not considered worthy to stand side by side upon the field of battle with white Yankees, why are they not permitted to fight under the leadership of officers of their own colour? These Rhode Island negroes have enjoyed half a century of freedom under Northern auspices, and surely within so long a period they ought to have acquired capacity sufficient to lay some claim to the right of being killed under officers of their own race. It is something to be noted, that while the Rhode Island governor remembered the flattering terms in which Washington referred to the services of the black regiment from that State, during the revolutionary war, he omits the important fact, that this regiment consisted entirely of slaves, led by their masters. They were fighting for their protectors and their homes, while the miserable freed African of today has no friend or home among that hard-hearted people, who now ask him to come forward and sacrifice his life in their cause,
The little State of Rhode Island, in the past and the present, illustrates the utter insincerity of Northern pretensions in favour of the African. The slave trade was during a long series of years the chief occupation of its citizens who were engaged in commerce. It is safe to assume that no other State of similar population introduced half the number of slaves into the South as were brought from Africa by the ships of this miniature sovereignty. Between the years 1804 and 1808, there were fifty-nine ships containing 8,233 slaves, belonging to Rhode Island, entered the single harbour of Charleston. They were the last to surrender the lucrative traffic,' and only abandoned it when the South refused any longer to furnish a market for their human cargoes. As if to revenge themselves against the South for putting a stop to their favourite branch of commerce, their governor now proposes to engage these same Africans to murder those to whom they sold them. Are there those amongst
and make merry in the halls where they had previously served as domestics. Their fears have been stimulated by threats of vengeance if they refused to join in the slaughter of the Southerners; but all in vain! Up to this moment the whites themselves have been scarcely more loyal to the South than the Africans. It may be that continued familiarity and association with bad men may in time make the negroes as savage and ferocious as their tutors. It may be that by promises and by threats a certain number may be induced to turn upon their masters and their mistresses, and slay them; but history will record the fact that no population of the same class, in any other country, bond or free, have ever resisted to the same extent the temptations to pillage and to murder. Thanks to the Africans, our usual crops of cotton,
, and tobacco, and rice will be ready in due time for any purchaser who will come and take them, or who will bring to us in exchange the manufactures which we require. If none are so bold as thus to dare the frowns of the North, we can readily convert our cotton plantations into grain fields, and divert a portion of the labour hitherto employed in planting, to the developement of our great manufacturing
the disinterested speculators of this terrible conflict, who can believe that the North is actuated by any wish to improve the condition of the Africans, or that the condition of the slaves can be ameliorated by any result which may be brought about through such instrumentality ?