Some Nineteenth Century Thought on the Negro
Sherman’s Opinion of Blacks
General W. T. Sherman wrote the following in a letter written from Atlanta in 1864, which was printed in the St. Louis Republican in 1889:
I don’t see why we can’t have some sense about negroes, as well as about horses, mules, iron, copper, etc.; but say “nigger” in the United States, and from Sumner to Attorney Kelly the whole country goes crazy. I never thought my nigger letter would get into the papers, but since it has I lay low. I like niggers well enough as niggers, but when fools and idiots try to make niggers better than ourselves I have an opinion. ([William H. Campbell,] Anthropology for the People: A Refutation of the Theory of the Adamic Origin of All Races (Richmond, 1891), p. 295]
Miscegenation in the 1880's
In the 1880’s a wedding of note occurred between a Negro man and an Aryan woman. A Northern newspaper, the Independent, wrote the following editorial praising this marriage:
We shall be pleasantly surprised if the newspapers edited by colored men do not treat somewhat coldly Mr. Douglass’ marriage. They ought to welcome it heartily. It is one of the best things that could happen for the race in America. A man whose color is marked, a man of culture and ability, and one of the first of his race to achieve social standing in the very capital of his country, where he is known and honored, was taken to wife a worthy white woman. It is miscegenation in Washington. It is an example which will be followed, and which must be followed before the prejudice against color will die out, as it has died out in some countries. Decency of morals requires honest, sanctified wedlock to take the place of thousands of illegitimate unions. We are heartily glad that such an event has taken place, and the colored people of the country — certainly those who have also white blood in their veins — should, for their mothers’ sake and their daughters’ sake, be far-sighted enough to see the meaning and drift. ([William H. Campbell,] Anthropology for the People: A Refutation of the Theory of the Adamic Origin of All Races (Richmond, 1891), p. 271.)As this editorial shows, liberal thought has not changed over the last century. Unfortunately, such people have only become much more successfully in creating their nightmare. Then as now, Blacks seem to resist destruction of their, the Negro, race through miscegenation more than Whites resist destructing their, the Aryan, race through miscegenation. Liberal newspapers continue to see miscegenation as the solution to America’s race problem. They claim to believe that the resulting mongrel race will be superior to the two parent races. Further, they degrade Blacks by claiming that they are nothing unless they mix with Whites. They are nothing unless they are mulattoes.
At least then another leading Northern newspaper, the Interior, condemned this marriage and editorial. (When was the last time that a newspaper of note condemned the sin of miscegenation? When was the last time that a newspaper praised racial prejudice?) The Interior wrote in response to the above editorial,
This strikes us a morbid sentimentalism. The law of God requires sanctified wedlock, but the existence of a greater is no justification of a lesser evil. The policy of righteousness is not to substitute one evil for another, but to eradicate both. To level down a splendid race in order to destroy race prejudice is to burn a barn to destroy a rat — or that which is erroneously supposed to be a rat. Race prejudice is good: we wish there were enough of it to entirely prevent the commingling of the blood of the higher with that of the lower races of men. The meaning of miscegenation is a downward drift — a fact so obvious that it scarcely needs arguing — and race prejudice is founded, and well founded, on that fact. The negro race is a weak race everywhere, and has been such in all its known history — its sad aptitude, in all time, being for servility and slavery. The Arabs prey upon them to-day as if they were so many black sheep; and their only defense is in distant England and America. They could not maintain a traffic in slaves of any other people. Suppose it were tried upon the American Indians! We say that it is a cruel wrong to his posterity for a white person to marry a negro — and it would be a wrong no less if there were no social distinctions; and it is almost as great a wrong to his or her posterity for a negro to marry a white person. The mixed race is not equal to either of the originals — they are weaker than the weaker of the two. A thorough commingling of the blood of the two races in America would take us as a nation from a place among the highest of a splendid race, and set us low among the lowest. Shall we, as a people, have less regard for the physical symmetry and beauty and stamina, the intellectual vigor, courage, energy and keenness of our posterity — less regard for them than we have for the excellence of our horses? The negroes are an inferior race, but it does not follow that because they are weak the strong have any right to oppress or to wrong them. They are human beings, entitled to all human rights; and manly magnanimity will concede them their human rights all the more because they are weak. The white race in this country are bound in honor to do all they can for the elevation and happiness of colored race; but they are even more profoundly bound in duty and in honor to transmit pure Caucasian blood to their own posterity. No greater wrong would be possible for us to do those who are to come after us in America than to put them at a natural and an irreparable disadvantage to the white nations of Europe. We must be impartially just and kind to all races of men, do them good and do them no harm; and this not only to all now living, but to those who are to live after us. The colored race is fitted for, and can live in and thoroughly enjoy, torrid climates, that are not only inimical, but fatal to white people. Deprive them of their pure tropical blood, and they are not fitted either for the cold which we enjoy nor for the heat which they enjoy. Every reasonable consideration is against the position of the Independent on this subject. ([William H. Campbell,] Anthropology for the People: A Refutation of the Theory of the Adamic Origin of All Races (Richmond, 1891), pp. 271-273.)If the wisdom of the Interior had been followed over the last century instead of the folly of the Independent, the race problems in America would be almost nonexistent. If Aryan leaders had expended the resource and energy that they have wasted in trying to destroy the Aryan race to advance the Aryan, America would be a much better place to live — both spiritually and materially. Not only would the Aryan race be much better off to day, so would be the Negro and other races.
Dr. Daniel G. Brinton on Miscegenation
The following comment was made by Dr. Daniel G. Brinton, Professor of Ethnology at the Academy of Natural Science and of American and Linguistics in the University of Pennsylvania and President of the American Folk-Lore Society and of the Numismatic and Antiquarians Society of Philadelphia, in his lectures delivered at the Academy of Natural Sciences in 1890 as given in Races and Peoples: Lectures on the Science of Ethnography (Philadelphia, ). (This was an era when a man of science could speak frankly without fear of ostracism.)
There can be no doubt but that any white mixed race is lower in the scale of intelligence than the pure white race. A white man entails indelible degradation on his descendants who takes in marriage a woman of a darker race; and any relation other than that of marriage, no matter if it does lift the lower race, is unauthorized by any sound moral code. Still more to be deplored is the woman of the white race who unites herself with a man of a lower ethnic type. It cannot be too often repeated, too emphatically urged, that it is to the women alone of the highest race that we must look to preserve the purity of the type, and with it the claims of the race to be the highest. They have no holier duty, no more sacred mission, than that of transmitting in its integrity the heritage of ethnic endowment gained by the race through thousands of generations of struggle. That philanthropy is false, that religion is rotten, which would sanction a white woman enduring the embrace of a colored man.
Physical Criteria of Racial Superiority
Dr. Daniel Brinton, a professor of Ethnology, identifies in Races and Peoples: Lectures on the Science of Ethnography (Philadelphia, ) several traits that can be used to identify the superiority or inferiority (here superiority and inferiority mean less apelike and more apelike) of a race. The more of these traits a race possesses the closer it approaches apes and the lower or more inferior it is. Conversely, the fewer of these traits a race possesses the farther it is removed from apes, i.e., the more it approaches the characteristics of true man, and the higher or more superior the race is. The traits that Brinton identifies are:
Simplicity and early union of cranial sutures.
Presence of the frontal process of the temporal bone.
Wide nasal aperture, with synostosis of the nasal bone.
Prominence of the jaws.
Recession of the chin.
Early appearance, size and permanence of the “wisdom” teeth.
Unusual length of the humerus.
Perforation of the humerus.
Continuation of the “heart” line across the hand.
Obliquity (narrowness) of the pelvis.
Deficiency of the calf of the leg.
Flattening of the tibia.
Elongation of the heel (os calcis).
A Mulatto’s Thought
The following was written about a century ago by Thomas, a mulatto, in The American Negro, who witness Reconstruction in the South:
. . . It may have been the outcropping of gratitude to Federal victors or reckless abandon to lust, but the exciting cause is immaterial so long as the shameful fact is true that, wherever our armies were quartered in the South, the negro women flocked to their camps for infamous riot with the white soldiery. All occupied cities, suburban rendezvous, and rural bivouacs bore witness to the mad havoc daily wrought in black womanhood by our citizen soldiery. . . . Nor do we doubt that the present lax morality everywhere observable among negro womenkind is largely due to the licentious freedom which the war engendered among them. Slavery had its blighting evils, but also its wholesome restraints.If the records were available, many more mulattoes would find their white ancestry in the noble soldiers of Yankeedom than they would in the slave owners and their families and overseers.
Comments on the Negro Problem
The following was written by A. H. Shannon in 1907 in Racial Integrity and Other Features of the Negro Problem:
The negro problem is not, primarily, one in the realm of economics. It is essentially a moral problem. It is reduced to this: Which is better, a mongrel race whose origin is in sin, and which represents the worst of all the races; or a race, whatever its limitations, yet true to its own racial peculiarities and striving to attain, intact, the best and highest of which it is capable?Today, liberals and most conservatives of note would answer a mongrel race is preferable — so great must be their hate of the Black man.
Abraham Lincoln the Racist
In Lincoln’s Peoria speech, Oct. 16, 1854, he said, “Let it not be said I am contending for the establishment of political and social equality between whites and blacks. I have already said the contrary.”
In his response to Steven Douglas, Lincoln said, “In the course of his reply, Senator Douglas remarked, in substance, that he had always considered this government was made for the white people and not for the negroes. Why, in point of mere fact, I think so too.”
In his speech at Bloomington, Ill., May 29, 1856, Lincoln said:
Judge Douglas . . . avows that the Union was made by white men and for white men and their descendants. As a matter of fact, the first branch of the proposition is historically true; the government was made by white men, and they were and are the superior race. This I admit. . . . Nor is it any argument that we are superior and the Negro inferior — that he has but one talent while we have ten. Let the Negroes possess the little he has in independence; if he has but one talent, he should be permitted to keep the little he has.In his speech at Springfield, June 26, 1857, a few months after the Dred Scott decision, Lincoln said:
But Judge Douglas is especially horrified at the thought of the mixing blood by the white and black races: agreed for once — a thousand times agreed. There are white men enough to marry all the white women, and black men enough to marry all the black women; and so let them be married. On this point we fully agree with the Judge; and when he shall show that his policy is better adapted to prevent amalgamation than ours we shall drop ours, and adopt his. . . . A separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation but as an immediate separation is impossible the next best thing is to keep them apart where they are not already together. If white and black people never get together in Kansas, they will never mix blood in Kansas. That is at least one self-evident truth. . . . I have said that the separation of the races is the only perfect preventative of amalgamation. . . . Such separation, if ever effected at all, must effected by colonization; and no political party, as such is now doing anything for colonization. . . .In his speech at Chicago, July 10, 1858, Lincoln said, “I protest, now and forever, against that counterfeit logic, which presumes that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave, I do necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I need not have her for either, but as God made us separate, we can leave one another alone and do one another much good thereby. . . .”
In the Lincoln-Douglass debate at Ottawa, Ill., August 21, 1858, Lincoln said:
If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, — to their own native land. But a moment’s reflection would convince me, that whatever of high hope, (as I think there is) there may be in this, in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible. If they were all landed there in a day, they all would all perish in the next ten days; and there are not surplus shipping and surplus money enough in the world to carry them there in many times ten days. . . . What next? Free them, and make them politically and socially, our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not.In the Fourth Lincoln-Douglas debate, Charleston, Sept. 18, 1858, Lincoln said, “I give him [Douglas] the most solemn pledge that I will to the very last stand by the law of the State [of Illinois] which forbids the marrying of white people with negroes.”
Also, in the Fourth Lincoln-Douglas debate, Charleston, Sept. 18, 1858, Lincoln said:
I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races — that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the whiter race. . . .Again in the Fourth Lincoln-Douglas debate, in response to Douglas’s speech, Lincoln said, “. . . I tell him [Douglas] very frankly that I am not in favor of negro citizenship. . . . Now my opinion is that the different States have the power to make a negro a citizen under the Constitution of the United States if they choose. The Dred Scott decision decides that they have not that power. If the State of Illinois had that power I should be opposed to the exercise of it.”
On Oct. 1, 1858, Lincoln said, “. . . the negro is inferior to the white in the gifts of nature.”
In a statement to a committee of black men at the White House, Aug. 14, 1862, Lincoln said:
Why should the people of your race be colonized, and where? Why should they leave this country? This is, perhaps, the first question for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated.In a conversation with Gen. Butler, April 9, 1865, Lincoln said:
But what shall we do with the negroes after they are free? I can hardly believe that the South and North can live in peace, unless we can get rid of the negroes. Certainly they cannot if we don’t get rid of the negroes whom we have armed and disciplined and who have fought with us, to the amount, I believe, of some one hundred and fifty thousand men. I believe that it would be better to export them all to some fertile country with a good climate, which they could have to themselves. . . . Now, we shall have no use for our very large navy; what, then, are our difficulties in sending all the blacks away?
Time to Emancipate the Negro
Reverend Edward Fontaine was a New York professor of theology and natural science during the nineteenth century. He was a negrophile, but unlike twentieth-century negrophiles, he had a realistic and loving attitude towards Negroes instead politically correct maudlin and paternalistic attitude of the twentieth century. He had “tough love” for Negroes instead of an over mothering attitude that treats them like an infantile race as is done today.
In a lecture, How the World Was Peopled: Ethnological Lectures, that he gave in 1872, he said the following about the Negroes who were emancipated following the War:
The immediate effect of their emancipation in the Southern States has been to diminish their number fearfully. On one healthy plantation in Hinds County, Mississippi, from 1860 to 1865, there had occurred among fifty of the negro slaves only six deaths in five years. They were generally pious members of different churches, and had been the slaves of the same Christian family, as their ancestors had been before them for several generations. They were emancipated, and left their owners in May, 1865, and, before January, 1868, only nineteen of the original fifty were alive. The [sic] most of the children had died, and only a few others were born. They were generally excellent servants. But their condition was changed. They were in competition with the whites, and they died; how, and by what causes, I cannot say. I mention this as a representative, and not an exceptional, case of many others which have occurred under my own observation.According to his observations, most Negroes faired better under the cruelty of slavery than under the compassion of federal welfare.
After describing the price in wealth and lives expended to emancipate the Negro slaves, he describes all that had been done following their emancipation:
They are not only emancipated from slavery, after having been taught practically every kind of labor in agriculture, in mechanics, and in all the arts of our country, and instructed in all the forms and doctrines of Christianity, but they have been clothed with all the rights of citizens of the United States, and favored with peculiar and extraordinary privileges, such as were never conferred before upon any of the freemen of America. Special and liberal grants of money are made from the public Treasury for their education. They are now subjected to the fearful experiment of a competition in the race of life, for all its prizes, with the white people among whom they are mingled, with all the advantages in their favor. In addition to the strong support of the United States Government, they are also favored with the prayers and heart-felt good wishes of the Christians of every land for their success, and it may be safely asserted that they also have the sympathy and aid of their former masters. Surely they ought, under these favorable circumstances, to redeem the character of their race, and become a great and prosperous people. If they have been wronged by the people of the United States, all their wrongs have been thoroughly redressed. Never, since the emancipation of the Israelites and their settlement in the land of Canaan, have any people been so highly favored and abundantly blessed.Never have a people since ancient times been more blessed than the American Negro. This negrophile of 125 years ago felt that the time had come to cut the apron strings and let the Negro stand on his own two feet. Instead the Negro has been pampered like a spoiled brat. Until the Negro stands on his own without special consideration, aid, or privileges and in spite of any discrimination, real or perceived, he can never be a true man. The time is long past to do what Mr. Fontaine suggested should have been done 125 years ago. The emancipation of the Negro is way over due.
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