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Reconstruction Period Research Forum

Re: Senate Rpt - Negro Exodus from So. States PT 2

p.168-169
"The following description of the White League organization in Louisiana, its object, and design of its leaders, as submitted by witness, was ordered to be printed as part of the evidence:"

The White League in Louisiana

The existence of an organization in Louisiana known as the "White League" is a fact so well known that nobody can feign ignorance of it or question it, except, perhaps, Louisiana correspondents of the Northern press, who are accustomed to represent it as a mere myth, a malicious Republican falsehood, intended to furnish the President a plausible pretext for sending troops to Louisiana to control elections, &c. We shall not stop here to controvert these groundless but often repeated assertions, which constitute only a part of a stupendous effort of the white leaguers and their friends at home and abroad to conceal from the world the nature and designs of this organization; but will proceed at once to make a brief exhibit of the organization as shown by the sworn testimony of White League witnesses before the congressional committee, together with utterances of the Democratic press throughout the State.

What the press says.

The following extracts from the White league papers of Louisiana will serve to elucidate more fully the real design of the originators of the league, and their modes of accomplishing that design.

[From the Shreveport Times.]

The Radical or negro party has not yet, so far as we know, nominated a parish ticket. The movements of that party are usually conducted in the manner of those of a thief, stealthily, and while honest people are asleep; therefore their nominations may be agreed upon, though not yet known to the honest portion of the community. We think not, however. We are of the opinion that the plan of the carpet-baggers, scalawags, and negroes has been to wait until the white man's ticket was in the field, and then to move. It has been surmised from expressions which have fallen from some of the chiefs who have leaky mouths, that the negro party would nominate on their ticket white men of average character and seek by that means to break our ranks and divide out strength.
If such is the design it certainly will fail, for we cannot conceive that any man who has any honesty or pride or decency or self-respect would, in this crisis, accept a nomination from the negro party against the white people's ticket. Should any white man outside o f the carpet-baggers and well known scalawags have the termerity to accept such a nomination he could be banished from decent society and universally condemned by the community. No white man could at this juncture accept such a nomination without perpetrating a crime against his fellow man. Should the radicals or negroes tender their nomination without perpetrating a crime against his fellow man. Should the radicals or negroes tender their nomination to white men in any measure identified with or possessing the respect of this community, it will be not for the purpose of putting good men in office but with the view of dividing our strength and perpetuating the reign of ignorance and rascality.
We have no appeal to make to our fellow-citizens of New Orleans. We Know that the men of the 14th of September will do their whole duty as freemen and Louisianians zealous of their liberties. But throughout the country parishes there should be concert of action and that action should be prompt and emphatic. In every parish where the officers elected by the people may be counted out by the returning board, the people should use hemp or ball on the defeated candidates counted in. To localize the proposition - if Geo. L. Smith is counted in over Wm. m. Levy, or if Twitchell is counted in over Elam, let Smith and Twitchell be killed; if Johnson and Tyler, in De Soto, are counted in over Scaled and Schuler, or if Keating, Levisee, and Johnson, in Caddo, are counted in over Vaughan, Horan and land, then let Johnson, Tyler, Keating, Levisee, and Johnson be killed; and so let every officer from Congressman down to constable in every district and parish of the State be served, whom the people have defeated and whom the returning board may count in.

[From the Shreveport Times of May 20.]

We are going to redeem this State from the rule of villainy and ignorance, or we will force the Federal Government to establish a military government.

[From the issue of July 29, 1874]

There has been some redhanded work done in this parish that was necessary, but it was evidently done by cool, determined, and just men, who knew just how far to go, and we doubt not if the same kind of work is necessary it will be done again.
We again say that we fully, cordially approve what the white men of Grant and Rapides did at Colfax. The white man who does not is a creature so base that he shames the worst class of his species. We say again we are going to carry the election in the State next fall.
Then let the negroes of Louisiana beware. Whenever the Anglo-Saxon and African have met in arms the result has not been a battle but a butchery, as it has been in Bossier in 1868 and in 1873.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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