Reconstruction Period Research Forum
Re: Senate Rpt - Negro Exodus from So. States PT 2
In Response To: Re: Senate Rpt - Negro Exodus from So. States PT 2 ()
It has been charged that the white man's party expects to achieve success by intimidation. This is strictly true. We intend to succeed by intimidation, and we place little confidence in our numerical strength as shown in the figures above given from the ninth census.
Perhaps the fusion legislature was one of the ablest and most conservative bodies assembled in Louisiana in many years, and yet its vacillation lost the cause; its timidity betrayed the trust the people reposed in it. There were some bold and resolute men in that body and they sought to rally their fellow-members to action, but in vain. There were too many men in it afraid of trouble, afraid of a little blood-letting, afraid of making things worse.
The people of Louisiana are fast making up their minds that this state of things shall exist no longer. Either the next government will be composed of the tax-payers of the State, or else a strong military government brought about by their action.
There are two other classes who do not seem to comprehend these things - a small class of white men who refuse to register and aid their people in carrying the election and avoiding this crisis, and the negroes who are again rallying to the support of the thieves they have put in power, and are thus invoking upon their heads a terrible, and bloody retribution.
"There is nothing to be gained by pleadings or concessions, but everything is within our reach, if we will move forward and grasp it. Let our action be such that everybody will know what we want, and let them see that we are in earnest and we are determined to carry out the programme regardless of consequences."
The following was from the same paper, of July, affords some idea of what this "programme" was:
"The lines must be drawn at once before out opponents are thoroughly organized, for by this means we will prevent many milk and cider fellows from falling into the enemy's rank.
"While the white man's party guarantees the negro all his present rights, they do not intend that carpet-baggers and renegades shall be permitted to organize and prepare the negroes for the coming campaign. Without the assistance of these villains the negroes are totally incapable of effectually organizing themselves, and unless they are previously excited and drilled, one-half of them will not come to the polls, and a large per cent of the remainder will vote the white man's ticket."
The remedy for all the evils that afflict our State and every Southern State under negro and carpet-bag rule is very simple. The incendiaries who flood out country at the approach of every election must be looked after. The proceedings of midnight gatherings in dark and gloomy places must be known. incendiary teachings of the carpet-baggers and scalawags, to inflame the minds of the negroes, must not be tolerated again.
[From the Minden Democrat of August 20, 1874.]
The New Orleans Bulletin says that "in the White League of Louisiana are now organized and armed fourteen thousand men, one-half of whom are inured to battle and privation." The Bulletin has certainly made a mistake in its figures. Why, there are ten thousand in North Louisiana alone who are ready and willing to march at the first clarion note of the bugle that calls them in the defense of their rights; and the deep sense of the wrongs they have been compelled to submit to in the bayonet government will make them no ordinary force in the event a conflict is precipitated upon us.
[From the Franklin Enterprise.]
"At Alto on the 11th of July the following was adopted: 'that we regard it the sacred and political duty of every member of this club to discountenance and socially proscribe all white men who unite themselves with the Radical party, and to supplant every political opponent in all his vocations by the employment and support of those who ally themselves with the white man's party; and we pledge ourselves to exert our energies and use our means to the consummating of this end.'
"There should be kept and carefully preserved for future reference a black list or book of remembrance in every parish, wherein should be inscribed the names of those white men who in this emergency prove recreant to the duties and instincts of race and cast their lot with the African. The infamous record should be as conspicuous for all time to come as the pictures of notorious criminals in the rogues' galleries of large cities. These men must not be forgotten. Let their names be written in the black list with a pen of adamant, that they and all who descend from their loins to the fourth generation may be pariahs, forever cast out from all association with the Caucasian race. let all who adhere to the negro party in this political contest be reckoned as negroes and treated as such. let the black list for St. Mary be opened. Let the names of those who pant for immortal infamy be enrolled. Whose names shall head the list? We know two, father and son, who have equal claims to the distinction."
The above passage is reproduces in the New Orleans Picayune of August 1, 1874, with tacit commendation.
We advise our native white fellow-citizens of Louisiana who have arrayed them-selves against their white brothers to retrace their steps while there is still time left to do so. When a war of races is imminent -- and we tell them it is imminent -- they should be found but on one side, battling with the Caucasian race; words of sympathy will not do. The people will be satisfied with nothing short of acts, plain and unmistakable. They have yet time to redeem themselves. They know full well that the white men of this State are no mere beginners in the arts of peace or war, and that in going through such an ordeal all those who are not with us must certainly be against us, and none such will be allowed to remain in our midst, to take us in flank or rear at the opportune moment. When the conflict will have commenced it will be too late then. The contest will be quick, sharp, and decisive. Let them take warning in due time, for the die is surely cast.
Words cannot express our abhorrence of the man or men who would thus aid our foes. Every man who votes a split ticket, who gives his support to an independent candidate, is not only an enemy to out citizens, but a traitorous foe to his own race and to civilization."
Let us never cease to make war upon them, both in their official and private capacities; discountenance any person who meets them as gentlemen on the street. Shut your doors and your hears to them; let them be outcasts to every feeling of mercy you have, so that living they may only encumber the earth, and dying descend to hell covered with the curses of every virtuous man in Louisiana.
As recorded in the record (pages 169 & 171)
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