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A Southern View Of Reconstruction

A Southern View Of Reconstruction image
Parent Issue
Day
7
Month
July
Year
1865
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

No oue moro oarnestly destres thati wo to see the State of Georgia rentored to the oxerciso of her legitimato funotions as an integral part of the federal Uuion. At the samo time we aro r.ot insensible of the peculiar diffieulties whioh einbarrass the uction of the general governmeut, and ihat furuish ampie justification for a tardiuess of move ment whiuh might, ander different oircumstances, be eousidorcd au unreae onable delay. lf, to lorrovv a Sliaks poarean thought, the work of reorgan zation is to bo well dono, ' thc[1 t vvor well it wero done quickly ;" but if, o the other hand, hastu and inoonsidera tion are to entail etrife and troublo o coming geueratious, then wo would at vise a. cautious and uircuinspect proce duro, if not, for a time, a masterl inactivity. It vvonld be uuoaudid ia u to intímate the belief that there is purpose or design on the part of an; portion of the people of Georgia to ui dcrtake any movemont hostilo to th government. The folly of such an en terprise is too glaring to obtain for i the moral or material support of any numbur of persons that could uot b readily dispersod by a sheriff and hi poise com talus. But while this is truc it would be disingenuous to deny tha there are ranklings of liatred in som breasts, and elementa of disaflectiou o rather downright disloyalty in som quarters, that must not be overlooked i any polic.y of recoustructioa which may be adopted. There are not wantin presses and individuals who are disposec to charge the blame of this state of fee] ing as far as it may exist, on what they choosa to denomínate the rigoroua meas urea of the governraent. We utterly dissent irom this view. We maintain that tho military authorities, in their dealings with classes and individuals, ïave been merciful and magnanimous. We believe that a milder sway would ïave been disastrous to the publio peace and the common welfare. We dare say that isolated inslances of hardship ïave oceurred, for this iá clearly unavoidable. It is possible too that mis takes and blunders have been com tuitted, for the authorities make no pretentions to infallibility. With thesa exceptioDs, which indeed are not exoep.ions, tho whole policy of the adminisration with respect to the rebel States, ïas been free from any mark of oppresion, and entitles it to tho unqualifiod support of the people. Beaidos, we are not quite bu re thal it is altogether modest for persons who have so egregiously erred iu their political speculations and judgments in tho past, and who will be justly held responsible at the tribunal oí history for the desolation of the south, and the bootless butohery of her bravest sons, to dogmatiza in the Sir Oracle style ab)ut the present or future poiioy of thd governnient. Let them tarry at Jericho, or at least obtain shrift for their former errors, boforo they agaiu aspiro to become the leaders of public opinión. To return from this brief digression, wo repeat the sentiment already expressod, that thure aro sevoral points which must bo oarefully guarded if wo are to havo a thorough and permanent pacification of thu South. It is indispensable to this end that the work of reoonstruction be confided to men who havo not been leaders in the sece9sion movemont. If this can bo effeoted without such an exteneive disfranehisemeut as was found necessary in Tennessee, we shall hoartily rcjoico in it. Such a necessity ought to be deprecated and deplored, but at the same time the political salvation of Georgia and lier speedy restoration to her former status, are eonsiderationa paramouut to any onds of personal or party aggrandizement. Nor is it less necessary that those who aasume to direot this movemont should have juat views of the relations between the white and blak races. We shudder for the future of the south if such a spirit as that which diotated the slave code of South Carolina, or the kindred spirit which projected the revival of the Africau slave trade, should inspiro thü legislatiou of the wholo country. Infinite damugu will aocrue to the wholo country if tho inevitable issues of the hour are met in any other than tho spirit of an enlarged philauthrophy. Tho United States goveminent owes it to itself and the loyal whites and the emancipated blacks to discountenance every measuro that vvould imporil the harrnony of the two races. In the establishment of a policy t should neither ignore the obvious distinctions and inequalities whicli have aeen engoudered or perputuated by een;uries of debasing bondage, nor on the coctrary should it ponder to those blind unreasoning prejudices of caste which n sonie minds and somo eommuuitios lave ripened into the virulenee of a conIrmod negrophobia. There is a golden meau wbioh it is snfest to pursuo in these matters. We of the South have alwaya olaimed that domestio slavery was with us a palriarchal 'mstitution, and that our sympa thies for the black man wero mure íindly than those of his professed riends the abolitiouists. Lot us not lelie our own professions, but so act with rofcrence to tbeir interests that wc shall not hereuftor be ashamed of our former boasting in this behalf. For our own part we confetis our inab.lity to "erceiv3 tho wisdom or the propriety of he attempte to keep one-half the popu atiou of the Gulf statea in an intermedíate cmidition of serfdom or vassalage j where they aro neither bond nor fref. If it were possible to do this it would be a 8ourco of endless agitation in the halls of Congres. It would, likawio, prove a firebrand in aouthern R'H'iety, to be fiunlly extinguishod in some sanguiii,n y coöTOWon !ike that whit'fi Lis jiist teimiuated. These are gravo questions, and they preeent serious diiücultios to tho work of reorganizution in tho Gulf states. TLe admiuistrution ehould suramon it its aid the best slatöMnanship of the oation aud weigh these qties tions well bofore they dutcrmina-upon a plan of sottlemout, wliich, according to its charactcristics, may prove eithur the geru; uf a glorious soctional devólopmènl or elso tho beginniug of sorrows to 118 and to our posteriiy.

Article

Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus