Our Chief Magistrate would probably be surprised to learn with what reverence, bordering on superstition, he is regarded by these poor people. Recently at Beaufort a gang of colored men, in the service of the quartermaster, at work on the wharf, were discussing the qualifications of the President, his wonderful power, how he had dispersed their masters, and what he would undoubtedly do hereafter for the colored race, when an aged, white headed negro, a "praise man" (as the phrase is) amongst them, with all the solemnity and earnestness of an old prophet, broke forth:
What do you know "bout Massa Linkum? Massa Linkum be ebrewhere. He walk do earth like de Lord.
As to reform in the matter of chastity and marriage, it requires time and patience to bring it about. Much more than half the cases of personal difficulty requiring intervention among the emancipated negroes in South Carolina have arisen out of infractions of the marital relation. In this respect there is a marked difference between South Carolina and North Carolina. Yet, even in the former State the old habits are speedily yielding to better teaching.
General Saxton deposed:
Question. Were the women under the slave system taught chastity as a religious duty?
Answer.they must have a child once a year.
Question. Has your observation led you to believe that the refugees pay regard to the marriage ceremony?
Answer. Yes, sir; whenever it is solemnized, I think that they do.
It is here to be remarked that in the cities there appears to have been a nearer approach to recognized marriage and to conjugal fidelity than in the country, and that there the church succeeded better in repressing juvenile incontinence.
As a general rule, however, the religion of the South Carolinian slave was emotional, and did not necessarily connect itself with the suppression of vicious habits, but rather with church observances. It produced, indeed, submission, humility, resignation, reliance on Providence, obedience to masters; but its effect in checking lying, thieving, incontinence, and similar offenses was feeble and uncertain. A slave has seldom any distinct moral perception that he ought to speak the truth, or to respect private property in the case of a person he dislikes, but these people are easily reached through their affections.
Whether because the race is not addicted to intemperance, or that they were here cut off from its temptation, drunkenness is an almost unknown vice.
Captain Hooper testified:
I never saw a negro drunk, and I heard of but one case, and that was of a man working on a vessel at Bay Point, who got whisky on board.
There is no disposition in these people to go North. General Saxton offered them papers for that purpose, but no one availed himself of the offer. They are equally averse to the idea of emigrating to Africa. These feelings are universal among them. The local attachments of the negro are eminently strong, and the Southern climate suits him far better than ours. If slavery be re-established in the insurrectionary States the North will indeed be flooded with fugitives fleeing from bondage, and the fears of competition in labor sought to be excited in the minds of Northern workingmen will then have some plausible foundation. But if emancipation be carried out, the stream