occurred to her except as a usual thing. Both women expressed the greatest satisfaction that they were allowed to hire themselves. It was sufficiently apparent that nothing short of compulsion would cause either of them to return to what they still called "home." What sort of a home could that be to which the privilege of hard labor at the washtub, purchased by a weekly payment in money-coupled, in one case, with a similar payment for the children, and in the other with the loss of them-was regarded as a favor and an blessing?
Let us not imagine that the masters in these two cases were sinners above all men that dwelt in Kentucky. They may have been indulgent in their own families, kind to their white neighbors, Honorable in their business dealings, esteemed in society. The anomaly is presented of men whose characters, in one phase, entitle them to be called cultivated and civilized, yet in another-to wit, in their dealings with a proscribed race- exhibiting such utter disregard of the mild graces of Christianity, mercy, charity, long-suffering, kindness, and good will to men, that it is not too harsh to say they live in a individuals who have thus gone astray than to the system which has former their character. But a system has lamentably failed that results in the arrest of human civilization and Christian progress, in injury to the national character, and in disregard, under any circumstances, of the natural and inalienable rights of man.
Such a system is fraught with mischief, politically as well as morally. They who violate the rights of one race of men lose a portion of their reverence for the rights of all. It comes to this, that the peculiarities of character stamped more of less on every country in which slavery exists are, in spirit and in practice, adverse, not to religion and civilization alone, but to democracy also. No people exposed to the influences which produce such peculiarities will ever be found imbued with a universal sense of justice, with a respect for industry, with a disposition to grant to labor its just position among mankind; nor can any people subjected to influence so deleterious ever be expected to remain, in perpetuity, contented and happy under republican rule. a In no seance, then, neither political, moral, nor religious, can the experiment of slavery in these States be regarded in any other light than as an utter failure.
All this might have been said four years ago in reply to any argument that might then have been adduced in support of the assertion that slavery, though it failed in the West Indies and South America, had succeeded in the United States. But how instructive, how invaluable the experience of these eventful four years! New views of the subject present themselves to-day; aspects of the slavery question hidden until now come conspicuously into the light. History had previously recorded the social and economical evils of the system. Now she has presented to us its political consequences.
a After dinner the conversation again turned on the resources and power of the South, and on the determination of the people never to go back into the Union. Then cropped out again the expression of regret for the rebellion of 1776, and the desire that if it came to the works England would receive back her erring children, or give them a prince under whom they could secure a monarchical form of government. There is no doubt about the earnestness with which these things are said. (My Diary, North and South, by William Howard Russell, 1862, Chap.17.)
This was in April, 1861, on a South Carolinian plantation. Mr. Russell represents these sentiments as then common in the South.