War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0378 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

De Tocqueville had already remarked that emancipation, which might be supposed to favor amalgamation, does, in point of fact, repress it.a

Amalgamation in its worst form is the offspring of slavery. The facts seem to indicate that with the abolition of slavery it will materially diminish, though it may be doubted whether it will ever wholly disappear.

Aside from this apparently injurious mingling of blood, the social influence of the two races on each other, so soon as their reciprocal relations shall be based on justice, will, beyond question, be mutually beneficial. There are elements in the character of each calculated to exert a happy influence on the other.

The Anglo-Saxon race, with great force of character, much mental activity an unflagging spirit of enterprise, has a certain hardness, a stubborn will, only moderate geniality, a lack of habitual cheerfulness. Its intellectual powers are stronger than its social instincts. The head predominates over the heart. There is little that is emotional in its religion. It is not devoid of instinctive devotion, but neither is such devotion a ruling element. It is a race more calculated to call forth respect than love; better fitted to do than to enjoy.

The African race, is in many respects, the reverse of this. Genial, lively, docile, emotional, the affections rule; the social instincts maintain the ascendant. Except under cruel repression, its cheerfulness and love of mirth overflow with the exuberance of childhood. It is devotional by feeling. It is a knowing rather than a thinking race. Its perceptive faculties are stronger than its reflective powers. It is well fitted to occupy useful stations in life; but such as require quick observation rather than comprehensive views or strong sense. It is little given to stirring enterprise, but rather to quiet accumulation. It is not a race that will ever take a lead in the material improvement of the world; but it will make for itself, whenever it has fair play, respectable positions, comfortable homes. b

As regards the virtues of humility, loving kindness, resignation under adversity, reliance on Divine Providence, this race exhibits these, as a general rule in a more marked manner than does the Anglo-Saxon. Nor do we find among them a spirit of revenge or blood-thirstiness or rancorous ill-will toward their oppressors. c The exceptions to this rule, notwithstanding the great temptations to which the race have been exposed, are very rare. No race of men appears better to have obeyed the injunction not to return evil for evil, or to have acted more strictly in the spirit of the text: "Vengeance is mine! I will repay, saith the Lord."


a Democracy in America, Vol. I, p. 462.

b The surest sign of their thrift is the appearance of their dwelling-houses, farms, stock, tools, and the like. In these, moreover, we find encouraging signs for the negro, because they show that he feels so strongly the family instinct, and the desire to possess land and a dwelling-place. (Supplemental Report A, p. 62. See also, in connection with the above, Opinion of the Races, pp. 82, 83.)

c Canada is full of men and women who in the first half of their lives, were witnesses and sufferers of such indignities and wrongs as would burn into most white men's souls, and make them pass the last half in plotting vengeance. Not so these people. They cherish no spirit of vengeance and seem to have no grudge against their oppressors. The memory and recital of their wrongs do not arouse such bitter feelings and call out such maledictions as would certainly be heard from white men of similar experience. A single instance only is recollected in which a feeling of unsatisfied vengeance was manifested; but many are recalled where the old master and mistress were spoken of with kindness, and regret expressed that they would not be seen again. (Supplemental Report A, pp. 97, 98.)