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He tells much about mines and metals, and other things, of which I have no knowledge.
It has occurred to me, then, that there might be room for such a book as I now offer, containing much of what I have picked up during my tour in the United States. I fancy that my notes may perhaps be useful, if only as a sort of guide and handbook to others contemplating a similar tour; and that those interested in the position of the coloured population, and the political and industrial questions arising out of it, may find a good deal which has not yet been given to the public.
It will be seen that I made a very rapid run through the Northern and some of the Western States, and saw something of the interior of Illinois and the farmers of that country; and then, after visiting Pennsylvania, Baltimore, and Washington, made a more careful study of the condition of things in the four Southern States which I have already mentioned.
In addition to the Black question I have been much interested in the cultivation and handling of cotton, which I had also seen in India and Egypt; and in the Southern cotton mills, which now rival the North in the production of the coarser goods, just as the mills in our cotton-producing possessions rival those of Lancashire. There seems to be no doubt that both in America and Egypt the yield of cotton to the acre is much larger than in India. The bale of which I speak is about 450 lbs.
My tour was so far cut short that I was not able to make a little stay in New York and Philadelphia
in the winter season, as I had hoped; and I have not had an opportunity of going into the social and polit ical affairs of New England, which I should have much liked. That and a great deal more remains for another tour, if I should ever be able to accomplish it.
I have worked up and supplemented the general views which I presented in the Kirkcaldy Burghs, and submit the whole as 'A Bird's-eye View of the United States.' Then I have been permitted to republish my article on 'Black and White,' and have prefaced it with some remarks on our own management of coloured races in our American and African colonies. I have put into some shape those parts my Journal which I thought might bear publication. During the return voyage I had made notes of the Constitutions of some of the States; and, as a specimen of the most improved and modern State Constitutions, I have appended the principal parts of the Constitutions of some States, especially Illinois.
I left a blank side in my Journal, on which I have sometimes subsequently noted up later experiences and corrections, and I have thought it better to amalgamate these with the rest, rather than to put them separately as notes; but the effect is to create some anachronisms, as it were; so I have not entered the precise dates, but have followed generally the order of time, place, and subjects. At the same time a journal must necessarily contain something of an olla podrida of various and sometimes incongruous subjects a good deal mixed together. If it be remarked that on some subjects several repetitions are
to be found, I reply that this is the evidence on which my conclusions are founded, and that proof of this kind necessarily depends on the cumulative testimony of various witnesses.
Things march rapidly, and while I write the Black question seems to have assumed a new phase, creating great interest in it, owing to the movement of large numbers of that race from Mississippi and Louisiana, seeking to escape from tyranny and ill-usage, and to find new homes in Kansas-a State where I have mentioned that the negroes seem to be well treated, and in the back parts of which a good many of them are, I have heard, successfully established as independent small farmers. There was an outbreak of yellow fever, and I did not visit Mississippi and Louisiana; but I have several times mentioned the former State, as that in which the practice of 'bulldozing,' or bullying the negroes, has most prevailed. There were also severe election contests in parts of Louisiana, accompanied by much violence; and some cases of very unjustifiable lynchings of Negroes were reported during my visit. To these things, no doubt, the movement is due. I have also mentioned the case of a county in Georgia, in which the negroes, being dissatisfied with their treatment, formed a league among themselves to abandon that county and leave their persecutors without labour. That, I take it, is exactly what has been done on a larger scale in the States of the Lower Mississippi. It is a form of strike as a counter-move against ill-treatment; and under the circumstances the move may be a bold
and effective measure.
There is nothing so likely to
bring the landowners to a sense of what they owe the negro population as to make them feel the want of it. The only fear is, that these poor people are rushing into an independence for which they have not the means; but I gather from the latest accounts that the movement is rather striking in its sudden and concentrated form, than one which involves a very great population. The numbers are said to have been somewhat exaggerated. I think it will probably be found that it is only the population of particular counties or districts, where there has been special ill-usage, who have emigrated in mass. If the efforts now being made to obtain assistance for them in the North should be successful, and they should be enabled to locate themselves in a temperate region in Southern Kansas, the effect may be beneficial on the whole. At the same time I have expressed a strong belief that, in the Southern States, whites and blacks are interdependent-neither can do without the other. I think they themselves have found this to be so; and generally speaking industrial questions are not the cause of serious dissension.
It is the struggle for political power, and the question whether the coloured people are to be al lowed to vote freely, which has caused all the trouble. The greater the trouble the more necessity for settling the question whether real effect is to be given to the 15th Article of Amendment to the United States Constitution, providing that the right to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account or race or colour. It
is notorious that in the late elections the free exercise of that vote has been abridged and destroyed by violence and fraud in several Congressional districts. These disputed elections must be decided by the present Congress. I cannot but think that it would be good policy on the part of Northern Democrats honestly to give up the few seats which have been won by the South by means which cannot possibly be defended; and that it is nothing but the most evident prudence on the part of Southern Democrats to accept that solution and be content with the great majority and complete control of their States, which they have attained, without insisting on an absolutely solid South, to which they have no just right, if election be free.
A solution of this kind would involve an even balancing of parties, which would plainly point to compromise; and if there is to be compromise surely the best plan would be to let the President of compromise, Mr. Hayes, sit quietly for another term. Mr. Hayes pleases neither party, and it is the fashion to run him down and call him weak. Yet he is the only man who has shown some independent will to act for the benefit of his country outside the trammels of party. I cannot but think that the Civil Service and other reforms that he has attempted to initiate are well worthy of a trial. No doubt if the 'man on horseback' must come back-if the South must be kept down by a firm hand, Grant is the man to do it. Whatever his other qualities, he knows the policy he is to carry out, and can be depended on to