Reconstruction, Tourgee And Dixon

June 9, 2008

 

A Review

Reconstruction:

Albion Winegar Tourgee And Thomas Dixon Jr.

by

R.E. Prindle

 

     The conflict between the North and South is the central conflit of United States history.  Whether the Civil War was fought to preserve the Union or over slavery the African issue was the central problem of the country.  The aftermath of Reconstruction was and has been devastating to US history.  Mark Sullivan comments the Reconstruction period in Our Times, Vol. III. He is writing c. 1930:

Hardly to this day has any unbiassed summation been made of the destruction that the North visited upon the South.  Rarely has any conqueror in history been so ruthless- by comparison, the treatment of Germany by the Allies was the rebuke of a complaisant parent to a naughty child.  The North, by abolishing slavery, wiped out five billion dollars’ worth of the South’s property.  That was but the beginning.  Abolition of slavery was the complete destruction of the South’s economic system, land in the South was made valueless.  Then the North, by conferring suffrage on the negro, set the former slave in power over his recent master, and for ten years maintained him there by arms.  The very aorta of civilization in the South was more near to being completely severed than historians have commonly realized.  In the University of South Carolina, a State institution authority over which rested the legislature, a corn-field negro, barefooted, illiterate, sat in the chair and drew the salary of the Professor of Greek.  Over a period of forty years, including war, reconstruction (ironic word!) and the aftermath of both, the lamp of education in the South was saved from complete extinction only by the devotion and patience of half a dozen men.  With the other consequences went a discouragement which accepted the physical deterioration, through disease, of large portions of the rural South, as merely one detail of a fate it was useless to resist. 

    The excuse of the North was that Southern Whites had enslaved the African.  For some reason the New England States made Southern slavery an issue although those states, as Bible pounders, were not opposed to slavery in principle.  Shortly after the Civil War certain New England citizens established themselves in the Hawaiian Islands where they began to grow staple agricultural crops.  Farm labor therefore became as big a problem for them as it had been in the South.  They were not averse to establishng a contract labor system which was a form of wage slavery.  The New Englanders, some of them churchmen, saw the Chinese as  inferior coolie laborers not unlike the African.  Learning from the Reconstruction African situation in the South they were reluctant to import the Chinese as permanent residents.

     Thus the contracts of the Chinese specified that the Chinese return to China after the termination of their contracts.  This the Chinese saw no reason to do staying on as permanent residents.  Reluctant to import more Chinese the New England planters cast about for another alternative.  They settled on the Japanese.  Thus a ship sailed into Tokyo Bay and the Planters forcefully abducted, kidnapped, a hundred odd Japanese from Yokohama taking them back to Hawaii where they were put to work.

     So we may assume that the New Englanders were not entirely sincere in their objection to Southern slavery.

     In addition during the Grant administration while Reconstruction was in progress the annexation of San Domingo or Haiti was proposed.  Under the French administration of the area using African slave labor San Domingo was the richest and most productive colony in the world.  It could be made so again under American administration.  How they proposed to farm the land without African labor remains a mystery.  It could only have been achieved by some compulsive means. 

     As the Africans have never worked the land of this richest of areas without compulsion one would be amused to learn the proposed solution to this pressing problem of labor.

     One can only conclude that as no region of the US objected to forced labor that truly the Union was the reason for the Civil War.  The reason for Reconstruction has to be explained otherwise.

     The next problem is the nature of the African.  Nowhere in the world without an overawing show of force were the Africans docile.  The history of Africa is perpetual genocidal, tribal warfare.  The Africans had the very reasonable attitude that the way to treat an enemy was to stamp them flat.  Exterminate them.

     The attitude is apparent everywhere in Africa today most obivious at the moment in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

     In Haiti at the end of the eighteenth century the small number of French planters proved unable to control the overwhelming number of Africans, the latter rising up and defeating their owners.  In this action known as the San Domingo Moment the White males were exterminated to the man while the females were given the option of sex slavery or rape and death.

     One might say this was race hatred but I say no.  The response was no different than any other tribal conflict in Africa; the difference in Haiti being merely that the French were White.

     In the US the White Planters managed the Africans by the threat of slightly superior numbers while overawing the Africans into if not total submission something very nearly so.  Thus the character the North gave the Africans in the South was at complete variance with the worldwide reality.

     The North took the forced submission of the African in the South that produced a seemingly submissive inoffensive, harmless type of being the actual nature of the African.  Tourgee refers to Africans as ‘poor innocents.’  Northerners believed that the lack of apparent intellectual capability was due to ill treatment and the lack of opportunity for education.  So the real question is who was right about the relative capability of the African to the Caucasian?  The North or the South?  This problem is important and has to be dealt with.

     We are told that the African was first to evolve as a Homo Sapiens from the Last Hominid Predecessor.  That was c. 150,000 years ago.  Had the African not been disturbed by outside peoples he would be living today as he was when he evolved so long ago.  Many peoples have visited sub-Saharan Africa, that is to say, Black Africa, over the last few millennia.  Phoenicians and Carthaginians visited sub-Saharan Africa both overland and on voyages around the coasts.  Greek traders visited the source of the Nile, identifying the Mountains of the Moon while Romans established trade routes across the Sahara.  The Arabs established contact beginning in the seventh century at least while Malays from Indonesia established themselves on Madagascar while penetrating into the continent itself making settlements about the year +1000.

     All influences were absorbed by the Africans without any serious changes to their intellectual or social organization.  Europeans established stronger settlements in Africa ruling Africa for a hundred years or more.  They have been or are being expelled from Africa while most notably in Zimbabwe and South Africa Africans are destroying any traces of European civilization and reverting to their ancestral ways.  Only a liberal could deny these obvious facts.

     The African capability for civilization was fixed one hundred fifty thousand years ago.  The African mind is incapable of permanently adjusting to any higher level of civilization.

     The Southern Planters in daily contact with Africans had this fact impressed upon them continuously.  The mind is not so elastic that it can escape its evolutionary limitations.

     As an example I quote Rudyard Kipling from his American Notes of 1889:

     The Americans once having made them (the Africans) citizens cannot unmake them.  He says, in his newspaper, they ought to be elevated by education.  He is trying this; but it is like to be a long job, because black blood is more adhesive than white, and throws back with annoying persistence.  When the negro gets a religion he returns directly as a hiving bee, to the first instincts of his people.  Just now a wave of religion is sweeping over some of the Southern States.  Up to the present two Messiahs and a Daniel have appeared and several human sacrifices have been offered up to these incarnations.  The Daniel managed to get three young men, who he insisted were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, to walk into a blast furnace; guaranteeing non-combustion.  They did not return.  I have seen nothing of this kind, but I have attended a negro church.  The congregation were moved by the spirit to groans and tears, and one of them danced up the aisle to the mourners bench.  The motive may have been genuine.  The movements of the shaken body were those of  Zanzibar stick dancers, such as you see at Aden on the coal boats; and even as I watched the people, the links that bound them to the white man snapped one by one and I saw before me- the Hubsha (the Woolly One) praying to a god he did not understand.  Those neatly dressed folk on the benches, the gray-headed elder by the window, were savages- neither more nor less.  What will the American do with the negro?  The South will not consort with him….The North is every year less and less in need of his services.  And yet he will not disappear.  His friends will urge that he is as good as a white man.  His enemies…it is not good to be a negro in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

     Of course the Liberal will say that Kipling does not observe accurately and that HE is a ‘bigot.’  Nevertheless  if one looks at locales in the United States where the African dominates such as Mississippi, Detroit, Pontiac, Flint, Saginaw, Chicago, New Orleans, what does he find?  A replica of Lagos or Zimbabwe.  A return to ancestral ways.

     I’m not one to quote IQ scores because they only prove what is obvious to the naked eye.  Genetic studies prove that as Homo Sapiens continues to evolve, the African who, as a species, is fully evolved, will only continue to fall further and further behind.  This may not be his fault but it remains a fact.

     To counter these facts the Liberal merely says that a hundred fifty thousand years isn’t enough time to make an accurate assessment; we must be patient.

     Thus when the Civil War ended and Reconstruction began Albion Winegar Tourgee went South with his prejudices as a carpetbagger to try to place the African over the Southern White.

     Tourgee was an honest man who sincerely believed that he was doing right by punishing the White while trying to impose the African on him.  Tourgee moved back North after Reconstruction and took up his pen to become a successful novelist.  Among his works were two novels recounting his experiences and opinions during Reconstruction.  The novels are:  A Fool’s Errand by One Of The Fools and Bricks Without Straw.  They are both reasonably good novels although the latter is more or less a strike off of the former but for my tastes a better story and novel.

     It is in A Fool’s Errand that Tourgee tackles the problem more head on.  Completely disrgarding the character of the African in Africa or Haiti he takes the paternalistic Liberal approach that he is dealing with innocent little children who need his protection.  This attitude is actually only a variant on the Southern.  His is a good Northern Charlie compared to the bad Southern Charlie.

     His anlysis of the Southern attitude  is quite accurate and well thought out; his solutions are faulty.  A Fool’s Errand is well worth reading to contrast the two viewpoints.  His own pretensions of innocence and superiority to the Souterners is revolting.  He should have known of Grant’s plans to annex Haiti that should have given him an intimation of the vulnerability of Northern pretensions.  I’m sure he probably wasn’t aware of Puritan doings in Hawaii and Japan.

     Slavery is detestable, I myself have no problems with that although firms like Nestle’s and Starbuck’s are accused of benefiting from slave labor in the chocolate and coffee businesses.  That means that you and I enjoy the fruits of slave labor with our coffee and chocolate.  Those big screen TVs we all covet so much are made by slave labor in China.  Tourgee if he had thought about it would have noticed that the African franchise he was attempting to force on Southern Whites was denied Africans in his home State of Michigan and nearly universally among all parts of the Northland and West.  Kipling writing a few years later than Tourgee was speaking accurately.

     Tourgee was indignant at what, as he puts it, the Southern Planter had done to the African.  He says quite plainly that there was no punishment too severe for the Southern White nor should it end quickly.  He virtually proclaims the need to boil the Southern White in oil.  This seems extreme in a world where slavery was rife most especially on the African continent.  He might have put just a little of the blame on those greedy African chiefs who sold their people into bondage for filthy lucre.

     He might also have noted the Israelite Solomon who when he ran short of money to finance his temple to his god gathered together numbers of His people and sold them into slavery to get on with the building of the House Of The Lord.

     Tourgee’s novels went unanswered while selling well for a decade or two.  But then Thomas Dixon Jr. took up the cudgels on the behalf of the South and told their version of Reconstruction in his trilogy of The Leopard’s Spots, The Clansman and The Traitor.  Of course Liberals who control the seminaries of their religious system sometimes referred to as the American University System, dismiss Dixon as a stone cold bigot and ‘racist.’  One suspects without ever having read him which is of no consquence as they pay no attention to the other side of the story once their minds are made up.

     As Dixon points out, those Puritan sea captains made a fortune or two out of the slave trade, the profits of which returned North to finance Puritan bigotry and possibly large bequests to Harvard University.  Puritan cotton mills processed the cheap slave produced crop without worrying too much about its provenance.  Dixon gives numerous examples of the hypocrisy of the New Englanders.

     Slavery of any sort past or present cannot be justified but it was that very cotton that caused slavery to blossom and extend into Alabama and Mississippi.  The institution then ran into the unique State of Louisiana.

     Louisiana and more specifically New Orleans had a history dating back to the French Caribbean plantations, in fact, New Orleans was part of the French circle but a remote outpost in relation to the British colonies of the East Coast.  As on Haiti and other French islands freed Africans were allowed full citizenship privileges including owning slaves.  Thus, as the American settlers moved West after 1793 and the invention of the cotton gin becoming mere frontiersmen the closer they got to Louisiana, where the African, French and mixed races already were.  Louisiana Africans, as in Haiti, were slave owners.

     As W.E.B. Du Bois points out but gives no reasons for it, slavery in Louisiana where Africans were influential was of a different character than in the East.  The East was as benevolent a form of slavery as is possible while in Louisiana as Du Bois himself points out the African owners preferred to work slaves to death, fhen buy replacements.  This in turn created a market for slave breeders who arose in Kentucky.

     The breeding of Africans for slaves was especially repellent to American sensibilities but had slavery continued public opinion would have gotten used to it as it gets used to every other perversion.  It can however be no coincidence that slave breeding occurred just up river from the slave consuming States of Mississippi and Louisiana.

     I mention this matter only to show that the subject of slavery is not monolithic but much more complex than normally discussed.

     Both Tourgee and Dixon write about affairs in North Carolina on the East Coast.  This differentiation should not go unnoticed.  I suspect that a very large proportion of the illegal importation of slaves that occurred after 1800 was done through ports in Louisiana and Texas far from the central authority.  If that should be true then the character of slaves fresh from Africa between, say, 1850 and 1860 would be much different than those Tourgee was familiar on the settled East Coast.

     Tourgee, convinced that the Africans were gentle, innocent people, was blind to the outrages committed by both carpetbaggers and the more truculent Africans many of whom wore the Union uniform with the full backing of the Federal government which was bent on persecuting Whites.

     Dixon then whose credibility the Liberals wish to destroy writing twenty years or so after Tourgee and probably in reaction to him wishes to give the Southern side of the Reconstruction story.  He is much more realistic and sympathetic than Tourgee.  The latter writes both his novels with nary a reference to the radical reconstruction of the insane abolitionists in Congress like Stevens and Stanton who quite literally wished to see Southern Whites exterminated ‘root and branch’ a la the San Domingo Moment and the entire South given over to the Africans.  As Tourgee himself said, they believed there was no punishment too severe for the Whites.

     One need not wonder how Tourgee would view the White genocide occurring in Zimbabwe and South Africa today as his current Liberal counterparts applaud lustily.  In that light one shudders to think what will happen in the US if these Liberal assassins are not displaced before they seize the government in the Stalinist style and initiate the genocide of Whites they are currently advocating  which one assumes will include themselves.

     To understand the problem, the attitude among both Liberals and Africans from the Civil War/Reconstruction period that persist through today a reading of Tourgee, especially A Fool’s Errand, and Thomas Dixon would be some time well spent.

 

Finis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s