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Full text of "War of races. By whom it is sought to be brought about. Considered in two letters, with copious extracts from the recent work of Hilton [!] R. Helper"

WAR OF RACES. 



BY WHOM IT IS SOUGHT TO BE BRODCHT JBOOT. 



CONSIDERED IN 



TWO LETTEKS, 



WITH COPIOUS EXTRACTS FROM THE RECENT WORK 
OF HILTON R. HELPER, 



BY 



JOHN H. QILMER. 



LET EVERY MAN "READ, LEARN AND INWARDLY DIGEST," 



RICHMOND : 
July 29th, 1867. 



a 






THE ALBEMARLE MEETING. 



LETTER FROM JOHN H. GILMER, ESQ. 
To Messrs. Thos. Wood, John J. Bocock, W. T. Early and 
others, forming the Committee to Report Resolutions, $c., to 
the Albemarle Meeting held 1st day of July. 

RICB.'.IOND, July 4th, 1867. 

Gentlemen-^ I have read and deliberately considered the resolu- 
tions and action of the meeting of the citizens of Albemarle on the 
first instant, in which you bore so conspicuous a part. This morn- 
ing (the day has sacred associations in the past but sad and 
gloomy suggestions at this time) I again read them. Knowing you 
personally as well as I do feeling a deep and abiding solicitude in 
everything which emanates from my native county, and not un- 
mindful of the great importance justly attached to the public acts 
and private convictions of the distinguished gentlemen whose 
countenance and presence add great weight to all that was done, 
or was proposed to be done, I cannot resist the conviction that it 
may do some good generally, over the State at least, if I, this day, 
calmly review your action, and respectfully invoke your own re- 
view of that action. Each of you know me well, and has known 
me from our early youth. In times gone bybetter days and hap- 
pier associations we were accustomed, on the rostrum, in the fo- 
rum and around the festive board, to interchange views on great 
questions of public policy, as well as grave issues of constitutional 
limitations on executive and legislative powers. Twenty years 
absence from "Old Albemarle" has, in nothing, abated my ardent 
attachment to her people, nor weakened my devotion to her best in- 
terests. In her sacred soil repose the dust of my revered ancestry. 
I am sure each of you will, on a moment's reflection, attribute 
what I now propose to address you, and through you, the people of 
Virginia, to none other than patriotic and honorable motives. 
Strife and contention are not my purpose. Reason and judgment 
are my guides; peace, harmony, justice, a permanent and rational 
restoration of the Union my object. I yield to no man, in aa 
abiding, sincere desire to witness a thorough restoration of the 
Union, and a speedy realization of all the blessings of a Catholic 
reunion of the hearts and common interests of the American 
States and people. But can such a result be accomplished but by 
a reunion on principle and for principle? Think of this. No one 



individual where his social and political relations bring him in 
contact with other men can ever succeed, unless his actions, mo- 
tives and relations are regulated, in all respects, by those cardinal 
rules, by which the social and political compact are uniformly sus- 
tained, regulated and restrained. Principle is the cornerstone of 
all human action if it is a well regulated and honorable action. 
Passion, prejudice, selfish propensities, avaricious incentives, ambi- 
tious schemes, and indeed all the mere emotions of man, when iso- 
lated from the great moving power which keeps the social and poli- 
tical compact in a healthful and normal state, are to the body poli- 
tic precisely what disease is to the body. 

It is a fact too apparent to be overlooked, that the people of 
America, as well as the political structure of the Federal and State 
Governments, are now in a diseased condition. Passion and preju- 
dice, selfish propensities and > avaricious incentives, ambitious 
schemes and party frenzy, have all conspired to madden public 
men, and alienate the people from each other. As a people, we 
are in an abnormal state. Both the Federal and State govern- 
ments are strangely turning from the regulated channel, prescribed 
by the organic law, without which they are mere organized popu- 
lar institutions, to be used by bad, vicious and ambitious men, for 
the most sinister purposes. The Federal government, the repre- 
sentative of the Union, is at issue with itself. It is at war with 
its own members. It is an unwieldly, heterodox mass of discord- 
ant and self-destroying elements, feeding on its own passions, and 
consuming the vitals of the system on which it rests as a founda- 
tion. It is assuming and exercising powers, which, if not restrain- 
ed, must, in the inevitable friction of its own machinery, soon 
ignite the entire structure, from the increasing heat of unrestrained 
passion. It assumes to speak in the name and by the authority of 
the United States, while it is madly crushing those very States, on 
the union of which its own existence depends. It professes to rule 
in the name and by the authority of the people, while it madly re- 
pudiates and laughs to scorn THE MAJESTY OF THE PEO- 
PLE. This is no exaggeration. No one who loves truth more 
than he does place and power, and fears God more than he does 
man, will deny this. 

It is at such a period, so fraught with danger, so full of strife, so 
pregnant with the increasing elements of moral decadence, social 
disquietude and governmental derangement, that the people of 
Albemarle come forth to counsel with the people of the State. An 
important epoch ! A fearful crisis I A portentous issue ! Were 



we to look back upon the past, commune with her great and illus- 
trious dead, recall their acts, and seek inspiration from their deeds, 
what would be the response? Their sacred dust mingles with the 
earth on which you are now acting. Their spirits still, I would 
fain hope, linger around the abodes of their descendants. What 
would the Jeffersons, the Randolphs, the Carys, the Southalls, the 
Gordons, the Bococks, the Gilmers, of former years, think and say 
and do, were they now present to guide, instruct, inspire and act 
with you? Stand over their graves, recall their words, invoke 
their spirits ! 

Now, my friends, allow me in the candor of friendship, and in 
the name of our brave, patriotic, fearless predecessors, briefly to 
review your resolutions and actions. Friendship is an idle profes- 
sion where there is no candor. Truth can never be' attained with- 
out unprejudiced and searching investigation. 

Your first resolution is as follows : 

Resolved, That having consented in good faith to the recon- 
struction of the Southern States under the Sherman-Shellabarger 
bill, we consider ourselves as bound in honor to the unconditional 
maintenance of the Union of these States, and that we regard the 
welfare of Virginia and of the other Southern States as requiring 
that our people should co-operate with the party that will give us 
protection for life and property, and believing that the Republican 
party of the United States alone has the power to give us such pro- 
tection, we desire to co-operate with them. 

Allow me to ask you, and each of you, what do you mean when 
you use the words " as bound in honor to the unconditional main- 
tenance of the Union of these States ?" Let us review these signi- 
ficant words not hypercritically, but in a sound catholic applica- 
tion of the terms used as applied to the objects had in view. What 
does the word " unconditional' imply? Webster gives the follow- 
ing definition: "Absolute, unreserved; not limited by any condi- 
tions. We are required to make unconditional surrender of our- 
selves to our Maker. The Icing demanded an unconditional sub- 
mission." 

"Oh! pass not, Lord, an absolute decree 
Or bind thy sent&nce unconditional." 

Did you mean or design to convey this idea, as expressed by Web- 
ster? If not, then what did you mean? Surely you could not 
have designed to impress upon the people of the State the idea that 
right or wrong, just or unjust, with principle or without principle, 
your "honor" pledged you to a deliberate, forgone, slavish sur- 
render of your manhood. That on bended knee and with bated 
breath, you invited the shackles of pure serfdom to be riveted 



around your wills and consciences, wherewith to fetter and enslave 
the very souls of your offspring. And yet, taken in a grammati- 
cal sense, as above shown, such an inference might be drawn. In 
a political sense, you distinctly avow the motive by which you were 
actuated, and the object at which you aimed, for you say " that 
we regard the welfare of Virginia and of the other Southern 
States as requiring that our people should co-operate with the party 
that WILL GIVE us PROTECTION for life and property, and believing 
that the Republican party of the United States alone HAS THE 
POWER to give us protection, we desire to co-operate with them." 

It is then, not for principle, or conviction of right, or a high and 
noble sense of duty, to yourselves, your country and your God, 
that you make this avowal of your political creed. The constitu- 
tional guarantees are deliberately ignored. The voice of reason is 
silenced; the convictions of judgment hushed; the muttering of 
conscience suppressed ; the whole man merged in the puerile senti- 
ment of fear. All that is dear in life, and honored after death, 
merged in the desire for "protection of life and property /" Men 
of Albemarle, reconsider this resolution. Retrace your steps ! 

Allow me to furnish you a few practical demonstrations of the 
utter fallacy of your avowed purposes, and the absolute fatuity of 
your resolutions. You avow "an unconditional maintenance of 
the Union of these States." Now, suppose that one of the condi- 
tions precedent to your being restored to the Union should be, 
(and stranger things have happened) that you should, every man 
of you, surrender nine-tenths of your land to the freedmen, and 
legalize marriage between the whites and blacks ? Are you pre- 
pared for this ? And yet you have already signed the bond to 
such a covenant, and only await explicit orders from ''the Repub- 
lican party" to execute the contract. Suppose that the Republican 
party should become a repudiation party, a monarchical party, an 
absolutism party, a woman rights party, are you prepared in ad_ 
vance to adopt one or all of these dogmas ? Mr. Wade, President 
of the United States Senate, has already doffed his pantaloons and 
flaunts the petticoat flag as a precious emblem of his specific union- 
ism. Are you prepared for this feminine badge of loyalty ? It 
would so seem from the language and tenor of your resolutions. 

Again, suppose "the Republican party of the United States" 
were to decree (and all they have to do is to resolve and the law 
is made a decree over the Constitution, the President and the Su- 
preme Court) that slavery should be again reinstated and freedmen 
all returned to bondage ? Are you prepared to yield an uncondi- 



tional adhesion to such a decree ? and if so, will you call another 
convention and ask "the colored people to participate with you?" 
Have you read the recent work of that inhuman worse than bar- 
barian Helper, upon the state, condition and ultimate destiny of 
negro, as he calls "the colored man?" If not, procure a copy, 
and let your colored friends read or hear it read. For diabolical 
fury, inhuman cruelty, fiendish bloodthirstiness against the colored 
people, of the United States, it has no parallel. And yet this man, 
of low instincts vulgar hatred of the colored man -thus avowing 
the policy of the utter extinction of the negro, has been and is a 
burning light in the " Republican party of the United States." 
Previous to the war he was endorsed and lionised by W. H. Se- 
ward, Secretary of State ; E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, and 
indeed all of the leading minds of the "Republican party of the 
United States." Are you prepared to take this man and his policy 
as your leader and friend ? 

Allow me to recall one other feature of this most remarkable 
resolution. You co-operate with the Republican party simply be- 
cause it "alone has the power to give us such protection." I 
grant it has the power, but when, or how, or Avhere, has it mani- 
fested the will to do so ? What guarantee have you of the fair 
and just exercise of such power? I can recall no one instance of 
such a will, purpose or design. It is true there are men and states- 
men in that party, who deserve well of the country, who merit 
your confidence, and are in every way worthy to be followed, sup- 
ported, cherished and promoted; while there are others who, like 
their co-operator, Helper, are the very imps of Satan, and will never 
rest satisfied till they crush out the freedman, enslave the white 
man, and utterly revolutionize and destroy our system of government. 
Which of this class of men do you propose to "co-operate with?" 
In the ensuing Presidential election (if your supplications are 
heard, "your life and property protected," and Virginia handed 
over a mere vassal of "The Repulican party of the United States,") 
which wing of this party do you propose to join ? Will you sup- 
port General Grant for President, with Mr. Wilson, of Massachu- 
setts for Vice President, on one ticket ; or Mr. Chase for the first 
office, and Mr. Wade (of petticoat memory) for the second office ? 
If you support Grant and Wilson you will be disloyal to Chase 
and Wade ; and then they and their party will refuse to "protect 
your lives and property." What a dilemma ! 

Now, my friends, with the freedom of old acquaintance, I have 
considered your unfortunate resolutions. There is, however, one 



8 

othgr subject to which I wish to direct your consideration. " Life 
and property" are dear to us all. But personal honor, true man- 
hood and disinterested devotion to country, are much higher and 
nobler incentives to action. Without honor what is life, without 
freedom, what is property. When I speak of honor, I do not mean 
that false sentiment of affected manhood displayed by the duelist 
or the mere man of the world ; but rather, that inward conviction 
of truth, candor, justice, charity, virtue and wisdom which springs 
from the resolute will of a true man, who had rather die than sac- 
rifice established principles or his country to unlicensed power. 
When I speak of freedom, I do not mean that licentious exercise 
of unrestrained will which denotes the savage and characterizes 
the political and partizan zealot, but rather that well-ascertained, 
accurately defined right of action which springs from a settled 
government, based on right and administered in jiistice, which re- 
strains the governed and the governing power alike, which, under 
written 'laws, defines each man's ascertained rights, and sanctions 
full and complete remedies when those rights are violated, which 
is as powerful to restrain and punish as it is equal and just in the 
exercise of its powers. 

No such government now exists for us on the American conti- 
nent. The rights of the people sleep in abeyance, delegated pow- 
ers have been perverted, and the majesty <5f the American people 
has been wrested from its true basis, the constitution, and is now 
made to play the pimp to representatives, to whom it has been tem- 
porarily confided. This must be corrected ; and the only way to 
arrive at a safe and sure solution, is for us, situated as we are, to 
remain obedient to all laws, observant of all orders, just, generous 
and liberal to the colored man, according him every right under 
the law, seeking to instruct him in the duties of the good citizen, 
rather than making a partizan of him ; to wait patiently for the 
sober second thought of the American people, while we sedulously 
exercise our right of suffrage in voting for the very best men to 
fill such offices as we are called upon to fill. In a word, so to act 
on principle as that no party can justly complain of us, and to 
eschew all party bias, to discard all party prejudice, to meet each 
issue, as it arises, as men and patriots, devoted to a constitutional 
Union, and above all unmanly surrender of our convictions of 
duty to any power, party or conclave. Let us be the last of Vir- 
ginia freemen rather than the first of Virginia slaves ! 

In haste, very truly, your friend, 

JOHN H. GILMEE. 



TO THE PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA : 

Since the publication of the preceding letter in 
the Richmond Enquirer, two communications have been published 
in the Richmond Whir-/, which require special consideration, not 
only from the relative position of the respective writers, but also 
from the unfortunate issues, which were, singularly, enough, pre- 
sented in each and both of those communications ; one of which 
was from the pen of F. H. Peirpoint, Esq., addressed to the People 
of Virginia; the other from the pen of J. M. Botts, Esq., addressed 
to the "colored People of Gulpepper county." 

In the letter of Mr. Peirpoint, it is stated as a reason for the 
present party attitude of the writer, that he had discovered the 
existence (he does not say where, or how, or when) of a design of 
certain parties, to array the white man 'against the black' man. 
Hence the earnest desire of the writer to prevent so unholy an 
alliance ; as a remedy, a fusion of ail the elements of conserva,- 
tism arid republicanism, was deemed necessary : into which fusion 
(confusion) the writer, with characteristic modesty, invited all 
well wishers of the country. In other words, the writer, being 
governor of Virginia by permission, invites all the white men 
and colored men -"of all complexions,'' to congregate under his 
coat-tail as the surest harbour in the coming war of races, against 
which he warns them. This bold and reckless assertion deserves, 
and shall receive, the stern condemnation, which its sophistry and 
disingenuousness challenge. 

In the letter of Mr. Botts, it is emphatically stated (I use his 
own words) that " there is a purpose now half dormant, in the 
event of the restoration of the Democratic party to power in the 
State and Federal governments : not only to test the constitution- 
ality of Acts of Congress confering suffrage upon you, but also to 
reduce the former slaves to bondage again, upon the ground that 
it was improperly and unconstitutionally forced upon the Southern 
States" * * * " That they have sought and obtained 

the legal opinion of Mr. Charles O'Connor, a leading Democrat of 
the State of New York, and a leading lawyer of the New York 
bar, who fully sustains and justifies them, in this view of the question. 
Need I say more on this subject? A word to the wise is sufficient." 

Thus writes Mr. Botts to "the colored people," and asks "need 
I say more on this subject?" Surely, Mr. Botts might and should 
have "said more" then and there. Is it ever justifiable when 
one undertakes to inform and instruct his constituency as to his 
political creed to suppress the truth ? I think not. Why did 
not Mr. Botts, in this communication, report his speech, on this 
very subject, delivered in Baltimore? Has he revoked, or recalled 
and suppressed that speech ? The "colored people of Culpepper" 
had better look to it or they may have one agreeing with Mr. 
O'Connor, a leading Democrat in the proposed convention of the 
State. Why did not Mr. Rotts furnish, in this letter, his correspon- 



10 

dence with President Abram Lincoln on the reclamation of Mr. 
Botts slaves taken away by the Union Army ? Has Mr. Botts 
altered his opinion as to the Emancipation Proclamation or the 
illegality of the seizure and deportation of his slaves under that 
Proclamation ? '' Need I say more on this subject?" "A word to 
the wise is sufficient." So says Mr. Botts, and so say I. 

In this same letter Mr. Botts, as usual, rails at the rebellion at 
rebels and at secession. Hear him " That secession was not a 
blunder simply, but a crime to be punished." Indeed ? By whom ? 
Surely not the "colored people?" Will Mr. Botts, or any of his 
co-conspirators in the Congress of the United States, or in the 
State of Virginia inform the "colored people" as to whom they, 
above all others, owe their freedom ? On this important historical 
point, Mr. Botts, Mr. Sumner, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Kelley et id omne 
genus, "Tray, Blanche, Sweetheart, mtiedogs and all, will preserve 
a most "conservative and politic silence." But before I close 
this letter I will, in my poor way, exhume the whole truth from 
the "cloud of false witnesses" who are perpetually and reck- 
lessly misinforming the " colored people." I will unmask these 
men hypocrites? and expose their nefarious policy to the "col- 
ored people." 

The language, tone, temper and object of these remarkable pro- 
ductions of Mr. Peirpoint and Mr. Botts, as ill-timed as they were 
insurrectionary, are but too manifest. The design was to array 
" the colored people " as a class, against all white men who were or 
had been either Democrats or Secessionists. In plain English, 
these gentlemen say to "the colored people of Virginia" "if you 
do not sustain us and our party, you are engaged in a purpose 
half dormant, to array the white man against the black man, and 
are under the "legal opinion of Mr. Charles O'Connor, a leading 
Democrat of the State of New York, proposing to reduce the 
former slaves to bondage again."' 

Let us scrutinize these bold and reckless assertions. Let us 
lift the veil which covers the self-complacent visages of these 
"mighty men in Israel " these disinterested philanthropists 
these "wise men in their day and generation," and weigh the prac- 
tical value of the sage premonitions of these Party Seers. Let us 
reason, the one with the other, as men and good citizens, and 
search out the very truth of the case, in the historical develop- 
ments of the day, so far, at least, as they tend to illucidate the 
modern discoveries of these manipulating speculators upon the 
ignorance and credulity of the "colored people," while they wave 
the torch of civil and social discord in the face of the Ameri- 
can people. Let. us measure their assertions by the developments 
around us, and view them in the declared purposes, issues and 
policy of certain parties, already formed on the great national 
tressel boards. Let us pass behind the scenery and inspect the 
green room, in which well trained actors are even now rehearsing 
the ir respective parts in another great tragedy. This is no period 
in the onward march of the human race to improvement, in- 



11 

creased civilization, enlarged civil and religious rights, and the in- 
dividual development of man, for any one, any where, or by any 
means, to arouse the dark passions of the human heart, that fresh 
deeds of violence may be enacted, to mar the harmony of a hoped 
for peace. Those who are really well-wishers to the American 
People, States, and Government, should rather seek to allay than 
to provoke strife : to quiet and inform the mind. The first duty 
of every good citizen north and south is to compose and soften 
down, as far as in him lies, the passions of the hour ; to appeal to 
reason, not prejudice. 

But when reason and fair dealing are abandoned, and false 
issues and insurrectionary doctrines are sought to be engrafted on 
the popular heart by direct and false appeals to class prejudice 
and party domination it is time to speak out to expose the trea- 
son and denounce the rebellious incision on the body politic, by 
these unanointed hands to destroy both the social and religious com- 
pact that binds man to man. Such is my purpose in this letter. 
If these dangerous issues are to be raised and discussed let the 
whole truth be known. This is alike due to the " colored people" 
and the white and above all due to the sacred right of suffrage, 
no matter by whom exercised. I have no appeal to make to "the 
colored people" as a class. I address myself to the voters of the 
state. The man who seeks to array one class against the other, 
merits, and I hope will receive, the stern rebuke and condemna- 
tion of both. 

In the preceding letter, I alluded to the recent work of one 
Hilton R. Helper, who, in his book has published sentiments, 
made avowals and developed a policy which should mark him as 
the Intellectual Blackguard and Literary Infidel of the century in 
which he has written. It is this man of blood and his " co-ope- 
rators," who are, behind the scenes, preparing a doom for "the col- 
ored people" far worse than slavery. His theory is death ruin- 
extermination utter oblivion to the " black man." His policy is 
for all this to be accomplished by Federal Legislation executed, 
if need be, by Federal Bayonets. As Messrs. Peirpoint and Botts 
have directly raised and pressed this specific issue, with charac- 
teristic sophistry, upon the " colored people of Virginia," I will 
meet it and fix the imputed "crime" on its proper authors. 

Read the following extracts from Helper's Book. 

DEDICATION. " To that most Enlightened and Progressive Por- 
tion of the People of the New World, who have the Far-reaching 
Foresight, and the Manly Patriotism, to Determine Irrevocably, by 
their Votes, in 1868-1872, Sooner or Later, that, after the Fourth of 
July, 1876, (or, at the very furthest, after the First of January, 1900,) 
No Slave nor Would-be Slave, No Negro nor Mulatto, No Chinaman 
nor unnative Indian, No Black nor Bi-colored Individual of what- 
ever Name or Nationality, shall ever again find Domicile anywhere 
Within the Boundaries of the United States of America. To all 
those Pre-eminently Sagacious and Good Men who are Deeply Im- 
pressed with the Conviction, that even the Firmest Founded and 



12 

the Noblest Vindicated of all Eepublics, whether Ancient or Mo- 
dern, and the Best System of Government ever yet Devised be- 
neath the Sun, can never Fulfill its Promised Mission of Unex- 
ampled Greatness and Grandeur, until After it shall have been 
Brought under the Exclusive Occupancy and Control of the Hea- 
ven-descended and Incomparably Superior White Races of Man- 
kind, This Volume is Most Respectfully Dedicated." 

So much for the Dedication. I now furnish a few paragraphs 
from the Preface. 

" Were I to state here, frankly and categorically, that the pri- 
mary object of this work is to write the negro out of America, and 
that the secondary object is to write him, (and manifold millions of 
other black and bi-colored caitiffs, little better than himself,) out 
of existence, God's simple truth would be told ; wherefore, refer- 
ring the reader to the body of the work itself for my incentives 
and reasons in the premises, I might now, not without propriety, 
desist from further prefatory remarks, but yet I will say some- 
thing more." 

Again : "I speak of negroes, mulattoes, Indians, Chinese, and 
other obviously inferior races of mankind, whose colors are black or 
brown, but never white ; and whose mental and moral character- 
istics are no less impure and revolting than their swarthy com- 
plexions." * " Whether in reference to things past, 
things present, or things to come, (in reference to all things, in- 
deed, except those which appertain immediately and especially to 
the stomach,) these coal-black and copper-colored caitiffs are, with 
rare exceptions, as absolutely thoughtless and improvident as the 
grasshoppers of autumn. Concerning them, however, there is one 
very consoling and cheerful consideration, and that is, that the ap- 
pointed period of their tenancy upon the earth will soon be up ; 
and then, like the short-lived ephemera of a summer afternoon, 
they shall all speedily pass away, and thenceforth and forever be 
known only, if known at all, in fossil form." See Preface. 

On page 62 is following language : " I allude to the presence of 
so many negroes in our cities and towns places where not one of 
them should ever be permitted to reside at all ; and if I shall suc- 
ceed, as I hope and believe I shall, in presenting such a combina- 
tion of facts and arguments as will demonstrate the propriety of 
removing them all into the country (if far and forever beyond the 
limits of the United States, so much the better.) I shall regard it 
as evidence complete, that these lines have been judiciously pen- 
ned." See also pages 63 and 64. 

On page 65 we find the following : " Negroes are, in truth, so 
far inferior to white people, that, for many reasons consequent on 
that inferiority, the two races should never inhabit the same com- 
munity, city, nor state." See pages 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 75, 78, 
79, 80, 105, 113, 118, 119, 157, 166, 174, 199, 207, 208, 211, 212. 

On page 217 will be found the following language : " Yet this 
(the negro) is the fatuous and filthy fellow whom, by certain de- 
graded and very contemptible white persons, we are advised to 



13 

recognize as an equal and as a brother ! incorrigible 

and groveling ignoramus upon whom it is p. to confer at 

once the privilege of voting the light of ur il suffrage ! 

This is the loathsome and most execrable wrett^ ^_mk-sruelling 
and hideous arch-criminal that he is) who has been mentioned as 
one fit to have a voice in the enaolment of laws for the- govern- 
ment of the American people." ID this connection read pages 
218,219,220,221,232,233. 

On page 282 will be found the following language: "Depart, 
therefore, ye wicked and abandoned blacks, into the regions of 
darkness and deep despair and oblivion prepared for you, and for 
all akin to you, from the foundation .of the world ; and let the ra- 
diant and gem-like gates of glory, Affixed to pillars of gold, be 
opened wide for the reception of the righteous and heaven-blessed 
whites, who, while ineffably happy, amidst the diamond-fenced 
fields of superb fruits and flowers, shall, with constantly increasing 
joy, bask forever in floods of richly perfumed and silvery-spark- 
ling light." 

With this profane, irreverent, God assailing paragraph, I con- 
clude my quotations as to the colored man. I have, I am sure, 
furnished enough to inspire the disgust and arouse the fiery indig- 
nation of every Christian man, white and colored, who does not 
place party above country power and dominion above religion 
and his Maker. The principles enunciated the policy developed 
the blasphemous irreverence of the whole book are a burning 
shame upon the age in which it is published. And yet this man 
Helper was, just before the late civil war, hailed by the "slave 7 ' 
as his peculiar friend was endorsed and recommended by the 
leaders of the Eepublican party of the United States lionised by 
the "strong-minded women of New England idolised by those 
political mountebanks known and accepted as ministers of the 
gospel who sought the blood of brothers, instead of preaching 
" Christ and him crucified." Where stand they now? Are they 
for or against the policy of this self-created man-slayer and inso- 
lent national partitioner ? Where stands Charles Sumner of Mas- 
sachusetts the lago of the United States Senate ? Where stands 
that old man Thad. Stevens, who, with one foot in the grave, is 
with the other furiously seeking to kick out the " life of the na- 
tion," as he grasps, with a miser's clutch, the "vitals of the Consti- 
tution," on the utter subversion of which depend his " specula- 
tions in the South ?" Where stands that host of admirers, who, in 
1860, " sang songs of praise and thanksgiving" to this Monster in 
Human shape ? Echo answers where? 

Gentle reader, who do you suppose this ineffable " negro hater," 
above all others in the State of Virginia, selected, appointed and 
delegated to work out his fiendish policy ? Read page 72, and 
you will find this language : " These are some of them some of 
the best not Black Republicans of low and groveling instincts, 
but White Republicans .of God-like aspirations and purposes." 
Many names are given from different parts of America : such as 



14 

Wm. H. Seward, Edwin M. Stanton ; but from Virginia you will 
read in the column the names of JOHN MINOR BOTTS and FRANCIS 
H. PIERPOINT. " A word to the wise is sufficient." 

It would not be proper to dismiss this vile Book without stating 
another issue presented by its author as a part of the grand Ame- 
rican Policy, which he has inaugurated. Examine the tenth chap- 
ter, and particularly pages 385-386, and you will discover that, 
along with the "negro," the " Catholic" is doomed to utter ex- 
tinction. It is no enough to satisfy this " new policy" that the 
" negro" shall be utterly driven from the face of creation the Ca- 
tholic must accompany him into the " regions of darkness and 
deep despair and oblivion prepared for them from the foundation 
of the world." A war between races is not enough to satisfy the 
morbid appetite of this world revolutionizing innovator ; but there 
must at the same time, and as a part of the same policy, be inau- 
gurated a war of religions. "A word to the wise is sufficient." 

I now return to the letter of Mr. Botts; in considering which I 
shall deal plainly. It is with the letter and not with Mr. Botts 
that I am dealing. With him I have nothing to do, nor will I 
have in the way of newspaper controversy. That is not my mode 
of dealing with gentlemen, between whom and myself there is a 
political chasm which no time can fill and no discussion bridge over. 
While I always hold myself personally responsible to every one 
who may feel aggrieved by anything which I may say or do, I 
never seek difficulties or avoid all proper responsibilities. 

In this letter is the following language : " That secession is not 
a blunder simply, but a crime to be punished." This is addi^essed 
to the "colored people." I ask every reflecting " colored man" 
was it not the " blunder and crime of secession," which alone, in 
the providence of God, freed the slave? Does not every informed 
mind know that if there had been no secession there would have 
been no civil war, and if there had been no civil war, the slaves of 
1860 would now be in slavery. Why, then, ask the freedmen " to 
punish the crime?" I was opposed, upon what I regarded as 
sound principle, to the doctrine of secession ; so was Mr. Botts. In 
this we both opposed the only " blunder" which could have possi- 
bly resulted in general emancipation. Then is it not both logical 
and proper that the freedmen should seek to " punish" us, and not 
the secessionist ? Let this fact sink deep in the mind and heart of 
the freedmen. It weighs with an eternal import upon their future 
destiny. There is not a Confederate grave by which the freedmen 
should pass without humble adoration of an overruling Providence, 
which caused the " living to die,''' that the " bondman might be 
free." There is not a widow or orphan of the " Confederate dead" 
that the freedman should not tenderly consider, and, as a Chris- 
tian man, pray for, for the war in which the husband and father 
fell, was the tocsin which, by the will of God, sounded the death- 
stroke to slavery. Let then the freedman, in humble and devout 
thanksgiving to Almighty God, cease to revile the " secessionist," 
and learn to give the praise to him, and him alone, who decreed 



15 

41 iii the Councils of Heaven" that through the " blunder of seces- 
sion" his shackles were unloosed. It is profanity, and nothing but 
profanity to ascribe the emancipation of the slave to the Union 
army and the Union sentiment." Let this grand truth be pervert- 
ed by the time-serving demagogue and malignant "Union-shrieker" 
as it may, no Christian man, in the privacy of his chamber, will 
dare deny it. 

Why, then, this persistent and irreverent effort to arouse per- 
sonal hatred against the " secessionist?" God rules in Heaven, and 
" reads aright the human heart." Let the "colored people" then 
estimate this wicked and clamorous outcry against the " crime of 
the rebellion" at its proper worth, and strive to " lean on the arm 
of the Lord of Hosts" as their only safe refuge and sure depend- 
ence in the trying position in which they are constantly being 
placed by such profane miscreants as Hilton R Helper and his 
ignoble co-operators. For the freedmen to rail and storm at the 
"secessionist" is not less out of place than for the Christian to 
make up his worship by railing at the men who crucified the Sa- 
viour. Without the one, there could have been no freedmen ; with- 
out the other, no salvation. " A word to the wise is sufficient." 

I now ask the "colored people" and let the question sink deep 
in their hearts and abide in their judgments Who is it, Helper 
and his co-operatives in iniquity and " crime," or " Charles 0'- 
Conner, a leading Democrat in the State of New York," who is 
seeking to array the white man against the black man? Who is it 
that struck the shackles from their limbs, and bid them rise to 
the dignity of freedmen the Union-shrieker or the " Secession- 
ist?" Who is it that decreed their emancipation President Lin- 
coln or the Lord of Hosts? Who is it that will stand by them 
when their hour of trial comes, and come it will the "uncondi- 
tional Union men," such as Helper and his brother man-slayers, or 
the whites, among whom they have always lived, and between 
whom and themselves there is and always must be reciprocal du- 
ties and mutual interests? Who is it that seeks to mar the open- 
ing prospects of a solid peace, such declaimers to their passions 
as Messrs. Pierpoint and Botts, who seek their patronage, or the 
writer of this, who has no office, patronage or pardon to ask of any 
or all men living ? Who is it that hopes to derive political promo- 
tion by catering to the prejudices and pandering to the vanity of 
the uninformed? Is it not those men who, without the fear of God 
before their eyes, seek to create dissensions among them ? Who is 
it that seeks a proper and constitutional reunion of the States, a 
fair and just administration of the laws, a full and unrestricted 
protection to all men under the law ? Is it the Union-shrieker 
who will scandalise the dead and take every oath, however gall- 
ing, that he may fill offices, or those who have the manhood to 
speak the truth and spurn office at the expense of conscience? 

I make no apology for this letter. The period has arrived, 
when error must be combatted by reason when men must speak 
out ; when those who desire liberty, 'must seek to deserve it. It is 



now r ^uc attention and to direct the public 

min,. .,6 moral-creed sought to be inculcated in high 

places u- w- must all be Republicans, or be punished. What 
do these -men mean, when they bid me to put on and wear a 
party badge, or they will tighten the thumbscrews, and persecute 
me to the death ? Are they Republicans ? So is Helper? So is 
Simmer? So is Botts? So is Peirpoint? If this is the republi- 
can creed, and these republican leaders, which I am required to 
adopt and follow then I say apply your instruments of torture, 
for I spurn the party, thus denominated, and would die before I 
would follow in the lead of such men. Do they mean, on the other 
hand, that I shall join a genuine republican party that desires 
peace, and aims at harmony between the blacks and whites which 
seeks a thorough and constitutional reunion between the States, 
and a just and manly administration of the Federal and State 
governments ? If so, then I tell them, once for all, they must 
turn out, neck and heels, such leaders as I have above named, 
Put up Gen'l Grant for the Presidency, and if his support is a test 
of republicanism, I am a republican. Put up Sumner for the Pre- 
sidency and Botts for the Vice Presidency, and I would spurn the 
ticket with a loathing that no language can express. As against 
such a ticket, I would suggest to the "colored people of Culpep- 
per" to nominate Fred. Douglass and Fields Cook, and I am sure 
they would have, a.t least, an equal chance for success. Then let 
me know, before hand, what they mean by " Republican Party." 
Let their mass convention, which meets this week, show its hand. 
Are you gentlemen White or Black Republicans, according to 
Helper's definition. Are you Confiscation or Anti-Confiscation 
Republicans? Are you Test Oath or Anti-Test Oath Repulicans? 
Show your hand. Let the wheat be winnowed and after the 
chaff is blown away, it will be quite time enough for the real sub- 
stantial men of the state to decide as to their course. 

I am aware of the invidious criticisms to which my first letter 
has subjected me. and to which this will subject me. Be it so. I 
have no favors to ask. no responsibilities to shun. Politically, 
I am enslaved for the present. Individually, I am as free as any 
man on the American continent. I entertain no fears under the 
threats of -proscription, confiscation, professional as well as politi- 
cal disfranchisement. Let them come thick and fast the thicker 
and faster the better. Shut me, if it so please the " mighty men 
of power" at Washington, up in a dungeon, without the light of 
the sun, but they cannot take from me the light of a clear con- 
science before man and God. My conscience and mind are God's 
precious gift?, and no human power can or shall defile the one, or 
enslave the other. Give me the grave, with an honored shroud, 
rather than "life and property," place and power, with the golden 
collar of a Spaniel around my neck. 

Your fellow-citizen, 

JOHN H. GILMER. 

Richmond, July 29th, 1867.