sible for any American who believes in the Declaration of
Independence as Abraham Lincoln believed in it, to read with- out amusement and indignation" my assertion that the Connec- ticut jury, in advising a negro who had married a white (Irish) wife to leave the neighbourhood, "had spoken for any con- siderable body of intelligent Americans." I purposely avoided smoothing or mollifying the harsh facts which I stated in that letter, in order that they might give the shock that seemed to be necessary to rouse many people in England out of a complacent but very erroneous opinion in which they were resting, as to the effect which the war had produced upon the disposition of people in this country in regard to intercourse with the negroes, to prevent whose perpetual enslavement they had risked a great re- bellion and a possible dissolution of the Union. But I did not in the least exaggerate or over-colour those facts ; and I promised my two censors above mentioned that the time would come when I should be able to bring them to confess, however they might mourn, that I was right. And now the time has come. And it is remarkable that its coming is coincident with the overwhelming political defeat of Democrats and Conservatives, and the establish- ment of Radical power in Congress.
I have before me an early copy of a papplilet which, although it bears no name, I am informed is written by one of the ablest and most estimable Radicals in the country, and the title of which is, Why Coloured People in Philadelphia are Excluded from the Street Cars. It bears internal evidence not only of the candour and courage of its author, but of his thorough-going Radicalism upon its sub- ject. It consists of twenty-seven pages, but I can compress into• one letter all its material statements. The writer first mentions the appointment at a public meeting in January, 1865, of a coin- mittee of twenty-five or thirty gentlemen to effect the admission of negroes to the cars. This Committee waited upon the presi- dents of nineteen street railway companies. "Some few favoured compliance more or less conditional," but the question was finally submitted "to a car vote of their passengers." The result was continued exclusion. Soon afterwards, a negro having been ejected by the help of a policeman, the Committee called on the Mayor, to know if this had been done by his order. "Not by my order, gentlemen," was his reply, "but with my knowledge and approbation. I am not with you, gentlemen. I do not wish the ladies of my family to ride in the cars with the coloured people." It may be supposed that the Mayor was a Democrat. On the contrary, he was a leading Republican. "And with a full knowledge of these facts," the writer says, "no one doubts that the Republicans last October would have re-elected Mr. Henry as their Mayor, and that by a larger majority: than he ever before received ;" and he adds, that by universal consent Mayor Henry "was as brave and incorruptible in office, as he has always been pure in morals and unaffected in piety in private life." The Committee then brought the subject before the State Legis- lature, by which it was referred to the Committee on Railways. But here it was smothered. "No persuasion," says the writer, "could induce this Railway Committee—twelve out of its fifteen members being Republicans, and eight Republicans from Phila- delphia—to report the Bill to the House in any shape." Recourse was then had to the Courts, but in seven cases of ejection brought before various grand juries all were "ignored." There that case stauds at present. "Grand juries," as the author of the pamphlet remarks, "may be supposed fairly to represent the average public sentiment on this question, and their uniform action has been shown." He adds the very important and significant statement that the Philadelphia Associated Friends of the Freed- men, having adopted as one of their rules "the admission of both colour e indiscriminately to their schools at the South, consider that any effort to introduce the same rule here would be in vain." He points out that on the late celebration of the Fourth of July, only three members of the Military Committee of sixteen favoured the inviting negro troops to join in it ; and that the officers of the 71st Regiment gave notice that, "if such [liegro] troops did parade, their regiment must decline to do so, and would forward its colours to Harrisburg [the capital] by express." There is at Philadelphia an excellent Home for Disabled Soldiers. A considerable part of
115,000 dohs. of its endowment being chiefly the proceeds of a fair for the benefit of disabled soldiers without regard to colour, negroes are of course admitted to it ; but although 160 white soldiers are there, they are in a main building by themselves, and are "kept separate." There are seven negro soldiers who fare in every respect as well as the whites, but in a ward by themselves. A coloured soldier wounded in the hand having applied for admis- sion when the coloured ward was full, was turned away for that reason, although there was room in the other wards. And "to the inquiry whether it is absolutely necessary to make the dis- tinction above noted, the prompt answer is, Yes, for otherwise the white soldiers would make a row." It might be supposed that, the quarters being free of expense to all, those who disliked any conditions of admission to the place might be free to leave it. "But," the writer says, "it is found that this suggestion, when made, cannot be entertained for a moment." The pam- phlet next mentions the fact that the several members of the Railway Committee who had smothered the Bill securing ne- groes admission to the street cars, were all returned to the Legislature at the last fall election by an undiminished party vote, although their course in this respect had been fully made known through the newspapers. "This," the author says, "shows clearly that by their course in regard to the coloured people they had not forfeited the confidence of our so-called Radicals." Yet further, we are told that the very Committee appointed for the special purpose of obtaining for the negroes the right of riding in the same cars with the whites, a resolution having been offered at one of its meetings previous to the last city election, the purpose of which was to obtain from the Mayor a written statement of what his intentions were upon this subject, deprecated the thought of jeopardizing the success of the Republican party by committal upon such a question, and voted down the resolution by a majority of "more than ten to one of the members present." The writer of this pamphlet does not hesitate in his despondency and his indignation to make the remarkable statement contained in the following paragraph :—
" And it may as well be confessed, once for all, that to treat a man's sentiments in respect to negroes as of any importance, in making up your estimate of his character ; or to announce, as your own motive, in whatever you may do for coloured people, the simple desire to do them good, because it is just, irrespective of any object beyond, such as to save white recruits, to weaken an enemy, or to gain possible future votes,—is to bring upon yourself the contempt, secret or open, strong or mild, of nine-tenths of the people you meet."
But yet more remains to be told. For this writer hhs the courage not to flinch from stating the very worst of his case and the full strength of his opponent's. In fact his pamphlet has a tone of despondency, almost of despair, which is really touching, and seems less like the production of a white philanthropist than of an edu- cated negro, who has discovered that his strife and his hope are utterly in vain. Having shown that the most cultivated classes, with official and conventional bodies, and the labouring classes are decidedly opposed to the admission of negroes to the street cars, and that even "the great body of the respectable, intelligent, and influential portion of the community" between those extremes "is permeated with latent prejudice sufficient to carry it, imperceptibly perhaps, and by dead weight only, but still to carry it, against the coloured people," he steps beyond the ranks of the Republic,anparty and the world's people,—steps not backward, but forward, beyond even the Radical Republican outposts, and says, "it is not hard to find old hereditary Abolitionists, orthodox and other friends and members of the late Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Coloured Regiments, who coldly decline all overtures for co-operation in this work,—[i.e., of removing distinctions between the two races]. The abolition of slavery, away in the South was all very well, but here is a matter of personal contact."
This is the confession that is made by an Abolitionist, an ex- treme Radical ; it comes after the constitutional abolition of slavery by the vote of the States, after the support by the people of the Civil Rights' Bill and of the amendment touching repre- sentation proposed by the Radicals in last Congress ; it is made with regard to a city that is, and always has been, permeated with the influence of the Society of Friends. And now, if any one desires to turn back to my letter which told that the war had been undertaken rather than the nation should be further cursed by the crime of human bondage, bet that it had not in the least diminished the antipathy to the negro, to denounce that statement, if made with regard to any considerable body of sensible and intelligent Americans, as only fit to excite amazement and indignation, an eligible opportunity offers. He may do so with- out another word from me. It is a sad sight to see able and earnest men labouring hard to convince others and themselves that that cannot be which is. Let it not, however, be supposed for a moment that the general feeling which this Radical so despondingly admits to be diffused even among Radical Republicans and hereditary Abolitionists, at all justifies or palliates such cruelties as those of which Governor Eyre is accused. The very grand juries who ignored the cases of the exclusion of negroes from the street cars would indict just as quickly for the murder, even the constructive murder, of a negro, as of a white man. The
very officers who said that if the negro were ordered to parade with them they would send their regimental colours to the Governor, you may be sure voted to sustain the Civil Rights' Bill, as they had previously fought to prevent the extension of slavery. These people have no desire to keep the negro poor and degraded. They would gladly see him happy, and help him to become so. What they so earnestly desire, and so strenuously insist upon, is simply—separation. The author of the pamphlet has put his finger directly upon the sore spot in the phrase, "here is a matter of personal contact." But, in New York, negroes are admitted to street cars, although they very rarely appear in them, and in one part of Boston two negroes or mulat- toes could be elected to the State Legislature ; how is it that in the City of Brotherly Love, the Quaker City, the antipathy in question manifests itself so much more strongly than in the other two cities? Our author tells very plainly why this is. Philadelphia has more negroes than any other Northern city, and "she most fears amal- gamation." In Boston, he tells us, the proportion is 1 coloured to 771 white ; in New York, 1 coloured to 63i white ; and in Philadelphia, 1 coloured to 24i. white. Thus it seems ever to be : willingness to mingle with the negro diminishes as the opportuni- ties for its exhibition increase. Unlike the attraction which keeps the universe in order, the attraction of the white man for the negro is directly as the square of the distance. An Anglo-Saxon community in Nova Zembla, or in some other like place, where the negro could not live a year, would probably have no exclusive feeling with regard to him.
My letter has been confined to a compact presentation of the case set forth by this courageous Radical. But I will say for myself, that whoever supposes that the feeling the diffusion of which he so deplores is a product of slavery, or is excited merely by a dark skin, makes, I know, a very great mistake. But if this feeling, whatever be its origin, is unnatural, unchristian, wicked, and there is strength enough to break it down, it ought to be broken down without pity or remorse ; but if otherwise, strife against it will be in vain. Gamaliel's counsel is good about all such matters.
And now, as the Sagas say, the Negro passes out of this story. A YANKEE.