A Southern Planter. By Susan Dabney Smedes. (John Murray.) —Thomas
Smith Dabney was born in Virginia in 1798. He migrated to the State of Mississippi in 1837, finding that he could not make his Virginian plantation pay. There he lived till the War of Secession. It was not till just before his death that he recognised the fact that it was well for the slaves that they had been freed. The fact is, that he had been the kindest, the most liberal, the most conscientious of masters. His slaves had fared well under his hands. He saw them fare far less well after they had been freed. Still, he had the clearness of vision to perceive that it is better to be free than to be happy, no easy attainment for any one so situated. A benevolent despot must be of all persons the hardest to convince of the benefits of a republic. This volume is full of profoundly interesting and touching details of domestic life in the South. Mr. Dabney's relations to his family and to his servants—the whole making up a faraiiia in a remarkably real sense—make one of the most interesting pictures that have ever been given to the world.