THE NEGRO QUESTION.
fTe TMi EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] Upper Norwood, August 27. SIR,—.As an American who has had some opportunity of forming an opinion on the subject in question, I venture altogether to dissent from the views respecting our national antipathy to the coloured race which constitute the staple of your New York cor- respondent's last letter. Your correspondent's communications have been in general of so candid and instructive a character, and are likely therefore to carry so much weight with unprejudiced readers, that it seems important to draw attention to an instance where his conclusions are at variance with those of large numbers of his most thoughtful and patriotic countrymen.
The fact that of the four millions of coloured persons in the United States quite two-fifths have white blood in their veins, and that it began to flow under circumstances which conclusively demonstrate that the will of white men rather than that of black women is to be credited with the amalgamation, is surely a strong argument against the theory of an ineradicable antipathy of races. Let it be remembered that the fiercest declaimers in ,Anzerica against what they term " miscegenation " are at once the people who protest that no torture could oblige them to mingle their blood with that of the blacks, and the dearest political and social allies of those who have done so on the most unequivocal and com- prehensive scale. Is the mingling of races more detestable when both are free than when one is free and the other bond? And why should men inveigh so hotly against the atrocity of that which there is no law to compel them to do, but in which their volition enjoys a scope as unfettered as any which it is possible to conceive?
So far as the issue of amalgamation idto be regarded as a source of antipathy, it should not be forgotten that the question, like many which appear to group sentiments in strongly marked oppos- ing divisions, is a pre-eminently relative one. There are thousands of white men who would marry octoroons, quadroons, and mulat- toes who never could be induced to mate with a Regress ; and the same is true of white women, The fact is that the Irish—unfortunately so numerous on the Atlantic coast—cherish a traditional hatred for the blacks, kept alive and judiciously inflamed by the old democratic pro-slavery leaders who, as every one knows, have controlled the vote of the immigrants for a generation through the fear that emancipation would glut the Northern labour market. The individual Irish- man looks on the individual man of colour as a rival labourer, who at the same time has no right to be placed in any sense on an equality with himself. The names of the assailants in the late disgraceful affair at Greenwich afford quite a sufficient clue to its animus.
Just now, when the momentous question of negro suffrage is agitating the land, and when the old hack politicians are endea- vouring to excite the same prejudices against that measure whioh they wielded so long and so successfully against abolition, we may expect, unhappily, to hear a great deal in the way of quarrelling and violence towards the negroes which will be unreservedly set down to the credit of an inherent antipathy of races, but which should go to that of an antipathy of democratic politicians to their republican rivals remaining in power.
An amusing instance of the employment of this species of tactics
closely followed the tragical one above referred to. A meeting of coloured people was held at a place near New York to celebrate the anniversary of the emancipation of their race thirty-one years ago in the British dominions. Now whatever may be their average intelligence on plantations, I hesitate not to say that for intelli- gence, education, and sobriety, the coloured people of that neighbourhood are equal to the average of respectable working people anywhere in these islands, and considerably above that of the Irish of a similar class at or near New York. But the demo- cratic press of that city seized the occasion at once for spicy report and political capital, and with, to any observing American, the obvious design of throwing wholesale ridicule on the blacks, published as bona fide accounts of the celebration the most absurd farrago of fabulous speeches, hymns, &c., that could be conceived in an Ashantee Bedlam, and, after their late experience, mirabile dietu I certain London newspapers have promptly reprinted these precious reports, obviously in the purest unconsciousness that they were lending themselves most unreservedly to the malicious design of their inventors! It is not surprising perhaps that Englishmen should sympathize with Anglo-Saxons in their objection either to vote or intermarry with beings who behave in the manner described in the carefully collated report of the "Buffered fokes' " festival
which appears in the Saturday Review.— I am, Sir, your obedient servant,