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schools of North Carolina, who, in his letter to school committees, dated April 14. 1856, remarking upon certain schoolbooks, says:
"The houses which publish these works have high national characters; they are not connected with the sectional agitations that are now having such pernicious influence, and they have manifested the most enlightened and liberal kind of enterprise, by trying to promote their interests in a way to benefit us. I can, therefore, cheerfully recommend them to the patronage of our citi. zens, as well as to their confidence; and, as an instance of the importance of carrying out, in the selection of books, the suggestions of those who have given anxious attention to the whole subject, I may mention that I knew a merchant of our state recently to purchase readers which contain an article strongly reflecting on the south, and are published by bitter and bigoted abolitionists. I am not blaming the merchant; he only knew the books were used in his section, and, doubtless, had little acquaintance with their contents, or with the character of publishers-matters to which I have given special attention."
What thoughtful tenderness is here! The Hon. C. H. Wiley does not blame the merchant! Amiable Hon. C. H. Wiley! He (the merchant) only knew the books were used in his section! They might have been bibles, not yet purgated and prepared by the Hon. C. H. Wileys. They might have been books which said God made man in his image; Love thy brother as thyself; Do as you would be done by-instead of, "God made every man in his image-except the black man; Love thy brother as thyself-unless he be a negro; Do as you would be done by-and you know, little dears, if you were Africans, you would wish to be sold as slaves, to enjoy Christian privileges." Such " readers" would not be connected with sectional agitations, and might supply a broad foundation of the proper sentiment on which to rear a southern literature. But unless the Hon. C. H. Wileys are suffered to burn and banish books that are written out of "the south," they will pertinaciously come in. Among others, Putnam's Monthly will come in, cause there are plenty of readers at the south" who are interested in the country and its development, and plenty of writers at the south whose articles Maga is always glad to publish-if they are good-and liberally to pay for.
The chances of a literature technically southern, that is, uninspired by any spirit of liberty, and directly advocating slavery, may be inferred from the fact, that the Hon. C. H. Wiley,
whom we have just quoted, is the superintendent of schools in North Carolina -that Professor Hedrick was banished from a university in that state last summer, for saying what might be construed into a condemnation of the system of slavery; and that, in general, a man speaks and writes there in favor of the natural freedom of man at his peril; and yet North Carolina is generally considered as milder in its feeling upon the great question, than any other of the slave states. Mr. Wiley says, that "of the growing white population, it will not be one in fifteen, perhaps, not one in twenty, who cannot read or write." He allows that in 1840, “one in every seven and a half of our adult population could not read and write, of whom every two-thirds were women, the mothers, guardians, and first teachers of the citizens of the state." If it is remembered that the white population is only two-thirds of the inhabitants of the state, the ratio of people who cannot read and write is proportionably changed.
In Massachusetts, in the year 1850, there was only one in every 446 of the whole population who could not read and write; and the same number of the School Journal, which contains Mr. Wiley's statement, also contains parts of a
Fourth of July" speech at Raleigh, in which the orator feelingly says: We may deplore the overthrow of other systems; we may shed tears of sorrow and of patriotic anguish over the disastrous darkness which,even now, seems to be settling on the star of Massachusetts; yet, happen what may, let us be true to ourselves." And he alludes to the glorious "right of free-speech," enjoyed by the citizens of the stateProfessor Hedrick, for example-forgetful of the Revised Statutes of North Carolina, which set forth, ch. 34, § 74, p. 209, that a white man may be fined or imprisoned for attempting to teach any slave to read or write.
Further than this, which is unpromising for the number of indigenous readers—at least, for the new southern literature--let the Savannah Tupmans and Snodgrasses look for a moment at the actual performance, in " the south," of the "talent enough to do anything" in the way of a literature. Here is our contemporary for December, 1856-the Southern Literary Messenger. Its editorial appeal, at the close of the year,
Fays: "The magazine has never been worthier of the hearty support of the southern public than at present," and again: The editor asks, with a reasonable confidence, that an augmented share of southern patronage may be granted to a work which has, for twenty-two years vindicated the intellectual reputation of the southern people, and upheld their social institutions under every species of assault."
Now, let us see in what manner this number vindicates the intellectual reputation of the southern people. It has six prose articles, one of which is merely an account of the circumstances attending the painting of a copy of "The School of Athens," for the Virginia University, three of the others are stories of the most ordinary ladymagazine character; and the two papers in the number which have any value at all, are both selected from English publications. There are seven poems, and, excepting one little song, with a French refrain, they are such verse as is easily written and read with difficulty. This is distinctively the southern magazine. Does the most credulous Pickwickian believe that, if the northern books and periodicals and
school-marms" are banished, the delights of life in slave regions will become more patent?
We say such things in no possible spirit of unkindness to our temporary, but that contemporary, in appealing so entirely to a ..southern," rather than a national or American support, directly challenges scrutiny into its claims and character.
But we have still another specimen of the "talent enough to do whatever is wanted," in the way of "southern literature," and this is purely “southern," in the most technical sense. is a signal example of that kind of literature for which Tapman need not " to Old or New England." It is the sort which may be freely had when "northern books or papers" are definitively excluded, and is of the kind, in the words of the resolution, best quali fied to elevate and purify the education of the south."
sorrow and patriotic anguish over the disastrous darkness which, even now, seems to be settling upon the star of Massachusetts." This is the literature which that eminent superintendent will not "blame" merchants for vending and reading. This effort of the "southern" genius, to which we invite the attention of the reader, is entitled, "The Hireling and the Slave: Chicora, and other poems. By William J. Grayson. Charleston, 1856." The argument of the poem is thus stated. The human mind attends with delight:
"Slavery is that system of labor which exchanges subsistence for work, which secures a life-maintenance from the master to the
slave, and gives a life-labor from the slave to the master. The slave is an apprentice for life, and owes his labor to his master; the master owes support, during life, to the slave. Slavery is the negro system of labor. He is lazy and improvident. Slavery makes all work, and it insures homes, food, and clothing for all. It permits no idleness, and it provides for sickness, infancy, and old age. It allows no trumping or skulking, and it knows no pau perism.'
Who makes the slave "an apprentice for life," and by what claim, and in what manner, 66 he owes his labor," the gentle Grayson does not say or sing. But he continues:
"All Christians believe that the affairs of the world are directed by Providence for wise and good purposes. The coming of the negro to North America makes no exception to the rule. His transportation was a rude mode of emigration-the only practicable one in his case-not attended with more wretchedness than the emigrant ship often exhibits even now, notwithstanding the passenger law. What the purpose of his coming is we may not presume to judge. But we can see much good already resulting from it-good to the negro in his improved condition; to the country whose rich fields he has cleared of the forest, and made productive in climates unfit for the labor of the white man; to the conti nent of Africa in furnishing, us it may ulti mately, the only means for civilizing its peo ple."
Very "ultimately," we should say.
The implication of this statement is, that slavery is good for the soul of the African, by opening to it a chance for the glorious liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. It is a great Christian scheme. Every native African, who absents himself from the slave barracoon, and refuses to undergo the "rude mode of emigration" to America and heaven, deliberately declines salvation, and must, therefore, be saved against his wicked will. If it is true of one African, it is true of all. The
slave-trade is a great missionary institution; and the genius of Christianity, having saved the rest of the world, finally invited Africa to sit down with the redeemed. Now we wish to call Tupman's attention, and that of the gentle Grayson, to the fact, that there is a most reprehensible partiality in this selection of candidates for salvation.
The present writer, "a northern school-marm" of an uncertain age, and the gentle Grayson, the bard of slavery and salvation, have an equal right to Christian privileges-although the school-marm may be deeply dun in her color, and the son of song of that lovely pallor peculiar to the unmixed races. In the same way ought not the African, whether young or old, sick or well, to be admitted to the chances of Christianization? Now, we protest it is not so. That eminent missionary, Captain Canot, originally sent out by some West Indian saints to catch bodies and save
souls in Africa, in his work, describing his experience in furthering the designs of Providence upon the slave-coast, remarks:
Upon one occasion, to my great astonishment, I saw a stout and apparently powerful man, discarded by Ormond as utterly worthless. His full muscles and sleek skin, to my unpracticed eye, denoted the height of robust health. Still, I was told that he had been medicated for the market with bloating drugs, and sweated with powder and lemon juice to impart a gloss to his skin. Ormond remarked that these jockey tricks are as common in Africa as among horse-dealers in Christian lands; and, desiring me to feel the negro's pulse, I immediately detected discase, or excessive excitement. In a few days I found the poor wretch, abandoned by his owner, a paralyzed wreck in the hut of a villager at Bangalang. When a slave becomes useless to his master in the interior, or exhibits signs of failing constitution, he is soon disposed of to a peddler or broker. These men call to their aid a quack, familiar with drugs, who, for a sinall compensation, undertakes to refit an impaired body for the temptation of greenhorus. Sometimes the cheat is successfully effected but experiencod slavers detect it readily by the yellow eye, swollen tongue, and feverish skin."
We put it to all Christians, including the gentle Grayson, whether a man should lose his candidacy for Christian salvation merely because of bloating drugs and sweating unto sleekness with lemon-juice and gunpowder, which can but affect the perishable body?
We can merely give an idea of the rare beauty and character of this work, which is entirely worthy of its inspiration. Consider the truthfulness of this
picture of African candidates who have survived "the rude mode of emigration."
"And yet the life, so unassailed by care, So blessed with moderate work, with ample fare,
With all the good the starving pauper needs,
The happier slave on each plantation leads; Safe from harassing doubts and annual fears.
He dreads no famine in unfruitful years;
And Christian slaves may challenge as their own,
The blessings claimed in fabled states alone
The cabin home, not comfortless though rude,
Light daily labor, and abundant food,
Heaven's boon to bosoms unapproached by
And boisterous jest and humor unrefined, That leave, though rough, no painful sting bohind;
While, nestling near, to bless their humble lot,
Warm social joys surround the negro's cot,
And placid age, the task of labor done,
Laments no poor-house penance at its close."
We invite the attention of robust carpenters, and masons, and farmers, and laborers of every kind, whose market-value cannot be less than $1,500, if they are only black enough (the state of Virginia, we believe, allows a sixteenth part black blood to qualify for slavery), to the superior advantages of this aspect of the Christian scheme.
We cite, now, some toothsome bits of the gentle Grayson's milder and even more Christian strain. He is speaking of the wicked revilers of slavery-but mark how tenderly he entreats them: "There, chief and teacher, Gerrit Smith appears,
There Tappan mourns, like Niobe, all tears,
With fierce dissension and enduring hate?
With well-turned period, fosters civil strife,
What Sumner thinks is right alone is right. On this sound maxim sires and sons proceed,
Changed in all else, but still in this agreed:
Ready each furious impulse to obey,
"There, Seward smiles the sweet perennial smile,
Skilled in the tricks of subtlety and guile;
And smooth, and soft, and crafty like the slave;
Soft as Couthon wheu, versed in civil strife, He sent his daily victims to the knife, Women proscribed with calin and gentle
And murdered mildly, with a smiling face:
His higher law the tear-compelling rod; While Georgia's guest, a pleasant life he led,
And slavery fed him with her savory bread,
"There Stowe, with prostituted pen, assails
One half her country in malignant tales; Careless, like Trollope, whether truth she tells,
To slander's mart she furnishes supplies,
Demoniac masters, sentimental slaves,
Enough! upon the crafty rule she leans,
"For profits and applauses poor as these,
"Is thy servant a dog that he should do this thing?"-Mr. Sumner's answer, when asked whether he would obey the Constitution as interpreted by the authorities of the country.— GRAYSON.
Gleans every dirty nook--the folon's jail,
With hatred's ardor gathers Newgate's spoils,
"In sink and sewer thus, with searching eye, Through mud and slime unhappy wretches pry;
In fetid puddles dabble with delight, Search every filthy gathering of the night; Fish from its depths, and to the spacious bag Convey with care the black, polluted rag; With reeking waifs secure the nightly bed, And turn their noisome stores to daily bread." With this chivalric burst of the gentle Grayson, we leave that pleasing bard. This is a fair specimen of the southern literature" that is intended in the elaborate joke of the Pickwickians at Savannah. The simple truth was stated by Snodgrass. Publishers at the north pay liberally, and therefore, the books that are written at "the south" are not published there. The reason is, that the free spirit of the north encourages and fosters every kind of mental development; and, as one of the instinctive convictions of the human mind is, that men are born free, wherever it is a crime to say so there will never be any literature, and publishers and authors will be few, poor, and unknown. Those Savannah wags knew it as well as anybody. It is literature itself they oppose. The poor dear "south," of which the club take such care, is full of readers. Those readers may deplore what they call the eternal agitation of the great question; but they must also see that, as it will be agitated until it is settled, they must make up their minds to it, and, in their magazine reading, omit such articles as this, and enjoy such as precede and follow it. They must dine, although there be a skull on the table. They must read what the authors of our time and of all time write, and they know very well that all the greatest men have been lovers and laureates of liberty. If the condition of the perpetuity of slavery were that "the south" should feed upon such literature as may be called, in Tupman's scuse, "southern"-the harpings of the gentle Grayson, for example-slavery would be abolished to-morrow. We observe that some southern newspaper shakes the whip over the head of Willis, becauso that gentleman said he should vote for Fré
mont, and announces that his pen has lost its charm for southern minds. But, if that were so, it is high time for Professor Bledsoe & Co. to go to work; for there can be no doubt in the mind of every intelligent southern reader that the literature of this country cares no longer to duck, and compliment, and omit, but will speak louder and louder every day, directly and indirectly, against human slavery. The first proper novel in American literature,
Uncle Tom's Cabin," is the greatest literary protest against it. That novel is scarcely six years old, and it strikes the key-note of a strain that will not cease. The whole spirit of modern literature is directly humane. There are, therefore, but three ways open to Tupman & Co.--first, to give up reading altogether; second, to read a humane literature, which is, in its very essence, anti-slavery; or, third, to insist that the "talent enough to do what is wanted" shall begin to do it.
We speak for the literature of the country when we say it no longer intends to shiver and turn pale when it speaks of "the south" or southern institutions. It will treat them as it treats "the north" and northern institutions. That is to say, it will honor the honorable, and scorn and satirize what is mean. It will treat slavery as a great moral, social, and political blight. It will point to "southern literature," and laws, and education, as illustrations of the truth of what it says. Tupman
"Southern men ought to stop their subscriptions" to our pea-green Maga. Tupman is a droll Pickwickian. Does he suppose that our readers, who live in slave states, necessarily consider slavery sacred, and will content themselves with reading the gentle Grayson? They must have the best in the market for their money. Men
in slave states send us valuable articles. They write well, and like to read what is well written. Go to, Tupman! you are speaking in a purely Pickwickian sense when you say we traduce “the south." Is the south," slavery? We do speak ill of slavery, and we shall often do so. We shoot folly as it flies, and wherever it flies, and wherever it perches. And if folly bloats into crime or fuddles into fury, we shall still shoot away.