Meanwhile, Southern elites continue telling common white folk in the South that blacks are happy and fulfilled in slavery, and discontent and unhappy when given freedom.
An article in this week’s North Carolina Baptist Biblical Recorder, reprinted from the Christian Observer, drives home the point of the rightness of black slavery and wrongness of black freedom.
Entitled “The Negroes at the North,” the writer declares (using the word “servant” rather than “slave,” a not uncommon manner of attempting to verbally soften the nature of slavery):
The servants who have been stolen or enticed away from their guardians and masters, have a terrible experience with their Northern friends. It appears by an article copied in our columns, last week, from a Philadelphia paper, that those in the army who are so fortunate as to escape destruction from Southern rifles, are deprived of their pay by their officers. Those who crowd the capitol “are destitute of all the comforts of life and in the most abject poverty, from the hoary-headed old man and woman to the infant at the breast.” “Some of them are almost naked, and many without covering or a place to rest their heads upon at night, except the cold earth, which has already produced considerable sickness among them.” Such is the account given of their condition by the Committee of an association formed in Washington for their relief. The Committee make an earnest appeal to the public for old clothes, food, nourishment for the sick, and bed clothes, in their behalf.
Mr. Lincoln and his minions in their false and boasted philanthropy, have no doubt inflicted more suffering and wretchedness upon the thousands they have stolen, than had been endured by the millions under the care of their masters during the past century. The negro as a servant under the care of a good master, is in his rightful and normal condition. His position is in harmony with the voice of ancient prophecy, with the precepts of the Bible, and is sanctioned by its ameliorating influences on his life and character. Accordingly the three or four millions, held as servants in the Confederate States, are more elevated physically, socially, and morally, than any other equal number of negroes on the face of the earth.
The most casual observer, however, is keenly aware that no freedmen are choosing to return to the South to be re-enslaved.