Monday, June 11, 2012

"Negro Sovereignty in the Republic"

From the first chapter of The Copperhead:
Gradually the old blood-feud with the Brit-
isher became obscured by fresher antagonisms,
and there sprouted up a crop of new sons of
Belial who deserved to be hated more even
than had Hamilton and Marshall. With me
the two stages of indignation glided into
one another so impreceptibly that I can now
hardly distinguish between them. What I do
recall is that the farmer came in time to neg-
lect the hereditary enemy, England, and to
seem to have quite forgotten our own historic

foes to liberty, so enraged was he over the
modem Abolitionists. He told me about them
as we paced up the seed rows together in the
spring, as we drove homeward on the hay-load
in the cool of the summer evening, as we
shovelled out a path for the women to the
pumps in the farm-yard through December
snows. It took me a long time to even ap-
proximately grasp the wickedness of these
new men, who desired to establish negro
sovereignty in the Republic, and to compel
each white girl to marry a black man.

The fact that I had never seen any negro
" close to," and had indeed only caught pass-
ing glimpses of one or more of the colored
race on the streets of our nearest big town,
added, no doubt, to the mystified alarm with
which I contemplated these monstrous pro-