From the Rev. H. M. Turner
Christian Recorder: August 17, 1867
Mr. Editor:-- It has been a great while since I penned any thing for your paper, notwithstanding as much of interest has been going on in Georgia, as in any other state in the Union. I am confident, that the progress of our Church in this State has been marvelous; our revivals, camp meetings, quarterly meetings, &c., have all been attended with the greatest success imaginable. I have re-districted my large field of labor, by assigning to the ten elders under me, a subordinate district or precinct, which they have the full control of, subject only to my correction, and I find it works well. For all the deacons and preachers in their district or precinct are subject to the call of these elders when their services are wanted to carry on a protracted meeting. And thus things are moving on smoothly and progressively. And our barking dogs as I learned Superintendent Clinton of the Zion Church called us, at his conference in Augusta, are gathering in scores of members, and planting a number of new fields.
I am sorry to inform you, that things in civil life are assuming a similar shape, to those of last year; though they have not grown quite so ugly yet. Last year our people got along very well with the whites, until the crops were laid by then commenced a series of outrages, by the lower and more imbittered class of whites, upon the colored. But I partly excused it upon the ground, that the crops were cut short by the drought, and fears entertained of being unable to pay the freedmen. But this year God has blessed us with abundant rains, and crops were never better, and as soon as crops are again laid by, I hear of several outrages, which can be justified by no excuses under heaven, no one can say, I desire to get rid of the negro, because I shall not be able to pay him. But this year shall cast the die, the colored people are waiting to see the results of this years treatment, and if it corresponds with the last, not less than 100,000 colored people will leave the state. Though I pray God, such may not be the result, for the State of Georgia needs all the bone and muscle she has got, and more too, to develop her exhaustless resources.
Politically, things are hot, at the boiling point. The contest is bitter between the retrogressive and progressive parties. The opponents of reconstruction are doing all in their power to retard, if not to thwart the measure, while friends of it are actively engaged. But there is no doubt but what the State will go for fair reconstruction, if not radical Republican. Hon. Mr. Hill, one of the leaders of the opposition party, has written several very bitter articles, denouncing every body but him and his, which from their venom and malignant epithets did much harm among the common whites. He wrote some fifteen or sixteen articles which have been copied by most of the conservative papers, notwithstanding they were devoid of reason or consistency. The most they were noted for, were their sarcasms, tirades, &c. Hon. H. V. Johnson wrote one essay on the subject, and said more that was logical, terse and eloquent than Mr. Hill did in fifteen articles.
Mr. John T. Castin formerly of Washington, has of late became Rev. John T. Castin, is here doing great service to our church, and, in behalf of reconstruction, I have known him for years, but never dreamed he possessed such astounding ability as he has evinced in Georgia. While he is not so powerful in the pulpit, as on the political stump, he is nevertheless a power there, and one of the ablest temperance lecturers I ever heard.
Macon, Ga., July 31, 1867