Christian Recorder: May 22, 1869
Mr. Editor:- Absence from home to Washington, New York, & c., has been the cause of no correspondence being receive from me. I returned a few days since, however—and now for it!
Our citizens in Macon are full of hope, notwithstanding the tardiness of Congress in adjusting our political and civil troubles. Why Congress moves so slow is an enigma to us, that time will develop, we trust, in a more favorable light than is generally entertained at present. There is quite an impression gone through the State, that the Republican Party, as represented by Congress, does not mean to do the square thing. That idea has been created through the aversion of Congress to fix the 15th Amendment so that it would be beyond cavil and doubt. Its incompleteness, however, may be owing to the fear of its not being ratified. And thus, as the old adage has it, "A half a loaf is better than nothing at all." But I believe the American people evince too much timidity at times, which is unnecessary. There is no doubt in my mind, but that the right to vote, to hold office, and be jurors, could have been as easily ratified at present, as it will be hereafter. Besides, a mere voter, or making a man a mere political Jack Ass, is not an American idea of an elector, nor has it ever been, from the establishment of our government. Such an idea, or such a devilish theory was never broached, much less advocated, till the blind tyrants of the ignorant conclave known as the Georgia Legislature gave it birth and prominence before the country. Such a wild and oppressive theory was never dreamed of by any jurist, either in this or the old country before.
But just so soon as Congress struck out the right to hold office, and by their debates, whittled it down, by conceding the point that a voter was not constitutionally eligible to hold office, they made a breach in American jurisprudence, which will be productive of more evil than years of toil, and the expenditures of millions of dollars will remedy. We are thrown by it into a whirlpool, needless from every reasonable consideration.
Should the amendment become a part of the fundamental law, it will over-ride so much of our State Constitutions as prohibits all men from voting. But other rights which are as dear as life itself will be unseated by it, and any Legislature that may be mean enough, can, by a statute, prohibit the judges of elections from receiving a vote for any person or persons, class or classes, they may choose, regardless of the construction heretofore place upon the right of an elector.
The members of the A.M.E. Church are hard at work in rebuilding an edifice to worship in. Our church was burned down about a month ago by an incendiary, who has not, thus far, been detected. Rev. T.G. Stewart, the pastor, who, by the way, is destined to be one of our first pulpit orators, is demonstrating his economizing genius and controlling powers with marvelous success. He intends building a large, fine church, which will do credit to himself and his congregation.
The weather here is fine and very warm. The gardens are in bloom, and flowers in abundance.
The Democratic papers are telling frightful stories about how the Negroes are killing white folks, and bewailing the brutality of the Negro, etc. But they say nothing about having taught, the Negro how to kill, and perpetrate these horrible deeds. Nearly three hundred Negroes have been fiendishly slaughtered in Georgia within eighteen months. And while I condemn the Negro for perpetrating deeds of murder, yet, they must remember, they taught him, and I very much fear the end of their teaching has not come yet. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
I was at an entertainment last night, where our young ladies turned out in all their beauty. And we have scores of them too. And such walking of the Grecian bend, is seldom seen. I am glad my wife is so little (only weighs 90 pounds), for she like to walk straight up, with high heeled boots, to look like a woman at all. So she cannot bend over. But those high, slim females bend forward and project backward most terribly sometimes. One might suppose they were bending over to be ready to kiss short made men, when they found one in kissing humor.
Macon, GA, March 26th, 1869.