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.‘i.^'» i« But I was descanting upon the ante-helium Mis- sissippi girl. o '■^m*'’ ..0 '■ "■ o ‘ ’^/M* o • • ' ' * ...^ • • " 0 « o ® *»,■*• A® '*•’' '=ii.Jfs Jjs Our friends rode in the direction of the river only a short distance, when they left the public road, taking the left-hand road, which passed through a large forest. 140 Luella Blassingame: “Why, are they building churches? The truth is, religion was absolutely necessary to the institution of slavery.The negro was largely controlled through his religion, and we knew that if we denied him this privilege, disorder and turbulence would ensue.• A V ♦ j A^r A c^ * 4®il3ii • AV ♦ J' ** • » vv • " •* SC! Her home was — home ; she was happy there always — in summer, when the wide fields stir not in the swooning noons ; in au- tumn, when the hillsides and valleys blaze in a riot of hues ; in winter, when the air has an icy touch ; and in springtime, when she saw “ the fat soil rise and roll, in smooth, dark waves, back from the plow.” This was the girl of the Old South — the land of slaves and broad fields of cotton ; the land of large, two-story white houses, with green win- dow blinds, sitting well back from the road, and with avenues of trees reaching to the gate. “Yes, it is the colored people; their church is just over the hill there,” replied Tom. “ No,” said Tom ; “ the white people have always provided them with churches and preachers.” “Well, well! “ Every planter who owned as many as one hundred slaves furnished a house and a white preacher for his people; and in addition to the services of white preachers, the black men were not only permitted, but were encouraged, to exhort and to lead in prayer and song service. She loved her home, was proud of it, and it was her greatest pleasure to make it com- fortable and attractive. “We at the North have been taught to believe that the negroes were not permitted to congregate for worship or for other purposes.” “ Only another fallacy of sectional prejudice,” Tom replied.Miss Blassingame, but I must deny myself the honor,” replied Mr. “ I am expecting a lot of wood choppers from Ohio ; they may arrive to-night, and I must meet them.” “ Send them out here, Mr. “ I'll declare, I am sometimes uncertain as to his identity. CHAPTER XVI Arthur Lynn, in overalls, mud boots, and chip hat, rode out to the Blassingame farm on one of several wagons loaded with lusty laboring men, about twenty in number and all white.

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He was proceeding as follows : “ Now, my beloved brederen an’ sisteren, I is dat ’lustus fo’runner lack John de Baptis’, de barrer ob glad tidin’s ter er long-suffon people whut hab come up through monst’ous trib’lation.Being- genial by naturej with a friendly disposition, he was popular in a social way ; while, as a citizen, his conduct and best efforts were engaged for the pro- motion of the general welfare. Lawd, honey, dat bigity fool, Eph., done been gone ter de ‘ Yanks ’ eber so long. “ Why, Aunt Dilcy — you, a good old Christian woman — you tell me that Uncle Eph.* sjs ^ “Aunt Dilcy,” said Luella, “ who was that man you all met at the church with Uncle Eph. and a man dressed like an Indian — ” “Now, how’d you know erbout dat? ” “ O, er great many ’racilous things — tells fortins, tell de men how ter vote, an’ er — too much fer ‘memb’ance now !“ To incite in the breast of the negro a spirit of hatred for their former masters is a prime and necessary condition to the success of their nefarious schemes.” “ I am fully aware of that ; but what are we to do? “ I now know, as well as though I could see the modus operand! and his companion in crime are fleecing our negroes, but I am powerless to prevent it.” “ Fleecing them is not so bad,” said Mr. Experience, though new to them, must now be encountered ; perhaps they may profit by it.

In my opinion, these men are the emissaries of a secret political organization, and the things that they may put into the heads and hearts of these ignorant blacks are cause for much greater alarm than that of relieving them of their cash. ’ ' Citizens’ Peregrinations in the Land of the Free Prohibited ! Then the reconstruction thumbscrews would be given several turns.” “ Yes,” replied Mr.

I have written to Northern papers, inform- ing them of the actual status down here, but my communications were declined as being ' impolitic.’ 144 Luella Blassingame: Cousin Ernest, while in camp here on your place, wrote a letter of like import, but it never saw the light.