The Democracy and “Niggers”

The Democracy and “Niggers”

Franklin Repository
page 5, column 6
Source: Valley of the Shadow: Civil War Era Newspapers, University of Virginia Library

Summary: Attacks the Southern Democracy’s supposed distaste for “niggers,” and notes their close quarters with blacks at home, including the propagation of “half-niggers.”

Full Text of Article:

Hon. Owen Lovejoy, of Illinois, in a recent speech in the House of Representatives, thus describes a party which is not so strong in the country as it once was:

“The Slavery Democracy prates and chaters about ‘negro equality, ‘Black Republicans,’ and ‘nigger stealing,’ to use its classic phrase and improved orthography. It has or affects to have, a great horror of ‘niggers.’ And any one who advocates the principles of human Freedom, as they were enunciated and laid down in enduring forms by the Fathers of the Republic, is a ‘woolly head,’ and these same Democrats have learned to speak of them with a peculiar nasal twist. You would suppose that these gentlemen, whose olfactories are so sensitive and acute, never saw a nigger except in a menagerie. And yet, would you believe it! the very first service rendered to him on earth is performed by a nigger; as an infant, he draws the milk, which makes his flesh and blood and bones, from the breast of a nigger; looks up in her face and smiles, and calls her by the endearing name of ‘mammy,’ and begs, perhaps, in piteous tones, for the privilege of carrying ‘mammy’ to the Territories; he is undressed and put to bed by a nigger, and nestles during the slumbers of infancy in the bosom of a nigger; he is washed, dressed and taken to the table by a nigger, to eat food prepared by a nigger; he is led to school by a nigger; every service that childhood demands is performed by a nigger, except that of chastisement, which, from the absence of good manners in many cases, it is to be feared is not performed at all. When down appears on his lip, the tonsorial service is performed by a nigger; and when he reaches manhood, he invades the nigger quarters, to place himself in the endearing relation of paternity to half niggers. Finally, if he should be ambitious, it may occur that he will come to congress to represent a constituency, three-fifths of whom are niggers, and talk about ‘Black Republicans,’ ‘amalgamation,’ ‘nigger equality,’ ‘nigger stealing,’ and the offensive odor of niggerism.”

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