An Answer to Northen: The Son of a Slave Mother on Southern Miscegenation.

An Answer to Northen: The Son of a Slave Mother on Southern Miscegenation.

The Daily Star
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Volume 6, Number 2097
page 1, column 1


The Founder of the American Protective League Says the Poor Whites Are Not to Blame For Racial Amalgamation.

Boston, June 19.—Joseph W. Henderson, of Providence, founder of the American Protective League, an organization of colored people for the securing of their rights, delivered an address in the Spark Street church yesterday In which he replied to the recent speech of ex-Governor Northen, of Georgia, with reference to the southern outrages upon colored people. Said Mr. Henderson:

“It is not necessary at this time for me to make any reply to Governor Northen’s dramatic defense of human slavery. But had I been an owner of human beings and man-killing dogs, as he has been, and since written my name among the followers of Christ, I would have felt more like coming up to the altar of repentance at this stage of reform than to have come to one of the greatest cities In the world with a typewritten defense of the most cruel institutions of human debauchery ever known to civilized or savage man. Were it not that it was in Georgia that my poor mother was born; there that she tremblingly obeyed the slave master’s whip and felt the slave hound’s bite; there that she was sold and deported for life from her blood and kin, I would not stoop to dignify Governor Northen’s pro-slavery utterances even with a sneer.”

“Governor Northen says that miscegenation by law will never, take place in the south. But miscegenation in the south has already taken place. It has been on the road over 200 years. Not miscegenation by law, but by brute force, which is the very worst form of law. Who started it? Not the negroes, I am sure, nor was it the poor white trash. It was the blue vein aristocracy of the south that broke over the fence, defied all law, and the result is we have black negroes and white negroes, some of them as white as Governor Northen.”

“One seldom hears of the wholesale assaults that southern white men are making upon colored women, but they are as constant as the rising and setting of the sun. Go south and count the penitentiary-born children whose mothers are colored and fathers white. That tells the story.”

“Aside from force, there Is a regular organized society of white men and colored women, for which the colored women are as much to blame as the white men.  These particular colored women have long since concluded that they would rather wear diamonds and ride in carriages of their own than to chop cotton or wash dishes for somebody else, and be it said to the discredit of this class of colored women and their white gentlemen associates that they are living in clover.”

“The poor whites of the south are not to blame for this racial amalgamation, for they and the blacks do not associate. They mutually hate and scorn each other. It is the blue vein aristocracy of the south that in creating havoc with the morals and social affections in negro homes and mixing the races most alarmingly.”

“I have been unable to ascertain what led Governor Northen to tell his northern audience that the negro has the same chance In southern courts that the white man has. Southern law is the white man’s cloak and the black man’s enemy. It Is often used to protect the lawless and punish the lawful, provided the lawless are white and the lawful black.”

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