The Daily Ohio Statesman
Columbus, Ohio

Delivered in the House of Congress on Wednesday, February 17th, 1864.

The Bill, To establish a Bureau of Freedmen’s Affairs, being under consideration, Mr. Cox had the floor and proceeded to speak. He first discussed some constitutional points that enter into the question, and then continued as follows:

“But,” its is urged. “something must be done for the poor blacks. They are perishing by thousands. We must look the great fact of anti-slavery and its millions of enfranchised victims in the face and legislate for their relief.” Such Is the appeal to our kindlier natures. Something should be done. The humanity which so long pitied the plumage should not forget the dying bird. But what can be done without violating the Constitution of the United States, or without intrenching upon a domain never granted by the States or the people in their written charter of powers? What can be done? Oh! ye, honey-tongued humanitarians of New England, with your coffers filled from the rough hand of western toil, the beaded sweat of whose industry by the subtle alchemy of your inventive genius is transmuted into the jewels of your parvenu and shoddy plendor, with your dividends rising higher and higher like waves under this storm of war, I would beseech you to go into the camps of the contrabands, as the gentleman described them, who are starving and pining for their old homes, and lift them out of the mire into which your improvident and premature schemes have dragged them, pour the oil of healing into their wounds, and save a few of them at least from the doom of extirpation. Here is a fitting and legal opportunity for the exercise of a gracious humanity. I rejoice to know that many good men, even from New England, have embraced it.

But the gentleman urges this legislation, because if it be not passed, the President’s proclamation will be made “a living lie.”— He thinking that “neither the considerate judgment of mankind nor the gracious favor of God can be invoked upon the President’s act of freedom, unless the law shall protect the freedom which the sword has declared.” Not merely has the President’s proclamation been made a living lie, but the thousands of corpses daily hurried out of the contraband hovels and tents along the Mississippi prove it to have been a deadly lie. Neither the judgment of man nor the favor of God can be invoked without mockery upon a fanatical project so fraught with misery to the weak and wholesale slaughter to its deluded victims!

But we are warned to look the great fact in the face that millions unfit for freedom are yet to become free. I know, Mr. Speaker, that we cannot change the fact by closing our eyes. It is true. The revolution rolls on. No effort on the part of the Democracy to achieve a peace through conciliation will now be listened to. The spirit of those in power is the spirit of extermination. The war with its revolutions goes on, and slavery as a political if not as a social institution may fall under its crushing car. It may be that all of the four million slaves will be thrown, like the one hundred thousand already freed, upon the frigid charities of the world. But, sir, if slavery be doomed, so, alas! is the slave. No scheme like this bill can save him. The Indian reserves, treaties, bounties, and agencies did not and does not save the red man. No Government farming system, no charitable black scheme, can wash out the color of the negro, change his inferior nature, or save him from his inevitable late. The irrepressible conflict is not between slavery and freedom, but bewtween black and white; and, as DeTocqueville prophesied, the black will perish.

Do gentlemen on the other side rely upon the new system, called by the transcendent AbolitionistsMiscegenation,” to save the black? This is but another name or amalgamation; but it will not save the negro.— True, Wendell Phillips says it is “God’s own method of crushing out the hatred of race, and of civilizing and elevating the world,” and Theodore Tilton, the editor of the Independent (a paper publishing the laws of the United States by authority), holds that hereafter the “negro will lose his typical blackness and be found clad in white men’s skins.” But, sir, no system so repugnant to the nature of our race—and to organize which doubtless the next Congress of Progressives, and perhaps the gentleman from Massachusetts, will practically provide can save the negro.

Mr. Eliot—I nave no doubt that my friend understands all about it.

Mr. Cox—I understand all about it, for I have the doctrines laid down in circulars, pamphlets, and books published by your anti-siavery people. But it was not my intention to discuss It now and upon this bill.

Mr. Price—If all the blacks are crushed out, how is amalgamation to ruin the country?

Mr. Cox—They will all run, according to the new gospel of abolition, into the white people, on that side of the House. [Laughter.]

Mr. Eliot—Is that what the gentleman is afraid of?

Mr. Cox—No, sir, for I do not believe that the doctrine of miscegenation, or the amalgamation or the white and black, now strenuously urged by the Abolition leaders, will save the negro. It. will destroy him utterly. The physiologist will tell the gentleman that the mulatto does not live; he does not recreate his kind; he is a monster.

Such hybrid races, by a law of Providence, scarcely survive beyond one generation. I promise the gentleman at some future and appropriate time, when better prepared to develope that idea of miscegenation as now heralded by the Abolitionists, who are in the van of the Republican movement.—

Mr. Eliot—I hope that the gentleman will go into it.

Mr. Cox—If such’ be the desire of the gentleman I will attempt it, though reluctantly; for my materials, like the doctrine, are a little “mixed.”

But since I am challenged to exhibit this doctrine of the Abolitionists—called after some Greek words—miscegenatio—to mix and generate—I call your attention first to a circular I hold in my hand. It was circulated at the Cooper Institute the other night, when a female who, in the presence of the President, Vice President, and you, Mr. Speaker, and your associates in this Hall, made the same saucy speech for abolition which she addressed to the people of New York. It begins with the following signiflcant quotation irom Shakespeare:

The elements
So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, “This was a man!”

If gentlemen doubt the authenticity of this new movement let them go to the office of publication, 118 Nassau Street, New York, and purchase. The movement is an advance upon the doctrine of the gentlemen opposite, but they will soon work up to it. The more philosophical and apostolic of the Abolition fraternity have fully decided up on the adoption of this amalgamation platform. I am informed that the doctrines are already indorsed by such lights as Parker Pillsbury, Lucretia Mott, Albert Brisbane, William Wells Brown, Dr. McCune Smith, (half and half—miscegen.) Angelina Grimké, Theodore D. Weld and wife, and others.

But these are inferior lights compared with others I shall quote, when I name Theodore Tilton, an editor of the Government paper in Brooklyn called the Independent; when I recall the fact that the polished apostle of Abolition, Wendell Phillips, whoso golden-lipped eloquence can make miscegenation as attractive to the ear as it is to the other senses; when I quote from The New York Tribune, the center and circumference of the Abolition movement, and Mrs. Stowe, whose writings have almost redeemed by their genius the hate and discord which they aided to create; when I shall have done ail this, I am sure the Progressives on the other side will begin to prick up their ears and study the new science of miscegenation with a view to its practical realization by a bureau. [Laughter.]

First hear the testimony or Wendell Phillips. He says:

Now I am going to say something that 1 know will make the New York Herald use its small capitals and notes of admiration, and yet no well-informed man this side of China but believes it in the very core of his heart. That is, “amalgamation”—a word that the northern apologist for slavery has always used so glibly, but which ynu never heard from a southerner. Amalgamation! Remember this, the youngest of you: that on the 4th day on the 4th day of July, 1803, you heard a man say, that in the light of all history, in virtue of every page he ever read, he was an amalgamationist to the utmost extent. I have no hope for the future, as this country has no past, and Europe has no past but in that sublime mingling of races whic is God’s own method of civilizing and elevating the world. God, by the events ol his providence, is crushing out the hatred of race which has crippled this country until to-day.

I put it to gentlemen on the other side, Are you responsible for him? Ah! you received him, how ardently in this city and Capitol last year!

Mr. Eliot—To whom does the gentleman refer?

Mr. Cox—”Wendell Phillips. The Senate doors flew open for him; the Vice President of the United States welcomed him; Senators flocked around him; Representatives cheered his disunion utterances at the Smithsonian: and you will follow him wherever he leads. He is a practical amalgamationist, and he is leading and will lead you up to the platform on which vou will finally stand. You may seem coy and reluctant now, but so you were about the political equality of the negro a year ago; so you were about abolishing slavery in the States two “years ago. Now you are in the mlllennial glory of abolition. So it will be here after with amalgamation!

Here is what Theodore Tilton. editor of the Independent, says in the circular to which I have referred:

Have you not seen with your own eyes—no man can have escaped it that the black race in this country is losing its typical blackness? The Indian is dying out; the negro is only changing color! Men who and by, shall ask for the Indians, will be pointed to their graves: “There lie their ashes.” Men who, by and by, shall ask for the negroes, will be told, “There they go, clad in white men’s skin.’ A hundred years ago a mulatto was a curiosity; now the mulattoes are half a million. You can yourself predict the future.

Mr. Eliot—The gentleman will permit me to say that surely all this was under a state of slavery.

Mr. Cox—I will show the gentleman directly that his friends and leaders propose to continue it in a state of freedom. It will be the freest kind of license.

Mr. Eliot—The gentleman will allow me to suggest whether the difficulty he labors under is not that the Democratic party is afraid the Republicans will get ahead of them.

Mr. Cox—I am not afraid of anything of the kind while white people remain upon which we can center our affections and philanthropy. You can take the whole monopoly of “miscegenation.” We abhor and detest it. The circular referred to has other indorsements, which I quote before I reach that Warwick of Republicanism, Horace Greeley. The Anti-Slavery Standard of January 30 says:

This pamphlet comes directly and fearlessly to the advocacy of an idea of which the American people are more afraid than any other. Assuredly God’s law will fulfill and vindicate themselves. It is in the highest degree improbable that He has placed a natural repugnance between any two families of His children. If He has done so, that decree will execute itself, and these two will never seek intimate companionship together. If, on the contrary, He has made no such barrier, no such one is needful or desirable, and every attempt to restrain these parties from exercising their natural choice is in contravention of His will, and is an unjust exercise of power. The future must decide how far black and white are disposed to seek each other in marriage. The probability is that there will be a progressive intermingling, and that the nation will be benefitted by it.

I hold In my hand the Anglo-African, of January 23, which discusses this subject from the purely African stand-point:

The author of the pamphlet before us advance beyond these lights of the days gone by. What they deemed a remote and undesirable probability he regards as a present and pressing necessity; what they deemed to be an evil to be legislated against he regards as a blessing which should be hastened by all the legislative and political organizations in the land! The word, may the deed, miscegenation, the same in substance with the word amalgamation, the terror of our abolition friends twenty years ago, and of many of them to-day—miscegenation which means intermarriages between whites and blacks miscegenation,” which means the absolute practical brotherhood and social intermingling of blacks and whites, he would have inscribed on the banner of the Republican party, and held up as the watchword of the next Presidential platform!

We take a deep interest In the doctrine shadowed forth, that to improve a given race of men. It is too late to begin with infant and Sunday schooling: at birth they have the bent of their parents, which we may slightly alter, but cannot radically change. The education and improvement should begin with the marriage of parties who, instead of strong resemblances, should have contrasts which are complementary each of the other. It is disgraceful to our modern civilization that we have societies for improving the breen of sheep, horses and pigs, while the human race is left to grow up without scientific culture.

The editor of the Anglo-African confesses that he is a little staggered in his theories by what he calls evident deterioration of the mixed bloods of Central America, but he finds the solution of the difficulty in the fact that the races there mlxed, Indian and Spanish, are not complementary of each other. This, to my observation, Mr. Speaker, is as absurd as it is untrue. But I am not now arguing the reasonableness of this doctrine of mixed races. I only propose to show what it is, and whither it is tending.

The New York Tribune, the great organ of the dominant party, is not so frank as the Anglo-African, but its exposition of “miscegenation” is one of the signs which point to the Republican solution of our African troubles by the amalgamation of the races, in indorsing the doctrine of this pamphlet, Mr. Greeley holds that—

No statesman in his senses cares to put morsels of cuticle under a microscope before he determines upon the prudence of a particular policy. Diversity of race is the condition precedent in America, and their assimilation is the problem. High skulls, broad skulls, long skulls, black hair, red hair, yellow hair, straight jaws or prominent jaws, white skins, black skins, copper skin, or olive skins, Caucasians, Ethiopians, Mongolians, Americans, or Malays, with oval pelvis, round pelvis, square pelvis, or oblong pelvis, we have or may have them all in our population; and our business is to accommodate all by subjecting merely material differences to the ameliorating influence of an honest and unlimited recognition of one common nature.

To “assimilate these various races” it the problem which Mr. Greeley approaches. We cannot but admire the delicate phraseology by which his approaches are couched. It is so the pamphlet to which I referred. It is bold and out-spoken. It advocates a preference of the black over the white as partners. The following are the points inculcated by its author:

  1. Since the whole human race is of one family, there should be, in a republic, no distinction in political or social rights on account of color, race or, nativity.
  2. The doctrine of human brotherhood implies the right of white and black to intermarry.
  3. The solution of the negro problem will not be reached in this country until public opinion sanctions a union of the two races.
  4. As the negro is here and cannot be driven out there should be no Impediment to the absorption of one race in the other.
  5. Legitimate unions between white and black could not possibly have any worse effect than the il legitimate unions which have been going on more than a century in South.
  6. The mingling of diverse races is proved by all history to have been a positive benefit to the progeny.
  7. The southern is caused less by slavery than by the base prejudices resulting from distinction of color, and perfect peace can come only by a cessation of that distinction through an absorption of the black race into the white.
  8. It is the duty of anti-slavery men everywhere to advocate the mingling of the two races.
  9. The next Presidential election should secure to the blacks all their social and political rights; and the progressive party should not flinch from conclusions fairly deductible from their own principles.
  10. In the millennial future the highest type of manhood will not be white or black, but brown; and the union of black with white in marriage will help the human family the sooner to realize its great destiny.

The author finds an emblem of his process in the blending of many to make the one new race, in the crowning of the dome above this Capitol with the bronze statue of Liberty! It is neither black nor white, but the intermediate miscegen, typifying the exquisite composite race which is to arise out of this war for Abolition, and whose destiny it is to rule the continent! Well might the correspondent of the New York Tribune, in describing the lifting of the uncouth masses, and bolting them together joint by joint, till they blended into the majestic “Freedom” which lifts her head in the blue sky above us, regard the scene as prophetic or the time when the reconstructed symbol of freedom in America shall be a colored goddess of liberty! But to the pamphlet itself. Here we have it, Mr. Speaker. This new evangel for the redemption of the black and white, upon its introductory page begins as follows:

The word is spoken at last. It is miscegenation—the blending of the various races of men—the practical recognition of the brotherhood of all the children of the common Father. [Laughter.]

Just what our miscegenetic Chaplain prays for here almost every morning; and you all voted for him, even some of my friends from the border States. The “introduction” proceeds:

While the sublime inspirations of Christianity have taught this doctrine. Christians so-called have ignored it in denying social equality to the colored man; while democracy is founded upon the idea that all men are equal, Democrats have shrunk from the logic of their own creed, and refused to fraternize with the people of all nations; while science has demonstrated that the intermarriage of diverse races is indispensable to a progressive humanity, its votaries, in this country at least, have never had the courage to apply that rule to the relations of the white and colored races, But Christianity, democracy, and science, are stronger than the timidity, prejudice, and pride of short-sighted men; and they teach that a people, to become great, must become composite. This involves what is vulgarly known as amalgamation [laughter], and those who dread that name, and the thought and fact it implies, are warned against reading these pages.

There are some remarkable things thrown out in this pamphlet, which should be examined by gentlemen upon the other side. The author discusses the effect of temperature on color. Quoting from a German naturalist, he holds—

That the true skin is perfectly white; that over it is placed another membrane, called the reticular tissue, and that this is the membrane that is black; and, finally, that it is covered by a third membrane, the scarf skin, which has been compared to a fine varnish lightly extended over the colored membrane, and designed to protect it. Examine also this piece of skin, belonging to a very fair person. You perceive over the true white skin a membrane of a slightly brownish tint, and over that, again, but quite distinct from it, a transparent membrane. In other words, it clearly appears that the whites and the copper-colored have a colored membrane which is placed under the scarf skin and immediately above the true skin, just as it is in the negro. The infant negroes are born white, or rather reddish, like those of other people, [laughter,] but in two or three days the color begins to change; they speedily become copper- colored, [laughter,] and by the seventh or eight day, through never the sun, they appear quite black. [Laughter.]

He mention that it is known that negroes, in some rare instances, are born quite white or are true Albinos; sometimes, after being black for many years, they become piebald, or wholly white, without their general health suffering under the change. He also mentions another metamorphosis, which would not be agreeable to the prejudices of many among us; it is that of the white becoming piebald with black as deep as ebony.

That is an argument to how that we all, black and white, start off in the race of life nearly of the same color, and that we ought to come to it again, by the processes of miscegenation!

The author, in his second chapter, devotes many pages to considering the superiority of mixed races. Without combating his facts or deductions, let me quote this grand conclusion:

Whatever of power and vitality there is in the American race is derived, not from its Anglo-Saxon progenitors, but from all the different nationalities which go to make up this people. All that is needed to make us the finest rice on earth is to ingraft upon our stock, the negro element which Providence has placed by our side on this continent. [Laughter.] Of all the rich treasures of blood vouch fed to us, that of the negro is the most precious [laughter,] because it is the most unlike any other that enters into the composition of our nation life—[Laughter.]

Mr. Washburne, of Illinois, here interrupted Mr. Cox.

Mr. Cox—My friend ought not to be so sensitive. These developments will not hurt him. He does not belong to the miscegenists yet; and if he will stand by Gen. Grant and the white constitution—physical and political—he will not “mix” himself in this matter, I again quote:

It is clear that no race can long endure without a commingling of its blood with that of othor races. The condition or all human progress is miscegenation. [Laughter.] The Angio-Saxon should learn this in time for his own salvation. If we will not heed the demands of justice, let us at least respect the law self-preservation. Providence has kindly placed on the American soil; for hi own wise purposes, four million colored, people. They are our brothers, our sisters. [Laughter.] By mingling with them we beoome powerful, prosperous, and progressive; by refusing to do so we become feeble, unhealthy, narrow-minded, unfit for the nobler offices of freedom; and certain of early decay. [Laughter.]

I call the special attention of my friend from Massachusetts [Mr. Eliot] to these points, with a view to their incorporation in his bureau for freedmen and freed women. All your efforts will be vain, and you will not be able to maintain a healthy vitality, if you do not mix your whites very freely with your black beneficiaries.

[Conclusion to-morrow.]

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