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And for what was this devastation spread through a century already subdued? Simply t o avenge the death of 300,000 soldiers killed by the rebel armies-soldiers whose death the victims of this devastation were not in the least responsible for. I know whereof I speak, because I was one of those responsible for the death of the 300,000 northern men, as well as for the death of 160,000 southern men. I traveled from Greensboro, N. C., to Scottsboro, Ala., through that desolated country with Sherman's safe passport in my pocket.
Some years after the war I heard a smart Aleck interrogating one of the ex-slaves-whom I had fought for four years to keep in bondage-on his bettered condition. The old darkey sagely replied: "Befo' de wa' pey tole us t o 'wuk or we'll whip you.' Sence de wa' dey says, 'wuk or starve.' Which you spose will drive a nigger. to work quickest?" The old man had found out what a great many white slaves have since learned, that hunger is a more effective slave driver than the whip.
Very sorry I am that I ever fought for the right of one race to sell or hold another race in slavery, but there isa little consolation in the knowledge that I never lent a hand in the subjugation and enslavement of my own race, nor in making worse the condition of the race that I wanted to keep in slavery.
Plutocracy now says to the white and black slaves, "work or starve;" but after this American-Spanish war is over and it is safely entrenched behind the vastly augmented armies and navies, with the preachers and politicians to sing its praise; it will say to the slaves, "Work and starve or we'll shoot you."
I have been interested in Lillian's trip to London, Paris and other places of renown, and hope it may do much towards bettering the condition of suffering humanity. I send you my mite of aid and hope it also may do good in proportion to my inability to raise money, and if it does it will be of much advantage to you and to the cause.