THE OTHER PHASE OF RECONSTRUCTION

     The thoughtful and patriotic American animated by other than partisan and sectional cosiderations and feelings, turns with delight from the contemplation of the belligerent to the pacific phase of reconstruction.

     Four years of bloody contest, characterized by all the evils attendant in the most aggravated form upon a civil strife of gigantic proportions: and twelve years of effort at reconciliation and readjustment, marked by displays of cruel, unrestrained fury, controlled only by military power, bring us, in all earnestness of soul, to inquire: "Is there no method by which the problem of reconstruction may be satisfactorily solved in some peaceful manner?"

     Rising above party considerations, seeming sectional interests, as well as individual aggrandizement, we should study well every lesson of history, evey lesson suggested by the precepts of Christianity, every lesson taught in sound political philosophy, having reference to this problem, which of all others commands consideration and intelligent solution.

     In this discussion, we have to do with one of the important sections of our country: one divided into great States, populated by millions of people, peculiar not less in their present than in their former condition and relations.

THREE CLASSES IN THE SOUTH

     Sixteen years ago there were three distinct classes composing the population of the South; the first, the slaveholding class, the lords of the land and the lash; the next, the class known as the "poor whites," the under grade of Southern society; and, thirdly, the negroes, slaves, chattels personal. The first class were not only the owners of the wealth, but they possessed the education and the intelligence, the social and political influence, of their various communities.

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August 1999