The Southern Oligarchy: An Appeal in Behalf of the Silent Masses of Our Country against the Despotic Rule of the Few

The Southern Oligarchy: An Appeal in Behalf of the Silent Masses of Our Country against the Despotic Rule of the Few

The Southern Oligarchy: An Appeal in Behalf of the Silent Masses of Our Country against the Despotic Rule of the Few

The Southern Oligarchy: An Appeal in Behalf of the Silent Masses of Our Country against the Despotic Rule of the Few

Excerpt

"So then am I become your enemy, by telling you the truth?"

PREFACE

The object of this book is clearly stated in the first paragraph of the ensuing narrative. It is an authoritative and candid survey of the corrupt practices and criminal lawlessness of a provincial Oligarchy; it is also an appeal to the patriotism and sober judgment of the American people in behalf of the great mass of white and colored citizens of the Southern States, who are held in political subjection and economic serfdom. For the information of my readers, especially in view of the serious import of the public questions discussed in this book, it may be well to state a few personal facts which have a direct bearing on the value of this survey.

In the first place, it should be borne in mind that I am a native of the South. My parents were born in the South and are buried in the town where I was born and brought up. It would be impossible for me to have any prejudice against the people of my native section, and I desire that my readers should know, before beginning an examination of my work, that I am a Southerner and my sympathies are with the people of the South. It may be well also to state that this survey was undertaken, not only with the approval, but also at the earnest request of prominent and patriotic citizens of the Southern States, some of whom have made great sacrifices for the cause of humanity and liberty; and who have an abiding faith in the effective truth of that aphorism of modern history and civic philosophy uttered by Abraham Lincoln when he said: "Let the people know the truth and the country is safe."

My fight against corrupt practices and lawlessness in the South began when I cast my first vote. Contemporary newspapers and other published documents supply ample evidence in support of this claim. For many years my work has been for the industrial progress, civic and educational advancement of the people of my native section.

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