From a White Southern perspective, the Southern invasion of the North with the pen was a notable success. In order to defeat the political Reconstruction program of the radical abolitionists, a national mindset was required that would associate Blacks with the immaturity of children, and at the same time, reconcile Northern and Southern White adults. Blacks needed to be viewed in mainstream circles as incapable of adult pursuits (e.g., economic advancement, education, the exercise of the franchise, the responsibility of jury duty). Northern and Southern Whites, on the other hand, needed to be seen as congenial partners in planning and advancing the national agenda. In specific terms, this meant that even books for children would be contrived to illustrate the folly of legislative action in such fields as economic opportunity, educational reform, and electoral reform. Furthermore, protection of jury duty rights for Blacks would appear foolhardy, whereas imperialistic adventures (coupled with the “white man’s burden” notion) would seem entirely reasonable.
Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction are highly complex eras and the subject of many careful, scholarly books. I am not attempting to examine this postbellum epoch in depth, but am confining my coverage to historical changes linked to elementary tenets of the American creed. This creed was being instilled in White children—that is, youngsters were learning that people have a voice in government, that everyone is entitled to a jury of one’s peers, that education enhances the quality and prospects of life, that upward economic mobility is an achievable goal, that America’s world role includes the active promotion of these principles. On all counts, however, the