CHAPTER XI
RECONSTRUCTION: THE PROBLEM

For the ten years preceding the Civil War a slave insurrection had been dreaded. The raid of John Brown had thrown, not the State of Virginia only, but the entire Atlantic slave States, into a panic. The history of the war proved this dread to be without just cause. The negroes remained at home raising the crops while their masters fought in the field to keep them in slavery. In some cases this patient waiting of the slaves may have been due to a habit of abject submission which they had not the will power to break; in many cases it was due to a feeling of loyalty by the slaves toward the masters and mistresses, for between them had grown up a peculiar feeling of attachment which the North has never understood -- loyalty of service on the one hand, loyalty of protection on the other. But more important than either was the religious faith of the negro -- superstitious, some think it; rational, I think it. The negro is something of a fatalist. He realized that the problem in which he found himself involved, by no act of his, was far too great for him to understand. God was at work, and God would somehow accomplish his redemption. He could do nothing; he must wait and see the salvation of the Lord.

But the Emancipation Proclamation wrought a gradual change in his feeling, quickened his aspirations, and in hundreds of cases became a call to action. Even before

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