Undeniable Truths <br> As I see it: January 2011


Blacks On Reservations

After his release from Fort Warren in October 1865, former Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens met with President Andrew Johnson in Washington. Here he found that the Northern hatred for the black race, after their use as soldiers in blue to save the lives of white Northerners, could lead to their removal to reservations as a logical conclusion to the "free soil" platform of the prewar Republican party.

Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute

Black On Reservations:
"The President came in. We held an interview of about an hour and a half. He directed his secretary to leave us, and we had the interview to ourselves. I gave him my own views very fully and freely upon the subject of Negro suffrage. I told him the adjustment of that question belonged exclusively to the States separately, but in my judgment the States ought not to exclude the blacks entirely from the polls. As things are, I thought the principle should be established of allowing
the franchise to such members of the black race as could come up to a proper standard of mental and moral culture with the possession of a specified amount of property. Such an arrangement would be right in duty.

Our talk was civil and agreeable. My inference from the conversation was that his policy was to have the Negroes, as soon as possible, removed from the country as the Indians were. He was very evidently desirous to have the proposed [Thirteenth] Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. adopted by the South [abolishing slavery]. I could see no purpose for this but the ultimate removal under this Amendment of the Negroes by Congress."

(Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens, Myra L. Avary, LSU Press, 1998,
pp. 536-537)

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