Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/349

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Brilliant Eulogy on General W. H. Payne.

had reported "the condition was not one of special hardship; indeed it was favorable to the growth of the strongest attachments in the more favored household servants. For more than two centuries the American negro received the most effective drill ever given to a savage people." The world's great awkward squad demanded the drill master's accuracy. Southern slavery was the reform school of the negro. Much is published concerning the higher life of the emancipated; the general uplifting by them who are neighbors "to the man who fell among thieves," and whose homes had been "the asylum of the deeply wronged;" morning hours devoted to "patriotism, temperance, kindness to animals, love of plant life and current events;" the campus here, the campus there; "enclosed by the handsome iron fence;" and, more important still, the endowment here, endowment there, "to warrant salaries sufficient to tempt the highest class of instructors." Against all this, I put the following from the New York Nation, of March 25, 1869: "We may well call attention of the philanthropist and Christian to Dr. Draper's estimate of the religious status of the Southern slave at the beginning of the war. He declares that, 'through the benevolent influence of the white women of the South, and not through the ecclesiastical agency was the Christianization of the African race accomplished; a conversion which was neither superficial nor nominal, but universal and complete; and the annals of modern history offer no parallel success. The paragraph divulges what might be termed the sumnum bonum of missionary achievement; a higher race sharing with a lower the moral ideas which give eminence to the higher. This can receive no lesser name than the hallowed name of an evangel. All other sources of enlightened conscience, of self-respecting growth, of conversion to higher standards are futilities in comparison. The fittest to survive used their higher power, not to destroy the unfit, but to make the less fit more fit. No "sounding brass" resounded for these unobtrusive women. Self contemplation would seem to have been absent; only the religious truth of duty present. They asked none to read their gentle manners in the mirror of their Christian works; wrote no articles in magazines, besought not others to do so—to tell mankind how true, how beautiful, how good they were. Save in the sentence quoted, they have received no mention; a