1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!
START BY JOINING NOW!

Wade Hampton's advice to Confederate Veterans - 1866

Discussion in 'Post Civil War History, The Reconstruction Period' started by Andersonh1, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    3,553
    Location:
    South Carolina
    There's a lot in this speech by Wade Hampton to a Confederate veterans group that is of interest and worth discussion concerning the post-war views of those who had survived the war, but in light of all the racial problems during Reconstruction, I found the following paragraph with Hampton's advice about how to treat the former slaves very interesting, and it made me wonder if things could have been very different had his advice been followed.

    Of all the inconsistencies of which the North has been guilty-and their name is legion-none is greater than that by which she forced the Southern States, while rigidly excluding them from the Union, to ratify the Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery, which they could do legally only as States of that Union. But the deed has been done, and I for one, do honestly declare that I never wish to see it revoked. Nor do I believe that the people of the South would now remand the negro to slavery if they had the power to do so unquestioned. Under our paternal care, from a mere handful he grew to be a mighty host. He came to us a heathen, we made him a Christian. Idle, vicious, savage in his own country; in ours he became industrious, gentle, civilized. Let his history as a slave be compared hereafter with that which he will make for himself as a freeman, and by the result of that comparison we are willing to be judged. A great responsibility is lifted from our shoulders by this emancipation, and we willingly commit his destiny to his own hands, hoping that he may prove himself worthy of the new position in which he has been placed. As a slave he was faithful to us; as a freeman, let us treat him as a friend. Deal with him frankly, justly, kindly, and my word for it he will reciprocate your kindness, clinging to his old home, his own country and his former masters.

    If you wish to see him contented, industrious, useful, aid him in his effort to elevate himself in the scale of civilization, and thus fit him not only to enjoy the blessings of freedom, but to appreciate its duties.


    http://ldhi.library.cofc.edu/exhibits/show/after_slavery_educator/unit_five_documents/document_five
     

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. BillO

    BillO Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    5,966
    Location:
    Quinton, VA.
    In short, treat them as men and leave them alone to find their own way. Good advice that closely mirrors MLK's "dream" speech and Frederick Douglass letter to the editor back in 1862 (?). Which we just don't seem to be able to do. Like an itchy sore we can't stop scratching.
     
    48th Miss. and Andersonh1 like this.
  4. Allie

    Allie Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2014
    Messages:
    5,898
    It's hilariously ironic that Hampton said these things. He certainly didn't do as he said. I'm trying to think of a figure who was more responsible for black voter supression and I can't, he's the king.
     
  5. kepi

    kepi First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    Messages:
    1,372
    Location:
    United States of America
    This is the Redshirt Hampton, correct?
     
    novushomus, Bee, Allie and 3 others like this.
  6. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    3,553
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Interesting.... I wonder what made him change his attitude? Like Calhoun, Hampton is a South Carolinian I don't know a lot about, I'm thinking I need to find a good biography of him. Any recommendations?
     
    Bee and Allie like this.
  7. E_just_E

    E_just_E 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    Center Valley, PA
    He was a politician, wasn't he :wink:
     
    Allie and Aussie Billy Sherman like this.
  8. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    14,989
    Location:
    Ohio
    Perhaps they weren't voting the way he wanted them to.
     
  9. dlavin

    dlavin First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,071
    Location:
    North Balt Co., MD
    I read the bolded line as a bit of a backhanded complement to blacks being free. I read it as "treat them nice as freedmen and they will want to stay working for their older masters, thus the slave owner can treat them as a plantation worker once again."
     
    Allie and Aussie Billy Sherman like this.
  10. AndyHall

    AndyHall Lt. Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    12,374
    If you look at the whole address as reproduced at the link in the OP, it's very unreconstructed, and exactly what you'd expect from Wade Hampton. His admonition to be fair to Freedmen is almost tacked on at the end, and he expects that the Freedman in turn "will reciprocate your kindness, clinging to his old home, his own country and his former masters" -- in other words, to retain the antebellum social and political order, in the absence of actual slaveholding. His Redshirt activities later were directed both at white and black South Carolinians who disrupted that, so I don't see any real change in his fundamental position.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  11. 48th Miss.

    48th Miss. Sergeant

    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    Messages:
    928
    Location:
    North Carolina
    He didn't say anything in that paragraph about voting only to aid them in their industry. Of course i know nothing about the man himself and certainly not teying to be flippant
     
    Allie likes this.
  12. Pat Young

    Pat Young Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    17,111
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Most Republicans believed they were always states of the Union. State suicide was a minority position.
     
  13. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3,619
    Location:
    grumbling in the rear rank
    In Hampton's first sentence he references the bible "and their name is legion".
    Jesus came upon a group of men who were possed by the devil. We are many they responded. We are legion.
     
    kepi likes this.
  14. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3,619
    Location:
    grumbling in the rear rank
    In Hampton's first sentence he references the bible "and their name is legion".
    Jesus came upon a group of men who were possed by the devil. We are many they responded. We are legion.
    Wade is comparing the yankee's to hordes to demons.
     
    James N. likes this.
  15. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    3,553
    Location:
    South Carolina
    This sounds like a political speech, as well as a "don't trust the Yankees" speech: http://ldhi.library.cofc.edu/exhibits/show/after_slavery_educator/unit_five_documents/document_seven

    I regard the invitation you have extended to us to-day, to offer such advice, as honorable alike to us and to yourselves. It is a fit answer and a strong rebuke to those who so persistently misrepresent the feelings of the whites and the blacks of the South toward each other. It is honorable to us, as it shows you look upon us as your friends; friends with whom you wish to act and from whom you are willing to seek counsel. It is honorable to you as it proves that you cherish no ill-will toward your former masters, that you confide in their honesty and that you look upon them as your natural and life-long friends. Your own orator of the day, who has just addressed you, has spoken wisely and kindly on this topic, and the advice he has given you I approve of heartily. Why should we not be friends? Are you not Southern men, as we are?

    Does not that glorious Southern sun above us shine alike for both of us? Did not this soil give birth to all of us? And will we not all alike, when our troubles and trials are over, sleep in that same soil in which we first drew breath? I see a banner before me, on which is inscribed "united we stand, divided we fall." The motto is full of significance and truth, for your welfare is inseparably linked with that of the whites of the South. If we are unjustly taxed, you will suffer; if we are ruined you will be destroyed. Your prosperity depends entirely on that of your country, and whatever fate awaits the white people of the South will be yours.
    . . .
    Now let us consider for a few moments the subject that has brought you together to-day, the Military Bill just passed by Congress. You must bear in mind that a great many persons, among them the President of the United States, think that this bill is unconstitutional; that Congress had no authority to pass it. Now the only way that question can be settled is by a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. That Court will declare the bill either constitutional or unconstitutional. If constitutional you will, by it, be allowed to vote. How will you vote? Whom will you select to make the new laws which are to govern the State? Will you choose men who are ignorant of all law-all science of Government, to make your laws and frame your Government? Will you place in office these strangers who have flocked here to plunder what little is left to us? Or will you trust the men among whom you have lived heretofore-amongst whom you must always live?

    It seems to me that this latter course would be the wisest, for as it is to the interest of the Southern whites to make the blacks enlightened, prosperous and contented, they would surely do all in their power to secure these objects. I do not tell you to trust to professions of friendship alone, whether they come from the Southern man or the Northern. But what I ask you to do, what I have the right to ask of you is, that as we profess to be your friends, you will give us the opportunity of showing by our actions whether we are sincere or not.
     
    Allie likes this.
  16. Harvey Johnson

    Harvey Johnson Sergeant

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    618
    He didn't.

    Wade Hampton was elected governor of South Carolina in 1876 because he solicited black voters who outnumbered white voters by a three-to-two margin. Hundreds of black supporters even donned Red Shirts and marched along side their white counterparts in support of Hampton. Blacks were also integrated into Hampton's Democratic Party clubs. Hampton openly disavowed anyone who resorted to violence against blacks to keep them from voting Republican.

    Conversely, the Republicans responded to Hampton's encroachments into the black voting pool with violence. In September a Charleston mob attacked two black speakers of the Hampton and Tilden Colored Club. White Democrats rushed to their aid and the situation devolved into a general riot and night of terror while Charleston's mostly black police force did almost nothing.
     
    Andersonh1 likes this.
  17. 48th Miss.

    48th Miss. Sergeant

    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    Messages:
    928
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Seems to me he is saying the yankee inconsistencies are legion, many and the greatest was the right to vote being passed without thw South voting as members of the Union. I am not sure the timeline on their return to the Capital and to business.

    Edit spelling
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
    Yankeedave likes this.
  18. Harvey Johnson

    Harvey Johnson Sergeant

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    618
    1. Union Major General William T. Sherman was also doubtful about the intentions of those promoting black suffrage:

    I have reason to believe that Mr. Johnson is not going as far as Mr. Chase in imposing negro votes on the Southern States or any States. I never heard a negro ask for that and I think it would be his ruin…I believe the whole idea of giving votes to the negroes is to create just that many votes to be used by others for political uses because I believe the negro don’t want to vote now when he is mixed up with whites in nearly equal proportion, making [the] ship dangerous.
    2. The limited "context" preceding the speech in the link you provide warrants elaboration.

    Over half the population of South Carolina was black. The potentially unconstitutional bill that Hampton refers to gave the vote to all black males age 21 or older. It also, however, took the vote away from an unspecified number of white males who were disqualified by the pending terms of the Fourteenth Amendment and who could not take a complicated oath affirming that they did not run afoul of those terms. The military-appointed registrars could accept, or reject, any white man's oath and thereby permit him to be, or not, a voter.

    In the end, an estimated 150,000 white males were excluded from the voting rolls the former Rebel states. When the registrations were completed an estimated 703,000 blacks were voters as compared to 627,000 whites. Blacks composed a majority of voters in South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana. Thus, when the last sentence of the "context" before Hampton's speech above states that "South Carolinians voted decisively in favor of the [new state constitutional] convention," it should be understood that blacks composed a significant majority of the state's electorate at that time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
    Andersonh1 likes this.
  19. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    3,553
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I definitely need to find a good biography to get a fuller picture of Hampton's life during the post-war years. Thanks for some good context, Harvey.
     
    Harvey Johnson likes this.
  20. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    27,071
    Location:
    Right here.
    Apparently not.

    "In August, South Carolina Democrats chose a ticket headed by Gen. Wade Hampton, probably the state's most popular figure (at least among the white population). Still deeply divided over Chamberlain's policies, Republicans reluctantly renominated the governor but chose two of his most articulate black critics for lieutenant governor and attorney general. Despite the white-line sentiment kindled by Hamburg, Hampton's speeches promised an administration that would strengthen the educational system, avoid 'vindictive discrimination,' and offer the protection against violence Chamberlain seemed unable to provide. But among prominent blacks, only Martin R. Delany campaigned on Hampton's behalf. No more than a handful of freedmen supported the Democratic ticket; the vast majority, including those offered bribes or threatened with the loss of their jobs, remained loyal to the Republicans. Edgefield County deputy marshal David Graham refused to 'quit Chamberlain' despite an offer of $500 and future employment." [Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, p. 572]


    And?

    Perhaps you should give us the context for this exception, which occurred two months after the Hamburg Massacre.

    "With so much at stake, the 1876 campaign became the most tumultuous in South Carolina's history, and the one significant exception to the Reconstruction pattern that cast blacks as the victims of political violence and whites as the sole aggressors. In September, black Republicans assaulted Democrats of both races leaving a Charleston meeting; several were wounded, and one white lost his life. A month later a group of blacks began firing at a 'joint discussion' at Cainhoy, a village near the city, resulting in the deaths of five whites and one black. The presence of Martin R. Delany had enraged the local freedmen and set the stage for violence; 'the cry,' reported an eyewitness, 'was that any white man had a right to be a democrat, 'but no ****ed black man had.' ' Throughout the state, black Democrats found themselves ostracized as 'deserters of their race.' 'Black women,' were said to be 'worse than the men'; one 'threw her husband's clothes out ... and locked the door on him,' saying she would rather 'beg her bread' than live with a 'democratic [n-word]'; another abused a Hampton supporter as a '****ed democratic sone of a *****,' saying he was 'voting to put her and her children back into slavery.' But the campaign of intimidation launched by Hampton's supporters far overshadowed such incidents." [Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, pp. 573-574]

    As historian George Rable tells us, "Whatever the extent of 'radical' violence, South Carolina Democrats were hardly innocent victims. General Gary had followed the progress of the 1875 campaign in Mississippi with growing interest and used it as a model for what became known as the 'shotgun policy.' This plan called for the Democrats to form clubs and military companies, which would attend every Republican meeting to denounce the speakers and impress the Negroes. The voters who could not be won with persuasion would be won by fear. Every opposition leader would know that any disturbance would cost him his life, and Gary called for the assassination of particularly obnoxious Republicans. Although the party officially repudiated this program of terrorism, county Democratic clubs adopted many of Gary's recommendations. Whites openly threatened to murder Republican leaders and scoffed at the prospect of federal intervention. The crusade against radicalism generated enormous popular enthusiasm across the state. Hampton addressed large audiences of wildly cheering whites, many wearing red shirts." [George C. Rable, But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction, p. 171]

    https://books.google.com/books?id=8...of particularly obnoxious Republicans&f=false
     
  21. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    3,553
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Interesting. More Wade Hampton from his campaign for governor. From FREE MEN! FREE BALLOTS!! FREE SCHOOLS! —THE PLEDGES OF GENERAL WADE HAMPTON, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, TO THE COLORED PEOPLE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=t...RAhXG5iYKHXcOCSkQ6AEIOTAI#v=onepage&q&f=false

    NO PARTY, NOR RACE, AS GOVERNOR..
    We wish to show the colored people that their rights are fixed and immovable ; and, furthermore, we would not abridge them if we could. I do here what I did in the convention, I pledge myself solemnly, in the presence of the people of South Carolina and in the presence of my God, that if the democratic ticket is elected, I shall know no party nor race in the administration of the law. So sure as the law pronounces a man guilty, so sure shall that man be punished. I shall know nothing but the law and the constitution of South Carolina and of the United States. We recognize the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments of the.Constitution of the United States, and accept them in good faith. The colored people know that it is under those amendments that they enjoy the rights they now have. We stand upon that platform, and not one single right enjoyed by the colored people to-day shall be taken from them. They shall be the equals, under the law, of any man in South Carolina. Aud we further pledge that we will give better facilities for education than they have ever had before.
     

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Loading...

Share This Page


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)