|The People of Philadelphia Respond
Excerpt from An Address Delivered by J. Miller M'Kim
The Port Royal Experiment
|This address is a propaganda piece to encourage money, supplies and volunteers to join in the
Port Royal Relief Committee. This is another "eyewitness" account of what the people in the
Sea Islands were like. The crucial part of the experiment was understanding how slaves would
live after freedom was obtained and what was needed to help them. In editing this address all
information entered in bold is mine. This is done to help the reader find information easier.
In the meantime the attention of the people of Philadelphia was called to this subject. The statements
published in the newspapers, and the appeals of Gen. Sherman and Com. Dupont had created quite a
lively feeling in regard to the matter. A public meeting was called, and National Hall, as you will
remember, was crowded to repletion. Bishop Potter presided, and Dr. Tyng and others addressed the
meeting, all of them setting forth in eloquent terms the pitiable condition of the liberated blacks, their
destitution, moral and material, and the duty devolving on the people of the North to come to their relief.
A permanent committee was appointed to raise funds to procure food and clothes for these suffering
people, and otherwise to carry out the purpose of the meeting. The committee organized and went to
What they raised
In a short time they raised between five and six thousand dollars in money, and a very considerable
quantity of clothes, new and second-hand. With part of the money they purchased provisions â€”bacon,
fish, and molassesâ€”which, with some twenty or thirty boxes of clothes, they sent South, with as little
delay as possible. They purchased and forwarded, also, considerable quantities of new material for men's
and women's wear, and thread, needles, thimbles, and the like, with which to make it up. At the same
time they sent a lady from this city to superintend the distribution of these supplies. Or rather a lady of this
city voluntarily, and from her own deep interest in the cause, went, and thereâ€”at Port Royalâ€”assumed
the onerous task of distributing by gift and sale these contributions of Philadelphia charity. Soon were
received in return the most grateful acknowledgments from Mr. Pierce and his coadjutors. The supplies
had been most timely, and had done great good. They had fed the hungry, clothed the naked, cheered
the hearts of the blacks, and strengthened the hands of their white friends.
The committee, of course, were encouraged. They desired to continue and to increase their gifts, but they
needed more accurate information. None of them had ever been at Port Royal, nor had any of them any
personal knowledge in regard to what was most needed. The people of New York and Boston were
better informed. Some from both of these cities had been on the ground. It was deemed important that
one of our number should also go, and in person make himself thoroughly acquainted with the position of
affairs. And because others more competent did not feel at liberty to leave their business or their duties at
home, the lot fell upon me. Accompanied by my daughter, I left New York in the steamer that sailed for
Port Royal on the 2d of June, and returned in the Ericsson, which arrived at that city on the 28th of the
same month, having been gone about four Weeks. I spent between two and three weeks of this time in
visiting the ohief points of the principal islands. I visited and inspected plantations on St. Helena's and
Ladies' Islands, and on the islands of Port Royal and Hilton Head. I also touched at Edisto and James
Islands, where I had an opportunity of making some inquiries. James Island, it will be remembered, was
the scene of the late disastrous engagement between the rebel troops and our forces under Gen. Benham.
While gone, in pursuance of the purpose of my mission, I talked with people of all classes; with white and
black, soldiers and sailors, officers and privates, Abolitionists and anti-Abolitionists. The result of my
inquiries it is my business now to state.
Free Labor Experiment
As to the experiment of working the negroes by wages, and cultivating the land by free labor, I have to
say that the enterprise has thus far, in all respects, been entirely successful. This is a fact beyond the reach
of cavil, and will not be denied by any honest man, having information sufficient to justify an opinion. It
does not rest on the testimony of any one man or set of men, but on figuresâ€”arithmetical figures and
statistical tablesâ€”which have been submitted to the world, and which challenge scrutiny. I allude
particularly to Mr. Peirce's late report, which it is to be presumed most here have read.
The success of the experiment is seen in the fact that 15,000* acres of cotton, corn, and other
provisions, are now in an advanced and satisfactory state of cultivation, needing little more than a few
weeks of ordinary fair weather to ensure a liberal harvest. If our arms should encounter no disastrous
reverses, and these crops should be favored with the customary alternations of sunshine and shower, Mr.
Peirce will have furnished an argument against slavery which merchants on change and men of business
can neither gainsay nor resist. For remember that this experiment has been made under the most
unfavorable circumstances. It was not begun until full six weeks after the usual time of commencing to
prepare for the new crop. The work, instead of beginning early in February, was not started till the last of
March. Then, the implements were altogether insufficient, both in number and character. There was a
lack of hoes, plows, and horses to draw the plows. In addition to this, the people were reluctant to work
on cotton. They were ready enough to go to work in raising corn, the value and need of which they could
understand, but cotton had been their old enemy; it had been the cause of all their woes. To them it
meant slavery. In this reluctance they had been encouraged by our soldiers, who had advised them not to
raise cotton, which they could not eat, but only corn, which would feed them, and which would be their
friend in the coming winter. It required much effort to overcome this difficulty. Then besides, the
superintendents were strangers to the business. Few of them had ever seen a cotton plant outside of a
green-house, and some of them knew nothing practically of any kind of agriculture. They were strangers
to the country, to the people, to the usages, to the climate, to everything, and all they had to depend upon
was their own good sense and good will for the work, and the good sense and co-operative good will of
the blacks. These were some of the difficulties that embarrassed the enterprise; and yet, under all these
discouragements, 15,000 acres of cotton, corn and potatoes have been put under successful culture. The
actual work has been done by about 3,800 laborers, that being the average number of able-bodied field
hands out of the 10,000.
* "It is with pleasure that the aggregate result is here submitted. It makes (adding the negro patches to the
corn-fields of the plantations) 8,315 12-100 acres of provisions (corn, potatoes, etc.) planted, 5,480 11-
100 acres of cotton plantedâ€”in all, 13,795 23-100 acres of provisions and cotton planted. Adding to
these the 2,394 acres of late corn, to a great extent for fodder, cow-peas, etc., to be planted, and the
crop of this year presents a total of 16,189 23-100 acres."â€”Mr. Peirce's Report.
The success of this experiment is further seen in the contentment and happiness of the people. That they
are content is seen from their looks. Wherever you go, you meet cheerful and happy faces. Their words
corroborate the language of their looks. "Oh, yes, massa, dese is good times." "Neber see sich good
times afore." "Too good to last, massa; too good to last." These are samples of the expressions we heard
wherever we went. And yet these people have been and still are working for very scanty wages. Until
this time their pay has been almost wholly in promises. But they are content. They have their freedom.
They have food and clothes, and what they value more, kind and sympathizing friends. There is but one
alloy to their happiness; that is, their fear of "de secesh." They can't divest themselves of a dread of their
old master's return. But for this, these black people would be what their former owners falsely declared
them to be, "the happiest peasantry in the world."
To get a proper idea of these people's present condition and feelings, it is only necessary to go on a
Sunday to one of their churches. I availed myself of the earliest opportunity after my arrival, to enjoy this
privilege. Ou the first day of the week there, all go to church, or rather to Sunday school, which is
generally held in the church. During the week children are taught, (and to the number, in all the islands, of
about 2,500,) but on Sunday, all ages assemble, and the superintendents and others act in the capacity of
teachers. On St. Helena's Island, the Baptist Church, a large brick building, was the place of meeting.
When I entered, though not late, the house was well filled, and the exercises had begun.
The teachers were scattered through the congregation, and with elementary books and large cards
containing simple words were busy at work. These cards comprised such sentences as "God is love,"
"Thou shalt not steal," "Fear God; walk in His ways," etc., etc. In this manner they instructed the minds of
these eager and docile people in the elements of our language, while at the same time they impressed
upon their hearts the lessons of morality and religion. It was a pleasing sight. The people were decorous
in their behavior, and tidy in their appearance. They* were comfortably and even becomingly dressed,
many of them wearing the clothesâ€”frocks, jackets, etc.â€”that had been sent to them from Philadelphia.
Here, among the teachers, were persons who at home belonged to diverse and often conflicting sects, all
engaged, heartily and fraternally, in inculcating upon their hearers the fundamental doctrines of a common
religion. There stood, card in hand, with the upturned faces of a large class before him, young Mr. Parke,
son of Professor Parke, of Andover. Next to him, similarly occupied, stood Mr. Gannett, son of Rev. Dr.
Gannett, successor to Dr. Channing. Not far oft* was the Rev. Mr. French, of the Methodist Church;
further on was Mr. Ruggles, a graduate of Yale, and near him Mr. Hooper, an alumnus of Harvard, the
former a Presbyterian, the latter a Unitarian. Near by stood the two ladies who have gone out under the
auspices of the Port Royal Relief Committee of Philadelphia, the one an earnest Baptist, the other a
conscientious and consistent member of the church under the care of the Rev. Dr. Furness. (Note: this
is the second time that M'Kim has failed to mention the name of a women from Philadelphia)
Near them stood a young lady who was a member of no religious denomination, but who had been
tenderly and conscientiously reared outside of sectarian pales, on the outskirts of liberal Quakerism. I
thus specify, not to gratify curiosity, but to describe practically the character and mode of operation of
the people engaged in this movement.
When the school was about to close, it was announced that there was a gentleman present from
Philadelphia, who would make some remarks. "Philadelphia," it was added, "is the place from which was
sent that good bacon and that nice molasses." At this the people's faces lit up with an expression of
pleasure and recognition. I was glad of the opportunity to give utterance to my feelings. I told them who I
was, and what I had come for. That the people of Philadelphia were much interested in their condition;
that we had heard different reports about them; that some had said that the black people of South
Carolina were industrious and well disposed; willing to work if well treated, and not needing the whip.
Others that these blacks were lazy and good for nothing; spoiled by kind treatment, and unmanageable
without a master. That I had come- to see what the truth was on this and other subjects, and that I was
happy to say I had a good report to carry back; one that would delight the hearts of the many friends
who would be wanting to hear what word I should bring. I had been pleased to have their assurances
that they thanked heartily their distant benefactors, but that there might be no mistake on this head, I
wished them now to tell me in their own words, just what to say when I should get home. "Shall I repeat
what I have heard you say, that you thank them and pray God to bless them?" "Yes, sa; yes, massa,"
came from different parts of the house. "Stand up," said one of the teachers, "and speak out for
yourselves." Upon this, they all rose, and then followed a fair shower of expression. "Tell 'em, tank 'em;
tell 'em, tank 'em, massa. Tell 'em, tank 'em too much. Tell 'em God bless 'em; tell 'em God Almighty
bless 'em." "I will," said I. "The very first opportunity I get I shall deliver your message." And now, my
friends, you that have contributed to this holy charityâ€”I have only to add that the blessings of the poor,
and of them that have been ready to perish, have come upon you.
As I was leaving the house, I was met at the door by a group whose hearts had not been sufficiently
relieved, and who needed further expression. Said one woman, "Tell de Philadelphy people we tank em
too much, massa, Too Much." This, by the way, is a common phrase with these people when they want
to express themselves strongly. It is a sort of fourth degree of comparison, as it wereâ€”muchâ€”moreâ€”
very 'muchâ€”TOO MUCH. We heard it frequently used when they would be speaking of their
contentment and gratitude. One man in the group took my hand and said, "Tell 'em tank 'em; tell em God
bless 'em;" and, as if straining for a climax, he added, in very fair English, "Give 'em my compliments!"
The success of this enterprise is further proved by the industry and sobriety of these people and their
susceptibility to control. Every day of the week, except Sunday, they were to be seen busily engaged at
work. Idlers and loafers, there may have been, and doubtless were, but they never fell under my
observation. Mr. Wickliffe said at the anti-emancipation meeting lately, held in New York, that at Port
Royal he had understood that the negroes would not work, and that for every man was needed a special
driver. If Mr. Wickliife had said that black was white, or that two and two did not make four, his
assertion would not have been more directly contrary to the truth.
These plantations are worked by purely voluntary labor; the driver, now called leader, having no power
to force, and the superintendents having an average each of five or six plantations to oversee, which,
being often miles distant, they can only attend to by occasional visits. The blacks are very tractable. A
threat of the law operates like magic. A superintendent told me that a driver on one of his plantations was
unruly. He reasoned with him, but the driver was obstinate. At last he said, "If you don't go to work, I
will speak to the Provost-Marshal and have you arrested." The effect was instantaneous. The man was
both overawed and flatteredâ€”flattered because he had now risen to the dignity of being subject to law.
He was not to be handed to the overseer for a hundred lashes, but he was to be tested. The law, potent
with all ignorant people, is trebly powerful with these. They are especially tractable under the
management of Northern people. There is a universal feeling of admiration for and gratitude to the
Though badly treated by some of our soldiers, officers and privates, they are, nevertheless,
discriminating, and give the "Yankees," as they call us, due credit and more for all than can be claimed for
us. They are especially grateful and attached to the teachers and superintendents. They think Northern
"gentle people," "purtier and purtier beharved" than "secesh gentle people." For they see in these
Northern gentlemen and ladies not only all the external grace of their old masters and mistresses, but
superadded a genial courtesyâ€”an easy and sympathetic condescensionâ€”which they had not dreamed
of before in white people. These young scholars from Cambridge and Yale, and young merchants from
Boston and New York, come into their huts, take off their hats, sit down on their benches, listen with
interest to their talk, and shed tears at the recital of their wrongs. I speak literally. No man with flesh in his
heart can listen without emotion to the stories they tell. These ladies visit their sick; put their soft white
hands into the rough hands of the women field laborers; dress their sores and otherwise minister to their
daily wants. Such kindness, such tender and beautiful attentions they had never before thought possible;
as a consequence the teachers and superintendents thus acting can do with these simple people just what
Contrast between Northern and Southern Manners
The contrast drawn by the blacks between Northern and Southern manners is not an unjust one.
Slaveholders are, as a class, essentially vulgar and ill-bred. They may be familiar with the forms of
politeness, but they are without its spirit. Vulgarians may pass for a time, with their equals or superiors,
for ladies and gentlemen, but when they get among those whom they regard as below them, they are sure
to betray themselves. "Be pitiful, be courteous;" "condescend to men of low estate," are maxims of
Christianity, the justice of which is acknowledged by the highest civilization. A man's behavior to his
inferiors is the best test of his breeding. Tried by this, slaveholders as a class, are essentially vulgar.
I have many facts in my note-book on this head, which, if there were time, would illustrate this point. I
have scraps of the private history of leading ladies and gentlemen in Beaufort and round about, with
names and circumstances, which show that the airs of superiority assumed by these people are utterly
unsupported by character, and indicate that their pretensions from beginning are a lie and a sham.
That the present condition of these people is in favorable contrast with that under their masters is evident
from their songs, which constitute a striking feature in their manifestations of character. They are a musical
people. When they work in concert, as in rowing or grinding at the mill, their hands keep time to music.
Their boat songs are the ones most frequently heard. The islands are made and permeated by rivers and
creeks, and the boat furnishes the most common mode of locomotion.
When the negroes begin to row, they at the same time begin to sing all their songs are in the minor key. If
one chances to begin on the major, it quickly saddens and passes into the minor. Their songs are all
religious, barcaroles and all. I speak without exception. So far as I heard or was told of their singing, it
was all religious. None of their songs express mirth or present joy. The only joy expressed or implied is
that of hope. "Rest at last," was their general burthen; "Heaven is my home;" "Have a little patience;"
"God will deliver"â€”these and the like were the refrains of all their ballads.
Poor Rosy, Poor Gal
There was one which on shore we heard more than any other, and which was irresistibly touching. It was
a sort of ballad, known as " Poor Rosy, Poor Gal." It is impossible to give an idea of the effect of this or
any of their songs by a mere recital or description. They are all exceedingly simple, both in sentiment and
melody. Each stanza contains but a single thought, set in perhaps two or three bars of music; and yet as
they sing it in alternate recitative and chorus, with varying inflections and dramatic turn, this simple and
otherwise monotonous melody will, to a musical ear and a heart susceptible of impression, have all the
charm of variety. Take for instance, a few stanzas from the dirge of "Poor Rosy." Fancy the first line sung
in the major key, and the two following changed by an easy transition, and with varying inflections, into
the minor, and you will have some idea of the effect.
Poor Rosy, poor gal!
P-o-o-r R-o-s-y, p-o-o-r g-a-1!
Heaven shall be my home.
Hard trial in my way!
H-a-r-d t-r-i-a-1 i-n m-y w-a-y!
Heaven shall be my home.
Wonder what de people want of me,
W-o-nd-e-r w-h-a-t d-e p-e-o-p-l-e w-a-n-t o f m-e,
Heaven shall be my home.
When I talk, I talk with God!
W-h-e-n I ta-l-k I t-a-l-k w-i-t-h G-o-dl
Heaven shall be my home.
I asked one of these blacksâ€”one of the most intelligent I had metâ€”where they got these songs. "Dey
make 'em, sah." "How do they make them?" After a pause, evidently casting about for an explanation, he
said, "I'll tell you, it's dis way. My master call me up and order me a short peck of corn and a hundred
lash. My friends see it and is sorry for me. When dey come to de praise meeting dat night dey sing about
it. Some's very good singers and know how; and dey work it in; work it in, you know, till they get it right;
and dat's de way." A very satisfactory explanation; at least so it seemed to me.
I said these songs were all in the minor key. This is not quite the fact. They have one that has a cheerful,
and, as it sounded when I first heard it, a hilarious ring. It is a new one, made, as they said, "since secesh
times." It runs thus:
No more driver call for me,
No more driver call;
No more driver call for me,
Many a thousand die!
No more peck of corn for me,
No more peck of corn;
No more peck of corn for me,
Many a thousand die.
No more hundred lash for me,
No more hundred lash;
No more hundred lash for me,
Many a thousand die;
and so on, recounting all the incidents of slave life.
When I first heard this song I was going from Hilton Head to Beaufort in a boat rowed by a half dozen
men detailed from the 1st Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers. They were in fine voice and spirits,
and the echoes came back from the inlets of Ladies and St. Helena with fine effect. As we passed along
we encountered a boat load of black people rowing in the opposite direction. They were acquaintances
of our oarsmen, and, after the first salutation, asked what those clothes meant? Our crew were dressed in
the blue blouse and pants and felt hat, which constitute the uniform of the regiment. They explainedâ€”
one of them adding, in a tone of laughing triumph, "We's Uncle Sam's chil'n now; we's Uncle Sam's chil'n
now; we's none of your fiel' hans'." The others looked envious and passed on. The fact that these people
are thought worthy to be enlisted as soldiers adds much to their self respect.
I dwell on these songs not as a matter of entertainment, but of instruction. They tell the whole story of
these people's life and character. There is no need, after hearing them, to inquire into the history of the
slave's treatment. Recitals of this kind one will hear enough of, whether he desires it or not; for these poor
things, having now, for the first time in their lives, sympathetic listeners, pour out their hearts in narrations
which nothing but flint can resist. I ought to add, before leaving this subject, that their songs, like their
talk, are couched in a barbarous Africanized sort of English, arid are sometimes quite unintelligible. In the
specimens I have here given I have not followed their pronunciation. .
The success of a judicious system of free labor at the South is insured by the large development on the
part of the blacks of the religious sentiment. As persons deprived of one sense acquire greater
susceptibility in those that remain, so it would seem that these people, degraded in body, stunted in
intellect, scarred and twisted out of shape in their muscular and mental forms of existence, have acquired
additional strength in their spiritual life. Religion is universal among them. To be sure, in most cases it is a
mere sentiment or habit, and not sufficient to preserve them against temptation; but in many cases it is a
living and active operative principle. Their convictions are strong and their experiences vivid. They speak
of "hearing God," and of God's "talking to" them, with a simplicity of faith which sounds fanatical, but to
the philosophic mind it is by no means inconsistent with reason. Their spiritual perceptions are like those
of sight or sound, and it is thus that they are supported in their trials. God is a present refuge to them in
every time of trouble. "Francis," said I to an old gray-haired man who was conning over his spelling
book, "why do you take the trouble to learn to read? You say it is hard work and very discouraging; why
do you try?" "Because, massa, I want to be satisfied; I want to read de Word of God." "But can't you
know the Word of God without reading it in a book?" "Yes, massa, I do know it; I know it here!"
striking himself on the breast; "but I want to read it for myself." I had asked the same question of an
elderly woman, on the Sunday previous, at Sunday-school. She was one of those spiritual-faced ones
whom you will sometimes find amongst the most illiterate. Her countenance told a story of suffering and
of triumph. "Tamar," said I, "why, at your age, do you take so much trouble to learn to read?" "Because I
want to read de Word of the Lord." "But can't you know the Word of the Lord without reading it?"
"Yes, massa, I can hear it, but I want to read it." "How can you hear it?" "I hear de voice here," laying her
hand on her heart; "I have hearn it, massa." "When, Tamar, did you ever hear it?" Turning.upon me her
full, deep eyes, she said: "One morning, sah; one morning I went out to de woods before daylight to pray.
My heart was full of sorrow ; and when I was praying, de Lord spoke tome!" "And what did he say,
Tamar?" "He said, 'Tamar! all you's sins is forgiven; you's my chile.'" "Well," said I, waiting for her to go
on. "Den I was filled with lub and joy; my heart was full of lub for everybody." "Not for your old master
too, Tamar?" "Yes, sir, for my master and eberybody." Now who will say that this old woman had not
heard the voice of God? And whose religious faith will bear a stronger test than hers?
Religion has afforded these people their only resource; they have no amusements, no diversions, no social
visiting. Their children have no playsâ€”no gamesâ€”such as joyous childhood naturally demands. To the
older ones the "praise house" (prayers' house), as the hut in which they hold their meetings is called, is the
only recreation. Here, as one of their songs goes, they
Sing and pray Their soula away. in sweet fbrgetfulness of their wrongs.
The night after the bacon arrived from Philadelphia, the people on Pope's plantation gathered in the
"praise house," and sung and prayed till broad daylight. It was an assurance to them that God had raised
up for them friends at a distance, who would provide for their wants. In the camp of the black regiment
there is, I was told, a prayer-meeting in one or other of the tents every night. I may here add, in passing,
that there is no better behaved set of men on Hilton Head than this same "First Regiment of South
Carolina Volunteers." Their appearance, in their dark blue uniform, is quite imposing. They handle the
musket with as much dexterity as other new recruits, and their proficiency in marching is more rapid.
Their camp is kept neat and tidy, and they compare well in all respects with others of more favored
complexion. As for their military capacity, and the wisdom of Gen. Hunter in enrolling them as soldiers, I
say nothing here; not for want of well settled convictions on these points, but because these points are not
embraced in the range of inquiry, the results of which it is my business here to report.
But I must hasten on. I should be glad to speak of the relation which this movement sustains to military
people and affairs in South Carolina, and of the deep interest in its success which has been taken by
distinguished officers of the army and navy. I refer more particularly to Gen. Hunter and Com. Dupont.
Both of these gentlemenâ€”and they are in all respects gentlemen â€”more than can be said of many
others high in military and naval commandâ€”have shown themselves philanthropists, as well as patriots
with a just sense of the honor of the country, by the care they have taken to protect and provide for the
unhappy people who have been thrown upon the nation's charity.
The Port Royal Relief Committee, more deeply impressed than ever with the importance of their work,
desire now to prosecute it with increased efficiency. They will be calling for funds and clothes, and
superintendents for the plantations, and teachers. There will be no need hereafter to send provisions; the
Government will see to that. But clothes for the aged, for the infirm, and for children, will have to come
for a while yet from the charities of the people.
The able-bodied can support themselves, but they must be protected from imposition. It is contemplated
by the committee to establish a store on one of the islands, at which goods can be bought at rates
covering first cost and transportation. This is deemed necessary to save these poor people from the
exactions to which they are subject from the traders and sutlers, who first rob them of their money and
then slander their character.
Thirty new superintendents are needed at this moment on plantations. Of these, Boston will furnish ten,
New York ten, and Philadelphia ought to send the other ten. Gen. Saxton, on the part of the
Government, will pay these superintendents fifty dollars a month. Teachers are also wanted. These will
derive their support from the Relief Committee; their pay will not be such as to make the appointment an
object, as twenty-five dollars a month will be the maximum.
The qualifications required on the part of both superintendents and teachers are, good health, good
sense, and a hearty good will for the work. Of the ninety odd who went out last spring, quite a number
proved incompetent. These had not gone from the right motive, nor were they of the right spirit. They
went, hoping the climate would be gcod for their health, or from a spirit of romance, or to see a semi-
tropical country with its peculiar productions, or in a spirit of sectarian religious zeal, or from some other
motive not essentially unselfish, and in harmony with an all-pervading desire to be useful. As a
consequence, they soon got tired; or their coadjutors got tired of them. There was a great deal of work
to be done; and to them the life was one of dull, monotonous drudgery. They have, therefore, come
home. Those that remain have a heart for the work. It is their delight. The good they do is palpable; and
they have the reward in their own bosoms. More like these are needed, especially as superintendents. It
is not the pushing, driving, and rough-and-ready kind of people, that are sometimes called "practical,"
that are most needed. The forces of chief avail here are those of a spiritual nature, such as proceed from
a heart devoted to the work, and from manners and character that inspire respect. The best educated
and best bred people, other things being equal, are the best qualified for usefulness in this enterprise. The
blacks have quick intuitions; a man of coarse nature is sure to be detected. Experience at Port Royal has
proved that refinement in a superintendent is all important, both in order to commend the man to the
confidence of the blacks and the enterprise to the respect of white cavillers around, who are ever on the
look out for grounds of objection. But I will add nothing more on this pointâ€”broad as is the subjectâ€”
nor on any other, at this time. The night is hot, and I have trespassed, already too long on your
forbearance. Thanking you for your patience, I here abruptly close my remarks.