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woak fer de boys. Mammy she axed
him whare he libed at, an' he telled
her de name ob de place, an' hit
war a town in Illinois, not fur off.
He goed away an' sayed how he'd
come back de nex' day ter know would
she go. Ephum ses mammy cried a
heap, thinkin' 'bout gwine off frum
home, but looks like dar warn't nuffin
else fer her ter do, an' degen'l'man so
pleasant spoken, peered like he mus'
be tellin' de truf, so nex' day when he
come back, she sayed she'd go 'long
wif him.

She.selled out ebery ting she had
on de place, fer de genTman say how



'




VJ $,%.



'dey warn't no flowahs in de yard, an" de vines WAR BROKE

DOWN—"



A SILHOUETTE.



301



she would n't need 'em no way ; an' de
nex' week us all lef , gwine on a rivah
in a big boat, an' de gen'l'man him on
de boat too. Us li'l boys was so glad
ter be a gwine somewhars, us war all
de time giggliii' an' cuttin' up shines,
but mammy sot wif de tears a runnin'
down her face mos' all de time, an'
Lily Bell laying in her lap, still an'
sweet. Us war on de boat for a day
an' a night. Den de gen'l'man he
come ter mammy an' telled her dat
tts'd come terde gittin' off place. He
say he libed foh mile back frum de
rivah, an' de nex' day he'd sen' a
wagon ter tak us out, an he tuck us ter
a cabin ter wait till he sent for us.
Dat was de las' time useber seed him,
an' hit'd bin a heap gooder fer us ef
dar'd neber bin lio fas' time ! A man
come fer us de nex' day. Dat orful
day ! I kin min' dat time plain, but I
can't min' nuffin' else dat happen,
but jes dem foh or five days, for I
wasn't nuffin but a li'l chap den, only
foh yeah ole, Ephum ses. I min' de
white man comin' in de doah an' tellin'
us ter git up an' git out o' dar, fer us
'longed ter him now, fer de man what
brung us'd done sol' us ter him.
Mammy jes' hollered out an' grabbed
us chilluns close to her, an' den she
sot still lookin' at dat man like her
eyes war nailed in her head. De man
he had a whip in his han' an' he struck
heron de arm; den mammy she jumped
up an' said, "What ye mean talkin'
ter me dat away? Don' ye tink I
knows I's in de free State o' Illinois,
wliar I war boaned an' brung up ? "
De man guv a big, loud laff an' he
say, "Ye fool nigger, don' ye know
ye's in de State o' Missouri now?
Ye's my property now, an' I's gwine
ter take ye down ter Mississippi an'
sell you an' yer young tins.' ' Mammy
guv a big scream an' held us all clost
ter her, an' sayed ter dat low-down
lookin' white man he darsn't tech her
ner oneo' de chillun, fer us all boaned
free, an' she'd hev de law on him.
But de man struck her agin wif his big
whip, an den he struck me an' Alex
an' drives us 'foh him. Dey war some



men gwine 'long de road, an' mammy
called tor 'em an' ax 'em warn't dis
hyah Illinois, but dey laff an' say,
M No, dis Missouri." Den she call
ter 'em how us war free boaned, an'
how dis hyah man sayed he'd buyed
us, an' axed em in de name o' de
Lawd ter help us. But dey jes laff
an' goed on, an' de man kep' a hittin'
us w r if de whip eber time mammy
made a noise like dat.

Arter while us got ter de rivah an'
went on a boat whar dey war moh
colahed people. Us sot in de boat
'long side o' mammy wif her arms
roun' us all. I reckon she was tinkin'
she could keep us dat way — poo'
mammy ! She neber talk much
'ceptin' ter tell us not ter be skeered
fer dat man dasn't tech us. Den hit
come night, an' us chilluns goed ter
sleep, an' I waked an' cried kase
mammy held me so tight. Must a'
bin two or three days foh us got ter
Mississippi, an' den us war sol'. Dey
driv us ter a big town, to a wide place
whar dey war heap moh folks, niggers
an' white men, de niggers settin' on
de groun' mos'ly an' de white men
gwine amongst 'em 'zammin' 'em.
Us war all sol' dat day, an' all ter one
man, 'ceptin' Alex. A man buyed
him fus', fer Ephum ses Alex war a
likely boy an' de smartes' an' de
bestes' lookin' o' any on us. Dey
carried him away a hollerin' an'
fightin' 'em, an' mammy yelled out
an' tol' 'em dat us free boaned in de
State o' Illinois, an' she hit de man
what buyed Alex plumb in de face.
Den dey beat her wif a big whip an'
tuck Lily Bell frum her an' tied her
ban's 'hind her back. A man come
'long (him Mars Henry's ovahseer)
an' look at us fer a good bit, an' him
an' de man what brung us quarreled
about de price. At las' he say he'd
take us all ef de man'd frow in Lily
Bell fer nuffin', seein' she was so puny
she'd neber be no 'count no way.
Arter quarrelin' fer a good bit moh' de
man 'greed ter that. Mammy'd neber
cried sence us got ter dat place till
den, but de tears jes' poured down her



Vol. IV— 20



301



302



A SILHOUETTE.



face, an' she kep' a lookin' up ter de
sky an' I reckon she war thankin' de
good God dat us was all gwine teged-
der, all 'ceptin' poo' li'lAlex. Peered
like frum dat minute she war sorter
queer, an' neber ac' like herself no
inoh. She neber yell ner holler out,
but jes' walk 'long quiet an' sad 'foh
dat ovahseer, fer he drive us out ter de
plantation an' us got dar soon de nex'
day. Ephum tooted Lily Bell mos'
all de way, but sometimes mammy 'd
take her, fer dey untied her nan's
arter she turned so quiet.

Us war slaves den, an' mammy an'
Ephum was sot ter woakin' in de
cotton fiel's. Mammy alius ac' so
queer an' quiet, dat look like none o'
de colahed people did'nt like her.
She war so difi'n't frum 'em, too, an'
alius talk nice an' proper like white
folks.

Lily Bell'd alius bin weak an'
sickly but she war woser off arter dat
drefful time when us war sol'. Her
li'l back hurt her a heap, but she
bored hit pashunt jes' like a li'l angel.
I tuck keer ob her mos'ly, fer mammy
war off woakin'. Us'd play, an' I'd
let on I war daddy come back frum
Californy, an' I'd sot her in a ole box
what we hed an' us'd let on hit war
de gol'n char'ot, an' den I warn't
daddy no moh, but a big white hoss
an' I'd pull dat ar gol'n char'ot all
roun' de cabin, an' she'd say us war
in Californy now, an' she war drivin'
me 'long dem gol'n streets, an' she'd
laff an' look so sweet an' happy dat
I'd tink she mus' be gittin' right
well. But she jes' growed weaker all
de time, an' hit war 'bout two yeah
arter us come ter lib on de plantation,
Ephum ses, dat she died. She got so
sick one day, mammy got leave ter
stay by her, She hel' her on her lap
all day, an' dat sweet li'l ting suffer
mightily ; look like she hed sorter
spasms. But de nex' day she 'peered
like she war heap better an' laid on
de bed a smilin', happy like. De
ovahseer come by an' tol' mammy dat
she mus' go ter woak dat day. I
tried ter play wif Lily Bell dat



mawnin', but she looked like she
neber seed me ner heered me, an'
come noon time she laid wif her putty
eyes so still, alius lookin' in one
place, dat I got skeered an' run fer
mammy. She come a-runnin', an'
when she got ter doah she guv a look
at li'l sis, an' den she hollered out,
"Oh! my baby, don' go 'way frum
yer mammy." She heered dat an'
she say low an' sof, " Deys comin',
mammy, don' you see 'em ? Deys
comin' wif de gol'n char'ot fer li'l
Lily Bell."

Some o' de wimen came runnin' in,
heahin mammy holler, an' dey sayed
de baby war daid, but mammy
wouldn't believe 'em, but sot holdin'
her in her lap, kissin' her an' beggin'
her ter speak to her mammy.

Arter dat mammy ac' queer' n eber.
She woak same's she did b'foh, but
she kep' mutterin' an' talkin' low ter
hersef mos' all de time, an' she'd
har'ly eber ansah when she war spoke
to. She neber talk ter us li'l boys no
moh, like she uster, tellin' us how
we'd orter be good ; she neber tuck
notice on us. Arter a bit de colahed
people on de place got skeered ob her,
an' none on 'em wouldn't woak 'long-
side ob her, an' at las' dey say she
was a conjurer. Den one ob de han's
tuck sick an' died sudden, an' dey say
she'd voudooed him. Mars Henry
hearn 'em talk dat away, an' he
knowed hit wouldn't do ter let 'em go
on. One day me an' Ephum could n't
fin' mammy nowhars. We axed all
de han's whar she be, but dey would n't
tell us nuffin', an' when us cried an'
couldn't woak kase us couldn't fin'
our mammy, de ovahseer he say,
11 Ye'll neber see yer mammy no moh,
fer I sol' her yisterday." An' us
neber did see her no moh.

Arter freedom come I alius ses how
I war gwine back some time ter see
dat Noaf kentry whar us libed, but I
growed an' me an' Meldy married an'
hed heap o' chilluns, so hit look like
I'd neber see de time when I'd git ter
go. But five yeah ago come nex' cot-
ton-choppin' time, de chance come.






A SILHOUETTE.



303



Dey war a gen'l'man come hyah frum
dat ar Noaf kentry ter buy mules, an'
he guv me de job o' carryin' 'em to
whar he libed. Me an' dem goed in a
car on de railroad, an' de gen'l'man
say he'd pay my way back again. I
war plumb happy gwine ter see dat
Noaf kentry. I war fer a fac' ! I telled
de gen'l'man 'bout dat ar Fayette
County, Illinois, an 1 he say how Chi-
cago, de town whar he libed in, warn't
fur off frum dar, an' I could stop dar
when I war comin' home. An' so I
did, an' dat war de way I come ter
fin* daddy. Fus' I found de place
whar us uster lib. De house warn't
dar no inch, but I seed de walnut tree
dat war by degate, an' de branch whar
us played at fishin'. Den I come on a
white man what knowed daddy 'foh
he goed ter Californy, an' he tol' me
dat he warn't daid butlivin' in depoo'
house right dar in Fayette County.
Ye bet hit did n't take me long ter git
ter dat ar poo' house an' fin' my daddy.
He war so glad ter see me — him as
hed lef li'l Caleb, so long back — he
mos' died fer joy.

He war a ole, broke-down man,
woh out huntin' fer his fambly. He'd
done spent de bestes'-part o' his life a
trablin' roun' frum place ter place
tryin' ter heah tell on us, but heneber
got nary word ter show him whar ter
fin' us. He tells us how he'd git
woak somewhars, an' meby stay fer a
yeah er moh, an' den he'd pull up an'
go on somewhars else, alius askin'
eberybody ef dey'd hearn tell on Kezia



MerrifieF an* foh chilluns. He kep'
on dat away fer twenty-five yeah, he
ses, den he guv up an' woaked his
way back ter Fayette County, hit
bein' moh like home ter him'n any-
whars else. He woak in a mill dar
fer a yeah er two, an' den he was
struck wif some sort o' fevahs dat
giv' him a misery in his han's an'
his legs, so dey sont him ter de poo'
house.

I 'tarmined ter take him back home
wif me ef I hed ter woak my fingers
ter de bones ter gitTie money. Fer I
knowed hit war mighty 'spenshus ter
go so fur on de cars. But den I
thinks how nufin war onpossible wif
de good Lawd, an' He'd provide ; an'
dat He did, fer a fac' ! Some good
white gen'l'men raised de money
amongst 'em, an' buyed daddy a ticket
ter come on de cars 'long back hyah
ter Mississippi wif me.

Sence I brung him back I's talked
a heap 'bout gwine on de hunt fer
mammy. But ye know Mars Henry
died 'way back foh freedom come, an'
ole Miss she neber kin min' whar it
war he sol' mammy. So 'peers like
de good God's hid her frum us, an'
moh'n likely He's tuck her ter de
bressed Kingdom Come long foh dis.
But daddy keeps a pray in' dat de
Lawd'll open up a paf fer her tired
feet, an' lead 'em whar dey'll fin' de
bes' res' ; an' I reckon dats on de
shinin' streets an' 'sidede cool waters,
what daddy reads 'bout in de Good
Book.



-jjj^*




THE LAW AND THE CHINAMAN.



BY HON. THOMAS J. GEARY.




T IS a principle too
well established now
to be questioned, that
Government has a
right by legislation
to protect its people,
and its laboring class-
es especially, from
competition, whether it comes in the
form of a man or in the form of the
product cf human industry, if it tends
to degrade and lower American labor
and force it down in the plane of civil-
ization. The great boast of our land
has been that labor is better remuner-
ated here than anywhere else ; that
the man who toils is guaranteed a
fair return for his day's labor, meas-
ured not by his naked wants, but by
the part he is expected to play in the
development of this country, the main-
tenance of its civilization and the
perpetuation of these United States.

Some will condemn all restrictive
laws because, from the Fatherhood of
God and the Brotherhood of man
standpoint, all men being equal, all
men should be permitted the same
degree of freedom of movement and
liberty in the practice of their trades
and callings, and in the enjoyment of
whatever fruits may come to them
from their own industry ; and all laws
that interfere with the individual man,
restricting his opportunities, or deny-
ing him the right to enjoy life and
liberty in any country should be con-
demned by humanitarians and Chris-
tians. But this beautiful sentiment
finds no application in the exercise of
Governmental powers, because all
such recognize that their first duty is
to their own citizens ; and in the
desire of securing to them protection,
and the enjoyment of life and liberty
and happiness, the consideration of
the effect on other people is of little



consequence. The doctrine of the
Fatherhood of God and the Brother-
hood of man does not apply in
California, having been expressly
repudiated in the gubernatorial elec-
tion in this State, in 1867, when it
was in issue.

If this clamor against Chinese ex-
clusion that comes up from the East
and from New England especially, is
just, because of the restriction of the
importation of Chinese into this coun-
try, where they can obtain better
remuneration and more of the comforts
of life than in their native land, what
are these same humanitarians to say
about the correctness of the policy
judged by the same standard that they
have justified and approved of during
the past twenty or thirty years, which
while not excluding the labor of the
world from coining to this land, yet
excluded the products of that labor,
and by limiting it in the demand for
the results of their toil and labor,
reduced its income and denied to it
the right to enjoy the fruits and full
measure of its powers and capabilities ?

When one reads the present declar-
ations of these wise men of the East,
and thinks of the crocodile tears they
how shed over the fact that the poor
Chinaman is denied ingress to this
1 ' land of the free and home of the
brave," one remembers the beautiful
stories we w r ere regaled with last year
by protection orators and writers from
the same portion of the Union, who
found a pleasure in presenting to the
American people the pictures of misery
and suffering that prevailed in Europe
because of the passage of the tariff law
in this land. We were told that every
time a factory door was closed over
there, and the poor laboring classes
denied the opportunity to earn
a livelihood by the closing of the mar-



304






THE LAW AND



kets existing in the country for their
wares, they were forced to submit to
starvation and other miseries, or else
compelled, in order to maintain life, to
sever their relations with their native
land, leave their homes, and be driven
by the operation of our laws into an
involuntary exile. We question the
consistency of these friends of the
Chinaman, and question their sincerity
as friends of white labor.

It is the duty of this Government to
protect American labor against unjust
and degrading competition, no mat-
ter whence it comes or what its form ;
nd the labor that will by its presence
ower the standard of labor that has
eretofore prevailed in this country,
and whose maintenance is demanded
by the best interests of the land,
should not be permitted entrance, no
matter from what country it comes,
n the Pacific Coast, we have experi-
nced the evils of Chinese competition,
and demand that the bars be put up
on the Pacific so that no more of these
people shall enter, and we are ready to
unite with the people on the Atlantic to
protect them from similar evils affect-
ing them. We do not confine our
objections to the Mongolian race alone,
but believe that all other classes or
races threatening similar consequences
should be treated likewise.

The Chinese differ as competitors

rom all other people with whom we

ave been brought into competition.

he population of their country

mounts to over four hundred millions

of people. Nearly all of these are

laborers, and the condition of the

country sustains the statement that

the bulk of them are ready to emigrate

o such countries as will afford better

opportunities for employment. In

China we find an unlimited abundance

f cheap labor, and how cheap !

Mr. Bedloe, Consul at Amoy, in his
eport for January 1892, gives an in-
teresting table of the earnings, cost
of living, and mode of life of the Chi-
nese people. In that report, he puts
the average earnings of the Chinese
adult employed as mechanic or laborer,



THE CHINAMAN. 305

at five dollars per month, and states
that this is ten per cent, above the
average wages prevailing throughout
China. The wages paid, according to
his report, per month, to blacksmiths
are $7.25 ; carpenters, $8.50 ; cabinet
makers, $9.00 ; glass-blowers, $9.00 ,
plasterers, $6.25; plumbers, $6.25; ma-
chinists, $6.00; other classes of skilled
labor are paid from $7.25 to $9.00 per
month, while common laborers receive
$4.00 per month. In European houses,
the average wages paid to servants are
from $5.00 to $6.00 a month, without
board. Clothing costs per year frcm
75 cents to $1 .50. Out of these incomes
large families are maintained. On page
145, he says :

The daily fare of an Amoy workingman
and its cost are about as follows :

1% pounds of rice 3 cts.

1 ounce of meat, 1 ounce of

fish, 2 ounces of shell fish 1 U
1 pound of cabbage or other

vegetable 1 u

Fuel, salt and oil 1 "

Total 6 cts.

Here is a condition deserving of
attention by all friends of this country,
and by all who believe in the protec-
tion of our working classes. Is it fair
to subject our laborer to a competitor
who can measure his wants by an ex-
penditure of six cents a day, and who
can live on an income not exceeding
five dollars a month? What will be-
come of the boasted civilization of our
country if our toilers are compelled to
compete with this class of labor, with
more competitors available than twice
the entire population of Great Britain,
France, Germany, Austria, Belgium,
Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Nether-
lands, Portugal and Spain ?

The Chinese laborer brings here
neither wife nor children, and his wants
are limited to the immediate necessi-
ties of the individual, while the Amer-
ican is compelled to earn income
sufficient to maintain the wife arid
babies. There can be but one end to
this. If this immigration is per-
mitted to continue, American labor
must surely be reduced to the level of



306



THE LAW AND THE CHINAMAN.



the Chinese competitor — the Ameri-
can's wants measured by his wants,
the American's comforts no greater
than the comforts of the Chinaman ;
and the American laborer, not having
been educated to maintain himself ac-
cording to this standard, must either
meet his Chinese competitor on his
own level, or else take up his pack
and leave his native land. The entire
trade of China, if we had it all, is not
worth such a sacrifice.

The protection of American labor is
the duty of the American Govern-
ment, and protection against such
competition is not only just but neces-
sary, if we wish to preserve our peo-
ple, institutions and Government. The
Chinese are not here by invitation of
California. Our opposition is not
new, and it will not do to limit it to
any class or race. All recognize that
their presence has been an injury, and
that if we had had an equal number
of white laborers in their place, the
State would have made greater ad-
vancement. As early as 1854, the
Legislature of this State sought to
prevent their further coming, and ever
since the State has opposed them. In
1879, the State voted on the question
of Chinese immigration with this re-
sult : 154,638 against, 883 for. The
cry that other foreigners, only, op-
pose them will not do in the face of
this.

Who will gather our crops and per-
form the labor now performed by the
Chinaman ? Who perform it in other
portions of the Union ? Who performed
it in the homes of the fathers of the
men who now employ these men in
California ? If we had an equal num-
ber of white laborers for the Chinese
now here, it would increase the de-
mand for many of our products con-
sumed by whites, but not by Chinese.
Additional labor would be demanded
in other fields of industry to supply
the demands of this new labor army.
Factories, not with a congregation of
huts about them as we find them to-
day where Chinese are employed, but
with towns and cities as in the East,



would spring up, and California would
experience a new era of prosperity.

We consider these questions too
much to-day from the standpoint of
the men and times of '49. The future
growth and development of the State
is ignored, and we only see an imme-
diate gain to the individual employer
from this class of labor.

We spend large sums of money
every year to encourage immigration.
By excluding the Chinese, and with
little expense, we can gain 100,000
white adults, ready to produce and
assist in consuming the products of
those now here. It is charged that we
forced ourselves upon China, and
sought her trade. This is not true.
The English and the French battered
down the gates of the Chinese cities —
the American Government refusing to
be a party in the assault. If the in-
itiative had not been taken by others,
China would be a walled city to us to-
day ; but after the battering down had
been accomplished, and other nations
had been admitted to the enjoyments
of the Chinese trade, our Government
merely asked that we should be placed
on an equality with them.

Much has been said about the so-
called Burlingame Treaty, and the
great promises of trade held out to us
at its ratification. It matters not
what our expectations, however great,
were at that time ; they have not been
realized. The inducements held out
to our people by that treaty never
have been justified by the action of
the Chinese. We had a right to
expect that the nation that had refused
to be their enemy, when the great
nations attacked them, should hold a
better place in their estimation than
their adversaries, but the experience
of the last twenty-five years, since the
Burlingame Treaties were ratified,
shows that in the matter of trade, the
Chinaman permits no sentiment to
influence or affect him, but buys where
he can buy the cheapest, whether
from his enemy or friend, and sells in
the market that will take at the high-
est price the greatest amount of his



1



THE LAW AND THE CHINAMAN.



307



commodities. There is nothing in
the Chinese trade, or rather in the loss
of it, to alarm any American. We
would be better off without any part
or portion of it.

For the year 1892, our imports from
China amounted to $20,488,291. Our
exports amounted to $5,663,000, or a
balance in favor of the Chinese of
nearly $15,000,000 for the last year.
But a small portion of the exports are
California products. The bulk are
coal oil and cotton, which we do not
produce, while the portion from Cali-
fornia is largely made up from the
products of Chinese labor here. Cali-
fornia bears the burden of the Chinese
presence, and reaps none of the bene-
fits of the trade.

The history of the last year has been
the history of the last twenty-five
years, during which time we have
shipped to China more than $134,000,-
000 in coin, in excess of the amount
of bullion and coin imported there-
from. An examination of the line of
exports shows that aside from cotton
and coal oil, the bulk of the other
exports exclusive of those produced by
the Chinese 111 this country, are sent
to that country for the use of Euro-
peans, and not for the use of the Chi-
nese ; while an examination of the
articles imported shows that much of
the clothing used by the Chinese in
the United States, together with their
drugs and fruits, are imported from
their home country and are not the
products of labor in our country.
The loss of this trade would not be
injurious, and there is no possibility
of China ceasing to trade with us, so
long as we are always a customer for
more than $14,000,000 of her products,
over and above what she takes from
us.

It is said that if this law is enforced,
the missionaries and the merchants
will be driven from China. In the
first place, our people have no such



Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 37 of 120)