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Principia Club Papers, No. 9.
EMANCIPATION AND EMIGRATION.
PLAN TO TRANSFER
FREEDMEN OF THE SOUTH
GOVERNMENT LANDS OF THE WEST.
PUBLISHED BY THE PRINCIPIA CLUB.
Open Letter to the Freedmen of the South, 3
Emancipation and Emigration, 5
Preamble and Resolutions, 7
Plan of Operations, 10
Safety as an Investment, 12
Objections Considered, 12
Settlement of Freedmen on Government Lands Approved, 14
The Freedmen's Danger, 15
The National Farmers' Association, 16
The PRINCIPIA CLUB PAPERS consist of nine chapters, to wit:
Vaticanism Unmasked, Chaps. 1 and 2
The Political Trinity of Despotism, Chap. 3
Despotism vs. Republicanism, Chap. 4
The Ballot a Sacred Trust, Chap. 5
The Political Trinity Victorious, Chap. 6
The Southern Policy a Failure, Chap. 7
Finance, Politics, and Religion, Chap. 8
Emancipation and Emigration: a Plan to Colonize and
Settle the Freedmen of the South on the Government
Lands of the West, Chap. 9
All these chapters, or papers, make a book of 344 pages, and will be
sold for $1.00.
N. B. - Orders should be addressed "J. W. ALDEN, President of the
Principia Club, No. 9 Hanson Street, Boston, Mass."
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FREEDMEN OF THE SOUTH.
CAMBRIDGEPORT, MASS., Aug. 13, 1878.
_Fellow Citizens:_ - If any apology for improving your condition were
needed it may be found in the fact that a large portion of the last
forty years of my life was spent, and many thousand dollars invested, in
the terrible conflict with the slave power. It is _not_ necessary for me
to remind you that the result of that conflict was your emancipation
from American slavery by the Republican party, with such leaders and
co-laborers as Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, Senators Charles Sumner
and Henry Wilson, Rev. Joshua Leavitt, D. D., and Rev. Wm. Goodell, all
of whom have now passed away, but whose life-long labors, with many who
are still living, culminated in the Emancipation Proclamation of
President Lincoln in 1863. But it _is_, as it seems to me, necessary to
remind you that the Republican party of to-day is a very different thing
from then - that your liberties and citizenship have now become the stock
in trade of corrupt politicians - that your political rights have been
bartered away for the _promises_ of your old masters, which they never
meant to perform when they made them, and for which they now substitute
_demands_ for your return to slavery, with the pecuniary interest of one
to two thousand dollars in each able-bodied man _left out_; consequently
when they shoot a man they do not lose that amount of investment in his
body. Among the demands of the "dominant race" is the repeal of the
constitutional amendments which made you citizens and gave you the
ballot. Of course they did not ask the Republican party to do it
_directly_. They only asked them to put the political power of the
nation into the hands of the Democratic party, and the second and third
rate politicians now at the head of affairs at Washington were stupid
enough to do it, for the poor privilege of occupying the White House for
a short time. But when another Congress assembles with a Democratic
majority in both houses (if such a calamity should overtake us), that
will be done as sure as water runs down hill. Now what we propose to do
is to open a door to the "better land" of this country, into which every
freedman, who has had enough of slavery, both _legal_ before the war,
and _practical_ since, and who has enterprise enough to desire to better
his condition and that of his family, if he has one, may enter. It is
the most practical, sensible, and scientific "labor reform" yet
proposed; with neither the blatherskite of Kearney, nor his blasphemy,
profanity, nor blarney, to mar and jeopardize the movement.
It has been known in Washington for some time, that "The Principia Club
Papers, No. 9," soon to be issued, will contain a plan of emigration for
the freedmen and their families of the Southern States, and their
settlement upon the government lands of the Northern and Western States
and Territories, where they can cultivate their own farms and sit under
their own vine and fig-tree. The club will appoint a board of trustees
in whom the public can have the utmost confidence, whose duty it shall
be to assist the freedmen in the selection, purchase, and payment of
their farms, and the removal of their families and outfits.
More full explanations and descriptions will be given in the pamphlet,
which will contain also specific directions to individuals or colonies
how to proceed in the matter. While arrangements are being made with the
government, the club will be glad to receive any suggestions from any
one interested in the movement, and especially the leading colored men
in the country.
Concerning this movement, any information desired may be had by
addressing the president of the club,
J. W. ALDEN,
No. 9 Hanson Street, Boston, Mass.
EMANCIPATION AND EMIGRATION.
When emancipation took place, in 1863, it was not thought, by the noble
army of philanthropists who had labored more than a quarter of a century
for its accomplishment, that it would ever be necessary for the freedmen
to flee their native States, in order to enjoy their civil and political
rights and privileges under the Constitution.
Nor was it ever dreamed by the voting Republicans of 1876, that the
administration they were putting into power could ever become so stupid
as to surrender the national power into the hands of the rebel States,
under so thin a guise as the old exploded humbug of South Carolina
nullification - State rights, home-rule doctrine; and then stand by with
folded arms and see the freedmen deliberately turned over to the tender
mercies of the political trinity of despotism, to be stripped of their
civil and political rights under the Constitution, and to be refused
protection by the national government. It made no difference that the
robbers were _rebels_ and the robbed _loyal_ citizens. The hollow
promises of the rebels who had fought four years to destroy the
government, it seems, were better currency at Washington than the
protests of the loyal people who had saved it.
But the fifteen years that have elapsed since emancipation, have
demonstrated the fact that these loyal people who fought for and
saved the government, and who voted for and elected the present
administration, must be returned to practical slavery, submit to
serfdom, or emigrate to more civilized States, where their civil and
political rights will be cheerfully accorded to them.
The proof of this proposition lies in the fact that State after State,
in the South, which had amended their ante-bellum constitutions, so as
to conform to that of the United States, preparatory to their
readmission to the Union after the war, have, since their admission,
remodelled the said constitutions in the interest of the "dominant class
of white rulers." Moreover, the leaders of that same class are now in
hot haste to have the United States Constitution made to conform to
their own State laws, by the repeal of the amendments enfranchising the
freedmen, - a specimen of sharp practice and unparalleled audacity, only
equalled in the papal church, where the hierarchy made their system, and
then a translation of the Bible to fit into it, instead of making a
system to conform to the Bible, as originally written. (See Vaticanism
If "the dominant race," as Mr. Gordon called them at the Revere House
dinner, with the approval of Governor Rice and company, choose to put
their carts before their donkeys, in their own States, they can do so,
but when they call upon the nation to do it, the North may have a word
to say about it.
If that "dominant race" we have heard so much about, and of which we
have had such sad specimens in the present Congress, are expecting to
get their potatoes dug, their corn hoed, and their cotton picked, for a
peck of corn or so per week to each laborer, as their fathers have done
for a couple of centuries past, we beg leave to differ from them, and
suggest to their laborers a more excellent way for themselves. More than
this: we propose to assist those who desire a better condition, to
obtain it quietly, where each can enjoy the fruits of his own labors,
and sit with his family under his own vine and fig-tree, man fashion,
and where their wives and daughters will not be stripped and receive
upon their bare backs, for some petty offence, as many lashes as the
"dominant race" may please to inflict, as was the practice under the old
slave code, and is still continued.
The whipping-post is as yet an institution of the slave oligarchy, if we
may credit the following telegram: -
"At Hampton, Virginia, the other day, a white girl of fourteen years
received fifteen lashes at the whipping-post for stealing a pair of
If the "white girl of fourteen years" had stolen, instead of a pair of
shoes, the assets of a bank, railroad, or any other corporation, she
would have been wined and dined according to the present moral code of
the solid South, which is being copied all over the country.
If our Northern readers feel that we have overdrawn the picture, and
"flaunted the bloody shirt," we beg them to remember that the Southern
press furnishes the material for that article. The last Boston paper we
happened to take up while writing, has the following quotation from the
"Oskolona (Mississippi) Southern States": -
"The future belongs to us and ours. Davis and his Cabinet and his
soldiers will rank with the Washingtons, the Hampdens, and the Tells in
the Pantheon of history, while Grant and his horde of bloody hirelings
will be classed with the Vandals, Goths, and Huns."
We will refer the reader to the "Appendix" of this, No. 9, for further
evidence of the public sentiment at the South, which goes to show that
the freedmen must EMIGRATE, FIGHT, or PERISH.
While the churches of the North are sending missionaries to educate them
up to the point of Christian citizenship and an educated ballot, the
"dominant white race" are robbing them of their political rights,
shooting them down, if they dare to assert them, and making them "hewers
of wood and drawers of water," as in the olden times of American
slavery. (See Appendix for evidence of this.)
PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTIONS.
The following preamble and resolutions, with plan of operations, will
indicate the work we propose to be done, or at least entered upon.
_Whereas_, by the proclamation of emancipation of President Lincoln in
the year 1863, about four million of colored people were emancipated
from American slavery; and _whereas_, by the subsequent amendments to
the Constitution of the United States, passed by Congress and ratified
by more than three-quarters of the States of the Union, nearly a million
of said emancipated slaves, of lawful age and sex, were enfranchised and
made citizens; and
_Whereas_, said amendments to the Constitution were practically
nullified and rendered a dead letter in the Southern States at the last
presidential election, and ever since, by disfranchising the colored
Republicans who would not put into the ballot-boxes Democratic tickets,
shooting some and intimidating others; and
_Whereas_, the elements of despotism in the Democratic party are now
clamoring for a repeal of the said constitutional amendments, so that
they may return the colored Republicans legally to their former
condition, or a worse one, and use them for Democratic voters and
ballot-box stuffers; therefore, -
1. _Resolved_, That the Principia Club appeal to the government of the
country, to render such assistance as will enable their emancipated
people to take their families to the Northern and Western States and
Territories, and settle on government lands, where they can enjoy their
rights of citizenship, and be protected by the government which has thus
far failed to render them protection from bull-dozing, assassination,
intimidation, and other barbarisms to which they are now subjected by
the elements of despotism in the South.
2. _Resolved_, That a board of trustees be appointed to assist the
freedmen in obtaining their lands at government price, together with
such an outfit as will enable them to remove their families and commence
farming on their own account, to receive and disburse all moneys
contributed for the above purposes, appoint such agents as may be
necessary in the several States, to promote emigration and carry forward
the following plan of operations, until the freedmen and their families
who desire it, shall be removed to better homes and more civilized
society, entirely away from the barbarism of slavery, and the pernicious
doctrine that States rights are supreme and national rights are
3. _Resolved_, That emancipation from American slavery being
practically nullified, therefore, emancipation from home rule as
understood and practised at the South, becomes a _necessity_, and
emigration to a civilized community a consequence.
4. _Resolved_, That the President of the Principia Club be instructed to
obtain from the Secretary of the Interior a list of the number of acres
of unsold and unpre-empted lands in each of the Northern and Western
States and Territories, from which the Trustees may select farms for
5. _Resolved_, That the same ascertain from the officers of the Pacific
and other railroads, the best terms they are prepared to offer to
settlers for the transportation of themselves, their families, and their
outfits to the lands along their roads respectively.
6. _Resolved_, That the twenty-eight million acres of land contiguous to
the Central, Union, Kansas and Denver Pacific roads, which the Secretary
of the Interior has recently decided to open to actual settlers, at the
government price of $1.25 per acre (the three years' limitation after
the completion of said roads contained in the land-grant laws having
expired), shall receive the special attention of the Trustees of this
association in the selection of farms for applicants. But in case the
decision of the Secretary of the Interior should not stand, or should be
contested, then the government lands will be purchased instead.
7. _Resolved_, That the Republican party, to whom the country owes,
under God, Emancipation, be called upon to finish the work so nobly
begun, by carrying out a provision of the United States Constitution,
Art. IV., Sect. II., Clause I., which reads, "the citizens of each State
shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the
several States," and that this clause of the Constitution, together with
the amendments enfranchising the freedmen, be made test questions at the
polls, until a solid North shall elect a government that will
have backbone enough to see to it that every State in the Union
shall strictly comply with the requirements of the United States
Constitution, or revert to a territorial condition.
THE PLAN OF OPERATIONS.
1. The Trustees shall be men of either known wealth, ability, financial
strength, or business capacity, in whose honesty and integrity the
community will have the most implicit confidence.
2. All moneys entrusted to them shall be appropriated in strict
conformity to the directions of the donor or lender, whether for the
general expenses or the purchase of lands.
3. The funds furnished the Trustees for the purchase of lands, shall be
treated as loans or donations as the party may elect, the deed in each
case to be taken in the name of the party furnishing the money to pay
for the land, which deed may be held by the Trustees, or passed over to
the owner as he may elect, as security, if for a loan.
4. The terms of sale to the freedmen by the Trustees shall be
substantially those of the pre-emption laws, to wit: $1.25 per acre; but
the terms of payment may be mutually arranged between the owner and
purchaser, or their agents, the Trustees.
5. Every freedman who can pay for his own farm may have his deed at
once, and enjoy the privileges granted to and by this association, by
the payment of five dollars towards the general expenses.
By the above plan it will be seen that any person investing fifty
dollars for a quarter section, one hundred dollars for a half section,
or two hundred dollars for a section, and so on, will hold the land as
security at $1.25 per acre, while the alternate sections which have been
sold by the Pacific railroads have averaged much more, or about five
dollars an acre (some have sold for fifteen dollars). Thus it will be
seen that the investment will be a safe one, and at the same time
facilitate the exodus of the freedmen to the Western States.
The Trustees will not be allowed to run the association in debt, but
will invest the money put into their hands in the best lands, according
to their judgment, and sell them to the freedmen in the order in which
application and selection is made.
Justice to the freedmen, after the treatment they have received,
requires that the United States government should transport them free of
charge, together with their families, household goods, farming
implements, &c., to unpre-empted lands in the Western States and
Territories, giving to each family land sufficient for their
maintenance, with due diligence and care, and a reasonable time to pay
for it. But the prospect of a "labor reform" movement of that magnitude
does not look very encouraging, when we remember that the rebel South
have thirty-five bogus members in Congress, to which they are not
entitled, while depriving large Republican majorities of several States
of the exercise of the elective franchise, which the amendments to the
Constitution conferred upon them.
If we had more STATESMEN in Congress, and fewer corrupt politicians, the
prospect would be more flattering that the demands of justice would be
If, however, the government as at present constituted, should take hold
of the matter in earnest and good faith, our "National Farmers'
Association" may be easily modified to conform to the circumstances. But
on the other hand, if the "solid South," by virtue of its _thirty-five_
bogus representatives, should rule the nation as in ante-bellum times it
did with its _twenty-five_, neither the freedmen nor their friends can
expect any thing to be done in the direction we have suggested that will
benefit the freedmen, until Congress shall be reconstructed at the
polls, or until the large Republican majorities of freedmen in the
South, despairing of the protection of their political rights by the
Federal power, seize their last resort and defend them by their own
strong arms, under "home rule and State rights." If they should do this
the "dominant race" and their rifle clubs would vanish like dew before
the sun, and that ball wouldn't stop rolling until the whole nest of
Southern rebels are cleaned out.
But we propose to the government to prevent all this bloodshed, and
quietly remove the freedmen and their families to the Western prairies.
SAFETY AS AN INVESTMENT.
1. When an individual furnishes the Trustees with money to purchase a
farm of a quarter section or more, for a freedman and his family, he
will get, in due time, a deed of the land at $1.25 per acre, as security
for his investment. The investor may then sell the land to the farmer or
freedman on such terms of payment as may be agreed upon; or, if more
convenient, the Trustees will do it, under his instructions.
2. When a purchaser of a farm pays for it himself he will get his deed
at once, and that will end the matter with him, so far as the Trustees
3. Parties wishing to _donate_ farms for poor and worthy freedmen and
their families, can do so through the Trustees, and be furnished in due
time with the names of the recipients, their location, and post-office
4. As an investment, well-located farms at $1.25 per acre, are as safe
as government bonds, and will pay a much larger interest. We have
already stated that the lands donated to the Pacific railroads have
_averaged_ five dollars per acre, while some of them have sold as high
as fifteen dollars per acre.
1. We are aware that one objection to our plan of placing the freedmen
in a comparatively independent position from their old masters and their
posterity, is its _magnitude_. But that is no valid reason why it
should not be adopted. If it cannot be wholly accomplished in a
generation or a century, let it be done, so far as it can be, in our
generation, and continued by our successors until it shall be finished.
Under God, Moses undertook to lead the children of Israel out of
Egyptian bondage into the promised land. In doing it they were forty
years in the wilderness, but in due time the thing was accomplished and
passed into history. The magnitude of the project and the time required
for its accomplishment were no objections to its being undertaken. It is
true we have no Moses to lead the freedmen into our western prairies,
but we have the same God to work under that Moses had.
2. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, when it
began its work, had no expectation of converting the world to
Christianity in a generation or a century; but that was no reason why it
should not organize and go to work, leaving for its successors to finish
what it then only began. The same is true of the Home Missionary Society
work, and that of the American Missionary Association, which has the
freedmen under its care especially. The work of both of these societies
will be greatly facilitated by taking the freedmen from the clutches of
the old slave oligarchy, and placing them in an independent civil
position on our boundless prairies, and in cities and villages where
they can care for themselves, their families, and their country, with
none to molest nor make them afraid; a work which neither of the above
societies can do, under their present constitutions.
Where they are, Col. Preston, of Virginia, in a paper addressed to the
American Missionary Association at its annual meeting said: "There is no
place for them as legislators, and no room for them among the whites as
doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers, architects, or artists. By
other pursuits they must gain their livelihood, and for other pursuits
they must be trained."
It will be observed that agriculture is left out of the colonel's
catalogue, and, of course, must be included in the "other pursuits" by
which the freedmen "must gain their livelihood." Now we propose to place
them on the best farming lands on this continent, where they can not
only gain a "livelihood," but qualify themselves for any and all of the
above occupations and professions, with no rifle clubs to keep them in
subjection to the ruling class of whites.
President Fairchild, of Berea College, said that the above quotation was
a "leaden weight hung upon the neck of the colored youth."
Our plan proposes to put them in a position to shake off that "leaden
weight," and rise in the scale of humanity in consonance with their just
It can but commend itself to the friends of the freedmen.
THE PLAN APPROVED.
Since our "open letter to the freedmen of the South," dated Aug. 13,