By Godfrey Rathbone Benson Charnwood (Lord Charnwood)
This publication is a facsimile reprint and will include imperfections resembling marks, notations, marginalia and wrong pages.
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Newlygotten and ill-carried wealth was in those days (Mr. Olmsted, of New York State, assures us) as offensive in the more recently developed and more prosperous parts of the South as in New York City itself; and throughout the South sound instruction and intellectual activity were markedly lacking—indeed, there is no serious Southern literature by which we can check these impressions of his. ” This advantage, we are to understand, is diffused over a comparatively larger class than in England. Beyond this he discerns in a few parts of the South and notably in South Carolina a somewhat inaccessible, select society, of which the nucleus is formed by a few (incredibly few) old Colonial families which have not gone under, and which altogether is so small that some old gentlewomen can enumerate all the members of it.
No doubt the sense of high breeding, which was common in the South, went beyond mere manners; it played its part in making the struggle of the Southern population, including the “mean whites,” in the Civil War one of the most heroic, if one of the most mistaken, in which a whole population has ever been engaged; it went along with integrity and a high average of governing capacity among public men; and it fitted the gentry of the South to contribute, when they should choose, an element of great value to the common life of America.
What was the character of that institution as it presented itself in 1830 and onwards? Granting, as many slave holders did, though their leaders always denied it, that slavery originated in foul wrongs and rested legally upon a vile principle, what did it look like in its practical working? Most of us have received from two different sources two broad but vivid general impressions on this subject, which seem hard to reconcile but which are both in the main true. ” He would discern at once that a Southern gentleman had no more notion of using his legal privilege to be cruel to his slave than he himself had of overdriving his old horse.
Abraham Lincoln by Godfrey Rathbone Benson Charnwood (Lord Charnwood)