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soil. From Fernandina, in North-western Florida, one can easily reach Cumberland Island, the old home of Gen. Lee, of revolutionary fame, and the scene of sharp fighting between British and Americans in 1815. On this, as on the neighboring islands, the orange grows luxuriantly, and, with a return to careful and reliable culture, the cotton crop there could be made of immense value.
Crossing the Chattahoochee river into Alabama, I found that the spirit of manufacturing enterprise had spread abroad from Columbus, in Georgia, and had built up a thriving town at Opelika. The Atlanta and West Point Railroad gives a connection with the Georgian capital, and through trains from Mobile and Montgomery are frequent. The branch road communicating with Columbus runs through a well cultivated, but not specially interesting, country. There are vast quantities of blue limestone in this section, and the inhabitants are now beginning to utilize it. A few miles from Opelika, at Auburn, the East Alabama College is located, and there is also a thriving school for women.
In the cars, on the road from Opelika to Montgomery, I found the usual num
ber of rough but honest folk bound for Texas; a sprinkling of commercial Hebrews, who bitterly bewailed the misfortunes attendant on the failure of the cotton crop during two successive years; and some very intelligent colored men going to the legislature, then in session.
People generally complained of a desperate condition of affairs, consequent upon the crop failures, and spoke with bitterness of the poverty which had overtaken both whites and blacks. The lands around Montgomery were, every one admitted, wonderfully rich, but the caterpillar had devastated the fields as fast as the planter had planted them; and the consequence was that many persons were not only overwhelmed with debt, but hardly knew where they were to get anything to eat. My visit to Montgomery fully demonstrated to me that these statements were in no wise exaggerated.
Montgomery county, in which the capital is situated, once comprehended a large portion of Central Alabama, but now includes only eight hundred square miles. There are nearly three times as many blacks as whites within its limits. It has usually been considered first on the list of the agricultural counties of the State, and in the first rank
No section of the South, not even the wonderfully rich Mississippi delta, offers better soil for the growing of cotton and corn. The undulating prairie and the fertile alluvial afford every chance for the amassing of riches. Five great railways run through the town and the county, and the river navigation is excellent.
It was difficult to conceive how this marvelous section had fallen into such decay that the market place of Montgomery was filled with auctioneers presiding over sheriff's sales, and that there was a general complaint of poverty, much destitution, and, in some cases, despair. The citizens explained that the failure of the crops" (the crops meaning cotton) during two years, and the arrival of the panic, had completely worsted them. The negroes employed by planters were discharged by hundreds when the panic came, and having, as a mass, no means, constituted a "bread or blood" populace, whose presence in the country was in the highest degree embarrassing. The mayor of the city gave these unfortunate people charity out of his own purse for a long time, until other cities and towns rallied, and sent in help.
THE COTTON PLANT.
Stealing was, of course, frequently resorted to by the freedmen as soon as they were idle, and the whole country round was pillaged. Owing to the ravages of the caterpillar, Montgomery's tributary crop, which usually amounts to 60,000 or 70,ooo bales, had fallen to one-third that amount. As most of the planters had grown nothing else, it seemed very probable that some of them might have to go hungry.
Montgomery has a double historic interest as a capital, for it was there that the Confederacy first established its seat of government; there that the provisional congress assembled for two months; and the house occupied at that time by Jefferson Davis is still pointed out. The town is prettily situated on the Alabama river, and used to export one hundred thousand bales of cotton, much of which was floated down the current of the great stream. a manufacturing center, it would be very advantageous, but, although Alabama has exempted manufactures from taxation, no effort has, as yet, been made to establish them. Montgomery, therefore, a town of fourteen thousand inhabitants, with fair transportation facilities, good streets, many elegant business blocks, fine churches, a good theater, an elegant courthouse, and a mammoth hotel, has a valuation of only $6,500,000, and its streets are filled with black and white idlers. If the negroes could be persuaded to show the same industry in manufacturing that they do in attending mortgage sales, the section would not lack capable workers. I was told in the market square that some of the negroes had come sixty miles,-many from the mountains of Coosa County, -to attend upon the sales, and on these expeditions were accustomed to be absent from their farms for days together. The plantations in all the adjacent belt were expected to go off at sheriff's sales at the time of my visit. How many of them the original owners managed to retain in their possession, I know not, but think the number must have been small.
The Capitol building, crowning a fine eminence, from which one could get a view of the town spread out over the undulating
COTTON MILL AT COLUMBUS, GA.
some measures which the Conservatives desired to pass before, and the Radicals to hinder until the close of the session. The speaker, the Hon. Lewis E. Parsons, was the first provisional governor under reconstruction, and remained in office until, under the new constitution, provision had been made for the election of a governor and general assembly, in 1865. He was originally, and still is, a man of remarkable intellect, a good Republican and an honest man, and has done much in staying the tide of ignorance and oppression from overwhelming the State. Alabama, even after she was supposed to be reconstructed, flatly refused to recognize the Fourteenth Amendment, and was consequently remanded to her provisional condition as a conquered province, and Robert M. Patton, the successor of Gov. Parsons, found himself under the supervision of the Brigadier General commanding the district of which Alabama formed a part. A new constitutional convention was held; blacks carried over whites the adoption of a constitution in complete harmony with the requirements of Congress, and in the summer of 1868, Wm. H. Smith became the Republican governor of the State. Under his administration began the era of domination of the hybrid legislature, and it is not surprising that the State was shaken to its center by the ensuing legislation. The legislature was besieged by persons interested in railway schemes, and the State's credit was pledged in the most prodigal fashion. At the same time immigration to the State was hindered by the operations of the Ku-Klux and by the exaggerated bitterness of the white Alabamians, who did not seem willing to forgive the North for having forced negro suffrage upon them; and in the counties where the negroes were in the majority there was the mismanagement, turmoil, and tyranny which prevailed in other States of the South. In 1870, Robert B. Lindsay was elected governor, but Gov. Smith refused to vacate his office, on the ground that Lindsay had been fraudulently elected, and surrounded him
self with Federal sol-
In the house of representatives the col
IN THE MARKET PLACE, MONTGOMERY, ALA.
ored members appeared to have voluntarily taken seats on one side of the house, and the Conservatives,who were in like manner assembled together, were overwhelmed by a deafening chorus of "Mr. Speaker!" from the colored side, whenever they prepared any measure. Sometimes the colored opponents would show that they misapprehended the attitude of their white friends, and then long and wearisome explanations and discussions were entered upon, enlivened only by an occasional outburst of a dusky member, who fiercely disputed the floor with his ex-master, and whose gestures were only equaled in eccentricity by his language. The Senate was a more dignified body; in it there were some gentlemen of distinguished presence and considerable eloquence.*.
But at Montgomery, as elsewhere throughout the reconstructed States, it was easy to see that ignorance and corruption had done much to injure the morale of the State. The worst feature observable was a kind of political stagnation in the minds of the white people-a mute consent to almost any misfortune which might happen. This was more dreadful and depressing than the negro ignorance. I do not mean to infer that the whites in Alabama are all educated. The ignorance of the poorer white classes in the country is as dense as that of the blacks; and there is evidence of rough and reckless manners of living. Nothing but education and a thorough culture of the soil -a genuine farming, will ever build up
* Ample attention will be paid in the succeeding paper to the other characteristics of Alabama.
the broken fortunes of this once wealthy section of Alabama.
Coming down from the Capitol, one sunlit autumn morning, I was fairly amazed at the great congregation of idle negroes in the market square. They were squatted at corners; they leaned against walls, and cowered under the canvas of the huge country wagons; they chattered like magpies at the shop doors, and swarmed like flies around the cheap and villainous grog-shops which abounded. No one
THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.
BY JULES VERNE.
In a few words, Gideon Spilett, Harbert, and Neb were made acquainted with what had happened. The accident, which in the eyes of Pencroff, might have had very serious consequences, produced a different effect upon his companions.
Neb, in his delight at having found his master, did not listen, or rather, did not care to trouble himself with what Pencroff was saying.
was at work; none had any thought for the morrow. Those with whom I stopped to converse "cursed their dull fate" in the mild, deprecatory manner peculiar to the African. Their descriptions of the caterpillar, who feeds upon the leaves of the cotton plant, and of its able assistant, the ball-worm, who buries himself inside the cotton ball, and feeds on it until it is entirely gone, were graphic and amusing, but it would require almost countless pages to translate them here.
Harbert shared in some degree the sailor's apprehensions.
As to the reporter, he simply replied: "Upon my word, Pencroff, it's of no consequence to me!"
"But I repeat that we haven't any fire!" "Pooh!"
"Nor any means of relighting it?' "Nonsense! isn't Cyrus here?" replied the reporter. "Is not our engineer living? He will soon find some way of making a fire for us!
What had Pencroff to say? He could say nothing, for, in the bottom of his heart he shared the confidence which his companions had in Cyrus Smith. The engineer was to them a microcosm, a compound of every science, a possessor of all human knowledge. It was better to be with Cyrus on a desert island, than without him in the most flourishing town in the United States. With him they could
want nothing; with him they would never despair. If these brave men had been told that a volcanic eruption would destroy the land, that this land would be engulfed in the depths of the Pacific, they would have imperturbably replied: “Cyrus is here!"
While in the palanquin, however, the engineer had again relapsed into unconsciousness, which the jolting to which he had been subjected during his journey had brought on, so they could not now appeal to his ingenuity. The supper must necessarily be very meager. In fact, all the tetra's flesh had been consumed, and there no longer existed any means of cooking more game. Besides, the couroucous which had been reserved had disappeared. They must consider what was to be
First of all, Cyrus Smith was carried into the central passage. There they managed to arrange for him a couch of seaweed which still remained almost dry. The deep sleep which had overpowered him would, no doubt, be more beneficial to him than any nourishment.
Night had closed in, and the temperature, which had modified when the wind shifted to the north-west, again became extremely cold. Also, the sea having destroyed the partitions which Pencroff had put up in certain places in the passages, the Chimneys, on account of the draughts, had become scarcely habitable. The engineer's condition would, therefore, have