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the topogra-noit phy of their
lovely State,T but are all distinguish-d
ed for frankness and generosity of character. It is a land of beautiful women; one even now and then sees among the degraded poor whites, who "dip snuff" and talk the most outrageous dialect, some lovely creature, who looks as poetic as a heathen goddess, until one hears her speak, or she pulls from her pocket a pine stick, with an old rag wrapped around it, and inserts it between her dainty lips.
Here and there, in my journeys up and down the State, I saw the tall, longhaired, slender men who were so common a sight in the Alabama regiments during the war, and whose extraordinary height sometimes puzzled even the men from Maine and Minnesota. The countrymen in the interior districts were much like those all through the cotton districts, bounded, prejudiced and ignorant of most things outside the limits of their State; difficult to drive into any conclusion, but easy to lead; generally conciliatory in their demeanor towards Northerners, but possessed of some little distrust of their alert and earnest ways. The gentlemen of means and culture whom we met were charming companions, and usually accomplished. They had the flavor of the country gentleman, and much of his repose, with the breeding and training of city life.
Of course I encountered many bitter people-men who were not at all friendly towards the North, and who declared tha:
they were dissatisfied with the present condition of affairs; who cursed the negro, their own fate, and the federal administration; but these were certainly the exceptions. The citizens of Alabama, as a mass, are as loyal to the idea of the Union to-day as are the citizens of New York, and have gone very far forward to welcome such reconstruction measures as are not instruments of In the sections where the oppression. lands are exhausted for the time being, or where crops have failed persistently, and the wolf of poverty is at the door, people have ceased to take any interest in State affairs, and are settling up their affairs, and hastening to Texas. Now and then one sees a few tired and soiled men and women on the trains, and on inquiring their destination, find they are on the return from Texas, which has not treated them as kindly as they anticipated; but, as a rule, those who go, remain.
Here and there ostracism shows itself. There is some bitterness in Mobile, but I doubt if to-day a Northern Republican, voting conscientiously for the best men,not installing ignorance and vice in power under the Republican colors,-would be criticised on account of his sentiments. The negro has such absolute freedom in Alabama that the whites have long ago given up any endeavor to check his extra
When a native Southerner turns and joins the Republicans, he is usually pretty thoroughly ostracised; and this was the case with the gentleman who was mayor of Mobile when I visited that city. As soon as he had joined the dominant party, he was "cut" in all the social relations; his wife and children were badly treated, and no name was thought too harsh to apply to him, although he had once been considered a citizen of distinction.
In some of the towns, as in Montgomery, and smaller communities in the region where the most distress prevails, the negroes seem to be absolutely dependent upon the charity of the white folks. Their lives are grossly immoral, and the women especially have but little conception of the true dignity of womanhood. One sees men and women, like Italian and Spanish beggars, slouching all day, from sun to shade, from shade to sun, living on garbage and the results of begging and predatory expeditions-a prey to any disease that comes along, and festering in ignorance. Some of them have been trying agriculture, and have given it up in disgust, because they do not understand farming, and there is no one to teach them. They have flocked into the towns, and there remain, seemingly nourishing a vague idea that something will turn up. It often struck me that the thousands of idle negroes I saw were in the attitude of waiting. Their expectant air was almost pathetic to witness. It was the same thing which we so often remark in animals-that quaint and curious, yet despairing look in the eyes and poise of the body, which seemed to say: "I would like to read the riddle of my relation to the universe, but I cannot." So they occupy themselves lazily in lounging about the sheriff's sales of mortgaged property, always a prominent sight VOL. VIII.-34
THE CAPITOL-JACKSON, MISS.
in the South now-a-days, alas !—or in begging of citizens and strangers with the greatest persistency. On the plantations they are the same as everywhere else in the cotton States: not always honest when they work for other people, and reckless and improvident when they work for themselves.
That there is plenty of enterprise in the State, there can be no doubt-no more doubt than that there is no money to assist it. Indeed, it is safe to predict for Alabama a sudden upspringing sometime into a marvelous growth, something like that of Texas, because the railroad communication is already so perfect, and the resources are so immense. As soon as a little money is accumulated, or foreign capital has gained courage to go in, we shall see an awakening in the beautiful commonwealth. It is rich in grand mountains, noble rivers, swelling prairies, mighty forests, lovely sea-coast, and everywhere there is a wealth of Southern blossom and perfume. The northerner from America or Europe can readily accommodate himself to its climate, and can find any combination of resources that he may desire to develop.
Álabama and Mississippi together form a mighty domain; many an empire has been founded on less than either contains. Both States have suffered a good
deal from evils incident to reconstruction; wealthy planter vanished before the storm both, I believe, are destined to a recupera- of revolution. tion soon to come, and to a wealth and position such as neither, in the palmy days of slavery, dreamed of. with her million of inhabitants, and Mississippi, with her nine hundred thousand, seem, to an European or Northern visitor, almost uninhabited. In each State there is still an immense tract of native forest. The railway lines, which are almost as numerous in Mississippi as in Alabama, run for scores of miles through woods and uncleared or unreclaimed lands. Both States are embarrassed by the presence of freedmen, suddenly raised to the dignity of citizenship, upon their richest lands. The slaveholders naturally sought out the best land to mass their negroes upon, because they were sure of the largest results, and now the freedman is settled there, rudely trying to work out the problem of self-government, which,-being too difficult for the white man, who has had superior advantages,-he, with his limited scope, cannot, of course, be expected completely to solve. There has been a marvelous widening and heightening of sentiment in each State, and something of national feeling is now manifested in both. A little money and consequent independence would enable the capable people to do a great deal, despite the encumbrances of the incapables. Mississippi has no minerals from which to predict a future growth; but her splendid soil grows cotton superbly, and Indian corn, tobacco, hemp, flax, silk, as well as all kinds of grains and grasses. At one end of the State the apple flourishes; at the other, one may luxuriate in orange groves and under the shade of the figtree. The sixty counties in Mississippi contain farms and plantations whose cash value, in 1870, was nearly one hundred millions of dollars. The rivers run southwest, to pay tribute to the mighty stream from which the State takes its name-save a few in the eastern section, which flow into the Alabama rivers, and thence reach the Gulf of Mexico. Property has fallen savagely in both Alabama and Mississippi; the former boasted, in 1860, a valuation in real estate and personal property, of nearly $450,000,000; in 1870, $155,000,000. Mississippi, at the outbreak of the war, had a valuation of $509,472,912; and in 1870, $154,535,527. The cotton production of Mississippi fell from 1,202,507 bales, in 1860, to 564,938 bales, in 1870; and the
Corinth, in Mississippi, with its memories of the terrible battles of the late war which have made it famous, is the junction of the Memphis and Charleston railroad with the Mobile and Ohio. There Beauregard once sat haughtily entrenched until Halleck's persistence in assaulting drove him away; and there occurred that ghastly encounter between Rosecrans and Van Dorn which looms up, like a hideous vision, through the battle-smoke of our recent history. The land was as thoroughly camped upon as any in Virginia, and today the tracks of the contending armies are still visible, in the devastated timber and waste lands. There is good land thereabouts; Corinth, located on so important a line as the Memphis and Charleston, is gradually, gaining, and a few thousand bales of cotton annually go to market from the vicinity. A cotton and wool manufacturing company, an extensive enterprise, with large capital, has been started near Corinth. Pushing down the Mobile and Ohio railroad to Meridian, past renaissant Okalona, which received such a terrible shattering during the war; past a host of tiny towns and villages where cotton bales, small wooden houses, and the depot, are the principal features; along the rich prairie lands, worldfamous; over the pine slopes-one comes into the rich woodlands which fringe the country in which Meridian stands. From Okalona a branch line runs off to the new and thriving town of Aberdeen; from both towns and their neighborhood large quantities of cotton are annually sent to market.
Meridian, a new town in the woods, yet pretty withal, is the southern terminus of the Alabama and Chattanooga railroad, which runs through Birmingham to Chattanooga, in Eastern Tennessee. At the time of my journey along the line from Birmingham northward, the road was in one of those anomalous conditions into which Southern railways sometimes get; a condition in which no one knows who owns it, and it is so hopelessly embarrassed that it is hardly considered worth while to inquire. No tickets were to be had at the depot; I was informed that it was uncertain that there would be any train that night. Reckoned the conductor ("captain," my informant called him) was running the train, and making what he could of it. But
the line is a remarkably fine one, and as soon as population comes in to support it, will be one of the great routes of Alabama. It passes, on its way northward, through Eutaw, pretty in its bowers of shade trees, along the fertile prairies, with their underlayers of limestone; and crosses the Tombigbee river, at a point where the whitish limestone bluffs are ranged in rows forming high banks as picturesque and imposing as the walls of an ancient temple. Here once was great wealth, and here thousands of slaves toiled. Now they have vanished; so has the wealth, and the planter is left behind to toil as best he can. Tuscaloosa, named after a valiant Indian chieftain of Alabama's early history, was for many years the capital of the State, and is the site of the State Lunatic Asylum, a United States Land Office, and many flourishing schools. The State University, already alluded to, has a group of handsome buildings on a commanding eminence not far from the banks of the Black Warrior River. But few students frequent it now. There is some hope that the University may be revivified as Alabama grows prosperous once more. Situated on the borders of both the agricultural and mineral region of the State, Tuscaloosa has always been interested in the mining of both the iron and coal abundant near by, and the Kennedale cotton mill, near the town, has been in prosperous operation since 1868. The Black Warrior* is a fine stream, and serves as a highway for the transportation of coal and iron to Demopolis, and thence via the Tombigbee towards the Gulf. Demopolis was settled in 1818 by a colony of French imperialists whose devotion to Napoleon the First had compelled them to fly from France. Among them were many noted soldiers and ladies of the fallen Emperor's court. Many afterwards returned France, and but few of their descendants at present remain in Alabama.
Scattered over the fifty-five thousand square miles which make up the State of Mississippi, there are but half a dozen towns of considerable size. It can readily support on its thirty-five millions of acres. a dozen millions of people. Vicksburg, Natchez, Jackson and Columbus are the principal towns; the rest are villages, into which the trade created by the sur
*Tusca-loosee-meaning Black Warrior, was the Choctaw term for the river, and the town took its name from it.
rounding country has crowded. All the good lands are very accessible; railroads run in every direction through the State. The Vicksburg and Meridian route runs from Meridian through Jackson to the Mississippi river; the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern gives the capital easy communication with New Orleans, and, via the Mississippi Central, which runs from Jackson to Grenada, and from Grenada through Holly Springs and Oxford to the Tennessee line, sends a current of Northern trade and travel through the State. Columbus is an enterprising town. on the Tombigbee river, in the center of a rich planting region, and depends mainly for its support upon the shipment of cotton to Mobile. Vicksburg and Natchez are described, in a succeeding paper, in their relations to the Mississippi river and the country which contributes to their trade; it remains, therefore, to give you some little idea of the Mississippi capital, Jackson.
First of all, Jackson is very pretty-a quiet, unambitious village of five or six thousand inhabitants, on the banks of the Pearl river, a charming stream, which makes its erratic way through lovely forests and thickets, and whose current is strewn with driftwood torn from them. At Jackson one begins to feel the ripeness and perfection of the far South; he is only twelve hours from New Orleans, and sees in the gardens the same lustrous magnificence of blossom which so charmed his eye in the Louisiana metropolis. The evenings are wonderfully beautiful, silent, impressive. Reaching Jackson from Vicksburg at dark, I strolled along the half mile of street between the hotel and the main part of the town; there was no stir-no sound; one might as well have been in a wood. At last, encountering a mule-car whose only occupant was the negro driver, I returned in it to the hotel, where I found that every one but the watchful clerk had retired.
The State Capitol, a solid and not unhandsome building, the Penitentiary, the Insane Asylum, the Land Office, a fine Governor's residence, and the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind, compose Jackson's public buildings, all well built and commodious. In the long main street of the town, at the proper seasons, one sees lines of emigrant wagons, filled with hard-featured men and women bound for Texas or "Arkinsaw." These Ishmaels
pian of the old régime; the Speaker of the House of Representatives was black, and the Superintendent of Education was of negro blood. The blacks who went and came from the Governor's office seemed very intelligent, and some of them entered into general conversation in an interesting
are not looked upon with any especial love by the inhabitants who intend to remain in their native State, and are often the subjects of much satire, which they bear good-humoredly. The Hebrews' names appeared to predominate on the signs; they monopolize most of the trade; negroes lounge everywhere, and there are large numbers of smartly dressed mulattoes, or sometimes full blacks, who flit here and there with that conscious air which distinguishes the freedman. I wish here to avow, however, that those of the negroes in office, with whom I came in contact in Mississippi, impressed me much more powerfully as worthy, intelligent, and likely to progress, than many whom I saw elsewhere in the South. There are some who are exceedingly capable, and none of those immediately attached to the government at Jackson are incapable. In the legislature there are now and then negroes who are ignorant; but of late both branches have been freer from this curse than have those of Louisiana or South Carolina.
A visit to the capitol showed me that the negroes, who form considerably more than half the population of Mississippi, had certainly secured a fair share of the offices. In the State Treasurer's department there was a staid and well-spoken black man; in the Auditor's office there were yet others; in the rooms of the Secretary of State there were negroes; the Attorney-General was a half-negro, the natural son of a distinguished Mississip
The present Governor, ex-U. S. Senator Adelbert Ames, was four years Military Governor of Mississippi, and knows the temper of both whites and blacks in the State very well. At the outset of his administration, which began recently, he affirmed his determination to redeem the Republican party in that section from the charge of corruption, and the legislature has taken measures to second his laudable resolve. Mississippi's State debt is but little-some three millions; she was fortunate enough not to have any credit in the markets of the world when reconstruction began, and therefore escaped a good many financial dangers. Her repudiation of her honest indebtedness, years ago, did her infinite harm, and it would be wise to take up that debt, and pay it in future. Part of the money at present owed by the State is due the schools. The State tax is not large; it is the city and county taxation which is oppressive, but that is mainly because of the straitened circumstances of the people. The vicious system of issuing State warrants has been for some time pursued, but a bill was passed at the last legislative session, funding all these warrants and bring