September 1, 1865

Negro “Insubordination.”

The very intelligent “Southern” correspondent of the Boston Advertiser gives a laughable account of the troubles of a Georgia planter with his former slaves. He applied to the general commanding the department, and this is the case made out:

I have a negro girl, eighteen years old, whom I raised. For ten years she has been waiting upon my old mother-in-law who lives with me. A few days ago the old lady was dissatisfied about something, and told the girl she felt like giving her a whipping. Now, what do you think? The negro girl actually informed my mother-in-law that she would not submit to a whipping, but would resist. My old father-in-law then got mad and threatened her, and she told him the same thing. Now, this is an intolerable state of things.

The General laughed, of course, and gave the planter some good advice, which he and other former slave-holders of the South would do well to heed. Said the General:

My dear sir, that girl is a free girl, and you have just as little right to whip her as you have to whip your neighbor’s daughter. She ought to resist when you offer her a whipping, and I hope she will. And I will tell you another thing. Among your slaves there are probably men who have seen their wives, and young men who have seen their mothers whipped by your order. I think the negroes deserve a great deal of praise for their moderation. Another race, if suddenly freed after such an experience, would probably have proceeded to cut the throats of those who were in habit of whipping wives and mothers. Now go home, treat your people well and pay them fair wages and do not come to me again and clamor about danger and insurrection, when the free men working on your plantation dance and sing, and the girls refuse to accept a whipping.

September 5, 1865

We learn that the Suez Canal is at length completed. A vessel laden with coal passed through it on the 17th. This canal literally separates the continents of Asia and Africa, commencing at Alexandria, the chief port of Egypt on the Mediterranean, it crosses the Isthmus, ending at Suez, in the Red Sea. Its length is 90 miles; breadth 330 feet, and depth 20 feet at low level of the Mediterranean.

This is no new enterprise. In the palmy days of the Persian Empire, Darius constructed a canal, traces of which are yet visible along the track of this one. Midway are the ruins of the ancient city of Rameses. It would be impossible; perhaps, to estimate the benefits that will flow from this successful achievement to civilization and commerce….The Egyptians on the West and the Arabs on the East, will come freely in contact with the civilizations of the West, and learn more in one decade, than in centuries before….

The Isthmus of Panama remains now, the only obstacle to complete circumnavigation of the globe by the most direct route. We think that, this is a work for the American people to do. It would be a disgrace, to suffer a European nation to undertake the construction of a canal across the Isthmus of Panama….France has done her great work for the era; England has the cable yet in hand. It remains for America to accomplish such a work, that shall be a monument to her commercial greatness to all time.

Also September 5, 1865

It would be well for those who are in want of workers, clerks, or employees of any kind, to give our returned soldiers a situation. Many of them left good places, and sacrificed everything for the sake of country, and it is but just to these noble boys that they receive at the hands of our citizens that encouragement which assures them that their labors, toils, sufferings, privations and sacrifices are duly appreciated. Again we say, whenever possible, give the returned soldier employment.

Research conducted by the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site.