Sen. John Tyler Morgan of Alabama has always been one of my personal heroes.
Morgan began his career as an aide to the fire eater William Lowndes Yancey. He played a leading role in the Alabama secession convention of 1861 and served as a Confederate brigadier general during the War Between the States.
In 1876, John Tyler Morgan was elected to the U.S. Senate after playing a leading role in the Redemption of Alabama. He represented Alabama in the Senate for thirty years until his death in 1907.
For more than twenty years of his Senate career, Sen. Morgan was a tireless crusader for the removal of the Black Undertow from the American South. He considered the Congo, New England, Hawaii, Cuba, and the Philippines as possible sites for the colonization of African-Americans.
“The inferiority of the negro race, as compared with the white race, is so essentially true, and so obvious, that to assume it in argument, cannot be justly attributed to prejudice.”
120 years later, it is still essentially true, and it is even more obvious after decades of forced integration, the welfare state, orthodox anti-racism, Head Start, Detroit, Haiti becoming a “Republic of NGOs,” and the over $1 trillion in foreign aid that has been sunk into sub-Saharan Africa.
“The mental differences and differing traits, including the faculty of governing, forecast, enterprise, and the wide field of achievement in the arts and sciences, are accurately measured by the contrast of the civilization of the United States, with the barbarism of Central Africa …. The negro race, in their native land, have never made a voluntary and concerted effort to rise above the plain of slavery; they have not contributed a thought, or a labor, except by compulsion, to the progress of civilization.
Nothing has emanated from the negroes of Africa, in art, science, or enterprise that has been of the least service to mankind. Their own history, at home, demonstrates their inferiority when compared with that of other peoples. … Their social development has never risen so high as to repress human sacrifices and cannibalism; while their religion is a witchcraft that is attended with every brutal crime.”
John Tyler Morgan was writing at a time when the Royal Geographic Society was still drawing the first maps of the interior of Central Africa.
The African interior was a mystery to Europeans until the late nineteenth century. David Livingstone, John Speke, Richard Burton, Verney Lovett Cameron and Henry Morton Stanley were the first White men to explore the region in the 1860s and 1870s.
The Yellala Cataract on the Congo River combined with tropical diseases like yellow fever and malaria had blocked European exploration of Central Africa for almost four hundred years. Whites were unable to break into the Congo until a road was built through the Crystal Mountains to Stanley Pool in 1881 and the first railroad was completed in 1898.
Just as Sen. Morgan argued in the Senate, the African noble savages who had been left unmolested by the White man in their natural environment were found there by European explorers living in barbarism, ignorance, and illiteracy. Slavery, witchcraft, and cannibalism were common throughout the region.
Europeans arrived in the Congo with Krupp canons, Winchester repeating rifles, steamboats, and railroads. The native tribes that attacked Stanley’s expedition were spearchunkers. It wasn’t a case of European colonialism underdeveloping Central Africa. The region was already millennia behind Europe and North America when the first Whites arrived there.
John Tyler Morgan’s most eloquent speech was reportedly his filibuster against the Federal Elections Bill of 1890 – the precursor of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – which was the last gasp of federal civil rights legislation until the Civil Rights Act of 1957. I’m still having trouble finding a copy of the speech online.
Zebulon Vance was the Confederate governor of North Carolina. Like John Tyler Morgan, he was elected to the U.S. Senate after the Redemption of North Carolina, where he also vociferously opposed to the Federal Elections Bill of 1890:
“The policy of subjecting the intelligence and property of the South to the control of ignorance and poverty is not a new one. It has been tried. To the candid man who really desires the welfare of his country, the experiment resulted in a failure so disastrous that he would never desire to see it repeated.
The carpetbag rulers were infinitely worse than the Negroes. The evil propensities of the one were directed by intelligence, and the ignorance of the other became simply the instrument by which the purposes of the white leaders were carried out. The material and moral ruin wrought under this infernal conjunction of ignorance and intelligent vice was far greater than that inflicted by war. The very foundations of public virtue were undermined, and the seeds of hatred were thickly sown between the races.
In this great struggle to escape Negro rule and restore our State governments to the control of those who made them, and whose ancestors had established their principles in their blood, we had both the aid and the sympathy of Northern Democrats everywhere. We had neither from you.
You did not even stand by with indifference. You upheld the party the party of misrule and ignorance in every way you could. You kept the Army of the United States in the South to overcome the struggling whites as long as you dared. You sorrowed when the plundering of our people was stopped, and you received to your arms as martyrs the carpetbag fugitives expelled by the indignation of an outraged people.”
Morgan undoubtedly made a similar argument.
Just one last thing: John Tyler Morgan attempted to arm and organize negroes (i.e., “Black Confederates”) as a home guard as a last ditch effort to defend Alabama during the War Between the States. He later spent twenty years of his life in the U.S. Senate arguing for the colonization of the Black Undertow in Africa and the Pacific.
As we hear ad nauseum on the internet, Robert E. Lee supported arming the slaves because of the desperate wartime circumstances facing the Confederacy. After the war, Robert E. Lee also supported the removal of the Black Undertow from Virginia and their replacement by enterprising White laborers.
Where do these people like Connie Chastain come from? Is there a liberal anti-racist Confederacy out there that I have missed somewhere?