I could easily retire from blogging for two or three years and amuse myself exclusively with researching the life of Robert Barnwell Rhett:
“Uneasy with the potential consequences of slaves acquiring too much learning, they reported favorably (Rhett’s committee) a bill prohibiting public education of blacks. The clear imperative driving the legislature’s policy was that blacks were untrustworthy and sank easily into degradation and crime, and for the benefit of everyone needed to be kept in ignorance and under firm control.”
I had a guffaw at that one … just imagine, the truth about free negroes was known as far back as the 1820s in South Carolina. Not a damn thing about their character has changed since then. That could have been written yesterday.
“He (Rhett) missed a number of votes and was absent entirely on several days, but when there he continued positions first espoused the previous session, including supporting a bill that prohibited the education of persons of color, free or slave, and another that banned the introduction of all free blacks into the state. Yet there was a charitable side to him that neither that neither he nor his contemporaries would have seen as out of keeping with his opposition to rights for blacks, and he gladly voted for an appropriation of twelve thousand dollars to aid transient poor whites in the state.”
Free negroes are a plague upon civilization. The only plausible argument ever made for the negro was slavery. Quite literally, slavery or forced labor (whether in Africa or America) is the only successful way that the negro has ever been harnessed to the progress of civilization and turned into an asset rather than a liability.
“Impotent resistance will add vengeance to your ruin,” he warned. There was almost a sneer as he closed with an admonition: “Live in smiling peace with your insatiable Oppressors, and die with the noble consolation, that your submissive patience will survive triumphant your beggary and despair.”
Consider this Rhett’s posthumous contribution to l’affaire Derb.