November 26, 1869
The Dispatch defends an attack on Negroes??
The New York Tribune defends the negroes from the aspersions east upon their character by Mr. Parker Pillsbury. We suspect that what Mr. Greeley's informant say is very nearly the truth; yet what Mr. Pillsbury says is also true. "So far as industry is concerned they have certainly made a good record,'' as witness the cotton crop, which was mostly cultivated by them. They are the best laboring class in the world for some reasons; but these reasons do not include excessive honesty. nor purity of character among the females, as the Tribune seems disposed to claim. A want of honesty and chastity are the vices of slaves; not necessarily of negroes. Certainly among the negroes of Virginia there are many thieves. But we lay some of the blame upon the institution of slavery, and hope that a few years hence there will be less room for complaint on this scope. However this may be, our people, who ought to know, do not believe that at present there are many negroes who will not violate at least two of the commandments. And yet, for the sake of the negroes of good character, we dislike to utter, even in this mild form, an unpleasant truth.
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“The Negroes,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 3, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1534.