A Radical's Testimony About the South

November 8, 1866


A letter from a Northern man forced to move to Mississippi is published. The letter says that he started his journey South in favor of impeaching President Johnson, but the people he has met and the experiences he has had in the South has made him support the President's policies.


A Radical's Testimony About The South.--Justice to a "Yankee" and to a Freedman.--A Gentleman who avows himself a Radical, and who is now traveling South for his health, sounds us (says the National Intelligencer) a letter from Mississippi, in which he confesses to change of sentiment, and in which he pays a deserved compliment to Colonel Yergh, the editor of the Mississippian, published at Jackson. He encloses an editorial from the Mississippian, which he had seen, relative to the sentiment of northerners visiting or locating in the South. It is, however, one of the misfortunes of the country, that partisans for political effect are so busy misrepresenting the feeling of the South, and that malignant correspondents from that impoverished region find too cordial welcome in Radical newspapers. He says: When I came here the first time, I came with all my preconceived opinions of southern arrogance and injustice to northern men, but quiet observation of men and things has dissipated entirely the erroneous views I previously entertained, and, thank Heaven, I can now see my southern countrymen in their true light, which has so long been concealed from my vision. I came here in favor of impeaching the President. I shall return an advocate of his policy. The people here are quiet, industrious, and firm to a man in their support of the President; and should another shock of civil war disgrace this continent, the men of the South will be driven into it, and when once in, from our knowledge of the past, we can picture the results. From what I have seen, they will not fight unless they are so much oppressed that they would prefer to die rather than submit to continued injustice.
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Nat Berry




“A Radical's Testimony About the South,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 30, 2023, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/406.