The Fate of the Negro
March 4, 1868
According to Professor Du Chaillu, the black race is in danger since they are incapable of providing for themselves. The only reason the black race survived before was because in slavery blacks had their masters to provide for them allowing for them to multiply rapidly. Without help from white citizens blacks will die off.
The Fate of the Negro. Professor Du Chaillu delivered in New York on Friday evening last another one of his interesting lectures upon the tribes of equatorial Africa, and, departing from his usual course, went into a consideration of the different races of men. According to his theory, which is the same that has been advanced in Great Britain and been maintained by one of the great British quarterly Reviews, and the same referred to by Mr. Southall in his speech in the Convention last week, there is, among animals, a law of "natural selection " which operates the disappearance of the inferior types and the increased prevalence of the superior. "I believe firmly," says Professor Du Chaillu, " in the extinction of " the races of men with the exception of " the progressive Caucasian race. I not " only believe in that extinction, but I see " it. We all see it. Hence the Hottentot " Bushman, being the lowest type of the " negro, will disappear first." But he does not accuse the white race of cruelty and injustice to the other races. On the contrary, he says: " I am amazed when I " hear men asserting that the white man " is the cause of the extinction of the " aborigines, wherever he comes in contact " with them-as if races had only been " disappearing of late." "We see the races " disappearing one after another; and, as " I have said many times before, I mourn " not; for in this order of things I see a " wise law of Providence-a law by which " the highest man takes the place of the "lowest." It seems reasonable that the superior race should supersede the inferior one. We cannot imagine how it could well be otherwise. In a struggle for existence-a struggle which in every country comes sooner or later-a superior race must get the advantage of an inferior one. This law was, however, overcome in the southern States while slavery existed, by the force of that institution. The negroes increased in numbers with great rapidity, and, being protected and provided for by their masters, drove out the poorer classes of whites. Carlyle long ago called attention to the fact that horses and cattle were well fed and well protected in England because they had owners, while there were many poor people who could neither take care of themselves nor find anyone else to provide for their wants. It was because they had owners that the negroes formerly increased in numbers so rapidly. Deprived of the protection of their former masters, and left to depend upon their own efforts, the negroes will hereafter not only not multiply as they did, but they will, if Professor Du Chaillu's theory be true, gradually disappear. Let this theory, however, be true or false, the negroes must necessarily lose their relative numerical strength in the southern States. Every immigrant who comes hither from Europe is a white man; every settler from the northern States is a white man. It follows, inevitably, that not many years can elapse before the white race will outnumber the blacks in every State of the Union. Nothing less than the Africanization of some of these States can prevent that result. Virginia, at least, is, safe. She has already a large majority of white citizens. In ten years the proportion will be three whites to one black perhaps five to one. Whether, then, Professor Du Chaillu's theory be true or false, the negroes of Virginia should remember the near future, and, conduct themselves accordingly. They should not render themselves odious to the whites by setting up any absurd claims to, absolute equality between the races. The whites will not tolerate any such pretensions, and will eventually prove themselves to be "masters of the situation." The white scallawags who are now using these ignorant negroes as catspaws will all disappear from the scene as soon as a genuine peace is restored to the country and Virginia is fully reinstated in her place in the Union. The real people will rule the State. The King shall have his own again." Yet the negroes may here find employment and comfort. They will be in better circumstances than any other negroes in the world who are not in a state of slavery. The better they behave themselves, the longer they will be able to maintain a footing in our midst. The worse they behave themselves, the sooner will they disappear, and leave this fair land to the sole occupation of the superior race.
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“The Fate of the Negro,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 3, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/893.