The Garies and Their Friends eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about The Garies and Their Friends.
with the most distressing tales of our destitution!  Only the other day the Colonization Society had the assurance to present a petition to the legislature of this State, asking for an appropriation to assist them in sending us all to Africa, that we might no longer remain a burthen upon the State—­and they came very near getting it, too; had it not been for the timely assistance of young Denbigh, the son of Judge Denbigh, they would have succeeded, such was the gross ignorance that prevailed respecting our real condition, amongst the members of the legislature.  He moved a postponement of the vote until he could have time to bring forward facts to support the ground that he had assumed in opposition to the appropriation being made.  It was granted; and, in a speech that does him honour, he brought forward facts that proved us to be in a much superior condition to that in which our imaginative enemies had described us.  Ay! he did more—­he proved us to be in advance of the whites in wealth and general intelligence:  for whilst it was one in fifteen amongst the whites unable to read and write, it was but one in eighteen amongst the coloured (I won’t pretend to be correct about the figures, but that was about the relative proportions); and also, that we paid, in the shape of taxes upon our real estate, more than our proportion for the support of paupers, insane, convicts, &c.”

“Well,” said the astonished Winston, “that is turning the tables completely.  You must take me to visit amongst the coloured people; I want to see as much of them as possible during my stay.”

“I’ll do what I can for you, George.  I am unable to spare you much time just at present, but I’ll put you in the hands of one who has abundance of it at his disposal—­I will call with you and introduce you to Walters.”

“Who is Walters?” asked Mr. Winston.

“A friend of mine—­a dealer in real estate.”

“Oh, then he is a white man?”

“Not by any means,” laughingly replied Mr. Ellis.  “He is as black as a man can conveniently be.  He is very wealthy; some say that he is worth half a million of dollars.  He owns, to my certain knowledge, one hundred brick houses.  I met him the other day in a towering rage:  it appears, that he owns ten thousand dollars’ worth of stock, in a railroad extending from this to a neighbouring city.  Having occasion to travel in it for some little distance, he got into the first-class cars; the conductor, seeing him there, ordered him out—­he refused to go, and stated that he was a shareholder.  The conductor replied, that he did not care how much stock he owned, he was a nigger, and that no nigger should ride in those cars; so he called help, and after a great deal of trouble they succeeded in ejecting him.”  “And he a stockholder!  It was outrageous,” exclaimed Winston.  “And was there no redress?”

“No, none, practically.  He would have been obliged to institute a suit against the company; and, as public opinion now is, it would be impossible for him to obtain a verdict in his favour.”

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The Garies and Their Friends from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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