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' A.nderson, S. O.
"LETTER FROM HON. B. F. PERRY.
In response to an invitation from a
Masonic Committee, to deliver an address
before a Lodge at Cedar Falls, Greenville
District, on Saturday last, " on the duty
which all men (citizens, Christians and
Masons) owe to themselves, their God,
and their countrj-, in this their- hcur of
trial and disappointment," the Hon. B. F.
Perry has written an admirable letter,
containing practical ideas and suggestions
as to the course to be pursued in these
times of perplexity and difficulties. "We
have only room for a few ex'tracts:
But the death strugglo is over! ?The
Federal Union must be restored and sla?
very abolished. The military authorities
have already abolished slavery. An
amendment to tho Federal Constitution
has passed both houses of Congress, abol?
ishing slavery and has been ratified by
the Legislatures of twenty-two States.
Five more States will secure its adoption.
I have no doubt they will be obtained.
Likewise the Southern States are required
?to re-form their Constitutions and abolish
slavery before they will'be permitted to
be represented in Congress. Until this is
done the country Will bo held in military
subjection. Hence there is no hope, no
possibility of the continuance of this in?
stitution. Tho oath of allegiance which
we are required to take binds us .individ?
ually-to set our slaves free. His excel?
lency President Johnson has issued his
amnesty proclamation, and it becomes
the duty of all to whom it applies to take
tho oa'th and demean themselves as true
,;and loyal eitizons. The excepted classes
may swear allegiance and apply for par?
don} The Confeceracy being dissolved,
all oaths to that Government are annull?
ed. The Government which protects you
is entitled to your obedience. This is the
behest of Christ himselt: "Render to
Cajsar the things that are Casars, and to
God the things that are God's.''"
It is to be hoped-tbat the benign spirit
of the American Republic will }Tet prompt
-a general amnesty to all who have erred
in this great rebellion. After acknowl?
edging the Southorn States as a beligcr
ont for four years, and exchanging pris?
oners with them, it would seem strange,
now that the}- are conquered, to execute
their leaders and generals as traitors !
A great Republic like tbe Federal
Union, all powerful, and spreading over
a whole continent, can afford to bo mag?
nanimous and forgiving. She can feel
none of the selfish, personal, revengeful
spirit of a monarchy in laest/e wnjestntis.
The Southern States have already been
punished in pride, feeling and houor for
their rebellion. They are amply punish?
ed by their pecuniar}' losses. Two thous
sand millions of their wealth and capital
have been sunk in trying to sustain the
Confederacy! And now four millions of
of their slaves are set free, worth two
thousand millions of dollars more! This
punishment, too, has mainly fallen on
those who were most active aild forward
in . organizing secession. They thought
that Disunion would be the protection of
their property ! It has proved, as I al?
ways said it would, " the death knell of sla?
It is to bo hoped, however, that the
loss of slavery will not effect so seriously
as is generally supposed, the prosperity
-and happiness of the ?Southern States.
The poor negro will be the^greatest suf?
ferer. Thousands will perish annually
from cold and hunger and disease, in?
duced by idleness, vice and want of fore?
thought in providing for the future. In?
stead of increasing rapid!}-, as the negro
heretofore has in the Southern States, the
race will henceforth diminish as the Indi?
an has in proximity to the white man.
Tho.abolition of slavery will require a
reformation of our State Constitution,
and a re-organization of our State Gov?
ernment. A Convention of loyal citizens
will be ordered by the Federal authori?
ties for this purpose. When this is done
it.wjll be the duty of all good citizens to
Jcnd their aid in the accomplishment of
this great work. None should refuse.
Heretofore.slavery has been the bone'of
contention between the North and the
South. This is now removed, and the fu?
ture may be peaceful and quiet. There
never were two peoples more necessary
to each other than the North and the
South. Instead of rival interests, their
interests are dependent. This is a bond
The natural consequence of four years
spent by our people in war and revolution
is their demoralization! Plunder and
open robbcrj-have be?n of too frequent
occurrence. It must bo suppressed.?
The well disposed should unite for this
purpose. It is a mistake to suppose we
have no law in the land, and no magis?
trates to enforco fhe law. In other
States the Federal authorities haVe invi?
ted the public functionaries to take the
oath of allegiance and continue in the dis?
charge of their official duties. No doubt
the same course is desirable in South
t The abstraction of labor from agricul?
ture, and a succession of bad crops for two
years past, have reduced tho country al?
most to starvation. It. is tho duty of
tiiose who have provisions to share with
others who have not. .The soldier who
has been absent, experiencing all the haz?
ards and hardships of war, should not on
his return, find Iiis wife aud little ones in
want of bread. The greatest economy
possible should be practised in our living,
in order to assist the needy and starving.
Idleness should be banished from the land,
and the idler regarded as an enemy to so?
ciety. Ho should receive no countenance
from any one. Shut your doors against
stragglers and loafers. Arrest all raiders,
robbers, aud persons seeking government
stores, and'eommit them to jail.
Tho countrj-, at present, is without a
currency,, our banks are doing no business,
and their bills arc at a discount, which
excludes their circulation. It is a mqst
I remarkable circumstance, that a country
so rich as the Southern States are, should
be without money.or a medium of ex?
change. This evil may be remedied by
the sale of the cotton still in the Southern ?
States. Every planter and holder of cot?
ton should make a sale ot it as soon as
possible. This will luring an abundance
of money into the country, and give us a
currency with which to pay our taxes
and our debts.
Tho condition of the Southern States is
indeed one of deep distress and humilia?
tion. After a gallant struggle for lour
years and tho loss of a hundred thousand
of her bravest sons on the battle-field, the
South has been conquered and subdued!
Her effort atindeponenco and iself-govern
ment has signallyfailed ! Thecountry has
been ravaged and desolated, and is now
filled with mourning widows and orphan
children ! Everywhere there is a scarcity
of the absolute necessaries of life. But
we must not despair of the future. I have
always said, through life, and endeavored
to impress it on others, that the Southern
States were better off in the Union than
out of it! I still adhere to that opinion,
so far as our future peace, prosperity and
happiness are concerned. If we had
gained our independence, other family
lends would have sprung up, and States
would have seceded again, until each had
become a. petty nationality. Continued
wars would have ensued, and our history
would have been that of the heptarchy
The future, to my mind, is not so gloo?
my as many suppose. The loss of slavery
may prove to be no loss at all. The plant?
er's nett profits will be gieater than they
ever were. Instead Of oeing invested in
the purchase of more negroos, as hereto?
fore, they will be spent in substantial im?
provements, enriching himself and his
country. Our habits of industry and
economy, and those of our children, will
bo improved. Tho negro will be the%
greatest sufferer by emancipation.
There arc many persons who seem to
be alarmed at tire magnitude of the Fed?
eral debt, and tho burthen of taxation
which it. will be necessary to impose, in
order to pay that debt. But this does
not appal inc. Tho resources of the Re?
public, and the energy of the- American
people are beyond all calculation. It is
said that tho vacant lands belonging to
tho United States will pay tho national
debt twico over when brought into mar?
ket. Tho entire loss of tho Confederate
debt will work great individual hardship.
Many wealthy persons have invested
theiif entire estates in Confederate bonds. '
But still the property thus sold remains
in the country. -It has changed owner?
ship. That is all. Our national wealth
remains the same. - The gigantic war,
which is just over, shows the power and
resources of the* country! Peace, indus?
try and prudence, will soon produce a re?
turn of prosperity. Lot us all dovote
ourselves to our respective occupations
with renewed energy and zeal, and the
future may yet be bright and glorious.
I am, with great respect and Osteom,
B. F. PERRY.