The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 108
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
content by witnessing the freedom of their colored brethren. At
one time we are made certain that prejudice against color is
implanted in our nature, at another that laws to prevent frequent
mixed marriages are necessary to preserve that prejudice.
On the one hand the white man censured the indolence and
viciousness of the free Negro class, on the other he praised the
thrift and sobriety of the individuals. At once the Negro is
accused of ignorance and at the same time of possessing talents
to execute the most complicated and deep-laid plots. While he is
suspected of attempts to subvert the peculiar institution of slavery
and destroy the State, he is honored for his courage and patriotism
in defence of it. The class is charged with addiction to vice and
petty crimes, the individuals esteemed for their virtuous and
orderly lives. In a general condition described as one of poverty,
degradation and misery brought upon themselves by an aversion
to labor, we find the Negroes engaged in productive work and
often achieving economic independence.
To be at the same time disloyal and patriotic, indolent and
thrifty, ignorant and talented, vicious and virtuous, obnoxious
and harmless, wicked and worthy, destitute and prosperous is a
paradoxical situation not infrequently met in human relationships
because of the seeming necessity of men to be consistent with
their principles. In the South and in Texas this necessity arose
largely in defence of slavery. Every free Negro practically seemed
to deny the principle that slavery was a boon for the Negroes,
and every thriving one seemed to disprove the argument that if
the Negro were set free he would starve rather than support him-
self. As one Texas Senator expressed himself, these facts swept
away the strongest ground of slaveholders used in refuting the
abolitionists. The disparaging generalities, doubtless, were de-
signed to sweep away the facts and preserve the argument.
The inability of the Republic to draw a more intelligent dis-
tinction between master and servant than one based on color
alone precluded disinterested consideration of the question. As
a sovereign slave-holding State, Texas demonstrated an inability
to solve a problem confined to an insignificant portion of her
population, never exceeding three hundred persons. Aid and pro-
tection based upon the whims and interests of white persons to
particular Negroes in a class barred from equality was the solution
offered by the Republic and bequeathed to the State.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938, periodical, 1938; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/m1/116/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.