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Excerpts from Slave Narratives - Chapter 43

Edited by Steven Mintz - University of Huston
The Triangular Slave Trade Project (TST)
TST Site Index
Organized by Jon K. Møller




Francis L. Cardozo, a black graduate of the University of Glasgow and a minister in New Haven, Connecticut, returned to his native South Carolina immediately after the Civil War to serve as a principal of a Negro school. In this selection, he calls upon the South Carolina Constitutional Convention to grant land to the freedmen.

One of the greatest of slavery bulwarks was the infernal plantation system, one man owning his thousand, another his twenty, another fifty thousands acres of land. This is the only way by which we will break up that system, and I maintain that our freedom will be of no effect if we allow it to continue. What is the main cause of the prosperity of the North. It is because every man has his own farm and is free and independent. Let the lands of the South be similarly divided. I would not say for one moment they should be confiscated, but if sold to maintain the war, now that slavery is destroyed, let the plantation system go with it. We will never have true freedom until we abolish the system of agriculture which existed in the Southern States. It is useless to have any schools while we maintain the stronghold of slavery as the agricultural system of the country.

Source: Proceedings of Constitution Convention of South Carolina (1868). <

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