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Diary of James Rumley, December 1, 1863


Diary of James Rumley, December 1, 1863


This is an excerpt from Rumley’s diary entry of Dec 1st, 1863. On this day, Rumley wrote his thoughts on the race relations between African Americans and Southern Whites due to the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation; this is one of Rumley’s intellectual entries. The entry started with description of the past autumn, the weather, and the coming of winter. Rumley noted that two African American schools were built to operational level, both taught by abolitionists from the north; this lead Rumley into his discussion of race relations. Rumley concluded that African Americans would see Southerners as friends and support them if the State of North Carolina freed slaves on their own terms. However, since they were freed by the North and undoubtedly knows that the North is fighting for abolition, Rumley believes that this notion has ruined any future relations. Africans Americans now knew that the South was fighting to preserve the institution of Slavery. With the promises of freedom and education from the Union, African Americans were being filled with hatred towards the South accordingly to Rumley.


Rumley, James


Judkin Browning, The Southern Mind under Union Rule: The Diary of James Rumley, Beaufort, North Carolina, 1862-1865 (Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 2009).




Ballentine Jay




Beaufort, North Carolina
Carteret County, North Carolina

Original Format



... If the State of North Carolina had set their negroes free and established schools for their instruction, they would have looked upon white population of the state as their benefactors, and the two races might have lived together on the same soil, with proper distinction, social and political lines between them, in some degree of harmony. But far different is the effect of the represent scheme of emancipation and education upon the servile race. They know that the South is now struggling to perpetuate their bondage and their intellectual darkness. On the other hand they see that the Yankees are fighting for their freedom, and assure their determination to cut their bonds of servitude asunder even with the sharp edge of the sword! These fanatics tell them they design to elevate them, by giving them freedom and education, to a position of social and political equality with the whites, and dazzle their imaginations with pictures of a golden age now opening before them.

The effect of all this is to fill the minds of the negroes with mortal hatred of the whole white population of the sate, as well as the whole south, and there can be no hope of harmony between them. Should the designs of northern fanaticism towards this race finally succeed in this war, what an awful future the white race will have before them! How dreadful their state, with their embittered foe turned loose in their midst! ...


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Rumley, James, Diary of James Rumley, December 1, 1863, Civil War Era NC, accessed May 26, 2024,