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"Editorial Notes on the South," May 31, 1867


"Editorial Notes on the South," May 31, 1867


Although this newspaper article focused on the South in general, there are important themes that addressed similar struggles of North Carolinian African Americans during Reconstruction. Published in late May of 1867 in The Lincoln Courier, this article recognized the severe lack of knowledge and interest of southern whites in stabilizing their social and economic relationships with recently freed African Americans. This document identified white southerners’ continuous attempts to subordinate the freedpeople--such as attaining votes for “partisan purpose”--while also maintaining that the interests of southern white employers would ultimately shape the beliefs of the black employees vital to southern agricultural production. Essentially, this newspaper article was a warning for African Americans and southern farmers and businessmen who had exploited minorities for personal economic gains. Additionally, the article claimed that the two groups must peacefully coexist for the South to reassert itself in the postwar years. Noting the common political interference of whites and economic shortcomings of blacks, the article anticipated a drastic decrease in the population of blacks in the South, claiming that the political and economic systems have perpetuated an unequal southern society. Seemingly sympathetic for the plight of southern blacks during Reconstruction, the author of the article encouraged southerners to at least promote emigration, therefore creating a chance of new opportunities for the oppressed minorities of the South.


Edward H. Britton


"Editorial Notes on the South," The Lincoln Courier, May 31, 1867, p. 1 c. 1, in Digital NC, accessed October 1, 2014,




Adam Lipay




Lincolnton, North Carolina

Original Format

Newspaper Article


If an election of any kind were to be held in the South within the next month, there is no reasonable doubt that three-fourths of the negro vote would be cast with the Southern white vote. There is perfect accord between the large portion of the freedmen and the white population. This is but natural. The negroes were as ardent enemies of the North as their stemars, during the war. They had no theories to sustain; and no special care as to what questions were involved in the contest. They sympathized with the people who surrounded them; and if the oath of allegiance were distinctly understood by the freedmen when it is administered to them, nine-tenths of them would be unable to say that they had not lent willing aid and comfort to the rebellion. Having stood firmly by their masters in the trials of the war, they are still likely to stand by them in all public questions. It seems to be from a knowledge and appreciation of these facts that the men who are seeking to use the negro vote for partisan purposes find it necessary to delude the poor fellows with promises of a division of the land among them. The serious question for the freedmen now ought to be how to establish a regular and permanent system of paid labor, and how to fix the rate of payment so as to approximate as nearly as may be to the old rate--namely, a support for the laborer and his family, in sickness and health; childhood and old age. But the interference of politicians is operating to prevent the determination of those questions and postpone the day of calm setting down.


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Edward H. Britton, "Editorial Notes on the South," May 31, 1867, Civil War Era NC, accessed June 16, 2024,