It is to supply the student and general reader with a handy guide to contemporary history that I have undertaken this volume. I have made no attempt to present an "artistically balanced" account of the last thirty-five years, but have sought rather to furnish a background for the leading issues of current politics and to enlist the interest of the student in the history of the most wonderful period in American development. The book is necessarily somewhat "impressionistic" and in part it is based upon materials which have not been adequately sifted and evaluated. Nevertheless, I have endeavored to be accurate and fair, and at the same time to invite on the part of the student some of that free play of the mind which Matthew Arnold has shown to be so helpful in literary criticism.
te and a fair count.' They had it for eight years, as long as the bayonets stood there.... We preferred to have a United States army officer rather than a government of carpet baggers and thieves and scallywags and scoundrels who had stolen everything in sight and mortgaged posterity; who had run their felonious paws into the pockets of posterity by issuing bonds. When that happened we took the government away. We stuffed the ballot boxes. We shot them. We are not ashamed of it. With that system--force, tissue ballots, etc.--we got tired ourselves. So we had a constitutional convention, and we eliminated, as I said, all of the colored people whom we could under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments." The experience of South Carolina was duplicated in Mississippi. "For a time," said the Hon. Thomas Spight, of that state, in Congress, in 1904, "we were compelled to employ methods that were extremely distasteful and very demoralizing, but now we are accomplishing the same and even better results by strictly co
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