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History of Negro Citizenship
            HISTORY OF NEGRO CITIZENSHIP         701

without compensation until reclaimed by their employer.
South Carolina imposed a license fee, ranging from ten
to a hundred dollars, to be paid annually, upon every
colored person who desired to engage in any business
whatever, except that of husbandry or of a servant
under contract for labor. The Louisiana solons were
not content to deal with the subject of labor alone; they
also applied their wits to questions of good manners.
They imposed a fine of one dollar for every act of diso-
bedience: among these being "impudence, swearing or
using indecent language in the presence of the employ-
er, his family or agent, or quarreling or fighting with
one another."
  Having by such laws, and others even worse, but
which space does not permit to be quoted, rendered it
almost impossible for the colored man to obtain food to
satisfy his hunger, or raiment to clothe his nakedness,
and, as if determined to crush him at all hazards, the
Southern States proceeded to lay upon him a poll tax,
varying from $1.00 in Georgia to $3.00 in Florida.
They refused him citizenship and closed to him almost
every avenue to profitable employment, and yet, in his
poverty and helplessness, he was required, in one State,
at least, (Georgia) the first year after the war, to pay
one-third of the taxes of the State.  Let those who would
learn all the details of the unique legislation examine
the legislative records of the South, also read Senator
Henry Wilson's speech in the U. S. Senate, Dec. 1865,
and Mr. Blaine's "Twenty Years of Congress."
  And now the Negro was indeed a pariah, a social and
political outcast. He was in a condition whose hard-
ships transcended those from which he had been deliv-
ered by the statesmanship of Lincoln and the soldier-
ship of Grant. In exchanging servitude for freedom he
had lost the protection which the interests of his master
secured him and incurred new dangers without any
compensating advantages. And the South, as if deter-
mined to emphasize these facts, to show the world how


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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 15, Num. 3

History of Negro Citizenship


Volume:  15
Issue Number:  03
Page Number:  689
Date:  01/1899


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