Unknown – Cause of the Exodus

“One does not have to search very far for the reasons that are actuating the negroes to turn their faces Northward, and they are not very different from those which induced them to take the North Star for their compass in the days of slavery… The first of these motives is the refusal of the whites to allow them to have the rights guaranteed them by the Constitution… Second having no rights of citizenship, they are at the mercy of their employers… The two motives may be summed up in one. It is the right to live that is urging the negroes to abandon the South….  If it were not that the South seems incapable of comprehending its own interests, it could easily check the emigration. If it were not that the South is determined to keep the negro in a servile condition, the latter would be contented…. The South may learn after a time that ordinary humanity and the existing customs of civilization are not only right but remunerative.”21

  • 21- Chicago Daily Tribune, March 29, 1879
  • P.241, Exodusters – Nell Irvin Painter, ISBN 0-393-00951-3

Nell Irvin Painter


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