The Problem of the Races – John H. Van Evrie, 1867

The Problem of the Races
– John H. Van Evrie, 1867

All earnest and generous men feel that the future will be more glorious and beneficent than the past, and
this sentiment of progress it is that carries the world forward and renders life more beautiful and hopeful,
and more in accord with the design of the Almighty Creator, as time advances. The race, our race, the
white man, is alone capable of this sentiment; or, in other words, is alone capable of this indefinite perfectability.
Even the Mongol, who, of all the beardless races, approximates us most closely, has an absolute limit,
and it may be doubted if it is not now just where it was centuries, or, perhaps, thousands of years ago;
while the negro, lowest in the scale of humanity, is forever incapable of advancing beyond a single
generation, and, millions of years hence, must be just as incapable of inventing an alphabet, or taking
a single step in what we call civilization, as he is now. The Caucasian, with his large brain and elevated
endowments, is capable of indefinite perfection. Of course, his actual faculties never change, and his
intellect is just what it was in the days of Socrates, but his acquisitions, or knowledge of the nature of
things, incessantly advances. One generation applies its faculties to the material world about it, and
this is transmitted to the next, which, in turn, adds its acquisitions, and so on, first orally and by imitation,
then by written characters, finally by the art of printing, and now we have the telegraph actually annihilating
time and space. There have been at times interruptions, or rather perversions, of this great law of progress,
but the very interruption itself has finally tended to increase the momentum by illustrating the truth inherent
in the heart of things. Thus, when the old Roman civilization went to pieces by the invasion of the “northern
barbarians,” according to Gibbon and other historians, “the Church,” having converted the chiefs, used
them as its instruments, not to keep the people in ignorance, but to preserve the sacerdotal power, and
then followed the “dark ages,” in which the law of progress was silenced for several centuries.

The Crusades that finally followed, originating with, and stimulated by, the Church, was intended to add to
its prestige, and to keep the princes and nobles in submission to its rule; but these very Crusades became
the source of that tremendous movement which triumphed with Luther, and cast off forever the appalling power
that, for so many centuries, had paralyzed the intellect of Europe, and held in check the law of progress. The
Crusaders, enterprising, active, audacious and reckless, returned with the manuscripts and mental acquisition
of the antique world, and with the discovery of America that followed, the mental activity of Europe was aroused,
and the long silence of the “dark ages” was at an end. Superficial writers fancy that Luther, Calvin, &c, were the
authors of the grand commotion, or so-called Reformation. A ” reformed monk,” splitting hairs over more or less
toggery on a priest’s back, or incredible abstractions about the “foreordained” will of the Almighty, were mere straws
on the surface of that mighty progress of the race from abject dependence on shadows to the real and imperative
duty of “private judgment,” but that was all, and Luther, Calvin, and Henry the Eighth went to their graves in total
unconsciousness of the work they were engaged in.The “dark ages” were thus followed by an extent of mental
activity, freedom, human happiness, in a word, progress, that quite, if not more than neutralized the stationary
period. The race thus advances, and must advance, towards that indefinite perfection, never to be reached,
it is true, but always approximating, and always increasing the source of human happiness, both for itself and
the subject races, that the Almighty Creator has entrusted to its care and protection. And, as observed, the very
obstructions in the path of progress often become indirectly the means of a more certain and healthy advance;
and, as all actual knowledge results from comparison, we, who believe in the progress of humanity, should
never permit ourselves to be discouraged by temporary obstructions, however formidable they may appear.

The great problem we are now solving is the most stupendous that ever involved the destinies of mankind. We
have on this Continent thirty millions of white people, twelve millions of negroes, and about the same number of
Indians, or aborigines; and the question whether these different races shall have different rules and regulations
applied to them, according to their nature and wants, or on the assumption that they are all of the same nature,
and shall be subject to the same laws, and be amalgamated together, is a question not alone unparalleled in the
history of the past, but a question that directly, unavoidably, and overwhelmingly involves our whole civilization,
Christianity, and very social existence. Hitherto, or until recently, we were practically right in the States south of
the Potomac. Negroes were minors or wards of the white citizenship, and, though some of the special rules and
regulations applied to them might be improved, they were in their normal condition, for they multiplied quite as fast
as the white people. The four millions of these people, guided and cared for by their masters, were probably the
healthiest and happiest four millions of human creatures that ever lived upon the earth; and their masters, the
Washingtons, the Jef- fersons, Jacksons, Calhouns and Davises, representing labor and production, were the
authors and champions of American Democracy, and for eighty years defended the rights of their allies, the farmers,
mechanics and laborers of the North, while the product of the labor of their negro subjects, or “slaves,” furnished
the cotton of the world, and indirectly did more to advance the progress of mankind and the well-being of the millions,
than all the universities and colleges in Christendom. There was but a single drawback, or rather a single want of
the country, that was more tropical territory, thus permitting the farmers of the border States to migrate to more
fertile lands, better suited to the negro, and leaving the vacuum to be filled by the landless and homeless millions
of our own race, coming to us from the Old World. But the Old World, despite the Reformation, and the still grander
uprising of the great French Revolution, yet clung to the old habitudes.

Save in France, society was unnaturally separated into classes, “kings, lords, and commons ;” and, though all white
people, all of the great master race of mankind, all naturally equal, the few, viho produced nothing, enjoyed everything,
and the many, who produced everything enjoyed nothing. Europe, save in England and Russia, was Democratic in
opinion, but the few, with the wealth in their hands, and vast national debts, ruled the many as absolutely as in the
“dark ages,” especially in England. This system, based on the forced and unnatural distinction of class, was in deadly
and irreconcilable antagonism to the American system, based on the natural distinction of race. Thus, the Old World
and the New, the old artificial class-rule was brought into deadly conflict with the social order of America, based on the
natural distinction of race, and one or the other must give way, and Democracy spread over Europe, or the American
order must be overthrown.The so-called “anti-slavery” movement of Pitt and Wilberforce sprung from these necessities,
and however ignorant themselves of the work, the original leaders of Abolition were simply battling for the preservation
of European aristocracy. The masses of Europe, ignorant of Indians, negroes, &c, naturally supposed them “colored”
men, or beings like themselves, save in color, and thus the deadliest enemies of the people became in their eyes the
champions of freedom. The whole scope, effort and tendency of European opinion and European policy, for seventy
years, were directed to this end-abolition of the distinction of race in America, and the consequent overthrow of the
American system, or rather, we should say, the consequent destruction of social order and ruin of society in America.
These efforts culminated in Lincoln’s election in 1860, and we are now to see whether the American system shall be
restored, or marching on the road marked out for us by European aristocrats seventy years ago, we are destined to
commit social suicide, and bury our liberty, our Democratic institutions, and civilization itself, in the grave of Mongrelism.
It would seem to be a self-evident truth that universal amalgamation of the whites, Indians and negroes of this Continent,
if it could be accomplished, would necessarily ruin our civilization.

We see what effete, cowardly and miserable populations are those Mongrel hordes south of us, and, if we could ever
reach the condition of Mexico, Central America, &c, all that is noble, elevating, prosperous and glorious in our past
history must needs be debauched and lost. If, on the contrary, amalgamation of blood be impossible, if the natural
instinct is so deep and all-pervading that intermarriage is impossible, then society, or even an approach to social
order, becomes impracticable where numbers approximate, as in the States south of the Potomac. If the party that
elected Abraham Lincoln will not mate their children with negroes, and amalgamation of blood as well as citizenship
is seen to be impossible, then it is certain that they are enemies of society who had no right to exist among us, and
the half million of men sacrificed in this horrible conflict have not only cast away their lives, but given them to destroy
American civilization.Transcendent and wide-spread as are the consequences, the facts are plain and simple. If the
races of this Continent cannot amalgamate their blood, then it is certain they cannot their citizenship, or if mongrelism
of blood be impossible, then mongrelism of condition is, of course, impracticable. But we need not linger any longer
on these self- evident truths. The Spaniard, Portuguese, &c, degraded by centuries of superstitious reverence for
kings, nobles and other artificial dignities, do sometimes mate and mingle with the subject races of this Continent,
but the Anglo-American, with his healthy instincts and glorious self-respect, will not mate or mingle with the subject
races, especially with the negro, and, therefore, the Abolition party, the party that elected Abraham Lincoln, and that
now carries out its “principles,” is either the cool, deliberate agent of European kings for the overthrow of Democratic
institutions in America, or they are the most disgusting and impious lunatics that ever afflicted society since time
began. Nor does it matter which they are-traitors or fools, enemies of liberty or madmen-the results are the same;
they have sacrificed half a million of men and wasted half of the property of the country to ” abolish” the distinction
of races and amalgamate the whites, Indians and negroes of this Continent together.

We are now rapidly approaching the crisis when the veil will be lifted, and the mases will see at a glance, like a
revelation from heaven, the awful, nameless, and unapproachable crime of the Abolition leaders. Thirty years ago,
when they first proposed the Abolition idea, the people would have massacred them if not restrained by the laws,
and now, when the veil is removed, when the complications of the past six years no longer confuse the popular
mind, when the forced and accidental questions of Union, Secession, &c, no longer exist, all will see the stupendous
madness, impiety, crime, and social suicide of Mongrelism, and that any man in our midst who proposes to degrade
or distort white men into “impartial freedom” with negroes, is an enemy to society, who has no right to live an hour.
Or, in other words, when the crisis of this gigantic, obscene and devilish madness is reached, and reason is restored,
it will be seen that those who sought to lynch the Abolitionists, thirty years ago, were right, and that the blind instincts
of the masses are wiser than the highest reason of the educated few. This, then, will be the solution of the mighty
question. We were right in practice for two hundred years, and we were wrong in theory, or in the abstract, always;
and the negro restored to his normal condition, the great tropical region of this Continent, now blasted and ruined by
this horrible lunacy, will be recovered to American civilization and Democratic institutions-equality. for those naturally
equal, and pro- tection for those naturally subordi- nate, will be settled on foundations immovable and everlasting,
for they are fixed forever by the will of God. By common and universal consent the negro will again have the care
and protection of a master, and those who have wandered from their homes, or whose masters are unwilling to receive
them, must be cared for by the State, or, perhaps, be donated to soldiers of good character, who have lived through
the frightful war, waged to distort these hapless negroes into the white citizenship. At all events, the final result is
inevitable, unless, indeed, we commit actual social suicide, and the nation, civilization, society, everything, as in
Mexico, is swallowed up in Mongrolism, and we utterly perish from tho earth.

But this young, vigorous American people will slough off this monstrous disease, and, solving this gigantic problem,
fulfill its destiny, a destiny as much nobler than that of Europe as the latter is in advance of the antique order of the
Oriental world. Nor is this all. The obstacles that the Abolition madness has thrust in the path of progress for a season,
will not only quicken that progress when the natural order is restored, but it is certain to work out tremendous results
on European society. National debts-save our own, paid off by General Jackson-have never been paid or repudiated,
but they are the cause, or the main cause, of modern slavery, degradation and misery of the laboring classes. Our
debt-every dollar contracted to degrade the laborer into amalgamation with negroes-will be repudiated, when the
popular reason is restored, and this sublime example for the suffering bondmen of the Old World will be hailed with
joy, from London to St. Petersburg, and accepted as the starting point of popular liberty and deliverance from an
oppression more soul-crushing than that of feudalism. The foolish robbery of the agricultural classes by New England manufacturers, and the conse- quent destruction of commerce, will also work out its legitimate results, and teach
the people that free trade is not only common sense, but that it is utterly disgraceful to the intellect, as well as
ruinous to the pocket, of the farmer, to be robbed by the eastern manufacturer, under the pretence of protecting “native
industry.” In conclusion, then, let every true, earnest and brave American, who believes in God and has faith in man,
and loves his country and his children, have confidence in the future, however dark the present, The negro question
will be solved, just as we have practically solved it for two hundred years, and the stupendous obstacles of the Abolition
lunacy removed, industry, prosperity, peace, and the progress of American civilization will be vastly accelerated by the
very obstacles that, for a time, impeded its march. We are solving the most gigantic problem that ever involved the
destiny of our race, and shall do so for all time, and for the countless millions to come after us, and, therefore, whatever
the temporary sacrifices and sufferings we may have to endure, we must meet them like brave men and true Americans.

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