Early Problems of Freedom
DOI link for Early Problems of Freedom
Early Problems of Freedom book
The close of the Civil War left many of the agencies of emancipation without a cause. The anti-slavery publications, the state and national anti-slavery societies, "vigilance committees," and the vast Underground Railroad system, saw their purposes accomplished in the terms of peace. In facing the problems of reconstruction, the people of the North had no precedents and little knowledge of the Negro's character to guide them. The men who had the responsibility of providing for the present and future, of rehabilitating the South on the basis of freedom, were trained to treat every question, social and political, from the stand-point of party politics. No race ever came into the domain of freedom, independence, and democracy so little furnished with the elements of self-protection and self-determining purpose, as did the emancipated slaves forty years ago. No one who saw them could have any doubt whatever as to the Negro's appreciation of his freedom.