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December 8, 2005 5:23 PM   Subscribe

Peruse The Geographical Reader for Dixie Children and contemplate the manner in which the greater body of man has improved his intellect these past seven-score years and two.
posted by thirteenkiller (27 comments total)
The African or negro race is found in Africa. They are slothful and vicious, but possess little cunning.

Well, I suppose most black people do fit that description, but then so do most white people; I don't find the distinction helpful.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 5:35 PM on December 8, 2005

Q. At the poles, the sun shines very slanting all the time; what do they have there?

A. All winter.

Q. Is not that a sad cold place?

A. It is.

posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 5:37 PM on December 8, 2005

Q. What lives in the water?

A. Great whales, sharks and fish of all sizes

Q. For what were these made?

A. Some for food for man, and some for animals to live upon.

Q. Who made them all?

A. God.

Q. Who made God?

posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 5:40 PM on December 8, 2005

5. [The United States] possesses many ships, has fine cities and towns, many railroads, steamboats, canals, manufactures, &c. The people are ingenious, and enterprising, and are noted for their tact in "driving a bargain." They are refined, and intelligent on all subjects but that of negro slavery, on this they are mad.

posted by trip and a half at 5:44 PM on December 8, 2005

Q. Is the African savage in this country?

A. No; they are docile and religious here.

posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 5:46 PM on December 8, 2005

I like RC and Moon Pies!
posted by John of Michigan at 5:52 PM on December 8, 2005

How does a book ostensibly written as "an effort to simplify" children's book include the word 'entreaty?'
posted by allen.spaulding at 5:58 PM on December 8, 2005

Q. Was it not wrong to drive them away and take their lands?

A. It was, and God will judge the white man for it.

So, we're not totally scot-free for that whole near-genocide a few hundred years back. That's good to know.
posted by GuyZero at 6:03 PM on December 8, 2005

PEA: But what about the bitch choking thing?
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:12 PM on December 8, 2005

about brazil:

You will be surprised to hear that they obtain milk from a tree called the cow tree. They make holes in these trees, and go early in the morning with jugs to get milk for the family. It looks and tasts much like cow milk, and when it stands awhile, a yellow substance rises to the top like cream. The milk also becomes tough after standing in the air, and the people then call it cheese.

. . . uh, yeah.
posted by xthlc at 6:21 PM on December 8, 2005

Easy to make fun of this stuff. But the study of Southern textbooks can be fascinating. Lots of good stuff about Southern identity, rise of Southern nationalism, and justifications for slavery and the Civil War. After the war it gets even more strident. Most southern states had textbook committees with United Daughters of the Confederacy members and ex-Confederates vetting the texts.

From the book:

In the mean time both English and American ships went to Africa and brought away many of those poor heathen negroes, and sold them for slaves. Some people said it was wrong and asked the King of England to stop it. He replied that "he knew it was wrong; but that slave trade brought much money into his treasury, and it should continue." But both countries afterwards did pass laws to stop this trade. In a few years, the Northern States finding their climate too cold for the negro to be profitable,sold them to the people living farther South. Then the Northern States passed laws to forbid any person owning slaves in their borders.

Then the northern people began to preach, to lecture, and to write about the sin of slavery. The money for which they sold their slaves, was now partly spend in trying to persuade the Southern States to send their slaves back to Africa. And when the territories were settled they were not willing for any of them to become slaveholding. This would soon have made the North much stronger than the South; and many of the men said they would vote for a law to free all the negroes in the country. The Southern men tried to show them how unfair this would be, but still they kept on.

How about this line from the section on "The Southern Confederacy:"

This is a great country!

This is my bailiwick, studying the growth and strange persistence of the Lost Cause Myth. Textbooks are a great key into what a society wants it folks to think.

Great post, thanks. DocSouth is a great resource.
posted by marxchivist at 6:25 PM on December 8, 2005

I'm glad you found this on the web and shared it with everyone else. It's cool.
posted by I Foody at 6:30 PM on December 8, 2005

posted by The Jesse Helms at 6:33 PM on December 8, 2005

Marxchivist, the Lost Cause Myth?
posted by Richard Daly at 6:58 PM on December 8, 2005

7. Now, dear children, you have heard how miserable many of the human family are. If they knew about Jesus, they would be happy as you are. There are good men who are willing to go and teach them, but but they lack money to bear their expenses. Can not each of you give something to help send the gospel to the heathen.

This has been a message from the Most Reverend Brother James Swaggerteth.
posted by ColdChef at 7:26 PM on December 8, 2005

Also on the South: A Dixie contradiction - great literature amid illiteracy
posted by ColdChef at 7:32 PM on December 8, 2005

what a remarkable example of complete ambivalence on a subject. blacks are slothful and vicious and stupid according to this, and slaves in america better off than free africans, but slavery is evil.

I actually applaud this as an often unheard about southern religious/social standpoint from the period. remarkable resource.

also, the author got the reason why the equator is warmer than the rest of the globe correct, which is something you can find college physics professors forgetting, even today.
posted by shmegegge at 7:34 PM on December 8, 2005

Marxchivist, the Lost Cause Myth?

Yes, the Lost Cause Myth. Some tenets of which are:

Antebellum South as pastoral place with contented slaves who would have been freed eventually.

The Civil War was fought over "states' rights' rather than slavery.

The idealized Southern home front (everyone behind the war effort).

Southern general as saintly, almost superhuman figures (Jackson and Lee, much easier to glorify them than Jeff Davis and have to think about messier political aspects of the war.)

The whole "Longstreet lost it at Gettysburg" deal.

It is understandable that ex-Confederates would create such a myth, they had to justify a war fought in defense of slavery that they had lost. The post-war victorious North was complicit in it too. Their attitude was "Let the Southerners handle "the negro problem," get some order down there so Northern capital can get together with Southern labor.

Suggested reading:

Race and Reunion by David Blight.

Ghosts of the Confederacy by Gaines Foster.
posted by marxchivist at 7:34 PM on December 8, 2005

From the original post:
New Orleans stands on the Mississippi and is the largest commercial city in the Southern Confederacy. It stands on a dead level, and at high water, the river would overflow it, but for the levees, or embankments of earth, which are thrown up to prevent this. Some times those levees break, and considerable damage is done.

Glad we solved THAT problem. Oh, wait.
posted by ColdChef at 7:36 PM on December 8, 2005

Q. What do you call a mountain which has fire inside of it?

A. A volcano? [I like the question mark here.]

Q. What do volcanoes throw out?

A. Fire, smoke, hot ashes and lava.

Q. What is lava?

A. Melted stones.

Q. Are there volcanoes in your country?

A. I never heard of any.

posted by ColdChef at 7:39 PM on December 8, 2005

Q. If the people of the United States had always elected good men for rulers what would have been the result?

A. We should have had no war.

Q. Why?

A. Because every man would have been willing to treat others justly, and there would have been no cause for war.

Q. Are these judgments for our sin alone?

A. They are partly for our sins, and partly for the sins of our forefathers.

Q. Then how shall we expect peace, since sin has brought war?

A. We must repent of our sins, and ask God to bless our efforts to defend our country.

Q Why so?

A. Because, "If God be for us who shall be against us[?]"

Now this bears repeating.
posted by ColdChef at 7:43 PM on December 8, 2005

...When the white men first came the savages treated them kindly; but soon some wicked men began to cheat and take advantage of the indians. The indians in return took revenge by burning whole villages, and killing the inhabitants in their beds or as they ran half naked through the snow. But the white people increased, and made war and drove back the indians into the wilderness, until they are now nearly all beyond the Mississippi River. How much better it would have been if all had acted fairly, and lived together in peace!

... Amen!
posted by bugmuncher at 9:24 PM on December 8, 2005

"The Cherokee Indians occupied part of this State, and had learned to live much like the white people. They had fine farms with slaves to work them, good houses, much cattle, sheep, hogs and horses. They also had a newspaper, and sent their children to good schools. But in the year 1836 the white people made a treaty with them, to pay them 5,000,000 dollars to remove to Indian Territory, where they were to have seven millions acres of new land. So most of them went away, and now live in the west, where there are more hunting grounds, and where the white people will not molest them."

Apparently, it was actually called The Trail of Tears of Laughter, just the last bit got misplaced.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:33 PM on December 8, 2005

Mississippi... 2. The people have built high walls of dirt along the banks of these rivers to prevent the high water from overflowing the lands. These are called levees. During the war, the enemy have broken down the levees on the western side of the Mississippi, and caused thousands of acres to be overflowed

And I'm going to sit on Trent Lott's porch after he rebuilds his home.
posted by zaelic at 1:41 AM on December 9, 2005

A very interesting find—thanks, thirteenkiller! And thanks for the additional links, Marxchivist, and for all the great stuff you've posted yourself (as a glance at your userpage reminded me).
posted by languagehat at 5:32 AM on December 9, 2005

What a remarkable document. I was glad that the Southern slaves had as much pocket-money as their mistresses; but I couldn't decide who was worse: those indolent African Negroes; that one damn wop Americus Vespucius who stole Columbus' rightful name; or that guy Abraham Lincoln who tried to make trouble for everyone.

Seriously, this was quite interesting.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:44 PM on December 9, 2005

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