FRANCIS L. CARDOZA
"LET THE LANDS OF THE SOUTH BE...DIVIDED"
Francis L. Cardozo, a black graduate of the University of Glasgow and a
minister in New Haven, Connecticut, returned to his native South Carolina
immediately after the Civil War to serve as a principal of a Negro school. In
this selection, he calls upon the South Carolina Constitutional Convention to
grant land to the freedmen.
One of the greatest of slavery bulwarks was the infernal plantation
system, one man owning his thousand, another his twenty, another fifty
thousands acres of land. This is the only way by which we will break up that
system, and I maintain that our freedom will be of no effect if we allow it to
continue. What is the main cause of the prosperity of the North. It is
because every man has his own farm and is free and independent. Let the lands
of the South be similarly divided. I would not say for one moment they should
be confiscated, but if sold to maintain the war, now that slavery is
destroyed, let the plantation system go with it. We will never have true
freedom until we abolish the system of agriculture which existed in the
Southern States. It is useless to have any schools while we maintain the
stronghold of slavery as the agricultural system of the country.
Source: Proceedings of Constitution Convention of South Carolina (1868).