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SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
MANUSCRIPTS DIVISION 2001
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Letter, 29 July 1868, from A[melia A. DeWalt] Johnstone, Newberry, to her son George
Letter, 29 July 1868, from A[melia A. DeWalt] Johnstone, Newberry, to her son George relates news of severe drought in the Newberry area, state politics, and race relations.

Despite the drought, Mrs. Johnstone wrote that her family was "living more comfortable this year than any year since freedom. I think because there are no servants about us to steal what we have." She was not interested in obtaining the work of immigrants or hiring servants unless necessary, but expressed a desire to spend her money instead to educate her daughters.

In large part the letter deals with the political impact of the recently freed African Americans. "The negro is the complete tool in the hands of the radicals," she observed. She describes how the radical legislature had changed the state constitution and deposed politicians elected by whites in favor of new elections.

"All history teaches that fanaticism will have an end someday but it may not be untill our prospects are ruined," the letter goes on to assert. "The Southern people have been great sinners before God. What has been my sin I do not know. Certain I am I have not sinned against the negro. I have been a great servant to minister to his physical wants."


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