November 30, 1865: Immigrants go to loyal counties

An editorial from the Missouri Weekly Patriot out of Springfield, dated November 30, 1865, notes that immigration into the state is apparently correlated with support for abolition and the new state constitution, and assures its readers (rather naively) that all they need do is hold on, and the Radical majority will grow more secure.

In a separate item, they mention threats to burn down a school for black children because the teacher is white.

Progress of Missouri

It is estimated by those who have the best means of judging, that the immigration to Missouri at the present time averages not less than one thousand persons per week. The men, women and children composing this army of occupation add to the wealth of our State in a ratio which it is impossible to estimate. As cultivators of the soil, mechanics and manufacturers, they are a splendid acquisition, but their value to Missouri stops not there. They are chiefly from the free State of the North and from Germany, and come neither empty handed nor empty headed. They are generally intelligent and industrious people, who bring with them sufficient means to establish themselves comfortably in their new homes, and not a few of them are capitalists, who come to enter upon a field of enterprise which, at the present time, has no equal for the employment of energy and moderate wealth in the whole country. Of course Missouri is not standing sill while this current of living power is freshly pouring into her veins, and tend it her development in every form and direction. Improvement is the order of the day in every section of her territory. We question wheather any State in the Union, in which the precious metals have not been discovered, has ever made the same progress over a period equal to that which has elapsed since the adoption of the emancipation ordinance in Missouri.

This condition of things is more than satisfactory. What a splendid indorsement it furnishes to the policy which has prevailed in the State under its present Radical rule? That which gave Missouri her first great impulse was the immediate abolition of slavery – peculiarly a Radical measure. That which next contributed to the same end, was the adoption of the New Constitution. This last important action of the people settled, in public opinion, the question of Missouri’s future, creating confidence throughout the country in the loyalty and stability of her government. Had the New Constitution been defeated, Missouri might not have positively retrograded, but her progress for some time would have been very slow, and immigration would have continue to flow chiefly from Kentucky, Tennessee and other Southern States, as it was before slavery was abolished. The importance of the change, in this respect, we need not discuss.

Of course there has been bitter opposition to the workings of the New Constitution, as there was to its adoption. Every new reformatory system has met with precisely the same character of opposition. Nevertheless the Constitution as a whole is not only an established, but an unprecedented success. It is growing stronger and more popular day by day, although, not perfect in all its details. It is noticeable that the opposition to it as a whole, has already narrowed down to the purely disloyal element. The Blair men who join with the rebels in their denunciations of the Constitution, probably do not number two hundred, all told in the State.

One of the peculiar evidences of the New Constitution’s strength and popularity is shown in the advantage which those counties voting for it enjoy in the matter of immigration. Immigrants, as a general thing study most keenly the political character of the country, being especially anxious to get into loyal neighborhoods. One of the first question we have always been asked relates to this point. Hence it is that great satisfaction is expressed, when the county or section inquired after is spoken of as having voted for the New Constitution, and the districts which enjoy this recommendation have, in point of fact, secured the lion’s share of the new settlement. We have no doubt the land of those counties which supported the New Constitution is to-day, on that account, relatively five dollars per acre higher than in the counties which voted against it, taking the whole State into the calculation.

In view of these facts the loyal men of Missouri have especial reason to be encouraged. They have but to stand to their principles and be united and, all is safe. The efforts of the Blair-Bogy agitators, directed against the New Constitution, directed against loyal immigration, directed against progress and improvement of all kinds, because the New Constitution and immigration and progress and improvement are fatal to their political ascendancy, will miserably fail. In the light of passing events, so manifest that every man of sober reason can read them at a glance, their struggles and contortions, induced by their frantic resistance to a better and nobler condition of things, become ludicrous in the extreme.

The Western Border Times learns that threats have been made to burn the school house in which the colored children are there taught, because the school is taught by a white lady, a member of the “Northwestern Freedman’s Commission.” The Times protests against such an outrage, and says:

“The city authorities are at a loss what to do in the premises. The parties interested in property in the vicinity are uneasy. We do not think there is much danger. But be that as it may, were me Mayor of the city, we would make it the especial duty of the blacks to watch the school, and we would tell them to defend it at all hazards. This the blacks would most cheerfully do.”

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