|View single post by Albert Sailhorst|
|Posted: Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 09:58 pm||
|To enhance younglobo's examples of Forrest's attitude toward blacks, just look at how he treated and respected them after the war.
The following is taken from http://www.scvcamp469-nbf.com/thememphisspeech.htm: (I have often seen this speech in other books and articles as well, so I don't think there's any bias to it at all!)
"The following article is the speech.....General Nathan Bedford Forrest spoke to an African-Southern American Political and Social Group, the Jubilee of Pole Bearers on July 4, 1875 ...."
Miss Lou Lewis was introduced to General Forrest and then presented him with a bouquet of flowers and said, "Mr. Forrest, allow me to present you with this bouquet as a token of reconciliation, an offering of peace and good will."
General Forrest received the flowers with a bow and replied, "Miss Lewis, Ladies and Gentlemen, I accept these flowers as a token of reconciliation between the White and Colored races in the South. I accept these more particularly, since they came from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God's green earth who loves the ladies, it is myself. This is a proud day for me. Having occupied the position I have for thirteen years and being misunderstood by the Colored race, I take this occasion to say that I am your friend. I am here representative of the Southern People - one that has been more maligned then any other. I assure you that every man who was in the Confederate Army is your friend. We were born on the same soil, breathe the same air, live in the same land, and why should we not be brothers and sisters. When the war broke out, I believed it was my duty to fight for my country, and I did so. I came here with the sneers and jeers of a few of the White people, who did not think it right.. I think it right, and I will do all I can to bring harmony, peace and unity. I want to elevate every man, and see that you take your places in your shops, stores and offices. I don't propose to say anything about politics- but I want you to do as I do- go to the polls and select the best man to vote for. I feel that you are free men, I am a free man, and we can do as we please. I come here as a friend and whenever I can serve any of you, I will do so. We have one Union, one flag and one country, therefore let us stand together. Although we differ in color, we should not differ in sentiment. Many things have been said in regard to myself, and many reports circulated,, which perhaps may be believed by some of you, but there are many around that contradict them. I have many times been in the heat of battle, oftener, perhaps, then any within the sound of my voice. Men have come to me and ask for a quarter, both Black and White, and I have shielded them. Do your duty as citizens, and if you are oppressed, I will be your friend. I thank you for the flowers, and ensure you that I am with you in heart and hand."
I sure wouldn't construe his words as racist......
Last edited on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 09:59 pm by Albert Sailhorst